Category Archives: Emergency Preps

Anything that can be thought of as preparedness or preparedness related.

AOD Wilderness Shirt

by Woodsbum

It has been a while since I first covered my Wilderness Shirt. This thing wears like iron, is warm in winter and allows just enough air flow/layering to span a huge temperature range.

Here it is in all its glory.

Wilderness Shirt

Wilderness Shirt

As you can see, I had to take pictures inside my office. This was because of a few reasons:

  1. I am a complete dufus about taking pictures when I am out in the woods. It won’t happen, thus the reason I have so few posts as of late.
  2. Someone hit me up and really wanted some pictures of the shirt this morning. This compelled me to take advantage of having snapped a few pictures and went forward with this post.

Here is some information about the shirt and how we came to make it.

The shirt was designed by my mother and I. She took care of the actual engineering and I gave all the specifics needed in the design. Although there are a whole pile of “Boreal Shirts” available online, I have not seen any that I actually liked. Either they were unlined and didn’t keep you warm enough or they had design flaws that I felt were lacking in some form.

If you notice, the arms and body of the shirt are quite long. I usually cuff the sleeves for normal wear. I wanted really long arms so that I could tuck the sleeves into gloves/mittens without having to worry about riding up. I also wanted the ability to “turtle” my hands if I did not have gloves. This design is perfect for that.

As for the body being extra long, I wanted the ability to keep my nether region and butt warm while wearing the shirt. When I want to keep a pistol or knife easily accessible, I wear a 2″ wide leather belt over the shirt. It is long enough to not bunch up and allows for the belt to be comfortably worn. This configuration also brings the shirt in closer to my body and keeps me even warmer. There is just enough air flow for spring/fall weather, but with the belt I can raise the 2 position wind flap to keep me quite toasty at temperatures around 0 degrees with only a t shirt on as a base layer.

Wind Flap Full Position

Wind Flap Full Position

Wind Flap Half Position

Wind Flap Half Position

The eyelets/grommets at the neckline allow for 550 cord lacing. Not only does this give me some emergency cordage, but I can cinch down the hood, the neck or both. Since the hood is so big, I can also put the hood down and cinch it all up so that it works to keep my neck warm while wearing a hat. I wear it that way a lot with a scarf or shemagh. It really keeps the air trapped inside the shirt to provide phenomenal protection and warmth when worn that way.

The entire shirt is flannel lined and well sewn. Many shirts I have seen use a wool blanket that doesn’t have as closely knit fibers as the wool we used. This, along with the flannel liner, cuts the wind much better and resists the elements more readily. As for the actual design, the shoulder seams are done in such a way as to disallow stretching even when completely soaked. We are toying with the idea of making an unlined oilskin anorak that will fit over the shirt. Since synthetics ALWAYS leak in extremely wet conditions, I have been pushing for the oilskin solution. We should have some prototypes and start testing that idea this fall. Being in Western Washington allows me to do some pretty intense wet weather testing.

Lining and Seams

Lining and Seams

As you can see, this has gotten a lot of wear over the last couple years. If you ignore the dog fur and remnants of fire prep from my last outing, you would not hardly believe that is was over 2 years old and worn 4-5 times a week in inclement weather.

Cuffs

Cuffs

For those that are wondering, no this does not have any pockets. We have experimented with several pocket designs, but I have not liked how they function. They tend to allow my to weigh my shirt down funny due to packing all my gear in my shirt. I also don’t like how all but arm pockets tend to interfere with my belt I wear. There just doesn’t seem to be that nice “happy medium” that allows for pockets without them becoming a complete hindrance in many situations.

At this time we are taking only a few orders. My mother is too busy building a companion set of bibs that will feature oilskin patches and a fully adjustable waistline. Once those are past the prototype and testing phases she will start accepting orders for the shirts and bibs.

Thank you for looking and hit me up with any questions.

The End

The End

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Leatherman Tread

by Woodsbum

My wonderful wife ended up getting two discount coupon codes to Leatherman that give special pricing. For my birthday she gave me the codes and told me to pick out what I wanted……

What a freaking AWESOME lady!!!!

Leatherman Tread

Leatherman Tread

Anyway, one of the things that I picked up was their multitool bracelet called a “Tread.” I found it quite interesting and actually wanted to pick up the additional pieces that allow this to be a watch band. Fast forward about a month and lots of me looking for my watch, me messing with the bracelet, and testing this bad boy as much as I could. Here is what I found.

The Allen wrenches on this are SAE. For some stupid reason every Allen headed bolt that I run into is metric. I have yet to even come close to being able to use one. The screwdrivers have received quite a bit of use, however. Interestingly enough, the bracelet is MUCH easier to use as a screwdriver than a multitool. It seems that it is designed to fold flat with the tool sticking out, thus giving a good handhold to really torque on things. It works quite effectively. There is a cutter type thing that opens letters and cuts string quite well. That is all that I have been able to find to cut with it. The pokey thing that is described as a SIM car remover does work decently as an “Electrical Device Reset Button Pusher.” Other than the beer bottle opener, these are the tools that I have found a need for.

I think that swapping out the square headed bits for metric Allen wrenches would have been a better idea, but all said and done it does work well. For those of you with small wrists, you may have to take out a few links. Mine actually fits perfectly right out of the box. This is kind of odd because I have huge wrists and nothing every seems to fit them. Even my FitBit is on the last notch and pops off on occasion. The Tread is also quite heavy, which I like. It makes it feel like you are toting an actual piece of metal on your arm. Too many tools are just novelty items. This may be novelty and gimmicky, but it at least will take a beating.

Once I find my watch and get some batteries in it I will marry the two up and make it into a watch band with the adapter I purchased.

If I was to do it over again, I would definitely pick it up for the price I got it for. At MSRP, I would think twice just due to the lack of daily use. Spending $170 on a bracelet or $170 on a nice knife will always find me looking for things to cut. It is a great piece of gear, though.

Cheers!

Leatherman Tread

Leatherman Tread

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Hardtack

by Woodsbum

For those of you who are not sure what hardtack is, think of it like a horribly thick and hard cracker. What is nice is that it will literally last forever. It doesn’t go bad. What I like it for is tossing some hard cheese and meat on it, honey, or use it to dip into a soup. People also eat it as is, but it is a bit bland.

Here is the recipe:

 

  • 3 cups of white flour
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 cup of water

Mix it all together and roll it out into a big square. Cut the dough into about 9 equal portions or just make them about as equal as you can get. Once you get these portioned and cut, use a nail to poke about 14 holes to make it resemble the holes on a saltine cracker.

Bake the pieces on an ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove them from the sheet and let them cool. They should look like slightly browned, puffy crackers.

Each piece of hardtack is about 150 calories.

 

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Zippo Lighters

by Woodsbum

Well, here it is….  I did it again. I bought something with my logo on it.

Zippo

Zippo

I have carried Zippo lighters for years. Although I don’t smoke cigarettes, I do like cigars and tobacco pipes a lot. Cigars are a bit expensive so I do tend to just grab pipe tobacco and go at it that way. Carrying a lighter really isn’t about using it to light tobacco (or other stuff if you live in WA, OR or CO). These things are VERY handy in a variety of situations such as ridding your clothes of those pesky threads, melting the ends of paracord, starting campfires, lighting incense (or sage in my case), etc. Let’s face it, the savior of any birthday party is  the one that has a way to light the candles. Even Dr. Henry Jones carried his lucky charm that allowed him to escape the Nazis (movie reference for those that didn’t catch it).

The way that I discovered that Zippo did custom orders was through sending them my older lighters for repair and swapping out standard inserts for pipe ones. The pipe ones have a big hole in them that allows the lighter to be turned sideways without extinguishing the flame.

Pipe insert

Pipe insert

If you have a Zippo, you can actually contact them at this page, send in your lighter and they will replace your normal insert with one designed for a pipe. They have two other lighters of mine right now getting swapped out. Interestingly enough, it is quite difficult to find Zippos with the pipe insert that don’t have a stupid pipe emblem on the bottom. Good luck finding one that is camo or has a Harley emblem either. They just don’t send them out that way. Personally, I think you should be able to buy them from Zippo directly with the option for the type of insert.

Ignoring the fact that I just complained about Zippo in the previous paragraph I really love their lighters and carry one most of the time. They are windproof/resistant, light even when it gets REALLY cold, are tough as hell, and are a piece of gear that you can really depend on as long as you keep it filled with fluid (don’t overfill and put it in your pocket if you don’t want funny rashes on your leg). For those that don’t have a Zippo, I recommend getting and carrying one. It worked for those in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam so if they NEEDED them for survival I guess I should carry one, too, just in case. I know that I am not in a war or having to fight my way from hilltop to hilltop, but if the reality is that a lightweight piece of gear was so important that everyone carried one at one time I have no problems tossing one into my pocket. It just makes sense to learn from my elders when it comes to that sort of stuff.

Now for the important part of this whole post: My Zippo is AWESOME. They really did a great job on it. All I had to do was import my image on the website, center it and pay with a credit card. You can do any number of different types of images from family pictures, personal logos, kid art, whatever. Giving a Zippo with a family picture to your pops for Father’s Day is a great gift idea. The cost is only $15 over the cost of the lighter plus shipping.

Go get yourself a lighter with your personal touch, people!!!

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Homemade Applesauce

by Woodsbum

I searched for quite a while before I found a good applesauce recipe. Most call for all sorts of weird things. I really like this recipe because it is simple, basic and tastes great.

Here are the ingredients per my batch. Some math may be required:

  • 18 lbs of apples
  • 3 cups of water or apple juice/cider
  • Juice of 3 lemons (approx 1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed of course)
  • 5 teaspoons of Cinnamon

First thing you will need is your apples. I used half Gala and half Granny Smith. They are much better if you use them before they get too soft.

Make sure you pick up one of these:

Apple slicer

Apple slicer

These slicer things make short work of peeling, slicing, and coring an apple. When you pull the apple meat off the device, just cut the whole apple coil in half, then throw it into the pot with the ingredients. There is no need to play games with adding things one at a time. Just toss it all in and put it on low heat to start cooking down.

Cut and ready for cooking

Cut and ready for cooking

Once it is all cooked down and the apples are soft, you need to pull the apple out and blend them. I use a Ninja like this one:

Ninja

Ninja

The hot applesauce will be a bit running, but it will be perfect to just jar up and can. I left about 1/2 inch of headspace on my jars and then water bath canned them. The 18 lbs made a little over 6 quarts of applesauce.

Ready for canning

Ready for canning

The whole process took about an hour and half from start to finish. The best part is how great the applesauce turned out. I don’t think that I have ever had any store bought or homemade applesauce that tasted better.

As a side note, I do things a bit different with my cinnamon. I purchase the sticks in bulk and then grind it myself as I need it. This gives a stronger taste without the bite that you get with the preground stuff in the stores. Even the smell is better.

Have some fun and good luck. I am getting ready to can some peaches that we picked up in Wenatchee sometime this week.

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