Over the past several years I have researched so many companies and products with outrageous claims such as “Create your own source of power and Get off the Grid” or “Learn the 37 food items that you will need to save your family in a crisis”. These so called experts offer you what they claim is important information they have spent years researching with “industry experts” such as their friends from the Pentagon, the FBI, The Military, Swat. Etc. I have found most of the information offered is simple common sense or what you can find on the internet for free and the rest of what they offer is incomplete or simply misguided. I will repeat this: I am trained in wilderness survival, backcountry/wilderness first-aid and will I stand here and claim I can survive in any situation? Maybe I can, but it depends on what the given situation brings. Do I believe if I gathered all of the survival/military/swat experts into one room we could create a plan that will save you and your family no matter what you face? I would be a fool to state that and you would be one to believe it.
One person that I will soon name has a survival handbook that couldn’t get you by a knee scrape and yet they publish this material and call it “Must Know Survival Tactics”. Almost all of these scams start off with a video that has words that pop up on the screen; a soft spoken man will then begin his tale of how he found himself lost in the sea of survival/disaster misinformation. However would he care for his poor family if disaster struck? So each one of these guys armed with his own personal team of experts developed THE PLAN, you know, the one that will help you survive in any situation, because they have lived through all scenarios right? This is that same “regular guy” or at least he said he was just like you a few minutes ago didn’t he? All of these “Regular Guys” have one thing in common; they want to prey on your fears or create those fears in you and try to make you feel guilty if you don’t “take all necessary steps and precautions to protect your family”. In one survival guide on water storage the big tip of the day is: Tips to curb water usage; “Ration drinking water”. Did anyone really need to pay for this garbage? Yes, I did to expose the lying cheaters for who they really are. As you go through the videos and near the end you will see a price of let’s say, $27 dollars. After all they did all the research for you and compiled all the “expert knowledge”, shouldn’t they get paid for their “hard work”? Then just for today only and since you are a “patriot” they will offer you and amazing upgrade to the platinum package for only $200.00 more and if you pass that by that amazing platinum package will drop to only $67.00 because you are a “fellow patriot”. LIARS, CHEATS!!! Beware, I will soon name ALL OF YOU who are doing this!! I have spent many years researching and practicing survival skills, techniques, products, tools, etc. and in all my years as a Survivalist/Backcountry Guide is there one plan that will work in all situations or for everybody? NO, but there are some common sense things we all should know and there are some tools and knowledge that we all should have access to. Sounding like a broken record I purchase everything I test, use and recommend and I get nothing from the companies that I endorse that make these products. I do not get paid to write this column nor have I ever charged anyone for the valuable information that I have acquired and pass on to you. When it comes to survival whether it is urban or wilderness and yes there are clear differences, I believe there are things that need to be shared that could or will save lives. I have found few products over the years that I have endorsed but the one’s that I do are truly great products. I do believe we as individuals, families and as a community should be prepared for any kind of disaster whether it is natural or manmade. I believe you should NEVER go into the wilderness un prepared. I believe that in an urban setting we all should have access to products that will carry us through a crisis if we should lose power, water or sewer service. With the present state of the economy I believe we should hope for the best yet prepare for the worst. I have shown you top of the line products such as The Kelly Kettle, The Sun Focus and Tulsi Solar Hybrid Ovens, indispensible cooking gear that require no power or purchased fuels to create full meals with. I will soon post my video on the Stove Tec Rocket Stove, another AMAZING product I will fully endorse as must have emergency/disaster equipment. Everything I discover in the way of information is brought to you FREE and I will post videos on my You-Tube Channel “GreatWhiteMetalChef”. I have shown you how to bake loaves of bread for pennies on the dollar, how to start your own yeast to make that bread that will last hundreds of years and can be passed down from generation to generation. I have shown you how to grind your own grain into flower and I will show you how to make pasta from some of that grain. I have shown you how to dry fruits, veggies and spices for long term food storage, how to properly pack grains, beans, rice, coffee and the next part of my food storage series will show you how to dry eggs that are simply amazing.
I will be sharing with you my design for a simple to elaborate solar/wind system, how to build a solar hot water heater and a Parabolic/Fresnel cooker, real items that will take care of you, your family and your friends in times of crisis. This is not information you should pay for in my opinion, but all that being said do I think there are things you should buy? Absolutely, everyone has a budget and you should only get what you can afford but that is where some sacrifice might and should come in. Give up that extra night out or whatever and spend the money towards the items you should have as and in your back up supplies. There is no need to spend thousands of dollars on items, and if you set up a simple plan and apply a few dollars to it faithfully you will have all the supplies you need to get you through a crisis.
My You-Tube channel has simple fire starting methods that all should know how to perform in any situation. I will show you how to trap fish and snare animals, this is a practice that is illegal here in Colorado but in a survival situation you have the absolute right to do what you need to do to survive and or to save a life.
I believe everyone should have at least one week’s worth of food and water for each family member on hand. The daily requirement for water is about a gallon a day per person, what about cooking or personal hygiene? Some of you might think “I can always cook on my grill” but what if propane or charcoal is scarce? I have a perfectly good grill myself but do I want to waste all my fuel (i.e. charcoal, propane) on a few meals? Here is why I stand by the products I recommend. The Kelly Kettle: with this product you can cook, boil/sterilize water simultaneously without the use of purchased fuels. I used wet sticks, leaves, etc from my backyard to cook a full meal in no time at all. See my article here at the scoop as well as the videos posted. The Sun-Focus or Tulsi Hybrid Solar Ovens: with these I baked bread, cookies, roasts, potatoes, fish, etc, all with the power of the sun. See my you tube video on those products. The Stove Tec Rocket Stove is another product you can use simple sticks, leaves and easily found fuel items, look for my article and video on this product soon. Getting back to the simple things I will show you how to make a simple shelter should you ever have to leave your home. In real outdoor/wilderness survival situation, remember the 5 C’s of survival:
Cutting – A solid dependable fixed blade knife.
Combustion – A way to quickly and reliably start a fire in all conditions.
Cover-Clothing- A way to get out of the elements of nature and be protected.
Container – A way to carry, store and boil water for purification.( Also for carrying food, cooking, etc.)
Cordage – A way to tie and lash together available resources for shelter, carrying, traps/snares, etc.
We will cover all applicable details of these things and so much more, but for now trust this; you don’t need to buy anyone’s BS “Survival Plan” or system. Having access to a few good trustworthy tools and knowing how to use them will be your best bet in any given situation. Have some back up supplies that can carry you and your family through an emergency is also critical. Did I mention something about $27.00???
Always enjoy the vast treasure we have before us, but do it responsibly and cautiously and with all due respect to the kings of the forests that live there. Remember to be safe, always pack the right gear and never ever go into their domain unprepared, not even for a minute. Until the next time if you ever come across a trail jumping flesh-eating creek-vaulting gun-toting knife wielding stick swinging Metal Chef-ing banjo pickin’ guitar playin’ owner of a face you’ll never forget and one only his mother could love scarier than your mamma could ever warn you about spooky dude who might just cook and eat you, NEVER, EVER, use the term bushwhacking in his un-holy presence……..This is THE GREAT WHITE.
Coming soon: True Survival Water Filtration