Portable Power Source Is Like AAA In Your Pocket!

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June 13th, 2016

Video courtesy of OTGN

This week Rich Murphy, a regular writer for Off The Grid News, shares with us some tips on how he uses his new Pocket Power X in his day to day life and also when in an “Off Grid” situation. Over the next few weeks Rich will be sharing with us just a few of the many uses of the Pocket Power X!

Learn More About The Amazing Pocket Power X And Get One For Yourself!


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Survival Gear Review: Ruger Charger Takedown

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Best 22 Survival Pistol

Some serious firearms are merely taken as fun guns.  Why not allow them to play the role of Survival Pistolboth?  Lucky for me, at a recent NRA Friends banquet, a friend bought be a raffle ticket to which it produced a winning selection of a firearm.  My choice?  It was a no-brainer for me when I saw the Ruger Charger, .22 pistol sitting among the group of choices that was left.  To discover it was the takedown version with the green/brown laminate stock sealed the deal.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to Survival Cache & SHTFBlog

Factory Specs

If you have not seen one yet, the Ruger Charger is classified as a pistol, but it is more than that.  Its overall length is 19.25 inches and weighs about 50 ounces.  They come in a fixed stock version and now a neat takedown model just like its big brother the regular Ruger 10-22 rifle.  They are available in both synthetic and wood stocks.

The metal is a sort of blued, matte black.  The barrel is 10-inches thus the pistol ranking.  The grip is a standard hard plastic A-2 AR-15 style.  There are no open sights on this rig, but it comes equipped with an add-on Picatinny rail on top of the receiver to mount a red dot optic or other type scope depending on what the user wants.  Also included is a short front mounted folding bipod that attaches to the forward sling mount with the supplied adaptor.

Related: 7 Ruger 10-22 Accessories You Actually Need

The Ruger Charger uses a BX-15 ®, 15-round capacity “banana” type magazine that slips into the Ruger Charger 22 Reviewaction just like a 10-22 rifle.  In fact, the Charger’s action is really just the exact same one as the common 10-22 rifle action.  Therefore, it only shoots long rifle rimfire ammo, so don’t try to feed this one shorts or longs.

The barrel comes threaded featuring a ½-inch-28-thread pattern to accept most suppressors, or flash hiders.  These threads are capped with a factory installed thread protector.  The takedown process is easy.  A small lever under the action is pushed forward and the front barrel unit is simply rotated into its unlocked position.  Reassembly is just as simple and the barrel/forearm unit snaps positively in place.  There is a round knurled adjustment ring that is tightened upon attaching the barrel unit initially to the action. This properly spaces the barrel to the action.

The Charger comes packed in a plastic slide lock case, that frankly could be a better, more sturdy unit.  The lid on mine did not fit very well.  Once you assemble the pistol and attach the bipod, you are not going to use this case anyway.  I suggest getting a good, padded range bag to tote and store the unit.  The Charger retails for about $380, but shop around.

What Is It For?

Ruger suggests the Charger pistol is great for target shooting and small game.  Their info does not specifically use the term “hunting”, but one assumes that is what they mean by small game.  The .22 rimfire being what it is, this pistol could indeed be used for hunting and bug out pot food such as squirrels and rabbits.

Related: Ruger 10-22 Takedown Upgrades

If you were so inclined, the Charger could just as easily take down raccoon, opossum, and in western locales birds such as grouse, or even pheasant with some luck and patience.  The point is with some practice, this .22 pistol is just as capable of dispatching any game the rimfire can put down.  The attached bipod could be used to steady the pistol off the hood of a vehicle or the fender or seat of an ATV or SUV.  The bipod could also be removed to shoot the Charger off of a standing bipod or tripod or unit such as a Primos Trigger Stick.

In the Field

Some may be thinking that the Ruger Charger is not a very practical firearm.   I think if preppers Shooting Ruger Chargerlooked at one, held one, then got to shoot it, they would be inclined to think otherwise.  I mounted an AIM electronic red/green dot optic on mine.  This was something I had already and thought to put it to good use to try it out.  This optic has four switchable dot configurations that can be alternatively displayed in/on the glass optic screen.  There is the standard dot, a crosshair, a circle, and a sort of circle with a crosshair in it.  A rheostat on the side functions to change out the light intensity but also to go from red to green depending on the shooter preference.

It attached easily to the Charger’s Picatinny rail on top via a cross bolt hex screw mount.  I did find that in cycling the action of the Charger to load it that my knuckle would bump into the sharp knurled optic control dial on the side of the unit.  That was a mild distraction, so I had to play with moving the optic forward and back until I achieved the clearance I needed to leave skin on my knuckle.

Also Read: Ruger 10-22 Takedown Review

One other modification I made was to immediately swap out the factory A2 hard, slick plastic pistol grip with a nice, soft, Hogue AR-15 grip.  I have these grips on all my ARs and find them easier to grip and hold onto.  They are also not slick when wet.  The change out was quick and easy.

Anyway, first, off the bench using the bipod, this little devil can slap tin cans all over the place once I got it punching small holes in target paper from 25, then 50 yards.  It can gong a 10-inch metal plate all day long.  And I was using rather cheap rimfire ammo, if there really is such a thing these days.

I’m not one to press ranges with a rimfire, but I sure think this rig can take down small game out to 50 yards with a steady rest of some kind.  I plan to further test the pistol off a Trigger Stick once small game season opens.  The Ruger Charger could definitely be a field walk around gun, but I have got to ponder on a way to rig up a sling of some sort.   The jury is still out on the usefulness of the bipod except off a bench or flat rest.

Also Read: Project Squirrel Gun

When at my bug out camp, I have this theory about any gun being better than no gun, so even a .22 rimfire ought to scare away a poacher or trespasser with a few rounds in the vicinity.  But if not, then my AR is on the ATV and the 1911 is in my Diamond D chest rig.

Photos By:
Dr. John J Woods
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Growing Potatoes In A Bag….One Week Later

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Well, my last post was about my choice to try to grow potatoes in a bag.  Last week, I had rolled the bag so that it was only 1/3 of it’s normal height.
Within a few days, I had to unroll the bag and add more soil as the plants were growing by leaps and bounds!


As of yesterday, I had to unroll the entire bag to add more soil. As I stated before, these plants are growing very quickly!
Although it isn’t lovely (the bag I mean), but I have loved how simple this process is.  I look forward to harvesting them at the right time.  I am curious about just how many potatoes we will have!
I’ll keep you posted…..

11 Ways To Light Your Home When The Power Goes Out

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11 Ways To Light Your Home When The Power Goes Out When the power goes out, the only lights most people have are candles, flashlights, and perhaps an oil lamp. These are fine for short power outages, but for extended outages (24 hours or longer), you’ll need lights that are safer, brighter, and longer-lasting. Fortunately, …

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food storage

Prepping takes time and preparation.  This is essential whether you are doing a Bug In at home with family, a Survival few extended family, neighborhood friends, or a Bug Out solo or with a partnership team.  Just know that the more numbers you add, the more complicated and difficult things suddenly seem to become.  It is inevitable I guess.  Either way you will be facing the daunting task of learning, teaching, practicing and perfecting your TTPs or Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures.  Far be it for me to preach to you guys all the details of that approach, so I will just highlight some priority topics.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Look at the Survival Cache site under the books section to get some heavy duty reading materials on the subjects at hand.   There is rarely a substitute for building a foundation of basic knowledge regardless of the subject.  I have probably quoted this before but this comment by Patrick Rogers in SWAT Magazine just about says it right.  “When all is said and done, practice does not make perfect.  Practice only makes permanent.  If we strive for only for mediocrity that is all we will ever achieve.”

Also Read: Review Henry Arms AR-7 Survival Rifle

That is the bottom line with survival prepping.  We can read all we want.  Attend seminars and take courses to expose ourselves to knowledge.  Watch all the You-Tubes we can, but if we never try to perform these skills ourselves, then we are just kidding ourselves in the worst way.  And I point the same finger at myself with many of these things.  We have got to do better.

Contingency Training

Do yourself a favor whether a Bug In or Bug Out alone or with others, conduct a SWOT analysis.  These are Best Survival TrainingStrengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  The easy way to do this is to use different colored sticky pads for each of the four SWOT concepts.  Have your family, group, or team write down ideas on each topic and stick them to the wall or white board under each category.  Compile them, consider them, debated them and then prepare for them.

SWOT Analysis is a commonly used management tool for developing teams to work better toward common goals but also to learn more about the challenges you face as a team.  It can be a fun process, if you anoint someone with leadership skills to guide the process and control the discussions.

Related: 3 Bug Out Lessons From A SWAT Officer

In terms of practicality, I can only imagine how difficult if not actually impossible to train or prep for every possible contingency.  You have to take stock of where you live for example and look at the most likely worst threats.  Where I live we are subject to tornadoes, and hurricanes.  This year is the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  There will be more.  There are tornadoes every year that rip apart entire communities in my home state.  What if one hit your house, or mine or the neighborhood down the road knocking out all power for a month?

Where I live I am 60 miles as the crow flies from a nuclear power plant.  What if ISIS somehow bombed that or an insurgent slipped in with a suitcase dirty bomb?  Impossible you say?  Better rethink that line of denial.  Am I spending a lot of time on how to recover from a nuclear plant meltdown?  Nope.  Do I know what I need to do to get ready for the aftermath of a tornado or hurricane?  Yep.  You have to regionalize your prep plan when it comes to the potential for natural disasters where you live.  Then get our TTP priorities in order and initiate action.

Also Read: 10 Best Survival Movie Lessons

Then you can start to concentrate or parallel your prep for unnatural disasters such as an economic collapse, a bank closure, widespread power grid lock down, communications crash, epidemics of all kinds (Dah, like what…..measles?), and other SHTF events that are out of our control except for the survival part.  Work to those ends.  Heed your SWOT, even if all you do in that regard is one for yourself.  You have to know where you stand in your world.

Training the Undesirable Tasks

Do not spend all your training time on the things you like to do or already do well.  For example, most of ussurvival_prepper_shtf_survivalistpreppers like guns and shooting.  We make a critical error if we dwell on firearms defense and protection to the neglect of many other things.  Sure it is important, but if you starve to death or die from weather exposure without shelter, then what have you gained but weapons left to rust.

Stock up your canned goods or dry pack foods.  Learn to light a fire in the wind and rain.  Get your reserve fuel stocks in order including cooking stove fuels.  If you Bug Out, know how to assemble your tent in the dark or by flashlight.  Work your “pack and jerk” plan which is to say have supplies ready to go, ready to toss into the pickup bed or SUV at a moment’s notice.

Also Read: You’re a 1000 Miles Away and the SHTF

Don’t just buy a can or bag of survival food.  Buy some then prepare it.  See firsthand if it is edible or if you spit it out.  Can you light that Coleman lantern or replace the mantle screen?  Can you sharpen knives, and axes?  Have you tried to put a tourniquet on someone?  Can you break new ground for a garden, hoe it, and plant it?  What would you try to grow?  You could actually try that in your backyard this summer.

Maybe a good start to this end would be to make a list of the things you dislike doing the most, then dedicating at least some time to those tasks.  Perhaps there is a person on your team or family that might actually enjoy that task.  Let them plan for it and lead the practice.  Hey, SHTFBlog fans, what are the prepping tasks you hate the most?  Tell us in the comments below.

Adverse Conditions Training

Train and practice in good weather and bad.  SHTF knows no fair weather birds.  In fact many naturally How to surviveoccurring SHTF’s are severe weather incidents.  As I look out my office window right now the temperature has dropped 20 degrees in three hours and a winter advisory is out for the evening and tomorrow.  How would you like to camp out tonight?  It would be a perfect time to test your skills and your will.  See, this is just another reason I plan to Bug In.

Related: 1 Pistol, 1 Rifle, & 1 Knife

Suppose right now you lived in Boston and maybe you do.  How was that walk to the corner market just to find many items gone from the shelves because restocking was impossible on the impassable roadways?  How many times can you dig out the sidewalk or driveway?  Are these conditions starting to wear on your psyche?  Getting a little edgy are we?

I suppose within nine months we will see a spike in the birth rate in these areas impacted by adverse winter weather.  Did your prep plan factor in another child or a first one?  Now you have other issues and concerns to deal with.  So, don’t just pick the blue sky park days to get outside to execute some of your prep plans.  As nasty as it might seem and will be, whether freezing cold or super hot and humid, when a SHTF really does come, the environmental conditions will be real all year long wherever you reside.  Know this, prep for it and practice for it.

Plan For Training Then Execute

Neither planning nor training is like reading a book then putting it up on the shelf to collect dust.  You may well know how to overhaul that garden tiller motor, but have you done it?  A few months ago you bought a new AR for defensive perimeter work and a bright shiny new red dot optic for it.  How many rounds have you put through it to date?  One box is not nearly enough regardless of the cost of the ammo.  Can anybody else in your family or on your team shoot this weapon with reliable accuracy?

Every component and aspect of your prepping plan has to be executed at some point in order for the plan to be effective.  Well, there’s a no brainer if I ever heard one.  It’s just reality that most of us have longer lists of things to accomplish on our prep plan than we have yet to do.  I am with you brothers.  You are not alone in the prepper wilderness.

Also Read: Raising A Prepared Kid

For me, I am the best planner, I create impeccable detailed lists, and am a thinker of things to be done.  But I am the worst at doing them in a timely manner.  My wife on the other hand is a doer, but plans nothing.  Whatever she buys she never reads the owner’s manual, while I pour over one for days.  She’ll plan a project, have half the tools needed, and always forget some critical phase of the deed.  I hope she doesn’t read this.  You’d think we would complement each other, but as you know, it doesn’t work that way.  Which one of us is it again that is from Mars?

Again, I think the best most prudent approach is an incremental one.  We simply cannot do everything at once anyway, though our thought patterns may be able to work and plan that way.  If we continue to postpone the inevitable, we are likely to get caught with our pants down around our ankles with Brian Williams there on the chopper flying overhead, but passing us by.

Also Read: SHTF – Women & Sex

I’ve never had to really survive a tough SHTF yet, but I cannot imagine any part of it being much fun.  I had to “survive” nearly a week without air conditioning and electricity from Katrina in August heat.  It was grossly unpleasant, but it was only 5 days.   What if we had to do endure that for a month, a year, longer?  Get your TTPs in order and things will go much easier down the road.

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Tutu Lee
Michael Blue

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Thoughts on TEOTWAWKI

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Thoughts on TEOTWAWKI

Normal survival situations in Australia are pretty easy to prepare for. That does not mean that you will survive, we all make mistakes, but fire, flood & drought are common in Australia & we all know what precautions to take. I survived cyclone Tracey in 74, I was not prepared, neither were many others in Darwin. We had so many warnings that came to nothing, that we became apathetic. Australia’s motto is “she’ll be right mate”, well sh wasn’t right mate in Xmas 74, & I think it would be a big mistake to take peace & our safety for granted now.

So what are we prepping for? Well for those that have not had their heads buried in the sand, it is pretty obvious that the threat comes from within. From our own totally corrupt government. How far is the government willing to go to remove all our civil & human rights? I can’t answer that, but just look at the rights we have lost already, look at the militarization of our Police Service. Mining now takes precedent over farming & the livelihood of Farmers. Mining takes precedent over Australia’s environment. Corrupt council rates (tax) hikes have seen people evicted from the homes they actually own, & those homes sold by the council, & some people wonder why so many of us WISH that the s**t would hit the fan!!!

A TEOTWAWKI is a little harder to prep for, because we don’t know what it may entail. The best we can do is assume that city life will no longer be safe, & that our survival lies in going bush. Some like myself & my family are already here, we are totally off grid. In the past I have lived for about 30 years without electricity, so if our solar power should malfunction, then it is not a problem. We have been off grid now for about 40 years. However, even though we are equipped & feel that there are enough of us to protect what we have against raiders, there is always the possibility that we may at some time have to leave our forest retreat. This too we are trained & equipped for.

We do not expect there to be too much competition in regards to hunting for food. Most so called preppers rely on modern equipment, & others are not really prepared at all. Few will have any experience in hunting & trapping, & fewer again will make it out of the cities alive. I have lived in the country all my life, & I know the limitations of modern technology. Those that start off with mostly modern survival gear will eventually find themselves living a stone age lifestyle, IF they survive at all! Those that depend only on pre 19th century equipment & skills will in my opinion never drop below that level of comfort.


3 Reasons New Homesteaders Fail

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3 Reasons New Homesteaders Fail Failure can come in all forms and isn’t always a bad thing. If you think about it, all of the things we use that makes our lives “easier” came about through a lot of trial and error (aka failure). Homestead failure, on the other hand, can have some pretty devastating …

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8 Tools Women Carry That Every Prepper Should Have

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8 Tools Women Carry That Every Prepper Should Have There are many common everyday items found in women’s purses. They are found there for a reason- they have a great everyday utility. Some women carry just the bare essentials, or no purse at all. But those that do carry larger purses are sure to have …

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Normalcy Bias-Bob Griswold-Pt2

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Bob Griswold of Ready Made Resources is on the show today for Part 2 or our interview. We discuss basic hurricane preparedness and normalcy bias.

Click HERE for  your FREE copy of The Seven Step Survival Plan!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00028]

When an EMP sends America into a technological dark age, Daniel Walker must fight to survive the most chaotic period in history. Buy your copy of Behold Darkness and Sorrow, in paperback, Kindle or audio edition and jump into the adventure today!


Cati Armor offers affordable body armor including level III trauma plates made of AR-500 steel which can endure multiple rounds from pistols and rifles up to 7.62 NATO. There plates are available with Rhino Linings coating to reduce spall.


I use JM Bullion because they have the lowest over-spot price of any dealer I have found for silver and gold bullion. JM Bullion now offers free shipping on every order!

Ready Made Resources is a trusted name in the prepper community, because they’ve been around for 18 years. They offer great prices on Night Vision, water filtration, long term storage food, solar energy components and provide free technical service. Get ready for an uncertain future at ReadyMadeResources.com!

God bless and happy prepping!

The post Normalcy Bias-Bob Griswold-Pt2 appeared first on Prepper Recon.

How To Salvage Metal Can And Retort Food Storage After A Flood

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When you store food – especially food in metal cans and retort pouches, it is essential that you store them where they will stay cool and dry.

That works out great if you have lots and lots of space.

But for many people, storage often finds its way into the basement – which generally meets […]

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8 Threats to Beware of if You Live in the City

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This article is for preppers and non-preppers, and I want to start it with a grim statement: If you live in a major metropolitan area, your chances of survival are relatively low in a large scale disaster scenario. Do you think I’m exaggerating? If you live in a city but you’re not into preparedness, consider […]

The post 8 Threats to Beware of if You Live in the City appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

How should we respond to the Orlando terrorist attack?

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In this post, I want to talk to my long-time readers. Most of us identify as Christians, Americans, Constitutional Conservatives, and Preppers/Survivalists.  As those “things,” those labels, how should we respond to the horrific terrorist attack that took place at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in the early hours of this morning?

As I write this post, authorities are reporting that Omar Mateen, described by his father as a “devout Muslim,” attacked the Pulse Nigh Club in Orlando, Florida, killing at least 50 people, and wounding dozens more. Authorities are also reporting that the killer pledged allegiance to ISIS just before carrying out the attack.

How should we respond to this horrific event? 

As Christians, our first response should be prayer.  Please pray for the victims of this terrorist attack. Pray for healing for the wounded. Pray for comfort for the friends and families of the dead and wounded. Pray for the those who were at the scene of the tragedy and survived. Pray for the first responders who went into harm’s way to help. Pray for the medical workers and others who are still dealing with the aftermath of the attack.

As Americans, our response should be to rally to the aid of our fellow Americans. Blood donations are needed, if you are in Florida (thankfully, the media is reporting long lines of people donating blood today). There may be need for other donations (money & resources) to relief agencies in the area.

As Constitutional Conservatives, we need to defend the truth. We need to make sure that people – especially the media, politicians, and activists – are honest about what happened in Orlando. Do not let anyone spin this tragic event as anything other than what it was – a well-planned terrorist attack. There are already people trying to spin this as a “random act of gun violence” and a gun control issue. It was not. “Guns” did not cause this tragedy. Instead, radical Islamic ideology was the cause.

As Preppers and Survivalists, this serves as a reminder of how dangerous the world can be. This type of tragedy can happen anywhere. It was a nightclub in Orlando this time, but could happen again in a shopping mall, movie theater, comedy club, or anywhere people gather in groups. We also should realize that the gun control crowd will (and already are trying to) use this event to strip law-abiding American of there Constitutional rights. Prepare as you think best.

You may also want to check out my past article, Fight Back! — Defending the Second Amendment.

Sustainable Sundays Link Party #4

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Sustainable Sundays Link Up

A link up party focused on eco friendly, sustainable practices. We’d love to have you link up posts about gardening, upcycling, homesteading, natural foods and recipes (nothing from a box!), reducing, reusing, and recycling.   

After two weeks of rain, rain, rain, we actually had a warm and sunny day today! I might have a tiny bit of sunstroke, but we got lots done in the garden. Of course those of you in warmer places can laugh because “warm and sunny” was about 70F. Hey, it’s all relative, right?

One of the best things you can do for the environment is to bring your diet closer to your front door, and a garden is a great way to do that. I hope to see plenty of posts about your gardens this week, even if it’s a work in progress.

The question of “May I add my post about ….” is easily answered. If your post is about recycling, upcycling, gardening indoors or out, scratch cooking, farmer’s markets, composting, waste reduction, DIY, herbal remedies, natural living …. can you see the possibilities here … then we want to see it.

Most Visited Post: “My Husband Does Better with Zero Bathroom Waste” by Skip the Bag was our most visited post for the week. Katy discusses some of the ways you can cut down on bathroom waste and how her husband is currently doing better than her. Check it out!

Most Social: For the most social feature, Cookied-Oh won with her Heavenly Honey Wheat Bread recipe. It’s fabulous to see how other people make their homemade bread – and honey goes so well with whole wheat.

Marie’s Pick: How to Make Your Own Bug Spray and Bite Stick

We live far out in the country, and bugs are a major issue. While I know that Muskoil isn’t the best, we’ve used it sometimes and always on clothing. But recently I accidentally sprayed some on my hand – ow, ow, ow! My hand swelled up until I had no knuckles, it was red and raw, and it hurt a lot. So no more Muskoil will be used. I really needed this very useful tutorial. Thank you so much!

(I apologize – for some very odd reason, I can’t upload the graphic! I’ll keep trying)

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Follow her by email to get her ebook, “Homesteading Without A Homestead” for free.

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Strawberry Season

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Dateline: 12 June 2016 AD
Berries picked this morning.
(click the picture for a delicious close-up view)
Hello Dear Readers,

I’m not blogging much these days. Life is just too busy. 

But I am keeping the strawberries picked, and we are certainly enjoying them, even if they are a bit on the small side this year.

I hope everyone’s summer is off to a great start.

If you haven’t yet entered Planet Whizbang Giveaway #3, please go check it out.


How To Make A PVC Crisis Bow

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How To Make A PVC Crisis Bow Imagine waking up one morning and all hell broke lose… SHTF and you had no ammo or you had no gun. You would need something with enough power to stop intruders and kill animals for food! Materials Needed One 5′ section of schedule 40 PVC pipe, 3/4″ thick …

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Free Food From Your Back Yard

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Free Food From Your Back Yard Insects are surprisingly nutritious, easy to acquire, and fun to eat. Why pass up such a readily-available food source? Most of the world, except the Northwest-European-based cultures, already embrace entomophagy, so we North-Americans could really embrace it, too. I’m not saying go into your back yard today, grab some …

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Slow Cooking Without Electricity: DIY Plans for Hay Boxes, Wonderbags, and More

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Slow Cooking Without Electricity: DIY Plans for Hay Boxes, Wonderbags, and More Slow cooking without electricity has been around for hundreds of years, it’s only because we are all spoiled and so used to living modern we forget that you can cook a fantastic meal with no power in hay boxes, wonderbags and other wonderful …

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Best Altimeter (ABC) Watches For Hiking and Outdoors in 2016

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If you are an avid outdoorsman, backpacker, hiker or hunter, then you know that there are a few pieces of gear you should have in your arsenal at all times.  There are basics like a knife and an emergency radio, but a compass is one of the most basic items you should always have in your arsenal.

What if you could combine a compass with both an altimeter (to detect your altitude) and a barometer (to measure the air pressure around you at a given altitude) and have it all on your wrist in one small package?  That’s what’s happened in the last 30 years with the altimeter watch.  There have been lots of technological advances, so picking the best altimeter watch for your needs  might be confusing.

We’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you and have broken down our favorite picks for the best ABC watch.  These watches have become known as “ABC watches” (altimeter/barometer/compass) and as technology advances in all areas of outdoor gear, they are becoming more popular for everyone that enjoys the outdoor/hiking/hunting/camping lifestyle.  All of our favorites include the ability to measure altitude, barometric pressure and include a compass to help you accurately judge your true direction at all times.  They are also becoming more modern looking, providing a look that will pass for a watch you can wear everyday.

Below you will also find all the details including a buyer’s guide that you should explore before buying an altimeter/ABC watch.  We include a comparison chart of our top 10 picks, details on each watch, as well as a link to user reviews on Amazon.com where you can see what others have to say about the product.  If you feel like we missed one, please drop a line in the comments section and let us know!

Comparison Chart and Table:

Watch Brand: Battery Life (Without GPS): Weight: GPS: Water Resistance:
Garmin Fenix 3 with HRM 6 Weeks 2.9 oz. Yes 100 Meters
Suunto Core 12 Months 2.2 oz. No 100 Feet
Garmin Fenix 2 5 Weeks 3.2 oz. Yes 50 Meters
Suunto Ambit 3 30 Days 3.2 oz. Yes 50 Meters
Casio Pro Stainless 5 Months 4 oz. No 200 Meters
Casio Pathfinder Stainless 5 Months 3.9 oz. No 100 Meters
Casio Pro Trek Black Sport 7 Months 6.4 oz. No 100 Meters
Casio Pro Trek Digital Sport 9 Months 2.3 oz. No 100 Meters
Suunto Traverse GPS 14 Days 2.8 oz. Yes 100 Meters
Garmin Fenix Hiking Watch 6 Weeks 2.9 oz. Yes 50 Meters

Table of Contents:

What Is an ABC Watch?

As stated earlier, the “ABC” stands for altimeter, barometer and compass.  Watches in this category offer all three of these components included with your timepiece.  Many of these watches are digital and can use either a lithium battery or operate on solar power.

The first commercially available ABC watches were offered by Casio in 1989.  This early form of the ABC watch was a digital watch that offered an Electric Barometer, Altimeter and Bathometer.  This was an early iteration and is a far cry from some of the more technologically advanced models on the market today.

Are All Altimeter Watches considered ABC watches?

The short answer is no.  You can find watches that have an Altimeter & Barometer but no compass.  Whether this is important to you depends on your use.  Something like the Garmin Forerunner 910XT is a great choice if you are just using it for running or biking where there are elevation changes.

Then there are some people who’d prefer to not rely on a digital compass.  If you are one of those individuals and you know you NEED a compass, we’d still recommend buying a watch with a digital compass anyways.  The battery power required is really no different to have a compass and non-compass model and you can always use the digital version on your watch as a backup.

ABC Watch Construction & Components:

Man Hiking with Altimeter WatchAltimeter:  One of the top features of hikers and mountain climbers is the integration of an Altimeter in with their watch.  Altimeters are used primarily in airplanes to judge the given altitude of what elevation you are at.  Altimeters use atmospheric pressure as the method to judge your altitude both up or down in elevation.  Altimeters measure the air pressure of any given location to calculate your approximate altitude.  It’s important that you look at the instructions when setting the appropriate starting point on your watch.  It’s recommended that if you are primarily using your watch for elevation changes, that you set your base level at sea level.  From that starting point, the Altimeter will measure changes in altitude depending on how you hike.

Barometer:  A Barometer measures Barometric Pressure which is otherwise known as Atmoshperic Pressure.  It is also defined as force per unit area exerted against a surface by the air weight above that surface.  This pressure is measured by the Barometer and there is a direct correlation between the altitude of your location as well as the air pressure of that location.  The easiest way to explain this is that the higher you go, the thinner the air gets due to the air pressure getting lower.  This is why you get winded at extremely high elevations, and this is what your watch is measuring.  It’s also been known that Barometric pressure readings can be helpful in determining if there is a storm on the horizon.  If your pressure suddenly drops, you’ll know that mother nature has something brewing and it might be time to consider seeking shelter.

Compass:  This part is pretty self explanatory.  Your ABC watch will come equipped with a compass making it the ultimate outdoor companion for your next mountain climbing or hiking trip.

Construction:  Usually ABC watches are geared more towards the outdoor crowd, so they are typically more rugged in construction and can withstand a beating.  They make these watches to withstand the rigors of hiking, mountain climbing, mountain biking and a variety of other outdoor activities.

How Do Altimeter Watches Work?

We will try and keep this simple.  Your ABC watch measures current absolute pressure and mean sea level pressure.  There is a relationship between the two which is why it’s important to set a baseline on your ABC watch to ensure proper readings.  This is why you should always calibrate your watch for a set altitude and recalibrate it frequently to ensure the most accurate read.

Casio breaks it out into pretty simple steps in this article here and we have summarized them for you below:

  1. Your altimeter will use a pressure sensor to measure the current air pressure.
  2. Measured air pressure then provides an estimated value based on the altitude.
  3. The watch is preset to convert preset pressure values into altitude readings.
  4. Air pressure and temperatures become lower as altitude increases.
  5. Altitude is then measured based on the lower air pressure, which in turn properly judges your altitude.

Suunto (one of our favorite ABC watch manufacturers) does a great job showing in simplistic form, exactly how their altimeter, barometer and compass watches work in the video below.

A Buyer’s Guide: 9 Things to Consider:

There are a few things you should consider before making a purchase.  Altimeter watches generally aren’t cheap like your basic Timex Weekender (which we love for a simple, minimalist every day watch), which means that you should explore the details before spending your hard earned cash.

1. How do you plan to use your Altimeter Watch?

This is probably in our opinion, the most important question.  We relate this decision to someone trying to decide on a fixed blade knife versus a folding pocket knife.  Both have different uses and needs.  You should treat your considerations for finding the best altimeter watch in the same fashion.  Someone that is going to head out for the occasional hike on the weekends is going to have a different needs than someone who is a competitive rock climber or marathon runner.  Marathon runners are going to be interested in finding an altimeter watch that’s lightweight, weatherproof and has a heart rate monitor.  Rock climbers will be looking for a minimalist design that’s light and extremely durable.

They will need something that won’t impede their climbing efforts.  This is when things like construction, durability and weight all come into play.  If you plan on using your watch for the occasional hike, these things become far less important and looking at a model with a few less features can save you money in the long run.

2. How Accurate are the Altitude/Barometer Readings?

Walking a Trail with an Altimeter WatchThis is an important question and each model is different.  The models in our top 10 comparison guide all have gotten good user reviews when it comes to the varying levels of accuracy.  We would suggest that you stick with one of the larger known manufacturers like Suunto, Garmin, or Casio.

These manufacturers have the market cornered on these products and have spent a considerable amount of resources to ensure that their products provide some of the most accurate readings on the market.  You will find that accuracy readings also depend on how frequently you calibrate your watch.

3. Are Digital Compass Readings Accurate and How Do They Work?

First let’s talk about how they work.  Digital compasses are based on magnetic sensor technology that can electronically sense the difference in the earth’s magnetic field.  There can be some variations based on true north and magnetic north as a result, but they are generally just as accurate as a non-digital compass.

As technology improves, so do digital compass readings.  Similar to the Altitude and Barometer ratings, most major manufacturers have spent time making sure that they have refined the accuracy readings of the compass inside each watch.

4. Battery Power and Longevity:

This is an important question.  An altimeter watch with a GPS can cause you headaches if you leave the GPS on the entire time that you are out hiking.  That’s going to cut your battery life down to 8 hours or less on some models.  This is no big deal for a weekend or day hiker, but for someone running a marathon or marathon relay, this can be a make or break feature so make sure to do your research.

You want to know how the watch is powered and how long it lasts with all features on full use at all times, especially if your watch has a GPS feature.

5. Can You Wear an ABC Watch Everyday, and are they Stylish?

In one word:  Absolutely.  While they may not be practical for those working in a suit and tie environment, many ABC watches are perfectly acceptable in a smart casual or business casual work environment.  The primary thing you will need to look out for is watch size.

Some ABC watches are a little on the “beefier” side and you might have a slight problem fitting it under the cuff of your dress shirt.  The good news is that many manufacturers like Suunto have gone above and beyond in making sure their watches are stylish enough to use in just about any circumstance.

If we had to recommend one model that you can wear everyday, the Suunto Core wins this battle hands down as long as GPS and a Heart Rate Monitor aren’t important to you.

Best ABC Watch Evaluation Tool

Pro Tip: Use freeware like Google Earth to find your starting elevation and calibrate your ABC Watch.

6. Calibration Frequency – How Often & How to Do it:

It’s always good to reset your baselines when you are going someplace new, but like most of the questions we’ve asked, this factor is going to be pretty dependent on each individual.  It really is going to depend on the person and how they plan to use the watch.

If you are someone that gets outdoors frequently, there’s no harm in adjusting your starting reference altitude each time you plan on going somewhere that the elevation changes.

You can use free technology like Google Earth to find pretty accurate base readings for just about every elevation and then adjust as needed.  For someone that doesn’t go out daily or weekly, it may not be as important to calibrate your watch regularly.

We mention Google earth as a good resource because it’s free.  You can check out the link here for a desktop version of Google Earth.  If you are on the go, Wikipedia is also a great resource as it has the elevation readings of most locations and the database administrators do a pretty good job of keeping the information up to date.

We would still recommend that you do so each time you know that you are going to be heading somewhere where there are elevation changes.

7. Do you need a GPS with your ABC Watch?

This question will really depend on what you intend to do when you buy your watch as covered earlier.  This is a critical buying decision.  Finding out after the fact that you wish you’d gotten a watch with a GPS and didn’t is a 250$+ waste of money.

Figure out what you need before you buy it and make your decision.  This is a feature that not everyone wants, but most hikers appreciate once they’ve experienced.

8. Do you need a Heart Rate Monitor?

A HRM as a feature is a no-brainer if you are training for a triathlon or if you are an aggressive mountain biker.  It becomes less important for someone that’s only outdoor activity is kayak fishing,  unless you are someone that just actively likes to monitor their heart rate for fitness reasons.

This feature is definitely a nice to  have, but not a must have for folks that like to hunt or are outdoors on the weekend as a casual activity.  The one benefit of having a HRM installed is the added versatility you gain with everyday wear.

9. What Are the Best ABC Watch Makers Today?

This is a subjective question and will really depend on each individual.  We prefer the bigger manufacturers (in no particular order) like Suunto, Garmin, Casio and Pyle.

We’d recommend sticking to one of the larger manufacturers that have been in the ABC watch game for a while.  These models are preferred by outdoor enthusiasts, runners and even people in the US Military.  If it’s good enough for them, it should be good enough for you.

Altimeter Watch Reviews – Our 10 Favorites:

Let’s break down our favorites.  Below you will find our top picks along with the reasons why they made our list.  If you feel like there’s one that we’ve forgotten that is on your list of favorites, please drop us a line in the comments section and let us know!

Garmin Fenix 3:

Garmin Fenix 3The Garmin Fenix 3 is our top pick for just about any outdoor activity.  It has everything  you need and is one of the top selling models on the market today.  It comes equipped with the following features in one big package:

  • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
  • Heart Rate Monitor (Optional)
  • GPS
  • Water Rated Up to 100 Meters
  • Wireless Connection making calibration easy

The battery life on the Fenix 3 is also outstanding.  It’s rated for up to 20 hours with the GPS activated and can last up to six weeks before needing a recharge when it’s in watch mode.   It also is one of the more stylish watches on the list and can be easily pulled off in a business casual work environment.  It’s a favorite for triathletes, hikers, runners and anyone that engages in outdoor activities, including hunters.

It also has a few fitness features when you purchase the model that has an HRM which makes it even more versatile.  It’s also incredibly light weight at only 2.9 ounces which is lighter than just about every watch in our top 10 list.  If you can afford the price tag, this is our top choice for the money.  It’s the best ABC watch you can buy from a cost to technology perspective.  We like the Garmin Fenix 3 for every outdoor activity possible – from hunters enjoying the latest technological advances in binoculars, to runners training for a marathon.

Suunto Core:

Suunto CoreThe Suunto Core is our favorite that you can buy if you are on a budget.  There are several different makes on this watch which make it one of the top watches for everyday wear.  The watch is compatible with a number of different straps which make it a great option stylistically and will give you the flexibility of wearing this watch in business casual environments.  Here are a few of the features:

  • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
  • Water Resistant up to 100 Feet
  • Build in Weather Trend Indicator
  • Build in Storm Alarm that senses rapid pressure drops
  • Digital Thermometer

The Suunto Core has a battery life of 12 months while in “time mode” so you can expect to have to replace the battery about once per year which is average for most watches.  We like the price tag on the core for what it offers and the fact that it’s one of the most popular ABC watches on the market. It’s also incredibly light weight at 2.26 ounces.  If you don’t need a Heart Rate Monitor or a GPS, this one should be in your top 3 when considering your purchase.

Garmin Fenix 2:

Garmin Fenix 2The Garmin Fenix 2 is a still a great option for anyone on a budget.  It’s got more features for the price than the Suunto Core but is less of a daily wear option in our opinion.  It has a few great features which we think are great for the price range:

  • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
  • Heart Rate Monitor (Optional)
  • GPS
  • Water Rated up to 50 Meters
  • Strong housing to withstand abuse

This is a great watch for people that will use it primarily for fitness training.  The Garmin Fenix 2 has some of the better fitness features of any of the ABC watches out there.  The performance bundle model comes equipped with features that will track your running dyamics, swimming strokes and has a ski mode, making it perfect for outdoor skiing.  It carries a longer battery life of up to 50 hours in GPS mode but it falls short of the Suunto and Fenix 3 with only 5 weeks of “watch mode” when not running the GPS.  The watch can charge via USB making it easy to charge.  For those that have outdoor activity in spurts, the Fenix 2 is a great budget friendly option that you can’t go wrong with.

Suunto Amibt 3 with HRM:

Suunto Ambit3The Suunto Ambit 3 with HRM is another solid choice in Suunto’s lineup.  This watch is geared more towards sports training but can be used in a variety of other functions including hiking and mountain biking.  There are a few distinguishing features:

  • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
  • Water Resistance up to 100 Meters
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • 50 Hour GPS Mode
  • Heart Rate Monitor

The Suunto Ambit 3 is a favorite for marathon runners and elite trainers.  It comes with free access to movescount.com which is the Suunto online sporting community that many people take advantage of when training for marathons and triathlons.  The watch allows you to download data and use it through the community to track progress through your training.  This watch is definitely geared more towards the fitness crowd with the features that it has, but in the price range it’s hard to beat the bells and whistles that it comes with.  We prefer the Garmin Fenix 3 a little bit more for looks, but this is another solid option from Suunto at a great price.

Casio Pro Trek Tough Solar Water Resistant:

Casio Tough SolarFirst and foremost, we have four similar Casio models on this list.  We’ve listed them in order of price/options and what you get for your money.  Any one of these Pro Trek watches are a solid choice and they have similar features.  Looks play a part in any watch choice and each of them look very different.  Here are some of the features of our first “Tough Solar” Pro Trek on our list:

  • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
  • Water Resistance up to 200 Meters
  • Titanium Band and Stainless Steel Case
  • Solar Rechargeable Battery
  • Long 5 Month Battery Charge with No Light Exposure

The Casio Pro Trek Tough Solar Powered watch is one of two metal watches on our list.  The case is Stainless steel and the band is made of titanium.  This is a great watch for people that prefer to be a little less “tech” looking with their fashion choices.  While it’s classy like a Rolex, it serves its purpose as a great watch for everyday wear.

The feature we love about the Pro Trek Tough Solar is the fact that even though it’s battery powered, it gets recharged through exposure to the sun.  This is a great watch that doesn’t rely on being plugged in to get recharged.  The titanium band is solid and this watch was built to take a beating.  It’s heavier than the others at 4 ounces, and is less practical for someone that’s training for a marathon.  It is practical however for anyone that plans on doling out some serious abuse that needs a strong watch to stand up to it.  It’s also great for people in a business casual environment that may want a “diver’s style” watch for everyday wear.

Casio Pathfinder Tough Solar Triple Sensor Stainless Steel:

Casio PathfinderThe Casio Pathfinder is very similar to the Water Resistant “Pro Trek” solar watch.  It is also solar powered with the recharge, but the primary differences are slightly less functionality and a less polished look.  The band and face are a little more rugged than the “Pro Trek” model and there are slightly less features as it’s a slightly older model.  Here are some of the features:

  • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
  • Water Resistance up to 100 Meters
  • Titanium Band and Stainless Steel Case
  • Solar Rechargable Battery
  • 12/24 Hour Display Time Formats

The pathfinder is a great budget watch for anyone that likes to hike, rock climb or just wants a tough watch that they aren’t afraid to bang around a little bit.  It’s less polished than the Casio Pro Trek and has a few less features but it’s a solid option for anyone that is looking to spend less than $200.00 on a watch with a metal case and band.  Again, this one is probably less practical for marathon runners, but a good all around watch for people on a budget.

Casio Pro Trek Black Sport:

Pro Trek SportThe Casio Pro Trek Sport is the second cheapest watch on our list.  This watch is unique because of the low temperature resistance (can hang in there until 14 degrees) and the longer battery life without exposure to light.  Here are some of the features worth mentioning:

  • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
  • Water Resistant up to 100 Meters
  • Resin band which is incredibly durable
  • Can measure Altitude in 1 meter increments
  • Solar Rechargeable Battery

The sport delivers what the other Pro Trek models do at a cheaper level but with less features.  It’s heavier than many of the other watches on our list at 6.4 ounces.  It has a stainless steel case tied in with the Resin band.  It’s a good option for people that are on a budget and may be just breaking into the ABC watch game.  It does not have a HRM or come equipped with a GPS.

This is a good starter ABC watch and is worth considering if you are on a less than $200.00 budget and looking for something that has a little bit of additional durability.  The 7 month battery life on a full charge is a great benefit and one of the longer lasting batteries of any watch we’ve looked at.

Casio Pro Trek Triple Sensor Digital Sport:

Casio Pro Trek Digital SportThe digital sport is the cheapest ABC on our list.  It gives you the basics that you need and it’s great for those people that are on a sub $150.00 budget.  All of the Pro Trek watches are pretty solid and this is a great option if you are looking to break into the altimeter watch market and don’t have a lot of money to burn.  Here are some of the features worth looking at:

  • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
  • Water Resistant up to 100 Meters
  • Durable Resin Band
  • Solar Rechargeable Battery
  • 12/24 Hour Display Time Formats

Overall the digital sport is a good entry level watch that’s durable and will give you the basics.  Like the Pro Trek Black Sport, it’s a good option for those that may not want to spend a ton of money right out of the gates to get the latest technology in a watch.  One specifically great feature on this Casio is the fact that it has a 9 month battery charge without exposure to sunlight for a recharge.  This is a great feature and it will ensure that your watch stays ready to go for long periods of time, even if it sits in your closet for a while during the winter.  The biggest drawback is the weight, which is a beast at 11.20 ounces.  Any one of the Pro Trek Casio watches are going to be some of the best altimeter watch options for someone buying an ABC watch, it just depends on your cost of entry and how much you can afford to spend.

Suunto Traverse:

Suunto TraverseSuunto makes our list yet again with the Traverse GPS watch.  Traverse is a great option for fitness buffs.  It estimates daily steps and calories and the GPS has a route navigation that allows for 50 stored routes.  Here are some of the features worth considering:

  • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
  • Calorie/Step Counter (Pedometer)
  • Lithium Ion Rechargeable Battery with 100 Hour Battery Life
  • Durable Silicone Strap
  • GLONASS GPS Navigation System

The Traverse is one of the few models on the list that includes a built in pedometer while looking awesome at the same time.  The face is on the larger side, but it still looks elegant and can be worn in most circumstances short of formal occasions.  It can also help you track calories which is helpful if you don’t have an app installed to a smartphone or other smart device that you use to track your caloric intake.

It doesn’t track data for biking or running but it makes up with it for those that enjoy walking and want to track their fitness basics.  The GPS is incredibly accurate according to most user reviews.  You get a good overall package in the Traverse that comes up just short of the Garmin Fenix 3 with regards to the options available.  This is a great watch for the money and looks incredibly stylish to match.

Garmin Fenix Hiking GPS Watch with Trackback:

Garmin Fenix Hiking WatchAnother sub $150.00 budget choice, the Garmin Fenix gets you all the basics.  It a GPS watch that comes equipped with a 3 axis compass and automatic calibration.  You can mark up to 1,000 waypoints and over 10,000 track points.  Here are a few key features worth mentioning:

  • Altimeter/Barometer/Compass
  • GPS Navigation
  • Waterproof up to 50 Feet
  • 24 Hour World Clock
  • Compatible with other Garmin GPS units and Smartphones

The Fenix Hiking GPS is a good entry level choice.  It’s great as a starter watch and should be considered by anyone that’s looking at one of the entry level Casio watches.  The price tag is great for a model with GPS, as the Casio models do not have a GPS unit installed and are in the same price range.

It’s not as trendy as some of the other models on our list (especially the Suunto models which we think are outstanding), but for the price point it’s tough not to be excited about the features that it offers.

So What’s the Best Altimeter Watch For the Money?

Garmin Fenix 3 Red ModelWhen answering this question we tried to take in several factors, but ultimately the Garmin Fenix 3 wins the battle when we take cost, features, and overall user reviews on amazon.com into account.  For what you get, this is the best option you can buy for under 600.00 at most retailers.

The Garmin Fenix 3 has everything you need for just about every feature outside of the fact that it has a higher price tag.  But even with that higher price tag, it’s the best ABC watch on the market for the money.

If you are on a budget and are in the 250.00 range, then the Suunto Core takes the cake.  It has a great blend of cost efficiency and is available in a ton of different looks.  Some of the silicone banded variations are minimalist enough to fit under the cuff of a dress shirt, and some of the more rugged builds are perfect for competitive rock climbing.  Our only complaint about the Suunto Core is that it does not have a heart rate monitor or GPS.

If you need something with a GPS and a Heart Rate Monitor – spring for the Garmin Fenix 3 and don’t look back.

Finding the best altimeter watch doesn’t have to be difficult.  If you feel like there’s an model we missed that’s just as good as our top 10, feel free to drop us a line in the comments so we can add take a look at adding it to our altimeter watch reviews section.

The post Best Altimeter (ABC) Watches For Hiking and Outdoors in 2016 appeared first on Wilderness Today.

Here’s The Right Way To Build A Chicken Coop!

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chicken coop small

If you have a hammer and nails or a good drill, and a weekend afternoon, you can build your own chicken coop, spending less than the price of a new one or even for free.

Craigslist and local retail outlets are often a good source of used pallets, empty wooden crates and other scrap wood that you can get for free or at a minimal cost. You just need to know how to do it!

Chicken wire can be affordably sourced at a local hardware or farm supply store, along with a few hinges and a lock. With an afternoon of labor you can have a secure chicken coop for a handful of laying hens.

Here’s a really cool infographic from Urban Chickens Network about steps to take when building a chicken coop!

chicken coop

This article has been written by Gabrielle Ray for Survivopedia.

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Planning To Can and Freeze – Stocking Our Pantry From The Garden

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Garden season is starting to heat up, and that means it won’t be long until the produce starts to roll in! As much as we love creating meals from all of the fresh berries, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and more during growing season –

The post Planning To Can and Freeze – Stocking Our Pantry From The Garden appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

1 John 2:12-14

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I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven because of Jesus’ name.  I am writing to you, fathers, because you have come to know the One who is from the beginning.  I am writing to you, young men, because you have had victory over the evil one.
I have written to you, children, because you have come to know the Father.  I have written to you, fathers, because you have come to know 
the One who is from the beginning.  I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, God’s word remains in you, 
and you have had victory over the evil one.

     This may seem to be both a simple verse to understand, and a complex one.  But, here, John is writing a comprehensive letter to all believers, no matter their physical age, their status in the Church, or their position of authority in God’s Kingdom.  In the previous chapter and verses, he is reminding his readers to be on guard against the deceptive ideas of false teachers.  Even at this early stage in the Church, the Enemy was infiltrating the Church with his messengers who brought lies and distortion of the Gospel message.
     John is reminding his ancient readers, and us, that if we belong to God, then we know Him.  He is writing to assure Christians down through the centuries to stay strong in their faith and acknowledge their spiritual journey, readying themselves to defend the Faith.  And in writing to them, he addresses particular groups of believers:  Little Children, Children, Fathers, and Young Men.  
     The first thing we need to understand is why he chose to address these groups in his letter.  I believe that they represent the various ranks, if you will, within the Body of Christ.  In order for the Body to be edified in the knowledge of God, it must be recognized by pastors and fellow Christians, alike, exactly where they stand in their spiritual relationship with the Father.  And by addressing the groups individually, yet simultaneously, it is good for all to hear the foundation of our Faith.
     Scholars usually agree that Little Children refers to a little child; an infant; a new convert; baby Christians.  These are people who are novices in their faith.  But notice that John reminds them of the primary, yet essential, truth of faith in Christ … that their sins are forgiven for His name’s sake.  But what does that mean?  We read “for His name’s sake” throughout Scripture, but do we really grasp the full consequences of that phrase.  It means that the act of forgiving our sins rests on God’s reputation; on the revelation of His full character; the forgiveness of our sins reflects the glory of God and His Name.  As little children in the faith, this must be what we stand on; and knowing that this act of forgiving our sins displays God’s reputation, character, and glory are not to be taken lightly.
     John then addresses the most advanced in the faith, or the fathers.  This is understood to be those Christians advanced in years; the senior members; and presumably, the most spiritually mature believers.  The historical theologian Matthew Henry refers to them as “the old disciples”.   Even though they might be the most spiritually mature, they are still in need of further advice and instruction.  They still need to be addressed, preached to, and are never too old to learn.  Although they have knowledge and experience in their faith, they, too, must be admonished to never give in to the lies and deception propagated by the devil and this world.
     Next John addresses the young men in the Church, those spiritually maturing individuals who have the strength of their maturing faith, have good sense, and having the ability to discern between good and evil, have experienced victory over the evil one.  This verse also tells us that they have been in battle with the devil.  Keeping to the sense that John is addressing the Church to be on guard against false teachers and apostasy, I think he is telling these vigorous young Christians that the same strength they exerted in battling (and defeating) the evil one, must be exerted in overcoming the world and its influence within the Church through false teachings and distortion of the Gospel. 
     John then continues his letter by reiterating to each of these groups of Christians — children, fathers, and young men — that they know the Father and His Word remains in them.  John is saying whether you a new Christian, still sipping on milk, or a mature Christian, able to chew on the meat of the Word, it is going to take everyone to defend against the attacks that are going to come against God’s Church.  
     The devil is the god of this world, and the Body of Christ, who make up Jesus’s Church, must be reminded who we are — sinners who have been pardoned and released from spiritual debt through His name because we have confessed His name, believing in Him as Savior.  We know our Father and have experienced His presence in our lives, and we have experienced victory over the enemy.  Our knowledge of our Savior, whether we are young or old in our faith journey, must come to bear as the enemy mounts an attack against those who stand in his way of conquering this world.
     John’s letter may have been written to First Century Christians, but it is just as applicable to Twenty-First Century believers! Just as the Church was weak and vulnerable in John’s Day, I believe we can describe it the same way today.  False teachers, or messengers from satan, have invaded God’s sanctuary and successfully pulled us off track.  They have distorted God’s Truth and are preaching blasphemy and profaning His Name.  John was admonishing the believers of his day to strengthen and protect their love of God because the love of this world was being preached by representatives of the evil one.  Is it no less true today?

Bought A Heater In The Summer Time?!

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YES! Anyone who is a true prepper knows that you think of prepping all of the time and are always thinking of all of the times that you will be needing to prep for. Like prepping for winter in 95 degree summer!!

I got a great deal on this Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater. We already have a few cans of propane so we actually got this out and made sure that it worked and everything. This could be a life saver some day. Might even be on the watch for a 2nd one.

Now we have to add more cans of propane to our stockpile.

Terror Attack in Orlando Florida: Terrorist Shooting at an Orlando Nightclub

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A suspected Islamic terrorist is dead after he carried out a terror attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando Florida. Police say the suspect killed about 20 people… […]

The post Terror Attack in Orlando Florida: Terrorist Shooting at an Orlando Nightclub appeared first on Off Grid Survival – Wilderness & Urban Survival Skills.

God’s Plan For Marriage (And Why The Culture Has It All Wrong)

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God's Plan For Marriage (And Why The Culture Has It All Wrong)

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Americans have lost their way on right and wrong. According to a recent poll by Gallup, about half or more of all Americans believe that abortion, homosexuality and sex outside of marriage are not sinful.

Even in early Christianity, there was confusion over marriage. Marriage was said to have stemmed from a concession to human weakness. But a closer look at Scripture tells a different story.

1. The Biblical Basis for Marriage

In Genesis 1, God was creating and declaring everything He made to be good. In Genesis 2, we see the first thing that wasn’t good: verse 18 says it isn’t good for man to be alone. God brought all the animals to Adam for him to name, but no suitable helper was found for him. So God created woman (2:20-24).

God's Plan For Marriage (And Why The Culture Has It All Wrong)

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Biblical theology talks about the four states of man: created, fallen, redeemed and glorified. And in creation we see God’s plan for marriage through these four states (2:20-24).

  • Marriage is rooted in our inadequacy. This isn’t to suggest that single people aren’t fully human. We all, however, are made to desire another. In verses 19-20, God prepares Adam for Eve by exhausting other possibilities. He doesn’t just give man the woman straight away. God is teaching Adam to trust Him and teach the man the value of the woman. Humans are no mere animals, but being made in the image of God sets us apart.
  • Marriage is of God’s design. Verse 21 especially shows this by the way God makes the woman … while Adam was sleeping. It was all God’s work, making it clear she is in no way inferior to man, she, too, was divinely created.
  • Marriage is a relationship of companionship. Man was alone and needed a suitable helper. The woman was taken from his side to show she is a suitable companion. She wasn’t taken from his head to rule over him or his feet to be trampled under him.
  • Marriage is a relationship of attraction. Gen. 2:23 reveals to us the only pre-Fall statement of man. Adam is clearly excited here. “At last! A suitable helper!”
  • Marriage is a relationship of authority. Hierarchy isn’t the result of the curse; authority is inherent in the world’s design before the Fall (Gen. 3). Adam named her woman before the Fall. The man being created first implied authority. After the first sin, in Genesis 3:9, God calls out to the man — implying his responsibility in the situation.
  • Marriage is a particular union. God calls man and woman to be together; it is the first and most basic of all institutions. There is covenant language of being united. Sexual pleasure shouldn’t be isolated; it is a part of marriage. God’s design isn’t Adam with another man. It is the union of one man with one woman where they become interdependent and complementary to each other.
  • Marriage is a public covenant. Note the official language in verse 22 — God brought and presented her to man as a kind of marriage ceremony. Verse 24 shows a change in priorities from parents to spouse. A new family is established. God didn’t put a parent and a child in the garden. He is emphasizing the importance of this relationship.
  • Marriage is a lifelong relationship. It is intended to be permanent (Mal. 2). Jesus references Genesis 2 in exhorting us not to divorce.

Effects of the Fall on Marriage

After the Fall, the marriage relationship became distorted. Strife was caused by a desire for dominance, and Adam and Eve being alienated from God. Adam acted for us (Romans 5:19), making God our enemy. The whole context for marriage has been changed by sin.

Marriage’s continuation is part of God’s kindness to us. Marriage is under assault in this sinful world. We are taught to be ashamed of this need and told it is just a social contract. The world devalues spouses, seeks lust that is impossible to fulfill, abuses or abdicates authority, and engages in homosexuality and polygamy.

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Marriage is publicly trivialized. Man’s law pronounces divorces that God doesn’t recognize.

Yet, marriage survives! It is necessary for a nation’s survival; it is society’s infrastructure.

Marriage and Redemption

Marriage predates sin — it is part of God’s good gift in creation. It is in the context of marriage that we’re most our own gender yet displaying unity in diversity.

Perpetual adolescence is part of the spiritual battle in our culture. Christians see the need for marriage because we recognize our incompleteness. It’s not just for propagation of a family. It is about relationship. God delights to give us what we delight in.

2. Roles in Marriage

Husbands – Serve the Lord as is written in Joshua 24:15: “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” The best way to love is by leading well. We should lay down our own comforts, preferences and even our lives (Ephesians 5). Love your wife like Christ loved the church.

Men read love as “don’t upset her.” This is a self-serving definition. Love is to risk upsetting; it’s an inevitable part of a loving leadership. Observe and lead in your wife’s relationship with the church. Lead in the way that Christ leads and cares for the church.

Do you know what your wife likes? Make her an object of your intent investigation. When giving advice, tell her how much you love her.

Wives, correct your husbands in a loving way if they are doing wrong. Husbands, love with a self-sacrifice. Resolve to grow in humility, be more sensitive, be a better communicator, and to love better.

Husbands, do you feel like a failure in this? The Gospel is for failures like us — man, woman, and child.

Wives — What’s so astounding about marriage isn’t the similarities between a husband and wife but the real unity amid a beautiful array of differences. In the teaching of the New Testament, wives are addressed first. Biblically, being a Christian wife means having a love for God and a love for others, obedience to God’s Word, helping her husband, being industrious, teaching younger women, loving her husband and children, being self-controlled. Ephesians 5:22 adds that a wife is to “submit” to her husband.

God's Plan For Marriage (And Why The Culture Has It All Wrong)

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Also, notice that Colossians 3:18, Titus 2:15, 1 Peter 3:1 and 5 all stress submission. Christians know all about submission. We are to submit to Christ, the governing authorities, leaders at church, parents, etc.

Submitting doesn’t imply being of lesser value. Christ submitted to the Father. Submission doesn’t imply inequality, but different roles. Submission does not mean that one is not to express thoughts or is to follow a husband into sin.

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1 Peter 3 gives Old Testament examples of how wives are to love, honor, respect and encourage husbands.

Here are more ideas: Give yourself to reading and knowing God’s Word better. Read Proverbs, a chapter a day, and apply it to your marriage. Pray God would make you an easier person to lead.  Encourage your children to honor their dad. Speak well of him to them.

What if your husband is a non-Christian? In 1 Peter 3, wives are told to submit to back up their evangelistic words. Wives, do you feel like a failure in this? The Gospel is for failures like us — man, woman, and child.

3. Theological Reflections

Why does the Bible teach this about marriage? The Lord reflects Himself in marriage. Christ is proclaimed through marriage. Marriage reflects Christ’s love for the church. Marriage is a picture of the Gospel.

Hosea is written in the context of marriage and depicts the theme of unfaithfulness and reconciliation. Genesis 2 is a foretaste of what we see at the end of Revelation 21, “the bride dressed for her husband.” Amen! Come Lord Jesus!

Make Your Own Yeast

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make your own yeast

If you’ve been prepping for any length of time, you undoubtedly have several pounds of wheat berries stored away.  You may also have experimented with making your own wonderfully delicious breads.  The downside of long-term prepping and bread making is keeping active yeast on hand.  The average “best by” date on yeast is 2 years.  Once opened, it must be kept cool and dry. In a refrigerator, yeast can remain good for up to 4 months; in the freezer for 6 months.

Occasionally there are people who have had success with older yeast, but the bottom line is that store bought yeast is for short-term. If you have store-bought yeast, stored longer than the above mentioned time frames, follow this simple test to see if it’s still active. A container of yeast that isn’t active anymore should be thrown out.

How to proof yeast

Dissolve 1 teaspoon of sugar in 1/2 C warm water from the tap. Between 110°F-115°F is most effective. The only way to really be sure about the temperature is to use a thermometer. When it doubt, the water from your faucet should be warm but NOT hot to the touch.

Stir in your dry yeast, either one 1/4 oz. packet (7g) or 2 1/4 tablespoons of granulated yeast. Most people say that the yeast should be brought to room temperature first, but I have always had good luck when using it straight from the freezer.

It only takes three or four minutes for the yeast to “wake up” and start to rise. After ten minutes, the surface of your yeast-water mixture should have a foamy top. If so, then congratulations! You have active yeast! It should be used immediately. Most recipes take into account the liquid needed to proof yeast. If yours does not, deduct 1/2 cup of liquid from your recipe if you proof yeast with this method.

A good way to tell if your yeast has risen sufficiently is to use a 1 C measuring cup. If the yeast foam reaches the top, you’re good to go. If your yeast has an insufficient rise, it will not be any good for baking. Best to throw out the entire container.

Learn how to make your own yeast

If you can’t get to a grocery store for Fleischman’s, what’s the alternative?  Try growing your own yeast!  Here are a few methods that should fit most needs and skill levels.  Depending on the availability of the items listed below, choose one that best fits you, your region, and your personal stockpile.

Raisin / Fruit Yeast


  • Clean Glass jar.  (24oz. or larger) Sterilize in hot water and allow it to dry.
  • Water. Clean, filtered, or bottled is good.  Tap water can be used, depending on your local conditions. Warning:  Too much chlorine in your water, or water that is too basic, can kill the yeast.
  • Raisins or other fruit. Most fruits have traces of yeast on their skins. Note that you may not get as good of a result with fruit that has been washed and waxed.


  1. Place three to four tablespoons of raisins in your jar.  Adding a few tablespoons of honey or sugar will facilitate the fermentation process.
  2. Fill the jar ¾ full with water.  Place the lid on the jar lightly.  Do NOT tighten the lid – you will want to allow some air to escape.
  3. Place jar at a constant room temperature.  Do not allow the jar to get cold.  This will kill off the yeast and stop the process.
  4. Stir at least once a day for three to four days.
  5. When bubbles form on the top and you smell a wine-like fermentation you have yeast.  The raisins, or fruit, should be floating.
  6. Place your new yeast in the refrigerator.

Yeast from Grain/ Sourdough Starter

Yeast is already present on grain.  All you need to do is to cultivate it in a manner similar to the above instructions. Here is a basic recipe for sourdough starter.


  • 1 1/4 C unbleached all purpose flour or milled wheat berries
  • 1 C clean warm water
  • 1 sterile jar with cheesecloth or lid


  1. Mix the flour and warm water, and keep at room temperature.
  2. After several days, the mixture will start to bubble and will begin to rise.
  3. Keep your starter in the refrigerator when not in use. Use as you would any sourdough starter.

Yeast from Potatoes

The starch in potatoes make it another prime candidate for yeast production.


  • 1 unpeeled medium-sized potato
  • 4 C warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 quart jar


  1. Rinse your potato to remove dirt, but don’t scrub it too much.
  2. Cut it into pieces to facilitate cooking, then boil until cooked through.
  3. Drain, and save the water.
  4. Mash the potato and add sugar and salt.
  5. Allow mixture to cool until it is at room temperature.
  6. Add water to the potato mash until whole mixture equals 1 quart.
  7. Cover and let sit in a warm place and allow it to ferment for several days.

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Feeding the Starter

Once you have created your own yeast, you need to “feed” it regularly.   This means adding 1 cup flour and 1 cup water to the mix so that the yeast can keep growing. You will need to feed the starter daily if it is at room temperature, or weekly if it is in the fridge. If you don’t bake bread that day, you will also need to toss out one cup of the starter after feeding so that the ratios stay the same. This is an important step, and can be a great motivator to bake regularly so that none of your hard work goes to waste! Yeast starters are one thing you will not want to throw in the compost pile, as the bacteria can grow out of control and give you a very unpleasant result.

No matter which method you choose, making your own yeast is a skill that dates back thousands of years.  Continue researching the sources provided to find other ideas, methods, and tips.  Begin practicing and post your results.  Feel free to add your own ideas and advice in the comment section below.

WANT MORE “FROM-SCRATCH” RECIPES? Download Survival Mom’s free ebook, “Switch From Store-Bought to Homemade.”

This article, written by Right Wing Mom, was originally published in 2011. It has been updated and revised.

make your own yeast

The Tundra and Super Duty as a BOV

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Tundra and 2004 Ford 350 FXL Super duty as BOV Barney Whistance Every prepper knows the importance of having a good Bug Out Vehicle (BOV). Not everyone can afford to take out a new car, but fret not there are plenty of good options available in the second-hand market. One of the best options is … Continue reading The Tundra and Super Duty as a BOV

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