Stacy Lyn Harris’ new book HARVEST

Click here to view the original post.

My mouth has been watering for Stacy’s new book ever since she told me she was writing it a few months ago.  HARVEST is finally out and I think it’s her best title yet.  With a freezer packed with wild meats from this year’s hunting season, HARVEST couldn’t have been released at a better time of year.

Harvest has heart. The very nature of the book is coordinated around food that has families working together in order to bring them together. For Stacy Lyn, food is much more than sustenance, it is the medium through which familial ties are strengthened. The time and effort Stacy Lyn has put into cultivating and crafting recipes that will draw you back to the fond memories regarding your own family’s table is evident throughout. The masterfully shot photographs of the dishes alone will have your senses in a delicious uproar!

Harvest includes Stacy Lyn’s cherished family recipes, free-range meat dishes derived from her husband’s hunting obsession, and lighter takes on decidedly southern classics—all prepared simply, in the freshest way possible. The book covers food from the garden, pasture, woods, and water in four sections:

  • “The Garden” features Fried Green Tomatoes, Jalapeño Poppers, Corn Chowder, Fried Squash with Tomatoes and Pesto, and other recipes to make you wish it was summer all year long.

  • “Beyond the Garden” delves into beekeeping and raising chickens for an amazing Honey Butter to pour over Cinnamon Pear Buns and your favorite Egg Salad Sandwiches with Refrigerator Pickles.

  • “From the Pasture” focuses on free-range, pasture-fed game recipes like Braised Short Ribs, Black-Eyed Pea Gumbo, and Juicy Pork Chops, plus a how-to on sausage-making.

  • “Seafood and Fish” includes Stacy Lyn’s favorite entertaining recipes, Best Ever Clam Bake and Perfect Fish Tacos.

  • For city dwellers or anyone who feels Stacy Lyn’s way of life is out of reach, 15 “how to” articles, peppered throughout the book, offer steps for cooking and eating sustainably in any setting—including container gardening, saving seeds, preserving, foraging, composting and more.

For more information about Stacy Lyn, subscribe to her websites, stacylynharris.com and gameandgarden.com and follow her on your favorite social networks @stacylynharris on Facebook and Instagram.

Find HARVEST on Amazon here:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0983879931/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwwillowhave-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0983879931&linkId=cec183912fdf97032f811fe6568e8a23

Stacy Lyn Harris’ new book HARVEST

My mouth has been watering for Stacy’s new book ever since she told me she was writing it a few months ago.  HARVEST is finally out and I think it’s her best title yet.  With a freezer packed with wild meats from this year’s hunting season, HARVEST couldn’t have been released at a better time of year.

Harvest has heart. The very nature of the book is coordinated around food that has families working together in order to bring them together. For Stacy Lyn, food is much more than sustenance, it is the medium through which familial ties are strengthened. The time and effort Stacy Lyn has put into cultivating and crafting recipes that will draw you back to the fond memories regarding your own family’s table is evident throughout. The masterfully shot photographs of the dishes alone will have your senses in a delicious uproar!

Harvest includes Stacy Lyn’s cherished family recipes, free-range meat dishes derived from her husband’s hunting obsession, and lighter takes on decidedly southern classics—all prepared simply, in the freshest way possible. The book covers food from the garden, pasture, woods, and water in four sections:

  • “The Garden” features Fried Green Tomatoes, Jalapeño Poppers, Corn Chowder, Fried Squash with Tomatoes and Pesto, and other recipes to make you wish it was summer all year long.

  • “Beyond the Garden” delves into beekeeping and raising chickens for an amazing Honey Butter to pour over Cinnamon Pear Buns and your favorite Egg Salad Sandwiches with Refrigerator Pickles.

  • “From the Pasture” focuses on free-range, pasture-fed game recipes like Braised Short Ribs, Black-Eyed Pea Gumbo, and Juicy Pork Chops, plus a how-to on sausage-making.

  • “Seafood and Fish” includes Stacy Lyn’s favorite entertaining recipes, Best Ever Clam Bake and Perfect Fish Tacos.

  • For city dwellers or anyone who feels Stacy Lyn’s way of life is out of reach, 15 “how to” articles, peppered throughout the book, offer steps for cooking and eating sustainably in any setting—including container gardening, saving seeds, preserving, foraging, composting and more.

For more information about Stacy Lyn, subscribe to her websites, stacylynharris.com and gameandgarden.com and follow her on your favorite social networks @stacylynharris on Facebook and Instagram.

Find HARVEST on Amazon here:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0983879931/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwwillowhave-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0983879931&linkId=cec183912fdf97032f811fe6568e8a23

One knot every survivalist should know – The Trucker Hitch

Click here to view the original post.

TRUCKER HITCH:  Step-by-Step Tutorial + Video!

The Trucker Hitch is an impressive knot that is comprised of two very basic knots.  The name comes from its use in the transportation industry when tying and securing heavy loads.  It can be used to tie down a load using rope with crushing force.  It is the ratcheting strap of the knot world.  I use the Trucker Hitch to secure my kayak to the roof rack on my truck.  In survival, I primarily use it when setting a rope shelter ridgeline or when sleeping in a hammock.  However, it is extremely useful, whenever the need may arise, to stretch a rope very tightly between or across two anchor points.  While the Taut Line Hitch is also a tensioning knot, the Trucker Hitch allows the user to tighten a rope with considerably more force (if that is necessary or desired).

To tie it, start with forming an overhand loop on the standing part of the rope.

 

Then, pull a bight from the working end up through the loop.  This creates a slippery overhand loop.

 

Next, run the working end around an anchor point, such as a tree.  Note that pulling the working end too hard during this step will result in undoing the slippery overhand loop, so care must be taken here.  This is why it’s called “slippery”.  The working end should then be run through the slippery loop, pulled tight, and then secured with two Half Hitches.

Pinching the line on each side of the slippery overhand loop will allow for easier tying of the Half Hitches.

In a frictionless world, the design of the Trucker hitch allows for a 3 to 1 advantage when pulling a line tight.  As can be seen in the labeled diagram, every unit of force pulled on the working end results in three times that unit on the standing line.  The physics of this mechanical advantage is what allows the user to pull the standing line so tight between two objects.  Due to friction through the loop and around the anchor point, the mechanical advantage isn’t a true 3 to 1, but it’s still enough to tighten with impressive force that will rival even modern ratcheting straps.

I’ve also filmed a video about how to tie the Trucker Hitch.  You can watch it here:  http://www.creekstewart.com/trucker-hitch/

If you liked this tutorial and would like to earn 18 more of my favorite survival knots, consider my POCKET FIELD GUIDE: Survival Knots – VOL I.  It can be purchased anywhere books are sold for $6.99.

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

CR///EK

 

Creek’s “Anyone, Anywhere, Anycondition, Anytime” Fire Kit now available at CreekStewart.com

 

 

 

SURVIVAL TREES: BASSWOOD – Amazing survival resources from the Basswood Tree

Click here to view the original post.

As spring quickly approaches, I’d thought I share with you why the BASSWOOD tree is one of my favorite Survival Trees!

Introduction

Trees can provide a survivor with elements from all four core survival priorities:  Shelter, Water, Fire and Food.  Trees can be used for warmth, hydration, food, tools, and self-defense.  It’s crazy to think that one can use a tree to start a fire, take shelter under it, and then find themselves able to eat and drink from it.  Trees provide an immeasurable number of materials essential to survival, and studying the different species, as well as what they offer, is a worthwhile endeavor that will pay major survival dividends time and time again.

This article is an except from my much more extensive POCKET FIELD GUIDE titled SURVIVAL TREES that will ship (autographed) in the APRIL FORAGER EDITION APOCABOX.  Each tree is accompanied with illustrated drawings of its leaves and (on occasion) other identifying features, such as fruits, nuts, barks, or buds.  The guide (nor this article) is not designed or intended to be a tree identification guide. Rather, it should act as a supplement to other guides on the subject, offering survival specific information and insight that typically is not covered (or even mentioned) in the average identification guide.  

The use of each tree type is broken down into some or all (if applicable) of the following five survival categories: Shelter, Water, Fire, Food, and Tools & Miscellaneous.  The information contained in these categories has taken me nearly two decades to compile, learn, and test.  Yet, I am sure there are still uses and resources for each tree that I do not know.  It is my hope that this article deepens your knowledge and appreciation for the amazing BASSWOOD tree.

Basswood (American Linden) : Tilia americana

The American Linden, or Basswood, is one of my favorite survival trees.  Not only is it entirely edible, but the Basswood also provides a surprising number of other survival resources.  In Britain, this species is often referred to as the Lime Tree, though it is not the source of the lime fruit.

Shelter

The Basswood tree is not a particularly good tree for shelter.  However, mature Basswoods are notorious for sending up a slew of smaller sucker Basswood trees from their base.  This is one way I am able to identify Basswoods in the winter when their leaves are gone.  These sucker trees are usually very straight, tall, and easy to harvest.  Although not very strong, like oak or maple, they still make great shelter poles if fallen branches aren’t available.  Basswood is a very soft wood and a favorite among wood carvers. Even 2-3” diameter saplings can be cut easily with just a knife.  Consider this option before spending significant calories on a tree of a different variety.

Water 

Basswood trees can be tapped just as a Maple can be tapped.  Although not nearly as high in sugar content and not worth boiling down for a sweet syrup, Basswood sap is incredibly refreshing and is one of the fastest sap trees I’ve ever tapped.  Young sucker trees, as well as 1st season growth on branches (1/2” in diameter or smaller), can provide a survivor with a very functional spile.  The centers of these two are very pithy and can quickly be reamed out with a wire or a thin branch with a sharpened point. I’ve used many a Basswood spile while gathering drinking sap from Basswoods, Maples, and Birches.  Friends of mine who make tobacco pipes will often use a young basswood sucker for the tube because of its hollow nature.

The Basswood is also a sign that you are probably near water, as they prefer moist, water-rich environments.  If you’ve found a Basswood tree, keep looking because there is likely a water source close by.  

Fire

Basswood is not a great wood for extended warmth and heat, but it is without question my favorite wood to use for friction fire kits such as Bow Drill and even Hand Drill.  Basswood, especially sucker trees and 1st year growth branch wood, is the perfect consistency for friction fire lighting.  The light-weight, porous wood generates a nice hot ember very quickly.  Sucker trees at the base of mature trees are my favorite for this, but fallen limbs and branches will work just fine as well.  Regardless, it is one of the softest woods available.  When available, I use Basswood to make both the hearth-board and spindle for my Bow Drill fire kits (see POCKET FIELD GUIDE:  Master the Bow Drill).

Food

Young Basswood leaves are my favorite wild edible green.  I eat a basswood leaf salad at least two times a week from March-May.  When their flowers are in bloom, I will add them to the salad, as they are edible too.  The leaves are very mucilaginous and may pose a texture issue for some.  While edible all throughout the summer, Basswood leaves are best when young and smaller than a silver dollar.  I also like to steep 10 or so flowers in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes to make a fragrant tea that I very much enjoy.

The seeds of the Basswood are edible as well, though, they are time consuming to collect.  They dangle from underneath the leaves in small clusters and are attached to a tongue-shaped bract.  The hard, outer shell must be cracked away to access the edible seed. I simply do this inside my mouth and spit out the hull, although I’ve been known to chew it up on occasion.  When green, before the hull turns hard and brown, these can be ground into a paste or added to soups and stews.  Basswood seeds, leaves, and flowers can all be added to soups and stews.

The inner bark of Basswood (the whitish layers between the rough outer bark and the solid wood) is edible as well and has a very refreshing texture and flavor.  It reminds me of cucumber.  It can be scraped away in handfuls and eaten raw or boiled to break it up and soften it for chewing and digesting.

Basswood leaves can get quite large and make perfect natural tin foil for baking meals in earthen pits or in the coals of a fire.  Wrap food in at least 5-6 layers of green leaves and tie with the peeled bark from young basswood suckers or branches.

An old-timer once told me that he heard of families in the Great Depression who added basswood sawdust to bread-mix as a filler to make rations last longer.  The wood is not poisonous, so it’s something to at least file away in your brain.

Tools & Miscellaneous

As mentioned previously, the hollow tubes from basswood suckers and young branches have many uses.  Some of these include: 

  •        Spiles for tapping trees
  •         Drinking straws
  •         Blowing tubes for making coal-burned containers
  •         Smoking pipes (not necessary for survival but interesting nonetheless)
  •         Trap systems that require a hollow tube (yes, there are some)
  •         Bobbers/floats for fishing

Basswood is a very soft, nonpoisonous wood and makes an excellent medium for a variety of cooking utensils including spoons, ladles, forks, chopsticks, stirring sticks, and spatulas.  Most of these can be carved with just a knife in very little time and with little effort.  Using basswood for such tools also reduces wear and tear on your knife blade.  Due to their fast and straight growth, basswood sucker saplings also make excellent quick and dirty arrows for bow and arrow or atlatl.  They are lightweight, have few branches, and very easy to fire or heat straighten.

By far the most incredible resource the Basswood tree provides is cordage.  That name “BASS”wood is actually derived from the word BAST, which means plant fiber.  The inner bark of the Basswood tree is one of the most easily accessible fibers I’ve ever gathered from the wild.  It is best gathered when the sap is running heavy during the spring months.  With saplings that are 3” in diameter or smaller, the tree can be scored from left to right.  A knife can be used to pick at the score line and once a piece large enough to grab is available, entire strips that are many feet in length can be pulled from the sapling.  If care is taken, saplings can be cut down and the entire sheath of outer and inner bark can be removed in one piece by carefully peeling from the bottom.  Pounding the bark with a wooden mallet (metal will damage the inner bark fibers) will help it to loosen and will be necessary to process trees much larger than 3” in diameter.  I’ve seen sheets of bark pulled from basswood trees (with many hours of careful peeling and pounding) as large as 2 feet wide by 15 feet tall.

The inner bark fibers, just beneath the rough outer bark, can be processed into cordage that can be used to make nets, clothing, baskets, traps, or any other accoutrement necessary for survival.  On the younger saplings with a thin layer of outer bark, the freshly peeled strips of bark can be used right away as crude cordage for shelter building or rough bindings.  In my courses, I’ve seen two adult men pull on opposite sides of a 2” strip of basswood bark and not be able to break it.

For a finer, more pliable cordage, the bark must be soaked (called retting) in water for at least a couple weeks.  The rotting process loosens the inner bark fibers from the outer bark.  It can then be easily pulled away in long ribbons that can be used as is or stripped down into thinner cordage.  The soaking can be done in a container or at the bank of a pond and river.  This process of retting works for many varieties of trees including, Walnut, Willow, Tulip Poplar and Cottonwood to name a few.

Because Basswood bark can be removed in large chunks from the tree (typically during spring months only), it is an excellent candidate for crafting bark containers.  Below is a basic pattern for making a seamless bark container.  The dashed lines represent fold lines.  

 

Conclusion

If you’re like me and like to learn how to glean food and resources from trees and plants, consider subscribing to the APRIL APOCABOX called the FORAGER EDITION.  It is all about foraging and includes an exclusive signed copy of my POCKET FIELD GUIDE titled SURVIVAL TREES where I detailed the survival uses for many more incredible trees on the forest.  To subscribe to the FORAGER APOCABOX, CLICK HERE:  http://www.myapocabox.com

For more of my Pocket Field Guides, please visit my Amazon.com page at: https://www.amazon.com/Creek-Stewart/e/B0076LIRK6/

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

CR///EK

RUGOSA, my 1st fiction survival novel, is finally here!

Click here to view the original post.

First – HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Wow – this project has been a long time in the making – 6 years to be exact!  But finally, RUGOSA has come to fruition!  As many of you know, I’ve written a lot of books over the past 10 years or so – mainly survival guides.  RUGOSA is my 1st survival fiction novel and it was a much more challenging project for me to write.

First, I found it hard to write a fiction story that wasn’t personal in some way.  I guess most authors have to draw on personal experience to write some of their stories and RUGOSA was no different for me.  But, I guess it’s these personal draws that help to make a story relatable.  I really hope that you will enjoy it!  It’s the 1st book in a 3 book series, so your feedback is important to me as I write the second and third book in the RUGOSA series.

RUGOSA is the story of a young man, Omaha, who must travel 400 miles across hostile lands to save his friends (and sweetheart London) from a war-torn quarantined city.  Like me, Omaha is a Boy Scout.  Although Boy Scouts has been banned by the new world government, Omaha must use the survival skills he learned in scouting, and from his father and grandfather, if he has any hope of surviving the crazy journey.

As a survival instructor first and author second, this fiction story is survival skills heavy.  I think you’ll find it a unique mix of story and teaching – at least I hope so.  I’ll always be a survival instructor!

RUGOSA releases today (Valentine’s Day) exclusively on Amazon in both paperback and digital ebook download at this link:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/0997690690  I’ll be signing the 1st 100 paperback copies sold!  If you pick up a copy – LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!

I hope you are well and that our paths will cross in 2017!  All the best to you and yours.

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

CR///EK

You’re Invited to Christmas with CREEK!

Click here to view the original post.

christmaswithcreek_square_111716_v02-resize

If you haven’t heard, I’m opening up the Willow Haven Outdoor Survival Gift Shop on Saturday, December 3rd from 9am-7pm est for a 1-day only Christmas Sale.  The address is 2867 N. 200 E., Anderson, IN 46012.  We’re stocked to the hilt with tons of great survival items AND a big new shipment of Whiskey Knives.

We’ll have cookies, popcorn, spiced cider, hot chocolate and a big fire in the fireplace, so plan on staying a few minutes if you can stop and see us.  I’ll also be signing my newest book that just released this week titled 365 ESSENTIAL SURVIVAL SKILLS.

Hope to see you then!

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

CR///EK

200 + Survival Hacks!

Click here to view the original post.

Hello Friends & Survival Enthusiasts!

Many of you subscribed to my blog because you saw and liked a survival article I’ve written about how to repurpose everyday items to meet basic human survival needs.  I’ve written a ton of them in the past 10 years.  Creatively using random items for survival is still one of my favorite hobbies.  I call it Survival Hacking the art of using what you have to get what you need to stay alive in ANY situation.

energy-hack

 

Ultimately, Survival Hacking involves three aspects:

  1. Using knowledge of basic survival principles
  2. Innovative thinking
  3. Exploiting available resources

match-hack

 

In the nearly two decades I’ve been actively studying and practicing survival skills I’ve learned and seen a ton of great survival hacks.  Whether from books, videos, students or other survival enthusiasts, I’m always on the look out for a new hack I’ve never seen before.  Of course, I’m always trying to come up with hacks of my own as well.  In fact, I’ve logged, tested and compiled over 200 of my favorite Survival Hacks in my new book, titled….  you guessed it – SURVIVAL HACKS!

If you’re like me and enjoy a good survival hack then you’ll love my new book.  It’s already on the AMAZON #1 NEW RELEASE LIST and I promise you’ll see some you’ve never seen before.  WARNING:  This book is going to make you want to test some of these crazy hacks for yourself!!!

AND, I’m already compiling more hacks for VOLUME II so email me your hack ideas and they might make it in the next version!

survival-hacks-creek-stewart

SURVIVAL HACKS is now in stock on AMAZON at:  http://www.amazon.com/Survival-Hacks-Everyday-Items-Wilderness/dp/1440593345

As always, thanks so much for your continued support!  Don’t forget to send me your great survival hack ideas!

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

creek-stewart-survivalist

APOCABOX Holiday Survival Challenge Series: Challenge #3 – Christmas Tree Snow/Bog Shoes

Click here to view the original post.

Challenge Series Overview

As APOCABOX subscribers already know, a big part of each box is completing my Survival Skills Challenge issued in each box.  Unlike the APOCABOX Survival Skills Challenge, this survival skills challenge series is open for everyone to participate.  I’ve teamed up with two survival buddies of mine (Hank Gevedon of Reptile Toolworks and Dave Mead of Mead Longbows) to issue a series of THREE Survival Skills Challenges to take place in between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  The purpose of this challenge series is to not only hone your survival skills but to also utilize holiday products/materials that might traditionally be thrown away.  As I always say, your most important survival skill is the ability to IMPROVISE.  These challenges will call upon those skills and hopefully strengthen them.

And, YES, there are awesome prizes.  Prize details and descriptions below.

Challenge #3: Christmas Tree Snow/Bog Shoes

bog-shoe

Traveling in deep snow of wet bog conditions can be extremely difficult in normal footwear.  This challenge is to create a set of Snow/Bog shoes using the limbs from your Live Cut Christmas Tree.

Challenge Instructions, Tips & Tricks

STEP 1:

Gather 10 saplings (Christmas tree limbs can work for this) that are ideally about as long as you are.  If limbs of this length aren’t available, use the longest ones.  Remove/trim any small branches flush with the limb or sapling.

STEP 2:

Each shoe will be 5 sticks wide.  Line up 5 of your cleaned saplings/limbs so that all the small ends are together.  Tie them together about 2 inches from that end.

snow-shoe

STEP 3:

Now cut 1 solid stick that is approximately 1 inch in diameter x 10 inches long.  This is the 1st of 2 “BRACE STICKS”.  Balance the shoe as best you can on your index finder to find a properly balanced midpoint.  This spot is where the heel of your foot will go.  Lash the cut brace stick across and on top of the shoe at this point.  Lash so that that the 5 saplings/limbs are spaced evenly underneath the 1×10 brace stick.  “U” notches on the underside of the brace stick will help keep the saplings in place.

STEP 4:

Tie thick ends of the show saplings/limbs together leaving a width of at least 1” between them.  A series of overhand knots are sufficient for spacers.  See diagram above.

STEP 5:

Repeat Step 3 to create a second brace for the ball of your feet.  Find this point by placing your heel on the brace stick lashed across in Step 3.

STEP 6:

Repeat Steps 2-5 for other shoe.

bog-shoe-actual

TYING ON YOUR FOOT

While standing on your shoe, tie/lash around the bottom of your shoe (around the brace under the ball of your feet) and up around your toes, knotting it there.  Tie the middle of another section of cordage to that knot and bring the end around your heel and tie them together snuggly there.

**NOTE** Snow shoes will be easier to use if the tip curls up slightly.  A cord tied to the tip of the shoe and pulled tightly to the 1st brace and secured can curl them sufficiently. See photo for details.

Learn a new survival skill every other month with the 

APOCABOX SKILLS CHALLENGE! 

HOW TO ENTER THE CHALLENGE

Myself, Hank and Dave will be the judges of the completed SNOW/BOG SHOE photos submitted for the challenge.  As you can see by the prize details below, there will be three prizes awarded per challenge: an overall winner, a runner up and an honorable mention.  To enter, you must submit a photo of your improvised SNOW/BOG SHOES using one of the following:

1:  SUBMIT on INSTRAGRAM using the hash-tags: #apocabox AND #holidaysurvivalchallenge

2: Post photo on the APOCABOX FACEBOOK page at: http://www.facebook.com/apocabox

3: Email photo to me at creek@creekstewart.com if you don’t use social media

CHALLENGE DURATION:  Challenge starts 12/28/15 and Submission deadline for this challenge is 1/01/16.  Prizes will be announced on 1/02/16.

PRIZE DESCRIPTIONS (All prizes must be mailed to someone 18 years of age or older):

OVERALL GRAND PRIZE

5 HUNTING ARROWHEADS – COLLECTOR’S SET

arrowhead-set

1 of these arrowheads is knapped by a master flint knapper.  The other 4 are cast to match its every detail in 4140 tool steel

ABOUT THESE FLINT 2 STEEL ARROWHEADS

Hank Gevedon had an interest in arrowheads long before he met a most talented flint knapper at a bow hunting show.  The arrow and spear points that he was knapping were being produced using the same technology that had been used for 10-12 thousand years.  The arrow points that he was producing had been in use for over one thousand years on this continent.  The technical side of Hank realized that while the stone-age craftsman had reached the limits of his material, he had not.  Hank saw a vision of producing an exact replica of the stone point in a super tough tool steel.  He then developed a system that allowed him to harden and diamond sharpen these steel replica points.  After overcoming several manufacturing hurdles and extensive testing he has now produced an amazing projectile point.  Hank is now producing an entire line of Flint 2 Steel arrowheads following these techniques that will be available in the near future.  These diamond sharpened points provide amazing serrated penetration on carcasses as well as car doors and steel drums.

For more details on this HUNTING ARROWHEAD Collector’s Set,  visit http://www.facebook.com/meadlongbows or for additional photos email meadlongbows@gmail.com

RUNNER-UP PRIZE

1 Month Subscription to Creek’s Subscription Survival Box – APOCABOX

urban-box

HONORABLE MENTION PRIZE

IshWash Emergency Eyewash Kit + 1 puck of Instant Bowstring

runner-up

CONCLUSION

Good luck!  The deadline for entry in ALL 3 Survival Challenges is January 1st 2016 at MIDNIGHT!

If you’re like me and like SURVIVAL HACKS, consider picking up a copy of my next book: SURVIVAL HACKS on AMAZON at:

http://www.amazon.com/Survival-Hacks-Everyday-Items-Wilderness/dp/1440593345/

survival-hacks-creek-stewart

creek-stewart-survivalist

APOCABOX Holiday Survival Challenge Series: Challenge #2 – Holiday Popcorn Tin Grill/Smoker/Oven

Click here to view the original post.

Challenge Series Overview

As APOCABOX subscribers already know, a big part of each box is completing my Survival Skills Challenge issued in each box.  Unlike the APOCABOX Survival Skills Challenge, this survival skills challenge series is open for everyone to participate.  I’ve teamed up with two survival buddies of mine (Hank Gevedon of Reptile Toolworks and Dave Mead of Mead Longbows) to issue a series of THREE Survival Skills Challenges to take place in between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  The purpose of this challenge series is to not only hone your survival skills but to also utilize holiday products/materials that might traditionally be thrown away.  As I always say, your most important survival skill is the ability to IMPROVISE.  These challenges will call upon those skills and hopefully strengthen them.

And, YES, there are awesome prizes.  Prize details and descriptions below.

Challenge #1: Holiday Popcorn Tin Grill or Oven

popcorn-tin

Using an empty holiday popcorn tin to make a survival style grill or oven may sounds crazy…but you’ll be surprised at how easy it is and how efficient the result can be!

Challenge Instructions, Tips & Tricks

** IMPORTANT NOTE **

Be sure to burn off the “stink” of any improvised survival grill before actually cooking food on it.  The gases and chemicals that come from the paint and lining of some holiday tins can cause illness.  Once burned off you’re good to go!

GRILL DETAILS

popcorn-grill

popcorn-tin-grill-top

Poke ventilation holes (1/2″ to 1″) about an inch up from the bottom every 3-4 around the perimeter of the holiday tin.  A nail, awl, screwdriver, hammer & needle nose plyers will all make nice holes.

Use wire hangers for grill grates.  Poke holes to feed wires through about 2 inches down from the top of the can.  Bend ends to keep in place.

popcorn-grill

Make a fire on the bottom or place hot cools in the bottom and grill!

popcorn-grill-actual

OVEN DETAILS

tin-oven

This method requires no fire in the tin.  Instead, you will use the tin with or without the lid as an oven by placing it beside a fire.  Very simple concept but difficult to control food burn.  You can also place your meat on a stake and place the tin on top of it and build a fire around the tin.  This has been done with a small game bird in the photo above.

** Remember, 1st fire should be used to burn the “stink” off! **

Learn a new survival skill every other month with the 

APOCABOX SKILLS CHALLENGE! 

HOW TO ENTER THE CHALLENGE

Myself, Hank and Dave will be the judges of the completed GRILL/OVEN photos submitted for the challenge.  As you can see by the prize details below, there will be three prizes awarded per challenge: an overall winner, a runner up and an honorable mention.  To enter, you must submit a photo of your improvised Christmas Tree Survival Bow using one of the following:

1:  SUBMIT on INSTRAGRAM using the hash-tags: #apocabox AND #holidaysurvivalchallenge

2: Post photo on the APOCABOX FACEBOOK page at: http://www.facebook.com/apocabox

3: Email photo to me at creek@creekstewart.com if you don’t use social media

CHALLENGE DURATION:  Challenge starts 12/28/15 and Submission deadline for this challenge is 1/01/16.  Prizes will be announced on 1/02/16.

PRIZE DESCRIPTIONS (All prizes must be mailed to someone 18 years of age or older):

OVERALL GRAND PRIZE

DIY TURKISH ARROW KIT

arrow-kit

Build your ow3 Beautiful Turkish style arrows!

This kit includes traditional Turkish knocks, cast tool steel trilobite hunting points (see detail on these below), exquisite bamboo shafts and slick and silent turkey feather fletchings.

The trilobite arrow tips used in this kit with the three bladed shape, internal socket and cutting capability are considered the apex of ancient arrowhead technology.  The nomadic Scythian group fully developed the use of lost wax technology to produce these arrowheads in easy to cast bronze.

Hank Gevedon had the vision of a three bladed Trilobite arrowhead that would have evolved if the nomadic tribes had the technology available to cast the heads in a super tough tool steel alloy.

With this vision, Hank hand carved a wooden model and made a three piece mold exactly as the ancient metalsmiths would have done.  Then, he had a modern silicone rubber mold produced from a hand poured bronze original that he made from the hand carved wooden pattern.  Finally, the waxes produced from the silicone molds are used to produce an extremely high quality tool steel casting from the wax model.

This arrowhead pattern is the forerunner of almost every three bladed arrowhead that we currently use.  Hank and Dave are proud to bring this ancient technology back to life.

For more details on this DIY Turkish Arrow Kit visit http://www.facebook.com/meadlongbows or for additional photos email meadlongbows@gmail.com

RUNNER-UP PRIZE

1 Month Subscription to Creek’s Subscription Survival Box – APOCABOX

urban-box

HONORABLE MENTION PRIZE

IshWash Emergency Eyewash Kit + 1 puck of Instant Bowstring

runner-up

CONCLUSION

Good luck!  1 more Holiday Survival Challenges to be announced in the coming days!

If you’re like me and like SURVIVAL HACKS, consider picking up a copy of my next book: SURVIVAL HACKS on AMAZON at:

http://www.amazon.com/Survival-Hacks-Everyday-Items-Wilderness/dp/1440593345/

survival-hacks-creek-stewart

creek-stewart-survivalist

APOCABOX Holiday Survival Challenge Series: Challenge #1 – Christmas Tree Survival Bow

Click here to view the original post.

Challenge Series Overview

As APOCABOX subscribers already know, a big part of each box is completing my Survival Skills Challenge issued in each box.  Unlike the APOCABOX Survival Skills Challenge, this survival skills challenge series is open for everyone to participate.  I’ve teamed up with two survival buddies of mine (Hank Gevedon of Reptile Toolworks and Dave Mead of Mead Longbows) to issue a series of THREE Survival Skills Challenges to take place in between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  The purpose of this challenge series is to not only hone your survival skills but to also utilize holiday products/materials that might traditionally be thrown away.  As I always say, your most important survival skill is the ability to IMPROVISE.  These challenges will call upon those skills and hopefully strengthen them.

And, YES, there are awesome prizes.  Prize details and descriptions below.

Challenge #1: Christmas Tree Survival Bow

christmas-tree-illustration

If you have a live cut Christmas tree in your home this season, this challenge just may be for you!  Rather than throw the tree away or burn it, how about making a fully functional survival BOW from it.  Yes, a very effective survival bow can be made from the trunk of your live cut Christmas tree!

Challenge Instructions, Tips & Tricks

STEP 1:  Drag the tree outside and chop off all the limbs flush with the trunk.  It will look something similar to the illustration below.

bow-stave

STEP 2: Collect anything you can use for lashings and bowstrings later – ribbons, bows, wrapping twine, etc.

SIZE CONSIDERATIONS

bow-string

If the tree trunk is over 2” in diameter for the majority of its length your best bet is to split it in half down its length.  Once split, work with the best half.  You will still have a stave that has one small end and one fat end.  If small end is approximately ½ – ¾ inch thick and larger end is approximately 1 – 1 ½ inches thick then string it up and give it a go.  If you are dealing with a much larger tree you can split it a second time or just do some serious tapering on the ends.  The goal is to get the ends to match.

trimming-bow

Another option is to split the trunk, flip the pieces and lash the two fat ends together with a 5-6 inch overlap.

bow-no-string

If somehow you have a tree that is only 1 inch in diameter you can string it up & try as is – OR – cut it in half and lash the fat ends together with a 5-6 inch overlap.

christmas-tree-bow-handle

bow-illustration

*It’s very common for a bow to end up asymmetrical with a longer top limb.  To compensate, simply grip the bow below center.

Learn a new survival skill every other month with the 

APOCABOX SKILLS CHALLENGE! 

HOW TO ENTER THE CHALLENGE

Myself, Hank and Dave will be the judges of the completed bow photos submitted for the challenge.  As you can see by the prize details below, there will be three prizes awarded per challenge: an overall winner, a runner up and an honorable mention.  To enter, you must submit a photo of your improvised Christmas Tree Survival Bow using one of the following:

1:  SUBMIT on INSTRAGRAM using the hash-tags: #apocabox AND #holidaysurvivalchallenge

2: Post photo on the APOCABOX FACEBOOK page at: http://www.facebook.com/apocabox

3: Email photo to me at creek@creekstewart.com if you don’t use social media

CHALLENGE DURATION:  Challenge starts 12/25/15 and Submission deadline for this challenge is 1/01/16.  Prizes will be announced on 1/02/2106.

PRIZE DESCRIPTIONS (All prizes must be mailed to someone 18 years of age or older):

OVERALL GRAND PRIZE

DIY HORSE BOW KIT

horse-bow-kit

Everything you need to make a HORSE BOW is in this kit.  It is an ancient design and all natural materials.  Hunt with it the same day.  To see the HORSE BOW in action visit http://www.facebook.com/meadlongbows or for additional photos email meadlongbows@gmail.com

RUNNER-UP PRIZE

1 Month Subscription to Creek’s Subscription Survival Box – APOCABOX

urban-box

HONORABLE MENTION PRIZE

IshWash Emergency Eyewash Kit + 1 puck of Instant Bowstring

runner-up

CONCLUSION

Good luck!  2 more Holiday Survival Challenges to be announced in the coming days!

creek-stewart-survivalist

 

What are you doing this weekend?

Click here to view the original post.

Come train with me at ESCAPE THE WOODS this weekend!!  It’s not too late to sign up!!

etw-details

I’ll be personally teaching the FIRE POD and everyone knows how much I love survival fire.  Solar, flint/steel, BOW DRILL and even a few tricks up my sleeve…  We’ll even be attempting a fire start that I’VE NEVER TRIED BEFORE!  I call it the CR///EK-ZILLA.  Yes, it’s HUGE!

I hope you can make it.  See http://www.escapethewoods.com for more details and to sign up!

Trust me – it’s a BLAST!

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

creek-stewart-survivalist

PS – If you’re looking for an awesome Christmas present – consider giving a 1 month APOCABOX – my subscription survival box.  The December Box is limited to 2500 subscriptions and I’m over 2400 already.  It’s going to be an awesome selection of tools – even a hand forged blade!  GIVE IT HERE:  http://www.myapocabox.com

Train with me @ ESCAPE THE WOODS

Click here to view the original post.

I receive emails everyday asking about how one can train with me. There’s a reason I haven’t released a public training schedule at Willow Haven yet this year. Besides being extremely busy filming and promoting FAT GUYS IN THE WOODS and writing a new book due out 2016, I’ve signed on to be the Lead Trainer at a series of events that I am very excited about. It’s called ESCAPE THE WOODS!

creek-etw

ESCAPE THE WOODS

Escape the Woods is a two person survival team challenge designed to provide world class survival training and then test those skills in a head to head competition.  You’ll start your day by learning new survival skills from yours truly and my approved team of survival skills trainers.  Then you will have a chance to Prove it by putting your newly learned skills to the test against the other teams to earn points and collect clues to win the $1,000 Cabela’s gift card. You can also win a $200 Bug Out Bag by creating the best video of your day.  Do you have what it takes to ESCAPE THE WOODS???

“I started teaching survival skills because they’re fun.  I still teach them because they save lives.  As a natural competitor myself, I’m excited to be involved in a new project that combines my two favorite aspects of survival – FUN and LEARNING!  Escape the Woods is an action packed survival competition for people of all ages and experience levels.  You’ll learn awesome skills, meet incredible people and have a blast in the process!  Come test yourself – the woods is waiting!”

            –CR///EK

When, CR///EK, WHEN??!!

The 1st ESCAPE THE WOODS challenge is scheduled for September 12th & 13th in Delaware, OH.  I’ve planned a training curriculum that revolves around the CORE 4 – Shelter, Water, Fire and Food.  You’ll spend the morning jumping from training POD to training POD and then, after lunch, it’s time to put your skills to the test!  Trust me, this is survival training like you’ve never seen before.

etw-details

First of it’s kind!

I like being a part of new and exciting projects.  ESCAPE THE WOODS is an action packed survival skills competition with a focus on very real survival skills.  You’ll learn some of my favorite survival skills, tips and tricks about how to secure shelter, water, food and MY FAVORITE – fire!  The chance to win something at the end of the day is just the icing on the survival skills cake.

LIMITED SPACE

Yes, this event has a head count limit.  Tickets are being sold on a first come first serve basis.  Because you’re a subscriber to my blog you are one of the first to even hear of it, but the word will spread fast.  You can find all of the details and sign up on the Escape the Woods web-site at http://www.escapethewoods.com.

etw

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN…. I see you in the woods.  Are you ready????

creek-stewart-survivalist

I double dog dare you to join me! #daretodo

Click here to view the original post.

IMG_20140830_185556

“The only things we keep permanently are those we give away.” – Waite Phillips

I do wonder what Mr. Phillips meant exactly by this statement.  I think it was something like this:  Our impact on people is ultimately our only legacy.

Rarely do we have the opportunity to be involved in a cause or initiative that has the capacity to change the face of the world we live in.  Today is one of those very rare opportunities.

I DARE YOU!

I dare you to take the 100 day #DARETODO challenge.

It’s simple. Each day for 100 days do an act of service, no matter how small, for the other people around you. Post about it on social media using the hashtag #DareToDo — and we’ll make America better, each day, together.

Here’s the official site: http://dareto.do/

daretodo

 

CR///EK, why are you taking the challenge?

I’m taking the challenge starting TODAY, August 7th 2015.  Each day for 100 days I am going to do at least one selfless act for someone else and share it with you on social media.

WHY?  Because the only things you really keep are the things you give away.  I like to be a part of BIG things.  I like to be a part of GOOD things.  And, I like to be a part of things that CHALLENGE me to be a better person.

JOIN ME?

So, want to be a part of something that will make the world a better place?  Join me on social media everyday with something positive and take the 100 DAY #DARETODO Challenge – TODAY!

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/creekstewart

TWITTER:  @survivalcreek

INSTAGRAM: @creekstewart

 

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

creek-stewart-survivalist

You’re not going to believe what I do with this 2-liter bottle.

Click here to view the original post.

Just in case you missed the most recent episode of FAT GUYS IN THE WOODS, I had to write this blog post and show you a cool survival skill that I think you’ll really enjoy.  And, it’s a great way to source some awesome cordage in a pinch.  I call it the 2-Liter Bottle Cordage Jig.

2-liter-jig

Years ago I saw a video about how a small factory was recycling 2-liter bottles to make woven baskets.  They had a fancy electric powered piece of equipment that would allow an operator to feed in trash 2-liter bottles and it would strip them into long pieces of plastic that would then be coiled on a spool and used to weave baskets.

2-liter-trash

Trash 2-liter bottles (or similar) can be found all over the world, especially in coastal areas.  During our week filming FAT GUYS IN THE WOODS in the Florida Swamps I decided to create a primitive version of making cordage from 2-liter bottles using just my knife, my folding saw and a sapling stump.

2-liter-jig-knife

 

Below is a link to the YouTube video filmed for the show that I think you will find very educational.  It’s rare to find a survival skill that you’ve never seen before and I’m proud to bring one to you in this post!

!!!VIDEO LINK HERE!!!

Like I always say, survival is about using what you have to get what you need and this skill is a prime example of that philosophy.

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

creek-stewart-survivalist

Improvised Tarp Boat

Click here to view the original post.

Summer is the time to practice summer survival skills.  Here’s a great one I think you’ll enjoy.  This one comes right from the pages of my latest book, Build the Perfect Bug Out Survival Skills.  This is a step-by-step photo series about how to build an improvised boat from a tarp!

Step 1: Lay your tarp flat on the ground.  This is a 9’x12′ tarp.

2-30

Step 2:  Pile pine boughs or leafy branches in a circle about 12″ tall.  This will be the diameter of your boat.  Leave at least 1′-2′ of tarp around the perimeter.

2-31

Step 3: Lay a gridwork of sturdy sticks (1″-2″ in diameter) on top of the circle.

2-32

Step 4: Pile another 12″ of green boughs on top, again in a circular pattern.

2-33

Step 5: Wrap the tarp around the circle and tie it to the gridwork of sticks.

2-34

Step 6:  Cross your fingers.

2-35

 

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

creek-stewart-survivalist

Follow me on INSTAGRAM @creekstewart.

Follow me on TWITTER @survivalcreek.

 

Episode 202 – This week on FAT GUYS IN THE WOODS + the Gear List

Click here to view the original post.

blog5

This Sunday for Episode 202 of Fat Guys in the Woods we’re headed north to Drummond Island, MI for a freezing week in the Moose Spruce wilderness.  This north woods is covered with spruce, hemlock, pine, birch and SNOW!  Tennessee natives Kyle, Brian and Martin and in for a rude awakening when they’re delivered to Drummond Island via the only way to get there – by FERRY through frigid Lake Huron.

blog7

You’re not going to believe the series of events that get us through an incredibly dangerous week.  One of my days during this week turned out to be one of my best and worst days in the woods – you don’t want to miss it.

blog4

Below is a Gear List for this episode for those of you who are interested:

Creek’s Scarf:  Surplus military from http://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/20-pk-new-czech-military-surplus-bandanas?a=1772426 

Creek’s Axe Sling:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/194102930/leather-axe-shoulder-strap-carry-sling?ref=shop_home_feat_1

The axe Creek gives the guys:  Husqvarna : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004WJGXAQ/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B004WJGXAQ&linkCode=as2&tag=wwwwillowhave-20&linkId=UY53YLO7CLUDJ7XO

Creek’s Coat: Filson Wool Packer Coat:  http://www.filson.com/products/wool-packer-coat.10040.html?fromCat=true&fvalsProduct=mens/coats-jackets&fmetaProduct=1011/

Knife # 1: Main Survival Knife:  Blackbird SK5: http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/product-p/on7500-brk.htm

Knife # 1: Sheath: Hedgehog Leatherworks: http://www.hedgehogleatherworks.com/Leather-Sheath-for-the-Ontario-Blackbird-SK5-Knife-p/h-at.htm

Knife # 2: Custom handmade knife given to Creek by Bill Anderson from Season 1 of Fat Guys in the Woods – Thanks Bill – it worked AWESOME!

Knife # 2: Sheath: Custom Sheath by Voyager Leatherworks – I highly recommend them if you are looking for a custom leather sheath: http://www.voyagerleatherworks.com/

The knife I give the guys: Finn Bear Knife: http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/product-p/cs20pc-brk.htm

Klean Kanteen: http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/Klean-Kanteen-40-ounce-Bottle-p/559529-lm.htm

Stainless Mug:  http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/Oilcamp-Stainless-Steel-Utility-Mug-p/330441-lm.htm

Creek’s Pack:  Maxpedition Vulture-II:  http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/Maxpedition-Vulture-II-Bug-Out-Bag-p/mx514-brk.htm

TUNE IN

I hope you catch Sunday’s episode.  You just aren’t going to believe our luck – GOOD and BAD!  It airs only on The Weather Channel at 9pm Eastern.

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

creek-stewart-survivalist

 

Don’t Miss Season 2 of FAT GUYS IN THE WOODS

Click here to view the original post.

This Sunday, June 7th, at 9pm eastern ONLY on The Weather Channel

On the eve of the premiere of Season 2 of FAT GUYS IN THE WOODS I thought I’d take a minute and write a letter to the blog subscribers here at Willow Haven Outdoor.  Many of you were blog subscribers long before FAT GUYS existed and you’ve watched my career in the survival industry develop over the past 6-10 years or so.  I am grateful for your support to say the least.

As I anxiously await America’s response to the first episode of Season 2, I just can’t keep my lips sealed about what to expect.  Below are some things to look forward to Sunday night as well as a little insider info ;). Here goes:

episode-201-5

First of all, we’re in the SONORAN DESERT of ARIZONA!

That’s right, this Indiana boy took 3 guys from Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Ohio and plopped them smack dab in the middle of one of the most hostile environments in North America.  I remember when one of them said, “This looks like the surface of mars!” Time to saddle up suckers!

My favorite childhood memories…

military

While most kids were reading comic books, I was scouring the pages from my Dad’s ARMY SURVIVAL manuals and I LOVED THEM!  In this first episode I decided to bring those pages to life.  This Sunday watch Randy, Peter, Jacob and I put these skills to the test and see if they really work.  I’ve been wanting to build a shelter like I’ve seen in the ARMY SURVIVAL manual my whole life and this week in the desert was my chance to do it.  You’re gonna love it.

episode-201-6

WATER….uhhhh, I mean, WHAT WATER????

There was actually a point in the week when I doubted that we could make it the rest of the time with our water supply.  You’ll have to watch and see what happens but let me tell you something – I WILL NEVER take the water sources in the midwest for granted again.  EVER!

FIRE (time to cuddle boys)

I can’t wait for you to learn how we started a fire in this episode.  We actually used TRASH that we found and the method is going to blow your mind.  It’s a fire start that I’ve practiced in a controlled environment before but never in a very real scenario.  It was awesome and incredibly frustrating at the same time.  I think the guys thought I was crazy when I described it to them.  I played it cool, although it was crazy.

FOOD (I guess you can call it that)

This photo says it all – you do not want to miss what we eat!!!!

episode-201-7

Oh, and do you see all of the skulls in the 1st photo in this post????  Those are boar, mule deer and jack rabbit.  BTW – have you ever seen a desert jack rabbit.  They are HUGE.  From ground to ear tips I’ll bet you they are 36″ tall.  See pics of them here if you’re curious:  http://www.desertusa.com/animals/jack-rabbit.html

 RANDOM thoughts…

episode-201-2

You are not going to believe what Randy is putting into this mouth in this scene.  I hope this makes the episode so bad.  If it does, I hope you’ve also eaten and thoroughly digested your dinner by the time you watch it.

episode-201-8

You know I’m all about teaching real survival skills.  I’m excited to teach you a trap I learned from a research scientist friend of mine.  I saw an opportunity to deploy it in the desert and think it’s a great trap to keep in your mental tool chest.

episode-201-9

The photo above is just before we tear into a group desert brawl.  Just kidding…it’s time to celebrate a huge success.  Trust me, you’ll be celebrating with us Sunday night.

MY GEAR in this episode

I always get asked a ton of questions about the gear I’m using in each episode so I thought I’d just list it out if you’re interested.

The Gear I give the Guys:

Parting words

Last season aired at 10pm eastern – we’re moving up in the world and are now on at 9pm eastern.  You won’t regret watching it.  You’ll learn some real skills and meet some real guys who have very real stories.  If you have a moment, share this VIMEO clip promoting the premiere episode with your friends:  https://vimeo.com/127084951

Oh!  And I’d love to hear what you think!

Interested in being on a potential Season 3 of FGITW?  Send your info/story to fgitwcasting@rivr.com.

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

creek-stewart-survivalist

FAT GUYS IN THE WOODS: BLOG SKILL SERIES: Become a Fire Walker – Apache Match

Click here to view the original post.

You’ve probably noticed that I’ll often send the guys off on the morning of their solo day with some kind of fire carry method.  The ability to carry fire is an important survival skill for a variety of reasons.

First, if you can carry fire, you don’t have to recreate your fire start all over again.  It typically takes less energy and calories to carry fire than to start all over from scratch.  Survival is all about conserving calories.

Second, it’s not hard to imagine that you’ve used the last of your fire starting materials.  Maybe you only had 1 match?  Maybe you’re all out of char cloth?  The ability to travel with fire once you’ve created it could truly be a life-saving skill if you have no other means of making fire.

Thirdly, rarely is a survival signal fire built right at a base camp location.  Oftentimes, survival camps are built under the cover of tree canopies and near building materials.  Signal fires are built in opposite type places – out in the open where they can be seen by rescue planes, ships, vehicles or crews.  The ability to carry fire from survival base camp to a signal fire location could be the difference between being rescued or passed over.  When every second counts, you may not have TIME to start a fire from scratch at a signal fire location.

BECOME A FIRE WALKER:  The Apache Match

One of the easiest and most popular fire carry methods I know of is often called an Apache Match.  Primitive peoples both in this country and others have used similar methods to carry fire from camp to camp and even on long hunting/scouting trips.  This method of carry can last anywhere from several hours to several days.  I’ve heard rumors of Apache matches lasting for weeks but I would imagine that this is in fact a series of Apache Matches rather than just one.

The basic principle is to contain a burning coal inside of a tinder bundle.  By limiting the supply of oxygen and keeping the coal in a near-smothered state, it allows the coal and surrounding tinder to smolder for several hours.  I’ve had many Apache Matches last for 3-4 hours with little effort and maintenance.

Below are the steps to creating an Apache Match that is approximately 12 inches in length by 4 inches in diameter.  One this size can be expected to last anywhere from 2-3 hours depending on a variety of conditions – mostly how much oxygen the coal gets.

STEP 1:  The Coal and The Bundle

apache-match-step-1

I typically use a bright red coal from the fire bed.  This is represented by a red 5-hour energy bottle cap in the following photos :)  The coal can be anywhere from 1″ to 2″ in diameter.  It can also be a collection of small coals.  This coal is embedded in between 2 big handfuls of tinder material.  ‘Tinder Material’ is the same as a tinder bundle.  In this case I’m using shredded cedar bark.  Grasses, cattail down, dried seed heads, dry inner bark and plant fibers would also suffice.  Even shredded newspaper would work in an urban scenario.

STEP 2: A Bun in the Oven

apache-match-step-2

This photo shows the coal getting ready to be covered by 2 big handfuls of tinder material.

STEP 3: A Coal Sandwich

apache-match-step-3

You can’t see it in this photo but the red ‘coal’ in officially embedded inside of the tinder material.

Step 4: The Outer Layer

apache-match-step-4

Next, you need to add an exterior layer to the bundle.  This not only helps keep everything together but it also helps protect your hands.  These things can get a little hot when traveling.  The outer layer shown here is also cedar bark.  I left it in big strips versus ‘fuzzing’ it down to tinder material like on the inside.  You use any kind of bark really.  It can be dry or green, it doesn’t really matter.  I’ve even used cardboard before.  Don’t get too particular.

Step 5: Wrap the Bundle

apache-match-step-5

Lastly, you want to loosely wrap the bundle in order to keep everything together.  This one is wrapped with willow bark but you can use anything – paracord, a hoodie drawstring, a shoestring, dental floss, plant fibers, yucca leaves, etc.  Don’t make the mistake of wrapping it too tight.  There is a delicate balance between too loose and too tight and only experience can tell the difference.  Too tight and you’ll smother the coal.  Too loose and the coal will spread through your tinder too fast.

Step 6: From Match to Flame

apache-match-step-6

An Apache Match will require some maintenance and attention while traveling.  You may have to blow on it a little bit to make sure you’ve still got some heat.  You may have to tighten your lashings or even loosen them.  It’s important to check on it every few minutes.

Once you’ve reached your destination, making fire is as simple as unwrapping your Apache Match and blowing the tinder bundle into flame.  If you’ve done everything right, flame should be just a few breaths away.

CONCLUSION

I really believe the ability to carry fire is a necessary survival skill.  Would you like to see more posts dedicated to survival fire carry methods?  I’ve definitely got some tricks up my sleeve for carrying fire in Season 2!

creek-stewart-bug-out-book

 

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

creek-stewart-survivalist

FAT GUYS IN THE WOODS: BLOG SKILL SERIES: Make an Improvised Bow Saw

Click here to view the original post.

In the first episode of Fat Guys in the Woods, we made an improvised Bow Saw using a bent sapling.  We then used this saw to help build shelters and process wood throughout the week.  This post provides a little more detail about this project.

First, about Bow Saws…

I love a good Bow Saw.  I actually prefer a Bow Saw over an ax.  A good Bow Saw can process an insane amount of wood in a short amount of time.  It’s safer to use than an ax, require less practice and takes far less energy.  It’s also much lighter.  My Bow Saw of choice is the Bahco 36″ model.  Here’s a photo below:

bahco-bow-saw

I’ll be the first to admit that they are bulky, especially the larger ones.  Luckily, the ‘BOW’ part of the Bow Saw can be improvised in the field using a flexible sapling if you just want to carry in the blade portion.  Below is how to do it.

Choosing the BOW.

I typically use either small saplings or branches that are about 3/4″ – 1″ in diameter.  I cut them about 6″ longer than my Bow Saw blade.  That’s typically pinky tip to thumb tip of my open hand with fingers spread.  They must be flexible.  They must also be GREEN wood.  No dead stuff.  I’ll often flex them around a large tree to break them in.  This really helps.

Next, split the end of each sapling in half about 3″ down.  The splits on each end must be aligned with each other.  They can’t be going in opposite directions.  This is necessary in order for the saw blade to be straight.

Key Rings/Wooden Peg Blade Attachment Options

Threading key rings onto each end of the Bow Saw blade in advance of your trip makes attaching an improvised sapling handle pretty easy.  All bow saw blades that I know of have holes in each end.  These holes are perfect attachment points for key rings.  Key rings can be purchased in the key making dept. of virtually any hardware store.

Start by inserting the end of the bow saw blade into one of the splits on the end of your sapling.  Fold the key ring over and around the sapling like shown below.  If your sapling is larger in diameter than the key ring then simple taper down the end with your knife so that it will fit.

key-ring-up-close

If you don’t have key rings, an appropriately sized wooden peg will also work.

peg-in-saw

Next, carefully bend the sapling and attach the blade in the same way to the other end.  Flexing the sapling around a tree really helps to ready the sapling for this step in the build.

bow-saw-profile

I’ll often tie some paracord around the blade and key ring for peace of mind but it isn’t necessary.  The entire build typically only takes 5-10 minutes and is a really fun bushcraft project.

bow-saw-in-log

CONCLUSION

Although not as robust as the metal store-bought versions, these improvised bow saws may surprise you.  I’ve been using one around Willow Haven for a couple years and it still works like a charm.  Besides, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of improvising and making tools in the field.

creek-stewart-bug-out-book

 

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

creek-stewart-survivalist

Hello from Creek

Click here to view the original post.

Hello all.  As you read this post, I’m deep in the North Woods filming the first Episodes of Fat Guys in the Woods for Season 2, coming this Spring.  I scheduled this post to publish before I left.  I’ll be unplugged where I’m going.

For those of you who know very much about me and Willow Haven Outdoor, you also know that I try to keep my parents involved (and busy) with my many survival activities and pursuits.  This includes when I’m gone filming 😉  Just so they don’t get too bored with me out of town, I thought I’d encourage you to visit our on-line store (http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com) with a timely CHRISTMAS DISCOUNT CODE (found at the end of this email).  My Mom and Dad run this business from my childhood home and I don’t want them getting lazy on me while I’m incommunicado leading guys through a survival adventure for weeks  on end.

In our on-line store we carry a huge variety of survival tools and resources at all different price points.  There are tons of great stocking stuffers in our UNDER $10 SECTION here: http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/category-s/1881.htm

1

Here is a link to many of the items we used on Season 1 of Fat Guys in the Woodshttp://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/category-s/1887.htm

2

We also carry tons of Books and Information Resources here:  http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/category-s/1833.htm

3

One of my favorite sections is our selection of survival gloves and clothing accessories here: http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/category-s/1848.htm

4

Before you go, be sure to write down the COUPON CODE below.  This will save you 7% during check-out!  And, there is FREE SHIPPING for orders over $100.  Be sure to tell Mom and Dad I said HELLO from the field.

NOT IF BUT WHEN COUPON CODE:  CREEK7

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

creek-stewart-survivalist

FAT GUYS IN THE WOODS: BLOG SKILL SERIES: Jam Knot

Click here to view the original post.

Remember these cool shelters that Joe, Opie, Zach and I built in the river valley?

shelter-circle

One very important part of building this shelter is the bed frame similar to what I’ve shown below. 3-4″ diameter logs are stacked log cabin style to build a frame that can contain bedding materials (leaves/boughs/branches/grass,etc) and help brace the arch-style roof.  The logs are lashed together using the JAM KNOT.  I love this knot and it’s one of the most useful outdoor knots I know and I’d like to use this opportunity to teach it to you.

bed-frame

I’ve never been a big fan of teaching knots with the written word or photos so I’ve filmed a short video where I describe how to tie it step-by-step.  Below is the embedded video and here is the link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQxPvWTT3PM

It’s such a simple knot to use and works perfect for bed frames to contain loose natural insulation.

creek-stewart-bug-out-book

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

creek-stewart-survivalist