Primitive Weapons!

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Primitive Weapons!

Primitive Weapons!
Host: Dane… “The Gunmetal Armory” Audio player provided!

This week on the GunMetal Armory, we  go much deeper into the Armory where we store the Primitive Weaponry. Our topics will cover things like the AtlAtl, throwing/thrusting spears, blow guns, clubs & impact weaponry, tomahawks & hatchets, knives, bow & arrow, arrowhead types, bolas, throwing sticks, slings, etc.

Listen to this broadcast or download “Primitive Weapons” in player below!

Continue reading Primitive Weapons! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.


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Host: Dane… “The Gunmetal Armory” Audio player provided!

This time, we’re going to be talking about “Building the Prepper Armory: Part 2”. In the next installment of Building the Prepper Armory, we’re going to talk about various accessories, Optics, calibers and which calibers to stockpile, primitive weaponry, slings and sling bows, archery, blowguns, ammo for the more primitive of these weapons, and a whole lot more.

Continue reading BUILDING THE PREPPER ARMORY part 2 at Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

My Views On Carrying Modern Gadgets.

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Something I posted on a UK survival forum recently after receiving so much negative feed back & comments. 
My Views On Carrying Modern Gadgets.

Okay, this is my take on the carry situation, or your Bug Out bag contents for long term wilderness/country living.

People are for ever saying that they will rely of modern gear because it is easier to use & when it is used up or broken they will simply discard it. Many state that they carry multiple items for making fire. Maybe they do the same with other gear as well, I don’t know.

Personally I have gone to a lot of research & experimentation to arrive at the best kit I can possibly carry that will last me a lifetime in the wilderness. This equipment is backed up with the skills needed to use this gear.

Now if I were to take advice from many people who advocate the carrying of modern gear & extras for insurance, then some of the items I already have in my pack would have to be taken out to (a) make room, & (b) lighten the load.

Putting it another way, when one has to discard a modern gadget, there is nothing to replace it unless you can make a primitive item to replace it. You were carrying this gadget at the expense of carrying something more suitable. You have compromised your safety & security by leaving important items out of your pack to make room for your gadgets. Does this make any sense to you?

Okay so you do know how to use a flint, steel & tinderbox & you carry one with you. You know all about plant & fungi tinders & where to find dry kindling in the pouring rain & snow. But you still want to carry a cigarette lighter, a ferocerium rod & magnesium block because? I can probably make fire faster with a tinderbox than many people can with a lighter, so why would I want to carry a lighter? I would sooner carry that extra weight & bulk in gunpowder, water, food, modern medical supplies. These items are far more important than carrying battery operated torches, magnesium blocks, ferocerium rods, cigarette lighters, plastic or tin plates, fold away solar panels, eating utensils, fuel stove, multi-tool, or the myriad of other modern gadgets that are on the market today.

A ferocerium rod is NOT a good substitute for a tinderbox. So why have one? Why are you not practicing with a real flint steel & tinderbox? If this is just a hobby for you, just a game or something you like to do when camping out, fine, I am not saying that is NOT a legitimate thing to do, but do NOT try to convince me or anyone else that this is what you should do if you seriously want to survive should it all hit the fan.

I have been doing this stuff since before it became known as prepping, I have been doing this for most of my life in all weathers. I have survived attacks from people & wild animals, I survived cyclone Tracey in 74. I have lived off grid in the bush for most of my life. I try to pass on my findings, my knowledge & my experience because I am an old man & the things that I know are rarely practiced these days. And yet I am for ever finding people getting upset by what I say & am immediately put on someone’s hit list. Is it jealousy? Is it because these people were used to being top dog on the forum until I came along & upset their ratings? Or is it because I no longer live in the UK & therefore can’t be considered a reliable source of information?

Yes I am out of touch with matters in the UK, I would imagine things are far worse there now than they were when I was living there. I saw my old forest & field haunts being cut down, leveled & built on. I was running out of room to “play”. So I got out, came here & bought myself a forest that no one can destroy. But that does not mean that you can’t take what is of use to you & discard the rest. Basic survival needs are still the same no matter where you are in the world. Even some of the plants here are the same as in the UK & other countries. Before climate change took a hold it was the same weather conditions here in New England NSW as it was in parts of the UK.

There is different equipment to suit the individual, & there is the WRONG equipment to carry. No matter how big & strong you are, no matter that you can carry a child plus your backpack, it still comes down to carrying the right gear & NOT compromising your safety. There will already be a need for some compromise when packing for a trip between two principles : minimum weight & maximum self-reliance.

What Primitive Hunting Requires?

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What Primitive Hunting Requires? 1. Weapon To be successful with hunting, you must have the right weapons and be skillful in using them. This is the biggest challenge with primitive hunting. Your prey is usually very fast and its senses are stronger than yours. Your defense must allow you to hit your prey at a … Continue reading What Primitive Hunting Requires?

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Long Term Wilderness Living/Survival Fire lighting Methods.

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Authors, historical, living history, authenticity, flint and steel, burning glass, reading glass, fire-bow, Mountain men, woodsmen, woodsrunners, books, reading, experimental archaeology, plant tinder, fungi tinder, tinderbox, fire lighting, 18th century, 17th century, 19th century, survival, Indians, primitive, fur trade, French and Indian War, Revolution, historical trekking, long term wilderness living, colonial, Australia, North America, cooking, heating, Reenacting, Reenactment, Preppers, Prepping, Survivalists, Bugging Out, Camping, Hiking, Bush Walking, Lost survival, TEOTWAWKI, SHTF, Primitive Skills, sustainable, self reliance, Off Grid, Bushcraft, Woodslore,  

Primitive Fire Lighting-Flint & Steel & Fire Bow.

Title: Primitive Fire Lighting
ID: 9784776
Category: History
Description: “Primitive Fire Lighting”, is a hands on guide to how to make fire with flint and steel and fire bow. This includes some history, a variety of methods, tinder plants identification, and tinder production, tips on fire place construction and use, how to prepare and lay a fire, wet weather fire lighting and magnifying glass fire lighting. The skills and methods in this book will be of interest to a wider range of readers including survivalists, historical re-enactors, bush-walkers and campers, historical–trekkers and even historical novel writers. Although the plant identifications list is mainly Australian it also has some information for England, Europe and America.
Publisher: Keith H. Burgess
Copyright Year: © 2010
Language: English
Country: Australia

Table of Contents
Illustrations. 4
Tinder preparation-charring: 15
Emergency methods: 17
Introduction 24
A Brief Overview. 25
The Parts of the Fire-bow. 26
The Bow. 26
The Drill Piece. 27
The Fireboard. 29
The Tinder-board. 30
The Bearing Block. 31
The Bowstring. 32
Tinder. 32
Making Fire. 32
Making Cordage. 37
The Step for making Cordage. 38
Fire steel suppliers. 45
About the author. 45

5.83″ x 8.26″, saddle-stitch binding, white interior paper (60# weight), black and white interior ink, white exterior paper (100# weight), full-colour exterior ink.
Cost: Book $11.00 US. Plus P&P. Download $7.00 US

The Backwoods Hunting Weapon You Can Make In 1 Hour (No, It’s Not A Bow)

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The Backwoods Hunting Weapon You Can Make In 1 Hour (No, It’s Not A Bow)

Image source: YouTube/Nat Geo screen grab


When suddenly confronted with a wilderness survival situation, finding or building shelter from the elements should be your first priority. However, once you have either located or constructed suitable shelter and found a source of fresh water, obtaining enough food to maintain your heath is of paramount importance — and obtaining sufficient protein is essential. Thus, knowing how to construct and use primitive hunting tools, such as a sling or an atlatl and darts, is extremely beneficial, since they require very little construction time and can be easily made from the materials at hand.

Many if not most survivalists would say a self-bow — any simple bow made from a single piece of wood – should be constructed first. But this requires a significant amount of time to make, because you first have to find a straight sapling of an appropriate species and cut it down, and then you have to remove the bark and wait for the wood to dry before carving it to shape. Also, there is the issue of finding appropriate material from which to construct a bow string that does not stretch.

Consequently, constructing an atlatl (a “spear thrower”) and darts is often a far better strategy, because an atlatl can be built with as little as an hour’s work, and atlatl darts need not be nearly as sophisticated as arrows for a bow; atlatl darts are not subjected to the same stresses that firing an arrow from a bow produces. This is the weapon used by our ancestors to kill small animals, long before there were bows.

Let’s Get Started

In order to make an atlatl, start by finding a straight sapling, approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter and preferably one that is of a very lightweight species of wood, such as poplar. Cut a section from it, approximately 24-28 inches in length. Use your camp knife and a baton to split the sapling down the middle, into two halves. You will need to choose the thicker of the two halves and proceed to use your bushcraft knife to flatten and smooth the split surface while leaving the other side half-round. Next, find an appropriate tree limb with a symmetrical fork, and then cut the fork from the limb, leaving approximately two inches below the fork and then cut each fork to a length of approximately one inch. Then cut a peg, approximately two inches in length.

Story continues below video

Next, drill one hole in the end of the flattened section of sapling using an auger or bow drill with sand for an abrasive and, once the hole is drilled, insert the peg firmly into the hole so that it extends approximately one inch above the flattened surface. Carve a handle on the other end of the sapling section by first rounding the edges and then carving shallow groves in either side for your index finger and thumb to help you retain your grasp on the atlatl when using it to launch a dart. Once you have the grip and finger grooves carved, drill a second hole in the flattened side, approximately one inch above the point where your thumb and index fingers meet when grasping the handle section of the atlatl, and then firmly insert the fork into that hole and you will have a completed (although very primitive), fully functional, atlatl.

Ultimate Tactical Self-Defense And Hunting Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

Now you need to make atlatl darts. They can be made as simple as cutting a reasonably straight section of sapling to approximately 36 inches in length, removing the bark, sharpening one end, and then cutting a nock in the other end that will mate with the peg on your atlatl. Then, to launch your dart at a prospective target, all you have to do is place the dart’s nock against the atlatl’s peg and then lay the shaft into the fork and hold it in place by positioning your thumb and index fingers over the dart’s shaft. Raise the atlatl over your shoulder, point the dart at your intended target, and then move the atlatl forward in an arc while releasing the dart’s shaft from your fingers. This will cause the dart to launch with great speed and momentum. If you’re confused, then watch the video below.

Story continues below video

With more time to work with, you can make much finer atlatl darts by cutting an appropriate sized sapling to length, removing the bark, and then straightening the shaft by suspending the dart over a fire for a short period in order to cause the moisture contained within the wood to heat. Also, you can harden the tip of the shaft by placing it in the coals of a fire for a short period and removing it. Then, sharpen it with your bushcraft knife.

So, although an atlatl and darts may not be as sophisticated a hunting tool as a bow, it requires significantly less time and effort to make it – and yet is every bit as effective at harvesting both small and large game animals. The range over which they can be cast is mainly dependent on the strength of the hunter, but the average person can easily cast a dart 50 yards using an atlatl and, with a little more effort, 100 yards.

What advice would you add on making an atlatl and darts? Share your tips in the section below:

If You Run Out Of Ammo, What Would You Do? Learn How To Make Your Own! Read More Here.

What If You Lose Your Go-Bag? Can You Still Survive?

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NOTE: This is a guest post by Chris Hampton, author of Edge Walker.  Chris has graciously provided a free copy of his book in PDF.  You can find the link to download your copy below. – TS

Go-Bags are a popular, and very important, topic of discussion among preppers and anyone wanting to be prepared for all contingencies at all times, anywhere. It’s interesting and exciting to scan over someone else’s Go-Bag content list, but ultimately it’s a personal choice, what we put in our bags. Yet, what happens if we lose our Go-Bag?

In my just-released book, Edge Walker, the main character is taught by a mysterious grandfather how to survive in the wilderness. At the beginning of the book, the boy has no experience in the wild, but as a desperate society rapidly deteriorates around him, the old man teaches the boy how to make shelter and fire, find water in the desert, and hunt meat without modern weapons.

Just before the boy flees a city thrown into chaos, his dying grandfather tosses him a small backpack. It’s his Go-Bag, put together by the old man before succumbing to a deadly virus. In the pack are essentials for his survival. However, when originally penciling out the plot, I looked at the very real possibility that, at some point, the boy will lose his pack. What then? Out in the wilderness, without all the essentials of a Go-Bag, life becomes precious and tenuous, very fast.

dbf7cc9931fac85309063c52ff30575ddca6875f-thumbI wanted Edge Walker’s story line to be true-to-life regarding survival skills to be utilized in the wilderness. The outcome was interspersing chapters where Grandfather teaches the boy four fundamental wilderness survival skills: how to make simple shelters with the materials at hand, carve a bow drill and make fire, find sources of water in the desert, and hunt using the most basic of primitive weapons – the throwing stick. In the chapter where I introduced the bow drill and fire making, my aim was to write in such a way that the emotion of the story line was maintained while sequentially describing the method for making a fire kit:

“Once, after relocating west, the old man taught the boy about fire. They walked into the desert . . . Grandfather stopped at a three-foot-tall bushy plant and looked down at it. Kneeling, he broke off a dead portion, unsheathed his knife, and started carving.


The boy watched. The sun baked.


“This plant will make fire for you. Warm you. Heal you.”


Grandfather’s knife worked the soft wood. A flat piece, two inches wide and ten inches long with a squared edge, emerged. Another piece of a branch, six inches long, became pointed at both ends: a spindle.


He cut a third piece of wood to fit the palm of his hand. Putting these pieces down, Grandfather cut a longer branch, about two feet, and tied some paracord to it. The boy thought it looked like a small bow to shoot arrows.


Using the spindle, handhold, and bow, the old man quickly burned a small indent into the flat piece of wood. Then he carved a slice-of-pie cut, the wide part of the slice at the edge of the board, the apex touching the middle of the burned indent.


Next, he again twisted the six-inch spindle stick into the string of the bow with one end of the spindle fitted into the notched hole. The palm-sized handhold he put on top of the other end of the now-vertical spindle and pressed down.


Grandfather began scraping the bow back and forth, like playing a cello. The flat board smoked, the smoke curling up around the spindle. Fine dust filled the slice-of-pie notch, with smoke billowing out from where the spindle met the board. Suddenly, he stopped and tapped a glowing ball of dust onto a baseball-size bunch of fluffy tinder and deftly handed the fire kit to the boy.


Grandfather did not rush. He gently, quietly talked to the glowing coal.


“Always ask the coal to visit. And thank it when it does,” he said.


The boy watched. Said nothing.


Grandfather, with two hands, held the smoking ball up above his face and blew into it. Soon, smoke turned to flame. He gently put the flaming ball on the ground and, from what the boy saw in the old man’s eyes, lovingly stared at it.




The boy looked up at Grandfather, then back at the little ball of flame, and echoed Grandfather’s word: “Life.”

As he is taught primitive skills, the boy is reminded to keep his knife on his body and not in his Go-Bag. In this way, if the Go-Bag is lost, the boy still has what he needs to live safely and even lavishly in the wilderness – – a knife.

Later in the book, the ancient skills are enhanced with modern paraphernalia to illustrate the benefits of utilizing whatever’s available. After the boy is rescued from man-hunters by two strangers, he observes how his rescuers effectively combine primitive knowledge with modern effects to subsist and move across the landscape. One example is how the strangers serve food in a gourd, but cook in a metal pot:

“A small fire dances in the cave. Dinner is stewed rabbit with wild onions foraged when Jure did the perimeter check. Bae, once again, marvels at the ingenuity of these two. The meal simmers in a metal pot with walls that collapse each inside the other to compress down for easier packing. To use it, the sections of walls are pulled up to form the pot. Handy.”

And later, in Chapter 50, worn out Converse sneakers are replaced with Huarache sandals:

“Your footwear needs mending,” G says.


“Yes,” Bae answers. “My left sole came apart.”


The shredded shoes embarrass the boy. He glances down at his clothes and does a quick check, as he’s learned to do before traveling . . .


“Any ideas for your footwear?” G asks.


“There’s the town,” Ever says. “They might have a dump or store we can raid.”


“No way on the store. Too dangerous. Supplies to these outlying towns have stopped. Whatever they have in town will be closely guarded.” G pauses. “But a dump. Good chance old tires will be in a dump. We can make sandals for Bae.”


“What about straps?” Ever asks. “Strapping leather is hard to find.”




“Of course!” Ever blurts. “I forgot about that.”


“I’ve got paracord,” Bae offers. He can’t picture sandals made out of tires or how to make them. But he knows paracord and has a roll in his pack.”

If you have a foundation of proven, ancient, skills and a willingness to combine them with whatever modern paraphernalia is found on the landscape, chances increase dramatically for survival. But the most basic necessity for a successful experience in survival is, like the characters in Edge Walker, to always keep a knife somewhere on your body, in case everything is lost, especially your Go-Bag.

To download a FREE COPY of Edge Walker in PDF – CLICK HERE!

– Chris Hampton

7 Methods of Primitive Fire Starting

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7 Methods of Primitive Fire Starting All of these primitive fire starting methods are thousands of years old. Learn how to make fire the old school way today! Making fire the primitive way is defiantly a skill you NEED for a SHTF situation, there are so many things that could happen where you lose all your gear …

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Flint & Steel Fire Lighting-A Sustainable Method.

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A selection of different fire steels & siliceous rocks.

Flint & Steel Fire Lighting-A Sustainable Method.

Flint, steel & tinderbox fire lighting is a sustainable method of making fire. Learning about flint & steel fire lighting (NOT the Ferocerium Rod!) will also teach you about the use of plant tinders, the types of plant tinders in your area, & how & where to find dry kindling in wet weather. This information is also useful in case you have to make fire with a fire-bow. Modern fire lighting methods rarely teach you any primitive skills, & they are not sustainable.

Plant tinders often need charring in order for them to catch a spark. Even those tinders that do not require charring usually perform better when charred. Plant tinders are charred directly in the fire, then they are placed in the tinderbox & the lid closed to extinguish the embers. Once this is done then the tinder is ready for use.

Sparks are struck from the steel using a sharp edged piece of siliceous rock; this rock can be flint, agate, chert, quartz or whatever type is available in your area. The easiest way to find suitable rock is to carry your steel with you on walks & simply try any rocks you find along the way. Some rocks perform better than others, but there are an amazing number of rocks that will work to some degree.

The author’s tinderbox showing plant tinder contents & a musket flint.
The author’s original 18th century fire steel which he secures to the buckle closure on his belt bag with a leather tie so it will not get lost.

This is a greased leather fire bag which contains the author’s tinderbox. The top rolls down making it waterproof.

Spare charred plant tinder is carried in one of the author’s gunpowder bags when it is empty.

Long Term Wilderness Living/Survival.

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Long Term Wilderness Living/Survival.

After the dust has settled & the survivors have left the cities to live in the bush, they will have to get down to some serious work in order to continue to survive. This also applies to those of us who already live in the bush, because our ties to the city will also be severed. Then, the equipment we have is all we have. There will be no new supplies of anything available to us. If the equipment we have chosen is not sustainable, then we will be in trouble in a very short period of time.

The same can be said of the skills we have at that time. Sure we can learn new skills, but just how much discomfort do you think you will suffer whilst you try to learn these skills? Whether it be making fire or making your own footwear, these skills are not learnt & certainly not mastered overnight, & one of the problems with using modern gear is that it does not teach you anything worthwhile.

My wife & I lived for over 20 years in the bush without electricity or any modern gadgets. We washed our clothes by boiling them in a copper. For light we made tallow candles & grease lamps. We grew our own food & I hunted meat for the table with a flintlock muzzle-loading gun. We started off this way living an 18th century lifestyle & our level of comfort never dropped. IF we had started off using modern equipment, we would have finished up living a Stone Age lifestyle! Yes I have the ability to live a Stone Age lifestyle, I have the primitive skills & it is a very secure feeling knowing this, but I do not want to have to live that way, I like a certain level of comfort.

So my advice is, if you are really serious about being able to survive in the future should it all go pear shaped, take a good long hard look at the gear you have, & ask yourself “is it sustainable”? DO NOT defend your choices of equipment to save face, DO NOT defend your choices because of its monetary cost. We are talking about survival here, our ability to keep living, & our quality of life. Going camping for a weekend or a month is not a good way of reviewing your gear. It is fun, but it is nothing but just that. Fuel stoves, matches, ferocerium rods, canned foods, torches, radios, Bowie type survival knives, etc will not last or will not do a satisfactory job in keeping you alive & within your comfort zone. So start learning the skills that will keep you alive & enable you to live with a certain amount of comfort. Acquire the tools & equipment that will support you through long term wilderness living.

Now having said that, I would like to make it quite clear that I have nothing against modern firearms or modern medical supplies, & I think those life straws for purifying water sound great. BUT, if you are going to carry a modern firearm, keep it for defence only or your limited supply of ammunition is not going to last long if you use it for hunting as well. If you are travelling alone I suggest you carry a bow as well, & not a compound bow. Or if you are only going to carry one gun & no bow, get yourself a flintlock muzzle-loading gun.

If it all hits the fan before my next post (can’t see that happening), best of luck.

Getting A Good Survival Knife – By James Smith

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In survival circumstances, when you are distant from everyone else and defenseless, your survival knife is your accomplice which goes with you wherever you go and whatever you do. It is the most critical survival device you need to finish whatever survival task there is. You require a decent survival knife to cut wood and … Continue reading Getting A Good Survival Knife – By James Smith

If or When TSHTF Part Four. Primitive living/survival skills.

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This is a basic list of skills for woodsrunners in our group. These are long term wilderness living/survival skills.

Woodsrunner’s Skills.

This is a list of basic skills in which I personally would expect an 18th century woodsman or woods-woman to have some experience with in our group.

If or When TSHTF Part Two.

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Long Term Wilderness Living/Survival.

In a TEOTWAWKI situation, in my opinion, the towns & especially the cities are not going to be a good place to survive for decent people, especially those with families. My reasoning is. 1) How are you going to be able to defend yourself against gangs which are prepared to burn you out if they can’t get you any other way? 2) Food is only going to last a short time. The gangs will get the majority of the equipment and food, and it will be very dangerous for anyone else out in the open on the streets or in the stores. 3) Your ammunition for your modern firearms will not last long if you are continually have to fight off raiders. You can of course for a while reload your own ammo if you have the gear and have managed to secure a store of powder, primers and lead. 4) There will be no clean water, no electricity unless you have a generator indoors and plenty of fuel. There will be no toilet facilities and you can not risk going outside. Yes there are toilet systems available that do not require water, but these are not designed to be used only in house.

So, the wise survivalist or prepper will leave the city and move to a place in the bush, be it your own property, or just a suitable place with running water, shelter and a food source. If you travel early, you will be able to use some form of transport, but if you leave it too late, the roads out may be blocked. Few people will already be living in the bush. If you are one of the lucky ones, and you have the money, then you will be able to set yourself up for a long term stay. But if you have to move to your retreat when TSHTF, then again your supplies will be limited to what you can transport.

If a survival situation big enough to warrant leaving the city arises, many people will not know until it is too late. Ask yourself now, what will be the signs? How will I know when to leave? If this is the situation you find yourself in, you will have to be prepared to ditch your vehicle if A) it breaks down, or B) the roads are blocked and you can’t get around it. This will mean having to travel on foot. How much of your gear and supplies can you carry on foot? What will you take with you? What are you prepared to leave behind?

A sensible person will have thought of this already, and what they will be packing in the vehicle will be back-packs, and only the stuff they can carry on their backs. There may be other separate supplies, just in case they can get through, but if they have to walk, these separate supplies will be left behind. This preparation will take a lot of serious thought. Remember, you are not military; there will be no back-up supplies when you run out. You are on your own, group or individual so choose your equipment and supplies wisely.

Something else to think about.

It is my belief that if you start off with all modern equipment and tools, sooner or later these items are going to start to wear out or break, and when they do, you are going to have to resort to a very primitive lifestyle. Most of the equipment we carry is solely for comfort and ease of living. When these items are no more, then our lifestyle will be radically changed. If however you choose a period lifestyle pre 19th century, then it is highly unlikely that you will ever have to drop below this level of comfort. I chose the mid 18th century, mainly because I am a living historian and this is my chosen period of interest, but also because I soon came to realise that this period’s technology is not too modern, and not too primitive. For survival purposes it gives me a level of ease and comfort I am happy living with.

Equipment and Tools.

For every piece of equipment you intend to take with you, ask yourself these questions: Will this add significantly to my comfort? Do I really need it? How long will it last? How versatile is it? Is there some better alternative? If it malfunctions or breaks, can I fix it?

Let’s look at some typical examples of good and poor choices. One of the most important tools you will need is something for cutting wood. Even if you do not have to construct a shelter, you will need to construct animal traps, some form of fencing for gardens, possibly splints and crutches if someone is injured, maybe fishing poles, spears, pikes, defenses, drying racks for food preservation, frames for scraping animal skins, and possibly more besides. Saws are good but limited in their use. A good strong pruning saw could be useful and it is not heavy, but you will need more than this. Many people choose the machete or a similar tool. This may be okay in a jungle, but it is still limited in its use. Only a fool would use a good knife for cutting wood, especially if it was the only tool you had. A knife is a very useful tool to carry but it has specific uses, and they do not include cutting large pieces of wood.

A tomahawk on the other hand is light, versatile and very efficient for all the tasks mentioned earlier. It can also be thrown for recreation and hunting if needs be. The head can easily be removed if it has a tapered eye and be used for fleshing skins. A new helve is easier to make and fit for a tomahawk than for a modern belt axe. The poll can be used as a hammer for driving in pegs and stakes, and it is a good fighting tool.

Now how about your firearms? If you only have modern firearms and no bows, then your ammunition will not last long if you have to use them for hunting and defence. Brass shells are heavy and you will need to carry a lot of weight in ammunition and possibly a reloader. A modern firearm is a good idea for use in defence if you have people to carry them, but the weight of the ammunition can make it unpractical to carry too much ammo. There are many other important supplies to be carried by someone. If your modern firearm malfunctions, can you repair it?

A flintlock muzzle-loading gun or rifle on the other hand is far more versatile than a modern gun. It can be used to create fire without using precious gunpowder; on the other hand the gunpowder can itself be used to make fire in certain circumstances. The flintlock is easy to repair with just a few simple tools & spare parts, and even if you do not have any spare parts, the lock can easily be converted to a matchlock or tinderlock for continued use. Lead is retrieved from shot game & remoulded, so there is no need to carry a lot of lead. Also there is the option of using other projectiles besides lead. Extra gunpowder can be carried in place of the extra lead, which means that your supplies will last longer.

Before you go spending your hard earned dollars on a custom knife or some Bowie look-alike, think about the use to which your blade will be put. Your knife or knives need to be able to field dress, skin and butcher game. They may also be needed for defence. A good butcher knife will serve you well in this regard, which is why the butcher knife was the most commonly carried knife by woodsmen and Indians alike back in the 18th century. A legging knife can be carried as a back-up to your hunting knife, and a good clasp knife will serve well for camp chores and making pot hooks and trap triggers. All three of these knives can be purchased for the cost of a modern camp or hunting knife.