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Hardcore Prepper Blades: Gerber Mark II a Must-Have May 6, 2017

ReadyNutrition Readers, I recently penned a piece about the Fairbairn-Sykes/OSS model fighting knife, my personal first-choice for fighting blades.  An offshoot of that style is available and it deserves mention of its own.  The Gerber Mark II is built along those lines and is both well-made and affordable.  It was designed and first manufactured in 1966 and has been famed for its reliability and outstanding durability.

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It was used in Vietnam by American soldiers, originally without the saw-teeth in the portion of the blade closest to the hilt.  The reason this was done: the military PX’s (Post Exchanges) stopped carrying it as they said it was “too brutal” a design.  This was the time that Vietnam was drawing down and all of the peaceniks were coming out of the woodwork.  Al Mar knives helped Gerber out by redesigning it with the saw teeth to market as a “survival knife,” and mollifying the liberals, it was once again stocked in the PX.

A Must-Have Survival Knife For the Prepper Collection

The double-edged blade measures 6 ½” in length with the saw tooth serrations taking up about 1/3 of the blade’s length.  It is well-balanced and the pommel is a blunted conical shape with the tip sliced off that makes an effective striker when needed.  The blade is 1 ½” shy of optimal minimum length for combat; nevertheless, it is well worth it.  The knife comes in a Cordura Nylon sheath, and the blade itself seats inside of a heavy-gauge plastic scabbard that is mounted within the nylon. You can order it at www.Amazon.com.

This last feature is a big “plus” as many times knives will tend to wear or abrade the sheath from the inside.  Another “biggie” for me is that it can be mounted vertically or horizontally.  Now I prefer a blade to be horizontal and attached on my belt in the back, interwoven between the beltloops.  The Mark II has two snap catches: One on the hilt at an angle, and the other one straight around the handle.

If you pick this baby up and then carry it the way I do, then you’ll have to make a couple of adjustments.  Firstly, pick up some black Gorilla tape and close up that top loop of the scabbard that would allow it to be a vertical carry.  Be careful to go around the handle’s snap catch strap.  Next, after it’s mounted to your belt, you’ll have to practice disengaging the two snap catches and then drawing your blade out of the sheath.

Your toughest challenge will be to guide the blade back into the sheath accurately.  This takes some practice.  The way I do it is with two hands: one to hold the handle and move the knife back into the sheath, while my other hand takes (carefully!) the tip of the blade and guides it into the sheath’s opening.  After you’ve done this about fifty to one-hundred times, it’s pretty simple.  Then practice re-snapping the straps so the blade is secured.

Also, the saw teeth don’t have extreme points as a shark’s tooth.  They’re sharp, but they’re flat-tipped and broad, akin to a tool.  They will go in and out of a ribcage smoothly, without becoming hung up.  Just remember: whatever you’re going to purpose the knife for is the purpose it needs to be used for.  If you want it as a survival knife (although I don’t advise it) then use it as such.  If it’s a combat knife for you, then only let it be used in the art of combat.

The Mark II has great balance and the handle feels really good in the hand.  It’s a really nice piece, and somewhat affordable (prices vary) as opposed to having a custom knife made.  Try it out, and don’t forget: find someone reliable to train you in its use.  Pay good money and receive good instruction.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published May 6th, 2017
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Could This Be the Most Versatile Firearm to Use in a SHTF Scenario? March 29, 2017

Well, ReadyNutrition firearms enthusiasts, we are following up our .45 ACP article with another piece on a superb cartridge…the .357 magnum round.  Invented by Phil Sharpe and Elmer Keith, the .357 magnum (hereafter referred to in this piece as the “.357”) is a very versatile and highly-dependable cartridge that has been around for almost one hundred years.  Introduced in 1935, it is an “evolution,” so to speak from the .38 caliber round.  It has an interesting history that should raise more than a few eyebrows.

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During the Depression Days and the Bootlegging Era, the .357 magnum was developed (one of the reasons) because of the gangsters and gang wars that were rampant during the days of Prohibition.  The round was needed to be able to “puncture” both bulletproof vests and automobiles during these skirmishes of cops and robbers.  The vests were defeating any bullets (at the time) of under 1,000 feet per second (fps), and the only round that was overcoming them was the Colt’s .38 Super Automatic.

Smith and Wesson came along and jumped on the bandwagon.  They wanted to expand the .38 cartridge that was in use by law enforcement.  After many failures, the .357 finally came about.  For those of you guys and gals that mentioned in e-mails and comments about the recoil (“kick”) of the .45 ACP, the .357 magnum has less recoil, and yet does not sacrifice stopping power to attain it.  Your bullet weights range (generally) from 125 grains (gr) to 158 gr.

The .357 is an excellent cartridge for home defense, as well as for hunting and for target-shooting.  It is the smallest size magnum cartridge that will have effect against large game, and if firing +P rounds (with a brand such as Buffalo Bore), can be used in self-defense against large predators.  Mind you, in Grizzly country you prefer the .44 Magnum round, but the .357 +P round has been effective in stopping these monsters.

There are plenty of handguns and rifles to choose from for your cartridge.  I highly recommend Ruger’s SP-101 series revolver, with a barrel length to your choosing.  Although a five-shot revolver, that .357 is a serious round…a magnum round…and will more than serve your needs if your marksmanship fundamentals are followed.  You can find lever-action rifles chambered in .357 magnum, such as the Marlin lever-action carbine.  One that I am interested in is the Rossi Ranch Hand, that boasts a greatly-enlarged finger-loop for use by cattlemen and cowboys.

The Ranch Hand can be kept in a side sheath on a horse and then withdrawn to fire from a moving gallop and reloaded (re-levered) with the enlarged finger loop.  My interest is to remove the loop and replace it with a more standard-sized finger loop such as is found in the Winnie ’94.  The reason is because it is really a short carbine.  I was thinking of doing this to stick in a sheath atop of my rucksack.  I’m still deliberating, because the Ranch Hand also comes in a .44 Magnum cartridge.  I like both rounds for bear and mountain lion country.

The .357 cartridge is easily acquired and simple to reload.  You are getting the accuracy of a 9mm cartridge with a stopping power on a level with a .45 ACP.  Your velocity of the rounds is approximately 1,300 fps.  Want another “Bennie” for this equation?  No, not Benzedrine…a Benefit!  If you have a firearm that will fire a .357 magnum round, you are (99% of the time) also able to fire a .38 round through it, such as a standard .38 Special round!  There’s a plus for you…as you’ll have a weapon that can fire multiple calibers without a barrel change.


Caution!  It doesn’t work in reverse: your .38 is NOT able to handle the extra chamber pressure from the .357 magnum round! 


I’m highlighting, underlining, and isolating that sentence just so that you keep it in mind for your safety.  The ammo is very reasonably-priced and can be obtained in your friendly Wal-Mart quite availably and affordably.  It’s a good piece for men or women and the round will serve your needs well.  The .357 magnum round is quite reliable and has been dependable for a long time.  Happy and safe shooting, and we’d love any questions or comments you may send us.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 29th, 2017
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Why “This War of Mine” Is the Perfect Video Game for Preppers March 9, 2017

this war of mineTo my knowledge, the video game industry has never really catered to preppers. Though they do create games that contain survival situations, they are generally steeped in glorified violence. Likewise, their attempts to create games with post-apocalyptic story lines are almost always based in pure fantasy.

If they did create a game that tackled survival situations or the collapse of society in a realistic way, the realism would probably suck all of the fun out of the game. Or at least that’s what you’d think. However, there is one video game that tackles both of those subjects brilliantly, without sacrificing fun or realism. It’s called “This War of Mine,” and I couldn’t recommend it enough.


As that trailer suggests, this is a war game unlike any other, in that you experience war through the eyes of a handful of civilians who aren’t taking part in the combat. They are merely trying to survive the terrible conditions that war creates. For that reason, I’m actually a bit surprised that the prepper community hasn’t latched onto this game, despite the fact that it’s has been out since 2014. This War of Mine captures the gut wrenching experience of survival in ways that don’t compare to most games.

And like I said, it’s fun. However, it’s not fun in the traditional sense. It’s not glorious and epic and bombastic. It’s subdued. You don’t experience fun by vanquishing waves of faceless enemies. You experience the satisfaction of surviving another day.

The game takes place in the fictional war-torn city of Pogoren. The conditions found in this city are inspired by the real world Siege of Sarajevo, which took place between 1992 and 1996. You command three or four civilians with no military experience. Each character has unique skills and attributes such as cooking, scavenging, bartering, strength, and speed.

You’re hunkered down in a dilapidated house, and you’re responsible for building barricades, stoves, workbenches, rain collectors, water filters, weapons, tools, alcohol stills, and traps, and more. You have to keep these folks alive in this house until a cease-fire is signed and the siege is lifted, which occurs at a random point in the game. You’re responsible for keeping them well-fed, well-rested, warm, and protected from looters and thieves.

So what makes this game so realistic? For starters, there is a degree of luck and randomness in the game that makes it unpredictable. Certain resources and events are generated randomly each time you play. You can’t just play through it once and master it. Strategies that will help you survive one play-through might not help you in another, so you’re always flying by the seat of your pants.

Also, you don’t get to save your game whenever you want. The game will only save at the beginning of each day, and you can’t go back to previous days. So if you make a mistake, there are often no do-overs. So say you send one of your characters out to go scavenging for supplies and that character dies, you can’t go back and try again. And when that happens, the remaining characters have to take a larger share of the daily tasks that are needed to keep everyone alive.

Because of these conditions, you can’t fight your way through the game. Unlike most video games, you can’t just go around killing people and taking their supplies. In fact, most combat encounters will kill you. And even if you survive an encounter like that, you’re almost definitely going to have an injury that requires rest and medical supplies to recover from. To survive this game, you have to be smart, stealthy, and diplomatic. Just like the real world, you’re much better off engaging in trade than you are by engaging in combat, which should be treated as a last resort.

And finally, This War of Mine will really challenge your altruism and morality. You will be faced with situations that will give you the opportunity to be charitable, and you don’t really know if you’ll be rewarded or screwed over. There are times in this game when you will run out of supplies, and you’ll be faced with the choice of going hungry and cold, or stealing from your neighbors.

For sure, This War of Mine is a grim and unforgiving game, but that’s what makes it so perfect for preppers. It will definitely put you in the headspace of someone who is just trying to survive.

 

Don’t forget to join us March 9th 7 p.m. (CST) for a FREE interactive webinar about solar cooking. Click here for more details!

MARCH9G

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 9th, 2017
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