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  • "THE LEATHERMAN" (This is a Wonderful Read).


    NOTE: Moderators.........the owner of the blog: "The Woodpile Report" States that all of his material can be reposted anyplace, and you don't need permission.

    I personally think this guy, who posts the "Woodpile Report" every Tuesday.........Is the smartest guy on the subject of Prepping for survival and current events.



    His essay on "The Leatherman" (Oct. 31, 2017) Excerpted from: http://www.woodpilereport.com/html/index-502.htm


    "Although technically a vagabond, a man the locals called "Leatherman" lived a life approximating Escape and Evasion a century and a half ago. He traveled a circuit some 180 miles on a side, from Connecticut to the Hudson River and back again, with such regularity his reappearances were dependably foreseen by townspeople. In time he became an Odin The Wanderer-like legend.

    Modern day Escape and Evasion derives from the US military's Code of Conduct, which requires captured military personnel to "make every effort to escape". Escape and Evasion training is based on standard survival woodcraft with emphasis on covert techniques appropriate for hostile territory. The survivalist in a catastrophe is more likely to be escaping detection than capture, but the methods apply.

    Leatherman was in no danger of capture as far as we know, nor was he in hostile territory, but for thirty years or more he used the basic practices of Escape and Evasion, including regular movement between proven sites in a large, remote area familiar to him.

    If we assume, and it's reasonable to assume, a collapse of civil society to the extent such skills become necessary, the prudent survivalist will prepare not just a bugout destination but also prepare for worst case Escape and Evasion. The "escape" part could mean retreating from hostiles who overrun his main bugout site or otherwise prevent him from occupying it.

    Some will practice Escape and Evasion as a prepared means to reach a safer destination. Catastrophes in the past suggest it will more commonly be used to avoid a present and mortal threat that may persist for weeks or months, which is what we'll consider here.

    The first requirement is a home territory, preferably not much more than a day's hike from the survivalist's bugout site. Wooded and watered hill country offering sites for covert camps are close to ideal. Five miles on a side is probably too small, twenty miles on a side is not too large.

    While a contour map has its uses, it's no substitute for the familiarity that comes with methodical woods-cruising in good weather and bad, even at night. The survivalist must "own" his territory, every ridge and swale, every spring and rock and run, every tree and bush. It's a crucial advantage for evasion if discovered and pursued. With time familiarity approaches the supernatural, sensing when something's not right, tipping off a presence not yet obvious.

    The usual attributes of covert camps are to be observed, but no one site will be ideal. Each should offer something unique. Perhaps it's a hotspot for game or fish, or well suited to particularly bad weather, or it includes a free flowing spring and rich forage in season, or is exceptionally secluded. Think of them as a network of resorts, a few miles apart, each having a special asset in addition to their standard features.

    Leatherman resupplied about every five weeks in towns along his route, something like long-distance hikers do on the Appalachian Trail. This is not an option in a catastrophic survival situation, obviously. Nor is raiding in any form. In a time of extreme scarcity, theft announces the presence of a lurker and demands attention.

    Prepositioned caches provide the necessary independence from outside supply. They also allow escape as-is and afterward permit traveling light between sites. Provisions for ninety days may be a good first approximation, six or seven caches with two week's rations at each, say. As elsewhere, this is for one person. Should the nature of the calamity warrant and become apparent sufficiently in advance, perishables could be doubled or tripled. Ramping up is easier done than starting from nothing.

    A plan for providing each site with caches might include: one cache for arrival with emergency and immediate use items on top, another with food only, a third one with standard survival supplies: firemaking, ammunition, batteries, cordage, medical, water purification and so forth. Caches should be well away from the shelter site and, if practical, a standard distance in the same direction from each site. Precut pole timber for shelter framing could also be stashed in such a way as not to attract notice.

    An aside: one item to consider carrying is a weather radio. Tiny, battery-powered units are available for about twenty dollars. Assuming the reporting service is maintained it's a resource worth having.

    Migration at intervals from one camp to another, in addition to serving situational awareness, levels out the depletion of supplies. Also think about one centrally located cache for seldom needed items. These might be bulk cordage, spares and repair items, specialty tools and equipment, clothing—especially seasonal clothing—perhaps a few books and other comfort items. But beware of over-reliance on equipage rather than improvisation and woodcraft.

    Covert camping is a study in itself: choosing and improving sites, camouflage and stealth fires, quick shelter construction and takedown, noise abatement, unattended fishing, night travel, area surveillance methods, anti-tracker techniques and on and on.

    A survivalist is not a partisan guerrilla looking to engage an enemy. While it's wise to have a retrievable battle rifle should that day come, it makes sense in the interim to carry a light game rifle in a small caliber, backed up with a heavier caliber sidearm for defense.

    A survivalist handles armed confrontation by evasion, meaning "be somewhere else". If surprised, he will break contact and disappear, easier to do with confidence when every tree and trail is familiar for miles in any direction. If there's no option but to take down a relentless bad guy he will make it an unfair contest.

    Stripped of its conventions and models, survival means emerging from a catastrophe alive and functioning, with preparations for not being materially worse off than going in. All else is preference.

    Few of us wish to live as a fugitive. But most of us want to live. The tradeoff, once made, would soon be intolerable for some, miserable but bearable for others, an adventure for still others.

    For those who imagine going "off grid" is roughing it, decoupling from society altogether, even amidst murderous chaos, will be inconceivable. Said differently, these are life's self-selected victims.

    Emergencies eventually moderate, whatever "eventually" may mean. When and how to reengage may be perilous call. But should the emergency outlast the survivalist's self sufficiency, or devolve further, the next step may be to migrate to a different region or affiliate with others to construct a viable community for the duration. Even then, survival as a latter day Leatherman is Plan B.

    Excerpted from: http://www.woodpilereport.com/html/index-502.htm
    One day you eat the chicken.....next day the left-over chicken.....next five days you eat chicken feathers, head and feet.

  • #2
    My CACHING Program ERRORS and Total re-design

    About four or five years ago, I was feeling pretty damn smug about being prepared for SHTF event. So.....I asked myself, "Is this place defensible". And I decided, that was an unknown, with too many variables. Best answer.......Yes, no, maybe.

    I started working on improving security, but soon decided that the best thing is to not have all my supplies in one location, considering forest fire and homesteading in The National Forest, theft, looters, and so-called scavenging hoards of starving humans.

    So, thrown back into the caching for survival way of life, I learned that this type of caching NEEDED to be set-up very differently from past caching experience. There is more thought needs to go into the sequence and required spacing of supplies. So I now I assume that I have no choice but to leave the cabin, in the dark of night, in my sleeping clothes (if any), in several feet of snow, barefoot, etc. and have reconfigured the caches based on this.

    Here is a brief description of the way my caching program "WAS" till this spring..........
    __________________________________________________ _________
    "About a dozen 55 Gallon steel drums with removable lids & lock rings cached. And an unknown number of 120 MM ammo cans cached.

    With the semi-remote cabin as the “HUB” of the wheel I started building fall’back positions upto 35 miles in every direction (12 directions, one for each hour on the clock). And so I set’about finding caves, and/or digging caves, building remote shelters, each fully stocked including propane, stoves, split wood, food, saws, nails, everything. Scattered along the spokes of the wheel are 120 MM ammo cans each with 30 days food, fuel, candles, etc.

    Even numbers on the clock (2, 4, 8,10 & 12’o-clock) each have at least three firearms and ammo. The odd numbers of the clock each have about 50 traps, fleshing boards, & stretchers. There are a total of 41 backpacks, 8 pair of smow-shoes, bunny boots, 18 sleeping bags, 14 chainsaws, and spare chain-loops & files, fuel, bar oil, etc."


    This spring (actually last winter) I decided that I could die before I made it to the closest cache, and that cache might not have what was urgently needed. Another factor in rethinking the caching program was/is that as I am 71 y/o I needed to move some of the far away caches closer, as I may not be able to move them at age 75, so it needed doing this year. So this summers exercise program has included hauling in caches. None of the caches had been disturbed, or damaged by moisture or bears.

    Now the closest and second closest both have redundant everything needed if I show up in my undershorts and barefoot. In addition they have a prepackaged large backpack with complete camp for 3 to 5 days, and it is only two hours to the next 55 gallon drum of supplies for 30 to 40 days.

    My point is that caching is more than just burying a five gallon bucket in the woods. It needs to be reviewed, and modified regularly to meet your current and your changing needs.........

    NOTE: This is one of my favorite subjects.
    One day you eat the chicken.....next day the left-over chicken.....next five days you eat chicken feathers, head and feet.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sourdough View Post
      My CACHING Program ERRORS and Total re-design


      ...With the semi-remote cabin as the “HUB” of the wheel I started building fall’back positions upto 35 miles in every direction (12 directions, one for each hour on the clock). And so I set’about finding caves, and/or digging caves, building remote shelters, each fully stocked including propane, stoves, split wood, food, saws, nails, everything. Scattered along the spokes of the wheel are 120 MM ammo cans each with 30 days food, fuel, candles, etc.

      Even numbers on the clock (2, 4, 8,10 & 12’o-clock) each have at least three firearms and ammo. The odd numbers of the clock each have about 50 traps, fleshing boards, & stretchers. There are a total of 41 backpacks, 8 pair of smow-shoes, bunny boots, 18 sleeping bags, 14 chainsaws, and spare chain-loops & files, fuel, bar oil, etc."[/FONT]
      Amazing organizational planning...I will be stealing some of your ideas.

      I know (from another post) that you don't have any of this stuff written down, but (speaking for myself only), I would need to write it down in easy to remember "code-speak" where all my caches are, and what is in them. And more than one copy, for sure.

      Even if a person's mind is sharp as a tack, time and unforeseen occurrences can dull the memory. Even worse, stress, trauma, and sickness can compromise the best high-functioning minds. So yeah, I will be writing my caches down in some form.

      Sourdough, I am interested in how you created your caves...

      Also, more about your remote shelters, please. How big are they and what did you build them with, and do you have them concealed in any manner?

      And more, please, about how you packaged the food components of your 120 MM ammo cans to make them unattractive to bears. (They can smell the doggondest things from an amazing distance!)
      Last edited by GrizzlyetteAdams; 10-21-2018, 03:13 PM.
      Genius is making a way out of no way.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by GrizzlyetteAdams View Post

        Amazing organizational planning...I will be stealing some of your ideas.

        I know (from another post) that you don't have any of this stuff written down, but (speaking for myself only), I would need to write it down IN CODE-SPEAK where all my caches are, and what is in them. And more than one copy, for sure.

        Even if a person's mind is sharp as a tack, time and unforeseen occurrences can dull the memory. Even worse, stress, trauma, and sickness can compromise the best high-functioning minds. So yeah, I will be writing my caches down in some form.

        Sourdough, I am interested in how you created your caves...

        Also, more about your remote shelters, please. How big are they and what did you build them with, and do you have them concealed in any manner?

        And more, please, about how you packaged the food components of your 120 MM ammo cans to make them unattractive to bears. (They can smell the doggondest things from an amazing distance!)
        Easy one first.......The food in the 120mm ammo cans is all factory sealed. Mountain House and MRE mostly. I have never had a bear get into a 120mm can, or a 55 gallon drum. I truly believe they could, if they had motivation (smell).

        As to remote shelters..........that has evolved over the decades, from the classic debris shelters to my current preferred option. Understand I live in a massive wilderness. And spend much of my life wandering around studying the animals and forest. I first find a small creek or spring, (I avoid larger creeks, ponds and lakes, as these will always have game trails adjacent to them) I then follow it up and down both sides till I find the best location, and mark it for easy temporary finding.

        I return early AM on a good weather day. In my pack I bring a quality bowsaw, several screw-in climbing steps, 10" and 12" nails, and a battery powered drill, with appropriate drill bits. Select two perfect trees. I install two horizontal poles, first with a nail under them, then lash them to the tree with wire and rope, then one nail through the cross beam. I spray paint the lashing and cut ends of the cross beams to match environment. I hang just a little debris from the poles, just enough to break-up the un-natural appearance of two horizontal beams so close to each other, that is just not natural.

        I spend the rest of the day gathering dead wood, and rocks, but that is all that is done that day. At some point in the near future, I bring in a 120 mm ammo can with a good, but used and tested tent, pots, pans, etc.. then spend that day exploring the area in depth. Next trip in I take another 120 mm can more camp gear, and Two "Brown" tarps. Sometimes more then two tarps. Everything stays in there 120mm ammo can, the cans are hidden.

        When activated the tent sets up first. Then a tarp over the lower pole for additional protection. In the summer only one tarp is needed, but in the winter two tarps are used (one over each pole) to slide the snow load away. Snow crush's tents, ripping fabric and bending and breaking tent poles.

        I have allowed most of the debris shelters to decompose. This is a better system for my needs, it is also concealed.......in that it does not exist till needed. Another advantage is that other then the poles, everything can be deployed to another location, if necessary.
        Last edited by Sourdough; 10-21-2018, 03:30 PM.
        One day you eat the chicken.....next day the left-over chicken.....next five days you eat chicken feathers, head and feet.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you. Love the tree shelter idea. Just a thought: I wonder if, in a windy situation, the sound of the moving tree against the wood might make an unnatural creaking sound? I dunno, because I can't hear all that well, but maybe an intruder could? Would a layer of a piece of auto tire or rubber "bushing" nailed between the tree and the horizontal poles help reduce or eliminate any tell-tale sound?

          Another thought: if you had to retreat to the interior woods where your tree-shelter is to move away from marauders... and if you had to fire shots to defend yourself against one or more of the ever-present bears, it would give away your position... (Even if you quickly dismantled camp and moved out of the area, the fired shot would still alert the intruders that you are in the general vicinity.) Do you have a crossbow or other silent means of neutralizing threats like this?

          How can you survive a bitterly cold stint in a shelter like this for days, weeks, or months without fuel smells (wood or otherwise) alerting potential scouts? Dakota fire-hole?

          How did you create your caves?

          OK, I will stop now. But to tell you the truth I woke up with these questions in my head, and my monkey-mind would not let me sleep until I got out of bed to ask all these questions, lol.
          Genius is making a way out of no way.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by GrizzlyetteAdams View Post

            How can you survive a bitterly cold stint in a shelter like this for days, weeks, or months without fuel smells (wood or otherwise) alerting potential scouts? Dakota fire-hole?

            How did you create your caves?

            .

            I have many very large and heavy sleeping bags. The advertising say's they weigh 17 pounds each. I use two if cold, and would use three if needed. I have about 20 two burner "Propane" camp stoves cached. And I have 15 of those propane bottles that are the size of 5 or 6 gallon bucket.....they hold 15 pounds of propane each (Net Weight). I also have about 6 Coleman camp stoves that use gasoline, and (I Think) nine Coleman lanterns, a mix of one and two mantle, they burn gasoline. and I have two propane lanterns.

            Lanterns throw off a lot of heat in a small space. And they are adjustable.

            There is NO way to explain the cave thing with out photos, and actually seeing rock formations here. Here is my "lame" effort. We have huge slabs of rock that might be 3 feet thick that are leaning against a sheer rock wall. It will be open at each end. So I use logs and rocks and dirt, small limbs, anything to close off one end. Then fill it with supplies, and "Mostly" close the other end.

            I have never found a "TRUE" cave here, other then Ice caves. Ice caves are dangerous, because the glaciers are constantly moving. I spent four days in one, in a very nearly fatal survival situation. I now avoid them.

            We have a lot of abandoned mines here, but I have never cached supplies in any, for fear of discovery. I have never in 63 years of caching supplies had a cache discovered by a human. Just animals.

            One day you eat the chicken.....next day the left-over chicken.....next five days you eat chicken feathers, head and feet.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you for the insights. 'Dough, I am beginning to think you must be part cat who has used up a few of his "9 lives." It is our good fortune that you share so much of your experiences. Your misfortunes are not only learning experiences for you but also highly educational "cheat sheets" for serious survival students.

              A few thoughts on sleeping in extreme cold situations:

              Many people sleep with caps on their head to help retain warmth. Adding a hoodie to the ensemble is even better.

              Another keep-warm trick I have enjoyed: invert a large clay pot over a few brick "footers" surrounding a few small candles (or your lantern) to create a kind of "heat sink" which will trap and slowly release heat over a period of time. A backdrop wall of bricks or stones will serve a similar purpose without impeding light.

              A note for newbies: make sure there is adequate ventilation. A single flame can deplete oxygen and produce harmful levels of carbon monoxide in a small area pretty quickly.
              Last edited by GrizzlyetteAdams; 11-02-2018, 09:10 AM.
              Genius is making a way out of no way.

              Comment


              • #8
                A few other things I recall from cold weather training...

                1.) Eat something right before bed, it fires up your metabolism and therefore your furnace

                2.) Do some exercise right before you hit the rack, like some jumping jacks or push ups - again to heat up your engine

                3.) Keep an empty bottle in your bag in case you have to pee in the night. Better to keep that warm bottle in with you, remember you just made a 98.6 degree water bottle (ladies your on your own on this one...

                4.) As when you're out of your bag, when your in your bag dress in layers and don't get to warm to the point you start to sweat.

                5.) I always laid my next days clothes out flat in the bottom of my bag so they'd be warm in the morning and they also gave another layer of insulation between me and the ground

                6.) Avoid cotton clothes, there's a reason for the saying "cotton kills" - it traps and retains moisture, once it's wet it is difficult to dry - this all next to your skin speeds conduction and convection and can lead to hypothermia


                A huge thing in winter is staying very well hydrated, people can often dehydrate faster in winter than in summer. The dry winter air can suck the moisture from you. If you get dehydrated it becomes difficult for your body to regulate your heat and keep you warm.

                I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you!

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