Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thor's hammer fire striker

OK FOLKS, Due to relentless pressure I have decided to make these Thor's Hammer, fire strikers available, for a limited time. PRICE.....45.00 including shipping. They are each hand made and ground by eye, then hardened in my forge, it is a lot more work than you think. All for the price of a designer ball cap, and it will last you FOREVER. Email me if you want one,, 

I will not make them without my makers mark, I will not stamp any other runes in them.

Great device for starting that Yule fire, or those special Blot and Sumble that require a fire.  The original nine are already gone, it will take me a couple of days to make more.

I can make them Blued (as shown) or bead blasted. 
Thanks. Norseman

More cool stuff that I have made.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mountain Warfare Historical Society

For those of you that wish to be a part of history, the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Historical Society is offering memberships to support the new mountain warfare museum, located at the Mountain Warfare Training Center, in Bridgeport California.

This is a private foundation not a government entity.   Mountain warfare with its associated training has prepared this countries warriors for every conflict from Korea to Afghanistan.  The lessons and hardships that the individual warrior learns to overcome in the snowy mountains help to prepare them to fight and win on ALL FRONTS not just in the mountains.   Help to support the museum and if you are ever fortunate enough to visit the Mountain Warfare Training Center, stop in and get your self a look at some real US military history.  The kind that people don't talk about at parties.  

Better hurry, the opportunity to become  plank holder and be a part of this history is coming to a close.  
Dec 31, 2011 the door shuts forever and you will have lost that chance, but you can still become a member after that.   Click on the rest of this post and highlight and print the application. 


Re post from Kit UP

I don't normally re post other works on my blog, but this one was worth letting you read. For more like this swing over to KitUp and give the site some attention.  


Admiral McRaven: Time Person of the Year Runner Up

by David Reeder on December 19, 2011 · 12 COMMENTS

I’m not wild about Time’s selection of “Person of the Year”, myself, for a number of reasons (not least of which is my opinion that marketing – as increased by controversy – was a large factor in their decision). That said, it’s hard to argue with at least one of the runners up.
William McRaven, Time Magazine Person of the Year Runner Up
Kit Up congratulates Adm. William McRaven. Well deserved, sir.
Admiral William McRaven, United States Navy.
What an awesome name for a SEAL, huh?
“…July 18, 2001, midway through that quiet summer before the whole world learned Osama bin Laden’s name. McRaven, then a 45-year-old Navy SEAL captain, led a jump exercise near San Diego.
The commandos dropped into 10,000 feet of free fall, reserving their parachutes for the last moment. As they neared the release point, one of the men below McRaven drifted directly underneath. Seconds later, his canopy slammed into McRaven at well over 100 m.p.h., throwing him into a violent spin.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Reading the base line

Have you ever been on a walk in the woods and reveled in the absolute quiet of it all?  Have you ever stepped into a room and all eyes were on you for some reason?  Have you ever walked down the street and noticed that everyone was looking at you? 

This kind of thing happens all the time and I would like to think that the readers of Survivology101 blog are aware enough to notice when it happens to them.  If you have noticed this or a similar situation it is because you broke the baseline. has a few definitions of that word, the first three relate to sports but the last two are the ones that I am concerned with:

4. a basic standard or level; guideline: to establish a baseline for future studies.
5. a specific value or values that can serve as a comparison or control.

Every situation has a particular rhythm or frequency to it.  That rhythm is affected by all the factors that take place in its normal groove.  When a foreign factor is introduced the base line changes until it can readjust its frequency to the new stimuli.  This new stimuli could in fact be you.  It may be affected by your clothing, your speech, your gait, or simply your presence.  When you remain in that location or situation for a while the base line will change and it is observable.  When moving around daily before you transition from one location to the next or move into an unfamiliar environment, pause on the edge and observe this baseline.  Once you have a good feel for it attempt to blend into it.  This is not always possible but sometimes it is.  Keep in mind that in most of the places that you frequent you are part of the baseline. Observing the base line can help keep you safe especially if you understand how it works.

If I happened to be on vacation in Thailand and I walk a certain route to my favorite watering hole every day then I can recognize the normal rhythm.  If one of those days there are no kids playing in the street and the shop keepers are inside and not outside herding in the passersby, there could be a problem.  The local gang of street thugs may be in the area looking for trouble, or there could be a car bomb parked outside of the pub.  People that live there will change their routine to avoid getting dead and you should too.  But for this to be effective you HAVE TO NOTICE the change.

Have you ever watched a spy movie and when they do the surveillance they are in a van with XYZ company painted on the door?  That is an attempt at blending into the baseline and avoiding detection.  A black Government van with TLA (Three Letter Agency) stenciled on the door would stick out like a sore thumb in my neighborhood.  A landscaping vehicle with a trailer and a driver eating a sandwich can park almost anywhere and never get a second look, even directly in front of your house.  This is blending into the baseline.

Why should you care about the baseline? 

I remember a while back Jack Spirko on The survival podcast had mentioned that he and his wife were in a bad part of town (buying a vacuum bag I think) and Jack had noticed a glance from a local that was hanging out.  Jack said that the LOOK seemed to say, "I'm not gonna mess with you, but I wouldn't be here if I were you".  In perceiving that he promptly executed an about face and went back to his car.  That is a perfect example of how noticing changes in the baseline can protect you.  There is no way to know if they were ever in any danger but it is known that, if there was any danger he avoided it.  
(I cant remember the podcast# and there are too many to search through)

You can feel the base line and we have all felt that change.  Pay attention and listen to what your unconscious is trying to bring to your attention.  It is a survival mechanism that is built into everyone but we have become numb to its alarm.  Our evolution to utter complacency is similar to taking the battery out of a smoke alarm, rather than hear the annoying sound.

In nature, trackers use the baseline of the debris on the forest floor, the weaving of the trees, sounds, smells and animal habits to detect the passage or presence of the quarry.  Likewise the animals use the baseline to protect them selves from predators.  That is why they all quiet down and hide when humans stumble through their habitat like a band of drunken Sasquatch.

Reading the baseline is not only for protection either, sometime you might want to brake the baseline for attention.  Maybe at a job interview you want to present an upbeat confident attitude in an otherwise monotonous workplace.  Or perhaps you want to get and hold a students attention in class, try slamming a book down on the floor, that will shatter the baseline.  For me, I found that when I want to stand out, get noticed and be remembered, donning my Utilikilt is the way to go.

Keep your eyes up, stay alert, and stay aware because survival is not mandatory!

How NOT to become a holiday season victim

I was asked to do a guest post for wilderwolf blog so I put together a little piece on thief's, and scam artists to help you prepare for the holiday season rush.  Make no mistake that at some point in your shopping frenzy, you will be assessed as a potential target for these scumbags.  It is far better to take a few precautions than to end up wishing that you had.  Hindsight may be 20/20 but foresight is a good pair of corrective lenses.  Go to wilderwolf to read the article and I promise that it will be worth the trip,  and leave a comment, either here or there, its all good.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Much adoo about knives!

If you read back on my blog to about thanksgiving of last year you will see my "24 hour knife project".  I still have that knife as it was my first REAL hand made knife.  Since then  I have built my knife shop, aquired gear and equipment, aquired buckets of knowledge, met a few knife makers, made more than a few knives and somehow during this I have developed my own processes and a couple of products.  All that in my limited spare time and uncommitted weekends.  There is  a definate advantage to learning a new skill.  Now I will consider myself a knife maker and I am happy to join in that trade.  The difference that you have to remember with me is that I have been a daily knife user all of my life and I started making knives because I was sick of modifying other knives to meet my standards and needs. 

Well I have been working my ass off this weekend to get some knives done.  I am happy with the way that things are progressing and I am actually starting to work out a system to get these done so I am not just relearning the process every time I make a knife.  That is a big bonus for me because I can now make them available to you.  It will still take me a while to make them because I have very few actual supplies on hand.  The ordering process is this:  You order the knife you want from me via email (, then you and I discuss the model, colors and other options via email.  When we are both satisfied that I can provide you what you want I will order the materials and you send me a check for the agreed price.  I will build the knife ans per our agreement and mail it off to you insured.  For the time being that is the best way to do business that I can figure out so if you want one let me know and we can get to work.  Check out the blades below, and start planning how you want yours made.

A collection from this weekend

Bushcrafter (dough boy) 1/8" 1095 steel, canvas micarta handle, brass pins, blued finish

Bushcrafter (huntsman) 1/8" 1095 steel, G-10 handle, brass pins, blued finish

Bushcrafter (baby doll) 1/8"  1095 steel, G-10 handle, brass pins, blued finish

Survivology 3/16"  O1 steel, linen micarta handle, brass pins, blasted finish

SERE 3/16" O1 steel, 550 cord wrap, blasted finish

The Bushcrafter is 1/8" 1095 High Carbon and available blued or bead blasted, Handle scales are G-10 with just about any color you want. PRICE IS 190.00 plush shipping.

The Survivology is 3/16" O1 tool steel, and available in a variety of handle colors and materials (may affect price) blasted finish or blued finish. PRICE IS 300.00 plus shipping

SERE is 3/16" O1 tool steel, available with about any cord wrap colors you want, blued or blasted finish. PRICE IS 150.00 

The sheaths are simple leather pouch style sheath with rivit construction.  You can see them bleow in earlier posts.  I am working on learning how to make Kydex sheaths but that is not an option yet. 


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Navigating the ZOMBIE HOARDS!

It has been a little while since I gave you something that you could actually use, so I thought that I would kick start your day with a little knowledge and psychology.

I have always loved the Zombie Survival phenomenon. Those roving bands of brain eating, undead monsters just awaken a primal survival instinct of kill or be killed. The fantasy casts off all social, religious, and moral obligations that would hold a person back if the brain eaters were not actually walking dead.

Unfortunately, the zombies that I am referring to are all around us every day, hell you may even be one. I'm taking about those roving hoards of brain eating protesters that are popping up all over the country. Their motivations are many and frankly, irrelevant to me, all I see is a mob. A mob with a single collective conscious that has cast off the accepted social standards and runs on emotion without thought of consequence. It is essentially a zombie hoard eating brains as it passes and getting more numbers as it devours your conscious and assimilates you into the herd.

With the current state of political unrest and the mysterious formation of mobs and "protesters" it seems fitting to study their psychology. It is arguably more important now than ever to understand what makes them tick. More importantly what triggers the riots and how to recognize and avoid such possible hazards to your safety and well being. For starters it is important to know what is going on in your area of operation. Watch the local news nightly and "glean" what you need from the topics discussed. The media will mislead you as to the motivations of the crowds but they will likely provide accurate information as to locations and times. Probably because this attracts onlookers and makes the crowd look bigger and grow as it devours the brains of those that get too close. This makes for good news but points made as to strength of the crowd, reasons for gathering, or other motivators should be taken with a grain of salt.

The basic human element sparking a disturbance is the presence of a crowd. FM 19-15
If in becoming locally aware you discover that the newest formation of unruly homeless people is in the neighborhood of your workplace or en route for your commute then you have got to MAKE A PLAN. Your plan should first start with an alternate route or two both in and out of your destination. If the disturbance can be avoided, do not expect it to stay put, you may not be able to avoid it on the way home. Plan to park a short distance away from the workplace and walk in. It is easier to get through the group if you are not stuck in traffic. Have a small pack or bag that you can easily carry, filled with some short term essentials (that is for you to decide) and a change of clothes. The clothing is essential, arrive dressed to blend in with the demonstrators and change in the office, change again before you leave for the day. You may need to have your ID handy to gain access to your building as the security personnel will likely be screening every one. Often times the group will direct its anger onto certain individuals based on how they are dressed depending on the crowds motivation. It is also easier to blend and disappear if you happen be recognized by one of them as a productive member of society.

The leaders of the mobs are often socially inept individuals that have lower morale standards than the accepted norms. There are also organizations that specialize in taking over demonstrations and leading the groups, and they are exceptionally good at that task. They can move in, gain a position of attention, spark some emotional confusion in the demonstrators, then lead the crowd to whatever direction they wish. Many times they can incite the group to perform in a manner that is in conflict with their personal morals. Often this individual moral obligation is mentally shifted from the person to the crowd and is subject to manipulation by the more vocal individuals. Crowd behavior is influenced by the presence or absence of social factors like leadership, moral attitudes, and social uniformity. Behavior is then influenced by the psychological triggers of suggestion, imitation, intimidation, anonymity, impersonality, emotional release, emotional contagion, and panic. This leaves the crowds open to manipulation by those with a particular agenda.

You must be aware of the crowds level of excitement and emotion as this is an indicator of the direction that the demonstration is going. When approaching that group stop short and listen to the chants and mantras. Get a little closer and analyze how you feel, being a part of the crowd affects everyone and that affect can be read if you are aware and focused. There is a gravity to a mob so be cautious not to get sucked in. That gravity is how they often form in the first place. That specific pull is present in a lot of situations and eventually it is a recognizable part of the big pattern of life. Make a statement to a couple of the demonstrators that does not involve emotion like: "our numbers are strong on this". Read the emotion and body language in the reply, if any reply is given. This should give you a reading on how stable the group is and rather you can maneuver to your destination.

If there is any way that you can avoid the hoards and get to your destination do it. If there is no way to avoid them, then be careful. If you find that FOR ANY REASON you start getting emotional, remove yourself from the situation. Emotion is the gravity that will eat your brain.

Do not, retreat to your home and wait out the storm, rather continue on your daily routine and develop the ability to read the crowd and adjust your plan. At least for the time being there is a majority of order and stability. In the future that may only be a memory and the skills that you learn now may save you from dying as a zombie in the uncertain future.

Survival is a discipline of attitude, knowledge, skills and actions: survival is not mandatory!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Update as of late!

Greetings Survivologists, I thought that I would give a quick update as to my latest projects:

Recently I joined a project called the "Brothers of Bushcraft".  Below is a link to the home page and we are also on facebook so give it a looksee.  It is still in the developmental phase and the project will undoubtedly have some highs and lows over the coming years.  I am extremely excited to be a part of this union and I envision great things in the future to benefit the entire world of wilderness educators and students.  Please visit the web site and check back often for updates.  The cause is noble or I wouldn't be a part of it, you have my word on that.

Brothers of Bushcraft web page
Brothers of Bushcraft facebook

I have developed a grading system for knife reviews that I am eager to throw at you all,  It starts with a stats sheet that I call the "vitals"  it contains all the important information on the knife such as intended use, maker, steel, grind, weight, balance and dimensions.  There are more vitals but you get the point.  The vitals sheet will cover what the manufacturer advertises, then my findings and measurements, and a column for notes and special remarks on the carry system and special features.  This will be followed by a written review with pictures and or a companion video of the blade in use.  The point is that the review will be fair and impartial without being tainted by personal preference.  I designed it to give you accurate information on the usability of the knife without all the hoopla, drama and personal interest.  In saying that: Mike Fuller at Tops knives has been gracious enough to extend me a blade to present to you for the initial review.  That is a big leap of faith on his part considering that it has never been done in this manner before.  I am hoping to get some work done on that this weekend. 

Lastly I have one of my handmade 01 tool steel knives available for sale.  The sheath is left handed but I can make a right handed one if you prefer, I like them left handed because I occasionally wear a pistol on the right, I always have a pistol on the right "in country" and when I wear the knife on the right it is blade forward which I prefer.  If you do not prefer the same then let me know.  The case is all rivet and seam glue construction with no threads to wear out, burn, rot or break.  The price is 300.00 first come first served, I only have the one available at the moment but Ill try to get some more made before Yule.  This is a good opportunity to get that special someone a one of a kind, hand made, heirloom quality blade for the holiday season.

email me if you want it: 

Sorry guys...already gone, less than 24 hours, feel free to email me if you want one though.

Be well, Norseman

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A cut above the rest

Here are a couple of pictures of some knives that I finished up this weekend.  As you can see the overall design has not changed much but I am still refining some of the finer details.  The "Hammond" shown is false, It is a product of finishing not of tempering. I liked the way that it looked so I developed it a little.  The pictures do not do the knives or the finish justice.  It seems to me that my next project should be learning how to photograph a blade.  For starters I need better lighting.  Overall though I just wanted to get them up here because I said that I would.  The second one and the last one are the two that I put in previous post about my shop.  Hope you like the knives there will be many many more to come and you can take the journey with me as I grow and refine my technique. 

O-1 Tool steel
Oil hardened triple tempered 

Brass pins, black and red linen micarta scales

 Brass pins, black and red linen micarta scales

 Brass pins, Canvas and paper micarta scales

I hope you like the knives! Now I have to go make some leather sheaths and get these babies in the mail.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Norsemans birthday messsage

It is Marine Corps tradition that today we will attend a birthday celebration, witness the reading of Gen Lejune's birthday message and the message from the current commandant.  Additionally, there will be a cake cutting ceremony and the honoring of the oldest and the youngest Marines present.  This tradition will be taking place around the world in literally ever climb and place.  It will even happen in fighting holes with a canteen of coffee and an MRE cookie.  I am honored to share this 236th birthday with my fellow Marines and tonight I will be attending our local birthday ball celebration.  For my brothers and sisters around the world.  I know that you are the ones we are celebrating.  When we are dancing, eating and drinking it will be your names on our lips.  Those of you that have to put down the cup and pick of rifle.  Just know that as you spend your birthday standing a post or walking a patrol we are there with you in spirit.  We celebrate what you are doing and the legacy that you leave for future Marines to emulate.  Keep the Morale high and stay alert, this is your day and you are being celebrated.  I would like nothing more than to set down my pen and take your watch, It would do me no greater pleasure than to be able to shoulder the load with you my brothers. 

For the all the Marines that have fought for the principals that make this country free, and moved on to bigger and better things.  Remember that you too are celebrated.  You paved the way and we will maintain that route and keep it clean.  Wear your head high tonight, wherever you may find yourself.  If any one ever asks you if you were a Marine, tell them no I WAS a civilian, that guy is dead now, I AM a US Marine.

I would say that for a group of  drunks, pirates and patriots, we have done all right for ourselves.

Semper FI!

Said of the Marines:

I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery.  But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes:  If you fuck with me, I'll kill you all.
Marine General James Mattis, to Iraqi tribal leaders

There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.
Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share.
Ned Dolan

I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!
General of the Armies Douglas MacArthur; Korea, 21 September 1950 

 The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!
Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945

We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the hell is going on?
Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., USA, Chairman of the the Joint Chiefs of Staff
during the assault on Grenada, 1983

 They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or "we'll blow you away." And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, "Igaralli ahow," which means "Excuse me, I didn't mean it, my mistake".
Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Political SALT

The more that I look at our system of government the more upset that I get.  I have sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foriegn and domestic.  It seems to me that those are becomming only token phrases.  What power does the individual service member have to protect the constitution within the walls of the country?  Some of those that are seeking to destroy it are our bosses or hold powerful offices that effect our livlihood.  

A funny story:  The other day I was in the yard with a few other vets and we were having a beer and being brotherly.  Along comes this kid on a bycycle and hands me this flier.  He said "I am running for state senate and I would like your support".  My reply was "how old are you?"  He answered 25.  I asked if he had ever been in the military and he produced a stupid look.  Well what are your plans to help veterans in the state if you get the seat?  He started into a WELL REHURSED speach about his platform that requires all people that are receiving gov funding to fill out applications that would be automatically submitted for job openings, BLA BLA BLA.  What the hell does that have to do with Vets! Nothing, he replied but government spending BLA BLA BLA.  So you are asking for our support and we dont get your support?  He replied, there is nothing that I can do at the state level to help vets.  One of the vets said, try looking people in the eyes when you lie to them boy! How much are you going to make as a state senator, we asked?  Only 10K a year {smirk} plus benifits.  Get the fuck out of here boy!  There are only three types of people in this country.  Vets, Those that are UNABLE to serve, and those that are UNWILLING to serve.  You "BOY" are not wanted here.  He replied, Im done here anyway!

The reason that I mentioned that story is that it is so sad to me that a NEW politition is starting out by following all the bad exmples of people that we are trying to replace.  Have we been so screwed up for so long that there are no more good examples to follow?

Think of our system of government and all of its parts as a fine meal prepared by a master chef.  With just the right combination of ingreedents and spices.  Now for the final ingreedent, A PINCH OF SALT, to bring out the flavor and keep it interesting.  In adding that dash of salt it appears that the lid fell off the container and dumped all of the salt into the meal.  There is no ammount of spices and herbs to repair that or hide that bitter taste.  The only course of action is to cut your losses, toss out the meal and start a new one.


Friday, November 4, 2011

My knife on the cover of Tactical Knives Mag!

WELL THAT WAS NOT EXACTLY A LIE! It was laying on the cover to be exact.
I guess rather or not I'm a liar depends on how you define the word ON.

Time for another shot from Wikipedia:

Perspective in theory of cognition is the choice of a context or a reference (or the result of this choice) from which to sense, categorize, measure or codify experience, cohesively forming a coherent belief, typically for comparing with another. One may further recognize a number of subtly distinctive meanings, close to those of paradigm, point of view, reality tunnel, umwelt, or weltanschauung.
To choose a perspective is to choose a value system and, unavoidably, an associated belief system. When we look at a business perspective, we are looking at a monetary base values system and beliefs. When we look at a human perspective, it is a more social value system and its associated beliefs.

The reason that I'm blogging this today is that I am seeing allot of "perspective tweaking" going on in all lines of communication recently.  Maybe it is the upcoming election season or the general state of unrest around the world.  Rather it be one candidate against another, or religious ideals, or personal choices.  There seems to always be a right and a left, a black and a white.  Both sides are exploiting the gray and then refusing to acknowledge that a gray even exists.  As you move around day to day and gather bits and pieces of misinformation about the state of the world; remember to look back and analyze that information.  If it seems too one sided, seek confirmation on that particular issue.  People still have the right to make up their own damn mind about issues based on their own personal beliefs and experiences.  When you get one group distorting all the facts and ignoring legitimate, relative, supporting information then you have attempts at mind control. 

I request that before you debate an issue, whatever it is.  Do some research, form YOUR OWN opinion, confirm what you believe are the facts and then respect the decisions of those that have come to a different conclusion.  If you can not do this, what place would you have in the repair of our broken down machine?  Eventually the MACHINE is going to have to go in for servicing and repair.  Those propaganda peddlers will have no place in the new and improved version.  That is unless you continue to accept the BS, and let others make decisions that affect not only you but your entire way of life.  Make a difference, start now or the only perspective you will have is on your knees.  I am not here to say anyone is wrong for believing what they believe.  However, you are wrong if you believe what you are manipulated into believing.  The next time someone is trying to convince you that chocolate is better than vanilla or Chevy is better than Ford, simply ask them to PROVE IT, OR KEEP YOUR OPINION TO YOURSELF. 

Keep that in mind as the three ring election circus is about to begin. 


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New SQ shipping soon.

I just wanted to bring it to everyones' attention that the new issue of Survival Quarterly will be shipping out in the next couple of days.   If you have been putting off ordering a copy, now is the time to get it done.  This is a special tribute to our friend and mentor Ron Hood.  It is filled with stories and remberances from lots of people that knew him well and knew him only a  little.  If you never had the pleasure to meet the man himself then that oppertunity has passed.  You can however get an inside look at his unique personality and learn about how the entire Hoods Woods Legacy began.  You are not gonna want to miss this issue!

Did I mention that it is a limited edition, I know life gets in the way and procrastination is king sometimes.  Not this time, dont miss a chance to get personal with the Woodsmaster.  NUF SAID! 


Special Edition Tribute to Ron Hood

Limited Edition
Survival Quarterly Magazine
Pre-Order Now

Place your order now to pre-order this Special Limited Edition of Survival Quarterly Magazine.

This issue is a stand-alone issue and there are only a limited number available for purchase.
Help celebrate Ron’s life and legacy. Read stories from Ron’s life from Karen, Jesse, Family members and friends and other professionals in the industry. You will get a glimpse into Ron’s world. This Tribute Issue will allow you to see what a truly unique and inspiring person Ron was.
In this issue we share private stories about Ron as well as never seen before pictures of the Hoods.
This issue is due to ship by Nov 1st. Remember there are only a limited number of these issues available so get your order in before we sell out…..
Click here to pre-order:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Most valuable "after disaster" skills

A while ago I received an email from a reader that was retired and wanted to venture down a new career path.  He wanted to be sure that his choice of careers would be valuable after the disaster, whatever that may be.  He asked me about gunsmith and at first glance that might seem like a logical choice.  Ill cover a few that I think would have value then Ill go back a revisit the gunsmith trade.

1. In my opinion number one would be medical training.  Not a specialist like a brain surgeon, I mean something more like a Nurse or EMT.  Those trades are more suited to trauma and immediately saving lives.  You have to look back at your priorities when picking a trade, and maintaining life and health, is numero uno for survival.  After developing those skills it would be handy to have the ability to use natural remedies and herbs for healing and wound treatment as well.  A person with this kind of training would be of the greatest value to the rebuilding of society or to the lone colony that is putting things back together while building a new life. 

2.  Along with the medical side I think that a dentist would also be highly prized when rebuilding a semblance of what we used to take for granted.  Think about the old west shows, a rough tough cow boy can be turned into a little boy by an infected tooth.

3.  Producers of food.  It took the world many years before we perfected the trade of farming,  It started with wanderers gathering seed and spreading them around as they migrated so they would have a reliable and familiar food source as they moved.  Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't.  To have to relearn that skill without even having the basic knowledge of flora and fauna that fed the ancient wanderers would equal starvation. --Try this-- take some seed of your favorite fruits and vegetable, roll a few into a ball of mud and let them harden.  Next time you are out and about toss the little mud balls out into areas that look suitable for growth.  In time you will be producing food all over the place that you will be able to recognize and gather if you have to move out or live on the streets for a while.  It is a form of guerrilla gardening that takes almost no effort to do and the gain could be enormous if times get tough.

4.  Security specialist.  As you move up Maslows heirachy of needs farther than the immediate physical needs you progress into security needs.  Men and women with a security background have a tendency to not only notice but counter security risks that would otherwise go unnoticed.  If you have ever watched some of those after disaster reality shows, it seems that those fools can make anything they need in time.  Unfortunately they don't usually have any ability to organize people and priorities well enough to keep it.  Police, Military are well suited to this role and would likely be a highly prized asset to any community.  Likewise they can teach the "colony" how to defend themselves physically if the need arises and since most would have a good understanding of the effectiveness of different weapon systems, they could design a defense program that works but does not suck up all the resources to be effective.

5. Psychological professional.  The toll that this kind of stress would play on families and individuals is immeasurable.  Having a counselor or a chaplain, priest, psychologist would be a great asset to any community suffering post apocalyptic conditions.  It is the cheapest investment that can be made in people.  Sometimes people just need to get it off their chest and talk to someone.  Everyone may be experiencing the same traumatic circumstances but not everyone can process it and get past it without help.  Without help it can tear apart the structure before you ever get it reestablished.

Those are just my opinions and of course 100 people will have 100 different skills on their top 5.  Perhaps you may think differently, that does not make either of us wrong, it makes us unique and that is how society would be rebuilt, by unique individuals with different experiences that come together for a common goal.

As for the gunsmith role, kind of seems a little limited after looking at the above list.  And for that matter I would bet that if you only had one gun you would find a way to make it work before you dropped it off to be fixed, again, just my opinion.

Think about this and plan for the future, when it happens it is too late to get organized so you better have a skill that is worth something or you may just fail to survive the event.  Remember, Survival is not mandatory!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Getting back to work!

 Well I have been in a funk lately, I am still trying to settle down into my new job (a lot slower than what I am used to) so im trying to stay busy.  I was extremely busy doing nothing and trying to discover something to do, of course hunting season is open and takes up a little time but that is not what I was looking for.  So I turned to my shop, my garage shop that is.  I have re organized it and started to set it up for some knife making.  I figure that if im gonna have to kill time I might as well make some money while I'm at it.  So I contacted a couple friends in the biz, namely Trace Rinaldi and Luke Swenson for their advise and tips on getting started.  So far their help has proved invaluable.  Since I know that the two of them would not sabotage me, and they both make world class knives, who better to mentor my efforts.  So today I got busy for the first time in a long time and I banged out two knives.  You can look back through my posts and see some of my earlier attempts at the trade.  Below is a few pictures of my humble shop and today's efforts.  They are not complete by any means but they are well underway.  They still need heat treating, and finishing to include a handle on the one.  I'm thinking I might give carbon fiber or G-10 a try depending on what I can get my hands on.  Here are some pics for you to comment on, any suggestions are more than welcome.  I am not afraid to learn or take criticism.


This is my grinder station with a Craftsman bench grinder, Ryobi belt sander and a Craftsman wet grinder/sharpener.

 Here you can see my band saw, Grizzly 2x72 knife grinder, sand blaster and air compressor

 This is my Diamondback Ironworks forge,  this baby is wicked hot.

 My Smithy 3 in 1, mig welder and 12 ton press, surrounded by miscellaneous tool boxes.

 Here are today's projects, not done yet but well underway, the top one is my design that Luke Swenson produces.  I decided to give it a try for myself with a little extra file work.  I am making this one for my brother.  The bottom one is a two finger Karambit.  It takes a little practice but once you get proficient with it, it is a sneaky little defender for sure.  That is also my design.

 Here is a close up of the file work, diamond back, pretty cool huh?

 This is my hand made makers mark,  I dremel carved it into a cold chisel and then hardened it in the forge.  I didn't temper it so I hope that it doesn't eventually break.  You can see how the mark looks when stamped into steel.

 This is a close up of the plunge on the diamond back knife.  I got it perfect thanks to some advise by Luke and Trace.  They shaved a bunch of time off of that learning curve.

I hope that you enjoyed that a little.  I will of course post some pictures when they are complete and of future projects.  Who knows, I may eventually even have a couple for sale.  If nothing else I hope that this gives you a little inspiration to jump into a new project or learn a new craft.  You never know when it might come in handy.

Friday, August 19, 2011


The rule of eight is the new revision of the plant edibility test.  It was developed by Vern Page who, at great potential risk to himself, tested and refined this procedure.   I know what you are thinking.  That the test is a crock and no self respecting woodsman wold go "grazing" around the hinterland if they did not know what they were eating.  That is partially true but there are some exceptions. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011


After my recent bash of the main-stream media I though that it was only appropriate that I give one ABC it's due props.  NTV (Nebraska TV, an ABC affiliate) recently aired a nice piece of footage from the funeral of my brother Joshua "CRUZ" Robinson. 

Consider community education in your quest for self reliance

I get the occasional email that asks me how to go about learning certain skills, or what is a good resource for "XYZ".  The simple answer is community education programs.  Most communities have some sort of an adult education center that offers a large program of available classes INCLUDING wilderness survival and other outdoor skills.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


As you can see the BLOG has been under some major construction the last few days.  I have tried and retried many different formats and styles.  This is what I have ended up with.  I finally created a blog logo for survivology 101 and I am fond of the many different meanings that can be applied to that little impossible triangle.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ninja shelter video

I just thought that I would show a quick useful shelter option for those of you that travel light, travel fast or are on the run.  I use it almost exclusively now and I thought that I would share it with you.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Think like a survivalist

Think like a survivalist scientist!
In order to train for survival it is important that you think more like a scientist than an outdoors man.  It is a process of discovery with a lot of trial and error.  The simple rules that you learned in junior high science  class are more applicable to this process than you might think. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Another sad day in the life!

The other day I heard on the news about a helicopter crash in Afghanistan that killed 31 American servicemen, That is a tragedy and I suppose that I am getting as numb to it as any other American.  We see it on the news with our morning coffee and we say "boy that is a tragedy, then we add our two cents and carry on with the day.  What didn't make the news that day is that one of my closes friends in the Marine Corps also died with another member of his patrol in an unrelated incident. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Art, Science, and Psychology piece.

Its time to discuss the Art, Science and Psychology of Survival.  The truth is that the title is reversed from the actual order of things.  Ill use the task of starting a hand drill fire for an example throughout this post.
Ill start with the psychology;  this part of the title as it relates to survivology is the most important step in the learning process.  It is the commitment to do, and it encompasses the prep work, study, research and internal drive to accomplish the task.

Friday, August 5, 2011

One of a kind collectable hoodlum blade

I returned home from Ron Hood's memorial celebration the other day and Ill say that I had the opportunity to meet some very special people.  One of these persons was Richard Neyman.  He collected some memorabilia from the event and a few select signatures to donate a very special version of the Buck/Hoodlum blade for an auction.  The proceeds from this auction will benefit the Ron Hood Memorial Foundation and help to send Jessie to college.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Youth Sponsership for the Pathfinder Gathering Sept 23-28th 2011

 As I have a bunch of children myself, I am always in favor of helping to educate our youth.  There is no greater reward for a child than to become comfortable in the wilderness.  It excites me every day that I take my kids fishing hunting or just woods bumming and I have to reel them in.  That is not because they are careless but because they are comfortable in that environment.  Sadly, not all children have or will ever have the opportunity to experience the wilderness to that level.

I have re posted the below post from Dave Canterbury (Pathfinder) site in order to help support his efforts.  He is doing a good thing to help educate children and his latest effort to set up a fund to sponsor less fortunate children to attend the Pathfinder Gathering, is in keeping with his character.  Please help to support his efforts if you are able.  Consider it an investment in the future and it could have a positive and lasting impact on the rest of the life of one of the lucky children chosen to attend.

Me and my son Leif fishing, yesterday!

---FROM Dave Canterbury (Pathfinder) FACEBOOK---
As you know we are working on a sponsership program to bring underprivelaged youth or those whos family cannot afford the trip to be able to attend the gathering. I had posted about this a while ago and had a great response. Here are the current thoughts.... It is not feasable for individuals to sponser individual families or children due to differing expenses in travel. What I propose is a fund set up through the Pathfinder school to take donations so that we can utilize this fund to select a group of youths 5-10 and one member of their family. This sponsership will include travel expenses and equipment for the youth to participate in all hands on training classes and events at the gathering. So what I propose is we set up a fund with donations through the Pathfinder School. After we get X amount we will begin the selection process by video or e-mail submission by the youths on why they want to come to the gathering as a sponsered youth. After each is selected thier video or letter will be posted on my fan page for all to see. Equipment and supplies for each child will be purchased through the Canteen Shop, Survival Resources, and The pathfinder School and I am sure I can speak for them saying that equipment for this will be provided at or near cost for this cause. I truley appreciate the family we have on this page and the never ending quest to pass on the tribal knowledge to our youth. Submission for sponsership will begin as soon as funds permit. For information on how to donte to this cause please call 317-544-8886. If you are interested in being considered for sponsership please be patient and we will let you know when the time comes.

By: Dave Canterbury (Pathfinder)


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Swamp Donkey" my Mississippi SUV!

As you know from my last post I have recently relocated to Mississippi. I now live all the way down on the Gulf Coast and that raised a little concern when I first got the word.  I figured that I had better do some quick modifications to my preparedness strategy.  Back in the Sierra my biggest threat was winter storms and the likelihood that I would be isolated for long periods with no power or supply chain.  Now, I have to shift my focus to bugging out not in.  I figured that in the event that I got the word late or any number of communication failures that I better have a small boat.  So in light of this I set my sights on a canoe because I could get alot of enjoyment out of it even  if I never needed it as an emergency vehicle.  I started checking the paper and online to find the right donor boat for this project.  It took about a week and I found a beat up 16ft canoe just begging for some loving.  It cost me $25.00 and the gas to get it home so I began the project by researching online as much as I could about fiberglass boat repair.  It was  not my intention to restore this thing to factory condition. My goal was to make it seaworthy and reliable while learning the ins and outs in the event that I had to make a repair in an emergency.  I picked up a few supplies that I didn't already have and then I set to work on it with a one week deadline.  Here is how the project progressed.

This is how I brought her home!

I set  to work on scraping off all the old paint and caulk to expose all of the problem areas then sanded the entire boat with 400 grit sandpaper.

This is what the center of the hull looked like (notice the big crack on the left side) this was on both sides of the hull and went all the way through.

I removed the gunwales and repaired the inside with three large sheets of fiberglass cloth.  This also reinforced the center of the hull where I would be kneeling to paddle so I put the epoxy on super thick.

I reinstalled the seat braces and put fiberglass/epoxy filler over the rives and covered the rest of the smaller repairs on the entire hull.

 I let all the epoxy cure for about a day and a half and sanded the entire boat again.  Once sanded, I hosed it off to remove most of the fiberglass dust and put my little labor force to work washing and degreasing the entire boat.

Once the cleaning was complete I primed the inside and painted it with an epoxy garage floor paint that I had leftover, I completed the look with the sprinkle on paint flakes so it matches my garage floor perfectly.  I like that look but it may not be right for everyone.

This is another view to show off the paint job.

That done the next step was to double prime the hull.

And lastly painting the hull with a high quality roller and epoxy paint.

I allowed the paint to dry for a little over a day and then added a double coat of car polish/wax.

Almost done, I reinstalled the gunwales and the decks.

I used a run-of-the-mill rivet gun to secure the gunnel's so It would be easier to make repairs in the future. 

The build complete me and my first mate Leif hit the lake to take her on her maiden voyage.

The lake was a little choppy but she handled like a dream.

We beached her on the opposite shore, had some lunch and cooked up a small pot of tea.

Leif kept sneaking off to explore the shore line and gather a little fire wood.

So in the end we took a $25.00 wreck of a canoe that was probably bound for the dumpster and with about 50$ in materials, some left over junk and a little ingenuity we constructed a beautiful seaworthy vessel that will provide us years of service and an alternate escape plan in the right emergency.  But the essence of the experience is this.  I now know how to repair and maintain my canoe because there is not a scratch, dent, rivet or repair that I am not completely intimate with.  It is now truly mine and that is the essence of Survivology.

I hope that you enjoyed sharing the experience with us, the canoe is now named "Swamp Donkey".  She is my pack mule and my Mississippi SUV.