Nov 25

Paris Attacks a Reminder to Be Prepared

Unless you are a hermit you probably have heard more than you want to about the terrorist attacks in Paris, France. I am not going to rehash all that, except to say that it once again highlights the importance of being prepared. And by that, I mean several things.

First, at least in most of the USA, we have the legal right to be prepared to defend ourselves and other innocent people. Yes, I’m talking about concealed carry. Guns. Firearms. The 2nd Amendment. Is carrying a firearm a guarantee of survival in a situation like the Paris attacks? Of course not. But I can’t help but believe that if a lot, or even some, of the victims of those murderous thugs had been armed a lot of innocent lives may have been saved.

Once again, by the way, some are willing to use this tragedy to call for more restrictions on our ability to have the means to defend ourselves; in spite of the fact that it defies all logic and statistical data. I guess some folks will stoop to just about anything to advance their agenda.

Second, this should be a reminder of the importance of being prepared mentally to deal with unthinkable situations. In any catastrophe, whether criminal or natural, it is critically important to keep a clear head. Not only will that increase your chances of survival, it will also help you effectively deal with the aftermath if you do survive. You will be able to help others and avoid making a bad situation worse.

Finally, at least for me, it underlines the need to always have at least a basic survival kit. This can be as simple as the items you EDC on your person or as complete as a get home bag you keep with you. Again, if your other ways of being prepared have kept you alive, some basic survival gear could be a big help in staying that way.

I could say a whole lot more about this situation but I’ll stop here and keep it on topic relating to survival. (Except for the brief 2nd Amendment rant above).

So…..I know it’s been waaaay too long since I posted anything. I have just been really busy with a lot of different things, which has caused me to rethink a bunch of stuff in my life. Basically, I need to simplify as much as possible. One of those things is how I approach this newsletter/blog post.

I’ve decided to change up the format a little and go for short and sweet. So I won’t be including links to every video, probably just a link to the channel so you can go and watch what you want. That just adds a pretty good bit of extra time to the process and seems kind of pointless anyway. Please let me know if this was something that really helps you.

Also, I hope to still include some sponsors as I find good deals that make sense. Basically, that means if you click on a sponsored link and wind up buying something, I will get some sort or commission or fee. Just tryin’ to keep the lights on here at Survival On Purpose. Just know that I will never recommend anything I don’t really believe in.

I am hoping the “short and sweet” philosophy will also allow me to be more active on the blog. My goal is to post stuff that maybe did not make sense for a video, like my thoughts on different things, more personal stuff and other assorted ramblings. I know you probably subscribed to this newsletter during a giveaway but you are still here so maybe this sort of content will interest you.

And, who knows, maybe we’ll have a giveaway or two just for folks like you who are sort of in the “inner circle”.

So, anyway, here’s a quick look at what’s coming up on Survival On Purpose.

Christmas is just around the corner, so we’ll be posting a few videos with some great outdoor gift idea at different price points. I hope to get them up by Thanksgiving weekend.

Also, we have a guest video coming from Joe over at Feral Woodcraft. Joe is a friction fire pro and he’s going to try to help me get my first bowdrill fire. And I have several gear reviews of stuff besides knives.

And, finally, I have at least one or two new survival skill series in the works. And probably a little rambling from time to time.

Anyway, I’m blowing my short and sweet already so I’ll wrap this up. Be sure to check out the latest videos at:

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! And if you are not in the US and don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, remember, we all have much to be thankful for.

Be Prepared,


Oct 25

World Record Hurricane Patricia A Reminder to Be Prepared

KS_19-09-2014_300-x-250Well, this week the strongest Pacific hurricane ever made landfall in southwest Mexico and the results are in just time for another newsletter post. This one will be short because I am feeling a little grungy and stopped up so I need to get some Nyquil and hit the sheets.

So…a few days ago the big news story was Hurricane Patricia. It was being billed as the strongest Pacific hurricane in recorded history. OK, actually most of the headlines just said the strongest hurricane ever. I guess it sounded way more dramatic without the qualifiers. And apparently it’s only called a hurricane depending on where it occurs and I think I heard there may have been stronger storms that were technically classified as typhoons or cyclones. Bottom line, Hurricane Patricia had sustained winds over 200 mph and record breaking low pressures. It was a big deal whatever you call it and it was headed for the coast of Mexico. Maybe right for Puerta Vallarta, which I think was the preferred prize location for the Dating Game TV show many years ago.

The good news is the bachelors and bachelorettes were not washed to sea. The winds were down to about 165 MPH when the hurricane made landfall, still significant but not as bad as it could have been. There was some flooding but not the catastrophic damage that could have occurred had the storm maintained intensity and hit a major population center.

The kicker is that the hurricane, now really just a tropical storm, pushed across Mexico and dumped a lot of rain on Texas. Some areas got as much as a foot of rain in a day, causing flash flooding and general discomfort.

I have to admit I didn’t follow the story too closely. Not only do I live near Atlanta, Georgia- which is not exactly at risk from many hurricanes- but I was camping with the Boy Scouts this weekend and had other things to attend to. But it did remind me of the importance of the Scout Motto, which I end every video with. Be Prepared.

Even if the high winds didn’t blow everything away and  the storm surge didn’t wash it away, just “simple flooding” can put you in the hurt locker fast if you aren’t prepared. We actually had what they called a “500 year flood” in my county a few years ago and it was a real eye opener to me about the importance of self reliance and preparation. When the water treatment facilities get flooded and suddenly that faucet we all take for granted no longer dispenses fresh, safe water you had better have a Plan B or you’re gonna get thirsty fast.

Not to mention power outages, which are not too bad in the summer (except for spoiled food in the fridge) but can be life threatening in really cold weather. Even if you have a gas furnace, most of us have electric blowers so no electricity means no heat.

I mention all that just to point out the value of events like Hurricane Patricia as a reminder that “prepping” doesn’t have to mean you are getting ready for societal breakdown or the end of the world as we know it. There are plenty of comparatively boring, mundane scenarios that are probably much more likely to trigger a need to be prepared with water, food, backup power, etc. I really think the Boy Scouts are on to something.

Speaking of Boy Scouts, I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about the Boy Scouts and some of my thoughts are going to wind up in some videos soon. One of the things responsible for that is a comment I received from a Boy Scout a little while back, another is one of my sons just earned his Eagle Scout rank and there are a few more reasons I’ll talk about in whatever videos I wind up making.

Speaking of videos, as just a quick teaser about what else is coming up, be watching for a dedicated playlist of gift ideas for the Christmas season. I have several folks on my gift list that are just hard to figure out what to get. I’m sure you have some folks like that on yours. So I decided to find some stuff in a wide range of prices that will make good gifts for folks who like to do the kinds of things we do. I may put together some “10 gifts under $x” videos or just do individual videos or a mix of both. I’ll just have to see how  it works out. I hope it will be helpful.

Finally, we had the last Thrunite Thursday giveaway this week (at least for a while). Hats off to Thrunite for partnering with Survival On Purpose to reward the folks like you who support the channel with your views and Amazon purchases. We didn’t make a big noise about the weekly giveaways and, although that would have gotten them a lot more exposure, Thrunite was cool with that. I didn’t even put the word ‘giveaway’ in the title except for the final one. I still have a few flashlights to test and review so the Thrunite Thursdays will continue for a while, just without the giveaways for now.

By the way, congratulations to Abdelrahman in Qatar, winner of the Thrunite TN12 (2016).

OK, I guess I’ll wrap it up now. I need to magically transform this post into an email newsletter and get myself in bed. I appreciate your support. It would be cool if you would check out this weeks offer from my sponsor this month: Survival Frog. This one is a cool Paracord Survival Grenade with a surprisingly useful assortment of survival gear in a very handy, compact package. And at a very low price too. You can CLICK HERE or on the image to check it out.  paracord-Grenade_300x250_09


Be Prepared,




Oct 18

75 year old veteran hero saves children!


Did you hear about the hero 75 year old Army veteran who stopped a knife wielding 19 year old guy from killing a bunch of kids in a library in Illinois? If not, you are going to like this story.

By the way, I missed  week again. The whole “real life” thing kind of got in the way last week. So…I will try to keep this brief but I wanted to share this story and I have a couple of things I want to mention.

Anyway, I heard this news story today about a 75 year old chess teacher and Army veteran who saved a room full of chess students from a guy with two knives who admitted he was planning on killing everybody in the room. The veteran, James Vernon, said although he was never in combat (until now) he relied on the knife training he received 50 years ago to thwart the intended murder of a room full of children attending a chess class he was teaching. The bad guy, who apparently was out on bail pending his trial for child pornography, rushed into the room with 2 knives shouting “I’m going to kill some people”.  Chess teacher and veteran Vernon wasn’t going to let that happen and, even though he was cut pretty badly on his hand, took the bad guy to the floor and disabled him until the police could get there. Did I mention he is almost 76 years old? I hope he said “checkmate” when he got the guy down. To bad he didn’t use one of those knives to insure the bad guy was unable  to reproduce. (Did I write that out loud?)

In other news….I really don’t have any other news, I just always wanted to say that 😉

Seriously, I just want to take a minute and tell you a little about the past couple of weeks. Have you ever had “one of those weeks”? Well, last week seemed to be my week for screwing up.

First, I spent a couple of afternoons trying to film a bunch of videos. I have a lot of stuff I have committed to review and I want to make some “non-review” videos as well. So I was probably in a little too much of a hurry. Anyway, when I started editing the videos I realized I had issues. Some of them had no sound. I actually used that as an opportunity to add some original guitar music in the background and called it a “Bob Ross Happy Accident”. The bigger problem was that I apparently got all mixed up about the old “Record” button and was turning it off when I meant to turn it on and vice versa. So I wound up with some really good footage of the ground and the sky while I was moving the camera around and a bunch of missing scenes that I needed. So you may notice some strange edits on a few upcoming videos from re-shooting the missing parts. Just chalk it up to the doofus factor.

That wasn’t the only doofus moment. You may remember that I am plumber…. a Master Plumber…. licensed in 6 states…. with almost 30 years experience. And yet last week I found myself standing on a ladder in a woman’s basement trying desperately to screw a plug back in a pressure regulator while water was spraying everywhere, especially all over me. It was like an episode of the Lucy Show. I got everything settled down and fixed but it was pretty funny. Let’s just say if your plumber comes upstairs looking like he (or she) took a shower with their clothes on, things probably didn’t go according to plan.

I know you might be thinking this has absolutely nothing to do with survival and you’re right….sort of. The reason I told you about my screw ups is because I think your mindset may be the most important factor in whether you are able to survival an emergency situation. And if you do find yourself in a true survival situation, it  will very likely be because you (or someone else)  has screwed up somewhere along the line. How you handle that mentally could literally mean the difference between life and death.

Admittedly, making videos or fixing plumbing is a long way from an emergency but how you handle small things is often a good indication of how you will handle larger issues. The US Marines have a saying “improvise, adapt and overcome”. While I was never a Marine, I have tried to make that philosophy something I practice in my life. Along with not taking myself too seriously.  I actually had to laugh as I was standing on that ladder with water streaming down my face because, well, it was funny.

So, I encourage you to cultivate a sense of humor about the things that go wrong in your world. And to determine that whatever happens, you are going to “improvise, adapt and overcome”. Hopefully, you will never be in a life or death scenario, but these attitudes will go a long way toward making your everyday life better.

OK, I’ll stop preaching now. I want to give you a little teaser about what is coming up on the YouTube channel. I am continuing to try to expand the variety of gear reviews. I have a really cool Swiss Army knife coming up, along with my favorite outdoor pants, a really cool solar kit, a couple of packs, some water filters, stoves, and a brand new, innovative shelter item I think you will like. I am also putting together some “Gift Ideas” videos for people  like me who don’t know what to get folks for Christmas. (yep, I still say Merry Christmas). I plan to cover gear in different price ranges for every budget.

Also, I have been making a list of viewer requests and I am starting to do some skill/how-to type videos from that list. If there is something you want to see, leave a comment on one of the videos and I’ll do my best  to get to it eventually if I can. I also have a few videos coming up sort of giving my take on some issues that affect those of us in the “outdoor community”. I am not talking about politics, I mean outdoor stuff. You’ll see. Oh, and probably some knife videos 😉 I hope you’ll join me. If you are not subscribed to the Survival On Purpose YouTube channel, you can subscribe by Clicking Here and you won’t miss any of the exciting, entertaining and ever so wonderful videos.

So, I think that is it for now. be sure and check out this offer from this month’s sponsor; Survival Frog. It is a way to keep hi tech pickpockets from stealing your data on the new RFID type cards that are becoming more common. And it keeps your old cards from getting scratched up and damaged as well.


Be Prepared,






Oct 04

Oregon School Shooting and Hurricane Joaquin

Fire-Laces_300x250_1Well, it’s the 6th Edition of the Survival On Purpose Newsletter and it has been a very eventful week here in the good old USA.

First of all, my heart goes out and my prayers are with the families of all those who were affected by the school shooting (murders) at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon this week. It was truly sad news on so many levels and, as usual, the response from so many fronts was to use this horrible tragedy to promote their social and political agendas while ignoring many relevant details.

As much as I don’t want to seem callous in the face of such a devastating event, I think it is important to point out a couple of things. First, there has been very little in the mainstream press about the fact that the murderer specifically  asked people if they were Christian and, if they said yes, he told them they were about to see God and shot them in the head. I checked several articles from CNN, LA Times and NT Times and the most I could find was a statement to the effect that the murderer (that is what I call him, not “shooter”. I am often a shooter myself but I don’t shoot at other people) “seemed to be singling out Christians”.

I did not see a single headline calling this a “hate crime” or even mentioning that Christians seemed to be targeted. Can you imagine the difference had the murderer singled out another group? Pick a descriptor: sexual orientation, ethnic background, religion (other than Christian of course). I think anyone who really doesn’t think it would have been headlines if one of these other “groups” were selected for cold blooded murder is completely in denial. But, of course, journalists are the unbiased protectors of a free society, right?

I think I’ll stop before I start really ranting. I won’t even point out that, like many other similar crimes of this nature, this happened in a “gun free zone”. How is that even possible? Or if the heroic veteran who was shot multiple times trying bravely to stop the assassin (or any of the other people present) had been legally able to be in possession of a firearm and chose to carry one; many innocent lives may have been saved. In fact, I saw a video interview with an Air Force veteran who was legally armed and on campus in another location who was prevented from trying to engage the murderer. I didn’t see anything about that in the headlines either.

OK, I am really stopping now. Deep breaths…

On the opposite coast this week we got a big reminder of why it pays to always be prepared. Hurricane Joaquin (should it be a himicane now?) caused massive flooding in Charleston South Carolina and other coastal states on the Eastern Seaboard. Which means that fresh water supplies will be contaminated, the power grid will be affected and other utilities impacted.

For me, events like this always remind me just how important it is to have the basics covered. Being prepared is not about prepping for for all the “doomsday” scenarios so many focus on. It can be as simple as making sure you have a way to ensure fresh water for your family, making sure you have the basic necessities available and even keeping the gas tank full in your vehicle in case you need to evacuate in a hurry. Besides, if you approach it this way, your friends and family won’t think you are one of those nuts they watch on “reality TV”.

Speaking of being prepared, this month’s sponsor  is a company called Survival Frog.  Survival Frog is having some specials this month and each week I will be featuring one of their cool products. (And I really think they are cool). Just to be up front, if you decide to take advantage of any of their deals, I will get a commission on the sale. That’s why I call them a sponsor.

Anyway, this week the item I am featuring is the Fire Laces. It is a really cool pair of shoe laces that have little ferro rods on each end. To get your own pair of these you just pay the shipping of $3.95. They also have multiple quantity discounts so you can get a pair for everybody in the family. I think they would make great stocking stuffers too if you are one of those who plans ahead for gifts. You can CLICK HERE to check them out.

In other news, this week’s Thrunite Thursday Giveaway winners are: Grandpa Bill and Steven Bunin. Congratulations guys. Stay tuned every Thursday for a chance to win a cool Thrunite flashlight.

Finally, just a peek ahead. I have some cool new reviews in store for you. One of my goals is to do some ‘suggested gift” videos for Christmas. I’m going to try to find some good ideas of things I know are good in different price ranges to help folks like me who always have a hard time finding gifts for people. I’m also sort of dipping my toes into the firearms pool a little and trying to find a place to shoot video covering my take on some stuff. Hopefully, that will happen soon.

As always, I would like to know what you want to see on the channel. Drop me an email or comment on the videos and let me know. I am keeping a running list of suggestions and ideas and I’ll do what I can to make the happen if they fit the content on the channel.

Thanks again and thanks for checking out the sponsors’ ad below 😉

Br Prepared,



Sep 27

Gear Review Videos Exposed

Welcome to Edition #5 of the weekly Survival On Purpose Newsletter. This week I think we are actually on schedule.

cck2So, before I get into the topic of gear reviews, I want to tale just a minute and brag on my 18 year old son, Luke. You may remember, a few months ago he was working on his Eagle Scout Project. In fact, you may have helped support his GoFundMe account to raise the money for materials. If so, thanks again! Anyway, Luke had his Board of Review last week and he passed! He has joined the elite ranks of men who have earned the right to be called Eagle Scouts.

I don’t know if you know this, but somewhere around only 4% of boys who join Scouting make it to the rank of Eagle. That works out to less than 1% of the male population. And, just because I think it is cool, here are just a few famous folks who are Eagle Scouts ( I just picked a few). Neil Armstrong (the first man on the moon), Willie Banks (world record holder and Olympic track star), President Gerald Ford, Ross Perot,Steven Spielberg, Sam Walton (founder of Walmart), numerous astronauts, several Medal of Honor recipients and possibly one of my favorite guys- Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs.

Can you tell I’m proud of Luke? OK, I’ll stop bragging on him now and get on with the newsletter.

Actually, I think it’s about time for a word from our sponsor. This week it’s the Instablade emergency credit card knife. I have got one of these and I have to admit the first thing I did with it was cut my finger. It is sharp!

Speaking of sharp, I have some really sharp friends I hope to meet in January at SHOT show in Vegas. Jon from Wingman115 and Andy Tran from Inner Bark Outdoors will both be there and I just got approved for a media pass so I can get in. I actually had the pleasure of having dinner with Jon and his wife earlier this year when our family took an old fashioned road trip from Atlanta to San Diego and back. They are really good folks. I have not met Andy in person but I hope to in January.

By the way, if you aren’t subscribed to their channels you are missing some great videos. You can click the links above to check them out.

Oh, one more thing before I forget. John at Hawg Holsters called me to tell me he is extending the 20% discount for Survival On Purpose viewers for the rest of this year until December 31, 2015. Just go to his website and use the coupon code SURVIVALHAWG. He also told me he is setting up a mobile kydex shop so he can go to events like gun shows and make custom holsters right there while you wait. I think that is a great idea. So be watching for him at a gun show near you.

OK…now..finally. Let’s talk a minute about gear reviews. Every now and then I get a comment on one of my videos sort of implying that I am not being totally impartial because I got whatever I am reviewing for free. And I have to admit, it is a legitimate concern. I mean, the reality is the person making the comment doesn’t know me from Adam’s house cat so why should they trust what i am saying? I get it, I really do.

However (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?), I do my best to be as thorough as possible while demonstrating whatever I am reviewing so you, the viewer, can make an informed decision based on what you actually saw as opposed to what I said. Now I realize that some things lend themselves to this approach a lot better than others and there are times when my opinion has more of a part to play in the final judgement. Quite frankly, that’s when my track record over  the  course of 350+ videos comes into play. Either I have proven myself trustworthy or not, based partly upon how well you agree with my assessment of the gear that was able “speak for itself” and partly on just whether or not you think I’m being honest. Bottom line, the only person who can decide that is you.

Because, yes, I get gear sent to me at no cost (free) to review. If I didn’t there would be a lot less gear reviews on Survival On Purpose. Contrary to what a lot of folks think (I know because I used to be one of them), unless you are a REALLY big channel, there is not a lot of money coming in from YouTube videos. I seriously would do way better by the hour flipping burgers. I’m not complaining, just stating facts.

Yeah, some might say, but you get all that free stuff. And I have to admit, that was really cool for a while. And, honestly, it wasn’t even as much the free stuff itself as the sense of achievement that my channel had finally gained enough legitimacy for companies to send me samples to review. But I have to tell you, there is only so much stuff you can actually use and my local grocery store won’t take beat up knives and flashlights 😉 Again,  I’m not complaining, just explaining. I now consider the biggest benefit I receive from the free stuff is content for the channel. YouTube is sometimes like a hungry monster that must be fed.

So what if a company sends me something (for free) and i don’t like it? Well, most likely I won’t waste my time making a video about it. Even though I have been really trying to keep all my videos under or around 10 minutes for the last few months, I still have 2-3 hours total time invested in a single video. I just don’t see much point in doing all  that to say “I don’t like this”. Honestly, there have only been a few times when I got something I didn’t review; partly because I try to be selective and do my research up front before I agree to test something. And, if the item is really fine and it’s just a matter of personal taste that I don’t like it, I try to be clear about  that and let you make up your own mind. I’m not going to trash something just because I don’t like it.

I can really only think if a handful of videos where I just totally thought the item was a failure and I released the video anyway. And, yes, one of them I’m thinking about was a Schrade (I know, hard to believe isn’t it?).  And I released those few just because the gear just did not perform as expected or advertised and I did not want folks to buy something for survival that could leave them in a compromising situation.

So, to wrap all this up, all I can promise is that I will continue to do my best to live up to the first point of the Scout Law, “A Scout is Trustworthy”. If at all possible, my intent on all gear review videos is to let the gear speak for itself so you can judge its performance for yourself. Hopefully, I can continue to help you make informed decisions about stuff you are considering buying. That was one of my initial goals when I started Survival On Purpose.

So…I think that is probably more than enough for this week. You would probably laugh if you knew how long it took me to type all that. I hope you stay tuned for more gear reviews and even some non-review videos I have coming up. And I also invite you again to check out this weeks sponsor, the Instablade. It’s pretty cool.


Remember, Survival Is Not An Accident!

Be Prepared,




Sep 21

Naked Woman Survives 16 Hours in the Ocean? Survival On Purpose Newsletter #4

Wow, it’s only my fourth issue and I’m already running behind on my newsletter. I missed a week and this one is a day late. So, since I’m playing catch up, I’ll try to keep this brief.

Everstrike Pro 250x160 First, it’s hard to believe that Survival On Purpose now has almost 40,000 subscribers on YouTube! I am truly humbled. Thank you so much for being part of that.

Speaking of YouTube, The Gauntlet has added a few new members. If you’re not familiar with The Gauntlet, it is the brainchild of Chris Tanner from Prepared Mind 101. Chris had the idea to get several channels together to review the same piece of gear to get a wide range of opinions and see how well it holds up over time. You can check out all The Gauntlet videos at

Anyway, I saw a story this week about some kayakers finding a completely naked (or as we say in Georgia “nekkid”) woman 3 miles offshore near Newport Beach, California. She said she had survived for 16 hours with no life preserver or other flotation device, just her birthday suit. Apparently, she decided to ditch her swim suit so it wouldn’t interfere with her ability to swim.

The 28 year old woman told the authorities she was swimming and got caught in a rip current and pulled out to sea. The “experts”, however, say that rip currents and undertows rarely extend more than a few hundred yards from shore. And none of her personal belongings were found where she said she left them. The implication was that there is something “fishy” about her story.

The reason I wanted to share that with you, besides the fact that it is an interesting little news story, is that I had a really scary experience with a rip tide myself a few years ago. It was after we had attended my nephew’s graduation from USMC Basic Training at Parris Island. We decided to take the kids to the beach nearby. It was a very windy day and we were just about the only folks there. There were no lifeguards and the wind and surf were so loud you could barely hear each other without yelling.

To cut to the chase, I was bouncing around in chest deep water holding my then 2 year old son on a styrofoam boogie board when I noticed that the water seemed to be getting deep and I was having to bounce up and down in time with the waves to keep my head above water. I also noticed that we seemed to be a lot further from the shore than I thought and every time I bounced up we were getting further away!

So, since I couldn’t really get much traction on my tippy toes, I started swimming for shore while pushing my son on the board. It was soon apparent that we were still moving the wrong direction and I was getting pretty tired by now. My son, meanwhile, was having a great time “riding the waves” while Dad pushed him around. I knew you are supposed to swim parallel to the shore to get out of the rip current but it did not seem to be working. (Did I mention I was getting really tired?)

I was swimming and praying when my feet hit some rocks and I realized we had just caught the outer end of one of the rock “groins” that extended out from the beach every several hundred yards. I remember we had been laughing about the name earlier, but I was sure glad they were there now no matter what they were called. After I took a moment to get my breathing under control (and offer a prayer of thanks), we made our way back down the beach to my family who had no idea there was a problem and just wanted to know why we went so far.

So, what does this have to do with survival? Well, survival is not always about fires and shelters and gear. There are many facets of “survival”. Sometimes it is about knowing what to do or not do (like don’t try to outswim a riptide). Or about being physically fit so you are able to do what needs to be done to survive. I just think sometimes we tend to get focused in one direction and limit ourselves.

I encourage you to expand your horizons and think about areas you might not normally consider “survival” topics. The reality is many of us stand a much larger chance of dealing with things like rip tides, car wrecks or power outages than we do in having to survive days in the wilderness. Those types of scenarios may not be as much fun to prepare for but, at least in my opinion, they are just as important to consider.

Okay before we wrap this up, just a quick update about some upcoming videos. Since pretty much most of my videos for a while have been gear reviews, I want to try to add more “how-to” and skill videos to the mix. I have several “Boy Scout Skills” videos coming up, along with a couple of new series on fire.

On the gear review side of things, I’m trying to add some variety with a wider mix of camping and backpacking gear, more concealed carry and “tactical” stuff along with some innovative new gear from smaller companies. And, oh yeah, a few really cool knives. Also I plan to continue the Schrade Saturday and Thrunite Thursday features, including the flashlight giveaways.

Anyway I promised to keep this brief so that’s about it. Please be sure to check out this week sponsor (a.k.a. advertiser) The Everstrike Pro. I really appreciate your support :-)Everstrike Pro 400x256



Sep 07

Obama and Bear Grylls- What Was I Thinking?

Well, it’s time for another Survival On Purpose Newsletter and I have to tell you, it has been a wild week. Before we get into tall that, here’s a word from our sponsor (OK, really just a banner ad but I’ve always wanted to say that)


OK, we’re back. For some crazy reason I had the wild idea this week to release a video about the news that President Obama will be joining Bear Grylls on the NBC show Running Wild with Bear Grylls. That would probably have been reasonably innocuous but I had to go and start rambling again. Which led to me opening a pretty big can of worms concerning the whole “Climate Change” debate.

First, I promise I am not about to repeat any of that here (nor, to tell you the truth, do I have any inclination to repeat that type of video). I do have to admit I was a little disappointed at the level of animosity I generated from some people because I dared to “bring politics” into a video.The truth is, I knew it would be controversial, even though I think I was pretty UN-judgemental in stating what I acknowledged was my opinion. I knew that politics and religion are supposed to be taboo subjects but I really don’t know why. What have we come to as a society when we can’t have a free and open discussion about any issues without it devolving into name calling and hostility?

Anyway, I have come to the conclusion that it was probably a mistake to post that video on the channel. It really has nothing to do with what the channel is all about and I get it that a lot of people are absolutely sick of being bombarded with that stuff from all angles and just want to have a little brain candy and maybe learn something. So, while I think complacency is a dangerous disease, I also recognize I am not going to solve much of anything with some silly videos. Bottom line, I think in the future I’ll stick to knives, guns and stuff that burns.

Having said that, you may have noticed I have been trying to add a little more variety as far as content. I have always owned and messed around with guns so I decided it would be fun to include some firearms related content. I am by no means any sort of expert on the subject but I am not totally ignorant about it either. I have also been working on some more “non-review” videos and maybe some Boy Scout skill stuff. Hopefully it will help keep things interesting and we can have some fun together.

Oh, and one more thing, I am shamelessly working on adding some type of financial sponsorship to the channel and/or website. I am not sure exactly what form that will take. I already added some ads on the website and am working on more, I figured that  was pretty normal. I am exploring the possibility of maybe having sponsored videos or weekly/monthly sponsors. I’m not really sure how all that works to be honest.

My main concern is making sure I work with companies that I trust and respect because I don’t want even the appearance of any sort of dishonesty or shenanigans. I actually had one company set up to do a sponsored video but their product did not perform well for me so I had to back out of the deal. I actually think it was a good product but it didn’t work for me so I couldn’t recommend it.

As I mentioned last week, I am also going to try to include some sort of sponsored offer in each of these newsletters. Hopefully they will be of value to you. If not, just ignore them. If it turns out to be something you think is worthwhile, hopefully I will make a couple of bucks for my efforts.


Aug 31

Movie Shootings and Handguns in a Bra

Well, it’s time for my 2nd newsletter and I’m already a day late based on the 1st one starting on a Sunday. I’ll try to do better.

Anyway, this week I just wanted to share a conversation my family had on the way to see a movie last Saturday. In light of the fact that we recently had yet another shooting in a movie theater recently, I thought it would be a good time to talk about what we would all do if something bad happened while we were watching a movie. It is always a good idea to have a plan in place so everyone will know what to do.

A you might guess, the first thing everybody said was “hit  the ground”. And I completely agreed. But what to do next is where a lot of folks differ. Some would prefer for us to just duck and cover and wait until “the authorities” handle the situation. Many sincerely feel that the best way to keep everybody safe is to prohibit any weapons anywhere a lot of people are gathered, such as a movie theater. I used the word “feel” on purpose (more on that in a minute).

In line with this mindset, one of our local cinemas has even started checking all bags and purses. Now the person doing the checking is a teenage employee who probably wouldn’t know quite how to react if he/she did find a weapon of some sort. And to make it even sillier (in my opinion) this pretty much means that all the women’s purses were checked yet us guys could be wearing an UZI under our jacket and waltz right in. In fact, my wife went the other night with some other women and one of them had to step into the Ladies room and move her legally carried handgun from her purse to her bra (apparently that works for her) before she went through the check line.

The point I am trying to make in my rambling way is that we are living in a world that seems to get more and more dangerous every day. I  think it is a good idea to take some time and think through what you would do to protect your family if something crazy happened. I’m not talking about getting all paranoid and fearful, just being prepared. In our case, if some demented individual started shooting up the audience, just knowing that my family was under cover would leave me free to have more choices about what I need to do. One of those choice might be to engage the shooter and stop them if I have made the decision that I am ultimately responsible for my families safety, not some kid inspecting purses.

Which brings me back to my earlier statement about some people “feeling” that making  a policy to prohibit weapons is going to actually do anything to prevent an evil person from carrying out their demented plans. As I said, I used the word “feel” on purpose because I just don’t see how any rational logic could be involved in coming to that conclusion. It has been said many times, but it is just plain true, that criminals by definition don’t obey the law. So they certainly aren’t going to be concerned with obeying some sort of corporate policy.  Statistics and history have proven time and time again that the absolute best deterrent to a bad guy intent on hurting innocent people is the presence of capable, armed private citizens. That may not “feel” right to some but facts are facts.

OK, before I start ranting I’ll try to pull this back and wrap it up. I started talking about having a plan. Really, that goes back to the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared. For myself and many others, one of the ways we do that by exercising our God given right to defend ourselves and our family from predators by making sure we are ready and able to respond adequately to a threat. Waiting for someone else to get there with a gun is not a good plan, in my opinion. Another way is by making sure everyone in the family is on the same page about what to do in different situations. That alone could make the difference. I encourage you to take a few minutes and play a little “what if”. It can’t hurt and, if nothing else, will give you a little more peace of mind.

Alrighty then. So I started talking about going to the movies and wound up ranting a little. I won’t apologize. We have got to start standing up to illogical, dangerous attitudes that would leave us all at the mercy of those who don;t play by the rules. Oops, I almost started again, better just end this.

So, thanks for sticking with me. Have a great week and remember; survival is not an accident. Be Prepared!




Aug 23

Alone on the History Channel


This week the History Channel show “Alone” finished up the first season. By the way, I know my first blog post/page was about reality TV, and I don’t want to be redundant but I have to admit I really liked this show.
Maybe one reason I watched this one every week is because I was approached at the very beginning to submit an audition for the show (along with thousands of other people I’m sure). In my case the process didn’t get much further than the “I can’t take time off of work” phase but I have to admit I was a little intrigued by the possibility.
To tell you the truth, if I had known that my 25 year job would suddenly come to an end in January of this year I might have considered it more seriously. Like most of us who do this “survival” or “bushcraft” or “whatever” thing, I like to think I would be up to a challenge like this. But, as they say, the proof is in the pudding and it would be nice to find out for sure.
It was also interesting to see some guys I was familiar with from YouTube (Mitch, Joe and Wayne) and who I think all have great skill sets. I guess in some ways I was imagining myself in their place. And, to be honest, maybe being just a little envious since by the time the show started airing my schedule was a lot more flexible.
So, my wife watched the first episode with me and after seeing all the stuff about mountain lions and bears and wolves she was like “there is NO WAY I would ever stay a single day out there” and pretty much indicated that she would consider me crazy if I said I would. But the truth is, I couldn’t honestly tell her I wouldn’t.
I mean, I grew up watching Fess Parker as Daniel Boone and Johnny Weismuller as Tarzan. Ever since I can remember I have felt the call of the wild, yet I have never been truly tested.
If I have to be honest, there is something inside of me – a 55 year old man – that echoes the words of the bad guy in the first Dirty Harry movie when Clint Eastwood says the line about not remembering how many shots he fired. “I just gots to know”.
So I’m watching the first show when I see that one of the “contestants” is from Georgia. From Blairsville, in the north Georgia mountains-  just down the road from Woodruff Boy Scout camp where I have spent so much time over the years. Which makes me sort of conflicted as to who to root for and I decided to just watch and see how things develop.
Fast forward several episodes and there are now 4 guys left (the Georgia boy is one of them) , all have been there like almost 6 weeks and they each seem like they are settled in for the long haul. And even though each one had a very different approach, I started thinking about what they each had in common to allow them to make it in such a harsh environment.
I think it is about a positive attitude. What I saw that they all had in common was none of them seemed to focus their mental energy on the how hard and challenging it was. Sure, they mentioned it in video but instead of worrying about what they didn’t have or couldn’t do, they each just took action and did what they were able to do. I think there is a lesson in that for each of us. Like the Nike slogan: Just Do It!
OK, I’m running the risk of rambling again (big surprise) so I’ll wrap this up. Bottom line, I think it took guts for every single person on the show to even apply, much less step onto the shore in the middle of nowhere and watch their lifeline wave goodbye. I think this show was a breath of fresh air among some of the same old “survival” shows that have become so popular in the last few years. I have no doubts there was probably some “hollywood” stuff involved but I really think the premise was honored and these guys seriously proved their mettle.
Oh, and even though I like my YouTube buds, I am kind of glad a Georgia boy won.

Nov 01

Are Survival TV Shows Dangerous?

survival bootsWhile I was trying to decide what to write for my very first article on Survival On Purpose, I happened to run across a TV Guide story on the dangers of Survival TV shows.  Since I have a little experience with “Reality TV”, I thought that might be a good topic to start with.

Most of us have seen at least a few of the shows. From older ones like Survivorman, Man vs. Wild and Dual Survival to the newer ones like Naked and Afraid and the Ultimate Survival Alaska and Venezuela episodes – Survival TV shows draw a huge audience. It’s no wonder they keep coming up with more and more extreme concepts for shows.

Heck, I’ve even been approached about applying for a couple of proposed “Survival” shows.  Granted, things never got past the initial conversation and I know a lot of other folks with YouTube channels got the same invitations. But I have to admit, for just a brief instant, my mind was filled with images of me jumping out of helicopters and rappelling down cliffs.  Then one popped up of me drinking my own pee and I quickly pulled myself back to reality.

The truth is it would be a little tempting to have the chance to test myself under controlled conditions and find out if I really have what it takes to survive.  Like many of us, I think I do; but there’s no substitute for doing it. And, honestly, the financial benefits might be good too. But  I’ve just got too many obligations and responsibilities (family, job, church, Boy Scouts, etc) to be able to drop everything and hit the woods for weeks at a time right now. Heck, if I could do that I would already be doing it.

Besides, I’ve already had one experience with the “Reality TV” crowd and it was about as close to reality as Alaska is to Antarctica. I’m sure there’s some sort of very official legal document somewhere with my signature on it that threatens all sort of dire consequences for saying the wrong thing. So let’s just say it was a very popular show about making over homes and doing it in an “extreme” way. Anyway, my experience on that project gave me a whole new understanding of the term “artistic license”.

Which is exactly the point I’m getting to. These shows have to add as much drama as possible to make things interesting. In a true survival situation, careful means safe, which means boring. Nobody wants to watch boring. So the producers and TV folks have to keep thinking up new ways to make things interesting.

The question is are they going too far in their quest for ratings? Are these shows dangerous? I think they could be, for people who think of them as anything other than pure entertainment.  Although there may be a lot more, I can think of two possible concerns with the popularity of Survival TV.

First, I think they often encourage dangerous behavior. It seems like every episode you watch has somebody doing something that you would only want to try as an absolute last resort in a survival situation. We’ve seen everything from Bear Grylls jumping off a cliff into a river to Cody Lundin and Dave Canterbury going whitewater rafting on garbage bags.  Not to mention the whole drinking your own pee thing. I’m not even sure about that one as a last resort. The problem is that folks see things like that and think they’re reasonable responses to a bad situation; when, in fact, they stand a really good chance of making things a lot worse.

The second problem I have with most survival TV shows is they give folks a false sense of confidence by making things look too easy. Anyone who’s ever learned to make fire with a bow drill or hand drill knows it takes a long time to master and a lot of effort even for very experienced folks.  Yet a lot of people see their favorite “survival expert” on TV whip out a bow drill fire in 2 or 3 minutes and they think they’ll be able to do it if they need to.  I mean, it’s obviously no big deal, right?  Why would anybody carry a Bic lighter if they don’t even smoke?

I could go into some more examples but you get the point. Like anything else, if not used correctly, Survival TV has the potential to be dangerous. But there’s good news.  It doesn’t have to be. It depends on you.

If you just like watching Bear Grylls eat really gross stuff or Dave Canterbury argue with Cody Lundin about why it’s a good idea to go hand to hand with an alligator, then knock yourself out.  Maybe you enjoy hearing Les Stroud play the same tune over and over on the harmonica.  Go for it. Heck, you can even tune in to “Man Woman Wild” just to check out  Mykel Hawke’s cute wife. No real harm done.

Just please don’t ever let the thought creep into your head that any of this is real.  Okay? It’s all Hollywood.  It’s make believe.  Nice scenery and even some cool people, but it’s just not real. So don’t worry.  Survival TV is only dangerous if you believe it.




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