Friday, June 26, 2015

Gorman Falls-Colorado Bend State Park:Hiking in the Texas Hill Country

Abundant rainfall in the area has Gorman Falls flowing nicely.  The area is protected by the Colorado Bend State Park, so visitors are limited in how close they can get to the falls.  The Texas State Park does provide an area near the falls with great views.

Gorman Falls will make you think an underground cave has erupted to the surface.  Water from Gorman Creek cascades 60 feet forming calcite deposits similar to caverns.

Colorado Bend State Park near Lampasas, Texas does offer several hiking trails including the 3 mile round trip Gorman Falls Trail.  This trail does have many large limestone rocks which can make footing difficult at times.  

As always, bring appropriate attire, footwear, and supplies.  Leave the flip flops in the car.

Hiking to the water line!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Bug Out Bike-Nashbar Single Speed 29er Mountain Bike

The solution for the bug out bike has been delivered.  The unopened box sits waiting to be born into my gear.  The Nashbar Single-Speed 29er Mountain Bike - MEDIUM is a perfect fit for survival situations due to its simplicity, adaptability, and affordability.

The single speed is all about simplicity.  The bug out bike will take the headache out of bike gear maintenance.  Don’t let the racket of a derailleur compromise your stealth.  This single speed does not have shifters or any derailleur.

The mountain bike is also built for adaptability.  The aluminum frame provides an efficient strength to weight ratio for additional durability. The oversized 29er tires provide exceptional mobility over obstacles on and off road. 

Nashbar delivers affordability for the bug out bike.  Finding a quality single speed mountain bike is like looking for supplies after a devastating event.  Usually, all the inexpensive options are heavy and the quality options are overpriced or unavailable.  Nashbar delivers a lightweight single speed at an affordable price tag usually around $400.

Go for the gear that will have you counting down the days to a survival situation like it was Christmas.  Go for simplicity.  Go for adaptability.  Go for affordability.  Go for the Nashbar Single-Speed 29er Mountain bike.

Riding above the water line.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Survival Food Test - Valley Food Storage Product Review

When deciding upon a long term food storage product, it helps to sample the product before purchasing a large quantity for your emergency pantry. This is a product review of one of the long term food storage products available from

After receiving a sample from Valley Food Storage, a test was conducted on the various aspects that are important in a long term food storage product. The sample food product tested was a package of “Enchilada Beans and Rice”.

Review Results:

1.) Cost - This product costs $11.95 for a 5 serving unit. This breaks down to about $2.39 a serving and is a reasonable price for a long term food storage product with an extended shelf life. They also offer a variety of discounts on their site.

2.) Packaging - The packaging is extremely sturdy and comes in a Mylar pouch that is resealable. The pouch was easy to re-seal and maintained a good seal afterwards. The left-over pouch can also be used as an emergency water container or to carry other snack items.

3.) Preparation - Prep time was roughly 20 minutes total and requires two cups of boiling water. Cooking was a fairly easy process if you follow the cooking directions on the package.

4.) Appearance - The contents looked and smelled very appetizing.

5.) Taste & Smell - When cooked, it had a pleasant aroma and the beans and rice were very soft. One noted exception is that there were no enchiladas in the package. “Enchilada flavored” would be a better description. Seasonings were well balanced. This is important for a person that doesn’t like a large amount of seasoning on their food.

All things considered, this is a very good food storage product. After sampling a wide variety of long term food storage products over the years, this item compares very favorably with other similar long term food storage products.

Got long term food storage?

Staying above the water line!


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Threats to Survival - Part One - Darkness - Friend or Foe?

Many times the greatest threat to our survival is influenced by irrational fears. While there is some basis to our fears, it is our understanding of those fears which will strongly affect the outcome of our survival. Learning to cope with these fears requires a basic knowledge of why we have developed an irrational response to threats to our survival.

Many of us have a basic fear of the darkness. This is due to a variety of factors from our own life experiences. Tales of the boogeyman when we were young made us fearful of the dark but had little or no foundation in the truth. It was simply a way parents controlled unruly children but their actions also instilled a healthy respect for the dangers that can be encountered in the dark. Many dangers of the dark are real but many of the dangers are ones of our own making.

Simply put, darkness is the absence of light. Thus the ability to conquer any fear begins with a thorough understanding of that fear. This is important in order to develop ways to conquer the darkness that will alleviate our fears. One of our most severe shortcomings is our inability to see in the darkness. Our night vision is extremely poor and pales in comparison to other creatures present in our world. This creates problems when it becomes necessary for us to move about or perform tasks in the darkness. Even the simple task of moving from one place to another can create a dangerous situation. We risk injury from falling or tripping over an object even in the safe confines of our home if we move about in the dark unaided.

The darkness comprises nearly half of our existence and it is necessary to deal with this fact. One of the means to conquer a fear of the dark is to combat it with its opposite. Light can banish the darkness and reduce our fears. A flashlight, a simple candle or a roaring campfire can and will help to reduce your fear of the dark. You have given yourself the means and ability to see things more clearly. Those dangers which lurk in the dark have now been brought into the light and your safety and well-being is increased.

The darkness can hide many things. This is the reason a majority of predators; including the two-legged variety, use the darkness to disguise their movements. The darkness can also be your friend because it can hide your presence or activities if necessary. The important thing is to use the qualities of darkness to your advantage to increase your chances of survival.

The darkness is both friend and foe. While we are basically creatures more accustomed to sunlight, it is your actions and a rational response to the darkness that will ultimately determine the outcome of your survival. Understanding our physical limitations caused by darkness and using relevant actions to overcome them will prevent the darkness from becoming your enemy.

Got dark?

Staying above the water line!


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

DIY Survival Gear Tips - Keeping Things Simple

If you find yourself in a survival situation, every person needs to be able to use what they have on hand and take full advantages of what may be limited resources to satisfy their needs.  Each of your resources will have unique advantages and disadvantages. Your main task should be to figure out how to use these items to meet your needs and increase your chances of survival. Here are some simple tips to remember when making DIY survival gear.

DIY Survival Gear Tips

1. Use only the minimum resources necessary.

Making DIY gear is a great way to train yourself to find alternative uses for items to meet these needs. It is important to keep things simple because this often makes things easier to accomplish. It will also help to reduce the amount of your available resources that will have to be used to make your goal a reality. The less hardware that you need to accomplish your project will increase your ability to achieve a successful outcome with limited resources.

2. Use your survival needs as a guide.

Need is a great motivator. Combining a need with a little imagination can usually lead to a successful project. In a survival situation, failure is not an option and simple solutions often work best.

3. Limit your use of power tools and electricity.

Hand tools work even when there is no power available. Try to design your DIY projects to minimize the use of electricity and the need for power tools. If the grid goes down, hand tools may be your only option to complete your project. You don’t want your thinking to be dependent upon grid power that may not be available.

4. Keep your projects simple and uncomplicated.

Complexity can create more problems than it solves. If you make your projects simple and uncomplicated, other family members can assist in the creation and development of any survival gear you may need. If a project is designed with simplicity in mind, you can free up your time to work on other projects. Children and senior family members can also contribute to the process of making needed survival items if you keep things simple.

5. Remember the primary goal of your project.

Your goal should be to create DIY projects that require minimal tools, no electricity, and minimum amounts of hardware or resources. This will help you be better prepared.

Got DIY survival projects?

Staying above the water line!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Wishing a Merry Christmas to everyone! 

Hope you have a safe and happy holiday.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mobility and Survival

Survival can be an impossible goal if we place undue burdens on our physical abilities. This is often exemplified by our attempts to carry every possible item of survival gear we own. The result is that we have created a scenario that will make the goal of survival more difficult to achieve. The old saying “Know more. Carry less.” is a good reminder that will help you avoid this problem. Mobility is directly related to your survival.

Mobility is a key factor in many survival situations. It allows you to remove yourself from dangerous and life threatening situations. It allows you to search for needed shelter, food or water. The inability to move can be the start of a process that will ultimately eliminate any chances you may have had for survival.

Our bodies are remarkable things and we often push ourselves to extreme limits even before we become engaged in a survival situation. This is a dangerous approach that should be avoided and physical limitations must be dealt with prior to finding ourselves in a survival situation.

One of the most difficult things to deal with in a survival situation is an injury. It will slow you down or completely stop you in your tracks. Your chances of survival have almost been completely eliminated. There are numerous examples of things that can be avoided to safeguard against this problem.

A prime example of this is the bug out bag. Carrying a heavy pack can lead to knee or back problems that are a creation of our own making. Military personnel have had to deal with this situation throughout history and many a battlefield was littered with abandoned gear when their survival was at stake. Make sure you cut your body some slack and carry a pack that doesn’t push the limits of your physical abilities before its necessary. While a trained soldier may be able to carry 100 pounds of equipment, it could be a deadly burden for someone without the proper physical ability and training. Know more. Carry less.

Another example of dangers to your mobility is caused by the failure to treat simple injuries. A cut on your hand or foot can cause a host of additional problems you won’t need. Take the time to handle cuts, sprains, blisters and other minor injuries as quickly as possible.

You can also adversely affect your mobility by being improperly dressed. A good pair of shoes or boots is of utmost importance. Many people have a hard time walking even a short distance in their bare feet. Imagine what the effects on your mobility would be if you found yourself with bare feet. The same goes for items such as gloves to protect your hands and a good pair of pants to protect your legs. Don’t forget to include a decent shirt and some sort of jacket appropriate for your weather conditions.

Lee Mastroianni of the Office of Naval Research summed it up very appropriately:

“The ability to move is directly related to the ability to survive.”

Staying above the water line!


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