Failing to Prepare is Preparing to fail

"Surviving to Fight means Fighting to Survive"

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Friday, 20 February 2015

Show Contents 20th Febuary 2015

Show Notes

This week I begin with Ebola Mutates, the Blizzard Survival 20% Discount Offer, THE TWELTH WILDERNESS GATHERING 2014 14th to 117th August, Adventurers urged to ‘unleash the Dragon’, the Ribzwear 30% Discount Offer, Here is Another Reason to Prepare, Closer to Self-Destruction? Doomsday Clock Could Move, the Wilderness 121 10% Discount Offer, Survival, My Bug-out-Bag, the Midimax 10% Discount Offer, Why Not to Bug-Out, How to Make Roasted Dandelion Root Coffee, the Field-Leisure 10% Discount Offer, Winter Fishing Tips, the Buggrub 10% Discount Offer, My Trail Mix Recipes, the Hunters-Knives 10% Discount Offer, The Get-Home-Bag and the Bug out Plan, The Bug out Week 2015 is Coming.
Ebola Mutates
The deadly Ebola virus could be mutating to become even more contagious, a leading U.S scientist has warned.

The disease has killed nearly 4,000 people, infecting in excess of 8,000 - the majority in the West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Communities lie in ruins, thousands of children have been orphaned, millions face starvation but the virus continues its unprecedented pace, invading and destroying vast swathes of these countries.

Meanwhile three nurses, two in the U.S. and one in Spain have caught the infection while treating Ebola patients, despite wearing protective suits.

Now U.S. scientist Peter Jahrling of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease believes the current Ebola outbreak may be caused by an infection that spreads more easily than it did before.

Dr Jahrling explained that his team, who are working in the epic entre of the crisis in the Liberian capital of Monrovia, are seeing that the viral loads in Ebola patients are much higher than they are used to seeing.

He said 'We are using tests now that weren't used in the past, but there seems to be a belief that the virus load is higher in these patients today than what we have seen before. If true, that's a very different bug.

'I have a field team in Monrovia. They are running [tests]. They are telling me that viral loads are coming up very quickly and really high, higher than they are used to seeing.

'It may be that the virus burns hotter and quicker.'

The PM who was in Milan for a meeting of European and Asian nations, said: 'This is the biggest health problem facing our world in a generation. It is very likely to affect a number of the countries here today.

Please do not discount the danger posed by Ebola, just because it is not in the news it has not gone away.
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The Wilderness Gathering has over the years become a firm date in the diaries of those who enjoy bushcraft, nature and wilderness survival skills. The previous ten years have seen this event grow from a small event in one field with some traders and schools sharing bushcraft skills and knowledge to a festival of wilderness living skills encompassing bushcraft/survival and woodland crafts.

The show has grown into an event with something for all the family with stories and music by the campfire in the evenings and skills workshops and activities throughout the three whole days of the festival.

The Wilderness Gathering has without a doubt become the premier family event for all those interested in bush crafts and the great outdoors.

The show has bushcraft clubs for all age groups of children to get involved in plus more activities for all including den building and wilderness skills classes for all.

There are hands on demonstrations of game preparation, knife sharpening, basha boat building, bowmaking, greenwood working, archery and axe throwing and primitive fire lighting to name just a few. There are talks on survival phycology, classes on falconry and wilderness survival fishing. All of these skills are there for everybody and anybody to participate in.

You can probably pick up information on nearly all the skills needed to live in the wilderness and prosper at The Wilderness Gathering.

There is a wealth of good quality trade stands that are carefully selected to be in theme for the show selling everything from custom knives to tipis and outdoor clothing to primitive tools. The organisers have even laid on a free service bring and buy stall where you can bring along your used and unwanted kit and they’ll sell it for you.

There are local scout and explorer groups onsite promoting the World Wide Scouting Movement as well helping out with some of the classes and site logistics.

The catering is within the theme of the event with venison and game featuring on the menus plus organic cakes and drinks. The woodland and open field camping facilities (with hot showers) giving you the option to visit for the whole weekend or just to attend as a day visitor.
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Adventurers urged to ‘unleash the Dragon’
Outdoor enthusiasts are being urged to help kickstart the mass production of a world-beating waterproof and eco-friendly outdoor cooking fuel made in the UK.

160 years old Cardiff-based Company, BCB International Ltd, have developed a ground breaking environmentally-friendly solid cooking fuel called ‘FireDragon’. It can be used to light fires, cook food and warm drinks in all weather conditions. The business is seeking funds from the public through the crowdsourcing website, Kickstarter, to enable it to expand production to meet the fastly growing demand for the fuel worldwide.

BCB International Ltd.’s spokesperson, Philippe Minchin, said: "The FireDragon solid fuel is a world first, there is nothing else like it on the market. In recognition of its uniqueness, it has been granted patented status. FireDragon enables people to cook their food and warm their drinks fast in all weather conditions. It is made from sustainable, naturally derived bio-ethanol which means that it also helps to protect the environment.

"In 2014 we started small scale production of the fuel which went into selected retail outlets. This has now sparked massive interest from large International retailers. We now need to design and fabricate specialized parts and tools to enable us to achieve mass production for worldwide distribution. We don’t have the financial means to do it alone. That’s why we are asking the public to contribute what they can to help us clear the final hurdle to the mass production of a world beating product made here in the UK. They can contribute as little or as much as they like. Every pound donated brings us a step closer to introducing the ‘FireDragon’ fuel onto the world market and making outdoor cooking a safer and more eco-friendly experience"
To help unleash the full potential of FireDragon visit: or click the link at the top of my site.

A front pack is a pack or bag that allows for access of equipment from the persons chest. Front packs first and foremost allow for easy access of gear without the removal of any equipment.

In many adventure outdoor activities it can be critical to the sport to have the ability to reach essential gear fast without the removal of a backpack. Simplicity is the foremost purpose of the front pack but there are many additional benefits as well.

In all there are unlimited uses for the front pack. Front packs are the best compliment to any outdoorsman’s gear when accessibility, functionality, mobility and simplicity are required. From horseback riding, long distance biking, motorcycling and kayaking.

All sports where fast and easy access of gear is essential, a front pack is your best solution and as you can imagine it is going down a storm within the prepping and survivalist community.
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Here is Another Reason to Prepare
People were forced to ferry water from a river in the freezing darkness after strike action by NI Water workers left them high and dry.

People told how they had to melt snow in what they branded a "third world" situation.

Frustration and fears of disease are mounting in Northern Ireland as 36,000 people were left without water, some for more than a week, after a deep freeze and a sudden thaw caused aging pipes to burst.

With reservoirs running low, water supplies were cut off in many towns and cities, and residents turned to emergency water tankers and bottled water for their cooking, cleaning and drinking needs.

"It's been a nightmare," said James Lawson, a resident in Lisburn, near Belfast, who has gone without water for 13 days. "You can't wash, you can't eat because you can't wash your dishes. I think it's a fiasco,"

One woman complained that she couldn't heat her home as temperatures were forecast to plunge as low as -6C in some parts of Northern Ireland.

Scotland said it was sending 160,000 liters (42,000 gallons) of bottled water to help meet demand.

Doctors warned of potential disease outbreaks if water was not restored, but officials said it would take several days or more to bring back all service.

Some 80 towns and cities have disrupted water supplies.

There was also substantial flooding in Northern Ireland, with some floodwaters contaminated by sewage, raising public health concerns.

Residents have been urged not to wash their cars, hose down their properties or do "anything unnecessary" to waste water during the shortfall.

Many cities have made leisure and recreation centers available to the public so they can use bathroom facilities and have a place to do washing.

Closer to Self-Destruction? Doomsday Clock Could Move
The ominous hands of the "Doomsday Clock" have been fixed at 5 minutes to midnight for the past three years. But they could move tomorrow.
The clock is a visual metaphor that was created nearly 70 years ago by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Each year, the magazine's board assesses threats to humanity with special attention to nuclear warheads and climate change to decide whether the Doomsday Clock needs an adjustment. The closer the hands are to midnight, the closer the world is to a potentially civilization-ending catastrophe.

On the 22nd of January at a news conference in Washington, D.C., The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced where the hands will rest for 2015.

In 1945, shortly after the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a group of Manhattan Project scientists from the University of Chicago created The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, with a mission to help educate the public about the dangers of nuclear weapons. Two years later, the group came up with the idea for the Doomsday Clock. Martyl Langsdorf, a painter and wife of one of the scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project, illustrated the clock for the magazine cover. At the time, it was set at 11:53 p.m.

In 1953, the clock was set at 11:58 p.m., the closest it's ever been to midnight, after both the United States and the Soviet Union conducted their first tests of the hydrogen bomb. The clock's hands retreated to 11:43 p.m., 17 minutes to midnight, in December 1991, after the world's nuclear superpowers signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. But since then, the board's outlook has only been grimmer.

In January 2012, the clock's hands were pushed to 11:55 p.m., 1 minute closer to midnight than the previous year. At the time, the board was particularly concerned about the nuclear meltdown in Japan's Fukushima power plant and the creation of an airborne strain of H5N1 influenza virus. In 2013 and 2014, the clock's hands didn't budge.

As in past years, the board said climate change and nuclear warheads are the two major threats in 2015 that will influence its decision to move the hands of the clock. In a statement, the board listed some events in the past year that have influenced their deliberations: a worrying report in November 2014 from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); "inadequate" international action to cut greenhouse gas emissions during recent U.N. climate talks in Lima, Peru; and a lack of progress in the United States and Russia to shrink nuclear arsenals.

Citing unchecked climate change and the ongoing threat of nuclear weapons, scientists Thursday moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock two minutes closer to midnight.

"It is now three minutes to midnight," said Kennette Benedict, the executive director and publisher of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at a news conference in Washington, D.C. "The probability of global catastrophe is very high. This is about the end of civilization as we know it."

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There are four parts to survival and they are Shelter, Water, Fire, and Food

To be honest in an extended survival situation, food is more important than say a shelter or even fire, because without it you can't live.

But before food becomes essential to life you could die from exposure or get attacked by a wild animal due to having no fire or shelter, then you will be dead long before starvation occurs.

And fire is totally connected to water, as you need it to purify your drinking water, to prevent you getting sick which in the wilderness could be a death sentence.

However, the order of importance of the four parts of survival will vary depending on your particular situation. For example, in a cold winter environment, shelter may take precedent over all else. Wind chill is a serious threat in the cold and can increase body heat loss substantially. Next will be fire for keeping warm and melting snow.

In the desert, water will almost certainly be the most important part of survival, followed by either shelter from the burning sun, or fire for sanitizing water and keeping warm on the cold desert nights.

In a jungle, fire becomes important for drying wet clothes, sanitizing notoriously pathogen rich jungle water, and keeping disease carrying mosquitoes and dangerous predators away. Shelter becomes key for staying dry in guaranteed rain.

In a mild woodland type environment, any one of the four parts of survival will become less urgent. Generally speaking, woodlands are the most ideal place for survival living. Water can usually be found easily in rivers, lakes and ponds.

Firewood and shelter are all around, and many edible plants and animals can be found throughout.

Of course water should be at the top of your list. It only takes a day or two of no water for serious and possibly fatal dehydration to set in.

And in a hot arid desert environment you can be dead in less than 24 hours from dehydration if you are not careful. Even mild dehydration will cause a degradation of mental faculties and cause you to make poor decisions which could in the end choose your fate.

Where there is an abundance of snow, water is not even a concern. You can always eat snow if you have to, but be careful not to let it drop your core body temperature.

If you are active like traveling or working, then eating snow is a lot less dangerous than if you are just sitting down ready for a long night at camp. If you feel your core body temperature dropping, then you must exercise! Squats are especially effective.

Always melt snow if possible. In a really dire situation where you cannot melt snow, at least let it melt in your mouth before swallowing, or try to melt it using the outside of your body's heat, such as putting a snow filled container in a jacket pocket.

This will help prevent it from dropping your core body temperature, which is the most important factor when surviving in the cold.

Once your core body temperature starts to drop, that's when hypothermia begins.

Food, is usually the last priority on the list as far as short term survival goes, but obviously is essential for long term survival. A healthy person can survive for weeks, possibly even months without food. Exposure and thirst are much more immediate dangers in the wilderness.

When it comes to getting food in a survival situation, get what you can, don't be looking for a five star delicacy.

That doesn't mean you can't enjoy a delicious campfire meal, but take whatever you can when you can, regardless of the taste.

The hunger pains and lack of energy will be much harder to endure than a few seconds of bad taste in your mouth.

Ensure that you do not spend more calories acquiring a meal than you get from eating it. This creates a calorie deficit, which will eventually kill you if continued.

If food (or water) is a concern, expend as little energy as possible. The more effort you exert, the more water and calories you will use.

In cold environments, food is more important than in warmer climates. Your body burns extra calories to maintain core body temperature. So while food is usually on the bottom of the survival priority list, it can become one of the top priorities in very cold environments.

Beware of "rabbit starvation". If you consume protein without fat, you will become sick with diarrhoea in about a week.

The body cannot handle this diet. You must get fats! Once this "protein poisoning" kicks in, even after gorging on lean meat you will still feel hungry. In addition to diarrhoea, you will develop a headache and feel uncomfortable. After a few weeks of this you can die.

It is called rabbit starvation because rabbits are completely lean, and many northern hunters have developed protein poisoning by eating only rabbits.

You can mediate this by eating the entirety of the rabbit (or other lean animal) such as the brains, organs and bone marrow, in which some fat resides. But you will need to find a better source of fats in the long run.

If you acquire a bounty of meat or fish, you should preserve it for the long term by smoking meat, and drying fish.

Cut slits in a fish to help it dry better. Smoke meat by hanging it on a stick over a fire where it just gets slightly warmed and smoked, and leave it there for several hours. You should not waste any part of an animal you kill.

The organs can be eaten, the bones used for tools, the hide for clothes or shelter, and the guts for bait.

What is available to eat will vary widely on location. It's a good idea to carry some form of fishing equipment, be it just a line and hook. Try to learn the native plants in the area, but never eat anything you cannot recognize. Many edible plants have poisonous look-a-likes.

Obviously, fire is usually of huge importance in the wilderness. It can do so many things, including sterilize water, cook food, dry wet clothes, warm you, ward off predators, keep insects away, signal for rescue, provide light, make tools and even improve your attitude.

There are many ways to start a fire but to be honest the easiest and most reliable way to make fire is just to carry a lighter with you.

It's a good idea to have at least two methods for starting a fire, in case one fails or isn't suitable for the particular situation.

I like to carry a lighter and a ferro rod, but you can of course practice friction fire with sticks whenever possible. It's good to develop skills that will relieve you of being dependent on modern technology.

Don't ever forget the importance of good shelter.

The number one cause of death out there is exposure, usually to cold, wet and/or windy environments.

Anyone experienced in cold situations knows how wetness and wind can compound the pain and danger of a cold situation many times over.

Like survival expert Cody Lundin says, "Cold, strike one. Wet, strike two. Windy, strike three. You're out." Even in temperate climates, wet, wind, and only mild coldness can be very dangerous and even fatal.

In a cold and windy environment, you will want to be insulated on at least 3 out of 4 sides, and have a shelter that reflects and traps heat from a fire. In a warm jungle, you may only need a rain-blocking roof and a raised platform to keep you off the ground, away from dangerous insects and snakes.

Usually the best type of shelter is one that is already built, a "mother nature special". Solid caves, big hollow trees, or the occasional void under an evergreen tree in heavy snow, these natural shelters are the easiest and often the most effective.

I would say that even taking what I have said it will be your PMA that will see you through and is as important as any of the four parts of survival.

Urban survival shelters
Finding a shelter will not be difficult. Getting in one will be difficult. Mainly you will need a place to get out of the elements and rest.

Carry in your urban tool kit a set of lock picks. These can be for assortment of lock types. Just make sure that when not in a crisis situation you are diligent in developing your skills in the use of these tools.

Types of temporary shelters:
Underneath bridges and beside buildings. Train cars and trucks and shipping containers.

Commercial buildings: supermarkets will be overrun. You will want to avoid markets and food shops the first few days of a crisis.

Check out warehouses if there are local to you. Restaurants will be a better option than a market. Most food vendors, like restaurants, have commercial grade outdoor freezers that they have semi long store food items in.

Old farm buildings and garages.

In addition to the bug out bag itself you will need some portable carrying gear, some easy to store bags that are durable and strong.

In finding a temporary shelter you might have to do a bit of scavenging for supplies.

This will be your way to getting additional gear and food / water provisions. You may not have the ability or time to make multiple trips foraging for resources.

Types of portable bags / storage:

Rubbish bags (commercial grade)

Duffel bag / gym bag/ holdalls

You must move quickly, quietly and discretely which can be accomplished rather easily if you have been prepared.

Some good gloves that are comfortable and allow you to have lots of dexterity.

A hood would not be recommended (as your field of vision will be blocked) a scarf that can be pulled up over your face in a half mask would work better.

Wear good shoes that allow for quiet steps and the ability to climb and manoeuvre easily.

A good torch/tactical flashlight that has a lower amount of lumens. You will want to see what you are doing but have the light dispersed in a short range so your position does not become given away.

Urban survival is all about moving to shelter, gathering supplies and staying hidden.
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Why Not to Bug-Out
The plan seems simple doesn’t it? All you need for the best chance of survival for your family is a bug out bag, a good local knowledge and keeping up with what is happening in the news.

So as a knowledgeable and informed prepper you will be able survive as you have a great head start over the non prepper when SHTF.

You will take your family and your supplies hike off into the wilderness before the approaching death and destruction. You have a plan to bug out.

It sounds perfect, but now I am going to try and convince you how that might not be the best option for your survival.

There are many reasons and situations I can think of why you do not want to bug out from your home. Bugging-in is not exciting TV and therefore gets little press and media coverage, but in my opinion during most (but not all) scenarios, it is the better choice.

You live in familiar surroundings.
I’ll be the first to admit that a lot of these reasons are going to seem incredibly simple and obvious, but I think sometimes that is the best way to approach a problem.

As a prepper you have probably amassed provisions to help you get through short and long term SHTF situations. Some of you have stored a load of supplies because you have been doing this for a long time.

Even if you only have a week’s worth of food and water, that will be more than most people. You have stored your preps in easy to access containers.

When you Bug-in you don’t have to carry your preps and they are protected from the elements.

Bugging-out means leaving most if not all of your survival supplies at home. You could put them all in your BOV that would work but what if it breaks down or gets nicked? What then?

I believe that as soon as you close the front door behind you, then you and your family are simply refugees, and you will be at the mercy of those living in the area that you intend to bug-out too.

Even your living room floor is more comfortable than sleeping in the woods.
As preppers and survivalists we are used to spending time in the wilderness in all types of shelters even ones we build ourselves.

But let’s be honest even a night on the couch beats a night on Stoney ground or a night in a derelict building.

Having the right amount of sleep has a massive impact on our health. It not only affects your moods, but alertness and even immune system.

In a disaster you will be stressed in ways you haven’t even considered. You may be working really hard and have a comfortable and relatively safe place to rest your head, even if that is the living room floor but I think that will be better than the people who think they can just bug out into the woods as they won’t even have that.

Your local support network
During an emergency, you can almost guarantee that communities will band together in some way. You probably don’t consider your small neighbourhood or dead end street a community but let some disaster happen and you will see humans come together for support, safety and to help each other out.

Even neighbours you don’t get along with, will probably overcome grudges if the disaster is severe enough. Of course, there is the potential that your neighbours could turn on you for being the lone prepper but I think in most cases, things won’t go Mad Max for a little while.

If it does you will have to adjust, but I believe that most people would benefit by working with their neighbours for support.

You could have an opportunity for leadership here or compassion by helping out others who haven’t prepared. I think it will be much better to strive for this kind of relationship with people than head out the door and face the world with only what is on your back.

Cold weather kills
We have become soft in our sealed boxes with central heating and running water. I bet that most of you like to keep the thermostat somewhere in the upper 60’s to low 70’s during the winter.

But remember there are no thermostats in the woods. Whatever the temperature is outdoors is what you are going to have to survive in.

Can you start a fire, and in all weathers?
There are some situations where you wouldn’t be able to start a fire. Maybe if it was raining and you couldn’t find any dry wood or tinder, or there were people that didn’t look so friendly following you.

Bugging-in, even without power can give you advantages of shelter that you won’t easily find outdoors. You can seal off rooms and even your body heat will generate a little warmth.

You can black out your curtains with heavy gauge plastic sheeting and even the heat from a lantern or a couple of candles can put out loads of heat.

The problem with most bug out plans are that you don’t have a destination. Where are you bugging out to?

Do you think the National Forest is going to be reserved solely for you and your family? Do you think you will just set up a tent and start hunting for small game?

In a large regional disaster, there could be millions of people leaving the cities. They will be competing with you for natural resources. With even a few dozen hunters in the same area game will be depleted in days if not sooner.

Let’s say you managed to shoot a deer or even a domestic cow, do you know how to preserve the meat you cannot eat there and then?
Bugging in means that you are in an area known to you. However when you Bug-out you do not know what you are walking or driving into.

The best you can do, is to recon the area and that will really slow you down. By staying put in your home, you can set up a neighbourhood watch with your neighbours and monitor who is coming in.

This gives you the opportunity to set up defensive positions and plans that anyone walking in with thoughts of taking advantage of you, won’t be aware of.

If the people in the town do not know you, they will treat you as suspicious, maybe even hostile.

Have you ever been walking your dog and seen someone strange walking through your neighbourhood?

This was someone you didn’t know so obviously they fell under suspicion. Had they been one of your neighbours kids you would have recognized them, but this new person stood out.

That is what you will be faced with if you leave your home and go wandering through other towns and cities. In your area you will be dealing with known people that you can grow a deeper relationship with.

There is a built-in level of trust because they have lived near you for years. If you start walking into a strange town with your bug out bags and say a weapon on your shoulder you may not like the attention you receive.

Gear is heavy and a lot of gear is heavier.
Speaking of walking about, how many of you have walked for 3 days with your bug out bag? OK, now add a full complement of bullets and anything else you think you might need to defend yourself.

It adds up quickly even when you try to reduce the weight of your bug out bag as much as possible.

These weren’t meant to live for a long time out of. Your food will run out, possibly any ammo and that will help you with the weight, but in a disaster where you are walking out the door in full combat gear, do you think the supermarkets will be open when you run out of something?

Even the old timer’s way back in the Wild West had to come into the store to replenish their preps.

Maybe you are one of the lucky ones that have a BOL. If you don’t get out before everyone else starts leaving, you could be stuck on the road.

What if your old bug out vehicle breaks down? All those supplies you stored in the back of that trailer are either going to feed a lot of other people on the motorway or you will most likely die defending them.

If you are not in your BOL before the disaster happens, you will have to be incredibly fast to avoid getting stranded. Let’s say you are ready to go, do you know when you would actually leave?

Do you know when the S has actually HTF and it’s time to leave or will you debate leaving with your wife and mother for two days because they think it will all blow over soon?

Leaving home may put you in a worst situation than staying put.

If you get hurt you want to be near a secure shelter not under a tarp

I have a decent first aid supply kit. I don’t have IV’s and proper medicine but I can take care of most home injuries pretty well.

Imagine you somehow break your leg after the grid is down. Would you rather drag yourself into the house, or be stuck in the woods for weeks unable to move?

Most hospitals don’t stick their patients out in the back garden for a good reason and that is with a good roof over your head you have protection from the elements.

If nothing else, it will be a relatively clean and safe place to get better that beats lying under a log.

How to Make Roasted Dandelion Root Coffee
Roasted Dandelion Root Coffee is a surprisingly delicious beverage! It closely resembles coffee in flavour and body when brewed properly. I serve it at all my workshops and presentations and am always amused by the response. People tend to hesitantly sample it with a look of serious doubt on their faces, and the next thing you know the whole pot disappears!

Dandelion Root is a rich treasury of vitamins and minerals, as well as trace minerals and micronutrients. It also contains numerous medicinal components, but one that draws particular attention lately is a substance called inulin, which may be an important ingredient in managing diabetes.

Even the bitter flavour of the Dandelion Coffee is good for you as it helps to stimulate the entire digestive system, from the appetite all the way to the better absorption of nutrients. Truly there is a fine line between food and medicine with this precious herb!

There are no harmful substances in Dandelion Coffee, unlike our commercial coffees that do far more harm than good. I think we would be far better off if we started each day with a hot cup of Dandelion!

The best place to harvest is from a farm field that gets ploughed frequently or a large garden. The soil will be looser, which allows the roots to get really big and also makes for much easier digging. The dandelions in your lawn or other mowed places are generally stunted and yield very small roots.

Look for the biggest, thickest clumps of dandelion leaves, as these are usually fed by a nice, fat root. I also carry a knife with me to cut the greens away from the roots. You will need about one 5-gallon bucket of roots to make 3 or 4 quarts of roasted Dandelion Root. This would yield 10 gallons or so of coffee.

If you have time, take the greens home separately and prepare them for freezing.

Washing the Roots
I used to scrub each root by hand, and believe me this was a lot of work! I have since developed a much more efficient method where I can process large quantities relatively quickly.

To wash the roots, (you’ll probably want to do this step outside) put them in a bucket, fill it with water and agitate the roots with your hands until the water is very muddy. Pour off the water, fill the bucket again and repeat this process a few times until the water runs clear. At this point you should have a pile of beautiful, golden dandelion roots. Don’t worry if there is still some dirt left on them, as you will need to wash them one more time anyway.

Grinding the Roots
With a large kitchen knife, cut the roots into chunks. Put these into a large bowl and fill with water. Agitate with your hands until water gets cloudy, pour off and repeat until water runs clear.

Put about 2 cups of chunky roots into your food processor and whiz them on high until they are chopped into a coarse-looking mixture.

Put these in a bowl and whiz up the rest of the roots 2 cups or so at a time until they are all ground. (Note: Other instructions I have seen for making Dandelion Coffee roast the roots whole, but I find it a whole lot easier and more convenient to grind them fresh.)

Roasting the Roots
Spread the coarse-ground Dandelion Roots on baking sheets about ½ inch deep.

Try to roast as much as you can at one time.

Set the oven at 250° and leave the oven door slightly ajar while they are roasting so that moisture can escape.

You will be both drying and roasting the roots in this step. The roasting process takes about 2 hours. As the roots dry, they will shrink down to about ¼ of the size when fresh.

After they dry they will begin to roast, going from a blonde colour to a dark coffee colour.

Be sure to stir them frequently with a spatula to assure even drying and roasting.

As they get close to desired colour, be careful not to burn them now simply cool and store in glass jars.

Making the Coffee
Some people grind the roots further in a coffee mill so that they are nearly powdered and make it in their coffee pot. I prefer to use them as they are, and make the coffee like a tea in a simmering pot of water.

Use 1 level Tablespoon of Roasted Root for each cup of water. Or use 1/3 cup root for each quart of water or 1-1/3 per gallon. You make need to adjust these amounts to your taste if you like it stronger or weaker.

I make the coffee in a pot on the stove, simmering the roots gently for 10-15 minutes or until it yields a rich, coffee-coloured brew.

Serve hot with cream and sugar or however you like your coffee.
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Winter Fishing Tips
When the temperature plummets and the days are at their shortest, Stillwater coarse fishing takes a noticeable change in direction and can leave many Anglers scratching for bites as well as their heads.

But with a little careful planning and knowledge you can make the most of your fishing session on even the coldest of winter days, here are a few things to think about and try next time you decide to brave the elements at this time of year.

Fish Activity
It’s probably the single most important factor to realize that in cold weather fish tend to become lethargic, moving around much less to conserve energy than they would in warmer weather.

The result is they need less food and are likely to feed less often. To save energy fish will often "hole up" in a spot they know is beneficial to them, places which are warmer, contain natural food items or plenty of cover are all likely sanctuaries you will locate fish in the cold winter months.

Good knowledge of your peg will help you find the fish holding features

Locate the fish
A good knowledge of the water you intend to fish can pay massive dividends, fish holding features in summer are often great fish hideouts during winter, however it is at this time of year that vegetation such as weed and lily beds die back, leaving their root systems submerged well below the water and often invisible from the surface.

If you know such features existed in summer then give them a go as these are great natural food sources for winter fish.

Other great areas to look for are deep water and drop offs as these too can hold natural food stocks which the fish will take advantage of during harsh weather.

Areas protected from cold winds or that get the miniscule amount of sunshine available at this time of year may also hold a few extra fish.

Try to find areas of the fishery that have some, if not all these options available to you when selecting your peg.

A pre-bait can be great
As we know fish are less active and need less energy when temperatures are low, so it follows that fish need less food in lower temperatures.

That said fish will feed and feed harder if conditions are right for them.

To give yourself the best chance of catching fish at this potentially tricky time of year you may consider pre-baiting your swim in advance of your session, by introducing a few loose offerings into your chosen spot over the course of a week or so you will effectively create an artificial larder for the fish to feed on.

If pre-baiting is not a practical option for you, choosing pegs which are fished regularly are a great alternative, ask the bailiff, other people fishing, walkers or anyone who might be able to indicate recent fishing activity, in the absence of this then look on the bank for discarded bait, mud patches, brolly holes or dare I say even litter.

Fish these pegs and find to the fish holding features within them to increase your chance of catching.

Keeping your tackle light where possible will help get extra bites, the reason is that as fish activity drops, so does the water colour. As the water clarity improves, fish rely less on their sense of smell and more on vision to locate food items and avoid potential threats, so keeping rigs simple and small will prevent the fish from spotting your trap.

Identify the size of your target species to give yourself the best chance of landing the fish when you hook them, scale your line and hook to your target fish.

For example if the fish you are after are Carp and the majority of Carp in your fishery are around 3lb, use a 3lb line with say a size 18 hook, for fish double that size, say 6lb line with size 14 hook, there are no hard a fast rules and you can change to smaller hooks if you fail to get bites, you can even reduce the line breaking strain or diameter although it is advisable to use hook lengths to avoid leaving large fish trailing rigs should you have a break off, particularly when fishing swims with snags hook lengths are better for the fish and will save you the cost of losing your whole rig.
Food for thought Whether Carp fishing or general coarse fishing, giving yourself several options to catch fish will always increase your chances of a result. Choose your swims carefully and fish as many as you feel comfortable with, not forgetting that you will need to feed all the swims little and often throughout your session. Starting to introduce bait into your swim can make or break the swim, the old adage you can put in but you cannot take out is extremely important in winter and starting with very small amounts of bait say 3 maggots or casters every 5 minutes is plenty to start, you can always increase slightly as you start to catch fish, introduce too much feed and the fish that are in your swim may well become full and not feed for several hours if at all.

Hamper not Hampered
The correct choice of bait is another critical factor in ensuring you catch well, a good selection of baits in your hamper will not hamper your catch.

Smaller more natural baits will work better in the colder clear water conditions, as the fish are more wary and feeding more by vision, smell will play a factor too, the use of highly soluble additives may help although natural baits that move such as worms, various colour maggots or their smaller cousins pinkies are essential, once you start to catch on these then increasing the bait size and use of static baits could produce larger bonus fish.

Particular bright baits such as bread and corn can catch the eye of fish as they drop through the clear water and tempt a few extra bites on even the hardest day.

Ground-bait can be a great attractor in winter and tailoring your ground-bait to the colour of the lake bottom is key to prevent wary fish from being an obvious target to its predators, imagine a white whale on a black background, obvious really that a lethargic fish wouldn’t want to waste un-necessary energy escaping from a predator that it could have hidden from, had the bed of ground-bait not been so bright.

By taking into account some or all of the points mentioned you too can increase your chances of catching in cold weather.

Rather than put off that fishing session until the weather improves why not grab your tackle and go, as a wise man once said there is no such thing as poor weather only poor clothing so wrap up warm and get yourself on the bank.
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My Trail Mix Recipes
Trail mix these days goes way beyond basic the good old raisins and peanuts.

From sweet to savoury, there are thousands of combinations to appeal to any palate or snack craving. Combine any favourite (dry) ingredients and stash the mix in an airtight container in a cool, dry location to prevent spoilage, it really is that simple.

Trail mix was invented (according to legend, in 1968 by Hadley Food Orchards) to be eaten while hiking or doing another strenuous activity.
It’s lightweight, portable, and full of energy-dense ingredients like dried fruit, nuts, and chocolateperfect for trailside noshing.

For those same reasons, trail mix can pack a hefty caloric punch, especially when we mindlessly munch while sitting around at work or home.
Mix ‘n’ Matchthe Ingredients

These pint-sized nutritional dynamos are loaded with healthy unsaturated fats, protein, fibre, antioxidants, vitamin E, and other essential vitamins and minerals.

Whether they’re raw or roasted, go for unsalted, unsweetened nuts to keep sugar and sodium under control.

My healthy favourites include: Almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts. Higher-calorie macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, and pine nuts.

For those with nut allergies (or just looking to mix things up), seeds provide many of the same nutritional benefits as nuts. Hemp seeds, for example, are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, gamma linolenic acid, protein, zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium.

I sometimes sprinkle a handful of pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, or hemp seeds in trail mix for an extra boost of nutrients.

Dried Fruit
This surgery treat in moderation will provide much needed energy, dried fruit can be also a great source of fibre, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K.

Look for dried fruit options with as little added sugar and preservatives as possible (some varieties, like cranberries, are naturally quite tart and almost always sweetened with cane sugar or apple juice). It’s also pretty easy to make your own dried fruit at home in the oven.

My favourites are: Dried apples, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, apricots, raisins, banana chips, figs, pineapple chunks, mango, and dates.

Add some complex carbohydrates to your custom blend for extra fibre, which boosts overall energy and helps to keep you full, and of course regular.

Choose whole grains whenever possible and avoid highly processed cereals that add unnecessary sugar and sodium.

Shredded wheat cereal, pretzels, whole-grain cereals like Cheerios or bran flakes, whole-wheat crackers, granola, toasted oats, puffed rice cereal, and air-popped popcorn can all add a little bit of crunch.

Sometimes we all need a little something sweet to round out the mix. Just remember to add treat-like options sparingly (unless you’re making dessert instead of a snack).

Add a sprinkling of M&Ms, crisps of various kinds (chocolate, peanut butter, butterscotch), yogurt-covered raisins, chocolate-covered coffee beans, mini marshmallows, or chocolate-covered nuts. When going the chocolate route, choose dark varieties for extra antioxidants.

Savoury Extras
Once the building blocks are all set, adding spices is a great way to change up the flavour a bit. Season the mix with sea salt, curry, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, or cayenne pepper, garlic salt. Or create your own mix of spices.

Keep taste buds guessing with wasabi peas, coconut flakes, sesame sticks, dried ginger, and coffee beans.

My favourite basic recipe I put in zip lock bags.
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1/2 cup dried tart cherries

1/2 cup dried blueberries

1/2 cup dried pineapple pieces

1 cup candy-coated dark chocolate pieces (such as M&M's Dark Chocolate ®)

2 1/2 cups salted deluxe mixed nuts (without peanuts)

My favourite luxury recipe I put in zip lock bags.
1/4 cup walnut halves

1/4 cup pecan halves

1/4 cup cashew nuts

1/4 cup almonds

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup pine nuts

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup raisins (dark)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Your trail mix recipe will of course be different to mine and so it should be but as you can see the choice really is yours.

My Bug-out-Bag
I’ve carried a bug-out-bag (BOB) with me for many years, so you would think that it would be an easy topic to write about, on the contrary it’s a very complicated subject.

You see my BoB is designed just for me, not you!
Perhaps that’s why there are numerous articles across the Internet from people asking what a bug-out-bag is, what the contents should be, and do I really need one.

To make the subject even more complicated people use loads of different names for bug-out-bags, such as, Bail Out Bags, Ditch Kit, Go Bag, 72 hr. kit, Get Home Bag, Get Out Of Dodge. (G.O.O.D) and the list goes on.

And then there is Every Day Carry (EDC),
In its simplest form, a bug-out-bag is literally a bag of emergency supplies/gear that "you" believe would sustain you in an emergency situation or catastrophic event to get you from point A to point B.

It is in real terms a Survival Bag.
Is your bug-out-bag going to save your life, maybe, maybe not? I don’t know if I’ve ever read where a person stating that a bug-out-bag absolutely saved his or her life.

Nonetheless, in the event of an emergency if you have a bug-out-bag I can almost guarantee you, that you will be more prepared than 99% of the other individuals in the same situation. You will also have a psychological advantage as well, so while the majority of people may be frantic because they are unprepared, you able are to move in a confident manner because you took the time to prepare.

You have a survival bag filled with what you need you have a very good chance of coming out of this disaster alive.

So what’s my philosophy on bug-out-bags? When I design and build bug-out-bags I build urban bags. The reason is quite simply, I live in the suburbs and need to get from the city back to the suburbs or from the suburbs to my bug out location.

In either event, I’m not heading off to the woods, so my bags will consist of items for that particular task. My bags will look like any other bag, I want to blend into the crowd and be just another brick in the wall.

Sit down and think about your average day and where you spend the majority of your time. For me, I spend the most time in my home, driving in my vehicle.

In reality I spend about as much time away from my home as I do in it. So, it might make sense to have a bug-out-bag located in your vehicle and your home.

For some that might not be practical, it may be better to carry one bag to each of your locations. This is totally up to you, but it’s something to consider.

So what’s inside a bug-out-bag? I promise, that no two people will agree on the contents of a bug-out-bag. Why? Because each one of us has different opinions on what’s important and each of our situations is different based on things such as location, geography, personal needs, where we are going, etc.

Having said that, I do believe that most people (not all) will agree on certain "basic" elements of a bug-out-bag. After you obtain your basic items what you add after that is entirely up to you.

Basic items should include the following:










First Aid


You will notice right straight away that I did not add a weapon to my basic list. From a security and liability stand point; this bag will generally be lying around possibly unattended or in a vehicle, so it’s probably not a wise idea to keep a weapon in the bag. But, here again this is entirely up to you.

You can easily buy pre-made kits off of the Internet to get you started, but I personally prefer to build my own kits from scratch.

The problem I have with pre-made kits is, how can you buy a whole survival kit cost only £20 when you can’t even purchase a good backpack for less than £50 now a days.

It just doesn’t add up, it doesn’t make good sense to me Plus, in the event that a disaster does strike, I don’t want to have to guess if my equipment will work or stand up to harsh conditions. A bug-out-bag should be something like an investment.

The main things that I consider when building a bug-out-bag are:
1. Weight

2. Durability

3. Cost

You will inevitable have a number of problems related to an emergency situation and the weight of your bug-out-bag is going to top your list, not at first mind you, but later when you become exhausted.

To help with this, you need to "field strip" everything in your bag including the bag itself. Remove anything that is unnecessary to your survival such as packaging surrounding your gear. Don’t stop there, go through your entire bag and do the same with everything in the bag. I mean as an example why carry a multi-tool with a bottle opener and a bottle opener.
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The Get-Home-Bag and the Bug out Plan
WTSHTF maybe you are prepared for an extended survival scenario away from civilization, but you have to get out of the city first (maybe). In a disaster situation that might not be so easy. However If you have these three things in place you will greatly increase your chances.

Get Home Bag (GHB) imagine for a minute that you work downtown in a large city; maybe you take the underground or take a bus to work every day.

You are in a large office building with many floors, thousands of people, and you are on the fifteen or twentieth floor.

If a disaster strikes, how are you going to get out? I mean literally.

If there is an earthquake or a catastrophic man made event how are you going to get out of your building? How are you going to get down the street? How are you going to get home?

Do you want to be one of the people covered in dust wandering around in shock? I don’t.

But I have my Bug out Bag you say!
Oh really, where is it? Even if it is in your car it is useless to you at this point. The car park is at street level and possibly hundreds of yards away. That could mean life or death in this situation and you need to act now.

Even if you could get to your Bug 0ut Bag, how much good would it do you in this environment? Most people’s B.O.B. is packed for survival with wilderness Camping gear, food, clothing, etc.

A Get Home Bag contains an entirely different set of tools and serves one purpose: To get you from wherever you are to your Home.

How to Choose an Urban Survival Bag
Your GHB should contain things that are going to get you out of the building like a crowbar. Things to help you make it through the aftermath like water and breathing masks.

Things you might use to help rescue others like torches/flashlights or radios. Things that will help you on what could be a very long walk home such as food and maybe walking shoes.

Clearly a GHB is not a Bug 0ut Bag. Sure they have some overlap, but a GHB can be much smaller, less weight conscious, have more specific tools, and be planned for one purpose. Do you have one cached in your office or place of work?

OK you have a Bug out Plan and you made it home, now what? Let’s assume that the SHTF out there.

You have surveyed the situation and determined that the city is in mass chaos and you need to get out now. What do you do? Again, you have your Bug out Bag, but you still have to get out of the city. Do you have a Bug out Plan?

For our purposes here, let’s assume that your Bug out Plan needs to get you from your home to your serious survival cache or Bug out Location outside of the city.

I understand that not everybody has caches hidden in various places, and even fewer people have a dedicated Bug out Location. While you should probably be working on that, you still need a Bug out Plan.

There’s no way I can go through all of the various problems you might encounter while trying to bug out of your city so you will have to plan for yourself.

What I will give you are some questions to consider and one rule: Contingency. Is your way out double, triple and quadruple backed up?

If the motorways are blocked or closed down do you have an A road route?

If no roads are passable do you have an off road route?

If driving is out of the question do you have a planned walking route (Do you have OS maps of your area in your Bug out Bag?) have you a compass, can you use it?

Do you have a rendezvous point with other family members?

A Bug in Plan
Pretend you just got home again, but this time you surveyed the situation and decided that you are not in immediate danger but are still not at situation normal.

Now what do you do? A Bug in Plan is for emergency situations where you can stay in your own home but have to rely on your own preparations to survive.

This might just mean that you will be without power or water for an extended period. Maybe it means you actually can’t leave your home at all for whatever reason.

What plans do you have in place to live like this? A Bug in Plan should include food and water preparations first and foremost.

What will you eat since all of the food in your refrigerator is going to be bad soon? Do you really want to live on the backpack meals out of your Bug out Bag when you don’t have to?

How much water do you have stored? Do you have a sewage system set up? Do you have unprepared neighbours’ to worry about? (To help or guard against?)

Starting out in a survival situation in an urban environment is almost an immediate set-back compared to those bugging out from more rural areas, but with a Get Home Bag, a Bug Out Plan, and a Bug In Plan you are better off than most people.

Survival Preparedness is a process or a condition of being prepared to survive.
To Survive. The phrase could be taken literally that is, to stay alive. The words, to survive, could also be interpreted less literally more like staying healthy or healthier than otherwise.

In the context of survival preparedness, some will describe this notion to its very basic core like the ability to survive in the wilderness without any modern help whatsoever, you are on your own, life and death circumstances, black and white.

Others will describe survival preparedness more-or-less in the context of living within today’s modern society parameters, and utilizing the modern tools available today in order to prepare or be prepared for various problems that may occur tomorrow.

What I’m trying to say is that there are some ‘survival preparedness’ "preppers" that are more hard-core than others and I’ve noticed that the movement has been coined with two labels in an apparent attempt to delineate their core values.

I’m not so sure that I agree with labels and definitions, knowing that there are all sorts of ‘shades of grey’, but having said that, the two labels are Survivalists and Preppers.

Survivalists are seen to be hard core while the Preppers are the soft core. Again, I do not agree with the labelling here, but the fact is that it exists.
The Prepper is thought of as someone who is fully functioning within the system of modern society, preparing for minor disruptions that may come their way, while the Survivalist is considered to be on the edge, perhaps already hunkered down in their bunker or survival retreat ready for Armageddon.

As in all walks of life, there are truly the extremes, and lots of in-between.

When it comes to survival preparedness, I believe that the spectrum is all pretty much OK, so long as it’s within the law of the land.

Since there are so very many different types of people, personalities, skills, and interests, there will likewise be a multitude of variety when it comes to how one prepares, and what they are preparing for.

People will interpret risks differently from one another and people will be in varying vicinities of the risk themselves. Some face much higher risk than others based on their geographical location, their occupation, their own current financial and preparedness situation, etc.

Personally, I think that it’s great how more and more ordinary people are waking up and realizing that things are not all Rosy out there and that there are very real risks facing us all as the world’s economic systems are teetering on the brink of failure while the rumour of wars fill the air.

There will always be ‘newbies’ to survival preparedness and there will always be veterans of the same. There’s room for everyone.

Just remember this… by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

The Bug out Week 2015 is Coming
Details and information.
Please read the information on their FB page before you say that you are going as there is a £5 deposit to pay for your place and all the places are limited.

They are now taking deposits; £5 per person

All deposits are non-refundable.

You must say what the deposit is for in the notes on paypal before you send payment and what system you are using to bug out.

Here is the paypal address to make payments to;

Community of UK Preppers (Bug out Weekend)
Come and join us on the 2nd to the 4th may 2015 to share and learn ideas with other likeminded people.

Location is near Scunthorpe Winteringham Lane, West Halton. DN15 9AX

The location is nice 16 acre spot with a variation of different types if terrain, from a wooded area, good for hammocks, tents and bug out vehicles. Then an open area used for summer grazing that is also good for tents and tarps with poles and bug out vehicles.

Just follow your sat nav and pick up the signs to the meeting as you approach, the signs will say BUG and there will be an arrow that will point in the right direction.
Here are the spaces that are still available.

All spaces are designated specific areas of the Bug out Weekend location that are suitable for that type of bugging out system as the location is a wild managed area and has a range of different types of ground.

All the places listed here are for the tree covered areas of the location.

Hammocks 15 spaces. 09 left

Tarps and tents 30 Places 27 left

4x4 and off road vehicles 20 places. 16 left

Campervans and trailers 15 places 12 left

There is a large open ground area of the location for the Bug Out Weekend to use whatever system you choose, but this area will be limiting to 40 spaces.

Admission Fee
£20.00 for adult over 16 years

£10.00 for child under 16 years

Free for child under 10 years

Traders and promoters are welcome for no extra cost to the entrance fee.

Anyone who says they are going to the event must pay a non-refundable £5.00 deposit per person to secure their place.

Once payment has been made you will receive your payment receipt reference number. This number is to be presented on entry to the Bug out Weekend where the deposit will be deducted from the admission cost that is to be paid upon entry.

Please arrange any train Tickets to Scunthorpe as soon as possible (ASAP) as this will save you money and could be cheaper than your own car.

The organisers can arrange to pick you up from Scunthorpe Train Station and drop you back off for a fee of £3.00. Please let them know as soon as possible if you require this service.

There will be a toilet facility in place.

There will be ranges for Archery, Crossbow, Air rifle, live round rifles and shotgun too.

There will be a solar Shower available with hot water available if needed.

There will be a Marquee set up in case of any wet weather so it won't stop people who want to do a bit of socialising

There will be a BBQ for anyone who wants to have a good old meat feast at the cost of £5.00 per head

UK Firearms Licensing Act
For anyone who wishes to bring along a gun or rifle that requires to be licensed under the UK Firearms licensing act 1968.

It is every owner’s responsibility to ensure they are covered under the UK Firearms licensing act and proof of cover for any such firearms must be shown before you are allowed entry to the Bug out Weekend meeting.

The organisers or associates will not be held responsible for any transportation of unlicensed Firearms to or from the Bug out Weekend.

See the link below and click on it or copy and paste it to your browser.

Strict safety rules and timing guidelines at the range points must be followed at all times.

All guidelines and disclaimers will be presented on entry to the Bug out Weekend meeting by security staff.

All guidelines and disclaimers must be read and understood before signing and entry to the Bug out Weekend.




Just a quick one

I do hope to see you there as we had a great time with the Bug out Weekend meeting Back in May 2014.

The weather was amazing even though the Met Office said it was going to pour down with strong winds and low temperatures,

That put a lot of people off. That was annoying as it takes a bit of effort to say the least to organise the thing and make it work.

So just come along and Bug out Weekend with us and try out your survival systems and learn some new things along the way.

Even if you have never done anything like this before, just bring your camping gear and see what people do.

There are plenty of us to help and give advice. That's what the Bug out Weekend is all about.

If you need to borrow anything I am sure we can help.

Just let us know in advance.

Make some friends and have a laugh in the sun or in the marque and the Bug Out Weekend will be what we make it.

We do appreciate your support.

Bug Out Weekend (CUP)




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