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Showing posts with label Survival Skills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Survival Skills. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Measure Distance Using Compass

Your compass is a measuring tool that can be adapted to a variety of needs. As shown here, it can be used to measure more than just direction.

You can use your magnetic compass to determine the width of a stream or small body of water without having to get wet. This quick and easy method of determining distance using a compass may just come in handy. In any case, it is always a good trick you can use to amaze your fellow survivors.

Here is how it is done.

1. Standing at the edge of the water, sight an object directly across from you on the far bank. Take a compass reading on this object and mark the spot where you are standing.

2. Walk along the stream until the compass reading to the same object across the stream changes by 45-degrees and mark this spot also.

3. Now measure the distance between the two marks you set. This will be equal to the distance between the first mark and the object you sighted across the stream.

For example:

Say you are standing next to a stream and directly across from you on the opposite bank is a large tree. Take out your compass and sight the tree. 

Let’s pretend the compass reads 300-degrees (Azimuth type compass) or S30W (Quadrant type compass). Mark this spot and then walk either downstream or upstream until the compass sighting on the same tree reads 45-degrees in either direction from your first reading (either 255-degrees or 345-degrees on an azimuth type compass, S15E or N15W on a quadrant type compass). 

Mark this position also. The width of the stream is equal to the distance between your two marks on the ground. If you have practiced pacing (and every survivor should) you can count the number of paces between the two marks and calculate the width of the stream.

The best survivalists are skilled in using whatever materials at hand in novel ways that give him an edge over his environment. "Thinking out of the box" is a trademark of the true survivor.

~Urban Man~

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Field Reload Kit With Brass Shotgun Ammo

"Urban Man: Here is another great video from a friend of mine."

Warning: For educational purposes only. Use these techniques at your own risk.


1. Brass shot shells (size for weapon system being used, 12 gauge, etc.)
2. Shot
3. Pyrodex Rifle and shotgun powder (or preferred brand)
4. 209 shotgun primers
5. Large pistol primers
6. Wadding material
7. Over shot card material
8. Lighter and glue stick
9. Primer crimp tool or "C" clamp setup with deep well socket
10. Primer removal tool
11. Powder tamper tool
12. Powder and shot measuring tool
13. Container for brass shells
14. Container to store kit
15. 15/64 inch drill bit
16. 23/64 inch drill bit
17. Wad and over shot cutter tool
18. Drill
19. Flat piece metal stock
20. Rubber hammer or similar 
21. Flat piece of wood stock

Converting brass shell to accept the 209 primer:

1. First use the 15/64 drill bit and drill out the primer hole.
2. Using a 23/64 drill bit, drill a slight recess in the primer hole deep enough to allow the primer rim to seat flush with the bottom of the shell. See photo above.
3. Seat the 209 primer like you would a regular 12 gauge shell when reloading.

Note: Shotgun firing these types of reloads need to be cleaned more often than factory loaded ammo.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Reload 209 Shotgun Primers Using Field Expedient Methods

Warning: For educational purposes only. Use these techniques at your own risk.

Tools used for field expedient reloading

Items needed to reload 209 primer

Removing 209 primer components

209 primer assembly

"Urban Man" My survival buddy sent me another post in a series of reloading shotgun ammo. This video shows how to reload the primer as well when you have no primer replacements."

Suggested tools used:

1. Antique hand primer crimp tool
2. Wood dowel for powder, wad and shot compressing
3. Primer removal tool with socket base (5/8 inch socket)
4. Rubber hammer
5. Wad cutter tool (for what ever size shell you are loading)
6. Flat punch that fits inside primer cup to flatten out dimple
7. Flat piece of metal stock
8. Flat piece of wood
9. Strike anywhere matches
10. Powder and shot measuring cups
11. Wad material (paper, plastic, wool, etc)
12. Over shot card material (cardboard, playing cards, etc)
13. 5.5 mm socket (used to remove primer cup)
14. Pin or finishing nail used to pound out primer cup.
15. Lighter or similar flame source
16. Glue stick
17. Rifle and shotgun powder with container (I used Pyrodex RS)
18. Bird shot with container (I used #7 1/2 in the video) 

Note: Do not allow the ammo to get wet. Do not jar the ammo around by throwing into an ammo can or something of that nature. Protect the ammo until it is needed. It is best to shoot this ammo from a single shot or double barrel shotgun rather than a pump action. A pump action can be used if you load and fire one round at a time rather than using the pump action.

One drawback from reloading spent primers is the chance that the match head powder or what ever other ignition source was used may not ignite and you get a dude fire.

In the event the primer does not ignite, wait about 60 seconds with the end of the barrel pointed on target in the event there is a cook off. A cook off is when the powder could be smoldering but has not yet ignited. If it ignites and the end of the barrel is pointed toward someone, there may be a chance of an accidental shooting.

Always inspect the shells for damage and cracks. Do not reuse or shoot damaged ammo. Use safety glasses when loading your ammo and keep open flames away from your powder. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Fielding Expedient Ammo Reloading

"Urban Man~ Here is an interesting lesson from a survival buddy of mine."

Caution: This lesson is for educational purposes only. Gun powder is dangerous. Firing damaged or incorrectly loaded ammo is dangerous as well.

There may be a time in ones life when it may become necessary to have to reload ammo in the field, especially in a wilderness survival situation or the collapse of society. 

We are comfortable in knowing that at the moment we have access to ready made store bought ammo. But, what if that luxury was some how taken away? What if there were no stores left or available to purchase our ammo?

In such as situation, ammo can still be available if one knew how to obtain what was needed to reload their own. Spent ammo shells, especially shotgun shells can be found laying around all over the desert. Primers can be reconditioned and reloaded. Black powder can be homemade. Lead shot can be made from scrape lead.

You really do not need fancy reloading equipment in order to reload ammo in an emergency or self reliant situation.

Learn now to start saving your spent ammo hulls and shells. Set them aside to be reloaded at a later date when the time is needed.

Here are the steps that were covered in the video to reload a 12 gauge shell: (if this is the first time a plastic shotgun shell is being used, cut the top crimp fingers off the shell where the crimp line meets the star crimp.)

1. Remove primer
2. Install a new primer
3. Measure powder and add to shell
4. Using dowel rod, gently compress the powder in the shell
5. Add correct amount of wading (plastic, paper, animal hair, leather, etc.)
6. Using dowel rod again, gently compress the wad into the shell
7. Add correct amount of shot. (insure that there is enough room at the opening of the shell to add the over-shot card)
8. Add over-shot card and compress gently with dowel rod
9. Add glue over top of shot card ensuring that the inside walls of the shell receive glue as well
10. Immediately add another shot card over the top of the first one and apply gentle pressure to allow glue to spread out

Note: Do not allow the ammo to get wet. Do not jar the ammo around by throwing into an ammo can or something of that nature. Protect the ammo until it is needed. It is best to shoot this ammo from a single shot or double barrel shotgun rather than a pump action. A pump action can be used if you load and fire one round at a time rather than using the pump action.

Always inspect the shells for damage and cracks. Do not reuse or shoot damaged ammo. Use safety glasses when loading your ammo and keep open flames away from your powder. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Urban Survival Skills - Fire Starting with Magnesium and Steel received a comment on a recent Bug Out Bag Post,...."Anonymous said...Good information and good tips on all the bug out items. Can you do a couple short videos on fire-starting for those if us who don't do it very often? Also with the metal sticker creating sparks technique? Thanks."

UrbanMan replies: Fire Starting should be a basic skill for all. However, I imagine there are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people who either have not started a fire or have only used a butane lighter to start a fire and then maybe using a flammable source (I'm thinking charcoal briquets, propane grills, etc.)

I carry several butane lighters in my kit. I use green duct tape over the plastic part of the lighter to protect against cracks and crushing. I also carry several boxes of wooden stick matches in my Bug Out Bag, and, Strike Anywhere Storm matches in my small, complete Survival Kit. Wow, alot of fire starting tools, but starting a fire is so important.

The key to starting a Survival fire is to have a flame source, igniter material (something that catches on fire easy and burns with a flame, and your tinder. I carry small strips of newspaper rolled up and dunk in liquid wax, compressed cotton wads and a small bag of dryer lint (save that dryer lint!). You should keep your igniter material in a water proof container.

You need to have tinder (dry wood works best) from small pieces to feed into your ignited material to increasingly larger pieces and fuel (larger pieces of wood to burn longer). Wet wood makes a sizeable amount of smoke which can give away your position if this is a concern. So be careful with your tinder material and fuel. Have this available so you can rapidly use it as your igniter material may quickly burn out, and no sense using more than you have to.

I also carry a magnesium stick and steel. The steel is struck against the magnesium to produce sparks onto your igniter. Why the magnesium and steel if I have more lighters than I can use at one time plus matches? Same reason why you learn to navigate by the stars, tell direction from the sun's shadows and filter water with expedient means such as charcoal and sand. You may need this skill.

I am traveling right now, so I asked a friend of mine to shoot a video using magnesium and steel to start a fire. He is very familiar with living off and reading the land and if you are into horses you may enjoy his site:

Hope you can get something out of his fire starting with magnesium and steel video.

Oh and my apologies to Xcalbr8 I told the Functional Horseman, who shot the video, that a reader named Xcaliber8 asked for it. Sorry buddy.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Urban Survival Skills – Caching Supplies

If your Urban Survival Plan is to Bug Out at the appropriate time to a safe location, which may be a family farm or a friends cabin, you need to consider pre-locating some supplies, material and equipment close to this safe location in case you do not have the chance to upload your vehicle with everything you are planning on taking, or, in case you are regulated to moving on foot to this safe location.

One method to pre-locate Survival supplies would be just to have your friends or family stock it for you. However if you drop off a few pad locked foot lockers at your safe location, you run the risk of it not being there when you arrive. What happens if you are late in arriving there and they get curious as to what you have in those foot lockers or worse yet, didn’t plan well themselves and are scavenging for food or whatever you have in these foot lockers? What happens if your friends or family get overrun?

One of the best ways to pre-locate Survival Supplies is by Caching. Caching is the art of preparing, packaging and hiding items so you can retrieve them when needed.

There are a few considerations for emplacing caches. You want to emplace them in a location where you can get to them in case the safe location is compromised. What happens if you finally get to your safe location and you see forty motorcycles parked out front and your friends hanging in the tree or laying face down on the ground?

The caches have to be well hidden and survive accidental discovery by passers by and from discovery by people who may think you have hidden something in the area. You have to be able to find these caches, months or years after you emplace them – don’t trust your memory, prepare a cache report.

The Survival items must be prepared well and the cache container should provide protection from the elements, most notably water or moisture.

Good cache containers are surplus military ammunition cans, sealable buckets and large PVC tubes. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) makes excellent cache containers since it is relatively cheap and easy to find, can be water proofed easily (using PVC cement) and painted to help camouflage and hide. Plus PVC pipe in available in many different sizes (diameters) so you can custom make cache containers to what you want to cache. However, the larger the container, the harder it is to hide it.

So you will have to determine which cache concealment method (below ground cache, above ground concealment cache or submersible cache) is necessary. The general idea being to bury the cache’s containing your Survival supplies. Some locations, such as rocky areas, may require an above ground concealment cache.

You will have to determine if you want each separate cache to be a mix of Survival items you forecast a need for, or if you will have separate caches for each Survival item group,, water, ammunition, matches/butane lighters, clothing, etc.

Food will obviously be an important item. Ammunition as well. Batteries…..maybe,…if you can use them before they deteriorate.
The ability make a fire, maybe some clothing, spare footwear, flashlights, water, medical supplies are all items you would want to consider.

When you emplace the cache you will need to record, in some fashion, where it is. It is not a simply recording the coordinates on your GPS.
Consider an easily recognizable Initial Reference Point (IRP) which should be a terrain feature which will not move. Crossroads, maybe a bridge for example.

From the IRP a distance and direction to a Final Reference Point (FRP) which should be another terrain feature that will not move, such as a rock outcropping or a large and distinguishable tree for example.

From the FRP a direction and distance to the buried, submersed or above ground concealed cache. You may want to consider recording what tools you will need to recover the cache, such as a metal rod for probing for a buried cache and a shovel to dig it up with.

One way to gain some experience in a type of caching is to get involved in the sport of Geo-Caching which is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geo-caches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. For more information go to:

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Urban Survival Skills – Field Expedient Water Purification

Just got an e-mail from Jim wanting to know if there was a way for him to purify water if he was stuck in a Survival situation someplace without a commercial water filter or purification tablets.

Sure Jim, here’s the deal: The two most common pathogens from non-potable water are Cryptosporidium and Giardia. Giardia will cause bad stomach cramps and projectile diarrhea (hope you’re not eating dinner as you read this). Cryptosporidium which is like Giardia, but can be more severe or less severe and may last for a longer time, as much as a week or more.

You can also ingest parasites which can cause you problems down the road. But we always say “you’ll be dead of dehydration before you ever get sick from parasites.” Still it pays to have and maintain water purification discipline so you won’t be laid up in a fetal position when the zombies try kicking down your door or chasing you through the woods.

Here are some field expedient means to purify water (all protocols require shaking then let standing for 30 minutes): 10 drops of 2% providine iodine to one quart or 2drops of 10% providine iodine; 2 drops of chlorine bleach to one quart; or, 5 drops of 2% tincture of iodine. I'll bet you're now thinking water purification tablets are much easier....they are. But file this information away into your kit bag of Survival Skills and Knowledge.

Of course, the best method of purifying water is to boil it to a rolling boil for about 5 minutes. That even kills Cryptosporidium and Giardia that the aforementioned field expedient mixes may not or won’t.

A field expedient Survival Water Filter can be made using socks or cloth layered with cold black charcoal (from a camp fire) and sand. This helps takes out some of the objects, bad taste and pollutants before you purify it.

I’ll bet your bottled water never tasted so good after reading this. Good night Jim.