Trapping Food When You’re On The Go

Re-posted from MDSA

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Some traps bought as a teenager for my first trapline at 15. Victory No.2 double coil spring on the left, 110 Conibear, center, and a Victory No.1 single leaf spring, right. 

Over the years I’ve had a number of people ask me what I suggested for trapping in an “On the move, supplies on my back” survival scenario. My usual suggestions are snares if you are travelling very light (example, in the smock kit), and at least four 110 Conibears body hold traps (one for each of the cardinal directions) along with snares if you are carrying a rucksack. Although snares will do their job well if you set them correctly, they also are “one time use” if the animal tears them up. The 110 Conibear will work again and again and again for decades if taken care of.

One of the best ways I’ve found to carry my Conibear traps is by using a mil issue SAW pouch. The SAW pouch was originally designed to carry a 200 round squad automatic weapon (SAW) plastic drum/box, and I have found that it will conveniently carry four 110 Conibear traps, some snares, trap building gear (wood screws, nails, wire, twine and heavy staples) and even a bottle of lure if you want.

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Four brand new Conibear traps placed in a SAW pouch for a new ruck kit. Note how they fit perfectly in the SAW pouch with some room to spare.

My Buddy Bergmann normally uses a British bergan ruck, and at 3:45 in this video, he shows where/how he carries his Conibears in his bergan. One of the advantages I see in carrying your traps in it’s own specific pouch (like the SAW pouch), is your ability to take that pouch off of your ruck, attach it to your LBE/LBV, belt, etc., and go out to run your small trapline while leaving your ruck stashed and camouflaged.

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I’ve had the top trap for 32 years, the bottom one is brand new. 

My trapping experiences and targets as a kid were primarily raccoon, fox and muskrat. We didn’t have much in the way of mink in our area at the time, and there weren’t any coyotes here (DNR imported them from out West in the mid 90’s) yet. Squirrels (one of your primary target animals for food) are harder to trap than muskrat, but easier to trap than coons (in my experience). Learning the art of trapping is a great survival skill that could serve you well if you end up in a post SHTF scenario.

One of the most important things about trapping is the need to actually get out and do it. Watching a youtube video to learn the theory and basic techniques is great, but it’s only about a third (I’m being very generous) of the “successful trapping” equation. A good place for the novice to start is Dave Canterbury’s “Modern Trapping Series“. Below is one of Canterbury’s videos on prepping and use of the 110 Conibear trap, and here is another.

The last dozen 110’s I bought, I purchased through Amazon (convenient), here’s the link. Now is the time to get your trapping kit squared away then go out and learn how to use it. As far as I know, trapping is legal in all 50 states. The requirement might be to buy a $5 trappers permit with your hunting license, or it might require that you take a “Trapper’s” course which is similar to the “Hunter Safety Course”. Check your state requirements, get squared away, and get out and practice.


American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

Carrying Your First Aid Supplies

Repost from MDSA

Over the years there has been a lot of thought put into how troops can conveniently carry their personal, team, and platoon level first aid gear. It would behoove the Survivalist to take a lesson from the military when it comes to carrying this type emergency gear.

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Both the left and center pouches are the same compass/field dressing pouch. The left has a lensatic compass, and the middle has two field dressings (old style, non “Israeli” dressing ) shoved into it.

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Old style field dressing on the far right. A military style magnesium fire starter on the far left for scale.

Starting with the lowest level, you have the basic First Aid/Compass pouch that we all used in the military to carry an “Old School” field dressing or a compass. this is the minimum you should carry for a trauma/gunshot injury. Although most of us think it is too spartan, it will cover the basics (literally).

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“Airborne” First Aid kit. Note it has one field dressing right side, center.

Next up is the “Airborne” First Aid kit. This is what a lot of us used in addition to the field dressing pouch we talked about above. It is a convenient (if you can still find them) way to carry and protect your supplies, especially since the heavy duty plastic box will protect things like crushable ampules better than a soft pouch will. I carry my “Boo boo” first aid kit supplies in one of these in my buttpack.

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The standard issue IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) is shown here right below the holstered pistol.  This is where everyone within the Company was required to carry it regardless of whether you were left or right handed.

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My issue IFAK has a 4′ and 6′ “Israeli” field dressing, a roll of first aid tape, rubber gloves, a CAT tourniquet, and a needle to reduce a tension pneumothorax type injury. I keep it in a Spec-Ops X-6 pouch.

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If you want to go with a smaller pouch (maybe only one field dressing with the other supplies), you can use the X4 pouch from Spec Ops.

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Here is another type of IFAK carrier. This one is a “tear away” type, and it is made by Condor. The advantage to this pouch is that it can be easily removed from the side of the patient, and laid out flat for more convenient access to different items.

The standard issue IFAK is a pretty squared away, compact unit. It is designed to treat trauma, not regular boo boos (I keep the “boo boo” kit in my buttpack, since you generally don’t need quick access to it to treat those kinds of minor injuries).

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Here are two “Swamp Fox” rigs from UW Gear. Note both have the IFAK in the same location.

Something to keep in mind if you have a group that carries a fighting load is that everyone should carry their IFAK in the same general location on their gear. This is done so that the individual that will be treating you (with your kit), can readily find it, even in the dark. It doesn’t matter if your high speed, low drag kit is marked by red tape, or a first aid cross if it isn’t readily observable by the person treating you.  How are they gonna tell if it’s red tape. a red strap or a red cross if you’re using a red lens flashlight (or some other color) as you should under fire?

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The “Combat Lifesaver” (CLS) bag used in the US Army. One of the things a qualified Combat Lifesaver carried (not anymore) in this was equipment for giving an IV in the field.

Next up would be team level first aid/trauma gear carriers. In Combat Arms, we usually had at least one guy carrying a “Combat Lifesaver” bag per team (more if we had qualified guys). It can carry a number of trauma related supplies, and bridges the gap between the individual’s IFAK, and the M17 Medic Kit or STOMP bag used by platoon medics (M17 is smaller and lighter).

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The M17 Combat Medic Kit

The M17 Combat Medic bag is good for carrying a lot of supplies for your group if you have to move and can’t conveniently carry something like a footlocker (what we store the majority of our first aid supplies in) with you.

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As you can see, the M17 Combat Medic bag can carry a lot of medical gear, but the decision you have to make is, “Do we need to carry that many med supplies?” That large a bag (in the Survivalist oriented arena) is for a “Bugout” of your area, not for a “presence” or “combat” patrol. The “Combat Lifesaver” bag is designed for typical patrols.

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The CLS bag uses just a general purpose military carrying strap, while the M17 Med bag uses Alice pack straps.

Last but not least is the first aid bag I use in my vehicles. It is a Condor Tactical Response Bag. It is perfect for carrying trauma and regular first aid “Boo boo” type supplies, and the pockets are laid out for ease of use. It is easy to organize, and the cost won’t break the bank.

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That’s it for my recommendations on first aid gear carriers. Hopefully, this will help you organize your levels of first aid response gear into something that makes sense, includes all the necessities, but doesn’t include the kitchen sink when it’s not needed.


The Nuke-O-Spot Report


In the last post we discussed personal protective equipment for the nuclear environment. This post concerns having a way to communicate a nuclear explosion in your area via HAM or whatever other commo device you might have available. This is modeled after the the military’s NBC reporting format, but is different and more specific just for a nuclear situation. The reason I set it up that way is simple. If this info makes it’s way back to the military or government through civilian channels, it will be easier for them to convert it into a report to send higher up the chain without having to totally reconstruct or interpret the reports.


OK, so let’s go through the “Nuke-O-Spot 1 Report” step by step. If the right column is blacked out, it does not get filled in on that specific report. NOTE: If a letter is skipped, it was for the chem or bio part of the original military report template, and doesn’t relate to the nuclear section.  B- Where are you? Find out on a map or GPS what your location is and make sure you list the type of coords you’re using. C- Using your compass, what direction is the blast in? D- Usually, this will be as follows “DDMMMYY, and 24 hour time format with your time zone (that’s important) listed after the number. G- Self explanatory.  H- Was it up in the sky, or close to the ground when it went off? J- Count “one thousand one, one thousand two…..” and take that times 330 to give you the distance in meters. You only need to put the time between the flash and bang in this block though.  L- Use the finger scale below as your measurement guide in Mils., and take the width measurement 5 minutes after detonation. This is an approximation. M- A fist held straight away from the body with arm extended is approximately 150 Mils,. take the height measurement 1 minute after detonation. Just measure the height by how many stacked fists it is. This is an approximation. O- If you can’t take the height measurement at H+1 (or you take another measurement) reference the date/time of blast (H+0), and the height in mils or degree. Example at H+15 the height is 4 fists (approx. 600 mils) high.   Q- When taking a radiation reading, put the location coordinates, or the name of the location (town, major intersection, etc.).  R- Dose rate of the radiation in Rads or Gray measurements. See the chart below.  S- The date and time group that the reading was taken.




The “Nuke-O-Spot 2 Report” is basically a compilation of multiple N-O-S 1 Reports at an “Info Hub”. Here’s how it works. A- This number is assigned by the group compiling the info   D- Same as N-O-S 1.   F- The Info Hub will use the multiple N-O-S 1 reports to triangulate the location of the detonation.  G- Same as N-O-S 1 reports.  H- Same as N-O-S 1 reports.  N- If the Info Hub has the capability to determine yield by using the cloud height and width information.  P- Info Hub uses weather/winds aloft reports to determine the direction of fallout.  Z- The Info Hub will use the weather/winds aloft report to determine and report the speed of the fallout cloud.




There are enough HAM operators (AMRRON maybe) out there to be able to pass this info on to those that can disseminate it to those who need it most and can determine countermeasures. My suggestion is to find a HAM operator in your region that was an NBC specialist in the military, and use him or her as your Info Hub to feed N-O-S 1 reports to. There are plenty of NBC FM’s out there to figure a good bit of this out for yourself. Your group should understand and be able to apply this info for the group’s protection. NOTE: Winds aloft can change directions about every 2,000 feet, and this is why a fallout pattern does not always have a circular or oval shape. Keep this in mind if you are trying to predict the fallout pattern.


I while back, a friend asked me to put this format out. I have finally gotten around to it, because I think it might be needed in the near future, considering the direction certain national and international players are leaning. Hopefully it won’t be needed, but you know what they say, “Better to have and not need, than to need and not have.



Personal Protective Gear For A Nuclear Threat.

Was advised it might be a good idea to repost some of my nuke related posts, so here you go.

Re-post from MDSA


As a kid, the threat of nuclear war was a very real. One of the reasons I chose to go to NBC School while in the military was due to my interest in learning how to survive it as a teenager, and realizing that whatever I may have learned as a civilian, I could probably learn a lot more in the military. At one point I served as a Battalion NBC NCO, and assisted in the planning and conducting of battalion level training events.


Although there are a lot of resources out there, the book Nuclear War Survival Skills is still one of the best and most practical. Although a lot of people believe you need a military NBC suit to survive fallout, in actuality, a standard rubber rainsuit will protect you just as well. The military NBC suit is more for the chemicals in a chemical attack than the nuclear radiation threat. You cannot survive in a high radiation dose area simply by what you are wearing. Wearing a protective suit is to help keep the fallout off of your clothing, keep it off your skin, and to make a barrier that is easily decontaminated (decontaminate by hosing or brush off the fallout). Below is a rainsuit on the left, and an military NBC suit on the right.


Besides the mask you wear to keep from inhaling radioactive debris, the other accessories you need are gauntlet type gloves and some type of over boot. Both of these items need to be able to be easily decontaminated like the suit you’re wearing, and heavy rubber seams to be the best material for that.


Last but most definitely the most important part of personal nuclear apparel is the mask. The purpose of the mask is primarily to filter the air you breathe. Inhalation of radioactive particulates will kill you from the inside out. A secondary purpose is to keep the fallout out of your hair and the inside of your collar if the mask has a hood. Even a dust mask will work, but I use a military issue masks for their durability and filter compatibility with what the military uses. Below is the M17A1 Mask on the left, the M40A1 on the right. Both have the hoods attached.


A lot of people discount the older M17A1 masks, but if you find one in good condition, grab it. The internal filters are a pain in the ass to change when needed, but this type of mask is harder for someone to rip off your face in a close quarters fight. However, the side filter models do give you a better cheek weld when using a rifle, and the filter is easy to change quickly.



Keeping track of your personal dose of radiation is done by wearing a dosimeter “pen”. This is pictured on the left above. The item to the right is a dosimeter charger. This is basically a meter that you look through and a needle inside tells you what your radiation exposure is on a scale that is inside the “pen”.


Last but not least in the electronics department is a radiation survey meter/geiger counter. Depending on the model you get, you can measure the radiation level in your immediate area, or at a distance (some have a cable that you can place at a distance from the meter). This will give you the Rad/Gray level for your location.

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That’s all we’re gonna discuss in this post about personal protective apparel for a nuclear threat.


Radiation’s Effects And Materials To Mitigate Them

Was advised it might be a good idea to repost some of my nuke related posts, so here you go.

Re-Post from MDSA


While in conversation with a friend the other night, he mentioned the two previous posts that were published on this blog, and asked if more topics could be discussed. I advised him that there were more in the works, and it was just time constraints that limited their release. Today we will talk about what types of radiation are of concern in a nuclear war context, what kind of a threat they are and for how long, and ways to mitigate those effects. Throughout all this information we will put out about radiation protection, the three basic things to keep in mind that you can use to protect yourself from radiation are Distance, Time, and Shielding.


Generally speaking, there are three types of radiation that we are concerned about. Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. The Alpha Radiation/particle is the least dangerous realistically, but it is still a concern. The effects it has can be mitigated by 1 inch of air, a layer of common clothing, and even your skin to a degree. The place where Alpha Radiation can cause you damage is if you ingest it, whether through inhaling or swallowing it. It can cause serious issues with internal organs it comes into contact with. A tightly sealed bandanna, commercial dust respirator or gas mask will inhibit the inhalation part, and cleaning your food off will generally stop the swallowing it part. Keep in mind though, the Alpha particle is 20 times more damaging to human tissue (in contact) than an equal amount of Gamma radiation/rays.

Beta Radiation is more of a concern, but it is usually stopped by 10 inches of air, or several layers of clothing. As with the Alpha particles, Beta’s are also a concern if ingested, and the commercial respirator or gas mask still applies for that concern. Although regular clothing in layers will usually defeat Beta particles, I suggests using a heavy commercial rain suit (pants and hooded jacket will work, but the “overall” type pants with a jacket or a trench coat type jacket with regular pants will work better for the overlap these combos provide), heavy rubber over boots, and gauntlet style rubber gloves (all this was talked about in this post) will help with a speedy decontamination when you arrive back at your home/retreat. You simply get brushed off then sprayed off in a designated decontamination area with a water hose.

Gamma Radiation is the big killer in a nuclear fallout context. Unhindered by a barrier, Gama particles have a range of a 1/2 mile. The way to defeat or mitigate the effects of Gamma radiation is to not be anywhere near it, or to use different types of material to shield against it. The radiation output measurement is called Gray (Gy) or Rad (R) and is measure by the hour.



The “Rad” term is an older one (old US system), and 1 Gray(Gy) equals 100 Rad (R). The term REM stands for “Roentgen Equivalent Man” is generally equal to the same amount as a RAD (1 Rad= 1 REM). The REM is the older US system’s nomenclature for dose received and 100 REM’s  are equal to 1 Sievert (Sv). Both REM and Sievert are a measurement of the dose received by the individual. 1 Sievert equals 100 REM in dose, 1 Gray equals 100 Rads in radiation measurements per hour.   If you are told the radiation level is 1,000R (10 Gy), that means it is 1,000 Rads (10 Gy) in an hour. If you are told the dose received is 1,000R (10 Sv), it means the person received 1,000 REM (10 Sv), and if that person was exposed to that dose for 3 hours, it would not be 1,000 REM (10 Sv), but 3,000 REM (30 Sv).


Here’s another chart in my notes that will give you an idea of what happens after you are exposed to a given amount of radiation in a given time period.

Doses are listed as REM.

  • 0-70=  Dose period/6-12 hours. No effects to slight incidents of headache, nausea, vomiting. Up to 5%. No medical care required.
  • 70-150= Dose period/2-20 hours. Same as above, from 5-30% effected. Some medical care might be required.
  • 150-300= Dose period/2hrs-2 days. 20-70% percent same as above. Fatigue and weakness in 25-60% of personnel. 5% deaths at low end, 10% at high end.
  • 300-530= Dose period/2hrs-3 days. 50-90% as above. Fatigue and weakness in 50-90%. At low end 10% deaths, at high end 50% deaths
  • 530-830= Dose period/2hrs- 2 days, 80-100% of personnel with moderate to severe nausea and vomiting. 2hrs- 6 weeks, moderate to severe fatigue and weakness in 90-100%. 50% dead in 6 weeks at low end, 99% dead in 3 weeks at high end
  • 830-3000=Dose period/30mins to 2 days, severe nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, disorientation, and moderate to severe fluid imbalance and headache. 100% death in 5 days to 3 weeks
  • 3000-8000= Dose period/30mins to 5 days, 100% experience severe nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, disorientation, fluid imbalance, and headache. 100% death in 2-3 days
  • Greater than 8000= Dose period/30mins to 1 day, severe and prolonged nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, disorientation, fluid imbalance and headache. 100% death in 1 day

Understanding The Half Life of gamma radiation.

There is a basic rule that applies to the effectiveness of radiation, this is called the “Rule of Sevens”. “Half-Life” is the term used to measure the amount of time required for the radioactivity being generated to be cut in half. When measuring Gamma radiation, we use the “Rule of Seven”. In a nut shell this means that for any given amount of radiation, a time span of seven will reduce that radiation to 10% of the quantity previously measured (it will be reduced 90%).

If we start with an example of 2000R in your area one hour after a detonation (H+1), within 7 hours, the radiation level will be reduced to 200R. After 49 hours (approx 2 days), the radiation is reduced to 20R, and after 14 days (two weeks), it will be reduced to 2R. Finally after 98 days ( approx 3 months) it is at 2/10R. Note that the chart above does not measure below a dose rate of 1Gy/1Sv (100 R/100REM). Although there would be trouble spots where fallout would have collected, for the most part, you are relatively safe to come out of the shelter after two weeks in all but the worst hit areas. If you are in those areas, I think you probably would have had a more immediate concern from the initial blast damage, than the radiation.

Blocking Radiation

So now we’re all depressed because we realize what radiation will do to our bodies, let’s talk about how we’re gonna stop it. We’ve already talked about how to block the radioactive Alpha and Beta particles from harming us internally and externally with protective apparel, but one other thing to mention in this regard is potassium iodide (KI) tablets. These are to be taken 48 hours prior to a possible exposure to Alpha and Beta particles due to ingestion or inhalation (they don’t help with external radiation exposure).


It’s good to have them on hand in case you won’t have the ability to block the inhalation or ingestion of Alpha or Beta particles with some type of respirator, but KI does have numerous side effects that are possible after being taken. Also, KI is not recommended for people over the age of 40, due to side effects affecting the thyroid that are possible.


OK, so now we are going to shelter in place, and we need to build or add to a shelter, whether it is a shelter within a building, or making the whole building into a shelter. What are some common materials that are available to us for use in our shelter.

We will talk about a number of readily available materials and what radiation shielding capabilities they have. First up is air.

AIR– Distance is your friend when it comes to radiation. To cut the output of radiation in half, you need 200 feet of air/space. This 200 feet of distance will halve whatever Rad or Gray count is emanating from the source of the radiation. Using an uncontaminated parking garage basement that you decide to build a shelter in as an example. If you have 200 feet of air between you and the outside, discounting any other material (steel, concrete, etc) the radiation level is cut in half with that 200 feet of distance. Different types of architecture (high rises) will assist with this.

DIRT– It requires 3.3 inches of dirt to halve the amount of radiation that is put out from a source outside the shelter. If you have an outside radioactive source, 12 inches of dirt will reduce the radiation to 1/10th of the original output, 23″ to 1/100th, and 33″ to 1/1,000th of the outside radiation output.

WOOD– Wood will reduce the effects of outside radiation to 1/10th with 35″, 1/100th with 58″. and 1/1,000th with 88″. The halving thickness is 8.8″.

STEEL– Steel’s radiation reduction is as follows: 1/10th is 2.3″, 1/100th is 5″, and 1/1,000th is 7″. The halving thickness is .7″.

CONCRETE– 10 inches of concrete will block 1/10th of the outside radiation, 15 inches blocks 1/100th, and 23 inches blocks 1/1,000th. The halving thickness is 2.2″.

PAPER– the protection books and magazines provide equals 1/10th with 28 inches, 1/100th with 54 inches, and 1/1,000th with 77 inches. The halving thickness is 7.7″

WATER– Something like a waterbed in the room above might be factored into your protection. Water provides 1/10th the exposure with 19 inches, 1/100th the exposure with 30 inches, and 1/1,000th with 48 inches. The halving thickness is 4.8″.

In case you didn’t notice, the denser and heavier a substance is for a given size (example 1 cubic foot) the better the protection and shielding from radiation.

In the next nuke series post, we’ll talk about using some of the materials listed above to build shelters out of your home, within your home, and in a building you might get caught in or in the open after a blast.