Archive for February, 2014
Even if you don’t have matches or a lighter, you can still spark a blaze with the right tools and techniques. Be sure to have your tinder bundle, kindling, and fuel wood ready before you start.
Bow Drill Method
Notch a board or a flat piece of bark. To make a bow, stretch a string between the ends of a flexible branch and tie it in place, then use a second stick as a vertical spindle. Place the spindle inside the bow with one end in the notched base. Turn the bow once to loop the string around the spindle, then hold the spindle’s other end in place with a stone. Place a leaf under the notch and saw back and forth to create a coal. Then move it to the tinder bundle, and blow gently into flame.
No string for a bow? Friction between a board and a plow can do the trick. Carve a central groove in the board and rub a branch rapidly up and down inside this trough. It’s more work than a bow drill, and it takes longer, but you can still make a coal.
Chocolate and a Soda Can
Use cheap, waxy chocolate to polish the bottom of a soda can until it gleams like a mirror. Angle it to reflect sunlight onto the tinder bundle (no ordinary flashlight ray will do) and, with luck, the focused light will ignite a flame.
Steel Wool and a Battery
Rub the terminals of a battery against raw steel wool (not a Brillo pad). Keep at it, and electrical resistance will cause the steel wool to glow red hot. Once it does, move it to your pile of tinder and kindling, and blow the pile into flame.
Having fire when needed is paramount in so many different ways to survival. Making sure you have been proactive and practiced these skills in a non survival situation is some of the best preparing you can do. Also make sure to have fire starting tools in place in your Survival Kit so that creating a fire is fast and efficient instead of cumbersome and frustrating.
Thanks to Rich Johnson over at Outdoor Life for this all important information.
February 6, 2014
Sometime soon, we’ll take a shot at summing up our long-term economic future with just a handful of charts and research results. In the meantime, we’ve created a new chart that may be the most important piece. There are two ideas behind it:
1. Wars and political systems are the two most basic determinants of an economy’s long-term path. America’s unique pattern of economic performance differs from Russia’s, which differs from Germany’s, and so on, largely because of the outcomes of two types of battles: military and political.
2. The next attribute that most obviously separates winning from losing economies is fiscal responsibility. Governments of winning economies normally meet their debt obligations; losing economies are synonymous with fiscal crises and sovereign defaults. You can argue causation in either direction, but we’re not playing that game here. We’re simply noting that a lack of fiscal responsibility is a sure sign of economic distress (think banana republic).