Bullet Primers

DIY Ammo Primers for Handloading

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The Second Amendment represents our Founding Father’s attempt to acknowledge our natural right to keep and bear arms. Try as it might, the current administration will attempt any method possible to curtail our ability to exercise that right. Many methods on the table are taxing ammunition, stripping the right from the “mentally unstable” (whatever that means), and environmental regulations.

Because we traditionalists are defending an immovable position from an onslaught that never runs out of gas, at some point they will win, lest they become eliminated themselves. If they do win, we will be forced to arm ourselves in the shadows with homemade components.

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Water Bath Canning VS Pressure Canning

Water Bath Canning Versus Pressure Canning: There is a Deadly Difference

The botulinum bacteria if left to grow will produce spores and create a deadly toxin that can result in food borne botulism. The bacterium, “C. botulinum” is present in soil and in marine sediment. The spores can be found on many fruits and vegetables, but the spores are harmless at this stage, because to grow and to create toxins, they need a low oxygen, low acid environment.

The perfect low oxygen low acid environment would be in low acidic foods canned without sufficient heat to destroy the bacteria/spores. Hot water bath canning at 212° F removes the oxygen from the jars for example, but the heat is not adequate to destroy the bacteria thus, creating the perfect environment.

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History Channel’s Alone: What Survival Items Were On the List?

History Channels Alone

What Would You Choose?

The contestants on the History Channel’s new survival show Alone were allowed to choose 10 items from a supposed secret list of 40 items. What isn’t a secret however, were the banned items such as matches, lighters, along with water filtration and purification systems.

Firearms were not allowed of course, and the metal pot size could not exceed Two Quarts. The maximum amount of Paracord/cordage was 20 meters (66 feet), and they were only allowed five pounds of emergency rations if they chose to carry rations. The contestants could also carry a “Gillnet” but the size was restricted to 6 meters (19 feet).

What Gear Made It to the Woods?

First, call it coincidence, fate, a mistake, or call it what you will, but the one contestant who did not choose a survival knife rang the bell during the first episode. What is troubling is that all of the contestants were chosen because of their so-called survival skills, and yet one decided a knife was not essential for survival.

The One who called it quits The First Episode Carried:

  • A 12×12 ground sheet
  • 550 Paracord – 20m
  • A Saw
  • An Ax
  • A Sleeping bag
  • A Bivi bag (gortex sleeping bag cover)
  • A 2-quart pot
  • A Ferro rod
  • 300 yards of single filament line with 25 assorted hooks
  • Bow and 6 arrows

List Courtesy Of (History Channel, 2015)

It Was Determined:

  • All 10 of the participants choose an axe
  • All 10 choose a sleeping bag
  • All carried a 2 Qt pot
  • Everyone carried a Ferro rod
  • All choose a 25 piece fishing kit
  • Nine of the contestants choose a survival knife
  • Six carried a 12×12 tarp
  • Six choose to carry a Saw
  • Surprisingly only five choose to carry Paracord
  • Four carried a Long Bow with arrows
  • Four chose to carry the Gillnet
  • Three choose to carry 5lbs of emergency rations
  • Three carried a canteen or water bottle
  • Two carried a multi-tool (Leatherman)
  • Two carried a Bivy Bag
  • A Slingshot was chosen by two contestants
  • Two packed a Sharpening Stone
  • Only one participant chose to carry wire
  • One chose to carry an extra tarp

The participants were also allowed clothing, and to what extent cannot be determined. Items not counted as part of the 10 allowed items included bear spray, a pack, and an emergency flare (s) (History Channel, 2015).

When you get to choose what to carry, but are limited on the number of items you can carry, you have to pick wisely. Shelter, fire, water, and food are your priorities. When you can carry a shelter with you, you probably should, because it can save time and energy, both of which are always in short supply in the wilds. You can add forest debris to harden the shelter, but having a tarp on hand means you have a quick shelter for that first night that can be improved upon with your time.

Fire starting materials are important, as well as a metal pot to boil water in and in which to prepare food. A sleeping bag for cold weather, while heavy to carry, would be considered an essential item in cold weather, if you had the choice.

Only three carried a canteen/water bottle. Not carrying a canteen would only make sense if you know you would be near a water source and did not plan on ever leaving that source. If you had to explore the area or break camp for whatever reason, you would not have any means of transporting water other than the two quart pot. A canteen probably should have been chosen by all participants.

A Bivy bag may not be essential because the contestants could have chosen a ground cloth, or extra tarp that could act as a cover and the tarp/ground cloth would have multiple uses.

A sharpening stone is a good idea, and it takes up little space and no appreciable weight is added.

The wire supposedly for snares, shelter building, and gear repair could be essential if you have the experience and time to set snares and planned on sheltering in one location, otherwise Paracord is an ideal choice if you had to choose between the two.

All participants were near water so a fishing kit would be a must have, and all contestants chose the 25 piece kit. The kit included 25 assorted hooks, and fishing line, which has more than one use in a survival situation.

A slingshot was carried by two, and if experienced with one it is a valuable tool for hunting small game and birds.

Only two carried a multi tool, which is surprising, and let’s hope the one that carried the wire chose the Leatherman. A multi-tool would be an essential tool in a survival situation.

An ax is a wise choice, but it does not replace a quality survival knife. All of them carried an ax and nine carried a survival knife, so when you have a choice carry both, and when you do not, then a survival knife may be the better of the two choices.

Four carried a bow with arrows and this is a logical choice if you have the experience, because if game is available and you have the skill you will not go hungry.

A saw is essential but if you have an ax and knife a saw may be extra baggage, and in this case, not choosing it allowed contestants to pick something else. A saw is one of those items that would be nice to have, but you can overcome not having one if you have other tools.

A saw makes clean cuts, and a quality one will make some cutting jobs easier. Hacking through a limb with an ax or machete is hard work, but a cheap saw would make the job just as hard, and a wood saw really only has one job in the woods.

The Gillnet is a good idea if you happen to be by a large body of water. The contestants had some idea of the terrain, so they could to some extent, decide what to bring based on geography and weather.

Spear fishing is a way to catch fish that requires very little skill and materials, and practically anyone can bait a hook and drop a line in the water. A Gillnet however, is a very effective way of catching fish and it was a wise choice given the location.

It would seem that if someone had survival skills as the contestants claimed to have, and you were able to choose your survival gear then surviving for an extended period would be feasible. Being mentally prepared is important, and you never know how well prepared you are until you are in a situation, as some of the contestants have already figured out.

History Channel. (2015). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.history.com/shows/alone/cast/josh-chavez

History Channel. (2015). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.history.com/shows/alone/cast

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Have We Learned Anything from the Greek Tragedy

Greeec Tragedy

You are wondering, what Greece has to do with Preppers. It’s complicated to say the least, but Greece and its citizens are experiencing a crisis, a crisis in which not many of the citizens were prepared for. There is plenty of blame to go around however.

The Greek government, the citizens, and the European Union in general all played a role. The disaster did not strike out of the blue. It was like a steam roller that is 100 miles away creeping along inches per day, no hurry, nothing to instill panic yet, because the speed of the rolling crisis can be managed. No one pays it any mind because, “we have time to correct our course”.

Occam’s Razor while it can appear to be a complicated problem solving formula can be boiled down to one simple statement and that is “the simplest answer is usually the right answer”. Take away all of the assumptions, the theories, and all of the back and forth about what ifs and you end up with the most obvious, which turns out to be the right or simply the best answer.

The most obvious answer is the hardest, so this is why many problems within governments, communities and even within families do not get resolved. The right answer is too hard to contemplate. People dance around it, convinced there has to be another way. The answer is too simple, and yet much too hard to sell to the citizens, who by the way played a role in the crisis. Citizens simply cannot understand the complexities’ they need to be nurtured and guided.

The citizens played along because they were told they would get guaranteed work weeks, vacation days, sick days, and could retire with a full pension, and access to socialized medical care, and oh by the way, access to ATMs day and night, well that is until now. To earn a full pension in Greece a person only has to work 35 years while in comparison it is 45 years if a person lives and works in Germany.

You see everyone knew or should have known the policies were not sustainable, because no one asked the most obvious questions, who pays for all of this. However, when it’s your pension, and your life, your health care, you keep quiet, well that is until it goes away, but now you do not have a voice because you kept quiet and played along.

Here in America

Whether you are a Prepper or not, you can see that disasters come in many forms, and some can be predicted. What difference does it make if you can see a disaster coming if you refuse the obvious answer, and then fail to prepare however.

Anyone that is honest with his or her self realizes that it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible to survive without a government. Some may think they can and some might be able to, but have you really sat down and studied what role the government plays in your life. Granted, right now it is intrusive in many cases, but food inspections, law enforcement, fire departments, child safety rules and other regulations and services do save lives, but again there is a limit to how much we want the government in our lives.

Greece should be a wakeup call. We as citizens need to evaluate what role the government plays in our lives, and how would a Greek like tragedy here affect us as individuals, and can we, as individuals and families prepare for such a crisis.

For governments, and this includes our very own here in the United States, it is easier to give out benefits than it is to institute policies that reward hard work versus rewarding not working. Millions of citizens legitimately need help for various reasons, but not everyone needs help. Some find it easy to simply ask for help instead of taking the initiative to find or create work. People in this country can often get government assistance just by asking. It becomes a game for some, but the game is almost played out according to some, and what happens then.

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The Fitbit Charge HR

Fitbit Charge HR

If a disaster struck today, would you be ready. Do you have an emergency stockpile of food, medicines, water, and other essentials? If you are a Prepper of course you do, a rather silly question really. The next question is, are you ready physically to meet the demands of a crisis, and this one is not a silly question, and how many people can or will answer it honestly.

You may have to travel on foot carrying supplies, travel by shank’s mare as the saying goes. Tasks will have to be performed, and you may not have the benefit of electricity, which means no power tools, no pumping fuel for chainsaws and other equipment that makes chores easier. You will need to meet the physical demands, and no one needs to tell you what happens if you cannot meet those demands.

It is never too late, and there is no better time than right now to begin thinking about your fitness level and doing something about it, so when the SHTF you are ready physically.

The Fitbit Charge HR may be just what you are looking for if you can honestly say you need to get into better shape. Let’s take a look at it to see if it is something that can help you. It requires a commitment by you and nothing good ever comes easy, but it can be done.

What Is It

It is a heart rate and activity wristband with Pure Pulse™ Heart Rate, which allows for continuous and automatic heart rate updates right from your wrist.

Sync to your computer, Smartphone or tablet. To sync however, you will need to install an app. Track your daily steps, number of miles walked, calories consumed and then track calories burned. The device can even count the number of stairs you have climbed.

To count calories consumed and burned you would enter what foods you have eaten at each meal and then the device tells you how many of the consumed calories you have burned during a particular activity. Find out just how many calories 30 minutes of bicycling burns, or how many you burn walking two miles or taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, for example.

Track your exercise routines and review jogging routes using the app. The app tracks your activities for the entire day and you can view/monitor all activities from any compatible device that has been synced at any time day or night.

For those that want to lose weight and get into better shape, this may be the perfect matchup, because frankly, people can deceive themselves on the number of calories they consume, and then convince themselves that a few minutes of exercise here and there offsets the amount consumed.

It takes a considerable workout just to burn 1000 calories, and so compare this to consuming 2500 to 4000 calories a day for example. Where does this leave you? If you can track your intake and burn rate then you are in control, no more guessing and wondering, and no more deceiving yourself.

Set calorie goals, numbers of steps or miles to walk, and so on for the day, and then enter the information. From this point you have up to the minute heart rate, calories consumed, calories burned, and miles or steps walked so you can track your progress throughout the day. Collect the data over a certain period, so you can then tailor a plan that works best for you based on your lifestyle.

Fitbit iPhone AppThe Fitbit also tracks your sleep patterns, so you will know how many hours you slept, and how many times you awoke during the night. You have to identify a problem before you can solve it and the personal motivator called the Fitbit can help you.

You have family and friends, and they too must be ready to meet the challenges, so why not get your family or Prepper group on board, so you can work together to meet yours and everyone else’s goals.

The app allows you to add friends that also have a Fitbit so you can challenge any of your friends in a face-off to see who takes the most steps in a day. Reaching certain goals also unlocks rewards (badges) to help motivate you throughout the day. Turn getting into shape a competitive sport with the Fitbit Charge HR.

One of the reasons people fail at exercise or weight loss programs is because they try to do it alone, and without the proper information. You have to know how many calories you are consuming and how many you are burning, and once you see progress, you will become motivated to do more, to push yourself. Having others involved is also a motivator especially if you are competitive.

However, not having the right information and a way to track your progress, such as with the Fitbit may mean a higher failure rate. Fitbit has several models to chose from so you can chose a model that meets your specific needs. You can purchase the Fitbit Charge HR for around $130 bucks on Amazon.

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The Cutting Edge: Straight Edge, Serrated or Both?

straight edge or serrated edge

As a kid, for some of us of a certain age, jackknives/folding knives were all straight edges. You could trim and clean your fingernails, peel an apple or potato or even slice a tomato right out of the garden. Practically every adult and most kids in years past carried a jackknife, or what was called a pen knife in some cases. Kids even carried them to school and cut up their apples at lunch and played Mumblety-peg at recess.

Certain jobs require certain knife blades and you may have had to carry various knives for specific cutting jobs for your work, but the knife you carried everyday was used to cut your meat, peal your fruit, cut string/rope or you could field dress small game or even clean fish.

Today you have choices. You can buy a full serrated blade, a full straight blade, or a combination of both. Do you need a serrated edge, do you want a serrated edge?

A serrated edge has a place, but the applications are more defined. You can peel an apple with a straight edge, as well as, cut heavy webbing, rope, vines and so on. Albeit, cutting heavy nylon webbing or heavy rope with a straight edge would be more difficult than with a serrated edge. The point is you cannot peel an apple very well or at all with a serrated edge without making a literal mess out of the job, so certain blades have specific jobs at which they are better suited. 

Rescue tools used by first responders are blades adapted for a specific purpose. Firefighters and paramedics may have to cut someone out of a seatbelt, for example, so a serrated blade works well for cutting heavy materials such as nylon or heavy canvas webbing.

The serrated edge grips the material unlike a straightedge that may slip when starting the cut and it may even require two hands to complete the job. You cannot saw very well using a straight edge, but then again, you cannot whittle or carve wood with a serrated edge very well, so there you have it.

Military knives are adapted for specific purposes as well. Pilots and other aircraft personnel have specific blade requirements if they have to bail from their aircraft. They may need to cut themselves out of their parachute harness if they get hung up for example.

A serrated edge works well, because in many cases, you can do the cutting with one hand, because again the serrated edge grips the material. You do not have to hold the material with one hand while cutting with the other. This is important, because one hand may be injured, or you simply cannot do the cutting with both hands. The knife has to be such that it can be drawn and used one handed, so the edge has to be able to do the job with as little effort as possible as well.

It almost seems like today that you have to go out of your way to purchase a straight edge blade, because they all seem to be a combination. Fifty percent of the blade is straight, while the other 50 percent is serrated, so the best of both worlds right. Well now comes the sharpening, you know how to sharpen a straight edge, but a serrated edge, well it could be tricky, so maybe it is best to just leave it be until you figure it out.

A serrated edge if it is quality steel will hold its edge much longer than a straight edge because for one thing it is not used as much, and two; the scallops are protected by design. Many knife sharpeners on the market today come with a tapered diamond rod that is ideal for touching up the scalloped edges. A fine rat tail file would also do the job, but you would have to be careful not to remove too much of the metal from the blade.

Serrated edges are nothing to be leery of, and they do have a purpose, but does the edge fit with your cutting needs.

Bread knives are typically serrated, because they grip the soft bread and allow for a sawing motion without crushing the bread. You could in theory cut the bread into slices with one hand. You could never do this with a straight edge.

Serrated edged blades can take more of a beating, because the sharp scallops are somewhat protected. When was the last time you sharpened your bread knife that has been tossed around inside of your kitchen drawer. The edge is being banged against all manner of metal objects in some cases, as you rifle through the drawers. Electric knives are typically serrated, and you cut all types of foods with one, and again when did you last sharpen it.

This article is not advocating for or against serrated edges. In fact, past articles have railed against them, because people buy them without understanding the why.

You cannot use brute force to make a dull straight edge do its job, whereas you can use force to make a serrated edge do the job without the blade slipping and cutting yourself as easily. The dangers of using a dull straight edge are obvious. A dull straight edge will slip, and a dull blade can still slice your finger to the bone.

The obvious answer is to carry one of each, or a quality blade that is a combination. A cheap blade will provide sub-standard performance, so if you have a job that requires your knife always be ready then you will have to step up and buy quality.

People usually have a so-called beater knife, stuffed inside a pack, the one you go to pry rocks, dig small holes, and generally abuse, because it was cheap and can be easily replaced. However, that beater knife may not cut you out of a seat belt, or cut heavy cordage or even cut up your food for supper.

You do not have to spend a fortune on your knives however. A quality knife can be bought for well under 100 dollars, but paying 10 dollars for any knife means you will only get 10 dollars worth of use out of it. Shop around and ask around, but also make sure the person you are asking actually uses their knives, and that they know why they have certain edges on their knives.

People buy knives just to have them. They look dangerous, so oftentimes a knife is bought for its looks. Take the so-called Rambo knives made famous by the Rambo movie franchise. The knife is wicked looking, and how neat is it to have a survival kit in the hollow handle. Sew up a wound, start a fire with matches in the handle and cook the fish you caught with the hooks, line and sinkers all stuffed in the hollow handle as well. You may be taken hook, line and sinker if you spend any serious money on this type of knife however.

When hollow knife handles can brew a fresh cup of coffee and produce lunch then maybe you should consider one, but until then, buy for quality and job needs not for looks.

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Survival Uses Black Walnuts

Survival and Other Uses for Black Walnuts

Black Walnut Botanical Name Juglans nigra

Bark, leaves, and husks of Black Walnut trees are typically processed for medicinal purposes.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not evaluated the medicinal benefits of Black Walnut husk, leaves, or bark.

The following is informational only, and is not medical advice, nor is this article stating that any of the medicinal proponents of Black Walnut are actually true or effective.

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Preppers It Is Never a Good Time to Panic

Never a good time to panic

It is safe to say that by and large nothing has changed for the better. However, the change in some cases has come in increments, which allows us all to adjust to the point that potential threats become like furniture.

You do not always see what has been there right under your nose, because you have become accustomed to it, used to seeing it to the point you no longer notice. The adversaries of the United States of course prefer it this way. If the country and its citizens do not recognize something as a threat then no one prepares to counter that threat.

Russia is flying their jets off the coast of the United States. Our military jumps in the cockpit of their jets and wags a wing telling the interloper to change course. Common practice in some cases and in other cases, it may mean a direct threat and a wrong move would cause an international incident. Just how far we are willing to go to keep Russian fighter jets away is a question that Russia wants answered. They will continue their aggression until a firm hand is applied, and once that happens what’s next.

Iran is racing toward a nuclear device (who knows for sure, they may already have one). North Korea has a number of nuclear devices. Pakistan and India have dozens, as do other countries in the world including the United States.

Therefore, it is not a matter of if, but when, there is an accidental launch, or a device is stolen or someone gets an itchy trigger finger and launches one over some perceived or real threat from another country. How long (if it hasn’t occurred already) before the secrets to the bomb are given or sold to the wrong country or group. It’s just a matter of time.

Pakistan, North Korea, and India do not adhere to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and all three have conducted nuclear testing.

Wall Street halts trading, a computer glitch they tell us. On the same day United Airlines grounds all flights, a computer glitch they tell us, and still yet on the same day the Wall Street Journal’s website had computer glitches and their site went dark. Other reports that cannot be confirmed also indicate problems with computers and power outages on the very same day across the country.

Wall Street, airlines and the news media all symbols of America, and capitalism, which in some people’s minds is the root of the world’s problems. America is a problem that must be solved according to the ideology of some groups, countries, and individuals in the world.

It Is Never a Good Time to Panic

There are articles and headlines out there that indicate or state outright that now is the time to panic, but of course you should never panic. The point is if there ever was a good time, it may be now according to some. You cannot panic, because you need your wits about you.

Instead of panicking, now is the time to pay closer attention to what is going on in the world. Have you ever watched the segments on certain news and entertainment shows that have reporters interviewing people on the streets?

The number of people that cannot name or even recognize the Vice President of the United States or other elected officials that essentially dictate our daily lives is very troubling. Some think the war of 1812 ended 10 years ago and that humans killed off the dinosaurs because we failed to recycle properly. In case you didn’t know this the dinosaurs died off over 65 million years ago.

The number of people in this country that are uniformed, and live in their own little world is alarming. Apparently some, if not many get their news from websites, blogs, and Facebook pages. These outlets cannot be called news outlets in many cases, because often times what is presented is simply someone’s opinion, their take on the events, in other words.

There are of course blogs, websites, and Facebook pages that do a great job of keeping their readers informed with articles and news blurbs, and keep people informed with the facts. If you find a site that does supply you with facts, even opinion, and relevant content and allows for discourse regardless of ideology, then you had better support them, because they are getting rarer as the days go by.

Everyday there is a crisis in someone’s life. It may only affect an individual, family, or small community, but for them it can be a life ending or life altering crisis.

You have to stay informed and you have to stay prepared, but be careful of where you get your news, and information from, because not all news or websites are created equal. You would think it would be difficult to change the facts, but if you do not verify what you are reading and hearing, then you may come to believe something that is not true. It may only be someone’s perception that you are hearing. Some people tend to only listen to those that share the same beliefs and opinions, and so this can lead to believing in things that are simply not true.

Do your own research. Prepping is not that complicated when it comes down to it. You will need many of the same things during a crisis that you need now. Accomplishing tasks will be more difficult, but if you prepare, stay informed, and gain knowledge and skills you can survive if you do not panic.

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EDC Sharpie Tactical Marker

DIY Everyday Carry Sharpie Tactical Marker

Maybe you don’t want to or can’t carry a firearm. Maybe you work in an office high rise where weapons are forbidden, That doesn’t mean that you should be without means to defend yourself. Sometimes you have to be creative to exercise your right to self-defense. For just a few dollars, you can put together a concealable self-defense tool that you can carry practically anywhere for last ditch emergency use. As always, make sure to check your state and local laws to see if they’ve stripped you of the right to defend yourself in this manner. Please be aware that I am not responsible for any bodily harm or injury that may befall you or others with this tool, this is to be made and used at your own discretion.

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The Incredible Tale of the North Pond Hermit

north pond hermit

“One man had actually lived in the woods of Maine for twenty-seven years, in an unheated nylon tent” (Finkel, n.d.).

Christopher Thomas Knight walked into the woods of Maine in 1986 at the age of 20, and for 27 years he lived in a tent and under tarps and slipped through the dark of night, prowling the area looking for items to steal.

He stated he never built a campfire even during the coldest months for fear of detection. He used a propane heater to stay warm that is if he had managed to steal a full tank of propane somewhere.

He was a myth, a legend, and boogie man that scared little children and left adults wondering about their very sanity. Propane tanks would mysteriously empty themselves because the North Pond hermit would swap empty tanks for full ones, and candy, breads, and meats disappeared with no apparent signs of a break-in, leaving owners scratching their heads and biting their nails.

Mr. Knight stated he had never sent an email, talked on the phone, nor did he spend any money during his time in the woods. His only verbal exchange was in 1990 when he passed a supposed hiker and simply said “hi”.

He had confessed to 40 robberies a year totaling over one thousand break-ins over 27 years, and everything he had ever possessed for the past 27 years was stolen. When caught he was wearing the same glasses that he wore for his high school graduation picture. His eyesight was so poor that objects were blurred at arms length.

He confessed to have never seen a doctor during his time in the wilds. He was never sick he claimed. According to him, people only get sick when they are around other people.

Knight had a so-called permanent camp, but also had caches buried close by. Plastic tubs with lids were buried close, so if someone were to come upon his camp he could bolt, gather some supplies and start over somewhere else. He stole full propane tanks, radios, batteries, and of course food, laundry soap, body soaps, and clothing of all sorts. He had sleeping bags, and even a bed frame nestled in under his camouflaged tarps. His camp was well camouflaged, and not even detectable from just a few feet away. He has spray painted tarps, gear, and equipment to match the colors in his environment.

The so-called hermit spent his days preparing for the long cold Maine winters. Knight stated that he was near death many times because of the cold. At some point his instinct took over and he trained his body to sleep for short periods in cold weather. He knew that staying too long under the blankets or in his sleeping bag would cause moisture to collect on his skin, so he made a habit of waking every few hours to get out of his blankets or sleeping bag to prevent sweating, which he knew would be the death of him. Humans cannot hibernate in cold weather they must move around more than in warmer weather.

While he claims to have never been sick his teeth were rotted away because of his poor diet and lack of proper oral hygiene practices. Those that saw him immediately after his arrest commented on how pale his skin appeared. It is hard to believe that he never became sick, because the authorities and others discovered food wrappers, discarded waste, and other evidence that indicated his diet was high in sugar, fats, and sodium. He claimed he was a poor cook and ate essentiality out of cans and packages. He did not hunt for food. He had tried to forage at one point but nearly starved until he started stealing food from homes in the area.

Obviously, this is not the way to live off grid, it is not living at all, but for Knight after the first few years it was all he knew.

Some people want to live off grid, escape to the wilds, and live free and alone, but it is not as easy as some might imagine. You simply cannot become a hermit. Of course sustaining yourself daily is a full time job, so you are not free in this sense, but you can be free of many government regulations, free from certain people and free from the hustle and bustle of cities, but you are not always free to do as you please.

You will need other people, need communications and in some cases you will need a bank account and a source of income. You will need a way to generate money, because as hard as you might try, you will not be able to produce everything you need. You will have to go into town with cash to buy certain things, and to seek medical and dental care and medicines.

This is not to say that you cannot go off grid and make it work. You can with planning, skills, and practical knowledge. What you cannot do is park your car, grab a backpack, and head off to the woods unprepared. Not many people could walk off and never look back. It would be difficult if not impossible for most people to sever all ties with others.

People are still pondering how Knight managed to go undetected for nearly three decades. Even Mr. Knight could not stay away from civilization however. He needed others if for nothing more than to steal from them.

Some may envy Mr. Knight, others call him a fool, a criminal, and of course a hermit that could barely speak after so many years of not communicating with others. Mr. Knight spent time in jail and as part of his release he had to find a job and get “respectable” as one put it. Living in the woods and stealing all that he needed was no longer an option.

Finkel, M. (n.d.). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.gq.com/story/the-last-true-hermit?src=longreads

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