Monthly Archives: January 2018

Winter Doldrums: What to Do?

Yes, yes, I know.  We’ve had some really nice days in the 50’s interspersed throughout this winter.  Global Warming idiots are using these days as ‘proof’.  Of course, they’re not counting the days so cold that they’ve dropped the average temperature calculations overall. No, why should they?

Sorry…digression.

So, what can we do to beat the dreaded ‘winter doldrums’?

Simply, lots of things.

You could start by watching (or re-watching) Ivarr Bergmann’s channel on YouTube.  Start with his superb introduction to get your interest up or refresh your mindset.  It’s a very nice dramatization that should have been made into a complete series.  (Bergmann, maybe it could be finished?)

Escape and Evasion. The Evader, Parts 1 & 2.

From there, start with the series on ‘Kit‘ and see how his ideas match your own.  What do you have that is as good or better than the examples he offers that others might want to use (please, feel free to post in the comments, or if you have a very detailed idea with instructions, send me an email, and maybe we can put it up as a stand alone post)?

Between videos, think about repacking your rucksack, inspecting all your kit, cleaning it, making sure it fits, making sure you haven’t over-packed and can actually carry what you pack, sharpening your knives, cleaning out the cobwebs in your repertoire of skill sets by practicing your basic knots, map and compass skills, waterproofing anything needing a reapplication of whatever you’re using, cleaning out your water carriers (bladders or canteens need cleaning on a regular basis), checking your foodstuffs you include in your ruck, etc.

All the above can be done at home; you can also restart your PT program (yes, of course, I understand the discipline everyone has and nobody EVER lets their PT program lapse….but for discussion’s sake, remember that if you WERE to restart it, don’t burn yourself out, and gradually get back to your standard routine…just sayin’)

 

Here’s something else you can do:  Disassemble, inspect, and clean every single magazine you have, starting with your spares.  Why?  Once your spares are done, you load them with the inspected ammo you had in your ‘stand by’ magazines so you can clean your ‘stand by’s,’ which then become your spares, and voila!  You’ve killed two birds with one stone!!  Changing out your mags and cleaning them!!

 

 

Here’s a video on PMags for those that have them. No excuse not to clean ANY magazine!!

Don’t forget to, just for the hell of it, take that primary rifle out, break it down, and clean it again.  Disassemble the bolt as far as your skills allow, wipe down, and reassemble.  Same goes for pistols.  Nothing says, “I know my weapons,” better than routine disassembly, wipe down, and reassembly that demonstrates an intimate familiarity with the system.

Here’s something that’d be fun when gathering with your :  Without looking at either your rifle or pistol of choice, describe it’s Cycle of Operation in less than a minute, -5 points for each you miss.

Bottom line is there are many, many things we can all do to beat the Winter Doldrums.  It’s up to us to shake off the lethargy so that when Spring arrives, we can hit the training path without skipping a beat!

Sunday Morning Meditation…

From ‘Men of the West,’ here.

“IF” – Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;   

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;   

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,   

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

 

This should be familiar to anyone with even passing familiarity of Western civilization.

Kipling’s wisdom applies as much today as it ever has. Antifa is locking horns with those that stand for civilization. Battles will be fought. Some will end in victory, others will have consequences we will not like. The more we stand up to the forces of anti-West and anti-Christianity, the louder and more violent those forces will become.

In the face of such madness, we have to keep our heads.

These teens recently exemplified what Kipling was driving at in his poem.

The assistant principal lost his head. Look how ridiculous he acts. The teens recording are cool as cucumbers. That assistant isn’t a man, in any sense of the word, and certainly not a Man of the West. He’s a parasite being exposed to the light.

We can’t change what is going to happen, what insane decisions and actions the Progressives and their fellow travelers will undertake. But we can decide how we will respond.

Decide now to meet these challenges with your head on, if you can rebuild when there’s nothing left but the will to hold on, if you can meet the forces of anti-civilizations and emerge with your head high regardless of the outcome, the West will be yours again, and you will be a Man of the West.

Mountain Guerilla on “Advanced” Skills

Mountain Guerilla provides some down to earth all too uncommon, ‘common sense’ on the subject of ‘advanced skills.’

Read the whole thing.

Advanced Skills

January 15, 2018

My buddy, Paul Sharp, of Straight-Blast Gym—Illinois, and proprietor of Sharp Defense, posted the following on Social Media:

When people start talking about advanced techniques my eyes cross. There are no advanced techniques. There are fundamentals honed to perfection through conscious effort. Then there is the application of those fundamentals against ever increasing challenges. The mechanics don’t change, our understanding grows so we’re able to apply the technique against higher and higher levels of resistance. As we advance we face greater resistance and better opponents which causes our understanding of the hows, when’s and why’s to advance. The mechanics remain the same. We become advanced.

Sugar Ray Leonard’s jab wasn’t magically different. His ability to hit anyone he faced at a world class level with his jab was the difference between basic and advanced.

During his seminar JJ Machado taught us all the same guard recovery technique. A guard recovery technique I had been taught my first month of jiujitsu. His ability to apply that technique against the best grapplers in the world is the difference between basic and advanced.

Bruce Gray presented my duty pistol, (a DAO S&W 4586), from a duty rig and hit the A zone of a target that was 25 yards away in a little over 1 second. He used the same draw stroke, mount, and trigger press he had been teaching me. He didn’t teach an advanced drawstroke or trigger press. His ability to make hits in those times with less than optimal equipment was the advanced understanding and application of the technique.

The point is; there is no secret sauce aka advanced techniques. There is advanced application and there is only one way to get there. High level coaching, and practice.

This is something I’ve discussed in rifle and pistol classes for a long time now.

One of the hardest things for me as a teacher is expressing to people that the “basics,” or “fundamentals” we are doing ARE the advanced, high-speed shit. I can demonstrate a drill, in exactly the way I showed the students how to do it, and explain, step-by-step that I am doing it exactly how I just demonstrated and explained it. Invariably, someone will then ask me to show them what I did different…

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Read the rest, here.  And do your dry fire.  The graphics below on proper sight alignment is a good indicator of what you’re doing  if you’re not hitting your target properly.

 

News That’s SURE to Excite!

From ‘Angry Mike’s Hood,’ here.  Read the links, too!  This is really going to be worth watching!!!

Heh.

Next Week Will Be A Very Bad Week For Democrats and Their Media…

Unless the professional praetorian media apparatus can find another ‘sh**hole’ to hide behind, next week is shaping up to be a VERY bad week for Democrats:

The U.S. DOJ Has Begun Taking down the low hanging fruit on the Uranium One Tree – SEE HERE

The Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, Has Begun releasing a years-worth of Investigative Documents to the House Judiciary Committee – SEE HERE

Weather Breaks – Take Advantage of Them!

We’ve had a steady warming trend here.  52 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday, with just a bit of mist.  As fortune would have it, my lack of scheduled meetings provided me a couple of hours for some PT.  So…….a good ruck walk was in order to shake down old equipment (me) and see how I’d fare with 60 pounds and 4 miles.

Not bad. Fastest was 16.5 minutes; average was about 17 minutes, give or take.

No injuries, no flat tires, no broken straps, no funny looks…ok, maybe a few…and I had a good breeze out of the South and Southeast that gave me a nice cooling effect about half the time.

Today it’s supposed to drop back in the lower 30’s and dump a few more inches of snow on the area.  Back to winter PT programs.  Spring is coming.  By May my goal is to be humping 80 pounds again for up to 10 miles.  When I ruck, I go until the distance I’ve chosen is over.  Minimal water and no rest.  It’s a conditioning exercise.  Actually helps with other PT, too.  If you don’t have a program, get going and develop one.

You’ll be glad you did.

SHTF Shelters in Winter Weather

So, you’ve decided that you have no other option than to bug out in winter weather.  That means you’re going to have to shelter during rest.  To do that, you need to understand what you need to do/have to stay alive without a fire if you’re not in a semi-secure (meaning remote where there’s a good chance nobody else who means you harm is located) area.

No fire?!?!?!?!

Yes, it can be done, and can be done quite handily.  I know; for about 8 years (in my 50’s), I would go to a very, very cold forested area in a very, very northern area, and practice what I preach.  So, that said, and, of course, YMMV, depending on where you are located.  Fires are wonderful, and you should have them whenever you can, but sometimes they’re a distinct disadvantage, especially if you find yourself in a situation where you can be targeted by entities that do not have your interests in mind.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Win if you can, lose if you must, but by all means…..CHEAT!”  Well, it applies here.  Don’t think about doing the ‘Spartan Survival’ method – use anything you can to give yourself the edge of making it through and not losing strength and drive because of the cold.

First thing, besides what you’ve chosen as a winter sleeping bag, vapor barrier (that which you put on the ground under your sleeping mat), and sleeping mat is, simply, a wind tarp (basha, poncho, etc) and some 550 cord to lash it to whatever concealment you’re going to use.

Next, you need commercial hand warmers.  Personally, I prefer the 12 hour models that are about 4X4 inches and are air activated.  I carry about 2 dozen in my SHTF BOB for winter.  Simply, once your shelter is built (a simple tarp shelter to keep the wind off you – wind will rob you of your body heat – tents SUCK because you’re blind and they hold moisture inside….), you set up your sleeping bag (vapor barrier, sleeping pad, and bag on top of all) and activate one hand warmer and toss it in the bag while you finish you’re other ‘camp chores’ (securing your equipment, camouflaging your position (no matter if you’re rural, sub-urban, or urban) and setting up for sleep time (security watch if you’ve got more than you – food (get some fuel in your furnace right before you go to sleep – you’ll stay warmer!), and elimination (you want to urinate as much as possible before you turn in…you do not want to get out of your bag before you have to because you’ll lose residual heat in your bag, and if it’s REALLY cold (Zero f or lower), you won’t get it back before you get up for your watch or for the day.

Bottom line is this:  All you need is a wind break (a tarp will do nicely if you can set it up), a good sleep system, your personal sleeping clothes (clean socks, a good set of under armor/poly-pro long johns specifically for sleeping, a head covering (fleece cap w/face mask or similar), super light gloves (silk glove liners come to mind – I use them and they’re great!), and something to cover your gear.

And, there you go.

 

Snow Blindness – Not Fun!

Snow blindness is usually a temporary issue, but even so, becoming snow blind takes away any real ability to do what you need to do on bright winter, snow covered days, and if you’re thinking about what you’d do in the winter for SHTF, you want to take some simple steps to avoid it.

I had a case many years ago, because I thought I knew better than my NCO who told me to protect my eyes.  Learning the hard way sometimes makes life impressions, and it did.  So, what is snow blindness?

Basically, it’s when your cornea(s) get sunburned.  And for the smart-asses out there, there’s no ‘eye sun screen lotion’ you can use….just sayin’.   Symptoms include what’s on the image.

Simple solution to this issue:  Always have either a pair of good, dark sunglasses, or a pair of Sun & Wind Goggles available.  I carry a set in my winter ‘Get Home Bag’ along with other winter sundries, and they’re the best insurance policy I can think of.  I like them because I wear glasses, and they fit over the glasses.  Additionally, for the uninitiated, they have a clear lense you can use in hours of limited visibility to keep things from sticking you in the eye inadvertently (also a nice thing).

The best thing?  They’re cheap.  Surplus Sun & Wing Goggles go for as little as $6 a pair before shipping on eBay; most surplus stores have them for $20 or less (which is still a good deal), and they’ll last for years.

I have about 3 or 4 pair of the old style, and one of the new USGI style in ACU green/gray.  They  fit over my glasses, too, so they’re good to go.

There’s a whole raft of civilian models available, too, so you have more choices than you can shake a stick at.  However, I’d say away from the really ‘cool’ looking reflective lenses IF your objective is for use during a ‘less than civil’ scenario.

One less winter injury issue to resolve!

On Operating in Winter…from JC Dodge

via Basic Strategies And Gear For Operating In Cold Weather

JC’s information and suggestions are solid.  I know this from spending a good amount of years stationed at Northern Tier installations as well as living in the North now.

Some of the items he recommends, such as the 1951 wool US military shirt are worth their weight in gold, so if you can find them in unissued or very good shape, jump on them.

There are a lot of good products out there now, with improved synthetic materials for effective insulation, but if you’re just now beginning to get your kit together, or you’re on a limited budget, you can’t go wrong with the US military surplus items.  They work.

Just remember, once you get your equipment/gear, you need to do more than pack it up.  You need to train with it.

That means getting ‘out there’ and testing it.  Over night.  In the cold.  And snow.  Just sayin’