A Pelican Case for Rescue Operations: The iM2950 Pelican Storm Case

My introduction to Pelican cases came decades ago when I first started doing rescue work. I was arriving to a training class and spotted a pile of black, hard-sided boxes sitting outside, but there was a problem — it was starting to rain. Thinking that whatever was inside the cases must be valuable and could possibly be damaged by the rain, I quickly found one of the instructors and proclaimed that we needed to get the boxes moved to a dry location. The instructor came outside and chuckled a little, realizing the equipment I was concerned about was already stored inside Pelican cases. He calmly explained that they were waterproof. When I asked if he was sure the contents would be OK, the instructor said that everything would be fine. He proceeded to grab one of the cases, and deliberately threw it on the ground from chest height, very roughly. …

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Vintage Electric Bikes Scrambler S: A Survival Ebike Review

While I was writing this article, strong Santa Ana winds had caused catastrophic fires in several regions of California. In the name of public safety, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) — California’s largest utility company — intentionally shut down power to hundreds of thousands of people. The idea was simple: If there’s no power running through utility lines, the risk of fire goes down. Unfortunately, the most recent fire started when a tree fell on a power line in an area where power hadn’t been turned off yet. These events are yet another reminder that our world is changing rapidly. The evolution and progression of technology has anchored our dependence on the power grid, and this is making us more vulnerable. I want you to ask yourself this question: What would I do if a catastrophe disabled and destroyed the infrastructure that my family is dependent on? No more cell …

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Dark Angel Medical: No Excuse for Ignorance

As you cruise along the highway listening to your favorite podcast, you watch in disbelief and horror as a car a few lengths in front of you swerves violently, knocking a biker clear across three lanes of traffic. You pull over immediately and feel that natural desire to help. But what are you going to do? Do you have the knowledge and willingness to become part of the scene? Are you a bystander or a “by-doer?” Never at a loss for a smile or a Southern phrase that will keep you grinning from ear-to-ear like a mule eatin’ saw briars, Kerry Davis of Dark Angel Medical wants to create a vast army of “by-doers” — regular people with the ability and willingness to help save a human life. Effortlessly blending complex medical information with an easy to understand trauma care curriculum, Davis provides training for everyone, as well as a …

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Dynamic Combative Solutions: The Recipe for Precision

Over the last few months, I’ve taken several handgun classes that incorporated intermediate and advanced concepts. These skills have made me more well-rounded, but it’s critical to periodically check and strengthen the foundation they’re built upon. With this in mind, I signed up for a one-day pistol fundamentals class taught by David Laird of Dynamic Combative Solutions (DCS) in Phoenix, Arizona. This class was split into two four-hour segments taught back-to-back. The first half, Precision Pistol, was intended as an introductory class, covering basic shooting technique and accuracy. The second half, Holster Fundamentals, focused on drawing the gun from a holster quickly while maintaining accuracy. If you’re an experienced shooter, this may sound painfully simple, but don’t underestimate the value of these core skills. As Ernest Emerson told students at the Surviving Inside the Kill Zone class I covered last issue, “An expert is one who has mastered the basics.” …

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Nutrient Survival: A Fresh Take on Survival Food

Survival food harkens from two distinct histories. On the one hand you have the timeless foods that call back to historical societies, and on the other hand you have the result of sending people to the moon. From the outside, it looks like a choice between home-made granola bars versus freeze dried astronaut food. Somewhere in the middle we might find MRE’s or Military rations: what our grandparents lovingly called shit-on-a-shingle. Survival food, from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, ranks high in a must-have, but are all survival foods created equal? Nutrient Survival says no. The market of Survival Foods lives in two extremes: most of the time only a few people are interested in it, but in rare moments, such as every four years in the United States, suddenly millions are interested in stowing away whatever supplies they can gather in the event of possible, if not now likely, unrest …

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Boot Laces: Pocket Preps

Let’s face it — the quality and versatility of shoe and boot laces tends to get overlooked. We’re wondering why footwear companies tend not to put as much effort into this component as they do sole construction, padding, and breathability. It has created a misconception that all laces are the same. When the laces on your sneakers or boots break, you usually replace them with some store-bought boot laces of questionable composition, or a generic piece of cord, right? That being said, we felt this oft-neglected product deserves closer inspection. Here, we’ll show you some options you probably never knew existed before. We discovered some brands out there that’ve put the time and research into creating laces far superior to what you’re used to seeing. Whether it’s using your boot laces as a SERE tool or survival cordage, we decided to take a look at some brands offering laces that …

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Covert Carry versus Concealed Carry

What do you think of when you hear the term “concealed carry?” Your first thought might be the legal definition of carrying a concealed gun or knife, and the accompanying guidelines in your home state and city. Perhaps you think of skills you’ve practiced in self-defense classes, or you think of the equipment you’ve accumulated for the purpose of concealment — there are a nearly infinite number of handguns and holsters you can keep hidden on your person. No matter which subtopic crossed your mind first, there are many variables to carefully consider and research. This is compounded by the amount of information available through internet forums, gun-store counter jockeys, and local “gun guys,” which is both immense and rife with inaccuracies.   Above: Drawing from concealment while moving or changing position is a vital skill to responding with a covertly carried weapon. In order to clear the air and …

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Winning the Germ War

Pick your favorite (or least favorite) disaster scenario and ask what your top priorities following that disaster will be. Are a clean body and living space on your list? They should be. Sanitation and hygiene are fundamental forms of preventative medicine to block disease transmission. Human waste and household garbage harbor numerous infectious diseases. Properly disposing of these items and maintaining clean bodies are staples of the modern running-water world. With a flush of the toilet, taking a can to the curb, the turn of a knob, a little soap, and a few seconds, most of our sanitation and hygiene is handled effortlessly — so much so that very few of us ever consider life without these conveniences. History shows that in disasters, one of the first things to become compromised is the infrastructure we rely on for hygiene and sanitation. The power goes out, and pumps shut down. Water …

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Surviving a Carjacking

Carjacking” is a term first coined in 1991 by writers of The Detroit News to describe an epidemic of auto thefts at gunpoint that plagued their city. The crime first became prevalent in the 1980s, when anti-theft alarm systems made old-school car theft more challenging for criminals. Unlike an ordinary car thief, who wants your vehicle but wants nothing to do with you, a carjacker plans to meet you face-to-face and is ready and willing to use violence in the process. Despite the fact that it’s been around for decades, many states still don’t have specific carjacking laws. Instead, they categorize it as robbery, auto theft, or aggravated assault, so tracking it statistically is challenging. The most comprehensive study of carjacking was done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which analyzed it in detail during the period 1993 to 2002. While somewhat dated, their …

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Marlin 336 Dark Series Review

Today, we live in a world of rapid innovation and obsolescence. Tools and technology that are common now are likely to be forgotten in a decade, if not much sooner. You’re probably not using a typewriter or telegraph to communicate in this era of laptops and smartphones. But there are exceptions to this rule — instances where the old ways may still have their merits. The surge in popularity of so-called tactical lever guns, such as this Marlin 336 Dark Series, illustrates this point. Old, But Not Obsolete The Marlin 336 was introduced in 1948, but the core of its design dates all the way back to the Model 1893, a rifle named after the year it began production. Prior to the turn of the 20th century, lever-action repeating rifles from Winchester, Henry, and Marlin quickly became popular among American frontiersmen, cowboys, and outlaws of the Old West. Today, those …

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What If We Are Hit By Another Pandemic?

In Issue 28 of RECOIL OFFGRID, we wrote a feature on Operation: Dark Winter (ODW) — a senior-level government exercise from June 2001 that simulated a bioterrorism attack in the United States using smallpox as its agent of choice. Its findings were discouraging to say the least. The results of the ODW study revealed a gut-wrenching reality that many Americans weren’t aware of until COVID-19 found its way here — we as a nation are drastically ill-prepared for pandemics. Problems range from a lack of sufficient training, delays in developing vaccines or drugs to treat a new illness, and the collateral damage it causes to our infrastructure and commerce. Fast-forward to 2020, and the world has seen firsthand how devastating the effects of a highly communicable disease can be on every aspect of human life. The question now remains, how can we prepare for the next wave or another outbreak …

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Masks and Respirators for Covid 19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to our lives. Among the most obvious is the routine use of protective masks to prevent spreading this disease. There has been much debate about the usefulness of masks, and official guidance has flip-flopped from discouraging to encouraging their use. Many are left wondering, can they help? What kind of mask do I need? Can I make my own? These are important questions right now, and they’ll remain relevant the next time a disease inevitably spreads like wildfire through the human population. Airborne Transmission – How Masks Can Help Face masks can prevent the spread of viral illness, including COVID-19, if the right type is used and used correctly. To understand how masks help, we must first understand transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. The primary mechanism for transmission of the virus is droplets expelled from the body by coughing, sneezing, …

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The Latest Gear: Survival Whistles, Phone Solar Panels, Lockpick Vaults & More

Whether you’re a self-proclaimed gear junkie or a minimalist, it’s hard not to appreciate all of the innovative products that are being released in the world of survival and preparation. We check out several fresh items on the market to consider. Prometheus Design Werx Ti-Signal Whistle LENGTH: 2.19 inches MSRP: $29 URL: prometheusdesignwerx.com NOTES: One thing’s for sure: This ain’t your granddaddy’s survival whistle. Machined from 6AL-4V titanium billet, the Ti-Signal Whistle is lightweight, corrosion resistant, and almost indestructible. It can emit a piercing, high-pitch sound to alert others of your location. This makes it a potentially life-saving device — whether you’re injured and in need of a search- and-rescue team or just trying to reconnect with your friends after getting separated in the backcountry. And as with every- thing Prometheus Design Werx makes, the Ti-Signal Whistle exists at that intersection between aesthetics and functionality. It features a Mk2-style pineapple …

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Hiker Found After 12 Days Missing

Holly Courtier had been missing for 12 days in Utah’s Zion National Park when she was found alive on Sunday. Courtier, a 38-year-old mother from California was last seen Oct. 6th at the Grotto parking area inside the park after being dropped off by a shuttle bus. She never arrived back for the shuttle bus return. In the days following her disappearance, the Zion National Park System began a massive rescue effort involving park officials, K9 units, drones, and the local police department. Source: Zion NPS Above: The National Park System posted flyers around the park and on social media detailing Courtier’s description along with clothing and gear that were possibly with her.  Friends and family joined the effort, including her 19-year-old daughter Kailey Chambers. She had begun to lose hope on Sunday stating to ABC News, “Basically they said today or Monday was going to be the last day …

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OFFGRID Live: Experts Discuss Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is modern day slavery and happening around the world with alarming frequency. Join RECOIL OFFGRID Editor Tom Marshall as he interviews a panel of experts on the front lines battling this epidemic to learn more about what it is, how it’s happening, and what you can do to protect yourself. Yousef Badou – owner/lead instructor of Emergence Disrupt Bazzel Baz – founder of Association for the Recovery of Children Theresa Flores – trafficking survivor and founder of The SOAP Project Bruce Ladebu – founder of Children’s Rescue Initiative Our Panel: Bazzel Baz is a graduate of The Citadel, former Captain USMC, former CIA SAD/SOG Paramilitary Case Officer and founder of one of the longest running child rescue NGOs in the U.S. established in 1993, known as The Association For The Recovery of Children aka ARC. ARC is a non-profit consisting of former military, intelligence and law enforcement personnel …

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Prime Day Survival Deals

Prime Day is here, and whether or not you were looking forward to the day Amazon blows open its metaphorical doors for the best deals this side of the Atlantic, we’re bringing to you some of the best, time-sensitive offers they available on the site. Here’s the catch, though, you have to go through our page, that way they know we sent you there. It’s voting season, and we all know how the sayings go, people vote with their wallets. The best part is, good survival gear doesn’t care about how much you spent on it when it’s saving your life in a disaster, or from a bad day in the office. Stay tuned for the best Prime Day Survival Deals. 3M WorkTunes + Gel Cups Hearing Protection The only thing better than hearing protection when at the range, is hearing protection blasting the best Miley Cyrus, or Five Finger …

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Human Trafficking Survivor Interview

Human trafficking is a silent epidemic that affects millions of people worldwide. Threat-recognition and behavioral expert Yousef Badou recently interviewed Emily Chen, a competitive shooter and trainer on her experience being trafficked as a young girl. Watch the interview so you can better understand the telltale signs of trafficking to help better educate yourself and your loved ones on how to protect themselves. To register for our live webinar on human trafficking on Thursday October 15, 2020 at 3pm PST, click here. Related Posts Human Trafficking: Hidden in Plain Sight“We are like a meal … when everyone’s done eating, into the dumpster we go, and nobody gives a sh*t.” This quote came from a 14-year-old girl who’d been trafficked for sex and later […] Theresa Flores: Surviving Human TraffickingThe public is often led to believe that human trafficking only happens in other countries. Theresa Flores is living proof that it’s …

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Rally Points: Considerations for Planning and Using Them

An extremist group attacks critical nodes of the power grid at 0100 hrs and you awake to mayhem on the streets.  City-wide traffic backups are the first indication that this isn’t a typical summer brownout, but the danger is amplified when a five-ton improvised explosive device detonates in front of a Federal building at 0830, flattening the structure while killing 75 and wounding 150 other workers as they arrive to begin their day. Your daughter is on her way to a college class when the traffic jams begin to pile up and the detonation occurs while your son is on the road after working third shift at a plant on the other side of town.  It is impractical for them to attempt to return to your home. Emergencies can, and will, strike when least expected. Photo credit: MSVG (https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/0c627e28-b73c-4d5a-ae20-244bb82ef65f) While the police and first responders re-direct resources to the Federal …

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The Buck 110 Folder Review and History

When we hear the term “survival knife,” we most often think of a large fixed blade of some type and not a folding pocket knife. Yet, the Buck 110 Folding Hunter may make you change that way of thinking. The Buck 110 was a familiar sight for many years. Although it’s pocket-sized, it was mostly worn on the belt in a leather sheath secured with a single snap. Even those who know little about knives can recognize it immediately. It was worn by hunters, farmers, craftsmen, tradespeople, and anyone who had the need for a compact, sharp blade with a strong lock. When a single model of any knife becomes synonymous with an entire company’s product line for decades, and inspires countless other designs (as well as blatant imitations), I’d say that qualifies as iconic. History The Buck 110 was designed in 1963 as a folding hunting knife. There had …

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Secrets of Traditional Knowledge

Look outside your window. What do you see? Are you staring into the windows of a 50-story high-rise apartment building? Are you looking at your neighbor’s suburban, perfectly manicured front lawn? Or perhaps you live more intimately with nature, deep in the heart of the forest. Now imagine the rug of civilization has been pulled out from under you. It doesn’t have to be an EMP-induced nightmare, and you don’t have to be caught up in the throes of a civil war, localized rioting, or a political coup. It could be the chaotic destruction of a natural disaster, or simply an extended power outage. Are you confident that you can overcome the myriad obstacles an uncaring universe can throw your way? No matter what you’re feeling, by considering a worst-case scenario you can hone skills that have been ensuring the survival of the human race for thousands of years. You …

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