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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How to Survive an Earthquake

Earthquakes are one of the most common natural disasters. And though nearly everyone is familiar with them, very few people have experienced one. And even fewer still understand how cataclysmic and biblically destructive a severe earthquake really is. Earthquakes are events that are not encountered evenly around the world. They occur most often in specific regions where tectonic activity is high and volatile. How to Survive an Earthquake Earthquakes are survivable, but the biggest threat they present is in the literal toppling of society. Only the strongest buildings will make it through a powerful earthquake unharmed. Virtually no structure will make it through one that is of apocalyptic magnitude. An understated but no less grave danger presented by earthquakes is that the shaking and rippling of the very ground or floor beneath your feet will make escaping to safer terrain or just improving your position inside a building very difficult. …

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My Week Shadowing Storm Chasers in Oklahoma

Have you ever seen a tornado? I paired up with a group of storm chasers for a week and have a newfound appreciation for them. We pulled off at a Kum and Go gas station to fill up the tank. Road rule: pee at every stop. Mike recalled how his best tornado video was ruined by someone chanting, “I’ve gotta pee,” like a mantra. Fortunately, I have a capacious bladder, but Dean keeps a roll of toilet paper in his glove box, just in case. Back in the car, Dean was refining our target area near Gotebo, checking RadarScope and the real-time Doppler radar, which tracks the location and velocity of storms, and referring to GRLevelX, a data-processing, and display program. His cell phone pinged with text messages from chaser friends in the area. By midafternoon, the National Weather Service had issued a severe weather warning on NOAA Weather Radio, and our …

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Cold Weather Hunting Gear You Absolutely Need

Oh, when the weather outside is frightful, but the tree stand is so delightful… For almost all of us, it doesn’t really matter what the weather is doing, we’re going to go hunting regardless. This includes when the temperature drops down into frigid levels. What do we do? We gear up and go! Sometimes the weather catches us off guard and we have to regroup a little. No worries, just remember these five cold-weather hunting gear pieces every hunter absolutely needs to enjoy the hunting season to its fullest. Editor’s Pick – Baselayers It’s kind of funny. Before the hunting community got all technical, base layers were just referred to as long underwear. The thing is, base layers have become far more technical than your plain, old long underwear. Comfort levels have increased, as have warmth and scent prevention. After all, your layer of clothing closest to your skin is …

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AR 15 Hunting – What Can You Hunt?

Have you thought about taking your AR 15 hunting? The AR-15 remains the rifle of choice for the modern era and can be found in any shooting discipline, in any shooting activity. From competition to home defense and law enforcement to military service, the AR-15 family of rifles remains completely dominant, the total choice for the discerning shooter. But there is still one area where the AR is meeting a little resistance, and that is hunting. Now you will find no shortage of AR-15s and their many variants roaming the woods and fields and mountains of America carried by hunters in search of game, but despite the emergence of Gun Culture 2.0, and an increasingly performance-driven shooting public that has been forced to acknowledge the supremacy of the AR and all its many guises, the AR lags behind more traditional choices when it comes time to put meat in the …

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How to Safely Close a Pocket Knife

A pocket knife is a popular outdoor tool. These multifunctional knives can be used nearly every day whether you’re camping or working. Caring for your pocket knife is as important as knowing how to effectively use it. Part of that care is being able to close it. Knowing how to properly and safely close your pocket knife can help maintain the quality of the knife and ensure it lasts a long time. Plus, closing the knife and storing it safely is important for your safety and to avoid any potential accidents. There are several different types of pocket knives, and each one requires a slightly different process to close it. The four different types of pocket knives we focus on here are the slip joint, frame lock, liner lock, and lockback. Read on for our how-to guide for closing a pocket knife! How to Close a Pocket Knife Slip Joint …

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Trijicon Rolls Out New Concealed Carry Reflex Optic

Michigan-based Trijicon chose September 01 to announce a long-awaited product. It’s a concealed carry optic, which they call the RMRcc. The company’s landmark RMR product line is so popular, the model name is often conflated with any brand’s reflex optic. Despite that, the company lagged behind many competitors in rolling out a compact edition appropriate for concealment-size guns. Tough and Durable Lightweight and low-profile aims were met with the new optic. It weighs just an ounce, battery included, with its 7075-T6 aluminum frame. Its dimensions come in at just under one inch in height and width. It’s also thinner overall than the original RMR. This new release has a black finish; the finish treatment is not yet disclosed. Recoil is not an issue Though the construction is lightweight, Trijicon says the RMRcc will stand up to the stoutest recoil from even 45 ACP and 10mm. With one of the available …

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Threat Perception – Refuse to be a Victim

We don’t need to extol the value of everyday preparedness — if you’re reading this article, you already know its importance. But being prepared without looking prepared is a much more daunting task, and requires a conscious decision to blend into the environment. It offers the ability to go about your daily routine without being noticed or drawing attention. Some call this the gray man principle, others call it simply maintaining normality. The element of surprise can be paramount when it comes to addressing threats or other dangerous situations you may encounter. Alternatively, blending in can also help reduce the likelihood of being a target in the first place. In any environment, threat perception is key.  Threat Identification – Situational Awareness One of the elements often discussed when referencing this philosophy is situational awareness — the ability to pay attention to your environment in a way that helps you decipher …

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