Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Survival Training - Where to Start?

This is a “take-off” on the earlier post in June, “getting out there”.

In our case, we have our Level 1, 2 and 3 kits, ready to go.  The kits are configured the way we’d best use them, we’ve balanced load properly, we carry our Level 1 gear everywhere we go, and our Level 2 and 3 gear usually isn’t too far away . . . Now what?


Proper instruction is definitely a pre-requisite to getting out and training.  Printed instruction is good, and a live instructor who demonstrates, trains you, and then grades you, is better.

Basic survival instruction should cover the following:  Body Temperature Regulation (Shelter and Fire), Hydration (Water Purification), First Aid, Sanitation and Food collection / preparation.

A good printed source for that kind of information:

Free: FM 21-76 US Military Survival Manual:

$15 shipped:  The USRSOG Manual: (probably the best information for the money around today).

Again, instruction given in person with demonstration is probably the best return on investment.  If you know a former military instructor who knows his or her way around the survival world, who’s willing to help you learn, that’s always a plus.

Another thing to do is search out companies in your local area that offer survival training.  For example, in Michigan, Great Lake Survival teams up with Ravenswood Enterprises to offer disaster preparedness, wilderness survival and team building training.

If you’re not in the Michigan area, there are several survival training companies that we recommend across the country.  Drop us a line and we might be able to point you in the right direction depending on where you live.


Assuming we’ve had proper instruction, we now have our Level 1, 2 and 3 kits squared away.  We’re ready to go do some Training.  The backyard is a good place to start.  Here’s how we would recommend getting one’s “feet wet” with survival training.

1.       Basic Survival Training:  Stay a night out in your local camp ground or back yard with your level 1 and 2 kit.  (obviously if you have a medical condition, this trumps whatever training you are attempting, use common sense).  Construct a shelter with your knife and paracord.  Make survival fire.  Make an insulated place to sleep in your shelter.  If available try and catch some fish with the line, hooks and insects for bait.  Filter and purify some water with in your utility pot.  If the going gets too tough, go inside and figure out what went wrong or what you could do better.  The next time, do it on a rainy day and night in the same area.  Each time you have a successful experience, record it, what went well, what you could do better.  Each time you do a new training day, make the conditions just a little more difficult.  Basic Survival Training should be just over night.  Surviving outside for a night is a skill that just about anybody with the right tools, instruction and attitude can obtain.

2.       Intermediate Survival Training:  This is where we like to turn survival training into a “weekend thing”.  One night here or there is great, but now we’re ready for a couple days in the bush.  Still it would be good to go close to home in the woods not too far away in case something goes wrong.  We have our Level’s 1, 2 and 3.  We’ve set up shelter, made a fire, have purified water (hot or tepid depending on the weather).  Maybe (if it’s legal with the proper hunting permits), want to set up a few animal snares and do some hunting with our “survival pistol”.  Maybe some wild game over the camp fire that night would be tasty.  Each time we go out we test out selves a little more, making sure not to get in over our heads.

3.       Advanced Survival Training:   The only thing different in advanced training is that we’re extending our stay in the wild, and the weather might be a bit more extreme or the location a bit more remote.  There is inherent risk in this type of training.  The individual bears the sole responsibility for his or her outcome.  If your skills aren’t up to snuff or you haven’t been properly trained, it could cost a life.

Having been trained properly, we think the inherent risk in survival training is worth the return on investment to us.  Each time we “push” ourselves to be a little better or a little less comfortable in our training, we develop the attribute of being tough.

People will ultimately have to make the decision inside their mind, whether critiquing a few episodes of “Man vs. Wild” has the same merit as getting out on a regular basis to train and re-train survival skills.  We try not to fool ourselves into thinking that it does.

There is a sense of satisfaction in retraining old skills and testing new skills, knowing that our loved ones can count on us to give them a fighting chance in bad situations. 

As always, Thanks for reading,

-          The Great Lake Survival Team     

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Republicans and Democrats

Chuck Baldwin has written another great article.  Who's to blame for current infringements on American Liberty?  Republicans or Democrats?  You decide.


By Chuck Baldwin
July 12, 2012

It is an absolute fact that no matter which of the two major parties in Washington, D.C., is in power, the freedoms and liberties of the American people continue to be eroded. However, this does NOT mean that there are not basic differences between the two parties. The two parties differ greatly on HOW government will take our liberties. Where they are similar is in the fact that neither of them has any interest in preserving liberty. Until the American people awaken to this reality, whatever freedoms we have left in this country are doomed.

Let me ask you a question: does it really matter whether a free man is enslaved by a socialist state or a fascist state? Are the prisons any more accommodating? Are the lashes from the whip any less painful? Is the agony of losing a loved one any less grievous? Is the persecution any less revolting? What difference does it make to a free man if his liberties are stolen by an Adolf Hitler or by a Joseph Stalin?

Do you want a quick reference to the difference between how the Democrats and Republicans in Washington, D.C., are stealing our liberties? When the Democrats control things, America gets more socialism; when the Republicans control things, America gets more corporatism, which is a polite word for fascism. Socialism requires government to own everything, while fascism requires government to control everything. And remember, too, fascists and socialists have always hated each other. Big deal! Fascists and socialists alike hate freedomists, which is why inside-the-beltway Repubs and Dems can’t stand people like Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and yours truly. (Remember the MIAC report identifying the three of us, and our supporters, as being potential “dangerous militia” members?) So who cares which of these two parties happens to be in power? Our freedoms continue to be under siege. That’s why the battle in Washington politics has nothing to do with preserving freedom, but everything to do with HOW government will take freedom. Will they take it by ownership or by control? And, unfortunately, what we have right now is the worst of both worlds: government is using a combination of both ownership and control to steal our liberties. Why? Because except for a very precious few elected civil magistrates (like Congressman Ron Paul), there is no one on Capitol Hill or the White House who remotely understands--or fights for--the principles of liberty.

Even worse is that when the Donkeys and the Elephants do agree, it almost always is in an effort to point the bayonets at the American citizenry. What does it matter whether government owns it or controls it? What does it matter whether it more resembles socialism of corporatism? What it doesn’t look anything like, is FREEDOM!

Take the Democrat/Republican debate over Obamacare. Even if Mitt Romney and the GOP prevail in the November elections, Obamacare will be replaced with Romneycare. And Romneycare will be 85% Obamacare, with a slight shift toward government control and a slight shift away from government ownership. Again, I say, BIG DEAL! What neither party is talking about is that the federal government has no business being in health care. Period! Just like the federal government has no business being in over 90% of everything it is involved in today. But who do you hear saying that in Washington, D.C., except Ron Paul?

Take the issue of the burgeoning surveillance society. What does it matter which major party is in power in Washington, D.C.? The TSA gets more and more obnoxiously tyrannical; abuses of civil liberties under the guise of fighting a “war on drugs” continues unabated; abuses of the Bill of Rights under the guise of fighting a “war on terror” continues unabated; the federal police state continues to grow exponentially; unconstitutional foreign entanglements continue to proliferate; ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

In a book that I have recommended numerous times, “Hitler’s Cross,” Erwin Lutzer writes on page 72, “Through surveillance, wiretaps, spying, and rewarding those who betrayed their friends, Hitler tried to control the citizens of Germany.” On page 73, Lutzer continues the thought saying, “But Hitler did not have the technology to bring every subject of his realm into line.” So, given the technology that is available today, what would Hitler do differently if he were running things in Washington, D.C.? I ask readers to think seriously about that question. What would Hitler do differently?

Today, the federal government monitors virtually every piece of electronic communication. The federal government monitors virtually every major banking transaction. It has spies infiltrated in even harmless organizations all over the country. It threatens people with the loss of their jobs or freedom (or both) to betray their friends. It spies on us with satellites; it spies on us with drones. On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed an Executive Order authorizing the federal government to take control of America’s entire communications industry. In 2006, under President George W. Bush, the US military began planning armed confrontation against the American citizenry. (I have the document in my possession.) And, of course, we must not overlook the Patriot Act which has been authorized and reauthorized under both Republicans and Democrats; the Military Commission Act which was signed by G.W. Bush; NDAA 2012 and 2013 which was signed by President Barack Obama, and which was passed by both Republicans and Democrats. And let’s not forget the federal attack against the Branch Davidians under Democrats Bill Clinton and Janet Reno, and the assault against the Randy Weaver household under Republican President George Herbert Walker Bush.

So, again, pick your poison. Both the socialist-leaning Democrats and the corporatist-leaning Republicans in Washington, D.C., meet together in pointing the bayonet against the American citizenry. And you really wonder why nothing significant changes in this country?

And in this regard, the platforms of the two major parties are completely meaningless! I dare say that Barack Obama has never read the Democrat platform and doesn’t care one iota what it says. I also guarantee you that Mitt Romney hasn’t read the Republican platform and doesn’t care one iota what it says either. Can anyone remember when Republican Presidential candidate, Bob Dole, in a rare moment of candor, publicly admitted that he had not read his party’s platform and didn’t care what it said? Party platforms are for the benefit of rank and file party members to make them feel like their ideas count for something to the party leadership. They don’t!

So, do the Democrats and Republicans in Washington, D.C., differ? Yes! They differ on how our freedoms will be taken from us. They differ on the degree of government ownership and control. They differ on the nuances of political tyranny. Where they are twins is in their lust and ambition for power, in their approval of stripping more and more freedoms from the American people, and in their absolute and total disregard for constitutional government.

Without some sort of “Great Awakening” both politically and spiritually, whatever is left of our liberties is doomed--and both major parties in Washington, D.C., are equally culpable.