As we’re most likely in for some serious activity limiting weather according to some sources, I’m putting together a list of projects that are survival/preparedness related to blend into everything else I want to do to stay motivated during the doldrums of winter. Sitting on the couch by the fire place with an Irish Cream and coffee is fun, but it can sap your strength and your brain, and then, one day you wake up and see Jabba the Hut in the mirror. That. Ain’t. Happening.
Some of the things I’m definitely doing:
- Replacing all hook & loop closures on my survival smocks with buttons. In the last couple years, while discussing various options to the M65 field jacket with my friend Chris Dodge (his post on smocks, here), and some viewing of some videos by Ivar Bergmann on kit set up ideas, I decided to get a few smocks to check them out and give them a try (the Brit 95 series below is exactly like one I’ve got, and it wasn’t very expensive at all, about $55 shipped). I can’t say I’m disappointed at all, save for the amount of hook & loop fasteners on the storm flaps and sleeve cuffs. Can’t stand that fastening method! So, there’ll be seven buttons replacing all the hook & loop on the storm flap (three) and the cuffs (2 each – one loose and one snug). This will entail having button holes made (fortunately, my spouse unit sews and has agreed to do it for me, saving me money and ensuring quality work!) I’ve secured surplus 2-slot buttons and some flat OD shoe strings to replicate the method the original buttons are fastened. Once done, pics will be posted. See the image below for the cuffs and storm flap area.
- Sort, Purge & Repack Ruck – Sometimes I have a tendency to put more redundancy into my ruck than is necessary. Need to cut the weight by about 20 pounds! (On me as well as the ruck!)
- Wax & Prep SHTF Sled – Haven’t had it out for a couple years; also need to check out my snow shoes and poles.
- Get to the Range Every 3 Weeks – Work on low light drills, max effective range human silhouette engagement, heads and hips drills, winter rifle, etc. Target below was at 20 meters with a Glock 19, 124gr FMJ. I have this tendency to shoot a tad left; need to get my sights tweaked. (Note to self: More dry fire!)
- Test Run New Stoves (MSR Pocket Rocket 2 & Toaks Titanium Pack Stove – Yes, that means I have to have a fuel supply for the Pocket Rocket in my ruck. Right now, in the Get Home Bag, the PR2 will suffice for quick heated drinks or a meal if I must stay somewhere, and the titanium wood-burning gasifier stove needs a good test. I’ll be doing a post on both in the near future, so that should provide some good information. I love how small the PR2 is, and the fuel canisters are very light and not large, so it should work for my intended purpose. Can’t take credit for the idea, either, my old R&D guy at DTG turned me on to it. I was using a Coleman single burner multi-fuel ‘squad stove’ that weighed about 3 pounds…..this is MUCH lighter and takes up only a fraction of the space.
This is how it’s SUPPOSED to work…time will tell. Below is what it looks like assembled. It breaks down into a single section, and it’s very light also, so room & weight are not an issue. I want to prove its capability before I replace what I already have in the way of a titanium wood burner.
What’s on your list of winter projects?
Enjoy your New Years!