|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on January 21, 2020 at 5:10 PM||comments (2)|
I thoroughly believe there are few products that come off the shelf that will adapt -as is- for the Evaders needs. The more you train and use your kit the more you will bend and adapt to simply modifying kit to be functional, accessible and to balance that with protecting it from the elements to minimize the necessary burden of kit maintained. A sound, protective holster is one of those area Ive visited before. I spent many months using the MOLLE Pilots protective survival holster but grew bored with its wide profile that took up a lot of panel space and the protective flap fasteners also left me to desire more from a protective holster. To use it with my Glock I has to fashion a plastic insert shaped like my Glock and employ it in the holster If I wanted to keep one round in the chamber because the holster was super thin. I thought to convert it may time but after much use and thought I lost confidence in it due to its many shortcomings. I then moved onto an open holster that exposed my pistol but offered excellent access and drawing, but time and again this proved to expose the Glock to much too much snow and debris. An Evader on the move simply cannot afford such a liability if they expect their weapon to function and remain ready if the situation rises to such a level.
Yesterday was the last draw. I was out with a new fella and the Glock was simply showered with snow the entire day and it became a frozen mess. Thinking of what I had in my inventory, I thought to simply fashion a protective flap but then this would lead into how to fasten it correctly, how to sew it on the holster w/o interfering with the MOLLE webbing etc etc etc. In the end it was too involved and chances were I was heading into a rabbit hole that would probably not end as functional or practical as I wanted..
I had a surplus German P38 Holster I picked up some time ago at the second hand store. The glock fit it and fit it well other then an inch of extra holster at the end of the barrel. But the fact that the Krauts use thier own suspension system for LBE made me lose interest in it. Thier belt is pictured above and mates with that holster via thier funky design they nicked from the Canadians. However it was really my only option at this point unless i wanted to spend money, and I did not. So i dug the holster out and got with it. I also used some German webbing from a web belt part of the German LBE kit. I chopped off about a 5 inch piece to work from. Knowing the holster and portion of the web belt would mate w/o issues I though to simply make a panel and to adapt that to my MOLLE rig..
*Cut piches from the belt itself.. You'll need to think of how long depending on the poach you wish to adapt.
*Sew MOLLE webbing to the pieces of belt..
*Rear to mate with the rig..
*Front to mate with the holster.
The machine gave me a fit a few time during this project but she got the hang of it after some coaxing.
* Sadly getting the entire area of the nose that I wanted to sew under the hold down leg of the machine was a messy task and didn't end as well as I wanted. However its strong and sound and will hold. Again I ran several seems into the tape, thus adding to the over all stregth of the seem end. She punctured it w/o issues and I saved an inch or so of kit from hanging down..
*The final modification was to add a loop to make it easier to grasp and pull open the inter secure strap for the pistol. There was barely anything to grab with my fingers so never-mind trying to grab it with cold or gloved fingers. A simple loop attached sufficed to fix this issue..
*The end result is very satisfactory. Normally a fish mouth gap like this behind any sort of pouch would drive me mad as a liability or issue waiting to happen but I suspect this will be fine and its not really bothering me at all. Im am not recommending this idea to anyone but merely offering an idea to start from if they are having the same issues finding a good protective holster that they can drawn a weapon from relatively easily..
*So its done: I mostly wanted to post this to share with others so to give them a base idea on how they can use these holsters on normal ppl rigs. IMHO the Krauts really dropped the ball on this rig I canabalized. The pouches they have are extremely durable, very robust, and functionally practical but the suspension design is absolutely ridiculous rubish and over/under engineered at the same time. There is simply no way to adjust thier rig on the go and it fits like you're wearing a picket fence..But back to the holsters: They are very very common and very cheap to purchase. They offer excellent protection and access to ones pistol but you must converts them. Stum/Mil-Tec makes an adapter to use on there German pouches on normal web belts but I have never tried them. It runs along the same principle as the idea Ive used here but with ALICE clips. If those clips are made in China I wont be trying them anytime soon, Ill just make my own..
Greetings From Frozen Solid Alaska..
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on January 3, 2020 at 2:45 PM||comments (10)|
"The buses with prisoners from the gun round up in Winchester will be traveling east on RT50 at 1800, here..."
All jokes aside ppl preparing to throw down about this one possible outcome to the VA situation need to stop talking about it in public unless its about political channels and political change.. You wouldn't tell the bad guy where your LPOPs were, your base camp is located, man power numbers, hides or where your patrols were headed would you? No- so STFU and go silent.. Ever see me talk specifics about anything? No- And why not? Because its not a fuking game.
If you're serious about this, the threat and the implications of all this then you need to just go dark. STFU and go dark. Give the OPFOR NOTHING. You need to get your stupid heads out of the trap that is the Internet and start to cultivate and work on local support and supply networks, you need to focus on the formulation and delivery of serious and hard hitting propaganda campaigns (Your message is more important then any soldier with gun- Without the support of the ppl you're done before you start ) to get the truth out to counter their inevitable, and well constructed lies that will come from the OPFOR to make you look bad. Ppl also need to work on the plethora of comms that will be need to sustain any sort of real campaign.. Start making face to face contacts with ppl in YOUR AREA to get things started- But STFU about it all. Going dark and not making any sort of public recognition of anything regarding the situation is what ppl need to be doing- and STFU about it all. Draw them to act first, one way or the other, and have a propaganda answer for it-- and just sit back and watch what happens when they don't know where you are, or who you are, or what you're up to.
All this cry baby shit on social media is just letting them know you are their future problem, where you are and how to find you...This blog shit and constant emotional based ranting is so beyond counter productive- its ridiculousness even below the worst amature. Even the Taliban is smarter then that- Even Somalian Pirates are smarter then that- Gang bangers are smarter then that!....Fuking control yourself and STFU. The endless emotion outcry on social media has got to stop.
Blogs and FB is absolutely the worst place to be posting your garbage about this in regards to any planning or intentions.. SERIOUSLY? You wanna generalize about preparing and training-FINE you should be. But casting attention on yourself, your blog members or customers for clicks and dollars make you a piece of shit who simply doesn't understand the depths of what is going on. If you think for one second they are not monitoring and recording everything in a quad-state area around VA, or beyond, that is being posted about this situation you live in a fuking fantasy land. One well known trainer out there is even forming a "community outreach" to train ppl to fight?? Really? Why not just make a list of everyone who ever took a class, or anyone who signs up and hand it to the VA-DA, because casting a light like that on customers and students is simply FUCKING ludicrous and if things go bad they will pay for it! I cannot even fathom the type of mind set that would sanction and initiate such a thing. If you're visiting these blog and pages where this eruption of unbridled emotions is taking place, and your being drawn in with emotional bait- STOP. Simply stop. Fuking control yourself and get your head out of other ppls traps and away from the net. Social media has tricked so many ppls minds into think they are detached and what is on the screen isnt really part of them. That the next meme to be posted or arctical to get pissed off about is somehow not a part of them when ppl are now talking about Guerilla war and other types of planning. All you self proclaimed leaders out there enabling this and condoning this for clicks, attention or cash are part of the problem- Not the solution. Too many are leading ppl down the emotional rabbit hole that leads to nothingness.
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on December 12, 2019 at 10:20 AM||comments (10)|
I know last winter I tried to ditch the smock concept all together- This however, was a mistake. Though I tried, and there's nothing wrong with stepping out of what you think- you think- you know to try different approaches and to gain new perspectives, it sometimes does not work. Regardless you and me will learn when we do this. We learn in- the now- while we have the convenience and luxury to make mistakes. With that being said Alaska showed me, in no uncertain terms, that ditching the smock was a mistake that made things worse as a whole. In a terrain and environment like Alaska I get little say in what I need to take with me to get by out in the wilds.- The smock concept is and will obviously remain a staple to my survival-ability in the wilds. This seem to be non-negotiable. Example- You cannot bring a 22 to a Bear fight- The laws of nature and the math will not fit the situation, just as there is a math and a solution to all survival issues and topics the Smock is not exempt. E&E In Alaska demands a certain compliment of kit and readiness to deal with the hammer dropping and living to tell about it.
The Evader needs a smock for the appropriate amount of every day pocket and last ditch survival kit, and its proper stowage as to not cause burden or liability it its usage.. The smock also offers outstanding on the go utility and weather protection. A well rounded Evader should have no issue getting on with simple pocket kit that is found in the Survival smock. From life sustaining items to First-Aid and land navigation kit- The smock provides an invaluable base for all of the above.
While I wanted to go back to the smock concept- I didnt want to return to using the same old homemade Survival Smock made from British S95 DPM Smocks. Don't get me wrong they are outstanding once converted with the addition of more pockets and other options. However they are super thick around the shoulders, arms and chest, and options for proper heat management work completely against the Evader. The lack of underarms zippers and the fact that the upper shoulder area can be as thick as 4 layers of fabric in some places that serve to trap loads of heat and perspiration in even the coldest weather. I mean after all the S95 Smock is meant to be a jacket and not a true survival smock. Converting it works but If Im going to stay with the Survival Smock I wanted more. I wanted an actual purpose build Survival Smock.
This smock is a service specific Smock from the Bundeswehr. It was issued to the German "Fernspäher". This basically translates into "Remote Scout" or what most may know as simply Scouts or LRRP personnel. This smock is printed in the new and improved "Flecktarn" (Stain Camo) pattern made after 2005. The new version is easy to identify by its color scheme and the fact that its printed on a bright olive green base. Its important to differentiate the new version of Flecky from the Old. The old was very hard in color and pattern and often simply morphed into a solid dark shape at distance. The new version has a very flowing and has a muted coloration to it that offers, IMO, superior CAMCON that compliments this very functional smock in all aspects. The older version of Flecky was one reason I could never adhere to its use no matter how I approached it. Washing it didnt even seem to work much. As much as I tried it was just simply too dark for my CAMCON needs. This new version, however is a new beast I could well get use to using mixed into my over all CAMCON.
This being a smock made for and only issued to specialist personnel means nothing to the Evader. It wont give anyone special powers because its been used by some German Scout. Its just a piece of clothing. Many people are often attracted to buying things with names like SAS, Rangers, SEALS, Special Forces attached to the advertising. These catch words are a fantasy driven farce , I assure you. You get out of kit exactly what you put into it.
. This smock also has zippers that go from under the arm pit to the eldows that zip in eaither direction with two zipper heads. This is an absolute outstanding feature for trapping and venting warm air. The Scout Smock is also made of Rip-Stop materials that is very very well made. I don't think this is intended as a hot weather smock. The term Rip-Stop makes most ppl think "hot weather' but its not the case here. Its simply made in a 50/50 heavy duty type material that is robust and durable and it happens to be Rip-Stop in design. The shoulder area is single layer allowing no real build up of rising body heat while on the move. The hood is wired in the brim area and layered with a thin slate grey nylon layer interior that works great with the outer layer of camo fabric to keep the biting wind out. The inside chest/mid section area is a bit German in design and well over engineered. This doesn't detract much from the functional nature of this smock but can appear that one has drank one too many beers or Vodka shots, earning them a drinkers belly appearance. The chest area alone has 6 pockets in all. This area is pretty thick. It boasts two interior pockets on each side that are zipper closing...2 exterior breast dump pockets with vertical zippers on each side and the two outside button closure breast pockets. The outside pockets also sport rings for attaching dummy cords, equally the others too have dummy cord rings as well.
I would venture to say this smock is not intended for summer use or badly designed with knit cuffs at the wrist that are very warm and heat trapping. Though I think it has the appropriate potential for summer use here, the cuffs are a real killer for that but could be fixed by being laid to the sheers and a run under the sewing machine- However Im not there yet. I still have more to learn about this smock before I cut on it. Ive found the cuffs very nice in the cold Alaska weather.
The size is as pictured above. Its not very over-sized. It fits me quite well, though it a little big. I like how it fits and so far seems to accomidate layering. Unlike the counterpart Mil-Tec smock this is not super oversized where Mil-Tec makes a large every bit of a large sized extra large. The fit is comfortable and its quite easy to vent heat or trap it.. The DEU on the label indicates it German Military issue and not a commercial item. The other numbers indicate what type of smock it is and who its issued to . It came with a zipper that was absolute SHIT. I suspect it wasn't the original. I replaced it with a zipper from a British smock. Those are robust and nearly indestructible.. I also sewed the new zipper on higher then the original for a better fit in general. I aligned it just a few inches below the center Canadian Button on the outer storm flap. Also all season fit is always a very important consideration for me here. In the winter the layers in the midsection can get quite thick where insulation, Smock, trousers, base layers and wet weather clothing meet. Add in snow camo with a Survival Battle Rig and thats yet another set of layers that meets at the midsection - It add up fast and should always be a consideration when adding anything to winter layers.
The lower cargo area of this smock is very functional and capable. Save the mouth of the two side pockets that are very dysfunctional in design. Everything in Alaska gets into the pocket and everything in the pocket tries to escape. I need to fix this flaw. A simple run under the sewing machine to either add elastic or a draw string will suffice, I just have not gotten around to it. Why the side pockets were not designed with the same connected closed flap system as the other pockets of equal size on the smock is a mystery to me. However the Germans are very specific when they design things so I suspect the design of the pocket mouth has a purpose, just not to me as an Evader. Its a liability that i need to fix. The rear pocket is a very sufficient size. It holds what I need and has plenty if room for scavenging for a quick load up if needed. Its closed by three large "Canadian Buttons" just like the rest of the button closures on the rest of the smock and also folds over like the other connected fold over closure flap lid system to keep kit in and Alaska out. It also has a " Poachers Pouch" inside pocket on the inside rear. I don't like this pocket at all but its helps keep my ass warm and dry when sitting so Ill tolerate it. With the outside cargo pocket and the inside poacher pouch, this constitutes 3 full layers of fabric making it quite thick with all the pro and cons that go with that.
Being a smock that is an actual intended for Scouts the designer added tabs for adding foliage or camouflage cloth strips. These are located randomly staggered on the back of the smock, two on the front and the hip draw cord and two on so each arm. They are simply tabs of brown webbing appropriate arranged and double stitched to the smock.
Along with this used surplus smock Ive also acquired a smock by Leo Köhler. Its the KSK version that differs in a few way. Basically the same smock just different fabric and other differing features, including loads of places for Velcro patches. The FnS smock has nearly no place for patches, and that makes sense to me.. I'll go over this one another time. I don't intend on using the LK KSK Smock but rather saving it. I bought it new from Germany and the Scout smock well used but in great condition at a shop in the USA. I bought 2 smocks in complete expectations one would get lost in the mail service. But after all two in one to me..
Ive worn this smock about a dozen time. Ive found few flaws to speak of. Fit, CAMCON, utility, functionality and durability all exceed what Id expect from a Government issued smock. It just seems like things are not very well made in our modern times and many items in the Germany army has suffered from his too- They are not exempt from this sad fact despite the legendary awesomeness of German kit. Its good and sucks, just like any other group of kit from any other country. Two things I found that could be better are the fit in the arms. The arms are very narrow and will probably effect layering once real winter arrives and the other is the wrist cuffs that will cause overheating come the green season. Over all though I'm beyond impressed with this smock and cannot think of anything ive acquired over the past years that Ive been this pleased with right from the start. I was very lucky to find this smock here in the US, it being an actual DEU (Germany Army Issue) and not a commercial item being sold as an actual issue item..
Ive also acquired a new Pulk sled for the winter. The old one was damaged in storage and un-salvageable. It was a great loss after over a decade of serving me each winter, We started off with a great snow accumulation last month, I even bought some new Snow Camoflauge, but sadly climate change has made the white season here erratic and its since melted nearly all of it away, just in time for me to complete the mods needed for a new sled rendering it all for naught. Im still sorting plans to rework my escape route as mentioned in the Blog post before this one. I'm going to be making these plans on paper through the winter and focusing on skills and like by catching up to some much needed SOP sharpening over this winter.
Ausrüstung, Überleben,Tarnung. Wildniss, Fernspäher, Bundeswehr Einsatzjacke Spezialkräfte Einzelkämpfer
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on November 14, 2019 at 4:25 PM||comments (4)|
Warning.. This is pretty boring but a necessary update..
This is just a quick reminder before I get started on this blog post: You CAN NOT script a survival situation anymore then you can script a car crash, train wreck, sinking boat, hurricane, tornado, flood, or control the will of men bent on spreading evil and creating destruction. ! Simply put you CAN NOT script and deliberately put real survival on Tv or in a video unless its simply telling a story in a recreation but you will lose the substance of the threat. You can prepare for what might come but by definition SURVIVAL is that which is UNEXPECTED. If you were prepared, then for good or bad, its an inconvenience of various depths and complications and nothing more. By preparing you are decreasing the mathematical deficit of survival that stands between you and success. I hope I never see another real survival situation but If i do I hope I'm able to pass on the story of what got me passed the math... I will never fake or mislead anyone with whats goes on up here.........I don't care how bored I make you with my garbage..
One last rant about scripting and dramatics..
A guy from Central Europe who was/is a self-proclaimed "EXPERT" in survival told me this one time in regards to building an audience.. " Just produce videos and feed them along making them always wanting more".. I never understood why anyone would want to infuse such dramatics into a video but then I realized its about the money and never about setting a real example for others to follow that might help them survive. This same guy also produced a video of him using charcoal from an old camp fire to clean his teeth but he never reactivated it, thus making it sterile/purified for use and used it after it had been on the ground for an unknown period of time and used for unknown reason to burn who knows what. He was infected with bacteria that entered the soft tissue of his gums and mouth that then travel through his blood and attacked his heart and he received heart damage from the bacterial infection, but the worst part is that the last time i looked the video was still up for ppl to click on so he would get payed....
As I mentioned 3 months back in the "Community" section of my YT channel Ive decided to rewrite and refocus my Escape Plan and head south to the rain-forest and the coast as opposed to dwelling inland in the central hinterlands. The goal will be the same however adding a distant objective of this nature will stretch the plan quite a bit in terms of distance and time to rebuild/restructure my plans . I haven't felt like doing much else lately so recently I have taken time to wonder out to simply collect all of my survival pods in the South Central area of existence. I have also dissembled most of the shelters associated with the survival pods that were collected. All the pods were still intact save a few that water somehow collected inside ruining the contents, and none of the shelters had any serious issues that would have negated their use- Keeping it simple helped a lot.. The compromised pods were containers that could have received direct sunlight- I blame that for the extreme temperate fluctuation causing a failure of the container and sealant. Soon I will start to replant survival pods but going south. I will not use cheap containers the next time but I will procure some military issue steel ammo boxes. At the time I used what I had-cheap plastic containers...We use what we have, not always what we wish we had. In the future I will use steel ammo cans and this will be the rule. These seem to have hit the market up here and are super cheap. You can find tall 50 Caliber ammo boxed and 20mm ammo boxes for as cheap as 10$. This will mean more supplies stuffed into one pod at one location but the overall protection and durability will be worth the trade off. Regardless of the limited amount of pods I will use the general rule will be the same in that I will spread out supplies and not keep everything in one spot for a specific are/shelter. The main shelter in Ft Wilderness still remains and Ill use it for training as I go.
Im not sure how to make a map of the route that is not acual or very close to actual without giving up the general areas ill use. Routes are not abundant so Ill simply refrain from specifics even if they're not very specific because they will be if I give them up. There simply isn't any way to show it w/o giving up to much information. Routes are finite so the above is the best i can do.....
Heading south will offer much better chances of survival. The temperature will be better year round and the ocean will always provide-its as simple as that unless its poisoned by situation like Fukushima or the like but I cant ignore what needs to be done based on conjecture- Survival Above All! . Barring such events resources will be much more abundant and IMO easier to acquire with its very remote locations to disappear into and its nearly 0 population throughout. Marine life as a resource is one of many of my focuses on this rethinking of my plans. Marine life provides everything the human body needs to take in during times of hardship, and whats more waterborne traps and lines are far easier to manage and will produce far more then the land based equivalent. And because the population in these areas is much much less condensed raping of the land by the hungry isn't likely to happen in such a remote place. Most areas are devoid of human activity other then tourism. Waterborne travel is much less labor intensive and offers a much better return for ones efforts. Not to mention relatively safer.. The Rain Forest is wet too. Much less chance of dealing with Wildfires in the summer as well.
This plan will probably require I go waterborne once again. I'm fine with this and I look forward to it but I will need to find a new watercraft. I look at this as simply another part of my life long training experience. Ive spent many years inside a the haul of a heavy loaded touring Kayak. Open water does not scare me nor does a loaded kayak with all the supplies needed to exist and get started. Day or night-rain or shine, marshes and open bays dodging ships and fishing boats-Ive done it and put in the time to be in know. Granted there will be some growing pains of getting back into this but the long term reward far outweighs the hazards of my former plan..
The above is an example of a remote cabin off the shore in Prince William Sound that ive personally examined a few years ago. The entire sound and panhandle is dotted with these cabins built for recreational use and various other abandoned dewllings but ill save my specifics. At the moment the majority Prince William Sound that i can reach is Federal land and thus protected land with very limited use for training. When the hammer drops laws will be null and void except for the laws of survival, but for now these laws will make actual training there nearly impossible other then exploring (scouting) and acting like a tourist.. However setting the North to south route to get there is totally manageable w/o breaking any of the vastly over lapping laws here in Alaska that constantly hinder my training.
Our ride that day.. Tiny Zodiac Raft with an outboard engine..
My first lesson about this area was its eternal and boundless vastness. Ive made videos of the vastness in the mountains but the vastness of the waterways here is explainable. On my fist waterborne trip there we used a simple inflatable Zodiac Raft. The area is so emence that It was like sitting still with the engine on full throttle. It seems like Whittier never moved coming or going. Thus it wasn't until we went around the coastline and into a few bays and channels that it felt like we had made any headway. It really played with my mind. It was quite a shock to me witnessing the scale of the vastness and endless water of the Sound. I noted this.
My second lesson was the absolute thorough abundance of wildlife. To say it was teeming with wildlife would be a gross understatement of the worst kind. I imagine its what Capt. John Smith witnessed when he entered the Chesapeake bay for the first time in 1608. Sadly when anything presented itself I was usually without camera in hand, other then the above see otter, but i saw no shortage of food sources on land, in the sea and in the air. As were there a great many waterfalls and rivers that emptied into the ocean with freshwater. The abundance or resources was a shocking contrast to anything witnessed in the hinterlands of South Central and I'm quite excited to be redirecting my Escape plans in that direction regardless of the fact I'm starting over from scratch. This is what experience and learning does- it tests you and makes you rethink what you think you know as one learns and grows. However this time I'm not starting with a foreign mindset because i have a lot of experiences here in Alaska with my previous planning and tasking... From Moose and bear, to deer and rodents, to clams, shrimp, crabs and fish and marine mammals PWS is alive with resources. This natural preservation can be directly attributed to the Federal Government controlling access to this area and other strict EPA regulations for Alaska...
What is the next step?
Getting through this winter and after that will be business as usaul for a while. I hope in the Spring and summer I'll be scouting and erecting a few shelters in a new direction. It will be quite a while before I actually reach the coast and even longer before I can anounce i have anything grand completed. I'll probably foot scouts through the mountains headed south most of next green seasons. I wont show exactly where though (Naturally!). Most likely at some point I will start to alternate and bounce back and forth from waterborne to the mountains and forest, but this depends on finding a affordable and suitable watercraft with accessories. I don't know when this will happen so my plans will be fluid from the start. I'll have to settle for scout the Sound on foot and alternate between my area and there if I cannot aquire a watercraft strait away. Suffice to say Im not going to get anywhere without doing something.
Research will be in order as well. I need to find out where the Feds start and stop and where the State starts and stops in terms of land boundaries. I also need to learn more about the the rules and regs of these areas for simple hiking (Scouting). Getting locked up is not an option and there's plenty to do w/o breaking the laws. Laws regarding watercraft are pretty simple. A Kayak under 11 feet isn't required to be registered so Ill definitely keep it under 11 feet.I don't see kit changing much. I learned a lot from my previous waterborne training and this continued into my normal procedures for land based E&E that Ive used over the years. (EG Rule 28 from my Kit Rules.. 28. Protect everything that needs protecting from water as if you had just 3 seconds to decide to jump into a river.This came from previous waterborne tasking and training) In closing id like to say that I know this post isn't very exciting. I'm sure Ive bored you all- However the plans are real, as is the need for a plan to be laid out and its eventual evolution. Real work is never fun or exciting. Surviving the hammer dropping will be worse then work. It will be a harvest of misery, cruelty and horrors.
PS : Id like to credit my old time Alaska best friend 'Theo" for encouraging me to change my plans and to head south to the water when the hammer drops. He's got the knowing of a great many things that have helped me in my plans over the years. Im endlessly grateful for his years of experiences and knowledge he's shared with me..
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on October 30, 2019 at 11:50 AM||comments (7)|
For years now Ive been using US issue sustainment pouches in one form or another on various rucksacks and rigs. I hate them. IMO they are sloppy, , floppy, unstable, narrow mouthed, thin skinned and the lid is an utter POS with a crappy draw string cinch closure design. Sadly there are few options available for replacing these pouches. They serve a specific purpose and other options are generally a commercial solution that come with a hefty commercial price attached. So over the years I never gave much thought to replacing them so I just tolerated them and got on with it. They worked and were good enough for the purpose they served because there was no real alternative. So I just stayed with them and put the thought of replacing them in the back of my mind, save a few temper tantrums about them that generated searches for replacements but a replacement never came to fruition. I was stuck with them.
Below are advertisement picture of the sustainment pouches. They look quite robust and fit. The reality is somewhat different when it comes to these pouches..
I was recently presented with an opportunity to upgrade to a better type of side mounted sustainment pouch. The problem with this solution was that they are German in origin and are notorious for not marrying to anything but specific type of German gear kit-namely German issue Webbing as picture above. I just happened upon this all by accident. In my seemingly never ending quest to get a servicable and reliable rig to suit my G3 and survival needs together I made an order for one of those ugly ass surplus G3 web sets you see above. The plan was to chop it up and modify it into another sort of rig-and I did- but that another story- The original set was lost in the mail so after letting them know they sucked for using a shit service to begin with the company sent me another. When the replacement order set arrived the original set showed up as well. So I had two full sets that in total included 8 G3 mag pouches and two of those huge butt-pack type pouches. This was very serendipitous for me. My imagination was buring to make something of all this.. so it did..
These German pouches offer a stable, sturdy and easy to access pouch option. They also offer outside straps on the lid to roll and hold kit on the outsdie as well.The material is a woodland camo pattern, thick vinyl type material that was super weather resistant.(Actually made this way in a vinyl like material for easy cleaning after NBC contamination). The lid is effective and closes quite securely with two fast-tex type buckles doing the job.
To give you a rough idea of the size one will hold a German mess tin and a full sized butane gas bottle without issues. They are big but not too big. I see no liability or burden offered from the use of these packs. The problem was that they are made with those buckles that will only marry to German webbing. In size a total rough measurements of the pouch is about 10x10 inches and about 5.5 inches thick. .So the size and specs fit the bill very well and IMO go a bit further beyond any beifits i was getting from MOLLE sustainment pouches. However there was the issue of attaching these to a rucksack to properly replace the current sustainment pouches. How do you marry these two different approaches to attaching gear together?
The solution was painfully obvious and staring right in the face. I used a simple 4 inch PALS (?) strip to superimpose over the existing buckle. This works and whats more is that there is no need to removed or alter the existing buckle should I want to use it later on something German in design.
How to.. step by step.. This should count on any MOLLE pouch attachment/anchor point but Ive only used it on my Medium MOLLE framed pack thus far..
As you see above one must slip the strip under the existing buckle between the buckle and the pack. Its NO SIMPLE task and Ive found that no two are the same. Some are quiet simple to get under and other stubborn and pressed firm being quite difficult. You can only get it through/under the center and top vertical bars of the buckle unless you remove the rivet on the botton of the buckle. I chose not to do that. My prefered tool was a butter knife to get under the buckle and then to push the buckle under. A needle-nose set of pliers would also help in pulling then strip through with some buckles. They will rest with the fastener just under the lower set of plastic studs. Resting them on top and somewhat snapping them in place will ensure the buckles on the pack will no slide down the strip. There seems to be tension enough for it all to stay in place.
Notice how the fastener on the strip is seated below the studs? This is important in keeping the buckle from sliding down on the strip. This is an G3 magazine pouch. This method will also work on them as well as the German water-bottle pouch (not pictured in this entry) all sharing the same sort of buckle device. All have snapped into place and stayed without the buckle sliding down on the strip. However I added a zip-tie that ill show later with an explanation of why.
Simply slide the strips through the MOLLE pouch anchor points...
. You will need zip-ties as you see them placed and where you see them placed. They will slide under the BUCKLE and the PALS strip with very little effort. ALSO note the direction and head location of the zip-ties. Placing them as you see them will ensure you can tighten them securely and cut off the remaining tie once its secured in plce. I DO NOT TRUST zipties for any sort of real load bearing jobs but here they simply pull in the slack created in the strip from the absence of a center webbing strip that would be there on a MOLLE pouch.
Simply clip the strips closed as normal. BE SURE to snap the fastener head below the studs as you see here. All of mine have snapped and stay snug. The zip ties help but are really there to pull in the slack from the absence of a webbing loop on the pouch. Otherwise it may BOW out. Also after this step be sure to pull the zip-tie tight and if you placed it just how I described you can reach the excess zip tie to cut with scissors..
Fith and final Step...
Use the provided webbing and snap on the pouch to join it at the reciprocating MOLLE webbing. Snap it and you're done. It will stay put. All in all the end product is much better then the alternative. Ive mentioned the benefits above.
This method will not hurt the rucksack nor the pouches. There is no cutting or altering anwhere on either. Its the simple application of things on hand put together to serve a purpose. I do not miss the US issue sustainment pouches in the least. These are better for me in every way possible, thius cannot be overstated..
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on October 15, 2019 at 7:40 PM||comments (12)|
This is a very basic mess tin. It needs no mods or fancy shit added. Though at one point years ago I scavenged a hook from the handle of a Swedish Mess Tin. The Swedish Tin was made of steel and was about 3x heavier then the Austrian version, and no quite as large, so all it was good for to me was its hook. Soon though the hook proved a pain in the ass when stowing the kit . Though it was super handy when cooking over a fire, its practicality was canceled out by it just being a pain in the ass when i took the tin in or out of my kit.
The main pot holds about 2 liters of water. Its depth and capacity is perfect for me to cook in, boil water to make it safe or to melt snow. Plus it makes a great storage bin as mentioned above. It works just as well for me over a fire as it does sitting on top of one of my burner stoves. For the evader this is very important. You will need a way to make water or heat something EVEN in times of threat. You need a method that will not betray you, or that will at least lesson the threat of being betrayed by fate. SHIT HAPPENS... Emergencies make no appointments-and hypothermia doesn't ask before it joins you. You will have to eat or make water safe at some point and a cooking kit like this is important. These tins I have were originally designed to use with solid fuel stoves called "Esbit" stoves but Ive moved on from that long ago to an Evaders POV.. The solid fuels are dirty and stink to hell. The stoves are still quiet common as is the wide variety of solid fuels on the market. I. however, prefer bottles gas to stay hidden or a camp fire when its safe.
Another given aspect for me that I think is worth mentioning is these stow really well. These days I keep them in a side sustainment pouch on my Existence Rucksack and my Patrol Rucksack. They also strap nicely to the outside of kit by means of the slot and loop located on the Handle. Above on the right is old picture of a homemade rucksack system i made from Czechoslovakian rucksack, Swedish frame and a Czech Bread bag (on the outside with food items inside) straps securely and with ease of access in mind. Ive also kept them inside M240 ammo pouches. They fit in them as if the pouch was made for it. I generally will always keep my food and cooking kit located outside of the main rucksack. So i don't have to pull anything out or open the main compartment of the ruck. If i get made eating a meals and live to tell the story later chances are improved that I get away with a lot more intact kit as opposed to pulling out a load of shit thats sitting all over the ground and not properly put where it belongs. This goes for all kit that should be orginized in such a way..
All in all this is Mess Tin kit is another bit of kit I see no point in ever changing up from. My second fav Mess Tin would be the US Mountain Kit as pictured above. I had one years ago but passed it on to someone who had nothing to use of thier own. It was a good kit with great storage capabilities with a huge pot for all the mentioned above reasons that I like a large pot. It also had a large pan like lip that I'm using there on the left picture to cut up some squirrel to add to the pot for supper time. I'm not actively searching for one though, but I would recommend one along with The German/Austrian as go to. I'm happy with the German/Austrian mess tins in my compliment. I wont lie though, these mess kits do stroke my historical foible as well as filling a practical application for my E&E plans...
From the 1980s till now- it works great so why change it? I will 100% recommend these European type of kit to anyone that would ask "what Mess Tin to get?"...Beware of copies made in China and vendors selling "German Style" made from mystery metals. I've also heard bad things about the metal that former DDR-East German ones are made of.
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on October 11, 2019 at 5:05 PM||comments (13)|
One of my first serious uses of a Zeltbahn shleter back in thye 90s. These are Austrian Zeltbahn- IMO some of the best around. This is about 6 buttoned together to make a shleter large enough for 4 men and all our kit with lots of room for Admin and living. It rained for 3 days. A HARD autumn rain and we never saw a leak.I was using Zeltbahn before they became "cool" to the bushcraft crowd. I was using them before most ppl ever even knew they existed. And I dont plan to stop.
Another view of the same shelter.
Zeltbahn are not "pup-tents". These are not the same design or intent. I get asked often as to why it is that I use heavy canvas zeltban in my kit inventory. The answer is quite simple and very easy to put into words. Simply put- You will never get the durability and longevity of service from a nylon shelter section that you will get from an old school-Military issue canvas zeltbahn shelter section. End of Explanation! I have been using Zeltbanh since the 90s and I have yet to have a wet night sleeping under one. Nor have I had a cold night sleeping under one with a simple lantern or candle burning through the night.
I slept SOUNDLY this night under a double Hungarian Zletbahn. It went to near 0-F but with a simply three wick candle and my military issue sleep sack the temp was comfortable enough that I remember crawling out of my sleep sack to get cooled off.
Above (not my pic) is a German wartime Zelt sections are identical to many used by nations right up to the 90s. 2 versions made in Sweden come to mind- With sections added you can make a HUGE shelter. This one is made from 16 conneted together.
Above is a clear picture of 2 attached together and me using them as a roof for a shelter with pine limb supports. The other picture is me using one as a wind-breaker on a sub-0... Sadly all of the above Zelts pictured were failures do to their commercial manufacturing. GET REAL ONES! These were just good enough until i could locate Military issued ones i wanted but I DO NOT recommend going the commercial route for these. A zeltbahn can be used as a rain-cape, CAMCON garment for extra concealment, a stretcher, raft for water crossing, wind-breaker, a sling seat, a hammock, a throw down tarp and whats more is the size of your Zeltbahn shelter is only limited by the number you have on hand and the practice you have put into building them up to a desired size. You can make a single lean-2 shelter, a closed in shelter or a barracks sized shelter with MULTIPLE shelter sections (depending on the design)
Mid-1950s Hungarian Zeltbahn i used on a rain soaked night in the Carpathians. I was totally dry the entire night as the wind whipped and rain slammed the RON. I used a deactivated AK74 as my center pole.
Durability and longevity of service will serve the Evader well when the hammer drops. These can handle not being babied. The are resistant to hot ambers and they are easy to repair without further damage or fraying of the canvas materials like you get with modern nylons. Whats more is most have simple button connections to attach to other Zelts so If you cannot sew a simple button-please get out of the idea that you're a survivalist! You can treat these canvas shelters with all sorts of water proofing if one so desires and some (Like the Hungarian version that I had) come pre-oiled for extra water protection. They are also much more stable in adverse weather conditions that thin modern nylon shelters. Yes these are much heavier then nylon. 2 is about the max I will carry, but 2 is planty for a one man shelter for me and my kit. So It will cost you more energy to move these in a rucksack or pull sled. But like everything else its a trade off. These are far from a single use item so for me the trade off it well worth it. In my experienced opinion nylon simply will not last when the hammer drops. I have used Zeltbahn from the late 30 in bad weather and still stayed dry through the night. Looking back through my picture files today its clear i used a nylon type shelters FAR FAR FAR less then I have used Zeltbahns since I been here.
I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time this time last year. (Wow how times flies and I wont miss 2019!). I was able to acquire 8 Austrian Zeltbahn sections (that's 2 full size 4 man shelters) with poles and stakes for 20$ and some trade items I had set aside. They were dates from the mid 70s to mid 80s but all in superb condition and 100% absolutely serviceable.
Zeltbahn generally come in a triangle shape and square shaped panels. I'm partial to the triangle shaped ones though they can be a bit of a rubrics-cube to sling up tight between some seemingly simple trees if you're not use to it. Im pretty use to them now. however. Above is a Norwegian version I put up one time. I hate these and this one did not last long in my inventory. The Norwegians and a few other countries make these diamond shape one. In my opinion they are to be avoided because you simply cannot make a closed shelter without using a lot of them and even then they are sloppy and messy. For the lone Evader id stay with diamond ones or second best the squared ones.
One the left is a fomer DDR/East German Rain Camo square Zelt section and on the right a Swiss Splinter Pattern Zelt section. These two are two of the best Ive ever used but it was long ago before i was worried about pictures.
I don't know the various weighs of these zeltbahn mentioned above. Some ppl count ounces-I do not. I don't get into all that. You take the gear you need and that you know works or pay for it later for not training and learning to use it. There's enough to drive me nuts getting kit sorted that I don't need more math to look at. If a piece of kit warrants taking with- it goes and I find a way to make it happen as long as its making sense and not causing a liability or burden with its weight. If you decide to try these do some research. No matter what one you get you should practice with these. Set them up in the back of your house and let them stay there a while. Watch what they do in the passing days and weather. And if they pass the durability of prolonged exposure to the weather then pack them up on your ruck and give them a few miles on your back on multiple trips before you decide. I think they're worth the weight and fuel needed to move them on my back- Do what you like, and whats best for you. Its all we can do for ourselves..
Remember.. Escape..... Evade..... Survive!!
When the wife asks how my day went.. I sent her this..
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on October 5, 2019 at 9:40 AM||comments (11)|
(Video link at the bottom)
Out there un-tethered.. The struggle is real..
September was a month of scouting. Lots of it. The main shelter in Ft Wilderness was destroyed by a bear assault a while ago. They climbed ontop and totally broke the spine of the shelter. It was done. I needed a new home to train and i needed to find one fast. I looked and i looked at several different areas on multiple scouting trips but nothing seemed as fitting as the location of the old Main Shelter in Ft Wilderness. The snow is slowly making is way from the peaks, headed towards the valley floor to entomb the whole of South Central Alaska in ice and snow for at least the next 6-7 months, and the prospect of finding a finding a good spot fading rapidly.
A week ago today, Saturday the 28th of September, was the final scout. We had a long hike ahead of us. I had multiple tasks to conduct and a few plan Bs should Alaska throw a wrench in my plans. This was going to be a tactical creep with navaigation, AO familirization and route plotting being the main goal of the day. This area is vast and im well into knowing it by heart, however there is still many spots i have not been to yet. The original plan was to get dropped off and use the map and GPS to get into some swampy areas to search one last place for a new home. The outward focus was a simple sneak and creep weekend out with my patrol pack and a Zeltbahn, build a shelter and stay the night. There was no sleep sack this weekend. It was just a Patrol Pack weekend out. The weather was expected to be cold and rain starting Saturday afternoon. This in no way changed my kit compliment because a day pack for me is a 3 day pack for most ppl elsewhere. However I did drop the nylon poncho and strap a Austrian Zeltbahn to my ruck to use as rain gear, or sleep sack and a shelter if need be.
The Olaf and I were dropped by the side of a back road. Then we cut across public land that butted up against my friend private property that was the location of the old Main Shelter. I always go from Public Land to the main shelter. Its enormously longer to get to that way but its more secluded and hidden.The plan was to by-pass the old shelter area and head in a bit further to some of the swamp land that is also owned by my friend. He gave me permission to make another shelter since i did such a fine job not trashing his forest with the first one. Though he has not seen the back of his vast lands in over a decade, he does follow my works online. The going was cool and damp, and the forest was settled and silent other then the insane antics of The Olaf or noise from some passing helicopters and airplanes heading top the Glacier.. We have had rain strait for nearly a month so staying out with just a patrol pack would be good. Getting a sustainable fire going would also be good because the entire forest was saturated. I didnt have any plans to actually build a shelter, rather just one last shot to locate a good spot while conducting a Patrol Ruck overnight trip. This is real wilderness and my energy was allotted to distance and not work on this drill.The plan was to retrun later for the construction.
The olaf and I werent a hour into cross country trekking and my GPS took me right directly to a moose antler shed laying in my path. It looked to be about a year old judging by the moss growth and fading on one side. I love finding moose antler but rarely do I find any. I found one a few months back, that was the first one in nearly 8-9 years. So to find another one so soon after my recent one was a real treat. However finding in on my way in meant it was my burden for the duration. This thing wasn't very large, relatively speaking, but it was like having rocks strapped to my rucksack and it seriously threw out the balance. The framed MOLLE ruck did well in this respect. I donate this to the frame- I love this rucksack. I wasn't leaving it behind though so off i went with it. I also have my G3 back so i was feeling the weight on this trip if you add in the extra weight of the heavy canvas Zeltbahn. The weight and burden was infinite, but it was mine so we pushed on. A few hours had passed and I was looking for a spot to stop and paint up to get some vido rolling.
This is not the actual Bull but an accurate example using one i spotted in the past.
The direction I was taking would put me going past the general area of the old Main Shelter Ruins. We came to cross and old jeep trail. I decided Id paint up once I cross and find a hidden sit-down spot to do so. Id seen this trail many times before but noted its condition regardless. It was very old and looked like it hadnt seen traffic in many many many years. There were feet high saplings sprouting up throughout and none of the thigh high grass was pressed down as far as I could see. Once over this trail we headed down a hill that would take me to the GPS way-point i was aiming for.- A place i call "Turtle Rock". After crossing I started to look for a spot to paint up. The Olaf was doing his normal routine. I didnt notice anything out of the ordinary in his behavior so I had no reason to turn up the mental focus. It seemed to be business as usual. I stood there in a slow spin looking around and with a simple glance to my right I see a fuking bull moose the size of a fuking King Tiger Tank barrelling towards us. He was SO FAST and SO QUIET in his charge. 0 WARNING..I was almost in disbelief due to his speed and raging aggression. He immediately split us up and focused on The Olaf. The Olaf is older and wiser these days and he knows what moose are. He's been stomped a few times already but the puppy in him that caused that is long gone. The Oalf was smart enough to use some trees to outmaneuver the monster causing it to slow. With some small trees now between him and the moose, the moose did throw some front kicks after its initial antler thrust failed to meet its target. The Olaf took what appeared to me to be a kick in the front right shoulder. I yelled to Olaf to come to me and him wanting no part of that moose, that's exactly what he did. But now the moose was focused on me. Me-looking like a creature with an Antler coming out of its back. That mother fuker came right for me. I didn't know I could run that far and that fast with that solidly heavy rucksack on my back and hauling that Battle rifle. The prospect of having and antler or hoof pushed through my face was good motivation. At one point I could see myself running like i was outside myself watching. I thought I was going to have to sit this Bull on its ass with the G3. I simply broke into the thickest tree filled brush i could find and ran full bore with The Olaf right next to me. The ground was deep saturated moss so it was like running with wet towels around my feet. I ran and just kept going. When I did finally stop I was sure I was safe for the moment.
I looked in the Bulls direction and I could see this monster simply pacing back and forth in the trees while huffing and puffing. The Olaf had a WTF just happened look on his face but we were together and not hurt-WIN... I been here over a decade and I have never had a moose act like that, with probably HUNDREDS of moose encounter. Just then I see this Bull start heading towards us again. I had ample distance to put some ground between us so that's exactly what I did. I disappeared into the thickness of the further and just kept going.The objective was well and truly over for the moment. I had no idea what direction I ran of even how far I went but I was definitely off mission .,As the situation decreased in danger we just kept walking. This moose hated my ass and I wasn't sure why. Maybe the Antler set it off, maybe it was The Olaf. I dunno but I knew I didn't wanna have to sit it down so I put a great distance between us. I know moose do what moose do just like bear do- Alaska happens. I walked maybe 20-30 minutes at a rapid indirect pace. Somehow, and I think it was instinct, I ended up walking right into the ruins of the ruined main shelter. So with The Olaf and me relatively safe I un-assed my kit to access the situation. The Olaf however did not take his eyes or nose away from the direction we came were the Bull was.
After a bit i started to settle. I caught my wind and started to feel the chill of the autumn air cut through my thin layers. As I looked at the ruins I pondered if a bird in the hand was worth more then two in the bush (the ruined shelter being the bird in the hand) or should I just keep going to get back on task and hope i find a good spot if I keep searching for a new home base. I must have pondered a good while but in the end I had everything I needed to get something going right there and we were relatively safe from me having to kill this Bull. I decided to just stay and use the ruins to get something basic going because winter is coming FAST and nothing else was paying off. I organized my kit and had a look at The Olaf for obvious wounds, but I found none and he wasn't even limping. I thought maybe it was just the excitement and direction of what I saw and wondered if he didn't miss with his kick. But I was sure of what I saw. The Olaf was acting odd but I chalked it up as excitement of the moment.
Deciding to just stay there I got to the work of dividing the debris into size and rot status. After sorting the materials I had more then enough to get something done and the tarp was 100% salvageable after it was folded over using layers to shore up holes in sections. I used the longest beams I could muster and simply made a lean-2 with an existing pine tree as a starting point. I worked for hours trying to beat the 100% afternoon storms that were on the way. Its was simple and I topped it off with more debris on top the tarp to weigh it down (see the video). The simple build was what i aimed to use in my other shelters but most have some sort of door- this will too soon.
When I was done all that I could get done it was functional. Its a LONG ass hike to get to it so my engery was sapped. I even made a bench using large logs and the old spine. That bench was nice. Ive never bothered to make something I could sit on. I prefer the ground. It just never occurs to me. Comfort in the wilds to me is simply relative and I usually look at it as "when in Rome". Ill probably improve on it as I go back and make myself at home there (again). They day went on and The Olaf was never really the same. He paced and sniffed the air always watching and sometimes freaking me out with his alerts. He never settled. I made some Tasty Tasty once I got a fire going and the afternoon was looking good with just more wood to get through the night being the task left incomplete. I also spent the rest of the afternoon picking up rotten materials and clearing all the trip hazards left from the ruins-and there were a LOT of them.
I also got to work in my homemade G3 Chest rig. I wore it the entire time I worked. I was pleased with it. No sag or burden to report. Its very low profile and stream lined. It didnt get in the way at all. The video link below explains more about it. I was also able to use my two new Gerbers throughout. So far Im pleased with them both. The new Raider finally got used as well. Nothing new there since I been using a Raider for 15 odd years or so..
Though the days objected was smashed by the bull, it could have been much worse. I simply shifted gears and made the situation and the day more productive then I had originally planned. I continued to collect firewood and keep the fire hot so it would burn the wet wood through the night. I did manage to salvage a lot of dry wood i had stored inside the shelter from the past. This was a great help. Sadly all the excitement was a bit over the top for The Olaf and he had a seizure right there affront of the shelter. He has had many seizures in the past but its been about a year since his last. Seems usually he's prone to them when i get home from someplace and he get overly excited. Its was ugly with puke and fire-hose ass blast but he eventually came of out it but I was worried about him with the long long night edging closer. If you've been around me a while you know I generally will not take him on overnight trips anyhow so the decision was already stacked against him being there all night. If anything happened at night there would be no way to get him out until the sun came up-Bear are still awake and like to hunt at night. The bottom line is I had gotten done more then I expected anyhow so I opted to just head to the road and call my ride..
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on September 21, 2019 at 8:30 AM||comments (2)|
I wanted a high power, semi-auto WINTER WEAPON. !
The G3 rifle has been used for decades in the wintry conditions of the German Alps and in the strait up extreme Arctic conditions of Scandinavia by the Danes, Norwegians and Swedish. Though now replaced from front line service for the modern weapons that eat NATO 556mm, it can still be found in specialized units and in the hands of Reserve type units in most of their armed forces. Whats more is that it still saw modern active service with the German and Norwigian Armies (and others) in Afghanistan as well. This weapon has a reputation for reliability and durability when manufactured correctly. With that being said it was this weapon being used in extreme Arctic conditions that attracted me to it as my 308 semi-auto weapon to seek out to purchase. The M1A was also considered, however an M1A was well out of my price range and availability up here There was also the AR10 with its excellent M4 pattern ergonomics, however the reliability of an AR10 in extreme weather was to me-dubious at best and since i knew next to nothing about them and research about the AR10 in such conditions was nowhere to be found, it was out of the run down. The FN-FAL was also on my list but again I couldn't locate one anywhere in my area of Alaska that I trusted or that wasnt at an ass rape price.
I found what I needed.
This weapon is not perfect but its fits. It has shortcomings and limitations like anyother survival tool.. In survival perfection doesnt exist. This weapon was intended to be used as a battle rifle in teams and shortcomings like a bolt -hold back- after the last shot are one of many testaments to this, when the users time and reaction are compensated by sheer group numbers, ergonomics like that can take a back seat to manufacturing cost and operations. Most AKs also suffer from such economic design philosophies but to a lesser effect. Its length and weight are, in my opinion, also prohibitive to this being a race car gun. The user friendly ergonomics simply are not there when compared to modern weapons. For an Evader this weapon suits me well though. Its stout and robust-and when manufacture correctly offers legendary reliably to be delivered to the user. Its no secret that I have a deep attraction to older designs in my kit run down- when its applicable and reliable for my use here. In my opinion things were made better back in the day. The G3 fits into this train of thinking as well. Regardless, If it didn't reliably fit into my plans I wouldn't have added it. The 308/762x51 is a very common caliber that is used in both military and law enforcement applications in the USA. It will sit down any bear I come across, whether its a Panda Bear, Red Bear or another Grizzly Bear, or a Dump Truck- The G3 will help it stop and have a seat. This stopping power was a deciding factors, a very ideal factor, that lead to its selection. The 762x54 might arguably be a better round and I found a number of semi-auto DMR in this caliber in my area but in the end the 762NATO won out because it fit.
Though Im just getting use to the G3 after roughly a year of owning one-It was just recently returned to me from PTR after nearly 6 months- It has seen winter use before i found out how badly it malfunctioned and it went back to them. Anyhow Ive come to appreciate and also to curse it in all its full length glory. Im a small guy and its a huge weapon to carry. In time, and as fiances permit, I hope to have mine looking something like this above picture with the addition of the wide fore-grip and sliding stock which will make it much easy to handle in Alaskas brutal terrain. As its stands Im happy with it as is. I'm just grateful to have my G3 and to have it returned to me FINALLY. (Fuk you PTR!)
This is my G3 as it stands now
The G3 was added to my inventory
Here in Alaska its not always easy to find what you want at a reasonable price. And a reasonable price here will be more expensive than elsewhere in the US if you can even find what you want on the shelf. I know its easy to order guns from the net and have them sent to your fav FFL holder but I'm old school and I don't like paying for high end items that are not in my hands. I simply don't have time to dick around with sending things back (The irony!). So i looked and I looked and I looked until I finally found what I wanted in exactly the style I wanted. So I did the paper work and NICS, and I was on my way.I was then the owner of a G3 clone. In the civilian world things are fluid. Its as simple as that. There's no super structure of a uniformed SOP that puts a weapon and everything you need to run it in your pocession. Real life doesnt work like that. Firearms are an intimate choice like anyother piece of kit and should be seized upon with great thought as to how it will fit you now and your life for after the hammer drops. In a perfect world we would all be rich, owning the ideal weapons and suppplies we will need, and have a fully stocked gun-shop right next to out home-perfect dont happen and that's life.... Just do the best for you because our best is all we can do....
Several factors go into me deciding to add and retaining a weapon to my firearms list. The G3, in this case.
*Overall Reliability: Extremely reliable (? PTR?)
*Research: Lots of useful information to be found.
*Cost: (Over all retail price in the gun shop) Within my budget.
*Accessories: Within my budget. Magazine procurement was a priority for whatever i decided on and mags were still super cheap for the G3.
*Weight: Acceptable/As expected. Crushing at times but it is what it is.
*Length: Acceptable/As expected. At times Infuriating in dense bush but it is what it is.
*Operational Costs: Minimal-As expected. Eats anything I feed it
*Post Collapse Ammo Acquisition: High
*Post Collapse Parts Acquisition: Low- Outweighed by other factors.
*Resistant to Elements: Extremely High
*Ergonomics: Basic and acceptable/ As expected.
NOTE: Research and reputation are not always withstanding to reality. I am NOT recommending a PTR G3 to ANYONE. In fact i would say stay way from them if asked. The entire odyssey is a post for another day. Suffice to say the weapon is back. Ive poured X amount of ammo through it and have not had a single issue. Winter is coming and the bear are heading to bed. Relatively speaking its a safe time to get it strait before next Spring is on me.
(Some spec info is posted below)
Thanks goes out to my pal "J" for donating the pic for me to use..(J below)
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on September 16, 2019 at 12:25 PM||comments (4)|
Im guilty of forgetting about the thermal threat. Visual CAMCON is something im VERY good at. However the thermal is a real danger in many situation..
This was sent to me by my pal who was a well seasoned and experienced US Army Sniper..Staying hid kept him alive so Ill take his word over anyones. It was inspired by some topics floating around the net-Particularly some vendors selling ppl prefab'ed garbage.You dont have to be a genius or mad scientist to defeat thermals. Below is a MTM hand held thermal test with a woodland camo poncho on one side and desert one on the other with a normal store purchased space balanket in between, and sewn together. It was conducted at about 40 meters in distance, indoors in Alaska for a duration time of about 30 minutes under the tarp. He used one layer but it would probably be a good idea to double up on the space blanket.
The above right picture demonstrates the human figure with his head out and body under the thermal shield to show the differences..
Without the homemade Thermal protection...Both an unproteced poncho and direct contact with a poncho.
The visual is easy...
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on September 16, 2019 at 11:30 AM||comments (4)|
I still get weekly question about this. I managed to dig up the text from this site...Bear in mind this was before I adopted The Olaf..
My kit layed out before I stepped off. Ready for a day of learning... Little did I know..
Well Sunday July 28th 2013, a bear and I ended up in each others AO..Bad day for us both... I stepped off very early arriving at about 0630 and headed up. It seemed like a typical morning like many many other this summer. I blew my whistle often and consistanly as I always do on each trip in bear season. I blew it every three minutes or less all the way up until i got to the top. The hike in was uneventful but the dark forest was a bit spooky to me this day. I had a feeling i was being watched.
When I got to the peak of the trail, before it descended back down, I decided to rest on the rocks that stuck out and over looked the fjord to plan the rest of my day. I was still around the main trail but well off/out on the rocks. I wanted to glass farther up the peak of the mountain to decide what i wanted to do. I knew there was that out crop of rocks with great views so i went out there to rest and plan. The weather was still quite gloomy and cloudy with heavy overcast in the early morning sky..But warm and humid..
I made this picture moments before the assualt..
I dropped my ruck and web gear on the deck and then I walked around the rocks close to my kit for a few minutes gathering ideas to do some climbing or what ever i wanted to do that day. I remember as I walked around the rocks I had sat my AK74 down but I remember making myself go get it just in case. Though it was just a few feet away, a few feet can cost you your life. I knew this already so i got it. After having a look I sat and I was resting against a rock trying to cool off and catch my breath. I leaned up to have a bite to eat and some water from my canteen. As i was getting into my kit I looked over my ruck and through the bushes directly in front of me and saw a huge dark chocolate brown silhouette emerge from the brush looking up the trail i just came off and that led right to me. He was sniffing the trail and the brish i just passed. He was 50 feet from me. I remember him sniffing the air and looking in the direction from where i came. Contrary to "news" reports he was facing me with his left side then eventually being totally exposed, not showing his ass to me like the assholes at news reported. In hind sight im positive he may have been tracking me and i remember I may have thought that's whats happening at the time by his sniffing the air and his purposeful seeming walk...There was open ground between us and a drop off the rocks behind me. I had no where to go. I knew he was going to make me if he got closer as he walked the trail. I suspect in my camo and with the rock behind me i was matched with the terrain and he hadnt seen me yet. However I was trapped out on those rocks and I had no where to go. It was a split second situation with a decision that had to be made on the NOW
1. Blow my whistle with a high pitch screech that was sure to scare the shit out of him...
2. Soft yell to let him know i was there. I opted to yell "hey bear" hoping he would go away. I remember yelling it maybe twice or three times until the charge was already well engaged.
Before i yelled i reached down and took my AK74 off my hip and slid the safety off. Once i opened my mouth he looked directly at me and like a Tomahawk Missile he was coming at me full bore well engaged to kick my ass and he immediately started huffing and smacking his jaws together making a clicking sound. In hind sight he was really pissed I scared him. He was charging me with his head down. There was no visual contrast from the rest of his body. It was a huge dark mass in the low light and knee high brush with legs extending from it..
I remember seeing white in his mouth. I don't know if the white in its mouth was saliva or teeth. I remember yelling "aww fuk" a few times too.. I could hear him huffing and clicking his jaw clear as day light.... Anyhow I raised my weapon with out hesitation as soon as he engaged me when i was sure it was real. I fired a volley of rounds hitting him and it to stopped him in his tracks. Brown fur filled my entire sight aperture so with the low light and lack of proper color contrast i was basically shooting at a dark center mass in areas i deemed critical to stop him..
When he stopped after the first volley he engaged me again and he still came at me. So i fired another volley for a total of 13 shots. (later i remembered I fired 3 of those shots as warning shots before I actually aimed at him, and I found 7 puncture wounds of the 10 I fired at him) I aimed at the legs and center chest area. He finally relented his charge 10 feet from me, curled into a ball with his legs over his face (later when I examined the bones I found I made a direct hit on his front left leg, snapping it in two and it was flopping in the air, he did not cover his face becuase of the face hit I scored) then with a roar like whimper he rolled down the bluff after stopping to have a quick squirty shit and over the edge crashing like a train through the brush as he descended down finally stopping by being wedged against some birch trees where we found him..But at the time i didn't know where he went or what he was doing..
First thing i did after the shooting stopped was change the mag in my weapons for a full mag, pull my pistol from my webbing and grab the highest point of the surrounding rocks that gave me a 360 degree view of everything around me...Then I called 911. I called for 3 reasons besides its the law.
1. I knew there were houses below in the direction he went
2. I was worried he might have went onto the trail and other hikers might encounter him.
3. I didn't know how bad he was injured or mad he was and i didn't want to run into him on the trails again if he was alive and make the situation worse. I wanted more eyes.
4. It was the law.
After patiently waiting-one Game Warden and one state trooper arrived on the scene about an hour or so later. By this time i was calmed down and most of the adrenaline had worn off. They had to hike up the mnt to me. When they arrived we discussed what happened and my responsibilities in this situation. A short time later we formed a skirmish line about 50 yards wide to look for the bear. It was three of us and i was in the center . About 300 feet down the bluff i was the one that found him jammed up against the trees. He was surely dead and judging by the relative absents of blood at his finale resting place he died fast, probably before he stopped falling. There was one pool under his front section and some coming from his mouth. There was blood spatter in some really high spots too. I guess this was from him falling over the cliff side. Contrary to asshole news reports he didn't just crawl there and die like some poor defenseless animal that was killed by a nut with an Ak74, as the news would have you believe by tugging heart strings for ratings by suggesting he crawled off suffering and died..
I had to skin and gut this guy out. I had some help but these guys will remain anonymous. When i opened the chest cavity the lung and other vitals were annihilated into bloody goo. There were other damaged organs we could not identify. The 545x39 annihilated its insides like a blender..There was also a jaw strike that looked like it shattered it. I found one of the many bullet hole in the shoulder/chest area that passed through and out the arms pit and blew its toe off. I found another in its forearm with no exit wound, just a small perfectly round hole. This is where i later found the 545x39 totally snapped his leg bone)
I remember feeling really bad for the old bear. I even got a few tears in my eyes for the massive creature that wanted to kill and eat me. He had my full respect and remorse.. He had many many had scars on his head and neck from past battles with other males. Obvious K9 puncture wounds scars on his neck and several laceration scars on his forehead. This was a warrior bear. It was a bad day. I took 0 pride in the fact i had to kill this creature. As an Odinist I don't hunt or kill for my survival training-plus the law is very prohibative in thismanner. I can and have hunted in the past but I don't really anymore-Its just too costly. I took this situation to a heavy heart but this is Alaska and I walk the walk, and I talk the talk in terms of the reality of being here. With that being said i take total pride that i survived and all my training kicked in and i just reacted accurately and i lived..The game wardens estimated his weight at 600lbs. I thought less at 300-400lbs or maybe with their first estimation of 500lbs. They told me it was the biggest Chugach Grizzly they have ever seen..It took 5 of us until 6pm to skin the bear on that hill. This all happened at about 9am. Lucky for me i had rope with me, trash bags, knives, a saw and a poncho to drag out the hide. Pays to be prepared. Basic survival items and specialized items for that day came in really handy. I didn't get to climb on the rocks but some of the gear still came into real use..
My weapons was a semi-auto Bulgarian made Ak74 in 5.45x39. I know this weapon inside and out. Its an extension of me. I know what it can do, and what i can do with it as evident that I'm still here telling what happened. I hit a moving armored target in low light while being out of breath and under extreme threat of life and limb and I put rounds in critical spots that killed it and I save myself. Period. Many people ask if i was scared. There is no scared in this depths of the situation. There is the instinct to react or you die. Scare comes later after you realize what happened and there is nothing left to do with the remaining adrenaline. I was scared after it happened. It is what it is. I was more worried about being within the law for shooting it.
The ammo I used was a mix of Soviet surplus ammo, Silver Bear ammo, hollow points and some ball surplus ammo. There was no rhyme or reason to the mag load, i just put my hand in the jar and grabbed what i grabbed.
The bottom line is i SURVIVED...I hit a 600lb armor plated moving target while out of breath in low light in a fraction of a second with enough well placed accurate rounds to kill it..end of story. There was no "spray and pray' like the fuk heads in the media liked to call it..Pussies..eat a dick..And also contrary to media reports no one ever contacted me for an interview, no one ever followed up on anything ever. No Wildlife Biologist ever talked to me and no reporters ever asked me one single question or attempted to contact me. Many false names and lies have been printed in a few stories from Alaskas to the UK to try to bait me into coming out and talking. However there is nothing to talk about other then the lies and embellishments the media likes to spin. I'm alive.
My Laplander saw i used to cut his head off..
The Grizzlys head inside a Medium British Rucksack.. Roughly 50-60 liters.
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on August 20, 2019 at 1:55 PM||comments (2)|
As I mentioned in part one of the Chi-Com Mini Survival.Battle Rig I wanted to replace the utility pouch that was a stand in as an Admin pouch. I did that with much better results. Its a simple Admin pouch made by Condor. Their "Sidekick Pouch". Condor makes some great products. All that I have used were made better then US military kit of comparable utility and design. I have no issue with any of the Condor products I have used and I feel safe recommending them to others since most of it was purchased over a year or so ago.
Amazon has these pouches for around 15-17$
Right from the start the admin pouch offered better support and organization. It also offered a thinner profile compared to the Utility Pouch stand in. I 100% do not like buying new kit if I do not have to. However this pouch will house my "on the go" camera and other electronics like my GPS, and I wanted them protected. I had no other substitute for this pouch that would protect it as I liked so I had to buy new. Whats more is i can use my '1st Contact" mag in my Glock with this rig. Super bonus points with me. Its pretty stable, out of the way and doesnt seem to effect me in the prone postiion.
The interior is satisfactory. I would have designed it with one more closed cell, but this will suffice. There are other Condor pouches of this nature. This one seemed to be the medium ground for working just right. The others were either way overthought and engineered or way lacking in what I needed. This cost me 20$ at the Local Army Navy Store. Its actually the first new pouch Ive ever bought from there ever. They have a great selection of used pouches from service men dumping used gear on them after deployments and when getting out.
The rig seems to be an overall success as far as all my desired kit working together and getting it all onto one rig without becoming a monster cluster fuk. As mentioned it mirrors theother rig in its cargo compliment. There's no kit liability or burden I can find. Ive even got both of my '1st Contact" mags fitting into the over all system. Whats more is I have a much better quick draw knife then Ive ever had before as well. The only real question remaining is will the seems and modifications hold up to real use? I think YES. I don't remember ever having anything Ive made blow out on me in the Wilderverse. I have been in contact with JA at Unconventional Warfare Gear and he has offered to make me an E&E rig of my own design and specifications. If this Chi-Com rig works out I may have him duplicate the main body exactly as it is here including the MOLLE tabs and all, but made with modern materials. I want to wait until im settled and done vetting before i waste anyones time with this quest. The Chi-Com rig is a sound and proven rig that Ive always like. I hope this caper all comes together how I think it will...
Today I was scheduled to hit a mount top but a massive forest fire is drowning the area is thick, rich, chocking smoke so the abuse and raping of this rig will have to wait a day or so. I dont like waiting but I need help that means other ppl have to stop whats they're doing at the fire site to come help me. And with the smoke as bad as it is its just best to wait. The mountains are totally covered with 0 visibility. Last night we slept with the house buttoned up and an air filter running and I still woke up with campfire boogers in my nose, that's how bad it is.. I have enough to worry over out there as it is..But I am sick of dealing with this rig situation and want to get it done and over with..
A quick blast from the past (10 years past)
My 1st attempt at down sizing and I looked into the Chi-Com Chest Rig, thus modified it to use with my Ak74 and Colt M1911.. The time just wasn't right though. We live, we learn and we get better if we never quit..
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on August 19, 2019 at 11:40 AM||comments (16)|
Ive seen more then a few guys in the "Survival Community" talk shit about the old adage: " One is none- two is one". Mostly from people who just don't understand because they're stuck in their ways refusing to evolve past what they think they know and they don't understand that you really can quite easily end up with nothing if you're not careful and if you do there's probably no help is coming for most of us. The vast majority of us will be ALONE or with immediate family who are not savvy about what to expect..
Above is an old chest rig I made that incorporated both a large KaBar and a Small Pocket knife. It proved impractical with use.
" One is none- two is one"-These are true words to live for the Rural Evader. If you plan to deliberately live a mobile existence at the outset of the hammer dropping-especially if you are alone-you may want to think about that term often. If you lose something its going to be up to you to have a Plan B for that actuality. This doesn't mean carrying 2 M4s or 2 AKs, or even a second sidearm. Lets be realistic here. For example kit such a small back up flashlight, extra compass, or even a back up GPS isn't a bad idea. These are small noninvasive pieces of kit that can save you lots of troubles if you pack them along and find you need one later. Whats more is Cylon like critical thinking skills are not a must to understand this adage, but common sense and experience is, otherwise they're just hollow words.
The "Rule Of Three Blades" follows the simple logic of filling gaps in kit when its appropriate and when the filling of such gaps wont cause a liability or burden within your kit compliment and overall functioning on the move.. Once again im referring to TOTAL UTILIZATION. While the Rural Evader is ducking and dodging the dangers to stay several steps ahead of the chaos, destruction and OPFOR that will be roaming the countryside he stands a good chance of having kit displaced at any given time if he's not careful and if he hasn't been mindful of making preparations to decrease his chances of displaced kit, and what to do if this happens. Its a vast topic but this post is about knives,
Above is my first quick draw knife. One handed use. No snaps or buckles. Easy in and easy out. Quick Draws are super usfeul.
Ive seen people lose their knives and Ive seen people brake their knives only to be left without or to fuk around with some inappropriate lock-blade or other small blade that usually causes a lot of problems. Ive also seen people get nasty cuts from trying to use knives that are just totally inappropriate for the attempted task. Knives like any other tool are actually TASK SPECIFIC. Regardless of this fact Ive witnessed In my experiences that people don't like to carry more then one blade or will try to get away with the lightest fixed blade that they can and a simple lock blade to go with it.. They fear the weight of extra metal and think its unnecessary to have more then one or two knives. -Thats fine with me-. However for me its a justified addition of weight of my kit compliment, and quite frankly the weight is minuscule.. Ive only broke one knife in my life and I lost a knife here a few years ago. I stabbed the knife into a dead tree to rest my camera on it to make a picture. It was blazing hot that day and I was exhausted from a long creep. I made the picture and started to put my things away then I saw a Black bear in the distance. I fast forgot about the knife stuck in the tree and got out of the area quickly only to realize an hour or so later, and miles from the knife, that it was still stuck in that tree. Its probably still there to this day. When I forgot that knife I was already using the "3 Blade Rule" so it worked out OK. The only time I broke a knife it was absolute shit going for the duration of the training event. All I had was a stupid lock-blade that was near useless and dangerous to use as an over all knife. . I learned from both my situations and watching other make mistakes in the past..
The "Rule OF Three Blades" is simple for me. I apply this rule to myself through my mistakes and experience and nothing else...
Quick Draw Blade: A "Quick Draw" blade for me is generally mounted on my webbing or LBE rig, operates with one hand going in and out of the sheath, its light weight and noninvasive on the rig. It should never hinder ammo access or with the use of ones weapon (s). This blade gets used more often then anything else in the blade inventory because of its location and design of convenience. Its a light utility knife and should be used as such. Ive used an antiquated WWII Trench knife that worked flawlessly until it was left in the Wilderverse as mentioned above. After that I went to a Glock knife for years and years until it started to show its shortcomings. With my kit refitting recently my new "Quick Draw" blade is a Gerber Strong Armi purchased to fill the QD roll, but time will tell if its worthy. A QD blade should also be appropriate for self defense.
The Medium Blade: Medium: An adjective- Meaning bout halfway between two extremes of size or another quality; average. This is the bridge between the small quick draw and the larger chopper. I should be able to perform a myriad of tasks with this knife but with out it being totally perfect for any of them. I should be able to skin and butcher a small rodent, deer or moose with it, but at the same time take down a fair sized tree as well or clear brush too. This blade is on the belt/on the body so its with the evader always. In the event Im separated from my ruck and/or my LBE rig I will still have this blade on me that will fulfill the tasks of a large chopper or a small utility knife. I prefer this knife to have a hammer pommel on the handle unlike either of the other two blades. I prefer my KaBar for this roll since recently I have had the opportunity to streamline my kit compliment with additonal blades. Take note that just because this blade is considered a fall back blade doesn't negate it from other task as needed. It should be integrated into your system with a task like any other piece of kit and not be regarded as dead weight.
The Chopper. The chopper is just as the title implies. It chops. For me its as good as an axe of comparable size for mobile survival. I tried to replace this once with an axe and another time with a Golok machete but it wasn't to be. The axe and machete stowed and carried horribly and there was nothing an axe or machete could do that the Marine Raider Bowie couldn't do and sometimes the Raider did it better. I now have two of these Raiders. Amazon now carries the Ontario Marine Raider Bowie for 40$ and with a vasty improved sheath thats MOLLE compatable. Compared to around 60--70$ just a few years ago I simply had to get another. One for my Scout Rucksack and one for my Existence Rucksack. There is no more switching on and off between rucks anymore. With the 3 Blade Rule there's no switching off between any blades and kit. Both this Raider above and my Gerber Strong Arm are new but I have had my other Raider for 15 years.
* Quick Draw Blade: Gerber Strong Arm knife is worn on my Rig or LBE.
* Medium Blade: Worn on my pants belt.
* Chopper Blade: Stowed on either of my Rucksacks
Also I feel the time has come to start phasing out leather items from my kit. As much as I love the tradition of leather and as much as I love working with leather it simply is not withstanding to prolonged use when compared with modern materials. I have since phased out the leather sheath i made for my Raider by ordering a new one from Ontario and I have no replaced the leather sheath for my Marine KaBar as well. I hope in time to replace the old school Kabar with and identical version made with a modern handle and a modern protective coating.
Carrying three knives may see redundant and pointless to many. I don't care. Its what Ive done, what I do and what I will continue to do, it serves a valid purpose in my plans. Ive tried to switch things around to carry less but the need for three always came back around. Maybe people see no need for a large chopper and that too is fine, I don't care. I know what its about and I know what I can do with a large chopper. It works and has also continues to do so. Part of learning is doing what works for you by gaining validation through successful experience to stand behind your choices. If you do that you become untouchable... Not everyone will always agree with other peoples choices because people are different, as are our experiences. In the end the collapse will sort out who is right and who is wrong. I will not be exempt from that fact either. All we can do now is prepare how we see fit for ourselves and avoid the liabilities and burdens caused by the commercialism and other distractions of survival and preparedness..
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on August 16, 2019 at 11:40 PM||comments (0)|
The quest for a suitable Mini Survival and Battle Rig marches on. The current version I was happy with-but just. The weight was right, the length was somewhat right, functionality was right, mag changing was easy, the ergonomics were right and it was of suitable materials and CAMCON pattern with some help from a spray paint job. However with all that positiveness I mentioned it was just bugging me how thick it was in the prone, and in general. Fully loaded it was nearly 4+ inches thick from my body to the outside of the rig. And It didn't matter if it was raised high or hung low, if i went prone it felt like a stack of bricks was under me. It was a mess of mags, kit and materials between me and the earth-and I didn't mention the "airflow" mesh material velcro'd to the back of this thing that added unnecessary weight and girth.. I didn't like it.
As I worked with it I did get comfortable with the kit it held and how I was employing it. In other word i was growing a costumed to the idea and implementation of a Mini Survival/Battle Rig and working with less-much Less!. All the land nav kit was easy to get to and it was protected when I was not actively engaged in its use. None of the kit or magazines conflicted with one another on the rig and that's important to me. Kit conflicting with other kit will cause a liability when you can least afford things to fuk up. The mag pouch situation never really fixed itself 100% and it was still acting like a bull-dozed with it ill fitting mag wells. The magazine wells and the rigs girth being at the front both became subjects of concern for me and ultimately has become a deal-breaker between me and the rig. Regardless I was not going to be dissuaded in my search for an appropriate Minimalist Survival/Battle Rig. I made up my mind that it was time for a chnage and I was going to stick by that. I still had other plans in the works even as I started out with the first rig. I had started researching mini type rigs long before i happened upon the first rig. In that search i kept in mind price & function. I kept finding my way to the old school Chi-Com (PRONOUNCED CHIE -like DIE- NOT CHEE!) chest rig that's been in just about every conflict in humans history since the 50s. I found one at a reasonable price. They run super cheap for as little as 12$ and going up to 40$ depending on the vendor.
These are not new to anyone. But going permenantly- full on- with one as a Survival/Battle Rig is new for me. I dabbled with one or two in the past but thats is about the sum of it. These rigs come in a strait 3-4 cells and a 6 cell version where the mags store tandem in each of the 3 pockets. I chose the simple 3 cell version since Im a pretty small guy and these days I generally only carry 3 30rnd mags on stand by since I started using a D60 drum in my M4.. These rigs are made well and are battle proven. Sure some snobs wouldnt be caugh dead in one but most snobs are going to becaught dead in thier over priced rigs becuase they think they can buy thier way out of death when the hammer drops. I do more with cheap second hand store and homemade kit in a month then most do all year.
The first thing I did was removed the cleaning kit pouch and the extra ammo pouches making the side panels bare and ready for modification. A simple utility razor sufficed in this task. I sewed on some MOLLE tabs that would eventually allow me to add a utility/admin pouch on one side and a surplus USMC hard-shell holster on the other side. Once modified the left and right side panels would differ only in that the right side having horizontal MOLLE tabs applied while the left side would have diagonal MOLLE tabs applied for a canted cross draw for the pistol holster and Gerber knife. After adding the desired MOLLE tabs I got started on adding the suspension system. I stripped out the old canvas suspension webbing. I cut between the sandwiched canvas sheets that make up the main body panel and totally removed the entire suspension apparatus other then the rear metal D rings. Then I simply inserted the suspension from an old Grey-Ghost Rig MOLLE Rig that I cannibalized and sewed the seem back together to secure the new suspension system. I kicked around a few ideas and settled on just loading this rig exactly how I loaded the first rig since i worked well for me. At this point I see no reason to deviate since I had no issues evaluating the last rig and I was confident in my rundown.
I let the wood toggles fastener stay. I have no issue with them. They are quiet and practical and can be repaired very easy. Whats more is the cells close and no more bull-dozing!
M4 Mags fit well into the cells but there is always room left because they're shorter then AK mags, however I was pleasantly surprised to see that the MAGPUL mag pull-tabs reach the very lip of the mag cell with a lot of room for fingers, ESPECIALLY gloved fingers for winter use. Not so much room as to cause a burden or liability.
The decrease is the profile is very obvious. Its much more shallow then the first rig. from 4+ inches to about 1.5 inches in the front. A big plus for me. There is 100% no conflict with my D60 mag with this rig. In fact they work much better together then the D60 did with the other rig even after making the "Dangkler" pouch for it. As mentioned its the same kit but spread out and to the side. Not all crammed to the front. Thus I have a lower profile when prone and its relatively more comfortable. Relative comfort translates into less distraction and things going smother. Eveything is easy to get to without burden or liability. The only aspect i see me chnaging as of now is a smaller and more orginized Admin type pouch.
The Grey-Ghost suspension lined right up with the already installed Chi-Com suspension. It was super easy to replace the old webbing. Partially splitting the seems open with the utility razor to remove the old suspension left enough seem intact that the rig stayed together and was easily sewn back up. I used very strong nylon outdoor thread to resew the seems and on the project as a whole. its tough string that I cannot break with my hand and will run fine in a standard household sewing machine. Its very suitable for load bearing projects or this nature.
Im especially appreciating this USMC hard-shell holster and Gerber Knife combo set up.The knife location doesn't impede my draw at all. Replacing my pistol into the holster is NP either. I tested it many times. Dealing with predators here I got no time for dick games with my kit-especially firearms. I thought this may be an issue but i was surprised my hand slides under the knife very easy. . A gift of having tiny hands.. The knifes locarion It makes it super convenient to draw and replace for those fast one handed tasks I always find myself getting into. Those one handed operation are constant for me and having a conveniently placed knife on standby for those tasks has been a must for me for many many many years. The Gerber knife marries to the holster in an orchestra of utter convenience ive never experienced. I still plan to use my Kabar but on my trousers and not attached to the rig.
So now that I have this together and its a sound build and I just need to ruck up and get it to the Wilderverse and see what it can do for me. This whole mini-rig experience has been good for me. Its reinforced my confidence in my skills and assured me I'm still on the right track. Ive been a die hard belt kit guy for 20 + years. Its nice to have an entire belt kit full of equipment to help you survive but as time goes on and experiences grow things will inevitably change as you grow older. However no matter what Alaska will always have a say in the kit I take. All I can do is counter what I can counter with learning what she has to show me for the day the hammer drops and I dont come home. Its just the rule of the Wilderverse. She leads-I follow.
Note: the Scorpion/OCP camo blouse. I don't like Multicam AT ALL but I do like the Scorpion/OCP. They are very different camo patterns. Id have no issue using OCP mixed into my general roster of CAMCON clothing items. Its much duller and more muted then Multicam.. But this is for a different conversation..
Thank you for your time
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on August 9, 2019 at 12:20 PM||comments (5)|
For you Rural folks.....
This is a dude I use to go out to the wilds with. He thought trash bags would protect his feet.. he was very wrong..Dont be the trash bag dude..
.One thing I can say about my feet is they are pretty tough. Ive had one real foot problem in my 11 years in the wilderness here and that was from the boots i chose that particular day and not my normal SOP regarding my feet. They can get wet and nasty and be fine. I don't suffer from disintegration if i go a day or more without changing my socks and Ive never used foot powder in my life. Going three days with wet feet can be typical for me. They're also pretty resilient in the cold as well, however this post is about summer. I donate my feet being how they are from growing up country and going around barefoot most of my young years, and later endless treks in local mountains that prepared and conditioned my hooves for use in later life. Ive had healthy calluses on my feet so thick i could hold a lighter to them and not feel the fire right away. Calluses are your friend if you use your feet a lot like I do. I don't know for sure what makes my feet so bomb proof but I know I'm grateful they are so resilient and never give me issues save the occasional heel blister now and again..Some people have thier feet fall to pieces with the least amount of moister.
Zombie Feet.....The one time AK ate my feet..
As an E&E Survivalist these are pretty much mandatory for the day the hammer drops and I'm out the door. If you too plan to bounce out the door for safer pastures when the hammer drops you will need leg gaiters. These will save a lot of wear and tear of your trousers and boots. plus help protect your feet and legs from the elements. Its simply a given. I started in Alaska with a set of surplus ones from Norway. However those wore out after years of reliable use. They were simple waterproof coated nylon gaiters. They kept mud, snow and debris from my lower legs and also saved my hems from rips and snags but like all kit they evetually reaches its servicable limit.. Sadly finding another set to fit my short stature has been a chore and as time wore on Ive pretty much forgotten and gave up hope that id find an appropriate set for E&E and a set that i could afford and that were decent quality. I never really completely stopped looking but I never made it a priority as time passed. Making a set myself crossed my plans a time or two but it just never happened. The last set I had were surplus German issue. I retired them to the kit bin over a year ago and there they remain until a trade comes along. They were super too long for me, but they sure kept my lower extremities dry and ptotected. However they were unbelievably uncomfortable becuase they just didnt fit. They caused chaffing and blisters in the crook of my legs. Asking a vebdor for an actual size was like asking for free kit over email. Ive also used the British DPM version in the past to a great extent, but alas those too were ill fitting and reduculously unconfortable. They did however proform excellent. So I can recommend the British version. They do come in sizes and a vendor should know this. They are very very durable.
Norwegian on the left, and British DPM version on the right.
The above picture is of Gortext gaiters being used with gortex trousers and a decent set of boots during late spring time here. If you can manage to score a quality set of boots that will last, a quality set of gaiters and are able to use them in combination with a quality set of gortext trousers you have a suit of armor on your lower half that can defend you from the elements in some pretty nasty weather. Do not sell yourself short in this area. For me here in Alaska Gortex trousers and gaiters can translate into year round nasty weather use with just the changing of the foot wear, the obvious layering required to cope with the hard winters of South Central AK. If you are in a similar climate and wish to follow my example do not forget to account for winter layering by getting a larger size trouser and gaiters that will fit over both summer and winter boots. Take note not to get such a larger size gaiter or trouser that you swim in them in the summer causing a hazard and liability with their use. This should be a 4 season application and transition you can carry in your Rucksack. But this is not for the inexperienced. This takes practice to get the flow right and deals with kit maintenance and application to carry what you need all the time to cope with the changing season that requires kit transition. In the end its about taking care of what you have and YOURSELF. Saving kit from unnecessary wear and tear is saved time later and saves you from problems when you can least afford them.. The point is you need gaiters. There will be enough to do, don't make problems for yourself.
Recently I acquired a (new to me) set of old school leg gaiters. A friend at the local Army Surplus store hooked me up with a set on a trade. They are even made here in Alaska by "Apocalypse Alaska ". I dont know if they are still in business.. They're a very simple design. Made of waterproofed nylon and secured with a heavy YKK zipper and snaps. The fit is perfect in height and bagginess to suit both summer and winter boots. One down side i see right from the start is that they suffer from shiny silver snaps, a shiny front hook and other glittering harware herer and there. Im hoping in time they dull and maybe corrode a bit giving them a subdued finish that wont betray my CAMCON (Camo and concelament). So far Im pleased with these gaiters but only time will tell if they will be a perminent addition to my kit lay out.
One last piece of information on legg protection: The above picture is a guy with his trousers tucked into his boots. I recommend never tucking your trousers into your boots. You'll negate much of the support a boot offers by doing this because the boot will not evenly constrict around your lower leg, ankle and foot. You'll create a dead space where your lower leg, ankle and foot meet. This is caused because you have all that fabric under the top portion of your boot and that section will tighten first. The bottom will remain less secure no matter how hard you pull your laces.. You'll create a dead space where its all meets in that multi jointed area that can cause a twisted or turned ankle because the support simply is not there. Every little bit helps especially when carrying a loaded rucksack. If you don't have gaiters I recommend adding elastic to the bottom of your trousers to pull the hem in. This will reduce catches and snags that will slow the disintegration of your trouser legs and hems .. You can also armor up the hem of your trousers with Gortex like I have done in the past. The second hand store is a great place to get used camo surplus gortex suited for cutting up.
Gortex Armor Video:
Ive never spoken about socks but these socks have well and truly earned a mention. Since May i have been using these socks in daily life, PT and in the wilds, but mostly in the wilds and for PT. I really like these socks. So much I want to mention them and let others decide for themselves. As for most kit i talk about this is not a recommendation but merely a heads up of sorts . I generally give kit 1-2 years before I sound off with a recommendation of use. Im not sure these will last two years but they are off to a great start. That would be great because a good set of socks that will last, and that will be comfortable on my feet would be most advantagous when the Hammer Drops. However so far they really are some of the best socks Ive ever used. I found a 4 pack still in the bag at the second hand store. They are the "Omni-Wool" Brand. Amazon carries a wide variety of this brands. Have a look. Im not sure of this exact model, you'll have to compare and search. I tried to destroy a test set by wearing one set for nearly 2 weeks strait in the wilderness, around town and during PT without washing them. The stood fast and kept their fluff and constrictivness. Not one time did they get saggy at the mouth and fall down or lose thier over all shape with repetative use. Every time i took the test set off my foot and reused it later they were constricted comfortably around my foot. To a great extent this constant ability to stay constricted helps my feet function longer and has reduced fatigue. I have also noticed 0 wear in the heel, toes or at the bottom of the front of the foot where friction is greatest.
The old school, Lugged Jungle Boot... A staple summer footwear for me for a very very long time. Sadly the surplus has dried up over the years. These can run over 100$ now, with the Altima Made In The USA quality reproduction running 75-90$.
From the mess on the internet I'm gathering my boots are Rocky Brand. Bellville makes a similar brand as well but from what I'm seeing these are made by Rocky and made in the USA. Regardless of being either brand both will cost nearly 100$ or more new. I got these new at the second hand store for $12 with the tag still on them connected by a string with a care booklet attached. All that found it was to the trash bin somehow so I wasnt sure what I bought later when i questioned myself....
Like their old school OD and lugged sole counterpart- once they soften up and break in they're super conformable to wear. I did add two double thick Dr Schools inserts for added comfort. This raised my foot inside the boots and cause a biting blister that soon started to turn to a callous. Ive had these since May and worn them around town, Rucksack PT and in the ass kicking mountains and forests up here. I even wore them at my wedding. (True Story) They definitely get a thumbs up and ill be using these until the freeze comes. The are double vented just like the old school version as well. The lacing is a bit different than the old school round eyelets in that it employs a speed lace line up for an easier more uniformed overall fit for the whole foot, and they lace really easy when one is in a hurry. One liability i have noticed with my boots is after about 20 minutes of motion, whether on black top, on a trail or with a rucksack in the wilds, they tend to stretch to the point that every time I go out I must stop and tighten the laces to pull in the slack or risk a turned ankle. For me these really must be secure on my foot. They stretch to such an extent that when I put them on I can double wrap the laces around the top of my boot because they just wont make three wraps and tie, and i have to tighten them causing a triple wrap that I can tie with laces to spare. Its quite a stretch and seems to happen whether they are wet or dry when I take them off between uses.
Though I prefer the old school lugs I could just be bias because I know them so well. Ive never used a tread that grips the earth like the old school "no clogging" lugs did. The new tread works nearly just as good. The user should always have faith in their tread and be confident enough to let them do their job without thinking about it. Ive seen guys diddle around like little girls because they have mediocre boots with mediocre tread that just are not suited to the task at hand. You cut corners on boots and you will pay. Worst of all if you're in a groups the entire group will pay and have to pick up the slack and problems that come with a failed set of boots. Doesn't matter if its from the boot coming apart or a mechanical failure of the foot do to mediocre footwear... Dont be that "Trash Bag Dude".... In the end I think if you like the old school Lugged version you will probably like these boots too. However they are no Punji Stake armored like the old ones use to be.We will see how they have done when the end of the warm season arrives and the freeze comes..
Some Spec from Amazon
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on June 15, 2019 at 1:45 PM||comments (6)|
"Id bitch slap the last can of cat food on earth right from my Grand Moms hand to feed my kids.."
I remember hearing a guy say that one time. It was good to hear the truth come from someone and I never forgot that line. He wasn't advocating stealing to get by, simply expressing the extent he would go to protect his family should it come to that. So you think you're above stealing, looting, marauding or what ever the latest sexy terminology is to survive? The chaos of chaos, and who is who is never defined by what you see...
Here's a scenario:
You've decided the situations is not going back to normality so you and a team mate decide to fall on your escape plan to leave town. Things are going as planned and you're both well on your way to being out of town. You're both creeping through a heavily wooded alley way and you hear screams and the sounds of fighting. You peek into a yard and you see three guys climbing into a widow with a ladder and its obvious they have no plan other then strong arming thier way in. Two make it in and there's more screaming of a female nature and a man yelling. Just then bullets start blowing through the side of the house. Its quiet for a second, just then the two who made it into the house toss two dead bodies out the window. They land in the well manuicured grass with a solid thud knocking over some fancy lawn furnature when they bounce. The slaughter took about 3 seconds. The guy still on the ladder tells the two inside to "get the stuff". You sit tight in case they have buddies hiding in the alley someplace. Your position offers good cover and concealment so you both decide to just watch and listen, electing to let this situation play out and leave once its safe. The 3 intruders are all inside and are tossing stuff out the window and debating what to take and where to find the goods they came for. You can barley make out what they are saying but its enough to understand they came with an objective. They rummage for about 10 minutes and emerge from the widow with a small pink backpack. All three men make it down the ladder and disappear around the far side of the house. Its over but the situation will repeat itself over and over across town as you make your way to the forest...
On your last leg of your escape your partner gets an arrow in the leg while crawling over and abandoned blockade made of wrecked cars and debris. He wasnt shot. It was in the wreck of one of the cars and he simply put his leg into the wrong spot burring a broad head right into his outer thigh when he slipped. You remove it the only way you can. Back out how it went in. The next day it clear it seriously infected regardless of the precautions you took to clean and dress it when it happened. The infection is aggressive and worsening by the hour. Far beyond any supplies you have on hand and you're well far away from the next Survival Pod stash. Sepsis is a real possibility with this slashing puncture wound. You and your partner decide to make a hasty RON in a secure spot. Leaving the injured partner at RON is the plan, you decide to head back to town to see if there is anything left in the drug stores or one of the many abandoned houses. You agree on a time to turn on comms for a check in. 9AM. He needs something in the way of a broad spectrum antibiotic. He's too badly injured to make it to a a Survival Pod Stash and the pain is too great with the amount of swelling. So you decide to go...Its dark when you step off. You are now that thing that hides in the night and freaks people out. You creep back into town using one of your multiple escape routes. You can see the distant glow of candles and lanterns in people window and hear the faint muffle of people talking in their houses as you creep inside the shadows. There are random bon-fires here and there with people huddled around them talking. There's a lot of large buildings burning in the center of town . You hear random gun shots and the random sounds of chaos all around.
A few hours creeping through the shadows on the outskirts of town and through the forest and you've arrived at a strip mall you knew was there before everything went into Purge Mode.. You've made your way totally undetected and get on with OP'ing from the side of the NW hill . Before the Great Purge started to breathe you frequented this strip mall and the Mom & Pop pharmacy there. You even knew the owner, Mr. Harold, and his wife, Mrs Vera by name and cannot help but wonder whatever happened to them as you observe the destruction all around. You sit and watch/listen from the high-ground that gives you a view of both the rear, side and much of parking lot of the mall. Fortunately the drug store is tucked into the corner below the high ground. The far building was a hardware store and it was razed to the ground and partially taking the video store with it. The drug store got by with no damage from that. With a quick creep going north and south on the hill you can easily use the concealment factor of the hills vegetation to watch both entrances of the drug store. There's just the shapes and shadows of abandoned and burned out cars in the parking lot and trash blowing around in the autumn breeze. You take note of the sign hanging swinging loosely on a tree directly in front of the drug store that reads "Looters Will Be Shot" and wonder if that still applies and if there is anyone left there. Also the steel Riot, Roll Up Gate is open a feet feet above the ground and the glass that is visible is intact..
You observe for a couple- few hours. You have an hour or two before the sun starts to light up the area. All seems quiet and quite abandoned. The familiar sounds of civilization dying echo randomly in the far distance, the sounds amplified by the low clouds and chilly autumn night air. Other then a few small groups of refugees, you see no one coming or going. You did take note of an couple of thin skinned unarmed Army issue Humvee that raced passed twice. They paid no mind to the strip mall other then a quick drive by security scan by the side door gunners. Anything of value was probably gone weeks ago and as to the drug store, Its probably safe to assume tweekers and dope fiends have cleared out the good stuff long ago but its a chance you're need to take to go see if there's anything you can use inside. In the grand picture of it all this drug store on the fringes of town is safer then searching abandoned homes and ruined neighborhoods being alone and with no back-up with limited ammo compliments.
It dark with the only light being that of the light from the fires in town reflecting off the low clouds. Its enough to see OK if you're used to it. Trading your rucksack and webbing for speed you drop them in a concealed spot on the hill. It just feels right in this situation. You retrieve an extra mag and stuff it into your smock breast pocket. The rests stays. But you still have your knife, smock kit and side arm should things go tits up. So you go. Deciding to use the NW corner as a blind spot against any OPFOR you make your way down the hill after being well satisfied there is no one there. Its a chilly night but you're well warned up with nerves and senses on turbo setting.. You forehead runs with sweat and it makes the facepaint itch and burns your eyes as it runs into them. Once you've successfully made it to the the corner you decide the rear is the best place to have a listen once you get to the back steel door. It was still closed when you arrived.. You can see east down the utility road behind the strip mall. Its clear. Just a road made of 'crush-and-run' that is as wide as the distance from the building to the start of the hill. You soon realize that the piles of trash you observed from the hill are actually rotting corpses that have been there for quite some time. Mostly bones and brown dried stretched flesh telling you they been there a while. Some look to have been pulled apart by dogs or the like. Trash thrown about suggests they were killed for whatever reason and plundered of what they had.
The ground is littered with ruined outdoor kit and old clothing your careful not to come into contact with other then stepping on it here and there. However when you do step you recognize the rolling of spend shell casings under your boot.. A lot of them. The door isn't far from the corner. About 15ft. You decide to just low crawl slowly a few feet and have a listen. You sling your weapon to your back vertical at the spine for stability and draw your pistol for better maneuverability and get down and to it. You sort of blend in with the trash and other mess on the ground. The vibration and scrape of the 'crush-and-run' under your clothing sounds like the roar of a freight train to you. You're glad you left the webbing behind now! Though in reality the sound it absorbed and muffled by the clothing if you respect the pace of your crawl. Reaching a spot a few feet from the door you just rest and listen. You're also all to worried you might be too open to attack if something comes around one of these corners but maybe you'll just blend into the dead if that happens. - You just push it from your mind and strain your ears to listen.. YES you definitely hear the sound of human habitation coming from the door and whats more there's a mess load of bullet holes in that steel door that are going both directions but the lock and handle are intact.
As you lay there a hissing splash comes from a PVC pipe drain in the wall about 8 feet on the other side of the door. As you lay there thinking what to do the unmistakable smell of human piss and shit assaults your nose. Its well beyond obvious someone is using this building and you're right close to the spot they chose to use as a relief point for their plumbing. As the torrent continues and drags on you decide to use the sound as cover, standing up half crouched over and working your way slowly back to the corner of the building on your feet. As you turn the corner you're confronted by a grey bearded old man squatting against the wall almost looking like the trash and debris spread around and whats more is he has the business end of his AK is aimed right up at you. "Now you know you've fuked up.. Your hide is now mine, Son" he proclaims in a soft calm voice. He has the drop on you. He too used the sounds as cover to creep up on you. But you recognize the voice- Its Mr. Harold! However he doesn't recognize you in the face-paint in the low light. You try to tell him who you are but he just tells you to "shut the fuck up" - "drop the pistol"-and "get on your knees. " I don't fuking know you from squirrel shit, boy" he calmly replies.. He stands up with the weapon trained on you and as he stands you slowly lower your body. He's wearing woodland camo, a wool OD watch cap, and wool gloved with the figers cut off. His face is filthy and the beard is much longer then before but there is no doubt its Mr. Harold. Dropping your pistol a few feet over as you go down, doing as you were told, you try to reason with him as you both stand there on the side of the building. You know time is not a friend right now so you quickly bring up old conversations you two once had. You try to remind him of the time he researched medication reactions for you and how sorry he was for the medication he recommended making you sick. You figured that would surely stick out in his mind. All the while as you talk as fast as you can without sounding tweeked out and convoluted you watch his hands and his eye as he now draws down on you. "Haven't I killed enough of you dope droppers yet?.. I mean fuck, man" he softly asks with a confident chuckle. You reply 'Do I look like a dope addict to you?". He softly replies " Mother fucker, I got shot at the other day by a guy dressed in a Bumble Bee costume wearing pink ladies underwear over top of it, still acting like his Iphone was working".. With a tick of his head indicating a direction he says "He's laid out over there someplace unless the dogs took him away".. With that sentence you realized how far from those day past this situation really was. Using your last chip in the game you bring up his wife Mrs. Vera with a desperate stutter in your voice, because you're sure he's gonna shoot, you ask how she is.....He cocks his head back and relaxed a bit...
He replies "Well if you're not here for dope, what are you here for? My Food?". Finally a glimmer of hope. You quckily lay down the story and what you need. He just stands there listening with a crooked head and odd expression on his face, occasionally looking behind and around the area. You finally end the story with the situation at hand and why you're there. He pauses and appears to think for a second. he replies "No. You can't have it". You attempt a rebuttle but he just shuts you down with another "No. And thats all I have to say on the subject". He follows up with "I do remember you now but that's making no difference other then Im not going to kill you.. you were a good fella and loyal customer". Desperately you even offer a trade, or a barter type deal laying your cards on the table, and even offer to work off payment with laybor somehow. You know your Team Mates time is runing short but he didnt say he didnt have it, he said you couldnt have it.
As you desperatly talk he looks at you and say "Son, If I have to say one more thing to you about the subject this conversation is going to end with you dead" .."Now what Im gonna do is ask you to slowly slide that weapon off your back with using just two fingers on your right hand..Index and your thumb.. Anymore then those two or any fast moves Im gonna shot you through the face with this here Chinese AK47 and I have the distance working for me if you think of charging at me. So get on with those two finger and toss that rifle opver there"
As I relieve myself of my main weapon I feel thoroughly defeated and humiliated. Mr. Harold instructs me to walk over to a NO PARKING street sign just over in the grass in the alley way at the foot of the hill. "Boy, do you know what a Pole-Lock is?" he asks. 'Eat a dick you asshole" I replied. He laughs sarcastically. I knew what was coming. In no short order he tells me how to lock myself around the street sign and have a seat a while. I knew it already so getting into it was easy. This type of lock is painful and the longer you sit there the weaker your legs and joints become. Its extremely difficult to get out of once you cramp up from your own weight locking you down. Even trying to get out of it immediately is difficult because you trip yourself when you try to free yourself. So there I was Pole Locked and he tossed me two of those thin auto parts store pull ties to tie my own hands up with. As he walked away he took my weapons and knife and tossed them in an abandoned car and shut the door. "Son this is truly your lucky day because I'm letting you live but if you move before i get to 15 minuted from now on my wrist-watch, I'm gonna kill you where you sit and don't think you'll know where Im going"..He disappeared around the corner of the building towards the front without making a sound.
The sun was coming up. This was over. The other places were clear across town closer to population. The juice isn't worth the squeeze. If I get dead my pal has 0 chance of getting through this, plus I don't have time. A trip like that across a ruined and collapsing city will take a few days. Ill end up dead trying to go there in day light and alone. Eventually you get free. But walking like a zombie due to the cramps and crazy contortion of sitting around a pole like that. You hobble over to the car to retrieve your weapons. The asshole took the mags out and emptied the chambers..
Part 2 coming later.....
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on June 15, 2019 at 11:50 AM||comments (4)|
(The Forest Is My Sanctuary)
For those that didnt know I was hospitalized a couple weeks ago. I came home and started to get better. Now I'm truly getting better and Im back on my feet since Wed. Nice being off the sofa. Getting PT back in line isn't easy .. I decided to have a hike back to the original shelter. Its been too lomg but life is like a river sometimes and just pushes us along...Its a long and relatively flat hike if i go certain routes. It was good to see her again and in one piece. Its been a year since I was last there (maybe more). There was no earthquake, snow or bear damage. No work has been done to this since 2016- and she stands well and strong- but frozen in time with the mods I started in 2016. Only thing out of sorts was my lantern fuel tipped over and leaked out.. I should probably do some maintenance on her and finish the addition.
(Older Video from one year ago)
The condition of the shelter and the fact its still stands solid and serviceable is a testament to hard work and practice paying off. Sometime this summer I hope to visit the other shelters. I have no doubt as to their standing and being serviceable as well. I also checked a few Survival pods in that area. They were solid and serviceable. Regardless I know what times can do to supplies so I also hope to replace many of the aging Survival Pods with larger surplus ammo can survival pods and improve my previsions pool.
I love that nature is reclaiming the immediate area where I damaged the foliage doing work. I'm sure its the same at the other shelters as well. Im kinda excited to see them. Ive already been asked this summer to show Pods and other shelters in my Spider Web. .I'll never show the rest of my shelters or anything regarding them or my Pods and where they are hidden. That's just how it is.
In closing ill say going there yesterday was a wise choice for both mind and body. I experienced a certain satisfaction when I walked up and it was still standing, especially after that monster earthquake we had. I definitely expected it to be demolished. I think it might be time to finish the addition and other mods that I started so long ago. There are loads of new fallen trees to use as materials. The shelter stands so I know my work will last and only improve the function and reliability of this shelter. Besides there are still lessons to be learned and skills that need to be honed.
ᚫlᚫᛋᚴᚫᚾ ᚺᛖᚨᚦᛖᚾ..NEVER QUIT...
Life is not fair & People are not equal. Hiroo. Onoda
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on May 2, 2019 at 11:45 AM||comments (6)|
(Not Me Below)
This is a great picture of a US Army OPFOR soldier preparing to train but make no mistake this will not be you hauling an RPG-7 and kitted up to save the day from Tyranny the day the hammer drops.
(Not me Below)
There's 3 non specific factors that dictate what I pack in my load for when the hammer drops in regards to a rural evasion plan. These 3 factor will support one another to keep me going . My kit is never based on a "sucking it up" factor of going light. If you go out with a plan to simply go light to "Suck it up" you've already put yourself on a path of being in a deficit right from the start that will continue on a downward spiral until a situation presents itself that you will not have the kit or resources to counter and recover from.
1. Physical conditioning.
2. Supplies/Kit and Survival Pods
3. Field experience and continuous training.
For some reason I have to keep reminding ppl who have contacted me that the Evader is not a gun fighter. Yes you must know your weapon and be able to answer with it as effectively as possible when the time comes and you must be able to maintain this weapon but gun fighting is not the mission. The mission is to survive the initial opening stage of the hammer dropping and to plan for whatever is next- PERIOD. Whats more is if you go out with purely gunfighter kit like so many "gun fighters" advocate around the net-you will die tired, cold, and hungry shortly after you wasted the gazillion round of ammo you packed-assuming you made it that far. You cannot eat ammo and mags and patrol packs make really bad sleep sacks. As an Evader fighting is what I want to avoid. Even the principles of unconventional warfare that ppl claim they will be into dictates that fighting is the last stage and must be avoided until training and PREPARATIONS are COMPLETE enough to allow it, yet everyone focuses on guns as an Evader rather then food stores and material support to remain functional. Whats more is that Im not a gun guy. Guns are not a hobby for me. Its simply a tool in my box of tools to reach the ultimate objective of staying alive...
(That is me)
1. Physical Conditioning.
This is by far the most import part of any plan to survive the hammer dropping. You simply MUST commit to PT now or nothing you do will matter later. You will fail. If you're too tired to function effectively you'll rip through any food you have, you will probably not be able to carry the load you tricked yourself into thinking you could haul, you will make irreparable mistakes, you will be woefully lethargic effecting your alert level, sense functions and your over all judgment. Your physical level and how you will handle it should be the last thing on your mind when you go out the door as an Evader but its by far the absolute most important aspect of it ALL- and the least addressed. If sucking wind and bending over looking at your feet is the first thing that happens to you when you kit up in times of peace, you have a big problem. If you were training properly to sort out the details you already know how everything you do will be based on how much PT you committed to before the hammer drops. But take care to note that PT doesn't mean you're a fuking tractor and can haul everything you need. No one will have everything. Continuous PT aligned with the other two factors I mention will dictate to you what you can and cannot take with you as it relates and it will sort out the priorities for you.
Ammo Can Survival Pods
2. Supplies/Kit and Survival Pods.
All that physical activity takes fuel and, fuel is burned thus it needs replaced and you need real thorough rest. Shivering every night under a silly foil poptart wrapper sold as a "emergency space-blanket" you took from a gunfighter chest rig is not real rest nor is it realistic. There's simply too much of the chest-rig/water bladder day micro- pack BS going around. I think the internet Echo-Chamber is going to kill more people then marauders and bullets.. This is where kit and supplies come into play after you've fled when the hammer drops. Remember Rogers Rangers died from starvation in droves because their food was destroyed or plundered by the OPFOR, and Hiroo Onoda had to steal to supplement what they could not gather from the jungle. The evader will need supplies. Over all kit is based on what supplies and support are working behind you that you have the ability to prepare for before hand- Selecting kit is NOT what you think you need from a tacticool guess or what someone else claims you need. Your plan tells you what you need-you don't tell the plan what it needs. If you have 12 cans of food stashed in the forest that's 12 meals waiting for you and less weight you need in your kit. How easy is it to stash 12 cans in the forest? Ridiculously easy. That translates into energy saved and a mountain of other benefits. What if you could stash 50? See where Im going with this? Chances are hunting and gathering will be too dangerous at the beginning but eventually harvested resources and what you supply before hand will augment one other with a time and a need to use both.
You will also need sleep kit, rain kit, cooking kit and shelter you can take with you. Like hunting and gathering you probably will not have the opportunity to have a fire or build a shelter until things stabilize and you know your plan is working. You could be jammed under a pile of fallen trees wrapped in a poncho and a sleep sack, sucking cold ravioli from a can or maybe you can heat it with your fuel stove for a little comfort. Or maybe you just layered up in warm layers and a rain suit and you're curled up under a bush in the rain. YOU JUST CANT KNOW but you need to be prepared for the variables. You maybe have a full on basha set up and a nice sleep sack to crawl into some night but you will not survive going light as an Evader tooled for Gun Fighting.. Your plan (and eviroment) dictates the kit you take and your immediate threat level dictates what kit you will use from your kit and when. One thing is clear you will need proper kit spaced out from your pocket kit to your rucksack kit to fill all basic rolls on all level..
I would also recommend training with your kit at different levels. However, always keep safety in mind.
1. Pocket kit Drill
2. Pocket kit and LBE Drill
3. Pocket kit, LBE and Rucksack Drill
Training and planning will lay out what you will be going out the door with. Not a preconceived idea based on conjecture and internet echo-chamber fantasy. The more you prepare now the less you will worry about later. If you bounce out the door with no support you will inevitably have to carry more kit and resources with you- Now you've set yourself up for a huge deficit becuase it will grind you down. In Vietnam it took 12 support troops in an antiquated paper pushing system to support one man in the field so when the hammer drops what will you do to support yourself if you go gun fighter style?? The answer is you cannot support yourself in an total gunfighter mode surviving off a few energy bars, a couple bottle of '5 Hour Energy' and a hand full of peanuts. If you have a base support system in place now this will enable you to worry less about supplies- Its that simple.
3. Field experience and continuous training.
Now you take your self imposed PT standards and the kit you think you want based on your level of support, your enviroment and you go train. The more you train the more things will fall into place. Creating and sticking to a continuous plan will show you the deficits in your plan (take care that it can also teach you bad habits!). It will show you your weaknesses in your PT, your kit, your mental level, your perishable skills, your motivation (or lack there of) and just about all other aspects. This factor (Number 3) is like the watch tower for the other two, and in a way its the catalyst for improving and adjusting all three -and it NEVER STOPS, especially as we age. When you train you will develop skills but one should be careful to focus on practical skills and not the latest trendS from survival "artists" and the endless Gun Fighter propaganda out there. Primitive skills are often held up as the end all-be all of survival prowess but IMO anyone overly adhering to a paleolithic survival style is buying a ticket to being dead, just as on the other side of it I see anyone going out to Evade thats looking at it from a Gun Fighter POV is asking to die as well. When the hammer drops continuous training will have shown you your weak areas and strong areas so you can find balance. Thus it offers you choices to weigh and measure who you are to address your abilities and inabilities. You'll not get that perspective from buying piles of gear and inaction.
Strengths and weaknesses-WE ALL HAVE THEM. When you make a plan to regularly get out you will soon start to see where skills and kit will go hand and hand to compensate and support one another so the ends in a plan meet up and function. Its literally a balancing act disguised as jigsaw puzzle but its totally possible to put together and execute..
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on April 17, 2019 at 10:25 AM||comments (6)|
This was a good comment. I was totally amazed at how many ppl watched the video or saw my pictures (and without listening or reading) thought my M4 with the D-60 was going to fill a SAW roll because it was on a Bi-Pod. I have to wonder sometimes if anyone really pays attention to the message Im putting out. The Bi-Pod in the video was simply used in making the video and in the field its simply to keep it off the ground. Yet loads of viewers minds went strait to gun fighting and the drama ensued. Comments were deleted and ppl were banned. Ill be the one to say this and I don't care who it angers but this whole concept of conventional use of firepower will not work after the hammer drops-For all the gun fighters and Evaders in general- The wolrd will not be the same and (ammo) supplies will not be excluded from that fact. .
After the purge and the new social equilibrium has been set I just don't see large armies or even groups having at it with sustained firefights. I don't see resources or manpower supporting such actions. I see lots of melee and ancient weapons like bows, bayonets, crossbows, spears, catapults and atlatals showing up and being used and I see firearms taking a more specialized and precision roll, or as simple deterrent as group resources dwindle and they start attacking each other for materials of survival. I can also see siege warfare being reintroduced. I also see tactics and strategies used by Frontier Rangers being brought back. And just how they suffered from lack of supplies- so shall the survivors that enter the new social equilibrium if the thought habits of people don't change. History shows us answers to the future...
But to my original point- As an Evader If I can break contact without firing one single shot- I see that as a huge victory. When I shoot, I shoot either 3 round bursts or single shots usually in very rapid succession in practice but always controlled and deliberate- AND I use Iron sights. The D60 is simply to save me time. As mentioned if I'm dumping this mag into OPFOR I'm probably truly fuked and the end results wont matter anyhow. In the future I see, I can see the employment of scoped rifles taking the place of SAWs and LMGs when surviving groups engage one another.I can see lots of old things becoming new again. I see OPFOR behavior changed by small specialized teams of sharp shooters placing critically selected shots on targets to get them to act the same way as loads of ammo being thrown at them would have done in the past in times of supply and plenty.
2 shots each.. Make'em count!
lets touch on weight:
Weigh that's carried is the translation and transmission of energy gained from consumption of food. The more weight you carry over X distance+ X weight+X terrain = The more food you'll need to remain functional. This will vary from individual to individual. Burning energy is just a mathematical fact that no romanticized Post-Apocalyptic fictional mind fuk fantasy can change.. I have yet to see anyone really constructively address the fact that we're all going to be looking at a half eaten stale cookie we found on the floor board of some abandoned car as a glorious glutenous indulgence because food will be a basic-not easily acquired or even tasting palatable all the time, but yet a priority above all for long term survival no matter who you are. You will have to eat at least twice a day but yet i see ppl packing ammo, armor and other tacticool paraphernalia over food and survival supplies, chronically. If you're a Rural Evader your armor is being unseen. Security isn't provided by firepower its provided by making intelligent decisions and can be far more productive then hauling around a chest full of magazines. I'm of the experienced opinion that the Rural evader should shun body armor and loads of ammo and other tacticool paraphernalia in favor of speed, agility, adaptability and energy conservation. 4-6 reload mags for a rifle and 4 for a pistol should suffice- The EVADER IS NOT A GUN FIGHTER. I constantly see scant LBE set ups that don't even have so much as a basic pouch for even minimal sustainment or survival items. I continually see LBE rigs geared 100% for fighting that are mostly emulating what they see soldiers or other out there doing on the net. The owners never take a second to consider they will probably be alone when the hammer drops and what supplies they do manage to take are all tossed into one pack that can be lost at anytime for many reasons. Then what? You've lost your pack with all your sustainment and survival items, plus your water bladder in it and now you're stuck with a plate carrier, 12 mags, small IFAK, and a bunch of stupid stuff shoved into the MOLLE webbing but no shelter, no fire kit, no food etc etc etc. Guess what? You're gonna probably die or become a Marauder to get what you need. You've just reduced yourself in effectiveness and you're now on a downward spiral to becoming a grease stain on the forest floor or a Marauder.
Ok great you can build a shelter- Thats takes energy and water- Both of those are resources you now have to expel energy to acquire because your LBE wasn't properly supplied with your kit divided between your ruck and webbing for this situation. Whats more is you don't know what the situation will be and what if the only shelter that is safe to utilize is provided by a poncho and some cold weather kit you should have in your LBE? The Evader may not have the luxury of time and security to build a shelter. If you've dropped your ruck or lost it the chances are its after something went really bad and the Evader will probably be on the move. The Evader needs to have something with him thats self contained and portable in their LBE. Shelter can sometimes be easy. You can put a contractors grade black trash bag in your trousers cargo pocket that will be a threshold barrier between you living and getting dead in many situation.However I recommend something more durable and longer lasting.
An example of splitting your resources:
I keep my Mess Pot in my rucksack. Its my main go to for water boiling and cooking. However I carry a canteen cup (and water purification kit) in my canteen pouch on my LBE rig so in the event Im without my rucksack I still have something to fall back on that is a self contained resource I'm carrying with me. Another example is my knives and choppers. I keep my main chopper (The Marine Raider Bowie) on my Rucksack and I keep the Kbar on my body so Im never with out. I also keep a lock-blade in my pocket. The Evader needs to spread this out to increase his functionality in times of strife. By the same rule I generally carry some wool items in my buttpack and a poncho in the event Im without my sleep sack- This can also be utilized under high threat situation when unpacking your ruck to mae RON isn't practical or safe.
Im of the mannerism of making each shot like its my last bullet regardless if my D-60 is filled with SS109 steel core or cheap Tula 223 rounds. Wasted shots is NEVER an option. I don't care if I have 5000 rounds stashed elsewhere- Its not the point. I cannot carry that much so making do with what I have and respecting that fact improves my defensive capabilities and highlights my inabilities putting them in my face to understand and adapt to. This will take me far with conservation and proper use of my allotted ammo compliment I have on me. Forming proper habits will decrease my making mistakes thus making the inevitable mistake may not be as so catastrophic. Things will become second nature leavening my already stressed brain room to think more clearly thus make better decisions on the fly and as an overall habit..
|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on March 22, 2019 at 12:55 PM||comments (8)|
(Both pics below were snatched from News Sites and not persoanlly owned web-pages)
Im of the opinion that NOT looking like a soldiers is the best idea for the Rural Evader. Not because of some social fear of " OH HORROR, WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK!?" Rather because the Rural Evader is NOT a soldier. The Evader is a free thinker and beholden to no ones rules and regulations other then the rules set out by the Evaders particular area. Too many folks out there rest their selections of terrain matching clothing and other kit purely on emulating what they see soldiers doing w/o much thought to any of it.. Particularly source of emulation is the SF community. Its just bad form and screams looking that looking Tac-Fabulous is more important to said individual then getting something done. Sure surplus offers a readily available source of hard wearing kit but the Rural Evader needs to look past the regimented conformity of military thinking and understand that all that uniformity is there for a reason and serves a purpose in a larger machine- The War Machine. If you're here your thinking about making a plan on some lever. So why not express your freedom of thought/individuality and let that seep into your terrain matching tasks?
Here I'm literally using 6 different camouflage patterns and 2 earth-tone colors to break up my outline..
+Simple old school OD
+ Russian Partizan (Autumn side out)
+Digital Woodland (MARPAT)
+ RealTree "Advantage"
+Old School Woodland
+ Flecktarn Gloves
+ Custom paint on my M4
Though this was just a Scout and not a Creep, its just good drills to observe and stick to. Break up your outline with multiple patterns will probably give you the absolute best concealment while wearing just clothing and kit. Im not referring to camo rags and Werewolf Suits, just multiple patterns spread out over your kit and clothing randomly. Im of the opinion that there's no better way to provide yourself the best C&C capabilities with simple clothing and kit being of different patterns and earth-tone colors. From distance- to close in- it will break you up FAR better then one uniformed pattern from head to toe.
(The below still shot is a little washed out. Its taken from a video.)
Yes I have been seen wearing the same pattern from head to toe. However this was do to many factors-Mostly do to the availability of garments with patterns that can withstand real use. The age of German camo is coming to an end. Reproductions are merely made for light use and have failed time withstanding real pressure from real use. Lately Its business as usual with Scouting new areas, however I will be adding new patterns and earth-tones into the mix as they have come more radially available to me. I have some Creeps planned soon as well. Commercial Hunting tree camouflage apparel is expensive. High end stuff is even more expensive. Recently I have been finding loads at the second hand stores, thus adding even more flexibility to my over all terrain matching abilities. Speaking of practicality the Split-Pattern just makes sense for proper concealment for the Rural Evader. There are also legal ramifications for dressing up like a soldier that should be evident to anyone serious about surviving the collapse..
Facebook Marketplace, Craigs List, Yard Sales and second hand stores are excellent places to source various types of tree type and surplus camouflage apparel and earth-tone color to mix it up. Just be aware that hunting camouflage usually isn't as durable as surplus in the field and whats more is that it will not tolerate constant washing and will fade to a grey bring mess in no time. I recommend simple hand washing in lukewarm water (no soap unless absolutely necessary) and air dry for all commercial hunting apparel. (I also follow this with my surplus clothing to make it last) Also I have found that the older the hunting camouflage the better the quality so think SECOND HAND STORES, or simply used before buying new.