Monday, February 27, 2017

Alone Winners Pack List

As we watch the survival show Alone, we all think about what ten items we would pack. With season 3 finished, we know what things the winners packed. This could be a good indicator of what tools would help insure our success. 

But before we talk about what the winners packed, lets look at a few of the things that the winners did NOT take:
  1. Bow and Arrows
  2. 12 X 12 Ground Cloth
  3. Roll of Duct Tape
  4. Bivy Bag (Gore-Tex)
  5. Food Rations
The Bow and Arrows could be used to harvest larger game for substantial food supplies that would make the difference between surviving and thriving. For this reason, it is something I would include in my list. Having made my own bow and being a decent shot with them, I know it is not easy task to get within re-curve bow range of wild game, but with out one, big game are impossible. Bow fishing is another avenue to food that such a tool offers. Winners didn't take food rations either, instead opting for long term tools over short term substance.

My list would also include the Bivy for warmer sleeping.  This would make it unnecessary to burn excessive calories building a more elaborate shelter. A tarp and para-cord lean-to will be sufficient.

Here are the common things selected by the winner:
  1. Multi-seasonal sleeping bag that fits within provided backpack
  2. Flint or ferrous rod set
  3. 2 quart pot with lid
  4. Ax
  5. Hunting knife
  6. Saw
  7. 550 para-chord - 20m
  8. Small gauge gill net (12' x 4' with 1.5" mesh)
  9. Canteen or water bottle
  10. Small shovel
  11. Slingshot/Catapult + 30 steel ball bearings + 1 replacement band
  12. 3.5 lb roll of trapping wire
Often I debate on whether to have an Ax or a Saw, but the winners took both. My list includes neither as I planed to use the Bivy in a mobile lean-to for shelter and burn logs in half instead of spending calories chopping or sawing them.  With the right hunting knife like a Tom Brown Tracker 1 Survival Knife, light chopping can be done.

Season 3 winner, Fowler, took a few unique tools including a Shovel, Leatherman and a sling shot although I never saw any of them giving him any advantage.  While Fowler did not take a hunting knife, his shovel was sharp for multi-purposes cutting and chopping making it a good multi-purpose tool. The Leatherman was also multi-purpose having a knife blade (he took no hunting knife), file, needle nose pliers, wire cutters (and more), which would have been handy had he taken the wire for snares. 

Season 1 winner, Alan, took a 3.5 lb roll of trapping wire, which was unique but used for snare traps, where as other participants used para-cord which failed because it was easy to chew through. He also took a Water Bottle, in addition to his 2 quart pot, which was a bit unique. With the importance of water, I can see the value in this rationale.

Below is the list that I would pick; what would you pick?

If there was no flowing or tide water, I might forgo the gill net and replace it with the water bottle.

My next step is to try using these 10 tools for a week long survival camp out to see how it works out. You might say that I'm in training for a future show.  I think it is safe to say that this is the best survival show on TV and that the $500,000 prize makes it even better. 

For additional information, see the following links:


Wilderness Survival TEST
Survival Pack (Security Patrol or Bug Out pack)  
Greenbriar (catbriar) 
Survive on a Deserted Island

Top 10 List of Prepper info
Top Rated Prepper Handbook Posts of all time

Top Rated Prepper Website
Top 15 Prepper Movies or Shows

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Free Trade vs Duties

The United States has long been in favor of Free Trade because, as a leader of the industrial revolution, we were a major exporter with a favorable trade balance. Having free trade and open markets we could export into was to our advantage.  But times have changed.

Starting in the 1990's the US began to see a trade deficit. Today we have a huge Trade Deficit where we buy over 1 Billion dollars PER DAY more than we sell.  That is one billion dollars poorer that our country becomes each day and one billion dollars per day richer that foreign business men become who then buy our US businesses.  Currently they own about half of them.

Free Trade is no longer an advantage for the US as we are now the worlds largest importer and largest consumer market. The only advantage that Free Trade offers now is to the Elected Officials who get the campaign contributions from the companies that benefit from all the jobs they have moved out of the US.

Key points to consider:
  1. Both Corporate Taxes and Import Duties increase costs that are paid for by the consumer. 
  2. Corporate Taxes on US companies causes them to be less competitive against foreign imports.
  3. Import Duties make foreign imported products less competitive.
  4. Which ever is the most competitive sees job growth, the other sees job losses. 
So the question is who do we want paying our taxes and being less competitive:  US Companies or Foreign Corporations?

But lets talk about the numbers to put things in perspective.  According to the World Trade Organization, the average duty charged by the US is 3.5%. (trade weighted average is 1.25%).  The average duty charged by the rest of the world is 9.2%

Using the 3.5% and 9.2% rates and the US 2016 trade, US Citizens paid approximately 101 Billion dollars more in tariffs than we collected. Unfortunately, no one seems to report this information. This may be the Free Trade that our special interest funded politicians talk about but it is NOT Fair Trade. 

Oh, but what about trade wars???? As the biggest market in the world, the other countries need the US far worse than we need them.  But the problem is, they do not play fair. For example, when George Bush applied fair tariffs, other countries retaliated with tariffs on US Cars and Oranges.  Why these?  Because they are produced by "Swing States" Michigan and Florida in the US Presidential Election.  Americans need a tough person negotiating with these countries, not our bought and paid for political candidates in our House and Senate. 

The solution is:
  1. For every import in to the US; charge the highest tariff that the importing country charges the US on any product we export to their country.  If they want "Free Trade", then they must move to "Fair Trade."  How can anyone whine about this? This fixes the fair trade issue and saves 101 Billion dollars for American Citizens, although it may cost a lot of our politicians some campaign contributions. 
  2. Then we cap monthly imports from every country at the same dollar value they buy from the US and phase it in over 6 years to minimize repercussions and give the US manufacturers time to gear up production and hire employees to meet what will soon be a growing demand.  
  3. Any country or company that bucks the system is banned from importing in to the US for 1 year for the first offense; 5 years for the second and permanently for the third.  This includes trying to lobby or bribe our politicians with campaign donations. 
Problem solved.

Will there be some hiccups, yes, but often we must take one step back to take two steps forward.

  1. Free Trade is NOT good for American Citizens. 
  2. Free Trade IS good for companies that exported our jobs overseas and wants to bring the cheap Wal Mart Quality junk back in to the US to sell it.  Further, they will spend millions to brain wash the American public and buy off our politicians.
For additional information see the following: