SHTF blog – Modern Survival

Taking Time For Yourself

Happy Wednesday, everybody!


In last week’s post, I’d hoped to get a few five-gallon bucket build ideas, but we’ve only had a couple submissions…so I’m going to stretch that out another week in the hopes we might get a couple more. On top of that, I’ve been bedridden sick with a nasty stomach virus, so I haven’t had time to get mine together. So another week it is!


However, last Thursday (before I got sick), I’d taken time off from work to spend with the family. But Mrs. Warrior and the baby had plans with friends, and my 13-year-old stepson was off to school, so out of nowhere, I was blindsided with one of the most wonderful things to happen to a guy with a family, newborn, mortgage, and a 50-hour a week job: I had nothing to do.


Giddy with excitement, I grabbed a couple fresh provisions from the fridge, tossed ’em in the BOB, found my 5-round AR mags and topped them off with 55-grain softpoint handloads (coyote season is year-round in Maine, and you never know when a pesky porcupine might waddle its way in front of you), pulled the rifle out of the safe, and put the works in the truck with my snowshoes. The Tacoma must have known we were going out in the woods, as it fired up with as much voracity as its tired V6 could muster, and it carried me merrily up the road to my favorite hiking/hunting spot. We plowed down a neglected dirt road, and I parked it on a turnoff. I practically leaped out and jumped for joy. Did I mention I don’t get to do this very much anymore?


With the L.L. Bean snowshoes buckled on, the BOB snugged across my shoulders, and the rifle in hand, I took a deep breath of the clear winter Maine air and trundled up the side of the mountain. It was a gorgeous, clear-as-glass day, though a brisk 9 degrees. (my wife thought I was a lunatic, not gonna lie.)

A snowed-out centuries-old rock wall
A snowed-out centuries-old rock wall


I made note of deer trails, watched out for predator tracks, and just generally enjoyed the quiet, me, myself, and I. I could see no trace of humans that had been up there since the snow had come, and that’s just the way I like it. I clomped around for a mile or so to get my heart rate up and clear out the ratty factory air from my lungs, then found a lovely spot in a depression between a pair of rock walls to plunk down and make breakfast.


I texted this one to Jarhead with the caption, “Wish You Were Here!”



I dropped the BOB and pulled off the snowshoes, and set to work clearing out any small dead limbs or trees that could cause secondary fires, then looked around for dead drop trees for nice, dry, snappy limbs for my fire. Luckily, there were many, and in no time, I had a nice little pile of dry firewood.



I opened up the BOB and got out my little alcohol stove, and set it to work melting up some snow for my coffee:




Went out one more time for some kindling, and found this perfect white birch tree (these babies are lifesavers when you’re out in the woods!)

White birch trees in action.
White birch trees in action.


Back at “camp”, I broke up some small twigs into fire starters, and tore up some birch bark for the ignition source to catch.




I set the works up on a nice big sturdy sheet of birch bark, and with two heavy strokes of the FireSteel Armageddon Gobspark I had a cheery blaze up and running.








I kept the branches small, to keep the fire from growing too large, and in about an hour it had melted down to the ground through the snow, making the perfect fire pit. I was able to open up the mess kit, and get cookin’. Maple bacon and scrambled eggs were on the menu this morning.


Breakfast time!
Breakfast time!


After a few bouts of bacon flambe (anyone who’s cooked bacon over an open fire knows EXACTLY what I’m talking about) and some charcoal-and-bacon-grease flavored eggs, I enjoyed a couple cups of rugged coffee as I let the fire burn down, and I let myself unwind, relax, de-stress, and forget about the world for a while.


What it's all about.
What it’s all about.


When the time came, I cleaned up all my gear and trash, used the snowshoes to scoop a giant pile of snow over the remnants of my buddy, the fire, re-packed my bag and made a mental checklist of what I needed to replenish, strapped on the snowshoes, and lazily wandered through the woods, back to my truck with a smile on my face. I needed that.



Folks, I know we sometimes talk about the world ending, but while it’s still here and beautiful, take some time to get out and enjoy it when you can. You’ll be glad you did.


Stay Safe!



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18 thoughts on “Taking Time For Yourself

  1. Sounds like a great way to spend the day… Nice photo work. I used to do this just about every weekend with my own boys years ago….

  2. i’m still working on my bucket – once it’s been filled, i’ll share what items i have in it – there are a couple things i want to fabricate first…

  3. Right on brother, I’m getting to old to head out on the Arizona Desert but really loved to do it when I was younger.

  4. Bacon, coffee, camp fire, and the outdoors. THAT’S when you know there is a God and that he loves you. I can’t think of a better way to spend a day, unless you add my daughter to the equation

    1. Thank You Roberta! I'm just a knuckle-dragging pseiuo-dntellectual that barely scraped thru college. I can't frame a counter-argument as eloquently as you. I want to know. Where's our Jesse Jackson, our Al Sharpton. Where are our noisy, annoying, effers, who won't shut up, and won't go away.That, Tam Darling, is what we should do about it. Cast the left in their true roles. As Bull Whatsisname, the fat, pus gutted, mirrored sunglasses wearing, obstruction of civil rights.

    2. And yet I've seen pistol after pistol that worked perfectly from the first, feeds everything except semi-wadcutters and works trouble-free for years. As to the 'you need tools' mess, on my Compact, because there's no barrel bushing, you need a bent wire for takedown; for any with a bushing, unless it's been made match-tight(hard-fitted I believe the term is), no tools needed.1911's aren't for everyone; neither are Glocks and revolvers. I'm sick of the 'always need gunsmithing', 'always need new parts' stuff.

    3. I guess that since I have worked with Aspergers and Autism for the last 10 years or so, I could spot someone with the disorder if I were to see him/her.It’s not that they “look” different, it’s in their manner of relating.

    4. Do we know she actually got the identity of the air marshall right? I mean, she is dumb enough and hot enough where it might be worth it to pretend to be a badass for a possible blowie in the loo…and you know she'd let you video it…

  5. Thank you! Because what you shared about what you did and how you felt, insured me that I am not alone with my enjoyment of being outside. I have a kindred brother.

  6. Looks like a great time was had, but colder than heck too, at least from this south Texas boy’s eyes, lol. But I do agree – some alone time in the outdoors does a ton to get your outlook on Life much improved.

    Its the quiet I think. Or maybe its the activities, really breaks it down to essentials (hike – make fire – cook – eat – hike back), one task at a time.

  7. I for the most part refuse to work more then 4-days a week. Last 2-weeks i put in 7-day weeks to finish a house and I hated it. But that is very rare.

    I work for myself doing home repair so i’s normally easy to talk the boss into letting me enjoy life instead of being an hourly-slave. Being out of debt (as in ZERO Debt) really helps make the 4-day work week a reality.

    I camp, I hunt, target shoot a lot, I play on the net some (but not too much) and I read a lot of books. I don’t watch much TV any more as TV has really taken a dive in quality and the morals shown on almost every TV show.

    Taking time to enjoy life is one of the most important things we can do to give our-self’s a quality life.

    I have a family member that is in debt to the tone of $250,000 and works every waking hour of the day to pay all that debt. It seems to me that he is living a pathetic life of an indentured servant.

  8. I AGREE! Planning on doing the same thing here in OK. Kids at school. Wife and older kids entertain their selves. And im going to disappear for a day. And enjoy it. We dont have all the snow as of yet. Oklahoma very moody weather.

  9. Due to economic changes, our adult daughter lives with us now. We got a chance to walk our 1.3 mile subdivision ( in name only, as each lot is minimum 5 acres) in 11 degree weather, snow on the ground, no cars, it was GREAT! Gave us a chance to spend time together that I didn’t really have when she was a teen and young adult, since I was still raising her two siblings, working full time, and getting a college education back then. It was very healing….pristine white snow, no cars, dogs or interruptions, it looked just like it was back in the earlier part of the century(20th)…..

  10. Almost makes you wish you were back in the 1830s, with your trusty 50-cal and a big knife on your hip roaming around the Rockies.

  11. Miss my youth of growing up in Western NY on a dairy farm it was hard work, but now that I’m much older I miss it. Living out here in Oregon in the High Desert I take my boys Scout Troop out once a month for camping/backpacking/hiking into the mountains. This weekend is Freezoree 2 nights and 3 days of snow camping with other local Troops. Next month is a 6 mile ski or snowshoe backpacking trip to a Scout camp on Crescent lake in the Cascades. Highlight of this year is I am sending one of my boys to Philmont BSA Ranch in New Mexico for a 130 mile 10 day backpacking trip. Sure wish I could join him, but I’m taking my other younger son and Scouts to Montana for summer camp for a week. I think I enjoy the Scouts more than my boys at time-;-}


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