The Jarhead Survivor

To help alleviate the workload associated with writing/maintaining a blog that’s updated with original content 5 days a week, I’m getting a little help. UK Mike has written a number of posts for me, and now Jarhead Survivor will help write posts. These characters complement SHTF Blog well, because they offer a different perspective. The help of others ensures I don’t get blogger burnout, get more time for other things in my busy life and ultimately helps ensure SHTF Blog’s …. survival ….

Welcome Jarhead.


I have been interested in prepping for a few years now, but have always liked practicing survival techniques.  Ever since I was young the forest in all seasons – especiallyjarhead winter – has held an attraction for me.  I can remember carefully hiking up a frozen river here in Maine when I was just 12 years old carrying a small backpack my parents got me for Christmas and looking for a place to set up a camp and cook my hotdogs.

Since then I’ve spent time in the Marines all around the world.  The most memorable place I camped out was in Norway up above the arctic circle.  I thought I knew what a lot of snow looked like until I went up there and camped out in the wilderness for a month.  After that experience I knew what snow was!

The prepper movement snuck on me.  Before I became fully aware of what it was I thought a lot about being ready for things like power outages from storms and did some thinking about what would happen if… (name the disaster).  Most people in Maine are usually set for a few days of darkness, so this wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.  I was talking to a friend one day a year or two before the huge economic mess in ‘09 and he was talking about the economy, peak oil, and social collapse.  I was instantly hooked.  I’d never been able to give a name to what it was that made me uneasy, but from the various rumblings I’d heard in the news there was something making me wary.  Now I was able to put a name to it.

I read voraciously for a year and figured out some things about preppers:

  1. There are all manner of preppers out there from those who stock a few extra batteries just in case the power goes out to those who own a mountain retreat with machine guns and are just waiting for civilization to break down.
  2. A lot of preppers like to read about survival skills, but rarely practice them.
  3. Most people who prep are rational human beings with a sense that there is some kind of trouble brewing and they want to be ready for it.  Not just be ready to survive, but survive in style.
  4. All preppers believe something is going to happen, but there is some disagreement about the degree of the coming event.
  5. Some people actively prep while others will wait for the first signal that something is going wrong because they don’t quite believe in the whole thing..  My personal belief is that if you stock up now you won’t have to worry about the lines when TSHTF or maybe not getting what you need at all.
  6. Some people think that when the time comes to bug out during the zombie apocalypse they’re going to grab their bugout bags and hit the woods.  Others think this is a delusion and that bugout bags are unnecessary and that most situations will call for a “bug-in.”

There are as many different theories as there are people and I think that most of them have an element of “rightness” about them, for lack of a better word and I hope to explore a lot of these issues.  Like all of you I have made my preps and have some ideas about the kind of cultural change that approaches.

I’m also a gear head.  When I’m camping/hiking/climbing/snowshoeing/mountaineering/ or scuba diving I’m always trying out new gear.  If anybody out there has an interest in something let me know and I’ll test it for you if I can get my hands on it.

Jarhead Survivor

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13 comments… add one
  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. October 27, 2010, 8:49 am

    Just bought a CRKT Eat’n Tool, but was surprised at the size of it – not that small. Was hoping for a small eating implement that could be boiled afterward meal was done and stored away. Wondered if your take is the same.

    • Jarhead Survivor October 27, 2010, 9:13 am

      Looks to me like a pretty nifty eating implement/tool. I haven’t tried one, but from what I’ve read they’re fairly lightweight and anything that has multiple uses is a winner in my book. How big was you expecting it to be? I tend to go back and forth between a boyscout spoon/fork/knife kit to plasticware. The most important eating implement to me when I’m camping is the spoon because I tend to carry a lot of dehydrated soups (they’re light) and meals like that, so a plastic spoon goes a long way for me.

      What is your take on the CRKT Eat’N tool other than it’s size? Would you recommend it?

    • Jack October 27, 2010, 11:04 am

      Jarhead – Welcome to the blog, it’s always good to have new view-points.

      j.r. – That CRKT spork is pretty expensive ($6-8) and has tools you don’t need for eating. What are you going to do, unbolt your can of corn or screw your beanie-weanies? lol

      I prefer the standard Aussie FRED spoon with can opener and bottle opener that costs $1.50 for two spoons at this seller. But if you have access to the PX, you can get the same package of two spoons at the PX for .99 cents.

      • joanofark06 January 22, 2018, 10:19 pm

        Your link took me to never never land!

        Not Found
        The requested URL /3_in_1_can_opener.html was not found on this server.
        Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. October 27, 2010, 1:50 pm

    I’ve tried the FRED, at least the cheap version made by Tex-Sport, but when I tried to cut some ‘teeth’ on front end of spoon, did not get good results – too sharp, too shallow and they allowed too much liquid to leak out from spoon. Sigh. I bought my CRKTs at A.G. Russell, they have them (or had) for $4.95. Not too bad, and I was ordering something else anyway, so I gave them a shot.

    Totally get you on the bottle opener and other ‘tools’, shoulda been a can opener. But I keep a P38 or bigger P51 on my person anyway, so not a big one.

    The spoon on the CRKT is pretty much full sized, its very comparable to my titanium spork. I was just looking for – less. :^)

    Actually, saw a pretty cool DIY built-up tool in the comments of THE BACKWOODSMAN magazine (Check that one out, if you haven’t already – some good stuff!). Someone got a cheap spoon and fork and cut the handles about 1/4″ – 3/8″ behind the heads. Then what appears to be JB Welded the ends together – called it a FOON. Other than having to grasp the other tool you eat with when using the other, that has some possibilities.

    Just bitchin’ and moanin’, I was just wondering. I guess all in all, CRKT isn’t too bad.

  • Jonny V October 27, 2010, 2:26 pm

    Hey Jarhead welcome aboard!

    Here’s something I’ve been pondering on adding to my stock as a SHTF gun, and since you’re volunteering to go out testing and all………

    How about getting your hands on a Marlin 1895 SBL and some Buffalo Bore 430 gr LFN GC ammo and go blow the bejabbers out of some stuff? Be sure to mount a scout scope on it, not one of those scopes that’s 4″ from your eye. Believe me, you’ll regret that.

    Anyway, everyone likes to see pictures of stuff with huge holes in it!

  • uk mike October 27, 2010, 2:57 pm

    Hey there.. welcome to the pleasure dome….
    When you’ve finished reviewing the kit you can send it to me… for further long term testing and evaluation…. only a loan you see just a very long term one *ahem* might not perform well in another country see!!

  • GoneWithTheWind October 27, 2010, 8:52 pm

    Bugging out for any length of time for 90% or more of Americans will be suicide. Don’t misunderstand. I am not saying we are all stupid or can’t do the things we see on the survivor TV shows. What I am saying is usually it is so difficult to find enough food that most people will be very hungry at one week, too weak to go on at about week three and laying in their debris hut dying at the end of week five. And that is in the summer or whatever the best time of year is where they live. In the winter they won’t make it to week three. And for those who are puffing up their chests getting ready to explain why THEY wouldn’t die even if some greenhorns do. Let me say I mean 90% of everyone; the experienced and the newby’s. Most of the problem is food. If it gets so bad that 300 million people need to live in the woods all the edibles will be vacuumed up in the first week. There will be violence and crime. If there is no rescue and no health care and supermarket to come back to and no outside help then bugging out is suicide. I’ve hunted including weeks at a time in Alaska. I’ve hiked all over this country and hiked the PCT. I have gone through survival training and I have tried living off the land. But in the best of times it’s marginal and the only reason all of us outdoorsman are alive today is because of civilization. Can you imagine breaking an arm or severing an artery and there are no hospitals or 911? Or you are in the middle of nowhere in the winter in a freezing rain and five thugs took your pack, all your food and supplies and your coat and boots.
    I would not be the slightest bit afraid to “bug out” today with my pack exactly as it is right now in my closet providing civilization is still here. I could go for weeks and months with just one trip to town a week and of course if I broke a leg I have my Cell phone and people who would know where I am. But what if we lose all that infrastructure?
    I have my BOB (it is my regular hiking backpack) but if TSHTF I’m staying put. This is where my food and other supplies are and it is my last stand.

    • Jarhead Survivor October 27, 2010, 9:19 pm

      Gone With The Wind – I’m happy you brought this up. I couldn’t agree with you more and I intend to write a post about this later. All of your points are things that I’ve said and thought as well. I carry my BOB with me at all times and like yours it’s my regular camping pack. I told Ranger Man awhile back that the bag isn’t to help me get out to the woods, it’s to help me and my family get home if we’re at work or somewhere else so we can bug in. Of course you have to flexible with your plans, but being aware that things happen goes a long way towards planning for them.

      About five years ago I broke my ankle on the Appalachian Trail here in Maine in the 100 mile wilderness. Murphy’s Law, being what it is, was in full effect and there was no cell phone reception out there. Needless to say it was a long day. A proper mindset will go a long way towards surviving.

      Thanks for bringing up a good point and I hope you’re around when we discuss this in more detail because I think a lot people could benefit from it.

      -Jarhead Survivor

    • RollieDcat January 22, 2018, 8:11 pm

      Bugging IN is not exactly ideal when your house gets flooded, burned, blown up, buried or washed away by mudslides, as they just did in Montecito, CA. Situational awareness is the #1 priority in a SHTF scenario. When you have to literally run for your life with seconds to spare, having that BOB ready and HANDY is the best way to go. Make sure to keep a couple of flash drives with your favorite photos and important documents copied on them in a water-tight sealed bag in the BOB. You might need them when there’s nothing left to go home to!

  • Suburban Survivalist October 27, 2010, 11:24 pm

    Bugging in is great – until you’re actually forced to bug out. Then what. Better be ready for it. In a real TEOTWAWKI scenario, those in populated areas will run out of food/options soon, and some will begin taking from others. There will be no police to call, and probably no cell phones or electricity to charge them, either. You can stay and fight, or you can leave.

    Both option suck, but that’s what comes with living in the eastern half of the U.S. and the west coast. Even if you have 10k rounds, eventually you’d be burned out/swarmed. I have kids and do not plan on making a last stand of futility on the east coast in such a situation.

    Plan accordingly, learn to forage, hunt, fish, trap, and snare. Have enough calorie dense food to get you away. Have the firepower and skill to protect yourself from the most likely things you’d face. Have a plan to bug out – you might need it.

    • retiredmillwright August 13, 2019, 7:02 pm

      I have been a river rat all my life and at seventy three can tell you to have a plan if you are to survive on anything else but good looks and luck. Have some equipment and knowledge of where and how to survive. A sack with a gillnet, fishing yoyos, hair hooks, salt, pepper, fire maker and a couple steel traps with a hatchet take up little room but will feed you and free up your time spent getting food. If you are truly surviving a raccoon, rattle snake, garfish and many other things taste all right after you get over being civilized.

  • Josh October 28, 2010, 1:39 am

    I agree with the statements above about bugging in. In your house you hopefully already have stores of food, first aid kits, blankets, etc. And a house is far easier to protect than out in the open. Most people think there is plenty of wildlife and living off the land will be easy, but the truth is most people dont live close to an area with lots of wildlife and those that do will extinguish the population in the first week, especially since most people dont know how to dry and store meat properly. Plus, if you plan on bugging out you need to know where you are bugging out to, you can’t just wander around. by that time, the mobs will be out and looting will be be out of control. Of course, the best idea is to have a retreat somewhere far away from population centers with goats, rabbits chickens, a garden, etc already prepared, but most people arent able to do that financially, so for most the best idea is to bug in and wait it out as long as possible.


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