I Am Never Target Shooting Again!

I attended a pistol shooting training session - six hours’ worth in fact, at an IDPA sanctioned range a while back. At the time, I didn't have the faintest idea what IDPA stood for and, to me all gun ranges kinda looked pretty much the same. When I got to this range however, what I saw was a pretty cool setup. Sure, I had seen the set-up on the range’s website and thought it would be a lot more fun than just standing in one spot, adjusting my position for a few minutes and then shooting at the same target over and over – until my ammo ran out, or someone else was antsy to have a turn.
  
Although the range hosted IDPA matches, my group was there for some intense self-defense pistol training by the range instructors. The course included law enforcement caliber video simulation training, hands-on training, how to shoot in less than 1 second using quarter increments, how to clear a building while live firing at targets, how to shoot from a vehicle while live firing at targets, and distance training at targets while moving. The main emphasis was on firing your weapon in stressful situations.

Not knowing what IDPA was initially, I just thought that the range had taken some creative liberties with their range target placements to make shooting more fun. Yes and no. It was fun, but more importantly, the range targets were placed in such a way that they emphasized the importance of moving and shooting under pressure. And, it was stressful. Scenarios were set up where your life would depend on the proficiency of your shooting.

When I said that I would never target shoot again what I meant was that with most traditional shooting ranges you stand in a certain spot, you raise your arms out stretched; holding your weapon firmly, you close one eye and look down the sights. You then aim, and aim some more, shift your feet and body, and then aim some more. When you think you have your sights lined up to where you want the bullet to land on the target (usually some sort of concentric circle that puts the focus on the bulls-eye), you pull the trigger, feel the recoil, and hope you hit at least something on the down range target. All of this is all well and good if that is what your focus is - target practicing - without movement, stress and pressure (well maybe a little stress.) But, this is not defensive shooting. 

For me the only reason I have a firearm is for the defense of my home, property, family, and me. Think about it. In a high pressure, life-threatening situation (usually at close quarters mind you), your target is not going to stand there for you while you get your feet planted, get your sights aligned, and then with body shaking try to fire your weapon. All of these steps take way too much valuable time. 

Most of us figure that because we have our CCW permit, and carry our weapon on our person that we are ready to respond to a threat. What this training showed me is that kind of thinking is way off. Sure, it is stressful firing a handgun, heck any weapon for that matter, but when we do, it is usually in a safe non-threatening environment – and our targets, and us are stationary. 

What I learned and now practice from my training is quarter second step draws. One quarter second to un-holster your weapon, one quarter second to chamber your weapon, one quarter second to raise your weapon, and one quarter second to fire your weapon. A total of one second. One. Oh yeah and while keeping both eyes open. Sounds easy enough, right? Now add in that stress I was talking about earlier. The way I practice this drill is by dry firing my weapon. I unload and clear my gun and then randomly aim at set points around the house. (Caveat: always treat your weapon as though it were loaded. Keep it down in resting position when not aiming with your finger off the trigger; never point your weapon at something you could destroy or someone. Oh, and check with your owner’s manual to see if dry firing is acceptable to do with your weapon beforehand.) Dry firing helps you hardwire your mind’s muscle memory to moving, aiming, pulling the trigger and shooting.

I also learned to clear a whole house (not just a room) and shoot bad people targets while doing it (trying to avoiding the civilian targets.) Notice I said targets? No one was actually shooting back at me and there was still pressure! I also learned how to shoot from inside a vehicle, get out of the vehicle while still shooting, and cover myself while reloading and shooting more bad people targets around the vehicle. Talk about an adrenalin rush! And this was all while live firing. (I also practice my room clearing at home using dry firing.)

So what is IDPA? Well, it stands for International Defensive Pistol Association. Their website (idpa.com) states that IDPA is a shooting sport that simulates self-defense scenarios and real life encounters. Some of the things you will learn is:

 
Techniques to Improve your Speed and Accuracy
Scenario / Stage Strategy 
Drawing from Concealment
Shooting on the Move
Use of Cover in IDPA
Engaging Reactive Targets
Emergency Reloads
Tactical Reloads

 
I would highly suggest you look into your local or regional IDPA and see the schedule for their matches. I know the word “match” may sound a little intimidating and out of your league, but you would be wrong. IDPA’s focus is toward the new or average shooter, with the main goal of testing skills and ability – not equipment or competitiveness. Everyone is there to learn and have fun while shooting. There are safety officials around at all times, and with you while firing, so it is all good. 
 
IDPA, or defensive shooting, will get you in the mental mindset you need to protect yourself, home, and property with confidence in a life-threatening scenario, something standing and shooting at a target just can’t do. – Just sayin’. 


 - Survivor Jane
 

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If you liked this ... then you will love my book, "Emergency/Survival Hygiene: A Prepper "Cookbook" for Survival Personal Hygiene Products", "What Could Possibly Go Wrong??? How to Go From Completely Clueless to Totally Prepared" and my NEW Book "Puzzling Over Preparedness - Survivor Jane's Prepper Word Search Puzzles"

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Survivor Jane Makes the Grade for Top 25 Survival Websites to Follow In 2017

I was so excited to learn that Survivor Jane was named in the Best Survival Websites - Top 25 Sites to Keep You Safe When Disaster Strikes in 2017 by LiveOutdoorsy.com; a website that lives up to it's name by bringing articles and information on outdoor living, hiking, crossfit, camping, hiking, and athletic gear.  

I am both humbled and honored to be mentioned with  these other great educators.

The editors at Live Outdoorsy, began their quest by asking themselves the question, "When a natural disaster or life crisis comes your way do you feel prepared to protect you and your family? Its a question, that they self-admittedly have wrestled with from time to time; as have most of us, if we're honest with ourselves.  

They go on to say, that often there are fears of such things as terrorism, to tornadoes, to deep economic depression or inflation. Again, most of us have had these fears too, right?

But, with all negatives considered, their recommendation as the best way to combat these fears is with proper preparedness and practice for, if and when, that worst case scenario comes.​

The main concern Live Outdoorsy had when they embarked on their quest to find the top 25 survival websites​ on the web today, was whether you are a seasoned survivalist or a novice learner, you would be able to find just the right site for your particular situation in these named websites. Whether for the average Joes, hardworking moms, and grandfathers fearing economic disaster on our coming generation, these websites will provide you with the information you need to prepare successfully.

And I agree, survival and prepper websites are not all the same. In fact, that is why I initially created SurvivorJane.com, because a lot of the sites available at the time I began my preparedness journey were a little to "man-sy" and dark for me, and focused more on guns, ammo and gear, which by the way, there is nothing wrong with any of these, but it was a little confusing to those of us who are just learning and have to spend more time looking things up than actually learning anything.  What I try to do on SurvivorJane.com, is to share the information I have learned or my trials-by-fire, in a more conversational tone. To me, its a little more "non-threatening". 

As most know, preparedness education is my mission and passion and I am very grateful to and to all the many supporters of SurvivorJane.com for making it one of the sought out preparedness websites for preparedness and survival information.

After all, "We're All In This Together!" - Just sayin'.

 - Survivor Jane

 
 

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If you liked this ... then you will love my book, "Emergency/Survival Hygiene: A Prepper "Cookbook" for Survival Personal Hygiene Products", "What Could Possibly Go Wrong??? How to Go From Completely Clueless to Totally Prepared" and my NEW Book "Puzzling Over Preparedness - Survivor Jane's Prepper Word Search Puzzles"

If you have any questions, or would like to see a specific article addressing survival preparedness for women on Survivor Jane website click here: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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How I Learned to Poop Correctly

I once watched an episode where Dr. Oz (save the groans) was talking about pooping. Yeah, I know it’s not PC to discuss such a topic in public forum and yet we let’er fly in the privacy of our homes with gas … okay fart jokes, contests on who can toot the loudest (you do so), and triumphantly describe the texture, length, density and coloration of your “business” after exiting the bathroom. Heck, there are even songs about poop! And … that’s okay? Well, PC or not, I am going to talk “poop” or more to the point … the elimination thereof.  
Back to the show. The good ol’ doctor was telling his audience that the best way to poop (excrete, evacuate, defecate, expel, have a movement … whatever your preferred term for your personal elimination process), is to squat. What he said made sense to me. I mean, think back in your history, well not your history, but history in general. People used to use pots, the riverbank, behind a tree, out in the field or for that small-diapered child with a strained look on their face, a piece of furniture. All while squatting. 
Now it’s not actually the squatting, but the posture of our body when squatting that creates the magic. You just have to agree, you have had a far better “movement” out in the woods than on that porcelain throne of yours. Right? (Yes you have.) I didn’t say the most comfortable poop – I’m talking success here. And why do you think that is? It’s because when we squat our anorectal angle straightens and voila’ the flood gates open. Our what?? Wait, what?? I hear ya.
The anorectal angle is a part in the rectum (your inner hiney) the anal canal – nuf said. Think of the anorectal angle as a hose. Straight is better than bent. When we sit on the toilet, the anorectal angle will kink which causes us to strain to release the demon.  
So, less standing on your toilet to do your business (and yes some people actually do this), what can you do (no pun intended) to have elimination bliss? Well, in comes the Squatty Potty® The Squatty Potty is a footstool (comes in 7” and 9” heights) that helps create a squatting position while sitting on the toilet to give better “toilet posture”. Unfortunately for me, $25 was way out of the question for a footstool – even if it meant going to pooping paradise. However, not to be defeated, I shopped around and found my own footstool. Although my footstool cannot neatly wrap around the toilet base, it can fold up and sit nicely behind the toilet and is easily accessible at a fraction of the cost. I call it my “poopie pedestal”. Same concept, same results.Samsonite Mini Folding Step Stool, Olive/Tan 
So, why am I even talking about pooping on a preparedness blog? Well, think about it. If and when the poo ever hits the fan, we will be eating different foods than what we are normally accustom to eating, and possibly even drinking less water. We could also be carrying heavy objects, and straining. These can lead to constipation – not a good thing on a good day, let alone a not so good day. And could result in hemorrhoids - those blueberry-like cling-ons around the anal opening caused from straining – reeeally not a good thing. 
Knowing how to properly bend your body to expel any bottled up misery could actually send you to your own paradise – pooping paradise that is. - Just sayin’.
 I once watched an episode of Dr. Oz (save the groans) where he was talking about bowel movements, or as he put it, "pooping". Yeah, I know it’s not PC to discuss such a topic in public forum and yet we let’er fly in the privacy of our own homes with gas … okay fart jokes, contests on who can toot the loudest (you do so), and, triumphantly describe the texture, length, density and coloration of your “business” after exiting the bathroom. Heck, there are even songs about poop! And … that’s okay? Well, PC or not, I am going to talk about “poop” or more to the point … the elimination thereof.  
 
Back to the show. The good ol’ doctor was telling his audience that the best way to poop (excrete, evacuate, defecate, expel, have a movement, go number 2 … whatever your preferred term for your personal elimination process), is to squat. What he said made sense to me. I mean, think back in your history, well not your history, but history in general. People used pots, the riverbanks, behind a tree, out in the field - all while squatting to poop.
 
Its not the actual squatting, but the posture of our body when squatting that creates the magic. You just have to agree, if you have ever "gone" out in the woods, you have had a far better “movement” than on that porcelain throne of yours. Right? (Yes you have) I didn’t say the most comfortable poop experience – I’m talking success here. And why do you think that is? Well, it’s because when we squat our anorectal angle straightens and voila’ the flood gates open. Our what?? Wait, what?? I hear ya. Let me explain. The anorectal angle is a part in the rectum (your inner hiney) the anal canal – nuf said. Think of the anorectal angle as a hose. Straight is better than bent. When we sit on the toilet, the anorectal angle will kink which causes us to strain to release the demon.  
 
So, less standing, and then squatting on your toilet to do your business (and yes some people actually do this), what canpoopie pedestal 533x300 you do (no pun intended) to have elimination bliss?
 
Well, in comes the Squatty Potty® - a footstool (comes in 7” and 9” heights) that helps create a squatting position while sitting on your toilet to give better “toilet posture”. Unfortunately for me, $25 was way out of the question for a footstool – even if it meant going to pooping paradise. However, not to be defeated, I shopped around and found my own footstool. Although my footstool cannot neatly wrap around the toilet base, it can fold up and sits nicely behind the toilet and is easily accessible at a fraction of the cost (I got mine on sale). I call it my “Poopie Pedestal”. Same concept, same results. (Samsonite Mini Folding Step Stool, Olive/Tan )
 
 To better understand the anorectal angle and the squat position here’s an amusing discussion by the makers of the Squatty Potty - that is, opposed me boring you with a lot of scientific jargon that I haven’t a clue what it all means. 
 
                                   

So, why am I even talking about pooping on a preparedness blog? Well, think about it. If and when the poo ever hits the fan, we will be eating different foods than what we are normally accustom to eating, and possibly even drinking less water. We could also be carrying heavy objects, and straining. All of these can lead to constipation – not a good thing on a good day, let alone a not so good day; and could result in hemorrhoids - those blueberry-like cling-ons around the anal opening caused from straining – reeeally not a good thing. 
 
Knowing how to properly bend your body to expel any bottled up misery could be your ticket to your own paradise – pooping paradise that is. - Just sayin’.

 - Survivor Jane

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Thank you for sharing Survivor Jane with all your friends!

If you liked this ... then you will love my book, "Emergency/Survival Hygiene: A Prepper "Cookbook" for Survival Personal Hygiene Products", "What Could Possibly Go Wrong??? How to Go From Completely Clueless to Totally Prepared" and my NEW Book "Puzzling Over Preparedness - Survivor Jane's Prepper Word Search Puzzles"

If you have any questions, or would like to see a specific article addressing survival preparedness for women on Survivor Jane website click here > This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Follow me on Twitter @SurvivorJane and use the hashtag #PrepperTalk - Building the Largest Prepper Community One Social Media at a Time!

 

 

What Everybody Ought to Know About the Top Survival Tool for Preppers

thumb newA few years back, I had a very serious accident. Serious, as in I cut the side of my thumb off from the knuckle across my nailbed – a neat 1/4 inch thick slice. That kinda serious. For a while, needless to say, this incident shattered my confidence in using anything sharp … anything. So when my friend, Patrick Roehrman of MT Knives (@PatrickRoehrman on Twitter) sent me a beautiful and … pink (ekkkk!) Genesis neck knife with a matching pink paracord, I kindly thanked him, and promised to use it and give him my thoughts on the knife. That did not happen. Instead, I placed the knife back in the box it came in, afraid to use it. There it stayed in the box - for a long time, until Patrick once again contacted me to see how I was enjoying my Genesis neck knife (insert the cringe.)
As most preppers know, a knife is the number one survival tool – and if you didn’t know – you do now. A quality knife that is. Unfortunately, the focus seems to be more on firearms and ammo, and a lot of prepper-gear. And those preppers who do carry a knife, seem to be former boy scouts or military, and hunters. There just aren’t as many women who carry a knife, or if they do, not outwardly. 
Thinking about this, I once again pulled the Genesis neck knife out of the box and looked at it. It really wasn’t threatening or intimating and, I had after all regained my confidence to once again use sharp objects though the use of “chainmail glove” therapy (don’t judge) at the urging of my hubby.
I decided to find out more about knives; specifically Patrick’s MT Knives, to see what made this tool so important to preppers. I did the same thing when I was first introduced to hand guns. Sorry to say - but they all looked the same to me; black, a pistol grip, a trigger, and they went pew-pew; some louder than others. Yeah, yeah, I have since learned there are many differences. And, I’m sure this holds true for knives as well.
I started my quest with why Patrick makes knives. Without reinventing the wheel, I am inserting a great video he created to answer just that. (See link: https://youtu.be/opeyPBW9mb0
Although the video is very informative, mostly to men folk who understood what he was talking about, I needed to know more. I wanted to know more “about” what makes a knife a good fix. 
Don’t get me wrong, I use knives all the time now. I have big ones, small ones. I have cheap ones and expensive ones. I have carving knives, paring knives, steak knives, butter knives – but I don’t carry a survival knife all the time. 
Patrick of MT Knives was kind enough to answer my questions to give me a better understanding.
SJ: Patrick tell me, we use knives at home, work, and for hunting, yet knives for the most part seem to be over looked in prepping with women. Why do you think this is? 
MT: I think this is a problem for men as well as women. Men have a natural attraction to things like knives. Women may be judged to be eccentric for liking knives. 
I believe one problem that we all face is because many day-to-day uses of a knife have been converted to a tool that performs one function. Like a box cutter, slap-chop, or a gadget like the salad shooter.
In the same vein, products have been made consumer friendly reducing the need to carry a knife with you at all times. You can buy a chicken pre-cut and deboned for you. Plastic packages come with notches and perforations for easy opening. We once relied on having a properly sharpened knife to perform these day-to-day tasks. People prefer the convenience of consumer products over learning a new skill like sharpening a knife. I aim to teach skills to whoever wants to learn. The more skills a person has the fewer gadgets and handicaps they need, in the field and in the kitchen.
SJ: Wow, isn’t that the truth? Great response. We are definitely consumers. So then, what should someone look for in a good knife? 
And secondly, why would these be important?
MT: Knives get all lumped together in one broad category. The truth is it really depends on the task. Choose the right knife for the right task. That being said, I think a small sharp knife (along with blade skill) will go a long way. 
Small as in my Geniuses neck knife?
MT: Yes exactly. In fact this is my main EDC. Its a small neck knife with an approximately 3-inch blade, I recently field dressed and parted up two deer with a similar knife. Splitting both the rib cage and pelvis with it. If you know where to cut you can completely take apart almost any animal with a knife that size. I have even processed our own beef on our farm with a small neck knife. 
I have a friend who is a guide in CO. He told me, “You can always tell the new guides apart from the seasoned guides. The new guides show up with a huge knife strapped to their leg. And they always make a mess trying to field dress game.” 
SJ: So, bigger doesn’t always mean better – even with knives. Sorry all you Crocodile Dundee fans (look him up if you don’t know who I’m referring to). 
Let’s talk about how to properly to handle a knife? Can you give any tips or suggestions for women?
MT: It has been said a million times. Never cut towards yourself. 
SJ: (wince) Yep, I can’t tell you how many times my hubby has said that exact same thing to me (hint: it’s a lot).
MT: Also, if you are exerting a lot of force, then your knife either needs to be sharpened or you have the wrong tool for the job. Knives are designed to cut, and they should do that with ease. Guys with good hand strength get away with using brute force with a dull knife (and seriously damaging the edge of their knife in the process). Gals need to keep their knives sharp so that the edge of the knife does the work for them.
SJ: Yeah, I’ve heard this before too. Keep your knife sharp. So how do we do that? 
Do you have any suggestions for keeping a knife in good working order? 
MT: Learn how to sharpen and maintain an edge. I believe it is something anyone can learn. It is rewarding being able to maintain your own knives. Also, never try cutting something harder than the knife itself. The edge of the blade is fragile, a human hair is about 100 microns, the edge of a sharp knife is about 1 micron, and fragile. All it takes to destroy the edge of the knife is to come in contact with something harder than itself. 
SJ: Wow, I’m guilty of this too! That is an amazing fact about hair and the edge of a knife. 
MT: Anytime you even tap the edge of the knife against steel, glass, bone, rock, etc. you have damaged the edge of the blade. You would be surprised how long a knife can stay sharp when properly cared for. 
SJ: Yeah, and you would be surprised what I’ve tried to do using a knife. No wonder they are so dull. 
As you know, my site focuses on women and preparedness, and yet I have men who frequent the site as well. What would you suggest to any person looking for a survival knife? 
Why should they make MT Knives their first stop?
MT: There are so many different styles of knives all having their own purpose. However, the best knife for a survival situation is the knife that you have on you at the time. Everyone has a different preference on carrying a knife but what I find to be most useful is a neck knife. 
Many wouldn’t consider it a survival knife but it does 95% of everything I use a knife for. I make knives. I own hunting knives. I have a ton of knives to choose from. I really only use two knives. My neck knife, and my chef knife. They do 99% of all the cutting I do. 
As far as MT Knives being the first stop. I believe that you should choose the survival knife that suits you the best. The Genesis knife is purpose built for two things. To be easily carried every day, all day. Secondly is, its designed to be sharp, and stay sharp.
I think the most important quality in any knife maker is integrity. Without it, you will never end up with the best knife possible. Wherever you decide to shop for a knife you should find a knife maker who values quality over quantity. I would never put my name on a knife I didn’t believe was one of my best.
I believe strongly in personal choice when choosing a knife. That is why I offer a custom knife. However, I can only make so many custom knives in my lifetime and so, I have taken down my custom orders for now. I have a long waiting list. I am sure that I will open up my custom ordering again someday. I believe in my knives so much that I actually want everyone to have one. That is the reason I build the Genesis. Everyone can own one of my knives if they want one.
SJ: It seems to be acceptable for a man to pull out a knife to cut, trim, shear, or chop something and no one gives a second thought. However, for a woman, it comes across as odd. How would you address this gender obstacle?
MT: I get looks all the time! (wink) 
The more people see it, the less it will become taboo. I don’t hide the fact I have a knife or use a knife. You are always going to have those people who will give you looks. People are afraid of everything. Afraid of things they shouldn’t be. And not afraid of things they should be. 
As a knife owner, I encourage you (women and men) to be kind to people. Be patient with them. Show them they have nothing to be afraid of. Maybe even teach them a thing or two about knives and how handy they are.
SJ: Those are good points. 
What does a quality survival knife to you mean?
MT: As I said earlier, any knife I have at the time. I created the Genesis Neck Knife not necessarily as a “Survival Knife” but as a great EDC knife. It is lightweight and low profile, with premium steel that will hold an edge 2-3X longer than other knives. No, it will not baton wood, and it isn’t a throwing knife. It is simply a great little knife that you can have with you 24/7 365 days a year. The only time my knife comes off is when I shower and I put it on top of my clean clothes so I don’t forget to put it back on. I even sleep with it, so if I ever had to get up and out of the house in a moments notice it would be with me. 
SJ: And as a reminder to those reading this, EDC means, everyday carry. 
Patrick, you mentioned, size. But does size really matter in a survival or EDC knife? And, why? 
MT: I say yes and no. I can see the advantages of batoning with a knife. A larger knife will perform some tasks like making tent stakes easier. Hopefully if I am in a survival situation I will have some other tools better fit for those jobs. Like an ax, and take down saw. Anytime you want a tool that will perform many different tasks they will only do several tasks mediocrely. I prefer to have the right tool for the job that excels at the task required.
SJ: That is so true! 
How about blades? Is there an advantage to a fixed blade over a folding knife?
MT: The fixed blade knife will almost always be stronger than a folding knife. (K.I.S.S -Keep it Simple Sally) by adding a moving joint on a knife you have created a weak spot that may fail. 
SJ: Well that makes sense. 
How about this? What does the term “full-tang” mean? 
MT: Full-tang means the steel of the blade and the handle are all one piece. The steel extends the entire length of the knife. From point to pommel. Some knives have partial tangs or hidden tangs meaning the tang is not visible or only runs part way through the handle. The Full-tang is the strongest blade of them all. 
SJ: Yeah, I experienced this with a steak knife. The knife snapped right at the point where the metal met the handle while cutting a piece of steak (don’t judge). Imagine if that had been the knife, I was counting on in a survival situation! 
How about the knife tip? Is there a better tip type for a good survival knife?
MT: I really like a drop point. It is great for many different tasks. This is one thing many people do a poor job of sharpening. In my video, Beyond Razor Sharp, I cover how to get a point on your knives that is like a needle. A needle sharp point works great for digging out splinters and puncturing things. The tip and the heel of the blade is the most used parts of the edge. They are also the most often missed part of the blade when sharpening.
SJ: Are there do’s and don’ts that you would suggestion when using a Genesis neck knife? 
MT: Enjoy it! Wear it! Take pride in it! I am proud of it!
Don’t grasp the sheath when deploying the knife it will lay you open to the bone before you know it.
SJ: Yeah, things happen faster that you think. And you can’t unring that bell.
MT: Also, don’t throw the knife its not made for throwing, and don’t pry or baton with it. It is a cutting knife – and excels at that.
And most importantly, don’t let it get dull. It makes me look bad.
SJ: Oh that’s funny! We surely wouldn’t want to do that!
MT: Be sure to show your friends just how sharp it comes. I have had many people say it is the sharpest knife they have ever owned. Many knife collectors say that my knives are the sharpest of all their custom/production knives they own.
SJ: Do you have any parting words of wisdom?
MT: Yes, learn how to sharpen your knife, it is relaxing, rewarding, and fun!
Thanks for the interview Jane! I am honored by your interview. Happy sharpening! 
SJ: And thank you Patrick for helping us all better understand the importance of having the right knife – and a sharp blade. 
Patrick is graciously offering a $5 discount on his video Beyond Razor Sharp using the coupon code: SurvivalJane  
Please make sure to check out Missouri Ozarks knife maker Patrick Roehrman at www.MTKnives.net 
He uses the best steel to make the sharpest knives. – Just sayin’. 

 A few years back, I had a very serious accident. Serious, as in I cut the side of my thumb off from the knuckle across my nailbed – a neat 1/4 inch thick slice. That kinda serious. For a while, needless to say, this incident totally shattered my confidence in using anything sharp … anything. So when my friend, Patrick Roehrman of MT Knives (@PatrickRoehrman on Twitter) sent me a beautiful and … pink (ekkkk!) Genesis neck knife with a matching pink paracord as a gift, I kindly thanked him and promised to use it and give him my thoughts on the knife. That did not happen. Instead, I placed the knife back in the box it came in, afraid to use it. There it stayed in the box - for a long time, that is until Patrick once again contacted me to see how I was enjoying my Genesis neck knife (insert the cringe.)

As most preppers know, a knife is the number one survival tool – and if you didn’t know – you do now. Athumb quality knife that is. Unfortunately, the focus seems to be more on firearms and ammo, and a lot of prepper-gear these days with preppers. And those preppers who do carry a knife, seem to be former boy scouts or military, and hunters, or ordinary guys who carry the pocket knife their dad gave to them. There just aren’t as many women who carry a knife, or if they do, not outwardly. 

Thinking about this, I once again pulled the Genesis neck knife out of the box and looked at it. It really wasn’t threatening or intimating and I had after all regained my confidence to once again use sharp objects (though the use of “chainmail glove” therapy (don’t judge) at the urging of my hubby.)

I decided to find out more about knives to see what made this tool so important to preppers. I did the same thing when learning about hand guns. Sorry to say - but they all looked the same to me; black, a pistol grip, a barrel, a trigger, and they all went pew-pew; some louder than others. Yeah, yeah, I have since learned there are many differences, and I’m sure the same holds true for knives as well.

I start my quest with my friend Patrick by asking him why he makes knives. Without reinventing the wheel, I am inserting a great video he created to answer just that. (Click here ) I could have never done this topic justice.

Although the video is very informative, mostly to men folk who actually understood what Patrick was talking about, I needed to know more. I wanted to know more about what makes a knife a good fit. 

Don’t get me wrong, I use knives all the time now. I have big ones, small ones. I have cheap ones and expensive ones. I have carving knives, paring knives, steak knives, butter knives – but I don’t carry a survival knife on me at all the times. 

Patrick was kind enough to let me interview him with some questions I had to get a better understanding of knives.

SJ: Patrick tell me, we use knives at home, work, and for hunting, yet knives for the most part seem to be over looked in prepping with women. Why do you think this is? 

MT: I think this is a problem for men as well as women. Men have a natural attraction to things like knives. Women may be judged to be eccentric for liking knives. I believe one problem that we all face is because many day-to-day uses of a knife have been converted to a tool that performs one function. Like a box cutter, slap-chop, or a gadget like the salad shooter.In the same vein, products have been made consumer friendly reducing the need to carry a knife with you at all times. You can buy a chicken pre-cut and deboned for you. Plastic packages come with notches and perforations for easy opening. We once relied on having a properly sharpened knife to perform these day-to-day tasks. People prefer the convenience of consumer products over learning a new skill like sharpening a knife. I aim to teach skills to whoever wants to learn. The more skills a person has the fewer gadgets and handicaps they need, in the field and in the kitchen.

SJ: Wow, isn’t that the truth? Great response. A lot of us are definitely consumers, and seeking the easy way to do things.

So then, what should someone look for in a good knife? And why would these things be important?

MT: Knives get all lumped together in one broad category. The truth is it really depends on the task. Choose the right knife for the right task. That being said, I think a small sharp knife (along with blade skill) will go a long way. 

SJ: You mean, like my small Geniuses neck knife?

MT: Yes exactly. In fact this is my main EDC. Its a small neck knife with an approximately 3-inch blade, I
 recently field dressed and parted up two deer with a similar knife. Splitting both the rib cage and pelvis with it. If you know where to cut you can completely take apart almost any animal with a knife that size. I have even processed our own beef on our farm with a small neck knife. I have a friend who is a guide in CO. He told me, “You can always tell the new guides apart from the seasoned guides. The new guides show up with a huge knife strapped to their leg. And they always make a mess trying to field dress game.” 

SJ: So, bigger doesn’t always mean better – even with knives. Sorry Crocodile Dundee knife fans (look him up if you don’t know who I’m referring to). 

Let’s talk about how to properly to handle a knife? Can you give any tips or suggestions for women?

MT: It has been said a million times. Never cut towards yourself

SJ: (wince) Yeah, I can’t tell you how many times my hubby has said that exact same thing to me (hint: it’s a lot).

MT: Also, if you are exerting a lot of force, then your knife either needs to be sharpened or you have the wrong tool for the job. Knives are designed to cut, and they should do that with ease. Guys with good hand strength get away with using brute force with a dull knife (and seriously damaging the edge of their knife in the process). Gals need to keep their knives sharp so that the edge of the knife does the work for them.

SJ: Yep, heard that before too. Keep your knife sharp. So how do we do that? Do you have any suggestions for keeping a knife in good working order? 

MT: Learn how to sharpen and maintain an edge. I believe it is something anyone can learn. It is rewarding being able to maintain your own knives. Also, never try cutting something harder than the knife itself. The edge of the blade is fragile, a human hair is about 100 microns, the edge of a sharp knife is about 1 micron, and fragile. All it takes to destroy the edge of the knife is to come in contact with something harder than itself. 

SJ: Wow, looks like I’m the poster child for what not to do with knives! I'm guilty of this too!

And, that is really fascinating about hair and the edge of a knife. 

MT: Anytime you even tap the edge of the knife against steel, glass, bone, rock, etc. you have damaged the edge of the blade. You would be surprised how long a knife can stay sharp when properly cared for. 

SJ: Yeah, and you would be surprised what I’ve tried to do using a knife. No wonder they are so dull. 

As you know, my site focuses on women and preparedness, and yet I have men who frequent the site as well. What would you suggest to any person looking for a survival knife? Why should they make MT Knives their first stop?

MT: There are so many different styles of knives all having their own purpose. However, the best knife for a survival situation is the knife that you have on you at the time. Everyone has a different preference on carrying a knife but what I find to be most useful is a neck knife. Many wouldn’t consider it a survival knife but it does 95% of everything I use a knife for.

I make knives. I own hunting knives. I have a ton of knives to choose from. I really only use two knives. My neck knife, and my chef knife. They do 99% of all the cutting I do. 

As far as MT Knives being the first stop. I believe that you should choose the survival knife that suits you the best. The Genesis knife is purpose-built for two things. To be easily carried every day, all day. Secondly, it is designed to be sharp, and stay sharp.

I think the most important quality in any knife maker is integrity. Without it, you will never end up with the best knife possible. Wherever you decide to shop for a knife you should find a knife maker who values quality over quantity. I would never put my name on a knife I didn’t believe was one of my best.

I believe strongly in personal choice when choosing a knife. That is why I offer a custom knife. However, I can only make so many custom knives in my lifetime and so, I have taken down my custom orders for now. I have a long waiting list. I am sure that I will open up my custom ordering again someday. I believe in my knives so much that I actually want everyone to have one. That is the reason I build the Genesis. Everyone can own one of my knives if they want one.

SJ: It seems to be acceptable for a man to pull out a knife to cut, trim, shear, or chop something and no one gives a second thought. However, for a woman, it comes across as odd. How would you address this gender obstacle?

MT: I get looks all the time! (ha!) The more people see it, the less it will become taboo. I don’t hide the fact I have a knife or use a knife.

You are always going to have those people who will give you looks. People are afraid of everything. Afraid of things they shouldn’t be. And not afraid of things they should be. As a knife owner, I encourage you (women and men) to be kind to people. Be patient with them. Show them they have nothing to be afraid of. Maybe even teach them a thing or two about knives and how handy they are.

SJ: That is really well said. Good points. 

What does a quality survival knife to you mean?

MT: As I said earlier, any knife I have at the time. I created the Genesis Neck Knife not necessarily as a “Survival Knife” but as a great EDC knife. It is lightweight and low profile, with premium steel that will hold an edge 2-3X longer than other knives. No, it will not baton wood, and it isn’t a throwing knife. It is simply a great little knife that you can have with you 24/7 365 days a year. The only time my knife comes off is when I shower and I put it on top of my clean clothes so I don’t forget to put it back on. I even sleep with it, so if I ever had to get up and out of the house in a moments notice it would be with me. 

SJ: For those of you who aren't sure, EDC means, every day carry; something you have it with you all the time.

You sleep with your knife on? Wow, never thought of that, but it sure makes sense.

Patrick, you mentioned, size. But does size really matter in a survival or EDC knife? 

MT: I say yes and no. I can see the advantages of batoning with a knife. A larger knife will perform some tasks like making tent stakes easier. Hopefully if I am in a survival situation I will have some other tools better fit for those jobs. Like an ax, and take down saw. Anytime you want a tool that will perform many different tasks they will only do several tasks mediocrely. I prefer to have the right tool for the job that excels at the task required.

SJ: That is so true! 

How about blades? Is there an advantage to a fixed blade over a folding knife?

MT: The fixed blade knife will almost always be stronger than a folding knife. K.I.S.S (Keep it Simple Sally) by adding a moving joint on a knife you have created a weak spot that may fail. 

SJ: Hmmm. True. How about this? What does the term “full-tang” mean? 

MT: Full-tang means the steel of the blade and the handle are all one piece. The steel extends the entire length of the knife. From point to pommel. Some knives have partial tangs or hidden tangs meaning the tang is not visible or only runs part way through the handle. The Full-tang is the strongest blade of them all. 

SJ: Yeah, I had a experienced with a steak knife. The knife snapped right at the point where the metal met the handle while cutting a piece of steak (don’t judge). Imagine if that had been the knife, I was counting on in a survival situation! 

How about the knife tip? Is there a better tip type for a good survival knife?

MT: I really like a drop point. It is great for many different tasks. This is one thing many people do a poor job of sharpening. In my video, Beyond Razor Sharp, I cover how to get a point on your knives that is like a needle. A needle sharp point works great for digging out splinters and puncturing things. The tip and the heel of the blade is the most used parts of the edge. They are also the most often missed part of the blade when sharpening.

SJ: Are there do’s and don’ts that you would suggestion when using a a small knife like the Genesis neck knife

MT: Enjoy it! Wear it! Take pride in it! I am proud of it!

Don’t grasp the sheath when deploying the knife it will lay you open to the bone before you know it.

SJ: Yeah, things can happen fast, believe me. And you can’t unring that bell.

MT: Also, don’t throw the knife its not made for throwing, and don’t pry or baton with it. It is a cutting knife – and excels at that. But, most importantly, don’t let it get dull. It makes me look bad. (Ha!)

SJ: Oh that’s funny! We surely wouldn't want to do that!

MT: Be sure to show your friends just how sharp it comes. I have had many people say it is the sharpest knife they have ever owned. Many knife collectors say that my knives are the sharpest of all their custom/production knives they own.

SJ: This has been amazing. Lots of great information.

Do you have any parting words of wisdom?

MT: Yes, learn how to sharpen your knife, it is relaxing, rewarding, and fun!

Thanks for the interview Jane! I am honored by your interview. Happy sharpening! 

SJ: And thank you Patrick for helping us all better understand the importance of having the right knife – and a sharp blade. 

Everyone, Patrick has graciously offering a $5 discount on his video Beyond Razor Sharp by using the coupon code: SurvivalJane (shhhh don't tell him I'm Survivor Jane *wink*)

Please make sure to check out Missouri Ozarks' knife maker Patrick Roehrman at www.MTKnives.net 

He uses the best steel to make the sharpest knives. – Just sayin’.

 - Survivor Jane

 

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 If you liked this ... then you will love my book, "Emergency/Survival Hygiene: A Prepper "Cookbook" for Survival Personal Hygiene Products", "What Could Possibly Go Wrong??? How to Go From Completely Clueless to Totally Prepared" and my NEW Book "Puzzling Over Preparedness - Survivor Jane's Prepper Word Search Puzzles"

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Top 3 Reasons why Cotton Is Rotten for Winter Survival Clothing

Who doesn’t throw a cotton t-shirt on in the summer? I mean, for me they are a staple. Cotton t-shirts are comfortable, cheap, and retain moisture keeping me cool. Paired with a pair of jeans and work boots, and working out under the hot summer sun on the homestead I’m good to go. 
When winter rolls around, katy-bar-the-door, things are quite different. You are not going to find this girl in cotton. Remember, Imma former Florida girl, which translates to - when the temperature dips to 60? or below, I begin my winter chant of “I’m cold” and start donning wool tights and socks, a peacoat and Sorel boots. And that’s just for indoors. (*grin* not really). When I do have to go outdoors, which is every day, and several times a day, I morph into a swollen tick, with hat, scarf, sweaters and anything else I can put on to keep me warm. Fashion flies out of the window in the winter for me. It’s all about staying warm – game on. 
Ooh, just talking about winter makes me cold, so back to cotton. I have heard preppers say, “cotton kills” which I found a little odd, especially since I have worn cotton all my life and I am not dead yet. So, I figured I'd look into this further. 
It seems the cotton comment refers more specifically to winter, brrrr here we go again, and most notably to winter clothing; as in outdoor survival in the cold -clothing. For all the reasons I stated I liked wearing cotton in the summer, are the same reasons we aren't supposed to wear cotton in the winter. Well, not the cheap and comfortable parts, but the retains moisture and keeps you cool parts definitely. 
Cotton is hydrophilic, (sounds so mechanicalish doesn’t it?) What this means is cotton doesn’t wick wetness away from your skin – remember the cool feeling in the summer? So, when cotton is wet, it becomes cold, sucking the heat out of your body 25 times faster than when it was dry, causing it to lose up to 90 percent of its insulating properties. Also, cotton wicks wetness not only from sweat (not that girls sweat, just sayin’), okay perspiration, but also by being exposed to humidity and rain too. All of these can result in hypothermia. Not a good thing. It’s not the cotton that kills you or I would have been dead a long time ago, cotton just makes it a lot easier to get hypothermia in the winter – and that is what could kill you – or pneumonia.
Seems odd because you would think a nice thick 100-percent cotton flannel shirt would be a safe bet for winter. And it is as long as you don’t get it wet and there goes your body heat. Nuts! I love these shirts!
Okay yeah, now we know, cotton doesn’t wick moisture, it sucks out our body heat if it gets wet, and it can lead to hypothermia or pneumonia. So what should we be wearing and still be able to function comfortably in an outdoor survival situation where we find ourself trekking on foot for miles in the snow and ice; carrying gear and our emergency bag?
Most outdoors enthusiast recommend, wool or synthetics, like polypropylene, because these fabrics absorb relatively little water, and if you do sweat; okay -okay, perspire, your body heat can dry it out enough so that the insulating continues to wick moisture away from your skin. In fact, polypropylene material doesn’t absorb water, and neither does polyester, which is essentially made of plastic. 
Then there is nylon. Nylon will absorb moisture too. And, down; as in my cozy comfy comforter, is just that, fluffy and cozy, but if down gets wet it could be like carrying two of you. Not a good thing. Oh, and just so you don’t think I’m picking on cotton, there are other fabric choices that could be just as deadly, if not more, like modal, rayon, viscose, tencel and lyocell. All made from cellulose fiber, which absorbs water even faster than cotton and therefore loses all of its insulating value when wet.
Another thing to consider with synthetics is the inherent danger of catching fire. Wool on the other hand is naturally flame retardant, and might be a better choice around a campfire. 
Wanna do an experiment to see what I mean about cotton retaining moisture? Put two wet shirts in the clothes dryer; one made of cotton and one of a synthetic fabric. Dry the shirts for ten minutes and then take them out and put them on – one at a time silly. The synthetic shirt should be warmer.  Case in point.
So your best clothes bet for outdoor winter survival? Wool tights and socks, wool or cashmere sweater, and I’m thinking any items made of wool or polypropylene.
Oh, yeah … and silk. Silk has impressive moisture wicking properties, keeping you dry and comfortable in any climate. – Just sayin’.
Who doesn't throw a cotton t-shirt on in the summer? I mean, for me they are a staple. Cotton t-shirts are comfortable, cheap, and retain moisture keeping me cool. Paired with a pair of jeans and work boots, and working out under the hot summer sun on the homestead I’m good to go. 

When winter rolls around, katy-bar-the-door, things are quite different. You are not going to find this girl in cotton. Remember, Imma former Florida girl, which translates to - when the temperature dips to 60? or below, I begin my winter chant of “I’m cold” and start donning wool tights and socks, a peacoat and Sorel boots. And that’s just for indoors. (*grin* not really). When I do have to go outdoors, which is every day, and several times a day, I morph into a swollen tick, with hat, scarf, sweaters and anything else I can put on to keep me warm. Fashion flies out of the window in the winter for me. It’s all about staying warm – game on. 

Ooh, just talking about winter makes me cold, so back to cotton. I have heard preppers say, “cotton kills” which Icotton rotten 2 found a little odd, especially since I have worn cotton all my life and I am not dead yet. So, I figured I'd look into this further. 

It seems the cotton comment refers more specifically to winter, brrrr here we go again, and most notably to winter clothing; as in outdoor survival in the cold -clothing. For all the reasons I stated I liked wearing cotton in the summer, are the same reasons we aren't supposed to wear cotton in the winter. Well, not the cheap and comfortable parts, but the retains moisture and keeps you cool parts definitely. 

Cotton is hydrophilic, (sounds so mechanicalish doesn't it?) What this means is cotton doesn't wick wetness away from your skin – remember the cool feeling in the summer? So, when cotton is wet, it becomes cold, sucking the heat out of your body 25 times faster than when it was dry, causing it to lose up to 90 percent of its insulating properties. Also, cotton wicks wetness not only from sweat (not that girls sweat, just sayin’), okay perspiration, but also by being exposed to humidity and rain too. All of these can result in hypothermia. Not a good thing. It’s not the cotton that kills you or I would have been dead a long time ago, cotton just makes it a lot easier to get hypothermia in the winter – and that is what could kill you – or pneumonia.Seems odd because you would think a nice thick 100-percent cotton flannel shirt would be a safe bet for winter. And it is as long as you don’t get it wet and there goes your body heat. Nuts! I love these shirts!

Okay yeah, now we know, cotton doesn’t wick moisture, it sucks out our body heat if it gets wet, and it can lead to hypothermia or pneumonia. So what should we be wearing and still be able to function comfortably in an outdoor survival situation where we find ourself trekking on foot for miles in the snow and ice; carrying gear and our emergency bag? 

Most outdoors enthusiast recommend, wool or synthetics, like polypropylene, because these fabrics absorb relatively little water, and if you do sweat; okay -okay, perspire, your body heat can dry it out enough so that the insulating continues to wick moisture away from your skin. In fact, polypropylene material doesn’t absorb water, and neither does polyester, which is essentially made of plastic. 

Then there is nylon. Nylon will absorb moisture too. And, down; as in my cozy comfy comforter, is just that, fluffy and cozy, but if down gets wet it could be like carrying two of you. Not a good thing.

Oh, and just so you don’t think I’m picking on cotton, there are other fabric choices that could be just as deadly, if not more, like modal, rayon, viscose, tencel and lyocell. All made from cellulose fiber, which absorbs water even faster than cotton and therefore loses all of its insulating value when wet. Another thing to consider with synthetics is the inherent danger of catching fire. Wool on the other hand is naturally flame retardant, and might be a better choice around a campfire. 

Wanna do an experiment to see what I mean about cotton retaining moisture? Put two wet shirts in the clothes dryer; one made of cotton and one of a synthetic fabric. Dry the shirts for ten minutes and then take them out and put them on – one at a time silly. The synthetic shirt should be warmer.  Case in point.

So your best clothes bet for outdoor winter survival? Wool tights and socks, wool or cashmere sweater, and I’m thinking any items made of wool or polypropylene.

Oh, yeah … and silk. Silk has impressive moisture wicking properties, keeping you dry and comfortable in any climate. – Just sayin’.

- Survivor Jane

 

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If you liked this ... then you will love my book, "Emergency/Survival Hygiene: A Prepper "Cookbook" for Survival Personal Hygiene Products", "What Could Possibly Go Wrong??? How to Go From Completely Clueless to Totally Prepared" and my NEW Book "Puzzling Over Preparedness - Survivor Jane's Prepper Word Search Puzzles"

If you have any questions, or would like to see a specific article addressing survival preparedness for women on Survivor Jane website click here > This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For Sponsorship/Advertising Contact Information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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