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THE PULSE - Your source for survival, skills, and more from Rocky Mountain Editor Steve Howe

The non-winter survival blog

Dry tinder is the least of your worries on Thanksgiving weekend

I always suspected that one of the biggest things I could do to improve my long-term survival odds is to make it through the Thanksgiving holidays without permanently gaining five pounds. So today I began what I call the Post-Turkey Training Series, where I'll attempt to do a long bike ride every day through the weekend in order to counteract the gravy and stuffing.

The ride was delightful. Sunny and warm, with only a light wind. I spun off 17 road miles to the hamlet of Loa, where I turned around just past the billboard saying "Enough is Enough! Show us the birth certificate!" and rode back to civilization.  All during the ride I was trying to think of tips for surviving winter cold. You know, the usual what-to-do-if-you-get-stuck-overnight stuff. But then it hit me: Why bother, since there's NO WINTER ANYWHERE, at least in the Lower 48? I might as well preach about heat stroke or sunscreen.

Besides, if you already survived O'Hare Airport on Wednesday, avoided any Thursday fisticuffs with your inebriated Becktard uncle or crack-smoking Maoist nephew, and didn't get trampled in a Black Friday stampede for robotic hamsters at the Best Buy, then you don't need any survival advice from me right now. You wouldn't be able to read anything I wrote anyway, because  the internet will crash on Monday as worker bees return to their cubicles for Google Mail and online shopping. And even if a message did get through, why get your hopes up? By Tuesday we'll all be dead from swine flu.

However, just in case you do manage to get this dispatch, I wanted to refer y'all to this awesomest survival blog ever. It's even tailored for carbon-rich, drought-ridden conditions by our friends in Australia. America! It's  the new Down Under!

Two other timely tips: Drive sober, and don't get caught without cab fare. Seeya next week. --Steve Howe


Dec 01, 2009

hey i just returned from alaska and i spent around 260 days of the year for 3 years living out of my backpack so i really have come to enjoy my pack. it is small by most macho ppl but i don't like to carry a heavy pack

but on your website it seems like all of the focus is on gear and i'm full aware of the need for good stuff but it is skills that make it really ok to live out in the wild

some of the important (to me) things i haven't seen mentioned like axes and good fixed blade knives (not the latest thing but time tested classics)and things like learning how not to need 101 ways of survival cause all the books in the world aren't going to keep you calm when you are going through something crazy

i would love to hear some advice on how to make a grooming kit lighter (mine is 5oz.) or of how to repair arctic boots the kind that are leather upper and rubber lower i got some minor cracking

my email is


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