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Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Followup (Z Kit)

Gads, I am terribly unorganized. Anyone who has seen my room (and lived!) can attest to that. That I have created such a hugely organized thing as a Z Kit is almost out of character for me.

However, forgetting things and doing them half-assed is completely in-character. Which is the reason for today's post being a follow up to the food gathering portion of Tuesday's blog.

OK, so you've got your MRE, your granola bars, and your powdered soups. But eventually food will run out, especially if the disaster in question leaves few survivors or devastates the government. At some point you're going to have to forage for your own food. What will you do?

Assuming you don't want to starve to death, you're going end up foraging and hunting. (If you're still in a city by this point, you're a fool.) Using the knowledge stored in the Survival Manual of your choice, you should know what plants and roots are safe to eat. But twigs and berries are only good for a supplementary diet -- if you really want to live and feel good, you're going to have to get some protein in your diet.

If you lack a hunting rifle or a shotgun, you may feel that your options are limited, but this simply isn't true. You can of course always eat insects...

Oh, don't look at me like that. You do it all the time and don't realize it.

Be that as it may, you're perfectly within your rights to choose not to eat bugs, and I won't fault you for that. But where then does it leave us? The answer, my dear readers, is as simple as it is lazy: fishing and trapping.

If you are anything like me, you have forgotten everything useful you learned at summer camps as a child, have little to no wilderness skills, and no inclination to change either of those. But that's easy, because there are two wonderful devices out there that are cheap, easy to use, and practically idiot-proof. Best of all, as they are automated, you can "set and forget" them.

Device one: The Speedhook

So effective that it's been outlawed for non-survival use in Minnesota and other locales and a key part of U.S. Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard survival kits, the Speedhook is the perfect tool for an idiot fisherman. You don't even need a pole! I recommend pairing it with a Survival Fishing kit Basic (or Advanced) to give you a selection of string, bait, hooks, etc.

Device two: The Yo-yo Fishing Reel

According to the testimonials, you can use this sucker to bring in record amounts of catfish. That's great. But what struck me is that you can also use it to trap birds, squirrels, and other small game. Just combine it with some snare wire and you're all set. The best part? It sells for under three dollars.

So there you go. Two methods of nearly fully-automated food gathering that don't require you to know a damn thing about fishing/trapping, are small and lightweight, and inexpensive without being cheap.

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