Friday, 18 January 2019

Plans For 2019

It's coming to the end of the 3rd week of January already and I'm wondering how many of us are still going strong with our New Year Resolutions, or have they kind of fallen by the way side a little bit?

I didn't make any resolutions this year, I haven't for a few years now, I think that to call something a "resolution" can set you up for a fail from the start. Instead I set some goals, things I want to achieve this year.

Getting my sergeant stripes and becoming a cadet instructor is way up there but, after a meeting with the company commander and the other instructors of A coy ACF I plan to be trained as an expedition instructor helping to teach army cadets wilderness survival and bushcrafting skills, I would honestly love to do this.

First things first though, I need to get past an interview with the company 2IC and finish my instructors training before I start on my Ex-ped training, as far as I am aware I should finish my instructors training by October this year.

Not My Detachment.

In the mean time I plan to work on my fitness, I need to build up my stamina and strength so that I can walk for longer while carrying everything I need for, say a week in the wilderness. I have no plans on joining a gym, instead I want to work on my fitness the old fashioned way by putting on a backpack and getting out there and just doing it. No fancy running trainers, just a pair of ild 1980`s army issue jungle boots, my thinking is.. I almost always wear boots so if something were to happen where I had to run, I am not going to be able to just pop my trainers on and start running, so being used to running in boots seems to be a no brainer.

I also plan to work on my bushcrafting and wilderness survival skills, including tree identification, wild foods, shelter construction and much more. I also want to become a dead shot with my slingshot, not for hunting. I still go by the rules that if I dont need to eat it as a matter of survival I will not kill it, so targets it is.

A couple of years ago my lifestyle and the things I did was impacted by my health, I am determined not to let that happen this year, I want to spend as much time as I can out doors practising my survival skills, saying that, at the moment everything is kind of stalled because of family things which are going on, which are stopping me from doing much of what I want to do. These things do happen..

Finally, I plan to turn part of my garden into a veg patch and start growing basic veggies, potatoes, carrots and the like.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Why I want to learn how to pick locks

Not that long ago in a galaxy far, far away I made a tweet where I said that there are three ways to acquire things that you either want or need, I have expanded on what I meant in the tweet below.
Legally: You save your money and buy the item by legal means
Illegally: You just take what you want, get it by any means.
Make it: You look at what you want/need and try to make it
Untitled 1
As you can see in the above picture I ended the tweet by saying that I was planning on making myself a half decent lock picking set. I do have my reasons for wanting to learn how to pick locks and you will be happy to hear that my reasons are 100% legal and above board, the way I am looking at this skill is the same as my goal at becoming a dead shot with a slingshot, just because I can take out a small animal with a slingshot does not mean that I am going to, in fact I hope that I never have to. The same thought applies to being able to pick locks, just because I can does not mean that I am going to.
It was the above comment that prompted me to write this post. Sometimes 260 characters is not enough to fully explain your intentions.
As some of you will know, I am training to become an adult instructor in the Army cadet force, this year I will be attending weekend camps and exercises as a PI (Probationary Instructor), some of these camps will have upwards of 200 plus cadets attending and you can almost guarantee that on more than one of these camps at least one cadet is going to lock there locker key inside there locker, and as luck will have it, they either didn't bring a spare key or, the spare key is still attached to the other one.
Yeah, in life only three things are certain, death, taxes and that one cadet who locks there keys in their locker. This is why I want to learn how to pick locks, if I can open the lock without breaking it then we can get the keys and the above mentioned cadet can continue to safely lock their gear away for the rest of the camp.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Where Have I Been?

I guess I should start by thanking CrazyRocky for tweeting me yesterday to ask why I havnt been making any updates of late, if he hadn't have messaged me I would probably not be writing this.

So, where have I been? In short, at home.. At the moment my wife and I have a lot going on in one way or another, these things are taking a lot of our time, and that is all I am willing to say at the moment, except to say that as well as the above my laptop decided that it wanted to stop doing anything, and I mean "anything", if I had more than one thing running it would lock up and stay like that.
It has taken me the better part of 5 days to get it working again, at one point I even installed Ubuntu on it so that I could at least have an operating system that worked. Unfortunately the only video editor that was willing to run on it kept crashing.

I only had 2 choices...
Wait until January and see if I could find a new computer in the sales or..
Do everything in my power to get Windows working on it again.

It has taken nearly double figures in attempts to get Windows installed and finally, finally, today I succeeded. Right up until the very last minute, I was hoping, praying that it would work, I didnt dare assume that everything was OK after spending days seeing an error message pop up at the very last minute, but this time, it worked.

So, plans. As you no doubt have noticed, it is the holiday season, the season of spend too much and eat, drink even more, yes its Excessmas.

I do plan to write more blog posts, record videos and podcasts over the holidays but I dont plan to start to publish or upload them regularly until the new year, its only 11 days away so its not too bad.

I still have a lot of work to do here at home as well as on my sites so bear with me and enjoy your holidays.



Saturday, 1 December 2018

Taking It To The Next Level

The thing is, when you start to go deep in to prepping for an emergency situation, you're always thinking about the next possible situation where you might need to draw on your preparedness skills,
It can get to a point where you start to look at everything you see in the news as a possible SHTF situation, your view of people can change as well, you can start to see them, not as people but as potential threats and instead of enjoying the outdoors you're too busy looking for exit routes and places to duck and cover.

Don't get me wrong, everyone should have an emergency plan and a backup plan, as well as a decent size stockpile of food, water, medications you and your family take and a good size first aid kit, not forgetting a means to cook said food and water.

Preparing for a possible emergency is a no brainer everyone should do it as a matter of course, but being constantly on the look out for that emergency situation can become unhealthy.

On a slightly different subject, but not different if you know what I mean Every prepper knows or should know at least the basics of Bushcraft or wilderness survival, but not every bushcrafter or woodsman needs to be a prepper.

I am still making sure that my family and I have enough food, water and meds just on case something happens, but lately I have found my self avoiding Prepping videos and discussions on the internet about emergency preparedness and the like, instead I have found that I am doing more and more  Bushcraft, wild camping and out doors related stuff, I am fascinated by it.


Even now, while I am writing this, I have what I hope is two tins of char cloth cooling down in the kitchen, so I can start making up and adding to my fire starting kit, I say hope because the last time I tried to make charcloth I ended up with a tin full of ash.

Moving on, recently I took my interest in Bushcraft and the wilderness to what I consider to be the next level and I joined the army cadets as an adult instructor.

See, I was born into the army, when I was a kid I was a member of the cadets and I have spent a few years as an Infantry reserve, so the training I have to do isn't going to be that much of  a steep learning curve, its more of a refresher I think, I hope..

I have about 10 month to learn and to be able to teach what it takes a cadet 3 and a half years to learn. No pressure there…

The good news is, it will broaden my skill set and give me the chance to pass on my knowledge of the military, as well as being able to share some tips and tricks I have learned in my study of Bushcraft onto the cadets as they learn about field craft and surviving out in the wilds.


At the moment all I can do is observe as I am not yet allowed to teach without supervision until I have my uniform and my paperwork and police checks come back and the paperwork wont be getting sent off until I have been observed, passed my first assessment and been interviewed by the company commander, which should be next week with any luck.

The way I am looking on it is, as well as going by the cadet ideals of giving kids  life skills that they can use in the future, helping make memories that they will never forget, build their confidence and help to make them good people, If just one kid finds a use for the tips and tricks I pass on or is inspired to take up Bushcraft and get out into the out doors more often, instead of sitting over a computer playing games or living on one or more social media platform.. I will be happy

Saturday, 10 November 2018

What Happens To Our Water in a Grid Down Situation.

This post is a guest post by someone who describes himself as someone who has experience in water treatment with a huge electrical bias. He has asked not to be named or credited with this post but has given permission for it to be copied for obvious reasons.

The Government released guidance note today concerning the Electricity "inter connectors", as previously identified on 3 Blokes in a Pub. The likelihood of power interruption will increase post March 2019 on current trajectory. (no deal Brexit). To explain this we must look at how we generate and use electricity. Most people have heard of the National Grid, the pylons and wires we have all seen crossing the country. All grid connections, houses, business, factories etc draw down power from the grid. We currently have very little "storage" in the system which means, that we are generating electricity in Power Stations at the same rate that we are using it. If we all switched our Kettles on together, we would be using a lot more power than when they have boiled. Fortunately, we don't often do this but you can probably see that a certain times of the day, typically 4-8 pm the energy "load" (amount of power required) is higher than other times of day. So we need to either fire up some more Power stations to "balance our load". Now starting up and setting down turbine based Power Stations is not that easy to do on the reactive basis required, so we currently export surplus electricity to Europe and then import it as demand requires. As we all know, electricity costs money, so we sell the electricity exported and then buy it at import. It is this method of "trading" that Brexit denies us.

The result is, that we will be unable to balance our load as effectively as before. we can't just dump electricity, so National Grid will need to direct the generated availability to the areas needing it. If a surge in demand comes about the "grid" will opt for the areas of high population density, mainly because it affects less people, but also because they can be financially penalised for loss of service (check your supply contract).

So for those in Cities, what's the problem I hear you cry, well the Water and Sewage systems are often way out of town, every time you flush the toilet, shower or bath, that waste water may leave your house under gravity, but sooner or later it may/will need to be pumped to get it to the treatment plant.

Equally, this applies with Clean Water, the amounts of electrical energy associated with Clean (Drinking) Water production are huge. The control system, actuated valves, flowmeters, pressure sensors, chemical dosing systems, water quality instruments, final pumps are all electrically powered. Guess what! There is not much storage in that system either.Typically in my experience we are talking hours rather than days....

So an infrequent power supply, leads to Water Supply issues and also Waste issues.....I know little about Gas supply but the need to maintain a pressure, will no doubt be electrically controlled!