My friend Frank Collins, RIP to you, bucko….

Knew him for quite a few years, he was a fellow HAM radio enthusiast. I won’t post his call sign, but he was active in his area. A good shooter, a good father and grandfather, and all around a good man.

He’ll be missed.

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RIP to you, Laddie

Well, Joel did the right thing.


Not the easy thing, not by any measure you can use.


But…..the right thing.


Travel safe, Laddie/TB, you found some good homes while you were resident on this ball of dirt.


Hang in there, Joel.


Grievous day, this day…


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Coronavirus, COVID-19, and conspiracy theories

So the current issue is a pathogen, probably originating in China, possibly transferred from an animal source, maybe genetically modified, might have greater effects on some populations.

Notice a trend in that run on sentence? Lots of maybe…might be….could be….

And NONE OF THAT MATTERS TO A PREPPER OR SURVIVALIST. At least one that’s thinking straight.

By thinking straight I mean assessing the effects that this pathogen and what it’s affects will have on the individual prepper.

The only thing that matters to the individual is how well they, personally, are prepared. Likewise (and hopefully), how their small family, tribe or clan is prepared. Are you, as a small scale unit, going to have any effect on a large scale outbreak? Nope, not really.

Does it matter where the origin is of a threat? Sure, to a certain extent. However it doesn’t matter where something like this originated when it’s a continent away. The only thing that matters are local issues.

How will this affect the local supply chains? What about local infrastructure? Medical issues?


So quit wasting time, energy and resources on playing around with conspiracy theories.

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The sometimes surprising Steyr Puch Haflinger

One of the more unusual, but exceptionally capable small military tactical trucks out in the wild is the Steyr Puch Haflinger. There were quite a few different models and variants, both military and civilian.

Air cooled, four wheel drive with fully lockable differentials, available crawler gears, and a well designed body make it a nice little work horse of a vehicle.

I’ve owned an ex-military Swiss model for some years now, a 700AP. Which is pretty much a standard Swiss Haflinger, nothing really unusual about it. I’ve done some mods – tires, ignition, wiring, and other bits and pieces. But in general it’s a stock model and I’m planning on keeping it that way.

Capabilities? Well, you often see these little trucks tagging along behind Unimogs and keeping up quite well with them, at least until you start getting into deep water.

My 1963 Swiss 700AP Haflinger. Not an original color though, this is a 3 color NATO scheme I shot myself. The original Swiss paint is a gloss olive drab.
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A few things about driving the Alcan Highway

Well, I just got done with my fifth drive on the Alcan, this time South to North, towing a trailer again.

Carry spares – I lost two trailer tires, one to a nail, and one that was actually punctured right in the center of the tread….by a rock.

Carry some form of air compressor, it sucks to try to inflate a tire any other way.

Want cell service? AT&T is your only option, and don’t expect to get cell service anywhere other than close to major towns like Whitehorse, Dawson Creek, Watson Lake. Little places like Toad River, Coal River and the like don’t have cell service.

That being said…if you want comms, best bet is some form of satellite communications. Either a real satphone, or an InReach.

Take your time driving it, weather conditions change rapidly. Go slow, and don’t push it by driving tired or fast. I’ve seen plenty of folks winding up in a ditch, which sucks and messes with the trip.

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For Pete’s sake….quit using K&N filters if you’re a prepper..

I get it, I get it – they’re neat looking, not to mention their marketing is wonderful.

Fact of the matter is that K&N filters, and other oil/gauze filters are functional for pretty much one style of automotive use – racing. Racing as in “we rebuild our engines every season, sometimes every race”.

A bit of dusting isn’t going to kill a race engine, but not having a decent amount of air coming in will kill the race, sometimes.

But for the prepper? You have a few goals with a vehicle, performance only being one of them. You also need something that is functional, easy to maintain, has longevity, and ideally doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb.

Go with good pleated paper filters, oversize is better. Look up something like a BHAF for a Cummins or 7.3 (what’s “BHAF”? “Big Honkin’ Air Filter”, obviously! – it’s a pleated paper filter, usually a Baldwin or similar, and very oversized.)

Filter efficiency in how many microns it’s rated at, plus swept area of the pleats, both of those are what you’re interested in.

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Funny how memories pop up sometimes..

For some reason I just thought of Rodney, Dirk Rautenberg’s old neighbor. I always thought of Rodney as one of the good guys out there, salt of the earth type of man.

I wonder what happened to Rodney, as it sometimes happens, I’ve lost track of him many years ago.

Ah well…old Unimog buddies from years gone by.

So it goes.

Maintain those networks, folks. I know I need to put more time into doing that.

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Well, at least the weather is getting nicer here…kinda sorta

It’s a balmy 39 degrees up here in Alaska, gonna be a windy day.

Within a few weeks I should be able to start working on some of the issues on the old pickup. As with anything that’s used well, even if it’s maintained well, things wear out. In this particular case it’s elements of the shift control system that are plastic. Over time they oxidize, crack, and fall away – leading to lots of slack in the control rod, and that makes it sometimes hard to find the right gear.

What would be an $800 dollar job is in reality a two hour, $1.78 job. Big difference between dealer shop prices, and learning to do the work yourself.

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Book review – The Dark Secrets of SHTF Survival

I’ve never done a book review here, but there’s a first time for everything. Like many of you, I’ve known of Selco for years now, and I’ve read many of his posts. I know a bit of his history and where his experience originated.

He was in the middle of one of the recent conflicts (well, relatively recent) in Europe, that of the Yugoslavian breakup. As it happened, he was trapped in a major city, and had to rapidly learn, and deal with what happens during an extreme urban SHTF.

For those of you that are urbanites, this book is a powerful introduction to how things work in society when things go seriously awry.

How powerful? Well, if you are serious about survival, are mature and pragmatic enough to handle what’s said in the book, and take it to heart – I believe that this book might be the single most valuable book on the subject out there. (Yeah, the cover is a bit….over the top, but hey, marketing!)

Note that I specified “mature and pragmatic”. I mean that wholeheartedly – if you stress easily, etc – leave this text to someone else to deal with. For example, I’d never consider this for a youngster. Hell, I wouldn’t consider this for my wife either, she’d stress out like crazy after reading it.

This book is harsh and can be upsetting for many readers, and details the ugly realities of war from a trapped civilian point of view. Descriptions and examples of incidents are blunt and to the point. It can be quite graphic, and in many sections it also will speak to the psychological and emotional effects of conflict.

Various sections deal with how to identify data points leading up to SHTF level events, early, mid, and late stages of SHTF. How to survive in a city under siege as a civilian, how to deal with others, movement, sanitation, the importance of groups, etc. Additionally, and very importantly, the book also contains a section on aftermath, when things “normalize” (even though they never really do, do they?)

I’m not getting any proceeds from this book review, either. I purchased it free and clear. I just think that it’s important enough, and for some folks it will make the difference between survival, and no survival. Cheap enough, available through Amazon.

Maybe I’ll do some more book reviews, if so, I’ll keep them simple and speedy reads.

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On this memorial day….

From a fine old blog, sadly updated no more, but still quite timely:


“Whatever else you do with your free day – Remember Them. It only takes a moment.

But Remember.

They are not truly gone until we forget.

For some of us, the true meaning of this holiday doesn’t come into focus until we, or someone we know…

Hears The Knock.

Attends The Funeral.

And Buries Our Dead.

This is why today is Memorial Day.

Click here – and Remember.”

-from John at

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