Sunday, August 30, 2009
This Friday my friend "Jungle Wil" and I are heading to Subic bay to attend a 3 day Jungle survival trek led by our Good Friend Tata of the local Negrito village near subic.
I have included in this post a few photos and a complete list of the equipment I will carry on this trip and of the Knives we will use and test. The only knives not pictured are the Swiss army knives each of us has an an everyday carry.
There will be a subsequent post upon our return to give full details and photos of the Jungle survival experience.
Tomahawk signing out!
Shelter: Cheap walmart tent
6x8 plastic tarp
crazy creek chair
bed sheet - to be used as a blanket
Water: 1 gallon plastic jug with carry handle
1 litre nalgene bottle
100 aqua tabs
canteen cup with lid for boiling water
Fire: ferro rod, 1 small bic lighter
bamboo friction fire methods
small pieces of plactic bottle for fire starting
Food: 2 Kilos of brown rice
Gifts for the Head man: Tanduay rum, 2 kilos of brown rice,
Knives: Filipino Bolo (the same one im selling you)
Boker whittling knife
My Green river Knife "Old Butch"
GB Mini hatchet
small Arkansas stone
Misc Gear: Silva compass, metal signal mirror, razor, reading glasses, mini mag with head band and extra batteries.
small dry bag.
Clothing: wearing; jungle boots, cotton socks, 511 pants, boxers, t shirt, Tomahawk adventure shirt(tiger stripe)
Ball cap, Bandanna.
Leather gloves, Shemagh, shower shoes, Korean army camo shirt for mozzy protection, 2 extra bandannas.
Extra clothing(to be left at base camp);
clean clothing to change into for the trip back to cebu after the jungle trek includes;
socks,boxers,Colombia river pants, t shirt, tomahawk adventure shirt.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Howdy folks, just wanted to let you all know I am alive and kicking in Cebu PI.
I have fully recovered from my malaria relapse and went out today to do a bit of exploring.
Today I went on a scout of the neighborhood and managed to locate Zebra brand cook pots and other items for those of you interested.
Under the current US Dollar/Filipino exchange rate the cost for the pots are as follows. http://www.xe.com/ucc/(online currency conversion page)
a 10 CM pot with lid is 600 pesos = $13.00
" 12 cm pot w/ lid is 700 pesos = $15.00
" 14 cm pot w/lid is 900 pesos = $19.00
" 16 cm pot w/lid is 1,200 pesos = $25.00
small bowl costs 200 pesos = $6.00
large bowl is 250 pesos = $7.00
Large cup with lid costs 500 pesos(22 ounces or so) = $12.00
large cup (no lid)250 pesos = $7.00
small cup no lid is 200 pesos = $6.00 These prices Do not include shipping costs from the Philippines to the USA, I still need to go to the post office for to get that information.
There are also seagull brand pots and cheaper made in India cooking pots available, the Indian stuff looks pretty good and is stainless steel, the pots have no lids tho but come in different sizes, there are also stainless steel plates and saucers available for around 100 to 200 pesos( 3 to 4 bucks), and cups of various sizes with and without lids.
I also located 2 types of jungle knives (bolos) at the market.
One type had a Mango wood handle and the other has an aluminum handle. prices range from 300($8.00) pesos to 600($13.00) pesos depending on if you get a metal handle or a sheath.
While searching around in one of the local malls I saw that there were Ghillie suits for sale also for around 5000 pesos(abt $125.00), i was amazed that there were these types of items in a local department store.
Only in the Philippines!
When i had left the Basilica after saying my daily prayers i saw a little old mad who was sharpening knives with his bicycle set up, it looked kinda cool so I had the old fella sharpen my Swiss army blade.
it cost me a whopping 10 pesos. I have posted vids of the pots and knives at my youtube page, you can view them here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JDqogeq7w8&feature=channel_page (pots) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CiQne6hhhg&feature=channel (knives) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04OPRLh1NCo&feature=channel (knife sharpener)
If anyone is interested in these items please feel free to drop me a line and ill get back to you with shipping prices and additional info.
I have installed a paypal donation button on my Blog at:
http://tomahawksadventuretravel.blogspot.com/ for your international shopping convenience.
On the way back to my apartment I stopped of to get some roast chicken from Celias Lechon shop, it is pretty tasty. Ill dine in regal splendor on roast chicken, rice and filipino style cookies washed down with San miguel beer.
sorry for the delay in getting back to those of you who are interested but i was down for the count on this last malaria relapse, seem to take more out of me as i get older.
anyhoo, im here, on the move and ready for action.
feel free to drop me a line if you are interested in these items.
you cam PM me here or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Kathmandu Nepal, is a place that had been on my mind for a long time. I flew into the city from Doha Qatar via Qatar airways in November of 2004. as we were flying in I caught a glimpse of the Himalayan mountains covered in snow, that view even after 5 years is still clear in my memory and is one ill never forget.
As soon as the doors of the aircraft were opened I immediately noticed the aroma of incense, it was strong and smelled a little like sandal wood.
I followed the crowd through the tiny Kathmandu airport to the passport control desks, there were 2 lines/desks and above each desk was a sign - 1 read "visas" and the other said "non Visas", I noticed right away that the non visa line had only 3 people in it while the Visa holders line was long and stretched out quite a ways.
I could have kicked myself for Having gotten my visa at the Nepalese embassy in Qatar , Had I known it was a visa upon arrival I would not have wasted the time and money to get the visa before i left - oh well, live and learn.
anyway, after standing in the visa line for a while I decided to slide over to the relatively empty non visa line and just play dumb, I walked up to the counter and handed my passport to the smiling Nepalese immigration officer and said "Hello" he replied in same and said "Oh sir, you already have a visa and should be in that line" indicating the line I had just left. Damn! but then he said, its "OK, Ill take care of it here" and stamped my passport and visa , then handed back my passport, wished me a pleasant "welcome to my country".
I said thank you and hit the door, Hooray!! my little subversive action had worked and i didn't have to wait in the long assed visa line.
Coming out to the Baggage claim area I looked for and found my Blackhawk Phoenix back pack, grabbed it then went outside past all of the tour operators selling cut rate tours and vehicle services etc.,I Hailed the 1st taxi I saw and hit the road for my hotel.
While in Qatar ,I had booked a room online at the Marco polo hotel outside of Tamel in Kathmandu, on their website it looked like a decent place but when i arrived and checked in it was a real 3rd world shit hole hotel, and i decided to look for another room in the AM. anyhoo, after stowing my bag and grabbing my camera i hit the town.
After working in a middle eastern country for almost a year i was suffering from alcohol and pork with drawls so I went looking for a decent restaurant where i could get both. I managed to locate a chinese restaurant near Tamel close to the Royal palace. This restaurant had some beautiful decor but the reason I chose it was because of the sign out front that said "English here goodly spoken", that to me was the selling point.
I went inside and ordered a bottle of Kukuri rum and everything pork on the menu! it was an excellent meal and id recommend the establishment if I could remember the name.
The kukuri rum was about 1/2 gone when i finished eating so i poured the remainder into my nalgene bottle, added a coke and some water, slung the bottle over my shoulder, paid the bill and hit the door.
Nepal is the home of the pagoda and i visited a few just taking a look but personally i didnt find them interesting.
As I wandered around the City and took in the sights , I decided to try some beetle nut a fella was selling on the street - that was a mistake! that stuff is horrible and i almost passed out!
hahaha, Aftter chewing it and spitting red for about a minute or so I had to call it a day and spit that stuff out.
Ill stick to skol or copenhagen snuff.
After about an hour or so of wandering around I was getting tired of all the Beggars and hawkers bugging me for money or to buy something so I went back to the hotel and polished off my Nalgene bottle of rum and coke. After drinking the whole bottle I was about 1/2 in the bag so I figured it was a good time to crash. Tomorrow is another day!
In the morning I headed out to get some breakfast and scout out a new hotel, while looking at the Knives in a kukuri shop the owner told me about the Marco polo guest house just next to his shop. I went up to the desk and ask about a room, the gentleman told me they were expensive but he had different rates depending on your budget.
Being curious by nature i asked him how much the expensive rooms were he said "5000 rupees" ( if i remember correctly), i did a quick mathematical extrapolation in my head and realized that was only like $7.00 USD!!! I took a look at the rooms and it was 100% better than the other place and much cheaper so I booked a room for the remainder of my stay in Nepal.
The only thing is this guest house didn't provide was towels, soap, or toilet paper. I went to a nearby grocery store and bought all of those things plus a bunch of dried Yak meat , bottled water, whisky, cookies, and what looked like trail mix.
I headed back to the guest house to drop off my purchases and saw a fellow standing out front passing out business cards to a trekking company he worked for.
He said hello as I approached and handed me a card. I struck up a conversation with him and he seemed to be a decent guy so I asked him if he w employed, he said "no" so I offered him a job as my personal guide while i was in Nepal, he agreed and said his name is Raj, we talked a bit more and decided on his pay.
Raj was a bit hesitant about asking for money but we agreed that he would get 500 Rupees a day, plus lunch and a pack of American Marlboro cigarettes per day. Raj also asked me if I had any extra clothing I could leave for him when I left Nepal, I said sure.
We agreed to meet the next morning for breakfast at a local place which caters to westerners, I cannot recall the name of the joint but the food was excellent and all of the waitresses were deaf - interesting.
anyhoo, after chow Raj and I headed out to scout out some Kukuri Knife shops and just look around the city. I had a great time and was impressed with the fact that Raj had been on mount Everest as a sherpa and had photos and documents to prove it.
we went scouting around the Kathmandu valley and checked out the funeral pyres burning along the river, took a look at the royal palace and the police barracks then did a bit of shopping at a carpet store, I bought 3 rugs and shipped them back to the USA as gifts for friends.
It was getting late in the afternoon so I asked Raj if he was hungry and of course he was so we got some Nepali style grub and sat around talking about his adventures as a mountain guide and Sherpa.
After dinner I asked my new friend if he was interested in going for a bit of whisky or a beer, he said yes so we went to a local beer palace hidden on the back streets of Kathmandu. It turned out to be a Nepalese brothel with lots of patrons and working girls.
we drank Beer and whisky, ate food, danced, smoked all kinds of cigarettes talked to folks for about 6 hours in that place. I was getting a little hammered so I suggested to Raj that we depart the area so I could head to my room for sleep.
I was a little afraid of the Bill but it was not too bad - after all of the food, drinking etc. it was only about 14 bucks American.
Kathmandu seems to close down after dark so we wandered the streets back to my hotel seeing all through a mild alcoholic haze. upon arrival back at the Marco polo guest house I invited Raj to come up and share a drink on the roof of the hotel.
we passed by my room and snagged the bottle of whisky i had bought earlier in the day and headed to the roof to take a look.
In Kathmandu the stars were still shining bright regardless of the pollution and the city lights, My friend and I sat on the roof star gazing and talking about camping, our wives, friends, jobs etc. all the while polishing off my whisky.
after quite a while i woke up freezing my ass off still on the roof, apparently i had passed out , i looked about for my friend Raj and saw him in a similar state close by.
I tried to wake him up to no avail so I went to my room to get a blanket to throw over him before i went back to sleep myself. After sleeping for several hours I woke up and went to check on my friend Raj but he was gone.
We hooked up later in the day and took a tour of the Kukuri factory which makes these knives for the Famous Gurkha soldiers of the British, Indian and Nepalese armies.
The rest of my stay in Nepal was similar to the first day or so, touring, eating, drinking and just hanging out.
I had a great time there and plan to return to visit my Gurkha friends.
Ayo Gurkali !!
tomahawk signing out
Friday, August 21, 2009
I have always thought the Ghillie suit was interesting, I remember as a kid there was a Vietnam vet I got to know pretty well, he made a Ghillie suit out of burlap and string and used it for deer Hunting and "People watching" as he said.
I can remember the 1st time he demonstrated the functionality of the suit to me, it was late October in the Midwest USA and he simply walked into the woods wearing the suit and sat down.
He seemingly disappeared! In my personal experience at that time I really had to look and concentrate on finding my friend hiding in plain site. It was pretty cool to see.
anyway, here is a little info from wikipedia on the subject:
A ghillie suit, or yowie suit, is a type of camouflage clothing designed to resemble heavy foliage. Typically, it is a net or cloth garment covered in loose strips of cloth or twine, sometimes even made to look like leaves and twigs. Snipers and hunters may wear a ghillie suit to blend into their surroundings when they feel it is important for them to camouflage and hide themselves from enemies or their targets. The suit gives the wearer's outline a three-dimensional breakup, rather than a linear one. When manufactured correctly, the suit will move in the wind in the same way as surrounding foliage.
Ghillie suits have been used in military simulation and in milsim-themed paintball and airsoft games.
The name was derived from ghillie, the Gaelic for "servant", in English especially used to refer to those assisting in deer hunting or fly fishing expeditions in the Scottish Highlands. A Ghillie Dhu-Scots "Ghillie Dubh"-Irish, meaning 'Black/Dark Servant', is a faerie, a guardian spirit of the trees.
The ghillie suit was allegedly developed by Scottish gamekeepers as a portable hunting blind
High-quality ghillie suits are made by hand, most military snipers generally construct their own unique suits. Manufactured Ghillie suits can be anywhere from 1 to 4 pieces. Proper camouflage requires the use of natural materials present in the environment in which a sniper will operate. Making a ghillie suit from scratch is time-consuming, and a detailed, high-quality suit can take weeks or even months to manufacture and season for use.
Ghillie suits can be constructed in several different ways. Some military services make them of rough burlap flaps or jute twine attached to a poncho. United States military ghillie suits are often built using either a battle dress uniform (BDU), or a pilot's flight suit or some other one-piece coverall as the base.
On the base, rough webbing made of durable, stainable fabric like burlap is attached. A nearly invisible material like fishing line can be used to sew each knot of net to the fabric (often with a drop of glue for strength). The jute is applied to the netting by tying groups of 5 to 10 strands of a color to the netting with simple knots, skipping sections to be filled in with other colors. The webbing is then seasoned by dragging it behind a vehicle, leaving it to soak in mud, or even applying manure to make it smell "earthy." Once on location, the ghillie suit is customized with twigs, leaves, and other elements of the local foliage as much as possible, although these local additions must be changed every few hours, due to wilting of green grasses or branches.
Ghillie suits are essentially impossible to clean and actually work well if not cleaned. Although the underlying garments are tough and washable, the attachments tend to be too fragile to survive washing. In practice, this is a moot point, as dirt is an essential part of the suit's camouflage. Generally, snipers are unconcerned with being fastidious because they are rarely inspected for correctness of uniform, and they stay far away from the target.
A new generation of ghillie suits are being made with synthetic threads. The synthetic thread is much lighter than the natural jute or burlap. It is also somewhat washable, but washing the ghillie suit can often cause it to lose its abilities to blend in with the environment.
Although highly effective, ghillie suits are impractical for many situations where camouflage is useful. They tend to be very heavy and hot. Even in moderate climates, the temperature inside of the ghillie suit can soar to over 50 °C (120 °F). The burlap is also flammable, unless treated with fire retardant, and the wearer may be exposed to ignition sources such as smoke grenades and white phosphorus.
To enhance safety, the US Army Soldier Systems Center has developed an inherently fire resistant (FR) ghillie suit fabric to replace the jute or burlap. This new material does not need to be treated with any additional flame retardant, as the fire resistance is inherent in the product and the FR ghillie suit fabric will self extinguish. This material was successfully field tested in late 2007 at the Sniper School at Fort Benning, and has been standard issue since June 2008.
They are a full set of clothing trousers top and hood.
Tomahawk - scouts out!
Bert "Yank" Levy
This guy is kind of off of the Adventure travel/survival subject but I recently purchased a copy of his book on guerilla warfare and it has some psudo wilderness skill in it , ie., caomflage, cover/consealment, movement at night etc.
I also found a 1942 Life magazine which featured Yank and it had a picture of his knife collection. I found it interesting that he had the some of the same knives as myself and some of you.
anyhoo, here is a little info about the man and a few pics too. Also follow the attached link to view a scan of the Guerilla warfare book written by Yank.
Bert “Yank” Levy, by Phil Matthews
The Combatives Freedom Fighter
Levy Sentry Removal Technique NARA
“Yank” Levy was by far one of the most interesting characters of the war to instruct
Allied Troops in Close Combat techniques. This short article attempts to give a brief
overview of some of the biographical details that have been found.
A Jewish Canadian by birth Bert Levy was born in the city of Hamilton in Ontario
Canada on the 5th of October, 1897. His parents moved to Cleveland, Ohio in the
United States when he was three months old and he appeared to have the normal
schooling of an American child of the time. Although Levy?s father Sam was a
chauffeur and printer at age eighteen young Levy joined the Merchant Navy and
travelled the world as an engine stoker. The year was 1916, after working for
approximately a year he arrived in Palestine where he disembarked and joined the 39 Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. There is some debate that Levy fought with the Jewish
Legion in Palestine but on this my findings are unclear, I?d love to know more.
Levy fought with the Fusiliers from 1918 to 1919 throughout Palestine and Jordan. It
is likely that it was there that he first learned of one of his later heros, the celebrated
British guerrilla fighter T.E Lawrence (most commonly known as Lawrence of
Guerrilla warfare was at that time something of an unknown (and often despised)
quantity amongst the Army of the British Empire. It went totally against the “rules of
war” they adhered to.
Against overwhelming and formidable odds from Turkish and German troops
Lawrence managed to raise a guerrilla band of Arab tribesmen who harried raided,
ambushed and sabotaged that enemy occupied country out of all proportion to their
Lawrence later wrote a book which he entitled “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”
(recommended reading) about these exploits, from his being in that area at the time I
cannot help but feel that the spirit and tactics captivated the young Levy.
As soon as his duties with the Fusiliers had finished he made his way back to
America, filled with youthful enthusiasm he travelled and was involved in a lot of
adventures (and mis-adventures) in Central and Southern America.
In the 1920’s and 30’s he was breaking Government blockades as a gun runner and a
soldier of fortune in such countries as Nicaragua and Mexico. Some of his
experiences he later put to pen in order to aid others but in this I’m getting ahead of
The 1920s were a time of youthful optimism to an international generation which had
experienced the horrors of the First World War. Revolution in the South American
states was endemic and there were many opportunities for the adventurous and
idealistic of the time.
Narrowly escaping death on a number of occasions Levy returned to the United
States, unfortunately as happens with many impressionable young men he fell in with
“the wrong crowd”. Deported from the US after serving six years in prison for armed
robbery (something in his life he would always regret) the older and wiser Levy took
to travelling and next made his appearance in Spain in the late 1930s. The decade is
best remembered for its period of huge financial insecurity and loss, best known in the
United States as “The Depression” it had far reaching implications for the rest of the
Extreme politics have a habit of developing in such trying times; this was true of
Germany and also in Spain. A Military coup by the Spanish Army sparked a massive
civil war as the population fractioned into right against left wing. The Fascist right
wing faction was headed by an officer named General Franco who tried to set himself
up as a Nationalist Dictator. The opposing left wing was a side composed of nominal
Spanish communists and a rag tag bag of nationals, intellectuals and, more
importantly for us -the Internationals.
Inspired by the war against fascist tyranny many young men from countries all over
the world had heard the cry for help and responded. Not only was this a battle against
a Dictator backed by the German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler it was felt it was the “thin
edge of the wedge” against it?s doctrines spreading to the rest of the world.
At that time Italy was run by the Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini and even in Britain
the British Union of Fascists run by Oswald Mosley was gaining in support and
It was a time of hope and idealism; many had thought the absolute nightmare of the
First World War had done away with the peoples need for war. In latter times
however others would say that the war in Spain was a direct warning that the world
should have been heeded more closely to the rise of Fascism.
The International Brigades were formed from volunteers from many countries,
individuals who had not only travelled to Spain from their respective countries but
managed to make it through the lines.
As an English speaker Levy managed to join the British Company of the
Internationals, here he distinguished himself via his prior experience in war.
Becoming an officer in the British Machine Gun Battalion he gained his lifelong
nickname of “Yank”.
Involved with many of those in the fight he also found himself meeting someone who
would later change his life totally, a man by the name of Thomas Wintringham who
was his battalion commander.
After just over a year of fighting Levy was captured after he was wounded in the
battle at Jarama. He spent the next six months of his life as a Prisoner of War in a
horrific camp; luckily for him the Canadian Government raised mighty protests at his
treatment and arranged for him to be released. As soon as he had regained his health
he tried to return to the fighting in Spain. All too soon though the resistance there was
Despite the bravery and heroism of the Spanish freedom fighters and the International
Brigades that cause was lost.
The War Years
The War with Nazi Germany was looming and some concerned persons who had
experienced their brutality first hand were planning.
Tom Wintringham was a Communist who had friends in high places, in 1939 and
early 1940 he set about planning a school for guerrilla warfare to teach others to resist
the Nazi Invader. At a property donated by the estate of the then Earl of Jersey and
financed by a Mr Edward Hulton (Owner of the Picture Post) the Osterley Park
School for the Home Guard Training Centre opened in June 1940.
Just as SOE learned, finding Instructors with relevant knowledge was a hard thing.
Wintringham had from his days with the International brigades known many people
with direct experience of Guerrilla Warfare, most however were dead or in Spanish
Of the remaining veterans three Spanish ex-miners (who had a great knowledge of
using explosives against Tanks, Troops and buildings) were signed up.
The majority of the remainder of the Instructors were also veterans of the Spanish
Civil War, however they were so short staffed at Osterley at one point that Boy Scouts
were employed to show how to set up wire ambushes across roads to decapitate
Highly skilled and knowledgeable the Instructors may have been the fact that they had
fought in the Spanish Civil War was ultimately the Schools undoing despite its
The school was in operation from June until September 1940, it was then taken over
by the War Office and later in October moved to another location.
The training was run over the weekends (Sat/Sun) so the Home Guard members didn’t
have to run the problems getting time off their work. I have found this to be the case
for the majority of Home Guard and even Aux Unit training courses. The difference
here is the attendance figures.
I?ve never been good at mathematics but bear with me here.
According to the noted Home Guard researcher David Caroll ?nearly five thousand
officers and men from the Home Guard? (who were attending courses lasting only
two days) benefited from the instructors “personal experience and expertise”.
Here’s the math (for the mathematically illiterate like me)
3 months equates to approximately 12 weekends (approx)
5000 trainees divided by 12 weekend equals 416.6 trainees per weekend (approx)
According to Charles Graves in his official account of the Home Guard the total was
4, 940…. this leaves us with a total of 411.6 trainees per weekend.
Either way that means that over 400 members of the Home Guard (and others) were
turning up for each weekend course offered by the Osterley staff. If you consider that
this was at a time when travel wasn?t as widespread as it is now, where petrol
rationing was in force and the people attending were engaged on essential war work
the majority of the time it really is staggering!
The War Office and the “Establishment” saw this and were worried, the popularity of
the training school showed just how much interest there was in the subject and how
little “official” training was going on.
They did what they usually do in such cases, if you can’t destroy its credibility then
absorb it, make it part of the establishment?.
It was taken over for the duration, Tom Wintringham was out -the Spanish miners
were still there but the War Office had made a Lieutenant Col Pollock Commanding
Officer. Other Instructors who were found to not be reliable (politically -because they
were of left wing backgrounds) were quietly removed also.
Levy had only taught at the school for one month but the War Office recognised his
great knowledge and depth of practical experience and kept him on, teaching at the
War Office No.1 School and other places.
Levy had been employed at Osterley as a jobbing Instructor, that is to say he had a
wide range of skills and could lecture on many subjects of Guerrilla Warfare.
Covering for any shortage or gap in instruction his main lecturing subject was
however Knife Fighting and Hand to Hand Combat.
After training the British Home Guard for around fifteen months after the Osterley
School had closed, Levy was then officially “lent” by the War Office to the United
States Army. The fact that the US Government ?overlooked? the fact he had been
convicted and deported shows again just how short they were of experienced
instructors. As one newspaper wrote
He was so good at his “art” that the United States brought him here from England
during WW2 as an instructor, despite the fact that he had been deported in 1933
after serving six years for armed robbery.
Levy was a man who couldn’t waste his time; he also had little time for the people
who had treated his comrades? in arms so badly. In his time in England training the
Home Guard he had written his master piece on Guerrilla Warfare which had a
forward from Tom Wintringham. Published by Penguin in the United Kingdom and
by a joint collaboration between Penguin and the Infantry Journal in the United States
Levy spent the remainder of his War Instruction on a lecture circuit. He trained many
soldiers, sailors and civilians in the subjects he know so well. He also made the cover
of many American magazines including Life Magazine in 1942.
Levy updated his book on Guerrilla Warfare several times until his death. I have two
of the editions (the 1941 United Kingdom and United States versions), other updated
versions were written. If you can get a cheap copy of his book I recommend it, it’s a
great work written by someone who really researched his craft. It also gives a good
insight as to how desperate Britain was back then. If anyone else has a version I don’t
have and they want to e-mail which edition they’ve got maybe we can work out how
many they made and what differences there are.
Levy was teaching his methods of close quarter combat in isolation from other
instructors from that time as far as I have been able to discover. As I’ve already
explained I’d love to know more.
The book he wrote was first published by Penguin in Britain and then in the US in a
joint venture with the publishing company Infantry Journal. The latter edition was
more illustrated than the original but the text remained the same. There are some leads
to suggest that it was privately reprinted again in 1954 but the next generally available
reprint was in 1964 by the fledgling Panther Publications. The Vietnam War had
just begun, as a result the US radical and civil disobedient movements also began.
Guerrilla Warfare had a new reader base by both soldier and civilian again. A new
introduction was added by the author of “Modern Guerrilla Warfare” Franklin Mark
Osanka. Osanka was an expert in techniques of fighting Communist Guerrilla
Movements, Panther were later renamed Paladin Press and the book was a high
seller for many years. Levy was a very interesting man and left a long legacy.
At the age of 67 after suffering from illness Bert Yank Levy died on the 9TH of
Recently I had the opportunity do do a little fishing along the sun river in Montana before leaving for Thailand/Philippines.
I hired a Fishing guide I knew from my days of working as a Hunting guide and outfitter in Montana. I was met at the airport by my guide and after a short stop to buy an out of state fishing License we drove about 3 hours north to the sun river near the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
The “Bob” as the locals call it is the largest road less area in the lower 48 states. My Guide and I arrived at our camping area and immediately began fishing; we both caught several nice fish right away.
There are several fish species which inhabit the Rivers of Montana that are extremely fun to catch and taste pretty good to.
Over the next 2 nights and 3 days we caught our limit of Arctic greyling, Cut throught, Brown, and rainbow trout. We cooked our catch of fish each night over the fire on hot rocks, and they tasted great. On our last day on the river we were treated to a bear sighting. There was a small Black Bear swimming across the Sun River right near where were fishing.
All in All it was worth the money and made my trip back to the USA seem worthwhile.
If you are ever going to decide to take a trip to or travel around in the USA go to Montana, the Big Sky Country is worth the trip.
Posted by pathfindertom at 3:38 AM
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Covering the 4 essentials of wilderness survival
When lost in the wilderness there are four things you will need to survive. when you find yourself lost in the wilderness areas of the world the first thing you need to do is stay calm, dont wander around in a panic and get your self more lost. sit down, think things over, inventory your equipment and make a plan.
the 1st thing you will need to do is make a shelter, it is the #1 most important element in survival. a shelter will protect you from the elements like snow, wind, rain, heat etc. and also will help protect you from possible preditors, and keep you off of the ground depending on the type of shelter you build.
If you have a tent or bivvy shelter in your gear that is perfect, but chances are you will be out with little or no gear so there are several shelter options you can choose from depending on your location.
you can look for natural shelters like rock over hangs and fallen trees etc. other options include a squirrel type shelter made of sticks and leaves, a lean to made from sticks and loose bark. remember to insulate yourself from the ground also by covering the floor of your shelter with grass , leaves, ferns or other types of soft vegetation.
water is the 2nd priority you need to take care of in a survival situation. you can go for 3 days without water, in most jungle or temperate climates water can be found fairly easily, you will need to purify it most times and that can be done by boiling it if you do not have purification tabs in your personal survival kit.
water just needs to come to a rolling boil to make it drinkable, no need to boil it 5 mins. there are also vines in the forest which will yield water if you cut them correctly. Thistle plants will also give you a refreshing bit of moisture, just scrape off the spikes and chew the stems for the moisture then spit out the pulp.
It is a fantasy that cactus will provide water, in fact most cacti are toxic to a certain extent. avoid trying to extract moisture from cactus, it is a waste of time and energy.
you can also look for water that has collected in rock deperssions and in the hollows of trees.
If in the desert look for the green indicator plants in washes and dry river beds, these patches of green will be easy to spot in the desert. if in a dry river bed look for the lowest area in the bend of the river bed and dig down until you find moist sand/dirt, dig a little deeper and see if it beging to fill with water. if you get lucky and find water in the river bed you can soak it up with a piece of cloth like a bandanna or a sock then ring it out into your mouth.
another way to get water is to walk through a dew wet field of grass and collect the water in your clothing then wring it out into a container.
there are numerous ways to make a fire in the outdoors, chances are you will have a lighter or matches on you when out in the woods if not, you can make a fire fairly easily with the bow and drill method of fire making
A B&D set consists of 5 components;
1. Tinder bundle - can be made out of any combustable materials that have been softened, I like to use cotton wood cambium or juniper bark. Other materials I have made into tinder bundles include milk weed and dog bane fibers, grass, aspen cambium etc. there are countless things to be found in the outdoors that will work.
You can also add extra combustibles to your tinder bundle if you cannot find enough of one type of material, things like thistle or cattail down, birch bark, and pine pitch are excellent fillers.
2. spindle(or Drill) - the spindle for your personal should be about as big around as your thumb and as long as your hand and should be made from a wood that can be easily dented with your thumb nail. Good types of wood in North America are Alder, cedar/juniper, sycamore, cotton wood, or willow.
3. fire board - the board is made from the same material as the spindle and needs to be about 2 fingers wide, 1 finger thick , and about as long as your foot.
4. Bow - your bow can be made of any type of wood you like but it needs to be from arm pit to finger tip in length. some folks like a flexible bow with an acute bow in it but I prefer a straighter stiffer bow with no flex.
5. socket, (bearing block, top rock etc) sockets can be made from deer antler, Cow bone, various hard woods or stone.
going without food is uncomfortable but a human can go without food for 3 weeks of more depending on their metabolism. in a short term (say 72 hour) survival situation you can easily go without eating.
it would be better to concentrate on improving your , finding water of making a fire then to waste energy on food.
buy Edibles can easily be found in the summer if you know where to look.
everything that walks, swims, flies or crawls can be eaten. if you have fishing gear in your personal survival kit you can set out trot lines or try bank fishing. scout along the streams and look for other animals like cray fish (craw daddys), or fresh water mussels.
snakes, birds, rabbits, marmots, squirrels etc. can be killed with a simple stick or club. you can throw it at the desired animal in a spinneng motion to make a quick kill. The aboriginies of australia use the boomerang to the same effect. Southwestern native americans use a rabbit stick in a similar fashion as the boomerang.
PERSONAL SURVIVAL KIT:
your PSK will depend on where you live and the type of wilderness environment you venture into. when putting your kit togeather remember the 4 essential of survival and go from there. your kit should be small enough to fit easily into a pocket or belt pouch. some useful items in a kit should include;
Shelter: space blanket(or 2)
Water: metal cup for boiling water and water purification tabs (aqua tabs)
Fire: Lighter (or 2),or matches in a water proof container, other options include a metal match (ferrocium rod), candle, small tinder bundle of natural fibers, trioxane fuel tabs, fire ribbon or other types of commercially available tinder.
Food: hard candies are a good choice, bullion cubes, power bars or chocolate bars, instant soup mix, coffee, tea, sugar packets, salt packets etc.
some 1st aid items like extra strength pain killers, bandaids and a few banges with adhesive tape are a good idea.
A signal mirror, small sewing kit, fishing gear, and a whistle are also excellent chioces for a personal kit
invest in a good knife like a swiss army knife(SAK) that has 2 cutting blades and a saw on it, avoid the heavy and difficult to use multi tools. You will find that the saw on the SAK is the best tool you can have for shelter building.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Folks, just a quick note to let you all know I will be offline for about 2 weeks.
I'm heading to Thailand to meet up with another piratical world traveler and we plan to head north to explore the mountains and Fish the Mekong river, after that? I'm not sure but the world is my oyster.
Ill collect new info and travel tips to post here.
Don't worry...., Ill be back!!
Packing list, Thailand trip:
I'm going for an undetermined amount of time so I'm packing heavy, I will cache some (most) of my gear at my buddies penthouse in Bangkok before I catch the train to Chiang Mai
Equinox extreme duffel bag
Old Northface "Crag dancer" back pack
2 lowe side pockets
cheap walmart tent
crazy creek chair
therma rest pad
wiggy brand poncho liner
1 small dry bag
several pair of socks
511 pants (black)
columbia river pants
columbia river shorts
1 tomahawk brand short sleeve adventure shirt
1 patagonia short sleeve shirt
1 long sleeve shirt(lands end)
4 t shirts
light work gloves
2 ball caps
green river knife
Case brand "hobo" knife
swiss army knife with a saw
Boker brand whittling knife with 4 blades
mini mag flash light
8 spare batteries
emergency sewing kit
wrist rocket sling shot with extra rubbers and 00 buck ammo
canteen cup with lid and spoon
zippo lighter, cigarette case (nope, i don't smoke but carry it for my guides etc. who like ciggies)
2 cartons of Marlborough ciggies
leather cigar case
silk maps of Thailand
4 bandannas (various colors)
custom Made metal match given to me by a generous friend
granfors bruks mini hatchet
large zip lock bag filled with Folgers instant coffee
1 nalgene bottle (1 liter)
2 liter canteen i put the cover on(see post)
wad of misc foreign currency
all of this weighs 48 pounds , I was aiming to keep my gear under the 50 pound limit most airlines have.