More From American Family Survival — Great Tips

Self Defense With A Blade

When we talk about self-defense, we tend to talk about using a gun, usually a pistol. I do so as well, as I’ve carried concealed for years. But while the gun is an excellent self-defense tool, it’s not the only thing out there.

By and large, gun owners and especially those of us who carry concealed, disparage using other, “lesser” weapons. The general idea is that if we have a gun, why bother with anything else? But there are times when we may need to rely on some other sort of weapon; such as when we are someplace where we aren’t allowed to take our guns with us.

Besides that, using a gun can be seen as “overkill” all too easily. We’ve all seen how the police have been chastised for using guns against armed individuals. One of the more common complaints is that “They didn’t need to kill them.” To some extent that’s true and it’s why more and more police are carrying taser guns in addition to their duty sidearm.

You and I might not be carrying those taser guns (they’re bulky, so hard to conceal), but we can carry a knife. Knives are just about as deadly as a pistol at close range, in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing. Even so, they present the image of using a “less deadly” weapon, when you have a pistol available to you.

There are a couple of valid reasons why few of us bother carrying a fighting knife, along with our guns. Other than the disdain I mentioned above, it takes a whole other set of training and skills to use a fighting knife, than what it does to shoot a gun. There’s also a widely shared idea that it is easy to get seriously injured in a knife fight. Kind of strange if you ask me, as many of the same people don’t think they will get injured in a fight with pistols.

Let’s see if we can do something about the difficulty of fighting with a knife.

First of all, I’m going to assume that if you’re fighting someone with a knife, it’s because they are using a knife or some lesser weapon. Hopefully you’ll never face off against someone with a gun, when all you’ve got is a knife.

While any knife can be used in a fight, you’re best off with a fixed-blade knife. That way, there’s less risk of the knife breaking and no risk of the blade lock failing, allowing it to close on your hand. If you can, you want a double-edged knife, but if not, then at least one with a good point. Don’t go for the sharp point of a dagger though, but rather a spear point, as the sharp point can break. The only really good sharp pointed knife that is good for fighting (rather than playing assassin) is the karambit. But that takes time to master.

To fight with that knife, keep your focus on the opponent’s knife blade. That’s what you’re fighting, not his body. It’s that blade you must stop, as that’s what they will use to hurt you.

Here’s the secret; rather than trying to attack your opponent’s body, stabbing it, attack their arm. Cut it as many times as you can, in as many places as you can. That will either make them drop the knife, switch knife hands, or just give up. At the least, a small cut will make them more cautious, giving you the advantage.

Enough cuts, even small cuts, will give you the victory. But the other part is making sure that you don’t get cut at the same time. Your focus on their blade will help in this regard as well, as you will see any move they make, rather than them slipping the knife in when your attention is elsewhere.

Spot threats in the pitch blackness with the Tac Vision Night Vision Binocular.

The Easiest Way To Snare Food…

Living off the land is challenging, at best. In reality, it will probably be almost impossible to do in a post-disaster world where many others are trying to do so as well. Yet in most of our minds, hunting to feed ourselves has a certain romantic appeal. Of course, as much as some of us would like it, you really can’t live off of meat alone, especially lean game meat. We need carbohydrates, fats and vitamins as well.

Nevertheless, the idea of hunting for food is a lot more appealing to most, than the idea of gathering edible plants. But ask any hunter, and finding a deer to kill isn’t all that easy. You might be better of hunting some rancher’s cattle, assuming the rancher doesn’t shoot back at you.

But the majority of the food available in the wild isn’t big game, it’s small game. Most small game are actually rodents, which makes them prolific breeders. That’s good, considering how many species depend on them for food. It’s also good for us in a survival scenario, as we can usually find small game much easier than large game. Granted, they don’t have a lot of meat on their bones, but it’s something.

One of the easiest types of small game to find is squirrels. Those cute little animals with the bushy tails are really not that much different than a rat, although much more pleasant to look at. How many times have we been amused by watching them scamper through the trees, collecting food for winter?

Yet those scampering little acrobats might just be one of the most prolific food sources in the wild, especially in some parts of the country. All we need to do is find some way of setting snares to catch the little critters. That might seem difficult, as most snare designs are designed for setting on the ground, not setting up in a tree; and squirrels don’t seem to spend all that much time on the ground.

Here we need to use a little squirrel psychology. Although squirrels seem to be very industrious fellows, they are, in fact, just as lazy as us humans are. Part of their great energy comes from the fact that they move efficiently, always looking for the easiest way to go. So they won’t try to climb a trunk straight up as far as they can, they’ll take a turn off at the first available branch, working their way up that easier pathway.

We can put that tidbit of information to good use in constructing our snares. If we provide the squirrels with an easier path to take, they’ll most likely take it, even if it is unfamiliar. Leaning a cut off or fallen off branch against a tree, either against the trunk or against a lower branch provides that easier path.

Now comes the snare. I like using guitar strings for this, specifically acoustic guitar strings. However, you can use normal snare wire if you prefer. The reason I like the guitar strings is that they have a small metal donut in the end, which makes it easy to form a loop.

Make a 3” loop out of the guitar string and suspend it directly over the branch, tying the rest of the string firmly to the branch. When a squirrel comes along, running up the branch, their head will go into the loop, which will tighten around their neck. Once they reach the end of whatever slack there is in the wire, they’ll fall off the branch, hanging themselves.

You can even put several snares on the same branch. Squirrels aren’t the smartest critters around and seeing their cousin hanging from your noose won’t stop other squirrels from using the same branch. If you have additional snares in place, you could catch several squirrels.

Carry the Tac Staff on that trek home….

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