Lately my Blogs have grown long and pretty serious. This week I will try to refrain from both. I think its time that we lighten up a bit. But if you guys have anything that you would like us to do some research about and throw into a blog, leave us a comment. For that matter, if you just like what we have already done, leave us a comment too. Video ideas? How about you leave us a comment? Maybe I should do a review on shovels, for all the digging I’m doing for a comment here folks. I want to keep the Post World Patriot fire burning, and as much as I like to run my unfiltered mouth through my finger tips, I want to write about something that interests you. And if you are already a loyal reader of my nonsense, and you appreciate what we are doing as a PWP community, then share us with your friends. As we learn more together and we grow as a family, we all get closer to true enlightenment. But as for now your just going to get good ol’ fashioned run-on, over-hyphenated, Grant speak. lets let-er-rip tater-chip!
Hank Williams Jr. said that all you need is a shotgun, a rifle, and a 4 wheel drive and a country boy can survive… And that’s one hell of a starter kit. But you and I both know that that’s just the tip of the iceberg, Cool beans, you got a rifle and you shot a deer for food, but how are you going to clean and butcher it without a knife? I don’t know if you have ever tried to clean a critter with a shotgun or a 4 wheel drive, but it ain’t easy brother! (Notice I said it ain’t easy, I never said it was impossible 😉 ) So what I am going to do is go through my list of mandatory items for survival. Yes I will start with the the trinity ,with explanations for each, But then I will add a few of my own.
- Shotgun. Everyone needs a shotgun. Period. Some will say that a shotgun is grossly overrated as a weapon, to that I would simply say “prove it”. A shotgun is one of the most versatile weapons ever created, even without the ability to aim every single pellet individually, a shotgun lays a swath of destruction that almost nothing can compete with. Shotguns bank on the laws of averages and math. Without going to far into multiple-hit theory and cumulative-kinetic energy, lets just agree that even a load of #8’s out of your lowly shot-sucker is pretty impressive. And name me another weapon that can be used for as many purposes. From hummingbirds, to home defense to charging bears (with proper shot selection of coarse), its pretty hard to find a match for a good shotgun.
- Rifle. Those that spend any amount of time in the great outdoors, know the true value of a rifle. From gathering food, to protecting the homestead from vermin(be they 4 legged or 2) its hard to beat a good rifle. Especially if you own a rifle in an easy to find caliber. In selling firearms, I have sold literally hundreds of rifles, In every caliber from .17 hmr to .50 Bmg, but the caliber that I sold the most of was the good ol’ 30-06 springfield. Why? Well it has been said that the aught 6 is about the most recoil that the average shooter can handle, And to an extent I can agree. I personally have quite a few rifles that kick harder, but for a new shooter the 110 year old cartridge seems to cover just about every situation. With standard bullet weight from 150-220 grains, everything walking the north american continent (save for the largest of coastal bears) is fair game. And the ammo is still reasonable priced, and readily available. Everyone should own at least one rifle…for each member of there family… in each caliber. Oh boy here I go again.
- 4-Wheel drive.Maybe my opinion is just super skewed because I live in North Idaho, But I cannot imagine owning a vehicle that isn’t 4-wheel drive. I know someone will come out of the wood work and say that a good front wheel drive car with studded snow tires can go almost anywhere that a 4×4 will. The imperative word in that statement is “almost”, Yes a front wheel drive car does better on the snow and ice then a real wheel drive car does, but lets be honest here, do you really believe that your 2010 Honda civic will go anyplace that my 1993 Ford F-350 crewcab 4×4 will? Sure my truck can get stuck just like anything else, but it has 2 things going for it that are hard to replace: Ground clearance, and 4 tires pushing me where I want to go. “But I live in California, and I have no need for a big gas sucking truck” Yes you do, you should trade in your Prius, and get a truck, then load all of your belongings into it, then move out of California. Quality of life greatly improved just by buying a truck. Funny how stuff like that works.
- A Good Knife. Ok you will probably want more then one, but lets start off with one. A good knife is a tool that it is almost impossible to live without.From cleaning critters to making dinner, a knife is a must have. A good fixed blade knife is hard to beat, They range in price from $35 dollars to pretty much as much as you would want to spend. Think of it as an investment, if you buy a solid knife made with quality components (quality steel blade, quality handle material etc) and you take care of it (keep the blade sharp and free of rust) it will outlast you and provide many lifetimes of service.
- A .22 lr. Everyone needs a .22, from honing your skills at the target range, to use as a hunting instrument, a .22 lr. (pistol or rifle) is really hard to beat. Even with the elevated prices that have now become standard on ammo, the .22 is still pretty reasonable to shoot, and it is still probably one of the easiest calibers to introduce a new shooter with. Plus they are just a ton of fun, its amazing the accuracy that you can muster out of such a tiny cartridge. Everyone remembers there first .22, and all of the adventures they had because of them. Why do we all throw one in when we head up into the woods? Because its tradition, and just in case you get stopped by the country boy inspector, you don’t want to get demoted for that one.
- A Chainsaw. No Self-respecting red blooded American, would even consider themselves a country boy without a good chainsaw. Just saying chainsaw makes me smile, I recorded the sound of my chainsaw and I use it as the ringer on my phone for petes sake! I had a hand me down McCulloch pro mac 10-10 for years, it was given to my Dad 40-some-odd years ago by a guy who worked at the factory. That saw is HEAVY, but it always starts on the third pull, and in all the years of service, we have never even had to change a plug on it. Just sharpen the chain and cut. But last year I decided to make the investment and get a newer saw. I ended up getting a lightly used (were talking all of the stickers from Ace hardware store are still intact and still on the original factory air filter and plug) Stihl MS290. I know that the 290 is not a pro-level saw, but holy nuggets man, the new saws are awesome. With a 20″ bar and a 55.5 cc motor, the saw rips. anytime I head up in the woods I throw my saw in, it doesn’t matter how good your 4-wheel drive is, if there is a big log across the road, your adventure is over.
- A Pistol. You need a pistol, there is no way around it. caliber isn’t as important as some would lead you to believe, but a quality pistol is definitely a good investment towards your country boy merit badge. Be it a revolver, or a semi-auto it doesn’t matter. Just get one that you love, carry it always and shoot it constantly. If you hunt, a sidearm (in my mind at least) is a necessity, not only for personal protection, but also for dispatching game humanely. If you have ever tried to deliver the coup de grace from close range with a .338 Win mag you will know what I mean.
- A decent fishing pole. If only once in your life, buy a decent fishing pole. Not that there is anything wrong with a store assembled combo, but there is something special about searching out the correct rod for you. I personally like a 7′ 2-piece medium spinning rod, and a decent midsize spinning reel that holds a fair amount of 10-12 pound test line. I want it to balance well, be light enough to be able to cast it all day, but have enough backbone to be able to horse pike or bigger bass off of the bottom. If you primarily fish for pan fish (perch, crappy, blue gill etc.) you may want a lighter profile rod with extra length for casting smaller lures, if you primarily target catfish you may want a heavy weight rod that is built for presenting huge baits on the bottom. No matter what you target you owe it to yourself to use the right equipment, you wouldn’t use your kid’s sled and try to qualify for Olympic bobsled, the same can be said for using a down-rigger combo to ice fish. Can you do it? Sure. Would it be more enjoyable with the right gear? You bet.
Maybe all you really need is a shotgun, rifle, and a four wheel drive, but if I’m going, I’m gonna be loaded for bear, There are plenty of other things that I would have liked to put on my country boy list, I love my ATV, and don’t get me started on bows, arrows, muzzle loaders, air-boats, brush burners, loud guitars, a good dog and mud tires, but that’s just me I guess. The most important factor in country boy survival is (and always has been) the want to survive. Be proactive in your quest for knowledge, be prepared, and surround yourself with others that are striving for the same goal. Learn from, and teach each other daily, become well rounded, and most off all never lose your drive, not only to survive, but to thrive.
-Grant Willoughby 07/17/2016-