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How to Find Antler Sheds

SHED HUNTING TIPS & TRICKS FROM TEAMGWG

 

Whitney Vau

Shed Season: January – March

Location: Northern California

What To Bring:

-Good boots (I like good ankle support and waterproof)

-Comfortable clothing/layers

-Binoculars and harness strap

-Backpack (I like wearing one that allows me to strap sheds onto it, like this Kali pack from Badlands)

-Water

-Snacks

Wilderness Athlete Hydrate & Recover, Energy & Focus packets

  1. Locate where the deer herds winter (December-March)
  2. Scout out good public land or ask property owners for permission to shed hunt their land
  3. Plan for several hours of hiking to cover a lot of terrain.
  4. Search heavily used deer trails, open hillsides and at entry into the trees/woods where loose horns can be knocked off, and creeks or drainages that deer may jump over
  5. Use binoculars to glass open areas, you can cover more ground this way!
  6. Zig zag side hill instead of straight uphill to save energy and cover more ground
  7. If you find an area with a lot of drop horns chances are you can return every year and find fresh ones
  8. Use your sheds as décor or for jewelry making. Just go onto Pinterest or Etsy or Google search and I’m sure you will find a lot of ideas!

 

Follow along with Whitney’s adventures here.

Lea Leggitt

I have been shed hunting since I was just a little tike and I automatically fell in love with it. Over the years I have learned a lot of tips and tricks to shed hunting. I could spend all day talking about the topic but I am just going to share my three biggest tips.

1. Know where to look. This may sound silly but there are actually better places than others to find sheds. Some great places to look are near creek crossings and fence crossings. This is because if they jump either of these they could possibly drop a shed right there. Another great place to look is on the south facing slopes. This is because there is less snow because it is melted and is easier to travel.

2. Always come prepared. By this I don’t only mean bring water and good shoes I also mean bring a pack and any tools you may need while on your adventure. It is no fun hiking around the hills with your arms full of antlers, you’d much rather pack them on your back. Also bring string incase your backpack doesn’t have clips or straps. I always pack a multi tool, snacks, rain gear, maps and maybe even a GPS if I know I am going to cover some ground. You can never be over prepared when out in the woods.

3. Be respectful of the land and animals. This one is just plain common sense but I know there are many people who don’t think about all of this. During shed hunting animals may also be calving so it is good to try not to destroy beds or push deer. I tend to wait till later in the season around mid March to start my hiking adventures for this reason.

There are my three tips for all the shed hunters out there. For more info, tips and stories check out MAC Outdoors latest podcastwhere my mom and I talk about this years shed season. Be sure to have fun and stay safe and don’t forget to share your ATL (As They Lay) pictures!

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Which Rabbit is Best to Eat?


I get asked this question all the time “What rabbit breed is the best for a self sustaining homestead? Well that depends on what you are looking to do with your rabbits!

This is the first question you need to ask yourself. Do you want really nice pelts but also some good meat, Do want a high production New Zealand White to pump out 6+ litters a year of good healthy meat for your family. Most medium sized rabbits will work! Rex’s have some of the best pelts around! Their awsome fur is in the highest demand of all the other rabbit pelts available, They also have a good body type for meat, they will take a little longer than most “Meat Breeds” to get up to harvest weight. I raise Silver Foxes and their pelts and meat producing ability tops some of the best NZW I have seen. Satins, another meat/pelt breed I raise, I did a post on this breed in the December archives, Check it out for more on this breed (Great dual purpose rabbit for the homestead), The New Zealand White, Californian, American, Chinchillas, Creme/Champagne D Argent’s, and so, so, many more.

So I put together a list and a little background with each breed. If i missed any breeds, sorry. But let me know and I will add them in this post! One of the hardest things about getting started in rabbitry is deciding what breed of rabbits to raise. There are 30+ breeds, so do some research before you choose. Once you know what type you’re interested in, study up on that breed until you can remember all its characteristics.

AMERICAN- Like many American people, the American breed rabbit is a combination of immigrants welded together by blood to become a distinctly different and American creation. At least three different breeds of rabbit were used. The heritage of this rabbit can be noticed just by looking at it! You can see the Flemish, the Vienna, and the Imperial in the mandolin shape of the American rabbit. The American rabbit is a multi-purpose animal developed for meat and fur. They come in two colors of blue and white. This rabbit is on the threatened list and if you want to help a breed get back up in numbers this is one to try!

AMERICAN CHINCHILLA- The American Chinchilla rabbit was developed as a dual purpose rabbit used for meat, and fur. The American Chinchilla is actually listed as critically endangered by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and like most rare breeds the only way to save them is to use them for what their original purpose was! As an efficient rabbit for fur and meat! Its body type has a desirable meat style, with a deep loin and broad shoulders.

AMERICAN SABLE- American Sable rabbits are basically the same rabbit as American Chinchilla rabbits, except for the difference in coloring. The coat of an American Sable is characterized by a rich sepia brown on the ears, face, back, legs, and upper side of their tail. The saddle and underside fur color fades from the sepia brown to a paler shade of brown. Their eyes are brown and show a ruby red glow in reflected light. American Chinchilla are considered a desirable meat, with a deep loin and broad shoulder. Weighting 9-12 lbs. They also enjoyed for their thick, soft fur. It is listed as critically endangered heritage animal.

BLANC D’ HOTOT- is considered a dual purpose breed (pet and meat) weighing 8 -11 lbs

CINNAMONS- Were cross bred into creation by accident. During the Easter season of 1962 2 kids given a young Chinchilla doe. Later they received a New Zealand buck. They crossbred these two for babies that their father, believed should be used for meat but the young children begged their father to keep one of the crossbred bucks as a family pet. The children joined the 4-h group and used their crossbred meat rabbits as their project. They were then given an unwanted Checkered Giant and a crossed Californian doe which they mated with the pet buck and in this litter was a russet shaded rabbit. They again bred the Checkered was mated to the same buck and another rusty colored rabbit appeared so the Cinnamon was born! They are considered a commercial breed.

CALIFORNIAN- This breed is a cross of New Zealand Whites bred to a Chinchilla-colored cross-bred buck. The breeder spent 7 years crossing Himalayans with Standard Chinchillas before achieving this ideal buck. Cals are white with black points..This breed was developed to be a good meat breed with a good blocky meaty body that also has a good quality pelt.
California- are white with black on their ears and nose and have pink (mine are red) eyes. Weighing 8-10 1/2 lbs.

CHAMPAGNE D ARGENT- The Champagne d’Argent is in history clear back to 1631. This is very attractive rabbit, and is the reason why over the ages, the pelt of the rabbit we know today as the Champagne d’Argent commanded huge premiums over the value of a standard rabbit pelt. Great for meat and fur production and a historic breed that needs to get back up in numbers!

CREME D ARGENT- The coloring is a moderately silvered orange. This is a very attractive meat and fur rabbit great dual purpose. Very well liked and used by many homesteaders weighing 8-11 lbs.

FLEMISH GIANT- These monsters can grow big, Some that will sometimes weigh 20+ pounds. They do eat a lot more, and because of their body weight will have bigger bones, and their fryers, at seven to nine weeks, weigh about the same as those of the medium breeds at the same age. These were raised for meat many years ago (They were know to be crossed with a dutch for a great meat rabbit) and will work on the homestead just fine.

FRENCH ANGORA- Makes a good dual purpose rabbit. weighing 7-10 lbs. When looking for French angora’s you want their body to be oval in shape. A good indication for a meat purpose. Plus you get a great fiber that can be spun to make yarn

NEW ZEALAND- Comes in white, black, and red. By crossing these different colors you get can broken or blue variety. These are one of the healthier hearty high production rabbit breeds. New Zealand’s are a breed that can be used for meat, pelts, show, and laboratory uses. Adult New Zealand’s can be more aggressive than other breeds although not all are aggressive. Weighing 9-12 lbs.

PALOMINO- are considered a commercial breed though take a little longer to grow out then others. Weighing 8-11 lbs. Have a good temperament.

REX- are another commercial breed weighing 8-9 lbs. They are raised primarily for their awsome fur and meat is the byproduct.

SABLES- weigh 8-10 lbs and are the Siamese cat of rabbits.

SATINS- are raised primarily for their fur, but do well as a commercial meat breed, weighing 9-10 lbs. I did a post on this breed in the December archives Check it out!

SILVER FOX- Are a great fanciers breed as their numbers are low. However they make an excellent dual purpose animal (meat, fur, pet) weighing 9-12 lbs. They have a great temperament and high dress out percentage.A great homestead rabbit.

I always recommend looking at what breeds are available to you locally. These rabbits will have had generations to grow accustomed to your local environment (These breeds I think are best for your homestead!). When you begin to look for your rabbits most new rabbit breeders start out with two does and one buck, you’ll soon learn that rabbits come in many different breeds, colors and sizes.

Make sure the kind of rabbit you pick will be comfortable in your area’s climate. Texas for instance, might not be a cool place to raise woolly Angora rabbits or heavy fur/meat breeds for example Silver Foxes have a thicker coat and are a black colored rabbit and the heat will get to them, But if you get a Silver Fox that was raised in your local climate you would have a better chance of that rabbit doing good on your homestead. Find out if the breed you like is good for whatever use you’ll want to use it for. Some types of rabbits, like Belgian hares, are suitable only for show. Others, like New Zealand Whites, are excellent for meat or show.

It’s also a good idea to get a breed that’s fairly common in your area, but not one that’s too common. If the kind you’re considering is too popular, you may have a hard time selling the offspring. But if you end up being your region’s sole breeder of some exotic variety, you’ll have trouble getting stud service or buying new stock.

Most meat raisers across the country agree that the mid-sized New Zealand White and California make about the best of all backyard livestock. But, you’ll want to be sure that your new rabbits are all healthy, so examine each rabbit closely before you buy. The inside of the rabbits ears should not have the dry scabs that are caused by ear mites, its hocks and feet should be free of sore spots, its nose shouldn’t be wet, runny, or crusty, and its droppings should be firm and round. If the animal looks fit in these areas, you can be pretty darn sure you’ve found a healthy rabbit.

Many of the individual traits that go into producing plenty of meat for your table are passed on from one generation to the next, so be sure to buy rabbits from a reputable breeder. Only purchase bucks and does with excellent production lines (or kits bred from such parents). You can tell a lot about what sort of offspring your breeding stock will produce by seeing the rabbits parents.

Most of a rabbit’s meat comes from its hind legs, so gently squeeze any buck or doe’s rear thighs to judge how plump and meaty those areas are. Give a feel to the back, between the rabbits pelvis and ribs as well. This loin muscle section should be long, wide, and firm. It’s easy to remove the poor producers, negligent mothers, and uncooperative breeders from your rabbit herd, Simply butcher and eat them my favorite saying is “Save the Best, Eat the Rest”. Unfortunately, even the most productive parents will decline in “breeding ability” after five or six years, so your older animals should also be regularly culled (these larger, older rabbits make great stews)

Hope this post helps you pick your rabbit breed for your homestead project!

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New custom products and wholesale items

custom products and wholesale items on the way

pop cell phone holder with costum logo
pop cell phone holder with costum logo

blue ribbon fox trout spinner

survival kit
survival kit
mepps
mepps

fire starter multi tool
fire starter multi tool
19 in one survival kit
19 in one survival kit

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NEW Bass Lures on the way!!!!!

Hoping to get a new order directly from manufacturing company.

Please let me know which lures you like!!!!!

 

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close out items SAVE BIG

Scott Archery Freedom XT-Freedom Strap-Silver Canadian Flag

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Your Price:  $119.99
MSRP:  $140.00

Ka-Bar BK5 Becker Knife and Tool Magnum Camp

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Your Price:  $66.99
MSRP:  $84.21
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Spyderco Knives One of the Best Now on SALE

Spyderco Delica4 Stainless Steel SpyderEdge

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SKU: 400416
UPC:  716104004164
MFG:  Spyderco
Your Price:  $99.97
Dealer Price:  $67.48
MSRP:  $134.95

Description

Trainers or drones are non-sharpened knives that allow for the safe practice of Martial Blade Craft (MBC). They let the user learn deployment/retrieval techniques, perform drills, and develop confidence and muscle memory without risking cutting themselves or others with a sharp blade. The Delica Trainer is identical in weight and size to the ‘live’ model. To enhance the balance of the piece we’ve tapered the unsharpened tip and drilled holes through the blade, removing unnecessary bulk. Volcano grip texturing on both sides of the handle put the brakes on your hand slipping while training. All Spyderco training models have red handles designating them as non-sharpened. Tip-up carry. Delica trainers also fit the bill as a unsharpened practice knife to safely teach non-knife people the fundamental movements in safely opening and closing a folder.
  • AUS-6 blade steel
  • stainless-steel handle
  • blade thickness is 3/32 in
  • stianless steel clip
  • diameter of blade hole is 15/32 in

Spyderco Endura4 Red FRN Trainer

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Description

MSRP n$120

SALE 79.99

Trainers or drones are non-sharpened knives that allow for the safe practice of Martial Blade Craft (MBC). They let the user learn deployment/retrieval techniques, perform drills, and develop confidence and muscle memory without risking cutting themselves or others with a sharp blade. The Endura Trainer is identical in weight and size to the ‘live’ model. To enhance the balance of the piece we’ve tapered the unsharpened tip and drilled holes through the blade, removing unnecessary bulk. Volcano grip texturing on both sides of the handle put the brakes on your hand slipping while training. All Spyderco training models have red handles designating them as non-sharpened. Tip-up carry. Endura trainers also fit the bill as a unsharpened practice knife to safely teach non-knife people the fundamental movements in safely opening and closing a folder.
  • Non-sharp blade for training purposed
  • Learn deployment/retrieval techniques, perform drills, and develop confidence and muscle memory without risking cuts
  • Volcano grip texturing on both sides of the handle put the brakes on your hand slipping while training
  • Tip-up carry
  • Drilled holes through the blade, removing unnecessary bulk
 

 

Spyderco Ark Personal Defense Knife w/2.50in Blade

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MSRP 105
SALE 75
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Winter Bass Go To Lures

This is the time of year when I get a very serious case of cabin fever. All I can think about is fishing for, and catching, bass.

When the water temperature is in the 30s and 40s, catching bass can present a unique challenge, but the bass will still bite during the winter time and nothing warms you up more quickly than a big bass on the line.

Check out the slideshow for go-to winter bass lures and see if you can use them to catch some bass this winter.

 

Shaky Head

This finesse rig is effective on bass year around, but is especially effective on cold water bass. The shaky head consists of a small lead head hook with a small finesse worm attached to it. Fish it on rocky banks, slowly, with small bounces and shakes moving along the bottom.
When the bait is still, the worm will stand on end, with the tail moving with the current. To change it up a bit, you can put a baby brush hog or other small creature bait in place of the finesse worm.

Grub

Many times in the winter, bass will suspend over deeper water, relating to schools of baitfish. When this happens, a grub is a highly effective method to catch fish. Put a 3-5” grub on a lead head, cast it out and let it sink to the depth the fish are in and then slowly reel it back.
When I say slowly, I mean SLOWLY. Bass are very lethargic this time of year and looking for an easy meal, they aren’t going to chase a bait very far.

Finesse Jig

Fins n TalesSmall finesse jigs and hair jigs are best when bass are a little bit shallower on steep rocky banks. Hop them along the bottom, mimicking a crawfish or small blue gill. The hair jig is just like any other bass jig, except rather than a silicone or rubber skirt, it has hair on it.

It would be considered by most to be an “old- school” technique, but it is very effective for sluggish winter bass. Finesse jigs are slightly smaller than other bass jigs and usually have a “spider-style” skirt.

Wiggle Wart

Bass BlasterThe storm wiggle wart is a staple for highland lakes in the late winter/ early spring. My highest tournament finish ever came on a storm wiggle wart when the water temperature was 38°-42° F.
This bait is great on steeper banks that have chunk rock or boulders. The only thing to be sure of is that you are bouncing the bait off of rocks.

Football Jig

Cliff Pace used a football jig to win the Bassmaster’s Classic in February of 2013. This bait is similar to the finesse jig, but is better for deeper water, as it is heavier and will sink faster to the bottom.
The football jig gets its name because the head of the jig is football-shaped. As with baits mentioned earlier, this bait is slowly hopped and crawled along rocky bottom areas, mimicking a crawfish.

Jerkbait

The suspending jerk bait is likely the king of cold weather baits. It is a long slender bait that when retrieved at the correct depth will “suspend” in the water, rather than sinking to the bottom or floating to the top. The bait is great for suspending fish, although it does have a bit of a learning curve.
Cast it out and give it four to five cranks of your reel to get it down to the correct depth. After this, it is fished with a jerk and pause retrieve. Fish it slowly, some guys claim to twitch it and then stop and eat a sandwich before they twitch it again. Experiment with your retrieve until you figure out what the fish are liking on a given day.

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Whitetail Tracking Tips

Whitetail Tracking Tips From Lanny Benoit

1

Lanny Benoit is thought by many to be the best whitetail hunter alive today.

This is excerpted from the book, Benoit Bucks.  Signed copies are available at http://brycetowsley.com/store/products/benoit-bucks

“There is one way to tell a young buck, even one with big feet and maybe even a big deer that’s young. A young buck has never had much for antlers and he is used to dipping under branches without getting them tangled. When they are fawns, they are used to scooting under branches and stuff and it takes a while to get out of that habit. But, an old buck, one that’s had big antlers for a few years, won’t go under any branches he doesn’t have to. He is also more interested in walking in a straight line and not fooling around. He won’t be zigzagging around and wasting time like a young buck that still has a little ‘kid’ in him.

“Also, a big old buck has been walking these woods for a long time and he is not going to work any harder than he needs to. He knows all the best and easiest routes around and that’s what he is going to take.

“A lot of times those old bucks have nothing to do but sleep, eat and wander around. He may walk around all day, but he also won’t use any more energy than necessary and he will always take the easiest route.”

2“One of the mistakes that people make when tracking is they go too slowly when they are close and give the deer time to get nervous. If he knows you are after him and maybe has seen you, it’s better to keep moving at a fast pace. If you slow down, the deer has too much time to think about it and if he knows you are there, he will probably decide to run. If you move fast enough, he may wait to see you and if you step into the right opening, you may get a shot.

“The death creep is only good if the deer doesn’t know you are there. It’s meant to surprise a buck that isn’t aware of you. But if that deer has already heard you coming, you won’t get him with the death creep. If he is 100 yards or 200 yards away and he has heard you going into the death creep and trying to sneak up on him, it won’t work. You are better off to keep going along at a fast pace. Sure, he will run off most times, but sooner or later, you will see him.

“It’s like when you are driving down the road. Those deer can hear you coming for a long time before they see the truck, but a lot of times they wait until they see you or even until you stop before they run away. It’s the same when you are tracking bucks. They are going to hear you, but if you just keep going, they may wait long enough for a shot. Going into the death creep in this situation is a lot like stopping the truck. It’s a change and to them, that signifies danger.

“When there are noisy hunting conditions, you are better off to move right along at a good pace. The deer are usually going to hear you anyway. I have had lots of bucks I didn’t want to shoot stand and watch me walk on by them. As long as you don’t make eye contact and they don’t realize you have seen them, a lot of times they will stand still and let you walk by.

“I know it sounds crazy, but probably 85 percent of the bucks I have shot, I just walked up and shot them. The key is in seeing the buck. You have to be watching for the deer. You can’t keep your eyes down on the ground looking at the track.

“Those old bucks are kind of cranky anyway, particularly when they are in the rut. Just because they can hear you doesn’t necessarily mean that they know you are a man. They might just think you are a rival buck and they will stick around to kick your butt or try to intimidate you.

3“One thing is that when you do see him, you have to make up your mind quick and shoot him. The minute you stop to shoot, the buck is going to go into high alert. You can’t fool around and if you are sure it’s the buck you want, shoot him. You can’t try to judge his antlers to see if he is big enough. You simply don’t have time. You need to shoot him and hope his antlers are as good as you expected they might be from the sign along the track. Also, shoot at what you can see. Don’t look around or wait around for a better shot, because chances are you won’t get one.”

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Survival Trapping and Fishing

Survival Trapping and Fishing – A Numbers Game

March 15, 2013 by sensible survival

As I have stated in a previous post, it is difficult to survive in the wild by only gathering wild plants.  Unless you can gather nuts or mature seeds it is hard to come up with enough protein to survive.  You will almost certainly have to turn to animal protein to meet your body’s needs.

Hunting, in most instances, is one of the least efficient ways to gather animal protein.  If you are hunting, that’s all you can do; and you will probably have only one chance to either succeed or fail.  Fishing with a pole in your hand presents the same problem.  You must remain totally occupied with this one task, and you will either catch fish or you won’t.

Traps and trotlines offer multiple chances for success at the same time, and they will work for you while you take care of other tasks or even while you sleep.  The thing about trapping and trotlining is that they are both a numbers game.  If you just set out one trap you might as well go hunting.  If you just set out one hook you might as well stand on the bank and fish.  The idea is to set out as many hooks and traps as possible so that you can maximize your chances of securing food.

Let’s talk about fishing first.  It takes considerable cordage to set out a trotline.  If you have fifty feet of para-cord you could cut off ten feet, remove the outer sheath, and have seven, ten foot long pieces of 50lb. test nylon to cut up into drop lines.  If you don’t have any fish hooks, you can make fifteen or twenty gorge hooks in a fairly short time.  If you don’t have any cordage, then I would abandon the idea of a traditional trotline.  It would take hours and hours to twist up enough cordage to make such a line.  If you have to make your own cordage, then I would recommend that you go with drop lines.  A drop line is just a short piece of cordage with a baited hook and weight.  Locate an area where low trees and /or bushes hang out over the water, and tie a drop lines to various branches.  This won’t get you out into deep water like a trot line stretched across the river, but it will get hooks into the water.  You will have to turn up grubs, earthworms, and other insects or larvae to bait your hooks the first time, but if you make a catch you can use fish entrails for subsequent baiting.

Traps can be time consuming to make, but just one trap does not have much chance of securing food.  I think that I would set out fishing lines first, then gather materials to make traps around the fire at night.  The figure 4 deadfall and the rolling snare are both pretty easy to make.  The real time consumption comes when you are selecting locations for your traps and preparing the sets.  I would try and set at least ten good traps, and twenty would be better.  The more you set, the better your chance of making a catch.  If you set baited traps you will have to forage for the initial bait, but once you catch the first animal you can use entrails for subsequent traps.

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Bug-Out Shelter Kit

Bug-Out Shelter Kit

September 13, 2017 bt sensible survival

When some people are camping they like to be in a tent; other people like to sleep in the open or under a tarp.  I am in the later group.  If the weather is nice, I like to sleep in a hammock or a sleeping bag and bivy sack under the stars.  If the weather is threatening rain or if it is cold; I like to sleep under a tarp.  There are several reasons that I prefer a tarp.  For one, tarps are very light to carry.  My tarp set-up including lines, stakes, etc. weighs 3 lbs. 10 oz.(that’s about 1.65 kilos for my non-American friends).  For another thing, a tarp is very versatile as far as different set-ups.  A tarp can be set up to take advantage of a fire for additional heat in the winter, and it can be suspended overhead to allow better air circulation in the summer.  A tarp also allows better exterior visibility than a tent.  And lastly, a tarp can be used in conjunction with a hammock, something that is not possible with your average tent.

I’m going to do a couple of posts on my favorite tarp set-ups; but before I do that, I thought it might be good to show you my bug-out tarp kit.  Some might say that I include too much in my kit.  Some of the items could be foraged or manufactured in the wild.  This is true.  You could, in fact, build your entire shelter from foraged materials, and I encourage you learn how to do just that.  But, everything about survival is a trade-off.  You have to constantly be thinking about how much space you have in your pack, the weight of items that you carry, the time necessary to locate and/or make items in the wild, and the calories burned carrying items as opposed to the calories burned making items.  I consider the small amount of added weight in my kit to be negligible compared to the time and calories used to do things like cutting tent stakes.  My whole tarp kit weighs three pounds and ten ounces and rolls up into a nice 24” by 6” bundle.

Using the items in this kit I can make my three favorite tarp set-ups without any additional materials. So anyhow, this is what’s in my kit.

Item number one is my tarp.  It is an inexpensive vinyl tarp that you can get at Harbor Freight or Wal-Mart.  The tarp is about eight by ten feet.  I used tarps like this for several years; but I recently modified it, as outlined in the previous two posts, by painting the inside with reflective aluminum paint, and I have added a center loop to the outside.

Some set-ups require a ridge line.  I carry a twenty-five foot piece of 550 para-cord to use as a ridge line.  It has permanent loop tied into one end.  The ends of all of my cords have been melted to prevent fraying.  Be sure that you use good, military grade para-cord, not the cheap stuff from the craft store.

A 40 inch long bungee cord is handy for quickly setting up plow-point shelters (more on that in the next post).

I carry eight guy lines that come in handy for some set-ups.  Each guy line is six feet long with a permanent loop in one end.

My kit includes eight tent stakes.  Two on them are about eleven inches long and made of steel. 

The other six are seven inches long and made of aluminum.  These are actually aluminum nails that are used to hang rain gutters.  You can buy them at the hardware store for about fifty cents each. 

I keep them bundled together with one of those thread covered rubber hair bands.

Some small loops of para-cord come in handy for certain set-ups.  I carry six pre-made loops bundled together with a hair band.

I carry four little sticks that are pre-cut to about two inches long.  These are used for tarp attachments and to secure easy release knots (more on this later).

All of the lines, stakes, and etc. are stored in a small stuff-sack.

The last item in my kit is a piece of camo netting that I can drape across the front of my shelter to help conceal it.

So, that’s my tarp kit.  In subsequent posts I will show you how to make several tarp set-ups using the items in this kit.