12 January 2015

Building a Kid's Pack

The finished pack
The pattern used
Welcome to 2015. A new year and time for a new project. This time we are building a pack that is kids sized.

Front Pack Panel
Just because a pack is sized for a child does not mean we cut corners on construction. All the seams need at least three layers of stitching. The first layer is staright stitched to assemble parts, the next layer is a zig-zag to keep edges from fraying and finally, we add the seam binding tape and straight stitch the finish. Now some areas will require a bartack, like everytime you sew webbing to be used to hold add-on's. The reason for using such techniques is, when this kid grows up, just by adding adult sized shoulder straps this pack could be used for short trips and day hikes.
Zipper Half's, Load Toad & Front Panel

Shoulder Straps
 The pattern was drawn just-in-time. It acts as both a pattern and a build sheet. Recording sizes, quantities and possible modifications if built again.

The front panel also incorporates a M.O.L.L.E. patch of 1" webbing, so aftermarket pockets or pouches could be added to this pack.
Pack - Rear After First Shoulder Strap Added

Front & Side - Finished
 So, there you have it. A basic sketch and a relaxed day of watching movies & sewing. Viola, a kid sized pack. Piece of cake, right??


Finished - With Model

Finished - Sideview

14 December 2014

Best Firearms Training Video

Howdy All,

It has been awhile.

However, I have learned of and watched this video:

I am impressed this was done by Canadians in Canada. And best of all, this has been made by young Canadians. First a moment to recognize the parents of these young Canadians, bravo Mom & Dad. You have raised a great bunch of kids. These young people will be contributing members of our country. Thank you for including firearms training as part of their education. As well, these young Canadians should take a bow for their excellent efforts in producing this video.

I recommend all to watch, like and share this video.

Safety starts with good training, good training should start at home.

Keep the home fires burning,


9 September 2014

Some G.O.O.D. YouTube

Howdy All,

Well, I have been updating progress on my book, The G.O.O.D. Plan - Get Out Of Dodge, on my GOOD Plan Blog.thegoodplanblog.blogspot.ca/

A strong support of my book, Prepper Madness, has been doinga series of videos on his YouTube channel.

Here are a few links to those videos. If you like them, please, support Prepper Madness and subscribe to his YouTube channel.



The G.O.O.D. Plan Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

15 August 2014

Folbot the North Thompson River

Page 81 Canoe Routes BC
 Paddling the North Thompson River, from the boat launch at Ferry Road, Blackpool, BC (near Clearwater, BC) to our eventual take-out at the boat launch on MacArthur Island, North Kamloops, BC. About 122 km's, give or take a few km's. 

This has been a long time in coming. A trip I have planned many times in my mind, since my childhood. First started getting serious in 2011, when my son and I first wanted to do this trip. High water that year postponed that trip. 2012, we were busy with our cross-Canada trip and were unable to squeeze in a river trip. 2013, we had a bit of extra water in the Southern Alberta area and did not make a BC trip. 2014, time off - check. Travel to BC - check. Weather - check. Folbot - check. Gear - check. Camera - check. We are GTG, good-to-go!!!
Page 82 of Canoe Routes BC

Folbot Super 2-man Kayak (Photo by Andrew McMillan)
 Put-in set for Monday 11 August 2014 at 0900.
Campsite Near Barriere River (Photo by Andrew McMillan)

Moonrise Over Paddles (Photo by Andrew McMillan)
 With minimal fanfare, we put our Folbot Super 2-man Kayak in the North Thompson River. (Yeah, no seam leaks.) Eric Thome, from Folbot helped me identify the model a couple years back. (Eric, Thanks again.)
Exploring a Sandbar Near McLure, BC (Photo by Andrew McMillan)

Folbot Kayak (Photo by Andrew McMillan)
I have also had a copy of the Wright's Canoe Route British Columbia in my library for years. Finally, I get to put that info to use.

Unlike, many route guides these days - this guide book does not take-away the adventure and exploration experience. This guide book gives you the information you need to know, identifies hazard areas, recommends good river navigating behaviours and then leaves you and your crew to discover the river.

As we planned to use a kayak, we were not particularly concerned about the splash effect of the rapids. We were looking forward to the fast water.

Here is a picture of our mighty vessel. The Folbot Super, 16' 10" in length and about 34" in beam. Tipping the scales around 86lbs dry, it is a serious contender.

For those not familiar with Folbot or other "folding kayaks", let me digress for a moment. When not in use, my kayak can be taken apart and stored in two duffle bags. It has a wood and aluminum frame that is pressure/tension fitted into a vinyl skin. Much like the traditional Inuit kayaks that have seal skins on a wood frame.

The trip from Clearwater/Blackpool to Little Fort, was uneventful. The water had a good current and we encountered few obstacles. We stayed far enough offshore to avoid all the sweepers. For those new to river paddling the Clearwater to Little Fort stretch is a great afternoon or morning trip. 

We made good progress until we were near Darfield, then the river slowed right down until we went under the bridge into Barriere. A few more hazards, like deadheads and complete trees stuck in the middle of the channels, but most were large enough to navigate around with good warning. We did avoid a few that were hidden just under the surface.

We made camp on the sandy beach near the confluence of the Barriere River into the North Thompson. We arrived before 1745. It was a scorcher of a day, we didn't even see a cloud until the day ended. Looked like a new wildfire was starting out near Adams Lake or nearby. 

Bivy bags on the sand and a full moon overnight. With the fire ban, we did not get to enjoy a campfire. Next time.

I snapped a couple pictures in the dark. The moon over the paddles turned out pretty good.

We were on the water after a lazy morning on the beach, probably around 0830. It was not clear like the day before. We both said, I hope that is smoke in the sky. We had a 7 day forecast that showed sunny and mid to high 30's. No mention of cloud or rain.

Day two, started with some good paddling right out the gate. The rapids at the bottom of the Fish Trap Canyon, were a great joy. Good place to practice before our visit to the Heffley Rapids later in the day.

We tried to stop every couple of hours to stretch our legs and to get a snack and more photos. Even with our Therma-Rest seat cushion, I can believe saddle sores would occur if sitting in the kayak for too long.

We saw a fair amount of wildlife along, over or near the banks. Bald & Golden Eagles, Ospreys, Ducks, Canadian Geese, King Fishers, Kites, Herons, Vultures and Swallows. There was also some four legged friends: Deer and a brown bear.

Below the McLure Ferry we again entered some slow water, which end abruptly when we entered the Heffley Rapids. 

These rapids gave us some thrills and thankfully no spills. We did fall off the flow into an eddy at one point, but a quick eddy turn had us riding the rapids in short order.

Mt's Peter & Paul, Kamloops, BC. (Photo by Alex McMillan)
From about Rayleigh to the take-out at MacArthur Island, we again had some slow water and got a lot of practice paddling. So glad, we had double-bladed paddles and a kayak, instead of a canoe. Otherwise, we would have really had a workout.

Hope you like the pictures.

Until next time....Take your kids out camping and paddling. Someday, they will thank you!!


6 July 2014

New From EdibleWildFood dot Com

Howdy All,

I have made a new contact. Her name is Karen. She is the author of Ediblewildfood.com. She also does educational walk and talks in the forest to help others learn which plants can be your friend and those to avoid.

As life would have it, Karen has a new release from her website:

"If you can share this link with your contacts that would be very much appreciated! Although it won’t be launched until the 15th I’m taking pre-orders at 10% off (only prior to the 15th)  http://www.ediblewildfood.com/subscription.aspx
Thanks so much!
So, if you want to save 10% pre-order before 15 July 2014. Drop by the website link above for more details.

29 June 2014

Bring Out Your BOV Show & Shine

05 July 2014, Langdon, Alberta (Noon - 1600)
Time to get your motors running!! Bring out your BOV (bugout vehicle) to the Southern Alberta's 1st Annual Bring Out Your BOV Show & Shine. 05 July 2014, from Noon to 1600 in Langdon, AB. Just show up at the parking lot to the I.O.O.F. Hall in Langdon, and be setup for judging by 1500. Prizes will be awarded at 1545.
There will be one copy of The G.O.O.D. Plan - Get Out Of Dodge (Deluxe Binder Edition) as well as a couple Field Manual Editions, to be won.
Catagories will be straight forward:
Extreme BOV
Family BOV
Towable/Trailer BOV
The photo below is the Deluxe Binder Edition up for grabs at the BOV Show & Shine. Do not miss your opportunity to be there.
The Deluxe Binder Edition Up For Grabs!!!
So, you can say you were there...be there!!

Some of those onsite will also have their bugout camp setup beside their BOV.



See The GOOD Plan Blog for the pics.

25 May 2014

Inverse Relationship Between Hierarchy of Needs & Community??

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Diagram (Popular Internet Version)
Maslow' Hierarchy of Needs.....is anyone not familiar with this work?? If not, Abraham Maslow created a system of explaining human needs and wants. Basically, if the most basic physical needs for the body are not met, it is almost impossible for any higher level wants to be satisfied.

Like in the survival community, the rule of three's must be met or you die. 

Here is a link to Wikipedia for more details on Maslow's work:

I will return to Maslow is a minute. The other person I would like to ponder is Gene Roddenberry, the person who created Star Trek. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Roddenberry ) One of the ideas promoted through the many Star Trek series was the evolution of civilizations. Levels 0 through 3, if memory serves. Level zero is a most primative civilization, involved in the daily struggle for basic survival, still at war tribe vs tribe, using limited technology. Where as, a level three civilization would be very technologically advanced, mastering time and energy munipulation, working towards a common good - while still allowing for personal advancement. No longer engaging in destructive practices like war or harmful manufacturing. However, a level three civilization would appear to a level zero civilization to have "god-like" mystical powers of creation and transportation. A level three civilization would be the apex of what is possible to/by physical beings in the third dimension. 

Has anyone else noticed that we, the peoples of Earth, have attained a very high level of technological advancement?? We can make electricity by splitting atoms. We can go to space. We can transplant organs. We can visit places under the seas. We can fly to work. We can buy breakfast without leaving our vehicles. That is pretty good right??

But, the question starts to creep in....has anyone else ever done this before us?? Are we the first peoples of Earth to get this much technology working for us?? For all of our technology, we do not have a real answer. Many theories about Egyptians, those from Atlantis or even Lemuria. 

So, let us be reckless with the law of proof and explore this line of thought without rules. Let's suppose we are just another civilization that is at the cusp of the zero and type one civilization. And while all those before us have failed, for whatever reason, we have the possibility of succeeding. What is the main stumbling point for crossing over from Type Zero to a Type One civilization?? I believe it is ego. And directly related is power. 

In a type zero civilization, power rules everything. The few control the many. The few get rich and the many starve. The few hold the whips of power and the many trudge along bound by the chains of slavery. Today, it is economic slavery - car payments, credit card payments, rent or mortgage payments, and food. That is the weapon of choice around our planet. Those who control the food, control the people. But, power is a reflection of an immature ego. Me, me, me!!! To deflect progress, those in power introduce a dichotomy - us vs them. We are good and they are evil/bad. The redirection keeps the few in power and distracts to many from their hunger pangs. But for true progress, everyone needs to progress. Not just the few. 

Now let's return to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. As each level of needs is met, it allows the individual to seek to better themselves. The pursuit of personal perfection, in theory makes for better people, right?? That is what I would like to explore today. Does the pursuit of perfection, actually make better people??

Looking at the diagram above of Maslow's work, see that the physical needs need to be met - air, water, food, security, procreation, etc. There is a common theme on the lowest levels of needs, the common denominator is community. Without a community, the individual is unlikely to survive for long. However, as you climb higher and higher, the needs/wants become more personal. During tough times, survival alone consumes much of the available resources of time, energy and focus. But as technology begins to become more widespread, more common place - in theory, there is more time, energy and focus on what do I want or need from this life.  So, with more technology we have more time to focus on the self and less time to focus on our community. Which, is where I think we are at this exact moment.

It is not so much that people are more selfish and less community minded, it is just for the first time in recorded history we finally have time for ourself. But, this is a transitional period for civilizations. Before someone's ego interrupts our collective advancement to a Type One civilization, we, the peoples of Earth, have to quickly adjust to our collective position of collective power. And quickly, recall that for each of us to advance, no one can be left behind. We need to become active in our community and ensure we all make the advance. 

As we approach this cusp, we are all enjoying our personal advancement but we must be aware that some will lose their power, their riches, their elite status. These few, will do anything to maintain the status quo or worse...they may instigate a planet wide conflict that will set back all of our progress and technology to an era that the caveman would recognize.

It is now, that we must bond together and build stronger communities and a stronger we, the peoples of Earth. The time for currency and wealth and false economies, are soon to be behind us. If we, the peoples of Earth, were to work together to build a better world, as healthier world, we will all be rich. Not a shallow material wealth. But a richness of common purpose and working towards making everyone a part of success. When all the peoples of the Earth work together, there is nothing we cannot achieve.

There is a bright horizan out there,
Time to seize it!