Day 2 of #100daysoffitness

Day 2 of #100daysoffitness. I ran for 30 minutes including warm up and cool down. #survivalbod is only several months away. #fitness is #survival.

 For you stat junkies out there I ran 2.74 miles in 30 minutes. Pics or it didn’t happen you say? OK see below.

Additionally I drank some whey protein powder chocolate milk this morning. About 3 tor 4 ounces before working out and 6 to 8 ounces after. I am not looking to bulk up, I’m already pretty bulky, I am looking to have some breakfast mostly and am considering using it as a meal replacement and source of energy. I felt excited to work out yesterday and today as well, only a little less so this morning. Tomorrow I am betting that my soreness will kick in and I will have a tough time telling myself that I still need to get up at 535 and work out. I know that there aren’t that many people reading this but I feel like having this morning routine where I report my jog really help keep me motivated to do it. Thank you if you’re reading this.

On a semi related note I am working to get Outoftheboxsurvival.Com back to functioning and am having a little difficulty with the placement of the link to the blog posts. It’s a slow process but I appreciate you bearing with me. I think most of you read my posts through Facebook anyway.

I look forward to getting this new format for the Web page set because once that is done it should be easier to use and easier for me to maintain which means more content and less time spent trying to get the Internet tubes to fit together.

Day 1 of 100 Days of fitness

The underground passage was fraught with peril. The target of my search was in sight so I pressed on filled with determination. Clearing away the dust and the cobwebs, it was clear that this thing hadn’t been touched in a long time. Luckily, I still remembered how to use the treadmill and it didn’t take long to get it going.

 I had previously moved my treadmill to my basement with the intent being that using it wouldn’t disturb my family or house guests. Out of sight out of mind, and so it sat.

 Day 1 of 100 went pretty well. Woke up at 0545 stretched a little and then proceeded to spend the next few minutes looking for my work out clothes and shoes. Found them, awesome, now to get this show on the road. Well when I got to the treadmill I found that it was without power, the good news was it was just the power cord. The bad news was the power cord was nowhere to be found. 8 minutes or so later I had located the cord and my first jog in probably a year or more had begun.

 I activated my Bluez 2 bone conducting headphones and found a Ted talk to watch/listen to while running. The Ted talk lasted about 20 minutes which was perfect since I had spent so much time setting up the power. I originally planned for 30 minutes of run/walk/jog time but 20 should be fine for my first day back.

 2 miles in a little over 20 minutes! Not record setting but for having not performed any real physical activity in months and having eaten all of the sweets and unhealthy foods that were put in front of me from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, I am pretty pleased with that starting place.

 Tomorrow will be day 2 and we will see how my legs do but the goal is 30 minutes a day. Now I have a minimum distance of 2 miles. If I can do 2 miles in 20 minutes then I should be able to make that happen. Today I ran with no incline, day 2 is too soon to start adding inclines into the mix, but maybe day 20. Maybe.


Magnesium Fire Starter with Flint – Product Review

Magnesium fire starters are an absolute must have item when it comes to being prepared. Not only are they simple to use, light to carry, and inexpensive, they’re also one of the easiest ways to start a fire in nearly any condition. This review covers the properties that make them so valuable and why having one in your emergency kit makes sense.

First lets take a look at the make up of this item. The four parts that make up the magnesium fire starter that I tested are the magnesium block, flint rod, chain, and striker. The magnesium block is the largest portion of this item and is a piece of soft metal from which you shave slivers of magnesium. The striker is used to scrape the flint rod creating sparks while directing them towards the pile of shavings. In this and most versions I’ve seen, the striker is attached to the magnesium block using a small ball chain similar to that used to hold dog tags.

The supplied striker resembles a portion of hacksaw blade and has both a flat and serrated edge. In use I find it preferable to use the flat edge for the scraping of both the flint and the magnesium itself. I have found that if you vary the pressure that you apply when scraping you can get different sizes of shavings. Different thicknesses as well as lengths of shavings are important when it comes to making the most out of your fire starter.

The mechanics behind the use of this fire starter are simple and I recommend reading my article “Lets Learn about… Fire” as a precursor but it isn’t necessary. Magnesium burns at 3,100 °C or 5,610°F. That temperature is over twice the melting point of steel and hotter than Thermite. Magnesium burns white and is one of the principle ingredients in white fireworks and sparklers.

Fire needs 3 key ingredients, fuel, oxygen, and heat. Shaving the magnesium into small scrapings creates a greater amount of surface area and provides space for oxygen. Smaller scrapings are easier to ignite and larger scrapings will burn longer once ignited. A good mix of different sizes will ensure that you have the best chance of success. Once ignited the magnesium shavings will burn rather quickly so it is important to prepare tinder and kindling in advance. I like to place small bits of kindling or tinder around my shavings in a V shape in order to help direct any wayward sparks from the flint into the pile of shavings.

Once you have prepared by staging the area and getting the tinder as well as fire wood ready it is time to strike the flint. I have two favorite methods I use for striking. I like to hold the striker lengthwise and place the small flat end of the striker on the flint rod and apply my thumb in the middle of the striker with my forefinger on the opposite side creating a bend in the striker similar to shuffling cards. By varying the pressure between the striker and the flint, the edge of the striker should slide along the flint rod and produce sparks(this is the same method I use in my video). Alternatively if I need larger flint pieces due to a wet or humid environment I will use the long flat side of the striker and slide it down the flint rod like a knife being sharpened. The only difference being that I will be holding it at approximately a 90 degree angle. Either method will produce sparks and with practice you may find your own method that works best for you.

So how did this work for me?

When I tested the magnesium fire starter it was very damp and the ground was essentially made of wet sand. I collected the shavings on a flat rock and surrounded three sides with tinder. On the 3rd or 4th strike the magnesium lit and I added tinder to the flame being generated by the burning metal. It was very handy and in fact this test proved to be easier than using the UCO storm proof matches I had brought along as well. While it did take some time to prepare the site, scrape the magnesium, and ensure that the tinder was ready, it wasn’t that difficult once all the preparation had been made. This works great in dry or wet conditions but the scrapings and sparks can be hard to manage in windy conditions.

I would absolutely recommend this to anyone looking to have something for their fire starting needs beyond a lighter or some matches. As I said at the beginning this tool is an absolute must have item and is well worth its weight to carry. Like most tools this works best with practice so if you are in the market, buy two and practice with one while keeping the other for emergency use. Two things to keep in mind about magnesium fire starters is that they don’t go bad and they don’t run out of fuel.


Book Review – “The Everything Guide to Foraging”

The Everything Guide to Foraging by Vickie Shufer has the stated goal of keeping the skill of foraging alive and the book provides a wealth of knowledge on the subject. This book covers everything from caring for the natural surroundings that you forage in to seasonal availability and recipes for use with foraged food. This book is great for the experienced forager but I would be hesitant to recommend this book to a beginner or novice.

The layout is very much like a text book and it makes finding information quick, logical and intuitive. The descriptions contained within are highly detailed and while helpful with respect to learning what to look for, I think that more pictures would have been appropriate. Approximately 1/3rd of the book is dedicated to recipes and many of those pages have a large amount of white space. While recipes are important, I feel that additional pages could have been used for photos of different plants and special attention could have been paid to showing poisonous plants and their similar but non poisonous look alikes. I also would have like to see more of the book dedicated to medicinal uses of plants.

The Everything Guide to Foraging certainly provides a little bit of everything on the subject of foraging, sometimes at a cost of detail on particular topics but the goal of keeping the foraging skill alive is certainly attained. The information was provided in easy to understand language and many helpful tips and advice make this book a valuable read. This book on its own is enough to encourage people to forage more often and be more observant regarding the plants in their surroundings.