Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

By Cam The Cuddler of CuddleLife.com

cam-hugs-rickCam with Rick McCrank – host of VICELAND’S Abandoned in Astoria, Oregon

Coming to a screen near you on Friday 10/7/2016 at 8PM, Oregonian Cameron McKirdy appears on VICELAND’s “Abandoned.”  It’s a new travel documentary type show featuring deserted places.  I guided the VICE TV crew around our area, and shared my story.  Producers from British Columbia, Canada filmed the host, Professional Skateboarder Rick McCrank and I discussing preparations for a nuclear disaster, and a tsunami.  VICE and I took my Volkswagon van for a ride along the ocean in Long Beach, Washington looking for shelter, plus debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami.  Over two days we built emergency preparedness kits with ammo boxes to bury in the ground along escape routes, like I have shown on my YouTube Channel called Survival Bros.  We scavenged free health food samples from A Gypsy’s Whimsy, and purchased essential gear items to cache at more stores located in Astoria and Seaside, OR.  The #survival kit I helped McCrank build should help him endure a disaster if he keeps it close by.  I always have my emergency Go-Bag with me.

ON AIR you should see me (Cam The Cuddler) hugging people and chatting about my life as a certified professional cuddler.  Check out CuddleLife.com for more information and to read my FAQs.  I offer a platonic touch service, and I’m open to trades and donations.  Typically I get one dollar per minute to care for people.  I believe cuddling is therapeutic, and a fun and safe way to get the positive human touch we all need to survive. 
Email CamTheCuddler@gmail.com to book a free cuddling consultation today!  #hugs #camthecuddler
cam-and-rick-mccrank
Keep’n IT real with @mccranker of VICELAND CANADA
VICELAND camera gear
VICELAND’S HD Camera Gear near Cam’s Volkswagen Vanagon…

 My 1986 VW as seen on the #survivalbros YouTube Channel – SUBSCRIBE

Cam aka Papa Bear sending hugs your way from Seaside,Oregon

sam-and-cam-bw
 

Survival Bros talks to and films a wild coyote pup by the Pacific Ocean near Seaside, Oregon!  What an amazing and playful creature, huh?  Share this video with friends, and please be sure to like, comment, and SUBSCBIBE to our channel for more high-definition video productions. Stay tuned for more blogs on traveling and Mother Nature.  Hugs.

More on the Artist @ CameronMcKirdy.com

coyote2

By Cameron McKirdy

I spent the weekend on the Oregon Coast in Seaside, and had spare time to experiment with a new Art project.  First, I dug through a recycling bin for cardboard to create a small handmade sign with a permanent pen.  Then I rounded up some fun objects I didn’t need anymore, like a Smokey The Bear keychain whistle.  These goods would be available to begin the open bartering.  I spread out a towel, and placed the trinkets on The Prom’s concrete path.

With little effort, and few resources, a self-serve system was born.  A take one, leave one blanket is a place where an item of any kind can freely be exchanged as you see fit.  Share this concept with people in your town.  You wouldn’t believe the response.  Nearly every biker, and pedestrian stopped their forward progress to figure out what was going on.  This open trading system seemed to inspire, confuse, and even make some people greedy.  

I may have seen people taking without giving, thinking nobody was looking, but I’m not sure.  Others had no issue taking nice items, like a Tree of Life necklace pendant, and replacing it with trash.  I found the blanket riddled with wrappers, cardboard scraps, and even half of a marijuana cigarette.  Take a close look at the pictures, and you’ll see other small stuff, like a paperclip, pocket change, flower, price tag sticker, and a pile of sand from the beach.

I discretely checked back every few hours for a day, and saw some of the action in person.  People generously placed beautiful possessions with little hesitation.  There were cool things left behind that I didn’t get a picture of, because I didn’t want to interrupt the process.  My favorite moment was when a 12-year old girl named Krystin Crawford set down her hand painted sand dollars.  She took a braided piece of grasses someone constructed.  The girl enjoyed sharing the Art she made, and getting involved.  See her craftsmanship below.  The found, and re-purposed shells were adorable.  Krystin and her mom came back to the free exchange place the following morning with a positive attitude.  Everything had changed.  This artist endeavour has restored my faith in humanity once and for all, despite some shady, but acceptable transactions by others.

In conclusion, I will try this social experiment again.  I was thrilled to see this interactive art piece evolve rapidly.  I saw joy on many of the participants faces.  This free trading system can be implemented anywhere, at anytime.  Let’s spread the concept, and see the random generousity of others displayed in public.  And remember, you’ll usually get more than you give.  Leave a comment, or question if you like.  Thanks for visiting Survival Bros.

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Wikipedia information on Bartering and Gift Economy

Oregon Country Faire Take One, Leave One blanket from 2015

Oregon Country Faire Take One, Leave One blanket from 2015

This picture courtesy of Regina Mattingly

From Chris Cleanshave Miller

chris miller edc

My ‪#‎EDC‬ or ‪#‎EveryDayCarry‬ – Mini Bic Lighter, small Swiss Army knife, P-38 Can Opener and an LED Flashlight. What’s in your pocket?  You could throw together a simple survival kit like this one for around $10.  So take the time, and get prepared for the future now.

Send Survival Bros a picture of your #EDC tools, and we’ll share it on the blog site here!  thesurvivalbros@gmail.com

Visit his author page on Amazon.com, and download some of his backpacking books.

Thanks for checking out your Emergency Preparedness blog Survival Bros regularly.  More fun soon.  Cheers.

Produced By Cameron McKirdy

Learn which individual servings or samples of condiments, and sauce you can find for free.  Do some urban scavenging like me.  Stockpile packets of ketchup, salsa, candy, and more items for storage.  My favorite package seen in the video is the lemon juice.  I forgot to mention it.  You can find just about any free food packet out there.  I have a secret sauce floating around my van somewhere from Burger King.  I think I eat out more for condiments than the fast food itself.

Having these sauces, and sugars, etc. on hand saves money.  Take food packets like the ones shown on your next camping trip for extra spice, or flavor in your meal.  Get free condiments as seen on Survival Bros at restaurants, and convenience stores.  If something isn’t priced, it must be available to take.  

Do you stockpile packets like I do?  I feel like such a rebel when my pockets are full, and I’ve made a clean getaway with the loot.

Please SUBSCRIBE TO THE YOUTUBE CHANNEL if you have an account. Thank you for visiting the Survival Bros blog!

Free Condiments Food KitFree Condiments Food Kit by Survival Bros – An Alternative News Community

See also http://www.cameronmckirdy.com

 

By Chris Miller

 

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Backpacking Gear for the Florida Trail

Usually I try to keep my pack weight down, though I don’t really consider myself an ultra light hiker. I can live comfortably out of a pack weighing no more than 20 pounds for months at a time. And that is including food and water. My base weight, the weight of my gear not including food and water, usually hovers around the ten pound mark, though I have a tendency to carry multiple paperbacks at a time which can push that weight up a bit.

So what’s in my pack?  Let’s start with what I consider the essentials, sleeping gear and clothing.
I sleep in a cheap Walmart $30 40 degree sleeping bag made by Ozark Trails. It is one of the smallest sleeping bags around which means it packs up into a very tight space. This is one of those occasions when you don’t need to spend a ton of money on a top of the line sleeping bag.  Is it warm enough? Probably not for a lot of winter activities, and even in Florida it can get cold in January. But the sleeping bag is always slipped inside my REI Minimalist Bivy. This adds a few degrees as well as allowing me to easily stealth camp. I also usually sleep in my Under Armour base layer.  My base layer is one of my most trusted pieces of survival equipment. I probably wouldn’t have survived the week of 20 degree nights stealth camping in Austin Texas that I went through a few years ago if it wasn’t for them and my winter hat and gloves. Also something which is always in my pack.
Other than that, a change of socks and underwear, my Petzl headlamp, a 5×7 tarp, a Thermarest Prolite sleeping pad, a Nike Storm Fit rain jacket, an REI Revelcloud packable jacket, a Sawyer mini water filter and a pair of what I call sleeping socks, socks which only get worn at night when I’m in my sleeping bag rounds out most of the rest of my gear.

Sure there are a few other things, random assorted things clipped inside my pack or stuffed in Ziploc bags near the top where they are easy to get to. The toilet paper and first aid kit, the mini Bic lighter and fire starter cubes. I also have a clip with several safety pins, a GSI plastic spoon, some rubber bands, a small set of nail clippers and a P-51 can opener.  You’ll notice that I didn’t mention a knife of any kind.  Airlines are pretty picky about letting you bring knives on board and I have found that when you are stealth camping in urban environments it is very likely that you will at some point be stopped by the police. Usually when I’m hiking I’ll carry a small Swiss Army knife. I’ve never needed anything more serious no matter the situation but have recently added a Buck Paklite Caper to my gear. Mostly for batoning wood for fires.  But for the Florida Trail I wasn’t able to pack a knife and in the rush before leaving I had failed to mail them ahead to myself. So I was without a knife in the swamps and back country of Florida.

Backpack Gear List

REI Lookout 40 backpack 53 oz
With 3 Liter Camelback water bladder and insulated drinking hose
Ozark Trail 40 degree synthetic mummy bag 32 oz
REI Minamalist Bivy 15 oz
Thermarest Prolite Small Sleeping pad 11 oz
Blue patched Silnylon 5×7 tarp with ropes 11 oz
Nike Storm Fit Rain Jacket 16 oz
Winter hat and gloves 3 oz
Underarmour bottoms lg 6 oz
Underarmour top xl 8 oz
REI Revelcloud Jacket md 12.5 oz
2 Extra Pair socks 6 oz
Petzl Headlamp w/batteries 3 oz
4 tent stakes w/stuff sack 2 oz
Sawyer Mini Water filter 2 oz
32oz Gatorade bottle 1 oz
Toiletries, First Aid Kit 8 oz
Notebook, Guidebook, Pens 32 oz
Swing Trek Umbrella 7 oz
Tent – Freestanding cheap Ebay tent 31 oz

259.5 oz or 16.2 Pounds

Much heavier than I’m normally used to and this is mostly because it is a new, heavier pack with the ability to not only carry more food but which also has a larger water carrying capacity. Florida is notorious for having bad tasting water which no amount of filtering or flavoring would cover and I wanted to be able to camel up when I found clear water.  Also, the cheap tent was a last minute add on. I wasn’t sure how I felt about sleeping in a bivy on the levees in Florida knowing that alligators were so close. As it was one of the hikers ahead of me woke up to the sound of one snoring next to their tent.  So how did the gear hold up?  Most of the gear are old standards that I’ve lived with for years so I knew what to expect. But there were a few newer items that hadn’t been extensively tested before.

Sawyer Mini Water Filter

The first was the Sawyer Mini water filter. Coming in at 2 oz I had used this on only one other two month long backpacking trip along the Oregon coast and it had held up well under the minimal water filtering I had done.  It comes with a squeeze bag for forcing water through the filter as well as a back flush syringe for cleaning out the filter when it becomes clogged. It has a 0.1-micron filter which means I never really have to worry about Giardia, e. coli or salmonella. And the best feature, at least for me, is the threaded end which can be screwed onto most soda and water bottles. This lets you fill your bottle from any source, screw on the filter and squirt the water directly into your mouth.

The biggest drawback, at least on hiking in the Florida swamps, was that the water often had enough silt suspended in it that I had to back flush the filter on an almost daily basis. I’ve heard this complaint from other hikers as well and they say for the slight difference in weight they carry the full Sawyer water filter which doesn’t seem to clog as easily.  This year the swamp was little on the dry side and at least one long stretch had very little in the way of drinkable water. Another hiker had gotten so low that he decided to drink his own urine. He turned around, filled up his Smartwater bottle, screwed on his Sawyer filter and shot a good healthy stream into his mouth.  “Hmm, still salty,” was his only response.  That’s because the Sawyer filters were not meant to filter the salt out of water. Just an FYI if you are thinking about drinking your own urine anytime soon.

Cheap Ebay Tent

I liked this tent mostly because it was freestanding and cost about $20 shipped directly from China.
The problem was that those also seemed to be the only good things about it.  The tent was listed by a few different Chinese Ebayer’s under titles like “Camping Tent Single Layer Waterproof Outdoor Portable UV-resistant Army green” or “Portable Camp Camping Tent Single Layer Waterproof Outdoor UV-resistant 1 Person.”  It was a one person tent that weighed just under two pounds and it could easily be stuffed in a side pouch or rolled up and strapped to the bottom of my pack. I wanted to make a few modifications to it to make it more camouflaged and perhaps add a rain flap over the zipper on the door but there wasn’t time before the trip.  It help up fine in decent weather and even light rain. That’s when I noticed that the floor wasn’t waterproof. This wasn’t a big deal until some of the heavier thunderstorms rolled in. Even though they lasted less than half an hour the wind would force the rain through the walls of the tent and I would end up sleeping in puddles for a while. Thankfully I had my bivy.  The storms also brought out another drawback of this tent. That the poles were weak. In the mornings I would notice that section after section of the poles were splitting and had to be repaired with Gorilla Tape.  But I was glad to have even this cheap tent to keep the hoardes of mosquitos at bay. Even then, sometimes just after sunset, the cloud of them would be so thick outside the tent that I thought they might be able to collectively break the flimsy tent and suck me dry.  Walmart used to sell a Junior Dome freestanding tent for about the same price that was only slightly heavier. It was meant for kids but I used that thing for years before passing it on to someone else. An act I sometimes regret as Walmart has discontinued their production.  Let’s just say that the cheap Chinese tent didn’t make it back from Florida.

No Cook

This hike I decided to go No Cook, meaning that I wouldn’t be packing my pot and stove and that I’d be eating everything cold.  For me this works out really well though I can understand how some people would prefer hot meals.  It meant that I’d never have to resupply fuel and I would have more room in my pack for food.  So what did I eat?  Bagels, cream cheese and sliced salami were most of my big meals. Protein shakes and Multi-Grain breakfast bars were usually my breakfasts and Snickers, Chia seeds and Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies were my snacks throughout the day.

Drinks, besides the protein drinks, were powdered Gatorade for the electrolytes and Crystal Light packets to flavor the water.  The big comfort food for me was the protein shakes. They have become a standard backpacking food for me. I carry about a pound of vanilla whey protein along with roughly the same amount of either non fat dry milk or Nido which is powdered whole milk. I prefer the Nido not only for the extra calories but because it doesn’t foam up as much when shaking the shake.  I make the shakes in my 32 oz Gatorade bottle, great because of its wide mouth. Usually I’ll drink some of the water off the top to make room for the powders. Personally I don’t measure what goes into the bottle. I’ll simply add a roughly equal amount of spoonfuls of powder, mixing it in gently at first to make room for more powder. When I think its ready I’ll just put the cap on and shake violently for a while.  The whey protein is great for repairing the damage to my muscles caused by hiking and generally this is just a tasty shake that I never seem to get sick of, which is pretty important in any foods you carry.  The only drawback was going through airport security. I was pulled aside for a security check and they emptied the contents of my food bag. When the TSA agent pushed everything aside he picked up the ziplock bags of what looked like kilos of cocaine. Luckily he laughed.  That doesn’t mean he didn’t swab down everything I owned looking for traces of drugs though.

All in all the gear held up well.  The tent though was left in a dumpster somewhere in Florida.  I’ll stick with the Sawyer Mini and I may start going No Cook on more of my travels.  The pack was a bit heavy for my tastes. Leaving the southern terminus of the Florida Trail I was carrying four liters of water, roughly 8 ½ pounds, more than I’ve ever carried before, and way too much food. I’ll probably go back to the 30 liter pack I usually use for the next adventure, which will probably be hitchhiking across the US.  And next time I go hiking in Florida I’ll probably pack some bug spray.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail on Amazon

@CleanshaveChris on Twitter

Chris Miller Videos on YouTube

Chris Miller Backpacker

By Cameron McKirdy

I was gifted tree resin fit for a King today.  Pictured is a fat handful of Frankincense and Myrrh gum bled from a plant.  My buddy Gypsy Hugh got the aromatic harvest burning on a hot hookah charcoal.  Next, we place the purifying fragrance in my 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon.  The pleasant odor filled my bus with smoke, and the scent should linger for days.  It smells like incense, only more pure, and natural to me.  It was a kind gesture to hot box my vehicle like that, and very appropriate on Christmas Day.  Enjoy the pictures below.  I’d never seen these hardened resins in person, called tears.  

Frankincense and Myrrh xmasFrankincense and Myrrh pictured up close

Frankincense and MyrrhPurifying my camper van with smoking tree resin saved for a special occasion

 

By Cameron McKirdy

I’m all about my freebies.  Maybe you remember all of the product samples I’ve scored, and blogged about in the past.  You can get free stuff easily by requesting trials online, and they will be delivered to you by mail.  When I’m not filling out forms like that, I’m in shops trying to get hook ups.  In Starbucks this week they were sampling out pasteries.  They weren’t on display yet.  The stash was sitting off into the corner on the counter, with a Manager’s note saying “Sample these.”  I politely asked an employee if I could have one of the items.  There was all sorts of muffins, bars, and scones to pick from.  On day one I took the pink cake filled lolly pops with sprinkles.  I didn’t eat them in public.

I went back to the coffee shop for more samples the next day, just in case they were still available.  Really, I just needed the WiFi to upload my previous video.  I scored the squishy coffee cake that day, but didn’t stop there.  I requested 3 honey packets too, since they don’t put those out at all Starbucks locations.  I swiped a few raw sugar packets as well.  Plus, I saw another sign saying I can request a free sample beverage using their coffee pods if I asked.  When I mentioned it, the worker said they haven’t used that set up to brew complimentary cups of fresh java lately, even though the machine, and sample pods where still on the front counter.  I didn’t have time for them to pretend to look for an extension cord, so I took samples for later consumption.

I like to visit the health food store weekly, and my last trip was really worth it.  They always have free tablets of Vitamin C to help yourself to, but there was more.  I found packets of food-grade Diatomaceous Earth, Natural Calm magnesium mixes in three flavors, Barlean’s Greens, one DHA pill, and a bag of tea.  These individually wrapped servings are perfect for my backpacking trips, and the small emergency caches I like to build to prepare for tsunamis.  If I can swoop up all of these freebies, than so can you.  Ask for a nibble when you’re in the food court, or browsing the deli counter at the grocery store.  It’s fun to see what you can get for asking.  Happy hunting Survival Bros.

0911141716These cake pops were amazing!

0912140806bFree coffee cake went well with peanut butter and strawberry jelly

0909141002Product Samples from my local health food store

By Cameron McKirdyIMG_20140914_113202Silver Salmon Being Processed at The East Mooring Basin in Astoria, Oregon

IMG_20140914_114601Sushi grade Coho Fillets

0912141323

My buddies needed a lift, and Designated Driver for a fishing trip in Astoria, OR.  I dropped them off at the East Mooring Basin.  You’re suppose to pay to park there.  They we’re on the water for around four hours before they limited out.  The guys ended up with pounds and pounds of fresh fillets.  One man kept the salmon eggs for future fishing bait.  All of the fishermen had plans to either freeze, and smoke the meat shortly.  It was interesting to see the Captain of the boat cut up Coho so efficiently, and discard the waste down properly down a slide.  All he needed was a large fillet, and butcher’s knife made by Victorinox of Switzerland.  I made sure to ask.  He was sharpening the knifes every few fish.  Also pictured is the rowdy sea lions that live there on the docks.  I saw one beast puke on another, and he didn’t flinch.  More blogs coming!  Peace.  victorinox butcher

Get me the 8″ Victorinox Butcher’s Knife for Christmas