Archive for the ‘SB Tips’ Category

Produced by Cameron McKirdy

This week I got up early and drove the Volkswagen Vanagon out to the legendary Goodwill Outlet near the Portland International Airport, or PDX.  I slept nearby, for free, in the Shari’s Resturant parking lot.  As a hustler, I knew I had to get to Goodwill before the place opens up at 8 AM.  I had my smartphone on me, charged, to scan barcodes, and research items online.  I used the eBay, and Amazon applications for quick access to information.

It was a feeding frenzy inside.  No time to shoot video when you’re trying to make money.  Goodwill charges only $1.67 per pound for most anything, besides CDs, DVDs, and stuff in the display case, as far as I know.  At the end, you roll your shopping cart onto a scale, like weighing your vehicle at a garbage dump.  You’ll see my thrifting haul in the HD Survival Bros video below.  I had to dig threw a bunch of trash to find anything acceptable for potential reselling, and keeping.  You will get your hands dirty.  Try to avoid piss blankets, and scan everything with your eyes to make less work for yourself.  My strategies netted me a Phillips Norelco electric razor, Wii video game, Levis flannel shirt, wall charger, scarf, two GPS units by Garmin and Magellen, fanny back for ultralight backpacking, and a Nike Max Air backpack.  I think I did excellent considering I spent just $7.44.  

If you like this vlog, please SUBSCRIBE TO #SURVIVALBROS on YouTube!  Thank your for watching and supporting this project.  Best wishes from the gym, where I’m sniping free WiFi in the kids playroom.

goodwill outlet store pdx

A line forms at the entrance of the Goodwill Outlet Store for an 8 AM opening

Produced by Cameron McKirdy with Tactical Gypsy for Survival Bros

Learn how to tie popular knots using paracord following easy step-by-step instructions from a Marine.  These are easy and helpful knots you can create quickly for emergency or whatever.  We challenge you to learn them all.

various-types-of-knotsHere’s more knots to play with.  Thanks for visiting Survival Bros.  Follow this blog using your email up above on the left side of the screen.  Peace.

By Katnip

2013 Chevy Camaro

How the Grinch stole MY Christmas. Two days after Christmas my beautiful, 2013 Chevrolet Camaro was a victim of crime. I thought I lived in one of the safer apartment complexes here in town. My bedroom is directly over the top of my carport on the second floor. I have a direct view of my car from the window. While I was sleeping, these thieves somehow managed to unlock my car without the alarm going off. (Apparently they make remotes to do so these days…thanks hackers of the world.) Why they chose MY car I will never know. One would naturally assume that a brand new car like mine would have a perfect lock and touchy alarm on it like Fort Knox. Well, my precious vehicle wasn’t well protected.

I’ve had my previous car broke in to before, and seen my things rummaged through. I’ve felt what it’s like to have your documents strung all over your car, and find your gear M.I.A. It’s awful. I should have taken the extra precaution like I have every other night and removed my valuables from the vehicle before locking her up for the night. I didn’t. I did have EVERYTHING out of sight. If you were to walk past my car, you couldn’t tell it’s a daily driver. I know better than to leave valuables out for prying eyes. I thought my stuff would be safe for one more night. Here’s a list of things I am kicking myself for, prepare to cringe:

– Canon Rebel EOS DSLR Camera with Lens, accessories, LowePro Camera Bag, and Cameron’s beloved camera tripod.

– iPhone 4S with car charger

– TomTom GPS with car charger

– Tool Box (Wrenches, Screw Drivers, Ratchets, etc)

– Jumper Cables

-My prized Bug Out Bag (As mentioned and pictured in this previous post)  Now I will create a new Everyday Carry bag with emergency supplies, and bring it inside no matter what.

In addition, who knows if they could steal my identity, as I had some sensitive documents in the glove compartment that they rummaged through too.

I’ve since taken proper measures to protect myself since, and hopefully regain my property again. I would like to share these tips with you so this same thing doesn’t happen to you.

– Keep ALL valuables in your home. Don’t take the chance like I did and assume that things are safe in the trunk and out the vision of creepers.

– Download the “Find Your iPhone” application and TURN ON YOUR LOCATION! (I had previously turned the location off the day prior because I felt it was nuking my battery. Dumbest thing I’ve ever done, because I had this app on my smart phone, and because I turned the location off, it wouldn’t lead me or the local police to where my possessions were.)

– If you find yourself in this predicament of having your things stolen from you, contact your local police department, file a police report.  Note: They wouldn’t come out, and recommended I fill one out online.

– Write a list of the items that were stolen from you, with serial numbers if available, and take this list in to the second hand shops, cellular stores, and local pawn shops.

– Contact your phone provider and register your phone as “Lost or Stolen.” If someone is dumb enough to try to activate the phone, the provider should confiscate the cell immediately and turn it over to either the police department or contact you to let you know your device had turned up.

– Scour all outlets of items for sale, such as eBay, Craigslist, Facebook sale pages, etc. Eventually, your stuff may turn up on one of those.

– Keep receipts of ALL expensive purchases that you have in your possession, my home owners insurance wouldn’t cover the items stolen from my car at my apartment, as I didn’t have proper sales receipts for these items….(They were gifts.) Things can’t be replaced if insurance can’t prove you never had them to begin with. 

I can recommend from personal experience that having your stuff stolen is not a pleasant thing to have happen. It detracts from valuable time I could have spent using my nice things to make my life easier. If you’re a car thief, I would like to leave you with this final note: You should be ashamed of yourself.  Work hard for your money so you can purchase quality belongings for yourself. Why steal from others that have actually earned their way in life? Karma is a bitch. Happy Travels!

Produced By Cameron McKirdy

Survival Bros Founder Cameron McKirdy digs up an emergency preparedness kit, and shows the contents.

Here’s when Survival Bros buried supplies in various waterproof containers all over town at high elevations.

Building small caches in case of a tsunami, or another disaster situation.

Survival Bros Logo Cool GreyThank you for visiting and supporting Survival Bros

Survival Bros Founder Cameron McKirdy suggests you take advantage of free trial memberships at local gyms.  Some fitness centers will give you a week, or up to a month of access at no cost to you.  If you’re homeless, at least you can workout, stay warm, get water, socialize, and take a hot shower.  Now you don’t have an excuse to train, even if you are broke.

cam jumping rope

Cam jumping rope for free

Produced By Cameron McKirdywonder balsam

If you have leather, try Dr. Martens Wonder Balsam on it.  I had to do a product review on this treatment.  I’ve been using it for years, and restored four pairs of footwear today.  It brought my boots, dress shoes, and UGG slippers back to life.  I will try it on an old leather coat next.  It’s so much fun to apply, I wish I had a crappy leather couch to fix up.  You don’t have to rub much on with the sponge for it to condition, and protect.  It’s a good prep to get out of the way.

Here’s the product description: A unique blend of coconut oil, lanolin and beeswax. These all-natural ingredients clean and protect leather to keep it soft and supple. For use on all leather, except suede types. Use it on all things leather … shoes, handbags, jackets, even furniture. • All-Natural Ingredients of Coconut Oil, Lanoline and Beeswax • Protects Against Water, Liquid and Salt Marks • No Polishing Necessary

Now look at my kicks before and after!

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old dr martens

Dress Boots Waxed

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Survival Bros tested and approved!

I’ve meet most of the famous people that have influenced my life in a positive way, and it’s not by accident.  For the first time ever, I’m divulging my tactics on how to meet celebrities, including artists, athletes, and other inspirational, culturally significant folks.  You may say, “hey Cam, what’s this got to do with SURVIVAL?”  Well, I believe meeting legends improves you as a person, and at the end of the day, all you can hope for is that you are better than the day before.

I think I got hooked on approaching stars in my childhood, when I stalked Portland Trail Blazer players after games with my dad.  They’d be gingerly strolling to their luxury cars, and I’d go in for the kill.  I offered them a basketball to sign with my Sharpie.  Any good autograph seeker knows to bring their own fresh permanent pen.  Nothing is worse that standing in front of your hero trying to bum a pen for a signature.  I caught up to Clyde “The Glide” Drexler, Terry Porter, Buck Williams, and the rest of the old school Blazers.  I remember weaseling close enough to the locker room entrance too, so that I could high five all the players as they ran out on the court.  After that, I didn’t wash my hand for a week.  My mom made me in the end.

I learned as a kid how to approach cool people.  First I would say something like, “Hey, I’m a big fan.  I just wanted to say hi, and ask for you autograph.”  They usually obliged, but I’ve had more than my fair share of epic snubs.  More on that in a second.  Basically, if you see a celebrity, be chill like them.  I offer up a compliment, but don’t go overboard.  Plus, I tell them something about myself, that they can relate to.  I find common ground.  For instance, when I went up to UFC star Chael Sonnen at an amateur MMA event, I shook his hand and told him I was also an Oregon Duck.  Then I mentioned being a ring announcer for mixed martial arts fights in Seaside, Oregon.  I told him maybe I would announce his name one day in the octagon.  I had his attention, and he was happy to pose for a picture, and sign an autograph for me.  I have more autographs than a memorabilia dealer.  Meeting athletes is easy.  Catch them before or after the event, and be polite.

I’ve been snubbed by stars too.  Jack Nickalus passed me by.  Arnold Palmer told me he had signed enough autographs that day.  But the biggest snub of all-time comes from the punk Greg Oden.  This Blazer washout walked by me on Burnside in Portland, while I was talking on my phone.  I hung up, and casually approached him while waiting for a crosswalk light to change.  We were the only ones on the block.  I said, “hey Greg, I’m a big fan (lie), and I just wanted to say hi and shake your hand.”  Greg Oden looked me up and down, and then looked away, not saying a word.  I backed up slowly proclaiming, “Greg Oden just snubbed me!”  Then I yelled for all of PDX to hear, “Greg Oden is too good for the world!!!”  The realest thing I’ve ever said.  I told that story on my radio show on the Oregon Coast.  I still plan to burn his basketball card on camera.  It will never be worth anything. 

Most celebs aren’t goons, so don’t be afraid to go up to them.  One of my favorite encounters was when I slept on the street in Los Angeles to have a chance as a contestant on The Price is Right.  I went during spring break right after I turned 18.  It took 14 hours of waiting in line before I stormed CBS Studios and sat front row, one seat over from Contestant’s Row.  I didn’t play any pricing games that day, but I did have a long conversation with Bob Barker himself.  He towered over me, high on the stage.  During a commercial break I had the courage to raise my hand and ask him a question, but not a stupid one.  I’m sure he’d been asked during every damn taping about when he is doing Happy Gilmore 2.  I could tell Bob was sick of that comment, so I buttered him up like hot corn on the cob.  He read my price tag name tag, “Yes Cameron.”  I said, “Bob, after all these years, how do you look so good, and stay so fit?”  Perfectly executed.  He rambled for 5 minutes about his days in the military, and training, and so on, then went back to the show.  However, to my surprise, when he was way across the stage during the next break he said, “anyways Cameron, back to your question.”  I still have that yellow price tag sticker with my name on it.

I could go on all day about the well-known people I’ve met.  Mainly, you just need to be on the lookout.  Get very familiar with the faces of people you appreciate.  Be ready to approach, and try to know their schedule.  When I worked at the mall running a kiosk, I had mini football helmets stocked, so I could throw up my back in whenever I feel like it sign, and get that autograph.  This was in Eugene, and athletes from Oregon and around the country shopped there.  I even had one foot by one foot sections of hardwood floor on standby for basketballers to sign.  I remember bothering U of O sensation Luke Jackson for an autograph when I finally hunted him down in Macy’s.  He said, “what do you just carry pieces of wood around?”  I said yes, but he scribbled on one anyway.  I met comedian Carlos Mencia in the mall too, and Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin’s family.  My picture with Bindi Irwin is classic.

This is getting long, but the point is that you can meet influential people too.  Have guts, be ready, and meet them with confidence.  Gifts don’t hurt either.  I once went to legendary Air Jordan shoe designer Tinker Hatfield’s pad with a house warming gift.  I crashed his party, but he invited me in anyways.  I gave him the best ceramic vase I’d ever made.  He put it on his mantle, and gave me a 45 minute tour.  Just goes to show you that if you appreciate others, they will appreciate you.  I can’t imagine the person I’d be if I hadn’t met the people that inspire me to go hard.  The World is yours.  Don’t let anybody bring you down.  Meeting famous people is your God given right.

Meeting Famous PeopleFrom top left: Cameron McKirdy with Haloti Ngata (NFL), Joey Chestnut (#1 Pro Eater), Aston Eaton (#1 athlete on Earth), Bindi Irwin (Freed Willy), Chael Sonnen (UFC), Badlands Booker (rapper, competitive eating champion), Joey Harrington (Oregon Duck QB), Erick Lindgren (#1 poker player in the world), Terrell Brandon (NBA All-star)

By Cameron McKirdy

For my prep of the day I waterproofed gear. I rattle canned black panniers for my bug out bicycle, a frame bag, and my bike repair kit with the protectant. Then sprayed my clean Nike LunarGlide 4’s with one thick coat. I let them sit outside on a hot day, and now they are better than new. Broken in. Snug.

I need to swoop another can of protectant. Next I will waterproof my backpacking bags, and other cycling gear.

I may put another coat on these items tomorrow. As long as the shoe (article) is still breathable, and isn’t stained, I’m pouring on this type of protector, as pictured.

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Survival Bros Prep Of The Day – Waterproofing Gear

Saddle Mt Summit Photo

Ready or not, my chubby puggle Mocha was going hiking with me.  I took the pug/beagle combo to the top.  She made the summit by herself, but it was a struggle.  It was a sweltering 80 plus degrees out.  My poor dog hasn’t been training hard lately.  Her exercise routine consists of going from the couch to food and back.  But Mocha and I have hiked, so I knew the 5-year-old mutt still had it.  I remember the first time I let her off the leash on a trail.  She was running back and forth, up and down it.  The puggle was so excited to be out of the apartment.  I couldn’t contain her.  Once she even fell off a cliff as the bank eroded and I had to quickly swing her up by the leash and collar to save her.  Mocha is much fatter now, but we are working on it.

Mocha The Puggle

When we got to Saddle Mountain State Natural Area her nose was working overtime.  There were lots of people hitting the trail, and camping.  I brought water, and gave the puggle breaks.  I made her sit, and she would lay in the shade when she could.  The hike is 5 miles round trip,  but the elevation change is brutal. It’s 1603 feet to be exact, with the top at 3283 feet. Mainly I was concerned about her paws bleeding.  There is lots of metal fencing on the ground to contain the loose rocks, and I didn’t know if that would bother her.  On the way up I kept Moc on the leash, 1 because there’s cliffs, and 2 because lots of people were coming down the trail with dogs.  I wanted to protect her.  However, on the way down I decided it would be better to let her follow me off leash.  She didn’t want to walk on the trail because the gravel was hurting her.  So she waddled along side the main path, and didn’t hurt anything.  Plus, it was getting late, and we were basically the last down.

Mocha Survival Puggle

On the way we checked out a geocache hidden on a side trail.  I’ve found it before, but I wanted to see all the new stuff inside, and sign the log book again.  Not many people locate it each year.  I traded in a emergency paracord bracelet for a CD with clues to another cache.  I’m getting into geocaching because it’s something fun to do while hiking, or when you’re just out and about.  There’s more than 2 million geocaches planted around the world.  This hobby also forces me to analyze and use maps too.  I filmed Mocha and I checking out what was inside the ammo box this time.

After a few solid hours of hiking, Mocha, my cameraman, and I reached the peak.  We all sat down and took in the majestic views of the North Coast.  You can see the whole coastline, from Seaside well into Washington State.  Poor Mocha was beat.  She was gasping for air, and I was a little worried about her.  We had just enough water left to quench her thirst, but more would have been nice.  Usually there is a spring about halfway up that I feel is safe to drink from.  My dog did lap up the puddle there, but I wasn’t getting on all fours.  In the end, Mocha killed it.  I was so proud of her.  I kept her motivated with words of encouragement, smacking her butt, and tossing turkey jerky in her mouth.  On the way back I told Moc we were going back to the car and home for ice cubes (her fav).  My legs were jello, and Mocha was walking funny, but we accomplished the mission.  Next time we will be even stronger, and smarter about it.  

Cam and MochaMocha knew we were going to the top.  If you want to rock a paracord bracelet for emergency preparedness made by Survival Bros, send $8 to cameronmckirdy@hotmail.com via PayPal.  Thanks and best wishes from us both.

Mt. Hood Summer 2013

Survival Bros recently had the opportunity to tour The Fruit Loop near Mt. Hood. This abundant area is less than 1 hour from Portland. We checked out farms, orchards, vineyards, lavender fields, and even an alpaca ranch. It was a scrumptious trip. I stocked up on all sorts of goodies, and tried every free sample imaginable.

Mt. View Orchards Inc. The first spot we rolled up on was Mt. View Orchards Inc. My parents have been there before, and already knew they had some of the best prices on fresh fruit. We were in the market for a variety of apples, blueberries, and peaches specifically, since they are in season now and being celebrated. This fruit stand is located in Parkdale, with a spectacular view of Mt. Hood. The fruit looked even better, and I took the opportunity to use a fruit picker to snag the choicest peaches growing on huge, abundant trees. There were several types to try, including excellent tiny donut-shaped peaches. After picking a box full, we headed to the store there to pay and try all the samples. There was apple cider, dried pears with cinnamon-sugar, raw honey, fudge, and every kind of jam and peppered jelly you could imagine. Calorie restriction didn’t cross my mind. Before we bounced to the next farm, I examined and swooped up six ears of sweet corn for a buck.

Cameron McKirdy picks fruit

mt view corn

Next stop was Draper Girls Country Farm. They offer U-pick and We-pick varieties of cherries, nectarines, pears, prunes, etc. However, Survival Bros and Co. were more interested in the goats and pigs. They are USDA approved, and so damn cute. We said hi to them, snapped pictures, tried their fruit samples, and rolled on. We got most of our fruit at the first stop. Draper Girls were pretty proud of their bounty, but it’s still cheaper than the grocery store. Fun place, and beautiful. They made me crave some fresh goat milk for sure. If you’re looking for a vacation, Draper Girls rents out the farm house year round.

Draper Girl's Fruit Stand

Draper Girls Country Farm

Draper Girl's Goat Farm

A short drive down the road was Cascade Alpacas and Foothills Yarn & Fiber. Can’t say I’d seen an alpaca before. These goofy creatures have a purpose though. They produce soft yarn for knitting, crocheting, weaving, and spinning. The yarn shop had a huge selection of equipment, and gifts. I liked the beanies and socks, but spent my money on feeding the alpacas instead. They were hungrier than me! So I fattened them up with alfalfa pellets. I did try to eat an alpaca, but the owner said no. That would be like eating a horse. Which way to the BBQ? The alpaca farm was worth the trip. We even got to see some babies. They sheer the young ones for yarn after just a few weeks.

Cascade Alpacas and Foothills

Cascade Alpacas Owner

After nearly biting into an alpaca, I needed to relax. The Hood River Lavender Farms were next. It features epic views of Mt. Adams, Hood, and the Hood River Valley. The small gift shop had Lavender Oil, lotions, and other products derived from the 70+ types of certified organic lavender grown there. We didn’t stay long, or even pick a bouquet, but it was interesting. They were also growing hops on the shop, which was cool.

Hood River Lavender Farms

About this time we got hungry and ate lunch in town at an authentic Mexican joint. Then Survival Bros went to the Apple Valley Country Store and Bakery. I regret not getting their BBQ. How about some cherry-wood smoked ribs? Instead I opted for marionberry pie with Tillamook vanilla ice cream. Here they had tons of free samples. Below is a photo of us putting apple butter on a cracker. I’d go back to this country store.

Apple Valley Country Store & Bakery

We made a quick stop at the Mt. Hood Winery. They had live music, and a big tasting room that wasn’t too crowded. I didn’t feel like spending $7 on a glass of Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling, or anything else. I had a taste, but I think it was just too hot out, and my belly had had enough. I was most impressed with the vintage James Bond movie posters in the men’s restroom. I almost busted the camera out for those, but decided against the bathroom photography. It’s a nice place. Finally we traveled to The Gorge White House, where they serve Mt. Hood wines, and some 25 other local bottles. This historic home sits on a century old working farm. My crew sipped their hard ciders. I enjoyed the mixed berry variety. In The Gorge White House we drank a “Heritage Pear Wine.” It was tasty, so I took a bottle home for $19. There was lots going on here, between a bridal shower, the store, a food cart, tasting rooms, and a massive flower garden to explore. You’ll want to visit this farm. All said and done, nothing beats the splendor of Oregon’s Hood River County Fruit Loop. It’s 35 miles of vast orchards, farms, fruit stands and kind people. I did all this in a day, but you could easily spend two full days leisurely strolling along this community. Visit www.hoodriverfruitloop.com for more info. Thanks for stopping by the Survival Bros blog.

The Gorge White House U-Pick fields