Posts Tagged ‘free’

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 McKirdy

I’ve had my hippie van for a week, and have burned through tanks of petrol.  I’ve found several spots to crash out for a night or longer that are free places to stay, and I’m willing to share this and more with you today – only on Survival Bros.

The first type of location I scouted out are places open 24 hours to the public.  There aren’t many in small towns, but large grocery stores are a good start.   Be on the look out for other campers, and recreation vehicles at the far end of parking lots.  If you had to spend a night car camping in city limits, this isn’t a bad choice, because you probably won’t be hassled.  Don’t forget you can always post up, and get some ZZZ’s at Rest Stops.  I spent a night this week the parked at one.  You’ll have access to the bathroom at all hours, trash, and potable water (in some cases).  

Camping in a van solo can be lonesome.  So I made an effort to hangout with other preppers, this time way outside of the city.  The VW van, which I’ve named Shaggy, has been mobbing hard, so I felt comfortable driving to BLM land in the Clatsop Country Forest.  I have AAA towing up to 100 miles, so I have no fear going off the grid.  However, I still had cell phone service in the mountains, thanks to a well-placed tower.  Two bros of mine led me to Lost Lake this week for a getaway.  It’s stocked with thousands of trout begging to be plucked from the depths.  I watched my buddies fish for a few hours, while I played with the dog, and poured drinks.  I brought rum, and sparkling cider.  The Martinelli’s was an excellent chaser.

Camping at the lake, or in the parking lot is prohibited, so we made our own spot down another gravel road.  The lookout was spectacular.  Below you can see a valley, and the Nehalem river.  Which you can watch me and my Dad raft by clicking this link to YouTube.  The fish were cooked on a spit for an hour or so, and tasted delicious.  I wanted to take a bite out of the side of a raw fish, but I will save the sushi for when I’m being trendy in town.  Wasabi, soy sauce, and ginger are a must anyways.

Nehalem River viewpoint

I didn’t feel like waiting for food to cook, so I grabbed two bags of Mountain House food, and heated water on my portable butane camp stove.  It took four minutes to get it boiling.  Then I opened the food pouches, and dumped the water right in.  I resealed the grub, and in eight minutes I was ready to chow down.  Now normally I would share, or save some of a feast this size, but I went beast mode, and devoured both bags.  I combined the Mountain House biscuit and gravy meal, with scrambled eggs and bacon.  It was terrific!  I forgot to pack utensils though, so I used a six inch blade to carefully shovel calories into my face.  In case you are wondering, the knife I used is called the COAST F611.  It’s a survival tool I’ve been playing around with a lot lately, and I like it.

Camping food bag

mountain house meals

eating with Coast F611

trout fishing

 Dinner is served!  Even our dog got some fish.

fish on spit

Fire looking cool.

Pabst Beer can cup

Tactical Gypsy made his own coffee cup in the morning from a beer can.

VW Vanagon GL 1986

Shaggy the VW Vanagon is a tank, and handled the gravel roads like a boss. 

Roscoe Dog

In the A.M. my two bros, the mutt, and I went back to the lake.   I was busy getting fishing tips, journaling for fun, and doing basic breathing and stretching techniques.  I love my yoga!   We walked a trail skirting the water, and attempted to hook more gilled vertebrates.  The fish were teasing us.  Jumping out of the water and splashing near us.  We did see one breach the surface and smack into a floating log.  That was funny.  Not amusing was the dog getting all muddy and wet, then coming right up to me to shake off.  Of all the places.  I almost took a swim, but decided to save that for another time.  I didn’t need a bath that bad.  Besides, have you ever seen a clean hippie?  More from the road soon friends.  Best wishes. 

Lost Lake Fishing

 

 

Survival Bros Logo Cool Grey

Cameron McKirdy from Survival Bros shows you how to gather freebies at a motel.  Embrace hoarding, and be the real prepper you can be.  Not that I’d do it, but I bet you could walk into any hotel and politely ask for another shampoo, soap, and coffee and you’d get hooked up without being questioned about what room you are staying in.  Just saying.  I’ve already put my freebies in Ziploc bags for storage.  Happy prepping.  Please SUBSCRIBE to Survival Bros on YouTube!  Thank you.

Produced By Cameron McKirdy

Learn all about the NEW contest from Survival Bros, and Cougar Ridge Knives!  Visit, or ship your Altoids Survival Tin Kit to the shop for review at: 3348 Hwy 101 N. Seaside OR 97138 USA  Call Rick Smith at (503) 738-9812 for additional details on this giveaway.  There’s incredible prizes on the line.  Lots more soon, so keep checking back on this blog post.  Good luck preppers.  

*Good news:  

This contest has been extended, and is now running until May 1, 2014.  So get those entries in.  If you are shipping them, please include money for return postage.  Thank you.

Here’s the official rules:

1.  All contents must be legal commercially available products.  All contents must fit inside an Altoids tin and close.  Paracord can be used to wrap the tin.

2.  Entry submissions can be returned with provided postage, or pickup within 30 days after the contest end.

3.  Contest will run from 3/15/14 – 5/1/14.  Entries will be judged on practical use and creativity.

Prizes:  

1st Prize – Gerber emergency survival pack valued at $60

2nd Prize – Coast emergency lantern valued at $40

3rd Prize – CRKT Eat’N Tool valued at $8

 

survival tin contest prizes

Survival Bros visits a fine knife shop on the Oregon Coast.  Stop by the store when you take a trip to the beach. 

Owner Rick Smith tell you how you can create a knife with expert guidance at his shop Cougar Ridge Knives in Gearhart, Oregon. 

By Cameron McKirdy

There’s many freebie sites online that link to forms where you can request free samples from companies.  In this video I show you all the stuff I’ve received in the mail, plus items I have taken from stores myself.  You can also complain about product you don’t like to a company’s hotline, and they will send you a replacement, or a voucher redeemable at a shop near you.  

New video of freebies I received this week including a $10 Starbucks gift card

First, I want to discuss how to get free samples by mail.  It’s easiest to find a website like http://www.freebieshark.com which links to the latest promotions around the web.  Generally, you just have to fill out a short form with your name and address to get a complementary trial size of whatever.  Sometimes, you have to like a company’s Facebook page, Tweet about their business, or something like that before you can request a free sample.  It takes a few seconds to complete most forms, especially if you allow your internet browser to auto fill in your information.  As you can see in the Survival Bros video above,  I’ve scored tons of things by quickly filling out forms online.  I think my favorite gift was the four Keurig coffees in a sampler box.  It’s not much, but freebies add up, and save you lots of cash in the long run.

In the video I also mention how I complain about items I’m not satisfied with to the company over the phone.  These comment lines are always grateful I call, because my input helps make their product better.  They apologize for my inconvenience, and send me vouchers good for a replacement item, and valuable coupons for the future.  I said Planters sent me $15 to get a new item of my choosing, and here’s what the manufacturer coupons looked like before I spent them at UnSafeway.

product vouchersThe final and simplest way to get free stuff is to take it.  Go to a business, such as a convenience store, and get packets of sugar, salt and pepper, honey, sauce, etc.  Or if you’re eating at a fast food restaurant, politely ask for extra sauces.  You can take home additional ranches, mustard and ketchup, or crackers.  They won’t mind, and you rarely have to pay for these, so have fun, and use your imagination.  Soon you’ll have a huge stockpile of goodies like me.  This is what I had on hand to show today.

free stuff onlineNow you know three ways to get free stuff.  You can find an offer and fill out a form online to request a free sample, call the company directly if you are not satisfied with a product, or take a few extras from restaurants and stores.  You have to embrace being a hoarder, and become a scavenger.  I believe this is the essence of being a prepper.  It’s good to have extra just in case.  It’s free, why not take it?  If I can get all these items in a few weeks, so can you.  You just have to do some urban, and online hunting.  Please comment if you have any questions and I will get back to you.

By Andrew McKirdy
Whiskey Barrel TablesUpcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.
 
This DIY project started when I sat down for a drink at Rock Bottom Brewery in Denver, Colorado.  I noticed several old whiskey barrels being used for decoration.  I asked my waitress if I could have one, and a few days later the brewmaster and I were loading two freshly used barrels into a borrowed car for transport.   They’d been emptied, but I could still hear swishing when I moved them.  One had been used for a raspberry saison and the other for an ale.  I don’t have a shop, but thankfully a friend let me use his patio to begin work.  I decided I wanted to keep one barrel whole and use it as a kitchen table.  The other I would cut in half and turn into two side tables.  I used a handsaw for accuracy, and finished with a powered skill saw.  For the whole barrel, I drilled a small opening in the bottom to drain the remaining contents.  I scraped the insides with a chisel, removing any loose wood chips.  Then I poured vinegar in the barrels to kill bacteria and prevent future growth.  This also helped get rid of the funky raspberry smell. 
 
I sanded, then dusted off both barrels, to prep them for stain.  I came back the next day, but the stench of high VOCs (nasty chemicals called volatile organic compounds) reeked.  I realized I would need to seal them up.  This would stop the smell, and provide an excellent sheen.  I found a low VOC polyurethane which worked wonders.  Lastly, were the rusty metal hoops, which I wanted black.  After those were painted I priced around for the most affordable glass company.  I was told I needed a tempered piece of glass which cost twice as much, but is infinitely safer and stronger.  Finally the project was complete.  I had taken something that was going to be destroyed, and given it new life in my home.  I researched the name on the barrel and found out it came from the oldest and smallest distillery in Kentucky, originating in 1797.  The Woodford Distillery is in fact a National Historic Landmark.  I have a real piece of Americana.
Vintage Oak BarrelsOak Whiskey Barrels to be upcycled

By Cameron McKirdy

A friend was generous enough to give me a bag full of fresh Rosemary.  Her plant produced incredible amounts, more than she needed.  My stash has been drying in the dark pantry, on the water heater, ready to be utilized.  The day came, and man did it improve the meal.  

Fresh Rosemary

After plucking it from the stem, Survival Bros tossed several teaspoons in to boil with the potatoes.  It gave them a sweet taste, that was way better than ordinary spuds.  

Boiling Potatoes with Rosemary

Then we cooked chicken with a few pinches of fresh Rosemary on top.  Now I don’t want to cook without it.  It also pairs well with lemon.  Tell me that doesn’t look succulent!Rosemary ChickenI’ve also been trying out shampoo and conditioner harnessing the power of both Rosemary and Mint.  I think this Suave product works really well.  I hope you can get a hold of some of this special herb.  For more on the uses and cultural significance of Rosemary, read all about it on Wikipedia here.  Thanks for visiting the blog.  Make sure to read some of our other posts.  %^).

rosemary suave shampooRosemary in Latin translates to “dew of the sea.”  It is said to improve memory, and has additional medicinal uses.

Produced by Cameron McKirdy

Watch me get as many complementary samples as possible.  SPOILER ALERT: I score a free trial of sausage, cheese, lotion, cologne, ice cream, vitamins, purified water, and even ukulele entertainment.  I also considered using the mall’s power to charge my cell phone.  At a larger shopping center I’m sure you could eat the equivalent of a meal by sampling grub at all the food court’s restaurants.  This was simply a fun exercise of frugality.  Cheers!

free ice cream sampleCam poised to strike the ice cream vendor for freebies

By Cameron McKirdy

Let me start by saying Happy Holidays!  I wish you the best, and hope you give more than you get.  Having said that, my fam was in town for Thanksgiving, and Black Friday shopping/trampling.  Before my Dad and I set out to hike near Mount St. Helens, they invited me into their hotel for a free deluxe continental breakfast.  The feast was on.

The hotel had waffles to make, yogurt, fruit, hash browns, juice, coffee, cereal, eggs, sausage, everything!  I can’t say I’ve ever sneaked into a hotel for a free breakfast (before this), but I would if I was hungry.  However, when I am a legit guest I do take goodies for the road.  Trust me, my pockets get filled with honey packets, peanut butter, whatever.  My brother use to creep into fine hotels in Eugene about twice a month to get his fill before class.  Andrew blogged about it here on Survival Bros.  It’s funny.  But I’m not advising you to steal, just sharing a survival tactic for if you’re about to die and need food energy.

You can see in the HD video above I loaded up on the complementary grub, and took it back to their room.  I scarfed it, and sipped dank coffee.  Then I scoured for other freebies like shampoo, soap, packaged coffee, plus sugars, creamers, straws, napkins, and a new roll of toilet paper.  It’s not much, but it will help me get through another day.  Being a scavenger is key to survival.  Work on that skill just in case.  Please visit here regularly.  I will be blogging about my 10 mile Mt. St. Helens hike soon.  Take care of yourself, and each other.  And question authority!

hotel waffle

Produced By Cameron McKirdy

In this HD video Survival Bros tests the SteriPEN Sidewinder UV Water Purification System.  It’s hand powered, meaning it’s battery-free.  I think it’s light-weight at 16.6 ounces, and compact enough to fit in a backpack with a height of 8.6 inches.  The Sidewinder is perfect for camping, and emergency preparedness.  Their moto is “safe drinking water anywhere.”  That’s a noble mission, and one we can all appreciate.

Imagine knowing a hurricane is about to devastate your area, and seeing this on your shelf.  I can’t picture a prep that would bring more peace of mind than the SteriPEN Sidewinder.  This tool disinfects 8,000 liters of water that could be contaminated with bacteria, protozoa, and viruses.  Those potentially harmful risks are getting eliminated thanks to the powerful UV lamp.  Even a kid could operate this purifier.  All you have to do is fill it, flip it, crank it, and drink it.  In 90 seconds you have water you don’t have to worry about.  Survival Bros is also grateful that the bottle is BPA-free, so you won’t be drinking chemicals that way.  In the box you get the 1L container, water-tight bottle lid, and Pre-Filter for particulate removal.

The SterPEN Sidewinder is one of those products a prepper really needs.  It’s a good backup to have, in case your regular water source is compromised, or you’re just off the grid.  I have no complaints with this system.  It feels well made, it works, and will continue to keep me safe for many years.  They even offer a 3 year warranty.  Plus, they are an American company.  Check out their full line of gear at http://www.steripen.com  There’s an ultraviolet light solution right for you.  I’m sure you’ll see us testing more SteriPEN products in the future.  We approve 100%!

SteriPEN Sidewinder UVSteriPEN Sidewinder UV Water Purification System for Emergency Preparedness