Posts Tagged ‘pictures’

By Cameron McKirdy

One of my favorite activities do to for myself is taking a trip to an isolation chamber, or flotation tank in PDX.  The two spas Survival Bros have checked out are Float On, and Common Ground.  Both are open to the public, just call ahead before you try this form of alternative medicine.  There’s many benefits to floating, but in general it’s excellent for meditation, and relaxation.  Specifically, I use this type of therapy for an improvement in circulation, and to enhance creativity.

So how does it work?  Well, the video interview featuring Joe Rogan is a good place to start your journey.  But since I have experience, here’s how it went when I stopped by Common Ground at the Everett House Healing Center and Spa.  They are located at 5010 NE 33rd Ave, Portland, OR 97211. First, I reserved a floating session by phone (503-238-1065), which cost $65 for 90 minutes.  If you call them, and ask for a promotion, you may be able to get a better rate.  There’s two tanks here.  Common Ground is a wellness co-operative, so consider becoming a member for more savings.  It’s a wonderful environment, bursting with plant life outside, and welcoming people all around.  The reception area is cozy.  Shop, explore other services, such as massage, or you can help yourself to a beverage like hot tea.  Check in for your float, then grab an over-sized towel and hit the showers and sauna.  Beware, locker room may be coed at times, so you may see some boobies.

After loosening up in the sauna, and breaking a sweat, I rinsed off again, and took off my bath towel.  I slipped into the dark tank, and got settled in.  Using earplugs is recommended, so one more bodily sense is cut off from The World.  That’s the idea.  You use an isolation chamber to go inside yourself, work through issues, and make discoveries.  A floating air pillow supports your head and neck.  Then you simply lay there in darkness, mostly submerged in salty water.  The Epsom solution is ideally the same temperature as your skin, at 93.5-95 degrees.  So as you relax, you begin to lose a sense of where your body ends, and where the The Universe begins.  It’s like being thrown back into the womb.  Finally, you’re alone with yourself again, and can process life better.

Follow the links provided to find out more benefits of flotation tanks.  You’ll begin to discover how it changes your brain.  If you try out an isolation tank, you may feel your mind bending.  According to Common Ground in Portland, OR this “stimulates left/right brain synchronization; shifts brain waves from Beta to lower frequency Alpha, Theta and even Delta; creates mental clarity, alertness; increases creativity, problem solving; heightens visualization; deepens meditation; expands awareness, intensifies acuteness of all the senses, accelerates learning.”  Sign yourself up.  If you try this, you won’t be disappointed.  It is not a waste of time.  It’s something new to most, and good for you on many levels.  Leave a comment if you have additional questions, and I will do my best to answer them.  I will explore this topic further, and blog more about floating soon.  Cheers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isolation_tankfloat tank PDX

“You won’t be in pain, if you have peace at heart.” – Cameron McKirdy in an Isolation Tank

float on inside chamberIsolation Tank photos taken by http://instagram.com/rockman_rocks at Float On in Portland, OR

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

IMG_20140914_114601Sushi grade Coho Fillets

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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

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

 

 

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 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!

By Cameron McKirdy

When I train outdoors on my bike, and hiking, I like to bring most of my Bug Out items in my backpack. I carried a heavy book bag through school, and now useful item are included. However, many people don’t have emergency preparedness packs ready to go. Like my friend Kate for example. When we went hiking on Saddle Mountain, she brought a funky backpack with one strap. I knew that was going to be uncomfortable, but I didn’t say anything. Later I took her old bag with wrappers inside, and upgraded to another backpack with two straps. I built a better survival bag, starting with the weight being more evenly distributed on the hips. Here’s her emergency preparedness day bag after the hike, before I got to look at it and add items.

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Before Kate had some helpful gear, but it was still unorganized. Now her stuff is protected in heavy duty Zip Lock bags. Plus, I wrote her a list of all the things she needs, and checked off the items she already has.

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Here’s Kate’s New Bug Out Bag List:
– Light Stick x 2
– Pink Flashlight (with extra batteries)
– Tooth Paste
– Travel Tooth Brush
– Floss x 2
– CRKT Pazoda folding knife
– Cabela’s Multitool
– Repel Natural
– Kleenex Tissue Paper
– Wet Ones
– Secret Deodorant
– First Aid Kit with extra bandages
– Emergency Space Blanket
– Tampons
– Pain Pills
– Compass 4 in 1 tool keychain
-Tea Kit
– Instant Coffee/Sports Drinks
– Mascara
– Protein Bars and other food and packets of salt, pepper, etc
– Lighter
– Waterproof Matches
– Ponchos
– Extra trash and plastic bags
– Foil
– Local Map
– Chapstick
– SPF Protection
– Change of clothes
*What about barter items?
– Water bottles
– Treatment Drops
– Signal Mirror
– Super Foods/Vitamins
– Stove
– Spork
– Candles
– iPhone headphones/USB charger
– Weather Radio
– Shampoo sample
– Tweezers
– Razor Blade
– Scrunchie
– Duct Tape
– Paper/Pen/Pencil
– Nail Cutters
– Envelops with Forever Stamps
– Paper Clips & rubber band
– Moleskin
– Sunglasses
– Ear plugs
– Silver Rounds
– Tarp
– Survival Bros Paracord Bracelet
– Coffee Filters
– Contacts List
– Cash

With a Bug Out Bag Checklist, you’ll know exactly what you have on hand. Now if Kate gets a flat tire, and has to walk to town because her new car doesn’t have a spare, she can grab her B.O.B., and improve her situation. Another survival scenario she’s prepared for is simply having to bug out at a friend’s or relative’s house for 72 hours or more.  Today that’s possible, and even easy.  The new and improved pack will be on her back, handy in the apartment, or in the trunk of the car, depending on her needs that day. It’s the minimum you should have tucked away for a rainy day. Of course systems vary, and change over time. What’s in your survival bag?

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.

By Cameron McKirdy

I’m so sore. I hiked from Seaside to the Hiker’s Cabins on Tillamook Head. It’s just under four miles, but it took nearly two hours. Then the next morning I hiked back, and walked a few more for good measure.

My 55L backpack weighed at least 40 pounds. And I almost wore 5lb ankle weights too. My Dad tagged along. He had hiking poles, which I tried. They took some of the strain off my legs, and gave me a good arm workout. The trail was nasty. So muddy. Dad said it was the worst time of the year to climb there, which made it the best for me. I wanted a challenge.

We had to climb over a few downed trees, but besides mud, the trail was well kept. It was never ending though. My Dad kept asking if we were there yet, like me on our road trips growing up. He said, “if I was on a treadmill, we would be there already.” Yeah. Working out in a gym is nothing like real life.

There were a couple lookouts over the Pacific Ocean, but it was foggy, and rainy. The canopy from the trees sheltered us some, but I was still soaked. I didn’t take any pictures going there, I knew it was going to be sunny the following day. Once we got to the log cabins, I was on my own. I changed clothes, and got my bed ready.

I used a new sleeping system. I just bought a gortex camo bivy, so that was my outer layer. I also brought my Coleman mummy style sleeping bag rated down to 25 degrees. Then I had a mummy shaped inflatable insulated sleeping pad. It was 2.5 inches thick! Comfortable, but next time I want to use one that’s lower profile, so my face has more clearance. It was a tight fit. I’m a big dude, so sleeping in a bivy bag was a little claustrophobic at first.

I passed out super early. 6PM. I was tired, and just trying to stay warm in my bag. I woke up once, just to say hi to the mice in the bunk above me. They checked out my stuff, left their mark, and bounced. I was stoked in the morning when I popped my head out and saw daylight. I couldn’t wait to hike back to Seaside. The sun was shining, and I could see the end of the ocean.

On the trek back I snapped the pictures you see below. It’s a magical place, eager to be explored. I buried an emergency cache up there, full of food, water purification tablets, matches and more. Maybe someday I will have to flee the city, and retrieve it. On hikes like this you are forced to make decisions. Take the long route around the mud pit, or charge it. I went right through the mess usually. Foolishly I tried to take a shortcut down a slick, rocky hill once. I slipped, and tried to plant my heels in the bank, but couldn’t stop. I slid on my butt, until I snatched a root. No blood. I didn’t take a picture of the slide either, I kept charging.

Four miles later, I made it from the cabins to The Cove in Seaside, OR. I walked through the city, and got some strange looks with my backpack on. That and my backside was covered in mud. I made it home, showered, and passed out. I loved every second of the adventure. It was brutal, but I enjoy training hard. Hike Tillamook Head if you can, it’s part of the majestic Oregon Coast Trail. Now where’s the ice?
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