Category Archives: Survival and Camping Gear

First Aid Kits For Home, Office And Car- Are Your Prepared?

Sorry for the delay in posts folks, I had planned to post more from Korea but stayed pretty busy. But I am back now, and we will pick back up.

In light of recent events on Japan and elsewhere, I think we should all take a moment to step back and reflect on how well prepared we are, as individuals and communities, for disasters large and small, so for the next few entries here we will look at what everyone should do to make sure they are prepared.

First thing to look at is a good first aid kit. If right now you, or your child if you are a parent, cut your hand badly, ask yourself do you have what it would take to properly bandage it up? If you were at work, would you? If you were in your car, would you?

If the answer is no, time to fix that. If your answer is ‘no, but I will just call the ambulance, that is what they are for” consider that many times just in bad snowstorms the EMS systems here are overwhelmed with calls for service. A large earthquake or a tornado or real blizzard would leave them overwhelmed- do you want to be “that guy” who ties up 2 paramedics and an ambulance for an injury you should have been able to bandage at home, keeping it from responding to people with more serious needs? I don’t.

This complete kit is under $40!

If you own a business or supervise people at work, have you provided a basic first aid kit for your employees?

We sell a full line of first aid kits, ranging from a basic home and office first aid kit for $19.75 up to a professional EMT-B level jump bag for $$189.50. One piece of advice is buy the bag that is suited to your level of training and experience- not everyone needs the biggest, baddest kit unless you plan to take classes and learn to use it all. I usually suggest a kit like this one as a good kit for those with average training, not everyone needs the real expensive ones.

My opinion is you need a kit at home, at work, and in the car. However, if you get one bigger, more complete kit my advice is to keep that kit in your car. When you are at home, so is your car. When you are at work, so is your car- so keeping you best kit there keeps it close to you more of the day. After all, you can’t plan accidents!

Of course, to go with the kit your need training. A basic CPR certification and the Red Cross basic first aid are what I suggest at a minimum. If you are a parent, these basic skills are a bare minimum of what you need to provide for your family. I strongly suggest going further and seeking a first responder or EMT-B course at you local community college if you have the time. At least one school here in NC even offers EMT-B mostly online, with the hands on portions done on weekends.

One more word of caution- We sell a lot of kits, some of them are in a military style camo or green bag, some are in a civilian blue or orange bag. Unless you are military or LE and have a need for the camo, I strongly suggest you get an orange or blue bag or box that is easily identifiable as a first aid kit. I had one customer who purchased a green bag and came back a week later to get an orange one- he had a coworker injured at work, and sent someone to his truck for his first aid kit “in the green bag”- she returned with his green range bag full of pistols! So keep your kit easily identifiable, in case someone else needs to grab it.

So take some time to think about it. Do you have the first aid supplies and training to care for yourself and your family if need be? What about if resources are tied up and only the worst ones are getting medical attention because of a more widespread emergency?

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A great WWII photo of an immersion heater bathtub….

Looking through the latest issue of Army Motors, I saw a great picture of GI’s using an immersion heater like the ones we offer. Just take the trough under the communal well in the town, add an immersion heater, and you have a hot bath in the field! That is the WWII model, but the later M67 models we sell work the exact same, they just simplified the construction.

There is never any shortage of GI ingenuity!

Immersion Heater Heating Bath Water

Cotton shortages, new parachute cord colors, other great blogs

Yes, we have more colors of parachute cord now- 20+ colors! If you have been looking for more colors, we have them, and we expect to add about 10 more in a few weeks. There are even multicolored parachute cord weaves now! we source all our parachute cord from only US manufacturers, it is 100% MILSPEC made in the USA cord with the 7 strand core. With the growing popularity of braiding parachute cord into bracelets, keychains, and even rifle slings, sales have surged. A lot of customers are also buying our MOLLE Replacement Buckle Sets to use when making the bigger projects like rifle slings.

Made any neat stuff with our para cord? Send us pictures of your projects to tim@oldgrouch.com and I will post a gallery of customer projects!

Did you know there is a worldwide cotton shortage? Yep, there is. That has affected the supply of some items we sell. Right now manufacturers like Tru-Spec are having a hard time keeping up with demand because they cannot find cloth, so they are back ordering items like the 24/7 series pants on us, often for over a month. Prices on them have not risen yet, but we expect them too soon. On clothing there is about a 4-5 month lag time from price increase of material to price increase on the street.

However, canvas tarps have a much shorter lag time, and we are already seeing almost 20% increases on them. We have a new order due in this week, and will have to adjust prices when they arrive.

Bottom line- if you anticipate buying anything made with cotton in the next 12 months, consider buying now to beat the price increases.

Lastly, but certainly not least, a big thanks to John over at No Lawyers- Only Guns and Money for his kind words and great write up about our store! If you don’t follow his blog, you should, he is a great source of info on current 2nd Amendment Issues in NC and across the country!

Thanks everyone!

T

More innovative uses for surplus immersion heaters

We still have a good supply of the surplus M67 Immersion Heaters but once they run out there will be no more, as these are no longer used by the US military. Our customers keep finding new and innovative uses for them.

M67 Immersion Heater

M67 Immersion Heater

For those not familiar with them, they are very simple. A steel body submerges the combustion chamber under the level of the water to be heated, fuel drips down from the fuel tank controlled by a valve you use to adjust the fuel rate, it hits a cast iron plat to vaporize it, burns in the circular combustion chamber, then the exhaust goes around and up the exhaust stack. No moving parts while it burns at all, so they are very reliable.

Fuel? The military used gasoline, and listed diesel and kerosene as permissible fuels in an emergency. My customers, being an innovative crowd, have used gas, diesel, kerosene, old waste gas they get for free from from junkyards and boat shops, any of those fuels mixed with used motor oil, biodiesel, Coleman fuel,  waste jet fuel from a job at the airport, and a lot of blends of all of the above.

So what uses have they found so far:

  • Heating stock tanks that they use for watering livestock. They run them an hour or so in the evening and the water gets warm enough to not freeze all night. They say surrounding the tank with dirt helps insulate it.
  • Heating a greenhouse. They install the heater in a large water tank and run the stovepipe just like a wood stove. They get the water nice and hot running it for an hour or two, then when they turn the heater off the large tank of hot water radiates heat all night.
  • Heating a hot tub or pool without using electricity.
  • Heating waste vegetable oil used to make biodiesel in order to boil the water off to make it usable.
  • Heating hot water for showers and dishwashing at remote hunting cabins- one customer made a heat exchanger from an automotive heater core that he plumbed into the tank of water heated by the immersion heater, as water flows through it gets heated.
  • Heating large amounts of water to scald chickens, ducks or hogs as part to the butchering process.
  • Heating an ice fishing shack, set on cinder blocks (not sure I trust this, but they say it works great)

And there are more I am sure I am forgetting. For less than $60 it is hard to beat these things for the amazing number of uses they have for a farmer, prepper, (have you considered how to get hot water without electricity?) hunter with a remote cabin, and lots of other folks.

I just sent one to Jack who does the Survival Podcast to get his review of them and input on uses, and I bet he comes up with even more great uses. If you don’t listen to his show, give it a try- he does a great job.

How are you using one of these? Let me know!

T