Author Topic: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.  (Read 12873 times)

Offline The Professor

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Yes, I actually did a double-take when I saw the word's "American Survival Guide" in the all-too-familiar font atop a brand-new magazine.

I was quickly passing through a truck-stop in Eastern Colorado when the cover caught my eye.  It was late at night and I was on a tight schedule.  So, I quickly snagged on the last copy they had and added it to my Dr. Pepper and Beef Jerky as I made my way to the cashier.

I was so tired when I got home that I fell asleep in my chair without having the opportunity to read it.

This afternoon, I filled a pipe with my favorite MacBaren Vanilla Creme and a pilsner glass with my favorite, well. . .Pilsner and sat down to read it.

Before I go on, I must make a few observations.  First of all, I loved the original American Survival Guide and most of the "Self-Reliance Journal" issues that came with the change of being purchased by another publisher.  I was passing friends with Mr. Jim Benson, the editor, in the late 80's and early 90's, even having contributed a few times to the publication. 

When SRJ folded, Jim Benson opened www.modernsurvival.net and kept the same look and layout of the original dead-tree periodical but in an online form.

Strangely, about a year ago, the entire domain disappeared along with contact information and his Independence Press.  I posted a couple articles here inquiring if anyone had heard anything, but received absolutely Zero responses.

I presumed that Jim's time had come and he had, perhaps, passed on.

Then, I saw this.  In my mind, I had briefly hoped that all the ModernSurvival.net stuff had been pulled down to start this new venture (and it's still possible that it has been).

I will admit to a bit of actual excitement at opening this new American Survival Guide.

Immediately, I went to the page with the editorial information.  My heart plummeted when I saw this was now being done by Beckett Media, publishers of the generously-described as mediocre magazines such as GunWorld, Sports Card Monthly, Victorian Homes, and the ever-popular Yum Food and Fun for your Kids Magazine.

Flipping quickly to the table of contents and scanning the names of the contributors, I found only one name, Paul Hantke, who I recognized from the original ASG.

Already, my enthusiasm was dwindling.  I proceeded to flip through the pages and what I beheld was a magazine that appeared to be entirely generated for clueless yuppies whose only concept of preparedness was  that they  knew something was going to happen, and didn't want to be caught without the latest name-brand gear lest their neighbors scoff at them for having such mundane equipment.

The articles, despite the number pages dedicated to each one, were very short and quite devoid of anything but fluff information.  This magazine appears to be geared toward preppers suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder.  Every page has several Box-Outs, usually hocking this high-end piece of equipment (along with price and where to buy it) or that bit of worthless information (my favorite: Survival APPs for your IPhone/Droid).

There are two decent articles, one by the aforementioned Paul Hantke, and another which appears to be an interview-by-email with Les Stroud.

This magazine that bears the iconic ASG name appears to now be nothing more than a way to suck down advertising dollars by offering them multiple opportunities to showcase their equipment in full color, regardless of whether it's appropriate for preparedness.

Some examples?  Sure!

How about the "Editor's Choice Award" for best Survival Sunglasses?  Their recommendation: Adidas Terrex Fast (only $210).  It does have anti-fog lenses, but no comment on whether it's ANSI Z-Spec approved, is polarized, etc.

More?  SURE!

How about  the following for your Survival Gear:

Footwear?  Look no further than Garmont Tower Plus GTX's available in Crimson, yellow and black for a budget-inspired $399!
Gloves?  You'll be the envy of your Doomsday Prepper friends with Mountain Hardwear's Hydra Pro Glove (only $125/pr)!!!!


Need creative, practical gear for your bug-out bag?  How about an Eton American Red Cross Rover (another Editor's Choice Award!!)?  For $49.99  you can have  a combination dynamo flashlight/radio/phone charger in silver and red!!!!

Want to spy on that roadblock up ahead?  Use your Zeiss Victory HT Binoculars (affordably priced at $2444.00 to $2499!!), with "protection on knob for durability" and special coating so "fingerprints can be wiped away."

It gets worse.

Yes, I realize I may have been expecting a lot more.  Yes, I'm being harsh, but with a magazine that is/was as iconic as ASG originally became, they had a very high standard to meet.

And they failed miserably, choosing to make the quick buck rather than earn the respect and dedication of those people who actually need the information.

So, to recap: The new American Survival Guide: Useless as teats on a boar hog.  Save your money, buy one of the other magazines actually edited by people who don't think that starting a fire involves rubbing two Boy Scouts together.

The Professor

<MODS: Please move where-ever you feel it's necessary.  I was going to put this in the General Media board that has, apparently, been removed.>
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 08:44:31 PM by The Professor »
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Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2012, 09:18:46 PM »
Sounds like many gun magazines today that are obsessed with the guns and kit instead of training and tactics.  A pitty, the few back issues of ASG I have seen seemed really good.

I would point out ref your dig on survival apps that Jack has had several guests where useful apps were discussed...just sayin'

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Offline The Professor

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2012, 10:00:59 PM »
I would point out ref your dig on survival apps that Jack has had several guests where useful apps were discussed...just sayin'

Let me quote from the Box-Out:

"Get the Greatest in Survival Apps!

Adapted from John "Lofty" Wiseman's best-selling handbook, "SAS Survival" is a must have for your Android, iPhone and iPad Techies.  Read text from book, videos of "Lofty" demonstrating survival tips, browse photos of plants to discover which are edible or poisonous and even use the Morse Code Signaling Feature for speedy rescue

Not enough? It also includes quizzes to test your know-how, a checklist of what you'll need for the wilderness. a sun compass and give you knowledge to become a first-Aid, extreme climate know-it-all

Only $5.99"


Several issues, here:

First, an app for a phone that provides  you with this information is dependent upon battery power.  If you have an infinite source, great.  Personally, I'd rather have a book.  No batteries required.

Second, a "Morse Code Feature?"  Really? I'd rather turn the phone on and wave it to get attention. . .or better yet CALL THEM!  Exactly whom are you going to be Morse Coding?

Third, well, honestly, it's just freaking stupid.

Apps, books, etc. are all great to sit around your backyard, at the Starbucks, etc. "learning" survival with your coffeemates.  Rather than rely upon a delicate piece of power-hungry technology, I'd rather learn it BEFORE I need it.

The Professor
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Offline Pathfinder

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2012, 06:38:09 AM »
Missed the original ASG, Prof, but this one sounds like the latest in how to separate cash from them what's got more money than brains. And there seem to be a lot of those folk!!!

I work at a company where a zombie would starve to another death in a room full of people.

There are a lot of magazines today that do this - fluff features for a high prices tag. I saw one yesterday on apps for the iPad - $20!!!! For a magazine!!

Thanks for the heads up, will take a pass should i see it on the stands.
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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2012, 09:01:36 AM »
Isn't it true that all magazines of every topic have taken a major nosedive in content in recent years? The only exception I think would be Backwoods Home and Backwoodsman. Mother Earth News skates the perimeter.

Offline nelson96

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2012, 10:58:06 AM »
Isn't it true that all magazines of every topic have taken a major nosedive in content in recent years? The only exception I think would be Backwoods Home and Backwoodsman. Mother Earth News skates the perimeter.

I would have to argue that the BEST magazine available today is the Small Farmer's Journal.  It's a quarterly publication that costs $37/yr and is filled with tons of great stories and helpful information about running a small farm.  The Spring Issue is out now, and you can buy back issues. 
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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2012, 11:44:04 AM »
That does look like a good one. "Urban Farm" http://urban-farm.com-sub.biz/?gclid=CKCIxfKpv7ECFWkCQAodpUcAog looks good also, but I've never actually seen one, also Cedar writes for a good magazine. I guess I spoke too soon, there are a good number of magazines out there when I think about it.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2012, 01:11:32 PM »
Let me quote from the Box-Out:

"Get the Greatest in Survival Apps!

Adapted from John "Lofty" Wiseman's best-selling handbook, "SAS Survival" is a must have for your Android, iPhone and iPad Techies.  Read text from book, videos of "Lofty" demonstrating survival tips, browse photos of plants to discover which are edible or poisonous and even use the Morse Code Signaling Feature for speedy rescue

Not enough? It also includes quizzes to test your know-how, a checklist of what you'll need for the wilderness. a sun compass and give you knowledge to become a first-Aid, extreme climate know-it-all

Only $5.99"


Several issues, here:

First, an app for a phone that provides  you with this information is dependent upon battery power.  If you have an infinite source, great.  Personally, I'd rather have a book.  No batteries required.

Second, a "Morse Code Feature?"  Really? I'd rather turn the phone on and wave it to get attention. . .or better yet CALL THEM!  Exactly whom are you going to be Morse Coding?

Third, well, honestly, it's just freaking stupid.

Apps, books, etc. are all great to sit around your backyard, at the Starbucks, etc. "learning" survival with your coffeemates.  Rather than rely upon a delicate piece of power-hungry technology, I'd rather learn it BEFORE I need it.

The Professor

and I didnt say it was a good idea guy, I just said the namesake of this forum talked about em also, no more, no less.

However if you want to dive in...if you would rather learn before you need it, does it matter what format its in?  "Needing it" in paper means you are on the right side of the event (after the fact).  On the left side of the event you have the technology to use.  I doubt the quizzes the app ad talked about was designed for you to use after the event.  I for one am sick of lugging 20 pounds of books around with me and getting odd looks because of the titles.  My paper survival books are there...at home.

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Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2012, 01:18:25 PM »
<MODS: Please move where-ever you feel it's necessary.  I was going to put this in the General Media board that has, apparently, been removed.>

Thanks for the informative review.  Best place would be the Fiction and Non-Fiction Books board, which I've just renamed to Fiction and Non-Fiction Books/Magazines to make this more obvious.

Thread moving in 3...2...1...

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2012, 01:27:46 PM »
Cedar's publication is awesome!

I think the problem with most publications these days is the cost of printing and distribution. Unless you're in with one of the magazine houses and a distributor or have an enormous subscription by mail base it's pretty tough to do a magazine. Most people don't want to pay upward of $9.00 per issue for a quality magazine. I'm not saying that it can't be done as there are some great examples out there like Survival Quarterly, it's just tough and profits are usually pretty low. So, a lot of print magazines take on the model of nearly every paragraph promoting someone's product, a pointer of where to buy products and heavy advertising to subsidize the magazine.

It's like watching a television show and wading through commercials only to then have to deal with obvious product placement.

While it definitely comes across as the grossest type of sales, it's the current cost of doing business.

It's also become tougher to get subscriptions as a lot of good content continues to flood the web. E-Mags excel in this area because there are no physical prints that have to be made and paid for by the publisher and distribution costs come down to how much a publisher can afford in downloads/uploads with a service provider.

I've been studying the industry quite a bit lately. 


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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2012, 05:54:26 PM »
I do subscribe to one magazine online only for the same price as the hard copy, but there are extras thrown in. NRA's "Rifleman" is also online only for me. Mother Earth News subscription includes a free online version as well. I would think e-mag would be the way to go for someone wanting to get into the business.

Offline nelson96

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2012, 10:09:23 PM »
It's also become tougher to get subscriptions as a lot of good content continues to flood the web. E-Mags excel in this area because there are no physical prints that have to be made and paid for by the publisher and distribution costs come down to how much a publisher can afford in downloads/uploads with a service provider.

I have to agree Nic, but I also agree with The Proff, in that it's nice to have a stack sitting next to my easy chair so that I can thumb through them when I want.  Plus I never can remember where I read something on the internet but can always thumb through my mag's and books.  Plus I share with my elderly family that refuse to use a computer (they love them) and right now my father-in-law is the one paying for the Small Farmer's Journal and sharing with me.
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Offline Nicodemus

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2012, 10:34:11 PM »
Don't get me wrong. I love the feel of paper.

And I'm not taking my laptop into the bathroom! ;D


Offline trekker111

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2012, 08:21:23 PM »
That is both great and sad to hear, at the same time. The original ASG is what introduced me to prepping back in the early 90's. maybe it will correct itself

Offline clayfarmer

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2012, 09:47:46 AM »
What publication does Cedar write for?  I always enjoy her posts here, so I'd like to check it out.
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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2012, 09:08:04 AM »
What publication does Cedar write for?  I always enjoy her posts here, so I'd like to check it out.

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Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2012, 09:17:46 AM »
Just picked up the most recent issue of ASG.  I tend to agree with Prof...its sh*t.  There is next to no information.  There is a lot of gear recommendations but most of the gear is VERY expensive (though likely it is pretty good gear).  It gives one the impression that prepping is another expensive yuppie hobby.  Its like Maxim for prepping.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2012, 08:13:04 PM »
Its like Maxim for prepping.

Dammit. . . *I* shoulda thought of that quote.

+1 for hitting the nail on the head.

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Offline flippydidit

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2012, 11:58:36 PM »
My soldiers used to tease me because I refused to read or even look at Maxim and FHM "magazines".  I used to tell them that I wouldn't even use them as bedding in our chicken coop for fear that our chickens would become stupid.  Good to know which magazines aren't worth your time before purchasing one.

+1 to Professor for the review.  Thanks for taking one for the team.

I stay away from anything that the NRA puts out.  We stopped renewing our membership after they inundated us with sensationalist reasons why they ALWAYS need more money every month.  Even though they have enough money to continuously send bulk mailers and have "black tie schmooze events" where they have multi-thousand dollar raffle gifts for their buddies that can afford to attend the gala events.  Interesting since after all the money they scammed from myself and friends, we have yet to be invited to one of their crony events.  Hmmm.....
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Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2012, 07:47:47 AM »
The difference is the NRA actually puts out information on guns, including historical ones and generally has some decent historical articles.  If you are a life member they send it to you forever so the magazine is not bad.  Stay away from 1st Freedom though, there is not enough 2A only material to make a monthly magazine without tons of repetition and hype.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2012, 07:34:41 PM »
Although. . .I did just come across a magazine that looks like it has some promise. . .  Review pending

The Professor
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Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2012, 07:37:34 PM »
Although. . .I did just come across a magazine that looks like it has some promise. . .  Review pending

The Professor
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Offline The Professor

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2012, 09:21:38 PM »
Link to topic covering the new preparedness-oriented magazine just released:

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=38842.0

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Offline trekker111

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2012, 06:12:32 PM »
Well I found a copy of the new ASG. I am not impressed, at all. I will keep an eye on it by thumbing through it at the newsstand occasionally, but will not buy another copy unless it is clear that they have gotten their ducks in a row. I will keep re-reading my copies of the original.

Offline blademan

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2013, 11:55:23 AM »
Quote from The Professor:
   So, to recap: The new American Survival Guide: Useless as teats on a boar hog.  Save your money, buy one of the other magazines actually edited by people who don't think that starting a fire involves rubbing two Boy Scouts together.

  Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
[|||]> that's a fist bump! Good job!
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Offline Trampledbyhoof

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2013, 08:07:14 PM »
I couldn't agree more!!!! I just bought my first, "new" copy of ASG and I was dismayed, disappointed, disgusted and angry, yes angry and used it as tinder in less than 24 hours. I was searching for the publishing company, since I burned the magazine I had when I came across this post. I was and still am ready to write them a hearty, no holds barred letter about their magazine.

This publication is NOT the wonderful, informative and useful magazine the ASG and its predecessor of old were. Especially not with a $250,000 to $500,000 bug out vehicle or a rain coat that was little more than 2 different colored trash bags that were seam sealed together for $32.00! The whole magazine was nothing but an advertisement with ZERO useful or original content.

I can not express how terribly disappointed I was after leafing through the whole magazine. I was genuinely excited and tempted to sit in the parking lot of the store where I bought it just to read it but I had other things I needed to get done. I can assure you they will never squeeze another $7, $8, $9 or what ever it cost out of me again. The original magazine and its contributors, writers and editors...I would pay $20 a copy for that!

I will be subscribing to The Backwoodsman magazine. They have original content and a lot of people who send in ideas, tips and tricks for just about anything. Some of it can be a bit hoakie at times but I enjoy it all and it all has an application in certain scenarios and places. ASG will not be getting a paid subscription from me. Ever.

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2013, 07:43:13 PM »
I have a problem with most of the magazines out there now, they seem to be of the same mold, cookie cutter types filled with fluff. Reminds me of my youth and my dad's car magazines he would get so pissed how they would all rerun articles on rebuilding a ford 9-3/4 rearend and rebuilding the 4 barrel carb etc... These publishers don't deserve any attention.
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Offline cabowabo

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2013, 09:21:57 AM »
I was flipping through my Magazines and I think I appear to have one of the new American Survival Guides. 
What I found hilarious is one of the "experts" they found a Mr. Tim Ralstons pimping his latest in survival products.  They even label him the "KING of SURVIVAL" however he is the person who shot his thumb off in Doomsday Preppers by putting it over the Barrel of a Ruger 10/22.  For your viewing pleasure http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qth1k962_9A

Also he is supposedly prepping for an EMP, however he has no way to even try and protect his new jeep from the Burst.  And his bug out location is in the middle of the desert.  But you can buy his very expensive gear that he makes and try and survive.  Odds are I'll end up burning that issue along with non important documents that need to be destroyed.  Make a smore out of it. 

Offline The Professor

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2013, 06:38:17 PM »
Yeah, he was at one of the recent prepper expos trying to hawk his $100+ shovel.

I noticed several people, including myself, who just walked on by and gave him a "thumbs up."

I don't think he got it.

The Professor
On "The List" since 1994.  Isn't it about time YOU got on The List?

Yeah, that's right. . ."Professor EMERITUS!"  Now, pardon me while I show up "late" for. . .uh. . .work.

Offline blademan

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Re: American Survival Guide Returns!!! But, don't get your hopes up.
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2013, 09:56:48 PM »
Does this $100+ shovel dig holes automatically, include a flashlight, a ham radio, an emergency shelter, and a back up fire arm? I would buy that.  ;)
Man's mind is his basic tool of survival.
Fear is the mind killer.

Two rules for a happy life:
1. Never sling shit at an armed man.
2. Never stand next to someone who is slinging shit at an armed man.