Am I the only one that can't stand survival magazines?

Discussion in 'General Bushcraft Discussion' started by J Stephens, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. J Stephens

    J Stephens Scout

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    The recent threads surrounding our evolutions and who am I kidding have really had me wondering after reading some of the responses... Am I the only one who can't stand survival magazines?

    There are no shortage of survival magazines at the store. When I see them, the idea of flipping through them literally turns my stomach. To me they are filled with nothing more than paranoia, doom and gloom, and fear mongering, an ideology 180 from mine.

    I get there may be nuggets of wisdom in some of the pages, but I just can't bring myself to flip through them.

    If it has the word survival, survivor, or surviving in the title of the magazine, I'm not doing it.

    How about you?
     
  2. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Simple marketing. "Survival" sells right now...
    And no, I don't buy them.
     
  3. mtnoutdoors

    mtnoutdoors Prov 27:17

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    I don't even look at them an I don't look at stuff on YouTube that talks about it. I love the woods and bushcraft. Prov 27:17
     
  4. TerBear

    TerBear Scout

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    I work in a store that carries magazines. While have spent quite a few breaks and lunches flipping through them, I have never bought them. I have yet to find one that had more than basic information on a given subject.
    You can't really learn how to do something by reading an article that took seven minutes to read.
    For the most part it was reading about new gear that made me open one and even then I realize that the manufacturer most likely paid to have their product in the magazine.
     
  5. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    never read one. no opinion.
     
  6. quietmike

    quietmike Hardwoodsman Supporter

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    I read them long ago.
    Then I realized survival means short term.
    Bushcraft and self sufficiency is a few steps above survival, going into long term.
    There's where my focus is now.
     
  7. Self Reliantist

    Self Reliantist Guide

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    ‘All of the above’.
    “We’re on the same page”, . . . so to speak.

    Norm
     
  8. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Bushmaster

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    I don't know what you're on about. I don't read my magazines, I fill them with cartridges? Is pages like some new fangled gen z term for cartridges? I'm confused. And what makes it a survival magazine? Is that sort of like the term "high capacity magazine"? Some kind of hidden agenda there.
     
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  9. EternalLove

    EternalLove Guide

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    I've read them and I like them. Even a magazine full of adds is less commercial then most youtube videos. I still do not subscribe to any youtubers.
     
  10. Beard-O

    Beard-O Tracker

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    I agree with your sentiment on "Doom and Gloom" and fear mongering. Too many survival magazines are blurring the line between bushcraft survival and prepping survival. I agree that there should be a little prepping involved when it comes to bushcraft, but to me bushcraft is what I call "dirt time." Get out into the woods. Push your limits a little. Be one with your surroundings. To me bushcraft outings are therapeutic. These magazines are filled with end of the world scenarios and everything "Tacti-cool." The only magazine of that sort I will really read is the Backwoodsman and sometimes there are articles in there I will even skip.
     
  11. ReallyBigMonkey1

    ReallyBigMonkey1 Scout

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    I've flipped through the pages many a times and the content is on par with them stupid survival shows on tv
     
  12. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    Only thing missing is a fat guy in web gear centerfold.
     
  13. Self Reliantist

    Self Reliantist Guide

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  14. MAD Punty

    MAD Punty Supporter Supporter

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    Not sure if it qualifies, but The American Frontiersman is an outstanding magazine.

    As for the rest, I just don't pay attention at all.

    I am sort of ambivalent, because even junk magazines may get some young man or woman interested in self reliance and the outdoors. If a kid reads about friction fire and gets inspired to go out to the backyard and give it a shot, that's a good thing, in my book, no matter how trashy the magazine is that inspired him or her.

    In fact...nowadays I am thankful if anyone actually reads anything that isn't on Facebook or Twitter. Just for the sake of reading.
     
  15. spumwuzzle

    spumwuzzle Scout

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    Someone dropped an issue on my desk this morning, it had recipes for hardtack, bannock, pemmican, parched corn and fruitcake.

    It was the only useful information I found.

    Cover shows a mother and daughter stalking a deer inside a post-apocalyptic building - enough time has passed that ivy and vines are growing inside, yet mom and daughter are wearing matching spotless kryptek camo, and their clean hair is neatly braided.

    56C9CE95-52ED-4E28-8CBD-C9494FA298F6.jpeg

    Seems like there were more useful articles when there weren’t a dozen different titles. Still have all my old ASG issues (American Survival Guide).

    The Backwoodsman magazine is the only thing I buy these days.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  16. Metaldog

    Metaldog Just chasing my tail... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Here are my survival magazines.

    [​IMG]

    These are all I subscribe to. :)
     
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  17. Metaldog

    Metaldog Just chasing my tail... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I miss ASG. That was a good one. But as for buying into the "survival" scene & the literature. NOPE!
     
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  18. JohnP

    JohnP No more half measures Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Like anything else some are good, some aren’t. If they get even a single person off the couch, away from YouTube and video games, then more power to them.

    JohnP
     
  19. Kenneth

    Kenneth Scout

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    I hear you loud and clear. I miss Wilderness Way magazine. I still have the first 11 months. I have not come across a good bushcraft magazine though and if anyone knows of one please let me know. I however do really like Backwoodsman magazine.

    I have even stopped buying Field and Stream(F&S) or ourdoorlife(ODL) magazines because when they test the new products, they are always expensive items. Even when they talk about budget rifles, cheapest one is over $700. I get cheaper rifles at Academy. My AR-15 rifle from Palmetto for just over $500. I did buy a bolt and charging handle from a friend to make it cheaper.

    I remember getting a F&S one year that had on the cover about the 50 best lures for that year and something in the back of my brain went umm. I dug out an issue about two years prior and it had the same article but some of the lures were changed, but a majority were the same ones in a different order.

    GOD Bless you and your family

    Kenneth
     
  20. Woodsman Wannabe

    Woodsman Wannabe Scout

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    The current "crop" of survivalists say the same thing about Bushcrafters. They claim that they are in it for the long haul (TEOTWAWKI) and that we are just out for the weekend.... I don't subscribe to the magazines. I will purchase one once in a while if something on the cover catches my eye. I am a pseudo-prepper. I prep for hurricane season every year. I would rather be made fun of for having food and water in the house, ready to go, than be on my knees waiting for FEMA or some other agency to bring me something. I used to subscribe to Backwoods Home and Mother Earth News. I have gathered a lot of knowledge from them, but I wouldn't call them survival magazines, maybe you do.

    Hey, I resemble that remark ;)

    I believe that the Bushcraft and Survivalist worlds overlap. Both teach that knowledge and skill can save your behind in a jam, and neither can be taken away. Many are soft skills that are lost without practice. Shooting and fire making being the top two that come to mind. I would not call myself a survivalist, more of a realist. Reality is I might have to survive in some tough situations, so I better learn what I need to know and have the material things necessary when the time comes. I don't care if that knowledge comes from Mother Earth News, a survival magazine/website, Good Housekeeping or BushcraftUSA. Yes survival magazines and websites are full of Doom & Gloom, but they often times have useful information (especially for a beginner) that can be taken as well.
     
  21. Wasp

    Wasp Supporter Supporter

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    I don't subscribe to any magazines because of the advertisements have minimized the content. But occasionally I will pick one up if it has something relevant or interesting.

    There was a magazine in the 90s called Survival Magazine that was pretty good. I still have a stack somewhere at my dads.

    I think survival magazines can be as relevant as anything else. Like any magazine, not everything in every issue will appeal to or be relevant to you.

    A lot of people like to poke fun at or pretend prepping or survival isn't relevant or will never be necessary. Maybe it wont, but most people that wound up in a bad situation thought it would be....until it was. Its easy to say that if its never happened to you or someone you know, or if you aren't looking further than your everyday life.

    Situations and scenarios happen all of the time if you look around. What about the Hurricane that hit texas a few years ago, or Puerto Rico that was devastated and is still reeling a few years later, or Katrina? How about the forest fires in Tennessee a few years ago, or California that displaced thousands in days? Or what about Venezuela's which took only a few years to go from perfectly normal well to do country to citizens starving and diseased, no food, water, or medicine.
    What about the hiker the other day that was lost and they gave up the search, or the old couple a few years ago that followed their GPS to nowhere and were stranded for a week, or the man that got his car stuck left his family in the snow to look for help?
    The riots right here at home in LA in the 90s, Furgeson, or several others.

    Survival magazines help people think outside the box, learn techniques that might help in certain situations, be prepared, find routes too and from home or work, locate and plan evacuation routes, find alternative water or food sources, understand what should go into a bug out or get home bag and why, how to harden your house or property, firearms from what is practical and what calibers are capable and easy to find or store for food procurement or defense, GPS or SPOT units for finding your way or being found, how to make fire, signaling, being found vs intentionally not being found, etc, etc.

    They address issues that may never come about 'to you' in your lifetime, but are generally happening or have happened right around you if you just look. Go look! Those people were so sure that stuff was just "fantasy", and now they wish they had some forethought or had made some plans and contingencies.


    A few years ago an author from a print and e-magazine wrote an article about during society fallout (like Venezuela) you still had to feed your family. It suggested that in an urban environment cats breed like crazy and that would be one potential food source. I was contacted to take pictures of snares that could be used to catch them (no cats, just the snares). He also did one later about pigeons and other birds. It just makes you think outside the box and gives a plausible scenario and one possible solution.

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    My photos:
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  22. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    No, but I do like some of the cover photos.
     
  23. badgerthehobo

    badgerthehobo Unathletic supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I can’t stand those tacticool mags. As you said, they’re all doom and gloom. And many of them are focused on killing other people. While I understand self defense, those magazines feel so focused on it that to me it feels like the writers are just waiting for any opportunity they can get to put holes in somebody.

    I also used to live next door to one of those doomsday prepper nuts. He and his LMI friends would get together on weekends and practice urban insertion drills in the fake town he built on his property.

    If I survive through a major “world ending” disaster, or even a situation like Selco went through, I’d be relying on my wilderness living skills to get through. Heck at that point it’s just what most of us wish we could do full time.
     
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  24. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    Someone early in this thread said survival sells, he was right, back in the '70's I couldn't wait for my copy of American Survivalist to show up in my mailbox, it wasn't a gloom and doom prepping against some unimaginable SHTF Mad Max world, it was more about commonsense back to mother earth living, a little farming, little hunting, a little about putting some stores aside in case of storms or hard economic times, and yes a little about guns, about personal protection and home defense.
    Somewhere in time my subscription ran out, my interests changed, and my financial situation changed, I haven't picked up a Survival magazine in almost 30 years, but I do admit that I enjoyed reading that one that I used to get, I still enjoy reading Back Woods magazine when I can find an issue, I'm not a prepper, I consider myself a survivor, but I'm not a survivalist or am I into tactical gear.
    But I have no objection to other folks reading them or acting on the information they might gain from reading them, my advice to anyone who doesn't like anything in life is, if something bothers you don't do it, don't like certain books, TV shows, or commercials, don't buy them, don't read them, just ignore them, if seeing survival magazines on book shelves really offends you, you have a bigger problem than you think and should probably seek help for it.

    Just saying.
     
  25. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    My advise, if you are wanting to know how to trap and snare animals is to avoid survival magazines and survival YouTube videos and focus on magazines, books and videos from trappers- Trappers that are catching hundreds of animals a year for many years. Not all of the information regarding trapping in those survival magazines is bad but quite a lot of it is really bad and written buy people who lack experience in catching large numbers of animals. They literally don’t know what they don’t know and are in no position to instruct. Details matter.

    Instead of getting the best tools and techniques for the job you are getting things that are marginally effective and sometimes ridiculous.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
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  26. Wasp

    Wasp Supporter Supporter

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    So should we avoid bushcraft forums too?
     
  27. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    In terms of trapping and snaring advice outside of an occasional rabbit or squirrel, yes, that would be a good idea.
     
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  28. Wasp

    Wasp Supporter Supporter

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    Whats the difference in taking someone elses advice for fire, shelter, harvesting plants or potentially dangerous mushrooms, or anything else? Personally I've never read a survival magazine that suggested to anyone not to do more research or that the article was an end all. If anything its a place to start and to get you thinking outside the box, or might give you some pointers on things or ideas you've overlooked if youre already into a particular subject. No different than most magazines or other internet sources.

    When you read Frontiersman or Backwoods and they show you how to make a self bow are we to assume someone can read it and make one or become proficient with it, maybe take game? What about how to use a bow drill for fire? Or use a fishing technique like a or from Bassmaster Magazine?
     
  29. Corso

    Corso Guide

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    Honestly I loved the old ones from the 1980's

    It was the stuff I lived on when I was a kid - my Dad remembered this some years back when he found these annuals in a second hand bookshop and snapped them up

    1031032_090910112734_combat.jpg

    Combat and Survival was the only monthly magazine in the UK I saved my pocket money for

    It was the British version of Soldier of Fortune magazine
     
  30. Barry J

    Barry J Guide

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    I learned a lot from reading survival magazines in the 80s and 90s.
    If nothing else, they encouraged me to focus onthe future and be prepared. They also gave me some insight into self defense and led me to study this subject in depth. They encouraged me to seek out instruction and knowledge.
    I have not looked at one in many years, so I cannot speak about the current crop of magazines.
     
  31. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    The difference is none of those topics involve the capture of animals in traps and snares. That’s exactly my point, there is too much to it for it to be treated in the same regard as something like a bow drill fire or picking berries. That’s the way it’s treated and glossed over in these magazines and the information generally sucks.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are some knowledgeable people that cross over into other interests and can help people. All I’m saying is that if you want to learn something specific, go to the best source which is a more specific one vs a more general one. All of the survival type magazines I have personally seen have been a collection of generalized, glossed over topics. That works ok for some things, it doesn’t with trapping and snaring but that’s just my opinion.
     
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  32. CosmicJoke

    CosmicJoke Tracker

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    I don't read those rags, I don't watch the TV shows or YouTube channels regarding this doom and gloom mentality. The ones that are teaching "tactical training" are the worst! Even if you know what your doing and talking about, these $$$ clowns don't realize you might just be teaching your adversary the same thing, or worse, how to combat what you teach. Many of these people don't really think about the impact on what they film or write, it's all to make a dime.
    I do not have a bug out bag, and the things I am prepared for are none of anyone else's business!
     
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  33. Lichen

    Lichen Supporter Supporter

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    Back in the '70s, Mother Earth News and Field & Stream were pretty much all one needed.
     
  34. GoodPhotos

    GoodPhotos Father, Hustband, Patriot, Entrepreneur Supporter

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    Backwoods Home Magazine, (and Dave's son's Magazine Self-Reliance), Backwoodsman, American Frontiersman, Muzzleloader.

    I've subbed to Backwoods Home almost since the first year even stayed with them last year when they went 'digital only' now they are back I'm going to get the dead trees version and the sister magazine. I have found something useful in almost EVERY issue in these decades of getting them.

    I've bought Backwoodsman and American Frontiersman and Muzzleloader for years off the stand, but have now subbed to AF and am determined to subscribe to Backwoodsman.

    I agree with the OP though, MOST of the 'Survival' and 'Prepper' mags are just updates of the hyper testosterone pumped Soldier of Fortune genre. (Mind treacle with a huge noise to signal ratio.)
     
  35. southron

    southron Guide

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    Bought Tappan on survival, worth the money, subscribed to his newsletter back in the day. I suspect it influenced me towards my current homestead approach.

    The word that sort of bugs me is Tacti KOOL or any variation.

    Actually I don't much let anything get pigeon holed by me. If I hear about it, and think I might find it useful I look deeper into it.

    As an example, I come from a line of farm folk. having enough put back to get you through a failed growing season runs in the blood.

    Grew up with grands and parents that lived the 30's depression, To here dying day my grandmother kept a pantry with sufficient food for the full family for as far out as she could without it spoiliing.

    I have always been around guns, eventually I went into the Corp , 0317 MOS, so firearms have been part of my life and death since nearly birth

    Knifes, axes, chain saws, cast iron ovens, fireplaces, stoves, cook stoves, etc, all part of my growing up.

    I haven't really picked up much useful new stuff from magazines and later on the web around survival per say.

    But some of the philosophy about putting back for grubby times is to me just repackaged from stories in the family going back to what they did during the war of northern agression and reconstruction.

    So Nope, I don't find the name a put off, but also don't buy them much on account of it is just at best a rehash of the stuff I had since birth.

    Do hate all these survive the economic collapse buy buying gold, and all those what to do when the power goes out. If your country and live at the end of the sidewalks stuff like that and being poor is stuff you saw, lived, and figured out how to deal with or you would be dead.

    Mostly I don't mind what path others choose for themselves, even when I see them setting themselves up for harm. We only get one life, and the whole thing needs to be lived. There isn't a dress rehersal for life, this is it.

    That's freedom for ya; ain't it?
     
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  36. Wasp

    Wasp Supporter Supporter

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    Like hunting and fishing magazines then?
     
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  37. Black5

    Black5 Supporter Supporter

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    I've been saddled with the prepper moniker, the survivalist moniker, and a few others even more derogatory.
    I avoid most magazines because I'm not a high speed, low drag operator.
    I've even all but given up the prepper sites because there's not much new there but more room and gloom. Which is coming eventually, by the way. History repeats, sorry.

    But I also take all the forums, magazines, instructors, videos, etc with a grain of salt, tongue in cheek, and rolled eyes. Same as I do here.

    I prep for longevity, and I plan on surviving more than 72 hours, therefore, bushcraft.
     
  38. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    What I don't care for is the dark vibe a lot of these publications have taken on. Even the mainstream outdoors magazines portray the typical hunter as if they're some black ops type engaged in a life or death struggle stalking the Taliban. Whatever happened to grandpa wearing his wool jacket and smoking a pipe?
     
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  39. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    Not sure what you mean.
    Those magazines aren’t much good either.

    My main issue regarding trapping and snaring topics in magazines that are not for and by trappers is that the people writing the articles are usually not well versed in trapping and snaring but rather they have just dabbled in it as a way to “improve their skill set” for the economic collapse. The sets are sloppy, often have major issues in their construction and they are obviously not going to catch a high percentage of what comes by. They are amateurish.

    In contrast we often see a long list of accomplishments relating to authors of tactical and combat topics. The authors are the go to guys on the subjects and they are seasoned veterans who have been there, done that. Perhaps those articles are junk too but I don’t know enough about those topics to call BS. The trapping guy caught two opossums under the back deck in cages and set a bunch of display snares that never caught anything. That’s the difference. Give me an article by the guy with a barn side covered in fur every season for the past few decades and you have something worth reading. At least that is what I have noticed, your experience may vary.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
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  40. goon

    goon Scout

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    I can’t say I’ve never read one - might have bought one out of boredom traveling through an airport (O’hare does strange things to a man). The thing is that the content is often below my current skill level, or based on hysteria.

    I can’t do hysteria - it just never helps any situation. But our whole country is full of it now, so it’s no surprise it permeates most of our published materials too. And in survival publications, the “solution” to hysteria is a new gun, iodine tablets, zombie max ammo, a big damn knife, a fantasy tomahawk, etc. Gotta spend the money on their stuff to be “prepared.”

    Most of my “survival” reading now is Bushcraft related books or digging through old posts on here.
     
  41. central joe

    central joe All quacked up Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I peruse them while waiting on my wife in the grocery store ( she don't hobble any faster than me) but I don't buy them, I do occasionally buy a Backwoodsman if an article catches my eye. joe
     
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  42. fatcat55

    fatcat55 Scout

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    Most that I have looked at seem to be made up primarily of "articles" listing a variety of "must have " survival gear...

    I do find it ironic that some of those "survival" magazines don't seem to be around for long.

    Maybe they need some articles on how to improve circulation...THEIR circulation...
     
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  43. spumwuzzle

    spumwuzzle Scout

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    They’re alive and well. Google “lumbersexual”.
     
  44. wallflash

    wallflash Supporter Supporter

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    The AR15 style made him uncool . Now it’s all about looking and feeling like a special ops soldier . I still shoot a .30.30 . I’m told today it’s an Elmer Fudd gun .
     
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  45. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    Hmmmm... thanks, but I think I'll pass on that.
     
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  46. spumwuzzle

    spumwuzzle Scout

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    Seriously,it’s a thing. No sex, but much beards, axes, flannels, wool, pipes... it’s like the outdoors hipster. Marketing. Some people can’t just be themselves.

    Better than baggy pants, I guess.
     
  47. wallflash

    wallflash Supporter Supporter

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    5D37DB43-01D6-4D4B-BC50-2A1869FE9B18.jpeg
     
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  48. spumwuzzle

    spumwuzzle Scout

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  49. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    That's pretty weird, and then again maybe not, lots of parallels in other realms I suppose.
     
  50. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    It's like most things, I don't subscribe to any. But, I'm not opposed to thumbing through them on occasion and will pick one up once in a while if there is an article of substance in it that is worth reading. This isn't very often as there only seems to be about two dozen articles that get regurgitated from magazine to magazine. After you read three magazines you've exhausted the content for a while.
     
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