Wilderness survival is for the wilderness

3 08 2014

A common misconception among tough guys seems to be that if the world ends, they think they will be able to live off the land near a populated area.

Dead wrong. Emphasis on the word dead.

In the LA/OC area there are about 13 million people. If the SHTF, they will all be looking for food and water, it will be a blood bath of competition. There’s no way the land can support even 1/10th of the amount of people who will be displaced.

The amount of food stored in LA/OC without trucks/trains/planes constantly rolling in is about five days worth, according to Collapse. Assuming half  the people are wiped out and none of the food is damaged, that’s 10 days. Say you can ration about 50% and we add in food not normally counted in the food supply (emergency stored food etc), and maybe the remaining population would last a month. Maybe.

Best strategy for a regional disaster? Get out of the region! But whatever you do, definitely don’t assume you can use wilderness survival skills to last very long when there are millions of people roaming the countryside.

Today I saved a life

22 07 2014

And all it cost my friend is a beer. 5 bucks for a life, not a bad deal. You may be wondering what I did to save my friend’s life; did I pull him from a fire? No. Did I stop a gunman from shooting him? No.

I fixed the front brakes on his bicycle.

The front brakes on a bicycle account for about 80% of maximum braking power. That’s a huge difference in stopping power if your front brakes are out! Can you imagine riding down a hill and having a stoplight change from green to red on you? Not a pretty picture. So yes, today I saved a life, zero cost for me except a few minutes.

If you didn’t have to work, what would you do?

10 06 2014

The most common question I get when I tell people I want to “retire” young (aka be financially independent, which is having enough money that I can live without working) is, wow, what would you do?

I find it sad that most people can’t think of a life without work. That being said, it’s not like i have a plan, all I really need to know is I don’t want to be stuck in an office (or anywhere else) answering to someone else. So I decided to make a list of some things I could do, here it is:

  1. Sail around the world

  2. Master a skill (this is definitely it’s own list)

  3. Try to get on TV

  4. Go back to school and start another career for fun

  5. Volunteer

  6. Be a nanny for my family that have kids

  7. Help friends with odds and ends

  8. Buy and/or finance a food truck

  9. Write a book

  10. Spend a lot more time with family and friends

  11. Work a menial job for exercise and some fun money

  12. Become a teacher (Community college probably)

  13. Be a total couch potato

  14. Become a chef

  15. Become a life coach

  16. Make more money and donate it

  17. Become a researcher

  18. Catalog my family tree and maybe record some stories from each family member

  19. Learn to hunt

  20. Learn to live off the land

  21. Mine for gold

  22. Study the art of pickup

  23. Become a snowboard instructor

  24. Develop apps

  25. Become an executive assistant to someone awesome

  26. Learn to brew beer

  27. Learn to cook ramen in Japan

  28. Learn another language

  29. Enter politics

  30. Bike across the country

  31. Learn the art of the sword

  32. Become a pilot

  33. Learn to wingsuit

  34. Wake up at noon everyday

  35. Become a personal trainer

  36. Workout hardcore and be able to do feats of strength (like a 1 arm pullup)

Alright, that was tough! I can probably think of more but it’s about time for me to go to sleep. What’s interesting is a lot of these can be accomplished now and that most are about who I am, not buying things (but I already knew I’m that type of person).

One More Year

18 03 2014

I wrote this poem today, enjoy.

One More Year

I have a secret, it’s quite the whopper,
I make good money, but live a pauper,
When it comes to saving I’m never lazy,
Those who know may think I’m crazy.

I do not need to seek their blessing
Their demands are not that pressing
But when bored I may ask them over a beer,
How much would you pay for one more year?

One more year to run or fly,
One more year to laugh and cry,
One more year to make the most,
One more year with your kids close,

One more year to seek the truth,
One more year to live your youth,
One more year, perhaps, without a clue,
One more year, what’s it worth to you?


To me a year is worth more than a lot,
I would live a pauper without much thought,
A year at sixty I would surely treasure,
But a year at thirty brings greater pleasure.

I plan to retire by age thirty five
That’s thirty more years in which to thrive
Thirty years more youthful than normal,
Thirty years with no need to be formal,

Thirty years without a cube made of glass,
Thirty years without having to kiss any ass.
Retire early, young, in your prime,
A bit of hard work can buy you this time.

More time to take a nap by the pool,
More time to return to graduate school,
More time to sit and read,
More time to help those in need,

More time to enjoy a good cry
More time to climb to the sky
More time to build and create
More time to become very great

And so I work and save my cash,
to retire young and live off my stash,
I may have to scrimp and save today,
For thirty more years, that’s not much to pay.

Life Lessons From Rock Climbing 1

9 03 2014

I’ve recently had more time to rock climb and have been getting pretty good (V2/V3 bouldering level).  The more I learn the more I see lessons in rock climbing that can be applied in other aspects of my life and I wanted to share those with you.  The first lesson I’ve taken from rock climbing:

Abuse You Advantages

Don’t feel guilty that you have an advantage; instead, really milk the most you can get out of it and use it to move up 2x or 3x faster if possible.  My climbing buddy, Crafty, and I are both relatively tall, and when we first started climbing we felt like it was cheating to use our height to avoid more technical solutions and just power through.  After climbing a while I realized: that’s idiotic.  Instead, we shouldn’t waste time thinking about how a shorter climber would solve a problem and we should use our height advantage.  The result was less time wasted thinking and more time tackling more difficult climbs.

As a climbing example, I recently solved a V1 (beginner level, but usually only accessible after a few weeks of climbing) in which I was on my tippy toes and barely snagged the last hold with the tips of my fingers. If I was one centimeter shorter I would have had to come up with a different solution. Since I’m 5’10”, which is the average height for a male American, that means 50% of men and a lot more than 50% of women would need to find a different solution.  But what do I care, I solved it, on to the next challenge!

So how can we apply this lesson outside of rock climbing? The best example I could think of was job hunting. I got my job through an interview secured by my friend. I had been looking on job sites and such for about a year with a high GPA, work experience, and no luck; a few facebook messages later and I had an interview.  Two weeks later I had a job paying above average with bonuses for travel.  Some people may think it’s cheating, but who cares what they think? Be smart and abuse your advantages!