I am an individual who believes in, and has a passion for, self-reliance. As a child in the 50’s & 60’s, in a rural setting, self-reliance was the norm. Having a garden, rabbits, chickens, and a plethora of skills which allowed you to put food on the table as well as preserve it. Keep your house and vehicle repaired as well as your shoes and clothing. Make those things you needed and have the tools to do so. It never occurred to me that not all people lived this way. In today’s society, this lifestyle is not only frowned upon by some, but our own government has begun to label these type of people as potential threats to our country as well as the government. Boy, have we come far! But in my humble opinion, self-reliance is the basis for not being reliant on others, whoever they may be, to take care of you and your needs.
Being adopted and not having any family outside my deceased parents, I recall with clarity the time spent with my parents. My father was a Gold Palm Eagle Scout and my Scoutmaster. When I was young all our vacations were spent camping and hiking in the Catskills and Adirondacks. My father was also a machinist by trade, and as a young lad, my father taught me about tools and crafting things with my own hands. As a result, today I have an affinity for building things I need and modifying things I buy. I owe my skills to my father.
My mother was a member of various organizations from the 50’s era, such as the Grange and Home Bureau. She taught preserving food, cooking, baking, sewing, knitting and crocheting, as well as gardening. I learned much from my Mother as well.
Over the years, and there has been many, I have learned various skills which have enhanced my ability to be self-reliant. I enjoy working with tools which allow me to create things. From woodworking, metalworking, to leather, I can build what I need or make a leather sheath or holster. I am a perpetual student of many things and always strive to increase my pallet of skills. I have many interests and have always considered myself a Jack of All Trades, but Master of None.
I have many interests with one of my favorites being survival skills, which I have both studied and taught. I love to go hiking, camping, and explore the outdoors. I enjoy photography and writing. I have written books (Build the Perfect Survival Kit & Stay Alive! Survival Skills You Need), articles for various publications (to include Field & Stream) , essays, and poems. I am an avid reader and have an extensive collection of books.
Although I have run my own survival school, I now design and build survival products as well as provide products for both survival and emergency preparedness. They are available through my company Survival Resources. I also continue to write, in various forms and occasionally make a YouTube video. My wife, Denise, and I garden and work on being self-reliant.
But most of all, I am an individual. Except for my six years in the U.S. Marines, I have been self-employed my entire adult life, partly for the freedom and, I suppose partly, because I have a strong will and have always wanted to be in charge of my own life. There you have it! As Popeye would say, “I am what I am.”