February 2015

February 2015

This box includes my most UNIQUE Skills Challenge yet – a true CREEK ORIGINAL!  With a whopping 14 items – this box is a great value.  I feel it’s a very good selection of unique and different survival items that you can incorporate into any region and lifestyle.

PS – Be sure to tag any INSTAGRAM photos with #APOCABOX so we can all keep track!  See the live feed below to look through other subscriber photos.

February 2015 List of Contents


Many ‘sugar bushes’ are in full production of Maple Syrup right now. This bottle of Pure Maple Syrup comes from Butternut Mountain Farm in Morrisville, VT. Did you know it take 40 gallons of maple sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup? Trees like maple and birch are truly a survival tree when it comes to drinkable sap. It’s like a natural energy drink – filled with vitamins, nutrients and minerals. Late winter and early spring is the best time to tap trees, as that is when the sap is flowing. Maple sap does not require purification and can be consumed in a survival scenario (or just for fun) to rehydrate.


Your knowledge base item this month is the WINTER TREE FINDER. This very cool manual helps you to identify trees WITHOUT leaves. Need to find a maple tree this winter to tap? Check out page 50. Tree identification is an important survival skill for any outdoorsman/woman. This month is the perfect time to get out there and hone your TREE ID skills. Make notes and compare your findings to the same trees in a few months when the leaves have grown.


WATER is second only to EXPOSURE on your list of survival priorities. I like to have several water collection options in my Bug Out Bag and survival kits. Sap from nonpoisonous trees is an awesome source of hydration during later winter and early spring. This light-weight and durable spile is a turn-key solution for filling your canteen in a pinch. Use your knife to twist a hole about ½”deep into the sapwood, press in the narrow end of the spile and wait for the flow. You can easily hang your canteen from the attached hook or eyelet. If you’re around the house, a 5/16” drill bit works perfect for this spile as well. Made in CANADA. My favorite sap trees are Maple, Birch and Sycamore. *Only drink sap from nonpoisonous trees that you have positively identified.


I’m a huge fan of building a self-contained HYDRATION KIT using these MOLLE bottle holders. Not only do they hold a standard Nalgene or Klean Kanteen but they also have room for other water related kit items. The front zipper pouch is the perfect space to store a variety of items, including water purification tablets, pocket sized straw filters, plastic water bags, bandana, spile or any other items that relate to survival water collection, filtration or purification. This holder also protects your bottle in the event of a fall or similar event. If you build your own hydration kit, I’d love to see photos of it on INSTAGRAM with the hash-tag #APOCABOX. These also
make a great self contained survival kit for a day hike!


There’s nothing I hate more than loose batteries in my Bug Out Bag. BATUCA is the perfect solution for storing a variety of battery sizes for flashlights, radios or whatever other electronics you may have packed in your BOB. The BATUCA holds up to Eight (8) AA batteries, Twelve (12) AAA Batteries, Eight (8) CR2 or Eight (8) CR123 Batteries. The case can be slide apart if necessary as well. Molded in Massachusetts, these cases are durable, functional and compact. It’s also safer than storing loose batteries that could short-circuit during travel.


Far too many people underestimate the power of OXYGEN when starting a fire. A fire needs 3 things: HEAT SOURCE, FUEL and OXYGEN. This collapsible bellows is simple but incredibly effective. I encourage you to use it while completing this month’s SURVIVAL SKILLS CHALLENGE. This fireproof telescoping tool allows you to compress and focus the oxygen in your breath directly into the heart of your fire. You’ll be amazed when you try it for yourself. Any tool that makes fire starting more effective in difficult weather conditions is worth it’s weight in gold. See a quick demo at www.pocketbellows.com.


Never forget the 3 SURVIVAL RULES OF 3. You can sew this patch on or heat-seal it using a home iron on COTTON setting for 30-60 seconds. Heat-seal on cotton only.


Opinel No6 is one of my personal favorite pocket knives. Made in France since 1890, this brand is a proven winner in the Bushcraft and Survival community. Besides being razor sharp, it is very durable and has that old world feel that I love. A unique locking collar prevents the blade from closing and opening. The back of the carbon blade makes a great striking surface for ferro rods AND natural flint. Carbon steel is susceptible to rust so be sure to keep the blade dry. I wipe mine down with mineral oil every now and then and that really helps prevent corrosion. You can use it in this month’s SKILLS CHALLENGE.


As many of you know, my newest book, Build the Perfect Bug Out Survival Skills, hits shelves and AMAZON this month. I’ve negotiated with my publisher to do something unheard of – release a FREE chapter download to APOCABOX subscribers. I chose one of my favorite chapters – SURVIVAL FIRE. Go to this link to download one of the best SURVIVAL FIRE chapters ever written: http://www.livingreadyonline.com/creek-fire/


As most of you know I am a huge fan of scarves. I’ve learned through experience that if you can control the temperature in your neck you can control it in your body (under most circumstances). An incredible amount of heat is lost through your neck in cold weather due to how close your blood is to the skin surface. A simple neck gaiter can make a HUGE difference. These seamless polyester tubes can be worn all kinds of different ways. Your creativity is the limit. I always stuff one of these into a pocket when I hit the woods just in case. You have 2!


This month’s handmade item is for all you FRICTION FIRE FANATICS out there. This is an invention I call the SPEED BLOCK. It is a nearly frictionless bearing block that sits on top of your bow drill spindle. The small free spinning bearing in the center of the block will provide the smoothest drill you’ve ever seen. Increase efficiency and reduce the time it takes to bust out a big fat bow drill ember with this handmade SPEED BLOCK. I’ve left the wooden grip unfinished for a reason. Personalize it with your own paint, carvings, wood burnings, designs, etc. A couple coats of mineral oil will help reduce cracking. I’d love to see INSTAGRAM photos of your personalized SPEED BLOCK – be sure to use #APOCABOX so all can see! I’ll be posting mine when it’s finished. I would also LOVE TO SEE some YouTube videos of the SPEED BLOCK in action! This was hand drilled, fitted and assembled by my Uncle Jerry who also makes some awesome hand-turned Pepper Mills at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/everyoneschoice


I’m very picky when it comes to Ferrocerium Fire Strikers. Some of the really cheap ones just don’t throw the sparks like I believe they should. I want a good one – just in case my life ever depends on it. Not only does this one spray a ridiculous shower of sparks but it also has a glow-in-the-dark thumb grip. This comes in handy when you’re digging through your pack in dark or low-light conditions trying to find your fire striker. You will be breaking this rod in during this month’s SURVIVAL SKILLS CHALLENGE. In the skills challenge video I also give a quick tutorial on HOW to properly use a Ferro Rod Fire Striker. This is a skill in and of itself!


Here’s something about me that VERY FEW PEOPLE know. I always keep 3 Guitar Picks in my wallet. No, I don’t play the guitar. However, most guitar picks are made from a material called celluloid which happens to be incredibly flammable. Ping pong balls are also made from celluloid. This is my way of carrying some incredible and very unassuming fire tinder on my person at all time. They are waterproof, lightweight and very effective. They will quickly burst into flame with the open flame from a bic lighter but igniting them with the sparks from a ferro rod takes a little preparation. In this month’s SURVIVAL SKILLS CHALLENGE I show you how to start a fire using one of the enclosed picks and your luminous fire striker. This is a cool skill that I know you’ve not seen elsewhere – BECAUSE I INVENTED IT and am sharing it with APOCABOX subscribers only. I’ve never even taught this one at one of my courses.



This is a very unique fire start that I’ve never shared before with ANY of my students. This month’s challenge is to start a fire using just a guitar pick and a ferro rod. Guitar picks are made from a material called celluloid, which is very flammable. Consequently, they make great fire tinder. They are lightweight, low profile, unassuming and waterproof. I always keep a few in my wallet just in case.

I’ve developed a little trick to using a ferro rod to ignite one – let me show you how!

This is a skill best taught by video so I have filmed a short video tutorial for APOCABOX subscribers.




Check out the UNBOXING video by LIVE4WILD!