Edi­tor’s Let­ter

RECOIL OFFGRID - - Contents - By Pa­trick Vuong

Fear Not the Un­known

To para­phrase Franklin D. Roo­sevelt, don’t let the fear of the un­known hold you back. You prob­a­bly know some­one who’s obliv­i­ous, rarely con­sid­er­ing po­ten­tial threats in times of peace, but the first to panic when the small­est prob­lem arises. Con­versely, there’s a good chance you’re read­ing this mag­a­zine be­cause you want to dis­pel any fears by ab­sorb­ing a healthy dose of sur­vival in­for­ma­tion. That dif­fer­ence is what sep­a­rates a proac­tive survivor from a re­ac­tive vic­tim.

I was re­minded of this di­chotomy re­cently when a wild­fire threat­ened to de­stroy my neigh­bor­hood.

That day, thick smoke bil­lowed high into the sky as he­li­copters cir­cled over­head. The blaze seemed un­nerv­ingly close to my house, and the grow­ing wail of fire en­gine sirens told me it was only grow­ing. But I didn’t let fear take hold. In­stead, I took ac­tion. Thanks to some pre­plan­ning, I had vi­tal doc­u­ments, my go-bag, and my dogs in the car and ready to go within three min­utes. We evac­u­ated with­out in­ci­dent.

Un­for­tu­nately, the in­ferno de­stroyed two dozen homes, dam­aged 55 other struc­tures, and burned more than 9,200 acres.

Many pan­icked peo­ple didn’t have a plan. Broad­cast re­ports showed them scram­bling at the last minute to gather clothes, pets, photos, and doc­u­ments. The fear in their eyes was ev­i­dent. If they had prepped a bug-out bag and had a re­sponse plan, they could have taken ac­tion long be­fore the fire­fight­ers ini­ti­ated manda­tory evac­u­a­tions, as I had done.

It’s not that I’m smarter or bet­ter than some of my neigh­bors. It’s just that I’ve ben­e­fited from the knowl­edge shared by many sub­ject-mat­ter ex­perts who have contributed to RE­COIL OFFGRID over the years.

Take for ex­am­ple this is­sue. We have the priv­i­lege of fea­tur­ing Mykel Hawke and his wife, Ruth Eng­land, on the cover. From 2010 to 2012, the cou­ple part­nered on­screen in Man, Woman, Wild, a Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel re­al­ity TV show that fo­cused on Hawke, a for­mer Army Spe­cial Forces cap­tain and sur­vival ex­pert, show­ing Eng­land how to thrive to­gether with lim­ited sup­plies in the most in­hos­pitable lo­cales on Earth. In this edi­tion, Hawke and his wife share how fam­i­lies can in­crease their sur­vival­ist I.Q. to­gether.

We have other knowl­edge­able con­trib­u­tors with real-word ex­pe­ri­ence, too. Check out wilder­ness sur­vival ex­pert Kevin Estela’s fea­ture on how to build your own “preda­tor pack” so you could feed your­self no mat­ter if you’re stranded on land or near wa­ter. Mean­while, Andy Schrader, a struc­tural en­gi­neer who spe­cial­izes in search-and-res­cue con­sult­ing, ex­plains how you can mas­ter ropes to save some­one who’s trapped or fallen. And knife ex­pert Michael Janich shows you how to sharpen a dull blade if you can’t find a con­ven­tional sharpener in a post-SHTF world.

I’ve al­ways felt tremen­dous pride in the fact that we con­tinue to at­tract the in­dus­try’s top ta­lents to con­trib­ute to or be in­ter­viewed in our pub­li­ca­tion. So that’s why it’s with such a heavy heart that I an­nounce I’ve re­signed to spend more time with my fam­ily. This is my last is­sue as the head edi­tor of RE­COIL OFFGRID. And I’m grate­ful to have learned a lot along the way, from our ex­pert con­trib­u­tors, fel­low staffers, and most im­por­tantly from all of you, our loyal read­ers. So, thank you! I’d love to stay in touch and see how you’ve in­cor­po­rated info and gear from RE­COIL OFFGRID sto­ries into your own preps over the years. So hit me up on In­sta­gram: @calm­bat­ives.

Ul­ti­mately, I don’t see my de­par­ture as bug­ging out. In­stead, I’m tak­ing Roo­sevelt’s ad­vice. I’m not afraid of the fear of the un­known. I’m view­ing this as an ad­ven­ture along an un­fa­mil­iar path … one that I’m ready for thanks to RE­COIL OFFGRID.

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