From the Desk of John Rourke – July 2nd, 2015

The United States – President Obama – has blocked efforts of our Middle Eastern allies to fly heavy weapons to the Kurds fighting ISIS.

This at the same time that ISIS executed over 70 kids.

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One of my favorite animals is the shark. Ever since seeing Jaws in the theater as a kid I have been fascinated with sharks. Last weekend I watched the entire 2013 Shark Week series. This recent string of attacks along the Carolina’s is something else.


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Wife got me a new grill for Father’s Day. It is dual fuel in that one side uses propane and the other charcoal. Really nice. Will be cranking out some grilled MEAT this weekend.

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Anyone have a favorite brand of hiking shoe? The ones I have used for years finally started falling apart.

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The SHTF Go To Gun Contest has been cancelled due to a lack of interest.






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  1. John, I have always favorite the “Inexpensive brand” of hiking/work shoe. Budget dictates that decision.

  2. When I read that the administration was blocking our allies from sending aid to help fight isis I was so pissed. How freaking evil is that *Beep* in office. Clearly a terrorist himself and supports the muslim brotherhood. Even after Egypt declared them as terrorist bummer keeps meeting with them secretly and giving them aid. Unreal!

    Hiking shoes or boots. I used to live in Colorado Springs and was an avid hiker. When I first moved to CO I learned my Timberland hiking boots were just junk. Every 6 months I had to keep replacing them. I finally came upon the Merrell brand. After getting over the sticker shock of $150 for the pair I wanted I did…as usual, a lot of research before I bought a pair. I’m not sure how long yours lasted, the price, and may even be a better choice. And by the way..if they are..please let me know. So I would wear/do wear my hiking boots almost all the time summer or winter. Pretty much the only time I wasn’t wearing them was when I was home. I just wore a thin pair of socks in the summer. Because the ankle support and overall frame support from them was incredibly comfortable. Especially, when hiking the mountains. These things were far better than “jungle boots” and a lot more comfortable. Like I’ve said before. Just because it’s military spec doesn’t mean it’s the best choice. Especially, if you can get a Goretex brand hiking shoe/boot. My last pair lasted 8 years, before I had to replace them. I’m thinking that’s pretty good and got my money’s worth out of them. Here is a link to a pair for an example.

    Thoughts/follow up?

    Sorry, the gun contest didn’t take off. I think people are a little skiddish and have a similar reason as mine? However, our interest in your awesome website is always strong. If I could…I would literally buy you a drink, (Fat Tire>?) and grill with you any day brother.

  3. Just replaced some old cheap hiking shoes with Teva Kimtah Mesh/Leather Waterproof Trail Shoes and really like them. Bought a half size larger than my normal shoe size and they fit great from Sierra Trading for $46.00. Check out the price and reviews on Amazon and you’ll see what I mean.

  4. I have read many times that supply drops had accidentally been dropped in ISIS controlled areas. This is BS, I can tell you MAC can air drop a package on a Volkswagen damn near anywhere on this planet, specially in fare weather.

  5. I have trouble with my feet ever since army retirement, and I still go to the PX for stuff. Every year I buy a brand new pair of Belleville boots. Built in the USA for American sized feet. I have three pair that I rotate every day to keep my feet guessing. I also have and wear a pair of LaCrosse insulated hunting boots (also made in USA) that are superb. I know that Milspec is not the end all, but it works for half a million soldiers at a time.

  6. I have never heard of Belleville boots- I will check them out-good they are made in the USA !!!
    I have worn Timber lands for years and they are exc. Merrill are the most comfortable I have ever worn.Both of these brands last a LONG TIME . I go to an outlet or wait for a sale. Its important to take care of your feet especially in a disaster .
    The gun contest I believe was too much inf .for those lurking etc.
    Have a SAFE 4th. everyone. Arlene

  7. I have a number of pairs of new lace up boots in sizes for all family members in storage against that fateful day. I wear the same boot whether hiking or working that way, as they say ‘the shoe fits.’ Even so, I keep a slightly broken in pair of lace up foot tall top boots in the metal box in the truck bed. Tucked inside these boots are a pair of thin nylon socks and four pair of heavy wool socks, each in their own compressed zip lock bag. To help prevent blister when walking with a load SHTF, my plan is to slip on the nylon socks followed by wool socks then the boots. My reserve pair of boots in the truck are just worn enough to be comfortable. I also keep blister shield in the IFAK on my plate carrier which is more of a penetrating injury go to kit. My friendly physician even provided me with a prescription for a potent pain killer which I keep cold and dry and transfer to the kit when traveling.


  8. I have had great luck with Asolo boots for heavier mountaineering activities, but for simple backpacking and rock scrambling I have fallen in love with the lightweight Bates boots. I know that they are aimed at the tactical types, but I have been wearing them daily and wore them backpacking in the Uinta’s this past weekend with no complaints whatsoever.

  9. For light duty, Merrell’s can be great. I have an extra wide foot and a tight budget, so I heartily recommend Cabela’s boots. For every day, their Mid X4 works great as an ankle-length “boondocker” style boot, and their Outfitter boots are great if you need something higher. My personal preference will often be for a lower boot, paired with a gaiter if I need it. But if you’re going to carry a heavy load, something like the Asolo may be needed. Go someplace like an REI or other backpacking store and get some expert fitting, appropriate for the loads you estimate.

  10. Get a pair of heavy wool socks first. See if there is anybody around you that sells Georgia brand boots. They have some 10″ high logging boots that will last beyond eternity and a day. Yes, they are heavy. I used to wear Dunhill climbing shoes when I cleaned sewers. But now I understand why the Old Man always said to get big, strong boots. They give you anti-twist ankle protection, which no hiking shoe can do. And if they are good enough for loggers in the ruggedness of the Northwest, they are damned sure good enough to go for a walk in. Break them in slowly, and get 2 pair, as you have discovered,1 pair is not enough. They need to dry out so they don’t start to stink. Set you about $350 for 2 pair, but, I say BUT–they make these in sizes that very few boot makers do. Mine are 12 4E. Try finding those at JC Penney. They have Vibram soles and heels- 1 solid unit.- so they won’t wear out overnight. At least give it a look. There are many good boot makers out there, and money, as my first step-father taught me, is the last consideration when it comes to your feet. He was on Kiska and Attu for 2 years in WW2, so I give his advice much more credence than I do some salesman. The end of the Aleutians are as close to a frozen hell as you can get, and experience will tell the tale.

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