C5 Survival Quick Tips- Episode II- The Tactical Spoon and the SHTF Shower

bow mistress

With your host, Category5.


A few of you will have heard the colloquialism, ” God didn’t make men equal, Samuel Colt did“. That is not quite true. It was the English Long Bow that would change the world. This weapon would break the monopoly of violence held by powerful, wealthy families that provided professional soldiers, trained from an early age. Suddenly a conscripted army of peasants, with a couple weeks training, could rain down thousands of arrows on the best trained, best armed, best armored, best mounted, Knights. One piece of technology would make Europe’s Samurai irrelevant. A lifetime of training and the best equipment money could buy, now turned pin cushion on the battle field floor, to the cry of, “let the grey geese fly”, a reference to the geese feathers on the arrows. It would fundamentally change the roll of infantry tactics in Europe, from individual acts of valor to the power of a group working together. The unintended consequence is that it gave Power To The Peons. Over time, this would lead to checks and balances on the king by parliament and finally to populist Democracy.

The other unintended consequence is that it would also lead to some really bad survival advice….and me teaching you how to kill with a spoon.

But before we get there….

The last few articles were more commentary than actual survival advice. I wanted to get this back on track because I believe most people come here for Survival TRICKS. Like The Secret Ninja Spoon Of Death.

Oh, I could do that. But, “If ya wants da soup, first ya gots to listen to da preachin”.

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(This article went way longer than intended. I better slip in a quik tip to keep you reading. This is more effective use of breeder trash. C5 rule of survival- Why reinvent the wheel. Baby joggers and quality baby carriages with wheels with bearings, I scoop them when I find them in the trash. Why carry a pack if you don’t have to. This is way easier. Good for hauling water or firewood. Take off all the baby stuff and add a plywood base. Way smoother and quieter than a shopping cart)

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A youtube prepper said she didn’t want to do anymore prepper videos because she was disheartened by comments from what she called, World Of Warcraft preppers. What an Awesome name for them. I think I will steal it.  Keyboard commandos isnt strong enough or mocking enough.

People want the Killer Spoon but not the Survival Shower. That is why they stink… at survival. They don’t really want ADAPTATION. They want a pleasant post apocalyptic fantasy where they can be  Knights again. On the other hand, the shower will actually keep you alive. Amateurs talk Tactics. Professionals talk Logistics. Cooty  control fits into the logistics category. I have made a few killer spoons. Never used them. The SHTF shower I have definitely used because I needed to. And I almost had to use it again recently when my pipes froze during the prolonged cold snap. I am rather proud of this one.

In the last article, I taught you where to find a supply of free soap, that over time, you can fill boxes with as frugal prepping for future cooty control. A Hotel Dumpster is a place you will find gently used bars of soap. Used once or twice then tossed. If you can’t bring yourself to go into a dumpster for a survival necessity, this is a sign that you have some impediments to your own survival and those of your dependents. It means you have some personal, internal work to do. Issues of class and superiority. Dont take it personally. We all have then. You can pursue dumpster related training here    https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/c5-practical-survival-advice-for-the-poor-when-its-already-too-late-to-prep/

That survival trick comes to you from Margret Atwood’s book, The Year Of The Flood. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Year_of_the_Flood

This next one comes from the Rather Fun read, Dies The Fire, by S.M Stirling, where a supernatural version of a Coronal Mass Ejection or EMP happens with the added bonus of guns and simple engines not working.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dies_the_Fire

Its good mental popcorn though filled with the usual Survivalist Fallacies. There was one moment I facepalmed when the story stops and two men stop there fight for survival to compare each of their multi tools. I facepalmed because that is such a Survivalist Guy thing to do. He clearly had met a few survivalist and inadvertently revealed some of the dumb things they do. There was the usual fallacies like running from the cities while stealing essential survival tools and fighting to make it to an empty cabin. People rarely think this one trough. Its something I hear often from immature preppers.

It goes like this. Me, “How are you going to survive since you didn’t prep supplies?” Them,  “I am going to loot the Walmart and farms”. Me, “How are you going to deal with Looters ?” Them, “Im am going to shoot them”.

This is the bad fantasy world of survivalists. Free Stuff and Violence Without consequence.

This is why Survival Fantasy is so appealing to some people. Throw off societies constraints and embrace our baser instincts without consequence. Well, consequence doesn’t go away in any collapse. Consequence increases Ten Fold. Here are the two possibilities that will happen.  #1- You end up in prison with a boy friend and realize you are not a Top. If you get out of prison, you come out with few options other than being a hardened criminal that others will hunt because you are a danger to others. The assumption is that police or military will magically disappear. Instead, they will have the societal gloves taken off. They will not see you as some sort of good guy, brave survivor or patriot. People will take you for what you really are. A Brigand, Pirate or Highwayman. To be killed or arrested on sight. Option #2 is that you get the Family Values  pleasure of seeing a beloved family member with the side of their head blown off soaked in blood and feces or yourself missing some essential body part and now have to be taken care of by  family members. And you are a burden to their survival….while you now find you are involved in a multi generational Blood Feud because the person you killed has a large extended family demanding an eye for an eye and this leads to ongoing tit for tat killings that your great grandchildren should curse you for.

The other common fallacy of the Dies The Fire book is the need for Bush Craft with rabbit sticks, snares, Bows and Arrows (which I am working towards). Though not totally useless in a collapse (I have certainly used bush-craft to survive before in adverse situations) it just mainly is. It doesn’t deserve the amount of emphasis it usually gets. I think this happened because of it being called Survival Training or Wilderness Survival or S.E.R.E. training. Its because it has the word “Survival” in it and early survivalism didn’t have alot of great reference material to work with like it does today. The other reason is from the Mormons who thought the Indians were the Lost Tribe Of Israel and survivalism is part of their religion. Also, early survivalisms getting filled with Ex military men who had a particular skill training and others looked to them as authorities  and made them feel important again. Preppers got to carry alot of baggage and rarely know WHY they do what they were told was important. It really is baggage. That is why I created the C5 Rule…

C5 Rule of Survival- Take ALL of the old Survivalist advice…and pretty much do the complete opposite….And you will do fine.  The chances of your survival will greatly increase.


(Quick tip #2 to keep you reading. As bankrupt governments eventually stop plowing your road You will eventually find yourself snowed in till spring but logistics need to keep moving. Old skies are common garbage. This sled was a fail. Too high and too thin. It tips over with the slightest bump. I can fix that. But you can make these fast. 2 hours. Its simple. A few pieces of scrap wood. Some screws. A drill and saw. This one needs to be three inches wider. I used a 2×6 for the raiser. I’ll use 2x3s or 4s for the next one. The ski tips are pulled up just a bit so they don’t flop around.  Don’t go too far or the laminated parts will start to separate. Drill some holes in the plywood to put tie down ropes through or add eye hooks for bungy cords. Paint or laminate so water doesn’t damage the wood)


But the Dies The Fire Book  did share one interesting tidbit I did not know. Not how The Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA) and Renaissance Fair folks save humanity. I already knew that a few decades ago. Don’t laugh. Nerds and Asperger’s save civilization. Its not as dumb as it sounds. I will do a full article on that another time.

It taught me that a spoon can be used as a perfect Arrow Head Blank. An item to make a steel arrowhead already shaped to fit to an arrow. Nice.

spoons doc

I was reluctant to share this with you. The reason is that it sort of perpetuates a survival myth, so it is sort of useless. Well, not totally useless. I can picture times when making a bow and arrow is semi viable when nothing better is available. Like when I was in Lima Peru for a year. I understood that if I was there during an EMP without my supplies and farm, My chances of survival would be slim to nil. Oh, I would give it a shot because that is what I do but I am realistic about my chances. I could make a bow out of the PVC pipes I found sitting on the roof.  I could use my pari-cord wrist band (the Friendship Bracelet of survivalists. Also not as useful as advertised) for the string. Duct tape for fletching and a filed spoon for an arrow head. The arrow shafts would be alot more difficult to improvise. The BIG problem here is that it would be really unlikely I could hit anything with it unless I was standing a few feet away.

But the spoon arrow head is just sort of cool. I pop survival fantasy bubbles here at DGM SRC but I am just as subject to collecting cool survivalist boy toys as the next guy. My house is full of dumb purchases that have never been used or used once or twice before it goes to the back of the closet to be stored with bad fashion choices and sex products I feel mildly ashamed about.

But I got a bit board, waiting to go on my trip. While doing my usual rounds of thrift store, prepper foraging, I grabbed a bag of nice strong spoons. I was going for quality this round. 6 in a baggy for a dollar. I had an entire box of cutlery to chose from. As the Terminator would say, I’ll be back. When I got home, MrsC5 said, “You are not planning on using these for arrowheads, are you?” Busted. Well I am the man here and survival writer. I can make arrowheads if I want to. “Oh no. These are too good and we will replace ours with them. I will give you some mismatched ones”. But, But, Honey, all the cool prepper kids are watching. Harrumph.

Well, she was right…by accident. After making one, I realized it was too heavy. This would screw up an arrows flight. I will use tea spoons from now on. This might make a good spear head though. Next round, I will bring back a larger serving spoon. I have a spear in mind. Another item that is highly unlikely to be used.

This is the quick form of how it is made. Take a spoon and pound it flat with a hammer or rock. I did these with a corded angle grinder. That is #4 on my top five prepper items to purchase. You heard me correct. #4. More on that later. I have done these arrowheads before with a large set of tin snips, then finished with a metal file. In a crunch, it can be done with just a file. In an even bigger crunch, it can be shaped and sharpened on a slab of concrete. Keep the spoons handle on it until you are satisfied with it because its easier to work with if you can get a grip on it then cut it off with a grinder, hacksaw, or clip it off with a large set of vice grips. Tada. an arrowhead.

Now, the arrowhead on the right was a fail. I got too ambitious. All I achieved was weakening it. I didn’t follow the KISS rule. Well, one good fail deserves another. I stuck it in the stove to heat temper it and dropped it in water when it was glowing orange. Once again, I was over thinking this experiment. How sharp does it really need to be. Now the stainless steal (rust proof) got removed. Well, this is why we do experiments. A Fail is a Success because now I know from first hand experience.

Its time to pop some bubble. Often on prepper sites, someone will com along and say, a bow is better than a gun because you will run out of ammo and you can keep using the arrows. Now, those of us that have actually used a bow know this is hogwash. Arrows break if you even look at them wrong. Its all fine and good if you are shooting at specialty targets. Even then they break. Tips break off, fletches fly off, notches cant handle impact and the shafts strait up break or bend. Arrow replacements get really expensive. Ammo is cheaper. 22 ammo is WAY cheeper. We have a nice longbow and a decent re-curve bow. We even joined an archery club. I wents so far as to commit speed shooting to muscle memory, where I could load and shoot arrows 2-3 seconds apart. MrsC5 even took a coarse to make a primitive yew bow (which I sort of broke. OOPS). Now the bows just sit on the wall as cool decorations and we haven’t touched them in years. The truth is, we were never very accurate and it would take near, daily practice and alot of broken arrows to overcome this. Bowmen we have met say you have to shoot 6 arrows every day. We are just not that dedicated. And I don’t want to risk breaking an arrow attempting to get a rabbit. And the deer on our property are just way too skittish to ever get close enough to hit with a bow. Its possible if I have alot of time on my hand but the calorie return on investment keeps getting smaller with each step further into the woods or every extra day of waiting. How close you can get to a tame suburbs deer is no judgement of how close you can get once they have had someone try to kill them a few times. You are not Rambo 4, The mocking Jay or Hawkeye…and neither are they. They are actors performing illusions that cant be done in the real world.

And you are not a neo primitive, new age, fake indian…and neither are they. All the First Nations I know hunt with guns, not bows. They can be quite creative. I have heard of two man teams bringing down moose with 22 rifles. Together, they shoot both front knees at the same time. This brings it to the ground so they can walk up and finish it with a shot in the brain. Even still, a local First nations reserve recently faced a bout of starvation because a thaw, freeze happened that put a crust of ice on the snow. Because of this, they couldn’t get close enough to the animals to shoot because it was too loud to walk on. Other Nations heard what was happening and brought in meat from other districts buy truck and trailer. Its very important to have strong community support from others. I have come to believe self sufficiency is an ideological myth. Feel free to show me how many Survivalists are actually self sufficient. You can point to this rare example or that one but it is the exception that proves the rule. YOU can’t.

I am not trying to be a dick here, arguing for arguments sake. Just giving some perspective. I understand if a bow is all you have got or are legally allowed to own or you lose your fire arm or run out of ammo. A bow is better than no bow. I get it.  Been their. I just wouldn’t count on a bow being all that useful for sustenance. A bow, backed up by a short sword backed up by a can of pepper spray is pretty effective home defense… as long as no one is shooting back.

Next subject is the compound bow. This will greatly increase your accuracy and distance. Primitive archery proponents point out that it is too complicated and all of the complicated parts are irreplaceable when they break. Fair enough but I can assure you, you will run out of high tec arrows long before those components break. Safety point here. Never Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever shoot a wooden arrow out of  a compound bow. Ever. It will snap. The most common injuries are the broken shaft driving through your forearm or bouncing off the bow and putting a broadhead into your face. This happens with aluminum and carbon fiber arrows as well but is almost guarantied  with a wooden arrow.


And now, lets move on to something that is truly useful. This is a C5 exclusive. My design.



I very intentionally, tracked down an old pump fire extinguisher like the ones that used to hang on the walls of our school. I got this for 25$ in an antique store, then added a bit of Vaseline in the pump mechanism to revitalize it. Good as new.


This uses very little water…like if you are having to shower with your drinking water storage because your pipes are frozen, or your electricity goes out to your well pump…. or if you are having to haul in water by hand from some distance. Just add warm water from the woodstove or heat in a glass mini greenhouse. As a bonus, the brass doesn’t rust.

You pump to get wet (it pumps on both up and the down stroke), soap up with your hotel dumpster soap, then pump to rinse off. Replete as necessary. You are not wasting water sitting under a constant flow, watching your drinking water circle the drain.

Another traditional version of this is using a pesticide sprayer. The type you pump up pressure into. Safety warning. Never Ever Ever Ever use a Used one. If you didnt buy it new and pull it strait out of the box, don’t use it…unless your intention was to absorb cancer straight threw your now opened up pores.

I will share with you where I got this useful idea in the next exiting episode of C5 Survival Quick Tips.

One last survival tip that goes into the survival of the mind, category. Protecting yourself from Cult beliefs. That ol’ solar maximum belief keeps coming back like using arsenic for healthy bowels and smoking is good for you because it helps clear phlem from your lungs.


And one last shout out to Hepp at 22 Billion Energy Slaves  http://22billionenergyslaves.blogspot.com/2018/01/mental-capital-not-losing-your-marbles.html

The reason is because I almost peed myself laughing at the final picture because it so represents me. I am shamelessly stealing it and considering using it to finish every future article. Hum….

what doesn't kill you

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