Posted on January 04 2016
Make Fire, Boil Water, Shoot Gun
by Evan Hafer
ReadyMan Challenges are like Myth Busters for preppers. Frustratingly, almost everything we believe in the survival world turns out to be mythical. It’s almost a bummer.
Let’s imagine you have a fully-functional car, sans the cigarette lighter, and you can tear it to pieces if you want. You have gas, a sparking battery and all kinds of flammables. Should be pretty easy to start a fire, right?
Even with an Army Engineer and a mechanical technician, it takes more than a freaking hour to start a fire! The gas is devilishly hard to get from the tank (because of anti-siphon measures) and from below (because the tank is so durable and so low-to-the-ground.) Then, you have about sixty seconds to light the gas before it evaporates.
Every twist and turn of this process, from getting gas to making a spark, becomes a struggle with entropy and the sheer nastiness of Mother Nature.
Wind. Wires melting. Gas evaporating. Wood refusing to burn.
As we’ve seen on other ReadyMan Challenges, the biggest deciding factor turns out to be personalites. Leadership and character dictate the pace and tenor of engagement as we watch two teams pit their ATTITUDES against one another more so than almost anything else.
It’s not that one team has a good attitude and the other team has a bad attitude. In this RMC, it’s more like brains against brawn. Team ‘Merica lacks the red-meat physicality of Team Bearcat, but they more than make up the difference with ingenuity and patience.
The big question is “which will prevail” in a struggle for survival. But the complexity of that question becomes apparent in this RMC — competitive drive is paramount in moments of violence, but deliberate thinking also wins out a good percentage of the time.
Good leadership synchronizes a team into a fine dance, keeping all guns pointing FORWARD instead of pointing at one another. That’s the true fight for survival — building and maintaining cooperation. It ain’t as sexy as blasting at targets, but it literally puts food the table.
And that’s what we see here. Team ‘Merica can’t beat Bearcat in a fist fight or foot race, but they begin stomping the daylights out of them at almost every turn in a true, down-and-dirty, survival challenge.
Check out the video and read between the lines as frustration simmers and performance wavers.
What kind of guy are you?
Siphoning gas from cars could be a live-saving skill in a grid-down scenario and one could argue that it’s a basic man-skill. But even siphoning from one of these ancient mini-vans became a serious problem for the ReadyMan challengers of RMC 6.3So, we set out on a mission to defeat the modern anti-siphon gas feed necks.
Some may argue, why don’t you just spike the gas tank from below? As is often the case, simplistic answers grow hair when tried in real life.
In the video, Jason Ross hops under the minivan to spike the tank. Owing to creative editing, it ends up looking easy. What the edited video doesn’t show is that he pounded on that tank for fifteen minutes before getting through the plastic and metal. It was exceedingly difficult just because the gas tank was so low to the ground. Then, when he finally got through the plastic armor, it was nearly impossible to find a container that would hold the gas. The receptacle would’ve had to have been four inches tall and two feet wide, with a large opening in order to hold much gas.
Spiking a tank has many drawbacks. For starters, you’re ruining someone’s car — and they might be coming back for it with their family. Also, in a grid-down world, who wants to have their head buried under a car banging on it for fifteen minutes when there could be evil dudes prowling around? Last, how are you supposed to contain the gas, then get it into your own tank?
The best solution we’ve found STILL won’t work on EVERY modern car, but it does work on most. The GasTapper gives you either a twelve volt or a manual option for siphoning gas from hard-to-siphon cars.
As far as we’re concerned, we’re adding it to our automotive bugout kits and we’ll add it to the Plan2Survive as well. Stay tuned for an actual product review.