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Columns

Melodies on the March

ELKINS — Mountain State Forest Festival bystanders will hear this evening a groundswell of uproarious applause and cheers coming from behind Wimer Field’s gates as area bands perform precision drills and play uplifting musical scores that will rival any athletic games. Headlining ...

Wandering Wild in the United Kingdom

On our travels around the United States and overseas my wife and I have come to expect pleasant surprises but I didn’t expect our tour guide in southern England to be a fellow wilderness wanderer with an impressive resume of backpacking, camping, and cross-country cycling in Europe, Asia ...

EMP Survival — Day One

In July I wrote about taking a personal survival challenge to spend five days alone at home simulating a survival situation. The simulation was an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) that spreads from a high altitude nuclear explosion over the US. The burst of super-fast, super-high energy ...

Learning lessons from a tree

There is an apple tree that stands on the back of my property that has a story behind it. I wasn’t here for the tale, but my husband remembered it well and related it to me. When the tree — don’t know what kind — was just a young one, a strong summer storm with high winds blew through ...

Treasure Hunting

Julie Andrews sang “A few of my favorite things” in The Sound of Music. What are some of your favorite things? This answer will vary widely among us all, but whatever it is will capture our focus, time and resources. Some of our favorite things will even capture our heart. Jesus cautioned ...

Years of Experience

The first responders and volunteer fire departments in our communities do an amazing job when responding to emergencies, but few of us stop to think about the role some rural fire departments play in wilderness survival. One such department in Tucker County has responsibility for 285 ...

Spectator Sports

America was captured, even enraptured, with baseball in the early 1900s. The love for the sport grew decade after decade. Giants of the game emerged over time with new and amazing record shattering statistics. Fans flocked to the games from little league to the minors to the major league. Boys ...

My personal EMP survival preparation challenge

Having just celebrated July the 4th, our national day of independence, it brought to mind just how utterly dependent we Americans have become on a society of systems precariously held together unfortunately by a mostly vulnerable infrastructure. William Forstchen wrote a compelling novel ...

‘Go to church?’

This is a question being asked a lot these days. Is the church as we know it over? Do brick and mortars have a place going forward? Is the Bible out dated in its mandates? The answers to these questions are obvious for many, based on their choices. Podcasts, Facebook streaming, mega church TV ...

The most underrated survival skills

When we think about wilderness survival skills most of us conjure up images of starting fire with a spark or bushwhacking using a magnetic compass. And, we trust that each of us possess the will power and determination needed to ensure our individual survival. But, what about having to ...

Barn quilts popping up around region

One of the special springtime activities that takes place in many mountain homes is the annual long drive to view the greening pastures, the plowing and planting of seeds, the blooming of fruit trees and the arrival of new lambs, calves and colts to the area. It ritualistically assures us ...

Summer reading adventures

Summer is almost here, the days are getting longer, and soon school will be over for another year. Children’s thoughts turn to swimming, skateboards, baseball and bike riding. For some children, reading is a favorite summer activity, but this is not the case for many others. Keeping children ...

Spring into wilderness foraging

When there is plenty of food in pantry and the ice chest at camp is full of groceries the idea of searching for survival food rarely comes to mind. But for those who want to prepare themselves for wilderness emergencies this is the time of year to get outside and get reacquainted with wild ...

My life with bees

With spring coming, the bees will soon be buzzing everywhere. And I always do my best to avoid their acquaintance! Trouble is, they seem to like me, even flying right up in my face when I’m sitting on the porch. If the swatting while I’m sitting gets to be too active, I resign myself to ...

God’s will from the New Testament

A few weeks ago we examined how to know God’s will through the Old Testament and what the characteristic of his will are. In our first step of examining the scriptures about God’s will, we found that it is: perfect, peace seeking, best for us, sovereign through to triumph, creates a ...

Empower women through literacy

Poor and undereducated women are particularly marginalized as a group, and are at risk for poverty, domestic abuse, poor health, and gender inequality. Of the 36 million adults in the U.S. who have low literacy skills, 65 percent of them are women. We need to raise awareness of how literacy can ...

Survival stories make for good instructors

Those harrowing tales of true wilderness survival often capture our interest and fuel our imagination about cheating death, but each story is also like a short course in survival; full of valuable lessons and without the pain. We unlock those lessons by taking a closer look behind the facts, ...

A history of widowhood

Widowhood has been my way of life now for a little over 12 years. I cannot believe it has been that long since my husband passed away. It has been a varied journey to this point. My life is more in order now, more routine. But that was not the case in the beginning. Going through some old ...

God’s word is truth

Political standards might be applicable for one state or nation but not for another. Societal trends might be acceptable for one generation but not for another. When considering the truth of the inspired New Testament of Jesus Christ, it applies universally, to all people in all places. When it ...

Betting your life on seven items

Rolling a pair of dice gets you seven more often than any other number, and I recently decided to roll the dice with 10 of my friends across the country, hoping to find out what they would bet their life on. I asked a simple, straightforward question: “If you were going alone into the ...