MCS 5 In 5 No. 3 – Kevin Estela (Survival)

Kevin Estela 5 In 5 Q & A (Survival)

We get so many questions at MCS Magazine that it's hard to answer them all.

From survival to self-defense to guns and gear, and everything in between…

…we're doing our best to get to as many of them as we can.

Each one of our 5 in 5 series presents five of your questions to one of our subject matter experts.

But here's the thing:

They haven't seen the questions before.

This is your chance to get a “hot take” on five questions for the most honest answers possible.

It isn't just informative.

It's also fun!

In this week's podcast episode, Modern Combat & Survival's Jeff Anderson asks five survival-related questions of survival expert Kevin Estela, giving him 60 seconds to answer each one.

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Here's What You'll Discover In This Week's Episode:

  • The best tent on the market that will also fit in a backpack.
  • How much gear is “too much”.
  • Whether your vehicle should be your primary or secondary survival cache.
  • The absolute best knife sharpener on the market!
  • What you can do to protect yourself from EMP.

Don't miss another great addition to our podcast schedule.

Get 5 answers in 5 minutes… and stay informed.

Resources For This Podcast:

What Questions Would YOU Like To Ask Our Experts?

Please Share Your Thoughts Below Now…

Fire Starting 101: Do’s And Don’ts Of Starting A Survival Fire

Jeff Anderson
Jeff Anderson, Editor

It's a fact of survival:

Fire is life.

Fire allows you to make water safe, cook food, light your way, and fight off hypothermia.

Anyone can start a fire in ideal conditions, right?

But what happens if you have to start a fire under “extreme” circumstances?

Recently I discussed this topic with survival expert Kevin Estela.

Here is a summary of what he told me.

Fire-Starting Do's And Don'ts

Fire Starting Tips: Do's And Don'ts

Kevin Estela

One of the problems people have when it comes to starting a fire is that they make basic mistakes.

Deep down, a lot of us think we know how to start a fire already.

As a result, we may make mistakes by rushing, assuming things from television work, or just basically being careless.

(And no, dumping a bucket of lighter fluid on the fire won't always help, either.)

Let's hit three topics: avoiding common fire mistakes, starting a fire when conditions aren't ideal, and concealing a fire when you don't want to be discovered.

How NOT To Start A Fire

One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting a fire is lack of patience.

If you try to go too big too soon, you're setting yourself up for failure.

At the same time, make sure you collect enough resources to keep a fire going.

You can't afford to leave the fire at a critical moment to find more fuel to keep feeding it, because it will sputter and die when you neglect it.

There's one more thing to consider, though, and that is that you should never build a fire that you're not prepared to put out.

(That's a good way to start a forest fire.)

Fire Starting Under Extreme Conditions

On a clear day with dry fuel, starting a fire is really no big deal.

If it's raining, sleeting, or blowing like crazy, though, it's going to be much harder.

Persevere in the face of these terrible environmental conditions.

NEVER give up, even if you feel like quitting, because you NEED that fire.

Create a shield with your body, if possible; you can also use your clothes.

The buddy system helps, too.

If you think outside the box, you may come up with other ways to protect your fire.

Concealing A Fire For Escape And Evasion

Finally, you may want to create a fire that is concealed, so you don't give away your position in an “escape and evasion” situation.

One option is a Dakota fire pit, which is like a chimney in the dirt.

Other options include poking holes in a 55 gallon drum, or using toilet paper soaked in rubbing alcohol inside a paint can (which is like a giant candle).

Yet another option is to dig an “H” in the ground and close the flaps when you're done to cover your tracks.

Finally, building any fire under a tree will help to dissipate smoke through the leaves.

(Remember that the fuel you use will make a big difference as far as smoke goes.)

Keep all these do's and don'ts in mind when you consider building your own survival fire.

The life you save could be your own – or it could be the lives of your loved ones.

What Are Your Go-To Tinder Kit Items?

Please Share Your Tips Below Now…

Survival Skills For Children: 3 Things To Teach Kids About Bugging Out And Preparedness

Jeff Anderson
Jeff Anderson, Editor

It's a terrifying thought if you're a parent.

You're out in the wilderness enjoying the great outdoors, maybe camping or hunting.

Suddenly, you realize your child has been separated from your group.

What will you do… and what will THEY do?

Would your child know how to survive?

Recently I discussed kids' survival scenarios with survival expert Kevin Estela.

Here is a summary of what he told me.

3 Critical Survival Skills To Teach Children

Survival Training For Kids
Critical Survival Skills For Children

Kevin Estela

You've got to take the time to teach your kids some fundamental survival skills.

The more they know, the less scared they will be.

If they're not scared, they won't panic.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of television and novels out there right now that paint children and teens as these epic dramatic heroes.

That's not realistic.

We have to look at what we can realistic expect a child to do when out in the woods.

Here are three skills you need to reach your children:

1. Be Able To Signal For Help

The first thing you should be teaching children to do is to learn to signal for help.

The sooner they signal, the better the chances are that they'll be close enough for you to hear them.

Teach them about using their voices and using a signaling device like a whistle.

Teach them, also, to make noise as soon as they realize they are lost.

If they wait too long, it will be too late.

2. Learn To Observe

Your kids must learn to be very observant.

They should be able to describe the last known point they saw and to identify landmarks.

If they can describe where they are, they can make it easier for you to find them, such as if they get lost and then contact you on a portable radio.

There's nothing more frustrating than listening helplessly as your child cries for help… but can't tell you anything you can actually do to save them.

Teaching your kids these observations skills makes them better able to help YOU help THEM.

3. Be Able To Spend A Night In The Woods

In some scenarios, your child might be stranded overnight in the woods.

Teach them how to find a comfortable spot to spend the night.

Also, teach them that it isn't that big a deal to sleep overnight outside, or to make a shelter to do so.

If they are prepared for it, they'll be able to tackle it when it happens to them.

With some training and planning ahead of time, should your child ever need to survive alone in the woods, he or she will be much better equipped to do so… and you will sleep better at night, too.

Investing the time and training now to make your children more self-sufficient could be the difference between life and death.

It will also give you, the parent, better peace of mind.

What Kids' Survival Skills Do You Teach Your Child?

Please Share Your Thoughts Below Now…

MCS 242 – Extreme Fire-Starting Hacks For Wilderness Survival

Wilderness Survival Fire-Starting Tips
Wilderness Survival Fire-Starting Tips
Could you start a fire under the WORST weather conditions?

Any schmoe can build a fire with some logs, a gallon of gasoline and a match…

And any boy scout can build a fire with fewer tools… and a clear sky (or even a light sprinkle)…

But what about when Mother Nature says, “F – YOU!” and doing everything she can to destroy your chances of turning that spark into a roaring bonfire with pouring rain and frigid temperatures?

Now THAT takes some serious wilderness survival skills, wouldn't you say?

Fortunately, for this week's podcast episode, I challenged survival author and expert, Kevin Estella, to give us his best fire-starting hacks for “impossible” scenarios.

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Here's What You'll Discover In This Week's Episode:

  • The biggest mistakes most people make when trying to start a fire that will DESTROY your chances of ever getting a flame!
  • Your personal “survival fire kit”: The exact gear to pack for a no-fail fire-starting tool pack!
  • Teepee style? Log cabin style? What's the best “stick structure” for starting a roaring fire FAST?
  • Beating impossible odds: Getting a flame when Mother Nature's actively trying to ruin your day with a pouring rainstorm!
  • How to build a “covert fire” to avoid attracting unwanted guests to your location.

To truly survive in the woods, the ability to build a fire isn't an “option” – it's a necessary skill that could mean life-or-death.

The tips, tricks, and tactics covered in this week's interview will almost instantly turn you into a fire-starting badass in even the WORST conditions!

Resources Mentioned In This Podcast:

What OTHER Survival Fire-Starting Tips Do You Like For Extreme Conditions?

Please Share Your Best Tips And Questions In The Comments Below Now…

MCS 186 – Kevin Estela’s #1 Wilderness Survival Myth

All it takes in one single one trip around the internet…

Like any of the “tactical arts”, you'll find a TON of tips, tricks based more on theory than actual experience.

And top of the list?

“Wilderness survival”!

And this is one of those areas where – if you fall for the regurgitated b.s. floating around out there – it could do more damage than actually save your life if you were stranded in a remote area.

That's why my friend and survival expert, Kevin Estela, is going to be joining our New World Patriot Alliance members this month for an exclusive workshop where he'll share his own personal list of the “Top 10” biggest wilderness survival myths that could get you killed in a real crisis…

… AND the straight truth on what it really takes to survive!

If you're an NWPA member, be sure to get this workshop on your calendar…

… and if you're not an NWPA member (yet!), I asked Kevin to jump on this week's podcast episode to share his #1 frustration when working with students in his wilderness survival classes.

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Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm NOT the ultimate expert in the best wilderness survival advice.

I don't know which plants to eat… I can't catch a bear with paracord and a spork… and starting a fire by banging two rocks together has always been an exercise in futility.

Sure, I'm confident I'd survive in the most remote area with what little experience I've gathered and a rock-hard will to survive.

But I'd much rather lean on the real-world training and experience of the other experts within our network.

Kevin's answer was pretty surprising to me… but I get it (and I've seen it in other tactical training as well).

Listen in to this week's broadcast and see if you have this same frustration (or maybe it even applies to you?).

What Other Wilderness Survival Myths Do You See On The Internet, In Magazines, And T.V.?

Please Share Your Own Frustrations Below Now..

MCS 157: Top 10 Best Paracord Uses You (Probably) Don’t Know

The Top 10 Paracord Uses You Don't Know
The Best Paracord Uses For Survival And Defense

A survivalist without paracord is Dirty Harry without his .44 Magnum.

In fact, this “wonder string” can literally save your life in a survival scenario!

Sure, the internet abounds with endless lists of “best paracord uses”… so I challenged my friend and survival expert, Kevin Estela, to come up with tips most survivalists have never heard of before.

In this week's podcast episode, Kevin gives his “Top 5″ best paracord uses… and with my own “Top 5”, you'll have a good handful of new tactics to try out!

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Here's What You'll Discover In This Week's Episode:

  • The “Trapo” Trick
  • The “Riot Leash” Trick
  • The “Para-Rescue” Trick
  • The “Invisible Knife” Trick
  • The “1-2-3 Anchor” Trick
  • The “Running Sniper” Trick
  • The “Condom Container” Trick
  • The “Pistol Sniper” Trick
  • The “Rattler Alarm” Trick
  • The “Budget Bodyguard” Trick

Resources Mentioned In This Episode:

Do YOU Have A Weird Paracord Use That Most People Don't Know?

Challenge Us With Your Own Tip In The Comments Below Now…

MCS 151: Your “Plan B” Bug-Out Transportation Survival Plan

Bug-Out Transportation Survival Plan

Bug-Out Transportation Survival Plan

No… you don't need a camouflage 4×4 “monster truck” with spiked hubcaps to get out of Dodge when a disaster strikes (though that would be pretty badass, wouldn't it?).

In fact, there are times where your vehicle may NOT be the best transportation option when you're forced to evacuate your home during a crisis.

Other times, the decision may be made for you as you hit the virtual parking lot that used to be a 4-lane highway, now packed with the unprepared zombies who have stalled, broken down, or run out of gas.

But survivalists never say “die”, right?

Your family is counting on you to get them to safety and this week, survival expert, Kevin Estela, shares his best “back-up plans” for staying mobile while everyone around you is at the mercy of Mother Nature and Murphy's Law.

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Here's what you'll discover in this week's episode:

  • How to evaluate your personal bug-out evac route and transportation options like a pro!
  • The bug-out bicycle! How to choose and use a bike as a back-up!
  • Bugging out without wheels… for when your plan to roll-out hits the breaks!
  • 4-legged options for hauling your gear and getting to your destination when all other routes are a no-go!
  • How make bugging out on foot easier, more effective, and more efficient!

Only the truly “prepared” ever even consider a “Plan B” to their original survival plan.

But bugging out has so many hidden obstacles that the only way to know you're getting to safety no matter what… is to have a back-up that keeps you moving.

This week you'll be one step closer to the ultimate bug-out plan!

Resources Mentioned In The Broadcast:

Please Share Your Thoughts And Training Tips Below Now…

MCS 132: “Stranded” Survival Strategies

Wilderness Survival Tips

Wilderness Survival Tips

We've all seen the news stories…

… family trapped in their car in the middle of a nowhere in a blizzard… the hunter who wandered off and wasn't found for days… or the child who got separated from the campsite and left behind panicked parents and teams of rescue workers.

Being stranded in unfamiliar environments happens more than you may think.

And you don't have to be in the “wilderness” for it to happen either.

The question is, if you were dropped down in the middle of the woods… a desert… or even a foreign country gripped by civil unrest…

… could you survive and find your way to safety?

You will after this week's interview with survival expert, Kevin Estela, as he shares his best strategies for mastering the skills you need to make it back home alive..

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Here's what you'll discover in this week's episode…

  • The most common “stranded” scenarios no one thinks will ever happen to them… until it does!
  • The 3 biggest mistakes “lost” people make that can drastically reduce your chances of being found alive!
  • “Everyday carry” survival gear that will help you weather any survival scenario without weighing you down!
  • Your critical “first moves” you should absolutely make if you ever want to survive a single night alone! (Warning – some of these steps are the exact opposite of how most people react!)
  • Simple (and safe) ways to train for a “stranded” survival scenario! 

When you suddenly find yourself in “no-man's land” and no idea how to get out… THESE are the skills that will get you home alive!

Resources Mentioned In This Podcast:

 Do You Know Any Other “Stranded” Survival Tips?

Please Share Your Best Survival Strategies Below Now…

MCS Podcast 57: The Survivalist Child – Teaching Children Survival Skills


Like me, many parents and grandparents out there are answering the call to raise more self-reliant children who can face any danger with practical skills when no help is around.

This week, I tracked down survival trainer, Kevin Estela (who's also a high school teacher!) who has dug deep into some simple ways to prepare any child with the skills they can use to face any danger… as well as prepare for life in general

We cover a lot of really great tips you’ll be able to use with ANY child in your life who you’d like to become better prepared… AND you’ll discover ways to make it FUN at the same time.

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Here's what awaits you in this week's episode…

  • How to get your child into a “survival mind-set” WITHOUT filling them with fear over things they can’t control!
  • The best “wilderness survival” skills to teach children if they're ever separated from you or other group!
  • Small children are no match for larger “human predators” in our society… or are they?
  • Everyday carry gear for KIDS!
  • Fun ways to teach any child simple survival skills through role-playing and other activities!

This was a “reader request” podcast and I know it's going to help a LOT of parents out there raise the next generation of self-reliance!

Podcast Resources:

What OTHER Skills Have You Taught YOUR Child Or Grandchild?

Please Share Your Advice Below…