A few months ago, for my husband’s birthday, I purchased a subscription to Apocabox from Creek Stewart. It turned out that our whole family has enjoyed learning with this unique box of challenges. I would like to encourage other homeschool families to check into doing these DIY suvival skills learning kits with their kids.
Creek Stewart is a well known survivalist teacher. He has been featured over the past 20 years in countless articles, magazines, TV shows, talk shows, news, and more. He previously hosted a show called Fat Guys in the Woods where he helped “guys” get off the couch and learn knew skills in the woods such as camping, bushcrafting, survival, and mastering personal skills that helped change their lives. He has a survival school called Willow Haven Outdoor located in Indiana. He has his own signature line of knives and tools called “Whisky” where the handles are made from the oak wood of whisky barrels. He is the current host of a TV show called S.O.S. How To Survive that airs on the Weather Channel that showcases true stories of people who found themselves in survival situations and what skills saved their lives.
Creek Stewart is also an author of lots of books including suvival guides, magazine articles, as well as fiction and non-fiction books. He has several websites and youtube channels and he is well known and well liked by many.
Apocabox is a survival school in a box. It comes to your door every other month. It is filled with skill challenges, at least 1 or more survival skill challenge kits, sometimes one of Creek Stewart’s pocket survival guides, and always includes about 5 to 7 gear items that can benefit you in a survival situation.
Each Apocabox has a unique theme, special gear, and skill challenges. Apocabox has been going for several years. Here is an example of the 2017 themes and related gear for the past year.
- Ignis (Fire)(Febuary): Whisky Flint and Steel Kit, Whisky Ferro Rod, Fire Scratcher, Friction Fire Chucks, Ignis Tinder Tubes, Pocket Wick, Fresnel Lens
- Forager (April): Canvas Foraging Bag, Foraging Knife with Sheath, Fruit and Nut Grapple, Sprouting Kit, Tree Finder Guide, Arbor Day Foundation Tree Guide, Chirps Chips, Forager Patch, Pocket Field Guide
- Hydro (Water)(June): 3 Dry Gear Bags, Tarp and Drain Water Harvester, Gear Guard Wax, Folding Filet & Food Prep Knife, Life Raft Knife, Frog and Fish Gig, Collapsible Minnow Trap, Pocket Field Guide, Build a Coal Burned Wooden Container Skill
- Bushcraft Dump Pouch (August): Canvas and Leather Pouch, Whisky Burr Knife, Sharpening Brick, Trout Line Fishing Kit, Bone Feather, Beeswax Bar
- Camp Cookery (October): Stainless Steel Pack Grill, Fold Down Cooking Tripod, 5Litter Dry Bag, Whisky Scoop (wooden spoon carver tool), Chicory Coffee
- Tool & Maintenance (December): Knife Kit, Multi-function Sharpener, Double Edged Bench Strop, 4-Way Rasp, Rock and Roll Sharpener, Diamond Paste Syringe, Buffalo Bone Whistle, Lincoln Patch, Tool Maintenance Desk Mat, Field Maintenance Bag
Each box includes at least 1 or more theme specific survival skill challenges that include the complete project plus templates and raw materials and special videos for you to learn to make the survival product yourself and master using it. Each box also includes up to 10-12 additional survival skills for you to master. These additional skills are related to the gear in the box and written about in the newsletter, pocket survival guides, and exclusive subscriber videos, and you can resource your own materials and learn these skills right from the comfort of your home or backyard.
Apocabox Example: Forager
With the Forager edition of Apocabox, folks learned how to forage and gather food and resources from trees, plants, roots, fish from streams, and sprout their own seeds into nutritious greens too.
- Apocabox Newsletter: filled with skills challenges and detailed content descriptions. (These have been updated to 4 page high gloss magazine style pages and now also contain photos of other subscribers who sent in pictures of their finished challenges and projects)
- POCKET FIELD GUIDE: Survival Trees : Vol I
70 page 4×6 pocket sized field guide filled with DIY Skills Challenges to Master such as gleaning survival resources such as food, water, shelter, fire, cordage, tools, containers and adhesives from 8 different trees.
- Canvas Foraging Bag
- Foraging Knife and Sheath
Multi use tool designed to dig up roots and tubers, and use as a trowel for digging fire pits, and more.
- Fruit & Nut Grapple Kit
- Bone Sliver Fishing Kit
- TREE FINDER GUIDE:
How to identify 161 species of trees.
- Arbor Day Foundation Tree Guide:
250 trees of North America
- Sprouting Kit:
Sprouting seeds, instructions, and prortable sprouting container. Seeds vary and might include: Black Turtle Beans, Navy bean, Red field peas (these are beans also), Lentils, Mung Beans and Alfalfa.
- Chirps Chips
Chips made from cricket flour.
- “FORAGER” Velcro Leaf Patch
The Forager Apocabox contained instructions, templates, and materials for 3 Specific DIY Skills Challenges:
- Bone Sliver Kit: includes instructions and materials to make a bone sliver fishing hook, and a bone sliver fishing gorge.
- Fruit and Nut Grapple Kit includes instructions and materials (except paracord) to make the grapple and you add the paracord and then practice harvesting from trees.
- Sprout Kit: includes seeds and container for nutritious food.
Subscribers also have access to exclusive videos that walk you step by step from beginning all the way through mastering these skills. Some videos are about 5 minutes long, some 10 minutes, and some videos are 30 minutes long depending on the skill being learned. Creek is a very good teacher and is easy to understand in these videos. Plus there are lots more optional skills to practice and master in the Pocket Field Guide. The Forager Apocabox came with links to 3 online teaching videos to watch.
Here is a short 1 minute video clip about resources found in Pine Trees:
Apocabox is truly a super-duty DIY survival skills training box and is a perfect match with the self motivated learning styles of many homeschool families as well as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4 -H clubs, after school programs, summer camps, and many other groups.
2018 Themes (so far):
- Exodus (Febuary)
- Silent Hunter (April)
- Flatline (June)
Apocabox costs $50 plus shipping every two months. The box is shipped 6 times a year (Feburary, April, June, August, October, December) and contains enough materials and information to keep you learning and mastering at least 1 or more survivals skills each week for the full two months while you wait for your next box to arrive. So that is about $6.25 a week if you only learn 1 knew skill. But there is likely enough challenges in the boxes, pamphlets, booklets, and exclusive linked videos to do 2 skills a week, which would translate to a cost of about $3.13 per knew skill learned.
Apocabox is cheaper than any survival school or life skills curriculum I have found and even cheaper than a fancy cup of coffee. This is very reasonable for all the cool things you get to learn. I wish I had these kits when I was teaching the Build It Learn It Workshops and Take Action Tuesdays a few years ago. These truly are a wonderful resource!
However, if the Apocabox skills challenges sound like more than you can do at this time (either time or money or both), Creek Stewart also offers a Survival Skill of the Month Club where he teaches 1 knew skill for the current price $7.95 a month. For that price, he will mail you a binder, plus 1 illustrated skill per month in high gloss magazine style pages that you can add to the binder.
He has also recently added a Wild Edibles Skill of the Month Club that looks fantastic too.
Sharing through Facebook and Instagram and being part of an online community of people who are also learning these skills is another special feature Creek offers to his subscribers. It is truly amazing what some people do while learning these skills and see the outcomes.
For example, this past December, in the “Tools and Maintenance” theme, folks created their own custom knives and custom handles and sheaths, and learned how to properly care for knives, and axes, etc. The 2017 December box and theme is what actually inspired me to subscribe. I just knew my husband and older sons would love it, so we subscribed and our first box was the Feb 2018 and it turns out we have all loved this learning journey so far!
With Father’s Day right around the corner, if you are looking for a really nice gift for the father’s, sons (or daughters) in your life, the life skills and survival skills learned from these boxes will be a gift that keeps on giving. Like the old saying goes “give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” The knowledge and skills one gains to care for themselves, and the needs of others, to help them survive is priceless.
I will post future stories about each box and the skills we learn. If you think this might be a good fit for your family, please join us on this new learning adventure!
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