Why You May Want To Buy A Blackphone If You Are a Prepper

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Why You May Want To Buy A Blackphone If You Are a Prepper Many of you may have heard about this device recently. I think it’s a great phone for us preppers to have. Check out why I think this below. What is blackphone? The Blackphone on it’s own is an Android 4.4 smartphone with …

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How To Make Your Own Vanilla Extract From Scratch

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How To Make Your Own Vanilla Extract From Scratch Making your own vanilla extract from scratch is so easy. This is Perfect to keep stockpiled for when SHTF. Yummy vanilla… It’s easy to imagine that a lot of the kitchen items we now take for granted will be scarce if SHTF and since I like …

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28 Innovative Ways To Upcycle Old T-Shirts

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28 Innovative Ways To Upcycle Old T-shirts I don’t know about you guys, but I have probably a good 30 old T-shirts laying around the house that i tell my wife to keep and not throw away because we could use them if the power goes out to keep warm. After seeing this tutorial I …

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How To Make An Awesome Shirt From A Wool Blanket

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How To Make An Awesome Shirt From A Wool Blanket Have you ever heard anyone say invest in wool? Well I would, It’s getting more and more expensive and it has so much potential when SHTF. Wool is just fantastic… There are several kinds of blends of wool you need to watch out for! There …

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China Warns: War With U.S. Now A ‘Practical Reality’

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China Warns: War With U.S. Now A ‘Practical Reality’

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The People’s Republic of China is stepping up its military preparations for a possible war with the United States.

An official commentary from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in a Chinese newspaper states that chances of war are “more real” because of Donald J. Trump’s presidency.

The fear in Beijing is that disputes over the South China Sea and arguments over Taiwan might lead to military conflict. China is in the midst of a major military buildup and also opposes a proposed U.S. missile defense system in South Korea. China is building artificial islands in the South China Sea, which it claims is not international waters despite what an international court ruled in 2016.

“‘A war within the president’s term’ or ‘war breaking out tonight’ are not just slogans, they are becoming a practical reality,” a PLA press release in January stated.

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China’s navy even is conducting exercises on the high seas in response to statements by incoming Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, The China Morning Post reported.

“There are flowers around the gate of China’s Ministry of Commerce, but there are also big sticks hidden inside the door — they both await Americans,” a Jan. 5 editorial in the Chinese Global Times warned. That paper is part of the People’s Daily, which is the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party.

Tillerson, during his confirmation hearing before senators, issued a warning to China about the artificial islands.

“Building islands and then putting military assets on those islands is akin to Russia’s taking of Crimea. It’s taking of territory that others lay claim to,” Tillerson said. “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that first, the island-building stops, and second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.”

A commentary in the People’s Daily in January said that China would conduct military exercises in the South China Sea no matter what other countries say.

Do you believe war with China is growing more likely? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Learn these eight tarp and equipment tips for emergency snow shelter camping

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A tarp shelter can provide very comfortable sleeping quarters in deep snow. Here’s some gear tips to help you build that shelter.

by Leon Pantenburg

This was my shelter. It took about half an hour to construct.

The original plan was to build an igloo to sleep in. Recently, Eagle Scout Sean Jacox and I were at the annual Fremont District Boy Scouts Freezoree, a winter camping event in the deep snow of the Oregon Cascades. Between us, Sean and I have built a couple dozen igloos, and we’re very proficient at throwing up a shelter.

There was about three to four feet of accumulation on the ground, but the snow was too dry for igloo making. The top crust went down for about a foot, then got grainy. It was like shoveling sand, and there was no way to cut blocks.

Plan B was to make trench shelters. The directions are simple: Dig a trench in the snow and cover it with a tarp.

The shelters worked great. Though the temperatures were in the low teens, both of us were very comfortable. But the shelters wouldn’t have worked as well without the correct tarps, equipment and techniques.

Here are some tips and gear for making snow trench shelters.

Get a big enough tarp: When it comes to tarps and ropes, I learn from Bob Patterson. (Check out his creds below.)

A basic tenant, according to Bob, is that people always choose a tarp that is too small.  Remember, the area around the edge is a splash/blow-in (or wet) zone, he says, that is always wet in a rain storm and even worse in a high wind. This also applies to snow and sleet.

“I have two “go-to” tarps.  Both are taffeta nylon, which is heavier than rip-stop but stronger,” he writes.  “One is 12’x12’ and the other is 12’x16’ – I use the 12’x16’ the most.  I’m looking for a larger one, but I’m not going to pay $400 for it.” (Here is a good  go-to tarp.)

In a trench shelter, you need a large enough tarp so you can shovel snow up on the edges. This becomes important if there is wind and blowing snow. Also, the size of the tarp limits the size of the trench.

My 8’x 10′ tarp, which I carry for warmer weather hunting and camping, was barely adequate for my trench shelter. I would have been able to squeeze another person in, but the quarters would have been cramped. I’m upgrading to a 10′ by 12′ for snow camping.

Troop 18 Scoutmater Phil Brummett made a great tree well shelter, which I was happy to inspect!

Phil Brummett made a great tree well shelter, which I was happy to inspect! 

Carry a good shovel: I consider a lightweight backpacking snow shovel to be an essential part of my winter Ten Essentials. Get a good one. Otherwise, that storm will blow in and you’ll be forced to dig with a snowshoe or ski. That doesn’t work all that well, and it isn’t efficient.

Another good choice, recommended by survival expert Peter Kummerfeldt, is the Snow Claw. This is a backcountry snow shovel that fits in a backpack, and works well on a variety of snow conditions.

I helped make a tree well shelter with a snowshoe, and it was a lot of work. You’re better off taking the tools designed for the job.

Know how to use snow anchors: Snow anchors, or dead heads, are nothing more than a stick buried in deep snow. Anchor each corner of the tarp, then shovel snow on the edges. (Here’s how to rig deadheads.)

Cross members: Put your skis and ski poles across the trench to support the ceiling. If a lot of snow is falling, you don’t want the roof to collapse.

That means, you should probably also carry a saw or something to cut branches for roof supports. I like the Swen Saw. I used one in the Boundary Waters several years ago, and friends of mine in Search and Rescue include them in their gear. I’ve carried a folding saw in my hunting daypack for years, for survival and meat processing.

Aluminum tent stakes weigh virtually nothing. Combined with a tarp, and about 25 feet of paracord, the items can be made into an effective emergency shelter.

Aluminum tent stakes weigh virtually nothing. Combined with a tarp, and about 25 feet of paracord, the items can be made into an effective emergency shelter.

Carry paracord: I always carry paracord, in every daypack under every circumstance. Take a minimum of 50 feet. You will use the paracord for tying down tarp ends, making “rafters” for the trench and a multitude of other things. Get the good stuff with seven individual strands.

Take along a candle: A candle can supply a surprising amount of heat in a snow shelter. I lit two in mine, and went off to eat dinner. When I came back in about 25 minutes, the candles had knocked the edge off the chill. It was still cool inside the shelter, but there was a noticeable improvement.

Probably more important is the morale factor. It gets dark early in the winter, and night may last 14 hours. A candle can light the interior very well, allowing you to read or play cards. It will help you pass the time, and stay focused on surviving.

Include a closed cell foam pad: The cold from underneath can suck the heat right out of your body. While you can rely on cutting tree boughs, and lining the floor of the trench, it’s going to take a lot of extra cutting and chopping.

The safest choice is to take a closed cell foam pad, because it is the least affected, and cheapest  material for a sleeping pad.

A quality  inflatable mattress may work, but make sure you get an insulated one. I’ve used an Exped Downmat 7 for about ten years now, and it has performed magnificently. It has kept me warm, even in below zero temperatures when it was the only barrier between me and the ice underneath.

Carry a space blanket: I’m talking about the sturdy, quilted blankets, with one reflector side. This will be the vapor barrier on the floor, and the reflector side will direct heat back into the pad and bag. DON’T get those flimsy mylar blankets that retail for about $2. They are fragile and tear easily.

Knowledge: This doesn’t weight anything, and you can take it with you anywhere. Before you go into the backcountry, anticipate a worst case scenario, then think about how you might deal with it. Consider what tools you need and what techniques you might need to learn.

Then practice. And prepare to enjoy yourself in the wilderness!

Robert Patterson is on my short list of people to go into the wilderness with. Bob is a skilled outdoorsman, an avid deer hunter, and for more than two decades,  has done an annual solo, two-week canoe trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

His career choices make Bob a great guy to review gear. A retired firefighter and first responder, Bob was also an EMT,  and his job required he be out in all sorts of nasty, cold Minnesota weather. (Bob knows his foul weather gear and is my go-to guy for questions about winter camping, rain gear or other survival clothing!)

Bob is also a retired member of the National Ski Patrol, and a certified rope rescue instructor.


Moose Falls Into Family’s Basement … And Refuses To Get Out

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Moose Falls Into Family's Basement ... And Refuses To Get Out

HAILEY, Idaho – People who live in moose country know what to do when a Bullwinkle-sized creature crosses their paths. But what happens when one falls into your basement?

That’s exactly what happened to one Idaho family Saturday when a cow moose fell through a window well and ended up trapped in their basement – unwilling to walk out the door.

Moose Falls Into Family's Basement ... And Refuses To Get OutThe you’ve-got-to-see-it-to-believe-it problem was solved only when law enforcement from the Blaine County Sheriff’s Department and officers from Idaho Fish and Game teamed up. They first “attempted to herd the moose up the stairs and out the front door to freedom” but “the moose was having none of it, charging the officers several times,” according to the Idaho Fish and Game Facebook page.

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Finally, around 3 in the morning, they sedated the moose.

“With all hands on deck, the sleeping giant was carried up the stairs and out the front door,” the Idaho Fish and Game Facebook page added. “It woke up in the snow covered street, groggy and confused, but free.”

The Blaine County Sheriff’s Department said on its Facebook page that deep snows “have brought wildlife into town and close to homes looking for food.”

What would you do if there were a moose in your basement? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Counter Intelligence and Tactics

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Counter Intelligence (CI) is nothing more than information gathered and activities conducted to protect against espionage, which is spying in other words. People or organizations can and will spy on individuals, organizations and of course governments. Information in a crisis is a valuable commodity. CI also guards against other activities, such as sabotage, assassinations or against plots to steal your supplies. 

You have to keep in mind that Counter Intelligence is not a passive activity, and it is not generally in reaction to any actions against you. CI is going on the offense, which may very well save you and your family and protect your possessions, in some cases. It is getting ahead of any problems by gathering information and keeping track of people that may or may not wish you harm, wish to steal from you, or have other ideas in mind.

You simply do not know what people are up too unless you gather information on them. Of course, you have to choose your targets, and this means having a reason to suspect that they have you under surveillance or plan to.

Dramatic, yes it can be looked at that way, or ominous even, and even more so if you are engaged at a high political or military level where the nation or its people are in danger. As a Prepper, you want as much information as possible so decisions can be made, and so actions can be taken to counter any problems before they reach your front door.

Well, you might be thinking that if I conduct CI activities, then I am admitting that someone or some group is plotting against me, or spying on me. People plot and spy against each other all the time. In certain situations, the only way to stay safe is to assume someone is watching you or gathering information about you.

Your neighbor (s), for example, may keep track of your comings and goings for no other reason than boredom, curiosity, or for information so they can gossip with their friends about you. They may be nosy and find your comings and goings excessive and so on. People do snoop so they can make judgments about you. For some, it may be exciting to imagine you have nefarious reasons for going out at 2 am, when in fact, you don’t.

People, snoop, spy, and plot for any number of reasons, and in most cases, it is a harmless way for them to pass the time. It becomes important, however when they have a motive and an end game. CI may reveal their endgame so it is important that you pay attention to those paying attention to you.


In the world of espionage, spies misdirect. They do this to achieve a result that differs from the truth.

If the person who is targeting you is a professional then you have to counter that with specifics. You have to take actions that will lead to the conclusion you want and not that of the person watching you.

Professionals look for patterns as do non-professionals. The only difference is that a professional knows what to do with the information, information such as routes to work that you take, when and how your kids get to school, and where you and your family go for pizza and ice cream on Wednesdays.

They look for situations you are most vulnerable because if kidnapping or robbery or if burglarizing your home is the objective, then they need you separated from your safe zone, from your weapons, friends and sometimes from your family. They look for when you are away from home and determine if it is the same pattern each time, and they will always look to see if you are conducting CI against them.

It is hard to break habits and patterns. To be completely random in your actions is nearly impossible because you cannot show up for work at various times, or arrive at the restaurant after it closes and you do need to go to bed on work nights at relatively the same time.

Humans form patterns, and we do it without realizing it. It takes conscious effort to change without appearing to do so, and when you try, you usually tip off whoever is watching you that you may be on to them, and thus, they will change and make it harder for you to spot them.

You want whoever is watching you to become comfortable, complacent if you will with who you are. You want to affect the outcome by becoming someone else, someone he or she thinks they have figured out. Watchers will get tunnel vision, and this is when you have gained the upper hand.

You are not likely the target of kidnappers or marked for assassination, but you may be marked for robbery once the SHTF. In a crisis, Preppers will be the experts, the go-to people for help, for expertise and for supplies. You want to know if you can, if someone specific will be coming after you once disaster strikes.

To try and find out if you are being followed, you can do certain things that may trip up those following you. If, for example, you stop at a drive through most mornings for your breakfast sandwich, you can still stop, but pull into a parking space and pretend to get a phone call that stopped you from pulling through and ordering. Scan for cars that followed you into the parking lot. Look to see if anyone stays in their car when they park. Pull back out after a few minutes and check to see who may follow you out.

You can do the same with gas stations if you fill up at the same place. Pull in and go inside the convenience store instead of pumping gas. Again, note the vehicles that followed you in and note anyone that stays in their vehicle. Professionals will, of course, switch cars and often times have two to three people tailing you. One may even be in front of you while one trails behind if they have established your destination, by noting your patterns.

It takes planning because if you do need fuel or food you will need to know there is a gas station or fast food place you can get to later in the trip. You always have to give those that have you under surveillance a reason for doing what you are doing or otherwise they will suspect you are acting. Pulling into a parking as if you are answering a phone call or to even lift the hood of your car pretending to check on a loose belt or leaking radiator is a reasonable explanation for changing your pattern. This action allows you to scan for vehicles or even for people on foot that you may have seen earlier.

You may think that if you started acting this way that you are paranoid and your actions are extreme. A little fear or a little paranoia if you want to call it that is a good thing. It keeps you on your toes and makes you more observant.

If you live in an urban area and have been stockpiling for a while, then someone or a number of someone’s will know. They may not care, not care yet anyway and when they do care, they will try and figure out a way to relieve you of all you have gained. If you don’t think this is possible read up on hurricane Katrina.

We are not saying you will be targeted by the government local or otherwise but anything is possible depending on who you are and what you have been doing. If you get online and get involved with certain groups or certain people this may make you a target of surveillance. You may not realize the group you are corresponding with is on someone’s radar until it’s too late and by then you may be on someone’s radar as well.

More to Come on This

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One Socket to Rule Them All! Tools for the Apocalypse!

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I’m of the belief that when the poop hits the fan, tangibles are going to be very important. The money in the bank will be worthless.  But if you have something in your hands that is of value, well, you will be in a much better spot!

As a prepper, I believe you should have food, water, medical supplies, a means to defend yourself, etc…  You should have an emergency fund.  And, if you are able, having some precious metals is good too!

But one other thing that I think is important is having good tools, specifically non-power tools. Think about it.  If you have tools, not only can you fix your things, but you could find work fixing other people’s things.  Good tools might be worth their weight in gold in a poop hit the fan scenario.

Lately, I’ve been trying to make wise purchases when it comes to tools.  I definitely don’t want to have a bunch of dollar store or inferior tools if I ever really need them.

So with that, I would like to share with you a tool that I recently purchased that seems to be a good choice.  It is a socket that can fit any nut and more.

I recently used it to change out the headlamp bulb in my wife’s vehicle.  I have to say that it worked just like it was supposed to.  And, it looks and feels like a very solid socket.

The socket is made by Blendx.  The tool is  the BLENDX 7mm to 19mm (1/4″ – 3/4″) Ratchet Universal Socket.  On Amazon, it has 25 reviews with 4.5 stars.

This socket will replace many other sockets since it can fit anything between a 1/4″ to a 3/4″ nut.  It will also grab other types of fasteners that need to be turned (see video below).

The socket is created with 54 small spring loaded rods inside.  When you push the socket down around a fastener, it grips around it and allows you to turn the socket.  It comes with a 3/8″ adapter.

Shown above with the Stanley Multibit Ratcheting Screwdriver.

The socket only costs $9.99.  It is made in China.  I know many frown on the fact that it is made in  China.  But like I said above, it has good reviews.  From the Blendx Storefront page on Amazon, “BLENDX is a Professional Online E-commerce Brand offering trendy Outdoor Products and Home Gadgets.We have Overseas R&D center in Shenzhen, where’s the core of the Chinese manufacturing industry. By taking this advantages, BLENDX provides you various kinds of great products at the lowest possible prices.”

If you would like to purchase the same type of tool from another country, the Gator Grip runs under $39 and is made in the Czech Republic.

The video below is of the Gator Grip version.  But the Blendx version will work exactly the same.


Do you have one of these sockets?  How has it worked for you?  And, which tools do you believe would be important for a SHTF situation?


Eight Efficient Food Crops to Grow

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Eight Efficient Food Crops to Grow Many families grow their own food in order to become self-sufficient. There is nothing better than home grown food. It’s cheaper, fresher and often better tasting than the one you buy from the supermarket. However, starting your own garden can be challenging. Things complicate even more if you decide …

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Expert Tips to Select and Build The Perfect Bug Out Vehicle

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There’s quite a lot of information circling around the web on what to specifically pack, carry or stock up on in terms of survival equipment, supplies, weapons, etc. when the situation calls for “bugging out”. What’s largely missing though (and equally important) is how you plan to be mobile- what kind of transportation is best, and how you equip one to be suitable for bugging out events.

Quick Navigation:

  A. What is a Bug Out Vehicle
  B. Choosing the Right Vehicle
      1. EMP & Older Cars
      2. Military Surplus
      3. How Will You Use It?
      4. Know Your Local Terrain
      5. Who and What Will You Bring?
      6. Possible Threats
      7. Distance to Travel
      8. Price vs Reliability
  D. Supplies Checklist


It’s an understandable oversight. After all, we take for granted how we move about the city or the suburbs while sitting down comfortably in a 4-wheeled vehicle. So, naturally they are left out of the picture when it comes to prepping for doomsday scenarios. But, consider for a moment how far you can go and how fast you can get out if you don’t have an automobile. The radius won’t be as far as you’d like. Even if you have the best bug out equipment, a well-stocked supply hoard and the latest and the toughest gadgets, it won’t mean as much if you have an unoptimized bug out vehicle.

A. What Is A Bug Out Vehicle And Why You Might Need One

Having a standard vehicle for daily commute or for occasional driving won’t be enough. If you’re really serious about building up your perfect bug out plan, you’ll need the perfect bug out vehicle. Sure, you can load up the bug out equipment in the trunk and drive, but there are aspects in a vehicle that could mean the difference between escaping relatively unharmed to being pinned down and helpless.

Some of the questions you’ll need to answer will be the following- how can I maximize the evacuation process with a vehicle? Are there any weaknesses that should be reinforced? Is there an excellent bug out vehicle that’s ready from the get go?

The simple answer is that choosing and building on the best bug out vehicle will depend on your survival situation. It will certainly vary from person A to person B, and under different circumstances as well. Here, we will try our best to list the most important aspects and put them all together to bring you a cohesive plan for selecting and building the perfect bug out vehicle.


B. Choosing The Right Vehicle For You

1) EMP & Older Cars

There’s a high chance that one of these days, an electromagnetic pulse from the sun will reach Earth, or an artificial EMP attack will be carried out by terrorists or even governments. History has shown that CMEs have been hitting our planet for billions of years.

How vulnerable is your vehicle against EMP? You wouldn’t know for sure. You’d also have to take into account the scale of the EMP attack. In the best case scenario, your vehicle would just shut off and work fine when you restart the engine. In the worst case scenario, your car’s electronic components would be fried and you wouldn’t be able to drive it without replacing them.

And then there’s budget. Expenditure costs will be a major factor when building the perfect bug out vehicle.

Most modern vehicles have some kind of electrical components to help you drive better or safer. Unfortunately, these vehicles are susceptible to EMP attacks. Older vehicles don’t have this type of technology, so they are quite EMP-proof. The military has found that their massive advanced weapons could be disabled with EMP, so they take extra measures to line their vehicles and command centers with anti-EMP defenses.

2) Military Surplus or Retired Vehicles

If you know someone or have considerable investments, a military surplus vehicle can be an excellent base of operations for bugging out. The M35 deuce and similarly built field jeeps are a great option because of their overall functionality, durability and reliability. You can find these vehicle types at auctions, online websites and online sales.

3) How Do You Intend To Use The Vehicle?

Let’s ask some vital questions here. What kind of doomsday scenario are you preparing for? How will you use the bug out car?

You would want to build a bug out vehicle that could get you out of specific TEOTWAWKI events. For example, you’re arming up for a zombie apocalypse. You’re planning to head to an isolated island after a complete societal collapse following an EMP attack. You have a fortified cabin in the woods. You’re outfitting a bug out vehicle with high-powered weapons. You could also build a vehicle for escape during or after a tsunami, earthquake, etc.

You should also know that there are some catastrophic situations that are more likely to happen than others. There are also some SHTF events that could prove to be downright deadly if you aren’t prepared for it. In any case, having the foresight to build up a bug out car for these events will be particularly helpful, if not downright beneficial.

4) Know Your Local Terrain

A great part in ensuring survivability in any end of days scenario is knowing your local terrain. Your destination habitat, your indigenous location and the encounters that may happen in-between. Do you have a clear understanding of the best route to take from here to there when a bug out situation comes? How would you return home during regional disasters and/or global catastrophes?

Of course, roads and paths traveled by most people are often the quickest way to get from point A to point B. But as you would guess, these paths would most likely be the most congested when a disaster happens. It would almost be impossible to move quickly here, as people will be using the roads to escape impending doom.

You would want to discover and map out alternate routes for these points- places of interest for SHTF scenarios, going to and from your intended bug out location, and going to and from the office. The road that not a lot of people know could prove to be your best way out.

Here are some ways you can map out alternate routes:

a. Get some physical local maps and atlases you can bring with you.

b. A GPS tool that can recommend alternate routes.

c. Google Maps, Google Earth and other similar advanced geological app and software.

As you find alternate paths and discover great routes, it’s time to get out there. Familiarize yourself with it, and drive out often.

5) Who or What Will You Be Bringing?

You may have singled out a likely catastrophic event and brushed up on local terrain. The next question should be- who or what will you bring? Who could possibly come along when the end of days arrive? You should also consider the possibility of driving on offroad terrain, and the amount of bug out gear and equipment you’ll be hauling.

6) The Possible Threats and How You Can Handle Them

Make a list of the most likely threats and rank them accordingly. Let’s say you intend to build the best bug out vehicle for a war. You have a military truck out in the garage and drive around town often with it. People in the neighborhood and the local police know about it. You can expect that a lot of people will try to capture it for their own when an invading army comes.

Sometimes concealment can be your best friend. An unassuming Toyota Landcruiser or a Jeep Grand Cherokee could be outfitted with the best bug out equipment and can still look normal on the outside. Even prepping them for off-road aspects won’t raise any suspicion or interest from most people.

7) The Distance to Travel

Don’t pick out a remote bug out location that you can’t drive to using more than a tank of fuel. A good bug out location will be one that can provide at least 3 alternate routes for getting there. Because time is of the essence, it should not be so far out that it’s impossible to get to.

8) Price / Reliability Ratio

What’s the use of a bug out car if it can’t be relied upon? You may have the best collection of bug out equipment, but you won’t be able to bring any of them if your car refuses to start or experience engine failures often. Reliability could very well be the most important aspect in choosing a bug out vehicle. If your car has some stock parts you can easily find to and from your bug out location, the better. A popular car that has parts which can be easily found or bought will be most ideal.

Getting a car in tip-top shape mechanically and structurally should be your first mission. The engine, tires, gas tank, doors, roof, etc. should be inspected and repaired if need be. Your car should be ready to go any time you need it.

9) Repair Costs

You’ll also want to consider repair costs in a side by side comparison with a car’s reliability. For example, the latest Honda Accord could prove to be very reliable, but you’ll certainly have a hard time trying to find parts and qualified repair centers for it. On the flip side, a Chevy truck may not have a high reliability rating as the aforementioned Honda, but it’s easy to fix and the parts are easy to find.

Part of prepping for doomsday cases is to gain knowledge on your bug out equipment and vehicle. Get some spare parts and tools for fixing. Have a working knowledge on how to repair and fix the most common automobile problems. Keep a manual for your car handy as well.

10) Diesel or Gas Engine?

Gas comes out on top for a simple reasons- it’s much more available than diesel fuel. But don’t count diesel out of the equation yet, because it’s quite easy to make biodiesel right at your own garage. There are some great websites and books (Biodiesel Basics & Beyond) that you can follow to start producing workable diesel for your vehicle. The concept of creating your own fuel is catching on the mainstream. As such, you can easily find and buy complete biodiesel kits on online stores and specialty shops.

You may have watched from survival movies and apocalyptic zombie series how heroes could use a screwdriver and a hose to siphon fuel from abandoned cars and trucks. The problem here is that fuel won’t last very long to stay in the tanks. Plus, diesel has the advantage when talking about efficiency and flexibility. In certain cases and emergency situations, people can make use of jet fuel, kerosene or heating oil to run their diesel engine cars. The availability of these types of fuel increase your chances of being more mobile than a gas engine car. Moreover, diesel has a notably longer lifespan than gasoline. You can easily find and buy fuel stabilizers nowadays. Add them on to diesel and you can extend its life about 10 times more than gasoline.

11) 2WD / AWD / 4WD Capabilities: How Important Are They?

Terrain handling features can make or break your chances of bugging out survival. How likely is that you’ll need to drive off-road in TEOTWAWKI situations? A lot. A non 4WD vehicle breaks down easily when placed out of its element. A 4WD car will present more terrain options, which in turn can get you to your location much more quickly and safely.

Size comparison gets a bit tricky here. Automobile size won’t improve driving in off-road terrain. The car’s drivetrain and clearance can also be a significant factor in some cases. Improve your vehicle in these aspects by modifying the wheels for accommodating bigger tires, waterproofing the engine and upgrading your hubs.

12) Gas Mileage

The picture of charging through enemy territory in half a tank or something similar is very appealing, but that sort of setup requires a huge amount of fuel.

In most instances, those who buy fringe vehicles specifically made for SHTF situations won’t consider gas mileage an important factor. Preppers may have an old truck that can easily be repaired and are very resistant against EMP waves, but they won’t go very far on a full tank. You won’t get to your fallout shelter if it’s location is 400 miles from home and your vehicle’s mileage can only go 300 on a full tank. Gas mileage drops considerably if you’re driving on an off-road terrain. A 10 mpg car will be reduced to just 3 MPGs as you leave the asphalt.

We’ve mentioned before that gas will be scarce and it will be a valuable commodity in doomsday events. You may not have the time to siphon them off cars, or make your own (diesel), but what you can do is get a bug out vehicle that has a good range of somewhere around 23 to 27 MPG for efficient gas mileage. You’ll get one less thing to worry about.

13) Manual VS. Automatic Transmission

Some people swear by stick driving. There’s some truth to manual being better, especially in the face of SHTF events. Manual transmission is more reliable, generally has more mileage and are definitely easier to repair and fix than an AT vehicle. Furthermore, having a manual transmission allows you to push the vehicle in order to start it in case of lost keys or a burnt out ignition.


D. Checklist of Supplies and Storage Space For Your Bug Out Vehicle

What are the things you need to bring in order to increase your chances of survival? Here’s a definitive checklist of supplies you’ll need. Don’t forget to bring your bug out bag to carry your stuff along.

1) An Excellent Bug Out Bag:  Go for the best one you can find, because this is the storage that will carry everything you need to survive. Only carry as much climate-appropriate clothing as necessary.

2) Water And Food: These may vary depending on your environment and other things. The most basic would be stainless steel containers of water. Portable water filters and purification tablets are some of the most versatile tools you can purchase. Keep a few reliable food sources in your stash. Calorie Dense Food Bars, Freeze Dried and Military Meals are ideal choices. Include tools that can help you gather or hunt food out in the wild.

3) Weapons: The Four Best Guns For Bugging Out

a. Taurus Judge

One of the most versatile handguns available. The Judge can fit in both .410 and .45 Colt shot shells. The size and heft is particularly impressive, but it’s still smaller than a full-on carbine and rifle.

The Taurus is a respectable gun that can be used for hunting game, and can double as a powerful self-defense firearm. Chamber in .410 rounds to quickly kill small game, or slot in the .45 Colt shells for adequate personnel stopping power. The versatility of this weapon has earned it the “jack of all trades” title. In short, the Taurus Judge can be the weapon you want it to be.

b. Marlin 70PSS Stainless

Stocking up on a .22 LR rifle is certainly useful in many SHTF scenarios. The Marlin 70PSS is an excellent weapon if you know how to fully use it. It’s as versatile as the Taurus Judge with a few beneficial bug out features thrown in.

The Marlin 70PSS shines in cases where space is a premium. The tack driver is stainless steel and packs in quite nicely inside the included all-weather case. Assembling and disassembling can take a few minutes at first, but practice the act and you can narrow the assembly and disassembly time within seconds. The Marlin 70PSS is an autoloading rifle that you can bring along whether you’re inside or outside your bug out vehicle.

c. Ruger 10/22 Takedown

The newest 10/22 Ruger Takedown is a better version of the stock Ruger 10/22 semiautomatic rifle in that it can be easily stored and transported. A divided rifle (each measuring about 18.5″ long) should be small enough to fit into your preferred bug out bag.

The newer model also has a threaded barrel, which allows you to add on a suppressor for a silent kill. It has all the great features of the regular Ruger 10/22- top notch reliability, accuracy and anyone can get familiar with it after a few uses. The .22 long rifle chambering puts it in the big game hunting category. It also has a great stopping force if ever you’re forced to defend yourself. Overall, the qualities of the Ruger 10/22 Takedown makes it one of the best bug out weapons to bring with you.

d. Kel-Tec PMR 30

What stands out is the PMR 30’s ability to hold in its chamber 30 ammo rounds of the Winchester Magnum. It’s also incredibly lightweight. The one-two punch provides enough benefits for those who want to pack in the best weapons as they bug out. Though it might not be able to hold its own in the self-defense or in the big game hunting category, the Kel-Tec PMR 30 shines in other SHTF scenarios. You get two fully-loaded magazines (for a total of 60 ammo rounds total) weighing in just within 25 ounces and a greater stopping force than the .22 LR, and you’ve got a gun that has great stamina and weight.

4) Ammunition

A good firearm is the one that makes the most sense. It should easily fit into a pack and handle wear and tear. You can go for lighter ammunition, such as the .22LR. Consider the following- 200 22LR rounds weigh about 1.5 lbs, as compared to 200 44 Magnum rounds which weigh more than 9 lbs. It’s definitely wiser to pack a .22 takedown rifle than a handgun if you are planning to bring just one gun.

5) Night VisionThis is for when you need the sight advantage at night. Bugging out usually means staying stealthy and being under the radar.

6) Fire Starters: Fire is an essential part of survival. When you’re bugging out in the wilderness or don’t have access to ready electricity, a reliable fire starter can potentially save you and your loved one’s lives.

7) Binoculars: See the threats before they see you. Look in distance to gauge and plan the next course of action. Binoculars will be your go-to equipment for scouting and recon.

8) Camping Supplies: Keep your camping supplies for leisure outdoor trips separate from what you’d bring with you in case a TEOTWAWKI scenario comes. If you can, put in camping supplies on different bags, each depending on doomsday scenarios such as EMP attacks, earthquakes or civil unrest. Carry out simulations to round up the supplies you might have forgotten.

9) Fuel Canisters: Applicable fuel canisters come in handy if you intend to use a portable stove for a few days.

10) Tow Straps: Comes in with the trusty winch. You’ll need these to pull out your friends when their vehicle hits a ditch.

11) CB Radio: Communication is key so you would know what’s happening in the world.

12) Window Cutter:  Store these inside your bug out vehicle. In some instances, you might be needing these if you want to escape from your vehicle in a hurry. Cut stuck seatbelts and windows to save you and your companion’s life.

13) Tire Chains: This becomes essential if you live in an area where there’s lots of snow. Acquire a trusty ice scraper as well.

14) Jump Starter:  Have one around, and never worry about getting stranded with a dead battery.

15) Basic Tool Kit:  All the survival basics packed in one tough kit. These should contain a stanley knife, duct tape, a screwdriver, a wrench, pliers and cable ties.

16) Emergency Blankets: Essential to keeping yourself warm and dry.

17) Spares: Spare batteries, spare tires, spare tools and your vehicle’s spare parts. Always do a routine check of your tires in case you get flat during a catastrophic event. Put the spare parts on your vehicle or safe in a box. The box should hold small important items that are essential for driving.


E. Building and Accessorizing Your Bug Out Vehicle

Your perfect bug out vehicle can be considered a tool, just like many of your weapons and survival equipment. It can all boil down to how well you can prepare for the specific scenario you’re expecting and how you can best adapt to that situation. Of course, being versatile is part of bugging out, so you’ll need to spread your resources for a few likely contingencies as well.

1) Engine and Transmission Mods:  According to Trucktrend.com, the most abused part of a truck (especially diesel trucks, and we can assume SUVs in some cases), is the transmission.  Many used trucks have thousands of towing miles racked up on their transmissions which leads to severe wear.  If buying used, you’ll want to have the transmission carefully inspected and put to some simple tests before buying.  The key is to buy a vehicle with a transmission already in good shape, then buy a transmission kit which usually includes disc converter, new clutches, and hydraulic upgrades.  

Much can done to improve the performance and reliability of an engine, but consider the basics:

a.  Air intake and filters

b. Throttle body

c. Exahust systems 

d. Headers

e. Tuner and superchips

f. Superchargers




2) Larger Wheels:  The larger, the better. The pros cannot be understated- fit in larger brakes for better control, have a smaller side wall and you get less drop if it gets flattened.

3) Performance Tires: Mudders and performance tires will get you more traction and better pull on the off-road. Pack in a spare in case you get a blowout. Well-inflated performance tires will get you to your bug out location than an ordinary one. As a side note, the proper way to maintain them is to constantly check for pressure levels all year round. Check the treads as well. Rotate the wheels and tires for every 5,000 miles covered.

4) Mounting / Weapons Storage:  Being able to quickly access you weapons and put shots on target will largely determine if you will succeed at defending yourself, loved ones, and property.  Having quality, dependable mounting and storage solutions for your weapons is a good idea to prepare for unknown threats.  

5) Fuel Canisters: Make the best use of that extra space by outfitting your bug out vehicle with a secondary fuel tank. Or, purchase fuel cans and mount them onto the bumper or the roof rack. The same principle can be applied to your weapons.

6) Tow Package:  BOVs can certainly benefit from trailer light connections and a towing package with hitches. Sedans, trucks and SUVs do have towing capacities, and attaching a utility trailer will greatly expand your essential resources.

7) Winch:  Getting stuck while offroading isn’t an uncommon situation. This is why you’ll need a winch stowed away on your bug out vehicle. Calling AAA to get unstuck won’t be an option in SHTF events.

8) Brush Guard:  Bumper guards can do a lot of useful stuff while attached to your bug out vehicle. Hold winches, additional lights and acting as a protective barrier are just some of them. Go with a Warn Industries package if you want the best of the best.

9) Armor Plating:  Anticipating a war and firefight? Then you’d best prepare with armored plating for your vehicle. Retrofit with ballistics armor for good measure.

10) Skid Plate:  Skid plates serve the purpose of protecting the underside of your vehicle from damaging stones and larger debris. It can stand between you making it safely to your bug out location and being stranded in the middle of nowhere.

11) Roof Rack:  Adding a mod that will put some extra storage space is always a good thing for SHTF events. While some vehicles already come with a luggage rack, put in something beefier by upgrading to a cargo carrier that adds substantial real estate for your SUV or truck.

12) High Power Lighting:  Lighting can come in very handy in almost all emergency situations. Say you’re stuck in a pitch-black night and in the midst of a raging thunderstorm. The great thing about technology and LED lighting in particular is that you can get high power lighting for a reasonable cost. Some of them can churn out more than 24k of bright lumens.

13) Topper:  Finally, get a topper if your bugging out in a truck so you can keep your gear safe and in optimal condition during worse weather conditions.

14) Suspension and Lift Kits: Suspension and lift kits allow you to run larger tires and gain valuable ground clearance to tackle off road terrain with ease.  Kits are available for nearly all makes and models.  


F. The 7 Best Bug Out Vehicles You Can Buy Now

The cream of the crop when it comes to bugging out of dodge. All the aspects we talked about in the previous sections are here. The information displayed here will help you make a choice on which one you’ll need for a particular TEOTWAWKI event you’re planning for:

1) Military Surplus Vehicles or Humvees: A surplus Hummer is an instant BOV with all the trimmings you can ask for. The newer model OshKosh Tactical Protector Vehicle is a souped-up version of the Hummer. With it, you get the Hummer’s pedigree and the super stable and strong form to power through any SHTF event.

2) 4WD Trucks w/ Crew Cabs: We mentioned earlier how a crew cab mod can be essential when you’re building the perfect bug out vehicle. You can put in a cargo top, improve the suspensions and have an excellent BOV even when electricity is not present.

3) Pick Up Trucks or Full Size SUVs:  You can’t beat pickups and full-sized SUVs when it comes to value for money. This category is an all-rounder when it comes to being your BOV.

4) Campa EVS:  The littler sibling of the Unicat Expeditionary concept with a hefty mid-sized truck frame.

5) Jeep: There are several Jeep models that have 4WD capabilities and prime real estate. Offroad enthusiasts should consider the Jeep models. Customizers will salivate over the massive selection of mods, accessories and parts that you can customize the Jeep with.

6) 4 Wheel or AWD SUVs:  SUVs aren’t all made equal. The best ones that make excellent bug out vehicles are the following- Chevy Tahoe, the older Ford Expedition vehicles, the Jeep and Nissan and the Toyota 4Runner.

7) Sportsmobile Adventure Vehicles:  Here’s a checklist of what makes a good Adventure vehicle for bugging out. It shouldn’t be expensive and have offroad capabilities. It should be rugged, tough and fast. Moreover, the capacity range should be about twice your bug out location and carry you and the essential gear comfortably.

8) Mini Vans:  Don’t underestimate the loading power of the mini van. You can see them streaking on the road, carrying precious belongings and everything hanging out precariously!

9) Motorcycles:  For when you embark on a lone survivor trip into tight territory. Useful for scavenging or hunting for supplies and game.

10) Boats:  If you live near a river way or the ocean, bug out boats are absolutely essential where a water way may provide the best escape route.  It could be as simple as a loaded out canoe or john boat.  

In sum, a bug out vehicle should fit with how you intend on using it given the various SHTF scenarios you are most likely to encounter.  It’s OK to start small with purchasing a reliable, used 4×4 truck or SUV, and add accessories your vehicle over time in the order of importance (spare, extra fuel capacity, winch, etc) – unless the threat is imminent, you don’t need to go all in at once and build the perfect but out vehicle in record time.  Also, consider if a bug out vehicle should even be your top priority in the grand scheme of peppering.

If we missed anything please let know in the comments.  Also, what is your favorite bug out make and model and what would you do to it?

Can China be Trusted?!

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Don’t you ever wonder why Australia, the UK & America are involved in a war in the middle east, & yet they refuse to help the people of West Papua & Tibet?!






Is Your Entire Family Prepared for Emergencies at All Times?

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By Denis Korn

Is your ENTIRE family prepared for emergencies at all times?
Is your ENTIRE family:

    • Secure
    • Knowledgeable
    • Responsible
    • Patient
    • Prayerful
    • Vigilant

in an emergency situation?

Recent events have brought us catastrophic circumstances that have had devastating and lasting effects on thousands of people around the world.  I pray that you take this advice seriously.   Recent conversations have also motivated me to consider this important article as a foundational article.

I am reminded of a presentation I made some years back to a large gathering of preparedness professionals.  This convention consisted of folks who came from all over the country and of course this meant that they would be gone from their families for a few days.  Bear in mind that at my presentation there were a couple hundred people whose responsibilities included preparedness planning and education for very large companies, organizations, and governmental agencies.

At the beginning of my talk I asked the group how many felt completely confident that in their absence their families were prepared to deal with unforeseen emergencies or disasters – especially significant ones.  Only a few raised their hands!  Since most of these participants were the head of their households, what does it tell you about fulfilling one’s responsibility to protect and keep the family secure in difficult times?

Fortunately over the years the professional emergency management community has become more dedicated to personally embodying what they are responsible for in government and business.  What about the average household?  Is your family prepared for emergencies in all seasons of the year?

It appears that most head of households have the notion that their presence is security enough for the family during an emergency.  This is a dangerous assumption.  The sensible attitude is to ensure that all family members – adults – the elderly – teenagers – and young children, know:

  • What to do
  • How to respond
  • Where to go – or not go
  • Who to contact
  • Where the information and supplies are located
  • How to use and operated essential equipment
  • How to access drinking water
  • How to prepare any food reserves
  • How to communicate with family and emergency personnel
  • How to keep warm in freezing conditions
  • How to have the proper attitude
  • How to pray


Instructions should be in writing and the entire family should participate in drills and practices.  Family members – immediate and extended – should know their part during an emergency under all scenarios and given any combination of family members physically present – or absent.

  • Do your children, spouse and other family members know what to do and how to act if a serious emergency occurs and they are not at home?
  • How will your communicate with them or those in their keeping?
  • What if they are at school – what plans does the school have to communicate with parents or guardians?
  • What will the school provide for students?
  • What if they are at work – what plans does the business or organization have to communicate with other family members?
  • What will the business provide for their employees?
  • Does the business or organization have their own contingency plans?
  • Do you have contingency plans for communication and provisioning for your spouse – adult children – younger children when they are away from home at camp, business trip, etc.?
  • What if an emergency occurs while a family member is in their vehicle and in transit?
  • Is your family secure, knowledgeable and responsible?

Between Learn To Prepare and numerous internet websites, there is an abundance of valuable information for the whole family.  Study this information as if your life and your families’ life depended on it – in a significant emergency it does!

 So I ask all of you reading this post:  In your absence is you family adequately educated and prepared to properly respond and survive during a serious emergency situation?  I encourage you to have all family members read the Foundational Articles on the right column of this blog.

The post Is Your Entire Family Prepared for Emergencies at All Times? appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

Get Ready for Large-Scale Civil Unrest: Elites Turning into Preppers, Buying Survival Retreats

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If the last week is any indication of what’s to come, get ready for a very bumpy ride, because the agitators of the world are gearing up to cause some major trouble. […]

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Exploring the High Desert

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I knew with all the rains the high desert and it’s rolling hills would be turning beautiful shades of green. And yesterday I had the opportunity to explore an area of the high desert I’ve been meaning to get to for some time.

The drive up to Agua Dulce was uneventful, other than the winds attempting to blow my vehicle sideways. The winds are fairly predictable, however. Mornings and afternoons are typically much more windy as the sun’s rays warm up the air hovering just above the earth’s surface. The warming air then rises and is displaced by the cooler air that sits higher in the atmosphere. This is what causes the winds. As late afternoon approaches and the temperatures drop, the sun no longer warms up the air as it did earlier in the day and their is no warm air to rise causing winds. [I digress]

As I drove to my destination, just a coupe of miles from Vasquez Rocks,

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Embrace An Off-Grid Lifestyle – Review

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How To Embrace An Off-Grid Lifestyle by Tammy Trayer I would first like to thank Tammy for her willingness to share this information with the public and for allowing me to review her work. I Read More …

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Growing Rice 101 – Free PDF

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Growing Rice 101 – Free PDF Knowing how to grow rice could mean the difference of surviving or dying … Rice is full of carbohydrates and Rice cultivation is well-suited to countries and regions with low labor costs and high rainfall, as it is labor-intensive to cultivate and requires ample water. However, rice can be grown …

Continue reading »

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House on Lockdown: How to Secure Your Home for Any Eventuality

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Protect your family and valuables by learning how to put your house on full lockdown. Whether you’re worried about the weather or intruders, you can take steps to ensure that your property can easily be secured when you need it most. Here’s what you should know about preparing for those emergency situations.

Keep the Trees and Shrubs Maintained

In storms, projectiles are one of the biggest threats. Weak and dead branches are easily torn from trees and sent flying through the air. One way to make your home safe in severe storms is by keeping the trees maintained and strong. Bushes should be trimmed so that they don’t touch the house. This will also limit hiding spaces for intruders.

Go with Security Window Tint

Window tinting is great to improve the energy efficiency levels in your home. You’ll improve the comfort levels in your home, and you’ll also make it harder for people to break in. The great benefit of security tint is that it helps hold glass shards together even if the window is broken. Thieves are thwarted, and projectiles are less likely to be hurled through the window in a storm.

Hide the Valuables

They say that if someone really wants into your home, they’ll find a way. However, they will need to get in and out quickly to avoid being caught. You can further protect your belongings by keeping them in secure places. Put them in hollowed out books hidden on a bookshelf or get a safe.

Security Cameras with Remote Access

Another option is to install security cameras with remote access. When you can log in from your phone and see what’s going on at home, you’ll have peace of mind. Some companies, like Johns Brothers Security, know that having peace of mind is incredibly important. If anything seems amiss, you can call a neighbor or police to check on the property.

The Right Door Design

The best lock on the market is still only as strong as the doorjamb that’s holding it in place. A common method of entry is to just forcibly kick a door in. This splinters the frame and bypasses the lock completely. Special metal doorjambs can be used to replace the wood support that’s in place. The jambs are screwed to the framing, and they transfer the force of a kick along the full height of the door. The result is a door that’s virtually kick-proof.

Protect your home by getting it ready for a lockdown. It’s a smart idea to protect your property from storms and intruders alike. You’ll sleep better at night, and you’ll be ready for all types of emergency situations.

Written by Rachelle Wilber

8 Best Vegetables for Small Space Gardening

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Most of us are forced to dwell in an very small space (which we call home) at one stage or another in our lives. The problem is that most of us also adore the idea of having our own little patch of land, or at least a small garden in some form, especially one from […]

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Ultimate Off Grid Survival Trailer For Full Time Living

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Ultimate Off Grid Survival Trailer For Full Time Living

Whether you’re looking to return to paradise or escape the collapse of society, more and more people are looking to get away from it all and rediscover their inner-rugged individual self.

The off-grid, self-sustaining bug-out lifestyle has a growing appeal and is an important part of most preppers’ strategy… in some ways it is the ultimate security investment, especially if it is set up for power, water and raising your own food.

Living unconventionally calls for unconventional solutions. It is geared towards the DIY prepper, and often involves making good use of re-purposed items. The suburban home mortgage is neither secure, nor affordable, nor resilient in a crisis.

But the modified shipping container, or tiny home or cabin structure, along with many other options, offers many aspects that are. They can be built debt free, and depending upon your environment, can be made to withstand the elements – and perhaps more importantly, maintain lights, water and shelter regardless of whether or not bills are paid, or the grid remains up and running.

Planning for the rest is up to you.

Check out this custom-built off-grid home – double trailer design that has afforded freedom for this bold couple in Australia:

Here’s what Kirsten Dirksen wrote about it on her great off-grid YT channel:

Paul Chambers had began building a home out of two shipping containers as a project, but when his wife got tired of suburbia and put their four-bedroom home on the market, his project became the couple’s full-time home (Paul’s ebook: www.buildshippingcontainerhous­e.com)

Paul and Sarah Chambers were living in rural Scotland when Paul received a job offer in Australia. They packed their belongings and moved to a large home with a pool in an Australian suburb. After only a few months, they began to tire of spending so much of their income on their home. They also felt they’d lost touch with nature and a more active lifestyle (“there weren’t even any trails for walking”, explains Sarah).


So they sold their home and moved with Paul’s “project”: two shipping containers he’d been transforming into a kitchen/bathroom + bedroom/living room. They found someone willing to let them park their new home on their rural property in exchange for making improvements to the land.When the couple first moved onto the property, the home was a very simple shelter and over the following three years, they built the containers into a proper home.

Their home is completely off the electric and water grids. When they first moved to the bush they used a 3kw Honda generator, but they’ve since installed 2Kw of photovoltaic panels and a bank of batteries and phased out the generator. They have enough energy to power their home with all its conventional appliances, including a standard fridge/freezer. For heating, they rely on firewood (collected from fallen trees on the property; they have “not cut down a single tree”). For air conditioning, they use fans and AC “during really hot days”.

In the beginning they had to rely on water deliveries, but Paul has since installed an extensive rainwater capture setup- both on the roof and gutters beneath the home- which provides for all their water needs: 65 square metres of rain water collection in 10,000 liters of storage. The indoor bathroom includes a shower, but Paul built an outdoor, open air bathtub which they heat with solar in the summertime.

They’ve also created an extensive vegetable garden inside a netted garden cage (after the animals and hot sun destroyed their first attempts). For eggs, they have two hen houses.

To be sure, this lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but the important thing is that it is possible.

Discover how to survive: Most complete survival tactics, tips, skills and ideas like how to make pemmican, snow shoes, knives, soap, beer, smoke houses, bullets, survival bread, water wheels, herbal poultices, Indian round houses, root cellars, primitive navigation, and much more at: The Lost Ways

The Lost Ways is a far-reaching book with chapters ranging from simple things like making tasty bark-bread-like people did when there was no food-to building a traditional backyard smokehouse… and many, many, many more!

If you liked our video tutorial on how to make Pemmican, then you’ll love this: I will show you how to make another superfood that our troops were using in the Independence war, and even George Washington ate on several occasions. This food never goes bad. And I’m not talking about honey or vinegar. I’m talking about real food! The awesome part is that you can make this food in just 10 minutes and I’m pretty sure that you already have the ingredients in your house right now.


Source : www.activistpost.com

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11 Odd-But-Effective Uses For Garlic That Surprised Even Us

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11 Odd-But-Effective Uses For Garlic That Surprised Even Us

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As someone with Italian heritage, I enjoy cooking with garlic. If a recipe says two or three garlic cloves, I tend to use five or six. Not only do I love the taste of garlic, but I appreciate its health benefits for my family.

Garlic, which gets its name from the Anglo-Saxon words “gar” (meaning “spear”) and “lac” (meaning “plant”), is known for its strong odor. Of course, according to legend, the smell of garlic is powerful enough to repel vampires.

However, there are many more practical reasons to have a good supply of garlic in your home. Ancient writers such as Virgil and Pliny the Elder described the benefits of garlic.

Garlic is packed with tons of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, manganese, selenium, carotene beta and Vitamin C.

Research studies have shown that consuming garlic may be helpful for your heart and liver, fighting against bacteria and viruses. A diet rich in garlic also may help you maintain a healthy weight.

Need Garlic Bulbs To Plant? Get Them From A Company You Can Trust!

But there are other uses for garlic you may not have realized. Here are 11:

1. Treat colds. Garlic can help alleviate symptoms of the common cold. You can boost your immune system by sipping a tea made with garlic. Simply steep a clove of garlic in hot water for about five minutes.

After straining out the garlic, sip the tea as a natural cough syrup. Add honey or ginger to make the taste more pleasant.

2. Relieve acne. The antibacterial properties in garlic can help treat skin blemishes. Cut a garlic clove in half and then rub it over facial pimples. The antioxidants in the garlic help kill bacteria, which then leads to healing.

3. Help heal cold sores. Apply a cut of garlic clove directly to a cold sore. Although it may sting a little, the garlic’s natural anti-inflammatory properties help reduce pain and swelling and may speed up the healing process.

4. Treat athlete’s foot. To kill the fungus that causes athlete’s foot, crush a couple of garlic cloves and add them to a warm tub of water. Soak your feet in the tub for about 30 minutes.

5. Stop psoriasis outbreaks. Garlic’s anti-inflammatory properties also can relieve outbreaks of psoriasis. Just rub crushed garlic onto the affected area.

11 Odd-But-Effective Uses For Garlic That Surprised Even Us

Image source: Pixabay.com

6. Help hair loss. Garlic contains high levels of allicin, a sulfur compound that may help fight hair loss. Rub sliced cloves of garlic onto your scalp and massage any garlic oil into your scalp.

7. Remove splinters. Try placing a sliced garlic clove over a splinter and then cover it with a bandage for a few hours. The garlic oil will loosen the splinter so that it can be easily removed.

Fast, All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effects!

8. Use as a natural pesticide. You can concoct your own natural pesticide with garlic, mineral oil, water and liquid soap. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and then spray it on your plants to keep insects away. You also can rub garlic directly on your skin to keep mosquitoes and other biting insects away.

9. Catch fish. Many species of fish are attracted to the scent of garlic. Try rubbing a cut garlic clove over your normal bait.

10. Make homemade glue. You also can use garlic as an adhesive for paper craft projects. Crush some garlic cloves and then rub the juice onto the paper, wiping away any excess.

11. Create an all-purpose cleaner. You can make a homemade disinfectant spray with garlic and a few other ingredients. First, chop up three to five cloves of garlic. Add them to a spray bottle full of white vinegar. Then add several drops of lemon oil to the solution. Use it to effectively clean kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

Now that you know some of the many benefits of garlic, here is one warning: It may be toxic to your pets.

Although some pet owners recommend garlic as a flea and tick preventative for pets, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends that you avoid feeding it to your animals.

What other ways have you used garlic? Share your tips in the section below:

Every Year, Gardeners Make This Stupid Mistake — But You Don’t Have To. Read More Here.

Top 10 Food Storage Myths

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food storage myths

The internet is full of websites that give information on survival topics, including food storage. There are dozens and dozens of books that will teach you “the right way” to store food and YouTube videos galore. Most contain valid, trustworthy information, but mixed in with that are a number of food storage myths that many people accept without question.

Here are 10 that I take issue with, and I explain why.

By the way, following Myth #10 are 2 short videos that review these myths.

Myth #1:  You should stock up on lots of wheat.

When I was researching foods typically eaten during the Great Depression, I noticed that many of them included sandwiches of every variety. So it makes sense to stock up on wheat, which, when ground, becomes flour, the main ingredient to every bread recipe.

There are a couple of problems with the focus on wheat in virtually all food storage plans, however. First, since the time of the Great Depression millions of people now have various health issues when they consume wheat. From causing gluten intolerance to celiac disease our hybridized wheat is a whole ‘nother animal that our great-grandparents never consumed.

The second issue is that wheat isn’t the simplest food to prepare, unless you simply cook the wheat berries in water and eat them as a hot cereal or add them to other dishes. In order to make a loaf of bread, you have to grind the wheat, which requires the purchase of at least one grain mill. Electric mills are much easier to use and, within just seconds, you have freshly ground flour. However, you’ll probably want to add a hand-crank mill to have on hand for power outages. All together, 2 mills will end up costing a pretty penny, depending on the brands you purchase.

Then there’s the process of making the bread itself, which is time consuming.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t store wheat, and, in fact, I have several hundred pounds of it myself. The emphasis on wheat as a major component in food storage is what I have a problem with. In retrospect, I wish I had purchased far more rice and less wheat. Rice is incredibly simple to prepare and is very versatile. It, too, has a very long shelf life.

Myth #2: Beans last forever.

While it’s true that beans have a long shelf life, they have been known to become virtually inedible over time. Old-timers have reported using every cooking method imaginable in order to soften the beans. A pressure cooker is one option but, again, some have told me that doesn’t even work!

Another option is to grind the beans and add the powdered beans to various recipes. They will still contain some nutrients and fiber.

Over the years, I’ve stocked up on cans of beans — beans of all kinds. They retain their nutrients in the canning process and are already cooked, so there’s no need to soak, boil, pressure cook, etc. You can always home can dried beans, and if you have beans that have been around for more than 10 years or so, canning them is a super simple process and insures they won’t become inedible.

Myth #3: If they’re hungry enough, they’ll eat it!

Have you ever fallen in love with a recipe that was easy to make, inexpensive, and your family loved it? You probably thought you’d finally found The Dream Recipe. And then you made it a second time, then a third, then a fourth. About the 8th or 9th time, however, you may have discovered that you had developed a mild form of food fatigue. Suddenly, it didn’t taste all that great and your family wasn’t giving it rave reviews anymore.

When it comes to food storage, don’t assume that someone will eat a certain item they currently hate, just because they’re hungry. If you stock up on dozens of #10 cans of Turkey Tetrazzini, sooner or later the family will revolt, no matter how hungry they are.

Myth #4. All I need is lots and lots of canned food.

There’s nothing wrong with canned food. In fact, that’s how I got started with food storage. However, canned food has its limitations. A can of ravioli is a can of ravioli. You can’t exactly transform it into a completely different dish. As well, canned food may have additives that you don’t care to eat and, in the case of my own kids, tastes change over time. I had to eventually give away the last few cans of ravioli and Spaghetti-O’s because my kids suddenly didn’t like them anymore.

Be sure to rotate whatever canned food you have, since age takes a toll on all foods, but, as I’ve discovered, on certain canned items in particular. My experience with old canned tuna hasn’t been all that positive, and certain high-acid foods, such as canned tomato products, are known to have issues with can corrosion. Double check the seams of canned food and look for any sign of bulging, leaks, or rust.

Lightly rusted cans, meaning you can rub the rust off with a cloth or your fingertip, are safe to continue storing. However, when a can is badly rusted, there’s a very good chance that the rust has corroded the can, allowing bacteria to enter. Those cans should be thrown away.

Worried about the “expiration” date on canned food? Well, those dates are set by the food production company and don’t have any bearing on how the food will taste, its nutrients, or safety after that date. If the food was canned correctly and you’ve been storing it in a dry and cool location, theoretically, the food will be safe to consume for years after that stamped date.

Myth #5: I can store my food anywhere that I have extra space.

Yikes! Not if you want to extend its shelf life beyond just a few months! Know the enemies of food storage and do your best to store food in the best conditions possible.

TIP: Learn more about the enemies of food storage: heat, humidity, light, oxygen, pests, and time.

I emphasize home organization and decluttering on this blog, mainly because it frees up space that is currently occupied by things you don’t need or use. Start decluttering and then storing your food in places that are cool, dark, and dry.

Myth #6: My food will last X-number of years because that’s what the food storage company said.

I have purchased a lot of food from very reputable companies over the years: Augason Farms, Thrive Life, Honeyville, and Emergency Essentials. They all do a great job of processing food for storage and then packaging it in containers that will help prolong its shelf life.

However, once the food gets to your house, only you are in control of how that food is stored. Yes, under proper conditions, food can easily have a shelf life of 20 years or more, but when it’s stored in heat, fluctuating temperatures, and isn’t protected from light, oxygen, and pests, and never rotated, it will deteriorate quickly.

NOTE: When food is old, it doesn’t become poisonous or evaporate in its container. Rather, it loses nutrients, flavor, texture, and color. In a word, it becomes unappetizing.

Myth #7: Just-add-hot-water meals are all I need.

There are many companies who make and sell only add-hot-water meals. In general, I’m not a big fan of these. They contain numerous additives that I don’t care for, in some cases the flavors and textures and truly awful, but the main reason why I don’t personally store a lot of these meals is because they get boring.

Try eating pre-made chicken teriyaki every day for 2 weeks, and you’ll see what I mean. Some people don’t require a lot of variety in their food, but most of us tire quickly when we eat the same things over and over.

These meals have a couple of advantages, though. They are lightweight and come in handy during evacuation time and power outages. If you can boil a couple of cups of water over a rocket stove, propane grill, or some other cooking device, then you’ll have a meal in a few minutes.

TIP: Store a few days worth of just-add-water meals with your emergency kits and be ready to grab them for a quick emergency evacuation. Be sure to also pack a spoon or fork for each person and a metal pot for meals that require cooking over a heat source.

However, for a well-balanced food storage pantry, stock up on individual ingredients and fewer just-add-hot-water meals.

Myth #8: I can stock up on a year’s worth and won’t need to worry about food anymore.

That is probably the fantasy of many a prepper. Buy the food, stash it away, and don’t give it a thought until the S hits the fan. There’s a big problem with that plan, however. When everything does hit the fan and it’s just you and all that food:

  • Will you know how to prepare it?
  • Will you have the proper supplies and tools to prepare the food?
  • Did you store enough extra water to rehydrate all those cans of freeze-dried and dehydrated foods?
  • Do you have recipes you’re familiar with, that your family enjoys, and that use whatever you’ve purchased?
  • What if there’s an ingredient a family member is allergic to?
  • Does everyone even like what you’ve purchased?
  • Have any of the containers been damaged? How do you know if you haven’t inspected them and checked them occasionally for bulges and/or pest damage?

If you’ve purchased a pre-packaged food storage supply, the contents of that package were determined by just a small handful of people who do not know your family, your health issues, or other pertinent details. These packages aren’t a bad thing to have on hand. Just don’t be lulled into a false sense of security.

Myth #9: Freeze dried foods are too expensive.

Yes, there is a bit of sticker shock initially when you begin to shop online at sites like Thrive Life, Augason Farms, and Emergency Essentials. If you’ve been used to paying a few dollars for a block of cheddar cheese and then see a price of $35 for a can of freeze-dried cheddar, it can be alarming.

However, take a look at how many servings are in each container and consider how much it would cost to either grow or purchase that same food item and preserve it in one way or another, on your own.

The 3 companies I mentioned all have monthly specials on their food and other survival supplies — that’s how I ended up with 2 cases of granola from Emergency Essentials!

Myth #10: This expert’s food storage plan will fit my family.

The very best food storage plan is the one that you have customized yourself. By all means, use advice given by a number of experts. Take a look at online food calculators, but when it’s time to make purchases, buy what suits your family best. What one person thinks is ideal for food storage may leave your kids retching.

Lots of resources to help you with your food storage pantry

Want this info on video? Here you go!

Food Storage Myths, Part 1: Myths 1-5

Food Storage Myths, Part 2: Myths 6-10

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 food storage myths

50 Survival Items to Put in Your Kids Backpacks

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50 Survival Items to Put in Your Kids Backpacks If you’re in a survival situation and you’re on foot, your own bug out bag is going to be all you can manage. If you’re a parent or grandparent responsible for children in a survival situation, you can’t possibly carry everything they will need. It’s going … Continue reading 50 Survival Items to Put in Your Kids Backpacks

The post 50 Survival Items to Put in Your Kids Backpacks appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

If I was in America, I would….?

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And then one day, finally, real democracy came!

We were feeling that after long time of the same old politicians who cared only for themselves or their own circles and families, suddenly there is a man (or people) who will bring something new for us, pride, strength, wealth or whatever.

Media was full of high hopes and praising, in order to bring new world for us, jobs, security and what not.

New factories are  promised, new liberties, patriotism and love for the country exploded.

Something beautiful was expected. We felt like it is dawn of new era…..

What a bunch of fucking idiots we were.

Then the polarization started. At the beginning it was something like “there are people FOR and there are folks AGAINST it” whatever that “IT” was.

Pretty soon we were “thrown” into situation where you have two families, they are neighbors, friends for years, decades even, but over the political reasons they started to see each other with kinda ‘bad blood’.

 And then one morning, SHTF and I found myself standing in my backyard like an idiot, still trying to find out what happened with great words of new era and better life…?

People were shot dead on the street for fun or wrong words, fire trucks were driven by stoned teenagers in weird uniforms, police cars burning, men with assault rifles walking on the street in cowboy boots and metal band T shirt acting like self proclaimed government forces, every group who had more then 15 guys and 5 rifles was self proclaimed police force doing whatever they want to do…

Whole bunch of people who had dreamed of times where and when they can do whatever they want emerged.

I forget together with bunch of other people high hopes and big words, all what was left is pure survival, day by day.




I got mail from one of my readers (thank you Mike!), and I really liked it. Mike and I share some opinions in exactly same time, I will cite his message here:

“My nation, America, is being abruptly dragged out of a deep and prolonged state of subconscious anxiety and depression. It is being assaulted with hope and this is beginning to produce a state of relief which will be managed into uncritical nationalism if at all possible. This euphoric state of national mind is the perfect cover from which to ambush a nation. The pressing for a one world government did not die under Trump, it simply got a new face. The danger to America and to the other nations of the world are more real now than ever. Extreme sobriety is warranted at this time. Most people I have spoken with cannot see this. They need to. Perhaps you could bring this to attention. Mike”

Yes, America is being “attacked” with hope, changes, trust in better life, new jobs, pride.

In the same time media is on the run for making “demon” out of people or political options, and polarization is there.

It all looks (sadly) VERY familiar to me.

It is looking so familiar too me that I have to say  I am afraid for the near future of Americans.

Stage there is “perfect” for violent changes and SHTF.

Stay sober, operate in your small circle, you will appreciate that effort when SHTF.


What Can You Do?


In terms of “big picture” you cannot do anything. It is like that, if big players are set to make shit, then it will happen, and timing and climate there in US is perfect for that, so no matter how hard I hate to shovel “fear”, you have to be afraid if that will at least mean you get into motion.

And again and again – think in small circles.

For example, I can say for myself that I am for human rights, protecting the weak and people who suffered, but more from that I am about respecting of my way of living, and if there is a bunch of people who wants to change my way of living with force because they are so different I want them out of my country.

Now this sounds nice and normal, decent.

But it does not have too much with storing food and ammo, learning new skills, knowing how to purify water or simply working on your survival group.

When real SHTF there is no no democrats, republicans, political options, right or wrong, left or right.

Everything is kinda blurred and at the end there are YOU and OTHERS.

You will find yourself standing somewhere, maybe in similar backyard like mine, 25 years ago, asking yourself where everything is gone and how suddenly bottle of water is more important then whole bunch of political options, parties, opinions, solutions etc.

And you had such a  high hopes in better life!

Stay on the right track of prepping, do not be mesmerize with current events. Monitor events, of course, but stay on the track, and please do not have high hopes that “everything gonna be OK”.

Also note, while America is the greatest example of this problem just now, other countries are , and will, experience very very similar things… Don’t believe it ‘Can’t happen’ where you are…

If you see worrying signs where you live, please share your thoughts in the comments below…





Planning For A Zombie Apocalypse (And Other Bad Things)

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By The Survival Place Blog

The world is no longer a predictable place. There are a lot of things that can go wrong and a lot of reasons why they might. There is an uncertain political landscape, natural disaster, the possibility of super-flue’s becoming too much for antibiotics, global warming and terrorism (in whatever form that may come in). And we haven’t even mentioned the possibility of a zombie outbreak, which may be unlikely but doesn’t mean it isn’t entirely impossible. But as far apart as these threats may be from one another, there is one common interest that links them all: the need for a survival strategy. So, here is a list of things you should prepare.

  1. Escape Route

Don’t just rely on one option. Have a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and D,E,F if possible. This requires a lot of consideration. You’ll need to consider what transport will be available (given a lot of public services won’t be operating anymore). Will it be a car or a truck, or a boat, or maybe you have a plane tucked away. We recommend a boat (if you live near a river, lake or sea) or a economic 4×4 if you live on land. The other thing to remember is not to take major roads. These will be everyone’s first thought, so plan an alternative route that doesn’t rely on main roads. Oh, and take a handheld GPS with you.

  1. Your Pack

These are also called ‘Bug Out Bags’ and are becoming increasingly popular, you know, just in case. You never know when an earthquake may hit, or a flood, or riots, or zombies; so have a bug out bag prepared and left near an exit from your home or in your car or at work. Somewhere you can grab it easily as you go to leave. When it comes to rules, make sure your survival pack is easy and comfortable to carry. Make sure its contents are simple. Make sure everything in their is needed, no luxuries. Make sure the contents allow you to become totally self-sufficient. And plan for how long you want your back to last you, for example 72 to 96 hours will be great. Click here to see what we’re talking about.  

  1. Food and Water

It is crucial you take into consideration routes that take you to or near a natural source of clean water, such as a river or lake. These will allow you to replenish your supplies of water, which will be critical in your attempts to survive. It could also be a good idea to make sure you know where certain crop farms are, especially things like potato farms. Being able to collect a food supply of slow-release energy will help your bid.

  1. Choose Your Destination

This shouldn’t be one single point, but a selection of options. Options are going to be your best friend. The other thing to consider is having options in multiple different directions. There is no point in having two options both in the same town, and on the same street. Tips to consider are once again local water supplies, food supplies, vegetation and minimally populated areas. If you need to lock down for a long time, consider places like supermarkets where the security is strong and supplies are plentiful, including any first aid supplies you may need.

This article published by The Survival Place Blog: Planning For A Zombie Apocalypse (And Other Bad Things)

Filed under: Prepping

10 Winter Garden Tasks for People Who Just Can’t Wait to Get Started

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If you’re itching for gardening season to start, you’re in luck. You can start now with the clean hands, no backache part. Whether or not you’ve grown a garden before, … Read the rest

The post 10 Winter Garden Tasks for People Who Just Can’t Wait to Get Started appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

That Exists? Coolest Survival, Outdoor, & Camp Gear We’ve Seen

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That Exists? Coolest Survival, Outdoor, & Camp Gear We’ve Seen

There’s not always a heck of a lot new going on in the survival, outdoor, & camping world when it comes to interesting gadgets, new products, and overall innovation. This makes sense, since when it comes to camping, survival, & the general outdoors, many choose (wisely) to stick to what they’ve already got because, well plainly put,… Read More

This is just the start of the post That Exists? Coolest Survival, Outdoor, & Camp Gear We’ve Seen. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

That Exists? Coolest Survival, Outdoor, & Camp Gear We’ve Seen, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

LAPD Chief Will Defy Trump Immigration Order – ‘This Is Not Our Job’

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Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, right, says he'd rather lose federal funds than enforce President Obama's immigration orders. Image source: Wikipedia

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, right, says he’d rather lose federal funds than enforce President Obama’s immigration orders. Image source: Wikipedia


LOS ANGELES — The chief of police in America’s second largest city has vowed not to cooperate with President Trump’s immigration policies.

“That is not our job, nor will I make it our job,” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck told The Los Angeles Times.

Beck has promised not to cooperate with the Trump administration even if it means a loss of federal funds for his department. Beck’s position is that threatening deportation will make crime worse by deterring those people from cooperating with police during criminal investigations.

“In the mid-1990s, when the state cracked down [on] illegal immigration, all we did was drive people underground,” Beck said.

There are around 500,000 illegal immigrants living in Los Angeles, Beck estimated.

Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has a formal policy of not cooperating with federal immigration law enforcement efforts that dates back to 1979, Beck pointed out. The policy even has a name: Special Order 40.

“When you create a shadow population … that fears any interaction” with police, he said, “then you create a whole population of victims, because they become prey for human predators who extort them or abuse them because they know they won’t contact the police.”

Another problem Beck faces is that 47 percent of his police force is Latino, and many of them have “blended families” – that is, some relatives who are legal and others who are not, he told The Times.

“To think the fabric of Los Angeles is going to change [through a legal edict],” Beck said, “denies our history.”

“We couldn’t deport 500,000 people if we wanted to, and if we did, it would be at the expense of public safety,” Beck said.

The solution to the illegal immigration problem, Beck said, is to help boost Mexico’s economy.

“We have a very rich country with a lot of opportunity that is immediately adjacent to a poorer country with less opportunity,” he said.

Do you agree or disagree with the police chief? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Looking For Another Country? Read More Here.

5 Top Tips and Tactics For Successful Urban Deer Bowhunting

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Did you know that the deer can live virtually anywhere, including the urban areas surrounded by cities and crowds of people?

Over the past few years, the populations of these adaptable ruminants have been on the rise in many cities. You’ll even hear cases of the animals raiding gardens and flowerbeds, and running in front of cars. This has turned their rare sightings into routine occurrences.

While this might be a disappointment to the homeowners and motorists, it means a great opportunity for the urban bow hunter to bag that monster buck.

Before you attempt to take down any deer in the urban places, make sure you go through the following tips and tactics for urban bowhunting.

5 Tips and Tactics That Will Make You An Expert Urban Bowhunter:

Pause a moment!

Before we discuss the expert tips and tactics for urban bowhunting allow me to tell you a few details about it:

Due to the obvious reasons, it’s not advisable to hunt with a high-power rifle. Imagine firing around homes? The sound of the rifle alone will scare the neighbor and promote them to call the police. A stray bullet could even make matters worse.

That being said, you’re always advised to use your bow and arrow for urban bowhunting; it’s not only safer but quieter compared to the rifles. And bowhunting is a great survival skill to have if SHTF.

In fact, most local municipalities and game departments consider bowhunting as the most appropriate method of controlling the deer population in the urban areas.

Now that you know the right urban hunting process, we can move on to our discussion….

1. Start By Locating Your Bowhunting Zone


Via myfwc.com

The first task you should do in your urban bowhunting mission is checking for favorite lands to hunt in (and seeking the landowners’ permission to do so).

Locating favorable hunting areas isn’t that hard, especially if you have bow hunted before. Look for river corridors and thick creeks, patches of woods, etc., that are likely to hold a deer. Don’t ignore the 5-acre track – it can as well hold a deer or two.

If there are houses nearby, don’t forget to ask them who the landowner – you might be surprised that they’re actually the owners of the land.

Most state governments now have websites where you can easily track down the landowners. Alternatively, you can plan a trip to the courthouse to track the owner.

As a side, always be polite and presentable when seeking permission from the landowner.

2. This Ultimate Scouting Strategy Will Get You To Where The Deer Is:


If you do your scouting well, you’re sure to move to where the deer actually is.

When scouting urban areas, make sure you look for the likely covers and food sources. The deer tend to look for thick vegetation where they can comfortably hide, bed, and even get food to eat.

As for the food sources, look for features like – dogwoods, honeysuckle, oaks, and soft mast forms.

Another proven tactic involves setting up an ambush around a garden where the animals have been raiding.

Scouting for the deer highways, you might also find the buck on the move.

With just small, wooden areas, the deer moving between patches might be limited in their choices. In other words, they’ll prefer walking in areas that offer some cover as they move from one to the next.

3. Urban Bowhunting Calls For Accurate Shot Placement


True! Keep in mind you’re hunting in claustrophobic environments – sometimes a few yards from the garden edge and near houses.

What do you think would be the outcome if the wounded deer you’ve just shot runs with an arrow on it?

To perfect your shot placement in urban areas, you better start practicing with targets in a setup similar to the urban environment. Usually, the deer to approach within 10 yards, so you ought to practice at close ranges.

Sometimes you can fire a bad shot, making your tracking job lengthy and harder. The blood trail might lead into properties you don’t have access to – and in worst cases, into neighboring developments or yards. This means you’ll have to do some cleanups and start knocking doors to seek permissions to track your deer.

Again, be polite when seeking permission in such scenario.

As a bonus tip:

Always remove your camo and leave your bow in your truck before you approach any landowner to increase your chances of being granted permission to conduct your tracking job on their lands.

You never know, you might even gain new hunting zones as a result of interacting with the nearby landowners!

4. Be Patient!


It doesn’t matter the area you’re hunting in – hunting remains a waiting game even in urban areas.

Not only do urban areas provide you with decent hunting place, but they can also give you an opportunity to harvest a trophy buck. In these regions, you’ll find fewer hunters hounding the bucks, and the hunting pressure is quite low. This translates to the animals living for more years (and developing a bigger rack).

Picture yourself setting up on a travel corridor. With subdivisions all over your hunting area, you’re dead sure that the travel routes used by the deer are limited.

As such, you just need to remain patient in your climbing tree stand – the ideal tree stand for urban bowhunting – knowing that a monster buck will eventually come through.

Your patience will ultimately get rewarded!

5. Be Prepared To Remove Your Kill As Fast As You Can

After following all the tips and tactics we’ve discussed above, you’ll end up with a successful urban hunt, with a deer on the ground.

Depending on the visibility of your hunting areas, you might consider removing the whole animals and field dressing in a remote location.

Check out this video: How to Field Dress a Deer

You simply don’t want to leave behind bloody drag marks on someone’s property or leaving the gut pile there, or even the neighborhood dog taking a share of the pile before heading for a couch at home.

Additionally, don’t attempt to remove or drag your kill when your neighborhood kids are out waiting for the bus!

Such things might compromise your hunting permission.

Want To Preserve Your Extra Deer Meat So That It Doesn’t Rot?

Check out this CD set that gives you 11 off grid techniques to preserve your deer meat for long term storage.

Click here to learn how to preserve your deer meat without electricity


Final Verdict

Bowhunting deer used to be confined in the large tracts of farmlands and forests. But these days are long gone. Today, as an avid bow hunter, you’ll like it more hunting the big game in urban areas, in someone’s yard!

Keep all the above tips and tactics in mind when setting out to bow hunt in an urban area and you’ll surely harvest that monster buck.



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Baked Honey Barbecue Wings Recipe – A Superbowl Party Hit!

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Baked honey barbecue wings are one of our favorite appetizers when we are feeding a crowd. By seasoning the wings before they bake, they develop an extra depth of flavor before being tossed in the homemade sauce. The wings bake up

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How To Make Soap On A Rope For Survival

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How To Make Soap On A Rope For Survival

I can remember as a kid, my dad would get soap on a rope as a gift and it never made much sense to me. I thought, hmm, what a weird thing to do to soap. That’s life as a modern kid in a civilized world.

Soap on a rope was a novelty item, and now it’s practically unheard of. So, what was its purpose, and why do you need it as a survival item?

Originally, soap on a rope was invented by the English Leather Company in 1969 to keep their soap from getting soggy and dissolving. Yep, tricked me, too; I would have guessed that it’s much older than that, but apparently not. Still, I’d be amazed if at least one enterprising pioneer didn’t think to make this novelty, because it’s truly ingenious if you think about it.

Since soap can be made mostly with ingredients that you already have around the house, let’s make some soap on a rope.

Why would you want your soap on a rope?

Think about it. Many good soaps take months to cure properly, so wasting even one bar is foolish in a survival scenario because good hygiene is going to be what saves you from disease. Since it’s also going to be a huge trade commodity, you’ve literally lost what will equate to money if you lose a bar or soap or let it sit in a puddle and dissolve.

Enter soap on a rope. You can take it to the river with you and hang it around your neck or your wrist – a wrist rope seems more functional to me – so that you don’t lose it in the stream or drop it in the dirt. You can also hang it up to dry so that it’s not sitting in dirt or a puddle of water that will cause it to dissolve.

Soap on a rope is one of the most simply frugal ideas I can think of.

But, how do you make it?

The short answer: just like you make any other soap, except you put a rope in it.

The long answer? Well, OK. Let’s have a quick soap-making tutorial.

Can I make soap without lye?

In order to make a solid soap, you’re going to need wood ash, because of the lye (sodium hydroxide) in it. Of course, right now you can just buy lye, or buy melt-and-pour soap that’s already been saponified (the process that lye instigates that causes the liquids and fats to mix and gives soap it’s cleansing properties), but that won’t be the case if SHTF, so it’s good to know how to make it yourself. You’ll be surprised how simple the process is.

And think about our ancestors. They didn’t have the luxury of the modern industry but they were able to create their own hygiene products from simple, readily available ingredients.

These survival lessons from our ancestors will teach you how to take care of your hygiene when there isn’t anything to buy. 

The number one thing that you need to know about soap making is that you need to follow the number one rule in chemistry class – use safety equipment and precautions. Lye is extremely caustic, but if that worries you, just remember that fire is lethal too, but that doesn’t stop you from cooking and camping. Just be careful.

And no. You can’t make soap without lye. If you try to, you’ll just have a bucket full of fat and water. The lye causes the saponification process that allows them to mix and gives soap its cleansing properties.

If made correctly, there is not unreacted lye in the soap, but it’s important to use the right ratio of lye to water in order to make sure that this is the case. There are many soap calculators that you can find to help you with this process until you have it down.

A couple of safety tricks to remember – always add the lye to the water, not the water to the lye. As soon as you add the lye, the chemical reaction will start and the mixture will heat up ad steam for 30 seconds or so. Keep a bottle of white vinegar on hand to neutralize the lye if it splashes on something. It will eat a hole in cloth or burn your skin.

Stir immediately so that the lye doesn’t settle in the bottom and possibly cause an explosion (don’t be a baby – you can do this. Granny Clampett did and look how long she lived). Seriously, though, don’t worry about it overly much; just be careful and do it right and you’ll be fine.

Making the Soap

The only ingredients you actually NEED to make soap are water, lye, and fat. That’s it. Of course, smell-good agents, essential oils, and colors make it smell nice, add therapeutic properties, and make it look pretty, but they’re not necessary to make soap that will get you clean.

Now, to make soap on a rope, you obviously need the soap to be solid, so if you’re making your own lye, use wood ash from hardwoods. Otherwise, your soap will be soft.

There are a variety of fats that you can use, including tallow, lard, olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, or any of the “butters” – cocoa, shea, or mango butter. You’ll want to use a combination of fats and oils in order to have the right consistency.

There are two ways to make soap: hot processing and cold processing. As the names suggest, one method requires heat and the other doesn’t.

The main difference is that the heat in hot pressing speeds up the saponification process so that your soap is ready in days instead of weeks, like it would be with cold-processing.

Here’s a cold processing recipe from DIYNatural.com. She’s been a soap maker for many years, and actually teaches university classes on the subject.


The notes after the ingredients are hers, not mine, and I’m paraphrasing her directions. I’ve also added in the rope, and the rope instructions.

Soap on a rope ingredients


First is the chemical reaction, so use gloves and goggles if you so choose. Measure out the water into a quart-sized canning jar and slowly add in the exact amount of lye, stirring as you add it. Stand back a bit so that you’re not breathing the fumes caused by the chemical reaction. Stir until the water starts to clear, then move to the next step.

In a smaller container, combine the oils. You should have almost exactly a pint. Heat them up for just a minute either in the microwave or by placing them in a glass jar and placing them in hot water. You want the temperature of the oils to be about 120 degrees.

By now, the lye mixture should have cooled to about the same temperature. Let the oils and the lye cool until they’re between 95 and 105 degrees F. This is an important stage because if it cools too much it’ll combine quickly but it’ll be crumbly.

When they’re both at the right temperature, pour the oils into a glass mixing bowl and slowly stir in the lye until it’s all mixed, and keep stirring for 5 minutes. The soap mixture will thicken and become lighter in color. Keep stirring either with by hand or with an immersion blender until it looks like vanilla pudding. When it does, add your colors, oils, or herbs.

Pour your soap into 4 molds, or one loaf pan or cardboard box lined with parchment paper that will make 1 solid piece that you can cut into smaller bars. Pour the soap into the molds or pan. Double the rope over into a loop and press the ends down into what will be the center of each bar of soap that will extend from one end of the bar to the other.

Wrap the mold in plastic wrap and then in a towel so that the saponification process can start.

Check it after 24 hours and if it’s still warm or soft, let it sit for an addition 12-24 hours. When it’s finally cold and firm, turn it out onto a piece of parchment paper.

If you made one solid piece, cut it into bars now, making sure to cut it so that the rope runs down the center of each bar.

Since this was a cold process, the soap will need to cure for 4 weeks or so. Turn it every week or so to expose all sides to air. You can also cure it on a rack and won’t have to turn it. Once your soap is completely dry, wrap it in wax paper or store in an airtight container because homemade soap makes its own glycerin, which attracts water.

Now you know how to make quick and easy soap on a rope!

Do you wonder how our forefathers took care of their personal hygiene when they traveled for months?

Click the banner below and uncover their secrets!


This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.



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Upcoming cannery trip

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Reminder: A dozen 10/22 mags for $104 delivered.

Winter continues apace. A good time for indoor things like reloading, inventorying, re-arranging things, etc, etc.

Got together with one of the LMI the other day. He was asking me about the LDS cannery in town. I hadn’t been there in several years and since then they have changed their policy about food canning. See, it used to be you’d get a half dozen people or so, head up there, everyone put on gloves and a hair net, and you took your place in the assembly line process of canning food. Your task might be to scoop rice from the 100# bag into the cans, or your job might be to put the oxygen absorber in the can, or perhaps your job was to seal the can…you get the idea. Anyway, there was a certain amount of ‘sweat equity’ involved and having to work together with strangers. Normally, I do not like working with strangers but since these were strangers who shared my beliefs and goals it was rather nice.

And then, as usual, .gov stepped in screwed it up.

Health and safety, food handling regs, whatever….short version is that because of bureaucratic BS you couldn’t continue doing it the way it had been done. Instead, you go up there now and buy the food already canned. Heck,  you can even head over to the church website and order the stuff online at the same price.

So, I need to get together with my buddy and make an appointment to go up there and pick up a few things. I was going over my spreadsheet and I’ve a comfortable amount of stuff in storage but, for a few bucks, why wouldn’t you pad that stockpile a bit?

Between bulk stuff like rice, corn, and pasta, the long-term stuff like the freeze-drieds and dehydrated, the mid-term stuff like the canned meats and jarred foods, and the shorter term stuff, I think I could pretty much go quite a while without feeling hungry.

I remember reading “One Second After” and somewhere around three months into the story people were eating heir pets and killing each other for food. I recall thinking “Geez, that’s only three months…I wouldn’t be even making a dent in my stockpile at that point.”

As me and my buddy were talking about the tentative upcoming cannery trip, I mentioned that at this point I’m pretty much just ‘maintaining’ rather than ‘increasing’. I mean, the main needs are met, pretty much. All thats really left are the super big ticket items like the happy little fortified Middle O’ Nowhere house, the uber bugout vehicle, and a few expensive high tech odds and ends. But….that sort of thinking leads to complacency and that’ll cause you no shortage of grief in the long run. So….ABC.


How Prepared Is Your Family To Survive Disasters

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How prepared is your family to survive disasters? It may be a minor disaster or an unforeseen emergency in your neighborhood. You may have to be evacuated. Are you prepared to leave your home and go to a shelter if you get a knock on your door from local authorities telling you that you MUST leave your home? We really need to think about what we may want to grab and take with us. My top priority would be my important documents I have stored in a binder in a very secure place. You may know, I designed a binder with FREE printable pages. I have included instructions detailing what you may want to add to your binder, as well. One would be pictures of our family members to be enclosed in the binder in case we get separated from our loved ones. We will keep one picture and post the other picture on a wall so we can hopefully be reunited ASAP.  Here is the download: Food Storage Moms FREE Printable Emergency Binder Download

Please be patient for it to load, and the PDF document should show up on your computer on the bottom left-side of your laptop or computer monitor. Once the document finishes loading it will be ready to click and print. I prefer printing it on cardstock, and it’s actually in color if you want to print with a color printer.

Here’s the deal, I have heard that only 10% of the people in Utah are prepared for a disaster or unforeseen emergency. This really bothers me because I can’t provide for my entire street or neighborhood.  I have this percentage based on real numbers from churches, emergency preparedness centers, and neighborhoods where I have taught classes about this very topic in Utah. I’ll bet the percentage of unprepared families is even higher in many other locations, particularly the highly concentrated urban centers. I hear comments like, I don’t know where to start, I don’t have the money to buy groceries, let alone emergency food and supplies. I have also heard people ask what’s the big deal, we have heard we need to be prepared for the last thirty plus years and nothing has happened. Well, this may be true in some areas of the country, but I get emails all the time asking me what to do, and they include comments such as this one “Our neighborhood has been without power for five days now, what would you suggest for cooking, etc?”

These are real people and the emails show me the fear in the families concerned. My heart aches for them because maybe they have never had a minor or major power outage EVER. But they do now. My point is this, we need to be prepared before we need to be prepared. It’s a fact if you turn on the TV and listen to the news, hear it on the radio, or look on Facebook there are emergency issues in numerous places in the USA and throughout the world.

I’m sure you have seen my articles on many emergency preparedness topics. I believe sometimes we have to see the comments about the stuff I have listed below again and again before it sinks in enough to take some action. If even one family gets prepared in the next week, I have accomplished what I have tried to do, inform the world one family at a time. Let’s hope at least 15% of your neighborhood is prepared, that would beat the number of 10% in Utah being prepared for disasters, whatever they may be.

Tips To Survive Disasters:

Talk with your family and make a plan for meeting up after an evacuation or disaster if that should occur. Please make more than one or two choices to meet in case roads are damaged and you are driving carpool or kids to dance lessons.

Store water and food for at least two to three weeks minimum in case you will be homebound because of a major epidemic.

Decide on one or two choices of cooking devices that you could use to boil water or cook a hot meal. Be sure and have the appropriate fuel stored that is required to go with the stoves you plan to use.

Order some N-95 masks to add to your first aid kit. If you don’t have a first aid kit, just think about what will happen if the pharmacies are closed due to power outages. Do you have cough syrups, Tylenol or whatever OTC products you would like if you were unable to get them anywhere due to all stores being closed? It will happen, trust me. It has happened in many cities and states. Here’s my first aid kit that I recommend at the very least to have on hand: First Aid Kit For Survival

Keep up on your laundry and store extra laundry detergent should you need to wash your clothes by hand. You’ve probably seen my emergency washing machine with 6 -gallon buckets and a Gamma lid as a mobile washer: Breathing Mobile Washer – Handheld, portable, non-electric, mobile, manual clothes washing machine. Handle Included.

I would make sure you have a portable toilet because if the power goes out the sewer lines may not work. Tote-able Toilet Seat and Lid. I prefer six-gallon buckets so you don’t have to squat down as far: 6 Gallon Bucket with White Gamma Seal Lid Save the Gamma Lid for another bucket you can use to store food.

Please get some good flashlights and store extra batteries, unless you plan to use solar flashlights. I prefer this one: Goal Zero 90109 Solo V2 Solar Flashlight or this one: Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight with Integrated Solar Panel

Keep in mind this list has just the bare necessities we need should a disaster hit. But we need to encourage our neighbors to prepare for the unexpected too. If your neighbors are approachable have some get-togethers and talk about what you would do as a team of neighbors to work together and what each could bring to the table if it takes the government or other emergency agencies a week or a month to arrive with help. We must take care of ourselves because we are responsible for OUR family to survive disasters.

My favorite things:

WaterBrick 1833-0001 Stackable Water and Food Storage Container, 3.5 gal of Liquid, 27 lb of Dry Food Products, Blue

Water Storage Containers – WaterBrick – 8 Pack Blue

WaterBrick WB-0001 Ventless Spigot Assembly, Fits Both WaterBrick Water Container Sizes, Blue/White/Red

FEMA Website

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Regenerating the Eco-village

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Regen Villages, Off-grid, Sustainable, Eco-village, eco-friendly

Regen Villagers don’t need green thumb to live in greenhouse.

Self-sustaining communities that can talk to each other; sounds like something from the future doesn’t it? But Regen Villages is making this a reality – right now. The first Regen eco-village has begun building works in Almere, 25 minutes from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The 15,500m² project will house 100 families and aims to be completed by 2018.

But what is a Regen Village?

Founded by James Ehrlich, a senior technologist at Stanford University, in 2015, Regen Villages has a holistic approach. A regenerative system combining new technology and renewable energy powered homes, with organic food production right on the doorstep.

The houses vary in size and are built inside a greenhouse “envelope”, with some even having terraces. Each home has a built in water collection system, solar panels and are passively heated. The community has a seasonal garden, biogas facility and aquaponics amongst other things.

The base of the villages is that the output of one system is the input to another. Waste from the homes is sorted into different categories. Bio-waste is used in the Biogas facility, whilst compost is used as food for livestock and small flies. The flies are fed to fish and the waste from both them and the livestock fertilises the seasonal gardens. The plants in the aquaponics facility and seasonal gardens produce fruit and vegetables for food, whilst the livestock and fish provide a source of protein. Rainwater is collected and stored at the houses and water produced at the biogas facility is also stored. Grey water is separated and used to irrigate the seasonal garden, whereas clean water is put into the aquaponics. Solar cells provide the energy for homes and also to the “smart grid” which can be used for charging electric cars.

Regen Villages, who are partnered with Danish architects EFFEKT, have been termed the “Tesla of ecovillages” paving the way for new innovative developments. Plans include villages being linked up to the cloud and being able to communicate with each other through the internet. In this way communities are self-reliant and off-grid but can still learn from each other.

What about the future?

At a conference held at Sliperiet, Umeå University, Sweden James Ehrlich spoke of the future for Regen Villages. After the completion of the Almere pilot, EU funding of a proposed 300 million euros (approximately $319 million) will enable projects in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany to go ahead. These are aimed to be carried out during 2018-2022. Sights are then set on developments across Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, India, China and parts of the US, with government investments. As Ehrlich outlined, by targeting a challenging cold environment first, Regen Villages can be adapted to suit different climatic needs.

Off-grid sustainable greenhouse communities are not at all futuristic and Ehrlich is keen to make them a reality.

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A Green Beret’s Guide To Building an Emergency Winter Shelter

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we covered a few items on winter camouflage and winter preparedness training.  I’m going to throw out to you the concept of the winter shelter.  Most are self-explanatory.  Going into the basics, we need something to keep the snow from falling on our heads, as well as something to insulate us from the cold and the wind.  If you have no tent available, then it’s up to you to build something if the emergency arises.  Undoubtedly someone will comment about sleeping in the car, but circumstances may arise that may prevent that, such as a bad accident with leaking gas or combustible fluids.

The Simplest Survival Shelters

One answer for you is the lean-to, which is simply a couple of vertical poles jammed into the ground and a cross-pole (or cross-beam, if you will) lashed to the top across the two vertical poles.  Then you “lean” other branches across the top edge of your cross-pole, building a triangular shelter for yourself as you create this roof.  Ideally the rear can be on the slope of a hill or mountain without any runoff, leaving you a “front” to sit in at the edge of the lean to.

Tree-pit ShelterIn areas where heavy snows accumulate, you can also make a tree-pit shelter.  Excavate around the trunk of a pine tree with low boughs (a tree with thick branches and the boughs close to the ground).  If you have about two to three feet to dig, all the better in this case.  You’ll excavate about a 6-7’ diameter “hole” around the tree, and with the snow you remove, stack it up and pack it on the edges of the hole, building it up until you reach those bottom boughs.  You can also reinforce the construction by using boughs and dead branches to set the snow on top of.  Be creative, and use your imagination to make the situation fit your needs.  You want to make a front “gap” for yourself to squeeze through, and maybe a “door” out of pine boughs to close the gap off.

The principle being to create walls of snow that extend to the thick tree-boughs.  The tree will be your insulation topside, and the walls of snow akin to a semi “igloo” that will protect you on the sides. 

Reinforce those walls by placing branches on the inside vertically, stuck into the ground, or use a foam pad to run around the walls of the pit (Army issue ones work well).  Pack the top of the wall before putting branches and snow on the sides to build it up.  Don’t build a fire in the thing, unless you want to risk the fate of Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” character and risk bringing stuff down on top of you to smother you.  Also, don’t pick a tree heavily laden with a billion pounds of snow.

Why These Shelters Are Ideal

The principle is to crawl in this thing, taking support against the tree (lean against it to rest and sleep).  Even if you were buried, the tree itself will protect you and create an air pocket when you lean against it.  This type of shelter will buy you some time until you can build something a little more permanent.  If you did what I advised many moons ago, and packed your “A-bag”/bug-out happy-camper-survivor bag the way I advised, it’s packed per the season, and you should have a poncho and poncho liner in it.  The poncho can either be stretched out on the ground for a ground-cover, or used to solidify a lean-to and make it more waterproof.

The tree-pit shelter is for when you need to get out of the elements quickly.  If that can’t be done, you can dig a snow-cave for yourself.  With the poncho and/or a ground pad, you can insulate yourself from the ground and “hole up” in this snow cave (nothing more than a “spider hole” to protect you from the bite of the elements) and allow your body heat to warm up the hole.  It is the same principle that sled dogs use when they dig holes in the snow and bury themselves.  The principle is sound and can work for you as well.

Also for the tree-pit shelter: try not to pick a tree that is growing on the side of a mountain or hill.  You don’t need an avalanche to ruin your day on this one.  The lean to you can get out of.  Let the tree-pit shelter be on fairly-level ground, if you can make it so, and check it out thoroughly beforehand.  Be prudent and carry your pack with you should you have to leave the vehicle.  Practice building these shelters and familiarize yourself with them when you have the time, prior to an emergency occurring.  Stay warm, drink coffee, and take care of one another!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Suburban Micro-Farm (Book Review)

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What is the first thing that a suburban homesteader does?  I’m sure you guessed correctly – they start a garden.  It’s probably the easiest thing to do to start a self-reliant lifestyle because of many reasons. There’s a low barrier to entry – you just need some dirt and a few seeds – and it’s