WHAT TO FORAGE IN WINTER: 30+ EDIBLE AND MEDICINAL PLANTS AND FUNGI

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Foraging in winter is not always easy, and it gets even harder the further north or higher in elevation that you are.  The super cold temperatures, low light, and heavy snow cover in these areas can really make it difficult for anything to persist and survive through winter.  There are a few wild plants that are usually reliable, even in the harshest conditions.  If you are in a more moderate or a warmer zone, your options are expanded, sometimes by a lot!  Here I will go over more than 30 edible and medicinal trees, nuts, berries, leaves, roots, lichens, mushrooms, and seaweed to forage in winter.

One thing to think about, especially if you are in the harshest weather zones, is to leave most of what you may find for the wildlife.  They are likely going to need it more than you will!  That’s not to say that you can’t enjoy a cup of pine needle or birch bark tea from time to time, but it’s good to be aware of the cycle of life and how we play a part in it.

TREES

Trees and their needles, cones, branches, bark, and sap are the classic winter foraging food.  They are available to practically everyone and in almost any climate.

 

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Social Security numbers on your arm and those Cold War memories

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I’m sure that by now you have read about this little jewel of disaster planning:

A local leader in one coastal Texas community is advising residents who are not evacuating ahead of Hurricane Harvey to mark their names and Social Security numbers on their arms.

The mayor pro tem of Rockport, Texas, said that grim step is necessary to prepare for the worst in case of deaths among people who remain in the area.

“We’re suggesting if people are going to stay here, mark their arm with a Sharpie pen with their name and Social Security number,” Rockport Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Rios said at a news conference this morning.

It’s  a lovely little bit of dramatic hyperbole meant to terrify citizens into heading to the Superdome other locations. Rescuers, he implies, will discover your water-logged corpse and make the identification by the social security number you had the foresight to Sharpie onto your forearms. Which raises an interesting question: why wouldn’t you just write your damn name instead? Do they really think a grieving mom will come down to the makeshift morgue and wail “Where’s my baby? Where’s my sweet 409-52-2002?” Of course not. So, while not as famously stupid as the last southern hurricane mayor’s statement, this one is still pretty silly.

Or…is it?

Did you know that at the height of the Cold War, some school districts issued dogtags to children to make their identification easier in case of that big atomic war that we were all expecting? True story. The fine folks at the NYC Board of Edumacation spent $159,000 (in 1952 money) to tag kids like they were elk. But, apparently, dogtags weren’t the only option.

430D639800000578-4776328-image-a-98_1502309278977At some point, someone suggested tattooing as a means of providing identification for citizens (adult and child) who might get caught up in the blast zone. While dogtags were probably not an easy sell, you can imagine the howling that would have followed if a government actor suggested tattooing the population…especially since this was about ten years after a buncha people already tried that sort of thing. (Trivia: as a kid growing up in Brooklyn in the late 70’s it was not unheard of in the summer to see faded tattoos on the bare arms of older men of certain cultural/religious backgrounds. I specifically recall a barber I went to once who had what was clearly a number tattooed on his forearm.)

All the articles I found on the subject were aghast at the concept of issuing dogtags to kids for the purpose of identifying their bodies. Apparently the snowflakes at Slate and similar venues feel that a better choice is for a parent to be denied closure and the comfort of knowing the final disposition of their child.

Nowadays, people take the tattooing thing way too far. There was a point in my lifetime where only a certain kind of woman had a tattoo, and if a man had a tattoo he probably also had a military career behind it. Now kids get tattooed to the point of looking like a comic book.

Even a decade after Katrina, there were still a couple dozen bodies that were unidentified….a big improvement from the 1000 that they started with.

For me, the issue of identification is a non-starter. Even in my day-to-day life I refuse to carry ID. If I die, I’m sure there will be plenty of evidence laying around to let people know who I was (or am, i suppose). But, back in the Cold War days it was a different story, I suppose.

 

Bugging In VS Bugging Out. How Safe Are Your Homes?

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Many if not most people including preppers have decided that bugging in, staying at home in the city is the best way to go. I am not going to say that bugging out to the wilderness/bush is going to be easy, certainly if you have had no previous experience & have not learnt any primitive skills, then it will be very hard for these people. But is the option of bugging in really a good idea? I don’t think so.

In the city when the electricity goes off there will be no power, no cooking, no sewage so no toilets, & no water on tap. We are talking a major shtf situation here, long term problems. Not safe to go outside & I don’t think you will be safe inside. Preppers boo hoo the idea that gangs, raiders, thugs could run a Mack truck through a house or set their home on fire. Think again! If they can’t simply break in & take what you have, they will destroy your home.

So you have food & water supplies, how long do you think they will last? There will be no hunting, no foraging. The supermarkets will have been raided & all stocks gone. Too dangerous to cook outside & too dangerous to bury your toilet buckets outside.
Think about it.

National Preparedness Month: A Month of Getting Prepped and Giveaways

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The devastation of the Texas coast has been sobering, to say the least, and has brought about a new found focus in the preparedness community to get more families prepared for disasters. While Hurricane Harvey was an extreme case, what we can take away from this ordeal is that you cannot always foresee every given turn of a disaster and by being fully insulated from disasters you will find yourself in the best case scenario.

We all live in an area that sees some type of disaster: flood, wildfire, earthquakes, droughts and other extreme weather scenarios. As well, not enough can be said about preparing for personal disasters like job loss, which do not always give warning.

In response to this ever-growing need to prepare, Ready Nutrition is gearing up for a month of preparedness. Each week, we are going to bring you preparedness materials you can use to get prepped for all types of disasters. We’ve done this before in our 52-weeks to preparedness series, but this will cover more information in a shorter amount of time.

As an added incentive, we will be giving away preparedness products and books to Ready Nutrition readers. All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter and leave a comment in one of our weekly National Preparedness articles about what you feel the most important aspect of being prepared is in the bottom of the article. It could be commenting on the most important preparedness items, some lessons you learned personally from a disaster, situations you witnessed during a disaster or preparedness ideas people may not always think of when preparing.

As a community, I hope you will spread the word to folks who might need an added push to start getting ready or who do not know where to start. Having a more prepared community will reduce the initial shock of a disaster.

Here’s what we’ll cover

Week 1: The Basics of Prepping – This will cover how you should make a plan and getting your beginning preparedness supplies in order, tips, as well as valuable skills you should learn.

During this first week, we will be giving away a preparedness manual and a 72-hour kit at the end of the week to a lucky winner! All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter and leave a comment.

Week 2: The Necessities of Sanitation and Medical Preparedness – Following a disaster, sanitation, hygiene and medical care are often at the forefront of needs. We will dive into more details on immediate threats that occur in the wake of disasters, what you can do to be ready and how to avoid these aftermath scenarios when they occur. As an incentive, we will give away a sanitation kit and another preparedness manual.

Week 3: Reinforcing Your Plans and Expanding Them into Longer-Term Scenarios – During this week, we will focus on how you can reinforce your preparedness plans and add additional preps so they extend into longer-term scenarios. Some of those far-reaching events are biological and chemical disasters, mass casualty health, longer-term food needs and more. As well, we will delve into long-term security measures you can use to protect your home and belongings.

To better prepare for these type of events, one winner will get a gas mask as the giveaway prize of the week to add to your preps and The Prepper’s Blueprint!

Week 4: Getting Your Community Prepped – We’ve heard the term, “It takes a village.” Well, when a disaster strikes, it really does take the binding of a community to get through. Disasters are an undeniable part of life, but a prepared community is more resilient and can withstand longer-term scenarios. Having a large group of prepared individuals will help the general public thrive for longer amounts of time because each home has the supplies and skills it needs to keep going. Moreover, communities should provide skills training to help the general public learn critical survival skills for long-term survival. And that is just what we will be discussing in week 4.

A few months ago, I co-hosted a webinar with the folks at SunOven on how to cook with the sun and was amazed at how many uses the SunOven had in an off-grid environment. You can read my review of them here. Our gift on our final week of National Preparedness Month is one of these dynamic SunOvens complete with a homesteading package. Remember all you need to do is sign up for the Ready Nutrition newsletter and leave a helpful comment in the article.

Let’s Do This!

Whether you’re preparing for a short-term disaster or a long-term disaster, you have the same basic goal. That goal is to be self-sufficient and have the ability to care for yourself and your family independently during an unforeseen event.

As an added incentive, if your local church is interested in starting a preparedness course for its congregation, I would like to send a free copy of The Prepper’s Blueprint to them to help get that endeavor going. 1 manual will be sent to each church. I have 20 books that I would like to send so please contact me through my Facebook page with a church address. The first 20 churches get the books!

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Bug Out Pants

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Great outdoor pants

Preppers most often tend to concentrate on the more exotic aspects of prep and survival gearing up.  We best outdoor hunting pantsget all the bases covered with water stocks, food supplies, defense weaponry, ammunition, first aid kits, tools, gear, bags and everything else that goes with getting ready to Bug Out.  But, what are you going to wear?  Cut off shorts and flip flops just won’t get it long term, or really short term either.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Even under ideal (really?) Bug Out conditions, any scenario when people have to evacuate their primary residence, work site, or home ground is going to be tough.  Stress, anxiety, fear, and apprehension peak during these events, and every part of your plan and execution is tested to the max.  Every piece of gear and all your supplies will be pressed to the limit.  This is not a time for your basic clothing to fail.  So, Bug Out in sturdy, tough, long wearing pants.

The Wear and Tear

Pants seem to catch the brunt of the wear as a daily clothing item.  It does not matter if it is at work, play, recreation like hunting, fishing or ATV riding, pants catch hell literally at every movement.  Just ask any construction worker, farmer, rancher, logger, or anybody having to be in the outdoors every day.  Besides footwear, pants are the most basic part of prepper clothing.

Also Read: Do You Have Seasonal Clothes In Your BOB?

If you Bug Out, you are likely going to be outside doing a lot of tasks, jobs, projects and work that places best pants for preppersplenty of wear and tear on pants.  Simple every day activities like working a garden, gathering firewood, hunting for food, outside property or structure repair or maintenance will mean that your pants will receive a lot of abrasion, scraping, pulling, and stressing seams and wear points.  You want pants that will last a long time and withstand all the movements and stresses of prepper surviving.

You know what wears out first on the pants you have now.  Usually it is a foundation seam like the seat, crotch, pockets, and then the knees, not in any particular order.  I have several pairs of pants with only the knees blown out.  Some of those have been patched 3-4 times.  They usually get cut off, made into shorts.  That limits their uses for many tasks.

Related: 21 Survival Uses For Paracord

What you want to shop for and buy for Bug Outs and other survival type tasking is the ultimate in outdoor wear pants.  This often means industrial or construction work wear, but not always.  Sometimes they are one in the same.  There are several brands worthy of consideration and trial.

Prime Prepper Pants

Preppers want to know specifically what to buy, not just hints or a maybe.  Simply put here is a list of pants brands that have proven wear and tear capability. These include Duluth Trading, Carhartt, Tractor Supply’s Schmidt, and Northern Tool’s Gravel Gear are all top brands for really tough, long wearing pants.  All else being equal these brands make pants to take a lot of abuse, and hard wear.  They are sewn tough, with tough materials.

Also Read: DIY Clothes Washing Machines

Sorry guys, blue jeans are great for camp wear, daily use and light duty.  They are comfortable especially for driving.  When it comes to the nasty jobs of prepping and survival, especially outdoors, leave the jeans behind.  Elect proven hard ware pants for prepping.

 

Visit Sponsors of SHTFBlog.com

pure pitcher vs brita made in usa made in china 99.99 WITH blue ribbon 600x200 USA

Save

Bug Out Pants

Great outdoor pants

Preppers most often tend to concentrate on the more exotic aspects of prep and survival gearing up.  We best outdoor hunting pantsget all the bases covered with water stocks, food supplies, defense weaponry, ammunition, first aid kits, tools, gear, bags and everything else that goes with getting ready to Bug Out.  But, what are you going to wear?  Cut off shorts and flip flops just won’t get it long term, or really short term either.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Even under ideal (really?) Bug Out conditions, any scenario when people have to evacuate their primary residence, work site, or home ground is going to be tough.  Stress, anxiety, fear, and apprehension peak during these events, and every part of your plan and execution is tested to the max.  Every piece of gear and all your supplies will be pressed to the limit.  This is not a time for your basic clothing to fail.  So, Bug Out in sturdy, tough, long wearing pants.

The Wear and Tear

Pants seem to catch the brunt of the wear as a daily clothing item.  It does not matter if it is at work, play, recreation like hunting, fishing or ATV riding, pants catch hell literally at every movement.  Just ask any construction worker, farmer, rancher, logger, or anybody having to be in the outdoors every day.  Besides footwear, pants are the most basic part of prepper clothing.

Also Read: Do You Have Seasonal Clothes In Your BOB?

If you Bug Out, you are likely going to be outside doing a lot of tasks, jobs, projects and work that places best pants for preppersplenty of wear and tear on pants.  Simple every day activities like working a garden, gathering firewood, hunting for food, outside property or structure repair or maintenance will mean that your pants will receive a lot of abrasion, scraping, pulling, and stressing seams and wear points.  You want pants that will last a long time and withstand all the movements and stresses of prepper surviving.

You know what wears out first on the pants you have now.  Usually it is a foundation seam like the seat, crotch, pockets, and then the knees, not in any particular order.  I have several pairs of pants with only the knees blown out.  Some of those have been patched 3-4 times.  They usually get cut off, made into shorts.  That limits their uses for many tasks.

Related: 21 Survival Uses For Paracord

What you want to shop for and buy for Bug Outs and other survival type tasking is the ultimate in outdoor wear pants.  This often means industrial or construction work wear, but not always.  Sometimes they are one in the same.  There are several brands worthy of consideration and trial.

Prime Prepper Pants

Preppers want to know specifically what to buy, not just hints or a maybe.  Simply put here is a list of pants brands that have proven wear and tear capability. These include Duluth Trading, Carhartt, Tractor Supply’s Schmidt, and Northern Tool’s Gravel Gear are all top brands for really tough, long wearing pants.  All else being equal these brands make pants to take a lot of abuse, and hard wear.  They are sewn tough, with tough materials.

Also Read: DIY Clothes Washing Machines

Sorry guys, blue jeans are great for camp wear, daily use and light duty.  They are comfortable especially for driving.  When it comes to the nasty jobs of prepping and survival, especially outdoors, leave the jeans behind.  Elect proven hard ware pants for prepping.

 

Visit Sponsors of SHTFBlog.com

pure pitcher vs brita made in usa made in china 99.99 WITH blue ribbon 600x200 USA

Save

Bug Out Pants

Great outdoor pants

Preppers most often tend to concentrate on the more exotic aspects of prep and survival gearing up.  We best outdoor hunting pantsget all the bases covered with water stocks, food supplies, defense weaponry, ammunition, first aid kits, tools, gear, bags and everything else that goes with getting ready to Bug Out.  But, what are you going to wear?  Cut off shorts and flip flops just won’t get it long term, or really short term either.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Even under ideal (really?) Bug Out conditions, any scenario when people have to evacuate their primary residence, work site, or home ground is going to be tough.  Stress, anxiety, fear, and apprehension peak during these events, and every part of your plan and execution is tested to the max.  Every piece of gear and all your supplies will be pressed to the limit.  This is not a time for your basic clothing to fail.  So, Bug Out in sturdy, tough, long wearing pants.

The Wear and Tear

Pants seem to catch the brunt of the wear as a daily clothing item.  It does not matter if it is at work, play, recreation like hunting, fishing or ATV riding, pants catch hell literally at every movement.  Just ask any construction worker, farmer, rancher, logger, or anybody having to be in the outdoors every day.  Besides footwear, pants are the most basic part of prepper clothing.

Also Read: Do You Have Seasonal Clothes In Your BOB?

If you Bug Out, you are likely going to be outside doing a lot of tasks, jobs, projects and work that places best pants for preppersplenty of wear and tear on pants.  Simple every day activities like working a garden, gathering firewood, hunting for food, outside property or structure repair or maintenance will mean that your pants will receive a lot of abrasion, scraping, pulling, and stressing seams and wear points.  You want pants that will last a long time and withstand all the movements and stresses of prepper surviving.

You know what wears out first on the pants you have now.  Usually it is a foundation seam like the seat, crotch, pockets, and then the knees, not in any particular order.  I have several pairs of pants with only the knees blown out.  Some of those have been patched 3-4 times.  They usually get cut off, made into shorts.  That limits their uses for many tasks.

Related: 21 Survival Uses For Paracord

What you want to shop for and buy for Bug Outs and other survival type tasking is the ultimate in outdoor wear pants.  This often means industrial or construction work wear, but not always.  Sometimes they are one in the same.  There are several brands worthy of consideration and trial.

Prime Prepper Pants

Preppers want to know specifically what to buy, not just hints or a maybe.  Simply put here is a list of pants brands that have proven wear and tear capability. These include Duluth Trading, Carhartt, Tractor Supply’s Schmidt, and Northern Tool’s Gravel Gear are all top brands for really tough, long wearing pants.  All else being equal these brands make pants to take a lot of abuse, and hard wear.  They are sewn tough, with tough materials.

Also Read: DIY Clothes Washing Machines

Sorry guys, blue jeans are great for camp wear, daily use and light duty.  They are comfortable especially for driving.  When it comes to the nasty jobs of prepping and survival, especially outdoors, leave the jeans behind.  Elect proven hard ware pants for prepping.

 

Visit Sponsors of SHTFBlog.com

pure pitcher vs brita made in usa made in china 99.99 WITH blue ribbon 600x200 USA

Save

7 Keys To Finding The Perfect ‘Bug-Out Retreat’ (Where No One Will Spot You)

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7 Keys To Finding The Perfect ‘Bug-Out Retreat’ (Where No One Will Spot You)

Image source: Pixabay.com

Having a plan for “bugging out” is an option that pretty much every survivalist includes in his or her survival plans.

It’s where you or I would retreat to when we determine it’s time to “get out of Dodge” in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. For those of us who can’t afford such a place, we still need a planned location to get to, even if we don’t have a cabin already built and stocked with everything we need to survive.

While most people will take whatever they can get, there are several things you should consider when you are looking at a bug-out retreat location. Each of these things apply to an even greater extent if you don’t have that cabin in the woods and are going to try and survive in the wild.

1. Distance

You need the retreat far enough from your home so that any weather event that affects your home won’t affect your retreat. That could create a rather lengthy commute to your retreat, if your home is near the coast in a hurricane zone. In such a case, you’d want your retreat to be far enough inland to ensure that the hurricane would have dissipated before it struck your location.

The big problem with a retreat that is far from your home is the problem of getting there. Most people will want to drive, which you should do … if you can. However, you should also ensure that you leave home with enough fuel to get you to your destination. You may not be able to buy fuel along the way. Assume delays in your fuel calculations.

But what if you can’t drive there? If you are going to have to walk, then you’ll need to ensure that you have enough supplies to eat to sustain you through that walk. Of course, there you have the problem of carrying that much food. See my article on “Beyond the Bug-Out Bag” for ideas about this.

2. Proximity to population centers

You truly want to avoid any major population centers. Establishing a retreat that is close to a population center just guarantees that someone is going to find you — most likely, someone you’d rather not have find you.

Bugging Out? Get The Essential Survival Secrets of The Most Savvy Survivalists in the World!

On the other hand, locating within a day’s walk of a small town could end up being useful. Small town communities are more likely to pull together and work to help each other survive during a disaster. Integrating yourself into that community could become useful — if for nothing else, than as a source of resupply.

3. Visibility

As much as possible, you want your survival retreat to be hidden from view. Obviously, that will be easier to accomplish in some types of terrain than in others. But as you are planning, use the terrain to your benefit — especially trees and other foliage to hide your retreat.

7 Keys To Finding The Perfect ‘Bug-Out Retreat’ (Where No One Will Spot You)

Image source: Pixabay.com

At the same time, you need good visibility to see anyone who is approaching your retreat. This can be from an upstairs or rooftop balcony, a lookout built in a tree, or a convenient rock outcropping located close to your shelter. Whatever you do, you don’t want that lookout point to be obviously identifiable as a lookout.

4. Water

Of all the natural resources, water is the one you’ll need the most. Make sure that you have a reliable source of water, within a reasonable distance from your retreat. Remember: You may not be able to drive to water, as you may not have any gas. So, it needs to be a place that you can get to on foot and bring the water back.

As part of that, you need to consider how you would haul the water. Ideally you can use your vehicle for that, but if you don’t have any source of gasoline, you’ll need some other way. A hand truck with a couple of five gallon buckets will work, as well as almost any other type of cart you can come up with.

This Ultra-Efficient Water Filter Fits In Your Pocket — And Removes 100 Percent Of Water-Borne Bacteria!

Don’t overlook the possibility of rainwater catchment there at your survival retreat. Design the roof so that you can collect the water falling on it. In addition, look for places where water would flow during rainfall and what you can do to dam up those areas and collect the water.

5. Fuel

If you are in a moderate to cold climate, you’ll need fuel to keep your cabin or shelter warm. Is there abundant fuel available without having to cut down all the trees? You’ll go through a lot of wood heating a cabin through the winter. Ideally, that will be deadfalls, but if you have to cut trees, you want to be sure that you won’t be thinning them out too much.

6. Food

What sources of food are readily available nearby your retreat? Ideally, you’ll have food stocked there. But if you can hunt or fish, that will help to augment the food you have stored. However, you really don’t want to depend on hunting and fishing, as you may not be able to catch enough to keep you fed. Therefore, what about edible plants or planting a vegetable garden? Is there room for that? Is the ground appropriate for it?

7. Building materials

If you are going to have to build your own retreat, what materials are available that you can use for construction? Is there stone available for a fireplace? Is there wood for a log cabin? Throughout history, mankind has adapted their building style to utilize the materials available. Can you do that with the materials you have on site, or will you need to bring in materials? Once again, like with the fuel, you don’t want to thin out the forest too much, just to build your cabin.

What items would you add to this list? Share your tips in the section below:

Could You ‘Live Off The Land’ Following A Disaster? Read More Here.

10 Best Survival Tents For Survival and Preparedness

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Shelter is fundamental to survival.

Because having a roof over your head and walls surrounding you, keeps you:

  1. Dry
  2. Warm
  3. Safe
  4. Private

But securing a shelter is not always a simple task in a survival situation.

Sure, you might get lucky and find an uninhabited cave (void of wild animals). Or you might be able to build a shelter out of branches and logs (if you’re a survival expert). Or you could stumble into a vacant cabin. Anythings possible…

These are all valid options for securing shelter, but it’s relying on luck – and luck in survival is always a terrible idea. And most of us are not survival masters. Which means you’ll want to the next best option – to take a shelter with you.

No, I’m not talking about mobile homes or RV’s, I’m talking about survival tents!

Tents are one of humankind’s most ingenious survival technologies.

Tents have been around for the last 43,000 years. To put that in perspective, we understood how to make portable shelters before we learned how to cultivate agriculture. And we’ve had a lot of time to perfect tent technologies.

Today tents are a thousand times more sophisticated, more elaborate and more specific.

But that’s a problem – the selection process is overwhelming!

Everything from group tents -for an eight person family; to tiny tents for a single occupant.

Plus, there are:

  • cold-weather tents
  • minimalist tents
  • insect tents
  • rain tents
  • high altitude tents
  • backpacking tents
  • car camping tents
  • tents for truck beds

No matter what situation or adventure – there’s a tent designed for that purpose.

So you have to know what you want and what you’re looking for within your survival tent budget.

Skilled Survival’s – Survival Tent Guide


The bottom line is you came to this comprehensive skilled survival buyer’s guide to find the survival tent that’s right for you.

This guide will cover the following:

  • Things to look for in a survival tent
  • Considerations to take into account
  • A list of the highest rated and most acclaimed survival tents
  • An overview of how to clean and care for your tent
  • A brief history of tents
As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #54 Item Survival Gear List. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Minimalist Camping Tent Setup

What To Look For In A Survival Tent


Here are the essential features you want for any tent (especially for survival):

Durability

Modern fabrics are engineered to be highly durable. But some tents are more “bomb proof” than others. The more durable in extreme environments – the better.

Weight

Heavy tents are a pain in the back. If you’re carrying one in your pack, every ounce matters. When it comes to survival, a lighter-weight, portable tent is your best bet.

Even for larger family sized tents, if all things other things are equal, I’d take the lighter one every time.

Ease Of Setup

There are tents out there that seem to take an engineering degree to erect. These elaborate tents are time-consuming and frustrating to setup. Instead, try to find a tent that’s easy and intuitive.

Setting your tent up quickly and without headaches is a significant survival advantage.

Shape and Color

The shape isn’t all that important unless you’ll be in high wind terrain – locations like the side of a mountain. In these situations, a low profile aerodynamic tent is best.

But for survival, color is the more strategic choice. It depends on if you’re trying to stay hidden or if you’re more interested in rescue. Wilderness survival vs SHTF survival…

For SHTF survival, you’ll want a natural colored tent to blend in with your surroundings.

For a situation where rescue desirable (like high altitude mountain climbing adventures) bright orange is best for high visibility.

Vestibules

A tent with a vestibule is like having a mud room for your tent. Vestibules allow you to keep your muddy boots and gear outside the tent but still keep it protected from rain and snow. Vestibules are a handy tent feature.

Rain Protection

If a tent doesn’t come with a rain fly, it should be made of a single waterproof wall. Nothing sucks worse than waking up trapped inside of a wet bag. So make sure you investigate the waterproof properties of any tent you buy.

The Number Of Occupants

If you have a family you intend on sheltering inside of a survival tent; you’ll have to go big. Big enough so everyone can fit inside.

For me, I prefer a two-person tent because it’s spacious for one, yet I can fit a friend if need be. Some people like single person tents, but I find them a little claustrophobic.

This decision is all about personal needs and preferences.

Price

Some tents are insanely expensive while others are cheap. Fit the tent you buy to your budget but remember – you usually get what you pay for when it comes to gear like this.

If you go super cheap, expect cheap results.

The Many Types of Survival Tents


There’s a tent out there for every possible survival situation. It would be impossible to list all the brands and models in a single article. So, here’s a list of the more popular types of tents available:

4 Season Tents

These tents are good for year-round use.

They have the waterproofing necessary to get you through a wet spring. Insulation to get you through fall and even winter. And removable rain fly’s to help with cooling capabilities in the hot summer.

Cold Weather Tents

These tents are engineered from the ground up to pack in heat like an oven and keep the cold at bay.

Some of them even come with little stoves or heaters you can set up inside. Cold weather tents are no joke. Cold weather tents can be expensive since they are so high-tech.

Backpacking Tents

Designed to be ultra-lightweight and super-compact. These tents are my personal favorite for survival.

They can fit inside of a bug out- bag. They’re designed to be carried long distances. They take up minimal space. You can set them up quickly, and they break down with ease.

Backpacking tents are ideal for survival on the move.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Dome Tents

These are designed specifically to give you lots of ROOM.

Most professional expedition tents are dome tents. That way, they can fit as many people and as much gear as possible.

Because they don’t use any flat walls, they also work well for high altitude, high wind survival situations.

Tactical Bivvy

Bivvies are the ultimate in tent minimalism.

Bivvies are little more than a body sack to keep mild elements at bay. They look like tent-coffins, but they’re highly packable and life-saving in a pinch.

We recommend the TACT Bivvy by Survival Frog.tact bivvy in hand

This Bivvy comes in an easy to carry pouch and weighs less than 5 oz. This TACT Bivvy is also made with NASA technology material called Mylar. This material traps your own body heat to keep you warm even in freezing temps.

The perfect survival tent for cold weather emergencies. I think everyone should add one to their glove box it can save your life.

However, Bivvy’s are not a survival shelter for the long term haul but it’s the perfect survival tent for surprise emergency situations.

Teepees

Made famous by the plains Indians, teepees have been a popular style of tent for a long time.

Even today there are modern material tents designed in the shape and form as a teepee. One single vertical pole holds up the walls, which are staked to the ground around it.

Yurts

Yurts were invented by nomadic tribesmen in central Asia. Today, they are popular in mountainous regions around the world. They are anything but portable, though.

Most modern yurts sit on a concrete foundation and need a full work crew to build it. But once a yurt is up, it’s the ultimate in permanent tent life.

They are spacious and stay warm when it’s cold out and cool when it’s hot. Ideal for long term survival.

Cold Weather Tent With Man Sitting Outside

The 10 Best Survival Tents


The order of this list is from smallest to largest in capacity:

1 – Winterial (1 person tent)Winterial Survival Tent

This personal sized small tent is both lightweight and very affordable. It’s good for three seasons and uses an easy “two hoop” system for simple, quick setup.

Packed this tent only weighs 3.8 lbs!

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2 – The Snugpack Lonosphere (1 person tent)Snugpak Survival Tent

Another personal tent, this lightweight tent is perfect for your bug out-bag.

It is durable, and even if you do manage to damage it, it comes with a small repair kit so you can fix the tent on-the-go.

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3 – Teton Sports Mountain Ultra (1 person tent)Teton Sports Survival Tent

Another single person tent, this innovative design uses only one lightweight pole.

The first wall is a light, protective mesh that allows users to sleep under full view of the stars. But it also includes a durable and waterproof rain fly for wet or cold weather.

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4 – Kelty TN (2 person tent)Kelty Survival Tent

This double wall tent packs down to 4.5 lbs, still easily packable for a backpacking trip or survival excursion. The rainfly is waterproof and can be removed – the under wall is a mesh insect net.

One of the unique features of this tent is its “stargazing window” on the rainfly. It allows you to watch the stars and sky above your tent, without removing the rain fly.

No, not a survival feature but still awesome.

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5 – The North Face Summit Series Assault (2 person tent)The North Face Summit Tent

This North Face Summit tent is the one I use, and it has served me well for almost five years. It uses two lightweight crossing poles and sets up incredibly fast. It’s a two person, single wall tent, which is waterproof and warm.

It comes with an attachable vestibule and breaks down into only 3.25 lbs. The assault series was designed for high-altitude, high-intensity expeditions. And it’s still a very durable and extremely versatile tent.

Not only that, but North Face offers a lifetime warranty on their equipment. So, if there’s ever a problem with your Assault Series tent, you can get it repaired or replaced without any worries.

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6 – Nemo Bungalow (4 person tent)

This four person tent combines lightweight minimalist with function and durability.

The tent bag comes with Velcro pockets and compression straps. So no more fighting with the poles and rain fly when it’s time to get back on the go.

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7 – Kelty Grand Mesa (4 person tent)Kelty Grand Mesa Tent

This four person tent uses a snap on pole design that makes setup fast. When packed away it is 7.5 lbs.

The tent is suitable for rainy conditions and high winds, but functions just as well in warm weather.

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8 – Marmot Halo (6 person tent)Marmot Halo Tent

A spacious tent, it will comfortably fit six people. Unfortunately, any tent this size starts to get pretty heavy.

I wouldn’t recommend this tent for your bug-out-bag.

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9 – Coleman Sundome (6 person tent)Coleman Sundome Tent

Coleman has been a trusted brand name in survival and camping gear for decades. Their equipment is durable, reliable, and their Sundome tent series is no exception.

The 10 ft. X 10 ft. floor sleeps, six people. It’s incredibly easy to set up – requiring only two lightweight poles. And for its size, it’s affordable vs tents of similar size.

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10 – Coleman Red Canyon (8 person tent)Coleman Red Canyon Tent

The largest tent on our list, this eight-person survival tent is 17 ft. X 10 ft. and is tall enough to stand up inside. The Coleman weathertec system is guaranteed to keep people inside dry and safe from wet weather.

An airflow port allows fresh air to move through the tent, without sacrificing insulation. There are even room dividers inside the tent. These enable users to create several rooms for maximum privacy.

Click Here To Check Out Today’s Price.
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glowing tent in the evening

Caring for and Cleaning Your Tent


The better you care for your tent, the longer it will last. And since most tents aren’t cheap, it’s in your best financial interest to make your survival tent last as long as possible.

Cleaning

Use a non-abrasive sponge, cold water, and non-detergent soap and wipe doesn’t the interior and exterior of the tent gently. Scrub off any caked dirt, and make sure to wash away any mold or mildew you might find.

Clean the zippers and seams the same way as well.

Never machine wash your tent! That’s the fastest way to ruin it for good – the modern lightweight materials are great for wind and rain but can’t stand up to machine wash abuse.

Once you’ve wiped down your tent, allow it to the air-dry outside in direct sunlight if possible. The UV rays help to kill any remaining germs leftover from you most recent adventure or survival endeavor.

Care For Your Survival Tent

When you get a new tent, it is imperative to read the instructions. No matter how many times you’ve set up a tent, everyone is different. Don’t risk ruining it before you ever get to use it.

Be gentle with the zippers and poles. While they are designed to be durable and endure some abuse, they are not unbreakable. Busting a zipper or breaking a tent pole is a relatively easy fix – if you’re in town. But if you’re out in the wilderness surviving, replacing those is not so easy.

So take care of them, and be as gentle with them as possible.

Never store a tent wet.

Often when you get back from the wilderness your tent might be damp – either from rain, or snow, or dew, or perspiration. Whatever the cause, you need to make sure you let the tent air-dry for a while before you roll it up and pack it away.

If moisture gets locked in with the tent, mold and mildew will begin to grow.

Whenever you’re storing your tent, roll it neatly and tightly, don’t stuff it away in a sleeping bag. This advice is important because it keeps the material from crumpling and creasing all over.

Creases can create weak points in the nylon’s waterproofing, weakening its durability. When you roll it up neatly, you minimize the number of wrinkles in the tent’s fabric.

Use a footprint or tarp underneath.

It will increase the life of your survival tent by years if you use a protective layer underneath it. Most tents have an individually sized footprint that you can buy separately. But there are also standard footprints that will fit most tents. And if you want to go old-school, just purchase a tarp, and fold it to the size/dimensions of your tent.

Avoid leaving your tent in direct sunlight for extended periods of time. Sometimes you can’t prevent this, but if you can, it’s good to try and keep your tent shaded for most of the time it’s erect.

Direct sunlight has its benefits when you’re air-drying your tent, but long exposures can mess with the chemistry of the waterproofing.

Leave the shoes outside!

It’s not just common courtesy, but it prevents your boots from tearing holes in the floor. Also, it keeps excess dirt and debris out, which is a benefit unto itself.

Shake your tent out before rolling it up. Getting all the dirt and leaves and twigs and insects out of the tent before you roll it up is essential. It keeps the tent clean and reduces the frequency with which you need to clean it.

Old School Tent

A Brief History of Tents


The oldest evidence of people using tents was from about 40,000 BC. Humans were, at that point, roaming and hunting mammoths! Which, was what they used to make their tents.

Mammoth hide tents weren’t exactly lightweight. They were good at insulating our ancestors from the harsh weather of the tundras.

Animal hides had another benefit, besides being warm. The oils and fats that people harvested from the animals were used as waterproofing. They didn’t have Gortex-like materials back then, so they had to get crafty. By infusing their tents with natural oils, they created a water-repellent surface.

Around 450 BC Yurts and teepees were the highest-tech tents on the planet. They functioned as portable caves for nomadic peoples.

By 300 BC the Romans had adopted tent technology out of pure necessity. Their armies were so massive, and moved so frequently tents became an important Roman technology. The Romans used goat or calf skins for their army tents, which usually slept around eight soldiers apiece.

Fast forward to World War II

The next biggest innovation in tent history was underway. Eberhard Koebel designed a tent like the Scandinavian Lavvu tents (which were like European tee-pees). This tent was banned in Germany during the war but quickly became a popular in German scouting after.

Then, in 1951, Eureka’s self-standing draw tight tent changed the game forever! This tent was the first built using an aluminum frame and synthetic materials for the walls. Since then, tents have been getting lighter weight and more advanced every year.

Tents have come a long way since the days of mammoth-hide, but the idea is still the same: portable, weatherproof covering.

The Final Word


Tents are one of the most important survival inventions in human history. They changed the way we hunt, the way we interact with the outdoors, and the way we survive in the wild.

The idea is straightforward and elegant, and with modern technology, our tents have become marvels of engineering.

But finding the right survival tent is no simple endeavor.

Honestly, the best way to meet all your survival needs would be to buy several tents:

  • A tent for bugging out
  • One for camping
  • A one for backpacking
  • One for the whole family

But for most of us, that’s financially unrealistic. Which means you need to figure out which survival tent can meet as many of your survival needs as possible.

Whatever tent you choose, having a survival tent isn’t a matter of comfort–it’s a question of survival necessity. Make sure that you have a survival tent in your survival gear list!

Will Brendza
As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #54 Item Survival Gear List. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

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Kool Shirt Bro

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I received this in a message yesterday, and I thought many here would find it humorous. I’ll just leave this right here……K? Obviously in this context, “Hobbies & Games” is correct, and pink is appropriate. JCD American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICEFiled under: Mindset

And the Round Ten Winners Are…..

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

The Polls have closed! No hanging chads, no voter fraud detected.

The five (5) articles in contention for the three (3) prizes of Amazon gift cards were (in no particular order):

Congrats (in order) to:

  1. R. Ann Parris
  2. Capt. Dennis
  3. Kirk Reynolds

The results:

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Light Dawns In The Darkness

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    The last few days have been a whirlwind and I realized that I haven’t posted anything in awhile. So I need to explain why… As you all know my state of Texas has been devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Mark and I spent a rocky Friday night, a week ago, as we heard things crashing into the side of our house during 90-100 mph wind gusts.  But as I told you last week, we declared our home and property to be the Land of Goshen, safeguarded and shielded by our Creator.  And it was so. While others in surrounding cities and neighborhoods suffered tremendous damage to their premises, with huge oaks uprooted, and tin roofs peeled away like tin cans, we barely lost minor branches.  We were blessed and fortunate beyond anything we expected.
     And as the reports and pictures started coming in from around the Lone Star state we could not escape the sorrow and empathy we had for the people of Houston who were (and still are) suffering from Biblical-proportion flooding.  But it was the smaller towns along our Southern coast who seemed to get lost in the immensity of the catastrophe.  One such town is Rockport, the first place where Harvey made landful in the early morning hours of August 25th.

     Throughout Mark’s childhood, Rockport was a sleepy little fishing village that would also become a community of second homes for the wealthy and affluent.  Rockport has maintained that dual personality in the years since, but now it’s 10,000+ residents all share the same misery and heartbreak… homes destroyed and lives forever changed.
     Since Mark and I suffered no loss, we were determined to find a way to help those less fortunate.  So we took some of our tithing money, accompanied by the same from a close neighbor and we bought some water, gatorade, peanut butter, tuna, gloves, towels, toothpaste and toothbrushes, soap, antibiotic ointment, vitamin C, and other supplies we thought would be important in these first days when people had no power, and little hope.  A group of us Christian women got together and made up relief bags. The next morning Mark and I loaded up our truck with water, and along with our neighbor’s son, Cole, we three set off to offer our help.
     It was unimaginable. The devastation was beyond any sense that I had ever known.  Houses completely demolished. Trailers just a pile of rubble.  And the trees…. they were everywhere they shouldn’t be, and contorted into what seemed like impressionistic sculptures.  The supplies that we had brought suddenly seemed so insignificant. How could we make a difference when these people needed so much, and we had brought so little?
     But then I remembered what my good friend Kim had prayed over us before we left that morning. She said, “I’m praying for warrior angels to surround your truck; to make a clear path through the muck and debris, and to protect your lives as y’all travel today.  I’m praying for ministering angels to go before you and prepare those whom God has in place to be blessed by you today.  And I’m praying for the Holy Spirit to be so evidenced in your lives today, that the spiritual atmosphere of the cities and towns you drive into will be changed… desolation turned to bright futures, despair turned to hope, exhaustion turned to energy, and hatred and anger turned into joy.  May you bring comfort through our Comforter to those who need it desperately!”
     These are the words that I would remember as I stood, holding hands with a woman named Yolanda, and prayed with her.  She lived by herself, and her house was a scene of destruction and desolation.  She had been approved for FEMA housing, but there was nowhere in Rockport that qualified for housing and all the surrounding communities were just as demolished.  She would have to travel several hours to find suitable lodging and she didn’t want to leave her home, abandoned to the elements or looters.  We offered her water, but without ice, the water was hardly refreshing in the steamy heat.  But she was grateful for the relief bag we had brought her, and thanked us for what we were doing. In reality, we felt like we offered little more than what amounted to a drop in the ocean.
     But like everyone we approached with our meager offering, Yolanda left us with a smile and “God bless you”.  But we needed to do more! And what did that look like?  And then we turned a corner and ran into José, who was the obvious leader of a group staging at the Little Lights Learning Center, a daycare facility for children.  He was organized, efficient, and unflustered… everything you need to create calm out of chaos.  When we left that day to return home, I told him I would find a way to do more, and what did he need?  “Cleaning supplies and protein” was his immediate reply.  I was determined to make that happen.

     And as we left the wreckage of Rockport behind us, the Holy Spirit offered His solution. I would tell our story of that day, and show the world the pictures of Rockport, setting up a public fundraiser for this little town that was the first to take a hit from Harvey.  I decided to turn the fundraiser over to Jesus, telling Him, “It’s yours. Make it what You want it to be, and Mark and I (and others of Your faithful followers) will be Your hands and feet. Just tell us where to go”.  So, I came home two days ago, created the website and surrendered it to the Lord.  And I think He wants to do great things with it!  The response has been amazing, and Mark and I, along with my prayer partner, Kim, are headed back to Rockport this morning with two trucks full of provisions — Cleaning supplies and protein, of course! What a blessing to be used by Christ to show His mercy to those in need!
     The last thing I want to stress is that I do not want undue accolades for this work we do for the Lord.  It is no more than what thousands of others are doing as we try to alleviate the misery in the lives of our fellow Texans.  And it is just what we are called to do by the One whom we serve.  The heroes are the people who will put their lives back together, one day at a time, hopefully looking to Jesus for comfort and strength.  And if I can share His presence and His peace with any of them, then that will be an honor.  So please keep Texas in your prayers.  We have a long way to go to recover, and we’re down now, but not out.  Pray that this will be a season of turning to the Lord and great growth in individual’s relationships with Him.  And pray that Mark and I will be effective ambassadors for His Kingdom, showing everyone we come in contact with His mercy, His grace, and His tender heart. And please pray that we never miss an opportunity to speak of His boundless love.

Galatians 6:2    “Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the requirements of the law of Christ [that is, the law of Christian love]”.

What did you do for your preparedness this week? (2017-9-2)

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September already!   This weekly post is an open-forum, though preferably focusing on what we all did this week for our prepping & preparedness. Voice your thoughts, opinions, concerns, or questions for others to comment on general topics of preparedness. Because the more who comment, the more who will benefit from the discussion… Are you a first timer? Let’s hear from you too!   ———————————– Note: For articles posted during the week we appreciate that you stay on-topic with your comments. For off-topic comments, post them in the most recent Saturday open-forum: What did you do for your preparedness this

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The Best Handguns for Home Defense

by Reaper

Home defense is a crucial cornerstone for anyone living in today’s crime-filed world, and no matter what the media tries to tell us, we all know that the pen doesn’t always beat the sword. It’s not like you’re going to take the time, or risk trying to talk yourself out of a life or death scenario, when you have a legitimate way out. That “way out” comes in multiple calibers, but for the sake of common sense we’ll boil it down to the top three.

  1. 9mm
  2. .40 S&W
  3. .45 ACP

You might be thinking, “Why just those three? What about .22LR, .380 ACP, .357 Magnum?”. The answer is simple, those are the three most readily available sidearm calibers on the market. Yes, .22LR is (by the numbers) the most common caliber sold, but when SHTF everyone will be buying it out because it’s the cheapest firearm on the market. From a prepper’s standpoint, that takes .22LR right out of the picture. Besides, when it comes to comparing .22LR to the other three calibers, it’s like comparing a small pebble to a large rock.

Now that we’ve boiled it down to three calibers, let’s get into the details of each one, starting with the 9mm. With the cost of 9mm hollow point ammunition averaging $25-$30 for a box of 50, the 9mm is places within the “affordable” range. Arguably the most popular caliber on the market for standard-sized handguns, the 9mm is used by many law enforcement, and government agencies. The most reliable, and cost-effective way of delivering the 9mm is through the Glock series of handguns. Glocks average $400-$600 depending on the model, and have been a lightweight, durable means of self-defense since 1963.

Next, we’ll get started on the .40 S&W. Weighing an estimated four grams more than the 9mm, you would think the .40 S&W is a “no-brainer” right? Wrong, for what the 9mm lacks in weight, it makes up in muzzle velocity (how fast the round exits the firearm). The .40 S&W averages 980 ft/s, while the 9mm averages 1,248 ft/s. Both calibers cost relatively the same on average, so deciding if the .40 S&W all depends on your preferred method of delivery.

The most popular handgun for this category is (you guessed it) the S&W M&P .40. This particular handgun has a 16-round capacity (15 in the magazine, one in the chamber), and costs between $525-$600. S&W has been around since the 1800’s, and is one of the leaders in firearm sales. With a history of superior firearms, S&W has shown dependability along with durability in stressful situations, making them a top-choice for today’s preppers.

Lastly, we’ll target the .45 ACP. With incredible stopping power, the .45 ACP’s downfall is its muzzle velocity (830 ft/s). This specific caliber, however, doesn’t necessarily rely on its muzzle velocity to deliver stopping-power. The .45 ACP costs a surprising $20-$35 per box of 50 hollow point rounds, making them cost-effective for preppers willing to search the internet for the best deals.

Most handguns capable of shooting .45 ACP rounds only come with magazines that are able to hold 12 rounds on average. The most popular handgun for this caliber is the Beretta PX4 Storm Type F. The Type F is a very durable, cost-efficient ($575-$650), ambidextrous handgun meant for the more serious home defense enthusiasts.

Not everyone really cares about the caliber, but more specifically the gun itself. No worries, because now we’ll get into the handguns to look into, and the ones you should forget about. Most articles you look into will throw a big list of guns at you without really getting into why you should look into them for your best way to defend your castle. Here’s a list of the good (recommended), the bad (not recommended), and the plain old ugly (avoid completely for home defense).

The Good

Now that we’ve established our list, let’s get into why each firearm is in its respective category. There’s good, and bad things about every firearm on this list, but some of these you just can’t overlook the bad. One thing to know before you read this list, there are hundreds of different handguns on the market, but to save you time we narrowed them down.

The Glock 19 Gen 4

Glocks have a history of being completely customizable. Their lightweight, durable polymer frame makes them a favorite amongst homeowners looking for defense. The Glock 19 Gen 4 features a Dual Recoil Spring Assembly that helps reduce the recoil you feel, so you can fire continuous rounds while staying on target. With the standard magazine capacity sitting at 15 (9mm) rounds, the Glock 19 Gen 4 is sure to sustain a light engagement within your home.

The Glock 19 Gen 4 is a striker operated firearm. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a hammer, it just means that the hammer on the firearm is not exposed. A benefit of this, is that you don’t have to worry about a harder trigger pull for your first round, or even pulling the hammer back before you fire the first round. A downfall for the Glock platform is that they don’t feature manual safeties. If you do purchase one for home defense, avoid leaving a round in the chamber.

Another feature that’s worth talking about is its reversible enlarged magazine release. This feature easily makes it left, or right hand capable. An ambidextrous handgun can be crucial in certain scenarios if your dominant hand becomes useless (gunshot wound, stab wound, protecting loved ones). Customizability is another factor in home defense. Spending a little extra can get you a tactical light attachment with strobe capabilities to blind your assailant. Finally, the Glock 19 Gen 4 easily makes the “good” list because of its affordability ($525-$575), durability, and survivability.

 

SIG SAUER MK25

photo the Sig P226 MK25 via Wikimedia Commons

The Sig P226 MK25

Sig Sauer handguns have been a subject for debate, as well as competition since they really branched out in 1949. Regardless of debate, it’s hard to overlook the P226. This hammer-fired model has been proven in combat by the U.S. Navy Seals. The MK25 is slightly heavier than its polymer-frame competition, only because it’s made of alloy and steel. Weight however, is hardly a factor when it comes to a few ounces.

Another factor that comes into play with handguns is their balance. Sig Sauer is the leading firearm manufacturer when it comes to efficiency designing and balancing. Balance is crucial for handguns because a properly balanced firearm reduces the recoil felt when firing rapidly. If your home is threatened and you need to use lethal force, you’re hardly ever going to fire just one round.

The MK25 standard steel magazines can hold 15 (9mm) rounds, making it reliable for light engagements. The problem with steel magazines is that they can rust, rendering them useless. You don’t have to worry about the steel components on the firearm itself though, it’s key components are specially coated for corrosion resistance. If you’re a military fanatic, and love the Navy Seals, the MK25 is a great fit for you. Its proven dependability in combat, durability, and magazine capacity lands the Sig P226 MK25 on the “good” list (if you can afford its $1,190 average price).

 

S&W M&P .40

The S&W M&P M2.0

Smith and Wesson are a very well-known name in the gun industry, and for a good reason. They’re very reliable, and have proven throughout time that they have the best customer-care reviews in the business. Their M&P lineup match the favorability of the brand they come from when it comes to gun enthusiasts. The M2.0 is the manufacturer’s newest striker operated model for M&P line, and they really kept up with their innovative reputation.

The M2.0 features a lightweight, polymer frame that is one of the lightest durable frames on the market for its category (24.7oz). It also has an 18-degree grip angle that helps you achieve natural point of aim. This is extremely important for stressful situations, because when you have milliseconds to react to a threat, any assistance that helps you achieve your natural aim can be the difference between life or death. This handgun also features a high grip to barrel bore axis (the top of your grip is more in line with the barrel), making it more effective for shooting in rapid succession because it reduces how high your barrel will rise with each shot.

The S&W M&P models brag about their customizability, and the M2.0 is no different. It features a picatinny rail system along the bottom of the frame (grooves), to assist with attaching different hardware (laser or light). Each magazine holds 15 (9mm) rounds. While there are other M&P models to choose from for home defense, this model stands out due to its innovation and features. The M2.0 is an outstanding home defense weapon due to its affordability ($575-$625), customizability, durability, and reliability.

 

HK SFP9 LSH

photo: The HK VP9 via Wikimedia Commons

The HK VP9

Heckler and Koch firearms have been around since 1949 and have provided weapons to armed forces in the United States, Netherlands, Britain, and Germany. They have designed famous weaponry such as the MP5, and the HK33. They also won over the biggest handgun contract in law enforcement history in 2004, with 65,000 handguns for $26.2 million. With a time-tested manufacturer of firearms, we decided to do some research on the best fit for home defense.

The VP9 features a lightweight polymer frame (25.56oz), with a cold hammer forged polygonal bore. The polygonal bore is an excellent innovation in the world of handguns, because it assists in sealing the propelling gasses behind the bullet as it leaves the chamber. This feature allows the bullet to leave the barrel faster, thus increasing its velocity (how fast the bullet travels). While this feature has been around since the HK P7 series, it’s still used in today’s models, proving its effectiveness. The VP9 also features a picatinny rail system like its competition.

Another interesting feature on the VP9 is its magazine release. Each magazine can hold 10/15 (9mm) rounds. The release is located on the trigger guard on both sides, allowing for ambidextrous use. We’ve established earlier why that is a crucial factor when it comes to home defense firearms, but I’ll reiterate, any gun that allows for ambidextrous use when paired with reliability is a great candidate for home defense handguns. The VP9 has proven to be reliable, durable, and affordable ($650-$750), making it an easy pick for the “good” list.

The S&W M&P Shield

The last handgun on the “good” list is the M&P Shield, but that doesn’t make it the least important. This model is a compact (shorter barrel, smaller size), making it easy to conceal on you, or even in a drawer or secret compartment in your home. With over a million owners, this model is worth considering; let’s break it down.

The M&P Shield has an ultra-lightweight polyester frame (20.8oz), but still packs a serious punch. It comes with two magazines, one smaller 7 (9mm) round to use when you want the magazine flush with the weapon, and another 8 (9mm) round magazine. While it may not have a high capacity, 8 rounds should give you plenty of opportunity to hit your target. The Shield is a striker operated handgun, which helps its concealability for small spaces, since you don’t have to worry about a hammer sticking out.

Smith and Wesson have multiple handguns on the market, but for concealability, affordability ($425-$475), and durability, the M&P Shield is a great fit for those looking for simple home defense. Another great benefit for its small design, is for smaller hands. While most reliable handguns are larger, the compact Shield has a smaller body making it easier to use for people with smaller than average hands like teenagers (with firearms training), and spouses.

The Bad

That completes the “good” list. Don’t worry, just because your favorite handgun didn’t make the cut for our list, doesn’t mean it’s not great. It simply means we can’t read everyone’s mind, so we put together our own list based off research. Now, to get into the “bad” list. If your favorite handgun ended up on this list, or if your friend (who probably only shoots once a month) keeps telling you to buy a gun off this list, you may want to reconsider your options.

The Taurus 709 Slim

The 709 Slim has a lot of features for a sub-compact 9mm, we’ll give it that. It features a loaded chamber indicator, which tells you when there’s a round in the chamber (or you can just look into the chamber like we have for hundreds of years). It also features the Taurus Security System, which at the turn of a small key will render the gun useless. This system disables the weapon’s ability to fire, or even disengage the safety.

The security system is an absolute nightmare of “what-if’s”, the biggest one being what if you need to reach down into your nightstand to quickly grab your handgun, but realize you need to turn a key to shoot your home intruder. Just like that, you’re dead, because of a key. While the security system is a good idea in theory, it sounds a bit too democratic as far as controlling the safety of a firearm, rather than controlling the safety of the individual firing it.

While the 709 Slim is affordable ($320-$375), you can’t put a price on safety, and reliability in critical situations. If you’re looking for a handgun simply based off price, this model shouldn’t be considered for home defense due to its lack of useful innovation. For most gun enthusiasts, just the name Taurus can send an uneasy chill down their spine.

 

Glock 36

The Glock 36

While most Glocks are recommended for home defense, this model is on the “bad” list. The Glock 36 model is a .45 caliber, making it appealing to some gun owners. A massive downfall of this model is that it only holds 6 rounds. Anything less than 8 rounds should start to raise red flags for gun owners, especially for home defense. The reason why, is because an inexperienced gun owner is more likely to miss the first 3 shots after 15 feet under stressful conditions.

After those 3 rounds, you only have 3 left. A 45. Caliber packs an incredible punch, at the cost of an incredible kick. It’s not worth risking those last 3 rounds in your magazine, on your precise aim under extreme conditions when SHTF. Perhaps the biggest reason that the Glock 36 is on the “bad” list, is the reoccurring problem when it comes to jams.

The Glock 36 is notorious for ejection problems, meaning the casing fails to leave the chamber after it has fired, making it difficult for the next unfired round to enter. While it’s affordable ($450-$550), the risk of not having enough rounds in a magazine to effectively eliminate the threat isn’t worth your life.

 

Ruger SR9

photo: The Ruger SR9c via Wikimedia Commons

The Ruger SR9c

The Ruger models are known for their defects, as well as legitimate safety concerns. As soon as you click on their website, you see “Product Safety Warning and Recall Notice” in bold on the main page. If that doesn’t shoot up red flags about this manufacturer, you should consider using knives for home defense. Another issue with Ruger is their customer service. Quite a few people have had issues with timely responses when sending back a gun that was bought from them because of defects.

The SR9c has had multiple defect issues, the most important one being with the trigger assembly. Many SR9c owners have complained that their trigger won’t reset after a few rounds have been fired through it. This is a major issue because if you miss with the rounds that do fire, then run into the trigger defect issue, you’re SOL because now you must fix your malfunctioning firearm.

While the SR9c is affordable ($550-$575), the overwhelming number of defects isn’t worth risking the protection of your family over. If Ruger comes out with a model that is well balanced, and offers variations for different caliber sizes (and dependable), then maybe we’ll give them another shot. For now, their lack of customer service, as well as a history of faulty weapons, leaves them on the “bad” list.

The Desert Eagle .50 Cal

The Desert Eagle is one of the most popular handguns in the world. It’s been featured on many movies and TV shows, and has gained a reputation for being one of the most powerful handguns on the market. Here’s the issue, while the Desert Eagle is popular for movies, that’s where it belongs. As far as home defense is concerned, a .50 caliber handgun has no place in a household.

If you have your family hiding in one room and you fire a .50 caliber round at your target and miss, you better hope your backdrop isn’t the same room their hiding in. A .50 caliber round can easily penetrate a household wall, so backdrop is extremely important. The round is incredibly loud, and with prolonged firing, can cause deafness without ear protection. When SHTF, who really has time to grab ear protection anyways?

Another concern is cost effectiveness. At anywhere from $1,700-$2,000 for the handgun, and $1.50-$2.25 per round, the Desert Eagle .50 caliber isn’t exactly affordable. You might be thinking “well I only need a box for home defense.”, that may be true, but you also must take into consideration target practice. With any home defense firearm, training is a must. You need to be efficient with your handgun before you can trust yourself in a stressful situation with it.

Revolvers

Now before you wild west fanatics challenge us to a duel, revolvers are only on this list due to their lack of capacity (5 or 6 rounds). While most revolvers are extremely reliable, and durable, they lack ammunition capacity. That key factor alone can cause disastrous consequences when the difference between a few rounds could mean life or death. We won’t go too in depth with revolvers, but heed caution when looking for revolvers for home defense, solely because of their ammunition capacity.

The Ugly

If you’ve been looking at buying a handgun, and that gun has found its way onto this list, do yourself a favor and forget about it. For every firearm on this list, there is either a major common sense issue, or a safety issue. Take extreme caution if you still want to buy a handgun on this list.

The Taurus Judge

Yes, the famous Judge made its way onto our “ugly” list, but for two very good reasons. The first reason is what we just went over, it’s a revolver. The Judge can use a 2.5/3in 410 shotgun shell, or .45 caliber as a round. That may sound great in theory, however using shotgun shells in a revolver has a very big downfall, the spread.

With only a 3in barrel, the Judge doesn’t offer much for tightening the spread of a shotgun shell. Some users have reported to have a 30in spread at 15 yards, using a standard 3 inch Winchester AA #7-1/2 shot shells, a 15/16 oz. payload. All in all, the Judge just isn’t practical for home defense.

The Caracal Model C

We won’t go too far into detail about the Caracal Model C, solely because most authorized gun retailers don’t sell them anymore. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t sold online, or by private sellers. The issue with the Model C is the trigger assembly, Caracal issued a recall stating “do not load, or fire your pistol” referencing the Model C. The defect in the trigger assembly makes the weapon prone to firing when it’s dropped. This is a major safety concern, because if your nerves get the best of you when SHTF and you drop it, you could shoot the wrong person. Absolutely stay away from this handgun if safety is a concern for you.

The Glock 42

First, the Glock 42 is a .380 caliber handgun, which isn’t as common as the 9mm, or .40cal. When it comes to prepping, one of your first thoughts when it comes to buying a handgun is the round in which it shoots. If you need to use other resources to find ammunition, your safest bet is the 9mm, or .40cal because of their popularity. More people are bound to have those two types of handgun ammunition than a .380.

Ignoring the caliber size, Glock 42 users have experienced more than average issues with failure to eject rounds. This can be quite a problem when you need to fire multiple rounds in a rapid succession, because you’re basically turning a semi-automatic handgun into a pump-action. Every time you have a round that fails to eject with a handgun, you need to pull the slide to the rear, and sometimes drop the magazine to let the casing fall out. This creates an unnecessary hassle and could be potentially life-threatening when time is of the essence.

The Remington R51

This handgun is seemingly the nightmare of all modern handguns. Its issues range from firing while loading, loose rear sights, to even burning the firing hand of the shooter due to the slide not properly containing the gasses expelled during shooting. Multiple shooting enthusiasts sent complaints, along with videos of these malfunctions to Remington. Eventually, Remington recalled their R51 models, but took months to get back to their loyal customers with a solution. By the time a solution was found, many customers switched to different handguns because of it. This poorly put together handgun is the reason why people read articles like this, so we can tell it to you how it is.

Dependability

This is the most important factor when deciding what handgun will best suit your needs. No matter how “cool” it may look, looks don’t win fights. If you can’t depend on your handgun to operate when you need it to the most, you’re gambling with your life. A lot of dependability also comes with cleanliness. You must keep your handgun clean, otherwise several problems can arise, including your weapon not firing.

Durability

You don’t want your handgun breaking into pieces just because you drop it, right? Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but durability is a major factor. If a struggle breaks out to control the firearm between you, and whoever your target is, and it falls to the ground, you don’t want to risk picking it back up and it not firing. Durability also includes dirt, mud, or any of nature’s elements coming into play when it comes to your handgun. Make sure you do research on what is durable, and what’s not if your handgun isn’t on this list.

Compatibility

From a prepper’s standpoint, compatibility comes into play when you’re looking to buy a handgun, even for home defense. If SHTF and you need to bug out, you want a handgun that uses commonly used ammunition so if you come across an abandoned house, the chances of them having your ammunition are higher.

We hope this list helps with your search to find the ideal home defense handgun for you. Remember, there are other handguns on the market, this is just a list of the more popular choices. Some of these guns were so good, we had to let you know, or so bad that we had to warn you. Whatever decision you make is up to you, however take these three key factors into consideration when looking for your next home defense weapon.

Eating Bugs and Offal

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Eating Bugs and Offal Micheal Kline “Reality Check” Audio player below This show might make you queasy.   If you are squeamish you might not like this one, but it’s a subject that needs to be covered and something you might benefit from. So why talk about this?  Why bother? Listen to this broadcast or download … Continue reading Eating Bugs and Offal

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