Combat knives

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A combat knife is a knife used for combat.  Pretty simple really.  A combat knife is the same as a fighting knife.  Many people use the term tactical knife to describe a combat knife but this is incorrect.  A tactical knife is not a combat knife.  A tactical knife can be a folding pocket knife which is something I wouldn’t want to use in combat.

A dagger could be a combat knife.  Middle age daggers were generally long and thin and were designed for piercing through chain mail (a type of medieval armor) which means they had a sharpened tip but may have been blunt along the edge.  It would be useful as a stabbing weapon but not as a slasher.  There are two types of daggers though – ones that are long and thin and designed to pierce chain mail and ones that look more like a spear.  The ones that look like a spear can be useful as combat knives.

Types of Combat Knives

So many different civilizations have used combat knives and most of them are completely different.  Below I’ll list the most well known combat knives from history.

  1. Seax – was a combat knife.  It was used by Germanic and Nordic tribes to great effect. Seax - Northmen 1
  2. Bowie knife – was designed to be a fighting knife and was used in the Wild West.

    circa 1830 bowie
    https://truewestmagazine.com/fighting-blades-of-the-frontier/

  3. Kukri – was used by the Nepalese army.Condor Heavy Duty kukri in leaves
  4. Boot knife – could be used because it’s easily concealed.
  5. Neck knife – Used by Native Americans and Vikings.neck-knife
  6. Push dagger – Is obviously designed for combat.Stealth Defense Push Dagger 1
  7. Karambit – small curved blade used in South East Asia.TF-816 Series Folding Karambit by Tac-Force
  8. Tanto – Used by the Samurai.Hira Zukuri tanto

Key characteristics of combat knives

How can you have a karambit which is a combat knife and also a bowie when they’re so completely different?  All combat knives should share some similar key characteristics though:

  1. Good steel – What type of steel is going to be used?
  2. Weight – you want reach but you don’t want it to be too heavy
  3. Speed – how quickly can it be deployed and used?
  4. Reach – does one weapon have a further reach allowing you to keep someone at arms length?
  5. Guard – If used for thrusting, does it have a guard?
  6. Purpose? To stab or slash or both?
  7. Amount of damage caused – is it going to lacerate or is it going to do more damage?

Combat knives – the most effective style

How effective a weapon is depends on a number of factors such as is the other person armed or are they wearing some type of body armor? 

Karambit – You’ll find heaps of cool looking karambit fighting techniques everywhere as shown in the youtube clip below.  They look great but in reality the reach of them isn’t long enough for my liking.  If the other person is armed you’d want to be highly skilled.

Tanto – It was used for centuries by the Samarui and I love Japanese blades but the guards are so small on them that they couldn’t effectively be used as a stabbing tool without cutting your hand.  Put a guard on a tanto and it’s an awesome combat knife.

Neck knife – Used by the Viking and American Indians but the only way it can be effectively used in combat is if it’s on the outside of your shirt and secured to your body.  If it’s on the inside of your shirt it will be hard to get to when you need it.  If it’s on the outside of your shirt it will dangle around which is fine if you’re doing bushcraft or if you’re using the knife for survival but if you want it for a combat situation you’ll need it secured to your body.  If it’s secured to your body then it can get in your way if it’s secured vertically and you bend over, the best way to do it is to secure it horizontally.

Boot knife – A really good option because they’re mainly designed as daggers.  It takes a little longer to access because it’s not within arms reach but overall it’s a really good option.

Seax – As much as I love the seax, most didn’t have a guard.

Push dagger – Can’t be used all that well for slashing and the reach on them isn’t great.

Bowie knife – Usually has a decent size guard and heaps of reach, is extremely durable and can be used for thrusting as well as slashing so it’s a great combat knife.  The only issue is the weight.

Kukri – Another awesome option.  It’s got reach and the blade is very durable.  It is awesome for slashing and can also be used effectively for thrusting.  The kukri is my favorite combat machete

Best Combat knife

Obviously if you can handle a weapon you’re better off than someone who can’t or isn’t willing to. My favorite types of combat knives are the bowie, the kukri and boot knives.  If you put a decent guard on a long tanto then that would be my favorite.   It’s lighter than other options, can thrust and slash and is durable.  For the record even though I love Japanese blades I’m not a fan boy who thinks they’re the greatest blades of all time and have magical mystical properties. 

What $50 Can Do for a Prepper

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What $50 Can Do for a Prepper It seems like you can stumble into a gift card just for answering your phone these days. Sometimes these cards come in small denominations. You may look at these small gift cards and wonder if they are good for anything but a simple tank of gas or something …

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Planning Your Own Survival Prepper Garden Pt 3

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Planning Your Own Survival Prepper Garden Pt 3 If you are growing grass in your garden, then it’s not going to help you in a crisis situation and isn’t going to give you any benefits. Whereas, a Survival Garden is one that is designed to offer enough vegetable crops, to allow you and your family …

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Passive Solar Garage Door

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Passive Solar Garage Door This build on the passive solar garage door is a great way to start exploring solar power. What I liked most about this article was that it puts into perspective how much solar power you are going to need to power an engine that runs a garage door. There is a …

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How To Grow Spinach The Right Way (2018 Update)

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The post How To Grow Spinach The Right Way (2018 Update) is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

​Spinach is one of the best cool-weather crops that you can grow. It produces huge yields of nutritious, delicious green leaves that are a worldwide staple in salads and most dishes you can whip up in the kitchen.​ But do you know how to grow spinach? Rich in complex B vitamins, as well as vitamins … Read more

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Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

ENTER TO WIN – POLYMULE – THE ADVENTURE UTILITY CART

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– Now with ‘UPHILL Assist’ – All-Terrain hauler, 400lbs / 10+ cubic feet cargo – All-new updated design – Tough-as-nails construction – Portable, stowable, and stackable, fits in most vehicles – Offered in Desert Tan, Moss Green, and Hivis Yellow – Integrated Kickstand for level loading – Optional all-weather gear cover – Be the first […]

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School Shooting in Florida: Why yet another one?

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Image result for Nikolas Cruz father died

So yet again we have another school shooting.

What can we say that hasn’t been said before. I could post again about tips and tactics to be used during an active shooter scenario. Hide, barricade, fight. Heck, learning disarming moves and practice them. Trying to surprise the shooter around a corner or when going through a doorway. All last resort, desperate moves when facing an insane armed attacker while being unarmed yourself.

At the end of the day there’s nothing a kid can do if while focusing on algebra someone opens a door, point an AR15 to his face and pulls the trigger.

So I thought this time we could do something different and ask ourselves, why? Why do these things happen? And no, this isn’t Liberal Survivalist, we know it’s not the guns.

America has had modern guns for a number of years and yet you didn’t have kids stealing dad’s Thompson submachine gun and rain .45 slugs down the cafeteria. Mass shootings have happened before in America, but never with the frequency and viciousness we’ve seen in the last few decades. Other countries have more than enough guns and these things don’t happen, or at least don’t happen often. They are rare, once in a decade kind of event. There’s plenty of South American hell holes flooded with illegal guns, machineguns and grenades and they STILL don’t have these problems.

So if it’s not guns, then what is it?

So what’s the difference between America and other somewhat similar developed countries with a high number of guns per capita? What’s the difference between America today and America from a few years back when kids kept their gun in their truck and went hunting after school without ever worrying about some lunatic opening fire.

Mental illness would be one of the things you think of first, and there certainly is something very much wrong in a mass murderer’s head. The healthcare situation in America is certainly fragile, especially mong poor so there’s something there for sure.

Also, we look at the families of these kids, or even the adults. They are dysfunctional, messed up families. Divorced, missing a parent, abused children. There’s always something wrong, even if in some cases you have to scratch the surface a bit to find that the picture perfect wasn’t quite so.

But you know what, there’s plenty of messed up families in other countries and they have guns and these things still don’t happen (as in not happen with the frequency seen in US).

I think we have to go even deeper and here is where the case of Latin America helps clear things up. There’s guns in Latin America, more than enough for anyone that wants to get one. There’s millions of illegal guns, meaning its even easier for criminals or unstable people that just want to get hold of one. In fact I remember well that in Argentina kids from poor neighbourhoods would often carry guns and knives to school. Every now and then there would be an accident, someone wounded, but it was always due to negligent handling of the gun (showing it to a friend, accidentally firing it).It just doesn’t happen with any given frequency that a kid goes nuts and starts shooting down fellow students, even when hundreds or more of them pack heat to school! But if Latin America has guns (mostly illegal ones) and has its fair share of broken families, then what is it, what’s different?

I think that the problem is within the family, as often seen in these mass shootings, but also within society itself. The family is the building block of society, when that starts failing everything else falls apart. When you have broken families you have a hard time building a healthy society. But there’s a point where broken or dysfunctional families becomes the norm, when society itself doesn’t care anymore. Then that’s when you have this kind of large scale social problems. Even with families where parents aren’t divorced you have too many people that are cold, distant, dysfunctional parenting and simply don’t give a damn.

For all my criticism to Argentina and Latin American countries in general, and by God I doubt many people have been as critical as I’ve been about them, I do admit that family and friendship are still very much important. In Latin America, family and friends MATTER. It’s not ok, it’s not normal not to have family or friends. I’ll give you an example, which I suppose is hard for my American friends to understand:

American Joe and Marry have two kids. They are divorced, they both work. The extended family? May as well not exist. The kids are excess baggage and no one spends much time with them and they may end up shooting a school one day.

Latin America Maria and Jose are divorced too. They also have two kids, work and spend a lot of time away from home… but they do make time for the kids when around and don’t escape being with them. They spend weekends with them. The extended family, grandparents, uncles, cousins, they are all very much involved with one another. Even if Jose becomes a violent drunk, a terrible parent, but someone in the family will care for the kids. Maybe an uncle or grandparent but within the fabric of society itself it is understood that family, friends, people in general, matter.

I think that’s what’s been lost lately in American society. And I think it wasn’t always like that, that at some point for some reason, the idea of not only family, but of relationships with people in general just wasn’t important any more. Maybe it has something to do with excessive mass consumption, with more “stuff” mattering more than human relationships. Maybe it’s that instant gratification “fix”, the idea of you and you alone being the most important person in the world and the one that matters the most because you’re a super special one of a kind snowflake and what you want must always come first.  In Latin America culture it is understood that while you’re special and unique as well, it is still very much important that you are part of something else. Either your family, your group of friends or even your neighbourhood. But you are part of something bigger than you at a social level.

This kid in Florida that killed 17 people, Nikolas Cruz, he’s a 19 year old kid that lost both parents, lost his dad when he was 6 and his mother tried to give him away to their neighbours. They didn’t want him either. He was held back in school twice, with obvious mental problems.

This 19 year old didn’t just turn into a mass shooter from one day to the next. There was something very much wrong with him when he was 15. There was something wrong with him when he was 10 too. You don’t just wake up one day and do something like this. You have to be VERY disturbed, for a VERY long time. This kid grew up knowing he was scum, that he had nothing and no one wanted him. There was no uncle, no grandparent, not even a neighbour or a distant family member or friend that took him under their wing while he still had a chance to become something else other than the monster he is today.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Free PDF: ATF P 5400-7 Explosives Laws & Regulations

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ATF P 5400-7 Explosives Laws & Regulations is a hard to get manual from the BATFE – I say hard because I have asked for it from their website 8 times and am told that it is out of stock.  It should not be hard to get because it is the manual people use to stay legal. Now, this PDF is probably out of date so don’t use it as your sole source of US explosive law, but if you are thinking about getting a license and don’t want to get on the radar asking questions, then this is a

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Book Review: Managing 12 Volts

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My plan for a large scale disaster is mostly to use as many non-electric items as possible, by using as much 1800’s tech as possible. However, just because the grid is down, doesn’t mean its all little house on the prairie. besides that, most of us have generators that could be used for short duration problems like floods or winter storms. I am also a big believer in solar power where applicable, and know that when creating DC power, using DC power is more efficient than creating DC, loosing some in your inverter, then loosing more in the transformers that

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Health Ranger’s Theory: The Flu Vaccine Is Causing The Flu Outbreak

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Health Ranger’s Theory: The Flu Vaccine Is Causing The Flu Outbreak Do you want to go down a hole of conspiracy? I am not a huge fan of conspiracy but every once and while it will do you good to head down the rabbit hole once and a while.  One thing we know to be …

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Seed-Starting Mistakes Even Smart People Make

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For the beginning gardener, seed-starting can seem so easy. Place a few seeds in a pot of dirt, water them, and watch them grow. Right?

If only it were that easy. As every gardener eventually discovers, seed-starting can be one of the most difficult parts of gardening.

Seed-starting is the subject of this week’s episode of Off The Grid Radio, as we examine common mistakes and look at a few tricks that can help your seeds sprout. Our guest is Craig LeHoullier, the author of two gardening books: Growing Vegetables in Straw Bales and Epic Tomatoes: How to Select And Grow The Best Varieties of All Time.

Craig tells us:

  • What type of soil to use.
  • How much light seeds really need.
  • What types of vegetables he starts early.
  • How to ensure you’re giving the seeds the right amount of water.

If you’re a gardener, then this week’s show is for you!

 

2 Safety tips for your kids: The sound of gunfire & concealment vs. cover

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In the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 and school shootings ever since, a lot of parents have asked how their children can be safe at school if something like this hits closer to home. This is a national discussion that, I hope, will be ongoing and will result in […]

Can We End Active Shooter Events?

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Can we end active shooter events?

active shooters part of the New Normal?

active shooters part of the New Normal?

A mentally disturbed man entered a South Florida high school and killed at least 17 people with an AR-15 rifle. Nikolas Cruz was expelled from the school for erratic and violent behavior and was reported to have an obsession with guns. Social media posts were also thought to be “disturbing”. At present, at least a dozen people are still in the hospital, some in critical condition.

The recent shootings in diverse settings greet Americans with tragic news on a regular basis. Schools, churches, concerts, and other public venues are now fair game for those with bad intentions. Armed not only with weapons but with a blueprint from previous incidents, gunmen identify soft targets more and more easily and are more “successful” in achieving their goal of creating mass casualties.

Mass shootings are considered to be something that happens elsewhere, not your home town. This time, however, the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High occurred just a few miles from our house. There’s no reason to believe your area is immune.

There is no place safe from the deranged, disgruntled, or politically-motivated. The number of vehicular attacks, bombings, and shootings indicate that these events have become part of the “New Normal”. Should we just get used to them?

You might think that the “successes” achieved of late by active shooters occur at random. The increase in the sheer number of casualties, however, reveal a strategy that is being refined, and to deadly effect.

The selection of soft targets is becoming a science, and is leading to higher numbers of deaths and injuries. In the South Florida school shooting, for example, the gunman activated the fire alarm to make sure there would be a wealth of targets in the hall. To create confusion, he tossed smoke bombs (but prudently wore a gas mask).

If the ill-intentioned are now that much better at creating mayhem, it stands to reason that our society must become better at thwarting those intentions. Here are ways that would, in my opinion, decrease the number of shooter incidents and the deaths caused by them:

Improve security in areas at risk. I would define an “area at risk” as just about anywhere where a crowd of people would gather. Better protection at malls may just be a matter of hiring more trained personnel, but establishing and training a safety team in other places, such as a church, school, or workplace, can increase the level of vigilance and identify threats early.

Establish volunteer safety officers in rural areas and small towns where there may not be law enforcement and emergency medical personnel just around the corner. These persons should have training in security, firearms, and first aid for bleeding wounds. If there are volunteer fire departments, while not trained volunteer safety departments?

Instill a culture of situational awareness in our society. Situational awareness is a state of calm, relaxed observation of factors that might indicate a threat. These are called “anomalies”; learning to recognize them can identify suspicious individuals and save lives.

Situational awareness also involves always having a plan of action when a threat occurs, even if it’s as simple as making a note of the nearest exit at a concert. Seems like common sense, but in these days of smartphone distractions, many are oblivious of their surroundings.

Learn how to stop bleeding in wounds

Learn how to stop bleeding in emergencies

Teach our citizens to avoid the natural paralysis that occurs in an unexpected event. This paralysis occurs as a result of “normalcy bias”, the tendency to discount risks because most days proceed in a certain standard manner; we assume that today will be the same.

By teaching simple courses of action such as the Department of Homeland Security’s “Run, Hide, Fight” triad, the decision-making process may be more intuitive and more rapidly implemented. This is more effectively taught and ingrained at a young age.

Teach our students simple first aid strategies to stop bleeding, the most likely cause of death in these scenarios. Rapid action by bystanders is thought to decrease the number of deaths from hemorrhage. Add “Reduce” hemorrhage to “Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic” as part of school curriculum, and lives might be saved.

Identify persons of interest through their social media posts. Many active shooters are vocal about their intentions. You might be concerned about “big brother” monitoring our public conversations on Facebook and other sites, but you must answer this question:  How many deaths are you willing to accept in your community due to a lack of vigilance?

We must always be on the lookout for signs of trouble. Even if this drives some potential gunmen underground, it might identify others in time to abort their mission. As such, each municipality must set a mechanism (and a trigger) for the authorities to apprehend and interrogate suspicious characters.

SWAT tourniquet

Simple kits can be effective in the hands of Good Samaritans

Provide first aid kits for bleeding in public venues that can be accessed by those at the scene. With supplies, the Good Samaritan will be more likely to save a life. I predict that these kits will be fixtures on the wall next to the fire extinguisher in the uncertain future. Although you might consider it overkill, putting a tourniquet in your high school student’s backpack (and teaching them how to use it) may not be a bad idea.

Despite the above recommendations, our response as a nation has been to do little to correct the problem. I say that era must end. Let’s stop being “soft” targets. We must forsake the notion that shootings are just part and parcel of the New Normal, and begin the process by which we change our attitude and level of vigilance, not in isolated cases, but as a society.

You don’t have to be a Department of Homeland Security official to know that there are more active shooter events on the horizon. A prepared nation wouldn’t be invulnerable to attacks, but its citizens would have a better chance to survive them.

Joe Alton MD

Dr. Alton

Dr. Alton

 

Medical kits to stop bleeding are good items to have in these uncertain times. Check out kits specially designed by us for workplaces, schools, places of worship, and other public venues that might save a life in these troubled times.

multi-person bleeding kit

multi-person bleeding kit

Companion Planting Basics – Growing Vegetables Together In The Garden!

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Simple Steps to a Great Garden – Companion Planting Basics. There are many things that go into a successful garden, like good soil, proper sunlight, and timely watering. But one that often gets overlooked is the simple practice of utilizing

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Avalanche Survival – Important Skills to Survive During and After

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by Ryan

Skiing, snowboarding, or just climbing an untouched snow canvas is about the best thing ever. Unfortunately, we know the bad side of winter sports and mountain expeditions: avalanches.

As any snow guide will tell you, an avalanche is the most ruthless treat that nature can throw your way. Ski resorts have been buried under tons of snow and 25 people succumb to avalanche-related accidents each season on average.

Although this number seems pretty low, you don’t want to be the one to take it higher. That’s why it pays to have several important skills that could help you survive during and after an avalanche.

What causes an avalanche?

Although avalanches do occur naturally, studies show that a large proportion is triggered by the skiers, snowboarders, or climbers themselves. Animals, extremely low temperatures, and earthquakes are other known causes.

Sure, snow trucks on the road below the slopes could also cause mild tremors that could break the hell loose on you.

What should you do in case of an avalanche?

Jump upslope

If the avalanche starts happening right on your feet, the chances are that it’s you who have triggered it. Your reactions in the first few seconds determine how huge this misfortune will impact on your survival.

Safety experts recommend jumping upslope beyond the fracture line. Well, this might be a little bit hard to do since fracture lines develop and start racing down the slope in a split second.

But several people have survived dangerous avalanches just by doing this. Jumping uphill protects you from being caught in the moving mass of snow.

Move to the sides

In the event that the avalanche starts above you, the wisest thing to do is to begin moving to its sides as fast as possible.

Avalanches are fiercest at the center. It’s also pretty difficult to fight your way out if you are caught in the middle since this is where the snow is at its highest peak and volume. Being caught around this place could lead to fatalities and be buried too deep to survive.

However, if you are quick enough to dash to the side, you could avoid being swept altogether. Take care though not to lose your footing as you do so.

If time does not allow you to get out of the way completely, then the next thing will be to protect yourself from being swept.

Ditch your backpack

At this point, what’s more important is getting away with your life. Losing anything that adds weight to your body adds to your odds of surviving. Letting go of your backpack, climbing poles, and any other heavy equipment makes you more buoyant. This minimizes the chance of being buried too deep into the snow.

By the same breath, letting go of some of your light items will increase your chance of being saved in case other rescuers locate them on the surface of the snow.

But wait. I don’t mean losing anything that might increase your survival chances including an avalanche shovel, transceiver, or a probe. These will come in handy in case you get buried. So, losing them can be a counterproductive move to increase your survival chances.

Hold onto a tree

The ability to grab onto a tree or a rock depends on whether or not you’ve already being swept off your feet and the velocity of the snow.

If you are near a tree during the first few seconds and it’s a less powerful avalanche, grabbing it may save your life. Even if the fast-moving snow roughs you up, holding on for a longer time minimizes the probability of being buried too deep.

But do know that the roughest avalanches could uproot trees and rocks. Again, if you’ve already being swept downhill, trying to grab stationary objects can result in serious injuries that might make things even more difficult for you.

Crouching behind trees and rocks in a big avalanche is also somewhat dangerous since these stationary objects tend to slow the snow forcing it to pile and bury anything around them.

Backstroke uphill

In case the snow topples you, the National Centre for Snow and Ice advises thrusting upward using swimming motions. This isn’t easy. But it has been found to increase survival rates in dangerous avalanches.

To do this, you want to dig your feet to the bed of the avalanche and get a foothold to slow your descent. Note that your feet should be facing down the slope to allow you to backstroke with your arms.

This is quite different from what you may have heard: body surfing the snow. You will be at a higher risk of being buried if you try to body-surf an avalanche since this technique tends to take you to the heart of the fast flowing snow.

The turbulent snow at the foot of the avalanche could disorient you and minimize your ability to dig your way out if you are buried.

On the other hand, backstroking keeps you afloat. This enables you to keep your head in the air. It also increases your chance of not being buried too deep.

What if you get buried anyways?

 Know the way up

In the event that you are buried, stop fighting against the snow and strategize on how you will increase your chances of getting out.

Keeping one hand pointed toward the surface of the snow will help you not to lose focus of the way up. Don’t worry in case the turbulence makes this impossible though.

The spit test is another sure way of knowing the direction of the surface. Simply clear some space around your face and spit. Thanks to gravity, the liquid should flow downwards- the opposite direction is the way up.

Create a pocket of air

Once you are buried, your biggest threat is asphyxiation- being deprived of oxygen. Lack of air plus the freezing condition under the snow leaves you with about 15 minutes of survival. But you could take this to around 30 minutes by increasing the amount of air around you.

Drowning in snow is quite different from drowning in water. This is because there is a lot of air around you. Putting your arms across your face helps in creating a pocket of air that may allow your rescuers enough time as they dig towards you. Pushing the snow with your body also compacts it to create more room around you.

Remain calm albeit rather hard

If you are lucky to be just a few inches from the surface, you could use your hands or avalanche shovel to climb out.

However, fighting out of that trap might be hard if you are buried deep in the snow. So, rather than jeopardizing the little energy that you have and the oxygen within your air pockets, it would be advisable to remain cool and wait for rescue.

This is the last thing that you’ll want anyone to tell you after being clobbered by debris and hard snow right, left, and center. But it could be your last line of defense. Remaining calm helps you to breathe slowly and conserve energy and air as you get rescued.

Shout for help

If you can hear the rescuers within where you are buried, shouting may help them locate you much faster. This eliminates their likelihood of digging at the wrong place. Remember that every second counts in this struggle.

How to increase your safety during an avalanche

Take a course on avalanche safety and survival skills

The best way to increase your survival rate on the slopes is by preparing adequately for an avalanche and knowing what to do in the event of one. It’s, therefore, important to take an avalanche course before charging out into the backcountry.

Among other things that you’ll learn in this course is how to scout for safe slopes and how to tell the likelihood of an avalanche. Knowing how to dig and rescue a snowboarder or skier who has been buried is crucial for the safety of the team too.

Carry the right survival equipment

No matter how skilled you are, avoiding being buried during an avalanche is never 100% guaranteed. As such, you need to arm yourself with a few tools that increase your survival odds. They include;

Avalanche beacon

This is one piece of safety gear that you don’t want to head to the slopes without. Also known as a transceiver, this device sends signals at 457 KHz to other beacons to help locate the wearer.

The best part about this gadget is that it can switch from sending to receiving signals from other transceivers. It increases its beeps as you get closer to another beacon.

Worth pointing out is that an avalanche transceiver should always be harnessed to your body rather than being put in your backpack. This minimizes the chances of losing it in case you lose your bag.

Helmet

Most fatalities in avalanches occur when the victim sustains injuries on the head. If you are swept over by an avalanche gliding at 50-80 MPH, you become pretty much vulnerable to being clobbered by tree trunks and rocks among other debris.

A helmet minimizes the risk of head trauma that could make you pass out. This increases your ability to fight more and more.

A probe

This is a collapsible, lightweight stick that helps in determining the current snowpack in case a friend is buried. It also helps you identify the ideal place to start digging.

An avalanche shovel

While this tool is of much help when digging for a person who has been caught in the snow, you could also use it to dig your way out. Importantly, it should be collapsible, straightforward to use, and high-volume.

Airbag

No, I don’t mean taking your car’s airbag to the snowy slopes. I mean an avalanche airbag. This is a balloon system that is incorporated to your backpack. It has an activation handle that inflates it when pulled. Doing this in an avalanche keeps you afloat thereby minimizing the risk of being buried.

Conclusion

Avalanches are hard to predict as they are hard to fight. But you could increase your odds of survival by being prepared for it before heading to the backcountry. The right way to do this is by taking a safety course and arming yourself with the right tools always.

Do you have other skills that you would like to share with other skiers, snowboarders, and climbers? Have you ever been caught in a raging avalanche? We would like to hear about your experience and how you survived in the comments!

About Ryan

Ryan is founder of cleverhunters.com a blog about outdoor activities and hunting at night. He writes a lot of articles about night hunting tips and review related products. You can also find useful information about outdoor activities in his blog.

The Christian Experience: Offending and Being Offended

Click here to view the original post.

     I want to be clear: I am not going to talk about offending the world.  As Christians, the lives we live before the unbelieving world should offend them. Instead, the concept for this post comes from a passage in a Bill Johnson book, titled When Heaven Invades Earth.  In regards to the title of this post, Johnson, the senior pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, California is no stranger to offending Christians. His walk with the Lord can safely be called “outside the norm” of most Christians. He believes that the mysteries of God reveal the power of the Christian life, and it is the hunger of our hearts to seek them out and understand them. This quote from Johnson sums up my own Christian journey: “The walk of faith is to live according to the revelation we have received, in the midst of the mysteries we can’t explain”.
     But what I have discovered is that the mysteries I see [and can’t explain] tend to offend some of my fellow Christians … And oftentimes, even the revelations I do understand cause offense. Let me be clear … I am not talking about offending in the sense of being a stumbling block that causes another to sin. I am talking about being offensive in terms of declaring an unpopular Biblical viewpoint — like our authority to heal and cast out demons; or the gospel of the Kingdom being Jesus’s priority. But where does that offense come from? It has been my experience that when a Believer hears a testimony that is outside their own experience, or what they’ve been taught, their response is to be offended personally — or even to be offended on behalf of God! Or, as I have heard it expressed … “if it makes me uncomfortable, it can’t be from God”. The responses vary — feelings of displeasure, annoyance, even anger. Sadly, it is often our family that is the most easily offended. But Jesus can identify with that. His own family disregarded His revelations from the Father. 
     Furthermore, in this age of technology and social media, when you throw in the email or text factors, our words can take on whole new meanings not intended by the sender. Mix that with different levels of maturity and knowledge in our faith, and you have a recipe for misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and a big ol’ dose of OFFENSE.
     I know for sure that I have offended. But I can honestly say that it has never been my goal to intentionally offend. The passion I have to understand how big my God is — and to share what has been revealed to me — is not always received with the excitement that I present it. But what frustrates me — and yes, offends me, is that another Christian is unwilling to let me present my findings, let alone even consider that they might have some merit.  And I have struggled with just being silent; not causing any controversy or friction. But is that what glorifies God? If I limit my Christian conversation to what is “acceptable” to an audience, am I being obedient to His call on my life?
     I am not saying that everyone has to agree with everyone else.  There are those who understand mysteries of God that I cannot even fathom. But I try really hard not to subject their message to my own understanding, but listen to them, follow up with their Scriptural references and ask God to reveal His truth. I do not understand everything in the Bible, but I don’t want my lack of knowledge to limit the truth of what God is revealing to another.  And I’m okay with not understanding it all yet.  I take to heart 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see but a faint reflection of riddles and mysteries as though reflected in a mirror, but one day we will see face-to-face”. That being said, I also don’t want to restrict the possibility that I might see more than what I understand at this moment.
     And I will admit that I don’t like to think that my belief system might offend another Christian. Offending another Believer is looked down upon by the Church — in all instances. But is it ever acceptable in God’s eyes? I only have to look at my Savior to see that offending others who share your faith is going to be part of your walk with God.  Even at the young age of 12, Jesus did not seem to be concerned that he might have offended Mary and Joseph when He stayed behind at Passover to discuss the Scriptures with the religious leaders in the temple in Jerusalem.  When Mary scolded Him, He didn’t apologize, He didn’t make any excuses, He only said, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”  It’s very clear that His priorities were different than everyone else’s.
     Jesus also did not shy away from offending those who were religious; whether leaders like the Pharisees or those who turned away from His teachings in Galilee. And let it be clearly understood … they were offended merely because God’s instructions to Jesus did not coincide with their personal beliefs! Was the offense they took at His words justified? Looking back, as Believers, the answer is unmistakably No! And did He shy away from sharing what had been revealed to Him by the Father? No!  Again, His priorities were simply different than everyone else’s.

     I think it is important that we all understand that we are maturing in our faith at our own pace; our levels of understanding are never going to be the same at any given time. But we should not stop growing! Also, I wish we could embrace the concept that because God is SO big, He might reveal one piece of the puzzle [that is Him] to me, while revealing a completely different piece to you, and they won’t look like they fit together at all. But if we can come together out of a desire to know His heart and take these revelations to Scripture, we might find they are both true and we just have to wait for Him to reveal the piece that connects us. 
     We must not allow the Enemy to develop a culture of automatic unbelief just because we are uncomfortable with a concept, or it doesn’t harmonize with our current belief system. It is the great privilege of a Christian to be able to go to our God with our questions. To limit your beliefs to only what you currently understand is controlling the greater things God wants to reveal to you. And believe me, He will honor that free will decision and wait for you to grow hungry before He reveals more of Himself. 
     But I want to develop a heart that is willing to embrace a new concept of God without being offended [always confirming it with Scripture and the Holy Spirit]. I’m really trying hard not to be so quick to judge because a new idea is unfamiliar to me. And I will admit that sometimes my spirit recognizes a new Truth before my mind can comprehend it.  That’s when I have to seek a renewed mind so that I am in complete alignment with the  Father. And it is sometimes a struggle … the Enemy wants me thinking out of my carnal mind because then I am a Christian in my thoughts and body, but without the power of the Spirit in my spirit. Make sense?
     I truly believe that it is so important for us to develop the ability to hear God’s voice and recognize His presence in us. It is the only way that we will quit being paranoid about becoming deceived, and quit being so offended by new Biblically-sound revelations. It is then that we can trust what our spirits are telling us because we know, without a doubt, the Author of those thoughts or words [because we recognize His voice].
     I guess, in the end, there are always going to be Christians who are satisfied [and feel safe] with what they already know, and Christians who long to know more of the mysteries of God and are willing to seek them out.  And with that deliberate decision will come the inevitable result of offending another Believer. I think God knows who will obey the Truths they seek and find, and who would be unable [or unwilling] to obey. That’s why Proverbs 25:2 speaks so strongly, and consistently, to me: God conceals the revelation of his word in the hiding place of his glory. But the honor of kings is revealed by how they thoroughly search out the deeper meaning of all that God says.
     So, let me apologize right now to everyone I have ever [and will] offend. As a king and member of the royal priesthood of God’s Kingdom, I have legal access to the mysteries of God’s realm. He has placed things there for me to discover, and I will spend the rest of my life seeking to know Him more through these hidden mysteries. They are my right and my inheritance as His child.  It is not my desire to offend you, or to harm you, but the priorities of my life are to walk as Christ did, and that means knowing my Father to the fullest extent I can. I will try not to be offended by your rebuttals or rejection, and I pray that what I share from my heart will not offend you, but instead, touch your heart, renew your mind, and provoke your own search for God’s hidden Truths. He is waiting for you to discover Him!

Matthew 13:11    Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.”

Plan Your Survival Shelter: 5 Stages to Building a Survival Cabin.

Click here to view the original post.

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest submission from David Woods to The Prepper Journal. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

It’s happening now. This is a real SHTF event. Major disaster has hit, power is out, everyone is panicking, grocery stores are being raided and emptied within hours, and cars are grid-locked trying to make their way to safety, anywhere. No-one knows where that is.

As Preppers, we have already prepared for this eventuality. We already have our emergency supplies packed, it’s likely we have a plan in place as to where we are heading. And we’re long gone before the panic has set in. However, it’s all very well having your bug out bag ready, learning survival skills such as how to catch your own food, how to filter water, and how to start a fire, but if you don’t have a shelter; you’re missing the most important survival item you need.

If you spend any reasonable amount of time in the outdoors, you’ve probably heard of the ‘Survival Rule of 3’. You can survive:

  • 3 minutes without oxygen or in icy water
  • 3 hours without shelter in extreme environments
  • 3 days without water
  • 3 weeks without food

These four rules rely on the previous one being satisfied. So for example, you can only survive 3 hours without shelter if you’re not in icy water, you can only survive 3 days without water if you have shelter from a harsh environment and so on. Therefore, next to being able to breathe oxygen, shelter is the next most important element of survival if you find yourself in extreme weather conditions.

It’s likely that most Preppers will know how to make temporary shelter using materials you can find on the forest floor, but what about if the disaster or crisis descends into total chaos and it’s TEOTWAWKI? (The end of the world as we know it). Would you know how to make a more permanent structure for you and your family to live in? If you’re lucky, you might come across an old underground bunker, but you’ve not left anything else to chance in your methodical planning, so why leave this to chance?

You need to know how to build your own survival cabin. Let’s face it, when SHTF most of us are bugging out to the forest. There is good reason for that. In the forest you’ll find one of the most valuable resources that you need to build a long term shelter: wood. This type of survival shelter is going to require time and effort, so it’s important that you learn the basics right now rather than learn through trial and error and the time and waste resources.

First, let’s look at what you will need to make your survival shelter. Ideally, you don’t want to be carrying a ton of tools around with you, so we’ll focus of building a shelter that only requires you to have minimal basic tools that you’ll probably already have packed: an axe, a fixed blade knife and a multi-tool. Let’s not beat around the bush, if you were going to build the same shelter at your own leisure, you could make the process a lot quicker using a whole host of other tools, but this isn’t about speed, this is about building a shelter to keep you safe.

First things first, you’ll want to choose a log cabin plan. You’ll most likely want to build a square or rectangular cabin, around 14×14 foot. We’re going to use that as our example throughout this set of instructions. There are five main steps to building a survival shelter; choosing your site, selecting your logs, laying the logs, openings for windows and doors, and finally, raising the roof. Step one, and to some extent, step two are something you should go and research now. Step three through five, you’ll need to have written down so you don’t make any mistakes when it comes to the build.

Step One: Choose your Site

Get to know the site you intend to escape to now. How far away is it, how long will it take to get there, how will you get there? Choose somewhere you can get to either by foot, or with one tank of gas. Once you’ve found a few places that you can reach without too much difficulty, you’ll also need to make sure it is far away enough from main roads and cities. You don’t want to set up a shelter in plain sight for anyone to come and make their own.

Where are the nearest places for natural materials? You’ll need somewhere close-by to a water supply, plenty of trees to use both for your shelter and for firewood, somewhere that has an abundance of animals that you can trap. Ideally, you’ll also need some softer materials to create somewhere to sleep, initially grass will do.

You’ll also want to consider the temperature year round. If the area you’re settling is made up of hills and valleys, you’ll find both the top and the bottom gets cold quickly. It’s windy at the top, and the valleys trap the cold air. Settle around 3/4 up a hill if you do find yourself in this position.

Scout the area for poisonous plants; don’t set up a permanent shelter if there are any in the immediate vicinity. What are the trees like surrounding your proposed site? You’ll need some for protection, but you should make sure they’re not dead or they might fall down onto your shelter.

One last thing to think about is the natural elements. How will the rain fall and collect, is the land flat? Where does the sun rise and set, make the most of this to heat your shelter if you’re in a cold climate, or ensure you have shade if you’re in a hot climate.

Step Two: Selecting your Logs & Preparing the Site

 

The majority of trees are suitable for building a survival shelter. Even though hardwoods such as walnut, poplar or oak will give you a more durable build, they are harder to work with. Instead, choose Pine, Cedar or Spruce. If you don’t have an option – just build with whatever trees are growing in your area.

The trees you choose should be long enough to create the length of your shelter, or double if they’re large enough to get two lengths out of each tree. They will need to be around 10 inches in diameter, to provide you with sufficient insulation. The trees also need to be as straight as possible.

For a survival shelter of 14×14 feet, you’ll need logs that are 16 feet in length. The extra one foot either side of the log allows them to be notched together and provide an overhang to give a sturdy and solid join.

Note: If your logs are 10 inches in diameter, to create a 9 feet high shelter, you will need 11 x 16 ft logs for each side, and a further 10-15 logs to create two gable walls. You should put aside the best 7 logs, to use as the sill logs and the purlin and rafter logs.

Sill Logs: Four logs that will form the base of your shelter

Purlin Logs: Two logs that will join the gable walls and provide a surface to attach your roof

Ridge Log: One log which sits at the top, and joints the two gable walls.

To fell the trees, use your axe to cut them in the direction that they are naturally leaning. Briefly, the best way to fell trees is to make a horizontal cut 1/3 of the way into the tree just above knee height. Next, make a 45 degree cut upwards to meet the end of the first cut. Then, make a cut on the opposite side, around 2 inches above the first cut. The tree should then start falling. Once you have all your logs, cut off all the branches, and debark them using your axe or knife at a 30 degree angle.

Usually when building a log cabin shelter, you’ll want to lay foundations however it’s unlikely you’ll have access to all the heavy machinery and concrete in TEOTWAWKI scenario. Therefore, to prepare your site will be simple. You should clear any debris and leaves away, and level the ground as much as you can. You will need some form of foundation, so without access to concrete, you should do this: bury four upright logs into the ground, leaving around 3-4 inches sticking out of the ground. You will use these as posts to put your sill logs on.

Step Three: Raising the Walls

The first step in raising you walls is to put your four sill logs into place. These logs should be the four that are largest in diameter, straightest and longest. First, you need to take two of them. Use your axe to create a notch (hole) at either end of two sill logs.

To create this type of ‘reverse-saddle-notch’, put your log into the place it will eventually sit (on top of two of the horizontal posts that are buried into the group). Take your knife and mark where the log is going to sit. Using your axe, make a V shape in the underneath side of the log until the notch is large enough to create a snug fit around the horizontal post. Do this at both ends of two sill logs.

Take your other two sill logs, and notch the underside of them to fit onto the top of the two sill logs you’ve already laid. You will now have the perimeter of your log cabin. The rest of the process is simple, but time consuming. This could take you a couple of weeks depending on how much help you have. You are going to continue notching the underside of each log and stacking the walls until you have the height that you want before you start creating the pitched roof.

Step Four: Windows and Doors

To create the openings for your doors and windows, you can use your axe to create a hole. When you reach the height that you want your window or door at, start cutting and removing the logs one by one to make space for a door.

There are lots of tutorials about how to make doors and windows available. Just make sure that you have thought this through, so you’re not left with large open gaps which can get very drafty and will defeat the point of having shelter unless you’re able to cover them effectively.

One such way to make doors is to keep hold of some of the thicker branches when you fell your logs, and use rope or other natural resources such as fibrous plants to tie them together. You might also want to do this for the windows so that you can replace them during the night/when the weather is cooler.

Keep openings to an absolute minimum.

Step Five: Raising the Roof

The shelter is now almost finished, but this is definitely the heaviest and hardest stages of the entire build. You’ll need some good brute strength here. You’re now going to create to triangles on two opposite walls; these will form your gable walls. Continue building the logs up, gradually getting short in length using the same notching method. When you are half way up, you need to take the two purlin logs and notch them so that they connect the two gable walls, one either side of the triangular shape you’re creating.

Carry on building the two gable walls until you reach the tip of the triangle, and then use the large ridge log to connect the gable walls. This can be extremely heavy work depending on the size of the logs, and how much help you have.

Once your ridge log is in place, use some smaller diameter logs to lay over the ridge logs, purlin logs, and the top of the walls, onto which you can attach roof rafters. You might want to use branches, leaves and mulch to create your roof’s finish.

You Survival Shelter

And there you have it – a long lasting survival shelter than will keep you safe, warm and dry. The instances in which you might need to build a structure of this quality and stability are rare, but as mentioned earlier, rather plan for all eventualities, than end up in a situation of needing a permanent structure and not knowing how to create one.

The beauty of this structure is that trees are available in almost every area of the world, they are one of the most reliable building resources and so if you learn this simple technique, you’ll be able to build yourself a shelter wherever you are.

Follow The Prepper Journal on Facebook!

The post Plan Your Survival Shelter: 5 Stages to Building a Survival Cabin. appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Plan Your Survival Shelter: 5 Stages to Building a Survival Cabin.

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest submission from David Woods to The Prepper Journal. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

It’s happening now. This is a real SHTF event. Major disaster has hit, power is out, everyone is panicking, grocery stores are being raided and emptied within hours, and cars are grid-locked trying to make their way to safety, anywhere. No-one knows where that is.

As Preppers, we have already prepared for this eventuality. We already have our emergency supplies packed, it’s likely we have a plan in place as to where we are heading. And we’re long gone before the panic has set in. However, it’s all very well having your bug out bag ready, learning survival skills such as how to catch your own food, how to filter water, and how to start a fire, but if you don’t have a shelter; you’re missing the most important survival item you need.

If you spend any reasonable amount of time in the outdoors, you’ve probably heard of the ‘Survival Rule of 3’. You can survive:

  • 3 minutes without oxygen or in icy water
  • 3 hours without shelter in extreme environments
  • 3 days without water
  • 3 weeks without food

These four rules rely on the previous one being satisfied. So for example, you can only survive 3 hours without shelter if you’re not in icy water, you can only survive 3 days without water if you have shelter from a harsh environment and so on. Therefore, next to being able to breathe oxygen, shelter is the next most important element of survival if you find yourself in extreme weather conditions.

It’s likely that most Preppers will know how to make temporary shelter using materials you can find on the forest floor, but what about if the disaster or crisis descends into total chaos and it’s TEOTWAWKI? (The end of the world as we know it). Would you know how to make a more permanent structure for you and your family to live in? If you’re lucky, you might come across an old underground bunker, but you’ve not left anything else to chance in your methodical planning, so why leave this to chance?

You need to know how to build your own survival cabin. Let’s face it, when SHTF most of us are bugging out to the forest. There is good reason for that. In the forest you’ll find one of the most valuable resources that you need to build a long term shelter: wood. This type of survival shelter is going to require time and effort, so it’s important that you learn the basics right now rather than learn through trial and error and the time and waste resources.

First, let’s look at what you will need to make your survival shelter. Ideally, you don’t want to be carrying a ton of tools around with you, so we’ll focus of building a shelter that only requires you to have minimal basic tools that you’ll probably already have packed: an axe, a fixed blade knife and a multi-tool. Let’s not beat around the bush, if you were going to build the same shelter at your own leisure, you could make the process a lot quicker using a whole host of other tools, but this isn’t about speed, this is about building a shelter to keep you safe.

First things first, you’ll want to choose a log cabin plan. You’ll most likely want to build a square or rectangular cabin, around 14×14 foot. We’re going to use that as our example throughout this set of instructions. There are five main steps to building a survival shelter; choosing your site, selecting your logs, laying the logs, openings for windows and doors, and finally, raising the roof. Step one, and to some extent, step two are something you should go and research now. Step three through five, you’ll need to have written down so you don’t make any mistakes when it comes to the build.

Step One: Choose your Site

Get to know the site you intend to escape to now. How far away is it, how long will it take to get there, how will you get there? Choose somewhere you can get to either by foot, or with one tank of gas. Once you’ve found a few places that you can reach without too much difficulty, you’ll also need to make sure it is far away enough from main roads and cities. You don’t want to set up a shelter in plain sight for anyone to come and make their own.

Where are the nearest places for natural materials? You’ll need somewhere close-by to a water supply, plenty of trees to use both for your shelter and for firewood, somewhere that has an abundance of animals that you can trap. Ideally, you’ll also need some softer materials to create somewhere to sleep, initially grass will do.

You’ll also want to consider the temperature year round. If the area you’re settling is made up of hills and valleys, you’ll find both the top and the bottom gets cold quickly. It’s windy at the top, and the valleys trap the cold air. Settle around 3/4 up a hill if you do find yourself in this position.

Scout the area for poisonous plants; don’t set up a permanent shelter if there are any in the immediate vicinity. What are the trees like surrounding your proposed site? You’ll need some for protection, but you should make sure they’re not dead or they might fall down onto your shelter.

One last thing to think about is the natural elements. How will the rain fall and collect, is the land flat? Where does the sun rise and set, make the most of this to heat your shelter if you’re in a cold climate, or ensure you have shade if you’re in a hot climate.

Step Two: Selecting your Logs & Preparing the Site

 

The majority of trees are suitable for building a survival shelter. Even though hardwoods such as walnut, poplar or oak will give you a more durable build, they are harder to work with. Instead, choose Pine, Cedar or Spruce. If you don’t have an option – just build with whatever trees are growing in your area.

The trees you choose should be long enough to create the length of your shelter, or double if they’re large enough to get two lengths out of each tree. They will need to be around 10 inches in diameter, to provide you with sufficient insulation. The trees also need to be as straight as possible.

For a survival shelter of 14×14 feet, you’ll need logs that are 16 feet in length. The extra one foot either side of the log allows them to be notched together and provide an overhang to give a sturdy and solid join.

Note: If your logs are 10 inches in diameter, to create a 9 feet high shelter, you will need 11 x 16 ft logs for each side, and a further 10-15 logs to create two gable walls. You should put aside the best 7 logs, to use as the sill logs and the purlin and rafter logs.

Sill Logs: Four logs that will form the base of your shelter

Purlin Logs: Two logs that will join the gable walls and provide a surface to attach your roof

Ridge Log: One log which sits at the top, and joints the two gable walls.

To fell the trees, use your axe to cut them in the direction that they are naturally leaning. Briefly, the best way to fell trees is to make a horizontal cut 1/3 of the way into the tree just above knee height. Next, make a 45 degree cut upwards to meet the end of the first cut. Then, make a cut on the opposite side, around 2 inches above the first cut. The tree should then start falling. Once you have all your logs, cut off all the branches, and debark them using your axe or knife at a 30 degree angle.

Usually when building a log cabin shelter, you’ll want to lay foundations however it’s unlikely you’ll have access to all the heavy machinery and concrete in TEOTWAWKI scenario. Therefore, to prepare your site will be simple. You should clear any debris and leaves away, and level the ground as much as you can. You will need some form of foundation, so without access to concrete, you should do this: bury four upright logs into the ground, leaving around 3-4 inches sticking out of the ground. You will use these as posts to put your sill logs on.

Step Three: Raising the Walls

The first step in raising you walls is to put your four sill logs into place. These logs should be the four that are largest in diameter, straightest and longest. First, you need to take two of them. Use your axe to create a notch (hole) at either end of two sill logs.

To create this type of ‘reverse-saddle-notch’, put your log into the place it will eventually sit (on top of two of the horizontal posts that are buried into the group). Take your knife and mark where the log is going to sit. Using your axe, make a V shape in the underneath side of the log until the notch is large enough to create a snug fit around the horizontal post. Do this at both ends of two sill logs.

Take your other two sill logs, and notch the underside of them to fit onto the top of the two sill logs you’ve already laid. You will now have the perimeter of your log cabin. The rest of the process is simple, but time consuming. This could take you a couple of weeks depending on how much help you have. You are going to continue notching the underside of each log and stacking the walls until you have the height that you want before you start creating the pitched roof.

Step Four: Windows and Doors

To create the openings for your doors and windows, you can use your axe to create a hole. When you reach the height that you want your window or door at, start cutting and removing the logs one by one to make space for a door.

There are lots of tutorials about how to make doors and windows available. Just make sure that you have thought this through, so you’re not left with large open gaps which can get very drafty and will defeat the point of having shelter unless you’re able to cover them effectively.

One such way to make doors is to keep hold of some of the thicker branches when you fell your logs, and use rope or other natural resources such as fibrous plants to tie them together. You might also want to do this for the windows so that you can replace them during the night/when the weather is cooler.

Keep openings to an absolute minimum.

Step Five: Raising the Roof

The shelter is now almost finished, but this is definitely the heaviest and hardest stages of the entire build. You’ll need some good brute strength here. You’re now going to create to triangles on two opposite walls; these will form your gable walls. Continue building the logs up, gradually getting short in length using the same notching method. When you are half way up, you need to take the two purlin logs and notch them so that they connect the two gable walls, one either side of the triangular shape you’re creating.

Carry on building the two gable walls until you reach the tip of the triangle, and then use the large ridge log to connect the gable walls. This can be extremely heavy work depending on the size of the logs, and how much help you have.

Once your ridge log is in place, use some smaller diameter logs to lay over the ridge logs, purlin logs, and the top of the walls, onto which you can attach roof rafters. You might want to use branches, leaves and mulch to create your roof’s finish.

You Survival Shelter

And there you have it – a long lasting survival shelter than will keep you safe, warm and dry. The instances in which you might need to build a structure of this quality and stability are rare, but as mentioned earlier, rather plan for all eventualities, than end up in a situation of needing a permanent structure and not knowing how to create one.

The beauty of this structure is that trees are available in almost every area of the world, they are one of the most reliable building resources and so if you learn this simple technique, you’ll be able to build yourself a shelter wherever you are.

Follow The Prepper Journal on Facebook!

The post Plan Your Survival Shelter: 5 Stages to Building a Survival Cabin. appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Plan Your Survival Shelter: 5 Stages to Building a Survival Cabin.

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest submission from David Woods to The Prepper Journal. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

It’s happening now. This is a real SHTF event. Major disaster has hit, power is out, everyone is panicking, grocery stores are being raided and emptied within hours, and cars are grid-locked trying to make their way to safety, anywhere. No-one knows where that is.

As Preppers, we have already prepared for this eventuality. We already have our emergency supplies packed, it’s likely we have a plan in place as to where we are heading. And we’re long gone before the panic has set in. However, it’s all very well having your bug out bag ready, learning survival skills such as how to catch your own food, how to filter water, and how to start a fire, but if you don’t have a shelter; you’re missing the most important survival item you need.

If you spend any reasonable amount of time in the outdoors, you’ve probably heard of the ‘Survival Rule of 3’. You can survive:

  • 3 minutes without oxygen or in icy water
  • 3 hours without shelter in extreme environments
  • 3 days without water
  • 3 weeks without food

These four rules rely on the previous one being satisfied. So for example, you can only survive 3 hours without shelter if you’re not in icy water, you can only survive 3 days without water if you have shelter from a harsh environment and so on. Therefore, next to being able to breathe oxygen, shelter is the next most important element of survival if you find yourself in extreme weather conditions.

It’s likely that most Preppers will know how to make temporary shelter using materials you can find on the forest floor, but what about if the disaster or crisis descends into total chaos and it’s TEOTWAWKI? (The end of the world as we know it). Would you know how to make a more permanent structure for you and your family to live in? If you’re lucky, you might come across an old underground bunker, but you’ve not left anything else to chance in your methodical planning, so why leave this to chance?

You need to know how to build your own survival cabin. Let’s face it, when SHTF most of us are bugging out to the forest. There is good reason for that. In the forest you’ll find one of the most valuable resources that you need to build a long term shelter: wood. This type of survival shelter is going to require time and effort, so it’s important that you learn the basics right now rather than learn through trial and error and the time and waste resources.

First, let’s look at what you will need to make your survival shelter. Ideally, you don’t want to be carrying a ton of tools around with you, so we’ll focus of building a shelter that only requires you to have minimal basic tools that you’ll probably already have packed: an axe, a fixed blade knife and a multi-tool. Let’s not beat around the bush, if you were going to build the same shelter at your own leisure, you could make the process a lot quicker using a whole host of other tools, but this isn’t about speed, this is about building a shelter to keep you safe.

First things first, you’ll want to choose a log cabin plan. You’ll most likely want to build a square or rectangular cabin, around 14×14 foot. We’re going to use that as our example throughout this set of instructions. There are five main steps to building a survival shelter; choosing your site, selecting your logs, laying the logs, openings for windows and doors, and finally, raising the roof. Step one, and to some extent, step two are something you should go and research now. Step three through five, you’ll need to have written down so you don’t make any mistakes when it comes to the build.

Step One: Choose your Site

Get to know the site you intend to escape to now. How far away is it, how long will it take to get there, how will you get there? Choose somewhere you can get to either by foot, or with one tank of gas. Once you’ve found a few places that you can reach without too much difficulty, you’ll also need to make sure it is far away enough from main roads and cities. You don’t want to set up a shelter in plain sight for anyone to come and make their own.

Where are the nearest places for natural materials? You’ll need somewhere close-by to a water supply, plenty of trees to use both for your shelter and for firewood, somewhere that has an abundance of animals that you can trap. Ideally, you’ll also need some softer materials to create somewhere to sleep, initially grass will do.

You’ll also want to consider the temperature year round. If the area you’re settling is made up of hills and valleys, you’ll find both the top and the bottom gets cold quickly. It’s windy at the top, and the valleys trap the cold air. Settle around 3/4 up a hill if you do find yourself in this position.

Scout the area for poisonous plants; don’t set up a permanent shelter if there are any in the immediate vicinity. What are the trees like surrounding your proposed site? You’ll need some for protection, but you should make sure they’re not dead or they might fall down onto your shelter.

One last thing to think about is the natural elements. How will the rain fall and collect, is the land flat? Where does the sun rise and set, make the most of this to heat your shelter if you’re in a cold climate, or ensure you have shade if you’re in a hot climate.

Step Two: Selecting your Logs & Preparing the Site

 

The majority of trees are suitable for building a survival shelter. Even though hardwoods such as walnut, poplar or oak will give you a more durable build, they are harder to work with. Instead, choose Pine, Cedar or Spruce. If you don’t have an option – just build with whatever trees are growing in your area.

The trees you choose should be long enough to create the length of your shelter, or double if they’re large enough to get two lengths out of each tree. They will need to be around 10 inches in diameter, to provide you with sufficient insulation. The trees also need to be as straight as possible.

For a survival shelter of 14×14 feet, you’ll need logs that are 16 feet in length. The extra one foot either side of the log allows them to be notched together and provide an overhang to give a sturdy and solid join.

Note: If your logs are 10 inches in diameter, to create a 9 feet high shelter, you will need 11 x 16 ft logs for each side, and a further 10-15 logs to create two gable walls. You should put aside the best 7 logs, to use as the sill logs and the purlin and rafter logs.

Sill Logs: Four logs that will form the base of your shelter

Purlin Logs: Two logs that will join the gable walls and provide a surface to attach your roof

Ridge Log: One log which sits at the top, and joints the two gable walls.

To fell the trees, use your axe to cut them in the direction that they are naturally leaning. Briefly, the best way to fell trees is to make a horizontal cut 1/3 of the way into the tree just above knee height. Next, make a 45 degree cut upwards to meet the end of the first cut. Then, make a cut on the opposite side, around 2 inches above the first cut. The tree should then start falling. Once you have all your logs, cut off all the branches, and debark them using your axe or knife at a 30 degree angle.

Usually when building a log cabin shelter, you’ll want to lay foundations however it’s unlikely you’ll have access to all the heavy machinery and concrete in TEOTWAWKI scenario. Therefore, to prepare your site will be simple. You should clear any debris and leaves away, and level the ground as much as you can. You will need some form of foundation, so without access to concrete, you should do this: bury four upright logs into the ground, leaving around 3-4 inches sticking out of the ground. You will use these as posts to put your sill logs on.

Step Three: Raising the Walls

The first step in raising you walls is to put your four sill logs into place. These logs should be the four that are largest in diameter, straightest and longest. First, you need to take two of them. Use your axe to create a notch (hole) at either end of two sill logs.

To create this type of ‘reverse-saddle-notch’, put your log into the place it will eventually sit (on top of two of the horizontal posts that are buried into the group). Take your knife and mark where the log is going to sit. Using your axe, make a V shape in the underneath side of the log until the notch is large enough to create a snug fit around the horizontal post. Do this at both ends of two sill logs.

Take your other two sill logs, and notch the underside of them to fit onto the top of the two sill logs you’ve already laid. You will now have the perimeter of your log cabin. The rest of the process is simple, but time consuming. This could take you a couple of weeks depending on how much help you have. You are going to continue notching the underside of each log and stacking the walls until you have the height that you want before you start creating the pitched roof.

Step Four: Windows and Doors

To create the openings for your doors and windows, you can use your axe to create a hole. When you reach the height that you want your window or door at, start cutting and removing the logs one by one to make space for a door.

There are lots of tutorials about how to make doors and windows available. Just make sure that you have thought this through, so you’re not left with large open gaps which can get very drafty and will defeat the point of having shelter unless you’re able to cover them effectively.

One such way to make doors is to keep hold of some of the thicker branches when you fell your logs, and use rope or other natural resources such as fibrous plants to tie them together. You might also want to do this for the windows so that you can replace them during the night/when the weather is cooler.

Keep openings to an absolute minimum.

Step Five: Raising the Roof

The shelter is now almost finished, but this is definitely the heaviest and hardest stages of the entire build. You’ll need some good brute strength here. You’re now going to create to triangles on two opposite walls; these will form your gable walls. Continue building the logs up, gradually getting short in length using the same notching method. When you are half way up, you need to take the two purlin logs and notch them so that they connect the two gable walls, one either side of the triangular shape you’re creating.

Carry on building the two gable walls until you reach the tip of the triangle, and then use the large ridge log to connect the gable walls. This can be extremely heavy work depending on the size of the logs, and how much help you have.

Once your ridge log is in place, use some smaller diameter logs to lay over the ridge logs, purlin logs, and the top of the walls, onto which you can attach roof rafters. You might want to use branches, leaves and mulch to create your roof’s finish.

You Survival Shelter

And there you have it – a long lasting survival shelter than will keep you safe, warm and dry. The instances in which you might need to build a structure of this quality and stability are rare, but as mentioned earlier, rather plan for all eventualities, than end up in a situation of needing a permanent structure and not knowing how to create one.

The beauty of this structure is that trees are available in almost every area of the world, they are one of the most reliable building resources and so if you learn this simple technique, you’ll be able to build yourself a shelter wherever you are.

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The post Plan Your Survival Shelter: 5 Stages to Building a Survival Cabin. appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Cold-Weather Chicken Care: The Tale of the Frostbitten Chicken and Lessons Learned About Prevention and Treatment

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Frostbite isn’t normally something I worry about in my holler here in Surry County, North Carolina. However, this year, with record-breaking cold temperatures lasting for weeks at a time, I learned a few lessons in preventing and treating the frostbitten chicken.

It all started when Rasputin, my rebel rooster, refused to use good sense and get out of the cold. As our temperatures dropped into the single digits and 40 mph wind gusts sent the rest of the flock running for shelter, Rasputin planted his feet firmly—in a few inches of frozen-over snow—and held his ground.

I don’t know if it was the wind that made him crazy, or if the idea of being stuck in a coop with 22 unhappy hens kept him from the coop. But, even as his comb began to swell, then turned white at the tips, and his feet flushed red … he stood tall.

Now, Rasputin happens to love being held and cuddled. So I repeatedly picked him up, gave him a warming snuggle and took him to one of our many straw-laden sheltered areas. Yet each time I went back out to deliver warm water to my flock, I would find him out in the cold. Again.

So, here’s lesson No. 1 in frostbite prevention:

Lesson 1: If your chickens don’t have the good sense to get out of the cold (and stay there), lock them up!

Our coops keep predators out, but they can also be used to keep chickens in. They might not like it. But for their own safety, don’t hesitate to keep your chickens in the coop during extreme cold.

Now, I have to confess, I wasn’t really thinking about the frostbite when I carried Rasputin back to the coop. I was concerned about how much feed he would eat if he burned all his calories out in the cold. He’s a big rooster, with a big appetite, and I like to keep my feed costs low. Also, I had a few other hens out in the yard—namely my Buckeyes and my Salmon Faverolles—showing no signs of cold whatsoever.

It was only later, when I noticed that some white spots on Rasputin’s comb started fading to black and shriveling up, that I realized what had happened. Now, Rasputin is descended from a rescued fighting rooster, so he is very heavy and tall and has a few circulatory problems. His comb is more susceptible to episodes of ringworm than the combs of my other chickens. So, even though the timing was odd, I thought those white spots were just a little ringworm recurrence.

Discovering that I’d missed the early signs of frostbite in my big boy helped teach me these next two lessons:

Lesson 2: Comb size matters. Pay extra attention to your roosters with large combs and wattles and to any chickens with standard combs.

My cold-hardy breeds like the Buckeyes and the Salmon Favorelles have small combs that sit tight on their heads. In cold weather, your chicken’s body will preserve heat by cutting blood flow to the comb. This puts chickens with larger combs at greater risk because large combs are more exposed to the elements.

Many people who keep chickens in cold climates swear by slathering petroleum jelly on larger combs and wattles to help prevent frostbite, and some talk about lanolin as a more eco-friendly alternative. Keep in mind that humidity, even more than cold, is a factor in causing frostbite, so make sure you have proper ventilation (but no drafts) in your coop to keep the humidity level as low as possible.

Now, even cold-hardy breeds, with cold-suited combs, can be subject to frostbite on their feet. Which brings me to my next lesson:

Lesson 3: Know how to identify the early signs of frostbite and take action sooner rather than later.

Early frostbite looks a whole lot like a minor case of ringworm. Patches of pale white appear on the affected areas on the comb and wattles. As the frostbite continues, the areas start to darken and spread. If the area becomes solid black, it then begins to dehydrate and look a bit like crispy bacon (though not nearly as appetizing).

On the feet, frostbite shows up as splotches of red. The tend to be most prominent between the toes, but the splotches also show up on the legs. Some cases may result in swelling and blistering.

Severe frostbite can also impact behavior. Frostbitten chickens can become lethargic and disinterested in normal activity, and can lose their appetites.

Once you know what to look for, then you need to be prepared to act if necessary.

Treating Early Frostbite

If you see the early signs of frostbite while they are happening, take your chicken to a warm place and slowly bring affected areas up to temperature. For example, have your chicken stand in a warm foot bath (around 100ºF) and gently press a warm wash cloth around the comb area. Do not rub either of these areas as that will likely be painful for your chicken.

Once your chicken is sufficiently warm, give them time to dry before returning them to their coop.

Treating More Severe Frostbite

If your chicken is showing signs of lethargy and loss of appetite as a result of frostbite, this is likely a more serious case. Keep your chicken confined to a warm area and monitor their affected areas and behavior for a couple of days before returning them to their coop.

If they develop more severe symptoms like blistering or continued loss of appetite, infection may be a concern. At that point you will want to refer to your chicken health manual for details on how to treat infection and when to enlist the help of a veterinarian.

The one I use and recommend is The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow.

 

What Happens After a Chicken Suffers Frostbite?

In Rasputin’s case, he recovered quite quickly from his frostbite. He never faced infection and always had his appetite. However, the most affected areas on his comb are in the process of sloughing off as the damaged skin dries and withers. A little while from now, he may lose some of the tips of his once-stately rooster comb. He probably won’t notice this loss most of the time. However, in hot weather, his reduced comb area may impact his ability to cool himself quickly. So, I’ll need to give him a little more attention in hot weather now, too.

In case this crazy cold weather has made you consider cold-hardy breeds for your coop, the next post in our series Cold-Weather Chicken Care will highlight a few breeds to consider for your spring purchase. Or for emergency cold-weather care ideas, check out this post:

Read More: “Cold-Weather Chicken Care: 11 Quick Ideas to Improve Chicken Comfort”

 

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10 Things to Include in Your Office Emergency Kit

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com If we had a choice, we’d all prefer to be at home when an emergency happens.  But since we spend eight or more hours at work, there is a good chance an emergency can occur while we are at the office.  Now is a good time to assemble an office emergency kit so you are not caught without supplies just in case. Where to store your supplies You can store your items in […]

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Illnesses Risks After Large Natural Disasters or Grid Down Events

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It’s something that many people probably don’t think about. But for me, especially considering the epidemic flu season we are currently in the middle of right now, illnesses that could increase after a wide scale natural disaster or if there were to be a grid down event. Seeing how easily the flu is spreading right […]

The post Illnesses Risks After Large Natural Disasters or Grid Down Events appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

No Power? No Problem! Methods for Home Security When the Grid is Gone

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One of the biggest concerns people have with home security is what is going to happen when the power goes down? When the grid is out what are my options?

The post No Power? No Problem! Methods for Home Security When the Grid is Gone appeared first on Ask a Prepper.