Spring and Summer Prepping Ideas

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Spring and Summer Prepping IdeasAs spring and summer arrive, everything starts to spring to life, and that should include us. The winter time can lead us to becoming complacent about prepping because there is only so much we can do indoors. You can’t go camping, you can’t grow a garden, and you can’t practice fire starting skills indoors…or you shouldn’t anyway.

This is my most favorite time of the year! The days are getting longer, it is finally warm outside, and it is the pre-season to summer, when we will be prepping up a storm!

Since the weather is warming up, and the days are getting longer, this is the perfect time to get outside and get some work done. It is still too early to plant our garden outside yet, it snowed yesterday morning, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get everything ready to go.

SPP199 Spring and Summer Prepping Ideas

Getting Outside

As the days get longer and warmer, we finally have the chance to get outside and get some work done, so why not take advantage of it. Prepping is about much more than what supplies we have, it’s about skills and being ready for some hard times.

Gardening: There is a lot of prep work that goes into gardening. Now is the perfect time to acclimate yourself to being outside. Get those garden beds ready! Weed, and work the dirt. Get your compost pile in shape, and move some ready compost to your garden.

Camping:  Going camping doesn’t mean heading out to the woods for a week with nothing more than a bug out bag. Camping is a great way to apply all those skills we learned over the winter. it’s also a great way of getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and spend some quality time with the family.

Physical Fitness: Any sort of SHTF event, or disaster scenario is going to require some hard work.Not only that, but the healthier we are now, the less problems we will have is these scenarios. When we are cooped up in the house, it can be tough to stay physically fit, but the summer brings a number of opportunity’s.

Taking your bug out bag for a walk, planting a garden or doing work around the house are all great ways to become “Farmer Strong” as Dale calls it. I know plenty of farmers who could outwork a gym rat every day of the week.

Go For a Hike: With the weather being warmer, this is an excellent time to put your pack on, and go out for a hike. Keep it short at first, and maybe only take the bare necessities the first couple of times you go out. You will build endurance, as well as some muscle.

Walking is an excellent way to get in shape. And by making it fun, and bringing your camera a long to capture some memories along your journey can motivate you to keep going.

Have a Stay-Cation

Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a trip, why not use that money for an improvement around your home? Instead of going to lay on a beach somewhere or traveling to faraway places, I usually take my vacation to get caught up around our home. It’s also fun to sleep in at home, and spend the day moving slowly around home, instead of hurrying up and going somewhere. We also use that time to take shorter day trips to places around us and exploring new places within our own community.

Clean Out the Garage

If your garage is anything like mine, it isn’t just for storing your cars. In fact, our garage is a workshop and a “catchall” for our preparedness supplies. Over time, things get moved around and misplaced. Move that stuff out, go through it, and make sure you are organized.

If you are lucky enough to have a garage, take advantage of the storage space. Hang peg board up, or build some shelves. Do what you can to make the most of the space you have. Over time, you will have more preparedness supplies than you know what to do with…believe me, I know!

Make Important Repairs

If things have been piling up on your “to do” list, now is the time to get those projects done. It doesn’t all have to be done in one weekend, but take advantage of the warmer weather while you can. Instead of overwhelming yourself by trying to get everything done at one time (Lisa) get your list and focus on one task at a time.

Do it right, and do it well. By the end of the summer, hopefully you will have everything checked or crossed off that list. Again, take advantage of the warm weather. It’s much easier to make needed repairs when it’s warm and dry, than it is slopping through mud or a foot of snow.

Neighborhood Get Together

Some of us might be a little leery about putting our selves out there with the neighbors, but it is very important. We should always be mindful of our operational security, but because these people are right outside our front door, it’s important to know who they actually are.

You don’t necessarily need to have a full blown neighborhood BBQ (unless you want to), but anything we can do to get to know who our neighbors really are, not “who we think they are” will give us a better idea about who will be helpful, and who we need to watch out for.

Learning Something New

Again, don’t set out to complete a new task every weekend. Instead think of one thing you really want to do and do it. For me, it is planting a cornfield. That has been something I have always wanted to do, and this summer, I am going to do it! I might also learn how to start a fire the non-traditional way and challenge Dale to a fire starting contest, but the corn field comes first.

Dale is planning on learning to pressure can. We can’t do this indoors because we have a ceramic top stove, so he plans on getting an outdoor propane burner. He is also getting ready to start the “Bushcraft Prepping” course at the Survivalist Prepper Academy.

These are just a few things to think about before summer is in full swing around us. Plan and prepare now for an incredible and productive summer. How about you? What are your plans for the upcoming summer?

Also from the show…

200th Episode Giveaway: To celebrate our 200th episode of the Survivalist Prepper Podcast we are giving away a great compound bow package from Apollo-Tactical along with a couple other prizes. Click here to enter the giveaway.

YouTube Live: Earlier this week Dale and I were on the Learning to be Prepared YouTube channel talking about preparedness. Click here to watch the replay. We mentioned a podcast Dale did in the past with Brian Gittens from the UK. You can listen to that here.

HydroFlo Water Filter Discount: Dale recently did a video on the HydroFlo Jerry Can water filter, and they have also set up a coupon code SP20 for fans of Survivalist Prepper to get a 20% discount. Have a look at their website here.

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The Dangers of Becoming Complacent as Preppers

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The Dangers of Becoming Complacent as Preppers Most of the time prepping is about being in the “hurry up and wait” mode, which can cause us to become complacent about prepping. This might seem counter intuitive, but not having to use our preparedness supplies because of a disaster is actually a good thing.

While some of us might secretly hope for a small power outage, or a reason to test our preparedness level, hopefully none of us hope for a large-scale disaster that could change our lives forever.

SPP198 The Dangers of Becoming Complacent as Preppers

Below is a list of the topics we covered in the Survivalist Prepper Show this week. We talked about everything from escalating tensions around the world, preparing for natural disasters and other dangers of becoming complacent as preppers.

No Sense of Urgency

It can be tough to prioritize prepping when things are going good, and we don’t have that a sense of urgency. I think this happened to quite a few people after this election. People thought that because Trump won (or maybe because Hillary lost) they could relax about their prepping.

We can’t afford to lose our sense of urgency and become complacent with prepping, because bad things usually happen when we least expect it. When those times come that I feel like I have nothing to worry about, I start to worry about what I’m missing.

The Calm Before the Storm

With prepping, there are always ebbs and flows. There are times when I seems like everything is going well, but we know something could be right around the corner. While we are always looking ahead, some people don’t. Some people sell off their preparedness supplies or let their food storage dwindle.

As preppers we need to take advantage of this lull in the action instead of becoming complacent. When there is less demand, it usually means cheaper prices and sales. We can also take advantage of this lull in action and do some of the things we have been putting off for a while.

Attention to Detail

Sometimes when we think we have the best plan in the world, we end up getting bit in the butt because of something minor. In a SHTF scenario something minor could turn into something life threatening. We could have the best bug out vehicle, packed to the roof with all of our preparedness supplies, but if we forget to fill the gas tank it’s game over.

We can get complacent about everything from getting an oil change, to preparing for complete societal breakdown. As people we are creatures of habit, and we need to make a conscious effort to avoid that. This is why knowledge and skills are so important. The more we know, the better our chances are of catching those small details.

The Easy Life

Just about no one alive today has ever had to live through a world wide crisis (like WW2) and there has never been a large scale attack on U.S. Soil other than Pearl Harbor. The weapons we have today are much different than the mortars and tanks of WW2. Weapons are being developed that can be launched for anywhere around the world, and land in your back yard.

With countries like N.Korea and Iran hell bent on our destruction we can afford to be complacent. The United States has been the king of the hill for a very long time. The only way do remain the king of the hill and keep our freedoms is to deal with those who threaten us, not by crossing our fingers or asking please.

Crying Wolf

Sometimes as preppers we can become complacent because we fear an economic collapse and nothing happens. We hear about N.Korea testing missiles and nothing happens. The more this happens, the more we say “yeah, I’ve heard this story before”.

The problem is that we know eventually something will happen, whether it’s an economic collapse, bombs dropping or something else. Just like the story of the boy who cried wolf, eventually the wolf will come, and the sheep that are asleep will be the first to go.

Outside Our Front Door

At times we can get so focused on the larger SHTF scenarios that we forget about natural disasters  and things around the home. While these larger disaster scenarios are important, there are other small scale scenarios we need to keep in mind.

Preparing for natural disasters and personal doomsday’s could be more important because they are more likely to affect you. Prepping isn’t just about Nuclear bombs and Martial Law, it’s about being prepared for ANYTHING that might affect you and your family.

Situational Awareness

As I said earlier, people are creatures of habit. Eventually these habits become routine, and we are basically sleepwalking through life. We might take the same route to work everyday, or we might go to the bank the same time and day every week. This all makes us to becoming a target for someone who is paying attention to what we are doing, even when we aren’t.

Situational awareness is also about paying attention to what is going on around you at all times. It can be easy to become complacent because our daily lives are usually pretty boring, and nothing ever happens. Criminals are opportunists, and all they need is 1 opportunity to take advantage of.

Our Health

Becoming complacent about our health is probably something we all do at one point or another. This is because the affects of not eating right, or not exercising aren’t immediately noticeable. Over time these affects could lead to health issues and illness that could have dire consequences in an SHTF scenario.

It seems like some people won the genetic lottery and can eat of drink whatever they want, while some of us need to watch out for everything. Regardless which category you fit into, it’s important to be as healthy as possible because when there are no doctors or medications available, you are on your own.

Overconfidence

Overconfidence can lead to complacency because we think we have it all figured out. Sometimes we can work our butts of preparing and take a break for a week. That week can turn into a month, and then 6 months leaving us right back where we started.

We all know that “know it all” or someone who thinks they have it all figured out. Anyone who tells you they know everything about a certain subject is probably not the person to listen to. We are all constantly learning and evolving, and there is always something new to learn.

Urgency and Fear

There is a huge difference between prepping with urgency, and prepping because of fear. We can’t afford to let these disaster scenarios consume our lives. Yes, there are some pretty bad things, and some pretty bad people out there, but all we can do is what we can do.

The reason we prepare is to remove some of that fear. We can only do what we can do, and the rest is in gods hands.

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First Aid and Medical Skills For Preppers

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If you are reading this right now I am still working on this post. I will have it finished shortly…
First Aid and Medical Skills For PreppersWhile food, water and shelter are the 3 most important aspects of prepping, first aid and medical skills for preppers aren’t far behind. There could be times when medical help isn’t available, or even times where we can save some money by treating minor injuries and sickness ourselves.

This article isn’t a list of first aid supplies for preppers, you can find more information than you need with a simple Google search. We even have a couple here and here. This article is more about how to decide which medical supplies you might need.

Just like everything with preparedness, we can’t move on to the “bigger and better” until we take care of the basics. First aid for preppers is not always about bullet wounds and Severed limbs, but that doesn’t mean we can ignore that aspect of it.  USCrow: Advanced Medical Care https://uscrow.org/category/survival-skills/advanced-medical-skills/

SPP197 First Aid and Medical Skills For Preppers

The truth is, there are illnesses and accidents that happen on a daily basis. These minor issues could turn into bigger issues if we don’t know how to treat them. Without refrigeration, foodborne illnesses could become commonplace and diseases like Cholera could rear their ugly head once again.

Most Common Issues

Respiratory, Infection, Diarrhea

Diagnosis & Vital Signs (figure out what your dealing with)

Prevention

Personal Hygiene and Sanitation | hygienic conditions (no clean running water)

Tailor your kit to your needs (Family medical conditions, lifestyle, location)

Training – Learn what you need to learn (In order – A,B,C, not A,D,B,C)

Survival Medicine

(shtf applications will require more than the basics) http://americansurvivor.org/home/survival-medics/

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Beware of These Prepping Pitfalls

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Beware of These Prepping PitfallsWhen it comes to preparedness, there are many pitfalls we need to be aware of, especially if we have been at this for a while. With prepping covering such a wide range of topics, it can be pretty easy to get overwhelmed and/or overspent.

spinning platesWhile there is no way to avoid every prepping pitfall, if we pay attention, and keep out head in the game, we can avoid most of these. I’ve probably said this a hundred time, but prepping isn’t brain surgery. It can however feel like spinning plates because there is just so much to do to become better prepared.

SPP196 Beware of These Prepping Pitfalls

This week in the Survivalist Prepper podcast Lisa and I talked about some of the areas of preparedness we need to pay more attention to, and some things to avoid.

Prepping can be hard enough without adding unnecessary headaches to the process.

Getting Too Wound Up

With all the cable news networks and thousands of websites, it can be hard to decipher between fact, fiction and opinion. It can be easier said than done sometimes, but we need to understand that there is only so much we can do. Yes, we do need to pay attention to all these disaster scenarios, but we can’t afford to let them paralyze us.

Fake News & Fear

With all these news channels and websites it can be hard to get the real story, and when you add in fear based marketing, it can seem impossible. Sometimes the truth is secondary to clicks and ratings. In this Prepper Website Podcast Todd talked about how this affects prepping websites also.

Gimmicks and Scams

I recently did a video about some of the gimmicks and scams we need to avoid. In that video I mentioned that some of these gimmicks can be interesting and useful (credit card knife), and some are just worthless (Everstrike match). We also need to be aware of outright scams. Like the saying goes, if it’s too good to be true…it probably is.

Going Into Debt

You might think that going out and buying all the preparedness supplies you need at once is a good idea…but it’s not. Maxing out your credit card(s) could lead to big problems down the line and leave you less prepared. If you create a prepping budget, and work within your means, you will find that in no time at all you will be more prepared than you thought possible.

Unbalanced Prepping

As we are building up our preparedness supplies we need to think about it as a time frame, not a list of supplies. Preparing for a week, then a month, then a year is better than getting food, then water, then bug out bags. If we have a years worth of food, but no water, we are not prepared at all.

Rotation/Spoilage

If we go out and spend money on supplies that have a shelf life, we want to make sure it is still good when we need to use it. Doing inventory at least a couple times a year, and storing food we actually eat will help reduce the spoilage factor.

Taking Bad Advice

Regardless what we are doing we should never take one persons advice on something. Just because something works for them, doesn’t mean it will work for you. We all know that person that has the answer for everything right? The “know it all”. No one is more invested in your future than you. Make sure you are making decisions that you are comfortable with.

Oversharing

We hear about operational security all the time. If you are on the internet, there is very little you can do to hide from the alphabet agencies, but we can control what we share with others. This also includes people we talk to in person. Make sure you trust the person you are talking to, and even then stay cautious.

Supplies & No Knowledge

There are literally hundreds of “gotta have it” prepping supplies out there, but if we don’t know how to use them they are pointless. If you own a ferro rod, make sure you know how to use it. If you want to build a solar generator, make sure you know how it works before you buy the parts.

DIY Project Fails

DIY prepping projects are a great way to learn, and might even save you money, but this is not always the case. Take the Sun Oven for example. There are many DIY versions of this, but none will work as well as the actual Sun Oven. The positive side of these DIY projects is they will teach you about alternatives if you find yourself with nothing.

Back to the Basics

We need to make sure that before we move on the the “bigger and better” aspects of preparedness that we have a good foundation to build on. Last week we talked about how if we aren’t prepared for the smaller scale disaster scenarios we aren’t prepared at all. This also hold true for basic supplies like manual can openers, batteries, crank radios etc.

Second Guessing Yourself

To a lot of people prepping is seen as “extreme” or “unnecessary” which can cause us to second guess ourselves. On the same lines of not listening to the “know it all’s” we need to trust our gut on this. As I said earlier, no one have a bigger interest in your future than you do, so do what you feel is right.

Tin Foil Hat Time

This week in the show we talked about how fragile our power grid is. Even though our government and public service companies know it, they refuse to do anything about it. This PDF from CenterForSecurity goes through what the affects of an EMP or CME would be.

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Are You Prepared for Natural Disasters?

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Are You Prepared for Natural DisastersTalking about natural disasters is not up there with the most “sexy” or “fun” aspects of prepping, but it’s important to make sure we are prepared for these natural disasters none the less. The odds of a natural disaster or a personal doomsday happening in our lifetime are far greater than a global or national disaster scenario…although these odds are changing daily.

The basics of preparedness are the same regardless which disaster(s) you are preparing for. Preparing for these natural disasters is a great way to build your foundation, and become become better prepared for even the smallest disaster situation or personal doomsday.

The truth is, if we don’t have the basics covered, we really aren’t prepared at all. We could have the perfect bug out bag, but without an escape and evasion plan, we could be in for a tough time.

I recently published this video about 10 basic things we should have taken care of to be prepared for any disaster scenario. How many of these do you have checked off your list? If you only get 7 out of 10 you might have a little work to do.

Here are the 10 tips from the video…

  1. You have enough food stored
  2. You have cash set aside
  3. You have out of area emergency contacts
  4. You have water stored
  5. You have a plan for the family
  6. You know where you’ll go (including pets)
  7. You have a good first aid kit
  8. You have first aid training
  9. You practice for a disaster
  10. Your car is in good mechanical condition

SPP195 Are You Prepared for Natural Disasters?

In this weeks show we went over some of the basics of preparing for a natural disaster. This might all seem very simple to you (especially if you’ve been prepping for a while) but they are areas that sometimes get overlooked because they are so simple.

Sometimes what you thought was a perfect plan will not work out like you thought it would. Sometimes we get so focused on the bigger details, we forget about the small details. Having the greatest bug out vehicle that can bust through a concrete wall is worthless if it runs out of gas, or gets a flat tire.

Topics Covered In The Show…

Here are a few of the things we talked about in this weeks show. We went into quite a bit of detail with all of these, so make sure and listen.

Stay Informed

Before: A little bit of extra warning can go a long way in a disaster situation. With a hurricane or blizzard you will have plenty of warning, an earthquake or tornado is a different story. At this point you will have TV, radio and phone service…make sure you use them.

During: Some of these services might be out during a natural disaster, but a shortwave radio might still be useful. I have this Crank Radio which also has a solar panel and light.

After: A natural disaster can cause quite a bit of damage. The first thing we will want to do is make sure everyone is safe. You can register on the Red Cross website to check in as “safe and well”. You can also check in on others who might be affected, as long as they know to use the website.

Evacuation Planning

Home and Away: Evacuation planning is not just choosing a bug out route, it could mean getting out of the house in the first place. Earthquakes and tornadoes could destroy your home leaving you trapped, and in a house fire you would need to find the safest escape route.

Escape Routes: This could be anything from escaping the house, to escaping the neighborhood. Make sure everyone knows which routes to take and why. Make sure to always have a plan B, and also a plan C.

Timing Is Everything: While you would have plenty of time to prepared for a hurricane, some natural disasters won’t afford you that luxury. This is why staying informed and having supplies ready to go is important.

Destinations: It’s not only important to have your destinations picked out, it’s important that everyone is on the same page. Make sure everyone knows where you will meet, and where you will meet if that isn’t an option. This could be anything from the front yard, to a school paring lot, to a relatives home.

Include the Pets: If you own pets you are going to want to have a plan and supplies for them as well. If you need to evacuate you will need supplies for them, as well as a suitable location. If you plan on going to a relatives home, make sure they are OK with Fido coming along.

Family Disaster Planning

Contact Information: These days we don’t know peoples actual phone numbers, they are just names in our cell phone. You can make wallet sized cards with contact information, as well as important medical information. Wallet size contact cards are great for teenagers because they don’t need to remember anything other than where it is when they need it.

Important Websites: You should also add important websites to these cards, the SafeAndWell website I linked to above is one of them. While the internet might be down during the natural disaster, it could be available in the future. It could also be available in other areas.

If You’re Separated: The entire family is rarely in the same place all the time. Parents go to works, kids go to school, and a disaster is not going to wait until we are ready. This is why having pre planned meeting points and contact information is so important. If we know that they know, it can make an already stressful situation a little more bearable.

Money on Hand: In a natural disaster scenario money will not be useless, but ATM’s might. Everyone should carry some emergency cash in their wallet for event’s like this. This could be $100 in small bills, or whatever you can afford.

Practice Your Plans: Having these plans is only the first step. The more important step is making sure everyone understands these plans and is on the same page. The family might not take this as serious as you, but when the time comes they will remember.

Around the House: During or after a natural disaster there are some safety precautions we need to make sure everyone understands. Make sure everyone knows where the breaker box is (and how to shut if off) and where the gas shutoff is. Make sure a bad situation doesn’t get worse by something that could have been avoided.

Survival Skills

The Basics: Making sure the family knows survival skills doesn’t mean they need to know how to use a ferro rod to start a fire, but do they know how to use a fire extinguisher? Do they know what to do during a house fire? Or do they know the basics of first aid.

And Then Some: While we might not be able to get the whole family on board with the more advanced survival skills like trauma care, CPR  or bugging out, they are important to learn. We never know what situation might present itself, so the more we know, the better our odds will be.

Disaster Supplies

3 Days Minimum: FEMA recommends that we have 3 days worth of food and water stored. As preppers, if we only have 3 days worth of supplies, we think we are severely slacking.  In the event of a natural disaster 3 days is probably OK, but I feel much better knowing I’m covered if day 4 or 5 rolls around.

Staying or Going?: Having 3 days worth of supplies doesn’t just mean around the house. If we find ourselves in a situation where we need to leave, we need to have some of these supplies ready to go. This means food, water, bug out bags, and other supplies.

The Right Tools For the Job: The supplies you need will depend on the natural disaster you are preparing for. While the basic survival supplies like food water and first aid might be the same, some tools will be specific to the disaster. A pry bar or a pick ax might be useful after an earthquake, they might not be during a blizzard.

This is just a general list that would cover a number of disaster scenarios. Make sure you have these covered, and then refine this list depending on which natural disaster scenario you are concerned about. If you have any ideas or thoughts, let me know in the comments below…

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Large and Small Scale Escape & Evasion Tactics for Preppers

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Large and Small Scale Escape & Evasion Tactics for PreppersAs preppers, when we think about escape and evasion tactics we immediately think about the worst-case scenario. We think about escaping a war zone cause by civil unrest, and evading large numbers of marauders looking to steal our supplies and do us harm.

While this is possible, and extremely important to plan for, not every scenario is a worst-case scenario. Understanding escape and evasion tactics could be beneficial in a wide number of disaster scenarios including natural disasters.

Escape and evasion is much more than slapping on some camouflage and acting like a Navy Seal. Escape and evasion is also about more than counter tracking and escaping zip ties, it’s about everything we do on a daily basis to stay out of situations where escape would become necessary.

SPP194 Escape & Evasion Tactics for Preppers

This week in the show we talked about escape and evasion tactic for preppers, and how they apply in a number of different disaster scenarios. Some of these techniques also apply to what we do in our everyday lives.

Blending In

Blending into your environment and becoming “the gray man” is about how you look, how you act, and what you say. If you live in an urban area you don’t want to be wearing cammo and carrying a tactical backpack or bug out bag. If you live in a rural area you wouldn’t want to be wearing a 3-piece suit and carrying suitcase. Fitting in means looking and acting just like everyone else. It means being unremarkable in every way.

Regardless whether you are talking about a large scale civil unrest scenario or just discussing preparedness with friends, what you say will have repercussions. Being the gray man means not showing your cards until you are absolutely sure the time is right.

Trust No One

This might sound a little harsh, but we need to treat everyone is a potential enemy. This doesn’t mean board up the windows and shoot anyone who comes to the door, we just need to be on high alert with everyone we encounter. People without food become very dangerous, and even the most well-intentioned person will do what it takes to survive.

Even during small scale natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina we have seen this happen. People for the most part will try to come together and help each other, but all it takes is a few people looking to take advantage to ruin your plans.

Situational Awareness

You might not think about situational awareness when you think about escape and evasion, but it could be one of it’s most important aspects. We need to constantly be aware of the actions of others, as well as how our own actions might put us at risk.

Using the acronym S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L. in a crisis situation is a great way to remind yourself what is important and to stay focused. We need to make sure that when we are traveling we are not leaving a trail, not easily followed and not an easy target. To do this we need to be on high alert, and aware of the situation around us.

Tracking & Counter Tracking

The most important part of escape and evasion is making sure you do it unnoticed. This not only includes being the gray man and situational awareness, it means not leaving a trail for someone to follow. If you are a hunter, you might know quite a bit about tracking animals, and the same principals apply to humans.

Counter tracking is simply understanding what kind of signals humans might leave, and not leaving them. There is quite a bit that goes into tracking and counter tracking, but the great thing is it’s easy to learn…and it’s free. We can learn just about anything on YouTube these days, and Black Scout Survival has a good series on escape and evasion.

Using something like the Sneek Boot will make it harder for someone to follow your footprints, but we also need to make sure we are not leaving other signals like trash or disturbing the surrounding area.

Navigation

Not every scenario involves hiking through the woods to your bug out location, but navigation and map reading is important none the less. Regardless where we live, escaping or evading will mean traveling in secluded areas in hopes to avoid people. It doesn’t matter if you are in an urban area, or a rural area, losing your direction, or making a wrong turn is easier than you think.

Having maps of your area, and knowing how to read them could literally be the difference between life and death. Most of us could make it home from work without using a map, but would it be the safest route? It’s much safer to take 30 seconds and plan a route, than to turn a corner and find yourself face to face with someone wanting to do you harm.

The Best Bug Out Vehicle

Instead of thinking about a bug out vehicle as the biggest baddest vehicle that can bust through walls and road blocks, we should think about the type of vehicle necessary for the job. The safest route might be going discreetly around a road block rather than through it. If you find yourself stuck in an urban area, which is better a bicycle? or an RV?

The truth is, the best bug out vehicle is the one you have now. It’s fun to think about these big bad bug out vehicles, but we should make sure our car is maintained and reliable.

Any bug out vehicle is only as good as the supplies and tools that are in it, this includes your everyday carry items. Having the tools to fix a flat tire or tighten a hose could be the difference between driving somewhere and hoofing it.

Planning

Planning is not only important before a crisis situation, it’s also important during a crisis. In order to execute a bug out plan properly we need to learn about escape and evasion and practice it. Bugging out should not just be grabbing your go bag and walking. The more we know about escape and evasion tactics, the better our chances will be.

This is also important during smaller scale disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes and wild fires.  Evasion could mean getting to higher ground, or even helping someone who has been trapped under rubble to escape.  As I said earlier, escape and evasion is about much more than hiding from, or escaping from would be kidnappers.

Organization in Groups

If something were to happen while we were at work, we might not be heading out alone. While we all have a group of coworkers we just can’t stand, there are probably a few you couldn’t leave behind. In a situation like this, you would need to be the leader. Most people have no idea what to do in an emergency other than panic.

This will also make traveling discreetly and hiding your tracks a little more challenging. On the flip side, it will also increase your security because you have more hands, and more eyeballs. Just remember, you’ll have to do some training on the fly, but your friends will be glad you are one of those “crazy Preppers” at this point.

Links From the Show…

I mentioned the Army Tracking Manual in the podcast that has some tips on escape and evasion. Here is the link to that download.

In the beginning of the show I mentioned the new podcast “The Prepper Website Podcast” This is available at iTunes, Stitcher or any of your favorite podcasting apps.

As many of you know we have been selling the Blaze Charcoal Bricks which are available on Amazon. I also have a few 50% off coupon codes for anyone who is interested. If you would like one of these coupon codes just email me here and I’ll let you know if they are still available.

 

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Why “Embracing the Suck” is Important to Preppers

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Why Embracing the Suck is Important to PreppersThe term “embrace the suck” is a term widely used in the military when talking about a job or task that is pointless, tiring or downright lame. As preppers it’s also important that we “embrace the suck” because not everything we watch or read is as easy as it seems.

We all see the pictures of a thriving garden or the perfect solar power setup, but we never see the behind the scenes work that went into the final product. Growing vegetables takes composting, weeding and constant attention. A solar setup takes more than a solar panel and a battery.

These behind the scenes details are the “suck” we need to embrace. These aren’t the flashy fun aspects of prepping, but they could be the difference between having a great final product, or a final product that leaves you disappointed.

SPP193 Why “Embracing the Suck” is Important to Preppers

Below is a list of bullet points we covered in the Survivalist Prepper Podcast this week. We also talked a little bit about Vault 7 and how it might affect us as preppers.

Embracing the Suck Before an SHTF Event

The mundane tasks like weeding the garden, inventory, rotation and learning skills are important if we want to get things right. Cutting corners might save you time, but could lead to a less than satisfactory outcome.

Look at the big picture of each project and all the steps involved. A good example is our chickens. There is quite a bit more that goes into raising chickens than collecting eggs. You need to care for the chicks as they grow into chickens, they need a safe place to live (predators), they need a clean home, and need to be fed every day.

Anything you do can be a waste of time when you don’t pay attention to detail. These might seem unimportant during the process, but sometimes the small things are just as important as the big things. If you own a firearm, you also need to learn about firearms safety, cleaning and actually shooting it.

All this behind the scenes stuff, or the “suck” is also one reason preppers lose their motivation. We always think about the ripe tomatoes or what a fully stocked bug out bag will be like,  but we don’t think about the process of getting there. The process itself could lead us to just put it off until later, and then later never comes.

There is not always an easy solution when it comes to prepping, but that doesn’t mean we don’t try and find one. The truth is, there are some things you just can’t throw money at, and it will take a little hard work to get it done. You could just go out and buy a solar generator, but building a DIY solar generator will teach you how everything works together.

It’s really easy to talk yourself out of something because our brains are designed to keep us safe and fear the unknown. We always think about the worst thing that could happen. The odds are, nothing will ever be as bad (or hard) as our minds made it out to be.

Getting your family to “embrace the suck” is a challenge, but important as well. This doesn’t mean they need to be completely on board with prepping, it just means it would help them understand why you do it in the first place. Having them help you with the dirty work can also open up the dialog.

It’s also important to remember that it might not be as easy as that video makes it out to be, or the product is not all it’s cracked up to be. The people making the video have the luxury of editing out the mistakes and making it look super easy. There are also some products that are just too good to be true…You will not get a flashlight that lights up the neighborhood for $20.

Embracing the Suck After an SHTF Event

Embracing the suck after something has happened is quite a bit different than the initial planning. In a SHTF event it’s game time, and time for action. The middle of a disaster scenario is no time to be learning about something you should already know. This is the essence of why we prepare now, while things are good.

In a SHTF scenario we want to not just survive, but thrive. Everyone will have to adjust to their “new normal” but this doesn’t mean eating beans and rice everyday. If we can keep everything normal (whatever that may be) everyone will be more at ease, which means less stress for you.

A big part of planning and preparedness is digging deep into what the repercussions of a certain disaster might be.  An economic collapse might be the catalyst, but it doesn’t end there.  An economic collapse would cause food shortages, civil unrest and many other smaller scenarios we need to consider.

Whenever possible, we need to minimize those repercussions. This could be something as simple as having food stored, to something a little more detailed like securing the perimeter of your home. The more of these details we can check off our list, the better our chances will be.

Getting family to embrace the suck during a SHTF scenario is going to be easier than a disaster strikes because now they know you were right. The biggest challenge I see is dealing with the stress and grief of family members and ourselves. Each person will react differently in a disaster, and we need to take a different approach with each of them.

One final note is to remember that Everything is NOT going to go according to plan. More often than not, you will need to have the ability to adjust and pivot. We have the ability to write the script in our heads right now, but in a SHTF scenario we need to be as proactive as we possibly can.

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The Difference Between Urban and Rural Prepping

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The Difference Between Urban and Rural PreppingFor most preppers, their dream scenario would include something like a Doomsday Castle or a massive underground living facility. Unfortunately, reality always seems to get in the way, and we must figure out an alternative. So what is the difference between urban and rural prepping?

While it’s true, your chances of survival increase the further away from people you are, but that’s not an option for most people. In fact, some people have no desire to head out to the middle of nowhere.

With that being said, this article is not about which is better, but rather what the differences between rural and urban prepping are.

There is a lot more that goes into moving to a rural area than buying some property and packing the U-Haul truck. There is quite a bit of freedom that comes with living in a rural area, but there is also quite a bit of responsibility. In an urban area, everything is within walking distance and readily available. In a rural area, you need to plan ahead or figure out alternatives.

SPP192 The Difference Between Urban and Rural Prepping

In today’s show, we talked about how your prepping will be different depending on where you live. An urban area will require different supplies and plans than Rural prepping, and a suburban area is a little bit of each.

Picking the Right Prepping Supplies

The supplies you need will be different depending on where you live. In an urban environment you might need something like the Ontario SPAX Tool, a Pry Bar or a Lock Picking Set. In a rural environment bushcraft skills, storing fuel and larger amounts of food and water will be a priority.

In a suburban environment, you will have the best, and worst of both worlds. Because you sit right between urban and rural, and have more storage space, both situations could apply to you. Here is a good video that goes over the differences in prepping supplies for urban and rural.

Urban VS Rural Preparedness

This list is some of the important differences when it comes to urban and rural prepping. Keep in mind, a suburban area could require you to think about all these different areas of preparedness. Your living situation, family size and location will dictate what you need to become better prepared.

Urban: Most people chose to live in or near the city because you are closer to work, and closer to infrastructure. Finances also play a big role.
Rural: Living out in the boonies takes a commitment because EVERYTHING is far away. The trade off is freedom and less people.

 

Urban: In (or near) the city, events like Martial Law and civil unrest are more immediate. You will need to be on high alert, and react quickly.
Rural: In an urban area civil unrest might not be as immediate. Although unlikely, the golden hoard might be headed your way.

 

Urban: In high population areas there are more people. More people = more potential problems. It would be easy to become caught in the middle of something you never saw coming.
Rural: While there are less people, and less potential problems, you might be on your Own. This could be a good or a bad thing depending on the situation.

 

Urban: In the city people are more dependent on Infrastructure. While this is OK now, in a SHTF event there will be more competition and lawlessness.
Rural: In a rural area and some suburbs, there is less infrastructure to utilize. Planning ahead and storing supplies is critical for survival.

 

Urban: Because there are more people, news will travel faster by word of mouth. Be careful about what is really news, and what is rumor.
Rural: In a rural area you might only have a handful of neighbors, and they could be miles apart. The news you do get is more likely to be true though.

 

Urban: With the more people there are in an area, there is an increased risk of disease. This is especially true in a large scale disaster.
Rural: The downside of living in a rural area is there might be less medical help available, and help is further away.

 

Urban: With limited space, storing preparedness supplies is much harder. This requires thinking outside the box a little bit.
Rural: If you live in the middle of nowhere, you will have more room so store supplies, but you also have more property to protect.

 

Urban: In high population areas, bugging out should be a priority. Getting away from people and potential problems could be the difference between life and death.
Rural: If you live in a rural area you are already bugged out, so bugging in should be a priority, especially if you work or travel in or to the city.

 

Urban: In an urban area, clean drinking water could be hard to find. Drinking from a city river could be deadly, but there are ways to find clean water in the city.
Rural: In a rural environment you will need to depend more on mother natures resources, and less on man made resources. 

 

This is just a few of the differences when it comes to rural and urban prepping. Your situation will dictate which of these apply to you, and how you should prepare. This is not to say that people in an urban area don’t need to worry about Martial Law, it just means we need to prioritize the threats we might face.

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What is Prepping? Some Common Misconception’s

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What is Prepping Some Common Misconception’s

NOTE: For anyone who might be reading this that is wondering what prepping really is, this article will explain a few things about who we really are. If all you have heard about prepping is from television and shows like Doomsday Preppers, you might think we are all over the top conspiracy theorists hiding in our bunkers.

The truth is, most of us would never make it on that show (or want to) because we are far too boring. Most of us are just like you, average everyday people, we just choose to prepare for unforeseen events.

What is Prepping…Really

Instead of explaining what prepping really is, it might be better to explain what prepping isn’t. There are quite a few misconceptions out there, and because television networks need rating, they make the most extreme cases seem mainstream.

Everyone is Different

Not everyone who is interested in preparedness is the same. Some of us are business men and women, some are doctors, lawyers or factory workers. The majority of us don’t live in the middle of nowhere, doing shooting drills with our AR15’s, wearing full tactical gear…although some of us wish we could.

We are Not “Scared”

There is a different between being afraid, and being fearful. We prepare because we fear something could happen, and we want to be confident we can protect our family and ourselves if it does.

We Don’t Hope For a Disaster

The truth is, most of us hope nothing like this ever happens, and we hope we never have to use what we have in that type of situation. Prepping is about much more than beans and rice.

Conspiracy Theory Isn’t Prepping

While there is no shortage of conspiracy theorist involved in prepping (my wife included) That isn’t (or shouldn’t be) the main reason for becoming prepared. It’s also important not to disregard everything as conspiracy theory just because the mainstream media tells you it is.

Fear Based Marketing

This type of marketing really gives preppers a bad name. This type of marketing preys on your fears, and makes you think the world is going to end tomorrow unless you buy their product. If you ever run across something like this, do yourself a favor and run. I have a guide that is ABSOLUTELY FREE, and has more information than these.

The Different Types of Prepping

Another misconception about prepping is that all preppers have a house full of supplies, and we are all preparing for the world to end. The truth is, everyone prepares for different event, and stores different supplies. Some people prepare for natural disaster, some for larger scale disasters, and some just want a little extra food and water just in case.

FEMA on Steroids

The only difference between preppers and some of these federal organizations is that we take emergency preparedness to the next level. Having food and water stored for 3 days is great, but some disaster scenarios call for more than that.

SPP191 What is Prepping? Some Common Misconception’s

In this weeks Survivalist Prepper Show, Lisa and I talked about some misconceptions about prepping, and how we are not all the same. We also talked about if there are some things we could be overreacting to a bit, and even whether or not stashing cash is a good idea.

Are We Overreacting

Is a “Mad Max” scenario possible in America? Although unlikely, in extreme cases it could be. The power grid going down could set us back 100 years, and reduce the population by 90%. With that being said,  we are a developed country, and would begin to rebuild fairly quickly.

The average person might think that preppers are overreacting because most people are reactionary, most people wait until something bad happens before they act. Preppers are proactive and plan in advance because we see how bad things are getting. This doesn’t just include nuclear bombs and terrorist attacks, this includes the economy, personal finances, natural disasters and  planning for a better future.

In short, I think sometimes we do overreact, but for good reason. I would rather overreact and be wrong, than not prepare at all and be wrong.

Also From the Show…

During this weeks podcast we also talked about avoiding prepper burnout and whether stashing cash is a good idea or not.

Prepper Burnout: At one point or another we are all going to go through this, and how we handle this is crucial.  There are quite a few ways to handle prepper burnout, but the easiest way is to avoid it in the first place. I have an all or nothing personality, I tend to keep going until my gas tank is empty…I’m learning to pace myself a little better.

Sometimes money gets in the way, and sometimes life gets in the way. Learning new skills is free, and focusing on hobbies we enjoy will help get that fire burning again. At times it can seem like we have so much to do and no time to do it, but sometimes we need to give ourselves a break.

Stashing Cash: One question I hear quite a bit in the preparedness community is whether or not to keep your money in the bank. I think there are 2 sides to this coin. The money we have in the bank could disappear instantly because of hackers or an economic collapse. On the other hand stashing cash at home could make us a target.

I’m not sure if there is a “right” answer to this because they both pose a risk, but this thread from the SurvivalistBoards forum will give you some idea’s if you decide to stash some cash.

The Giveaway is Ending Soon!

There is only one week left to get your entries into the Survivalist Prepper Giveaway. We have some great prizes this month, and you can enter here. Watch the video below and see what we are giving away this month…

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To Prep or Not to Prep: Do You Really Need That?

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To Prep or Not to Prep: Do You Really Need That?The more you research prepping, the more you begin to see that even though the basics of preparedness are fairly simple, there are literally thousands of things you can buy. The dilemma comes in when we are deciding what to prep, and what not to prep.

This can be especially difficult when you first get interested in preparedness. The more you read, the bigger your “must haves” list gets. Pretty soon, the essentials like food and water are on the bottom of that list.

We all fall for the “shiny object” now and then (I certainly do), and we can always rationalize needing one thing or another. The truth is, if we purchased everything we thought we needed, or everything we wanted, we would need to rent out a warehouse.

prepper or hoarderSince most of us don’t have the money to rent a warehouse, our home would start to look like something from the “Hoarders” TV show. Eventually we would have so much stuff that we wouldn’t be able to find something we needed when we needed it.

The same holds true for some of the prepping supplies that might be useful. Yes, having a year’s supply of toilet paper would be great to have, but could the room you use to store it, and the money you spend on it be used for more important supplies?

SPP190 To Prep or Not to Prep: Do You Really Need That?

This week Lisa and I talked about some of these prepping supplies that we hear about all the time, and how to decide if they fit into your preparedness plan.

We found this article on APN (American Prepper Network) that was written by Stephanie Doyle. She also has her blog “The Home Front” where she writes quite a bit about homesteading. In this article Stephanie goes over some of the supplies she does not stockpile, and explains why.

Her list includes items like storing a years worth of toilet paper, owning dogs for home security and storing paper plates. A couple of the other ones stood out to me because they are somewhat controversial in the prepper community.

Gold and Silver: This is a hot topic in the prepper community, with some good points on both sides of the argument. Stephanie made some good points about how investing in gold and silver is just that, an investment. If you need to get to your bug out location, what is going to be more valuable, an ounce of gold? Or a gallon of gas?

Barter Supplies: Another big topic in the preparedness community is bartering supplies. I can actually see how both sides of this argument are right. If you are preparing, you shouldn’t need to barter anything. On the other side of the coin, having supplies to barter with might get you out of some though situations.

Take Care of the Basics First

take care of the basicsI am in the process of writing a beginners prepping checklist, and in that I talk about filtering out the noise and taking care of the basics before you tackle any of the bigger projects. While having all these other supplies, and the survival skills are important, they mean nothing if we don’t have food and water.

Sometimes we overthink prepping a little bit, and sometimes we just want to do the fun stuff and not the important stuff. I am guilty of this myself. Sometimes I have to remind myself that food is more important than a new fixed blade knife.

Storing bulk foods fits into this category as well. Yes, having buckets of grain, rice and beans is a great way to build your food storage, but if you don’t know how to use it you might as well wait until you do. For now, work on getting your food storage supply up to 6 months with pantry foods, or even long term dehydrated meals.

Don’t Store it Until you Learn it

When we think about some of the disaster scenarios that are possible, and how we would handle them, we can stat traveling down a rabbit hole and forget about the important stuff. I love learning about bushcraft and how solar power works, but sometimes I need to reset my priorities.

A large scale solar setup can get pretty expensive. If I purchased everything I needed right now, it would probably sit in my garage until I figured out how to put everything together. I plan on doing some pressure canning this summer, but I need to do my homework first, before I go out and spend money on stuff I “think” I need.

When it comes to prepping there are literally hundreds of things we need, might need or we justify needing. Sometimes these supplies come with the caveat of learning the skill before we need the supplies.

Pick Your Poison

spinning too many platesWhen it comes to prepping there are literally hundreds of things we need, might need or we justify needing. There’s only so much time in the day, and if we put too much on our plate we are bound to burn out.  I think of this like spinning plates, the more plates we have in the air, the more likely everything will come crashing down.

When I am learning something new about preparedness I TRY to stay focused on that project, I call this “Just In Time Learning”. This summer I plan on learning about pressure canning, so I need to TRY and not get distracted by something else I HAVE to learn, or something I just HAVE to try.

Do I need it? Or just really want it?

To be honest, I fall for this on a daily basis, and I bet most of you do as well. Everywhere we look there is someone trying to sell something that we really don’t need…but we REALLY want it.

What I try to do is make myself wait. Usually if you give yourself time to think about something, rather than impulsively hitting the buy it now button, you think more rationally about it. This is the same principal grocery stores use at the checkout line, you really didn’t need that bag of beef jerky, but it just looks so good!

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3VGear Bug Out Bag’s Interview and Giveaway

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3VGear Bug Out Bag’s Interview and GiveawayThis week in the Survivalist Prepper Podcast I had the pleasure of talking with Dan from 3VGear.com about their product line of bug out bags. When you think about bug out bags or everyday carry bags, there are probably a few names that come to mind before you think about 3V Gear. This might even be the first time some of you have heard about them.

3V Gear gets its name from the phrase “Veni, Vidi Vici,” which is Latin for “I came, I saw, I conquered”. As you continue reading you will find out why them being a smaller company is a good thing. With some of the bigger companies you are paying for the name, and to them you’re just a credit card number. At 3VGear you can get a high quality bag at around half the price… and get treated like a real life human being.

When it comes to prepping supplies, bug out bags are right at the top of everyone’s list. With so many different types to choose from, it can be a tough choice to make. You have hiking backpacks, Military style backpacks, low cost back packs and cheap backpacks. Along with that, other things that need to be considered are: price, space, compartments, comfort and durability. These all play a big role when picking your bug out bag.

Anyone who has put together a bug out bag knows that it can get pretty expensive when you start putting together all the pieces. While the quality of a bug out bag should be a huge consideration, if you can’t afford all the supplies you need in it, you’re not really prepared at all.

SPP190 3VGear Bug Out Bag’s Interview and Giveaway

Here are a few of the topics I talked about with Dan this week. To get a real understanding about what a good product these bug out bags are, make sure and listen. We are also going to be giving away 2 of these bug out bags. Dan is sending me the Paratus 3 Operators Pack (Latin for prepared) to review and give away to our YouTube subscribers.

And along with the other prizes we are giving away in this month’s Survivalist Prepper Contest, Dan is donating one of his Velox II Tactical Assault Packs.

Like I said, the folks at 3V Gear value their customers, and will treat you like a real person. If you have any questions that weren’t answered in the show just send them an email, or give them a call by using the phone number at the top of their website.

From the Show…

  • With all the other companies out there selling bug out bags, Dan explained what sets 3V Gear apart from them, and what has kept them in business for over 5 years.
  • We talked about how these bags are for people just getting into prepping, as well as people who have been doing this for a while.
  • Space, comfort, and durability all play a big role when picking a bug out bag. We talked about some of the features of the different bags and how they apply to bugging out.
  • Which is better, a smaller bag (so I can’t pack it with 100lbs) or a larger bag where I have more options? We went over the features of each bag, and which bag would be good for which situation.
  • I asked Dan what type and size of bag would you recommend for an EDC, and what bag was his favorite.
  • Physical fitness plays a big role when you are thinking about a bug out scenario. We talked about how to increase your fitness level, and determining the type of bag that works for you.
  • I also asked Dan what he carries. At one point or another he has used all these bags for different reasons.
  • We talked about the Paratus 3 Day Operators Pack (which I think might be your most popular with preppers) and the giveaway I will be doing on YouTube.

The Survivalist Prepper Giveaway

Along with the Velox II Dan is giving away, we are also going to add a few more items to this month’s giveaway. Here is a list of the other prizes, and you can enter the contest here.

  •  3VGear Velox II
  • 2 Blaze Charcoal Brick Packs
  • 2 MicroFire SOG
  • 2 AquaTabs
  • 2 BOB FAK
  • Sara’s New Book

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Have Your Prepping Priority’s Changed?

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Have Your Prepping Priority’s ChangedIn early November I did a video about what to expect after the winner of the Clinton/Trump election was announced. In that video, I talked about how my preparedness plans would change depending on who won the election.

While I was right about how the people would react to a Trump election, I completely underestimated the lengths that the main stream media and the establishment would sink to discredit a fairly elected president of the United States of America.

Now that the dust has settled a bit, we are starting to get a clearer picture of how things might unfold over the next 4 years. All of this has caused me to reassess my prepping priorities. While my main concern remains an economic collapse, there are other issues that might need a little extra consideration at this point in time.

A Nation Divided

It seems that more than ever our nation is divided. Not divided by race or social class, but more by political affiliation. I think this is the result of not really having big issues to worry about. Life is good in America, and it’s been 75 years since WW2, so most people alive today have no idea what a real national crisis is.

Generally speaking, Americans are spoiled. Our small issues become big issues because we don’t have any big issues to be concerned about. I understand that something like a job loos can be a big issue, but it pales in comparison to WW3.

These days, the mainstream media can literally dictate American sentiment. From our education system, to what we watch on TV, everything is geared towards socialism. If you read Alt Right media, you are labeled a “white supremacists”, and because Donald Trump is so polarizing he gets labeled as “Hitleresque” by the MSM, and people who have no idea who Hitler really was.

Another problem is social media and all the keyboard warriors out there. Everyone can have a voice in the conversation, and their opinions become their facts. Public sentiment has become more important than facts, and everyone is guilty until proven innocent because of this.

SPP188 Have Your Prepping Priority’s Changed?

In this weeks show we talked about how our preparedness plans have changed, and some concerns I have in the short term, along with some that might be long term. We went into much more detail about these in the show, but here is a list of what we talked about.

5 Important Disaster Scenarios

For those of you that know me, an economic collapse has always been a top priority when it comes to prepping. While that remains a MAJOR concern of mine, there are a few disaster scenarios that have moved up on my threat assessment scale.

Civil Unrest

paid protestsWith everything going on these days, and everyone just waiting for something to protest, civil unrest has become one of my top prepping priorities. The protests themselves don’t concern me, the fact that 90% of these “peaceful protests” turn into riots does.

Free speech only applies if you agree with the main stream, and it is becoming increasingly obvious that there are people behind the scenes stirring the pot. Hopefully I’m wrong, but I can see this situation escalating and becoming a bigger danger.

Situational Awareness: Anything can happen at any time, and we need to be ready for it to happen. This article from BearingArms talks about avoiding riots, having everyday carry items and the OODA Loop Lisa mentioned in the show.

Martial Law: With all the protests riots going on, lead by the extreme left, Martial Law being enacted is a very real possibility. If this continues, it’s only a matter of time before the right stands up to have their voice heard. This could lead to major clashes, especially if you live in urban areas.

Civil War: I don’t think that a Civil War would necessarily look like “The Civil War” looked like, but over time it could become that. Some would argue that we are already in the early stages of a civil war, and I can’t say I totally disagree. This country was created with checks and balances, and needs both Democrats and Republicans to survive. If one side or the other gains too much power, our republic will cease to exist.

Armed Conflicts

armed conflictsLike it or not, President Trump is not one to sit back and let someone take advantage of this country. In the show I talked about how we cant just sit back and let a bully take our lunch money day in and day out, and that’s what we have been doing. Eventually we need to just punch the bully in the mouth, because if we don’t pretty soon it’s not just your lunch money they want.

Iran and North Korea:  No one in their right mind wants to escalate the situations in Iran and North Korea, and I am not advocating for that. At the same time, these countries are powder kegs, and just like the national debt, the more we ignore it, the bigger the problem gets.

Nuclear Conflicts: We all hope nothing like this never happens, but the reality is that some really bad people have access to nuclear weapons. On top of that, most of these countries don’t really like the United States and have these weapons pointed at us or our allies.

The Friend of My Enemy:  I’ve talked about Iran and North Korea quite a bit, but Russia will always be a wild card, and China is sitting back quietly, waiting to take our place at the top of the hill. My point is that just because someone is “on our side” right now doesn’t mean that can’t change very quickly. It seems that the lines are being drawn, and sides are being picked for the next world war.

Economic Collapse

Economic collapse dollar billAn economic collapse will always be high on my preparedness radar, at least until it finally collapses. I don’t know enough about the money manipulation and the games being played behind the scenes to know exactly when this will happen, but I do know it eventually will.

Even more concerning is that people seem to be more concerned about a refugee being inconvenienced at an airport, than the economic problems that will eventually directly affect everyone single of us.

Too Far Gone: The idea that a president can fix everything is ridiculous. The president can submit a budget, but it’s up to the house and senate to pass budget resolutions. These people are in the business of getting reelected, and telling people they can’t have something they can’t afford is a sure fire way of losing an election. Americans want their toys and lifestyle, whether they can afford it or not.

The Big Questions: We don’t know how Trumps economic policies are going to pan out. I think most of us are pretty hopeful, but even if he is the most successful US president in history, it will only be a drop in the bucket. The best we can hope for is to have a little extra money in our pockets, and use that to prepare for the inevitable.

Facing Reality: As I said earlier, if a politician were to say “we need to tighten our belts, and make some sacrifices” they would be run out of office. No one wants to face reality because they don’t need to. If you don’t pay for your home or your car, they take it. People think that the national debt is the politicians problem, even though most Americans would never elect someone that REALLY wanted to fix the problem.

The Power Grid

power grid failure banks closedThe US power grid has been and continues to be a huge problem, and the average American doesn’t even realize it. Most people think of a power outage as an inconvenience that denies them use of their phones and the internet. But the reality is, that would be the least of our problems.

In a large scale power outage the supply lines would be affects, our digital currency would be useless and even something as simple as no traffic lights could create massive problems. If we had to go without electricity for more than a month, the results would literally be catastrophic.

EMP/CME: In this article I talked about how probable an EMP is, and in this one I went over preparing for a CME. Both of these should be important to preppers because it would change our lives. There would be no flipping the breaker to get the lights back on, it could mean a lengthy rebuilding process of the power grid.

Cyber Attacks: There has been a major uproar lately about “Russian hacking”, but the reality is hacking someones Gmail account doesn’t take a tech genius. Could you imagine if Wall Street was hacked? Could you imagine if critical parts of our infrastructure were hacked and shut down? Cyber Warfare is no longer science fiction…it’s science fact.

Terrorism: The face of terrorism is always changing, and we need to be proactive about it, not reactive. Terrorists are always looking for the easiest way to do the most amount of damage, and I guarantee attacking our power grid is on their minds. I’m actually surprised this hasn’t happened in a European country yet because it’s so easy for terrorists to infiltrate their society.

Life Changing/Country Changing event

Expect-the-unexpectedThis list is how likely I feel some of these disaster scenarios are, and how my prepping priorities have changed. However, this does not mean I take any of these threats less serious than the others. We always need to expect the unexpected, and watch for the curve ball. If we focus too much on one area we are bound to get blindsided by something we should have seen coming.

There are also quite a few other disaster scenarios that I didn’t put on this list, like natural disasters, and disasters that hit closer to home like death, illness and job loss. If you have anything you would add to the list, let me know in the comments below…

 

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Tips for Successfully Bugging In

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Tips for Successfully Bugging InWe hear all the time about bugging out and what we should have in our bug out bags. The reality is none of us want to leave all the prepping supplies we have behind, and limit ourselves to what we can carry on our backs. This week we talked about tips for successfully bugging in, and not having to leave everything we own behind.

For most of us it would take quite a lot for us to actually leave the comfort of our homes. For most of us it would laterally have to be a life or death situation. There are however precautions we must consider to successfully bug in, and steps we need to take to keep ourselves as safe as possible.

SPP187 Tips for Successfully Bugging In

This week in the show Lisa and I talked about some reasons why we would want to bug in, some reasons why we might still need to bug out, and some things we need to consider regardless what decisions we make.

Here are a few of the talking points we discussed in the show this week…

Why you would want to bug in: Here is an article from ThePrepperJournal that goes over some reasons why bugging out might not be your best option.

Planning: Getting everyone home might be the biggest challenge you face, especially if someone is 500 miles away. These people that will be traveling long distances need to understand things like leaving at the right time, safely traveling, no gps, sleeping on the road etc.

Out of Our Hands: All we can do is try to teach them about bugging in now, because you will be dependent on them to make the decisions at that point. We will be completely in the dark, and hoping everything is going ok with the people traveling to us.

Plan B: Bug Out Location If something is bad enough you need to bug in, eventually having to bug out is a very real possibility. Depending on the disaster scenario, things can change very quickly, and we need to be ready to react.

Bug Out Alternatives: This doesn’t have to be the typical “BOL” we all think about, it can be friends or family’s homes, or these could also be “pit stops” you take along the way to a predetermined location.

Bugging in Viability: Make sure you have the right amount of supplies for a determined amount of time. Make sure you have the ability to defend what you have from people looking to take advantage of you.

Survival files: For those people who just don’t want to hear about prepping you could dd PDF’s to their phones that have travel direction’s, alternative routes, Survival guides or anything pertinent. Hopefully they would never have to look at these, but they would be a lifesaver in a bugging in situation.

Close to Home: Your neighbors will be freaking out, how will you handle that? If you become a recluse they will become curious, if you are too open with them you might become a target. This is a tough situation, but one that we will all be in.

Everyone on the Same Page: In a Bug in situation you will need to start the planning discussions right off the bat. We might understand what needs to happen, but we need to make sure everyone else understands as well. Questions like “What we do when” or “What if” need to be discussed.

Sanitation: Cleanliness and hygiene are not going to be as easy to tackle as they are today, and the doctors won’t be around if we do get sick. Make sure and have the supplies needed for sanitation, and make sure everyone understands the new rules.

Communications: In a complete grid down scenario long range radio might not be an option, but radios for short range communications like 2 way radios or Ham radios are a good idea to have. If someone needs to do reconnaissance, or go out scouting, you want to be able to contact them if needed.

Home Defense:  If we choose to bug in, defending our property and supplies will be just as important as having them in the first place. This is another reason why having a group is better than going it alone. No one can do everything, and having a few more sets of eyes and hands will only increase your preparedness level.

A Good Prepping Library:  They might not be listening to your prepping plans today, but they will be all ears is something bad happens. A good prepping library will help you when you are trying to teach them about that needs to be done.

Entertainment Items: Keeping everyone as happy as possible is going to be more important than we think. Not only is moral important, but too much down time and boredom can lead to lack of focus and mistakes. Music, games and books are also a way for people to escape from reality, even for just a little bit.

 

 

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SHTF Cooking Options for Preppers

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SHTF Cooking Options for PreppersWhen it comes to SHTF cooking options for preppers there are quite a few options available. On the other side of that coin, there are many options that won’t be available to us in an off the grid situation, and many precautions we will need to take.

As preppers we need to not only think about how we are going to cook our food in a SHTF situation, but how we are going to do it without ringing the dinner bell for the entire neighborhood. We don’t give this much thought these days because when a neighbor smells us grilling outside, they don’t come running over.

In any sort of disaster situation that could be different. In a smaller situation like a power outage, it could be the inconvenience of having to turn people away. In a larger situation turning those people away will create resentment and enemies.

SPP186 SHTF Cooking Options for Preppers

This week in the show we talked about how to handle situations like these, and some cooking options we might have as preppers. We also talked about how our diet will change in an off the grid situation, and how what we do now will determine what we eat then.

Precautions & Dangers

If you look at what’s going on in Venezuela you see that when availability of food is limited, the people with it become powerful, and the people without food have no choice but to bend to their will. Criminals would be stealing food rather than televisions and cars, and drug dealers would be dealing food rather than cocaine and heroin.

Cooking Smells: I think of this like attracting the zombies. In the movies if you make any noise the zombies focus their attention on you. When you’re cooking in an off the grid situation, the real life zombies will be hungry (not just for brains) and follow that aroma back to you.

Smoke Signals: If you light a roaring camp fire, the odds are you will be giving off smoke signals to your neighbors and ringing the dinner bell. To avoid this use alternative cooking methods, or cook foods that won’t give off smoke.

Trash Removal: If you have a bunch of tin cans or long term food storage packaging laying around, people will know you have food long after you have been cooking. Burning your trash is probably not a good option, but burying it will keep it out of sight, and out of mind.

What You Cook: The different types of foods you cook, types of spices you use and how you cook it will all matter in an SHTF scenario. Boiling some Legacy food might not give off much of an aroma, but cooking it on a wood fire will. This is the main reason I love the Sun Oven so much.

The Changing Times

when good food goes badOur idea of what breakfast lunch and dinner are might (and probably will) change. If you look at what you have right now that doesn’t require refrigeration, and think about how you would cook it, you will see how your diet will change. The odds are you won’t be grilling a lot of meat, you won’t have milk or all the condiments in your refrigerator door.

When Good Food Goes Bad: I the show we talked about what you would need to do with food in your refrigerator. Most people will be having a “neighborhood BBQ” and we debated whether you should, or should not participate. You could also figure out a way to preserve that food as much as possible.

Neighborhood Cook Off: Participation in a neighborhood cook off would be a way of extending the olive branch to your neighbors. If you do this, make sure you are not giving out too much information. Make your neighbors think you are in the same boat as them.

Preserving Food: The first day or two after a disaster might be the safest time to get this done. Dehydrating, smoking or canning the meat in your freezer will extend their shelf lives… Just don’t let your neighbors see you doing it. Digging a hole and making a small root cellar could extend the shelf lives of some refrigerator foods as well.

Dinner Time? It might be a good idea to change when you cook. People are used to eating breakfast early in the morning, so think about cooking before they wake up. You could also wait until very late to cook dinner, although cooking at midnight could put you at a disadvantage because someone could sneak up to your house in the dark.

The “Inconvenient” Truth

There will be no more fast food, no more convenience stores or prepackaged frozen meals to cook. For most people this is going to be a huge adjustment, but as preppers we should be ready for this. Having food storage is one thing, knowing how to use it is another.

Below is a list of off the grid cooking options we might have available, but the most important part of this is knowing how to cook it. Knowing how to make bread, or knowing how to put together a soup is just as important as having these ingredients stored.

Off the Grid Cooking Options

Legacy Food Storage ProductLong Term Food (Dehydrated Food): The easiest solution (for several reasons) is long term food. While this isn’t a “cooking method” this can be cooked using any of the methods listed below. We sell the Legacy Food Storage products at the SHTFShop.com and they are great for cooking without alerting the neighborhood.

DIY Prepper StoveDIY Cooking Ideas: There are quite a few DIY cooking ideas like the Dakota Fire Pit, Yukon Stove, and the Rocket Stove. You can probably find a hundred ideas on YouTube and even come up with a few on your own.

Sterno LitSterno Fuel: There are very few indoor cooking options available when it comes to cooking off the grid. Sterno fuel won’t create enough heat to cook a steak, but you can heat up soups, long term food or a can of beans.

Coleman StoveCamp Stoves: There are quite a few options when it comes to camp stoves. The first that probably comes to everyone mind is the Coleman stove. There are also folding camp stoves, and small butane hiking stoves.

Blaze Grill PackageBlaze Charcoal: I recently teamed up with Expedition Research and started selling these Blaze Grills. These are a great off the grid option because they are smokeless and give off no smell. For more information on these watch this video.

Propane GrillPropane Grill: Most of us probably have a propane grill in the back yard or deck. These are great, but unless they are completely clean, they will give off that grilling smell. It’s also a good idea to get an extra tank (or 2) of propane for these.

sun oven smallAll American Sun Oven: This is by far my favorite off the grid cooking option. The only fuel you need is the sun, you can cook just about anything in a Sun Oven, and they don’t give off a cooking smell. You can even boil water in a Sun Oven. You can use this link to get $70 off.

Hot PlateHot Plates: These are another indoor cooking option, although not a very efficient one. Hot plates are high energy and would require a good solar setup, or the use of a generator. If you are trying to be “incognito” cranking on the generator is never a good idea, and I would save my solar energy for other uses.

Wood Burning StoveWood Stoves: If you happen to have a wood burning stove, or have the money to get one, they are fantastic. They can be used to heat your home and cook dinner at the same time. Keep in mind that a wood burning stove will give off a large amount of smoke.

thermal cookerThermal Cookers: From what I’ve read these seem to be a great option for cooking indoors, saving energy and even just keeping food warm. All you need to do is bring your food to a boil, and then place it in the thermal cooker to finish cooking it. I just purchased one and will be reviewing it in the near future.

tea light candlesCandles: Regular candles and even tea blight candles can be used to heat food up, but are not very hot or efficient. It would probably take quite a while to heat a can of soup with a tealight candle, but it’s better than nothing.

Lantern CookerLantern Cooker: Another indoor cooking option is a lantern cooker. This is basically an oil lantern that has a little cooking pot attached to the top. This is a great multipurpose item that will light a room while heating up some soup.

Keep the Zombies Away

There are quite a few options available for cooking off the grid, and there are quite a few precautions we need to consider as well. Understanding when we can safely cook, and how we can safely cook in a SHTF situation is critical to keeping our family safe, and keeping the zombies away.

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When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get Going

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When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get GoingThe Following is a Sponsored Post:

With so much going on in the world at the moment, there is no wonder the survivalist movement is growing by leaps and bounds. A huge number of people are buying land way out in the wilderness and setting it up so that in the event of some kind of national ‘event,’ they would have somewhere safe to call home without being in the thick of things. As the old saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

And, going they are – all the way out where the nearest neighbour is miles away! With so much stress and chaos in our lives, it’s a wonder we can live in any kind of semblance of normality, and also a wonder why there aren’t more licensed social workers with an online social work masters focused on helping communities face the impending threat of riots and perhaps even Marshall Law!

What Could a Social Worker Do in Times Like These?

While you know it’s important to plan for the best and prepare for the worst, sometimes that’s easier said than done. Consider all the riots that broke out after the most recent presidential election. Also, remember the protests that erupted at Donald Trump’s campaign rallies. There is so much political unrest throughout the nation that people are living in very real fears that a civil war will ensue.

It probably isn’t going to happen, but this is just the kind of ‘fear’ that those studying in online MSW programs from schools such as Rutgers Online learn to help people cope with. There is nothing wrong with healthy fear, but it’s how you handle it that counts. Preparing a getaway in remote locations isn’t unreasonable, but to build walls and arsenals might be a bit overboard by some people’s standards! A social worker could help you work through both reasonable and unreasonable fears and that’s a very good reason to get that degree!

What If the Nation Does Go into a State of High Alert?

For years, everyone called those of us who are now known as ‘preppers’ a bit odd. They didn’t realize that what we were preparing for was real and that we had researched facts that led us to the conclusion that there was every possibility that riots, terrorism and even civil unrest within our own communities could threaten the safety we’ve always felt at home. With those of us within our communities who have gone the extra mile to study for that online masters in social work, we can help each other ‘plan for the best, prepare for the worst’ and get through it, one day at a time.

No, preppers aren’t crazy nor are those who seek a bit of counselling to mitigate their fears. They are realistic people who have seen another side of things that some choose to ignore. How you deal with these fears is important. Refusing to deal with them is even unhealthier than dealing with something others refuse to see. Are you a prepper? Join the crowd!

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Storage Problems & Solutions for Preppers

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Storage Problems and Solutions for PreppersWhen it comes to prepping, the longer you do it, the more supplies and food storage you are going to have. We wanted to do the show this week on storage problems & solutions for peppers this week because accumulating all this stuff is the easy part, making sure it doesn’t expire is a little harder. 

Depending on who you are, one of the hardest things to do (correctly anyway) is keeping everything organized. Food get’s lost in the back of the cabinet, and supplies seem to run off, and not be where you remember leaving them.

If you have been building up your supplies and food storage for a year or more, you know how easy it is to become disorganized and over whelmed. If you are one of the OCD type people, lucky you! I am not that lucky though…but I do try. With that being said, there are some things I do like inventory and rotation that force me to be a little more OCD.

SPp185 Storage Problems & Solutions for Preppers

In this weeks show Lisa and I talked about quite a few storage problems preppers face, as well as some solutions for our storage problems. We talked about some supplies that have long shelf lives, proper storage conditions, life without refrigeration and much more.

Storage Ideas

Shelving Units:  If you are renting an apartment or plan on moving, building a shelving unit might not be your best option. There are quite a few options available if you need something more temporary or movable storage options.

Using Space Wisely: Storing large amounts in small places can be a challenge. Another challenge with this is that if you stuff your closet full, it’s going to be a SHTF event in itself just getting to what you need.

Your Spouse: Keeping the spouse happy is one of the most important parts about storage…especially if they are not on board with prepping. You might think that you have everything set up perfectly, but if they don’t it really doesn’t matter.

Organization: Filling your pantry can be an invitation for chaos. Mention Lisa’s step stool and other ideas. Side shelf refrigerator

Remove it: One thing I am really bad at (because it feels like throwing away money) is throwing out expired food. Don’t be afraid to throw stuff out or use it. If you are never going to use it, you might as well throw it out to free up space, and do a better job on rotation next time around.

Long Term Foods: For people who don’t have a lot of room, or people who just don’t want to deal with the challenges that come with food storage, long term food is also an option. We sell Legacy Food Storage products at the SHTFShop.com. These are easy to store and offer a 25 year shelf life.

Refrigerator Foods

Wasting Money: If you have no way of keeping your refrigerator running during a power outage, don’t waste your money filling your freezer with steak and chicken. Instead, learn skills like canning and dehydrating. Focus on alternatives to refrigeration.

Stable Foods: Some refrigerator foods have a very long shelf life when refrigerated. Garlic, salad dressings, yeast, condiments etc. can all last a year or longer. This is great for food storage reasons, but without refrigeration the number drops to zero.

Pre Refrigeration Storage: Some of these same refrigerator foods don’t need refrigeration until they are opened. If you use a lot of ketchup, go ahead and stock up, but once it’s opened the clock starts ticking faster. Also pay attention to where the grocery store puts it. Velveeta, salad dressings and mayonnaise all go on shelves, not in the refrigerated section.

Unleash your inner OCD

Treat Your House Like a Grocery Store: we know that grocery stores carry a limited stock because in order to reduce costs they need to sell products quickly. FIFO (first in, first out) is the method they use to go through inventory the way it came in. A store only buys what it thinks it can sell, so store what you eat proportional to how often you eat it.

Warehousing: Shelving units (storage areas) is like a stores warehouse, and your pantry is like stocking the front of the store. Once your food hits the pantry it should gets used or thrown away. It’s much easier to restock a storage area where everything is more organized, than a pantry where things can get moved around.

Everything Has a Home: I have a major problem with this, and I know I’m not alone. Remember to put things back when your done with them. Having a bunch of flashlights is great, but if you can’t find the batteries they are useless. Make sure everyone else in the house understands this too!

Storage Ideas: Keeping everything in one place will make your life a lot easier. Plastic storage totes (or similar storage systems) will help you to organize supplies. I use these for my power outage supplies, and other prepping supplies that I want to keep in the same place.

Know What you Have: It’s important to do a detailed inventory at least twice a year, and a less detailed inventory monthly if possible. The smaller inventory will help with your shopping lists, and the larger (detailed) one will reduce waste from expired food. Here are a few lists that will help with your inventory and rotation of you prepping supplies. 

Don’t Set it and Forget it

Nothing Lasts Forever: Some supplies will last for years, like batteries or even water. These supplies pose a challenge because we have a tendency to “set it and forget it”. Water might last forever, but  the container you put it in won’t. Rechargeable batteries have a long shelf life, but will slowly lose their charge over time. Keep these supplies in mind when you do your bi yearly inventory.

Follow the Rules:  Most people don’t pay a lot of attention to how they store supplies, but as preppers we are always trying to maximize shelf life…and then some. Pay attention to best storage practices on each of these products to get the most out of them.

The New Blaze Charcoal Grill

As I mentioned in the podcast, Expedition Research and I have teamed up on an off the grid and camping cooking option for preppers. There are quite a few options available when it comes to off the grid cooking, and this charcoal grill isn’t meant to be a replacement, it’s a way to add another cooking option.

Here is a short review video on the grill, and then I’ll be doing a few videos in the near future that are more in depth about how this works, and why it is a great option for off the grid cooking.

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Bushcraft Basics for Preppers

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Bushcraft Basics for PreppersPrepping is made up of many different aspects of life, and Bushcraft is one of them. You don’t need to be a Navy Seal to understand tactics and defense. You don’t need to be the CEO of a fortune 500 company to invest in gold and silver, and you don’t need to 30 days in the wild to understand Bushcraft.

As preppers all we need to do is take the advice from people who have done these things, and incorporate them into our prepping plans as we see fit. Today in the show I talked to Shawn who does take Bushcraft seriously, and he talked about the aspects of wilderness survival that are important to preppers.

SPP184 Bushcraft Basics for Preppers

In this show we tried to cover as many topics as possible, and it’s pretty hard to do. This show is general information about Bushcraft for preppers. We plan on digging deeper into these topics and how Bushcraft applies to the 5 areas of preparedness in the future.

Here are some notes that Shawn put together for the show this week. If you do have any questions or comments, just leave them at the end of this article.

What is Bushcraft?

Definition of Bushcraft by Horace Kephart

– The Art of Getting along well in the wilderness by utilizing natures storehouse. –

“A good woodsman must be able to- enter the wilderness, with no outfit other than what’s carried by horse, canoe, or his back, and find his way without man made marks to guide him; they must know the habits and properties of trees and plants, the ways of catching and dressing fish and game, and cooking them over a fire. They must know how to build adequate shelter against wind and rain, and keep himself warm through the bitter nights of winter.”

Water Safety

  • Water borne bacteria in North America, Ghardia & Cryptosporidium.
  • CDC recommends filtering water first, then boiling for decontamination.
  • Iodine, & Chlorine dioxide tablets/drops: These are useful, but not for long term. The recommendation is no more than 3 weeks. May be resisted by Cryptosporidium and are unsafe for pregnant women.
  • Most chemical measurements are based on 32 oz., Mark a dimple large metal bottles.
  • UV steri-pens not worth using long term, batteries are not reliable.
  • Charcoal & Ceramic Filters by themselves are useful in time sensitive situations (bugging out), but no filter is 100%. Filters like the Sawyer and life straw are far better than a field expedient water filter.
  • Boiling should always be used as primary method when possible, kills 100% of pathogens.
  • Distilling water systems remove Lead, Arsenic, other metal substances, but are high energy, or slow/minimal effectiveness when using The Sun.
  • Contact Time: CDC recommends boiling water for 1 min. to kill pathogens. 3 min. Above 2000m (6,562ft)
  • Use metal containers, for water boiling and other uses (char material, medicine, cooking food). Plastic is not recommended.
  • When no metal is container available, water can be boiled using a wood container, and hot stones.

Medicine & Edibles (Pine)

  • North America holds 46 Species in 5 genera, very widespread and common throughout the States. Pine trees are one of most versatile and useful trees/plants.
  • Best Pine to use is soft pine or white pine.
  • An easy trick to identify White Pine is the needles. These pine trees have 4 or 5 needles together in one bundle, all others have 1, 2 or 3.
  • Ponderosa, Lodgepole and Monterey pine are known to be harmful to livestock. Yew tree can be deadly to humans.
  • Different parts of the pine can be used as an Antiseptic, Expectorant (Respiratory), Antifungal, Drawing properties (splinters), Vitamin C, Vitamin A.
  • Pine needles can be used for making Tea, weaving baskets and fire tinder.
  • Pine nuts edible on all pine species. Pine nuts are easier to find if the pine cone has not opened yet.
  • Inner bark of the pine can be used for baskets, band-aid and even  fried & eaten like pine potato chips.
  • The sap from the pine can be as a glue (sap+charcoal), directly on cuts/burns/blisters, as a salve (sap+beeswax+oils), Bug Repellent (sap+castor oil+tea tree oil), and even a temporary tooth filling.
  • The boughs can be used as roof shingles for shelter or bedding.
  • Fatwood is an outdoorsmans best friend. It can be used as tinder or kindling, and makes starting a fire much easier. Here is an article that explains fatwood and shows some examples.
  • The wood itself can be used for shelter, fire, tool handles, log splitting wedges.

5 Must Have Tools

In the show I asked Shawn what tools he considers a must have. He also mentioned how you should conserve your tools as much as possible. Try to use other resources whenever you can. You can also keep your tools oiled with cooking oil, and try to keep your tools sharp. A sharp knife is much safer than a dull knife.

Axe/ Hatchet: primary tool for Processing firewood, planks, shelter, wood carving, field dressing wild game and other common cutting tasks. You will want it to have an 18″-20 handle minimum, 26-28″ for large axe. Use Wedges whenever possible to extend the lifespan of your axe.

Belt Knife: primary use is skinning, cutting meat, prepping food. Secondary use is cutting sticks & Fine carving, processing smaller size wood. The blade should be about 5 or 6″ long, high carbon steel, full tang, no exaggerated point needed, sharp 90 angle usually on spine for fire and wood shavings, 1/8″ or 3/16 thick.

Jack Knife/ Carving Knife: This could be a Folding knife, or multitool with good blade that you always have in your pocket. Frontiersman used folding knife as primary whittling knife, but a separate knife specific to woodcarving is great to have. Mora makes excellent knives for carving. Can be stainless, but still prefer carbon because they hold their edge better.

Saw: These are safer and easier than axe and are an essential tool, especially in winter. I prefer metal bowsaw for camp with interchangeable blades. A wood bucksaw can be made. Some people also prefer the folding saws for on the trail like the silky or Bahco. Here is a comparison of 3 folding saw and how well they work.

Sewing Awl/ Scratch Awl/ Crooked Awl: High traded items in frontier times. Useful for drilling and poking holes in bark, canvas, leather, clothing. Needles and thread are hard to remake in the wild, so always have some with you. Speedy stitcher, extra needles and thread, sail needles, and a steel crooked awl.

The Basics of Shelter

  • Shelters should be set up in places with adequate drainage to avoid flooding, near water, have wind protection, have fire material nearby. Shelters can be made from dead branches and even entire trees around you.
  • A shelter is anything that keeps you warm and dry. A coat can be considered shelter because it protects you from the elements.
  • The materials available to you fro building a shelter depends on the season and where you live.
  • Shelter isn’t just the materials you find in the wild. You can use hammocks, tents, tarps and bivys along with wood shelters
  • Sleep and comfort is the most neglected aspect of shelter building.  Getting a good nights sleep is essential for endurance and energy. You could use your bug out bag as a pillow, and find some materials to make bedding.
  • There are many different types of shelters. A “lean to” shelter is good for warm nights, and an “A frame or debris hut” shelter is good for cold or stormy nights.
  • Tarp Shelters usually require hand made stakes, toggles, and rope to construct. If you carry a tarp with you, you need to know how to set up a tarp shelter. Also think about which water proofing methods are possible.
  • Just a side note, frontiersman would have frowned on modern tents. they liked the open air, and fire beside them.

The Basics of Fire

There are many ways to get a fire started including a sun glass, flint & steel, a ferro rod, a mag bar and even a Bic Lighter.

Try to use your most precious resource last. This meas that if you have a Bic lighter, try to get your fire started with a ferro rod, and save that fuel for later when it might be crucial.

Sun Glass: This can be eye glasses, compass, camera lens, frenzel lense or a magnifying glass. This can be a tough way to start a fire and requires direct sunlight.

Flint & Steel: This could be a specific kit you have, a knife or any high carbon steel used with Quartz or Flint. works well with dry birds nest & char cloth or fatwood shavings. (see below)

Ferro Rod: Using a ferro rod takes practice. It should take 2 or 3 strikes as a goal to get a spark to catch. use the ferro rod with a separate striker or sharp 90 degree edge on back (spine) of knife or other piece of carbon steel. use dry birds nest,  char cloth, fatwood or charcoal from punk wood to make this method easier.

Lighter: A full size Bic cant be beat, it’s easy to use, easy to store and when all else fails you’ll be glad you have it. You’ll want to know other methods of starting a fire, but always have a Bic (not a cheap lighter) with you just in case.

Materials for Easy(r) Fire Starting

Fatwood: This is from the resin collecting part of tree. It is a darker orange color, very flammable and smells like turpentine or pine sol. Collect whenever possible to use in the future. Use shavings as tinder, and sticks as kindling. Found in lower branch crooks, root balls, and dead stumps. watch for stumps as wasp nests.

Punk Wood: Dead & rotten part of tree. Works best when feels spongy and will compress between fingers, but it doesn’t crumble apart. Can be used just like char cloth to make char coal, even works well as is.

Char Cloth: To make char cloth you need some100% cotton material. The way it works is you put the char cloth in a tin and starve it of oxygen. Then you cook it until smoke stops coming from the tin. I did this video to explain more about how char cloth works.

The post Bushcraft Basics for Preppers appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

How People Will Become the X Factor in a Crisis

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How People Will Become the X Factor in a CrisisThere is a lot of debate in the preparedness community about how people will react in any sort of SHTF scenario or crisis. This week we talked about how people will become the X factor in a crisis, and how people can either make a bad situation even worse, or a little better.

You have no doubt heard the scenario where a woman and her children come to the door asking for food, while her husband is hiding around the corner waiting in ambush. While this situation is certainly possible, we need to take into consideration other situations that aren’t so obvious.

People as a whole are pretty predictable, and these disaster scenarios are also fairly predictable. Things get a little more complicated when you start to look at these events and how people will react on a smaller scale, or an individual level.

SPP183 How People Will Become the X Factor in a Crisis

In this week’s show Lisa and I went over some things to look for and expect with people in any sort of disaster situation, and even events that are not large scale “Mad Max” type situations. As we see on Black Friday every year, it doesn’t take much for people to lose their minds…especially when there is a group of them.

We also wanted to make the point this week that it’s not always about people reacting badly. People will create communities and look for support because people need people. It is our responsibility to figure out who might be an asset to our situation, and who might be a threat to our survival.

Leaders, Followers & Turds

People can be boiled down to 3 categories. Some are leaders, some are followers and some are just plain turds. While all of us probably have a little of each of these quality’s is us, the majority of our character is made up of one of these.

Leaders: We all have the ability to be a leader in us, it’s just that some of us are more reluctant than others. It’s also important to remember that being a leader doesn’t mean being a good guy, a turd can be a leader as well. But as the saying goes “A polished turd is still a turd”

A good leader is usually someone with a high moral compass, and someone who is looking out for everyone in the group. A good leader is also a good listener and makes decisions based on what’s good for the group, not personal gain.

Followers: Being a follower can be either good or bad. On the bad side are the sheeple, and there are far more sheeple than there are leaders and turds. Sheeple will follow blindly based on what a leader says and not question anything they do.

As a prepper it’s ok to be more of a follower than a leader, as long as we don’t become one of the sheep. Some people would rather be part of the team, than lead the team. A team member might be a better term for this type of person because there will be a greater need for team members than leaders.

Turds: These are the people we need to look out for. These are the people with no moral structure whatsoever, and who will make decisions based on their needs, regardless who gets caught in the crossfire.

Turds are the criminals, the looters during riots and anyone looking for an opportunity to take advantage of the weak. Unfortunately, most of these people believe they are “leaders” because when the rules don’t apply, you can do or say anything. This type of leader preys on the follower.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

In the show this week we talked about how the rules will change in any sort of disaster or survival situation. Decisions we make today while everything is “normal” will be far different than decisions made your life is on the line.

Here are a few of the other topics we covered in the Survivalist Prepper Podcast this week…

– People might be forced to make decisions they wouldn’t make today. When a situation is life or death, a person will easily rationalize stealing and even killing if it means their survival.

– The rules for ethics and morality will change. In general, people are followers and will do what society deems correct. In a disaster situation, people (including us) will have to live by a different set of rules. As preppers we wouldn’t need to lie, cheat and steal, but some people would…most people would.

– We always think about how others will react, but what about us and our family? We will have to make decisions and live with the consequences. Whether we choose to turn someone away, or let them in, there will be consequences.

– People need people, and people will seek support groups. These support groups could be good or bad depending on how and why they were formed. If a bad group of people are able to provide what someone needs to survive, some people might join them. The same holds true for the good guys. A community of people is safer and more productive than the lone wolf.

– One of the most dangerous parts of any disaster (large or small) is the mob mentality. It seems like the more people you put together, the less brain cells there are. This is yet another example of how people are followers, and will follow the herd rather than make their own decisions.

– One thing we tend to overlook is teens and young adults. People in their late teens and early 20’s are very impressionable, and need proper guidance. This is why terrorists, gangs and cults prey on these people. It is much easier to convince someone at this age that your way is the right way than it is if someone is older and “wiser”.

–  We also talked about how in Franklin Hortons book “Ashes of the Unspeakable” They must let people out of prison. How would it be ethically decided that they get let out if necessary? And what would the repercussions be on society?  We also did an interview with Franklin that you can listen to here.

Learning to Read People

A while back I wrote this article about how to read people and peel back the onion. We need to be careful how much information we give out to people, but sometimes we might not have a choice. As we get to know someone more we start to feel more comfortable about giving out information. We need to be careful about how much information we give out, and to who.

In that article, I also talked about how to read someone you know very little about, or nothing at all. We need to look for “tells.” Tells are what someone does that can give them away. If someone is not making eye contact, if someone is being fidgety or if someone is stuttering can all be tells.

As preppers we have a tendency to focus on the disasters themselves and not the events that will follow. It’s important to understand how people might react in a crisis, and how they can become the X factor that makes a bad situation worse, or a bad situation better.

The post How People Will Become the X Factor in a Crisis appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Prepare For the Worst and Hope For the Best

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Prepare For the Worst and Hope For the BestWhen it comes to preparing for any sort of SHTF event it really is a guessing game. All we can (and should) do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. There is no way to know exactly what might happen, but we can stack the deck in our favor by learning new skills, maintaining our health and preparing for these disasters while we still have the opportunity.

Next week we are going to expand on this a little bit and go over how people will be the X factor that could change the dynamics of a disaster. The way certain people react could make a disaster more tolerable, or make it even worse. 

We all have preconceived ideas of how things will go down in a worldwide, or nationwide SHTF situation happens. But do we really know what will happen? Do we really know how people that we love, and those that we don’t, we react?

The truth is no. We have no idea of how people will react, or what will transpire. But there are things that we can do to prepare for the unknown, after all, isn’t this why we all are preparing in the first place?

SPP182 Prepare For the Worst and Hope For the Best

The show note for this episode are a little short this week, but we went over much more about these topics in the show. We also talked about the future of prepping, and the future of our country. There is also a video about this at the end of the post.

Planning for Chaos

In the event something happens, we will all be waiting for the magical catalyst that will set everything off. The unfortunate thing is, we won’t know what that ‘thing’ is until after it happens. So be diligent now. Pay attention to what is going on in the world around you, and continue building your preps.

Adding in Unknown Variables

After things go to crap, you need to consider all possible scenarios both short term and long term. You need to think about how you and your family will live, and continue your ‘new normal’ on an everyday basis. You need to consider all of the not so good what if scenarios. There may be unfavorable characters that may wander onto your property. There may be mobs of marauders searching for preppers.

Stockpiling and Planning

Every day that you can prepare is a good day, don’t let it go to waste. Continue to prepare, and plan. Learn new skills, think of alternative ways to continue your lifestyle. You will need to have a lot of food, and every day necessities, as well as ways to continue the electricity, or alternatives.

You will also need a way to keep your preps safe. You will need to know about security, and how to keep your family safe, and you will need to have options to all the above. Plan for that now.

Know thy Neighbor

Put yourself out there, within reason. Get to know your neighbors, their strengths as well as their weaknesses. This could be valuable information in an SHTF situation.  You don’t need to spread your message of preparedness, but you do need to know how your neighbors are prepared.

If you have an understanding of the people who live around you, you will be better prepared to deal with them if things get ugly. You never know how people will react when things go bad, including yourself. So get to know your neighbors. There really is safety in numbers, and it is also important to know if these people will benefit, or be a hindrance to your own preparedness journey.

Know who lives around you, and what type of people are in your community, and then branch out further from your bubble. Don’t stay so focused on yourself that you forget about the millions of other people in this country. You need to always be looking at the big picture, and plan for it.

From Bad to Worse

You will need to know how to pace yourself when things go down. If the power goes out, don’t turn your home into a military installation just yet.  It is almost like a defcon scale, and this would be defcon 3. You are alert to the situation, but aren’t pulling out all the stops yet. Pull out your crank radio, or HAM radio, and pay attention. You will be on an alert status, but try not to over-react.

If it truly is an SHTF scenario, or could be, that alert status will jump up. If you feel a sense of urgency, don’t ignore it. This is what we plan and prep for, and you must know how to react.

Your Own Mental Health

Our own mental heath is a very important factor. If people are expecting us to lead, or looking to us for answers, we need to be able and willing to do so. If we are on the verge of “losing it” everyone else looking at us to lead them will follow suit.

This is a tough situation because none of us really know how a disaster scenario will affect us, but keeping a cool head (as much as possible) is critical in any survival situation.

Preparing For the Worst

Again, this is what we do, plan for the worst. And you need to come up with your worst-case scenario, no matter what that may be. And you need to plan for it. Also make sure that as you are planning for these large scale disaster events that you are not forgetting the little things.

Having a well stocked gun safe is useless without the right ammo, and having a pantry full of canned food is worthless without a can opener. On a larger scale, don’t get so focused on stockpiling food and water that you forget about security.

Learn From History

If you want to know what could happen, read about what has happened throughout history. Read up on how people reacted during the civil war, world wars and different situations. Look at the fall of the Roman empire. What happened during these SHTF scenarios? How did people react? People are creatures of habit, and we tend to duplicate and replicate our own pasts, for better or for worse. Study these situations, and learn from them.

The Future of Prepping

The post Prepare For the Worst and Hope For the Best appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Foodborne Illness and Prevention for Preppers

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Foodborne Illness and Prevention for PreppersEven today with high sanitation standards and proper food handling procedures food-borne illness is an issue. In any sort of SHTF scenario, food-borne illness and prevention for preppers will inevitably become a major issue.

CDC estimates that each year roughly 48 million people gets sick from a food-borne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die. According to some estimates, the most common food-borne illnesses are caused by norovirus and by the bacteria Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, and Campylobacter.

Imagine what those numbers would be without proper sanitation, without running water, and without refrigeration. These days we depend on best by dates and if it doesn’t get eaten in time, we just toss it out.

SPP181 Foodborne Illness and Prevention for Preppers

In this week’s show, Lisa and I not only talked about food safety and prevention, we talked about what some of these food-borne illnesses are, and how to treat them.

Safe Food Handling

The most important part of food preparation is proper sanitary conditions. This includes how you store uncooked foods, and how you prepare your meals. In a SHTF situation, this will be more difficult than it is now.

Washing Hands: This is first on the list because it is the most important. We usually pay no attention to how many things we touch each day, and we can easily carry around bacteria without even knowing about it.

Disinfectants (Bleach): Making sure your work area and utensils are disinfected is critical, and this is where bleach is your best friend. Bleach is a quick easy sanitizer and can be used all around the house, not just for cleaning your cooking area.

Bleach is inexpensive, has a long shelf life and has many useful purposes it is a must have in every preppers pantry. Bleach could literally be a lifesaver in many ways.

Cross Contamination: If you use a cutting board to process raw chicken, and then you use the same cutting board to cut up some carrots that is cross contamination. That bacteria on the chicken will be cooked and killed, but the bacteria transferred to the carrots will not.

The same applies to the utensils you use. Make sure and use different utensils for different foods, or wash and sanitize them between use.

Temperature Danger Zone: This is when your food is the most vulnerable to spoilage.  The temperature danger zone is between 40° to 140°, and your food should only remain in this temperature range for 2 hours max.

As they say in the restaurant industry “keep your hot foods hot, and your cold foods cold”

Short term refrigeration

One reason why having canned foods, shelf stable foods and long term food storage is important is because we will most likely be without refrigeration. Depending on the scenario, we might have refrigeration, but we need to have alternatives.

In the first 24 hours after a power outage do not open refrigerators or freezers any more than necessary. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately 4 hours. An unopened freezer will keep food frozen for approximately 24 hours.

The fuller your refrigerator or freezer is the better. The more area taken up by frozen food, the less area there is for air.

If possible, you could also use a generator for a few hours a day. There is no need to continually supply power to your refrigerator if you only open it periodically. If you have a generator, you could run it for a hour a few times a day and keep the temperature cool enough.

Keep the temperature danger zone in mind here, you will need to throw away any food items that become warmer than 41 degrees.

Long term Refrigeration

Long term refrigeration is a bigger challenge, at some point we are going to need to find some alternatives. If we have fresh vegetables, we need to keep them cool to extend their shelf life.

Zeer Pot:  These are fairly basic, and are used in places where refrigeration is not available. This article explains what the process is.

Root cellar: A root cellar could be something large enough for you to walk into, or something small that requires you to dig a hole in the ground. This won’t give you “refrigerator temperatures” but it will keep your food cooler.

Water: If you live by a river or lake…dunk it. You will need a way to keep it contained (like a cage) but water temperatures are always cooler than air temperatures. In some places it could even be below 41°

Solar: If you have the solar capacity, a low wattage compact refrigerator might be an option. These would take much less energy to keep cool, but it’s up to you if it is worth it or not.

Let it Flow…

In the show we talked about some of the most common food-borne illnesses, their symptoms and how to treat them. A common theme with all of these illnesses is diarrhea. Diarrhea is your bodies way of getting rid of the bacteria. It’s important not to take anything to stop the diarrhea, but to replace fluids and electrolytes.

Here is a recipe Lisa found for replacing electrolytes…

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups of water (filtered or purified) or raw coconut water
  • 2 tbsp. organic raw honey or organic maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan Pink salt or Celtic sea salt (I like Himalayan better – it has 84 trace minerals)

Common Food-borne Illnesses

Here are a few of the food-borne illnesses we went over in the show…

Salmonella

Cause: Raw meats, poultry, eggs, milk and other dairy products, shrimp, frog legs, yeast, coconut, pasta and chocolate are most frequently involved.

Symptoms: Typical Symptoms of Salmonella infection appear 6 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food and lasts from 3 to 7 days without treatment. Symptoms of Salmonella infection range widely, and are sometimes absent altogether. The most common symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.

Treatment: Dehydration caused by diarrhea is the most common complication. Antibiotics are not usually needed unless the infection has spread. In severe cases Amoxicillin and Ampicillin may be useful.

E.coli

Cause: You get an E. coli infection by coming into contact with the feces, or stool, of humans or animals. This can happen when you drink water or eat food that has been contaminated by feces.

Symptoms: Diarrhea, which may range from mild and watery to severe and bloody, abdominal cramping, pain or tenderness, nausea and vomiting, in some people

Treatment: Rest and fluids to help prevent dehydration and fatigue. Avoid taking an anti-diarrheal medication, this slows your digestive system down, preventing your body from getting rid of the toxins. Antibiotics generally aren’t recommended because they can increase the risk of serious complications.

Listeria

Cause: Listeria bacteria can be found in soil, water and animal feces. Humans typically are infected by consuming raw vegetables that have been contaminated from the soil or from contaminated manure used as fertilizer, infected animal meat, unpasteurized milk. Certain processed foods can also lead to Listeria such as soft cheeses, hot dogs and deli meats.

Symptoms: The symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, and sometimes nausea ordiarrhea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions can occur.

Treatment: An otherwise healthy person who is not pregnant typically does not need treatment. Symptoms will usually go away within a few weeks.

Cholera

Cause: Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but sometimes it can be severe.

A person may get cholera by drinking water or eating food contaminated with the cholera bacterium. In an epidemic, the source of the contamination is usually the feces of an infected person. The disease can spread rapidly in areas with inadequate treatment of sewage and drinking water.

In the United States, because of advanced water and sanitation systems, cholera is not a major threat…but it could become one.

Symptoms: characterized by profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps. In these people, rapid loss of body fluids leads to dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours.

Treatment: While antibiotics are not a necessary part of cholera treatment, some of these drugs may reduce both the amount and duration of cholera-related diarrhea. A single dose of doxycycline (Monodox, Oracea, Vibramycin) or azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax) may be effective.

The goal is to replace lost fluids and electrolytes using a simple rehydration solution. Without rehydration, approximately half the people with cholera die. With treatment, the number of fatalities drops to less than 1 percent.

Botulism

Cause: Most of the small number of outbreaks reported annually in the U.S. are associated with inadequately processed, home-canned foods, but occasionally commercially-produced foods have been involved in outbreaks. Sausages, meat products, canned vegetables and seafood products have been vehicles for human botulism.

Symptoms: Symptoms include double vision, inability to swallow, speech difficulty, and progressive paralysis of the respiratory system

Treatment: Treating botulism requires an anti-toxin. Antibiotics are not advised for any types of botulism because they can hasten the release of the toxins.

The post Foodborne Illness and Prevention for Preppers appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

The Pros and Cons of Antibiotics for Preppers

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The Pros and Cons of Antibiotics for PreppersThis week in the Survivalist Prepper Podcast Lisa and I talked about some of the pros and cons of antibiotics for preppers. Antibiotics are a big concern for people in the preparedness community because some sicknesses and infections are impossible to cure without them.

Infections were a major cause of death before the advent of antibiotics. Diseases that were prevalent in the past are virtually nonexistent because of antibiotics, the problem is that bacteria are becoming resistant to them.  Bacterial resistance is inevitable, because bacteria will always change in order to survive.

With the widespread overuse of antibiotics from inappropriate prescriptions and extensive agricultural use, antibiotics are quickly becoming ineffective. It is estimated that in just a couple generations, we will be in the “post antibiotic age”.

With that being said, antibiotics will still be useful for preppers in any sort of post collapse scenario where medical help is limited, or nonexistent. It is up to us to understand how to use them, when to use them and learn ways to prevent the need for them in the first place whenever possible.

SPP180 The Pros and Cons of Antibiotics for Preppers

In this week’s show is not only a cautionary show about antibiotics, but also about what antibiotics might be useful if used correctly, and even some fish antibiotic alternatives.

Here are some notes from the show, but for more detail please listen to it. Lisa is an RN and goes into much more detail about antibiotics than I can here.

IMPORTANT: This is not medical advice, these are just our opinions and suggestions on the subject. This advice is for SHTF scenarios when medical help is not available. If at all possible, seek medical advice from professionals.

Why Antibiotics Shouldn’t Be choice #1

Prevention: Like the saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Whenever possible we need to understand how to prevent something from escalating to the level where antibiotics are needed. Something as simple as a cut could turn into something bigger if not treated correctly.

Boost Your Immune System: There are things we can do today that will decrease our need for antibiotics. Maintaining a healthy diet, and eating the right foods will boost our immune system, and help us fight some of these bacteria’s.

Research Alternatives to Antibiotics: While some of these alternatives are not the “magic bullet” that antibiotics are, they might be the only alternative available. This article here goes over some herbs and other antibiotic alternative.

Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks: Because you can’t actually “feel” the antibiotics working, there is the misconception that they have no side effects.

In this article here HoneyColony states: “While not all antibiotics have long-lasting side effects, there are some that can actually cause permanent damage to the body. Here is a list of five of the most widely prescribed antibiotics with serious side effects.”

What will Antibiotics Treat

Antibiotics are medicines that only treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics won’t treat viral infections because they can’t kill viruses. Antibiotics only work against infections caused by bacteria, fungi and certain parasites.

They don’t work against any infections caused by viruses. Viruses cause colds, the flu and most coughs and sore throats. It is important to note that some viral infections can turn into bacterial infections.

Overuse of Antibiotics Today

We don’t need to take these antibiotics to become immune to them, and we don’t actually become immune, the bacteria does. Because of antibiotic overuse, certain bacteria have become resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics available today. Antibiotic resistance is a widespread problem, and one that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls “one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.”

Livestock producers routinely give antibiotics to animals to make them grow faster or help them survive crowded, stressful, and unsanitary conditions. Because of this, some bacteria become antibiotic resistant, threatening the future effectiveness of these medicines.

Will Fish Antibiotics Still Be an Option?

Fish antibiotics are a popular subject with preppers because we can get large quantities of these without a prescription, even though they are the same thing as human antibiotics. In any post collapse situation, prescription antibiotics will not be readily available, and fish antibiotics would be a good alternative.

There has been some concern lately about the Veterinary Feed Directive which will go into affect on January 1st 2017. I have read a few conflicting reports about what this means for preppers, and the availability of fish antibiotics. From what I understand this won’t affect fish antibiotics, but they could become more expensive.

3 Likely SHTF Uses for Antibiotics

Uses for Antibiotics http://www.bpac.org.nz/Supplement/2013/July/antibiotics-guide.aspx

Infected Wounds: Penicillin would be your first choice because it is a broad spectrum antibiotic, although some people are allergic to cillin antibiotics. Other alternatives could be Keflex and Bactrim. Fish antibiotic alternative could include Fish Flex and Fish Pen.

Common Illnesses: While antibiotics do nothing for the common cold or viral infections, they would be useful for illnesses such as pneumonia and strep throat. A broad spectrum antibiotic like Bactrim, Amoxicillin would also be useful.Fish antibiotics could include Fish Penn and Fish Mox.

Food Borne Illness: In a SHTF event, the lack of refrigeration, eating expired foods, and improper food preservation could lead to quite a bit of food borne illness. Because there is such a wide range when it comes to food born illnesses we are going to dedicate an entire show to this.

Next week we will go into much more detail about preventing food borne illness, and what to do if you happen to get sick from eating something tainted with E. coli or salmonella.

For more information on fish antibiotics in general, here is an article from The Modern Survival Blog that goes into detail about the different types of fish antibiotics.

Also From the Show…

Contest Ends Tonight: As we mentioned in the podcast, the Christmas Contest ends tonight at midnight. Click here to get your entries while you can.

Academy Christmas Pricing: We also have a special going on at the Survivalist Prepper Academy until January 1st where you can join at half price. Click here to find out more.

BOB First Aid Kit Discount: We also talked about getting $10 off our Bug Out Bag First Aid Kits when you use the promo code “bob” (without quotes) at the SHTFShop.com

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Great Christmas Gift Ideas for Preppers

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Great Christmas Gift Ideas for PreppersOne of the great things about being a prepper, is that we are pretty easy to shop for. If we already have something, and we get another one, we will never complain. We all have lists of things we want, but don’t have yet. Even if some of these prepping supplies won’t actually save our lives, we can come up with a reason why it might.

Last year we couple lists of great Chrsitmas gift ideas for preppers. Lisa wrote an article about gift ideas for people who you want to get interested in preparedness, and I wrote one about unique gifts for that prepper that has everything. This year I tried not to add the same gift ideas I did last year, but a couple are in both articles because they are just that cool.

SPP179 Great Christmas Gift Ideas for Preppers

In today’s podcast Lisa and I went into detail about some of these gift ideas for preppers. Towards the end Lisa even went more detail about some other gift ideas that are preparedness related, but don’t have “prepper” written all over them.

My Gift Ideas for Preppers

I will try to link to as many of these as possible, but there are so many versions of some of these, and so many places to buy them, you might have to look around a bit.

EDC Jacket (Any clothes with lots of pockets)

I had to add the “any clothes with a lot of pockets” to this because as preppers we can always use more pockets or ways to carry our gear. There are quite a few EDC (Every Day Carry) jackets and coats available. One of these jacket is on my Christmas list this year.

Hand Gun/Rifle Accessories

If you or your significant other own a handgun or rifle with a rail system, accessories are a great idea. While you shouldn’t have your firearm loaded down with every accessory possible, there are some that are necessary. A few that come to mind are a strap (AR15) a flashlight and a scope.

Along these same lines is extra ammo. No prepper has ever said “I have enough ammo” And even if they do, you should buy them more anyway. This doesn’t need to be high end ammo (although it can be) if it is just for target practice, but it need to be the right caliber for the gun.

Conflicted the Card Game

I have written about Conflicted in the past about how this is not just a game, but also a prepping tool. I also even recently did a video about the new Conflicted deck, the Economic Collapse deck. This card game is not only a way to open up dialog with your children or non prepper friends, it also helps you gain insight about why your plan might not be the best option.

Micro Fire Key Ring

I purchased a couple of these Micro Fire Key Rings in the past and because I loved them so much, I got a couple more this year to give to the kids. Even if your children or friends are completely uninterested in preparedness, they will probably still like these. They might actually get them to question how starting a fire without a Bic lighter works.

Tac-Bar Package

For those of you who listen to the podcast, you already know how great these Tac-Bar packages are. We’ve even given a few away in our monthly contests. These are food rations, water purification tablets and a survival tin all inside an ammo can. This is one of those great Christmas gift ideas for the prepper who has everything.

The All American Sun Oven

I can’t say enough how much we love our Sun Oven, and how everyone I know that has one loves it too. The Sun Oven is literally the best option for cooking off the grid, and is something you can use now. You can cook just about anything with a Sun Oven, and even purify water.

If you are interested in purchasing an All American Sun Oven, make sure and use this link to get our discount. These are a little pricey, but I guarantee you won’t be sorry. You can tell from this interview I did with Sun Ovens President Paul Munson that they are a great company.

Prepper Related T-shirts

When I say prepper related T-Shirts I don’t mean shirts with “I’m a Prepper” written on them, I mean shirts preppers would wear depending on what they are interested in. It could be something cammo, it could be something Zombie, or it could be something patriotic. Here are a few examples of what I would like for Christmas.

1st Gen Night Vision Monocular

Night vision is something I have always wanted, but the price tag has always gotten in the way. While 3rd generation night vision (the best) is pretty expensive, 1st generation night vision is more in my price range. To get a better idea about what the differences are have a look at this article.

Conceal Gun Cabinets

In the past I did a video about the hidden storage cabinet I have, and I love it. To everyone else it looks like a regular shelf, but I know what it really is. There are a few different places you can get these, and The Folkway Lodge is giving away something like this in this months contest. You can even find them on eBay.

Diversion Safe

We’ve probably all seen the fake rock to hide your key under, or even had a fake can of shaving cream as a teenager that we hid stuff in. These days there are many more options available, and even some higher end stuff that looks like furniture like these.

Solar Chargers (Anything Solar)

Because of how vulnerable our power grid is, and because we are always looking for ways to live without electricity, solar power is very popular with preppers. These could be basic solar chargers for phones, or on a larger scale, a solar panel setup.

Solar could also include yard lights and motion sensors. I have this Defiant Solar Light and I absolutely love it. I have had it in my backyard for over a year, and it always works like it should.

DIY Prepper Gifts

In the show Lisa talked about gifts you can make at home like basket of homemade canned goods and even meals in jars which are exactly what it is…meals that you put in jars that have a long shelf live and look pretty for people who might not be totally into preparedness, but are considering the idea. Here are some recipes from Mom With A Prep.

 

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Some of the Most Likely Disaster Scenarios

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Some of the Most Likely Disaster ScenariosIn a recent video, I talked about why my main concern is an economic collapse, and last week we did a podcast with 10 tips for new preppers. This led me to thinking about some of the most likely disaster scenarios we face, and the right way to prepare for these in the first place.

While all the following disaster scenarios are important, it’s important not to fall into the trap of preparing for one thing or the other. If you have ever seen the show Doomsday preppers you know exactly what I’m talking about. When they say “I’m preparing for an EMP” or “I’m preparing for nuclear war” what they are really saying is “I’m not prepared for…”

I posed this question to some of the members of the Survivalist Prepper Academy and one response really stood out because it really hit the nail on the head.

Sean wrote: “Prepping is less and less about being afraid and trying to plan for every eventuality but more about being able to take care of myself and then those I care about should something happen.”

As preppers we should not only be concerned about these major disaster scenarios, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the big picture.

In a recent interview with Franklin Horton he said ” I see it as getting back to the way our grandparents lived, when the safety and well-being of your family was something that you personally took care of. It’s not about living in fear, it’s about living with a sense of security.”

Has Prepping Changed?

While its important to have a well rounded approach to prepping, the problems we face today are different than those of preppers just 20 years ago. Some of the issues we face today are issues that seasoned preppers have been warning us about, and some of these threats are new to the scene and are getting harder to ignore.

When I say the face of prepping has changed, I’m not saying that preppers of the past were wrong, quite the opposite actually. The fundamentals of prepping remain the same, becoming as self reliant as possible and prepare for unforeseen circumstances.

The way I see it, the preppers of the past were right. They warned us about the economy and they warned us about nuclear war, which become bigger threats as each day goes by. The difference is that now there are new threats that didn’t exist in the past. Cyber security is a huge issue, advanced weapons (EMP) that could land on U.S. soil is an issue and even terrorists right in our own back yard has become a reality.

SPP178 Some of the Most Likely Disaster Scenarios

This week Lisa and I talked about some of the most likely disaster scenarios we face these days as preppers. Some of these are newer threats we face, and some are the same threats we have faced for a long time…but they are more likely than ever before.

A Grid Down Event

There are quite a few disaster scenarios that could cause a complete or partial grid down event. This could be from an EMP launched at us from a not so friendly country, CME launched at us from the sun, and even natural disasters on a more local scale.

As we talked about in a past show, there are not many societies that would survive without electricity these days. We are dependent on just about everything we do on electricity, and our power grid is a disaster waiting to happen.

Economic Collapse

Just 20 years ago our national debt was in the Billions, not Trillions. Between the Bush (Jr) years  and the Obama years we have gone from 18 Billion to 20 Trillion in national debt, and that isn’t even unfunded liabilities. If you want to see some scary numbers have a look here. These are pretty hard to wrap your head around.

Eventually this bubble is going to burst, and we need to do everything we can to get ready for it. Learning skills to become more self sufficient, having plenty of long term food storage and getting our finances in line is more important than ever these days.

Nuclear War

This is a major concern even to people who do not consider themselves “preppers”. If someone were to launch nukes it would most likely be a no win situation, although this might not always be the case. While I wouldn’t want to suffer a slow agonizing death from nuclear fallout, there will be situations where survival is feasible.

At the very least is good to know what your options are, know what to expect, and do what you can to prepare yourself for a nuclear strike. I don’t think a nuclear war would kill everyone on the planet, and if someone is going to survive, it might as well be me. Although most countries who have nukes seem to hate the Unites States, which makes things a bit tough.

Cyber Attacks

20 years ago we were still writing checks to pay the bills and were worried about check fraud. These days everything is done online and most people don’t even see a paper check. It wouldn’t take much for everything we have to be gone, and we wouldn’t even know about it.

On a larger scale there is critical infrastructure that could be taken out by a bad actor with a good hacker. This could rang from nuclear power plants to portions or our electrical grid. If someone were able to disrupt Wall Street, it could have huge ramifications for our economy.

Pandemic

We have made great strides here in the United States when it comes to disease and sickness in the last 100 years or so. Diseases like Smallpox and Cholera are almost non existent, but without the sanitation resources we have today, they could become prevalent once again.

Along with the natural causes of a pandemics is the possibility of man made biological weapons. This might seem a little unrealistic, and hard for someone to do successfully on a large scale, but it is a real possibility. You know someone, somewhere is trying to figure this out…and it could even be us.

Terrorism

In the 70’s and 80’s terrorism was hijacking airplanes. That all changed on September 11th 2001 when terrorists successfully attacked the U.S. on the largest scale ever. These days they take it a step further by poisoning minds and trying to infiltrate western society where ever possible.

So what’s the next step that terrorists could take? With everything becoming more dependent on the internet and technology, it seems likely that the next step is a cyber terrorism on a very large scale.

Civil Unrest

This would a secondary event that would be caused by a number of different initial events. We have all seen the riots and “protests” recently, and it wouldn’t take much for these to escalate. With the growing divide in this country, (which is mainly political, even though they would like you to think it’s racial) it’s only a matter of time before it all comes to a head.

We also need to consider civil unrest in a SHTF type scenario. When people are faced with a crisis they become both unpredictable, and very predictable at the same time. People will do whatever it takes to survive, even if it means stealing and killing to get it.

Natural Disasters

Throughout history natural disaster have always been a concern around the world. While there is nothing we can do to stop mother nature for wreaking havoc, there are things we can do to minimize the impact and survive.

At the very least this is basic preparedness, and an understanding of how to respond when a natural disaster strikes. Depending on where you live, there is probably 1 or 2 types of disasters that could affect your life.

Doomsdays at Home

When non preppers think about prepping they inevitably think about gas masks, camouflage and AR15’s. But the truth is that we focus just as much on making sure we are prepared for minor disasters as we are for major disasters…sometimes more.

Someone in the household losing their job could be a personal doomsday. Someone getting sick could be a personal doomsday. It’s our job to be ready for these situations and minimize the affects they have on us.

Also in the Show…

Tin Foil Hat Time: This week we talked about the new world order, and whether or not these globalists plans are falling apart. We also talked about the “fake news” and the Orwellian process of censoring the media. That segment is towared the end of the show.

The Christmas Contest: This months contest is a great one and will end on December 15, just in time for Christmas. If you haven’t entered yet you can do so here. There are also options to enter daily.

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10 Tips for Beginning Preppers

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10 Tips for Beginning PreppersThose of you that know Survivalist Prepper know that we try to focus on the basics of preparedness. We have the Survivalist Prepper Academy and the Survivalist Prepper podcast which are designed to show how easy preparedness can be, and how being concerned about your future doesn’t make you a whacked-out loon…it makes you smart.

It’s been a while since we went back to the basics, so in today’s show we talked about 10 tips for beginning preppers, and went into detail about getting started with prepping. If this is you, then do yourself a favor and listen to the show. There is also this video I did recently that goes through my 10 tips for beginning preppers.

Prepping is Becoming More Mainstream

While I don’t know the exact numbers, it seems to me that because people are more idealistically divided these days. I think that around 50% of the people continue to bury their heads in the sand, 25% take an active interest in their future and 25% know they should, but don’t.

Just 20 years ago prepping was seen as an overreaction and a waste of time, but 20 years ago we didn’t have a 20 trillion-dollar debt, and we didn’t have terrorists in our own backyard. It’s becoming more obvious these days that all is not good, and something needs to change.

Doomsday Prepper to the Rescue

This may sound odd, but I think shows like Doomsday Preppers and some of the National Geographic disaster shows actually helped the prepper movement. While some of these shows went out of their way to portray preppers as overboard conspiracy theorists, it also made people interested.

When people go beyond these TV shows, and look into what prepping really is, they find out that preppers are not hiding in the bushes with an AR15 and night vision goggles, peaking through your bedroom window waiting to take you out. Preppers are average everyday people just like you and I who just want to be ready if anything bad happens.

While nuclear war, terrorism and EMP’s make for good TV, preppers know that there is much more to it than that. Something as simple as a job loss could be a disaster to some people.

SPP177 10 Tips for Beginning Preppers

1. Relax (As Much As Possible): We all go through this whether we have been prepping for 5 days, or 5 years. We need to take a step back, breath and understand that some things are just out of our control. The odds of something happening tomorrow are pretty thin, and we probably have a little time to prepare.

2. Don’t Buy Anything Big Yet: during the Y2K scare many people went out a bought expensive supplies like generators, only to sell them days later at a fraction of the cost.  Even if you think you know what you need, the odds are you don’t know what you need right now.Give yourself a little time to understand prepping a little more.

3. Start Stocking Food and Water: While you want to hold off on the larger purchases right now, you do want to start stocking up on prepping supplies.

4. Do a Threat Assessment: Sometimes what we fear might happen isn’t the same as what is more likely to happen. If you subscribe to the email list (above right Prepping Crash Course) I have a threat assessment that goes into more detail about this. If you are already subscribed and want access just send me an email. You also might want to do a SWOT Analysis.

5. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses: This might seem a little self explanatory, but it really does help to know your strengths and weaknesses as they apply to prepping. This helps you figure out what areas of preparedness you need to work on, and some areas where you are ahead of the curve.

6. Learn New Skills: When you first become interested in preparedness it doesn’t take long to figure out just how much you need to buy. One way to fight this, and not break the bank, is to learn new skills. This is arguably more important than having prepping supplies, and with YouTube and all the other information on the internet, it’s easier than ever these days.

7. Figure Out a Prepping Budget: The best way to do anything right is to start with the foundation. The last thing you want to do is max out your credit cards in the name of preparedness. Figure out what you can spend on preparedness, set a budget and stick to it, over time everything will begin to add up.

8. Build a Bug Out Bag: A question I get all the time is “why does everyone talk about bug out bags? I don’t want to bug out.” One reason I think this is a good idea is because it gives you an idea about how preparedness works on a small scale. It helps you understand the 5 areas of preparedness.

9. Don’t Focus on One Area of Preparedness: Think of prepping as a time frame, not a checklist. Start preparing for 1 week, then 1 month, then 6 months, not certain areas like food or water. It does you no good to have a years worth of food stored if you have no water.

10. Have Patience & Enjoy the Ride: Over time you will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In a year from now you will look back and see that you are more prepared than you ever though you would be. You will also find that you are more confident about your future because you actually took the steps to improve it.

The Prepper Christmas Contest!

prepper-christmas-giveawayIn the show this week we also mentioned this month’s Survivalist Prepper contest and how this one is going to be great! Thanks to the help of some of our friends in the prepper community we have 11 prizes to give away this month…and it could turn out to be more!

Here is a list of the prizes so far, and make sure and use this link to enter the contest.

 

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Prepping Supplies That Won’t Save Your Life… But Will Make It A lot Easier

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Prepping Supplies That Won’t Save Your Life… But Will Make It A lot EasierWe’ve all seen the articles. “10 prepping supplies that will save your life!” or “Not having these prepping supplies will get you killed!” We read these articles because it’s only human nature to NOT want to die. The problem is that we read these only to find out we already have everything on that list.

Because of this, Lisa and I wanted to take a different approach. We decided to do a podcast about prepping supplies that won’t save your life… but will make it a lot easier. One example that we listed below is a battery charge checker. By no means would this “save your life” but it would be helpful when you are trying to find out which batteries have charge, and which don’t.

SPP176 Prepping Supplies That Won’t Save Your Life

Here are some of the prepping supplies we talked about in the show. With Christmas right around the corner, some of these would also make pretty good gifts for that prepper who has everything. At the end of this post, Lisa also added her list of 10 prepping priority’s.

solar-showerGravity Shower: These can be made at home if you have a little diy skill, but these are fairly cheap if you want to go the easy route.

non-power-toolsNON Power Tools: We all love our cordless power tools, but without electricity they will be useless. Manual tools like screwdrivers, hammers, files and wrenches can be found at thrift stores and garage sales.

all-purpose-cleanersCleaners & Disinfectants: These could be store bought cleaners and hygiene items, or even stuff you make yourself. The great thing about these is they are low cost, and have a long shelf life.

power-inverterPower Inverter: One of the easiest ways to get short term energy is to turn your car into a generator. A power inverter is easy to use, and I think everyone should have 1…or 2.

bartering-suppliesBartering Supplies: Items like lighters, p38 can openers and batteries will be great bartering supplies. While just about anything could be used for bartering, these smaller, low cost items are great.

battery-checkerBattery Checker: For just a few bucks you can save yourself a lot of headaches by having a battery charge checker. As preppers we have batteries everywhere, and knowing which are charged could save a lot of time.

washboard-and-tubManual Appliances: It’s not going to matter how fancy your coffee maker is when the grid goes down. Having appliances like a percolator, manual can opener and even a washboard will go a long way if there is no electricity.

dutch-ovenDutch Oven: These are great because anywhere you can build a fire, you can use a dutch oven. There are also quite a few recipe books out there which would be great because eating dehydrated food will probably get old fast.

sunovenSun Oven: These are a little more expensive than most of the supplies on this list, but they are WELL worth it. You can literally cook anything in an All American Sun oven. We have a special discount code here if your interested.

switch8-nomad3Solar Chargers: These come in various sizes and price range, and remember you get what you pay for. I have tried a few of the lower cost solar chargers, and they don’t last long. The Goal Zero solar chargers are well worth the few extra dollars in the long run.

headlampHeadlamps (Not Flashlight): Anyone who knows us, knows how much we love these headlamps. There are countless situations where we need light, as wells as need both hands to complete a project.

entertainmentEntertainment: Just because it’s the end of the world, doesn’t mean it needs to be the end of the world. Having some music, books, games could be valuable because there might be a lot of down time. Anyone who has children know how important this is.

5-gallon-bucket-toilet-seat5 Gallon Bucket Toilet Seat: This is another one that we could probably figure out a DIY solution, but like I said in the podcast “this might not save your life, but it could save your ass.” These 5 gallon bucket toilet seats run about $15.

This is just a short list of prepping items that won’t save your life, and there are probably 50 more that might make your life a lot easier if you have them. If you have any ideas, let us know in the comments below.

10 Prepping Priority’s

In the beginning of this week’s show Lisa talked about 10 prepping priorities we should have, regardless of the situation. These apply to small scale power outages, and large scale disasters as well. Here are the bullet points, and listen to the beginning of the show for more details about each of these.

  1. Having a well-stocked pantry.
  2. Growing medicinal herbs.
  3. A preppers library (physical books)
  4. Learn to garden.
  5. Learn to preserve food.
  6. Learn about solar power.
  7. Get your spouse on board (as much as possible)
  8. A well-stocked armory.
  9. Having a get home bag.
  10. Building community.

Your Thoughts and Ideas…

This is just a short list of prepping supplies that you might want, but don’t really “need.” If you have any ideas let us know in the comments below, I’ll add it to my Christmas list. 🙂

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Preparing For a CME and the After Effects

Preparing For a CME and the After EffectsAs preppers we tend to focus more on disaster scenarios that are more down to earth, but preparing for a CME and the after affects could turn into something “down to earth.” As we we’re watching Doomsday: 10 Ways the World Will End on the History Channel some of these disasters from outer space are a little farfetched for even my paranoid brain to handle.

CME’s (Coronal Mass Ejections) happen more often than you think, but most of the time we are not in the path of this plasma ejection. A little over 150 years ago we were in the path of a CME named the Carrington event (1859) and lucky for us the damage was minimal.

In 1989 a small scale CME blacked out Quebec, and in 2012 there was an enormous CME, but that one just missed us by about 2 weeks. What would a Carrington scale event look like now? How would our electric grid and society in general handle an event like this?

The answer is unknown, and depends on the magnitude of the coronal mass ejection. What we do know is that most societies cannot function without electricity. Everything we do revolves around electricity in one way or another, from our banking system, to our water supply to the way we get our food.

The White House recently put out an executive order about Coordinating Efforts to Prepare the Nation for Space Weather Events. Here is an excerpt of that…

Government warning: Extreme space weather events — those that could significantly degrade critical infrastructure — could disable large portions of the electrical power grid, resulting in cascading failures that would effect key services such as water supply, healthcare, and transportation. Space weather has the potential to simultaneously effect and disrupt health and safety across entire continents. Successfully preparing for space weather events is an all-of-nation endeavor that requires partnerships across governments, emergency managers, academia, the media, the insurance industry, non-profits, and the private sector. It is the policy of the United States to prepare for space weather events to minimize the extent of economic loss and human hardship.

What is a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection)

Basically, it’s a blob of the sun getting burst into space in the direction of the earth. For a more scientific explanation have a look at this article here.

How long would it take for a CME to reach the earth? And would we be able to prepare? CMEs typically reach Earth one to five days after leaving the Sun. I would assume that the government or NASA would let us know that this was about to happen, because you would think it’s in their best interest to keep the children happy…but I wouldn’t be shocked if the opposite were true.

Even if we do get warning, and have a few days to prepare, I’m not so sure that there is a lot that can be done on a large scale. As individuals, we would be able to protects some of our personal electronics by using Faraday Cages and shielding them, but the electric grid would still be down, and we wouldn’t be able to power them.

SPP175 Preparing For a CME and the After Effects

In the show this week we went into detail about the show !0 Ways the World Will End, and our thoughts on how they did. Here are some of the show notes, but like I always say, listen to the show for more information about all of this.

What Initial Damage Would a CME Do

As I said earlier, it all depends on the magnitude of the CME, if it as large as the Carrington event, the power grid would be toast. The power won’t just go out, there will be a massive power surge meaning everything that is plugged in will be surged, and potentially cause fires.

  • Transformers will be toast as well, and they take 2 years to produce. This is especially important because and we have no backups and are only produced in Germany and South Korea.  This means the grid could be down for a very long time.
  • The fuel rods that power the worlds 400 Nuclear reactors must be kept cool 24 hours a day. These are kept cool by water, water pumped in by electricity. These plants have emergency generators that will last about 72 hours, and then battery systems that will last about a week.
  • Cars might become damaged, but contrary to popular belief it is hard to say if automobiles would be completely useless. Although getting fuel for them might be impossible.
  • Planes probably wouldn’t just fall from the sky, but runway lights and gps would be gone.
  • Critical infrastructure would be affected. Losing the electrical grid could be more deadly than nuclear war.
  • The modern food system is completely dependent on electricity. From growing, to harvesting, to transporting, to refrigerating.
  • Supermarkets become battlegrounds. We all probably know this, but going to the grocery store could be a life and death situation.
  • Cash on hand is just the first problem. The entire banking system is electronic, and it could either be gone, or inaccessible.
  • No electric pumps = No running water, and no gasoline and no sewage. disease and sickness could become rampant because of lack of sanitation.
  • There would be fires from short circuits from anything electrical. On a small scale this could be our toasters, on a larger scale this could be disastrous.

Would Electronics Not Plugged in Be Affected?

According to Modern Survival Blog:

“The reason why the device does not have to be plugged in to become damaged is because of what actually happens… The energy from the EMP pulse wave will melt down the transistor ‘junctions’ within semiconductor electronics. You could have a portable shortwave radio sitting on your desk, not plugged into anything at all, and as the invisible wave strikes it, it will fry.”

Short Term Effects of a CME

  • a total collapse of civilization. It will literally be every man/woman for themselves. People WILL be fighting for resources, Martial Law WILL be enacted, and most of the population WILL die off.
  • The show talks about how people will head out into the woods hunting, and how most people have never been hunting in their lives. This will cause many problems, not to mention the hunter gatherer lifestyle is not sustainable for 320 million people.
  • After a couple of weeks, we will basically start devolving into a tribal state. This would literally be a Mad Max/Walking Dead scenario.
  • After about 6 weeks people would be drinking from polluted water sources because they had no choice. Human waste, hospital waste, industrial waste back flowing into lakes and rivers.
  • Extreme heat and extreme cold will kill people as well.
  • The show estimates that the world’s population will be reduced from 7 billion to 2 billion in a little over a month. That means 2 out of 3 people will die because of our dependence on electricity.

The Aftermath

In just 1 year, there would be less than 1 billion people still alive across the planet…and that might be a generous guess.

Most of us think about what we would do immediately following some sort of shtf event, and for good reason. We need to be able to survive a year to be able to rebuild afterword’s.

One year after this large CME the remaining people will have fought off bandits, protected their resources and been through more in one year, than they have in their entire life.

Most of the danger would be gone at this point…for the most part, because the only people who survived would be the ones who knew how to survive. Alternative energy, gardening etc.

Groups, communities and small scale infrastructure would form as people started to rebuild.

At this point, all is not lost, it’s just an uphill battle. We have the knowledge; but we just won’t have the resources to do anything on a large scale.

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Interview: The Borrowed World By Franklin Horton

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interview-the-borrowed-world-by-franklin-hortonPost-apocalyptic prepper fiction books are extremely popular these days. With the likes of James Rawles, William R. Forstchen, A. American and Glen Tate already on most peoples must read list, another author, Franklin Horton is quietly rising in the ranks to join this list of great prepper fiction authors.

This week Lisa and I had the pleasure of interviewing Franklin Horton, who is the author of the 3 book (so far) Borrowed World Series. This prepper fiction series also includes Ashes of the Unspeakable and Legion of Despair. His newest book, Locker NINE tells the story of a father sending his daughter off to college when the unthinkable happens.

The Borrowed World (and all of Franklin Horton’s books) are available at Amazon and available in audio book format at Audible as well. While I’m not opposed to actually reading a book, I am a fan of audio books because in today’s busy world, sometimes you just can’t stop.

Regardless whether you decide to get the kindle version, get the paperback version or listen to the audio book, you won’t be disappointed. So far I have only listened to The Borrowed World, but I can’t wait to listen to the next 2 books and see where this series goes.

SPP174 Interview: The Borrowed World by Franklin Horton

As we did the interview today it became clear that Franklin knows his stuff. While he admits, he is no “survival expert” I think he is selling himself a little short. What he writes about and how he lives his daily life is just like most of us do. We learn as much as we can, we try to become as prepared as possible, and we hope we are prepared enough when that time comes.

A lot of prepper fiction books talk about either hard-core preppers, or completely unprepared people. Your book takes a different approach. It takes the same approach that we do with prepping, we talk about prepping with and about average everyday people.

While this interview was about his book The Borrowed World, it became much more than that as we broke down different characters and different situations. While Franklin says that his intention was not to create a prepping manual, there are situations in the book, and people we might be stuck with that are not part of our prepping “dream team” as he calls it.

Questions From the Show…

Here are some of the questions and subjects we covered in this week’s Survivalist Prepper podcast, and if you’re interested in getting your hands on any of his books, I will leave links to where you can get a hold of him or his books at the end of this post.

Q: The story begins like most of our daily lives begin; one parent heading out to work, and the other at home taking care of the kids. That quickly becomes the only thing normal about that day. In this book Jim has been preparing for some time, and his wife is neither on board or against prepping. Can you explain why you chose to do this? And how/why you created other characters the way you did?

Q: Has your bug out/in bag changed since writing The Borrowed World series? On this same point, how did your preparedness change in general?

Q: In the first run in with the “trailer park boys” as I call them, Jim pays close attention to what they have with them. They notice a backpack that is undoubtedly stolen. Can you talk about how important Situational Awareness is in a survival situation?

Q: The book shows how situations can escalate very quickly, and how sometimes we can be stuck with what we have. Can you expand on the importance of everyday carry items?

Q: In every survival situation, we are going to be stuck with the hand we are dealt and forced to deal with different people along the way. How do different personality’s play a role in a survival situation?

Q: We were introduced to you by a friend of ours Chin who you met a prepper camp; What is your takeaway from being part of Prepper Camp 2016? And what makes it different than the average Prepping Expo?

Q: You are an avid hiker, what pointers can he share on A. Getting started in hiking & B. Things he learned from hiking that help with prepping/survival?

This only scratches the surface of what we talked about in the show. Even if you don’t plan on reading the book, you will learn a lot about prepping and survival from Franklin… and you’ll probably want to get the book after that.

Where to Find Franklin

There are a few places you can find out more about Franklin and what he has planned in the future, the first being his website FranklinHorton.com

He also has a Facebook page you can visit here.

As I said earlier, all his books are available at Amazon and Audible. Have a look at all of Franklin Hortons prepper fiction books here.

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The Right Way to Invest in Silver for Preppers

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the-right-way-to-invest-in-silver-for-preppersWhen it comes to prepping there is quite a bit that revolves around money. While there is a lot we can do for free by learning, we still need “stuff”. In today’s show, we talked about the right way to invest in silver for preppers, and how the process works.

Our guest this week was Sidney who literally has a lifetime of experience investing in silver. She started in silver as a hobby at age 12, and has turned it into something that has helped her pay off student loans and other bills.

Sidney is “the average prepper” and that’s why we wanted her on the show. We didn’t want to talk to another financial guru talking about the stock market, capital gains and bla bla bla. We wanted to talk about how investing in silver will be beneficial to preppers who don’t have $20,000 to invest…which is most of us.

This is one of my favorite podcast episodes because we talk about the process of investing in silver, regardless whether you have $20 or $20,000. After you listen to the show I guarantee you will have a better understanding about the correct way to purchase silver, and how it will be helpful in a post collapse or SHTF society.

SPP174 The Right Way to Invest in Silver for Preppers

Here are some bullet points of what we talked about in this week’s Survivalist Prepper podcast, but I highly suggest you take the time and listen. This show will be especially helpful to people who what to know where to buy silver, what to buy and is it worth investing in silver in the first place.

The History of Silver

We started off the show talking about why investing in silver is a good idea for preppers, and how it has maintained its value throughout history.  We focused mainly of silver in this show because it is the most viable option for preppers.

Question: One of the main concerns for preppers is why invest in silver if the government is just going to try and confiscate it in a depression type event…like they’ve done in the past.

Answer: While it is possible, it’s not likely because we live in a different world than we did during the great depression. It will also be difficult to track who owns silver, and how much they own.

Digital Currency

Question: With everything we do being digital these days, and the volatility of fiat currency, what are some reasons owing silver would be beneficial.

Answer: Silver more stable than fiat currency, like the saying goes “if you can’t hold it in your hand, it’s not real. Not only will owning silver protect you against cyber-attacks and hyperinflation, it will also survive floods, and fires.

Spot Pricing

Question: Sometimes it can be difficult to know what is a good price to buy silver at. Can you explain spot pricing, and what we should pay for silver as preppers.

Answer: Spot price is the current market value of silver because of supply and demand. The premium is the dealer’s markup, which should be no larger than 10% to 15% above spot price.

Buying & Selling

Question: Where should we go to purchase silver to avoid getting “ripped off”, and is purchasing online a safe method.

Answer: Purchasing in person (not online) is beneficial for a few reasons, one being that if you pay in cash, it’s untraceable. The more you get to know your silver dealer, the more confident you will be with your purchases with them. Becoming a valuable customer to them will also help you get better premiums down the line.

Finding a Silver Dealer

Question: How did you go about finding a reputable silver dealer in your area.

Answer: Cidney started off at 12 years old as a hobby and learned the process early on. Silver is a small investment (compared to gold) which give you the ability to learn about the dealer with minimal risk. Research dealers in your area and work with them before you make large purchases.

Side Note: Sidney tells a great story about how she got started, and how easy it can be for us.

Different Types of Silver

Junk Silver:  Junk silver refers to coins minted by the US Government pre 1965, but can include silver spoons, earrings and necklaces etc. There are purity levels when it comes to silver. Most junk silver is between 40% and 90% pure. As for junk silver coins, each year and coin will have different purity levels.

Rounds vs Coins: Only government minted can be called coins, otherwise they are considered rounds. Rounds can be collector rounds that look like coins, but are not government minted. Even though we refer to these as “coins”, they can’t be legally used as currency.

Side Note: If for some reason you wanted to leave the country, because things were bad here, but not somewhere else, you might need to declare silver at the airport.

If you take 100oz of silver out of the country, you need to claim it at spot price. If you take silver eagles outside the United States, you only need to claim it at the $1 value…which would be worth spot price in another country.

Bullion: We tend to think of gold bars when we think of bullion, but there is also silver bullion. These can come in 1oz, 10oz or 50oz bars that are stamped with weight and purity level.

Post Collapse Silver

Question: If the economy crashes, and the value of silver falls, what is the point of having silver.

Answer: There will probably be a mass selloff of silver, and the only people buying it will be wealthy who buy low and sell high…we might even be able to take advantage of this.

As preppers, if we have our food storage covered and our debt inline we won’t need to be part of the selloff, and we can hold on to our silver, and possibly buy a little more until the market comes back.

Bartering: Because silvers value could possibly fall, bartering with it might be difficult in the beginning. It might also be a more viable option to barter with silver, than say 5 chickens depending on the situation and the person you are bartering with.

Closing Thoughts…

There are quite a few scenarios when it comes to thinking about an SHTF event, so there’s no way to know how valuable silver will be. History has shown that precious metals always retain their value eventually.

Investing in silver is one of those things preppers should do because even if nothing happens, over time it’s just going to go up in value… and it doesn’t expire!

Dale Signature

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My Detailed Bug Out Bag Supplies List

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my-detailed-bug-out-bag-supplies-listOver the last few months I’ve received some emails and comments asking if I would do a detailed video (at the end of this post) of my bug out bag supplies. Because I am in the process of changing out my smaller Maxpedition gear slinger to the larger Yukon Outfitters Alpha pack, I decided to go ahead and give everyone a sneak peak inside.

I have tried to categorize these items in a way that keeps them more organized. For example, Paracord could fall into a few different categories, but I only added it to my “shelter” bug out bag supplies.

This is not a “best bug out bag supplies” or “must have bug out bag supplies list” This is just a list to help everyone get some ideas about what they might want to add to their bug out bag.

My Bug Out bag have evolved over time, and continues to evolve. This list is what I have right now, but might (and probably will) change over time. As I continue to test this Yukon Outfitters bag over the next year or so I will continue to update this post, or write separate reviews.

Total Cost of This Bug Out Bag

The total cost of this bug out bag and supplies was around $800. This might seem like a lot, but keep in mind, my bug out bag has been put together over a few years. Over time everything starts to add up, and come together.

I will also list the individual prices for these item, and I will link to as many of these bug out bag supplies as I can.  If you have any questions about these bug out bag supplies you can leave a comment below.

Some of these prices are the estimated price of what’s in my bug out bag, not the total price for each item. For example, I purchased a complete mess kit, but I’m only using 1 pan and the spork.

The Yukon Outfitters Alpha Bug Out Bag Kit is available on Woot.com periodically for around $100 -$150. Because it is so popular, it is sold out quite a bit, you just need to on the lookout for when it becomes available.

Yukon Outfitters Kit Includes…

  • “Rainfly” Lightweight Tarp
  • LED Flashlight
  • Folding Knife
  • 100ft 550 Paracord
  • Medical/Misc. Supplies Kit
  • Hydration Bladder
  • (Also comes with a hammock that I am not putting in the bag)

Water

Sawyer Mini Water Filter ($20)

2Ltr Platypus water bladder ($10)

Hydration Bladder Included with Bag

Berkey Sport Water Bottle ($16)

Tac-Bar Water Purification Tabs ($5) (Included in Kit)

Food

2 Tac-Bar Rations ($15) (Complete kit is $69)

Stolevar Mess Kit (Only 1 Pan from kit and Spork) ($5)

Multi Vitamins

Instant Coffee

Fire

Credit Card Size Fresnel Lens ($2)

Altoids Tin for Char Cloth ($1)

Tac-Bar Survival Tin ($5) (Included in Kit)

Magnesium Bar Fire Starter ($6)

Ferro Rod (2) ($6)

UCO Storm Proof Matches ($7)

2 Bic Lighters ($2)

Paracord Survival Bracelet (with Striker) ($10)

Communications

Beofeng UV-5R Ham Radio (With Battery Pack) ($30)

Horizon Tec NOAA Radio/Charger ($36)

UZI Tactical Pen ($20)

Waterproof Notebook ($6)

Power

XTar VC4 Battery Charger ($25)

Bell Howell flashlight ($20)

Assorted Batteries ($15)

Goal Zero Nomad/Switch 8 Solar Charger ($50)

Shelter

50ft Titan Survivorcord ($10)

100ft 550 Paracord (included with bag)

Rothco Rain Poncho ($14)

Mechanix M-Pact Gloves ($30)

Survival Bandana ($10)

Regular Bandana ($5)

CAPSS Perimeter Camp Alarm ($30)

RZ Mask with Filters ($30)

“Rain fly” Tarp (included with bag)

Wool Socks & Boxers ($5)

Solar Blanket (included with bag)

Medical

Bug Out Bag First Aid Kit ($34)

Yukon Outfitters Med Kit (included with bag)

Moleskin ($4)

Kerlix Gauze & Regular Gauze Rolls ($8)

Chap Stick ($2)

TK4 Tourniquet ($4)

Wet Ones (Antibacterial Wet Wipes) ($1)

Navigation

Suunto Baseplates Compass ($40)

Misc. Maps of Area (In water proof bag) ($5)

Other Tools

Rat 5 Fixed Blade Knife ($75)

Yukon Outfitters folding Knife (included with bag)

Gerber Multi Tool ($26)

Sharpening Stone ($10)

2 High Strength Carabiners ($20)

3 Regular Carabiners ($5)

Misc. Items…

Credit Card Knife ($1)

Rubber bands

Safety Pins

Super Glue ($4)

Contractors Yard Bag ($1)

download-the-pdfI also converted this article into a PDF for you to download and refer to in the future. Click the PDF image to download this file.

Here is the Complete Video

 

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Prepping & World Conflicts

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prepping AND world conflicts Does it seem like we are heading closer to world war 3 these days? It does to me. In this week’s show Lisa and I talked about prepping & World conflicts, and how it seems like all the pieces are being set in place for a major change.

During World War 2 there were the Axis and Allies, and today it seems like seems like everyone is picking sides in the same way. What is also alarming is that no one seems to see the writing on the wall. Just about everyone who lived during World War 2 are gone, and people these days have no idea about what could actually happen.

We have been lucky enough to live without a conflict like this that affects us right here at home like WW2 did. We have had Korea and Vietnam, but when Americans think about war, it’s just something they see on T.V before going about their day.

SPP172 Prepping & World Conflicts

War Has Changed

Back in the 40’s cutting off supply lines meant roads and territory, these days it means the internet and cyber security. While we still need boots on the ground, much more can be done to weaken a target before it even comes to that.

In the show we talked about what the timeline might look like if something like this were to happen. On the surface it looks like it would be cyber warfare, leading to military conflicts, leading to nuclear war.

It could also be something that happens overseas that pulls us into the fight, forcing our hand. With unstable countries like North Korea and Iran, it wouldn’t surprise me if something started off because of a nuclear strike, rather than ending with one.

We have had the luxury of being far enough away from our enemies that the closest they could get to us is Pearl Harbor. Those days are gone, and it’s only a matter of time before something happens right in our backyard.

Cutting off critical infrastructure in the United States is easier than ever before, and while Russia is ramping up their nuclear arsenal, we are doing nothing. As a matter of fact, we are going in reverse and dismantling our military.

Americas Top 10 Fears

Before I get into what my main concerns are when it comes to prepping, I found this list that is quite telling when it comes to why prepping is becoming more mainstream. Just about everything on this list is why each of us feel like preparedness is so important.

  • Corruption of government officials (same top fear as 2015) — 60.6%
  • Terrorist attacks — 41%
  • Not having enough money for the future — 39.9%
  • Being a victim of terror — 38.5%
  • Government restrictions on firearms and ammunition — 38.5%
  • People I love dying — 38.1%
  • Economic or financial collapse — 37.5%
  • Identity theft — 37.1%
  • People I love becoming seriously ill — 35.9%
  • The Affordable Health Care Act/”Obamacare” — 35.5%

How to Prepare (My Top Concerns)

In the show we talked about what our main concerns are when it comes to preparing. While I think it’s important to be prepared if a nuclear strike happens, I think we need to prepare for the hard times that might come before that.

It’s possible that these conflicts start overseas, and could affect our economy and our daily lives in a way that doesn’t involve military conflict for most Americans. This could include a grid failure and critical infrastructure caused by an EMP, job losses and hyperinflation.

Food Storage: This continues to be on the top of my list because this is something people will be fighting for on a daily basis if there is none…or very little. This can be done fairly easily, and be done over a short period of time.

There are a few options when it comes to food storage. Purchasing a few extra canned goods each week is a good way to build up your food storage, and purchasing dehydrated food is a great option because of convenience (storage) and shelf life.

Water Storage: While it’s possible that if we are looking at something that causes our economy to tank we would still have water and an electrical grid, there is still the possibility that water would become a concern.

In my opinion knowing where to find water, and knowing how to clean water is more important than storing water. While water storage is important, it is almost impossible for most Americans to store enough to last for an extended period of time.

Fuel Storage: Fuel storage is important for many reasons, and also a challenge for most people. Depending on the scenario we still might be able to use our generator, drive to get water or supplies, or offer help to our community.

Fuel storage is not just gasoline, fuel storage includes fuel for cooking and fuel for heating our homes. Wood, Kerosene and propane all need to be considered depending on our personal situation.

Grid Down: With our electrical grid the way it is, and with our dependence on technology, preparing for a grid down event is always a priority. We need to have alternative plans to communicate with our family, and alternative ways to light and heat the house.

Even if the grid doesn’t go down, if the economy tanks and you lose your job, you might not be able to pay the electric bill. Having alternative is very important, even if it’s only for a short period of time.

Security: Regardless what the situation is, security is something we always need to be vigilant about. Even if it’s just an economic crisis, crime will still be on the rise. The last thing we want it to build up our food storage only to have it stolen from us.

This also includes personal security. If someone comes to take what we have, the odds are they won’t care if we are home or not. Most people will not care that you took the time to prepare. They will feel entitled to what you have because “it’s only fair.”

Investing: We are going to go into more detail next week about investing in gold and silver, but it’s important to get our finances in line (as much as possible) while we can. There is no way to tell how useful having gold and silver will be in a post collapse society, but the odds are it will be.

Bartering: Bartering supplies is sometime overlook by preppers because there is just so much we need to do for ourselves first. With that being said, bartering supplies could be the difference between you getting what you need, or having to go without.

Having bartering supplies could also help you to be seen as the “good guy.” If you are able to help other people, you might be able to create needed alliances. Keep in mind, there is another side of this coin that makes you a target.

In Closing…

As I look back on what I have written I see that not much has changed when it comes to how I am preparing. What has changed is my heightened sense that something is just over the horizon, and now is the time to take care of the loose ends.

Dale Signature

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Is Prepping More Important Than Ever Today

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is prepping becoming more importantWith everything going on with the election this month, and all the terrifying news around the globe it seems to me that prepping has become more important than ever. It seems to me that regardless who gets elected this November that we are in a world of hurt.

With the U.S. right in the middle of everything going on around the globe including Russia, Iran, North Korea and even terrorism right in our backyard, it seems to me that something is likely to happen sooner rather than later.

My main reason for prepping has always been (and continues to be) an economic collapse. With that being said, a collapse would lead to many other disaster situations, or many other disaster situations could lead to an economic collapse.

In this week’s show we talked about how it looks like the table is being set for something major to happen, and how that could cause a chain reaction that could affect us in different ways.

SPP171 Is Prepping More Important That Ever Today

Let face it, we live in a completely different world than we lived in just 10 years ago. Terrorism has fundamentally changed, our economy is quickly going into the tank and countries that hate us are gaining power and creating alliances.

Here are a few topics we covered this week in the show…

A Country Divided

It’s becoming more evident in recent years that the divide and conquer plan set in place by our government is working to perfection. We are not just divided racially, we are divided economically, politically and idealistically to the point that we are in a no win situation.

It is virtually impossible to get anything done when people don’t agree, and they know that. Disagreement is one thing, that’s what our country is based on. When that disagreement gets to the point that one side or the other (or both) are unwilling to listen or have a discussion no one wins.

Economic Collapse

We already know that any day now our economy could come crashing down, or at the very least cause massive problems in our daily lives. Nothing that is happening, or will be happening is going to change the direction we are going. As a matter of fact, it seems that we are a roller coaster getting ready to go over the edge.

Even a small scale economic collapse could divide us further, and could lead to many other SHTF events, such as civil unrest & Martial Law. This is why I believe preparing for an economic collapse should be a top priority, and should include much more than buying gold and silver, and storing food.

War with Russia and Middle East

It seems as though we might be on the verge of world war 3. I know some people have been saying this for years, but if you think of it like a chess game it all makes sense. Different countries are creating alliances and are moving their pieces in order to claim checkmate.

Does this mean we need to prepare for a nuclear war? I’m not so sure about that, but I am also not willing to say it isn’t a possibility. Just because we as Americans understand how devastating it would be, doesn’t mean other countries share our view. Some sort of conflict could easily escalate into a nuclear conflict, because when you corner a wild animal they fight back by any means necessary.

Terrorism: Refugees & Open Boarders

Terrorism is no longer something we see on TV, ever since 9/11 the face of terrorism has changed. We are just beginning to see these acts of terrorism right in our back yards, and the more Syrian refugees coming in we are bound to see even more.

Not only will there be threats with the refugees coming in “legally” there is the issue of our completely porous borders. It’s not just an issue of illegal immigrants and drugs pouring over, it could be an easy access point for terrorists from anywhere on the globe.

I’m all for being compassionate about other people and helping whenever we can, but we need to take care of our people before we do. We have a crisis inside our country and we need to look there before we start looking outside our borders.

Martial Law

Back when I first started prepping I thought that Martial Law was an outrageous fear tactic that people like Alex Jones used to scare us. While this might be true, I have begun to realize how absolutely realistic it is.

If something were to get so out of hand that the powers that be couldn’t handle it, you can bet Martial Law would be enacted very quickly. This goes hand in hand with an economic collapse because people without money or food will do whatever it takes to survive.

We Are to Blame

As Americans we have the ability to change things, but we don’t. We sit back yelling at our TV’s, post meme’s on Facebook to show our frustration, but we never do anything about the situation. This is the exact reason they want us to be divided, could you imagine the headaches they would have if all of us were on the same page? Could you imagine if they had to actually do the job they were elected to do?

Yet every 2 years we fall prey to the same lies and rhetoric, and everything goes back to status quo. Americans are far to complaisant, and would rather pass the buck to our children, than face the problems head on.

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Being the Gray man & Situational Awareness

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being-the-gray-man-situational-awarenessBeing the gray man and situational awareness is about more than what you wear, it’s about everything you do that might make you stand out in a crowd. Being the gray man is about what you do and say on a daily basis, and who you say it to.

Throughout our daily live we do things trying to become the gray man every day. If you’ve ever tried to avoid eye contact with an annoying acquaintance or a street vendor, you have tried to become the gray man.

You can talk about operational security and situational awareness without talking about being the gray man, but you can’t talk about being the gray man without talking about operational security and situational awareness. Becoming unremarkable and unmemorable require you to understand your situation and act accordingly.

As I was growing up I was the gray man without even thinking about it. I was the quiet child that would always fly under the radar. My siblings were always busy talking, while I was always busy thinking about how to handle each situation. Because of this I was allowed to do just about anything I wanted because everyone trusted me, and focused their attention elsewhere.

SPP170 Being the Gray man & Situational Awareness

This week in the show Lisa and I went over some of the things that help us become unremarkable and might help us blend into the crowd. We also talked about how being the gray man changes depending on the situation you are facing.

Blending In

If you live in an urban area you might not want to be wearing cammo and carrying a tactical backpack or bug out bag. If you live in a rural area you wouldn’t want to be wearing a 3-piece suit and carrying suitcase. Fitting in means looking just like everyone else, and unremarkable in every way.

The same would hold true in a small scale or large scale SHTF event. If everyone else is starving and losing weight, yet you look as healthy as ever because you have prepared, you are going to stand out. If everyone is without power and they see light coming from your window at night, you will be a target.

Prepper Hate: There is also the phenomena that Selco called “Prepper Hate” that we need to consider.  This is when people form opinions about you according to their agenda, and rationalize stealing or harming you.

This might not be that big of a deal these days, but in any sort of disaster situation these people could say…

“They have way too much food; they must have stolen it”

“It’s not fair that they have food and we don’t, someone needs to make them share.”

These people could easily get other people on board with them and have no problem doing whatever it takes to feed their family…even if it means harming you.

In the show we mentioned when Selco was on the survival podcast and talked about what he went through in the Balkins. Listen to that episode here. 

Your Outward Appearance

I briefly mentioned how most people will be losing weight, and if we don’t (because we have prepared) we will be on their radar very quickly. I recommend going to the thrift store and getting some clothes that are a size or 2 too big, so it looks like you have lost weight just like everyone else.

This also includes how our house looks, and our outside activity’s on a daily basis. If you get deliveries of long term food storage that sit on your front porch for everyone to see, that could be a red flag. If you have prepping supplies stored in your garage that neighbors can see, that could be a red flag.

We need to take a look at what we are doing that might compromise our operational security, and correct those problems while we can.

Just Shut Up and Listen

“Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply” – Stephen R Covey –

shut-up-and-listenOne of the biggest parts of being the gray man and operational security is the ability to listen and plan accordingly. If we are constantly talking and trying to impose our view, we are probably missing the important details.

As the saying goes “loose lips sink ships” and we all know at least 1 person that just talks WAY too much. We can’t afford to give out too much information because it come back to bite us in the future, especially by people we are unsure of.

We can get a better idea about these people by simply listening, and asking probing question. If they are one of those people that never stop talking, just shut up, listen and take it all in. They are probably giving you more insight that they even know.

Sizing People Up

I have written about how to size people up in the past, and it basically comes down to listening and posing the right questions. How someone handles everyday stressful situations could give you an idea about how they will handle real stress in a disaster situation.

I have also written about how we are going to need other people in a crisis situation because no one person can do everything. However, there is a fine line when it comes to creating a prepper group, or community, and giving out too much information to the wrong person.

It’s really up to you how you handle each situation, but if you go in cautiously and calculated, you have a better chance of coming out on top, and knowing whether you should stop talking about prepping, or if it’s ok to probe a little further.

Gray Man Prepping

In the process of our daily lives it’s important to practice situational awareness, operational security and becoming the gray man because a disaster is no time for practice. We can store all the food in the world, and have all the greatest prepping supplies, but if we don’t know how to hold on to them when times get tough it’s all for naught.

We need to look at every situation realistically, and be honest about how we are putting ourselves at risk. As I said earlier, right now it’s about avoiding a conversation with an annoying friend. In an SHTF event, that conversation could be potentially dangerous.

Gray Man Bugging Out

While becoming the gray man is the same no matter what situation you are facing, there are a whole different set of rules when it comes to bugging out. If we find ourselves in a bugging out (or in) situation timing and planning are critical.

This is why practicing situational awareness, and practicing becoming the gray man are so important. In a bug out situation it’s game time, it’s time to take everything you have learned and put it into action.

When we are thrust into a life threatening situation, we need to be able to react accordingly and make the right decisions. Sometimes the correct decision is avoiding the conflict all together, and that is what being the gray man is all about.

The SHTF Gray Man

Being the gray man in a post collapse or SHTF event is probably the most critical of all because there is really no set of rules, and no way to know what might happen. We all like to think about how we would handle every disaster situation, but the truth is there is no way to know.

There are so many different variables when it comes to a disaster situation, and so many events that would be caused by the initial event, that we need to be able to pivot and make critical decisions. Right now we can play the “what if” game, and if we are wrong we can hit the reset button and start over. In an SHTF scenario there is no reset button, and we will need to live (hopefully) with the decisions we have made.

Dale Signature

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Hard to Prep for Supplies, and Making Prepping Easier

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Hard to Prep for Supplies, and Making Prepping EasierWhen it comes to prepping it’s pretty easy to figure out the basics when it comes to the preparedness supplies…for the most part. The problem is digging through that information and making prepping easier.

Some of these hard to prep for supplies include items like prescription medications, storing bulky items like water and fuel, and even items to maintain your sanity. In this weeks Survivalist Prepper Podcast we talked about some of these hard to prep for supplies, and even some easy to prep items that we just don’t.

SPP168 Hard to Prep for Supplies

Storing Water

Storing water seems pretty easy right? You turn on the faucet and fill up some water jugs. The problem come in when you start figuring out how much we use on a daily basis. At the bare minimum you would need around 500 Gallons per person, per year.

Without water, all of our other preparedness means nothing, and this is why we need to think about other options to supplement our water storage. There are quite a few other options for finding water in an SHTF scenario if we know where to look, and you need to know where some water sources are in your area.

The Good Foods

Storing extra food for a disaster is not that hard to do. Even if you just buy a little extra here and there, in a short period of time you can store quite a bit. The problem is that this canned food, and freeze dried long term food storage just isn’t the same as a nice juicy steak, or BBQ chicken.

There are a few solutions like pressure canning and raising chickens or small animals, but these still require you to learn how to do it. A few other foods that come to mind are cheese, ice cream, milk and butter. You can get the freeze dried version of all of these, but it’s just not the same.

Prescription Medications & Antibiotics

Some people have preexisting conditions that make prescription medications a necessity, and some people could reduce their dependency on these medicines by trying to be healthier. Eventually these medications are going to run out, and we will need to find alternatives…if possible.

This might not be a huge issue in a short term disaster because most prescriptions are given out on a monthly basis, and if you have a good relationship with your doctor, you might be able to get a little extra. Long term is another story, in this case you will need to do some research and see what your options are.

In the past we have gone over using fish antibiotics as alternatives in an SHTF scenario, but make sure you understand what they will be useful for, and when to use them. Using the wrong antibiotic can not only be useless, but harmful.

Personal Addictions

We all have our personal “addictions” whether that’s coffee, cigarettes, chocolate or alcohol, and most people think that when the S hits the fan we will need to cut these out altogether. My opinion is that the opposite is true, for a couple of reasons.

The first reason is your sanity. Any sort of disaster or SHTF event is going to be stressful enough, and having some of these stockpiled will give you a sense of normalcy, and help you maintain your sanity.

The second reason is bartering. While it will be dangerous if the word gets out that you have 30 bottles of vodka, or 30 cartons of cigarettes, they can be used for barter items if the need arises. It’s sad to say, but I think that anything that helps people “escape reality” will be some of the best bartering supplies in an SHTF event.

Our Personal Sanity

By our personal sanity I mean ourselves and our family. We need to have the mental capacity to handle the situation, and we just don’t know how we, or our family will react. The more we plan for these events now, the better our chances or reacting rationally, rather than losing control.

Our family could add undue stress on us as well. If we have family members that are not on board (and most people do) they will not handle the situation well. While it’s important to try to get them on board with prepping now, we also need to understand how to deal with that situation when disaster strikes.

Alternative Energy

This is another one that on a small scale is fairly easy. We can store extra batteries, have a couple small solar chargers or some firewood stockpiled, but large scale is a different story. We won’t need, or use the energy we do today, but we will need something.

Putting together a solar set up that will supply enough power is expensive, and is hard to learn. I made this solar generator last year, but this is nowhere near what I would need if something lasted longer than a few days.

Any sort of disaster that lasted longer than a couple of weeks would require a battery bank. You can even connect your battery bank (or generator) to your home fuse box with a transfer switch which allows you to supply power to necessary circuits.

Storing Ammo

If you own a gun you know that you need to practice with it, that means using ammo. This makes storing ammo a little challenging and expensive. We you are storing ammo you need to store hundreds, or thousands of rounds. My challenge is the more I have, the more I want to go shoot.

Price and availability can also be a challenge. In my area .22 ammunition is about 25 cents per round, and 223 ammunition is about 50 cents per round. This might not seem like a lot, but if you are storing thousands of rounds, it means hundreds of dollars.

Storing Extra Fuel

Fuel doesn’t just mean gas for your car, fuel is everything from wood, to propane and even batteries.  Just like everything else when it comes to prepping, eventually it is going to run out.

The easiest challenge to overcome when storing fuel is rotation and storage. Rotating is important because fuel does not have an unlimited shelf life like water, and how you store it also affects its shelf life.

Whether it’s kerosene for your lamps, or fuel for your car, you need to have a plan on how to store it, where to store it and how much you can (or want) to store in the first place.

Easy to Prepare for, But we Don’t

At the end of this week’s show we also talked about some items that are fairly easy to stockpile, but sometimes we just don’t.

Toiletries & Hygiene

Items like soap, toilet paper, household cleaners, toothpaste, deodorant and razors have long shelf lives, and should be easy to store right? The problem is that we use most of these on a regular basis so one month we could be sitting pretty, and the next month we can be completely out.

We also get so focused on food and water that these sometimes get put on the back burner. The grea thing about all these hygiene supplies it that they have a long shelf life, and can be purchased fairly cheap. You can even get most of these at the dollar store.

Tools

I can’t tell you how many tools I have (that I never use) because I had to buy a certain tool for a certain job. The other side of the coin is that over time I have built a large collection. when and if something happens I know my odds of having the right tool for the job is higher.

Even if you have no use for tools or no mechanical ability, its still important to have some tools because someone else might have the ability, but not have the tools. Garage sales & thrift stores are a great place to find used tools at a low price.

Reading Material

Having some reading material in an SHTF event is not only important because you want useful information, but you want some entertaining material as well. There might be a lot of downtime, and without our modern day distractions we will need a way to fill that time.

Different types of reading material include survival information, tutorials, entertainment, prepper fiction, stored files, printed files, survival manuals and even books that have nothing to do with prepping, but you enjoy.

Applying Skills

Lastly, and possibly most importantly, is the fact that we are all guilty to one extent or another of learning about survival techniques, but never putting that knowledge into action. If you own a ferro rod, and never started a fire with it, it’s time to get started.

An SHTF event is no place to “practice” in that situation it’s game time. When resources and time are limited, the last thing you want to do is be making mistakes. We have these resources available to us now, so why not use them while we have them.

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Preparing for SHTF: A Reality Check

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Preparing for SHTF A Reality CheckAs preppers we try to think about every SHTF possibility we can, but preparing for any sort of SHTF event isn’t as cut and dry as we sometimes make it out to be. While it’s important to think about every possibility, and think about all the “what if’s” the chances are very little will go according to plan.

As preppers we try to think about cause and effect. What could cause a SHTF event, and what affect will that have on my family. In the case of an actual SHTF event, we won’t be able to write the script, we need to have the ability to pivot and make critical decisions at a moment’s notice.

The 6 P’s is what prepping is really about. The 6 P’s are “Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.” The larger scenarios are fairly easy to prepare for, but it’s only when you dig a little deeper that you get the full grasp of what might happen in different SHTF scenarios.

SPP166 Preparing for SHTF: A Reality Check

Puzzle PiecesBelow are a few things to think about as you are preparing. Prepping is sort of like putting together a puzzle. It is fairly easy to put together the main part, but it gets more difficult as you work around the edges.

Being truly prepared means having the knowledge to react to any given situation, and put that puzzle piece in the right spot when the clock is ticking.

Not Every Scenario Includes Scenes From Mad Max

It’s somewhat natural to think of every SHTF situation as a total collapse, but in reality there are much more likely scenarios that don’t include a total collapse. As we think about a SHTF situation we tend to go to the extreme (I do anyway) our mind takes us to the worst case scenario.

Now I’m not saying we need to ignore these large scale disaster scenarios, but because we live in a first world country (and the greatest country on earth) a Mad Max scenario is highly unlikely. I’ll explain more as you continue reading.

The Government Is Not Going Away

Even though we hear a lot about WROL (without rule of law) the chances or our government (or some sort of government) being completely out of the picture is highly unlikely.  There is a caveat to this though, especially in the short term.

If something were to happen quickly, the government wouldn’t be able to respond meaning every man (woman) for himself. This would also create a martial law scenario until the powers that be figure out how to get their control back.

A government might not be the same people that hold office today, but someone, somewhere is going to see an opportunity and seize it. This could be people that hold lower offices today, or it could be other countries coming in and taking advantage.

Every Situation Will Be Fluid

The ability to change course during a disaster scenario is critical to our survival. There are some things we can plan and prepare for, and some things that we just need to wait and see how it unfolds.

If and when there is an economic collapse, how you handle it depends on how quickly it happens, how extreme it is, and how prepared you are for it.

If Martial Law were enacted it could mean a number of different thigs depending on where you live, why it was enacted and how other people around you are reacting.

Life’s Still Going to Suck

No matter how prepared you are, your daily life is going to change. All of these daily conveniences we “just can’t live without” might all be gone or even just unaffordable. Weekly trash service could be gone, cell phones could be useless, and electricity in general could be gone.

In some cases, we would be waiting until everything goes back too normal, and in some cases we would have to adapt to the new normal. The more we are prepared now, the easier this transition will be, but we still need to be ready for a huge lifestyle change.

They Might All Be Bad…But Don’t Bet On It

We have talked quite a bit about how important community is, and how the lone wolf route is a bad idea because people need people.  None of us can do everything, so having others in our inner circle can only help our survival plans…as long as they are the right people.

This can be easier said than done though right? We don’t want to let someone in that will derail our preparedness plan, or put us in danger. On the other side of the coin though, we don’t want to give our neighbors the perception that we are the bad guys because we are reclusive and mysterious.

You Don’t Have What You Think You Have

We all know that unexpected things are going to happen in any sort of SHTF event, and that a SHTF event could be cause by a number of different things.  Because of this it’s really impossible to say that you are prepared for defined amount of time.

Food might spoil, people might get added to your group, your supplies might be stolen, or even something as simple as people not following your rationing plans could lower your expected supply timeline.

What we do is take what we have and divide it by 2. Over the course of a month this is not all that important, but over the course of a year many things can, and will change.

Hunting Won’t Be That Easy

Quite a few people think they are going to grab their guns and go out and kill dinner, but that might not be as easy as it sounds. First, there aren’t as many animals out there as there used to be, and second there are a lot more people these days.

Another thing to consider is how good are you at hunting? Hunting isn’t as easy as grabbing your gun, putting on some cammo and heading out to get dinner. You’re going to need tracking skills, you’re going to need to know where to look, and you need to keep in mind that you won’t be alone.

TFHT Predictive Programming

predictive programmingIn the Tin Foil Hat Time segment of the show this week Lisa and I talked about what predictive programming is, and how we fall for it all the time. Here are some of Lisa’s notes for the show.

First we need to understand what  predictive programming is…

Predictive programming is basically how the media is used to influence and guide society, for example to impose a belief and value system on society at large. Have you heard of the term propaganda?

This is from the website The Coincidence Theorist. For predictive programming to work as a valid form of psychological conditioning, the following set of general rules and assumptions have to be made:

  • A group of powerful people (with a common agenda) might be able to exert a special influence over the entertainment industry.
  • People are less likely to resist societal developments that they’ve already been familiarized with.
  • The messages planted within fiction can vary in terms of their subtlety, ranging from subliminal clues to important plot points.
  • Although predictive programming prepares people for large social change, specific events can also be foreshadowed.
  • The exact contexts of the “predictions” (and the subsequent reactions of the characters within the story) aren’t strictly important.

To give you an example of how to spot predictive programming, take some words from one of our political candidates right now. Hilary Clinton made a comment toward Donald Trump of how he is caught up with conspiracy theories, yet in the same breath she made a comment of how Vladimir Putin is using Americans as spies to find out the secrets of the Democratic Party, and that Russia will be involved in causing her to lose the election.

First and foremost, she just created a conspiracy theory. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! She also made references to the KKK, and racism, which if you know anything about history, the Democratic Party is the party responsible for the KKK, as well as pushing racism. But that is another point entirely.

The point is she is already placing ideas into people’s heads about Russia, and that we need to be wary of other countries, such as Russia. She is planting the seed that Russia is bad, and we need to defend ourselves against them. This is a blatant example of predictive programming.

Most of the population won’t even pay attention to a comment like this now, but what if she becomes our leader? Can you see where her deep hatred would be transformed during her rule into provoking a war with Russia?

Our “leaders” (greedy pigs run by handlers) have an agenda, and the chosen few, or top 1% have their own agenda and the use their puppets, like Obama, and Clinton etc. to promote and push their agenda onto us, the dumb public.

They plant seeds into our brains, and then the majority of people buy into it. Pay attention to the little seeds they are planting. If you have a funny feeling in your gut, pay attention to it, because something deep inside of you is telling you something isn’t right.

Predictive programming is placing the concepts into our heads, so we see this as normal, and we accept it. Examples of predicative programming in our past can be found in many movies, as well as comments made by political leaders:

  • Hilary Clinton’s comments in regard to Russia
  • Barak Obama focusing on police officers being bad
  • The race war (made to keep the general population fighting amongst themselves

Movies and Tv:

  • Minority report (introducing controversial technology)
  • Enemy of the State introducing controversial technology)
  • The Simpsons (introducing foreshadowing of events to happen, like 9/11)
  • 2001 a Space Odyssey from 1968 (and then we landed on the moon?)
  • World War Z, Independence Day, Armegeddon (preparing the masses for a disaster or significant event)

And what about the little subtleties in movies letting us know things that are not ok are the norm, and socially accepted, things like Martial law, or the UN coming in and taking over in the USA, sure this is ok, because they have been programming us to accept it.

This Months Contest

Here is the video I did with the prizes for this months contest. You can go here to place your entries for the contest.

 

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Some of the Best Websites for Prepper (Updated)

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Some of the Best Websites for Prepper (Updated)A few years ago I wrote this post about what some of my favorite prepper websites are. A lot has changes since then, and there are quite a few more websites that I frequent, so I wanted to update that list.

Keep in mind as you are reading this that it is not a list of the best prepper websites out there, it’s just a list of some of the best websites for preppers that we know and trust. There are also many more websites that I could have included on this list, and probably a few you would add yourself.

While focusing on all aspects of preparedness is important, people have different preferences and different interests. Some people enjoy bushcraft more than others, and some people focus more on food storage techniques. As you will see, my list and Lisa’s list are completely different.

SPP165 Best Prepper Websites

This list is of websites and Youtube channels we know and trust. With all the “information” out there it can be pretty hard sometimes to figure out what is quality information, and what is made up, or just bad information.

If you have a favorite preparedness related website leave a comment below. Also, if you have a questionable website you want to know about, leave a comment and I’ll let you know what I think about it.

Aggregation Websites

I love these aggregation websites because they basically do the work for me. They will take the newest articles on the internet and link to the ones that are most helpful.

General Preparedness Websites

Here are a few prepper websites that cover a wide range of topics. There are many more great preparedness websites, but this is my “go to” list.

Bushcraft Prepping

I really enjoy the survivalist aspect of prepping because I think it is an integral part of being prepared for anything that might happen.

Preparedness YouTube Channels

Here are a few more Youtube channels that I subscribe to and visit on a regular basis.

For even more preparedness related YouTube channels check out this post from UrbanSurvivalSite. It has 100 YouTube Channels listed there

Lisa’s List

Here are a few of my favorite places to go for looking for ideas for prepping and self-reliance…

Pinterest

There is SO much information to be found here. I would say I use Pinterest like I do a search engine. You can create boards, and pin different articles that you find to these board so you can come back to them at a later time.

Some boards that I have created, prepping, off grid ideas, gardening, backyard farming, recipes, food storage, essential oils, homemade products, remodeling, home staging, and my horse ones too, but I create boards for many, many different ideas that come into my head.

Mother Earth News

I love going to this website! I get so many ideas from Mother Earth News. Everything from self-reliance, to projects I can do at home to make things easier.

Homemade Recipes

If you are looking for something new to cook for dinner, you need go no further than this website. They have recipes for a completely homemade burger (yum!) to spaghetti-o’s. If you want to find a recipe, I am sure you will find it here. Over 10,000 recipes for you to try out.

Preparedness Mama

I love this website. She has all of the bases covered! From food storage, frugal living, to gardening and preparedness. There is a wealth of information here that would be very helpful regardless if you are just beginning your preparedness journey or you have been doing it for a while. You should check her out, and I am sure you will be happy you did.

Farming My Backyard

This website is SO much fun! There is a lot of information here about chickens, and goats, but the main focus of this website is all about urban self-sufficiency. SO if you live in the city, you might find this site useful.

Blue Jean Mama

This is the place to go to learn about essential oils. The author is a certified aromatherapist, and there is so much information on this site regarding essential oils.

The Herbal Prepper

I have been doing a lot of research into herbal remedies, and from what I have dabbled with so far, I have found they really do work. In most cases, herbal remedies work better than commercial ones, so this is an area I really want to dive deeper into. And this website has been very helpful. And the author, Cat Ellis, also has a basic herbal certification class coming up in October that I am hoping Dale will let me sign up for! But she doesn’t just share information about herbal remedies, she is a wealth of knowledge about all things prepper related.

Food Storage Made Easy

This is a fantastic website devoted to all things food storage related. This is one of the very first websites I found when I began thinking about long term food storage. If you have any questions about food storage, you need to visit this site. The have printables, talk about how to store your food, and general emergency plans. It’s a great site to add to your bookmarked sites for further reading. You will never be at a loss of food storage information with these two ladies!

Modern Farmer

This is a great site to get some news related to modern farming along with many ideas of what you can do to be a modern farmer in today’s busy world. This is a fun site to visit if you want to get some interesting articles related to farming, and the current events of the world.

Ground Zero

And my list would not be complete without a tinfoil hat/conspiracy theory type website for you to check out. I have to say Clyde Lewis is by far my most favorite conspiracy theory guru. He gives you information to think about. He has a podcast that I listen to regularly, especially because he talks about alien’s, but also because he shares information about today’s current topics and really makes you think about how you feel, and gives you a different point of view to consider. So grab the tinfoil, and fashion an incredible hat when you check out his website.

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Bushcraft Prepping: Wilderness Survival skills for Preppers

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Bushcraft Prepping Wilderness Survival skills for PreppersWhen it comes to preparedness there is quite a bit more that goes into it than building a lean to shelter and starting a fire. Everything we do as preppers is geared for not having to revert to these primitive methods.

With that being said, if we take these bushcraft (wilderness survival) skills for granted, we are leaving a big hole in our preparedness plans. Not all people that are interested in bushcraft are interested in prepping, but all preppers should be interested in Bushcraft…to some extent.

Most of the gear is the same: As you are researching bug out bags or what the best ferro rod is, you are bound to come across some articles about bushcraft, camping or hiking. As a matter of fact, there is a lot we can learn about quality and effectiveness for these people who use this survival gear on a daily basis.

A lot of the skills are the same: The basics of survival are the same no matter if you are in the wilderness, or in an urban environment.  The materials and applications might be different, and the wild animals might be human, but the rule of 3’s applies no matter where you are on the planet.

The mental aspect of bushcraft and wilderness survival: Possibly more important than any tool you can have, is the sheer will to survive, and the skill set to do it. The very core of bushcraft is to have the ability to survive with the materials around you, and the skills in your head, although it goes much deeper than that.

This doesn’t mean we need to become master outdoorsmen and women. To do this requires a massive commitment, and can’t be done by watching a few YouTube videos. There are quite a few bushcraft skills that will be very useful to preppers though, and skills that could be the difference between life and death in an shtf situation.

SPP164 Bushcraft Prepping: Wilderness Survival skills for Preppers

In the show this week we talked about some of these bushcraft skills that preppers should try and learn, and how they can be useful skills no matter where you live.

Here are a few examples that I separated into bushcraft skills, and prepper skills. This illustrates how people interested in wilderness survival might not be interested in some preparedness skills, but preppers should be interested in all of these skills.

Bushcraft Skills: FOOD

  • Making Fire
  • Wood processing
  • Primitive tool making
  • Plant identification
  • Foraging
  • Hunting
  • Trapping & Fishing
  • Tracking

Prepper Skills: FOOD

  • Food Storage
  • Stockpiling
  • Coupons
  • Canning & preserving
  • Organization
  • Learning Recipes
  • Budgeting
  • Shelf Lives

Bushcraft Skills: WATER

  • Locating water
  • Collecting water
  • Purifying water

Prepper Skills: WATER

  • Water Storage
  • Purify Water
  • Water Usage & Sanitation

Bushcraft Skills: SHELTER

  • Types of Shelter
  • Different Resources
  • Tying Knots
  • Locations

Prepper Skills: SHELTER

  • Keeping Warm/Cool
  • Storing Blankets/Clothes
  • Home Security
  • DIY Projects

Bushcraft Skills: SECURITY

  • Stealth
  • Knowledge of Area
  • Primitive Alarms

Prepper Skills: SECURITY

  • Operational Security
  • Be the Gray Man
  • Self Defence

Skills Shared by Bushcraft & Preparedness

Health & Fitness

  • First Aid
  • Endurance
  • Strength
  • Overall Health
  • Diet

Mental Preparedness

  • Survival Mindset
  • Creativity
  • Adaptability
  • Situational Awareness
  • Planning & Strategy

As I said earlier, we don’t need to become experts at bushcraft, but we should take advantage of some of the skills these experts have. The great thing about these skills is that they aren’t really that difficult to learn, you just have to do it! So take some time, and focus on one skill at a time. The more you practice, the better you will become!

Also in the Show…

In the Tin Foil Hat Time segment we mentioned a video from Viking Preparedness. In this video Pastor Joe Fox talked about the presidential elections, and the direction he see’s our country going.

This is one of my favorite YouTube channels, make sure and subscribe!

 

As I was doing research for this show I ran across this article from MoreThanJustSurviving that has even more information about bushcraft skills and why they are useful for preppers.

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Alternative Weapons for Preppers

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Alternative Weapons for PreppersLast week I wrote about why guns are important for preppers, and this week I am going to go over some alternative weapons for preppers.

While we love to see and hear about all these “Zombie” weapons, not all weapons are solely for self-defense. As we talked about last week, we need to have a wide range of options available, because each job requires a different tool.

Personal Protection: Self-defense is what first comes to mind for most of us because we understand the need to protect ourselves and our family.

Hunting: In a SHTF Scenario, hunting will not be something we do for fun. If we find ourselves without food, we will be doing everything we can to feed the family.

Collecting/Crafting: Some of these primitive skills & weapons can really be a work of art, and learning how to use them can be even more challenging.

It’s important to know what the alternatives are because eventually ammo is going to run out, some people don’t want guns, and some people can’t own guns. Not only do we need to have other options available, we need to have the skill to create some weapons we might need.

SPP163 Alternative Weapons for Preppers

Silent Weapons & Primitive Weapons

dale with compond bowBows: Long bows, cross bows and compound bows all take some practice to become proficient at, and offers both advantages, and disadvantages. While a bow is a stealthy weapon, it’s also hard to conceal.

Sling Shots: There are quite a few options available when it comes to sling shot type weapons like the sling bow, and the Pocket Shot. These do require some practice and skill, but could be used for small game hunting.

Atlatl or Spears: These would be pretty difficult to master, but it can be done. The benefit of these is that they are very simple to make compared to say a long bow.

Blow Guns: While this might seem like a bit of a novelty, it could be used to take down small game quietly. you can either make your own, or buy a new one like this.

Walking Stick: This could be as simple as carving a piece of drift wood you could hiking, or even a trail walking tool like this. Your imagination is your only limit.

Edged Weapons

edged weaponsKnives: There are so many options when it comes to knives it’s hard to make any suggestions. You have folding knives and fixed blade knives, and it really depends on what you need it for.

Throwing Knives: This might be a hard skill to master, but it will also be fun learning to use throwing knives. You can use these in the back yard, or even out camping. For beginners these are fairly cheap, but the more advances (balanced) knives can get a little pricey.

Swords & Axes: I’m not sure how many people have swords these days, but I’m sure most people have an ax or a hatchet laying around.

DIY Zombie Weapons: As I said earlier, your only limitation is your imagination. I’m sure everyone has a few things laying around the house that could be turned into a good ol’ zombie weapon. Here are a few ideas from Pinterest.

Alterative Guns

paint ball gunPaint Ball Guns: Paintball guns might be an alternative for people who don’t want, or can’t purchase firearms. You can also use pepper balls, but they are a little expensive. This would fall into the “something is better than nothing” category.

Pellet/Air Guns: Believe it or not, the right pellet gun (or air rifle) can be effective. A quality pellet gun or air rifle might cost about as much as a regular firearm, but can be used for hunting small game.

Muzzle Loaders: I personally have not used a muzzle loader (black powder), but it is on my list. These could be useful in an SHTF scenario because you can cast your own ammo if you have the supplies to do so.

Pipe Shotguns: I have to admit, these are pretty cool! Although I don’t know if I trust myself to make one at home. If you do, make sure and do your research haha.

Here is a video showing one in action…

Personal Defense (Close Range)

POLICE MAGNUM 16 oz. Pistol Grip Pepper SprayPepper Spray: Having pepper spray is a great idea whether you own guns or not, because not all situations require lethal force. You could even go for the more “nuclear” version and get some bear spray.

Wasp Spray: Lisa loves to talk about wasp spray because it is a little cheaper, and sprays farther. Personally I don’t recommend this, and would just go with prepper spray. You can read why here.

Tasers: Stun guns and Tasers sometime get confused, but are completely different. A stun gun requires you to get up close and personal with an attacker. A Taser shoots out leads giving you a little more range.

Expandable batons: I have never had the pleasure of being hit by one of these, but I hear that they really hurt. If the police carry them, they must be effective right?

Around the House

Zombie Baseball Bat
The ZomBat! (Click Image to visit Instructables)

Garden Tools: All we have to do is take a look in the garage and we are bound to find something that could be used as a weapon. Pitch forks, shovels and even a screw driver can be used in a pinch.

Baseball Bats: Anyone who has children probably has a baseball bat laying around. You might even have a hockey stick or even scrap wood that could be used in the same manner.

Kitchen Utensils: Everyone has an assortment of knives in the kitchen, but in a pinch you could use a meat tenderizer, or even the kitchen knife sharpener. Although if you need to go this route, the situation is probably pretty dire.

Think outside the box

Just about anything around the house can be used as a weapon (depending on the situation) the important part is to think about what your options might be. An attacker might look at you funny if you pull a hack saw on them, but they will think twice none the less.

Do you have any ideas? We would love to hear them in the comments below…

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Firearms for Preppers: The What & Why

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Firearms for Preppers The What & WhyLet’s face it, gun ownership is a hot topic these days, and not for good reasons. Because of this, gun ownership for preppers is becoming increasingly important. At this rate, waiting to purchase a firearm could mean jumping through a hundred hoops, or not getting one at all.

I’m not going to go into the absurdity of “gun free zones” and the absurdity of disarming the American population instead of fixing the real problem, that’s a post for another time.

This post is going to be about why gun ownership is important to preppers, and how we can become one of the good guys with guns…you know, the ones you never hear about on mainstream media.

This week in the show Lisa and I talked about why owning a gun will become even more important for preppers, how to be a responsible gun owner, and picking the right gun for the job. You would never know this by watching the news, but guns are not always for killing people, some people use them to hunt.

SPP162 Firearms For Preppers: The What & Why

Gun Safety & Ownership

gun safetyFirst and foremost, before we start talking about why you need firearms, we need to talk about what being a good gun owner means.

Practice & Safety: Being a good gun owner means not only knowing how to safely use it, it also means knowing what to do with it when you’re not using it. Gun ownership should be considered a huge responsibility, and not taken lightly.

For first time gun owners I would highly recommend taking some sort of gun safety class, and then putting a few hundred rounds though the gun at the gun range while practicing everything you learned in that class.

Cleaning: Even cleaning your gun can help with safety and your overall comfort with the gun. Not only will cleaning your firearm help with reliability and performance, it will help you understand how everything works.

Knowing how to disassemble and reassemble your gun will help you understand how all the pieces work together, and why misfires happen.

Know Your Gun Laws: Every state has different gun laws, so what is legal in your state might not be legal in another. Make sure and understand what laws apply to you, and also keep up to date on the ever changing gun laws.

This is especially important for concealed carry holders who travel, and might have to cross state lines. Like it or not, the law is the law and we have to abide by them.

It’s also important to know what will happen after a defensive shooting, and what you will need to expect. Even if you are completely in the right, there will still be some hoops to jump through. This article goes into more detail.

It’s also important to remember that not all SHTF scenarios involve WROL (Without Rule of Law), and there are some scenarios that involve complete confiscation…but that’s a story for another day.

The Best Gun for Preppers

When it comes to picking the best gun for preppers, there really isn’t 1 right answer to this. A concealed carry weapon would not be the ideal choice for hunting, and a long rifle is not a great choice for self-defense.

While in some situations having something is better than nothing, having the right tool for the job is important. If I had to pick just 1 gun I would probably say a shotgun because of its versatility. You can get different types of ammo making it useful for self-defense and hunting, although the range of a shotgun is very limited.

The Right Tool for the Job

right tool for the jobJust like everything in life there is the right way, the wrong way, and some work arounds. Having the right gun for the job at hand might make everything a little easier.

Hand Guns: Great for self-defense, concealed carry, and short range, but not as accurate as a long gun. They are also not ideal for hunting, but will work in a pinch.

Long Guns: A long gun (rifle) will give you more range to protect your family and property at the perimeter level, and will also give you more accuracy for hunting. .22 calibers are great for small game, but bigger game will require a larger caliber.

Shotguns: Shot guns are sort of an all-purpose gun, depending on the ammo you use. They are a great self-defense gun at short range because you don’t need to be all that accurate, and they could also be used to hunt birds and other animals, depending on the shell.

While having just 1 gun is better than nothing, I believe that you should have at least 1 of each in your collection. Not only is it important to have these guns, it’s important to actually be proficient with them. So get out to the range and have some fun!

Guns Are Not the Be All End All

While having guns and ammo will help you sustain and protect yourself is any sort of SHTF scenario, having something to protect in the first place like food and water are still the most important. Anyone who focuses strictly on guns and ammo are going to be the people we need to protect ourselves against.

Just like everything else when it comes to preparedness, our supplies will eventually run out. The same holds true for ammo, and when our ammo is gone, we basically have a metal club.

Ready, Aim…Wait a Second

Along with having a firearm in the first place is your willingness to use it. You can have the biggest, baddest gun in the world, but if you are too scared to pull the trigger it is useless. This holds true for not only being uncomfortable with the recoil, but also being able to pull the trigger if you are your family is in danger.

A while back we got Lisa a 9mm hand gun and right now she is not very comfortable shooting it. I have no doubt that in a life or death situation she would pull the trigger, but I want her to become more comfortable using a gun and become more proficient.

We decided to get her a smaller caliber .22 hand gun because she is more willing to practice at the range, and hopefully work her way up to being comfortable with the larger caliber ammunition.

You also need to be honest with yourself about whether or not you would be able to pull the trigger on an attacker. Most normal people would never want to have to use their gun for self-defense, but if the need arises, we need to do it without hesitation, hesitation could lead to us or our family becoming victims.

Reasons to Own a Gun

In the show Lisa and I talked a little bit about why it’s important to own a gun (or guns) now, as well as in the event of societal breakdown.

Because You Can

Because of this current administration, and because I’m not sure how much longer it will be legal to purchase an AR style rifle, I went ahead and got one now. It’s a little ironic that the more people talk about banning guns, or adding restrictions, gun sales start to rise.

There are far more good guys with guns than bad guys, but you would never know that by watching TV, and I want to be part of the good guys with gun’s club. The solution is not to take away guns from the good guys, the solution is to start upholding the laws already on the books and hold the bad guys more accountable.

This country was founded on the fact that we need to be able to defend ourselves against the very people who are trying to take that are trying to take them away.

Sport Shooting & Collecting

project appleseedIf you listen to the mainstream media, anyone who owns more than 1 gun must be a domestic terrorist, but needless to say, that is not the case. High school student in 4H enjoy shooting clays, and there are events like Project Appleseed with the goal of “teaching every American our shared heritage and history as well as traditional rifle marksmanship skills”

I have found that once I purchased my first gun I wanted another one…and another one. Not for any nefarious reasons, just because I enjoy going to the range and shooting, and I want to try different guns and calibers.

Gun ownership and collecting is a hobby just like building model rockets is a hobby, collecting Star Wars action figures is a hobby, and rebuilding muscle cars is a hobby.

Hunting

hunting shootingWhile there will probably not be as much hunting going on as people think in a SHTF scenario, it’s still important to have the option if available. There are nowhere near the number of animals there were in the past, and everyone and their brother are going to be out looking for food when there is no grocery store.

Depending on your area though, there could be squirrels, rabbits, birds and other small game you can take advantage of. As I mentioned above though, you need the right tool for the job, you probably don’t want to take an AR out to hunt a couple of pidgins…for a few different reasons.

Self Defense

Grandma-gunContrary to popular belief these days, you are the only one who has the sole responsibility of taking care of yourself. While it’s good to have the police to protect you (and you should let them if possible) we can’t, and shouldn’t expect them to be there at our beck and call.

Some situations can happen quicker than they can respond, and we need to be able to protect ourselves and our family.

In an SHTF scenario all of this goes out the window. With no public servants, the crime rate will rise, and we will be on our own. To most people this seems like some sort of crazy made up fantasy world, but to me the crazy made up fantasy world is the one we live in today.

Closing Thoughts…

My hope is that I never have to use any of my guns for anything other than hunting or going to the range, but I enjoy the comfort of knowing that if something were to happen that put my family in danger, I have the tools I need to protect them.

To me it’s just like having car insurance, I hope I never need to use it, but I’ll be glad I have it if I ever need it.

Dale Signature

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Life After SHTF & Some Overlooked Problems

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Life After SHTF & Some Overlooked ProblemsAs preppers we are always looking for ways to improve our situation, and think about what live would be like after a SHTF event. Even if we have our food storage covered, our water storage covered and have plenty of guns and ammo, all it takes is one kink in the hose to mess up our preparedness plan.

The truth is, foods storage and water storage are the easy parts of prepping. While these might be the most important, there are a number of smaller situations that we don’t give a second thought to that could cause big problems when it comes to life after SHTF if we don’t know how to handle them.

In the show this week Lisa and I went over some overlooked areas of preparedness, and how even the smallest thing could become a game changer.

SPP161 Life After SHTF & Some Overlooked Problems

No Public Servants

This might not be “overlooked” but it is something that deserves more consideration than it gets. Without police, the fire department and EMT’s we will be completely on our own when it comes to solving major problems.

We take for granted how easily we can get support when we need it these days, but what would you do if there were no police to intervene? Or what if you had to put out a house fire with a garden hose? We need to think about some of these scenarios, and think about what we would do.

Not Being Honest With Yourself

We all like to give ourselves a little more credit than we deserve…I know I do. But if we are not honest about how prepared we are, or how skilled we are, we are setting ourselves up to fail. When all the cards are on table, the only one it’s going to matter to is us. It’s either us surviving, or us not surviving.

Being honest with yourself means leaving your ego at the front door, knowing there is always someone better than us, and knowing there is always more we can learn.

Trash & Sanitation

Without our trash being taken away on a weekly basis, sanitation is bound to become an issue. Not only will the trash be building up, but cleaning the house will not be as easy as turning on the faucet, plugging in the vacuum, or even something as simple as flushing the toilet.

Keeping ourselves clean, and our cloths clean will also be harder than it is today. Taking a hot shower will be a thing of the past unless you have a solar shower, and washing clothes means using an old school washboard, or using something like the Wonder Wash.

Everything is Going to Run Out

Like it or not all of our preparedness supplies are going to run out at one point or another. Spoilage, overusage and theft could all reduce our preparedness timeline. Even if nothing like this happens, eventually our food, our ammo, our supplies, and medication are going to run out.

We need to think about all the supplies and food we have stored as a buffer to get us through until we can figure out a long term solution.

Not Having Tools or Supplies

Most of us have a hammer and a couple of screwdrivers, but do you have something as simple as nails and screws? If we need to do repairs on the home, or build something, there will be no hardware store to go to, what we have will be our hardware store.

Having manual tools like saws, hammers and drills are important, but not having the little things can make life pretty difficult. Making sure we have tapes and adhesives, enough screws and nails, automotive fluids, wrenches and sockets and maybe even some scrap wool laying around is a good idea.

Not Having the Skills You Need

We all like to believe that we could do what it takes when push comes to shove (I do anyway) but in reality, the situation will play our far different in real life than it does in our heads.

The more skills we have, the less supplies we need to survive. Not only are these skills free (for the most part) they give us the ability to get through tough situations by using our heads, giving us an advantage over everyone who is reliant on the “stuff” they have.

Boredom/Entertainment

While life after SHTF is going to require more manual labor and work, there is bound to be down time…especially after the sun goes down. In today’s society we have a million distractions, but in a SHTF event that all goes away.

Having books, board games, musical instruments and even getting outside and doing some hard work are good ways of curing boredom. This is especially important for anyone with children, because a bored child can make your life miserable.

Communications

In a post SHTF situation cellphones might become non existent, or an unaffordable luxury, but we will still need a way to communicate when the family is separated. Shortwave radios, walkie talkies and ham radios might be our only option.

Also included in communication is talking to your family and educating them about safety and planning. Make sure everyone knows what to do in different situations, and make use of the down time by making sure everyone is on the same page.

Bartering Supplies

With all the “stuff” we need to buy when it come to being prepared, buying extra prepping supplies purely for bartering purposes tends to get put on the back burner. The truth is, these supplies could turn out to be incredibly useful.

Most people are not as prepared as we are, and when these people need lighters, batteries or even alcohol, we might be able to trade for something we need…like nails or wood that we don’t have haha.

Small things Become Big Things

We talked about a couple of articles in the podcast from Urban Survival Site that tie into life after SHTF & some overlooked problems pretty well. the first one was “10 SHTF Problems You Might Not Have Planned For” and the other was “20 Worst Things About Life After The SHTF

Other People

Just because you have been preparing, doesn’t mean everyone else has been. You need to think about what happens when someone comes to your door, and they will. How are you going to manage that type of situation? Have you shared your prepping with would be friends, or family? If you have, be prepared that if things get really bad, they are going to think of coming to your house as their salvation.

Every Day Conveniences

This will probably be the masses, rather than those who focus on preparedness. But there are modern conveniences that may not be available, like running water in your house, or electronic banking, or even your job. If all of these things were gone tomorrow, would you be ready? Do you have a backup plan?

In a total grid down event, the credit card companies may not come knocking on your door, but eventually they probably will. How will you pay your bills? It is enticing to think about the world going to crap, and no more bills. But remember people are greedy, they will figure out a way to get what they feel is owed to them, this includes your mortgage company. Make sure you have a way to pay your bills.

Also, when the food closet is bare, you will not be able to run to the store to buy dinner, you will need to have enough food to get through whatever situation you may have to face. So plan for the worst.

False Sense of Security

Once you begin to amass large quantities of food, it is easy to get complacent about your food storage. When you purchase a new gun, it is easy to think that you are more prepared. If you prep for a year or longer, it is easy to think you are better off than your neighbors.

It is this way of thinking that can sabotage your plan in the long run. This is why it is important to not only continually add to our supplies, but also our skills. We have an excellent opportunity right now to add to our skill set because we have practically everything at our finger tips. Don’t get lazy, use your time wisely and plan. You are your own insurance policy for an SHTF situation.

Not Having a Backup Plan

The most important thing in my opinion that preppers need to do is have a backup plan. Always plan for the worst, and figure out how you are going to in that situation. I have fun with this, and work through what if scenarios. What if I lost everything? What if the FEMA people came knocking on my door? What if I ran out of toilet paper?

These are all possibilities, so think through and plan what you would do, and come up with what if’s for every area of your preparedness.

 

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Self Defense for Preppers With Sara Hathaway

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Self Defense for Preppers With Sara HathawayThis week on the Survivalistprepper podcast we are happy to welcome back Sara Hathaway, Sara is the author of the books Day after Disaster and Without Land. Some pf you might also know her from her Changing Earth Podcast where she discusses some of the chapters in her books, as well as has an expert guest on to talk about different areas of preparedness.

You can find out more about what Sara is currently working on at her website http://www.authorsarafhathaway.com/

SPP160 Self Defense for Preppers With Sara Hathaway

Sara has quite a bit of self-defense training, and this week we had her on to talk about all the different aspects, and how it can (and is) useful to us as preppers. Here are a few of the questions we had for her this week…

Questions From the Show

A have a 3-part question for you: What self-defense training do you have, why did you decide to do it, and what added benefits does it have?

I have trained in two Korean styles of martial arts: Tae Kwon Do and Kuk Sool Won. I have also dabbled in close quarters combat training in a survival training program I did as well as with Skip Buck a former Sherriff Sergeant that I train with.

I decided to get involved in self defense training because I always wanted to do it as a kid but my mom said I was already too rough. I pursued a opportunity to play Olympic ice hockey and when it didn’t really pan out I decided to start training martial arts. I started with Kuk Sool Won because it had many weapon styles involved in it. I later transitioned to Tae Kwon Do because of the Olympic possibilities and the quality of instructors.

There are a ton of benefits to self defense training. First of all, it builds confidence. Having confidence makes you a less likely target. Predators look for easy to attack targets and if your level of self confidence portrays you as a difficult target it takes you off the list. Another bonus to self defense training is, during training you are put into uncomfortable situations where you may get your butt kicked.

This helps in a couple of ways. Mentally you become more accustomed to these situations making it easier to face them in real life. Also you get beat and have to mentally challenge yourself on how to avoid that in the future, how to calm your mind, and increase your defenses. Your body becomes accustomed to taking hits and not crumbling because of it. Trust me it hurts and you will get bruised, maybe even broken but your body will grow stronger and you will be able to take more abuse in the future. The last benefit to self defense training is the most obvious, you learn to defend yourself!

Do you have any easy self-defense tips for anyone who might want to learn some basics in the comfort of their own home? 

Self defense is a challenging thing to learn on your own. The good news is the basics are the basics and no matter what form of self defense you want to learn the basics are all the same. I would start with making sure your body is ready for the physical rigors of learning self defense, which you should be doing anyway to be prepared for anything.

If you are a total couch potato, start with walking. Walking, rapidly for 10 minutes a day helps the body and mind but you need to push it much farther. Then try a workout program. Programs like, insanity are great workouts for cardio and they get the whole body used to participating.

For actual self defense training my advice is to find a good instructor. There are martial arts schools everywhere so do your homework and find one that you can give with. If you really want to do it all on your own, it will be monumentally difficult because you need a partner to practice on.

This can be dangerous because you will be attacking and defending. One thing to keep in mind, you don’t want to go to hard because you want to have a partner to practice on in the future. As the two of you get better you can start going harder and harder.

Pinterest and you-tube are always a wealth of information. Find one move there and start with that. Practice it until you can do it in your sleep. One solid defense move is better than 100 unpracticed moves.

We can talk about a couple situations where learning self-defense might be useful to preppers?

From a prepper’s point of view self -defense is essential. In a long term survival situation, unless you know how to make gun powder, your supply of bullets is going to run out. If you don’t know how to physically defend yourself you are going to be in a lot of trouble.

Also long term survival situations will do crazy things to honest, good people’s minds. What if someone you have trusted suddenly turns violent or sexually aggressive? You will need your self defense skills to make sure you can survive this encounter.

In a long term survival situation if you have to physically defend yourself you want it to end as soon as possible without damaging yourself. I suggest learning the ear cup, eye gouge for this situation. Also on men aiming for the Adam’s apple is usually a finishing blow.

These same principles also apply to the society we live in today. For women, obviously it is essential that you can defend yourself from an attack. Usually your attacker is going to be someone you may know and trust. You may not want to hurt them severely (with a gun) but you want to make sure you can defend yourself and protect your honor.

Men are often in positions where they have to fight to protect their loved ones or just because they are being aggressed. Once you know how to fight, at least for me, it becomes less and less attractive. Any fight you enter is one you may not walk away from. There are methods to make sure you can end a fight quickly with minimal harm to either participant but it takes practice.

We can talk about Situational awareness: Don’t put yourself in Bad Situations etc.

You have to be aware of your surroundings. Who is coming up behind you? Why are they? As I mentioned before most women and children are attacked by people they know. How much can you really trust this person? What has their past been like?

In a long term survival situation any boo boo can be a major game changer. Only enter confrontations when you absolutely have to. The best way to win a fight is to never have been in it.

Reduce your chances by staying alert. Not playing Pokémon Go or staring at your phone. When you get in your car and you are sitting for a moment, lock the doors.

Confidence reduces your chances of being attacked. Walk with pride, know where you are going, don’t shuffle along.

Some Non-Lethal Self Defense weapons…and guns too lol

As far as non-lethal weapons my mother in law used to make me carry pepper spray when I was out playing hockey at night. Great thought but it was always in the bottom of my purse and I doubt I could have gotten to it if I was attacked. Anything like a Taser or pepper spray etc. needs to be easily accessible if you need it.

In self defense anything can be used as a weapon. I learned how to use escrima sticks because they are two short fighting sticks. You could use anything from a wooden spoon to a rolled up magazine in their place. Also I have a new car with a flip key. That thing is strong when it is flipped out so I always carry it flipped out and in my hand. If I was attacked the first thing I would do is stab my attacker in the eye with it.

On that note I want to mention that if you are grabbed from behind kicking to a man’s privates is not the best thing you can do. If you can kick their knee it is a much better choice. A man without a knee will not be running after you very quickly. If the knee is impossible slam your head back into their nose. If you can break the nose the eyes instantly start watering making it harder for them to hold onto you or see you.

The tactical flashlights are very good to carry. They often do the flicker light to distract an aggressor. They have the jagged edged rims around the light which work great as stabbing items as well as window breakers if you are ever in a car sinking in the water.

Obviously having a concealed carry permit is ideal but you need to practice, practice, practice. Any weapon you are not comfortable with will not be your first go to in a stressful situation, plus you don’t want to hurt anyone else. Again, you need to make sure it is accessible. It does you no good if it is in the car and you are attacked while putting groceries into the car.

How important is confidence when it comes to deterring an attacker? Or not becoming a victim.

Confidence is absolutely essential! Confidence can stop the attack before it even begins but you will not be confident if you are not prepared for an encounter and physically capable of carrying out the moves you have practiced. My confidence level has saved me and my girlfriends on multiple occasions. Fake it until you make it but know you can make it if you had to!

What are the 3 most important things you have learned because of your training? (not necessarily moves lol)

  1. Fighting is not fun. I was and still am in a lot of ways a little fireball and rarely do I back down from something I am passionate about. I used to go looking for fights but now I realize that no one wins when you fight. People get hurt or worse.
  2. Fighting is the biggest mental challenge you will face. It doesn’t matter how good you are there is always someone better. There are always good days and bad days. The adrenaline that fighting induces surges through your body and effects you in unimaginable ways. If you haven’t felt it before you better get out there and practice. Experiencing this in a life and death situation for the first time could cause you to hesitate or freeze and that could be the deal breaker.
  3. I kick ass! My hands are fast and my situational awareness is good. I can go up against the biggest men out there and it may not be pretty and I may get hurt but knowing a few devastating techniques could be the reason I am able to walk away when other couldn’t.

Also From the Show…

Today is the last day (July28th) that The Survivalist Prepper Academy 2.0 will be available at half price. At midnight tonight this offer ends and everything goes back up to full price.

We also talked about the members only giveaway this month and what those prizes are. Members can get a more detailed update on the “Quick Start” page at the Academy, but here is a list of what we have so far…

First Prize

Second Prize

Third Prize

Fourth Prize

Fifth Prize

  • Another Sawyer Mini Water Filter
  • A Survival Bandana

This giveaway is a members only giveaway, and if you would like to become a member you can do so here.

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Our 20 Most Important Prepping Supplies

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Our 20 Most Important Prepping SuppliesThere are probably 100 prepping articles talking about the most important prepping supplies, and the prepping supplies that will disappear first. Lisa and I decided to take this a step further and see if our most important prepping supplies matches all these articles.

Everyone can find out what you should have, but sometimes what you should have, and what you do have are 2 different things. This little exercise has actually helped us identify some areas of weakness, as well as strengths, and see how our priorities are a little different.

The rules are pretty simple, and anyone at home can play along. If you had 10 minutes to leave you house what would you take?

But there’s a catch! You only have 5 minutes to make your top 10 list.

BOB & EDC

When you start your list, don’t include your Bug out bags and everyday carry items, these are a bonus because I think these will be on the top of everyone’s list. So, if you have a really good bug out bag setup, and you have everyday carry items, you already have a head start…as it should be.

This exercise shows why bug out bags are important even if you have no plans on bugging out to the woods. A good bug out bag should contain items that cover the 5 areas of preparedness, food, water, shelter, security and sanitation.

Some bug out bag items include: Fixed blade knife, water filter, compass, tarp, folding saw, etc. (I need an old cell phone in my bag)

To make this a realistic as possible you can only add every day carry items you actually carry every day…not what you want (or should) carry.

My EDC items include: Multi tool, folding knife, Prepinstein Designs paracord belt and my EDC kit. As soon as I get my concealed carry permit that will be added too.

SPP159 20 Most Important Prepping Supplies

My Top 10 Prepping Supplies

Alright, so here’s how my list turned out. This is not an all-inclusive list, but I tried to think about how I would be racing around the house, grabbing everything I could think of if I only had 10 minutes.

  1. Camping Kit (Already in Truck)

In my truck I always have a plastic container under my rear seat that has some fishing gear including a small tent, folding camp stove and fishing tackle.

  1. My Guns (and ammo)

This was actually the first thing that came to mind. These would not only be useful for self-defense, but also for hunting if the need arose.

  1. Clothes

This could be considered an area of weakness, but I don’t have clothes put aside for this situation. I would have to grab a trash bag and stuff some clothes in it. Lisa also mentioned using a clothes basket because it could be used to carry stuff in the future.

  1. Water

Who knows how long something like this could last, so I am going to grab as much water as I can. We have 5-gallon water jugs, and I would grab at least 3.

  1. Food

I’m not going to take the time to go through the cupboards, I am going to grab all the “Prepper” food I can find. This includes the Tac-Bars, Long term food (dehydrated) and canned goods if I have time.

  1. Power

Along with the small solar charges in our lights out kit I am also going to bring the solar generator I put together. This has a 100Ah battery, power inverter and solar panel.

  1. Extra Camping Supplies

The camping gear in my truck might not cut it, so I will need to add some supplies from the garage. This includes the Coleman stove, sleeping bags, lanterns and fuel.

  1. Fuel

We have some gasoline stored in 5 gallon jugs, and I would want at least 3 of them with me. My truck takes 36 gallons to fill, so 3 of these would only be a half tank.

  1. Our Lights Out Kit

Our lights out kit includes, blankets, batteries, flashlights, and extension cords. Because this kit is put together and ready to go, it would take no time at all to load it up.

  1. Communication

When we are on the go, I am going to want some way to find out what is going on. A crank radio might be good because of the NOAA channels, and I would want my ham radio to scan for radio traffic.

Lisa’s Top 10 List

If we had to leave at a moment’s notice, things would be hectic indeed. A lot of my planning would be determined by the cause behind why we needed to leave. I would assume the most viable reason of forcing us out of our home at the present time would be an evacuation order because of a wildfire.

This is a situation that hits close to home, as we have had several large wild fires that have put us on high alert that we may have to leave our home quickly.

So this is the bases of my scenario. It is a given that I have my go bag in my car already, so this is an extra I guess you could say because I already have it packed up and ready to go. But that, and the animals aside, this is what I would be bringing if we had to evacuate our home and had only 10 minutes to do it.

  1. First Aid Kit

This is my huge bag, the one I was able to purchase after my birthday. This is a large kit with everything I would need to treat my family, or others.  This medical bag would last for a while, and has a medicine cabinet inside of it as well as items to treat any sort of injury, short of having to do surgery.

  1. Laptop Computer

Like many people my laptop has so much information on it, this is definitely something that has to go regardless if there is power or internet access.

  1. The Contents of Our Safe

This has cash, gold and silver so everything that is in our safe will be coming along with us.

  1. The Contents of Our Gun Cabinet

Although if we were to get pulled over, this could cause a few raised eyebrows, but carefully hidden and keeping the ammunition separated, these firearms are an important part of our prepping, so they would be coming along.

  1. Blankets and Pillows

This may seem like an odd choice, but they serve several purposes. One, they are comfortable, and will add a sense of normalcy in an otherwise un-normal situation. If you could have a few moments of ‘normal’ and comfort, wouldn’t you want that? I know I would.

  1. Important Paperwork

We keep this in an easy to access easy to move self-contained accordion type file. It has important information, as well as a list of everything we own, with pictures of every room in and outside of our home on a flash drive, which may be important if we have to prove what was in our home in case it was destroyed, for whatever the reason.

  1. 5 Gallon Container of Gas

We already have these stored in our garage, and not knowing what the emergency might be, I want to be sure to have at least a little bit of gas. And since I am presuming it would be due to a wildfire, I would want to remove the excess gas from our garage.

  1. Food and Water

This is a given, but I would grab quick foods that are easy to pack that we already have in our pantry. They may not be the healthiest choices, but they are already there, and ready to go. Things like crackers, instant oatmeal, bread, granola bars, canned meals, etc. Whatever I could fit in a box, would be coming with me.

This is true for the water as well. We have a few of the water blocks which are fantastic for storing water, and they are square, so they fit easily into a car, and I could put ‘stuff’ on top of them as well, so organized packing.

  1. My Prized Possessions

This includes items like my camera’s, saddle, and horse tack that would not be easily replaced. Also items like family photo albums. These are important to me, and items I would be really sad if I lost, so they would be packed into my car.

  1. Camping Box

This is a box of supplies that we have packed into a bin. It is already to go, and has the basic items needed when camping out like lanterns (solar) bug spray, plates and silverware, small propane bottles, camping stove, coffee pot, fishing gear, extra coats, blankets, clothing, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, etc. This bin would be invaluable to grab because it is already ready to go.

Final Thoughts…

It’s interesting to look at how different our lists are and it just goes to show “2 is 1, and 1 is none”. There are some things that I completely forgot about like opening the safe, important documents and first aid supplies.

On the other hand, we both had some of the same items listed which can be helpful because I am so forgetful. The last thing you want in a scenario like this is to forget something very important.

It’s also interesting how my idea of important supplies, and Lisa’s ideas differ. Her list tends to include items for longer term events, and mine includes more items geared towards survival. This is probably because we know each other so well, that we know what the other person is going to take care of.

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The Preparedness Mindset & The World Without Cops

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The Preparedness Mindset & The World Without CopsToday in the show Lisa and I talked about the preparedness mindset, and how prepping goes a lot deeper than making sure we have food stored and a way to start a fire. At the end of the show we talked about what this world would look like if we didn’t have the police that we seem to take for granted these days.

Prepping is about how you look at it, and how we live our daily lives. To some people it’s a passing fad (like y2k), to some people it’s somewhat of a hobby, which is not necessarily bad. When I started it was basically a hobby, I focused on the aspects of prepping and survivalism that I enjoyed. What started as a hobby, turned into a “preparedness lifestyle”

To be truly prepared it needs to be a lifestyle. Now by lifestyle I don’t mean wearing cammo and eating MRE’s every day, I mean that it should be something you think about with everything you do, and even something “we just do” without thinking about it.

SPP158 The Prepping Mindset & The World Without Cops

Practicing situational awareness is preparedness, getting out of debt is preparedness, and even getting healthy and physically fit is preparedness. While all these prepping supplies are important, they only delay the inevitable if we don’t have the right mindset and knowledge.

Situational Awareness & OPSEC

operational security imagePracticing situational awareness is not that hard, yet millions of people are so consumed with their daily lives they forget all about it. All it really takes is lifting your head up from the heard and paying attention.

Paying attention to what’s going on around you and being situationally aware also includes any events, or possible events that could cause problems in your area…or the country. The more early warning we can give ourselves, gives us a better chance to get through any disaster or hardship.

OPSEC (Operational Security) includes taking a look at how you do things, how you look to others and what could be making you a target. Some examples include…

  • How does your home look when others drive by?
  • Don’t brag about your new toys.
  • Posting too much information online.
  • OPSEC for SHTF travel planning.

You can read more about operational security here.

Sharing Your Preparedness Knowledge

Another important aspect of the preparedness mindset is the need to share our knowledge whenever possible. Unfortunately, there is a fine line between being too open about preparedness, and not being open enough.

People need people, because no one person can be good at everything. No one person can be in 3 different places. Like it or not, some of these friends are going to be around if everything goes bad, and if we can get them more aware of preparedness, they might actually help our situation instead of becoming a burden.

I used to be pretty reluctant because of the “doomsday prepper” perception that everyone seemed to have. I thought that everyone looked at preppers as crazy and overreacting. The more I opened up about preparedness, the more I found that people were more receptive than I thought.

practice operational securityI think this is because people see the writing on the wall, and understand how important being prepared is. When I talk about preparedness I talk about events natural disasters and terrorism, not preparing for a nuclear bomb dropping.

Sharing your preparedness knowledge doesn’t mean telling everyone what supplies you have stored, as a matter of fact you should never do this until you are comfortable sharing, and even then I would be careful how much information I give out.

The Tools in Your Head

Another important aspect of preparing is you mind; your mind is your primary weapon. I’m not talking about Jedi mind tricks here, I’m talking about the ability to think critically, and having the knowledge to make educated decisions.

You might have heard this before but “knowledge does weigh nothing” If we find ourselves without these tools, we need to figure out how to get through that situation by using the tools in out head.

The Will to Live

Possibly the most important part of the preparedness mindset is the will to survive, and the will to live. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail here about the Survival Mindset, But here is a link to this post that I wrote a while back about the acronym S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L.

the Acronym SURVIVALThe sheer will to survive and the never give up attitude can get us through more tough situations than we think. When we are faced with a tough situation and we know that failure is not an option, we can solve that problem as long as we have the knowledge to do so.

Repetition Habits and Goals

Alright, let’s talk about repetition, habits and goals. The more we do something, the more it just becomes habit. Anyone can learn to tie a bowline knot, but if you don’t practice that knot you won’t remember how to tie it later on.

In last weeks show we talked about long term goals, stretch goals and even small attainable goals. You can read that post here.

Avoiding Prepper Burnout

In the show we talked about this article titled 10 ways to avoid prepper burn out. Make sure you are not doing too much all at once (or for too long) and try and do things you enjoy, not just things you feel are important.

While some of these things we don’t enjoy might be important, if we get burnt out, we will end up getting nothing done.

What is Self-Reliant & Self Sufficiency

The basic explanation is learning to look after ourselves, and being responsible for what happens to us. The definition of a prepper is “An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances, without substantial resources from outside sources” Like the Government, police etc.

As preppers we strive to be as self-reliant as possible, but in today’s world it is impossible to be 100% self-sufficient. We can plant a garden, but we need someone to get the seeds from. We can cook that food, but we need a pan to cook it in…you get my point right?

Prepping is not about having supplies, it’s about being able to use these supplies to our advantage. It’s not about stuff, it’s a mindset, knowledge and skill set. People 100 years ago had to figure out how to make do without, and as preppers, we should be trying to do the same thing just in case.

So remember, preparedness is an ongoing journey, not a checklist of supplies. Spending $1,000 dollars on supplies won’t make you prepared, learning skills (and applying them) practicing operational security and having the will to live will get us through more tough times than all those supplies.

A World Without Police

“The sheep hate the sheepdog until the wolves come.”

In the show this week we also talked about what this world (the United States) would look like if we had no police force, and how because of the current administration and political correctness it seems like we are reverting back to the 60’s.

I personally want to say thank you to anyone who is reading this and is a police officer! People these days just don’t seem to understand what it must be like to go to work every day knowing that there is a possibility that you won’t make it home.

Make sure an listen to the show, because we talked for about 20 minutes on this subject towards the end.

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Prepping is More Than Bug Out Bags and Food Storage

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Prepping is More Than Bug Out Bags and Food StorageSometimes we get so consumed with preparedness supplies that we forget that prepping is about more than what you have in your bug out bag, and how much food you have stored. Sometimes we get so focused on the “sexy” parts of prepping (supplies and tools) that we forget about truly important stuff.

All of these tools and supplies for prepping are important, but even the best bug out vehicle in the world is not going to do you much good if it only has a quarter tank of gas, and a top of the line ferro rod is worthless if you can’t get a fire started with it.

There are also times when money is tight, and we have to put off buying that new survival knife for a while. This is a perfect time to focus on the everyday preparedness stuff that we tend to put on the back burner.

In this week’s show Lisa and I talked about some of the smaller areas of preparedness that are just as important (and sometimes more important) than having all these supplies in the first place.

SPP157 Prepping is More Than Bug Out Bags and Food Storage

Here is the list that Lisa and I put together and talked about in the show. This list is great if money is short, but it’s also important to have these bases covered if you want to be completely prepared.

Inventory & Rotation

Sometimes what you have, and what you think you have are 2 different things. If we are doing it right, and we are using the supplies we have, then we are going to need to replenish those supplies at one point or another.

Supplies can be moved or damaged, food can be eaten without you knowing about it, and quite a few preparedness items come with expiration dates and need to be replaced.

We all have ups and downs when it comes to being prepared. One month we can feel really confident about how prepared we are, and then a month later find ourselves playing catch up because we dropped the ball.

Situational Awareness

Practicing situational awareness should be something we do on a daily basis, and everywhere we go. Sometimes situational awareness is a simple as paying attention to your surroundings, but looking for something, and knowing what to look for are 2 different things.

Some examples include…

  • Looking for exits when you enter a building.
  • Scanning your surroundings in a parking lot, and knowing where people are.
  • Keeping your head up and not focused on your cell phone.
  • Look for people behaving oddly
  • Checking your 6 (who’s behind you?)

We also need to practice these skills, because with more practice it gets easier and becomes a habit. This article titled “How to Develop the Situational Awareness of Jason Bourne” goes through the OODA method, and even memory games can help with situational awareness because they force us to pay more attention.

Create Good Habits

Sometimes we can get what I call “prepper burnout” and lose our focus. Other times we can talk ourselves into doing something else just to avoid doing what we should.

The more we do something, the more it becomes something we just do naturally. If we start making it a habit that every Saturday we practice a survival skill, it becomes something he need to do, rather than something we have to do.

Talk to Your Neighbors

This is a hard one for me because I really don’t like putting myself out there, but knowing your neighbors is incredibly important. At the very least we can figure out whether they will be with us, or against us when and if the S hits the fan.

If your neighbor feels like they know you (even just a little) they will be less likely to try and take advantage of you in a bad situation because they know you.

Take them Cookies: It’s human nature that when someone does something for us (no matter how small) we feel obligated to return the favor. While we are not doing this to get something back from them, it could be the difference of them being with us, or against us when the S hits the fan.

The Rule of Obligation, also known as “reciprocity,” states that when others do something for us, we feel a strong need, even a push, to return the favor. Returning the favor rids us of the obligation created by the first good deed. Like the saying goes “one good deed deserves another”

Learn (and Practice) Skills

With the internet today there is literally nothing we can’t learn, and almost no question we can’t get an answer to. Google “how far away is the moon” and see what I mean. While these resources are fantastic, they are worthless unless we apply that knowledge.

In the show we talked about how watching a video about building a survival shelter looks really simple, but when you go out to do it yourself you find out it’s harder than you thought it would be.

It’s really easy to edit out the mistakes in a video, but in real life we don’t have that option. We need to make these mistakes now, and learn the process now, because a SHTF scenario is the time for doing, not learning, and a mistake could mean life or death.

Being Physically Fit

In last week’s show we talked about how the best thing you can do to prevent illness in a SHTF scenario is be as healthy as possible now. Sanitation and public services could be nonexistent, and having a healthy immune system and being physically fit could prevent some of the common illnesses.

This doesn’t mean we need to go to the gym twice a week, it means we need to become “farmer strong” A farmer probably doesn’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but a farmer can work from sun up, to sun down on a daily basis.

Let’s say you have a great bug out bag, with all the bells and whistles, what good is that bug out bag if you can’t walk more than 2 miles?

Setting Goals

Setting goals is a great way to keep your preparedness plan on track, creating goals can help us keep our focus and eventually achieve them.

When you are setting goals it’s important not to make all of them too big, or too small. We want some small goals that can be achieved easily, we want some long term goals that will take some work, but stretch goals are the most important.

Stretch goals are goals that are completely attainable, but require some work to get them done. A stretch goal could be getting your long term food storage up to 6 months, or learning the bushcraft skills we see in all those videos.

Download Reading/Learning Material

At the Survivalist Prepper Academy, we are working on a course that goes through creating a preparedness library. Having these files stored is important because most disaster scenarios involve the loss of electricity, meaning no internet.

These files could include SHTF recipes, knot tying or anything you feel would be important to have. If you ever have to say “how did I do that again?” It’s probably something you should download.

These can be digital files, or downloaded and printed out. If these files are downloaded, you will need to have a way to power up your laptop and read them. I have a bunch of digital survival files because I have this solar generator I built in the past.

Planning & Family Discussions

One of the most important aspects of preparedness is making sure everyone is on the same page. Just because WE know how everything needs to go, doesn’t mean everyone else in the family is going to do everything according to plan.

As active as we are these days, the odds of the whole family being in one place is slim, getting everyone in one place could be harder than the actual disaster plan, and should be a plan of its own. The more we discuss these plans, the more likely it is to sink in…especially with teenagers.

In the show we talked about how this can be a challenge for the “lone prepper” when the family is not onboard with prepping. We have this article here that might help with that, and this article about getting children interested in preparedness.

A Few More…

There are a few other things we talked about in the show like keeping always your gas tank half full, storing extra fuel, assessing your property and ways to earn some extra income for prepping.

If you have any ideas about some areas of preparedness that get taken for granted from time to time leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear them.

Also in the Show…

The Contest: First off congratulations to the winners of this month’s contest! And even though this contest was great, the next contest is going to be HUGE!  To celebrate the launch of Academy 2.0 I am going to put together 2 grand prizes and a few other prizes as well.

I’ll have more information on this in the next show, so stay tuned…

Academy 2.0: Over the last few weeks I have been working on updating the Survivalist Prepper Academy and building the new website Academy 2.0, and for a limited time we are offering 50% off membership.

This discount is only going to be available until we launch Academy 2.0 and anyone who joins before we launch will have access to the original academy, and the new academy.

Click here to join.

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The Survivalist Prepper Podcast: Ask the Rescue Ninja

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The Survivalist Prepper Podcast Ask the Rescue NinjaIn this week’s Survivalist Prepper Podcast we did a segment called Ask the Rescue Ninja (Ask the R.N.) where Lisa answered some listener questions. Here are some of the show notes for those questions, and you can listen to the show here.

How about when/ when not to suture a wound after SHTF

In my opinion, the only time I would ever suture a wound is if I had made a surgical incision. If I did not, I would not suture it. The main reason to suture a wound is to help it heal faster, however you run the risk of infection if you suture a dirty wound shut.

You can put in a drain, and then suture the wound closed, but you are still leaving an opening, which bacteria can get in, so I am of the mind set to leave it open, and do dressing changes. As an example, when my horse cut open his leg we tried 3 times to get it to the point where we could suture it closed, and it just wasn’t happening. But by keeping it covered, it healed and there is only a tiny line scar. Not the fastest way to heal, but it healed, even in a ‘poopy’ environment, literally.

How to take care of poison ivy, oak or sumac after SHTF?

  1. Steer clear of areas where you know they grow.
  2. Cover up with closed shoes, socks, long pants, long sleeves, and gloves. Wash any clothes that come in contact with poisonous plants as soon as possible.
  3. If you get exposed, wash your skin with soap and warm water right away to get the plant’s oils off your skin. Some experts say that washing within the first hour may help limit the rash.
  4. Use a cold compress, calamine lotion, non-prescription hydrocortisone cream, or an antihistamine to ease itching.

How to make the decision whether to use antibiotics or not

If you fear an infection, and it seems to be spreading, I would use an antibiotic. Signs of a spreading infection are:

  • Redness
  • Smelly discharge, or increasing drainage of a wound
  • Pain that is not relieved by medication
  • Fever

If I were not able to distinguish what the bacteria was, I would probably use 2 antibiotics to get the widest possible coverage. So I would grab my nursing drug guide book, and find antibiotics that had the broadest spectrum of killing bacteria. Bactrim (Sulfa drug) and Augmentin (Cillin based antibiotic) would have the largest spectrum of coverage. But, you also need to know if the patient has any allergies to penicillin, or sulfa drugs, and if they do, you can’t use them.

You also have to be careful, because once you start treating an invading bacteria, you will also destroy the beneficial bacteria, and you may need to take steps to replenish that beneficial bacteria, with probiotics, etc. Fish antibiotics are a good alternative in a SHTF scenario.

What can be used for pain when a wound needs to be sewed up?

You can buy lidocaine gel, and you could put that on some 4×4 gauze, and apply it to the area to help numb it before you cleaned it, or sutured it closed. However, if there is infection present, no amount of numbing medication is going to help, it will still hurt, which is a good indicator you should NOT be suturing the wound closed. Also, unless the trauma just occurred, and if the wound has been open for over 4 hours, you should not suture it closed.

Also, as a side note, the fascination with suturing a wound closed seems to be a HUGE topic of interest. If you are thinking you should be suturing a wound, get the training first, or, you can always use butterflies, or steri-strips, as this will bring the edges of the wound together, and allow the wound to heal without suturing the wound closed.

Another thing that is a lot easier and quicker would be to use staples. This is super-fast, easy, and no knot tying, just boom, boom, boom, done! Just be sure to have a staple remover, so you will be able to remove the staples once the wound has healed.

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SHTF Wound Care: Safety & Sanitation

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SHTF Wound Care Safety & SanitationIn the event of any number different of disasters, our access to medical help could be severely reduced, or even nonexistent. In these SHTF scenarios it also means that our public services will be affected as well. No running water, no trash man, no electricity and no grocery stores.

In events like these, we will need to have the ability to treat wounds until we can get further assistance (hopefully) and make sure we reduce the risk of secondary infections, and prevent illness caused by unclean conditions, or unclean supplies.

When things are not as easy as walking into a hospital to get your wounds treated, and we are going to have to make some sacrifices when it comes to the way we expect things to be done. With our state of the art medical services and facility’s in the U.S. it is an expectation that everything is clean and sterile when we visit any medical professional.

When we become the only “medical professional” available, we need to make sure we do everything in our power to make sure everything is clean and sterile as possible to prevent secondary infection. This is easier said than done, because if there are no hospitals (or they are overcrowded) that means something major has happened, and we will be affected as well.

Without power, without running water and without waste removal, conditions can (and will) become unsanitary very quickly. While we can’t control what other people do, we can make sure we are doing everything we can to prevent illness, and reduce the risk of secondary infections.

SPP156 SHTF Wound Care: Safety & Sanitation

Most Common SHTF Illnesses

The book Survival and Austere Medicine gives you a perspective of what may be possible in a long term catastrophic disaster or when working in an austere or remote environment without access to organized or trained medical care.

This book was written in 2005, but covers quite a few first aid topics from medical supplies, to alternative medicine. Click her to download the PDF.

One part of the book that stuck out to me was what some of the common illnesses might be, and how as preppers we might be too focused on the wrong things.

“A recent Internet survey asking about medical risk assessments in a major disaster came up with the following results:

“What do you see as the most likely common source of medical problems?

  • Battlefield injuries 5 %
  • Lack of surgical care 36 %
  • Environmental related 8 %
  • Infectious disease (naturally occurring) 64 %
  • Infectious disease (biological warfare) 20 %
  • Nuclear conflict (radiation, blast, burns) 4 %

What you may have to deal with will depend on what happens. Obviously a nuclear war will produce a different set of problems than a pandemic. However, regardless of whatever the initial triggering event after the initial wave of injuries or illness associated with it the majority of medical problems that happen will be common, and mundane, and not nearly as interesting as the above survey results suggests.”

Secondary Infection & The Civil War

During the Civil War secondary infection resulting from injury’s killed more people than the injury itself. There was a 28% mortality rate for amputations, but a 52% mortality rate from the amputation itself. While we have made great advancements in medicine since 1860, the conditions and supplies could be similar in an SHTF scenario.

Hopefully we won’t need to be amputating any legs, but there are a number of smaller injuries that could turn into bigger injuries if we don’t treat them properly in the first place.

Cleaning, Treatment & Protection For Wounds

If we find ourselves in the position that we need to be the person administering first aid, we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to minimize the risk of secondary infection. Just because something looks clean doesn’t not mean it’s sterile, and ongoing care might be necessary for some wounds.

Clean vs Sterile:  An item is sterile when it is made completely free of measurable levels of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungal spores) by a chemical or physical process of sterilization, and clean is the absence of dirt and visible debris.

In the show Lisa and I talked about the 3 stages of wound care and some things we can do to not only help a wound heal quicker, but reduce the risk of infection.

Wound Cleaning: The first step is the most important, you will need to focus on removing the dirt and debris that may have entered the wound. This could be as easy as rinsing off a smaller injury with saline, or getting a little more “down and dirty” with larger wounds.

In the show we talked about instruments to clean out larger wounds, some antiseptics and some of the things we need to understand before we even attempt it.

Wound Treatment: Proper wound treatment starts with cleaning, and then an antiseptic. As anyone who listens to the show knows, Lisa advises you use Silvasorb Jel for preventing bacterial growth that may still be around the wound. Silvasorb is a little more expensive than Neosporin, but well worth it.

Wound Protection: One of the best ways to ensure you have proper wound healing is to use a dressing to cover it completely until it is healed. This will not only help with the healing process, but it will easily protect the wound from contamination, which is essentially one of the greatest dangers it will face.

We went into much more detail about these 3 steps in the show, so for more information on these make sure and listen.

SHTF Sanitation & Prevention

In the show we also talked about how our living conditions can affect our health is a SHTF scenario, and how there are some things we won’t have control over…like what our neighbors do.

Without the access to running water and waste removal, sanitation will become a big issue for everyone. In the show we talked about a couple of articles from OffGridSurvival and UrbanSurvivalSite.

In the show we also went over some ideas for removing human waste and trash, and how issues like these that we take for granted could not only be a real pain, but dangerous to our health as well.

Also From the Show

Ask The Rescue Ninja: This week in the show we did a segment called “Ask the Rescue Ninja” (The RN) where Lisa answered some questions our audience had for her.  She answered questions about Suturing wounds, poison ivy and using antibiotics. I put these answers on a separate page, and you can view those here. Again, for more detailed answers you can listen to the show.

MeWe Social Media: A member of the Facebook group brought this social media website to our attention, and they boast more privacy than the other big social media sites. You can read more about their privacy here, and sign up for our private group here.

Contest: This month’s contest will be over next week, so make sure and get your entries while you can. This month we are giving away a trauma kit, 2 Tac-Bar ammo cans and 3 PakLite flashlights. Click here to enter the contest.

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SPP155 Interview With Vincent of Disaster Survival Network

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SPP155 Interview With Vincent of Disaster Survival Network

Today’s show is a little different form our usual show. This week we were the interviewees, rather than the interviewers. Lisa and I had the honor of being on the Disaster Survival radio show with Vincent VonDoom, who is also the founder of the Disaster Survival Network and Magazine.

We really hit on a wide range of topics in this show, from how we (as Americans) have embraced the victim mentality, to the death of tomatoes and chickens.

SPP155 SPP155 Interview With Vincent of Disaster Survival Network

Here are a few bullet points of what we talked about in the show, but it really doesn’t do it justice, so make sure and listen to the show.

The Survivalist Prepper podcast is available on iTunes, and any podcasting app for android. Most people listen while driving, working out or playing in the yard.

Notes From the Show…

  • People have become sheeple, and weak, waiting for someone to save them.
  • Is everything building up to something big?
  • Could the presidential elections be a catalyst to an SHTF event.
  • Misdirection and everything going on behind closed doors.
  • How history repeats itself, and how we are obiviouse to what could actually happen.
  • The importance of community and open mindedness to reality.
  • How we became Survivalist Prepper, and how it was all Lisa’s fault.
  • Some of the pitfalls to preparing, and why it’s better to make those mistakes now.
  • Why world peace is unrealistic…at least while we are in charge.
  • What we are working on with academy 2.0 and what it’s all about.
  • How to combat what Vince calls “Doom fatigue”
  • What do you say to someone who is completely in denial about preparedness.
  • The pros and cons of prepping groups.
  • The importance of organization when it comes to preparing.

More about Disaster Survival Network

Vincent has quite a bit going on a the Disaster Survival Network and even has plans on doing a daily video show in the near future, and we plan on getting together with him whenever possible.

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SHTF Perimeter Security: What You Can Do Now, To Prepare For Then

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SHTF Perimeter Security What You Can Do Now, To Prepare For ThenAlthough we hope nothing happens that would cause us to “beef up” our home security, we all know it is a very real possibility that we would need to protect our home in some unconventional ways in an SHTF scenario.

I titled this article SHTF perimeter security: what we can do now, to prepare for then because while setting up pit fall traps and tossing caltrops all over the front yard might become necessary, it might get you in some hot water today. With that being said, there are some things that we can do now, and some thing we can do to prepare for an SHTF event.

Today in the show Adam and I talked about just that. Adam is a police officer who does general assessments like these for people in his community, and modified it for preppers like us.

SPP155 SHTF Perimeter Security

Adam wrote me that “One thing I have training through the police department is home security, normally what citizens in my town do is either send us video or pictures of their property and we advise on best ways to prevent intrusion.  I have modified it for those in my prepper group to include SHTF security.

We tried to stick to the images in the order they were listed below, but make sure and listen, because there is much more information about each of them.

The images below are just an example home, but use your imagination and figure out what you could do to improve your perimeter security. I plan on going out and taking some pictures of my home from different areas and doing this same type of threat assessment.

Front Of Home

House Image 1The Pros…

  • Long driveway leading to house
  • Pasture with double fence between road and house
  • No tree obstructing view of road
  • Strong wooden doors
  • Nothing of value noticeable from roadway
  • Electric fence (on chain link)

The Cons…

  • No gate(s)
  • Short fence

Items to Fix Now…

  • Add a gate and upgrade white fence
  • Plant thorny plants under front Bay windows
  • Add a light to fence post to light long drive
  • Camera facing driveway

SHTF Fixes…

  • Barrier to driveways
  • Board lower windows

Right Side View

House Image 2

The Pros…

  • Pasture with double fence protecting house
  • Electric fence
  • Nothing of value visible besides cows

The Cons…

  • Trees at border (limits visibility and provides cover for intruders)
  • No side window
  • Short fence

Items to Fix Now…

  • Attach a solar light to utility pole (get permission)
  • Camera to utility pole (get permission)

SHTF Fixes…

  • Trim all lower branches
  • Trip alarm in pasture (more info below about traps) (and here)

Left Side View

House Image3

The Pros…

  • Long open driveway
  • All Outbuilding doors face into property
  • Large street light inside property

The Cons…

  • No gate (U shaped driveway)
  • Small decorative fence
  • Outbuilding for cover/concealment

Items to Fix Now…

  • Gate(s) added and upgrade fence
  • Lights on all sides of outbuildings

SHTF Fixes…

  • Gate/Barrier
  • Remove items of value from outbuildings
  • Alarms & traps

Left Pasture

House Image 4

The Pros…

  • Large open area between next residence and secondary fence

The Cons…

  • Equipment out in open with no view from main house
  • Decorative fence

Items to Fix Now…

  • Better fence
  • Organize/concealment for equipment

SHTF Fixes…

  • Dead fall, Apache foot, caltrops along whole border of fence line between 2-6 feet in.
  • Remove all equipment to inside perimeter fence

Right Pasture

House Image 5

The Pros…

  • Gap between fence and trees
  • Better fence (electric)

The Cons…

  • Juts up against roadway

Items to Fix Now…

  • Nothing important

SHTF Fixes…

  • More Traps: Dead fall, Apache foot, caltrops along whole border of fence line between trees and roadway

Top View From Roadway

House Image 6

The Pros…

  • Long pasture to property (150 yards)
  • Wire fence
  • Second fence between house

The Cons…

  • Items of value visible from roadway
  • Over-watch position for intruders

Items to Fix Now…

  • Nothing

SHTF Fixes…

  • More traps: Dead fall, Apache foot, caltrops along whole border of fence line between 2-6 feet in.
  • Early warning alarms
  • Hide water pond
  • Litter pasture with debri

Right Top View From Roadway

House Image 7

The Pros…

  • Large pasture
  • Double fence

The Cons…

  • Jutted up against residential housing

Items to Fix Now…

  • None

SHTF Fixes…

  • Possible second barrier fence between residential fence
  • Dead fall, Apache foot, caltrops along whole border of fence line between 2-6 feet in.
  • Early warning alarms
  • Establish “hide in sagebrush” in top corner (will provide hidden security point and over-watch of whole property)

Backyard (From Left)

House Image 9

The Pros…

  • Well pump covered (pump house)

The Cons…

  • Outbuilding access with no view from house
  • Lots of concealment for intruders

Items to Fix Now…

  • Enclose area
  • Organize area

SHTF Fixes…

  • Concealment of items of value

Backyard ViewHouse Image 10

The Pros…

  • Pump house concealed
  • Well lighted
  • Plenty of supplies for “projects”

The Cons…

  • Items of value visible
  • Access to back of house from front with no barrier

Items to Fix Now…

  • Concealment for propane tank

SHTF Fixes…

  • Concealment for propane tank
  • Clean property to prevent tripping hazards in case of night ops
  • Board up bottom windows

Overall Assessment

Overall a good setup: Long driveway and pastures providing natural long areas of no concealment (creates apprehension)

Areas hit first: If I were to hit the house I would come from left pasture and take what I could from the pasture then move into the outbuildings (very little chance to be seen), if no hint of resistance would move to back of house and enter from back side of house to take what I want.

SHTF assessment: Lots of potential. Real close to residential and that is worrisome, if traps and early warning is put in place and overwatch/security is put in place there is potential for a lengthy bug in scenario.

Lots of garage space to “prep” cars unnoticed in bug out scenario. Lots of pasture and land for animals but little concealment for them from hungry masses. Large amount of no concealment area between house and roadways creates lots of open fire lines.

Way I would attack: (assuming all SHTF plans were put in place)

Looting only: I would come from left side pasture and raid the Outbuilding.

Full attack: I would come from the top road to fire down from the high ground and overrun the position.

Recommend for minimum security

2 man security team: 1 over-watch at top of property. Second roaming perimeter of house.

What Would You Do?

I want to say thanks to Adam again for taking the time to be on the show this week. Because of his job, and his training he tends to think more “tactically” than most people, and we can all learn from it. If you have anything you would do, or a way you would attact the property if you were an intruder, let us know in the comments below.

 

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Bug Out Bag Ideas for Beginning Preppers

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Bug Out Bag Ideas for Beginning PreppersWe hear all the time about what we absolutely need in our bug out bag, and for the most part it’s true. Is putting together a bug out bag for a beginning prepper without a mag bar or a water filter a waste of time? I believe the answer is twofold. Yes, these supplies are critical to putting together a good bug out bag, but are not going to do us any good if we have no idea how to use them.

I recently had a conversation with a friend who is a beginning prepper, and he asked me what should go in a bug out bag? Before I go into detail about what I told him to put in his bug out bag, I want to give a you little backstory. It is becoming a success story about how to get someone interested in preparedness, and it applies to all areas of preparedness…not just bug out bags.

SPP154 Bug Out Bag Ideas for Beginning Preppers

We have been friends for a very long time (even before I became interested in preparedness) so when he asked me about my website, and why I was prepping, I was a little surprised. What surprised me even more was his willingness to learn about it and set aside his preconceived notions. It’s also because of the way I approach our conversations and not go overboard talking about doomsday scenarios.

Addition & Subtraction

To me it’s something like learning math in school, you can’t expect someone to excel in calculus if they don’t even know their times tables. When he asked me what should go in his bug out bag I approached it from the same angel. If someone has never built a fire in their life without lighter fluid, they really have no need for a ferro rod, although learning that skill should be top priority.

The same applies to prepping in general. if you don’t have at least a few gallons of water stored, you shouldn’t be thinking about how to build a water catchment system. If you don’t know how to build a fire and then start it with a ferro rod, you better stock up on Brownie Juice (lighter fluid) and Bic lighters while you learn those skills.

Before I get into the list I gave him for his bug out bag, here are a couple of questions I asked him to get a better idea about not only what supplies he would need, but what supplies that would be useful.

These questions were purposefully general, and I made sure he knew that this was not a judgement, and these were not pass/fail questions. This is just to get an idea about what tools would be useful right now, and what he needed to work on.

  • What is your main concern?
  • If you had to leave your home, who would be going with you? (wife and dog)
  • If you had to leave right now, where would you go?
  • You need to travel 20 miles. If there was a 50% chance the roads were passable, and a near 100% chance of success by traveling on foot, what would you do?
  • Have you ever built a fire?
  • Have you ever built a fire without lighter fluid or newspaper?
  • If you found yourself stranded what would you do for shelter?
  • What resources are available around you? (food, water, shelter) and how could you utilize those resources.
  • If you were dying of thirst would you drink the water from a nearby river?
  • What is the minimum amount of calories per day the body needs per day to function properly?

After thinking about his answers for a little bit, I came up with the following list of supplies for his bug out bag. Keep in mind, this is not a complete all scenario bug out bag, this is more of a “starter kit” for him until he learns more about preparedness and survival.

Suggested Bug Out Bag Items…

Fire Starting Kit…

  • Bic Lighter(s)
  • OSB Matches
  • Vaseline Soaked Cotton Balls (In Kit)
  • Mag Bar

Suggested PDF’s & Learning

I also gave him a list of items he should think about adding to his old cell phone, and skills he should learn. Once he learns these skills, he can add other (better) items to his bug out bag.

  • Learn about building a fire
  • Learn about water filtration
  • Knot tying (important knots)
  • SAS survival guide
  • Using a compass
  • Building shelter

Also From The Show

Survivalist Prepper Exclusive Huge Tac-Bar Giveaway From Expedition ResearchThe guys at Tac-Bar are doing a huge contest where they are giving away over $2500 in cash and prizes. Click here to read more about that.

Our Monthly Contest

Along with the Tac-Bar contest above Aaron is also giving us 2 Tac-Bar ammo cans to give away in this month’s contest

  • The guys over at PakLite are giving us 3 of their flashlights to give away.
  • I am making a trauma kit which I am going to do a video for, and then give it away.
  • I will have more information about how to enter, and how to win in next week’s show, so stay tuned for that.

I also mentioned in the show about how we are launching the brand new Survivalist Prepper Academy 2.0, and some of the great stuff we will be doing there.

The Survivalist Prepper Academy 2.0

Academy 2.0 Screen ShotFor a limited time, I will be giving everyone a 50% discount to the current Academy (1.0) and when the new Academy goes live, all current members will have access to both Academy’s. You can click here to become a member, and you can also click here to take a peek at the new Academy.

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Survivalist Prepper Exclusive: Huge Tac-Bar Giveaway From Expedition Research

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Survivalist Prepper Exclusive Huge Tac-Bar Giveaway From Expedition ResearchThe folks over at Expedition research are getting ready to start a huge giveaway, and in this week’s show Aaron came on to tell us exactly what is it, and how they are giving away $2500 in cash and prizes!

For those of you who have purchased the Tac-Bar package you know what a great product it is…and they just got better!

Because Aaron actually listens to his customer’s feedback, he decided to replace the belt that was included with a sweet survival tin which is much more useful.

In this special episode of the Survivalist Prepper Podcast Aaron and I talked about what the contest is, and what you need to do to win.

SP Exclusive Tac-Bar Giveaway

This contest is pretty simple, take the knowledge we have learned about survival and preparedness and actually apply them. Here is a little more about the contest, but to get the full description and to enter you need to go to the contest page here.

$2500 Prepper Contest

Open to all preppers, survivalists, bushcraft practitioners or tactical operators. The Tac-Bar Pro-challenge is simple, use the new Tac-Bar ammo can system to its fullest potential. Make a video or blog post and you could win big! $2500 in cash and prizes.

Be creative and utilize every component of the system for its intended or creative use in a survival or tactical situation.

ENTER BEFORE JULY 31 2016

Our Mission: To showcase and instruct the public how the Tac-Bar system can be used to survive in an SHTF situation either in the wilderness or urban environments. Not the ubiquitous prepper video filmed in the backyard or workbench, but a practical application of all components of the ammo can system.

Who can enter…Anyone.

You can buy Tac-Bar from Amazon Prime or if you’re a YouTuber with at least 5000 subscribers, contact me in the form below and I’ll send you a kit ASAP free of charge!

NOTE: The cool part of this contest is that Aaron will replace your Tac-Bar ammo can just for entering. That means even though you are using it for testing and practice purposes, you will still have a complete Tac-Bar package to add to your supplies.

Prizes

I will judge all entries based on the following:

  • Number and skill level of survival tasks demonstrated
  • Ration utilization and technical understanding
  • The authentic environment within which tasks are performed
  • Overall authenticity

1ST PRIZE

  • $500 USD
  • An Apollo Tactical Compound Bow Package
  • One Blaze Expedition Cooking System
  • A set of 6 ruggedized dry bags by Expedition Research
  • One Tac-Bar Ammo Can

2ND PRIZE

  • $250 USD in cash
  • A set of 6 ruggedized dry bags by Expedition Research
  • One Tac-Bar Ammo Can

3RD PRIZE

  • One Blaze Expedition Cooking System
  • A set of 6 ruggedized dry bags by Expedition Research
  • One Tac-Bar Ammo Can

ALL ENTRIES

  • All entries that make a good effort will receive:
  • One ruggedized dry bag by Expedition Research.
  • One Tac-Bar Ammo Can

NOTE: Because everyone who enters is getting a free (replacement) Tac-Bar ammo can it allows you to use, test and learn the contents, and still have a new one for an emergency situation.

Our Monthly Contest

Along with all of this Aaron is giving us 2 of these Tac-Bar Ammo Cans to giveaway to listeners of the podcast, and members of the Academy.

We have a couple other prizes we are going to add as well like a few PakLite Bug Out Bag Flashlights and an individual Trauma First Aid Kit. I’ll have more information about this in the near future.

The Survivalist Prepper Academy 2.0

Academy 2.0 Screen ShotComing up in this Thursday’s show (Episode 154) I will be letting everyone know about our plans for the redesign of the Survivalist Prepper Academy, and what it means for current and new members. It’s going to be some exciting news, so make sure and listen in.

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Episode Fixed: Interview With Dan of Future Danger

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SPP153 Interview With Dan of Future DangerIn this week’s show I had the pleasure of talking to Dan from the new website Future Danger.com, a web tool as he calls it. I learned a lot about what makes his website stand out from the rest, and why it really is a “web tool”

I talked about how I have a few websites that I go to on a daily basis such as Prepper Website, the Drudge Report, Survival Pulse and now Future Danger. With so much information online, checking these websites while I’m drinking my morning coffee has literally replaced the morning paper.

In this week’s show you will learn what makes this website a tool to filter out the fluff, and only provide information that is relevant to our daily lives and preparedness. It is not a “preparedness” website so to speak, and it won’t tell you how to prepare, but it will tell you why.

Most of the topics on the website cover the exact reasons we prepare in the first place. From economics and natural disasters, to losing out liberty’s and attacks on the constitution, keeping up to date on this information is vital to our preparedness.

SPP153 Interview with Dan of Future Danger

Here are a few of the topics we discussed in the show, but to get a full understanding of the website you will definitely want to listen.

What does this webtool do?

FutureDanger is a “newsradar” of handpicked news stories. We don’t just “aggregate” news – we curate it in real-time. Real people on our staff do the dirty work of categorizing, ordering and separating stories so they make sense.

We put news into context. The purpose is to provide advanced crisis warning for prepared Americans to make final provisions and informed decision-making concerning strategic relocation in the event of a disaster.

What problem does FutureDanger solve?

People prepared to survive live with dilemmas. For most Americans, one dilemma is this: their livelihoods depend on living in highly populated areas. In the event of a significant crisis, retreating from urban centers is highly advisable. These urban and suburban preppers intend to evacuate as early as possible, but no sooner than necessary.  Before FutureDanger, these folks needed to maintain vigilance of multiple news sources so they could to move on short notice to less populated areas. This constant monitoring is hard.

The second dilemma is the ever-increasing amount of online news. It can sometimes be a torrential downpour of information. For unprepared people, it seems not to matter. Our community, however, cannot afford to be overwhelmed by redundant news.

They cannot be distracted by useless news. 

They do not want to over-react when the media hypes, nor under-react when the media downplays or ignores real threats emerging. And they absolutely cannot miss critical signals that should put their personal survival plans into motion.

FutureDanger is a solution. It allows, for the first time on the internet, actionable survival decision-making. We filter and consolidate fragmented signals and warnings onto one web location. We communicate the big picture of immediate major trends.

FutureDanger is an open source analysis tool, like the ones used by the Pentagon and Intelligence Community. Privately developed intelligence assessments can cost thousands of dollars and are accessible only to large corporations and elite customers. If these actors can keep their interests protected, it is time American citizens have a warning system available to them as well.

What is this website doing differently?

Instead of website visitors, FutureDanger has website users. The homepage is a tool. It is called the Heatmap Dashboard. It is designed to save users an immense amount of time each day. People serious about being prepared do not have time to scan each and every news story from all the sites that cover threats. The Heatmap Dashboard brings the news to one location, in a Single Operating Picture.

What is the Indicator System and how does it work?

Future Danger Heat MapIndicators are common sense warning signs. Most Americans would agree that if only a few of these Indicators were to happen, life as we all know it would change for the worse. The Indicator System is a set of nearly 500 of these signs. These are the kind of conditions that drive people to prepare for survival. Although none of us wants them to happen, and everyone can argue about how likely they are to happen, every one of them could happen.

Breaking news stories are linked to Indicators. They are the evidence an Indicator is “heating up”. When collected in one location, our Indicators become a system for threat surveillance. Pieces of these signals and warnings can be found on a handful of other survival websites, but they frequently are not updated and never fully organized. No other website is doing this. We found a gap that none have chosen to fill.

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Interview With Dan of Future Danger

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SPP153 Interview With Dan of Future DangerIn this week’s show I had the pleasure of talking to Dan from the new website Future Danger.com, a web tool as he calls it. I learned a lot about what makes his website stand out from the rest, and why it really is a “web tool”

I talked about how I have a few websites that I go to on a daily basis such as Prepper Website, the Drudge Report, Survival Pulse and now Future Danger. With so much information online, checking these websites while I’m drinking my morning coffee has literally replaced the morning paper.

In this week’s show you will learn what makes this website a tool to filter out the fluff, and only provide information that is relevant to our daily lives and preparedness. It is not a “preparedness” website so to speak, and it won’t tell you how to prepare, but it will tell you why.

Most of the topics on the website cover the exact reasons we prepare in the first place. From economics and natural disasters, to losing out liberty’s and attacks on the constitution, keeping up to date on this information is vital to our preparedness.

SPP153 Interview with Dan of Future Danger

Here are a few of the topics we discussed in the show, but to get a full understanding of the website you will definitely want to listen.

What does this webtool do?

FutureDanger is a “newsradar” of handpicked news stories. We don’t just “aggregate” news – we curate it in real-time. Real people on our staff do the dirty work of categorizing, ordering and separating stories so they make sense.

We put news into context. The purpose is to provide advanced crisis warning for prepared Americans to make final provisions and informed decision-making concerning strategic relocation in the event of a disaster.

What problem does FutureDanger solve?

People prepared to survive live with dilemmas. For most Americans, one dilemma is this: their livelihoods depend on living in highly populated areas. In the event of a significant crisis, retreating from urban centers is highly advisable. These urban and suburban preppers intend to evacuate as early as possible, but no sooner than necessary.  Before FutureDanger, these folks needed to maintain vigilance of multiple news sources so they could to move on short notice to less populated areas. This constant monitoring is hard.

The second dilemma is the ever-increasing amount of online news. It can sometimes be a torrential downpour of information. For unprepared people, it seems not to matter. Our community, however, cannot afford to be overwhelmed by redundant news.

They cannot be distracted by useless news. 

They do not want to over-react when the media hypes, nor under-react when the media downplays or ignores real threats emerging. And they absolutely cannot miss critical signals that should put their personal survival plans into motion.

FutureDanger is a solution. It allows, for the first time on the internet, actionable survival decision-making. We filter and consolidate fragmented signals and warnings onto one web location. We communicate the big picture of immediate major trends.

FutureDanger is an open source analysis tool, like the ones used by the Pentagon and Intelligence Community. Privately developed intelligence assessments can cost thousands of dollars and are accessible only to large corporations and elite customers. If these actors can keep their interests protected, it is time American citizens have a warning system available to them as well.

What is this website doing differently?

Instead of website visitors, FutureDanger has website users. The homepage is a tool. It is called the Heatmap Dashboard. It is designed to save users an immense amount of time each day. People serious about being prepared do not have time to scan each and every news story from all the sites that cover threats. The Heatmap Dashboard brings the news to one location, in a Single Operating Picture.

What is the Indicator System and how does it work?

Future Danger Heat MapIndicators are common sense warning signs. Most Americans would agree that if only a few of these Indicators were to happen, life as we all know it would change for the worse. The Indicator System is a set of nearly 500 of these signs. These are the kind of conditions that drive people to prepare for survival. Although none of us wants them to happen, and everyone can argue about how likely they are to happen, every one of them could happen.

Breaking news stories are linked to Indicators. They are the evidence an Indicator is “heating up”. When collected in one location, our Indicators become a system for threat surveillance. Pieces of these signals and warnings can be found on a handful of other survival websites, but they frequently are not updated and never fully organized. No other website is doing this. We found a gap that none have chosen to fill.

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Trauma Kit Supplies for Preppers

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Trauma Kit Supplies for PreppersHaving a good first aid kit is critical to becoming prepared, but for some injuries a 2 x 2 gauze pad and some antiseptic are not going to cut it. Although we hope we never need it, having an individual trauma kit, or a larger trauma kit (and knowing how to use it) might literally become a life saver.

Depending on our situation as preppers and civilians, I don’t see most of us having to handle mass casualty’s, I think the Most Likely Situations could be on a smaller scale. However, something large scale is not out of the realm of possibility.

We are most likely to use our trauma kits for treating gunshot wounds or knife wounds because we needed to defend our home or ourselves.

It’s not always about a SHTF situation either. Natural disasters can cause extreme physical damage if we find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Burns, breaks and lacerations need to be considered as well.

You might find that a trauma kit is even useful today. Accidents happen all the time around the home, or you might be the first on the scene of an automobile accident. If you have a trauma kit (and know how to use it) you can help until professional help is available.

IMPORTANT: I’ve said “Know what you are doing” a couple of times now, this is because even if we have the best intentions, we can do more harm than good.

Leave it to the professionals if at all possible. The purpose of a trauma kit is to help until real help arrives. EMT’s, medical professionals and military personnel have been trained for this, just because we have watched a few videos doesn’t make us qualified.

With that being said, in situations where there is no help coming, we need to have a trauma kit ready. It could be an individual trauma kit for hiking or putting in the car, or a larger trauma kit for the family.

SPp152 Trauma Kit Supplies for Preppers

Buying Medical Supplies Online

It can be a little tricky when you buy these supplies online because some people are trying to unload expired, or close to expired products.

If you are looking for something to test out, you can get a good deal of first aid supplies this way, but if you are looking for something to put in your trauma kit, make sure it states the expiration date.

Example: I used eBay links in this article, when I searched for Quick Clot I searched for “Quick Clot 2020” to refine the results.

Preppers Trauma Kit Contents

Here are a few of the supplies you want in a trauma kit that we talked about in the show. This is not a complete list, but it is the main components of a trauma kit.

Bolin or Halo Chest Seal

For a chest wound caused by a gun shot or stab wound you will need either a Bolin chest seal or a Halo chest seal in your trauma kit.

A Bolin chest seal has one way valves that allow air and liquid to escape, but not enter the wound. A Halo chest seal has a tab you pull to burp the wound and also comes with 2 seals for entry and exit wounds.

Israeli Battle Dressing

An Israeli bandage is basically a compression dressing on steroids, it has multiple uses, and is much more convenient as long as you know how to use it. This video shows you how it works.

Olaes Modular Bandage

These Olaes Bandages are a little like the Israeli battle dressing with a few differences. It’s not necessary to have both in your trauma kit, but if you have the room, why not?

Tourniquet (TK4 or Other)

A tourniquet is pretty self-explanatory, and even a belt will work in a pinch. The TK4 tourniquet is nice because it can be used one handed.

SAM Splints

These are used to immobilize an injury. Sam Splints are great if someone breaks an arm or leg immobilizing it will not only relieve some of the pain, but reduce the risk of further injury.

Compressed Gauze Roll(s)

compressed gauzeCompressed gauze has quite a few uses from packing a wound to using it as a bandage. Kerlix gauze is a little more expensive, but is more absorbent and larger.

If you are just packing a wound though, there is no reason to use the expensive stuff, have a little of each…or a lot.

Quick Clot vs Celox

In the show we talked about how Quick Clot gauze and Celox gauze are only to be used If a tourniquet is not viable or can no longer be used, or the blood loos can’t be controlled. There is much debate about which is better, but to me Celox seems a little safer.

Nasopharyngeal Airway

Nasopharyngeal AirwayThis is a tube that you stick down the nose (naso) and into the throat (pharengeal)

A Nasopharyngeal airway is used to keep an airway open, used by emt’s, paramedics, and trained medical professionals. There are certain instances when you would not insert a tube into the nose, which is why you really should get the training to do it before attempting it.

CPR Mask

CPR MaskThere are a few different models of CPR masks available, but the uses are basically the same. A CPR mask is used to keep you safe, and less apprehensive about sucking face (for lack of a better term) with someone who is in critical condition.

The image above is the higher quality CPR mask, while the video shows the lower cost alternative.

Suture Kit

Closing a wound with stitches is one of those procedures that you need to know what you are doing, and know when it is necessary. This is something that should be left to the professionals whenever possible, but we are planning for an event where that isn’t an option right?

EMT Shears

EMT SheersYou could probably use any pair of scissors, or even a knife to remove restrictive clothing or remove bandages, but EMT shears have a tongue (or flat spot) at the end to prevent you from cutting the patient.

Steri Strips

As I said in the podcast, Steri Strips are the poormans stitches, if Steri Strips can be used, they should be used. These allow “stuff” to escape the wound, and can be replaced easily when necessary.

Assorted Band-Aids

You might not need the smaller “Boo Boo” Band-Aids in your trauma kit, but then again you might. These take up so little room that it’s better to be safe than sorry. You will also want some larger Band-Aids because sometimes the patient might have multiple smaller wounds.

Nitrile Gloves

We have said this a few times before, but nitrile gloves are much better than latex gloves no questions asked. There are some people who are allergic to Latex products, so why take the risk when the quality is the same.

Betadine vs alcohol vs Iodine Swabs

Betadine and iodine are similar, chlorhexidine swabs work really well, and have antibacterial properties that will continue to offer protection for up to 72 hours after it has been applied.

There is less risk of allergic reaction to chlorhexidine than to betadine or iodine. It is also interesting to note, people who have an allergy to iodine tend to be at a higher risk to having an allergic reaction to Xeroform gauze, so keep that in mind in your first aid kit.

Hand sanitizer

I cannot stress this enough, any time you are working on a person, you need to stay as clean as possible, especially if there is a break in the skin, otherwise you WILL introduce bacteria into the body. Before doing any type of treatment, always always always wash your hands, and use hand sanitizer.

Anything that has to go onto an open area must be sterile, to prevent infection, which is secondary to the original injury, but is more likely to cause damage, even death to the patient.

Personalizing Your Trauma Kit

These are just the major components of a preppers trauma kit, but there are many more items you can (and should) add to your kit like, eye wash, an ice pack, ammonia inhalants etc.

Here is huge list of trauma kit supplies and discussion from the American Preppers Network Forums.

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Preparing for an EMP & The Aftermath

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Preparing for an EMP & The AftermathThis is something I have been a little lax on, but it shouldn’t be that way. An EMP strike could cause us to put all of our prepping skills to work. We tend to think of faraday cages and no internet access when we think about an EMP, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Preparing for an EMP & the aftermath means preparing for a power grid failure, job loss, severed supply lines, Bank shutdowns, critical infrastructure failures, all leading up to the real chaos which all boils down to the enactment of Martial Law.

While testifying before Congress in May, Peter Pry warned that a rogue state or terrorist could attack the United States with a weapon that would kill 9 out of 10 Americans “through starvation, disease, and societal collapse.”

SPP151 Preparing for an EMP & The Aftermath

Does 9 out of 10 people seem like an exaggeration? It doesn’t to me! A friend in the private Facebook group (Thanks Adam) posted some alarming facts about the demographics of the United States.

There are 325 million people in USA…

  • 29 million people diabetes
  • 12 million on assisted care living
  • 52 million considered extreme obese
  • 28 million on heart medicine
  • 121 MILLION ON LIFE SAVING MEDICINE/CARE TOTAL (think of as needing immediate help/alternative means to survive)
  • 109 million people on welfare
  • 3 million criminals (currently incarcerated, not counting criminals already at large)
  • 1 million homeless
  • 42 million with mental illness
  • 160 MILLION UNSTABLE/UNABLE PEOPLE TOTAL (think of as looters)
  • 15 million traveling more than 50 miles any given day
  • 50 million living in 50 most populace cities
  • 65 MILLION WITH NO MEANS TO PROVIDE AT CURRENT STATE TOTAL (think of as deadweight needing support)
  • 100 million + rely on pumped water aquifers (how are they going to get water- all of southern California)
  • 1 year to replace one of 12 transformers in USA, in current state (cars and infrastructure intact)

It always peaks my attention when government agencies and the main stream media (that are so good at demeaning preppers) start talking about the very same subjects we are preparing for. I also find it interesting that the people that could do something about it turn a blind eye.

We have become a reactionary society, or should I say an overreactionary society. The patriot act and the TSA are perfect examples of security theater, and how Americans are willing to give up their freedoms for the perception of safety.

Possible vs Probable

There is a lot of debate about how probable an EMP strike from a rough nation or terrorist group would be because of how difficult it would be. A couple of events come to mind when I think of “probability.”

How probable is it that terrorists could hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings? How probable was it for Japan to send suicide bombers to Pearl Harbor?

Back in 1941, because of sanctions from the United States, Japan felt like it had no other option than to bomb Pearl Harbor, even though they knew we could wipe them off the face of the earth. The last I checked, Japan is still there.

The way we are handling countries like North Korea and Iran are quite similar to the way we handled Japan in 1941, so saying it’s “improbable” doesn’t mean it should be ignored.

A large scale EMP strike would bring devastation like never seen before. Pearl Harbor and 9-11 would be considered small scale if someone were able to successfully detonate an EMP or 2 above the United States, and EVERYONE’S lives would be directly affected by it.

Preparing for an EMP

This article from Skilled Survival talks about the 2 options we have; one might require a second mortgage on your home.

EMP Diaster Prep Option 1 – Plan for an Amish survival skills future. Plan to revert to an 1860 agrarian society with the sort of survival skills our great-great-grandparents knew. But, our society has forgotten.

EMP Diaster Prep Option 2 – Store a complete, disassembled home electrical power generation system inside very large Faraday Cages. Solar and wind are your best bet—since you won’t be able to get gasoline or natural gas. Everything electrical associated with these systems should be boxed in Faraday Cages.

As we mentioned in the show, most people have no choice but to go with option 1. Most of us don’t have the option to turn the garage into a huge faraday cage, and even if we do, surviving an EMP strike is going to require a lot more than functional electronics and solar power.

An EMP cannot destroy our food storage, our water storage, our guns and ammo and the knowledge we have in our heads. Learning to live without these conveniences is what prepping is all about, we need to use technology while we can, but never depend on it for survival.

Faraday Cages & What to Store

With all that said, faraday cages are not a bad idea. I plan on making a small trashcan faraday cage like the one Rob Hanus from the Preparedness Podcast tested out recently. For those of you who haven’t listened to the Preparedness Podcast I highly recommend it, Rob is very knowledgeable about preparedness, and delivers it in a way that just makes sense.

My feeling is that what I would need most is a way to have heat, light and access to some of my electronic file storage, so I plan on protecting items that would give me access to solar power.

If you have any ideas, or items you already store let everyone know in the comments below.

That Just Happened!

In the show we talked about what you should do immediately after an EMP strike. Most people will be confused and in complete denial until the realization set in that everything is not going to be ok.

This article from Prepper-Resources.com has some great points about how to prepare yourself for the aftermath of an EMP. I’ll list a few of the points here, but for more detail have a look at that article.

  • Get home, and get your family home.
  • Spend your cash immediately (this means you need to have cash on hand)
  • Fill up the bathtubs and anything you can with water.
  • Talk to the neighbors and organize.
  • Take inventory and ration.
  • Reassess and implement your security plans.

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Also From the Show…

Amerigeddon Movie ReviewAmerigeddon Movie Review

At the end of the show we talked about the new movie AmeriGEDDON which Lisa and I recently went to see. I wrote a full review of the movie that you can read here.

Solar OvenSun Oven Coupon

A couple of months ago we did a webinar with Paul Munson form Sun Oven International and offered a discount for fans of Survivalist Prepper. Paul has set up a page with a limited time offer where you can still get that discount. Click Here to have a look.

First Aid Kit Contest

We have mentioned these in the last couple of episodes, and we are going to be giving them away next week. This contest is for Academy Members only, so if you are not a member you can become one here.

The video will be available on our YouTube channel shortly.

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AmeriGEDDON Movie Review

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Amerigeddon Movie ReviewThere has been quite a bit of buzz in the preparedness community about the new movie from Mike Norris (son of Chuck Norris) Amerigeddon. Unfortunately, it is only being released in 8 states, but fortunately ours was one of them.

If you haven’t heard about this movie, here is the basic plot and the video trailer.

A dire warning of a wakeup call of what might be our future when a globalist terrorist organization aligned with the United Nations disables the United States power grid with an EMP and institutes Martial Law.
It will take a dedicated family of patriots armed with strong survival skills and the remains of the Second Amendment to save America and reclaim its freedom.

From the Amerigeddon website:

“The fact that a recent poll showed a majority of Americans are enraged with the federal government points to a frenzy of unrest with the dictatorial way in which our country has been run,” said Norris. “My family has long been involved in protecting the rights of Americans. We are concerned about the future and and see this film as a call to action. We urge people to join us in theaters and show Hollywood and politicians that true patriots will fight for their rights and want to see their values represented on-screen.”

A collaboration between Norris and entrepreneur and writer Gary Heavin, AMERIGEDDON seizes on fact-based threats and asks the ultimate question, “What happens when government turns on the people it’s supposed to protect?”

Mike Norris recently did an interview with 4th Watch Radi talking about the movie and the challenges he faced. Click here and listen.

My Thoughts on Amerigeddon

Before going to see this movie I read some mixed reviews, but because this movie was banned in Hollywood and agents advised their clients not to be part of the movie I thought the bad reviews were a little unfounded.

With the limited resources available to Mike Norris he actually did a good job, and you could tell that if they had more to work with it could have been done much better. It did have that “low budget” feel to it, but considering it was basically blackballed by Hollywood, they did a very good job with what they had.

No Hollywood Nonsense: Like I said earlier, you are not going to see the sex and violence or the pop culture brainwashing you see in a typical Hollywood movie in Amerigeddon. The movie sticks to the story line and no one has complex issues with their sexuality.

Believe it or not there is no cussing, and no sex scenes in the movie. The closest they came to cussing was when one of the “domestic Terrorists” said “oh spit!” This could be another reason Hollywood wanted nothing to do with the movie.

Conspiracy theory, or Conspiracy Fact: The fact that this movie was banned in Hollywood only give the plot more credence in my opinion. Hollywood has no problem pushing the envelope when it comes to sex and violence, but when it comes to questioning our governments motives, they want no part of it…even if it is “fiction”

I personally think that there are other scenarios where an EMP is more likely, but that doesn’t mean this scenario is impossible to fathom. People probably thought the movie 1984 was unrealistic too, but we can see some of that playing out even today.

The Story Line: This movie stayed on point for the most part, and hit some good preparedness bullet points like OPSEC, Skills, Faraday cages, security, community and critical thinking.

The story was based around a group of people, and even though I was hoping for a little more about how people would react (the masses) the story takes place in the first couple days of an EMP and Martial Law being enacted. Hopefully there is enough interest in this movie for them to make a sequel, I think that would be a great movie.

CGI: The worst part of the movie was the CGI (graphics) but it wasn’t needed very much. The graphics were something like you would see in Sharknado, but I was willing to look past that considering the budget they had.

Final thoughts

If you go in expecting a Hollywood blockbuster you are going to leave disappointed, and some parts were a little unrealistic, but it is a movie after all. I’d say this movie lies somewhere in between American Blackout (very good) and the Collapsed (very bad)

With more financial backing the sequel to this movie could be great!

If you have ever seen a Chuck Norris movie you know those are not the greatest movies ever either, but he’s still Chuck Norris right? Because he is so passionate about this topic I can see Mike Norris following in his father’s footsteps and creating some pretty good movies in the future.

The good side of this being a limited release, is that it will probably be available on DVD soon. This is not a movie that you are going to want to put in your preparedness library, but it is worth watching if you go in understanding what it is, and what it isn’t.

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Prepping and Technology: The Pros and Cons

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Prepping and Technology The Pros and ConsWhen it comes to prepping we are constantly looking for ways to not only live, but thrive when the world as we know it comes to a screeching halt. Just because we are working on what to do when this technology is not available doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of it while we can.

With prepping and technology come some pros and cons. On one side of the coin we have more access to information than any time in history, on the other side every big business and government agency is collecting as much information about us wherever they can.

While it is true that if you are online there is no way to be completely invisible, there are some things we can do to erase our online footprints, or at least minimize how much data these companies collect from us.

In this week’s show Lisa and I talked about some of the great resources we have available to us because of the internet, how we have handed over our rights to privacy in the name of convenience, and some ways to use these tools and apps as safely as possible.

SPP149 Prepping and Technology: The Pros and Cons

We talked about the book “Deep Web” in the podcast which I highly recommend which talks about how much we can do to protect our online privacy even if you are not so “tech savvy”.

Quite a bit of information on this page is from that book, but there is much more information in the book itself. The links and resources mentioned in the book make it well worth the $2.99 price.

Pros of Internet Prepping

On the internet we can literally learn anything we want about preparedness and survival we want. From apps on our cell phones, videos on YouTube, podcasts and a plethora websites and other online content, if we want to learn something we just need to search for it.

Later I will go through some of the ways we can safeguard ourselves on the internet, but here are some links I mentioned in the show about cellphones, apps and file storage.

30 Apps From Urban Survival Site: http://urbansurvivalsite.com/survival-apps/

More Apps From Geek Prepper: http://geekprepper.org/essential-smartphone-apps-for-preppers/

Even More Apps From USCrow: https://uscrow.org/2016/02/02/top-10-prepper-apps/

Ideas for Old Phones: http://www.smartpreppergear.com/6-ways-to-use-old-smartphones/

File Storage: In the article above they talk about using old phones for file storage, although you still need a way to charge it. I actually have an old phone I use for this purpose and have a small solar charger I will use to charge it if needed.

External hard drives: I have one of these as well, and if you want to save a bunch of prepping information without cluttering up your computer this is a great investment. For about $75 you can get 2TB of storage (1 Terabyte = 1,000 Gigabytes)

Google Drive: This is a decent option for file storage, but it does have a couple of downsides, first off being that you need internet access to get to them. The second is that you are putting that information “in the cloud” which Google has access to.

Personally I use Google drive for “noncritical” information like gardening, recipes and some bushcraft stuff. I keep all the important information, or information that could be held against me on my hard drive.

Cons of Internet Prepping

safe browsing habbitsOnline OPSEC: Everyone wants our information, And the internet has become the place where people shop. The internet has given these companies a way to collect your data and be super targeted to what they think you are most likely to buy.

The bigger problem come in when the alphabet agencies see how this information can make their jobs a whole lot easier, and decide that “for the good for the people” they also need this information.

As convenient as they are, smartphones are the most affective tracking device ever created. This doesn’t just include our location, but also our buying habits, interests and contacts.

Changing our habits is the first step. If we use the default settings on our browsers, are unwilling to sacrifice some of these conveniences or trust that “they” have our best interest at heart, we are only setting ourselves up.

Things might not be as easy when we tweak some of these settings, but it will be more secure. I personally have a small tablet I use for most apps, and 3 different browses on my computer which I use depending on what I am searching for…none of them are Internet Explorer!

Deep Web Secrecy and Security

Deep Web Secrecy and SecurityI found out about this book from Prepper Website and it really sheds light on what we can do about our privacy and security as preppers. Most of the information below can be found in the book, and this is just a brief overview of what the book covers.

If you are interested in implementing some of these techniques, do yourself a favor and get the book. This book goes through the basics of internet security as well as some of the more advanced techniques of using the deep web.

What are Cookies and Cache? These are an example of the very basic things we can do to secure our browsing, and all browsers have a way to delete them. A browsers cache is used to store your browsing history, and cookies can be used to track you around the web.

Not all cookies are necessarily bad, but they can be used maliciously. If you have ever been looking for something on eBay, and all the sudden you get served ads for the same product you looked at…that is cookies.

Online Quizzes: This is not from the book, but is very important to your privacy. Some of these quizzes that ask something like “what Star Wars character are you?” are just data mining.

These quizzes and even games of Facebook all make you give them access to your data before you can play.

The Big Players: One thing I learned from the book (and now seems completely obvious) is to stay away from the big players like Google and Microsoft. The bigger the company, the more likely the alphabet agencies are going to “request” information from them.

Alternative browsers: In the book it says to ditch Internet Explorer and I did that a long time ago. There are a couple of better, more secure browsers you can use that are just as good, or better.

The Firefox browser is far more secure, and the Comodo Ice Dragon browser is even better. In the book, he also goes through some easy browser setting and extensions you can use for these browsers to make them even more secure.

This includes Email: If you use Gmail, Yahoo or any of the large free email companies your data is getting stored somewhere just waiting to be accessed, and even you delete it from your inbox, it doesn’t get deleted from their servers.

Here is a link to some of the free email services available, and while they might still store your data, it is less likely they have the sophisticated storage systems the big guys have.

Tor Browser: Conrad talks about the Tor browser in the book, right now I don’t know enough about Tor to give it a thumbs up or thumbs down. The Tor browser is only necessary for completely secure and anonymous web surfing, and I won’t be using it until I know more about it.

My thought process is that this is where the hackers and whistle blowers hang out, and the alphabet agencies know that. Just the fact that I have used it might make them think I have something to hide and I’ll be added to yet another list.

Search anonymously: An alternative to the Tor browser is to search anonymously. There are search engines like AllNetTools and Guardster that are free, and even DuckDuckGo which is not exactly anonymous, but you will not be tracked all over the web.

Online Passwords: Another no no is to let your browser save your password for you. If someone gains access to your computer, they could also access your passwords. I use Dashlane which has both a free and paid version, but there a few others like LastPass and Sticky Password.

For some websites it’s not that critical to protect my passwords, but for banking, purchasing and social networks my password manager will auto generate passwords for me and I don’t need to remember what they are because they are stored.

Driving Without a License

Most people these days surf the internet without even understanding how easily their information can be compromised, to me this is like driving a car before you know how. If you hop into a car and start driving, and all you know is gas pedal, brake and steering wheel, bad things are bound to happen.

If you have any other ideas about how preppers can protect their privacy or some great tools we can use, I’d love to hear them. Just leave a comment below.

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Bushcraft, Survival Skills and Prepping

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Bushcraft Survival Skills and PreppingEvery once in a while you hear the debate whether bushcraft, wilderness survival skills and prepping go hand in hand. While not everyone interested in bushcraft is a prepper, most preppers are interested in wilderness survival skills for many reasons.

In the interview with Brian Adey author of Adventure of a Lifetime we talked about how some of these bushcraft skills are valuable to preppers, and how they can be applied even to preppers in an urban area.

His book “Adventure of a lifetime” The main character Ryan McQuaid is struggling with his position in life. Tired of going to work every day, at a job that he hates, he decides to do something drastic. On a whim, he decides to follow his childhood dream of taking a wilderness adventure in the remote regions of Alaska. However, few things go as planned, and this adventure is no exception.

This is a great book, and while we probably won’t find ourselves stuck in the Alaskan wilderness, some of the trials the characters go through and the supplies they use apply to survival in general.

SPP149 Bushcraft, Survival Skills and Prepping with Brian Adey

Here is a list of the questions and topics we covered in the show. I also left some links to resources we also talked about during the interview.

How Wilderness Survival Skills Are Important to Preppers

There is a lot of overlap when it comes to prepping and wilderness survival skills. They teach us the processes of building shelter, starting fire, and finding food. They can then be applied to other scenarios using different materials.

In a bug out situation, or any situation where we need to think on our feet, survival skills are much more important than the supplies we have.

The Importance of Attitude And Mindset

If you have ever watched the show Alone you know that the biggest challeng they face is themselves. All the tools in the world are great, but without the survival mindset you are doomed to fail.

In any situation we need to expect the unexpected, expect to make mistakes, and most of all understand that things will never go as planned. Our ability to adapt, and the skills in our head will take us much further than the perfect survival knife.

Important Buschcraft skills For Preppers

In the show I asked Brian what he thought the most important wilderness survival skills and supplies are when it comes to the average everyday prepper, here is what he listed…

  1. Fire Starting
  2. Having a Knife
  3. Building Shelter
  4. Having Cordage

Backyard Bushcraft

Learning some of these bushcraft skills doesn’t mean we need to venture out into the wilderness by ourselves for a month and try to survive, there is stuff we can do right in our backyard to practice these skills.

We talked about learning about starting fire and the correct materials, learning to set traps and snares, foraging for wild edible in your area and more.

Buschcraft USA Forums

In the beginning of Brian book he mentioned the Bushcraft USA forums and how they offer a free bushcraft course for anyone interested.

Basically you watch a video, practice that skill and submit your results to one of the admins and they give you a pass or fail. If you fail you just try again until you get it, and afterwords you get a certification in that area.

This is something I am definitely going to try, and I’ll keep everyone updated on my thoughts and progress. You can check out BushcraftUSA here.

The Survival Kit in the Book

Brian mentioned that the survival supplies Ryan used in the book is identical to the suppies he uses, her is the list mentioned in the book.

Listener questions

At the end of the show we also took some questions form listeners. I wish we had time for more, but here are a few that we talked about in the show.

Lester: What is the best ferro rod? Or is there really any difference?

Wayne: when you plan to undertake something like the adventure Brian has written about and you make detailed plans for it to be successful, my question is, “How important is it to have plan B, C, and D if things don’t go like you thought they would?”

Carla: What is the best thing to do as alternative plan if two old farts have to bug out? We aren’t in the best of shape and have medical issues, but I’ll be damned if we just give up or give in!

Scott: What do you think was the most important skilled you used/learned? How did you learn to track?

Other Resources Mentioned…

Book: Tracking and the Art of Seeing: How to Read Animal Tracks and Sign

Recommended Fire Steel Striker: FireSteel.com

Ferro Rod: light my fire swedish firesteel

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Is all my Prepping Just a Waste of Time?

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Is my prepping just a waste of timePrepping, Second Guessing and Self Doubt

Let’s admit it, we all have our doubts about preparedness at times. Not necessarily about how important preparedness is, but about what we are doing, why we are doing it and how we are doing it. ” at one point or another we have all had it.

With everything we do (not just prepping) we are constantly second guessing ourselves and looking for justification. Second guessing yourself is perfectly natural, and doesn’t mean you’re not taking preparedness seriously, it actually means you’re thinking critically about every situation in order to make the best decision possible.

There are so many variables when it comes to preparedness and survival, and so many articles and books to read, that it becomes important to ask “Is this a credible source?” and “Does this apply to me?”

In this week’s show Lisa and I talked about 10 of the most common questions we ask ourselves about prepping, and how second guessing is natural for all of us.

SPP148 Prepping: Second Guessing and Self Doubt

For more detailed information, make sure and listen to the show.

Am I ever going to use this stuff?

It’s fun to collect this stuff, but at some point we ask ourselves do I need this? Or could my money be better spent elsewhere.

The answer is both yes and no. Preparedness supplies are like life insurance to help us get through the hard times, but We need to use them and incorporate them into our daily lives, not just set them on a shelf

We also need to make good buying decisions by prioritizing, and Learning what you want (need) before you buy it. You don’t want to spend $200 on a survival knife everyone said you needed only to find out that a $100 knife would have been just fine.

Where am I going to put all this stuff?

Quite a few of us have limited space, and the more supplies we amass, the more cluttered everything gets. making organization a real pain…not to mention your spouse unhappy about your stuff being in every nook and cranny of the house.

Think outside the box and get creative. In the show we talked about hidden storage like a chest instead of a coffee table, creating storage space in closets and on walls, or even renting a storage unit to store some of your preparedness supplies.

Do I need to go all out?

If you pay attention to everything you read, there is so much to do that it’s almost impossible to be prepared for everything. On the other hand, we don’t want to get blindsided by something we didn’t expect.

The answer to this is that we can only do what we can do, and it really depends on your situation and your goals. Prioritize what threats you feel are the most important and set goals and take steps that fit into your budget to achieve your long term goals.

I don’t want my family to think I’ve lost it.

Everyone has their preconceived notion of prepping, before we dug into preparedness we probably had them too. Whether this is a family member, or a friend at work, everyone goes through something like this at one point or another.

The truth is prepping has become more accepted than it was a few years ago, so don’t just assume someone is going to label you “crazy.” Give them a chance to react (don’t make their mind up for them) and see where it goes from there.

Also, don’t start with gas masks and nuclear war, talk about some of the problems closer to home like job loss and natural disasters.

How can I justify buying stuff for prepping when I can barely pay my bills?

It can be tough to justify buying survival supplies when you need to keep the lights on and you are living paycheck to paycheck.

We have written a few article about ways to make extra money for prepping, and it doesn’t always mean getting a second job.

Another way to find some extra money for prepping is to pay attention to where your money goes. Most of us budget the big household bills, but pay no attention to what we spend on “extras” on a daily basis.

Last week I talked about my grandmother who was a lunch lady and had very little money. She lived through the depression and knew how to stretch every dollar. By making small purchases over time, she had around $20,000 in gold and silver when she passed.

I’m too old and feel like I can’t do what I need to.

This is a tough one, and a question I get all the time, and unfortunately there is no perfect answer. Age and physical limitations are something we just don’t have any control over, but that doesn’t mean we just give up.

We all have something to offer. In the podcast I talked about how my father in law is my most valuable resource. Not because of his physical ability, but because he knows how to build/fix just about everything. His knowledge is worth far more than is manpower to me.

Am I overreacting?

This is especially true for beginning preppers, am I just freaking out? Have I gone too far down the rabbit hole? From time to time we all second guess ourselves, and usually something brings us back to the fact that we are not overreacting…we are just aware.

My answer is that this might not be such a bad thing. we need to look at every scenario possible and plan for it. So even if it is a little overeating, it is necessary.

How do I tell the difference between fake and real?

There is a lot of misinformation out there it’s tough to figure out what’s real and fake. Unfortunately, there is big money to be made on playing on people’s fears, and we need to be vigilant about what information we give credibility.

Do your research and pick some websites you trust.  Websites like the Drudge Report and Prepper Website usually do a good job of vetting out the fear based article.

I wrote an article about fake prepper websites, and how to watch out for “fear porn” on the internet. The best thing you can do is get a second opinion, check around the internet and see if you can find more information about that topic.

Is it worth the stress thinking about this stuff?

Just because we look at all the negative aspects of life and society doesn’t mean we need to be negative people. Prepping actually give me a more positive outlook on life because I know I am doing everything I can to secure my future.

There are things we have control over, and things we don’t, we need to focus on what we can change…our own situation.

Just because an economic collapse concerns me doesn’t mean I live my life in fear, quite the opposite actually. I feel better about my situation because it won’t be nearly devastating to me as it will to others.

What would it be like if I went back to doing nothing?

In the show Lisa talked about the movie The Matrix and taking the red pill, once you know, you know and turning back means turning your back on problems you know exists.

I call this “the curse of knowledge.” Teenagers sometimes feel invincible because they don’t understand how dangerous certain situations are because they have never experienced them. Once they do, they tend to think a little more and are less carefree.

We could go back to doing nothing, and some people do, but we can never unlearn what we have learned, we can only put our heads back in the sand.

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Preparing for an Economic Collapse and What to Expect

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Preparing for an Economic Collapse and What to ExpectIn a recent email I asked the question “what got you into prepping” and the response was overwhelming. Some of the answers were job loss and family crisis, some were natural disaster preparedness, but a majority of people got into preparedness because of the very real possibility of an economic collapse, followed closely by a power grid failure.

Before I go any further I just want to say thank you to everyone who took the time to answer the email. The reason I asked the question is to get a better idea about what concerns you the most, and get ideas about what to write and talk about that fit your needs.

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Because an economic collapse is so high on so many peoples list, we decided to start there. In this week’s show Lisa and I didn’t necessarily talk about what supplies you might need, we talked more about what you need to expect, and what life might be like post collapse.

SPP147 Preparing for an Economic Collapse and What to Expect

What an Economic Collapse Might Look Like

Most articles you read tend to be on the extremes side of things, that’s because we need to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. The reality is that no one really know what will happen until it happens.

My personal opinion is that we are in the beginning stages of a collapse, and have been on the brink a few times in recent history. My main concern is that the more the powers that be continue to put a band aid on a bullet wound, the worse it’s going to be when that wound bursts open.

An economic collapse could be a complete breakdown of society, or it could be like the great depression, although because we are a more dependent society these days it is likely to be much worse.

What to Expect From an Economic Collapse

In this article from Off Grid Survival go through quite a bit about an economic collapse, but state the following about what to expect…

A Run on the Banks: One of the first things you will see is a run on the banks. People are going to be panicking, and they will be doing everything they can to get their hands on cash to buy extra supplies.

Chaos in the Streets: Once the banks run dry, you will see people turn desperate. The moment they realize the money is gone is the moment you will see widespread chaos sweep throughout the country. Riots, looting and widespread violence will break out, making self-defense one of your primary concerns.

Martial Law: When things start to go bad, I believe you will see the government declare a state of emergency or Martial Law. When this happens you will see things like travel restrictions, mandatory curfews, and the suspension of Constitutional rights.

The Domino Affect

Preparing for an economic collapse means preparing for the other crisis that follow.  An economic collapse could mean job loss, rising crime rates and the suspension of our constitutional rights.

This is why I feel that preparing for an economic collapse encompasses all of prepping. Preparing for the coming collapse doesn’t just mean having food and water, it means being ready to handle the aftermath like a grid down event or Martial Law.

How People Might React

As I mentioned in last week’s podcast, we have “first world problems” and Americans are spoiled. For the most part none of us have to go days without food, or have to drink dirty water. Because we can get just about anything we want (even free from the government) we have become accustomed to a certain lifestyle.

If the economy collapses it would be like taking a cellphone away from a teenager, only much, much worse. If you take away the food, people will do whatever it takes to eat, people will become desperate leading to other dangerous scenarios we need to keep in mind.

Critical Thinking Skills

All of this might seem like common sense to us, but to the average person survival skills and preparing to live through one of these events is outside the realm of possibility. We understand why food storage is important, and we understand what might happen in any number if disaster scenarios.

Because of this we need to use our critical thinking skills and understand how people who have never given a second thought to how they will eat with no grocery store or money will react. Thinking critically will help us decide which path is the safest path to take.

Why Self-Defense is Important

Like it or not, self-defense is going to be very important. People are going to want what we have and if the only way to get it is through force they will justify it. During an economic collapse the crime rate will skyrocket, and who knows how much help the police will be.

Self-defense ranges from firearms, to non-lethal weapons, to physically being able to defend yourself. Some people are not comfortable owning firearms and I wrote this post about non-lethal weapons if that is the case for you. I personally believe that everyone should own and be educated about gun safety even if you never plan on using it.

Food Storage and Survival Supplies

This might be a little obvious but still needs to be mentioned. If a loaf of bread costs $20 and if we lost our job because of a depression type event not having to worry about buying food on a daily basis will not only help us live through a collapse, it will give us think about something other than feeding the family…like security and survival.

Having long term food storage and survival supplies also means there will be no need to put yourself in danger by having to venture out into the chaos just to survive. The severity depends on the level of the collapse, but having the ability to bug in is always a good plan.

Get Out of Debt ASAP

Getting out of debt is not only important in the event of an economic collapse, it should be a goal we have regardless. If we are spending a couple hundred dollars a month paying off credit card, that’s a couple hundred dollars a month we could be survival supplies…like gold and silver.

Just because the economy collapses doesn’t mean your debt disappears. There are plenty of stories about farms and homes getting repossessed during the great depression. Again, the more food you have, and the less debt you have, the less important money is to you.

Investing in Gold and Silver

My grandma lived through the great depression and while I didn’t think much about it when she was alive I think about how she lived all the time now. Most people have never had to live through an event like this, so it seems outrageous that this much planning and preparation is important.

As I mentioned in the show my grandmother was a lunch lady at an elementary school. She had very little money but managed to use the money she had to its fullest extent. She had a small dirt basement (basically a hole under her house) full of canned food, and when she passed she had over $20,000 in gold and silver.

You might read about why or why not investing in gold and silver is, but to me the fact that she thought it was important is far more telling than an article written by a “professional”. She thought it was important…and so do I.

Bartering Might Become Common Place

Even if an economic collapse is not a complete collapse we will probably revert back to some sort of bartering system. If money becomes worthless our skills and our supplies will become our currency. Good bartering items include first aid supplies, alcohol, clothing and even small items like lighters.

Bartering could also include your skills. If someone has no idea how to garden, and you do, that will be very valuable to that person and you could possibly take a portion of the harvest for teaching them. I have a couple of articles here and here about valuable post collapse skills to have or learn.

A Positive Note…

While an economic collapse is nothing we look forward to, it’s something that could very well happen. The more we prepare now the less of an impact it will have on us and our families. As the saying goes…

“The end of the world doesn’t have to be the end of the world”

The post Preparing for an Economic Collapse and What to Expect appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Making Great Soil for a Healthy Garden

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Making Great Soil for a Healthy GardenAs we mentioned in last weeks podcast, the spring has sprung and it’s time to get outside. In this weeks show we had the pleasure of talking to Brian who has over 30 years experience in the agriculture business. We discussed why making sure you have great oil, leads to a great garden and harvest.

Just a few years ago I barely knew the difference between soil and dirt, and this conversation with Brian shed even more light on the subject. We went through everything from plant rotation to composting in this podcast.

This is just a bullet point list that Brian wrote up for us, but make sure and listen to the podcast for detailed information on these topics.

SPP146 Making Great Soil for a Healthy Garden

Understand your food production area.

  • Different crops like
  • Take a soil sample and get a full soil nutrient test

Composting: this over time will help build organic matter

  • Plant material
  • Animal material
  • Food scraps
  • Coffee grounds
  • Anything that will rot and decompose

Managing you compost

  • Regular stirring and mixing
  • Add as much water as possible, and often

Know your soils and what they can do

  • This is where knowing how to read a soil test comes in

Difference between soil fertility & plant nutrition

  • Soil is effectively your bank account: there are resources there… just need a way to get them out.
  • Plant Nutrition is what the plant needs…It will always need more than the soil can supply throughout the season.
  • Adequate sunlight & water resources

Our soils have a pretty good base of nutrients…however the fact of soil chemistry has created lots of problem with the soils ability to release necessary nutrients required for plants to grow efficiently.

There are more nutrients in our soils than we know are there based on how we test it today.  Science and testing is getting better and is helping us as growers/producers whether commercially or personally learn how to work with what we have to make it better by using resources from someone like me.

There are many tools available in the marketplace that help our food production improve our yields, quality and storability.

Things like…

  • Seaweed extracts which contain many good PGR’s effects in soils and plants
  • Humic Acids
  • Commercial fertilizers
  • Homemade composts/mulches/compost teas, etc…
  • Commercial manure or home grown livestock manure.

In greenhouses & Hydroponics…

  • Look for good & clean potting soil mediums for your house crops
  • Good clean water & you can also mix up liquid nutrient solutions and slowly feed the plants by “IV”

Tips to Create Better Soils…

Brian also gave us a few good tips about creating good compost, soil amendments and soil structure.

Good Manure

  • Steer Manure
  • Poultry Manure – Chicken &/or Turkey
  • Hog/Pig Manure

Soil Amendments

  • Gypsum – Ca+SO4 (Wall Board/Sheet Rock)
  • Lime – Ca+CO3 (Epsom Salts)
  • These have some small effect on the ph in the short term.
  • In the long term they will help with overall soil structure and soil tilth
  • Humic Acids –

Soil structure improvement

  • Soils ability to hold more water
  • Helps improve soil biology – increases microbes growth and function
  • Healthier your soil the more earthworms there will be
  • Relieves and improves compaction
  • The darker the soil, generally the healthier the soil is
  • Great use of various mulch mixes

Woods Like Cedar, Cyprus…

  • Repel, inhibit insects like termites, cockroaches & certain ant species
  • Will take longer to decay

Straw

  • Can reduce insect populations & keep bugs like cucumber beetles, thus keeping them away from your cucumbers & squash plants.
  • Can also protect your plants from the spread of fungus & other diseases that can cause plant rot.
  • They will help suppress weeds & retain soil moisture
  • Reduce erosion due to wind & rain

Fertilizers

  • Good fertilizer products available at your local hardware stores.  Focus in on the P & K values and not so much the N.
  • Soil microbes do all the work…so a healthy dark moist soil is ideal.
  • Pretty much most of us are not blessed with this type of soil, so we have to do the best with what we have and make amendments work for us and thus – over time will make for some good vegetables & fruit.
  • A lot of our soils are “dead” because of what we do to them…
  • Home builders are notorious for creating “Dead” soils…they come in and clear away all the top-soil and remove it.  By the time the home is completed…all you are left with is the poor soil that was underneath all the good soil they removed to build.
  • Additionally, they are responsible for the tremendous amount of compaction done to your yard areas.

Cover crops in production areas are great ways to help build up your soils.

  • These help slow erosion
  • Provides green manure for the soils next crop
  • Also – deep rooted plants like turnips and radishes and Dikon Radish will help to open up compacted soils & provide a nutrient sink or source for your next crop.

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Springtime Prepping and Planning

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Springtime Prepping and PlanningWhen the time changes, I start to get antsy for the longer sunny days that will be coming. After being cooped up in the house all winter long, there is just something so satisfying about being able to stay outside without a coat on that motivates me to get busy.

For those of us that live in cold weather states we get a little cabin fever this time of year, and also a little anxious to get out and get things done. Even if you live in one of the warmer states, these tips will be useful to keep your preparedness plans on track.

This week we talked about springtime prepping and planning, and how to stay motivated throughout the summer months. There are some things you just can’t do in the winter months, so it’s important to take advantage of the good weather while you can.

SPP145 Springtime Prepping and Planning

Get Outside and Exercise

This is really easy to do in April because we are all chomping at the bit to get outside. Use the spring and summer months to their fullest by going camping, working in the yard and even taking walks with your bug out bag on.

We talk about being “farmer strong” later in the article, and we need to be physically ready to handle life without all the modern conveniences. Taking hikes, or walking with your bug out bag on is important because you want to know how you will handle it if it becomes necessary.

Take Classes

Plant identification classes, wilderness survival classes, first aid classes and even heading out to the shooting range is a great way to sharpen or add skillsets to your preparedness arsenal.

Like we talked about in the prepper groups podcast, these classes are also a great way to meet people in your area that might be preppers themselves…or at least possible future preppers.

Plan a lights out weekend

This is a great way to test out your preps without the added weight of an emergency situation. It’s also a great way to open the conversation about prepping with family members that might not be completely on board.

Be careful how you approach this though. If someone in the house is completely against this you might want to shorten the length, or think about not shutting everything down at first.

Activities With and For Kids

Getting your children interested in prepping is easy when you do things that they enjoy. It’s actually easier to get small children interested than older children because older children have already formed some opinions.

Doing things like the boy scouts and girl scouts do are fun ways to open the dialog with children about how there is more to life than cell phones and video games. Getting them involved with your daily prepping chores also makes them feel involved and important.

Goal Setting

Setting goals might be the most important because if it’s in your face you are more likely to accomplish it. Like the saying goes “out of sight, out of mind”

Don’t make these goals too extreme, make them attainable. Set some small goals, some tougher goals and then some stretch goals that are going to be hard, but realistic with a little hard work.

Preparedness Plans List(s)

For me, the best place to start is with my handy dandy notebook! Start by making different lists of things you want to do this summer. You can categorize each list, or just make a huge list of what you would like to accomplish over the summer. By planning now, you will have a working list of projects to choose from throughout the spring and summer months.

The Garden

Right know the garden is taking all of my focus. We still have about 4 weeks before we can start planting outside, but that doesn’t mean I can be ready to go once all danger of frost has passed us. Dale can already begin working in his greenhouse (lucky dog) but I have to wait. So during the winter I was plotting and planning my garden beds, and how I will use them this year. Cleaning out the dead and decaying plant material as well as beautifying the garden itself are things I can do now while waiting. It’s also a good time to start some seeds inside, so I can get a jump start on my planting.

Also scouring my own seeds to know what I have, as well as ordering seeds from reputable sellers so I will have everything ready to go once the time has come to plant outdoors.

The Garage, aka The Workshop

You can be doing garage projects during the winter, but for me, it is a lot easier to organize and clean and work in the garage (my workshop) when I can keep the overhead door open. Also, our garage gets COLD, so I don’t really like working out there when the temperature outside is below zero. It isn’t any fun to work in the cold when I can see my breath, no thanks. So I make my plan of attack happen when the temperature starts to rise.

I start by opening the doors, and organizing the shelving units, and looking to see where I can make more space for camping gear, and I also rearrange my gardening equipment and outdoor tools, to take inventory of what I have, and what I will need.

By doing this before I need it, I will be able to make the most of my evenings and weekends without taking extra trips into town which would cut into my time to be working. And when thinking about trips into town, I try to do the planning so that when I do get a lunch while I am at work, I use that time to run to Home Depot, or wherever I need to go so I won’t have to make an unplanned trip once I am already at home.

I also make a list of different projects I want to complete over the next several months which include building a farmhouse dining room table, and building several sets of horse jumps in order to fund our prepping expenditures throughout the summer.

Family Vacations

While most people are planning family vacations to faraway places, ours are a little bit different. Instead of spending a lot of money to go really far, or making one vacation plan, we choose to explore the beautiful country we live in.

We will plan smaller weekend trips to places we can drive. We don’t have to worry about getting a hotel room, because we bring it with us. We were able to purchase a pop-up travel trailer for a steal, and fix it up. So now, we can go places and basically bring our hotel with us.

You also don’t need to really go that far away from home. Do a weekend nature walk, learn about what is in your area as far game, plants, and resources. Or you can take a weekend class in firearm training, or outdoor skills.

Rotating Preps

As the summer will go on, our long term food storage and home canned goods will need to be rotated as we add to it with freshly canned vegetables jams and fruits. So before we start canning like fools, it is good to know what we have, what we love, and what we have plenty of. This also goes into my gardening plan, so knowing what we have helps.

Now there are some things we won’t have a lot of control over, such as blueberries, apples and pears, because we plant those once, and they keep producing every year. But, by learning how to use the annual harvest will help. So learning new ways to use the prolific fruits and vegetables will add new recipes, as well as making us be able to use what we have every single year.

This is also a good time to start or add to your long term food storage with items from Legacy Farms, or Augauson Farms. Dedicate a small amount of money each paycheck to increasing your long term food storage, just in case.

Farmer Strong

This one is my favorite! I don’t know about you, but I HATE working out, or I should say I hate working out just for the sake of working out. However, I do LOVE being outside, and beautifying my yard, and playing in the garden, and working with my horses. So instead of going to a gym, I work out while I am doing things that will benefit me, or my family.

For example, my daughter bought me a Fitbit for a Christmas present. And I have a bunch of people that I compete with on a weekly basis to see who can get the most steps. I like it, because it makes exercising fun and adds some competition to the mix, I love it! But on the days where I basically only walk at work, I have to push myself harder than I do when I am doing chores around the house. Typically I will get around 10,000 steps a day, and I have to really work to make that happen. But on the weekends just by working in the yard or garden, I will get around 18,000 steps a day! That is huge!

And have you ever worked a piece of land for a garden, carried chicken or horse feed, or dug some fence postholes? It is hard work! You will use muscles you didn’t know you had. If you make a concerted effort to do this type of work on a daily basis not only will you get in shape, but you will get strong…farmer strong!

So make an effort to get your work out by doing things that have the added benefit of making you more self-reliant. You will get in shape in a fun way, and you will be saving money, you don’t need a gym membership to get in shape, just do things to benefit your home, garden or property and use the money you would have used for the gym, and put it back into your ‘homestead’.

Food Forestry, aka Permaculture

Instead of planting flowers in beds, plant food! You can have vegetable beds intermingles with flower beds. Plant herbs in pots. If you do plant flowers, be sure to use flowers that are beneficial to the bees, as well as having medicinal benefits such as lavender, peppermint or Echinacea.

If you are planting a tree or shrub, plant fruit trees and shrubs.  If you plant fruit trees, you will get the beauty of the tree, but also the added benefit of a harvest in the fall.

Bigger Goals

If you have never started a garden but wanted to, put it on your list. Thinking about raising your own chickens? Put that on your list too. Put things on your list that you don’t necessarily have to do, but would do if you had the time.  Here are some examples of what I put on my list:

  • Starting beekeeping
  • Redo the chicken house
  • Make my vegetable garden look like a garden in a magazine
  • Plant 5 fruit trees
  • Redo all flower beds to be vegetable beds
  • Repaint all garden beds
  • Build a root cellar
  • Build a farmhouse dining room table
  • Make vanilla
  • Make homemade Vick’s
  • Trim all tree branches for fire mitigation
  • Add 5 birdfeeders

This is why I like making lists so much. I add things to it, and eventually I end up getting it done! It is pretty inspiring to look back through lists that I thought were pipe dreams, and they are now a part of my everyday life. So inspire yourself, make some lists, and get planning for what you would love to be able to do this summer. You are only limited by yourself, so stop limiting yourself, and just do it!

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First Aid Supplies, How Much is Too Much?

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First aid supplies_How Much is too MuchWhen it comes to prepping, the old adage two is one and one is none comes to mind. This is extremely accurate, with maybe one exception when it comes to first aid supplies that you should have when preparing for the unknown.

When you think you have enough medical and first aid supplies, multiply that by about 10 and you should be good for an unexpected emergency. If you think you have everything you could possible need, and have never had an emergency to use it for, trust me, you will need more.

Unfortunately for me, I actually had a medical emergency recently that I had to put my emergency medical kit into use. Now it was not a human medical emergency, but it was an emergency nonetheless.

I know most of you don’t have horses, but the reason I am writing this is because of the lessons I learned, and how it applies to an emergency situation for humans as well.

Lesson Learned…

If we need to deal with a major injury in a SHTF scenario, this is a good lesson learned. This even applies today if we need to bandage them up until medical help is available.

SPP 144 First Aid Supplies, How Much is Too Much?

For those of you who don’t know, we have two horses. And of these two horses, one is always getting himself into mischief. So he has earned the nickname Dennis the Menace. He is always getting into trouble. And about a week ago he got into the worst trouble yet.

I am not sure what happened, he got spooked somehow and put his back leg through the back of his stall. The back of his stall was metal, and he kicked clean through it. I was awake at the time (thank god) and I heard a ruckus coming from outside. I quickly grabbed my headlamp and went outside to investigate what was happening.

I pointed the light at the horses, and Ethan (aka Dennis) had blood gushing down his back leg. Somehow I kept my witts about me, got his halter on and tied him to a hitching post. I grabbed my equine first aid kit out of the barn, and proceeded to use EVERYTHING in the kit to create a compression dressing to stop the bleeding.

I went through three rolls of vet wrap, three abd pads, and a roll of duct tape, and there was still blood coming through the dressing. I grabbed more duct tape and created a tourniquet as best I could to cease the blood flow. Thankfully I have a vet who is available 24-7, and about 45 minutes later, he got to us.

The horse managed to gash his leg and cut through his saphenous vein, which is why there was such a large amount of blood. This is a little gross, but the bold was actually squirting out every time his heart pumped.

The good news is horses have a lot more blood than humans. Since I got to it right away, he did not lose enough blood to be in danger of bleeding out, however the amount of blood lost, that I witnessed, was incredibly scary, and all I could think of was getting it to stop bleeding.

He is recovering from his injury now, and as long as I can keep the laceration clean, and infection free, he should recover well, and no permanent damage done.

But now that I have had time to think about this situation, and how I quickly, in one emergency depleted my equine first aid kit, I have determined I was in no way prepared to handle multiple emergencies in a long term situation. So, just how many supplies would I need to have on hand to deal with whatever would come our way?

The answer is; much more than I have right now!

The good news is emergency’s don’t happen on a daily basis. And a lot of the first aid supplies that are a part of a good medical kit have very long expiration dates. So you can keep adding to your kit over time in order to have a lot of supplies.

But once you start accumulating more and more first aid supplies, you will need a storage plan to keep it all. Plastic storage bins are an excellent way to keep your extra first aid supplies together in one place.

If you have livestock, you will need to incorporate their first aid supplies in to your plan as well. So you will need a first aid kit for people as well as your animals. And you may want to plan for longer term, so bulk up your supplies as much as you can, when you can.

You will want to have supplies for every day cuts and scrapes as well as the more life threatening emergencies, such as blood loss, fractures, and infections.

Don’t overlook the everyday things, such as daily maintenance medications for conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. In an SHTF scenario there may not be help coming any time soon, so you need to be prepared to deal with the emergency on your own.

To go back to my own emergency that happened, after the shock had worn off (sort of, I’m still on edge honestly) I had to go back and replenish my first aid kit(s), and add extra.

So this is what I added to my pets first aid kit…

  • 10 rolls of vet wrap (generic equivalent)
  • 5 rolls of kerlix gauze
  • 6 velcro closure ace wraps in various sizes
  • 6 2 liter bottles of water
  • 1 box of nitrile gloves
  • 12 rolls of tape (different kinds, medical, elastic, etc.)
  • 2 rolls Elastikon medical tape
  • 2 rolls of duct tape
  • 3 packages of non-sterile 4×4 gauze sponges
  • Wonder Dust (equine coagulant)
  • Chlorhexidine cream
  • Bute powder (this is prescription pain reliever for horses, I got it from my vet)
  • 12 track bandages (for leg wraps-knit material)
  • 3 packages of wide cotton roll
  • Also various antibiotics, these were all acquired from my vet, I prefer the oral type, but unfortunately, now I have injectable antibiotics for horses now too, penicillin and gentamycin. But I have to say, giving a HUGE injection to my horse every day for 5 days proved to be too much for me and the horse, so I was left to use the powdered oral antibiotic, which is a sulfa based drug.
  • 2 tubes of silvasorb gel

And then that made me start thinking about my ‘people’ medical supplies, and how much do I have, vs. how much I should have. Granted a large animal is going to require a lot more due to their size. But it is better to have the stuff, and never need to use it, kind of like an insurance policy. So that is how I look at my first aid supplies, and insurance policy for the safety of my family.

This is what I added to my people first aid supply kit:

It may seem like overkill, but as I stated before, this is an insurance policy, and hopefully I will never have to use all of this stuff. But I would rather be prepared and have it, and not need it, than to need it and not have it. I will continue to bulk up all of my medical kits, and will most likely add things that most people will not need, such as needles, and IV start kits, but that is because I have been trained how to use it.

One thing you may have noticed I did not add to any of my first aid kits is suturing equipment. I am of the opinion if I don’t have the training to use something, I am not going to wing it, and when it comes to suturing, I do not have the experience so at this time, it is not a part of my medical kit. However, this may change in the future, but for now I don’t have it. Going back to my horse story, the vet came out three times in attempts to suture the huge gash closed, but the horse would not cooperate, and the window of opportunity passed, so we decided to leave it open, and let it heal by secondary intention (meaning, no sutures). Yes, it will take longer to heal, and yes, there is a risk of infection, but that just means I have to be more diligent in caring for the wound until it matures and heals. This is something I am willing to do in order to have a good outcome.

I feel the same way in regard to people. If I didn’t make a surgical cut, the last thing I want to do is seal it up. So yes it will be a more difficult task, and take longer to heal, but sometimes that is the better way, especially if there is something in the wound (like debris, or contaminants) that the body will help to push out. If it is sutured closed, you could potentially be trapping the contaminant inside of the body.

When in doubt, don’t do it. Again, this is my opinion. How you choose to handle a situation like this is up to you.

Another thing to think about, if you have never witnessed an emergency happen, attend some classes and get some training. No it won’t stop emergencies from happening, but you will be more prepared to handle a situation should it occur. Then if something does happen, hopefully your training will kick in, and make it easier to handle the emergency.

Get the training BEFORE something happens. Practice what you have learned. Have drills, and run through a scenario to get your hands in there so you will have a plan of what you would do in an emergency situation.

You will never be prepared for every scenario, but the more you plan and practice and learn, the better prepared you will be if something happens.

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Prepper Groups: Form Your Own, or Join One?

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Prepper Groups Form Your Own, or Join OneI get this question all the time, and these questions have seemed to increase in the last couple of weeks, so I decided to tackle the subject of forming or joining prepper groups. I have been a little hesitant about this because there isn’t really a perfect solution, and quite a bit that goes into prepper groups other than what skills people have.

If you have never given this a second thought, you might want to read this article that Lisa wrote about what to look for with prepper groups. This article (and podcast) goes into detail about what makes a good group, and how to form your own or join a prepper group.

Prepper Groups: Form Your Own, or Join One?

While this article will go through what we talked about in the show, make sure and listen to it though, in order to get the full picture. Most of our listeners use their mobile phones while working or driving, but you can download it or listen from here if you like.

Joining a Group

The Waiting List: Ideally we would all love to join the best prepping group out there, but they are the best because they don’t just accept anyone. Good groups will be hard to join and are most likely going to be invite only.

Commitment Level: A couple other things to give quite a bit of consideration to is how serious is the group? How committed are you? And is the group the right fit for you. If all you want is a group of people to learn from and talk about prepping, don’t join a group that requires a big commitment.

Your Resume: Think of this like a job interview, what do you have to offer?  I’m not necessarily talking about supplies here; I’m talking about what skill set(s) you have that would be a contribution to a group.

Forming a group

This might be the most feasible option for anyone wanting to have a prepping group, and because of this we talked quite a bit about forming prepper groups in the podcast. There just aren’t that many good prepper groups to join, and some might just be a waste of time.

However: Even if the group doesn’t fit your needs, it might be a good place to meet another prepper that feels the same way, and you can create your own group with them.

The Snowball Affect: The advantage to forming your own prepping group is that all you need is one other person. After that, the two of you could work together and add more people that fit into what your ideas for the group are.

Expect to fail: When I say expect to fail I don’t mean expect the group to fail, I mean don’t expect everything to work out perfectly. This article from On Point Preparedness talks about why it’s tough to keep a group together.

Don’t be too hasty to make your decisions, It’s going to take time to get a feel for someone. Someone who seems like a great addition today could turn into a liability in the future. Learn how to read people and take all the time it takes to get to know them.

Other Groups and Interests: I’m going to go through some options to find preppers in your area online a little later in this article, but if you are leery of searching online (a lot of people are) you do have a few other options.

Find people with similar interests that might not be preppers by joining groups or classes. Prepping encompasses so many different areas that you are bound to find someone interested in bushcraft, First aid, gun clubs, ham radio etc. Put yourself in the right place at the right time, and you never know what will happen.

Right Next Door: Another option is getting to know your neighbors, although it is very unlikely they are preppers, you might be surprised. This is also important because in a SHTF situation you are going to be stuck with them being next door whether you like it or not, and if they know you, they are less likely to take advantage of you.

Online Prepping

Finding people to join your prepping group online might be the easiest way, but it is also the riskiest. As with anything online we want to be careful about what information we share, and as preppers we are extra careful about it.

Personally, I am more worried about people than the government. I know I’m on a few lists anyway, but a person with bad intentions, and my personal information can be more dangerous. To avoid this don’t give out too much information too soon. Make a fake profile and don’t add your address or phone number.

This article from the Survival Blog give a few options for finding groups (or people) online. One more time, OPERATIONAL SECURITY IS KEY! You never know who is on the other end of the conversation.

There are two aspects of prepper groups we need to think about, the groups we can join now, and the groups we will have in an emergency situation. Here are a few bullet points we talked about in the show…

Forming/Joining Groups now

  • Joining groups now gives you a head start.
  • Ability to learn skills that might be useful later.
  • Ability to practice and adjust your plans.

Forming Groups After

  • Like it or not, your friends and family are part of (or associated with) your group.
  • Some scenarios might dictate the need for you to accept and/or reject people and prepare for the consequences.
  • Start planning now how you would accept/reject people in different scenarios.
  • Each scenario will be different, it’s not always a Mad Max situation.

It’s going to be hard, and it might take some time, but if you really want to you can get a prepping group together. It all depends on how committed you are to having a prepping group. Just like anything else, if you want it bad enough, you will figure out a way to make it happen.

If you have any question or comments leave them below and we will be happy to answer.

The post Prepper Groups: Form Your Own, or Join One? appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Prepping With Children: Getting The Interested

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Prepping With Children: Getting The InterestedIt is a perfectly fine, pleasant Tuesday evening. You are playing with your children in the park. Your son is climbing up to the slide while your daughter is whooshing in the air on the see saw. A perfect day until an Earthquake strikes! One minute, this one minute will be changing your entire world. Your evenings may never be this perfect again.

When we are in our happy moments we never realize that they may never last forever. It is always good to be prepared for the worst, to be prepared for survival in situations filled with despair. As adults, survival for you may not be this big of a challenge as opposed to your young children in the same situation. As elders, parents and guardians it is our duty to prepare our children- teach them how to survive. The question however is, how to prepare them?

Stay Calm

Children can sense the urgency in a parent’s tone. Take survival preparation seriously but let it not scare your children. If they are scared they might not pay attention to your instructions or be involved the way you want them to be.

Make it Engaging

To gather the interest of children it is important to keep them involved. Involvement for kids comes in the form of fun. You can make prepping fun for your kids by starting a prepping story. Build a story where they get to be the characters. Put forward survival challenges and show them how to succeed.

Let them know where to head to incase things go wrong. You can also the kids for a weekend in the woods, a family trip. In this camping trip show them how to connect with their surroundings, look for food, learn to fish and learn to hunt. Kids of today are dependent on technology. On this trip show them what life without technology is. Engage them in maps and compasses!

Prepare a first aid kit and teach them how to tackle small emergencies such as cuts and falls. Moreover, find survival books for children and discuss stories such as that of Robinson Crusoe. These stories and books will inspire them. Hear them out. Talk to them. Listen to their fears and comfort them. Their opinions may give you some ideas too.

Let Them do Some Storage and Cooking

When you head out to the store to shop for your survival food storage, take them along. Let them select the food. Foods such as dried food, vegetable powders, fruit powders are survival essentials, tell them why they are important. One of the best ways to store food is to grow vegetables and fruits in your back yard.

Involve them in the gardening so that they know why that this is their essential to survive. Moreover, involve the kids in cooking too. Teach them recipes that are easy so that they can survive on their own when need comes. However, do not assign everything to them. Take it slowly. Too many responsibilities may push them away.

Let Them Master the Art of Hygiene

Germs and bacteria are harmful species that affect humans. Children are more prone to them due to their weak immune system. In survival situations getting sick can be harmful.

The best way to prevent falling sick is to take care of hygiene and sanitation. Talk to children about the importance of hygiene, the importance of washing hands, showers, why towels should not be shared, why using sanitizers is Important, wiping themselves,  teach them about the skills to use a public bathroom and other such skills.

Healthy children can survive germs. However to be healthy, children must know why hygiene is emphasized on.

While preparing your children, you have to realize that you job as a parent is not over. While they prepare for survival, you have to make the necessary arrangements for them too.

Food

Children have a different dietary requirement. Look at your children and store the food that you think will be the most important for them. For infants stock up formula milk as a mother may not be able to breast feed her child all day. For growing kids stock powder milk, dried fruits and organic food.

The stock you have may deplete thus you should know how to hunt, fish and gather so that with your assistance the children can survive.

Water

Water is essential to survival. Staying dehydrated is very important. While preparing for survival make sure you have stored water enough to sustain you and the kids. Storage bottles are very handy for this job.

Pack Emergency Kits

As parents, it is your job to pack their emergency kits that will ensure their survival. Pack their clothes, blankets, one of their favorite toy (so that they feel safe), medicines and other such important tools. Carry cards or board games so that they have something to stay entertained. Also give them communication devices and radios so that they can be aware.

Having a family is the best feeling in the world, but imagining them in tough times can tear you apart. You cannot stop something wrong from happening but you can equip your loved ones with the power to tackle such situations. This power only comes from preparation. Hence to survive, teach them to how to prepare!

“This article was contributed by James Smith, an avid prepper with a passion for self-protection at all levels”

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When your Prepping Plans Hit a Road Block Part 2

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When your Prepping Plans Hit a Road Block Part 2This week’s show notes are going to be a little short this week. Because I have been so busy building a fence, working on the Academy and email list and a few other things. I am literally writing this right before I hit publish the publish button.

Some of you might even be saying “that’s fine with me!” haha. So anyway, here you go…

Last week Lisa and I went through a few things like operational security, situational awareness and the government, you can listen and read that one here.

This week we finish things off forgetting about the small stuff and overall mental attitude.

SPP142 When your Prepping Plans Hit a Road Block Part 2

Like I said, the show notes are kindof thin, but we go through much more detail in the show.

Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket

There are a couple different areas where this could be a factor. Storing everything in one place, and only thinking about 1 area of preparedness at a time.

If someone were to come take what we have, they will only get part of it if it’s stored in different places, and if we have a year’s worth of food and no water, our year’s worth of food is worth about 3 days.

Forgetting the Little Things

When you are prepping, you will focus on many different areas, with the main area of focus being food, water, shelter, and weapons. Don’t get so focused on one area that you forget about the others.

If you have three years’ worth of food, but no way to defend it, you will become a target. What about sanitation? Or how about your long term financial situation?

What if you have a tone of supplies, but you have been neglecting your job, or your bills? If you don’t have a roof over your head?

Being prepared doesn’t mean just having a lot of stuff. Preparedness takes place in all aspects of your life. Try to stay well rounded in all areas of preparedness.

The emotional component….

…The Five Stages of a Disaster

This is actually taken from the five steps of grieving, but grieving does not only have to be about losing someone you love. The grieving process can be related to everything, because it is how you grieve no matter the situation. The steps you will go through:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

In an emergency or SHTF situation you will go through all of these processes. Start learning how to recognize these things now, and have a plan of how you will deal with these emotions when they arise.

The STOP Acronym stands for Sit, Think, Observe, Plan. You can read more about that and the psychology of survival here.

The SURVIVAL acronym: Read more about this here.

the Acronym SURVIVAL

The S.W.O.T. Analysis includes taking a look at your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity’s and Threats. I wrote a full article on this titled Does Your Preparedness Plan Include and a S.W.O.T. Analysis?

Sun Oven Webinar

On the evening of 23rd of March we will be doing a live webinar with Paul the CEO of Sun Oven International. If you would like to register for this webinar you can do so here.

Even if you are just interested in what the Sun Oven can do you will want to watch, it really is a great option for grid down cooking.

Precision Holster/Tac-Bar Giveaway

There is only a couple weeks left in this month’s contest, so make sure and get your entries in here.

If I forgot anything I mentioned in the show let me know in the comments below, I’ll add them in.

Thanks,

Dale

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How to Make a Cheap Homemade DIY Chicken Brooder

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How to Make a Homemade DIY Chicken Brooder CheapEvery couple of years we add a few chickens to our flock, most of the time we just use a plastic storage bin as a brooder because we only get a couple of chickens. This time was a little different. This time we got 12 chickens and needed more room, so I needed a way to build a cheap homemade DIY chicken brooder that would stay warm, and be roomy enough as the chicks got bigger.

After doing some research I found I had 3 options. I could turn the bathtub into a temporary chicken brooder, I could spend a couple hundred dollars on a premade brooder, or I could just make one myself for less than $50.

Because I didn’t want to spend that much money on something I will rarely use, and because Lisa wanted no part of turning the bathroom into a brooder, I decided to just bite the bullet and build one.

Building Your Chicken Brooder

DIY Chicken Brooder DoneThis brooder is 39″ X 20″ X 2’ tall, but you can take these directions and make a chicken brooder of any size that fits your needs.

First let’s start with the supplies you will need, and then we’ll get into how to put this together. I am going to link to these on eBay, but all of this is available at Home Depot as well. You might even have some of this laying around your house which will save you even more money.

Estimated Time: 2 hours

Project Difficulty: Easy

Tools and Supplies Needed:

 

The cost of supplies (not including tools) will run you about $40 depending on where you live.

Getting Started…

As you are building this keep in mind that the plastic storage bin, and the cage you are building are 2 separate pieces. because of this you want the cage to fit over top of the storage bin. I did this to make it easier to clean, and I can also take the top outside and use it for a chicken play pen on warm days.

Brooder top with dimensionsCage Dimensions: Because most of these bins are somewhat rounded you want to measure your width and length from the outer most part of the bin. In my case it was 39” long by 20” wide and I will be using these measurements as examples.

Cutting the Base and Top: Next you want to cut 4 pieces of 1X2 to 39” long and 4 pieces at 17” long. You need to cut them to 17” because each 1X2 is 1 1/2” wide and you don’t want them to overlap, so 20” – 1 ½” – 1 ½” = 17”

Next assemble the bottom and top of the box. Take 4 of the pieces you just cut out (2 of each) and staple them together to create a rectangle. Remember to put a few staples on both sided where the wood joins for stability.

Note: I ran out of 1 X 2’s so the top side rails pictured are 2 x 2’s, these directions are for 1 X 2 wood.

Cutting the Pillars: Once you have these 8 pieces cut and assembled (the top and bottom) you need the pillars of the box. I used 2 X 2’s for these because you will need to put a nail or screw the top and bottom into them and you don’t want them to split.

I wanted the cage to be a total of 2ft tall (bin included) so I placed the storage bin on a flat surface, placed the wooden rectangle I just made on top of it, and measured from the table to the top of the rectangle (In my case this was 7’) You also need to account for the width of the top rectangle which will be 5/8’

So to make this exactly 2ft tall I need to subtract 7” from 2’ and then 5/8” from that, giving you 16 3/8”

Next you need to attach the 4 pillars you cut to 16 3/8” to the top and bottoms of the box. I used screws because it’s a little awkward to pound nails into these, but if you do that make sure and drill a pilot hole a little smaller than the screw to prevent splitting.

Finishing the Cage: Once you have this done you should have a cube that is pretty sturdy and you’re ready to start stapling on the hardware cloth.

Chicken Brooder Before and After2 rolls (10ft) of hardware cloth was perfect for this chicken brooder and gave me a little extra to fold under to avoid sharp edges. Start on the top corner and start stapling across making sure to keep it straight.

Each roll will do 2 sides, so just finish one side, bend it around and finish the second side. Do the same thing with the second roll and you are all finished.

Keeping The Baby Chicks Warm

Ckicken Brooder Set up with ChicksI found that covering 3 sides with towels keeps the inside temperature at just below 100° and leaves one side open so you can see the chicks, and give them ventilation. As the chicks get older they will not need as much heat and I can remove the towels when necessary.

As I said before, the great thing about this homemade chicken brooder is that when they get older I can take the cage outside, turn it upside down and introduce the new chickens to the old chickens without having to worry about them getting at each other.

Other Baby Chick Supplies

As far as what supplies you need for your chicks inside the brooder Lisa and I did this video about what we used…

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When your Prepping Plans Hit a Road Block Part 1

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When your Prepping Plans Hit a Road Block Part 1We are always evolving, and always preparing for the unknown. But what if the disaster you are preparing for never happens? Or, what if you have to move, or life happens, and what do you do when your prepping plans hit a road block and get derailed?

Even if we have tried to think about every hypothetical disaster scenario the we could possibly face, the odds are the situation won’t go as we planned. In an SHTF event everything going according to plan will be the exception, not the rule.

This is why it’s important to have a plan A, plan, B and plan C. And to make it more complicated, these plans need to intertwine so you can change course at a moment’s notice. That is what preparedness really is. Preparing for the unknown, and being flexible in your planning.

In this article from SHTFPlan.com titled 10 Prepping Mistakes That Could Get You Killed they go over some of the little things that could throw a monkey wrench into your survival plans, and we decided to take it a little further.

This week we talked about ways your prepping plan can become derailed in an emergency situation, and some things we can do to increase our chances starting today. Attention to detail is critical to our survival, and the time to prepare is now, because once the game starts all bets are off.

SPP 141 When your Prepping Plans Hit a Road Block Part 1

Critical Thinking

The most important quality, in my opinion, to a life of preparedness is being flexible. None of us ever know what is going to happen or when, so being flexible in an emergency situation is a vital part of being prepared. Facing confrontation, having enough supplies for a multitude of different scenarios, and always having a plan B, and a backup plan to that plan, is what makes you a prepper.

Critical thinking means that when you hit that road block you don’t just give up, you need to have the survival attitude and figure out an alternative option. Road blocks, loss of supplies, stress and emotions could all change the dynamics of our situation, and we need to be prepared for that.

Operational Security

There are 2 parts to operational security, how you handle yourself today, and how you handle situations when the S hits the fan. In the show we talked about how this is a double edged sward because you need people on your side, but giving out too much information could make you vulnerable.

With operational security comes situational awareness. The definition of situational awareness is having the mindset in which you are constantly evaluating your surroundings for dangerous situations and any potential threats to your safety.

The Government

If things get bad, and you have prepared, you can bet on it that the government will be looking out for their best interests, not yours. You have to keep this in mind especially if you are considered a prepper. There is already a law in place that allows the government to take your stuff “for the greater good” in the event of a national disaster.

If the SHTF, you can bet that the government will rationalize coming for your preps. Even is a situation where the government seems nonexistent, they can come back in the picture and say “we’re back, and we’re here to help”

Do what you can to plan for this. If this means you hide your preps, do it. If this means you have extra food and supplies in case the government men come knocking on your door, do it. Pay attention to what is going on in the world around you and have a plan.

Being the Lone Wolf

Although it may seem like the best plan to go it alone, eventually you will need the help of others in order to be successful with your long term prepping. To some this may seem like a no brainer, while others may have issues trusting other people, especially in a disaster situation.

But you have to get over this aversion to others. Start this planning now. Develop relationships with likeminded people, and find out how your skills and their skills can complement each other. It is like anything we do, and change is inevitable.

The more you work on it, the better you will become, so do it in baby steps. If you feel better prepping alone, do this for a while, but then begin putting yourself out there. If you have a significant other, bring them on board, slowly. You can do the same with family members, and continue to grow our network.

The most important thing to understand is that you cannot do this alone, there really is safety in numbers, and we are a social animal. Like it or not, you do need other people.

All Tools and No Knowledge

You have probably heard this a hundred times, but what would you do if you had nothing? All these tools are great, and make everything easier, but in the end they are just tools. We need to have the ability to improvise, and the only way to do that is to understand the complete process.

It’s great to have a good water filter, but if you don’t understand how water filtration works, you won’t be able to build your own if necessary. Depending on your Bic lighter to work every time is just setting yourself up for failure.

Coming Up…

IN part 2 we are going to go over tunnel vision, dealing with emotions and stress, the little things, and the survival mindset. To get an email when we post new articles subscribe to Survivalist Prepper by signing up in the sidebar on your right.

Also Mentions in the Podcast…

Latest Contest: This month we are giving away 2 Tac Bar Survival Ration Packages, an inside the waistband holster from Precision Holsters and a few packages of Bannock Boil in Bag Camping Meals (more on this below) To enter the contest click here.

Legacy Bannock Meals: We are happy to announce that Legacy Foods just added Bannock boil in bag camping meals to their inventory and we now have them available at the SHTFShop.com. These are similar to Mountain House meals and I am going to do a review on them in the near future.

Changing Earth and Armed Couples Podcasts: At the end of this week’s show I played a sneak peak of the interview we did with Sara Hathaway for her Changing Earth Podcast. Also on the show was Toby and his wife Melisa from the Armed Couples Podcast. You can listen to the full podcast when Sara publishes it next week.

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Staying Healthy when Sickness is Everywhere

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Staying Healthy when Sickness is EverywhereThis time of year it seems like everyone is getting sick. Colds and flu are prevalent and very contagious. Just as an example, the office that I work in has had a large majority of the workers ill. Some do the right thing and stay home, but others feel they have to come to work, so they in turn expose everyone who is healthy to their dirty germs.

So if this happens to you, how do you stay healthy? How do you keep the dirty little germs away from you, so you don’t take it home to share with your family? And if you do end up getting sick, how do you ensure that it will not be a long lasting illness?

There are many things you can do to keep yourself healthy, and keep the germs away. First things first, you have to boost your own immune system. How can you do this? It is a process, and will not happen overnight, but if you can keep your immune system functioning at its highest level, your body will be better prepared to fight off invading organisms, whether it is viral, or bacterial.

SPP140 Staying Healthy when Sickness is Everywhere

According to the Harvard Medical School these are:

  • Eat a healthy diet with a balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains. Try to stay away from processed foods, and watch out for sugar hidden in the food that you eat.
  • Exercise regularly, meaning at least 30 minutes of intentional exercise every day.
  • Try to maintain your weight at a healthy level.
  • Drink only in moderation, and don’t smoke.
  • Get enough sleep.

Wash your hands thoroughly, and try not to touch your face. Do this all the time so it becomes habit. Because of you only practice this when you think you are around sick people, it is too late. In many instances, people are contagious when they show no symptoms. So by making it a habit to wash your hands, and refrain from touching your face on a regular basis, you will help to keep yourself healthy.

So now you know the basics of keeping your immune system fully charged, what can you do to prevent yourself from succumbing to the illness that occur around you on a seemingly daily basis? There are several things you can do at home and work to keep yourself healthy, and hopefully not come into contact, or at least lessen the likelihood of getting sick.

While you are at Work

Wipe down your workstation. You never know who was using your stuff when you were away, so have wipes stored at your desk that you can wipe down everything before you get to work. It may seem daunting, but isn’t a few minutes of cleaning worth it to stay healthy?

Keep hand sanitizer at your desk. This is important for those quick in between moments when you remember to wash or sanitize your hands. Since I work in a doctor’s office, this is easy for me. I have a Costco size bottle of hand sanitizer at my desk for everyone to use, and I put it out as a visual reminder for everyone to sanitize your hands when you are standing at my desk.

Don’t share utensils, food, or anything else with your coworkers. This may gross some people out, but I have seen where co-workers share a soda, drink, snack, or even eating utensils. Please don’t! Personally, I think this is disgusting, because I can picture all of the bugs crawling around on someone’s hands because they didn’t wash their hands after stopping at the bathroom. (eeeeewwwww!) But trust me, it happens. So this means I don’t share my snacks that are in bags, like chips, popcorn, etc. And I definitely don’t let people use my coffee cup or drink from my water bottle. But like I said earlier, I have seen people do it.

Keep hand sanitizer in your vehicle, or purse. When you are getting in your car or waiting at the bust stop to go home, don’t forget to clean your hands before starting your car. Because everything you came into contact with on your way out of the building, door handles, light switches, elevator buttons, hand rails, is now being transferred from your work, to your car and potentially into your home. So take a moment and sanitize your hands before driving off.

Separate pair of shoes for home. This may seem odd, but when you are out and about try and think about all of the places the bottoms of your shoes have seen….the bathroom, kitchen, and not to mention even the sidewalks. Do you know what lives on these surfaces? Me neither, so why take that chance of bringing it home with you? Have a pair of shoes reserved for work, and take them off and put on a different pair once you get home.

While you are in your Home

Keep your home clean. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it something simple you can do on a daily basis. Keep your floors clean, take out the trash, do the laundry, dust, and wipe down walls, door knobs, and wall switches. Keep your refrigerator clean, as well as your food prep areas.

Change your bed sheets and pillow cases. Especially when there are germ-ies, but all the time too. Change your sheets weekly, and wash laundry frequently. Don’t wait until there is a mountain of laundry to be done. By staying ahead of the game, and always keeping the dirty laundry in check, you are decreasing the possibility of you coming down with an illness, or spreading it throughout your house.

Air out the home. Although it might be cold, you really should air out your home, even in the winter months. Our homes are so sealed anymore, the air inside of it is basically recirculating, so once a month or so, open the windows, and let in ‘new’ air. Your home will smell better, and it will help to get the stale out of your home.

Change furnace filters monthly. And get the good furnace filters. Filters can function at a antimicrobial level and filter your household air.

Add some humidity. It is easy for viruses to travel if the air is dry, which might account for more illnesses during the dark winter months. But by upping the humidity level in your home, it is harder for the germs to travel. Maybe it weighs them down? Honestly, I have no idea, but I do know that by increasing the humidity in your home does help to keep you healthier. You can use humidifiers, vaporizers, or even boiling water on your stove. But by adding moisture to the air, it will help decrease how easily germs can travel through the air.

But what do you do if you do get sick?

Inevitably, all of your planning and preparing will not be 100% and you will come down with a cold, or get it from a family member. So when it happens, be vigilant to make it a short time of you being down.

Stop the PDA-being in close contact with your spouse or loved one will put you or them at greater risk of getting sick. So even though it is difficult, try and refrain from it. Now in the case of having children, they need the comfort from their parents, especially if they are the ones who are sick. If your babies are sick, hold them and hug them for their comfort, but understand you will probably get sick too. That is unless you have been boosting your immune system, then maybe your body will have a good fighting defense to protect you.

Get plenty of rest. This is not only important to help keep your body functioning well regularly, but it is even more important when you are ill. By resting, or sleeping, your body is busy rebuilding itself, and if you are constantly on the go, your body can’t fight off whatever bug has invaded your system.

Stay hydrated. Warm liquids seem to help a cold, maybe it is the warmth, or the comfort it provides, but the warm liquid also helps to keep everything flowing, this includes when you are congested. Try tea with lemon and honey. You get the added health benefits from the tea itself, and the lemon and honey. But if drinking hot tea is not to your liking, just be sure to drink at least 8 glasses (8oz) of fluid every day, and more when you are fighting a cold. The idea is to flush your body, and increasing the liquids will help you to achieve this. Yes you will be going to the bathroom more, but if it helps to shorten a cold it’s worth it, don’t you think?

Pain relievers. These are important too. They can help to ease the discomfort that often comes along with a cold or flu. Over the counter pain relievers work well, just be sure to follow the instructions on the label. After all, they are medications, and you don’t want to take too much.

Homeopathic Remedies for Sickness

Sometimes you can get incredible relief of cold and flu symptoms with remedies that have been passed down through the generations. For example…

Relieve an earache, heat up salt in a frying pan and put it in an old sock. Hold the hot sock up to your ear (not touching the skin) and the heat will relieve the pressure and pain. The salt holds in a lot of heat, so you get relief for a long period of time.

Rubbing Vicks vapor rub on the soles of your feet. I have no idea of how or why this works, but it really does. It also keeps your feet soft! It may sound silly, and you may doubt that it works, but the next time you get sick give it a try, it won’t hurt anything, and it may make you feel better!

Essential oils are incredible and a wonderful addition to your home remedy cabinet. Do some research though before using them, but you can add them to diffusers, baths, and homemade cleaning products to help keep you healthy as well as shorten the duration of a cold.

Many essential oils have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. My favorites are lavender, lemon, pine, cedar wood, eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, and thieves (a blend of essential oils). In order to use the correctly though be sure to learn about them before using them so you will get the best benefit of each individual oil.

To give you an example of how I use essential oils, here is a recipe that I use for a general household cleaner especially in the winter months to help keep the germs away.

Thieves All-Purpose Spray Cleaner

What you will need…

What you will do…

Add all ingredients to the spray bottle and attach the sprayer. Gently shake the bottle and use as you would any spray cleaner.

I use this on door knobs, countertops, hand rails, in the bathroom……well pretty much everywhere. It works great as an all-purpose cleaner that can be used everywhere in your home.

Links From the Show…

Preparing for a Pandemic

10 Ways To Avoid Getting Sick

7 Home Remedies That Work

 

 

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Post Collapse Sanitation, Diseases and Antibiotics

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Post Collapse Sanitation, Diseases and AntibioticsWhen we think about Typhoid, Cholera and Dysentery visions of the old west come to mind, but in a situation that causes a societal breakdown these diseases could rear their ugly head again.

These are the bigger diseases that could become prevalent in a post collapse society, but even getting the common cold could put a damper on your plans.

In the next couple of weeks Lisa and I will go over some of the sicknesses and diseases to look out for in a SHTF situation, and possible ways to cure them, including natural remedies.

SPP139 Post Collapse Sanitation, Diseases and Antibiotics

This week we talked about some of the major disease’s, how to cure them, some of the antibiotics that are needed and how to prevent them with proper sanitation.

I will also list which fish antibiotics are good alternatives to the human antibiotic. I also wrote a post that goes into detail about fish antibiotics here.

IMPORTANT: Contrary to popular belief, antibiotics can have adverse affects if improperly used. Lisa wrote an article a while back about the dangers and precautions of using antibiotics here. 

Typhoid Fever

Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection caused by ingesting contaminated food or water. Symptoms include; headaches, nausea and loss of appetite, and is a bacterial infection which gradually brings on a high fever.

Diarrhea and vomiting are not common with Typhoid, however weakness, abdominal pain, constipation, and headaches also commonly occur with the fever. Without treatment, symptoms may last weeks or months.

Treatment includes antibiotics, which is typically Ciprofloxacin. The fish antibiotic alternative is Fish Flox.

Cholera

Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if left untreated. Cholera is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholera. The disease is most common in places with poor sanitation, crowding, war, and famine.

Cholera was prevalent in the U.S. in the 1800s, before modern water and sewage treatment systems eliminated its spread by contaminated water. Rehydration is the first priority in the treatment of cholera.

Single-dose therapy with Tetracycline, Doxycycline, Furazolidone, or Ciprofloxacin has been shown effective in reducing the duration and volume of diarrhea. Fish Flox (Cipro) is the only alternative antibiotic.

Dysentery

Dysentery is a type of gastroenteritis; an inflammation of the intestines causing diarrhea with blood, and is caused by a number of types of infection such as bacteria, viruses, parasitic worms, or protozoa.

Treatment includes antibiotics such as ampicillin, amoxicillin. The fish antibiotic alternative is Fish Mox.

Water and Food Related Illnesses

Salmonella bacteria may cause food poisoning when contaminated meat, poultry and eggs that are eaten raw or undercooked or foods come into contact with contaminated foods during preparation.

Symptoms usually occur within hours to two days and may include nausea, fever, headache, abdominal cramps, diarrhea and vomiting lasting two to seven days.

Salmonella almost never requires the use of an antibiotic, but in severe cases ampicillin or amoxicillin can be used. The fish antibiotic alternative is Fish Mox.

Staphylococcus is carried on your skin and in throat infections and may be transmitted during food handling and preparation. Meat, poultry, salads, cheese, eggs, custards and cream-filled desserts are potential food sources.

Symptoms may develop within one to eight hours after eating and may include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and abdominal cramps lasting one to two days.

This requires a doctor to perform tests to identify what type of staph bacteria is behind your infection, so antibiotics are not recommended.

Botulism is most frequently associated with foods that are canned at home and are either improperly prepared or are stored in poorly sealed containers.

Symptoms may develop within 4 to 72 hours after eating and may include nervous system disturbances such as double vision, droopy eyelids or difficulty speaking, swallowing or breathing.

Untreated botulism can be fatal. If you or a family member have botulism symptoms, get medical help immediately.

The use of antibiotics such as penicillin G or metronidazole may be helpful in eradicating in wound botulism. Antibiotic use is not recommended for infant botulism because cell death and lysis may result in the release of more toxin.

An Ounce of Prevention…

We’ve all hear the saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and with proper sanitation we can prevent all these diseases. Proper hand washing, trash removal, disposal of human waste and proper sanitation can greatly reduce your risk of contracting one of these diseases.

In the podcast we went into much more detail about prevention, symptoms and important precautions for using antibiotics. Make sure and give it a listen.

Diseases and Infections of the Respiratory System

Next week Lisa and I will be talking about Illnesses and diseases such as the tuberculosis, whooping cough, flu, colds, bronchitis and pneumonia. You can subscribe to get new posts via email when they are published, just look in the right sidebar to subscribe.

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Things You MUST Do To Survive a House Fire

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Things You MUST Do To Survive a House Fire

“The following article was contributed by James Smith, an avid prepper with a passion for self-protection at all levels”

The hazards of a fire are deadly and may even prove fatal if proper precautions are not taken. Thousands of Americans lost their lives to such life-haunting misfortunes that can strike your house anytime due to minor malfunctioning, taking you by surprise and robbing you of your most prized possessions.

However, nothing is more precious than human life. These incidents usually happen uninformed and the best way is to be prepared beforehand.

Planning for a fire

A sensible family would make it a point to keep their family members aware and educated about the possibilities of an accidental fire and the logical steps to follow. The key to surviving in such situations is not to panic and think of practical solutions rather than creating havoc.

Having you and your family learn certain skills such as those of handling, first aid kits and basic medical knowledge can save a life. Continue reading

How Will Different People React When the SHTF

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How Will Different People React When the SHTFAs preppers we all like to contemplate how different people react when the SHTF, but it’s probably not as simple as we give it credit for. Because our country is a melting pot of different cultures, different economic classes and different religious affiliations, people will all handle certain situations differently.

For better or worse, we all handle situations differently. Some of us are better problem solvers than others, and some of us don’t handle stress very well. A combination of upbringing, gene pool and our environment all play a role in how we develop.

The reason this is important is because today we have the option of separating ourselves from situations. or people we want no part of.

In an SHTF situation we probably won’t have that choice, while we can do what it takes to stay in our homes and out of danger, we might be getting more visitors than we ever expected, and we need to be ready for them.

Possible SHTF Reactions

The scale of the disaster will directly correlate with how extreme people’s reactions will be, but even the smallest situations will give us an idea about how a person handles stressful events.

SPP138 How People Will React When the SHTF

Here are a few ways people will react in a crisis. But remember, people will be very unpredictable, especially in extreme situations.

No Answer at All

For the most part, and for varying reasons, most people will not have any answer to any large scale event. This could be because they are completely unprepared to handle such an event, or because they refuse to admit that their perfect world is not so perfect anymore.

Who knows what the real numbers and timeframe would be, but my guess is that at least 80% of the population will be gone in less than 2 months in a large scale disaster. People who are 100% dependant on electricity, grocery stores and debit cards will find themselves with no choice but to cheat, steal and eventually die.

People Who Can’t Face Facts

One of the first stages of dealing with grief is denial, and believe me, there will be a lot of people in denial. While we look at how people lived in the past and ask “how can I do that?” these people look at the past and say “I would die if I had to do that!” Most of them are right.

Not only are people reliant on automobiles and cell phones, they are reliant on the fuel and electricity it takes to run them and get food to the stores. But if all that falls apart, the government has a plan, and they will figure it out right? not likely.

People Who Will Give Up

People who will just give up are similar to people who can’t face the fact that the S just hit the fan, but differ slightly because some of them have no idea how to handle a crisis situation. Some people have been so sheltered or so focused on what they think “problems” are that they will have no idea how to handle real problems.

This is exactly why I didn’t hand my children everything. Even though they hated it, they learned how to work their way through different problems, and if they wanted something bad enough, they could figure out how to get it.

People Who Will Take Advantage

There is no shortage of people looking for the easy way out even today, but when the hand that feeds stops feeding people who feel entitled will look for other options. It’s far easier to take something than to work for it, and this is why the crime rate will skyrocket.

People who are already criminals will go into overdrive, but even people that you think “would never do something like that” might feel like they have no choice. On top of that, in a large scale crisis, most of the police force will probably be staying home to protect their families.

People Who Think They’re Prepared

We mentioned in the show this week about a friend of Lisa’s whose parents have 7 freezers full of food. While they get an A for effort, they are missing one crucial step…electricity. They have no generator, no solar, and no way to keep that food fresh if the grid goes down.

I can’t help but think of Doomsday Preppers and people saying “I’m preparing for an…” What they should be saying is “I’m completely unprepared for this, this and this.” If you put all your eggs in one basket you are bound to get blindsided by something unexpected.

People Who Will Adapt

Whether it’s genetics, upbringing or just plain luck, some people can step into a bucket of poop and still come out smelling like roses. Some people are better critical thinkers than others, and some people just have the will to survive.

In this article about the psychology of survival I talked about why some people will have a better chance of surviving regardless of what prepping supplies they have. Chance favors the prepared mind, and the tools in your head are far more important than the tools in your shed.

People Who Are Prepared

Hopefully this is you and me, hopefully we have done everything to give us the best possible chance for survival, but with that being said it doesn’t guarantee us anything. Luck and circumstances will play a big role in what, when and where things unfold in a disaster situation.

That doesn’t mean stop preparing though. The more we prepare, the better our odds are of surviving any disaster, and the better our understanding is of what to do when something terrible happens in the future.

Expect the Unexpected

With all this being said, desperate times will lead people to desperate measures. People with the most to lose are the most dangerous in my opinion. With criminals you know what you are getting, but a desperate mother trying to feed her children is capable of anything.

People who feel entitled, and are used to everything getting handed to them are going to justify taking what you have, because after all, they are more important than us right? The point is, it doesn’t matter what a person looks like, we need to be on high alert and consider everyone a threat.

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8 Ways to Handle Prepping Objections

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8 Ways to Handle Prepping ObjectionsWe take for granted what we know about preparedness that others don’t, like the living off the land fallacy, or the government not coming to help in a large scale crisis, or even something as simple as how much water we need to survive.

The more we learn about prepping, the more it just makes sense, but to most people prepping is seen as unnecessary, and a waste of their precious time. Because the only information they have is from the mainstream media, they dismiss prepping as extreme, and think only paranoid crazy people live like that.

Unfortunately, this leaves us with 2 choices. Try to explain to them why shows like doomsday preppers is almost a fictional as a Disney movie. The other is to end the conversation all together, because there is no reason to beat a dead horse.

Each person, for one reason or another has their reasons for not wanting to prep. It could be a simple as not wanting to get labeled a prepper, to not wanting to face their fears. Here are a few objections to prepping you might hear, and then after that how different people might react in a crisis.

SPP137 8 Ways to Handle Prepping Objections

In this week’s podcast Lisa and I went into much more detail about handling prepping objections than I could put in one article. Make sure and listen when you are done reading, or listen on your mobile device.

It’s Ridicules and a Waste of Time!

Objection: It’s interesting that as Americans we have both the highest amount of preppers in the world, and at the same time, the highest quality of life. Those who don’t see what’s going on (or don’t want to) have become complacent, and complacency leads people to say…

“nothing is ever going to happen, and if it does I’ll get through it like I always do.” Or even “If something happens, I don’t want you want to live like that?”

Solution: This might be the easiest objection to overcome of them all, because the answer is pretty simple. Not every disaster involves the collapse of society, most disasters are small scale and can affect anyone, at any time.

Talk to them about natural disasters before you even think about talking about a nuclear attack. Most people have the preconceived notion that preppers will be hiding in their homes and shooting anyone who comes to the door in a crisis.

While this might be true in some scenarios, in most scenarios, such as natural disasters, most preppers will probably be the first to help.

That’s Why We Pay Taxes.

that's why I pay taxesObjection: Wouldn’t it be nice if this were true. As preppers we know this is just not true, but most people who are spoon fed from the mainstream media blindly follow this mentality. The truth is that even though the government says it has my best interests in mind, their idea of “my best interests” and mine are two different things.

Solution: The government (state or federal) just doesn’t have the resources available to handle any large scale disaster scenario events like hurricane Katrina, and even the Colorado floods a few years ago illustrate this perfectly.

By depending on the government you are almost reserving a spot in a FEMA camp near you, and you will be at the whim of what they decide your best interests are. Even if he government comes in to help. How long will it take? And what will you have to go through in the process?

It’s Too Overwhelming

Prepping is Too OverwhelmingObjection: When someone first gets interested, or introduced to the idea of preparedness it can be scary, and overwhelming at the same time. This is a natural reaction that most of us have probably been through, and still going through to some point.

Solution: Be empathetic and let them know that you have been there and done that, but it does get easier. There is a lot that goes into prepping, and it can seem pretty overwhelming, but so is learning a new language or building a house, yet it happens every day.

I Can’t Afford Prepping

Objection: If we made a list of all the prepping supplies we needed or wanted to have, we would probably have to take out a loan. Sometimes it’s hard enough to pay the monthly bills we already have, so how in the world am I going to afford all those supplies.

Solution: This answer goes hand in hand with being overwhelmed, and the following statement comes to mind. “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” We can only do what we can do, and we need to become ok with that.

If we focus on our budget and pay attention to where our money is going, almost everyone can find extra cash to use for prepping. There are also some ways to make a few extra bucks to increase our prepping budget.

God Will Take Care of Me

Objection: I have nothing to worry about because God is going to take care of me is something I hear quite often. With peoples preconceived notions of prepping, it can seem to go against Christian values, but this could be further from the truth.

Solution: God gave us freewill for a reason. As parents if we gave our children everything they wanted, and they never had to live through hard times, they would be spoiled and unprepared for daily life. We learn from our mistakes and the challenges we face through life.

There are many examples of God telling people to prepare for something in the Bible, and when God gives you a warning, you better listen. Imagine what would have happened if Noah just said “God will take care of us.”

I Just Don’t Have Time for Prepping

I Just Don’t Have Time for PreppingObjection: Today’s society is not as simple as it used to be. With all we have to do it’s hard sometimes to fit more in our already busy schedule.

Solution: When my children tell me they didn’t clean their room because they were too busy I tell them “If I gave you $100 could you figure out how to get it done?” We can find an excuse for anything, and it’s amazing what we can do when we are properly motivated. By the way, I don’t actually give them $100, I just use this to illustrate a point.

If we enjoy doing something we can always find time for it in our schedule. There is so much involved in prepping that someone is bound to find something they enjoy, which might be what gets the ball rolling.

I’m Coming to Your House

Objection: I hear this all the time, and sometimes it upsets me because I hear “You are doing all the work, why do I need to?”

Solution: Even though I would like to tell them how ridicules they sound I just tell them that I’m willing to help them get prepared now, but when the S hits the fan, there will be no vacancy at my hotel. I also ask them how they plan on getting here? It won’t be as easy as your daily ride to work.

My Family Will Think I’m Crazy

My Family Will Think I’m CrazyProblem: Because of people preconceived notions, their first reaction is almost always labeling you a doomsday prepper, and when you approach your spouse about prepping they will think you are off your rocker.

Solution: Don’t start a conversation talking about EMP’s or nuclear disasters you want to prepare for, that conversation will go nowhere fast. Start by explaining how preparing for natural disasters or terrorist attacks, and it’s not all about doomsday, or the end of the world.

I Don’t Have Anywhere to Put All That Stuff

Objection: Quite a few of us live in smaller homes or even apartments, and because of this our storage space is limited. This becomes especially challenging when your spouse is not on board, and they don’t want your “prepping stuff” all over the place.

Solution: If your spouse is not on board with prepping I would start with having a conversation to find some middle ground about what you can, and cannot do, believe me, this will save you problems down the line.

If your space is limited you have a couple of options, the first is to build, or utilize some usable space in your home. This could mean finding space in closets, under beds or building storage space. If all else fails, you could even rent a storage locker to put your prepping supplies in.

Speak To Their Listening

Remember that when you are talking to someone who has no idea about preparedness they are not going to understand things the way you do. Sometimes what we think that something is common sense, but to others who have not learned about prepping is new information.

Make sure you approach the conversation in the right way and speak to their listening. The last thing you want to do is shut them down, because then you will seem like you have lost your mind.

Do you have any prepping objection that I didn’t cover here? Leave a comment below and let me know.

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What Would It Take to Go Completely Off Grid?

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What Would It Take to Go Completely Off GridWe all love to think about what it would be like to not have to depend on public service companies, making the grocery store a convenience and not a necessity by growing our own food and living a more self-reliant life in general.

All this sounds great, but what would it take to go completely off grid? And how hard would it actually be?

The truth is, most of the real work goes on behind the scenes and never makes it to the internet. You won’t find many videos of people pulling weeds (unless you’re looking for it) and you won’t find many videos of people cleaning up after their animals…The dirty work.

With that being said, here’s the good, the bad and the ugly about what it would take to go completely off grid.

Keep in mind, I’m not talking about erasing your footprint and hiding from the alphabet agencies, I’m talking about living a more self-reliant lifestyle.

SPP136 What Would It Take to Go Completely Off Grid?

The Right Attitude

positive attitudeRegardless whether you decide to become a full scale homesteader, or make some changes to live a more self-reliant life, you need to go all in…or don’t go at all. This video from An American Homestead talks about what it takes to live off the grid.

If you go into a venture like this halfcocked, or on the fence, you might find that after you have taken all the steps to get there, it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. To be a successful homesteader you need to not only be willing to do the work, but actually enjoy it.

When we enjoy doing something nothing can stop us. When we enjoy doing something, the challenges that pop up along the way are just inconveniences. We all know that with the right attitude, anything is possible.

Willingness to Sacrifice

making sacrificesAs a society we have become pretty dependent on our technology, but even out where I live some sacrifices have to be made…and were not off the grid yet. This doesn’t mean you have to give up the internet and your cell phone, but it does mean you might need to find an alternative.

Not only will we need to make sacrifices when it comes to modern conveniences, we might not have access to all the stores and shops that are 5 minutes away. This is not necessarily a bad thing because you would know what’s in your food, and there is less stress when you are not constantly connected to everyone.

Even if you can order something off the internet, you still might have to go to the post office to pick it up, believe it or not, there are some places FedEx won’t deliver to. As I said earlier, with the right attitude, this is just “something I have to do.”

Getting Your Hands Dirty

get your hands dirtyOne part of homesteading or living off the grid that can be the most rewarding, and your biggest challenge at the same time, is the fact that you are responsible for everything. There are bound to be situations where you are going to have to bite the bullet and call in some backup, but for the most part you are responsible for your own success or failure.

Getting food in the refrigerator won’t be as easy as heading to the grocery store, it takes hard work all year long to make sure you have food, and even more hard work to make sure that food lasts throughout the winter.

Even though it will be hard work, the sense of satisfaction you get knowing that not only can you do it, you don’t need to depend on a 9 to 5 job or others for your survival.

Life Changing Family Commitment

Life Changing Family CommitmentIf you have a family, it really doesn’t matter what you want to. If the entire family (mainly your spouse) is not on board with your plans, they could become resentful, creating unneeded headaches and problems down the line.

People get accustomed to a certain lifestyle, especially children, and they are naturally resistant to change and the unknown. This is why Lisa and I are going to wait until we are “empty nesters”. We don’t want to disrupt their learning routine, and cause any undue stress for them…or us.

Yes You Can…

feeling of satisfactionFor every 1 reason we have to do something, we can always think of 50 reasons why we shouldn’t. It’s easy to make excuses, but if you really want it, it can be done.

If you really enjoy doing something the challenges become “just part of the process” rather than hurdles that you can’t overcome. It’s human nature to resist change and think about everything that could go wrong, but with the right attitude and work ethic, living off the grid can be rewarding and not as impossible as you think.

Never a Debtor Be

Never a Debtor BeGetting out of debt is probably the first step you will need to take. If you truly want to remove the ties that bind, this is a crucial step and applies whether you want to live off grid or not.

If you plan on living off the grid and becoming more self-reliant, a 9 to 5 job is probably not going to be in the equation. The less you have to pay to others, the more you have for your homestead plans.

Depending on your situation this could take a while, but it is very important. Not only will it free up extra money, it will reduce your stress because it’s one less bill you have to pay.

Different Strokes

Different Strokes for different folksEveryone’s situation is different. Some people can’t wait to live out in the middle of nowhere, some people have no intention of doing so, and some people (like us) want to live close enough to the city that if they need something they can get it, but far enough away that they don’t have to deal with it if they don’t want to.

Take a realistic look at your situation and decide which one of these categories you fit into, because once you take the leap, it will be really hard to turn around.

What You Can Do Now…

Pace Yourself, there is no reason to go all out until you are sure this is what you want to do. Below are a few things you and your family can do right now (including getting out of debt) that will help you decide if you have the right attitude, work ethic and willingness to live off the grid.

Move Away From the City: As I said earlier, this is the first step in our off grid process, living away from the city give us the opportunity to work on some of these homesteading skills.

If your family or spouse is not completely on board, this also give you a best of both worlds scenario. Your spouse could still do what they want to do, and your kids will say they are bored out of their minds, but they’ll live.

Bug Out Location/Homestead: What we decided to do is buy a little piece of land, and work form the ground up. In the short term this will be our bug out location, but the plans are to build this property up to the point where we can live there.

You might not be able to get the “perfect bug out location”, up in the mountains with a river running through it, but you would be surprised at what you can find in your price range. Like the saying goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

This is what Lisa and I did.

Sharpen Your Skills: Even if you live in an urban area you can still work on some of these homesteading skills. You might be able to raise chickens or rabbits, and growing your own food can be done just about everywhere.

I recently built a greenhouse, a chicken coop and have plans to raise rabbits in the near future. Any chance I get to learn a new skill, or do something myself I take it, because that’s what prepping is all about right? Learning to be more self-reliant.

Learn to Preserve Food: If you plan on living away from society, or staying away from the grocery store, you will need to store food to get through hard times. We all like to think about SHTF scenarios, but when your off grid, every winter is an SHTF scenario.

Learning how to can food, dehydrate food and store food is not only important on the homestead, it’s an important part of prepping regardless where you live.

Live Healthy, Work Hard: There’s a reason you never hear about homesteaders going to the gym, they don’t need to. Because of our automated, technological society, most people don’t get the exercise they used to.

Homesteaders basically work from sun up to sun down, and because they grow their own food they don’t need to take supplements or count their calories.

Is Living Off Grid Right for You?

Regardless of whether you get to live out your dreams of being a homesteader or not, just having the goal will help you become better prepared. This is why prepping, survivalisim and homesteading go hand in hand, the process itself teaches you how to be more self-reliant.

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Getting Started With Chickens and Supplies

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Getting Started With Chickens and SuppliesChickens are a wonderful addition to your prepping endeavor. They are easy to raise and will provide meat and eggs for your family. But how do you get started? It isn’t difficult, you just need to do a little planning, and then you will be ready to have your own flock of chickens!

Purchasing Chickens

Where do you buy chickens you may be wondering? If you are lucky enough to have a big box farm store like Murdoch’s, or The Big R you just need to wait until early spring. Around Easter every year, they will bring out the huge troughs filled with baby chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese to tempt you to buy them for your children’s Easter basket.

There is also the added benefit of being able to purchase feed and the supplies you will need in order to get your flock started easy.

If you don’t have one of these stores close by, you can even buy your chicks online. The benefit of this is you can predetermine when you want to get your chicks, and you can do some research of which chickens will work the best for you. There are many different breeds of chickens, so being able to learn about each breed is helpful before you buy them.

SPP115 Getting Started With Chickens and Supplies

Listen to this weeks show for more information about raising chicks into chickens…

How it works

You go to the online site where you want to buy your chicks, fill out the order form, and bamo! Your chickens will be delivered to you by mail! These hatcheries ship the baby chicks when they are one day old, and believe it or not, the chicks are very hardy already. We have purchased this way before, and have always had good outcomes (meaning no dead babies)

Purchasing Chickens Online:

  1. My Pet Chicken: [Click Here]
  2. Chickens for Backyards: [Click Here]
  3. Cackle Hatchery: [Click Here]

If you are buying the baby chicks online, you can even have your chickens vaccinated to protect them against Marek’s Disease. This is a widespread disease affecting domestic chickens in all sections of the world.  It is characterized by lesions affecting the nervous system, organs, and other tissues.  Young chickens under 16 weeks of age are most susceptible.  There is no treatment for Marek’s once the birds are infected.

Chicks must be vaccinated as close to the time of hatch as possible for the vaccine to be effective.  Vaccinating your birds for Marek’s is another appropriate step in strong poultry management.

Once you have decided you would like to have your own chickens, there are some things you will need in preparation for the arrival of your chicks.

You will need:

The information below is from the website Chickens For Backyards, we have purchased chickens and ducks from them and we have had very good results.

HEAT

The temperature should be kept at 95 degrees under heat source for the first 2-5 days, then reduce it by 5 degrees each week until you reach 70 degrees. The chicks should not need much heat after that unless it is particularly cold. A thermometer is recommended to monitor the temperature. Also watch the chicks’ behavior to judge whether or not to make adjustments.

SPACE

You should provide 4’ x 4’ space per 25 chicks to start. For grown birds, you need 3-4 square feet per bird.

FEEDERS and WATERERS

Use feeders and waterers designed for chicks under 4 weeks of age so they are able to see the feed or water and reach it easily.

MEDICATION

You can use medicated feed and use amprol in the chicks’ drinking water from second day until 6 months of age to prevent coccidiosis.

BEDDING

Use large pine shavings, hay or straw for bedding. Do not use sawdust, sand, cypress or cedar shavings (cypress and cedar are toxic to chicks). Also do not use newspaper because it is too slick.

FEED

Use chick starter and sprinkle on paper towels for the chicks. After the first day, use feed troughs low enough so the chicks can see and reach the feed easily. Keep feed available at all times.

Things to know about baby chickens

It is common for birds to use their beak to groom or pick themselves. Baby chicks will often pick each other if they are too hot, too crowded, or without fresh air. Sometimes bright light will cause the picking and changing to a red bulb may help. Picking can also be caused by stress from having the light on 24 hours a day. After two weeks, you may need to consider an alternate heat source instead of a light. After dropping the temperature each week and if they no longer need the heat source, remove the light or heat source.

Sometimes they pick for no apparent reason. Try putting in fresh green grass clippings several times a day and darken the room. Chunks of grass sod can also be set around for the chicks to pick at.

To treat chicks that have been picked, apply menthol ointment on the injured area and keep up the treatment until healed.

PASTY BOTTOM

Sometimes, the stress of shipping causes the manure to stick to the back of the chick. It is important to remove this daily. Wash it off with a warm cloth and warm water. It will disappear in a few days as the chick starts to grow. If it continues to be a problem add a sulfa-type drug to their drinking water as directed on the package.

SAFE HANDLING OF POULTRY

Live animals and pets can be a source of potentially harmful microorganisms, germs (including salmonella) and bacteria. Therefore, precautions must be taken when handling and caring for them. Children should be supervised to make sure they don’t put their hands or fingers in their mouth, nose or eyes after handling the animals. Always wash your hands with soap and water after handling any animal or pet.

DO…

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam.
  • Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.
  • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer until you are able to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Clean any equipment or materials associated with raising or caring for live poultry, such as cages or feed or water containers.

DON’T…

  • Don’t let children younger than 5 years of age, elderly persons, or people with weak immune systems handle or touch livestock including poultry.
  • Don’t let livestock inside the house, in the bathrooms or especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens or outdoor patios.
  • Don’t snuggle or kiss livestock, touch your mouth, or eat or drink around livestock.

But When Will I get Eggs???

Your chickens will be able to live outside when they have their feathers. This is at about 5 weeks old.  So you have plenty of time once you get your baby chicks to get your chicken house ready for them.

The hens will start laying eggs when they are about 4 to 5 months old.

This is why I would suggest getting your chickens early, because it will take about 4 months before they will start producing eggs for you. But once they start laying, get ready for it! Depending on what breed of chicken you choose will depend on how many eggs they will lay per week. In my experience, we usually get 3-4 eggs a day from 4 young hens. That means during the summer, if you have 4 chickens, you will get close to 2 dozen eggs a week. Their egg production will slow down a lot during the winter, and as they age. But when they are young, you will have a bounty of fresh eggs!

Our newest flock will be coming to us around March 7th, so it will be July before they will begin laying, but after that, we will be having a lot of fresh eggs!

Holster & Tac-Bar Giveaway

tac bar and precision holster contestIn the last few episodes of the Survivalist Prepper podcast Lisa and I have mentioned the latest giveaway we are doing that includes a holster from Precision Holsters and a Tac-Bar survival rations package from Expedition Research. Click here to find out more about the contest.

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Precision Holsters, Tac-Bars and More Giveaway

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tac bar and precision holster contest

The Giveaway Starts In…

In the last few episodes of the Survivalist Prepper podcast Lisa and I have mentioned the latest giveaway we are doing that includes a holster from Precision Holsters and a Tac-Bar survival rations package from Expedition Research.

Along with these two prizes we are also going to add a couple of our own. We are going to throw in a couple of Legacy Foods 32 Serving Family 72 Hour Kits that we sell at the SHTFShop.com.

Before I go over how to enter and how to win, here is a little information about the prizes we are giving away.

Precision Holsters

I recently did a video review of the inside the waistband holster I received from Precision Holsters that fits my S&W Shield. If you win this prize, you will be able to pick the holster of your choice (shipping not included)

Today you can use the coupon code “dalespholster” (without quotes) to get 15% off.

Tac-Bar

I also did a video about this Tac-Bar package (below) I have also done a couple videos reviewing other survival food bars and the Tac-Bars are much better than any I have tried. For more information about these survival bars visit the Tac-Bar website.

32 Serving 72 Hour Kit

At the SHTFShop.com we sell Legacy Food Storage products and we are including 2 of the 32 Serving Family 72 Hour Kits.

32 Serving Family 72 Hour KitLegacy’s 32-serving kit includes 8 emergency meal options, all of which come in 4-serving pouches that are simple to prepare and even easier to store. All of the food storage in this kit comes in one compact bucket that can fit almost anywhere.

How to Enter and Win

  • This giveaway is pretty straight forward, if you are already a member of the Survivalist Prepper Academy you are already entered. After that members and nonmembers you can get more entries daily by using the contest entry form below.
  • You can also leave a comment below to get entered into the giveaway. Just say something like “sign me up!” or whatever you would like to say.
  • The holster and Tac-Bars will be given to podcast listeners and YouTube subscribers, and the Legacy food will be given to members. This means that in order to be eligible for everything you need to be a subscriber, listener and member.
  • The winners will be picked on Febuary the 18th on the podcast, as well as our YouTube Channel.
  • The winners will have 48 hours to respond to my email and claim their prize. If I don’t get a response I will pick an alternative winner.

The post Precision Holsters, Tac-Bars and More Giveaway appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Emergency Cooking Ideas and Operational Security

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Emergency Cooking Ideas and Operational SecurityThese days we have the convenience of turning on a stove or grill and cooking a nice juicy steak, or turning on the oven at the flip of a switch and baking fresh bread for the family, but what would you do if that wasn’t an option?

Or worse yet, what would you do if it was an option, but the delicious smell it put off was ringing the dinner bell for unwanted guests?

While there are is no shortage of emergency cooking ideas (and I am going to list some here) and operational security is critical when you are cooking, and no one else in the neighborhood has food.

Unless you feel like opening up a SHTF soup kitchen, there are some things that need to be considered, and this means more than what you are cooking.

In this week’s show Lisa and I talked about some emergency cooking ideas, as well as how important operational security is in avoiding some of the risks involved.

SPP134 Emergency Cooking Ideas and Operational Security

Advertising and the Risks

Free Food Open HouseIf we are talking about some sort of emergency that is only going to last a few days, such as a natural disaster or manmade disaster that causes a power outage, cooking smells and where they travel might not be a huge issue.

Food in the grocery stores will only last a few days without resupply in normal times, that 3 days could be cut to 3 hours in an emergency. After as little as a week, or even a few days, people will start to get hungry and be looking for handouts.

Once they figure out that FEMA is not coming to the rescue, they might come knocking on your front door, and you would need start thinking about your safety, and how to minimize the risks.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPSThis is a bit of a double edged sward because it’s not feasible to think that we can go it alone, but we do need to be careful about what you say, and who you say it to. I talk quite a bit to some people about prepping (more than I probably should), but one thing that never comes up is “how much” I have.

I don’t hide the fact that I am a prepper from anyone who asks, mainly because with the website and the podcast they could find out anyway. When I am asked how I can justify turning people away in a crisis, I simply tell them that my responsibility is protecting my family, that I don’t have any insider information, and anyone can do it if they choose to…including them.

Regardless what you do, the odds are someone will be coming to your door depending on how bad the situation gets. It’s up to you how you handle these situations, but they do need to be talked about and planned for.

Did You Smell That!?

do you smell that foodWe’ve all driven by a restaurant or walked in the house and said “that smells amazing!” When you are the last one on the block with food, that’s the last thing you want to happen.

If you live in a rural area, and the wind is blowing in the right direction it might not be as big problem, but if you live in an urban area, your neighbor is probably 20 feet away, and can smell anything you cook.

Foods that only require boiling, low fat foods and foods with very few spices are going to give off the least smell. When you grill a steak the juices run off and create a mouthwatering smell, and when you bake a chicken covered in spices, it might taste fantastic, but that smell is likely to travel around the neighborhood.

Canned Food: Other than the trash buildup, canned food is a great idea because it can be heated easily, but doesn’t require heating. DIY canning and dehydration also falls into this category, but it needs to be done beforehand.

Long Term Food: Prepackaged food like the Legacy products we sell are also great because they give off very little smell and only require boiling water to prepare.

Uncooked Food: I’m not suggesting you eat raw hamburger, but fruits and vegetables might be available initially, but won’t last long. If you have a garden that would be better, but that might also make you a target.

It’s Dinner Time!

Another precaution you can take is planning when you cook. Because most of us are active and eat during the day, you might want to do your cooking late at night, or very early in the morning.

You will also need to give extra consideration to security because you won’t be able to see if someone is on their way over at night, and people feel more embolden under the cover of darkness.

Trash Buildup is a Red Flag

hide your trashOne last thing you need to keep in mind is what you are going to do with your trash after you are done cooking. The odds are trash pickup will not be available, and as it begins to buildup you don’t want people seeing empty boxes of cereal, and empty cans of food.

Burning it will probably not be an option, but burying it might be. At the very least, you can put it in black trash bags that are hidden…out of sight, out of mind.

Emergency Cooking Options

Gas Generators: These might be an option early on, but most are really loud, and require fuel storage. We have an 8,000 Watt generator which will be useful for power outages and natural disasters, but not a full blown SHTF event. With proper ventilation you could even run a generator from your basement.

Solar Generators: You can purchase a solar generator like the Goal Zero, but this would cost you thousands of dollars. A DIY solar generator like the one I am working on is a little more cost effective, and will eventually turn into an all-out solar powered battery bank.

Gas Stoves: If you have a gas powered stove you are one of the lucky ones, we are not so lucky. These will operate even when to power grid goes down, although you will need to use a lighter to light the flame.

Wood Fire: A fireplace or wood burning stove are great to have, but this is another method I would think twice about long term, because you are basically giving off smoke signals to the neighborhood. That being said, we are still looking to get a wood burning stove insert for our fireplace.

Sun Ovens or Solar Cookers: We have a Sun Oven, and we love it! It gives off very little smell, and can cook almost anything. The downside is that they need to be outside with plenty of light, and are hard to camouflage. There are plenty of DIY ideas for solar cookers, but they won’t be as efficient as an All American Sun Oven.

Propane Grill: Most of us have an outdoor grill, but the only part of that grill I will be using in a SHTF scenario are the side burners. This could be the biggest dinner bell you can ring, because I always know when my neighbors are cooking hamburgers and ribs.

Coleman Grill: A good camp grill is a little better option because the fat and juices stay in the pan rather than getting burned off. These can also be used indoors in an emergency, although you do need proper ventilation…and a fire extinguisher just in case.

Hot Plate: The average hot plate takes about 1200 watts to run (that’s quite a bit) but you will need some way to generate power to use it. If you have a way to generate power these are a good option, if you don’t, there are plenty of other options.

Sterno Cooking: cooking with Sterno canisters might not be the most efficient, but it can be done indoors, just as caterers and restaurants do all the time. While these would take a while to boil water, they can be used to heat food up, and even heat yourself up.

Oil Lantern Cooker: A friend on Facebook mentioned an Oil Lantern Cooker which seems like a great idea because not only can you cook or heat something up, it’s also another source of light and heat.

DIY & Rocket Stoves: Whether you are talking about a folding camp stove or a DIY rocket stove, these are great because basically smaller fuel = smaller fire = less smell.

Sweat the Small Stuff

Whichever method of emergency cooking you decide on make sure you have everything else you need to get the job done. Make sure you have plenty of fuel, this includes wood, propane, gasoline and even sun for solar.

You should have these anyway, but make sure you have lighters and matches or you will be rubbing sticks together. Also, whatever you do, don’t forget to have a manual can opener, that fancy electric can opener will be useless if the power is out.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention safety one more time. Make sure you have fire extinguishers (certified) and proper ventilation if you plan on cooking inside, an accident could cause more problems than just eating dinner.

Also From the Show

The Back To Basics Bundle is now on sale, but it will only be available until the 25th of January. This package includes…
– 55 eBooks
– 10 eCourses, memberships and subscriptions
– 14 bonus offers
– Getting Started PDF–To help you keep track of everything in the bundle.
– Exclusive emails with articles to help you get back to basics and special offers throughout the year.

Click here to have a look.

Upcoming Contest

tac bar and holsterI also mentioned a couple of items we are going to be giving away in the next contest. The guys at Precision Holsters are letting us give away a holster of your choice.

And Expedition Research  (Also Apollo-Tactical) is giving away some of their Tac-Bars survival rations.

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Getting Old Sux! Managing Expiration Dates

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Getting Old Sux Managing Expiration DatesWhen we think about expiration dates we all think about our food storage, you might have even thought that this article was going to be all about food expiration dates. While food might have the lowest expiration date, and it is important, there are a few more supplies we need to pay attention to, including our own expiration date.

The reason I titles this post “Betting Old Sux! And Managing Expiration Dates” is because no matter how hard we try to be completely prepared, supplies expire, our family makeup changes, our health changes as we get older and life seems to throw us the unexpected at the worst possible times.

Managing expiration dates and changing plans is all part of the game. Whether you are talking about disaster planning, or fixing a broken window, if we can’t get that stuff figured out now while times are good, we have no hope when help is not on the way.

Expiration is inevitable, even the sun and earth will expire someday. Expiration is a fact of life, and a part of prepping we just have to deal with.

This double edged sward leaves you with 2 options, the first is to wait as long as you can before you buy something, hoping nothing happens before you get to it. The second choice (and smart one) is to purchase these supplies, and pay close attention to rotation and inventory.

This week in the show Lisa and I talked about everything from food storage to medical supplies, and how to maximize their shelf lives.

SPP133 Getting Old Sux! Managing Expiration Dates

Food Storage: Everyone has their own method of inventory and rotation, but I can tell you from experience that the more food you store the harder it is to keep track of. This is especially true for canned goods because they tend to hide in the back corners of your cabinets.

This article has an inventory worksheet you can download, and this article explains the different types of food storage and techniques, from canned food to long term food storage.

How you Store Your Supplies: When we think of expiration dates we tend to think about food, but proper storage also plays a role in how long our other supplies last. Temperature, humidity and time are all enemies of our supplies, make sure they are cleaned after use, and stored properly to extend their lifespan.

Fuel and Cars: Hopefully you know about how important fuel storage is, if you don’t this article will explain everything about rotation and fuel additives. It’s not just important to store extra fuel, it’s important to do regular maintenance on our vehicles because you don’t want it to break down when you need it most.

Home Maintenance: There might come a day when the handyman will be gone and fixing something is not just a phone call away. Learning how to do some of these tasks yourself will not only help in a SHTF situation, you might even save a few bucks along the way. There are also other DIY prepping projects you can do to learn new skills and save some money.

General Supplies: There are so many other prepping supplies that at one point or another are going to need replacing. Water filters, air filtration masks and batteries will only last so long, so we need to know how to extend their lifespan, and know how to survive without them.

Medical Supplies: This one really gets me because medical supplies are not cheap, but they are absolutely necessary. Prescription medications, OTC Medications (over the counter) and even Band-Aids all have an expiration date and will need to be replaced. While we can “push” the expiration dates with some of these, they lose their potency and effectiveness over time.

Our Health: Our own expiration date is the most important of all expiration dates. Not only because if we are dead none of this matters, but also because if we are not healthy it makes everything else harder on us and everyone around us.

By eating right, exercising, and paying attention to what our bodies are telling us, we can hopefully increase our expiration dates, and increase our ability to do certain tasks that might be necessary…although nothing in life is guaranteed.

Our Family & Our Plans: Like it or not even the best plans are going to change over time. As our family gets older, as our family structure changes and as our financial situation changes, so will our plans. A disaster preparedness plan that took hours of planning and works perfectly now, might not work so well in a year from now. We need to be able and willing to pivot and change our plan how our situation dictates.

Money: One thing we weren’t able to get to in the show was managing our money. You might not think about money having an expiration date, but depending on our bills our paychecks only last so long. You can spend money wisely, you could save money by using coupons and there are even a few ways to make a little extra cash for prepping.

Also From the Show…

I have mentioned the Back to Basics Bundle a few times over the last few weeks, and it’s finally here…almost. This is set to be released for sale on the 18th and will only be available for 7 days.

You can sign up for the 15 day challenge (free) and also get email updates when the package goes on sale. This package is huge, and a great deal!

Tac Bar Contest and Review

tac bar ammo canI have been working with Aaron from Expedition Research on a monthly contest for the Tac-Bar Bug Out Box which includes…

  • 12,500 Calories
  • 10 Aquatabs (10 liters)
  • Zero Preparation
  • 4 Quarts Volume

On the website they state that there is no other ready-to-eat food ration as fortified with what your body requires to survive and perform at its peak, whatever your mission.

I will be doing a review on this shortly, and I can’t wait to share my results. Aaron is also the person responsible for the Apollo-Tactical compound bow that we just gave away, and the one I have that I absolutely love!

The Colony on ABC

In Tin Foil Hat Time, we talked about a new show from the USA network called Colony. Here is the trailer for that show, and it looks great!

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Apollo Tactical Compound Bow Package Review

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Apollo Tactical Compound Bow Package ReviewA little while back I was given the opportunity to try out the Compound bow from Apollo Tactical and I am very impressed with the product. As most of you know who visit this website often, over the past year I have gotten bitten by the archery bug, I started with building my own long bow, after that I purchased a crossbow, and now I am falling in love with the compound bow.

I was a little intimidated by this bow at first because I am no professional and this is definitely a top of the line bow. I think my initial hesitation to purchase a compound bow was based on the fact that they looked so complicated to use. The long bow and cross bow are pretty basic setups, but a compound bow just looked like I would have to spend time and money to get everything adjusted and fit to my specifications.

While this is true for some compound bows, it is not the case with the Apollo Tactical compound bow, everything is adjustable without the need to go to the pro shop or purchase a bow press.

The draw length is adjustable from 19 to 30”, and the draw weight is adjustable from 15Lbs to 70Lbs with just an Allen Wrench that comes with the package. I currently have mine set at 28” draw length and 45Lbs draw weight.

The main reason I have my compound bow set to 45Lbs draw weight right now is because the muscles I use to fire a compound bow need to be worked into shape before I can fire more than 2 shots at a higher weightage. I am working on my stance, consistency and sighting it in, so I need to be able to fire it continuously. Eventually I will raise the weight, and the great thing about this bow is I can do it any time I want.

Apollo Tactical has set up a coupon code for fans of Survivalist Prepper for $50 off, just use the coupon code “grayman” (without quotes) at checkout.

The Compound Bow Installed Options

As I said, I am no professional…yet, but because this bow is so easily adjusted, you don’t need to be. Along with being easily adjusted to your body style this compound bow comes with a few other things already included.

CNC Milled Aluminum Parts: USA billet aluminum is used in our CNC machines to make the cams, body and other major parts of our compound bow. The bow is finished and assembled by hand, and made with exclusive anti-vibration and dampening technology.

The Forward Site: UV Lighted Site with 5 adjustable fiber optic pins, with a glow in the dark ring that really helps in low light situations.

The Peep Sight: Think of a peep sight as the rear sight on a gun, mechanically they serve a similar purpose. You just line up the peep sight with the forward sight and fire away.

D Loop: A D loop simply gives you a place to attach the arrow release without having to attach it to the main string giving you better accuracy.

Weighted Dampening System: The built in, “weighted dampening system” is designed to reduce vibration & sound. The machined metal weights are suspended in a sheathe of rubber.

Stabilizer: The stabilizer shares this technology extending its role from simple counter weight to actively improving your accuracy and stealth.

Whisker Biscuit: The arrow rest or “whisker Biscuit” also gives you better accuracy by holding the arrow in place insuring the same arrow position every time.

Apollo Tactical Compound Bow Package

As I said before, I am really impressed with the compound bow package from Apollo-Tactical. Because everything I needed was included, all I had to do was turn an Allen wrench a few times and I was out back shooting. Along with all the options already installed on the bow, the rest of the supplies came in a heavy duty hard case.

The Complete Package Includes

  • HIGH QUALITY HARD CASE
  • DETACHABLE QUIVER
  • 6 ALUMINUM ARROWS (Great for target practice)
  • 6 CARBON MIX ARROWS (Great for accuracy)
  • 6 FIELD TIPS
  • 6 BROAD HEAD TIPS
  • BOW STRING WAX
  • HEX KEY SET
  • EXTRA CASE LATCH
  • VELCRO WRIST STRAP ARROW RELEASE AID
  • 2 POINT BOW STAND

Conclusion

Shooting Compound BowThis is not your run of the mill compound bow, this a top of the line milled aluminum compound bow with all the bells and whistles included. This package has everything you need to hit the range or head out hunting.

This bow weights 4.5 lbs and includes adjustable draw length 19” to 30” (without bow press) and adjustable draw weight 15 Lbs to 70 Lbs (without bow press) sending arrows flying through the air at up to 320 FPS (Feet Per Second) making it ideal for any shooter.

The price might be a little intimidating at first, but if you add up what it would cost to purchase each item of similar high quality you would end up paying just as much if not more.

The mere convenience of getting everything you need without having to wait for 10 different packages to get shipped, and not having to deal with compatibility issues makes this fantastic package even better.

Remember, use the coupon code “grayman” (without quotes) at checkout to get $50 off this compound bow from Apollo-Tactical

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Air Filtration for Preppers RZ Masks VS N95 Masks

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Air Filtration for Preppers RZ Masks VS N95 MasksI have recently had the opportunity to try out one of the RZ masks from RZ Industries which are popular among motorcycle riders, ATV riders, hikers and even firemen. It got me thinking about how these also have an application in prepping, and would be great for our bug out bags.

Before I get into why I will be changing out the N95 masks in my bug out bags to RZ masks I want to explain what different masks and respirators do. Keep in mind that there are many more details about what different masks and filters do, but I am going to explain the basic processes here.

Mask vs Respirator

Respirator vs MaskThe main difference between a respirator and a mask is their intended use. Surgical masks are designed to protect you from airborne contaminants, as well as others from your airborne contaminants such as blood of saliva.

Respirators are better suited to protect you (the wearer) from the inhalation of airborne contaminants because of the air tight seal between the face piece and the face. The protection offered by either the mask or respirator also depends on the efficiency of the filter.

Let’s start with some of the reasons you might need this mask in the first place.

  • Wild Fires and Smoke Inhalation
  • Terrorism: Collapsed Building, Debris and Chemicals
  • Smog and Pollutants
  • Pandemics
  • Natural Disasters Causing Mold, Dust and Debris
  • Projects Around the Home. Woodworking, Cleaning Horse Pens, Painting and Insulation
  • Outdoor Activity’s Like Hunting, Motocross, ATV’s and Running.

Why the RZ Mask is Better Than the N95

While the N95 does have its place in your preps, and I will still be using them, I want to go over some of the benefits of adding a couple of these RZ masks to your preps.
Durability: N95 masks are 1 time use and can get damaged easily. Whether you wear the N95 for a half hour or 8 hours straight, once you’re done…it’s done. The RZ mask filters will last up to 60 hours depending on the exposure levels.

Because the RZ mask itself acts as a barrier to the filter, they are less likely to get damaged or wet. But if it does become damaged or past its lifespan, it can easily be replaced by removing the 2 breather valves.

Breather Valves: The 2 breather valves allow air to be expelled without letting air in. This comes in very handy if you wear goggles or glasses because they can (and do) become fogged up without them.

Bug Out Bags: The thing that was a huge selling point for me was how tailor made these are for bug out bags. The mask, pouch and extra filter weigh just 2.3 Ounces and easily folds to fit in a bug out bag, whereas N95 masks are dome shaped and can become crushed, decreasing their protective property’s.

Protection from the Elements: While the RZ masks true purpose is to filter air, it can also be used as protection from the elements and keep your face warm with or without the filter. The M1 version is made of neoprene, while the M2 model is mesh and might not do as well.

Huge Assortment: The RZ masks come in 3 different models, the M1 (33 Styles) the M2 (9 Styles) and the Mossy Oak (4 Styles) Here is what they say about the 3 different styles at the RZMask website.

M1 Model: M1 Neoprene offers a better fit for superior air filtration and cold-weather protection. The M1’s tough-duty Neoprene Material improves protection in wet and muddy conditions and is ideal for severe dust applications from Powersports to Construction to Agriculture. The M1 is your general purpose, tough-duty air filtration dust mask.

M2 Model: M2 Mesh is our lightweight mask for warm work and play applications. Perfect for riding in the desert or laying insulation in a hot attic. Improved airflow and increased breathability keeps your face cooler while delivering superior air filtration.

Mossy Oak Model: M1 Hunting Masks filter your exhale through Active Carbon filters for superior scent control. The Series consists of 4 official Mossy Oak® patterns for optimal concealment in a variety of hunting environments.

What This Mask Will Filter

The life expectancy of the RZ Filter (or any filter) depends on many variables, such as; particulate exposure density, particulate exposure duration, user breathing rate. With that said; below are their general guidelines.

  • 10-20 hours of continuous use in heavy dust exposure to Grain bins, Off-road, construction/demolition etc.
  • 30-40 hours of continuous use in light dust exposure to Grain Bins, off-road, construction/demolition etc.
  • 50-60 hours of continuous use when protecting against allergens, pollutions, odors etc
  • 60+ hours when used for cold weather protection

RZ Mask Carbon FilterThere are 4 types of filters to choose from, the F1 Filter Active Carbon, the F1-Hunting Filter Scentless Active Carbon, the F2 HEPA Filter and the F3 HEPA Active Carbon filters. These range in price from $6.95 to $12.95 (at the time of this article) for a 3 pack depending on the type of filter you need.

Conclusion

If you can find room in your budget, these in my opinion are a much better option than the N95 masks. The initial investment of the mask itself is the main cost, after that the filters themselves are not that expensive.

A 10 pack of NIOSH approved N95 masks will cost you around $15, so the cost of the RZ filters are really not that much more, and possibly less considering their durability.

Along with their storability and durability that makes these great for bug out bags, these are great to have around the house. I also do a lot of woodwork in the garage and I will be using mine while I’m sanding and doing finishing work.

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15 DIY Prepping Ideas to Learn New Skills

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15 DIY Prepping Ideas to Learn New SkillsWhen it comes to prepping there is no shortage of DIY ideas and projects that we can find. Let’s face it, if we spent money on all the products we wanted like food storage shelving units, long term food storage, solar generators, rocket stoves and sun ovens it would break the bank.

DIY prepping isn’t just about saving money or being cheap like I am, it’s also about learning new skills that might be useful if our lives get turned upside down and the resources we are used to are not available.

Last week I talked about why buying an older vehicle is not only good in the event of an EMP, but it also gives you an opportunity to do your own repairs on the vehicle, and gives you a better understanding about how everything works in the event that an auto mechanic is not an option.

Another example is the long bow I made in the past. I didn’t start this project to become an avid bow hunter, I did it to learn why and how it works like it does. Because of this long bow project, I have become more interested in archery, and who knows, maybe I will be that avid bow hunter someday.

At its core prepping is about becoming more self-reliant, and what better way is there to be less dependent on someone else, than to learn how to do it yourself.

DIY Prepping Resources

The odds are, if you have an idea and want to do it yourself, someone already has, and they have posted a video or written an article about it. There are a few options when it comes to finding information or directions for DIY prepping ideas.

Google it: You can always just type it into a search engine, but if you do be prepared to search through the good, the bad and the ugly. Everyone and their brother want to throw up a video (pun intended) about the DIY project they just did. Just make sure and do your research and don’t take bad advice. Just like going to the doctor…get a second opinion.

Prepper Website DIY: Todd over at Prepper Website publishes links to new preparedness articles every day, he also tags these articles and archives them into categories. When you go to Prepper Website and look to your right, you will see a button that says “Quick Links” just change that to “Prepping Topics” and you will see a huge list of tags. Here is the DIY category.

DIY Prepping on Pinterest: This is also another great resource for DIY prepping ideas. Pinterest is a place where can save articles you have found, or find some other people have found. Be careful though, it can be addictive. You can start by looking for DIY ideas, and an hour later you are looking at something totally different. Here is my board on DIY prepping, and here is a link to a Pinterest search on DIY Prepping.

15 DIY Prepping Ideas

In this week’s podcast Lisa and I talked about why DIY prepping is about more than just saving money, and also went over a few ideas that we had that you could try in order to learn some new skills.

SPP132 DIY Prepping Ideas

Altoids Survival Tins: These little survival tins are great to put in your car or carry in your bug out bag and can be made to fit your needs. You can make one for first aid supplies, fishing kits or just a general survival kit. The great thing about these, is they force you to look at what survival supplies you might need, and then transfer that to a larger scale kit.

DIY Solar Generator: You can buy one of the Goal Zero solar chargers if you like, or you can try your hand at making one yourself. I recently built a solar generator, and in the process learned quite a bit about how to harness energy. It’s much more than connecting a solar panel to a battery.

Paracord Projects: There is no end to what you can do with paracord, you can make bracelets, lanyards, wrap knives, make zipper pulls, make shoe laces and so on. The great thing about these projects is they help you keep your paracord under control. 100 feet of paracord can get tangled and hard to store once it’s out of the package.

Stoves (Rocket Stove, Tin Can Stove): We can buy a little Coleman stove (and probably should) but making a rocket stove or other DIY stoves will give us an idea about how the fuel, oxygen, fire process works. Someday our camp stove might not be available, so knowing how to make one might come in handy.

Food Storage Shelves: We are always looking for more ways to store our food and keep it organized, a great way to do this is to build some shelving. Doing this could give you extra useable space in closets or even shelves next to the refrigerator like I plan on doing in the near future.

Survival (Zombie) Weapons and Primitive Tools: Not all of us want to be mountain men or outdoors men or woman, but there every well could come a time in the future when primitive skills and tools will become necessary. what would you do if and when everything we have stockpiled is gone? Can we do without the technology we have today?

Shelter Building & Tying Knots: Right along with primitive skills goes shelter building. Not only do we learn about how to make the forces of gravity work for you and learn about how to use mother nature to your advantage, you also learn the proper way to tie knots. Learning how to tie different knots is not only valuable for building a sturdy shelter, it is valuable in everyday life.

Char Cloth and Other Fire Starters: Even though we probably have 10 Bic lighters laying around and in our bug out bags, it never hurts to know a few different ways to start a fire. As simple as char cloth is to make, it surprises me how many people don’t know how to make it.

Crisco Candles: this one is so simple it’s almost stupid. The odds are I would never need to do something like this, but as simple as it is its worth at least knowing how it’s done, all you need is some wick material, oil and a container. This can also be done with sardine cans or crayons.

Survival Food: With prepping being all about becoming more self-reliant it only makes sense to learn how to make and preserve food for survival. This can be something like making beef jerky, making your own survival food bars, learning to smoke meat or even making your own yogurt, cheese and Butter.

Food Storage Buckets: Here is another one where you can buy prepackaged food storage buckets, but for half the cost you can do it yourself. At first it can seem pretty complicated, but it really isn’t that hard to do. This article and podcast Lisa and I did goes through different food storage ideas, and how easy the 5 gallon bucket method really is.

Growing Your Own Food: Gardening and growing your own food includes a wide range of topics, and there are plenty of websites dedicated just to gardening. If you have the means, growing your own food will reduce your dependency on the food supply line because the supply line is from your yard to your kitchen. There are also other techniques you can learn like hydroponics and aquaponics.

Hunting and Butchering Meat: Along with gardening hunting or growing your own meat will also reduce your dependency on grocery stores. You don’t need to raise beef, you can raise rabbits, quail, chickens and other small game that don’t require much room. Raising your own meat is only the first part, then you need to clean and butcher it to eat.

Canning: If you are gardening or growing your own food you are going to need a way to preserve it. Canning is a great way to take the food you grew and preserve it for later when you need it most. Even if you don’t grow your own food, you can still buy in bulk and can it for your food storage.

Sewing: Because cloths are more readily available than any time in history, sewing is becoming a lost art. The truth is that if there ever comes a time when the cloths on our backs and the shoes on our feet are all that we have, we better know how to fix and mend them.

The Tip of the Iceberg

This list of 15 ideas is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to DIY prepping ideas. This article has even more that I didn’t mention here. Even if you try something and totally mess it up, just call it a learning experience and try again. After all, that’s what it’s all about, learning to fend for ourselves.

What DIY prepping projects have you done or plan on trying? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

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The Best Bug Out Vehicle: From Feet to 4 Wheel Drive

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The Best Bug Out Vehicle: From Feet to 4 Wheel DriveOver the past few weeks we have been going over what it takes to successfully bug out. The first week we talked about bug out planning and communication, and last week we talked about bug out location, supplies and resources that need to be considered.

This week Lisa and I talked about bug out vehicles and why the best bug out vehicle doesn’t mean owning a $600,000 Unicat Expeditionary Vehicle. The best bug out vehicle doesn’t necessarily need to be bullet proof and able to plow through road blocks. In my opinion, if you need that, you waited too long to get out of dodge.

A good bug out vehicle need to be a few things…

  • Reliable enough to get you where you are going without breaking down.
  • Affordable enough that you don’t break the budget.
  • And capable of getting you, everyone with you and your supplies where you want to go.

The reality is that even though we would like one of these Super Bug Out Vehicles, we don’t have the same budget the United States Military has. The best BOV (bug out vehicle) for us at this point in time might be the one you already have.

This article from ThePrepperJournal goes through some realistic bug out vehicles that you can actually afford, and also talks about some things you need to consider like where are you going? What are you taking? And who is going with you?

“In my mind a bug out vehicle has to be able to accomplish a few tasks to even make the running. Ideally we have a vehicle that you can use daily that can also hold its own if forced to be put into action to get you out of a hairy situation.”

SPP 131 Picking a Bug Out Vehicle

EMP Proof Vehicles

There is quite a bit of debate about what makes an EMP proof vehicle, and honestly it seems to me that we truly won’t know until that situation is thrust upon us. Some people say that you need something that was made before 1980 that doesn’t require electronic ignition, and some people have done studies that show some cars might not be affected by an EMP.

Even though it’s impossible to get a definitive answer on this, the reality is that an EMP that is strong enough could disable electronics and all the bells and whistles that come in the newer automobiles. A little later in this article I will go through my plan for this that is budget friendly, but is going to require some hands on work.

One other thing to consider is that an EMP proof vehicle won’t matter much if it runs out of gas, an EMP strong enough to disable an automobile will take out most of the infrastructure we depend on today. This is why storing fuel and maybe even purchasing a syphon to get fuel from abandoned vehicles is also important.

The Beater vs The Bugatti

As preppers we have the benefit of looking at the world differently than the average person. When thinking about buying a vehicle most people think about how pretty it is, we on the other hand don’t want it to be pretty because that makes us a target. Our main concern is (or should be) reliability.

While newer vehicles with less miles on them will be more reliable in the short term, if you put some time and effort into an older vehicle it can become just as reliable. Mabey it’s just me, but when I see an older vehicle I don’t see a pile of junk, I see a project and start thinking about what I could do with it.

Along with the increased chances of surviving an EMP, older vehicles are more budget friendly. For under a thousand dollars you can get an old Jeep, Dodge or Ford that no one else wants, put a thousand dollars into it, and have a reliable vehicle.

A couple more bonuses of older vehicles are that they are easier to work on, and you can modify them without destroying the resale value…because there is none. If you want to weld a snow plow to the front bumper or cut a hole in the roof to mount a turret, you can do it with an older “project” car without worry.

We all love the bells and whistles that come with newer automobiles. You push a button and the widow rolls down, you push a button and the doors unlock, but with all these conveniences come more possible complications.

Older vehicles are easier to diagnose and work on because they are simple. The more bells and whistles you have, the more modules, fuses and electrical components you have that cause problems that require computers to figure out.

If you open the hood of a vehicle made in the last 25 years, you can barely fit your hand in there. If you open the hood of an older vehicle, it almost seems like half the engine is missing because there is so much room to work.

Whether it’s the car you have now, or the project car you plan on getting, fuel mileage and capacity also need to be taken into account when picking a bug out vehicle. You need to make sure you have enough fuel to get you where you are going, and you need to be able to bring everyone and everything you want to your bug out location.

Other Bug Out Vehicle Ideas

Also in the podcast this week we talked about other options to think about when bugging out. Bug out vehicles are much more than the 4 tires beneath you, it can include trailers, ATV’s and even your feet.

Trailers: Pulling a trailer would give you a little more room for supplies, but it might also make you a target. We have our horse trailer that could be used to store supplies, but depending on the situation the horses might be coming, or might not.

Campers: We also have a popup camper that would be easy shelter, but again, that might make us a target. Another alternative is to have a bug out vehicle that is a camper. It’s a lot harder to steal an entire vehicle than hook a camper to a bumper hitch.

Boats: Depending on where you live, and where your bug out location is a bug out boat might be part 2 of your bug out plan. Having a bug out location that required a boat to get to would give you a little more separation from you and them.

ATV’s & Bikes: In last week’s podcast we talked about bugging out into the wilderness and how you might want to go further than the campgrounds. An ATV, motorcycle or even a mountain bike could allow you to park your vehicle and venture further away into seclusion.

Shoes: Regardless where you are going you need to take care of your feet. Having blisters or sore feet can incapacitate even the strongest person. Investing in a good pair of hiking boots is not talked about all that much, but it can be the difference between a perfect plan working, or a perfect plan failing.

Final Thoughts…

In this podcast series we talked about why you would even want to bug out, to how to do it. For the most part none of us want to, but it’s something that needs to be considered.

As much as I would love it, having one of the “Super Bug Out Vehicles” we see online is probably never going to happen, but having a plan and a beat up Ford is better than nothing.

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Bug Out Locations, Supplies & Resources

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Bug Out Locations, Supplies and ResourcesOver the next few weeks Lisa and I are going through all the steps of bugging out, and discussing why it’s more complicated than it seems on the surface. This week we are going over bug out locations, supplies and resources, and next week we will be talking about bug out vehicles, and why one might not be better than the other.

When we think about bugging out we tend to think about the most extreme situations, like a full blown economic collapse or war that leaves us no choice but to head for the hills. But in reality bugging out could mean something as simple as leaving your home for a few days or weeks.

With all the different variables involved with why you would bug out it’s impossible to create the perfect plan, but that’s why we plan for the worst, and hope for the best.

The Non Prepper Bug Out

Superdome and KatrinaIn this week’s show we started off by talking about what the average person who knows nothing about prepping would do in a bug out situation.

SPP130

We have seen a couple examples of this on the news. During hurricane Katrina people piled into the Super Dome where they were at the will of the authority’s and waited for help that never came. Here in Colorado a couple of years ago we had massive flooding that left people standing on the roofs of their homes waiting for rescue.

The non prepper doesn’t think like us and doesn’t plan like we do, yet it still leaves me with an uneasy feeling because it’s hard to tell what they will do in any given situation. Like the scenarios about, some people would probably stay in their homes until it was too late to leave, and so people would pack on the highways and head for where the help is supposed to be.

Let’s also not forget about the people who will be looking to take advantage of the situation by looting, robbing and getting whatever they can while the getting is good.

All of these are reasons we need to do the exact opposite of what a non prepper would do. While none of us want to leave our homes and our supplies, our lives and our wellbeing are worth much more than our stuff.

Bug Out Locations

How Many Bug Out Locations Do You NeedBefore we get into what you should bring with you we need to talk about some bug out location ideas, because where you go and how long you are staying need to be considered before you can pick the correct supplies to bug out with.

A bug out location is not just a fortified cabin in the hills, on top of a mountain, stocked with food, water and thousands rounds of ammunition. Although that would be nice, it’s just not feasible for most of us.

A Friend or Family Members House

Some situations just won’t require us to head out and become a refugee from society. An earthquake, flood or wildfire could leave your home severely damaged or destroyed, but it wouldn’t require packing up and heading out to the wilderness.

In a situation like this we all probably have some place we could go and feel welcome until we get back on our feet, and in some situations we might be that person who need to lend a helping hand.

On a side note, how great would this situation be to talk about why preparedness is so important to someone who looked at you like you were crazy when you brought it up in the past?

Live Like the Homeless

This is something we probably don’t like to think about, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility, especially if we have failed to prepare. There are actually quite a few things we can learn from the homeless because this is what they do on a daily basis…survive.

This situation would be cause by something larger than a natural disaster, and as preppers we know that trying to survive under a bridge in the city is probably a bad idea, there are some options we need to take into consideration.

Depending on the scenario there could be abandoned buildings or houses outside the city that we could use as a temporary bug out shelter. Just remember, the closer you are to people, the more likely you could find yourself in a dangerous situation.

Campgrounds and Wilderness Areas

We hear all the time about how just heading up to a campground is going to be a bad idea because everyone else will be thinking the same thing. While this might be true there are a few more options, and the people there are going to be easier to deal with than the average city slicker.

Even though these people will be hunters and fishermen, it doesn’t mean everything will be peaceful and polite. This is why I say if you have no other choice than to head to the hills, don’t stop at the campgrounds. There is a lot of open space in this country, and if we can find a secluded spot that has the resources we need, we will be better off than staying at a campground with everyone else.

In the podcast I talked about how I would be just like a deer in this situation, making sure I had food and water, but avoiding predators at all cost. In this case the predators would be people.

Becoming Part of a Prepper Group

This is a challenge for most of us, but it really could be our best bet if everything were to go sideways, we stand a much better chance for survival with a group rather than going it alone. This is a challenge because it can be hard to find the right people, and a group that is committed to prepping rather than it just being a hobby.

The right prepping group could set up a sort of community bug out location and rather than one person paying and doing everything the responsibilities could be split up. A good prepping group could also bring valuable skill set you don’t have, and the opportunity to plan and learn in advance if a SHTF situation.

Purchasing Land

If you have the means to do so this is also one of the best ideas for any bug out scenario. Purchasing land that would fit every one of your bug out criteria could end up being very costly, but if you do your homework it can be done.

Lisa and I went through quite a bit of detail about our process for purchasing property for our bug out location in podcast episodes 49 and 50. There were quite a few options we had to consider, some sacrifices we had to make and some resources the property had to have to make it worth it.

Bug Out Supplies & Resources

How Far Have You Walked With Your Bug Out Bag On?While there are many different supplies we need to take with us if we have the option, we can’t depend on those for our survival. The resources that are available at our bug out location are far more important. The supplies we can bring with us will be limited, but plentiful resources will last for years.

This goes for bugging out into the wilderness or bugging out to a family members house, the 5 areas of preparedness are critical to our survival.

5 Areas of Preparedness

These are Food, Water, Shelter, Security and Sanitation. Every single one of these need to be taken into account and have different meaning wherever you go.

If you were to go to a friend’s house to stay, food and water might just mean bringing a little extra with you to chip in. In a true bug out situation it might mean having fishing supplies and a water filter.

If You Have a Location

If you are one of the lucky ones, you have some property you can call your own and possibly store some supplies at that location before anything happens. Lisa and I talked about our process in episodes 49 and 50 of the podcast.

Because money was our biggest factor when purchasing land, we had to make some sacrifices, but there are some things the land had to have. It had to have water rights in order to put in a well, it had to have decent soil in order to grow food, and we had to have the option to build whatever we wanted on the property.

We also talked about what we wanted to keep up there and how safe it would be from theft. Because our budget is limited it is going to take us a while to build it up, and the last thing we want is to go up one weekend and see someone living there and eating our food.

How Long Can You Keep Going?

One important question to ask yourself is how long will you be able to sustain yourself if you do decide to bug out? The supplies we are able to bring with us should be considered a buffer between living like we do now, and becoming more self-reliant.

Setting Up Caches

This can be a tough one because with the amount of money we spend already on prepping supplies why would you want to bury them right? I have been reluctant about this in the past, but having a few extra supplies stashed away if I needed them would be a God send.

There are quite a few options available for building caches, like this one I built a while back, and these could be set up along your bug out route or in strategic places around where you live. Remember not to bury these on someone else’s property, and have a system in place to find them if you need to. The article I linked to above goes into more detail about this.

Learning Temporary Survival Techniques

I have written quite a bit about this in the past, and you have no doubt seen articles about wilderness survival everywhere. This is because these skills are important regardless of whether you are in an urban area, or a rural area.

Building shelter, starting a fire, foraging and hunting for food are all good skills to learn because the supplies you have with you could be stolen and are going to eventually run out. Here are a few article I have written about lost skills and survival skills…

10 Wilderness Survival Skills Everyone Should Know

Primitive Skills – So Easy a Caveman Can Do It

Lost Skills of the Past Could Be Our Future

Post Collapse Skills – What Do You Bring to The Table?

TFHT: Security Theater

(This is a 20 minute video, but it’s worth it…)

This week in tin foil hat time Lisa and I talked about Security Theater which is the process of making us feel more secure, but doing nothing to actually making us safer. Here are some examples and a great article I found at Schneier.com

The photo ID checks that have sprung up in office buildings. No-one has ever explained why verifying that someone has a photo ID provides any actual security, but it looks like security to have a uniformed guard-for-hire looking at ID cards.

The TSA and Airport-security, which only stops events that happened in the past and force the bad guys to look in a different direction. The National Guard troops were stationed at US airports in the months after 9/11, but their guns had no bullets.

The US color-coded system of threat levels which was recently “improved” in light of the San Bernadino terror attack is a great example of security theater. It does nothing for our security, but it gives us the feeling that the powers that be are on the ball.

In this video from Bruce Schneier he talks about the tradeoffs we make to feel more secure and whether it’s worth it. Living in a free country means our safety and security are always at risk. The more rights that get taken away in the name of security, the less free we are as a country.

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Why Bugging Out is More Complicated Than You Think

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Why Bugging Out is More Complicated Than You ThinkOver the next couple of weeks Lisa and I are going to dig deep into bugging out and everything that it involves. Having a good bug out plan is more complicated than you might think, and requires more than just having a full tank of gas and space in your trunk to put your bug out bag.

We already went through why you would want to bug out in the first place in this article, and the reason is pretty simple, because you might not have a choice. For most of us this is a worst case scenario because nobody wants to leave everything they have and basically become a refugee.

In that article I also added a video that is included in the bug out course at the Survivalist Prepper Academy that goes through what needs to be considered when you are doing your bug out planning such as…

  • Getting Family Together
  • Timing
  • Route Planning
  • Getting Separated
  • Avoiding Refugee Routes
  • Outside Communication
  • The Mob Mentality
  • Expect the Unexpected
  • And Be the Gray Man

Also included in the video is the process I use to plan my bug out route and some of the differences to think about if you live in an urban or suburban area vs a rural area.

SPP129 Why Bugging Out is More Complicated Than You Think

Before You go Anywhere

You might hear all the time about why bugging out just makes you a refugee and leaving everything you own is just insane. The reality is that like it or not you might not have a choice.

By definition it would make you a refugee, but with proper planning it wouldn’t be the vision we have in our heads of hundreds of people lined up to cross a border or enter a FEMA camp. The reason a good bug out plan is necessary is to avoid these situations at all costs.

Let’s take a look at some of the areas that need to be considered when formulating a good bug out plan.

The Realities of Bugging Out: We are going to face a lot more problems than we expect when we bug out, and depending on your situation you will have your own challenges. Our age, our health, our family makeup, our family’s health and finances will all play a role.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that this will be just like an extended camping trip. In reality it will be more like living like the homeless than camping.

No one really knows what this situation will look like because there are so many variables, from the degree of the disaster scenario, to your physical abilities and family makeup.

Timing: In the video I mentioned above I talked about how timing is critical. This is even more important in an urban area because your window of opportunity will be very small. Having as much information about how a situation is developing (or could develop) could give you valuable minutes to keep you one step ahead of the masses.

Planning and practice also decrease the time it would take to bug out because if you know what the process is, and you know where everything is, you won’t be running around like a chicken with your head cut off.

How Will Family Members React? We will talk about this a little more below but some preppers are the lone prepper of the household. If someone has plugged their ears anytime you mention prepping, the odds are they are going to freak out a little bit…or a lot.

Some people handle stress better than others, so as the lone prepper it’s up to you to figure out who is going to need more attention or help. The best case scenario would be that even though they didn’t want to hear anything about it, they did listen, and at least know the basics of bugging out.

What Obstacles Will You Face? While it’s impossible to know exactly what could put a kink in your plans thinking about the different possibility’s today will prepare you for if it does. Riots, road blocks (natural or manmade), marauders and weather could become hurdles you need to cross to get to your bug out location.

Always have a plan B, and Plan C. What would you do if a group of armed gunmen were blocking your route? What would you do if the road you planned on traveling was congested and impassible because of abandoned vehicles?

Plan on Setbacks: A well thought out game plan always looks good on paper, but rarely does it turn out that way. Murphy’s Law states “”Anything that can go wrong, will… at the worst possible moment.”

This is why it’s important to learn and think about everything we can about bugging out, even though a band of marauders might seem a little farfetched, it need to be given some consideration. As they say “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

Getting Unwilling Family Members to Listen?

Prepping – Getting Your Loved Ones On BoardOne of the questions I get all the time about bugging out and preparedness in general is “how do I get my family to listen?” Because everyone is different, and every relationship is different, there is no perfect answer for this.

In the podcast we talked about how to approach different people and different personalities about preparedness and the importance of not completely turning them off to the subject. I also wrote about getting your loved ones on board in the past.

Family Communications: Before, During and After

In today’s world, and as our children grow up, our families are rarely all in the same place at the same time. With the very real possibility of cell phone service being down or overloaded we need to have other means of communication.

Planning a rally point is especially important in the beginning stages of any disaster scenario because ham radio, GMRS and CB radios just don’t have the range to communicate over long distances.

These radios will come in handy on your bug out route though. For instance, if you have a group traveling in 3 separate cars you can communicate with each other if you get separated.

They will also come in handy at your bug out location. You will have people out foraging or hunting, have people out checking the perimeter, or have people out looking for supplies. Being able to communicate is important for safety reasons as well as efficiency reasons.

Practice Makes Perfect…Probably Not

As I said before, practice is crucial to your success, but don’t expect everything to go perfectly, as a matter of fact practice what you will do if your plan falls apart. Practice may not make perfect, but the more we practice bugging out, the better our chances.

Lisa and I also discussed in the podcast the challenge of practicing if you are the only one in the house who feels it’s important. This is definitely a tough situation, and even if you can’t get them to practice on a regular basis, once or twice is better than nothing.

Tin Foil Hat Time: FEMA Camps

In the tin foil hat time segment we talked about why FEMA camps could quickly get turned into detention camps and why we want to avoid them at all costs.

As preppers we have the benefit of knowing exactly how this will turn out, and while the sheeple will be piling in waiting for help to come, we will be helping ourselves.

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Bug Out Planning and Evasion

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Bug Out Planning and EvasionLet’s face it, there is a very small percentage of us that want to even think about bugging out, we have all our supplies in our home, we feel comfortable there and our family knows exactly where we are.

So why would we ever even think about bugging out?

The reality is that although unlikely it’s becoming more and more possible that something disastrous could happen on U.S. soil that would make bugging out necessary.  Here are a few ideas about why bug out planning and evasion are important that I can think of off the top of my head…

The president decided to stay in office: I know quite a few people think this is completely outrageous, but it is possible, even presidential hopeful Ben Carson thinks so. This could happen if the current president decided that conditions were too volatile to have an election and postpone it…do you think he would? He has shown time and time again he will do whatever he wants.

Natural disasters: Hopefully a natural disaster would not be very long term and your options would not be as limited. Bugging out could mean going to a relative’s house for a few weeks or living in a hotel. If this were an earthquake or massive flooding it could mean much longer.

Nuclear disaster: This doesn’t just mean if someone decided to drop a bomb on U.S. soil, this could mean a meltdown at a nuclear power plant. Along with nuclear disasters there are other manmade disasters that could cause you to bug out like long term power outages or even the food and gasoline supply lines getting disrupted.

Economic collapse: You might think that the last thing you would want to do in an economic collapse would be to bug out, but if you pay rent or mortgage and don’t have the means to pay, you might not have a choice. This is why it’s important to get our personal affairs in line now while we still can.

Civil unrest: This could be cause by many different factors including all of the above, if your neighborhood becomes too dangerous you will have to make the choice to fight, or live to fight another day.

SPP128 Bug Out Planning and Evasion

Bug Out Planning and Scenarios

In order to be properly prepared we need to look at every possibility even if it’s something we don’t even want to think about. If we do this, we are no better off than the sheeple who have their heads buried in the sand ignoring the problems that are standing right in front of them.

In the video below I go through what we need to keep in mind when we think about bugging out, how bugging out is different for urban, suburban and rural settings and my technique for planning a bug out route.

Bug Out Planning

Getting Family Together: Thinking about what we would do ourselves is one thing, but getting the family together is an important part of bug out planning. If your family members are in different parts of the state, you will need to have a plan to get everyone together and on the same page.

Timing is Everything: Depending on where you live, the disaster scenario and the threats in your area timing is going to be critical. If you leave too late the roads could be packed and danger could be everywhere. In a suburban area you might have a little more time, but in an urban area it’s important to make quick decisions.

Plan on Getting Separated: Everything we do when we plan our bug out route is to keep everyone together, but if we don’t have a plan for when we get separated it could throw a monkey wrench into our plans.

Avoid Refugee Routes: An integral part of bug out planning is planning where you are not going to go. The last thing you want to do is think you are safe, turn the corner and be right in the middle of a riot or run into a dead end. We also talk about avoiding highways and other funnel points in the video.

Outside Communications: Your options are going to be limited in most scenarios, but we need to think about every option we might have available to get information about what is going on and where it is happening.

The Mob Mentality: During a disaster most people lose every brain cell they have in their head and will do things they normally wouldn’t do because everyone else is. This could also be called the herd mentality because when people can’t figure out what to do, they look to see what others are doing.

Expect the Unexpected: Even the best laid out plans fail so expect to have to make some decisions on the fly. A road you have traveled every day of your life without problems could be blocked the one day you really need to get through. Expect Murphy’s law to be in full affect in situations like this.

Be the Gray Man: The best way to get out of a dangerous situation is to fly under the radar. Being the grey man basically means being as unnoticeable and unremarkable as possible. You don’t wear cammo in the city, and you don’t wear a 3-piece suit in the country.

Planning Your Route

In the middle of this video I showed the 3 tier approach I use to plan a bug out route. This might not work for everyone, but it will give you an idea how it works.

Planning ahead can help you avoid dangerous areas in your route as well as helping other members of your family (or team) meet up with you in the safest area possible.

Bugging Out: Urban, Suburban and Rural

Finally, at the end of the video I talked about some of the differences in bugging out you will need to think about depending on where you live.

In an urban area you might know nothing about the people that live on the same block as you and your window of opportunity is going to be much smaller than someone who lives in a suburban area and might have better relationships with their neighbors.

Hopefully this video gives you some ideas about bug out planning and the differences to look for when you are making your individual plan.

If you have any other ideas leave a comment below…

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Interview With Sara Hathaway Author of Without Land

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Interview with Sara Hathaway Author of without land

This week Lisa and I had the pleasure of welcoming back Sara to the podcast. Sara was on a little while back talking about her book Day After Disaster and this time she was here to talk about her new book Without Land as well as a few other subjects including leadership skills.

We also talked about gun control laws in the tinfoil hat time segment of the show and you can watch that video below…

SPP127 Interview With Sara Hathaway Author of Without Land

I didn’t read the book yet but Lisa did, and here is what she has to say about it…

So I had the pleasure of reading Sara F. Hathaway’s latest book, Without Land, and it was incredible! If you are just getting into preparedness, or you have been doing it along time, you would do yourself a favor by giving yourself a break and taking the time to read this book. You might learn a thing or two.

If you have read Day After Disaster (Sara’s first book) you are already familiar with her characters. The story takes place 9 years after the big quake annihilated California, and creates a very realistic look of what a future after an SHTF scenario could be like.

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to live in a FEMA camp, read this book.

If you have ever wondered how you would react in the event of an ultimate collapse of our great nation, read this book.

If you have ever thought about what it would be like if all luxuries, and modern conveniences were gone, or not in your control, read this book.

If you want a fast paced story with a really interesting twist in the end, read this book!

Many of the characters that Sara created in her first book are back, 9 years later. She gives us a glimpse into their lives, and we get a front row seat to every dilemma they are faced with and how they handle themselves in those situations.

I think one of the best things about her book is it is easy to insert yourself into the place of the characters, and it makes you think about how would you react if that situation presented itself for you? What would you do?

I don’t like giving spoilers about the story, so I’m sorry, I won’t tell you what happens, but I will tell you this book is definitely worth your time.

So buy the book for yourself, or family and friends that show an interest in prepping. You still have time to get it, and will have a really thoughtful gift for someone special, as well as supporting a very talented writer.

Make sure and head over to Sara’s website and have a look at everything she is up to.

Leadership Skills

In today’s show we also talked about why leadership is important in any prepping group whether that group is formed now, or out of necessity because of a SHTF scenario. Leadership is more than telling people what to do and bossing them around, leadership is more than being “the boss.”

Leadership doesn’t necessarily mean leading the entire group, there will be the need for leaders in subsets of the group as well as the main leader. Just like in the corporate world the boss will pick a few managers that need to lead the people below them.

Leadership Style: There isn’t one kind of effective leader, and being “the boss” does not make you a good leader. A good leader can be straight forward and by the book, or a good leader can be more empathetic. Regardless of their leadership style they will be able to get the most out of the people surrounding them.

Delegation: A good leader also knows that they can’t do everything themselves. Knowing how to use the resources around them and putting the right people in the right places is critical to any groups success. A leader cannot be effective if they are being pulled in 10 different directions.

Parts of the Machine: A good leader understands that in order for an engine to run correctly everyone has their role to play, a good leader should be able to not only find the best fit for everyone in the group, but know how to get the most out of them.

Lead by Example: A leader needs to be willing and able to perform any task that they are asking of others and demonstrate the willingness to do so. This doesn’t mean they need to be the best at everything, it just means they show the willingness to get their hand dirty and be part of the team.

A good listener: In order to be a good leader you need to listen to what the group is saying, this is a problem I believe our country faces today. If you show the unwillingness to change or the unwillingness to admit another way might be better, a leader runs the risk of losing the faith of the group or dividing it.

Tin Foil Hat Time

This week in the tin foil hat time segment of the show Lisa and I talked about what the country would look like if everyone owned a gun and carried on a daily basis. This seems a little extreme on the surface, but not any more extreme than trying to disarm the entire counter.

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A Preppers Food Storage: One Sizes Does not Fit All

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A Preppers Food Storage One Sizes Does not Fit AllWhen it comes to a preppers food storage, one size does not fit all. We all have certain limitation whether that be financial or storage space. Our list of what we feel like we need to have, and our list of what we actually have can be to entirely different things.

Storage space is something we can overcome with a little critical thinking, but not having the funds for food storage can put a kink in our preparedness plans.

In this article we are going to go over a few of the different methods of storing food, and not wasting money on food because of improper storage or loss caused by expiration.

Saving Money on Your Food Storage

Store What you Eat: You probably hear this all the time, but if you don’t want to waste money on food storage it is good advice. If your family doesn’t like peas, just because canned peas are on sale doesn’t mean you should buy them. A good deal can turn into wasted money down the line.

Keep in mind that some sacrifices will have to be made, refrigerated foods and foods with short shelf lives will not be around for long in a disaster situation. There are some alternatives that we will go over below, but nothing beats the real thing.

Make a list of what foods you eat all the time, the foods you eat occasionally and the foods you rarely eat.

Proper Food Rotation: Everyone has their own method of doing this, but I can tell you from experience that the more food you store the harder it is to keep track of. This is especially true for canned goods because they tend to hide in the back corners of your cabinets.

I usually do inventory twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring, as well as trying my best to keep everything rotated the whole time. I use this worksheet  that you can download that helps me keep track of what I have, what I need and what I need to use soon.

First in First Out: The way I recommend rotating your food storage is just like the grocery stores do it, first in, first out. This can be a little easier said than done because the more food you store the more complicated rotation becomes.

Canned goods are especially hard to keep rotated, but you can make it a little easier on yourself if you buy a couple of these can organizers. There are even quite a few DIY ideas that you can use.

Food Storage Shelf Lives: Food doesn’t have to have a shelf life of 25 years to make it good for storage, foods that have a shelf life of less than a year can be ok for food storage as long as it’s properly rotated.

How you store your food is just as important as rotation, this article explains how to properly store foods for maximum shelf life, and this article explains the shelf life of some common foods.

Look for Bargains: Once you know which foods you want to store the most of, and you have your inventory system figured out you can start to look for sales or bargains on that food. Most people wouldn’t see the point of buying 15 cans of corn when they are on sale, but as preppers this fits perfectly into our plans.

Lisa and I recently did a podcast with Traci about prepping and couponing. We also talked about some other ways to save money prepping in that show like using Ebates when you make purchases online.

Different Food Storage Methods

When it comes to prepping and food storage, one size does not fit all, we all have different limitations and different reasons for prepping. Some people just don’t have the space to store 5 gallon buckets, and some people might not even want to.

There are quite a few food storage methods to choose from, and it doesn’t need to be one or the other. Lisa and I have a little of everything listed below.

Pantry Foods

Pantry foods are what you buy at the grocery store every week that don’t require refrigeration. Canned goods, Boxes meals, spaghetti, cereal and even cured meats are all shelf stable.

Canned goods are labeled with a “best by date”, not an “expiration date” and depending on who you ask, can last quite a bit longer than the date listed. I have eaten Spam and sloppy joe sauce that was well past its expiration.

Prepackaged Long Term Food

There are quite a few long term food storage companies to choose from and we sell Legacy foods at the SHTFshop.com. The main benefit I find from long term food is the “set it and forget it” factor. If properly stored you don’t need to worry about rotating these long term foods once or twice a year.

With Legacy foods you can also get a little more variety than you would making everything from scratch from 5 gallon buckets, and companies like Auguson Farms and Honeyville have products like powdered milk and eggs that would be hard to store otherwise.

Like I said earlier we don’t rely on one food storage method, we store a little of everything on this list. Having some prepackaged long term food is a good starting point as you work your way up to some of the DIY food storage techniques.

DIY 5 Gallon Buckets

You have no doubt heard or seen the 5 gallon bucket method, and it really isn’t as complicated as it looks. It only takes 4 things to store food in 5 gallon buckets, the buckets, Mylar bags, oxygen absorber’s and the correct food.

I say the correct foods because some foods last longer than others, and some need to be stored differently than others. This article from Prepared Housewives explains 5 gallon buckets in more detail.

Lisa and I are also in the process of adding a Prepping Crash Course at the Survivalist Prepper Academy and we will be going through food storage as well as first aid, water storage and threat assessment.

Other DIY Food Storage

There are also quite a few other DIY food storage ideas to choose from like Canning, meal Jars, Medium term storage and Dehydrated food. Some of these can be pretty involved, and some of these are pretty easy to learn.

Canning might take you a little longer to learn because of the techniques and supplies, but putting together freezer meals or meals in jars are a little easier. My suggestion is to pick something you might be interested in, give it a try and see how it goes, but don’t try everything all at once because it might be too much to handle.

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Unique Prepper Gifts for Christmas and Holidays

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Unique Prepper Gifts for Christmas and HolidaysI have to admit, I love this time of year. Not only because it is a perfect opportunity to score some prepping supplies for Christmas, or a great opportunity to get someone interested in preparedness, but the fact that we are able to celebrate holidays like these means everything is “so far so good”

While I’m not much for the stress and planning that leads up to the holidays it is a reminder of why we do what we do. The reason most of us prepare is to keep our family and loved ones safe, and while that in itself is a gift, sometimes people just need a gift or a thankyou that is meant only for them.

On a selfish note, any opportunity to stock up on a few extra supplies and not have to pay for it is a win win in my book, although it usually all come out of my bank account anyway…but that’s beside the point.

This is not a list of the typical prepping supplies like fire starters and flashlights. I tried to think about some unique gifts that preppers might not have, and even if they do, we preppers can never have too many of one item. 2 is 1 and 1 is none right?

SPP125 Prepper Gifts for Christmas

In the podcast (and video) Lisa talked about some DIY gift ideas for preppers and non preppers alike. In this article she wrote a while back “The Gift of Giving Preparedness” she has some great ideas.

EDC Jacket

EDC JacketI found these at ScotteVest.com and they have a wide variety of hoodies and jackets for men and women. The price can be a little high (between $70 and $300) but this is not your average jacket. They also sell some accessories that preppers like me would love.

Titan Paracord

Titan-SurvivircordI have done a review on Titan SurvivorCord in the past and this is a must have for any preppers bug out bag. Preppers love multi use items, and this 550 paracord includes fishing line, jute twine and copper wire. You can watch that video here.

Tactical Pens

Uzi Tactical Defender PenThese are not lifesaving survival tools, but they could be. One of the reasons I like these tactical pens so much is that it’s my pen! Pen’s easily get lost around the house because everyone uses them and rarely put them back where they got them, but I always know where my tactical pen is.

Hidden Gun Shelf

Hidden Gun CabinetYou have no doubt seen these here and there on the internet, I have even done a review on one of them here. These are great to have because the average person would have no idea what is hidden inside.

In the podcast we mentioned a friend of Survivalist Prepper that makes these and offers them for quite a bit cheaper than other online retailers. Here is his video and here is his Facebook page if you want more information.

BOB First Aid Kit

Bug OUt BAg First Aid KitWhen you talk about unique gifts for preppers this is one of them. This 43 piece kit is perfect for cars, travel and bug out bags and comes in a waterproof pouch, and comes with a free Credit Card Knife. Have a look at the SHTFShop.com for more information on these.

EDC Kit

Everyday Carry KitThis is also something we sell at the SHTFShop.com. I made this kit for myself because I hate having my pockets loaded down with everything I wanted to carry on a daily basis. People loved this so much that I decided to put them up for sale.

Solar Shower

Solar ShowerA shower might not be a top priority when the S hits the fan, but it will be eventually. Again, not a life saving tool, but sanitation is very important and no one wants to take a cold shower. A Solar Shower can also be used on other situations where warm water is needed.

Prepinstein Paracord Belt

Prepinstein Paracord BeltEric at Preppinstein Designs sent me one of these belts a while ago and I love it! This belt includes a survival kit on the tip of the belt and is made of around 100ft of 550 paracord and just twine. The tight weave makes the belt stiff and strong to hold your pants up regardless of how much stuff you cram in your pockets. Have a look here.

Solar USB Chargers

USB Solar ChargerThese are great gifts for preppers and non-preppers alike, I can’t keep these away from my daughter. These range in price from about $10 to about $50 so having a few of these around is not a bad idea. Even if your not getting cell service, you might have some important information stored on your phone or tablet.

Rechargeable Headlamp

Rechargeable Head LampI can’t say enough how convenient a good headlamp is. If you’re working on a car, performing first aid or doing anything that requires the use of both hands the last thing you want is to hold a flashlight in your mouth.

Folding Camp Stove

Foldable Pocket CookerThere are quite a few different designs available when it comes to portable camps stoves, and even some DIY ideas, this one is a Foldable Pocket Cooker for around $20. To me these are more of a survival convenience than a survival need, but I need (want) one anyway.

Sawyer Mini

Sawyer Mini Water FilterThere is a lot of debate between the LifeStraw and the Sawyer Mini but my vote goes to the Sawyer because not only does it filter down to 0.1 microns, but it also filters 100,000 gallons of contaminated water compared to Lifestraws 264 gallons.

Rat- 5 Fixed Blade Knife

RAT-5 KnifeA while back I was looking for a high quality knife but I didn’t want to pay the $140 for an ESSE 4. What I found was the ESSE was formerly Rat Cutlery (Randall Adventure Training) and while these are manufactured by the Ontario Knife Company the design and materials are the same. This RAT-5 Runs about $70.

Berkey Sport or Go Berkey

Go Berkey Berkey SportA Go Berkey is a smaller version of the full sized Berkey and the kit also comes with a Berkey sport for around $150. The Berkey Sport runs about $20 by itself. The Berkey Sport is great for hiking, camping or bug out bags.

Canning Kit

water bath canning kitI got Lisa this water bath canning kit which (includes all the accessories) last year and she loves it. You will not be able to can foods that you would with a pressure canner, but it’s a great way to get someone started in canning.

Junk Silver

JUnk Silver CoinsJunk silver is great because it doesn’t cost as much as gold and is easily purchased online. Junk silver refers to pre-1965 circulated silver dimes, quarters, and half-dollars that are comprised of 90% silver and 10% copper.

Israeli Bandages

Israeli BandagesThis is an item that some preppers might not have in their first aid kit. These battle dressings have many different applications and you don’t need to be a surgeon to learn how to use them. This video explains how to use them.

Night Vision

Night Vision MonocularThis is still on my wish list because with everything else that I need to become prepared a night vision monocular has not made it to the top of my list…yet! The price for quality night vision binoculars or monocular can be a little expensive too.

Survival Seed Vault

Survival Seed VaultCould you feed your family from your garden if you had to? This emergency survival seed vault was created to serve that very purpose. With a large selection, this seed bank contains 20 varieties of easy-to-grow heirloom Non-GMO vegetable seeds. All seeds are packaged in jumbo-sized triple-layered foil packets.

The Preppers Stocking Stuffers

Here are a few other gifts that and small and low cost that you can put in a preppers stocking.

Prepinstein Micro Fire Key Ring

Micro Fire Key RingHere is another item from Preppinstein Designs, but this only costs $10. This Micro Fire Key Ring is made with 550 paracord, fire cord, ferro rod, key ring and scraper. Not only can these be used for key rings, they can be used as zipper pulls on your bug out bag.

Wartech 8″ Tactical Folding Knife

Wartech 8 Tactical Folding KnifeFor under $10 you can get a Wartech 8″ Tactical Folding Knife isn’t the best knife in the world, but for the price might be a good stocking stuffer for the kids or anyone learning about using a knife. This is not something that I would want to depend on, but you always want backups for your backups.

Battery Charge Checker

BT-168D Battery Charge CheckerI am actually a little surprised at how many people don’t have one of these. With all the batteries we need to have, and how easily the old can get mixed with the new, these are a great way to figure out what is trash and what is not. This BT-16B battery checker is only a couple of dollars.

Survival Card Games

urban survival playing cardsYou have probably heard about Conflicted the card game, but there are quite a fe