Weather: The Natural Disaster Maker

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Capt. Dennis. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


One of the most fascinating subjects I had to study for a captain’s license was weather forecasting. Back in the late 70s there was no Weather Channel with satellite photos or live radar images to rely on. We had to learn to forecast weather by observing the sky, our surroundings, and recording the change in the barometric pressure. Wind speed is deduced by how it affects objects around us. Offshore, we could look at the wave tops to judge the wind velocity. On land we observe tree branches, weeds, or grass.

When I first started studying weather forecasting, I had several good books on the subject with a pocket weather guide the easiest reference to carry around. A guide helps with determining the different cloud formations and the type weather that would be associated them. Periodically logging, every ½ to 1 hour, the changing barometric pressure in association with the clouds added another layer to the forecast. Next was the direction and speed of the wind. Subsequently, by recording the rise or fall of the barometric pressure over time, the wind direction and speed, and the cloud formations, a forecast would come together. It is important to note that low pressure systems will produce much more wind with unstable weather conditions, where high pressure systems produce milder, more unchanging conditions.

C. Crane CC Pocket AM FM and NOAA Weather Radio with Clock and Sleep Timer

When I first started watching the Weather Channel, in the mid-90s, they focused totally on reporting the weather. If and when some storm or weather event was happening, then they sent people out into the field to cover it. Back in the studio, a meteorologist would analyze the conditions as the weather progressed. That was great for me, because I seeing what I had been studying for the past 20 years and witnessing just how far weather forecasting had advanced.

Today, as I begin my studies on prepping, I realize the importance of knowing some basic weather forecasting. After all, the worst natural disasters in America are weather related. Therefore, understanding what effects weather will have on most any disaster is of a primary concern.

Observing a wildfire, we predict how the wind and humidity affects the speed at which the fire spreads. When a chemical spill or explosion occurs, the weather will determine areas in danger from the fallout. Understanding basic weather principles helps when considering how heavy rainfall may affect a local dam or roadways. Other factors help us predict foggy conditions, hail, ice, or snow. A summer stable high pressure area tends to produce heat waves, which are the number one cause of weather related fatalities in the U.S. Here in Texas, we know all about heatwaves and droughts.

The worst disasters in America are weather related.

The worst disasters in America are weather related.

Predicting the effects of the changing weather around us, gives us the ability to prepare for it. Once the SHTF and we are left to our own instincts, the weather will be a major factor affecting our survival. Subsequently, here are some questions to think about.

  • The Weather Channel will be able help until the electricity goes out, then what?
  • Do you have an emergency weather radio; one with a hand crank or solar cells?
  • What about weather (wx) broadcast on Short Wave, AM, or HAM radio?
  • Where do you find the frequencies that broadcast weather info and at what time they transmit?
  • What about a small handheld anemometer that also displays barometric pressure?
  • A pocket guide to weather forecasting stored in your prepping gear?

All these questions are easily solvable.

As an example of local awareness, here along the Gulf Coast of Texas, we get tropical fronts in the Spring and Summer. The warm, humid Gulf air is drawn inland to the mid-Atlantic states. Cool fronts descend on this area as the jet stream comes south and the cool dry air meets the warm humid air and a front develops. Low pressure systems have a counter-clockwise rotation and high pressure rotate clockwise. Low pressure systems tend to move rapidly where high pressure will remain stationary for some extended period of time. High pressure tends to steer low pressure. Lifelong residents on the Gulf Coast know all about hurricanes and flooding and they both are associated with high and low pressure systems.

Topography also plays a huge part in how weather will affect a geographic location. Learn the local weather patterns for the different seasons of the year where you live or plan on heading when bugging out. Knowing the local weather patterns and having a basic understanding of the weather, you will be surprised at how easy you can forecast the weather. Discerning the wind speed and direction, cloud formations, and barometric pressure, you will have all the data you need at your figure tips. The data is not that difficult to collect.

Use your field guide to classify the clouds and for a reference. Purchase a small, portable, digital weather station to obtain wind speed and pressure data called an anemometer, which are readily available at a nominal price. Also, a compass to record wind direction, a good mechanical pencil, and a waterproof note pad to log readings every hour or 1/2 hour, depending on the situation. Thus, for a small investment, you can have the tools for forecasting the weather in your bug out bag. What I use cost less than a good hunting knife and takes up about the same space. I carry them when I go out shooting pictures or go to the beach just to practice. If you fish, a small weather station would be an excellent tool to forecast the quality of fishing and a good excuse to buy one.

Having some basic weather forecasting knowledge could be the difference in knowing when to seek shelter from a rapidly approaching front, or getting caught off guard trying to shelter after it hits. Weather related incidents cause the worst disasters in the U.S. Many times, just by having a basic understanding of the weather, how it is going to affect your community, and what you need to do for shelter, could save a lot of lives. Make the investment in inexpensive, easy to understanding weather forecasting tools and learn how to use them. It is an enjoyable way to gain one more step toward being better prepared when the grid goes down.

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The Tactics of a Gunfight After SHTF

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Kirk Reynolds. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


Looking around I couldn’t find an important piece of information – how one should fight in a SHTF situation. I think this is an important topic to cover because it has several special circumstances that need to be considered.

  1. Ammo will need to be conserved – I don’t care how many rounds you have saved up, it won’t be enough and the long-term of a complete collapse of society (potentially 40+ years) means that from the get go every single shot will be precious.
  2. Due to the fact that it is almost a certainty that combatants will be intensely familiar with the area and possibly have been residing for a long period of time it rather changes the mechanics of combat.
  3. Due to limited manpower and the fact that any attrition will be felt heavily, patrols, night combat, and outposts will be nigh impossible to field with regularity.
  4. Expanding on the above, most medication has a limited shelf life and even minor wounds will start to become quite threatening (increased risk of disease and infection) – Medication will run out fast.

With that in mind, let us analyse why tactical considerations are always important and what style of fighting we will have to adopt. Due to the fact that ammo will always be a luxury, modern tactics which rely on the idea of expending more ammo in a gunfight at the foe over men or positioning is obviously not possible.

Now – every weapon you should use should focus on stopping power, the smallest cartridge in your arsenal should be 6.5mm (handguns excluded). Whilst 5.56 has good aerodynamics and is plentiful it simply is designed to suppress whilst a mortar, grenade, or artillery piece does the killing – it simply isn’t designed with taking down man-sized targets with minimal rounds (I have heard anecdotes of anywhere between 5-15 torso shots on an adrenalized up foe before they go down).

With that out-of-the-way – let us look at the overall thought process and things to identify before you engage in any situation.

  1. Manpower: Who has more bodies at their disposal – do they look weak and ill-trained or are their movements/positions well thought out and the men (and women!) well fed? Are they all moving armed or do they have the luxury of people dedicated to guard duties?
  2. Armament: What weapons are they using – are they rusted and in ill repair? Can you identify if they are carrying enough ammo for everyone to fight adequately?
  3. Maneuver: Who is in the better position? – do they have a path of pursuit and escape, do they have a height advantage? Importantly are they defending something valuable (like a base or stash)? If so you may have the luxury of being able to attack at will, the same thing goes if you are on the defensive.

From these 3 guidelines a threat level can be deduced, obviously there will be some situation where one advantage is so great that it will offset disadvantages – this is a rough guideline. If they check off none, then you are probably in a position to utilize a diplomatic approach and join groups. If they check off one of 3 then you should approach with caution, maybe attempt to surround them at night and make your intentions clear – again diplomacy may be the best decision here. If they check two of three than combat should be avoided until you are in a position to use your advantage to overwhelm them (attacking at night, in an ambush, etc). Do not attempt diplomacy at this threat level as you will not be in a position to make a fair deal and all emphasis should be placed on evening the odds or avoiding the threat. Finally if they check off all three do not engage at all, the goal is survival not heroic death and if worst comes to worst retreating completely or surrendering goods is preferable to a bullet in the brain. They still are people and unless you are absolutely sure that they are completely hostile they may be willing to work with you.

Now with the overall threat assessment done we may now talk about the five stages of combat (Recce, Skirmish, Combat, Push/Withdraw, Decisive Blow/Total Withdrawal).

RECCE

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” – Sun Tzu

Recce is often the most overlooked stage of combat but it is BY FAR the most important. Recce is the mode of thought that you should be on at all times, dispatching a scout if possible and identifying incoming threats. The more focus you place on recce the more forewarning you will have as to inbound threats, and more time to prepare/evacuate. Obviously you will be unable to have a complete recon net due to limited supplies but any extra hands should be trained for recce and dispatched when possible.

This is where you will identify your enemies capabilities on your threat checklist and decide whether to choose engagement/diplomacy/retreat. Just to outline how vital this is, 90% of a good tactician’s skill is how the deploy and utilize information from recce, with the other 10% being a good leader with good interpersonal skills and the ability to keep cool under pressure.

SKIRMISH

This is where you action your initial decision on engaging the enemy, it is the period where hostilities have begun but you are not locked into a fight. This will be the period where you harry the enemy with traps and marksman to attempt to pick off men before you attack or they reach your designated point of defense (usually your fortifications).

Some skirmishes may only last a minute or two and some may be the entire fight, note that your main focus should be leaders and sensitive targets (heavily armed fighters and if possible, medics). The goal of this will be to break your enemies organisation and morale when combat begins – that being said…

COMBAT

This will be the time when individual training counts. Communication will be close to impossible in this brief period and this is where the most casualties will be sustained – though despite this being the most calamitous point of a fight it will be the least important for you as the person in command. Your main role will be encouraging your men and stopping any obvious screw-ups.

What you should be watching closely is the movement of combat, are you making good progress towards your goal or are you sustaining casualties – are there hostile elements that you were unaware of?

Before I make my next point the thing to keep in mind is that in a ‘battle’ there may be multiple combats, intensive fighting between periods of skirmish, pushing, and retreat.

PUSH/WITHDRAW

This is as much a phase of combat as it is its own separate action, and the commands will have to be executed well and especially in the case of a withdrawal you need pre-planned points to ensure cohesiveness.

Really the most that can be said of pushing is that your enemy has begun to break or have thinned enough that they can no longer maintain the area their position demands, as I would expect almost all combatants to be ill-trained this will almost certainly result in a decisive victory as the enemy breaks completely.

However, keeping your men together in the case of a withdrawal is another issue. The things to watch out for: can you retreat to your designated point safely (if you have one – keep in mind most defense should take a multi layered approach), do you have enough manpower left to pursue another attack, is the enemy willing to pursue or are they holding position. If it is the latter the combat may switch to a skirmishing stance again.

TOTAL WITHDRAWAL/ DECISIVE BLOW

Decisive blow: Your enemy has completely shattered, this is the period encompassing cleaning up resistance before taking stock of supplies and beginning the process of recce again – re-assessing.

Total Withdrawal: This comes about one of two ways – Your force has broken and are fleeing in a blind panic, or it is (hopefully) an organised retreat to put some distance between yourselves and the enemy combatants and re-asses. You will again need to survey the situation and determine the next point of action for your group.

Something to note – Overall your group should always be prepared for a total retreat, even an easy fight could be a ruse and you always need to be prepared to move and maintain as many supplies as possible.

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Mechanical Gun Safes – Bedside Pistol Safe

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Journal’s Writing Contest today.


In this conversation, we’re discussing pistol safes for use in a defensive situation where everything’s on the line.

I imagine myself in a scenario where I’m woken up by a bump in the night. Likely taking place in the wee hours of the morning. An uninvited guest decides to bless me with their presence and take what they please. When my life is threatened, I’d confidently respond with a Glock® 17 and the necessary amount of Speer +P Gold Dots. Now, to get this out of the way. I have a love for all things Glock®, and think the Glock® 19 is the pinnacle of well-rounded self-defense weaponry in pistol form, and this is my scenario, so we’re sticking with the Glock®. To that end, I choose the 17 for my bedside defense out of a healthy respect for the benefits of increased sight radius. Also, I’m not confined by space for concealed carry, nor do I care about printing. Insert your firearm of preference for use with your imagination.

Obviously, in nearly any circumstance I’d always choose a rifle given the option, but remember, this conversation is about a bedside pistol safe for defensive use, that are accessible quickly. If we wanted to get into it, we could discuss benefits of room clearing, and reduced penetration through drywall of some pistol rounds in comparison to rifles. We’ll save this for another discussion, however.

RFID

I move towards my pistol safe and realize my RFID bracelet is in the kitchen next to my wallet. I don’t sleep in my kitchen. I don’t sleep wearing a Live Strong bracelet, and never will. No Bueno.

Digital

Adrenaline flowing, I roll towards my pistol safe and enter the super-secret passcode. I expect a loud Bleep, Bleep, Bloop, followed by a holy presentation of my Glock®. Only this time, the batteries are dead… Also, I left the override key near my wallet, in the kitchen, with my RFID bracelet from above…

Fingerprint

You know where this is going. My IPhone 7 only works a third of the time when trying to unlock it in perfect conditions. My SpeedVault pistol safe set me back $180. No chance this is an improvement over the IPhone. I’m not even going to risk it. This is something I’d never consider as a defensive and readily available gun storage container with its challenging, at best, unlock mechanism. Not ideal for reliably dispensing my Glock® on demand.

Mechanical

Now we’re talking. Through muscle memory and repetition, I effortlessly enter my code. Feeling the quiet yet audible tactile clicks of each button, followed by a quarter turn of the release knock. I know what comes next. The safe opens via spring hydraulic lifts with a perfect presentation of my Glock®. It’s reliable, predictable, and highly resistant to failure – unlike many things in life. There are many good mechanical safe options on the market but look at www.Fas1safe.com for bed side or floor mounted placement.

Why a pistol safe?

In a perfect world, I’d have my rifle sitting bedside. One problem. In my perfect world, there are other people. Some of these people make it not so perfect. For my safety (i.e. unwanted access), and theirs, particularly with children in mind, a safe is the responsible option for me. The best I can do is apply the most effective tool for the job, and for me, that’s a mechanical pistol safe. Failure of deployment is unacceptable; it must be mechanical.

Mechanical safes are where I put my trust. I refuse to rely on electrical opening mechanisms, finger print scanners, and RFID bracelets to stand between me and my firearm. With that said, I’m a millennial, I love polymer guns, and 1911’s equally, and I have children, so I train for and prep with their safety in mind.

Soon, we talk large gun safes, mechanical vs. electrical.

FAS1Safe

The Plate Carrier is an AR500 Armor® Micro Plate Carrier loaded with Level III+ Lightweight Body Armor:

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4 Absolutely Necessary Things Every Prepper Must Realize

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Kirk Reynolds. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


Now, I have been doing this for over ten years and have been actively involved in a small community of like-minded people for almost as much time – and I have seen plenty of folks come and go (especially since the rise of the show Doomsday Preppers). I – more so than a lot of people involved in this – have dealt with A LOT of other preppers face to face and I want to talk about the patterns that I have seen form over the years.

Before anything else I will quickly mention one thing that has been repeated a lot but is always worth mentioning – physical fitness! I have met people who hold the belief that it doesn’t matter if they cannot handle a flight of stairs as ‘the weight will come off when it needs too’ and ‘my body will adapt’. You can be the best prepared and equipped person on Earth but the harsh reality is that day zero will involve a lot of hard work, even if you intend to hunker down, you need to take into consideration preparing your AO and getting there. The reality is that no matter the event, prepping without the willingness to make some sacrifice to fitness is hoarding under a different name.

Now with that over with…

Skills – not stuff!

All too frequent is the mentality that having lots of “things” is going to make a SHTF scenario easier; while yes, there is a baseline amount of prepping supplies that will improve your chances and are basically necessities (A good knife, a map, a plan, and a gun depending on how you feel about the situation) that isn’t everything. What I am talking about is the huge tendency to believe that having an object is the same as being able to use said object proficiently.

Using a knife as an example – I believe that you will be hard pressed to find a single prepper that doesn’t carry a knife and have a good fixed blade somewhere. However I would say over 80% of preppers do not have knife skills, what I mean by this is do you know you to whittle, make traps, baton well, the uses for various knife blades and shapes, and how to dress a kill for hide and meat?

The same can be said of maps – yes navigating when you know your initial position is easy, but in the event you get disoriented can you triangulate your position with landmarks. What if you do not know the area, can you still find your way around?

Chances are that no matter how well prepared you are, a SHTF scenario will – eventually be similar to living in a completely infrastructure-less environment. Backpacking over a multi-week time period and hunting are excellent ways to learn many skills to make your life easier.

What are your gear priorities?

people tend to think of prepping items of - it is good to have. Instead try to think of it in a mindset of ‘what else could I bring instead’.

People tend to think of prepping items of – it is good to have. Instead try to think of it in a mindset of ‘what else could I bring instead’.

Prepping – like engineering, is not about having the most of everything, it is about having the right amount of everything. Whether you intend to stay or bug out, it is of course important to have the skills (Can you pack a bag correctly etc). However I see many people approaching with a mindset of hoarding will make things easier, as an example I spoke to a man whom had 43 different weapons with almost 500 days of non-perishable food. This mindset of buying without realizing that in a SHTF scenario every item you bring or stock has a cost.

For example with every weapon that man owned he was paying a price in 3 different ways.

  1. Obviously, space and weight. That 2.5 Kg rifle could be swapped for 2.5 Kg of water purification tablets, ammunition or tools – people tend to think of prepping items of – it is good to have. Instead try to think of it in a mindset of ‘what else could I bring instead’.
  2. Ultimately guns must be maintained regularly and more guns will mean more maintenance and man hours spent tending to your weapons.
  3. Finally, almost everything that is a tool for your own survival is also a tool AGAINST your survival. A bigger stash makes you more attractive to bandits and in this situation the only reason to have that many weapons was to maintain a guard force large enough to protect 200-300 people. If your plan is to conscript people and form a sizable community for survival that is fine, but having 40 people armed and only having enough farming tools and equipment to support 10 long-term is very dangerous.

Learn to maintain and make everything!

Learn as much passing knowledge on simple items as possible, learn to make bows, furniture, simple houses, simple clothes, simple bags, and anything along that line

Learn as much passing knowledge on simple items as possible, learn to make bows, furniture, simple houses, simple clothes, simple bags, and anything along that line

This is less applicable for people prepping for 3-4 day events like earthquakes and more aimed at people prepping for a complete breakdown of human society for an indefinite period of time. All too often I hear statements like ‘I have these 2 really super high quality solar panels so I will be fine’ unfortunately the reality is even the most expensive and well made tools money can buy are unlikely to survive 10 years of use. It may not be a nice reality but the reality is that any tool that you bring that cannot be replicated with basic machining knowledge and tools is temporary.

Learn the basics of reshaping scrap metal and wood – learn to make a furnace with materials that are renewable (Think clay and charcoal for the fire). Learn as much passing knowledge on simple items as possible, learn to make bows, furniture, simple houses, simple clothes, simple bags, and anything along that line – not only will it be useful in equipping your group but also for trading, a working and replaceable long-range weapon like a bow will be worth more than luxury cars 15 years after a collapse.

And finally, learn how to lead and how humans think.

People, given tools and direction can and will work and provide for themselves and the unprepared group who bands together will outlast the lone prepper.

People, given tools and direction can and will work and provide for themselves and the unprepared group who bands together will outlast the lone prepper.

Prepping has a strong theme of different strokes for different folks but one of the most common themes is ‘Everyone is going to be marauders and is going to be after me and I am going to have to kill so many hapless raiders and that justifies my federal armory of weapons!’. I have served, and I have been in disaster situations both long and short-term and the reality is there will be raiders for maybe a week – tops.

After that people will work together on a small-scale (think tribes) because we are naturally altruistic. After maybe a year or two and people are established raids will begin again. Preppers are almost always very exclusionary – I have met people who think the world will end if you share your beans but it is almost exactly the opposite.

People, given tools and direction can and will work and provide for themselves and the unprepared group who bands together will outlast the lone prepper. Television always portrays survival groups as a bunch of assholes all fighting for dominance all the time but really, it is the opposite! Almost always everyone just agrees they need food or whatever and no one steps up to the plate to really make decisions. Be that person and you will form a group of 20-30 people who will work for you and with you to make everyone’s lives better – it is how we are programmed.

The final note I leave you with on this topic is that people always form tribes and tribes are ALWAYS communal. Don’t expect that refusing to share what you have will extend your life at all.

The post 4 Absolutely Necessary Things Every Prepper Must Realize appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

9 Important Tips on How to Start Prepping

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: Today’s article is courtesy of Warren. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Journal’s Writing Contest today.


Prepping is all about preparing yourself for some disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, fires, and a lot more. With the right prepping skills, you should have an easier time handling yourself if a disaster happens. Check around to understand the threats common to your area before you start prepping. Some areas are known to be prone to certain natural disasters and you can take that information and use it to your advantage to learn some prepping skills for survival.

So, you might be new to prepping and you are wondering where to begin. This article will give you some important tips to follow when it comes to learning how to start prepping.

Come up with a plan

Once you have mastered a skill, you can always cross it off the checklist.

Once you have mastered a skill, you can always cross it off the checklist.

How would you even start prepping when you have no idea what you are prepping for? It is then crucial to come up with a plan to help you the prepping process. Understanding the kind of disasters that are likely to strike helps with coming up with a great plan to counter the disasters. You now have to pass the same plan to the family members to make sure that they are briefed on what will be happening during the prepping process.

The plan should also have a checklist of the activities to cover. Once you have mastered a skill, you can always cross it off the checklist. This helps you with tracking the different types of skills you are learning during the process.

Research more on prepping ideas

Preppers are always learning innovative ways on how to deal with the disasters. You have to consider numerous ways to combat a disaster. You can always start with the Internet as you can get a lot of information about different prepping skills. The best part is that you can get videos demonstrating some of the skills so that you can easily master them.

If you like reading, then consider checking out some different books on prepping and survival skills. You will always add a new skill to your skill set at the end of each book.

Subscribe to disaster alerts

The best part is that some of these apps and programs are free so that you have no excuse of not being a subscriber.

The best part is that some of these apps and programs are free so that you have no excuse of not being a subscriber.

It is just the weather, you do not always have to rely on the weather updates from your local TV station, having phone apps today can still help you with learning more about the weather conditions in your exact area. The same goes for new prepping ideas. Do not wait until you hear sirens to get yourself ready to react to a situation. It is now possible to subscribe to different disaster alerts on your phone and computer. Whenever a disaster happens or is about to happen, you may get the alerts in time and to give you a few extra minutes to act.

The best part is that most of these apps and programs are free so that you have no excuse not being a subscriber.

Seek alternative ways of communication

Many disasters take out the communication lines and it can be hard to get in touch with your family especially for those who live outside the state. Other than traditional phone communications, the Internet, if you can access it, comes in as a great option for communication. It is the reason Red Cross came up with the ‘Safe and Well Listings’ website where people can post their status in case of a disaster. You can now check their website to know how your family is doing. You can always come up with different types of communication to help keep in touch when a disaster strikes.

What is in your bug out bag?

So, the question of what is supposed to be in your bug out bag can come into mind when you start prepping. This is the kind of bag that you will have to rely on until your get further help. There is the need to find all the necessary things to pack for the disaster. Normally you would want to have some food, fist aid kit, candles, flashlight, watches for survival, matches, and a lot more. The supply bag may vary a bit based on the type of disaster you are looking to handle and your local conditions. Research more about packing for different disasters. You might end up with more guides online how to pack for various disasters.

Consider storing non-perishable food

If you check out most prepping guides, they will always advise you to have more nonperishable foods in store. These are the type of foods that would withstand a long time and still be edible. This is important to consider as sometimes you never know how long a disaster can last. So you need to have some food to keep you going while you wait for things to go back to normal. You can store just enough food that you will need. No point of going crazy about stocking a lot of food when you might never use it.

Dressing for the disaster

As part of prepping, you have to consider dressing in layers. Take the example of flooding, you need to have the right clothes to keep yourself from freezing. The type of dressing is going to help you have an easier time navigating a disaster. It is always advisable to take the time to analyze the disaster so as to come up with the appropriate gear for the disaster. If you have children, make sure that they are also protected and given priority for the dressing part when disaster strikes.

Watch prepping TV shows and documentaries

There is no doubt that visuals of any kind can help in easily remembering a process. It the reason you might want to think of choosing to watch some prepping TV shows and documentaries as a way of learning about prepping. The shows will give you step by step instructions on some prepping activities such as surviving floods, wearing boot knives, purifying water and a lot more. Where you do not understand you can always rewind and learn more how to handle a process. Just like that, you get to know what it takes to survive in some disasters with less effort.

Know how to get clean water

Mostly when disaster strikes, getting clean water is often an issue. Do not rely on the tap water to keep flowing in such a scenario. You might not always get tap water because in major disasters the pipes supplying the water could be uprooted or burst. Chemical or sewage leaks could make even the tap water undrinkable. It is therefore important to learn other ways for purifying water before drinking.

The common method would be boiling the water for killing the germs. Another would be buying a water filtration system that cleans the water before you can drink it.

Just like that, you now have an idea what prepping is all about. Always make sure that you prepare enough in advance so that you do not have to fumble with everything when the disaster has already happened.

About the author: Warren Kuhn is an outdoor and camping enthusiast, always out to seek for the thrill and adrenaline that only nature gives. He even took up survival training to prepare him for the worst-case scenarios while outdoors.With his background, you can learn a lot from him so you can get the most out of your camping trip at TheCampingTrips.

The post 9 Important Tips on How to Start Prepping appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

9 Important Tips on How to Start Prepping

Click here to view the original post.

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: Today’s article is courtesy of Warren. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Journal’s Writing Contest today.


Prepping is all about preparing yourself for some disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, fires, and a lot more. With the right prepping skills, you should have an easier time handling yourself if a disaster happens. Check around to understand the threats common to your area before you start prepping. Some areas are known to be prone to certain natural disasters and you can take that information and use it to your advantage to learn some prepping skills for survival.

So, you might be new to prepping and you are wondering where to begin. This article will give you some important tips to follow when it comes to learning how to start prepping.

Come up with a plan

Once you have mastered a skill, you can always cross it off the checklist.

Once you have mastered a skill, you can always cross it off the checklist.

How would you even start prepping when you have no idea what you are prepping for? It is then crucial to come up with a plan to help you the prepping process. Understanding the kind of disasters that are likely to strike helps with coming up with a great plan to counter the disasters. You now have to pass the same plan to the family members to make sure that they are briefed on what will be happening during the prepping process.

The plan should also have a checklist of the activities to cover. Once you have mastered a skill, you can always cross it off the checklist. This helps you with tracking the different types of skills you are learning during the process.

Research more on prepping ideas

Preppers are always learning innovative ways on how to deal with the disasters. You have to consider numerous ways to combat a disaster. You can always start with the Internet as you can get a lot of information about different prepping skills. The best part is that you can get videos demonstrating some of the skills so that you can easily master them.

If you like reading, then consider checking out some different books on prepping and survival skills. You will always add a new skill to your skill set at the end of each book.

Subscribe to disaster alerts

The best part is that some of these apps and programs are free so that you have no excuse of not being a subscriber.

The best part is that some of these apps and programs are free so that you have no excuse of not being a subscriber.

It is just the weather, you do not always have to rely on the weather updates from your local TV station, having phone apps today can still help you with learning more about the weather conditions in your exact area. The same goes for new prepping ideas. Do not wait until you hear sirens to get yourself ready to react to a situation. It is now possible to subscribe to different disaster alerts on your phone and computer. Whenever a disaster happens or is about to happen, you may get the alerts in time and to give you a few extra minutes to act.

The best part is that most of these apps and programs are free so that you have no excuse not being a subscriber.

Seek alternative ways of communication

Many disasters take out the communication lines and it can be hard to get in touch with your family especially for those who live outside the state. Other than traditional phone communications, the Internet, if you can access it, comes in as a great option for communication. It is the reason Red Cross came up with the ‘Safe and Well Listings’ website where people can post their status in case of a disaster. You can now check their website to know how your family is doing. You can always come up with different types of communication to help keep in touch when a disaster strikes.

What is in your bug out bag?

So, the question of what is supposed to be in your bug out bag can come into mind when you start prepping. This is the kind of bag that you will have to rely on until your get further help. There is the need to find all the necessary things to pack for the disaster. Normally you would want to have some food, fist aid kit, candles, flashlight, watches for survival, matches, and a lot more. The supply bag may vary a bit based on the type of disaster you are looking to handle and your local conditions. Research more about packing for different disasters. You might end up with more guides online how to pack for various disasters.

Consider storing non-perishable food

If you check out most prepping guides, they will always advise you to have more nonperishable foods in store. These are the type of foods that would withstand a long time and still be edible. This is important to consider as sometimes you never know how long a disaster can last. So you need to have some food to keep you going while you wait for things to go back to normal. You can store just enough food that you will need. No point of going crazy about stocking a lot of food when you might never use it.

Dressing for the disaster

As part of prepping, you have to consider dressing in layers. Take the example of flooding, you need to have the right clothes to keep yourself from freezing. The type of dressing is going to help you have an easier time navigating a disaster. It is always advisable to take the time to analyze the disaster so as to come up with the appropriate gear for the disaster. If you have children, make sure that they are also protected and given priority for the dressing part when disaster strikes.

Watch prepping TV shows and documentaries

There is no doubt that visuals of any kind can help in easily remembering a process. It the reason you might want to think of choosing to watch some prepping TV shows and documentaries as a way of learning about prepping. The shows will give you step by step instructions on some prepping activities such as surviving floods, wearing boot knives, purifying water and a lot more. Where you do not understand you can always rewind and learn more how to handle a process. Just like that, you get to know what it takes to survive in some disasters with less effort.

Know how to get clean water

Mostly when disaster strikes, getting clean water is often an issue. Do not rely on the tap water to keep flowing in such a scenario. You might not always get tap water because in major disasters the pipes supplying the water could be uprooted or burst. Chemical or sewage leaks could make even the tap water undrinkable. It is therefore important to learn other ways for purifying water before drinking.

The common method would be boiling the water for killing the germs. Another would be buying a water filtration system that cleans the water before you can drink it.

Just like that, you now have an idea what prepping is all about. Always make sure that you prepare enough in advance so that you do not have to fumble with everything when the disaster has already happened.

About the author: Warren Kuhn is an outdoor and camping enthusiast, always out to seek for the thrill and adrenaline that only nature gives. He even took up survival training to prepare him for the worst-case scenarios while outdoors.With his background, you can learn a lot from him so you can get the most out of your camping trip at TheCampingTrips.

The post 9 Important Tips on How to Start Prepping appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

5 Skills And 5 Tools For Every Prepper

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: Today’s article is courtesy of Stephen Phillips. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Journal’s Writing Contest today.


Who knows what could happen tomorrow? This is the philosophy that most preppers live by. No matter the situation, when danger suddenly appears, a prepper’s heightened organization and awareness will greatly increase their chances of survival. There are roughly 3.7 million preppers in the United States, and each one most likely understands that being a prepper takes a lot of time and money. So how do you make sure that you’re being efficient? Apart from the necessities of food, clothing, and shelter, what are the other tools and tricks you need to survive? Check out this list of five tools and five skills to have under your belt in case of an emergency.

5 Handy Skills

Navigation and compass skills

Being able to navigate yourself in an unknown area is a skill that will get you far. Literally. In times of danger, who knows where you could end up? You may have to escape your house on foot, escape your town or state and in extreme cases, the country. In its most basic form, practicing a good sense of direction can be great, but also mastering the use of your compass can be better to avoid getting lost in an unknown area like a forest or even an unfamiliar city.

First aid

Performing first aid is essential to ensuring that you and those around you are out of any immediate danger that could lead to serious injury or fatality. This could be especially helpful in natural disasters in which people are prone to drowning, suffocating or choking. But there are many dangerous situations where people may need assistance through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or other first aid techniques.

Finding and producing water

More so than food, enough water is an absolute necessity to survive. And with such an abundant supply of water all over the earth, it’s just a matter of knowing where to find it. Even if you feel like Tom Hanks in “Castaway,” you may be able to find your very own coconut to feast on. Apart from collecting rainwater, there are other ways to be creative. When in snow or ice, boiling it can be a great way to make water safe from bacteria, however, this requires fire or another heating source. If you find yourself in a mountain, make your way down it, as water always runs to the lowest point. In a desert, finding water can be a bit trickier, but try digging a few feet below creek beds or building a solar still.

Fire making

This skill is one that will help you with a number of things — cooking food, boiling water to make it potable and staying warm. While it doesn’t take many materials to start a fire, it does take some practice. In order to prepare for this, try out different fire starters and see which works best for you. After that, it’s a matter of practicing how to collect the right wood and branches and correctly arranging them for a fire.

Knowledge of flora and fauna

In extreme circumstances, you may find yourself out of food, water, and shelter and may be forced to use the natural resources around you. However, with so many different species of plants and animals, a sound knowledge of flora and fauna can go a long way. This is a way of making the environment work for you and knowing what can be used as food or as survival materials, as well as what can be potentially harmful.

5 Handy Tools For A Prepper

Multi-function survival tool

It’s always important to make sure you have as many tools on you as possible without taking up too much space because you never know what you might need. A multi-tool can be used as a knife, screwdriver, can opener, ruler, bottle cap opener, 4 position wrench, saw blade, butterfly screw, wrench, direction ancillary wrench, 2 position wrench and other configurations based upon what you select.

Hunting knife

Keeping the need for food in mind, a hunting knife is a useful tool to carry in case you’re stuck in a situation where you have to hunt for your food. Matched with educating yourself about hunting, this tool can be the difference in feeding you and your family or not.

Fire starter

As mentioned, the use of a fire is multifaceted, so it’s important to make it a major focus. Experiment with different types and brands of fire starters to see what you like best. They often come in different styles and can have other things attached to them such as torches or whistles.

Water tools

Water is essential and should be included in any prepper’s schedule. As a base, preparing hydration packs is a great way to ensure that everyone stays hydrated, especially in a circumstance when you’re leaving on foot and will be prone to exhaustion and dehydration. Once your water supply ends, another great water tool to carry is filtration tablets. When added to dirty or bacteria-infested water, these tablets kill the germs and make the water drinkable.

Flashlight

One of the worst parts of natural disasters or other dangerous situations is that you’re often left without electricity or a source of light. Having a readily available flashlight can mean that you’re able to not only find food and water at all times but can also remain aware of your surroundings and therefore avoid any further danger.

As a prepper, remaining organized for any situation is vital. And there’s usually a fear that you’re forgetting something, which could end up putting you and your family in even more danger. Make use of these five tools and five skills to ensure you’re always prepared to keep you and your loved ones safe in a variety of scenarios.

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Essential Disaster Preparedness Tips for College Students

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: Today’s article is courtesy of Gloria Kopp. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Journal’s Writing Contest today.


No one likes to think about it, but disasters can happen anywhere, and that includes at college. If you’re studying away from home, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place, just in case the worst happens. How you view your own personal disaster preparedness options could be the difference between life and death. Here’s what you should do if a disaster happens at your school.

Prepare before the worst happens

Being prepared is the key to avoiding the worst in any disaster. If you take the time now to get a plan together, you’ll be a step ahead if anything occurs:

  • Find out what’s likely in your area: Depending on where you’re studying, you could be at risks of floods, or maybe earthquakes. Take the time to look up what natural disasters are likely to occur in your area. That way, you can start planning for these properly.
  • Put essential contacts in your phone: If you don’t have your emergency contacts in your phone, now’s the time to program them in. “When you do so, make sure you start the contact name with ‘ICE’ or ‘In Case of Emergency’. That way, emergency workers can easily contact the right people if needs be”, – says Emelle Ruth, a College Coordinator at Paper Fellows.
  • Know your escape routes: In the buildings you frequent most, like your dorms or your classrooms, know where your nearest exits are. In the event of a disaster like a fire, you’re going to need to know how to get out quickly. It’s worth practicing these routes a few times, so you know where you’re going if the eventuality occurs.
  • Take a course in first aid: This is always a useful skill to have, but especially in a disaster situation. A course in first aid or CPR won’t cost you much, but you’ll have the means to help yourself and others if the time comes.

Make a disaster kit

Another good way of making sure you’re prepared is to make a disaster kit. Keep it stored in a safe place in your dorm, and you’ll be ready if you find yourself without power, or stranded in the building or an extended period of time. This should include:

  • First aid kit: This doesn’t have to be too involved, but you will need the essentials. Buy items such as bandages, non aspirin painkillers, anti septic cream, burn spray, and gloves. Make sure you have enough to patch somebody up if you need to.
  • Food and water: Keep some non perishable food around, as well as a few large bottles of water. The water will be a great help if the water is cut off, and the food should last for a few days if needed. Check the dates on the food regularly, as even emergency rations do have an expiry date.
  • Flashlight: Essential if the lights are shut off. Make sure you put fresh batteries in it, and put away some spares, too.
  • Blankets: If the heat goes off and it’s the middle of winter, you’re going to want an easy way of staying warm. A pile of thick, warm blankets will do the trick.

Prepare for the most common emergencies

Now you have the basics down, you’ll need to ensure that you’re prepared, no matter what happens. Here are some of the more common emergencies that happen, and how to deal with them.

Fire

Fires can happen anywhere, but they’re an eventuality that most schools are actually well prepared for. Mary Walton, psychologist and author of SimpleGrad comments the issue: “When you start at your school, you’ll have the fire alarm system explained to you. Ensure that you’re listening carefully, as there’s a lot of important information you’ll need to know”.

Typically, you’ll see fire exits clearly marked in every building you go into. If you hear the alarm go off, you need to exit using these routes, without stopping to collect your belongings. At your school there will be clearly marked meeting points. Make your way there, and wait for further instructions.

If you encounter a fire, the best thing to do is to set off the fire alarm yourself, and then exit the building. If you have the means to fight it and you feel safe to do so, you can attempt to put it out yourself. If you’re unsure though, it’s best to remove yourself from danger.

Earthquake

There’s no pre-warning system in place for when an earthquake hits, so the first you’ll know of it is when it happens. However, you can still keep yourself safe.

If you’re in class, your teacher will instruct you to drop to the ground and take shelter under the desks until the earthquake subsides. Then, they’ll evacuate you as soon as it’s over. This is to get you to safety before aftershocks occur.

Hurricanes

These sound frightening, but you’ll usually get good warning before a hurricane reaches you. This means you can be prepared.

Make sure you’re paying attention to warnings when they occur. Take heed, and get to safety as soon as you can. Your school will have a plan to get students out of danger, and into a safe place, so look into yours. You’ll want to stay away from buildings with large windows, as the risk of breaking glass is high.

Tornadoes

Tornadoes can have up to 3 minutes warning time, but they can often have little to no warning at all. Once they form, they move quickly, so you must be prepared. The key is to move quickly once you know it’s coming.

You’ll want to evacuate to an area that’s lowest on your campus, and stay away from any span roofs or windows. Staying crouched down on the floor is the safest place to be, until the tornado passes. Your school will hold drills for this kind of emergency, so make sure you’re paying attention during them.

Disasters sound frightening but you can get through them if you’re prepared. Use these tips to get a plan together, and know what to do if the worst happens. Being prepared is the best way to get through any disaster.

About the author: Gloria Kopp is a content manager and an elearning consultant from Manville city. She graduated from University of Wyoming and started a career of a business writer and an educator, now she works as a tutor at Assignment help company. Besides, she is a regular contributor to such websites as Engadget, Academized, Huffingtonpost etc. Read her latest blog post here.

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Top 9 Reasons Why You Need a Revolver for Self-Defense

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: Today’s article is courtesy of Ben Baker. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Journal’s Writing Contest today.


Packing heat is always a good idea because you never know what this world is going to throw at you next. Revolvers make an excellent choice as a Concealed Carry Weapon, backup or self-defense piece. Here are seven reasons why the wheel gun excels.

Dependability

Revolvers have the earned reputation of being dependable under pressure.

A wheel gun can put up with a lot more abuse than an auto-loader. Drop it in the dirt. Roll it around in the mud. It is still going to function. Semi-autos are a lot more finicky about dirt and dust.

Even a cheap revolver is going to shoot a round that fits correctly in a cylinder chamber. New ammo or reloads, it does not matter. You can mix loads too. Load the first one or two out the barrel with a hot JHP to avoid over-penetration. Then, lower power loads behind that like lead ball to fill the rest of the cylinder.

Auto-loaders definitely express preferences in ammo. I once had a 1911 that digested factory JHP and FMJ just fine. Drop some hand-loaded round ball and it jammed every time.

Revolvers do not jam. Auto-loaders can. Misfeeds can be caused by a bent lip that you didn’t notice before slapping a new mag home or a weak mag spring. Auto-loaders are also susceptible to “limp wristing”, a problem that a revolver never has.

Fits your hand better

Even a cheap revolver is going to shoot a round that fits correctly in a cylinder chamber. New ammo or reloads, it does not matter.

Even a cheap revolver is going to shoot a round that fits correctly in a cylinder chamber. New ammo or reloads, it does not matter.

Revolvers come in all sizes from the diminutive North American Arms .22 and .22 Mag to the behemoth North American Arms BFR in .45-70

Auto-loaders do get small, but not as small as the NAA revolver.

The BFR is not suited for concealed carry, unless you are about 12 feet tall. A lot of people say the NAA revolvers are also not suited for concealed carry. If you must have maximum concealment and minimum size, the NAA offers fit both categories. If the choice is between no gun or an NAA revolver, these pocket powerhouses win every time.

Read More: Top 5 Firearms you need to get your hands on now!

Auto-loaders do not reach the sheer size of the BFR either.

A new generation of auto-loaders with different grips is out. Revolvers have had this for years and the choices are much broader.

A good revolver will also fit in the best hunting backpacks as a backup.

Shooter Friendly

Light loads are the perfect way to get used to shooting a revolver and to teach newbies. Shoot light and carry hot.

Light loads are the perfect way to get used to shooting a revolver and to teach newbies. Shoot light and carry hot.

The revolver is more shooter friendly than an auto-loader. Because the revolver does not require recoil or gas to cycle, you can load revolver rounds very light. If you load auto-loader rounds light, you run the risk of a jam. The slide may not come all the way back. It may come back just far enough to begin the ejection of spent brass, but not complete it. There is another jam.

Light loads are the perfect way to get used to shooting a revolver and to teach newbies. Shoot light and carry hot.

Auto-loaders have a slide that comes back to cycle the weapon. More than one person has been pinched by the slide, usually because of limp wristing.

Easier to repair

A revolver has just a few parts. Most revolver parts can be milled in short order by any good metal shop.

Greater Durability

Revolvers have the least chance of failure of any handgun except single shots and the derringer.

Revolvers have the least chance of failure of any handgun except single shots and the derringer.

The revolver is older than the auto-loader. What we know from a century of using both firearms is that the revolver lasts longer. Shooting does wear both firearms, but a well-built wheelmen will last longer than all but the most expensive semis.

The move to polymer parts on handguns in the semis is another reason many of these guns will not last as long as a wheelgun. Plastic, call it what it is, won’t hold up the way steel does.

Put another way, revolvers have the least chance of failure of any handgun except single shots and the derringer.

Safer

The revolver does not have a safety by and large. A few, like the Heritage rim-fire, do have a safety, but this is not common. Why no safety? Not needed. To make the revolver fire, the hammer-firing pin has to hit the primer hard enough to effect a detonation.

Double action revolvers do take some strength to pull that trigger to cock the hammer. Single action means you have to manually cock the hammer.

If the hammer is back, you know the gun is ready to fire. In a semi auto, especially with no exposed hammer, you have no idea if the gun is ready to fire.

Easier to Clean

Cleaning a wheelgun means running a patch down the barrel and through the cylinder chambers. Cleaning an auto means field stripping and putting it back together. For experienced shooters, this is not a problem. For someone who is new to guns, it can be daunting.

Law Friendly

Getting a permit to carry a revolver is easier in states that link a carry permit to the type of gun. Even New Jersey is more likely to issue a permit for a wheelgun than an auto. If you live in a state where the permit is keyed to you instead of the gun, a revolver still makes a good choice.

Conceal-ability

Hiding a revolver is easy. Modern holsters hide the profile very well. The holsters also come with features that make the holster snag in your pocket when drawing. You come out with the gun, the leather stays behind.

Revolvers also carry well in a shoulder holster, if that’s your thing.

I carry a Cobra hammerless snub .38 in a Bianchi 152 holster. The pistol is rated for +P ammo. The little holster fits most snubs. This is the second .38 snub I’ve had as a carry piece. The first one was traded to lady who wanted something for her purse and had a rifle I wanted. If I ever trade this one, its replacement will be a .357 snub hammerless or shrouded hammer. That way I can carry .38 Smith & Wesson, .38 Short Colt, .38 Special or .357.

About the author: Short, round, genius with a thing for hunting, fishing, well-aged bourbon and dark beer, Ben Baker is a hunter and fisherman based in South Georgia. He’s traveled North America hunting and fishing. You can read more articles from Ben at https://stayhunting.com.

The post Top 9 Reasons Why You Need a Revolver for Self-Defense appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Survival Fishing With Just a Hook, Line and Sinker

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post was contributed by Ben Ayad. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Writing Contest today.


When people plan for survival scenarios they often times gather supplies in large quantities in hopes to wait out any chaotic breakdown of civil order. The truth is in a real SHTF scenario chances are you will be bugging out and not hunkering down in some urban or suburban area. That means you will be travelling light because you will be in a hurry to get away from large population centers. It also means you will only be carrying the absolute essentials on your back and one of those better be a means to fish.

Why be prepared to fish? That is because chances are, it will be one of the most abundant and nutritious food sources available wherever you go. Fish can be found anywhere from mountains, to coasts to flat plains. So it’s best to be prepared to catch them. You and your family’s health may be wholly dependent on survival fishing at times.

Another big advantage you get when you catch fish is that you can safely dry them and store this dried fish for long periods of time too. Think of fish as the survival gift that keeps on giving.

Types of Survival Fishing

A hook, line and sinker kit can be packed so that it is smaller than a miniature travel medical kit. This kit will be virtually weightless too.

A hook, line and sinker kit can be packed so that it is smaller than a miniature travel medical kit. This kit will be virtually weightless too.

Here are some of the main ways to fish when you are in a survival situation and available fishing gear is most likely limited:

  • Simple hook, line and sinker setup – Our preferred choice as we will discuss throughout this article.
  • Fish trapsFish traps can be made using such things as plastic bottles (see catching minnows under bait below), using net traps and even just configuring rocks in a way where fish can swim in but not swim out. Some of these methods have been used successfully for centuries.
  • Spearing – If the fish are there in the shallows and you have some good hand/eye coordination this is never a bad way to go.
  • Netting – If you have a big enough net it can be strategically placed to catch fish or moved along in body of water by two people to simply net the fish swimming in there.
  • Noodling – This is when you gently put a large fish in a hypnotic state and then simply catch it by hand. It may not catch you any fish but it most assuredly will be good for some laughs and breaking up the stress in a SHTF scenario.

The ability to catch fish is definitely one of the essential survival skills that you need to know.

Why Chose A Hook, Line and Sinker Over the Others?

If you have a big enough net it can be strategically placed to catch fish or moved along in body of water

If you have a big enough net it can be strategically placed to catch fish or moved along in body of water

So why are we high on using hooks, line and sinkers to catch fish in our survival scenario? The answers are not all as obvious as you might think. Take a look at a few of the main reasons why we would fish using this method.

  • Easy to pack/space-saving/Lightweight – A hook, line and sinker kit can be packed so that it is smaller than a miniature travel medical kit. This kit will be virtually weightless too.
  • Other uses – We will go ‘Rambo’ here and tell you that a fish-hook and fishing line can come in very handy to stitch up a deep cut in a pinch. Not to mention that fishing line itself can be used in hundreds of different ways when trying to survive.
  • Its versatile – Fishing setups with a hook line and sinker can be successfully used in so many different types of bodies of water.
  • Easy to use –  In just minutes you can have a hook, line and sinker rig in the water so you can try to catch fish.

How to Effectively Fish With Hooks, Line and Sinkers

It’s important to remember when you set up your fishing rigs that you are not out to pass the time on a sunny afternoon and relax. You are trying to survive so traditional fishing tactics and methods just won’t cut it. You have to be creative and maximize your chances for success. Get as many lines as you can in the water to increase your chances of success.

When fishing with crude hook, line and sinker setups, experimentation is the key. Just like when you are recreational fishing you don’t know what the fish will be hitting on at the time or where they will be at. That is why you need to rig your lines to do such things as float the bait on the surface, weigh the bait down towards the bottom or drift the bait in the flow of water.

Move your lines around to different spots in the body of water you are fishing. For instance, if you are fishing in a stream look for areas where overhead branches provide shade during the day and hang a few fishing setups off those branches. Remember fish usually go down deeper during the day to stay cool but move closer to the surface at night.
Most fish do not hang out in swift currents either. So look for places in a steam that have deep pockets of water with very little current. In larger bodies of water try weed beds, rock outcroppings and docks where fish can find plenty of food sources nearby.

Again the key to successful survival fishing with a hook, line and sinker setup is to experiment until you find what works on a regular basis for you.

Maybe you don’t think it can be done successfully? Check out this YouTube video and see just how fast this gentleman catches a fish using just a hook, line and sinker setup.

Suggestions for Bait to use

Many people worry about packing bait in a survival scenario to help than catch fish. Sure some small bait can be packed and fish luring scents used on a regular day, but once again we are talking about a possible survival situation where you bring the essentials and get the rest from the land. That is exactly the way you should approach finding bait. Please don’t waste your time packing those annoying rubber worms in your survival kit either.

  • Dig for worms – You can’t be too picky about the type of fish you are catch when you are trying to survive. Worms can be easily found by digging in most places and many different fish are attracted to them.
  • Catch craw-fish, crabs and frogs along the banks – These are favorite foods for many types of larger fish and can be cut up to attract smaller fish too.
  • Food scraps – Just about ant meal you eat will have some scraps left over that can be used for bait. Leftover fish guts and other animal guts make great baits for your hook, line and sinker setups.

Make a minnow trap

Most anywhere in the world you go during a survival situation you can find a plastic bottle lying around. These can easily be made into a trap to catch minnows. This YouTube video will show you how.

Make Sure You Have a Hook, Line and Sinker Packed in Your Survival Kit

Sure it would be nice to have your several hundred-dollar fishing rod and reel setup with you in a survival situation but it’s just not practical. So when you have to travel light and move fast in a SHTF situation make sure one of the essentials you have packed is a fishing kit that consists of hooks, lines and sinkers. It can mean the difference between having healthy food to eat every day or having to forage for scraps and greens that may not keep you and your family healthy enough.

About the author: Ben Ayad is the owner of a new blog, outdoorstime.com 

The post Survival Fishing With Just a Hook, Line and Sinker appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Survival Fishing With Just a Hook, Line and Sinker

Click here to view the original post.

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post was contributed by Ben Ayad. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Writing Contest today.


When people plan for survival scenarios they often times gather supplies in large quantities in hopes to wait out any chaotic breakdown of civil order. The truth is in a real SHTF scenario chances are you will be bugging out and not hunkering down in some urban or suburban area. That means you will be travelling light because you will be in a hurry to get away from large population centers. It also means you will only be carrying the absolute essentials on your back and one of those better be a means to fish.

Why be prepared to fish? That is because chances are, it will be one of the most abundant and nutritious food sources available wherever you go. Fish can be found anywhere from mountains, to coasts to flat plains. So it’s best to be prepared to catch them. You and your family’s health may be wholly dependent on survival fishing at times.

Another big advantage you get when you catch fish is that you can safely dry them and store this dried fish for long periods of time too. Think of fish as the survival gift that keeps on giving.

Types of Survival Fishing

A hook, line and sinker kit can be packed so that it is smaller than a miniature travel medical kit. This kit will be virtually weightless too.

A hook, line and sinker kit can be packed so that it is smaller than a miniature travel medical kit. This kit will be virtually weightless too.

Here are some of the main ways to fish when you are in a survival situation and available fishing gear is most likely limited:

  • Simple hook, line and sinker setup – Our preferred choice as we will discuss throughout this article.
  • Fish trapsFish traps can be made using such things as plastic bottles (see catching minnows under bait below), using net traps and even just configuring rocks in a way where fish can swim in but not swim out. Some of these methods have been used successfully for centuries.
  • Spearing – If the fish are there in the shallows and you have some good hand/eye coordination this is never a bad way to go.
  • Netting – If you have a big enough net it can be strategically placed to catch fish or moved along in body of water by two people to simply net the fish swimming in there.
  • Noodling – This is when you gently put a large fish in a hypnotic state and then simply catch it by hand. It may not catch you any fish but it most assuredly will be good for some laughs and breaking up the stress in a SHTF scenario.

The ability to catch fish is definitely one of the essential survival skills that you need to know.

Why Chose A Hook, Line and Sinker Over the Others?

If you have a big enough net it can be strategically placed to catch fish or moved along in body of water

If you have a big enough net it can be strategically placed to catch fish or moved along in body of water

So why are we high on using hooks, line and sinkers to catch fish in our survival scenario? The answers are not all as obvious as you might think. Take a look at a few of the main reasons why we would fish using this method.

  • Easy to pack/space-saving/Lightweight – A hook, line and sinker kit can be packed so that it is smaller than a miniature travel medical kit. This kit will be virtually weightless too.
  • Other uses – We will go ‘Rambo’ here and tell you that a fish-hook and fishing line can come in very handy to stitch up a deep cut in a pinch. Not to mention that fishing line itself can be used in hundreds of different ways when trying to survive.
  • Its versatile – Fishing setups with a hook line and sinker can be successfully used in so many different types of bodies of water.
  • Easy to use –  In just minutes you can have a hook, line and sinker rig in the water so you can try to catch fish.

How to Effectively Fish With Hooks, Line and Sinkers

It’s important to remember when you set up your fishing rigs that you are not out to pass the time on a sunny afternoon and relax. You are trying to survive so traditional fishing tactics and methods just won’t cut it. You have to be creative and maximize your chances for success. Get as many lines as you can in the water to increase your chances of success.

When fishing with crude hook, line and sinker setups, experimentation is the key. Just like when you are recreational fishing you don’t know what the fish will be hitting on at the time or where they will be at. That is why you need to rig your lines to do such things as float the bait on the surface, weigh the bait down towards the bottom or drift the bait in the flow of water.

Move your lines around to different spots in the body of water you are fishing. For instance, if you are fishing in a stream look for areas where overhead branches provide shade during the day and hang a few fishing setups off those branches. Remember fish usually go down deeper during the day to stay cool but move closer to the surface at night.
Most fish do not hang out in swift currents either. So look for places in a steam that have deep pockets of water with very little current. In larger bodies of water try weed beds, rock outcroppings and docks where fish can find plenty of food sources nearby.

Again the key to successful survival fishing with a hook, line and sinker setup is to experiment until you find what works on a regular basis for you.

Maybe you don’t think it can be done successfully? Check out this YouTube video and see just how fast this gentleman catches a fish using just a hook, line and sinker setup.

Suggestions for Bait to use

Many people worry about packing bait in a survival scenario to help than catch fish. Sure some small bait can be packed and fish luring scents used on a regular day, but once again we are talking about a possible survival situation where you bring the essentials and get the rest from the land. That is exactly the way you should approach finding bait. Please don’t waste your time packing those annoying rubber worms in your survival kit either.

  • Dig for worms – You can’t be too picky about the type of fish you are catch when you are trying to survive. Worms can be easily found by digging in most places and many different fish are attracted to them.
  • Catch craw-fish, crabs and frogs along the banks – These are favorite foods for many types of larger fish and can be cut up to attract smaller fish too.
  • Food scraps – Just about ant meal you eat will have some scraps left over that can be used for bait. Leftover fish guts and other animal guts make great baits for your hook, line and sinker setups.

Make a minnow trap

Most anywhere in the world you go during a survival situation you can find a plastic bottle lying around. These can easily be made into a trap to catch minnows. This YouTube video will show you how.

Make Sure You Have a Hook, Line and Sinker Packed in Your Survival Kit

Sure it would be nice to have your several hundred-dollar fishing rod and reel setup with you in a survival situation but it’s just not practical. So when you have to travel light and move fast in a SHTF situation make sure one of the essentials you have packed is a fishing kit that consists of hooks, lines and sinkers. It can mean the difference between having healthy food to eat every day or having to forage for scraps and greens that may not keep you and your family healthy enough.

About the author: Ben Ayad is the owner of a new blog, outdoorstime.com 

The post Survival Fishing With Just a Hook, Line and Sinker appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

How to Survive a Venomous Snake Bite

Click here to view the original post.

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: Today’s article is courtesy of Alex Ramsey. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Journal’s Writing Contest today.


The best way to increase your chances of surviving a venomous snake bite is to have a contingency plan in place. Remember, that your end goal should be to receive anti-venom because without a dose of anti-venom you have almost zero chances of surviving a poisonous snake bite. Today we discuss steps you can take to act quickly to survive a venomous snake bite. As a bonus, at the end of this article you’ll also learn how to get rid of Copperhead Snakes.

Call emergency services immediately

Don’t make the mistake of trying to drive yourself to a hospital or waiting to see whether or not you’ll display any symptoms of being poisoned. If you plan to survive a snake bite and live to tell the tale, time is of the essence. Instead, call 911 as soon as you’ve been bitten.

Better yet, if you’re with a family member or friend, direct them to call emergency services right away. Ideally, have your companion stay on the line with emergency services as they may be able to give your friend instructions on how to best look after you. If your symptoms worsen, while your companion is on the phone, emergency services may choose to send a helicopter to transport you to the nearest hospital, which will have anti-venom in stock.

Describe The snake that bit you

An accurate description of the snake that bit you will help emergency services locate the appropriate type of anti venom.

An accurate description of the snake that bit you will help emergency services locate the appropriate type of anti venom.

Make sure that either you or your companion gives emergency services an accurate description of the snake that bit you. That way, emergency services will be able to ascertain what type of snake bit you and will be able to select the appropriate type of anti venom.

If possible, disclose how long the snake was, how thick the snake’s body was, the color of the snake and whether or not the snake had round eyes or slit style eyes. If a snake has a triangle-shaped head beware as venomous snakes often have triangular heads. If the offending snake is still around, try to get your companion, if you have on to take a photo of the snake which bit you. Either that or kill it and there will be no question of the species.

If you live in an area that is frequented by snakes, it’s well worth learning how to identify the different types of poisonous snakes in your area. That way, if you’re ever bitten by a venomous snake, you’ll have a far better chance of correctly identifying the offending snake.

Stay as still as possible

Did you know that the faster you move, the faster the snake’s venom will be absorbed by your body and the faster the venom will affect your body? That’s why if you’re in an area with phone coverage, it’s far wiser to get emergency services to rescue you, rather than attempting to walk back to your car.

Leave your snake bite alone

Some research suggests that an ice pack will reduce your body's circulation and will decrease the spread of venom, throughout your body.

Some research suggests that an ice pack will reduce your body’s circulation and will decrease the spread of venom, throughout your body.

While you may be tempted to suck the venom out of your leg or cut your wound open, in order to try to remove as much venom as you can, doing so will only worsen your condition. Also avoiding crafting a tourniquet as a tourniquet will only speed up the symptoms of your snake bite.

However, if you have an ice pack handy, it is a good idea to hold the ice pack against your bite. As some research suggests that cold from an ice pack will reduce your body’s circulation and will decrease the spread of venom throughout your body. Remember that you’ll significantly increase your chances of survival by keeping calm and waiting for emergency services to reach you.

What if you’re unsure of whether you’ve been bitten by a venomous snake or not? If you can’t tell the difference between a venomous snake and a non venomous snake it’s still wisest to call emergency services. As emergency services should be able to ascertain whether or not the snake that bit you is venomous.

Remember that you’ve got nothing to lose by contacting emergency services but if you fail to make the phone call, it could cost you your life.

How To Get Rid Of Copperhead Snakes

If you live in an area that is rife with dangerous Copperhead snakes, simply continue reading to discover how to prevent snakes from exploring your property, as well as how to safely remove any Copperhead snakes that have already invaded your property.

Make sure your property isn’t attractive to Copperheads

Make sure that your lawn is cut short and that there is no garbage in your yard. Copperhead snakes are known to hide in long grass and are attracted to garbage as it is a possible food source for hungry snakes. It’s also worth cutting down or trimming any bushes that are on your property. As they are also attractive to snakes who are looking for a safe hiding place. Also make sure to seal any possible entry points to your home, to prevent snakes from making their way into your home itself.

Invest in a non-lethal snake trap

By far the safest way to get rid of a Copperhead snake on your own, is to place non lethal snake traps around your property. Such traps are a humane way to catch any snakes which are hiding on your property. Once caught, call your local council to find out how you should dispose of the live snake that you’ve caught.

Alternatively, you may want to call a snake removal specialist to remove of the snake which you’ve caught for you. If you do choose to release a Copperhead on your own, it’s worth driving to a remote area, so that the snake you release won’t make its way to another family’s property.

Call a snake removal specialist

If you don’t want to run the risk of being bitten by a venomous Copperhead, don’t hesitate to call a snake removal specialist. Who has the appropriate skills to safely catch and release a Copperhead. Keep in mind that the sooner you call a specialist, the less likely the snake on your property is likely to breed.

After all the last thing you need is a pregnant Copperhead residing on your property.

About the author: Alex Ramsey – Work hard & live to hunt! Countryman Hunter, Archery, shooter, Freelance outdoor writer and loves the USA. Founder of Thebigdeer.com where he shares his hunting experiences with all. Alex’s site is all about guns, showcases real gear & real reviews to help you become more prepared. Knowledge will save you, but great gear will help! Let’s Get Out & Go Hunting

 

The post How to Survive a Venomous Snake Bite appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

How to Survive a Venomous Snake Bite

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: Today’s article is courtesy of Alex Ramsey. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Journal’s Writing Contest today.


The best way to increase your chances of surviving a venomous snake bite is to have a contingency plan in place. Remember, that your end goal should be to receive anti-venom because without a dose of anti-venom you have almost zero chances of surviving a poisonous snake bite. Today we discuss steps you can take to act quickly to survive a venomous snake bite. As a bonus, at the end of this article you’ll also learn how to get rid of Copperhead Snakes.

Call emergency services immediately

Don’t make the mistake of trying to drive yourself to a hospital or waiting to see whether or not you’ll display any symptoms of being poisoned. If you plan to survive a snake bite and live to tell the tale, time is of the essence. Instead, call 911 as soon as you’ve been bitten.

Better yet, if you’re with a family member or friend, direct them to call emergency services right away. Ideally, have your companion stay on the line with emergency services as they may be able to give your friend instructions on how to best look after you. If your symptoms worsen, while your companion is on the phone, emergency services may choose to send a helicopter to transport you to the nearest hospital, which will have anti-venom in stock.

Describe The snake that bit you

An accurate description of the snake that bit you will help emergency services locate the appropriate type of anti venom.

An accurate description of the snake that bit you will help emergency services locate the appropriate type of anti venom.

Make sure that either you or your companion gives emergency services an accurate description of the snake that bit you. That way, emergency services will be able to ascertain what type of snake bit you and will be able to select the appropriate type of anti venom.

If possible, disclose how long the snake was, how thick the snake’s body was, the color of the snake and whether or not the snake had round eyes or slit style eyes. If a snake has a triangle-shaped head beware as venomous snakes often have triangular heads. If the offending snake is still around, try to get your companion, if you have on to take a photo of the snake which bit you. Either that or kill it and there will be no question of the species.

If you live in an area that is frequented by snakes, it’s well worth learning how to identify the different types of poisonous snakes in your area. That way, if you’re ever bitten by a venomous snake, you’ll have a far better chance of correctly identifying the offending snake.

Stay as still as possible

Did you know that the faster you move, the faster the snake’s venom will be absorbed by your body and the faster the venom will affect your body? That’s why if you’re in an area with phone coverage, it’s far wiser to get emergency services to rescue you, rather than attempting to walk back to your car.

Leave your snake bite alone

Some research suggests that an ice pack will reduce your body's circulation and will decrease the spread of venom, throughout your body.

Some research suggests that an ice pack will reduce your body’s circulation and will decrease the spread of venom, throughout your body.

While you may be tempted to suck the venom out of your leg or cut your wound open, in order to try to remove as much venom as you can, doing so will only worsen your condition. Also avoiding crafting a tourniquet as a tourniquet will only speed up the symptoms of your snake bite.

However, if you have an ice pack handy, it is a good idea to hold the ice pack against your bite. As some research suggests that cold from an ice pack will reduce your body’s circulation and will decrease the spread of venom throughout your body. Remember that you’ll significantly increase your chances of survival by keeping calm and waiting for emergency services to reach you.

What if you’re unsure of whether you’ve been bitten by a venomous snake or not? If you can’t tell the difference between a venomous snake and a non venomous snake it’s still wisest to call emergency services. As emergency services should be able to ascertain whether or not the snake that bit you is venomous.

Remember that you’ve got nothing to lose by contacting emergency services but if you fail to make the phone call, it could cost you your life.

How To Get Rid Of Copperhead Snakes

If you live in an area that is rife with dangerous Copperhead snakes, simply continue reading to discover how to prevent snakes from exploring your property, as well as how to safely remove any Copperhead snakes that have already invaded your property.

Make sure your property isn’t attractive to Copperheads

Make sure that your lawn is cut short and that there is no garbage in your yard. Copperhead snakes are known to hide in long grass and are attracted to garbage as it is a possible food source for hungry snakes. It’s also worth cutting down or trimming any bushes that are on your property. As they are also attractive to snakes who are looking for a safe hiding place. Also make sure to seal any possible entry points to your home, to prevent snakes from making their way into your home itself.

Invest in a non-lethal snake trap

By far the safest way to get rid of a Copperhead snake on your own, is to place non lethal snake traps around your property. Such traps are a humane way to catch any snakes which are hiding on your property. Once caught, call your local council to find out how you should dispose of the live snake that you’ve caught.

Alternatively, you may want to call a snake removal specialist to remove of the snake which you’ve caught for you. If you do choose to release a Copperhead on your own, it’s worth driving to a remote area, so that the snake you release won’t make its way to another family’s property.

Call a snake removal specialist

If you don’t want to run the risk of being bitten by a venomous Copperhead, don’t hesitate to call a snake removal specialist. Who has the appropriate skills to safely catch and release a Copperhead. Keep in mind that the sooner you call a specialist, the less likely the snake on your property is likely to breed.

After all the last thing you need is a pregnant Copperhead residing on your property.

About the author: Alex Ramsey – Work hard & live to hunt! Countryman Hunter, Archery, shooter, Freelance outdoor writer and loves the USA. Founder of Thebigdeer.com where he shares his hunting experiences with all. Alex’s site is all about guns, showcases real gear & real reviews to help you become more prepared. Knowledge will save you, but great gear will help! Let’s Get Out & Go Hunting

 

The post How to Survive a Venomous Snake Bite appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Popular Knife Myths Debunked

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: Today’s article is courtesy of Paul Burton. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Journal’s Writing Contest today.


Given the fact that knives are among the oldest tools which humans have been using, there is no surprise that there has been a wide array of myths associated with this universal tool. These myths include the various types of knives, the way they should be used as well as with the proper ways that they should be maintained. Here are some facts which you may want to consider before purchasing a new knife, which may debunk some of the common knife myths many people have come to believe over time.

1st KNIFE MYTH: Giving a knife to someone as a present will have a negative effect on your relationship with them.

Possibly one of the oldest myths associated with knives, this one is associated with the cutting function of a knife and the “cutting” of bonds between two people. When you think about it, this is a completely unrealistic perspective, and the symbolism of a knife can hardly have an actual negative impact on your personal relationships and interactions. So, if you think that a friend or other close person will be really happy with a new knife, do not hesitate to go ahead and buy one for them. How your relationship goes with that person depends on you both, and not on the present you give them!

2nd KNIFE MYTH: the harder the blade of the knife – the sharper it will stay for longer.

While the hardness of the blade can ensure that it stays sharp, too much hardness can actually make a knife brittle. This can cause chipping, dulling and the loss of the original sharp edge over time. If you want to make sure that your knife remains sharp for a longer period of time, you should choose one with a resilient blade, but one which does provide some give, so that the edge does not break or become dulled quickly.

3rd KNIFE MYTH: the duller the blade, the safer the knife is.

It may seem like common logic, but in actuality, this belief is false. The idea that by using a dull knife you are less prone to cutting yourself is not true, because dull knives require the use of excessive force for cutting, slicing and other actions, and this extra force increases the risk of losing control of the knife and injuring yourself.

4th KNIFE MYTH: stainless steel blades cannot keep an edge.

In the past, people found that their stainless steel knives were way too soft and their edges couldn’t stay sharp for long. In modern times, lesser chromium is used in the alloy for the stainless steel blades of the knives, and new more resilient alloys have been added, which ensure that the blades hold a sharp edge for longer. So, when looking for a new stainless steel knife, make sure it has been manufactured relatively recently.

5th KNIFE MYTH: there are knives which never need to be sharpened.

There are some knife manufacturers which advertise their knives as ones which do not require sharpening. These are knives with serrated blades which can still do the job of slicing and cutting when the edge becomes duller, but if you really want an efficient and safe knife, you will need to sharpen the blade periodically, even if it is a serrated one.

6th KNIFE MYTH: it is the food and not the cutting board which dulls the blade of a knife.

This is another false myth. While the blade will be cutting the food, it is the cutting board where it stops. Using a hard board, such as a granite, hard acrylic or stone cutting board can be very damaging to your knife. This is why you should stick to plastic or wood ones. The problem with wooden cutting boards is that they are tricky to sterilize.

7th KNIFE MYTH: automatic knives are the best choice for fast deployment.

The verdict is that this is a false myth. The fact is, with modern knife production the difference in the speed for opening and deploying a knife between a good quality automatic knife and a spring-assisted one is absolutely tiny and in some cases even non-existent. The deployment speed depends on the specific brand and model of knives you are comparing.

8th KNIFE MYTH: A dull knife has an edge which has worn away.

Nope. Contrary to what you may think, a knife which has lost its edge has its edge folding on itself. This can occur because a sharp edge is microscopic and can be deformed from use.

9th KNIFE MYTH: The higher the price of a knife – the better its quality is.

This is not always the case, unfortunately. There are some overly expensive knives which are of lower quality that the cheaper ones. For example, some of the older S30V steel knives are much better from their more expensive upgraded S35VN ones. There are also some very good and reliable knives which you can get at a reasonable price.

10th KNIFE MYTH: don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.

This myth was actually tested and debunked in the Mythbusters show. The fact is that the person with the gun will feel overly confident that they will win, but when the fighting occurs in a closer space, the knife can be a really efficient weapon. The Mythbusters found that it is especially useful when the distance between the opponents 16 or fewer feet. Other experts claim that the distance is actually up to 21 feet.

11th KNIFE MYTH: A sword or knife can be stopped by a book or by a pocket full of coins.

A thick book can actually prevent getting stabbed by a sword, but the part about the coins is untrue. The coins are not fixed one to another which means they cannot stay in place no matter how packed your pocket is with them. The knife or sword can slide off of a coin, but the pocket full of coins is very unreliable protection from stabbing. So next time you are in a sword fight, leave the coins at home and take a thick book with you!

About the author – P.Burton – Paul is the founder of Perfect Blades where he and his team review knives, tools and knife sharpeners

The post Popular Knife Myths Debunked appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

To Prep or Not to Prep

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Michael Wilhelm. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


What you need to know about me is that I believe that violence is crap and being unprepared is stupid…I know what actions need to be done to provide for and keep my family safe… and I’m willing and able to perform those actions. But most of all, I expect you to do the same. No one has to do everything…but everyone must do something….It’s better to light a candle than to curse the dark.

WHY I PREP

My interest in prepping started nearly 20 years ago as a volunteer firefighter. During heavy snow and rain storms, the area my station serviced could become isolated from the rest of the district for days. This was mainly due to downed trees and power lines, flooded roads or heavy snowfall that made the roads impassable.

During these events, electrical power and phone service for the area could be out for days, we were basically on our own. As the station officer it was my responsibility to provide emergency service to the surrounding community, knowing that there would be no backup support. If someone was injured, got sick or if a house caught fire I was the person everyone was looking to, to take charge of the situation and provide not only the first response but likely the only response. So I had to have my station geared up and my firefighters trained up to do it all.

To ensure the station could support my crew. I had food, water, and extra fuel stored at the station. I had the district install a heavy-duty military grade generator that was large enough to provide more than enough power for the entire station.

It was in prepping the station that got me thinking about how well I was prepared for a prolonged emergency as home. I remember during an earthquake drill, discussing with my crew how the area could be cut off from the rest of the world for weeks. My station was geared up, but what about our homes? How would our families survive?

Originally my prepping efforts centered around the gear needed to respond to an earthquake, “the Big One”. I bought a generator, purchased extra canned goods, flashlights, batteries, and up scaled my personal trauma kit.

As a volunteer firefighter I had a “regular job” that had nearly an hour commute. The long commute to work got me to thinking about what would I do if the quake happened while I was at work. How would I get home? If I had to walk how long would it take? What route would I take? If it was to take more than a day did I have the necessary gear in my car to make such a trek?

So I put together an emergency car kit for each of our vehicles. At first it was just some beef jerky, an old pair of pants and a tee-shirt and a bottle of water in small day pack. Over the years I have refined my emergency car kit to support a two-day walk during the winter (worst case scenario).

Additionally, in considering the lack of warning that comes with an earthquake I started to become more aware of my everyday surroundings. Imagine you’re at the mall or in a school or at the movies, or in a downtown high-rise. Suddenly the place started to shake and before its done shaking, all the lights go out and you find yourself in darkness with a bunch of frightened people. And all you have to help you to survive is what you have in your pockets.

Again this got me to thinking about what I could carry on my person that would help increase my odds of survival, short of a backpack full of survival gear.

So I thought about what tools I could carry in my pocket that would help my chances of immediate survival. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Flashlight – It not only can help you see in the dark. It can also be used signal for help.
  • Knife – A cutting edge is a basic survival tool dating back to went people lived in caves. You may have to cut your seat-belt!
  • Lighter – The ability to make fire is another basic survival tool. It can provide warmth and comfort and also a means of signaling for help.
  • First Aid – I carry a small packed size first aid kit. You never know when you or someone you’re with will get a cut.

As with my emergency car kits this to has evolved. Today I don’t leave the house without the following:

This may look like a lot to carry around, and at times it is a pain. But after carrying these items in two pocket organizers for over 10 years I feel naked and vulnerable without them. These items go with me anytime I leave home. I also carry a 1911 Colt .45ACP Combat Commander and 14 rounds of ammo, my reasoning is…I would rather carry a gun and never need it than need one and not have it. For me a gun is just a tool that has a specified purpose that there is little or no substitute for.

When my daughter was a little kid I put an “Ouch-Pouch” and a flashlight in her school backpack. One day the power went out at her elementary school and she was the only person with a flashlight. So she got the job of escorting classmates to the restroom. To this day (she’s now 26) she still cares a flashlight along with a knife, a means to make a fire and an ouch-pouch.

To “be prepared” means that you not only have the tools and supplies at hand to help you survive but you also have the knowledge and skills that will aid in your survival. I my option everyone should learn how to start and maintain a fire without matches, should take a first aid class, and how to tie at lease 5 knots

So what are emergency kits and how are they different from survival gear? Damn good question. Below is my definition of both.

Emergency Kit

Emergency Vehicle Survival Kit

We have two types of kits, home and car, both are geared up with items focused on what we would need after a major earthquake.

  • Emergency Car Kit: Our car kits are packed with items that you would need if we had to walk for two days in the snow to get home. We purchased military style patrol packs and filled them with items like water, food, a change of clothes, matches and fire starter, a first aid kit, a poncho, emergency blanket. Each of our Emergency Car Kits contains over 50 items.
  • Emergency Home Kit: Basically an emergency home kit contains enough food, water and medical supplies to keep you and your family safe and feed for a minimum of 3 days (72 hours). Depending on the size of your family this could be a kit the size of the medium day pack or as big as a full size backpack.

Survival Gear

Over time our emergency home kit has morphed into survival gear. We have amassed enough food, water and supplies to support Janice and I for 6 month period at our home in Mukilteo and enough to support are needs for a year in Ocean Shores. Not counting food, our survival gear at Mukilteo consists of over 250 items. Not counting food our survival gear at Ocean Shores consists of over 5000 items. If you think about what you would need for your family to survive a year without the means to be resupplied it’s a lot of stuff.

Survival gear priorities are based on the “prepper” mantra of Bullet, Bandages & Beans (The Three B’s).

  • Bullets: Meaning security, the ability to defend yourself and protect your family and resources. Having all the gear in the whole won’t save you if you’re not able or willing to keep it from being taken. So firearms and ammo are the common solution for protection. The general rule on firearms is that you need two basic types, a rifle and a hand gun. The rifle is for making contact at a distance. The hand gun is for when things get up close and personal.
  • Bandages: Meaning anything to do with protecting your health. We have both first aid and medical kits. Our first aid gear is a system based on a model used by the army. The first aid you carry is only used for when you are injured. You do not use your first aid kit on others, everyone carries their own. Our medical supplies are more geared for treatment. We have meds, suture kits, trauma dressing, and the means to perform minor surgery and to treat broken bones.
  • Beans: Meaning food and anything that has to do with preparing food. The challenge with food is to making sure that don’t spoil before you need it. We have elected to purchase prepackaged survival food buckets. In general each bucket has enough food to provide one adult 2000 calories a day for 30 days. The buckets are vacuum sealed and have a 25 year shelf life. For the most part to prepare the food only requires heat and water. Additionally we have an ample supply of canned goods.

One of the most important aspect of having emergency kits and survival gear is to make sure the stuff is ready when you need it. Buying a bunch a food and survival stuff and putting it in contained and shoving it on shelf in your garage and forgetting about it is just a false sense of security. On a regular basic you need to inspect, resupply and upgrade your kits and gear. I do this annually. In March around my birthday, I go through all the car emergency kits. I cycle out the water, check food for expiration dates, upgrade or add new gear, and check batteries for signs of corrosion. The car kits I put together 10 years ago are gone. Over the years I have upgraded all the gear to include the packs and clothing. In September, around 9/11, I inspect our survival gear and both locations. Given the amount of gear we have this that’s the better part of a weekend, at each home but the peace of mind is well worth it.

The secret to being prepared is to be proactive. It like anything in life you only get out of it, what you put into it.
Besides having the gear and knowledge needed to survive, more importantly you need to develop a Family Emergency Plan (FEP). There are several sites and the internet that can help you with this developing a plan. Our plan is very detailed and I review it with the family at least once a year. Developing a FEP is a great exercise in discovering how prepared you and your family is for an emergency.

The bottom-line, if you’re not prepared you can’t help yourself nor can you help your family.

The post To Prep or Not to Prep appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Keeping Your Blades Sharp Post Disaster

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Redneck Prepper. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


As a beginning prepper, I have noticed that much attention is given to the blades and implements that would be needed to survive and thrive after a myriad of disaster scenarios. There seems however to be a lack of information on keeping these tools sharp, especially given the amount of articles about the tools themselves. Whether you are using a pocket knife to cut rope, a shovel or hoe to cultivate plants, or a skinning knife to dress your game, they are all guaranteed to dull with repeated use. I believe it is time to shed some light on the methods and implements used to maintain a working edge on your tools. This is what I will attempt to do.

Garden tools, axes, machetes, and chopping tools

Now that you are ready, either clamp your tool to a table, or secure it in a vice to begin.

Now that you are ready, either clamp your tool to a table, or secure it in a vice to begin.

While you can find many different and complicated instructions online for keeping your tools sharp, I will attempt to keep this simple and informative.

Your garden tools are different in both material and blade geometry than a knife blade. The first difference you will notice is that the edge is generally thicker and more rounded. This provides the durability needed for tools that will take impacts such as cutting a tree. And the steel is a less brittle alloy, providing both a more durable edge and the ability to more easily sharpen it. This is where the tool file comes in. A high carbon alloy, such as 5160 or D2, is too hard to be cut with a tool file. If you try to file a high carbon knife blade, the file will skate along the top of the surface and never leave a scratch. But it will cut into your tools. Now that we know the correct tool to keep your blades sharp, we move on to technique.

Work Sharp WSKTS-KO Knife and Tool Sharpener Ken Onion Edition

Work Sharp WSKTS-KO Knife and Tool Sharpener Ken Onion Edition – Makes sharpening all edged tools simple.

First you must determine the edge type on your tool. If you look closely at your ax, you will notice it has a double bevel. That means both sides of the edge are cut into a “V” shape with the point in the center of the edge. Look at the edge on your hoe next. You will notice that one side of the blade is flat and the other is beveled to produce a cutting edge. This is where that technique comes in. You always sharpen the blade in the manner in which it was made. Only file the beveled side on the single bevel, file both sides of the double bevel. And as long as you can see the original angle of the bevel that can be used as a guide for you to follow as you file.

The other consideration is how to use the file once you have determined the correct angle and edge type. The most common recommendation is to use the full length of the file as you move along the edge, this way you do not wear the teeth of the file in one small area.

Now that you are ready, either clamp your tool to a table, or secure it in a vice to begin. Align your file with the angle of your blade, and as you move down the edge, press down firmly on the forward stroke. Always release the pressure as you bring the file back. That way you not only have better chance of not cutting yourself, but you will not break the teeth of your file. Now repeat until your tool is sharp.

We are ready to move on to knives next.

Pocket knives, kitchen knives, skinning knives, and survival knives

Now that we assume your blade is only dull, not damaged, or that you have restored the profile to the blade, lets talk about honing

Now that we assume your blade is only dull, not damaged, or that you have restored the profile to the blade, lets talk about honing

 

Without getting too technical about the varying alloys and blade geometries that can effect sharpening, I will attempt to give some basic information on keeping your cutting implements in usable form.

Most of the time the average person will attempt to sharpen a dull blade with either a stone or one of those pull through sharpeners that are laying in countless kitchen drawers. While they will make your knife somewhat sharper, they remove excess material and are not normally necessary. We will examine why.

A stone has a basic purpose, it allows you to remove material from the hardened steel of your blade. This is helpful if you have chipped or blunted the cutting edge and it becomes necessary to re-profile the edge. This will get your blade back into the geometry that provides the best cutting edge. But for everyday sharpening this is unneeded and causes your blade to wear prematurely. The same can be said for the pull through sharpener. It will sharpen somewhat, but it will wear your blade out with constant use. There are numerous instructional articles written on using a stone, and they are far better written that I am capable of, so I will not go into great detail on that.

Now that we assume your blade is only dull, not damaged, or that you have restored the profile to the blade, lets talk about honing. Most everyone has seen a chef whipping his blade up and down a cylindrical tool, but do not realize exactly why. That cylindrical object is known as a honing steel. The idea is not to remove material, but to pull the microscopic teeth that make up your cutting edge back into alignment. Those teeth bend down as the knife is used. This method restores the sharpness to your blade without the effort or wear.

Now back to the chef, he is merrily whipping his blade along the length of the steel without a care. As cool as it looks, it is highly impractical and mostly for the purpose of showing off for his audience. For the rest of us, the correct method is to hold your steel firmly in your hand and press the tip against a table or counter top. Now with a light coating of oil on your steel, it is time for the knife. You want to hold the blade at approximately 22.5 degrees to the steel, beginning with the hilt at the top of the steel. Now bring the blade down slowly while also moving the length of the blade along the steel. This will work better if you have at least the same length steel as the blade you are sharpening. You may not be able to see the effect it is having, but it is working. Just be sure you keep track of how many strokes you make on each side of the blade, this needs to be equal on both sides. Now repeat.

Once you are confident that you have made a difference on your knife, wipe the blade with a rag, and check the sharpness carefully. I will not tell you how I do that because someone will surely injure themselves and blame me. You should notice a remarkable difference in sharpness. Congratulations, you have just taken the first step to keeping your blades in optimal cutting condition.

This article is by no means the most informative source on the subject, nor the most articulate. It is however my hope that I have provided some needed information that may benefit someone along their journey. Even if that is by encouraging you to research the subject elsewhere.

Keep your powder dry and your tools sharp out there.

The post Keeping Your Blades Sharp Post Disaster appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Making a G.O.O.D PLAN: Get Out Of Dodge

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Michael Wilhelm. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


WHAT IS A G.O.O.D. PLAN?

Basically a GOOD Plan is life’s Plan B. Plan A, is what we are currently living. We live in society that pretty much provides for all our basic needs and then some. Plan A is where the electric is always on, clean water comes out of the faucet, when you dial 911 someone shows up to help you. Plan A is where babies are born in hospitals, our kids are educated in schools to prepare them for employment, were adults working at jobs to receive monetary compensation so they can exchange it for things they need and want. Plan A is where some people get married, have kids, enjoy comfortable retirement, and then die. Plan A is commonly referred to as the “Center Holds”. We live a life of electricity, gas for our cars, food available nearly everywhere, and a government that provides a degree of law and order and responds to most emergency that may befall us.

Most of us are on board with Plan A. But what if Plan A fails? What if the Center doesn’t hold? What if events, beyond your control, fall upon you and change all you know and expect from life. Do you have a Plan B? What if you find that you can no long stay in your current home due to lack of power, water and food? What if your neighborhood is no longer safe and you have to leave, to “Get Out Of Dodge”. Where would you go? How would you get there? How would you live once you got there? What is your Plan B?

The primary purpose of this document is to get you thinking about Plan B. And to provide a very basic understanding of things to consider if you decide to develop a Plan B. As with Plan A you layout goals and acquire resources that will support you Plan A goals. Same with Plan B, you develop goals, then start acquiring resources.

The purpose of a GOOD Plan is to get you, and your family, to a place of safety and survival before SHTF (Shit Hits The Fan). Your plan needs to be executable and based in reality. A good GOOD Plan will answer three questions.

  • Where are you going?
  • When do you leave?
  • What are you taking?

Finally, you need to communicate your GOOD plan with your family. Doesn’t help to have a plan if no one’s aware of it.

WHERE ARE YOU GOING?

Survival Retreat

A GOOD Plan assumes that you will be leaving your current / normal place of residence for a Survival Retreat. However, if you currently live in a place that meets the basic requirement of a Survival Retreat, then there is no reason to leave.
A Survival Retreat is a predetermined place that you would be living at for at least a year. By predetermined I mean that you know where the place is, you know how to get there and, if you don’t own it, then you are expected by the owner or have their permission to stay.

The basic first requirements for a retreat is no different from any piece of real estate, it all starts with location. A retreat that is remote, and off the beaten path is preferred over one that is in or next to populated areas. Your retreat needs to be defendable. It needs to have access to fresh water, and a fuel/energy source.

Fresh water can come from rivers, streams, lakes or rainfall. A retreat fuel/energy source is either one that you have stockpiled like gasoline or diesel fuels. Or ones that you have developed like wind, solar, and/or hydro. Additionally, there are natural energy sources like trees, and coal that can be harvested and burned.

Consideration should be given as to how the retreat will support your family. It is large enough? If you plan to grow food, is land suitable for gardening? Can you protect the food you grow from wildlife?

As to defending a retreat, the best ones don’t need defending. Meaning its location is such that access is difficult or well concealed. The goal is to be able to fend off a small band of four to six attackers. What is the most likely avenue of attack? What can you do to neutralize that avenue? For attacks by groups larger than six you need to have a means of escape. The escape route needs to be concealed and will get you and your family out of harms’ way.

Another consideration is your route of travel to the retreat. Ideally you will be leaving before there are roadblocks. But in case you don’t and the primary route is blocked. You need to have a secondary route. Neither route should depend on things like ferries or airplanes. Both routes should be ones that if needed you could walk.

Other things to consider when selecting a retreat

  • What is its condition, are repairs needed?
  • Does it have a means of heating and cooking without electric or gas?
  • Is it physically large enough to support your family?
  • If you don’t there full time and you stockpile resources, can it be secure?

Ideally you have stockpiled enough food, water, and other survival gear at your retreat that will support your group through at least the first year. This will give to time to establish a mean of addition food source, like a garden, bartering or developing your hunting and fishing skills.

An eye-opening exercise is to make a list of all the things you would need for you and your family to survive for a year without being restocked, access to support systems like medical services, and no power, running water or sewage service.
How much food would you need, how about clothing, medical supplies, weapons and ammo? What knowledge or skills would you need?

Once you have the list, cross off all the items you currently have. I think you will find that other than a camp stove and sleeping bags and some clothing you are in need of a lot of shit.

WHEN DO YOU LEAVE?

bug out before disaster

In developing a GOOD Plan there are two terms that need defined and given consideration that help in determine when to Get Out Of Dodge.

The first term is tipping point. A tipping point is a moment in time that due to a series of events or one major event the odds of society collapsing and going off the deep end, are the same odds as the center holding and life pretty much continue as it has, otherwise a moment when things could go either way. Pandemics, economic collapse and national wide civil unrest are the events that would lead to a tipping point.

A collapse of society is better known to “preppers” as TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It). While TEOTWAWKI indicates once things go to hell, they stay that way forever. I believe that after a period of time things will return to a more civilized / normal way of life. The challenge will be to survive till it does. This leads to two questions, how bad will it get? And how long will it last? The theory is, the worst things gets, the longer it lasts, the longer it lasts, the worst things will get.

The second term is trip wire event (TWE), this is an event or events that when it happen, tells you it’s time to GOOD. The term trip wire comes from the practice of stringing a wire around your camp about 4” off the ground. The wire is connected to a device that can warn you that an intruder is attempting to enter your camp. A TWE is a warning that in the near future shit is going to hit fan. The challenge with TWE is that different events that would result in TEOTWAWKI would have different trip wires. For example, a TWE for a pandemic is different from those for an economic collapse. Though a major pandemic would, or could cause an economic collapse. If you wait to GOOD till the economic collapse you’re leaving too late. TWEs are also flexible and always being reevaluated.

Another challenge with TWEs is selecting ones that when they happen there is enough time to allow you to GOOD before TEOTWAWKI. Like a trip wire around your camp site. Too close to the camp and there’s no time to react. A TWE needs to be before the SHTF, meaning before the electrical power is off, before the grocery stores are out of food, before all the gas stations are closed, before police and firefighters stop showing up for work, before there are roadblocks (either those set up by the government or the ones set up by morons with guns).

Also when considering TWE you don’t want ones that are not so far in advance of the SHTF that you GOOD before it’s necessary. The same is true for a campsite tripwire, too far away can having you react to something that was not really a threat. Staying put till the right time to GOOD will allow you to continue gathering supplies.

In putting together a GOOD Plan you can categorize TEOTWAWKI events into one of two types, CONSIDERED EVENTS and NON-CONSIDERED EVENTS. A Considered Event is one that could happen and you can prepare for it. A Non-considered Event is one that is damn near impossible to happen or if it does no amount of prepping will save you.

Below are Considered Events that I believe warrant the execution of our GOOD plan.

Power Grid Down:
There are three main power grids in this country, Eastern, Western and Texas. All are susceptible to hacking or physical sabotage. The loss of one grid would have a direct impact on the other two. Experts estimate that if the grid is taking down by a hacker it could take months to a year to get the system back up. Experts also say that it’s not a matter of if the grid is hack but more of a matter of when.

Economic Collapse:
This event will have plenty of warnings but when it happens it will hit hard and fast. The impact will push many people over the edge. Don’t wait too long to GOOD. Another challenge in this event will be to have a stockpiled a resource that will have value after the collapse that you can use to barter with for things you don’t have but need to survive.

Pandemic:
Pandemic is basically an outbreak of a disease that is highly contagious, deadly and wide-spread. It could start in any part of the world. The primary goal will be to get away from areas of large populations or if you can’t get away, have a means to isolate yourself from those who are infected.

Civil Unrest:
This event will undoubtedly happen during a pandemic and economy collapse. But there is a long list of other event that could result in wide-spread civil unrest. The primary challenge will be security, protecting your family and resources.

The following are Non-considered Events that I have no intention of planning for.

  • Global thermonuclear war (this would not include a single nuclear attack by a terrorist)
  • An attack/invasion by aliens from outer space
  • A plague that results in people who die becoming flesh-eating zombies
  • The earth being sucked into a black hole
  • The earth being hit by a planet killing asteroid (ELE, Extinctions Level Event)

WHAT ARE YOU TAKING?

Ideally you have stockpile resources at your retreat and the items you’re taking are minimal. For the most part you will need damn near everything you didn’t stockpiled. Your GOOD Plan should list out what you’re taking. The recommendation is to pack based on priorities of, security first (weapons and ammo), first aid/medical, then all the non-perishable food you have in your home, any camping gear you have, any type of fuel, and if you have one, take your generator. If space allows, load up clothing, linen, “How To” books, tools and any items that might be used for barter. My recommendation is bring the dog but leave the cat (unless you are willing to eat the cat).

WHAT TO EXPECT IF SHTF?

shtf disaster

Besides for being prepped up with survival supplies and resources, you need to also prep your mind. You need to be mentally prepared for the weeks and months ahead. Prepare to make tough decisions. Decisions that may, and can mean the difference between life and death. So what can you expect? If you think about it, about a week or so after SHTF there’s a good chance basic services, like police, fire and medical responses will be gone or greatly decreased. Once power is off for the entire area for more than three days there’s a good chance things are only going to go from bad to worst. If you turn on a portable TV or radio and the only broadcast is emergency information message telling you to stay at home and wait further orders or tell you were the nearest FEMA camp is located. You can bet the economy is near to or in the process of collapsing.

Once the economy has collapsed the only person still working will be mostly be the first responders and the military. And they will stop showing up once they sense that their families are at risk. Once that happens there goes the last means of public security. Hopefully before any of this happens you and your family will be at a survival retreat. Regardless were you are you will be on your own.

Without securing items like food, water and protection will be mostly gone. If there is no public security people will stop showing up for work and stay home to protect their family. There will be hard times in the first weeks and months. Due to the lack of resources like food, drinking water, medical support and electricity there will be a lot of people dying. The first to go will be the physically impaired. People that cannot fend for themselves, or cannot move under their own power, people who depend on regular medication to stay alive. Nearly all these people will be dead in the first week or less. The next group to go will be the poor. With little or no resources to start with, most will holdout in their homes and apartments waiting, hoping that “someone”is coming to help them. Prior to a total collapse some of the poor and unprepared will be “helped” by the government in being relocated to a FEMA camp. These camps will offer food, shelter, and security until the military collapses. At that point the things with fall into chaos as it did at the Superdome during Katrina. The camp will collapse into a “dog-eat-dog” environment. It will be brutal and deadly. In my option these camps are to be avoided at all costs.

As to the healthy but unprepared a number of them will be injured or killed trying to find a means of survival or escape the cities. Without medical attention the injured will succumb to their wounds/injuries. In a SHTF world, if you are not prepared, a broken arm or leg, a laceration that is allowed to become infected can kill you. The unprepared people who last the longest will and can pose the biggest threat by forming into predatory gangs. These gangs will be armed, mobile and lethal. They will do whatever they want to secure food and resources. As they consume the resources in an area they will move on to other areas of opportunity. Some will travel by vehicle once they figure out how to connect a generator up to a gas pump. Ours will move on foot. The leaders of these gangs will more in likely have been criminals prior to SHTF or maybe military training or both. Due to being forced to “live off the land” these gangs will likely be mostly male and consist of less than 20 people. There are two options for dealing with these gangs. The first, and best option, is to avoid contact. Stay concealed and under the radar. The second is to attack and kill them before they attack and kill you. My guess is that most of these groups will relocate to parts of the country where the climate is mild year round.

In a long-term survival situation, there are lots of areas you will have to be mentally prepared for. Of all of them death will be the most challenging. Death of a love one or a vital member of the group can leave you mentally vulnerable and weak. Your challenge will be to morn but not let the event push you into a feeling of hopelessness. Every member of your group needs to be physically and mentally strong. The way to strengthen your body is through exercise. The same is true for the mind. Your group will need to hold regular meeting to discuss events that can happen. This will help to prepare the group mentally for impactful events. Discussing responses to events and making a plan will help to prevent confusion and inaction if the event occurs.

The post Making a G.O.O.D PLAN: Get Out Of Dodge appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Being Honest with Yourself: A Prepping Reality Check

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Chevyguy. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


The more articles and prepping books I read and the YouTube Videos I watch I find a very obvious question that I don’t think people are asking themselves. The more I start to question if these people have anything valuable to say or worthwhile to show. What is this huge imposing question? Are these preppers being honest with themselves?

Now I realize in the Survival lifestyle there is a lot of ways to break it down. From bugging in or out, which kind of food storage to have, how to defend yourself, which weapons to own the lists can go on and on. But the word Survive itself is where I think people are completely missing the point. Survival! It’s not a TV show, it’s not a video game, there are no restarts and no second chances. You do or die, make the right call or fail, eat or starve. It’s not glamorous it’s not pretty and if it happens to you,  it won’t be the Hollywood version you have seen on movies. With these thoughts in mind, I have compiled a selected few topics I think people should reevaluate in their lives and make and give yourself a prepping reality check.

Why are you prepping anyway?

First and foremost what in the hell are you prepping for and why? Do you live in area prone to floods or hurricane alley? Is your home in a place that has regularly harsh winters or some other kind of recurring natural disasters? If so, then you have an easy to envision goal to strive for. When part of your normal life could be that you’re snowed in and can’t get out for two months, its nice to have food, water and heat that you can provide for yourself. If you live in flood zones its nice to have sand bags handy that are all ready filled and ready to go and other natural methods of water diversion. But then I read of people who prepare for this TEOTWAWKI and I take a step back and wonder what that means to them.

For my wife, the end of the world as we know it is a world without Facebook. To a guy at work it’s no TV and no way to charge his vape batteries. To others it’s a nuclear holocaust as is portrayed in the Fallout video games. Before you start prepping, you need to have a vision of something realistic that you are preparing for. I find it easy to think of a certain problem, for example how will I stay warm, and go forth from there. Find a simple problem and then find several different ways to fix that particular problem. Keep your problems small and you can tackle them more easily. Don’t start with how to heat your house, focus instead on how am I going to stay warm – how am I going to keep my safe room warm? Because honestly you don’t need your whole house to be warm. You don’t even need your room to be warm, all you need is your body to be warm to survive.

Once you start breaking basic problems down you’ll see that you are a lot better off and better prepared to face your challenges. This is also great for somebody who is just starting out in prepping or maybe have been doing it for a while but feels like they are missing something or there is a giant hole in their supplies. Focus on the little things because you start adding a bunch of little things up and they become a very big thing. Would it be cool to have NBC gear and gas masks for Nuclear Fallout, to have full body armor and a diverse array of weaponry at your disposal? Sure it would be but that’s all it would be, cool. For most people, it would not be practical. When you’re wearing all that cool gear starving or dying from dehydration you will wish you would have used that money to prepare for something that could have been used not something tacticool.

Your supplies won’t last forever.

Second, realize that everything you hoard will run out, it’s not a lifeline, it’s a buffer. There is no way the average person has enough room and space, let alone money to stockpile roughly 50 years of food and water nor have the ability to move it around if needed. The most common responses I get from people when asked what they’ll do in an emergency is, ‘we have rice and beans well be fine’, or ‘we’ll just garden we won’t need the grocery store’. The problem with these people is that they don’t consider the amount of water for rice and beans or the amount of time food takes to grow.

The one, single, solitary thing that will keep you alive are skills. Having a stockpile is great and I myself am working on creating one, but you must have the skills and the materials to replenish that stockpile before it’s all gone. Many people who garden, rarely stockpile plain empty canning jars and lids or know of or have the skills to persevere garden harvests from spoiling. Folks who plan to hunt either haven’t done it in a while or only know how to use a firearm. They’ve never used or considered a bow, traps, snares or other methods. They are just planning on being able to go hunt and survive. They don’t consider how skilled (and lucky) you have to be to even see game, let alone how much competition from other people trying to survive they will encounter.

Another huge problem with stockpiling is people become targets to looters. Chances are someone has seen you unloading your massive amounts of beans and rice at one point or another. Or someone you know is aware of that root cellar you have outside. When you have so much crap that you can’t easily hide it, others are going to look at you as their lifeline or their target. Last note on stockpiling is stop stockpiling crap. Will a hundred empty peanut butter jars be helpful, probably not as much as you think because there going to be so many other empty peanut butter jars out there. Will a hundred cheap flashlights from the dollar store be the cure-all for lights? Good reliable gear is not cheap. I am not saying you have to spend a million dollars to have decent gear as a lot of it is way over priced but have something that’s quality built not just crap. You will appreciate it one day.

How much is too much?

Good reliable gear brings us into our third topic, don’t be a gear whore. Is having some back up gear nice to have, yes, but don’t we all get that momentary high from getting new things? All that gear you have stocked away is great but do you know how to use it? What good does it do you to have an AR and all the ammo in the world if you don’t know how to shoot it? Can you properly tear it down, clean and lube it? What usefulness does a fully loaded medic bag do if you don’t even know basic wound care, CPR or even what’s in the bag?

I find a lot of people will buy these “ultimate anything bags” and throw em in the corner and think they are good to go without ever really knowing what’s in them. They have never used any of the supplies before, hell sometimes they haven’t even unwrapped some of the components inside. The best way for gear to assist you is if you have the skills to use it properly. You want a sure-fire way of knowing what gear you need for a 72 hour bag? Throw in some minor stuff and go survive out of it for 72 hours. Try and build a shelter by testing out that weirdo from YouTube’s latest and greatest shelter design. Try and build a solar still and see how much water you get. Live in an urban environment? Pack a bag and try to leave the city. See how fast and how far you can get each day on foot. Find safe places to hole up for the night.

There is a reason why highly skilled military operatives go through so many mock training courses, because that is the only way you’ll know how you will react in that situation. You train over and over and then reflect back on the experience. It builds muscle memory. Do you really need that 400-dollar ultra light tent or is a tarp that much better to use? Sure flint and steel are a good idea but should I have some matches to use too? Only by going out and trying out your gear will you know if it fits your plan of action and if it actually works for you. Most of you will probably be pretty disappointed.

What shape are you in?

You don’t want to have your health working against you in an emergency.

Now lets talk about physical fitness levels. I work on my feet for 8-10 hours a day -eat like a typical mid twenty year old and weigh 150 pounds. Can I throw on an extra 20-pound bag and walk for 15 miles a day, then sleep on the cold ground and eat crappy food and walk another 15 miles the next day? The answer is no, and if you asked yourself that question, your answers still probably the same. Everyone has the crazy idea of running to the mountains and living like the old school mountain men. The problem is that most mountains are a few hours if you are lucky in a vehicle and a few weeks by foot. Can you make that distance?

I’m not saying that you need to spend 8 hours a day in a gym working out getting ready for SHTF but a few hours a week is probably not a bad idea for anyone. Getting to know your body’s physical limits is a good idea but pushing them is even better. Once you think you know how much you can take, it allows you to start breaking down those mental barriers that are preventing you from achieving more.

A part of overall fitness is physical health as well. This is especially important to those of you who are dependent on medications to survive. I am not talking about medications to just make life a little easier or lower risks of certain types of things but to physically stay alive. In a survival situation there is no drug stores, no pharmacy and there will be no way to renew that medication. If your health is dependent on these medications, in the short-term you die. Everything you have stockpiled will be of no help to you. I’m sorry but the laws of nature and natural selection are what a survival situation really comes down to. The strong survive and reproduce. The weak die off and the ones who have bad traits die off. There is no way around this problem. Now for those who take a blood pressure medicine to prevent risk of heart attack. You’ll probably die of a heart attack once your meds run out and you’re in a high stress situation. But you can still go on, still fight and survive because you are not dependent upon your meds to stay breathing. For those people who are in that category you need to seriously reevaluate your plans and your expectations as you’ll have the hardest and shortest of times.

It’s time for some to have a reality check

Last I want to talk about some people’s grand plans and ideas they have to survive a SHTF scenario. I’ll break this up into two sections bugging in and out.

Bugging Out

Lighter is always smarter.

Lets start with bugging out. A 72 hour bag, bug out bag is supposed to get you to a well supplied location within a 72 hour walking distance. It’s not meant to live out of for the rest of your life. It’s not meant to stock your bug out location. Its to get you from your home to your bug out location or some other safer location. People over complicate the hell out of a bug out bag. Light and fast should be the motto when building a bug out bag.

A lot of people will argue against this idea and try to pack as much prepping supplies as they can carry. If that’s you,  then you don’t have a 72 hour bag you have a INCH bag (I’m Never Coming Home) bag were you will need extra things to survive because you do not have a survival stash location. Your plan is that you are heading out the door and you will be forced to survive with everything on your back. Another question I hear frequently is ‘what if your location isn’t 72 hours away – what if its five or six days away?’ Well then you need to have a resupply location in between your home and your location, a temporary bug out location if you will that some people call a cache. A survial cache is a place that you have another fully loaded 72-hour bag ready to go, or at least additional items to resupply what you have used already. If at all possible, this cache location is also a place where you can rest for a little while and regain some strength and stamina. People might wonder why this is necessary and the answer to that is weight. If you have a resupply location, you can carry only the items you need to get you to that point. You don’t have to add-on the extra 3 days worth of water and food. Instead of having a 60-pound pack you can now have a nice 25 pound pack that you’ll be able to travel a lot faster with. Obviously stashing a pack takes some planning and thought process but its much easier on the back if the mind does all the work. Seriously reconsider what your bug out plan is I realize that sometimes 72 hours away isn’t far enough distance away from a problem so plan ahead of time.

Bugging In

Now lets cover bugging in. I like bugging in because it doesn’t involve as much walking plus there are softer beds to be slept in. But the thing with bugging in is security from a number of aspects. First, when you are on the road in a survival situation, you’re a target. Some loser will think he can come and take what you have and you will need to be ready to take a life if it’s required unless you want to jeopardize your safety or your supplies.

The Second risk is a theft situation, you and your supplies need to be locked up tight from anyone trying to break in which means a better built door and windows to start with. Whatever it takes to keep people locked out. Third is a smoked out situation, in the old days people would die from being trapped in a house because looters or a mob burned it down and they were trapped inside. The solution isn’t to have a secret escape route out of the house its to have a fire-proof house. They make metal roofs and concrete siding all of which are fireproof and if enough money is spent on windows not even small arms fire can get through them. Bunkers are nice but unpractical as the cost of construction and they pose their own set of problems with airflow and sanitation. Consider the construction of your house to determine the safety of your house, remember the home is your castle and that’s what needs defending and they sure didn’t build em out of wood back in the day. Maybe go back through the house and analyze how you would survive your firefight or a Molotov cocktail incident.

To conclude I just want to bring reality back to people. I myself get caught up with having a huge stockpile of stuff. The best gear I can afford in my BOB, and planning for a highly unlikely scenario when there’s a more probable one to plan and prepare for. I want people to be able to take away something positive from this article that will help improve their chances of life in a terrible situation. It’s easy to get caught up in all the hype and the latest and greatest survival gear but ultimately it comes down to you and your skills, mental ability and your planning that will let you see another day. If you take the time to go back through your check lists and evaluate with an honest heart, how well you have things together and have prepared I promise, you wont regret it.

The post Being Honest with Yourself: A Prepping Reality Check appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

10 Must Have Natural Remedies for Preppers

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post has been contributed by Saqib. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Writing Contest today.


Imagine women giving birth centuries ago or imagine you suffer from some critical injury or serious ailment. Centuries ago, there was not the concept of technology and there certainly weren’t the advances in medical science we have today. Your best option would be to call the tribal medicine doctor or shaman. Someone who knew how to use a leaf as a bandage and how to break and pull a teeth out with a stone. Could you survive? Could you stay healthy? Could you even live long enough to see the next sunrise? Thinking of those types of situations now, it hardly seems possible, but we humans are tenacious and if it was impossible,  then how did mankind make it this far? If modern medicines and advances in science are the only reason we are combating serious diseases now, then how did we make it this far?

The answer to this question is simple – Mother Nature has her own secrets.  There are many who fear that humans won’t be able to survive without the conveniences of modern medicine. Granted, we won’t be able to say life on the scale that we can now, but there are natural options.  Humans made it pretty far along the span of history without any complicated and advanced sciences. For sure there is something much greater reserved in nature. Today we will discuss 10 must have natural remedies that will could offer comfort and healing when the possibility of modern medicine is gone.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Everything from stomach related disorders, to vitality upgrade, to counteract diseases . Taken before suppers, it even assists with weight reduction! Likewise, the vinegar is one of those ‘100 uses’ wonder items. It has topical applications from eye drops to against tingle treatment and numerous other first guide employments.

Honey

Yes the gift of God, the food of heaven, honey is one of those natural remedies that you need to have around in your house. The food of God, honey is both good for medicinal purpose and equally serves as a dessert. Honey also has 1st aid and topical skin care application benefits that are far superior to toxic cosmetic treatments.

Garlic

In the event that anything upgrades nourishment season or enhances well-being better, it’s yet to be found. There’s an excessive number of advantages to list here that range from extraordinary against viral and hostile to bacterial properties to keeping up sound blood cholesterol levels to treating sort 2 diabetes.

Coconut Oil

Coconut milk and coconut oil on wooden table

Coconut oil has hundreds of uses not to mention as a cooking oil and is one of the best skin “creams” you can put all over and hands. Furthermore, it even fills in as a weapon lube oil when absolutely necessary. It can be put away effectively as it doesn’t ruin at room temperature and cements beneath 76 degrees.

Hydrogen Peroxide

A slightly different solution, hydrogen peroxide is good for skin care and nurturing. We’re talking about 35% FOOD grade, which is NOT the same as what you normally purchase. The 35% grade can actually burn your skin if you put too much in one spot. But you can dilute a drop or so depending upon the requirement in a glass of water and you have a prophylaxis or potential cure.

Flax

China seeds are viewed as the ideal natural nourishment since they contain an excessive number of advantages to list here. More to it, who might trust that what gives off an impression of being simply one more “weed” with entirely blue blooms would be a characteristic of well-being.

Steam Water – Distilled Water

Refined water is a more dissoluble than different waters, particularly “hard” water. It cleans independent from anyone else, particularly the skin, without cleaning added substances. It has an alternate particle structure than non-refined water that pulls in overwhelming metals and different poisons in your framework and removes them from your body when it experiences your urinary procedure!

Red Chili

Red chilli pepper

Looking for immediate skin care of for some nerve pain relief, the red chili is your spicy go to product. Beware heavy eating can bring about some serious trouble. Proceed with caution.

Bergamot

Bergamot is also a good source of vitamins and is said to have super anti-oxidant and other unique properties that enhance well-being and promote anti-aging. Exemplified by all the dancing and bike riding you see 100-year-old Italians doing.

Aloe Vera

This is viewed as an attempted and demonstrated must have mending plant that as a rule is related with skin medicines, particularly consumes, yet it is much more flexible than simply that. Make ointments and medicine from a mix of coconut oil, aloe, and nectar for astounding skin revival properties.

Author Bio: Saqib Khan, is an inquisitive blogger and loves to spread his knowledge. With a penchant for politics and current affairs, Saqib’s new field of interest social development. He is currently associated with an online video curation site in Pakistan named Ravapk offering news and entertainment, intelligently and with utmost credibility.

The post 10 Must Have Natural Remedies for Preppers appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

10 Must Have Natural Remedies for Preppers

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post has been contributed by Saqib. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Writing Contest today.


Imagine women giving birth centuries ago or imagine you suffer from some critical injury or serious ailment. Centuries ago, there was not the concept of technology and there certainly weren’t the advances in medical science we have today. Your best option would be to call the tribal medicine doctor or shaman. Someone who knew how to use a leaf as a bandage and how to break and pull a teeth out with a stone. Could you survive? Could you stay healthy? Could you even live long enough to see the next sunrise? Thinking of those types of situations now, it hardly seems possible, but we humans are tenacious and if it was impossible,  then how did mankind make it this far? If modern medicines and advances in science are the only reason we are combating serious diseases now, then how did we make it this far?

The answer to this question is simple – Mother Nature has her own secrets.  There are many who fear that humans won’t be able to survive without the conveniences of modern medicine. Granted, we won’t be able to say life on the scale that we can now, but there are natural options.  Humans made it pretty far along the span of history without any complicated and advanced sciences. For sure there is something much greater reserved in nature. Today we will discuss 10 must have natural remedies that will could offer comfort and healing when the possibility of modern medicine is gone.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Everything from stomach related disorders, to vitality upgrade, to counteract diseases . Taken before suppers, it even assists with weight reduction! Likewise, the vinegar is one of those ‘100 uses’ wonder items. It has topical applications from eye drops to against tingle treatment and numerous other first guide employments.

Honey

Yes the gift of God, the food of heaven, honey is one of those natural remedies that you need to have around in your house. The food of God, honey is both good for medicinal purpose and equally serves as a dessert. Honey also has 1st aid and topical skin care application benefits that are far superior to toxic cosmetic treatments.

Garlic

In the event that anything upgrades nourishment season or enhances well-being better, it’s yet to be found. There’s an excessive number of advantages to list here that range from extraordinary against viral and hostile to bacterial properties to keeping up sound blood cholesterol levels to treating sort 2 diabetes.

Coconut Oil

Coconut milk and coconut oil on wooden table

Coconut oil has hundreds of uses not to mention as a cooking oil and is one of the best skin “creams” you can put all over and hands. Furthermore, it even fills in as a weapon lube oil when absolutely necessary. It can be put away effectively as it doesn’t ruin at room temperature and cements beneath 76 degrees.

Hydrogen Peroxide

A slightly different solution, hydrogen peroxide is good for skin care and nurturing. We’re talking about 35% FOOD grade, which is NOT the same as what you normally purchase. The 35% grade can actually burn your skin if you put too much in one spot. But you can dilute a drop or so depending upon the requirement in a glass of water and you have a prophylaxis or potential cure.

Flax

China seeds are viewed as the ideal natural nourishment since they contain an excessive number of advantages to list here. More to it, who might trust that what gives off an impression of being simply one more “weed” with entirely blue blooms would be a characteristic of well-being.

Steam Water – Distilled Water

Refined water is a more dissoluble than different waters, particularly “hard” water. It cleans independent from anyone else, particularly the skin, without cleaning added substances. It has an alternate particle structure than non-refined water that pulls in overwhelming metals and different poisons in your framework and removes them from your body when it experiences your urinary procedure!

Red Chili

Red chilli pepper

Looking for immediate skin care of for some nerve pain relief, the red chili is your spicy go to product. Beware heavy eating can bring about some serious trouble. Proceed with caution.

Bergamot

Bergamot is also a good source of vitamins and is said to have super anti-oxidant and other unique properties that enhance well-being and promote anti-aging. Exemplified by all the dancing and bike riding you see 100-year-old Italians doing.

Aloe Vera

This is viewed as an attempted and demonstrated must have mending plant that as a rule is related with skin medicines, particularly consumes, yet it is much more flexible than simply that. Make ointments and medicine from a mix of coconut oil, aloe, and nectar for astounding skin revival properties.

Author Bio: Saqib Khan, is an inquisitive blogger and loves to spread his knowledge. With a penchant for politics and current affairs, Saqib’s new field of interest social development. He is currently associated with an online video curation site in Pakistan named Ravapk offering news and entertainment, intelligently and with utmost credibility.

The post 10 Must Have Natural Remedies for Preppers appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Prepping With Kids

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Diesel Jester. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


If you’d asked me 16 years ago if I’d be ready for when the SHTF, I would’ve answered yes without any kind of hesitation. After all, I was single, I was a Ground Team Leader in the Air Force Auxiliary unit Civil Air Patrol, I had worked as an Armed Security Agent, was working in the airlines, and had taken a multitude of camping, firearms, first aid, and survival courses. In the chaos of 9/11 I’d been told that I’d handled myself admirably and with a cool and level head by my co-workers and supervisors. I felt prepared.

Then I met my wife-to-be, moved across the country, and settled into suburban life.

As the years passed my emergency gear went by the wayside, my skills waned a bit, and I had to sell my sidearm at one point in order to afford to move to where jobs were available at due to recession. I didn’t think too much about getting back into emergency preparedness because I had work to do, education to finish, and the everyday chores of life to deal with. It wasn’t until the last couple of years ago when my wife and I became parents of two lovely children that we adopted. Once the process was over, my wife said words that I’d never thought that I’d hear from her:

“I want to prepare for the worst.”

At first you could’ve knocked me over with a feather as I never thought she’d want to become a pepper. Then I wanted to shout my elation at the green light to do something that I’ve been wanting to do again for so long. Heck, I got the go-ahead to buy guns again (Hello AR-7 and Ruger 22/45!). As I started delving back into the world of prepping by looking at articles, making lists, buying supplies, I had to stop for a moment because there was something that I hadn’t counted on having back in my Civil Air Patrol days. There was now a new factor to the equation: Prepping with Kids.

My Children are 9 and 2. I’ve found that I had to modify my lists to suit their needs and capabilities along with my own (especially after seeing a tear-jerking video on Facebook last year about a family bugging out over the course of a year between the daughter’s birthdays). This is what I came up with and your own mileage may vary on how your own situation might be similar or different from my own.

Having kids is certainly an adjustment – both to your every day life and your prepping plans.

What is your disaster plan?

This was the big question for us. What was our plan for when the SHTF happens? Were we going to bug out or bug in? As we live in Alaska now, I realize that we have an abundance of resources around us, a decent community that we live in, and we’re pretty isolated. So bugging out will probably only happen in the event that our town is evacuated for whatever reason. So getting BOBs was high on the list and I started getting the 5-Day Packs available at our local stores. Ultimately it’s going to be a bug-in scenario as all of our resources are where we live along with people that we know and can trust.

But what about your children?

While I love my kids, they are going to be a liability that I’ll need to consider in an emergency situation. Thankfully my 9-year-old has a level head and knows how to decently handle themselves when things get bad. They love the outdoors, can carry a basic BOB on their shoulders, and likes helping mom and dad around the house. I have started taking them to the local gun range to teach safety and shooting with my new .22 rifle and handgun that I mentioned above. I’d chosen those as they’d be easy for my kids to learn on, they’re lightweight and easily concealable if we need to go on a long walk, the ammo is interchangeable between the two of them, and they’ll be effective for hunting small game in the area. My 2-year-old, however, is a big concern as they’re still in diapers. My toddler can walk for maybe a mile and has lots of energy but right now a bug out bag weighs as much as they do! Their needs will need to be met in a time-frame that could last from a week to a year or more. Some of the major things of concern are:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Milk/Formula

One would think “Costco!” at once for the diaper solution but you also have to realize that your kids will be growing. If the SHTF tomorrow, and you just recently bought in bulk, then great! But if it happens a month from now, a year from now, or two years from now, those diapers that you squirreled away might not fit, especially if you have a growing newborn to consider. So while we’re doing potty training with my toddler, I am being mindful of reusable diaper and wipe solutions and taking into consideration shelf stable milk that I’ll be able to store in the meantime. With reusable diapers and wipes also comes the problem of clean clothes so another thing that I’m in the process of looking at is how we’re going to be doing our laundry if the power goes out and stays out (I’m looking real fondly at my kids’ bike chains now and how I can attach it to a washer cylinder).

Bugging Out with a Toddler

They will never make the walk by themselves so make sure you have a way to transport your younger children and take that extra time/weight into consideration.

There’s only two ways out of our town: Boat and Airplane. Three if you count trekking it across wilderness to the next nearest town but I live in a State where everything wants to kill you the moment you walk out your front door in the middle of civilization (yes, I have had black bears on my front doorstep before with nothing but a pane of glass between us). So walking out of here is not really an option unless we get to super desperation stage, and we’re talking SyFy channel level of desperation in which a glacier is advancing at Mach 5 with a Sharknado on top of it while a San Andres Movie level earthquake is hitting the area. I’d throw in zombies but we’re already so jaded up here with them coming off the cruise ships in droves every summer. Realistically, and in all seriousness, if it comes down to a government enforced evacuation it’s going to be by ferry or by airplane. While I highly doubt that we’ll be able to take our vehicle with us even on the ferry, that means we’re going to have to rely what we can carry ourselves.

HELLO? CHILDREN?

I’m getting there. As I mentioned before, one of our BOBs is the same weight as my toddler. So that means that either my wife or I will have to carry them while the other doubles or even triples up on the bags. In this kind of situation I’m looking at getting a frame backpack for kids that my toddler can ride and at the same time I’ll be able to carry a BOB (if anyone knows of a survival BOB/kid carrier, I’d be grateful for a link). In addition to the above items listed for my 2 year old’s BOB to last for five days, I also have to consider entertainment/distractions while we’re in the process of evacuation. For this I recommend buying multiple versions of your child’s favorite toy and/or stuffed animal and putting it in their BOB. That way if you’re leaving in a hurry, you don’t have to waste valuable time wondering where Mister Bear is at when you have one already tucked away and ready to go. One of your child’s favorite blankets might be something to consider for their comfort and peace of mind if you’re in the process of evacuating with them. If your child is anything like my toddler; then they’re going to want something comforting and familiar that reminds them of home while you’re on the move to safety.

I guess that in the end it comes down to the ages of your kids, what they’re capable of, and how much extra you’re going to have to put away in order to see to their basic needs. As time goes on, we go longer (Lord and Lady willing) without an event occurring, and as your children get older, their needs will naturally change until they’re at such an age that they can reasonably handle themselves in the event of a crisis. They’ll also learn from the example that you set for them and from what you teach them as you prep. These are skills that they’ll have with them forever. Teach them skills to survive, teach them how to keep a cool head, and don’t panic yourself. That, and a little common sense and hopefully you’ll come out of any situation reasonably intact.

The post Prepping With Kids appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Prepping by the Numbers

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Xavier. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


When planning your preps, you’re faced with a myriad of options and contrary to the popular social campaign to be unique, I urge you to follow the masses. Not only do the masses USUALLY get things right in aggregate, but it can make your life easier in the long run to just go with the crowd. There’s no need to be exotic with your preps. Consider a tiny slice of prepping: bug-out vehicles, electronics, and firearm selection. The same concept can be applied to almost anything you’re prepping for!

Cars and bug-out vehicles

When looking for a car: don’t be exotic. Play the numbers. The most popular small car in America for MANY years going back decades is the Toyota Corolla. The most popular minivan in America for MANY years going back almost a dozen years is the Honda Odyssey. Care to guess which two vehicles I own? They’re not the most stylish vehicles, not even the best performance or features. That’s not why I own them. I own them because they’re EVERYWHERE! This makes it cheaper and easier to find parts for them NOW, and will make it that much easier to find the parts I need after SHTF. If I were to buy a pickup, I’d likely end up with a Ford F-150 for the exact same reason.

The ability to find spare parts shouldn’t be overlooked.

Consider your geographic area where you live now, your path to your bug-out location, and eventually your bug-out location when making these decisions, and what you’ll need to do with the car. I’ve heard that AWD Subaru’s and Toyota 4Runners are common in Colorado and for a good reason.

Having a popular car makes it easy to find parts. Knowing which cars are compatible make it even easier. For example, the Toyota Corolla and the Toyota Matrix (and even the Pontiac Vibe) use the same 4-cylinder engine & drive train & suspension for any given year. When I do work on my Corolla, I use the Matrix repair manuals. The Honda Odyssey, Honda Pilot, and the 6-cylinder Accord share their frame and most engine components. The Toyota 4Runner, for instance, uses the same size oil filter in 2015 that it did in 1988. If you can, having two cars that share the same frame/engine components can simplify purchasing parts; this way you only have to keep one type of spare on-hand. Even if you can’t, at least keep them all metric or SAE, so you only need to carry/own one set of tools.

This can also come into play when you’re planning your preps with a group. If everyone in your group has the same or realistically similar vehicle and one completely dies, it can serve as a Frankenstein parts donor for other vehicles in your group. Your group can share the cost of a parts-pool for your bug-out camp, as it will benefit every member. Even something simple as having the same oil filter or tire-size may save a life in a pinch. Be wary of aftermarket parts on your vehicle if it prevents you from using standard parts as a rip & replace and doesn’t require welding or metal work.

Electronics

Solar Panels give you a tremendous grid-down advantage.

When thinking of survival electronics, the same rules apply – play the numbers. The most likely ways to use electronics after grid down are AA batteries, 12vDC and USB. Without reliable grid power or a generator the most common way of using portable electronics is battery power. The most common battery is the AA. All of my flashlights and most of my radios use AA batteries. They’re readily available, and can be scavenged from many household accessories such as TV remotes or children’s toys if needed. Don’t be exotic. Don’t get stuck trying to find specialized batteries because you bought a tacti-cool flashlight.

Next up is 12vDC power. This is available from just about any car battery so there should be no shortage, at least in the short-term after grid-down. They can be recharged using solar power generators. Inverters are available to make 120vAC available in a pinch for devices such as laptops, though they’re not always electrically efficient. Many popular survival related electronics operate on 12vDC power, such as CB or HAM radios and GPS units. I would recommend having a 12v deep cycle battery and a way to recharge it at your bug-out location. Having cigarette lighter adapters for your accessories can help while bugging out if you encounter an abandoned vehicle and need to make a quick contact with a radio or to recharge. Many smaller capacity 12v batteries can be found in lawn-care equipment, or as backup power for home alarm panels and garage door openers. There are even personal computers that run completely on 12v. These may be useful in short-term grid down events such as local natural disasters or for EMCOMM groups that have a need for digital communications.

USB ports and accessories are ubiquitous in today’s technological world. Understand that USB isn’t a /source/ of power, but rather an interface that I wouldn’t want to be caught without. Most cell phones and tablets charge using USB. Many small FRS/GMRS or even HAM radios can charge via a USB port. I have a small solar chargeable battery with USB interfaces in my bag. Again, having charging cables for each of your devices along the way can facilitate your travels. Travel adapters to take a 12v cigarette lighter to USB port are also very convenient. Try to make sure your devices use the same USB interface or at least stick to the most common plug types such as usb-micro for most Android phones, or the lightning style plug for newer Apple devices.

Ammunition and Firearms

guns, pistols, rifle, revolvers, and ammunition

When looking at purchasing firearms for self-defense or hunting, one of the first and largely asked questions is “what caliber”. Often it comes down to what’s the most powerful round you can reasonably handle or what has the most ‘stopping power’. However, the most powerful handgun in the world is useless if you can’t find ammunition for it. Don’t be exotic. Picking and standardizing on the most common rounds works in your benefit, and thus often cheaper to acquire now; and more importantly are the most easily obtained after SHTF. Even if you create a substantial stockpile at your home or bug-out location, there’s no guarantee it will not be plundered before you arrive, destroyed by malicious individuals or natural disaster, or that you can remain indefinitely at your bug-out location. You may have to abandon it; how much ammo can you carry with you?

For a standard loadout, you pretty much can’t go wrong with NATO rounds or those inspired by them. This means 9mm for handguns, 5.56mm for your light rifle, and 7.62mm for your long-range rifle. A word of caution: use only ammunition that fits your particular firearm. Many other articles available online explain the differences between the NATO 5.56mm and the common .223 Remington round and the inherent compatibility issues that are involved with these two related rounds. A similar discussion should be had regarding the .308 Winchester and the NATO 7.62, as well as ‘standard 9mm’ vs ‘9mm +P’. Also be aware if you carry a backup/pocket/ankle gun in .380, it’s very similar in size to a 9mm. .38 special and .357 magnum rounds are both basically physically identical. Don’t put the wrong round in the wrong gun or you could have disastrous results.

These rounds pack enough punch for what we’re likely to encounter and are small and light enough to carry a substantial amount. If you own multiple firearms for the same caliber, it would be wise that they are identical. This gives 2 primary benefits. The first is part compatibility. You only need to stock one style of part that can match both of your guns instead of having a plethora of parts for different guns. Your accessories and magazines will be interchangeable. If one gun is incapacitated or damaged, it can be used for loaner parts for your other firearm. The second benefit is weapon familiarity when training. Muscle memory built on one weapon can fail you if you resort to your secondary or backup gun in an intense situation. If you are prepping with a group of others, the same wisdom applies: get the same weapon platform.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the ubiquitous .22LR. It’s never a bad idea to have a weapon in this caliber and to stock up on plenty of ammo for it. It’s suitable for both handgun and long-gun usage. All in all a very versatile round. Another highly popular and useful gun not to neglect is the 12ga shotgun. They’re considered very reliable and pack a punch. There are a myriad of options available for ammunition that are almost 100% compatible with any modern 12ga shotgun.

Consider this just food for thought as you plan your preps. This mindset of shooting for the average can not only minimize your costs for prepping, but stretch your ability to survive after SHTF. If we end up WROL and there’s a need to barter something, having the most popular items makes your trading agility that much higher, rather than the high-priced exotic item that can only be used by a select few.

Be the gray-man!

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Data Storage for Preppers

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from valknut79. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


On October 21, 2016, the internet broke. Netflix, Twitter, Paypal, and more were all hacked, and it took most of the day for representatives from the many major companies affected to find, fix and implement the problems. For most people, this was a minor disruption to their day. To my teenage daughter, the SHTF situation we’ve all been waiting for was occurring right then and there. She instantly lost at least half of her ability to communicate and find news, she lost her entire source of entertainment, and she lost the ability to pay for anything online, even if temporarily.

I think it’s safe to say that we could all live without Twitter. Netflix is a great modern convenience, but we could live without that too. What would happen, though, if we lost Wikipedia? I know that I reference Wikipedia at least twice a day, whether it’s for random historical trivia, information I need for work, or items of interest I’m using to plan my next prepping project. To lose access to what I consider to be the major source for all accumulated human knowledge would be a major blow. News recently broke that the Turkish government is preventing it’s citizens from accessing Wikipedia.

The outage I referenced earlier was one of the largest in the short history of the internet, and it was, fortunately, quite temporary, lasting around 12 hours. What if it affected your personal PC? The infamous computer hijacks and ransomware that have been plaguing PC users for the past few years often destroy and corrupt enough of your internal data that it cannot be recovered. What if it were permanent? That could be an EMP attack or a CME that wipes out all power, or it could be a targeted hack that we can’t figure out how to solve, or something else entirely. What happens if our government passes laws similar to those already in place in Turkey and many Asian countries which prohibits access to sites which they have decided contain information they don’t want shared?

I don’t have all the answers to these problems, but I know one potential solution – Local Data Backup. Most amateur computer owners have one or more PCs, with probably only one or two copies of their most important data – resumes, scans of birth certificates and other legal documents, family photos and more. The true solution is to have many copies of your important data stored locally, updated frequently, and maintained in a Faraday cage in case of an EMP attack.

To start, you’ll want a high-capacity data external storage device. I would recommend at least 8 terabytes of storage space per unit, and multiple drives if possible. You should also have at least one or two flash drives that store at least small parts of this information. This should run you about $200. That, and an older computer or tablet with a USB cord and an internet connection should be all you need for this invaluable project. I’ve heard some preppers who prefer to maintain optical discs with information on them, but a number of the solutions I want to implement will require files that are larger than the storage capacity of a single DVD or CD. You’d also have to consider storage space – all those discs and the disc drive itself will take up more space than a single external drive.

Personal Data comes first

The chances of any computer contracting a virus or a worm while you’re surfing the internet (yes, even you Apple people) is significantly higher than the chances of an EMP attack happening in next few weeks. It’s important to have a copy of your birth certificates and other important documents, including copies of social security cards, recent pictures of your immediate family, address and phone contact information, and other information available for bug-out situations, and it’s valuable to have that data stored in a variety of locations, including on your external hard drive. It is also highly recommended that you maintain a copy of receipts or warranty’s for major appliances, and pictures of each of the rooms in your house. It is possible that, in the event of a major flood or fire, that you could use these items to help increase the amount of money you can get back from home insurance as proof of at least some of the major items you’re keeping in each area of your house.

Second, survival. One of the first tricks that preppers learn when getting involved in the lifestyle of preparedness is that it’s possible to download a wide variety of “prepper manuals” online, including military survival PDFs and other documents. You could even save valuable web pages and articles for offline viewing. I have printed many materials to put in a binder, but again, that takes valuable storage space, and could be easily destroyed in a fire or a flood. My digital copies of data, so long as they remain well-protected in their Faraday cage, are safe from most dangers.

Next is the broad category of “items of personal importance” which could include almost anything that you find important to keep around. What’s in my collection? Family photos & videos take up a large bulk of my storage space. A simple feed scanner that you can purchase on Amazon for about $100 will allow you to scan and store thousands upon thousands of photos onto your external drive, where they are well-protected from flood damage and fading due to aging, and where you can easily gift them to another relative to open up more storage space under your stairs for prepping supplies. All of my wife’s hard work on our family tree is now scanned and preserved in it’s own folder as well for the next generation to continue the work, as are my grandfather’s old diaries we’ve been left. I also keep a local copy of any digital media I own, which is everything from digital copies of Disney movies that come for free with the Blu-Rays I’ve purchased for my kids, to those new music albums that I’ve bought as MP3s because it was cheaper and more convenient than buying the disc. I’ve got downloaded digital copies of my Audible collection, and a few Kindle books as well. Essentially, if I’ve paid money for it, I have a copy of it on my external drive that I can download and access forever, even if these host companies go out of business or lock my accounts.

Additional data to backup

Finally, you can do what I’ve done and keep a localized backup copy of Wikipedia and other sources of world knowledge. Many of these archive sites allow anyone to download a full copy of the entire site, and with a Wiki reader, it’s possible to maintain a version of Wikipedia which does not require the internet to search. In addition, you can also download a few other collections for posterity , including a huge collection of out-of-copyright novels from Project Gutenberg that could keep you reading for your entire lifetime without having to purchase a new book.

I believe that maintaining at least a bare-bones minimum of these documents and files is essential regardless of whether you take the steps necessary to protect this data from an EMP. For that, a Faraday cage – an enclosure completely surrounded by metal on all sides – is important. There have been thousands of people before me who have discussed the creation of such a device, so I’ll leave them to it. Suffice it to say that if an EMP occurs, it is widely assumed that almost all electronic equipment that is not protected is in jeopardy. That means that if you are taking the time to store data, you also need to store some kind of old computer or laptop capable of accessing the data, and a backup copy of installation files for programs you can use to read them. That means that you want a PDF reader installed, as well as programs that will allow you to view photos and videos, and if you have movies or audio-books tied to a service like Audible, you’ll need to have those installed.

Is this doable for Preppers?

The value of a project like this is in the details. First, it preserves a large amount of your family’s history, making it more accessible for younger, computer-savvy members of your family to learn about and carry on the knowledge we have as a modern society and many of the traditions that you hold dear. Second, this is a great way to make more space in your life (for prepping supplies, or whatever else you want to have). I was able to re-gift fifteen banker’s boxes worth of photos, VHS tapes, diaries, CD-ROMs and floppy discs full of data and combine them into one external hard drive, and I purchased a second drive to send to a distant relative overseas as a holiday gift that meant the world to him. Finally, I truly believe that with cloud computing, government regulations on access to information, and an ever-increasing life-or-death reliance on technology, there will come a time when the freedom of the internet and our personal data will be under attack. Having at least a portion of that knowledge stored in a metal trash can in your garage where Big Brother can’t find it might make all the difference.

Is this an expensive project? Yes, it certainly can be. A good quality hard drive along with a backup copy of a computer and a Faraday cage could cost a pretty penny. There’s no doubt that this is a long and difficult project as well. Even with a fairly fast feeder scanner for photos and small documents, but with searching and downloading times for files, and figuring out how to store this data for ease of use, it took me the better part of all Winter and Spring to make this a reality. How much of this would be useful in a true SHTF situation? Potentially quite a lot, potentially not at all. The information on that Wikipedia backup might be invaluable, but you may also not have the electrical power to access the data. As a project that has so many qualifications, this is likely not applicable to all preppers, but for those who have enough backup water filters, have installed their solar panels, and have too many boxes of old photos you can’t get rid of, this is a great project to start this year to help not only modernize but also to help prepare.

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SURVIVAL TACTICS: Your Guide To Wilderness Survival

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As a hunter, I have stranded in the wilderness many times. There came a stage where it seemed impossible to survive. I lost my way, I lived in dark, I had no food. But still I managed to escape. How??All these years of hunting and exploring wilderness, have taught me a good deal about unusual survival tactics to protect myself.  These days, most of the novice hunters act quite overconfidently about this profession and consider, only their iPhone and a GPS navigation appis enough to aid them in the race of their ultimate survival. My only question to them, how long can you keep your battery charged??

Survival Tactics Every Hunter Should Know!

There is an array of ways, knowing which can get you out of trouble in any situation. Read on to find your guide to wilderness survival here.

  1. Share your Destination

Never leave your place without informing some close pal or family member about your final hunting abode. It is the key point in your survival. At least some of your close fellows must know where you are heading to. In case, you get stranded, it would help them in tracing you out.

              2. Don’t Get Panic!

That is the most common mistake that inexperienced hunters commit after straying in the wild. Staying fit both physically and mentally is really important for your survival. If you face such situation, stay calm and cool. Stop, sit and take a deep breath. Think cleverly and plan your way out.

             3. Find a Secure Place for Shelter

In a situation like this, the first thing should be to look for a safe campsite. Once you are settled safely, you can plan your survival tactics there. Your shelter should be on a place both high and dry. Simply put, avoid valleys and pathways, as such places are always at the risk of getting flooded(flash flood).

Photo Source

             4. Start a Fire

Surviving without fire is impossible. You need fire to stay warm, to cook food, to boil water, to keep the predators and bugs away and most importantly, to use as a sign for help. Never forget to store a Firestarter in your survival kit. Even a tactical pen(a tactical pen comes with a number of uses for the strayed) with Firestarter can work for you. In case you’ve missed it, there is another trick to start the fire. Using a battery is a handy way to lit the fire. How? You simply need to short-circuit the battery. Connect the positive and negative terminals to some steel wool, foil or a wire. It would cause a spark. Lit your bundle of wood with it.

          5. Look for Drinkable Water

Your body can’t survive without water for more than three days. You’d be lucky if you find a body of potable water in the wild. If water seems polluted (water in puddles), never use it without boiling. What if you don’t find water? Wait for the rain, dew or snow. That’s the best I can suggest in a tricky situation like this. All three are the natural and the safest sources of water and do not require boiling.But unfortunately, you can’t predict weather. What if none of it happens and you don’t get even a single drop of water? My survival tactics are not over yet. Look for the maple trees around. Cutting a hole in its bark releases a liquid. That is quite safe to drink. To survive, gulp it down.

           6. Look for Food

I always advise to pack a bundle of edible items with you. As you can’t predict the duration of your adventure. In case, you are running short of food, look for food in your surroundings. Otherwise, you are going to be the victim of malnutrition. Once that happens, getting out of wild may become a dream. Now the question is; which edibles you can find in such wilderness? Read on your guide to wilderness survival to know more. To cop up with this hard situation, your body needs protein. Let’s hunt around for some bugs, critters, frogs, eggs and lizards. If you happen to be a vegetarian, forests are sourced with edible (and non-edible) berries and plants. Some edible plants include—lambsquarter(wild spinach), dandelions and cattails. Research well about these plants before leaving for the hunt. When you already know about plant’s structure and shape, it would be easier to identify them.

 

Photo Source

           

                7. Something to Cut

A knife is a must have tool. It helps in a number of ways—for cutting anything, for cooking food and also for your own protection against elements. Before you set out, make sure to pack a couple of tactical knives with you.

              8. Use Survival signals

Fire is the most recommended survival signal that you can send to the outer world, especially when you hear the sounds of some plane or rescuer’s helicopter nearby. Find some open place or a hilltop to lit the fire(to avoid the spreading of the fire).Gather twigs and dry leaves from your surroundings to lit the fire. Once the fire is kindled, add spruce leaves and fresh pine to intensify the fire and the smoke. You must have your combustible material saved for this very critical moment (or else you might miss the chance of getting rescued).Don’t forget to extinguish the fire before leaving this spot. The second survival tactic can be a mirror signal. The light that flashes from a mirror signal can travel to miles. Even at night time, you can send a flash signal with moonlight.

 

Note: It is not essential to have a mirror to send the signal. Any reflective surface including your mobile’s screen, can be improvised in this regard.

           9. Find the Best Ways to Navigate

In case, you don’t find any signs of aid from any side (even if the building the fire signal gone useless), it’s time to move on. Don’t waste your time sitting there waiting for aid. You must have some navigation tool, map or a compass. What if you don’t? Get help from mother nature. In the daylight, sun can be a part of your survival tactics in the wild. You know sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Simply following the sun can help in determining your current direction. In the night, get help from the starry sky. Find the Polaris (north star or pole star). It’s lined up with the constellation, little dipper. When you are facing north star, you are actually heading in the north direction.

Photo Source

 

           10. Other Ways to Find your Way!

Every forest or wild area has some mountains, paths or rivers in it. If you find one, keep following it. These often lead to civilization or pathways.

 

 

About the author : Sheldon Martin is the founder of Captain Hunter. CaptainHunter.com is a site dedicated to the sport of hunting. We have a deep respect for nature and for the environment, and we therefore take the sport of hunting very seriously. Never think that you are alone in the woods again. Our goal is to share what we know with who needs it most.

Reference links : 

http://authorizedboots.com/2015/07/50-survival-tips-and-tricks-for-the-outdoors/

https://www.theclymb.com/Event.aspx?l=00010796043500000000

http://www.mensfitness.com/training/endurance/12-outdoor-survival-skills-every-guy-should-master

 

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Free Beginner Prepping Course

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Capt. Dennis. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


In 2009, I lost my job as a sea-captain and after a year of watching company after company tying up their fleets, I knew it was time for a career change. Entering college at 57 years old was not exactly what I had in mind for my golden years, however, that was about the only option left. I figured if I could get a degree on top of my master’s license, then maybe, I could get back on top before I was ready to retire.

After graduating college last year, my life took another unforeseen change as my family situation placed me as primary caregiver for my home bound elderly mother. Her care became my job, so looking for some avenue to have a social life, I signed up to volunteer with Senior Corps’ Retired Seniors Volunteer Program. The first thing I was asked to do was attend a training class with the local Homeland Preparedness Medical Reserve Corp. During that training, I was taught to think about preparedness for disasters. I came away from the class with the knowledge that I was in the dark when it came to being prepared for a disaster.

Living here on the southeast Gulf Coast of Texas, I have experienced numerous hurricanes. As a sea-captain, I have been involved with the evacuation of offshore platforms. I have experienced firsthand smaller hurricanes and the havoc they can cause. The tidal surge, winds, and tornadoes that accompany them can be very destructive. Lowland flooding, downed power lines, and trees will take the most time to recover from. But it is way of life in this area and something every person living here should be prepared for.

However, I was not trained to deal with the enormity of a large, wide spread natural disaster like the floods that came through here the year before, or what damage a cat 5 hurricane might do. I was lost when it came to understanding all the many different types of disasters that are all around me, all the time. We can prep for a hurricane, but most other events happen so suddenly, if we are not prepared ahead of time, we could be like the people of New Orleans after Katrina or the Galveston area after Ike.

My training while working in the offshore mineral and oil industry and around the local chemical docks taught me safety measures with regards to the dangers involved. The local port dock’s chemical tankers transporting numerous volatile cargoes. That, along with the plants that produce and use them, are another of the local disaster scenarios that one must always consider. These are things we discussed at the Homeland Preparedness class. That class also introduced me to the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

A man-made or natural disaster is not all a prepper should be prepared for. A car accident right in front you miles from nowhere or a hunting accident or even someone dropping down having a heart attack. As a prepper, these are all emergencies that could be part of the world when the SHTF. That is what I have learned and have become energized about from my CERT preparedness and training classes.

But something else that is great about CERT training, it is a FREE government training program that got me on my way to being better prepared to finding the answers to many of the questions I was beginning to have. A FEMA program that is in every community around the country. FEMA also offers many free online courses as well. Almost any disaster I can think of is covered as well as more advanced courses. Several of the courses are a requirement before entering the CERT class, but they not difficult and they will prepare you for what is to come.

The classroom training covers a lot of materials and each cert member receives their own Emergency Response Bag filled with all the equipment needed to respond to an emergency or disaster. As a CERT member, you are a volunteer responder, there to assist the professional first responders. At the end of the classroom training there is a practice drill so each team member will get a feel for working as part of a team, as well as assessing a disaster consisting of varying degrees of injured people.

Since completion of the CERT training, I have been actively researching to become further informed and prepared. I have spent countless hours reading articles and watching videos on when the SHTF. I am amazed that there are as many ways to prepare as there are people out there sharing their knowledge about it. But the bottom-line I have drawn from all my training from the Merchant Marines to CERT to having been through flooding and hurricanes is that I must look at what are the possible scenarios that will occur where I am now and prepare for those events.

Experience from Ike taught me that electricity could be out for as much as two weeks or more. The National Guard were here within three days and rations then became available. From that, I learned that a minimum of three to five days supply of water and nonperishable foods on hand is essential. My hot water heater has a twenty gallon tank that I drain every spring to make sure the water is clean, just in case. It uses natural gas as does my stove. City water supply is gravity feed from a tower and if it were to run dry, there is the hot water heater. And I have a portable generator that will run the refrigerator and a couple of fans. I buy and store enough gasoline early in hurricane season to supply the generator for several days.

Of course, there are many other forms of disasters which could be much more devastating like a nuke or plant explosion or EMP. These are events that I must trust that my faith, commonsense, and willpower will be there to help me to prevail. Those are my primary resources, which I expect will give me the resolve to deal with such an incident as one of those. Having taken the CERT training educated me enough to think more clearly about prepping and protecting my love ones.

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The Capacity Advantage

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from JD. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


There is nothing that sparks heated debate on the internet like the topic of which weapons are the best for (………..) purposes. However, when buying small arms for the purposes of a survival situation, there are some models that have advantages over others. Two of those models are the Glock 17 and the AR-15. This isn’t an article about which guns to buy, it is merely my personal thoughts on why these two weapons have advantages over others.

The AR-15, America’s rifle. There is more  aftermarket support for this rifle than perhaps any other on the market. That means you can outfit the weapon to your personal situation. Different optics from short to intermediate range red dots to long-range scopes. Lasers both visible and infrared. Night vision capabilities. It’s endless. And I haven’t even gotten into changing uppers. You simply push out 2 pins pull the upper assembly off and drop on a .50 bmg upper! Or numerous other calibers. There was at one point a crossbow upper made by PSE available. I think this model has been discontinued, but I’m sure can still be found for sale with a little research.

But the main point of why the AR makes such a good choice is because of its capacity. The standard 30 round mags offer serious firepower. They are plentiful and very inexpensive. I am a fan of the Magpul products. Mind you, I am not affiliated with Magpul in any way. I have never had a Magpul mag fail me in the thousands upon thousands of rounds I’ve shot using them. And if one did, for around 9 bucks I’ll just get another one.

The Magpul 60 round drum

The Magpul 60 round drum is a very nice piece of gear. Well made, very rugged, and well designed. Having 60 rounds of ammo on tap is quite a force multiplier. My opinion of it is, it’s not so you can shoot more, it’s so you have to reload less. Think about it, if you fired 2 rounds per second, which is a pretty slow cadence, that’s 30 seconds of very well-aimed fire. Not the spray and pray you see in the movies. That is the capability to keep offenders pinned down while your buddies maneuver and flank the offenders. 30 seconds doesn’t sound like a long time, but how far can you run in 30 seconds? The average person in decent shape can cover a lot of ground in 30 seconds. These drums also are a great option for defensive positions. Having 3 men strategically positioned with a few of these drums each, can lay down some serious accurate fire. The drums also have the advantage of being a storage device. In other words you can load them and leave them loaded until you need them. They are a bit of a challenge to load for some people. But after you’ve done it a few times, it gets easier. They are also not fast to load, so these are something you want to have loaded ahead of time. For those who money isn’t an issue, there are belt fed uppers available, combined with a bump fire type stock like the slide fire, and you have what’s called simulated full auto. All 100% legal without the NFA paperwork. Yes, most of us would love to own a Dillion aero mini gun, but being next to impossible to own, the belt fed offers some nice capabilities.

The Glock 17 is probably the most issued sidearm in the world. There is a reason why. It’s because they work. There are only 34 parts to a Glock. They just don’t have much to go wrong with them. The 9mm has also come a long way in its effectiveness. Modern 9mm hollow points don’t  give up much to its bigger brothers the .40 and .45.  Like the AR, the aftermarket support is huge. More so than any other high cap polymer framed pistol. They are also inexpensive. For what a high-end 1911 costs you could buy 2 Glocks with holsters, mags, and ammo. Now, I’m not crapping on the 1911. They are still nice guns and I enjoy shooting one from time to time. But for a purpose-built fighting weapon, it does not beat the Glock. Why? Aside from the weapon working in all kinds of dirty conditions, again it’s capacity. The Glock 17 holds in a flush fit mag, 17 rounds. With the gun topped off 18. That is more than double the capacity of the 1911. For those of you who subscribe to the mentality that, if you can’t get it done with 8 rounds then you have seriously screwed up, we are not talking about dealing with the meth head mugger in the alley. Potential situations I’m referring to are something like an active shooter, a mall shooting dealing with other shooters who may be skilled, a SHTF situation where you may be dealing with a mob of thugs wanting to steal your stash of food and have their way with your women. I could go on. The weapon is also easy to shoot. There are no decockers or safeties to deal with. Aim and shoot.

Getting back to the capacity advantage, there are other companies out there now making Glock mags. Magpul makes not only the 17 round mags but also a 21 and a 27 round magazine. Glock factory makes the 33 round mag. Elite tactical systems makes a 31 round mag, a 27, 22, and a 17 round mag. Yes I know you won’t carry concealed a 27 or 33 round mag, on your person. In a bag however, it gives you that advantage of being able to put lots of bullets down range. The 21 round mags offer a great compromise in capacity and concealment. If you decide to buy the more compact versions of the gun, i.e. The 19, or 26, you can still use the model 17s mags. Yes they stick out of the bottom of the grip but gives you the piece of mind you’ve got enough ammo to handle most any situation.

The fantasy of getting into 100 round gunfights is just that, a fantasy. Or is it? Remember the westgate mall shooting in Kenya? A group of gunmen stormed the mall and killed over 60 people. The concert shooting in France in 2015, nearly 100 killed. We are living in different times. I personally think a more realistic SHTF situation would be possibly getting caught in one of these attacks. I mean let’s face it, a pole shift or climate change is the least of our worries. These bad people are out there, and they hate us and our way of life. Capacity is king. Well, second only to shot placement. Arm yourself with weapons that give you an advantage. You don’t have to carry Glocks or AR-15s, whatever you do decide to pack, have the skill to be effective with them. Think about this, if you were caught in one of these type situations, which would you rather have, a weapon that packs 8 shots or one that packs 18?

I know which one I’d want.

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DJI Mavic Pro Unmanned Air Vehicle – The Ultimate Prepper X-Factor

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Vermont Prepper. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


The concept of preppers utilizing unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) for forward surveillance and other situations is not new.  Until recently, the technology has been unattainable except for those with deep pockets. In recent years a decent consumer UAV with desirable features would cost thousands of dollars to achieve what DJI has done for a fraction of the cost in designing the DJI Mavic Pro.  Out of the box, the Mavic Pro is extremely easy to fly, has collision avoidance technology, and a 4.3 mile range (the longest range offered by a DJI – even more than their most expensive UAV).   If you combine this aircraft with a $22.00 app by Litchi Software, it adds an ability to pre-program a flight plan with waypoints, while varying your altitude, speed, and camera orientation to focus on points of interest (POIs) along its route.  Additionally, if in the event that you lose signal, the Mavic can be programmed to hover in place or automatically “go home”, or to wherever the controller may be – if you happen to be on the move.  The bottom line is that this craft is not a toy and with proper training, it has some serious tactical applications.  I have detailed a series of flight testing below to show that the Mavic can successfully drop a small payload via parachute for very little cost.

Before I continue, I want to quickly get two things out-of-the-way.  First, I have no connection at all to DJI and receive zero in return from them for writing this article. Secondly, you may be asking yourself, why do I keep referring to these machines as UAVs?  The simple answer is that I believe the use of the word “drone” does not do a UAV justice.  A drone can be a form of AI (a robot), or some other ground based machine or gadget.  Back in the mid to late 80s, prior to the adoption of the term Unmanned Air Vehicle, the pioneers initially used the term “Remotely Piloted Vehicles”, or RPVs.  I will use both RPV and UAV interchangeably as I believe these terms better define the Mavic.  That said, I realize most people refer to them as drones as do I in other content that I produce.

Much like most advanced technology, the consumer use of UAVs was born from the pioneers in the US Government that began using them for surveillance and lethal applications in the late 1980s/early 1990s.  The technology was cutting edge at the time, but rudimentary by today’s standards.  Think of the difference between the first cell phones versus the smartphones of today.

Additionally, the concept of using UAVs to many in the Government was scary.  In the beginning, they were inherently unstable and a lost signal would result in a crash.  They could only be tested on military ranges or large swathes of private land, primarily with the sanction of generous landowners in the Southwest.  As an added obstacle, some in the Government lacked foresight into the program capabilities and wanted to cut off funding as they believed these vehicles could never be stable or reliable enough to use in tactical situations.  Thankfully, the ragtag team of pioneers persevered and were able to eventually produce one of the first stable

DJI Mavic Pro Fly More Combo: Foldable Propeller Quadcopter Drone Kit with Remote, 3 Batteries, 16GB MicroSD, Charging Hub, Car Charger, Power Bank Adapter, Shoulder Bag

UAVs of its kind known as the gas-powered EXDRONE (I never liked the name).  Launched from a rocket, or as I refer to it as a big bottle rocket, the EXDRONE had a rudimentary autopilot, with a fraction of the accuracy built into the Mavic Pro, that has a built-in GPS.  It also had a real-time video feed, mostly unheard of at the time.  Basically, a heading could be programmed into its system, but the EXDRONE required some old school flight planning including wind calculations.  With some bright communication experts on hand to fine tune the antennas, the RPV range was extended from about 20 miles to 50 miles, and teams along the route could be deployed along high points to keep line of sight for the real-time video feed and take control as necessary utilizing a regular Futaba controller, which was the prevalent RC aircraft controller at the time (and still now to a certain extent).  Each team would have its own portable base unit and use a 4×4 Sony video screen to navigate along the flight path.  As a note, prior to the autopilot, the teams would need to fly it manually from the start and practice handing it off by giving notification to the forward team that they were turning off their Futaba in “3, 2, 1”….  At the same time the forward team would turn their controller on when the countdown ended.  This “handoff” was the time when the RPV was at most risk.  Lost communication would result in a crash.  Again, the technology was rudimentary, but it was shown that forward surveillance could be achieved via UAV.

These pioneers had no idea that what they were doing would eventually provide a huge impact in keeping the world safe from terrorism.  Given the limited technology, support, and budget, it was hard for them to see the eventual development of RPVs such as the Predator and its use of hellfire missiles to take out terrorist targets.  In my view, we are still in the infancy of the UAV revolution.  The technology is advancing faster than ever and there are still many yet untapped uses for these vehicles.

Some preppers may still be hesitant on the utility of RPVs such as the Mavic Pro.  With a cost of $1000, it is not inexpensive, but given the possible uses in a SHTF scenario, it may be the best money you ever spent.  Let’s first take a brief look at some of the specific features of the Mavic and why I think it gives you the best bang for the buck.  I will follow with some tactical uses with a specific design I am testing to deploy a small payload.  I am sure some of the smarter readers can think of other uses and I would be happy to see them in the comments.

Features of Mavic Pro – base cost $1000

27 Minute Flight Time/4.3 Mile Range – The Mavic comes with one battery that gives a 27 minute flight time after a full charge.  This time is a little better than the average UAV.  The 4.3 mile range is one of the furthest ranges out there in the consumer market.  A reasonably priced special antenna boosting apparatus ($13.99/Amazon) can be used to boost the range of the transmitter, though given a 27 minute flight time limitation, flying out too far may drain out the battery on the return trip.   In contrast, the DJI Matrice 100 has a 40 minute flight time, but it is over triple the price of the Mavic.  Additionally, the range of the Matrice 100 is less than 3 miles.  If budget permits, it would be optimum to obtain a few extra batteries, which cost $89 each.  One benefit of using the Litchi software is that it will give an estimated flight plan time (assuming no wind) to prevent the battery from fully draining.

Lightweight, Foldable Arms and Props – The Mavic arms and props fold up nice and neatly to easily fit in a small backpack for deployment.  Alternatively, there are many hardshell cases available on Amazon if better protection for the RPV and its accessories are required.

Software – The Mavic can be controlled using free DJI GO software or via Litchi.  With DJI GO, there is currently no autopilot capability except auto takeoff and land.  I enjoy the use of this software when just flying around the vicinity to have fun.  It is not, however, recommend it for mission style sorties.  For missions, the Litchi software is highly recommended.  As mentioned above, a flight plan can be programmed into the aircraft so that you can concentrate on the real-time video feed to gather intelligence.  As mentioned previously, altitude changes, POI camera focus, loitering, and speed changes are all standard Litchi features.  In my view, Litchi is superior to the DJI app in with the exception of not having the ability to “Go Live”, namely on Facebook or YouTube (DJI allows live broadcasts).  You can also store missions for future repeat use.  Lastly, the software provides real-time verbal telemetry feedback (altitude, distance, battery power, etc.), which comes in handy if you might be focusing your attention on a POI.  The Litchi learning curve is helped with tons of YouTube instructional videos.

Collision Avoidance – The Mavic, unlike many similarly priced competitor UAVs, has a collision avoidance system built-in.  Even if you tried to manually fly it into an obstacle, the Mavic avoidance system would first beep as a warning and then stop.

Insurance – It is highly recommended to purchase DJI insurance ($99.00) which even covers damage from crashing into water.  It can be used twice.

Limitations

No Thermal Camera Capability – At the time of this writing, I do not know of any plans by DJI to offer a version of their Zenmuse thermal camera on the Mavic Pro.  In my opinion, a thermal camera offering would put this RPV at the top of the heap for first responders and the military, giving them the ability to conduct night search and rescue operations.  While the thermal cameras are not inexpensive (6-12k) for an average consumer, it would be a lot cheaper than using helicopters with FLIRs, and the Mavic noise signature would be virtually undetectable from above.

Payload Limited (not really built for payload deployment) – The Mavic is really not built to carry a payload.  DJI has other UAVs for this purpose, but they are triple or quadruple the cost.  

Battery Life is Average – With a 27 minute battery life between charges, any mission would be limited to a short-range, especially if you decide to embark on the payload experiment detailed below.

Tactical Applications for a Drone

Tactical Use Caveats – all uses assume a SHTF environment.  My scenarios also assume you have a DJI Mavic Pro, not some toy that hovers 100 feet in the air.  Additionally, keep in mind the FAA has an altitude limit of 400 feet above ground level (AGL), no fly zones, and it is illegal to fly at night:

Threat assessment for specific location(s) – The Mavic can provide valuable intel if you might be concerned of a specific location in your vicinity.  With a preprogrammed flight plan, the UAV can circle the area from a safe distance and orient itself towards the POI.  It can be programmed to remain there as long as the battery limit permits (approximately 27 minute flight time per charge).

Avoid/Monitor Civil Unrest – In a SHTF scenario, it is quite possible there would be civil disturbance as people run out of food, water, and medical supplies.  Prior to making supply runs, the Mavic can scout ahead to determine if there are pockets of unrest blocking your route.

Avoid Capture by Hostiles – Much like the civil unrest scenario, the Mavic might provide some help in trying to avoid captors.  In this scenario, you might have a further standoff or climb to a higher altitude to minimize UAV detection.  The Mavic is pretty quiet and cannot be heard and is hard to see at 400 feet AGL.  In a SHTF environment, if the altitude limits go out the window, it would allow for an even further standoff.

Zombie Horde Herding/Redirection – I actually have to give my 16 year son credit for this one.  Given zombie affinity for sound, if flown low enough, the Mavic RPV could redirect a zombie horde away from you.  In all seriousness, I am sure there are some readers that can think of real life diversionary tactics that might be applied utilizing the Mavic (I mean no offense to Zombies).  I can see some kind of small battery operated sound generator, maybe on a timer, being attached and used as a diversion prior to an offensive (or defensive) operation.

Scout for Water/Food Supplies/Vehicles – Food, water, and other supplies will become harder to find in a disaster scenario.  While large bodies of water might be easier to identify, the Mavic may be able to assist in finding some lesser known streams or tributaries.  Additionally, while drones cannot be used for hunting, all bets are off in a survival situation.  The Mavic can help to possibly locate wildlife and even herd them towards your location.

Disaster Surveillance (Inaccessible Area) – A survival situation can occur not only from nefarious individuals/governments, but also from natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornados, and hurricanes.  In August of 1992 I was at ground zero in S.W. Miami Florida in my house with my mother and brother when Category 5 Hurricane Andrew hit.  For anyone that was there, they would remember that it hit landfall at 4:30 AM and the worst of it lasted for about two hours.  It was a relatively small hurricane, but it left $23 billion in damage in its aftermath (As a memento, I framed the front page of the August 25th Miami Herald publication, titled “Destruction at Dawn”, where the picture taken was about a mile from my house).

It was almost like a nuclear bomb hit, and it was this event that spurred me into a prepper mindset in my 20s.  Communities were reduced to rubble.  There were many dishonest people both within and from out-of-state who swooped in and took advantage of the less fortunate.  It was sickening to see blocks of ice being sold for $50.00, and $300.00 generators being sold for thousands.  The roads were not navigable due to flooding and debris.  I think back quite often as to how a Mavic Pro could have helped us avoid a lot of dead ends, obstacles, and gridlock in trying to get out of the city, which would not restore full power for 6 months.

Small Payload Drop – In certain scenarios, small amounts of food, medical supplies, or communications can be dropped from a Mavic.  By my best estimates, the Mavic has between a 1-2 lb. payload capability.  I am currently flight testing it for payload stability and experimenting with a payload drop mechanism that does not require the addition of any electronics.  If you use the idea below, I just ask that proper credit for the theory be given (a link to this article would be greatly appreciated).  I have not seen too many YouTube videos with Mavic payload experiments, so I will share my idea as I believe we all benefit if someone has success.  Here is a YouTube link to the maiden voyage where the Mavic drops a 1.5 lb. ham radio.  It is recommended you have a detailed plan and be sure to consult some flight testing reference material.  If you decide to experiment on your own, perform tests in small increments at low altitudes.  Keep good notes, develop a flight test checklist, and be aware of your area.  Most of all, expect that things will not goes as planned and both major and minor adjustments will be required:

 

Eight Design Payload Deployment Criteria

  • Low cost, material readily available
  • Max 2 LB payload (actual payload weight will be determined during flight testing)
  • Use of parachute to drop from high altitudes, protecting the payload
  • No servos or other added electronics
  • Aircraft stability
  • Avoid prop wash
  • Simple to Fabricate
  • Reusable

Theory – Before you crack up laughing at some of the materials, keep in mind that I have a method to my madness and an Aerospace Engineering degree with some UAV flight testing experience.  Before the current technological revolution in UAVs, in the late 80’s and early 90’s, the pioneers activated certain features during flight by extreme altitude drop (free fall).  The solution offered below utilizes this same premise, mixing old theory with the new technology demonstrated with the DJI Mavic Pro.  All of the items were purchased on EBay for less than $20.00.  Keep in mind I have seen payload release systems that range from $100-$1000, all of which are servo actuated.  These are great, but I do not know of any application that uses a payload mechanism without having to add some kind of electronic actuation.

Design – A Tupperware container will be attached to the four UAV arms via fishing line and zip ties.  Eye hooks will be fastened to the four corners of the container, hung from the arms via four pieces of fishing line, each cut to 2 feet.  The end result would be that the container with payload will fly approximately 2 feet below the UAV to avoid prop wash.  Four lines were used for flight stability purposes.  The payload will be attached to a parachute via zip ties and placed in the container.

A trap door will be fabricated at the bottom of the container with a release mechanism that uses gravity to release the payload.  You can buy a 36” flare parachute on eBay or fabricate a parachute from bedsheets (36” is the size needed to safely drop up to a 2 LB payload – there are templates online).  The payload will be dropped by using its own weight first by vertically rising at the fastest rate possible, then descending quickly to break the bond of the release mechanism.  The trap door “release will be fabricated from a black office clip, zip ties, and an electrical connector.  The trap door was made by cutting out three sides of the bottom part of the container, leaving one short side intact.

The reason for leaving one side intact is that it will act as a “hinge” to allow the payload to fall through.  I also put duct tape around the edges of the cuts so the parachute would not get snagged.  The free side of the trap door will be attached to the side of the container utilizing the zip ties, the electrical connector, and office clip.

The idea is that the weight of the payload, combined with a sudden upward or downward movement, will cause the electrical connector to release from the office clip, allowing the payload to deploy through the trapdoor at the bottom of the container.  The payload I used is a Baofeng BF-F8HP ham radio.   I attached it with the antenna via zip ties to the chute.

Photo 6 shows the whole contraption attached to the UAV. A radio was chosen as a payload to illustrate a real live first responder scenario, where communications might be desired with individuals in an area rendered inaccessible due to a natural disaster.

Challenges/Risks

  • The payload may be too heavy for the container and deploy before desired
  • Wind may cause the payload to prematurely deploy
  • The fishing line could break and get tangled into the props, causing catastrophic failure
  • Sudden RPV turns or altitude change can prematurely deploy the parachute
  • The setup may cause unstable flight
  • Flight time most likely shortened
  • Undue strain on electrical system

The key to success is to find the optimum payload weight so that the UAV can fly stable without premature deployment.

If it is too heavy, the payload will be deployed before it is desired since the mechanism works via gravity.  If too light, it would not deploy at all.  Once the optimum weight is found, quarters can be added or removed to balance it out depending on the payload.

As you can see, though the Mavic cannot carry huge payloads like some of its older brothers and sisters in the DJI line up, I believe you get the most bang for the buck if you want to utilize it in a SHTF scenario or even as a First Responder.  With a little bit of ingenuity, I am sure others can come up with a fancier/prettier payload release for the system.

The post DJI Mavic Pro Unmanned Air Vehicle – The Ultimate Prepper X-Factor appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Emergency Bags Every Prepper Needs to Have

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post has been contributed by Daniel. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Writing Contest today.


Prepping is not an easy job as you always have to be prepared for the worst. Still, while everyone talks about the supplies you need to carry no one actually specifies what to carry all this stuff in. Your emergency bag is just as important as the supplies inside it, so pay close attention to what you are buying.

The good news is that there are tons of bags out there that will do well as emergency bags. The bad news – it can often be intimidating when deciding which one to choose. This is why we’re going to go over the basics of emergency bags with you, so you know exactly which type you should purchase for different situations.

The Features You Should Be Looking For

Make sure your emergency bag has the following properties:

Lightweight: The importance of an emergency bag’s weight cannot be over-stressed. You don’t know how long you’ll be carrying it around, so you need something which is lightweight and thus will not hinder your movement. You need to put a lot of survival gear in there, so the bag itself should not add much to the weight.

Some bags can weigh as much as one-third of your body weight, once filled. While these bags are spacious and you can pack a lot of supplies in them, they are difficult to haul around for a long time. It is better, therefore, to choose a lighter model.

Subtle is Best: Sure, pink or orange is your favorite color, but when it comes to choosing an emergency bag, go for a dull, solid color. Your bag should not be screaming, “Look at me!” Black works perfectly because it is not visible at night, and also it does not draw attention to itself. In an emergency situation, you do not want people to focus on your gear and blending in with the surroundings is your best bet.

Internal Frame: An internal frame backpack is a better option because it lets you move freely. You can walk, run, jump or climb without the bag hindering your progress. This kind of bag hugs your back and thus feels more comfortable.

Waterproof: Make sure your bag is waterproof. After all, you do not want all your supplies to get wet when it rains or snows.

Size: Don’t go for something which is too big. Again, it draws too much attention to itself and you might find yourself in trouble as people try to rob you thinking you have a ton of supplies in there. Also, the larger the size, the more difficult it will be to carry the bag. At the same time, the bag should be spacious enough that it lets you carry everything inside.

Rush 24 by 5.11 – Great option for a Go Bag.

A good idea is to measure your own height from shoulders to the torso. Your bag should be around this big. If it is bigger, it will ride below your hips and thus bang against them every time you move. If it is smaller, it will be too high up on your back and will not feel comfortable.

Durability: The bag you buy should be built to withstand the elements. If a zip breaks, or a strap tears, you will be in huge trouble. Never compromise on the durability of a bag, even if you need to spend more. The fabric of the bag should also be tough.

Compartments: Bags which have many zippered compartments are easy to handle as you can organize your goods. That way, whenever you need anything, you do not have to turn all the contents topsy-turvy to find it. It also lets you prioritize your stuff so you know where the important things are.

Comfort Level: Your emergency bag is something you will be wearing for extended periods of time, as in a bug out situation you will constantly be on the move. Before you purchase your bag, wear it to see if it adjusts well to your body shape and structure. The straps should be adjustable and comfortable; they should not dig into your shoulders and waist. The bag should lie comfortably across your back and not bounce around too much when you move.

It should also be easy to wear and remove your bug out bag. You don’t want to spend ages putting it on and adjusting the straps every single time.

Types of Bags

Gerber and Maxpedition make smaller but tough as nails bags to hold plenty of survival gear

Let’s talk about the different types of emergency bags in the market, and which one will suit your specific needs.

Go Bag or 72- Hours Bag

This bag will sustain you for three days, and is best used in case of a natural disaster, when help might be on the way. The go bag is only large enough to carry three days’ worth of food and water supplies. You can also pack some essential tools (like a knife) and a first aid kit, but that is basically all you need.

Car Bag

This kind of bag is meant for people who travel via car a lot. The bag will have tools and supplies to repair your car, like a jumper cable and tire repair tools, so if you are stranded on the road, you can fix your vehicle and get going. The bag should also have other essential items, like food and water which will sustain you for about a day, in case you cannot fix your car and thus have to wait for help.

Bug Out Bag

A bug out bag is something which will sustain you for a long time. This bag is meant to carry supplies which will help you survive in any dangerous situation. The bag not only has food and water, it also has supplies which will help you make it on your own in the wilderness.

If the situation gets so bad that you need to leave your house and go to the wild to survive, alone, you need this bag. Here, you will have cooking supplies, hunting gear, change of clothes, fire starters, a knife, medical kit and other goods which will help you.

Duffel Bag

A tactical duffle is another option to quickly store a lot of gear.

A duffel bag can be used as an emergency bag if you have nothing else at hand. It is spacious and large and thus you can fit a lot of your gear inside. However, keep in mind that it is not the ideal option. You cannot compartmentalize the goods in a duffel bag, and just have to stuff everything in the same big space. This can prove to be rather cumbersome if you need something which you packed in the bottom of your bag.

Get your Emergency Stuff Ready

You never know when disaster might strike, so there is no time like the present to prepare yourself. Get a great bug out bag and pack your supplies so you can be ready to leave in a few minutes, if you need to. Remember, surviving in the wild is difficult, but not impossible. If you have the right equipment, you can certainly make it.

Do you have any particular bag you want us to know about? Let us know your preference in the comments section.

About the Author: Daniel Carraway knows everything there is to know about survival, hiking, camping and backpacking materials. If you want a review of any gear, he would totally be the best person to ask and he can also tell you a lot more about the best bug out bag backpack. Daniel learned a lot from attending REI Outdoor School, and one day he hopes that all his knowledge will help him in climbing the highest peak in the world.

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The Top 10 Survival Supplies That Can Save Your Life

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post has been contributed by Sarah. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Writing Contest today.


When a disaster happens, you don’t have time to start thinking about survival supplies you need. You need to be prepared and function on autopilot – when it comes to fighting for your survival, drafting shopping lists just isn’t possible. So, what are those essential supplies you need to have prepared for when disaster strikes? Here is a list of the ten survival supplies that could save your life.

1. Dry bags

One of the most important survival supplies is a stock of dry bags. These are similar to dry boxes and they are designed to ensure the contents stay dry and untarnished. If you’re clothing or electronics get wet, then you are going to have a tough time surviving and thus, these things are the first things to purchase.

You can keep the dry bags unpacked, but it can be a good idea to prepare a few with extra clothing. This way, you are always guaranteed to have dry clothes – some underwear, a pair of hiking trousers, a fleece shirt and some socks are enough to get started.

2.Fire starters

Aside from staying dry, your second most important survival element deals with setting a fire. You need heat not only to keep warm but also to cook things, among other important functions. There are tons of different fire starter supplies and it’s a good idea to even learn how to set fire with nothing but what nature has on offer.

However, make your survival a bit easier and get automatic fire starters. The magnesium fire starters are a solid option and you can use it in challenging conditions.

3. Sleeping bag

Sleeping is probably to least of your worries when things go sour, but you shouldn’t skip it. We need to sleep and rest our brains – without it, we can’t function properly and all your survival efforts will go to waste.

A sleeping bag is a must-have supply and you should have enough of them to ensure you can put your head down. You want the sleeping bag to be good quality – don’t try to save money with this purchase.

4. Water purification tablets

You definitely need to have a solid stock of water purification tablets, such as Polar Pure. Without water, you won’t last very long and therefore, it is an essential part of surviving in the wild or during a disaster. When you buy water purification tablets make sure to learn how to store them and use them! Test your tablets a few times to ensure you’re able to use them effectively.

5. Canned liquids

Food supplies are essential for a survival kit. You should definitely have a good stock of food supplies (canned meat, canned vegetables, protein powders and so on) at your home or designated survival location. However, you should focus on a few food supplies above anything else and keep these at hand at all times. The magic supply? Canned liquids like canned juices, condensed milk, coconut milk, chopped fruit in their own juice and so on. These are the best for survival because they provide you with both nutrition and hydration at the same time.

6. First Aid Kit

Sometimes survival becomes more than just finding shelter and food. You might be injured and you won’t have access to modern medical facilities. It’s crucial to be able to tend to your wounds and know how to get through injuries without causing more damage.

First aid kit with basic essentials like alcohol for cleaning wounds, scissors, bandages of different kinds, blasters, and so on, are a must-have part of a survival kit. You can create your own or opt for pre-made first aid kit from places like the Red Cross.

7. Bear pepper spray

While you definitely should get your hands on other forms of weaponry, your immediate survival kit should have a can of bear pepper spray. The spray is a great way to protect against animals, whether a mountain lion or your neighbour’s dog. It’s easy to use as well so make sure to teach your younger family members as well! You just have to point the can in the general direction of the animal or human attacking and they should be disoriented and run away. At least the spray is good for buying more time and getting your hands on a knife or a gun.

8.Fishing line

The beauty of fishing line it’s in its versatility. You can use it as a traditional fishing line and catch food but you can also use it to tie things, cut things and set different types of traps. Fishing line is durable and it’s cheap.

9. A proper map of your immediate location

Always have a sturdy map in your survival supplies kit. We’re too used to using modern technology to getting around, but when the worst happen, your iPhone is unlikely to save you. A good map with plenty of detailed information of the roads and terrain won’t cost a fortune and will ensure you find your way if other forms of communication are gone.

10.Fuel

Finally, you’ll need to stock up on some fuel. If you look back to some modern disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy, people were queuing to get fuel because the generators were out. Don’t be the person who has to find fuel after the disaster, but keep a few cans of it in secret locations – make sure it isn’t near things that could ignite.

Now, when it comes to having these supplies, it’s important to keep check of your stock and to ensure things aren’t going old (although by nature these supplies should last a long time, you do need to ensure the packages don’t get tampered with and so on). You can make savings with all of the above supplies if you shop with VoucherBin UK – it has a range of camping retailers offering discounts.

You should ideally have one set of kit available at your house, one smaller kit in your car and another stock at your designated safe house. This ensures you have a few access options when disaster strikes and you’re not left stranded.

So, when it comes to being prepared, don’t forget to get your hands on these ten supplies – they might save your life.

The post The Top 10 Survival Supplies That Can Save Your Life appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Wilderness Safety Tips for Women

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Julie. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


In today’s world, when a calamity knocks, people would go after one another to offer help and support each other all the way. However, sometimes, tragedies bring out the worst out of people. Some of these scheming calamities seem to target defenseless victims like the aging, the disabled and of course, women.

Most of the times men escape death because they know how to fight and to protect themselves. Their physical weight and height come in handy in most times too.

A lot of times, women are referred to as the fragile and weak ones. Favorably, many self-defense tips and approaches can trim that disadvantage and grant women the ability to shield themselves and those that they are obliged to protect, for example, their children.

Physically and Emotionally Fit

Women need to be physically and emotionally fit at all times. For example, if they have gone camping, should any danger arise, like a sign of an intruder from afar, they need to be ready to jump into action. They will need to run, really fast, to protect themselves from danger or to simply go and get help. Sometimes, the threat may not always be represented as a person. Other tragedies may be manifested in natural disasters like an avalanche, a storm or a tree falling.

Below are some of the wilderness safety tips women can put in place to be safe. Although sometimes all one may need is a survival boot knife, other regimens may be more helpful. Some of the tips revolve around things women may have been doing before, in preparation, not while faced with danger.

1. Exercise

It is important to keep fit. Otherwise, how will you jump into action if you cannot run? Exercising at least five times a week may be helpful. Other activities may also involve lifting weights or moving a log. These training tips are advisable because strength is vital in getting help.

Another idea to get in shape to be ready to defend yourself while out camping is rock climbing. This is especially easy since you do not need to go to the forest to become good at rock climbing. While the best practice would be the natural setting, today, rock climbing can be done at malls or even at the comfort of your home. Makeshift rock-climbing walls may not give the exact situation, but they prepare you for what’s on the outside for when you do go rock climbing or are faced with a situation in which you need such skills.

The good thing about exercising for survival and fitness is that one does not to be a member of a professional gym or hire an expert trainer to show you the ropes. All it takes is a simple regimen to keep fit, be it running, jogging, breathing exercises, and so on.

2. Survival Course

As much as you may be ready and willing to go out in the wilderness and enjoy the fresh air, the risk you are running is as real as a snake bite or a fractured knee. Many people may not be willing to try it out, but survival and defense classes are becoming more popular by the day.

The courses are short and have more to do with practical situations than the theory. What’s more? They are offered by professionals who may be retired Marines, medical practitioners or survival experts.

3. First Aid and Quick Response

Many courses will train you on how to avoid being in harm’s way. However, in the case of disaster, what else could you do to survive? There are a number of quite basic First Aid tips that women should have in hand to be better placed to save their lives. They are such as knowing how to stop a nosebleed, treat a snake bite or improvise and stabilize a fractured bone.

4. No Giving Up

The main thing the trainers and those who have survived tragedies in the wilderness will tell you is that you need to keep a positive attitude throughout the process. The positive attitude will help you stay focused during training and in the face of disaster. So many people have talked about going for hours, sometimes days, without water, fresh air or warmth. In the case of an avalanche, it is important to keep in mind that rescue is on the way and you just need to hold on.

5. The Mind Game

A danger is not always presented in the form of a person, but when it does, it is time to play smart, rather than showcase your mastery of the Kung Fu skills. Naturally, men are more muscular than women, and if they are your attacker, then it is time to play smart. Mind games such as playing defenseless and trying to understand your attacker’s psychology may save you more than a high kick or a blow to the face will. It is, therefore, important to keep in mind where you are, and who may be out to attack you. Some of the questions you need to ask yourself include:

This information will be vital especially if you are going camping in a different region, away from home. Read news and crime journals and reports about the general security of the area. Such information may be readily available on the internet. Reading about a new area gives Intel on what to expect, or not to expect.

In the same vein, know your surroundings. You should have contact details of a nearby hospital or sheriff’s office. This will be substantial even if the danger is not presented in the form of an attacker. In the case of a storm and the cabin is struck by lightning, perhaps reaching the sheriff’s office for assistance in the event of accidents may be essential.

6. Gun and Ammunition

Being fit may get you out of a situation, but being smart may save you faster and in a better way. Women, and indeed everyone else, need to be familiar with the gun and security laws governing their state or country. If you are going to be in a place that may put you at risk of being attacked, it only makes sense to have protection.

Most people keep guns in their houses or on them, but this is subject to the law and the permits required. If all the legislation boxes have been checked, then it’s time to learn how to load the gun, and of course, fire. Know what gun you are most comfortable using and if you need to spend some little time at the range to perfect your aim, then, by all means, do so.

Conclusion

All in all, security is key, not just for the women, but for everyone who is going to spend some time out of the comfort and safety of their home. Whether survival classes or keeping fit, always be on the lookout for what harm may come your way and how best to stay safe.

About the Author: Julie is the founder of Outdoorzer, where she and her associates blog about camping, hiking, RVs and surviving in the woods. Outdoorzer is a website for those who love the fresh air outdoors – It’s the best gift Mother Nature gives us!

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Altoids Survival Kits… Are a Joke

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from JD. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


This article may open up a can of worms, but I think the premise needs to be thought on. Altoids survival kits, in my not so humble opinion, suck. It seems to be one of the favorite pastimes of the prepper/survivalist community to make and talk about these kits, and how one could “survive” with them. I think the majority of people who make one of these kits put it in their vehicle or pocket and think that they can survive anything more than a night outdoors, are kidding themselves. And unless the one night you need to survive outdoors is in a northern climate during the winter months, pretty much anyone in decent health can last a night outside without such foolish kits. In other words, the point I’m trying to make is, if all one needs is to last a night before rescue, one can stay a night without one of these kits. Or any gear for that matter. But if things are bad enough that you need a survival kit, I’d want something substantially better. I understand that survival is something that we cannot guesstimate. We don’t know how long it will be before rescue, or finding the way out. Therefore, why rely on some joke of a kit to see you through? There are better options…

The main flaw of an Altoids kit, is that you can hardly put anything in them! The three basics of survival are shelter, fire, water. After those, food, and defense. Let’s look at these basics applied to the Altoids Survival kit.

Shelter: you cannot fold up a tarp to put in an Altoids Survival tin. How much paracord can you get into a tin along with all the other stuff? Not much. A primary tool to make shelter is a good fixed blade knife. I’ve seen where some pics displayed a Swiss Army knife in the kit. I’ve built many shelters in the outdoors and not a one of them would I wanted to have to use a Swiss Army knife to build them with. In reality, the main blade of a Swiss Army knife is good for not much more than sharpening a stick to cook a hot dog on. It isn’t made for heavy-duty use. Now in certain areas and climates of the country, you may not even need a knife to make a debris shelter. But I assure you, in the northern climates where I live, you will need a substantial shelter when snow is on the ground. One that will require a sturdy framework. Which means having a capable cutting/chopping tool. Ever baton firewood with a Swiss Army knife? No me neither.

You can fit a lot of things in an Altoids Survival Tin, but will it help you Survive?

Fire: OK we can put matches in an Altoids tin. Just don’t drop it in water, because the tins are not waterproof. Bic lighters when wet are iffy. Sometimes they will work sometimes they won’t. You can almost count on it NOT working when you need it most. Some of the smaller ferro rods and strikers will fit into a kit. I’m just not much of a fan of the gimmicky small equipment. When I’m cold and wet and its 30 degrees outside, I don’t want to mess around with some ferro rod that is an inch long putting out measly sparks. I want something that’s gonna rain down a shower of sparks that are 5000 degrees into my bird’s nest of tinder to get a fire going as soon as possible. Yes we can put waterproof matches in the kit. OK, I’ll give you that one. But how many are you gonna need? How many can you put into the kit still leaving space for all other items?

Water: you can’t carry any in a tin. You can’t get a water filter in a tin. The tin is hardly a container. If you’re in a desert environment, managed to get a fire going but need to boil water, your time is going to be consumed filling up your Altoids tin and boiling water because it’s not large enough to carry the necessary amount of water to stay hydrated. Depending on where the water source is, this could be a vicious circle.

Same deal with food and defense. You’re not gonna get a mountain house pouch or MRE stuffed into the kit nor will you get any kind of firearm or blade suitable for defense in one. I see lots of pics on the internet where people put band aids in them for first aid. Folks, a band-aid is NOT going to save your life! Real first aid gear deals with trauma, gunshot wounds, major lacerations, broken bones, etc. Good luck using those band aids on a compound fracture.

Does this cover the basics of Shelter, Water and Fire?

I also see people put X-acto blades in their kits. Really?! Trying to use those to cut something when your hands are freezing sounds more like a serious injury in the making. But fear not! There are much better options for a mini survival kit that will actually be of value if the time comes when you need it.

There are many manufacturers out there nowadays making pouches of all sizes, some of which are waterproof and ones that aren’t can be made waterproof by using a waterproofing type spray. These pouches are much bigger than an Altoids can but smaller than say a fanny pack or a butt pack. Lots of them have compartments and or loops made of elastic material to organize the contents. You can pack them with real first aid gear like gauze rolls, tourniquets, clotting agents, etc.

Real fire starting devices like a blast match or my favorite formerly known as the Gerber strike force. Now it’s made under Ultimate Survival Technologies, still known as the strike force. I’ve had mine over 20 years and started 100’s of fires and it’s probably got another 20 years left before I need to replace it. These pouches are large enough to pack a LifeStraw or Sawyer Mini filter to get clean water into yourself to maintain hydration. SOL makes a tarp/survival shelter that easily fits into some of these pouches. At the very least you can pack a space blanket or two. Another item which won’t fit in a tin.

My personal mini kit that I keep in my vehicle is the mini EOD pouch from High Speed Gear Inc. I’ve got enough stuffed into that pouch that I could stay a few nights outdoors, find my way, light my way, stay warm dry and hydrated. I can also stop bleeding while munching on some Cliff bars LOL. I think the Altoids kit is not a serious option when things get salty. For a little money, way better choices can be had. An Altoids kit can be better than absolutely nothing, if you have the proper items put in it, but in my opinion, it’s still a joke.

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Alternative Fishing Methods – When You Don’t Have Rod and Reel

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post has been contributed by Patrick. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Writing Contest today.


Fishing is a pastime that is enjoyed by millions of people.

There is nothing more relaxing for me than watching the sun rise while I cast a line into the water. However, there is much more to fishing than the fun part of it.

Around the world, fish feed more people than just about any other source of protein. This is part of the reason why a large percentage of the world’s population lives near the water. The waters of the world are bountiful sources of life for everyone.
I realized early in my survival career that fishing was one of the best ways to get calories when your body was craving for food.

Wild edibles are perfect for some vitamins and minerals, and they help you fill your belly. However, they do not provide much like calories or protein do. Hunting and trapping are challenging. But fishing is a more consistent way to get those calories and protein. Problem is, you do not always carry the gear that is ideal for fishing.

During my first survival challenge, fish gave me the fuel I needed to keep going. I went the first day without food as I spent my time building a shelter and purifying water. The next morning, I set out at dawn with a hand line and found a pond. I fished for about an hour before snagging one of the heaviest large-mouth bass I’ve ever caught.

The fire went out in the storm overnight, and everything was wet. It took me three hours to get the fire going again. After the fish was cooked and eaten, I felt the energy flow back into my body. I relied on fish for the rest of the challenge, cooked it in water to create a warm broth.

Alternative Fishing Methods

Remember that the rest of the world have other means of fishing aside from using a rod and reel. In most survival situations, you too do not usually have this gear handy. That means that knowing how to fish in other ways is vital to your survival.

In this article, I will cover a few effective alternative fishing methods as ways to fish without standard gear.

Hand Lines

Hand-line fishing with a buzz bomb in Barkley Sound, BC.

This method is the closest approach to using a rod and reel. You still have a line with a hook on the end and some bait or lure, you just don’t have the rod and reel apparatus.

With hand lining, you whip the line around in a circle with your dominant hand. The centrifugal force creates the momentum needed to launch it in the direction you choose. It can be hard to get distance, so weighting your line is important to help with your launch.

It is also good to have a spool of some kind to keep your line from tangling. A bottle or block of wood works well. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Wrap your line around the object towards one end and hold it on the other end.
  2. When you release the line through the air, keep your spool pointed in the same direction so it easily slides off.
  3. Then re-spool the line as you pull it back in.

For many people, this is the best way to use the little fishing kit you may have in your bug out bag.

Trot Lines

A trot line is a passive method of fishing in which you set several hooks and come back later to collect your catch.

To build one, stretch out a long primary line. I typically make it about thirty feet long and tie loops in the line about every three feet. I then attach secondary lines that can be anywhere from one to three feet long. A baited hook is connected to the end of each secondary line.

It is best to tie one end above the surface and weight the other end so it sinks to the bottom. This allows you to cover every depth and also cover a wide area of the water.

There are two peak times that fishes are more likely to strike — around sunrise and sunset. Therefore, it is best to check your line just after these times to collect fish and add any bait needed.

Nets

Nets are one of the most common methods for catching fish worldwide. They allow you to actively or passively catch multiple fish at once.

Gill Net

I like using a gill net. It is set up vertically so any fish swimming through that area is caught. Passive fishing is ideal in streams, rivers, and tidal areas but can be effective in any water.

I tested out my gill net a while back in our pond and caught eleven fishes in just a few hours. An ideal net is weighted at the bottom and has floats along the top to keep it vertical. It can be tied between two trees, or a pole can be installed to hold up one side.

Throw Net

A throw net is another popular option. It can be used in any water and are active in nature. It is cast out and spun so that it expands as it flies through the air. Then it sinks and tangles the fish underneath so that they can be drawn into it.

It takes some practice to get the hang of using a throw net, but it can be extremely useful.

Jug Fishing

If you like fishing with a bobber, you may like jug fishing too.

A jug or large float is tied to a weighted line with live bait. The hook and bait drop to your desired depth and many people like to jug fish at the bottom for catfish.

You know that the line has a fish when the jug starts to move. You can either wade out to place the jug and wade back to collect it, or you can attach a drag line to draw it back from the shore.

This method works best in still lakes or ponds. Several jugs are usually set to cover more water.

Sapling Lines

Fishing with saplings is similar to fishing with a rod and reel except that there is no reeling action.

Long saplings are cut with a line attached to the narrow end. The thick end is driven into the mud along the bank, and the baited hook on the other end of the line is thrown out into the water using the same motion used with hand lining.

You can either watch the tip of the sapling for movement, or you can attach a small bell to the end to alert you of movement. Typically, several saplings are set in an area to cover more water.

I use this method to go after channel catfish in small, muddy rivers. The challenge is dragging in the fish. I suggest using leather gloves to avoid cutting your hands on the line.

Fish Traps

There are a few fish traps that can be easily made in the wild for passive fishing.

Using a Plastic Bottle

This can be used in any body of water for smaller fish. All it requires is a clear, plastic bottle. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Cut the top of the bottle just below the taper.
  2. Reverse the top so the opening is facing down.
  3. Reattach the top using cordage to sew the pieces together.
  4. You can then cut the opening to your desired size and add bait inside the trap.

Fish will swim in the opening and will get confused trying to find their way out. You may want to use a weight to hold it in place.

Using Poles or Rocks

You can also use poles or rocks to create a large trap in the shallow water. Either shove poles vertically into the bottom, or pile rocks to create walls.

You want the shape of your trap to resemble a heart with an opening at the point of the cleavage. Then choose what to do next from these options:

  • add bait
  • throw rocks to scare fish into the trap
  • just wait it out

The fish again swims into the narrow opening and gets confused trying to find the way back out. In larger traps like this, you may have difficulty catching the trapped fish.

Try throwing a bundle of tall grasses or other vegetation onto the fish and then scoop the whole bundle throwing it onto the shore. The vegetation traps the fish as you fling it aside.

Hungry? Be Creative

As you can see, there are several ways to catch a meal without using conventional gear.

Any of these fishing methods can be accomplished using items in your bug out bag along with garbage or debris you might find along your way. If your belly is rumbling and you have the time, get creative and try out one of these alternative fishing methods.

Always remember: all nets, lines, and traps should be pulled out of the water when you are done so that no fish dies unnecessarily.

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How to Hunt Deer with a Bow Effectively

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Editor’s Note: This post has been contributed by Joseph. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Writing Contest today.


Deer hunting can be done in two ways; either by using rifles or using bows. If you are one of the many hunters who prefer the latter option, this is the perfect article for you to know the practice tips to hunt deer with a bow. Dedicated hunters will know that practice sharpens your skill on shooting a bow with precise and accurate shots. Thus, here are a few tips to pave your way to become a skilled bow hunter.

Practice during unfavorable conditions

Obviously, a good hunt is scheduled during the peak seasons when the weather is favorable for hunting and trekking. However, weather can be a greatly unpredictable thing, and while out on a hunt, it’s better to be prepared for anything.

Practicing in windy conditions where the direction and force of the wind can greatly affect your accuracy can improve your bow skills. Think of this way; if you can shoot well in crappy weather, then you can do so better in normal conditions. More importantly, you are prepared for any kind of situation when you’re out hunting.

Take it slow

If you’re planning to shoot your first buck from a tree stand, you cannot do so successfully without learning how to shoot from a higher position.

 

It’s not wise to push your limits while at the beginner stage of bow hunting. The best strategy to gauge your skills is to start slow. Start shooting at small distances until you can perfect your shot at that distance. Only then should you further increase the increments.

This strategy can also minimize frustration because it will let you know the farthest distance where you can shoot most accurately. On the field, it will help you gauge your Effective Kill Range (EKR), or the distance range wherein you are most likely to take down a deer without messing up the shot.

Learn how to use a bow sight

A bow sight is an essential tool when shooting long distance. The best bow sight can greatly enhance your long-distance shooting by a tenfold. Basically, it has pins set at different distances which can help you shoot long-distance targets from stagnant position, such as a tree stand.

Other than a bow sight, you should also use other essential bow accessories such as a bow stabilizer. A bow stabilizer, on the other hand, is an accessory that helps minimize torque, stabilize shots, and increase the accuracy of your shots.

Know how to shoot from a higher position

If you’re planning to shoot your first buck from a tree stand, you cannot do so successfully without learning how to shoot from a higher position. Because the trajectory will change once you shoot from an elevated place.

So one of my tips is to practice shooting dummy targets from a tree stand. Once you get a hold of this skill, you’ll find tree stand hunting an easy task.

Target for easy-kill areas

The most humane way to kill a deer is to shoot it in the chest area, where the arrow can pierce through the lungs or heart and deliver almost instant and painless death. To practice this skill, you can use target print-outs of a deer in order to enhance your ability to kill instantly.

Moreover, this will also minimize the possibility of the deer running away because of a shot in the belly, hind, or legs. With accurate shots to the chest area, you can harvest your kill easily.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions

If you’re not sure about something, ask a more experienced bow hunter than you. Remember that it’s not a competition of who is best. Every great bow hunter starts somewhere, and while you’re a beginner, it’s best to take advice from experts and use it to work on your weak points.

Other than constructive criticism, you can also form bonds with other bow hunters and potentially join them on their next bow hunt. This will be a big plus for you: because not only do you have new hunting buddies, you also have a lot of people to help you work on your skills.

Practice with your bow in low-light conditions

You can also master shooting with it during near sunset or near dawn conditions.

Most often, whitetail deer make an appearance before sunset when the light is dimming and your bow sight is getting difficult to use. Although most bow sights come with a glow-in-the-dark pin feature, it will be much wiser and a skill-builder to practice shooting in low light.

If you have a bow sight with a low-light feature, you can also master shooting with it during near sunset or near dawn conditions. In this way, you won’t need to fumble with your bow sight while on the field.

Adjust your bow according to the wind

The wind plays a big role in the accuracy of your shot because, as said before in this article, it can affect the direction and/or trajectory of your shot. When hunting deer with a bow, you’re also most likely confined to shooting from far distances. Therefore, it’s better if you learn to adjust your aim with the wind.

Most importantly, with this skill you can reap rewards when a supposed to be sunny day turns into a windy one. Remember: the weather is completely unpredictable, and as a hunter, don’t expect it to always be in your favor.

Work on your form

As a beginner, the best form for archery is one of the most difficult aspects to master. It’s imperative that you work on your form every time you practice shooting. Moreover, you can also ask an experienced bow hunter to evaluate your form and tell you the mistakes that you’re making.

Why does this need to be done? Well, a great form will directly affect the accuracy of your shot and help you shoot better. Otherwise, a bad form can lead to inaccurate and imprecise shots that will just leave you discouraged. Thus, remember to work on this aspect along with everything else.

Learn how to wait for the perfect shot

In deer hunting, timing is everything, whether you shoot with a bow or a rifle. The proper timing of your shot will decrease the chances of a botched kill. Since deer are highly receptive of sound, you can scare away a bunch of them if you have off timing with your shots and they end up on a nearby tree or the ground.

Unfortunately, the only way to practice your timing is to do it on an actual deer. Because automated practice targets have predictable movements, they aren’t great options for practicing timing. Unlike with deer, you can learn how to assess their movements and make it predictable to you.

Conclusion

Here, we’ve highlighted the best practice tips to hunt deer with a bow. It’s not the actual camping and hunting that’s the most difficult part, but the practice on shooting a bow. Thus, the best option you have in order to be the most prepared hunter in the world is to practice at every chance you get.

Did you like this article? If you did, leave us a comment below and tell us what you think. You can also share this with your friends. Thanks for reading!

 

About the author: Joseph Gleason is the founder of Captain Hunter. CaptainHunter.com is a site dedicated to the sport of hunting. We have a deep respect for nature and for the environment, and we therefore take the sport of hunting very seriously.

Never think that you are alone in the woods again. Our goal is to share what we know with who needs it most.

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Start Prepping Without Feeling Overwhelmed

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Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Kena K. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


Everyone has different reasons for prepping. For us it was the combination of hearing about the increasing devastation of more natural disasters in the U.S. and abroad, and seeing how many people lost their jobs and homes during the economic recession. Initially, our thought was just to have some extra food in the cupboards in case I lost my job. We started by emptying out the closet in our extra bedroom, which allowed us to get rid of some of the extra “stuff ”we all seem to accumulate. Next, we purchased a few shelving units on sale, and secured them to the wall inside the closet. From there, we researched food items with longer storage lives like beans, instant rice, oatmeal, pasta, instant potatoes, honey and sugar and then started buying a little extra food each time we went to the store, focusing on sales to keep things cheaper. Once home with the the food, I wrote the “use by” date on the labels of the food before storing them in the closet so the items that expire soonest would be used first and those with the later expiration dates would be placed behind those to be used later.

As time went on our food storage grew and became more diverse. We began to compare our closet to a savings vault and the more food we put in it, the richer we felt. Coincidentally, the more we collected, the more interested we got in the whole prepping concept. I organized the food according to categories like beans, rice, oatmeal, canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned fish and meats, boxed meals, spices, baking items, drink mixes (coffee, tea, hot cocoa, hot cider, instant milk, Gatorade, Tang, Kool-Aid, etc.) and so on. We not only thought of ourselves, we also planned for the possibility that other members of our family might have to leave their homes, so we downsized more of our “junk” to create more space, and collected more food.

The biggest challenge for me was storing water. I didn’t want anything to be so heavy it would fall on our heads, collapse the shelves, or worse to leak and ruin our food, so I boiled water and stored it in glass quart jars that I had saved from empty juice containers, and then dated the jars and placed them upright, underneath the shelving units where lucky for me, they fit perfectly. I also purchased and stored some plastic drinking water bottles. Since the minimum recommendation is to save one gallon of water per day, per person and pets, and since water is life, I found it difficult to determine how many days we should save for and where to find enough space to store it all. Eventually, I got creative and found other places throughout the house to store more water and we kept empty 5 gallon water containers with our camping gear so we could use them to gather more water, as needed.

Prepping isn’t a new idea – What is new is the idea that you don’t need to prepare.

At some point, we began to expand our storage items from just food into thoughts of our pets needs, first aid, extra indoor and outdoor clothes and shoes, towels and blankets, soap, shampoo, lotion, toothbrushes, toothpaste and the like, again purchasing items on sale. We started going to garage sales to look for things like oil lamps and camping items. We made Bug Out Bags for ourselves should we need to evacuate at a moments notice and I even stored a few emergency items in my purse and in our vehicles. We have a camp trailer so we also got it ready with extra sleeping bags, food, hygiene items, books, puzzles, cards, and toys for the grandkids. It became a game to us, always thinking of things we might need and how to purchase them without spending tons of money. We bought things like tools, personal protection items, backpacks, cooking and camping gear for each other for our birthday and Christmas presents. During the winter when the weather was too bad to go outside, I used my time to copy our important papers, put family pictures in a small photo album, and wrote down their addresses, phone numbers and birthdays and anything else of importance I could think of (scars, blood types, etc). We stored some state and Forest Service maps in the glove box and our backpacks in case we had to travel or use the back roads. I also started collecting recipes for ways to use the freeze-dried foods we’d purchased.

In the spring we expanded our garden area and mostly planted food that we could freeze, dry or can. We felt really good growing our own food because we kept it organic and knew it would taste so much better in the winter than grocery canned foods. We read articles on sprouting and bought seeds so we could try it. Since we owned an acre of land outside the city limits we figured we should utilize our property to help us survive, so instead of a yard full of grass and ornamental trees, we opted for edible landscaping by planting a few fruit trees, berry plants, rhubarb and herbs. We even raised our own chickens for eggs and meat, and had rabbits and turkeys for awhile.

Keep in mind that none of this happened over night by any means. It was something that we started that grew over time. It grew because we saw the importance of it, turned it into a game and then had fun doing it.

What could possibly go wrong?

As our adult children came to visit they began to notice all the food we were collecting and they laughed saying if the Cascadia Fault line acted up, they would just bring their friends and come to our house since we were already so stocked up. I had read an article about someone who opened his property to a few friends who ended up bringing other friend after the Katrina hurricane in 2005 but no one brought anything to contribute towards the cause and soon the years worth of food that he had saved for himself was gone because he had to share it with everyone else. Remembering this, I told the kids that they were more than welcome to come and to think about what they could bring to contribute (food, bedding, towels, etc), and that we had indeed planned for them to stay with us if need be, but then I had to let them know that we did not have enough for their friends, so they would have to prepare for themselves or plan on going someplace else. I felt like I was being a bit mean, but when the SHTF, we all have to decide who can enter our domain and who can’t…and what we are willing to do in order to back that up.

Major cities affected by a disturbance in this subduction zone include Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia; Seattle, Washington; and Portland, Oregon.

That year for Christmas, I gave the kids a mini survival bag for the glove box of their cars that included things like a metal cup with a bit of food, a pocket knife, flashlight, fire starter, and hand warmers and a tiny address book that I wrote our address and phone number in, thinking that in an emergency they may not have cell service so it would be helpful to have important numbers written down with the hope they might be able to use a land line. I told them it was just a starter kit, and encouraged them to add to it.

After some time, I noticed it seems the kids have been paying attention. They have started to collect extra food in case the power goes out or they get sick and can’t go to work or get to the store. My 80 year old mother recently had to rely on the water and food she had stored for just such an occasion when she was unable to leave home due to a heavy snow storm. Fortunately she didn’t lose power, but if she had, she would have been OK because she had candles, a flashlight and an indoor propane heater on hand that we had given her. She had extra blankets and winter clothes too, all things we had given her or that she had gotten for herself. It was a big relief to know she was prepared as we do not live in the same town and are in fact divided by a mountain pass that may have been impossible for us to go over during the storm. Fortunately, she also has a kind neighbor who helped keep her walkway shoveled and some folks from her church who stopped by to check on her. I would prefer that we lived closer so we could help her more, but for now at least, that is not the case.

Whatever your reason, I hope this article inspires you to begin your prepping adventure. Keep it simple, make a game of it, and don’t spend a ton of money upfront if you don’t have it. Second-hand stores, Dollar stores, garage and estate sales, all have great deals. Online stores and military supply stores are great places to look for backpacks, camping supplies, military clothing and a whole host of other items without paying an arm and a leg for it like you might at a specialty-type store. There are numerous prepping articles full of great advice and helpful lists of whatever you might be interested in, like what to put in your first aid kit or your bug-out bag for example. There are also plenty of prepper-type stores online to buy freeze-dried and dehydrated food if you choose to go that way, and they tend to have different items on sale every month, which is how I am building up our freeze-dried and dehydrated items. You can even find a limited supply at some stores like Walmart. So, there are lots of options, and the more you get into it, the more you will want to do. Perhaps you can get others to join you – encourage your family, friends and neighbors to have extra supplies on hand “just-in-case” explaining you never know when you might get sick or when the power will go out. Let them know they don’t want to be the one stuck without gas, food or water. They wouldn’t want the power to go out and be sitting in the dark without some sort of light, heat, or a way to cook and clean. Invite your friends to go to a garage sale with you as a fun way to get started.

There is still so much I want learn like emergency first aid, tying knots, identifying edible mushrooms and wild foods. Reading books and watching survival-type shows is a fun way to be introduced to different ways to build shelter, make fires, use weapons and just live off the land, but of course nothing prepares you for this type of survival like taking a class and practicing your skills and I look forward to it all. I hope you do, too.

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5 Insects You Can Eat To Survive In The Jungle

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Editor’s Note: This post has been contributed by Christina. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Writing Contest today.


When you’re out hiking or camping, you can never be sure of what awaits. A simple unpredictable weather event or losing track of where you are on that hike into the wilderness, can ruin everything including your clothing and food. For some reason, you might be forced to stay in the jungle longer than you had planned. But regardless of what happens, the last thing you want to be is starving. The great news is, you can never starve in a jungle – if you are motivated, but it is always up to you differentiate between what is safe for eating and what is not.

As a regular camper, I would suggest that you turn to insects. Reason being, they are rich in nutrients including proteins, fiber as well as fats you will need to survive in the jungle. Another great piece of news is that it is unlikely that they will make you sick. But just like any other food, there are those insects that are safe for eating as well as those that are not.

This post has compiled a list of five edible insects that might save you from starving when you are stuck in the jungle. They are easy to access, could allow you to survive in the jungle, and the best part is they don’t require a long procedure to prepare.

Locusts

One insect you can never miss while you are out in the jungle is a locust. Locusts are always everywhere and most importantly, nutritious. Up to 50 percent of locust’s dry weight contains protein which is quite high than what you will find in cows. Other valuable nutrients include fats, carbohydrates and more.

You can catch more locust during the day because that is the time they are most active. All you need is some net. But make sure you release them in some bucket immediately, you’ve caught enough to prevent them from eating your net. You can then prepare some locust meal, by dry roasting them, adding some salts and serving.

Crickets

Crickets serve as an excellent source of food in many parts of the world. They are also among the most nutritious insects you can easily catch in the jungle. For example, 100 g of crickets has up to 121 calories, 5.5 grams of fat, 12.9 g of protein.

The insect also packs many nutrients including calcium, phosphorous and much more. To catch some crickets, place some sugar into a deep bowl or a jar. Find their location and sink the jar into the ground. Leave it there overnight and expect a large meal of crickets very early in the morning. You can also store them for some time by adding a breathable material on top of the jar. You can then dry roast them, add some salt and eat them.

Ants

Ants are always everywhere and the best part, easy to catch. They are packed with proteins providing your body with the amino acids. They are also rich in copper, phosphorous and many other nutrients. Ants are easy to catch because they always match in one line. Just look around to see if you can find one or locate an ant hill.

If you’ve found an ant hill, place some stick through the opening. The ants will start climbing on it trying to bite it. When this happens, take the stick out and dunk the ants on the stick into a container filled with water. Once you have gathered enough, you can boil them for approximately, five minutes to neutralize the acid in them and then eat.

Termites

If you want something tasty, then you will love having some termites for lunch or dinner. Apart from being among the most nutritious insects in the jungle; they also offer a variety of health benefits. For example, they have been used for medicinal purposes, particularly in the rural areas of the world. Studies have also shown that they have some antiviral properties that make them effective in treating a variety of complications including asthma, bronchitis, sore throat, whooping-cough and more.

To catch some termites, break and open a log and then shake them out. If it is raining, you can place some light into a bucket. They will gather around the light. You can then collect as many as you want. Prepare them, by roasting them in a dry pan on a campfire.

Stinkbugs

You might despise their name, but stinkbugs are great when prepared well. They are also among the best delicacies in Mexico. Apart from being nutritious, they offer a variety of health benefits just like termites. Stinkbugs are easy to access and catch during winter. You can find them hiding or taking shelter under logs or rocks, and sometimes you will see them on the open ground.

Stink bugs unlike many insects in this list can be eaten raw, but it is always advisable that you soak them in some warm water for approximately, 10 minutes then roast them in a dry pan. You don’t have to eat them immediately. After being boiled, stinkbugs can last a week without going bad.

Additional Tip

Even though most insects are nutritious and safe to eat, it is advisable that you be a little bit cautious when choosing your food. For example, experts advise that you avoid brightly-colored insects and those with strong smell because they can be toxic.

Also, remember; some of the edible insects mentioned here such as ants and the rest produce some toxic chemicals when offended. So, make sure you’ve prepared them well. Also, make sure that your cooking water is safe. No matter where you are planning to get your water, make sure it is boiled properly before use. If your only source is spring, I would suggest that you consider spring water testing.

Final words

If there is one thing I’ve learned about camping is survival. One fact is, a jungle has everything you need to survive, but it is up to you to figure that out. These five insects will without a doubt serve you well, but that never implies that they will be available at the location you will choose to set your tent or at the time you need them most. Using the methods mentioned above, make sure you’ve collected enough when you get the chance, prepare and store safely to use later.

About the author:  Christina is a young blogger who is very passionate about her work. Her long experience has a blogger made her an expert on different niches like home, lifestyle, leisure, etc. As a blogger, she believes in quality content and backs up all of her posts with relevant research information. It is her goal to share this quality information in the form of guidelines, reviews, lists, and other types of blog posts to her readers. She believes in constant exploration and evolution as a blogger. You can learn more about Christina at RainyAdventures.Com

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6 Inexpensive Skills Every Prepper Needs

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from JD. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


Take a second and think if there is anyone you know who has loads of supplies packed in their home. Now ask yourself if that person has the knowledge and skill level to employ that equipment in critical times. What about you? Do you have the know-how when the going gets rough?

Maybe you’re just getting started with prepping and have an extremely tight budget. Your community and family are going to need capable people who can execute vital tasks when times are hard and lives are on the line. Don’t sell yourself short if your finances prevent you from acquiring massive amounts of equipment for any number of disasters. Think about the people on the other side of the coin who have lots of gear, but not lots of training on how to use it. Aristotle’s said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” and pulling together as a community can pull you through any difficult circumstances.

Take a stroll through any prepper website and you’ll see that a ton emphasis is placed on gear and gadgets. I’m here to tell you that skills beat gadgets any day of the week and twice on Sundays! Knowledge weighs nothing and you always have it on you. People often try to buy their way out of a problem, but skills are built through habit and time. Today we’re going to focus on 6 basic skills that every prepper needs: Shooting, Medical, Survival, Communication, Gardening, and Leadership.

Shooting

A rifle with a sling in the hands of trained marksman can devastate and enemy force or consistently provide meat for the pot.

When things fall apart, it’s handy to know how to handle a weapon. Not just for self-defense purposes, but also for hunting. Even if you only have a .22 rifle, you can become deadly with it. Fancy scopes, match-grade barrels, suppressors and bi-pods are not required. A rifle with a sling in the hands of trained marksman can devastate and enemy force or consistently provide meat for the pot. You need to learn how to shoot – it can literally save your life!
Project Appleseed is a non-profit nationwide community of volunteers that teaches traditional rifle marksmanship that will “transform you from a person with a rifle into a principled and skilled Rifleman.” They offer inexpensive weekend shoots in nearly every state. Check out their site and get signed up for one of their events.

Medical

Medical emergencies don’t wait for the end of the world. They happen every day to thousands of people in your community. Trained First Responders can mean the difference between life and death. It’s likely that everyone will have to deal with some sort of medical or traumatic situation so it’s probably not a bad idea to learn how to deal with medical emergencies before they occur.

There are many counties/cities in every state that need volunteer firefighters. Since almost 80% of their calls are medical related, there are departments that will pay for your Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)- Basic Certification Course in return for your volunteer service to their department. This is an outstanding way to learn a crucial skill (for free) and get involved in your community. During my time as an EMT, I’ve seen first-hand the varied and extreme reactions of people’s response to stress while also developing the muscle memory to stay calm and provide emergency care to the sick and injured.

Survival

Whether you’re bugging out during a crisis or simply lost in the woods, survival skills are foundational to maintaining life. There are a lot of great resources on this topic that are free. Check out your local library for books or DVDs on survival. YouTube can also provide a lot of information regarding water purification, shelter building, fire-craft, signaling, navigation and snaring. There are a wide variety of techniques in the survival community so focus your search on practical skills and less on the primitive living techniques that can take years to master like fire by friction, tanning hides, flint-knapping, etc.

Communication

It’s a good idea to learn how to use radios now before you need them.For communities to effectively work together during catastrophes, they have to be able to communicate. In today’s society, we’ve become complacent with luxuries like the internet and cell phones that are highly vulnerable to failure when things go south.

In times of need, HAM radio operators stand in the gap to provide lifesaving information. This allows communities to prepare for incoming threats, make informed decisions, adjust provisions for crisis duration or work in concert with nearby communities. You can learn the basics of HAM radio with this free course.  Also, it’s less than $40 to get your license and using a simple handheld radio you can be talking to other operators in your community in no time!

Gardening/Canning

A garden is simply a prepping must-have to live off-grid.

You’ve probably heard the saying that “Growing your own food is like printing your own money” and in hard times this has never been truer. Imagine your delight eating fresh tomatoes or strawberries after two weeks of freeze-dried food. Or opening a jar of raspberry jam in the middle of winter that you canned earlier that summer. Gardening and canning are skills that can be learned with a minimum amount of startup costs. If you have no idea where to start, check out your local county extension or city. They likely offer free workshops on these subjects and some even provide supplies to take home! Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of space. A simple window sill herb garden can teach you the learning curve that comes with gardening. The beauty of gardening is that even if crisis never comes, you’ll still enjoy the fruits of your labor. Ha…you see what I did there?!

Leadership

Working together is a key factor to surviving disasters and leadership is a fundamental role in making that happen. Your community is a lot like a tribe and it needs leaders at the local level. Good leadership comes from being informed and understanding what people need in hard times. One part of leadership is understanding what planning and execution is taking place at the city, state and national level. FEMA has tons of free online courses so you can work together and relay community challenges using the local chain of command. Here is a snapshot of some of the courses they offer:

  • Understanding the Incident Command System
  • Emergency Planning
  • Decision Making and Problem Solving
  • Planning for the Needs of Children in Disasters
  • Natural Disaster Mitigation

Check out their site to learn more:

There are also free courses on personal emergency preparedness offered by your city or county. A quick Internet search should point you in the right direction.

Sometimes the hardest part with most things in life is getting started. The good news is that you don’t need a fortune to start building your skillset. The danger here is not acting on this information; you have to apply it! Like Derek Sivers says, “If information were the answer we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs”. Now you know how to get started and move towards your goal. This can actually be a lot of fun. Invite a friend along with you and learn something new together. You might even find a new hobby!

About the Author: JD is the founder of  I Will Make You Hard to Kill. His site is dedicated to a wide variety of skills that improve survivability in emergency situations as well as everyday life. He is a SERE Specialist with 18 years of military service teaching aircrew and special operations personnel how to survive, evade, resist and escape at the U.S. Air Force Survival School located at Fairchild AFB, WA.

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Why The Rangefinder Binocular Is The New Must-Have Tool For Hunters

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post has been contributed by Daren. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Writing Contest today.


There are many things that can cause you to miss the target when hunting, one of which is a misjudged range. Speaking of underestimated range, have you ever tried to measure a target’s range and field miserably? If you have, then it might be time to invest in a rangefinder binocular.

The best rangefinder binoculars give you the best of both worlds. It is for this reason that I consider a rangefinder binocular to be an infallible asset to any hunter. Rangefinder binoculars are becoming more mainstream as more and more hunters continue discovering their usefulness.

So why are they so important to hunters? To answer this question, we have to look at what you get from a rangefinder binocular, which is,

Ease of use

Ask any hunter who uses rangefinder binoculars, and they will probably tell you that they are easier to use than laser rangefinders. Rangefinder binoculars weigh more compared to ordinary binoculars. The added weight gives them stability and makes them easier to hold. The two-hand grip of these binoculars guarantees more accurate range readings. Additionally, with a simple push of a button, you are able to get the range of your target within seconds.

Two-in-one

As a hunter, you will have to carry some accessories to aid you in your hunting. These accessories can include a rifle or bow, a binocular or a scope, and a rangefinder. Transitioning from one device to another can be time-consuming.

For example, let us say you have spotted an animal with your binocular but do not know how far away it is from you. The logical thing to do is pull out your rangefinder to measure the range. This process can be time-consuming.

With a rangefinder binocular, you spot the animal and are able to know how far it is when you spot it. Binoculars with a built-in rangefinder often have an impressive range. There are rangefinder binoculars that will offer you a 1000 to 2000 range. Thus a rangefinder binocular is a two-in-one device that will serve you exceptionally well.

Overcome rangefinder shortcomings

A rangefinder functions by sending out a laser beam. The beam hits the intended target, and the rangefinder measures the distance of the beam’s reflection. This essentially means that rangefinders do not work well in thickly forested areas. With a rangefinder integrated into a binocular, this problem is solved.

With a binocular, you can scope an area before turning on the rangefinder. Scanning the area first helps you know if there is anything that might be in the way of the laser beam. This increases your chances of hitting the target and getting an accurate range.

Also, you will be able to identify vantage points where you can get a more accurate range. The binocular’s ability to give you a clearer view of your surroundings enhances the rangefinder’s performance. Thus, the two devices built into one gadget complement one another and improve your hunting skills and reduce the chances of you missing.

Angle compensations & ballistic information

Apart from having a built –in rangefinder, most rangefinder binoculars come fitted with an angle compensator feature. This comes in handy when you are aiming from a tree stand. Some models come with pre-programmed ballistics charts that will be useful in your hunting.

This information allows you to adjust your shot based on the ballistics curve of your firearm’s bullet. This information integrated into the binocular improves your accuracy and minimizes guesswork. The ballistics technology found in some models consider factors such as temperature, air pressure, and ballistics curves. This is the kind of information that professional snipers rely on when making a shot. Therefore, with a rangefinder binocular, you will have this information at your fingertips.

Preparation

Most animals are creatures of habit. This means that they frequent specific parts. This is a weakness that you can exploit. To do so, you will need first to scout the specific areas where your prey frequents. Next, you will need to identify the perfect vantage point to take the shot.

With a rangefinder binocular, you will be able to scan and get a range simultaneously. You will need to identify a good spot from where you will stalk your prey. The binocular will come in handy when measuring the range between this spot and your prey’s preferred spot.

This preparation is best done during the day, and the hunting is done at night or dawn. At night, light conditions are not so good you will be able to know where to go to make a kill.

Avoid getting close

One of the biggest mistake you can make as a hunter is getting too close to your prey. Animals have heightened senses and can hear things at longer ranges than we can. With a rangefinder binocular, you will be able to stalk an animal from a safe distance.

Some of the best rangefinder binoculars out there offer a range of up to 1300 yards. It is hard to spook an animal off at 1300 yards. Average rangefinder binoculars normally have a range of between 600 and 800 yards. Thus, a rangefinder binocular minimizes the chances of you getting too close to make a shot. Also, this binocular helps improve your long-range marksman skills.

Continuous scoping

Every second count when you are hunting. Thus, taking your eyes off your prey for even a minute can change things. The rangefinder binoculars are designed to be sophisticated. Thus, there are models that feature an in-view LED display. The latter display usually resembles a fighter jet’s display area or HUD. All crucial information is displayed on the LED display. This way you can keep your eyes on your prey for a longer period of time.

Additionally, binoculars have a wider field of view compared to rangefinders. Thus, a binocular’s eyepiece can accommodate more information than a rangefinder’s eyepiece. Therefore, you get all the information you need clearly.

Conclusion

Rangefinder binoculars are the future, and it is estimated that in the next decade or two, rangefinder binoculars will render conventional binoculars obsolete. In summary, as a hunter having a rangefinder binocular will make work easier for you.

 

About the Author: Daren Rifen Founder of Binoculars Guru is an enthusiastic hunter with over 10 years’ experience. A native of Texas, Daren hunts everything from whitetail deer to ducks. Daren has mastered different hunting techniques including archery, using rifles and handguns. As a native of Texas, Daren learned his hunting skills from his father, who learned from his grandfather. He possesses an extensive knowledge of everything firearms, hunting binoculars and riflescopes. When he is not hunting, Daren is either hiking or fishing.

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8 Basic Survival Skills That You Ought To Know

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Editor’s Note: This post has been contributed by Paul. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Writing Contest today.


A lot of preppers do not possess the proper skills for surviving in case of any natural disaster even though it is essential to do so. The main reason for the lack of adequate skills is that many people lack the proper survival skills training to cope with any emergency situation. In the subsequent paragraphs, we are going to mention 8 important survival skills that anyone must have in his or her kit.

Locating and purifying water

It is said that an individual cannot survive for more than three days without drinking water. However, in case he or she needs to survive in a severe environment, it might not be possible for him or her to survive even that long.

Water is essential for the human body to function properly and this is why one of the most important survival skills will be to locate and also purify water. In case you’re able to light a fire then you might consider boiling the water. Otherwise, you might also store sufficient water prior to leaving for an exploration. Although it might not solve your problem entirely, it is the best thing that you can do during a survival situation. We all know that nature is our best friend and we should make it a point to learn which plants will provide us with drinking water; however, it might prove to be disastrous for you in case you fail to understand it properly.

Making a fire

 

It is definitely tough to figure out which particular survival skills are the most important in a disaster situation; however, one cannot ignore the importance of making a fire in this respect. A fire will help you in many ways such as purifying the water, keeping yourself warm and comfortable, sterilizing surgical equipment, making tools, cooking food, signaling for help and also safeguarding yourself from wild creatures. Above all, you will feel much more confident by having a fire.

Building a shelter

While you are outdoors, things can change all of a sudden at any time of the day. For example, there can be a great fluctuation in the temperature. Although you might be experiencing a dry climate in the morning, you should not be surprised if it rains heavily at night. While you are trapped in an emergency situation, you might use your vehicle as your shelter in case you happen to be with the car. Otherwise, think of some natural resources that you can use as your shelter. It will not be a bad idea to safeguard yourself from the inclement weather by taking a refuge inside a cave.

Predicting weather

Casio Men’s PAG240-1CR Pathfinder Triple Sensor Multi-Function Sport Watch – Compass, Barometer and Altimeter.

In most situations, we are hardly concerned about the climatic condition in our daily lives unless of course there are some natural calamities like tornadoes and floods. Being able to forecast the weather is an essential survival skill that you should have during any disaster situation. In case you happen to be in the wilderness, you can be affected very badly by any change in the weather conditions. You might find it extremely hard to light a fire if there is a heavy precipitation as well as a strong gale. You will never be caught unaware if you are able to develop this particular survival skill. But how is it possible? Below we have mentioned some fundamental forecasting skills the majority of which will depend on natural phenomena like:

  • Air pressure – Although it is impossible to measure the air pressure physically, you should be able to ascertain the direction of the air flow. Usually, the clouds will be moving from a high-pressure area to a low-pressure area.
  • Clouds – You’ll be able to forecast strong wind as well as rain by observing the clouds. Under normal circumstances, heavy precipitation can be expected in the presence of dark and low hanging clouds.
  • Wild creatures – Animals are able to understand any change in the weather by their natural instincts. For example, you can predict rain in case the insects start to disappear.
  • Hunting skills – Often you can suffer from lack of adequate food during an emergency situation. In that case, it is essential to have the ability to hunt wild animals who can provide you with a steady supply of food. In case you are a beginner, you should focus on catching some smaller animals like rabbits, fish and so on instead of going for larger creatures like the tiger, deer, etc. Hunting fish will not be much difficult for you but you should be careful while catching them. There might be other creatures like alligators in the water that you must avoid at all costs. Moreover, catching fish is not a joke and you need to be properly trained to do so. You might also try to set a trap near the river which should help you to catch some fish within a few hours.

Identifying edible vegetation

In case you are trapped in the forest, don’t go out eating everything you run across that looks good since they might even be poisonous for you. You might be starving, but you must have the ability to identify the plants which are edible. Consuming these plants will help you to avoid cooking as well as saving your precious time. There will be no need to hunt for animals, make a fire and cook. Moreover, these plants will provide you with the energy which you need for survival. Some edible plants that you can find in the wilderness include asparagus, burdock, and cattail.

Making use of survival tools

It is essential to choose the appropriate survival tools since these will help you to perform many jobs such as making your shelter or even repairing the one which you already have. Apart from this, they will also aid you to collect wood for making a fire which you will need to stay warm and also cook food. Some of these survival tools include a flashlight, emergency candles, tactical folding knife, hiking backpack, scissors, hammer, nails, pliers, etc.

Attitude 

Your attitude is going to play an important role if you get caught in any type of emergency situation. You must have the confidence that you will survive. Losing hope can prove to be fatal in the long run. Having the proper attitude along with a few survival skills will help you to overcome any tough situation.

 

Author Bio – Paul Watson is an outdoor enthusiast and aspiring expert who loves to fish and hunt. On his site, http://outdoorchoose.com, he shares tips on how to make your hunting and fishing excursions both exciting and successful . Follow me: Twitter , Pinterest

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6 Essentials for Prepping with a Special Needs Child

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Editor’s Note: This post was contributed by Saqib. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


Having a child with special needs calls for extra effort and care. You are required to learn a lot, practice an incredible amount of patience and get to know the comfort level of your young one. These are testing times but it is your own loved one at the other corner. It is about being prepared and having your things sorted out well in advance of need and also  adequate quantities enough to last. You can just not go haphazardly with these things because it is someone’s life that is right there in your hands.

Imagine having someone around with one or more disorders that include being non-verbal, delayed development, epilepsy prone, and an ever-growing diet. In a situation where everything is going down the tubes, there is hope. The amazing and joyful personalities these young ones are inspiring. The fact is that these guys are fighters — surviving more in his short life than most people have to in a lifetime.

So prepping for a child with special needs requires some serious thought, and some creativity. Read the following article, for some tips.

Inventory of Needs

It all starts with some good observation. It is not always that your young one will be speaking telling you what they need, he may not even know what he needs. Hence, it is recommended that you observe. Make a list of things that you consider are essential and can bring comfort. You can have a paper list and stick it on your refrigerator or save one on your mobile or tablet. This can include,

  • Routine Medicines
  • First Aid Box
  • Additional Clothing / Accessories (including diapers, wipes, gloves, wheelchair, stander, walker, etc.)
  • Medical Supplies (feeding tube supplies, bags, catheters, etc.)
  • Food Supplements

Communication

There is nothing better than communicating and learning about your child’s needs alongside with making him understand what is good and what is bad and sharing your prepping plans with them. This talking exercise also helps us understand how much the child is grasping, and sometimes that is more than our expectations. The subjects of these talks can be as ordinary as fire escape plans, our family meeting place, why we’re stockpiling certain things, and everything else one can think of. This is crucial. Sometimes simply explaining to the child which floor he lives on and how injurious it could become if he or she jumps out of a window.

Advanced Preparation Saves a Lot

Let’s say you are living in a high-rise building or probably somewhere in open, and are prone to fire or earthquakes. At a time when disaster strikes you can be or cannot be prepared for the emergency. And if you are:

Part of your prepping plans should include alternate transportation ideas like a stroller you can pull behind a bike.

Prepare for the Most Likely Event First

I live in the middle of nowhere surrounded by miles of timber in every direction. Wildfire is the most likely event I should prep for. The odds of having a fire come through my land are greater than other natural disasters.

What event is most likely in your area? If you haven’t yet started getting prepared, prep for that event first. Think through it in your mind, and start gathering what you’ll need.

Start by getting a 3-day supply built up of all your loved one’s essentials. You can look at this like a special bug out bag specifically catered to the needs of your child. It’s a baby step, but an important one.

Medical equipment is heavy. It’s bulky. And it certainly doesn’t move quietly through the woods. Depending on your child’s mobility, leaving home might be very difficult if not impossible.

When you’re making plans for a crisis, you might find it makes more sense to stay put. That way you don’t have to leave all of your equipment and medical stockpiles behind. If we don’t absolutely have to leave the farm, we’re planning on staying here.

Your child may need more supplies than the average person, but take this into account with packing and adjust your plans.

Storing the Right Things

It is not about just stock piling everything that you get your hand on. It is about stock piling the right things and making sure that your supplies are always refilled, and machines re-calibrated. There are ways that you can stockpile the medications your child needs. This again involves keeping a track of history and making a list. Make sure that when you are stock piling there are no expired medications in your cupboard. An essential to stock are baby wipes. These are very much-needed and at times running short of these can cause real-time havoc.

Learn Alternatives to Medication

Before you can think about replacing a medication, you have to know what it does. Ensure that you know the purpose behind every drug your loved one takes. You can see if there are over-the-counter medications that might work in a pinch as an alternative.

When you can no longer pick up medications, take an inventory of everything you have and see how many doses that is. Then, work backwards to slowly cut the doses down. That way instead of going from a full dose to nothing when you run out, you already have a plan in place for stepping off the med.

Author Bio: Saqib Khan, is an inquisitive blogger and loves to spread his knowledge. With a penchant for medical innovations and developments, Saqib’s new field of interest is herbal medicines. He is currently associated with a top online medical pharmacy in Pakistan offering variety of Pathological & Herbal Medicines such as flu medicine, first aid kits, cough medicine, etc.

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What To Do With Old Gas?

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Paul. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


When my family and I moved to a different house, I noticed the nice couple we bought the house from, left a lot of things in their garage. At first, we thought they forgot to bring them along with them as they were in a hurry.

But when I got a better view of the items, they were pretty useless. What am I supposed to with old knickknacks? However, something interesting caught my attention. There were at least 5 gallons of old gas.

It would be a waste to throw it away, the question now is – what to do with old gas?

Does Gas Go Bad?

This has been heavily debated over the years, and it’s still being argued up to this day. Some say that it’s only a myth that gasoline goes bad, and as much as I would love that to be true (as I can save more) that’s not really the case. Once it has been left ignored for a period of time, its quality will eventually degrade slowly. And the results of using bad gasoline would mean you’d have a hard time starting the engine.

And sometimes, it doesn’t run at all.

The reason why this happens is because gasoline has intricate characteristics. One of which is volatility. This means gas is quite sensitive of vaporizing. Because of this, it results to vaporizing unnecessarily when it’s not being used. That’s why whatever is left of its volatility and capability to combust appropriately will reduce.

How To Tell If It’s Gone Bad?

It’s pretty simple to tell, you’ll be able to recognize it by its color and smell. Once your fuel has been oxidized, it’ll become darker than usual. Also, try to have quick whiff if possible, there are cases where its fragrance turns sour.

Just to make sure, get two containers and fill one of them with your old gasoline, and the other with fresh gasoline. You’ll evidently see the difference with them both. You may check out this video on filtering old gas.

How Long Is the Life Span of Gas?

It’s actually pretty hard to tell. I mean, you could say that you’ve only bought the gas yesterday. But it doesn’t say anything about how old it really is. Chances are, the moment you’ll use the fuel, it’s already a month old.

Read More: Avoid the Lines: How to store fuel long term

Also, there are other gasses which have a better oxidation than other fuels. That alone, makes it pretty hard to spot right off the bat. But if you want to be on the safe side, it would be better if you don’t store your gas in a container for more than a couple of months or so. However, that’s pretty hard to live up to.

Use old gas in Your Mower

Surprisingly, a lot of people use it for their engines. I tried doing it, and it worked perfectly! I don’t only use it for my lawnmower, but I also use it for a leaf blower, pressure washer, and chainsaw. Trust me, it still works perfectly fine. However, I do want to advise you that it would be better if you’re going to mix it with new gas as well.

The ratio should be around 6:1 (new gas: old gas) a lot of people use this technique. Although there are others who would use it for their car engines, I wouldn’t recommend it. This is especially the case with newer cars. For extra safe measures, keep this in your mind: Old gas for old engines.

Fire ants don’t like gas.

Kill Ants With old gas?

PRI Fuel Stabilizer- For Gasoline – Keep your stored fuel longer.

Fire ants are probably my lawn’s number enemy – accidentally stepping on them is a literal pain! Luckily, you can use it to kill the ants with fire.

Or not.

Go grab your old gasoline, and pour it down on a hole. After doing so, you have to bury the mound appropriately. You don’t have to light it up, it’s enough to fume the nest out. After a short amount of time, it will kill then queen ant, and the entire nest dies along with it. You may also use it to kill unruly weeds in your yard, just make sure that you’re using it on an area where you don’t plan on growing anything for a long time.

Recondition old gas!

For those who want to securely recondition the gas, you may use Pri-G for your fuel treatment. It goes beyond expectation, it doesn’t not only repair gas, but it’s an excellent product for negating the destructive effects of ethanol contamination in fuel.

And as an added bonus, it’s ideal for preventing small engine breakdowns. It’s able to repair your lawnmowers, chainsaws, and weed trimmers while stabilizing gas. I do want to warn you that this doesn’t run so smoothly if it’s directly applied to old gas – it must be mixed together with a new, fresh one. When you do this, it’s able to keep it fresh for about a year and 3 months.

Start Reusing Now!

Personally, this is an amazing discovery as I’m able to save a lot from this – who knew old gas could be useful? Don’t forget, if you want to make your time with old gas and engines a more productive one – use Pri-G, it will automatically recondition your old gas like magic. But you do have to mix it up with new gas.

Here’s what you should do right now:

  • Compare your old gas with a new one
  • Check if it has gone bad or not
  • Get yourself Pri-G
  • Mix your old gas with a newer one
  • Use it for your home tools

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Choosing the Best Weapon Light for SHTF

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Tactical situations and hunting expeditions don’t always offer the convenience of daylight. Indeed, night-time operations can offer significant advantages to those who are prepared. A weapon light is an essential tool for tactical operators and hunters, and can be a vital addition to your bug out kit in case of a SHTF scenario.

In an ideal world, you’d be able to fit your weapons with the perfect light for each situation and set them up with the configuration you’re most comfortable with. But when it comes to a post-collapse situation, keeping multiple lights, multiple rigs, and multiple sets of batteries may be a luxury you can’t afford. This quick guide highlights a few of the considerations to make when choosing a weapon light to include in your emergency prep kit.

Versatility

As with most gear in these situations, versatility is the name of the game. While there are a number of dedicated weapon lights, a handheld light that can be easily and securely attached to a weapon’s rail systems offers you the 2-in-1 capabilities that proprietary gear can’t. Lights like the Fenix TK20R can be used as ultra-bright hand-held devices and then easily be attached to the rails of a shotgun or rifle. Best of all, true tactical lights like the TK20R feature tactical switches and grips for easy one-handed use in conjunction with a handgun, and crenellated bezels that add an extra level of close-quarters self-defense.

Ergonomics

FENIX TK20R USB Rechargeable 1000 Lumen Cree LED tactical Flashlight

Comfort is only part of the story here. A flashlight with the proper ergonomics will ensure that it’s as useful when used in hand, or in conjunction with a handgun, as it is when it’s mounted on a rifle. A tail switch with constant and momentary on, a “cigar ring” grip, and adequate knurling will ensure you can comfortably and effectively utilize the light with one hand with a variety of tactical holds. Pistol-mounted flashlights are beneficial for several reasons, but a rig like that might not be practical for every situation. Again, the versatility of a hand-held device saves on the amount of gear you need to keep in your bug-out-bag, making your kit lighter, and more manageable.

Durability

Durability is obviously important for any piece of gear you’re going to depend on in a post-collapse situation. That’s doubly true when you’ll be using that gear to defend your life. Luckily, many modern flashlights are built with the rough use of tactical operations and hunting expeditions in mind. A few durability features to keep in mind:  Dual-spring construction puts solid contact on both ends of the battery, ensuring consistent contact throughout the firing process and eliminating noisy rattling. Anodized black finishes are resistant to scratches and corrosion and reduce glare. Tempered glass lenses are impact resistant and allow for maximum performance without losing transparency and reducing output over time.

Attachment Method

There are a lot of options when it comes to accessory mounting on firearms. Each rail system has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each user has their own reasons for using the systems they do. The important thing to keep in mind is to ensure you have a reliable mount that is compatible with your rail system, and that you have whatever necessary tools on hand for quickly attaching and removing the accessory. Consistency here can go a long way.

Battery Type

Like with competing rail systems, there are many schools of thought surrounding which batteries are best for emergency situations. AA’s are obviously the most abundant and cost-effective. They also offer versatility as they can be used in and harvested from countless other electronic devices. The trade-off is most AA’s are not rechargeable, and they limit your device’s performance. A high performance LED flashlight packing a 3.6 Volt 18650 or two 3 Volt CR123’s is likely to provide more lumens better run times than a AA device.

Lights running off of 18650 batteries are popular for a number of reasons. First, there are a number of high performance lights on the market running on a single 18650 platform, meaning you can pick from some of the world’s most trusted brands. 18650’s Are also rechargeable, meaning if you have access to a generator or solar rig, you could get an impressive lifetime out of each cell compared to traditional alkaline batteries. And finally, most lights powered by 18650’s can also be powered by two (non-rechargeable) CR123A cells, giving you an added level of versatility.

All of the pros and cons need to be weighed against each other and, just like with any gear, the right answer will depend on your needs and expectations.

The best flashlight is one you have on you at all times.

Lumens

Lumens get a lot of attention when shoppers are looking for a new flashlight. The truth is, most modern flashlights are plenty bright for most applications, including tactical operations. At 1,000 lumens, the TK20R easily provides the kind of illumination you’d need to light up a dark warehouse, alley, or field, and multiple settings allow you to step down the brightness to save on run time or cater to more reflective surroundings. One thing to keep in mind is ANSI ratings. Non-ANSI rated lights will often have inflated lumen measurements. That’s not to say they aren’t bright or high quality devices – it’s just important to compare oranges to oranges.

There’s no question that a weapon light can be a life-saving device in a SHTF world. Whether it helps you spot an intruder, or helps you track game after the sun goes down, a quality torch attached to your firearm will pay off in dividends the first time you truly need it.

When planning for worst-case-scenarios, keep versatility in mind, and look for gear that can be put to use effectively in a variety of applications. A quality LED flashlight can be just as crucial navigating rough terrain while collecting firewood as it can be spotting assailants in dangerous territory. There’s no shortage of quality gear on the market, and no shortage of opinions as to which styles and configurations are the most effective. Shop around, consider the variables, and choose your gear wisely.

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How To Build Your Own Survival Fishing Kit

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post was contributed by Ted. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


If you are planning to build a survival fishing kit by own and so are looking for some guides, then your search stops right here. Survival fishing kits could be of any size and shape, and it would adapt readily to suit your particular needs.

To get started on how to build your own survival fishing kit, we have come up with a list to help you out.

Building Your Own Survival Fishing Kit

This best fact about this kit is that it wouldn’t cost more than 20 dollars to create. The tools and materials that would be used here are easily available along with the fishing essentials.

Tools and Materials:

  • 1” Threaded PVC Adapter
  • 1” Threaded PVC Cap
  • 1” PVC Pipe Of 10” Length
  • PVC Cleaner
  • PVC Cement
  • Scrap Wood
  • Paracord
  • One Small Washer
  • Fishing Line Of 100.’
  • Drill Bit Of 1/8”
  • Drill Bit Of 1/16”
  • Hand Drill.

Fishing Elements:

  • Lures
  • Hooks
  • Bobbers
  • Swivels
  • Sinkers.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Attach The Threaded PVC Adapter To The Pipe

First step is to connect the 1” PVC pipe to the threaded PVC adapter of 1”. You could either press the two materials together or glue them employing PVC cement and PVC cleaner.

Via www.instructables.com

 

However, gluing the pieces would be better as, if by chance the adapter becomes loose from the PVC pipe, then your fishing essentials could get loose.

For attaching the two pieces, you would need to clean the areas of joining with PVC cleaner, and then use PVC cement to press the pieces all together.

If you slightly turn the PVC cap after it got fitted on the pipe, you would get sure whether it has bonded firmly or not.

Lastly, let the pieces sit for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Add a Lanyard to 1” Threaded Cap

At this level, you would use the drill along with the drill bit to bore two evenly spaced holes in the 1” PVC threaded cap’s top.

Via www.instructables.com

 

After it is done, you would now have to lace the paracord of 20” length through these holes and tie a knot.

Via www.instructables.com

 

The lanyard would help to carry the fishing kit quickly. It could be even wrapped around the wrist at the time of fishing to prevent the kit from slipping down from the hand.

Step 3: Forming And Installing The Front End Plug

Most of the survival fishing kits employ a PVC end cap for closing the fishing kit’s front end. This is because these caps are available easily and could be installed quickly. But such caps could create a problem while casting the fishing line.

Therefore, it would be better to make a customized cap that would fit tightly on the pipe.
You would need to chuck a wood piece and make its diameter same as the 1” PVC pipe’s outside diameter. You would have to shoulder it off till it gets fitted inside the pipe snugly.

Via www.instructables.com

 

After this, you would need to cut a portion of the turning to have a slight cone or rounded end. It would help your fishing line to come off in an even manner while casting.

Lastly, you would have to employ the 5 minutes epoxy for affixing to the fishing kit’s end.

Step 4: Drill Holes To Secure The Hook

Once these steps are complete, the next thing you would have to do after epoxying the front plug is to bore some holes. These holes would not have to be very deep as they are only to secure the hook.

Via www.instructables.com

You could drill about six holes around the plug to have many points for attaching the hook.

Step 5: Wrap The Handle

Paracord is always a great prepping supply to have in a survival scenario so you could wrap some of it around the handle. This would not only help you to use for many things but also would offer a solid grip to prevent the kit from slipping out from the hand.

Step 6: Add the Fishing Line

Next, bore a small hole of 1/16” in the 1” PVC pipe for adding the fishing line. You would need to thread one end of the line through the hole and let it come out from the kit’s end.

Via www.instructables.com

 

After this, you would have to tie a small washer on the line’s end employing a stronger knot. The washer would help to fix the line on the kit and prevent it from coming out.

Via www.instructables.com

 

After this, you will have to pull the line steer to draw the washer’s end into the kit and start to wrap the fishing line around the PVC pipe. If this wrapping is done nicely, then the line would unspool exactly as it does from fishing reels while casting.

Step 7: Loading It Up

After completing the fishing kit, you would now have to load up the fishing essentials or survival gear in the kit. It would be entirely upon you that which things you would pack according to your needs.

Via www.instructables.com

However, small hooks, lures, sinkers, swivels or bobbers could be some of the materials that you might include.

Step 8: Ready To Cast

A fishing kit would work almost like a fishing rod. You would just have to hold the fishing kit around the paracord with your hand and hold the line’s hook end in place with the index finger.

Via www.instructables.com

 

Now you could either employ underhand or overhand movement for casting the line.

If you catch a ladyfish then the question of whether to eat it or not might haunt you. Well, this post on fishing and eating ladyfish will definitely help you.

Conclusion

Well, we hope that our process of how to build your own survival fishing kit will help you a lot to make a kit easily. A survival kit is always necessary as it would keep you sufficiently equipped to survive in any situation. However, if you have any suggestion regarding this article, please let us know in the comments below.

We would be happy to hear from you.

About the author: Hi there, I’m Ted Thomas from GrayWolfLife, an ardent adventure writer. I write for readers with a genuine interest in enjoying the great outdoors. By sharing my experiences camping, hunting and fishing, I hope to inspire others to fully explore the depths of their passion.

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10 Self Defense Tips for Women

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In a perfect world, one would like to think that when disaster strikes, people would rush to help and support each other through it. And while people certainly will, such catastrophes unfortunately sometimes bring out the worst in many people as well. And these opportunistic predator types don’t target strapping he-men either. They’ll be looking for what they think are vulnerable victims; the elderly, the disabled, and women.

While in these more enlightened times few people still think of women as the “weaker sex”, most men still retain some advantages in physical height and strength.

Fortunately, there are a number of self-defense tips and techniques that can level that playing field and allow women to protect themselves and those that they are responsible for protecting. Some of them involve an outlay of money, some involve exercise, some involve surprisingly simple preparation, but all of them should be considered now, not after the worst happens. Below are some of the more effective ones.

Get And Stay Physically Fit

The healthier and more physically fit you are in the aftermath of a crisis, the better.

You’ll be able to run from danger. You’ll be able to run and get help and possibly track down prey.

Weight lifting will allow you to…well…lift weights.

Rock climbing and ropes courses now may help you to extract yourself and assist others in escaping from collapsed buildings, scale cliffs, and climb trees.

And the great thing about physical fitness programs is that they need not involve memberships at expensive gyms. An exercise regime as simple as daily rope-jumping may have you putting others to shame when trouble strikes.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Fear

It’s a perfectly natural emotion, designed by nature to help you avoid serious problems. But there’s a fine line between breaking down into hopeless hysteria or running blindly off of the edge of a cliff, and making your fear work for you.

Don’t be crippled by fear, but do listen to that little voice warning you when going into unfamiliar areas, encountering strange groups, etc. And remember that the adrenaline produced when you enter the “flight or fight” mode actually increases your physical strength. Use it accordingly.

Every Heel Has His (Or Her) Achilles Heel

Even physically fit women may not prevail in a confrontation with a man that involves running or brute force. So don’t let him get the upper hand, but calmly and effectively go on the offensive by attacking him in areas that will hurt, with blows and kicks to the:

  • Eyes
  • Groin
  • Kidneys
  • Nose
  • Adam’s apple (that “bulge” in the throat)
  • Shin
  • Instep
  • Solar plexus (between the sternum and stomach)
  • Knee
  • Nose
  • Jaw
  • Sternum (the flat bony area in the center of the chest)

Make sure that these blows are hard, and yes, they work just as effectively on women. And in situations like these, biting is absolutely fair play, and effectively painful. For some defense moves that you can try out, check out this article on The 3 Essential Self-Defense Moves.

Take A Class

There are a couple of reasons to take formal self-defense courses now.

The first one is that you will be learning in a safe and comfortable environment with professional instructors. This guarantees that you’ll be learning how to use techniques effectively, having questions answered by knowledgeable sources, and reducing the chances of injury to yourself or another student.

The second reason is that retentive learning of this nature tends to go better in a group situation, with the positive feedback, support, and hands-on learning opportunities offered by this type of classes.

Join A Shooting Club/Go To A Firing Range

Waiting until the apocalypse is nigh upon us is a bad time to become comfortable with using a firearm. It’s also possible to receive instruction at these locations to insure that you know how to effectively protect yourself with a firearm against attackers.

Other (Non-Lethal) Firearm Knowledge That All Self-Defenders Should Have

Neither the survivor party that you’re trying to protect nor the gang of slobbering attackers that you’re facing will be too impressed if your gun jams or you shoot yourself while firing it, now will they?

The Israeli Woman Teaching the Art of Stiletto Self Defense

Survivalists or preppers who know or think that they will be handling guns should:

  • Know how to load and unload various types of firearms
  • Know how to clean and perform at least minor types of other maintenance on guns
  • Be conversant with various parts of firearms
  • Know how to correctly wear a holster, as well as correctly drawing from and returning a weapon to it

It would also be very helpful to master the not-difficult but time consuming art of reloading, or manufacturing your own ammunition.

Prevention Is The Best Cure

The most effective self-defense? Avoid putting yourself in situations where you have to use self-defense!

Avoid traveling by yourself, traveling at night, or traveling in exposed or isolated areas. Sometimes of course, one has no choice. In such situations, keep a straight, tall posture, walk quickly and purposefully, and keep weapons out and in your hand.

Use Caution In Making New “Friends”

Until you actually get to know them, all unknown parties should be treated with caution. This means maintaining a distance of a couple of meters when meeting and speaking to them. You say this seems rude? Consider this. It buys you some space if the “friend” goes into attack mode, and allows you to observe what most vulnerable body parts the attacker (see #3) is exposing to you.

Maintain Self-Confidence

It can be hard to keep a stiff upper lip during the End of Days, but remaining calm and assertive will not only help you combat depression and feelings of self-hopelessness, it will make you appear less of a “mark” to attackers and other unsavory types.

Hunker Down At Home

If the crisis is short-term or there’s no immediate danger, like Dorothy said in the Wizard Of Oz, “There’s no place like home”. Make sure that your palace is a fortress though, by pre-stocking plenty of non-perishable foods, potable water, and medical supplies. Regardless of weather, all unused doors and windows should be secured. Install an “alarm” system even if it’s just a dog, and if possible, create a well-stocked “panic area” in the home where you can flee from intruders, and they can’t follow. Better still, be cautious about admitting any strangers to your home.

Wrapping Up

What do you think, are there other important factors women need to keep in mind to be able to effectively defend themselves? If you have some thoughts on the subject, please share them with us by commenting in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

About the author: This article was contributed by Joe from SmokingBarrelUSA.com. Joe is a gun enthusiast that started his blog specifically to not only learn more himself, but to also share what he learned with others in the community. SmokingBarrelUSA.com aims to help promote gun safety, debunk some myths that exist today about firearms, as well as help folks to choose the right equipment to suit their specific needs.

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10 Medical Resources You Can Get from Nature

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Your list of home remedies is about to get even more interesting and spicier. Although these natural herbs are have been used hundreds of years, doctors and scientists are now recommending them to be used for healing purposes. These natural medical resources can be easily substituted as traditional methods of medication. The plants have capabilities to heal and reduce cholesterol, high blood pressure and arthritis pain to name a few. Some of the best healing herbs even have the ability to treat cancer cells and also help alcoholics to curb their drinking habit.

The natural medical resources or herbs and other natural remedies are as effective as traditional treatments. In some cases they are even more effective without any side effects. Here are some of the best medical resources that you can get from nature. These super-healers can be added into your natural medicine or herbal products cabinet along with your favorite recipes. Fitting a few of them in your daily routine can be beneficial for the body.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is native to southern Asia

Turmeric contains anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties. Who ever thought an ingredient used for taste in curry can help to relieve pain? This spice which is popular for its use in curry contains curcumin that helps to treat arthritis. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and an important element that works just like Cox-2 inhibitors drugs to reduce the Cox-2 enzyme which results in the swelling of arthritis.

The herb is known for doing wonders. Another reason why turmeric is popular because it reduces precancerous lesions when taken with quercetin which is found in apples, onions and cabbage. Turmeric also helps to clear plaques in the brain that are important characteristic of the disease.

Cinnamon

A recent study on type 2 diabetics showed that taking cinnamon extract everyday reduces the blood sugar level in the body by 10%. It reduces risks related to heart and slash cholesterol by about 13%.

1 g capsules of cinnamon extract everyday helps to tame blood sugar while 1 to 6 g capsules reduce cholesterol. However, a large amount of actual spice in not good for health. Thus, it’s better to stick to water-soluble extract.

Rosemary

Heterocyclic amines or HCAs are some vital carcinogens that are present in several types of cancers. These amines are created after grilling, frying and broiling meat at high temperatures. Rosemary extract which is a common powder mixed in beef after cooking reduces HCA levels in the body.

Rosemary extract also prevents carcinogens from binding with DNA and stops them from entering in the body. It is the first step of the formation of tumor and rosemary extracts helps to prevent cancer at an initial stage. Thus, taking rosemary extract will kill carcinogens before they turn into a tumor. This research has been only carried out on animals but the extract has a tendency to prevent cancer.

In order to reduce HCAs in the body, make sure that you add rosemary extract in any spice mix. It will also enhance the taste, making the dish stronger in flavors. You can mix the herb with oregano, parsley, thyme and onions for a perfect mix.

Ginger

Ginger can protect your stomach from various sources including motion sickness, pregnancy and chemotherapy. This is an old home remedy that we often hear from our mothers and grandmothers. They are right because it really works!

Ginger is a powerful anti-oxidant that blocks the effects of serotonin in the body. It is a chemical that the stomach and body produces when you feel nausea by stopping the production of free radicals which is also another cause of an upset stomach.

Garlic

High consumption of garlic have cured colorectal and ovarian cancers. People have also experienced reduction in the number and size of precancerous growths. The benefits of garlic are not only limited to lowering risks of cancer, but it also decreases high blood pressure. There are about 70 active phytochemicals in garlic including allicin that deceases blood pressure by 30 points.

Garlic in your diet slows down the arterial blockages and prevent strokes. Fresh and crushed garlic offers the best cancer-fighting and cardiovascular benefits. However, one should have at least five crushed garlic cloves to enjoy maximum benefits.

Holy Basil

Several animal studies back holy basil, a special variety of the plant you use in your pesto sauce, Holy basil is effective in reducing stress by increasing the noradrenaline and adrenaline along with decreasing serotonin in the body. The herb is also popular to relieve headaches and indigestion. Tea leaves of the holy basil is a great natural resource which is more effective than traditional methods of relieving pain.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera was used in traditional medicine for treating skin disease, constipation, infections, worm infestation and colic. In Chinese medicine, it is popular for treating various fungal diseases. In today’s modern times, the herb is used in various cosmetics to make skin softer.

Surprisingly, Aloe Vera consists of more than 78 active components. Studies have shown that the herb also contains antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. It builds up the immune system and does not cause any allergic reaction.

FeverFew

FeverFew is a natural herb that has been used over centuries to ease headaches, toothaches, stomach-ache, infertility, menstruation problems and labor during childbirth. The healing effect comes from a biochemical present in the herb known as parthenolides. It fights against the widening of blood vessels during migraines. The herb also prevents blood clots, dizziness, relieve allergies and reduces arthritis pain.

St. John’s Wort

St. Johns Wort herbs are not used to treat the physical symptoms but also used for relieving anxiety and mild to moderate depression. The best thing about it is it works effectively as any other drug without any side-effects.

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is used as a supplement consumed by men to treat prostate cancer. It also contributes to several health issues related to men such as hair loss, libido and enlarged prostate. Other than that, it is said to promote relaxation, treat respiratory conditions and boost immune function.

Author Bio: Saqib Khan, is an inquisitive blogger and loves to spread his knowledge. With a penchant for medical innovations and developments, Saqib’s new field of interest is herbal medicines. He is currently associated with a top online medical pharmacy in Pakistan offering variety of Pathological & Herbal Medicines such as flu medicine, first aid kits, cough medicine, etc.

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6 Solid Reasons to Invest in a Survival Bow and Arrow

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6 Solid Reasons to Invest in a Survival Bow and Arrow

Modern day survival enthusiasts are never without a trusty rifle or handgun. These weapons are often used for hunting game and for self-defense, which may become a very real necessity when you’re trying to survive in the wild. Of course, guns are easy, convenient, and powerful. But if you’re a survival specialist that’s looking for a real challenge, it’s probably better that you invest in a survival bow and arrow instead. In fact, a survival bow and arrow isn’t really something you should ever be without.

If you’re thinking you can get by without a bow and arrow, and you’re questioning whether you should really get one or not, this list of solid reasons should swing you towards the right decision.

  1. Lightweight and Portable – It’s any survivalist’s priority to maintain the lightest possible weight when in the wild. That’s because a heavy pack will make you feel more tired much faster, and can restrict the movements you can comfortably make. With too many guns and ammo in your bag, you might find yourself panting heavily before midday.

A survival bow and arrow can be very lightweight, collapsing into just three pieces or less, depending on the model you choose. This means you can easily fit it into a standard backpack or carry it around without working up a sweat.

  1. Versatile – The different parts of a survival bow and arrow can be easily adapted to perform several other functions. For instance, the bow can be used as a makeshift fishing rod, arrows themselves can be used as part of your shelter, and you can even utilize your bow to start a fire much easier. All that said, it’s easy to see that when you take a survival bow and arrow with you, you’ve got more than just a weapon.

 

  1. Silent – The best way to hunt down as much game as possible would be to take each one down without scaring off the others. When you shoot a rifle or a handgun, the reverberating noise can startle any other game in the area, meaning you’d have to go through the entire luring and calling process all over again. With a bow and arrow, you can take down your game without causing too much of a commotion, so you’d have more chances to hunt more down in the same proximity. Throw in the shooting rest you can find, and you can spend hours in the same spot, shooting down game without getting noticed.

 

  1. Endless Ammunition – When your rifle or handgun runs out of ammo, you become nothing more than a sitting duck. That’s why it’s any shooter’s priority to make sure they make the most of each bullet they have. With a survival bow and arrow however, you can have access to an endless supply of ammunition. Even so, if you don’t bother to retrieve your arrows, you can make your own from twigs, sticks, and wood you find around you. So you can be sure there’s always something you can use to make the most of your bow.

 

  1. Less Limited – Depending on where you live, there could be a plethora of different gun rules that you’d have to follow unless you want the cops at your doorstep. What’s more, buying a gun isn’t all that simple. There are lots of paperwork, documents, and requirements you need to submit just to register a gun to your name, and it could take weeks before you get your hands on your purchase.

With survival bow and arrows however, you won’t have to worry about the same issue. You can literally walk into a store and purchase one without any questions, and you can even have it shipped straight to your home when you buy it online.

  1. Adaptable – When using a gun for your hunt, you’d have to consider the size of your chosen game and select a corresponding gun caliber. If you’ve only got a few firearms in your possession, you may not be able to hunt down other sizes of animals because of the inappropriate caliber of your available gun.

With a survival bow and arrow however, you can screw on different arrow heads to allow you to take down literally any size animal you want to. Simply interchange the attachments to adapt your arrow to your chosen target and you’re good to go.

Another plus when it comes to adaptability is the endless number of attachments you can purchase for your bow. For instance, if you feel that your bow isn’t accurate enough or if you struggle to aim with a bow, you can purchase other attachments to make it easier to use. Often, the best bow sight can be bought for a very reasonable price, making the bow itself an economic choice compared to guns.

A survival bow and arrow can be a major investment, especially if you take your time to learn the ropes and master this uncommon survival weapon.

So, what are you waiting for? Up your hunting game and become a true blue survival expert by purchasing your own survival bow and arrow today.

 

About the author : 

Kevin Steffey is an avid hunter and freelance writer, the founder of Deer Hunting Field. He loves spending time in the field with his rifle more than almost anything else. He also occupies his off-time discussing deer and their habits online. But more than anything, he wants to teach and educate about hunting …
 

                    WHAT TO READ NEXT !!

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Recurve, Compound, or Crossbow? What is The Best Choice For SHTF Scenario?

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Every prepper ought to have a bow in their survival gear today, considering its endless benefits! If you find yourself in a SHTF situation

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Practical Bug Out Reloading

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

With about $300 to $400 invested in reloading equipment, all those hundreds or even thousands of once fired brass casings can be reloaded for a tremendous savings over buying factory new ammunition.

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For Those of You Waiting on Financial Collapse…

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am a banker. That’s right, that evil, fat cat, wall street banker that became such a popular moniker during our last administration and I’m also a prepper.

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Is Stocking up on Gold and Silver Smart?

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

You have a gold coin that you paid $1100 for back when the world was still somewhat sane. Do you offer that coin for a loaf of bread? 100 loaves or a years supply?

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3 Ways Prepping Pays Off Right Now

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

It’s far more likely to encounter a little emergency than a major movie-style event. So what to do with the big pile of food, gear, etc. that represents an investment of time, money, and storage space?

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One Plan Is Not Enough: 7 Tips to Create a Successful Food Plan

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

What are the most important things to consider? In this article I cover some of the requirements of creating your master food plan.

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Field Weapon: Constructing a Bow & Arrows Using a Knife

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Using only what is available to from the natural surroundings and what small amount of belongings you have, it’s time to construct one of the oldest tools used by hunters, the bow and arrow.

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Booby Traps – A Historically Proven Component of Psychological Warfare

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Historically speaking, booby traps do not win wars. They are, however, considered a key element in psychological warfare.

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The 3 Essential Self-Defense Moves, You Must be Aware of

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Self-defense is your right and it will be beneficial in a SHTF scenario, if you know how to tackle the consequences on your own with a sharp presence of mind instead of relying on others.

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Metallic Cartridge Reloading In The Prepper Tool Kit

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

With the interest in the preparedness lifestyle growing at an explosive rate, one important skill is often brushed aside: reloading ammunition.

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Hiding in Plain Sight – Innovative Ways to Discreetly Wear Survival Gear

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

In this article I list some of the most unique ways that some basic survival gear, weapons, and defensive tools can be disguised in items you already wear every day.

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The Keys To Effective Prepper Communication

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

This article attempts to cover some of the basic pros and cons of various forms of communication and introduce the reader to some additions that should prove helpful in crisis and bug-out situations.

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Self Defense Options: More than Just Guns

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from valknut79. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


Imagine being in the middle of a crowded festival, enjoying your time with your family.  All of a sudden, you find yourself near some drunks who start a fight, and you can’t help but separate from your family, and get pulled into the fray. You’re a prepper, and like most preppers, you’re carrying a small firearm, in this case a small pistol.  Do you use it?

Some would say yes – it’s time to defend the family, and that’s what a weapon is for, right?  Others hold off – bringing deadly force into a relatively small conflict is a certain legal issue and is probably not necessary considering that these people are drunk.  That said, this is clearly a self-defense situation.  Considering that a gunshot in a crowded public space is one of the fastest ways to start a riot, potentially getting you or your family even more harmed, the balance point for many tends to tip towards leaving your weapon holstered.

Imagine again.  This time, you and your family return home, and see the basement window broken.  Alarm bells are going off in your head, and you draw your weapon, instructing the kids to wait in the car.  Upon entering, you are able to see that the dangerous infiltrator is actually a 14-year-old boy who lives down the road.  Is he dangerous, or just a neighborhood nuisance?  You have less than seconds to decide.

Maybe you are one to draw in these circumstances, however, I believe that these are two examples of situations where yes, a gun could be advantageous to you, but it would be better left holstered.

Of all the four major prep areas – food, water, shelter and defense – it is defense that is most often overlooked.  I know preppers who think that all they need is a pistol and some ammunition, while others stock an armory, but the fact remains that for most, defense is simply just about the weapons you choose to keep.  In reality, self-defense is so much more.

Personal Defense                

The fact remains that for most, defense is simply just about the weapons you choose to keep. In reality, self defense is so much more.

The first line of defense to prepare is your last line of defense – your ability to defend your own person.  Guns are fantastic, but are not always the best solution to a conflict.  The best way to start that process is to take a martial arts class regularly.

Martial arts classes are incredibly varied, and depending on where you live, you should find a broad spectrum of different styles.  You could opt for a striking art like TaeKwon Do, Karate or Kung Fu, or you could focus on a martial art that emphasizes grappling such as Judo.  There are many arts that are combinations by nature (any MMA style or Krav Maga), and there are many schools of striking or grappling arts that borrow from outside of the strict boundaries of their chosen style to incorporate a broad range of self-defense elements.

Striking arts are probably what everyone thinks of when they imagine martial arts, as they are based on using your hands and feet to punch, chop and kick your way to safety.  These arts value speed and quickness over size and power, and often incorporate a large variety of cardio exercise practices that will double as your workout for the day.  The major advantage to learning a striking art is clear – these arts are focused on disabling an opponent quickly from a (relative) distance, and allow you at least a small chance of fighting multiple opponents.  A typical class will involve practicing kata or patterns of movements, practice kicks and punches against air, striking heavy bags or padded opponents, and jumping techniques.

Grappling arts are going to be more similar to wrestling than what you’d likely think of as a “martial arts” technique.  Instead of punches and kicks, you’ll learn disabling holds, pressure points, and throws.  A certain amount of size and strength is not necessarily essential, but will definitely help.  Classes for grappling arts tend to emphasize one-on-one, back-and-forth style of practice (I’ll throw you, then you throw me), and may not be as exercise-heavy as a striking art.  The advantages of studying a grappling art are the fact that they focus on defending yourself from abductions and mugging-style grabs and unarmed defense against an armed opponent, which are highly practical scenarios.  In addition, many people who have studied street fights have noted that over 80% of these encounters end up on the ground, where grapplers have a distinct advantage.

Both styles give you opportunities to practice against your classmates in simulated fighting scenarios.  Striking courses usually incorporate sparring practice where you use heavy pads and light contact to simulate a fight and test your reflexes and skills.  This allows you to safely practice your skills so that you’ll know you can function in times when you need to defend yourself. Grappling arts use amateur wrestling, or kneeling wrestling known as rendori as sport-practice.  In rendori, you maneuver your opponent on the mat in an attempt to make them submit from a painful or inescapable hold.

Finding a style is a good choice, but it may be better to find a school first and a style second.  Not all martial arts courses are created equally.  Many are black belt factories, where you pay a certain fee and are guaranteed a black belt after a certain amount of time.  Other schools are going to emphasize tournament performance or flashy-but-not-realistic jumping and leaping attacks.  Good schools are hard to come by, but they’ll offer a variety of different types of skills and performance elements, have a wide variety of people at varying levels of abilities and ages, and have experienced instructors.  Park districts are an excellent place to begin, but there are some valuable strip mall dojos that offer different types of instruction.  Ask for a free trial class, or at least to watch a class before signing up.

Non-Gun Weapons

Some models of tactical flashlights have stun guns or preprogrammed SOS signals that can add to its functionality.

In addition to a basic level of skill in hand-to-hand combat, I think it’s also important to find a hand-to-hand weapon to supplement your firearm and EDC kit.  My personal choice is a tactical flashlight that functions as a striking weapon, a strobe light to distract and disorient my attackers, and a tool that I can use in my everyday life.  Some models of tactical flashlights have stun guns or preprogrammed SOS signals that can add to its functionality, and since it’s a small flashlight it is a very inconspicuous weapon that is never taken away from me at sporting events or theme parks.  If you don’t like that suggestion, consider some of these other hand-to-hand weapons that are easy to carry:

Remember that no matter what weapon you choose to carry that you are well equipped and ready to use it.  A knife may not be the best weapon for every encounter, but if that’s what you choose, that’s what you might be stuck with.  If you pull pepper spray from your pocket or purse, know how to use it, or it will be taken away and used against you.

Dogs

Best Prepper Dog for SHTF

My final suggestion for personal defense is to get yourself a dog.

Dogs are fantastic companion animals that are also overlooked but highly practical pieces of a prepper’s armory.  They require much more regular upkeep than what you’re storing in your gun cabinet currently, but are also useful for a wide variety of situations.

Dogs are not a fail-safe mechanism for security.  Just check YouTube and you’ll find hundreds of home security videos of dogs peacefully approaching burglars and not making a peep if that burglar thought ahead to bringing some dog treats with them.  That said, training and mentally stimulating your dog will certainly help in developing his senses enough to make him a versatile tool and defense mechanism as well as a companion.

Training your dog to be a more aggressive “guard dog” is certainly an option, but one that I would strongly discourage.  It is important for your dog to be socialized among other animals and be extremely selective about whom he attacks.  An “attack dog” is not a good choice, and will likely do you more harm than good, both in terms of legal trouble and difficulty in raising and training him.

If you don’t want a traditional guard dog, and if your dog is more likely to lick your home invader than attack him or warn you, then why bother?  It’s easy – prepper dogs are a highly effective deterrent for would-be attackers.

There is an old adage that states “When you’re running from a bear, you don’t need to be the fastest, you just need to not be the slowest.”  Choosing a large breed of dog, such as a Rottweiler, or an American or Olde English bulldog will definitely make your home significantly less appealing for any home invaders or burglars. More intelligent breeds, such as German Shepherds can act as an early warning system for people approaching your home, and may be able to be put to work around your home for basic tasks if you keep livestock.  These kinds of dogs are also those that have a reputation of being aggressive (even though they’re not), and their reputation alone can be a deterrent.  Keep in mind that many of our modern breeds, even those poorly designed for defense like bloodhounds or greyhounds, were originally bred to be hunters or highly specialized seekers, and have many practical applications in SHTF or survival situations

Taking dogs with you when you go outside for exercise or a walk is a good way for urban preppers to discourage muggers and attackers.  Even rural and suburban preppers can benefit from having a dog along on walks or runs in case of twisted ankles, or in the event that you are involved in some sort of accident.  My mother-in-law was riding her horse that she’d ridden thousands of times in the past, along a trail that she had ridden hundreds of times before, and when her horse was inexplicably spooked she fell off.  It was her golden lab that ran back to the farm alone to find help while she was knocked out.

All told, the advantages of having an animal companion are significant, specifically in terms of defense.  For those with allergies, there are some hypoallergenic dogs that are available, and depending on the breed you choose, you may find yourself unaffected by short-haired breeds.

A dog is not the highest priority on the list, but can certainly be a helpful addition to a home or personal defense system.  I certainly feel better about leaving my teenage daughter home alone for runs to the store or when I’m out to dinner with my wife when Arthur (my 90-pound monster of an American Bulldog) is home with her, even those he’s secretly a big softie.

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Emergency Medical Preparedness: Prepare Yourself for a Medical Emergency

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Suzanne S.. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


When it comes to prepping, there is a lot of talk about what material needs we should have on hand. A bug-out bag, freeze-dried food, water, transportation, first-aid kit, weapons for protection and a place to bug-out to. The idea is to have the basic needs of food, water and shelter readily available. The problem is; when the SHTF not everyone gets to just go merrily about their way, to easily head out and get gone. In fact, it is quite likely that many of us will sustain significant injuries that need to be tended to. Whether it is ourselves, our loved ones, or the friends who will be with us, we will need to know how to take care of each others injuries and illnesses.

I am an Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant with more than 20 years of Emergency Room experience, the majority of it in Level I Trauma centers (where the most severe cases…crashes, gunshots, severe work injuries, falls from heights, etc. go). Prior to becoming a PA, I was an EMT. I have a great deal of experience dealing with trauma victims and worked in an ER where we saw multiple gunshots daily. I have lectured at several colleges in the Chicago area as well as being responsible for teaching EMT, Physician Assistant, Medical and Podiatry students. I have also been an instructor for the American Red Cross teaching First Aid, CPR and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) classes.

There is a lot of information out there about what makes up a good medical kit for your bug-out bag. Everything you need can be either assembled by you or purchased as anyone of a variety of pre-stocked kits. While the kit you have with you when you bug out is obviously important, it is also completely useless if you have not taken the time to learn how to use it. The truth is you can stop most bleeding with direct pressure. Sometimes you need a torn shirt, some duct tape and a pair of trauma scissors. You don’t have to be MacGyver to do it. You do need proper training.

Pamela Rauseo, 37, performs CPR on her nephew, 5-month-old Sebastian de la Cruz, after pulling her SUV to the side of the road. The baby was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he is reportedly doing OK.

That said; EVERYONE who expects to deal with the aftermath of when the SHTF needs to know basic CPR and at least basic Trauma First Aid. That means taking classes and practicing what you learn. I can tell you stories about people attempting to administer first aid who had no training, but I won’t. Suffice it to say the outcomes were less than desirable.

The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way

Let’s think about some injuries you can expect in the woods, hiking or running to find cover. Or for that matter, just being in a place where help is not going to come anytime soon. Falls are very common and can result in anything from a scrape to sprains to more serious injuries like fractures and head injuries. So ask yourself; do I really know how to treat a sprain? What about a fracture? Do I know how to stop bleeding and properly clean a wound? Have I ever done those things? Would I be able to actually do the job the right way should I need to? What if it was something life threatening? Could I save a person’s life?

If the answer to any of the above is NO, then you can have all the gear in the world at the ready, but YOU are not ready to bug-out!

I’m going to give an example of injury event that can be a tragedy if you are not properly trained to treat it. Remember, this is about knowing: both what TO do and what NOT TO do.

You and your companion are moving quickly through a heavily wooded area and your companion falls. When you reach them, you see a branch has impaled their arm. They are essentially stuck to a tree because of a branch sticking all the way through their arm. Your companion is in shock and not even aware of the extent of the injury. They are confused. There is blood coming from their arm and also from a gash on the right side of their head which is bleeding profusely. You think you see bone exposed through the head laceration and it seems that one of their legs has something wrong. Closer examination shows you that the ankle is sitting at a strange angle. What do you do now?

If you are like most people, you freak out, try to compose yourself so you don’t freak out your companion, get really pale and nearly pass out and then reach for your cellphone to call 911. Oops, no connectivity, so no help coming. So what now? The first aid kit! You have a first aid kit with a manual in it to walk you through caring for these injuries. You dig out the kit, open and it and check the book only to find it’s great for small cuts and bruises and simple things, but it has nothing remotely close to what you’re dealing with now.

Suddenly, you realize that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to cancel that first aid class you had signed up for but decided you were too busy/tired to take. Besides, someone else will know what to do or I’ll call 911 anyway, I’ll never need to use it.

WOW! Talk about contrary to prepper philosophy. Or is it? It would seem that Emergency Medical preparedness training is a no-brainer, but in reality, most prepper sites and stores that cater to preppers are focused on the medical equipment you need rather than the training required to use it.

So anyway, I can’t teach you the how to do it in this article. I can give you a good idea of what good, accurate care and treatment of this fall will require. And yes, you can look all these things up on the internet. However, unless you learn from a real, live person who can guide you and correct mistakes you will surely make as you learn, you are never going to be able to really address the problems this very real scenario depicts.

STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN.

The very first thing required in any trauma/accident situation is an evaluation of the site of the accident. Stop, take a breath and look at where you are about to go. Is it a safe place to enter? In the urban world this is akin to a Paramedic called to the scene of a gunshot victim. In that situation, the Paramedic cannot help the victim until the Police have arrived and determined that the Paramedic is safe from the danger of being shot herself when she goes to help. At that point the scene is declared “safe” and the Paramedics can get to work.

In the wilderness or woods, the dangers are different but still just as potentially deadly. Is the ground stable? Are there dangerous branches or rocks that could fall onto you as you make your way to your companion? Will you slip and fall as well if you attempt to help? Do you need to take time to tie off before going to the person? What about wildlife? Are you in danger of animal or insect attack when you go to help? Can you find a way to make the scene safe?

Only after you treat the area as if it were a busy street corner will you be safe. You have to STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN.

Once the scene is determined safe, or made safe the next thing is to get to the injured person and take stock of the situation by doing an initial survey of them. This is done by looking and speaking to them without touching them. Encouragement to stay still is recommended at this point. Usually saying “Hold on, try not to move, I’ll be right there,” is a good start.

Look carefully at the person and where they are lying. Do you see any blood? Where is it coming from? What about limb deformities? If so, which ones. Are there any objects that will cause difficulty in treating the injuries? Can they be cleared or do you need to find a way to work around them.

Now it’s time to your ABCDE’s: Airway/Head and Neck, Breathing, Circulation, Disability/Deformity, and Exposure assessment.

Airway: If the person is conscious and talking, then they have a clear airway, but they might have a neck injury which will require stabilization. In the case of any significant fall, or one with an accompanying head injury, be sure that the cervical (neck) spine is stabilized. If the person is unconscious or can’t talk, be sure that the airway is clear of obstruction before going further. Gently lowering the jaw while holding the forehead steady will allow you to see if anything is causing an obstruction. Look for broken teeth, blood, dirt or some foreign body causing an obstruction. Remove any obstruction you can see. Do not blindly probe their mouth. You could push an unseen object backward and cause an obstruction where none had previously existed.

Breathing: Is the person breathing on their own? If they can talk, they are breathing. Is there any reason to suspect a possible lung injury? Do they have any evidence of a chest injury that could have broken a rib? A broken rib can puncture a lung and lead to air in the chest collapsing the lung on that side. You can check this several ways. One is to watch the rise and fall of the chest and see if both sides rise equally. Another is to put your ear on one side of the chest, then the other and listen for breath sounds to be equal on both sides. If you notice that the trachea, the tube that runs down the middle of your neck, is pushed to one side; that is a clear sign of a lung injury. The best case scenario is that you have a stethoscope in your kit that will allow you to hear the actual breath sounds easily. If there is a lung injury, this is a true emergency and will need to be treated quickly, but that is a procedure that requires specialized training.

Circulation: Check for obvious bleeding, but also in the case of extremity injury, is there good blood flow to the far portions of the extremity? Is the color of distal (far) limb pink or pale/bluish? Is it warm to the touch or cool/cold? Pink and warm = good. Anything else indicates blocked blood flow which may be due to arterial injury or compression. Arterial injury needs repair soon. Compression can often be correct by adjusting the limb to an appropriate angle.

Disability/Deformity: Is neurologic function intact or are they confused, unable to answer questions or showing other signs of significant head injury? Are there limb deformities, obvious chest or facial depressions indicating broken bones? Depending on what you find, a variety of things may be needed from re-evaluation of the airway, to splinting or bandaging.

Exposure: How long has it been since the injury took place? Are they becoming chilled or hypothermic? Cold =shock. Putting a warm cover over an injured party ASAP is essential even in hot weather.

The important thing to do now is stay calm and determine what needs to be treated first. If there is copious bleeding indicating probable arterial involvement (this can also be characterized by blood that sprays with each pump of the heart) apply direct pressure and if necessary a tourniquet that can be tightened and released easily. If there is no major bleeding issue, then recheck the airway and breathing. If there is chest deformity and/or other evidence of a collapsed lung, that is the next thing to deal with unless there is now evidence of airway obstruction or the person is not breathing on their own. The former requires clearing the airway, the latter requires rescue breathing. The collapsed lung requires specialized training you can’t get from the internet or a book. Any other injuries can wait. Remember; the brain starts to die after 3 minutes without oxygen. Airway is first unless bleeding is so profuse that not stopping it would mean there would not be enough blood to circulate oxygen.

Back to our fall victim; we have bleeding, limb deformity, confusion and a fall. The fall means we have to have high suspicion of a neck injury and the confusion could be shock or it could indicate a more serious injury such as concussion or a brain bleed. We also have a penetrating injury which may have been an insult to a major artery. This person is seriously injured and qualifies as a trauma patient. Ideally, we would get this person stabilized and out of there ASAP, but that is not an option. Instead, we have to stabilize and create a sheltered space as close to where we area as possible so we can begin to treat the various injuries.

Assuming there are no immediate life threats (Excessive bleeding or collapsed lung/blocked airway) we begin by stabilizing the neck. A towel, shirt or thick cloth of some kind can be rolled and taped carefully in place to accomplish this. Next stabilize and splint any limb deformities so that we can move the victim with the least amount of discomfort to them. Continue to talk to them to assess their mental status. At this point, things get tricky…

People’s first instinct when presented with something sticking out of or through a body part is to remove it. STOP! Don’t do it! Not only is it exactly the wrong thing to do, it could quite possibly be the thing that kills the person. I know it is scary looking and seems like the danger comes from it being stuck in the person, but at this point the person is alive and has survived impalement. Leaving the object embedded is not dangerous at this point; it is actually the safest thing to do. As long as the object is left in place, it is acting to tamponade (stop) the bleeding. That is, it is putting pressure on any lacerated vessels and preventing any major bleeding. Yes there will be some oozing around the injury site, but it will be minimal as compared to what happens should the object be removed. NEVER REMOVE AN IMPALED OR IMBEDDED OBJECT FROM A PUNCTURE WOUND unless you have been trained to handle this procedure. This is another procedure that requires specialized training courses.

But what about infection, you ask? Yes, infection risk is high, but it is not a life threatening problem at this time. A neck injury or brain injury will need prior attention as will the bleeding from the head wound. Antibiotics are something you can give, but not at this time because the victim has a decreased mental status and it is not clear if they can swallow a pill without causing an airway obstruction or aspirating it into a lung.

For the time being, the safest and most efficacious thing to do is to cut both ends of the branch so that your companion can be maneuvered to the sheltered spot. Start with the end of the branch still attached to the tree and try to keep the arm as immobile as you can while doing so to minimize pain. You can then trim the protruding opposite side.

Don’t cut the ends short. Leave enough to be able to grasp both ends firmly to assist removal when it is time. Use your gauze or Ace wrap to secure the branch so that it moves as little as possible during transport to avoid causing undo pain.

Continue to monitor the ABC’s and mental status and address what need to be done ASAP. Once you have done as much as you can, find a way to get this person out of there and to an emergency care center as quickly as possible otherwise, they will likely not survive for very long.

This all started out as a fall but resulted in multiple injuries placing your companion in danger of dying. With the proper training, you could swing the odds much more in favor of a good outcome. So before you buy that cool medical kit, or put one together on your own, get out there and get trained. If you know someone who has been trained and can teach you the emergency survival techniques you’ll need, ask them to teach you. Meanwhile there are a multitude of courses in first aid, tactical lifesaving, wilderness emergency medicine, survival medicine and CPR. Don’t forget to look into classes that teach herbal remedies. Know what plants can ease pain or prevent infection, they may be the only medications you’ll have available.

So go out and get prepared. Learn.

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Survival Group Selection: Would You Take Yourself?

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Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from GoodPrepper. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


Survival groups whether you call them that, a Mutual Aid Group, “The Team”, or any other monikers have become ever more popular over the past few years. While I think this is a fantastic idea for those of us that see what is coming I also see a lot of online bragging in forums about how “prepared” their group is followed by 3 paragraphs detailing firearms purchases and maybe some references to a few members being ex-military. Tactical skills are great but I see two problems with the way most individuals and groups approach them.

First, people tend to focus nearly 100% of their time, money, and attention on the sexy gun stuff with nearly nothing left over for the other skills that make for a well-rounded survival group.

Second they tend to overestimate their tactical abilities. I once heard it said that buying a gun (or dozens of them) doesn’t make you a marksman any more than buying a piano makes you a pianist. Having been in the military doesn’t necessarily mean a person has much competency with firearms. Many units only get to the range twice a year and almost never with pistols. Add to that the vast majority of those in the military (all branches) aren’t trigger pullers but rather are in support functions sitting on the FOB or on a ship out at sea and you will see why having even someone with a deployment under their belt also doesn’t guarantee you have a gunfighter on your hands. I myself was in the army for 15 years to include a year in Afghanistan but recently I had to come to face the fact that I was a mediocre marksman and a poor gunfighter (2 different things) at best. Now after several years of spending thousands of dollars on quality training instead of buying more guns (I couldn’t properly fight with) I have improved by leaps and bounds and wish I had half these skills when I was deployed.

Are you as good as you think you are with a firearm? On a related side note how is your gear? Of course you won’t know the answer to this unless you have gone out and run it hard in a realistic class setting. I recently had a coworker that went out and bought the latest cool guy holster everyone on the internet told him the Israeli soldiers were using (so it must be good then, right?). He went to a class I recommended for him and 30 minutes into the class the holster broke into pieces. Had he not gone out and really run the thing he would have been potentially betting his life on a bad piece of kit.

I myself was in the army for 15 years to include a year in Afghanistan but recently I had to come to face the fact that I was a mediocre marksman and a poor gunfighter.

But back to the topic at hand, if many survival groups are mainly made up of people whose only skill set is “providing security” and for some reason you found yourself looking to join a group either now or after a collapse, would you take you? If you are honest with yourself the answer is probably “no”. The reason is, you’re just not worth the calories it takes to feed you when running gun battles might only be occurring 0.001% of the time in any given week or month depending on your location (if they are more than that you might want to relocate). So the next question is what other skills do you have or can you develop to be worth someone taking you in?

What skills do you bring to a survival group?

I personally see the following as the new member value hierarchy. This is based on the composition of prepper groups I have seen firsthand or read posted about. If your entire group is made up of a commune of expert farmers and ranchers then that skill set would obviously not be as high a priority. So in order of low to high for me:

Guy with a gun– Low value, even lower if they have the low skill-set and poor equipment many firearm owners do. (90+% of preppers)

Guerrilla Gardening

Gardener– Someone who regularly kept a backyard garden, this person might also have learned to can their excess. You definitely won’t have to shoot it out with the zombie mutant biker hordes every day but you do need to eat every day! (20% of preppers….most preppers meant to develop this skill but “never got around to it”, “didn’t have space”, or “insert other excuse here”).

Communications person– Someone who knows their stuff, not the guy that went out and bought the $30 Baofeng UV-5r and plans to learn how to use it later and doesn’t want to get licensed because “when the SHTF there won’t be no FCC around to stop me”. I’m talking about someone who has accumulated the extensive equipment required and trains on it regularly. This guy can run something like PSK31 digital mode transmission to still communicate around the world during even the most challenging propagation conditions. He might also be your power person because he has spent a lot of time researching batteries and solar setups to keep his rig running while out in the field for extended periods. This guy might even be higher up than I have listed, after all without him you might literally not know what is going on in the world beyond what you can see from your window. (Less than 5% of preppers)

Someone who knows their stuff, not the guy that went out and bought the $30 Baofeng UV-5r

Farmer/Rancher– This person devoted their livelihood to raising food – either vegetables or livestock of some combination of both. They understand how to produce on a large-scale and how to deal with procuring the inputs needed and dealing with the unused byproducts. (Less than 5% of preppers)

Medical professional– TRUE medical professional. While taking a CPR class and buying an Israeli bandage is nice this is not the same thing as being in the medical profession. Also while natural medicine has its place as off the shelf medicine becomes scarce you will want someone who has experience operating on people at an EMT level or above to address trauma and is expert at diagnosing larger issues such as whether an infections requires a gram positive or gram negative antibiotic to treat. (Less than 1% of preppers meet this category.)

In SHTF, you won’t be able to count on medical treatment being available.

I’ve surely missed some here like skill sets here like someone who is an expert in human waste sanitation, or a logistician that can track your supply usage or even something more exotic like a blacksmith. Part of this is because I don’t think these are full-time jobs unless you have a very large group and partly because the purpose of this article isn’t to feed you the right answers. What I want to get you thinking about is that if you step back and look at what your own group would need or imagine the needs of a group you are looking to join, would you take someone like yourself in?

You might not like the answer so pick something higher up the hierarchy and get to work! Much like anyone that tells you that they don’t have 20 minutes a day 3-4 days a week to exercise is lying so is anyone that says they don’t have the time or money to learn a new skill. You may not be able to become a doctor but in my case I decided I would become a ham radio operator. It seemed daunting, I didn’t grow up around this stuff and in the military I just called over the S-6 private to fix my radio in the MRAP whenever it wasn’t working. Turns out it is VERY EASY and inexpensive to get your license in amateur radio. Whole articles have been written about it but I will say it really only takes about 45 minutes of studying every night for 10 days to 2 weeks and then about $10 (or sometimes free) to sit the test and you’re on your way with a Technician class ticket. Now get to know the old guys at the ham club in your town that administered the test and you’ll be amazed at how generous they are with their time, they’ll even let you use their equipment for free! Plus who here doesn’t know how to use YouTube to learn almost any new skill….for free! I’ve since upgraded to General and then Extra class (the highest level). I have put together a highly portable mobile set up and I get out in the field to test my equipment and refresh my skills at least twice a month. That’s just one example of how you can build worth as a group member beyond being the “gun guy”.

Lastly if you decide you only care about guns and are “too cool” to learn anything else at least learn as much as you can not only in training and tactics but also maintenance and repair. Attend an armorer course and acquire the tools and spare parts to do the work. You still won’t be worth as much to me as a farmer but you won’t be a dime a dozen.

I realize this article might offend some but hopefully it gets you thinking and honest about your value especially if you are currently a “lone wolf” looking for a pack. People have covered how to find other preppers but I wanted to include some information on how to be as valuable as possible once you find them. Good luck and get learning!

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How Chemistry Class Saved My Life

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Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from West Texas Backpacker. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


While in high school chemistry class you would have been called a geek or nerd if you ever truly believed that “I am going to use this one day,” while everyone else was saying “I am never going to use this in my future, so why must I learn it now?” I’m here to tell you today that I was that nerd that believed such things and further studied chemistry for another five years into college.

During my academic career my interests always sparked when I learned about chemicals that could be used for some medical treatment, or were able to create an exothermic reaction and generate enough heat to produce a combustion of sorts. One that was very particular to me was a chemical called Potassium Permanganate (KMnO4). Potassium permanganate was especially interesting because if mixed in the proper quantities it can be used as an aseptic treatment to prevent infection on wounds and injuries. To add to its unique properties if mixed with a locally bought form of glycerin it would create an exothermic reaction to cause a small flame to form.

Now that I have given you some background information I will tell you of my experience when chemistry class saved my life. During the fall semester of my junior year in college I joined a backpacking adventure group that was composed of individuals, whom all shared the passion to learn survival skills and backpacking techniques. Being a rookie in the world of prepping this group caught my interests. So as meetings began to start and we practiced various skills such as cooking over fires, knots, survival skills and techniques. As we continued expanding our knowledge we also planned our first outing into the back-country of New Mexico during the month of October.

We assembled our gear and packs and planned out our route with enough food to last our 30 mile trip into the wilderness. Along with the checklist of items that we were given that would be necessary for any camping trip; I thought it was necessary to pack my trauma kit, and some chemicals for a chemistry experiment. This experiment was to take place towards our highest elevation at 13,000 feet above sea level and to be as much for entertainment for the group as an experiment for me.

We trekked for two days up and further into the back-country until the only tracks we saw were our own and the native wildlife. As the group approached the summit the weather began to rapidly change and thunderclouds started to form. We had made a group decision that in order to get back into the tree line for cover, we needed to summit the peak and descend on the other side as quickly as possible, because the route back down on the ascending side if caught in a storm would become even more dangerous due to its steep and narrow trails than the route descending on the other side.

Moving with a purpose the group quickly summited the mountain while fighting the wind that was gusting approximately 60-80 miles an hour the entire time. As the group began the descend one of the female hikers tripped and tumbled down the steep rocky path and received a moderate laceration on her knee. Quickly I dumped my pack and my skills as a nurse took over. I quickly had another member pour approximately a teaspoon of potassium permanganate in a one liter water bottle and shake it until dissolved while I readied the bandages and wraps for her knee. I cleansed her cut with our prepared aseptic solution and bandaged and wrapped her knee so that she could continue down the best she could.

Shortly after our unfortunate event our luck continued to fail and heavy rainstorm began just before we reached the tree line. Quickly the group of six gathered firewood, and threw together a tarp lean-to for shelter. Wet and miserable some of us were experiencing early signs of hypothermia, and we all desperately wanted to feel some small amount of warmth. Several members tried various means to start-up a fire from lighters, storm-proof matches, to even burning their own cotton shirt to get a flame to arise and light our fire. However the wind was awe to powerful and would extinguish our flame before it could ever catch.

It was then I remembered my plans to do an experiment and rushed to my bag and removed the small baggie of potassium permanganate and small bottle of glycerin I picked up at the store. I paused before I began and looked back on my previous trials with this combination. I remembered back home in Texas at 3500 feet elevation it would take approximately 5 seconds to generate a flame, but at this elevation and wind I knew my chances would be limited. So then I figured I’d better go for broke and used my remaining supply of both ingredients. What seemed like an eternity ended up only being about a minute before the greatest sight of our lives appeared.

A huge, bright fire-ball arose from our stack of tinder and kindling, and the group simultaneously began tossing larger logs onto the fire for it to chew on before the wind would have a chance to counter its warm punch. Our fire was a great means for improving morale and keeping at bay the clutches of hypothermia. We were able to dry our wet clothes, cook a warm meal and drink some tea and hot chocolate under the tarp until the rains subsided. After the rain stopped and we were all dry and full we set up our tents and crawled into our sleeping bags for much-needed rest. Once we woke up that morning it was as if the rain had cleansed the mountain of any bad juju, and we finished our adventure safely and pleasantly back to the truck.

There were numerous lessons learned from my first trip into the back-country that I have since benefited from. Most importantly the one that I and the group agreed on was that if there hadn’t been a chemist in the group then we all undoubtedly would have had a much more difficult time fending off hypothermia than we did that night.

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Bug Out- Building a Load out Plan for Your Vehicle

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Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from GoodPrepper. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


Most people’s primary plan is to bug out by vehicle which makes a lot of sense given how much further you can travel and how much more you can carry. Most of us have a bug out bag that we have packed and repacked (and repacked again) and we know exactly how much it will hold and what goes where. Now how many of you have done this for your vehicle?

If you haven’t, I think you will find much like you probably did with your bug out bag, space fills up FAST!

Today I’m going to teach you one way to plan for a vehicle load out, this will do two things for you, first it will save you time in an emergency by helping you know in advance of the balloon going up what all will fit in your vehicle and where it goes. Also I will help you develop a plan to secure the load so you can travel more safety.

So where to begin? First get out a piece of paper and list out the things you intend to pack. Hopefully by now in your preps you have seen the advantage of using bins or bags to group items so you are able to stay organized and load large amounts of stuff quickly.

Next prioritize these items, what if your loading gets cut short and you have to stop what you are doing and immediately get on the road? What would you want going in there first? For my wife and I it would be our Bug Out Bags and primary weapons followed by water, medical kit, food, spare gas, tools, ham radio equipment, generator, and finally personal luggage.

Plano 1919 Sportsman’s Trunk

Once you have the list prioritized draw out the rough shape of your vehicle’s interior and start “filling” it with the items you plan to pack. So if you know you medical bag is about 1/3 of the width of the back of your SUV then draw that there with the giant vehicle repair and recovery box that you think takes up about 2/3 the width of the back of your SUV next to it. Now what can go on top of that? What can go behind it? At this point you may have to make trade-offs as to what on the priority list gets loaded first because something heavy just has to go on the bottom. That’s okay.

Now if you plan to put a cargo carrier on the trailer hitch, pull an actual trailer, or have a roof rack start “filling” this up as well. As I mentioned above spare gas is high on my priority list but obviously this is stored outside the car.

Okay so now we have a rough plan all done without having to lift anything. If you aren’t great at estimating dimensions you can speed up the accuracy of your first round draft by measuring the inside of your car and then measure some of the larger bulkier items while making your paper draft. Because I had been camping with most the items in the past I sort of knew how much room most of my things took up.

Now it’s time to physically go out and bring each item to your vehicle and see if your plan works. You will discover several things when you go to do this. First your stuff is ALL OVER THE PLACE! How many trips did you make to the basement, garage, kitchen, bedroom, storage room, storage shed, etc? Lots and in some case things weren’t where you thought they were. Imagine going through that for the first time in an emergency?! So while you are gathering the things on your list just note where they are like: “Med kit- Basement top shelf”.

Roof top storage is an often overlooked place to store many items. Make sure you have appropriate tie down materials.

I don’t expect you to store everything in one place, for one thing while it would be awesome to have everything stored two feet behind my truck but my garage isn’t heated and cooled so I wouldn’t want to store medicine in there for example. Second I don’t want all of my preps on display every time I open my garage door! So it’s okay to store things you plan to bug out with in different places but try to limit the total number as best you can and document where each item is. As an added hack I put a small piece of bright red duct tape on each item that is part of my vehicle load out to make it easier to see on shelves next to everyday items that may not be going.

Having gear stored in one location is nice, but not always possible.

The second thing you may discover is you over estimated how much space you have or you fit it all in but in the case of a car instead of a truck you may find it riding on the bump stops. I was actually pleasantly surprised to find out I went too conservative and I had more room to stack things than I planned so I was able to add to my list. Either way now is the time to fine tune and in some cases make some tough decisions as to what doesn’t make the cut. Hopefully everything you pack is just bonus because you are headed to an already well stocked Bug Out Location but I know many folks aren’t there yet. If you do have a place to store things at your Bug out Location this might be time to think about what you can live without at your primary residence and go ahead and preposition more out there.

Once you have become Tetris-master 9000 and fit everything together as efficiently as possible and in an order that makes sense (all while documenting where it came from) you need to do two final things. First ensure the things you want to be able to get to (quickly in some cases) can be. How many times have you seen the people by the side of the road unloading a trunk full of stuff to get to their spare tire? Don’t be that guy! You should be able to get to anything you may reasonably expect to need to assist your vehicle in making it to your destination. Perhaps just as importantly you will need to be able to get to anything you plan to grab should you have to abandon the vehicle and head out on foot, possibly in a hurry!

Careful planning now can save hours of wasted time when you need it.

Lastly SECURE YOUR LOAD! My initial exposure to load out plans came from my very first days in the army when it was impressed upon us how devastating something like a couple of full ammo cans flying around a vehicle in the event of an accident or roll over could be to the occupants. Most of us can imagine the dangerous road conditions under which we may need to bug out and so the likelihood of an accident is much higher than during our normal daily drives. Add to this a loaded down vehicle that will not be able to respond or perform as well as normal and other stressed out drivers trying to make good their escape and you can see why all that stuff in your vehicle needs to be secured as best possible. If you have a pickup truck this is made easier by tie down points. Do you have the ratchet straps or cargo netting you need to do so? Inside of a car can get trickier but it can be made safer. For example the ammo cans I mentioned could be wedged down behind the back of the front seats on the floor board rather than stored on top of a box on the back seat parallel to the back of your head. Use your imagination and actually try tying things down to see if you have what you need. Now add those bungee cords, ropes, and ratchet straps to your list and note their location.

That’s it, you’ve done it, you have a load out plan. I recommend you practice fully loading your vehicle for a load out twice a year. It’s a pain but it will improve your time getting out the door, reveal any items that “magically” moved from where you thought they were stored, and remind you to make updates as your packing list and especially your vehicle possibly changes. Good luck and be safe out there!

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Survival Without Prepping

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Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Hazard12. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


I continue to see articles that offer good advice about prepping, But survival is education, training, and skill. Barricading yourself in the home for defense or Bugging out! Yes, Fine. The more you have and can do works, but you and I have different meanings of the word. My transportation breaks down 40 miles from somewhere in snow/ice 20 degrees, and 30+ winds…. is a nice, but inconvenient adventure. I wish to tell a story, and make a “comedy media” about it. Not funny when you hear/see people die, but fantastic if you can learn for when you need it.

There are stories in Oregon, of instant storms, rain and wind for eons, beautiful country and hypothermia. Meaning rapid condition changes. Easy to prepare for if you know what to expect, but, lets talk about what you really mean by prepping. It’s too late for many who live in those countries where the violence and breakdowns are occurring now or that have destroyed once wealthy nations. Earthquakes, the Tidal Wave, economic collapse, War, and societal breakdown. For the purge, or martial law, I’m armed ready, trained… and not going to be sitting here. Now for the coming zombie apocalypse, there is always the better ground. They call mine, the cascade mountain range, from Alaska to Mexico. what do you call yours? If I’m away from Portland, and in a 100 mile move, I can choose Mountain, Desert, Coastal, or the greatest ditch to ocean drainage system in which to live, prosper and hide in that ever existed – with perfect climate.

In my opinion. personally I hope most people go to the outskirts for their protection and care. They will not make it in cities, but the government will be there to Sign U UP, have a sandwich, sorry NO gear allowed, dress warmly. I don’t want to live in a city, now, or then. Being a Oregon country Man, I’m a little rough around the edges, had a couple bad habits, you probably know a similar story, Ex-USAF, pain pills, drinking. I seemed to have finally turned out OK. And no, I have no one to volunteer witness for me. But I digress.

So Its cold, snowy, I’m at a friends cabin, on Mt Hood, Anyone knowing Trillium Lake and Still Creek Campground should know what I am saying here. As usual, HWY 26 is right there, you can’t see it, but you can hear it. Chains, trucks until the winds shut down the highway. My friends cabin is less than 2 miles from a liquor store, beer store, food? Although there are 3 foot drifts on top of 2 foot snow pack.

Noticing we didn’t bring enough supplies to and it is already 7pm. The sun sets at 5. I decide to walk a trail cut through to the campground which will be easier. This time of year, the gates are closed and locked, you can not drive to government camp from here… kinda.. 5 miles back down the snowed in road, cut over, hit 26, and back up the mountain, sanded and police.. where you belong.

The Winter Survival Handbook: 157 Winter Tips and Tricks

I smoke to improve my health, most know what I mean by now. This night I have a partial pint in my pocket, a beer in my bare hand. I dress in open cell polyurethane foam, with a field jacket, stocking hat, and boots. I’m good for -10 and 50 mph winds except hiking through the snow will make you sweat.  So I open my chest to the air. Feels great. It’s actually somewhere around 25 degrees Fahrenheit with 20-30 mph winds. And snowing. The year was 2009-2010 if you wish to look at the storms. 3500 feet above sea level. Portland is 50 miles at 85 feet sea level. I used to live 30 miles down there. 600 feet above seal level at the time.

Read More: Winter Car Survival Kit

So imagine my surprise to hear a commotion, some movement, and a light. Not many bears or lions and definitely not this Lyon, ever use flashlights at night, except sparingly. We all do use light properly, bears are just too smart to consider a “flash” light. The noise was caused by a group of people stranded.

So add to the confusion, these people are stuck. Their vehicle is still warm inside with motor off and radio and lights on. In these conditions,  the car may stay warm for a couple of hours or so? As long as it starts. If it doesn’t, these people are in for some serious trouble. I think the driver said he had just under quarter tank. v-8 Ford car, nice. Should have left it in Portland and brought a truck.

I also came up here in a car and plan to leave the following afternoon. Now consider this from the side of the people in the car. You are semi lost with your car stuck, although not that bad. There are 2 men, 2 women, and you are angry, blaming, and maybe scared? I don’t know, and am not judging. You look out the front windshield, and a Bigfoot sized man, wearing a field jacket, open at the chest, drinking a beer walks up to you. He pulls out a pint, takes a slug, indicates sharing.

The guy inside rolls down the window and says, “what are you doing out here?” I reply, “Well, I was hoping to make the liquor store before they close”. The window goes up, and I feel, I should probably get moving. I’m out here in this environment because its my favorite thing. Had they acted sooner, those poor people would have suffered, at best getting their four Arses out and unsticking the car. But we know potheads, don’t matter, no need to listen to this guy. Be your own man. You aren’t going to listen? are You?

So a guy gets out the passenger door. That’s the right side front door, for you common law, private property folks that know, you don’t have a passenger vehicle. Title 18. When the liquor store is already closed, it’s illegal to take retail drink off premise, or outside in the winter. I could talk about title 31, legal tender and silver coins and walking back with a bottle but there is not much having to do with survival in that subject. I no longer drink alcohol much, but when a drunk is smarter than you, prepping may not come to mind.

So I tell him how far, and what they should be doing, to get out, if they stay where they are they will die, etc. He gets back in already freezing, while I actually have been semi stationary and ready to now button back up since having cooled down a bit. I am probably running a 100 degree body core. So to make the short story long, and the long story short. Against my advice the women want to go with me. Uh, no. A man wants to go with me to the store. If he is borrowing gear, he should be OK. My thoughts are with the 5 of us, lets dig, support, and push this vehicle out, and you all drive down this tree lined road, right here back home. Driver thinks he should go down the ridge. But with the Lake gate closed I ask how he is gonna climb back up in this snow? Once the car is free, point it the way home.

What did I do next?

What are you going to do, and how will you know? When you are a prepper you help people, in a survival situation those people you are trying to save might injure or kill you. Getting cold and hurt helping is always a bad idea. Sometimes you know not to. I hope we can all learn that safely? Not being seen, heard, tracked, is and will be necessary, while traveling, hiding, holed up, or even when it is time to attack. Warrior? He’s the teacher, dump him out naked in Alaska, in a week he’ll be sitting in Florida with a drink in his hand in your back yard. Observe and learn from this man, do not engage. (paraphrased from the sarge in Seagal’s on deadly ground) Green Beret Tactics.

Seriously now, I step back and short hop behind the tree,over a snow berm. erasing my tracks with a branch. (snow, wind, remember) and I walk to the village known as Government camp Oregon, 97028. Some time goes by, and I am in the bar, purchasing my goal and enjoying a nice drink, when in come the group from the stranded car. They look all brave and proud of their escape and are, like me having a drink, and talking about heading back home. As I depart, I understand that in front of me is a 2 mile walk in the storm. I am happy to go. In coming prepper days, there will be no time for fun and games. It wont be humorous anymore. But little will change for me the way I see it. I will have powerful trained friends, or I will be alone.

The other story was in Oregon, around the same time, I’m pretty sure. Of the Kims whom made some random mistakes. in the much safer coast range. Yet, with no drunk hillbilly to advise them what to do. The family survived without the Father, being rescued we are told. they were missing. The people in the Mt. Hood forest were not. yet. and they might have been OK. Maybe I should mind my own business?

Maybe I should not write a stupid article containing, alcohol use or smoking the evil marijuana? Fine. Maybe you all will learn, be the teacher, prepare for timing, retreat and advance. Learn martial arts, gather friends, recognize enemies. Plan to move. Prepare, train, practice till it’s a reflex. Relax, never panic, always respond. Conserve energy. Create energy. Everyone has my excessive survival tool for all occasions, a magnifier, or a Fresnel lens. Nothing excessive about my knife.

So that’s enough rambling on, you can thumb me up, or subscribe to the newsletter, or respond to me in the comments at the bottom. Luck favors the prepared mind. Your worst enemy, other than bankers, government, and media; will be shock, at loss, injury, family. War sux and will mess you up. I’m already messed up, so they cant win. I have nothing to lose. except some family and friends. If I don’t lose them, its like carrying my magnum, so I don’t have to argue or fight. If I do, well, a hazard may be upon them.

Prep well, folks. Remember what the greatest teacher said. “and I will be with you Always, even to the end of YOUR DAYS.” I’m gonna win this challenge, so are some of you. Survive!!

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The Importance of a Medical Kit in Your Preps

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Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Audra S. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


Medical Kit: Is it important?

OF COURSE.

Whether your bugging out with a group or bugging out alone it is extremely important to have someone with some degree of medical knowledge and/or skill. If you’re bugging out with a group and you’ve got a plan in place, but no designated “medic”, you have a problem. If you’re bugging out alone and you don’t have any basic medical knowledge, again, you have a problem.

It’s easy enough to say “I never get sick” or “Ill tough it out” when it comes to an illness or injury in everyday life, but if you’re bugging out, everyday living will cease to exist. Whether you’re hunkering down in a bunker or climbing up foothills or mountains, sh*t is bound to happen. Maybe someone in your family brought in a simple cold. It doesn’t take long for that simple cold to turn into a sinus infection, which once your immune system is beat down enough, can turn into pneumonia. Consider you’re climbing in the foothills or hunkering down in a forest and you drink some bad water…maybe your Lifestraw has already filtered its limits, or maybe your water wasn’t heated for long enough. Bacteria can take hold of your body’s systems within days, sometimes hours, and cause unfortunate and inconvenient effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and eventually, death. You get my point.

So what can you do to prevent this? Well, stay healthy, take your vitamins, and boil your water. Stating the obvious, right? Prevention is great, but like I said, and I’ll say it again, sh*t happens. A contingency plan for those SHTF moments is the key to efficiency and more importantly, survival. You can create a top-notch medical kit addition to any bugout bag or kit easily and cheaply. All it takes is basic medical knowledge and a small pack to potentially save you, your family or your friends in a SHTF situation.

The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way

I am a trained EMT and I’ve dealt with massive injuries from car accidents, physical violence, and other traumatic events. I’ve also dealt with medical emergencies such as heart attacks, diabetic episodes and anaphylaxis. If you’re a true prepper, I know you’ve spent hours thinking about all of the things that could go wrong while bugging out. Gunshots, car accidents, sickness, poison, you name it. I can definitely say the same for myself, and I refuse to be the helpless ninny that stands over and screams and begs someone with a gunshot wound or knife wound not to die. It won’t work. Don’t be that guy.

I’ve spent a solid 6 months researching and developing a small, compact and lightweight medic “bag” that has the potential to be helpful and effective in almost any type of medical emergency. Check out my pack, and some of the emergency’s I’ve planned for below.

The Basics of a Medical Kit:

Ibuprofen: So Underrated. It’ll help with mild pain, but more importantly, it can help take down and break a fever. How fun is it trying to function at your day job with a fever that turns into a massive headache that turns into hot flashes and cold sweats? Now imagine dealing with that while you’re lumbering through the wilderness. Not fun.

Pepto Bismol: Once again, underrated. Not only will this reduce your burning desire to throw up those repulsive MRES, but it has the potential to get diarrhea under control. Having to stop every 5 minutes to see a bush about a horse? Inconvenient AND unpleasant.

Benadryl: Works for both people and dogs, making it a vital part of my personal bag. Hiking through the woods and your dog steps on or eats a wasp? I know I don’t want to carry my almost 50 pound dog for very long, how about you? 1 MG per pound of body-weight will take care of that problem. It can also be used to ease a dog’s anxiety, just lower the dose a bit. If you’re traveling or hunkering down with someone who has an allergy whether it be to a food or animal, a quick response with a dose of Benadryl can make a bigger difference then you would expect. I carry a bottle of Benadryl and a tube of Benadryl Cream for topical use.

Medi-Lyte: Uncommon, but not unimportant. I used to work in the oil fields during the big boom, and this was something I always kept stocked for my guys. It is used to replace electrolytes from excessive loss of liquids. I’m talking sweat, vomit, whatever. You can purchase 500 tablets on Amazon for twenty bucks. 100% WORTH IT. Oh, and try two tabs for a hangover, it’ll do wonders 😉

Hydrocortisone Cream: Once again, suitable for both you and your dog. Hiking out in the woods comes with a price. While an occasional bug bite is not something that will really bother you, being covered in them probably will. The same goes for your dog. Mosquito bites, tick bites, flea bites, poison ivy, weird rashes; it covers it all. Literally.

Triple Antibiotic: This one is basically the jack of all trades. Use it on burns, cuts, scrapes, and anything else you’re worried about getting infected. I would suggest only using it the first 1-2 days after the injury is sustained. After scabs are formed it won’t do much and there is no point in wasting precious supplies.

Everyday Allergy Meds: Sudafed, Zyrtec, Claritin, because there is nothing worse than trying to walk long distance or climb bluffs or mountains with a runny nose.

CPR Rescue Mask, Adult/Child Pocket Resuscitator

CPR Mask and Sterile or Nitrile Gloves: I don’t care how well you know someone; do you really want to take a bath in their bodily fluids? I didn’t think so. Carry a CPR mask with you in your medic bag and remember the basics from CPR Class, compressions and breaths, 30:2. Compressions should be done by finding the middle spot between the nipples and pumping your overlapped hands down onto their body. They won’t tell you in your average CPR class, but I will; you will hear ribs cracking, if they survive they will be in pain from it, and it is not easy on the body to lean over and perform compressions on someone. You will be sore. Saving someone’s life though- 100% worth it. If you haven’t taken a basic CPR class yet, don’t be a dummy. It’s 50$ on average and takes only a few hours of your time.

Hot Hands: There is nothing worse than being sweaty, cold, and out in the wilderness. Once you’re cold it is very hard to get warm, but a hot hands pad can make the world of difference. Toss one onto the top of your head and cover it up with a hat. My dad has told me since I was little; heat rises. Keep your head warm and your body will be warm.

Various sized Band-Aids, bandages, ace wraps and anti-bacterial wipes: Obvious, but easily overlooked. I was on a mountain climbing trip in Montana this fall, and I got stuck coming down at night. Not smart, and not fun. I tripped on a tiny rock and my ankle bent and twisted. The next morning I had a 7 mile hike to a primitive forest service cabin across two mountain ranges and I could barely walk without my ankle giving in. An ace wrap and some duct tape made the world of difference.

The Not-So-Basics:

I don’t expect you guys to have giant stockpiles of these things lying around, but I can guarantee you if you dig through your cabinets and junk drawers you’re bound to find one or two of these things lying around. Please also remember I am not a doctor, and I’m not god, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. Having these things does not guarantee a life saved.

Elite First Aid Fully Stocked GI Issue Medic Kit Bag, Large

Epi-Pens: Unfortunately, these have gotten harder to come by recently, on account of obnoxiously high prices, but if you or your family member has an allergy that requires you to carry one of these, don’t leave it behind when you bug out. Not only could it save your life for what it was intended, but it could save someone in your groups life should they encounter an unexpected allergy source.

Muscle Relaxers: If you’ve done any hiking, walking or running long distances you know how exhausting it can be on your body. Imagine doing it for days at a time while trying to find the perfect camp location. These come in handy to both relax your body and your mind, making it much easier to carry on hiking or even sleep. Personally I can take one of these and continue on with my day, but I’ve heard stories of people taking them and falling asleep within the hour, so remember that everyone responds differently.

Antibiotics: I know I can’t be the only one that’s been prescribed antibiotics and not taken all of them. Do you have a stockpile of half taken antibiotics? In everyday life it’s not a good idea to take half of a dose and leave the rest behind, as it puts you at risk for antibiotic resistance, but if you’re in the wilderness or an emergency situation and you need antibiotics, I think you can afford to take that risk. The same goes for your basic antifungals.

Higher Dose Pain Relievers: If you have left over pain killers from a surgery or injury, pack them up and take them along. I will let you imagine all the possible injuries that may require their use.

Israeli Pressure Bandages: These bandages have been carried by the Israeli Army for ages for a good reason. They compress, clot, and cover a wound. The instructions are on the packaging, and they are fairly simple, lightweight, and about 9$ a piece on Amazon. Worth it.

Suture Kits: Also available on Amazon, although they are usually labeled “for veterinary use only.” They will work in time of need. It’s basically a needle and thread. Buy a few and practice stitching up an orange, or if you’re looking for a little more “real world” (and gross) experience, a pigs foot. It’s pretty much what you see on TV. Unless you went to medical school, you will not be an expert, but if it’s absolutely and undeniably necessary, you’re better than nothing.

I have all of these things in my bugout bag, and it only takes up a very small portion of it. Scrounge up what you can from what you already have, and buy the rest when it’s convenient or on sale to keep costs low. If you’re low on space, take the pills out of the bottles and package them in plastic instead, but remember that the bottles can have other uses in your bag.

I have no doubts that with even 1/2 of these items in your bag you will be better off than your average prepper. Never underestimate the power of basic medical knowledge and preparation. Good luck out there!

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The Honcho Poncho: Prepper Gear Review

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Matt “Papa Bear” Wooddell. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


The words “poncho liner” resonate deeply with anyone who has ever been a Soldier or Marine. This light, warm, compressible, somewhat water repellant, and quick drying piece of gear has been indispensable equipment for Soldiers and Marines both at home and while deployed. When I was on active duty, it seemed that no one ever went anywhere without the poncho and poncho liner, even if it was just across the street. Anyone who has ever been caught in the field overnight, wet, and cold can tell you the poncho liner has quite literally saved their life. But is it really a poncho liner? I mean can a person actually line their poncho with it? Or is it just a great blanket?

A great man named Ranger Rick Tscherne, some years ago, suggested taking a 100 inch sleeping bag zipper and sewing it along the bottom and side of the poncho liner. This man was a genius! I did this to my poncho liner while I was in the Army. I had to buy another poncho liner from clothing and sales for TA-50 inspections but I always took my poncho liner with the zipper to the field and on every deployment. This new sleeping bag poncho liner was so wonderful but I still thought about why it was called a poncho liner. It didn’t fit under the poncho or attach to it readily and it couldn’t be easily worn under the poncho.

Finally, someone has made my dream a reality! A company called Cascade Designs carries a piece of equipment by Thermarest called the Honcho Poncho and it is amazing. This thing is what I have needed in my kit for years. It has helped reduce the space in my bug out bag and has a ton of applications. It is wearable like the poncho, over the head, insulated and very warm. It is waterproof by itself, without needing to wear another poncho over it. It is compressible and packable like the original poncho liner. It has snap buttons on the sides to snap it up to make it into a light sleeping bag. It comes in yellow or blue. I have the blue. It is dull enough to be acceptable in the woods and it doesn’t make me look like I’m wearing a piece of tactical equipment either.

honchoponcho1

The Honcho Poncho is waterproof by itself, without needing to wear another poncho over it. It is compressible and packable like the original poncho liner.

I always dress for the weather. You will never catch me leaving the house in December wearing only a sport coat. If you ever did see me dressed like that, I would be carrying my real coat to the car with my free hand. Where I live, there can be a 40 degree difference in the daily high and low temps in the spring and fall and -20 for days on end during the winter. So, much of my kit revolves around staying warm and dry. Just like when I was in the service, I always have my poncho and poncho liner in my bag, although now I keep the Honcho Poncho in my kit instead of the regular poncho liner.  I’m all about layering to keep warm and dry. If already wearing a coat, the Honcho Poncho is plenty to layer over it when the temp drops, the wind picks up, and it starts sleeting. For sleeping, it works great snapped together inside of a Sea to Summit reactor sleeping bag liner inside of a SOL OD green escape bivvy off of the cold ground. I’m all about the layers. The Honcho Poncho helps to keep my bag  and versatile.hp1

The price seemed steep at $130 but I hadn’t seen anything even close to this quality anywhere else. Because of the price, I wrestled with the idea of purchasing it for about two days. I was able to get a 15% off first purchase coupon by signing up for the retailers email list. I was fine with that. After all, I could always ignore, delete, or unsubscribe later. That extra savings coupon convinced me to make the buy. I am glad I did! I am frugal. I compare the cost, quality, and value of everything I buy.  That being said, I am glad I shelled out the money for this purchase. I have encouraged other people I know to buy one too.

This idea for the Honcho Poncho is not exactly new. Persons having traveled south of the border may see a resemblance to clothing like the cobija blanket or Mexican hooded wool poncho. The idea is the same. The wearer can bundle up in it when it is cold or for a siesta, leave it open or throw it over one shoulder in the heat of the day. One thing noticeable about the Honcho Poncho is that it is light weight. The shell material is similar to a light nylon in appearance. So, it will snag and could tear on stuff like barbed wire, thorns, and etc. The weakness of the exterior shell can be mitigated effectively by wearing a regular poncho over top of it and using it as (you guessed it) a poncho liner. A person would not want to wear a Honcho Poncho while doing something like breaching a mined wire obstacle or entering and clearing a trench. It is likely to be torn on concertina wire ruining your poncho and snagging you in the process. For a hike after putting your car in a snow bank, for campfires, and regular prepper uses, it will work just fine. If traversing stretches of thick woods, I would suggest putting a regular poncho over top of it to protect it from snagging on thorns, briars, and branch tips.

Even though I recommend against wearing it to breach mined wire obstacles doesn’t mean there are no good tacticool or SHTF uses for the Honcho Poncho. One of the great advantages of using it is the wearer’s ability to easily access weapons in the belt line without impedance. One catch about carrying a concealed weapon in the winter time is that the coat or jacket is another layer of clothing between accessing and presenting your weapon. No matter how fast or trained you are, more layers of clothing means that it takes longer to get a concealed weapon into action. During a surprise attack, speed in response is vital to defense. The unsnapped Honcho Poncho is much less of an obstacle than a zipped coat when retrieving a weapon from the waist line, whether the weapon is concealed inside the waist band or carried outside the pants on the belt. Another consideration if you are carrying a weapon or some type of load bearing or duty belt outside of your coat is that it can earn you extra attention you may not want. In the event of TEOTWAWKI and SHTF and total WROL you may not care about open carrying a weapon but how often does TEOTWAWKI and SHTF and total WROL happen? It’s easier to be unnoticed when carrying a weapon, even outside the pants with your poncho covering it, as long as you are a legal and licensed concealed weapon carrier of course. Another great application for the Honcho Poncho is for the prepper who keeps a ready to go shooters belt or duty belt with their kit. Instead of buckling it over your coat, put on the gear belt, wear your Honcho Poncho over it and your armed and incognito.

honcho_poncho

To sum it all up: it’s a great piece of kit with many uses. It can be used as a sleeping bag, a poncho, an over coat, and to conceal weapons. It is lightweight, warm and compressible so you can put it in a stuff sack and squash it down. It is water proof all by itself without need for an additional poncho. It is wonderful as a warm layer over another lighter jacket. It’s perfect for sitting around a campfire also. It comes in yellow, and a nice blue color with OD green to be coming soon.  Now that I have this, I do not carry my old poncho liner in my get home bag anymore. I still keep my poncho liner in my camping gear, as it is an excellent camping and hunting companion.

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Prepping After 60

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Sundee Z. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


Ever wonder how you will live if the SHTF? Ever try to answer all the questions that you ask yourself about how you will survive as a single, senior woman living alone with no family, no spouse, no other support other than yourself? I ask myself everyday as I grow older and a little weaker in body and strength. I used to be able to lift fifty pounds of feed or move a bale of hay easily but now it gets to be a real trial. But, since I am alone, I have to do it anyway I can and I usually do. It is the same in prepping for just myself, my livestock, and the homestead.

I live on seven and a half acres in a rural southern California area which is like a mountain/high desert mix when it comes to weather and vegetation. My well is a good one and does the job of watering the livestock which consists of chickens, turkeys, goats, sheep, a llama, horses and assorted dogs and cats. So, I have a good start on being self-sufficient. I decided to not bug out but to bug in if SHTF ever happens. So, I have devoted my time and meager income to this place.

When you are older and alone there are a lot of things that go thru your mind when the subject of prepping comes up. A lot of the questions such as what happens if I can’t get to town, how will I get my medications, what happens if the grid goes down, how do I function as an older woman alone in a non-functioning world, etc., etc., etc. Yes, there are hundreds of questions and sometimes the answers are easy and sometimes they elude us. Being older and alone does pose many unique problems for the one facing this uncertain world. When faced with these problems, I decided to sit down and access my situation and made a lot of decisions and lists. The first one was to bug out or not. Being that I have some disabilities such as arthritis and a bad back, there is no way I could walk out of here or ride my horse great distances to get to…Where? I don’t have a bug out place and if I did I would never make it there alive. I found that most of what I needed to survive was right here in my home.

womanfarming

I used to be able to lift fifty pounds of feed or move a bale of hay easily but now it gets to be a real trial. But, since I am alone, I have to do it anyway I can and I usually do.

So, I took inventory and started my first list of what I had in the way of survival gear, food, water, clothing, medications, tools, and a second list of what I needed to get. If I did bug out, I could not begin to carry what I would need to travel to an unknown destination. I would be a moving target for those who would like to take what I had. And, what would happen to all my animals? I have a pretty good start on being self-sufficient here with chickens and turkeys for meat and eggs, dairy goats for milk, butter, cheese and, a horse for transportation, a llama for packing, sheep for meat, wool and milk and in the spring I will be starting to raise rabbits, one or two cows for meat and milk and guineas for an alarm system. I have all I need here. Why leave it? I am comfortable here and feel a modicum of safety and I know some of the people and the area. That is a big thing to consider in deciding whether to stay or go and how you will get there. It is not very safe for older women to go out alone now so just think of how it will be if things get rough?

I made a third list of things I needed in the way of tools for survival, building supplies and weapons for protection. I bought a few power tools and two small gas-powered generators to run them and a little chest freezer. I bought that so I can freeze meats, cheese and butter and make gallon sized ice cubes to use in the antique ice box that was used by the previous owner for a liquor cabinet. I have tried it out and it works like a dream. I have also made a list of things I want to learn to do and can now scratch off such as learning how to can with a pressure canner, use a chainsaw for cutting firewood, and I turned my front porch into a greenhouse so I will have tomatoes and lettuce in the winter. I had to learn how to butcher the chickens and will have to learn how to do the cute fuzzy rabbits. But, if it means I will eat then so be it. We all have to do things that are distasteful but will do them to survive. I do believe that the older generation is better at getting it done than the younger and we don’t need a cell phone for that.

As for protection? I believe that in the future people will revert to old-time weapons for protection such as bows and arrows and spears and such. If the grid goes down there are only going to be so many bullets and no one to keep production up and not everyone is adept at reloading. So, my weapons of choice is the long bow, a cross-bow, and several pistol bows. I practiced a lot to become proficient in archery and can hit what I aim at. Even being 65 I can pull 40 lbs. And, it is a silent weapon. Pretty good for an old lady! But, I also have shotguns and pellet rifles. I learned almost all that when I turned 60. I made me a practice range on my place between the silage corn I planted and the wheat where I could and still do shoot regularly.

texasfarm

I have also made a list of things I want to learn to do and can now scratch off such as learning how to can with a pressure canner, use a chainsaw for cutting firewood, and I turned my front porch into a greenhouse so I will have tomatoes and lettuce in the winter.

I believe that if there is a will there is a way. Just because you are older and maybe not so strong physically does not mean you just lay down and die. I think that because I am older and alone it drives me to want to survive anything that is thrown at me. The instincts to survive are there and all you have to do is use your head, do the research, organize, learn, learn, learn, …and maybe, join a self-sufficiency /prepper group for moral support. When I needed gutters put up on the eaves of the house to catch rain water for the livestock, I looked on the internet for DIY instructions and got it done. When I needed raised garden beds for my gardening, I designed one and got it built. Now I have many of them. It wasn’t too hard but still there are things I wish I had help with but with a little ingenuity I usually get it done.

After my dad died, I had to decide where to move my 84-year-old mother and myself. I have always wanted to move back to the country and live out my life in a rural setting, so that is where I landed. That was four years ago and since then the outside world has grown more violent, unpredictable, and totally dangerous with rumors of war, terrorists and possible financial collapse and EMPs. I have not been able to ignore it any longer. Something big is going to happen and soon. I feel it in my bones and not being prepared made me start making lists, reading about emergency preparations and being more aware of what has been going on around me. Then my mother was diagnosed with third stage dementia and since early this last year has had to make the transfer from here to a nursing home. I found myself turning 65, needing back surgery and losing income from taking care of my mom. I kept making lists of foods, household goods, clothes, weapons for self-defense, first aid and medical stuff, tools, livestock, and a lot of other things including what I already knew and what I wanted to learn about. I read, searched the internet, read blogs and always ask questions. As time has passed I felt overwhelmed with the stuff I needed to get done and for the first time in a while felt completely alone. It took a good talking to myself to set me right on the prepper path and now I find myself making great strides in becoming totally self-sufficient and ready for anything. And, I don’t feel my age is a hurdle anymore but actually has been a blessing.

I know that living in the country is very different from living in the city. I have lived in both and when the time comes and the grid goes down, preparing oneself with food, water, and the tools you need to have to survive are almost the same. You still need warmth, a roof over your head, a way to cook, and protection. You still need to be ready to hunker down where you are and have survival items unique to your circumstances. I know that it can be a bit overwhelming and lonely when having to make decisions concerning your safety and comfort especially when you are by yourself. But, if you have studied, learned and listened to the rumblings you will be prepared and will survive. After all, you have made it this far so you can be called a senior citizen.

womanshotgun

Something big is going to happen and soon. I feel it in my bones and not being prepared made me start making lists, reading about emergency preparations and being more aware of what has been going on around me.

Not everything in prepping for one is dreary. One thing I realized while making my shopping list the other day for my food storage was that it contained foods I really liked and I got to pick and choose what to purchase. No one else had a say in what I bought. That was a bonus since I lean towards comfort foods and not gourmet stuff. The pros definitely outweighed the cons like not having to share my favorite candy bar with anyone. Do take an inventory of all the items you have now and build on that. Don’t forget to prep for you pets and do splurge on some good books, puzzles and crafts supplies to keep busy if you ever have any free time. Make sure to store up batteries so you can play your cd player and listen to music. It is a treat for yourself after a long day of working to keep yourself alive. This can be true today before the SHTF. And, don’t feel sorry for yourself for being older and alone. I don’t believe Karma gives us more than we can handle and hard work and challenge build character even in seniors.

As for being a senior, you should be able to draw on that vast supply of experience on keeping yourself healthy, active, sharp and for learning new things. Just remember, it is not how old you are or how infirm you might be, don’t think you cannot do it. You can if you believe you can. You will find a way. Even not having a lot of funds for purchasing items for your survival shouldn’t deter you. Get creative and go to garage sales, second-hand shops, Good Will and Salvation Army. I shop a lot at the dollar store and have saved tons of money on paper goods, canned goods and other household items. Personal items are a good buy there as well.

I found out a long time ago, when my kids grew up and all moved away, and I divorced my husband that you only have yourself to rely on. No one is going to look out for you and it will be really true when the SHTF comes around. I found out there were things I didn’t think I could do but found out that I can. Being alone lets one really get to know yourself. Being older doesn’t mean that your world has come to an end. I believe I have every right to survive as the next person. Maybe more. That I have worked harder, learned more, done more and have earned the right to live with my own two hands by being more creative, smart, knowledgeable and resilient than the younger generation who can’t get the cell phone out of their face. Sit back at the end of the day and think of all you’ve accomplished all by yourself and be proud of it.

So, let’s get busy and quit thinking about how old we are and how much those joints hurt and start getting ready for that uncertain future and let’s survive. After all, we’ve lived this long, I’m game for twenty more years…are you?

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Pocket Illumination: Shedding Light on EDC Flashlights

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Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Dan K. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


I work in a retail store’s warehouse. As anyone familiar with logistics work knows it’s basically just a big windowless box, and the lights are a long way off the ground, with lots of areas of shadow. One of my jobs is to drive order pickers down the rows and raise the platforms up around 40 feet in the air to gather orders off the shelves. Over the summer, I was all the way up at the top rack with my order picker, when I heard an explosion outside the building and the lights went black. The normally gloomy area was now completely dark; I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. A lot of people told me afterward that if they’d been in my position they would have panicked. I didn’t, however, because I had something on me that I always carry, no matter what: a flashlight.

What had ended up happening was that lightning had struck a transformer across the field, flash-vaporizing the oil inside and cutting power to our whole building. The sad thing was, we only had a couple of flashlights and over forty people were on duty in the store at the time. Luckily I had two on my person and another three in my van, all of them with extra batteries. My coworkers laughed, but I was able to help locate confused customers and start restoring order.

The point of that anecdote was to provide a case study of a very mundane event—a power loss due to electrical storm—that my prepared mindset enabled me to react to in an efficient and helpful way. I got laughed at, sure, for having so many flashlights, but I had more people come up and thank me for being able to lend a hand.

Flashlights are often overlooked as a part of a prepper’s Every Day Carry, especially for beginners. They’re not sexy, like guns and knives and monkey fists. They’re often considered bulky, awkward to use, and unnecessary. But as my story goes to show—and I have numerous others from various jobs and situations—they are far from unnecessary. In fact, flashlights are one of the most useful pieces of prepper gear you can carry on you at all times. You’re far more likely to whip out your flashlight than your gun or even your knife (and I say this as someone who always carries at least two knives and owns numerous firearms) in day-to-day interactions.

So, with all that by way of introduction, what are some good characteristics of an EDC flashlight that will serve well both pre- and post-event? Let’s look at a quick overview.

Characteristics of a Good Every Day Carry Flashlight:

EDC flashlights have to do a few basic things: They have to be easy to carry, take readily available batteries, be lightweight, streamlined, easy to operate, and provide adequate illumination. Let’s break these categories down a bit.

The best flashlight is one you have on you at all times.

The best flashlight is one you have on you at all times.

An EDC light that’s easy to carry is one that you are going to have no second thoughts about throwing in your pocket or purse. It’s kind of like the “Always Gun” concept for flashlights. For those of you unfamiliar with the Always Gun concept, it means that even if you have a bigger, more powerful gun for specific situations you still need a gun that you will always carry, meaning it’s small, light, and easy enough to use that you won’t leave it home. With a gun this could mean you carry your Ruger Redhawk when walking in bear country, but a Ruger LCR when you’re at work in the city. Applying this to flashlights, this is the difference between a big MagLite 4 D-Cell flashlight that you keep by your bed and don’t take anywhere, and the little MiniMag penlight you keep on your keychain.

Readily available batteries should be self-explanatory but for a surprising number of people it’s not. The current rage in prepper products is for all things Tacti-Cool. These items have the appearance of being for high-speed operators, but are in reality bulky hindrances designed for mall ninjas. Case in point: more and more modern flashlights come with rechargeable batteries. I’m not against rechargeable batteries per se, but I do think they make for a bad EDC choice. Many of these batteries require USB charging cables, meaning they need to charge off of a computer or mobile power pack. This may be fine for a flashlight you keep in a truck or charging on the nightstand, but it’s not convenient to carry when prepping for life’s little (or not so little) emergencies. If you don’t carry any spare batteries on you (which you should, since a single change of batteries for a good EDC light adds negligible pocket mass and weight) or if your batteries have expired or gone bad, having very common batteries allows you to either swap supplied with someone else who is similarly prepared (this is why my sister and I carry flashlights that take the same batteries, since we work together), or allows you to buy them quickly from almost any retail or convenience outlet. It also allows you to help others if their light has gone out. Recently I tried to help a man whose flashlight was on the blink, but couldn’t because his light was highly specialized and only took one specific kind of battery I not only didn’t have but had never heard of.

Goldenguy 5 Pack Mini Cree Q5 LED Flashlight Torch 7w 350lm Adjustable Focus Zoomable Light - Great stocking stuffer.

Goldenguy 5 Pack Mini Cree Q5 LED Flashlight Torch 7w 350lm Adjustable Focus Zoomable Light – Great stocking stuffer.

A side point to keep in mind, where practicable, is to keep as much commonality between the power sources for your EDC flashlight and any lights on your EDC handgun or go-to home defense long gun. This is not a hard and fast rule, and often not applicable, but it will streamline supplies if it is possible. My EDC flashlights and the lights I’ve attached to my Ruger 10/22 and Mossberg 500 20 gauge shotgun (I live in town so need lower-powered firearms for home defense) all take the same batteries, meaning I can supply them all from the same stockpile.

Weight is a major consideration for an EDC flashlight. Most of us can’t go around in military web gear or with assault packs on our backs. We need something that we can easily fit into a pants pocket or a purse, and that isn’t going to slow us up, pull our pants down, or give us a sore shoulder. I have never weighed any of my EDC lights to get an exact measurement, but I know that they all come in at only a few ounces, even with batteries.

Another consideration is a streamlined design. Lots of lights look cool and techno, or tactical, or retro, or whatever floats your boat. But when selecting an EDC light, you have to keep in mind what kind of clothing you’re most likely going to be wearing and what kinds of activities you will most likely be doing while carrying the light. Believe it or not, what kinds of work you’ll be doing actually has a lot to do with what kind of light you select. That’s why I have a modest array of lights I can choose from depending on what I’m going to be doing. If I’m going to be mostly sitting at a desk or riding in a car, then I don’t need to worry much about a light that’s easy to turn on in my pocket because I won’t be moving my leg much. On the other hand, if I’m going to be out in the woods, at work, or on the range, where I’m going to be doing a lot of moving, squatting, or bending, I’ll carry a different type of light that isn’t so easy to turn on by mistake. There’s nothing worse in the world of flashlights than to pull your light out of your pocket and not have it shine because you’ve accidentally worn down the battery. So pick something that will fit within your lifestyle and the kinds of clothing you wear. If you wear cargo pants you’ll be able to get away with one design, skinny jeans or dress pants will require a different approach.

flashlights

One important feature when thinking about design is the activation method. There are two main activation types on flashlights: Twist and push. Twist-type flashlights require you to twist either the head or the end cap to get it to turn on. I don’t personally like them because they’re almost impossible to use one-handed, but their advantage is that they seldom if ever turn on in your pocket.

Push flashlights can be further subdivided into standard push lights—where the button is up near the head of the light—and tactical, where the button is on the end cap or somewhere near it. Obviously this is a generalization, there are tactical lights with the push button near the head, and non-tactical lights with end cap activator. But for the sake of discussion this broad classification will work. By and large I recommend a tactical-style light with a somewhat recessed end cap button, as this is the hardest to accidentally activate. Standard types are the easiest to burn out through careless pocket activation, but there are some with good stiff buttons that are more resistant to this.

Easy to operate is fairly straightforward: get a light that fits your needs and that you can easily grab and turn on without thinking or looking. Odds are that you’ll be in the dark when you need it, and fumbling for your light’s on/off switch is the last thing you want to be doing, as you’re more likely to drop it than anything else.

One other thing to keep in mind when considering ease of operation is the bulb type. I am a fan of LEDs because they never get hot, do not need to be changed, and will not break so easily if dropped. However, if you have very sensitive eyes and will need to be using the light in close proximity to your face, such as in very tight quarters or inside an engine or mechanical assemblies, you may want to consider a standard incandescent flashlight. While they do not last as long and do not put out nearly as much light, they are gentler on the eyes.

Personally, I like a high-lumen light that provides a very bright beam over a short, wide space.

Lastly, I want to touch on adequate illumination. This is a tricky subject because it’s going to be different for everyone. The illumination a flashlight offers is measured in lumens. Without going into the physics definition of what exactly a lumen is, this unit is used to measure and compare the brightness of a flashlight’s beam. A higher number of lumens will be a brighter beam, and most likely reach farther. However the latter is not assured, as other factors including the lens material of the flashlight, mirrors inside the light head, the condition of the lens, and a few others dictate exactly how far a beam will reach.

Personally, I like a high-lumen light that provides a very bright beam over a short, wide space. This is because I’m usually using the light in cramped quarters or indoors, so I don’t need it to illuminate very far. If I were going to be spending a lot of time in the dark outdoors I’d consider something with a longer beam. Take into consideration how much light your eyes need to function. My sister carries a relatively weak flashlight because she has very strong eyes and can practically see in the dark anyway. I, on the other hand, have very weak eyes and need a lot of light to do anything, so I carry a much brighter light most of the time. Another criteria is the type of beam you want. Depending on what you think you’re going to need the light for, you may want a very tight, long-range beam, a broad, well-defined inspection beam, a diffuse beam from the many smaller lamps of a pocket work light, an adjustable-focus beam, or yet another variety. Choose your light based on your normal environment and the kinds of things you expect could go wrong there. I personally work indoors and tend to be in tighter quarters, so I want a wider, short-range beam to illuminate more of my immediate surroundings and not cast so many shadows.

Earlier I mentioned flashlights getting the cold shoulder in favor of guns and knives and other defensive gadgets. While these tools are more effective in a truly deadly confrontation, I would be negligent if I didn’t address the defensive use of the flashlight before I close. A bright, easy-to-use flashlight ready on your person can be used to shine in a nighttime attacker’s eyes, blinding him and either giving you time to escape or draw a more effective weapon. Just one more reason to carry some form of pocket torch.

A flashlight may seem unnecessary in our modern world of 24/7 ceiling lights and power at the flick of a switch. But even without a major disaster it’s still possible to be left in the dark for minutes, hours, or even days. For the purpose of brevity I didn’t go into all the further points to consider when choosing a flashlight for your home or vehicle, but hopefully this short piece helped provide some items for consideration next time you’re looking over your EDC load.

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Safe, Effective Concealed Carry Policies in the Workplace

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post was contributed by Steve P. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


The right to bear arms in America remains strong. But it behooves individual gun owners and employers to keep up with the ongoing legal and political caveats in their respective areas. Company policies and state and federal laws are all bound to clash when enacting concealed carry rules for employees. There is also the matter of providing peace of mind to workers who do not carry firearms. The following guidelines will help shape concealed carry rules for your individual company.

Law vs. Policy

Maria Ivette Ros was fired from her job as a Wells Fargo branch manager in Oldster, Florida, in 2014 for carrying a concealed weapon into the bank. The company has a strict policy against employees carrying firearms onto the premises, with the exception of security personnel. Ros filed a lawsuit in state court claiming her Constitutional rights were violated. Wells Fargo argued it is not a government entity, but a private company that can make its own rules pertaining to firearms. It’s unclear how the case was adjudicated, as court records indicate it was dismissed with prejudice in August of 2014.

The Ros case would have provided a blueprint for employers in right-to-work states like Florida that also strongly adhere to Second Amendment precedent. Know the laws of your state before writing concealed carry policies. Several states have adopted “parking lot laws” that allow employees to carry concealed weapons in their vehicles while parked on company property. States like Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Texas either have no laws addressing the issue or specifically prohibit employers from enforcing anti-concealed carry policies.

Most state laws pertaining to workplace concealed carry are fairly straightforward. But in states like Kansas, Kentucky, and Wisconsin where the laws aren’t as clear, it’s best to consult a Constitutional attorney before writing your policies.

ConcealedCarry

Safety First

The General Duty Clause contained in Sec. 5 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires all employers to provide “a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.” Education and accountability are key for compliance to OSHA’s broad safety rules.

Inform all employees of your intent to enact concealed carry policies. Clearly, state in a memo why you’re enacting the policy and how concerned employees can address said issues. One oft-repeated concern among pro-gun control advocates is the “assault rifle” fallacy. A great way to educate and bridge those gaps is showing them how false that label is.

Visit an online gun library and point out, for example, a Ruger Mini 14 versus an AR-15. Emphasize that both are semi-automatic, use .223 ammo and have 30-round magazines. The only difference between the two is that the previous looks like a BB gun, while the latter looks much more menacing. Conveying this type of knowledge about firearms will also put skeptical minds more at ease.

ConcealedCarry

Follow Examples

An aviation insurance firm in Georgia enacted a company policy earlier this year that requires all employees to obtain a concealed carry permit. Once they obtain the permit, the company owners give them Smith and Wesson handguns just as other employers provide computers, office supplies, and coffee in the break room, local news station WSB-TV reported. The company owner said the policy was enacted as a result of a crime surge in the metro Atlanta area. Georgia law grants civil and criminal immunity to employers who comply with guns-at-work laws, which of course is more reason to consult an attorney beforehand.

Belly bands make a good concealed holster for some people.

Belly bands make a good concealed holster for some people.

Speak with those who already have policies in place. There’s no substitute for real-life experience when it comes to drafting and enforcing workplace gun policies. No database or easily accessible list of employers with current concealed carry policies exists, but rifle clubs and shooting ranges are the best places to get word-of-mouth information like this.

More General Guidelines

Laws and safety supersede everything else. When drafting your policies, there are some basic elements that should be included:

  • Proper channels for employees to report threats, intimidation or harassment should be clear, confidential and easily accessible.
  • Potential disciplinary action for employees who violate any part of the policy should also be included.
  • Security personnel or other measures that limit access to your parking lot should be considered for companies that allow concealed carry in cars only.
  • Human resources personnel are encouraged to involve law enforcement when terminating employees with known tendencies of violence.

An armed workforce deters criminals from interfering with your day-to-day business, but doing it the right way ensures you stay out of the courtroom and keep your employees happy at the same time.

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Survival Scenario: Any Car Is Better Than No Car

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Silent Earth. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


So long as its reliable

Any car is better than no car, Yup not really applicable to some city dwelling preppers but for the rest of us they are pretty damn essential. Yes we would all love a purposely designed or modified vehicle that can carry us across continents taking us, our families and all we need to survive a very long road trip. BUT in the real world we are far more likely to own and drive something far more mundane.

For ordinary people going about their normal every day lives, a breakdown of the family vehicle can be annoying, very inconvenient and often EXPENSIVE ( that’s why preventative maintenance is essential) BUT it’s rarely dangerous or fatal.

BUT, regardless of if you drive a fully tricked Ford F250 or a 15-year-old Ford Fiesta, what is vital is that you have a RELIABLE vehicle regardless of how modest or basic it is. If you arrive late, tired, stressed and hungry at your home or BOL in a 1 liter micro car AT LEAST YOU ARRIVED and are not dying in an expensive metallic paint covered steel coffin miles from anywhere with a snapped cam belt. Be the vehicle 15 years old or new, fully tricked out or factory standard, loaded with survival gear or just sensible extras, it’s just money down the drain and possibly fatal for preppers if the vehicle fails when most needed (In the UK we call it Sods Law)

We have two cars, both Suzuki’s the other Sunday BOTH were off the road, one with a fractured exhaust and the other with a terminally flat battery. This happened on a Sunday when bus services around here are sparse at best but in fact do not run at all to where our son was (at his girlfriends place WAY up the Dales). He ended up having to stay there overnight and missing an important University seminar.

To suddenly find yourself basically completely stuck with no resources available to get to your loved ones is a bloody nightmare at best. But its compounded by the thought that many people in our positions also live in hamlets with no usable resources such as shops, post offices, garages, service stations, bus or taxis and in some cases people can be up to 90 minutes away from such services (longer in winter). Practical mobility must be a cornerstone of the average prepper, perhaps not so much for a self-employed homesteader but the ordinary family guy turned prepper a degree of mobility is essential.

To suddenly find yourself basically completely stuck with no resources available to get to your loved ones is a bloody nightmare at best.

Vehicle Maintenance is Key

It is essential we stay on top of our vehicles maintenance both scheduled such as servicing, but also PREVENTATIVE maintenance IE giving your car a good check over frequently with the Mk 1 Human eyeball. WHAT you drive is irrelevant, how RELIABLE the car is what is paramount.

Look at the tires for unusual wear, blisters, ruptured side walls, tire pressures etc, Ensure they always have plenty of usable tread. Ensure the wheel nuts are not only correctly tightened BUT that they are not so tight that you cannot unfasten them if you need to change a wheel. Old tires especially cheap tires can get brittle and hard, they may look like they are good for another 20,000 miles but they are so hardened they offer almost ZERO traction.

Keep an eye on bits like the exhaust and its hangers, if it’s getting badly rusted get it replaced (consider a stainless steel one if you plan on keeping the car) .

Batteries can AND DO die suddenly ( especially in winter) its worth ensuring your tame mechanic is encouraged to check its charge rate, fluid levels, charge voltage ( 14.4 to 14.7 = good), Make sure the battery clamps and cables are secure and not oxidized (esp the Negative to Earth lead and its bolts).

Drive / Fan/ Cam and PS belts need to be checked frequently for cracks, fraying and adjustment.

Brakes, a GOOD mechanic will clean the brake, copper slip the bits that need to be slippy and ensure the pads / shoes that are needed to stop you have plenty of depth, are not glazed and are wearing evenly.

It is essential we stay on top of our vehicles maintenance both scheduled such as servicing, but also PREVENTATIVE maintenance.

Do not wait until the vehicle needs servicing BEFORE you check your Oil, Coolant, Screen wash, ATF, Brake Fluid etc ideally you should be checking them no more than every two weeks, more frequently if you do high miles or on dangerous roads.

Check and clean your head and stop / tail light and indicator lights, NOTE modern H4 and other Halogen headlamp bulbs actually decay quite badly in under two years, your bulbs can lose 30 % of their brightness so it’s definitely worth changing your HL bulbs for good quality after market bulbs every two years.

If you fit extra lights such as driving, hunting or fog lights ensure the alternator is capable of handling the extra load. Many modern car manufacturers fit alternators that are only just capable of operating the OE equipment.

Plastic headlight lenses can become badly scratched and opaque over time you can buy lens re-polishing kits off E Bay and Amazon.

Wiper blades are essential in bad weather rain and sleet and snow, did you know your screen wash actually dries out your wiper blades which in turn degrades their performance, so change em annually if you can afford to.

Don’t forget to rotate your spare fuel in the Jerry can if carried, and to add fuel preserver to the replacement refill.

Keeping your engine bay clean can also reduce the risk of breakdowns, an oily grimy engine is a perfect environment for creating electrical shorts and for trapping unwanted moisture, keep your engine bay clean, or get it valeted and not only will you reduce the number of faults you may get, but it makes working on your car more bearable.

Everyone should carry tools, jack, flashlights, light sticks, tire pump, jump leads, bulbs, fuses, relays, emergency rations, water, warm clothes, walking shoes etc, even a blanket or sleeping bag in bad weather, Hand cleaner / sanitizer and some clean clothes are also handy additions. Put as much love and care into maintaining your vehicle as you would in caring for yourself and it will reward you by doing what you ask it to do when TSHTF.

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