Liberty I – Stealth Survival Weapon

Click here to view the original post.

Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

When it comes to being prepared for disasters great or small, readers of this blog know I like to have different options. That isn’t to say that I roll out of my house with 3 different kinds of each piece of gear on me and 5 others in the pack in the trunk, but I do have more than one way to skin a cat so to speak. For food, I have different types of food stored and methods of producing my own food. For water, I have stored water plus many different filtration options and methods to obtain more. When it comes to security, I have plenty of options there as well.

Most of the articles I have written on the Prepper Journal look at security from the perspective of defense as in when you have bad things happening, bad people usually try to take advantage of the situation. My recommendation for most scenarios like this is to have firearms to defend yourself. They also have the added advantage of being able to be used to acquire food if you are lucky enough, but they aren’t without their disadvantages too.

Weapons need ammo, they need regular maintenance and cleaning and they aren’t quiet. Yes, you can mitigate these points to varying degrees by stockpiling supplies but even if you have a warehouse full of weapons and supplies that doesn’t guaranty this approach will work for you. Another huge issue is that for a lot of people, owning a firearm just isn’t realistic or possible due to where they live or personal issues. What is the option for security in that type of situation?

Alternative Survival Weapon

“My intent was to create a very small, lightweight hunting package,” says Howard Winther, the bow’s designer and manufacturer. “I wanted a bow that I could hook onto my backpack and not even feel it as I hiked along. I was looking for a bow that would fit into the corner of my car truck and carry anywhere.”

“My intent was to create a very small, lightweight hunting package,” says Howard Winther, the bow’s designer and manufacturer. “I wanted a bow that I could hook onto my backpack and not even feel it as I hiked along. I was looking for a bow that would fit into the corner of my car truck and carry anywhere.”

You can always go caveman and build your own homemade weapon in a pinch or you could embrace your inner Katniss Everdeen and look toward archery. I haven’t shot a bow since I was a little kid but when Howard Winther of Liberty Archery reached out to me to try out his Liberty I bow I was very intrigued.

I have long admired the skill archers have of taking down large game with accuracy and stealth, but I never had the time to take up the hobby. I sure would have appreciated getting out to the woods during deer season much sooner, but I was content to wait for black powder or rifle season. Bows are very common in hunting circles, but would they also make a good prepper option for a survival weapon?

The Liberty I Bow is unique in a few ways that make it worth a second look.

  • Compact – The bow itself is only 20.5″ axle to-axle* which makes it almost half the height of many traditional compound bows. Also makes this easier to hide.
  • Light – 2.3 pounds will reduce fatigue and makes this friendlier to smaller framed people.
  • Fast – 338 feet per second with Liberty Arrows.
  • Powerful – The Liberty 1 is a proven winner at taking down larger game than you will ever see running around North America, unless the zoos empty out.

Joerg from the Slingshot channel gave this bow a nice review below with some velocity measuring equipment I don’t have.

How does the Liberty I apply to Preppers?

“My intent was to create a very small, lightweight hunting package,” says Howard Winther, the bow’s designer and manufacturer. “I wanted a bow that I could hook onto my backpack and not even feel it as I hiked along. I was looking for a bow that would fit into the corner of my car truck and carry anywhere.”

There are likely some of you out there saying, of course! Who wouldn’t think of a bow as a survival weapon, I mean people for eons have been using them. I do get that, but I wonder if they aren’t second down on the list behind a firearm in the eyes of most preppers. Getting back to my first point about having options – a bow can be a tremendous prepper weapon in a few different ways:

Stealth – There isn’t a market for archery silencers is there? Well, technically there are string silencers but even the noisiest bow isn’t going to be heard more than 25 feet away. Say you decide that you are bugging out to the woods if disaster strikes. I maintain that you won’t be alone and this fact will mean that hunting for the food you need to protect your family is going to be more difficult. Wouldn’t you rather take down a deer with a quiet bow as opposed to any rifle you have?

Peep Site on the Liberty I

Peep Site on the Liberty I

Reloading/Reusability – Yes, you can make your own arrows too just like you can make your own bullets. Granted, there are different supplies and skill sets needed but it is just as viable a method as any. If that approach doesn’t work for you, there is always the possibility of making your own arrows from scratch. Additionally, if you don’t break an arrow, they can be reused again and again.

Legal Issues – Do you need a background check to purchase a bow? Nope! Do they register you in a database when you do purchase a bow? Nope!

Concealabilty – This one might be a stretch but with the Liberty 1’s compact size you will have more options with where to conceal this weapon should you need to keep it away from anyone’s attention. It’s so light you can throw it up in a drop ceiling tile and diminutive enough to hide behind your back if you don’t have the quiver attached. Additionally, it’s smaller size will make it easier to shoot from the ground. You can easily shoot this while sitting down because the bow’s short overall height won’t get in the way.

Shooting the Liberty 1

People seem to think you can pick up any weapon and become proficient in its accurate use in minutes. I know I have a lot of practice yet before I will head out into the woods and try to bring home dinner but the bow feels great in my hands. The pull is steady but when you reach the end, the pressure releases almost completely and maintaining a steady hold is simple and effortless.

No. A bag of pine shavings is not a suitable backstop for an arrow. Fortunately, I had a big tree behind it.

No. A bag of pine shavings is not a suitable backstop for an arrow. Fortunately, I had a big tree behind it.

I tried to save a buck by not getting a proper target but quickly learned that a bag of chicken bedding does not stop an arrow traveling over 300 feet per second. Lesson learned and I still need much more practice, practice, practice.

When I received my Liberty I, Howard insisted we talk on the phone so he could go over a few things with me and answer any questions I had. He was incredibly patient and helpful and I understand he does this for each customer he has. If you are looking for options, I suggest looking at the Liberty I from Liberty Archery.

 

 

 

The post Liberty I – Stealth Survival Weapon appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Liberty I – Stealth Survival Weapon

Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

When it comes to being prepared for disasters great or small, readers of this blog know I like to have different options. That isn’t to say that I roll out of my house with 3 different kinds of each piece of gear on me and 5 others in the pack in the trunk, but I do have more than one way to skin a cat so to speak. For food, I have different types of food stored and methods of producing my own food. For water, I have stored water plus many different filtration options and methods to obtain more. When it comes to security, I have plenty of options there as well.

Most of the articles I have written on the Prepper Journal look at security from the perspective of defense as in when you have bad things happening, bad people usually try to take advantage of the situation. My recommendation for most scenarios like this is to have firearms to defend yourself. They also have the added advantage of being able to be used to acquire food if you are lucky enough, but they aren’t without their disadvantages too.

Weapons need ammo, they need regular maintenance and cleaning and they aren’t quiet. Yes, you can mitigate these points to varying degrees by stockpiling supplies but even if you have a warehouse full of weapons and supplies that doesn’t guaranty this approach will work for you. Another huge issue is that for a lot of people, owning a firearm just isn’t realistic or possible due to where they live or personal issues. What is the option for security in that type of situation?

Alternative Survival Weapon

“My intent was to create a very small, lightweight hunting package,” says Howard Winther, the bow’s designer and manufacturer. “I wanted a bow that I could hook onto my backpack and not even feel it as I hiked along. I was looking for a bow that would fit into the corner of my car truck and carry anywhere.”

“My intent was to create a very small, lightweight hunting package,” says Howard Winther, the bow’s designer and manufacturer. “I wanted a bow that I could hook onto my backpack and not even feel it as I hiked along. I was looking for a bow that would fit into the corner of my car truck and carry anywhere.”

You can always go caveman and build your own homemade weapon in a pinch or you could embrace your inner Katniss Everdeen and look toward archery. I haven’t shot a bow since I was a little kid but when Howard Winther of Liberty Archery reached out to me to try out his Liberty I bow I was very intrigued.

I have long admired the skill archers have of taking down large game with accuracy and stealth, but I never had the time to take up the hobby. I sure would have appreciated getting out to the woods during deer season much sooner, but I was content to wait for black powder or rifle season. Bows are very common in hunting circles, but would they also make a good prepper option for a survival weapon?

The Liberty I Bow is unique in a few ways that make it worth a second look.

  • Compact – The bow itself is only 20.5″ axle to-axle* which makes it almost half the height of many traditional compound bows. Also makes this easier to hide.
  • Light – 2.3 pounds will reduce fatigue and makes this friendlier to smaller framed people.
  • Fast – 338 feet per second with Liberty Arrows.
  • Powerful – The Liberty 1 is a proven winner at taking down larger game than you will ever see running around North America, unless the zoos empty out.

Joerg from the Slingshot channel gave this bow a nice review below with some velocity measuring equipment I don’t have.

How does the Liberty I apply to Preppers?

“My intent was to create a very small, lightweight hunting package,” says Howard Winther, the bow’s designer and manufacturer. “I wanted a bow that I could hook onto my backpack and not even feel it as I hiked along. I was looking for a bow that would fit into the corner of my car truck and carry anywhere.”

There are likely some of you out there saying, of course! Who wouldn’t think of a bow as a survival weapon, I mean people for eons have been using them. I do get that, but I wonder if they aren’t second down on the list behind a firearm in the eyes of most preppers. Getting back to my first point about having options – a bow can be a tremendous prepper weapon in a few different ways:

Stealth – There isn’t a market for archery silencers is there? Well, technically there are string silencers but even the noisiest bow isn’t going to be heard more than 25 feet away. Say you decide that you are bugging out to the woods if disaster strikes. I maintain that you won’t be alone and this fact will mean that hunting for the food you need to protect your family is going to be more difficult. Wouldn’t you rather take down a deer with a quiet bow as opposed to any rifle you have?

Peep Site on the Liberty I

Peep Site on the Liberty I

Reloading/Reusability – Yes, you can make your own arrows too just like you can make your own bullets. Granted, there are different supplies and skill sets needed but it is just as viable a method as any. If that approach doesn’t work for you, there is always the possibility of making your own arrows from scratch. Additionally, if you don’t break an arrow, they can be reused again and again.

Legal Issues – Do you need a background check to purchase a bow? Nope! Do they register you in a database when you do purchase a bow? Nope!

Concealabilty – This one might be a stretch but with the Liberty 1’s compact size you will have more options with where to conceal this weapon should you need to keep it away from anyone’s attention. It’s so light you can throw it up in a drop ceiling tile and diminutive enough to hide behind your back if you don’t have the quiver attached. Additionally, it’s smaller size will make it easier to shoot from the ground. You can easily shoot this while sitting down because the bow’s short overall height won’t get in the way.

Shooting the Liberty 1

People seem to think you can pick up any weapon and become proficient in its accurate use in minutes. I know I have a lot of practice yet before I will head out into the woods and try to bring home dinner but the bow feels great in my hands. The pull is steady but when you reach the end, the pressure releases almost completely and maintaining a steady hold is simple and effortless.

No. A bag of pine shavings is not a suitable backstop for an arrow. Fortunately, I had a big tree behind it.

No. A bag of pine shavings is not a suitable backstop for an arrow. Fortunately, I had a big tree behind it.

I tried to save a buck by not getting a proper target but quickly learned that a bag of chicken bedding does not stop an arrow traveling over 300 feet per second. Lesson learned and I still need much more practice, practice, practice.

When I received my Liberty I, Howard insisted we talk on the phone so he could go over a few things with me and answer any questions I had. He was incredibly patient and helpful and I understand he does this for each customer he has. If you are looking for options, I suggest looking at the Liberty I from Liberty Archery.

 

 

 

The post Liberty I – Stealth Survival Weapon appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Liberty I – Stealth Survival Weapon

Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

When it comes to being prepared for disasters great or small, readers of this blog know I like to have different options. That isn’t to say that I roll out of my house with 3 different kinds of each piece of gear on me and 5 others in the pack in the trunk, but I do have more than one way to skin a cat so to speak. For food, I have different types of food stored and methods of producing my own food. For water, I have stored water plus many different filtration options and methods to obtain more. When it comes to security, I have plenty of options there as well.

Most of the articles I have written on the Prepper Journal look at security from the perspective of defense as in when you have bad things happening, bad people usually try to take advantage of the situation. My recommendation for most scenarios like this is to have firearms to defend yourself. They also have the added advantage of being able to be used to acquire food if you are lucky enough, but they aren’t without their disadvantages too.

Weapons need ammo, they need regular maintenance and cleaning and they aren’t quiet. Yes, you can mitigate these points to varying degrees by stockpiling supplies but even if you have a warehouse full of weapons and supplies that doesn’t guaranty this approach will work for you. Another huge issue is that for a lot of people, owning a firearm just isn’t realistic or possible due to where they live or personal issues. What is the option for security in that type of situation?

Alternative Survival Weapon

“My intent was to create a very small, lightweight hunting package,” says Howard Winther, the bow’s designer and manufacturer. “I wanted a bow that I could hook onto my backpack and not even feel it as I hiked along. I was looking for a bow that would fit into the corner of my car truck and carry anywhere.”

“My intent was to create a very small, lightweight hunting package,” says Howard Winther, the bow’s designer and manufacturer. “I wanted a bow that I could hook onto my backpack and not even feel it as I hiked along. I was looking for a bow that would fit into the corner of my car truck and carry anywhere.”

You can always go caveman and build your own homemade weapon in a pinch or you could embrace your inner Katniss Everdeen and look toward archery. I haven’t shot a bow since I was a little kid but when Howard Winther of Liberty Archery reached out to me to try out his Liberty I bow I was very intrigued.

I have long admired the skill archers have of taking down large game with accuracy and stealth, but I never had the time to take up the hobby. I sure would have appreciated getting out to the woods during deer season much sooner, but I was content to wait for black powder or rifle season. Bows are very common in hunting circles, but would they also make a good prepper option for a survival weapon?

The Liberty I Bow is unique in a few ways that make it worth a second look.

  • Compact – The bow itself is only 20.5″ axle to-axle* which makes it almost half the height of many traditional compound bows. Also makes this easier to hide.
  • Light – 2.3 pounds will reduce fatigue and makes this friendlier to smaller framed people.
  • Fast – 338 feet per second with Liberty Arrows.
  • Powerful – The Liberty 1 is a proven winner at taking down larger game than you will ever see running around North America, unless the zoos empty out.

Joerg from the Slingshot channel gave this bow a nice review below with some velocity measuring equipment I don’t have.

How does the Liberty I apply to Preppers?

“My intent was to create a very small, lightweight hunting package,” says Howard Winther, the bow’s designer and manufacturer. “I wanted a bow that I could hook onto my backpack and not even feel it as I hiked along. I was looking for a bow that would fit into the corner of my car truck and carry anywhere.”

There are likely some of you out there saying, of course! Who wouldn’t think of a bow as a survival weapon, I mean people for eons have been using them. I do get that, but I wonder if they aren’t second down on the list behind a firearm in the eyes of most preppers. Getting back to my first point about having options – a bow can be a tremendous prepper weapon in a few different ways:

Stealth – There isn’t a market for archery silencers is there? Well, technically there are string silencers but even the noisiest bow isn’t going to be heard more than 25 feet away. Say you decide that you are bugging out to the woods if disaster strikes. I maintain that you won’t be alone and this fact will mean that hunting for the food you need to protect your family is going to be more difficult. Wouldn’t you rather take down a deer with a quiet bow as opposed to any rifle you have?

Peep Site on the Liberty I

Peep Site on the Liberty I

Reloading/Reusability – Yes, you can make your own arrows too just like you can make your own bullets. Granted, there are different supplies and skill sets needed but it is just as viable a method as any. If that approach doesn’t work for you, there is always the possibility of making your own arrows from scratch. Additionally, if you don’t break an arrow, they can be reused again and again.

Legal Issues – Do you need a background check to purchase a bow? Nope! Do they register you in a database when you do purchase a bow? Nope!

Concealabilty – This one might be a stretch but with the Liberty 1’s compact size you will have more options with where to conceal this weapon should you need to keep it away from anyone’s attention. It’s so light you can throw it up in a drop ceiling tile and diminutive enough to hide behind your back if you don’t have the quiver attached. Additionally, it’s smaller size will make it easier to shoot from the ground. You can easily shoot this while sitting down because the bow’s short overall height won’t get in the way.

Shooting the Liberty 1

People seem to think you can pick up any weapon and become proficient in its accurate use in minutes. I know I have a lot of practice yet before I will head out into the woods and try to bring home dinner but the bow feels great in my hands. The pull is steady but when you reach the end, the pressure releases almost completely and maintaining a steady hold is simple and effortless.

No. A bag of pine shavings is not a suitable backstop for an arrow. Fortunately, I had a big tree behind it.

No. A bag of pine shavings is not a suitable backstop for an arrow. Fortunately, I had a big tree behind it.

I tried to save a buck by not getting a proper target but quickly learned that a bag of chicken bedding does not stop an arrow traveling over 300 feet per second. Lesson learned and I still need much more practice, practice, practice.

When I received my Liberty I, Howard insisted we talk on the phone so he could go over a few things with me and answer any questions I had. He was incredibly patient and helpful and I understand he does this for each customer he has. If you are looking for options, I suggest looking at the Liberty I from Liberty Archery.

 

 

 

The post Liberty I – Stealth Survival Weapon appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

The Rise of Liberal Preppers – Welcome to the Party!

Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Ever since I first began to take an interest in prepping, it seems that someone is always trying to classify the different types of individuals who make up this lifestyle and put us into a box. Back in 2007, when I was beginning to search out websites and blogs, the concepts that caught my eye were probably more aligned with more of a militia mindset, then it became survivalists, then Doomsday Preppers started gaining ground when the NatGeo show came out and really blew up from there. Elite preppers followed the trends of multi-millionaires buying up land in foreign places and constructing fortified bunkers. The latest repackaging by means of classification is Liberal Preppers.

What are Liberal Preppers and are they any different from those who can’t stomach the thought of describing themselves as anything left of Die Hard Conservative? Is the latest attempt at branding preppers any different and if so, who are these Liberal Preppers? Do you have anything to worry about as a new crowd shows interest in what was something you thought was uniquely yours? Could some of your own friends be preppers incognito?

Today I want to discuss this whole new term and break down the similarities and differences between Liberal Preppers and everybody else who used to simply call ourselves Preppers to figure out what this means for the prepper movement at large.

Who are these so-called Liberal Preppers

Liberal Preppers have come to the whole concept of prepping the way I would assume many of you have. They became concerned with what they perceived in the world around them and realized that should their worst fears be realized, they would be in serious doo-doo without taking some precautions up front. Liberal Preppers worry about some of the same things we do like having enough food to feed ourselves or our families so they are learning about canning. They worry about the political landscape and how the current administration policies and regulations could impact them negatively. They are concerned about geopolitical unease and the threats of war. Essentially, like any prepper, they want to do what they can in order to set themselves up for success and not be a victim of their own laziness should the worst happen.

How is a Liberal Prepper any different than a ‘Regular’ Prepper?

So, reading the list of concerns above, you might be asking yourself how is a Liberal Prepper any different from me. How is the steps they are taking to get knowledge, to gain a level of preparedness different from what I have been doing for years? My take on this is that there is nothing different about the steps they are taking. Humans need the same basic things that I have harped on for years. We all need water. Everyone needs food. You will die without shelter and you will be safer with some form of security. This is a universal truth.

What is different is their motivation.

Liberal Preppers are motivated by the flipside of things that you who have been called preppers for years are usually motivated by. Liberal Preppers are concerned about the new Trump Administration where older preppers were likely concerned about the Obama administration or the threat of a Hillary presidency. It is because of this that I think the term Liberal Preppers is a misnomer. Liberal Preppers assumes that you also have Conservative Preppers. What about Independent Preppers?

Your political bent shouldn’t really define you as a prepper but the current political landscape is always a major factor when people start to worry about the future. Both Liberals and Conservatives as well as Independents, Progressives, Main Streamers, Traditionalists all could be more accurately called Political Preppers.

Political Prepper – Noun – A person who makes preparations out of fear of the current political climate or leadership.

We have lots of the same types of worries on the other side here, but we just call ourselves preppers.

What does all this mean anyway?

Prepping is a lifestyle that I think everyone should engage in to the extent that your time and resources allow. I believe every human should take steps to make themselves less reliant on systems around us that bring us water and food. I believe that we don’t need to see the scenes repeated after Katrina and Sandy of people standing around screaming for the government to come help them. I think each parent should be able to take care of their children if the gas stations close, the grocery stores are out of food and the hospitals are unreachable. To a point.

Prepping for most people is really just providing a support net to get them over the initial duration of the most common emergencies we can visualize finding ourselves in. We stock up food and water, but most of us aren’t planning to go completely off-grid for 2 years in a concrete reinforced bunker but that’s ok. Most disasters aren’t apocalypses and simply having a few weeks’ worth of food and water can mean the difference between life and death. Your politics might be driving your rationale for prepping but you are trying to achieve the same personal goals as all the rest of us.

The Prepper Journal has always tried to appeal to anyone trying to take practical steps to be more prepared to take care of their family in a short or long-term disaster. We have people who love guns, who wear MAGA hats, hold lifetime memberships to the NRA as well as vegans, pacifists and yes, Liberals. I have shared the stories of my own life of close personal friends and even family members who hold diametrically opposing positions on social and political issues but we still get along just fine. The comments section at the bottom of every article is open to anyone regardless of your personal philosophy and I would say that mix has created some very interesting and instructive conversations.

Prepping is not an exclusive party and my goal has always been to get as many people prepping as possible. I say to anyone who is new to these concepts and calls themselves a Liberal Prepper, welcome! I’m glad you are interested in taking steps to get more prepared. I hope you will join the conversation here at the Prepper Journal. I think you will find that you have more in common with your other fellow Preppers than you might even know and I think we all can learn a lot from each other.

Here are a few articles that can help you get started:

Good luck and remember that you can always ask any question in the comments of this or any article. The Prepper Journal has a diverse, intelligent and experienced audience who has always shown they are happy to provide their own advice and experience on any issue you are facing.

What are you prepping for?

The post The Rise of Liberal Preppers – Welcome to the Party! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Build Your Own Earthquake Survival Kit

Click here to view the original post.

Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

According to the USGS, Each year the southern California area has about 10,000 earthquakes. Most of them are so small that they are not felt. Only several hundred are greater than magnitude 3.0, and only about 15-20 are greater than magnitude 4.0. If there is a large earthquake, however, the aftershock sequence will produce many more earthquakes of all magnitudes for many months. Scientists have not found a way to predict earthquakes and earthquakes have a nasty habit of occurring where a lot of people are living.

Just look at the image at the top of the page. Most of the western coast of North America is covered in earthquake activity. We don’t really doubt that if a big earthquake happens, our lives will be disrupted, but outside of the usual power outages and water main breaks, assuming our house hasn’t caved in, what other situations could we be looking at?

Earthquakes are probably the single most destructive force on the planet when you factor in damage caused by Tsunamis and the earthquake itself. In a serious quake, services such as power, water, communication, emergency response, gas, transportation could all be wiped out in a matter of a few terrifying seconds. If you live in one of those areas above with all the white circles, you have undoubtedly considered what you would do if an earthquake happens, but what do you need to plan for after the earthquake? I put together this earthquake survival list for those preppers who want to put a bag together and prepare for the possibility that their entire world comes crumbling down around them.

What do I do after an earthquake?

Before we get into the earthquake survival kit itself, you must first make sure everything is OK in the immediate minutes after the shock-waves have stopped.

  • The initial shock-waves may only be the first of many that could still cause injuries. Expect aftershocks and use the time between instances to get to a safer place. If you are anywhere near the coast, Tsunamis could occur so immediately seek higher ground.
  • Check your family or group for injuries and move injured people to a safe location.
  • Make sure you are wearing appropriate clothing, footwear and protection for your hands if there is a lot of debris.
  • Make sure any fires are extinguished as quickly as possible.
  • Check radios for extent of the damage and any emergency notifications.
  • You should already have stored water, but if not and the water is still working, it may make sense to fill your bathtubs (providing your house is safe) to use the water for hygiene if the water is cut off.
  • Stay away from power lines and out of damaged buildings as much as possible.
  • Contact your loved ones if possible and let them know you are OK.
  • Go to your prearranged rally point if you are able to do this.

 

Earthquake Survival Kit List

You may be asking how an earthquake survival list is any different from say a Bug Out Bag. For many it may not be much different as we are addressing the same basic needs we all have as humans for survival. The contents of your earthquake survival kit can be stored in a backpack which could make transporting it simpler. Optionally, you could store all this gear somewhere in your home, but with that you risk not being able to retrieve it potentially if the neighbors garage falls on top of your storage area.

A sturdy Backpack will give you the greatest flexibility with mobility. If the situation is so bad that your home or location is unlivable, you may have to make it to a safer location. I like something like the Osprey Men’s Atmos 65 AG because it is so light and holds so much. It was a major relief on my last backpacking trip, you can get much cheaper backpacks though like the TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack – It’s a third of the price.

Food

  • I always recommend freeze-dried food for situations like this over something like canned food. It’s just lighter and only needs water for preparation. I go with higher-calorie options like Mountain House Chili Mac or Lasagna. Is this super healthy? Nope, but it’s light and will keep you going. Plus, you don’t need to bring along any bowls or plates – just eat right out of the bag. Bring enough for 5 days. You should augment with energy bars. You don’t have room to carry a month’s supply but you don’t know when the McDonalds is going to be back in business.
  • Cook Stove – Yes, you could just start a fire, but a good camping stove is light, relatively cheap and much simpler. For the burner, I purchased an Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking stove for my last trip. This replaced my JetBoil Cooking System and I was very happy with the results. The Etekcity is only $10 and folds down to about the size of two decks of playing cards. I am seriously considering purchasing 5 of these and throwing each one in the bug out bags that are in the car to replace current gear. Just screw this to your fuel canister – which I used my JetBoil 230g canister – turn on the gas, light it and you are in business. It even has little feet to sit your pot on.
  • Cook Pot – It’s much easier to boil water in a pot so I would throw my stove into a TOAKS Titanium pot. Super light and you can use this over a fire if needed.
  • Can Opener – I have a can opener on my Leatherman Wave(along with 16 other tools), but you can save a lot of weight and cost by purchasing a few P38 Can openers. You can get them on Amazon, but if you are ever near an Army Navy Surplus store, just run in. They are much cheaper.
  • Aluminum Foil – This can be used to grab hot surfaces or act as a cooking surface itself. Wrap food up in aluminum foil, set it near the fire for a little while, or even on top of your cook stove and give it a few minutes.

Water

  • Water Filter – There are so many water filtration options out there. I recommend a larger Platypus GravityWorks because it has no mechanical parts and will filter a lot of water quickly with not much effort. Optionally, the Saywer Mini is a great alternative. It’s smaller, but much more compact and the cost is much more reasonable for those preppers trying to save money. If you are only considering yourself, the Sawyer would be OK. For larger groups you need more capacity so I would go with a larger option like the Gravityworks.
  • Something to carry your water in. I have two options and it just depends on which I would rather pack in the bag. A BPE Free Nalgene is a great, relatively cheap, lightweight option. Optionally, you could just use any old plastic water bottle you find in the trash (wash it out first). You could go with a stainless-steel water bottle, which would be great if you needed to boil water, but you can use the TOAKS cook pot above for that. You don’t want to carry your water in the TOAKS though, so I recommend something with a lid. The Platypus has an adaptor that screws right onto any wide-mouth Nalgene bottles.

Shelter

  • Clothing – Bring a change of clothes and two pair of socks. Good walking shoes should be on your feet. Depending on weather – Hat and Gloves
  • Poncho and liner – This can double as shelter if you rig your poncho up as a shelter and with the liner will keep you warm. Or it makes a good pillow.
  • Emergency BIvvy – If I leave this off the list, someone is going to complain. I like these better than the simple mylar blankets, but if you already have those, use them.

Security

  • Concealed Carry Firearm – All things being equal, I prefer to carry a firearm if I am forced to defend myself. Your mileage may vary. Carrying while wearing a backpack is a little tougher concealed and you might be tempted to run that drop-leg holster but I would seriously consider whether or not you want to advertise you are armed in a crisis like this.
  • A good full-tang knife – Assume you already have a knife on you but a sturdier option would be better in this situation. I have the Gerber LMF II, but you can get a nice KA-BAR and save $10.
  • Shotgun – As a backup, I would have a shotgun if I didn’t have a better option. Shotguns are cheaper and easily deployed in a violent situation to serious effect.
  • Taser/Pepper Spray – For those who can’t or won’t carry a firearm, you can still protect yourself in many ways. Tasers are a good fall back, lightweight – non lethal, but you have to physically touch the person you don’t want to touch you. Pepper Spray is less effective but can still buy you time.
  • Axe Handle – When all else fails, you may have to go Babe Ruth on someone’s cranium. Swing harder than you ever think it would take to knock someone out.

Miscellaneous Gear and Supplies

  • Cash – ATM’s, Banks, Credit Card readers will all be out of commission for some period after the earthquake. Cash is still relatively easy to carry and store even in higher amounts. Diversify where you have your money (put some in each pocket and hide more somewhere else) so if you are pulling it out, nobody will see the whole wad.
  • Ham Radio – Tons of information about the superiority of Ham radio in a disaster if you want to read this post.
  • Backup ID, copies of Tax documents or bills proving your address.
  • First Aid – There are so many first aid kits out there. You can choose between something more for Boo Boos or go to the other extreme and build your own IFAK.
  • Spare Glasses – You could bring contacts, but I find that glasses irritate my eyes much less and are better in a pinch if there are eye irritants or injury.

Hygiene

  • Toilet Paper
  • Baby Wipes
  • Hand Sanitizer

There are the basic items in an Earthquake survival kit that will give you an advantage if you ever find yourself riding out one in your life. These are just the most basic items I think could give you comfort in times of great crisis. There are always other items you could add.

What would you bring with you?

The post Build Your Own Earthquake Survival Kit appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

A Prepper Looks Back – 10 Years of Prepping Lessons

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Cliché alert!!! – Someone once said (don’t really care enough to google who) that “You should only look back to see how far you have come”. A lot of what we do in the world of prepping is a comparison and contrast. We look at what the guy writing the blog has and turn to look at our own survival preps and judge some of our worthiness/readiness on how we add up. It’s a different take on keeping up with the Joneses but I think most of us still look to others as a yardstick to see how we measure up.

I know that I certainly looked at the stated supplies of others when I first began to get into prepping and maybe that is a natural trait of us humans – some extension of our social or survival instincts. Imagine a caveman walking around and he sees his buddy walking around with a new saber tooth tiger pelt wrapped around his hairy butt and thinks to himself, ‘hey, I could use one of those’. Then somebody thought of putting Molle pouches on that pelt to hold the caveman’s fire making stones and Boom, the survival market was born.

And maybe there is nothing wrong with comparing yourself to other people, at least as long as you don’t feel inferior if you don’t have what someone has or covet what they have in order to take it from them. I personally see gear I would like to have all the time and have since I started prepping, but I don’t compare myself to other preppers as much anymore. I don’t feel like I have anything to prove when I discuss my personal preps. Maybe it’s because I know you can never win that game.

Lessons from a Prepper

I thought of this topic today, like I do so many other topics in a completely random fashion. Sometimes I have to ponder several hours or days for an idea. Other times, like today, they just pop into my head walking down the hallway. I thought that maybe it might be of some value to share some prepping lessons that I have learned in my personal preparedness journey that hits 10 years old this year. It is my hope that some of these lessons will resonate with you and give you comfort, ease any disquiet you have or maybe a laugh. If all else fails, you can look at how silly I am and feel better about yourself. Caveman!

The world is not ending tomorrow

Preppers and survivalists (small S) come to this site and the subject of Preparedness/Self-Reliance for a lot of reasons, but I will propose that most reasons for prepping have Fear at their root. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t consider fear a bad thing at all. We are given the gift of fear so that we will be cautious when we need to. We have a sense of danger that warns us and I have relied quite successfully on this many times in our life. I prepare because I don’t want bad things to happen to my family. Now, that doesn’t mean I walk around scared but it did prompt me to action. You should take whatever motivation you have and act on it, but relax more often that you are uptight. I lived with the near certain expectation of doomsday, economic collapse or government tyranny for the first few years and guess what? We are still here. Don’t get so wrapped around the axle that you alienate family or make bad decisions. Chances are you have plenty of time to get ready.

Unless it does

But, now that I have said that – it’s easy to fall into Analysis Paralysis. For those who don’t know what that means, it is taking too long to make a decision or take decisive action. You have to poop or get off the pot. I know some preppers who have made extremely lengthy and detailed spreadsheets with tabs broken down in all the categories of their prepping supplies – hundreds of rows long. They have calculated the difference from one item to the next in price (shipping included) over 4 vendors. What’s worse is they keep this spreadsheet updated frequently but never purchase any of those prepping supplies. They know what they need to start with, but can’t seem to pull the trigger. The prepper that has nothing but a really great plan won’t be much better off than the person who is caught completely by surprise in a disaster. I recommend starting small, but obtain the basics you need to weather bad events and build as you can. You don’t have to purchase 3 years of freeze-dried food on day one, but don’t sit there and wait for that awesome survival knife to drop another 55 cents. You need to ensure you have the basics.

‘Two is One’ is a clever saying to get you to spend more money

And since we are talking about purchasing prepper supplies – you have all heard this one before: Two is One and One is None. That just means if you only have one of something, let’s say a headlamp, and that goes out or is lost, you have nothing to fall back on. Logic says, that makes sense, right? Redundancy is another word we love to throw out there which means essentially the same thing and I am not saying you don’t need redundancy, or even more than one headlamp. What I am saying is that you shouldn’t apply this to your bug out gear. I have a YouTuber that I really like who shall remain anonymous, but his bug out bag weighs 65 pounds!!! Why? Well, for one thing he has A LOT of redundancy in there. Many knives, saws, clothes, methods of food preparation, etc. Use your judgment on this.

Your Bug Out Bag does not have magical properties

And speaking of Bug Out Bags, they are not a get out of disaster free card. A bug out bag in a best case scenario just gives you options. Simply having a bug out bag doesn’t mean you get to live and everyone who doesn’t have one dies. I fully expect many preppers to have their bug out bags taken off their lifeless bodies because they got cocky, or just unlucky by some opportunistic soul if the worst happens. Bug Out Bags are a means to an end, not the end all be all. Prepare with them, but take their life-saving properties with a grain of salt. They can only hold so much and real disasters suck no matter what you have on your back.

You will never have enough stuff

I wrote a post a while back titled, Are you Ready for the End of Prepping. It’s basic message was that no matter how much water you have stored, how many pallets of MRE’s, tins of survival seeds or cans of Beanie Weenies you have stocked under your bed – eventually it all runs out. If we really go through a real-deal SHTF incident, your supplies are only going to last so long – so the smart money is on planning now to live without all your food storage, electrical tools, generators and anything else you won’t be able to maintain without the assistance of outside help. Yes, start prepping with the basics you can purchase at the store. Begin with a week, but I don’t think you need to sink a year’s salary into food. Start planning a garden instead or look at taking that money and buying a piece of land far outside of the city.

Prior military service doesn’t necessarily make you better qualified to survive

And this is coming from someone who is ex-Army. Yes, when you enlist in the service you get different types of training and much of this has ties into the world of prepping. Depending on the Service Branch, you learn marksmanship, weapons maintenance, team tactics, first-aid, navigation and how to generally break stuff and blow it up. That doesn’t make you a survival expert and doesn’t make you a natural leader. I know some preppers who like to lean on their past service and we aren’t all created equal. Would you give someone who never saw combat the same authority on ambush tactics for example as someone who did 4 tours of Afghanistan? No. But on the flip side, that soldier that did 4 tours (thank you) might not survive any easier than the single mom who is prepared. Different skill set? Absolutely, but that doesn’t guarantee survival or that they know everything. Now, would I love to have 4 Navy seals in my personal circle of friends if SHTF? Of course, but don’t believe for a second that you can’t survive because you have now “official” training. Personal will is a HUGE factor in survival. If you have that, you are in good shape.

Plan on self-reliance, but don’t turn away help

The Lone Gunman is the image a lot of you think of if some disaster happens. You will walk stoically out to the small clearing overlooking the smoldering ruins that used to be the city you live in, taking in the scenery you will turn and walk into the bush – those fools didn’t know what hit them. It’s a good movie plot, but as a society we survived by banding together. Yes, you can survive on your own for a while, but in order to thrive you will need others and it’s better to learn to start playing nice now. Think about how you can survive with as many people as possible. You will be stronger, more capable and you will have more people to talk to when the internet is gone.

You will never know as much as you should and maybe that’s OK.

If I was independently wealthy and didn’t have a wife or kids, or a dog I could devote myself to learning every day. There are so many subjects I wish I had the time to learn. Maybe it’s an excuse, but with a job and simple responsibilities of mine, free time is a luxury I don’t get much of. But, just because I can’t take Krav Maga classes 5 days a week, compete in a CrossFit marathon, learn Morse code and small engine repair while I practice the finer art of leatherworking and blacksmithing in between classes for my EMT certification – that’s OK. I have a pretty good bit of life ahead of me and I have time to learn as much as I need. I won’t get hung up on what I don’t know because I won’t compare myself to other survival experts.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again. Prepping is a lifestyle, not a destination. You can never be Prepared as if that was a mythical position you could obtain. Can we all be more prepared for a wider array of things? Yes and can that mean the difference between life and death? I think so. But you can’t buy the complete package of Prepping on Amazon. It’s a journey we are all waking and it will take forever to get there.

I’m glad you are with me. Let’s keep looking forward.

The post A Prepper Looks Back – 10 Years of Prepping Lessons appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

What to Do If You Are Caught Without Your Prepping Supplies

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I travel a pretty good bit for work. When I travel, it almost exclusively by air as it just so happens my co-workers or customers are spread all over the globe. In a perfect world I always have my EDC gear on me but when traveling, especially via plane, you have to make some concessions. When it makes sense I have basic survival gear that I pack, but my luggage has to be checked. I have flown with a firearm on multiple occasions, but what if you are unable to take any survival gear with you? What would you do if you were caught in a disaster without even your trusty survival knife?

In this article I want to go through some situations I personally have in my 9-5 life where I wasn’t as prepared as I know in my heart I should be, and discuss some alternatives when you are caught without your prepping supplies. When all hell breaks loose, are you doomed if you don’t have your full battle rattle on?

What should you be carrying everywhere you go?

EDC. Any prepper worth his or her salt knows that this acronym stands for Every Day Carry. This is the gear you have on your person virtually all the time. These are usually simple items like a folding knife, a flashlight, watch, Leatherman or multitool. Optionally, some people (like me) will add a concealed carry weapon to this list and maybe a compass, lighter or matches and spare cash. The items that make up your EDC are personal, should be appropriate to your daily routine and environment and vary greatly from prepper to prepper. I wrote a whole article about my EDC list some time back.

On any normal day, I have most if not all elements of my personal EDC on me when I leave my house. I have a knife in my pocket, handkerchief (only used it once to help a lady out) flashlight and lighter are housed on my keys and my concealed carry weapon. I have other elements in my work backpack and a ton of gear in my car. If I have nothing more than my car, I can probably live for a week very comfortably – assuming I couldn’t drive anywhere. If I only had my backpack and what’s on my person, that would be a little tougher, but I would have basic lifesaving tools or elements to help me improve my situation. If I only had what is in my pockets I would still be pretty much in the same boat. But when I am traveling, sometimes I don’t have any of my EDC Gear on me. It’s pretty much me betting that I will be OK.

How can you travel without any EDC gear?

I have written before about how to fly with a firearm legally and for most air travel I take, outside of work I still do fly with my firearm. I also keep a mini-go bag in my suitcase with a sawyer mini water filter, knife, fire starter, headlamp, first aid kit and mylar blanket. I have a stainless water bottle too so the basics are covered. But on most trips here recently, I don’t fly with my trusty Glock and if I am not checking bags, knives are out the window too. I can, and still do bring a small, but bright flashlight and hanky with me, but most of what I consider my must haves are left at home. Why?

Convenience.

Yes, Sheer convenience. I am admitting it now before the entire world that sometimes, it is easier to not check bags. If I am carrying my bag onto a plane, I have far fewer options on what I can bring with me but I have many more options with flights. If my flight gets cancelled and I have my bag with me, I can run to another airline. If some weather delays me mid-journey, I can take another route home, or make it to the car rental agencies before my fellow travelers. If any one of a number of hiccups happen with the airlines I don’t have to go into that important client meeting wearing the same outfit I had on yesterday. Which was designed for comfort. Not impressing clients. Convenience.

Lost luggage at Airport.

Now, many of you may be saying to yourselves: “How can Pat consider himself a prepper if he goes and leaves himself vulnerable like that for convenience” and I understand what you mean, but I look at things a little differently. Actually, major points of my philosophy evolve or change over the years. Here is what I know.

In this country, or even pretty much any country I would find myself in for business travel, if anything short of a nuclear bomb went off, I would be able to get the supplies I needed even if I wasn’t carrying them.

Obtaining survival gear in the wild

And by wild I am not talking about a jungle adventure with Bear Grylls. If that’s the place you are visiting, you better have your gear no matter what. What do I mean? OK, let me explain. Let’s say I am traveling in business to Boston, MA without any of the gear I normally carry as EDC and an EMP hits. Assuming, I would be better off with my regular EDC (and I do), where could I replace that gear quickly? Before I continue, let’s list off the basic items again:

Shelter

  • A means of keeping yourself warm, cool, dry
    • Tarp/Poncho/Jackets, Hats, Gloves, etc.

Water

  • A method of making water safe to drink
  • A container for holding water

Food

  • Enough calories to keep you going for the duration

Security

  • A means of protecting yourself from two-legged predators

The list above is only the most basic items for survival, but we can start there. Going back to Boston and an EMP hits. What is the first thing you think everyone will do?

Probably nothing.

That is your time to act. While everyone is complaining that they can’t check the weather or stocks or the latest snapchat on their phones you need to move.  As a prepper, you should be practicing situational awareness. That means a lot of different things depending on the situation you are in, but when it comes to a disaster like this where people aren’t dying immediately, your job is to act. My focus will be obtaining as many survival supplies as I can before the sheeple wake up.

In a situation like that, I would head out to the nearest store. If I was lucky enough to come across an REI or a Dick’s Sporting Goods or even a Walmart you would be all set provided you had cash with you and the store was accepting cash transactions. When I fly, I try to bring $300 in cash with me for emergencies. It won’t do everything, but it could help, especially in a situation like this. For that $300, you could easily get a knife, headlamp, tarp and just about all the other EDC basics I left at home.

But that’s too easy. What if you weren’t in Boston and couldn’t find a sporting goods store to save your life. Then what?

Head to the drug store, hardware store or grocery store but skip past the food isles, at least at first. Go to the smaller section they always have with light-bulbs and extension cords and toilet plungers. Go to the housewares section. They may not have knives, but they could have box cutters. You may be able to find tarps, but if not, trash bags connected with duct tape will keep you just as dry. If you don’t already have a backpack, you should be able to find one of those too that will fit your supplies.

The small local hardware store might be the last place people run, but a great place to find supplies.

Matches will be there too and usually so will lighter fluid. Together, if you keep the matches dry you should be able to make a fire. You will always be able to find some form of flashlight in these stores too but don’t forget to get extra batteries. Hopefully you have shoes that are comfortable to walk in.

We can’t forget food, but skip canned food and grab items that you don’t need to prepare or weigh a whole lot but still provide calories. Think energy bars or breakfast bars and be sure to check the calorie counts if you have time.

What about security? The box cutter or knife would be better than nothing, but you really have to get close in order for those to work. Man has been using clubs since the dawn of time, really, they are still being used all over the world as the post about handmade weapons demonstrates very clearly. You can find some implement and use it as a club. It isn’t what I would rather have instead of my trusty concealed Glock, but it beats (no pun intended) not having anything.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that survival can’t be distilled down to only who has the right gear because I know that many of you could survive if you were dropped naked in the middle of a jungle. Survival is about having the will to live above all else. Skills follow closely, but you can still survive if you have the right mindset. I don’t recommend leaving home without your EDC, but if you have to, or get caught on a late-night Walmart run, you usually will have options. Look for opportunities to give yourself and advantage and maybe you will find that you are much better off than you thought you were.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and stay safe!

The post What to Do If You Are Caught Without Your Prepping Supplies appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Best Selling Prepper Items – Why They May Not Work for You

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I personally shop online for almost anything I can for a couple of reasons. First is the incredible ability to research and check prices. I can read or watch video reviews for any products I am considering before making a final decision. Secondly, I hate going to the mall or just about any other shopping center type of place with a passion – I would just about rather take a kick to the head than go to the mall during Christmas, but even the rest of the year shopping online is just my preferred option. I was looking around for more prepper and survival gear the other day and often readers ask for gear recommendations so I wanted to give you this list of the best-selling prepper items but with a twist. I want to also give you my opinions on why this list is wrong when taken from the standpoint of what people should be focusing on. I will show the best sellers and give alternate items you should have if you don’t already.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

The LifeStraw is a great idea and Water is the highest priority, all things being equal, you should focus on when preparing for any kind of unforeseen emergency. But I think the LifeStraw itself has some limitations and drawbacks that would make me choose another option for water filtration.

For starters, the LifeStraw is really meant for only one person. If you have a couple of people to provide clean water for, this isn’t ideal. Next, you must stick your face down in the water for this to work. Not only does this require you to get up close and personal with your water source but it also prevents you from being able to fully stay aware of your surroundings. Yes, you can fill a container up with water and stick the LifeStraw in that, but why? Additionally, can’t take any water with you for later because the LifeStraw only works when you have a water source to stick the straw into. Lastly, the LifeStraw only filters up to 1000 liters before it is no longer safe.

For me, there are a couple of other options. For just about the same price, size/weight footprint, the Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System is far superior. It filters 100, 000 gallons, comes with it’s own bag that you can fill to quench your thirst, then refill for the road and still has all the microorganism filtering benefits. To me, these are the most minimal and basic water filters you can get, but it’s probably better to expand to a slightly larger capacity system.

The best solution in my opinion is a gravity fed water filtration system. Why? Unlike manual pump filters like the Katadyn Hiker or the MSR Miniworks (which I own and like), gravity fed filtration systems have no moving parts to break. Also, you can just let the water filter do its job while you move on to other issues like setting up camp or observing your surroundings. I am a HUGE fan of the GravityWorks by Platypus, but they are much more expensive. They taste far better than any type of Iodine water filter system like the Polar Pure, last far longer too, can easily support multiple people and I don’t have to worry about those little glass bottles breaking on me.

Mountain House Freeze Dried Food

The next 3 items on the list of best-selling prepper gear are food so I will combine them. Mountain House is listed as the best seller and I certainly have recommended their products as a great camping or backpacking option that also work great as a preparedness option. They only require hot water and you have a meal. Now, is this the best prepper food you should get if you are trying to stock up food for emergencies?

Maybe.

Mountain House or any one of the many other manufacturers of quality freeze-dried food out there fill a need and as part of a larger food self-sufficiency strategy I think they fill a great role. If you have nothing else but Mountain House, you will still be able to feed your family with decent tasting food that requires nothing more than a fire or stove to heat the water. You can even eat out of the bag. However, I recommend a little more diversity.

Your pantry should be filled with a larger portion of foods you already eat and let the Freeze-Dried food supplement that should you need to. You probably wouldn’t want to break out some Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce if your friends were coming over for dinner, but after a snow storm knocks your power out for a week, this stuff is awesome. Your own family’s needs and preferences will dictate what you store but for tips on how to get started, check out my article on 30 days of food storage for ideas on how to get a jump-start.

Emergency Disposable Rain Ponchos

No offense to the good-looking group pictured here, but preppers shouldn’t be buying these cheap bags expecting protection.

Number three on the list of the best-selling prepper gear is Emergency Rain Ponchos? Seriously? Granted, this is from Amazon.com but these are glorified trash bags meant to give you some protection if you are out at a theme park let’s say and an unexpected downpour threatens to ruin the fun. No self-respecting prepper should have to resort to this because if you can’t find out what the weather is going to be and plan accordingly, you have bigger things to worry about most likely.

Instead of a disposable trash bag, if you are looking for some prepper gear that isn’t a rain jacket, consider a legitimate poncho instead. These are more expensive, but the construction is vastly better and you can use these to provide shelter if you combine them with a little paracord. Usually they come in camouflage colors but you do have options if you are trying not to look tactical. You can even combine them with a poncho liner to have a great cold weather system that can keep you dry and warm.

Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter

Number 4 is a means to start a fire and magnesium fire starters are a great grid-down item to have. There are many other brands out there and while I haven’t personally tested the Gerber line, I have been very happy with the craftsmanship and quality of other items like their multi-tools that I own. The Bear Grylls Fire Starter is just branded merchandise but it should do the job admirably.

Now I own several fire starters like this but you know what I own more of? Disposable lighters. They are cheap (you can get a pack of 10 for the price of one fire starter) and easier to use. Yes, they won’t last anywhere near as long as a fire starter, but if I needed to get a fire going quickly, I would much rather start my tinder off with a quick flick of my Bic and then move on.

Survival Shack Emergency Survival Shelter Tent

Keep the rain off you? Maybe? Sun? Yep. Will it keep you warm in cold climates?

Number 5 on Amazon’s list of best-selling prepper gear is essentially a big piece of Mylar with some rope. It is cheap, lightweight and compact, but when it comes to staying warm, I don’t see how this big open tent is going to help you.

In the right environment, creating a survival shelter is a free option but that assumes a lot of things. First that you have materials you can make a shelter with. Debris shelters are all the rage on YouTube for preppers and survivalists, but what if you don’t have any trees, limbs lying around or millions of leaves to cover it with?

A better option may be a survival bivvy. Advanced Medical Kits sells an Emergency Bivvy that will keep two people warm. First, it’s enclosed so you don’t have air blowing through it and wiping away any heat convection your body was making – think survival sleeping bag. It doesn’t require trees to string a rope and you get the added benefit of body heat from your buddy – assuming you are with someone. It is a little more expensive and does take up a little more room, but seems like it would be more effective at keeping you protected from the elements.

Is Best Selling Gear really the Best for You?

There are many other items on the list of best sellers and I just scratched the surface. I think in some cases; the things people buy are often out of convenience and cost savings but those two factors alone could leave you just as unprepared as if you didn’t purchase any prepper gear. Before making any prepper gear purchases, use the internet and conduct research. Take a look at what your survival priorities for the place you are or where you are going. Read articles – there are thousands out there on just about any subject related to prepping you can think of. Watch videos on YouTube and make your own mind up on what makes sense. But don’t stop there.

Actually try out the gear you just purchased. Use it to collect water and drink from it. Take that freeze-dried food out with you and make a meal. Try spending a night in that shelter or working in the rain in that poncho – start a fire. You will learn more from your own experience than anything you can read on a prepper blog and it will give you the knowledge you need to make your own, better, decisions on survival gear that works best for you.

The post Best Selling Prepper Items – Why They May Not Work for You appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Off Road Checklist: Don’t Get Stuck Bugging Out

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

4.42/5 (19)

If you find yourself in a survival situation and realize it’s time to get your family on the road to safety, most of us are going to hope we can rely on our vehicle. All things being equal, a properly maintained vehicle of just about any configuration and size is going to be better than humping out-of-town under the power of your two feet. You can carry more stuff, further, faster and a vehicle affords you a little more protection.

However, one of the very real risks we face when we are trying to make our escape is that the way will be blocked with too many other cars. In evacuation situations, such as hurricanes, we see news reports of traffic backed up for miles and hear stories of people sleeping in their cars, running out of gas and getting into fights. This is certainly a possibility, but if you are prepared to bug out and act quickly ahead of the crowd, you could largely avoid this fate. In a dangerous survival situation, you want to be on the road, hopefully to your destination safely before anyone else even knows what is happening.

But there are no guarantees in life and so as preppers, we have backup plans. We have our bags ready to go, caches planned along our multiple routes and with some luck we will make it to our bug out retreats even if we must walk there. Vehicles can break down or become stuck and if this happens and we are not prepared, you could find yourself leaving the family bug out mobile parked, when you could have kept going with some simple supplies.

Those alternate routes could lead you through areas that aren’t paved over obstacles that could put a halt to your forward progress, but with this off road checklist, you could be able to unstuck yourself and keep going.

Off Road Checklist – Getting your vehicle out of a bad situation

If you are attempting a mud pit like this, I hope your vehicle is up to the challenge.

This list isn’t for the type of off roading enthusiast pictured galloping through the mud hole above, but for the prepper looking for a little insurance should you find your self on back-roads without the advantage of AAA. Now I know that not everyone is going to see a need for some of these items, but if you plan on going off the paved roads, some of these items could help you.

Jack and tire iron to change your tire – I’m going to start with some of the more obvious choices, but you should never get in your vehicle and set off on a road trip, certainly one that holds the fate of your family without the ability to change a flat tire. Off road terrain is rougher than asphalt and your average commuter tires have weaker side walls than off road tires. These tools and a spare will get you back on the road in a short time, but you must make sure you have them, AND know how to use them.

Spare Tire, Full Size – And since we are talking about tires… a full-size spare is going to allow you to go faster and will put up with more abuse, like those high-speed J turns you will be doing to get away from the zombies or the mutant biker gangs.

via GIPHY

Tire repair kit But what if someone shoots a hole in one of your tires as you execute that flawless J turn, keeping your family safe? Or as you are careening through the industrial park a hunk of metal punctures your back spare that you just put on before the evasive maneuvers? A tire repair kit may be able to get you back on the road.

Fix A Flat – To inflate that tire. Either that or a good air compressor you can connect to your battery to get aired up and going again.

Basic Tool Kit

Just an assortment of items you can use for minor or major repairs if you have to.

  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Hammer
  • Wrenches (standard and metric)
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Sockets (standard and Metric)
  • Prybar
  • Electrical tape
  • Allen wrenches
  • Hacksaw
  • Spare Fuses

Getting Un-Stuck

MaxTrax – Makes getting out of snow, sand and mud easy even without 4WD

So that was the basic items, but if you are traveling across really rugged terrain, and assuming you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, the following items can be used by you, hopefully with another buddy in another vehicle to get unstuck.

  • MaxTrax – These lightweight traction pads can get you out of snow, sand and mud easily. Just wedge them under the tire that is slipping and slowly roll out. There are cheaper knock-offs but I have read varying reviews on their durability. They stack nicely too.
  • Tow strap – If you are stuck in mud or sand, sometimes you will need some assistance getting un stuck. If your buddy has a trailer hitch, you can connect up and use the tow strap to pull your vehicle out and get back on the road.
  • More Power Pull – Don’t want to mount a winch to the family car? No problem, bring the winch along with you. The Wyeth 3-ton Ratchet puller works just like a winch in terms of physics, but you supply the power. You can attach to a tree and ratchet yourself out of that sticky situation. A winch is a nicer option, but that requires a more permanent commitment to your vehicles aesthetics.
  • Shackle or two – You can use these for connection points if you have them on your vehicle’s frame or to connect to straps.

A short-cut through a rain washed dirt road could stop your progress.

  • Chain (Grade 70) – Can handle a load up to 6,000 lbs. For serious hauling chores.
  • Receiver Hitch with D-Ring – Even if you don’t have a bug out trailer you are dragging along, that factory trailer hitch of yours can be used as a recovery point. Slide this in before you hit the trail and you will be ready to pull or be pulled.
  • Snatch block – Doubles the capacity of your winch.
  • Shovel – Because sometimes you will need to dig yourself out. Also works for burying number #2.
  • Axe – You might need to chop some branches to get an unobstructed connection for your winch cable or a downed tree could be blocking your path on that old logging road. Bonus would be a chainsaw, but not everyone would do that.
  • Gloves – With just about any work like this gloves protect your hands and give you a better grip for safety. Buy 12 pair..

What did I forget? I already know that some of you will have a long list of items and that’s what I would like you to share with the group. What’s in your off road checklist?

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The post Off Road Checklist: Don’t Get Stuck Bugging Out appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Surviving Anarchy: Strategies to Avoid Dying at the Hands of the Mob

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

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One of the scenarios we prepare for is the complete absence of any form of government, or at least the local governments we rely on to keep things quasi-normal. When the chaos is too great or the resources are overwhelmed due to illness, panic or scale of the issue, the systems we rely on now for support in bad times can disappear. Hospitals can become overcrowded and stop accepting patients. Police departments can be overwhelmed if crime is reported in too many areas or riots are taking the bulk of their staff. Fire Departments can be rendered obsolete if the water stops flowing or there are simply too many fires to put out.

Without law enforcement as a deterrent to crimes, desperate, opportunistic or even criminally motivated people take to the streets and chaos ensues. When this happens, you have anarchy. It’s just one of the many scenarios us preppers describe as SHTF. In some instances, anarchy like behavior is tolerated as in the 2015 riots in Baltimore where the mayor wanted to give protestors some “space” to destroy.

“It’s a very delicate balancing act because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well, and we work very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate.” – Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

The Anarchy I am referring to today is not your usual (these days) run of the mill rioting over social injustices – perceived or real, hypocritical outrage from the outcome of a political race or made up issues people want to scream about (hoop earrings, really?). I am specifically talking about situations caused by internal or external triggers that instead of leaving police in a position to allow thugs “space to destroy”, they are incapable of stopping it even if they wanted to. When this happens, things get violent quickly and for the prepper caught in the wrong place, they can turn deadly. Have you considered what you would need to do if you found yourself in that type of situation?

Identifying the threat

Without going into the potentially boring details of what Mob Mentality is, (you can read about that here if you care to) I think most of us would agree that when angry people get together to protest, bad things can happen. If you disagree with that statement, this article isn’t for you and perhaps you should be attending a local meeting of people who just want to “Hug it Out”.

In a WROL environment, there will be no checking the crowds. There will be no barricade of police officers to keep them noisily contained to one section of town, the mob will be free to roam as they see fit. Targets that fall into their hands will be random and the mob will not self-regulate. All behavior will be deemed acceptable because the crowd chooses to go along with each other. Cars are overturned, windows smashed and shops set ablaze. Innocent bystanders are attacked and beaten either for some perceived slight or out of the sheer glee of getting away with acts the perpetrators know are wrong. They simply don’t care.

What could cause an anarchy situation in your town? Any one of hundreds of reasons probably, but I will throw out a few hypothetical scenarios for discussion.

  • Migrants have moved into an area causing confrontations with the locals. Women are raped and law enforcement does nothing to stop this from happening. Locals form to put a stop to this. Things escalate.
  • Hackers take down the EBT system preventing anyone from obtaining any benefits. Over 46 MILLION Americans are no longer able to purchase as much food. Fear and panic take over as entire population centers descend into chaos as people try to hoard as much food and steal items to sell for money.
  • EMP device detonation over the middle of the US completely eviscerates the electrical grid. Instantly we are taken back to the 1800’s in terms of technology. The only problem is we have none of the 1800’s know-how to survive.
  • Fanatics succeed in several major assassination attempts on political figures and accept responsibility immediately giving race retribution as their motivation. Race war is raging in the streets and people are forced to choose sides. Large cities are worst hit.

You have options

So, the scenarios could come from anywhere, but the potential exists in many ways for a complete breakdown of society. I mean, that is one of the major driving forces for prepping, correct? OK, so when it all goes to hell and the mobs are a few blocks away, what are your choices?

Run – The best way to avoid conflict is to never get involved in conflict in the first place. Large unruly mobs who are motivated or who simply have enough time will take down even the most hard-core prepper. You do not have enough guns. You won’t be able to kill them all before they get to you so your best bet is to run before they are even close.

But how will you know when the right time to act is? First you have to as a prepper be very in tune with your local surroundings. This takes situational awareness to the next level. Make sure you have at least a casual understanding of world, national and regional issues that are going on. Unless something like an EMP happens, things usually escalate. Ham Radio or even CB communications are great tools for keeping tabs on where violence is. A great police scanner and a good area map of your city will help you pinpoint exactly where trouble spots are if the police have any presence at all.

Situations like this are exactly why your bug out bags are so important and should be ready at all times. With minutes notice you can have everything you need packed in the family bug out mobile and your town in the rear-view mirror heading to a safer location.

Hide – Hiding is a riskier option but it is still possible especially if you have any type of hidden rooms. Mobs aren’t going to be methodically searching house to house and may be content thinking you already hightailed it out of dodge if they arrive to find your doors open and belongs strewn on the lawn already. You can make your home look as though it has already been picked over and if they can’t quickly find people or anything they want to take, may just keep moving on. This isn’t a Walking Dead situation where they have time to sit and chat.

Blend In – This is not the same as joining in, but it may look virtually similar and this brings a higher amount of risk potentially and would require the least adherence to any moral code you have. If you have no other options, you could join into the Anarchy. Put your balaclava on and take a few swings with a sledge-hammer at the shop door for credibility. One danger in this is that you could be forced into a situation where you could be party to causing injury to someone innocent and then, well. You are the mob –  so you deserve no quarter.

Blending in for me would only work in a situation where you weren’t participating in any violence, but might be walking along with the crowd, chanting some of the same non-sense they are in order to move through an area safely. You join the throng from a side street pumping your fists and high-fiving everyone you meet. Carry on for a block or so and then exit out another side street to make your way out-of-town. You won’t be able to look like you are bugging out in this scenario though so the facility is of limited value I think and could only be used in the most extreme examples.

Could you fight?

Yes, you could, but I think you would die. Even if I had Seal Team 6 as my best friends and we were holed up in my house with about 10,000 rounds of ammo I would still think the better odds would be to get the hell out of there. You will be overrun, or burn out or a car could drive through the front door. Too many variables for the normal suburban prepper to adequately account for. Yes, the body count would be high on their side but I still think its a losing proposition. I certainly wouldn’t want to put my family at risk for those odds.

So much of what we prepare for is to be on our own in some sense to provide for our own safety. If we only had to worry about ourselves, survival would be less of an issue for most of us, but people are always going to be the greatest threat to our safety. Anarchy may be the worst expression of this threat absent an invading army. It’s best to plan now to avoid this type of situation as early as possible.

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16 Best Hobbies for Preppers

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

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Have you ever thought sometimes that Prepping is all work and no play? To the uninformed, prepping and preppers by association are consumed with fear and doom. Who wants to live a life where all you think about are bad things happening to the people around us? Many people I have talked to, who don’t understand preppers think we just sit around scared, paranoid and in fear of that knock on the door or the plague that could wipe out 80% of our nation but that isn’t true at all. At least for most of us. I think in some ways it is the people who never consider prepping that walk around in fear. Fear of terrorists, of people who have different opinions, of those who aren’t vaccinated, of someone who might own a firearm, of people who want more freedom and, well you get the point.

I have said before that the message of prepping is hope, not doom although you must choose how you look at things. I prepare because I want to be ready if something horrible happens, but I am prepping to survive whatever “it” may be. I don’t have a fatalistic view on my chances of survival, only what may necessitate me having to employ measures to ensure it. My wife and I had this same conversation back in the beginning as she saw (put up with) my ongoing efforts to get my family more prepared. She viewed my outlook on the future as extremely bleak. She couldn’t imagine a world like I was preparing for and wondered what was the point in living through those conditions. Since then she has seen that I am actively engaged in trying to protect my family to the best of my ability so that we can survive and hopefully help others in a calamity. She knows that I want to be part of the team helping others and that I don’t want to depend (or myself become a burden) on emergency services.

But other people can focus on the negative and get mired in the events we are prepping for more than the outcome we are trying to achieve so with this post, I want to give you some ideas for hobbies that preppers can participate in that can do two things. First, these hobbies for preppers will give you skills that you can use in a survival situation but can also enrich your life right now. Second, these hobbies will help you focus on the goal of surviving if for some reason you have gotten a little mired in the thoughts about the future and have become a little negative in your outlook.

Best Hobbies for Preppers

Below I have listed 16 of the best hobbies for preppers in no certain order that can give you training and encouragement in your abilities.

Backpacking/Hiking/Camping

I lumped these three together because they are so similar but I have often advocated backpacking as a way to both test and practice your bug out plans. There are some that disagree with me, but when you are preparing for a backpacking trip into the woods, you need to consider all the same things you would as a bug out. The only exception usually is security.

Backpacking trips require you to lay out and plan for one or more days living in the environment, usually away from civilization and returning safely. You have to carry everything on your back, navigate trails, inclines declines, obstacles just as you would in a bug out scenario. Best of all you get to see how carrying all your gear will feel at the end of a day. How far did you make it? Is there anything you realized you forgot once you got out into the woods? If you had to do it all over again, what would you change?

Hiking and Camping are similar but with a good bit less risk. With hiking, we are usually talking about day trips back so minor preparations are needed, but still a great activity and you can learn a lot about yourself and your own physical ability. Camping, when done from the convenience of a car and a camp site is the least like bugging out on foot, but could mimic a vehicle bug out scenario and it’s just good to get out of the house, into nature and spend time away from it all with family and friends.

Geocaching

The contents of the geocache at Buckden Rake

Geocaching is a fun activity that I started a few years back with my children and passed the interest off to a son-in-law who is now sharing it with his children. Geocaching is a great way to learn how to use a GPS unit to find items hidden and this ties directly into your own plans to stash prepping supplies in caches along your bug out route.

While playing this “game” you learn simple navigational skills but perhaps more importantly, how people hide items, how to find them and it really makes you think out of the box in some cases. Finding a hidden ammo box in the woods is one thing but finding a micro cache in the middle of a downtown business district is something altogether different. Another great activity to do with kids as they get to join in with finding the hidden caches and discovering the interesting objects people have left behind.

Hunting

In a grid down scenario, any activity that makes you more adept at bringing home food is a good one in my book. Hunting is a natural in that respect and it can teach you more than simply shooting at game. You can learn how to stalk prey, how to appropriately camouflage yourself and your movements, you can learn to identify game trails and habits of the game you are looking for.

Hunting allows you to employee various tools and methods to achieve your intended results. Firearms, bowed weapons, snares and traps are all useful and can give you great experience if you must depend on hunting to feed the family.

Auto Mechanics

When is the last time you changed your own oil?

Can you fix things? When is the last time you changed your own oil? Do you even know how to do that? While I can admit that some of the newer cars aren’t really set up for you to perform your own maintenance, that shouldn’t stop you from learning if you have the notion. As I have gotten older my need to work on my own cars has decreased but I still have manuals and have been known to turn a wrench when it’s necessary.

Knowing how to do basic repairs to your vehicle is a great skill and it can start with simple things like changing tires, belts, batteries and hoses to more complex projects like replacing water pumps, alternators or half-shafts. With the right tools and a manual for guidance or YouTube, anyone can do practically anything you need to repair your vehicle. This can save you money and could be vital if for some reason we aren’t able to take a vehicle to the shop to get it fixed.

Fishing

Like hunting, this hobby can put food on the table as well as be a simple, enjoyable way to get outside and spend some time either alone or with friends. Fishing can take on many different styles, but the basics are the same. Sometime the gear is different.

Gardening

In terms of putting food on the table and being in a place where you are able to store food away, gardening is one that we should all be doing. As I mentioned in a post the other day, in a disaster, your food won’t last forever so you need a backup plan for your backup plan.

Gardening can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Many people start with a small plot and grow tomatoes, but if you are aiming to be able to put up enough food to last your family through the winter and up to the next harvest, a little more land and time will be required. Start learning how to grow your own food now, what your solid conditions are like, how to compost and you will be one step closer to being ready to have your garden provide everything you need.

Paintball/Airsoft

What does paintball have to do with prepping? For starters, it can teach you team tactics, simulate military maneuvers to achieve objectives and deal with some of the stress in combat. OK, before anyone screams at me, I know this does not compare to real combat. Bullets go through walls much faster than paint balls do but if you look at this as training and you treat your surroundings as though the paint balls  are real bullets, it can be beneficial and instructive.

Air-Soft is lumped in here too with the same benefits and less mess. As long as you understand the difference between cover and concealment, both of these games can teach you lessons. If nothing else, you can see how out of shape you are from running and hiding behind obstacles.

Off-Roading

This hobby might be one of the most expensive for preppers, but if you already have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, getting off-road isn’t impossible and you can learn how to drive off the pavement and see what obstacles your vehicle can overcome. Communities like Overland Bound offer instruction, support, ideas and events to practice the skills needed to successfully go off-road.

Combine off-roading with camping and you have the makings of a really good vehicle bug out practice scenario. When you plan to go out with friends you can practice your bug out load plan, vehicle to vehicle communications with CB or Ham, land navigation with maps or GPS and field recovery when you get stuck in a mud pit that “didn’t look that deep” or break a part on the trail.

Marksmanship

One of the most important requirements for owning a firearm is practice so that you are proficient in the safe use and handling of this tool. Part of this I believe is being able to hit what you are shooting at and when your life depends on accurately hitting a target you are going to wish you had all the practice in the world.

Marksmanship can apply to pistols, rifles and even bows. Starting with paper targets and learning the fundamentals is key to getting better, more confident with that weapon and when the time comes you need to use it for hunting, practice or self-defense you can’t have enough training under your belt.

Orienteering

Orienteering combines racing with map reading. You can do this on your own or join a group like Orienteering.org. Timed races put individuals or teams though a course where you have to find your way with a map, compass and find different points along the way.

Want to create a secret treasure map to your hidden cache in the middle of 10,000 acres of forest? This is a good way to practice. It also helps with terrain recognition, and the obvious skills of map reading and how to use a compass.

Exercising/Fitness

More of a chore for some people than a hobby, exercise is one of the most critical components to being able to survive in a grid down or SHTF scenario and it’s one thing we most easily overlook or choose to ignore. Being able to move yourself from point to point, lift heavy objects repeatedly, perform manual labor and still have the strength to stand watch with alertness in the middle of the night is not something we can ignore.

Exercise can come in many forms, from simply walking during your lunch hour each day, to lifting weights, riding bikes, to following a routine from an app on your phone while you watch TV at night. The point is to do something to make sure your body is ready for the rigors of a stressful situation when you are faced with it.

Self-Defense Arts

When the SHTF, you already know that violent acts will become more pronounced. We see it every day now even though all the major systems we depend on are functioning normally. Having the ability and skill to defend yourself is important to all preppers. I carry a concealed weapon almost every day and so do many of you, but what if you aren’t able to take that weapon and someone threatens your life?

Self-defense classes help you avoid dying in a fight. You can choose from dozens of activities like boxing, Krav Maga, Judo, Karate, Taekwondo, Brazilian Jui jiitsu and countless others but they can all be used to keep you and your family safe while at the same time giving you focus, increasing your fitness levels and bolstering your confidence level.

Beekeeping

Keeping bees can not only help your garden and fruit orchards produce more.

You might be thinking that beekeeping is going to be too advanced but in reality, it takes about the same amount of time and means as gardening or other outdoor hobbies. In recent years, beekeeping has grown as a hobby to help families grow healthier plants while also helping the families be more self-reliant.

Keeping bees can not only help your garden and  fruit orchards produce more, but you also get the benefits of honey, which can be stored forever and wax which can be used in making soap, candles and healing salves to heal minor scrapes or burns.

Ham Radio

Ham Radio operators can still communicate if there is no electric power, satellites or cellular service. That is the primary reason they are the go-to method of communication for preppers as well as emergency response teams in virtually every large city. With the right equipment, Ham operators can talk to people in other countries using technology that was around in the early 1900s. If some disaster knocks out the cell phone service, emergency communications can be routed through Amateur Radio and you can keep in touch with others in your family, group, region or state easily.

Ham or Amateur radios fall under the control of the FCC and there is a licensing process associated with being able to communicate on the radio. To speak on the air legally, you must first obtain your Technician level license and a call sign from the FCC. Your name and information will be listed in at least one public database and this information is freely accessible to anyone who wants to look.

Food Preservation

By now you probably are more than aware that if the power grid goes down, just about all of the food preservation capacity we have is lost. Yes, we have canned food, but grocery stores rely heavily on the refrigerated containers to keep meat and dairy product fresh. The freezers we all have rely on electricity too so in a true collapse how will you keep that bounty of vegetables around for longer than a week or two? It must be preserved.

From root cellars to pickling, canning and salting people for millennia have been storing food without the convenience of refrigerators or freezers and with a little work, we can do the same thing. Start small with making pickles from cucumbers you get from the store or better yet, your garden. Move up to veggies, soups, salsa and spaghetti sauce or stews. You can even can meat!

Drone operation

How can piloting one of those annoying remote control gadgets help you in prepping? Well, it is a hobby I have been wanting to try for a while for a couple of good reasons. First of all, it looks fun, but the ability to fly a drone with an HD camera 400 feet up in the air could have serious grid-down prepping advantages. The one drawback is the FAA requires registration and they have a lengthy list of rules. Most of them I see the rationale with, just hate the process.

Mostly it is about the ability for intelligence. You can fly a drown over your retreat location to get unobstructed surveillance to see who is coming from miles away. You can verify threats before they are close enough to do you any harm. Optionally, you could use a drone to advance scout a route you were getting ready to take on foot or to determine if that old logging road you are using has an ambush roadblock ahead. Or get really cool video of your kid’s soccer game.

So who is still with me? There are just 16 hobbies for preppers but I know there are so many more than can be used. What hobbies do you find help your prepping skills?

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Are You Planning to Fail If SHTF?

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

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You could encapsulate just about anything in the world of prepping under one simple word: planning. Preppers are planning for different scenarios where they must implement one or more plans for how to deal with various aspects of said scenario. We plan on how we will act, what prepping supplies we will need to acquire and we plan how to talk to family members and avoid neighbors.

Preppers plan for medical emergencies by selecting the right medical supplies, books and resources such as wilderness training to put us in a better position to render first aid to wounded family and friends. We plan for economic collapse by investing in precious metals, or diversifying our income by a second or even third job. Preppers plan to bug out and deal with violent confrontations from displaced and possibly hostile individuals or groups that will stop at nothing, including your life to survive themselves. Gardens, food, shelter, alternate power, FEMA, government abuses and on and on we have our plans. But are you planning to fail? Is what you are doing really a plan at all?

What is your prepping plan?

I have written a few articles on the subject of planning with respect to prepping because it seems to me like a logical step but I was reminded of this topic again while planning a backpacking trip with a small group of my daughter’s friends. We would be going into the woods in a remote location that I had been to before, but my “plan” focused on me really – the basics I knew I would need to take into consideration and I had not fully appreciated this group of kids that I hardly knew. I hadn’t expanded my scope of thinking outside of my own little bubble. Almost instinctively I was making lists in my head of what gear I would need and where it was stored. Mentally I calculated the weight I would be packing in and pictured myself walking through the woods with my faithful dog and a bunch of teenagers lagging somewhere on the trail behind me. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that I certainly couldn’t “plan” on each of these kids knowing what they were getting into and what they would need.

I started writing out a list of the basics: Who, What, When, Where, and How. I left out the Why because I don’t need an excuse to go live in the woods for a few days, I have been waiting for almost a year for the opportunity! In my revised plan, I focused on what they would each need to have, the conditions of the voyage into the great unknown and many details the parents would likely need to know. Before long my plan was a two-page word doc that my daughter laughingly said “detailed enough, Dad?” It’s a simplistic example, but I started thinking about my prepping plans considering that exercise.

A list isn’t a plan

When I started prepping, the first thing I did resembling a plan was to write out a long list of the items I thought I needed to focus on in order to “be prepared”. I still have that list around here somewhere but I remember exactly the types of things I scribbled down back so many years ago. There were sections for Food, Water, Shelter, Security, Finances, Gardening and Medical. Each section had a list of items I knew from my research could help me and my family. It was a good start but just writing down these supplies I needed wasn’t really a plan. It was a shopping list.

My list helped me get started with the acquisition of food. I was able to focus on first a 30-day supply of food and that grew as I had other items checked off. My list was constantly being analyzed for priority. If I got an extra $100 to spend I would look at my list and see where I had the biggest hole in my preps and move in that direction. Some months I was able to cross items off my list and other months I wasn’t able to. It helped me but again this was not a plan.

Having a ton of supplies isn’t a plan

Eventually my supplies stared to add up and I was feeling more comfortable with the odds of my family being able to survive, I still didn’t have a plan other than to stay in my house and use the supplies we had been scraping together. I had a supply of ammo, weapons, rain barrels, our garden was started and the pantry was filled with canned beans, rice and corn. I had freeze-dried food under the beds and medical supplies stashed in bins at the bottom of closets but after all this, the only thing I could really say was that my plan was not to need to go to the store for a while. I could sit pretty while the world collapsed at least for some time.

It wasn’t too long after that I realized a few things:

  • No matter how much you stock up, it will run out eventually.
  • Your plan to stay on your piece of land might need to change against your wishes.
  • If the world goes to hell, your reality will likely change. Your health, responsibilities and abilities could all suffer in a long-term collapse.

Going back to my backpacking analogy, I started to reflect on all the other people whose lives could impact my prepping ideals. It is wise to take these other people into account when I made my plans. My neighbors, the people down the street, law enforcement, rescue services, the military, gangs, relatives, friends. A disaster will likely be a dynamic event that you will have to adjust to and make changes to your plans on a daily basis in some cases. A warehouse of supplies is nice, but what if you are forced to leave all those behind?

So, in some ways all the work we think of as being the bulk of Prepping – the accumulation of gear, guns, ammo and supplies only gets us maybe 15% of the way to this mythical point of preparedness. The rest is what we will do with those supplies we have accumulated, how will we use them with our families in various situations. How will we ensure the use is done in a manner consistent with how you envisioned them when you purchased the supplies. Do we need to ration and when? Who can access the supplies and how will you deal with resupply? Who will you share with and what are you prepared to do in situations where you don’t want to share? But that’s just the Stuff part of it. There is so much more!

Prepping is not simply distilled only to the acquisition of gear. You should not relax when you have a pantry full of food and some camping gear and a rifle or two. Granted, that will put you ahead of many people, but that is only a short-term gain. If you are searching for true preparedness, your plans must begin to imagine a life without many of those supplies you have stockpiled because in a true grid-down disaster, end of the world calamity that you are imagining there is a pretty good chance your MRE’s will be long gone, your ammo could be gone and any medical supplies you had might have vanished months ago.

For me, a true prepping plan is being able to live without any of the supplies I am stocking up. I am pointed in that direction now with efforts on self-reliant power, food production and living off the land as much as possible. Does that mean I am not stocking up anything and I am only going to be prepared to eat bark and roots? Nope, but I won’t be sitting in my suburban bunker eating my canned peaches watching DVD’s on my solar-powered player either as the world burns outside. The supplies will only buy me time. That time is going to need to be spent on many initiatives that will lend themselves to survival. Survival for my family and everyone I can bring along with me.

What’s your prepping plan?

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Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Eight

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Today you get another chance to voice your opinion! I have chosen the 5 finalists for the latest round of the Prepper Writing Contest. This round offered yet another wide array of topics that are valuable sources of information and discussion for our readers. Thank you to everyone who entered! Don’t forget round Nine of the writing contest has already started so get your entries in now. Previous winners can still win again!

I will leave the voting open for a few days so please let me know which article you think is the best. The five articles in contention for the 3 prizes of Amazon gift cards are (in no particular order):

Vote Now!

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Round Eight - Which Article Was the Best?

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10 Items That Sell out After a Crisis

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

It could be your worst nightmare. A disaster happens and for some reason, you aren’t prepared at all. In a panic, you drive to the local store only to rush through the front doors and see row upon row of empty shelves. The survival items you need are gone, already picked over with nothing left except items of no practical use to you like cake decorating icing and gift cards.

Scenes like this happen all the time to people all over the world, but as preppers your job is to make sure it doesn’t happen to you. Your family should be preparing well in advance of any potential disaster and we have many posts that outline simple steps you can take now to be more prepared in the future. But let’s just play along with the scenario above.

If you had only one chance to make it to the store, what items would disappear first? If you were in a race with your neighbors to get anything you could before the stock was gone, which items would you need to throw into your shopping basket?

Items that sell out after a crisis

In a lot of ways, the crisis will dictate to some degree which items sell fastest, but we can imagine that in every crisis, power will be off. This fact dictates most of what will appear in the list below. I want to go over each item and give my reasoning for why you should have these items now or in some cases, what you can have on-hand as an alternative so that you aren’t that guy staring at an empty store wondering how you can use shoe laces in a survival situation.

Generators

1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator

A backup source of power is not something most of us think about (before we prepped anyway) until we hear that eerie sound of silence when every electric device connected to the wall goes dead. In my house, I have backup batteries on my computers so as soon as the lights go out, the fridge stops running and any ancillary devices stop, I begin to hear an annoying beep. That beep is telling me I only have about 10 minutes before my computer shuts off to save any work, but it also signals that we are no longer connected to the power grid in a meaningful way.

Generator sales always peak after a disaster and I have heard stories of people fighting in parking lots over them. The day the hurricane rolls into your town is not the day to try to go to the big home improvement store and get a generator because it is likely too late. If you think you need backup power for emergencies, set aside time and budget now to get a model that will work for you. Most generators will not power your entire home, but a decent sized portable generator can power several lights, charge devices or one to two small appliances. These are great for just the essentials to keep you going. But you should ensure you have plenty of fuel on hand also.

Alternative: In lieu of a generator, you can use a power inverter and your car’s engine to do the same thing. You may even use less fuel and will certainly cause less noise.

Extension cords

So, you have a fancy generator running outside but you need to connect your devices to it. Extension cords are always in short supply after a disaster because people forget they need to get power to the other end of their home or across the street to a neighbor’s house. A few 50 to 100 feet medium duty extension cords will help you bring the power into areas and away from the noise of the generator.

Weather Radios

When the TV is out and so is the internet, people naturally revert to the good old radio for information, entertainment and comfort. A weather radio is usually purchased because most like the Eton FRX3 Hand Crank NOAA AM/FM Weather Alert Radio have a crank that you can use to power the unit instead of batteries. This will ensure you can listen to local broadcasts or even emergency weather alerts without the need for power. Well, you supply the power.

Batteries

Speaking of batteries, it’s good to do two things ahead of any disaster. First, standardize on a common battery size now. I prefer AA for most of my devices that take batteries. My radios, headlamps, flashlights all use AA. The second thing is to have plenty of batteries on hand before you need them. I have purchased a couple of the 48-packs of batteries and stored them away for emergencies. These are not kept with the battery supply that is dipped into for game controllers and toys for visiting children.

Alternative: Use rechargeable batteries and a solar charger to keep your supply fresh. Even the best batteries will die eventually so rechargeables are a longer running option.

Candles

Candles are a grid-down staple that can be used for other things beside light.  You can heat a room or cook with them if you have the right set up. They aren’t a perfect solution because I would still rather have a headlamp than a candle, especially to prevent fires but they do have their place. Funny, if you watch the walking dead apparently, they each have about 10 dozen with them at all times. Candles are your back-up’s backup.

Industrial fans

When the power goes out, a fan can be one of those conveniences that saves a lot of time and trouble besides just bringing a breeze. After hurricane’s Katrina and Sandy, industrial fans were used to dry out carpet before mold set in. In the summer time, they could cool a decent sized room too and keep things from overheating. Now, you are going to have to justify using the gas you have stored for a fan, but in some cases, these are sold out quickly. I can imagine how nice they would be in a hot Florida or Mississippi August.

Gasoline cans

What are you going to carry that gas in that you are standing in line for hours to get? Along with decreased or non-existent fuel supplies, having an appropriate container for transport is often overlooked. Your car is out of gas or more likely you don’t want to use gas to get to the store so you will need several fuel cans to cart any fuel you can obtain. Additionally, a yard wagon to haul 4 of these or more at a time (provided rationing will allow it) might be a good idea also.

Flashlights/Lanterns

Fenix Flashlights HL50 365 Lumens Headlamp

Most home have some version of a flashlight around for emergencies. My dad had several strategically placed at my home growing up and I have followed suite to a large degree. You never realize just how many flashlights you need when the power goes out and it’s pitch black. I would add a decent headlamp to this list for everyone in the family because I think they are superior for working hands free. Lanterns are great for powering a room like the kitchen when we all sit down to a nice meal of freshly grilled venison steaks that were going to go bad in the freezer. We can use the lantern to have enough light to see each other and eat with and not spend the batteries in other devices. I have a couple of battery-powered lanterns (little to no heat and zero risk of fire) and several Coleman propane lanterns for outdoor use or winter time, controlled usage. The heat off these is great in winter and you can cook on the tops too if you are desperate.

Non-Perishable Food/Water

Now, the most obvious item that sells out after a crisis, and that is food. I didn’t want to create a list of 10 food items, but let’s just say that you know food disappears when panic sets in. You know your family is partial to eating food because they do it every single day. You know that when the power goes out, your options for cooking that food will be a little bit different so take time now to stock up on canned food items that your family can eat either by heating over a camp stove or grill or even a fire. There are a ton of options that you don’t even have to cook. Have plenty of these on hand to feed your family because the stores will run out if this is really a disaster. Even if they get things running in 3 days, do you want your family to go without that long? Take steps now.

This list is just 10 items that sell out in a crisis, but they are by no means the only things that disappear off shelves that we might wish we had. What is on your list of prepping items to make sure you have before it’s too late?

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Preppers: Now Is Not the Time to Let Your Guard Down

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

There are many reasons why people start prepping. For me I had growing sense of the fragility of the social and economic fabric that weaves our daily systems together back in 2005. Call it a gut-check that was caused by impulses I am still not even aware of the source, but I felt an urge to take steps to protect my family. From what? From all manner of normal, everyday events and tragedies that affect people all over the world and have since the beginning of time. Fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, famine, disease, war, economic downturn, zombie invasion, pandemic, loss of a job, drought, flood. The list goes on and on but I began a journey back then that continues, almost without ending to this day to be prepared for just about anything that can happen.

Many of my other prepper friends though seem to have hinged their motivation for prepping on a political urgency. Their own reasons for prepping stemmed almost directly from the recent political climate and actions taken by one political party or another. The fear of regulations or rules coming down from an abusive, tyrannical despot drove them to prepare for a loss of rights, confiscation of firearms or riots in the streets. But after one election cycle, the urgency has waned for these preppers. The fear of gun confiscations is gone because one man left office and another woman failed to become his successor.

Now, instead of burning up the comments on many of the more popular prepping blogs out there calling for everyone to take steps now, it seems that so many preppers who were in full swing a year or two ago have relaxed and stopped worrying about the need to prepare. Has this happened to you?

When you stop prepping

Now don’t get me wrong, my urgency to prepare has highs and lows and I have myself gone through periods where I prepare with more vigor than other times. This can be for a lot of reasons. For some preps, I spend a little more money and if the finances aren’t where I’d like them, I scale back. The months before Tax Day usually slow things down in that respect. Other times, when I do have the finances and want to purchase some prepping supplies, I go after it a little more enthusiastically. Sales have a great way of motivating me too.

But the difference is that I have never felt in the entire time I have been prepping, that everything is OK. That I don’t have anything to worry about and all that was wrong in the world has been repaired. Never. Not even once. Perhaps some of that boils down to what I think some of the major problems are and what I am more concerned with. After the basic level of preparedness for life’s curve-balls, my big worry is economic collapse. That to me is the big one to get concerned about because trigger reasons aside, if that happens, we could easily see rioting, disease, mass death, wars, etc.

Additionally, I have been slack in some of my every day preparedness occasionally and I end up smacking myself for letting my diligence slip. For example, we recently completed a trip out-of-state to see family. We didn’t take my vehicle which has a pretty complete vehicle survival kit and a lot of other supplies that would enable us to survive for a good while with nothing else. Instead we had my wife’s vehicle, which is less stocked. Usually, I would move everything over as I packed and make sure we were covered. This time I was lazy and although nothing happened to us on the road, I thought about the lack of supplies the entire trip. Some days I leave the house without my concealed carry weapon and I worry that this will be the day when I find out I needed it. Fortunately, that has never happened.

Now is not the time to let your guard down

These are minor fluctuations that happen to everyone based upon life. I haven’t abandoned my other preps and I will redouble my efforts on my next out-of-town trip so that I am more prepared for whatever life throws my way.

But some people think that just because one person won an election, that the need to prepare is lessened, if not removed altogether. For those people who were prepping solely because of the political environment they saw as a threat, the words coming from the new boss are different, more aligned to what they believe, their own principles and morals – so the urgency has gone away.

Now is not the time to let your guard down

I wrote a post back in 2013 titled Misplaced Hope: The Futility in Picking Sides Politically where I basically said my own personal belief is that it does not matter who is in charge politically in the grand scheme of things. Our government isn’t truly representative anymore and your interests are not placed above the interests of those in power. This doesn’t change really no matter which side is in power so believing that just because one side wins all your problems are solved is folly. Your mileage may vary.

To those preppers who think that now since the last election, our economic issues are over, that government will stop spying on people, that your freedom will increase, that the world as a whole will be a better place and people will start to reason and get along. Those who think we will never have conflict with another country, that our health and prosperity will continue forever… You’ve got to get your head out of the sand. The man behind the podium doesn’t control the economy, the banks do. The Deep State doesn’t care who is in power because they don’t have to answer to anyone and besides, you freely give your privacy away to any one of dozens of companies already.

Prepping is a Marathon, not a sprint

I could go on, but the point I am trying to make is that you shouldn’t stop prepping because your team won the last big game. Things can change and one election doesn’t alter the course of history typically. I maintain, that each of us should keep our heads down, our eyes peeled and continue to prepare. Maybe you spend less time arguing with people on Facebook, but your journey to preparedness shouldn’t stop because you think the reasons you had for prepping have gone away. Elections happen every 4 years and even outside of that, major events happen that change things in ways you could never have imagined. Look at 9/11 and what that did to our view of the world and outlook on many things. Surprises do still happen.

So to all the preppers who stopped and all the new preppers from the other side who are just as worried now as some of us were before November 8th and who are now prepping with an urgency many on this side have lost – don’t let your guard down! We should be prepared for anything. Don’t let what is happening in the media from day-to-day dictate whether or not you are taking steps to protect your family. Look at the larger picture, to history and keep making strides day by day to learn new skills, to set aside food and water, to get in shape and obtain training you could need one day.

Prepping is a Marathon, not a sprint and the race is far from over.

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Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Six

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

The election caused more chaos than even I realized becuase it was only today that I realized round 6 of the Prepper Writing Contest had ended and I completely forgot to open up the polling to all you to choose the winners. Please accept my apologies for the oversight.

Even if you thought the fun of Election night was over, you get another chance to voice your opinion! I have chosen the 5 finalists for the last round of the Prepper Writing Contest. Submissions ran the gamut from new contributors to old friends in lots of different areas that preppers are debating to this day. I want to thank everyone who entered and remind you that Round Seven of the contest has already started so get your entries in now. Previous winners can still win again!

I will leave the voting open for a few days so please let me know which article you think is the best. The five articles in contention for the 3 prizes of Amazon gift cards are (in no particular order):

Vote Now!

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Round Six - Which Article Was the Best?

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Apocalypse Training 101: Learn How to Survive the End of the World

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Sponsored by 5.11Tactical

When non-preppers think about how to survive the end of the world, they usually think about hoarding supplies, finding a secure place to store them and hunkering down to wait it out. It’s a nice fairy-tale, but in the real world, when SHTF, true survivors have to know how to hit back.

While it is important to stock up on supplies that you might need to survive TEOTWAWKI, having all the supplies in the world won’t help you if you can’t get to them when an apocalypse event strikes. What about defending all your supplies from desperate people trying to get them? What about protecting yourself and the people you care about? What if a flood or fire break out and you end up stranded with nothing? Even if you do manage to make it back to your supplies and feel safe, what happens when the inevitable occurs and your supplies run out?

Fitness is the First Step to Survival

The truth is, prepping is about skill and knowledge, first and foremost. Knowing what matters most is the true key to apocalypse survival, and having the skills to do whatever it takes to keep going isn’t about buying stuff; it’s about building your skill-set. That’s why the first step in learning how to prepare for the end of the world is always getting your body ready to handle whatever might come your way. In reality, every moment is an opportunity to train for the end of the world.

The Elements of Physical Fitness

crossfit

Diversify your training to see the greatest results.

Endurance. Strength. Flexibility. Creativity. These are the essential elements of apocalypse survival and training. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities in your everyday life to increase your overall capacity to execute these skills – if you make the time for it. Here’s a quick guide on how to physically prepare for SHTF:

  • Endurance. There’s just no way to build your stamina without getting after it, every day. Endurance is quite literally a marathon sport. Even if it starts with a simple walk, find a way to get moving and keep moving every day. Aim to continually increase the amount of physical activity you do, the kinds of activities you try and their level of difficulty.
  • Strength. Bodyweight exercises are a great way to strengthen and tone without a ton of equipment, while there are a range of targeted activities like CrossFit and Krav Maga that can help you home in on and improve your weakest skills.
  • Flexibility. It may not seem very tough, but staying limber is essential to staying alive. Stretch while you strengthen, and you’ll be able to do more and recover faster after intense physical activity.
  • Creativity. Diversify your training to see the greatest results. Try different combat methods and improvise with the environment around you to identify your strengths and weaknesses while making it easier to respond effectively, whatever your situation or surroundings.

Apocalypse Training Techniques

combattraining

Learn how to defend yourself in a lethal situation without a weapon.

Ultimately, fitness training for SHTF situations is about applied knowledge, not book learning or simulations. The people you’re fighting against when SHTF won’t follow the rules of sparing or good sportsmanship. At TEOTWAWKI, you’ll be fighting for your life with whatever you have available. That means you need to be prepared to fight on all fronts.

Train in three ways for maximum effect:

  • Functional Training. Use what’s around you to build practical strength, like tires, ropes and more. This idea is the cornerstone of CrossFit and parkour training.
  • Combat Training. Learn how to defend yourself in a lethal situation without a weapon. Mastering a martial art that’s specifically designed for tactical fighting like Krav Maga can be your greatest protection in an apocalypse situation.
  • Tactical Training. Firearm training is a no-brainer. Having a gun won’t help you if you don’t know how to properly use it or don’t consistently practice and improve your shooting skills.

When deciding how to build your skills in each of these three areas, think about the ultimate goal of any technique you learn. Your primary objective is to survive, not simply one-up your assailant. Find tactics that will help you stay one step ahead of an opponent both mentally and physically. Approaching your training this way is how to survive the end of the world. Survival isn’t about winning a trophy or a championship belt. It’s about making it out alive.

Tactical Survival Training for TEOTWAWKI

Focus on developing the kind of skills that will serve you under pressure when preparing for the end of the world. PHOTOGRAPHER: Lauren Harnett

If you really think about it, it makes sense to focus on developing the kind of skills that will serve you under pressure when preparing for the end of the world. You won’t be facing rainbows and words of encouragement in the end of days. When training with firearms, spend the majority of your time building and practicing fundamental skills so they become natural reflexes when you’re fighting for your life, rather than focusing on tricks and complicated techniques that will take time to recall.

The tactics you have to think about are the ones that will do the most damage when it’s time to make a split-second decision in a fight or flight situation. It’s better to stick with tactical techniques that complement what naturally happens in your body and brain when adrenaline spikes. This means sticking with methods that retain your accuracy and control, even when you’re under serious stress.

Practice the Basics. Then Practice Differently.

The tactics you have to think about are the ones that will do the most damage when it’s time to make a split-second decision in a fight or flight situation.

The first key to effective firearm use is mastering the basics, including your stance, grip, target acquisition, sights, trigger control, follow-through and ability to disarm an opponent. Here’s a quick breakdown of each and what you should focus on to improve your fundamentals.

  • Power Stance. Improving your overall fitness level will help you find a stable, mobile and balanced stance when shooting your gun, but it takes practice to find the power stance that will protect you from recoil, while letting you stay agile, aggressive and in control.
  • Grip. Make your grip firm, tight and with your thumbs curled down. Firearm expert and master trainer Massad Ayoob calls this the “crush grip,” and it’s one of the five elements he considers most crucial to have in your arsenal before firing a gun (Ayoob, 2012).
  • Target Acquisition. This skill covers the rapid vision transition that must occur after you’ve spotted a target and before you shoot. Practice adjusting the focus of your eyesight from a natural target to your sights quickly so you program the movement into your eyes’ muscle memory.
  • Sight Alignment and Picture. Two essential yet separate elements of proper shooting, sight alignment requires that your front sight be centered between the rear sights with your rear sights horizontally aligned, while sight picture is the relationship of your sight alignment to your target for accurate execution. Understanding the relationship between sight alignment and picture takes practice and depends on your individual gun.
  • Trigger Control. Your grip will go a long way toward improving trigger control, which is the act of pulling the trigger without pushing the nose of the gun up or down, jerking the trigger or otherwise disturbing your aim. Smooth and consistent squeezing is key.
  • Follow-Through and Reset. Follow-through is about squeezing the trigger until it stops moving, while reset is about getting the trigger ready to fire again. After your follow-through, practice releasing the trigger to the point of reset and firing again. Sometimes, the trigger break and follow-through positions are the same, sometimes not. Your trigger reset is rarely the same position where the trigger rests when untouched. Practice to determine both the follow-through and reset positions of your specific guns.
  • Disarmament. Whether you’re facing a knife, gun or concealed weapon that you can’t identify, you have to know how to disarm an assailant coming at you with a weapon – not only to protect yourself from other people, but also to anticipate how someone else might try to disarm you and prevent it.

There are a few simple drills that can help you get the basics ingrained in your brain, round out your shooting skills, and give you the confidence and versatility you need to shoot well when SHTF. Remember to practice shooting both moving and still targets, work with both two-handed and one-handed grips, and incorporate movement into your tactical training. If you aren’t shooting, move.

You should test out different kinds of firearms, including rifles, shotguns and handguns, and practice drawing and shooting them all until you find the weapons that work best for you. Your gun will do you no good if you can’t draw it fast enough and shoot it accurately. Practice in low light environments, try shooting multiple targets to improve your agility, and practice safely shooting from behind cover and concealment. All of these techniques can give you a huge tactical advantage in a lethal confrontation.

Mental Readiness: The Real Key to Apocalypse Survival

mentalreadiness

Having a strong mind and body and the right functional, combat and tactical training will go a long way to getting your ready for TEOTWAWKI – much more than stockpiling supplies can ever do.

Mental preparation is about conditioning yourself to handle the inevitable emotions during an apocalypse. Fear, concern, hopelessness, helplessness, defeat. Being better prepared than most can itself be a liability, since you can’t save everyone and trying to could ultimately end your own life. How will you determine when to stand firm, when to offer help and when to move on?

Mental preparedness doesn’t mean being weak. In fact, working on assessing, identifying and controlling your emotions will improve your ability to stay assertive, aggressive and in control instead of breaking down in the face of disaster. Often, appearing aggressive is enough to keep weaker would-be threats at bay, without the risks of direct engagement.

Having a strong mind and body and the right functional, combat and tactical training will go a long way to getting your ready for TEOTWAWKI – much more than stockpiling supplies can ever do. I hope this article gave you a good understanding of where to put your focus to really prepare for SHTF. If you get after it and train to improve a little each day, you’ll be better prepared than most when the end of the world arrives. Good luck.

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The post Apocalypse Training 101: Learn How to Survive the End of the World appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Interview with Prepper Children’s Author Benjamin Ellefson

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Benjamin Ellefson is a prepper who writes children’s books with themes of preparedness and survivalism. He is the author of the award-winning book The Land without Color and its upcoming sequel The Great Sugar War. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Benjamin and ask him a few questions.

How did you get involved in prepping?

I always loved the outdoors as a child. Some of my favorite memories were running through the woods at summer camp and canoeing down the Brule river in north Minnesota.

Fiction for younger readers with a Prepping message.

Fiction for younger readers with a Prepping message.

When I grew up, I got distracted with the corporate world of making money to provide for my wife and four young daughters. But when I experienced my first disaster in life when I got divorced, I returned to my love of the outdoors to cope.

That is when I discovered the prepping and survival community online. Still in the midst of my personal disaster, I instantly identified and understood the need for disaster preparedness. I started my food storage, every day carry, and research into learning new survival skills.

What motivates you as a prepper?

The economy. In my research learning about preparedness, I discovered the horror that is The Federal Reserve. And how the economy is a house of cards waiting to fall over with the slightest tremor. Ever since then, I keep a keen eye on the economy and politics trying to anticipate impending disasters. And everything I see this election cycle does not make me optimistic.

The other thing that motivates me are my daughters. As a father, I have the awesome responsibility to care for and raise four beautiful girls. Making sure they stay safe and healthy through any disaster is my top priority. While I am ensuring I have plenty of preps for them, I love to teach them how to be self-reliant and self-sufficient.

What do you think the most important aspect of prepping is?

I think the most important aspect of prepping is being mentally prepared. Most people in society are sheeple caught up in normalcy bias. They are asleep thinking nothing bad can ever happen. Or if something bad does happen, that government will just come and fix it.

These are the people who will be frozen in shock when a true disaster hits. Not only have they not gathered any preps ahead of time, but they not act in the beginning of any disaster because of their confidence for everything to just be OK.

Being aware of potential disasters and mentally prepared give you a leg up whenever anything goes wrong. Not only will this naturally lead to storing preps and learning skills ahead of time, but it will prevent the deer in the headlights reaction when it truly counts.

What is your favorite prepper novel?

Lights Out by HalfFast. It is an amazing novel the follows a family and neighborhood during a nationwide EMP strike and the aftermath. I loved the character and the evolution of events and non-preppers wake up to the disaster and fight to survive. The story is realistic and has plenty of page-turning excitement.

When did you begin writing stories with prepping themes?

I started writing back in 2012 after watching the documentary The Secret of Oz. It is an amazing movie about the symbolism behind the classic book The Wizard of Oz. I had seen the movie so many times, but never realized the deeper messages behind it.

This inspired me and my head started filling with fantasy ideas incorporating all of the prepping ideas that I was learning at the time. Soon I had an outline and a rough draft. Ever since then, I’ve been a writing maniac.

Why do you write children’s stories?

I love fantasy adventures. As a father of four daughters, I was disappointed to find that most survival or prepping themed books were geared towards adults.

benjaminellefsonSo I decided to write novels that could be consumed by and loved by young children. But at the same time be universal in their appeal with greater ideas and subtle messages that would be enjoyed by adults. The Wizard of Oz and the Phantom Tollbooth were my templates and greatest influences in writing my first novel The Land without Color. It worked so well that I used the template I created in that book for its two sequels.

What are some of the prepping themes in your novel?

The Land without Color is filled with many prepping themes. The story followed Alvin as he gets a pocketknife for his birthday. As he sets out on an adventure in a fantastic, colorless world, he uses his every day carry pocketknife to escape from many situations.

His sidekick is a squirrel named Permy who has a vast array of preps buried around the kingdom in little acorn pails. This reinforces the importance and idea of storing food and items.

There any many other themes and ideas that any prepper will love, but I won’t spoil them all now.

Do you have any additional novels in the works?

I do. The Land without Color is the first in a trilogy. The second book The Great Sugar War is finished and almost ready for print. I’ve got a Kickstarter campaign that is live now where people can pre-order the book for less than the retail price with free shipping.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ellefsonbooks/the-great-sugar-war

The Great Sugar War will be out in early December. The third book in the series is written and currently being illustrated. It should be available in December 2017.

I have also started writing a new seven-book series filled with preparedness themes. I am very excited about it and think it will be well received.

Where can prepper readers find you?

The best place to find me is on my author website http://www.benjaminellefson.com. I frequently post updates and news about signings and appearances. To stay I touch, you can sign up for my mailing list to keep in the loop on the latest news.

I am also active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

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The post Interview with Prepper Children’s Author Benjamin Ellefson appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Bug Out Vehicle Load Plan

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

In the face of disaster, preppers know we need to move quickly. We should be prepared to act in a minute’s notice when we realize our family is in jeopardy. We each have our Bug Out Bags ready to go or they should be but it is a different matter altogether if the family bug out mobile is involved. How many times have you watched a Prepper show where the family simulated loading all of their gear to escape town? Often it took them much longer than they anticipated and in at least one case, they couldn’t even take their main prep with them.

We have talked about conducting a trial load of your bug out vehicle before and that makes perfect sense, but what if you had a simple way to plan and stage your bug out vehicle equipment, food and gear that would only take you 10 to 20 minutes to load, was ready to go when you needed it and would give you just about everything you would need to live on your own for at least 30 days? What if this simple bug out vehicle load plan could get your and your family on the road faster? Do you think it would be worth it to spend a little time now as opposed to wasting life-saving hours later?

What do you need to pack if you are running away from disaster?

The idea for the bug out vehicle load plan comes from a couple of places. First, like so many of you, I have tried to figure out and plan for all my supplies if the situation dictated that I needed to throw everyone in the car and leave. I have written about my plan to shelter in place because I think everything being equal, it is much easier to weather some disasters from the comfort of your own home. However, I do realize that I don’t always get a vote. Perhaps a chemical spill 5 miles away was causing illness and evacuations. I would need to go and quickly.

I have many prepping supplies that I think are vital to living and surviving away from my home, but I don’t have them all packed and ready to go. I have some items in closets, some in sheds, some under beds, in spare closets and others strewn in numerous drawers. If I have plenty of time, I think What I have collected so far can cover a lot of bases, but in this scenario, we want to get out quickly. It could be that you want to beat the rush that could quickly cause the highways to be parking lots. It may also be that if you don’t get to safer ground, you will die.

Roof racks greatly extend your cargo carrying capacity.

The list I have put together draws a lot of inspiration from camping trips. I do still maintain that in many aspects, living off the grid is very similar to camping. Yes, there are many ‘but what about’ to that analogy, but if you have the basics to live in the woods for a week without starving, you are in pretty good shape. Will that last years? Will that keep you safe from hordes of Mongolians on horses? No, but we are working towards a goal here. Not everyone is able to have a bug out retreat.

What do you need to survive?

The consistent part of prepping is that everyone needs the same core things to survive. You need water, food, shelter and security. Technically you don’t need security if you are on an island and no creatures or humans are trying to separate you from your head, but you get the idea. In this world, you will likely need to defend yourself from others, in some situations, at some point.

Plano 1919 Sportsman's Trunk

Plano 1919 Sportsman’s Trunk

So our packing list is broken down into storage cases that represent some of these crucial elements. My plan is to have weather proof cases packed with all of these supplies ready to go at all times. If I need to go, it is a pretty simple matter to load them on my vehicle, secure them and roll out of the neighborhood.

The cases I use are from Plano. They are called the Sportsman Trunk 1919. The case dimensions are 37.75″ X 18.25″ X 14″ and I have room for three of these on the top of my vehicle plus more actually. I have more room inside the vehicle too, but I will get to that later.

Case 1 – Food

I think what goes in your food case will vary greatly. What I am comfortable eating would make some of you wince with pain. You have to consider the weight, storage space and caloric benefit of what you do pack though. For example, if you fill your food case up with nothing but bags of rice and cans of beans, that will last a while, but will quickly become boring. How sad is it when nobody wants to eat your food to survive? ‘They’ll eat when they get hungry enough!’ I know, I have said that too, but we should be able to agree a little variety is better.

Hopefully, we all know that nothing refrigerated should be going in this case and I would even argue against a cooler too. You should be packing food that you can forget about and only bring out when you need to leave. Coolers are big wastes of space.

What kind of food? I have several boxes of freeze dried food from a few different vendors. With choices like chicken noodle soup, mashed potatoes, powdered milk, chocolate pudding, rice, fruit, mac & cheese, etc. there is bound to be something we can all enjoy. Plus, the freeze dried food takes up so much less space than cans.

There are many creative options for extending the usefulness of your vehicle to keep you comfortable away from home.

What’s in there?

  • Strawberry Fields Cream of Wheat — 64 Servings
  • Maple Grove Oatmeal — 112 Servings
  • Uncle Frank’s Italian Lasagna — 16 Servings
  • Granny’s Homestyle Potato Soup — 48 Servings
  • Traveler’s Stew — 48 Servings
  • Summer’s Best Corn Chowder — 16 Servings
  • Blue Ribbon Creamy Chicken Rice — 48 Servings
  • Liberty Bell Potato Cheddar Soup — 40 Servings
  • Traditional Fettuccine Alfredo — 40 Servings
  • Independence Hall Chicken Noodle Soup — 16 Servings
  • Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Soup — 32 Servings
  • Country Cottage Mac & Cheese — 32 Servings
  • Heartland’s Best Mashed Potatoes — 64 Servings
  • Creamy Stroganoff — 32 Servings
  • Instant White Rice — 40 Servings
  • Chocolate Pudding — 60 Servings
  • Honey Coated Banana Chips — 32 Servings
  • Orange Energy Drink Mix — 32 Servings
  • Settler’s Whey Powdered Milk — 48 Servings
  • Coffee & Filters – Plenty…

This food is stored in a cool dry place in the Plano trunk so it’s ready to go. This should last a family of 4 approximately, 30 days. There are lots of freeze dried vendors out there. I suggest you do some research and then watch for sales. You can save a lot of money sometimes and it is always cheaper to buy in bulk. Your personal case might need to be adjusted for special diets, but this is an example.

Case 2 – Shelter

This case should be pretty simple to explain. It’s just the big gear we will use to keep us out of the elements.

  • Tent – 6-man tent
  • Tent stakes
  • 3 tarps – One for our ground cover. The others can meet various other needs.
  • Coleman Lantern and spare fuel
  • Camping Axe
  • Sleeping bags/pads

 

Case 3 – Supplies & Extras

Cooking

Cleanup/Hygiene

Health

  • Bug Spray
  • First Aid Kit

Miscellaneous

  • Fire Bag  – Flint, tinder, wetfire, lighter
  • Toilet Paper -Probably not enough to last 4 people 30 days, but enough to get us started.

Is that it?

That is the million-dollar question isn’t it? I know that some people will have items I have missed and I can easily come up with hundreds myself, but you have to ask if those items are necessary. Can this list keep you alive? Can you store this and get it loaded quickly? I think so and in an upcoming post, I will show you how I load everything.

There are other supplies that get packed in here too like weapons, bug out bags and communication items. I also have vehicle preps and clothes so stay tuned for more.

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The post Bug Out Vehicle Load Plan appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

9 Less Than Lethal Self-Defense Items

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Many times on the Prepper Journal, we have articles that revolve in some capacity around the subject of firearms. If you can access firearms and aren’t morally or philosophically opposed to them, they are the single greatest defensive tool you can have on you in a bad situation. Naturally, they come second to a good smart brain, but as tools go, firearms are the best self-defense items that preppers can acquire in my opinion.

Now, that being said it is just my opinion and you all know what they say about opinions. To continue down that line, simply having a firearm is no guarantee you will use it or that it can’t be taken from you. Firearms are simple tools designed to kill people but they require training, discipline, wisdom and willpower to be effective in a self-defensive situation. They aren’t a magic wand that you can simply wave at a problem and make it disappear. Often their very use creates more problems for those who carry them.

There are others that will say (rightly so) that without ammo, or if parts malfunction, any firearm is just an expensive club. To that end they will advocate alternative self-defense strategies. Still others live in areas where firearms are illegal so I wanted to write today about some less than lethal self-defense items that can be employed by just about anyone who can’t or does not want to own a firearm. We showed some of the creative weapons made by the protesters in Ukraine but this list will be a little tamer than that.

Less than lethal

Before I get to the list, let me explain what I mean by less than lethal. The items below with just a few exceptions could all be used to kill someone if used too long, too often or too forcefully. You could say the same thing about a rock. I gave them the less than lethal category because unlike a firearm, the self-defense items below won’t likely penetrate skin, almost assuredly won’t go through a wall and kill someone else and can likely be purchased anywhere without the need for a background check or permit.

Additionally, these items may fall into groups that could be expanded upon logically. It is really just a thought-starter for those preppers out there looking for options. Some of these items could be used in an emergency or improvised if needed. The down side of most of these items in my opinion is that you have to be really close to your attacker to deploy them. That proximity brings greater risk of injury but we are talking about saving your life here. I don’t want my wife or children to get any closer than they have to.

Tazer

VIPERTEK VTS-989 - 88,000,000 V Heavy Duty Stun Gun - Rechargeable with LED Flashlight

VIPERTEK VTS-989 – 88,000,000 V Heavy Duty Stun Gun – Rechargeable with LED Flashlight

The venerable tazer has been around for a while now and you can purchase one for less than $20. These use a small battery and a transformer to multiply the voltage of that battery. When pressed against someone’s skin, it delivers a high charge over stimulates the sensory and motor nerves. This results in strong involuntary muscle contractions and the victim is usually incapacitated for a brief time.

Tazers have been known to kill people but this is rare so I still believe this weapon qualifies as less than lethal. If you are ready with this in your hand, you can subdue an attacker and make your escape.

Pepper Spray/Bear Spray

SABRE Red Pepper Spray - Police Strength - Compact, Case & Quick Release Key Ring (Max Protection - 25 Shots, up to 5x More)

SABRE Red Pepper Spray – Police Strength – Compact, Case & Quick Release Key Ring (Max Protection – 25 Shots, up to 5x More)

Pepper spray is concentrated chemical compound that irritates the eyes, causing tears, pain and temporary blindness. It is used by police officers in crowd control and against rapists by females all over the world. The effect of pepper spray doesn’t last long but it is serious enough to allow you to escape. Unlike the tazer, you can spray pepper spray usually up to 10 feet. Bear Spray has a longer range of about 30 feet and the containers hold more spray which is why it is a prepper staple.

Kubaton

FURY Tactical SDK (Self Defense Keychain) with Pressure Tip

FURY Tactical SDK (Self Defense Keychain) with Pressure Tip

A kubaton is a short striking instrument that is designed to be held in your hand and deployed against sensitive or vulnerable areas on your attacker’s body. This requires some training before use, but you can get an idea of the use in the video below.

Many kubaton’s are designed to be a part of your key chain and ready to deploy quickly.

Self-defense cane

Durable Self Defense Cane - Virtually Indestructible

Durable Self Defense Cane – Virtually Indestructible

We’ve all seen the comedy act where the little old lady is whacking the purse snatcher over the head with her cane as he is trying to wrestle her pocketbook from her grasp. They do make canes that are designed from Fiber filled nylon that are meant to be used as a striking weapon. Crack someone over the head with this and you will get their attention. They also make canes with a tazer built in!

Extendable Baton

Expandable Solid Steel Baton

Expandable Solid Steel Baton

The expandable baton is a modern revision of the old police baton. Newer models are stored collapsed down and extend with a spring and a pretty good amount of force. Police officers carry these and they are basically a metal rod used to break windows or skulls.

 

Tire Thumper

RoadPro RPTT-1 Wooden Tire Thumper, 19-Inches,

RoadPro RPTT-1 Wooden Tire Thumper, 19-Inches,

Tire thumpers were designed by truckers to check the air pressure in tires. It is not a scientific measurement, but by listening to the sound the thumper makes and judging by the recoil felt in your hands you can get a good idea of roughly whether it needs a lot of air. The tire thumper itself is just a simple club and can be used to crack someone’s head under the right circumstances. Of course you could also break hands, arms, legs…

Baseball Bat

Or golf club, hockey stick, cricket bat, broom handle… Anything with some mass you can get your hands on and swing with all your might. Primarily for last ditch home defense, the baseball bat is certainly a formidable weapon but like most of these others will require some stealth. If you can sneak up on someone and disable them with a blow to the head they aren’t getting back up.

Fire Extinguisher

Why would you waste a good fire extinguisher on a bad guy? Because your life depended on it! A fire extinguisher puts out a big cloud of flame retardant that not only could temporarily blind someone but could also be very disorientating. Follow up by swinging the heavy cylinder at their head for the big finish.

Bug/Wasp Spray

We had a guest who wrote a post some time back about a weapon you may not have thought of. Bug Spray or more specifically wasp and hornet spray because it has a more targeted spray and further distance is one of those items that has made the rounds in prepper circles. To be honest, if I am down to wasp spray it is pretty serious, but in a desperate situation, I would give it a try.

So there are 9 less than lethal self defensive items you could use if the situation called for it. What ideas do you have for potential weapons?

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How Many Days Before You Give up Hope When SHTF?

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

When you consider the events that preppers all over the world seem to prepare for, earthquakes, floods, wildfires, hurricanes, government collapse, economic collapse, rioting, hurricanes and on and on – if you are honest, you have to contemplate how you will act when faced with death. When whatever situations we are storing supplies for happen, inevitably in the worst disasters there will be death. There always is. In the most disastrous to us personally, it will be people we know and love.

I think all of us fear that possibility in the back of our minds and we deal with that in some ways by prepping. The more prepared we are, we figure, the less we have to worry about anyone we care for being adversely affected by disaster. That is the whole reason behind prepping, right? It is and while I can’t think of a better defense against bad things happening, still we all know they will. That is if we are being honest.

I say that again because I think some of us aren’t truly grasping the enormity of a situation that we would collectively call a SHTF. We have a pretty cavalier attitude about it sometimes and illustrate our plans to pick bad guys off at 300 yards before they can sneak through the woods to harm our women and children. We talk about repelling the worst of society and stocking away enough provisions to feed a platoon of highly skilled friends for years but are we just kidding ourselves and walling off discussion of something we all fear? Are we avoiding conversations that we may need to consider now that involve the very real prospect of death?

Giving up hope

I was prompted to write this article after listening to a podcast interview of the author Sheri Fink who has written a book entitled, Five Days at Memorial. In this book, she describes the events during hurricane Katrina that happened at Memorial Hospital. The podcast where she was interviewed and described in shocking detail the events that happened was incredible to me. You can listen below.

To cut to the most compelling story, one which you may already know, many patients were found dead in Memorial Hospital immediately following Katrina and there were charges that they had all died from lethal doses of drugs. Mortuary workers eventually carried 45 corpses from Memorial, more than from any comparable-size hospital in the drowned city. I won’t ruin the podcast or the story for you. It’s tragic on many levels, but the point that stuck out to me was that for all intents, these people in this story only lasted 5 days after a SHTF event before someone gave up.

I am not debating the various sides to the story, that is something you can do if you like. What is incontrovertible is that this one hospital lost power and utilities really on the day after the hurricane passed through. Only 4 days really after that, decisions or circumstances led to the death of 45 patients. In an ecosystem ostensibly set up and more than capable of preserving life in normal circumstances, death still happened in only 5 days after a loss of power.

Memorial Medical Center

How long will you last without power?

Some of you may be reading this and thinking that these patients were very sick and near death anyway. They couldn’t possibly survive without power running their various systems. The heat was intense (reports are over 100) and if a lethal combination of drugs was administered to them, that is merciful.

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

OK, so if that is your argument, place yourself in that same situation. The power has gone out for 5 days in the summer due to some force outside your control. Now add to that, your toilets are filling up with sewage and your mother who is nearly bed-ridden is feeling the effects of age and her ailments more so in the heat. Are you going to put her out of her misery? Would you wait another 5 days? A month? How long would you last?

These questions I am posing, I honestly don’t have the answers for myself, but it did start my wheels turning. At its most basic, in this story, for the people in this hospital, this was a power outage. Yes, it was more chaotic than that, but the water didn’t push them from their location. They were dry, not counting the sweating they must have been doing and still with all their training, despite the Hippocratic oath… people were dying after only 5 days. This was in a hospital. What will happen everywhere else with people who aren’t trained to preserve life?

What could I do any differently?

The story of what happened in Memorial hospital reinforced for me just how quickly our society will unravel in a true crisis. After only four days’ critical patients in hospitals died. You have to expect similar things in nursing homes, assisted care facilities and regular homes or apartments of senior citizens everywhere if they are dependent on medicine or power to survive. Now add people who are on prescription medication (at least 60% of Americans) or who are bed-ridden, confined to an electric wheel chair type of device. Sure some of these people can survive without medication, but many will not be able to. What will be the scale of death with a larger event that takes power out for months or years? How many people will die when the power goes out and all of the ability to refrigerate food is gone? What will happen when there is no more air conditioning and temperatures raise higher and higher without any relief? When the bodies start to pile up, what will you do?

Will you be looking at ending the suffering of your family? The people you have been entrusted with caring for? How long will you be able to last before you give up and say to yourself, I am making them more comfortable?

Stories like this prompt me to action in a couple of ways.

Many dead were found in the chapel.

Many dead were found in the chapel.

Refocus on prepping – Even if this is National Preparedness Month, hearing real life stories like this motivate me in a way that no stupid national declaration could ever do. These people were in a hospital so their lives to a great extent were in the hands of the medical practitioners, but you will likely not be in a hospital. Do you have supplies to last if the power goes out for 5 days? Do you have enough food and water for 30 days? Can you last longer than that? Have you ever experienced that much time without power?

Have redundant power sources – Additional backup power for me is a luxury, but for people who need this to survive, it’s a different story. I have several alternative sources of power from small solar panel systems to generators and power inverters. I have enough to get me by but not in sufficient amounts and not for long. Unless you have a significant source of solar power, in the worst disasters anything will eventually run out. Generators will run out of fuel no matter how much you store.

Consider medical issues – My family is all healthy but our extended family has a couple of people who require prescription medicine daily. Two are diabetic and I need to work with them on both acquiring more supplies just in case and to my previous point, making sure they have a way of keeping their insulin cool. Does your family have medical needs that you can handle if the power doesn’t come back on?

Remember what SHTF really means – SHTF isn’t really just some cool letters we strung together to sound hip. It is an idea that should conjure the worst scenarios in our mind. If we truly do live through a SHTF event, we can expect miserable conditions. This won’t be like the movies. People will die and tragedy will be in our faces, on our streets and impacting people we really know.

Plan to survive – Above all else, my motivation for prepping is that I plan to survive and I am taking as many people with me as I can. It is important to remember that well after I am forced out of the comfort of my office chair. When all hell breaks loose, that is when it matters and everything I have planned for up until this point will need to be put into action.

Don’t give up – I realize that at some point preserving life is no longer feasible or wise. I can’t say what I would have done in the case of the people in New Orleans for sure, but I do hope I would have been able to last longer than that. Suffering is never fun, but we were never promised a life without suffering. I will try to hold on as long as I can and do what is in my power to help others. That is all any of us can do.

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Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Five

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Vote for the best prepper article in round five!

After a slight holiday delay (sorry about that) I have chosen the 5 finalists for the last round of the Prepper Writing Contest. Submissions ran the gamut from new contributors to old friends in lots of different areas that preppers are debating to this day. I want to thank everyone who entered and remind you that Round Six of the contest has already started so get your entries in now. Previous winners can still win again!

I will leave the voting open for a few days so please let me know which article you think is the best. The five articles in contention for the 3 prizes of Amazon gift cards are (in no particular order):

 

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The Best Way Home: SHTF Route Planning

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Imagine it’s 1:15 on a Thursday afternoon. You and some friends at work have recently returned from lunch and you are settling back into work. As you are going about your daily responsibilities, the Emergency Broadcast System starts to blare over a coworker’s radio. Normally you would ignore this, but you also get an Emergency alert message on your smart phone. Funny, you could swear you had disabled those, but is says that there has been a terrorist attack in Los Angeles and urges calm and promises more information soon. You start walking out of your office towards the break-room and notice everyone crowded around the TV when the power goes out. Looking down, you notice your phone isn’t working either.

Making for the nearest window, you notice that vehicles on the road have stopped, seemingly right in their tracks. Could this be an EMP? Not wanting to overreact, you take the stairs and walk out to the parking lot. You try your key fob but that doesn’t work either so you use your key. A quick check of the ignition and you realize your car isn’t going anywhere either. Slowly your co-workers validate the same with their cars and you start looking at the possibility that you will could have to walk back home. Unfortunately for you, you work 72 miles away from home.

It’s one of the more common problems us preppers try to figure out. What is the best way home as quickly and safely as possible when SHTF and you are far away? I had a reader ask me the following question:

My husband works 75 miles from home. My greatest fear is that disaster or SHTF will happen while he is at work. I would like to start planning for how he might get home, but don’t know how to begin figuring out what is the best route. Most posts (here and elsewhere) on the subject are about get home bags and what equipment to have with you, but not so much about planning the actual route, other than to stay off major highways. Would like to hear the pros and cons of sticking to roadways, crossing private property, what type of maps to consult, etc. – Zendelle

I always appreciate questions from our readers and I will try to give my thoughts about this subject as I have considered this myself. So without any further ado…

What is the best way home during a SHTF event?

There are so many factors that come into play when you are talking about a situation like this. How far away are you? What is the weather like? What region will you be traveling through? Are you in an urban environment or rural? What type of shape are you in? Do you have other people, like children you have to consider? Are your two youngest in school or daycare? What type of clothing and footwear are you wearing? What time of day are you starting out?

Each person is unique and our situations are also unique so there are no firm and set rules for anything but I have given this some thought. At one point in my life I commuted 90 minutes each way to work. It was 77 miles’ door to door and getting home in that type of scenario I mentioned above would be no picnic for anyone. To be really prepared, you have to imagine walking home in the heat of summer or the bitter cold of winter.

For this hypothetical, we will assume that there really has been some type of national catastrophe. Maybe an EMP attack from a rogue nation or terrorist cell has disrupted all modern electrical appliances. Virtually everything electric has shut down and you have precious little time, a couple of days tops to make it back home to your family before the chaos really starts.

To be really prepared, you have to imagine walking home in the heat of summer or the bitter cold of winter.

Before you take the first step: What gear do you need to consider?

I know our reader mentioned that most people only talk about Get Home Bags when this topic comes up but it is worth spending a few sentences here on how best to equip yourself before this even happens.

  • Get Home Bag – Having a get home bag in your car will be an important step in the right direction so to speak. I won’t get into what you should pack in your get home bag, but we do cover all of that in several articles on the subject. You can read our post about putting together your Get Home Bag.
  • Proper Footwear – Flip flops belong at the pool people! My children are guilty of this too, but if you are forced to walk home, what are you going to wish you had on your feet? Sturdy footwear like hiking boots or at least good athletic shoes should be one consideration.
  • Dress for the elements – Dress like you will be spending all day outside not sitting in a cubicle. Regardless of the season, have appropriate clothing on that will protect you from the elements, especially if you are going to be further than an hour’s walking time from home.
  • Food/Water/Shelter – You should have at a minimum, a container that will hold water, a way to filter water, some form of emergency shelter and food. You don’t need a four course meal to survive, but something to keep your energy up. Think power bars or protein bars. Survival rations work too and won’t go bad in the car.
  • Protection – Do you have some protection from two-legged animals? I always have a personal firearm, but Tasers and bear spray are options too that are better than nothing.
  • Maps – And the knowledge of how to read them. These can be simple street maps, you don’t have to have topo maps of the entire region. You can grab the road atlas out of your car before you head out.

Planning your route and alternate route home.

For the commuter who drives to work, I would imagine that each of you have already mapped out the most efficient route to your place of business that you use virtually every single day. We get into a routine because we found a way that works. It’s usually the most direct, fastest way to get where you need to go. I even go into autopilot some days on the weekend and start driving my work route even when I am not going that direction. These habits can be a good thing in one respect.

London Map

each of you have already mapped out the most efficient route to your place of business that you use virtually every single day

Commuters who use trains or buses follow a similar route. The trains go into central spokes normally that would mimic a commute via car. None of us should really worry about the normal route we take back home as long as we know the roads we would take if public or personal transportation was down. With few exceptions, the highway system is going to be the quickest way we can get back to our home city. Highways level out hills and go around natural obstacles. However, what if the route you normally follow has been blocked? What if you travel through less savory parts of town that you wouldn’t normally want to be walking down the street?

Identify your primary, secondary and tertiary routes home – In my case, working 77 miles from home, I was likely looking at 2 to 3 days of hiking to make it back assuming I did not encounter anything that made me need to alter my course. Most of my commute was interstate highway so I would have simply followed that route. However, if that didn’t work out, I could cut back on a smaller highway that would have taken me on a much more rural track to the South back home.

Depending on how people were reacting you could run into rioting or looting in some areas. I would have been walking on the highway through several major population centers that might be best avoided. I don’t think I would ever cut across someone’s property unless there were strong benefits and low risks that I perceived from doing so. Going cross-country, without the benefit of a road can slow you down and may even bring on injury more quickly as you could have to navigate natural obstacles like streams, dense underbrush, rocks, etc. The last thing you want to do is injure your self and make walking more difficult or even impossible while you try to shave 20 minutes off your trip.

Having more than one route back home can help you avoid dangerous areas.

Having more than one route back home can help you avoid dangerous areas.

Rather than having a specific route I am taking, I would consult the maps I store in my car to decide which ways I would alternate if needed. I would go to the south of the major urban areas if I sensed any danger but I would still be staying on paved roads that were common thoroughfares.

Pros and Cons of various routes

In the example above, does your normal route take you through urban areas you would rather avoid? Has the disaster already started to make people act irrationally? I think that most of us even in the scenario I described above will be able to count on average people thinking that nothing is wrong. The power will come back on because it always does. Food will still be available and there will still be items on store shelves. You should be home way ahead of any actual panic, but sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry with your route. I don’t think anyone would be barricading streets the first or even third day after the lights go out.

Are you carrying three days’ worth of water on your or are their sources you can tap into along the way. Assuming you have cash on hand you will likely be able to purchase it from stores who are likely still in operation as the Normalcy bias takes over for most.

What factors do the weather play?

Adverse weather could seriously impede your progress. Walking in snow or ice or even extreme heat would sap your energy and could cause injuries. You first have to plan for those extremes if they are common to your area.

If you are facing a walk home and you live in the deserts of the Southwest, you could be forced to walk only at night when the temperatures are cooler and find shade to rest during the day. You understand the weather factors that could influence a trip like this so you have to plan accordingly.

For most of us, walking home is not incredibly difficult with a decent fitness level and some simple preparation. We may never be forced to use our get home bags, but it makes sense to prepare now like we do. You will be more able to react quickly and make the right decisions if you do.

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Survival Gear: Setting Your Group Standard

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I am talking about the decisions you will make regarding the survival gear and equipment that your larger mutual assistance group is going to use. It is important to standardize on several major pieces of gear if you want to function cohesively as a unit.

The post Survival Gear: Setting Your Group Standard appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Four

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

The entries for our latest round of the Prepper Writing Contest are in. I have culled down the many excellent entries to a list of five articles that I believe represent the best of the best. I am continuing the contest for a sixth round with the same opportunity for prizes. Any articles that were […]

The post Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Four appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

What Are You Prepared to Do When Your Family Is Hungry?

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

What if something happened and you were unable to acquire any more food through traditional means and your family is hungry? What would you be forced to do in order to live?

The post What Are You Prepared to Do When Your Family Is Hungry? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Are You Guilty of Hoarding? How to Prepare for Coming Shortages

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Hoarding is normal by humans during times of scarcity. It is how the smart survive while the foolish perish. You accumulate or store additional provisions that you likely will need later but due to forces beyond your control, are unable to get.

The post Are You Guilty of Hoarding? How to Prepare for Coming Shortages appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

After the Apocalypse: What Will You Do Then?

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

But an apocalypse is something that you could still live through, right? At least that is what many of us seem to be prepping for. What could life be like after the apocalypse and why do so many preppers need to adjust your thinking about the probable facts of life we all plan on living through.

The post After the Apocalypse: What Will You Do Then? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Survival Kit for Not Quite the End of the World

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

You can still have some level of preparedness without going to the lengths that some of us choose to do. Granted, you are only going to be as prepared as the level of time and energy you put into it, but something is better than nothing.

The post Survival Kit for Not Quite the End of the World appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Bug Out Bike: Good Idea or Death Trap?

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

One of the main problems preppers seem to be drawn to solve is the very realistic potential of having to drop everything and bug out of your home in a moment’s notice. Today I want to focus on one potential answer to the bugging out problem, the bug out bike.

The post Bug Out Bike: Good Idea or Death Trap? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Three

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

This is the day! The entries for our third Prepper Writing Contest are in and I have culled down the many excellent entries to a list of seven articles that I believe represent the best of the best for this round. Selecting seven from all of the submissions wasn’t easy but I want to give […]

The post Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Three appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Back to Basics: Avoiding Conflict When SHTF

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

What if we could modify our thought process for a while and avoid conflict when SHTF instead of considering violence as the inevitable outcome of the prepper haves versus the unprepared have nots?

The post Back to Basics: Avoiding Conflict When SHTF appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Back to Basics: Are You Prepared to Defend Your Family?

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

In the continuation of my Back to Basics series that has stretched out a little longer than anticipated, I want to address another of the most common subjects preppers ask about when they are just getting started prepping and that is around defending yourself or others. What are the things we as preppers should consider […]

The post Back to Basics: Are You Prepared to Defend Your Family? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Two

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

This is the day! The entries for our second Prepper Writing Contest are in and after analyzing the data, and some debate, I have culled down the many excellent entries to a list of six articles that I believe represent the best of the best. Selecting only six from all of the submissions wasn’t easy […]

The post Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Two appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Back to Basics: How to Stockpile Food for Emergencies

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Last week I began a new series called, Back to Basics. As I said in my first article: “Why and How to Stockpile Water for Emergencies”, this may be familiar ground for a lot of you but to some this information may be new. The Prepper Journal had almost 4 million page views last year […]

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Paratus 3 Day Operator’s Pack Review

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

In Prepper circles there are a myriad of opinions on gear selection. From the best survival knife to the best caliber of handgun to purchase all the way down to paracord differences. The good thing for preppers is that there are so many suppliers of quality gear out there and we get the benefit of […]

The post Paratus 3 Day Operator’s Pack Review appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Back to Basics: Why and How to Stockpile Water for Emergencies

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I wanted to start a new series on the Prepper Journal called “Back to Basics”. I know many of the readers of this blog are already well along their own journey of preparedness so some of the content might be remedial. It has certainly been covered on our site before, but there are new readers […]

The post Back to Basics: Why and How to Stockpile Water for Emergencies appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

The 5 Wise Men of Prepping

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Barry M. 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.   To approach any scenario in life, the 5 wise men give […]

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10 Reasons Why You Do Not Want to Bug Out

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The plan seems simple doesn’t it? All you need for the best chance of survival for your family is a well-stocked bug out bag, a keen attention to your surroundings and careful monitoring of what is happening in the news. With these bases covered you will be a very informed prepper and will be able to get the jump on all of the clueless sheeple if something bad happens. You will load your family up with your bags and hike off into the sunset way ahead of the approaching death and destruction. You have a plan to bug out.

It sounds perfect, but in this article I am going to try and convince you how that might not be the best and first option you should consider. There are many reasons and situations I can think of why you do not want to bug out from your home. You may be asking yourself, how can I even say those words on a prepper blog such as this without getting struck by lightning? It’s true that hunkering down is not the option that gets the most press, but in my opinion during most (but not all) scenarios, it is the better choice. That is unless you are a combat trained Navy Seal. If you are like me, just an average guy with a family and a giant subterranean monster unleashed by nuclear experiments is not headed your way, you might want to stay put. Here are a few reasons why:

You live where your stuff is.

I’ll be the first to admit that a lot of these reasons are going to seem incredibly simple and obvious, but I think sometimes that is the best way to approach a problem. As a prepper you have probably started collecting some supplies to help you get through short and long term emergencies. Some of you have stored a TON of supplies because you have been doing this for a long time or else you are independently wealthy and you just blew up the Black Friday sales.

Even if you only have a week’s worth of food and water, that is nothing to sneeze at. Everything you have is stored probably in nicely organized bins for easy retrieval. You don’t have to carry it and the supplies aren’t subject to the elements. Leaving your home will make you potentially have to leave most, or all of your survival supplies at home. You could put them all in your best bug out vehicle, the diesel Ford F-250 with the trailer, right? Sure you could, but are you sure that truck will always be in your possession? It’s just better to stay at your home base because there are tons of advantages like…

Even your kitchen floor is more comfortable than sleeping in the woods

Some parts of Mother Nature are best appreciated when you can leave.

Some parts of Mother Nature are best appreciated when you can leave.

Yes, I know that some people sleep perfectly well in the woods and I can too, once I am exhausted from hiking all day. Honestly, you would have to agree that your old lumpy Serta Posturpedic mattress would be preferable to sleeping in the woods or an abandoned building or even a hammock. Why is that important?

Getting plenty of good sleep has a huge impact on our health. It not only affects your moods, but alertness and even immune system. In a disaster you will be stressed in ways you haven’t even considered. You may be working like a dog and having a comfortable and relatively safe place to rest your head, even if that is the living room floor will be an advantage that the people who think they can just bug out into the woods won’t have.

Built in Community whether you know it or not

In times of crisis, you can almost guarantee that communities will band together in some ways. You probably don’t consider your small neighborhood or dead end street a community but let some disaster happen and you will see humans come together for support, safety and to help each-other out. Being around even just a few neighbors who know you can give you advantages if you need assistance for things like a neighborhood security plan.

Even neighbors you don’t get along with will probably overcome grudges if the disaster is severe enough. Of course there is the potential that your neighbors could turn on you for being the lone prepper but I think in most cases, things won’t go Mad Max for a little while. If it does you will have to adjust, but I believe that most people would benefit by banding with their neighbors for support. You could have an opportunity for leadership here or compassion by helping out others who haven’t prepared. It is much better to strive for this kind of relationship with people than head out the door and face the world with only what is on your back.

Being Cold Sucks and it can kill you

I bet that most of you like to keep the thermostat somewhere in the upper 60’s to low 70’s during the winter. There might be some play in that range, but there are no thermostats outside. Whatever the temperature is outdoors is what you are going to be living with. Can you start a fire or wear warm layers to regulate your body temperature? Of course, but the last place I want to be on a cold winter night is huddled up in my sleeping bag under a tarp even if I did have a nice roasting fire beside me.

There are some situations where you wouldn’t be able to start a fire. Maybe if it was raining and you couldn’t find any dry wood or tinder, or there were people that didn’t look so friendly following you. Staying in your home, even without power can give you advantages of shelter that you won’t easily find outdoors. You can seal off rooms and even your body heat will generate a little warmth. You can black out your curtains with heavy gauge plastic sheeting and even the heat from a lantern or a couple of candles can put out an amazing amount of heat.

You may put yourself in a worse situation

The problem with most bug out plans are that you don’t have a destination. Where are you bugging out to? Do you think the National Forest is going to be reserved solely for you and your family? Do you think you will just set up a tent and start hunting for small game? In a large regional disaster, there could be millions of people leaving the cities. The concept is called the Golden Horde and they will be competing with you for natural resources. With even a few dozen hunters in the same area game will be depleted in days if not sooner. Then you will be stuck near a bunch of other hungry people who blame you for catching the last squirrel.

Being on the road makes you an easier target

One of the advantages of staying put at home is the home field or defenders advantage. When you go out, you do not know what you are walking or driving into. The best you can do is recon very deliberately which will only slow you down more. By staying put in your home, you can set up a neighborhood watch with your fellow neighbors and monitor who is coming in. This gives you the opportunity to set up defensive positions and plans that anyone walking in with thoughts of taking advantage of you, won’t be aware of.

If nobody knows you, you are a stranger

If the people in the town do not know you, they will treat you as suspicious, maybe even hostile.

If the people in the town do not know you, they will treat you as suspicious, maybe even hostile.

Have you ever been walking your dog and seen someone strange walking through your neighborhood? This was someone you didn’t know so obviously they fell under suspicion. Had they been one of your neighbors kids you would have recognized them, but this new person stuck out. That is what you will be faced with if you leave your home and go wandering through other towns and cities. In your home neighborhood you will be dealing with known people that you can grow a deeper relationship with. There is a built-in level of trust because they have lived near you for years. If you start walking into a strange town with your bug out bags and AR-15 slung over yourbulletproof vest, you may not like the attention you receive.

Gear is heavy and a lot of gear is heavier.

Speaking of walking around in your bulletproof vest and gear, how many of you have walked for 3 days with your bug out bag? OK, now add a full complement of bullets and anything else you think you might need to defend yourself. It adds up quickly even when you try to reduce the weight of your bug out bag as much as possible. These weren’t meant to live for a long time out of. Your food will run out, possibly your ammo and that will help you with the weight, but in a disaster where you are walking out the door in full combat gear, do you think Walmart will be open when you run out of something?

In a grid down you won’t get to call AAA

Maybe you are one of the lucky ones that have a place to go up in the mountains. If you don’t get out before everyone else starts leaving, you could be stuck on the road. What if your old bug out vehicle breaks down? All those supplies you stored in the back of that trailer are either going to feed a lot of other people on the highway or you will most likely die defending them. If you aren’t already living at your retreat before the disaster happens, you will have to be incredibly fast to avoid getting stranded. Let’s say you are ready to go, do you know when you would actually leave? Do you know when the S has actually HTF and it’s time to leave or will you debate leaving with your wife and mother for two days because they think it will all blow over soon?

Leaving home may put you in a worst situation than staying put.

Leaving home may put you in a worst situation than staying put.

If you get hurt you want to be near a secure shelter not under a tarp

I have a decent first aid supply kit. I don’t have IV’s and a ton of medicine but I can take care of garden variety injuries pretty well. Imagine you somehow break your leg after the grid is down. Would you rather drag yourself into the house, or be stuck in the woods for weeks unable to move? Most hospitals don’t stick their patients out in the back yard for a reason so you will convalesce better with a good roof over your head that is hopefully providing some climate protections. If nothing else, it will be a relatively clean and safe place to get better that beats lying under a log.

So what does staying home mean?

I will write a post about reasons why you may have to bug out later, but staying home doesn’t guarantee you will be safe and secure either. I think each situation has to be taken into consideration as to what is the better option for you and your family. Naturally if there is a fire heading your way staying at home is stupid. It is something to think about that and that may help you begin to form different plans for different scenarios. What are your plans?

Originally published on The Prepper Journal

The post 10 Reasons Why You Do Not Want to Bug Out appeared first on Walden Labs.

Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round One

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

This is the day! The entries for our first Prepper Writing Contest are in and after a lot of debate I have culled down the many excellent entries to a list of six articles that I believe represent the best of the best. Selecting only six from all of the submissions wasn’t easy but I […]

The post Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round One appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

P3Solar Dynamo Plus Review – Backup Power

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I am always refining my prepping plans and the associated tools and gear I think will help improve my situation if the worst should happen. Some people go through life believing that nothing bad will ever happen but that isn’t the audience of this site. You are here because you want to proactively take steps […]

The post P3Solar Dynamo Plus Review – Backup Power appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Drawbacks to Carrying Concealed

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

4.48/5 (21) Concealed carry is one way that people can keep protection, in the form of a firearm on their person at all times. I have frequently written about the merits of concealed carry and even the best way to carry concealed in my opinion for those who so choose. For the law-abiding citizen, carrying […]

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Christmas Buying Guide – Give the Gift of Prepping

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

It is finally December and for me and all of the other procrastinators out there, it’s time to consider Christmas gifts for those around you. Fortunately for me, my wife handles the lion’s share of gift selection and acquisition for our family and children. I get off relatively easy in that respect as long as […]

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Gunslinger Quick-Draw Hand Well Pump – Grid down Backup

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

5/5 (2) As part of my preps, water is high on the list of items I strive to ensure I have options and redundancy for so when Tony from Gunslinger Well Pumps contacted me to review his Quick Draw hand well pump I was very interested. We have water stored in our home and rain […]

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100 Deadly Skills – Lifesaving Tips for Preppers

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I am always looking to learn skills that can improve many facets of my life. A chief aspect of prepping I believe is to continually learn and increase your ability to survive. This education can come in many forms from training courses, real-life exposure, videos, lectures and books. For me though I don’t learn from […]

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Bugging out Lessons Learned While Hunting

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

4/5 (9) I went hunting for the first time this year earlier in the week. I have been waiting for deer season to open up in my neck of the woods and finally got my chance to get out there and try my luck at bringing home some meat to fill my family’s freezer. The […]

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The Salty Part of Your Survival Plan

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

One of the most diverse prepper considerations from the standpoint of a long-term disaster is heath. By health I am not specifically referring to the risks to your health from the disaster itself. If you are living through a hurricane or earthquake, there are natural risks to your health that you need to mitigate in […]

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What Are Your Prepping Blind Spots?

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

5/5 (1) The cooler temperatures in the air remind me of the approach of winter and with it many of the things I take pleasure in. Colder days give me excuses to wear my big warm coats that have been stuck in a plastic bin all year. I get to break out a completely new […]

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Lifesaving Survival Tips to Keep You Alive in the Wilderness

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

No ratings yet. A growing number of people are planning for bad things to happen. We take care to study the threats we see around us including those both very likely and some not as likely. We do this so we can try to be prepared for events that put ourselves or our family or […]

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9 Questions to Ask Before Accepting People into Your Survival Group

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

4.27/5 (22) We talk about it all the time and it has been the subject of countless debates both on the Prepper Journal and other sites out there. The scenario goes something like this: TEOTWAWKI has happened. The causes could be any one of hundreds, but the reality you are living in has gotten so […]

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Children after SHTF: Liability or Responsibility

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

3.47/5 (19) How many times have you heard the question, “Who would want to bring a child into this world”? I can remember hearing this saying many times throughout my life both in my personal interactions with other people, usually after some disastrous or tragic event, and in popular culture like movies and TV. The […]

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Free Tokyo Disaster Manual Offers Creative Survival Tips

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

4/5 (7) When you have something good, people want it and judging by the reaction on the internet, the free Tokyo disaster manual is a hit. Compiled by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, this free guide is over 340 pages long and addresses a wealth of preparedness and survival topics that could be useful all over […]

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What Happens When the Sheep Turn on the Sheepdogs

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

3/5 (5) The Sheepdog concept has been around in its modern form since 2002 from Dave Grossman’s book, On Killing. He later expanded on this concept in his follow-up book, On Combat. I own and still am working through both of these books and highly recommend them as sources of training material for those of […]

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Top 20 Best Prepper Gifts for any Survival Situation

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

4.5/5 (6) Do you have a prepper on your shopping list? The occasion doesn’t matter really. It could be Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas or Hanukkah, birthdays or just because. But sometimes finding the perfect gift for the prepper who has everything can be tough. Why is that? Well, most preppers already have some of […]

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Prepare for the Hunt: Tree Stand Safety Checklist

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

4/5 (1) Each year as the weather gets cooler and the leaves start to fall, I along with millions of other hunters prepare for hunting season. Each of us I am sure, has dreams of landing that elusive big game that we have so long studied, chased, and in many cases, been made a fool […]

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Forming a Survival Community

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

4/5 (2) There is strength in numbers when it comes to forming a survival community and the conventional wisdom is the more people you have on your side, the better. If you had an Army, you would want as many people as you could have in the ranks in order to be safer, to do […]

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Taking Care of Your Army

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Many of us have affiliations with larger groups that we expect to depend upon in times of crisis. I am not talking about a support group of Facebook followers consoling you on a bad haircut here; I am talking about your very own survival group. For every person fortunate enough to have groups of friends […]

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How to Siphon Gas from a Car

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Have you ever run out of gas? Imagine running out of gas when gas stations are no longer pumping fuel or you are on route to your bug out location after some really bad stuff has gone down. You aren’t able to call AAA anymore and your buddy probably can’t come pick you up. You […]

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Changing How You Think of Resistance to Tyranny

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I think it is fair to say that one aspect of some prepper’s motivational drive to do what we do stems from a desire to resist tyranny. Perhaps I am only seeing what I want to see based on my own personal outlook on life, but I have a lot of anecdotal evidence that backs […]

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Are You a Tactical Traveler?

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Often we think of prepping from our own immediate sphere that we travel inside, the perspective of the relative safety of our homes and local area. We have all of our prepper gear around us or close at hand, nicely organized and stored away, waiting to be called into action to help us survive some […]

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If You Could Only Have One Survival Item …

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Occasionally I am honored with a request from someone writing an article on preparedness or survival,  asking for my opinion on a question they have. In the past, these requests have come from other bloggers who are just starting out or people creating infographics, even newspapers and magazines. The questions are all slightly different but […]

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Prepping Plans: If You’re Reading This, I May Be Dead

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Would your family know what to do in the event of a disaster or SHTF event? Would the prepping supplies you have carefully purchased and stored away help your family survive or would they be unused because nobody knew about them? Not that your family is inept without you, but do they know all of […]

The post Prepping Plans: If You’re Reading This, I May Be Dead appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Should You Join a Militia?

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

There is historical basis and precedence for militia. Our forefathers even went so far to plan for the need of a “well-regulated Militia” and outlined this in our Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights. Their reasoning in my, and countless others minds, was that a militia could one day be “necessary to the security […]

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3 Survival Commands Your Dog Should Know

Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Not only is your dog a good companion, but he or she could potentially save your life in a survival situation. With the proper training, you can transform your cuddly puppy into a smart, disciplined survivalist. Training takes time and patience but there are some commands you can teach your dog that could help you […]

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3 Survival Commands Your Dog Should Know

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Not only is your dog a good companion, but he or she could potentially save your life in a survival situation. With the proper training, you can transform your cuddly puppy into a smart, disciplined survivalist. Training takes time and patience but there are some commands you can teach your dog that could help you […]

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How Much Money Do You Have in Your Bug out Bag?

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

The bottom just dropped out all of your warning triggers are telling you that it’s time to pack everyone into the family bug out mobile and leave town before it gets worse. Much worse. You thought ahead which is fortunate for you and your family. You have a vehicle adequately equipped for the journey to […]

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Survival Fishing Kit: Worth the Time or Useless Gear?

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Imagine a gathering of 10,000 preppers at a convention somewhere in the heart of Las Vegas and at that convention every single prepper had brought their own fully stocked bug out bag. The same bug out bags that each person had diligently packed using checklists gleaned from various prepping blogs, YouTube videos and their own […]

The post Survival Fishing Kit: Worth the Time or Useless Gear? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

The Day After The End of The World

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

We spend a lot of time on the Prepper Journal discussing the steps you need to take to prepare for some horrible event occurring in your lifetime. This could be as simple as a loss of a job or more serious and life threatening like a hurricane,wildfire or tornado. The steps you need to take […]

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Vehicle EDC Gear List: Don’t Leave the Driveway Without It

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Your EDC gear that you carry daily can be used in millions of ways. It could be something as trivial as having a light to shine into a dark room for greater visibility or as serious as a weapon to defend your life or the lives of others. We carry and advocate EDC (Every Day […]

The post Vehicle EDC Gear List: Don’t Leave the Driveway Without It appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Should You Buy an Air Rifle for Survival?

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Many times through the years I have stumbled into prepper articles or discussions about the best firearms to have for SHTF. There are always different perspectives and I myself have shared my own opinions about what I think are the top 5 firearms every prepper should have. Naturally this assumes firearms are available to you […]

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Big Savings on Prepping Supplies Today

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Prime Day is a one-day shopping event on Amazon that takes place today -July 15, 2015, and they are advertising “more deals than Black Friday”. Prime members can shop exclusive deals from electronics, clothing, patio, lawn and garden, sports and outdoor items and more. If you are a member of Prime and have been looking […]

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