Still Kicking

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Hey Folks, Wanted to let you know that I’m still alive. It has been a crazy month. Unfortunately more bad than good. Hopefully everything turns out ok and the down sides are minimal. Should have a full post coming at you soon and a general return to normalish blogging. 

My Little Harvest

A couple days ago I picked these off of my one pepper plant and two tomato plants. Not much I know but I am pretty happy to have them. I guess I feel like as long as I am growing something it will be alright until we get in a place where we can really have a decent garden.

I got rid of most of the little pullets from all those chicks I hatched….I gave them away….I hadn’t intended to…and I didn’t give them all away but a neighbor had her dog get into her pen that had mysteriously gotten open one day (possibly from an neighborhood kid) and her dogs killed all her chickens except 3 roosters. I didn’t actually know her she lives on the dirt road next to ours but I had met her on facebook and told her to come get some of my “extras”. I gave her 6 pullets. And then another really good friend asked if I had a couple of hens she could get and I said yes so she came and got two pullets. I do still have 6 of the young hens to add to my flock and, of course, lots of roosters.
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Well, this post got delayed. Several things going on right now and I am just trying to keep up. I have gotten three more tomatoes but no more peppers. The pepper plant seems to be dying, maybe better soil next year.
I did get a whole bunch of nice big pots sitting beside the dumpster at our little convenience store. I think they will make good potato pots for next year!

My Little Harvest

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A couple days ago I picked these off of my one pepper plant and two tomato plants. Not much I know but I am pretty happy to have them. I guess I feel like as long as I am growing something it will be alright until we get in a place where we can really have a decent garden.

I got rid of most of the little pullets from all those chicks I hatched….I gave them away….I hadn’t intended to…and I didn’t give them all away but a neighbor had her dog get into her pen that had mysteriously gotten open one day (possibly from an neighborhood kid) and her dogs killed all her chickens except 3 roosters. I didn’t actually know her she lives on the dirt road next to ours but I had met her on facebook and told her to come get some of my “extras”. I gave her 6 pullets. And then another really good friend asked if I had a couple of hens she could get and I said yes so she came and got two pullets. I do still have 6 of the young hens to add to my flock and, of course, lots of roosters.
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Well, this post got delayed. Several things going on right now and I am just trying to keep up. I have gotten three more tomatoes but no more peppers. The pepper plant seems to be dying, maybe better soil next year.
I did get a whole bunch of nice big pots sitting beside the dumpster at our little convenience store. I think they will make good potato pots for next year!

5 Apps Every Survivalist Needs

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When disaster strikes, there won’t be any time left to prepare. There’s no telling what situation you’ll be left to deal with, so prepping as much as possible as soon as possible is the wisest choice. Aside from books and in-person classes, apps can help you learn new skills efficiently, and since to use them all you need is a smartphone, you can prepare wherever and whenever, without having to use too many of your resources.

If you get into the habit of using these apps now, you’ll expand your knowledge base, allowing some of this information to become second nature. So when order and civility go down the drain and people are scrambling to find an internet connection to learn which plants they can eat or how to build a shelter, you will already be well-equipped with these skills and in a superior position to survive.

If electricity is still available when the apocalypse hits, there are some apps that will remain useful no matter how much you’ve learned. Either way, though, a solar powered phone charger will likely come in handy. Here are five apps every survivalist needs.

  1. Emergency

    The “Emergency” app by the American Red Cross provides severe weather alerts, as well as the opportunity to verify the safety of your loved ones during a natural disaster. It can also assist you in creating a family emergency plan and contains pre-loaded content you’ll be able to access without internet or mobile connectivity. A flashlight, audible alarm and strobe light are included within the app, too, making it a useful all-around resource for nearly every survival situation.

  2. Cures A-Z

    Developed by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., “Cures A-Z” is a mobile medical guide that can help you treat hundreds of health conditions. Both natural and prescription therapies are listed in this guide, so even if you don’t have access to a doctor or pharmacy, it’s a great resource. Information on herbs and nutrition is also included, as well as general advice for a variety of ailments.

  3. Wild Edibles

    Foraging for your next meal is going to be essential at some point, and “Wild Edibles” will help you prepare for doing so. It provides information on over 200 plants, and with several high-resolution images available for each plant, it’ll become your go-to app for identification. Descriptions to further help you with identification, as well as explanations about how to use each plant, are also listed.

  4. ExpressVPN

    If the internet is still available when the apocalypse hits, it’s likely it’ll be controlled by the elite, at least to some extent. Our government has already been trying to regulate the internet for some time now, so you should get into the habit of protecting yourself online now so that you can’t be tracked, spied on or hacked. In a survival situation it may be necessary to hide out or keep a solid distance between you and other people. A Virtual Private Network app, such as ExpressVPN, is the best way to prevent your phone and personal data from being used against you.

  5. SAS Survival Guide

    A mobile version of the book “SAS Survival Handbook,” by John Wiseman, “SAS Survival Guide” will assure you’re prepared to survive no matter where you end up. Jam-packed with tutorials, videos, photo galleries, checklists and even quizzes to test your knowledge, it’s one of the best survivalist apps available. This app also doubles as a Morse code signaling device, as well as a sun compass, so it ultimately provides what other survivalist apps are lacking.

The above is only a short list of apps that will come in handy. Have you found any others that have been useful? If so, please share them with us by posting a comment below.

About the Author: Sandra is a blogger and prepper who enjoys writing about alternative news when she’s not busy blogging about survivalism. In her spare time, she likes to go camping with her family.

Outdoor Optimism: 4 Ways To Minimize Your Impact In Nature This Summer

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As soon as temperatures begin to rise, your family’s carbon footprint might grow as well. Everything from road trips to outdoor hiking adventures can have a major impact on the environment. Unfortunately, even a small family can do quite a bit of damage in a short period of time. Here are four simple ways you and your loved ones can protect the environment while you are out enjoying nature.

Carefully Follow All Posted Rules

Almost every campground and trail will have its own unique rules depending on the nearby wildlife and safety hazards. One campground might allow you to have a fire pit while others will give you expensive tickets for any open flames. If you can’t find the area’s rules online, then you should contact the closest wildlife station to ask them for a list of rules.

Pack Out What You Pack In

One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect nearby flora and fauna while you are out in nature is to always leave the area cleaner than you found it. Very few people realize just how much of an impact they can have on the environment when they leave a few scraps of food or an old bottle of sun lotion in a campground. Those items can end up killing animals and spreading unusual diseases.

Invest In An Eco-Friendly Ride

Purchasing an eco-friendly vehicle from a local auto dealership, like Young Automotive Group, is going to reduce your environmental impact and potentially cut back on your expenses. Older cars that haven’t been maintained often leak dangerous fluids and use an incredible amount of fuel. Taking your next road trip in a certified used vehicle is going to give you peace of mind knowing that you will be impacting the local environment as little as possible.

Protect Water Sources

Most experts agree that campsites should be at least 200 feet from freshwater lakes, rivers, and ponds. Those who camp too close to bodies of water run the risk of contaminating them. You should also avoid using local water sources for any hygiene practices such as bathing or brushing your teeth. Even relatively safe hygiene products can kill off species and damage habitats.

As a general rule, you always want to leave the area as untouched as possible whenever you are out enjoying nature. Seemingly innocuous actions such as lighting a cigarette or feeding a wild animal could end up causing a tremendous amount of damage.

About the Author: Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston. When she manages to tear herself away from the computer, she enjoys baking, rock climbing, and film noir.

Bug Out Bag Repacking

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For the sake of simplicity I try to have a minimal amount of systems. EDC, my fighting load which is layered and somewhat modular and my bug out bag. The heavy bug out set up is not really formed into a system per se. That is on my to do list.

My bug out bag lives in the back of my jeep. That does a few things for me. First it removes the need for an additional ‘get home bag’ which would be yet another system to fill with redundant gear and keep track of. Second and maybe more importantly it gets my BOB out of the house so I have some redundancy there. Third if I had to haul butt what I would do is jump in the jeep and go anyway so why have another thing to load. 
I should probably further define my goals from this bag. My goal is to be able to sustain and move through an urban or small town environment in order to get home or out of danger. What it is not: some kind of wilderness survival bag or military ruck sack aka sustainment load. Why? Well I’m not going to run off into the woods to try to make a cabin an eat squirrels n stuff. I’m either going to be trying to get home, hold up till I can get home or get safely out of some sort of danger. If getting out of danger I’ll most likely end up in a Motel 6 a town or a couple hundred miles away depending on the event. Also my bag isn’t especially like an infantrymens sustainment load (though there are commonalities) because in my civilian capacity being realistic I am unlikely to do anything like that.

It weights in at 32 pounds with 1 quart of water so 30 dry. Has a full change of clothes, sleep stuff (one module is my impromptu overnight kit aka hoe bag), couple days of food, medical, water filtration, etc.

A downside of it living in my car is I won’t keep really high value stuff like cash, pms, my NOD, etc in it. That stuff is packed in a small book bag in the safe. Unless I get a much more secure way of storing stuff in my car like a truck vault which at $1,500 isn’t happening soon, or the risk on a oven day goes up it will stay in the safe. Not perfect but such is life.

Notes for myself.

Need to add but couldn’t readily find in my place:
-10 meter roll of 550 cord/ duct tape

Need to buy, realistically doable:
– Poncho (I’m on the fence about this)
– Kansas and Missouri state maps
– Burner phone x 2
– Phone charger cord
– Encrypted thumb drive
– Water purification tablets

Wish list aka too expensive, or illegal:
– Lots and lots of cash
– Several fake ids with drivers license, passport, etc.
– 9mm silencer
– NOD dedicated to BOB
– FLIR
– Small battery charger for above
– Fake mustaches

What’s in your BOB? What creative ideas have you used to solve problems with finances and legal limitations?

4 Pieces of Marine Equipment Any Prepper on the Coast Needs

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When you are a prepper, your emergency supplies and equipment should extend to your boat. Living on the coast allows you to evacuate land by boat and reach another safe destination. If you are on the water during a disaster, the equipment could help you to reach rescuers or find safety. Consider these four pieces of marine equipment every prepper should have.

Flares and Emergency Signals

Flares and emergency signals are key to getting noticed by other boats and search planes if your vessel becomes disabled on the water. Preppers on the coast should have their boats fully stocked with these emergency beacons in case of a power outage. Other boats will be able to find a vessel in trouble even if the radio goes out.

Boat Lifts

When you need to move your boat between two different elevations of water, a boat lift is a wise choice. As an alternative to a canal lock, companies like Abbotts’ Construction Services Inc., know that a boat lift helps to get your boat to where it needs to be without having to wait for outside assistance. Using a boat lift facilitates getting into a port or harbor, especially in the case of severe weather, power outages or another type of natural disaster.

Radios

Communications radios are also helpful pieces of marine equipment. Radios allow a boat captain to issue a mayday in case of a dangerous situation. They can also be used to call for coast guard assistance. If a captain needs the aid of another boat, using the radio is a simple way to find help as quickly as possible.

GPS Tracking Units

GPS tracking units are an important piece of marine equipment that every boat owner should have. These units pinpoint the boat’s location. In case a severe weather event were to take place, you could use the unit to find the nearest place to come into shore and dock your boat. Consider a GPS unit that has a battery backup in case your boat loses power. If you had to come inland, you could remove the GPS unit from your boat and use it to get to safety.

Each of these pieces of marine equipment should be considered an investment in your safety. Many of these pieces of equipment can also be used on land if needed. By purchasing and installing these pieces of equipment as you can afford to, you will be able to prepare for a wide variety of emergency situations that could occur.

About the Author:
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She writes for many online publications and blogs about home improvements, family, and health. She is an avid hiker, biker and runner. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.

3 Hiking Preparedness Tips To Consider Before Hitting The Trails

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Hiking is great fun and an excellent form of exercise. An adventure through the woods can be dangerous for the ill prepared, however. Before you set off on your next hiking adventure, make sure you perform these three preparations first.

Research The Trail

Before hitting the trail, know what you’ll find when you get there. There are many maps and trail books available at your local bookstore and online. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, contact local hiking clubs or plan your hike in a nearby park or nature reserve. Doing so allows you to contact the park ranger for trail information and conditions. Compare the trail information you receive with the skill and fitness level of your group. Know your limits and only hike trails within them.

Pack A Bag

While you don’t want to weigh yourself down unnecessarily, there are a few basic supplies you should always carry with you on the trail. Always bring along the following:

  • Fresh water
  • Healthy snacks
  • A flashlight or head lamp
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • A whistle
  • A first aid kit

Stock your first aid kit with the usual supplies and any medications you take routinely, just in case you’re out longer than planned. Be conscious of stinging insect allergies, as well, and carry your EpiPen or other life-saving medications prescribed by your allergy doctor. If you’re unsure if you have allergies or not, consider getting tested, like the services offered at Oak Brook Allergists.

Dress Properly

Your favorite jeans and a worn cotton tee may be perfect attire for a lazy Sunday, but they’re terrible for hiking. Cotton dries very slowly, is worthless when wet and causes chafing. Instead, wear modern moisture wicking fabrics that will keep you cool and dry. Some of these fabrics even include built-in insect repellents and UV protection. These garments are a worthwhile investment, as are the right hiking boots. Buy the lightest, most comfortable boots you can find without sacrificing ankle support. Never compromise on boot comfort. If you don’t find boots comfortable on a level floor, you’ll be downright miserable on rough terrain.

Hiking is a terrific hobby and there is a trail that can accommodate almost every age and fitness level. The key to a safe and enjoyable hike is matching the trail to your physical abilities, wearing the right clothes and bringing along the right supplies. Doing so ensures you’ll have a fun trip and be prepared to handle whatever crosses your path.

About the Author: Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston. When she manages to tear herself away from the computer, she enjoys baking, rock climbing, and film noir.

4 Types of Security Doors Every Prepper Should Be Aware Of

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Your home is only as strong as its doors and windows. Many intruders are able to gain access to a space simply by kicking in the door. Smoke, wind and fire could also easily get through a weak door. When you are prepping your home for a natural or man-made disaster, consider these four types of security doors.

Vault Doors

If you have created a safe room in your house, you might consider fitting it with vault doors. These doors allow you to enter the code to get into the safe room. Once inside, you quickly and easily lock the vault. No intruder would be able to break into the vault. A vault is ideal for storing essential prepping supplies such as ammunition, food or protective gear. These doors also work well for storm shelters.

Security Doors

Key cards for security doors are a helpful way of gaining access to a building or room without having to worry about keys. Key cards, like those available from Arapahoe County Security Center Inc., make use of an embedded chip that emits a signal that opens the door. Another option is a magnetic strip that unlocks the door. If you need to change access, doing so is easy with the use of the card reader system’s proprietary software.

Fireproof Doors

When you are prepping for a natural disaster, consider installing doors that are fireproof. These doors could protect you in the event that your home catches fire as the result of a wildfire or lightning strike. They could also protect you in a time of civil unrest. Fire doors are heavy, insulated and form a tight seal against smoke intrusion. They may also have a protected glass window.

Bullet-proof Doors

In the event of civil unrest or a burglar invading your home, bullet-proof doors could come in handy. These doors are able to resist splintering and shattering if bullets were fired at them. In most cases, the doors are able to retain the bullets or slow them down enough so they do not cause bodily injury if they were to strike you after passing through the door.

When designing a shelter for storms, intruders and other disasters, consider one or more of these types of doors. Also keep in mind how easy or difficult it will be for you to use the door, especially during an emergency situation. Selecting the right type of security door can make all the difference when it comes to your security.

About the Author:
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She writes for many online publications and blogs about home improvements, family, and health. She is an avid hiker, biker and runner. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Rally Points

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Rally Points
The other day I was watching Fear the Walking Dead. That show did not particularly grip me but I was bored so I watched a few episodes. Of course after various bad things the characters kept getting scattered and not having a good plan. This brings us to Rally Points. 
From FM 7-8 
3-5. RALLY POINTS
The leader considers the use and locations of rally points. A rally point is a place designated by the leader where the platoon moves to reassemble and reorganize if it becomes dispersed. 
a. Selection of Rally Points. The leader physically reconnoiters routes to select rally points whenever possible. He selects tentative points if he can only conduct a map reconnaissance. He confirms them by actual inspection as the platoon moves through them. Rally points must–
▪ Be easy to find. 
▪ Have cover and concealment. 
▪ Be away from natural lines of drift. 
▪ Be defendable for short periods. 
b. Types of Rally Points. The most common types of rally points are initial, en route, objective, reentry, and near- and far-side rally points. Soldiers must know which rally point to move to at each phase of the patrol mission. They should know what actions are required there and how long they are to wait at each rally point before moving to another. 
(1) Initial rally point. An initial rally point is a place inside of friendly lines where a unit may assemble and reorganize if it makes enemy contact during the departure of friendly lines or before reaching the first en route rally point. It is normally selected by the commander of the friendly unit. 
(2) En route rally point. The leader designates enroute rally points every 100 to 400 meters (based on the terrain, vegetation, and visibility). When the leader designates a new en route rally point, the previously designated one goes into effect. This precludes uncertainty over which one soldiers should move to if contact is made immediately after the leader designates a new rally point. There are three ways to designate a rally point: 
(a) Physically occupy them for a short period. This is the preferred method. 
(b) Pass by at a distance and designate using arm-and-hand signals. 
(c) Walk through and designate using arm-and-hand signals. 
(3) Objective rally point. The objective rally point (ORP) is a point out of sight, sound, and small-arms range of the objective area. It is normally located in the direction that the platoon plans to move after completing its actions on the objective. The ORP is tentative until the objective is pinpointed. (Figure 3-2.) Actions at or from the ORP include–
▪ Reconnoitering the objective. 
▪ Issuing a FRAGO. 
▪ Disseminating information from reconnaissance if contact was not made. 
▪ Making final preparations before continuing operations; for example, recamouflaging: preparing demolitions; lining up rucksacks for quick recovery; preparing EPW bindings, first aid kits, and litters; and inspecting weapons. 
▪ Accounting for soldiers and equipment after actions at the objective are complete. 
▪ Reestablishing the chain of command after actions at the objective are complete. 
(a) Occupation of an ORP by a squad. In planning the occupation of an ORP, the squad leader considers the following sequence: 
▪ Halt beyond sight, sound, and small-arms weapons range of the tentative ORP (200 to 400 meters in good visibility; 100 to 200 meters in limited visibility). 
▪ Position security. 
▪ Move forward with a compass man and one member of each fire team to confirm the location of the ORP and determine its suitability. Issue a five-point contingency plan before departure. 
▪ Position the Team A soldier at 12 o’clock, and the Team B soldier at 6 o’clock in the ORF. Issue them a contingency plan and return with the compass man. 
▪ Lead the squad into the ORP, position Team A from 9 to 3 o’clock and Team B from 3 to 9 o’clock. 
NOTE: The squad may also occupy the ORP by force. This requires more precise navigation, but eliminates separating the squad. 
(c) Occupation of an ORP by a platoon. The platoon leader should consider the same sequence in planning the occupation of an ORP. He brings a soldier from each squad on his reconnaissance of the ORP and positions them at the 10, 2, and 6 o’clock positions. The first squad in the order of march establishes the base leg (10 to 2 o’clock). The trailing squads occupy from 2 to 6 o’clock and 6 to 10 o’clock, respectively. 
(4) Reentry rally point. The reentry rally point is located out of sight, sound, and small-arms weapons range of the friendly unit through which the platoon will return. This also means that the RRP should be outside the final protective fires of the friendly unit. The platoon occupies the RRP as a security perimeter. 
(5) Near-and far-side rally points. These rally points are on the near and far side of danger areas. If the platoon makes contact while crossing the danger area and control is lost, soldiers on either side move to the rally point nearest them. They establish security, reestablish the chain of command, determine their personnel and equipment status, and continue the patrol mission, link up at the ORP, or complete their last instructions. 
End Block quote. 
Simply put a rally point is a place your group plans to meet if they become scattered. 
Rally points need to be readily identifiable. Saying 400M west won’t work. Have a scattered confused half asleep people try to do that and they will all end up in different spots. On the other hand an identifiable feature such as ‘the abandoned car by the blackberry patch’ is much more doable. 
It is important to consider the circumstances which would lead you to using a rally point. Here are two considerations.
1- A rally point needs to be out of the immediate affected area of the thing that is causing you to leave. For a house fire it might be 50 yards. In violent situations a rally point out of the immediate area (say sight/sound and rifle fire) is appropriate. This distance varies by the terrain. In a city it might be a couple blocks, in dense woods it might be a couple hundred yards. In the plains or desert it might be much further. If you are worried about a problem at the nuclear power plant it might be 10 miles. The point is that you want to reorganize and reconsolidate outside of the immediate threat of the event.
2- Does it matter if people can see you? If you aren’t worried about people seeing you (house fire, concert, etc) then it doesn’t matter. On the other hand if you are worried about being arrested or attacked then you need a more discrete rally point
In a benign but still important civilian context this could be where you meet in a fire plan.
For the sake of this discussion we will make up a family named the Smiths. They are survivalists. The family is made up of the parents and two children who are 8 and 10. Old enough to generally follow basic guidance if it has been practiced but you wouldn’t want them traveling distances alone.
The Smith family has a few rally points for different situations.
Fire- The big oak tree in the front yard. 
The oak tree worked great for a fire but fails the common sense test for danger because they want to escape whatever the danger was. While outside the scope of this article they need a plan. 
Attack- Two rally points. Water and fire. Water is an old broken down pump shack 300 yards away in the woods roughly east of their house. Fire is a small old fire circle some kids used to use in a little depression a couple hundred yards generally west. 
Both of these have an alternate point that leads in the direction of their planned route of evasion. That is outside of the scope of this post and recommend looking at John Mosbys posts on escape and evasion. 
With these rally points the family needs a plan. 
Maybe the plan is for Dad engages the threat at a high rate of fire, ideally with a large capacity weapon like a 75 dr drum for his AK. Once Dad ‘has their heads down’ Mom (with a light pack and her rifle) moves out the side door with the kids, makes for the treeline then heads to the old pump house 300 yards away on the back corner of the property. 
The plan is for Dad to give them a minute to get free then he follows. Dad moved in a different direction and takes a halt at the top of a crest with a big log there and waits a few minutes to see if he is being followed. If it seems quiet Dad moves to the rally point to link up with the rest of the family. 
Moms plan is to wait for 15 minutes or until she hears a continuation of gunfire (after the presumed break when Dad bolts from the house) and then move to an alternate location further away. 
For patrol base/ camp or I would think a home having 2 rally points in opposite directions is the common practice. If the attackers are to the east you would go to the western one and visa versa. Of course in the real world they won’t be exactly 180 degrees apart but they should be in generally opposite directions. 
It would be prudent for the family to cache some supplies at these rally points. Common sense tells us if they have to flee for their lives at 3 am they won’t be idling along with 100lb ruck sacks. A small (certainly sub 40 lb) backpack could be doable but that might not even happen. Say they stash a little bit of water and food, some medical stuff for trauma or boo boos and some loaded mags for their rifles. 2x 5 gallon buckets should do. 
Lastly they have a plan for if they are separated and there is a disaster at the Nuclear base, reactor, spill on the train tracks. The plan is for Dad to get the kids since his work is closer to their school. Mom will probably be home so she will grab as much stuff from the list as she can and head out. After accomplishing their tasks they will leave separately without waiting. They will meet at the Denny’s in a town 20 miles away.
When they travel they want a plan should something happen. Remembering different points is complicated and mundane for a road trip. They have a floating plan (which would really only work in a city type environment) so should they become separated they will meet at the nearest McDonalds. If the McDonalds closes they will go to the nearest Greyhound station. The goal here is places every decent sized town has which are fairly safe and where it is not unusual for a person to wait for some time. 
I may write about this more but my intent is to give you some ideas.
Got Rally Points?

What does your EDC consist of?

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I mentioned in my last post that I had some upcoming product reviews to share with you. Most of these are EDC (everyday carry) items essential for day-to-day tasks and the unexpected dangers you may…

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Heavy Equipment: 4 Useful Vehicles for any Emergency Situation

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An emergency situation can happen anywhere and at any time. When there is heavy equipment available during the initial response and rescue stage, more lives could be saved. Heavy equipment facilitates the removal of large and potentially dangerous debris. These pieces of equipment also make it easier for rescuers to reach out-of-the-way places. Keep these four useful vehicles in mind when preparing for emergency situations.

Forklifts

In a natural disaster, a forklift makes it easier to unload supplies. Drinking water, meals ready to eat and other heavy items can be unloaded with ease. Forklifts also make it easier for emergency responders to lift up and move pieces of debris so that larger vehicles can make their way through a road. Forklifts may work in concert with digging equipment such that the diggers scoop up the debris and the forklifts move it.

Marsh Buggies

Marsh buggies are designed to traverse water and mud as easily as a dirt road, grassy field or asphalt road. In a disaster such as a flood, a marsh buggy, like those available from Specialized Enviro, could make it easier to get across an impassable road. Marsh buggies may also facilitate the rescue and transportation of people when a bridge has been washed away due to flooding.

Jeeps

Jeeps and other similar vehicles that can go off-road are helpful in a variety of emergency situations. People could be stranded in wilderness areas when there is a forest fire or another type of emergency. With an off-road vehicle, emergency response crews will have a better chance at navigating rough terrain and reaching the people who are in need of rescue.

Dump Trucks

Dump trucks also play an important role in mitigating an emergency situation. After a severe weather event such as a tornado, windstorm or hurricane, dump trucks can be loaded with the debris. The dump trucks are able to haul bulky and heavy loads, including parts of houses, totaled vehicles, trees and other items. With dump trucks available, roads and streets can be cleared of debris so that people can be evacuated to an emergency shelter.

Every community should have access to these four useful emergency vehicles. These vehicles are also helpful for non-emergency situations. First responders should make regular practice runs so they know how to operate the vehicles. It is also important to keep the vehicles well-maintained so they are ready at a moment’s notice. These pieces of heavy equipment can make all of the difference when a natural disaster occurs.

About the Author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

3 Pieces Of Portable Tech That Could Save Your Life

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Technology is something we take for granted until we have to go without it. Battery-powered, portable devices can save your life when you are far from home or when disaster strikes. Whether you are planning an expedition into the wilderness or preparing for a potential emergency, these three pieces of portable tech can help you survive the most challenging conditions.

Water Purifier

The average person can only live for three days without water. A source of safe, clean drinking water is vital for camping trips, emergencies and other survival situations. Avoid the challenge of long-term drinking water storage by purifying natural water sources into drinking water.

There are two basic types of water purifiers. The most common type removes contaminants like dirt, parasites and bacteria from fresh water to make it drinkable. Fresh water filters are versatile and can transform water from muddy ponds and rivers into clean, potable water. Another type called a desalinizing filter removes the salt from seawater and is useful if you live near an ocean or plan to travel by boat.

Portable Ultrasound Machine

Dealing with illness, injuries and other medical conditions is even more frightening when the nearest hospital is miles away. A portable ultrasound machine like those made by Keebomed can be used to diagnose and monitor patients in the field. Unlike the large ultrasound consoles found in clinics and hospitals, portable ultrasound machines are small and light enough to take anywhere and can run on battery power.

Ultrasound imaging can be used to check for internal injuries, detect abnormalities like tumors or cysts, and monitor the health and progress of a pregnancy. Access to ultrasound technology in the field lets you know if a sick or injured person needs medical treatment. Portable ultrasounds can be used in emergency situations for triage to keep hospitals from filling up with patients in less serious condition.

Solar Charger

Most portable tech is useless without battery power, which makes a reliable charging method indispensable. A solar-powered charger converts the sun’s energy into battery power to fuel your phones, tablets and other devices. Solar chargers come in a variety of sizes, from a pocket-sized charger than can power up your phone to large panels capable of running an entire house. Some portable devices have built-in solar power to eliminate charging time.

When you are preparing your survival kit, consider adding one or more of these portable tech devices once you have the basics, such as water, food and medications, covered. It might save your life.

About the Author:
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She writes for many online publications and blogs about home improvements, family, and health. She is an avid hiker, biker and runner. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Update and A New Direction

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Those of you still checking in here from time to time have probably given up on seeing any new material posted, and I can’t blame you. Writing books has certainly taken my time away from blogging and…

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How to Make Your Home an Impregnable Fortress for a Safe Family

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When it comes to the safety and security of your family, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Even in a relatively safe area, criminals are constantly on the lookout for insecure homes and vulnerable families. Here are a few steps you can take to make your property more secure than ever.

Update the Door Locks

Experts believe that around 34 percent of burglars enter through the front door. Those who have recently purchased a home should immediately change the locks on all of their doors. An ANSI Grade 1 deadbolt lock is generally seen as the most secure option for residential entryways.

Upgrade the Windows

Older windows are not only easier to break, but they can also be opened with nothing more than a screwdriver or knife. If your windows are more than 10 years old, then you might want to think about upgrading to lockable aftermarket windows. You should also invest in a handful of affordable glass break detectors that will go off if the glass is cracked or rattled.

Eradicate Blind Spots

Criminals are often drawn to homes where they can hide in tall bushes and dark corners of the yard. All of the trees and plants throughout your property should be trimmed so that an adult can’t hide behind larger branches. You should also consider installing lights throughout your property so that every single corner is well-lit. Many motion-sensor floodlights can be attached to solar panels, and that means they will draw little or no electricity from your home.

Add a Safe Room

Those who want to make their home as secure as possible should consider having a safe room installed. A typical safe room is made from concrete, steel, and other materials that can withstand a tremendous amount of abuse. Some companies, like Southern Screen Scene, know how important it is to keep your family safe. In addition to keeping you safe from criminals, these rooms are also an excellent form of protection against dangerous storms such as hurricanes and tornadoes.

Meet the Neighbors

Very few people realize just how beneficial it is to become friends with their neighbors. Whenever you are at work or away on vacation, your neighbors could be your first line of defense against a home invasion. Once they get to know you and your family a little bit better, they will begin to recognize when unusual people are on your property.

As an added bonus, many of these security upgrades can have a major impact on your insurance premiums. Whenever you add a new security feature to your property, you should contact your insurance provider to see if they will bring your monthly premiums down.

About the Author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

How to Make Your Home an Impregnable Fortress for a Safe Family

When it comes to the safety and security of your family, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Even in a relatively safe area, criminals are constantly on the lookout for insecure homes and vulnerable families. Here are a few steps you can take to make your property more secure than ever.

Update the Door Locks

Experts believe that around 34 percent of burglars enter through the front door. Those who have recently purchased a home should immediately change the locks on all of their doors. An ANSI Grade 1 deadbolt lock is generally seen as the most secure option for residential entryways.

Upgrade the Windows

Older windows are not only easier to break, but they can also be opened with nothing more than a screwdriver or knife. If your windows are more than 10 years old, then you might want to think about upgrading to lockable aftermarket windows. You should also invest in a handful of affordable glass break detectors that will go off if the glass is cracked or rattled.

Eradicate Blind Spots

Criminals are often drawn to homes where they can hide in tall bushes and dark corners of the yard. All of the trees and plants throughout your property should be trimmed so that an adult can’t hide behind larger branches. You should also consider installing lights throughout your property so that every single corner is well-lit. Many motion-sensor floodlights can be attached to solar panels, and that means they will draw little or no electricity from your home.

Add a Safe Room

Those who want to make their home as secure as possible should consider having a safe room installed. A typical safe room is made from concrete, steel, and other materials that can withstand a tremendous amount of abuse. Some companies, like Southern Screen Scene, know how important it is to keep your family safe. In addition to keeping you safe from criminals, these rooms are also an excellent form of protection against dangerous storms such as hurricanes and tornadoes.

Meet the Neighbors

Very few people realize just how beneficial it is to become friends with their neighbors. Whenever you are at work or away on vacation, your neighbors could be your first line of defense against a home invasion. Once they get to know you and your family a little bit better, they will begin to recognize when unusual people are on your property.

As an added bonus, many of these security upgrades can have a major impact on your insurance premiums. Whenever you add a new security feature to your property, you should contact your insurance provider to see if they will bring your monthly premiums down.

About the Author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

Not Dead, Been Shooting

Hey folks, I know it’s been awhile. Work, getting ready for my kids to come out this summer and shooting have kept me pretty busy.

I got to go out to a sweet private range and do some cool stuff you can’t usually do.

Also shot my first handgun match. It was fun and I will definitely take up that hobby. On the good side my balance in shooting of speed and accuracy seems to be on point. Down side if I care about being competitive (vs defensive practice) I’m moving pretty slow. I’ll work on it.

Learned some stuff about my gear and had a ton of fun. 

Not Dead, Been Shooting

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Hey folks, I know it’s been awhile. Work, getting ready for my kids to come out this summer and shooting have kept me pretty busy.

I got to go out to a sweet private range and do some cool stuff you can’t usually do.

Also shot my first handgun match. It was fun and I will definitely take up that hobby. On the good side my balance in shooting of speed and accuracy seems to be on point. Down side if I care about being competitive (vs defensive practice) I’m moving pretty slow. I’ll work on it.

Learned some stuff about my gear and had a ton of fun. 

Six Steps to Take for Summer Hiking Preparedness

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When hiking, it is important you prepare properly to have a fun and safe trip. We’ve all been on the hellish hikes where you wore the wrong shoes or didn’t pack enough sunscreen. Don’t fall victim to these amateur mistakes. If you take all the right steps you can be prepared for anything that may come your way.

Step 1: Bring Plenty of Water
It seems obvious, but water is very important when going on a hike. Dehydration is very real when being active, regardless of the temperature. Bring enough water to drink plus a little extra, since you may need to clean a wound. Some people enjoy a snack or even an entire meal when on a hiking trip, depending on the length of your trek. Since so much energy is being used by your body, having fruit or a granola bar handy wouldn’t hurt.

Step 2: Protection from the Sun
While journeying through a beautiful environment, it’s nice to enjoy the outdoors and get exposed to a little more vitamin D. Just remember, the sun can be damaging as well as warm. Bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and some people even wear long sleeve shirts and pants for additional protection.

Step 3: Pack a Backpack
You are preparing for a fun day and you have many needs. If all your supplies won’t fit in your pocket, it’s good to have a small backpack for water, food, and maps. Prepare to pack light. Do your best to bring all the important things, but also remember you will be carrying this backpack the whole time.

Step 4: Bring a Friend or Headphones
Hiking with friends is always a great pastime. You can engage in conversation and take in the sights together. It is a great way to come together and bond on a more personal level. If you can’t find a friend to take the trip, you still want to skip the phone, music can be great when you stop for breaks. You want to be aware of your surroundings during your hike, but when eating a snack, lunch, or taking a breather, you can indulge in some sounds to match your views. Be sure you always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back.

Step 5: Have First Aid Supplies
While hiking is a fun and healthy activity, remember anything can happen while out on the trail. There is the threat of dehydration, sunburn, bug bites, animal attacks, and other unknowns. Just be mindful and stay prepared. It’s best to try to avoid most issues by having the correct supplies on hand. In the end, you won’t have control over nature, so keep some band-aids and first aid supplies with you. You may also want to have your doctor’s number on hand just in case you run into a wild animal or unleashed dog.

Step 6: Have Fun!
Being outdoors is enjoyable regardless of the risks, and should be a good experience. Make sure it is by following the above tips and being prepared.

About the Author:
Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.

4 Ways to Set Up a Backup Electrical System in Case of Disaster

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Your house goes quiet and dark when the power goes out. The background hum of the refrigerator or the sound of a furnace or air conditioner stops. It gets quite dim in some rooms indoors even at noon. If the power stays out for a few days, your refrigerated and frozen foods spoil, and your HVAC system shuts down. There is no power to charge cell phones or lights. Here are four ways to establish backup power in case of a disaster.

Whole-House Generator

This backup power plan is not cheap, but it is very effective. You can even have one big enough to power every circuit in your house to make it like the power grid was never interrupted. Smaller units can be wired to power a limited number of circuits such as some lights and outlets along with refrigeration, heating and cooling.

Whole-house power generators can be purchased that run on liquid or gas fuels. Natural gas supplies often remain intact in hurricane, tornado and flooding disasters. If you already use propane, this can be a fuel of choice. If you live on a farm and store diesel in tanks, it would be a good fuel option.

Portable Power Generators

Portable does not necessarily mean underpowered. There are small generators on wheels you can roll outside and hook a few extension cords to them. Then there are large units that are lifted by forklifts onto trucks or flown in by helicopter. However, for household purposes, they are usually mounted to a frame that has inflated rubber tires about the size you would find on the front of a riding lawn mower.

The standard ones sold in stores are usually gasoline powered, but you can buy diesel, natural gas and propane models. They are used to run some lights, power your refrigerator and freezer and maybe power the blower on a forced-air natural gas furnace. They do not usually have enough power to run air conditioning.

Fixed Solar Panels

This can give you a complete off-grid power system for your home if your house gets enough sun year round. Solar panels installed on the roof absorb energy from the sun to create electricity that is immediately used with the surplus being stored in batteries to keep things running at night.

Power inverters are used to step up the battery power to run your lights and connected household appliances. This is another system that is fixed in place like the whole-house generator. They can be great if you can shelter in place during a disaster but are useless if you have to become mobile.

Portable Solar Power Generation

These are the same as portable power generators, but they use the sun for fuel instead of gasoline, diesel, natural gas or propane. The Lycan Powerbox by Renogy is one example. These systems are look like a wheeled suitcase and have an inverter, battery and solar panel. There are receptacles to plug devices into that run on household current, and you can get a system with a spare battery for an instant power reload.

Typical portable solar power generators can also be charged by plugging them into a wall receptacle at home. This lets you keep a full charge on your batteries before a disaster hits, and you have the solar panel to maintain a charge while the grid is down. Plus, you can take it with you if you have to become mobile, and they can be used for camping and other outdoor recreation and adventures where electricity is desired.

Failure of the power grid due to a disaster doesn’t have to leave you in the dark. Planning ahead can keep your life powered and running no matter how long the power stays out for everyone else.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

5 Solo Car Camping Tips for the Wilderness Wanderer

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Now that the days are warming up nicely and the nights are only slightly cool, you may want to consider enjoying nature a bit more. Solo car camping trips are often the way to go if you need some time by yourself to relax, unwind and get away from the stressors of work. However, because solo camping is not for the faint of heart, consider these tips before your first time roughing it.

Get Familiar with Camping

If you have never been camping before, solo car camping is most likely not for you. You need to be familiar with the basics of roughing it, such as laying a fire, keeping away from wild animals and hiking. You should also know the basics of first aid and wilderness survival to ensure that you will not make a newbie mistake on your first solo camping trip.

Pack Lightly

Since you will need to be transporting everything yourself, you should pack lightly, particularly if you plan on parking your car and hiking to a nearby location to sleep. Water and food are some of the biggest items you should carry, but make a few adjustments to lighten your load. For example, instead of carrying an entire water purifier, use space-saving purification tablets, and instead of using firewood for cooking, carry a small gas or alcohol-burning stove.

Pick the Right Car

Your car is probably your best bet for safety because you will count on it to get you back home and to keep you and your belongings safe from wildlife and weather. Visit a dealership and choose a small SUV that is good for rugged terrain, such as the GMC Acadia or the Jeep Grand Cherokee. A Subaru Forester is a great compact SUV that has plenty of space for cargo.

Stay Slightly on the Grid

Make sure that someone knows where you are going to be before you leave. While camping is not a time that you want to stay connected to your phone, you may want to have access to a phone charger while you are gone in case of emergency. Additionally, make sure that your contact person knows your license number and make and model of vehicle.

Travel with Emergency Devices

You may not have cell phone capabilities everywhere you camp. Definitely invest in a battery-powered weather radio and a whistle. You may also want to purchase or rent a personal locator beacon to help rescuers find you should you need help.

While your first solo car camping trip may be filled with worry over whether something bad will happen, if you will run out of food or if you will encounter a dangerous wild animal, you will quickly begin learning the ropes and realizing that if you practice basic safety techniques you can have a pleasurable and safe trip by yourself. Soon you will begin connecting with yourself and discovering more about what makes you who you are. Also, remember that if you are camping in state or national parks, you can reach out to park rangers who will have helpful information about the lay of the land.

About the Author:
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Reader Question: Bug Out Realities

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Harry Flashman said “If you have to flee, where (in general theory) would you go? I’m not asking specifically, just your thoughts. If I had to abandon my compound I’d be screwed. The only place I can think to go in the event of some major Black Swan event would be deeper into the Appalachian mountains, where I would surely starve when winter came. Remember the old guy in “The Road” played by Robert Duvall? I don’t want to end up like that.”

Ryan here: Harry, There is a disconnect between what I am thinking about and preparing for in this context and what you are thinking about. You are focused on a black swan type event sort of in line with what survivalist authors love writing about. I am focused on events which fall short of that. 

There are many reasons a person might need to leave where they live, if just for a period of time. Natural disasters such as storms, hurricanes, tornados, wildfire, etc come to mind. Social unrest is another. Various occasional events such as gas leaks, overturned rail cars with nasty chemicals, etc happen also. 

The point here is there are a bunch of actual real life (vs survivalist fantasy and or very unlikely events) reasons you might need to leave your home in a hurry. 

These problems also have the advantage of bejng much more manageable than an EMP and cannibal hordes. I am not “bugging out” to be mad max or the man and son from ‘The Road’, I’m probably going to be in a Motel 6 in the nearest unaffected city ordering take out and talking with my insurance company.

Along these lines my gear is set up accordingly. Stuff like sleepwear, deodorant, an IWB holster for the G19, clothes I could wear in normal society, etc. Sure there is good, water purification, first aid, etc. It is roughly a 50/50 mix between overnight bag and a more conventional ‘bug out bag’.

I hope that explains my thinking. 

What you could do? 

For the more likely fire scare, sudden trip to the hospital, race up to see the kids in an emergency you could put together a kit like mine. 

For the black swan/ conventional survivalist scenario. I would find a couple of places that are abandoned or very isolated and cache a bunch of gear there. Lots of effort and implied tasks but it would give it the ability to leave your place quickly and have some logistics. 

Systems and Progress

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My BOB is repacked. I still need to add a couple things but the core of it is set up. I need to add one of those recharging things as well as a phone charger. Also a couple maps specifically for the bag. My safe stuff (cash, vehicle titles, etc) is in a small backpack ready to grab in the safe.

I repacked my Go Box A to reflect my current firearm stash. So .22lr for the 10/22, .380 for the LCP, 9 for the Glock, 5.56 for the AR and 7.62. A couple mags for the core guns and one each for the nice to haves plus a mag pouch for the AR, a holster for the Glock and cleaning stuff round it out.

A pair of pants sit by the speedy cabinet with 2x each Glock and AR mags n a holster. That sits on a very comfortable pair of leather slip on shoes. By that is a PC with 2 more AR mags, a Glock mags an a med kit. With that set up I would have 3 spare Glock mags and 4 AR mags. For me that’s all I can see needing these days. Sure if things went totally to shit I might want more but that won’t happen overnight and I have another rig for that anyway.

I would like to go to the new Haley DC3 rig and eventually I will.

At the current juncture I am pretty happy with this system. Next is the heavy bug out stuff. Also I might make a full on mad max set up just for fun.

How to Prepare an Electricity-free Kitchen

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There are a number of situations in which you may find yourself without electricity and you want to be prepared all of them. Depending on the number of people in your family or group, your setup needs may vary. Here are some options to explore for making sure that you can still prepare wholesome homemade meals in the event you find yourself without power.

Small but Powerful

For something small and compact that can travel easily, consider getting a Pocket Rocket by MSR. They are a longstanding staple of backpackers all over the world and can literally be assembled with one hand and weigh mere ounces. They pack enough heat to boil a couple cups of water in a few minutes. However, their gas canisters typically do not hold more than 6 hours of burning fuel and have to be replaced frequently. If you are looking for a small but portable way to boil water in less than two minutes for your dehydrated meal, a JetBoil may be your best bet in that arena. The size of a large coffee cup, they screw into the top of a gas canister for added stability and windproofing. JetBoils also come with attachments to turn them into a French press, a frying pan and a cooking pot.

Feast or Famine

For larger groups, you are going to want a stove and cooking area that has multiple burners and a larger surface. Stoves that collapse and are easily transportable, like the classic Coleman double burner, are a great option for a family of four or small group of people. What these kinds of stoves do not offer is a cooking platform or a food preparation area. If you are going to be stationary for a while, consider getting a table with legs and a side food preparation table. Stoves, like the Camp Chef Pro Series Deluxe Three, are equipped with propane tanks that hold a large amount of gas and are refillable and the dual platforms on either side are useful for setting utensils, condiments and cutting boards.

Accessories

For the sake of longevity, invest in metal, rather than plastic, utensils. Melting or breaking a plastic spatula will render it useless. Metal utensils hold up for a long time — same goes for your plates and cups. Put together a kitchen box with long lasting supplies such as reusable towels (as opposed to one time use paper towels), waterproof matches and fire starter. It is wise to stock up on gas canisters or propane to ensure that you have enough cooking fuel in the event that you lose power and have to fire up one of your cook stove substitutes. If you don’t want to worry about fuel, consider getting a large griddle to turn any camp fire or heat source into a cookable surface as long as the area is flat.

Author Bio: W.M. Chandler is a Colorado native and works best with her head in the clouds. She is an avid researcher and enjoys writing about unfamiliar subjects. She writes passionately about nature and the outdoors, human connections and relationships, nutrition and politics. Twitter: @wmchandler1212

8 Reasons Why You Need Food Preparedness in Your Life

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As the political climate, acts of terrorism, and natural disasters threaten the peace and security of people worldwide, it’s not uncommon to feel uneasy and anxious about the future. While you don’t have control over much of what happens in life, making sure you’re adequately prepared in case of an emergency can help you regain some peace of mind. Here are the 8 reasons you need to establish food storage in your home today.

  1. Peace of Mind During a Disaster

    As mentioned above, perhaps the best reasons to have food storage in your home is for the peace of mind this preventative measure will give you during a disaster. Rather than having to worry about how and where to get food, you can rest easy that a major basic need is already taken care of.

  2. Food to Sustain During Financial Crisis

    In the event of a cut in pay or the loss of a job, you know you have a way to provide food for your family while you get back on your feet. Unemployment is a real problem these days, but you can shore up against financial windfall, providing you and your family some wiggle room in the event of a crisis.

  3. Comfort that Your Family Will Be Provided For

    A lot can be said about peace of mind and the comfort that comes with knowing you’re prepared for even the direst situation. Your family is your most important asset, and knowing they’ll always have food to sustain them is a great comfort.

  4. Ability to Help Others

    There are always people in need, whether due to homelessness, financial problems, or natural disaster. With the help of food storage, you can share what you have with others who are less fortunate. Share food with a neighbor, donate to a charity or a food pantry. There is a multitude of options, but you can’t use any of them unless you’re prepared first.

  5. Help During a Pandemic

    In the event of a pandemic, you could potentially be housebound for months. With long-term food storage built up, you can survive this time without the risk of being contaminated trying to get food or water.

  6. Peace in Social Chaos

    There is continued civil unrest around the globe, and as this social chaos inevitably increases, there may come a time your city is affected. In the event you won’t have access to food, whether from fear of leaving your home or due to the destruction of riots and looting, having food storage might be a lifesaver.

  7. Sustenance During War

    In times of war, food is more scarce; prices drive up, and rationing often limits what’s available. With food storage present in your home, neither of these scenarios need to be a worry for your family.

  8. Severe Weather or Natural Disaster

    During a flood, earthquake, tornado, fire, or any other natural disaster, you may be left trapped in your home for days or weeks on end. If you have food storage in your home, you care rest assured that your family will survive these troubled times until help and relief can reach you.

Peace in Preparedness

During times of turmoil, preparation equals confidence, and making sure you have adequate food storage is an excellent way to prepare. Stock up on canned goods, fill containers with water, and consider using mylar bags and vacuum sealers to help keep food fresh longer. Being prepared in the face of disaster gives you one less thing to worry about.

About the Author:
Rachel Libby is a content crafter. She has a passion for writing and providing people with mountains of knowledge. In addition, Rachel also works at Big Leap and enjoys all things marketing and helping businesses grow. Speaking of mountains, you can find her exploring the wild terrain of Utah in her quest for adventure and cool Instagram photo opportunities.

Notes from Carbine Class

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Pro- Driving the rifle aggressively
– Doing a good job of balancing acceptable accuracy and speed. For where my skills are now the balance is good. I’m seeming to be able to accurately judge how much time I need to make angoven shot.
– Generally getting solid hits on target.
– Transitions are going ok and more importantly becoming automatic. For a traditional Army Infantry guy getting used to transitioning to the pistol up close (vs getting the rifle back in the fight) takes some doing but it’s feeling good.
– Shooting when my weak side foot is down has done wonders for my shooting on the move.
-Maybe some other stuff but enough self  ass kissing

Gear Pro
-The set up I used today with my pistol, 2x Pistol mags in a sxs pouch and 2x rifle mags in a double stack pouch on a rigger belt is a winner. It has some kinks to work out but to me for a home defense type set up the concept is proven.
– While too early to say for sure I’m happy with the new Glock magpul mags. Flawless.
– My guns worked great

Now to the less good stuff

Cons
– Head shots and POA/POI on the AR. Under 25 meters or so the 2. whatever inch difference between the line of your sights and where the bullet goes matters. I know the concept but am not doing well performing it quickly. Putting my sights on someone’s hair to shoot them between the eyes is hard to remember when I go fast.
– The push/ pull method of seating a magazine is superior to the old army slap but I’m having a serious issue with the slap being so ingrained in me. Need to dry fire it a lot.
-I should shoot offhand at 50-75m more. That’s not a strong area for me.
– On transitions to pistol I need to push the rifle a little bit further to the side instead of trying to game it to make time.

Gear Cons
– While the concept I used today of a pair of pants with rifle and pistol mags on a normal type belt was validated some the components were not. For the pistol mags I basically had a normal TT 2 mag pouch. Reloads from it sucked. I’m looking at some other options.
– The VTAC Cobra belt should replace the random rigger belt I am using.
– As another option I really like and will eventually get is probably the Hailey Strategic DC3 cheat rig. None of the chest rigs I have can accommodate a standard strong side holster as they come too far into my side. I have holsters that work for that but in a modular set up I like a standard strong side OWB holster. Also civie Ryan probably doesn’t need 10 mags an if he does he will wear a full on belt kit.

Life-Saving Items You Need To Carry When Hunting

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As you prepare yourself for the hunting season, it is important that you emphasize on your safety by giving it the priority it deserves. Taking into consideration what survival items you need to carry whether you plan on using them or not is paramount regardless of your hunting prowess. You never know what might happen when you are out and about in the wild. There are items that you should never forget when going out on a game hunt.

This article strives to give you the most essential must have survival items you need not miss on your hunting spree.

  1. First aid kit

    A hunter’s first aid kit is very different from the ordinary kit that just contains pain relievers and a Band-Aid. An excellent hunter’s first aid kit should be built from scratch taking into consideration all tools that you may require in case of a major accident. Some of the things that need to be in your first aid kit include; Special medication for those who suffer from a special need that requires them to frequently medicate, heavy-duty bandages and gauze, water purification tablets, tourniquets among other things.

  2. Map and compass

    Since time immemorial, a compass has been used by hunters as their primary navigation tool. Regardless of the change in technology where you can easily use a wrist GPS, it is important that you tag along with your compass just in case. A compass combined with a map is the only fail proof navigation gadget you can get.

  3. Food/water

    Whether you are going hunting for days or just for a hike, easy to eat food and water is a must have for all hunters. Stainless steel utensils are also highly recommended since you can use them for cooking purposes as well.

  4. Knife

    Just like a pen is to writing so is a knife to hunting. The importance of this tool can never be over emphasized. Before leaving for hunting, ensure that your knife is sharp. A knife is a Multi-functional tool that you can use as a weapon, for cutting rope, skinning game, opening packages, or even creating a fire starter. A knife should be kept on your person as opposed to keeping it in your backpack. Also, when cutting, ensure that you do not cut towards yourself as this may cause an accident.

  5. Communication tool

    A fully charged cell phone, its power bank and a two-way radio are a must have for hunters. These tools provide a way for hunters to communicate with other people incase an emergency arises. Unfortunately, due to poor network coverage or damage to this items, they may not be in a condition to help you convey messages. In this case, a whistle or a glass mirror will come in handy. Blowing a whistle or using a glass mirror to reflect rays of light are other ways you can communicate with the outside world as well as ward off animals.

  6. Fire Starters and flashlights

    Although easy to forget, flashlights are highly essential when going out to hunt for days. A heavy duty AA flashlight is not only bright, but it can last a long time. A flashlight may help you find your way through the night or on that dark morning. A flashlight may also help you to get your bearing at night and scare off animals.

    When you are out hunting for days, a means of making fire fast is also essential. Disposable lighters will aid you in quickly lighting up a fire to cook, for warmth, to melt snow and also to find your way through the darkness in case your flashlight runs out of battery. Ensure that you carry matches as backup lighters in a waterproof container.

  7. Cordage

    Although making a rope out of plant material is possible, bringing along a strong 50-feet cord is highly essential for hunters. You can use it to build shelter, secure loads to your backpack or to navigate through steep paths and inclines. A paracord is highly recommended because it does not add too much weight.

Once you have all these items in place, ensure that you pack them in a sturdy and durable backpack. Make a checklist where you can cross out all things you put in your bag to prevent yourself from forgetting an important item. In addition, before going out on that hunting expedition, ensure that you are geared up in appropriate clothing. Depending on the season, you may opt for some light or mid weight clothing. However, hunting boots are a must wear regardless of the season.

Remember that in order to survive adverse situations, you need to be prepared at all times. Bear in mind that preparedness is an ongoing thing that involves acquiring new survival tactics and adapting to new situations.

Author Bio:

Kevin Steffey is an avid hunter and freelance writer. He loves spending time in the field with his rifle more than almost anything else, and occupies his off-time discussing deer and their habits online. He is a founder at www.deerhuntingfield.com

Bug Out Realities

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I am in the midst of redoing some systems. It is important to do this every so often. This is important to do regularly to rotate items, make sure everything is still working and such. Also from time to time it is important to re look out concepts.

I have been trying to step back and look more realistically at things. Less red dawn/ walking dead fantasy and more everyday real life. Also as I do move I need to adapt to different environments.

What is changing these days:
– My fighting load plans in concealing the pistol and it’s spare ammo if just under a normal shirt. Also working on being able to conceal rifle ammo.
– My bug out bag is getting heavily re done. It will basically be my car ‘get home bag’ beefed up a bit.   Much heavier on low profile with a concept of use more focused on the realistic scenario where I end up crashing at someone’s place or in a motel then some live in the woods fantasy. Kind of an overnight bag with some survival stuff in it.
– This bag is going to stay in my vehicle which eliminates unneeded redundancy. The only exclusion will be the stuff that currently lives in my safe. I am going to organize that stuff into a small easy to grab pouch which will be ready to go in the safe. With this set up I could be out of the house with the absolute must grab stuff in well under 5 minutes.

More to follow later.

Are your systems tempered for your area and realistic scenarios?

How True Preppers Ready Themselves for a Natural Disaster

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Natural disasters can strike anywhere and at any time. As a prepper, it is important to know which types of natural disasters are most likely to happen in your location. Once you know the potential hazards, you can take action to prepare for them. Keep in mind these four ways of readying yourself for a natural disaster.

Becoming a Storm Spotter

Becoming a storm spotter is an important step for preppers to take. Spotters are trained to identify different types of cloud formations and other indicators that are suggestive of severe weather. As a storm spotter, you could recognize a funnel cloud, report it to local authorities and the weather service and then take cover in your shelter.

Getting Certified in First Aid

As a prepper, it is also important to know how to administer first aid to yourself or another person. Taking a class through the American Red Cross allows you to gain certification in first aid. There are classes for first aid for children and for adults. You will learn essential skills such as performing CPR, doing the Heimlich maneuver, and dressing a wound. You may also learn how to remove debris from a wound, stitch a wound closed and remove a stinger.

Transporting Supplies with Utility Trailers

Utility trailers are key to transporting supplies to your shelter. A utility trailer, like those available from Hillsboro Industries, can be connected to your vehicle to haul lumber, sheeting, and heavy bags of concrete to your property. You can also use them to haul large kegs of water and bulk containers of food to your storage.

Learning How to Use Essential Tools and Equipment

Having tools and equipment won’t help if you don’t know how to use them. Practice using food dehydrators, hand tools and portable radios before a natural disaster happens. Test your skills at hunting, fishing, rope tying and other key parts of prepping. Know how to quickly assemble and disassemble your tent. Understand how to use the water filter and build a campfire under rainy conditions.

The aftermath of a natural disaster could last for days, weeks, months or even longer. Taking the time now to prepare your shelter, practice using your equipment and test your skills will help you to be ready for any emergency situation. Be sure to keep all of your equipment in good condition and to rotate your supplies so that they do not expire before you are able to put them to use.

About the Author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

Training and Dry Fire Thoughts

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People can tend to over train in rarely used and unrealistic areas. Two examples would be speed reloads and rifle to pistol transitions. Statistically speaking in a civilian gunfight you won’t shoot a .38 snobby dry let alone a modern double stack handgun holding 15 ish rounds. I won’t say t never happens because sometimes it does but it’s very rare.

Ditto rifle to pistol transitions. For that to make sense 3 things need to happen simultaneously. First a modern rifle which usually holds 30 rounds and certainly 20 plus needs to run empty (or jam which I didn’t mention in pistols because if you use decent modern guns and aren’t a complete buffoon it’s very unlikely.). In a civilian or even law enforcement context rifle fights end really fast. The reason for this is that rifles stop people, even the much picked at 5.56, very well. Also critically rifles and shotguns are much easier to shoot well than pistols due to a longer length between songs and so many Points of contact. Second I would have to be at pistol range which we could define as 25 meters for simplicity. Third I would have to be in the open otherwise I’d just reload my rifle behind concealment/ cover. The idea of people blazing away at each other at pistol distances in the open until  I run dry won’t happen outside an action movie.

These skills are good to know how to do. They are also good to practice. It’s just a question of how much of our limited time should go to them. I would be inclined to mostly practice the stuff that will help me win the fight. The biggest single shooting skill there is getting the first hit on target. Shooting someone gets you all up in their OODA loop.

Dry fire training with a timer is essential to improvement in these skills. Unless you have a range outside your back porch and a huge ammo budget you can’t shoot every day. You can do dry fire at home for free.

Today’s notes.

Equipment. G19 and appendix holster.
Consistently hitting 1.5 from concealment. Dropped to 1.4 and ran 50/50 ish but get rushed and was making mistakes. I’ll stick at 1.4 for at least a week. My short term goal is to get dry fire from concealment to 1.3 which giving a little extra time for real shooting get me at 1.4 there. The long term goal is sub 1 second from concealment but that’s beyond a dream now.

After that I did a few rifle to pistol transitions to get ready for shooting this weekend. More on that topic later. 

Personal Survival: 4 Steps to Create and Maintain an Emergency Kit

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When there’s a natural disaster or a situation where your personal survival is in danger, you need to have the minimal tools on hand to make it through at least a few days until help arrives or the situation is over. After you gather the items that you need for the kit, you can put them in a small plastic box that has a lid so that they are securely in one place. You can get the items that are needed for the kit at most retail stores and even at discount stores so that you don’t spend a lot of money.

Hydration

The first thing that you want to have in your kit or in the area where you’re going to take shelter is water. It’s ideal to have at least one gallon a day for each person to last for three days. This would mean that you would need three gallons for each person who is planning on using the kit or who is going to stay in the shelter.

Clothing and Blankets

You want to have at least two or three additional clothing items aside from what you wear when the disaster strikes. The clothing should be comfortable and easy to get on and off. You also want to have a jacket or coat depending on the weather and even a pair of sturdy work boots in case you have to walk across areas that have limbs on the ground or that are covered in water. Companies like Bargain Center often have boots and other clothing supplies in all sizes as well as blankets so that you can stay warm.

Supplying Nutrients

When packing your kit, include enough food so that each person has at least 2,000 calories available each day. You might not eat that much, but it would be available in case someone needs more energy or you need to stay in the shelter for a longer time. Foods that don’t need to be heated are suggested along with protein bars and trail mix. Include baby formula that can be mixed with water as well.

Hygiene

You might not be able to take a shower for a few days, so you need to have supplies that can keep you clean. Dry shampoo, baby wipes and toilet paper can be packed as these will give you at least some way to keep dirt off the body. A toothbrush and toothpaste also needs to be packed along with diapers for babies or even toddlers.

When you pack a survival kit, think about the bare necessities instead of the luxury items. Try not to over-pack your kit as this will make it hard to move to your shelter. Update your kit as needed, especially if there are more people who plan to join you during the event.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Twitter: @LizzieWeakley Facebook: facebook.com/lizzie.weakley

The Cutting of the Hazelnuts

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When we moved in here we had a large front yard and large back yard and slowly over the years both yards have gotten increasingly overgrown. Some of it is just because we live in the woods and the woods grow but a lot of it has been things I have planted. Sometimes plants are cheap and you think it is a great idea and you think you will use them and you never do. And sometimes you just don’t know how big those plants will get. It never occurred to me that hazelnuts could grow this big!

 I planted them by the driveway and every year now we have to trim the driveway side back so there is room for both mine and Michelle’s cars. Even worse….sadly…we never really used the hazelnuts. They are small. Too small for any nutcrackers so you have to use a hammer and most of the time you crush the meat. Just getting them all cleaned of their shells is a ridiculously slow job and I could deal with us never using them if at least the wildlife used them but there has never been a squirrel or anything else collecting nuts from the two bushes.
So I mentioned to Phil that maybe we should cut them down and open up the yard some and he jumped right on that idea and said it would make the yard a whole lot easier to cut the grass and he would do that next.
We have two pairs of “loppers” and started cutting but I am sick today….some sort of sore throat, ache all over, dizzy, fever off and on…sickness, and I just couldn’t get my bush cut and Phil had to come finish it up.
I told Phil it would be a great place to plant my two rose bushes I bought a couple weeks ago and he just rolled his eyes at me. 😀

Nothing left but the brush to take off now.

Spring Preparation for a Pest-Free Bunker

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Securing your underground bunker from unwanted nighttime visitors and pests is a step many preppers overlook. Unwelcome strangers and people attempting to steal supplies may not be a large concern depending on how far off the grid you’ve placed your bunker. However, there is nowhere that a determined pest seeking food and shelter won’t go, and unfortunately no single way to deter them. The key is to identify weak points and take proper precautions to ward off pests from the get-go.

Identify, Prevent, Deter

There are a few types of wildlife pests that can be a serious issue for owners of underground bunkers. Every bunker needs proper ventilation and generally, houses significant amounts of food storage and water. Sure, your bunker ventilation can be concealed from passerby, but camouflage isn’t going to fool those pests with twitchy noses and empty stomachs. Spring is prime seasons for squirrels, raccoons, mice, skunks and bugs.

To prevent any unwanted pests around your bunker, keep all garbage and organic debris separate from the location. Once living in your bunker, burying your garbage isn’t going to cut it. You can bury it but do so far away from where you’re located.

The location of your bunker will play a role in the types of pests you may encounter. If the ground cover around your bunker is ideal for grubs or beetle larvae, then treat the area to prevent pests (like skunks and raccoons) that feed on these insects.

If you are near any type of farming or harvested crops, you might have mice. With this year’s high yield of crops there is likely to be an increase in mouse numbers which means all bunkers near areas of harvest should be wary of mice infestation on their food and grain storage.

The best way to deal with these pests is to proactively prepare your home and yard in advance of the spring. Consider installing tamper-resistant covers on your ventilation openings and look into an air-filtration system to safeguard you against unwanted pests entering through your ventilation. As a bonus, it will also work against environmental toxins that may become a threat. An NBA filter is a great addition for any bunker.

Maintenance is Key

Once you’ve identified the types of pests you’re up against, you can defend your weak points and make a plan to maintain these changes so pests never become an issue. Critters of all shapes and sizes can cause issues for bunker owners.

Don’t allow any of these animals a point of access into your bunker if you want to prevent contaminating your food and water supplies. If infestation gets to a point where you can’t fend off the intrusion, make the call to hire a trusted pest control service to eliminate the problem now and prevent it from becoming an issue again in the future.

With surveillance, proper storage of food and supplies, along with adequate tamper-resistant covers and shields for the various entrances to your bunker, you can prevent any pests from giving you a yearly headache or suffer the loss of any vital supplies. Plan, prepare and maintain, that’s the only way to keep those little buggers out.

About the Author: Casea Peterson is a freelance copywriter and content marketing specialist for businesses in the outdoor industry. She has been writing personally and professionally since 2009, but when she doesn’t have her pen in hand she can be found somewhere in the woods hiking, hunting, or exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Reader Question Burris MTAC vs Vortex 1-8

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How do you like the Burris MTAC? I’m personally between that and the new Vortex 1-8x Strike Eagle. Didn’t know what pushed to one versus the other. Any advice on low power variables? Keep your powder dry.

Ryan here: I really like the Burris MTAC. To my best memory what pushed me to the MTAC over the Vortex was that I liked the reticle better and the Burris MTAC had a good reputation. I have the 1-4X model. I sold an ACOG to get it and finance some spare parts. I wanted a ‘do everything optic’ and a 1 power (or darn close as a lot are like 1.1 to 30 feet or something) scope that could be magnified for longer range work with an illuminated reticle. I shoot better at distance with a magnified optic, honestly I think everyone does. Also the big difference between red dot (or irons) and a magnified optic is that I can see well enough to make good decisions. Yes you can hit at 300-400+ yards with a red dot but you can’t really tell if that person is a threat or a friend coming to help. My experience with shooting the MTAC has been quite positive.

Pros: It holds zero and adjustments are consistent.

The circle and dot reticle is pretty cool. The circle will work for really fast up close stuff and the dot is sufficiently precise for my needs. Its illuminated reticle is nice.

It is a rugged optic. John Mosby had one leave a vehicle onto pavement at freeway speed and all that happened is it jammed one of the adjustment knobs so you could not move it by hand. Short of an ACOG or say a Leupold HAMR I don’t think there is a more rugged optic out there and those are 3x plus the cost of the MTAC.

Cost- The Burris 1-4X MTAC is about $300 with mounting options for $60-200+. In this range the MTAC is pretty affordable and on par with an Aimpoint patrol or Eotech. All of these are within the range of a normal person given some planning.

Cons- Weight. Amazon says it weighs 1.1 points which seems about right.

Battery- They use the CR2032 which is kind of a special snowflake battery. I wish they used CR123 or AAs.

As to the Burris MTAC vs other offerings. I purchased my MTAC a few years ago,I was in Arizona so it would have been roughly 2013. At that time the moderate cost offerings from Burris, Vortex, Leupold, etc that had a 1 (or close) power bottom end topped out at 4 power. One power scopes with higher ends existed but not in my budget. The 1-6 and 1-8x offerings were in the high end Leupold, Vortex Razor and Night Force type with a cost range starting at a grand. I have been quite happy with the Burris MTAC 1-4x and think you would be too.

Fast forward to 2017.  Things have changed. One power scopes with higher top end have matriculated into the moderate budget range of optics. The 1-6 and 1-8x Vortex Strike Eagle offerings look very appealing. Additionally the ability to put a quick switch lever on the scope to make rapid transitions is pretty cool. I really like that.

The Firearms Blog did a review of the 1-6X which seemed positive.

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/04/12/vortex-strike-eagle-1-6×24-ar-scope-review/

I am happy with the Burris 1-4x MTAC on my rifle but that doesn’t mean it is the best thing out there today in that same general (say $300-500 for the optic) price range. New stuff is available and in particular the Vortex offerings look very attractive.

I would have to look at the difference (beside the $100 or whatever cost) between the 1-6 and 1-8 power but unless there is a big downside a higher top end is better. A 1-8X scope from a good manufacturer that fits in an average guy budget without too much pain is pretty neat. At this current time with what is available now should I find myself in the market for another variable 1X scope I would look hard at the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8X. I would spend the money to put it on a good mount.
For full disclosure I have no personal experience with the Vortex scopes in question so what I say is relying on a quick google search and Vortex generally having a good reputation.
Hope that helps,

Carbines, Gear and Life Update

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Hey Folks, I’ve been traveling for work and pretty busy in general. 

I like magnified variable power optics on a carbine. I think Iraq got people so focused on super close range stuff we forgot sometimes we might want to reach out aways. True this is unlikely in my house or right outside it where a fight is likely to happen. Then again if my only concern was that a $300 pump shotgun would be by my bed not a $1,500+ M4. To make good choices shooting at any distance people need magnification. Yes you can hit steel at 300m with an Aimpoint or irons but can you tell if a person is the goblin  you are trying to kill or your cousin running to help?
One guy I was shooting with has a belt and suspenders approach of a scope and a red dot both in good as mounts. He switches to the red dot for use as a house gun and the scope in case he needs it. Expensive but an interesting idea. 
I am halfway through a local carbine class. Some interesting things have come from that. The instructor is an old time Cooper purist so he wants people to use OWB strong side holsters. I actually didn’t have one for my g19 without a light. So I ordered one. I didn’t have a single chest rig that was compatible with it. So with that holster set up I can use a plate carrier with a couple mags stuck on or the costa leg rig. I like the Costa Leg rig though I need suspenders for it if I’m going to wear it all day.
I am pretty happy with the Burris MTAC. Seems about the same as a red dot up close and way better for distance.  
I could see that as something I could wear all the time and still do stuff. 
For a house setup I’m thinking I’ll have a pair of pants with a holster and handgun stuff. Good for a knock at the door. Carbine stuff will be on the PC with an IFAK. 
As to life. I’m pretty busy with work, school, running and BJJ. 
Doing a diet thing and will talk more about that later. 
What is coming up? More shooting. Maybe another class. More organization. 

Different Types of Bows And Their Benefits

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Bows are essential tools in hunting and games. They exist in different forms and shapes. Over the years, bows have evolved and are now made of components like carbon fiber and fiberglass with improved shooting mechanisms. There are different types of bows namely; compound bows, recurve bows, crossbows and traditional bows with their distinct benefits.

Compound bows

A compound bow is a modern form of a long bow. It is easy to use, highly versatile, adjustable, more compact, longer life and extremely powerful and thus preferred by many people. A pulley system is used to draw back the arms which are stiff when drawn by brute force. This bow is considered better than the other bows for its draw weight that is less than half of the original weight. They are made of aluminum alloy that does not distort or warp in the case of temperature, humidity, and moisture. Its developed stabilizers cause less vibration in the release of an arrow. These bows are mostly used in 3D archery, bow hunting and some in target archery.

Recurve bows

These are the only bows allowed by the Olympics and historically they are known to be used by the horsemen. Recurve bow is known for its standard draw weight, low maintenance and highly versatile. Its lower and upper tips curve away from the archer allowing it to store more elastic energy. Less power is needed to use the bow thus a tactical advantage to the user. Recurve bows with a bare bow recurve made of a string, bow limbs, a riser and an arrow rest are mostly used to train the beginners. Some archers also use them in 3D archery and field archery. One can also use them in bow hunting with higher poundage bows.

Crossbows

Modern crossbows resemble firearms with a short bow attached horizontally to the muzzle. For the archer to fire, the string is attached to the trigger mechanism and locked in place. Crossbows have the best bow sights and their shooting range is longer than all the other types of bows. This is a modified bow and arrow mostly use in 3D archery, target field and sometimes in bow hunting.

Traditional bows

A traditional bow is also known as long bow or self-bow. It is the oldest form of a bow with a long piece of wood that is either straight or curved having a bowstring fixed on each end. These bows are easy to make since their materials are locally available. They are easy to maintain, easy to carry and easy to use. It requires a very clear environment to fire a target. When used in bow hunting, it is usually at higher draw weights.

Conclusion

There is a total of four types of bows; compound bows, crossbows, traditional bows and recurve bows. They are useful in hunting, shooting the target, shooting on a course, and competitive shooting. The purpose of the course determines the type of the bow to use. For instance, a recurve bow is instrumental in field archery such as Olympic Games, compound bows in target archery and crossbow in 3D archery with their best bow sights and traditional bows in bow hunting.

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

4 Careers That Teach Individuals Basic Self-Defense and Endurance

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If you are looking a new, exciting, and rewarding career then you might want to focus you energy on enter a field that requires self-defense and endurance. Modern society is in constant need of professional and trained men and women that can bring safety and security to local communities around the country. As you think about this, consider the following four careers that teach individuals basic self-defense and endurance.

Law Enforcement Officer

To keep our communities safe, it is important to have law enforcement officers who are self-confident, physically fit, and able to combat the evil forces that lurk among us. A police officer is supposed to be defender of all that is right within society, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. But nonetheless, proper training still keeps good cops safe. It is important to have self-defense and endurance skills in order to stay safe on the job as well.

Correctional Officer

A correctional officer is tasked with helping protect society from criminals that have already been found guilty. It can be a dangerous environment at times, so prison guards certainly need to be able to defend themselves. It is also important to have the endurance necessary to see the job through to the end of the day.

Security Guard

With more and more businesses need round the clock security, guards play an important role. Not only to keep the premises and the surrounding area safe, they function as a hedge of protection for the individuals that visit the building during working hours. Some companies, like Trident Security, know that because of this, security guards need to be trained in self-defense in order to keep themselves safe in a variety of situation. They also need to be fit because of the demands of the job on a daily basis.

Muay Thai Instructor

Muay Thai is a traditional martial art that is growing popularity throughout the West. Muay Thai instructors must know how to defend themselves, because this is exactly what they will be teaching their students. In addition, the career itself is highly rewarding. Where else can you get paid to stay fit? This sports requires a great deal of endurance. If you have what it takes, you will have a great career opportunity at hand. These are just four of the many rewarding careers that one can enter and learn self-defense and endurance skills at the same time. These sure beat sitting at a desk all day, and all of them put you out there with members of society. This is also a great way to stay in shape and remain healthy as well.

About the Author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

Progress!

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Phil made some progress on the boat yesterday. He got some pressure treated wood and tore out the old decking and put in new. Plus a compartment for storage. We’ll have to wait until next week to look into getting new seats, battery, cover, water-proof lights for the trailer (they are broken) etc.

A New Adventure

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So Phil and I have lived here on this lake many, many…many years now and never had a boat. I’m a bit fearful of boats….well not of boats exactly but of the lovely thing (snakes…turtles…alligators) that we have swimming in the water here. I don’t want to fall in with them! But I do like the idea of having a boat to go fishing because shore fishing just isn’t very good here. However, it has never been on our agenda to actually buy a boat….having one given to you is a whole different story.
One of Phil’s bosses gave his a jon boat this week..free…with the trailer and all! It is in rough shape but IT WAS FREE! So boating has become the new adventure but first there is the “fixing up” part.

The plan is to replace the decking, and add in some storage spaces. Replace the seats and fix the lights on the trailer. I’ll have pictures as we progress.

How to Prep Your Emergency Bunker for Any Type of Disaster

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A well-stocked and maintained emergency bunker gives you peace of mind. If a natural or man-made disaster were to occur, you could evacuate to the bunker and protect yourself and your family. Keep these four steps in mind in order to prepare your emergency bunker for any type of situation.

Rotating Stockpiled Items

Some stockpiled items have expiration dates. It is important to go through the supplies in your bunker about every three months and rotate those items. As things such as canned food, medications and batteries near their expiration date, put them into the rotation of things that you use on a routine basis. For example, if the jars of peanut butter and packs of batteries are close to the use-by date, bring them inside and use them up. This will reduce what you spend on household groceries and supplies, and you can use those savings to replace the emergency supplies.

Installing New Locks

Your emergency bunker is one of the most valuable parts of your home and property. Installing new locks helps to protect your investment of money and time in preparing the bunker. Some companies, like A Carolina Locksmith, know that a strong, durable lock also protects your family in case you need to use the bunker. Be sure to have vandal-proof and weatherproof locks installed that can be used on the inside and outside of the bunker.

Checking the Condition of Equipment

Every three months, check on the condition of the equipment in your emergency bunker. Look for signs of rust on metal tools. Apply lubricant to locks and motors. Check for signs of pest infestation or water intrusion into the bunker.

Adding Supplies and Equipment As Your Budget Allows

If you want to be prepared for any type of disaster, you will need a wide range of equipment. Prioritize the types of disasters that are most likely in your geographic area. You may wish to invest in respirators for a chemical or biological emergency or a bow and arrows set if you may have to live off the land. Continue adding supplies and equipment as you can afford to. Maintaining a well-stocked emergency bunker takes time and resources, but the peace of mind is worth the investment. Prioritize the most likely disasters for your area and focus your prepping efforts on those issues. Once you are prepared for the most likely emergencies, then you can expand your prepping activities to include other types of emergencies that could develop.

About the Author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

How To Define A Safe Distance At Nuclear Explosion

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Atomic blast is one of the main adverse factors. Depending on in what environment atomic blast appears and spreads, whether it is air, water or soil, it is called wind blast, air blast and seismic explosion wave accordingly.

A wind blast is an area of an air abrupt contraction spreading around and above from the center of the explosion with hypersonic speed. Having a high level of energy, an atomic blast is capable of defeating people, destroying buildings, equipment, military hardware and other objects at significant distances from the place of explosion.

Nature of pressure changing in the space point when an air blast goes through. As soon as an atomic blast reaches a certain space point, pressure and temperature become higher shortly, air begins to spread in an atomic blast direction. With time passing by, the pressure becomes lower and becomes equal to atmospheric. Further pressure decreasing causes exhaustion. At the time, air begins moving in the direction of the explosion. Usually, the action time of an atomic blast in phase of exhaustion is not taken into consideration as long as its importance is rather secondary.

Apart from the specified parameters, an atomic blast is characterized with front propagation velocity, air speed in pressure shock front, temperature of air in pressure shock front, ram air pressure in pressure shock front.

At surface burst, an atomic blast is shaped as hemisphere with center in the spot of explosion of nuclear weapon.

At air blast, reaching out the surface of earth, bounced back off it. the shape of the front is similar to hemisphere with the center in the spot, which is a mirror reflection of the explosion spot related to the surface of earth. Damage is caused by direct and indirect effect of air blast. Affecting exposed personnel, an atomic blast is able to damage like practice shell or air bomb would do at significantly bigger distances. Character and degree of damage depend on differential pressure, a position of a person at the very moment and its protection level. Depending upon differential pressure of a trauma under the impact of the blast, the waves are subdivided into light, average and heavy.

Damage of equipment and military machines after repulsion (on impact with soil) can be more significant than from direct effect of an atomic effect. Tanks receive weak damage such as antenna, headlights and other outdoor equipment breakdown. Weak damage of the tanks happens under a pressure of 0;3—0,5 kgf/cm2 while total damage under a pressure of 10—20 kgf/cm2. Pieces of artillery get average damage under a pressure of 0,4— 0,7 kgf/cm2 and are totally destroyed under a pressure of 2— 10 kgf/cm2. The least tolerant of the atomic blast are planes, helicopters and rockets. They can go to rack and ruin under a pressure of 0,1—0,3 kgf/cm2.

At explosion of neuronal ammunition, equipment and military machines, which have electronic facilities and relay ladder logic system, go to rack and ruin as a result of transistors, diodes and other elements under the impact of radiation damage.

If to take into account that at the air blast the safe distance for unshielded man is /?, km ( 2.5), personnel assets located in fortifications will not be damaged over a distance 2/3/?. Covering trench decreases the radius of damage effect in 2 times and dug-out shelter in 3 times. Military personnel located underground at a depth of more than 10 meters is not affected even if the place underground is in the epicenter of an atomic blast.

About the author: Melisa Marzett is the one who have passion for writing. She is extremely curious by nature and working for getessayeditor.com, which is a service for students at the moment, she is eager to help bloggers to make their services more popular let alone to become better at writing through different writing challenges.

To Bunker or BOL: That is The Question

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Preppers often debate the pros and cons of the two common survivalist shelters for the SHTF. Each has its own perks and each has its own disadvantages. Every prepper and every situation is different, so in order to help you decide what will work best for you, we highlighted each of these shelters and why one might benefit you more than the other.

Why Bunker Down?

As appealing as a bunker may be, the hidden shelter does come with its own set of disadvantages. A major one being the amount of oxygen available in such a small underground space. Seeing as you’ll be confined in this location for extended periods of time, the risk of running out of oxygen is inevitable.

The best way to counteract this issue is by installing some sort of ventilation system so that you are constantly replenishing the oxygen levels in your bunker. The airflow will make the prospect of living in an underground bunker much more reasonable, although keep in mind that adding ventilation is just another exposure point increasing your risk of being found.

Add Security

The obvious allure of a bunker is that they can’t be seen by air or passerby, but that also means you will have no eyes on the ground to report what’s going on around outside of your bunker. That is, of course, unless you step out from your shelter and reveal your location. After all, once your location has been found, any intruder would simply need to wait until you have no choice but to leave the bunker or starve. So in order to avoid revealing your location while maintaining proper surveillance, you can add exterior cameras around your bunker that stream live footage or can be set off with motion detection sensors.

If your bunker has access to electricity, as most should, adding a robust surveillance system will beef up your security with minimal effort. With weatherproof cameras, live HD footage, and even night vision, you will increase your security by equipping your bunker with a high-end surveillance system.

Why BOL?

There are many reasons that preppers and survivalists decide against a bunker and instead decide on a bug out location. If you have access to a large area of land that you are comfortable living off of, then a BOL might be a better choice for you. Not everyone is as fortunate to have land access, or the ability to travel to such a discrete location easily if an attack or apocalypse were to occur. But we all know that the further away from civilization you are the better the BOL.

If you have a BOL then you’re going to need surveillance on a whole new level, not just cameras and motion detectors, but around the clock patrols and motion activated trail cameras. These types of security measures reinforce a larger area of land and prevent intruders from sneaking up unseen. A BOL isn’t generally hidden from view, whether aeiral or on foot, so you have to keep an eye on your borders at all times for maximum security and surveillance. The security efforts for a BOL can be extensive and, at times, exhausting, but it comes with the territory and it’s well worth it.

Increase Chances of Survival

Keep in mind your skill set and surroundings before heading out to build your BOL. Do you have access to fresh water like a lake or stream? Is your location in a vantage point with good visibility, or does it’s location present more weaknesses than strengths? Will you have areas with proper irrigation for planting and growing food? Is it in a region that hunting will be an option so food will be plentiful and not sparse? These are all vital questions to ask when determining the location of where you choose to bug out and the chances of survival.

If you’re already a proud bunker owner but are considering switching to a BOL, you don’t need to ditch the efforts you’ve already put in. Instead, experts recommend using your bunker as a cellar space for veggies and roots, or even as a last resort cache or weapon storage.

Casea Peterson is a freelance copywriter and content marketing specialist for businesses in the outdoor industry. She has been writing personally and professionally since 2009, but when she doesn’t have her pen in hand she can be found somewhere in the woods hiking, hunting, or exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Little Brown Hen

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So those of you who are on my facebook may know that I recently got a new job- a full time every day job…..and because it is right before the Master’s Golf Tournament (very big here) the State Park where I was working on weekends is going to be full the whole week of Master’s and even though I am not obligated to stay (they make us sign a paper saying so when we take the job), I could not just leave them without anyone working the weekends through the week of the Master’s so I have agreed to keep working weekend until they find someone…..
….anyway, that isn’t what this post is about. The post is about the little brown hen that is loose in my yard who stole a little nest for herself right in plain sight in my back shed by the old rabbit pens. It was under where I lean our hoes, shovels and rakes so she had a fairly safe spot…or so she thought anyway.

I had no idea how long she had the nest but she had sat on it for quite a while and I knew she must be getting close.
I went to my weekend job at the Park…and when I got home Phil had the little brown hen in a separate pen and it looked like she had been attacked and had a broken leg. Normally I would have put her down but she had that little nest and I knew they had to be close to hatching so I put her on her nest and hoped for the best. Came home the next day and she was still on the nest and she was clucking whenever the dog came to close to her. Came home the next day and she was still on the nest and I heard peeping and went to lift her gently off the nest, and found she was dead.
Her eggs, however weren’t, but they were cool and I needed to do something. When I picked them up I found several of them were pipped. I took them inside and put a damp paper towel in a bowl and put the eggs in it under the brooder light. Normally for eggs to hatch in an incubator you need humidity to keep it moist enough so the chicks don’t dry out and get stuck in their shells so I kept adding water to the paper towel from time to time, hoping I could keep it moist enough. I had to help the last two a little but they made it. One egg was never pipped and when I candled it with the light it had not developed. We ended up with four dark brown chicks and two yellow stripped chicks.

Into the Wild: Everything You Need for Your Camping Trip

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The weather is warming up, which means it is time to think about a camping trip. The trees are starting to sprout leaves, some spring flowers are in bloom, and birds are returning from their winter migrations. Spring is a good time to check out nature.

As fun as it is, camping should not be done on the spur of the moment. You need to consider what to take with you. Consider the following items.

  1. Shelter

    When preparing for your trip, you need to cover all of your physical needs: shelter, water, food, fire and hygiene. The expected conditions and weather of your campsite will determine what kind of shelter you should have. For example, tents come in two main types: four-season and three-season. Four season-tents are made of thick, sturdy material that enables the camper to weather a snow storm, while three-season tents aren’t designed for winter weather. Tents also come in varying weights, with the more lightweight tents being designed for backpackers. It’s also a good idea to get a tarp that can serve as a floor so you aren’t lying on damp ground.

  2. Containers for food and water

    Sturdy containers with lids are a must for a camping trip. Food in open containers will attract bugs and/or animals in short order. The best containers for food and water will be like those made by WaterBrick International. As a rule of thumb, a single person needs at least a gallon of drinking water per day, and they need even more if they are physically active and/or camping somewhere hot. Make sure there is enough water to cover other needs like cooking or washing.

  3. First Aid Kit

    Things can go wrong during a camping trip, and it will probably take time to reach a doctor. Give some thought to the likely hazards you might encounter and stock the kit accordingly. For example, you should have aloe vera for burns and moleskin for blisters. If you know there’s poison ivy in the area, you should bring some calamine lotion.

  4. A fire starter

    Be they matches, flint, or a fire steel, bring something to get your campfire started. Do not use lighter fluid, for it is dangerous and the resulting fire will be hard to control. It will also give anything you cook or roast in the campfire an unpleasant flavor.

While this is an admittedly partial list, it will help get you start preparing for your adventure. Other items to consider include sleeping bags, flashlights and cooking utensils. There are also portable stoves designed for camping trips.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Twitter: @LizzieWeakleyFacebook: facebook.com/lizzie.weakley

Top 5 Rabbit Hunting Tips with Bow

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Is rabbit bow hunting becoming a lost art these days with the obsession people have towards the latest firearms? Do not just count out rabbit bow hunting yet as it is very crucial in a survival situation. Learning to use your bow and make a kill is one of the greatest survival skills to learn. One of the tastiest meals you can have in the wild when lost is meat from a rabbit.

Using a bow to hunt a rabbit is a real challenge but also a rewarding one filled with excitements. The odds of killing a rabbit with an arrow and a bow are extremely low when you compare to the gun hunting. However, in a survival situation, a bow and arrow might be the only things available that can be made with easy. In fact, you don’t want to waste your precious ammo on a rabbit when you can use arrows that are reusable.

Let me share with you five rabbit hunting tips with a bow and arrow. Make no mistake; getting a rabbit from the field to a meal on the plate is no easy job. You need to be patient, understand their habits and have the best compound bow and hunting arrow.

Here are five rabbit hunting tips

Find the hidden food sources

If you need to hunt rabbits effectively, you must know where they feed. This means knowing the hidden food sources where rabbits are more likely to feed. Places with lots of green plants, vegetables and weeds are ideal places to start your hunt. Even if you don’t find rabbits, hung around they will come with time. Sometimes when hunting for rabbits, you have to wait for them to come to you. This requires an understanding of the feeding times and their best foods. Most rabbits will feed early in the morning when the sun has just risen. Getting to their feeding grounds early enough gives you a good hiding spot and a clear angle to make a clean shot.

Patience

Bow hunting is a waiting game that requires you to be patient at all times. In several ways, hunting rabbits is like fishing with a crankbait where you have to maintain rhythm at all times. Do not rush anything. When walking through the evergreen boughs, fence rows and brush piles, maintain a steady pace. Make 10-18 steps before stopping and surveying around for any movement and the glistering dark eyes of rabbits. If hunting with your dog, keenly observe his cues.

Practice makes perfect

Shooting with your bow is not that easy as most people think especially when in the wild. Real preppers practice out of their comfort zone. The way you shoot your best hunting arrow in the comfort of your backyard while smoking a cigar does not happen in a real survival situation. When in the wild and in need of a kill, you’re most likely going to botch the shot. Real archers know how to hit the target from a long distance, and this only happens with good practice. Practice for a real survival situation trying to hit the target with just a few seconds of setting the arrow, aiming and releasing. Learn to shoot your arrows in all manner of position. In the wild, you sometimes have to go vertical which takes us to our next tip.

Go vertical

Walking a level ground while hunting for rabbits looks pretty simple, but climbing can maximize your chances for a kill. Look for a brush pile, forgotten stack of cordwood or anything that you can climb on and observe the hunt area properly. The vibrations and noise above you can help you notice a rabbit and have a shooting opportunity.

Take care of things that indicate your presence

Rabbits are among the swiftest animals in the wild and run away with the slightest of hint that there is a human presence. You must learn to remain hidden at all times and never expose your arms or face. Try and be natural avoiding things like perfumes that alert the rabbit that there is someone around.

Try and avoid obstacles on your way like flowers and grasses that affect your aim. You can remain still and wait for the rabbit to move to a clear place instead of you changing positions. The most productive time to hunt for a wild rabbit is when the weather is cloudy, damp and cold. A foggy morning is also ideal when the air is filled with mist and woods are real quiet. This allows you to sneak close to the rabbits stealthily and get a good shot.

Final Verdict

Knowing how to hunt for rabbits in the wild using a bow and arrow can mean the difference between surviving and dying. Rabbits are a tasty meal that can provide you with proteins and get you going. You just need to learn how to stalk rabbits, stay still and motionless waiting for the rabbit to come to you.

Brandon Cox is the founder of StayHunting, who is passionate about all things of hunting and fitness. Through his hunting website, he would like to share tips & tricks, finest tech that will excite all of the intricacies of hunting whether you be an amateur or a professional.

Today 3/20/17

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Long day. Slept till 8:00 this morning but missed a few hours between 4 and 6 because my hips were hurting. My doctor tells me I can go to another doctor and get a shot and it will help but I can’t afford other doctors besides him
. Had to go shopping. When you are eating fresh fruits and vegetables most of the time it involves a lot of shopping. Got a new bird feeder and of course, some new flowers that were marked down because wal-mart killed half their stuff during the late frost we had but a few survived to get marked down. 
Went to the thrift store and got five sets of double pointed knitting needles which was great because our Wal-mart only sells size 3 for some reason. I also got a little chair for the porch. Someone broke one of the plastic chairs  and then just left it on the porch for the unsuspecting…..
Went to visit my brother Andy and his wife Kat for a while. I do enjoy those visits. 
Came home. Cleaned out one chick brooder then cleaned out a small pen and moved the chicks in the other brooder (8 chicks) outside! Yeah! 
Put up my new bird feeder. Watched the birds for a while. They seemed to like it. Also got to see that a pair of chickadees have decided to make a nest in my feeder that hangs on the side of my yard swing. They have done this before and the cats chases them off but we’ll see how it goes this year. We have a lot less cats since getting them all spade. 
 Marinated pork loins are in the convection oven and we’ll have salad with it for supper.
Sorry no pictures today. Someone on my facebook mentioned liking my posts so I thought I would try a little more detailed post here and see how it goes. I will try to take pictures next time though.

Today Was a Good Day

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I was supposed to go to get chicken wire and a new stapler so that I could fix up some pens so that we could get the older batch of chicks outside. There are too many of them and now that they are older they just don’t fit in the brooder anymore. They need more room! But just before I left I listed my spare roosters on our local yard sale page and had a couple of different people answer it. Then someone messaged me about chicks. I arranged for them to come after I got back from town where I didn’t buy the wire and stapler because I knew if I got rid of the roosters I could move hens around and would have a spare pen.
When I got back the woman came for the chicks. She picked out ten of them to take home with her and then got two of the roosters as well. Great! I made a little money and solved part of the chick problem since she took only from the older chicks.
Later a very nice man and woman came for the other roosters and I sold them two hens too because I do have a whole lot of hens now. This totally emptied out my smaller pen and left one other pen without a rooster at all. I do have two silkie roosters though and they may end up in with those hens which will mean another small pen will be empty. (Yes, chicken musical chairs!).

In other good news… while I was at the store I happened to find haddock on sale. We have not had haddock since we left New England. I have never seen it for sale here but there it was in the seafood case. I got 4 fillets dipped them in milk and breading and baked them tonight along with some macaroni and cheese, veggies and sourdough bread. It was SO good! I hope you all had as good a day and since tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day it is sure to be another good day! 🙂

How to Learn More about Self Defense for Emergency Situations

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You never want to feel vulnerable walking down a lonely street at night or when approached by someone near your home. It may also be a priority of yours to be able to defend friends or loved ones if they are ever threatened while in your presence. What are some ways that you can learn to defend yourself or those who you care about?

Watch Training Videos Online

The internet has tutorials related to almost anything that you want to learn about. Therefore, it may be a good idea to watch a YouTube video or order training materials from a local self-defense trainer. This may give you a basic idea of what to do if you are ever threatened or attacked. It may also give you some insights into how you can keep a lower profile to prevent a possible attack before it happens.

Take a Job in the Security Field

During your training as a security guard, you will be taught self-defense techniques that you can use while on the job. Some companies, like Security Services Northwest, Inc., know that these tactics may also prove useful if you are ever attacked while out on the town or by someone who breaks into your home. In addition to your basic training, you may be given access to advanced classes as you gain more experience in your line of work.

Sign Up for Karate Lessons

Karate is a discipline that teaches you both how to defend yourself and how to use discretion when facing a possible attacker. This helps you control your emotions in a given situation, which may make it easier to resolve a conflict without having to turn to violence at all.

Talk With a Police Officer or Security Guard

If you don’t want to be a security guard, you could always talk to one if you want self-defense tips. Police officers may also be able to help you learn more about the subject. This may be helpful if you are doing a report or a project for school about the topic and don’t actually want or need to master defense tactics yourself.

Learning how to defend yourself can prevent a scenario in which you are the victim of a violent crime. Even if part of your strategy is to run, hide or call for help, the goal is to keep yourself unharmed. Ideally, you will be able to do just enough to subdue or outsmart your adversary until the police or other help can arrive.

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

Caches and Holster Thoughts

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a recent trip saw me checking up on my operational cache. I swapped out my trusty Glock 19 which had been there for awhile. After consideration I realized with one alibi none of the core members of my tribe had ever shot a Glock. My folks like many non serious gun people of their age range got revolvers in .38/.357mag. As such adults in my inner tribe can all shoot double action revolvers comfortably. There is at least one in every household. Also my outer tribe does not have a single Glock 9mm in it. So putting a wheel gun there just made sense. It of course needed accessories like a belt, holster and speed strips. More on this later.

I inspected the guns there and they were fine. I then lubricated them heavily. Like jiggly butt in a rap video heavily.

Another cache was established. I had most of the core stuff on hand for it. As to description it is probably a mix of an operational cache with some survival stuff.

Still I needed some stuff to round it out. Mag pouches and ammo and some various odds n ends. I suspected it would be about $300 total but the actual cost was closer to double that. I wasn’t super worried about it as eliminating dating and going to bars has left my checking account fairly flush. That said I probably could have done a better job estimating costs. The lesson for potentially when putting in a cache on a tighter budget would be to really look at the stuff you need to add and various costs such as shipping.

Also stuff grows faster than you would imagine. What you might envision as a day pack worth of stuff could easily be a full sized ruck. What you might have thought would be one ammo can could easily be 2. I need another ammo can.

Anyway the new cache is established so I am excited about that.

Stuff I forgot to add:
Compass
First aid stuff
Local and state maps

Stuff I wanted to add but couldn’t afford to:
Gps
$10 face silver
Small solar charger with a few sets of batteries
Full sized Glock .40 cal

Back to holsters. So between swapping stuff out for one cache and making another I ended up bringing guns to a couple places. At both places the guns were compatible with ones the people at those places have. That wasn’t an accident.

At both places this led to the inevitable dude gun show and tell. At both places somewhere in the conversation I realized the guy might not really have a holster. At the first he had no holster. So I handed mine to him. At the second he was using a cowboy style leather holster for a Glock.

At the first place I need to buy another holster. If things are bad enough I am carrying that particular gun he will want to be doing the same. Obviously two people cannot use the same holster at the same time. At the second place it wasn’t an issue as I am holster rich for that gun and the open model one size fits any 9/.40 Glock Raven Concealment Eideon just happened to be surplus in my bag.

The thing is that this got me thinking. Lots of people own handguns that live in glove boxes and safes and nighstands without holsters. If you are (as I suspect most here to be) the survivalist in your group and have the resources/ space it might not be a bad idea to fix that. Or give them as Christmas/ b day gifts.

The same could be said for ammo. To a lot of folks 2x 50 drive boxes is a lot of ammo. This reminds me I need to order 500rds of .38 special.

Anyway 

Safe and Secure: How to Maximize Your Home Defenses

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Keeping your home safe and secure gives you peace of mind. Knowing that your family and belongings are protected can help you to sleep at night. These four tips will help you to maximize your home’s existing defenses against would-be criminals seeking to burglarize or damage your home.

Video Monitoring

Video monitoring is a helpful tool to boost the safety of your home. You can have cameras mounted around your doors so that you can see who is at the door without having to go to the door. Video cameras can also capture images of someone who might try to steal a package that has been delivered in your absence. They will also capture the image of anyone trying to break into your home through the door.

Lighting

Adding proper lighting to your home’s exterior is also essential to maximizing your defenses. Motion detecting lights can be placed along the sidewalk to your home, around your garage and back door and near your front door. Spotlights or directed lights can be shined at side doors and windows. Illuminating these parts of your home will make it more difficult for anyone to gain entry without getting noticed by you or passersby.

Locks

Locks are also a critical step in keeping your home secure. All of your home’s exterior doors should be outfitted with deadbolt locks. Consider having your locksmith, like those at A Carolina Locksmith, install the strike plates with extra-long screws that are drilled into the wooden framing of your home. This helps to prevent your door from getting kicked in. If you have an attached garage, have the same type of lock installed onto the door between the house and the garage. You may also wish to install window locks, but be sure to choose a kind that is easy to open from the inside in case you need to exit through a window during an emergency.

Home Security System

Many homeowners feel more secure with a home security system in place. A home security system consists of alarms placed on the doors and windows. If the alarm is triggered, the monitoring service contacts you. You can respond if it was an accident, but otherwise the police are called to investigate a possible burglary in progress. Every person deserves to feel safe at home. You should also have confidence that your belongings are safe when you’re away from home. These four steps will help to maximize your home’s defenses against burglars and other intruders.

Written by Rachelle Wilber

Just a Little Black Cupboard

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A few weeks ago I saw a little black bathroom cupboard at the thrift store but I didn’t get it because it was spray painted black and everywhere something had touched it the paint had scratched right off. The next week, however, the little black bathroom cupboard was still in the thrift store and so it must have just been mine. Anyway, I took it home because I knew just where we needed it…in Michelle’s bathroom. Michelle’s bathroom is really cluttered and messy. Apparently it takes a million products to make her beautiful every day.

 

I wish I had taken a picture of the cupboard when it was black but I forgot all about it. I just took it out on the porch and started sanding…and sanding…and sanding…   Took me most of the day to get as much black off of the cupboard as I could. Then came the painting…coat after coat. Did I mention I am not exactly a painter? I was still doing coats the next day.

Then I decided that since her bathroom is mostly yellow that we needed some yellow stenciled on. I ended up with this.

Phil got it mounted on the wall for me tonight which turned out easier than I thought it was going to be. 

I cleaned up and organized Michelle’s bathroom again and now we have this:

Dried Cranberry Banana Bread

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So I did test out my dried cranberries and, of course, there were no recipes for bread using dried cranberries so I made one up. I used the cranberries right out of the bag and because they are so light most of them rose to the top. I might try letting them soak in water next time and the bread was a little dry so that might help with the dryness as well or I might use milk instead of water and see if that helps. The flavor however, was outstanding. Such a nice light banana taste with just a touch of cranberry. It was wonderful.

Dried Cranberry Banana Bread

Grease two loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup margarine or butter (1 stick)

Combine these ingredients in a bowl and cut in butter until pea sized.

Add:

2 eggs
2 bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cup water

Mix well.

Add 2 cups dried cranberries. Pour half of the batter into two loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour.

A Preppers Guide to Prepping for the Hunt

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After the SHTF, let’s assume you picked out a hideout spot far enough off the grid to avoid other hunters and in a region well populated with deer and other wild game. If you don’t have any experience hunting but plan to harvest game that you’ll ration throughout the year, consider these steps you to ensure a successful harvest season after season and year after year.

Location, Location, Location

Every region is different, and finding wild game can be difficult if you don’t know where to look. One of the best ways to locate top hunting spots is to break down these areas by elevation, including low, middle and high. Once you locate the mule deer based on elevation, you’ll be able to hunt across different terrain using the altitude as your reference.

Lay of the Land

Familiarize yourself with the area in which you plan to hunt. You’ll need to lay out a grid of the landscape and understand how to navigate the entire area. Memorize wind patterns and locate watering holes and well-traveled game trails, so you know where these animals might move if spooked. In other words, use the terrain to your advantage.

Additionally, stick to southern-facing slopes and areas with preferred vegetation for hunting mule deer. Plan out your hunting movea, as many mule deer will bed down on hillsides or against breaks. This activity protects them from attack above and allows them to scan for predators below. Pay attention to the weather as you get ready for your hunt. Something as simple as rain can move mule deer out of an area altogether.

Game Behavior

Familiarize yourself with the movements and behaviors of the deer you hunt. Mule deer tend to reside within a few miles of each other until it’s time to move feeding grounds. Pattern your game so you know their summer, fall and winter feeding grounds and when they make their move. Take note of the herd’s size and when they go into rut so you’ll know if more deer are in the area.

The hour before and after daylight is when deer move most, so plan your hunts at dawn and dusk. You won’t see much movement during the hottest portions of the day, so glassing hillsides or posting up by a watering hole is a great way to extend your hunt.

Your Weapon and Gear

Optics can help you spot mule deer from up to four miles away. When glassing, train your eye to look for the flick of an ear or the sun shining off the tip of an antler. Once you find your weapon of choice, learn everything about it and acknowledge your limitations. For example, you’ll want to be able to answer these questions:

  • From what distance are you most accurate?
  • Are you comfortable hunting with your weapon in all weather conditions?

Ethical Hunting Practices

The quickest way to hunt a species to extinction is to make that animal the only source of sustenance for a large population of hungry, desperate and panicked people. If you are far enough off the grid, then you won’t need to worry as much about hunting your local herd to extinction. Still, it’s important to consider the benefits of ethical hunting and where to draw the line.

Animal Harvesting

Learning how to properly harvest your animal is critical so that you waste little to no meat. If you’re hunting in hot climates, make a kill and quickly retrieve it before the meat spoils. You’ll then want to cool it down as quickly as possible. Be prepared with the right gear so you and your vehicle can navigate in even the most difficult off-road conditions. That means ensuring your vehicle has quality off-road tires, which will make your life easier if you find yourself in a difficult spot.

Casea Peterson: Creative copywriter and content marketing specialist living in the PNW.

Dehydrated Cranberries

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The cranberries were finally marked down at the store (although not as cheap as they usually are) and I bought three bags thinking I would make cranberry sauce again but then never had time for it. When you buy produced marked down here it is usually perfectly good if used soon…so I needed to use these. I decided to dehydrate them thinking they would end up like dried cranberries I had seen in the stores…kind of like raisins. That isn’t what happened when I dehydrated them however.

They did not shrivel up, most of them kept their shape but feel hollow inside and they are brittle and break up when crushed. It is very odd and not at all what I expected. 

So I have some experimenting to do with these cranberries to see what I can make with them. I am thinking of rehydrating them in water and using them in bread or muffins. I also suppose there could be the option of making cranberry powder of some kind and using that in recipes but I am thinking I likely won’t use it so I will try the first option and let you all know how it goes.

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At the Time….

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Sure it did. Let the hens keep their eggs, we’ll just sell the chicks…..And then three hens got on the huge nest together and 21 days later the chicks started to hatch…and the other two hens that were in the pen….kept laying in the nest…and a few chicks hatched one day…and then a few more the next and then a few more….
I advertised them on the local Sale facebook pages….and no one responded….no one at all…and the chicks keep coming…
And I set up a second brooder because there were just too many in the first one….
There are now 32 chicks. Some of them are getting rather big. I think I’ll make a sign and advertise on a few more sale sites…and hope.

4 Reasons Not to Rely on Social Security

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Many people are not relying on Social Security alone to satisfy their financial needs after retirement and for sound basis. Here are four major reasons why you too should consider other sources of income in addition to a Social Security check after you turn in your timesheet at work for the last time.

  1. Social Security is Not Secure

    While it is true that some creditors consider government income as stable, there are technically no guarantees as to whether or not you will get paid every month.

    Social Security benefits are solely funded by taxpayer dollars even though you paid into the program during employment years. The monies that you contributed were actually to support others who retired while you were working. Your funds now come directly from individuals presently laboring in corporate America. At anytime the government can opt to discontinue the Social Security program, and there would be no backup funds to make payroll for those presently reliant on the system for income.

    Ending Social Security altogether may seem like a far-fetched idea, but the concept may not be far away from fruition. Congress along with several presidents have expressed the need to renovate the Social Security sector of government as its policies and practices are outdated. No government official, however, has determined an appropriate course of action that does not involve doing away with the program altogether. You may find yourself in a serious financial dilemma if you rely on Social Security alone and the plan is discontinued.

  2. You Will Lose Buying Power

    The Social Security Administration tries to combat the possibility of senior citizens losing buying power by comparing Social Security benefits against the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Such index typically allows for an increase in wages due to inflation. The CPI-W scheme does not, however, meet the needs of seniors.

    Mature adults do not carry the same buying practices as young and middle-aged clerical workers. Seniors often pay through the nose to fill prescription requests due to pharmaceutical prices greatly outpacing inflation trends. The better idea would be to compare Social Security benefits against the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). Unfortunately, though, the Social Security Administration has not determined it best to change its practices concerning this matter, which leads to the need for seniors to be frugal.

  3. You Cannot Live the Lavish Life with Social Security benefits

    Social Security benefits are based on how much workers paid into the system when they were working. You can expect to receive a modest paycheck, which will most likely represent a significant decrease in lifestyle – especially if you carry debt with you into retirement. Prepare to clip coupons and forego certain luxuries if you plan to rely on Social Security benefits alone. You certainly will not be able to buy that yacht with government checks.

  4. You Can Have More Money by Saving on Your Own

    The median income in the United States is just under $55,000 annually. According to the Federal Reserve, Americans typically set aside about five percent of their paycheck’s every two weeks for the purpose of savings. In order to retire well, you should aim for closer to 15%, and invest mostly in good growth stock mutual funds. If you have a knack for real estate investing and are willing to put in some work, rental properties are also a very strong investment option. It is usually worth your while to keep your long-term investments in a Roth IRA or Roth 401k to avoid expensive taxation on your growth. With the combined power of tax-free growth, long time horizons, and aggressive saving, Americans in almost every income bracket can retire with more than $1 million in the bank.

Some senior citizens choose to depend on their government to provide payment for the years that they contributed to the workforce by funding Social Security benefits. You should count yourself among the others who count Social Security checks as one of many sources of income.

Rachael Murphey is an entrepreneur and writer on topics relating to business, personal finance, personal growth, and emergency preparedness. She currently lives in Denver, CO with her dog Charlie.

Hamish McLaren’s 5 Tips To Surviving Monster Winter Storms

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Having a safe bunker to withstand the wrath of a monster winter storm is a real benefit. Unfortunately, not everyone has this privilege but below tips can help you save yourself in times like this. Hamish McLaren shares his top five tips for surviving a monster winter storm.

  1. Stay Inside

    No matter how big or small your dwelling is, when a storm occurs, do not wander around to gauge the effect of it. Your best bet is to stay inside. When the storm is severe, a basement or closet might be the answer. It is easy to save yourself when you are in a shelter of some kind, so wait out till help arrives. In addition, don’t risk others lives by sending them out; it can be extremely dangerous and most likely to end in disaster. Seek out a cave or an overhang if you are stuck outside alone without a tent or car. A quick thinking during a storm can give you one more chance to live.

  2. Keep Yourself Warm

    If you are stuck inside a home or building, gather as many blankets as you can to keep yourself warm. Coats, tarps, bed-sheets – anything can help you escape from cold drift and prevent frostbite or hypothermia. If there are many people around under the same roof, use one another’s body heat as well. For those out in the wilderness, it is necessary to use some kind of signaling to draw other’s attention. One word of caution – people stuck inside a car should never let the engine run as any snow accumulating in the exhaust pipe can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

  3. Eat and Drink if Possible

    Food and drink, if you have access to them, is important to keep yourself warm and healthy during a severe winter storm. Stay hydrated either from your regular water supply or by melting snow. Store water for further use. If you have food and do not know when the help would arrive, ration it to make it last over many days.

  4. Plan For Your Next Move

    When the storm settles down, it is time to think about your next move. Obviously, this is to seek help by digging your way out of your house, car or whatever the shelter you are in. If you are lost and can’t get yourself out, stay still and wait till help arrives. If you are on the road on foot or in the wilderness and sure that it is safe to venture out, hike to safety in the direction of nearest civilization.

  5. Get Treatment Immediately

    Because of an explosion in the number of storms in recent years, many types of storm survival kits have arrived in today’s market. It is no longer a matter of waiting for the nurse to treat you in case of minor injuries. These kits have first aid materials that are really useful for wounds. So, take time to buy these kits and read the instructions on them. Understanding what each and every item in the kit does is absolutely necessary if you wish to stay fine.

Reader Comment- Cache Stuff

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Good to hear, you do have that stuff on hand now right!?
Like most survivalists who have been at it awhile I have put a decent amount of stuff back over the years.   I hesitate to pick an exact start point for me as a survivalist as I always had some of those tendencies but if I did it would be roughly a decade ago. 
On a tangent to newer survivalists overwhelmed with all the stuff they think they need I would say to be patient. Even on a fairly tight budget if you are consistent you will have all the stuff you need in a lot less time than you would think. 
As survivalist we have a nasty tendency to just stockpile stuff in our garages, basements and barns. Same with guns in our safes. You don’t need the stuff for a 3rd or 8th spare bug out bag at your primary residence. You need it somewhere else. Somewhere you could end up in a bad situation. 
For this cache the only stuff I have purchased is the ammo and a can to put it in. There is some fudging that because I put in stuff like underwear, some jeans and a pair of boots I will probably end up replacing. However at a minimum that will let me spread out the cost of the cache over a little but more time. 
Sort of like Meister said I am caching good stuff. For me the caveat to that is I think caches can be a great place for functional but maybe not perfect stuff. Like in this cache I’m putting an Ontario Air Force Shrvical Lnife I ordered once just cuz I was curious about them. Fine serviceable knife, just not one I see myself putting into a core system. For clothes useful outdoor stuff that may not be fashionable for everyday wear makes sense. Example, in this cache I am including a green fleece with a unit logo I got at a goodwill for like 3 bucks and an old BDU gortex jacket I must have stolen a decade ago as a dirty specialist. Fleece and great outdoor stuff, just not what I would wear for everyday stuff.

So I put together kind of a combination operational/ survival cache. Basically the stuff to go from being normal everyday Le to an active combatant and some outdoor gear too. Roughly equivalent to a level 3 sustainment set up with a ruck n some sleeping stuff.

I guess the total cost of this cache would be about 3 grand but I had the stuff on hand minus the amp which I’m having delivered there.

Sorry about the lack of links and probably some spelling stuff. I’m posting from my phone as my laptop is basically toast. 

Health Update

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The anti biotics seem to be kicking in. My ear is better. It was between 3-8 on the pain scale before. Now it’s probably 2-4. This is good. Today I was able to organize a bunch of stuff and set aside items for the cache. It was a good productive day. 

Life

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Hey Folks, Its been awhile. Figured I would say hello. Not a ton of exciting stuff going on here. I recently got back into school for a masters so that’s good. Between that, BJJ and trying to refocus on fitness I’m kinda busy. Doing dry fire also but nothing too crazy.

Kinda taking a break from dating to work on myself and just decompress. Stuff is exhausting.

On the downside I got a cold which turned into an ear infection. So that sucks.

On the up side I will be establishing a new cache soon. So that is good.

So all in all except for my ear hurting, which antibiotics should fix soon, I am doing pretty well. Hope the same can be said of you all. 

Pure Hydration: 9 Ways to Maintain Clean and Healthy Water

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Water is the most essential element for the cells in your body. Because the human body is made of water the number one thing you need in an emergency is safe drinking water. In a survival situation you might be able to last weeks without food, but without water you’d last only days. Unfortunately, not all water is safe to drink.

How can you be sure your water is safe to drink?

In a survival situation, it is always safest to assume water is carry pathogens and contaminants. Below are some contaminants that might be in your water:

  • Bacteria, like E. coli, Vibrio cholera, Salmonella typhi or Salmonella protozoa.
  • Microsporidia, like Giardia, Amoebae, Ciliates and Cryptosporidium.
  • Helminth zoonoses, like hookworms, liver flukes, nematodes or pinworms.
  • Human and animal waste, including fecal matter and carcasses.
  • Chemical pollution, from both industrial wastes and natural erosion increasing mineral concentrations.

Be prepared to filter and purify all your water before drinking. It’s also a good idea to regularly test your well water, and pay attention to water reports for municipal water sources. Clean water is important for your daily survival as well as disaster survival.

What are good sources of water in an emergency?

Dew, atmospheric distillation, water from puddles and clear tree sap all offer sources of water in survival situations. Snow, sleet and rain can be gathered in containers. Use tarps to expand your precipitation-collection area. Rivers, lakes and springs are obvious sources of water. You can also store bottled water. For a basic 72-hour survival kit, you need three gallons of drinking water and two gallons of sanitation water per person.

What can you do to make your water clean and safe?

In a survival situation, it is always safest to assume water is carry pathogens and contaminants. Below are some contaminants that might be in your water:

  • Boiling. An ancient and reliable method, boiling water keeps it above 185 degrees (the boiling point is 212 degrees) for the five minutes necessary to kill biological contaminants.
  • Chemicals. Chlorine and iodine will sterilize water, however chemicals also affect the taste.
  • Water softener. Hard water contains calcium and magnesium, but it can be softened through an ion exchange.
  • Filters. Gravity and pump filters are available in a variety options including ceramic, silver impregnated carbon and multi-stage cartridge filters.
  • Iron filter. Iron, manganese, sulfur, and pH levels vary from well to well. In-line filters work for most household systems, but a back-washing iron filter might be better for high levels of iron or iron bacteria.
  • Survival straw. Small and lightweight, these carbon filters are used like a straw. You suck the water through the filter to drink.
  • Reverse osmosis. The most effective water filters on the market use reverse osmosis. The process removes, basically, everything from water leaving it safe, pure and clean. RO filters are a great choice for your home, as they remove fluoride and hydrofluorosilicic acid.
  • UV light. UV devices disrupt the DNA of pathogens quickly, but are only effective in clear water with no particulates.
  • Distillation. If your only water is brackish or contaminated with heavy metals and radiation, distillation is your safest option. Heavy particles stay behind as the water becomes steam and then is recaptured as potable water.

Not all filtration devices are equal. Do some research to find out more about these and other options.

Knowing and maintaining several water purification methods, treatments and equipment now will prepare you for emergency situations. It’s a great idea to know how to find and purify life-giving water in any situation. Your survival could depend on it.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Femme Fatale: How Your Wife and Daughters Can Keep Themselves Safe

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Recent surveys have shown that in developed countries, men feel significantly safer than women do in the same neighborhoods. In the United States, 45% of women have said that they do not feel safe walking down the street at night versus only 27% of men. While this is a sad statistic, it may not be based on subjective data alone. Although women feel that they are in more danger than men are, they also have fair reason to believe this because many women are targeted by predators on the streets, in their cars, in their homes and online. For men, it is important to take a stand for the females in their families and to find ways to protect wives and daughters from being another statistic of harassment or violence in the neighborhood.

Put House Lights on a Timer

Predators often stake out houses to learn where the bedrooms are. It can be easy for them to see this because the bedroom is typically the last room that is lit in the house. Women can fool possible predators by placing randomized timers on a variety of lamps in the house for a nightly switch-up.

Take Self-Defense Training

Women should learn how to defend themselves against attackers or rapists. Self-defense classes are usually preferable for this as compared to martial arts classes. Martial arts classes can be a huge commitment of time and typically do not teach women specifically how to get out of a variety of holds.

Carry Pepper Spray

Pepper spray can be a cheap, easily obtainable weapon. While it is not ideal for some situations where a quick response is necessary, it is a good choice for women who like to go jogging in the mornings or walking in a local park.

Carry a Concealed Weapon

An even better option is becoming licensed for a concealed carry weapon. Most states that allow this require individuals to take a class to learn how to use the weapon. Women who carry a concealed weapon should find a smart way to hide the weapon in everyday situations, such as by choosing a stylish concealed carry purse, which is nice to have and easy to make an unobtrusive statement with.

Practice Hotel Safety

Even the best hotels are excellent places for predators to lurk. Women staying in hotels should never open the door to the room to anyone unless they know exactly who the person is or have been given solid proof as to why the individual is there. Many predators pose as police officers or hotel staff to fool women. After entering their rooms, women should immediately lock and chain their doors and should check to ensure that the windows are locked.

Practice Safe Traveling at Night

Nighttime is prime time for harassment or assault of women because it is easy for predators to hide in the shadows. Women should always park close to stores and under parking lot lights. Before entering their cars in parking lots, they should check beneath the car for a predator. Women can also ask security guards to walk them to their cars at many businesses, such as malls and hospitals. Finally, women should never be talking on their phones in parking lots at night but should be highly vigilant of their surroundings.

Harassment of women can be anything from catcalls and leering to carjacking and kidnapping. Family men have been entrusted with the task of ensuring that their wives and daughters are fully protected whether they are at home or away from home. Men can use these tips to teach the women in their lives how to be safe and what items they can buy to help ensure their safety.

Written by Rachelle Wilber

Breakfast

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This is just a quick little post about what I had for breakfast yesterday. My cousin had posted a video of these baked eggs on toast and I just had to try it. It is nothing but a piece of bread you mash down in the center to make an indent large enough to hold an egg. Crack the egg into the indent. Then butter around the edge of the bread (I am not sure why it needs this but I did it anyway) and sprinkle with cheese around the edge. Then bake it for approximately 10 minutes. I used my little convection oven to bake it.

I added some green onion from an onion I have growing in my onion bin. These were pretty good and a nice change from regular poached eggs on toast which I usually have.

And speaking of green onions. I have added some onion bulbs to a large tub that hold my small rosemary plant and they are growing good already. I have never had any luck getting onions to grow large bulbs but I do like the green onions anyway. 

 And here is just a pretty pot on my porch. I am loving the little blue irises. 

How Resilient Baby Chicks Can Be

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I have seen a lot of postings on the 1000 chicks left in a field. It is not the first time it has happened and I am sure it won’t be the last. Someone on one of these postings said they were sure now that the chicks had gotten “chilled” that they would surely all die. I think that is very unlikely, though I am sure some of them will, but most of those chicks were still standing, moving and peeping and I am sure once they are warm again, they will be fine. A thousand chicks all together can make an awful lot of body heat as well.
Anyway, I wanted to tell you a story about a chick I had hatch yesterday (Yes, I know I said I wasn’t going to let the hens keep any more nests….and I meant that…and it didn’t happen….. . .).  I have three very young hens sitting on a huge combined nest in one of my pens. They are having a staggered hatch and because there are still roosters in the pen with them, I am having to get to the chicks before the roosters do because they kill the chicks. Yesterday I had to go shopping and I checked the nest first thing in the morning (before the roosters left their perches) and again before I left and got one chick to put in the brooder. Well, while I as gone apparently another chick was born and the roosters did get to it and pull it out the nest and peck at it. When I came home I found its little body on the ground, all cold and not breathing but because I can never accept things like that I held it and rubbed it and breathed warm air on it and even I was completely amazed when it gave a big gasping breath. So then there was a lot more rubbing and trying to get it warm. I sat on the back steps in the sun and worked on him until he got to breathing with fairly regular breaths. Then we moved into the house and I held him in my hand under the brooder light, after maybe 20 minutes, the chick actually moved around a little and peeped. I got it a clean paper towel and put it on the towel in the brooder but then because he had a wound on his wing, I had to sit there by the brooder and keep the other chicks from pecking at it because chicks tend to peck at anything red. As I sat there the chick steadily improved. It worked on getting its legs under it and peeped whenever the others got near but it took the chick nearly a half hour before it could hold its head up.

And at least another half hour before I felt I could leave the brooder for short periods of time (to try to make dinner. Yes, it was a very long day). Eventually he got so he could move around, not really standing yet but most chicks scuttle around some before they actually learn to stand so I felt he was doing well.  
Still,  this morning I was not sure I would find him alive. This was a chick that was totally cold and not breathing when I found him. He had definitely gotten “chilled”. 
And I barely could find him. All of the chicks were up on their feet and walking around this morning and I counted them and all fourteen were there. I really had to look to find the yellow chick with a now tiny spot on his wing to know it was him. 
And that is how resilient a baby chick can be. 

Chicken Fajitas

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So I am trying to get more vegetables into our every day dinner dishes. We always have a vegetable but I want it to actually be part of the dish. A little less meat and a bit more veggies. I have saved several videos on facebook and I try them from time to time. This one just seemed appealing this week. It was made as a single serving in parchment paper on facebook but I needed an actual meal for us. I thought Michelle was going to be here too but she left with a friend instead so looks like we’ll have leftover for lunch for a few days.
Anyway, it starts with peppers and onions. I got 5 peppers marked down at the grocery store today, yellow and green. I used them all because…I don’t want any just sitting in the fridge.

 Then I cut up a nice size onion. I put some boneless, skinless chicken tenders on top,

 salted with pink salt, drizzled on oil, sprinkled on a packet of taco seasoning,

spread a 24 oz. jar of mild salsa on top, and then sprinkled with cheddar and Italian shredded cheese.

It went in the oven covered with foil,  on about 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, then removed the foil for the last 15 minutes. 

It was really good! Definitely a recipe to make again.

RE: Math for Marksmen by John Mosby

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John Mosby has been doing some good stuff at Prepared Gun Owners. Math for Marksmen is an excellent post. I do not disagree with any parts of it. In fact most of my thoughts come back to other stuff from Johns class.

– Practical shooting be it for defense, hunting, skeet, whatever always has some time pressure component. As such I think we need to think and train that way.

– I think accuracy demands have to drive speed. There is little value in shooting faster than you can make hits or at least distract them.

– How much accuracy you need is relative to the situation. With a prairie dog at 400 meters you need a lot of accuracy. On the other hand at 3 feet you can shoot minute of barn and still torso punch someone.

-Self awareness is so important here. Knowing how fast you can get away with shooting lets you end a violent scenario as quickly as possible. Giving someone less time to potentially hurt you is a good thing.

Prepping Lifestyle? 3 Unique Degrees That Fit The Survivalist Lifestyle

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If you’re the type who wants to live out in the wilderness on your own, or want to be well prepared to survive the apocalypse should it come to pass, you might be interested in degrees you can earn that would be best suited for someone who wants to live your lifestyle. Fortunately, there are plenty of different types of degrees that offer practical survival skills, but these three are by far some of the most helpful.

  1. Agriculture Sciences

    To survive on your own, knowing how to grow your own food is essential. You will need to have an extensive knowledge of different kinds of crops, how to properly care for the soil so it is not stripped of nutrients, how to properly irrigate the fields, recognize and fend off plant diseases and more. You will also need knowledge of how to sustain your food supply and stockpile food, as well as maintain healthy plant genetics, all of which an agriculture sciences degree teaches.

  2. Gunsmithing

    Very few schools around the country offer this degree, but a select few do. Being able to make your own firearms is an invaluable skill if you wish to live out in the wilderness. Currently existing programs not only teach how to manufacture guns, but also to repair them – another critical skill for survivalists. You will need guns to hunt for food, defend yourself against animal attacks, and possibly against people. Most gunsmithing programs also have knife making elements as well, which is an added bonus for an aspiring survivalist. Knives are just as important as guns when you’re on your own, and can be used to defend yourself, create tools and prepare food.

  3. Nursing

    Nursing, or any medical knowledge like an msn degree, is very useful when you must fend for yourself. If you or a loved one is injured or sick, having intimate knowledge of the human body, various conditions, and how to treat them are invaluable. As an added bonus, treating patients in combat zones will prepare you even better, as you might not have access to modern technology. Any number of accidents or conditions could befall you when you’re out in nature, relying on yourself for survival, and so getting a nursing degree is a great choice.

So if you wish to live a survivalist lifestyle, and want a formal education to supplement it, these three degrees are some of the best choices. They are not the only options – among the others include engineering degrees, animal husbandry and culinary arts. Pick the subject you think you’d benefit most from a formal education, and then learn the other skills through other sources or on your own. You’ll be prepared to live a survivalist lifestyle in no time.

Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston. When she manages to tear herself away from the computer, she enjoys baking, rock climbing, and film noir.

Skull Stomping Sacred Cows

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https://mountainguerrilla.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/skull-stomping-sacred-cows-reality-isnt-nice-its-a-2×4-to-the-teeth/

Sometimes in life the truth hurts. Maybe it’s a girl you love who makes it painfully clear she doesn’t give a fuck about you but still wants to use you. She wants stuff from you and to ‘be your friend’. Maybe it’s a drill where you perform like shit. Maybe it’s a fight (training or real) where somebody kicks your ass because they have better skills or are more physically capable or better conditioned. 
This all sucks. The thing is you can be a wimp who goes home and cries or you can learn from it. 

Fitness Training For The Smart Prepper

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When the grid fails, only the strong survive, so you’ll need to be in the best physical condition of your life. Just start early, because by the time you need this strength and endurance it may already be too late. Here’s a look at how you can develop your own boot camp using the workouts military experts use to increase flexibility and improve strength.

The Basics

While fancy weight machines and free weights might look impressive, they won’t build the flexibility and strength that come in handy in a gridless world. Some of the best fitness standards are ones you can achieve without expensive equipment. Minimum requirements for the Army PFTs are simple, from ages 17-21, men must be 42 push-ups-strong and women 19. Both should reach the 53 sit-ups requirement, and a 2-mile run should take a man no less than 15 minutes and 54 seconds, and a woman 18 minutes and 54 seconds. Keep in mind that, as age increases, minimum requirements decrease. The best part is you can keep up this regimen anywhere in the world and don’t have to worry about being bogged down by equipment.

Track Fitness

Sometimes tracking your progress isn’t easy. State-of-the-art mobile devices, like the Apple Watch and the Apple iPhone 7 can monitor your step count, heart rate and even calories burned each workout session. There’s even an app that allows you to pick a charity of your choice and, as you run, walk or cycle, a corporate sponsor donates a few cents for every mile you manage. Of course, you can do more than this with your new iPhone and Apple Watch, which are both compatible with medical-grade hardware and software. For instance, the Kardia Mobile smartphone case and the Kardia Band can capture EKG measurements, electrical measurements in your heart, and send the data directly to your doctor.

HIIT Training

HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, is a technique that builds endurance, strength and recovery time. HIIT focuses on all-out, one hundred percent bursts of activities for a short time. These bursts are followed by short, and sometimes, active recovery sessions. Many people use HIIT techniques to increase their metabolism. The metabolic boost you get from a HIIT workout can raise your metabolism for 48 hours. Another reason HIIT routines are so popular is they’re quick. Giving one hundred percent of your physical effort, even for a short time, wears you out quickly — which is why most HIIT workouts are 30 minutes or less. Lastly, no equipment is needed for a HIIT workout. HIIT promotes workouts that use body weight, which promotes optimal muscle gain and fat loss.

So how do you get started with your first HIIT workout? It’s easy. Start off slow — or at least follow a routine that won’t cause you to pull a muscle or strain a tendon. For instance, your first workout might consist of a 10-minute routine, 20 seconds of exercise, 10 seconds of recovery. Start with 20 seconds of cross-punch jabs. Make sure you stay on the balls of your feet and pivot with each jab, which will turn your body and work your abs. After 20 seconds, take 10, then transition into jumping jacks for 20 seconds. Your last set will be 20 seconds of sumo squats. Once you’ve done each exercise, begin again from the start. Repeat until ten minutes is up. While this is just a sample workout, there are far more you can explore that will work other parts of your body to get you in peak physical condition when you need it most.

Slicing the Homemade Bacon

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Phil found another hunk of our homemade bacon in one of the freezers and took it out to thaw but because he was helping Michelle move furniture in her room last week, he never got around to slicing it so that was one of my jobs today.
I still use that cheap little Oster slicer that I got at the thrift store and it still works great. This hunk of bacon was a bit fatty so it must have been from that second hog who got too big. I sure could smell that plum wood we used to smoke it with from that plum tree that died in the yard. I don’t think I’ll ever look at a dead fruit tree the same way again, that wood will always be something to save for smoking. That wood from the plum tree had a much better taste than any wood smoking chips that we could get from the store.
This made several packages of bacon for us. I believe we will have breakfast for supper tonight and use some of it up.

In other news, I am still crocheting and knitting and selling what I can…and maybe a little ribbon embroidery just because I had never done it before. These are some fingerless gloves that I made.

Let’s see what else….Miss Suzie…well, she turned into Poozie..and that just stuck and no one remembers that her name was Suzie now. So Poozie has gotten big and she is definitely the most challenging of the dogs we have. She manages to get out of the fenced in backyard all the time…either by jumping higher than we thought she could or fitting through smaller spaces than we thought she could. How I wish I had known about Jack Russell behavior when I got her…though I am sure I would have still taken her. the other three dogs are fine as well, just growing older and dealing with what comes with that. 

My chicks have all grown into adults now and all are laying. There are roosters to give away and hens who are stealing nest (viciously!) again. I believe I will have chicks to sell this spring but that will be an interesting venture too, I’m sure.
Spring is coming though this winter has been so mild, it is as if we never had winter. I’m hoping we can find house to buy this year. Will keep you all informed on that as we go along.

Flying with Guns

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Weapons Man  did a post on this. As always it is good. I have some thoughts.
– Obviousky make sure whatever you are flying with is legal on both ends of the trip.
– In case of fbe off chance they cut your locks have spares. A 4 pack of normal master IDK pas locks is like $20.
– Like weapons man said plan in time. An extra half hour,  which probably puts you there 2 hours early is wise.
– Know the airlines policies. They vary. If in doubt call the airline and ask.
– Unless there is some compelling reason I wouldn’t fly with real expensive or heirloom type guns. Guns do occasionally go missing. Take a $500 Glock and a $600 rifle not your nighthawk custom 1911 and full auto FAL.
-Deensinf on the company you can have different amounts of ammo. All I’ve used let you take some and have it in the case with the guns. I’ll bring at least enough to load the gun 1-2 times. If I wanted more ammo for whatever reason at the end point I would get it shipped there. Most classes will let you send ammo to them.
– Weapons Man mentioned loaner guns. That is definitely an option if the people you are visiting have appropriate guns to spare.
-If your host does not have spare guns to loan and you go there often consider staging a cache there. The cost and moderate annoyance of checking a gun a few times justifies leaving an old revolver an a long gunnifnyiu want one along with some speed strips and a knife. This also helps with your risk management. If your house burns down an whatever is in it is gone the gun at Grannies may be handy.

House on Lockdown: How to Secure Your Home for Any Eventuality

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Protect your family and valuables by learning how to put your house on full lockdown. Whether you’re worried about the weather or intruders, you can take steps to ensure that your property can easily be secured when you need it most. Here’s what you should know about preparing for those emergency situations.

Keep the Trees and Shrubs Maintained

In storms, projectiles are one of the biggest threats. Weak and dead branches are easily torn from trees and sent flying through the air. One way to make your home safe in severe storms is by keeping the trees maintained and strong. Bushes should be trimmed so that they don’t touch the house. This will also limit hiding spaces for intruders.

Go with Security Window Tint

Window tinting is great to improve the energy efficiency levels in your home. You’ll improve the comfort levels in your home, and you’ll also make it harder for people to break in. The great benefit of security tint is that it helps hold glass shards together even if the window is broken. Thieves are thwarted, and projectiles are less likely to be hurled through the window in a storm.

Hide the Valuables

They say that if someone really wants into your home, they’ll find a way. However, they will need to get in and out quickly to avoid being caught. You can further protect your belongings by keeping them in secure places. Put them in hollowed out books hidden on a bookshelf or get a safe.

Security Cameras with Remote Access

Another option is to install security cameras with remote access. When you can log in from your phone and see what’s going on at home, you’ll have peace of mind. Some companies, like Johns Brothers Security, know that having peace of mind is incredibly important. If anything seems amiss, you can call a neighbor or police to check on the property.

The Right Door Design

The best lock on the market is still only as strong as the doorjamb that’s holding it in place. A common method of entry is to just forcibly kick a door in. This splinters the frame and bypasses the lock completely. Special metal doorjambs can be used to replace the wood support that’s in place. The jambs are screwed to the framing, and they transfer the force of a kick along the full height of the door. The result is a door that’s virtually kick-proof.

Protect your home by getting it ready for a lockdown. It’s a smart idea to protect your property from storms and intruders alike. You’ll sleep better at night, and you’ll be ready for all types of emergency situations.

Written by Rachelle Wilber

Battle Drills and Decision Making

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i spent a recent weekend in Cecil Birchs immediate action class. A full review will come.  It brought up a couple of points worth discussing. The first is the danger of being a technique collector. Setting aside that those guys are usually clowns anyway it’s a problem. As a normal, hopefully decent citizen the violence you are going to be involved with is going to be defensive and reactionary. It is cute to say your situational awareness is amazing and no one gets within 21 feet without an ocular or down and eh f cleared but it’s bullshit. You might get some clues a few seconds out or you might just get jacked in he face.

For this type of situation you do not need a dozen techniques,  you need like 1-2 you are comfortable with and can do rapidly. At the beginning of a fight you are behind the power curve and need to survive the next couple seconds before you can get your head right and start making decisions.

Think of these as individual battle drills. A pre planned response to a given event which is rapidly executed with minimal decision making.

So at the start of a fight fewer decisions is better. Have a plan and violently execute it till you get your head into the situation and go from there.

Conversely at the later part of a fight you need to be more flexible. You can’t say ‘I’ll always shoot if x’ or ‘if I get in a fight that guy is going to the ER, best case.’ Aside from being machismo ish bull there is always an exception. Life has violent situations where you actually don’t want to hurt the other person, let alone kill them. The right answer for a mugger or a bar fight is different than your confused 80 year old neighbor or drunk asshole uncle.

This is a place where jiu jitsu is so handy. You can control people without actually hurting them. This gives you options that guns and striking do not offer.

So in conclusion. Have a planned reaction that works under stress. Develop the situation and be flexible about how to end it. 

Yugo vs AKM Parts Bleg

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Hey Folks, Sorry to have my first post in awhile be a bleg but a friend asked so I’m trying to help him out. He is curious about specifically what parts are not compatible between the Yugo pattern AKs (which rock and are a heck of a deal) and the standard AKM. Does anyone know?

My laptop is still being a pile of shit. Maybe I’ll write a real post on my phone tomorrow.

Thanks in advance

Doomsday Survival Priorities that Everyone Needs to Know

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Arguably, every human being should know some necessary skills for doomsday survival, since we never know when it will happen. But, what are these priorities? Let’s face it;

  1. Finding and sterilizing drinking water

    In a survival situation, water is one of the most important resource you will need. You may go for 3 days without water but, you will easily become incapacitated in those 3 days. This may lead to serious health problems, or worse, making very obvious and stupid mistakes. In the long run, not drinking water can lead to dehydration and eventually death. Plus, if you don’t have the right skills to purify water, you could drink all nasty stuff filled with bacteria that could eventually get you sick.

  2. Learn first aid skills

    It is always a good idea to know some of the basics of first aid – in fact; it should be on the top of your priority list. Remember, injuries and accidents are unpredictable. You should take some classes to learn the basics of first aid so that you can be ready when you need to be ready.

  3. Self defense

    Learning how to counter attack with or without a weapon is important. Some of the best fighting forms for self-defense is Krav Maga. Obviously, the best way to master any kind of self defense is to go to a nearby studio where experienced defense masters teach you how to defend yourself. However, if you are not a big fan of taking classes you can easily find a DVD or an online class from which you can learn some self defense skills at home.

    You should also learn which type of weapon you should carry and the best way to use it for self-defense.

  4. Build your own survival bunker and library

    Having a survival bunker with preserved food stocked can increase your chances of survival significantly. It goes without saying that the more information and resources you have, the higher your chances of survival. You can find many valuable resources and guides that can assist you to learn about survival tactics and how to escape an emergency.

  5. Building a shelter

    A decent shelter will protect you from strong wind, rain, and bad weather. This is crucial skill for those people that did not or could not afford to build their own survival bunker. It’s also an important skill to know for general winter wilderness survival. So, you should learn how to build a proper shelter in case of an emergency.

  6. Food

    Food is important for long term survival. While you can survive for a couple of days without food, eventually without food you will starve and die. You need food to give you energy and provide those necessary calories. So, you should learn food preservation techniques to avoid running out of stock during crucial moments.

The bottom line;

At the end of the day, you must know what your survival priorities are, its important so that you can still survive when doomsday comes. With the tips highlighted in this article, I am sure you will do well.

About the Author

Tom loves spending time outdoors learning new survival techniques, when not outdoors, he shares his learned skills on his blog Thrifty Outdoors Man.

The Survivalist’s Pantry

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Lots of bottled water There is a lot that goes into prepping. We all know we need to stock up on food, but we aren’t always sure what needs to go in our emergency food supply. Every prepper should have a fully stocked pantry in case of emergency and we’ve got a few tips and tricks for you to start yours or update it a little to give maximum preparedness.

Start by getting water. Water is essential to having a successful pantry in an emergency. You will need it to cook many things and clean up messes, not to mention you can’t survive without it for longer than three days. Products like dehydrated and freeze dried foods need water to be edible. According to Utah State University, a family of four needs 270 gallons of water to have a three month supply, or 90 gallons per person. There are many things that require water so you can never have too much.

Many people go for canned foods and MREs (meals ready to eat) when stocking up their pantry, but these aren’t always the right choice. Those are good basics to have just in case you run out of everything, but start with foods you know your family will eat. You don’t want to take them totally out of their comfort zone and people are more likely to stay optimistic if there is something familiar to them. Buy items you know your family will eat in bulk when they go on sale in order to stock up. Foods you think will be easy to buy and store but your family might not like can be implemented into your diet before a disaster so when the time comes, they will be used to the food. You should also Make sure you try items to make sure they will be eaten before you buy too much.

If you learn to can or dehydrate food, you might be able to increase your stockpile faster and cheaper. Dehydrating food isn’t the fastest process, but it is a healthy and rewarding process. Your family will be able to eat all the foods they’re used to without it taking up as much space to save or effort to make. Canning isn’t for everyone, but it can be a cheaper alternative to buying canned foods and you know exactly what is going into the food you’re feeding your family. Here is a beginner’s guide to canning.

When you think of pantry, you think of food. Things like cleaning or sanitation supplies don’t really come to mind, but they are just as important as food to making a useful survival pantry. You’re going to need some disinfectants to clean up mess or pots after cooking. If the sewer system isn’t working, you’re going to need somethings to get rid of waste products, like buckets and heavy duty trash bags. Dish soap and laundry detergent should round out your cleaning supplies. You can’t wear the same thing every day and might want to wash your hands every once in awhile. Other bigger items like a washboard, broom and drying rack aren’t entirely necessary, but aren’t a horrible addition to your pantry.

Now you have all the essential foods, but how are you going to cook them? Pots, pans, bowls, and a grill are vital to have in your pantry. Cooking on an open fire might not always be a possibility and you will want to have a backup grill for those times. While everyone else is worrying about how they’re going to eat, you’ll be sitting in comfort with your meal cooked on your camping grill. Gas for your grill is something we overlook as well. And for when you are cooking on an open fire, you can take the cooking grate off your camping stove to grill your food. You’re killing two birds with one stone having that grill. Stock up on paper plates and plastic utensils so you don’t have the hassle of cleaning dishes when you’re already dealing with the hassle of the world ending.

There are many skills preppers need to learn (ACLS renewal, CPR certification, water purification, gun safety), but knowing how to create a well stocked pantry is the most important. We can survive without knowing how to shoot a gun, but we absolutely cannot survive more than a few days without food and the proper equipment to eat.

Ryan is an emergency preparedness blogger who is passionate about helping others prepare for the worst. Follow Ryan on Twitter, @ryan_thompson03, for more emergency preparedness tips.

4 Keys to Maintaining Communication in a Disaster Situation

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When faced with a disaster, either human-made or natural, it’s critical that you and your family are prepared. Have you thought out and gone over what everyone is supposed to do? Do you have an emergency supply kit that could save your lives? But perhaps the most important thing is planning to be able to communicate, with your family, loved ones, friends and relevant authorities, in a disaster situation. Here are the keys for how to do that.

  1. Have a Meeting Spot

  2. Technology can fail, so if communication is ever cut off or you can’t get a hold of anybody, have a previously-established meeting spot or place to go in case of an emergency. This should be near your home but not too close to it, as buildings can collapse due to earthquakes or fires could spread to nearby vegetation and structures. You could even have a reciprocal arrangement with a neighbor or neighboring family, making their home a designated meet-up and safe space for your children or vice versa.

  3. Have a Way to Charge Devices, or Batteries

  4. Batteries last a long time, and can easily be purchased and kept in an emergency kit for years and still be functional. Most devices come with rechargeable batteries now, so keeping a spare, fully-charged battery for important devices like your mobile phone is a very good idea. You can also charge cell phones and most other devices in your car if you have an adapter, so keeping those spare adapters and cords in your vehicle is a good idea as well.

  5. Prepaid SIM or Phone Cards

  6. You can purchase a SIM card to install in an old cell phone to be used only in case of an emergency. Old cell phones without service plans can be used to dial 911, but won’t be able to contact friends and family members, hence why a SIM (possibly a prepaid one) is a good alternative. Prepaid phone cards are also a good option that allow you to make calls only when the need arises, so you don’t have to pay monthly service fees on it like usual.

  7. Keep a Battery-Powered Radio and Two-Way Radios

  8. Keeping a battery-powered radio you can use to listen for updates on the situation, as well as battery-operated two-way radios to stay in contact with the other people with you, can help you maintain communication without having to worry about having to recharge cell phones. Also, make sure you are signed up for federal and local emergency alerts on your phone, so you can receive information and be better prepared in case of an emergency.

Being able to communicate with loved ones and authorities during an emergency situation can mean life or death, and it’s imperative that you think ahead and have some kind of preparedness and plan ahead of time. Do try and limit cell phone calls or data usage during an emergency to free up networks so emergency calls can get through for other people affected in your area. Establish the four things listed above and you and your family should be all set!

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Onion Soup

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For a long time, I didn’t like onions at all. As a kid we hated them but as I have grown older my tastes buds apparently have died off some and I like onions just fine now. I saw a recipe on facebook for onion soup that was very simple and had few ingredients so I thought I would try it. You took 6 large chopped onions (I had some small ones but only did seven because it seemed like an awful lot of onions to begin with), cooked them in butter for a few minutes until they softened, put them in the crock pot and added a teaspoon and a half of Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. I added two 32-oz containers of beef broth. You then just let it cook.
Now, all day this was cooking and I could only think of how disgusting I thought it smelled. It also tasted very bland.

 I read the comments on the facebook video and decided to add salt and pepper as one person on the comments mentioned…it was a bit better…still not good. I really felt that if we were going to have it for a meal….it needed meat. I scrambled up about a pound and a half of hamburger. Then shortly before Phil got home I put a few spoonfuls of hamburger in an oven safe bowl, ladled the soup on it, then put three pieces of sliced French bread on top with a shredded Italian cheese mix on top of the bread. I put it under the broiler until the cheese browned.

I just can’t tell you how incredibly wonderful this was. So GOOD! Definitely going to have to make this again.

Too Many Eggs!

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For a while I was selling some eggs and that was keeping their numbers down in my refrigerator..but egg prices have gone down again and I got tired of delivering eggs to people so they have been piling up a good bit in the fridge and today I collected these beautiful eggs along with a dozen more of the small bantam eggs and there just wasn’t anywhere to put them. Time to do something with these eggs before they go bad and just have to be thrown out. With all the animals I have to feed, there really is no excuse for throwing out eggs. But I started with the dozen or so fresh bantam eggs I had and made Phil some pickled eggs. I haven’t made any for a while so I know he is going to like these. It is just the standard recipe: 
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pickling spice 
2 cups vinegar 
2/3 cup water
Boil this for a few minutes and pour through a strainer over boiled eggs. 

So that got rid of a dozen eggs but there were at least ten dozen more in the refrigerator…..so I boiled a pan full, then another very large pan full and peeled, and peeled then cut them up a bit. I fed a plate full to the cats outside. They seemed very appreciative. Then I took two bowls out to the chickens and fed them. These chickens had never had eggs before but they seemed pretty happy and it didn’t take them long to finish them. They were all running around snatching pieces from each other.
They don’t get much variety here in the winter since I have no real good grass and weeds to pick for them. 

I then, put the rest of the eggs I collected today in the fridge and we have almost 8 dozen….looks like I may need to do this again tomorrow.

Prepping for a Winter Bug-Out

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As the climate begins to take a turn for frigid and icy conditions, make sure your doomsday prepping skills are a match for the weather. Your normal bug-out bag will just need a little tweaking and your vehicle may need to be upgraded. Here are 5 tips to how you can successfully survive a winter bug-out situation when disaster hits!

Vehicle

For a winter bug-out you will not want to be on foot or left out in the cold when your little car breaks down. You will want to invest in a proper winter vehicle that includes the following features;

  • 4-wheel or all-wheel drive
  • plenty of cargo space
  • all-terrain capability
  • reliable
  • comfortable capacity for you and your escape party

These are just the bare necessities, but ideally you would also want your vehicle to have protection against bullets and be able to run on flat tires if it ever came to that. Visit a store like Dualtone Muffler Brake & Alignment if you have any concerns.

Layer Clothing

Polyester is the best bottom layer because it won’t soak up your sweat like cotton will. You will want 2 layers of synthetic material. The middle layer will serve as insulation. Fleece and wool are a great choice. The outer layer should be waterproof and breathable. Make sure that these layers can be taken off easily so start with the shortest sleeves and work your way up.

Keep Dry

This is essential to a winter bug-out. If you happen to get wet, you need to remove the wet clothing immediately and dry them next to a fire. If you continue to wear wet clothing then you will be exposing yourself to hypothermia when if freezes.

Bug-Out Bag Essentials

You will, of course, want all the bug-out bag essentials such as a hatchet, food and a first aid kit, but there is more to be added when you consider a winter situation:

  • gloves
  • boots
  • snow goggles or glasses
  • warm headgear
  • insulated bottles
  • Mylar or “space” blankets
  • shovel
  • winter socks
  • wool clothing
  • warm portable shelter

Not much needs to change about how or where you house yourself as long as you prepared well enough for wet conditions. One thing you will want to keep in mind is even though it is freezing outside, you will want to make sure that you keep the air moving in your shelter. Another tip to your shelter is to keep someone else in there with you to cuddle up to. This may be awkward depending on who you bring along, but it could save your life.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Life and Times, Operational Cache, Et All

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Hey Folks, I sort of took a break over the holidays. I went home and saw my kiddo’s, family and friends. The way things worked out I got to see a relative at the opposite end of the PNW so that was cool. Also my first time traveling long distance in the US by train. The trip there was pretty awesome. Very old school with some nice touches of class. The one back sucked as there were delays and all sorts of drama. Now I am back to work and normal life.

Over this trip I accessed my operational cache. Everything was fine. I sort of took a cue from Meister and added some good stuff to it. I tossed in my normal EDC knife and flash light as well as a more duty oriented pistol. Also a good set of long johns, a pair of multicam pants and some other odds n ends. I was going to put in a better backpack but the one I planned to use had a buckle break on the trip so I need to get it fixed.

Sort of along Meisters theme I literally cached stuff I regularly use. Motivation to spend hundreds of dollars on stuff to cache can be hard to find. So as a forcing function I put my normal stuff in there. Finding motivation to replace the thing I carry every day that is gone should be much easier to find. Of course if you genuinely can’t afford it this is a bad plan but for those who can it is a good way to get priority #10 which never gets done up to priority #2 or 3.

I wanted to go through all of the contents and toss some less than entirely needed stuff. As I put in better items the newly redundant and inferior stuff can get tossed. Space is a consideration.

 I am looking hard at setting up another cache soon. Hopefully this spring. It will be another operational cache. Good to have goals anyway.

My stupid computer has really been giving me problems. Honestly it is hindering blogging as a 10 minute post takes more like a half hour between it freezing and re starting. I am going to either fix or replace it in the immediate future. My goal is to get to blogging 2-3x  a week.

Anyway that’s what has been going on with me. Hope you all are well. Talk to you soon.

Most Common Prepper Mistakes

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Hurricane Isabel flood damage Maryland Many people think they are prepared for an emergency because they have a large stash of food and guns, but there is a lot more that goes into being prepared. I know when I started out, I fell victim to this thought. There are many common mistakes preppers make. Here are a few of the most important ones to be aware of and how to fix it if you realize you’ve been making them.

The most vital mistake preppers make is not preparing for the right situation. Many preppers think they need to prepare for the apocalypse or some other freak event and when the likely earthquakes or wildfires come they aren’t ready. Someone who is really prepared has what they need to get themselves through even these little events. Knowing your area is the easiest way to overcome this mistake. Most cities have an emergency preparedness site with tips for your specific area. It’s not impossible for catastrophic events to happen, but the smart prepper is ready for what could happen tomorrow and not in hundreds of years.

Another huge mistake that is made is not having all the skills necessary to survive. Preppers tend to think having food and gear is all they need to be prepared, but those things only last so long. Food will run out and then you are on your own. You need to know how to grow crops and hunt in order to provide for your family. Being able to defend yourself is another life or death skill most people overlook. This is more than just having guns and ammunition. You need to be able to properly use it and so should your family or others you plan to be around in an emergency.

Along with defense, treatment of injuries or disease often get overlooked. There may not be anyone within miles to help you if something goes wrong and you don’t want to get infected or just sit around weak and useless. A first aid kit would be the first place to start, but ACLS recertification, or certification if you don’t have it yet, is also a good step. For those that don’t know what that is, ACLS stands for advanced cardiac life support and teaches how to deal with cardiac arrest and other life threatening medical emergencies. Becoming certified in this and other life-saving courses, such as CPR, you should be more prepared than many others in the same situation.

When it comes to food, there are a few common mistakes among preppers. Stockpiling the wrong items is a big one. Most people like to stock up on items that last a while, like SPAM or MREs, but we aren’t usually used to eating these things. When it’s time to actually eat these, no one wants to because they never have before. Buy things you know you will eat or try to start implementing them into your diet now. If you know that you want to grow a certain crop come doomsday, start making recipes with that in it now, so when the time comes, everyone is used to it. Store what you eat, but also eat what you store. A lot of times people store the food away for an emergency and don’t look at it ever again, but you should be rotating pieces in and out. Eat things before they are going to expire and replace them with something new. Otherwise, it’s just a huge waste of money and you end up without anything edible come emergency time.

Storage is another mistake preppers make. Many people have all their food in the same place, but you shouldn’t do this. If something were to happen to the area of your house where you store everything, you would lose it all. Keep some of it inside the house, other stuff in the garage, some at a storage unit, and even some in the dog house. This way if something were to happen to one area, you won’t lose everything. It’s almost inevitable that one of your stockpiles will get ruined, so don’t be disappointed and have more to go to. There are also some elemental factors that play into storing food. You can read about them here.

A mistake that doesn’t have to do with supplies or skills people tend to make is trying to do everything on their own. Preppers get this mindset that they have to keep to themselves and prepare for everyone to turn against them. Use the community of other like-minded individuals to support you before and after an emergency. You can learn valuable information from others and form alliances. If something were to happen, you would have this group to fall back on for help with food, shelter, and defense. Find those who are also preparing for the worst by telling those you trust what you are doing or finding a support group. There are many out there who also prep, you just don’t know it yet.

There are many more common mistakes, but if you fix these areas most of us struggle with, I guarantee you’ll be a more successful prepper.

Ryan is an emergency preparedness blogger who is passionate about helping others prepare for the worst. Follow Ryan on Twitter, @ryan_thompson03, for more emergency preparedness tips.