Top Five .300 Winchester Magnum Rifles

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For quite a few reasons, .300 Win Mag is an extremely popular rifle round. As the name might suggest, it was developed by Winchester. It was first introduced in the early 1960s. The name might also suggest that it is a magnum cartridge, which is true, as the cartridge was derived from .375 Holland & Holland cartridges. It is popular in a few different niches. It’s popular for target shooters because it is one of the most accurate cartridges, and can handle long distances extremely well. It is one of the flattest shooting projectiles available.

Quick Navigation

  A. 300 Win Mag Specs
  B. Choosing a 300 Win Mag Rifle
  C. The Top 5 300 Rifles
    
1. Model 70
    
2. Mark V Ultra
    
3. X-Bolt Stainless
    
4. 110BA Stealth
    
5. Thompson/Center Compass

 

The round is popular among hunters because of the excellent combination of long range ability and a larger projectile. Various militaries and law enforcement agencies use it for snipers. The projectile is .30 inches in diameter, and the projectiles are available from 110-250 grains. This wide variety of projectile sizes available is another reason that the cartridge is so popular. The cartridge outperforms most of the competition in terms of ballistics. 

A. 300 Win Mag Specs

While some of the more modern cartridges have begun to outperform .300 Win Mag, it has retained its popularity because of the number of available weapons and how affordable the ammunition is. It is also one of the most popular rounds for reloading, due to the number of projectiles and amount of brass available. Generally speaking it is faster than .308 Winchester, and maintains its velocity over distance better. This results in a high energy projectile that is excellent for hunting medium to large game.

B. How to Choose the Right Rifle

When looking to buy a .300 Win Mag rifle, there are a few factors to keep in mind. They basically boil down to what your uses for the rifle will be. However, to help point you in the right direction, we’ve identified a few key features.

  • How important is accuracy to you? Are you looking for a hunting rifle or a precision long range rifle?
  • Are you planning on taking this rifle on any mountain hikes in search of that trophy kill?
  • Goes along with the weight. Will a long rifle be a burden for you?
  • If you are looking for a precision rifle, you probably need to be prepared to spend more money than on a hunting rifle.
  • How important is the corrosion resistance and resistance to the elements for you?

Looking for a .300 Win Mag rifle can be overwhelming, as there are many options available. We have tried to touch on the best .300 Win Mag rifles across the whole range of available weapons to help give you an idea.

Winchester Model 70 Super Grade | Wikipedia Creative Commons licenses

 C. Top 5 .300 Win Mag Rifles

Rifle Top Feature MSRP
1.       Winchester Model 70 Super Grade Quality $1479
2.       Weatherby Mark V Ultra Lightweight Accuracy $2300
3.       Browning X-Bolt Stainless Stalker Durability $1179
4.       Savage Arms 110BA Stealth Evolution Tactically styled $1999
5.       Thompson/Center Compass Price $399

 

  1. Winchester Model 70 Super Grade

The first rifle on our list of best .300 Win Mag rifles is the Model 70 Super Grade from Winchester. This bolt action rifle is extremely sleek looking, with classic walnut styling with an ebony forearm tip. The barrel has a polished blue finish, and the wood parts have a satin finish. The two-tone walnut is very aesthetically pleasing. The weapon has a 26 inch barrel, weighs 8.5 pounds, and has a 3 round magazine capacity.

The pros of this weapon are the looks, the accuracy, and the reliability. The accuracy of the weapon comes from a few things. First, the hammer forged barrel is free floated. Second, the MOA trigger system allows for a very precise trigger pull. Third, the steel receiver has an integral recoil lug that is bedded in the front and rear to prevent the bolt from shifting at all. Last, the stock has a solid steel piece for added rigidness. All of these factors increase the accuracy of the weapon. The reliability comes from the steel receiver and the controlled round feeding and extracting mechanisms.

The cons of this weapon are the price, limited magazine capacity, and the weight. This is not the most expensive on our list, but it is still pricy. However, it is also the highest quality weapon on the list. It is also a very heavy weapon, which is something to consider if you are looking for a hunting rifle. As far as uses go, it would excel in any role, but the weight and longer barrel may limit its uses to target shooting and hunts where you don’t have to travel far.

 

Suggested Retail Price: $1479

Top Features:

  1. As mentioned before, multiple factors add into the accuracy.
  2. Steel receiver, controlled round feeding and extracting.
  3. Pre drilled and tapped for scope mounts.
  4. Sleek looking.
  5. High quality weapon at a reasonable price.

 

  1. Weatherby Mark V Ultra Lightweight

Next up is another bolt action rifle. The Mark V Ultra Lightweight variant is one of Weatherby’s best rifles. As with all Weatherby weapons, this rifle is extremely high quality and very accurate. The barrel is 24 inches long, the weapon weighs 6.75 pounds, and has a 3 round magazine capacity. Due to the extreme light weight and accuracy, this is the best .300 Win Mag rifle for hunting. If you are looking for a precision rifle, we highly recommend checking out some of the other variants of the Mark V or some other weapons made by Weatherby, although the Ultra Lightweight is accurate enough to work in this capacity.

The pros of this weapon are the accuracy, light weight, and the smooth action. The accuracy comes from the hand lapped barrel and the excellent LXX trigger. The LXX trigger is extremely precisely made, and offers a wider face for more contact between your finger and the trigger. The trigger is also completely adjustable, all the way down to 2.5 pounds. The LXX trigger goes a long way in increasing the accuracy of the firearm as a whole. The light weight comes from the lighter 6 lug action, composite stock, and a slightly smaller forearm.

The cons of this weapon are the smaller grip, limited magazine capacity, and the price. The smaller grip helps a lot in decreasing the weight, but takes a little getting used to. While this is one of the highest quality rifles on our list, it is also the most expensive.

 

Suggested Retail Price: $2300

Top Features:

  1. Weatherby guarantees .99 inch groups at 100 yards when using their ammunition.
  2. LXX trigger. Increases the accuracy, but is also an excellent trigger. One of the best on the market.
  3. Stainless steel barrel and composite stock will be resistant to the elements.
  4. Extremely strong action.

 

  1. Browning X-Bolt Stainless Stalker

The Stainless Stalker is one of the variants of Browning’s X-Bolt rifle. They are all high quality firearms, but the Stainless Stalker has some added features that make it an excellent option as a hunting rifle. The rifle has a 26 inch barrel, weighs just under 7 pounds, and has a 3 round magazine capacity. While other variants of the X-Bolt may function better in other roles, the Stainless Stalker is another one of the best .300 Win Mag rifles for hunting.

The pros of this weapon are the durability, adjustable trigger, short throw bolt, and reliability. The durability comes from the stainless steel barrel, bolt, and receiver paired with a composite stock coated in Dura-Touch Armor Coating. This makes the weapon extremely resistant to the elements. Additional grip has been added to the forearm in order to allow for plenty of grip strength in adverse conditions. The adjustable trigger makes the weapon slightly more accurate, and the short throw bolt allows you to chamber the next round and fire quicker.

The cons of this weapon are that it is not as accurate as some of the others and has a limited magazine capacity. However, this is an excellent rifle for hunting.

 

Suggested Retail Price: $1179

Top Features:

  1. Stainless steel parts and composite stock.
  2. Adjustable trigger.
  3. Pre drilled and tapped for scope mounts.
  4. Light weight. Not as light as the Mark V Ultra Lightweight, but still a manageable weight.
  5. Comfortable pad that absorbs recoil well.
  6. Stainless steel parts increase the reliability significantly.

 

  1. Savage Arms 110BA Stealth Evolution

 

 

While Savage Arms is generally known for their affordably priced bolt action rifles, the 110BA Stealth Evolution is cut from a different cloth. This is still a reliable bolt action rifle, but has been given a modern, tactical look. It has an AR-15 style handguard with multiple picatinny rails to go along with a fully adjustable stock. It also has a detachable box magazine that has a 5 round capacity. It has a 24 inch barrel and weighs around 7 pounds. With a little work, this could function well as a precision rifle. In our opinion, it is the best .300 Win Mag rifle for target shooting. It could be used for hunting, but there are better options out there.

The pros of this weapon are the picatinny rails, adjustable trigger, a manageable weight, and the modernized look. The picatinny rails allow you to mount any number of accessories on the rifle. It also allows you to use a wider variety of scopes and optics. Savage Arms’ AccuTrigger is fully adjustable, and greatly increases the accuracy of the rifle. Adjusting the trigger pull will go a long way in increasing your shot. The look of this weapon is nice, but some of the features that come along with it are even nicer. For example, the adjustable stock, pistol style grip, and the detachable box magazine look nice, but also add a lot to the weapon.

The pros of this weapon are limited to mostly the cost. As mentioned, this is a good frame to start off, but to make a competitive rifle, it may take a little work. As far as the cost, this is a quality rifle, but given the reputation of Savage Arms, some people will struggle to pay this for one of their rifles.

 

Suggested Retail Price: $1999

Top Features:

  1. Increased magazine capacity. Dependent on your use for the weapon, this may be a nice feature for you.
  2. Modern look and features that go along with it.
  3. Increases the accuracy of the weapon.
  4. Reliable and smooth action.

 

  1. Thompson/Center Compass

The last entry on our list of best .300 Win Mag rifles is the Compass from Thompson/Center. While this is an extremely affordably priced and basic rifle, there are also some great features to see at this price point. The rifle has a 24 inch barrel, weighs 7.5 pounds, and has a 4 round magazine capacity. Due to some of the added features, this is the best .300 Win Mag rifle for the price. It would function well as a hunting rifle, but could also be the starting point for an entry level precision rifle.

The pros of this weapon are the short pull, increased magazine capacity, adjustable trigger, and the perice. This weapon actually has one of the shortest pulls on our list, which is surprising in such an affordably priced weapon. Another surprise for an affordably priced weapon is the adjustable trigger. Usually this comes at an added cost. Having the extra round that most of the other rifles don’t have is another plus.

The cons of this weapon are hard to complain about considering the price. However, this wasn’t the most accurate rifle on the list, and is one of the heavier ones.

 

Suggested Retail Price: $399

Top Features:

  1. Hard to beat this price, especially given some of the added features.
  2. Adjustable trigger. You usually don’t see an adjustable trigger at this price.
  3. Grip and stock. The composite grip and stock offer plenty of grip strength and are resistant to the elements.
  4. As with most bolt actions, this weapon is smooth and reliable, shot after shot.

 

Conclusion
As you can see, there are a plethora of options available for .300 Win Mag rifles. While there are many factors to consider, thinking about your use for the weapon will help you narrow down which features are important to you. Once you’ve identified that, the list of best rifles for you will start to shrink.

If you’re looking for a hunting rifle, the Weatherby Mark V Ultra Lightweight is an excellent option. If you’re looking for an overall excellent quality weapon, the Winchester Model 70 Super Grade is definitely something to look into. However, if you are on a tighter budget, the Thompson/Center Compass is probably what you’re going to want. No matter which weapon you choose, .300 Win Mag is an excellent cartridge, and you will likely be happy with your purchase. Hopefully our list of best .300 Win Mag rifles has helped narrow down your search for you.

The post Top Five .300 Winchester Magnum Rifles appeared first on Geek Prepper.

How to Choose a Hiking Water Filter (+2017 Buyer Guide)

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Just how important is water to us? Without water, a man will die within three days. Our body is made up of around 65 percent water. You can probably survive a trail hike or a short camping trip with nothing but your trusty water jug. But it becomes a whole new game when you’re trapped, isolated and trying to survive until help arrives.

Quick Navigation

  A. What is a Hiking Water Filter
  B. Buyers Guide to Choosing a Water Filter
     1. Portability
     2. Filtration vs Purification
     3. Effectivenss
     4. What is the Micron Rating
     5. Output Speed
     6. Convenience
     7. Taste Quality
     8. EPA Standards

  C. Types of Filters
     1. Pumps
     2. Straws
     3. Bottles
     4. Ceramic
     5. Gravity Fed

Nature has provided us plenty of water sources. There are lakes, streams and small rivers that we can use to take a bath in or for cleaning our clothes. As for drinking it, one should not do so unless he or she has a quality water filter handy. This is especially important as your life will depend on just one sip of unclean water.

Lakes, rivers and streams were once the main source of drinking water. But this is no longer the case, as numerous factories and companies have now polluted the once potable sources. A single drop of water can contain billions of harmful bacteria, viruses and dangerous chemicals, all of which can prove to be fatal for humans.

Whether for camping, hiking, mountaineering or for surviving, a reliable source of drinking water ensures you’ll live for another day. For this reason you’ll need a good water filtration system for the job!

Remember the rule of drinking water in the wild- Filter First, Then Hydrate.

 

 

A. What Is A Survival Water Filter?

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you mention the words “water filter”?

Many of us would think either the big stainless steel tanks connected to the kitchen faucet or the small filters that are independently attached.

A survival water filter works the same way, with the exception of being portable. It’s one of the list of essential items to get if you’re making a bug out bag. Survival water filters are great for staying alive and preventing death due to dehydration.

The best survival water filters are ones that can effectively filter out harmful contaminants that could make you very sick very quickly. Almost all of us would think twice about taking a gulp of water from lakes because we know that we can get ill from it. Some of the worst things that can happen are diarrhea, vomiting, gastroenteritis, etc. But if you have a filtration system, you’d be more confident that you can quench your thirst without getting sick.

Not to mention filters can also make water smell better and taste better as well.

Why Is It Important To Own A Survival Water Filter?

You will need an excellent survival water filter to be able to drink from any stream, lake or river anytime when needed.

Water filters can get you clean, drinkable water with little exertion, i.e., squeezing or pumping water through the filter. They are also effective and very convenient to have along. These equipment shine best in emergency and survival situations where there will be very little water to drink. These filters will save your life while you’re waiting for rescue or until you reach the next stop.

Potable water isn’t just for drinking. You can use it to cook your food and for sanitation purposes. In order to survive, each person must have at least a gallon of water per day. Unsafe water will just bring about more trouble as they can enter your system through various means.

B. The Buyer’s Guide In Finding The Best Survival Water Filter

There’s more to a survival water filter than meets the eye. Aside from being able to effectively filter water, there are features that you’ll need to consider.

1. Portability

The ultimate water filtration system should be portable enough that you can bring it everywhere you go, regardless of your clothes and your bag. Today’s portable water filters are small and affordable that there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t have one in your hiking or emergency bag.

All the essential survival tools should be able to fit inside your bug out bag. This bag should always be ready in case of emergency situations. Some water filters are so small that they can easily fit in your pocket. Some just weigh as little as 2 ounces. A good portable filter will be anywhere between 6 to 13 inches.

2. Filtration and Purification

Purifying water is not an absolute necessity if you’re hiking within the US. If you intend to go on trips in other countries though, this feature becomes a must-have.

  • Water Filtration

Filtration is done by passing the raw water through a filtration sieve, via biological or by using chemical processes. One of the most common filtration methods is by passing the raw water through a carbon filter to make it safe to drink. It should be noted that this filtration method will not eliminate certain viruses or certain chemicals in the water. Water filtration does not ensure that the water is 100% safe to drink.

  • Water Purification

Purification is done to eliminate impurities from the raw water. While filtration deals with cleaning the water, purification makes the raw water free from chemicals, pathogens and possible bio contaminants. Boiling is an example of a purification method. In the same vein as filtration, purification may not eliminate other types of impurities in the water.

 

3. Filtration Effectiveness

Just how fine are the sieves that are used to filter the water? It all boils down to the micron level. The general rule is that a smaller micron level is better at filtering out contaminants than filters that have bigger micron levels. There are some survival water filters that are advertised to have .1 or .2 microns, while others say they can eliminate 99.9% viruses and microorganisms.

4. Understanding the Micron Rating

What is a micron rating? Essentially, it measures the size of openings found in a filter. The smallest micron sizes are at .1 microns, which can stop bacteria from passing through (bacteria is at .2 micron). A filter that has a smaller micron rating should also be able to prevent cysts and viruses from passing through. Pore size helps if you plan on drawing water to drink from springs, rivers and deep wells.

5. Output Speed

How much water can a filter process at one time? A high flow rate makes it easier and quicker to collect potable water from a source. In general, larger filters will have a higher speed of water output as compared to the smaller water filter variants. Pump type water filters can put out a rate at around 1 to 2 liters of potable water per minute. Straw-type water filters have smaller filters, but they are more portable and it can be used to drink water directly from the souce. The “sip and drink” mechanism is only possible because of the filter’s reduced surface area.

6. Convenience

How easy is it to draw and drink water using the filter? Each type has its own pros and cons. For example, the straw type requires you to submerge the device and suck the water straight from the source, while the pump type requires a bit of exertion to use.

7. Taste Quality

Great-tasting water is free of chemicals and microorganisms. The moment we taste something funny in the water, we immediately stop because it is our natural instinct. Potable water should be at best neutral. Water filters will sometimes have features such as activated carbon that effectively traps the “funny taste” of contaminated water.

8. Passes EPA Standards

Make sure to check out if a water filtration system passes EPA standards. The Environmental Protection Agency has set a standard that determines whether water is safe for public consumption or not. In short, if a water filter passes this, then it should be safe for you to use.

B. Types of Water Filters

There are now different water filters, each with their own unique mechanisms. Here’s how each type works in terms of filtering and drawing water from the source, along with the best of its kind:

1. Pump Type Filters

Raw water is “pushed” via a pump mechanism through the filter. This type of water filter usually have the fastest flow rate as compared to the other water filter types. A good pump type filtration system can usually put out a liter or two of potable water per minute. You get more potable water in less time which can come in handy in some emergency situations.  A .2 micron glass fiber filter pushes out drinkable water quickly with little to no effort. You also get a durable 11-oz microfilter which attaches to your hydration pack of water bottles and 1/4″ drink tubes.

 

 

2. Straw Type Filters

Just as the name says, straw types are basically straws that can filter water while you take a sip. The advantages are many- you carry around a lightweight and extremely portable straw in your pocket or your backpack and whip it out as needed. You will have the ability to drink straight from the source or collect raw water in a container and use the straw on it. On the other hand, you’ll have to be right beside the water source if you don’t have a container you can use to collect the raw water. Older people will probably find it more difficult to use a straw type water filter as they will have to be on all fours to get a good drink.

 

 

LifeStraw Water Filters will let you drink up to a thousand liters of water without common water contaminants such as chlorine and iodine. The compact size and the negligible weight (only 2 oz) make it the perfect companion for camping and hiking purposes. Simply submerge the LifeStraw in a nearby pool of water and take a sip. You won’t have to wait for the chemicals to react or pump water when you have the LifeStraw packed.

 

Survival Hax features a .1 micron filter, which is about the tenth of most home water filtration systems. Dirty water flows through the filter and into the hollow membranes.

 

Then, it passes the activated carbon and finally into the designated mouthpiece. The result is a chemical free, BPA free and delicious water that’s safe to drink and enjoy. The modified straw can fit into any water bottle with a 28mm opening.

 

 

Tap water, ground water, river water, rainwater and even flood water will turn into potable drinking water with the Outdoors 365 Survival Straw. The filter may be attached to a 2L bottle and can process up to 1500 liters. The active carbon and high precision micron material make it one of the best portable water filters out there.

 

 

This offering from Sawyer is one of the lightest and most portable ever. Featuring a .1 micron hollow fiber membrane filter and weighing only a mere 2 ounces, the Mini can be screwed onto water bottles that have standard threaded tops. The filter can last for up to a hundred thousand gallons. Sip straight from the water source or drink from the bottle.

 

 

JBW’s Emergency Water Filter has an amazing .01 micron filter which can eliminate harmful chemicals such as iodine, chlorine, etc. Comes with a sealed bag for emergency purposes. The camo design is durable and great for concealment.

 

 

Survivor Filter has a .05 micron UF membrane filter which can effectively remove gardia, protozoa, staph, bacteria and viruses from the water you drink. The carbon-activated filter eliminates heavy metals, odors, chemicals and the funny taste. The pre-filter cotton takes out the larger particles before it hits the carbon filter, ensuring a longer-lasting use.

 

3. Water Bottles with a Built-in Water Filter

These all-in-one filters are very convenient and handy. You can use them for collecting or filtering water, depending on what the situation dictates. Like all the other water filter devices in this list, built-in water filter systems are designed to be lightweight and easily maintainable. Some have a coffee press mechanism while others have a bite valve you can drink from. What reaches your mouth is safe, clean and tasteless water.

 

     

LifeStraw’s vaunted membrane water filter pairs up with a reusable BPA-free bottle to give you the Go Water Filter Bottle. A carbon-activated filters works to eliminate chlorine, odor and tastes, making your water safe and enjoyable to drink. The 23 oz water bottle is leak-free, durable and stylish and made from food grade silicone and BPA-free tritan material. Fill up by the nearest stream, river or lake and drink your thirst away with the award-wining water filter straw.

 

Woder’s 24 model has the ability to filter up to 25 gallons or 145 refills as you use it to turn raw water into potable source from any outdoor source, including ponds, wells, rivers, lakes and streams. You can save up to $500 on bottled water. The most unique thing about Woder’s offering is that all the essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium are left intact.

 


Life Defender’s excellent .01 micron filters can be used reliably to a maximum 1,500 liters of water before needing a replacement. The accompanying 22 oz water bottle holds the taste-free, contaminant-free water as it passes through the coconut activated carbon filter. The BPA aspect makes the bottle forever reusable.

 

4. Ceramic Type Water Filters

Ceramic water filters are among the most popular portable water filtration systems for a good reason. Ceramic has been mainly used to filter out contaminants since ancient times. This material is very good at producing very clean, drinkable water from lakes, rivers and ponds. Though they may appear to be solid, a ceramic is actually porous and has many microscopic openings that can weed out microbes and harmful contaminants.

With all that good, why aren’t all water filters made of ceramic? One of the main disadvantages of ceramic is that it’s heavier and more fragile. You can’t just leave them along with your other things or they may break prematurely. If you don’t mind the extra weight, ceramic filters are among the best when filtering out bacteria and other contaminants from outdoor water sources. Ceramics last for a lifetime and they bring danger down to almost zero when you use them.

 

 

The special Vario Dual technology brings a unique aspect to the water filtration system. The whole Vario tech has 3 stages of filtration- an adjustable pre-filter made of ceramic which can be changed according to how cloudy the raw water looks, active charcoal to eliminate the taste in water, and a high performance glass fiber filter to make the water safe to drink. The ceramic disc is cleanable, which considerably extends the lifespan of the Vario-based water filter. The .2 micron glass fiber microfilter is great for eliminating harmful water-borne bacteria. The carbon core is replaceable, which overall makes the Vario Water Filter a good buy.

 

5. Gravity Water Filters

There’s no effort needed when you opt in for a gravity water filter. Basically, raw water passes through the filter and comes out clean and drinkable. The process goes like this- water is put on the container, which passes the filter as it naturally gravitates downward. The hose has hollow membranes that filter the water, making it safe to drink. Gravity water filters have the edge over pressure-based filters as they are more effective in producing potable water. The only disadvantage is that it takes a long time for the filtering process to be completed. It’s not recommended if you’re on the go and need a quick drink ASAP!

 

The huge 25 liter reservoir will satisfy your group’s need to drink water during camping trips, hiking and in emergency situations. The Xpor Outdoor Hydration Pack is perfect for small groups of campers and outdoor adventurers. The food grade TPU material holds the potable water in place. There’s even a versatile shower head included.

 

Skip the effort of having to pump potable water with the Platypus 4L Water Filter System. The gravity-fed filter takes the raw water from the dirty reservoir and proceeds to produce safe drinking water while it hangs from a support. Platypus’ offering filters water an a rate of 1.75 L per minute. The filter can be used to produce 1,500 L of water before needing a replacement. This is one of the best water filters to get if you’re planning to have a filtration system for the whole group or family.

 

Sawyer products are known for their efficiency and technologically advanced solutions that produces drinkable water better than most US standard bottled water. The SP194 is no exception- the filter eliminates viruses clean off while churning out up to 4 L of safe water within a record 10 minutes. It’s great for solo use, but it shines when used in a group setting. The gravity filtration system simply requires you to hang the bag up to filter the raw water inside the reservoir. Just fill it up, attach the filter and tubing to the “clean” tank reservoir, and you’ll have safe water to drink within minutes.

 

The LifeStraw mission comes with all the bells and whistles from a premium water filter system. The high capacity reservoir can be filled up to a maximum of 12 or 5 L. The filter sports a hollow membrane and can be easily hooked up to a tree or any similar support. Expect an 18,000 L filter lifespan that churns out potable water at a rate of around 9 to 12 L drinking water per hour.

The best water filtration system is the one that specifically caters to all your needs, whether you need a simple filter system on short camping trips or a high-end water filter system for the whole family. It all boils down to preference. A straw water filter works best on solo hikes because of its unbeatable portability, while a gravity water filter system is best for group camping or for large-scale emergency situations.

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5 Steps To Survive A Nuclear Attack

We’ve seen far too many apocalyptic movies to understand how devastating nuclear aftermaths are. But how does one survive in reality when the bombs start to fall? Countries are becoming more powerful each year. Advancing technology and more destructive war capabilities make nuclear attacks a likely doomsday scenario. Nuclear weapons do exist. The fact that international conflicts could arise anytime should be enough to remind us that a nuclear conflict is a definite possibility. Remember the destruction caused by atomic bombs dropped in Nagasaki and Hiroshima? Modern thermonuclear is now a hundred times more powerful than that.

Quick Navigation

  A. Effects of Nuclear Blast
    Step 1: Get Away
    Step 2: Protection
    Step 3: Seek Shelter
    Step 4: Stay Inside
    Step 5: Cover Up
  B. Treating Exposure
  C. Prepping for a Nuclear Blast

 

A) Effects of a Nuclear Blast:

Now you may be wondering- if nuclear attacks are so devastating, is there any chance that anyone can survive it? In this article we outline the steps you can take to improve your chances of surviving a nuclear attack. The truth is that there are may factors that go in a nuclear conflict to determine how survivable it is. Even if you survive the initial destruction, how would you go about surviving from then on? First, there’s the nuclear blast.

The radius of nuclear blasts depend on how big the bomb is, how high it was when it exploded and what the weather was when it detonated. The larger ones would create massive fireballs, each one several miles wide that are as hot as the surface of the sun, with winds that are stronger than a hurricane. Then there’s the radioactive fallout that’s carried for miles all around. The explosion of the nuclear blast alone could kill off millions of lives in an instant. After that, you’ll have to worry about the nuclear fallout that’s just as deadly as the blast itself.

Fallout is an occurrence where radioactive materials resulting from the blast is carried by the wind and falls to earth. People, wildlife and plants could become poisoned and die within minutes. The fallout may also manifest itself as “black rain”, which is not only toxic but is also searing hot. If you’re unlucky enough to be caught in ground zero, or where the fireball blast forms, then the chances of survival are pretty much zero. The fireball resulting from the blast will incinerate all living things within its radius. But if you’re several miles away from the attack, then your survival increases. Keep in mind that you’ll have to go by a set of certain rules to keep it that way.

A nuclear attack is not immediately fatal as long as you know the best way to maximize your survival rate. The best maxim to remember is not to run, but to hide. Or, get inside and keep indoors. Don’t follow movie logic. Those who get outside in panic will be left to the mercy of the radioactive elements. Those who leave in search of their loved ones are most likely to perish. How To Survive A Nuclear Attack The less you get exposed to radiation, the better your chances of survival. Do these steps in order to decrease radiation exposure…

 

Step 1: Get Out Of There

The intense light that comes from the nuclear blast should spur you to action. If you’re still alive and breathing after the initial nuclear blast, you’ll have roughly 10 to 20 minutes to move away from the blast radius as fast as you can, or else the radiation that comes from the mushroom cloud will overtake and claim your life. In about 24 hours, the radiation will be carried by prevailing winds and scattered about. The bottom line is that you’ll have 15 minutes to find a good shelter. Staying behind will get you lethally exposed to radiation.

Those who are in a 5-mile (8 km) vicinity will suffer 3rd-degree thermal burns; even if you’re located at a 20-mile (32 km) distance, there’s a chance that the resulting heat will melt the skin right off your body. Wind will travel at around 600 mph (960 kph), leveling any structure it comes across. Quickly get a feel for where the wind is going and start running at a perpendicular angle. Move downwind and consider the possible shelter locations along the way. You can also do the “duck and cover” being taught in earthquake drills. Granted, it won’t protect you from the flame and the radiation, but it could prove to be useful if you’re in a city that has many high-rise buildings.

 

Step 2: Protect Yourself

Somehow you’re caught dangerously near the blast radius or outdoors with no shelter in sight. What is there to do? The first thing to keep in mind is to NEVER look at the nuclear blast. You could be blinded and incapacitated for what’s to come. The light from the bomb travels much faster than sound- the “flash blindness” could set you back precious minutes and lessen your chances of survival. This phenomenon may affect people who are 13 miles (21 km) away during the day or 50 miles (81 km) away during the night on a 1 megaton scale.

Keep your mouth open and your jaw slack to prevent your ear drums popping due to pressure. Don’t touch anything that’s thrown off by the wind or the blast as it could be radioactive. Cover your nose and all your exposed skin as you run away to seek shelter. Keep an eye open for any combustible or flammable material as you’re navigating as they could ignite once the heat passes over. If you’re already at a suitable shelter, remove any flammable or combustible material.

Oil-based materials such as nylon will melt and ignite from the resulting heat wave. Worst case scenario is that you’re standing out in the open with no shelter for miles around. Do the next best thing and find anything that could provide protection. Search for depressed areas in the lay of the land; lie face-down and leave as little skin exposed as possible. You can also start to dig such a depression where there’s soft soil. Lie completely flat and cover your head. The blast wave could come to you in as little as 30 seconds, so think fast and act quickly.

 

Step 3: Seek Shelter

There are two kinds of shelter from a nuclear attack- shelter from the nuclear blast and shelter from the resulting fallout.

Blast Shelters. These structures could be built in preparation for nuclear attacks in the future. They offer protection from the fire, the heat, the initial radiation and the blast pressure from the nuclear strike. A blast shelter is not a cure-all, and it won’t stand a direct hit from a nuclear bomb.

 

Fallout Shelters. These structures could be found anywhere. As long as an enclosed space is protected and that the roof and walls are thick enough to ward off radiation and fallout particles, they can be classified as a fallout shelter.

The first instinct anyone will have when they see the mushroom blast is that they have to get back home or come get their loved ones. An atmosphere filled with radiation will make this task almost impossible to successfully complete.

Think about your survival and find cover instead. Remember, get indoors or deep underground the minute you see the flash of explosion from a nuclear attack. In urban area environments, basements could be your best bet. In cases where the nuclear blast is on the ground, getting to a higher level in a building could provide the same type of shelter as deep below ground.

 

Stay well away from windows and find a room where there’s none. A closet space or a janitor’s room are the best choices. A nuclear blast could shatter any window and radiation could quickly invade your safe space. Get as much natural protection as possible.

Walls, soil, brick and concrete should be piled between you and the radioactive material that comes from the nuclear blast. The more material you have in-between, the better your chances of survival. The negative attributes of radiation loses its potency the more it passes between materials such as earth, concrete and other solid materials.

 

 

Step 4: Stay Inside!

Get deep below. If that’s not possible, seek the best kind of shelter ASAP. Buildings or houses made from good old brick and mortar and concrete are the best ones. Get inside and stay where you are to protect yourself from the resulting radiation.

You should also gauge whether a structure is sound against heat and possible blast damages before getting in. If you’re at home, keep your radio handy and keep it tuned to gather news as the attack happens. Listen and watch out for official information on how to proceed further. Depending on several circumstances, survivors may be asked to move to a secure location, evacuate the area or stay indoors.

The general rule is that survivors must stay indoors and in the basement if there’s one. Seal all windows, close all the doors and turn off all ventilation systems such as heaters and ACs. A car can provide temporary shelter if you’re caught in the blast. It’s definitely better than having nothing in-between you and the radioactive materials carried by the wind.

Close all windows and shut off the ventilation system. Find a cloth and hold it over your mouth as you drive to a better shelter. Staying inside cannot be stressed enough if you’re facing a nuclear strike scenario.

Wandering outside will result in a quick, painful death- all those dirt, debris and radioactive particles from the mushroom cloud and the wind will poison and irradiate you. Fallout particles usually come in minute-sized sand grains. Keep away from them and don’t go outside if you see particles still falling from the sky. Do a quick estimate- are you within 10 miles of the nuclear blast’s epicenter?

If you are, it’s best to remain inside the shelter for a good 48 to 72 hours after the attack. Do not come out no matter what the situation is! Since you’re stuck indoors, why not reinforce your shelter against radiation and fallout? Stack clumps of mud, cement-based materials and bricks (if any) on the walls of your shelter.

Create a suitable roof if you’re residing in a trench, but don’t go out of your way to gather the materials. If you can acquire canvas from outdoor tents, use it to shield from fallout particles. You can worry about the gamma rays later.

There’s still a ray of hope- fallout from nuclear bombs decay rapidly! After the first hour, fallout loses half its negative energy; in 24 hours, around 80 percent of negative energy is lost in the atmosphere. With this in mind, you should count up to 200 hours and stay inside the shelter for around 8 to 10 days. It’s best to be safe rather than make a fatal mistake.

Plus, any fission products that come from the nuclear blast should be gone after 8 days. Even after 10 days have passed, there are still radioactive particles floating around the atmosphere, so it will be best to limit your time outdoors. Radio-iodine particles are about 1 percent strength after 90 days.

 

Step 5: Cover Up

When you’ve put a safe distance between you and the nuclear blast and found a suitable protective shelter, you should cast your clothes off to eliminate the radioactive dust. If you have access to a shower, take one. Use plenty of water and soap to wash off the radioactive contamination.

Do not scrub or scratch your skin! Do not use conditioner as it could make the radioactive material stick to your hair. If there’s no accessible shower, use a wet cloth to wipe off as much radioactive material from your skin as possible. Use this decontamination procedure- remove your clothes and shake them off constantly to remove minute radioactive particles. Wash them constantly with water. Then, wash your skin with plenty of soap and water. Any residue will result in skin burning and further complicate your survival situation.

 

B) Treating Radiation Exposure

Contaminated clothing should be put in a plastic bag and sealed away. Put the bag where no animal or human can open them to minimize the risk of radioactive exposure. Wear lots of protective clothing to cover your skin. Wear hats, goggles, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, gloves if there are any. This will protect your from the following types of radiation: Alpha Particles. The weakest of all radioactive particles in a nuclear attack.

 

They don’t pose much of a threat to humans, and they survive for just a few seconds after being released to the atmosphere. They could be harmful if inhaled or ingested. Beta Particles. Beta rays penetrate deeper into materials and last longer than Alpha particles. A beta particle can be active while traveling at 10 yards before being absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere.

Exposure to beta particles is not particularly fatal, but if you constantly absorb them then it can prove to be fatal. Beta burns are somewhat akin to sunburns. Make sure to cover your eyes, nose and mouth against them to avoid accidental ingestion or inhalation.

Gamma Rays. The deadliest of all radioactive particles, and also the longest-lived. They can travel for miles and penetrate any shielding. Getting caught with gamma rays will turn your internal organs to mush. You’ll need adequate planning if you want to minimize exposure as much as possible. It’s best to rid your body of all potential radioactive particles or report to the nearest decontamination center in your vicinity.

If possible seek immediate treatment against thermal and radiation burns. Keep away from damaged structures; you’ll see them labeled with signs such as HAZMAT or radiation hazard. It’s best to be cautious as radiation is invisible to us. How To Prepare For A Nuclear Attack Here’s how you can prepare against a nuclear scenario: Keep Abreast of the News. A sudden nuclear attack is an unlikely scenario.

 

C) Prepping for a Nuclear Blast

Chances are that warring nations will engage in skirmishes or talks before pulling out their big guns. A deteriorating political situation, conflicting sides and a terrorist group announcing war will be your nuclear attack indicators.

Coordinate a plan with your loved ones on what you should all do and where you need to go if it happens. Stock Up On Potassium Iodide. These pills help against radiation and the resulting cancer that you can get if you’re exposed to fallout particles. Protect your thyroid from radiation and keep a box of it at home, in your car or in your bug out bag. Read up on what brands are approved by the FDA and the appropriate dosing.

Keep Clean Water and Food Inside Your Shelter. The food and water supply should last for at least 2 weeks. Keep a radio and plenty of batteries. Bath, hygiene supplies and a set of fresh clothes should be stored as well. A Medical Kit. A first-aid kit, a first aid manual and common medical supplies should be kept on your shelter.

You’ll need a blanket, a thermometer, tweezers, scissors, latex gloves, antibiotic ointments, sterile bandages and gauze. Practice First Aid. Read up online or visit the nearest Red Cross station for a quick instructional on how to treat shocks, burns, administer CPR and how to bandage wounds. Keep A Personal Radiation Detector. It’s the next best thing to finding out whether a place or an item is irradiated or not.

The post 5 Steps To Survive A Nuclear Attack appeared first on Geek Prepper.

5 Steps To Survive A Nuclear Attack

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We’ve seen far too many apocalyptic movies to understand how devastating nuclear aftermaths are. But how does one survive in reality when the bombs start to fall? Countries are becoming more powerful each year. Advancing technology and more destructive war capabilities make nuclear attacks a likely doomsday scenario. Nuclear weapons do exist. The fact that international conflicts could arise anytime should be enough to remind us that a nuclear conflict is a definite possibility. Remember the destruction caused by atomic bombs dropped in Nagasaki and Hiroshima? Modern thermonuclear is now a hundred times more powerful than that.

Quick Navigation

  A. Effects of Nuclear Blast
    Step 1: Get Away
    Step 2: Protection
    Step 3: Seek Shelter
    Step 4: Stay Inside
    Step 5: Cover Up
  B. Treating Exposure
  C. Prepping for a Nuclear Blast

 

A) Effects of a Nuclear Blast:

Now you may be wondering- if nuclear attacks are so devastating, is there any chance that anyone can survive it? In this article we outline the steps you can take to improve your chances of surviving a nuclear attack. The truth is that there are may factors that go in a nuclear conflict to determine how survivable it is. Even if you survive the initial destruction, how would you go about surviving from then on? First, there’s the nuclear blast.

The radius of nuclear blasts depend on how big the bomb is, how high it was when it exploded and what the weather was when it detonated. The larger ones would create massive fireballs, each one several miles wide that are as hot as the surface of the sun, with winds that are stronger than a hurricane. Then there’s the radioactive fallout that’s carried for miles all around. The explosion of the nuclear blast alone could kill off millions of lives in an instant. After that, you’ll have to worry about the nuclear fallout that’s just as deadly as the blast itself.

Fallout is an occurrence where radioactive materials resulting from the blast is carried by the wind and falls to earth. People, wildlife and plants could become poisoned and die within minutes. The fallout may also manifest itself as “black rain”, which is not only toxic but is also searing hot. If you’re unlucky enough to be caught in ground zero, or where the fireball blast forms, then the chances of survival are pretty much zero. The fireball resulting from the blast will incinerate all living things within its radius. But if you’re several miles away from the attack, then your survival increases. Keep in mind that you’ll have to go by a set of certain rules to keep it that way.

A nuclear attack is not immediately fatal as long as you know the best way to maximize your survival rate. The best maxim to remember is not to run, but to hide. Or, get inside and keep indoors. Don’t follow movie logic. Those who get outside in panic will be left to the mercy of the radioactive elements. Those who leave in search of their loved ones are most likely to perish. How To Survive A Nuclear Attack The less you get exposed to radiation, the better your chances of survival. Do these steps in order to decrease radiation exposure…

 

Step 1: Get Out Of There

The intense light that comes from the nuclear blast should spur you to action. If you’re still alive and breathing after the initial nuclear blast, you’ll have roughly 10 to 20 minutes to move away from the blast radius as fast as you can, or else the radiation that comes from the mushroom cloud will overtake and claim your life. In about 24 hours, the radiation will be carried by prevailing winds and scattered about. The bottom line is that you’ll have 15 minutes to find a good shelter. Staying behind will get you lethally exposed to radiation.

Those who are in a 5-mile (8 km) vicinity will suffer 3rd-degree thermal burns; even if you’re located at a 20-mile (32 km) distance, there’s a chance that the resulting heat will melt the skin right off your body. Wind will travel at around 600 mph (960 kph), leveling any structure it comes across. Quickly get a feel for where the wind is going and start running at a perpendicular angle. Move downwind and consider the possible shelter locations along the way. You can also do the “duck and cover” being taught in earthquake drills. Granted, it won’t protect you from the flame and the radiation, but it could prove to be useful if you’re in a city that has many high-rise buildings.

 

Step 2: Protect Yourself

Somehow you’re caught dangerously near the blast radius or outdoors with no shelter in sight. What is there to do? The first thing to keep in mind is to NEVER look at the nuclear blast. You could be blinded and incapacitated for what’s to come. The light from the bomb travels much faster than sound- the “flash blindness” could set you back precious minutes and lessen your chances of survival. This phenomenon may affect people who are 13 miles (21 km) away during the day or 50 miles (81 km) away during the night on a 1 megaton scale.

Keep your mouth open and your jaw slack to prevent your ear drums popping due to pressure. Don’t touch anything that’s thrown off by the wind or the blast as it could be radioactive. Cover your nose and all your exposed skin as you run away to seek shelter. Keep an eye open for any combustible or flammable material as you’re navigating as they could ignite once the heat passes over. If you’re already at a suitable shelter, remove any flammable or combustible material.

Oil-based materials such as nylon will melt and ignite from the resulting heat wave. Worst case scenario is that you’re standing out in the open with no shelter for miles around. Do the next best thing and find anything that could provide protection. Search for depressed areas in the lay of the land; lie face-down and leave as little skin exposed as possible. You can also start to dig such a depression where there’s soft soil. Lie completely flat and cover your head. The blast wave could come to you in as little as 30 seconds, so think fast and act quickly.

 

Step 3: Seek Shelter

There are two kinds of shelter from a nuclear attack- shelter from the nuclear blast and shelter from the resulting fallout.

Blast Shelters. These structures could be built in preparation for nuclear attacks in the future. They offer protection from the fire, the heat, the initial radiation and the blast pressure from the nuclear strike. A blast shelter is not a cure-all, and it won’t stand a direct hit from a nuclear bomb.

 

Fallout Shelters. These structures could be found anywhere. As long as an enclosed space is protected and that the roof and walls are thick enough to ward off radiation and fallout particles, they can be classified as a fallout shelter.

The first instinct anyone will have when they see the mushroom blast is that they have to get back home or come get their loved ones. An atmosphere filled with radiation will make this task almost impossible to successfully complete.

Think about your survival and find cover instead. Remember, get indoors or deep underground the minute you see the flash of explosion from a nuclear attack. In urban area environments, basements could be your best bet. In cases where the nuclear blast is on the ground, getting to a higher level in a building could provide the same type of shelter as deep below ground.

 

Stay well away from windows and find a room where there’s none. A closet space or a janitor’s room are the best choices. A nuclear blast could shatter any window and radiation could quickly invade your safe space. Get as much natural protection as possible.

Walls, soil, brick and concrete should be piled between you and the radioactive material that comes from the nuclear blast. The more material you have in-between, the better your chances of survival. The negative attributes of radiation loses its potency the more it passes between materials such as earth, concrete and other solid materials.

 

 

Step 4: Stay Inside!

Get deep below. If that’s not possible, seek the best kind of shelter ASAP. Buildings or houses made from good old brick and mortar and concrete are the best ones. Get inside and stay where you are to protect yourself from the resulting radiation.

You should also gauge whether a structure is sound against heat and possible blast damages before getting in. If you’re at home, keep your radio handy and keep it tuned to gather news as the attack happens. Listen and watch out for official information on how to proceed further. Depending on several circumstances, survivors may be asked to move to a secure location, evacuate the area or stay indoors.

The general rule is that survivors must stay indoors and in the basement if there’s one. Seal all windows, close all the doors and turn off all ventilation systems such as heaters and ACs. A car can provide temporary shelter if you’re caught in the blast. It’s definitely better than having nothing in-between you and the radioactive materials carried by the wind.

Close all windows and shut off the ventilation system. Find a cloth and hold it over your mouth as you drive to a better shelter. Staying inside cannot be stressed enough if you’re facing a nuclear strike scenario.

Wandering outside will result in a quick, painful death- all those dirt, debris and radioactive particles from the mushroom cloud and the wind will poison and irradiate you. Fallout particles usually come in minute-sized sand grains. Keep away from them and don’t go outside if you see particles still falling from the sky. Do a quick estimate- are you within 10 miles of the nuclear blast’s epicenter?

If you are, it’s best to remain inside the shelter for a good 48 to 72 hours after the attack. Do not come out no matter what the situation is! Since you’re stuck indoors, why not reinforce your shelter against radiation and fallout? Stack clumps of mud, cement-based materials and bricks (if any) on the walls of your shelter.

Create a suitable roof if you’re residing in a trench, but don’t go out of your way to gather the materials. If you can acquire canvas from outdoor tents, use it to shield from fallout particles. You can worry about the gamma rays later.

There’s still a ray of hope- fallout from nuclear bombs decay rapidly! After the first hour, fallout loses half its negative energy; in 24 hours, around 80 percent of negative energy is lost in the atmosphere. With this in mind, you should count up to 200 hours and stay inside the shelter for around 8 to 10 days. It’s best to be safe rather than make a fatal mistake.

Plus, any fission products that come from the nuclear blast should be gone after 8 days. Even after 10 days have passed, there are still radioactive particles floating around the atmosphere, so it will be best to limit your time outdoors. Radio-iodine particles are about 1 percent strength after 90 days.

 

Step 5: Cover Up

When you’ve put a safe distance between you and the nuclear blast and found a suitable protective shelter, you should cast your clothes off to eliminate the radioactive dust. If you have access to a shower, take one. Use plenty of water and soap to wash off the radioactive contamination.

Do not scrub or scratch your skin! Do not use conditioner as it could make the radioactive material stick to your hair. If there’s no accessible shower, use a wet cloth to wipe off as much radioactive material from your skin as possible. Use this decontamination procedure- remove your clothes and shake them off constantly to remove minute radioactive particles. Wash them constantly with water. Then, wash your skin with plenty of soap and water. Any residue will result in skin burning and further complicate your survival situation.

 

B) Treating Radiation Exposure

Contaminated clothing should be put in a plastic bag and sealed away. Put the bag where no animal or human can open them to minimize the risk of radioactive exposure. Wear lots of protective clothing to cover your skin. Wear hats, goggles, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, gloves if there are any. This will protect your from the following types of radiation: Alpha Particles. The weakest of all radioactive particles in a nuclear attack.

 

They don’t pose much of a threat to humans, and they survive for just a few seconds after being released to the atmosphere. They could be harmful if inhaled or ingested. Beta Particles. Beta rays penetrate deeper into materials and last longer than Alpha particles. A beta particle can be active while traveling at 10 yards before being absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere.

Exposure to beta particles is not particularly fatal, but if you constantly absorb them then it can prove to be fatal. Beta burns are somewhat akin to sunburns. Make sure to cover your eyes, nose and mouth against them to avoid accidental ingestion or inhalation.

Gamma Rays. The deadliest of all radioactive particles, and also the longest-lived. They can travel for miles and penetrate any shielding. Getting caught with gamma rays will turn your internal organs to mush. You’ll need adequate planning if you want to minimize exposure as much as possible. It’s best to rid your body of all potential radioactive particles or report to the nearest decontamination center in your vicinity.

If possible seek immediate treatment against thermal and radiation burns. Keep away from damaged structures; you’ll see them labeled with signs such as HAZMAT or radiation hazard. It’s best to be cautious as radiation is invisible to us. How To Prepare For A Nuclear Attack Here’s how you can prepare against a nuclear scenario: Keep Abreast of the News. A sudden nuclear attack is an unlikely scenario.

 

C) Prepping for a Nuclear Blast

Chances are that warring nations will engage in skirmishes or talks before pulling out their big guns. A deteriorating political situation, conflicting sides and a terrorist group announcing war will be your nuclear attack indicators.

Coordinate a plan with your loved ones on what you should all do and where you need to go if it happens. Stock Up On Potassium Iodide. These pills help against radiation and the resulting cancer that you can get if you’re exposed to fallout particles. Protect your thyroid from radiation and keep a box of it at home, in your car or in your bug out bag. Read up on what brands are approved by the FDA and the appropriate dosing.

Keep Clean Water and Food Inside Your Shelter. The food and water supply should last for at least 2 weeks. Keep a radio and plenty of batteries. Bath, hygiene supplies and a set of fresh clothes should be stored as well. A Medical Kit. A first-aid kit, a first aid manual and common medical supplies should be kept on your shelter.

You’ll need a blanket, a thermometer, tweezers, scissors, latex gloves, antibiotic ointments, sterile bandages and gauze. Practice First Aid. Read up online or visit the nearest Red Cross station for a quick instructional on how to treat shocks, burns, administer CPR and how to bandage wounds. Keep A Personal Radiation Detector. It’s the next best thing to finding out whether a place or an item is irradiated or not.

5 Steps to Make a Super Camo, Badass Ghillie Suit for Survival

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One of the best ways to conceal yourself in a natural terrain is to get a ghillie suit. Strictly speaking, a ghillie suit is sort of like a camouflage garment that resembles sand, snow and various foliage types, covered with loose straps of twine, cloth or burlap that look like twigs, leaves, hay and scraps from the area. Snipers, soldiers, hunters and wildlife photographers wear these to hide themselves from the enemy and from danger. It’s better than the more popular camouflage suit because it’s formless and it creates a 3D blending effect instead of 2D.

Quick Navigation

  A. Research Terrain
  B. The 5-Step Ghillie Suit
    Step 1: Supplies
    Step 2: Prep the burlap
    Step 3: Separate the braids
    Step 4: Tie the Burlap
    Step 5: Make the hood
  C. Extra Tips & Tricks
  D. Selecting Proper Vegetation

 

Preppers will stand to gain a lot from having a ghillie suit because it makes them better at hunting, hiding and in playing the stealth game. There are available ghillies that you can buy online or at a military store, but these could easily net you a few hundred dollars or more. If you have the extra time, why not create a personalized, custom-made ghillie suit of your own? In this article I will teach you how to make a ghillie suit with essential tips included. Are you ready? Let’s do this.

A. Research Your Terrain:  

First, Do Your Research A ghillie suit won’t be effective if you haven’t done your homework. More specifically, you will have to answer this question- Where would I use my ghillie suit? Then, go from there. Do fieldwork research. Take pictures and take notes for matching up with colors later. See which foliage is present and inspect how the plants are shaped. You will also learn how to mix colors and tie simple knots.

Whether it be the desert, the grasslands, the tundra or the woods, here’s a list of supplies you’ll need: – A camera – A pen – A notepad – Colored pencils Use all of these to get a feel for the environment. Do some sketches and describe the greens and the wildlife you find in the area. Don’t forget to include the time of day you plan to use your ghillie suit. Natural light can be different depending on what time it is, and it can have a major effect on how the landscape looks. Snap photos during dawn, noon and dusk to see the slight variations in shades and hues. Pay special attention to the vegetation as well.

Map out the shapes and the textures. You should be thorough and write down everything observable in your notepad. Ask yourself- what textures can I incorporate to my ghillie suit? Time spent out observing will not be wasted. In the end, you’ll have an excellent ghillie suit and better field observation skills that you can add to your survival repertoire. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of how to navigate terrain for battle tactics or for hunting. You’ll understand the various plant types and get to know which one you can eat and which ones you can use for clothes, shelter, etc.

Gathering The Supplies A ghillie suit starts out with a one or two-piece base layer that matches with the intended terrain, followed closely by the head covering, netting, jutes and dye. Plus, you’ll need lots and lots of patience! Make the base camo suit out of normal clothing. Use spray paint or fabric patches to match the environment and the terrain. If you have some cash, you can purchase Battle Dress Uniforms or Military Flight Suits available at most military surplus shops. If you have an old jacket lying around, you can use that as well.

Begin Crafting Your Ghillie Suit The best snipers, hunters and photographers rely on a good set of ghillie suit to blend in with the terrain and carry out the mission without their cover being blown. The billowy material blurs the human outline and makes them as good as “ghosts”. Deep cover has never been so effective! Grab your base suit, the netting, the burlap material, some thread and sewing materials, glue and a sample of local foliage. Let’s create a ghillie suit.

B. The 5-Step Ghillie Suit

Step 1 – Supplies:  Get your hands on some replacement fishing net- cut it up into long, thin strips that are 2 squares wide. Take the thread and needle, and sew some mesh netting knots onto the fabric using invisible threads like fishing lines or dental floss. Place the strips along the sleeves and on the front of your base suit. Leave a margin of about 6 inches between strips. Add some extra-strong glue to hold down the stitches in place. You may also glue the mesh directly to your base suit. Tailor mesh netting that’s about the same size as the base suit and apply the glue every few inches on the whole netting.

Leave the suit for a few hours so the glue can stick properly. Use a pair of scissors to cut the mesh into roughly the shape of your base suit. Do this carefully so you won’t create cuts into the base. The proper ending is that the mesh shouldn’t extend out for more than a few inches off your jacket.

Step 2 – Prepare The Burlap:  All traditional ghillie suits will have some kind of burlap strips hanging all over it. How do you make one? A roll of netting, a burlap bag or some coffee bags will work. You’ll need roughly 8 pounds of burlap material per ghillie suit. If you’ve looked everywhere but can’t find burlap, then you can get braided jute twine that will match the colors of the environment. Jute is what will cover most of your suit’s external area and it can be bought in most supply stores. If you’re not satisfied with the colors of the jute twine then you can dye it according to the color of the terrain. This becomes essential if you’re buying burlap sacks and they don’t match the field you plan on using them in.

Keep a close eye on the greys, the browns and the greens in the landscape and try to match the colors with the dye you have at your disposal. Follow the instructions written on the dye packets to get the best results. Dye the jute strands with the appropriate color. Run them under cold water until the passing water is clear, then hang them or leave them out for the sun to dry. If the colors turn out to be a shade darker than your intended color, that’s fine- the dampness makes them look darker but the sun will lighten them back up to the desired hue. Allow the jute material to dry a day or two before you judge whether the color is right or not. If it turns out too dark for the landscape, simply fill a bucket with bleach and water and submerge the jute in it. A 1 to 10 bleach/water ratio should do the trick. For added effect, apply spray paint on random spots to break up your silhouette. Make sure to include some earthy tones as well.

Step 3 – Separate The Braids:  Unravel the jute or the burlap material into their individual strands. You should know that this is probably the most time-consuming and the most tedious part of making a ghillie suit, so be patient. Once done, the longest strands will go on the sleeves and the front of your suit. Shorter strands will be put on the back in an overlapping pattern. Here’s a more detailed explanation. Cut out a rectangle measuring around 2 by 5 ft.

The cut should be at the lower or the upper seam to make unraveling the fibers easier. Burlap material comes apart pretty easily, but the hard part is dividing them into equal lengths. Anchor the burlap sack’s sides with your heels and start digging into the horizontal strands. Soon, the horizontal fabric will be of equal length as the vertical side. Cut the burlap’s fibers using a pair of scissors when it’s done. Put them on a pile. Rinse and repeat until the burlap sacks are all unraveled. The end fibers should be about 7 to 14 inches in length. Keep in mind that longer strands will make your outline less natural when you stand or sit in the terrain.

Step 4 – Tying The Burlap:  You’ve got your netting and you have your burlap strands. The next step is tying the burlap fibers into knots onto the mesh netting. Get a handful of jute strands and clump them together, then tie the whole thing to the netting via an overhand knot. It doesn’t have to be too fancy- the trick here is to fasten them securely so they don’t fall off.

There should be 3 or 4 similar environmental colors in each strand of jute or burlap. Do a random pattern so that no one dominant color pervades the whole ghillie suit. What you can do is clump one color of jute and spread them out across the whole suit. You’re almost done. When most of the jute or burlap strands are gone, fluff up and inspect your ghillie suit. Look for bald spots where there’s obviously less strands and fill them in. Pick the whole suit and shake it gently, then set it evenly on the floor. Add the clumps until everything looks evened out.

Step 5 – The Ghillie Hood (Optional): Take a spare hat and glue a piece of oval netting onto it. The process should be the same as when you’re gluing the mesh netting to the main suit. Then, do Step 4. Knot clumps of burlap or jute fibers onto the hat. To really add a natural effect, weave in bits of organic materials such as grass, shrubbery and twigs into the mesh netting. The amount of jute on the hood and on the main suit should be equal. Do a quick visual test by placing the hood on top of the suit- does it blend in well? As a side tip, a fire-resistant balaclava is often used by experts to protect their face and head. You can get one on military surplus shops and general goods stores. Field-Testing Your Ghillie Suit Enhance the 3D camouflage by incorporating some of the environment’s natural material into the suit.

C. Extra Tips & Tricks:

Take small items from the area such as twigs, leaves, foliage and branches to effectively break your silhouette. This should be done each time you’re taking out the ghillie suit for a field operation. Take the time to attach organic material to the mesh netting before using it. Of course, the material has to match the environment you’ll be hiding in. Wooded areas will require you to put on leaves and branches to the upper part of the suit while attaching leaves and twigs on the lower part. Coincidentally, you’ll also want to put more material on the back as compared to the front of your ghillie suit.

The reason behind this is that using a ghillie suit will get you crawling instead of standing up, which exposes the back part more. The material attached to the front of the suit will be damaged and make noise, so carefully consider which ones you should use. You will also need to buff up the neck area with an abundance of organic and jute threads. The reason for this is that it’s easy to recognize a head even when all the other parts of the body are fully camouflaged. The human outline must be broken for the ghillie suit to provide excellent concealment.

To really get into the spirit of things, you can drag the ghillie suit through the mud or even apply animal droppings if you’re planning to use it in a forest, a wooded area or somewhere that’s crawling with dangerous animals. Ground debris and natural dirt further hide the suit from sight. Natural Vegetation This is another essential item on your ghillie suit list. This customization option shouldn’t be overlooked- I recommend that you add this to the steps in making a ghillie suit. Look around the environment and see if there’s any native vegetation. Add them when necessary, but only when you plan to use your suit right afterwards.

D. Selecting the Right Vegetation:  

Fresh vegetation will wither and quickly brown hours after being plucked. Certain hobby shops and online stores offer types of vegetation you can add to your ghillie suit. For instance, you can purchase dried raffa grass and dye it according to the natural hue of the landscape. It can be used in almost all winter, desert and grassland environments. Spanish moss is available in certain colors and they add an excellent depth of perception to your ghillie suit. You can buy carpet moss for the lower part of the suit in most model train stores and silk flower shops.

Use common sense in determining which natural vegetation works and which doesn’t. Avoid plants and leaves that may cause skin irritation such as nettles, cacti, poison sumac and poison ivy. Use this to your advantage- hide survival stashes in these irritants, or make it look poisonous and off-limits to the casual observer. Wear long sleeves and pants if you know you’ll be encountering poison ivy along the way. Bring isopropyl alcohol to effectively remove the oil which causes the sting. If you’re planning on laying down for a longer period of time, then you may want to consider artificial vegetation.

You won’t have to collect a huge amount of fresh vegetation to add to your ghillie suit, which cuts down on the time needed for vegging up. Plus, artificial vegetation lasts longer than natural ones. The good thing is that artificial vegetation passes up as the real thing on first glance, which is all you need to stay perfectly concealed. Hobby stores carry a lot of artificial vegetation which corresponds to the current season. So if it’s fall and winter, expect fall and winter vegetations and vice versa.

One notable disadvantage when you opt for artificial vegetation is that sometimes the vegs are too glossy for such a natural landscape, which could stand out and give your position away. Use spray paint to age your artificial vegetation before heading out, or paint the vegs according to the current seasonal hue. These artificial landscape materials can be reused and recycled as needed. Customizing Your Ghillie Suit Waterproof areas of your ghillie suit if you know that you’ll be using it most of the time under rain or precipitation.

Add mesh vents and hydration packs when you plan on staying long under the searing heat of the sun. For hunting purposes, it would be best to add a pad pocket so that you can increase the chances of a clean kill. The key here is to modify your suit depending on the terrain. Here’s a video you can watch alongside this article if you’re planning to create a personalized ghillie suit from scratch.

If you liked this post, be sure to see our post on how to make a ghillie blanket.

The Incredible Off Grid and Adventure Travel Story of Ron Melchiore

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I have been in touch over the course of the last few months with our host Tobias who has kindly asked me if I wished to make a guest post. My name is Ron Melchiore and I am delighted to be here. I have devoted my life to an off-grid lifestyle. Back in the late 1970’s I became aware of an alternative to the 9-5 work day routine. That alternative was to join the back to the land crowd who’s goal was to become as self-reliant and self-sufficient as possible.

 

 

 

 

To that end, 37 years ago I created my first homestead in northern Maine. My wife Johanna came along after the homestead was started and we’ve been together ever since. I/we spent 20 years in Northern Maine learning the ropes and becoming competent in a myriad of skills. That experience gave us the confidence that we could create a homestead in a wilderness location. So we made the move to a remote lake in northern Saskatchewan. Not only were we able to live in the wilderness, we thrived. For seventeen years we lived alone; our only access was by float plane. As a general rule, we didn’t see another human for 6 months at a time. We shopped for food, picked up mail and dealt with any needed appointments every 6 months. The rest of the time, we were truly on our own.

Going from the comforts of a typical home to the wilderness is atypical. I wrote a book titled Off Grid and Free: My Path to the Wilderness in which I take the reader on a journey from homesteading in northern Maine to homesteading on a remote wilderness lake 100 miles from the nearest major supply point. In my book, I recount how I, as a city born guy who trained in electronics as a career choice, ended up so far removed from society. I share how I have survived forest fires and being touched by a bear.

As part of the off-grid lifestyle, I have been blessed to have been able to do a number of other outdoor adventures. I winter thru hiked the 2100 + mile long Appalachian Trail and I bicycled across the United States. These experiences played a significant role in the direction my life took. Without these accomplishments I likely would never have made the move to the wilderness. Certainly as a young man, living in the wilderness was never on my radar. At that time such an endeavor would have been inconceivable to even contemplate.


Yet, wilderness is where I/we ultimately ended up. Each accomplishment in my life has been a building block, a stepping stone to the next challenge. It can be for you too. Whether your interest is prepping, homesteading or off-grid living, the common thread of each is the desire to be a little more self-reliant and self-sufficient. To gain more independence and rely less on others for your needs.

Living such a lifestyle naturally lends itself to opportunities other than what might be considered being self-reliant. Hiking the Appalachian Trail? Bicycling across the United States? Doesn’t seem those things have anything to do with prepping or living off-grid does it? But to me, those two events were instrumental in determining my destiny.

Mt Katahdin Summit Ron

Mt Katahdin Summit

The sheer fact that I was homesteading in Northern Maine gave me the freedom to pursue these outdoor adventures. I am an adventurous guy so taking some time off from homesteading to hike the A.T. was easy. It was equally easy years later to take time to bicycle across the United States. What I didn’t realize or know at the time, was how much better I would be at homesteading and life in general as a result of having done these trips.

I can honestly say, winter hiking the A.T. was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Bear in mind this observation is coming from a guy who adopted a pioneering spirit, cleared virgin wilderness for a new homestead by chainsaw, then utilizing float planes, flew out all possessions and materials to build a 2 story home. Once all materials were onsite, we built our homestead by hand ourselves with some help from my brother.

That was a daunting undertaking. But walking 5 1/2 months alone on the A.T. in winter was a real character builder. Much planning and preparation needs to take place before a person can head off down the trail for any long distance hike and my hike was no exception. My preparations were compounded by the fact I would be hiking in winter. I delve in to details of my trip preparations in my book.

When hiking the A.T., physical challenges coupled with mental challenges were forces to be reckoned with. It’s one thing to contemplate a long distance hike from the comfort of a cozy living room. Quite another to throw on a heavy backpack weighing roughly 50 pounds and hoof approximately 20 miles day after day. Winter hiking forced me to lug more equipment and heavy clothing than would have been necessary if I had hiked in summer.

Because I was alone I didn’t have anyone else for moral support. My wife started the trail with me but physical ailments forced her to leave after a couple hundred miles. After she left, it took determination and courage for me to continue to the end. And poor weather with long stretches of rain and dampness, snow and freezing temperatures took their toll. Along with the rain and snow came wet clothes and frozen boots. I had a stretch where I hiked 300 miles in 13 1/2 days. This was hard physically as well as mentally. But by the end, I knew I had pushed my body beyond what I thought possible. I learned I could depend on myself and I gained confidence in my ability to adapt and push through obstacles when I had to.

Before I started the Appalachian Trail hike, I took an EMT (emergency technician training) course. At that time, I was aware of only one other successful winter thru hiker so we were really bucking the odds by starting in January. That EMT training was just another tool I could put in my bag of tricks to increase our chances of survival and success. If a medical problem cropped up, having some training gave me a shot at dealing with it. I couldn’t depend on help from other hikers since I rarely saw another person on the trail as most thru hikers start in March or April.

Survival skills are important even when traveling on well marked trails. I got lost on Mt. Rogers in a blinding snowstorm. Because I knew how to use map and compass, I was able to find shelter and safety. In the worst case scenario, had I not been able to find the lean-to shelter, I could have relied on my winter camping experience. I was carrying the proper equipment in my pack so I could have survived the storm by sheltering under a tree somewhere. A cautionary note. A person can possess the best tools and equipment. They can have book knowledge and years of training. But without practical experience as well as the confidence to be able to use those tools and knowledge, they are at a huge disadvantage. Practice your skills, hone them in a setting where failure won’t result in catastrophic, life threatening consequences.

Prepare as best as you can but realize there are situations you can’t really train for. Back in 2002, I was home in the wilderness, alone. I heard what sounded like a freight train approaching. When I looked 4 miles south down the lake I saw a wall of flames running in my direction. Panicking with the resulting mental meltdown would have been a disaster. I was about to face something very few people ever experience. Having the confidence I would get through the fire storm helped me survive it that night. Details of this harrowing night are in my book too.

I’d like to leave everybody with one final thought. Life is uncertain and short. If you have an aspiration, regardless of what it is: to be a homesteader/prepper, a passion to travel, a desire to try living off-grid or any other dream, when the opportunity presents itself, grab it and run with it before it’s too late. You never know where it will lead. As I mentioned previously, each experience I’ve had was a building block.

My homesteading in Maine gave me the confidence to attempt a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail which led to a cross country bicycle tour which ultimately led to our move to the bush and the creation of a sustainable homestead in true wilderness. Who would have guessed that a city boy could survive and thrive in such an environment. Back in the 70’s, when I was in my 20’s, certainly not I. Thank you for reading!

 

Ron and his wife spent 17 wonderful years living 100 miles in the Canadian wilderness on a remote lake. They are now building a new homestead on the Nova Scotia coast. As part of the back to the land movement that originated in the 70’s, they have spent their adult years living the homestead dream. You can follow and contact Ron at https://www.facebook.com/offgridandfree.mypathtothewilderness or http://www.inthewilderness.net/ or https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6mQmFsJZ86F6CYy7z4Ei8w

How to Transition to Live off the Grid with Success

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In recent years going off the grid has become a cultural buzz phrase. From reality shows airing, to dozens of new articles and media coverage, and legal battles has stirred many misconceptions and inaccurate facts about going off the grid. Our goal here is to clear the air and provide the facts on what it really means to go off the grid and provide a beginners step by step guide to really making it happen, with success.

Quick Navigation

  I. Off Grid Living Philosophy
    1) Sustainability
    2) Self Sufficiency
    3) Independence
    4) Minimizing Waste
    5) Communal Living
    6) Trading and Bartering
    7) Saving Money
    8) Connecting with Nature
    9) Connecting with Old Ways
    10) Work & Play Balance
    11) Alternative Fun & Play
    12) Be Realistic, Not Idealistic
  II. Strategy to Go off the Grid
   A. Home Planning
    1) Buying Land
    2) Build New or Fix Old
    3) Generating Power
    4) Backup Power & Storage
    5) Sourcing Water
    6) Managing Waste
   B. Lifestyle Changes
    1) Reduce Energy Consumption
    2) Limit Appliances
    3) Compost
    4) Rent a PO Box
    5) Reduce Water Usage
    6) Farming & Gardening

I. The Philosophy Behind Off Grid Living

There are people who don’t give a lot of thought about using electricity provided by power companies. But there are those who strive to be more self-sustaining in all aspects of their lives.

Ever wondered how you could be independent and use electricity generated “off the grid”? Or how you could live your everyday life without relying on modern technologies and outside resources?

You might be surprised on how many people all over the world are doing it now. Around 1.7 billion globally are off their respective electrical and sewer grids. More than 200,000 US citizens are living off the grid.

One way to define it is when one goes to live in a more natural setting and becomes conscious of their energy consumption.

The “Grid” once referred to the US electrical system. The idea sparked when groups of people thought how they could potentially get their source of electricity via more natural means, i.e., solar and wind power. Americans welcomed the idea of unplugging from the grid and striking it out on their own with eco-friendly alternatives.

Off the grid living has grown since then. Now, it means a whole lot more than just having your own source of electricity. The term now refers to cutting off your cell service, generally escaping the clutches of invasive technology and becoming self-sufficient. Reducing overall carbon footprint as well as living a simpler, more rewarding life is the goal of any and all off-gridders around the world.

It can be one people, a couple or a family. Going off grid will prove to be a challenge at first, but it’s definitely doable. You can effectively erase your identity and live a happy, beautiful life on your own.

Are you ready to take that first step? Here’s what going off the grid is all about:

1) Environmental Sustainability

Back in the old days, each family and community had the idea of living off the grid down pat.

Our ancestors were truly independent. They strived to have their own source of water, food, electricity, gas and other essential goods.

Think about it. If you were living in a house that generated its own electricity, had a water source nearby, had a means to acquire fuel, heat, food, clothing and other necessities, then you’d surely become independent in every sense of the word. Even when SHTF events and the apocalypse came, you’d have a strong propensity to survive!

Finding a good source of nearby water is the very first step you should undertake. It is of absolute importance that you should be independent from government or municipal facilities on one of most basic necessities of man. The more natural wells and underground orifices in one location, the better.

Let me tell you that finding the ideal location where one can get plenty of water makes your self-sustaining lifestyle 50% complete. It’s vital that you can turn to this source of water all throughout the seasons for washing, cleaning, bathing and drinking purposes.

At the very least, you should have a reliable source come high winter and during the summer, where water could be limited. Invest in a portable water purifier for you and the entire family. Learn how to create a makeshift water filter using common items found in the wild.

The next task on the agenda should be your energy source. There are many options for creating sustainable energy- solar, wind and water. The choice will depend on your location and the geographical layout.

 

 

2) Self Sufficiency

Living off the grid and self sufficiency are both similar and different in meaning. For one thing, you can be free of using public utilities (off the grid), but still rely on certain human necessities (self-sufficiency). Being independent would mean that you rely on no one for electricity, water, food, shelter, protection, etc.

Some of you might wonder if self sufficiency also means quitting your 9 to 5. After all, won’t you need money to set it all up? What happens then after you start living off the grid?

Part of the philosophy is understanding that you can truly be the master of your own self. Yes, you work hard to earn a living, but the bottom line is that you can and should sustain yourself without the help of any external elements. You shouldn’t toil the rest of your life just to meet your basic human needs. Off the grid means you will have the time to pursue your interests, hopes and dreams!

Self sufficiency is an everyday practice. At first it’s understandable to have to go to the grocery store or the laundromat as you set things up, but off-gridders should strive to become their own masters in due time.

3) Independence and Freedom

Would you believe it if I told you that you can live for free in this world?

Realizing this is one more step towards off the grid living. Look at what nature can give you- food, clothing, shelter and an endless supply of renewable, clean energy. You have everything you need to survive!

4) Minimizing Consumption and Waste

One of the rules in successfully living off the grid is preventing wastage whenever possible. Some might even go as far as saying that wasting resources is a crime. It makes total sense, because although all the resources you have is free, that doesn’t mean you should waste it. Purchase only the items that you need. The things that add no value to your life should be avoided.

Think of it this way- wasting one resource will affect how you live off grid in the near future. Don’t waste hard-earned money just to be happy for one day. Practice the art of saving and being frugal. Not wasting means you avoid the need to be greedy.

5) Communal Living and Support Network

It’s not uncommon to find off the grid communities within your neighborhood, city or state. Having a community of like-minded individuals can be a boon as you could share skills, resources and whatnot. One could be in charge of managing the power supply for the entire group; one could be farming vegetables, and one could be growing livestock.

There are advantages of living off grid in a community. A number of off-gridders have a greater chance to successfully sustain themselves as a group as compared to an individual. There’s an internal barter system in place, with each individual or family having their own skills and interests.

 

6) Trading and Bartering

It’s possible to acquire some much-needed resources with little to no money involved. Our ancestors did this by trading and bartering with one another. The concept goes something like this- you offer your talent, skill or any excess resource to those who need it, and they give you something equally beneficial to you in return. Bartering is quick and it doesn’t need to be overly bogged down with details.

7) On Saving Money

Money should be the least of your worries when you go entirely off grid. Being able to generate your own needed resources, along with the barter and trading system for the ones you’re lacking for the moment should be enough for money-free living. If you do happen to make money, save it so you will have a resource you can use for later.

8) Connecting with Nature

Living off the grid is synchronous to becoming in harmony with nature. As you begin this way of life, you become aware of the beauty of our Earth, and you’ll come to appreciate and preserve the things around you. It promotes environmental living and the Going Green lifestyle on a wider scale.

Once you touch base with your inner instincts, you’ll have the chance to “re-wild”, or reconnect with your primal survival instincts. You’ll also forego living in artificial light and learn to wake up with the sun. Instead of having to worry if you have enough electricity, why not look up and learn how to live with our sun?

You’ll be surprised by how little electricity you consume if you work where there’s natural light, and settle down when the sun sets for another day. In other words, you sleep when it’s dark and make the most of your day when it’s light. Enjoy the stars, the twilight breeze and the nocturnal sounds that will lull you to a satisfying, deep sleep!

9) Connecting With Old Ways

When people hear the word off the grid living, they usually think mere survival. This shouldn’t be your mindset, because living entirely off the grid doesn’t make it just a remake of the hunger games. The goal isn’t a survival of the fittest aspect, but it should be a reconnection of the old ways and living like the ancient days.

There’s no competition. It’s just you and nature and everything else that’s around you. Don’t think too hard on surviving. Think about living and start from there.

10) Work and Play Balance

A lot of resources and hard work is involved if you strive towards off the grid living. Life slows down to the most natural rhythm, which means you should also slow down and smell the roses. You have achieved enormous work using immense energy and time, but now it’s time to sit back and enjoy what you’ve created for yourself.

Put your feet up and relax. Take in the amazing sounds of nature. Start a hobby that you’ve been putting off all your life. Read a book. You deserve it! Off-gridding is about slowing down and experiencing a simpler life. There’s plenty of relaxing activities to do and a lot of communing with nature.

11) Alternative Entertainment and Activities

Avoid electronic activities as much as possible. If you can eliminate it entirely, all the better. This means there should be no video games, no computer and no TV. If you’re used to being surrounded by electricity and all those newfangled gadgets, then it could take a while before you could shake off the modern addiction, but there’s still a reward to be earned.

Instead of missing out on these things, why not focus on what’s in front of you? The world is your playground now. Think hard about what it is you truly love doing. You’ll be surprised at how much time is freed when you won’t have to worry about earning enough to live. Then, you’ll naturally start spending time on your hobbies and your passion. The time you spend won’t be wasted on drudgeries. You will start to understand yourself better. Your natural skills will be nurtured and heightened. Then all the days you spend will be towards the things you keep putting off. You’ll be happier and more fulfilled as the days go by.

12) Be Realistic, Not Idealistic

Before starting your off the grid project, ask yourself- what is my motivation for pursuing this kind of life?

There are many acceptable reasons. One, you might be tired of having to rely on the electrical grid and be at the mercy of their price hikes and fluctuations. Or, you may wish to be more self-reliant. Other people may be tired of the current society and want to be left alone. And there are some who do it just because they can.

Think long and hard about what it is that drives you to go off the grid. Understand the reality of going off the grid- are you sure you want to forego modern luxuries? Understanding your base motive will also help establish what type of off-grid living you will set up.

Environmental Motive. Your motive is to use the least amount of energy possible and have a renewable system of energy you can rely on for your everyday living. You’d want to be free of price hikes and vulnerabilities of living on the grid, such as power outages, water outages, gas hikes, etc.

Political or Social Motive. You want to be responsible for your consumption of energy.

Financial Motive. The distance from the grid makes off-gridding more viable and less expensive.

 

– Going Off The Grid is Going Green

Going green is a natural byproduct of living off grid. This type of lifestyle benefits mother Earth and the environment. Most off-gridders select a location where nature becomes an essential part of their daily lives. You naturally gravitate towards places where there’s more sunlight, more water and more wind because you’ll rely on it more. You’ll start living differently than those who are in the city. For example, you won’t need as much stuff as the average consumer. In fact, you’ll be surprised at how much of the stuff you owned before wasn’t that beneficial to your life anyway. You’ll be more aware that we’re simply consuming too much. Then, you’ll be awakened to the fact that everything you need is all around you, and it is all free.

Off the grid living won’t mean that you have to give up your main mode of transportation, but you’ll be less dependent on it. You’ll still use it, but that will happen once a week or only once a month.

– Trade offs, Fears, and Finances

Some people take the chance of living off the grid as a more permanent means of escape. They may have lost their trust in the government, in society and large companies that promote consumerism. These people may have felt that community is no longer what it was before- a safe haven.

Individuals may find off the grid living a necessity that’s perpetuated by hard times. But they must also consider hard work and waking up early hours if they want to survive in an off the grid setting.

You’d be surprised at how much work you need to put in if you’ve always worked that 9 to 5 desk job. That’s not necessarily a bad thing- you’ll be the master of your own home. It will be your responsibility to make it livable and comfortable. Keeping a garden for produce, hunting and growing food, finding and storing wood for fire and making water potable are just some of the basic necessities for successful off the grid living. It’s not off the grid if you buy wood from the local grocery store.

You can sure bet that there will be trade-offs to consider. More notably, modern conveniences, the latest gadgets and technologies, and of course, less vacations. Think hard and fast- are you willing to give up a modern lifestyle?

Deep down, you may have longed to be free of all stresses of your modern life. You wish for times that are much simpler. Eat, sleep and be merry. Isn’t that the whole reason you’re stuck doing that 9 to 5 for years now?

Choosing to live independent of public utilities and all those modern niceties can be a liberating thing. If you think they’re chaining you down, then it’s truly possible that what you’re searching for is an off the grid lifestyle. Think about your doubts. What’s keeping you from realizing your personal freedom? More often than not, it’s a misguided notion about keeping up with current society and living the American dream.

The idea of living in the wild and having a crooked house, with little creature comfort may prove to be overwhelming at first. There’s truth in the saying “No man is an island”, but we shouldn’t be too restricted in living in crowded neighborhoods and playing set roles our entire lives.

Understandably, we shrink from the fear of the unknown. This is why some would rather endure 2-hour work commutes and 50-hour work weeks to pay off all those mortgages, debts and loans. Shying away from the norm will take some time getting used to. Being finally free of the 9 to 5 drudgery and not worrying whether you can survive for another day is a worthy endeavor someone would give anything for.

You can try to acclimatize from being free of the grid by visiting a similar homestead. Try to live a week or a month in a city with a smaller population, or in a cabin that’s sparsely populated with living amenities. You can target off-places that are miles beyond civilization.

 

II. How To Go Off The Grid and Make Your Own Homestead

Here’s a step by step strategy if you’re planning on going at it alone

A. Home Planning

You can choose any of the options below for going off the grid

1) Buying Land

The best kind of land you can buy for off the grid living will have some of these essential elements:

– Reliable Source of Water. Land that has more than one good water source are your best bet. Look for streams, lakes and other natural water sources.

Wildlife. This factor is important for several reasons. One, it adds to the off the grid atmosphere. Two, it can prove to be a very useful source of food for when you’re experiencing regional and even national disasters where food distribution grinds to a halt.

Sunlight. Don’t forget the importance of having healthy doses of sunshine. Forested lands, mountainous areas and coastal land will need to have plenty of sunlight for your solar panels. Try to sketch out a plan where you can install solar arrays that get lots of sunlight, even when the winter arc is lowest in the sky. If not, then go look for land that has this aspect.

Natural Fuel. You’ll also need some natural fuel for cooking and for heating your home with. The key to off the grid living is finding land that has abundant resources. Land that has numerous trees are always a plus. If you could get firewood cutting permits or get your own private land, so much the better. Here, you can plant saplings for future sustainability.

– Once you establish these things, then the next natural step will be to install your own septic tank system. Set up a well or a source of water near your home. These are the basics for waste and water management.

– The best land for off the grid living has plenty of areas to put up solar and wind energy. You’ll need an established power source for your energy needs at home. Before you think of anything else that you may need for your home, consider water, sun and wood. A piece of property that has all these 3 is your ideal location.

You can reach out to any of the pre-established off the grid communities if you’re having a hard time finding the perfect land. The Three Rivers Recreation Area around Bend, Oregon has a thriving community living well away from the grid. Breitenbush is also a renowned off the grid area, which is near Salem. For a closer look at income-sharing communities, try out Earthhaven, North Carolina, Twin Oaks, Virginia or Dancing Rabbit, Missouri. Spend several days and commune with the locals to see what the off grid life is all about.

You can also visit the Greater World Community, located in Taos in New Mexico. The “Earthship” homes are made entirely from recycled materials. Buying property here would run you anywhere from $75k to $350k. The buildings in Arcosanti Ecovillage, Arizona uses all-natural material as well.

Finally, the Possibility Alliance located in the state of Missouri is a testament to how people can live in the most simplest of lifestyles. All the off-gridders here share communal work such as tending to the livestock, cooking, farming and working from sunrise till sunset. Although some of the residents here stay only for a few months, there are permanent residents who call the area their home.

 

2) Building a New Home, or Rehab an Existing One

It’s only natural to look more towards the rural areas rather than cities when wishing to go off the grid.

You’ll need plenty of land to be able to move around and become self-sufficient. These areas should have an abundance of natural resources such as sunlight, water and wildlife. The land should have plenty of opportunity for setting up wind or solar energy systems. The more wells, lakes and rivers, the better.

There’s a compromise between living off the grid and becoming a modern day nomad. This entails purchasing an RV or a van as a fully functional house. You get the benefits of a house and can still live in self-sustenance from your natural surroundings.

People who start getting off the grid usually downsize their homes and make it simpler. Tiny homes can be customized for maximum space efficiency. There’s no wasted space and there’s no clutter.

You’ll be spending a lot of time in your off the grid home, so it makes total sense to plan one that will fit all your needs. Keep it simple, ergonomic and create a flowing space without wasting too much real estate. Minimalism should be at the forefront here- keep it clean and free of unnecessary things. Everything inside should be useful and should have a great value.

You can refurbish your home if you have a perfect-sized one right from the start. Make sure that it retains heat well. Insulate or install a heating element, such as a fireplace if you’re living in a region that has winter seasons. You can consult contractors whose specialty are building efficient and green living spaces.

3) Generating Power

Off the grid living is all about generating your own electricity. This is one important element that you shouldn’t skimp out on. You can build your very own energy efficient house, or buy a land or house that comes with pre-installed off-grid power sources. Setting up one for yourself may vary, but the estimated out of pocket costs will be somewhere around $10,000.

The two best sustainable energy sources are either solar or wind power. A single wind turbine would cost somewhere between $500 to $2500, while solar panels are a more complicated matter. You’ll also need a way to convert all that energy into usable electricity.

Untethered solar power can be had for an investment. It’s all worth it in the end. Imagine having your very own source of electricity that can power simple appliances and the like. The first thing you’ll need is a capable solar panel.

A mid-sized solar power array can generate somewhere around 2,300 watts worth of electricity. This is enough to run a small kitchen’s worth of appliances, a laptop computer, a TV, a refrigerator and a medium washing machine. You won’t need air conditioning since you’ll get plenty of cool air and refreshing breezes from where you’re at. Plus, ACs are a major energy hog.

The best measure of how much solar panels you will need is how many of them you can afford. The sooner you have the investment money for them, the better. Get the latest photovoltaic cells that could acquire more solar energy more efficiently. This directly translates to the quality of life you experience. You’ll also depend less on gas and firewood when you have more sources of free electricity coming from the sun. Instead of needing more firewood or propane, you can just use free electricity to heat your water and cook your food.

Don’t forget about investing in an off grid battery bank! Sure, you can get electricity as long as there’s a sun, but it always helps to have a backup power at night. You can add batteries that could store power and require little maintenance. Keep in mind that you’ll need to pour in distilled water from time to time, and check and see that the state of charge doesn’t go below 50 percent. I know how this added maintenance may seem to be a bother, but think about not having to pay an electricity bill ever again, or experience an inconvenient power outage.

A final note on off-grid batteries. Get as much as you can. This maxim applies to solar panels as well. PV panel costs are dropping each day, so make the most out of it. Oversize as necessary. It’s instant peace of mind, and you get to rely less on generators.

– Wind Power For Off Grid Living

Don’t count out wind power just yet. Installation of turbines have recently proven to be worth the effort when you wish to be living off the grid. Wind is always present, all the time. This fact could prove to be useful for when you’re not getting any sun for an extended period of time.

If you can install both solar and wind sources, the better. They can work exceedingly well and complement each other. A hybrid solar and turbine system combined will allow you the luxury of having enough electricity per day. Sometimes this combo is enough to forego the use of generators. Don’t be surprised if you would need the generator for only a few times per year!

How does one find an ideal location for setting up a wind turbine? The best sources of strong wind would be at a high vantage point, at a wide field and near a large body of water. For safety reasons, it should be 300 feet away from tree lines, silos and barns. The height should be at least 30 feet taller than any object that might cause dangerous turbulence.

Like any good prepper, you should think about all possibilities and prepare for all kinds of emergency situations. This applies to your wind turbines as well. Protect your wind turbine and ground it properly. Turbines operate in extreme weather conditions and can break if you don’t take the proper measures. Repairing broken wind turbines may prove to be inconvenient but you’ll soon thank the stars for having more than one reliable source of electricity.

– Heating Water and Your Home

So we’ve covered the wastewater management, potable water supply and electricity. The next step would be the concern of heating your home. As it stands, your house should already be optimized for being energy efficient by means of insulation and installing heating elements, but of course one should prepare for the unexpected as well. You can consider using propane to cook your food and heat water. This is not the most sustainable means but it’s a good start to living off the grid. Look deeper and you’ll find other renewable sources of heating your home.

You can start by varying your methods of heating water. Instead of using electricity to make hot water, why not let the sun go at it directly? There are many ways to install a solar hot water heater. Make a DIY or purchase one that’s ready to use. When the clouds come, or when the rainy seasons start to show up, then you can switch to other heating methods. Woodstoves are excellent alternatives for heating water. Put on larger kettles so you can heat larger amounts of water on demand. This will serve you well during the cold winter months. Install a cast-iron bathtub that retains the heat of the water and passes it on to the bathroom floor for maximum efficiency.

Most homes that are connected to the grid use most of their electricity for heating purposes. Compare this to wood stoves that use the surrounding environment for fuel. Burning wood won’t be as damaging as using fossil fuel, because it will get absorbed by the surrounding trees anyway. Use firewood cutting tools that are electrically powered to complete the loop.

Biogas can be created from scratch once you learn how. It’s not too hard to live a self-sufficient life nowadays. The more you stay away from the grid, the more independent and knowledgeable you become!

4) Backup Power and Storage

Focus on creating your own power grid that could generate 10,000 kilowatts of usable electricity per year. This figure should be enough to power a typical American household. If you don’t know anything about solar panels, wind turbines and alternative sources, now is the time to find out.

Browse around and you’ll see a lot of power storage options. The energy you acquire from nature can be stored for later use. To prepare for all kinds of contingencies, you’ll also need a back up system in place. Have propane or electric generators on hand. These are widely available on hardware stores, home improvement shops and on the internet. You can look in eBay, Amazon or Craiglist, among others.

Propane generators are better than generators that are powered by gasoline. Gas depletes easily, while propane can be kept indefinitely.

How about food storage? A freezer or any similar container should work fine here. Grow some onions and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, squash, carrots and potatoes. A root cellar is excellent because you won’t need electricity for it. A cistern below the kitchen area will do- it’s cold but it doesn’t freeze. It also contains a high amount of humidity, which is good for storing vegetables.

5) Sourcing Water

Water use will significantly decrease once you get off the grid. A storage tank that holds up to 20 gallons should suffice. The source of water will depend on your location, but the most possible ones include a river, a cistern, a well, a lake, etc.

Here’s how you can find one:

Drill A Well. This well water will come in handy for use inside the house. To supplement this, you can purchase cisterns or make your own to collect rainwater falling from the sky. This water can grow your crops and be used for bathing. Drilling and the pump can be priced up to $15,000.

A deep-drilled water well paired up with a solar-powered DC pump fills up the water tanks quite nicely. You can also install a drip irrigation system to water your garden everyday.

Water should be collected in large batches. Pumps require a significant amount of electricity, so you can time it when the sun is up and you’re collecting solar power. Two tanks per instance should suffice. Don’t forget to put in the septic tank to complete the water process. This will cost a few thousand dollars, but it’s always worth it.

 

6) Managing Waste

In off the grid living, you’ll quickly find out that there are no municipal waste bins and garbage trucks that collect your refuse each week. An efficient waste management and waste disposal system should be set up. Installing a septic tank is the first step; the next logical one would be to create a compost pit that will be beneficial for a lot of things.

Managing your waste is very important. If you leave waste on the surface carelessly, then you could end up very sick and unable to do any work. A consistent method of disposing waste is paramount if you wish to be successful in off-grid living.

There are several ways to do this. Put up composting toilets that don’t use any water. The septic tank should be able to deal with indoor bathrooms. Your shower room could be placed outside your house to save on space. If you aren’t too keen on the idea of having to heat water, you can invest in a propane tank for hot water on demand. Since you won’t be bringing washing machines along, you should pick out functional and durable clothing that can be worn in any season.

B. Lifestyle Changes

Some people might think that off the grid living is reserved only when the apocalypse comes. They may deem it unnecessary because they are accustomed to living a plentiful life. Off the grid living is a practice of living a self-sustaining life, and it’s beautiful in its own way. One can connect with the living world and all that it can offer even when there’s no global war or SHTF scenario. If you think about it, modern conveniences veer us off towards dependency, with more and more inventions claiming to make life easier for humans. In essence, living off the grid means shaking off the shackles of pop culture, conveniences and being free from the government.

Off the grid living serves to open your eyes as to what life can give. Your current life isn’t what it totally seems. Mother Nature can provide for everything you’ll ever need. You might be overwhelmed and wondering why you ever got into this if you’re accustomed to living the sheltered life, but soon the blinds fall away and you experience a wonderful commune with Earth. Be prepared to let go of the things that seem to matter the most to you- modern conveniences, technologies and the like. Yes, you may still use them but they will not dominate every waking moment of your life from here on. Instead, you’ll get to think on your feet and work with whatever’s in front of you.

 

1) Reduce Energy Consumption

You’ll learn how to maximize the sun and the energy it brings. Work when the sun is up and rest when it goes down. If you need electricity, then put up additional generators and solar panels whenever resources allow it.

2) Limit Appliances

What goes inside your new home should be of the utmost importance. This means there shouldn’t be any space for one-use or superficial appliances. No video games, microwave oven, clothes dryer, washing machine, blow dryer, etc.

The ones you put in your home should have the highest energy efficiency rating. Nowadays, a larger energy efficient unit is better than an old refrigeration unit in terms of electric consumption. Since we’re talking about appliances, let’s talk refrigeration. Food should be stored to keep them fresh for as long as possible. Opt for small refrigerators that consume very little power. The 3 most power-hungry appliances are the following- the water pump, the TV and the fridge. For these 3 appliances, it would be worth it to invest in a better, more efficient unit.

3) Compost

Composting is a must-have. Learn the ins and outs of waste disposal. Read up on how you can recycle most of your waste, and leave the rest to the local dump sites.

4) Rent a PO Box

Living off the grid usually means you won’t be living in a residence anymore. If you have family and loved ones that you’d want to stay connected with, then you can opt to rent a PO Box for this matter alone. It’s optional, but one of the few things you should consider.

You may also want to keep an open line via mobile phone and other communication devices. An emergency radio is one of the most important things you can bring with you, which could be useful when such situations and scenarios arise.

5) Reduce Water Usage

Water can come from the basins that collect rain, barrels and cisterns. You can heat the water you’ve collected using a wood stove, an installed solar water heater and the like. For washing your clothes and eating utensils, you can use hand soap and the nearest water source, i.e., rivers, lakes, etc. You won’t be using as much water because you’ll be conscious of it all the time.

Your water usage along with your power usage will naturally lessen. You’ll learn how to shower, flush and wash your clothes only when necessary.

 

6) Farming and Gardening

Farming and gardening is a must-have if you wish to thrive off the grid. Get all the information you can and start farming and gardening, even if you haven’t escaped yet. All that you eat can be acquired from the land. Some of the most important food you need are fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Plant crops, preserve food and know when the best time is for harvesting. You can gradually add to your food source by keeping livestock. Farming is hard work, but it is ultimately rewarding. You won’t get to be good at it overnight- keep at it and you’ll find your skills improving day by day.

Propane stoves would be great for cooking your meals. Consider other alternatives such as an outdoor fire pit or a DIY barbecue grill.

How to Transition to Live off the Grid with Success

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In recent years going off the grid has become a cultural buzz phrase. From reality shows airing, to dozens of new articles and media coverage, and legal battles has stirred many misconceptions and inaccurate facts about going off the grid. Our goal here is to clear the air and provide the facts on what it really means to go off the grid and provide a beginners step by step guide to really making it happen, with success.

Quick Navigation

  I. Off Grid Living Philosophy
    1) Sustainability
    2) Self Sufficiency
    3) Independence
    4) Minimizing Waste
    5) Communal Living
    6) Trading and Bartering
    7) Saving Money
    8) Connecting with Nature
    9) Connecting with Old Ways
    10) Work & Play Balance
    11) Alternative Fun & Play
    12) Be Realistic, Not Idealistic
  II. Strategy to Go off the Grid
   A. Home Planning
    1) Buying Land
    2) Build New or Fix Old
    3) Generating Power
    4) Backup Power & Storage
    5) Sourcing Water
    6) Managing Waste
   B. Lifestyle Changes
    1) Reduce Energy Consumption
    2) Limit Appliances
    3) Compost
    4) Rent a PO Box
    5) Reduce Water Usage
    6) Farming & Gardening

I. The Philosophy Behind Off Grid Living

There are people who don’t give a lot of thought about using electricity provided by power companies. But there are those who strive to be more self-sustaining in all aspects of their lives.

Ever wondered how you could be independent and use electricity generated “off the grid”? Or how you could live your everyday life without relying on modern technologies and outside resources?

You might be surprised on how many people all over the world are doing it now. Around 1.7 billion globally are off their respective electrical and sewer grids. More than 200,000 US citizens are living off the grid.

One way to define it is when one goes to live in a more natural setting and becomes conscious of their energy consumption.

The “Grid” once referred to the US electrical system. The idea sparked when groups of people thought how they could potentially get their source of electricity via more natural means, i.e., solar and wind power. Americans welcomed the idea of unplugging from the grid and striking it out on their own with eco-friendly alternatives.

Off the grid living has grown since then. Now, it means a whole lot more than just having your own source of electricity. The term now refers to cutting off your cell service, generally escaping the clutches of invasive technology and becoming self-sufficient. Reducing overall carbon footprint as well as living a simpler, more rewarding life is the goal of any and all off-gridders around the world.

It can be one people, a couple or a family. Going off grid will prove to be a challenge at first, but it’s definitely doable. You can effectively erase your identity and live a happy, beautiful life on your own.

Are you ready to take that first step? Here’s what going off the grid is all about:

1) Environmental Sustainability

Back in the old days, each family and community had the idea of living off the grid down pat.

Our ancestors were truly independent. They strived to have their own source of water, food, electricity, gas and other essential goods.

Think about it. If you were living in a house that generated its own electricity, had a water source nearby, had a means to acquire fuel, heat, food, clothing and other necessities, then you’d surely become independent in every sense of the word. Even when SHTF events and the apocalypse came, you’d have a strong propensity to survive!

Finding a good source of nearby water is the very first step you should undertake. It is of absolute importance that you should be independent from government or municipal facilities on one of most basic necessities of man. The more natural wells and underground orifices in one location, the better.

Let me tell you that finding the ideal location where one can get plenty of water makes your self-sustaining lifestyle 50% complete. It’s vital that you can turn to this source of water all throughout the seasons for washing, cleaning, bathing and drinking purposes.

At the very least, you should have a reliable source come high winter and during the summer, where water could be limited. Invest in a portable water purifier for you and the entire family. Learn how to create a makeshift water filter using common items found in the wild.

The next task on the agenda should be your energy source. There are many options for creating sustainable energy- solar, wind and water. The choice will depend on your location and the geographical layout.

2) Self Sufficiency

Living off the grid and self sufficiency are both similar and different in meaning. For one thing, you can be free of using public utilities (off the grid), but still rely on certain human necessities (self-sufficiency). Being independent would mean that you rely on no one for electricity, water, food, shelter, protection, etc.

Some of you might wonder if self sufficiency also means quitting your 9 to 5. After all, won’t you need money to set it all up? What happens then after you start living off the grid?

Part of the philosophy is understanding that you can truly be the master of your own self. Yes, you work hard to earn a living, but the bottom line is that you can and should sustain yourself without the help of any external elements. You shouldn’t toil the rest of your life just to meet your basic human needs. Off the grid means you will have the time to pursue your interests, hopes and dreams!

Self sufficiency is an everyday practice. At first it’s understandable to have to go to the grocery store or the laundromat as you set things up, but off-gridders should strive to become their own masters in due time.

3) Independence and Freedom

Would you believe it if I told you that you can live for free in this world?

Realizing this is one more step towards off the grid living. Look at what nature can give you- food, clothing, shelter and an endless supply of renewable, clean energy. You have everything you need to survive!

4) Minimizing Consumption and Waste

One of the rules in successfully living off the grid is preventing wastage whenever possible. Some might even go as far as saying that wasting resources is a crime. It makes total sense, because although all the resources you have is free, that doesn’t mean you should waste it. Purchase only the items that you need. The things that add no value to your life should be avoided.

Think of it this way- wasting one resource will affect how you live off grid in the near future. Don’t waste hard-earned money just to be happy for one day. Practice the art of saving and being frugal. Not wasting means you avoid the need to be greedy.

5) Communal Living and Support Network

It’s not uncommon to find off the grid communities within your neighborhood, city or state. Having a community of like-minded individuals can be a boon as you could share skills, resources and whatnot. One could be in charge of managing the power supply for the entire group; one could be farming vegetables, and one could be growing livestock.

There are advantages of living off grid in a community. A number of off-gridders have a greater chance to successfully sustain themselves as a group as compared to an individual. There’s an internal barter system in place, with each individual or family having their own skills and interests.

 

6) Trading and Bartering

It’s possible to acquire some much-needed resources with little to no money involved. Our ancestors did this by trading and bartering with one another. The concept goes something like this- you offer your talent, skill or any excess resource to those who need it, and they give you something equally beneficial to you in return. Bartering is quick and it doesn’t need to be overly bogged down with details.

7) On Saving Money

Money should be the least of your worries when you go entirely off grid. Being able to generate your own needed resources, along with the barter and trading system for the ones you’re lacking for the moment should be enough for money-free living. If you do happen to make money, save it so you will have a resource you can use for later.

8) Connecting with Nature

Living off the grid is synchronous to becoming in harmony with nature. As you begin this way of life, you become aware of the beauty of our Earth, and you’ll come to appreciate and preserve the things around you. It promotes environmental living and the Going Green lifestyle on a wider scale.

Once you touch base with your inner instincts, you’ll have the chance to “re-wild”, or reconnect with your primal survival instincts. You’ll also forego living in artificial light and learn to wake up with the sun. Instead of having to worry if you have enough electricity, why not look up and learn how to live with our sun?

You’ll be surprised by how little electricity you consume if you work where there’s natural light, and settle down when the sun sets for another day. In other words, you sleep when it’s dark and make the most of your day when it’s light. Enjoy the stars, the twilight breeze and the nocturnal sounds that will lull you to a satisfying, deep sleep!

9) Connecting With Old Ways

When people hear the word off the grid living, they usually think mere survival. This shouldn’t be your mindset, because living entirely off the grid doesn’t make it just a remake of the hunger games. The goal isn’t a survival of the fittest aspect, but it should be a reconnection of the old ways and living like the ancient days.

There’s no competition. It’s just you and nature and everything else that’s around you. Don’t think too hard on surviving. Think about living and start from there.

10) Work and Play Balance

A lot of resources and hard work is involved if you strive towards off the grid living. Life slows down to the most natural rhythm, which means you should also slow down and smell the roses. You have achieved enormous work using immense energy and time, but now it’s time to sit back and enjoy what you’ve created for yourself.

Put your feet up and relax. Take in the amazing sounds of nature. Start a hobby that you’ve been putting off all your life. Read a book. You deserve it! Off-gridding is about slowing down and experiencing a simpler life. There’s plenty of relaxing activities to do and a lot of communing with nature.

11) Alternative Entertainment and Activities

Avoid electronic activities as much as possible. If you can eliminate it entirely, all the better. This means there should be no video games, no computer and no TV. If you’re used to being surrounded by electricity and all those newfangled gadgets, then it could take a while before you could shake off the modern addiction, but there’s still a reward to be earned.

Instead of missing out on these things, why not focus on what’s in front of you? The world is your playground now. Think hard about what it is you truly love doing. You’ll be surprised at how much time is freed when you won’t have to worry about earning enough to live. Then, you’ll naturally start spending time on your hobbies and your passion. The time you spend won’t be wasted on drudgeries. You will start to understand yourself better. Your natural skills will be nurtured and heightened. Then all the days you spend will be towards the things you keep putting off. You’ll be happier and more fulfilled as the days go by.

12) Be Realistic, Not Idealistic

Before starting your off the grid project, ask yourself- what is my motivation for pursuing this kind of life?

There are many acceptable reasons. One, you might be tired of having to rely on the electrical grid and be at the mercy of their price hikes and fluctuations. Or, you may wish to be more self-reliant. Other people may be tired of the current society and want to be left alone. And there are some who do it just because they can.

Think long and hard about what it is that drives you to go off the grid. Understand the reality of going off the grid- are you sure you want to forego modern luxuries? Understanding your base motive will also help establish what type of off-grid living you will set up.

Environmental Motive. Your motive is to use the least amount of energy possible and have a renewable system of energy you can rely on for your everyday living. You’d want to be free of price hikes and vulnerabilities of living on the grid, such as power outages, water outages, gas hikes, etc.

Political or Social Motive. You want to be responsible for your consumption of energy.

Financial Motive. The distance from the grid makes off-gridding more viable and less expensive.

 

– Going Off The Grid is Going Green

Going green is a natural byproduct of living off grid. This type of lifestyle benefits mother Earth and the environment. Most off-gridders select a location where nature becomes an essential part of their daily lives. You naturally gravitate towards places where there’s more sunlight, more water and more wind because you’ll rely on it more. You’ll start living differently than those who are in the city. For example, you won’t need as much stuff as the average consumer. In fact, you’ll be surprised at how much of the stuff you owned before wasn’t that beneficial to your life anyway. You’ll be more aware that we’re simply consuming too much. Then, you’ll be awakened to the fact that everything you need is all around you, and it is all free.

Off the grid living won’t mean that you have to give up your main mode of transportation, but you’ll be less dependent on it. You’ll still use it, but that will happen once a week or only once a month.

– Trade offs, Fears, and Finances

Some people take the chance of living off the grid as a more permanent means of escape. They may have lost their trust in the government, in society and large companies that promote consumerism. These people may have felt that community is no longer what it was before- a safe haven.

Individuals may find off the grid living a necessity that’s perpetuated by hard times. But they must also consider hard work and waking up early hours if they want to survive in an off the grid setting.

You’d be surprised at how much work you need to put in if you’ve always worked that 9 to 5 desk job. That’s not necessarily a bad thing- you’ll be the master of your own home. It will be your responsibility to make it livable and comfortable. Keeping a garden for produce, hunting and growing food, finding and storing wood for fire and making water potable are just some of the basic necessities for successful off the grid living. It’s not off the grid if you buy wood from the local grocery store.

You can sure bet that there will be trade-offs to consider. More notably, modern conveniences, the latest gadgets and technologies, and of course, less vacations. Think hard and fast- are you willing to give up a modern lifestyle?

Deep down, you may have longed to be free of all stresses of your modern life. You wish for times that are much simpler. Eat, sleep and be merry. Isn’t that the whole reason you’re stuck doing that 9 to 5 for years now?

Choosing to live independent of public utilities and all those modern niceties can be a liberating thing. If you think they’re chaining you down, then it’s truly possible that what you’re searching for is an off the grid lifestyle. Think about your doubts. What’s keeping you from realizing your personal freedom? More often than not, it’s a misguided notion about keeping up with current society and living the American dream.

The idea of living in the wild and having a crooked house, with little creature comfort may prove to be overwhelming at first. There’s truth in the saying “No man is an island”, but we shouldn’t be too restricted in living in crowded neighborhoods and playing set roles our entire lives.

Understandably, we shrink from the fear of the unknown. This is why some would rather endure 2-hour work commutes and 50-hour work weeks to pay off all those mortgages, debts and loans. Shying away from the norm will take some time getting used to. Being finally free of the 9 to 5 drudgery and not worrying whether you can survive for another day is a worthy endeavor someone would give anything for.

You can try to acclimatize from being free of the grid by visiting a similar homestead. Try to live a week or a month in a city with a smaller population, or in a cabin that’s sparsely populated with living amenities. You can target off-places that are miles beyond civilization.

 

II. How To Go Off The Grid and Make Your Own Homestead

Here’s a step by step strategy if you’re planning on going at it alone

A. Home Planning

You can choose any of the options below for going off the grid

1) Buying Land

The best kind of land you can buy for off the grid living will have some of these essential elements:

– Reliable Source of Water. Land that has more than one good water source are your best bet. Look for streams, lakes and other natural water sources.

Wildlife. This factor is important for several reasons. One, it adds to the off the grid atmosphere. Two, it can prove to be a very useful source of food for when you’re experiencing regional and even national disasters where food distribution grinds to a halt.

Sunlight. Don’t forget the importance of having healthy doses of sunshine. Forested lands, mountainous areas and coastal land will need to have plenty of sunlight for your solar panels. Try to sketch out a plan where you can install solar arrays that get lots of sunlight, even when the winter arc is lowest in the sky. If not, then go look for land that has this aspect.

Natural Fuel. You’ll also need some natural fuel for cooking and for heating your home with. The key to off the grid living is finding land that has abundant resources. Land that has numerous trees are always a plus. If you could get firewood cutting permits or get your own private land, so much the better. Here, you can plant saplings for future sustainability.

– Once you establish these things, then the next natural step will be to install your own septic tank system. Set up a well or a source of water near your home. These are the basics for waste and water management.

– The best land for off the grid living has plenty of areas to put up solar and wind energy. You’ll need an established power source for your energy needs at home. Before you think of anything else that you may need for your home, consider water, sun and wood. A piece of property that has all these 3 is your ideal location.

You can reach out to any of the pre-established off the grid communities if you’re having a hard time finding the perfect land. The Three Rivers Recreation Area around Bend, Oregon has a thriving community living well away from the grid. Breitenbush is also a renowned off the grid area, which is near Salem. For a closer look at income-sharing communities, try out Earthhaven, North Carolina, Twin Oaks, Virginia or Dancing Rabbit, Missouri. Spend several days and commune with the locals to see what the off grid life is all about.

You can also visit the Greater World Community, located in Taos in New Mexico. The “Earthship” homes are made entirely from recycled materials. Buying property here would run you anywhere from $75k to $350k. The buildings in Arcosanti Ecovillage, Arizona uses all-natural material as well.

Finally, the Possibility Alliance located in the state of Missouri is a testament to how people can live in the most simplest of lifestyles. All the off-gridders here share communal work such as tending to the livestock, cooking, farming and working from sunrise till sunset. Although some of the residents here stay only for a few months, there are permanent residents who call the area their home.

 

2) Building a New Home, or Rehab an Existing One

Should you consider buying a new home to move into, or to rehab your existing one?

It’s true that each of these options have their own pros and cons. You can move into a new home if it fits the ideal off-grid setting (plenty of wind, sun, many trees and water, etc.), or if you’re already on the right location, it would make more sense to rehab your existing home. Rehabbing or upgrading your existing home will be the more viable option if you need only to modify a few aspects (making it more eco-friendly, adding sustainable features), and if your existing property is already an off the grid living work in progress.

Here are some more Pros and Cons for each to consider:

 – Building a New Home Pros

Quick, Efficient Transition. New homes are pre-built and ready for occupation. You can add in a few specifications before the house is completely built, but once that’s done then there’s little extra work to do. You won’t have to repaint, remove walls. relocate the toilets and maintain existing plumbing.

Enjoy New Design Elements. You can have a contractor put in the things you want for off the grid living before you move in. Moreover, they can add in essential elements and everything you need without having to work from the ground up.

Energy Efficient. You’ll be limited in terms of electricity and power, so you’ll want to make the new home as energy-efficient as possible. It fits into the overall theme of living off the grid.

 – Building a New Home Cons

More Expensive. Understandably, new homes are priced higher than if you were to rehab your existing home.

Little Customization. A new home may or may not have all the design elements you’re looking for. If you’re accustomed to DIY projects, then a rehab may be the better choice.

– Rehab an Existing Home Pros

Huge Savings. Working with what you already have will save you more in costs. You won’t have to wait until the right kind of property comes along.

Complete DIY. You will have complete freedom over the design choices and which off the grid feature goes where. If you have the know-how and the skills to build, then you can draw up your own plans and get started. You can take full advantage of the lay of the land and put up solar panels that will get the most sun, or build your room that has the most energy-efficient location. The end result is more or less how you envisioned your house to be.

 – Rehab an Existing Home Cons

More Work Needed. Choosing to rehab your existing home means you’ll have to put up with the extra work required. Even if you hire a contractor to do most of the dirty work, you’ll need to work with the details and get ready to do manual labor on some of the processes involved.

More Time Needed. The rehabbing process could take weeks, or even months if you want a huge remodel. Converting some of the areas of your house into one that’s better suited for off the grid living will take up huge amounts of your time.

3) Generating Power

Off the grid living is all about generating your own electricity. This is one important element that you shouldn’t skimp out on. You can build your very own energy efficient house, or buy a land or house that comes with pre-installed off-grid power sources. Setting up one for yourself may vary, but the estimated out of pocket costs will be somewhere around $10,000.

The two best sustainable energy sources are either solar or wind power. A single wind turbine would cost somewhere between $500 to $2500, while solar panels are a more complicated matter. You’ll also need a way to convert all that energy into usable electricity.

Untethered solar power can be had for an investment. It’s all worth it in the end. Imagine having your very own source of electricity that can power simple appliances and the like. The first thing you’ll need is a capable solar panel.

A mid-sized solar power array can generate somewhere around 2,300 watts worth of electricity. This is enough to run a small kitchen’s worth of appliances, a laptop computer, a TV, a refrigerator and a medium washing machine. You won’t need air conditioning since you’ll get plenty of cool air and refreshing breezes from where you’re at. Plus, ACs are a major energy hog.

The best measure of how much solar panels you will need is how many of them you can afford. The sooner you have the investment money for them, the better. Get the latest photovoltaic cells that could acquire more solar energy more efficiently. This directly translates to the quality of life you experience. You’ll also depend less on gas and firewood when you have more sources of free electricity coming from the sun. Instead of needing more firewood or propane, you can just use free electricity to heat your water and cook your food.

Don’t forget about investing in an off grid battery bank! Sure, you can get electricity as long as there’s a sun, but it always helps to have a backup power at night. You can add batteries that could store power and require little maintenance. Keep in mind that you’ll need to pour in distilled water from time to time, and check and see that the state of charge doesn’t go below 50 percent. I know how this added maintenance may seem to be a bother, but think about not having to pay an electricity bill ever again, or experience an inconvenient power outage.

A final note on off-grid batteries. Get as much as you can. This maxim applies to solar panels as well. PV panel costs are dropping each day, so make the most out of it. Oversize as necessary. It’s instant peace of mind, and you get to rely less on generators.

– Wind Power For Off Grid Living

Don’t count out wind power just yet. Installation of turbines have recently proven to be worth the effort when you wish to be living off the grid. Wind is always present, all the time. This fact could prove to be useful for when you’re not getting any sun for an extended period of time.

If you can install both solar and wind sources, the better. They can work exceedingly well and complement each other. A hybrid solar and turbine system combined will allow you the luxury of having enough electricity per day. Sometimes this combo is enough to forego the use of generators. Don’t be surprised if you would need the generator for only a few times per year!

How does one find an ideal location for setting up a wind turbine? The best sources of strong wind would be at a high vantage point, at a wide field and near a large body of water. For safety reasons, it should be 300 feet away from tree lines, silos and barns. The height should be at least 30 feet taller than any object that might cause dangerous turbulence.

Like any good prepper, you should think about all possibilities and prepare for all kinds of emergency situations. This applies to your wind turbines as well. Protect your wind turbine and ground it properly. Turbines operate in extreme weather conditions and can break if you don’t take the proper measures. Repairing broken wind turbines may prove to be inconvenient but you’ll soon thank the stars for having more than one reliable source of electricity.

– Heating Water and Your Home

So we’ve covered the wastewater management, potable water supply and electricity. The next step would be the concern of heating your home. As it stands, your house should already be optimized for being energy efficient by means of insulation and installing heating elements, but of course one should prepare for the unexpected as well. You can consider using propane to cook your food and heat water. This is not the most sustainable means but it’s a good start to living off the grid. Look deeper and you’ll find other renewable sources of heating your home.

You can start by varying your methods of heating water. Instead of using electricity to make hot water, why not let the sun go at it directly? There are many ways to install a solar hot water heater. Make a DIY or purchase one that’s ready to use. When the clouds come, or when the rainy seasons start to show up, then you can switch to other heating methods. Woodstoves are excellent alternatives for heating water. Put on larger kettles so you can heat larger amounts of water on demand. This will serve you well during the cold winter months. Install a cast-iron bathtub that retains the heat of the water and passes it on to the bathroom floor for maximum efficiency.

Most homes that are connected to the grid use most of their electricity for heating purposes. Compare this to wood stoves that use the surrounding environment for fuel. Burning wood won’t be as damaging as using fossil fuel, because it will get absorbed by the surrounding trees anyway. Use firewood cutting tools that are electrically powered to complete the loop.

Biogas can be created from scratch once you learn how. It’s not too hard to live a self-sufficient life nowadays. The more you stay away from the grid, the more independent and knowledgeable you become!

4) Backup Power and Storage

Focus on creating your own power grid that could generate 10,000 kilowatts of usable electricity per year. This figure should be enough to power a typical American household. If you don’t know anything about solar panels, wind turbines and alternative sources, now is the time to find out.

Browse around and you’ll see a lot of power storage options. The energy you acquire from nature can be stored for later use. To prepare for all kinds of contingencies, you’ll also need a back up system in place. Have propane or electric generators on hand. These are widely available on hardware stores, home improvement shops and on the internet. You can look in eBay, Amazon or Craiglist, among others.

Propane generators are better than generators that are powered by gasoline. Gas depletes easily, while propane can be kept indefinitely.

How about food storage? A freezer or any similar container should work fine here. Grow some onions and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, squash, carrots and potatoes. A root cellar is excellent because you won’t need electricity for it. A cistern below the kitchen area will do- it’s cold but it doesn’t freeze. It also contains a high amount of humidity, which is good for storing vegetables.

5) Sourcing Water

Water use will significantly decrease once you get off the grid. A storage tank that holds up to 20 gallons should suffice. The source of water will depend on your location, but the most possible ones include a river, a cistern, a well, a lake, etc.

Here’s how you can find one:

Drill A Well. This well water will come in handy for use inside the house. To supplement this, you can purchase cisterns or make your own to collect rainwater falling from the sky. This water can grow your crops and be used for bathing. Drilling and the pump can be priced up to $15,000.

A deep-drilled water well paired up with a solar-powered DC pump fills up the water tanks quite nicely. You can also install a drip irrigation system to water your garden everyday.

Water should be collected in large batches. Pumps require a significant amount of electricity, so you can time it when the sun is up and you’re collecting solar power. Two tanks per instance should suffice. Don’t forget to put in the septic tank to complete the water process. This will cost a few thousand dollars, but it’s always worth it.

 

6) Managing Waste

In off the grid living, you’ll quickly find out that there are no municipal waste bins and garbage trucks that collect your refuse each week. An efficient waste management and waste disposal system should be set up. Installing a septic tank is the first step; the next logical one would be to create a compost pit that will be beneficial for a lot of things.

Managing your waste is very important. If you leave waste on the surface carelessly, then you could end up very sick and unable to do any work. A consistent method of disposing waste is paramount if you wish to be successful in off-grid living.

There are several ways to do this. Put up composting toilets that don’t use any water. The septic tank should be able to deal with indoor bathrooms. Your shower room could be placed outside your house to save on space. If you aren’t too keen on the idea of having to heat water, you can invest in a propane tank for hot water on demand. Since you won’t be bringing washing machines along, you should pick out functional and durable clothing that can be worn in any season.

B. Lifestyle Changes

Some people might think that off the grid living is reserved only when the apocalypse comes. They may deem it unnecessary because they are accustomed to living a plentiful life. Off the grid living is a practice of living a self-sustaining life, and it’s beautiful in its own way. One can connect with the living world and all that it can offer even when there’s no global war or SHTF scenario. If you think about it, modern conveniences veer us off towards dependency, with more and more inventions claiming to make life easier for humans. In essence, living off the grid means shaking off the shackles of pop culture, conveniences and being free from the government.

Off the grid living serves to open your eyes as to what life can give. Your current life isn’t what it totally seems. Mother Nature can provide for everything you’ll ever need. You might be overwhelmed and wondering why you ever got into this if you’re accustomed to living the sheltered life, but soon the blinds fall away and you experience a wonderful commune with Earth. Be prepared to let go of the things that seem to matter the most to you- modern conveniences, technologies and the like. Yes, you may still use them but they will not dominate every waking moment of your life from here on. Instead, you’ll get to think on your feet and work with whatever’s in front of you.

 

1) Reduce Energy Consumption

You’ll learn how to maximize the sun and the energy it brings. Work when the sun is up and rest when it goes down. If you need electricity, then put up additional generators and solar panels whenever resources allow it.

2) Limit Appliances

What goes inside your new home should be of the utmost importance. This means there shouldn’t be any space for one-use or superficial appliances. No video games, microwave oven, clothes dryer, washing machine, blow dryer, etc.

The ones you put in your home should have the highest energy efficiency rating. Nowadays, a larger energy efficient unit is better than an old refrigeration unit in terms of electric consumption. Since we’re talking about appliances, let’s talk refrigeration. Food should be stored to keep them fresh for as long as possible. Opt for small refrigerators that consume very little power. The 3 most power-hungry appliances are the following- the water pump, the TV and the fridge. For these 3 appliances, it would be worth it to invest in a better, more efficient unit.

3) Compost

Composting is a must-have. Learn the ins and outs of waste disposal. Read up on how you can recycle most of your waste, and leave the rest to the local dump sites.

4) Rent a PO Box

Living off the grid usually means you won’t be living in a residence anymore. If you have family and loved ones that you’d want to stay connected with, then you can opt to rent a PO Box for this matter alone. It’s optional, but one of the few things you should consider.

You may also want to keep an open line via mobile phone and other communication devices. An emergency radio is one of the most important things you can bring with you, which could be useful when such situations and scenarios arise.

5) Reduce Water Usage

Water can come from the basins that collect rain, barrels and cisterns. You can heat the water you’ve collected using a wood stove, an installed solar water heater and the like. For washing your clothes and eating utensils, you can use hand soap and the nearest water source, i.e., rivers, lakes, etc. You won’t be using as much water because you’ll be conscious of it all the time.

Your water usage along with your power usage will naturally lessen. You’ll learn how to shower, flush and wash your clothes only when necessary.

 

6) Farming and Gardening

Farming and gardening is a must-have if you wish to thrive off the grid. Get all the information you can and start farming and gardening, even if you haven’t escaped yet. All that you eat can be acquired from the land. Some of the most important food you need are fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Plant crops, preserve food and know when the best time is for harvesting. You can gradually add to your food source by keeping livestock. Farming is hard work, but it is ultimately rewarding. You won’t get to be good at it overnight- keep at it and you’ll find your skills improving day by day.

Propane stoves would be great for cooking your meals. Consider other alternatives such as an outdoor fire pit or a DIY barbecue grill.

Store Food Like a Pro Using Mylar Bags

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Humans need food for sustenance. All catastrophic end-of-world scenarios force people to think one way or another on how they can get food to survive.

You may have heard about Mylar Bags when you were looking for a way to store large quantities of food. You may be wondering how Mylar bags are different from any other bulk food storage options available in the market. How do you use one for storing rations?

Searching about it online can possibly raise more questions than answers. So in an effort to lift that veil of mystery surrounding Mylar bags, we discuss the most common questions and tell you all about using Mylar bags to store bulk emergency foods safely and efficiently.

Quick Navigation:

 

A. What is a Mylar Bag?

Let’s get something cleared up first. The word Mylar is not a brand name but rather one of the many variations of a material called BoPet. What is BoPet? If we were to prolong it, the name means “Biaxially Oriented Polyethylene Terephthalate”. Mylar is a trade name coined by a company called DuPont way back in the 50’s. This remarkable polyester film material was then used by NASA for their space programs.

BoPet is a film that’s produced when you stretch polyethylene terephthalate. It’s an amazing material best known for its superior tensile strength. Moreover, it was discovered that Mylar had excellent blocking abilities against moisture, gas, light and aroma. It’s a godsend for preppers because it could effectively block electrical waves as well.

Mylar is thin, flexible and light, but these properties belie the fact that it’s one of the most durable and strongest materials there is. You can see Mylar used to great effect in space blankets, insulators, solar filters and atmospheric helium-filled balloons.

Many materials for long-term food storage were used, but Mylar beat them all handily. This makes Mylar as the go-to material for people who want to keep their foods fresh and edible for years on end.

 

B. Why is Mylar Best for Long-Term Food Storage?

Mylar is better than other food storage materials such as vacuum-sealed, plastic, dry-packed and metalized bags. Think of Mylar as a clear resin made of light polyester material encased in aluminum foil. It’s like a portable, flexible tin can that stores large amounts of food.

It presents some advantages over traditional tin can varieties in a number of ways. Mylar is stronger, is certainly more flexible, and it keeps away elements that could prematurely spoil rations. It has all the good features of all food storage types- strong, light and sealed.

You can pack in food without worrying about breakage. The polyester film conforms on the food you put in, and it collapses when the air is removed. When you put in the food items and vacuum seal them, your food will be safe from the outside elements. You’re in full control when it comes to humidity, light and oxygen content. Survivalists should know that these three elements spoil food much faster than anything else food comes in contact with.

 

1) Mylar VS Metalized VS Dry Pack Pouch Bags

Dry pack pouches, metalized storage bags and Mylar have something in common- they are all alike! Don’t be confused when your seller refers to Mylar bags as such. All of these are made from the same Mylar material. Make sure to check whether the bags are food-grade. Mylar is just one brand of polyester film, like Xerox is a brand of a copier machine.

On Using Plastic Bags

Plastic bags as long-term food storage solutions are only good if you’re packing in salt. By themselves, salt is a hardy food ingredient that doesn’t require reinforced packaging, even when you need to keep it for a long time.

Plastic bags are thin by nature. They aren’t totally air-tight. They tear easily and they allow light to pass through. As you have probably learned by now, heat, moisture and light are your worst food enemies in long term aspects. Not counting food pests, fire, and other destructive acts of nature, of course.

2) On Using Vacuum Sealed Bags

Vacuum seal bagsVacuum seal bags such as the ones made by FoodSaver are great because they are convenient and easy to use. The air is sucked out of the bag to keep your food preserved and fresh. That’s where the advantages end. Mylar bags are more durable and tougher. Vacuum sealed bags may develop breaks 3, 4 years after they are put in long term storage.

Don’t rule out the usefulness of vacuum sealed bags though. They’re a good alternative for when you need to store food for short to medium lengths of time. You’ll just have to be diligent about rotating the foods you put in vacuum bags and using them as everyday meals when enough time has passed. Make sure to put in oxygen absorbers if you intend to store them for more than 12 months.

Mylar bags are the best in what they do- keeping your food safe for the longest time. You can rely on Mylar bags to store nutritious food when the end of the world finally comes.

 

C. How To Use Mylar Bags For Storing Food

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to your food and Mylar bags. The best and the most efficient use of a Mylar bag is when the size is just right for the type of food you’re packing in.

Mylar bags come in different thickness and size. To keep it simple and not get overly complicated, you can categorize your food and the corresponding Mylar bag to just two sizes- Small and Large.

The perfect size for small food storage are the 1-gallon sizes. You can put in small food items that aren’t needed in bulk, i.e., preserved fruits, dehydrated meats, cooking ingredients such as salt, baking powder and other spices.

Then, for the ones that are stored in bulk, i.e., wheat, beans, rice, etc. you’ll want to go for the large-sized bag. A 5-gallon Mylar bag is suitable for most of these food types. They aren’t too heavy and won’t take too much space. As a side bonus, 5-gallon Mylar bags can be paired with 5-gallon buckets, which will give you even more storage benefits.

The best range of thickness in Mylar bags are between 4.3 to 7 mils. The thicker a Mylar bag is, the more it can repel light and moisture. The only downside to this is that thicker bags are more expensive.

It boils down to how much light and humidity you want to keep out of your food. Standard 3.5 mils bags can still get penetrated by light, which could lead to a rude shortage just when you need food the most. Opt for Mylar bags that are at least 4.3 mils in thickness. This way you won’t have to worry about light and humidity entering your emergency food rations.

 

D. Using Mylar Bags With 5 Gallon Buckets

5-gallon buckets are great for protecting one of your most valuable assets- food. When thinking about long-term storage, you should always think about the worst things that could happen to your food and water, and come up with solutions to counteract them.

Light and humidity may not be able to penetrate your Mylar bags, but that doesn’t mean insects, rodents and bugs couldn’t as well. They can chew through Mylar material fast and leave it exposed to the outside elements. Plus, your 5-gallon buckets can double as extra storage for when the rations are opened.

The best 5-gallon buckets you can buy are the food-grade ones that have protective lids on top. Simply fill up your Mylar bag with the appropriate food, place it inside the 5-gallon bucket and close the lid. Your stored food will be impervious to light, humidity and any hungry rodents or animal that come your way.

Get thick, hard plastic buckets that can withstand gnawing, biting and chewing. Also, as a wise precaution, use only new food-grade 5-gallon buckets. You won’t want to put in your precious food rations into a non-food grade bucket, because a non-food grade plastic bucket has dyes and harmful chemicals that could seep into your food supply. Contaminated grains and food won’t be good for safe consumption.

Don’t buy second-hand or previously used plastic buckets because you won’t know if they’ve been used to store fuel, paint or chemicals in the past. The porous nature of plastic absorbs any chemical that has spilled to the material makeup, which in turn contaminates the food stored within.

Invest in a few more dollars and get new, food-grade 5 gallon buckets. After you fill your Mylar bags with food and put them inside the buckets, store them in a cool, dry place for optimum storage.

 

E. Oxygen Absorbers- How Do They Work?

Did you remember to place an oxygen absorber into each Mylar bag before storing them? But wait, how do these oxygen absorbers work?

Oxygen absorbers, or O2 absorbers get the extra oxygen inside Mylar bags when you seal them. It stands to reason that the bigger your Mylar bag, the more oxygen absorber you’ll need. They are measured in cc units.

Here’s how they work- you put in the appropriate amount of oxygen absorber before you seal the bag for storage. Once sealed, the O2 pack does its job of eating up any excess oxygen that’s still present in the bag.

O2 absorbers are important if you want food that can stand the test of time, because oxygen is a huge factor when it comes to your food’s shelf life. You’ll need to figure out the right amount of oxygen absorber to use. Too little and your food will have a reduced shelf life. Too much and you waste valuable money that could be used for other survival measures.

Oxygen absorbers come in different cc’s- 50, 100, 300, 500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 sizes. Let’s simplify the process of finding the right amount of O2 absorber to use by doing a simple computation and rounding up the results. Here’s a useful link you can use- https://youtu.be/Xl5-z77jDow

It’s better to add a little bit too much oxygen absorber than adding too little. The effect of not putting in enough oxygen absorber has far graver consequences than wasting a bit of money. You can also take the guesswork out of the picture and buy Mylar bags that have O2 absorbers included.

 

F. The Art of Sealing Mylar Bags

Here’s a quick overview on how to use a food sealer to pack your Mylar bags:

Have you got everything you need? Make sure you have the food you want to store, the 5-gallon buckets, the Mylar bags and a heat source for sealing.

Sealing your Mylar bags is one of the most important process in long term storage. A poor seal results in a reduced quality of food, which in turn degrades effective shelf life. Pay attention and you’ll get the art of sealing food in no time flat!

Here are the 3 things you need to know about effective food sealing:

1) The end result should be a debris-free Mylar bag that’s completely flat and has just the right sealing temperature.

Let me explain why this is. The flatter a Mylar bag is, the better seal you can get. Heat is applied to the open end of the Mylar bag, and the material starts to melt. The two ends co-mingle when both sides are at the melting point. It’s like welding two pieces of metal.

Intense heat is applied to one end to turn the material into heated liquid. Two heated liquid materials are brought together to fuse into one. When the heat source is shut off, the material reverts back to solid state and the ends form as one.

A pocket of air that stands between the two ends of a Mylar bag will directly reduce the effectiveness of the seal. The process might work out well at first, but upon closer inspection the seal will be at its weakest near the air pocket. You can be sure that the weakest spot in your Mylar bag will be the one to break first in due time.

2) Don’t skip the process of removing all foreign materials, even the minute particles.

The seal needs to be flat and clean. Try to be as thorough as you can, because a bit of dust or an unwanted piece of food will compromise the storage process. Getting one in-between the two ends of the Mylar bag greatly reduces the surface contact between the two joined points. This is not acceptable because air, light and moisture will seep in the weak spot. Food shelf life will be significantly reduced.

3) Control the heat during the sealing process.

The temperature and the timing is important in this one. Too much heat will melt your Mylar bags and render it unusable. Too little and the surface points will not join together, and you won’t have a proper seal at all. The bag will look like it’s sealed, but sooner or later the ends will come undone and your food will be exposed to the elements.

There’s one way to ensure the best sealing process available, and that is to invest in a good Mylar bag sealer. Investing means spending a little more as compared to buying alternative options such as a hair straightener or a clothes iron. This will pay off in dividends later on as you’ll have food that’s as fresh as the day you sealed them in. Remember that food will be one of the most valuable resources in SHTF situations.

It’s fine if you’re set on using a hair straightener or a clothes iron to seal your Mylar bags in. Just make sure to thoroughly test for a good seal afterwards. Check back after 6 months and see if the seals are still in place.

Here’s an easy method in using hair straightener to seal your Mylar bags- Fill your Mylar bag with food, put in the oxygen absorbers, then use the hair straightener to seal the end of your Mylar bag. Keep the bag flat and eliminate any foreign particles for the best seal. If you’re using a clothes iron, then you’ll need a flat area or a board to work with. Fill your Mylar bag with food, put in the O2 absorber, lay it flat on the board and gently iron the ends of the Mylar bag.

Finally, you can make use of a vacuum sealer to lock in your Mylar bags. These devices can effectively create a vacuum inside your food bag and seal them at the same time. You’ll notice though, that Mylar bags are smooth while vacuum-sealable bags are dimpled in nature. The dimples are so that the vacuum sealer can effectively work its magic.

The effectiveness of sealing Mylar bags using vacuum sealers are lessened, but there’s a trick you can use to seal them just like you’re using food saver bags. A vacuum sealer is also one of the best food storage tools for everyday use. If you have veggies, fruits or meat that you want preserved for a week or two, then may want to invest in one.

Here’s some more helpful tips on the art of sealing a Mylar bag:

1) Don’t overfill your bags with food.

2) Seal the top inch and nothing else. This will be a boon when you’ve opened the bag and want to re-seal it for later use. Don’t forget to include the oxygen absorber before sealing it up again.

3) When packing powdery ingredients like flour, wipe the inside edges to eliminate any material that could compromise the seal.

4) Check back your sealed Mylar bags a few days after. They should still look great and compressed by then. If not, then the seal didn’t work and the Mylar bag is compromised.

5) Seal noodles and pasta in their original packaging. Open up the package a bit first so the oxygen absorber will work its way inside the package.

 

G. Organizing Your Food Storage

Survivalists will do well to organize their bug out bags, vehicles and survival equipment. It should be an essential part of your discipline. Knowing what kind of food each bucket and Mylar bag has will save you the time and energy you can use for other things.

Label each Mylar bag and 5-gallon bucket with the food and the date you sealed it. The bags can be labeled using a sharpie. Allow sufficient time to dry so it won’t smudge. You can make use of sticky labels not only to organize your Mylar bags, but to organize the rest of your survival bags and storages as well.

Label boxes, packages and bottles with useful information. The time may come when you’ll not be present to help family members determine the correct box to open. It serves as a training tool for them to be more self-reliant.

If you have the extra time, include the information that came with the food package. A box of beans can be cut up and inserted into the 5-gallon bucket with the Mylar bag. You’ll have a detailed information into the food you’re storing. This is especially useful if one or more of your family members have food allergies.

Here’s a helpful video that walks you through the entire food storing process using Mylar bags, O2 absorbers, 5-gallon buckets and sealing the food in place- https://youtu.be/mR_vQcd3sb0

 

H. Creating a Step By Step Food Storage Action Plan

Mylar bags can sound intimidating, but with a little bit of knowledge and some how to’s, they can turn out to be quite easy to use. Once you have your oxygen absorbers, your 5-gallon bucket, your Mylar bags and your food, then it’s time to do a step-by-step emergency food storage action plan!

Step 1. Choose the food you want to store long term and buy them.

Step 2. Get your Mylar bags in both 1-gallon and 5-gallon sizes.

Step 3. Buy plenty of oxygen absorbers.

Step 4. Go to the hardware store and purchase new food-grade 5-gallon buckets with lids.

Step 5. Secure the best heat sealing device.

Step 6. Bring your organizational tools such as the labelers, the sharpies and the checklist to the table.

Step 7. Open your Mylar bags, put in food, add some O2 absorbers, seal them up and place them in 5-gallon buckets.

Step 8. Find a cool, dry place and store your Mylar bags in them.

Step 9. Rejoice! Your chances of surviving an end-of-days scenario has just gotten a little better.

How to Survive in the Desert: Learn the Essentials

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The desert- an unforgiving landscape environment filled with dangers present at all times. This is the final resting place of unprepared souls, with their bleached bones perfectly preserved by the hot sun and the hungry vultures.

Think you can survive out in the desert? It’s definitely a beautiful place, yes, but the hot of the sun and the cold of the night will catch the unprepared. Lack of working knowledge about how the environment works, lack of skills and the lack of adequate desert survival equipment will make short work of you in a hurry.

So how does one survive out in the desert? It’s not what you’d expect. Be prepared for a wholly unique environment where the standard survival rules do not apply. Here in the desert, there are different rules you should follow.

Let’s get started.

Quick Navigation

    A. Plan Trip, Know Area
    B. Prepare Your Vehicle
    C. Desert Survival Kit
    D. Obtaining & Rationing Water
    E. Finding Food
    F. Sun Protection
    G. Staying Warm at Night
    H. Mental Fitness & Spiritual Conditioning
    I. Wildlife Threats
    J. Getting Rescued

A. Plan The Trip, Know The Area

Preparation is still the key element to survival success, and the desert is no different. If you’ll be in the desert, whether just passing by to get to the original destination or planning to stay for days of backpacking, you’ll do well to pack and prepare a few essential items. We’ll be using the Rule of 3s as a guide. Our bodies can only survive for 3 days without water.

The hot desert and the humid environment accelerate the dehydration process. Even breathing under the searing noon sun will cause you to lose fluids. To compensate, you’ll need at the very least a gallon of drinkable water for each person. Two gallons is optimal. Keep in mind that you can create fire and make shelter, but out in the desert, you cannot make or find water.

Before leaving, you should inform someone you fully trust where you are going. This practice should be done anytime you’re heading out in the wild. It’s a sound survival tip. It’s not expensive, and it only takes a few minutes of your time.

Set aside 10 to 15 minutes and speak with a close friend or a family member in person or over the phone. Have them write down where exactly it is you’re going, and when you’re expected to be back. Resist the urge to change itineraries and stay on your planned route.

So what happens when your car breaks down in the middle of the vast desert, or that you’re days out in the desert, with little to no hope for rescue? Your trusted person will start to worry why you’re not back yet. He or she will then inform the local authorities, and they will send out a search and rescue party. Plus, they will know where exactly to look.

Also, take some time to read other people’s work about the desert area you’ll be visiting. Their past experience will help future travelers what to expect.

 

B. Prepare Your Vehicle

The general rule about being stuck in the desert with your vehicle is to never, ever leave it. The only exception to this golden desert survival rule is when you are 100% sure that there’s a nearby civilization. This is the only time you may abandon your vehicle to get to civilization and increase your chances of survival. Wait until the extreme heat passes and head out in the morning, the late afternoon or in the early night. The sun can play tricks with your vision and you could get lost further out.

Why would you need to stick to your vehicle? It’s an instant survival camp. Your vehicle will prove to be very useful because it contains a lot of survival equipment. Plus, it’s readily visible under a helicopter search.

You can use the following vehicle equipment under a survival situation:

1) Hood. A raised hood is a universally accepted sign that you are in trouble and that you need vehicular help.

2) Fuel. It can get you places and can double as a medium for making fire, which is extremely helpful when out in the freezing temperatures at night. Take care to use gas as it is very volatile.

3) Battery. It can charge your survival equipment and create sparks to make fire.

4) Oil. It can burn during the day or during the night and create thick, black smoke for signaling purposes. Rescuers will be able to see it from miles around.

5) Mirrors. Take them out of the vehicle and use it to signal passing vehicles when you’re stuck out in the desert.

6) Roof. Doubles as an instant shelter from the hot sun. Stay under the roof during peak daylight hours. Remember to open the windows and the doors to let air and heat pass by.

7) Horn. Make noise to attract the attention of nearby travelers. The horn can be used if you want to save your breath calling out for help.

Don’t panic when you’re facing a survival situation. Stop, think and plan for what you’re going to do. Don’t leave you vehicle as it could be very useful later. If you really must leave your vehicle, make sure to leave a helpful note inside the car or on the windshield. Information such as where you’re headed increases your chances of being found and rescued.

Do a full-body inspection of your vehicle the day before you leave for your desert adventure. Check the tire pressure, the electrical system and see if the fluids are all topped up. Create your desert survival equipment and put it in the trunk. Do a drive test before heading out to your destination. What you don’t want is your car breaking down in the middle of the desert just because you forgot to check the oil or the batteries. Visit your local auto shop and make sure everything is in tip-top shape.

 

C. How To Prepare Your Desert Survival Kit

What would survival be if not for the quintessential survival kit and equipment? Never leave home without it. Survivalists should have their everyday carry kit with them and in the vehicle at all times. It’s one of the golden rules for preparedness. If going on foot, make sure to put the everyday survival gear into a backpack. If you’re bringing in a vehicle, don’t forget to your everyday gear in the back.

You’ll thank the stars that you remembered to pack your everyday carry kit when the desert decides to throw in a monkey wrench to your desert adventure. If you think that it’d be a waste of precious space and weight to bring your everyday survival carry with you, you’d be wrong. It’s infinitely better to bring it and not have to use it than not bring it and suddenly need it. While most survival scenarios can be potentially avoided, some cannot and these are the times you’ll appreciate the fact that you brought your everyday survival bag with you.

Here are the best survival equipment you can pack in your everyday survival bag:

1) Water. You’ll need multiple ways on storing and making water. Instant water and small water purification devices are always welcome.

2) Signaling Devices. Bring your smart phone and a means to charge it. Pack in compact, powerful flashlights, signal mirrors, glo-sticks, lightsticks, chem lights or signal flares. Space is at a premium, so if you can get an all-in-one device, i.e, a flashlight that can charge your smart phone, the better.

3) Directional Equipment. GPS devices, a good compass and a topographical map of the desert area.

4) Protection. This can be interpreted in many ways. Protection starts with what you’re wearing. Out in the desert you’ll need the proper dress attire. Cover the essential body parts from the hot searing reach of the sun and the burning air. You’ll need sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. If you can, bring a reflective tarp or blanket, and items that could help you create a makeshift shelter when needed.

5) First Aid Kit. All everyday carry bags will need first aid equipment.

6) Fire. Ferrocerium rods, magnesium blocks and good old lighters should be brought in your survival pack. Fire can do many helpful things. It can be used as a signaling device and keep you warm during the night. It can be used to purify water and help you mentally focus.

D. Obtaining Water and Rationing Water

Keeping cool is one of the most important things you’ll need to keep track when you’re trying to survive in the desert. Does it stand that you’ll have to find sources of water in the desert no matter what?

The simple answer is no. You could be defeated in your search to find drinkable water under the hot scorching sun. The effort alone will make you lose essential water and cause dehydration. Dehydration out in the desert is a bad thing.

Let’s think about this in a logical manner. Use this formula as a measuring stick:

 

1) Water In Minus Water Out

Water In is the amount of water you consume. Water Out is the amount of water eliminated by sweating and peeing. Dehydration occurs when your water in/water out balance gets out of whack. Dehydration is the leading cause of death out in the desert. You’ll do well to keep your dehydration under check using any of the two things- finding and drinking potable water, which increases Water In, or mitigating your Water Out.

Believe it or not, you can ration the amount of sweat that’s coming out of your body. Stay out of the sun’s reach and go to a protective shade. Limit strenuous activity during noontime and be more active in the night. These will all greatly increase your chances of finding help and surviving out in the desert.

Keep your skin temp strictly down to under 92 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid losing water. Put your sleeping bag or a cover into a bush to create an instant shade and to allow for cooling breezes. Don’t sit directly on the hot sand. If you must, tear out the seats of your new truck.

 

2) Creating Your Own Solar Water Still

Do yourself a favor and pack in a few sheets of sturdy plastic on your desert survival kit or the back of your vehicle as you head out to the desert. It only takes up a few space, and yet it can create one of the most important things you need to survive- the solar water still. A solar water still is a device that can be used to collect water and moisture from the environment.

Solar stills are a godsend in a desert survival situation. By themselves, they simulate a small, portable greenhouse which does several things. First, the heat enters the plastic barrier. It gets trapped and could not get out easily. The heat in the plastic forces the soil’s moisture to vaporize. A humid atmosphere is formed under the plastic barrier. Temperature invariably drops as the sun goes down, from which the moisture from the air comes up and forms on the plastic. The condensed water forms and drops in the small container you placed in the center.

 

Here’s how you can create a basic solar still:

Step 1. Dig out a round hole. Make it several feet deep and a few feet wide.

Step 2. Put in a collection pit in the center of the dug hole using a plastic sheet.

Step 3. Stretch out the plastic sheet across the dug hole.

Step 4. Get some rocks that will hold the sheets in place. The setup should be that the sheet is off the ground, tapering to a drop as it approaches the middle of the dug hole. An easy way to make this happen is to put in a medium-sized rock in the middle of the plastic sheet. The rocks on the perimeter of the sheet should hold everything in place.

Step 5. Wait for the plastic sheet to start accumulating precious water. You’ll see condensation, and then a few drops will start to appear. The moisture will gather together and form in the plastic sheet’s center.

The condensed water will form when night comes on, and you’ll have drops of potable water collected in the middle of the solar still.

 

3) Obtaining Water From The Desert Environment

Do an ocular inspection for the most obvious signs of water. Get to higher ground- climb to a huge rock outcropping or a tall dune, and start to look for reflections off the sand. Under the sun and in the sand, water will shine like precious diamonds. If you have a pair of good binoculars with you, the better. You’ll have increased range and more accurate sightings. If you’re lucky, you’ll find other useful and/or helpful things aside from locating water sources.

The presence of animals usually indicate a potable water source. Bring your sight over to the skies above and search for birds. The fact that doves and pigeons won’t be able to survive without water will be especially useful here. Be on the lookout for small bees as well- they are just about 1km from nearby sources of water. Listen for the buzzing sound and keep your eyes sharp!

Plants and other vegetation need water to survive. If you see a smattering of grass or cacti in an area, then chances are there’ll be water to drink. A tree root can contain water if there was reported rain recently. Try to brush up on different desert vegetation, as they contain useful information on how far the water source is below the ground.

Check for telltale signs of dried up lakes and rivers. The searing desert heat will evaporate the water from the surface, but water under the surface will continue to stay and be available. The beds should fill up as soon as there’s an occurrence of rain. If you spot one, dig a bit and you’ll find water.

Plant dew is also a reliable source of water out in the desert. Just before the sun sets out in the morning, dew forms on plants and on cacti. You can use this to your advantage by waking up early, then squeezing out a few precious drops. Put over a cloth overnight and drink the dew in the morning.

Here’s a few movie myths that we need to dispel. Sure, you can drink water out of cacti, but you will have to know which ones are good for you and which ones aren’t. Many cacti species are extremely toxic. Ingesting its fruits and drinking the juice that comes out of it can cause diarrhea. Diarrhea accelerates the dehydration process, bringing you much closer to your doom. So if you’re not sure, don’t drink the cactus water.

 

E. Finding Food

Going hungry can be a health hazard in normal situations, but in desert survival scenarios it can prove to be beneficial. Why? Food is further down the line when it comes to a survival checklist of things. Water is higher up in the checklist. Therefore, not eating anything for as long as you can helps because you’ll need extra water in order to digest your food.

The key is in moderation. Eat just so that you’ll have your energy. Refrain from eating up to fullness. If your water supply is running dangerously low, then it may be better to hold off that hunger for as long as you can. You can live for far longer without food than you can live without drinking water.

Natural instincts mistakenly tell us that we could die of starvation more than dying of thirst, but do your best to think otherwise. The facts are real- a person can survive 3 weeks without food via an internal mechanism of feeding off your fats, and then your muscle fibers. That same person can die of thirst in about 2 or 3 days at most.

 

F. Finding and Making Sun Protection

Finding and making shelter from the sun is one of the best things you can do to ensure desert survival. It keeps your body temperature well-regulated. During noontime, it’s best to stop what you’re doing and find shelter from the burning sun by staying cool in the shade. Get much-needed rest and conserve both energy and water this way. You’ll need them when the sun goes down. During the night, it’s best to find food, water, travel and build a solar still.

Natural shelters include hanging cliffs and large rocks. They block out direct sunlight and heat. You may be tempted to remove your clothing under these circumstances, but it would be best not to. The added layer of cloth keeps you from losing too much water via perspiration. It will also stave off the direct rays of the sun, keeping you off sunburn.

There will be a chance that you’ll have to face a dust storm as you’re traveling the desert environment. You can create a makeshift bandanabandana for covering your mouth and keep off the stinging sand from entering your lungs. Here’s where a vehicle can prove useful. If you are in the midst of a dust storm, then simply go inside the vehicle and ride it out. If not, then you should find low-lying outcrops and large boulders and take shelter in them. Create the largest shield you can find and stay under.

 

G. Staying Warm at Night

Think it’s all about the desert heat that will get an individual trapped out in the desert environment? Think again. The cold is just as deadly. Temperature drops to almost freezing out in desert nights, so you’ll need adequate protective clothing. Clothes and blanketsblankets made from wool or mylar are your best bet. They will keep you adequately warm at night. A Mylar sheet or a woolen blanket will be your best friend.

Fire is also one of the things you’ll need to stay alive at night. If you are caught unawares with just a tank top and shorts, it can prove to be the difference between life and death. Pack in fire creation tools in your desert survival backpack and in your everyday carry bag. Gain the skills and knowledge on how to make fire using your natural surroundings. Keep your skills sharp with constant practice. The bow and drill is particularly useful and should be thoroughly learned.

The best time to light a fire is during the night. Deserts can get very cold in at nighttime. The cold can bring about deadly effects such as hypothermia. This is probably the most surprising thing about the desert. Yes, you can get hypothermia out in the desert! Now that you know, you should take the proper steps to ensure this doesn’t happen to you.

Fire can also protect you in more ways than one. Deserts are home to vicious animals out to get food. Predators such as bobcats, coyotes and mountain lions can be scared away using a live brand. Make sure to put in multiple fire starters in your backpack and in your vehicle. Electrical lighters, waterproof matches and fire strikers are all good firestarting equipment.

 

H. Maintaining Your Emotions, Mental Fitness and Spiritual Condition

If there’s anything you’ve learned in survival classes, it’s that you should keep a cool, calm and rational head at all times. In other words, don’t panic! Going berserk will only lead to bad things that could endanger your chances of survival. Stop and think. Assume that there’s always a way to get out of the survival scenario that you’re in. Sure, it’s scary to see nothing but sand for miles and miles and no way to call for help, but don’t let that make you give up.

Use the basic elements to survive. Fire can be used to signal help, keep warm during the coldest desert nights and scare off the dangerous animals that go prowling about. Fire can also be a means of psychological comfort. Our ancestors have it used for ages. People feel safer when near warmth and fire sources. Large animals will think twice before approaching a campfire.

It helps to keep a good mindset and a wary expectation when surviving in the desert. Always expect the unexpected. Control the urge to panic. Always use your brain. Conserve precious energy and water as long as possible. Don’t think of the desert as your enemy.

 

I. Negotiating Wildlife Threats

It may seem devoid of plants and wildlife out there, but the desert is actually home to many dangerous and poisonous things. You’ll experience flash floods(!), dust storms, scorpions and venomous snakes, centipedes, spiders and Africanized bees. There’s also the mountain lions, the coyote bobcats and of course, the rattlesnakes.

You can prepare for these wildlife threats by carefully choosing where you rest. Spend some time scouting out the resting location and check for telltale signs of animals living nearby. You may have a high supply of water and a means to survive for the next few days, but one bite out of a rattlesnake can bring an untimely end in a hurry. Check for sidewinders as well.

Scorpion stings are possible but they are rare. This can be avoided simply by doing a quick inspection of where you’re sitting in order to avoid a surprise attack from a scorpion that could be as terrified as you are.

You may be surprised to see flash floods written down in a desert survival article, but it’s definitely possible and really dangerous if you’re caught unprepared. The desert floor is hard and dry from lack of rain. When a storm comes, the soil won’t soak it in instantly; instead, it will run and collect and turn into a deluge. The downpour and all that water may prove to be a blessing but you wouldn’t want to be swept away into a huge sharp rock cliff. The sheer volume of water can also drown you in seconds. Flash floods too can be avoided by being careful on where you rest. When setting down, you should avoid lake beds, ditches and dry channels. Any low-lying environment can fill up when the storm clouds come. Avoid traveling in slot canyons if you can.

 

J. Getting Rescued

Get your signal tools ready for when you see signs of vehicles, copters and rescue parties. These cues must be different from nature sounds to increase your chances of being found.

The humble signaling mirror is especially useful during the day. You can use a metal knife blade as an alternative. These will work as daylight flashlights that can notify passing airplanes and helicopters. The resulting reflection can be seen for miles all around. Take the time to learn how to use them. Prepare to use them and don’t wait for the emergency situation to come to you. If you’re in a pinch, break off your vehicle’s side mirror and use that for signaling purposes.

A rescue team will be able to see fire from long distances in the flat desert environment. You can also set up perpetual distress signals by placing a pile of rocks into a triangular or a V-shape. If you have a way to create thick, black bellowing smoke, do so. Drain the oil from your vehicle and burn it. Take out your spare tire and puncture it. Remove the valve core to prevent unnecessary explosions and hurting those around you. Setting up a burning oil crate is a very effective signaling tool that people can see for miles around.

Use flares at night and only when you see a rescue plane or a helicopter. It can also be used in a pinch to start a fire at night. Audible signals should be let off in groups of 3. A long blast may sound like a plaintive wail of a hawk, but 3 short whistle blasts are a distinct cry for help. Remember to pack in whistles in your desert survival bag or everyday carry bag. It can bring manual search parties ever closer to your location, and can

How to Survive in the Dessert

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The desert- an unforgiving landscape environment filled with dangers present at all times. This is the final resting place of unprepared souls, with their bleached bones perfectly preserved by the hot sun and the hungry vultures.

Think you can survive out in the desert? It’s definitely a beautiful place, yes, but the hot of the sun and the cold of the night will catch the unprepared. Lack of working knowledge about how the environment works, lack of skills and the lack of adequate desert survival equipment will make short work of you in a hurry.

So how does one survive out in the desert? It’s not what you’d expect. Be prepared for a wholly unique environment where the standard survival rules do not apply. Here in the desert, there are different rules you should follow.

Let’s get started.

Quick Navigation

    A. Plan Trip, Know Area
    B. Prepare Your Vehicle
    C. Desert Survival Kit
    D. Obtaining & Rationing Water
    E. Finding Food
    F. Sun Protection
    G. Staying Warm at Night
    H. Mental Fitness & Spiritual Conditioning
    I. Wildlife Threats
    J. Getting Rescued

A. Plan The Trip, Know The Area

Preparation is still the key element to survival success, and the desert is no different. If you’ll be in the desert, whether just passing by to get to the original destination or planning to stay for days of backpacking, you’ll do well to pack and prepare a few essential items. We’ll be using the Rule of 3s as a guide. Our bodies can only survive for 3 days without water.

The hot desert and the humid environment accelerate the dehydration process. Even breathing under the searing noon sun will cause you to lose fluids. To compensate, you’ll need at the very least a gallon of drinkable water for each person. Two gallon is optimal. Keep in mind that you can create fire and make shelter, but out in the desert, you cannot make or find water.

Before leaving, you should inform someone you fully trust where you are going. This practice should be done anytime you’re heading out in the wild. It’s a sound survival tip. It’s not expensive, and it only takes a few minutes of your time.

Set aside 10 to 15 minutes and speak with a close friend or a family member in person or over the phone. Have them write down where exactly it is you’re going, and when you’re expected to be back. Resist the urge to change itineraries and stay on your planned route.

So what happens when your car breaks down in the middle of the vast desert, or that you’re days out in the desert, with little to no hope for rescue? Your trusted person will start to worry why you’re not back yet. He or she will then inform the local authorities, and they will send out a search and rescue party. Plus, they will know where exactly to look.

Also, take some time to read other people’s work about the desert area you’ll be visiting. Their past experience will help future travelers what to expect.

 

B. Prepare Your Vehicle

The general rule about being stuck in the desert with your vehicle is to never, ever leave it. The only exception to this golden desert survival rule is when you are 100% sure that there’s a nearby civilization. This is the only time you may abandon your vehicle to get to civilization and increase your chances of survival. Wait until the extreme heat passes and head out in the morning, the late afternoon or in the early night. The sun can play tricks with your vision and you could get lost further out.

Why would you need to stick to your vehicle? It’s an instant survival camp. Your vehicle will prove to be very useful because it contains a lot of survival equipment. Plus, it’s readily visible under a helicopter search.

You can use the following vehicle equipment under a survival situation:

1) Hood. A raised hood is a universally accepted sign that you are in trouble and that you need vehicular help.

2) Fuel. It can get you places and can double as a medium for making fire, which is extremely helpful when out in the freezing temperatures at night. Take care to use gas as it is very volatile.

3) Battery. It can charge your survival equipment and create sparks to make fire.

4) Oil. It can burn during the day or during the night and create thick, black smoke for signaling purposes. Rescuers will be able to see it from miles around.

5) Mirrors. Take them out of the vehicle and use it to signal passing vehicles when you’re stuck out in the desert.

6) Roof. Doubles as an instant shelter from the hot sun. Stay under the roof during peak daylight hours. Remember to open the windows and the doors to let air and heat pass by.

7) Horn. Make noise to attract the attention of nearby travelers. The horn can be used if you want to save your breath calling out for help.

 Don’t panic when you’re facing a survival situation. Stop, think and plan for what you’re going to do. Don’t leave you vehicle as it could be very useful later. If you really must leave your vehicle, make sure to leave a helpful note inside the car or on the windshield. Information such as where you’re headed increases your chances of being found and rescued.

Do a full-body inspection of your vehicle the day before you leave for your desert adventure. Check the tire pressure, the electrical system and see if the fluids are all topped up. Create your desert survival equipment and put it in the trunk. Do a drive test before heading out to your destination. What you don’t want is your car breaking down in the middle of the desert just because you forgot to check the oil or the batteries. Visit your local auto shop and make sure everything is in tip-top shape.

 

C. How To Prepare Your Desert Survival Kit

What would survival be if not for the quintessential survival kit and equipment? Never leave home without it. Survivalists should have their everyday carry kit with them and in the vehicle at all times. It’s one of the golden rules for preparedness. If going on foot, make sure to put the everyday survival gear into a backpack. If you’re bringing in a vehicle, don’t forget to your everyday gear in the back.

You’ll thank the stars that you remembered to pack your everyday carry kit when the desert decides to throw in a monkey wrench to your desert adventure. If you think that it’d be a waste of precious space and weight to bring your everyday survival carry with you, you’d be wrong. It’s infinitely better to bring it and not have to use it than not bring it and suddenly need it. While most survival scenarios can be potentially avoided, some cannot and these are the times you’ll appreciate the fact that you brought your everyday survival bag with you.

Here are the best survival equipment you can pack in your everyday survival bag:

1) Water. You’ll need multiple ways on storing and making water. Instant water and small water purification devices are always welcome.

2) Signaling Devices. Bring your smart phone and a means to charge it. Pack in compact, powerful flashlights, signal mirrors, glo-sticks, lightsticks, chem lights or signal flares. Space is at a premium, so if you can get an all-in-one device, i.e, a flashlight that can charge your smart phone, the better.

3) Directional Equipment. GPS devices, a good compass and a topographical map of the desert area.

4) Protection. This can be interpreted in many ways. Protection starts with what you’re wearing. Out in the desert you’ll need the proper dress attire. Cover the essential body parts from the hot searing reach of the sun and the burning air. You’ll need sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. If you can, bring a reflective tarp or blanket, and items that could help you create a makeshift shelter when needed.

5) First Aid Kit. All everyday carry bags will need first aid equipment.

6) Fire. Ferrocerium rods, magnesium blocks and good old lighters should be brought in your survival pack. Fire can do many helpful things. It can be used as a signaling device and keep you warm during the night. It can be used to purify water and help you mentally focus.

D. Obtaining Water and Rationing Water

Keeping cool is one of the most important things you’ll need to keep track when you’re trying to survive in the desert. Does it stand that you’ll have to find sources of water in the desert no matter what?

The simple answer is no. You could be defeated in your search to find drinkable water under the hot scorching sun. The effort alone will make you lose essential water and cause dehydration. Dehydration out in the desert is a bad thing.

Let’s think about this in a logical manner. Use this formula as a measuring stick:

 

1) Water In Minus Water Out

Water In is the amount of water you consume. Water Out is the amount of water eliminated by sweating and peeing. Dehydration occurs when your water in/water out balance gets out of whack. Dehydration is the leading cause of death out in the desert. You’ll do well to keep your dehydration under check using any of the two things- finding and drinking potable water, which increases Water In, or mitigating your Water Out.

Believe it or not, you can ration the amount of sweat that’s coming out of your body. Stay out of the sun’s reach and go to a protective shade. Limit strenuous activity during noontime and be more active in the night. These will all greatly increase your chances of finding help and surviving out in the desert.

Keep your skin temp strictly down to under 92 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid losing water. Put your sleeping bag or a cover into a bush to create an instant shade and to allow for cooling breezes. Don’t sit directly on the hot sand. If you must, tear out the seats of your new truck.

 

2) Creating Your Own Solar Water Still

Do yourself a favor and pack in a few sheets of sturdy plastic on your desert survival kit or the back of your vehicle as you head out to the desert. It only takes up a few space, and yet it can create one of the most important things you need to survive- the solar water still. A solar water still is a device that can be used to collect water and moisture from the environment.

Solar stills are a godsend in a desert survival situation. By themselves, they simulate a small, portable greenhouse which does several things. First, the heat enters the plastic barrier. It gets trapped and could not get out easily. The heat in the plastic forces the soil’s moisture to vaporize. A humid atmosphere is formed under the plastic barrier. Temperature invariably drops as the sun goes down, from which the moisture from the air comes up and forms on the plastic. The condensed water forms and drops in the small container you placed in the center.

 

Here’s how you can create a basic solar still:

Step 1. Dig out a round hole. Make it several feet deep and a few feet wide.

Step 2. Put in a collection pit in the center of the dug hole using a plastic sheet.

Step 3. Stretch out the plastic sheet across the dug hole.

Step 4. Get some rocks that will hold the sheets in place. The setup should be that the sheet is off the ground, tapering to a drop as it approaches the middle of the dug hole. An easy way to make this happen is to put in a medium-sized rock in the middle of the plastic sheet. The rocks on the perimeter of the sheet should hold everything in place.

Step 5. Wait for the plastic sheet to start accumulating precious water. You’ll see condensation, and then a few drops will start to appear. The moisture will gather together and form in the plastic sheet’s center.

The condensed water will form when night comes on, and you’ll have drops of potable water collected in the middle of the solar still.

 

3) Obtaining Water From The Desert Environment

Do an ocular inspection for the most obvious signs of water. Get to higher ground- climb to a huge rock outcropping or a tall dune, and start to look for reflections off the sand. Under the sun and in the sand, water will shine like precious diamonds. If you have a pair of good binoculars with you, the better. You’ll have increased range and more accurate sightings. If you’re lucky, you’ll find other useful and/or helpful things aside from locating water sources.

The presence of animals usually indicate a potable water source. Bring your sight over to the skies above and search for birds. The fact that doves and pigeons won’t be able to survive without water will be especially useful here. Be on the lookout for small bees as well- they are just about 1km from nearby sources of water. Listen for the buzzing sound and keep your eyes sharp!

Plants and other vegetation need water to survive. If you see a smattering of grass or cacti in an area, then chances are there’ll be water to drink. A tree root can contain water if there was reported rain recently. Try to brush up on different desert vegetation, as they contain useful information on how far the water source is below the ground.

Check for telltale signs of dried up lakes and rivers. The searing desert heat will evaporate the water from the surface, but water under the surface will continue to stay and be available. The beds should fill up as soon as there’s an occurrence of rain. If you spot one, dig a bit and you’ll find water.

Plant dew is also a reliable source of water out in the desert. Just before the sun sets out in the morning, dew forms on plants and on cacti. You can use this to your advantage by waking up early, then squeezing out a few precious drops. Put over a cloth overnight and drink the dew in the morning.

Here’s a few movie myths that we need to dispel. Sure, you can drink water out of cacti, but you will have to know which ones are good for you and which ones aren’t. Many cacti species are extremely toxic. Ingesting its fruits and drinking the juice that comes out of it can cause diarrhea. Diarrhea accelerates the dehydration process, bringing you much closer to your doom. So if you’re not sure, don’t drink the cactus water.

 

E. Finding Food

Going hungry can be a health hazard in normal situations, but in desert survival scenarios it can prove to be beneficial. Why? Food is further down the line when it comes to a survival checklist of things. Water is higher up in the checklist. Therefore, not eating anything for as long as you can helps because you’ll need extra water in order to digest your food.

The key is in moderation. Eat just so that you’ll have your energy. Refrain from eating up to fullness. If your water supply is running dangerously low, then it may be better to hold off that hunger for as long as you can. You can live for far longer without food than you can live without drinking water.

Natural instincts mistakenly tell us that we could die of starvation more than dying of thirst, but do your best to think otherwise. The facts are real- a person can survive 3 weeks without food via an internal mechanism of feeding off your fats, and then your muscle fibers. That same person can die of thirst in about 2 or 3 days at most.

 

F. Finding and Making Sun Protection

Finding and making shelter from the sun is one of the best things you can do to ensure desert survival. It keeps your body temperature well-regulated. During noontime, it’s best to stop what you’re doing and find shelter from the burning sun by staying cool in the shade. Get much-needed rest and conserve both energy and water this way. You’ll need them when the sun goes down. During the night, it’s best to find food, water, travel and build a solar still.

Natural shelters include hanging cliffs and large rocks. They block out direct sunlight and heat. You may be tempted to remove your clothing under these circumstances, but it would be best not to. The added layer of cloth keeps you from losing too much water via perspiration. It will also stave off the direct rays of the sun, keeping you off sunburn.

There will be a chance that you’ll have to face a dust storm as you’re traveling the desert environment. You can create a makeshift bandana for covering your mouth and keep off the stinging sand from entering your lungs. Here’s where a vehicle can prove useful. If you are in the midst of a dust storm, then simply go inside the vehicle and ride it out. If not, then you should find low-lying outcrops and large boulders and take shelter in them. Create the largest shield you can find and stay under.

 

G. Staying Warm at Night

Think it’s all about the desert heat that will get an individual trapped out in the desert environment? Think again. The cold is just as deadly. Temperature drops to almost freezing out in desert nights, so you’ll need adequate protective clothing. Clothes and blankets made from wool are your best bet. They will keep you adequately warm at night. A Mylar sheet or a woolen blanket will be your best friend.

Fire is also one of the things you’ll need to stay alive at night. If you are caught unawares with just a tank top and shorts, it can prove to be the difference between life and death. Pack in fire creation tools in your desert survival backpack and in your everyday carry bag. Gain the skills and knowledge on how to make fire using your natural surroundings. Keep your skills sharp with constant practice. The bow and drill is particularly useful and should be thoroughly learned.

The best time to light a fire is during the night. Deserts can get very cold in at nighttime. The cold can bring about deadly effects such as hypothermia. This is probably the most surprising thing about the desert. Yes, you can get hypothermia out in the desert! Now that you know, you should take the proper steps to ensure this doesn’t happen to you.

Fire can also protect you in more ways than one. Deserts are home to vicious animals out to get food. Predators such as bobcats, coyotes and mountain lions can be scared away using a live brand. Make sure to put in multiple fire starters in your backpack and in your vehicle. Electrical lighters, waterproof matches and fire strikers are all good firestarting equipment.

 

H. Maintaining Your Emotions, Mental Fitness and Spiritual Condition

If there’s anything you’ve learned in survival classes, it’s that you should keep a cool, calm and rational head at all times. In other words, don’t panic! Going berserk will only lead to bad things that could endanger your chances of survival. Stop and think. Assume that there’s always a way to get out of the survival scenario that you’re in. Sure, it’s scary to see nothing but sand for miles and miles and no way to call for help, but don’t let that make you give up.

Use the basic elements to survive. Fire can be used to signal help, keep warm during the coldest desert nights and scare off the dangerous animals that go prowling about. Fire can also be a means of psychological comfort. Our ancestors have it used for ages. People feel safer when near warmth and fire sources. Large animals will think twice before approaching a campfire.

It helps to keep a good mindset and a wary expectation when surviving in the desert. Always expect the unexpected. Control the urge to panic. Always use your brain. Conserve precious energy and water as long as possible. Don’t think of the desert as your enemy.

 

I. Negotiating Wildlife Threats

It may seem devoid of plants and wildlife out there, but the desert is actually home to many dangerous and poisonous things. You’ll experience flash floods(!), dust storms, scorpions and venomous snakes, centipedes, spiders and Africanized bees. There’s also the mountain lions, the coyote bobcats and of course, the rattlesnakes.

You can prepare for these wildlife threats by carefully choosing where you rest. Spend some time scouting out the resting location and check for telltale signs of animals living nearby. You may have a high supply of water and a means to survive for the next few days, but one bite out of a rattlesnake can bring an untimely end in a hurry. Check for sidewinders as well.

Scorpion stings are possible but they are rare. This can be avoided simply by doing a quick inspection of where you’re sitting in order to avoid a surprise attack from a scorpion that could be as terrified as you are.

You may be surprised to see flash floods written down in a desert survival article, but it’s definitely possible and really dangerous if you’re caught unprepared. The desert floor is hard and dry from lack of rain. When a storm comes, the soil won’t soak it in instantly; instead, it will run and collect and turn into a deluge. The downpour and all that water may prove to be a blessing but you wouldn’t want to be swept away into a huge sharp rock cliff. The sheer volume of water can also drown you in seconds. Flash floods too can be avoided by being careful on where you rest. When setting down, you should avoid lake beds, ditches and dry channels. Any low-lying environment can fill up when the storm clouds come. Avoid traveling in slot canyons if you can.

 

J. Getting Rescued

Get your signal tools ready for when you see signs of vehicles, copters and rescue parties. These cues must be different from nature sounds to increase your chances of being found.

The humble signaling mirror is especially useful during the day. You can use a metal knife blade as an alternative. These will work as daylight flashlights that can notify passing airplanes and helicopters. The resulting reflection can be seen for miles all around. Take the time to learn how to use them. Prepare to use them and don’t wait for the emergency situation to come to you. If you’re in a pinch, break off your vehicle’s side mirror and use that for signaling purposes.

A rescue team will be able to see fire from long distances in the flat desert environment. You can also set up perpetual distress signals by placing a pile of rocks into a triangular or a V-shape. If you have a way to create thick, black bellowing smoke, do so. Drain the oil from your vehicle and burn it. Take out your spare tire and puncture it. Remove the valve core to prevent unnecessary explosions and hurting those around you. Setting up a burning oil crate is a very effective signaling tool that people can see for miles around.

Use flares at night and only when you see a rescue plane or a helicopter. It can also be used in a pinch to start a fire at night. Audible signals should be let off in groups of 3. A long blast may sound like a plaintive wail of a hawk, but 3 short whistle blasts are a distinct cry for help. Remember to pack in whistles in your desert survival bag or everyday carry bag. It can bring manual search parties ever closer to your location, and can

How to Choose (and Use) the Right Slingshot for Survival

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Imagine how difficult it would be if you were lost in the wilderness without the proper survival tools. It would be a life-threatening experience if you were ever caught unprepared. Believe it or not, these things happen, even outside End Of World Scenarios.

Having a flat tire in the middle of a biking trail, being stranded while hiking in the woods or while camping out with your family are all situations you wouldn’t want to be in. The food you’ve brought will eventually run out. Being able to live off the land will mean the difference between survival and an untimely end.

Fortunately, there are plenty of natural foods that can be found in the woods. When you think hunting, you’d normally think rifles, guns or hunting knives. Slingshots are probably the furthest thing from your mind- after all, won’t you automatically think Bart Simpson and childish pranks when you see a slingshot? But surprisingly, it’s one of the best weapons you should bring with you whenever you head outdoors. Believe it or not, rudimentary slingshots were used to hunt live animals and fight off marauding tribes. It’s an excellent self-defense tool that has nigh-infinite ammo.

A. When to Use a Slingshot:

Almost all survival scenarios have constantly shifting factors that you have to prepare for. Some of the unknowns will be the type of enemy you’ll face, and the length of time it takes to get back home or to a fortified base. Having a handy weapon with you at all times becomes a necessity.

A slingshot is an ideal weapon in almost all types of prepping scenarios. It can kill any type of small game such as ducks, geese, pigeons, pheasants, rabbits, squirrels and even aquatic games like fish, etc. It’s even possible to kill large predator game with the right combination of skill and luck.  

Ammunition for your slingshot can be found anywhere you go. You can buy marbles, steel balls and scrounge around for good, fist-sized rocks whenever you need ammo. It’s an excellent weapon whether you’re facing survival challenges in an urban or a natural landscape.

A Slingshot as a Self-Defense Weapon.  Don’t underestimate the stopping power of a slingshot. In the right hands, they can be effective against attacking animals and humans.

Here are some advantages a slingshot can give you:

  1. The small size makes it easy to conceal or store when not needed.
  2. Brandishing a threatening weapon could stave off any potential attacker, and the slingshot is no exception.
  3. You can find ammo for slingshots just about everywhere you go.
  4. Slingshots are tough and can take a beating.
  5. Slingshots can be used for sniping, or stealth attacks when you need to take down targets without being detected.

 

B. How to Shoot a Slingshot for Survival

You can use a slingshot to hunt game and use it as a weapon for self-defense when doomsday events occur. Most large supermarkets such as Walmart have slingshots that can fire projectiles up to 300 feet per second. Varieties of slingshots have different speeds, but the important thing is to constantly practice with your weapon of choice to ensure a high level of proficiency and accuracy.

For example, fast-moving animals such as rabbits or birds are quite difficult to hit if they are on the run. It would be best to target stationary game or not at all, because it could mean wasted ammunition and ruining the element of surprise in the end. The optimal targets are the ones that are stationary, but they are small, so you would need to practice in developing that skill.

Courtesy of Slingshotforum.com

Wield the slingshot like you would a bow and arrow- stalking prey is the best way to kill with a slingshot. Some of the common pointers would be to hold the slingshot at a lower angle. Don’t put it up too high if you aren’t aiming for something in the sky. Don’t hold it too tightly or else the projectile will hit anything but the target itself.

The act of hunting should always be tempered by ethical boundaries. Being accurate is the key to surviving using a slingshot. A headshot is probably the best way to kill small game. Hitting the target in the body would most likely cause internal bleeding, which potentially ruins the quality of the meat. Non-fatal shots will cause squirrels and rabbits to escape, leaving you without a successful kill.

Treat your slingshot like any other weapon you’d carry. The potential of the slingshot as a weapon is the same as with guns and rifles. They aren’t toys and shouldn’t be used to hurt anyone without just cause. They can injure, maim or kill if used incorrectly. Never, ever point a loaded slingshot unless in emergency or survival situations.

 

C. Choosing the Right Slingshot

Those who have worked with slingshots before will tell you how invaluable it can be in survival situations. Like any good weapon, not all slingshots are manufactured equally. There are features that you should think about when choosing the right slingshot.

Here are some of the essential factors to consider:

 

1. Frame Material

A slingshot can be divided into 3 main frame materials- plastic, wood and metal. With each material comes advantages and disadvantages. Knowing what each one can do will lead you to having the right type of weapon on the prepping process.

a) Plastic

– Perhaps the most economical choice out of all 3 frame materials.
– There are different plastic sub-types available. Each can lend different advantages as well.
– Glass-filled nylon can be an excellent frame material if you’re looking for a lightweight yet durable slingshot.

b) Wood

– Wooden slingshots are the oldest slingshot types there is.
– Usually cut in a Y-shape; rubber bands are adhered to each fork.

d) Metal

– Light and strong.
– The most expensive of the three. They are the longest-lasting and the sturdiest frame material you can get.
– A steel or aluminum frame slingshot with an ergonomic foam handle is great for bug out events.

 

2. Band Types

There are two dominant band types circulating in the market today- the flat rubber type and the rubber tubing type. Choosing the right band type will depend on what you intend to use the slingshot for. Tubing is known for being durable, while slingshots with flat bands provide a better shot and is great for use in self-defense scenarios.

Here are some more benefits:

 

  • Flat Bands

– Slingshots sporting flat bands tend to have a quicker shot and are more accurate, thanks to their rapid “snapback speed” feature, which is essentially the rate at which your projectile moves forward.
– Flat bands act as a better deterrent against possible attackers. You can show off the accuracy of your weapon, which makes it an excellent self-defense tool.
– Flat bands produce a quicker projectile speed while being easier to draw. If you’re firing for accuracy then you should go for flat bands at any rate.

  • Rubber Tubing

– Rubber tubes last far longer than flat bands would. It’s the better choice if you’re planning to survive for longer periods of time and hunting small game.
– There are a variety of slingshot tubes that cater to a specific draw weight. Choose one to get the best possible shooting feel.

The bottom line here is that both band types are relatively cheap and easy to get a hold of. You should test each one out and see which one provides a better fit.

 

3. Other Important Features

There are thousands of different slingshots you can buy on the market. Knowing the added features will determine whether the product is a mediocre one or a jewel worth keeping. Some of these features definitely come in handy in prepping for specific survival situations. Take a look at the following listed below:

a) Grip

What use would a weapon be if it were unwieldy and/or uncomfortable to use? You’d need a comfortable grip to make the most out of your slingshot. A slingshot that provides a good grip does more than producing less blisters- it allows you to get more shots in with greater accuracy because of reduced wrist and hand fatigue. Ergonomic or contoured slingshot handles are the best ones to get.

b) Sight

Having a sight improves the accuracy of your shot. It works well, especially in the early stages when you’re just getting a feel for distance and shooting accuracy. You’ll need lesser time to practice and use that for other aspects of prepping up. Still, practice is king when it comes to having a slingshot as a weapon.

Sights are key feature if you intend to hunt small or fast-moving game. It becomes less useful (but still useful, nonetheless) if you’re prepping for human opponents and large game. Most top slingshot brands that cater to hunting usually come with a sight attached.

c) Hollow Handle

Hollow handles are great for storing additional ammunition or spare bands. These usually come with a screw-cap aspect. If you think out of the box, the hollow handles can also be used for storing additional small survival tools or equipment. Button compasses, fire starter kits, medicine, fishing kits are among the things you can pack in it.

 

D. The 9 Best Slingshots You Can Buy Now

What’s a low-tech weapon that has the oomph and the stopping firepower of low-caliber weapons? Slingshots. They work as excellent self-defense and hunting tools, and are great when you want to stalk or do practice stealth kills on small game. Slingshots are lightweight, easy to conceal and have virtually unlimited ammunition on any given landscape.

Modern slingshots have come a long way from being fun leisure tools to being military-grade weapons that can keep you alive in End-of-Days scenarios. Here are 9 top slingshots you should consider when prepping:

 

1. Trumark FS-1

Some slingshot experts say that band type is everything when it comes to slingshots. The Trumark FS-1 may lack the elasticity or the pull weight needed to make it a no-brainer purchase, but the stock ones are good for practicing nonetheless. The wrist guard and the arms are made from weather resistant aircraft aluminum material, each with a 4 and 1/2″ gap to the middle of the fork. The contoured plastic handle can store ammo as needed.

The Trumark FS-1 could use a bit more ergonomic technology- the straight handle gives a good grip and accuracy, but you’d become uncomfortable after using it for a short while. The wrist guards can be folded if you’re lacking premium space for your bug out bag, your travel backpack or your footlocker. Individuals who will be using slingshots mainly for hunting big game, or those who are looking to use slingshots constantly may choose other slingshots in the list. The Trumark FS-1 shines when the situation calls for hunting small game, varmint control and learning the ropes of slingshot shooting. Investing in a few upgrades can make it a killer slingshot in certain doomsday scenarios.

 

2. Torque Slingshot

The Torque slingshot sets a high standard for what constitutes an excellent slingshot. The “indestructible” materials are made in the USA- a mixture of glass-filled nylon and polycarbonate. The design is simple but well-made. Look underneath the added features and you’ll find a variety of neat stuff that caters to both slingshot enthusiasts and doomsday preppers alike. Moreover, you can carry the slingshot around and store it just as easily in your bag when not in use, thanks to its lightweight construction.

The extra-wide fork tips allow the user to install the more powerful flat bands when more force is needed. The Torque can easily accommodate looped or single strand tubes, depending on the user’s preference. The handle is ergonomic and has an offset handle. You can just point and shoot using the Torque Slingshot’s intuitive pointing and slide-shooting feature. Each product comes with its own 2040 tube and a paracord lanyard. Experienced slingshooters will have a field day when they get their hands on the Torque Slingshot.

 

3. Toprade ABS Slingshot with Flat Rubber Band

The simplicity and clever band design really caught our eye on the Toprade ABS slingshot.  While it may not have a forearm brace to help counter your pull, it makes up for it by having a clean ergonomic handle design that feels absolutely bulletproof.  You could literally run this over with a jeep and it would survive, and it’s single flat strap band feels strong, supple, and durable.

Pulling and aiming has a more natural and primal feel, with how it forces your fine motor fibers to do the stabilizing. What’s great is how you can easily stuff this into your bug out bag or pocket and almost forget it’s there, and take it out just as easily at moments notice.  The band on this Toprade is one of the stronger ones offered in the industry.  
 

 

4. Mythic Outdoors Adjustable 

The Mythic Outdoors was one of our favorite all around serious hunting slingshots on the market.  It’s all around quality, balance, and feeling of control make it ideal for getting your shot on target without any fuss.  It’s adjusts nicely to different sizes with two top screws.

While it only has one band, it’s extra high grade latex rubber feels stronger than most, and like it will retain it’s elasticity for years, (unlike some brands that dry and crumble in no time).  It includes 75 steel balls to get you started.  Best of all, the manufacturer offers a lifetime 100% money back guarantee, which is always a good sign that maker has much confidence in their own product.

   

 

5. Daisy Outdoor B52 Slingshot

The Daisy B52 Slingshot combines everything that makes an excellent slingshot for almost all types of emergency scenarios. The all-steel black construction is fully adjustable. You can be sure to squeeze out many hours of use with it. The latex rubber tubing bands provide excellent resistance and added shooting accuracy. There’s a wrist support for added user comfortability, while the pistol grip handle allows for a steady grasp, and of course, better accuracy. Included is a leather pouch you can use to hold your ammunition.

 

6. Friendly Slingshot With 6 Rubber Line

It’s not a friendly slingshot; rather, the name FRIENDLY is the brand manufacturer. Everything about this slingshot makes it the opposite of friendly, especially when trying to survive an emergency situation. The Snake and Eagle grip is patented- the handle is shaped like that of an eagle’s head, which lends an aesthetic appeal. It more or less stands for bravery and strength, while being sculpted for a more ergonomic grip.

The base material is solid, sporting a strong alloy frame. The included 6 rubber bands have a unique elasticity that efficiently transfers energy for high-speed shots. Included are two anti-slip collars made of leather and a leather pocket for storing your ammo in. You can strengthen the frame using a hexagon screwdriver if necessary. The Friendly Slingshot features a sight you can use for added accuracy while shooting small targets. Overall, it’s sporty, handy and can give a powerful, accurate shot with constant practice.

 

7. Adjustable Laser Hunting Stainless Steel Slingshot

The name alone evokes a futuristic-looking slingshot, and you won’t be disappointed. The beautiful finish evokes a sleek design style, which surprisingly also performs pretty well. The polished arms and the marble decor is cut around the handle, which is wrapped in pseudo-leather.

Beginners who want a stylish slingshot they can practice with can pick up the Adjustable Laser Hunting Slingshot. The heavy heft belies the fact that it can shoot accurately at a distance with considerable practice. The heavier construction also allows the user to transfer more stopping power for hunting or stalking purposes. Moreover, the product comes with an adjustable wrist rest for a more accurate shot. The sight feature is in the form of a laser pointer you can activate anytime, enabling one to shoot a deadly projectile even at night.

 

8. MoreFarther Pro Adjustable Hunting Steel Slingshot:

The MoreFarther Pro adjustable slingshot is touted as being a higher quality and more serious slingshot for hunting, and so far it’s lived up to those expectations.  It has a sturdy metal body and wrist support for more stable marble launches. It includes a total of five bands (two back ups), and a generous 200 count of steel balls.

We like the sleek and minimalist design of the MorFarther Pro, and the neon green bands give it a unique look while making aiming easier.  It features a handy magnetic marble reserve for rapid reloads, which, in our opinion can significantly increase the chances of harvesting a survival meal by reducing the chance of escape – it’s often the case (though not always), that multiple “rounds” are needed, depending on your skills.  While you may spend a little more on the MoreFarther, it will likely be a more reliable and longer lasting tool for survival needs.  

 

9. Scout Hunting Slingshot

The Scout Hunting Slingshot makes use of the widely-acclaimed Axiom design and combines it with the versatility of their patented FlippinOut 3G fork tips. If you’re looking for a slingshot that’s precise, affordable and is made of high-quality materials, then this is the slingshot for you. The manufacturers state that each Scout Hunting Slingshot is made in the USA, more particularly in North Carolina.

Let’s start with the highly durable frame and the remarkably strong polycarbonate construction. The Scout was made for heavy use outdoors. It can take quite a beating and still remain serviceable and accurate when needed. Most excellent slingshots have the swap-out band feature, which means the user can forego the bands that come with the stock Scout and replace it with their favorite band. You can opt to use the Scout Hunting Slingshot for either self-defense or for small game hunting purposes. The included .030 inch latex bands are serviceable by themselves. The pouch is crafted from fine-quality, premium leather. Users can modify the Scout Hunting Slingshot with a variety of preferred components and do minor improvements for it.

 

10. Tophunt Professional Adjustable Hunting Slingshot

Sometimes a prepper needs a speedy shot more than any other slingshot aspect; for this reason the Tophunt Steel Slingshot was born. Make no mistake about it- this is a versatile, high-quality slingshot that can be used in a variety of survival situations. The strong rubber bands make the Tophunt Slingshot one of the strongest slingshots in this list. The extra wide forks coupled with a solid steel frame make gripping an easy affair. Accuracy is enhanced by the pre-set fork position.

The ends can be adjusted with a steel screw for user shooting preferences. The steel construction is molded ergonomically, providing a non-slip grip. This means you can wield the Tophunt Steel Slingshot for many, many hours hunting small game or for practice purposes. Each Tophunt slingshot comes with 250 steel bearing balls you can use for ammunition or for practice sessions.

 

Conclusion

Slingshots are the penultimate weapons that anyone can use at anytime. It serves as an excellent tool that caters to any age, demographic or race- whether male, female, young, old or tall or small. With enough practice, one can gain accuracy and skill, which opens it up to greater self-defense or small-game hunting capabilities. Those who don’t like the idea of handling firearms can turn to the slingshot for deterring potential attackers in survival situations. The only requirement you’ll need is time, and a lot of practice. You won’t have to worry about ammo, because they can be found everywhere you look.

 

 

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The Truth About EMP Strikes and How to Prepare

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EMP. These three letters may look innocent enough, but every prepper worth his or her salt should know better. Let’s take a look at what EMP really is and what it can do in relation to humanity’s survival in SHTF scenarios.

Quick Navigation:

    A. What is an EMP?
    B. Scientific Probability of an EMP?
    C. How to Prepare for an EMP Strike

A. What is an EMP?

You may have heard about EMP attacks on shows such as NBC’s doomsday-themed TV series Revolution, or read about it in end-of-days books such as One Second After. ElectroMagnetic Pulses, or EMPs for short, are used to shut down and disable anything that has an electronic component within. In the movie The Matrix, an EMP was used to disable the Sentinels that were invading Zion. In Ocean’s Eleven, EMP was used to temporarily knock out power as the protagonists went on to complete a heist.

You can see it on various social media platforms. Type in the letters “EMP” on YouTube and you’ll be presented with hundreds of videos regarding the subject. EMP has become a part of both survivalist’s and prepper’s scenarios. You can do a search and see many blogs tackling the subject of how to prepare against EMP attacks when they happen.

EMP attacks are a big enough problem, so much that they could become a threat at a national level. The idea of EMP started out with scientists and researchers thinking about the after-effects of a considerable nuclear blast. The rise of modern technology and the terrifying pace of scientific achievements have led to EMPs being able to stand alone. Today, EMPs are electronic bombs that can attack one of the most precious human resources- electricity. If broken down in the simplest terms, an EMP attack is an electromagnetic burst of energy caused by rapid acceleration of particles.

What are the effects of an EMP blast? It can cause trouble to all electronic devices, equipment and products that make use of electrical components to function. A large enough EMP can even physically damage power lines, buildings and airplanes. For example, a massive EMP burst can have enough power to fry electronic circuits within the radius of the blast range, potentially disabling power grids. This effect can set back cities and the affected areas immediately back to the stone age until the power is turned back on. In military scenarios, it can disable a base or a strategic installation in just a few minutes.

1) The Chemistry of ElectroMagnetic Pulses

The IEC, or the International Electrotechnical Commission states that EMP can be classified into 3 categories- the E1, the E2 and the E3.

  • E1 Electromagnetic Pulse

The E1 is considered as the fastest EMP pulse amongst the three. The lifespan of an E1 is also very brief, only lasting a few microseconds. Its effect is very intense. Most EMP weapons and nuclear blasts give out an E1 pulse.

The best example of an E1 attack is a huge nuclear detonation occurring hundreds of miles from above. Once the charge is detonated, a strong EMP usually follows. There are some factors that influence how potent the blast is, including the size of the blast, how high it was and the scale of magnetic field present in the blast area. As the EMP pulse expands, gamma rays are created via the fission process, which is then sent down towards the earth.

In technical terms, the resulting gamma radiation takes out the electrons from the higher atmosphere and sends them hurtling towards the lower atmosphere. The natural magnetic field of Earth reacts with the charged particles, producing an electromagnetic pulse which then travels at nearly the speed of light towards the ground. The first gamma ray reaction has a potent cascading effect that produces around 30,000 electrons. All of these things happen within just a few billionths of a second and in a simultaneous manner.

 

  • E2 Electromagnetic Pulse

The E2 is a bit slower than E1. It can be compared to that of a lightning bolt strike. The E2 is perhaps the easiest type of EMP attack to protect against, but some nuclear detonations can have both E1 and E2 types of EMP pulses. In these cases, some of the electronic equipment or power grids that are protected from E2-type blasts could be disabled or destroyed when exposed to the deadly effects of the E1 blast.

It’s also worthy to note that the E2 comes right after the E1 blast commences. The secondary gamma rays and the high-energy scattered rays are produced after the reaction of the air molecules; the E2 blast comes after the E1 and lasts just 1 second. E2 EMPs are considered as intermediate pulses.

 

  • E3 Electromagnetic Pulse

The E3 blast is the longest-lasting of the three. It can either last for minutes, hours and even days. It is also the slowest of the 3 types due to its low frequency of 1 Hz or less. It can be compared to that of natural geomagnetic storms that are produced by extreme solar flares. Our sun is known to produce intense E3 pulses via coronal mass ejections, or CMEs. You should know that the sun does not produce E1 or E2 EMPs.

 

2) Sources of EMP

There are 3 things that can cause EMPs- solar storms, a nuclear blast or something similar, and a lightning bolt.

Lightning bolts are natural phenomenons. A lightning strike directly affects the electric current on all nearby cables and wires. The resulting surge of enormous electricity can incapacitate all the electronic devices, equipment and appliances that are plugged into the electric wall sockets of your home. For this reason most electricians and experts recommend using a surge protector to keep your electronic devices such as computers, TV and other appliances safe from lightning bolts.

CMEs come from the sun and directly above us. This goes the same for high altitude nuclear detonations. EMPs release a huge amount of charged particles that interact with our Earth’s ionosphere, which is the atmosphere that contains electrically charged particles and electrons. The ionosphere can be found if one goes up between 30 to 500 miles above the Earth’s surface.

An EMP blast puts out a sizeable amount of downward particle surge within the Earth’s ionosphere, creating tremendous electrical currents that have the power to short-circuit transformers, power grids and equipment that rely on electricity to run.

In retrospect, E1 pulses can be generated by stars found in our galaxy, but we don’t have to worry about getting hit by one. The chances are so miniscule that we have a greater chance of being hit by a large asteroid than being hit with E1 pulses coming from the surrounding stars.

So that leaves out nuclear-based EMPs and solar-based EMPs. We shouldn’t be worried about being hit by nuclear EMPs as long as those in power do what they can to prevent it from happening. Solar EMPs are different- it can and will happen sooner or later. Our sun produces CMEs in a regular manner. Scientists have witnessed that the sun releases solar EMPs anywhere from one per 5 days to 3 per day. The solar EMP that reaches Earth may or may not have the strength to devastate mankind. Most solar EMPs that reach Earth are usually pointing in a direction that will not have any significant effect on us. You should know that Earth has been hit with a few solar EMPs during the course of history.

 

3) The Effects of EMP

An EMP blast can affect those who are within line or sight on the center point of the explosion. An EMP blast that originates from California can affect the whole of the United States if it is large enough and high enough.

The short time interval between the type of EMP blasts amplify the effect of the electromagnetic pulse. Chief among the concerns is the deadly E1 pulse. E1 pulses are fast, simultaneous and generate high frequencies. Most preppers are worried about E1 waves because they are deadly and difficult to protect against. They can potentially break down communication systems and civilized communities by disabling sensors, security components, electronic equipment, computers and anything else that runs on electricity. The usual precautions against lightning bolts (power surge protection, etc) will not work because E1 pulses have immense energy and are very quick.

The resulting E2 pulses aren’t as potent as E1 waves are, but they could enhance the damage that the E1 pulses have created. E3 EMP pulses do the most damage in power supplies. They could delay or even halt power delivery systems carried by undersea and underground cables.

The doomsday scenario seen in most SHTF films are quite accurate. Society today is so dependent on electrical systems for security, communication and other day-to-day function. Now, imagine if an EMP blast disabled all types of electrical systems and electronics in less than a second. The United States is instantly thrown back decades in terms of technology.

All modern conveniences such as computers, the internet, smart phones, microwave ovens and TVs won’t work. Not only that, but some of the latest cars would instantly decelerate and stop, and airplanes both commercial and private would fall out of the sky. Think of how hard it would be to communicate with friends and loved ones, and how difficult it would be to resume normal life without the aid of electricity or computers.

 

4) Why You Should Worry About EMP

As mentioned before, America has grown so much in technological aspects that it’s impossible to turn back and function without the use of computers and other electronic staples. This means that we are vulnerable against EMP attacks. An EMP lights up the sky while turning the cities dark. Electronic communication is halted. It becomes hard to transport food and other necessities. Transportation for medical emergencies will not exist. All vehicles, whether trucks, sports cars and buses will come to a complete stop. Traffic lights won’t work. Computers and mobile phones will be shut off. The recent unrests in the Middle East and the production of bomb-grade Plutonium and Uranium bring us closer to the likelihood of an EMP pulse that could disrupt all civilization.

The threat of an EMP pulse should be taken seriously by the United States. Vigilance in terms of looking at other countries’ nuclear capacity should be done. Remedies that could prevent or even counteract EMP attacks should be developed. These precautions should be done as soon as possible, or else we’ll suffer the deadly consequences.

 

B. Scientific Probability of an EMP Attack

How real is the EMP threat we’re talking about? It’s very real. In fact, we should not put it off as a theoretical manner. National Homeland Security Executive Director Peter Vincent Pry was a part of the EMP Task Force and worked as a CIA staffer in regards to possible EMP attacks. You can read more about EMP by picking up his latest book “The Long Sunday”.

The US government is taking the right step towards preparing for possible EMP blasts. We have seen hearings on two separate occasions- one in 2012 and the other in 2014, about how EMP pulses from nuclear blasts or from the sun could negatively affect the U.S. infrastructure.

The EMP Commission stated before the Armed Services Committee in 2008 that the United States economy and its society are so dependent on electricity that a collapse on the power grid via a man-made or natural EMP wave of a significant scale can certainly lead to disastrous civilian casualties. The same conclusion was reached on separate reports made the NAS, DOE, DHS, DOD and other independent research facilities and government agencies. As of the moment, there are 11 unique government case studies on the vulnerabilities and threats the US has to face from GMD and EMP assaults.

EMP Threat Commission chairman Dr. William Graham has predicted that if an EMP attack were to knock out the power grid for 1 year’s time, the human population will be reduced to 10%.

But the fact stands that Earth has been hit with significant EMP pulses before, and we are most likely to be hit again. The first ever recorded EMP wave was the Carrington Event in 1859, a recorded documentation of our Earth being hit with a solar flare. On September 1, 11:18 am EDT, a solar astronomer named Richard Carrington witnessed the event through the use of a telescope.

The second instance was in 1962, named the Star Fish Prime experiment. Our United States government launched a 1.4 megaton nuclear charge about 250 miles high above the Pacific Ocean. The test results were much stronger than anticipated- the pulse damaged microwave links and street lights in Hawaii, located 900 miles away.

The third time was the Soviet EMP test that was called Test 184, which was coincidentally around the same time as the Star Fish Prime experiment. The nuclear warhead wasn’t as powerful as the Star Fish Prime explosion, but the test was conducted over the populated area of Kazakshtan, about 180 miles above ground. The EMP blast that resulted from Test 184 incapacitated a shielded, 600-mile underground power line buried 3 ft. below ground.

The final EMP event was a natural CME wave that hit Canada. In March of 1989, six million residents were without electricity for approximately 9 hours.

C. How to Prepare for an EMP Strike

There’s only so much we can do to counter the effects of EMP attacks when they finally happen. Even the best preppers may not know how to prepare against TEOTWAWKI events that have electromagnetic pulse aspects in them. A well-stocked underground bunker that’s about 35 feet or more below ground may provide enough protection to survive the initial blasts, but that’s about it.

Those who are caught completely unaware will have even lesser chances of surviving the cataclysmic event. The key is to prepare ahead of time and expect that the EMP attack will happen. The protective measures and the costs needed to acquire them may be too much for some, but there are a few simple and straightforward methods to countering the most damaging effects. Practicing and honing the art of concealment and evasion will help against massive EMP attacks.

2) Consider Your Home Location

You can be certain that your sanctuary will be the target of refugees and looters after an EMP attack brings down the civilized world. It makes sense to fortify your home against these types of attacks. Homes in rural and suburban locations are especially vulnerable. A small, close-knit community that are situated just behind large bodies of water can come together and collectively defend their territory. Home locations that are near the proximity of military bases are excellent so long as the military base stands active.

3) How Deep Can You Go?

A vacation house or a fortified remote location can prove to be great against small bands of thieves and marauders, but the best type of defense is digging deep at an approximate 30 ft underground. As mentioned earlier, evasion is your best defense for EMP attacks; it allows you to survive as long as you are undetected by hostile forces. It might not be a good idea to build your own underground construct, but you can pool with like-minded individuals, friends or relatives. Making it to the bunker should also be part of the plan.

 

4) Protect Your Electronic Devices

One of the best communication devices that will be your best friend is the HAM radio. If you don’t have one, then now is the best time to get one. Satellite phones and computers could still have limited uses in a post-EMP society. Medical equipment that are battery operated could prove to be invaluable to some. Preppers may insulate whole rooms from EMP waves, or protect their most vital electronic equipment by investing in Faraday cages. You can even create DIY EMP shielding projects using copper mesh, aluminum foil or Mylar products.

 

5) Study Health and Medicine

An EMP attack can put a premium on medicines and medical equipment. Those who have serious medical conditions should understand and prepare for a rapidly-dwindling stock. Most medicines will not be available in a large enough supply, so you should prepare by seeking alternative preventive and medical care. Take a good look at your natural surroundings. This is where most of your medicines will come from. Learn how to extract natural oils, herbs and plants that can help you in cases of medical emergency. Moreover, your diet should prioritize building up one’s immune system and overall health.

 

6) Water, Food and Storage

These 3 commodities should be on top of any TEOTWAWKI situations you prepare for. You should remember that air and heat are the biggest factors that could affect your food and water storage. Seal the grains in vacuum and store them in a cool, dry place. You will need plenty of water to survive long-term. The minimum consumption of water is a gallon a day for each person. If you can, go for a renewable source instead of stocking up on a year’s supply of potable water.

7) Tips For Surviving an EMP Attack

Tip Number 1: Don’t Ever Underestimate The Dangers of EMP

Staying alive entails never underestimating the situation you are in. The rules of survival will state this again and again. Plan an immediate route in the aftermath of an EMP assault. How important is this tip? You may very well be dead if you hesitate in just a few seconds. Anything could happen. No one can tell what will happen next. Prepare for the worst.

Tip Number 2: Use All Your Available Money

You should understand that cash becomes one of the most useless resources in the event that a SHTF happens. Preppers understand how the economy shifts to that of basic goods. Do what you can to trade your cash to essential survival items such as water, ammo, food, etc. Pennies can be left out as the copper inside them can prove to be invaluable.

Tip Number 3: Ration Your Food

Your survival stash of food and water should last for a year at the very least. When the EMP hits, start rationing the food because you’ll be sharing it with the other people as part of the survival process. Remember that no one is likely to survive End Of Day scenarios alone, but what you can do is control the food distribution until new sources are found.

No one wants to experience a terrifying EMP attack, much less surviving one. But we should all do our best to prepare for its eventuality if we want to make it out alive. There’s much you can do now instead of having to scramble for precious resources and making sense of it all when an EMP pulse lights up the atmosphere. Do your best to plan accordingly.

EDC Survival Flashlight Buyers Guide for 2017

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Any old flashlight lying around the house just won’t cut it when it comes to assembling the proper survival kit. Aside from being impractical in the wild, these flashlights won’t last long on the great outdoors. You would want to acquire the best survival flashlight around. But what’s the best EDC (everyday carry) flashlight for survival? We take a look at some important elements of what makes an excellent survival flashlight.

 

A. Situations Where A Survival Flashlight Comes In Handy

All people can certainly use a flashlight in almost all kinds of survival situations. The most obvious one is using the flashlight to illuminate a path or an object of interest. When the power goes out inside the house during a severe storm or natural disaster, or when your car breaks down out of nowhere in the middle of the night, you’d surely appreciate having a portable light you can carry with you.

Survival EDC flashlights can come in sporting different filters, which serve different purposes. Green filters are used for hunting game when it’s dark. Red filters strengthen your ability to see in the dark. Blue filters can help you read maps better during nighttime. Larger EDC flashlights can act as a self-defense tool in the form of billy clubs. Imagine being able to fend off animal and human attackers at night using what’s on your hand instead of fumbling around your pockets or being encumbered with a pepper spray or handgun.

Rounding out the best EDC flashlight features are built-in strobe patterns that can act as a signal in emergencies. These could be used to notify search parties about your presence and location, or call on your hiking party for a quick huddle. It sure beats having to expend your breath and shouting at the top of your lungs, right?

 

B. How To Choose The Best EDC Flashlight

1) Lumens

A lumen is a measure of how capable a source of light is for illumination purposes. In layman’s terms, it’s how bright your survival flashlight is. The unit of measure grows stronger as it goes up. So, the more lumens a flashlight has, the brighter the beam of light it can produce.

Most of the flashlights being advertised will list their lumen capacity on the features and on the package. Online, the company will include it on their product description section. Knowing how many lumens you’ll need is probably the single most important aspect in choosing a proper survival flashlight. After all, what’s a flashlight if it can’t shine a light and help you see more clearly in the dark?

The least amount of measured brightness is around 10 lumens. At the far end, some of the rescue lights being offered in the market reach a staggering 18k lumens! You’ll have to determine how you’d most likely use your flashlight to select the right amount of lumens. Here’s a basic chart:

35 to 100 lumens. EDC flashlights that range somewhere from 35 to a hundred lumens can be used for general purposes on the outdoors. They can be called upon to throw helpful light in a considerable distance. You can buy these flashlight types for camping, hiking, etc.

100 lumens or more. Flashlights that have 100 or more lumens are more towards tactical applications. They are typically carried and utilized by night watchmen, police, security guards and firemen. Flashing 150 lumens of light can cause temporary blindness, while a 300 lumen brightness can cause temporary blindness during daytime on enclosed areas.

1000 lumens or more. EDC lamps that tout anywhere from 100 to a thousand lumens are primarily used for search and rescue operations. The extra bright beams of light are handy when exploring caves and extreme outdoor applications. The throw of these flashlight types are typically at a hundred feet or more.

So, what this means is you’ll probably need a survival flashlight having 60 or more lumens to be able to disorient aggressors and get a clean escape. Should you wish to stop an attacker dead in their tracks, then 120 lumens should be sufficient to cause temporary blindness.

Overall, lumens aren’t only useful for illuminating, but they can be used in the self-defense aspect of survival as well. Having a handy weapon around, and the ability to see your immediate surrounding environment can put you at a great advantage. What’s more, a lengthy EDC flashlight can be used to strike a person or an animal, giving you precious time to safely escape unharmed.

 

2) Bulb Type

Incandescent bulbs have been part of our lives since its invention, but it’s time LEDs took over. A LED, or light emitting diode-based survival flashlight outperforms incandescent on all measures. They beat out incandescent in terms of efficiency, the output of luminiscent brightness, in toughness and battery consumption. They aren’t as fragile as incandescent and wouldn’t easily break when used on outdoor applications.



3) Battery Type

There’s a direct correlation between the size of an EDC survival flashlight and the type of battery it uses. In this case, the bigger the flashlight, the more power it needs. Micro survival flashlights use the kind of batteries used in watches. The larger ones make use of CR2, CR123A, triple A or AA batteries in order to function.

Standard AA-based flashlights have the advantage because of the nature of AA batteries. Because AA batteries have been around for a good number of years, they are common and can easily be procured. They have become reliable power sources for many electronic gadgets and lighting sources, including flashlights. Moreover, the reliability of these batteries are tried and tested.

Some of these flashlights make use of non-standard battery types. Some of the following include 18650s, CR123As and the Li-ion varieties. CR123 batteries are typically lighter than their counterparts, which can reduce the heft of your EDC flashlight. Lithium batteries are great performers against the colder temperatures.

Not all battery types are the same. Here’s how to determine the best battery type according to your needs:

Survivalists who prefer availability and reliability can pick out EDC flashlights that are powered by AA batteries. If you value efficiency and a powerful, yet lightweight performance, then you can browse amongst survival flashlights that are powered by CR123 batteries.

CR123 batteries pack quite the punch and are lightweight, but the disadvantage is that it comes with a more expensive price tag. They do provide a much more noticeable lumens output, but chances are you won’t be able to buy them at a convenience store. AA batteries can be bought easily in hardware, convenience and grocery stores.

 

4) Flashlight Size

Size is an important factor when making an excellent EDC gear. The general rule is that you should keep things small and compact. After all, not everyone wants to lug around a heavy bag full of bulky equipment as they travel outdoors. You might be surprised to find a variety of different-sized EDC flashlights. There are pen-shaped ones, ones that can be latched on a keychain, and ones that come with their very own pocket clips.

  • EDC survival flashlights are categorized into different sizes:
  • Micro survival flashlights are 2 inches and below
  • Mini survival flashlights are 3 inches and below
  • Small survival flashlights are 4 inches and below
  • Medium survival flashlights are between 4 to 6 inches

A good compromise between size and brightness is a medium EDC survival flashlight that offers around 100 lumens or more. The small-sized ones definitely have the advantage when it comes to portability, but they contain tiny batteries and provide less illumination. The rule is that a smaller EDC flashlight is more compact but it won’t be any good if attackers come your way. You will need to bring in another self-defense tool to fend off your aggressors.

 

5) Shock Resistance

Shock resistance is a must-have for any survival equipment, especially EDC flashlights. Check and see if the product has passed the ANSI FL1 standards. A seal would mean your EDC flashlight will be able to take a beating. Don’t be confused with the attached details- the numbers mean how high it can withstand a direct impact to a solid concrete platform. More often than not, a shock-resistant survival flashlight means it has an LED as its light emitter source.

 

6) Waterproof Rating

Being outside means you’ll experience a lot of constant environmental conditions in the course of a day. When it’s dark, raining or flooding, you will surely need a waterproof EDC flashlight to get through the dangers unscathed.

Most high-end quality EDC lights will have waterproof ratings. Most of the others should sport at least a water-resistant rating. Check the product description or the box for the IPX code rating, which is the standard testing for water resisting features and capabilities. Bottom line is to expect a waterproof rating on the product listing. If you don’t see one, then move on and find an EDC light that does.

 

7) Body Construction Material

The survival flashlight has to work whenever you push the on button. It has to be tough and made or durable material. If you plan on taking it with you each day, make sure that it can withstand the stress of everyday wear and tear. For this matter you should take a grain of salt when considering cheaper survival flashlights. Aside from the aspects mentioned above (waterproof, shock resistance, etc), your everyday flashlight should be made of quality materials, and its lens scratch and shatterproof.

Even if you don’t take it out of your bag or pocket, you can be sure that your EDC light will experience bruising, bumping and drops in a regular manner. With this in mind, it’s best to choose a product that is made of anodized aluminum, preferably hard anodized type III material. Stainless steel and titanium shells are acceptable, but they are typically more costly than one sporting an anodized aluminum construction. All 3 are perfectly fine and each have their own advantages. Aluminum is the jack of all trades in terms of heft, cost and durability. Stainless steel is tough but it’s also quite heavy. Titanium can be as durable as steel and twice as tough as aluminum while having only around 60 percent more heft than aluminum.

 

8) Weight

Survival experts will tell you to consider compact items as long as they provide enough utility value. Pocket-sized EDC flashlights are good. Medium sized survival lights are excellent if they are made of light materials such as titanium or aluminum. A flashlight that is powered by CR123 batteries is also an acceptable option. Keep the weight factor under 5 ounces if you plan on carrying them in your pockets all day.

 

9) Beam Features

An adjustable beam feature is much more useful than you’d think. It makes for a pretty versatile survival flashlight. Tune it to illuminate a wide area for search or travel applications, or tune it to a narrow beam in tactical and signaling situations. Hang it on top of your tent to make it act as a makeshift lamp. There are lots of creative ways to use this feature.

We talked about signaling capabilities earlier, and this time we’ll add some depth to it. You’ll often see multiple modes on the better survival flashlights aside from the usual concentrated beam. Signaling for help, or communicating in far-off distances? Then get an EDC flashlight with ample flash and signal features.

 

10) Attachment Options

This is a welcome feature for survivalists who want all the bells and whistles with their product. It means the survival flashlight should come with a keyring, carabiner clip, lanyard loop or a pocket clip. You will want the one that you intend to carry your EDC flashlight with, because nothing is more frustrating than having to carry it with the way you don’t want.

 

C. The Top 15 Best EDC Flashlights for Survival

1) Fenix E12- The Best EDC Entry-Level Survival Flashlight

Everything about the Fenix E12 is a marvel. You may wonder if this gem of an EDC flashlight was made specifically for survival scenarios. The 130 lumen brightness packed in a small shell can be fitted into a keychain for light carrying. This excellent flashlight runs on reliable AA batteries. Finally, the entry price point in the $30 range makes it the go-to light for beginner survivalists and outdoor warriors.

 

2) Olight S10- The Best Mid-Range Survival EDC Flashlight

Don’t be fooled by the Olight S10’s diminutive size- it has the perfect dimensions for a compact EDC survival kit. Would you believe that a 320 lumen brightness with options for high, low, medium, strobe and moonlight modes are packed inside a 2.7 by 1.9 inch flashlight weighing just 2.4 ounces? All that versatile feature inside a compact form makes it an easy choice.

 

3) Fenix PD35- The Best Overall Survival EDC Flashlight

The Fenix PD35 boasts an outstanding 1k lumens of light power that can handle everything you throw at it. Basic tasks and tactical operations are made easier and more efficient with this EDC flashlight around. Add to the fact that it has 6 lighting modes and weighs in at just 3 ounces, and you have yourself a winner. If you need extreme and reliable illumination, then the Fenix PD35 is for you.

 

4) Olight Javelot M23 – Best Main Survival EDC Flashlight

The M23 Javelot clocks in at just under 6 inches, which makes it small enough for everyday carry. The many modes and features also make it a very versatile survival equipment. The most notable achievement the M23 offers is the ability to crank up the lumens to 1020 and have the beam reach an oustanding 477 yards during nighttime. You get a strobe mode and 3 different lighting options- the highest is the aforementioned 1020 lumens brightness for 5 minutes, the second is a 350 lumens illumination for 2 hours and the last is a 20 lumens brightness that can last for up to 30 hours.

 

5) Elzetta Bravo – Another Great Main Survival EDC Flashlight

The Elzetta Bravo may very well be the most indestructible EDC flashlight you can find in the current market. The optical lens are of the 7/8 inch thick variety but it sports the most durable material on any survival flashlight. The electronic innards are protected by potting technology, which further cements the product’s overall toughness. That technology isn’t something that’s included in each and every flashlight. The solder joints and circuit boards are sealed and locked in place to prevent dislodging and disconnects.

6) Nitecore EA41 – The Best Standard Size Main Light

Military grade, hard anodized HAIII construction coupled with a scratch-proof mineral lens is pretty hard to beat. The Nitecore EA41 is powered by 4 standard AA batteries and has 5 brightness levels, including essential ones such as SOS and strobe options.

 

7) Eagletac A3D – Another Great Standard Size Main Light

The Eagletac GX30A3D is a two-in-one EDC flashlight. First, you get illumination that’s comparable to the best survival flashlights running on four AA batteries. The diffuser mode scatters the concentrated light into the surrounding environment, much like a lantern or a candle on demand.

 

8) Olight S1 – The Best Non Standard Backup EDC Flashlight

The S1 is the smallest one in Olight’s line of EDC flashlights. The small size keeps an unusually bright beam that might surprise you. Switch the lumens up to 500 for a good 1.5 minutes to stun and cause temporary blindness to an attacker. The Olight S1 offers a moonlight mode aside from the 3 standard illumination options. The .5 lumens brightness will shed enough light where you need it while keeping your night vision sharp.

 

9) Zebralight MK III SC600 – Another Great Non Standard Backup EDC Flashlight

The 3.8 inch wonder can stun potential attackers and provide enough illumination to light up a small room. You’ll only need a single 18650 battery to power it, which presents some advantages by its lonesome.

10) Thrunite 1A V3 Archer – The Best Standard Backup EDC Flashlight

Choose between 5 modes of illumination when you buy the Thrunite V3 Archer. There’s the standard low, medium and high options, and the Firefly and the Strobe modes. The 1A Archer keeps track of the last illumination mode you used, which comes in handy when you need the last used light mode in a hurry. The unique and intuitive U-shaped construction allows for faster on and off switching. Finally, the medium-sized EDC flashlight sports a strike bezel when things turn ugly and you need to defend yourself.

11) Sunwayman V11R – Another Great Standard Backup EDC Flashlight

Sunwayman’s V11R is versatile in a different way. Where other EDC lighting products offer different lighting modes, the V11R can be powered using 3 different battery types. You get the regular AA batteries, the 16340, the RCR123A and the CR123A. You can also get the exact lumens specification you want via the MCS (Magnetic Control System), ranging from a battery-saving 1 lumen to a maximum of 570 lumens instead of the usual preset modes.

 

12) Nitecore HC30 – The Best Non Standard Survival Headlamp

Slot the HC30 with either the CR123 or the 18650 and choose from 5 pre-set illumination levels- ultralow, low, mid, high and turbo. The highest lumens Nitecore’s offering can reach up to an ample 100, which is more than enough to light the path ahead and beyond. If longevity is what you want, then turn it down to a 1 lumen illumination which can last for more than 300 hours. The 3 concealed settings may be used for emergencies- strobe, SOS and location beacon mode.

 

13) Armytek Wizard Pro – Another Great Non Standard Survival Headlamp

Get a maximum of 2.3k lumens when you choose the Wizard Pro from Armytek to light up caves and mountain trails beyond. The bright power output boasts no fluctuations even as the battery loses charge. Check the remaining battery via the multicolored LED indicator. This product was probably made specifically for those who need ample lighting while they work with their hands.

 

14) Fenix HL23 – The Best Standard Headlamp

Fenix has made it clear that their LED lights can last up to 50,000 hours of usage. You can slot in Ni-MH or alkaline AA batteries to power it up. The Fenix HL23 can be submerged up to 6 feet in water with its IPX-8 rating. Furthermore, this sturdy EDC light can survive careless falls ranging from about 3 feet in height.

15) LRI Photon Freedom – The Best Multiple Carry EDC Survival Flashlight

Why take only one when you can take multiples? The LRI Photon Freedom allows you just that. Put up one in every area where you need ample lighting. This survival flashlight clocks in at just 1.5 inches, which makes it one of the smallest offerings in the current EDC market. The light is nothing to sneeze at- it can produce a steady 4.5 lumens lighting in the course of around 12 hours using just one battery. The 4 different modes include a helpful Morse Code option. Did we mention that it’s a keychain light-sized flashlight?

D. The Final Word on Choosing The Best EDC Flashlight For Your Needs

The 15 EDC Lighting options should give you an idea of how you would use a survival flashlight, and the specifications you’ll need to make it a worthy everyday carry equipment. An excellent EDC flashlight should be easy to carry around without hampering your movement and style. You shouldn’t just settle for cheap ones that could fall apart within one week of use. Rather, look for quality and the features you will need down the road. The best EDC survival flashlight is one you can rely on in times of emergencies.

Expert Tips to Select and Build The Perfect Bug Out Vehicle

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There’s quite a lot of information circling around the web on what to specifically pack, carry or stock up on in terms of survival equipment, supplies, weapons, etc. when the situation calls for “bugging out”. What’s largely missing though (and equally important) is how you plan to be mobile- what kind of transportation is best, and how you equip one to be suitable for bugging out events.

Quick Navigation:

  A. What is a Bug Out Vehicle
  B. Choosing the Right Vehicle
      1. EMP & Older Cars
      2. Military Surplus
      3. How Will You Use It?
      4. Know Your Local Terrain
      5. Who and What Will You Bring?
      6. Possible Threats
      7. Distance to Travel
      8. Price vs Reliability
  D. Supplies Checklist

 

It’s an understandable oversight. After all, we take for granted how we move about the city or the suburbs while sitting down comfortably in a 4-wheeled vehicle. So, naturally they are left out of the picture when it comes to prepping for doomsday scenarios. But, consider for a moment how far you can go and how fast you can get out if you don’t have an automobile. The radius won’t be as far as you’d like. Even if you have the best bug out equipment, a well-stocked supply hoard and the latest and the toughest gadgets, it won’t mean as much if you have an unoptimized bug out vehicle.

A. What Is A Bug Out Vehicle And Why You Might Need One

Having a standard vehicle for daily commute or for occasional driving won’t be enough. If you’re really serious about building up your perfect bug out plan, you’ll need the perfect bug out vehicle. Sure, you can load up the bug out equipment in the trunk and drive, but there are aspects in a vehicle that could mean the difference between escaping relatively unharmed to being pinned down and helpless.

Some of the questions you’ll need to answer will be the following- how can I maximize the evacuation process with a vehicle? Are there any weaknesses that should be reinforced? Is there an excellent bug out vehicle that’s ready from the get go?

The simple answer is that choosing and building on the best bug out vehicle will depend on your survival situation. It will certainly vary from person A to person B, and under different circumstances as well. Here, we will try our best to list the most important aspects and put them all together to bring you a cohesive plan for selecting and building the perfect bug out vehicle.

 

B. Choosing The Right Vehicle For You

1) EMP & Older Cars

There’s a high chance that one of these days, an electromagnetic pulse from the sun will reach Earth, or an artificial EMP attack will be carried out by terrorists or even governments. History has shown that CMEs have been hitting our planet for billions of years.

How vulnerable is your vehicle against EMP? You wouldn’t know for sure. You’d also have to take into account the scale of the EMP attack. In the best case scenario, your vehicle would just shut off and work fine when you restart the engine. In the worst case scenario, your car’s electronic components would be fried and you wouldn’t be able to drive it without replacing them.

And then there’s budget. Expenditure costs will be a major factor when building the perfect bug out vehicle.

Most modern vehicles have some kind of electrical components to help you drive better or safer. Unfortunately, these vehicles are susceptible to EMP attacks. Older vehicles don’t have this type of technology, so they are quite EMP-proof. The military has found that their massive advanced weapons could be disabled with EMP, so they take extra measures to line their vehicles and command centers with anti-EMP defenses.

2) Military Surplus or Retired Vehicles

If you know someone or have considerable investments, a military surplus vehicle can be an excellent base of operations for bugging out. The M35 deuce and similarly built field jeeps are a great option because of their overall functionality, durability and reliability. You can find these vehicle types at auctions, online websites and online sales.

3) How Do You Intend To Use The Vehicle?

Let’s ask some vital questions here. What kind of doomsday scenario are you preparing for? How will you use the bug out car?

You would want to build a bug out vehicle that could get you out of specific TEOTWAWKI events. For example, you’re arming up for a zombie apocalypse. You’re planning to head to an isolated island after a complete societal collapse following an EMP attack. You have a fortified cabin in the woods. You’re outfitting a bug out vehicle with high-powered weapons. You could also build a vehicle for escape during or after a tsunami, earthquake, etc.

You should also know that there are some catastrophic situations that are more likely to happen than others. There are also some SHTF events that could prove to be downright deadly if you aren’t prepared for it. In any case, having the foresight to build up a bug out car for these events will be particularly helpful, if not downright beneficial.

4) Know Your Local Terrain

A great part in ensuring survivability in any end of days scenario is knowing your local terrain. Your destination habitat, your indigenous location and the encounters that may happen in-between. Do you have a clear understanding of the best route to take from here to there when a bug out situation comes? How would you return home during regional disasters and/or global catastrophes?

Of course, roads and paths traveled by most people are often the quickest way to get from point A to point B. But as you would guess, these paths would most likely be the most congested when a disaster happens. It would almost be impossible to move quickly here, as people will be using the roads to escape impending doom.

You would want to discover and map out alternate routes for these points- places of interest for SHTF scenarios, going to and from your intended bug out location, and going to and from the office. The road that not a lot of people know could prove to be your best way out.

Here are some ways you can map out alternate routes:

a. Get some physical local maps and atlases you can bring with you.

b. A GPS tool that can recommend alternate routes.

c. Google Maps, Google Earth and other similar advanced geological app and software.

As you find alternate paths and discover great routes, it’s time to get out there. Familiarize yourself with it, and drive out often.

5) Who or What Will You Be Bringing?

You may have singled out a likely catastrophic event and brushed up on local terrain. The next question should be- who or what will you bring? Who could possibly come along when the end of days arrive? You should also consider the possibility of driving on offroad terrain, and the amount of bug out gear and equipment you’ll be hauling.

6) The Possible Threats and How You Can Handle Them

Make a list of the most likely threats and rank them accordingly. Let’s say you intend to build the best bug out vehicle for a war. You have a military truck out in the garage and drive around town often with it. People in the neighborhood and the local police know about it. You can expect that a lot of people will try to capture it for their own when an invading army comes.

Sometimes concealment can be your best friend. An unassuming Toyota Landcruiser or a Jeep Grand Cherokee could be outfitted with the best bug out equipment and can still look normal on the outside. Even prepping them for off-road aspects won’t raise any suspicion or interest from most people.

7) The Distance to Travel

Don’t pick out a remote bug out location that you can’t drive to using more than a tank of fuel. A good bug out location will be one that can provide at least 3 alternate routes for getting there. Because time is of the essence, it should not be so far out that it’s impossible to get to.

8) Price / Reliability Ratio

What’s the use of a bug out car if it can’t be relied upon? You may have the best collection of bug out equipment, but you won’t be able to bring any of them if your car refuses to start or experience engine failures often. Reliability could very well be the most important aspect in choosing a bug out vehicle. If your car has some stock parts you can easily find to and from your bug out location, the better. A popular car that has parts which can be easily found or bought will be most ideal.

Getting a car in tip-top shape mechanically and structurally should be your first mission. The engine, tires, gas tank, doors, roof, etc. should be inspected and repaired if need be. Your car should be ready to go any time you need it.

9) Repair Costs

You’ll also want to consider repair costs in a side by side comparison with a car’s reliability. For example, the latest Honda Accord could prove to be very reliable, but you’ll certainly have a hard time trying to find parts and qualified repair centers for it. On the flip side, a Chevy truck may not have a high reliability rating as the aforementioned Honda, but it’s easy to fix and the parts are easy to find.

Part of prepping for doomsday cases is to gain knowledge on your bug out equipment and vehicle. Get some spare parts and tools for fixing. Have a working knowledge on how to repair and fix the most common automobile problems. Keep a manual for your car handy as well.

10) Diesel or Gas Engine?

Gas comes out on top for a simple reasons- it’s much more available than diesel fuel. But don’t count diesel out of the equation yet, because it’s quite easy to make biodiesel right at your own garage. There are some great websites and books (Biodiesel Basics & Beyond) that you can follow to start producing workable diesel for your vehicle. The concept of creating your own fuel is catching on the mainstream. As such, you can easily find and buy complete biodiesel kits on online stores and specialty shops.

You may have watched from survival movies and apocalyptic zombie series how heroes could use a screwdriver and a hose to siphon fuel from abandoned cars and trucks. The problem here is that fuel won’t last very long to stay in the tanks. Plus, diesel has the advantage when talking about efficiency and flexibility. In certain cases and emergency situations, people can make use of jet fuel, kerosene or heating oil to run their diesel engine cars. The availability of these types of fuel increase your chances of being more mobile than a gas engine car. Moreover, diesel has a notably longer lifespan than gasoline. You can easily find and buy fuel stabilizers nowadays. Add them on to diesel and you can extend its life about 10 times more than gasoline.

11) 2WD / AWD / 4WD Capabilities: How Important Are They?

Terrain handling features can make or break your chances of bugging out survival. How likely is that you’ll need to drive off-road in TEOTWAWKI situations? A lot. A non 4WD vehicle breaks down easily when placed out of its element. A 4WD car will present more terrain options, which in turn can get you to your location much more quickly and safely.

Size comparison gets a bit tricky here. Automobile size won’t improve driving in off-road terrain. The car’s drivetrain and clearance can also be a significant factor in some cases. Improve your vehicle in these aspects by modifying the wheels for accommodating bigger tires, waterproofing the engine and upgrading your hubs.

12) Gas Mileage

The picture of charging through enemy territory in half a tank or something similar is very appealing, but that sort of setup requires a huge amount of fuel.

In most instances, those who buy fringe vehicles specifically made for SHTF situations won’t consider gas mileage an important factor. Preppers may have an old truck that can easily be repaired and are very resistant against EMP waves, but they won’t go very far on a full tank. You won’t get to your fallout shelter if it’s location is 400 miles from home and your vehicle’s mileage can only go 300 on a full tank. Gas mileage drops considerably if you’re driving on an off-road terrain. A 10 mpg car will be reduced to just 3 MPGs as you leave the asphalt.

We’ve mentioned before that gas will be scarce and it will be a valuable commodity in doomsday events. You may not have the time to siphon them off cars, or make your own (diesel), but what you can do is get a bug out vehicle that has a good range of somewhere around 23 to 27 MPG for efficient gas mileage. You’ll get one less thing to worry about.

13) Manual VS. Automatic Transmission

Some people swear by stick driving. There’s some truth to manual being better, especially in the face of SHTF events. Manual transmission is more reliable, generally has more mileage and are definitely easier to repair and fix than an AT vehicle. Furthermore, having a manual transmission allows you to push the vehicle in order to start it in case of lost keys or a burnt out ignition.

 

D. Checklist of Supplies and Storage Space For Your Bug Out Vehicle

What are the things you need to bring in order to increase your chances of survival? Here’s a definitive checklist of supplies you’ll need. Don’t forget to bring your bug out bag to carry your stuff along.

1) An Excellent Bug Out Bag:  Go for the best one you can find, because this is the storage that will carry everything you need to survive. Only carry as much climate-appropriate clothing as necessary.

2) Water And Food: These may vary depending on your environment and other things. The most basic would be stainless steel containers of water. Portable water filters and purification tablets are some of the most versatile tools you can purchase. Keep a few reliable food sources in your stash. Calorie Dense Food Bars, Freeze Dried and Military Meals are ideal choices. Include tools that can help you gather or hunt food out in the wild.

3) Weapons: The Four Best Guns For Bugging Out

a. Taurus Judge

One of the most versatile handguns available. The Judge can fit in both .410 and .45 Colt shot shells. The size and heft is particularly impressive, but it’s still smaller than a full-on carbine and rifle.

The Taurus is a respectable gun that can be used for hunting game, and can double as a powerful self-defense firearm. Chamber in .410 rounds to quickly kill small game, or slot in the .45 Colt shells for adequate personnel stopping power. The versatility of this weapon has earned it the “jack of all trades” title. In short, the Taurus Judge can be the weapon you want it to be.

b. Marlin 70PSS Stainless

Stocking up on a .22 LR rifle is certainly useful in many SHTF scenarios. The Marlin 70PSS is an excellent weapon if you know how to fully use it. It’s as versatile as the Taurus Judge with a few beneficial bug out features thrown in.

The Marlin 70PSS shines in cases where space is a premium. The tack driver is stainless steel and packs in quite nicely inside the included all-weather case. Assembling and disassembling can take a few minutes at first, but practice the act and you can narrow the assembly and disassembly time within seconds. The Marlin 70PSS is an autoloading rifle that you can bring along whether you’re inside or outside your bug out vehicle.

c. Ruger 10/22 Takedown

The newest 10/22 Ruger Takedown is a better version of the stock Ruger 10/22 semiautomatic rifle in that it can be easily stored and transported. A divided rifle (each measuring about 18.5″ long) should be small enough to fit into your preferred bug out bag.

The newer model also has a threaded barrel, which allows you to add on a suppressor for a silent kill. It has all the great features of the regular Ruger 10/22- top notch reliability, accuracy and anyone can get familiar with it after a few uses. The .22 long rifle chambering puts it in the big game hunting category. It also has a great stopping force if ever you’re forced to defend yourself. Overall, the qualities of the Ruger 10/22 Takedown makes it one of the best bug out weapons to bring with you.

d. Kel-Tec PMR 30

What stands out is the PMR 30’s ability to hold in its chamber 30 ammo rounds of the Winchester Magnum. It’s also incredibly lightweight. The one-two punch provides enough benefits for those who want to pack in the best weapons as they bug out. Though it might not be able to hold its own in the self-defense or in the big game hunting category, the Kel-Tec PMR 30 shines in other SHTF scenarios. You get two fully-loaded magazines (for a total of 60 ammo rounds total) weighing in just within 25 ounces and a greater stopping force than the .22 LR, and you’ve got a gun that has great stamina and weight.

4) Ammunition

A good firearm is the one that makes the most sense. It should easily fit into a pack and handle wear and tear. You can go for lighter ammunition, such as the .22LR. Consider the following- 200 22LR rounds weigh about 1.5 lbs, as compared to 200 44 Magnum rounds which weigh more than 9 lbs. It’s definitely wiser to pack a .22 takedown rifle than a handgun if you are planning to bring just one gun.

5) Night VisionThis is for when you need the sight advantage at night. Bugging out usually means staying stealthy and being under the radar.

6) Fire Starters: Fire is an essential part of survival. When you’re bugging out in the wilderness or don’t have access to ready electricity, a reliable fire starter can potentially save you and your loved one’s lives.

7) Binoculars: See the threats before they see you. Look in distance to gauge and plan the next course of action. Binoculars will be your go-to equipment for scouting and recon.

8) Camping Supplies: Keep your camping supplies for leisure outdoor trips separate from what you’d bring with you in case a TEOTWAWKI scenario comes. If you can, put in camping supplies on different bags, each depending on doomsday scenarios such as EMP attacks, earthquakes or civil unrest. Carry out simulations to round up the supplies you might have forgotten.

9) Fuel Canisters: Applicable fuel canisters come in handy if you intend to use a portable stove for a few days.

10) Tow Straps: Comes in with the trusty winch. You’ll need these to pull out your friends when their vehicle hits a ditch.

11) CB Radio: Communication is key so you would know what’s happening in the world.

12) Window Cutter:  Store these inside your bug out vehicle. In some instances, you might be needing these if you want to escape from your vehicle in a hurry. Cut stuck seatbelts and windows to save you and your companion’s life.

13) Tire Chains: This becomes essential if you live in an area where there’s lots of snow. Acquire a trusty ice scraper as well.

14) Jump Starter:  Have one around, and never worry about getting stranded with a dead battery.

15) Basic Tool Kit:  All the survival basics packed in one tough kit. These should contain a stanley knife, duct tape, a screwdriver, a wrench, pliers and cable ties.

16) Emergency Blankets: Essential to keeping yourself warm and dry.

17) Spares: Spare batteries, spare tires, spare tools and your vehicle’s spare parts. Always do a routine check of your tires in case you get flat during a catastrophic event. Put the spare parts on your vehicle or safe in a box. The box should hold small important items that are essential for driving.

 

E. Building and Accessorizing Your Bug Out Vehicle

Your perfect bug out vehicle can be considered a tool, just like many of your weapons and survival equipment. It can all boil down to how well you can prepare for the specific scenario you’re expecting and how you can best adapt to that situation. Of course, being versatile is part of bugging out, so you’ll need to spread your resources for a few likely contingencies as well.

1) Engine and Transmission Mods:  According to Trucktrend.com, the most abused part of a truck (especially diesel trucks, and we can assume SUVs in some cases), is the transmission.  Many used trucks have thousands of towing miles racked up on their transmissions which leads to severe wear.  If buying used, you’ll want to have the transmission carefully inspected and put to some simple tests before buying.  The key is to buy a vehicle with a transmission already in good shape, then buy a transmission kit which usually includes disc converter, new clutches, and hydraulic upgrades.  

Much can done to improve the performance and reliability of an engine, but consider the basics:

a.  Air intake and filters

b. Throttle body

c. Exahust systems 

d. Headers

e. Tuner and superchips

f. Superchargers

 

 

 

2) Larger Wheels:  The larger, the better. The pros cannot be understated- fit in larger brakes for better control, have a smaller side wall and you get less drop if it gets flattened.

3) Performance Tires: Mudders and performance tires will get you more traction and better pull on the off-road. Pack in a spare in case you get a blowout. Well-inflated performance tires will get you to your bug out location than an ordinary one. As a side note, the proper way to maintain them is to constantly check for pressure levels all year round. Check the treads as well. Rotate the wheels and tires for every 5,000 miles covered.

4) Mounting / Weapons Storage:  Being able to quickly access you weapons and put shots on target will largely determine if you will succeed at defending yourself, loved ones, and property.  Having quality, dependable mounting and storage solutions for your weapons is a good idea to prepare for unknown threats.  

5) Fuel Canisters: Make the best use of that extra space by outfitting your bug out vehicle with a secondary fuel tank. Or, purchase fuel cans and mount them onto the bumper or the roof rack. The same principle can be applied to your weapons.

6) Tow Package:  BOVs can certainly benefit from trailer light connections and a towing package with hitches. Sedans, trucks and SUVs do have towing capacities, and attaching a utility trailer will greatly expand your essential resources.

7) Winch:  Getting stuck while offroading isn’t an uncommon situation. This is why you’ll need a winch stowed away on your bug out vehicle. Calling AAA to get unstuck won’t be an option in SHTF events.

8) Brush Guard:  Bumper guards can do a lot of useful stuff while attached to your bug out vehicle. Hold winches, additional lights and acting as a protective barrier are just some of them. Go with a Warn Industries package if you want the best of the best.

9) Armor Plating:  Anticipating a war and firefight? Then you’d best prepare with armored plating for your vehicle. Retrofit with ballistics armor for good measure.

10) Skid Plate:  Skid plates serve the purpose of protecting the underside of your vehicle from damaging stones and larger debris. It can stand between you making it safely to your bug out location and being stranded in the middle of nowhere.

11) Roof Rack:  Adding a mod that will put some extra storage space is always a good thing for SHTF events. While some vehicles already come with a luggage rack, put in something beefier by upgrading to a cargo carrier that adds substantial real estate for your SUV or truck.

12) High Power Lighting:  Lighting can come in very handy in almost all emergency situations. Say you’re stuck in a pitch-black night and in the midst of a raging thunderstorm. The great thing about technology and LED lighting in particular is that you can get high power lighting for a reasonable cost. Some of them can churn out more than 24k of bright lumens.

13) Topper:  Finally, get a topper if your bugging out in a truck so you can keep your gear safe and in optimal condition during worse weather conditions.

14) Suspension and Lift Kits: Suspension and lift kits allow you to run larger tires and gain valuable ground clearance to tackle off road terrain with ease.  Kits are available for nearly all makes and models.  

 

F. The 7 Best Bug Out Vehicles You Can Buy Now

The cream of the crop when it comes to bugging out of dodge. All the aspects we talked about in the previous sections are here. The information displayed here will help you make a choice on which one you’ll need for a particular TEOTWAWKI event you’re planning for:

1) Military Surplus Vehicles or Humvees: A surplus Hummer is an instant BOV with all the trimmings you can ask for. The newer model OshKosh Tactical Protector Vehicle is a souped-up version of the Hummer. With it, you get the Hummer’s pedigree and the super stable and strong form to power through any SHTF event.

2) 4WD Trucks w/ Crew Cabs: We mentioned earlier how a crew cab mod can be essential when you’re building the perfect bug out vehicle. You can put in a cargo top, improve the suspensions and have an excellent BOV even when electricity is not present.

3) Pick Up Trucks or Full Size SUVs:  You can’t beat pickups and full-sized SUVs when it comes to value for money. This category is an all-rounder when it comes to being your BOV.

4) Campa EVS:  The littler sibling of the Unicat Expeditionary concept with a hefty mid-sized truck frame.

5) Jeep: There are several Jeep models that have 4WD capabilities and prime real estate. Offroad enthusiasts should consider the Jeep models. Customizers will salivate over the massive selection of mods, accessories and parts that you can customize the Jeep with.

6) 4 Wheel or AWD SUVs:  SUVs aren’t all made equal. The best ones that make excellent bug out vehicles are the following- Chevy Tahoe, the older Ford Expedition vehicles, the Jeep and Nissan and the Toyota 4Runner.

7) Sportsmobile Adventure Vehicles:  Here’s a checklist of what makes a good Adventure vehicle for bugging out. It shouldn’t be expensive and have offroad capabilities. It should be rugged, tough and fast. Moreover, the capacity range should be about twice your bug out location and carry you and the essential gear comfortably.

8) Mini Vans:  Don’t underestimate the loading power of the mini van. You can see them streaking on the road, carrying precious belongings and everything hanging out precariously!

9) Motorcycles:  For when you embark on a lone survivor trip into tight territory. Useful for scavenging or hunting for supplies and game.

10) Boats:  If you live near a river way or the ocean, bug out boats are absolutely essential where a water way may provide the best escape route.  It could be as simple as a loaded out canoe or john boat.  

In sum, a bug out vehicle should fit with how you intend on using it given the various SHTF scenarios you are most likely to encounter.  It’s OK to start small with purchasing a reliable, used 4×4 truck or SUV, and add accessories your vehicle over time in the order of importance (spare, extra fuel capacity, winch, etc) – unless the threat is imminent, you don’t need to go all in at once and build the perfect but out vehicle in record time.  Also, consider if a bug out vehicle should even be your top priority in the grand scheme of peppering.

If we missed anything please let know in the comments.  Also, what is your favorite bug out make and model and what would you do to it?

The Best and Worst Guns for Home Defense

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One of the best life advice you can heed is “always bring a gun to a gunfight”. This is especially true when choosing the best home-defense guns available today. Of course, having one defensive firearm is better than having none at all. There’s a reason why guns vary widely in size and features- each has its own pros and cons you should consider for your needs.

Quick Navigation:

 1. Best Guns:
     a. Shotguns
     b. Rifles
     c. Revolvers
     d. Auto Loading Pistols
 2. Worst Guns
     a. Pocket Pistols
     b. Bolt Action Hunting Rifles
     c. Single Shot Guns
 3. Choosing a Gun

Best & Worst Home Defense Guns

Each and every firearm has an advantage and a disadvantage. It quickly becomes apparent as soon as you fire it, or as soon as you take a look at its features. One important thing to consider in light of home defense is the fact that living spaces and homes limit your mobility. Should home encounters happen, the practical defensive shots are fired at very close range. You aim and shoot anywhere from contact range to across the room ranges (5-10 yard proximity).

There are some guns that are better suited for close-range shooting as compared to the others. Here’s a list of considerations for you to read:

The Best:

1) Shoulder Weapons

a. Shotguns

You’ll notice one thing when comparing shotguns for outdoor ranges and ones for home defense- the length of the shotgun barrel. Short-barreled shotguns, or otherwise known as riot guns or tactical shotguns are extremely effective for defending your home with.

remington-870-tactical-shotgun

Remington 870 Tactical Shotgun

Combat shotguns are equipped with barrels that range from 18″ to 20″ in length. Some combat models have added features such as specialized sights or extended magazine capacities. They are about the same as sporting shotguns in this respect. Perhaps the best feature in keeping a shotgun for home defense is its intimidation factor. An intruder, or any other person with malicious intent will surely think twice as they stare at a shotgun barrel. Carrying a shotgun reduces the chances that you’ll actually have to shoot!

Some of the most common shotgun types you will see are the pump-action types, semi-automatic types and the break-action types.

  • Pump-actions or Slide-actions require the gun operator to pull the shotgun’s forearm to the receiver and push it into its starting position to put a round into the chamber. These shotgun types are plentiful and inexpensive. Reliability-wise, they have the best mechanism over their counterparts.
semi-auto-shotgun

Pump Action Shotgun

Some of the best pump-action shotguns available are the Winchester Super-X Defender, the Remington Tactical Model 870 and the Mossberg Tactical Model 500.

  • Semi-Automatics. This type of shotgun puts in fresh rounds for each pulled trigger as the magazine empties out. The semi-automatic shotgun is more accurate and has a faster shooting rate, but is more expensive than the other shotgun types.
pump-action-shotgun-gif

Semi-Auto Mechanism

  • Break-Actions. Break-action types have a hinged base positioned right at the end of the single or double barrel to allow for manual reloading. These shotgun types are probably the easiest to operate out of all the different shotguns, but you can only fire one or two rounds at a time.

 

break-action-shotgun

Get a 12 gauge to get the most out of your shotgun chambering. There’s a reason why most firearm experts say the 12 gauge is the best anti-personnel weapon ever invented. The buckshot’s effective saturation range plus the close proximity firing is devastating to say the least. It presents a high level of stopping power. But as with most powerful shotguns, the recoil effect is something to think about. Small to medium-frame individuals may experience shoulder bruising as they fire the 12 gauge. To offset the disadvantage, you can choose a 20 gauge, or switch out to a lower-recoil ammunition. 16 gauges and 20 gauges are good secondary options.

Shotguns have low capacity when it comes to ammunition. Most models can only take 4 plus 1 in their chambers, which quickly becomes apparent when put in a side by side comparison with semi-automatics and tactical rifles. Shotguns are notoriously slow to reload. You will need to manually put in rounds to the chamber or magazine one bullet at a time. The relative length and weight may also prove to be bulky and/or unwieldy in tight spaces.

winchester-superx-defender-shotgun

Winchester Super X Defender Shotgun

Let’s take a moment to separate fact from fiction when it comes to shotguns as they are portrayed in Hollywood movies. A shell fired from close range does not have enough force to send a person flying across the room. They are not magic guns that shoot giant spherical shells of destruction. Positioning to fire a shotgun at hip level and firing at the assailant’s general direction is considered sub-optimal for a couple of reasons. First, the shot pellets normally don’t have the power to pass through an individual’s soft tissue, but they can pass through walls and harm objects and bodies. Secondly, the shot patterns are still relatively small even in the home-defense range, which states that you will most likely miss hitting the intruder, as with any other home-defense firearm.

Most shotguns in Hollywood pictures also are of the pistol type grip variety. Home defense professionals won’t recommend this setup for anyone. Let’s break it down- eliminating the shoulder stock makes the length shorter and easier to move about in, but accuracy is greatly sacrificed. In short, you’ll find it nigh-impossible to aim and shoot your intended target. The pistol grip shotgun types should be left to SWAT teams in breaching operations. Instead of installing pistol grips, why not put in a six-position stock instead?

 

b. Rifles

The best home defense rifles are of the pistol-caliber or tactical semi-auto carbine types.

Tactical rifles, or otherwise known as modern sporting rifles have risen in popularity over the last few years. The most renowned models are of the AR-15 design. Some of the known rifles in this category are the Ruger Mini 14, the M1 Carbine and the AK-47. All of them are relatively easy to shoot with, produce low recoil levels, are light and can hold plenty of rounds.

ruger-mini-14-rifle

Ruger Mini 14 Rifle

Some of the more potent rifle models’ stopping power can be compared to a shotgun’s, but with less recoil. Home defenders living in a rural area can choose the rifle and its excellent accuracy and range should four-legged wild animals come their way. One notable downside with rifles is that they are hard to operate in tight confines. That, and the expensive price can prove to be more than some home defenders can handle. Just how expensive are they? A good rifle is equal to two or three defensive shotguns.

Home defenders can also opt for the pistol-caliber type carbine. Compact rifles touting lever-action and chambered in for cartridges such as the .45 Colt and the .357 Mag have made quite a name for themselves in protecting people’s properties. Lever guns may hold quite a few rounds for shooting before running out, but it requires slotting one cartridge at a time. Manufacturers have tried eliminating the tediousness by providing some semi-automatic models that are compatible with handgun magazines. These models work with the handgun you already have, plus they provide a higher load velocity due to their longer barrel length.

ak-47-rifle

AK-47

If you are confined to choosing only a rifle for your home defense option, then choose a handy, low-powered carbine length rifle. An M1 Carbine military surplus, a semi-automatic carbine fitted for cartridges such as the SR-556 or the Ruger Mini-14 .223, or a lever action carbine rifle fitted for the Magnum .357 revolver cartridge should do nicely in the home defense department. Urban defenders will fare with these rifle types much better against civil insurrections, riots, etc.

The bullets for your home defense rifle should be made for quick expansion. Varmint-type bullets are great because they have almost instantaneous expansion, and they don’t have the ability to ricochet off hard surfaces, which is ideal when defending in close quarters.

2) Handguns

Some people instantly think handgun when the topic of home defense comes into play. It’s easy to see why- handguns are popular because they are quite maneuverable. You can hold and fire off a round with just one hand, which frees up the other for holding a flashlight, etc. You can hold a handgun close to your body to keep it from being knocked off or wrestled away in tight situations. In terms of storage, a handgun is excellent. You can put it in a strong box, a closet or in your night stand drawer. It shines in indoor home defense situations and can be put away for immediate use. The home defense market is simply replete with good handgun options.

 

a. Revolvers

Dual-action revolvers have that cylinder that could be swung out for loading bullets with. The cylinder can accommodate up to six bullets. Revolvers are beginner-friendly as they could prove to be very reliable and very user-friendly. There’s no other switch, lever or button to tinker with; you can just pull the trigger and the bullet goes out. Home defense revolvers usually have .357 Mag or .38 Spl chambers. Slotting in the P ammunition and the .38 Spl chamber can increase your revolver’s stopping power minus the recoil and flash of the .357 chamber load. Home defense experts recommend a barrel length of about 3 to 4 inches.

smith-wesson-model-10-handgun

Smith & Wesson Model 10

The best revolver you can get for the home defense option is the Double Action type. They are often coined as “police types”. There’s the Taurus Model 608, the Smith and Wesson Model 10, the Ruger GP1 and the Colt Python. For an even better home defense, choose one that has fully adjustable sights.

Notice the hammer at the end of revolvers? You can thumb and cock them, similar to single action revolvers. To fire, you just need to press the trigger. This cycle of prepping and firing is called a “single action”, and is usually used for the most accurate firing option. As mentioned, double action revolvers are among the top when it comes to being reliable, shooting accurately, intuitive, easy to operate and safe to use. Furthermore, they are immune to jamming. A speed loader takes away some of the weakness, and individuals will find it relatively easy to reload from an ammunition box. Now you know why some homeowners swear by double action revolvers.

You can select from some of the most common revolver centerfire cartridges, including the .45 Colt, .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum, .38 Special, any of the .32 calibers (Magnum, H&R Magnum and Long). You may choose the .38 Special if you feel like you need superior stopping power.

colt-python-handgun

Colt Python Handgun

Magnums in particular offer a greater stopping factor at the expense of increased flash and muzzle blast, which becomes significant in low-light and indoor conditions. Reviews and various recommendations state that the 125 grain JHP, .357 Mag is the best on all handgun cartridges when talking about stopping power.

Revolvers and Centerfire pistols are great for home defense because they provide enough stopping power to neutralize intruders. Choose from the 9mm or .35 Caliber upwards and the appropriate ammunition. They can provide considerable benefits over rifles and shotguns in that they won’t over-penetrate or shoot wide-spaced slugs.

taurus-model-608-handgun

Taurus Model 608

The disadvantage of revolvers is that they are the weaker stoppers as compared to rifles and shotguns. There’s a rule of thumb you can follow as you shop around for home defense revolvers- pick out the highest-powered cartridge that you are comfortable with. There’s an exception to the rule, though- don’t pick tremendous caliber cartridges such as the .500 S&W, .454 Casull and the .44 Mag. The report and succeeding flash will cripple the home defender’s hearing and sight, something that is essential to these types of emergencies. Moreover, the bullet will most likely overpenetrate your target.

 

b. Autoloading Pistols

The most renowned among autoloader service-style firearms include the SIG P229, the Ruger P series, the Glock 19 and the Beretta 90-TWO, among others. They come in two variety- the safe action or the double action. You can load the chambers in and switch the safety to off and the pistols will still be relatively safe. When the whistle comes, you won’t need to switch the safety or cycle the action- just press the trigger and fire. The mechanism is similar to that of a double action revolver.

sig-p229-handgun

Sig P229

 

Autoloading pistols typically can hold more rounds than their revolver counterparts. It can hold anywhere from 7 to 15 rounds in total. The autoloading factor makes reloading faster if there’s a pre-loaded magazine present. Autoloaders are terrible at reloading from a loose box cartridge, something that happens a lot in home defending situations. The bottom line is that autoloading pistols have a high rate of fire, but that also means you get an empty cartridge much faster.

glock-19-handgun

Glock 19

The disadvantage in using an autoloader for home defense is that they are more likely to jam than the reliable revolver. The maxim holds especially true if you fire from your bathrobe or through your pocket, if you fire at an unusual downward or upward angle, or if you hold it with a limp wrist. Minimize this disadvantage by doing regular cleaning and proper lubricating, with the occasional disassembly for optimal operation.

beretta-90-two-handgun

Beretta 90

Semi-automatic pistols make use of a box magazine for loading ammunition. These pistol types could prove to be trickier to handle but they have a less-resistant trigger pull, can be reloaded much more quickly than the typical revolver and they hold more ammunition.

semi-auto_handgun-gif

Semi Auto Handgun Mechanism

Autoloaders may be chambered with different cartridge types, including the .22 Short and the .50 AE. You will find the most common cartridges for home defense include the .380 ACP, the .40 S&W, .45 ACP and the 9mm Luger. These cartridges are more than enough to do the task. The lesser recommended cartridges include the 10mm Auto and .357 SIG.

Duty size, also known as full-sized pistols provide a much larger magazine capacity and a significantly longer grip for practice, as compared to the sub-compacts and compacts that are used for legal concealed carry.

 

The Worst:

1) Pocket Pistols

Semi-automatic pistols belonging in the small and compact categories that may hold .25 automatic , .22 LR or derringer cartridges. It is certainly true that any gun is better than having no gun at all in cases of home intrusion, but pocket guns are virtually unusable because they have extremely short barrels and compact size. They are only good for extremely short-ranged situations.

pocket-pistol-remington-rm380

Remigton RM-380 Pocket Pistol

 

2) Single Shot Shotguns and/or Rifles

There’s quite a selection of cost-efficient rifles that can accommodate the .22 cartridges, but home defense is not their strongest suit. The .22 is notorious for having a low stopping power, which allows the intruder to continue attacking even if you’ve fired. Single shot rifles will not allow you to reload as you will be attacked before the action is completed. Rimfire guns are also likely to misfire or jam as compared to centerfire handguns, rifles or shotguns. They have no removable or internal magazines, and are therefore limited to single shots.

Shotgun loads are more susceptible to over-penetration as they are centerfire rifles, and are best left for outdoor use. Buckshot and bird shot loads may lessen that particular risk, but can still do significant damage to your home. Small bore .410 and 28 shotguns should be avoided altogether when preparing for home defense.

 

3) Bolt Action Hunting Rifles

You can argue that bolt action rifles have an edge over their capacity in the magazine category, but that’s where their advantage ends. The long barrels make it extremely difficult to maneuver in close quarters. The bolt must also be manually operated after a shot, from which the shooter must put in a new round. More often than not these type of rifles are paired with high-powered cartridges made for hunting, which present the flash and bang problem. Your senses will be impaired and can put you to a great disadvantage. This could prove to be fatal for yourself and your family, so it’s best to leave these rifles for outdoor hunting.

bolt-action-riflewinchester-30-06

Bolt Action Rifle Winchester 60-06

 

4) Single Action Revolvers

These revolvers have to be cocked manually before the shooter is able to fire off a round. You’ll see these in most Western movies. They are accurate, powerful and reliable. They are also some of the fastest revolvers in their category when firing from short range. All these plusses are not for home defense. Single action revolvers also come with a steep learning curve. Overall a poor choice as a primary defensive tool for homes and properties.

single-action-handgun

Single Action Revolver

 

Choose Your Gun Carefully

Don’t just go for the first gun that catches your eye, or purchase the most popular guns in your area. A gun should be carefully considered and researched, more so if you’re bringing it in for home defense. If you can, visit the nearest firing range to get a firsthand experience on how the guns shoot before buying one. The best home defense gun is one that meets almost all, if not all your needs.

At the best, you will need a gun and ammunition combo that gives the most optimal stopping power without being too much. You should also account for recoil, muzzle flash and the noise that could potentially dampen your senses. Hot rounds could pass through the target and hit window materials and thin walls to cause unintentional damage to others. Having an underpowered gun will prove to be insufficient in neutralizing the threat.

outpostguns-com-store

Civilians will also need to check on local law enforcement practices regarding over and underpowered defenses. We all want what is best for our homes and our families- stopping the threat without causing excessive damage. A shotgun or a rifle could easily be taken out at close range. Therefore, home defenders must be able to shoot before the apparent threat can close the distance. Shoulder weapons should be shot at the shoulders and not from the hips.

At the heart of firearm home defense are the basics of good shooting. Home defense budget should include educational books, live training with the help of a professional instructor and shooting practices at the range. Make use the knowledge you learned and keep a present mind to become a more able home defender.

When you finally choose a good firearm, take it and constantly practice with it. Become familiar with it. A weapon can save you and your family when wielded properly. You’ll need to learn proper bullet placement as it can be more effective than a gun’s raw power. The gun is only an equipment that could neutralize intruders on your home front. It’s the shooter that uses the firearm effectively to shut down the threat

Add some complementary defenses to boost your protection. Set up home alarms or wireless cameras around the perimeter of your house. Sometimes all it needs to deter a potential intruder is knowing that he is being watched by a live camera.

The post The Best and Worst Guns for Home Defense appeared first on Geek Prepper.

Best Bushcraft Knifes for Survival for 2017 (+Buyers Guide)

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Bushcrafting is defined as a skill or a person’s ability to survive in the wilderness, usually by choice. The bushcrafter’s equipment of choice is not a hefty, heavy and cumbersome tool, but rather an efficient, all-in-one tool that does everything they would need to effectively survive.

It should be able to prep firewood, build a shelter, cut through dense foliage, make traps for small game and even act as a weapon in emergencies.  A bushcraft knife does all of those things, and more. But how is it different from a pocket knife or a survival knife?

Quick Navigation:

1. Knife Types Compared
2. Tips on Choosing a Bushcraft Knife
3. Shopping Guide
4. Conclusion

 

bushcraft-knife-cutting-wood

Bushcraft Knife VS Pocket Knife VS Survival Knife

Here’s where we define each one and set them apart:

  • Pocket knives come in the foldable type and are generally smaller in size than the other two knives listed here. You can easily put it in your pocket and whip it out for general, everyday tasks.
  • Survival knives have fixed blades and are bigger than pocket knives. Like a pocket knife, they are reliable for a wide variety of everyday tasks. Survival knives are considered as the jack of all trades; they can be employed to cut into thick materials, pry open doors and break glass.
  • Bushcraft knives are primarily used for cutting wood. You can create sharp points to make stakes with it, feather with it and notch wood with it, among other things. Their defining characteristic is a shorter edge, which gives it more maneuverability than survival knives. You can prepare small traps and skin game with it along it the other wood-cutting tasks.

You’ll quickly find out there’s a number of different models and makes of bushcrafting knives available in the market. How do you pick out the right one for your needs?

 

survival-camp-fire

Tips On Choosing The Best Bushcraft Knife

 

1. Blade Size

This is probably the single most important factor when choosing a bushcraft knife. Buy one that’s too long, and you’ll find it inconvenient to carry around. The longer the blade of a knife, the better it is with heavy-duty tasks, but at the cost of mobility. Smaller blades are better at the finer, more delicate tasks but it might break or bend when used in tough woodcutting conditions. Your best bet would be to choose a size that’s a balance between the two- around 3″ to 6″ should do the trick. It’s flexible enough to do medium to heavy woodwork, while being small enough to handle smaller, more refined tasks.

 

2. Sharpness

The sharpness of a knife defines how it can handle certain tasks. A fine-edged blade is great for removing the skin neatly off games and in slicing meat for cooking, but you can’t really expect it to last long. A large-edged bushcraft blade can last a long, long time and take abuse, but it will lack the sharpness that you’ve come to expect from a thinner blade.

Knives that come with primary bevels are easier to sharpen than ones that come with secondary bevels. It can be done, but you’ll need to be careful and have enough experience to touch up a secondary bevel knife.

 

3. Blade Design

The best bushcraft knives have a blade design that has a flat grind and a flat cutting edge with a defined drop point. This kind of design allows you to do many things. The blade should be shaped in a way that it’s useful for many survival tasks. Try and imagine if you will be able to build shelter, create a fire, chop, baton or do some push-cuts with it.

Skinning and field dressing game should become an easier job with it. That’s not just the list of things a good bushcraft knife can do- you should be able to hollow, butcher, whittle, carve and drill with it. When talking about the many blade designs found in a bushcraft knife, two points stand out- the drop point and the spear point. In layman’s terms, the blade design should be sharp enough to make common bushcrafting skills easy and broad enough to lessen the more mundane jobs.

knife-blade-grind-process

 

4. Blade Grind

The primary bevel, or “blade grind” is the term used for how the knife’s blade was designed on the cutting-edge phase or secondary bevel. Like the blade design and sharpness, the grind dictates how you should use a particular bushcraft knife.

Hollow grinds are excellent for skinning and dressing; a chisel grind type is fantastic for heavy woodcutting tasks such as drilling, batoning, chopping and cutting lumber. Some of the more popular blade grinds are the Scandi grind, flat grind and convex grind.

 

5. Blade Material

Here are the different steel types:

  • High Carbon: High carbon knife blades are less prone to dulling, but they rust faster. The material is softer as compared to the other steel types, which make them easier to grind. Offset the disadvantage by oiling the blade often and if you live in wet climates.

The Carbon/Alloy type comes in different varieties- O1, A2, CPM D2, D2, 5190, 52100, 1080, 1085 and 1095.

  • Stainless Steel: The material is the complete opposite of high carbon- it needs to be sharpened more, but you won’t have to worry about it rusting. The tough nature of SS also makes it a pain to sharpen. This translates to less maintenance, but won’t have as sharp an edge as the HC type.

The Stainless variety comes in the following- VG10, 440c, CPM S35V, CPM 154cm and CPM 3v.

knife-blade-outline

6. Handle Material

There’s quite a diverse selection of bushcraft knife handles you can choose from- firm plastic, dense rubber, Micarta, wood, etc. Of course, each handle type has its own uses, so listen carefully. Wood is usually the handle when it comes to traditional bushcraft knife makes. It’s tough and it looks good, but it tends to absorb moisture. Rubber and firm plastic are utilized to provide users a firmer handle and a better grip. Premium bushcraft knife manufacturers use high-end materials such as Micarta or G-10, a fiberglass material that’s also very durable. These handle types work well under pressure and last a long time.

Some Friendly Shopping Advice

So, which one is the best bushcraft knife you should buy? The quick answer is, there’s no perfect bushcrafting knife that does everything. It entirely depends on how you plan to use it!

The Top 15 Bushcraft Knives:

 

1. Spyderco Bushcraft G-10 PlainEdge Knife with Leather Sheath

1-spyderco-bushcraft-g-10

Spyderco is a household brand when it comes to self-defense knives; it comes as no surprise that they can also help you survive in the wild! The G-10 model comes to exactly the same specifications as bushcraft website BushcraftUK.com and bushcraft expert Chris Claycombe in collaboration with Spyderco’s design staff. Everything is made high-end: the blade is made from O-1 carbon steel, while the grind is of Scandi and finally, a bombproof G-10 handle.

Construction is full tang. Spyderco has left its mark by leaving its signature thumbhole feature, which provides finesse in delicate tasks and stability for heavier wood work. The G10 grip is ergonomically designed to reduce fatigue; it’s well-shaped while being solid. Rounding it off is a leather sheath that you can use immediately out of the box.

Con: The grip becomes slippery during wet or bloody conditions.

 

2. Benchmade 162 Bushcrafter Fixed Blade Knife w/ Free Benchmade Bottle Opener

2-benchmade-162-bushcrafter-fixed-blade-knife

Quality can’t get any better if it’s made by Benchmade. You get a tough S30V Stainless Steel Blade containing 1.45 percent carbon, which is optimal for bushcraft knives. Those with large-sized mitts will be able to wield Benchmade’s titanium-infused G10 handle, and the blue hue with red highlights adds a nice touch.

Some people will be glad to know that this bushcrafter knife is made in the US and will not be arriving from anywhere else. This premium also puts it at a higher price tag than the other selections, but the bottom line is you get what you pay for, right? Bushmen who want a knife that will not falter can depend of Benchmade’s product to do the job exceptionally well.

Con: The handle cannot be removed.

 

3. Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Black Tactical Knife with 0.125/4.3-Inch Carbon Steel Blade and Plastic Sheath

3-morakniv-bushcraft-carbon-black-tactical-knife

The brand Morakniv is known for having cutting-edge products. It has achieved a cult following because of a razor-sharp blade and outstanding resilience, coupled with a price that is wallet-friendly. Where do we start? The 3.3mm high carbon steel blade is an absolute beast. It can do things such as cut meat with impunity, or assist you in delicate tasks such as shaving hair. In bushcrafting, it can cut thick lumber, then do some elaborate carvings on it. Name a task, and the Morakniv Knife can do it!

More about the materials- the blade has a straight point, a flat grind and it’s coated with corrosion-resistant tungsten. The product manufacturers made the backside to be a firestarting tool. You get a diamond sharpener and a sheath when you buy this bushcraft knife. More or less, you can do everything needed to survive with the Morakniv knife. The affordability puts it among the best bushcraft knives being offered in the market.

Con: The knife’s handle and sheath feel sub-par.

 

4. CELTIBEROCOCO Bushcraft Knife – Cocobolo Wood Handle

4-cds-survival-mova-58-stainless-steel-knife

Love camping out in the wilderness each weekend? Then you’ll love the CDS Survival Bushcraft Knife. Camping and survival basics such as hunting and scouting are made easy with this product. Fish cleaning, fatwood shaving, making feather sticks, splitting, batoning and chopping are handled very well. You can use the knife spine and the included striker to get a fire going pretty quickly. The sheath serves a double function of keeping the knife edge sharp when you put the blade against the edge.

Moreover, the weight feels excellently balanced with the 1/8″ high-carbon stainless steel material. You can baton through 2 1/2 diameter logs and cut through half-diameter inch branches with it. You get full tang and nice Kydex grips when you buy this baby.

 

5. Tops Knives Brothers of Bushcraft

5-tops-knives-brothers-of-bushcraft-knife

Perching at the top of the Bushcraft knives is Tops offering. Like the Benchmade, it’s very affordable while being able to handle most Bushman tasks.

The added weight gives a premium feel while being a welcome addition to handling chopping tasks. Need to start a fire? You can use the bow drill pivot located in the handle to kindle some flames. The knife’s pommel is the tang, wrapped up in the grips. Batoning is one of the things this bushcraft knife can do better than most. Wrap your hands around the BOB bushcraft knife and you’ll find the hilt conforming to your thumb, making it easy to do some basic bushcraft tasks such as setting up snares or skinning caught game.

 

6. Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife with Sandvik Carbon Steel Blade

6-morakniv-companion-heavy-duty-knife-with-carbon-steel-blade

Outdoor lovers will find the Mora Companion bushcraft knife a handy helper. It’s not just for bushcrafters, but also hikers, hunters and weekend warriors. The Heavy Duty knife is perfect for batoning purposes- the thick, 3.2mm carbon steel blade sports a 27-degree angled edge which makes it a go-between for both sharp and heavy tasks. Morakniv’s HD knife touts a classic Scandi grind with a mix of carbon steel; sharpening it is easier than pure stainless steel bushcrafter knives. Larger hands will also appreciate the impressive ergo handle coupled with a relatively soft, high-friction material grip.

Bottom line is that the Heavy Duty Companion knife combines everything into a jack-of-all trade bushcrafter knife that can handle almost all bushcrafter tasks quite well.

 

7. Morakniv Bushcraft Stainless Steel Survival Knife with Fire Starter and Sharpener, Orange

7-morakniv-bushcraft-stainless-steel-survival-knife-with-fire-starter

The title says it all- Mora has created a versatile bushcraft knife that can be used for tactical, hunting, outdoor and in some instances, emergency situations. It stands out because it has an exceptional edge sharpness that you can depend on for cutting tasks. The thick stainless-steel blade is trademark Mora- a burly, 3.2mm monster with razor-sharp features. The other end of the blade is a ridge-ground spine, useful for starting fires in conjunction with a good fire starter.

This Morakniv Survival Bushcraft Knife model comes with a highly visible orange sheath made of plastic. The sheath also holds a manufacturer-made fire starter and a diamond sharpener. As you might have heard, Morakniv’s fire starters can be reliably used to yield about 7 thousand strikes and produce 3 thousand degree sparks even when it’s raining. It is also worthy to note that the blades are Sandvik Stainless Steel, excellent for construction, fishing and marine applications. Bushcrafters will appreciate the low-maintenance aspect that comes with this bushcraft knife, as the stainless steel material is further enhanced with chromium which reduces oxidation and corrosion to a manageable minimum.

 

8. Ontario Knife 6525 Bushcraft Field Knife

8-ontario-knife-6525-bushcraft-field-knife

How about a bushcraft knife with a bit of a pedigree? Ontario’s offering has been hailed the best of the best in field and stream for the year 2014. This bushcraft knife has a profile that makes it more than appropriate for some of the more tedious bushcrafting tasks. You can use it for woodlot chores and various tasks around the farm.

The Ontario 6525 has a full tang construction concluded in a brushed satin finish, and a walnut handle with 3 embedded bolts. The blade is made of carbon steel, sporting the best of both worlds. It’s quite sharp and can chop with the best of them! Comes with a 21 paracord lanyard and a custom sheath that has a built-in fire starter. Oh, and it’s made only in the USA.

 

9. Boker Real Steel Bushcraft Coyote D2 Steel

9-boker-real-steel-bushcraft-coyote-d2-knife

There’s quite a market for well-rounded bushcraft knives, and Boker’s product offering caters to those audience. Considering its relatively inexpensive cost, entry-level bushcrafters can certainly try it out and give it a go. For starters, the blade is D2 material in a Scandi grind, shaped in classic bushcraft style. You can cut and chop with it, and it’s easy to sharpen. The edge is reasonably well-made, but be careful when doing some lateral loads. It’s a bit harder to sharpen, and is prone to rusting, so keep an oil can handy. You get a Kydex sheath w/ removable loop, and the handle is of G10 material with a spacer and a lanyard hole.

 

10. Ka-Bar BK2 Becker Campanion Knife with Fixed Blade

10-ka-bar-becker-bk2-campanion-fixed-blade-knife

The BK2 is the brainchild of celebrated master survival expert Ethan Becker. The pedigree alone makes it a curious product to buy and test out. The Campanion bushcraft knife is unique in that it’s far bulkier than the others and made specifically for experienced survivalists who love hard, grueling challenges.

What’s the Ka-Bar blade made of? A 1095 blade infused with vanadium carbide and chrome, set on top of a Grivory handle that can be removed. Suffice to say, it can pierce wooden branches and bushes as easily as it can through animal hides. The handle is such that batoning and hammering can be done with little to no trouble. The Becker Campanion bushcrafter knife comes in a sleek black design.

Con: The huge size may be a plus to some, but prove to be too unwieldy for others. Newbies can look to other products in this list.

 

11. GCS Custom Handmade Hammered D2 Tool Steel Skinner Bushcraft Knife Knives Buffalo Hide Sheath 10

11-gcs-custom-handmade-hammered-d2-tool-steel-skinner-bushcraft-knife

The GCS brand of custom bushcraft knives come from Europe and are considered to be on the top end of the bushcraft knife lines. The blade is made from D2 Tool Steel, known for its exceptional hardness and fantastic resistance to bushcrafting wear and tear. It’s one of the few knives sporting a Micarta handle, wonderfully ergonomic and requiring less maintenance than other handles. You can literally use it all throughout the day and won’t even notice the time passing by!

The leather sheath can be worn in a variety of ways. Wear it the regular way, or in a linear fashion along the belt line. Fasten it on a bag strap, or on a MOLLE-type webbing if you prefer.

 

12. Aitor AI16127 Zero Survival Bushcraft Fixed Blade Knife

12-aitor-ai16127-zero-survival-bushcraft-fixed-blade-knife

Another brand that makes use of the excellent Micarta-type handles, the Aitor Zero Bushcraft Knife has some very interesting features. All kinds of knife work can be handled- landscaping, gardening, even canoeing and some camping jobs are easily carried out. Spanish company Aitor has made sure their product is competitive. You get a professional military-grade product with a blade that is easy to sharpen. It’s rust-resistant, able to create fires and the sheath has some extra room for gear and other carry options.

 

13. ESEE RB3 Camp-Lore Fixed Blade Bushcraft Knife, Scandi Grind – Leather Sheath Included

13-esee-rb3-camp-lore-fixed-blade-bushcraft-knife

Out of nowhere comes the underdog of the list- the ESEE Camp-Lore RB3 is a product of survival expert Reuben Bolieu. The carbon blade sports a Scandi grind and was created to be the definitive solution to basic bushcrafting skills

You get a 1095 Carbon-Steel blade in two forms- either the part-serrated or the plain edge. The handles are scaled Micarta, complementing the full tang design. The handle is removable, but you won’t be replacing this tough, yet comfortable material anytime soon!

 

14. Morakniv Bushcraft Fixed Blade Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, Orange, 0.125/4.3-Inch

14-morakniv-bushcraft-fixed-blade-knife-with-sandvik-stainless-steel-blade

With so many Moras in the list, here’s a mini-guide to follow:

Versus the Mora Bushcraft Black

The orange hue is more practical for when you need to locate it easily under dark conditions. The Black sports a carbon steel make; the Orange has Stainless features which makes maintenance easier.

Versus the Mora Bushcraft Survival Orange

You get a fire starter and diamond sharpener built on the sheath with the Survival Orange, but those extra bells cost you almost double the price.

Versus the Mora Companion

The Companion is a great buy for bushcrafters, but those who want more heft and thicker blades can turn to the Orange for unbeatable value. The blade thickness lets you do more.

 


15. Condor Tool and Knife Bushlore 4.375-Inch Drop Point Blade, Walnut Handle with Leather Sheath (Plain)

15-condor-tool-and-knife-bushlore-4-375-inch-drop-point-blade

Condor Knife and Tool is for the budget-minded bushcrafter. This product can surprise the user by having a lot more quality under its belt in spite of the low entry cost! You get a 1075 high-carbon, blasted satin finish blade that looks great and works even better. Rounding out the package is a wooden handle and full tang blade with a Scandi grind.

Con: Drags a bit when cutting wood

Conclusion

In order to find the best bushcraft knife, you’ll need to answer the following questions- where and what am I going to use it for? The environmental condition you’ll be working under is also a factor to consider. Choose a few bushcraft knives from the list that caught your eye, then do a side-by-side comparison to see which one comes out on top. Or, choose from a list of preferences on factors such as blade size, material, etc. and see which bushcraft knife has them all.

Best Bushcraft Knifes for Survival for 2016 (+Buyers Guide)

Click here to view the original post.

Bushcrafting is defined as a skill or a person’s ability to survive in the wilderness, usually by choice. The bushcrafter’s equipment of choice is not a hefty, heavy and cumbersome tool, but rather an efficient, all-in-one tool that does everything they would need to effectively survive.

It should be able to prep firewood, build a shelter, cut through dense foliage, make traps for small game and even act as a weapon in emergencies.

Quick Navigation:

1. Knife Types Compared
2. Tips on Choosing a Bushcraft Knife
3. Shopping Guide

 

bushcraft-knife-cutting-wood


A bushcraft knife does all of those things, and more. But how is it different from a pocket knife or a survival knife?

Bushcraft Knife VS Pocket Knife VS Survival Knife

Here’s where we define each one and set them apart:

  • Pocket knives come in the foldable type and are generally smaller in size than the other two knives listed here. You can easily put it in your pocket and whip it out for general, everyday tasks.
  • Survival knives have fixed blades and are bigger than pocket knives. Like a pocket knife, they are reliable for a wide variety of everyday tasks. Survival knives are considered as the jack of all trades; they can be employed to cut into thick materials, pry open doors and break glass.
  • Bushcraft knives are primarily used for cutting wood. You can create sharp points to make stakes with it, feather with it and notch wood with it, among other things. Their defining characteristic is a shorter edge, which gives it more maneuverability than survival knives. You can prepare small traps and skin game with it along it the other wood-cutting tasks.

You’ll quickly find out there’s a number of different models and makes of bushcrafting knives available in the market. How do you pick out the right one for your needs?

 

survival-camp-fire

Tips On Choosing The Best Bushcraft Knife

 

1. Blade Size

This is probably the single most important factor when choosing a bushcraft knife. Buy one that’s too long, and you’ll find it inconvenient to carry around. The longer the blade of a knife, the better it is with heavy-duty tasks, but at the cost of mobility. Smaller blades are better at the finer, more delicate tasks but it might break or bend when used in tough woodcutting conditions. Your best bet would be to choose a size that’s a balance between the two- around 3″ to 6″ should do the trick. It’s flexible enough to do medium to heavy woodwork, while being small enough to handle smaller, more refined tasks.

 

2. Sharpness

The sharpness of a knife defines how it can handle certain tasks. A fine-edged blade is great for removing the skin neatly off games and in slicing meat for cooking, but you can’t really expect it to last long. A large-edged bushcraft blade can last a long, long time and take abuse, but it will lack the sharpness that you’ve come to expect from a thinner blade.

Knives that come with primary bevels are easier to sharpen than ones that come with secondary bevels. It can be done, but you’ll need to be careful and have enough experience to touch up a secondary bevel knife.

 

3. Blade Design

The best bushcraft knives have a blade design that has a flat grind and a flat cutting edge with a defined drop point. This kind of design allows you to do many things. The blade should be shaped in a way that it’s useful for many survival tasks. Try and imagine if you will be able to build shelter, create a fire, chop, baton or do some push-cuts with it. Skinning and field dressing game should become an easier job with it. That’s not just the list of things a good bushcraft knife can do- you should be able to hollow, butcher, whittle, carve and drill with it. When talking about the many blade designs found in a bushcraft knife, two points stand out- the drop point and the spear point. In layman’s terms, the blade design should be sharp enough to make common bushcrafting skills easy and broad enough to lessen the more mundane jobs.

knife-blade-grind-process

 

4. Blade Grind

The primary bevel, or “blade grind” is the term used for how the knife’s blade was designed on the cutting-edge phase or secondary bevel. Like the blade design and sharpness, the grind dictates how you should use a particular bushcraft knife.

Hollow grinds are excellent for skinning and dressing; a chisel grind type is fantastic for heavy woodcutting tasks such as drilling, batoning, chopping and cutting lumber. Some of the more popular blade grinds are the Scandi grind, flat grind and convex grind.

 

5. Blade Material

Here are the different steel types:

  • High Carbon: High carbon knife blades are less prone to dulling, but they rust faster. The material is softer as compared to the other steel types, which make them easier to grind. Offset the disadvantage by oiling the blade often and if you live in wet climates.

The Carbon/Alloy type comes in different varieties- O1, A2, CPM D2, D2, 5190, 52100, 1080, 1085 and 1095.

  • Stainless Steel: The material is the complete opposite of high carbon- it needs to be sharpened more, but you won’t have to worry about it rusting. The tough nature of SS also makes it a pain to sharpen. This translates to less maintenance, but won’t have as sharp an edge as the HC type.

The Stainless variety comes in the following- VG10, 440c, CPM S35V, CPM 154cm and CPM 3v.

knife-blade-outline

6. Handle Material

There’s quite a diverse selection of bushcraft knife handles you can choose from- firm plastic, dense rubber, Micarta, wood, etc. Of course, each handle type has its own uses, so listen carefully. Wood is usually the handle when it comes to traditional bushcraft knife makes. It’s tough and it looks good, but it tends to absorb moisture. Rubber and firm plastic are utilized to provide users a firmer handle and a better grip. Premium bushcraft knife manufacturers use high-end materials such as Micarta or G-10, a fiberglass material that’s also very durable. These handle types work well under pressure and last a long time.

Some Friendly Shopping Advice

So, which one is the best bushcraft knife you should buy? The quick answer is, there’s no perfect bushcrafting knife that does everything. It entirely depends on how you plan to use it!

The Top 15 Bushcraft Knives:

 

1. Spyderco Bushcraft G-10 PlainEdge Knife with Leather Sheath

1-spyderco-bushcraft-g-10

Spyderco is a household brand when it comes to self-defense knives; it comes as no surprise that they can also help you survive in the wild! The G-10 model comes to exactly the same specifications as bushcraft website BushcraftUK.com and bushcraft expert Chris Claycombe in collaboration with Spyderco’s design staff. Everything is made high-end: the blade is made from O-1 carbon steel, while the grind is of Scandi and finally, a bombproof G-10 handle.

Construction is full tang. Spyderco has left its mark by leaving its signature thumbhole feature, which provides finesse in delicate tasks and stability for heavier wood work. The G10 grip is ergonomically designed to reduce fatigue; it’s well-shaped while being solid. Rounding it off is a leather sheath that you can use immediately out of the box.

Con: The grip becomes slippery during wet or bloody conditions.

 

2. Benchmade 162 Bushcrafter Fixed Blade Knife w/ Free Benchmade Bottle Opener

2-benchmade-162-bushcrafter-fixed-blade-knife

Quality can’t get any better if it’s made by Benchmade. You get a tough S30V Stainless Steel Blade containing 1.45 percent carbon, which is optimal for bushcraft knives. Those with large-sized mitts will be able to wield Benchmade’s titanium-infused G10 handle, and the blue hue with red highlights adds a nice touch.

Some people will be glad to know that this bushcrafter knife is made in the US and will not be arriving from anywhere else. This premium also puts it at a higher price tag than the other selections, but the bottom line is you get what you pay for, right? Bushmen who want a knife that will not falter can depend of Benchmade’s product to do the job exceptionally well.

Con: The handle cannot be removed.

 

3. Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Black Tactical Knife with 0.125/4.3-Inch Carbon Steel Blade and Plastic Sheath

3-morakniv-bushcraft-carbon-black-tactical-knife

The brand Morakniv is known for having cutting-edge products. It has achieved a cult following because of a razor-sharp blade and outstanding resilience, coupled with a price that is wallet-friendly. Where do we start? The 3.3mm high carbon steel blade is an absolute beast. It can do things such as cut meat with impunity, or assist you in delicate tasks such as shaving hair. In bushcrafting, it can cut thick lumber, then do some elaborate carvings on it. Name a task, and the Morakniv Knife can do it!

More about the materials- the blade has a straight point, a flat grind and it’s coated with corrosion-resistant tungsten. The product manufacturers made the backside to be a firestarting tool. You get a diamond sharpener and a sheath when you buy this bushcraft knife. More or less, you can do everything needed to survive with the Morakniv knife. The affordability puts it among the best bushcraft knives being offered in the market.

Con: The knife’s handle and sheath feel sub-par.

 

4. CELTIBEROCOCO Bushcraft Knife – Cocobolo Wood Handle

4-cds-survival-mova-58-stainless-steel-knife

Love camping out in the wilderness each weekend? Then you’ll love the CDS Survival Bushcraft Knife. Camping and survival basics such as hunting and scouting are made easy with this product. Fish cleaning, fatwood shaving, making feather sticks, splitting, batoning and chopping are handled very well. You can use the knife spine and the included striker to get a fire going pretty quickly. The sheath serves a double function of keeping the knife edge sharp when you put the blade against the edge.

Moreover, the weight feels excellently balanced with the 1/8″ high-carbon stainless steel material. You can baton through 2 1/2 diameter logs and cut through half-diameter inch branches with it. You get full tang and nice Kydex grips when you buy this baby.

 

5. Tops Knives Brothers of Bushcraft

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Perching at the top of the Bushcraft knives is Tops offering. Like the Benchmade, it’s very affordable while being able to handle most Bushman tasks.

The added weight gives a premium feel while being a welcome addition to handling chopping tasks. Need to start a fire? You can use the bow drill pivot located in the handle to kindle some flames. The knife’s pommel is the tang, wrapped up in the grips. Batoning is one of the things this bushcraft knife can do better than most. Wrap your hands around the BOB bushcraft knife and you’ll find the hilt conforming to your thumb, making it easy to do some basic bushcraft tasks such as setting up snares or skinning caught game.

 

6. Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife with Sandvik Carbon Steel Blade

6-morakniv-companion-heavy-duty-knife-with-carbon-steel-blade

Outdoor lovers will find the Mora Companion bushcraft knife a handy helper. It’s not just for bushcrafters, but also hikers, hunters and weekend warriors. The Heavy Duty knife is perfect for batoning purposes- the thick, 3.2mm carbon steel blade sports a 27-degree angled edge which makes it a go-between for both sharp and heavy tasks. Morakniv’s HD knife touts a classic Scandi grind with a mix of carbon steel; sharpening it is easier than pure stainless steel bushcrafter knives. Larger hands will also appreciate the impressive ergo handle coupled with a relatively soft, high-friction material grip.

Bottom line is that the Heavy Duty Companion knife combines everything into a jack-of-all trade bushcrafter knife that can handle almost all bushcrafter tasks quite well.

 

7. Morakniv Bushcraft Stainless Steel Survival Knife with Fire Starter and Sharpener, Orange

7-morakniv-bushcraft-stainless-steel-survival-knife-with-fire-starter

The title says it all- Mora has created a versatile bushcraft knife that can be used for tactical, hunting, outdoor and in some instances, emergency situations. It stands out because it has an exceptional edge sharpness that you can depend on for cutting tasks. The thick stainless-steel blade is trademark Mora- a burly, 3.2mm monster with razor-sharp features. The other end of the blade is a ridge-ground spine, useful for starting fires in conjunction with a good fire starter.

This Morakniv Survival Bushcraft Knife model comes with a highly visible orange sheath made of plastic. The sheath also holds a manufacturer-made fire starter and a diamond sharpener. As you might have heard, Morakniv’s fire starters can be reliably used to yield about 7 thousand strikes and produce 3 thousand degree sparks even when it’s raining. It is also worthy to note that the blades are Sandvik Stainless Steel, excellent for construction, fishing and marine applications. Bushcrafters will appreciate the low-maintenance aspect that comes with this bushcraft knife, as the stainless steel material is further enhanced with chromium which reduces oxidation and corrosion to a manageable minimum.

 

8. Ontario Knife 6525 Bushcraft Field Knife

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How about a bushcraft knife with a bit of a pedigree? Ontario’s offering has been hailed the best of the best in field and stream for the year 2014. This bushcraft knife has a profile that makes it more than appropriate for some of the more tedious bushcrafting tasks. You can use it for woodlot chores and various tasks around the farm.

The Ontario 6525 has a full tang construction concluded in a brushed satin finish, and a walnut handle with 3 embedded bolts. The blade is made of carbon steel, sporting the best of both worlds. It’s quite sharp and can chop with the best of them! Comes with a 21 paracord lanyard and a custom sheath that has a built-in fire starter. Oh, and it’s made only in the USA.

 

9. Boker Real Steel Bushcraft Coyote D2 Steel

9-boker-real-steel-bushcraft-coyote-d2-knife

There’s quite a market for well-rounded bushcraft knives, and Boker’s product offering caters to those audience. Considering its relatively inexpensive cost, entry-level bushcrafters can certainly try it out and give it a go. For starters, the blade is D2 material in a Scandi grind, shaped in classic bushcraft style. You can cut and chop with it, and it’s easy to sharpen. The edge is reasonably well-made, but be careful when doing some lateral loads. It’s a bit harder to sharpen, and is prone to rusting, so keep an oil can handy. You get a Kydex sheath w/ removable loop, and the handle is of G10 material with a spacer and a lanyard hole.

 

10. Ka-Bar BK2 Becker Campanion Knife with Fixed Blade

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The BK2 is the brainchild of celebrated master survival expert Ethan Becker. The pedigree alone makes it a curious product to buy and test out. The Campanion bushcraft knife is unique in that it’s far bulkier than the others and made specifically for experienced survivalists who love hard, grueling challenges.

What’s the Ka-Bar blade made of? A 1095 blade infused with vanadium carbide and chrome, set on top of a Grivory handle that can be removed. Suffice to say, it can pierce wooden branches and bushes as easily as it can through animal hides. The handle is such that batoning and hammering can be done with little to no trouble. The Becker Campanion bushcrafter knife comes in a sleek black design.

Con: The huge size may be a plus to some, but prove to be too unwieldy for others. Newbies can look to other products in this list.

 

11. GCS Custom Handmade Hammered D2 Tool Steel Skinner Bushcraft Knife Knives Buffalo Hide Sheath 10

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The GCS brand of custom bushcraft knives come from Europe and are considered to be on the top end of the bushcraft knife lines. The blade is made from D2 Tool Steel, known for its exceptional hardness and fantastic resistance to bushcrafting wear and tear. It’s one of the few knives sporting a Micarta handle, wonderfully ergonomic and requiring less maintenance than other handles. You can literally use it all throughout the day and won’t even notice the time passing by!

The leather sheath can be worn in a variety of ways. Wear it the regular way, or in a linear fashion along the belt line. Fasten it on a bag strap, or on a MOLLE-type webbing if you prefer.

 

12. Aitor AI16127 Zero Survival Bushcraft Fixed Blade Knife

12-aitor-ai16127-zero-survival-bushcraft-fixed-blade-knife

Another brand that makes use of the excellent Micarta-type handles, the Aitor Zero Bushcraft Knife has some very interesting features. All kinds of knife work can be handled- landscaping, gardening, even canoeing and some camping jobs are easily carried out. Spanish company Aitor has made sure their product is competitive. You get a professional military-grade product with a blade that is easy to sharpen. It’s rust-resistant, able to create fires and the sheath has some extra room for gear and other carry options.

 

13. ESEE RB3 Camp-Lore Fixed Blade Bushcraft Knife, Scandi Grind – Leather Sheath Included

13-esee-rb3-camp-lore-fixed-blade-bushcraft-knife

Out of nowhere comes the underdog of the list- the ESEE Camp-Lore RB3 is a product of survival expert Reuben Bolieu. The carbon blade sports a Scandi grind and was created to be the definitive solution to basic bushcrafting skills

You get a 1095 Carbon-Steel blade in two forms- either the part-serrated or the plain edge. The handles are scaled Micarta, complementing the full tang design. The handle is removable, but you won’t be replacing this tough, yet comfortable material anytime soon!

 

14. Morakniv Bushcraft Fixed Blade Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, Orange, 0.125/4.3-Inch

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With so many Moras in the list, here’s a mini-guide to follow:

Versus the Mora Bushcraft Black

The orange hue is more practical for when you need to locate it easily under dark conditions. The Black sports a carbon steel make; the Orange has Stainless features which makes maintenance easier.

Versus the Mora Bushcraft Survival Orange

You get a fire starter and diamond sharpener built on the sheath with the Survival Orange, but those extra bells cost you almost double the price.

Versus the Mora Companion

The Companion is a great buy for bushcrafters, but those who want more heft and thicker blades can turn to the Orange for unbeatable value. The blade thickness lets you do more.

 


15. Condor Tool and Knife Bushlore 4.375-Inch Drop Point Blade, Walnut Handle with Leather Sheath (Plain)

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Condor Knife and Tool is for the budget-minded bushcrafter. This product can surprise the user by having a lot more quality under its belt in spite of the low entry cost! You get a 1075 high-carbon, blasted satin finish blade that looks great and works even better. Rounding out the package is a wooden handle and full tang blade with a Scandi grind.

Con: Drags a bit when cutting wood

 

Conclusion

In order to find the best bushcraft knife, you’ll need to answer the following questions- where and what am I going to use it for? The environmental condition you’ll be working under is also a factor to consider. Choose a few bushcraft knives from the list that caught your eye, then do a side-by-side comparison to see which one comes out on top. Or, choose from a list of preferences on factors such as blade size, material, etc. and see which bushcraft knife has them all.

The post Best Bushcraft Knifes for Survival for 2016 (+Buyers Guide) appeared first on Geek Prepper.

What you Need to Know About Martial Law

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martial_law

1. What is Martial Law?
2. What Could Trigger Martial Law
3. Life Under Martial Law
4. History of Martial Law
5. Chance of Martial Law Today?
6. How to Prepare for Martial Law
7. How to Get Through Martial Law

 

What Is The Definition Of Martial Law?

What is the first thing that comes into mind when the phrase “Martial Law” is mentioned? Do the images of tanks rolling in the streets, accompanied by fully-armed soldiers cross your mind? Do you instinctively flinch in fear at the gloomy thought that war is being fought right at your doorstep?

Martial law is an act designed to control the society as war is being fought in actual or theoretical war zones. It can also be used as a measure for when either civil unrest, nationwide emergencies or when chaos ensues throughout a country.

The order may be given by the highest-ranking military officer as he or she takes over as military governor or as the government head (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_of_government). In any case, the power that belonged to judicial, legislative and executive bodies are now transferred over. Martial law is the last counter-measure against a force that the government authorities have failed to fully contain.

 

police-baricade

Aside from the unwavering presence of obvious military force patrolling the area, there are other liberties that are compromised. Curfews are set, as is the suspension of the habeas corpus, civil rights and civil law. Most concerning yet is the fact that civilians are now subject to military justice in military grounds. Those who defy or are suspected of defying the rules set may be captured and subjected to court-martial.

In layman’s terms, Martial Law is the final resort of a country that has found itself unable to deal with a potent threat. There are actually two types- the first is a localized level in which only certain parts of the nation are affected, and the dreaded national martial law, from which everyone living in that country is now affected.

 

What Could Trigger Martial Law?

The images that we evoke in our minds when we hear the phrase “Martial Law” is true. Potentially, it is the worst nightmare we as a society can face, and one that keeps preppers on their toes. One of the main reasons is that martial law can happen anytime a man-made or a natural disaster strikes.

Consider the following examples in history where martial law was used:

– Following a massive coup d’état i.e, Thailand during 2006 and 2014

– When threatened by overwhelming public protests i.e, China and the Tiananmen Square during 1989

– Suppressing of political opposition i.e, Poland during 1981

– A wide-scale disaster such as the Yellowstone eruption and other natural emergencies

yellowstone

– In cases of foreign invasion, civil war, or to stabilize insurrections i.e, Canada and the October Crisis during 1970

Martial law is an option when a nation is faced with devastating natural disasters. Most government bodies however, utilize a different legal construct to what defines a state of emergency . Don’t forget that it was also imposed during occupation cases where civil governments rule over a relatively unstable population. Examples include the WW2 reconstruction in Japan and Germany, and the civil reconstruction after the U.S. civil war.

 

What Will Life Be Like Under Martial Law?

Martial law is not a pretty picture to behold. Don’t hold any illusions, because life will definitely become tougher after it becomes fully implemented.

Remember that almost everything that we are enjoying now will be suspended. Constitutional liberties and freedoms will be gone. Civilians such as you and I will no longer have basic civil rights. All that power will be transferred over to the government or to a single, tyrannical politician to wield the military force and to use it as they see fit.

Imagine if there was a scenario where martial law was declared in the U.S. The usual “State of Emergency” will be declared, and with it the following:

– Suspension of the Constitution, more notably the First and the Second Amendment.

– Suspension of the Habeas Corpus, which means anyone can go to prison without a trial and due process.

– Mandatory identification and restrictive curfews.bankok

– Automatic seizures and invasive searches without needing a warrant; confiscation of firearms.

– Quarantine zones, road closures and strict travel restrictions.

In layman’s terms, you’ll see groups of military soldiers and ordinances patrolling the streets in plain view. Tanks, military choppers, high-powered rifles and other military drones will not be things that you can see in movies anymore. Basic necessities such as water and food will be confiscated, and hoarding them will become illegal. In order to get food and water, you’ll have to stand in line with the rest of the population.

Even household resources such as electricity, bath water and TV networks will be rationed and observed closely. You may be searched anytime for any reason; you may be asked to step out of your vehicle anytime. Freedom of speech and the free press will be absent as long as martial law is imposed.

It doesn’t stop there. As basic human civil rights are suspended, you can get arrested anytime for any reason, and you can’t do anything about it. You won’t have a fair trial and due process is thrown out the window. You will be at the mercy of a military court. What’s worse is that you can get executed by the police or any other military force for speaking against the government or for defending your family or friends.

 

When Has Martial Law Been Enacted Throughout History?

National martial law in the United States was only declared once, and that was in the great Civil War. Keep in mind that the national level requires the declaration of the President or the Congress. Other than that, history has shown that martial law has been limited to states.

Use of military force was enforced in instances such as the Whiskey Rebellion and during the Civil War, but there wasn’t any declaration of martial law. Here are some more instances where martial law was enacted throughout history:

Freedom Riders

Alabama governor Patterson declared martial law on May of 1961 in order to combat the agitators coming in the state specifically to violate Alabama’s laws and customs.

Hawaii Territory

Hawaii was held in December 7 1941 under martial law during WW2 and was not lifted until October 24 1944. Hawaii’s federal judges later condemned the rule stating that a military dictatorship was set up not in the island’s best interests, but to those of the army.

San Francisco 1934

Frank Merriam, governor of California during 1934 declared martial law and cited “unlawful tumult and riots” when dock workers held a strike. The National Guard was summoned to open up the docks and were able to successfully control it, averting the crisis. Furthermore, the guardsmen were given the power to make arrests or detain the employees for later court trials.

riots_unrest

Tulsa Race Riot

The Oklahoma National Guard decreed martial law in 1921 in response to KKK members conspiring to eradicate Black Wall Street. The plan was to wipe out the business center of African Americans by jealous whites. Those who tried to flee were shot or lynched by the KKK.

Coal Wars in West Virginia

Martial law was declared for the West Virginia state when coal wars erupted in the years 1920 to 1921. Federal troops were sent by Governor Cornwell’s orders to rally up the miners who rallied. It was one of the few martial laws that was used for ostensible reasons, as the army officers used their power to jail union members. Martial law dictatorship by Governor Cornwell and the army ended with Sid Hatfield’s trial.

Colorado Coalfield War

Martial law was imposed on the climax of the Colorado Coalfield War in 1914. The decades-long conflict finally bubbled over and it was the town of Ludlow, Colorado that took the hit. As such, the Colorado National Guard was summoned to calm the protests. The shifting of National Guard opinions led to clashes and resulted in the Ludlow Massacre. American President Wilson ended the violence by sending in the federal troops.

1906 San Francisco Earthquake

Presidio troops were called to action after the great earthquake in 1906. Martial law was declared and the guards were stationed all throughout San Francisco. Dynamite was utilized to destroy buildings in the path of fire to prevent it from spreading further.

 

sf_earthquake

1892 Coeur d’Alene

Mine workers shot at opposing miners and destroyed a mill in the 1892 Coeur d’Alene incident in Idaho.  The governor promptly called for martial law, summoned the guardsmen and requested for federal troops as well. The result was the arrest of over 600 people, which ended with the court martial of more than 20 ringleaders.

The Chicago Fire

Roswell Mason, then mayor of Chicago, declared martial law in 1871 after the Great Chicago Fire. He then ordered General Philip Sheridan to take over and put the city under control on October 9 1871. When the great fire was put out, the state of martial law was lifted in just a few days.

Ex parte Milligan

President Abraham Lincoln imposed martial law authorized by the congress on September 15 1863. The act effectively suspended habeas corpus throughout the whole of United States, declaring the suspension on spies, aiders, prisoners of war and enemy abettors. It was later challenged by the Ex parte Milligan and won as the Supreme Court ruled the martial law as unconstitutional.

The War of 1812

General Andrew Jackson declared the state of emergency in New Orleans, Lousiana during the War of 1812. He then successfully fought off the invading British, but kept the martial law active, saying he didn’t receive the official word of peace.

The American Revolution

Parliament effectively passed the Government Act of Massachusetts after the Boston Tea Party, which suppressed any and all assemblies and town meetings. It also imposed an appointed government, which is very similar to the current martial law we have today.

american_revolution

 

What Is The Chance Of Martial Law In 2016 Under President Obama?

Martial law does have its merits, if only for a few reasons. It can be the adequate course of action when everything we know goes out the window. The only deciding factor in determining a good or bad martial law is what the government does with all that power.

It’s true that President Barack Obama is under the public scrutiny for plenty of scandals and controversies, but it all will be dwarfed when he does declare martial law. There are statements that read Barack Obama declaring the US will be better off with martial law in place; some have even speculated that Obama has put the necessary bills through the wringer.

The fears that we face are unfounded. President Barack Obama has not declared his intent to put the US under martial law. He did however, put into place bills that favor martial law. There’s an order known as the National Resources Defense Preparedness, where the government can take over a particular resource at any given moment during a state of emergency. This bill also mentions that martial law could be declared anytime under the President’s direct orders.

 

What You Should Do To Prepare For Martial Law

Preppers will be hard-pressed to prepare for such a scenario, but it’s always better to be prepared than to be caught off-guard. The best kind of defense for this type of doomsday scenario is to actively stop it from happening. Otherwise, you can start preparing for your defense and the defense of the people you love.

Let’s start with the basics of prepping. It is imperative to start stocking up on essential medicine, clean drinkable water, canned foods, survival gear and firearms. It’s a big plus if you already know some survival skills; take the time and the available courses to learn the most important ones.

Pack these things into a location that you can reach easily. The less important ones can be stashed away in a more secure location. Throw the current convention out the window and don’t stock up on electronics such as cell phones or laptop computers. It could lead you to more trouble by giving your position away, making noise or by burdening your load. They will be dead weight if an EMP attack happens, or once the batteries die out.

guns_ammo

If you wish to survive a martial law, here’s what you need to do:

  • Food. Store food that can last a long time for you, your family or friends. The more you can stock, the better.
  • Water. Store potable drinking water, or buy equipment that cleans water you can collect from rainfall.
  • Shelter. You’ll need a safe location to stay in. A bug out location, reinforced homes or even a portable tent will be useful if you ever need to get to the wilderness.
  • Medicine. Stock up on the most useful medicines first. Don’t forget to stock on medical drugs and equipment that your family might need.
  • Guns, Ammo and Survival Skills. You will need to learn how to make fire from nothing, or be able to build a shelter out of your surroundings.
  • Get Fit. You’ll need all of your physical strength and capability in order to prepare fully for any impending martial law.
  • Drills. Practice and simulate events that could lead to martial law. Teach your friends or family members how to evacuate quickly, bug out, or hide in an underground shelter.

How To Get Through Martial Law

Step 1. Trust No One

Protect yourself by being invulnerable to external forces. Martial law can bring out the worst in people. They will form groups or mobs to try and control the people on their own, or impersonate law enforcement for their own benefits. They could even attempt to take over a community and establish their own laws.

camo

Step 2. Become One With Everybody Else

You’ll need to rid yourself of individuality in a temporary manner and become just like everyone else. The bottom line is, don’t stand out like a sore thumb in all aspects. Be mindful of everything you say to the public. It would probably better not to say anything at all. Avoid negative opinions and go on with daily life as if nothing is happening. Just hope that it will end one day, sooner rather than later. While this might go against your beliefs, at least you won’t be singled out or given undesirable treatment by the controlling forces in the area.

Step 3. Fight Or Flight

Everyone will be faced at one point to either fight for what they believe in, or to do everything they can to survive this cataclysmic event. You can either bug out, go in hiding, wait for all that dust to settle or fight for your liberties. It depends on whether you want to survive martial law or whether you wish to die for your liberty.

Step 4. Keep Your Mouth Shut

It cannot be stressed enough that you should keep mum about what’s happening in your country. Don’t tell absolutely anyone things that can harm you or your family. You can do this effectively by putting on a hood and keeping a low profile. Don’t needlessly expose your family, friends, relatives and your loved ones. Think carefully on what you will say before you even utter one word.

government_control

Step 5. Avoid Government Control and Monitoring

There will be cameras and surveillance. There will be armed patrols and snitches waiting to prey on someone. It would be smart if you can locate where the cameras are, then draw up a plan that exposes you to the least number of surveillance systems.

Know who is patrolling your area; keep track of their path, the times they patrol and what kind of routine they use. Find any shortcuts that could be useful, such as tunnels, railroad tracks, forest paths and side streets. You’ll need the least amount of interaction with the government troops to lessen the chances of them picking on you.

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Ultimate Fire Building Guide & Glossary with Dozens of Techniques

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Since the dawn of time, man has been on a quest to dominate fire. It started with the Neanderthals and continues with modern man. Fire is used in an infinite number of ways to help make life easier. Learning how to build, start and maintain a fire are skills everyone should have. It could save your life when SHTF.

fire building guide

Index:

  1. What is fire
  2. Pre-fire prepping
     2.1. Tinder
     2.2. Kindling
     2.3. Wood logs
     2.4. Tools
     2.5. Tips
     2.6. Wood stacking designs
  3. Ways to start a fire
     3.1. Improvised homemade methods
     3.2. Made in the wild, natural materials
  4. Starting & sparking tools
     4.1. Store bought
     4.2. Using chemicals
  5. How to maintain fire
  6. Extinguishing & clean up

 

1. What is Fire?

Fire is a chemical reaction that occurs when certain conditions are met. When heat, fuel, and oxygen are combined, fire is born. This birth occurs because of combustion. In the presence of oxygen, when a form of fuel is heated to the temperature at which it can ignite, fire is produced. When you are gazing at the beauty of a fire, you are looking at a combination of gasses that include oxygen, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and nitrogen.

Fire protects, nourishes, and warms. It is used to help keep away wild animals and has been used as a tool in warfare. It is used to cook food that cannot be eaten raw. It warms us on cold days. Fire is also used to help grow food, create pottery, craft glass, and the list goes on. On the flip side, when out of control, fire is a fierce enemy. Man has always held fire in reverence because of what it gives and what it can take away.

fire-heat-waves

 

2. Pre-Fire Prepping – Securing the Area

Before starting a fire, certain safety measure must be taken into consideration. Whether you choose to build your fire in the woods, on a campground, or in your backyard, there are different precautions that must be taken for each scenario. If you are starting a fire in the woods, you must choose an area that meets certain criteria. The area that you choose should be clear of overhead dangers like tree branches. You should also clear the area of dried leaves or anything else that could easily catch fire. Another thing to avoid is building your fire along a path that is frequented by wild animals. If you choose an area where there are a lot of animals like moose, deer, mountain lions and bears, your fire could attract them and you could put yourself at risk.

After securing the area, you must decide how you will build your fire. You can start the fire near a huge rock or create a fire ring created from stones. Avoid using porous rocks like sandstone or limestone for your fire ring as they can ignite or explode.

When building a fire on campgrounds, ensure that you build your fire in permitted locations. If there are fire pits on the campground, use these pits to start your fire. If you are building a fire in your backyard, you can use a ring of stones, a safety blanket, or construct a fire pit. These methods are effective at helping you contain the fire.

 

2.1 Tinder

Tinder is any material that is very flammable and can easily catch fire from sparks or a flame. When building a fire, tinder is your foundation. Useful forms of tinder can be found in nature, made at home, or you can use commercial tinder.

cattails

Natural forms of tinder include materials such as:

  • Pine needles
  • River birch – River birch contains resin (natural oils) and will light quickly and burn longer.
  • Cattail – A piece of cattail can be twisted so the fibers are released to create a small nest. Cattail catches fire easily, so it’s great to use when you want to start a fire fast.
  • Dried thistle – Like cattail, thistle catches fire very easily.
  • Cedar bark – Crush cedar bark into finer particles so it will light easier
  • Fatwood – This material comes from the stump of pine trees. Also known as Maya sticks, you can cut shavings from these sticks down to use as tinder.
  • Dead leaves, grass, thistle
  • Dried orange peels, potato chips, corn chips

Some types of tinder that can be made at home include:

    • Char cloth (char paper) – Char cloth can be made from fabrics like cotton or linen. Once made, you can carry pieces of char cloth in a small tin. This material has a very low ignition temperature and is very useful to use in damp conditions or when natural tinder is scarce.
    • Vaseline cotton balls – Cotton balls covered in Vaseline are a very useful and economical form of homemade tinder. To make this tinder, all you need to do is coat cotton balls with a teaspoonful of Vaseline. You can store the Vaseline coated cotton balls in a Ziploc bag or a small, plastic container.
    • Twine – Twine is another economical form of tinder. Pieces of twine can be cut into 6-inch length and then torn to create a tinder bundle.
    • Dryer lint – Gather lint from your dryer and use it as tinder.

Commercial tinder can easily be bought. The advantages of commercial tinder over some types of natural and homemade tinder is that it has a very low ignition temperature and burns for a longer period of time.

      • Fire tabs – Fire tabs are inexpensive pieces of bound fibers that can be used to start a fire.
      • Fire cord (paracord) – Paracord can be cut into smaller pieces and then torn into bundles like twine.
      • Wet fire tinder – Wet fire tinder is large tablets that can be used to start a fire even in wet conditions. You can use an entire tablet, break off pieces of the tablets, or use shavings to start your fire.

2.2. Kindling

Kindling is small pieces of twigs or sticks that are used in starting a fire. After igniting the tinder, kindling is placed on the tinder to help build the fire. The twigs are usually anywhere from one-quarter to one inch in diameter and six to twelve inches long. Kindling can be found on the ground or snapped off the branches of dead trees. Other materials used for kindling include:

      • Feather sticks – these are thin pieces of wood shaved down into curls.
      • Fatwood – Wood that comes from a pine tree stump and cut into thin lengths. Other forms of wood can be split into small lengths to create kindling as well.
      • Pine cones.
      • Larger pieces of wood batoned into smaller pieces.

pine-cones

 

2.3. Wood Logs

Tinder and kindling are needed to get the fire started, but wood logs are what will keep your fire burning for a long time. The length of time your fire burns correlates with the thickness of the wood logs. Smaller pieces of wood, like those found on the ground from dead trees and branches, will burn quickly and you will need to keep adding wood to your fire to keep it burning.

Larger pieces of wood will definitely burn longer, but they will be harder to find. Normally, you will have to cut the wood to the desired length with tools you have brought along with you.

 

2.4 Tools

Chances are that you will need to cut the wood you need to build your fire. For that reason, you will need to bring tools with you to get the job done. One of your most essential tools will be a solid, fixed blade knife for batoning. Others tools you will need to bring along are a hatchet and a saw.

Tools like a folding saw Japanese pole saw, bow saw, or a pocket saw are great ways to cut wood into smaller pieces without having to carry around heavy tools with you. Camp axes are also relatively lightweight and very handy when cutting wood. You can purchase lightweight, combination tools that come with multiple tools such as a Leatherman or the Zippo four in one woodsman. This tool comes with an ax, a saw, a mallet, and a tent stake puller.

camp saw

 

2.5 Wood Stacking Designs

When building your fire, you can choose from a variety of designs. Each design carries advantages and disadvantages with them. The teepee design is easiest, but this design will also burn the quickest. You can also choose a log cabin design, lean-to, Dakota fire hole, or a rakovalkea gap fire. With all the designs, it’s best to have your tinder, kindling and wood ready beforehand.

 

      • Teepee Design

The teepee design is built by placing your kindling and firewood in the shape of a tent. You can add the tinder first, light it, and then stack the kindling and firewood in the shape of a tent, or you can leave a little door to put in the tinder after you have constructed your teepee. Some people find it hard to construct the teepee design as it tends to fall down into a big pile. One way to avoid this is to use a large pile of debris, like leaves, to give the structure a solid form. Once completed, add the lighted tinder through the small doorway or cubbyhole created earlier. You will need to keep adding fuel logs and kindling with this design, as the wood will burn quickly.

 

      • Lean-to Design

This design is appropriate if you are building a fire where there is wind or rain and you need a method that will help get your fire going before it has the opportunity to be extinguished by the elements. You can build the lean-to by using a large log as a way to block the wind or rain. If you are building the lean-to on the dirt, as opposed to building it on a suspended platform like a rock, dig a small area around your tinder to allow more air to flow. The next step is to place your kindling so it leans over the tinder and against the big log. Once you have the fire going, you can add your fuel logs to the lean-to.

Lean-To-Fire-themanual.com

Courtesy Themanual.com

 

      • Pyramid or Log Cabin Design

This design will burn longer and require less maintenance than the lean-to or teepee design. To start off, you will need to start off with your base logs. Place two logs about six inches diameter about a foot apart and place your tinder bundle and kindling in the center. For best results, place your kindling in a teepee style. Once that is done, you will stack logs on top of the base logs in an alternating pattern. From this point, there are variations in the construction of this design.

You can place the logs on top of base logs by two, three or four. Be mindful of the fact that the more logs you place in a row above the base logs, the more you will limit air flow. As you continue stacking the fuel logs in alternating fashion, you have the choice of using logs that decrease in size or using logs of the same size. Using logs of different sizes allows more air flow so your fire will burn higher and hotter.

 

      • Self-Feeding Design

Out of all the designs mentioned so far, the self-feeding is the one that will last longest. It also requires less maintenance than the others if constructed correctly. This design is similar to the design of the log cabin fire with some slight variations. You begin construction of this design by placing logs on the bottom as a base, but these logs are placed close together. Only about an inch or two of space is left between the logs. Once the foundation is complete, you stack logs on top of the base logs in the same fashion as you do with the log cabin design. These logs will be close together, with three to four logs per layer. With this design, you will put your tinder and kindling on top instead of placing it on the bottom. Instead of burning from the bottom upward, the self-feeding burns from the top down and it burns slowly.

 

      • Dakota Fire Hole Design

The Dakota fire hole design allows you to build a fire that won’t be seen from a distance, is great for cooking, and is very easy to put out. To begin, you will need to dig a hole in the ground up to three feet deep. The depth of the hole depends on the size of the fire you want to build. If you are planning on building a Dakota fire hole, it is a good idea to bring along a shovel. You could use your hands, a knife, or stick to build your hole, but it will be hard work and will take longer. After completing the first hole, you will need to dig a hole approximately twelve inches away and about half as deep as your first hole.

dakota-fire-pit-imgur

An underground passageway that connects the two holes will need to be created in order to provide a maximum flow of oxygen. Once you have finished digging the second hole, dig a hole the leads to the first one. It should be wide enough to put your arm through. Once you have constructed the holes, build a fire in the first hole as you would build any fire in any wood stacking design you choose. Then, add your tinder, kindling and fuel logs on top. This design works well for cooking food, can’t be seen from a distance, and is easier to clean up when you are finished with the fire.

 

Dakota-Fire-Pit-diagram

Courtesy Offgridweb.com

 

      • Rakovalkea Gap Fire

Break out all of your tools because you will need them if you want to build a rakovalkea gap fire. Although this design is labor intensive, the fire will last even longer than the self-feeding fire.

This design uses two long logs as the fuel. Fallen birch trees are optimal to use for this wood stacking design. Once you have carried the logs back to the camping area, it is time to prepare the wood.

You will need to create a channel on one side of the logs. The best tool for this will be your hatchet. Cut one side of each of the logs so that there is a channel in the wood that extends from one end to the other end. Doing this will cut off the bark and expose the dry wood inside. After creating the channels, you will need to gather long pieces of wood used to help support the logs. The best wood to use to support the logs is green wood.

For the support or base log, you will place pieces of wood about three feet in length close to the ends of the logs. The pieces of wood used to support the logs should be about one foot away from the ends of the logs.

Rakovalkea-en.wikipedia.org

You’ll also need two pieces of wood to wedge between the logs to leave space for kindling. These pieces of wood will have to be carved as well so that it creates a level surface between the logs. Another piece of green wood will be needed to use as a stake to hold the logs in place. Trim one end of this wood into a point and drive it firmly into the ground. The placement will be approximately two feet away one end of the base log.

In order to be sure that the top log doesn’t roll over once you’ve started your fire, you’ll need to take another stick and nail it to the top log at the opposite end of where you’ve placed your stake. At told, this entire process could take as little as 15 minutes. Your mileage may vary.

Now, it’s time to get the tinder and kindling in place. Place the tinder and kindling of your choice between the two logs. You will need to gather a lot of kindling to get the fire started and keep it going well. For tinder, you could use vaseline coated cotton balls, birch bark, or pieces of char cloth. For kindling, gather lots of dry twigs and wood of various sizes. If pine cones or fatwood are available, be sure to use that as well. The resins contained in the pine cones and fatwood will get the fire going faster and keep it burning longer.

Spread out your tinder and kindling well and then light it up. Once lit, you will notice the flames spread quickly. If you notice the flames dying down, keep adding small fuel logs between the gaps. If constructed correctly, the rakovalkea gap fire will burn brightly and last all night.

2.6 Tips

Batoning – Use this technique to cut bigger pieces of wood into kindling. Choose a piece of wood that is lightweight, dry, and between 16 and 32 inches. Set the wood on a level surface like a tree stump and wedge your fixed blade knife or hatched in the center. Use another piece of wood to drive the blade downward to create thinner pieces of wood.

With a long piece of firewood, saw halfway through the pieces and then break the pieces with a stick or by stepping on it firmly with your foot

If you want a really fast way to break larger pieces of wood into smaller pieces, you can elevate the ends of a fallen tree between two rocks. Use another large rock and smash it into the middle of the tree to get it to break. This method will only work with dead trees so be very careful.

Another way to break longer pieces of wood is to wedge it between u-shaped tree and break it. Put some WD40 on your blade when cutting wood to make it slice through the wood easier.

 

3. Ways to Start a Fire

You’ve learned about tinder, kindling, fuel logs and wood stacking designs. Now, the various methods to start a fire will be addressed. You can start a fire with batteries, magnifying glasses, natural materials like flint rock, sticks, and chemicals. Of course, the easiest way to start a fire is with tools like matches or a lighter. Read on for detailed information on the different ways to light your fire.

 

3.1 Improvised Homemade Methods

      • Fire Piston

A fire piston consists of two parts. The first part is a cylinder which has a hole in the center and the second part is the piston. This device is constructed such that there is an airtight seal when the piston is inserted into the cylinder. It functions by creating a dramatic increase in temperature (as high as 500 degrees Fahrenheit) when the piston, along with an easily flammable material such as char cloth, is rammed into the cylinder.

To use the fire piston, you need to insert a piece of char cloth or other flammable material onto the end of the piston. Insert the piston so that it is seated into the cylinder and then firmly grasp the cylinder with one hand and depress the piston by slapping with your hand. Once that is done, carefully remove the piston and your char cloth should now be a small coal. Carefully transfer that coal using a knife or a stick onto your pile of tinder. Loosely grasp your tinder bundle and blow on it until it produces a fire.

 

      • Battery and Steel Wool

You can start a fire very quickly by using a battery and steel wool. The most popular method involves using a 9V battery. A 9V battery works easiest because the negative and positive terminals are on one side. To get a fire started with steel wool and a battery, all you need to do is touch the terminals to the steel wool. It will immediately give off bright sparks. Once the steel wool ignites, you can quickly transfer it to your tinder bundle and blow on it to help feed the fire.

 

      • Magnifying Glass

You can start a fire with a magnifying glass, eye glasses or anything through which the sun’s rays can pass. By directing a beam of sunlight through a magnifying glass and aiming it on a flammable material like paper, char cloth or a piece a wood, you can start a fire. The sun’s beams must be directed through the lens of the magnifying glass until a small dot is visible on the object you want to burn. Once you see the dot, try to hold the lens steady for ten to twenty seconds until the object begins to smolder. Once achieved, transfer your ember to a tinder bundle and blow on it until you’ve got a flame. This will work with any object that has a convex lens including eye glasses, binoculars and a clear bottle filled with water.

 

3.2 Made in the Wild from Natural Materials

Bow drills, fire plows, and hand drills are the most difficult ways to start a fire. These methods are labor intensive but if you are successful in starting a fire, you will get a great sense of accomplishment. With these methods, it is crucial to choose the right types of wood. To get the best results, these natural fire starters should be made of wood from trees like sotol, cedar, cattail, basswood, and aspen.

 

      • Bow Drill

One of the earliest methods for making fire was through friction and that is exactly how a bow drill works. Bow drill have four main parts that include the bow, hearth board, bearing block, and the drill.

bow-drill

Courtesy Robertsbushcraft.com

To create embers with a bow drill, the first step is getting the hearth board ready. Cut a small depression in the board about one inch away from the edge. Place the hearth board on a surface like a flat rock, and place one foot on the edge of the board so you can drill. Then, take your drill and wrap it around the string of the bow so that it fits snugly. Place one end of the spindle into the depression you created and place the bearing block on top of the drill to hold it in place. Move the bow back and forth in a sawing motion repeatedly until you see smoke coming from the hearth board. Stop and cut a wedge into the wood with the point aimed at the center of the depression you created.

Now you are ready to make your ember. Recreate the steps above but this time put a leaf or piece of wood under the hole to catch the ember. You will need to keep constant pressure on the drill and keep sawing back and forth until you see smoke coming from the hole. It will take time, practice, and you will burn some calories but in the end a nice ember will be formed. Gently lift your hearth board and with a knife or small twig, remove the ember so it rests on the leaf or piece of wood and then put it on your tinder bundle. Blow on it and when a fire has started, add it to your chosen wood stacking design.

 

      • Fire Plow

A fire plow is another way that you can product embers or coals by rubbing sticks together. Preparing the wood to make a fire plow is not as labor intensive as making a bow drill, but if your technique is correct and you craft your tools well, you should get the same results. Oak, hickory, elm and ash are good materials to use for your fire plow.

Start off by choosing a piece of wood from a fallen branch that is completely dry. This will be your baseboard. Use your knife to cut off the bark and other rough edges until both sides are level. Find another piece of wood, preferably from the same tree, and cut it down to a length equal to that of your forearm. Then whittle it down until there is no bark and one end is cut at about a forty-five-degree angle.

The side with this angle is what you will use to plow into your baseboard. When this is complete, you will take the smaller piece of wood, place it on the baseboard at an angle and keep moving the stick vigorously back and forth until you start to see smoke. After a period of time, you will create a depression in the wood. When you start to see little pieces of black soot, plow faster and make sure not to go beyond the point where you see the pile of coals. When you start to see smoke, continue plowing for another minute or two. You should be rewarded with a small ember for your efforts. Transfer this ember to your pile of tinder and blow on it gentle until a fire starts.

 

      • Hand Drill

Like the bow drill, creating fire with a hand drill requires that you craft your tools. Whereas with a bow drill you will optimally need to make six different tools, with a hand drill you only need to make a drill and a hearth board (fireboard).

As with the hearth board for the bow drill, the fireboard should be cut so it is level on both sides. The fireboard should be one-fourth of an inch in width. Once the fireboard is created, take your knife and cut a small divet into the wood.

When you are done crafting a fireboard, you will need to find or make a drill or spindle. For your spindle, you will need to choose a piece of wood that is roughly three-eighths to one-quarter inches wide and from twenty to thirty-two inches in length.

Creating the fire:  The first step is to take the working end of the spindle and put it into the small divet you created earlier. Next, take the drill between the palm of your hands and rub your hands together while applying downward pressure. When applying downward pressure your hands will naturally move downward. For this reason, you will need to keep repositioning them so they are are the top of the spindle. Continue this process until you have created a black mark in the hole. Use your knife or small saw to make a triangular notch in the wood where the point of the triangle is in the center of your divet.

hand drill fire starter

When this is complete, rest the hole on a dry leaf or piece of wood. Using the same action you used to create the black mark in the hole, keep rubbing the drill between your palms and applying downward pressure as quickly as possible. The key to creating an ember is to keep the friction going as long as you can until you see steady smoke coming from the hole in your fireboard. Once this is achieved, use a slim stick or knife and lift the fireboard to reveal your ember and transfer it to your pile of tinder.

 

      • Using Rock to Start a Fire

When it comes to making fire with rocks, the harder the rock, the better the sparks. On the Mohs hardness scale, flint rock is 7 but so are chert, jasper, and quartz. Flint rock is the most commonly thought of rock when it comes to making fire, but you can also start a fire with the other rocks mentioned. In fact, you can get sparks from any rocks that share the same properties. If the rock has a smooth, shiny surface, sharp edges, and facets, there is a high chance you will be able to create sparks with the rock.

There are two techniques you can use to start a fire with rocks. The first technique works best if you use iron pyrite or marcasite stones together, or one of these stones with flint, quartz, jasper, or chert. By striking any of these two stones together and using a highly flammable tinder like tinder fungus or char cloth, you will be able to start a fire.

The other technique commonly used to start a fire with stones is to have a fire striker. The fire striker can be a knife or a carbon steel striker. Carbon steel strikers come in various forms, but the most popular form is c-shaped and allows you to grasp it in such a way that makes the steel easier to handle and helps protect your knuckles from being cut on the sharp edges of the rock. To create a spark with a fire striker and a rock, you just need to hit the striker against an edge of flint rock until sparks are produced. Putting a piece of char cloth on the edge of the rock that you are striking is an easy way to quickly catch a spark and start a fire.

flintrock

 

4. Starting & Sparking Tools

Knowing how to start fires with homemade and natural materials is a great skill to have, but most require a lot of work and there is the risk you will not be able to start your fire with these methods. For this reason, it is a good idea to carry starting tools with you. The list of starting tools include ferrocerium rods, fire starters, lighters, and matches.

 

4.1 Store bought

      • Ferrocerium Rods

Amongst outdoorsman and survivalists, ferrocerium rods, or ferro rods, are a favorite when it comes to starting fires. These rods are compact and can be purchased with a piece of striking steel attached to it by a chain or you can just buy the rods and use a knife as a striking tool. In addition to ferrocerium rods, you can purchase magnesium blocks that can be used in combination with ferrocerium rods.

Ferrocerium rods are exceptional tools because they allow you to produce sparks that can reach temperatures higher than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Magnesium, when ignited, burns at temperatures that are 1,000 degrees higher than sparks created by ferro rods.

To use magnesium and ferrocerium rods to start a fire, you only need to use your knife to scrape shavings of magnesium onto your tinder. Place the magnesium block close to your tinder to get the shavings in a small area. Then, scrape your knife or striking tool against the ferro rod in a downward motion so that the sparks will catch on the magnesium shavings. The shavings will catch fire easily. In wet weather conditions, magnesium will be your best friend because it burns quickly and white hot.

 

      • Fire Starters

If you want a fire starter that produces sparks like a ferrocerium rod, but operates like a lighter, you can use something like the Blastmatch or Sparkie. These tools will produce strong sparks and, unlike the other tools mentioned, you only need to use one hand to operate it.

 

      • Lighters

Lighters are considered primary fire starters because of the ease with which you can create a flame. By depressing a button or rolling your thumb over the spark wheel, you can create a flame in seconds that can be added to tinder to help you start a roaring fire. Lighters are definitely the easiest to use when starting a fire, but they are difficult to operate when it’s cold and they can easily break down leaving you with no easy way to start a fire.

 

      • Matches

Matches, like lighters, are also considered to be primary fire starters. But not all matches are created equal. Paperboard matchbooks like those you get at restaurants are the least desirable. These matches are flimsy, unreliable, and extinguish quickly in wet weather. Wooden stick matches are better because they will burn a bit longer and are made with a more durable material. You can use normal wooden stick matches which require you to strike it against a specific material or strike anywhere matches. Strike anywhere matches, like the name implies, are matches that can light when struck against any rough surface. However, if you want truly reliable matches, then you want to invest in stormproof matches. These wooden stick matches have an orange, potassium chlorate coating that allows the match to stay lit even after being submerged in water.

matches

 

4.2 Using chemicals to start a fire

Another interesting way to start a fire is by using chemicals. You can start fires rapidly and easily using chemicals, but there are some drawbacks. When using chemicals, you need to make sure your eyes and skin are protected so you won’t get burned.

 

      • Potassium Permanganate

Potassium permanganate is a chemical compound that is made of potassium and permanganate ions. These ions form to make crystals with a purplish to a black hue that can be combined with other substances to create a fire in seconds. Here is a list of ways you can make fire with this chemical.

By mixing potassium permanganate with glycerin in a five to one ratio, you will be able to start a fire in less than a minute. If the fire starts too slowly, add a drop or two of water. You can also start a fire by combining this chemical in a one to one ratio with sugar and grinding the ingredients together In under a minute, you can get a fire started by mixing equal parts of potassium permanganate with brake fluid.

 

      • Sulfuric Acid

Sulfuric acid is a substance that is colorless to yellowish in hue and has the capacity to destroy others substances that it comes in contact with. The corrosive nature of sulfuric acid can help you if you want to start a fire quickly.

Adding equal amounts of sodium chlorate and sugar with a few drops of sulfuric acid will produce a fire quickly.  Sugar, potassium perchlorate and a few drops of sulfuric acid will instantly create a fire.

Other ways that you can start a fire with chemicals include:

Place finely ground particles of zinc and ammonium nitrate on paper and then add a few drops of hydrochloric acid.  Pool chlorine added to brake fluid is another way to chemically start a fire.

 

5. How to Maintain a Fire

There are innumerable ways to get a fire started, but they will all be pretty useless to you in a survival situation if you can’t keep that fire going. In order to keep your fire going, you have to remember the three components that are necessary to make a fire. In order to make fire, you need air, heat, and fuel.

maintaining & blowing on fire

 

      • Air

When oxygen is cut off, your fire will be extinguished. You can easily test this by lighting a candle and covering it with a jar or cap. Likewise, if the fire you build is being smothered by the fuel because you’ve placed them tightly together and cut off airflow, it will go out or be very difficult to maintain. No matter which wood stacking design you choose, make sure that there is enough space between the kindling and fuel to always allow oxygen to circulate.

 

      • Heat

Heat is another thing to consider when maintaining a fire. If you’ve started a fire and only have a few coals or embers burning, heat is not being produced in sufficient quantities and your fire will go out. If your fire is dying, add kindling to it and then add more fuel logs to get the fire raging higher and hotter.

 

      • Fuel

Tinder helps get your fire started, kindling is the next step to get it to grow bigger, but your fuel logs are what ultimately will sustain the fire. If you are trying to maintain your fire with only kindling made from small twigs or branches that are small, you will constantly run out of fuel and trying to maintain your fire will be a real chore. Good fuel logs have a diameter at least the size of your wrist. You will increase the size depending on the wood stacking design you choose and the length of time you want the fire to burn.

 

6. Extinguishing and Cleaning Up

A roaring fire will keep you warm, help you cook your food, and give you something beautiful to look at but you can never forget the dangers of fire. Many forest fires or house fires have started due to carelessness and left behind a path of destruction. When you are done with your fire, extinguish the fire and thoroughly clean the area.

 

      • Extinguishing the Fire

One obvious way of extinguishing your fire is with water. If possible, have a bucket of water nearby, when you are ready to put out the fire. Before adding water, separate the pieces of wood with a stick. Carefully spread out any logs and coals that are still burning. Next, slowly pour the water over any logs and burning coals. You may be tempted to just dump the entire bucket of water quickly over the logs and coals but try to avoid that. Doing this could create a great deal of smoke and ash which could be dangerous to you. In addition, there is a good chance you will not properly extinguish the fire and that means another trip to the lake or creek to get more water.

When you don’t see any steam coming from the log and/or coals, hover the back of your hand over the coals. If you still feel the heat radiating from the coals, add more water. Keep checking the coals and adding water until you can touch them without burning yourself. Optimally, you should have added enough water that in the end, your bed of coals has a soupy consistency.

Water is the best way to put out your fire, but if you have no water available, sand or dirt can be used. When using this method, you will need an amount of sand or dirt that is equal to or greater than the number of coals remaining. This process will involve adding sand (or dirt) and stirring until you have smothered the burning coals.

 

      • Cleaning Up

After ensuring that your fire has been completely extinguished, it is time to clean up. If you have a pile of coal remaining, take handfuls of it and disperse it over a large area far away from the campsite. After this is done, use a tree branch or your hands to cover the area with dirt or fallen leaves. Cleaning up the area after you are done with your fire is good for the environment and a courtesy to those who will visit the area after you. Enjoy your time in nature and all the wonders it has to offer but always remember to leave no trace.

 

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10 Simplified Steps to Surviving in the Wild

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Many preppers have a comprehensive plan with regard to stockpiling food, medical supplies, weapons and other items necessary for survival should the SHTF. Ensuring that you and your family will have enough food and other important items is crucial to ensuring that you survive major catastrophes including the big one i.e. TEOTWAWKI .

10 wilderness survival steps

A great number of survivalists have their stockpiling down to an art and have ensured they are well covered in the event of a natural disaster and/or other catastrophic event.  However, one area that many people tend to neglect is training in basic wilderness survival skills. While no one likes to think that they may end up having to head for the hills and survive in the wilderness until things return to normal, it is an entirely possible that eventuality every survivalist worth their salt should prepare for.

canned food

Wilderness survival with little to no equipment can be challenging but it is doable. Below are 10 simplified steps you can take to survive in the wild regardless of whether you find yourself lost there or are escaping a major calamity.  This aim of this post is boil down the essentials steps and to provide an overall blue print for surviving in the wild.  While I do mention specific techniques in their post, I highly recommend mastering one to two techniques from each below step by doing your own research and field testing.

 

1. Prepare beforehand:

In case it’s not obvious, this is why we are known as preppers.  Knowing how to survive in the wild and preparing for it in advance is the best way to ensure that you stay healthy, safe and alive until matters improve. By taking time to learn as much about the wilderness, survival tactics, necessary equipment and other relevant information, you can ensure that your stay in the wild is not too uncomfortable and that you are able to make the most of your time there.

survival gear

Since you do not know when you may be forced into the wild to survive, it is always good to invest in a few survival gadgets that will help you transition from modern life.

You will need gadgets that can help you start fires, saw trees and branches to build a shelter, purify drinking water, charge your phone without electricity and tie things together. All these are available on multiple survival stores and conducting some research will reveal the best places to buy.

 

2. Don’t panic – win the mind battle:

The most important thing off the bat is to not panic, slow down, and stay calm!  Surviving in the wild can be difficult, especially for people who have spent their whole lives relying on modern conveniences to keep their lives running. However, in the wild, you will often have to pit your wits against a hostile environment if you want to survive.

Faced with long days spent foraging, having to start fires from scratch, being forced to create a shelter from very basic materials and perform many other survival activities can seem overwhelming. However, by maintaining a positive attitude, you can find creative ways to get around the challenges you face, and ensure you and your family’s survival in the wild.

mind battle

 

sycamore tree3. Take stock of your supplies:

Think about the items you have with you, regardless of their perceived insignificance. Clothing items, mobile phones, money and other paraphernalia can be used for several purposes including starting a fire, making weapons, acting as a source of light among others.

Taking a survey of your surroundings will also help you find useful items such as firewood, tree bark to use as twine, dried leaves and tree branches to construct a shelter. The trick is knowing in advance how each individual item can aid in your survival so that you can apply this knowledge in a wilderness situation should you ever find yourself there.

 

4. Weight your options and make a plan:

Once you have determined which items you have at your disposal, the next step will involve working out how they can best serve you. For instance, if you decide that the best course of action would be calling for help, you need to do it while your mobile phone (if you have one) is still charged.

If you are lost and decide to walk back to civilization, you need to do this early, while you still have the energy to move over large distances. If going back to civilization is not an option, you need to gather all the materials you need to build a shelter and perform other activities necessary to keep you alive.

make plan weight options

 

5. Determine your location & direction:

Regardless of weather you decide to stay put and create a make-shift camp, or get on the move you will need to estimate your location and determine which direction is true north.  If you don’t have a compass or a mobile phone with GPS, or it doesn’t have reception, your will need to improvise.  For example, you can make a compass in the wild, or you can use one of the several signs in nature to determine your direction.

You can use the stars, observe tree and plant growth, and watch the sun just to name a few.  Learn these skills before you it’s a life or death situation.  Also, sit calmly with your eyes closed and try to recall how exactly you ended up where you are by noting previous visual markers and what your surrounding looked.  Then use that info to weight the options of backtracking your way back to safety.south-side-tree-growth

 

6. Locate a safe source of water:

The longest you can stay without water is 8-10 days and after the third day, you will begin to experience symptoms of dehydration. This is why it is imperative to find a safe source of clean water as soon as possible. Water sources will vary based on the type of wilderness you find yourself in i.e. mountain ranges, forests, desert etc. Depending on the environment you are in, you can find clean water in mountain springs, glacier lakes, and streams. You can also dig seeps to collect rain water in areas that receive high precipitation.

To find water sources, look for areas that are unusually green, follow animal tracks or check for the presence of bees.  Additionally, since water flows down, follow valleys until they meet tiny creeks that run into larger forms of flowing water.  Since there tends to be more human activity along rivers, there is a good chance of eventually running into an occupied or vacant cabin with supplies (yep, just like the movies!), fishermen along the banks or in boats, or a town or small village.

natural water sources

 

7. Find, or build a shelter:

A safe and sturdy shelter is crucial to surviving in the wilderness as it will provide you with protection from the elements, predators and even criminals. You can choose to find a ready shelter or build one from materials that are readily available in the wild such as tree branches, leaves, rocks and others.

Learn techniques to build a shelter in the wild using materials you have with you, such as tarps or panchos, or the dozens of different methods to build a shelter from natural materials.   Ready shelters, such as caves, rock overhangs, or large fallen trees are great emergency options when darkness is soon to fall or weather is not permitting, and time is a constraint.  At daybreak you can transition to a safer and warmer shelter.

natural wilderness shelter

8. Find Food:

Even though scientists have proven that you can survive up to 30 days without food, if you have to survive in the wilderness for a long time, you will have to locate a reliable source of food. You can
do this by foraging for berries, edible grasses, roots, nuts and wild greens, or insects.

Equipping yourself with information about poisonous and non poisonous plant species will help you avoid making mistakes that can cost your life. To get some valuable protein into your diet, you may be forced to trap or hunt animals, go fishing, or raid a bird’s nest for eggs. If you are in the wild for a long time and happen to have some seeds in stock, consider starting a vegetable garden that will provide you with fresh produce on a regular basis.

forage for food

 

9. Start a fire:

If it’s cold, or you are wet, getting a fire started should be your top priority.  Every survival situation is different.  Either way, fire is of extreme importance in survival situations, providing you with the fuel you need to cook food, warmth on cold days and wintry months and protection from predators many of whom are afraid of fire.

The raw materials to start a fire are readily available in the wild and these include: twigs, branches, dry leaves, grasses, etc. What you will probably lack are matches or a reliable fire starter unless you had invested in one (or several) beforehand. This is why it is important to learn about easy ways to start fires in the wild without matches. Some of these include: rubbing two sticks together over tinder, using a magnifying glass and using flint and steel.

light my fires weed 2

10. Make weapons for protection:

Being out in the wild puts you at risk from attack by wild animals as well as thieves and other criminals. You thus need to learn how to protect yourself should any of these come calling. You can start by making a few basic weapons such as bows and arrows, spears from sharpened sticks, sling shots and others. You can also build fences around the area you plan to occupy as well as pits to catch any animals before they get close enough to do any damage.

Surviving in the wild requires a great deal of knowledge, creativity and resilience. However, by arming yourself with the knowledge about what you need to do if you ever find yourself in this situation, you can dramatically improve your chances of surviving and may even find that you begin to enjoy the tranquil natural surroundings until the time comes to return to civilization, or get further away from it depending on the situation.

The post 10 Simplified Steps to Surviving in the Wild appeared first on Geek Prepper.

4 Basic Yet Essential Survival Skills Everyone Should Know

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As technology has developed our lives have become farther removed from nature. Technology has become a crutch in our everyday lives for finding our way, staying warm, finding shelter, and getting the food and water our bodies need.

Basic Essential Survival Skills

Relearning these skills is essential for anyone interested in spending time outdoors as any situation can become a survival situation and having these skills can save your life. The specific skills needed to survive in every climate and situation vary greatly, the skills you need in the Pacific Northwest are different than those needed for the Arizona desert, but they can be broken down into a few basic categories: navigation, temperature regulation (how to stay warm in this article), shelter, and food and water.

1) Navigation

Navigation is one of the most important survival skills. Being able to find your way and keep a bearing you can significantly increase your chances of survival. The most basic element of navigation south-side-tree-growthis paying attention to your surroundings where there are all sorts of natural clues to tell direction from. The most basic one is the path of the sun. It rises in the East, reaches its zenith in the South (if you’re in the Northern hemisphere), and sets in the West. This is great unless you can’t see the sun.

If you can’t see the sun, look to tree limbs. Tree limbs grow to catch as much direct sunlight as possible; since the sun spends most of the day in the southern part of the sky tree limbs will point that direction usually. Trees will have a fuller leaf cover on their southern half, there will usually be more limbs on the southern half and they will grow horizontally, facing north you will find less limbs and they will grow more vertically in their attempt to catch more sun light.

LURd

Navigating at night, although it should generally be avoided, can also be done by observing nature. Instead of relying on the sun, we’ll be relying on the stars. Stars do not share the same path as the sun, they appear to rotate around the north star and we can use that to navigate. Lay down with a stick and line it up with a star as if you’re aiming a rifle. Over time the stars will move. If the star moves in these directions it means you’re facing the respective cardinal direction:

Star’s Rotation Your direction
Left North
Up East
Right South
Down West

 

An acronym to help you remember this technique is L.U.R.D.

2) Fire

Being able to stay warm is an essential survival skill. Hypothermia can set in unnoticed and quickly take a situation from bad to critical. So, what are you actually trying to do when you’re trying to keep warm? You’re trying to keep the air around your body warm, so your body doesn’t lose as much heat. This can be done by using a fire to give off heat or using shelter and clothing to preserve heat.

Making a fire is a combination of art and science. Everyone has a preferred way to start a fire and keep one going.  No matter the method you prefer, building a heat reflector will increase the heat you get off your fire. It’s a basic idea:  build a wall around the fire to redirect heat instead of letting it dissipate in all directions.

Making a reflector wall:

  • Drive stakes into the ground, make sure to drive them so they’re leaning back.
  • Stack branches against these to a desired height.
  • Repeat for as many walls as needed to capture and reflect the heat.

3) Shelter

What type of shelter you can and should build depends on where you are, how long you will be there, and what resources you have. Despite this there is one basic design that you can pretty much adapt to any region.  Survival Shelters Handbook

How to make a tripod shelter:

  • Make a tripod using three sturdy branches. One should be significantly longer than the others, long enough for you to lay down under the tripod.
  • Lean branches along the length of the long support.
  • Cover using whatever you have. Grasses, leaves, a tarp or plastic will all work.

This basic design can help keep your warm and fairly dry in many regions and seasons. A trick to help stay dry in case of rain is to dig trenches around your shelter. Dig on the uphill side around your shelter on both sides. This will help divert some rain or ground water around your shelter.

 

4) Water and Food

Finding reliable food and water is a skill that people relied on daily for survival that has since been forgotten. Iodine and water filters are great as long as you have access to them. Thankfully there’s an easy way to filter water that has been used for centuries, even by the U.S Calvary as it moved west across the plains. I recommend having three containers (three buckets will work) and something to strain through (fabric, coffee filter, netting, etc.).

How to:

  • Fill one container with unfiltered water (this will be the only container that unfiltered water comes in contact with to prevent contamination).
  • Cut the bottom off on of the bottles. Wrap the strainer around the top, then pour in charcoal, then sand, then gravel into the bottom. This is the most common order. Depending on the size of the bottle and what you have on hand you can alternate levels of gravel and sand.
  • Pour water through the straining bottle into the clean bottle.

All of these things can be readily found or made in most survival settings.

 

With just water, flour and salt you can make hardtack. Thanks to its long shelf life hardtack has been a staple for soldiers, sailors, pioneers and anyone else who’s undertaken a long voyage for generations. Here’s the recipe:

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of water
  • A little bit of salt

Mix and bake at 375* for 30 minutes. It’s that simple. You can add sugar, milk, peanut butter powder or other ingredients for flavor but they will shorten the shelf life.

 

Knowing these skills is a great way to increase your chances of survival when things go wrong, but to effectively apply them you need to practice them. Survival is a process of continual learning, practice and refinement. Practicing survival skills can save your life, and also bring you closer to nature, those you practice with and how all of our ancestors lived. So take these techniques, head out to the woods and learn the new ones and keep practicing the ones you already knew!

The post 4 Basic Yet Essential Survival Skills Everyone Should Know appeared first on Geek Prepper.

Intermediate Fitness Exercises for Prepper Survival (Part Two)

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Welcome to part two of fitness exercises for SHTF wilderness and urban survival.  If the exercises in beginner level part one are too easy, or you have mastered them and are looking for an added challenge, these part two intermediate level exercises may be a good fit for you.

intermediate-fitness-shtf-survival

The the theme from the first post continues with gradually building functional and integrated strength throughout the body.  Our goal is to start slow and build a strong foundation of core strength while avoiding strength imbalances from overdeveloping certain muscle groups while ignoring others.  We are also looking to avoid movement repetition and impact, all in order to avoid injury.

 

Kettlebell squats:   

As with nearly all kettlebell exercises, a major benefit of the kettlebell front squat is building core strength and stability.  By positioning a kettlebell high on your chest while doing a squat, your body is forced to maintain a position many of us no longer frequent in our daily lives, which in turn builds muscle stability.  On the contrary, barbell squat or body weight squats primarily focus on engaging the lower body rather than lower, core and upper body while integrating all three regions.

If you are going to work with weights, kettlebells are the better alternative for functional strength because they integrate  and strengthen all muscle groups.  Integrative strength is important for survivalists and preppers because it will be the type of strength required during survival and emergency situations.

front kettlebell squat

Instructions:  Place feet a little wider than shoulder width, with your toes pointed out slightly.  Pick up the kettlebell by sitting down into a squat position and grabbing the bell by the “horns”.  with your elbows in.  When you go down, breathe in through your nose and exhale on your way up.  To keep you back in proper alignment, look up slightly when you do the squat.   When you reach the bottom of the squat make sure you don’t bounce, and keep your knees behind your toes while digging both feet forcefully into the ground.  Create tension and snap your hips when you reach to top.

  • Pick a suitable kettle bell weight that will allow you to complete two sets of 10 reps. At the end of the 10 reps, you should be about 60-70% to failure.
  • As you progress, increase weight in 5 lb increments and complete the same set and rep quantities.

 

 

Pull ups and Chin ups: 

The two most common grips are the underhand and the overhand grips.  The easiest grip to start with is the overhand grip, or (the chin up) because due to the elbow position, it optimizes the most efficient use of  bicep and peck activation which in turn develops more strength in your pull up.   A pull up, by contrast, primarily activates the lower trapezius more than a chin up, but both are great exercises to strengthen the back.

pull up chin up for survival fitness

Instructions:

A shoulder width grip using either the underhand or overhand grips is recommended because it reduces the strain on your shoulders and lowers risk of injury, and there is not a big difference in muscle activation between the two.

It’s also recommended to hold your back, pelvis, and legs in as straight and aligned as possible (rather than arching your lower back, bending your legs, and thrusting your pelvis forward).  Try to images having a rigid metal rod running through the entire vertical length of your body, from the top of your head to your feet.  While this position is more difficult, it offers the advantage of building strength in the anterior muscle chain and core.

  • If you are unable to do a full unassisted pull-up, do three sets of five reps of either body rows, or resistance-band assisted pull-ups. Adjust the difficulty as you progress by changing the angle of the body rows, or using a weaker resistance band.
  • If you can complete one to four or more unassisted pull-ups, do your max reps, followed by the same rep quantity of negative pull-ups. Rest, then repeat this process two more times for a total of three sets (again, three to failure, each followed by equal negative reps).

 

Soft, Varied Terrain Interval Running

Interval training is a higher intensity level of running where you sprint at medium to maximum pace while walking or slow jogging in between, for a total of around 20 minutes.  Research has shown that interval running  will speed up metabolism much faster than regular running.

Furthermore, due to the rapid and successive twisting motion of your torso with your elbow pulling one way and your knee pushing the other, interval running is excellent for the core while also activating  fast twitch muscle fibers.

As mentioned in the beginner fitness article, running on soft, slightly varied terrain is great for adapting the body to diverse movements in order to rehabilitate and condition all muscle groups, big and small while building strength throughout your physiology.

interval training varied terrain

Instructions: 

We recommend looking for trails with softer surfaces such as dirt, grass, or loose gravel rather than concrete that has someeasy 10-20 degree inclines and declines for added variance.  Do a light jogging warm-up and stretching routine to reduce risk of injury.

  • Start by running at a medium pace, then after roughly two minutes transition to about 30 seconds of 70% of your max speed.
  • Complete three more cycles, but each time increase the max speed by 10%, so by the fourth cycle you are maxing out at 100%
  • As you progress and notice your endurance and power increasing from your initial interval workouts, introduce running up inclines for your last one to two cycles in the workout.

 

Burpees:

Knowing how to do burbees is an powerful skill in fitness because they offer full body workout you can take with you anywhere you go!  All you need is your body and the knowledge of how to do them which you will see here.  You can use burpees as a warm up exercise, or a core exercise in your workout.  They are amazing for conditioning and building functional, integrated strength that starts with the core.

burpee-exercise-steps

Instructions:  Start in squat position with the weight in the heels and remaining flexible in the toes.  Then do a squat thrust while kicking the legs back so you are in a push up plank position.  From this position to a pushup and transition immediately into a frog jump and then a jump squat to complete the burpee movement.

Throughout the process of these movements, it’s important for your limbs to absorb any contact with the floor like a shock absorber rather than being rigid and stiff.  This will reduce harmful impact on your body and activate your muscle groups more effectively.

  • Start slow and warm up with 10 slow burpees, mainly focusing on correct form without the squat jump.
  • As your form improves and you get warmed up, increase the speed and add up to three sets of ten reps each.

 

The post Intermediate Fitness Exercises for Prepper Survival (Part Two) appeared first on Geek Prepper.

Intermediate Fitness Exercises for Wilderness & Urban Survival

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Welcome to part two of fitness exercises for SHTF wilderness and urban survival.  If the exercises in beginner level part one are too easy, or you have mastered them and are looking for an added challenge, these part two intermediate level exercises may be a good fit for you.

intermediate-fitness-shtf-survival

The the theme from the first post continues with gradually building functional and integrated strength throughout the body.  Our goal is to start slow and build a strong foundation of core strength while avoiding strength imbalances from overdeveloping certain muscle groups while ignoring others.  We are also looking to avoid movement repetition and impact, all in order to avoid injury.

 

Kettlebell squats:   

As with nearly all kettlebell exercises, a major benefit of the kettlebell front squat is building core strength and stability.  By positioning a kettlebell high on your chest while doing a squat, your body is forced to maintain a position many of us no longer frequent in our daily lives, which in turn builds muscle stability.  On the contrary, barbell squat or body weight squats primarily focus on engaging the lower body rather than lower, core and upper body while integrating all three regions.

If you are going to work with weights, kettlebells are the better alternative for functional strength because they integrate  and strengthen all muscle groups.  Integrative strength is important for survivalists and preppers because it will be the type of strength required during survival and emergency situations.

front kettlebell squat

Instructions:  Place feet a little wider than shoulder width, with your toes pointed out slightly.  Pick up the kettlebell by sitting down into a squat position and grabbing the bell by the “horns”.  with your elbows in.  When you go down, breathe in through your nose and exhale on your way up.  To keep you back in proper alignment, look up slightly when you do the squat.   When you reach the bottom of the squat make sure you don’t bounce, and keep your knees behind your toes while digging both feet forcefully into the ground.  Create tension and snap your hips when you reach to top.

  • Pick a suitable kettle bell weight that will allow you to complete two sets of 10 reps. At the end of the 10 reps, you should be about 60-70% to failure.
  • As you progress, increase weight in 5 lb increments and complete the same set and rep quantities.

 

 

Pull ups and Chin ups: 

The two most common grips are the underhand and the overhand grips.  The easiest grip to start with is the overhand grip, or (the chin up) because due to the elbow position, it optimizes the most efficient use of  bicep and peck activation which in turn develops more strength in your pull up.   A pull up, by contrast, primarily activates the lower trapezius more than a chin up, but both are great exercises to strengthen the back.

pull up chin up for survival fitness

Instructions:

A shoulder width grip using either the underhand or overhand grips is recommended because it reduces the strain on your shoulders and lowers risk of injury, and there is not a big difference in muscle activation between the two.

It’s also recommended to hold your back, pelvis, and legs in as straight and aligned as possible (rather than arching your lower back, bending your legs, and thrusting your pelvis forward).  Try to images having a rigid metal rod running through the entire vertical length of your body, from the top of your head to your feet.  While this position is more difficult, it offers the advantage of building strength in the anterior muscle chain and core.

  • If you are unable to do a full unassisted pull-up, do three sets of five reps of either body rows, or resistance-band assisted pull-ups. Adjust the difficulty as you progress by changing the angle of the body rows, or using a weaker resistance band.
  • If you can complete one to four or more unassisted pull-ups, do your max reps, followed by the same rep quantity of negative pull-ups. Rest, then repeat this process two more times for a total of three sets (again, three to failure, each followed by equal negative reps).

 

Soft, Varied Terrain Interval Running

Interval training is a higher intensity level of running where you sprint at medium to maximum pace while walking or slow jogging in between, for a total of around 20 minutes.  Research has shown that interval running  will speed up metabolism much faster than regular running.

Furthermore, due to the rapid and successive twisting motion of your torso with your elbow pulling one way and your knee pushing the other, interval running is excellent for the core while also activating  fast twitch muscle fibers.

As mentioned in the beginner fitness article, running on soft, slightly varied terrain is great for adapting the body to diverse movements in order to rehabilitate and condition all muscle groups, big and small while building strength throughout your physiology.

interval training varied terrain

Instructions: 

We recommend looking for trails with softer surfaces such as dirt, grass, or loose gravel rather than concrete that has someeasy 10-20 degree inclines and declines for added variance.  Do a light jogging warm-up and stretching routine to reduce risk of injury.

  • Start by running at a medium pace, then after roughly two minutes transition to about 30 seconds of 70% of your max speed.
  • Complete three more cycles, but each time increase the max speed by 10%, so by the fourth cycle you are maxing out at 100%
  • As you progress and notice your endurance and power increasing from your initial interval workouts, introduce running up inclines for your last one to two cycles in the workout.

 

Burpees:

Knowing how to do burbees is an powerful skill in fitness because they offer full body workout you can take with you anywhere you go!  All you need is your body and the knowledge of how to do them which you will see here.  You can use burpees as a warm up exercise, or a core exercise in your workout.  They are amazing for conditioning and building functional, integrated strength that starts with the core.

burpee-exercise-steps

Instructions:  Start in squat position with the weight in the heels and remaining flexible in the toes.  Then do a squat thrust while kicking the legs back so you are in a push up plank position.  From this position to a pushup and transition immediately into a frog jump and then a jump squat to complete the burpee movement.

Throughout the process of these movements, it’s important for your limbs to absorb any contact with the floor like a shock absorber rather than being rigid and stiff.  This will reduce harmful impact on your body and activate your muscle groups more effectively.

  • Start slow and warm up with 10 slow burpees, mainly focusing on correct form without the squat jump.
  • As your form improves and you get warmed up, increase the speed and add up to three sets of ten reps each.

 

The post Intermediate Fitness Exercises for Wilderness & Urban Survival appeared first on Geek Prepper.

Beginner Fitness Exercises for SHTF Survival (Part One)

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It’s highly likely that during and after a SHTF scenario, the physical demand on the human body will drastically increase.  Our bodies would suddenly become responsible for filling the efficient gap left from the wake of downed mechanical systems that significantly reduce our workload which provides us with shelter, water, and nutrition, with little effort.   Life has become so easy most of us pay little notice the highly productive and efficient grid network built up around us working around the clock.

beginner fitness shtf survival

We are all guilty of doing less physical work in the modern era than our ancestors, to the point that sedentary lifestyles are not only becoming the norm, but are on the rise and have been classified as modern day health epidemic.   If many people were abruptly forced with no choice into a mode of high physical stress for survival reasons,  many may not survive simply because their bodies are not accustomed to the level of physical demands required in a hypothetical emergency survival situations.

plugged-in-grid

Not to sound overly nostalgic, but before computers, technology, and large-scale networked mechanical processes (AKA, the grid) was put into place,  we had no choice but to work directly in and with the natural elements.   Rudimentary processes were used to procure food, water and shelter.  Swinging and axe, pulling a cart, hauling buckets of water, travelling long distances, even running from or fighting off an occasional predator or rival group were the norm.

It’s undeniable that our bodies have evolved to not only to move, but move in many different and highly dynamic (non-static) ways.   Research has shown that hunters and gatherers would walk long distances and engage in short intense bursts of vigorous activity with rest in between, which resulted in burning 800 to 1200 calories per day.   In other words, the human genome was shaped by the process of natural selection to be highly active generalists in nature rather than marathon runners, heavy lifters or climbers.

log-splitting-axe

Whether forced into the wilderness or urban survival situations, physical fitness and mobility should not be overlooked or underestimated by prudent preppers.  No quantity or quality of gear, food stuffs, off grid energy, or EDC items can make up for a lack of physical prowess (in the form of mobility, strength and agility) when an emergency situation demands it, especially if bugging in is not an option on one must get one the move.

When no choice remains but to leave it all behind and bug out is when situations could become extremely physically taxing which not only put you at risk but also friends and family who may be relying on you for your survival skills and physical preparedness.

out of shape

The focus of this post is not to dwell on today’s sedentary health epidemic, or reminisce how hunters and gathers were maximizing the utility of their human design.  Our intention is to lay out a plan that will enable individuals of nearly all levels of physical fitness to increase mobility and strength by moving in healthier ways more reminiscent of our ancestors.

As someone who went from being a deathly ill child with Crohn’s disease to practicing and instructing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes for the last decade, regularly doing outdoor fitness challenges and swinging kettle bells, I have full confidence anyone can do it if approached carefully.  Credit is also due to my brother who is a veteran certified body worker and kettle bell trainer for consulting with me writing this post.

kettlebell-01

This post is dedicated to beginner exercises.  If the beginner drills are too easy, please stay tuned for our up and coming posts for intermediate and advanced survival exercise fitness.  This beginner series is for individuals who have remained sedentary for the past 12 or more months with little or no “real” physical exertion.

For example, if you gasp for air when going up a couple flights of stairs when the elevator is down, or when required to walk longer distance, and/or are considered obese, these beginner exercises are a great place to start.

Please note that results results from one individual to the next can vary greatly, so don’t get frustrated if you don’t see any progress for some time.  Make these exercises a daily part of your routine, and before you know it you we be stronger, fitter, more mobile, and all of that good stuff!

 

Assisted or Solo Deep Body Weight Squats

This movement is excellent for building strength in the quads and gluts while increasing hip mobility. The hips are the foundation of most physical movement in the human body and are essential to movements as simple as walking and getting off the ground.   A deep squat also serves a great seated position when if no chairs or stump, etc,  is available.

Instructions:  Hold on to something such as a post at hip height, if needed.  With your legs spread shoulder width, squat down so all of your weight is loaded into your quad muscles, gluts, and your heels are driving into the ground.  Your feet should remain planted flat on the ground, and your butt should nearly touch your heels.  If this position if uncomfortable or you are unable to maintain your balance, we recommend easing into a deeper squat position.

  • Remain in the squat position for 2-5 min on and off to gain mobility and reduce pain.
  • Once the squat position is comfortable, work up to 5-10 squat reps, then adding two to three total sets.

 

Assisted or Solo Hanging

Being able to hang from a bar, tree branch, or even a ledge is important for survival climbing and general pulling movements like winding in a rope, dragging logs, etc .  If you suffer from  lack of overhead reach mobility, wrist or grip problems, simply hanging and letting gravity do the work is an excellent rehabilitation and strength building exercise.

Instructions:   To be clear, this is exercises is not a pull up, it’s simply hanging and letting gravity pull down on your spinal column and allowing your shoulders and arms to stretch.  You can hang from anything that provides adequate grip surface such as a pull up bar, tree branch, or a ledge of a wall.  If your grip constantly slips and you are unable to hang at all, place something under your feet and ease in by bending your knees to add or reduce the weight load on your grip.

    • If needed, use support under your feet and build up to hanging for 10-20 seconds with no support.
    • Once able to hang for 20 seconds with both arms, start letting go of one grip and build up to hang for 5 seconds on each arm.

 

Plank Hold

A plank hold is one of the best exercises for core strength and stability and it helps posture, improves balance, and strengthens hamstrings and gluts.  While hip mobility is like an axle being able to freely turn, core strength is the engine that gives it power.

Strength in other areas of your body, such as leg strength or back strength are often undermined if core strength is not adequate to back them up during more sophisticated and integrated movements such as climbing, pulling, or grappling.   Therefore, nearly any movement relies on core strength making it a top priority for preppers in survival situations.

Instructions:  Place your forearms on the floor below the shoulders with your elbows and wrists in line with your torso.   Use your toes to brace your weight with your forearms and use your core abdominal, thigh, and glut muscles to raise your hips to be alighted with your shoulders and legs.  Keep your chin tucked while holding this position.

  • Move into the plank hold and maintain it for 10-20 seconds
  • Add two to three reps of 20 second holds.
  • Build up to being able to hold the plank position for one minute or more

Soft-Surface Medium Distance Slow Jogging

The aim of slow jogging is to build a foundation for cardiovascular and respiratory fitness without keeling over before building to more moderate to intensive cardio exercise.  Look to run on a soft surface with some minor terrain variance such as a cut grass field or running trails.

A soft surface will allow your muscular-skeletal system to slowly adapt to the light impact of jogging, by adding bone density and building muscle, fortifying joints, tendons, and ligaments.  Jogging or running on varied terrain has shown to awaken the neuromuscular system by forcing it to make constant adjustments to adapt to the surface variations.  Furthermore, it has shown to minimize risk of injury from over-repetitive movement which leads to imbalance from smaller muscles growing weak.

Instructions:  Find a soft yet slightly varied running surface such as a grassy field or mowed pasture.  Start with jogging for two to five minutes and walking in between.  Build on that until you can jog with a slow, relaxed pace for about 30 minutes without stopping.  This will allow you to cover about a 1.5 to 2 mile distance.

I hope these exercises benefit some of you who have struggled to get a solid start with fitness.  Please feel free to message me or leave comments with any questions.  Stay tuned for our next posts that will be geared towards intermediate and advanced survival fitness with extra fun and dynamic exercises for preppers.

The post Beginner Fitness Exercises for SHTF Survival (Part One) appeared first on Geek Prepper.

15 Best Fire Starters for Backpackers & Preppers for 2016

Click here to view the original post.

Along with shelter, water and food, fire is one of the core 4 essentials you need to survive in the wilderness, in the event of a natural disaster or in a SHTF situation that leaves you exposed in the elements. In a survival situation, away from the conveniences of modern life, you must have a way to cook your food, stave off predators, act as a light source and even help you prepare tools.

2016 fire starters feature

Making fire without the assistance of modern tools can be difficult though, as you must find the right materials, in ideal conditions to allow you to start the first spark and build an adequately sized fire. Fortunately, you do not have to rub rocks together in order to get a fire going. With the following fire starters, you should be able to build a perfect survival fire in no time with minimum hassle:

#15) Gerber Bear Grylls Fire starter

Bear Grylls fire starter is a device with a Ferrocerium rod and metal striker. It comes with a waterproof storage compartment to keep the tinder dry when not in use. The lanyard helps to keep each piece secure while you are using it. The fire starter comes in a kit that contains the starter, lanyard, rod and emergency survival guide. A whistle is included in the rod for use during emergencies. Small and compact, this fire starter is portable and easy to use. However, users have complained that the chord it comes with is too short to wear around the neck.

gerberbear fire starter

 

#14) E FS374 All-Weather Emergency 2-IN-1 Fire Starter & Magnesium Fuel Bar

This fire starter makes use of a compact aluminium rod that can be scrapped to create shavings for starting a fire. It comes with a black flint striking rod and serrated metal striker. To use, you simply use the serrated metal striker to create shavings, place the shavings on tinder (dry leaves, twigs, grass etc) and strike the flint to create a spark. The fire starter comes with a bonus compass, is easy to use, and provides enough aluminium shavings for up to 100 fires. Its main disadvantage is that the magnesium rod is a bit difficult to scrape so it might take you quite a while to get the shavings you need to start a fire.

SEFS374 fire starter

SEFS374-1 fire starter

 

13) Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 Army 12,000 Strike Fire Starter with Emergency Whistle

This fire starter was designed by the Swedish military to provide instant fires regardless of the attitude. It has an alloy rod, stainless steel striker that produces a 3,000º C spark, ergonomic handle and emergency whistle. Advantages include ease of use, 12,000 strikes and the ability to work in wet conditions. The spark that appears when you strike the rod can also be used as emergency lighting. Customer complaints about this product include a too short strap and low sounding whistle.

light my fires weed
light my fires weed 2

 

#12) Ultimate Survival Technologies Spark Force Fire starter

The Spark Force is a flint based fire starter that comes with a striker built into a detachable cap with a lanyard to prevent accidental sparks. The fire starter creates sparks in all weather conditions allowing you to start fires even in adverse conditions like rain and snow. The protective casing it comes with makes it easier to carry around. The Spark Force’s main disadvantage is that you have to strike the rod several times before you can get a good spark going.

ultimate survivals tech spark

 

#11) Dimples Excel 6 in 1 Extra Large Size 133g Military Instant Waterproof Windproof Magnesium Fire Starter

If you are looking for a great multi-feature and multipurpose fire starter, the Dimples Excel 6 is as good as they come. This extra large ferrocerium rod comes with a mini ruler with a serrated edge, emergency whistle, bottle opener and a 108 inch woven, paracord lanyard. This fire starter is weatherproof, durable and fireproof and comes with a lifetime guarantee from excel. The main disadvantage of this product is that weighing in at 133g; it is much heavier than other fire starters.

dimples excel 6 in 1

 

 #10) D-FantiX Anti-corrosion Magnesium Fire Starter Kit Survival Flint with Compass + Long Chain Camping Equipment Edc Gear

This pen shaped fire starter is made of a high grade aluminium rod that comes with a multifunctional striker that can be used as a ruler, saw, compass and bottle opener. It has a long chain to help you keep the striker and rod together. It’s highly compact to ease portability and can be used in all types of weather. It is anti-corrosive, fireproof and water resistant. The alloy rod is thicker than most to provide greater sparks and make it easier to start a fire. Unfortunately, customers have complained that it does not create enough sparks in damp conditions.

d fantix fire starter

 

#9) Uberleben Zünden Traditional Bushcraft Fire Steel with wood handle, 5/16″ thick Ferro Rod Fire Starter for Survival

The Uberleben Zunden Bushcraft Fire Steel is a premium fire starter that comes with a wooden handle and a thick Ferrocerium rod. A braided nylon lanyard, concave toothed scraper and free 3 ply tinder come with this fire starter to help you get started with fire building. Customers love this product for the great organic feel of its handle, durability and ability to create large sparks. Its major downside is that it requires a mighty stroke to get the sparks going but the great number and size of sparks more than make up for this.

uberleben zunden trad-2

uberleben zunden trad

 

#8) EggDeal survival New Black Steel Flint Magnesium Stone Fire Starter Safe and Durable Survival Kit

One of the simpler designed and more effective products on the market, the Eggdeal fire starter comes with a magnesium flint rod, green striker and black carrying lanyard. It is great for people who are just getting started with fire starters due to its basic features and cheap cost. The sparks created can help you start a fire in as little as 30 seconds and its small, compact nature makes it easy to carry. The major disadvantage is that the striker might not produce enough sparks but this can be mitigated by using the edge of a knife.

egg-deal-steel

eggdeal-steel-1

 

#7) Ultimate Survival Technologies BlastMatch

The flint on this particular fire starter is spring loaded, allowing you to retract it once you are done lighting your fire. The carbide striker is highly effective and allows you to get as many as 4000 strikes. The fire starter itself produces three times as much heat as other options and has been shown to work in rain and other adverse weather conditions. It comes with a safety button to prevent accidents. The one disadvantage that customers have found is that the rod keeps falling out of the casing.

ultimate survivals tech blastmatch

 

#6) Dimples Excel Magnesium Alloy Emergency Easy Grip Fire Starter with 500 lb (227 kg) Paracord Lanyard (2 Pack)

This 2 pack kit comes with two 5” ferrocerium rods, two 2.5 inch steel strikers and 2 woven paracord lanyards. These fire starters work in all weather conditions and come with extra long rods to allow for the creation of more sparks. The ergonomic handles are ideal for holding even when your fingers are too frozen to handle other fire starters. This product comes with a lifetime warranty.

dimples excel mag

 

#5) Core Survival Magnesium Fire Starter, Glass Breaker, Tactical Keychain

This 4-in-1 fire starter is made up of an aircraft grade magnesium and tungsten flint rod that is accompanied by a flint striker, glass breaker, tinder compartment and tinder cotton ball. The high quality alloy ensures a high quality fire, customers have access to a lifetime warranty and also have the option of picking the colour they want i.e. coal black, charcoal grey or pearly champagne. This fire starter can be a little big and may not suit people who are looking for something they can hang on their key chains.

core survival

core survival 2

 

#4)  Pernix Magnesium Survival Fire starter

One of the more lightweight options on the market, this fire starter packs a punch with regard to the number of sparks (12,000), is waterproof and is made of military grade material. It can function in all types of weather conditions and comes with a lifetime warranty. The major disadvantage is that the lanyard tends to break shortly after purchase.

pernix starter

 

#3) The Friendly Swede Keychain Fire Starter with Whistle (2-pack)

The friendly Swede fire starter is a lightweight, pocket size fire starter that comes with a braided lanyard and emergency whistle. Each pack comes with one orange and one black fire starter, each with an aluminium rod in a plastic casing along with a striker. The smallness of this fire starter makes it easy to carry around your neck or inside your pocket. The two main cons are that the sound on the whistle is very low and the rod sometimes falls out of the plastic casing.

friendly swede key

 

#2) Alpha Encender Fire starter

Preppers, campers, hunters and other outdoorsy types will be happy to learn about the existence of this efficient and affordable fire starter. It comes with a magnesium rod, metal striker and lanyard that helps to hold the two together. The main pro for this product is its simplicity. Simple design, efficient working and easy portability.

alpha encender-2

 

#1) SurvivalSPARK Emergency Magnesium Fire Starter with Compass and Whistle

This is the best rated fire starter on the market today thanks to its user friendly features and affordable price. Made up of a magnesium striker and metal rod, it comes with a lanyard and compass and is known to provide up to 15000 strikes. It also has a loud quality whistle which can be heard over several miles, while the lanyard makes great tinder for starting fires. On the whole, many users report no cons with this product but the compass is a bit on the small side and tends to wander a bit if air bubbles are trapped inside.

survivalspark

survival spark-2

 

The post 15 Best Fire Starters for Backpackers & Preppers for 2016 appeared first on Geek Prepper.

15 Best Fire Starters for Backpackers & Preppers for 2017

Click here to view the original post.

Along with shelter, water and food, fire is one of the core 4 essentials you need to survive in the wilderness, in the event of a natural disaster or in a SHTF situation that leaves you exposed in the elements. In a survival situation, away from the conveniences of modern life, you must have a way to cook your food, stave off predators, act as a light source and even help you prepare tools.

2016 fire starters feature

Making fire without the assistance of modern tools can be difficult though, as you must find the right materials, in ideal conditions to allow you to start the first spark and build an adequately sized fire. Fortunately, you do not have to rub rocks together in order to get a fire going. With the following fire starters, you should be able to build a perfect survival fire in no time with minimum hassle:

#15) Gerber Bear Grylls Fire starter

Bear Grylls fire starter is a device with a Ferrocerium rod and metal striker. It comes with a waterproof storage compartment to keep the tinder dry when not in use. The lanyard helps to keep each piece secure while you are using it. The fire starter comes in a kit that contains the starter, lanyard, rod and emergency survival guide. A whistle is included in the rod for use during emergencies. Small and compact, this fire starter is portable and easy to use. However, users have complained that the chord it comes with is too short to wear around the neck.

gerberbear fire starter

 

#14) E FS374 All-Weather Emergency 2-IN-1 Fire Starter & Magnesium Fuel Bar

This fire starter makes use of a compact aluminium rod that can be scrapped to create shavings for starting a fire. It comes with a black flint striking rod and serrated metal striker. To use, you simply use the serrated metal striker to create shavings, place the shavings on tinder (dry leaves, twigs, grass etc) and strike the flint to create a spark. The fire starter comes with a bonus compass, is easy to use, and provides enough aluminium shavings for up to 100 fires. Its main disadvantage is that the magnesium rod is a bit difficult to scrape so it might take you quite a while to get the shavings you need to start a fire.

SEFS374 fire starter

SEFS374-1 fire starter

 

13) Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 Army 12,000 Strike Fire Starter with Emergency Whistle

This fire starter was designed by the Swedish military to provide instant fires regardless of the attitude. It has an alloy rod, stainless steel striker that produces a 3,000º C spark, ergonomic handle and emergency whistle. Advantages include ease of use, 12,000 strikes and the ability to work in wet conditions. The spark that appears when you strike the rod can also be used as emergency lighting. Customer complaints about this product include a too short strap and low sounding whistle.

light my fires weed
light my fires weed 2

 

#12) Ultimate Survival Technologies Spark Force Fire starter

The Spark Force is a flint based fire starter that comes with a striker built into a detachable cap with a lanyard to prevent accidental sparks. The fire starter creates sparks in all weather conditions allowing you to start fires even in adverse conditions like rain and snow. The protective casing it comes with makes it easier to carry around. The Spark Force’s main disadvantage is that you have to strike the rod several times before you can get a good spark going.

ultimate survivals tech spark

 

#11) Dimples Excel 6 in 1 Extra Large Size 133g Military Instant Waterproof Windproof Magnesium Fire Starter

If you are looking for a great multi-feature and multipurpose fire starter, the Dimples Excel 6 is as good as they come. This extra large ferrocerium rod comes with a mini ruler with a serrated edge, emergency whistle, bottle opener and a 108 inch woven, paracord lanyard. This fire starter is weatherproof, durable and fireproof and comes with a lifetime guarantee from excel. The main disadvantage of this product is that weighing in at 133g; it is much heavier than other fire starters.

dimples excel 6 in 1

 

 #10) D-FantiX Anti-corrosion Magnesium Fire Starter Kit Survival Flint with Compass + Long Chain Camping Equipment Edc Gear

This pen shaped fire starter is made of a high grade aluminium rod that comes with a multifunctional striker that can be used as a ruler, saw, compass and bottle opener. It has a long chain to help you keep the striker and rod together. It’s highly compact to ease portability and can be used in all types of weather. It is anti-corrosive, fireproof and water resistant. The alloy rod is thicker than most to provide greater sparks and make it easier to start a fire. Unfortunately, customers have complained that it does not create enough sparks in damp conditions.

d fantix fire starter

 

#9) Uberleben Zünden Traditional Bushcraft Fire Steel with wood handle, 5/16″ thick Ferro Rod Fire Starter for Survival

The Uberleben Zunden Bushcraft Fire Steel is a premium fire starter that comes with a wooden handle and a thick Ferrocerium rod. A braided nylon lanyard, concave toothed scraper and free 3 ply tinder come with this fire starter to help you get started with fire building. Customers love this product for the great organic feel of its handle, durability and ability to create large sparks. Its major downside is that it requires a mighty stroke to get the sparks going but the great number and size of sparks more than make up for this.

uberleben zunden trad-2

uberleben zunden trad

 

#8) EggDeal survival New Black Steel Flint Magnesium Stone Fire Starter Safe and Durable Survival Kit

One of the simpler designed and more effective products on the market, the Eggdeal fire starter comes with a magnesium flint rod, green striker and black carrying lanyard. It is great for people who are just getting started with fire starters due to its basic features and cheap cost. The sparks created can help you start a fire in as little as 30 seconds and its small, compact nature makes it easy to carry. The major disadvantage is that the striker might not produce enough sparks but this can be mitigated by using the edge of a knife.

egg-deal-steel

eggdeal-steel-1

 

#7) Ultimate Survival Technologies BlastMatch

The flint on this particular fire starter is spring loaded, allowing you to retract it once you are done lighting your fire. The carbide striker is highly effective and allows you to get as many as 4000 strikes. The fire starter itself produces three times as much heat as other options and has been shown to work in rain and other adverse weather conditions. It comes with a safety button to prevent accidents. The one disadvantage that customers have found is that the rod keeps falling out of the casing.

ultimate survivals tech blastmatch

 

#6) Dimples Excel Magnesium Alloy Emergency Easy Grip Fire Starter with 500 lb (227 kg) Paracord Lanyard (2 Pack)

This 2 pack kit comes with two 5” ferrocerium rods, two 2.5 inch steel strikers and 2 woven paracord lanyards. These fire starters work in all weather conditions and come with extra long rods to allow for the creation of more sparks. The ergonomic handles are ideal for holding even when your fingers are too frozen to handle other fire starters. This product comes with a lifetime warranty.

dimples excel mag

 

#5) Core Survival Magnesium Fire Starter, Glass Breaker, Tactical Keychain

This 4-in-1 fire starter is made up of an aircraft grade magnesium and tungsten flint rod that is accompanied by a flint striker, glass breaker, tinder compartment and tinder cotton ball. The high quality alloy ensures a high quality fire, customers have access to a lifetime warranty and also have the option of picking the colour they want i.e. coal black, charcoal grey or pearly champagne. This fire starter can be a little big and may not suit people who are looking for something they can hang on their key chains.

core survival

core survival 2

 

#4)  Pernix Magnesium Survival Fire starter

One of the more lightweight options on the market, this fire starter packs a punch with regard to the number of sparks (12,000), is waterproof and is made of military grade material. It can function in all types of weather conditions and comes with a lifetime warranty. The major disadvantage is that the lanyard tends to break shortly after purchase.

pernix starter

 

#3) The Friendly Swede Keychain Fire Starter with Whistle (2-pack)

The friendly Swede fire starter is a lightweight, pocket size fire starter that comes with a braided lanyard and emergency whistle. Each pack comes with one orange and one black fire starter, each with an aluminium rod in a plastic casing along with a striker. The smallness of this fire starter makes it easy to carry around your neck or inside your pocket. The two main cons are that the sound on the whistle is very low and the rod sometimes falls out of the plastic casing.

friendly swede key

 

#2) Alpha Encender Fire starter

Preppers, campers, hunters and other outdoorsy types will be happy to learn about the existence of this efficient and affordable fire starter. It comes with a magnesium rod, metal striker and lanyard that helps to hold the two together. The main pro for this product is its simplicity. Simple design, efficient working and easy portability.

alpha encender-2

 

#1) SurvivalSPARK Emergency Magnesium Fire Starter with Compass and Whistle

This is the best rated fire starter on the market today thanks to its user friendly features and affordable price. Made up of a magnesium striker and metal rod, it comes with a lanyard and compass and is known to provide up to 15000 strikes. It also has a loud quality whistle which can be heard over several miles, while the lanyard makes great tinder for starting fires. On the whole, many users report no cons with this product but the compass is a bit on the small side and tends to wander a bit if air bubbles are trapped inside.

survivalspark

survival spark-2

 

The post 15 Best Fire Starters for Backpackers & Preppers for 2017 appeared first on Geek Prepper.

15 Best Fire Starters for Preppers & Hikers for 2016

Click here to view the original post.

Along with shelter, water and food, fire is one of the core 4 essentials you need to survive in the wilderness, in the event of a natural disaster or in a SHTF situation that leaves you exposed in the elements. In a survival situation, away from the conveniences of modern life, you must have a way to cook your food, stave off predators, act as a light source and even help you prepare tools.

2016 fire starters feature

Making fire without the assistance of modern tools can be difficult though, as you must find the right materials, in ideal conditions to allow you to start the first spark and build an adequately sized fire. Fortunately, you do not have to rub rocks together in order to get a fire going. With the following fire starters, you should be able to build a perfect survival fire in no time with minimum hassle:

#15) Gerber Bear Grylls Fire starter

Bear Grylls fire starter is a device with a Ferrocerium rod and metal striker. It comes with a waterproof storage compartment to keep the tinder dry when not in use. The lanyard helps to keep each piece secure while you are using it. The fire starter comes in a kit that contains the starter, lanyard, rod and emergency survival guide. A whistle is included in the rod for use during emergencies. Small and compact, this fire starter is portable and easy to use. However, users have complained that the chord it comes with is too short to wear around the neck.

gerberbear fire starter

 

#14) E FS374 All-Weather Emergency 2-IN-1 Fire Starter & Magnesium Fuel Bar

This fire starter makes use of a compact aluminium rod that can be scrapped to create shavings for starting a fire. It comes with a black flint striking rod and serrated metal striker. To use, you simply use the serrated metal striker to create shavings, place the shavings on tinder (dry leaves, twigs, grass etc) and strike the flint to create a spark. The fire starter comes with a bonus compass, is easy to use, and provides enough aluminium shavings for up to 100 fires. Its main disadvantage is that the magnesium rod is a bit difficult to scrape so it might take you quite a while to get the shavings you need to start a fire.

SEFS374 fire starter

SEFS374-1 fire starter

 

13) Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 Army 12,000 Strike Fire Starter with Emergency Whistle

This fire starter was designed by the Swedish military to provide instant fires regardless of the attitude. It has an alloy rod, stainless steel striker that produces a 3,000º C spark, ergonomic handle and emergency whistle. Advantages include ease of use, 12,000 strikes and the ability to work in wet conditions. The spark that appears when you strike the rod can also be used as emergency lighting. Customer complaints about this product include a too short strap and low sounding whistle.

light my fires weed
light my fires weed 2

 

#12) Ultimate Survival Technologies Spark Force Fire starter

The Spark Force is a flint based fire starter that comes with a striker built into a detachable cap with a lanyard to prevent accidental sparks. The fire starter creates sparks in all weather conditions allowing you to start fires even in adverse conditions like rain and snow. The protective casing it comes with makes it easier to carry around. The Spark Force’s main disadvantage is that you have to strike the rod several times before you can get a good spark going.

ultimate survivals tech spark

 

#11) Dimples Excel 6 in 1 Extra Large Size 133g Military Instant Waterproof Windproof Magnesium Fire Starter

If you are looking for a great multi-feature and multipurpose fire starter, the Dimples Excel 6 is as good as they come. This extra large ferrocerium rod comes with a mini ruler with a serrated edge, emergency whistle, bottle opener and a 108 inch woven, paracord lanyard. This fire starter is weatherproof, durable and fireproof and comes with a lifetime guarantee from excel. The main disadvantage of this product is that weighing in at 133g; it is much heavier than other fire starters.

dimples excel 6 in 1

 

 #10) D-FantiX Anti-corrosion Magnesium Fire Starter Kit Survival Flint with Compass + Long Chain Camping Equipment Edc Gear

This pen shaped fire starter is made of a high grade aluminium rod that comes with a multifunctional striker that can be used as a ruler, saw, compass and bottle opener. It has a long chain to help you keep the striker and rod together. It’s highly compact to ease portability and can be used in all types of weather. It is anti-corrosive, fireproof and water resistant. The alloy rod is thicker than most to provide greater sparks and make it easier to start a fire. Unfortunately, customers have complained that it does not create enough sparks in damp conditions.

d fantix fire starter

 

#9) Uberleben Zünden Traditional Bushcraft Fire Steel with wood handle, 5/16″ thick Ferro Rod Fire Starter for Survival

The Uberleben Zunden Bushcraft Fire Steel is a premium fire starter that comes with a wooden handle and a thick Ferrocerium rod. A braided nylon lanyard, concave toothed scraper and free 3 ply tinder come with this fire starter to help you get started with fire building. Customers love this product for the great organic feel of its handle, durability and ability to create large sparks. Its major downside is that it requires a mighty stroke to get the sparks going but the great number and size of sparks more than make up for this.

uberleben zunden trad-2

uberleben zunden trad

 

#8) EggDeal survival New Black Steel Flint Magnesium Stone Fire Starter Safe and Durable Survival Kit

One of the simpler designed and more effective products on the market, the Eggdeal fire starter comes with a magnesium flint rod, green striker and black carrying lanyard. It is great for people who are just getting started with fire starters due to its basic features and cheap cost. The sparks created can help you start a fire in as little as 30 seconds and its small, compact nature makes it easy to carry. The major disadvantage is that the striker might not produce enough sparks but this can be mitigated by using the edge of a knife.

egg-deal-steel

eggdeal-steel-1

 

#7) Ultimate Survival Technologies BlastMatch

The flint on this particular fire starter is spring loaded, allowing you to retract it once you are done lighting your fire. The carbide striker is highly effective and allows you to get as many as 4000 strikes. The fire starter itself produces three times as much heat as other options and has been shown to work in rain and other adverse weather conditions. It comes with a safety button to prevent accidents. The one disadvantage that customers have found is that the rod keeps falling out of the casing.

ultimate survivals tech blastmatch

 

#6) Dimples Excel Magnesium Alloy Emergency Easy Grip Fire Starter with 500 lb (227 kg) Paracord Lanyard (2 Pack)

This 2 pack kit comes with two 5” ferrocerium rods, two 2.5 inch steel strikers and 2 woven paracord lanyards. These fire starters work in all weather conditions and come with extra long rods to allow for the creation of more sparks. The ergonomic handles are ideal for holding even when your fingers are too frozen to handle other fire starters. This product comes with a lifetime warranty.

dimples excel mag

 

#5) Core Survival Magnesium Fire Starter, Glass Breaker, Tactical Keychain

This 4-in-1 fire starter is made up of an aircraft grade magnesium and tungsten flint rod that is accompanied by a flint striker, glass breaker, tinder compartment and tinder cotton ball. The high quality alloy ensures a high quality fire, customers have access to a lifetime warranty and also have the option of picking the colour they want i.e. coal black, charcoal grey or pearly champagne. This fire starter can be a little big and may not suit people who are looking for something they can hang on their key chains.

core survival

core survival 2

 

#4)  Pernix Magnesium Survival Fire starter

One of the more lightweight options on the market, this fire starter packs a punch with regard to the number of sparks (12,000), is waterproof and is made of military grade material. It can function in all types of weather conditions and comes with a lifetime warranty. The major disadvantage is that the lanyard tends to break shortly after purchase.

pernix starter

 

#3) The Friendly Swede Keychain Fire Starter with Whistle (2-pack)

The friendly Swede fire starter is a lightweight, pocket size fire starter that comes with a braided lanyard and emergency whistle. Each pack comes with one orange and one black fire starter, each with an aluminium rod in a plastic casing along with a striker. The smallness of this fire starter makes it easy to carry around your neck or inside your pocket. The two main cons are that the sound on the whistle is very low and the rod sometimes falls out of the plastic casing.

friendly swede key

 

#2) Alpha Encender Fire starter

Preppers, campers, hunters and other outdoorsy types will be happy to learn about the existence of this efficient and affordable fire starter. It comes with a magnesium rod, metal striker and lanyard that helps to hold the two together. The main pro for this product is its simplicity. Simple design, efficient working and easy portability.

alpha encender-2

 

#1) SurvivalSPARK Emergency Magnesium Fire Starter with Compass and Whistle

This is the best rated fire starter on the market today thanks to its user friendly features and affordable price. Made up of a magnesium striker and metal rod, it comes with a lanyard and compass and is known to provide up to 15000 strikes. It also has a loud quality whistle which can be heard over several miles, while the lanyard makes great tinder for starting fires. On the whole, many users report no cons with this product but the compass is a bit on the small side and tends to wander a bit if air bubbles are trapped inside.

survivalspark

survival spark-2

 

The post 15 Best Fire Starters for Preppers & Hikers for 2016 appeared first on Geek Prepper.

35 Survival Foods to Stockpile & How to Get Started

Click here to view the original post.

Having the right food, medical and other important supplies is crucial for survival in apocalyptic scenarios as well as other emergencies such as flooding, blizzards, earthquakes and other pandemics.

stockpile food featured
food storage empty plateStockpiling food can mean the difference between having to stand in line for essential items, and having the resources to take care of your family until the emergency blows over or you make it to a
safer place in the case of total societal collapse. Even if total collapse may be years away, it pays to have a stockpile at hand well in advance to avoid having to scramble for scarce food supplies when manufacturing and the food supply chain shut down.

Minor emergencies such as winter storms have demonstrated just how easy it is for common food items to run out as evidenced by the empty shelves occasioned by panic runs on supermarkets and grocery stores. Statistics show that the average grocery store has only three to four days worth of food and should an emergency draw out for longer than this; many families will be in dire straits indeed. If you want to ensure that you and your family make it through emergencies and total collapse, you need to have adequate food and water to tide you over until things improve.

 How to Get Started Stockpiling Food

Different emergency situations call for different prepping methods. However, the following rules apply across the board with regard to building a sizable food stockpile to ensure survival:

stockpiling challenge

Determine your household’s food needs

Before you can begin listing the types of food you need to stock up on, find out what each individual member of your family’s calorific needs are and multiply this by the number of people in the family. Take into consideration individuals’ tastes, any special dietary requirements and the amount of time you will have to live off your emergency supply. This should give you a good idea of the amount of food you need to stockpile.

 

Start small

No one wants to be seen lugging out hundreds of gallons of water or hundreds of cans of beans from the grocery store. In addition, not everyone has the resources to purchase a year’s supply of food all at once. However, it is entirely possible to purchase a week or month’s supply and slowly build your stock up over several months.

 

 

calorie to nutrition ratioPick the right foods

Your stockpile should contain all the major food groups with an emphasis on high quality protein, whole grains, healthy fats and supplements of essential foods that cannot be stored in their original state without spoiling. Ensure to select the right types and amounts of food for all your nutritional needs. Pick food items that are well packaged, in tightly sealed containers and concentrate on non perishable items with a long shelf life.

Avoid foods that are high in salt, sugar and preservatives. Add some extras to help ease the austerity of survival and make it feel less like a punishment. Items like coffee, chocolate, fruit juices and spices will help to tide you over the hard times without feeling too deprived. Stock up on water for drinking and cooking purposes. Keep it in tightly sealed containers to avoid contamination.

 

The right storage

Locate or construct proper storage with the right temperature, lighting and humidity conditions. This storage can be an underground cellar in your home or offsite location that is safe and easily accessible in emergency situations. Secure your storage from vandals, thieves and wild animals where applicable.

food storage cellar

 

Periodic maintenance

mouse shopping cartCheck on your stockpile consistently and take out any spoiled items as well as those that may have expired. Check for water and vermin damage.

Change or add to the items in your stockpile to reflect the changes in your household e.g. the addition of a family member, any new health conditions or a change in food preference.

Once you have taken these considerations into account, you can now begin to build up your stockpile with the right foods for your family. Below are the best food items to stockpile for both the health and survival of your family in emergency situations:

 

1. Whole grains: whole grains like wheat, spelt, rye and others are a great option for providing energy and the fiber needed for digestive health. If you have a flour mill, you can even make your own tasty and healthy bread from scratch.

2. Canned oily fish: oily fish like salmon and tuna are high in omega 3 fatty acids which are known to reduce inflammation in the body and lower your chances for stroke and heart disease.

canned sardines on plate

3. Dried pulses: Beans, chickpeas, lentils, split peas and others are high in protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fiber. They are very easy to store and can last for years under the right conditions.

4. Bulk Nuts: Nuts are high in healthy fats and contain protein. They have the advantage of being sold in bulk at various warehouse clubs and discount stores and are thus an affordable item to have in any stockpile.

5. Jerky: Jerky from beef and poultry will provide you with a tasty protein option. Make sure you buy them from a store that produces them naturally and sells them in bulk.

6. Coffee: while not strictly an essential item, coffee can provide the occasional treat during emergencies and keep you from feeling too rundown by the events going on around you.

dried fruit nut mix

7. Dried fruits: Apricots, raisins, cranberries and other dried fruits will provide you with much needed vitamins and minerals in the absence of fresh fruits.

8. Canned soups: Soups make a great addition to many dishes providing both flavor and texture. Go for low sodium options made with actual vegetables and real ingredients.

9. Breakfast cereal: Cereal will provide additional alternatives to breakfast and keep temper tantrums at bay. Choose low sugar and sodium options with as little preservatives as possible.

10. Powdered milk: Powdered milk is great for that emergency cup of tea or coffee, for addition to stews and in the provision of calcium necessary for strong bones and teeth.

11. Cured meats: cured meats have been dried; smoked or treated with brine to make them last longer. They are valuable sources of protein and can be eaten on their own or added to soups and stews.

12. Cheese: Cheese is another great high protein and calcium option that will serve you for a long time without going bad.

cheese blocks

13. Nut and fruit trail mixes: vacuum packed trail mix makes a great snack that does not spoil easily due to proper packaging methods.

14. Spices and herbs: these items are great for livening up a bland meal with individual spices like turmeric and ginger containing numerous health benefits.

15. Dry bullion powder: Bullion powder is great for adding taste to flat meals and is ideal for soups, stews and casseroles.

16. Sugar: while sugar receives a bad rap for causing weight gain and diabetes, it is useful for canning purposes and in the making of jellies. As long as it is consumed in moderation, you are unlikely to experience the harmful effects associated with it.

17. Coconut, canola and olive oil: These healthy oils will come in handy in cooking, the preparation of salads and even in the treatment of minor infections in both humans and animals.

coconut oil in jar

18. Sea salt: in addition to seasoning food and preserving meats, sea salt contains the iodine necessary to prevent diseases like goitre.

19. Distilled and Seltzer water: Purified water is crucial to your survival especially if water sources become contaminated during an emergency. Seltzer water is great if you want a break from still water and also helps to calm upset stomachs and improve digestion.

20. Pasta: Different types of pasta will provide you with versatile options to whip up several meals. Due to its low moisture content, pasta has a very long shelf life and is an inexpensive food to stockpile.

dried pasta with tomatos

21. Jam and jellies: include a variety of fruit jellies and jams to spread on your homemade whole-wheat bread and enjoy an unmatched treat.

jam jars

22. Canned vegetables: canned vegetables will provide you with all the nourishment you need in the absence of fresh ones. Concentrate on high nutrient options like sweet potatoes, tomatoes and olives and skip GMO option like corn.

23. Honey: not only is honey great for flavoring beverages, for use in baking and in sweetening breakfast cereals, it is a great antibiotic and topical treatment for minor cuts, burns and bruises.

24. Condiments: mustards, relishes and sauces are great for spicing up foods during emergency times.

25. Chocolate: chocolate makes a tasty addition to your stockpile and has additional health benefits such as fighting UTI’s, lifting your mood and boosting your heart health.

chocolate blocks

26. Apple cider vinegar: ACV is a key ingredient in homemade salad dressings and has numerous health benefits to boot.

27. Leavening agents: No stockpile is complete without the addition of baking powders and other rising agents necessary for making bread and other baked goods.

28. Protein powders: Whey, egg and other protein powders are great for addition to smoothies and boosting your protein intake when other options are limited.

29. Dried corn: corn is a wonderful staple that can be ground into cornmeal for making tortillas, popped to make popcorn and even used as a seed to plant fresh corn for consumption.

dried corn

30. Ready to eat dried meals: Add water or milk pre-cooked meals offer a healthy alternative when you lack the ingredients or energy to make meals from scratch.

31. Rice: Like pasta, rice is an inexpensive and long lasting food that makes a great accompaniment to stews, casseroles and vegetable dishes.

32. Canned fruits: in the absence of fresh fruit, canned options will suffice nicely, and provide you with hydration in the form of sweet and tangy liquids.

33. Supplements: Vitamins, minerals, soft-gels and other supplements will provide you with concentrated nutrition when you do not have access to food sources of nutrition.

vitamin suppliments

34. Spaghetti sauce: canned spaghetti sauce provides a great alternative when the fresh ingredients required to make it from scratch are unavailable.

35. Infant formula and canned baby food: any family with toddlers and young children will do well to stock these items to safeguard the health of the younger members of the family.

stockpiling challenge

In an emergency, food items are among the first to disappear or go into shortage. By taking a few precautions and ensuring you have essential food items stockpiled, you can take care of yourself and your family until the particular emergency or other adverse situation blows over.

 

The post 35 Survival Foods to Stockpile & How to Get Started appeared first on Geek Prepper.

35 Best Foods to Stockpile & How to Get Started

Click here to view the original post.

Having the right food, medical and other important supplies is crucial for survival in apocalyptic scenarios as well as other emergencies such as flooding, blizzards, earthquakes and other pandemics.

stockpile food featured

 

 
food storage empty plateStockpiling food can mean the difference between having to stand in line for essential items, and having the resources to take care of your family until the emergency blows over or you make it to a
safer place in the case of total societal collapse. Even if total collapse may be years away, it pays to have a stockpile at hand well in advance to avoid having to scramble for scarce food supplies when manufacturing and the food supply chain shut down.

Minor emergencies such as winter storms have demonstrated just how easy it is for common food items to run out as evidenced by the empty shelves occasioned by panic runs on supermarkets and grocery stores. Statistics show that the average grocery store has only three to four days worth of food and should an emergency draw out for longer than this; many families will be in dire straits indeed. If you want to ensure that you and your family make it through emergencies and total collapse, you need to have adequate food and water to tide you over until things improve.


How to Get Started Stockpiling Food

Different emergency situations call for different prepping methods. However, the following rules apply across the board with regard to building a sizable food stockpile to ensure survival:

Determine your household’s food needs

Before you can begin listing the types of food you need to stock up on, find out what each individual member of your family’s calorific needs are and multiply this by the number of people in the family. Take into consideration individuals’ tastes, any special dietary requirements and the amount of time you will have to live off your emergency supply. This should give you a good idea of the amount of food you need to stockpile.

calorie to nutrition ratio

Stockpile nutritious foods, not just high calorie foods!

Start small

No one wants to be seen lugging out hundreds of gallons of water or hundreds of cans of beans from the grocery store. In addition, not everyone has the resources to purchase a year’s supply of food all at once. However, it is entirely possible to purchase a week or month’s supply and slowly build your stock up over several months.

Pick the right foods

Your stockpile should contain all the major food groups with an emphasis on high quality protein, whole grains, healthy fats and supplements of essential foods that cannot be stored in their original state without spoiling. Ensure to select the right types and amounts of food for all your nutritional needs. Pick food items that are well packaged, in tightly sealed containers and concentrate on non perishable items with a long shelf life.

Avoid foods that are high in salt, sugar and preservatives. Add some extras to help ease the austerity of survival and make it feel less like a punishment. Items like coffee, chocolate, fruit juices and spices will help to tide you over the hard times without feeling too deprived. Stock up on water for drinking and cooking purposes. Keep it in tightly sealed containers to avoid contamination.

The right storage

Locate or construct proper storage with the right temperature, lighting and humidity conditions. This storage can be an underground cellar in your home or offsite location that is safe and easily accessible in emergency situations. Secure your storage from vandals, thieves and wild animals where applicable.

food storage cellar

 

Periodic maintenance
Check on your stockpile consistently and take out any spoiled items as well as those that may have expired. Check for water and vermin damage. Change or add to the items in your stockpile to mouse shopping cartreflect the changes in your household e.g. the addition of a family member, any new health conditions or a change in food preference.

Once you have taken these considerations into account, you can now begin to build up your stockpile with the right foods for your family. Below are the best food items to stockpile for both the health and survival of your family in emergency situations:

1. Whole grains: whole grains like wheat, spelt, rye and others are a great option for providing energy and the fiber needed for digestive health. If you have a flour mill, you can even make your own tasty and healthy bread from scratch.

 

2. Canned oily fish: oily fish like salmon and tuna are high in omega 3 fatty acids which are known to reduce inflammation in the body and lower your chances for stroke and heart disease.

canned sardines on plate

3. Dried pulses: Beans, chickpeas, lentils, split peas and others are high in protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fiber. They are very easy to store and can last for years under the right conditions.

4. Bulk Nuts: Nuts are high in healthy fats and contain protein. They have the advantage of being sold in bulk at various warehouse clubs and discount stores and are thus an affordable item to have in any stockpile.

5. Jerky: Jerky from beef and poultry will provide you with a tasty protein option. Make sure you buy them from a store that produces them naturally and sells them in bulk.

6. Coffee: while not strictly an essential item, coffee can provide the occasional treat during emergencies and keep you from feeling too rundown by the events going on around you.

7. Dried fruits: Apricots, raisins, cranberries and other dried fruits will provide you with much needed vitamins and minerals in the absence of fresh fruits.

dried fruit nut mix

8. Canned soups: Soups make a great addition to many dishes providing both flavor and texture. Go for low sodium options made with actual vegetables and real ingredients.

9. Breakfast cereal: Cereal will provide additional alternatives to breakfast and keep temper tantrums at bay. Choose low sugar and sodium options with as little preservatives as possible.

10. Powdered milk: Powdered milk is great for that emergency cup of tea or coffee, for addition to stews and in the provision of calcium necessary for strong bones and teeth.

11. Cured meats: cured meats have been dried; smoked or treated with brine to make them last longer. They are valuable sources of protein and can be eaten on their own or added to soups and stews.

12. Cheese: Cheese is another great high protein and calcium option that will serve you for a long time without going bad.

cheese blocks

13. Nut and fruit trail mixes: vacuum packed trail mix makes a great snack that does not spoil easily due to proper packaging methods.

14. Spices and herbs: these items are great for livening up a bland meal with individual spices like turmeric and ginger containing numerous health benefits.

15. Dry bullion powder: Bullion powder is great for adding taste to flat meals and is ideal for soups, stews and casseroles.

16. Sugar: while sugar receives a bad rap for causing weight gain and diabetes, it is useful for canning purposes and in the making of jellies. As long as it is consumed in moderation, you are unlikely to experience the harmful effects associated with it.

17. Coconut, canola and olive oil: These healthy oils will come in handy in cooking, the preparation of salads and even in the treatment of minor infections in both humans and animals.

coconut oil in jar

18. Sea salt: in addition to seasoning food and preserving meats, sea salt contains the iodine necessary to prevent diseases like goitre.

19. Distilled and Seltzer water: Purified water is crucial to your survival especially if water sources become contaminated during an emergency. Seltzer water is great if you want a break from still water and also helps to calm upset stomachs and improve digestion.

20. Pasta: Different types of pasta will provide you with versatile options to whip up several meals. Due to its low moisture content, pasta has a very long shelf life and is an inexpensive food to stockpile.

dried pasta with tomatos

21. Jam and jellies: include a variety of fruit jellies and jams to spread on your homemade whole-wheat bread and enjoy an unmatched treat.

jam jars

22. Canned vegetables: canned vegetables will provide you with all the nourishment you need in the absence of fresh ones. Concentrate on high nutrient options like sweet potatoes, tomatoes and olives and skip GMO option like corn.

23. Honey: not only is honey great for flavoring beverages, for use in baking and in sweetening breakfast cereals, it is a great antibiotic and topical treatment for minor cuts, burns and bruises.

24. Condiments: mustards, relishes and sauces are great for spicing up foods during emergency times.

25. Chocolate: chocolate makes a tasty addition to your stockpile and has additional health benefits such as fighting UTI’s, lifting your mood and boosting your heart health.

chocolate blocks

26. Apple cider vinegar: ACV is a key ingredient in homemade salad dressings and has numerous health benefits to boot.

27. Leavening agents: No stockpile is complete without the addition of baking powders and other rising agents necessary for making bread and other baked goods.

28. Protein powders: Whey, egg and other protein powders are great for addition to smoothies and boosting your protein intake when other options are limited.

29. Dried corn: corn is a wonderful staple that can be ground into cornmeal for making tortillas, popped to make popcorn and even used as a seed to plant fresh corn for consumption.

dried corn

30. Ready to eat dried meals: Add water or milk pre-cooked meals offer a healthy alternative when you lack the ingredients or energy to make meals from scratch.

31. Rice: Like pasta, rice is an inexpensive and long lasting food that makes a great accompaniment to stews, casseroles and vegetable dishes.

32. Canned fruits: in the absence of fresh fruit, canned options will suffice nicely, and provide you with hydration in the form of sweet and tangy liquids.

33. Supplements: Vitamins, minerals, soft-gels and other supplements will provide you with concentrated nutrition when you do not have access to food sources of nutrition.

vitamin suppliments

34. Spaghetti sauce: canned spaghetti sauce provides a great alternative when the fresh ingredients required to make it from scratch are unavailable.

35. Infant formula and canned baby food: any family with toddlers and young children will do well to stock these items to safeguard the health of the younger members of the family.

In an emergency, food items are among the first to disappear or go into shortage. By taking a few precautions and ensuring you have essential food items stockpiled, you can take care of yourself and your family until the particular emergency or other adverse situation blows over.

 

The post 35 Best Foods to Stockpile & How to Get Started appeared first on Geek Prepper.