How to Make a Waterproof Altoids Tin Spice Kit

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Waterproof Altoids Tin Spice Kit

Variety is the spice of life especially when it comes to your food. So if you’re looking for a great way to spice up your food on the trail this is an excellent way to bring some of your favorite spices along and it won’t cost you more than 5 bucks for a package of straws and a tin from your favorite Altoids mints.

So check out the graphic below and remember that this method can be used to make all sorts of different Altoids kits, the possibilities are endless. Sealing items in the straws keeps everything sealed and dry the ranger band is optional but just adds protection. Some things you can seal in straws are matches, tinder (cotton balls with vaseline). Keep in mind straws also come in a few different sizes you can use the larger 1/2 inch straws to seal larger items too.

Waterproof Spice Kit

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Pack Your 72 Hour Emergency Kit by Category

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Pack Your 72 Hour Emergency Kit by Category This article is a list of the various categories that should be considered when you are building your 72 hour bag. The uses for a 72 hour bag are varied and the bag should be tailored to the specific task. Is this a camping bag, bug out …

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Basic Survival Gear for Long Term Treks

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By Jack Neely, The Tactical Guru. As a hiker, outdoorsman or a survivalist enthusiast, you’re basically as safe as your survival gear. The same way a fisherman cannot go fishing without a good fishing rod or a hunter without a crossbow, you also shouldn’t venturing out in the wild without a survival gear. And in this case, we are talking about a homemade survival gear. The best thing about creating your own survival gear is that it allows you the […]

The post Basic Survival Gear for Long Term Treks appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

50 Essential Backpacking Tips You Need to Know

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50 Essential Backpacking Tips You Need to Know Trouble has gone down. You’re in the wilderness with a backpack on and no contact with the outside world. You don’t know when you’ll next see the sparkling lights of the city, or what kind of state the city will be in. Or, perhaps not. Perhaps this …

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Lost In The Woods: 5 Tricks For Finding Your Way … Without A Compass

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Lost In The Woods: 5 Tricks For Finding Your Way ... Without A Compass

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After numerous fishing, hunting and backpacking trips, I’ve found myself lost more times than I’d like to admit. Over time I learned the hard way and spent a good amount of effort learning some basic techniques for those occasions when I simply assumed I wouldn’t need a compass.

We all know a compass points north. At least to magnetic north, which is close enough to true north to help you get where you want to go. But if you don’t have a compass, there are a few other ways to make sure you stay on course:

1. Know that the sun rises in the east. Or at least very close to true east. Figure out where the sun is rising and the opposite is west. If the sun is rising to your right then straight ahead is north. You should be able to figure out south and west from there. The same rules apply as the sun sets in the west, but if you’re still lost you’ll probably want to make camp rather than wondering around after sunset.

2. Know that the North Star is in the north. It’s actually true north. If it’s not cloudy, then you’ll find it at the tail end of the Little Dipper. Lay a stick on the ground with a couple of small sticks to make an arrow so you can wake up in the morning and remember the direction. The sun rising to your right in the east also will confirm that your arrow is correct.

Get The Essential Secrets Of The Most Savvy Survivalists In The World!

3. Drive a stick into the ground about 12 inches high. Assuming it’s sunny, it will cast a shadow. Put a small pebble at the end of the shadow. Wait about 15 to 30 minutes and the shadow will have moved. Put another pebble at the end of the shadow. Now draw a line through the two pebbles. You now have an east/west line. Look at which side the shadow is pointing over that east/west line. It will be pointing in a northerly direction given the sun favors the south side of the sky. Draw a line through the east/west line at a 90-degree angle and you’ve got your coordinates: north, south, east and west.

4. Make your own compass. You’ll need a needle, a piece of wool or silk, a leaf and a puddle of water. Rub the needle with the wool or silk about 100 times and the needle will actually acquire a magnetic charge. You also can (carefully) rub the needle through your hair. Place the leaf delicately on the pool of water and place the needle on top. If there is no wind, the needle should align with magnetic north. The thicker end of the needle (the side with the eye) will favor the northern direction. You also can use shadows (shadows tend to favor north) to determine which way your needle is pointing. From there, you can figure out your coordinates.

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5. Look for moss on (certain) trees. There are a lot of skeptics about this technique, but it can work if you find the right tree. Look for a solitary tree that is openly exposed to the sun. Moss likes shade, and the northern side of a tree is typically in shade most of the day. If the tree is deep in a forest, it will be a far less reliable source to base direction on, as shade is more common there and the appearance of any green or moldy growth could surround the trunk.

One Last Thing

Knowing which way is north, south, east or west has little value if you have no idea what lies in any direction. Before you depart for that casual walk in the wilderness, take some time to understand the general location of key landmarks like a road, river, lake or highway. If you know there’s a road to the north and a river to the south, you’ll at least have a chance of finding your way back when you arrive at that landmark.

What survival advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

Backpacking For Emergency Preparedness

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Backpacking For emergency Preparedness

Article shared with us by Urgent Survival

In the prepping community the term “Emergency Preparedness” is used a lot but what does it really mean to be prepared? There is more to being prepared than just stocking up on food and water. In order to have a good idea of what it really takes to take care of your family you will need some type of experience under your belt. A backpacking trip can be a great way to get the experience needed to help with being prepared.

When planning for emergency survival situations you can make it as simple or as complicated as you want. We’ve all seen the prepper shows where people have underground bunkers, guns & ammo, tons of provisions, water plumbing systems, sealed and filtered air systems, etc. Most Americans have no interest in prepping on that kind of level nor can they afford it.  Realistically, your emergency preparedness items will consist of  basic food, water, shelter, and miscellaneous items stored in a closet or in a small room.

Emergency preparedness can be narrowed down to three basic scenarios that covers everything from a basic power outage to the infamous zombie apocalypse. Really? Yes, really, and if you plan for these three scenarios you should be good to go for whatever comes your way (within reason of course).

1. The first scenario is when you are in survival mode at home (bugging-in). This may happen for any number of reasons including long term power outages, road closures due to flooding/earthquakes/wildfires/ice storms/etc., civil commotion (riots, protests, unrest), home being severely damaged from a storm and you are camping out in the yard until it becomes livable again, and the list goes on and on – I’ll spare you the zombie examples:)

2. The second scenario involves vacating your homestead for any number of reasons. This can range from evacuating with your vehicle due to a flood or wildfire, to hiking out to the woods and living off the grid for a while.

3. The third scenario is car survival. Car survival could also be considered for workplace survival. If you are stranded at work and can’t get home you should be able to rely on your car survival kit to provide you with the basic essentials.

Going on a backpacking trip can help get you prepared to handle all three of the above mentioned scenarios. I recently went on a 2.5 day / 13 mile backpacking trip with a couple friends (Chris & Derek) and realized how little you really need and also realized that what works for one person may not work for another. Below are lessons learned while on the trip, the goal here is for you to learn from our experiences and apply them to your emergency preparedness plans.


Filtering water from the creek

The weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold but the terrain was very challenging. My backpack weighed over 50lbs on the first day and over 60lbs on the second day. Due to the less than desired terrain and the heavy pack I consumed a lot more water than I thought I would while Derek barely drank any water. I started the trip with 1.3 gallons of water, on the first day I drank about half of it and then topped off at a creek about half way to our camp. I ended up running out of water by the next morning while Derek still had plenty water left. On day two we topped off at our water cache and then packed more than an additional gallon each (hence the 10lb weight increase on day two).

Lesson Learned:
Water was a much bigger issue for me than I thought it would be. I will need to make sure that I always have plenty of water or have access to a place to filter water on a regular basis. Some people require more water than others. There is really no way of knowing this until you get out there and experience it for yourself.


Darrens Setup: REI Bug Hut Pro 2 with Kelty Noahs Tarp

Derek’s Setup: Hammock with cold weather barrier in the bottom and tarp over the top.

APN recommends Snugpak Jungle hammock with mosquito net

My shelter was the REI Bug Hut Pro 2 Tent with enough room for me and my gear. To shed some weight I left the rain-fly at home and packed a Kelty Noah’s Tarp to use as a wind break, sun shade, and a makeshift rain-fly. Derek used a lightweight hammock with a tarp over the top for cover and lightweight barrier on the bottom to keep the cold from coming up underneath. Chris used a one person backpacking tent, the Eureka! Solitaire Tent, but he didn’t like the fact that there wasn’t any room for his gear inside. We all had lightweight shelter options but they were all very different from each other. Some people with back issues may not be able to sleep in a hammock while others would love it because they don’t like sleeping on the ground.

Lessons Learned:
I was comfortable and had room for my gear inside my tent but it weighed more than the other guy’s set-ups. Derek liked his hammock setup but learned that he will need some type of netting to keep the bugs off of him and a larger cover tarp to keep his gear dry in case of rain. Chris learned that one man backpacking tents are lightweight but there is no room for your gear to keep inside for easy access or to keep dry in case of rain.


Just like the shelter, we all had different thoughts on food so we each brought something different. I ended up bringing freeze dried backpacking meals as they were super lightweight and I was able to pack along a lot of food without adding a ton of extra weight. However, even though my food tasted good and I was full, I found myself wanting something more, something to satisfy a craving I was having. That’s when I remembered that I had a few packets of apple cider and hot chocolate. After drinking one of each the cravings I had went away. Maybe it was the sugar or maybe it was in my head but I was satisfied afterwards.

Lesson Learned:
Food is a huge morale booster. Obviously you need your regular food for the calories but be sure to pack something to satisfy your “craving” whether it’s a piece of candy, hot chocolate, coffee, dried fruit, or whatever, be sure to include these type of items. They may not seem important now but when you are in survival mode they are definitely worth it!

Staying Warm

In addition to what I was wearing I had only planned on packing extra socks (keep the feet happy!) and extra underwear. Since the temperature was expected to get down to the upper 40s and lower 50s I wanted to pack my sleeping bag but I didn’t have room for it. So instead I left my sleeping bag at home and packed long underwear, a long sleeve shirt, wool socks, a beanie (stocking cap) and a pair of insulated gloves. These items weighed less and required less room than my sleeping bag. With the help of a poncho and an emergency blanket I stayed nice and warm.

Lesson Learned:
Thinking outside the box and improvising can really save you a lot of weight and space. Try to use items that can serve multiple purposes. For example: Should you pack that large and heavy survival knife or a lightweight Gerber multi-tool that has a knife, pliers, wire cutters, saw, and other items built into it?

I can give several more examples of lessons learned but this article is already long enough and you get the point. Once you learn what works for you and other members of your family you can then determine between what is actually needed for emergency preparedness versus what you think you need. After you’ve had some minimalist camping/backpacking experience under your belt you will know exactly how to pack your car survival kit and your evacuation kit within the space allowed in your pack. A minimalist backpacking trip forces you to be resourceful and will help tremendously in survival situations, including bugging-in at home.

About the Author:  Darren Gaebel is a U.S. Army Veteran and has a decade of experience with natural disasters as a catastrophe claims adjuster. During Darren’s catastrophe experience he has seen the toll it takes on families who are unprepared. For this reason he created this blog ( to help educate and spread awareness for disaster preparedness. Darren also created to provide a way for individuals, families, and disaster relief organizations to have access to a stress free solution for getting prepared.  A portion of all proceeds from the website are donated to non-profit disaster relief organizations.

The post Backpacking For Emergency Preparedness appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Equipment Review: Solo Backpacking Stove

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Rourke: This post was originally published back in July of 2012. It can be seen HERE in its original format.


I was recently contacted by the folks at about testing out one of their Solo Backpacking Stoves. Of course I said “Yes!” and within days arrived at my door was a small cardboard box containing the stove.



Upon initial inspection the fit in finish was immaculate. I deal with Quality Control in my regular job and am used to looking at  things with great detail. I was pretty impressed.



Additionally, I was surprised at just how light the stove was at only 9 ounces.

The stove is in two pieces plus a lightweight carrying case.  The bottom piece is the base which holds the fuel and the top piece – which fits inside the base during  – extends out the top to hold a small pot or pan.



The Solo Stove works on the same principle as a rocket or volcano stove. Basically wood fuel is burned within the base. At the wood burns and heat rises air (oxygen) get sucked in through the bottom holes of the base – feeding the flames. This allows the stove to burn hot to lessen cook times.


    To test the stove out I gathered a small pile of dry twigs and sticks. For tinder I used a packet of dryer lint in the bottom of the base. Placing a few twigs above the lint making sure air can flow through the stove – I lit it.  

You can see from the picture above the Solo Stove going. On the front of the top insert is an open space. This space provides an opening which to drop more fuel (small twigs and sticks) while cooking.  

I  boiled some water to see how easy it was. I used a small pot containing two cups of water. Within about 5 minutes the water was at a rolling boil (see below). Success!! Honestly – this was very easy.

Overall Impression:  Very positive. Lightweight. Easy to use. Portable. I am certainly incorporating the SoloStove into my survival system. Great for a bug out bag. Negative?  Hard to find. Rain can certainly have an impact on cooking.  I find this piece of equipment to be a great value.




How To Make Bannock Bread

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Bannock bread, one staple recipe no self respecting outdoorsman/survivalist/prepper can live without. I hate to call this a recipe post, as the bannock recipes are as numerous as flame wars over the best rifle for TEOTWAWKI. Basically, bannock is a quick bread – it can be applied to any flat roundish food made out of […]

The post How To Make Bannock Bread appeared first on Shepherd School – Home for DIY Prepper Projects.

Six Lessons From the Ultralight Backpacking Movement

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Phillip Meeks.   I declared myself a backpacker in sixth grade. I bought an army surplus pack, a Sterno stove and a ten-dollar Rambo knife from the flea market. I subscribed to a magazine on the topic, checked out all the relevant […]

The post Six Lessons From the Ultralight Backpacking Movement appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Dragon Fire Tinderbox: The Secret of Pyro Super Heroes

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by Todd Walker

Some people make fire craft look easy. Rain, sleet, and snow doesn’t seem to effect their fire super powers. It’s like they’re the Superman or Wonder Woman of campfires.

Dragon Fire Tinderbox: The Secret of Pyro Super Heroes -

There’s always a catch though…

Super heroes usually have a weakness (Superman ⇒ Kryptonite). Wet tinder is the kryptonite of every fire-crafter no matter their skill level. That’s why experienced outdoor guys and gals carry dry tinder material in their fire kit to give them an edge when Mother Nature pitches a hissy fit. I’ve been humbled by her more times than I’d like to admit.

The times when it’s cold and wet out there is the time you need fire the most. It’s also the hardest time to find dry stuff for your fire!

Here’s a solution that provides dry, reliable, natural tinder material that’ll turn you into a pyro super hero on your next outdoor adventure or emergency situation…

Dragon Fire Tinderbox

I first heard of this small family owned Wisconsin company about a year ago. Since then I’ve watched Daryl and Kristina innovate a simple concept to serve outdoor enthusiasts.

The products they design are all-natural (no petroleum-based accelerants) and packed in recycled pouches and boxes. Materials are harvested from dead trees, plants, leaves, fungi, and other natural sources. If you’ve ever collected these resources yourself, you know the amount of work it takes to find the best combustible material.

I ordered the Dragon Fire Tinderbox Extreme Pouch, Dragon Fire Cone, and one of their nifty t-shirts. Daryl also sent me a packet of Chaga Tea. I’m keeping the Dragon Fire Cone and Chaga Tea to use with my grandson for our next bushcraft outing as a fun teaching tool.

About half the contents displayed

About half the contents displayed


The Extreme Pouch is full of fine, medium, and coarse tinder material with several different fuel-size chucks of hardwood. A Dragon Fire Tinderbox match book, sealed in a separate resealable bag, is included as an ignition source. My pouch had a one inch section of birch limb covered with flammable resins and rolled in fine tinder to prevent it from sticking to other material in the pouch. This kind of hand-crafted item is a fire-ball in and of itself.

It even contains shavings and chunks of Osage Orange from a bow Jamie Burleigh built at this year’s Pathfinder Gathering.

Here’s a video review Dirt Road Girl filmed recently at the Dam Cabin:

Benefits of the Extreme Pouch

It’s called Extreme for a reason. This resource contains everything you’d need to start several sustainable fires in all weather conditions – ignition source, tinder, kindling, and fuel. The bag alone is a valuable resource in wilderness self-reliance. Made of thick, resealable food-grade aluminum, one could press this container into service for disinfecting water by stone-boiling (see Larry Roberts video), cooking dehydrated camp meals, or keeping small items dry.

Teaching Tool

You can’t take shortcuts when building a fire with natural materials. One of the challenges of teaching my 8-year-old grandson fire craft is the importance of processing his tinder into fine, medium, and coarse layers. The Extreme Pouch contains each of these, and, as an added bonus, there are tinder materials not found growing on our Georgia landscape… Chaga, flax tow, and white birch to name a few. I plan on using these to teach Max our local alternatives to our northern neighbor’s fire tinders.

Daryl and Kristina also make a product that’s sure to get young children interested in the art of making fire…

The Dragon Fire Cone! Kid’s love ice cream. What kid wouldn’t want to set an “ice cream” cone on fire? Max and I will let y’all know how it burns after our next outing.

Photo courtesy of Dragon Fire Tinderbox

Photo courtesy of Dragon Fire Tinderbox

Emergency Fire Kits

Winter is coming and we’re sure to read stories of stranded motorists on backcountry roads trying to survive ’til help arrives. A bag of Dragon Fire Tinderbox would be a great asset for all emergency vehicle kits. No worries about chemical accelerant leaching and spreading vapors in your car trunk. This stuff is all-natural material!

White Birch bark is loaded with combustible oils

White Birch bark is loaded with combustible oils

Oh, you don’t have to be a master woodsman to start a life-saving fire with this bag of natural tinder. Daryl hand-picks and processes the best material so it’ll ignite with one match (matchbook included in pouch), ferrocerium rod, Bic lighter, magnifying lens or other ignition source.



The convenience of opening a pouch of ready-made tinder is pure gold when I’m groggy and needing my coffee fix on the trail. I’m a much better camping buddy after I’ve had my cup of Joe. Weighing in at just over 9 ounces after this review, the Extreme Pouch won’t take up much room in your pack and stays dry in the heavy-duty resealable bag.

9.02 ounces

9.02 ounces 

Some state parks prohibit the collection of firewood and tinder material from camping areas. You have to bring your own or buy marginal tinder and fuel from the park ranger station. I can tell you they won’t have anything near as effective for lighting their bundles of firewood as you’ll find in a pouch of Dragon Fire. It’ll save you the time (and embarrassment) you’d spend rummaging through your neighbor’s trash looking for paper products to get your fire started.

What’s the secret of Dragon Fire Tinderbox’s pyro super powers?

It’s the people behind the product. What you don’t see when you open a pouch of Dragon Fire is all the prep this family owned company puts into the most important layer of your next fire… tinder.

Both Daryl and Kristina are experienced in the art fire-making. Years of camping in the style of early American fur traders, without modern camping conveniences, taught this couple pioneer skills… and the need to harvest the best tinder material.

By ordering from Dragon Fire Tinderbox, you’ll not only receive some of the best tinder on earth, you’ll be supporting an American owned family business. Click on this link for Dragon Fire Tinderbox products and ordering info.

They’ll make great preparedness gifts for Christmas!

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,


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Salazon Salted Dark Chocolate Bars – Review

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Is there anything better than chocolate when on an outdoor adventure?… besides bacon I mean. Well we had the chance to try so samples of some of the best chocolate I’ve tasted in a long time. Delicious dark chocolate with just the right amount of salt that comes in a variety of flavours. We are hooked on the quality and flavour: not too sweet, not too salty, just delicious.

We were sent the Trail Series of bars – carefully tailored for the outdoor adventurer.

What is Salazon?

Salazon is organic, fair trade dark chocolate sourced out of the Dominican Republic that has been salted with solar-evaporated sea salt.

What is the Trail Series?

The Trail Series is 3 different 2.75 ounce salted dark chocolate bars. Each supports one of three different scenic trails in the USA: The Continental Divide Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail. They do so by donating 2% of their gross sales to the different trail associations.

We received two of each:

  • 57% Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Caramel – Certified Organic and made with Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa beans
  • 57% Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Coffee – Certified Organic and made with Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa beans
  • 72% Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Almond – made with Certified Organic chocolate and Fair Trade Certified cocoa beans

Salazon has partnered with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy for its Caramel bar, the Pacific Crest Trail Association for its Coffee bar, and the Continental Divide Trail Coalition for its Almond bar. The packaging for each bar depicts actual scenery captured on the trails.

The bars themselves are pretty awesome to stare at too. They cry world explorer with their eclectic map.

Testing / Testers


The bars were shared between our explorers (junior and adult). We tried to be fair to them and to you by trying them at home, before the trip as well as on the trail.


What did we think?

Fantastic! These were all incredibly delicious!

The Salted Caramel had just the right level of Caramel. There are nice sized pockets of soft caramel that weren’t too sweet or overpowering. They complimented the dark chocolate very well, without making it taste artificial.

The Salted Coffee was the same. There was an excellent balance of flavours here.

The Salted Almond bar is a much higher cocoa content (72% instead of the 57% of the other two bars) and it was a good choice. It’s more savoury than the other two. The almond pieces, like the caramel are distributed well and add a refreshing crunch to the bar.

Due to the higher cocoa content, we didn’t have problems with melting. Well, there was one exception to that. One of the bars was carried against someone’s back in their backpack. The result was a bit deformed, but it in no-way took away from the deliciousness of the bar.


You won’t go wrong with these delicious salted dark chocolate bars. They are delicious and refreshing as a trail snack, or even as a late night snack at home when the kids have gone to bed. On top of being delicious, organic and fair trade (as well as being part of the Rainforest Alliance), 2 percent of the gross sales of these bars is donated to the support of  the Triple Crown of American Scenic Trails. You’re enjoying fantastic quality chocolate and you’re helping to keep these amazing trails open and enjoyable for future generations.

At $4 MSRP (Less if you buy more), these bars are more expensive than energy bars, but a fair price for the high quality chocolate that you’re purchasing.

I strongly recommend keeping your eye out for these bars and definitely recommend you give them a try!