7 Collapsible Weapons: Packable Weapons for Your Bug Out Bag

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7 Collapsible Weapons: Packable Weapons for Your Bug Out Bag Weapons that disassemble or collapse are even more useful for bug out bags. Where every amount of space and weight matters, collapsible weapons can give you the opportunity to hunt and defend yourself as you could with a larger weapon. Not only do they take up …

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Specialized Bug Out Bags (And What’s Inside Them)

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featured_man_mountain

bug_out_essentials_stuff‘Bug out bags’ are put together to be grabbed in a hurry. Their use stems from the bags issued by militaries to their soldiers in field situations, and it should contain everything you need to sustain yourself in an emergency situation for at least 72 hours. Ideally, every member of your group or family should have their own bug out bag with their own supplies: The more you have as a group, the better your chances of survival will be.

By Alex Coyne, a contributing author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog.com

Most bug out bags are aimed at meeting the most basic survival needs: That is, they contain a bit of everything for when you need to grab and go, but what if you have some more specialized needs, for example access to technology or your family’s important documents stored separately?

Here’s a look at some specialized bug out bags to go with your main kit, customized for more specific needs. (Note: Most of these are just as useful for camping or hiking as they are for grabbing in an emergency.)

Oh, yeah, and take a look at this link on YouTube for what Dr. Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory keeps in his

#1: The Medic Bag

1_med_bagThe medic bag contains your group or family’s medical supplies. Include a laminated card with each member’s details and medical history; be sure to list their full name, blood type, next-of-kin with the most recent contact details and their allergies. Your kit should also contain antibiotics, painkillers, alcohol, bandages, stitches, burn gel and/or cream, clean wipes, surgical scissors, a scalpel, cotton wool, a syringe (and the knowledge to use it!) and any other medical supplies you would normally keep in your first aid kit or might come in handy where you’re going.  Prescription medication (for chronic conditions) can be arranged in advance with your doctor or pharmacist.

#2: The Bag of Documents

Your family’s important documents can include birth certificates, passports, doctor’s reports, financial information and wills; this is by no means an exhaustive list. We highly recommend that documents like these are always kept organized neatly in the same place, with several digital backups. Consider backing up your information on DVD or Blu-Ray to keep in your bag of documents. Store hard copy documents in plastic sleeves. Make sure your bag can withstand elements like water, and make sure you don’t store your documents with (or next to) anything that can catch fire or explode.

Related: Building a Natural Emergency Shelter With No Tools

#3: The Chef’s Bag

fallkniven_phk_professional_hunting_knife_gutting-birdThere’s likely someone in your group or family who’s been appointed the head chef, and a chef – especially one on the road – could do with some decent tools. The chef’s bag is customized to hold all the tools a chef might need in the field, and this will be up to personal preference. Be sure to ask them what tools they simply can’t do without. Many tools have a portable version. Take a look at the Glamping Fold Up Pan and the Camp Chef Knife Set. The chef’s bag should also contain other chef’s essentials like their most used spices and utensils.

#4: The Hiker’s Bag

The hiker’s bag should be taken if you’re planning on going on a hiking trip. Practicality is your main goal here, and you’re looking to cover all of the bases. Take enough food to sustain yourself on the walk and for a while after should you get stuck, take along your first-aid basics, a knife, a fold-up walking stick, plenty of water and purification tablets, a map and compass and a fire-starter kit. Again, this is not an exhaustive list, just the basics.

#5: The Mechanic’s Kit

The mechanic’s kit is great for keeping in your car by default, and it’s essential if you’re going to be stuck somewhere for a while. Put simply, it’s for fixing things. A wide variety of things. The mechanic’s kit should contain the most portable tools you can find – a simple online search on Amazon will give you hundreds of options for portable tools – and odds-and-ends like wire, cable ties, glue, duct tape, rope, nails, screws, nuts and bolts. Keep documents like your car’s repair handbook (or, say, a general book on DIY and car repair) with this too: Digital backups are available, will take up much less space and can be handy should anyone else who isn’t as handy end up with the mechanic’s kit.

Check Out: Fortifying Your Home

#6: The Herbal Healer

Waterford_Medicinal_Survival_Plants_of_the_Rocky_MountainsWaterford_Press_berries_closeAncient human groups consisted of hunter-gatherers, and modern humans are no different. The herbal healer’s bag is for the gatherer or natural healer, and should contain everything they need to gather, preserve and prepare herbs. Take this along for a hiking trip or when you go out to gather herbs, plants or fruits. A sharp, versatile knife is essential; some cords and clothespins (useful for drying), containers and bags for collecting samples; gloves; a fold-up camping shovel; seeds for starting a garden; plant nutrients; an empty spray bottle; sanitized water and wipes (for various and fairly obvious reasons); alcohol (for tinctures and sanitization). The herbal bag will likely also contain a collection of common herbs that have already been collected: These are up to you. Again, a disc with your library of plant books (with pictures for identification) should go with your kit.

#7: The Tech Junkie’s Kit

Don’t discount the usefulness of technology in a survival situation: As a journalist working online, I realize the value of connectivity. The tech junkie’s kit should be exceptionally well-padded and contain a laptop that can withstand some damage (laptops like the Sony Vaio are small yet durable), replacement cables, an additional camera (of higher quality), blank DVD’s, spare parts, an operating system on DVD (should you need to re-install your system on the go), a power bank or solar power kit, a screwdriver kit, a USB dongle (yes, even if you have a router), a mouse, backup batteries, a backup celllphone and a signal strengthener. (At the very least.)

What do you have in your bug out bag? Have you learned to add anything from yours by reading this article? Use the comments to let us know your thoughts.

The Dog Bug Out Bag – A Survival Kit for Man’s Best Friend

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The Dog Bug Out Bag – A Survival Kit for Man’s Best Friend Every dog has its day, and you may want yours to have a few more! Plan for your dog to survive a disaster now so you don’t have to leave them behind when SHTF. Besides just being a great pet, many dogs have …

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Does Your Plan B Include a Second Place to Live If Plan A Doesn’t Work Out?

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Does Your Plan B Include a Second Place to Live If Plan A Doesn’t Work Out? This article is a great look the reality of national debt and cost of living. It also sheds light on a topic that scares all homeowners: property value. It’s a terrifying thought when you imagine something in your area …

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An Illustrated Guide to Cooking on a Campfire

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An Illustrated Guide to Cooking on a Campfire There is nothing better than the smell of a campfire burning! There are endless uses for a campfire: a source of warmth, a way to dry clothing when camping, and one of the best uses – cooking. Food cooked over the campfire creates a unique flavour and …

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UST Base Tube Tarp 1.0 Reviews

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A tarp tent is a wonderful addition to your bug out bag as it can be used in many different ways. A tarp tent is a tarpaulin, a plastic or nylon sheet, used in place of a tent. It is usually rigged with poles, tent pegs, and guy lines. Ultralight backpackers use tarp tents because they are easy to set up and lightweight compared to other backpacking shelters which makes for a more pleasant hike. Especially if you need a quick shelter when hit with a sudden downpour.

 

Recently I was looking for a good, reliable tarp/tent for my husband. We wanted something light, durable, and affordable. We decided, at the recommendation of others, on the UST Base Tube Tarp/tent 1.0. (Ultimate Survival Technologies) We have never been happier with a purchase.

UST Base Tube Tarp 1.0 Features and Specs:

• Ultra-light, compact, tubular tarp protects against foul weather
• Multi-use tube tarp can be used as a ground cloth or sleeping tent
• Reverses for reflective signaling surface
• Flame-retardant
• Sets up in minutes
• Compact and easy to transport
• Aluminized side provides thermal insulation and reflectivity for signaling
Hidden zipper transforms the tarp into a tube-shaped sleeping tent, providing protection from the damp ground below and the elements above
• Can be used as a sleeping tent or all-weather tarp
• Complete instructions are included and also conveniently located on the exterior of the stuff sack
• Includes stuff sack, guy lines, and steel stakes
• Erected HxWxD: 39” x 84” x 35” (99 x 213 x 89cm)
• Packed HxWxD: 15” x 4” x 4” (381 x 102 x 102mm)
• Weight: 1lb 12 oz. (794g)

We did a lot of shopping around and found the UST Tube Tarp to be one of the most affordable, reliable and used ones out there. Before this was shown to me the only recommended tarps I found were $80 or more. That can really hit your pocket if you have 4 bug out bags to supply for. that was a nice change from expensive basic gear. Below are some wonderful review videos for you to check out and decide for yourself if this will be an addition to your bug out or camping gear. A list of products in the videos will be posted at the end of the article.

 

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North Korea to use Chemical and Biological Weapons Against the US

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Too many Americans are completely detached from the horrors of war as the US has enjoyed an unprecedented period of peace within its continental borders.  The ability to not know

How Our Ancestors Survived When SHTF

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How Our Ancestors Survived When SHTF  SHTF isn’t just a modern phenomenon. Our ancestors survived many disasters. It’s best to learn their lessons. The Gila Cliff Dwellings are a great example. In the mid-13th century, SHTF when a 24-year drought uprooted Native Americans throughout the U.S. Southwest. One band of the Mogollon (muggy-YON) people resettled …

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Buying a Realistic Bugout Vehicle

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Buying a Realistic Bugout Vehicle We have all seen those fantasy bugout vehicles with gun turrets and the like hanging off of them. They are heavily armored and look like something out a movie. Well the truth is for most of us a bugout vehicle like that is basically a fantasy. This article takes much …

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27 Useful Items You Should Have In Your Bug Out Bag

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Everybody has their own ideas about what are the most important things to include in a bug out bag. Different strokes, different folks. But whatever items you choose, make sure a lot of them are multipurpose items. Your bug out bag might not seem very heavy, but after carrying it all day, it will begin […]

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The Truth About EMP Strikes

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The Truth About EMP Strikes An EMP (ElectroMagnetic Pulse) is still a terrifying reality. It’s a reality that America is still not prepared to face. We have done serious analysis of the issue and its yielded some results, but a nuclear bomb detonated over America could still destroy our power grid or at least sections. Sections …

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Always Prepared: 5 Items You Absolutely Must Have in Your 72-Hour Kit

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Disaster preparedness has become much more mainstream in recent years, with hundreds of thousands of people getting interested in what items they should have to provide for themselves and their families in the event of an emergency. If you are getting started in disaster preparedness, the first thing you should be putting together is a 72-hour kit, sometimes also called a bug out bag. This is a light, portable pack that can easily be carried with you and which will give you the supplies you need to survive for at least three days. Here are five of the top items that should be in everyone’s 72-hour bag.

Personal Water Purifier

Getting fresh water is one of the most difficult parts of dealing with a disaster situation. The amount of bottled water you would need to survive for 72 hours would weigh you down and severely inhibit your mobility. A better option is a personal water purifier. These filter-based devices are small, straw-like systems that will remove dirt, debris and even bacteria from water. Be aware that some toxins, such as heavy metals, and viruses will not be caught by these filters, so it is still important to choose your water source carefully.

LED Flashlight

If you’re on the move in a disaster situation, it may be necessary for you to remain mobile at night. If this is the case, a good LED flashlight is absolutely essential. LEDs are both brighter and more energy efficient than normal bulbs, making them a more reliable option in a real emergency. Even though they are energy efficient, it’s also a good idea to keep at least one set of spare batteries for your flashlight in your pack.

High-Calorie Food

In a disaster scenario, you may have to move several miles a day or otherwise exert yourself physically, meaning you will need calories to fuel your activity. There are survival food bars that are specifically intended to serve this purpose, but other options are also available. High-protein snack bars make a decent alternative, as do canned tuna, peanut butter and instant pastas that can be prepared using only boiling water. Remember, in a life-or-death situation, the more calories that are in a given food, the better it is. You can also bring along a small pack of multivitamins to round out your nutritional needs.

A Good Jacket

You never know in advance what the weather may be like when you need to use your 72-hour kit, which is why it’s important to put a good jacket in your pack. Because it may be bitterly cold, it’s best to have a heated jacket that can keep you warmer than your body heat alone can. As with your flashlight, be sure to bring along a spare battery for your heated jacket, as it could mean the difference between life and death in extreme temperature conditions.

First-Aid Kit

In an emergency situation, the possibility of injury is always a risk. One of the key components of your 72-hour kit should be a basic first-aid kit that will allow you to clean and treat any injuries that may come up. This kit should also have common over-the-counter medicines in it to relieve symptoms of illness.

A disaster scenario is never something to look forward to, but with a little basic planning you can get through one without too much difficulty. Put your 72-hour kit together well in advance, and you will have everything you need to deal with an emergency. If you have a family, also be sure to put together a similar kit for each family member, as carrying all of the necessary supplies for everyone will be too much for any one person.

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The Best Survival Towel: Staying Dry and Getting By

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The Best Survival Towel: Staying Dry and Getting By A towel may seem like a useless luxury item at first glance. The bulk and limited functionality make them not worth their weight and size to include in a bug out bag or get home bag. That very well may be the case for your conventional …

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Urban camouflage: Why you should blend in to walk home after a disaster

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You’re driving home from work, something “big” just happened and you’re completely stuck in gridlock on the highway. You heard the news – it’s really bad and folks are panicked. But, you’re prepared for this scenario. You abandon your car, grab your Get-Your-Ass-Home backpack out of your trunk and start walking. How do you blend in with all the unprepared people, so you don’t become a target for muggers? Here are some ‘fashion’ tips to get you home safe.

Prepper Acronyms: Common Survival Acronyms to Know

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Prepper Acronyms: Common Survival Acronyms to Know SHTF, BOB, TEOTWAWKI… Whether you embrace the shorthand or not, the fact remains that there is a lot of it out there. It has almost evolved into an exclusive language where you can hold a whole conversation without using layman’s terms. I’m pretty used to this myself, there …

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“Micro-Homestead” This Modest Survival Shelter Could Save Your Life When It’s Time to Bug Out

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bug-out-woods

By Mac Slavo – SHTFplan.com

It certainly isn’t much, but when you have nothing else, it could be all you need.

In many emergencies, bugging out may not be the best option. Certainly it is not the best choice for every SHTF situation.

However, there may be situations where you need to leave your home or dwelling, get out of the city while you can, and lay low until/if sense ever returns to society.

You Tuber Kevin Coy shows you what may be the lowest cost, least effort way to build a viable survival shelter – which could also have uses for hunting, camping, play, etc.

He’s calling it a “micro-homestead.”

For the millions of Americans who can barely make it to the next paycheck, much less invest in high priced gear, supplies and stocks, it may be much better than nothing at all.

Here’s the set-up he came up with:

Of course, there are many other options, especially for those who have the means to purchase, build and develop more ideal structures and set-ups.

However, at 8×8, this building could likely be built without permit or on-grid approval in most areas, and could at least serve as a temporary structure until your dream getaway is ready to go!

Prepping requires time, energy, mental and physical effort and especially the mindset to plan ahead, make sacrifices in the “now” and put valuable resources towards insurance for the future. Many will contemplate taking action, but fewer still will actually be ready when the SHTF.

But the first step in this direction may prove to be the most important one you ever make…

This article first appeared at SHTFplan.com“Micro-Homestead” This Modest Survival Shelter Could Save Your Life When It’s Time to Bug Out

Filed under: Bug Out Bags, How To Prepare, Prepping, Shelter

How To Build The Best Bug-Out Bag

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Life can throw a lot of different situations at you in a hurry, situations you might never see coming. With the world in the state it’s in, it can be easy to get scared and start feeling like you need to be prepared for “the worst.” The secret to having some peace of mind is being prepared ahead of time for the unpredictable. Because the very worst that can happen is a disaster in which you are unable to care for yourself or the ones you love. That’s where having the best bug-out bag comes in handy.

Article Originally published by Kelli Warner

The best bug-out bag is ready when you need it and contains everything required for living away from civilization for at least 7-days. A bug-out bag assumes that there may come a time when, for whatever reason, you have to leave your home and not return for at least a few days. It also assumes that, should things be so bad that you have to leave your home, you won’t be able to drive down to the local Wal-Mart and stock up on everything you’ll be needing. So it’s important to spend some time ahead of the disaster, assessing your current situation and needs, as well as anticipating your needs down the road. Creating the best bug-out bag you can for your family

 

What Is A Bug Out Bag?

Several types of emergency preparedness kits are commonly referred to as a Bug Out Bag or BOB. Each serves a different, though sometimes similar, purpose in being prepared for whatever might come your way. An everyday carry kit contains emergency essentials that you keep on your person at all times. These are items that will help you survive emergency situations and daily challenges more easily. A get home bag is designed to do just what the name implies, to get you home. It contains more gear than you would carry on your person every day, and you would typically keep it at your office or in your car. A bug out bag is an emergency kit that provides everything you need to survive for up to a week without any outside contact or resources.

It may help to think of the three types of bags this way: In the event of a disaster, your everyday carry gear gets you from where you are to your get home bag. Your get home bag gets you to your bug out bag. And your bug out bag is designed to keep you safe for an extended period of time.

 

Identifying Your Needs

Different factors mean different needs. Things to consider when mapping out your bug out bag should include:

Where do you live? Living in a rural or urban environment will influence your needs during a survival situation. If you’re likely to face survival in a disaster-stricken inner city environment, you may require self-defense and demolition tools more than shelter and fire starting materials. However, most people will likely attempt to make it to a wilderness area to wait out whatever situation they’re getting away from.

 

Where would you go if your home were no longer safe? Planning ahead gives you the opportunity to get a feel for the land and map out various strengths and weaknesses. If you require a map for your chosen area, you’ll want to include one as you pack your bug out bag.

How will you get there? Depending on the type of disaster, there’s the possibility that you’d be on foot. You may need two destinations, one you can reach by car and another by foot. If you were able to “bug out” in your vehicle, all the better, but you want to pack your bug out bag with the thought that you’ll be carrying it a long way. Keeping that in mind will help you to make realistic weight limit decisions. You could always keep an extra bag of “nice to have” items close by to throw in the back of the truck or car if you can drive.

Who depends on you? Few people live in a vacuum. If disaster struck, who would look to you for help? Do you have children in the home? A spouse or partner you need to consider? Keep these people in mind when planning your bug out bag. Involve them in planning and have them, or help them, pack a bug out bag for themselves, as well.

Unique medical needs? Do you, or those you care for, have any unique medical needs that should be considered? Rescue medications like inhalers and Epi-pens should always have a priority place in any emergency preparedness.

Once you’ve identified your needs, along with the people who will need you, make a plan with your family or extended group. Choose an area where you’ll gather should the need arise. Each person should have prepared their own bug out bag and be able to get there independently. For parents with children, consider their age and capability when creating a family disaster plan.

What Should Go In The Best Bug Out Bag?

Water – the human body can only last up to 72 hours without water. You should plan for at least a liter of water, per day, per person. Carrying all that water may not be practical, but you should have at least some packaged water in your bag, as well as ways to sanitize water for future use. Water sanitation tablets or a simple filtration system can be the easiest and lightest to pack.

Food – You’ll want food you can eat now, and ways to get food in the future. Protein bars, MREs or other dehydrated meals, jerky are great. Canned goods may be considered, but they add weight and bulk. There are many pre-packaged emergency foods available commercially. When choosing food, remember to take into account any food allergies or severe sensitivities. One of the last things you want to deal with in the bush is a severe allergic reaction.

Food preparation – Don’t forget that you’ll have to prepare your food. Be sure to include things like:

Clothing – This is a variable component, depending on your personality, region, time of year, etc. Layering is the name of the game. Some suggestions:

  • Lightweight long sleeve shirt
  • At least one pair of long pants – you might consider “zip off” convertible pants
  • Hiking boots (on your feet) and an extra pair of shoes, if possible.
  • Underwear – a change or two, it’s up to you
  • Good socks – several pairs of moisture-wicking socks
  • Fleece jacket – medium weight jacket for layering
  • Hat with brim
  • Gloves – winter or work gloves
  • Poncho
  • Neck protection – A scarf or gator, for sun or cold

Shelter and Bed

  • Tarp – must have
  • Tent – optional
  • Sleeping Bag – must have
  • Ground pad – optional
  • Extra blanket – optional

Fire – You really can never have too many methods for starting a fire. Choose at least three to pack in your bug out bag:

Tinder – You’ll want to pack several types of tinder, just in case:

  • Cotton balls coated with Vaseline (keep them in a baggie, or they’ll make a mess)
  • Paper
  • Pine chips
  • Cedar shavings
  • Dryer lint
  • Commercial fire starters, there are many

First Aid – There are several very good first aid kits available commercially. If you want to put together your own, you’ll need at least:

  • Alcohol pads
  • Band aids
  • Bandages with tape
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Vaseline
  • Sunscreen – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and all that
  • Insect repellent
  • Super glue for closing wounds
  • Medical needs – Inhalers, Epi-pens, blood pressure medications, etc.

Hygiene

  • Wet napkins
  • Hand sanitizer
  • All purpose camp soap (dish soap or bar soap, whichever you prefer, or both)
  • Mirror (hygiene and signaling)
  • Small towel and a cloth
  • Toilet paper (you’ll thank us later)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Personal hygiene needs – deodorant, feminine hygiene products, a brush or comb, ponytail holders if you have long hair, etc.

Tools – It’s easy to get carried away when it comes to tools. Because it’s important to keep the overall weight and bulk down, you’ll want to choose combination tools whenever possible:

  • Survival knife – you may already have one as a part of your everyday carry gear, but make sure you have a backup.
  • Multi-tool – there are many on the market, get one that gives you the most bang for your buck.
  • Hatchet or machete – you won’t want to do everything with your knife, so taking something heavier makes sense.

Lighting – Always have at least primary and one backup light source:

  • Flashlight
  • LED lamp
  • Headlamp
  • Glow sticks
  • Candles
  • Extra batteries

Communication – Consider that your cell phone may not work in an emergency. You might want to have a short wave radio, or some other means of communication with you, as well.

Cash – Travel funds. It’s a good idea to have some cash, and perhaps some gold or silver bullion coins, as well.

Local Map – Even if you’re familiar with the area take a map. Not having one could be disastrous.

Compass – you may already have a compass combined with your analog watch. If you do not, include one in your bug out bag.

Notepad and pencil – This is a good place to keep important numbers and addresses. Without a cell phone, many of us wouldn’t remember a phone number to call if we got the chance.

Self-defense – The need for a bug out bag implies that you are trying to survive. Take with you the best means of self-defense that you have. Include non-lethal means, in addition to whatever weapon you might choose to carry: whistle, pepper spray, etc. If you carry a gun, take extra ammunition, 25 rounds minimum.

Misc. items – Make choices based on your abilities, lack of ability, carrying capacity, space, etc.:

  • Paracord – Must have – 50′ is a good start
  • Bandannas – several cotton bandannas will come in handy for a variety of uses.
  • Duct tape
  • Garbage bags – 55 gal contractor bags are best
  • Resealable bags – four or five, gallon and quart size
  • Sunglasses
  • Sewing kit
  • Fishing Kit
  • Binoculars
  • Face paint (optional)
  • Snare Wire

How to Choose

The fact is, unless your bug out bag is a camper hooked to a truck, you just can’t take everything. That would be camping and not bugging out at all. So at some point you’ll have to make choices based on space and weight limitations. You’ll need to consider the distance you’ll be traveling, as weight can really add up over miles. Being able to get a pack on your back and walk across the yard is no test of your ability to get from point A to point B with it. Remember, the best bug out bag is the one you have when you need it. Having more than you can safely carry, could force you to make decisions about what to leave behind, while already under stress. That won’t set you up for success.

The weight recommendation for men is up to 20% of their body weight. This is an outside max, and assumes peak physical condition. Ten to 15% is a much more realistic weight goal. The weight recommendation for women is 10% to 15% max.

Everything has weight and takes up space. Refer back to your planning phase; remember to choose those items that you are most likely to need first, and add to it as space and weight allow.

Choosing a Good Pack

Keep a couple of things in mind: a compact bag, packed full, with no extra space, is going to be the easiest to carry. A larger, loosely packed bag, even with equal weight, is more uncomfortable. So choose the smallest bag that will still accommodate the volume and weight that you’re targeting. Remember, too, that the bag itself weighs something. Choosing a light but durable bag will be vital to having the best bug out bag possible.

Assembling Your Bugout Bag

Packing things flat, or rolled very tightly, will allow you to fit more in less space. Make a list of items along with their weight. Start packing the most important, keeping track of the overall weight as it grows.

Don’t overestimate your ability to carry your pack for hours at a time. This is a costly mistake that may land you without the survival gear you need. Once you’ve carried a too heavy pack as far as you’re able, you’ll have to lighten it beyond the recommended weight in order to finish your trek. That’s lose lose. Proper packing, keeping your weight limit in mind at all times, is a vital part of preparing the best bug out bag possible.

Be Prepared, Not Scared

Once you’ve packed your bug out bag, take it out for a weekend of camping and survival training. Practicing your survival skills in a non-stress environment insures that you’re ready, physically and mentally, when the challenge arises. Skills that are only in your head, may not serve you well in the field. After a weekend of surviving with your bug out bag, unpack, re-evaluate and repack. Did you find that you needed things you didn’t have? Did you have things you didn’t need, or that would have been better traded out for a different item? Preparing for the future, and whatever eventualities it may hold, allows you the peace of mind to relax and enjoy the here and now. If you’re prepared, you don’t

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Dental Floss In An Emergency Situation

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Dental Floss In An Emergency Situation  Preppers and survivalists love it when one item has a number of uses, and dental floss is such! Of course, dental floss and dental tape provide hygienic maintenance for healthy teeth and gums, but your dentist and your mom would be so proud that you have discovered these frugal …

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Sew Your Own Dog Pack

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Sew Your Own Dog Pack If none of the commercially available dog packs strikes your fancy (or if they’re too expensive), try putting together your own using the pattern and directions provided below click here to get all the info and the pattern you will need

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3VGear Bug Out Bag’s Interview and Giveaway

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3VGear Bug Out Bag’s Interview and GiveawayThis week in the Survivalist Prepper Podcast I had the pleasure of talking with Dan from 3VGear.com about their product line of bug out bags. When you think about bug out bags or everyday carry bags, there are probably a few names that come to mind before you think about 3V Gear. This might even be the first time some of you have heard about them.

3V Gear gets its name from the phrase “Veni, Vidi Vici,” which is Latin for “I came, I saw, I conquered”. As you continue reading you will find out why them being a smaller company is a good thing. With some of the bigger companies you are paying for the name, and to them you’re just a credit card number. At 3VGear you can get a high quality bag at around half the price… and get treated like a real life human being.

When it comes to prepping supplies, bug out bags are right at the top of everyone’s list. With so many different types to choose from, it can be a tough choice to make. You have hiking backpacks, Military style backpacks, low cost back packs and cheap backpacks. Along with that, other things that need to be considered are: price, space, compartments, comfort and durability. These all play a big role when picking your bug out bag.

Anyone who has put together a bug out bag knows that it can get pretty expensive when you start putting together all the pieces. While the quality of a bug out bag should be a huge consideration, if you can’t afford all the supplies you need in it, you’re not really prepared at all.

SPP190 3VGear Bug Out Bag’s Interview and Giveaway

Here are a few of the topics I talked about with Dan this week. To get a real understanding about what a good product these bug out bags are, make sure and listen. We are also going to be giving away 2 of these bug out bags. Dan is sending me the Paratus 3 Operators Pack (Latin for prepared) to review and give away to our YouTube subscribers.

And along with the other prizes we are giving away in this month’s Survivalist Prepper Contest, Dan is donating one of his Velox II Tactical Assault Packs.

Like I said, the folks at 3V Gear value their customers, and will treat you like a real person. If you have any questions that weren’t answered in the show just send them an email, or give them a call by using the phone number at the top of their website.

From the Show…

  • With all the other companies out there selling bug out bags, Dan explained what sets 3V Gear apart from them, and what has kept them in business for over 5 years.
  • We talked about how these bags are for people just getting into prepping, as well as people who have been doing this for a while.
  • Space, comfort, and durability all play a big role when picking a bug out bag. We talked about some of the features of the different bags and how they apply to bugging out.
  • Which is better, a smaller bag (so I can’t pack it with 100lbs) or a larger bag where I have more options? We went over the features of each bag, and which bag would be good for which situation.
  • I asked Dan what type and size of bag would you recommend for an EDC, and what bag was his favorite.
  • Physical fitness plays a big role when you are thinking about a bug out scenario. We talked about how to increase your fitness level, and determining the type of bag that works for you.
  • I also asked Dan what he carries. At one point or another he has used all these bags for different reasons.
  • We talked about the Paratus 3 Day Operators Pack (which I think might be your most popular with preppers) and the giveaway I will be doing on YouTube.

The Survivalist Prepper Giveaway

Along with the Velox II Dan is giving away, we are also going to add a few more items to this month’s giveaway. Here is a list of the other prizes, and you can enter the contest here.

  •  3VGear Velox II
  • 2 Blaze Charcoal Brick Packs
  • 2 MicroFire SOG
  • 2 AquaTabs
  • 2 BOB FAK
  • Sara’s New Book

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Be a Better Prepper With Camping!

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Be a Better Prepper With Camping! If you think about it, camping for a prepper is kind of a no brainer as far as training goes. Sadly, few ever take the opportunity to actually go camping for various reasons. Maybe they think they know it all already, or they can’t stand the idea of sleeping …

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50 Items You Forgot To Put In Your Bug Out Bag

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50 Items You Forgot To Put In Your Bug Out Bag A bug out bag is never really complete. Not only do you have to rotate the food and batteries and make sure everything is still in working order, you also have to ask yourself two questions: 1. Is there an item that would be …

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The Importance Of A Get Home Bag And A Great Starting List

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The Importance Of A Get Home Bag And A Great Starting List I am sharing this article as I know a lot of you are new to prepping or just looking if it’s something you could do. This artcle is actually from a new prepper who shares her get home bag with us all and …

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Bug Out Bag Checklist

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Bug Out Bag Checklist A Bug Out Bag is usually designed to get you out of an emergency situation and allow you to survive self-contained for up to 3 days. Build one today! A lot of people plan their Bug Out Bag to sustain them for much longer than that, but there is always a …

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Buy an Ex-Ambulance for an Awesome SHTF Vehicle

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Buy an Ex-Ambulance for an Awesome SHTF Vehicle While it may not be an obvious choice, a decommissioned ambulance can be a great option for mobile housing for when SHTF. Preppers and travelers alike could make use of an old ambulance, as the cargo area is spacious enough to accommodate a sleeping and living area. …

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Ways Camping Can Help You Survive

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Ways Camping Can Help You Survive Camping season is only a few months away and for some, it never ended! Most people consider it a hobby that is done during the warmer months of summer. They can enjoy a swim in a lake or a nice hike without having to worry too much about the …

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Ask a Prepper Series: What is Your Bug Out Shoe of Choice?

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Ask a Prepper Series: What is Your Bug Out Shoe of Choice? What shoes or boots do you plan on wearing when you have to bug out, and why? This is the simple question we posed to the team over at TruePrepper. Everyone responded pretty quickly and didn’t have to mull it over that long. …

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Survive The Cold With This Mental Trick

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If you only clicked this link out of curiosity, you might be expecting the trick to be total BS. It’s not. Now I’m not saying there is some magic trick that will make the cold feel warm, or that you’ll gain a supernatural ability to withstand freezing temperatures without ever getting hypothermia. However, there is […]

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The Cheapest Bug Out Bag: 11 Steps and Less Than $100

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The Cheapest Bug Out Bag: 11 Steps and Less Than $100 Yes, you could throw together a cheap bug out bag for practically free. But will it help you survive when SHTF? You could also spend all your money on a bug out bag and let it sit in a closet and never look at …

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Could the Survival Bike be Your Bug Out Vehicle of Choice?

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Could the Survival Bike be Your Bug Out Vehicle of Choice? One important part of prepping is making sure you have an economical mode of transportation in the event that we don’t have access to gas. There are always biofuels, but large, heavy vehicles will guzzle these just like they do fossil fuels. A practical …

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The Tent Mansion – Big Enough for the Largest Families!

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The Tent Mansion – Big Enough for the Largest Families! If you’re a serious prepper, it’s a good idea to have at least one temporary shelter option on hand at all times. An RV is always an option, but they are gas guzzlers and not exactly inconspicuous. Tents are portable and off-road friendly, but most of …

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How to Build a Warm Shelter Out of Everyday Materials From Any House

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How to Build a Warm Shelter Out of Everyday Materials From Any House If SHTF and you have no where to go, or you are bugging out and you lose your shelter, this article is a good read and tells you how to build shelter with common house hold materials, I’m even betting that you …

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Staying Outside Longer During The Winter Months

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Staying Outside Longer During The Winter Months Few people find the courage to adventure into the wilderness during the winter months and they prefer to enjoy the warmth of their beds. Many lack proper planning and resources to explore the white scenery and even worse, they lack the knowledge to prepare for the environment they …

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Tactical Life, Part 1: Boots, Gloves, and Packs

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Tactical Life, Part 1: Boots, Gloves, and Packs What you wear and the gear you use can be much more than just a preference on how you look. Using quality gear has been a hallmark of the military and law enforcement for a long time. It is easy to see why, since gear reliability can be …

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6 Reason to Add a Coat Hanger to Your Bug Out Bag

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6 Reasons to Add a Coat Hanger to Your Bug Out Bag What kind of non-conventional gear have you acquired for your bug out bag? From pennies and razor scooters, to chopstick and pantyhose, I have seen a lot of things suggested for get-out-of-dodge kits. While I am a big believer that a cluttered bug out …

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How a T-Shirt Can Save Your Life

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How a T-Shirt Can Save Your Life One disaster that is difficult to prepare for is a volcanic eruption.  Even if you’re several miles away, you’re not safe from the thick cloud of volcanic ash the gets pumped into the air.  Volcanic ash can rain down on places hundreds of miles from the eruption, depending …

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Survival Sanitation and How to Deal With It

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Survival Sanitation and How to Deal With It You can find a lot of books and magazines about survival and emergency preparedness covering all sorts of topics or crisis scenarios. However, when it comes to sanitation, there isn’t too much information about this topic and somehow, it is still a sensitive subject for many people. …

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Off The Grid Limitations That No One Tells You About

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Off The Grid Limitations That No One Tells You About Living off grid is the ideal type of living for many Americans, but only few manage to fulfill this dream and adjust to what it all implies. Living off the grid is not as easy as seen in movies and it requires a certain mindset …

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GORP: The Better Bug Out Bag Survival Food

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GORP: The Better Bug Out Bag Survival Food A lot of people carry emergency food in their backpack. It’s a great idea. It’s a good fail safe in case you can’t find or catch something to eat when you’re out in the wilderness. Most people carry some sort of dehydrated food. Some carry energy bars. …

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8 Tips to Consider When Buying a Knife

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8 Tips to Consider When Buying a Knife They say that the best knife is the one you carry with you when disaster strikes. While this may be true, knowing that you can depend on your knife and that you can use it without problems is what makes survival possible. There are a lot of …

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9 Tips For Packing Your Bug Out Bag

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Bug out bags are for disasters that strike without warning. If you wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of your world falling apart, all you’ll have time to do is grab your bag (or bags if you have a family) and hit the road. The ability to pack up and […]

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Is This the Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle?

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Is This the Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle? In a SHTF situation, you might want to be as isolated as possible.  A getaway vehicle that doubles as living space would be ideal in this situation.  Unfortunately, an RV will stick out like a sore thumb, not to mention they are gas guzzlers that can’t stray from …

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Wilderness Safety Rules to Acknowledge

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Wilderness Safety Rules to Acknowledge Since I spend a lot of time in the wilderness, I’ve learned to respect Mother Nature and I developed a set of safety rules I follow to the letter. I’ve met a lot of hikers during my trips and it still amazes me that some of them treat their journeys …

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7 Unusual Multi-Purpose Items for Survival

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7 Unusual Multi-Purpose Items for Survival I personally think that this article in the link below is a perfect example for why having multi-purpose items in your house or bug out bag is always the best option. What I mean by that is, say you are a woman or you have women in your group …

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How To Bug-in and Survive

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How To Bug-in and Survive During a bugging in or hunkering down scenario a person will stay at home and will do everything necessary to survive a crisis. If you have everything you need in your home in order to ride out the storm, there is no need to go outside and test your chances …

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How To Choose Your Medical Kit

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On our shoot with ER Surgeon, Dr. Pruett, where we filmed an entire DVD series on helping people medically prepare to handle injuries during a societal collapse where you might not have access to a doctor…

We took a few minutes out of our day and shot this video for you.

It’s all about how to choose the right type of medical equipment for your SHTF Med-Kit.

I hope you enjoy…

To learn more about our Disaster Medical Training DVD series, click here:

Learn How To Be Medically Prepared for A SHTF Scenario

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Do You Have These Go Bag Essentials?

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Do You Have These Go Bag Essentials? If you’ve never heard about a “go bag” before, that’s because people are focused on surviving long-term disasters… which is why they talk so much about bug out bags. Go bags, on the other hand, are meant to assist you in small emergencies, 24 hours or less. But small doesn’t …

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Building a Bug Out Bag – Another Opinion

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This is an article on How to Build a Bug-Out Bag in 16 Easy Steps by Nick Oetken posted on SurvivalSullivan.com. The article serves to consider his opinions to double check your efforts and preparation on your own bug outs bags – you have one don’t you?

http://www.survivalsullivan.com/build-bug-bag-16-steps/

HOW TO BUILD A BUG OUT BAG IN 16 EASY STEPS

Despite being one of the most popular and well known aspects of prepping, most bug out bags are still very poorly put together. Many times this is because the bags have been pre-made by stores, and are thrown together using items that are low quality and don’t take into account the unique situation of the buyer.

The truth is that your bug out bag has to be designed for a unique scenario, and it can only be designed this way if it is put together by you. While it can be a daunting task to select the right backpack to be your bug out bag and then decide which items to put in it, this article will walk you through the 16 different steps you need to follow in order to build an effective bug out bag.

FIGURING OUT HOW YOU’RE GONNA USE IT

Before you even buy a backpack to be your bug out bag, you first have to consider what kind of situations your bug out bag is for and any special circumstances that exist.

Step #1: How Long Does It Have to Keep You Alive?

Obviously your bug out bag has to be big enough to hold the items you need for an estimated amount of time. A good rule of thumb, and one that is repeated multiple times in the survival and prepping community, is for your bug out bag to have enough gear to keep you alive for at least three days (or seventy-two hours). A solid bug out bag, however, should have supplies you can stretch to last you at least five to six days.

Your planned duration, however, may be different. For example, if you’re planning to live long term out of your bug out bag, it’s going to need to contain more items and ways to create/purify food and water. You’ll need an inch bag for this. If you’re planning your bug out bag to be more of a get home bag or something that can get you from your car to your house, then it may be a little smaller and lighter.

In the end, your estimated duration is what will most heavily influence the size of your bug out bag and the kinds and quantities of items that you’ll be holding within it.

Step #2: What Type of Environment Will Your Bug Out Bag Be Keeping You Alive In?

The location you are in also heavily influences what goes into your BOB. If you live in colder climates, then things like extra sets of warm clothing, fire starting materials, and shelter building items will take precedence. But if you live in warmer climates, then you’ll need to focus more on things such as water, purification tablets, sunscreen, and sunglasses.

Things can become tricky if you live in a location with extreme temperatures. For example, the Northwestern United States has very hot summers and very cold winters, and you may be seeking to build a standard bug out bag that you can grab and use no matter what. In this case, your bug out bag will need to keep you safe regardless of the situation you are in.

In addition to weather and climate, consider geography and terrain. If you live somewhere with lots of rivers and lakes, it would be wise to include a complete fishing kit and waterproof everything, for example.

Step #3: What Type of Emergencies Could You Face?

Many preppers recommend assembling different bug out bags for different emergencies, so ask yourself what specific kind of an emergency you have in mind before starting on your bug out bag. For example, are you mostly concerned about an economic collapse, a terrorist attack, or a natural disaster?

If you are assembling a bug out bag for an economic collapse, then you would want to include valuable possessions that can be used as bartering items, such as gold and silver, ammunition, and toilet paper. For social unrest, you would want your bug out bag to include things such as first aid/medical kits and defensive weapons. For natural disasters, food, water purification tablets, and a way to cook food would take precedence.

Step #4: Take Your Health into Account

This one is easily the most overlooked step in preparing a bug out bag. If you, or anybody in your family for that matter, have unique health conditions then you absolutely have to take it into account.

If you’re in poor shape, then it would be wiser to build a lighter bug out bag. A heavier one would slow you down and cause you to over exert yourself. If a member of your family cannot walk well for long distances (or at all), then you’ll need to either include a stretcher or items to make a stretcher in your bag.

If you have specific medical conditions that require medical prescriptions, you should include plenty of your medications in your bug out bag as well. Ultimately, medicine may end up proving more valuable than weapons.

SELECTING THE BUG OUT BAG

At this point, you have decided what the purpose of your bug out bag is and have taken all unique conditions related to you and your environment in mind. These factors will be what most heavily influence the type of bug out bag you select.

Step #5: The Volume of the Backpack

Many bug out bags will claim to hold the same capacity, but they can’t all hold the same amount or type of gear due to the amount of compartments they have and the design of the bag.

Regardless of your bug out bag’s volume, it should contain MANY compartments of large and small sizes. More compartments not only allow for improved organization; it also means that your bag can hold more gear. In addition, all compartments and the pack itself should be easy to close securely with either Velcro or zippers.

If you want your bug out bag to get you through one day, it should have a volume of up to forty liters. A bag to keep you alive for three days will need a capacity of around sixty. A bag made to keep you alive for a week will need at least a ninety-liter capacity.

Step #6: Choosing Between Internal and External Frames

You will have to decide between light and heavy, and specifically internal and external frames, for your bug out bag. Between the two, internal frames have a hidden frame located on the inside of the pack. They cannot hold as much weight but they are more flexible and will position most of the weight of the pack on your hip rather than your shoulders. They are more than suitable for the standard three-day bug out bag, and they also permit faster movement through the forest because they don’t have an external frame to get hung up on branches and thorns.

External frames are stronger and heavier, and as the name suggests the pack is supported by a visible frame on the outside. External frame backpacks are also almost always larger than internal framed bags, meaning you can attach more heavy duty gear such as tents. If you want a ninety-liter or more bug out bag designed to last more than week, the external frame is the better choice.

Step #7: Checking the Quality of the Backpack

Finally, and this one should go without saying, your chosen pack MUST absolutely be top quality. Things to check for include waterproof/water resistant materials, the zippers and Velcro all working without mishaps, and thick, sturdy, adjustable straps.

While you can always read reviews of specific bug out bags online, it is recommended that you buy your bag in person so you can inspect the bag yourself for defects.

WHAT TO PUT IN THE BUG OUT BAG

Our next series of steps are going to focus on the fun part of bug out bag building: deciding what to put in it!

Step #8: Water

Water is essential for your survival, but it is also heavy. Regardless of how much you manage to store in your bug out bag, you probably won’t have enough water. For this reason, your bug out bag should always include ways to purify water found in nature, so it is safe to drink.

Purification tablets and portable water filters are your two best options in this case because they are effective, lightweight, and don’t take up too much room. You should also have a small canteen cup and fire starting materials on hand so you can boil water too.

Step #9: Fire

Fire will provide you with warmth, comfort, security, and the ability to cook food. You should have many different types of fire starters in your bug out bag, from matches to lighters to magnesium flint strikers.

In addition, have emergency fire kindling in your bug out bag so that you can quickly start a fire on the go. The best choice for this is cotton balls that have been soaked in vaseline, but as an alternative, you can carry dryer lint soaked in alcohol and stuffed into a cardboard toilet paper roll or prepare a fire bundle made out of twigs and moss.

Keep everything pertaining to fire in your fire-starting kit in a waterproof container such as a waterproof pouch, an airtight plastic container or a Ziploc bag.

Step #10: Shelter

Shelter is what will protect you from the natural elements in a survival situation. Two person tents are best recommended for this task. In extreme weather conditions, your life can be in danger after just 3-hours of exposure to the elements so good shelter is a priority.

As an alternative, you can include items that allow you to forge a makeshift shelter. Examples include rope, space blankets, a tarp, and a poncho. In addition, don’t forget to include insulation material, such as trash bags or polyethylene foam.

Step #11: Extra Clothing

Rather than including a full change of clothes, just include specific clothing items in your bug out bag: a hat, extra pair of socks, gloves, and a bandana. Keep all your clothes in Ziplocs to avoid getting them wet.

Step #12: Weapons and Tools

There are certain items under the ‘weapons and tools’ category that you simply must include in your bug out bag. The first one is the knife, and you better have more than just one. One of your knives should be a fixed blade model for heavy duty purposes, while the other should be a smaller, folding knife for more precise work.

Additional weapons that also serve as tools, that you would be wise to include are a hatchet/tomahawk, a handsaw, and/or a machete.

Hand tools such as a multi-tool, screwdrivers, wire cutters, an Allen wrench, hammer and nails, and a pair of pliers are not as essential as the above tools, but they are still worth considering.

Step #13: Medical and First Aid

Every single one of your bug out bags should have medical items, and you should know how to use them without question. Absolutely include standard first aid equipment such as bandages, gauze pads, aspirin tablets, hand sanitizer, medical gloves, tape, tweezers, and tourniquets, but also remember to keep your personal health in mind. If you have any prescription medications like we talked about before, now is the time to include them. If you have asthma, there should be at least one if not two inhalers in your bag.

Step #14: Personal Hygiene

When it comes to putting things in the bug out bag, personal hygiene is what many people often tend to overlook. Nonetheless, it’s still very important and necessary for your health. Keep soap, toothpaste and a tooth brush, chap stick, and a roll of toilet paper in your bag at the bare minimum.

Step #15: Food

Even though you can last weeks without food, you’ll feel a dramatic drainage of energy if you go just one day without it. For this reason, include compact foods that are high in proteins, carbs, and calories, and that have a high shelf life. Examples include protein bars and freeze dried foods or pemmican.

In the same way that you need to have a means to procure water and make it safe, you need a way to gather more food as well. Have fishing equipment on hand, in addition to several materials to make traps and snares. Store a small book on edible and medicinal plants in your bag as well as fire starting materials so you can cook any food that you catch or forage.

Step #16: Navigation and Communication

The critical need for maps truly cannot be given enough attention. Have maps in your bug out bag that both show the general area and specific locations, alternative routes and roads. You can easily find these kinds of maps at grocery stores and gas stations. You can include a GPS if you want, but there’s no guarantee that it will always pick up a signal, so at least include maps a backup.

For communication, emergency radios will give you important information in regards to what the government is doing and where you can seek help. A two-way radio will allow you to communicate with others and call in for help.

FINAL WORD

Building your bug out bag will take time, but it’s well worth the effort. In the event of an emergency or survival situation, it can and will keep you alive. As long as you follow the steps in this article, you’ll be well on your way to building a bug out bag that can do just that.

Urban Man~

13 Essential Items For Your Get Home Bag

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Let’s begin today’s article with a simple question: How much time do you spend at home compared to the time you spend at work, running errands, driving, in school, visiting friends, and so forth? Now let’s suppose something bad happens while you’re away from home, something like a random car accident that leaves you stranded […]

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5 Essential Items To Have On You Even When You’re Out Of Reach Of Your Bug-Out Bag

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Image Source: Pixabay.com

By The Survival Place Blog

When an emergency strikes, the fact is that you don’t know where you’re going to be. You should have your bug-out location which is primed for long-duration stays. You should have a bug-out bag if it you need to trek it there. But how do you make sure you stay safe while you’re moving to get your bug-out bag? The fact is that you need to be prepared at any time. Here are some of the essentials you should make sure you have.

Protection

The simple reason that the Second Amendment exists is that we have a right to defend ourselves from whoever poses a fatal threat to us. In the case of a true emergency, you don’t know who can be a threat to your safety. Exercising your right to bear arms is important. But so is making sure that you’re doing it responsibly. When you carry, carry securely and within the law. Gear like those from We The People Holsters can help you do that. So can knowing what open and concealed carry laws apply.

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Image Source: Pixabay.com

A knife

A gun is for protection, but that’s not the purpose of carrying a knife. When carrying a knife, you’re going to be subject from different rules depending on where you are. Make sure that you’re following the law of whatever state you’re in. Prepare the correct knives in advance. These will help with using cordage, cooking, first aid, and all kinds of techniques necessary for survival.

Water

When it hits the fan, water is going to be one of the most valuable commodities in the world. But even more valuable that fresh water is the ability to make it yourself. Besides a water container, you should use a few tools to make it easier to get drinkable water. Filters are only one part of it. Water purification tablets and devices can make sure that you have access to fresh water so long as you have access to any water, period.

First-aid

We all carry first aid equipment in our cars and our homes as a matter of convenience. When you’re in a survival situation, convenience is no longer an option. You’re going to need it on you because you might not have access to medical treatment. You need to treat wounds as quickly as possible. Even small first aid kits you could carry in a fanny pack allow space for extra tools like cordage, as well.

flashlight-924099_1920

Image Source: Pixabay.com

A light

Operating at nighttime in a survival situation isn’t usually the best of ideas. But it is sometimes avoidable, especially if it all goes down in the darker seasons of the year. Nowadays, there are long-lasting high-power flashlights that you can easily fit in your pocket or on a belt loop. Visibility when dealing with things like first aid or purifying water is essential.

The world may flip on its head any day now. Make sure that you’re responsible for staying prepared for the moment that happens. You need to abide by the law whilst preparing for the moment that you have to become entirely self-sufficient.

This article first appeared at The Survival Place Blog: 5 Essential Items To Have On You Even When You’re Out Of Reach Of Your Bug-Out Bag

Filed under: Bug Out Bags, Prepping

11 Lightweight Alternatives To Common Bug Out Bag Items

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Bug out bags are easily one of the most popular concepts in the prepper movement. Even people who aren’t preppers associate bug out bags or go-to bags with emergency preparedness. For these reasons, the bug out bag is often the first thing new preppers put together. They make a huge list of all the items […]

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My Detailed Bug Out Bag Supplies List

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my-detailed-bug-out-bag-supplies-listOver the last few months I’ve received some emails and comments asking if I would do a detailed video (at the end of this post) of my bug out bag supplies. Because I am in the process of changing out my smaller Maxpedition gear slinger to the larger Yukon Outfitters Alpha pack, I decided to go ahead and give everyone a sneak peak inside.

I have tried to categorize these items in a way that keeps them more organized. For example, Paracord could fall into a few different categories, but I only added it to my “shelter” bug out bag supplies.

This is not a “best bug out bag supplies” or “must have bug out bag supplies list” This is just a list to help everyone get some ideas about what they might want to add to their bug out bag.

My Bug Out bag have evolved over time, and continues to evolve. This list is what I have right now, but might (and probably will) change over time. As I continue to test this Yukon Outfitters bag over the next year or so I will continue to update this post, or write separate reviews.

Total Cost of This Bug Out Bag

The total cost of this bug out bag and supplies was around $800. This might seem like a lot, but keep in mind, my bug out bag has been put together over a few years. Over time everything starts to add up, and come together.

I will also list the individual prices for these item, and I will link to as many of these bug out bag supplies as I can.  If you have any questions about these bug out bag supplies you can leave a comment below.

Some of these prices are the estimated price of what’s in my bug out bag, not the total price for each item. For example, I purchased a complete mess kit, but I’m only using 1 pan and the spork.

The Yukon Outfitters Alpha Bug Out Bag Kit is available on Woot.com periodically for around $100 -$150. Because it is so popular, it is sold out quite a bit, you just need to on the lookout for when it becomes available.

Yukon Outfitters Kit Includes…

  • “Rainfly” Lightweight Tarp
  • LED Flashlight
  • Folding Knife
  • 100ft 550 Paracord
  • Medical/Misc. Supplies Kit
  • Hydration Bladder
  • (Also comes with a hammock that I am not putting in the bag)

Water

Sawyer Mini Water Filter ($20)

2Ltr Platypus water bladder ($10)

Hydration Bladder Included with Bag

Berkey Sport Water Bottle ($16)

Tac-Bar Water Purification Tabs ($5) (Included in Kit)

Food

2 Tac-Bar Rations ($15) (Complete kit is $69)

Stolevar Mess Kit (Only 1 Pan from kit and Spork) ($5)

Multi Vitamins

Instant Coffee

Fire

Credit Card Size Fresnel Lens ($2)

Altoids Tin for Char Cloth ($1)

Tac-Bar Survival Tin ($5) (Included in Kit)

Magnesium Bar Fire Starter ($6)

Ferro Rod (2) ($6)

UCO Storm Proof Matches ($7)

2 Bic Lighters ($2)

Paracord Survival Bracelet (with Striker) ($10)

Communications

Beofeng UV-5R Ham Radio (With Battery Pack) ($30)

Horizon Tec NOAA Radio/Charger ($36)

UZI Tactical Pen ($20)

Waterproof Notebook ($6)

Power

XTar VC4 Battery Charger ($25)

Bell Howell flashlight ($20)

Assorted Batteries ($15)

Goal Zero Nomad/Switch 8 Solar Charger ($50)

Shelter

50ft Titan Survivorcord ($10)

100ft 550 Paracord (included with bag)

Rothco Rain Poncho ($14)

Mechanix M-Pact Gloves ($30)

Survival Bandana ($10)

Regular Bandana ($5)

CAPSS Perimeter Camp Alarm ($30)

RZ Mask with Filters ($30)

“Rain fly” Tarp (included with bag)

Wool Socks & Boxers ($5)

Solar Blanket (included with bag)

Medical

Bug Out Bag First Aid Kit ($34)

Yukon Outfitters Med Kit (included with bag)

Moleskin ($4)

Kerlix Gauze & Regular Gauze Rolls ($8)

Chap Stick ($2)

TK4 Tourniquet ($4)

Wet Ones (Antibacterial Wet Wipes) ($1)

Navigation

Suunto Baseplates Compass ($40)

Misc. Maps of Area (In water proof bag) ($5)

Other Tools

Rat 5 Fixed Blade Knife ($75)

Yukon Outfitters folding Knife (included with bag)

Gerber Multi Tool ($26)

Sharpening Stone ($10)

2 High Strength Carabiners ($20)

3 Regular Carabiners ($5)

Misc. Items…

Credit Card Knife ($1)

Rubber bands

Safety Pins

Super Glue ($4)

Contractors Yard Bag ($1)

download-the-pdfI also converted this article into a PDF for you to download and refer to in the future. Click the PDF image to download this file.

Here is the Complete Video

 

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Fall Survival Gardening REDWOOD UPDATE

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What To Plant in Your Fall Survival Garden

Unlike the spring and summer, fall is a time when nature is winding down. Depending on how far north you live, this may be an almost complete cessation of growth with frozen soil and plants buried beneath snow and ice… or it may be in some half-living state where most everything is brown but there are still vibrant green patches of cold-loving weeds such as wild mustard.

cold frame gardening

Almost all the best staple crops for survival grow in the spring and summer months with many of them ripening in fall. Beans, grain corn, winter squash, sweet potatoes. These are storable calories you can pack away for the cold months of winter.

Fall crops have to produce fast before it gets too cold unless you live in the South. Even then, many species are not cold-hardy enough to consistently feed you every winter. Carrots and cabbage might do fine one year and be turned into frosty mush the next.

The predominant characteristic to seek in a survival crop is calories. The second attribute to seek is nutrition. Both are very important but it takes longer to have problems with nutrient deficiencies in your diet than it does to become very hungry. Planting kale is a very good idea but living on kale would be tough.

Cassava is a good survival crop for warm climates because it’s quite calorie dense. However, if you consume just cassava roots you’ll be dealing with nutrition issues after a while, making greens, berries, meat and other food sources important.

Potatoes are calorie-dense and more nutritious, but a gardener should still throw in beets, carrots, broccoli, etc., to round out his diet.

You get the idea. Throwing all your eggs in one basket isn’t a good idea, especially when gardening for survival. It’s not good for your health or your survival prospects. Just ask the Irish.

Let’s assume this fall garden you are planting is your first garden of the year or that you were not able to plant all you wanted to plant in the spring. Perhaps rats ate your corn (like they did with a lot of my corn this year) or you lost your prize Hubbard squash to blight.

What three high calorie crops would you plant in a fall survival garden to get you through a long winter?

Here are my suggestions.

High Calorie Survival Crop #1: Turnips

Though turnips will keep you alive, if you eat too many of them you’ll wish for death. Not because they’ll upset your stomach or anything; just because they’re painfully boring. I plant them anyway, because they are a bank of calories in the ground you can trust to grow in a crises. We have had them in stews, sautéed and even as an ill-considered pie. In my mind, the best part of the turnip is probably the greens. Those are quite nutritious, but unfortunately lack the caloric load of the roots themselves.

What turnips lack in appeal, they make up for in ease of growth. And they are beautiful.

cold frame gardening

Plant turnips in late summer or early fall, depending on your climate, and you’ll soon have more than you can eat.

Turnips like loose soil with moderate fertility and they need space to make good roots.

My preferred planting method is to rake out a seed bed and to scatter the seeds across the surface and cover lightly with compost or raking them into the soil. Water well and seedlings will usually emerge in a week or less. Cutworms and other insects will sometimes do some thinning for you so don’t be too quick in thinning out the bed. I usually let them grow at least their first pair of true leaves or a little more before snipping off some of them at ground level with scissors and adding those thinned plants to sautés or even fresh salads. Thin the young plants to about two inches apart. Then when those plants are touching each other and starting to crowd, repeat the thinning process and continue eating the nutritious greens.

If you are planting turnips over a larger space, planting them further apart in rows maybe a good idea as thinning becomes labor intensive in a larger space. A seed planter can help. The awesome seeder attachment for the Hoss wheel hoe designed by my friend Greg at easydigging.com is a marvelous tool I have used in the past – just be aware that it has difficulty in loose sand and needs some tweaking to give you good coverage in those conditions. A cheaper and less precise method is to make furrows with a hoe or by pressing a dowel or tool handle into the ground. Then drop seeds in by hand at about a two inch spacing and cover lightly with loose soil. Don’t plant turnips too deeply.

In two to three months, depending on temperatures, you can start harvesting roots. Final plant spacing should be at about six inches, but with a bed like this, you will likely only have to thin once. Ensure that the seeds you plant are for a root variety and not for greens, as those produce woody and inedible roots. Turnips may not be exciting, but they will keep you alive.

High Calorie Survival Crop #2: Jerusalem Artichokes

Jerusalem artichokes are a Native American staple which can sometimes be found wild in North America. Some people have difficulty digesting them but they produce a lot of roots for a little work.

cold frame gardening

To grow Jerusalem artichokes, plant tubers at two foot spacing in Fall, Winter, or early Spring. Though they will not feed you until next Fall, it is a very good idea to get them in the ground so they will be there for the future. In my mind, they are a better livestock feed than a human feed. The roots are delicious raw, with a mild earthy flavor somewhat reminiscent of a light carrot.

Just be careful, they can give you incredible gas. Seriously. Don’t eat many of them until you have tried them out. Some methods of cooking help, fortunately, but boy… they can mess you up if you’re not used to their power.

In the far South they are less reliable but they grow excellently all the way north into Minnesota and are a perennial which is an additional benefit for survival gardeners. Jerusalem artichokes do not require high soil fertility or much care. They prefer full sun but I have had them produce decently in half shade on marginal ground where the topsoil was stripped off by construction the previous year.

That’s impressive.

Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers in a place where you don’t intend to grow another crop any time soon as they are very persistent and will regrow from any piece left in the ground. When you plant them in the fall and in the winter, don’t expect them to come up until the following spring when the soil warms. They look just like sunflowers when they emerge which makes sense as they are a species of sunflower. All summer they’ll grow taller and taller, bursting into bloom in the short days of fall.

cold frame gardening

After they freeze back, you can pull up the stems and harvest the abundant clusters of knobby roots. They do not store well once dug but store excellently in the ground and can be pulled all through the cold months until they start to sprout in the Spring. Then the tubers deteriorate rapidly to feed the new growth.

One final benefit: Jerusalem artichokes make a lot of biomass for the compost pile, often reaching to eight feet in height. That growth can also be cut and fed to cows, goats and rabbits.

High Calorie Survival Crop #3: Parsnips

Parsnips are an often overlooked high-calorie member of the carrot family.

cold frame gardening

Photo credit Troye Owens

Parsnips can take some freezing weather and actually improve in flavor after a frost; however, if your weather is quite cold you’ll need to shovel some dirt or mulch over your parsnip bed to keep them in the ground safely until spring. They do take almost four months to make good harvest-sized roots, so it’s time to get them in the ground if you live in a mild climate or you will have to wait until spring if you live where frosts are imminent.

Before planting, loosen the soil well so the roots can push deep. Plant parsnips like you would carrots and be careful not to bury the seeds too deeply.

They will take at least a couple of weeks to emerge so be patient. Thin as they grow to give each root about 4” of space, then wait until they get nice and fat and start to push the tops of their roots up from the ground before you harvest.

Other Crop Possibilities

For nutrition’s sake, I would recommend also planting kale, cabbage, mustard collards, beets, garlic and carrots.

Garlic cloves will live in the ground through the winter and emerge in spring to make nice heads, so don’t pull them early.

Some varieties of kale are hardy enough to live through lots of snow and still be dug for leaves in the winter.

One more winter crop I like to plant is the fava bean. It gets damaged when temperatures reach the teens, but it’s a nice thing to grow just for its nitrogen-fixing ability. If you have an unused fall bed, plant it with fava beans. Even if you don’t get a harvest, they’ll make that ground better for the spring. If you do get a harvest, you’ll be enjoying gourmet fava beans. No way to lose!

If you have enough time before frost, you can also plant some potatoes in fall and dig them up before they freeze completely, giving you some roots for the cellar.

Conclusion

Time is ticking away until temperatures end this year’s gardening for good. Get started now – and if it’s already too late in your area for most of these crops, start gathering leaves for spring composting and be sure to plant Jerusalem artichokes before the soil freezes. You may be glad for those in the future.

Any cold-hardy high calorie crops you think we should have added? Let us know in the comments.

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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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Top 3 Hacks for Packing Your Survival Gear

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Run! Sometimes that’s the only answer to life-threatening situations. At this point, there’s no telling what type of state the country will be in a year from now… or even in months. Complete anarchy? War? Rebellion? A collapsed economy? One can never really tell… Not to mention, there’s always the threat of the next big natural disaster, which can leave every man and woman to fend for themselves with what packing gear they have on them.

Regardless of what danger pops up next, it’s important that you are ready and prepared for the unexpected. Let’s review three effective tips for packing your survival gear in a bug-out bag or your car trunk.

 

Picture Source: The Bug Out Bag Guide

Tip 1: Kill Several Birds With One Stone. For those who love to over-pack, it’s time to tone it down. Practicality is our first main focus when packing. Items with two or more purposes are what you want to add to your bug-out bag or car trunk in case of emergency. Here are a few easy examples of how you can apply this:

 

  • Clothes and Blankets: Experts suggest packing clothes and blankets for protection and warmth. Convertible, zip-off pants for adaptability and cargo pants with plenty of pockets for carrying items are two great examples. Other items can include working gloves, boots, thermal underwear and a waterproof jacket lined with fleece. In other words, pack strategically so that you will always find yourself at a comfortable temperature regardless of the weather conditions.

 

  • Tools and Gear: Duct tape is versatile, so it can be very handy for emergencies. It can be used to repair a tent, to create a sharp weapon or even used to create a splint for injured limbs. (mini duct tape rolls) A few other great items to consider are superglue (seals small cuts and repairs broken equipment), aluminum foil (water containment, mirror signaling and food preservation), trash bags (rain gear, containers, homemade insulation blanket), mini binoculars (great for scouting food if hunting, and locating friends and foes), and bandanas (eye patch, dusk mask, ear muffs, sling).

 

Tip 2: Every Inch Counts. It would be great if, in an emergency, you could just pack up your whole house and take it with you. But it’s not that easy. With limited space in your bug-out bag or car trunk, you have to be strategic and creative. Here are a few quick tips for compacting items.

 

  • Packing Tip 101: Roll your clothes instead of folding them. It takes up less space.

 

  • Fill Your Shoes: Pack socks and any small items inside your shoes.

 

  • Protection: Slip any breakables into your socks before packing them.

 

  • Reuse Bottles: Reuse old medicine bottles to store cotton swabs and sponges that can be used for cleaning wounds.

 

  • Case for Chords: Use an old sunglasses case to keep all of your electronic cords and charges in.

 

Tip 3: Easy Access. Another thing to pack in your bug-out bag is common sense. If packing an actual backpack, all of the less frequently used items should go at the bottom of the bag. Meanwhile, the heaviest items should go closest to your back, with the lightest items farthest from your back. From there, the most used items (maps, guides, cameras) should be placed at the top of your back.

The same concept applies to packing a car trunk. Keep things such as your tents, tent poles and sleeping bag deepest in your car trunk. Keep clothes and daily essentials more accessible, as you will need them more often.

Final Words: In order to survive the next big disaster, you must think ahead and prepare for all possibilities. Above all, remember that the most important focuses for packing are practicality, dual usage, space efficiency and accessibility.

 

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Bug Out Bag Food Choices

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photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

What goes in your bug out bag?

One of the most important things you need to remember to include is food.

And you’ll want a lot of it.

The times I’ve used my bag, I’ve been surprised at just how much my kids have been able to eat. A lot of prepper guides will advise you to plan to feed each person 1200 or even 1500 calories a day. This is fine, but only if that’s how much you normally eat.

If you, like most adults, eat more than that, you’re going to need to plan accordingly.

Nothing is going to make survival less fun than being cold, wet, and hungry. While I’m all about minimalism in most aspects of my life, I do not feel this way about food in my bug out bags. I don’t want to feel hungry and I certainly don’t want my kids to feel hungry.

That said, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to deciding what you’ll pack.

First off, consider figuring out exactly how much you eat each day. Track your daily calories for a week to determine your average. There will always be days when you eat more or less than usual, but planning for a happy medium can be very helpful. It’s also a good idea to consider how much your kids each eat. Babies and toddlers will obviously need different amounts (and different types) of food than older children.

It’s also a good idea to consider how often you plan to repack your bug out bag. If you only want to pack your bag once a year, you’re going to be choosing things like MREs and camping meals. If you don’t mind switching out your food more often (3 months is usually a good time frame) you’ll have more options and can include things like granola bars.

Also remember that you don’t have to have all of the food groups each day when you’re in a survival situation. Would it be ideal to be able to give your family protein, fruit, vegetables, and fresh bread each day? Absolutely, but a bug out situation isn’t going to be ideal, so forget about well-rounded and choose foods that will store well, that your kids like, and that your family members will actually eat. Storing up on a year’s worth of granola is useless if your kids hate the darn stuff.

Here are a couple of possible options that you can buy inexpensively online and that will last a long time:
20 Detour Lower Sugar Whey Protein Bars 1.5 Oz Bars Variety Pack
Trader Joe’s Freeze Dried Fruit Assortment
Bare Fruit Organic Variety Pack, Gluten Free Baked Snacks, 6-Multi Serve Bags
Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, Original, 3.25-Ounce Bags (Pack of 4)

In our bug out bags, I always try to include dried fruit and beef jerky, as well as protein bars. These are also things that my kids eat on a regular basis, so they’re already familiar with it. If you plan to pack lots of water, you could include oatmeal, too. Some families like to pack MREs. Some like camping meals. Some choose high calorie protein bars. For me, I know that my kids aren’t going to eat something high calorie if it tastes bad, so I choose foods that they know, that they aren’t scared of, and that they’ll actually be able to handle if the going gets tough.

57 Bug Out Bag Gear Ideas You May Not Have Thought Of

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57 Bug Out Bag Gear Ideas You May Not Have Thought Of Have you thought of everything for your bug out bag? This article will almost definitely give you at least one idea of what you should have in your bug out bag that you haven’t though of yet. Obviously, you need to have some …

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5 Tips For Distributing Gear Among Your Family

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This is one of those articles every prepper should read because it makes some points that I rarely hear mentioned. First of all, if you have a family, then you shouldn’t have just one bug out bag. You should have a bag for each family member. But if you do that, there are several questions […]

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Bug Out Bags, Get Home Bags and EDC

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Bug Out Bags, Get Home Bags and EDC Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” On this live broadcast of “The Prepping Academy” join Forrest and Kyle as they discuss: everyday carry items, get home bags, and bug out bags. These are literally the backbone of prepping. The items you carry with you can literally make or … Continue reading Bug Out Bags, Get Home Bags and EDC

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The Best Bug Out Bags To Buy

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The Best Bug Out Bags To Buy The first and most important item in every Bug Out Bag List is most likely the bag itself. It doesn’t take long to realize that looking for a bag to use for your bug out bag can be a daunting task.There are plenty of options and an exhaustible …

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Top 5 Bug Out Bag Mistakes

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I’ve written several articles about prepping mistakes and how to avoid them, but when I came across this video by Survival Know How I realized I haven’t talked about bug out bag mistakes. This is something most people don’t think about. How do you mess up a bug out bag? Just put the things you […]

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How To Fertilize 8 Fruits & Vegetables for OUTSTANDING Flavor

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Fertilizing for growth is common… but fertilizing vegetables for flavor? That’s a different animal, but it’s something we need to consider.

If you were to spend a year eating potatoes, corn, beans and cabbage – without much in the way of seasoning – I’ll bet you’d be longing for some good chicken curry or a plate of fettuccine Alfredo at the other end.

Heck, I want both of those right now and I had eggs, bacon and fried plantains for breakfast.

In a survival situation, we may not have the luxuries or even the common spices we desire. You may, Lord willing, be able to grow all the best survival food you need for the table – but you also might get very tired of bland food over time.

Let’s face it: some vegetables just aren’t that exciting. I’m not going to name names, but…

Poor tasting Turnips

Fortunately, there are ways we can improve the flavor of our food without stockpiling gallon-jugs of Texas Pete and Adobo.

The key? Fertilizing for flavor!

Fertilizing Vegetables for FLAVOR? What?

Let me start by telling you a story that I’ve told before.

One year I dug a new garden bed on unused ground at my old house in Tennessee and planted a bunch of potatoes I “reclaimed” from a grocery store dumpster. I wondered how they would do in the hard, red clay, but I knew that the woods nearby and the wildflowers were always abundant, rich and green so I guessed the soil was fertile.

I was right.

When we later harvested those potatoes and prepared them in the kitchen, I was amazed. Unlike the potatoes I’d been eating all my life, these had a rich potato flavor that had to be tasted to be believed.

The mashed potatoes were heavenly.

The French fries were gourmet.

My wife’s stew was divine.

Yet remember: these were grown with boring old grocery store potatoes as the seed spuds. There was nothing special about them genetically; they had the exact same genes as the run-of-the-mill potatoes I’d been eating for years. It wasn’t like an old, half-blind farmer in the Andes had handed me an ancient heirloom variety and as I took it from his trembling hands I felt the weight of history.

No, these were just boring potatoes that had somehow turned into superb potatoes.

The key was the soil.

If there’s a proper spread of micronutrients in the ground, food just tastes better. If you are using 10-10-10 on poor soil, you may grow good-looking crops, but their flavor probably won’t match that of a neighboring gardener’s vegetables grown in mineral-rich soil.

General Principles for Fertilizing for Flavor

When I was a younger gardener I fertilized with the thought of “what will make this plant grow well?” in mind. Now I fertilize with the additional thought of “what will impart maximum nutrition to this plant?” Maximum nutrition is linked to maximum flavor – and it’s also better for your family’s health, obviously, as the nutrients you give to the plants will later be consumed by you.

Though there’s always some guesswork in the garden, I do most of my fertilizing with complex “teas” that contain a broad mix of materials in order to give my plants a high level of nutrition.

It may seem somewhat insane to the uninitiated, but here’s a recent video I did illustrating just the range of craziness that can be included in a fertilizer/compost tea:

Note that I didn’t have to buy anything to make this tea. Instead, I mixed in grass clippings, tree leaves, kitchen scraps, urine, manure and other materials.

This is a far cry from the three simple elements in 10-10-10. Beyond nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (which are abundant in urine), I’m adding grass and weeds, which contain lesser elements like manganese, calcium, zinc, iron, copper, etc. And I’m adding a lot of other bits and pieces that are sure to add even more micro and macronutrients.

As you can see in this following video, I also harvest sea water and seaweed and add that as well, which massively increases the levels of micronutrients going into my gardens:

With some plants – such as the potatoes I mentioned – I can definitely taste a difference in flavor because of micronutrient levels. With others it’s not as noticeable, though I haven’t done a serious side-by-side comparison.

Let’s take a look now at some survival crops you can “juice up” by targeting them for flavor and nutrition levels.

Potatoes

fertilizing for flavor makes for better potatoesPotatoes are my top all-around survival crop, unless you’re in an area where they don’t grow well. Unlike many garden vegetables, they like an acid soil. Providing this acidity makes it easier for the potatoes to take up nutrition. I grew them in Florida sand with 10-10-10 as a fertilizer and found their taste inferior to those grown in the rich clay of Tennessee, where I didn’t fertilize them at all. Potatoes do not like much nitrogen and they adore phosphorus, so if you want good root development, give them something rich in “P” like bone meal, then give them homemade compost tea (light on manure/urine) for the micronutrients. Coffee grounds in the garden bed are likely to be good as well. I used to get buckets of them from an espresso joint down the road and they went into all my garden beds. Rotten pine mulch is another good way to make your potatoes happy… and happy potatoes taste better.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are undemanding, so long as you have enough warm days to grow them during; however, they’re happier with some fertilizing. Like white potatoes, they don’t do well with a lot of nitrogen. I feed mine compost tea and usually throw some compost onto the soil before planting. Mulching with a good mix of materials (such as the mulch created by tree trimming companies clearing the powerlines) also seems to improve their happiness levels, though they’ll also grow quite happily in bare soil.

The real key to growing delicious sweet potatoes is the “curing.” If you pull them right from the garden, they’re starchy and somewhat bland. Set them aside for a few weeks to rest, however, and the flavor and sweetness vastly improve.

As a bonus: sweet potato greens are an excellent cooked green. Increase the nutrition in your soil and you’re certain to improve the flavor of the greens as well.

Kale

Kale harvested fresh from the garden is vastly better in flavor than the tough stuff you’ll find in the supermarket. Regular watering and planting before the summer heat seem to impact the flavor of kale more than any specific mode of fertilization, but I feed mine with regular applications of compost tea and make sure they also get plenty of nitrogen. I once side-dressed them with chicken manure and had them burn, so be careful. The best results on growth and flavor I’ve had was when I double-dug a garden bed and stirred in compost, cottonseed meal, rock phosphate, lime, Epsom salts and a tiny touch of Borax and sea salt. Again – it’s the wide mix of nutrition you’re shooing for. I got the idea to add sea salt and Borax from the excellent book The Intelligent Gardener which really dives into the importance of micronutrients in the garden.

Beans

beans fertilized for flavorI give my beans lots of compost tea and I also make sure to keep them watered and pick the pods regularly before they become stringy and hard.

For dry beans, I grow beans in between other crops and water them regularly and deeply with water and compost tea.

The flavor on both is better in rich soil than it is in poor. The black-eyed peas in the image tasted better than any we bought from the store (though the labor involved makes them a dubious survival choice).

Don’t give beans too much nitrogen, though, or they won’t give you as good a harvest.

Just compost is great – and they love mulch as well.

Wondering how much beans YOUR body will need when the SHTF, then take our 4 day survival calorie calculating test here.

Squash

Squash are so much fun to grow that I always plant some every year.

I skip the summer squash types and instead grow the real survival varieties: winter squash. These are the ones that keep for long periods of time on the shelf and that’s what I want.

Of course, if you’ve been gardening for a while, you know where the very best squash like to grow: right in the compost pile!

Look what happened in my garden one year:

great tasting pumpkins because of compost

Though I wasn’t consciously fertilizing for flavor, the compost made these pumpkins grow and taste amazing.

All those pumpkin vines – and the pumpkins in the wheel barrow – grew out of my compost pile.

Squash love compost and they taste great when grown in an area of rich fertility and allowed to reach full maturity on the vine. Once harvested, like sweet potatoes, they need a “curing” period to reach their full flavor. This ranges from a couple of weeks to a month or so. Just let them dry out on your porch, then bring them inside and tuck them into a well-aerated area to sit and cure.

I’ve had good luck digging pits, throwing in everything from meat scraps to ashes and raw manure, then covering with soil and planting squash or melon seeds on top. You can find out more about this method and a lot of other ways to turn everything into soil in my popular (and highly entertaining) book Compost Everything: The Good Guide to Extreme Composting.

Grain Corn

Forget sweet corn – grain corn is what you want for survival!

fertilizing for flavor grain corn

I give this crop a good write-up in Grow or Die: The Good Guide to Survival Gardening because it’s easy to grow, easy to harvest and easy to store. Corn also creates a lot of biomass, making it a great base for compost piles.

Corn reaches its top growth and yield potential when you give it plenty of nitrogen. Diluted urine is a remarkably good fertilizer for corn, as is the rich compost/manure tea I explain here:

Corn, like potatoes, really likes rich soil and had amazing flavor when grown in the red clay of Tennessee. To recapture that fertility requires mixing up a good range of minerals for your crop through not only giving it urine or manure, but also giving it good compost. If you can’t create enough compost for the field you’re growing, water it with that anaerobic compost tea along the base of the stalks every couple of weeks.

It will fly – I guarantee it.

Garlic

Garlic is both medicine and food. It’s also been scientifically proven to increase in flavor and nutrition when provided with extra sulfur. I give them (and my other crops as well) Epsom Salts to “up” the sulfur and magnesium and increase growth.

The National Gardening Association reports:

Chemically, Epsom salts is hydrated magnesium sulfate (about 10 percent magnesium and 13 percent sulfur). Magnesium is critical for seed germination and the production of chlorophyll, fruit, and nuts. Magnesium helps strengthen cell walls and improves plants’ uptake of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur. Sulfur, a key element in plant growth, is critical to production of vitamins, amino acids (therefore protein), and enzymes. It’s also the compound that gives vegetables such as broccoli and onions their flavors. Sulfur is seldom deficient in garden soils in North America because acid rain and commonly used animal manures contain sulfur, as do chemical fertilizers such as ammonium sulfate.”

Epsom salts are quite beneficial for the flavor of garlic and onions, not to mention cole crops like cabbage, broccoli and kale. Along with compost, throw some in and see how your garlic tastes.

Bonus Plant: Strawberries

fertilizing for better tasting strawberriesThough I think strawberries aren’t the best survival plant unless you’re in their optimal climate, they are nutritious and take up very little space.

Personally, I prefer cabbage for vitamin C and mulberries as a berry crop, but if you want something sweet in the Apocalypse – or if you’re growing with nutrition in mind, as my fellow columnist Kendra urges us in her article on the most nutritious survival foods to grow – strawberries are nice to have.

Gardening expert James Wong, author of the new book Grow for Flavor, recommends a few methods for growing sweeter strawberries, including giving them full sunshine, avoiding over-fertilization, and fertilizing with comfrey liquid (which is similar to how I make my anaerobic compost teas – just a stack of leaves in a bucket of water, left to rot, then applied to plants).

I’ve also made my own fish emulsion and strawberries seem to love its mineral rich essence, as do the neighborhood cats.

Conclusion

In the garden, if it’s good for you, it probably tastes good.

This goes against the “if it tastes horrible it has to be good for you” common wisdom we often hear.

A perfectly sun-ripened and well-fed tomato is delicious. Organic apples from the tree are wonderful. And I’ve already told you about how very good my potatoes tasted in Tennessee.

Do I know all the answers for what makes vegetables taste great? No. But I do know that deliberately fertilizing for flavor by increasing the micronutrients in the soil has made my produce taste better, at least in my admittedly subjective opinion – and there’s some science to back up my assertions. If you grow healthy, mineral-rich produce, you’ll be healthier as well.

Think nutrition and you’ll be on your way to better flavor. Mix up materials from year to year, compost everything, don’t forget micronutrients such as the ones found in seaweed and even diluted salt water… and you might just be able to put away the curry and the white sauce once in a while.

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How To Build Bug Out Bags For The Family

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There are countless articles on how to make bug out bags, but what if you have to bug out with your spouse, kids, and other family members? Shouldn’t they be carrying something, too? The answer is a resounding YES! The more supplies you can bring with you, the better (just so long as you don’t […]

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Vehicles to Bug Out In

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You have probably seen hundreds of articles and videos on ‘The Perfect’ bug out vehicle. Well truthfully, there is not one ‘ideal’ bug out vehicle that works for everyone. There are many factors to consider before deciding what is perfect for you and your family. For some the best BOV might be a motorcycle, bicycle or even a horse or donkey. The possibilities are endless.

One of APN’s favorites, Shane at LoneWolf Survival School, is back with their first episode of season 2. In this video Shane talks a little bit about combat gear and then gets into their own personal bug out vehicles and their differences. Of the two vehicles one is a designated bug out vehicle while the other is a daily used bug out vehicle.

Shane touches on what type of vehicle you should consider based on your bug out location, how many people you intend to have with you,how far is it, what area do you live in and your budget. He also discusses what you should carry with you that would be necessary and would make surviving easier based on certain situations. He teaches the basics in a vehicle bug out bag and tools for the vehicle maintenance that should be kept in your vehicle at all times. All things considered, you decide what is best for your family.

If you would like to watch more of Shane’s videos you can click here.

 

 

 

Video By Lonewolf Wilderness Survival
Please support their channel by subscribing here

Number of speakers: 1 (Shane)
Duration: 17 min 41 sec

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Bug Out Bag List – The Essentials You Need in Your Bug Out Bag

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Bug Out Bag List (essentials + more!)

By The Bug Out Bag Guide

We’ve put together a list of essential bug out bag items so that you don’t have to.

With our handy bug out bag list, you’ll be packed in no time.

Of course, this is just a starting point, and you can customize your bag further so that it is tailored to your individual needs.

As a good rule of thumb, a well designed Bug Out Bag should weigh no more than 30% of your body weight. Any more than this will be highly strenuous and will limit a person’s ability to hike over long distances as may be required by your survival situation.

This means you’ll want to mostly limit what’s in your bug out bag to the essentials: items that have a high probability of helping you survive a disaster scenario.

Continue reading at The Bug Out Bag Guide: Bug Out Bag List – The Essentials You Need in Your Bug Out Bag

Filed under: Bug Out Bags

How To Build The Ultimate 25 Pound Bug Out Bag

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How To Build The Ultimate 25 Pound Bug Out Bag There are a lot of things that people pack in their bug out bags for survival and sometimes even for comfort. Unfortunately, you can’t have everything because you can only carry so much. A lot of people throw around weights like “no more than 50-60 …

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9 Reasons a Coffee Can Should be in Your Survival Kit

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 9 Reasons a Coffee Can Should be in Your Survival Kit Whether your putting together a bug out bag that you can sling over your shoulder or making a Every Day Carry Kit that you can slide into a jacket pocket, it’s important to consider how easy the kit will be to carry. I always knew …

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DIY Beer Bottle Cap Fishing Lures

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DIY Beer Bottle Cap Fishing Lures Being able to catch your own food in an emergency situation is vital. Make fishing lures out of beer caps and have fish for dinner 🙂 We may laugh about this article, but this may just mean the difference between starving and surviving. The basics of this project are …

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Everything You Need to Know About Planting and Harvesting Garlic

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Everything You Need to Know About Planting and Harvesting Garlic   Garlic has potent antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties in addition to being beneficial for heart health and iron assimilation. You’ll need to do a little research on how to prepare and use these. For instance, garlic is more effective chewed or chopped than …

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The Shower that Fits in your Bug Out Bag

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The Shower that Fits in your Bug Out Bag Designed as a lightweight alternative to the much heavier solar showers, the Simple Shower weighs in at under an ounce and is a great addition to the bug out bag where every ounce matters. The Simple Shower is a little device that turns just about any …

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How Much Gear Should You Put In Your Bug Out Bag?

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How Much Gear Should You Put In Your Bug Out Bag? The question of how much gear should be in a bug out bag has always been a contentious one. You can’t carry everything, and you’d have a hard time surviving if you didn’t carry anything (unless you’re Les Stroud or something). The answer as to how …

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Upgrade the Food in Your Bug Out Bag

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Upgrade the Food in Your Bug Out Bag Guest Post by Dave Asprey First off, thank you to the good people here at SHTFPreparedness for featuring me on their blog. I’ll start by introducing myself. I’m the founder and CEO of the Bulletproof Executive and the bestselling author of The Bulletproof Diet. I’m also a …

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12 Essential Survival Items Under $12

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12 Essential Survival Items Under $12 Stocking up on prepper or survival gear can get expensive. Most of the time, if you go with the cheap versions of things, you get items that won’t work as advertised. That could be life-threatening in a survival situation. Imagine being stuck out in the middle of the wilderness …

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8 Tools Women Carry That Every Prepper Should Have

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8 Tools Women Carry That Every Prepper Should Have There are many common everyday items found in women’s purses. They are found there for a reason- they have a great everyday utility. Some women carry just the bare essentials, or no purse at all. But those that do carry larger purses are sure to have …

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Why Preppers Need a Well Stocked Survival Medical Kit

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Why Preppers Need a Well Stocked Survival Medical Kit Today we pretty much take for granted that we have access to medical supplies. Everything from aspirin to bandaging is only as far away as the grocery store. In the case of a more serious problem we can go in to see a doctor or even …

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Bug Out Bag Ideas for Beginning Preppers

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Like this article?

Bug Out Bag Ideas for Beginning PreppersWe hear all the time about what we absolutely need in our bug out bag, and for the most part it’s true. Is putting together a bug out bag for a beginning prepper without a mag bar or a water filter a waste of time? I believe the answer is twofold. Yes, these supplies are critical to putting together a good bug out bag, but are not going to do us any good if we have no idea how to use them.

I recently had a conversation with a friend who is a beginning prepper, and he asked me what should go in a bug out bag? Before I go into detail about what I told him to put in his bug out bag, I want to give a you little backstory. It is becoming a success story about how to get someone interested in preparedness, and it applies to all areas of preparedness…not just bug out bags.

SPP154 Bug Out Bag Ideas for Beginning Preppers

We have been friends for a very long time (even before I became interested in preparedness) so when he asked me about my website, and why I was prepping, I was a little surprised. What surprised me even more was his willingness to learn about it and set aside his preconceived notions. It’s also because of the way I approach our conversations and not go overboard talking about doomsday scenarios.

Addition & Subtraction

To me it’s something like learning math in school, you can’t expect someone to excel in calculus if they don’t even know their times tables. When he asked me what should go in his bug out bag I approached it from the same angel. If someone has never built a fire in their life without lighter fluid, they really have no need for a ferro rod, although learning that skill should be top priority.

The same applies to prepping in general. if you don’t have at least a few gallons of water stored, you shouldn’t be thinking about how to build a water catchment system. If you don’t know how to build a fire and then start it with a ferro rod, you better stock up on Brownie Juice (lighter fluid) and Bic lighters while you learn those skills.

Before I get into the list I gave him for his bug out bag, here are a couple of questions I asked him to get a better idea about not only what supplies he would need, but what supplies that would be useful.

These questions were purposefully general, and I made sure he knew that this was not a judgement, and these were not pass/fail questions. This is just to get an idea about what tools would be useful right now, and what he needed to work on.

  • What is your main concern?
  • If you had to leave your home, who would be going with you? (wife and dog)
  • If you had to leave right now, where would you go?
  • You need to travel 20 miles. If there was a 50% chance the roads were passable, and a near 100% chance of success by traveling on foot, what would you do?
  • Have you ever built a fire?
  • Have you ever built a fire without lighter fluid or newspaper?
  • If you found yourself stranded what would you do for shelter?
  • What resources are available around you? (food, water, shelter) and how could you utilize those resources.
  • If you were dying of thirst would you drink the water from a nearby river?
  • What is the minimum amount of calories per day the body needs per day to function properly?

After thinking about his answers for a little bit, I came up with the following list of supplies for his bug out bag. Keep in mind, this is not a complete all scenario bug out bag, this is more of a “starter kit” for him until he learns more about preparedness and survival.

Suggested Bug Out Bag Items…

Fire Starting Kit…

  • Bic Lighter(s)
  • OSB Matches
  • Vaseline Soaked Cotton Balls (In Kit)
  • Mag Bar

Suggested PDF’s & Learning

I also gave him a list of items he should think about adding to his old cell phone, and skills he should learn. Once he learns these skills, he can add other (better) items to his bug out bag.

  • Learn about building a fire
  • Learn about water filtration
  • Knot tying (important knots)
  • SAS survival guide
  • Using a compass
  • Building shelter

Also From The Show

Survivalist Prepper Exclusive Huge Tac-Bar Giveaway From Expedition ResearchThe guys at Tac-Bar are doing a huge contest where they are giving away over $2500 in cash and prizes. Click here to read more about that.

Our Monthly Contest

Along with the Tac-Bar contest above Aaron is also giving us 2 Tac-Bar ammo cans to give away in this month’s contest

  • The guys over at PakLite are giving us 3 of their flashlights to give away.
  • I am making a trauma kit which I am going to do a video for, and then give it away.
  • I will have more information about how to enter, and how to win in next week’s show, so stay tuned for that.

I also mentioned in the show about how we are launching the brand new Survivalist Prepper Academy 2.0, and some of the great stuff we will be doing there.

The Survivalist Prepper Academy 2.0

Academy 2.0 Screen ShotFor a limited time, I will be giving everyone a 50% discount to the current Academy (1.0) and when the new Academy goes live, all current members will have access to both Academy’s. You can click here to become a member, and you can also click here to take a peek at the new Academy.

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How to Choose the Best Emergency Food and Why

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How to Choose the Best Emergency Food and Why Have you ever wondered what the best emergency food is? Is it rice? Is it canned food? As a general rule of thumb, you want foods that A) Take up low volume, and B) Contain high calories. By finding foods with those two qualities, you’ll be …

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Car Emergency Kit List – Preparedness for the Car

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Car Emergency Kit List – Preparedness for the Car Most of us believe it or not do not have any kind of kit for emergencies in our car. I have read that 7% of Americans have an emergency kit for that just in case moment. I personally have an emergency road kit that I keep in the trunk of …

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Duct Tape Backpacking Pack

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DIY Duct Tape Backpacking Pack Duct tape can save your ass in an emergency, this is a great example how you can make a strong reliable backpack to bug out if SHTF. If you find your self in a SHTF situation without a bug out bag or maybe you find your self in a situation …

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10 Fantastic Food Ideas for Your Bug Out Bag

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10 Fantastic Food Ideas for Your Bug Out Bag Are you confused as to what food to pack in your bug out bag? These 10 Food Ideas for Your Bug Out Bag article may just give you what you are looking for! I personally am lacking in the food department for my bug out bag! …

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Bug Out Bag Walmart Style (72 Hours)

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Bug Out Bag Walmart Style (72 Hours)

Lets face it, bug out gear can be expensive!! Many of us have families and can’t afford to buy all the high end gear at once so one alternative is Walmart.The bag discussed in the video is for a 72 hour emergency, not for long term.

Every Day Tactical was challenged to put together an entire bug out bag from supplies he could find at Walmart and he took that challenge. Keeping in mind that you will get what you pay for when it comes to bug out equipment so eventually you will want to replace some of the cheaper gear. However, to just make sure you have a 72 hour emergency pack this would be the way to go.

 

To see more videos by Everyday Tactical please feel free to visit him here and subscribe.

This Transcription is available for copy under the Creative Commons By-ND license.  You may copy and repost this transcription in its entirety as long as original links, affiliate links, and embedded video remain intact, including this CC notice.

 

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99 Bug Out Bag Gear Ideas You May Not Have Thought Of

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99 Bug Out Bag Gear Ideas You May Not Have Thought Of Have you thought of everything for your bug out bag? This article will almost definitely give you at least one idea of what you should have in your bug out bag that you haven’t though of yet. Obviously, you need to have some way …

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USA Made Fire Steel: Have You Tried it?

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Recently I went to a preparedness convention in Georgia and had a great time. I was very impressed with a lot of the booths that were set up, but I have to tell you about one of my favorites, the Fire Steel Booth with Georgia Pyro.

I have seen a LOT of fire starters in my day and have tried many different kinds. This one takes the cake. What drew me to his booth was the amount of sparks I saw flying from one strike, but also the size of the sparks. They were HUGE!

So I started asking questions about their product and found out some very interesting things. For starters, they are USA hand made right here in Georgia, but also that their fire starters produce an amazing amount of 3000 degree sparks and their magnesium burns at 5000 degrees. WET or DRY and their larger rods give over 20,000 strikes!

Their scrapers are 1/4″ square high speed steel tool Bits. They are very sharp and very easy to strike. So much so that you can actually use it to scrape wood shavings to use as tinder. David Bailey demonstrates in the videos below.

Look at all those sparks!

Starting a Fire with Cotton

Scraping Off Tinder

If you want to see for yourself, he has a list of shows he will be at on his website. There are nothing but outstanding reviews there as well. We purchased the fire block at the show but will be getting the Tiger Maple one soon to add to my husbands bag. I can not stress enough that you will not be disappointed in this product. You guys know me, if it is USA made I’m all about it. Especially if it is done by an individual verses a corporation. I personally prefer supporting the little guys. 🙂

Check David Baily out at GeorgiaFireSteel.com and let us know what you think!!

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Is Your Bug Out Bag Going to Get You Killed?

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Is Your Bug Out Bag Going to Get You Killed? A bug out bag is designed in theory to give you everything you may need to live for at least 72 hours outside of your home and should be considered as part of any comprehensive plan for disaster or true preparedness. The tendency with bug …

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How To Customize A Bug Out Bag For Your Unique Needs

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How To Customize A Bug Out Bag For Your Unique Needs Your bug out bag is your best tool against any disaster. Unfortunately, because of their popularity and reputation as being THE place to start if you’re new to prepping, most BOB’s are poorly put together collections of camping gear that sit in a corner …

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Ready for Inspection? Let’s Check All

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Ready for Inspection? Let’s Check All

Written by: Dan F. Sullivan www.SurvivalSullivan.com

bug-out-bag1Your Preps

You spent a lot of time and money preparing. You have a food stockpile that’s growing, you have a fully-packed bug out bag… you even have a get home bag and a trunk full of survival items. But what if SHTF today and you needed those preps? Are you sure your lighters will work? Are you sure your food is not spoiled? You need a thorough inspection and, if need be, you might have to replace some of your supplies with new or fresh ones. I know some of your preps may be hidden under the bed or at the back of a closet and going through them is painful… but this has to be done.

 

Food

 

With a spoiled food supply you’ll have a hard time surviving for more than a few days, when real hunger starts kicking in. Although if the rule of threes says you can stay alive up to 3 weeks, you’ll have trouble thinking and operating long before that. Here’s what you should do:

  • Check the food inside your bug out bag. Check the expiration date and, if possible, replace it with “fresh” food (that’s a misnomer, I’m referring to “other” freeze dried, noodle packs, hard candy, dried fruit, trail mix etc.) and eat the one you’re about to replace. If you notice funny smells when you open it, you should probably throw it away.
  • Check the food inside your bug out vehicle. The trunk of your car can get pretty hot, which is why you should rotate the food you keep in there at least every 6 months.
  • Check your stockpile. Thoroughly examine each can for bulging, rust and leaks. Needless to say, you should check the expiration date. Although people have reported canned food can be safe to eat long before that, you don’t really want to take any chances. If disaster stroke today, you’d want your food to last as long as possible, and consume as much fresh food as you can find.

 

Water

If kept under less than ideal conditions, water will develop algae and bacteria. This isn’t a problem if you can purify it, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make sure it’s drinkable and replace it with fresh water if the answer to this question is negative.

Now, if the water tastes a little stale, that’s fine; it just needs a little oxygen. You can move it around between two containers for that. But if it smells like rotten eggs, you should use it to water your garden, replace it with fresh water and improve storage conditions.Water should be kept in a cool, dark place, in BPA-free containers. A basement is ideal but, if you don’t have that, a pantry will do.

 

Lighters

What if you’re bugging out and none of your lighters work? You’re stuck finding alternate ways to start a fire but, really, you should get new lighters. Try each of them just to see if they work because even the best lighters can let you down. Fortunately, they are dirt-cheap and easy to replace.

 

Check Your Electronics

Batteries should be your main concern. Some of them corrode and leak over time, which is why it’s important to keep them out of your electronics. Even better, keep them in battery cases. If you don’t want such a case in your bug out bag for instance, you can keep them in zipper bags (you can never have enough of these in your BOB, anyway).

Next, it’s time to check each device one by one. Turn each flashlight on. Check to see if the mini solar panel and hand crank are working on your emergency radio. Make sure each button is functional.

 

First Aid

Though I am not a doctor, I do feel I have to warn you to take the expiration date of meds more seriously. I know a lot of folks suggest you can still use them past it… let me remind you you’re NOT in a post-collapse situation. If you can afford it, you should replace your over-the-counter medication.

Pay special attention to the medicine that’s stored in the first aid kits inside your survival bags. High temperatures decrease potency and shelf life, particularly if stored in a hot trunk.

One trick I’ve learned is to keep them inside a wide-mouth thermos, which will keep the temperature a few degrees lower than the one outside. Not a perfect solution but it’s better than nothing (and you can use that thermos for other purposes if need be).

Meds should NOT be stored in the bathroom because of moisture and heat. Just like your food stockpile, they should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place such as a basement or a pantry.

 

Bleach

Did you know bleach has a shelf life of 6 months or less? Though you may still be able to use it to purify water after that, it’s probably best not to take any chances. Bleach that’s over 4 months old needs to be replaced.

 

Knives

Are your knives in top shape? Do they need sharpening and or oiling? Are they showing signs of rust, possibly because you didn’t properly clean and dry them the last time you used them? Check not just your survival knife but also your kitchen knives and your folding knife.

 

Other Items to Inspect

Pretty much everything else should be analyzed, including:

  • stoves
  • water tanks (for leaks)
  • all your guns and alternative weapons
  • canisters with flammable fluids (such as gasoline)
  • rainwater harvesting system
  • gardening tools and equipment
  • generators
  • seeds
  • all the emergency exits (make sure there’s nothing blocking your way out)

 

Final Word

I hope you understand the importance of inspecting all your preps from time to time. Do it once and you’ll see it can also be fun. It’s also an opportunity to better pack your BOB items and re-arrange the items in your basement.