The First 24 Hours Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! On this weeks episode of The Prepping Academy Forest and Kyle take a stab at the age old Prepper questions: when do I bug out and what happens in the first 24 hours. Let’s just say that you are in for a reality … Continue reading The First 24 Hours
Preparing for your personal disaster! Host: Austin Martin “Homesteady Live“ Audio in player below! Sometimes we find ourselves playing a game of “what if” in the world of homesteading and prepping. What if the grid went down or If there was another world war? What if there was a pandemic? These games of what if can be … Continue reading Preparing For Your Personal Disaster!
Who says that the end of the world has to be boring? Before you start crying over zombies or giving up all of your earthly possessions for the rapture, here are just a few ways to make the most out of the apocalypse.
There are all kinds of survival and disaster books that will teach you about finding food in the wilderness. While most people assume that “foraging for food” means “chewing on squirrels,” the truth is that you can gather things like acorns, walnuts, berries, mushrooms and honeycombs for indulgent eating that wouldn’t be out of place on Chopped.
Generate Solar Power
This is a preparation that you’ll need to make in advance, but a little effort now can save you a lot of stress after civilization falls and electrical power becomes a luxury. Modern-day solar energy can be generated through everything from backpacks to floor tiles, so stock up on these goods while you still can. You might not be able to power buildings or cities, but you can at least get the microwave going again.
Listen to Music
Once you have power, it’ll be easy enough to charge your phone and re-discover your favorite songs. According to neurologists, music can have a tangible impact on brain chemistry, so it isn’t just a relaxation tool. It can promote actual, physical wellness too.
Bring Your Creature Comforts
There’s no reason to throw out your luxuries just because nuclear winter has fallen over the land. Whether it’s vape mods for recreational smoking or bubble bath for a decadent soak in the tub, there are many ways to kick back and enjoy your post-disaster life. If you keep your comforts light enough to fit into a bag, you can even transport them from wasteland to wasteland.
Games will keep you alert and occupied during your long watches at the top of the tower as the ice-monsters march closer. Cards are a classic, of course, but you can also scavenge for puzzles, toys, crosswords, brain teasers and board games. If you’ve got solar power figured out, you might also be able to charge a hand-held video game console.
Find the Silver Lining
Has a flood swept over the tattered remains of your country? Learn how to scuba dive for hidden treasures! Have sharks joined tornadoes in an unholy matrimony of destruction? Now is your chance to practice your harpooning! There are always unexpected delights to be found in miserable scenarios, so don’t be afraid to look outside of the box and identify them.
Catch Up On Your Reading
You’ll have a lot of downtime during the apocalypse, so it’s a great opportunity to finally finish Gone Girl. Even if you weren’t a big reader before the locusts came, you’ll appreciate the rest and relaxation that a good book can bring. If nothing else, it’ll provide a sense of escapism.
Seek Out Other Survivors
Human beings are social animals. Studies have shown that our very brains have an “inherently social nature” that makes us seek out company and companionship. If you’re serious about surviving the apocalypse without becoming a grizzled and crazy-eyed loner, you’ll need to make some friends and ride out the end together.
There’s nothing like a bunch of open sores to ruin a perfectly good apocalypse. The good news is that you can stave off these injuries and illnesses with a little caution. Stay out of the sun until the machines have risen up and scorched it out of the sky, and use herbal remedies at the first sign of the uber-virus wiping out the rest of humanity.
These are just a few ways to enjoy the end of the world. Whether you’re looking to seriously prepare for a natural disaster or just construct a “fun kit” for a rainy-day zombie apocalypse, use these tips for surviving and thriving in a changed environment.
Pack Your 72 Hour Emergency Kit by Category This article is a list of the various categories that should be considered when you are building your 72 hour bag. The uses for a 72 hour bag are varied and the bag should be tailored to the specific task. Is this a camping bag, bug out …
Could You Set Up a Post-Disaster Medical Lab? Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio in player below! After a disaster, we know to expect no grocery stores, no pharmacies, no running water, no electricity, and so on. Quite possibly, access to a hospital would be limited or non-existent too. Guess what every doctor and medical … Continue reading Could You Set Up a Post-Disaster Medical Lab?
Jewelweed – the Natural Poison Ivy Remedy Knowing your plants in the wild can save your you-know-what, in more ways than one! When my son was at army cadet boot camp, his leaders put fear into their hearts about what to beware of in the woods when camping out. The leaders shared the story of …
Preppers Medical Equipment Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps “ Audio in player below! Well I’m back! I know it has been a while since I did a show because of a major medical problem. I will talk about this incident during this episode of Survival & Tech Preps in player below. This show will be appropriate, … Continue reading Preppers Medical Equipment
Ask a Prepper Series: Desert Island Survival Scenario Besides shooting the shit when we get together, we sometimes like to run through survival scenarios. One of us had caught that Tom Hanks Castaway movie showing on TV recently and another had stumbled on this online image. We pulled this up on a screen and got to …
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Interactive Bug Out Bag List While you can purchase a premade bug out bag, creating a custom kit is the preferred option since it allows you to choose exactly what you want to pack in your bag. However, when assembling your kit you need to make sure not to overpack so that you remain mobile …
7 Tips For Bugging Out Faster If the SHTF no warning and you were forced to bug out, how long would it take you to get out of dodge? This is a very important question. You probably have lots of supplies you’d want to load into your bug out vehicle, but that takes time, and …
Emergency Preparedness in the Big City It always pays to be prepared for an emergency situation, but sometimes being prepared for an emergency in the city can be different than being prepared for an emergency in more rural areas. Terrain is a huge factor with big cities, let alone the fact that you are in … Continue reading Emergency Preparedness in the Big City
How To Use Zip-Ties in An Emergency Situation Your imagination is the key to survive an emergency situation. It doesn’t matter if you’re stranded in the woods or in the concrete jungle. Putting your mind to good use and using the items you have can save the day. Having a few simple zip-ties in your …
You’re at home one night and the power goes out. Hackers have taken down the grid and you need to bug-out to your sister’s house a hundred and twenty miles away. Traffic is gridlocked and no one is driving anywhere anytime soon. You decide to bug-out on foot with your pack. Six miles down the road, you’re dying from the weight of the pack. It feels like you’re carrying a Volkswagon on your back because you’ve got so much stuff in it. There’s a lot to be said for sticking to the basics when you build your bug-out bag.
By Jarhead Survivor, a Contributing Author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog
Back in the dark ages (early 1980’s) when I was in the Marine Corps, a full pack for a basic infantry man ran about sixty pounds. That was the canvas shelter half, poles and stakes, sleeping bag, food, mess kit, clothes, etc. Lord help you if you were the machine gunner or radio man because that added a lot more weight to what you had to carry.
Stick to Basics
I remember going on forced marches for ten or fifteen miles and suffering because of the weight. You eventually get used to it, but I wouldn’t say I ever came to enjoy it. I soon learned what was important and what wasn’t and ditched the excess stuff. Apparently this has been a familiar theme through the ages because during the Civil War soldiers started out with haversacks weighing forty to fifty pounds, but soon learned to drop the excess weight and only get by with the essentials. I’d be willing to bet the same has held true for soldiers going back to the Roman legions where they were sometimes estimated to carry up to eighty pounds – a ridiculous amount of weight. But then again, they were professional warriors and when they signed up it was for a much longer tour than four years like the average tour today. Roman soldiers underwent conditioning marches that were brutally hard. Vegetius wrote in De Re Militari:
To accustom soldiers to carry burdens is also an essential part of
discipline. Recruits in particular should be obliged frequently to carry
a weight of not less than sixty pounds (exclusive of their arms), and
to march with it in the ranks. This is because on difficult expeditions
they often find themselves under the necessity of carrying their
provisions as well as their arms. Nor will they find this troublesome
when inured to it by custom, which makes everything easy.
Our troops in ancient times were a proof of this, and Virgil has remarked it in the following lines:
The Roman soldiers, bred in war’s alarms,
Bending with unjust loads and heavy arms,
Cheerful their toilsome marches undergo,
And pitch their sudden camp before the foe.
Lighten Your Pack
As you probably surmised from the title, this post isn’t about soldiers and their pack weight. It’s about you carrying less weight so that you can bug-out effectively if it ever comes down to it. Unless you spend every day hiking a sixty pound pack fifteen or twenty miles, the likelihood of being able to do so when the SHTF are slim to none. From the section above I reiterate:
Nor will they find this troublesome when inured to it by custom, which makes everything easy.
Chances are good that you’d be stopping along the way and ditching gear, thus you really need to focus on packing just the essentials. I’ve seen packs on Youtube and in blog posts that a Clydesdale couldn’t carry. They’ve got everything in there from three changes of clothing to enough ammo to fight off the zombie apocalypse all by themselves. And the kicker is that quite a few of those people are about fifty pounds overweight and the act of actually carrying it more than five miles would probably kill them.
So what exactly are the essentials? This depends on you: your skill level in the woods, your fitness level, your bug-out plans, your destination, and your mission plan.
The worst case scenario is a full scale bug-out, meaning that you’re taking off and you need to live out of your bag for a minimum of three days, but probably longer. If you’re careful, you can probably get away with forty to forty-five pounds. This includes a tent, sleeping bag, freeze dried food, a quart of water with water filter, spork, small cook pot and stove, fuel (unless you’re carrying a small woodstove like a Solo Stove), lightweight poncho, and other essential gear. If you buy the lightest gear (usually the most expensive too), you should be able to have a good kit that weighs in the forty pound area. I hiked a piece of the 100 Mile Wilderness in Maine and my pack weighed forty-four pounds when I started. I spent a lot of time getting that pack weight down, but it was worth it. I also spent weeks leading up to that hike walking the road with the same boots I’d be wearing and carrying the pack to get used to the weight.
Read Also: Get Outdoors!
Rather than run through all the scenarios, I’ll list out some of the things I carry in my everyday woodsman kit and why I carry it. I’ve managed to pare the weight down to about twenty to twenty-five pounds (depending on how much water I carry) and I’ve found this to be an acceptable weight as I’ve gotten older.
Then again, I also have a lot of experience in the woods and feel comfortable entering the forest with what some might consider minimal gear. I consider my kit to be a GHB or Get Home Bag, meaning I’ll only carry it about 30 miles in a worst case scenario, which for me is walking home from work. I like to move fast and light and not be seen if at all possible. So rather than carry weapons I choose to leave that weight behind and avoid confrontation. I suppose the worst thing is someone steals my bag from me, which means I’ll be that much lighter on the way home.
Let me say up front that many of you won’t agree with my philosophy on firearms and that’s fine. I live in Maine and in the area I’ll be walking through, people are unlikely to cause me problems. If you live in the city and carrying a big pack loaded with shelter, water, and food makes you a fat target, then you’ll probably want to consider carrying a gun as protection. Again, this all comes back to your situation and threat assessment. But keep in mind that guns and ammo are heavy, so choose wisely.
To survive a night or two in the wild here’s what I carry for the basics:
- Military Grade Poncho
- Survival Knife
- Firesteel and Lighter
- Three Freeze Dried Meals (minimum)
- Small Flashlight
- 1 Quart Steel Water Bottle and Filter
- Pot Set with Homemade Alcohol Stove and Four Oz of Fuel or Small Woodstove
- Small Plastic Cup and Five Coffee Packets
- Map and Compass
- Titanium Spork
- Gloves and Hat in Cold Weather
- Sleeping bag/Wool Blanket
- Notebook and Pen
This pack weighs between 20 and 23 pounds depending on the extras I put in. If you’re going to rely on the above kit as your guide, other things you’ll need to add to the list:
- Experience in the wilderness/bushcraft skills
- Much time spent evaluating and using each piece of equipment
- Overall physically fit (weights and aerobics four to five times a week)
- Skill with map and compass
Wilderness Survival Skills
The more you know about wilderness survival the less gear you have to carry; however, the longer it will take you when you have to set up camp. It’s a trade off and you need to be able to judge yourself and the situation in order to make the best decisions. A few days ago I took the following kit into the woods and made a shelter using no tools whatsoever. I used two trees to break sticks to length and used fir boughs for insulation. I used a lighter to get the fire going, but that was the only man made item I used.
Related: 15 Ways to Start a Fire
It’s important that you tally up your knowledge, experience, and skills in addition to the gear you’ll carry. All of these things are important when trying to figure out the best way for you to bug-out. It’s also important to weigh your weaknesses. For example: if you’re overweight or otherwise not able to carry a pack for a long distance, you’ll need to make alternate plans. Bugging in might be your best option, so instead of preparing to leave, you plan for an extended stay in your home or apartment. But I digress.
In order to get your pack weight down you need to focus on the essentials. My advice is to lay out everything you could want, put it in your pack (if it will fit) then take it for a walk. If you can do three to five miles with that weight without much trouble, congratulations! You’re probably going to be ok.
If you find yourself struggling after a mile or two, take your pack home and start going through your gear and eliminate stuff you don’t need. Got a big flashlight that holds four D cell batteries? Get rid of it and get a small halogen light that uses a couple of Triple A’s. If you’re walking alone and have a three man tent, ditch it for an ultralight single man tent. That will save you five or ten pounds right there. That’s the kind of mindset you need to bring to your gear.
Visualize what a camp out will look like and keep that thought in your head as you go through your stuff. Always challenge a piece of gear. Some of it will pass the test, but some of it won’t. Don’t be afraid to cut back. I believe that speed in getting out of an area will be vital and it’s hard to do if you’re chained to a sixty pound pack. After all, we’re not Roman soldiers!
Do you think a pack should have everything and the kitchen sink, or do you think a minimalist mindset is best? Let me know in the comments below. Questions? Comments? Sound off below!
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(Natural News) While no one knows what life is going to throw at us, it is safe to say that it won’t hurt to be prepared for an emergency, disaster, or SHTF (S**t Hits The Fan) scenario. According to Back Door Survival, some three million Americans, or 1 percent of the total population, are making detailed plans and taking measures to prepare themselves for a major catastrophic event.
Many people still believe governments will step in when disaster strikes. However, when we look back at the horrible scenarios during Katrina and Super-storm Sandy, we know that that isn’t going to happen. Those affected had to wait days for aid or face hour-long lines to get some water. It has become apparent that the government isn’t prepared to handle massive rescue operations, nor can they provide for everybody during a disaster. (RELATED: Read more survival news at Survival.news.)
Whether it’s another economic collapse, natural disaster, or the end of the world, preparing yourself for opportunities so that you can take advantage of them when things turn for the worst are paramount during these uncertain times. As the world continues to spin out of control and people start to lose their confidence in governments it is very likely the number of preppers will grow in the coming years.
Survival of the fittest
Being prepared for an emergency is as simple as planning ahead. However, what many people often forget is that prepping is more than just stocking up on survival essentials. If you are going to take prepping serious, it is also time to start working on your health and fitness level.
Should the worst happen, chances are your life and environment aren’t going to look the same. In a world that has erupted into chaos, life will become more physically demanding. You might have to run, jump, climb, and fight your way through out-of-control situations. However, if you are out of shape or in bad health, chances of surviving out there can be pretty slim.
Filed under: Prepping
$3 DIY Bamboo Longbow The long bow! One of the earliest weapons made by man. You can make your own from Bamboo for around 3 bucks! This is pretty powerful and will be plenty adequate to hunt small game and maybe even mid size animals. I found a great tutorial that shows you how to …
You’ve probably heard of something called a coronal mass ejection (CME), otherwise known as a massive solar flare, and you probably know it could be very bad for the United States if the we happened to be facing the sun when it impacts earth. A large CME has the potential to have devastating impacts on everything from our global positioning systems (GPS), satellite operations, space operations, aviation and even our power grids, knocking them offline in an instant and destroying critical power grid infrastructure. A CME is one of several extra-terrestrial events that could possibly impact earth that are collectively referred to as space weather. Although much less likely, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) can produce the same impacts, most commonly seen as a result of a nuclear explosion. In a world where international terrorism is a real threat, the possibility of an EMP weapon being used against the United States is a real concern. Experts agree that a direct impact from a large CME or a successful EMP attack is an existential threat to the United States that could instantly bring an end to our modern civilization.
On October 13, 2016, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order — Coordinating Efforts to Prepare the Nation for Space Weather Events that outlined the country’s contingency plan in the event such weather events lead to significant disruption to systems like the electrical power grid, satellite operations or aviation, stating “It is the policy of the United States to prepare for space weather events to minimize the extent of economic loss and human hardship.”
With this EO, President Obama ordered that the federal government takes steps insure that the national infrastructure is secure in the event of a space weather event. The National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan ( PDF ) was announced a few days later in conjunction with President Obama’s executive order, along with a PDF of The Implementation of the National Space Weather Action plan, complete with a White House official summary. The official pages aren’t up on WhiteHouse.gov, but here is the latest information I could find on those too.
After years of Congress knowing about the problem and failing to take action, I was pleased to learn that the President did what he could through the executive office to try and protect the critical infrastructure of our nation. However it is still up to Congress to set aside the funds to follow through and take action in support of the specifics laid out in this order.
So what does this mean for me and every one of you concerned about national security and the protection of our extremely fragile power grid infrastructure? The phrase “Within 120 days of the date of this order…” is used repeatedly in this executive order. If you take a look at the calendar, we are at that point right now. I’ve read for years about how everyone knows this is a threat, yet no one is willing to take action. Well, the former President did what he could do in response to a lack of action by Congress and now it’s our turn. Call your United States Representatives and your United States Senators and ask them to take action on President Obama’s executive order to coordinate a national response and strengthen our national power grids against the possible catastrophic impacts of a massive CME or electromagnetic pulse attack. Find your US Representatives and your US Senators and urge them to take action on this very important initiative today.
How to Create an Urban Emergency Evacuation Kit for Work Natural and man made disasters can force offices full of workers to evacuate. In big cities a disaster may also affect public transportation. In an emergency, you may be on your own and forced to improvise. Here’s how to create an Urban Emergency Evacuation Kit …
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Why You Need To Stockpile Supplements For SHTF I am not a doctor or a medical professional this is for information purposes only. Please consult with a medical professional if you have any questions or you start to take any supplements. Even in healthy people, multivitamins and other supplements may help to prevent vitamin and …
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How To Make Hot Ice Using Homemade Sodium Acetate Before you attempt this please do it with safety glasses on and be careful, as with any chemicals. You do this at your own risk please take the time to read our disclaimer Sodium acetate or hot ice is an amazing chemical you can prepare yourself from …
Emergency Lighting Under 9 Bucks Affordable emergency lighting is now at your fingertips! The Luna LED Light is an awesome, very cheap prepping item I would highly recommend to have not only for the home, in case of a power cut, but to keep in a bug out bag and for camping! As you can see …
How to Make Stone Blades for Wilderness Survival Knowing how to make a sharp edge or a knife in a survival situation is paramount when studying wilderness survival. I think I have just found the best website on the internet that explains and shows you how to make a stone knife. The information on the …
How to Safely Spend a Night in Your Car Anyone who drives faces the possibility of spending an unplanned night in a vehicle. Bad weather, breakdowns, running out of fuel, getting stuck are some of the more common reasons why a driver might have to bed down for the night (or perhaps for several nights) …
This post was written exactly 4 years ago, on my Facebook page. I still stand by it. Rich Fleetwood – February 7, 2012 · Riverton · Watching “Doomsday Preppers” on NGC this evening, with an as objective as possible viewpoint. I’ve been doing this stuff myself for 20 years, and in my position and experience, with the […]
Easy DIY Forge Out Of An Old Sink Easy DIY project we all could at least try and get some sort of blacksmithing skills before SHTF. I love the simplicity of this forge set up.I think having a little knowledge of this old skill could come in very handy if SHTF. Not only is this …
Ditch Medicine Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio in player below! This episode is all about “ditch medicine”. Ditch medicine makes due with what you have on hand. The idea is to stay alive (or keep someone else alive) with whatever is available, until you reach help or help finds you. Sometimes this includes herbs, … Continue reading Ditch Medicine with The Herbal Prepper!
One of the big topics that has been consistent in preparedness over the years that I have run Prepper Website, is food. People know how important it is to eat! A few days of going hungry and you start to really lose energy and even the ability to focus and think straight. Couple that with stress and expended energy to deal with your situation, eating isn’t a want, it is a need!
When it comes to preparedness cooking, you need options! There might be times when you don’t have time to build and maintain a fire. There might be time when you need to conserve your fuel. There might be time when an open flame gives away your activities and your position.
One option for preppers is a solar oven. Until recently, I had only read about them and seen videos. However, I now have some experience using the Solavore Sport Solar Oven.
The Solavore Sport Oven was shipped neatly packaged with clear instructions for setup. Make sure you do read the instructions carefully and just don’t go to town removing the film on the lid that kind of looks like an anti-scratch plastic for shipping! It’s there for a reason. I almost made the mistake of ripping it off! The solar oven comes with the solar box, clear lid, reflectors, two black pots, a temperature gauge and a WAPI.
My main concern and real trial was if the solar oven would cook the “usual” stockpile of food that preppers would store. For me, that would include rice and beans.
My first attempt failed! I waited for a sunny day, according to weather.com. I started early in the morning and set everything up. However, I lost the sun halfway through the day. So, this is something that needs to be kept in mind if you’re cooking during an emergency situation. You will need a backup plan to possibly finish cooking your food if you lose the sun behind clouds.
My second attempt worked! Again, I waited for a sunny day. I set the Solavore Sport out before I left for work. The cool thing is that I didn’t get back home till after 7 p.m. The sun was already setting and the box was cool (January in Houston, TX). The temperature gauge didn’t even register! I thought I had another fail on my hands. When I lifted the lid, I could smell the rice and beans. I brought the pots inside and took a bite! Everything was done to my satisfaction. I made a bowl of rice and beans, added a little Tony’s to it and popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm it up.
Solar ovens don’t burn food. So, you can leave your food in your solar oven all day and not worry about it burning. There are so many things that you can cook with a solar oven. Solavore has recipes you can try – savory and sweet.
My advice is that you experiment and try cooking with your solar oven when you don’t need it, so you will know how it works when you do need it! The beauty of the Solavore is that it is so lightweight and sturdy. You can use this all year long, just as long as you have sun. And, you don’t have to wait for an emergency!
You can purchase the Solavore Sports Solar Oven on the Solavore site.
Check out my pics below as well as videos that I have linked to by my blogging friend, Anegela @ Food Storage and Survival. Especially pay attention to her video on the WAPI. I think this is a BIG selling point for solar ovens.
Do you have any experience with a solar oven? What is it? Would you consider purchasing one for your preps?
Updated Top Barter List You May Want To Consider Stockpiling Having extra supplies for bartering should be on every prepper’s plan. This enables you to barter for goods or services that you otherwise would be without! You don’t have to have a set list per-say, but think about what you would need if SHTF and …
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How To Build A Semi-Permanent Family Shelter Shelter is one of the most important things you need to know how to make in an emergency situation. This awesome, family size shelter is just a large “debris shelter” for all intense and purposes but with the added protection from the rain because of the tarp or …
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Satellite Phone We all know how cell phones can work on one street and then have no signal on another part of the same street. This makes cell phone not the best option for survival if you get lost in the desert or dense woods. I found a product that …
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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How to Remove Rusted Nuts and Bolts You may just thank us one day for sharing this little secret, If SHTF and you need to remove rusted nuts or bolts, remember this! This is an old secret that a lot of us don’t know or forget! There are hundreds and hundreds of lotions and potions …
5 Prepping Mistakes to Avoid I found a great article over at prepforshtf.com that goes over 5 prepping mistakes to avoid. We all make mistakes and I will be the first one to admit I have made many in my prepping journey. By making mistakes you learn from them and become a better prepper! The article …
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. …
How Much Should You Plant In Your Garden To Provide A Year’s Worth Of Food? Not long ago, people had to think about how much to grow for the year. They had to plan ahead, save seeds, plant enough for their family and preserve enough to survive over the winter months! It wasn’t just a hobby. It didn’t take …
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Emergency food needs to be shelf stable and contain needed nutrients. It is a plus if the food tastes good, is light weight, and not very expensive. This is not the easiest project to achieve, and I had to test many different recipes until I settled on this particular one. This particular food bar recipe […]
Six Planning Tips for Starting a Garden from Scratch Spring will be here in a couple of months and if you are new to gardening this article may give you the upper hand, you may have tried before and had failed crops or the veggies didn’t grow well enough. I scoured the internet for hours looking …
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How To Make A Water Vessel Out Of A Log With Fire Did you know that you could use a log to store water in if SHTF? It’s a real easy project to do, it just takes time, that’s why I am calling it a weekend project. Whoever wrote the original article first language probably …
10 Canning Tips for the Newbie Canner My wife and I can all the time and love it. It gets us together as a family unit and after a good batch of canning you can sit back and look at them and say, “well dear, that’s us good for a week or so if SHTF” …
DIY Large Mobile Solar Power System I have covered a simple portable solar generator many times over the years.. They work great but what if you needed a bigger solar generator and still wanted it mobile enough to take it with you where ever you go, either camping or bugging out? I found a great …
17 Great Ways to Utilize 2-Liter Soda Bottles for Survival See how using old 2-liter bottles for survival could change your way of thinking about preparedness. Save you money and make you more self-reliant than ever before! I am sure many of you know that millions on millions of these little plastic gold mines gets …
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I have a vast array of interests that add flavor and color to this wonderful life of mine. A few of those happen to be the idea of apocalypse and what impact it may have on the baseline human condition, our sometimes crazy weather and it’s impacts on this incredible world, and a deep rooted love of history, especially when either of my previous two mentions are somehow involved. In her recent work Surrender The Sun, author AR Shaw has offered up a shiny bobble that I simply could not ignore. So, the real question is would it live up to my wild imaginings of where it may take me?
Full disclosure, AR Shaw is a friend, a very nice lady and I have read her work before. That is precisely the reason I want to be careful in this review to only speak to the work and my impressions of it.
Given the interests I listed above that originally secured my interests in the book, in Surrender The Sun, Shaw did not disappoint.
Want to end life as we know it?
Let’s do it.
How about a naturally occurring catastrophe?
What if I told you it’s all happened before and it will happen again?
Awesome. Bring it on.
In this cataclysmic, blizzard driven romp of a story, Shaw does a wonderful job of world building. I could feel my lungs ache and burn in the frigid temperatures as I stood on the lake shore staring out as wisps of blowing snow spun out and across the body of water’s frozen surface. To further my immersion in this white-bleached, wintry wasteland, Shaw effectively weaves a sense of intimate foreboding throughout the tale as I witnessed Bishop standing like a granite mountain as he shepherds flame-haired, Maeve and her party through the seemingly never-ending storm. Both natural and man made.
In short, if you share any or all of the interests I mentioned earlier, take a chance on Surrender The Sun. The story and the world are engulfing and satisfying. The author also does a good job of touching on some of my other interests too like preparedness and just what it would feel like to realize that you cannot prepare your way out of a situation. After all, it seems that is where things would get really interesting anyway, right? There will come a point when reading this book where you will find yourself standing alongside Bishop and Maeve, each of you asking yourselves the same question. Now what?
Jump into the deep freeze and grab your copy of Surrender The Sun today. To keep up with everything going on with AR Shaw, be sure to check out her blog. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
When the Grid Goes Down, You Better Be Ready! We all rely so much on the grid, from things as simple as charging our cell phones, to running our water heaters and cooking our food! Let’s think for a second, what have you got in place right this minute if the power went out you …
How To Double Your Gas Mileage 2X Well I had always heard the rumors about doing this but never really seen any proof! After watching this video I really think this would work. For me, I would use this when bugging out. I have to go just a shade under 400 miles and I can …
DIY Night Vision Powered By A 9v Battery This blew me away and After seeing what it took to make this I may just have to rummage around my moms old stuff and get the old video camera. This is made very easily, just light soldering and gluing. I decided to post this because I …
3 Emergency Heat Sources When The Power’s Out All homes nowadays have to stick to building code to heat houses, they have to all be able to keep a house above or at the comfort zone for living. There are a few problems with that however, most heaters need electricity to run. If you have …
What Natural Disasters Are Covered By Insurance 101 Insurance is a win /lose kinda situation, it costs a fortune and usually if you have it nothing is ever damaged, but if you don’t have it your house gets destroyed. I found a great article on what is covered if a natural disaster ever happens and …
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How To Build And Why You Need A Ladybug Garden I am glad I am sharing this with you today, I plan on starting my survival garden this spring and the one thing I have read about gardening is if you are not careful and do not use pesticides you can get a case of …
The Realities of Bugging Out The age old question of ” do we stay or do we go” has been asked millions if not billions of times over the ages. There are pros and cons to both. This article talks about the realities of bugging out and is very though invoking. Give it a read …
5 Ways To Keep People Off Your Doorstep When SHTF If you are bugging in, or for some reason couldn’t bug out, these tips may save you and your family’s lives and your stockpile. It’s no secret that when SHTF, there will be people that want to take advantage of the situation, either by looting, …
How To Make A Horno Oven This is a great multi purpose oven, if you are camping, hiking or just surviving this Horno oven or in simple terms, a brick or stone and mud oven could cook your food, boil water so you can drink it and keep your shelter warm long after the flames go …
DIY Self-Pressurizing, Chimney-Type Alcohol Stove If you want one of the most efficient survival cooking stoves known to man, you are at the right place… Don’t spend a fortune on the big heavy propane stoves when you can make a self-pressurizing, chimney stove for cheap. This is a great project for anyone to try out. …
Specific Seed Saving Instructions for Common Vegetables If you grow your own garden every year and always wondered how to save the seeds, this is your article. If you are a prepper, this article will show you how to collect and store the seeds from common vegetables. It is vital that we save the seeds …
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Data Storage for SHTF Emergency Bug Out Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” Audio in player below! The thought of bugging out is a real threat. Have you thought of the data you have and how you would store it, take it with you or use it on the road? The world today offers us many … Continue reading Data Storage for SHTF Emergency Bug Out
t10 Everyday Things That Could Unexpectedly Save Your Life So you have everything in place in case of an emergency right? Food, water, toilet paper? Surprisingly a lot of us actually do and even the non-preppers have at least 2 weeks of food and water in their house, even if they don’t know it! If …
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I have no doubt that most of you are aware that wildfires raged across eastern Tennessee earlier this week decimating Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas along the way. These fires are not the only ones that have been burning across the southeast in recent weeks, but the they are the first to directly impact large and heavily populated cities. This was the scene earlier this week in Gatlinburg and throughout Sevier County…
Fire on the mountain (language warning):
The mountains of eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina and northern Georgia are an outdoor lover’s playground throughout the year. If you live in the region, you have probably visited Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, enjoyed the natural beauty of the area and the warm hospitality of their people. We grew up just a few hours away and visited often, never minding the ride to get there, but rather enjoying the magnificence of the view throughout the trip and we always felt right at home once we arrived. It is for this reason and many others that this disaster is personal for us and we wanted to do whatever we can to help. Watch this space for possible updates and any future wildfire relief efforts.
To this end, I spent most of today (Wednesday 11/30) on the phone with several national and local agencies trying to get the first hand scoop from the experts on the ground on the best way to have offer the most benefit to the most people possible. What follows is what I learned.
As of my writing this article, the local chapter of the American Red Cross reports that in terms of their ability to meet the immediate needs of the community in terms of basic supplies (food, water, shelter, clothes, toiletries, etc.), they and all of the local agencies they are talking with are “at capacity” after having seen a tremendous outpouring of support from the state and region. That’s GREAT news! However, the reality is this will not be a 72 hour, five day or one week disaster and that is where we can step up and really make a difference. From every person I spoke with today, the main way we can help is by donating money to support the ongoing efforts that will be required to help Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the good people of eastern Tennessee going forward. With that in mind, my work today led me to three agencies where you can donate funds and be certain that your money will go directly to help the people of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the good people of eastern Tennessee. If you would like to make a donation to help with the wildfire relief efforts that are ongoing in these devastated areas, based on my personal conversations I can suggest the following agencies with full confidence and without hesitation:
The East Tennessee chapter of the American Red Cross is currently housing 1,400 people nightly in shelters that have been displaced by the wildfires, additionally providing food, transport and pet care to everyone. For reference, keep in mind that it takes $1000 to provide this assistance to 100 people daily, so know that every dollar you donate will be making a real difference in the lives of every day people just like yourself.
If you would like to donate to the East Tennessee Chapter of the American Red Cross, please send your check to:
ATTENTION LORI MARSH
American Red Cross East Tennessee
6921 Middlebrook Pike
Knoxville, Tennessee 37909
You can follow the East Tennessee Chapter on Facebook too.
GATLINBURG RELIEF FUND (SMARTBANK)
This fund has been established by the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce and will disperse all raised funds directly to local impacted citizens to be used at their discretion. This will put funds directly in the hands of those that need it most.
If you would like to donate to the Gatlinburg Relief Fund (SMARTBANK), here is the link to donate with a debit/credit card:
If you would like to send a check/money order please make it payable to: Gatlinburg Wildfire Relief Fund
Please mail the check to:
P.O. BOX 1910
Pigeon Forge, TN 37868
Check out the donation link on the Smartbank Facebook page:
If you would like to take a longer term approach to this disaster and offer help to those that may have lost everything and do not have adequate insurance to help them get back on their feet, the TVCH is a good option. For more information, visit tvchomeless.org and to donate money, call 865-859-0749. If you know of anyone that has lost their home, the Homeless Assistance Hot Line is 888-556-0791.
If you are interested in doing what you can to help our nearby neighbors get through these very trying times, I hope this information helps you make that happen. Remember friends, disaster doesn’t care about our schedules and does not play favorites. There, but for the grace of God, go I. Disaster can strike anyone, anywhere, at any time. I hope you will do what you can to help.
To keep up with the most up to date information regarding the ongoing disaster unfolding in eastern Tennessee and how you can help further, check out the great coverage from WBIR , WATE and the KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL. Please be aware that unlike the three mentioned above, I have not spoken to all of these organizations and agencies listed on those pages personally.
Andrew Duncan captured drone video of the damage done by the fires in Gatlinburg and Sevier County.
Please help us maximize the impacts of this post! If you have a presence on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.), SHARE this post with your friends and family and let’s see how much good we can do together.
I jerked up out of a fitful sleep to the sound of men shouting. My mind was still sticky as I tried to orient myself to the gray dawn after a night of trauma.
I was lying on the floor of an Appalachian Trail lean-to with three others—an older gentleman known as “The Old Ridgerunner” on one side of me, my husband Mark on the other, and a middle-aged man called Chris lying comatose beyond him.
Mark and I were out for a four-day trip through a slice of Maine’s famous “Hundred-Mile Wilderness,” so called due to limited road access. We were frequent hikers who spent most of our free time backpacking or bagging peaks in northern New England. We had embarked upon that trek from a trailhead along a gravel road some 16 miles north on Sunday afternoon, and by early evening Tuesday had arrived at a camping area nestled into a ravine on the northeast shoulder of White Cap Mountain.
The Logan Brook lean-to is pretty standard as trail sites along the Maine Appalachian Trail go. A three-sided log lean-to with a floor wide enough for five or six sleeping bags to lie comfortably side-by-side, a fire pit, a water source handy, a few tenting spots, and a privy discreetly tucked into the nearby forest at the end of a short side trail.
Nothing had seemed out of the ordinary when we arrived. We set about our usual campsite busyness—unpacking, filtering water from the brook, and setting up our tent in a spot about twenty feet from the lean-to.
Other hikers arrived and tended to similar activities. Ridgerunner and Chris both happened to be endeavoring to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in sections and were finishing up the last few hundred miles in Maine.
Two other hikers, both young men, arrived for the night as well. One was a thru-hiker known as “Swami, “and the other was a weekend recreationalist named Greg, out for a four-day trek.
The group all chatted casually, getting to know one another on a cursory level as strangers who were thrown together for a night, each fading in and out of conversation as camp chores allowed.
We noticed a few odd things about Chris right from the start. He had been back on the trail just two days and a total of only 12 miles, and was surprisingly tired when he arrived at camp. As we prepared supper over our tiny portable stove near the lean-to, we noticed that Chris had already crawled into his sleeping bag. It was early in the evening for turning in, but hikers have their own way of doing things and we dismissed it.
Shortly thereafter, someone noticed that Chris’s feet were shaking, and asked him if he was all right. He responded coherently. He thought he would be okay, he said, but asked for water. I filled his water bottle with filtered water, and offered to make some soup for him. He rummaged through his belongings and produced a cup. I handed it back filled with soup, and he accepted it gratefully.
It was apparent to the other five of us present—Ridgerunner, Greg, Swami, Mark and me—that Chris was sick. We offered assistance, gave him water, and could do little else other than hope that sleep would heal him. As hikers, we’d all been there. For a sudden dehydration or flu or other malady that strikes a body while deep in the backcountry, the only cure is time and rest.
Darkness was encroaching when the seriousness of Chris’s condition became obvious. He suddenly vomited while lying on his back and began choking. My husband leapt into the lean-to and turned Chris onto his side. The choking subsided, but his breaths came in loud labored groans. Next, he began to convulse.
We were unable to rouse Chris, and realized in dismay that he had not been merely sleeping, but unconscious. His skin was hot and sweaty. We unzipped his sleeping bag and found that he was wearing several layers of clothing. It was a hot July evening, and we attempted to cool him by easing the sleeping bag away from his body and removing what clothing we could.
It was clear that our fellow hiker was in crisis, and this tiny group of people who had met for the first time only a few hours before was suddenly and completely in charge of the life of a person in our midst.
First, we did the obvious, tearing through all of Chris’s belongings in search of medical documents or prescription medication. Our search turned up no clues.
We discussed our options. None of us had cell phones. They were uncommon among serious hikers in those days, and reception from Logan Brook would have been unlikely anyway.
Chris was not going to walk out on his own, that much was clear. Someone was going to have to go get help. While we were weighing the risk of sending hikers out through the forest at night versus waiting for daylight, Chris suffered another round of choking and convulsing. That clinched it. We couldn’t wait.
Greg and Swami knew they had to be the ones to go. Despite the many miles of harsh mountainous terrain they had already hiked that day, their youth and strength made them the best choice.
We had to figure out the safest and fastest way for them to get help, and didn’t have much information to go on. Our only maps were those printed specifically for hikers and included just a narrow swath along the Appalachian Trail itself, and a rough large-scale road map of Maine that showed almost no unpaved roads.
We were in an area of Maine so remote that it didn’t even have a name—TB R11 WELS was its only nomenclature. The region is dotted with sporting camps, logging operations, and old grown-in roads, but we had no way of knowing where any of those might be in proximity to our location. Mark thought we might have crossed an old camp road a few miles back, but he couldn’t remember for sure, and didn’t know whether the camp road might dwindle to an unnavigable labyrinth, especially at night.
The best bet was to send Greg and Swami out along a known route to a public campground. Hay Brook Campground was in the wilderness, but it was accessible by car. The young men hoped to find a camper there.
To that end, they would ascend the steep climb to the summit of White Cap Mountain and take a side trail from there down to Hay Brook. A total of eight miles, all in the black of night, after a full day of strenuous backpacking already under their belts.
We packed them up with extra headlamps, emergency gear and a prayer, and settled in to wait. I was scared. We all were, drifting in and out of sleep as we lay on the hard wooden lean-to floor next to the man whose condition seemed to be deteriorating.
None of us had dared to hope that help would arrive before late morning, and were surprised to hear an approaching game warden and paramedic shouting “Hello!” at daybreak Wednesday.
There had been access on the old camp road, it turned out. A camper at Hay Brook had called out to the gatehouse on a cell phone, and although reception had been spotty, the gatekeeper had got the gist of things and called the warden service. Equipped with maps and high-powered night travel equipment, they had reached Logan Brook from the camp road in just a few hours.
It was a relief to have professionals show up and take charge. The paramedic fired questions at us while he unpacked supplies and hooked up equipment to care for his patient.
The game warden set about brisk preparations for a helicopter evacuation. We were incredulous. How could that be, I asked him, here in a thickly forested ravine? They would lower a cable, he told me.
The rescue professionals used two-way radios to communicate with the warden service airplane circling overhead and a National Guard Blackhawk helicopter en route to the scene.
Meanwhile, we on the ground scrambled to prepare. The game warden chopped a few trees to widen the clearing. Ridgerunner, Mark, and I scurried to do as he directed, searching for materials to build a smudge fire in order to help the helicopter locate the site. I volunteered my blaze orange rain poncho to provide a target for the drop, and we used heavy rocks to hold it down. There was no time to dismantle tents and put away belongings, but we hurriedly grabbed everything up and tossed it off to one side of the lean-to.
The smoke had barely cleared the treetops than we heard the tut-tut-tut of the chopper. Hovering close to the trees over the tiny clearing, it lowered a Guardsman on a cable. Next came a long metal basket-like stretcher.
The noise and wind were incredible. The game warden had warned us that it would be like a hurricane, but I was still not prepared for such force. Small trees nearby were nearly flattened. We huddled in the back of the lean-to and covered our faces to protect them from the bits of flying gravel and sparks from the fire. My heart sunk as I watched my entire tent fly across the clearing and get sucked through the trees beyond.
The helicopter swooped away. The Guardsman and paramedic worked together to prepare Chris for transport. In the interim, we three campers rushed around the site trying to retrieve belongs and cover the embers in the fire pit.
The helicopter returned and hovered overhead for several minutes while preparations were completed.
The paramedic went up first. It appeared to be his first live experience airlifting, so the Guardsman gave him some quick do’s and don’ts before he lifted off.
Chris went next. Two more rescuers had arrived on foot. They helped strap the still-unconscious patient to the basket, and we all watched in awe as the cable drew him up into the helicopter.
Rather than send the harness back down for the Guardsman to use—probably in the interest of time—the helicopter lowered an apparatus that looked like a large two-pronged pulp hook. The Guardsman straddled the hook and held on as he ascended skyward. We civilians on the ground below held our breaths and watched as the wind dragged him through the top branches of a nearby tall tree before reaching the open chopper door.
Only about an hour had elapsed, from the time the first two rescue workers arrived to the moment the helicopter roared away. We hikers sat on the lean-to bench in a daze. Gear was strewn over a half acre of forest. Trees were laying over at a 45-degree angle.
We all did our best to sort gear, and the ground crew left on foot with what we hoped belonged to Chris.
Mark fired up a camp stove. The three of us relived the events of the past 12 hours over cups of coffee. We lauded the professionalism of the rescue crew—the skill of the helicopter pilot hovering in a mountain ravine at dawn, the expertise of the warden service, and the bravery and strength of the night hikers.
Ridgerunner packed his belongings and headed out. The two of us waited with Greg’s and Swami’s packs until their return around noon. We all exchanged stories again before parting ways—the three lone hikers northbound towards Katahdin, and Mark and I southbound toward our car waiting at a trailhead.
We managed to retrieve our tent from the puckerbrush. By some miracle we were able to bend the poles back enough that we could set it up and sleep in it the next night.
Back home two days later, I made some follow-up calls. The rescue professionals confirmed that our little group had made the right choices—sending hikers out in the night, and sticking with the route that involved more mileage but less risk.
Chris lived. He had an underlying physical disorder of which he was unaware, and had been exacerbated by trail conditions. As far as I know, he made a full recovery, and I hope he was able to finish the Appalachian Trail.
My husband and I went on to travel hundreds more hours and miles on trails throughout Maine and beyond, but never before or since has a four-day trek been so eventful. And for that, we are truly grateful.
Whether you are forming a small neighborhood group, a disaster preparedness club or a prepper group there are 8 steps which will help you get started and begin the path for the success of your group.
- Before beginning you need to define what area you want to organize your group in. It could be a housing development, an apartment complex, a city or county boundary or a one block area. When you have defined your boundaries, check to see if there has been a neighborhood group before. You do not want to duplicate what is already being done or cause confusion with any other groups. This inquiry will give you information about those in your city who can help you as you help others prepare. Make telephone calls to the local Red Cross office, the County office of Emergency Services, local fire department and Humane Society, along with the closest chapter of RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services). http://www.usraces.org/ These organizations can give you information about the communities’ emergency operation plan. They may be happy to attend your meeting and share some of their advice.
- Select a location and time for your first meeting. Choose a place and time that will be convenient for most people to attend. If you are holding a meeting for the neighborhood, find a neighbor who is willing to have it held in their home. If it is a community type meeting, find a public place, like a community center, restaurant or conference room in a library. Making the first meeting casual helps make others feel at ease and openly talk. Offer snacks and a drink. It makes it less of a business meeting.
- If it is a small group of people, hand deliver the invitation. If it is a larger group, send out fliers, use social media, local newspaper and magazine advertisement. Many are leery of the phrase “prepper groups”. Unless that is what you are really trying to create, use phrases like self-sufficiency, self-reliance or family preparedness. It is less intimidating to beginners.
- Have people sign in beforehand and let people socialize a bit. To begin, introduce yourself and share a story about your interest in disaster preparedness. If you do not feel like your story is compelling enough, invite someone in advance who can share their experience. You want others to feel a desire to prepare themselves, but not fear it. People remember stories. If available, have the local fire department or someone from the office of emergency management come and speak.
- Have information packets available to all who attend. Whether they come back to another meeting or not, you have given them valuable information that they can use. They may run into the packet months later and decide to get involved. Becoming prepared is a personal decision and you cannot force others to participate. Keep the person updated with any new information that they may find helpful.
- With your group, discuss their concerns and establish preparedness goals. Involve any in the group that have helpful skills. Most people love to teach others a skill they are good at. Not only have you created a group of volunteers, you have found a way to create a closer group.
- Do not forget those with special needs. The disabled, elderly, single parents, ect… Remember that everyone has different needs and may not be able to prepare at the same pace as others.
- Decide with those attending what the next steps are and when the next meeting should be. Find others who are willing to help you with the next meeting, be a liaison with community services and reach out to those who were not able to attend.
Helpful hints for having an effective meeting-
- Maybe half of the people you will invite will show up. Do not get discouraged. Just walk into this endeavor knowing this. You can invite more people, see who shows up, adjust your expectations or expand your target area. The attendance may fluctuate in the beginning. Hang in there, so not get discouraged. After some time, you will know the approximate number of your attendees.
- Keep sign in sheets and notes from all of your meetings. They will help you know what to tweak to make future meetings even better. You can track attendance and topics discussed.
- Once you have found a day, time and place that works for your meetings, keep it. Be flexible in other things, but not the meeting schedule.
- Keep the meetings on track. One crazy story or odd comment can derail the meeting. Learn how to get the topic back in a polite manner.
- Share what you envision this group to accomplish, but keep the details open. You will want the ideas of your group. People want to feel like their opinion is heard and validated. They will keep coming to meetings if feel useful and that their contributions are valued.
- Everyone is part of the group. If a neighbor invites a person outside of your designated area, it is okay. Be thankful that someone is interested and willing to contribute or learn.
- Do not have the meetings go over 90 minutes. People may lose interest or feel that they don’t have the time to attend meetings if they are long.
- Be sure to thank those who may have helped you. The home owner where the meeting was held, any volunteers with food, hand outs and those who were invited to speak.
- Send a letter and contact those who were so willing to volunteer to help as liaisons or in any other capacity. Everyone likes to feel appreciated and needed.
- Reward your hard work! Have a one year party of your group, have a small celebration or BBQ together when group goals have been accomplished.
If you are asked by someone to prepare a group or do a preparedness presentation, many of the above advice will still apply. But when asked, it means that you have someone who may have something specific planned.
- Whether it is a church, club or business you will be helping, find out what the main goal is. Is this a one-time presentation, a monthly or yearly meeting? Is there a certain topic that need to be taught or discussed? Will follow up meetings be needed?
- It is important to know about those you will be speaking/training? Seniors have different preparedness needs than college students. The disabled may require different solutions for their questions than a soccer mom.
- Know the area you will be helping in. Big cities, rural areas and suburbs have different community services, transportation, communication methods and resources. Adjust your information according to the area where you are going to be at.
- Ask if there is specific material that you should be using as resource or should be handed out to your group. You may be required to gather your own information. Use reliable resources. You may be able to ask other local experts to contribute.
16 Ways To Keep Warm And Reduce Your Bills In Winter This winter is turning out to be a cold one. Just 4 states are without snow this year, so far. Thats crazy! If money is tight and you want to save some by not using your heat as much, this article is for you. …
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Realistic House Security Home security is something on everyone’s mind lately. It seems there’s unrest everywhere you look. From the inner city, to the suburbs, and even out into the country. People are voicing their disagreement and in many cases, violence erupts. The average person needs realistic home security solutions but what can they really …
Wilderness Survival Course, Are They Worth It? A friend of mine recently took a short wilderness survival course. I was both impressed and amused. Still happy to see that my years of talk had finally paid off, but still concerned that the course wouldn’t teach her the skills she needs to really survive. I was worried … Continue reading Wilderness Survival Course, Are They Worth It?
How To Sharpen Knives With an Old Belt Well, knock me down with a feather pillow! I thought I was savvy with knives and how to sharpen them but in all of my years doing this I have never come across this information. This is a really cool way to sharpen a dull blade. Most …
How And Why To Eat Rat Meat Now, I know some of you will be reading this saying, easy, I can do this… but the majority of you are thinking … hell NO… but if SHTF and you have no money, rats will be everywhere in the city, because of death and lack of litter …
FEMA PODs: What They Are and Why They Matter Federal Emergency Management Agency Points of Distribution could be the difference between life and death for a number of scenarios. Pandemics, terrorist attacks, and large scale natural disasters are all emergencies where FEMA PODs could be activated. The number of PODs and their scope is based on …
If you’ve explored survivalist and prepper circles for any amount of time, you’ve probably seen those emergency ration bar thingies packaged in mylar. These bars are made by several different companies. They are all slightly different but are usually composed of some combination of flour, shortening, and added vitamins and electrolytes. Recently my dad had this cool idea for our family to do a taste test on as many different brands as we could, to see which one was the best. We had a little party and involved my kids to see which one was the best kind.
Before I tell you our ultimate verdict, I will tell you up front, we weren’t crazy about any of them. One member of our testing panel described the taste as “shortening and horcrux.” It would be a little depressing to have nothing but emergency rations to eat for any stretch of time. Why, then, do they even exist? This isn’t 1914 any more! This is the 21st century! Are you telling me we have developed EZ Mac technology and people are still buying emergency rations?
All good questions. Outrage over the bland taste is misplaced, however, because emergency rations continue to fill a very specific niche in the emergency preparedness/ military world. In fact, when I set out to look into the history of these things, I discovered an interesting bit of information: they taste like that on purpose.
You’re skeptical. I can tell. But hear me out.
History of Emergency Rations
The very first “emergency ration,” that is, a processed food high in nutritive value that doesn’t take up a lot of space, would probably be pemmican, a Native American creation made from meat, fat, and berries. Prepackaged bars first appeared toward the latter end of WWI, but field rations didn’t get to how we know them until the second World War.
Enter the D ration. I just love this story. When military officials approached the Hershey chocolate company about churning out field rations, one of the actual requirements was that it “taste a little better than a boiled potato.” Meaning, I suppose, that they wanted it to taste a bit on the “blah” side. The reasoning behind it was because they were so dense in nutrition, to eat more than the prescribed amount would be a hindrance rather than a help as far as the war effort was concerned. In this they succeeded — D rations were “universally detested for their bitter taste,” and were thrown away just as often as they were eaten.
Modern emergency rations also come with instructions on the package: “Eat one bar every six hours.” If they tasted like Lorna Doones, you’d be in danger of eating the whole package within twenty minutes. A bland taste ensures that you’ll be able to make them last.
What Role Do Emergency Rations Play in Survival?
Datrex bars have written on the packaging, “Approved by the United States Coast Guard.” ER Bars also carry USCG approval and state that they are “specially formulated for emergency victims.” Knowing that the Coast Guard plays a role does provide a degree of explanation. Emergency ration bars, whatever else you think of them, are efficient, light, do not require any preparation, and are compact. The same cannot be said of nearly any other emergency food item on the market. This makes them perfect for stowing into a life raft in large quantities, or for delivering en masse to survivors of a severe natural disaster.
There are many different types and flavors available on the market (or, as an interesting experiment, you could try making your own), and each has its own pros and cons. Our testing panel included three young children who have no sense of propriety when it comes to sharing their emotions. While there was quite a bit of comedic value in their reactions (mostly having to do with the bland taste, which as we have already discussed is a feature, not a bug), after some thought it was determined that no public good could come of making the children’s opinions known to the general public. Here’s a brief and objective synopsis of what there is and how they differ from each other.
Pros: Come in individual packets, which make for easy use. It’s the only bar on the market with a specific flavor. The taste is not unlike apple cinnamon cherrios, but with the texture of compressed flour.
Cons: A little pricier than other brands, and you have to buy them individually, as they don’t come as a three-day supply.
Pros: Comes with multiple bars, each sub-packaged to keep them fresh over a long period of time after the initial mylar packaging is opened. Package is easy to open. Texture most resembled that of a cookie.
Cons: Claims a “superior coconut flavor,” but this claim was not based in fact. Has a strong shortening taste.
Pros: The individual portions are bigger (it is recommended to eat three per day) so the large size means you are more likely to feel somewhat full afterward. Package is resealable.
Cons: One big cake that is difficult to break along the scored lines.
Pros: Comes in individually packaged pieces.
Cons: I will admit that I liked this one the least of all, taste-wise. The main package is harder to open, and the outside plastic of the individual packages feels greasy to the touch. (Survival Mom likes the coconutty-shortbread flavor.)
Pros: The taste is reminiscent of sugar cookie dough. Includes a hint of natural lemon flavor.
Cons: Not individually wrapped, all one giant cake.
In the end, my family settled on the Mayday Apple Cinnamon bars as the clear winner, with the Mainstay Emergency Food Rations as a close second. However, everyone’s taste buds experience things differently. If convenience and practicality is more important than taste, then my recommendation would be the Datrex bars, because of the ease of opening the package and the convenience of having individually wrapped portions.
If you are serious about making emergency food rations a part of your overall preparedness strategy, I encourage you to purchase a small amount of each variety and embark upon your own taste tests. Holding a taste-test party will be helpful for children, because if they have to eat them later they will have the satisfaction of knowing that they had a hand in choosing what kind to buy. Emergency rations are quite a bit different from other preparedness food, so it is wise to expose the kids to it prior to an emergency.
Have you had any experience eating emergency rations? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments.
7 Different Ways To Naturally Preserve Foods Knowing how to preserve food can make all the difference in the world to your long term survival plan. When you think of preserving foods I bet you think of dehydrating, or freezing the food. Did you know that there are at least 7 different “natural” ways of preserving …
7 Essentials in Your Emergency Survival Kit All ready for a disaster? Nobody wants to experience a disaster, but there’s no guarantee that it will not happen. You need to prepare for the worst even if you hope it doesn’t happen. This means packing a survival kit that contains some of the essential items needed …
Emergencies or a disaster do not come knocking on your door. So, you always need to be Red Cross ready and have essential items in your kit. Staying prepared for an emergency means, you must have the proper supplies of materials that you might need in an emergency event. As a rule of thumb, you must remember that the Federal Government expects the people to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Hence, while deciding on the survival kit, first consider where you are going to use it.
Will you keep it in your car? Are you going to place it in your backpack if you are going for a hike? Will you require it for a week long camping or simply want it for your home or school?Wherever you might go, the emergency survival kit must support you for 72 hours.
As it is important to stay prepared for an emergency, keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency survival kit. It should be lightweight, something that you can use at home or take away in case if you have to evacuate or run from the scene.
In order to stay prepared for an emergency or a disaster, Red Cross suggests having seven essential items in your survival kit. These are –
3. Lighting and Communication
4. First Aid
5. Survival Gear
6. Sanitation and Hygiene
7. Shelter and Warmth
You can last for several weeks without food, but without water it is almost impossible. Water is the most important of all as you only have 3 to 4 days without hydration before you die. You need to have a 3-day supply of one gallon of water per person.
Next, on the list is food, and for this, you need to have a 3-day supply of non-perishable items for each person. Foods you might have are a supply of MREs, rice, salt, honey, molasses, noodles, hard candy, energy bars, canned foods, some wine or liquor.
For proper lighting and communication, one might consider a flashlight, a battery-powered radio with some extra batteries, cell phone with your chargers, and emergency contact numbers. If you are not planning to take candles, make sure they are waterproof matches. It ensures to start a fire anywhere you need.
In your first aid kit, you will need proper medicines both prescribed and non-prescribed like aspirin. The medical items must be able to support each person for at least 7 days. Have Band-Aids, bandages, bicarbonate soda, gloves, eye drops, soaps, sterile strips, sanitizers, scissors and many other first aid items.
As for sanitation, having a makeshift toilet is a plus in an emergency. Make sure to have a good supply of hygiene items to stay clean as much as you can. Among hygiene items comes clothing and it is the most difficult item to pack. It is enough to have shirts both long and short sleeves, a jacket, socks and undergarments are some of the basic clothing you need in your kit.
As for shelter and warmth, carrying tents or sleeping bags is no doubt the best. Sleeping bags may not be a comforter but they are better being cold. Do carry a waterproof blanket or a space blanket in case of emergency. They add to warmth and keep you out of rain and cold.
So, having these 7 items is going to increase your chances of survival in case of disaster or emergency, whether you are at home, school, work or in your car. The below infographic by More Prepared, an emergency preparedness experts will depict everything in more details.
7 Essential Items in Your Emergency Survival Kit
Mina Arnao is the Founder/CEO of More Prepared, the emergency preparedness experts for over 10 years. More Prepared’s mission is to help families, schools and businesses prepare for earthquakes and other emergencies. Mina is CERT trained (community emergency response team) and Red Cross certified.
52 Week Food Storage Plan This is the mother load of food storage articles, I spend a few days looking for a great article on food stockpiling plans and I think I have found the best there is. Food will be in short supply if an emergency hits. People often think they will be OK …
Hurricane Matthew! Tom Martin “Galt$trike” Listen in player below! On this episode of Galt Strike Bob Hawkins will be introducing himself and briefly touching on his practical approach toward Prepping. But most importantly he’ll be discussing Hurricane Matthew, the major hurricane which is currently threatening the entire US east coast. By this time next week, some part … Continue reading Hurricane Matthew!
Nature’s Calling Preparing For The Worst By H.D. Imagine yourself at home in the living room, relaxing while listening to the news. During the broadcast, you hear one of the anchors say, “The state has officially issued a tornado watch and warns all residents to be prepared in case they have to evacuate.” You glance … Continue reading Nature’s Calling: Preparing For The Worst
35 Wild Species Of Wild Animals Recipes When SHTF we will have to think outside the box, do things we wouldn’t normally have to do, ie, look for our own food. Kill animals we love, to survive. Hunting the animals is just half of the work, cooking and making it taste half decent is the …
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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When Help Is NOT On The Way Josh “The 7 P’s of Survival” On The 7 P’s of Survival we have Scott Finazzo and we talk about his second book “Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook. A Lifesaving Collection Of Emergency Procedures From U.S. Army Field Manuals”. Scott is a fellow firefighter of nearly 20 years, currently a Lieutenant … Continue reading When Help Is NOT On The Way!
Your experience outdoors can always be fun depending on how prepared you are in the wilderness. Some people might complain of experiencing the worst hiking trip while it is their fault for not having the essentials for such a trip. Below you will get to learn about the essentials needed for wilderness survival.
- Water bottle and water purifier
It is not always that you might end up with clean water in the wilderness. So, you have to be prepared to keep yourself hydrated while outdoors. Carry a water bottle full of water and additional collapsible reservoir of water. You still need to have a water filter or purifier that will help purify the water for drinking once your reservoir is empty.
- Navigation tools
In the wilderness, you might not get the best cell reception to use your Google maps, this means we have to go old school. You will need a map and compass as your navigation tools in the wilderness. You can always toss in a GPS and wrist altimeter as additional navigation tools to help with moving around. Make sure that you can read the map and compass or else they would be useless out there in the wilderness. If it is a hunting trip, make sure that you actually get to use an updated map with any additional features you need to know. GPS navigation could still be useful to help get back to the starting point with the logged GPS coordinates.
- First aid kit
It is no brainer that accidents sometimes happen while in the wilderness without even really hoping for them. The worst would be when you have no first aid kit to help with the preventing bleeding or easing the pain. If you are going to carry the first aid kit, just make sure that the medicine is still viable and the bandages too still work. Some of the things to include in the first aid kit are adhesive bandages, gauze pads, disinfecting ointment, pain medication, gloves, adhesive tapes among many other important supplies.
- Illumination tools
It will get dark some point in the wilderness, so you always have to be prepared. This calls for having illumination tools to light up your way. The common source of light would be a headlamp, flashlights and packable lanterns. The headlamp is liked by many as it allows for hands free operation and also have a longer battery life. The headlamps, often come with the strobe mode, which is important in emergency situations. The flashlights on the other hand have gained popularity too. Many people would comfortably buy a flashlight knowing it will have powerful beams important for the wilderness maneuvers.
- Additional clothes
Other than your hunting gear or clothes, you still need to have a supply of clean clothes. This is for those who are looking to spend more time in the wilderness. The additional clothes can include jackets and hats that should help to keep you warm during the cold weather at night. Keep in mind only to carry the necessary clothes for the trip, carrying too many clothes might make your bag too heavy for the trip.
Food is crucial for any survival in the wilderness. You would want to make sure that you have enough food to last you for a few days if you are going to stay for longer in the wilderness. This is great to keep you going before you can start relying on the food you get after hunting. Just make sure that the food does not need a lot of preparation since you will be still in the wilderness. Freeze-dried meals would be ideal in such situations.
- Knives and Repair multi tool
It is not always that something will end up breaking, but having a repair multi-tool sometimes should be great to repair the component to its working status. You are likely to find the repair multi tool to have components such as blades, screwdrivers, can openers, scissors, wrenches among many others. You simply need to compare between various models of multi tools to find the best for your activities in the wilderness. Never forget the duct tape as you might be surprised just how useful it can get whenever you are outdoors. The knives also fall into this category and can never be left behind. The right knives will always be important to get you surviving in the wilderness.
The night can get chilly sometimes in the wilderness. You will need to have a fire to keep you warm at all times. This means you need to have several matches with you. Make sure that the matches are waterproof and should also be stored in a similar waterproof container. This means that should be able to handle the wet or damp conditions of the wilderness. You can still use a mechanical lighter in the wilderness, but just have the matches as your backup fire starting method. In some cases, the campers can use a Firestarter. This is simply a device that helps the camper to jump start the fire while in the wilderness.
- Sun protection
If you are going to stay in the wilderness for a long time, chances are that you would be exposed to the harmful sunrays. You will need protection such from UV rays, which might cause conditions such as skin cancer. You can use the sunglasses to protect your eyes from the UV rays. Using the right sunglasses model, you can block 100 percent of the UV rays. Another way for sun protection would be using sunscreen. Choose sunscreen with at least an SPF rating of 15 for better protection.
- Shelter building material and tools
Of course, you would need to have a shelter over your head at some point. This will mean you need all the necessary shelter building tools for the trip. If you are unsure of what to choose for the building materials, visit a camping shop and ask for help from the vendor. You will get to learn more about what to expect in such a shop.
Author Bio: Roy Ayers, Hunter and Survivalist
Thanks for stopping by to learn more about hunting and surviving in the wilderness. I am a dedicated and a full time survival author, editor and blog writer on hunting. Over the years, I have managed to work on various article and blog series that all talk about hunting and surviving the wilderness. I manage to do this because of personal experience outdoors. This has always helped me to having an easy time crafting the articles for my audience over the years. Keep on reading my articles and blogs to get the useful tips and guides important for outdoor survival and hunting. Come back more often to my website to update yourself on the best new hunting and survival tips.
HAM RADIO expert Robert Hawkins! Tom Martin “Galt Strike” On this episode of Galt Strike we will be talking with HAM Radio expert Robert Hawkins. When the grid goes down, you’re going to want to communicate. HAM Radio has passed the test of time and proven to be the best way to communicate in times … Continue reading HAM RADIO expert Robert Hawkins!
Stove Necklace Idea I saw this and I had to share it with you folks! This is awesome… There are no instructions on how to make one, but It looks like you could make one pretty easily (some DIY knowledge would help tremendously). A little soldering and boom, your very own personal, portable cooking vessel …
How to Set Up an Emergency Community Clinic Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” What would you do if our modern medical system were compromised and local medical facilities were no longer operational? Once again, I will be joined by Survival Instructor, Chuck Hudson, to take an in-depth look at the realities of setting up an … Continue reading How to Set Up an Emergency Community Clinic!
10 Unemployment Preparedness Tips I am so glad I found this article. Losing a job is probably one of the most likely SHTF events you will encounter in your life time. I have experienced it once in my life and I hated it. I was so worried about where my next rent payment was coming …
We all generally have some sort of first aid kit or emergency supplies, especially if you have children. When preparing your medical bag, you try to think of everything you can add to it that would be beneficial in some way.
Preparing a medical bag you want to take with you in a grid down situation can be tricky as well. Nurse Amy Alton and Dr. Joseph Alton have found one of the best bags I have seen in a long while. In the video below Nurse Amy walks you through hundreds of items and what they can be used for.
According to the description on their website the total weight of the bag and everything in it is 19 lbs. including the military-grade padded and comfortable backpack made by Voodoo Tactical. After watching the video you can make that even less buy removing outer packaging of certain items like boxed medicines/items.
Their Stomp Plus Trauma Survival Bag is a little pricey but I believe with all the items you get PLUS that awesome bag it is worth it. Especially if you would rather buy a product first and add what you need. Although I doubt you could need anything after getting this.
To top that off, according to their website you will also get “The Survival Medicine Handbook“. This is a must have book for any prepper. Their book is written as if the grid is down. It is in laymen terms for those of us not familiar with medical definitions which make this book very much sought after.
Family Medical Bag With Nurse Amy Alton
Building your own emergency medical kit is a huge priority and can be some what over whelming. Having first aid supplies for different types of emergencies is important as well. You will want these on hand at home, in you’re vehicle or in a bug out situation.
From a different perspective, most of us have already started our own kits with out even realizing it, especially if you have children. A lot of times it is simply scattered all over the house and needs to be brought together in one bag being easily accessible when it is needed.
You Tuber PreparedMind101 has prepared an updated video of the medical to-go bag he carries. As he puts it, his “Holy crap what just happened bag”. The bag is really nice and seems well constructed. He has invested around $200 into it so far with a few items left to go. (Voodoo Tactical Men’s Universal Medic Bag) He shares the items he has put in there and asks for comments on things he might of missed. (For a list of the items shown in the video, look under the video.)
Whether you are buying a pre made kit or building your own that is tailored for your family, it’s going to cost you a pretty penny. All I have to say about that is “You get what you pay for”.
Building an Emergency Medical Bag
Listed in the order presented in his video
Family Emergency Planning Forrest Garvin “The Prepping Academy” In today’s world we are always connected. Cell phones, computers, and social media are almost always within our reach. This ease of access also comes with ease of mind. With a few swipes you can see where your children, wife, and even friends are. It’s not hard … Continue reading Family Emergency Planning!
Wilderness Search & Rescue! Josh “The 7P’s of Survival” On this episode of the 7 P’s of Survival radio we have Tyler Anderson back on the show to talk about wilderness search and rescue. You may remember Tyler from the two shows he was on here last year. We talked about Mountaineering and Caving. He … Continue reading Wilderness Search & Rescue!
Illumination, High Tech & Low Tech Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” Have you thought about Illumination for preps, whether it be flash lights, gas lanterns, solar lights, and even chemical lights? The need for illumination in shtf go’s without saying, we have to have it. It seems as though the market has made leaps and bounds … Continue reading Illumination, High Tech & Low Tech
How To Create A Work Emergency Bag (WEB) For Urban Survival Natural and man made disasters can force offices full of workers to evacuate. In big cities a disaster may also affect public transportation. In an emergency, you may be on your own and forced to improvise. Here’s how to create a Work Emergency Bag …
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Emergency Preparedness for You and Your Family It would take an ambulance or emergency workers to help take care of any harmful or havoc situation which may happen on a street or in a community. What will you do if God forbid anything happens in your own home? Should you be prepared for any emergency … Continue reading Emergency Preparedness for You and Your Family
BOOK REVIEW: Survival Psychology by John Leach
One idea survival book authors may be able to agree upon is that mental attitude is critical. Countless documented cases prove your attitude and reaction to the situation, not your gear, is the most important factor is staying alive.
by Leon Pantenburg
Some twenty years before the rash of “reality” or “Survival” shows, or anybody had ever heard of Les Stroud or Bear Grylls, psychological studies resulted in a book about people’s reactions in emergency situations.
“Survival Psychology” by John Leach, PhD, of the University of Lancaster, England, was a groundbreaking study, that today is a reference source for many wilderness and urban survival bestsellers. If some of Leach’s writing or thoughts sound familiar, it is because you’ve read or heard them before!
Leach studied survivors’ reactions, including those of Union prisoners at the horrific Andersonville prison during the Civil War; to shipwreck survivors; to people who made it through plane crashes and natural disasters. Distilled down to one sentence, here’s what Leach found: Psychological responses to emergencies follow a pattern.
One goal of SurvivalCommonSense is to help you develop the survival mindset to stay alive. So, start with the baseline knowledge of what happens to people, mentally, in a survival situation.
Until you know what might happen in your mind, or in the heads of the people around you, there’s no way to come up with a plan to survive.
Survival situations bring out a variety of reactions – including some that make the situation worse.
Leach’s studies show that only 10 to 15 percent of any group involved in any emergency will react appropriately. Another 10 to 15 percent will behave totally inappropriately and the remaining 70 to 80 percent will need to be told what to do. The most common reaction at the onset of an emergency is disbelief and denial.
Here’s the typical disaster reaction progression, according to “Survival Psychology”:
Denial: The first reaction will probably be: “This can’t be happening to me!” But an emergency, disaster, accident or crash can happen to anyone, and it can result in a situation where your life is at risk.
This disbelief can cause people to stand around, doing nothing to save themselves. The 80 percenters in any survival situation will have to be ordered to help themselves.
Panic: Once you get past denial, there is a strong chance you may panic. This is when judgment and reasoning deteriorate to the point where it can result in self-destructive behavior. It can happen to anyone. To avert this problem, realize it may happen, and use the STOP mindset exercise.
Hypoactivity, defined as a depressed reaction; or hyperactivity, an intense but undirected liveliness: The depressed person will not look after himself or herself, and will probably need to be told what to do. The hyperactive response can be more dangerous because the affected person may give a misleading impression of purposefulness and leadership.
Stereotypical behavior: This is a form of denial in which victims fall back on learned behavior patterns, no matter how inappropriate they are. The Boss may decide to continue in that role, even though he/she has no idea of what to do. Sadly, the underling may also revert to that subordinate role, even though he/she may be better prepared mentally.
Anger: A universal reaction, anger is irrational. Rescue workers frequently come under verbal and physical attack while performing their duties.
A few years ago in Central Oregon, the Search and Rescue team rescued a man who had dumped his raft just before going over a waterfall. Miraculously, he saved himself by clinging to a mid-stream boulder. During the whole rescue effort, the rafter denied he was in trouble. After being plucked from the rapids, he flipped off the rescuers, and walked back to the parking lot. He never thanked anyone for saving his life.
Psychological breakdown: This could be the most desperate problem facing a victim, and this stage is characterized by irritability, lack of interest, apprehension, psycho-motor retardation and confusion. Once this point is reached, the ultimate consequence may be death.
So, according to Leach, one key to a “survival state-of-mind” is to be prepared and confident that you can handle an emergency. This brings up another deadly behavior pattern: lack of preparation. People don’t prepare for emergencies (see denial), Leach writes, for three reasons: Planning is inconvenient, preparations may be costly and an ingrained folk myth says to prepare for a disaster is to encourage it.
This is all too common in Central Oregon.
Last November, I was at Swampy Lakes snow park near Bend, getting ready for a snowshoe trek. An older couple pulled up next to me, tourists, apparently, from the looks of their inappropriate clothing and rental equipment. They had no survival gear of any kind that I could see.
They struggled to put their snowshoes on, then asked if there were any maps around. I gave them one of mine, and offered to orient it for them with my compass.
They also didn’t want the book of matches and a packet of firestarter I tried to give them. And here comes the quote that keeps the Search And Rescue teams busy:
“We’re just going out for quick outing,” the lady said. “We’re not going to do any of that wilderness survival stuff.”
…And she was absolutely right.