25 Ancient Remedies That Used To Be Common Knowledge

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Common knowledge has certainly changed a lot over the past century. Today it is “common knowledge” that if you can’t sleep, you should just take a sleeping pill. But it used to be common knowledge that if you can’t sleep, you should drink some chamomile tea or take some valerian root. Some people argue that …

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Honey and the Healing Power!

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Honey and the Healing Power!
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio player below!

Honey is truly ancient medicine. The first written reference to the medicinal use of honey is on a Sumerian tablet over 4000 years ago. Honey has been used medicinally ever since. Honey is useful for many conditions, including wounds, burns , and some of the toughest bacteria we may ever encounter. Plus, it does all of this for less than ten federal reserve notes!

Continue reading Honey and the Healing Power! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

13 Rubbing Alcohol Survival Uses You Need To Know

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There is a little prepper in almost all things. That is a very interesting thing when you think about it. Even in todays world there are still ingredients that have tremendous potential and are old wonders from years past. It seemed like Grandmom had a few things that she used for everything. Now, our hyper …

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15 Survival Uses for Triangular Bandages

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A triangular bandage is one of the most common types of bandages, and for good reason. Basically, it’s a large piece of cloth in the shape of a triangle with a right angle, like this. It can then be folded into a long narrow band called a cravat. One of the most popular ways to […]

The post 15 Survival Uses for Triangular Bandages appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Items That Might Be Missing From Your Family First-Aid Kit

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You never know when a family member might get injured. Accidents, by their very nature, are unpredictable. While we might be able to say that some activities are statistically more likely to produce accidents, that doesn’t help us predict when they will come or who will receive them.

This can be even worse in a survival situation, where family members will be called on to do activities and use tools which they aren’t accustomed to.  What makes that even worse is that medical services tend to become overrun during such times, making it harder to get your loved ones the help that they need. If you happen to be in an outlying area, where you have to go a distance to get to help, that makes the situation worse.

In such a situation, your ability to provide adequate first-aid could make the difference between life or death. Few of us have training in first-aid techniques more complicated than applying a self-adhesive band-aid. Fortunately, a few supplies and a little knowledge can make all the difference in the world.

At this point, I’m going to make an assumption, as dangerous as that is. I assume that you already have a good first-aid kit. I’m not talking about a $19.95 drugstore special here, but an actual trauma kit, which allows you to treat more extensive wounds. Even then, you might be missing some crucial things.


Tourniquets are used to stop excessive bleeding from the extremities. How do you know when one is needed? Whenever you see spurting blood coming out of a wound on one of the patient’s limbs. In that case, there is a risk of them bleeding out before they get to medical care.

There are many types of tourniquets on the market, made in some different ways. But there are three important things you want to keep in mind when choosing one:

  • You want something that can be used one-handed, in case you have to use it on yourself.
  • The idea of the tourniquet is to crush the veins against the bone, blocking blood flow. To do that, the ones with a windlass for tightening the tourniquet work best.
  • Buy quality. The last thing you need is a tourniquet breaking when you’re trying to use it.

Many people say that the tourniquet should be applied two inches above the wound. The problem with this is that not all wounds are nice neat round holes. Wounded veins often tear longitudinally, so if you only put the tourniquet two inches above the injury, the wound might still bleed internally. Go higher; as high as you reasonably can.

Clotting Agent

Clotting agents work by cauterizing the wound, stopping blood flow. They are ideal in situations where a tourniquet might not be usable, such as a shoulder wound. But for it to work, it needs to be pressed into the wound and held in place while it heats and cauterizes the wound.   It will be excruciating as you can imagine, so you may need some help in holding the patient down.


Open wounds, where the skin does not meet are dangerous from an infection point of view. They are also less likely to heal properly. In that case, you want something to hold the skin together. Typically, doctors use stitches for this, but you and I are not trained in suturing. Steri-strips allow you to keep that wound closed so that it can heal.

Irrigation Syringe

All wounds should be cleaned before they are bandaged. A large syringe, with a plastic (non-penetrating) needle, makes this much easier to accomplish. Any water which is clean enough to drink is sufficient for use in the syringe.


This is a topical anesthetic, available in a cream, which numbs the skin. Most often used before giving an injection, it is also ideal for use around a wound, when needing to clean it.


Any adhesive bandage and most medical tapes need a clean surface to stick to. This can be difficult to accomplish in the field. Benzoine is a liquid product for cleansing the skin around a wound, allowing those bandages to stick.

Chest Seal

Used for sealing a chest wound, specifically for a patient which has been shot in the chest, causing what is known as a “sucking chest wound.” Without a chest seal in place, it is possible for the person to draw air in through the wound, on every breath. This will take up the space the lungs need to have to inflate, making it impossible for the person to catch a good breath.

While it is possible to make a chest seal out of any thin plastic material, such as a plastic bag and some tape, it is best to use a premade medical chest seal because it is sterile and already has the adhesive applied.

Needle Chest Decompression

The state where there is air in the lung cavity which prevents the lungs from inflating properly is called a “tension pneumothorax.” The sign that a patient is suffering this is that the veins in their neck are distended, and they can’t inhale. In such a case, the air needs to be allowed a means of escape, so that they can breathe again.

A special needle is used for this, which can be bought in a needle chest decompression kit. This kit also includes chest seals. To use the needle, find the top of the sternum and move down 1½ inches. That’s where the second rib is. There will be a bump on the sternum there. The needle needs to be inserted between the second and third rib, above the nipple.

The needle needs to be pushed in as far as it will go. There is a plastic part of the needle, which will stop it from going any further. Once inserted, remove the metal needle, leaving only the thin plastic sleeve in place. This is flexible, so will move out of the way as the lung inflates. Do not worry about hitting the lung, as if you do, it will heal.

Saran Wrap

Believe it or not, everyday plastic wrap for food is a useful first-aid supply to have on hand. Specifically, it is helpful for multiple wounds, such as those caused by a shotgun or shrapnel from a grenade. In such a case, it will be virtually impossible to bandage all the wounds properly. Wrapping the patient in Saran Wrap will at least protect the wounds from dirt and bacteria, while you are transporting them for medical care.

Nasal Pharyngeal Airway

In cases where the patient is unable to control their breathing, it is not uncommon for the tongue to fall across the airway, blocking it. Obviously, something needs to be done in these cases, to retain the airway open. There are several types of airways on the market, designed for this purpose.

The advantage of the nasal airway is that it is less uncomfortable for the patient. Inserted in the nose, they are unable to bite down on it, blocking off the airflow. Made of soft rubber, these come in different sizes. You’ll want to pick one that is the size of the patient’s pinkie. Cut it to length, from the tip of the patient’s nose to the angle of their jaw. Then push straight into the nose, not angling it up.

This type of airway should not be used in cases where there is bruising behind the ear, or the patient has blood coming out of their ear.

The post Items That Might Be Missing From Your Family First-Aid Kit appeared first on Off The Grid News.

The Perfect First Aid Kit Starter

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When it comes to preparedness, medical preparedness is no joke!  Every family should have medical and first aid supplies.  The key to your medical supplies is to make sure it meets the needs of your family.  But many preppers find it hard to start.  That’s why the 105 Piece First Aid Kit from Survival Hax is the Perfect First Aid Kit Starter!

The Survival Hax First Aid Kit is compact and comes with its own zipped case.  It is easily identified as a first aid kit.  It is a great place to start and is very affordable.

This is what you get:

  • (1) Triangular Bandage
  • (1) PBT Bandage (Small)
  • (1) PBT Bandage (Large)
  • (1) Roll of Nonwoven Tape
  • (2) Sterile Nonwoven Swab
  • (10) Alcohol Wipe
  • (20) Band-Aid (Regular)
  • (10) Band-Aid (Small)
  • (4) Butterfly Band-Aid
  • (4) H Style Band-Aid
  • (4) Cleaning Wipes
  • (25) Cotton (Q-Tips)
  • (3) Cotton Balls
  • (1) First Aid Blanket
  • (1) Scissors
  • (10) Safety Pins
  • (1) CPR Mask
  • (1) PVC Gloves – Large
  • (1) Tweezers
  • (1) Fire Starter Flint
  • (1) Burn Dressing
  • (1) Credit Card Tool
  • (1) First Aid Bag

The Survival Hax First Aid Kit normally sells for $24.99. Survival Hax has extended a special offer to Prepper Website readers.  You can currently get the Survival Hax First Aid Kit for $11.99.  That is a great price for a First Aid Starter Kit!  The discount is automatically taken at checkout.  And, you will experience FREE SHIPPING and it’s good to know that your order will be fulfilled by Amazon.

This is a great deal and you can easily purchase several for:

  • Your Vehicle
  • The Office
  • Your Kid’s Backpack
  • Your EDC
  • For a Gift

Check out these PICS…

Lots of stuff in this kit…

This is a nice start to your First Aid Kit…

All kinds of bandages too…

AND a small ferro rod and credit card tool, which you might want to keep in your wallet or EDC kit.

Open kit…

Here’s your First Aid Kit Starter…

Front of Package…

Back of Package…



Step By Step Guide To Make A First Aid Kit

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No adventure is without the risk of injury, which means no adventure seeker in this world is 100% safe. The adventurous outdoors can be fully exciting but completely unsafe at the same time if proper measures are not taken to prevent or cure unexpected injuries. Some of the most common harms are fractures, abrasions, lacerations, …

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19 Everyday Items You Can Use for First Aid

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Some of the most incredible advances of the modern age have been in the field of medicine. When we get hurt, we just go to the hospital and a doctor treats us. But as we’ve become more dependent on hospitals, we have forgotten how to deal with many health conditions and injuries on our own. […]

The post 19 Everyday Items You Can Use for First Aid appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Learn To Treat Burns During A Crisis

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Learn To Treat Burns During A Crisis Have you ever saved a life? Did you take charge in a situation where you were left completely at the mercy of your own knowledge and training? It is necessary to prepare for a crisis where you will not be able to rely on anyone or anything else …

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“Hysteria & Hysterical Fits:” First Aid Knowledge & How It Evolves

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“Hysteria & Hysterical Fits:” First Aid Knowledge & How It Evolves

I used to publish articles and guides concerning first aid on a semi-regular basis on this blog, but over time, have found it’s become harder and harder for me to do so. There’s been a pretty massive shift in attitude on MTJS with regards to these articles. Long time readers may have noticed this shift. Originally, we […]

This is just the start of the post “Hysteria & Hysterical Fits:” First Aid Knowledge & How It Evolves. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

“Hysteria & Hysterical Fits:” First Aid Knowledge & How It Evolves, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Get YOUR Kindle copy of Survival Mom for just $1.99!

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For a limited time, you can get the ebook version for just $1.99! The ebook version is super handy to have on an ebook reader or your smartphone. You can even save it directly to your computer and access it anytime you’re working on your computer. You’ll be able to quickly search for whatever information […]

PrepperMed 101: Say No to Bleeding, Part 2 – Compression Bandages

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If you can keep the blood in, you can live. Tim Kennedy is often quoted, in regards to his job as a special forces soldier, “Take the blood out of the bad guys and keep the blood in the good guys.” It makes it all sound very simple. Well, it can be if you know …

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Teaching Kids to Be Prepared With Their First Emergency Kit

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As adults, it is easy to worry about what may or may not happen. As kids however, the thoughts never even cross their minds. All they want to do is eat, sleep and play. In this article I will show you how I started teaching kids the importance of being prepared. So, when is the […]

The post Teaching Kids to Be Prepared With Their First Emergency Kit appeared first on American Preppers Network.

How to Assemble an Ultimate Survival First Aid Kit

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Do you have the right medical supplies and equipment on hand to take care of yourself and your family if the SHTF? If you answer anything except a highly confident, “absolutely,” then you are not prepared. Don’t let a simple cut, sore throat or something far more severe take you out. Create an ultimate survival first aid kit. The […]

The post How to Assemble an Ultimate Survival First Aid Kit appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

Treating Farmyard Wounds Without A Vet

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Without a doubt, having a vet tend to wounds or medical emergencies is the way to go when your animal is sick or injured. However, there may come a time when you can’t get a vet to come.

The weather could be bad, the vet may be held up at another call, or the injury may be so bad that it needs treated right then rather than in the hour or three hours that it would take the vet to get there.

Fortunately, there are many wounds and illness that you can treat yourself if need be. Today, we’re going to touch on a few of them.


Because a horse has no way to belch or vomit, colic can be a death sentence. There are several different types of colic, including spasmodic colic (gas), Impaction colic, sand colic, and twisted gut. Of all of these, twisted gut is the worst and can actually be a result of sand or impaction colic gone bad.

Once your horse has twisted gut, immediate surgery is about the only thing that’s going to save him.

For the other types, though, there are treatments that may take care of it at home. First, you need to have a first-aid kit for your animals just as much as you need one for the two-footed critters on your farm. Two of the items it should most certainly contain is Banamine and Phenylbutazone, aka bute.

Both are NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for horses. Banamine is a bit more effective at relieving colic pain than bute, but both work.

There are a couple things to keep in mind when using either of these. First, if you don’t know how to use it, call the vet and get directions, or leave it alone. It can kill your horse or, at the very least make matters worse, if you give him too much.

Second, you’re not curing anything with these drugs; you’re only masking the symptoms. That means that you shouldn’t be surprised if the horse starts exhibiting symptoms again once the drug wears off.

Now, should you use it for colic? Personally, I do if it goes on for too long simply because sand colic is what we deal with most where I’m at and it tends to take a while to resolve. If I were in pain for several hours, I’d pop a few Advil, so why not give my horse the same relief?

Also, I’ve seen horses with colic hurt themselves badly thrashing around in the pasture or stall because of the pain. The case of colic resolves itself in a few hours, but the bruises, cuts, or even breaks don’t.

There are a ton of rumors about colic – the horse has to walk constantly, the horse can’t lie down, the horse will twist a gut if he rolls. The first two are false. How would you like it if you were sick to your stomach and somebody made you walk or kept you off the couch?

Also, most vets will tell you that they won’t twist a gut by rolling – after all, they roll all the time just because it feels good. It’s a point of controversy with some and it’s so ingrained in me that I try to prevent the roll.

How will you survive when there is no doctor around? 

So – what can you do? Banamine and vegetable oil. Listen for gut sounds in the lower area behind the rib cage. If you don’t hear anything at all, you need to call the vet and at least tell him what’s going on and let him decide a course of action. A couple of cups of vegetable oil (any kind) may help lube things up and get things moving through the digestive tract.

Daily psyllium (Metamusil) added to feed isn’t a bad idea if you live in a sandy area, and of course, plenty of roughage. Keep your feed room doors locked and make sure your horse has plenty of water at all times. Avoid lots of cold water immediately following a hard workout.

Avoiding colic is better than treating it.

Cuts and gashes

If your animal – any animal – is cut and bleeding, that’s not exactly something you can wait for the vet to treat. I’ve seen some ugly gashes that, if you didn’t know better, you would swear were life-threatening but were actually just ugly. On the other side, I’ve seen wounds that didn’t look like anything at all that ended up being serious or even fatal.

One of the biggest factors in determining how serious something is going to be in the long run is how it’s treated immediately.

Any wound needs cleaned and disinfected. Since we’re dealing with animals, that often means we’re dealing with wounds full of gunk, especially if you aren’t there to catch the injury immediately.

So, first things first – clean it. That’s critical! It may not be easy, though. It’ll likely take more than just you, but you need to scrub it out and disinfect it. If the wound is bleeding, puff on some Wonder Dust – a dressing powder and blood coagulant for cuts, abrasions, wounds and capillary bleeding.

It’ll stop the bleeding and promote healing. If the wound has stopped bleeding, Wound Kote is fabulous as a disinfectant and to keep flies and debris out of the wound and aids in scab formation, especially for wounds that aren’t going to be wrapped.

If you’re wrapping a wound (or even if you’re not), Furazone is wonderful. It’s an antibiotic ointment with an awesome yellow color, so you can see where you’ve put it. It’s good for treating infections, too.

Now, if you have something that’s particularly deep that needs stitches, you have a couple more options. Many farmers stitch wounds themselves, but most just let things heal on their own. However, there are times when that just won’t do. There are products out there that are sort of made for this.

If you have a wound this deep, I recommend keeping a can of Aluspray on hand because it acts as a liquid bandage. Say your cow or goat or horse has a wound on its side that needs a bandage. You can’t really put on there, but Aluspray seals the wound almost like a glue.

The great thing about it is that air can penetrate it but dirt and germs cant.

So, stockpile these, and also brush up on essential oils that treat different wounds. They often work as well on animals as they do on people.


This is a big deal in all animals that give milk, women included, especially when we’re taking steps to help them produce more milk. And it’s definitely one that’s better prevented than treated. It’s painful and the milk from that teat isn’t usable by the baby animal or by the human that milks it.

Mastitis is an infection of the mammary gland and is caused when a mammary gland is blocked. Often, this is because milk was left in the breast or teat and caused the clog.

This isn’t anything to kid around with; it can be lethal and is one of the costliest diseases in the dairy industry. Corporate considerations aside, what it means to you is that you won’t have milk, the cow’s calf may go hungry, and the cow is in pain and could even die from it.

A bad scenario all the way around. Plus, when you have to give the cow antibiotics, the milk isn’t drinkable.

Your cow or nanny or mare can develop mastitis in a number of ways – the milk isn’t stripped from her udder properly or completely, she’s exposed to a staph infection in the environment or by you when you don’t wash your hands between milking, or even if her calf suckles from another cow that has it – it happens.

A dirty environment doesn’t help either because infections such as E. coli can be found in manure. Bumps and bruises to a full udder … anytime the orifice is open, such as when the teat is leaking milk, it’s vulnerable to infection. Also, a chapped or frostbitten teat is more prone to mastitis.

A calf eats when it’s cold and windy out and the teat is left wet in those conditions. You can see what may happen.

So, if you read the paragraph above, you’ve likely realized that keeping sanitary conditions goes a long way toward preventing infection and judicious use of bag balm or udder butter or some other udder cream helps with the chapping. Wash the udder before you milk and dry and condition it after.

Sometimes mastitis will resolve on its own, but often it won’t. the quarter needs to be stripped at least daily and usually antibiotics would be used. But we don’t want to use antibiotics, or don’t have access to any. Now what?

Essential oils that are antibacterial to the rescue. Tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and oregano oil are all highly antibacterial. Use the oils in a base such as coconut oil, or there are commercial lotions such as Superior  Cow Cream that already has them.

Other than that, it’s a matter of keeping the teat clean and stripped of milk and boosting the cow’s immune system with aloe Vera, dried kelp meal, or pasteurized whey. The whey can be given orally or sub-q at the base of the tail.

Some organic dairy farmers also insert a garlic tincture into the vulva twice a day using a tube and a syringe.

Mastitis is bad, but it happens. Do what you can to prevent it, and what you have to to get rid of it.

There are many conditions that can be treated without a vet IF you have the knowledge and experience to do so, and the condition isn’t severe. However, there are times when your vet can’t get there and you can’t even get him on the phone. In those instances,

I hope some of this information helped. If you have any other tips, please share them with us in the comments section below.

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

Medical Survival In The Wild: How To Make Mud Cast

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You might be a healthy person and not prone to accidents, but a survival situation can change that. Travelling through unknown areas, coping with fatigue and stress, or running for your life will put your body at risk, so you can wind up with a broken bone or some other injury.

If you can’t get to a doctor, then you’ll have at least immobilize the injured area of your body until you can get help. Making a mud cast might get you out of trouble, so you make sure you know how to make one if nothing else is available.

Why to know how to make a mud cast? Whether you are camping, need to take refuge in a natural setting, or are somewhere where there’s no doctor around, mud casts may be your only option for immobilizing a broken bone.

This Timeless Collection of Forgotten Wisdom Will Help You Survive!

If you don’t feel like lugging around several pounds of plaster of paris, then you’ll need to know how to make a mud cast. Since you can use a mud cast in any situation where you would use a plaster cast to immobilize a broken bone, it is a valuable skill to learn with no monetary cost for special tools or supplies.

Why to Use Mud Cast

Aside from being the only material you might have on hand, there are some other advantages to immobilizing broken bones with a mud cast:

  • It offers solid support for broken limbs. Even if you break a leg or an ankle, the mud cast will be more than strong enough to support the broken parts of the bone and keep them from moving. Depending on the type of fracture, broken bone parts rubbing together can be very painful at best. At worst, these fractured ends can rub together and break off, which will only make repairing them more difficult.
  • Mud casts are much easier to work with compared to trying to immobilize broken bones with other natural materials. Unlike vines, branches flattened into splints, or or even leaf wrappings, you only have to apply the mud in layers to get the most benefit from it. If you are in pain or afraid of disrupting the bones, the relative lack of tugging, pulling, and other potentially disruptive actions makes mud cast application much better than other methods.
  • You can change the cast as often as needed since the materials for mud casts are fairly easy to locate. You can take the cast apart as often as you need to let air get at the covered areas. When done correctly, you can reduce the risk of skin infections and other problems that commonly occur when you cannot remove the cast as often as necessary for good skin health.

What to Beware of When Using Mud Cast

No matter how much you may need to immobilize a broken bone, you must also pay careful attention to the drawback associated with using a mud cast:

  • Mud cannot be formed without water, but water, in turn, is absolutely necessary for the growth of bacteria and other germs. No matter where you get the mud from, there is every chance that it will contain any number of disease bearing organisms. While most experts don’t recommend boiling the mud before using it, I would not rule it out as a vital safety precaution. This is especially important to consider if your skin is prone to breaking down, or if you have cuts and other skin openings that may come into contact with the mud in the area to be immobilized. Even if you don’t see or smell signs of mold, moss, or fungal organisms, that doesn’t mean they aren’t in the mud and capable of wreaking havoc once they get past the barrier of your skin.
  • If you thought plaster of paris casts were heavy, be prepared for mud casts to be much worse. Even though the cast will be about the same thickness as a mud cast, you can expect it to weight a lot more.
  • Be prepared to wait for the cast to dry. Remember, even if you find relatively heavy or drier mud, it can take several hours to dry out enough to support broken bones.
  • Depending on the mud type, it may have very little strength even if it is built up in layers. If you have ever removed caked dry mud from the bottom of a bowl or even your shoes, then you know just how easily it can break apart. Since mud deposits can vary drastically even from one mud puddle to the next, it will take some experience to figure out which ones will make the best cast, and how best to make use of the others.

How to Take Care of Wounds in Conjunction With a Mud Cast

Even with a plaster of paris cast, the lack of air flow around wounded sites can cause all kinds of problems. If you have open cuts in the area to be covered by the mud cast, try to lay down some kind of barrier that will prevent the mud from getting into the wound.

If you have antibacterial ointment available, you can also do that to reduce the risk of infection. Unfortunately, even if the open wounds are scabbed over, the increased moisture from sweat building up under the cast will still create a breeding ground for germs to multiply.

Use sticks and wraps to create tunnels for air to flow or other openings as long as they do not interfere with the ability of the cast to support the broken bones. In most, if not all cases, you will probably need to use a sling or some other additional support device to prevent the bones from moving or rubbing together.

What You Need to Have On Hand

If you have all the essentials in your bug out bag, then you should already have most of what you need to make a mud cast. Here is a basic list so that you can include these items in your bug out bag if they aren’t already present:

  • popsickle sticks or other materials that can be used to form splints
  • surgical gauze and tape
  • antibacterial ointment
  • bandages
  • towels or other padding material
  • material that can be used for a sling or other restraining device for arms or other areas that need to be secured close to the body in order to avoid further injury.
  • straps or other material that can be used to manipulate bones back into position if needed. Just make sure that you take a good quality first aid course and know how to pull and manipulate bones to bring them back into alignment before trying it in a crisis situation. When in doubt, you will be better served by simply immobilizing the bone and letting a doctor take care of it as soon as you find one.
  • A quart or more container to hold the mud that you gather from an appropriate source

Substitutes for Casting Materials in Nature

Let’s look at a situation where you ran from your home in such a hurry, you didn’t bring your bug out bag. Alternatively, your bug out bag is missing one or more essential elements that are needed to make a viable mud cast.

Here are some items in nature that you can use to substitute for things you will need:

  • Use tree branches and small limbs for making splints. Start off by selecting the straightest limbs you can find. Cut them down to a size that will enable you to immobilize the entire joint. It will also help to split the branches or limbs so that the affected area rests on a flat surface. If you cannot find branches or limbs that are wide enough for your need, lay thinner sticks together to form a flat surface. You can also tie them together to make a more solid foundation.
  • In place of gauze, you can use wide, long leaves from grass or other plants. Narrow, long leaves can also be used as long as you can wrap them around the affected are and the splint at least once or twice. When you get into using the leaves for holding the mud in place, see if you can shred the leaf a bit so that the mud has an easier chance of seeping through as it would with gauze.
  • Try using honey or other natural herbs in the area that have anti bacterial properties.
  • Leaves that have antibacterial properties can be used as bandages or coverings for areas that need to be protected from dirt and debris. Hold them in place with vines or other materials that will prevent them from slipping and sliding out of position.
  • Moss, leaves, and other soft materials can be used to pad around the splint as well as provide some relief from the weight of the cast. Make sure that the materials you choose are clean and free of insects.
  • In place of straps, longer, thicker vines can be used for pulling bones back into place and for other purposes.
  • Large leaves, depressions in rocks, and even a hole dug into the ground can be used as a place to hold mud that you retrieved from another location. Since you may wind up looking in several locations to find suitable mud, it is best to have a way to transport it to your campsite before trying to assemble the cast.

Where to Find the Mud

When it comes to finding the best mud for a cast, you will find that the term “mud” is something of a misnomer. Typically, you will be looking for material that is much closer to clay in terms of its plasticity and ability to be worked. As such, the mud you select will have a higher degree of organic matter in it, and will feel different from regular mud.

During the process of looking for suitable mud, take some of the material and let it dry out just enough so that it leaves very little residue on your hands. If you have ever worked with clay to make pinch pots or other objects, then you know that clay at this stage can still be bent and manipulated without creating cracks or other problems. By contrast, regular mud will crack easily at this stage and be completely useless insofar as forming it into usable objects.

The best places to find mud for making a cast are at the bottom of ponds or other areas where organic matter collects and easily mixes with soil over long periods of time. It should be noted that clay can take centuries to form to a point where it can be used for pottery making. You can still use “younger” or less well developed clays for making a mud cast. If you cannot find a clay like mud for the cast, you can still use regular mud, but it will be more difficult to manage and less likely to provide viable support for the areas that need to be immobilized.

How to Make a Basic Mud Cast

When all is said and done, making a mud cast is no more difficult than making a plaster cast. Here are the basic steps:

  • start off by making sure you have addressed any open wounds and set any bone fragments that you were able to take care of.
  • Use padding and a splint to provide support for the bones so that they have an additional layer of support. Worst comes to worst, even if the mud portion of the cast falls apart or fails for some other reason, the splint may be enough to keep the affected area immobilized and free from further injury.
  • Next, begin using thin layers of mud and leaves to hold it in place. If the day is breezy, then it will take less time for the layers to dry out. Do not let them dry completely, but do make sure that the water is wicking out properly from each layer of the cast. This may be a bit difficult if you are using leaves and forgot to make suitable holes in them because they will block the wicking action through the mud.
  • Once the cast is dry, finish off the process by using towels, vines, or anything else that can be fashioned into a harness that will hold the affected area as close as possible to your body. For example, if you broke an arm, you would make a sling that prevents your arm and cast from hanging downward or moving around freely at an uninjured area.

How to Remove a Mud Cast

Removing a mud cast is not so different from removing a plaster cast. You will still need to cut into the cast and then separate the parts to set the injured area free. If you used leaves and thin layers of mud, it may also be possible to simply grab a hold of some leaf material and then pull it away from the rest of the cast.

As the leaf puts pressure on the underside of the mud layer, it should break away easily. You may or may not be able to achieve the same results if you used gauze wrapping. If the fibers of the gauze became deeply enmeshed in the mud, the gauze is not likely to separate it into neat layers.

Alternatives You Can Make From Natural Materials

No matter if you are in the woods or a desert, or some other natural setting, there are few things that are similar to mud or plaster of paris that can be easily gathered and turned into a cast.

On the other hand, if you are in the woods, you can take advantage of pine sap to make pitch. This pitch, in turn, can be used to bind together layers of gauze. Try to keep the pine pitch as thin as possible, as you will find it can be difficult to remove.

Once you establish in a wooded setting, there are things you can make ahead of time to deal with broken bones. Aside from making pine pitch, experiment with maple syrup and turn it into a moldable material that will harden in place. If you already know how to make hard maple candy, then you will have a good start for figuring out how to make a cast from the same material.

Finally, do not forget about using other kinds of sap to make variants of latex, rubber, and other pliable materials. As long as you can find a way to apply a the material while it is soft, and then produce a hard shell, you will have the basis of a cast for broken bones.

In some cases, the ability of the material to stretch may also be of use, especially if you need to bind together splint material, or you need to prevent layers inside the cast from moving around too much.

During the course of trying to escape from a disaster, you may fall, or do something else that results in broken bones. No matter whether the bones are in an appendage, your ribs, hips, or shoulders, it is very important to find a way to immobilize the bones until you can get medical attention.

Mud casts have a number of drawbacks, they can still provide key support and relief when nothing else is available. This is an important skill to learn, as well as how to manage pitfalls so that you can make the most of this emergency medicine method.

When you don’t have access to hospitals and doctors, the only thing you can do to survive is relying on what nature provides you in order to stay alive!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

New Survival Medicine Book (Great Free PDF!)

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We have corresponded slightly in the past but nothing of importance. However, I would like to draw your attention now to a new medical book put out by myself and others, basically a significantly updated version of our original book. Updated as in over 400 pages more.
The book is titled Survival and Austere Medicine: An Introduction 3rd Edition, and it is available for FREE as a pdf document. We also have planned actual printed copies which will be sold royalty-free. In other words no payment to the author team, only the printer. We make absolutely zero profit from this book.
We have one download site up and running and plans for at least 3 more. The 2nd one is due up tonight if all goes well.
Please check this out when you have a chance, and if you like it we can forward the other download sites, and information on the print edition when it is available.
This not some half-baked manual that claims to be ‘the ultimate’ on survival medicine. The authors are all experienced medical people, including doctors and nurses with real world experience outside of the hospital or clinic. The authors represent 3 continents as well. You will find material within that you will not find anywhere else.
Reasonable Rascal

Thank you so much RR!

This is a fantastic resource everyone should download and keep a couple copies of.

Please let us know when you have the hard copy version ready as well.

Congratulations on a great job.

Happy New Year everyone!


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

How To Make Hot Pepper Cream In 3 Strengths For Arthritis And Joint Pain

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How To Make Hot Pepper Cream In 3 Strengths For Arthritis And Joint Pain Learn how to make your very own pain relieving hot pepper cream/ointment in 3 different strengths to help with all levels of pain! Including joint pain! This article is fantastic, and there is real science behind why making your own natural …

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Diabetes Preparedness: Emergency, Disaster, & SHTF Preps for Diabetics

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Diabetes Preparedness: Emergency, Disaster, & SHTF Preps for Diabetics

We’ve received a lot of reader questions asking us how to prep for diabetes over the years. How many? I couldn’t possibly count. It’s a lot, and not all from preppers who are themselves diabetics either. We get a number of concerned relatives who are emailing because they want as much advice on the topic […]

This is just the start of the post Diabetes Preparedness: Emergency, Disaster, & SHTF Preps for Diabetics. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Diabetes Preparedness: Emergency, Disaster, & SHTF Preps for Diabetics, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Treating Wounds With Honey And Sugar

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Treating Wounds With Honey And Sugar Although modern medicine is increasing our life expectancy, we shouldn’t take it for granted. In fact, mankind managed to survive using alternative healing methods. These first aid techniques can be used even today when there is no doctor around. You should learn how to treat wounds with items you …

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Improvised Household First Aid – 5 Essentials

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Improvised Household First Aid – 5 Essentials First aid is a massive factor in surviving any disaster. The moment you are cut off from normal emergency services you have to have answers. The first aid kit is also important in daily life as well. If you have a cheap little kit you will find that …

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Prepping For Seniors: First Aid And Safety Tips You Need To Know

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Being weak, small or old is not necessarily a weakness in a disaster situation if you have enough knowledge, skills and the proper mindset to survive. Skills and knowledge take time to acquire, and so is the mindset that makes you strong and able to survive when the world around you is falling apart.

Knowledge is a supply that you can carry with you freely. It doesn’t weight anything and it can’t be stolen. If you want to stay safe, you need to know how to stay healthy and deter those people who think you’re too weak to protect yourself.

Read this article for a bunch of helpful tips that will help you stay safe and sound in time of need!

7 First Aid Survival Tips for Seniors

Knowing how to recognize and treat common sicknesses and injuries is a skill that any prepper should master. Being a senior might make the things worse, as rapid treatment could make the difference between life and death.

Chances are good that many people won’t know symptoms or have any supplies to treat injuries, so you can potentially save lives just by using what you know and what you have in your first aid kit. Here are a few tips that may help.

Have a First Aid Manual

First aid manuals are full of how-to’s, pictures, and lists of symptoms for common ailments such as dehydration or infection. Having a manual to refer to can help keep things clear in your head or help you identify maladies faster than you normally would.

Carry one with you in your survival kit and in your bug-out bag. While you’re at it, toss in a book of homeopathic remedies and edible medicinal herbs.

Take a First Aid/CPR Class

These are often offered for free at your local emergency services offices or home extension offices. They teach you how to treat a variety of injuries and ailments including cuts, burns, breaks, dehydration, infection, punctures and eye injuries. Encourage your friends and family to take the course with you.

CPR may be a separate class but is well worth your time. You’ll learn how to revive somebody who isn’t breathing and/or doesn’t have a heartbeat. Even if you can’t revive them, keeping oxygen flowing to their brain will help them survive without brain damage until you can get them to a hospital.

Have Emergency Contact Cards or Bracelets

These can be as simple as index cards that you keep in your wallet. Bracelets can be made at local pet stores that you can wear on a bracelet. List your name, emergency contact info, medical conditions, allergies, and medications.

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Numbers and medication names can be difficult to remember if your injured or even scared, so having them written down may save your life or the life of a loved one.

Keep Your Emergency First Aid Kit Stocked

We’ve already discussed what you should have in your kit but make sure that everybody in the house knows that it’s for emergencies only.

It won’t do you any good in a SHTF situation if somebody robs all of the band aids and hearing aid batteries out of it instead of getting those from the regular household supply.

Keep Tabs on Local Weather Events

If you’ve lived in an area all of your life, you likely know what types of severe weather events to expect. Know the difference between storm watches (weather patterns are such that a storm may form) and storm warnings (an event has already formed and is on the way).

If you’re traveling, educate yourself on the types of weather events that you may encounter in vacationland. Check their local weather before you leave so that you’ll know what to expect and can be prepared regardless of where you’re at.

Be Tech-Savvy

In a time of emergency, text messaging and data services such as internet connections may be more reliable than traditional phone calls. If you know how to use these services, you may be more apt to have a means of communication than if you’re relying on a phone line.

Stay Hydrated

Your body loses water through breathing, sweating, urinating and defecating. If you don’t replace this water regularly (2-3 liters per day), you’ll die quickly. Knowing the signs of dehydration are crucial so that you can recognize it in yourself or in others. They are:

  • Dark colored urine with a strong “pee” smell
  • Not urinating as often as usual
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Dark or sunken eyes
  • Your skin doesn’t “snap back” when you pinch your arm
  • Mood swings
  • Slow capillary refill – when you squeeze down on your fingernail, the white should go away immediately when you release it. If not, drink!
  • Being thirsty. This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re feeling thirst, you’re already dehydrated.
  • Decrease in sweating
  • Swollen or shriveled tongue

It’s also imperative that you maintain adequate nutrition because your body requires minerals and vitamins to properly absorb water, maintain healthy blood pressure and just survive.

Self-Defense for Seniors

When it comes to defending yourself, you have a couple of advantages that may make up for your slightly slower reflexes. First, the older you are, the more an attacker is going to underestimate you. They going to be more likely to assume that you’re an easy mark just because you’re older or perhaps physically challenged.

Second, they’re going to expect you to be afraid. If you don’t show fear, it’s possible that you can throw them off-kilter long enough to buy yourself a few extra, precious seconds.

There are a few things that you can do to make this time count.

Take a Martial Arts Class

Though this may sound silly to you, the health benefits of martial arts are out of this world. It helps prevent muscle atrophy and bone loss and it keeps your connective tissues healthy. It also has the added benefit of giving you some extra skills that you can use to defend yourself if SHTF.

No matter what your fitness level is or what your physical abilities are, there are martial arts classes designed to meet your needs. The secret is to find a good trainer, and if there isn’t a senior’s martial arts class in your area, talk to a sensei about starting one. If you’re interested, most likely other seniors in your area are, too!

A huge advantage to a senior’s martial arts or self-defense class is that you’ll meet other seniors interested in learning to defend themselves. It’s likely that some of them will be doing it for the same reason that you are – prepping for SHTF.

Put out some feelers and you may just find some valuable allies that will be willing to join forces with you. That can be invaluable.

Learn to Use Your Brain as a Weapon

If your home is invaded in a survival situation, it may be more pertinent to use your head rather than your fists to defend yourself until you can gain the upper hand. For instance, trick the person into believing that you’re weaker than you really are.

Find non-traditional weapons that are handy such as your cane, a lamp, or even an ashtray. Make your first attempt count because you may not get another shot.

Offer to get your “money” from your purse and reach for you weapon instead. Don’t bother pulling it out; a gun will fire just fine though the bottom of your bag.

Consider Buying Non-Traditional Weapons

In addition to your standard guns, there are common items that have now been weaponized to help older people level the playing field. There are stun canes  that look like a regular cane but actually have stun-gun capabilities when engaged. There are cell phones like that, too.

Just about anything can be used as a weapon. Canned food, keys, a pen, lamps, rocks; really whatever you can get your hands on will be better than nothing but again, make your first move count by aiming for the throat, nose, head, groin or eyes if possible.

Carry your standard weapon, too. Pepper spray or your gun won’t do you any good if they’re in the upstairs drawer. It’s time to survive so be ready at all times.

Bring as Little Attention to Your Place as Possible

If your place is already boarded up and unattractive-looking, don’t bring any more attention to the fact that you’re there than necessary. Make trips outside during times that nobody is likely to see you.

If you can, build a path that’s blocked from public view in advance. Using shrubbery or fencing will allow you a greater amount of privacy to come and go on your property undetected.

If you’re cooking with wood, try to use your stove before dawn and after dusk, times when the smoke is less likely to be seen.

Plan in Advance

The worst time to figure out how you’re going to respond in any given situation is when you’re actually in that situation.

Have an action plan based upon numerous scenarios and practice what to do in each situation. By doing this, you’ll identify possible holes in your plan and you’ll also be prepared to act instead of react when faced with the real-life problem.

Sometimes the best self-defense is to back down and escape. It’s OK to run if you need to; if you’re faced with certain death or the need to leave your home, by all means, leave! If evacuation is part of your plan, you may want to hide a stockpile away from your home in a place such as a storage unit.

Also, pack a bug-out bag with all of the necessary supplies that you’ll need to get you to your bug-out location.

Take a Weapons Course or Join a Shooting Club

Knowing how to use your weapon is one thing but being comfortable with it is another. Taking a weapons course is a great way to safely learn how your gun works and how best to use it. You’ll also learn its shortcomings, which is just as important as knowing its strengths.

Joining a local shooting club has a few advantages. First, the more you load and fire your gun, the more comfortable you’ll be with it when it comes time to defend yourself. Gun clubs are also great places to meet like-minded people.

If you’re interested in being part of a community prepping network, chances are good that you’ll meet fellow preppers at a gun club. Just cautiously feel around. If nothing else, you might make some friends.

There are many ways to learn how to defend yourself but the most important thing to remember is that you need to stick to the plan of attack (or escape) once you’ve committed to it. Train your skills and use your age as an advantage to stay safe!

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

Asthma Attacks: Symptoms, Treatment, & When to Seek Help

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Asthma Attacks: Symptoms, Treatment, & When to Seek Help

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up to a feeling I hadn’t experienced in over a decade. As a kid I had mild asthma, and to suddenly feel my breathing become constrained – the start of a very mild asthma attack – was a real wake up call for me. I had almost forgotten […]

This is just the start of the post Asthma Attacks: Symptoms, Treatment, & When to Seek Help. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Asthma Attacks: Symptoms, Treatment, & When to Seek Help, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Wound Care Essentials!

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Wound Care Essentials Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio player below! Are you ready to act as your own emergency medic if you needed to? Even if you have taken a first aid certification class for work, you’re not really prepared for much beyond put pressure on the wound and call 911. But, what if … Continue reading Wound Care Essentials!

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How To Treat Wounds First Aid Series II | episode 163

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How To Treat Wounds First Aid Series II | episode 163
How To Treat Wounds First Aid Series II | episode 163

How To Treat Wounds First Aid Series II | episode 163




This week I’m back with the second installment in our First aid series How to treat wounds.

This episode focuses on wounds both small and big. 

The scope covers both band-aids to sutures. 

But this show is designed to help you build a First aid kit for times with rule of law not for the SHTF. This is for everyday life and injuries. Where you can go see the doctor if need be. 

I have always said that medical training should come before buying an expensicve First aid kit. 

This show will teach you how to treat wounds for now. A kit that will be used all the time in you daily life.

Not one that sits in the closet. 

You will learn ways to close a wound and why you should consider leaving it open. 

And why peroxide is not used on wounds anymore. 


  • Cleaning Wounds
  • Water or saline
  • Mild soap Soft Soap
  • Wet wipes
  • Antiseptic
  • Topical Lidocaine
  • Blood Control
  • Pressure
  • Gauze
  • Isreali Bandages
  • Tourniquet
  • Clotting Agents
  • Wound Closure
  • Band-aids
  • Tegaderm
  • Superglue
  • Gauze pads and medical tape
  • Steri Strips
  • Skin Stapler
  • Sutures




The Best First Aid Medicines You Need | episode 162

Level 1 First Aid Kit
Level II First Aid Kit

Isreli Bandage




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Chat with Survival Instructor Chuck Hudson

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Chat with Survival Instructor Chuck Hudson Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio player below! Herbal Prepper Live is back live this week. We are having a “prepper chat” with our repeat guest, Chuck Hudson. Chuck is a former combat medic, former EMT-P, and survival instructor based in New Mexico. Chuck’s specialty is “ditch medicine”, working … Continue reading Chat with Survival Instructor Chuck Hudson

The post Chat with Survival Instructor Chuck Hudson appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

The #1 Item Every Bug Out Bag Should Contain — But Probably Doesn’t

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For more than a year my husband walked around, worked at his job, went scuba diving, and tried to lead a normal life, all with a broken back. He was in pain 24 hours a day, and his insurance company would only pay for chiropractic treatments. That’s right. To this day he hates insurance companies, and I don’t blame him.

It took a single visit to the right doctor to determine that not only was the pain real but that two of his vertebrae were broken.

So, he knows a bit about pain.

bug out bag pain relief

With that in mind, one item I am always sure to have on hand, whether in my car, in my desk, or in a bug out bag is a bottle of pain killers. The pain killer of choice for our family is usually ibuprofen. I’ve also been known to favor a topical product like Biofreeze, which, incidentally is something our local physical therapist uses from time to time.

Why do I think pain killers, or pain relief, are a vital addition to your bug out bag? Because no one can accomplish much, travel far, carry much weight, or assist others if they’re in pain. Even a blister or two on the heels can slow down the strongest and best prepared prepper and an ingrown toenail? You might as well lie down on the side of the road and tell your survival group, “Go on without me.”

In a dire emergency, from the loss of our power grid to a natural disaster that destroys your home, you will be on your feet more, the sedentary lifestyle will be but a memory, and you’ll discover muscles (and pains!) you never knew you had. So, it makes sense to stock up on pain relief medications in order to walk just a little farther, carry the toddler a little farther, or set up a campsite when your back is killing you.

While I generally prefer ibuprofen, there are other pain killers that might be more suitable for you and your family or group. Let’s take a look at them.

NSAIDs as an effective bug out bag pain relief

NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are one of the most common categories of pain killers and have brand names you’ve surely seen around: Bayer, Bufferin, Excedrin, Advil, Motrin IB, Aleve. Their generic names are aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.

Aspirin — Brand names: Bufferin, Bayer, Excel

Aspirin’s active ingredient has been used for more than 2,000 years, and is the original medicine for all aches and pains. Its history is fascinating, and it’s been one of the most researched drugs ever. This article explains how willow and aspirin are similar and this article tells how to use willow as a pain killer, in a pinch. You can count on aspirin to reduce the pain in muscles and joints and for toothaches. Doctors prescribe it on a regular basis to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The main warning a bottle of aspirin carries is that it can cause stomach irritation and bleeding. If you have ulcers, a bleeding disorder, or kidney or liver problems, you should talk with your doctor bef:ore planning on using aspirin as your pain killer of choice. Aspirin shouldn’t be given to children under the age of 2 and any child or teenager recovering from chickenpox or the flu.

Still, aspirin is readily available, inexpensive, and can be effective for years after the so-called expiration date stamped on the bottle. You can expect to feel relief from your pain within 15-20 minutes and get the full effect of the aspirin within 49-100 minutes, based on a dose of 500 mg.

Ibuprofen — Brand names: Motrin IB, Advil, Equate

For the most part, this is what I always try to have on hand. I’ve found that it’s quite effective for headaches and when anyone in the family has body aches from a cold or minor episode of the flu. This is a good choice for bringing down a fever and can even help with migraines, arthritis, and with pains caused by an injury. Like aspirin, ibuprofen can irritate the stomach, although it generally has fewer side effects.

For a few months, I was taking a prescription version of ibuprofen with a dose of 800 mg, twice a day. It was effective, but after a couple of months I had to switch to a naproxen pill due to stomach pains. For this reason, it would be a good plan to have on hand pain killers from the 3 different categories of NSAIDs. If you begin to suffer side effects from one, you can switch to a different one while still contuing to manage the pain. With larger doses beyond the typical dosage of 200 mg every 4-6 hours be sure to talk with a doctor first. Ibuprofen can be very unsafe taken in large doses or for extended periods of time.

A dose of ibuprofen will start to kick in within 20-30 minutes when taken on an empty stomach, so keep an eye on your pain level and take that dose before the pain becomes extreme.

Naproxen — Brand names: Equate, Aleve

Naproxen is another type of NSAID that many experts recommend for the type of muscle aches and pains you get from a workout or vigorous physical activity — something you might expect in a SHTF scenario. It’s also used to treat the pain of gout and osteoarthritis, tendonitis and menstrual pains as well as bursitis.

Like aspirin and ibuprofen, naproxen can also irritate the stomach and it’s not something to take over a long period of time as it can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Risks seem to be higher for older adults. A pregnant woman shouldn’t take naproxen during the last trimester as it could harm the baby.

If naproxen is your choice of NSAIDs, it will take about 45 minutes before it fully takes effect.

Warnings for NSAIDs

Studies have found that NSAIDs (excluding aspirin) increase the risk of heart attack and stroke when taken regularly. NSAIDs can also reduce blood flow to the kidneys, so if you choose to take them, be sure to stay well-hydrated. Just because these are over-the-counter meds does not mean they are meant to be taken daily, over long periods of time

Generally, your best option is to take the least risky drug, at the lowest dose you need to control your pain, for the shortest amount of time possible.

NSAIDs for kids

In the past I’ve been able to stock up on various OTC meds for cheap by watching for coupons and store sales. Often you’ll see coupons for Advil Junior, Advil Children’s Ibuprofen, and other versions of NSAIDs for kids. Read the directions and warning label carefully to make sure that particular medication is safe for your child.

NSAIDs should be given with food in order to alleviate any stomach pains associated with them and NSAIDs have been known to make kids sun sensitive as well. If they’ll be spending time outdoors, apply sunscreen so you don’t have a sunburn to worry about on top of their other complaints!

Acetaminophen for pain relief

The second category of OTC pain killers is acetaminophen, Tylenol being the best known brand. Since acetaminophen isn’t a NSAID, it won’t irritate the stomach but it also won’t reduce inflammation. Instead, it’s usually given for headaches, muscle aches, back pain, colds, fevers, and toothaches. It’s generally quite safe when taken as advised, but it’s also easier to overdose on acetaminophen, and too much can be fatal.

If you’re taking other meds, check the label to see if they include acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated APAP), and if so, add up the total number of milligrams you are taking. Since acetaminophen is a common ingredient in other medications, it’s possible to overdose without realizing it. 2600-3000 mg is the maximum daily dose for an adult, whether taken straight up as a Tylenol capsule or in a combination of other medications taken throughout the day.

One bright spot when you’re in a lot of pain is that it’s generally safe to alternate acetaminophen with a NSAID in order to maintain a higher level of pain relief. Surprisingly, the combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen is more effective for dental pain than opiods, such as vicodin. The two work together well as companions as acetaminophen is cleared by the liver, while ibuprofen is cleared by the kidneys.

Ask your doctor or pharmacisit for their recommended dosage, but generally, a dose of acetaminophen and one of ibuprofen taken alternately every 4 hours is safe for most people and is what our doctors have recommended to us over the years.

What about prescription pain killers?

I’m extremely wary about all pain killers, even though I recommend their inclusion in emergency kits and bug out bags. I’m especially wary when it comes to prescription pain killers, and have had friends become addicted to them. Having said that, there are times when the strongest possible pain medication is called for.

This is a tricky area because, first, without advice from a doctor or pharmacist, giving a Tramadol, Vicodin or Percocet, for example, to someone with pre-existing conditions or allergies could be deadly. Dosages are based on weight and the health history of the patient.

Technically, it’s illegal to give a prescription medication to anyone other than the person it was prescribed for. True, in a worst case scenario this isn’t likely to be an issue, but all the same, it’s something to be considered for your bug out bag.

Natural pain killers

Most of the focus here has been on OTC pain killers because they are generally very effective and give quick relief. Natural remedies, though, shouldn’t be overlooked. Be aware, though, that just because a remedy is “natural” doesn’t mean that it won’t interact with other medications you may be taking with negative results. Also, try out any of these herbs ahead of time to see if they are effective or not.

Here are a few common herbal and natural remedies for pain that would be practical to include in a bug out bag.

  • Turmeric — For back and joints discomfort
  • Boswellia — For osteoarthritic pain.
  • Capsaicin — For muscular pain.
  • White willow bark, for headaches. Also read this article for in-depth information about headache treatments.)
  • Arnica herbal rub — For topical pain.
  • Bone broth — Supports joints and is anti-inflammatory. You can buy a powdered version of this.
  • Caffeine — May be effective for migraines and is sometimes combined with ibuprofen or acetaminophen for greater relief.
  • Kava kava — Sore muscles

There are many other herbs that may help with pain, so continue researching and testing to see what is most effective for you. Then, put several doses of that herb in a water-tight container in your bug out bag. Another tip is to research natural pain killers in this book about foraging and learn how to identfy these plants, so you’ll be able to access them if you’re ever out of range of a pharmacy or doctor’s office.

Prepping for bug out bag pain relief

The best practices for dealing with pain are, first, identifying all the possible causes of the pain and eliminating as many as possible. If the pain persists, then it’s vital to know about the individual OTC drugs, their potential side effects, and how they are best utilized. A well-equipped first aid or medical kit would contain a bottle of each drug that is safe for you and your family members to take, including infant and childrens versions. The charts at this website provide a good summary of information that you can save to your computer and print out.

If you want to carry smaller amounts of these meds, then a vacuum sealer is your best friend. You can create very small pouches using a Food Saver type bag. Use the smallest size bag you can, seal several doses inside, and then trim the edges to create a tiny, sealed pouch. Use a Sharpie to label the pouch with the name of the drug and dosage. You can read more about using a vacuum sealer for things like this here.

Finally, take some time to educate your family members about the safe use of these medications. At some point, it may be up to one on of your children or grandchildren to either take a pain killer dose themselves or provide that med to a family member. They will need to know what is safe and what isn’t.

The Best First Aid Medicines You Need | episode 162

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The Best First Aid Medicines You Need   | episode 162
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The Best First Aid Medicines You Need | episode 162




This week Mike and I talk about The Best First Aid Medicines You Need.

This first part in our First aid series we cover drugs in your first aid kits. 

Most of the first aid medicines talked about are for minor injuries. More day to day comfort than the collapse scenario. 

Medical care for the SHTF is beyond the scope of a level I and II first aid kit. 

Not to mention the technical skills required for advanced medical procedures. 

Also as a disclaimer, Mike and I are not medical professionals and this is not medical advice.

Towards the end of the episode, we discuss some stronger medicines to carry. And make a case for getting some fish antibiotics. 


Medicines Talked about


Equate Extra Strength Headache Relief


Pain Relief

Allergy Pills


Tiny Ziplock Bags

Heavy Duty Ziplock Bags


Level 1 First Aid Kit
Level II First Aid Kit




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How to Identify a Spider Bite and Treat It

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How to Identify a Spider Bite and Treat It Spiders don’t always hang out after they bite so that you can easily identify them. Being able to identify the bite itself and the symptoms can help you be prepared for some of the worse effects from spider bites. Knowing whether a garden orb weaver or …

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How to Make Hot and Cold Packs for First Aid

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Being prepared includes getting into shape.  I started exercising at the gym and found myself feeling sore after a workout.   A hot or cold pack can usually help with minor sore muscle aches. Having a well-stocked first aid kit is great to have, but if you don’t happen to have a hot or cold pack, you can make them with common household items. Hot Pack Materials Tube socks 2 cups uncooked rice Microwave […]

The post How to Make Hot and Cold Packs for First Aid appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

This Is How Summer Can Kill You

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With summer comes great joy, but great dangers also lurk around almost every corner. Okay, the situation may not be as dramatic as I describe it, but the thing is, summer’s heat waves do present a clear and present danger to one’s health, especially in a survival situation.

The thing with summer is that almost all of us are gearing up for going out and experiencing epic adventures. Summer is vacation season and the best time of the year for businesses such as water parks, hot air balloon rides, bungee jumping resorts, para-sailing docks, and so on and so forth.

You see where this is going, right? Keep reading to find out!

Well, while you’re standing in line at any of these fine establishments, the thought that goes through your mind is probably, “This is how I’m going to die?”

Truth be told, this pessimistic state of mind is the logical consequence of years of horror stories pushed by the mainstream media, depicting terrifying accidents and misfortunes that people suffered during their summer holiday.

People died in all sorts of gruesome circumstances while having the time of their lives, i.e. when their hot-air balloon drifted into high-power lines, their parachute failed or their boat flipped at high speeds or on rushing rivers. Folks died or lost limbs while enjoying the ultimate ride at amusement parks or when hiking without proper training/guidance etc.

The nightmarish stories of good times gone bad go on and on.

And then there’s always death from exposure. To give you a grim statistic, heat exposure kills thirty outdoor workers on average on a yearly basis.

What we’re about talking here are agricultural, roofing, construction and landscaping workers; these folks are particularly at risk, especially during heat waves which promote heat-related deaths and illnesses such as heat stroke and heart attacks.

How will you survive when there is no doctor around? 

Keep in mind that the elderly are particularly affected by heat waves and in some geographical locations (like Arizona), air conditioning is not a luxury, but a necessity.

#1 Killer in the Summer Is…

So, let’s begin with the biggest killer during the summer season, which is heat, obviously.

Prolonged exposure to heat – especially humid heat – would have immediate effects on one’s health and state of mind alike. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are the most common issues associated with scorching heat, but sometimes the effects of prolonged exposure to excessive heat may take odd forms.

The most important thing one must realize during the summer is that dehydration is a killer. To stay properly hydrated, you should drink at least 2 liters of water per day (or approximately half a gallon), but that’s an average figure and it depends upon your age, gender, physical condition, and circumstances.

For example, you’ll require way more than 2 liters of water per day if you’re hiking in scorching heat or if you’re working out, rather than staying indoors in a house without air conditioning etc. That’s common sense, though.

If you don’t drink enough water to replace the loss of fluids which occurs via sweating, you’ll put your body in a state of emergency, as your body is losing salt and water and not getting enough electrolytes.

Salt, magnesium, and potassium imbalances caused by dehydration may cause cramps, cardiac arrhythmia, dizziness, and confusion – basically your brain doesn’t work right.

For people who aren’t used to heat, there’s also always the risk of heat edema and, worst case scenario, a fatal heat stroke when your body gives up and stops sweating. This occurs when you’re exposed to extreme heat for long periods of time and is called anhidrosis.

However, the most common problem that occurs during a summer heat wave is heat exhaustion.

Heat exhaustion is a consequence of one’s body losing significant amounts of salt and water; sans electrolytes, the body can’t cope with heat anymore. Salt and potassium are the two primary minerals that control your blood pressure and when you sweat, they’re two of the first that you lose.

Obviously, heat exhaustion and all heat related ailments are particularly dangerous in a survival situation, i.e. when you’re outdoors hiking, climbing, or whatever.

Heat exhaustion’s first symptom is when the core temperature rising above 98.6, your normal body temperature, resulting in intense thirst, heavy sweating, dizziness, and an overwhelming feel of fatigue. Your body is literally starting to cook.

The first thing that you need to do is get out of the heat if possible and hydrate, obviously. Avoid strenuous activities during the day in open sunny spots, especially if there’s a heat-wave warning.

Now, if heat exhaustion sets in, you must find a cool, shaded location and remove the victim’s clothes, including (especially) the shoes and socks then, apply wet clothes to the victim’s  face, head, neck, and if possible, their feet.

Spray with cool water if possible. Encourage the victim to drink as much water as possible. Sport drinks (if available) are great, as they contain minerals and vitamins (the famous electrolytes included) together with sugar, which gives the body a boost but push water, too.

Try to get medical aid as soon as possible, especially if you spot the early signs of a heat stroke (way worse than heat exhaustion), which include:

  • profuse sweating or hot,
  • dry skin,
  • a core temperature of around 104 degrees F (or higher),
  • feeling cold (yes, it seems strange, but it’s a fact),
  • loss of consciousness, and/or seizures.

All of these symptoms are signaling that the body’s mechanisms for coping with heat have failed and he/she’s at the death’s door. Heat strokes are very serious as they have a mortality rate of about ten percent, and yes, people really do die in extreme heat conditions, and it’s not rare.

Most people who die during heat waves are elderly folk living in big cities in the upper floors of buildings, especially old, inadequately ventilated condo buildings. Just in the US, over 600 people die annually and thousands visit emergency rooms due to extreme heat conditions.

Since we’ve already established that heat is a silent killer, as the weather gets more extreme, avoid the main danger by staying out of the sun. If you’re outdoors on foot, avoid traveling during the day, and do it by night, like Bedouins.

If you find yourself traveling or lost in the wilds in the heat, drinking lots of water and covering your head and your entire body in white (best case scenario) sheets would go a long way toward preserving your body’s reserve of electrolytes if traveling during the day.

The rule of the thumb is that when your core temperature gets above 104 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re in serious trouble.

Obese and elderly people are especially vulnerable to heat, and small children have tiny hearts which are not always capable of cooling their bodies efficiently. Kids also have a slow sweat response, which puts them in danger in extreme situations.

And here are a few more hints on surviving the heat:

  • try to avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages (they act as diuretics) during heat waves,
  • maintain a proper level of hydration at all times,
  • when indoors, try to eliminate extra sources of heat (computers and appliances left running, computers, etc.),
  • don’t eat big, protein-rich meals as they warm the body by increasing metabolic heat, be ready to recognize the early symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and take action.

Beware the Dangers in the Water!

Another thing to keep in mind during the hot summer season is that jumping in public swimming pools, lakes and ponds are not the best ideas for beating the heat wave. You should think at least twice before diving in these cesspools, which are giant petri dishes by any definition, leaving aside that going into cold water when you body is overheated can bring on a heart attack.

Even chlorinated swimming pools are filled with chlorine-resistant bacteria (think Cryptosporidium, a bacteria living in the stomach, E.coli etc.) which can cause all sorts of disease, especially for people with immune issues.

Freshwater lakes and rivers are also home to a myriad of bacteria, viruses, and amoebas. All these tiny bugs that flourish in warm water may cause diarrhea and vomiting, which are exacerbating the dangers of dehydration, if you catch my drift.

And with dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are just around the corner, provided you don’t deal with it immediately. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes – less than 30 – for the situation to go from bad to worse if the conditions are right.

Besides the relatively harmless e Coli and Cryptosporidium, there are killer bacteria and viruses in lakes and rivers, which can infect you via water getting inside the nasal passage and then to the brain.

For example, Naegleria fowleri can cause a deadly infection of your CNS (central nervous system), called amoebic meningo-encephalitis.

There are dangers in paradise too, especially during the summer season when these places are packed full of people trying to relax and enjoy their vacations.

When Summer Turns into Disaster

The beach may look like paradise on Earth, but it’s not all fun and serenity. Beaches are also filled with dangers, and we’re not talking about heat stroke alone. Coastal areas in some parts of the planet are prone to tsunamis and others to hurricanes.

One may say that beaches are prime real estate when it comes to natural disasters, hence, stay frosty and learn your escape routes just in case disaster hits. Most coastal areas are using early warning systems including sensors which monitor storm and earthquake activity and issue hurricane/tsunami alerts.

Toxic algal blooms happen almost every summer in places like Florida, on its Gulf Coast especially. Algal blooms kill fish and shellfish and they also render them unsafe to eat. Remember to avoid eating shellfish and fish from areas affected by toxic algal blooms; also, avoid swimming in waters infested by these critters.

Even if shark attacks are relatively rare, keep in mind that where there are fish in the ocean, there also might be sharks, hence avoid swimming near fishing areas and also avoid murky waters and areas were fishing boats and diving sea birds abound.

It’s also important to remember not to swim alone, sharks or not, and never at dawn or dusk because that’s when sharks feed. Watches and jewelry gleam like fish scales in the water, so get rid of them.

Another danger for beach goers is rip currents, which may pull even the Olympic swimming champion away from the shore. These fast-moving currents of water kill at least one hundred people annually, especially at surf beaches, and those are just US figures.

If you’re caught in such a rip current, try not to fight it. Go with the current and swim parallel to the beach, and try to swim back to shore once you manage to pull out of the current. If that doesn’t do the job, try to float/tread water until the current stops and try to call for help.

Edge Sports Have Their Price

Parasailing is an awesome summer activity for thousands of Americans. If you’re not from this planet, parasailing means that you’re towed behind a boat using a parachute canopy while flying like Superman.

Even though this may sound safe as far as extreme sports go, the majority of fatal parasailing accidents occur as a result of high wind conditions. To play it safe, make sure the weather is friendly before engaging in such crazy activities, alright?

Scuba diving is another all-time favorite activity doing the summer season, but is plunging in deep blue waters safe? Well, pretty much yes, but there are caveats to that.

The most common causes of death during scuba diving are oxygen supply problems, cardiac issues, and emergency ascent. To play it safe when scuba diving, make sure you are prepared for the water and you’ve learned all the techniques from your instructor.

Next on the list is skydiving. Skydiving is immensely fun for those crazy bastards with no self-preservation instincts. I’m kidding, but yes, skydiving is becoming increasingly popular among certain folk during summer vacation.

Even though you’re more susceptible to death by a lightning strike or a bee sting than due to skydiving gone wrong, make sure to look for riggers, jumpers and pilots with proper certification before making the big jump into the abyss. The same goes for bungee jumping.

White water rafting is another dangerous summer activity and there are tons of potential hazards involved in this awesome water sport. To reduce risks associated with white water rafting, never boat alone, wear a life jacket and a helmet at all times, and don’t overestimate your skills.

If you’re a hot air balloon aficionado, make sure your ‘ballooner” has all the necessary paperwork and be aware of adverse weather conditions, especially wind, before getting in the basket.

Whatever you do during summer, stay safe and be aware of the dangers. Ultimately, learn your lesson about first aid and surviving without medical assistance. Click the banner below to get the knowledge!

I hope the article helped. If you have other ideas or comments, feel free to use the dedicated section below!

Herbal First Aid Kit part 2

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Herbal First Aid Kit part 2 Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio player at bottom of this post! This is a “part two” of last week’s show on first aid kits. Last week’s guest, Chuck Hudson, had a lot of great resources (as he always does) for both ready-made first aid kits, as well as … Continue reading Herbal First Aid Kit part 2

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Wilderness First Aid: What To Do When You Can’t Call 911

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First AidWould you know how to treat a snakebite if you were miles and miles from a hospital? What if a family member tripped and suffered a major cut or even a broken bone? What would you do?

Wilderness first aid is the topic of this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio as we talk to Jason Hunt, a survival expert and the co-author with Dave Canterbury of “Bushcraft First Aid: A Field Guide to Wilderness Emergency Care” (Adams Media).

Jason tells us the differences between wilderness first aid and traditional first aid.

He also tells us:

  • When a tourniquet is necessary – and when it can be dangerous.
  • How to care for someone with a bleeding wound or broken bone.
  • Why dehydration is perhaps the biggest concern for someone in a survival situation.
  • What to do if someone is vomiting or has diarrhea.

Jason also shares with us tips for treating snakebites.

We learned a lot by talking to Jason. You will, too!

First, Second, or Third Degree Burns? The 3 Degrees Of Ouch

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First, Second, or Third Degree Burns? The 3 Degrees Of Ouch

Do I have third degree burns? Growing up as a curious child, I found myself a victim to the nasty side of heat on a few occasions, something I am sure most reading this will be able to relate to. Whenever dealing with these heat-related accidents, the term “third degree burn” always stuck in my […]

This is just the start of the post First, Second, or Third Degree Burns? The 3 Degrees Of Ouch. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

First, Second, or Third Degree Burns? The 3 Degrees Of Ouch, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

8 Life Hacks for Being Prepared

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8 Life Hacks for Being Prepared You will never be prepared for every situation life can throw your way, and that is a fact. However, if you want to be able to find your way out of the majority of prickly situations, that can be managed. Investing time and energy to learn and hone certain … Continue reading 8 Life Hacks for Being Prepared

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Herbal and Conventional First Aid Kits

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Herbal and Conventional First Aid Kits with Guest, Chuck Hudson Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio player at bottom of this post! On this episode of Herbal Prepper Live, I’m chatting with our good friend, Chuck Hudson, about first aid kits. We are taking a look at and talking about the best herbal and conventional … Continue reading Herbal and Conventional First Aid Kits

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What You Should Know About Getting Sick

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What You Should Know About Getting Sick Did you know that you could get sick two different times, having the same symptoms, and yet the cause was completely different? There’s a big difference between illnesses that are usually lumped together with the label of either ” a cold,” or “the flu.” There are two different …

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Sugardine – A Cheap Homemade Antiseptic

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Sugardine – A Cheap Homemade Antiseptic I first heard about Sugardine from my grandpa and I’ve seen him use it many times on the farm. This homemade antiseptic was used every time he needed to prevent and kill infections on his animals. Although it was his primary method to treat abscesses and thrush on the …

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The 6 Pillars of Preparedness

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The 6 Pillars of Preparedness When it comes to prepping, you need to start from the ground and work your way up. Rare is the person who can just go to the store and buy all they need in one shot! Even if you were able to, you still aren’t anywhere near prepared. Just because …

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12 First Aid Tricks That Really Work

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In today’s age, we’ve grown pretty accustomed to 21st century medicine and all of the convenient solutions that it offers. However, there could come a day when the medicines, technologies, and medical professionals that comprise modern medicine are no longer so easily accessible. When and if that time comes, you can rely on these first […]

The post 12 First Aid Tricks That Really Work appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Preparing a Farm Animal First-Aid Kit

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Preparing a Farm Animal First-Aid Kit If you have livestock, even something as simple as chickens, you want to keep them happy and healthy. We all know that these animals pay dividends and either offer us food, fur, feathers or all of the above. Some even fill our glasses with milk. You must know how …

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The Best OTC Painkillers to Stock Up On: Behind the Brands

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 The Best OTC Painkillers to Stock Up On: Behind the Brands Do you know what’s in the painkillers in your cabinet? Despite all the brands on the shelf, most over the counter painkillers boil down to five ingredients. Some of them don’t even vary in dosage size. Besides the fancy pill designs and different colored …

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Chicken First-Aid: 8 Vital Items You Better Have On Hand

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Chicken First-Aid: 8 Vital Items You Better Have On Hand

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Standing at the kitchen counter, early on a Saturday morning, I caught a glimpse of a white blur, closely followed by a large black blur. Turning to look closer, I saw a black dog, not belonging to us, attacking my flock. I lost three to that attack, including our rooster.

Thankfully, one wise hen that was attacked did escape by taking refuge with our farm dog. She had a deep wound under her left wing that healed quite nicely after being cleaned and treated with ointment from our first-aid kit.

From frostbite to predator attacks, our flock has experienced a lot in a few short years. Having a basic first-aid kit — and the knowledge to use it — is essential on the homestead. Chickens will be injured from time to time. Sometimes they hurt each other, sometimes it is a predator attack that can leave them wounded, or perhaps it is just a routine illness.

Below you’ll find a list of basic supplies that any first-aid kit for chickens should have. As always, use caution when using any type of antibiotic or other medication and carefully read the instructions.

1. Disposable gloves

Protect your hands while keeping the wound area free from contaminants by having a supply of disposable gloves readily available. They also prevent infection from spreading and make clean up much easier.

2. Rubbing alcohol

A small bottle of rubbing alcohol is perfect for cleaning wounds.

Diatomaceous Earth: The All-Natural Livestock De-Wormer!

Be careful not to get the liquid near the bird’s eyes. Hydrogen peroxide also can be used; however, it also kills healthy cells surrounding the wound, so it is best to use it for the initial cleaning.

3. Cornstarch

Cornstarch, styptic powder and Wonder Dust are all useful for stopping bleeding due to broken nails or minor wounds. A small pair of nail clippers to trim broken nails on the spot also should be included to keep them from being further torn.

4. Triple antibiotic ointment

Chicken First-Aid: 8 Vital Items You Better Have On HandWhen choosing an antibiotic ointment for your first-aid kit, pick one free of pain-relieving ingredients. The ointment is most useful for preventing infection in wounds and abrasions.

5. Petroleum ointment

Useful as a protectant, petroleum ointment is helpful to fend off frostbite on combs and wattles during extreme cold snaps. It also can be used to treat scaly leg mites. To do this, simply coat the leg with ointment once or twice a week until the leg scales once again lay flat.

6. Blu-Kote

An antiseptic spray, Blu-Kote masks the wound to prevent other hens from pecking at it. It also stops infection and can be used in combination with a triple antibiotic ointment for serious wounds. Carefully spray on affected area as needed. It may take multiple applications each day before the wound has healed sufficiently enough to deter pecking.

7. Oral syringe

For dispensing any liquid medications, an oral syringe is a must. Electrolyte solutions can be easily administered to aid ailing chickens with an oral syringe. For crop issues, specifically a compacted crop, a few drops of a vegetable oil can be given with an oral syringe to loosen and soften the mass, allowing it to pass freely from the crop.

8. Gauze wrap

Occasionally, a wing will be broken and need to be secured. Position the broken wing in a natural position on the bird’s side and wrap the body and wing with gauze to secure it in place. Broken legs can be splinted and wrapped with gauze as well. It is best to isolate the chicken to prevent further injury due to pecking.

Along with these specific supplies, general supplies such as cotton balls, small gauze pads and small scissors are all helpful in emergencies. Keeping all first-aid supplies in a portable kit allows you to easily treat injured chickens on the spot.

What items would you add to our chicken first-aid kit? Share your advice in the section below:

Handling Medical Emergencies

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1_med_bagMedical emergencies go far beyond straightforward fractures, sprains and breaks; would you know what to do in the case of an asthma attack, fever or dehydration? These things can happen to anyone and at any time, and when they do strike you might find yourself far away from emergency medical care. Then what?

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

Here are some common (and not so common) medical emergencies you should be prepared for and what to do…

#1: An asthma attack.

Chronic asthma sufferers should always have their medication on hand or within reach, especially when they plan on travelling. When they don’t, the first step is to keep the person calm and breathing deeply. Panic only causes the airways to close up further. Caffeinated beverages – coffee and energy drinks – are good in an emergency and can stop an asthma attack in its tracks; they’re always part of the emergency kit for good reason.

#2: Handling a fever.

1_thermometer-temperature-fever-fluA fever is the body’s way of altering its temperature to kill any pathogens in the body. Symptoms include shivering, sweating and the sensation of feeling hot or cold – sometimes both interchangeably. The worst thing you can possibly do with someone who has a fever is to throw them into an ice bath. Yes, it’s one of those things you saw in the movies that can kill someone. A fever puts way too much strain on the heart, and your best bet for cooling down someone with a fever is to keep them hydrated, cool them down slowly with a cold cloth and try medication like paracetamol before seeking medical attention.

#3: Seeing (and stopping) advanced hypothermia.

Hypothermia is what happens when the body’s core temperature drops below 35°C; frostbite and hypothermia go hand in hand. The symptoms of hypothermia starts with shivering, then goes on to worse symptoms like drowsiness and confusion, which eventually leads to coma and death. With hypothermia, do not resort to alcohol or quickly warming the person: Both will do more damage. Remove the person from the cold environment, get them into dry, warm clothes and warm them up slowly.

#5: Dehydration.

1_splashing-splash-aqua-water-67843By the time your body tells you you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated: It pays to remember this fact on a daily basis and when camping or hiking. Make sure you drink plenty of (clean) water. Replace the fluid your body puts out (through sweat, for example) and then some more. Also pack drinks specifically for treating dehydration, which contain much-needed salts and electrolytes. In an emergency, a mixture of water, sugar and salt replaces the most necessary minerals. Remember that sugar, salt and alcohol all have dehydrating effects on the body.

Keep in mind that coconut water, intravenously, will also replace electrolytes.

#6: How to stop bleeding.

Maybe it’s a small cut, or maybe the emergency is a little more severe – and spurting blood. You’ll encounter both in your lifetime, and it’s vital that you know how to handle it. For severe bleeding, apply firm pressure with a compress. Remember to wear gloves, and do not use a tourniquet. This cuts off blood circulation and will lead to tissue damage pretty quickly. For slight bleeding, both salt and sugar have antibacterial  properties and will help the blood to clot sooner.

#7: Slowing an infection.

The biggest danger with most wounds, even small ones, is often not the wound itself but the resulting infection that can occur. When an injury occurs, the first priority after stopping the bleeding should be cleaning the wound with sterilized water or alcohol – trace amounts of dirt can be enough to cause a serious infection and should be removed. Sugar and salt, as mentioned above, have fantastic antibacterial properties. Yes, this will hurt, but what would you rather have in this situation?

If severe infection has already set in and medical help is not available for a long time (say, if you are stranded on a boat in the middle of the ocean), learn to look upon maggots as a good sign: They clean dead and infected skin out of the wounds, and should be allowed to do their thing before being removed – carefully, of course.

#8: Demystifying fainting spells.

The technical term for fainting, if you’ve ever wondered, is syncope. It can happen for a variety of reasons, including (but not limited to) blood pressure or lack of oxygen to the brain. Fainting at the site of blood we now know is a neurological condition. It’s never anything less than a medical emergency, and should always be treated with care – and examined on a case-by-case basis. First, check if the person is breathing and their heart is beating the way it should. Make sure that their airways are not obstructed and that they are away from danger. Then, try to revive them. Fluids – sugar water or fruit juice – should be given immediately.

#9: Spotting a stroke.

The cause of most strokes are a lack of blood supply to the brain.

1_stroke_blurry_lights-night-unsharp-bluredThe symptoms of a stroke are varied and can include the feeling of pins and needles, fatigue, a loss of balance, paralysis – especially on one side of the body, double vision and difficulty speaking or slurred speech. Look for signs of confusion, and ask the patient to lift their arms above their head or touch their tongue to the roof of their mouth: If they can’t, you might be dealing with the symptoms of a stroke.

Like most other emergencies, keep the patient calm and stay calm yourself. Check their responses by asking some simple questions and seeing how they respond to physical stimuli. (Someone who has just had a stroke might be unconscious. In this case, resort to checking eyelid response.) If they are unconscious, you want to check their airways and heart rate and administer CPR before seeking help.

It is not recommended to give someone having a stroke something to eat or drink.

Share your medical emergency tips or stories with our readers in the comments.

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Prep Blog Review: How To Stay Healthy When SHTF

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No one knows what the future is going to throw at us, but one thing is for sure: we need to stay prepared. Next to shelter, water, food and hygiene, medical supplies are the most important in a survival situation, when we lose all the luxuries of modern medical facilities. Without the proper medical supplies, wounds and diseases that are normally not considered life threatening, can become the real threat.

I’ve gathered five articles on this topic for this week’s Prep Blog Review. If you have any questions or tips, address them in the comment section below.

1. 11 First Aid Supplies You Can’t Have Too Much Of

“Next to food, water, and shelter, nothing is more important in a survival situation than medical supplies.

Without the right supplies, diseases and injuries that would normally be completely treatable could be a death sentence.

Unfortunately, many first aid supplies such as medication and bandages are not reusable, meaning you will want to have ample stocks of these crucial items.

In preparing for the worst, here are the top 11 first aid supplies you should have in abundance.”

Read more on Urban Survival Site.

2. 5 Natural Items to Put in Your Emergency Kit Today

“When the SHTF and a medical situation does occur simultaneously, things can go to absolute turmoil very quickly.

Most medical situations that will arise during this time may not be considered life threatening, but can quickly become one if not appropriately treated.

For instance, a simple cut that makes contact with tainted water (a very typical scenario following floods and hurricanes) can quickly become infected.

That said, as preppers we need to prepare for medical emergencies and not only learn basic first aid, but also know how to use natural alternatives to care for the wounds themselves.”

Read more on Ready Nutrition.

3. Coping with Life-Threatening Allergies in a Post-SHTF World

“We have lived in our home for nearly a decade and I love it. I truly love my yard, but the feeling is not mutual. My yard is trying to kill me. After a lifetime of thinking of myself as allergy free, I have been proven wrong. As it turns out, oak trees, along with other things, cause me to have an extreme allergic reaction.

Care to guess where I live? Yes, in the middle of 150 acres of forest.

I had no idea that this could be a life-ending allergy for me. Huge portions of this country have primarily hickory and oak forests.  I would need to drive at least twelve hours to be somewhere that doesn’t have oak trees.

If you or someone in your family struggles with seasonal allergies, first, go to an allergist to find out what they are.

In a truly catastrophic event, it is critical that you know the type of environment you can live in.”

Read more on The Survival Mom.

4. How to Prepare Dialysis Patients for Emergencies: Five Easy Steps

“If you are on dialysis, emergency situations are especially worrisome.

Perhaps even life threatening.

Although dialysis technology has progressed dramatically from when my grandfather was on it and afraid to lose his spot, we are still not at that point where portable/travel dialysis units are common. That time is coming but it is not quite here yet.

Therefore it is critical for those on dialysis and their families to develop an emergency plan to ensure proper medical treatment of the condition.

This five step guide will give you the information you need to create a robust plan for your family.”

Read more on The Weekend Prepper.

5. Setting Up A Survival Sick Room

“In normal times, we have the luxury of modern medical facilities that can isolate a sick patient from healthy people. In a survival scenario, however, most organized medical care will no longer exist, placing the average citizen into the position of medic for his/her family or community.

Although we may be thrown back to the 19th century medically by a disaster, we have the benefit of knowing about infections and hygiene.

The knowledge of how contagious diseases are spread and how to sterilize supplies give us a major advantage over medical personnel of bygone eras.”

Read more on Doom and Bloom.

This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia.

11 First Aid Supplies You Can’t Have Too Much Of

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Next to food, water, and shelter, nothing is more important in a survival situation than medical supplies. Without the right supplies, diseases and injuries that would normally be completely treatable could be a death sentence. Unfortunately, many first aid supplies such as medication and bandages are not reusable, meaning you will want to have ample […]

The post 11 First Aid Supplies You Can’t Have Too Much Of appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Herbal First Aid for Eye Health

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Herbal First Aid for Eye Health Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio in player below! Have you given any thought to caring for your eyes and eyesight post-disaster? Good eyesight is important, but it could be critical in a down-grid or emergency situation. This episode, we will be taking a look at eye care, including: … Continue reading Herbal First Aid for Eye Health

The post Herbal First Aid for Eye Health appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

9 Ways To Disinfect Wounds In A Survival Situation

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Getting wounded when you have no access to professional medical care and equipment can turn ugly quickly, so it’s important that you take care if it immediately and continue wound care until it’s healed well enough that infection is no longer a danger.

The most critical part after you stop the bleeding is getting the wound clean of debris and bacteria. That’s probably the crummiest part of it, especially for the person who has the wound, but it’s essential to get it clean right away so that your body can start repairing itself.

Keeping it clean throughout the healing process is critical, too, but it’s this first cleaning that will set the tone for your healing. Do it right. In order to make sure that your wound is clean, you’ll need some form of antiseptic, bandages, poultice or salve, clean cloths, and possibly tweezers to remove debris.

The antiseptic is probably the most important ingredient after debris removal because it’s going to kill any bacteria and other bugs that will hinder the healing process, or worse – cause infection. It doesn’t take long for infections to go septic – enter your bloodstream – and if that happens, you’re in serious trouble. That will literally kill you if you don’t have antibiotics.

So. Get it clean. Here are some different antiseptics, how they work, and how to use them.


If you have absolutely nothing else, water will have to do. For that matter, clean water is what you should use to initially clean the wound before using antiseptic. The problem is that if the water isn’t sterile, it can add bacteria to the wound and hurt you way worse than it will help. Simply using water from a lake or pond – or for that matter, rainwater – is a terrible idea.

To prepare water that isn’t straight from a sealed bottle to be clean enough to clean a wound, you need to:

  • Filter it if it has any type of debris in it at all
  • Sterilize it by boiling or by adding 1 part bleach to ten parts water. It wouldn’t hurt to do both. As a matter of fact, bleach kills 99.9 percent of germs. That’s about as close as you can get to perfect.
  • If you’re going to boil it, keep it at a rolling boil for at least a minute, or 3 minutes if you’re above 1000 feet above sea level.
  • Let it cool, but use it or bottle it in sterile bottles immediately after to prevent bacterial invasion.

You can clean a wound with water by pouring it over the wound and allowing the water to wash away the debris. If you couldn’t care for the wound immediately, you can soak the wound for a few minutes to loosen the dried blood and debris, then irrigate with water. If necessary, use a clean, sterile cloth to gently wipe away debris, and irrigate again after. Repeat until the wound is clean.

If you have absolutely no antibacterial agent to use, be extra vigilant about washing with water then bandage according to the wound type.


In the 19th century, the doctors used to pour gunpowder into the wound and set it on fire. Burning gunpowder destroys impurities, and stops the bleeding. You probably know what I mean if you watched Rambo 3, where John Rambo has to find a way to heal his shrapnel wound.

Video first seen on Christian Sansone

But you have to be aware we’re talking about an extreme solution: if you use this method, you will cause a lot of pain and ugly scarring.

Also, as dr. Radu Scurtu says in his medical guide “Survival M.D.” you don’t just close off the blood vessel but also the muscle, causing an extra burn which can become infected.


Now that you have it clean, it’s time to apply the antiseptic. There are many different types that are effective, but you need to have at least one kind on hand at all times. We’re going to talk about some standard ones, but also some that you may not think of.


Have you heard of this? Most people haven’t, but it’s been a practice for centuries. I checked the NCBI thinking that it was possibly a snake oil situation. It’s not. Sugar helps lower the pH of the wound, which inhibits bacterial growth. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, pulls microphages (your body’s natural little bacteria eaters) to the surface, and promotes the growth of new tissue. Go figure. Carry a sugar packet.

Povidone Iodine (brand name Betadine)

The bottom line is that it may sting like crazy, but betadine is the bomb when it comes to killing what may ail ya in a wound. It’s an antibiotic, antiviral, and antiseptic and kills on contact. Since some of you may possibly consider using it to purify your water, you’re getting more bang for your buck since you can use it to clean wounds and surfaces, too. That’s right. Hospitals use it to sterilize surfaces because it’s so effective.


If you’ve been around farm animals, you’ve likely heard of sugardine. It’s a mixture of 1 part povidone iodine to 3 parts sugar mixed to make a paste to use on a wound. It’s one of the most effective antiseptics around and promotes healing, too. Sugar and iodine work well because sugar is obviously too dry to adhere to the wound effectively and iodine is too runny. Mix them together to make a paste, and you’ve got a good recipe that combines all of the benefits of both ingredients.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Ouch. You’ve heard about using this for wound care as a kid. As a matter of fact, you’ve probably run screaming from the house when you saw the bottle. Alcohol is a decent antiseptic because it kills bacteria, viruses and fungi by denaturing their proteins, rendering them useless.

However, alcohol can’t kill bacterial spores. That means it’s not an effective method of sterilization but it still works well as a skin and hard surface antiseptic. It needs to be at a concentration of between 60 and 90 percent.


You see it all the time in westerns – the wounded cowboy is biting down on a piece of leather and somebody is pouring his whiskey or moonshine (yowza) into his wound to clean it. But does it work. Actually, the answer is yes. It needs to be between 120 and 180 proof to be most effective.

You should know though, that many studies show that ethyl alcohol, the alcohol in liquor, doesn’t kill some bacteria, including Clostridium, the bacteria responsible for tetanus, botulism, and gas gangrene. Still it kills most others, though it works slower than isopropyl alcohol.

So, if you’ve got the vodka or the whiskey and a wound that needs cleaning, bite down on the strop and pour it on. Since it has other uses such as making tinctures and drinking, it’s a good thing to have around.


That antiseptic mouthwash that you have in the cabinet is acceptable for use as an antiseptic because of the high concentrations of alcohol and chlorhexidine. The latter, unlike alcohol, does kill spores and is considered both a germicidal and a disinfectant, so it’s a good combination.


For centuries honey has been used as an antiseptic and research backs it up. Honey is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. Make sure your wound is clean and you will definitely need to cover the it after putting honey on it. Otherwise, you’re a walking debris magnet.

Honey is also one of the items on this list that you can “grow” yourself, so you’d never have to worry about running out.

Peroxide – NOT

We all have it in our medicine cabinets. My mom was a nurse (a very smart one), so I was taught growing up that peroxide wasn’t any good as an antibacterial but was helpful in bubbling up and helping get rid of debris in the wound. That’s a fact. Research shows that it doesn’t retard growth, but it doesn’t kill bacteria, either.

So, it’s good to keep on hand to “bubble out the dirt” as Mom used to say, but you need to follow it up with a good antiseptic.

Disinfecting a wound as soon as possible and keeping it disinfected while it’s healing is the best way to prevent infection and promote healing. Especially in a survival situation where you may not have access to hospitals or antibiotics, preventing infection is critical to staying alive. Also, know your first aid!

Remember that knowledge is the only doctor that can save you when there is no medical help around you.

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Here’s Everything You Need to Know About First Aid for Your Eyes

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There probably isn’t any part of your body that is more sensitive, exposed, or crucial to your survival than your eyeballs. You use these soft, delicate organs during every waking moment and for just about every task, but unfortunately the only thing that protects them are a few eyelashes and 1mm thick eyelids. Evolution is cruel like that.

So given the vulnerability of our eyes, it would be wise to brush up on the first aid measures that should be taken in an emergency to protect them. Below are the most common eye injures and the protective procedures that you need to take to prevent further damage, at least until you can see a doctor:

Chemical Exposure

If a caustic chemical ever gets splashed into your eyes, your first knee jerk response will probably be to close them. In this instance however, that’s a bad idea. You want to keep your eyes open so that the chemical doesn’t get trapped under your eyelids. Find a source of water and rinse them out for 15-20 minutes while keeping your eyes open the whole time, and seek medical attention.

Foreign Debris

We’ve all had some kind of debris in our eyes at one point or another. It’s a situation that your eyes are normally capable of correcting themselves by tearing up and washing the debris away. But if the condition persists, refrain from rubbing your eyes. It’ll only irritate them more. Pull your upper lid down and blink repeatedly. If that doesn’t work, you need to pull open both eyelids and roll your eye around before rinsing it out. You can repeat that process a few times if it doesn’t work right away.

Embedded Foreign Object

If you have a foreign object embedded in your eye, the measures you need to take aren’t what you might expect. Unlike the previously mentioned first aid procedures, you’re not supposed to wash out your eyes (this also applies to any cut or puncture wounds to the eye). You’re also not supposed to remove the object. Find something that you can place over the eye without applying too mush pressure to it, such as large, loose-fitting goggles or a plastic cup; then seek medical attention.

Blunt Force Trauma

The most important thing to do if you suffer a blow to the eye, is to reduce the swelling. Apply a cold compress or ice to the eye for 5 or 10 minute intervals. You can also take ibuprofen for the pain and swelling. After a 24 hour period, begin using a warm compress instead. You need to look out for any bleeding or vision problems. Or if it hurts to move your eyes, there may be damage to the eye socket. In those cases, you need to find a doctor.

Welder’s Flash

You probably already know that the light from a welding arc can hurt your eyes. This is called “welder’s flash”, and it’s why every welder has to wear a mask with tinted glass. However, there’s a good reason why this condition goes by many names, including “snow blindness” and “corneal flash burn.” It can be caused by any overexposure to ultraviolet light. Sunlight that reflects off of snow, sand, or water can also cause the condition.

The symptoms may include eye pain, severe light sensitivity, bloodshot eyes, blurry vision, and a gritty sensation under the eyelids. To treat the condition, you need to stay indoors in a dark room and wear sunglasses as much as possible for 1 or 2 days. You should also be applying artificial tears on a regular basis. If you wear contact lenses, remove them until your eyes heal. Most victim’s of welder’s flash find that a cold compress helps alleviate the symptoms. If your symptoms continue for more than a couple of days or worsen after 1 day, then you should see a doctor.






Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Could You Set Up a Post-Disaster Medical Lab?

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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?

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10 Best Survival Skills for Natural Calamities

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Tomorrow is never certain.  We never know when there might be a dissonance which can disrupt the comfortable nature we are used to on a daily basis. There are many different emergency events which some people prepare for but, unfortunately, most of us tend to ignore. At some point in our lives, we will have

Interactive Bug Out Bag List

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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 …

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DIY Homemade Healing Neosporin Cream

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DIY Homemade Healing Neosporin Cream Knowing how to make your own Neosporin like boo boo cream is a great skill to have. This recipe is a great natural alternative and cheap and easy to make. This homemade ointment consists of powerful essential oils, herbs and beeswax that quickly address pain and stinging while reducing the …

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Delivering a Baby on Your Own During a Disaster!

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Delivering a Baby on Your Own During a Disaster! Giving birth to a human life form is the privilege that nature has granted women. It is a wonderful feeling to become a mother. You feel responsible for your child and are always protective towards it. You always strive for perfection when it comes to providing … Continue reading Delivering a Baby on Your Own During a Disaster!

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How to Properly Clean a Cut, Scrape, or Wound to Prevent Infection

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How to Properly Clean a Cut, Scrape, or Wound to Prevent Infection

I have discussed how to seal a wound in the past, and whether to use stitches, bandages, or super glue. I’ve even done a comprehensive guide about sealing cuts with super glue, but as of yet, haven’t fully covered the process of preparing your wound prior to actually sealing it. This article may seem a bit… Read More

This is just the start of the post How to Properly Clean a Cut, Scrape, or Wound to Prevent Infection. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

How to Properly Clean a Cut, Scrape, or Wound to Prevent Infection, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

How To Make Natural Tiger Balm

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How To Make Natural Tiger Balm The time-proven blend of herbal ingredients in Tiger Balm provides safe and effective topical pain relief for sore muscles, arthritis, neck and shoulder stiffness, and just about any other minor muscle or joint aches or pains that may come your way. Tiger Balm is a topical analgesic (pain reliever) …

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Essential Oils for Common Sense Disaster Preparedness

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Essential Oils for Common Sense Disaster Preparedness Essential Oils have become very popular in the past 5 years not only to heal ailments, freshen rooms naturally and clean the house but in the preparedness community especially. I have been looking for a great article on essential oils for a while now and as I only …

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How To Make A Rash Treatment Salve

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How To Make A Rash Treatment Salve If SHTF or you are trying to be more natural and you suffer with skin ailments this is a great treatment for you. When making salve, it’s always best to first consider what you are attempting to treat. Always get the ingredients from a trusted shop or even …

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A Guide to Veterinary Drugs for Human Consumption

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A Guide to Veterinary Drugs for Human Consumption In times of uncertainty, we humans like to stockpile and hoard.  We seek information that will keep us safe and provide for our well-being. It’s not a big secret that veterinary antibiotics and drugs do not require a prescription. I personally have the fish-MOX stockpiled. I know a …

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List of ‘Collapse’ Medical Supplies

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List of ‘Collapse’ Medical Supplies Over at modernsurvivalblog.com  Dr.Bones has a list of Collapse medical supplies with natural remedies included (we should have these as back-ups or for first use supplies to save commercially made items!). Dr.Bones  spend a lot of time and energy researching “back-up” plans for traditional medicine. They want YOU to have the …

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6 ways to learn important first aid skills every mom needs

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I’m a stay at home (or I guess a work from home) mom. This means that I will likely be my kid’s first responder in any first aid emergency. So, having first aid skills is important to me. But getting those first aid skills can sometimes feel overwhelming. Am I right?  I mean us moms […]

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Comfrey The Knit Bone Herb

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Comfrey The Knit Bone Herb If you have no access to a doctor or in a SHTF situation, Comfrey has been known to heal bones and double cell regeneration. I have been asked a few times over the past year to find a great article about Comfrey, Comfrey is a common name for plants in …

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Diseases to Fear in the Aftermath of SHTF

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Diseases to Fear in the Aftermath of SHTF This topic is very important and mostly gets overlooked. Prepare now because there will be no hospitals if SHTF. Sorry if that sounded to harsh, but it’s true! If SHTF today, in a week or so people will be going crazy, they will be trying to get …

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15 Survival Medical Supplies You May Have Missed

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15 Survival Medical Supplies You May Have Missed We’re all well aware that medical supplies, equipment, and specially qualified assistance will be tough to get hold of after most any disaster, especially longer term situations. With that in mind, I thought I would be a good idea to list several items that would prove useful to …

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Ice vs. Heat for Injuries

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com A few weeks ago, I went to the chiropractor for an adjustment.  My lower back had been bothering me so I asked for some tips for self care.  The chiropractor told me I can use ice to relieve inflammation when needed.  I asked him about applying heat, and he indicated heat is fine for pain relief, but must not be used when inflammation is involved.  I thought it would be good to sort […]

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How to Make a Healing Poultice

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How to Make a Healing Poultice Before you read this please not I am not a medical professional and I would always seek advice from one before trying anything medical on this site please read our disclaimer.   A poultice, also called cataplasm, is a soft moist mass, often heated and medicated, that is spread on cloth …

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17 Natural Antibiotics Our Grandparents Used Instead Of Pills

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17 Natural Antibiotics Our Grandparents Used Instead Of Pills Our ancestors had a solution for treating infections, burns and other different illness, using what mother nature has offered to us. It would be good to remind ourselves what these antibiotics are and possibly think about using them in case of a SHTF scenario where pills are …

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Wilderness First Aid Guide

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red_cross_first_aid.svgAdministering the right first aid correctly can help save lives and reduce discomfort when you are out in the wilderness.  Understanding the common challenges you may face and how to react under such conditions will help remove uncertainties and improve patient outcome. Having your first aid kit with you is the first step to handling emergencies. Here are some steps to take when faced with health emergencies or accidents in the wilderness:

By Ryan, a contributing author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog

1) Survey the Area: Before you jump in to help the patient, take a second to survey the area for any potential danger. It’s important you keep your instinct to help immediately in check and ensure that the area is safe for you. There is no need rushing in only to increase the number of patients by falling victim to whatever danger created the emergency in the first place. Watch for signs of dangerous animals, uneven terrains that maybe due to an avalanche, and so on.

2) Approach the Patient: Approach the patient and try to determine the cause of the injury or medical condition, and put on your gloves before you touch the patient.

3) Determine the State of Your Patient: Tap the patient on the shoulder and shout “are you ok?” If you don’t get a response, use 10 seconds to determine if the patient is still breathing (occasional gasps is not breathing).

4) If the patient is not breathing send someone to call the emergency number immediately. Get the patient lying face-up and ensure the neck, head and back are in a straight line. If it’s a child and the parent or guardian is around, ask for consent if you haven’t already. Then give rescue breath. The right way to give rescue breath is to tilt the patient’s head, raise the chin, pinch the nose, and then breathe in through the mouth till the chest expands. Give rescue breath one after the other.

5) If the chest doesn’t rise after two rescue breaths, start CPR immediately. If you witnessed the patient collapse, skip rescue breaths and start CPR immediately.

6) If the patient is still breathing, keep the airway clear by raising the patient’s neck and tilting the head.

Dealing with Bleeding

medical_bag_packedIf the patient is bleeding, it’s important you stop the bleeding immediately. Raise the wounded area above the heart level and apply direct pressure with gauze, clean cloth, sphagnum moss, or dried seaweed. However, if it’s a head injury, apply several dressings and press gently because the skull may be fractured.  If you feel bone fragments, depression, or a spongy area, DO NOT apply direct pressure. Use diffused pressure to control the bleeding. 

Related: First Aid Training 

For non-head bleeding that fails to stop after application of direct pressure, consider applying pressure at the pulse point between the bleeding area and the heart.

Once the bleeding is controlled, flood the area with water to wash out dirt and contaminants. If there is any dirt still visible the water can’t remove, use tweezers to remove it carefully. Clean the area around the wound with alcohol wipe if you have one in your first aid box. Ensure you do not clean the inside of the wound with the alcohol wipe. Apply antibiotic ointment to the wound, and add clean gauze, and then a wrap to keep it in place. 

Dealing with Bone and Joint Injuries

cast_orthopedicBone and joint injuries may be strains, fractures, sprains, or dislocations. Although it can be difficult for an inexperienced person without BLS certification to tell one from the other, the care to be given is similar. Check for symptoms such as deformity, tenderness, swelling, an inability of the patient to use or move the injured part without pain, loss of sensation, or open injuries to confirm you are dealing with a bone or joint injury. 

Also Read: What not to do When Lost in the Wilderness

Help the person rest the injured body part and immobilize it on the ground or with a splint if you need to move the person. Apply a cold pack if available on the body part, separating the skin and the cold pack with a gauze or clean cloth to avoid damaging the skin. Leave for 20 minutes. Use cold water if ice is unavailable. Elevate the fractured body part above the heart level if it won’t cause pain or discomfort. You can administer aspirin if the pain is severe.  Arrange for evacuation of the patient as soon as possible.

Apart from the above basic precaution, do not attempt to fix bone damage or a dislocation if you are not trained to do so as permanent damage may occur.

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First Aid During Winter: Can You Handle It?

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Winter First Aid

In an emergency situation, it’s difficult to provide good first aid even in good weather, but if you must tend to sickness or injury in freezing weather, your job is going to be twice as hard.

You’ll have greater difficulty getting to a warm place to provide treatment, and snow and freezing weather will make it difficult to start a fire or find healing herbs that would be abundant in warmer weather.

You will also have to take care of yourself by wearing appropriate cold weather gear, which may impair you.

In this article we’re going to discuss how to meet these challenges and provide adequate first aid even in freezing weather.

How to Reduce the Risk of Injury

The first problem that you’re going to face is that chances for injury are going to be much greater. You’ll be facing the risk of frostbite, hypothermia, falls and hunting injuries. As a provider of first aid, the first rule is to avoid injury yourself.

In freezing weather, it will be an uphill climb to provide life-saving treatment without risking yourself as well.

Get this lifesaving information about surviving when doctors, pharmacies and hospitals are shut down! 


The first challenge that you’re going to face when providing first aid is avoiding hypothermia on top of treating the injury, or perhaps the injury is hypothermia. The problem is that in order to treat hypothermia, you need a way to warm up the person, which isn’t going to be easy if you’re stuck outdoors.

In severe temperatures, your core temperature can drop dangerously low when exposed to the elements in a matter of minutes even if you’re awake and active. If the patient is unconscious, their body temp drops even faster because they aren’t moving about to generate extra body heat.

When you sleep, your body temperature drops by as much as a couple of degrees, which can be critical since hypothermia, by definition, is a decrease in body temperature. When you’re in a deep sleep, you don’t shiver to maintain body temp.

Your body also pulls heat from the shell (your limbs) to maintain core temp, which puts the extremities at risk for frostbite. Loss of blood increases the chance because blood is basically the hot water in your body’s radiator – the warm blood in your vessels keeps the surrounding temperature warm.

The take-away here is to keep the person awake and warm, even if he or she is in pain and you would normally encourage sleep.

Though you may need to shed at least your gloves or mittens to provide treatment of wounds, it’s critical that you stay warm in order to prevent becoming hypothermic, too. If both of you are down, there’s a high probability that you’ll both die.



If a person has an injury that requires removal of clothing, such as a gash or puncture wound, there’s a much greater risk of frostbite.

Like with hypothermia, it doesn’t take long in freezing temperatures for frostbite to set in and cause potentially permanent tissue damage that can result in loss of digits or limbs, or even gangrene.

The risk is particularly high around the wound area because it’s wet so it’s important to get it dry and keep it dry, or at least under a dry dressing so that the wet material and flesh isn’t exposed to the cold.


Ice presents many problems when traversing terrain in bad weather. The risk of broken bones, severe bruises, concussions, and just about any other injury is increased exponentially if you’re walking or traveling on ice. It will also make it much more difficult to get an injured person to safety.

If you have to provide first aid in an icy environment, don’t forget the first rule – keep yourself safe.

If a person has fallen through ice on a body of water and you’re trying to save them, do the best that you can to ensure your own safety. Tie yourself to a secure tree or fixed object before going after them, and if you have to go out onto the ice, lay flat so that your body weight is distributed over a larger area.

If you have a path that you use several times a day, use rock salt to melt the ice. You don’t have to use much, but you will need to reapply it at least once per day to keep the water from the melted ice from re-freezing.

Some ice on a shelter may act as an insulator, but if it gets too heavy for the structure to bear, you’ll find yourself without shelter. Monitor and do what needs to be done.

Inability to Travel

First aid is called that because it’s often meant to be the precursor to a higher level of medical treatment. For instance, if a person has severed a digit or limb, or has a severe injury, they’re going to need more than a bandage and some antibacterial ointment.

Tourniquets can only be used carefully and for a short amount of time without causing tissue death or damage and wounds such as gunshot wounds need surgery if the bullet or foreign object is still in the patient.

Freezing weather, especially in a SHTF scenario, makes travel much more difficult. Trying to travel in severe weather may result in further injury to the patient, or injury to you, and we already know that’s the last thing that needs to happen.

The best way to prepare for this is to know how to make snowshoes and to keep a means of transporting a patient, such as a sled, handy in case you absolutely have to get out.

Proper vehicle maintenance will go a long way here, too. It’s also good to know how to make a litter to carry somebody should they be injured away from home or camp.

How to Keep Supplies and Equipment from Freezing

All of those great balms, ointments, and elixirs that you have stored in your first aid kit are likely to freeze, and the lubrication in your equipment can freeze and make them difficult, if not impossible, to operate.

The same thing can happen to cloth bandages if they’re even remotely damp.

Any liquid treatment made with a large percentage of alcohol will likely be fine. That includes tinctures and rubbing alcohol. Peroxide will remain liquid up to -60 F or so. If you’re in temperatures that cold, you have bigger problems that a need for peroxide! Other meds such as cough syrup or saline bags will be popsicles.

One med that you really need to keep from freezing is insulin. Every package insert I researched was adamant about not freezing the product. I did some further study, thinking that this was, perhaps, Big Pharma’s way of keeping you from stockpiling product.

What I found was that “R” type insulin may survive freezing and still be viable, while “N” types don’t fare so well. That being said, I am certainly not a doctor, or even a diabetic, so if you have to use frozen insulin, do so at your own risk and monitor your levels closely. Also know that you’re going to be affected by cold weather more than your non-diabetic peers.

For your other antibacterial and special-use ointments, it seems prudent to store them in small enough packages that you can warm them just by holding them in your hands or placing them in your sock or somewhere else on your body.

Carrying MRE heaters or heat packs to warm them as well.

To keep vehicles running in freezing weather, make sure to use a lower viscosity oil in any internal combustion engine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the proper antifreeze to use in the radiator.

Working with Layers of Clothing

If it’s below freezing, providing treatment while wearing gloves will be difficult. Another problem is that the injured person may need to have protective layers of clothing removed to be treated. In both of these scenarios, the risk of hypothermia and frostbite is increased.

To protect yourself, always carry rubber gloves. This will help in two ways – it will keep you from getting your gloves and skin wet, and rubber gloves will help keep your body temperature in at least a little.

To protect your patient, provide treatment as quickly as possible and get them re-dressed immediately.

Again, carrying heat packs such as hand warmers in your medical kit can help – you can tuck them into areas such as armpits where the heat will be best utilized.

A nice down-filled jacket that was keeping a person warm ten minutes ago can quickly turn into a body-heat sponge that wicks away warmth if it gets wet. Carrying extra clothing in a water-proof pack can be a life saver.

How to Stop Bleeding and Wound Care

When your body is cold, circulation is increased, which means that your blood pressure goes up. Depending on what type of wound you’re dealing with and whether or not blood flow has been restricted in favor of keeping the core warm, it may be harder to stop bleeding.

If the cut is deep and on the trunk, you may have increased blood flow, which means you’ll have to work harder to stop the bleeding.  If it’s on an extremity, you may not have problems stopping the bleeding, but will want to make very sure that your bandage is loose enough that it’s not restricting what little circulation is getting to that area.

The bleeding may be large, medium or small, but in the vast majority of cases, (in 80% of them) the bleeding stops through compression if you press down for 3 to 5 minutes. This is one of the things that I’ve learned from dr.Radu Scurtu after reading his book “Survival MD”, but believe me that it’s only a tiny piece of the medical survival knowledge you can get from his guide.

One more thing to learn in order to properly stop the bleeding: take a good look at the color of your blood since it will tell you how bad the wound is and how likely is to stop it by yourself, without involving specialized help. Arterial bleeding has red, purple blood, venous bleeding has black, dark blood. In the first case, you might stop it by compression, but the second one is much more life threatening, and it’s very likely you will need to get the victim to the hospital as soon as possible.

Caloric Intake

We already know that your body needs more calories to properly heal, but it also needs more calories and possibly even more water, to survive in extreme temperatures. Part of this is because every chore is harder because you’re traveling in snow and bad conditions wearing a ton of clothing, and part of it is because your body burns a ton more calories just keeping warm.

Don’t be surprised if you have people experiencing light-headedness or sugar lows, especially if they’re diabetic, if you’re treating them in freezing conditions. Yes, it may be the onset of hypothermia, but it may also simply be that their body is out of gas or dehydrated.

Make sure that everybody in your party makes allowances for up to twice the caloric intake and at least half again the water requirements to avoid this problem. In a pinch, you can always melt snow and ice for water.

Providing adequate first aid in freezing weather will be challenging, but it’s not impossible. The important thing is that you educate yourself and understand the adversities that you’ll face before going in. As in all things survival-related, knowing and being prepared is half the battle.

How to Stay Dry

Aside from gushing wounds or injuries that render you unconscious, being wet is probably the quickest way to die in freezing weather. Wet clothing, including wet shoes and socks, leeches your body heat and causes your core body temp to drop at least as quickly as if you were standing there naked.

If you have a patient that’s gotten wet, the first thing that you need to do, after treating severe bleeding or more life-threatening conditions, is to get them dry. Pack extra clothes in a way that they won’t get wet.

Another point that you may not consider is that sweating makes your clothing wet. For this reason, dress in layers, with the layer next to your skin being made of a wicking material such as wool. This goes for your feet as well as the rest of your body.

If you’re wet, get dry immediately before the doctor … err, first aider … becomes the patient.

Building a Fire

First order of business when setting up camp should be to find a way to get and stay warm and cook food. Building a fire in snow isn’t nearly as easy as it is in warmer conditions but it’s definitely possible, especially if you have a good fire starter.

Carry a fire starting kit to help you kick start your fire.

Finding or Building Shelter

In warm weather, it may be just fine to sleep under the stars but in freezing conditions, you need something that’s going to hold in heat and protect you from the wind and freezing temperatures. In the end, it’s a survival situation and the rule of three is still applying.

If you’ve studied up on your bush craft, you should already know several ways to build a shelter that will sustain the conditions and hold in heat.

You can even build a snow shelter, though it’s a lot of work and takes hours to do. Ice and snow can act as insulators, though that seems counterintuitive. If for no other reason than building a wind-proof shelter, you should carry garbage bags, moon blankets, or tarps.

In addition to making the walls secure against the weather, you also need to make a floor that will protect you. Lying on cold ground will suck the heat right out of your body. You can use tree boughs, tarps, a thick sleeping bag, or even layers of clothing or newspaper to do this.

How to Avoid Detection

If you’re in a survival situation, you may need to avoid detection. That means that you won’t be able to build a fire during the day because of smoke, at least in an open area, and you’ll need to shield the light from dangerous entities at night.

Since a fire is just about a necessity in freezing weather, learn your local terrain and how to use it to build a fire that will keep you warm without giving away your location. If it’s absolutely not possible, you may have to resort to shared body heat to stay warm.

When I lived in WV and CO, there were numerous caves that could be used both as shelter and as a means to have a fire without being detected, but in many places, that’s not an option. Just know your area and work out ways to make this happen.

If you can think of other challenges to providing first aid in freezing weather, please share them with us in the comments section below. And remember that knowledge is the only doctor that can help you survive when there is no medical help around you!


This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

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Maximizing Your Immune System

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Maximizing Your Immune System Flu season is upon us.  For centuries people did not have antibiotics or hospitals to count on when they became ill. How do you keep your immune system healthy and functioning to minimize illness? Here are a few basic ideas of remaining healthy now and when SHTF. This is great info …

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How to Make Pine-Sap Salve

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How to Make Pine-Sap Salve This is a great natural remedy that the native Americans used back in the day. Using pine sap salve is as natural as you can get. This soothes mild skin irritations. It also is great to get a splinter out! Check out how to make this yourself and  just a quick …

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Top 10 Skills for the Advanced Prepper

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danger_prepper_gunsApocalypse, Doomsday, Judgment Day, Armageddon — for those of you who believe that the end of the world as we know it is drawing near, it doesn’t matter what you call it, as long as you’re prepared for it. Right? Right. If you’re reading this article, and you are a Prepper, then (1), let’s be friends, and (2) here are some of the most important skills that you, an advanced prepper, should know in order to be fully prepared for that day. 

By Ryan, a contributing author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog

Find yourself without these skills and your life will be significantly more difficult. While the skills in this list may seem complicated, with hard work and dedication, they can be mastered. Don’t let the gravity of these skills dissuade you from learning. You’ll feel much more comfortable knowing these abilities.

1. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

You can become CPR certified through the American Red Cross, which will, most likely, offer a class at a location near you. Community Centers, employers and churches may offer a class or two at their locations as well, having trained professionals leading the class. You can also get your BLS certification, which includes how to administer oxygen, splinting broken or dislocated bones and how to stop excessive bleeding.

2. First Aid

red_cross_first_aid.svgThis covers a slew of topics, including how to treat burns, cuts and bites, along with how to stop and administer to those who are bleeding and to those with frostbite; how to perform the heimlich maneuver, and so much more. First Aid courses are usually offered in conjunction with CPR classes through the American Red Cross and National Safety Council. Once you pass, your certification card should be valid for two years.

3. Surviving Outdoors

There are so many factors that go into surviving in the outdoors. A few of them include:

Building a fire – No excuses. Know how to do this.

Purifying Water – Purchase a filter and water purification tablets.

Building a shelter – Learn how to build the following: A-Frame, Lean-to, frame-and-tarp and Cocoon. To build these shelters, you should know how to tie various knots and use a hatchet.

Entomology – This is the study of insects and will help you identify poisonous and non-poisonous bugs, as well as those rich in fiber and protein.

Botany – This is the study of plants. Having this knowledge will save you from drudging through poisonous plants. You will also be able to identify edible plants and flowers, and foliage is best for all-natural salves.

Fishing and hunting – You can procure a license for both activities in most states online via the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

4. How to Handle a Crisis

Chaos is sure to ensue when the end is near. As a doomsday prepper, you need to know how to stay calm and keep a level head despite what is happening around you. If you can do this, then you and your family are more likely to survive.

5. Bartering

In an apocalyptic setting, money will no longer be of value. You need to know how to make smart trading decisions. You’ve got to give something to get something.

6. HAM Radio/Communications

Knowing how to operate a HAM Radio will make you an invaluable member of your community come D-Day. In order to send communications via a HAM Radio, you will need a license to do so. You should, without a doubt, also own and know how to use walkie talkies.

7. Mend Clothes

Target isn’t going to be open during Judgment Day, so we suggest learning how to sew on a button, whipstitch a hole and put on a patch to make your clothes last.

8. Spending Time Alone

The hard truth? You might end up alone during the last days. Prepare for this harsh reality by doing things by yourself once or twice a week.

9. Car Maintenance

If you have a car during Armageddon, it sure would be great if you knew how to maintain it. Know how to change the oil, change the tires, replace parts, and if you lose your keys, start the ignition without them.

10. Navigation Skills

You may not want to rely on Siri to get you through Doomsday. Learn how to use a compass, read a map and navigate when it’s dark using the stars.

flight-plane-accident-crashIt can be a frightening to think that one day, the world might end. True or not, we should all be prepared for disasters and hardships to come. There’s an old adage: better to need it and not have it, than need it and not have it. The logic of that adage is applicable here. Even if we are never parties to a cataclysmic event in our lifetimes, the skills in this list will be important for everyday activities. Preppers, get to prepping. Good luck.

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The Rise of Superbugs

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The Rise of Superbugs Antibiotics will be important to have stockpiled when SHTF, but to protect your immune system they should be used conservatively, otherwise we become dependent on this medication. This sort of dependence can be dangerous if something happened where we could not get access to medicines. Antibiotics can help eliminate harmful bacteria …

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How to Survive Field Injuries

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How to Survive Field Injuries From snake bites to sore teeth, this guide will help you tackle almost any accident. All of these injuries are quite common and a little trip to the doctor can normally sort these out! What if there were no doctor? What if you were stranded or SHTF? I would recommend …

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Dental Flaws for the SHTF Prepper

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Dental Flaws for the SHTF Prepper There are lots of statistics floating around the dental professional community, but the one that seems to stick out like a sore tongue is the fact that only around half of the people in the USA see their dentist on a regular basis. As a practicing dentist in a …

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Medicinal Uses of Pine Trees and Their Relatives in the Northeast

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forest-trees-fog-foggyEvergreens are also known as conifers.  They make up the bulk of a group of plants called gymnosperms.  In my home area we have one conifer that is not evergreen: Larch or Tamarack (Larix).  You can also find the deciduous Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) under cultivation.  The broadleaf gymnosperm Ginkgo biloba is often planted, but this article will stick to the conifers (Pinophyta).  “Gymnosperm” means “naked-seed,” which means that the female part is exposed so that it can be directly pollinated by the male pollen that blows to it on the wind.  The angiosperms that are responsible for all the beautiful flowers like Tulips and Roses have female parts that are enclosed and must be reached by the male pollen through the complexity of the flower.

By Nathaniel Whitmore a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache

Recognizing a gymnosperm is relatively easy.  Look for the “Pine Trees” (or, more properly, the conifers).  But take note that while many refer to any conifer, or evergreen, as a Pine Tree there are really three botanical families represented in our area: the Pine, Cypress, and Yew families.  So, “Pine” means “Pinus” and “Pine family” means “Pinaceae.”  As this is my first SurvivalCache article on the subject, I am focusing on the area I know best- the Northeast (particularly that which is centralized in the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania tri-state area, or the Delaware River valley) to discuss some species and introduce some basic botany and survival considerations.  For future posts I will discuss other regions of the country.

pine_varietiesThe Pine family contains several genera.  Pinus (Pine), Picea (Spruce), Abies (Fir), Tsuga (Hemlock), and Larix (Larch) are found in our area.  Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir) and some others (including non-indigenous Pine) can be found in cultivation.  I regularly use White Pine, which is partially due to it being more common in my area than the other Pines.  I also commonly make use of Hemlock, which is a primary tree of certain forests and the host of one of my favorite medicinal mushrooms, Ganoderma tsugae (Reishi).  This is a very useful plant family for the survivalist to get to know.

The Cypress family has Taxodium (Bald Cypress), Thuja (Arbor-vitae), Chamaecyparis (Atlantic White-cedar), and Juniperus (Juniper and Red Cedar).  There are many medicinal uses of species in Cupressaseae, but it should be regarded as less edible in general than the Pine family.  Thuja essential oil, for instance, is considered quite toxic.

Read Also: Natural Headache Remedies

The Yew family is mostly found in landscapes as our native Taxus (Yew) is over-browsed by deer.  English and Japanese domestic varieties are quite common under cultivation and sometimes naturalize (spread into the wild from cultivation).  Yews are toxic.  So, to avoid poisoning, the beginner should quickly learn the difference between Yews and the others, especially the Hemlock and Fir that superficially resemble Taxus because of the leaf (needle) arrangement.  The red “berry” of Taxus is edible, but not the seed (which is actually visible, indicating it is a gymnosperm, in the cup-shaped “berry”).  It is very common for poisonous plants to concentrate toxins in the seeds while producing an innocuous fruit.

The Pines and Yews have needles while the Cypress family has scale-like leaves.  (One exception to this generalization is Bald Cypress, which has needle-like leaves that alternate on deciduous terminal twigs.)  They are all needle-like in a way, but you will notice the scale quality in the Cypress family, such as with Juniperus or Thuja.  If you then learn to recognize the Yew needles (which are rare in the wild anyway), the remainder varieties of needles can be known as belonging to members of the Pine family.  

Pinaceae – Pine Family

pitch_pine_conePinaceae is the representative family of the gymnosperms, as the group consists of the most quintessential evergreen trees.  They tend to be pitchy (they have thick, sticky, aromatic sap), with a piney or citrus-like scent.  Their leaves are needles.  And they have the most quintessential cones (often called “pine cones” no matter what genus they occur on, even if the genus is of another family), compared to the berry-like cones of Juniperus and Taxus (Yew), for instance.  The cones have spirally arranged scales and the seeds have wings.

One of the easiest ways to get to know this family of trees is to get to know the individual genera: Pinus, Tsuga, Picea, Larix, and Abies of our area.  Cedrus and Pseudotsuga are native to other parts of the country.  Cathaya, Pseudolarix, Keteleeria, and Nothotsuga are native to China.                      

scotch_pinePinus sylvestris (Scotch Pine or Scot’s Pine) is the most widely distributed Pine.  It was brought here from Europe and can normally be found along driveways and cultivated lands.  It can be easily distinguished from the other common species by its orange-shaded upper bark and the light blue-green of its needles.  It has been used extensively in traditional European medicine and has also been used for pharmaceutical preparations.

The Ojibwa used Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana) to to revive consciousness.  Arthritis, muscle pains, sores, wounds, and pains associated with colds and febrile illnesses have all been treated with various Pinaceae species.  Our most common native species, White Pine (Pinus strobus) and Pitch Pine (P. rigida) have been used extensively as wild food and medicine.  Pines were a primary dietary supplement for winter as a source of vitamin C and to treat coughs, colds, and fevers.

tsuga_canadensis_adelgesHemlock (Tsuga canadensis) has horizontally arranged needles with white stripes (giving a pale appearance on the underside) that are dark green above and have been important for survival in the Northeast similar to Pinus.  Hemlock is a common tree of stream gorges.  It hosts a species of Reishi (Ganoderma tsugae) and is being attacked by a devastating insect, the Wooly Adelgid.  The cones are quite small and persist so that they are often found dried but still on the tree.  The genus name is from Japanese.  The common name is shared with Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum), which causes a deal of confusion in some circumstances.  Poison Hemlock, being in the Carrot Family (Apiaceae) is not very closely related at all.

Balsam Fir (Abies ballsamea) is used for coughs, colds, cuts, and sores.  Its taste and aroma is quite pleasant.  I would use Fir species much more commonly, except they are not abundant locally.  Those in the Western states might readily fine useful and interesting Abies species nearby.  

Tamarack (Larix laricina) is used for stomach, colds, coughs, fatigue, sores, soreness, and infections; and as a tonic for general health, laxative, and diuretic.  Chippewa used infusion of bark for anemic conditions and poultice of inner bark for burns.

The various species of Spruce (Picea) have been used like others from the Pine Family for colds and other general uses.  The pitch in particular is favored as fire-starting material and for topical medicinal application, such as in the case of boils, infections, and cuts.

Cupressaceae  – Cypress Family

red_cedar_saplingRed Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) This is by far the most common representative of this family and genus in our area.  Common Juniper (J. communis) can also be found, but is not so common (despite its name) due to habitat loss and deer browse and is easily differentiated from Red Cedar in that it is a low-growing, spreading shrub.  Red Cedar is much more tree-like, though it can’t compete in our peak forests.  Sometimes you will find significant numbers dying in the shade of taller trees.  Healthy stands are found in old fields and similar locations.  They have dark blue berry-like cones.  

A Red Cedar sapling that died after getting shaded out by taller-growing trees.  The small, dead twigs are easy to remove to turn the tree  into a staff , handle, or utility pole.

TAXACEAE  –  Yew Family

yew_cross_sectionTaxaceae includes only three genera worldwide, only one of which, Taxus, which occurs in this country.  Of the nine (estimated) species of Taxus in the world, three can be found wild in the region- one of which is native: T. canadensis.  It is the only species found wild in the immediate area, but is suffering from deer overbrowse.  The most common place to find Yew is in hedgerows where it is commonly planted.  A friend cut down a hedge in Hawley, PA.  A slice of one trunk that I have here on the table has 47 growth rings and is only four finger-widths thick (see image below).  Particularly in the Northwest, Yew is a favorite wood for bows.  

Related: 10 Tips for When You Get Lost in the Woods

It is easy to recognize Yew by the bright red berries (arils), which (as it is a gymnosperm) are open on the end, exposing the seed.  The flesh of the fruit is the only edible part of the plant, but the seeds are highly toxic.  T. canadensis and Pacific Yew (T. brevifolia) are used to make a pharmaceutical drug Taxol that is used to treat cancer.  Natives used Yew to treat numbness in the fingers.  Yew species can be recognized by their lack of aromatic properties that are present in Pinaceae and Cupressaceae.


The Plants of Pennsylvania by Ann Fowler Rhoads and Timothy A. Block

Iroquois Medical Botany  by James W. Herrick

Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada  by Henry A. Gleason & Arthur Cronquist

Native American Ethnobotany by Daniel E. Moerman


Using Honey as a Topical Antibiotic: The Honey Bandage

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Using Honey as a Topical Antibiotic: The Honey Bandage Honey is one of the more versatile foods you can store.  You know it tastes good on toast and in your tea, but did you know honey also has healing properties? Honey is an ancient remedy for the treatment of infected wounds, which has recently been …

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Emergency Medical Preparedness: Prepare Yourself for a Medical Emergency

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Suzanne S.. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.

When it comes to prepping, there is a lot of talk about what material needs we should have on hand. A bug-out bag, freeze-dried food, water, transportation, first-aid kit, weapons for protection and a place to bug-out to. The idea is to have the basic needs of food, water and shelter readily available. The problem is; when the SHTF not everyone gets to just go merrily about their way, to easily head out and get gone. In fact, it is quite likely that many of us will sustain significant injuries that need to be tended to. Whether it is ourselves, our loved ones, or the friends who will be with us, we will need to know how to take care of each others injuries and illnesses.

I am an Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant with more than 20 years of Emergency Room experience, the majority of it in Level I Trauma centers (where the most severe cases…crashes, gunshots, severe work injuries, falls from heights, etc. go). Prior to becoming a PA, I was an EMT. I have a great deal of experience dealing with trauma victims and worked in an ER where we saw multiple gunshots daily. I have lectured at several colleges in the Chicago area as well as being responsible for teaching EMT, Physician Assistant, Medical and Podiatry students. I have also been an instructor for the American Red Cross teaching First Aid, CPR and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) classes.

There is a lot of information out there about what makes up a good medical kit for your bug-out bag. Everything you need can be either assembled by you or purchased as anyone of a variety of pre-stocked kits. While the kit you have with you when you bug out is obviously important, it is also completely useless if you have not taken the time to learn how to use it. The truth is you can stop most bleeding with direct pressure. Sometimes you need a torn shirt, some duct tape and a pair of trauma scissors. You don’t have to be MacGyver to do it. You do need proper training.

Pamela Rauseo, 37, performs CPR on her nephew, 5-month-old Sebastian de la Cruz, after pulling her SUV to the side of the road. The baby was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he is reportedly doing OK.

That said; EVERYONE who expects to deal with the aftermath of when the SHTF needs to know basic CPR and at least basic Trauma First Aid. That means taking classes and practicing what you learn. I can tell you stories about people attempting to administer first aid who had no training, but I won’t. Suffice it to say the outcomes were less than desirable.

The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way

Let’s think about some injuries you can expect in the woods, hiking or running to find cover. Or for that matter, just being in a place where help is not going to come anytime soon. Falls are very common and can result in anything from a scrape to sprains to more serious injuries like fractures and head injuries. So ask yourself; do I really know how to treat a sprain? What about a fracture? Do I know how to stop bleeding and properly clean a wound? Have I ever done those things? Would I be able to actually do the job the right way should I need to? What if it was something life threatening? Could I save a person’s life?

If the answer to any of the above is NO, then you can have all the gear in the world at the ready, but YOU are not ready to bug-out!

I’m going to give an example of injury event that can be a tragedy if you are not properly trained to treat it. Remember, this is about knowing: both what TO do and what NOT TO do.

You and your companion are moving quickly through a heavily wooded area and your companion falls. When you reach them, you see a branch has impaled their arm. They are essentially stuck to a tree because of a branch sticking all the way through their arm. Your companion is in shock and not even aware of the extent of the injury. They are confused. There is blood coming from their arm and also from a gash on the right side of their head which is bleeding profusely. You think you see bone exposed through the head laceration and it seems that one of their legs has something wrong. Closer examination shows you that the ankle is sitting at a strange angle. What do you do now?

If you are like most people, you freak out, try to compose yourself so you don’t freak out your companion, get really pale and nearly pass out and then reach for your cellphone to call 911. Oops, no connectivity, so no help coming. So what now? The first aid kit! You have a first aid kit with a manual in it to walk you through caring for these injuries. You dig out the kit, open and it and check the book only to find it’s great for small cuts and bruises and simple things, but it has nothing remotely close to what you’re dealing with now.

Suddenly, you realize that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to cancel that first aid class you had signed up for but decided you were too busy/tired to take. Besides, someone else will know what to do or I’ll call 911 anyway, I’ll never need to use it.

WOW! Talk about contrary to prepper philosophy. Or is it? It would seem that Emergency Medical preparedness training is a no-brainer, but in reality, most prepper sites and stores that cater to preppers are focused on the medical equipment you need rather than the training required to use it.

So anyway, I can’t teach you the how to do it in this article. I can give you a good idea of what good, accurate care and treatment of this fall will require. And yes, you can look all these things up on the internet. However, unless you learn from a real, live person who can guide you and correct mistakes you will surely make as you learn, you are never going to be able to really address the problems this very real scenario depicts.


The very first thing required in any trauma/accident situation is an evaluation of the site of the accident. Stop, take a breath and look at where you are about to go. Is it a safe place to enter? In the urban world this is akin to a Paramedic called to the scene of a gunshot victim. In that situation, the Paramedic cannot help the victim until the Police have arrived and determined that the Paramedic is safe from the danger of being shot herself when she goes to help. At that point the scene is declared “safe” and the Paramedics can get to work.

In the wilderness or woods, the dangers are different but still just as potentially deadly. Is the ground stable? Are there dangerous branches or rocks that could fall onto you as you make your way to your companion? Will you slip and fall as well if you attempt to help? Do you need to take time to tie off before going to the person? What about wildlife? Are you in danger of animal or insect attack when you go to help? Can you find a way to make the scene safe?

Only after you treat the area as if it were a busy street corner will you be safe. You have to STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN.

Once the scene is determined safe, or made safe the next thing is to get to the injured person and take stock of the situation by doing an initial survey of them. This is done by looking and speaking to them without touching them. Encouragement to stay still is recommended at this point. Usually saying “Hold on, try not to move, I’ll be right there,” is a good start.

Look carefully at the person and where they are lying. Do you see any blood? Where is it coming from? What about limb deformities? If so, which ones. Are there any objects that will cause difficulty in treating the injuries? Can they be cleared or do you need to find a way to work around them.

Now it’s time to your ABCDE’s: Airway/Head and Neck, Breathing, Circulation, Disability/Deformity, and Exposure assessment.

Airway: If the person is conscious and talking, then they have a clear airway, but they might have a neck injury which will require stabilization. In the case of any significant fall, or one with an accompanying head injury, be sure that the cervical (neck) spine is stabilized. If the person is unconscious or can’t talk, be sure that the airway is clear of obstruction before going further. Gently lowering the jaw while holding the forehead steady will allow you to see if anything is causing an obstruction. Look for broken teeth, blood, dirt or some foreign body causing an obstruction. Remove any obstruction you can see. Do not blindly probe their mouth. You could push an unseen object backward and cause an obstruction where none had previously existed.

Breathing: Is the person breathing on their own? If they can talk, they are breathing. Is there any reason to suspect a possible lung injury? Do they have any evidence of a chest injury that could have broken a rib? A broken rib can puncture a lung and lead to air in the chest collapsing the lung on that side. You can check this several ways. One is to watch the rise and fall of the chest and see if both sides rise equally. Another is to put your ear on one side of the chest, then the other and listen for breath sounds to be equal on both sides. If you notice that the trachea, the tube that runs down the middle of your neck, is pushed to one side; that is a clear sign of a lung injury. The best case scenario is that you have a stethoscope in your kit that will allow you to hear the actual breath sounds easily. If there is a lung injury, this is a true emergency and will need to be treated quickly, but that is a procedure that requires specialized training.

Circulation: Check for obvious bleeding, but also in the case of extremity injury, is there good blood flow to the far portions of the extremity? Is the color of distal (far) limb pink or pale/bluish? Is it warm to the touch or cool/cold? Pink and warm = good. Anything else indicates blocked blood flow which may be due to arterial injury or compression. Arterial injury needs repair soon. Compression can often be correct by adjusting the limb to an appropriate angle.

Disability/Deformity: Is neurologic function intact or are they confused, unable to answer questions or showing other signs of significant head injury? Are there limb deformities, obvious chest or facial depressions indicating broken bones? Depending on what you find, a variety of things may be needed from re-evaluation of the airway, to splinting or bandaging.

Exposure: How long has it been since the injury took place? Are they becoming chilled or hypothermic? Cold =shock. Putting a warm cover over an injured party ASAP is essential even in hot weather.

The important thing to do now is stay calm and determine what needs to be treated first. If there is copious bleeding indicating probable arterial involvement (this can also be characterized by blood that sprays with each pump of the heart) apply direct pressure and if necessary a tourniquet that can be tightened and released easily. If there is no major bleeding issue, then recheck the airway and breathing. If there is chest deformity and/or other evidence of a collapsed lung, that is the next thing to deal with unless there is now evidence of airway obstruction or the person is not breathing on their own. The former requires clearing the airway, the latter requires rescue breathing. The collapsed lung requires specialized training you can’t get from the internet or a book. Any other injuries can wait. Remember; the brain starts to die after 3 minutes without oxygen. Airway is first unless bleeding is so profuse that not stopping it would mean there would not be enough blood to circulate oxygen.

Back to our fall victim; we have bleeding, limb deformity, confusion and a fall. The fall means we have to have high suspicion of a neck injury and the confusion could be shock or it could indicate a more serious injury such as concussion or a brain bleed. We also have a penetrating injury which may have been an insult to a major artery. This person is seriously injured and qualifies as a trauma patient. Ideally, we would get this person stabilized and out of there ASAP, but that is not an option. Instead, we have to stabilize and create a sheltered space as close to where we area as possible so we can begin to treat the various injuries.

Assuming there are no immediate life threats (Excessive bleeding or collapsed lung/blocked airway) we begin by stabilizing the neck. A towel, shirt or thick cloth of some kind can be rolled and taped carefully in place to accomplish this. Next stabilize and splint any limb deformities so that we can move the victim with the least amount of discomfort to them. Continue to talk to them to assess their mental status. At this point, things get tricky…

People’s first instinct when presented with something sticking out of or through a body part is to remove it. STOP! Don’t do it! Not only is it exactly the wrong thing to do, it could quite possibly be the thing that kills the person. I know it is scary looking and seems like the danger comes from it being stuck in the person, but at this point the person is alive and has survived impalement. Leaving the object embedded is not dangerous at this point; it is actually the safest thing to do. As long as the object is left in place, it is acting to tamponade (stop) the bleeding. That is, it is putting pressure on any lacerated vessels and preventing any major bleeding. Yes there will be some oozing around the injury site, but it will be minimal as compared to what happens should the object be removed. NEVER REMOVE AN IMPALED OR IMBEDDED OBJECT FROM A PUNCTURE WOUND unless you have been trained to handle this procedure. This is another procedure that requires specialized training courses.

But what about infection, you ask? Yes, infection risk is high, but it is not a life threatening problem at this time. A neck injury or brain injury will need prior attention as will the bleeding from the head wound. Antibiotics are something you can give, but not at this time because the victim has a decreased mental status and it is not clear if they can swallow a pill without causing an airway obstruction or aspirating it into a lung.

For the time being, the safest and most efficacious thing to do is to cut both ends of the branch so that your companion can be maneuvered to the sheltered spot. Start with the end of the branch still attached to the tree and try to keep the arm as immobile as you can while doing so to minimize pain. You can then trim the protruding opposite side.

Don’t cut the ends short. Leave enough to be able to grasp both ends firmly to assist removal when it is time. Use your gauze or Ace wrap to secure the branch so that it moves as little as possible during transport to avoid causing undo pain.

Continue to monitor the ABC’s and mental status and address what need to be done ASAP. Once you have done as much as you can, find a way to get this person out of there and to an emergency care center as quickly as possible otherwise, they will likely not survive for very long.

This all started out as a fall but resulted in multiple injuries placing your companion in danger of dying. With the proper training, you could swing the odds much more in favor of a good outcome. So before you buy that cool medical kit, or put one together on your own, get out there and get trained. If you know someone who has been trained and can teach you the emergency survival techniques you’ll need, ask them to teach you. Meanwhile there are a multitude of courses in first aid, tactical lifesaving, wilderness emergency medicine, survival medicine and CPR. Don’t forget to look into classes that teach herbal remedies. Know what plants can ease pain or prevent infection, they may be the only medications you’ll have available.

So go out and get prepared. Learn.

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The post Emergency Medical Preparedness: Prepare Yourself for a Medical Emergency appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Wilderness First Aid

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One of the scariest things that can happen when you’re in the back-country is an injury. Even a small blister can upend a backpacking trip, but imagine facing something more serious, like a broken leg, an allergic reaction, or a burn from the campfire, and not knowing where to start. Suddenly it’s abundantly obvious that getting to a hospital isn’t as simple as calling 911, and you wonder where you packed the first-aid kit – you did pack a first-aid kit, right? Having a first-aid kit and knowing how to use it are important parts of making any trip to the back-country. Here are some tips to get you started in wilderness first aid.

Article and info graphic shared with us by Fix.com
Backcountry First Aid Kit
Source: Fix.com Blog

Take a Course

If you plan on spending time in the backcountry, it’s important to take a course in wilderness medicine. You have three options when choosing a course.

Wilderness First Aid (2–3 days)

This course provides an overview of wilderness medicine, and it is designed for people who plan on taking mostly weekend trips. You’ll learn how to check for threats to life, how to care for wounds and fractures, and how to deal with an emergency in a deliberate way.

Wilderness First Responder (~10 days)

This course is usually required for people who want to work in the outdoors. The material is presented more thoroughly than the material in the short course, and the course covers a wider range of common wilderness injuries.

Wilderness EMT (one month)

If you want to be a ski instructor or expect to bounce between EMT work and time in the backcountry, this is a great option. In addition to the national EMT curriculum, the Wilderness EMT includes a component designed for providing remote care.

Don’t be intimidated by the fact that these are all classes; most wilderness medicine courses involve a lot of hands-on learning and scenarios, which provide plenty of chances to practice your skills. Be sure to take a class from a reputable program and keep your certification up to date. Most certifications have to be renewed every two to three years, and most of them include a CPR component. Renewing your certification may seem like a hassle, but it’s a great way to brush up on rusty skills and learn changes to the curriculum or protocols.

First-aid Kit

  • Gloves (2–3 pairs Latex or nitrile gloves are essential for anyone treating a patient; pack a few pairs so you won’t run out.
  • Band-Aids (10–20): These are great for small cuts and scrapes.
  • Ibuprofen and acetaminophen: Sometimes referred to as “Vitamin I,” ibuprofen is great for treating everything from headaches to aching feet.
  • Antihistamine and an EpiPen: Allergic reactions happen fast, so make sure you know where the EpiPen and Benadryl are located so you can retrieve them quickly.
  • Tweezers: Tweezers are great for removing splinters and ticks.
  • Moleskin (2 sheets): These are great for preventing and treating blisters.
  • Molefoam (1 sheet): Molefoam provides a fast way to pad a blister.
  • Athletic tape (1 roll): Athletic tape can be used for a number of injuries, including twisted ankles and blisters, and it can be used to tape gauze over larger wounds.
  • Duct tape: Instead of packing a roll, unwind some tape and wrap it around itself so you can remove pieces.
  • Gauze pads (2–3): These are perfect for burns and big cuts.
  • Gauze roll: Having two types of gauze may seem redundant, but the roll can be handy for wrapping any number of injuries.
  • Antibiotic ointment (3–5 packets): These come in small packets, which are a nice, lightweight option.
  • Ace bandage: These are bulky, but they are great for wrapping around splints if you’re dealing with a fracture or simply supporting a rolled ankle.
  • Trauma shears or a pocket knife: Scissors aren’t lightweight, but they are indispensible if you need to cut molefoam or remove clothing around an injury. If you opt to leave them behind, be sure to carry a pocket knife.
  • CPR face shield: This is a lightweight version of a CPR mask.
  • Paper and pencil: These are vital for recording information and taking notes on your patient.
  • Plastic bag: These are always useful, but if you’re disposing of biohazardous material, it’s especially important to have one in your kit.

Safety at the Scene
Source: Fix.com Blog

One of the first things you learn in first-aid training is how to assess a situation to ensure your own safety and that of potential victims. When someone gets injured, your instinct will be to rush to help, but it’s important to take a minute to size up the situation first. These five steps will help you quickly gather important information about the situation before you approach the injured party.

1. Make sure the area around the patient is safe for you, the rescuer. This may be a quick decision if the patient simply fell, but consider the scene after an avalanche, a lightning strike, or a bear attack. If the thing that caused the injury is still a danger to others, keep yourself safe by waiting to approach the patient. There’s no sense in creating more patients.

2. Make a quick determination about what happened to the patient. This isn’t a diagnosis but an observation based on what the scene looks like.

3. Put on gloves! It’s crucial to ensure that none of the patient’s fluids (like blood) get on your skin. Gloves are the easiest solution for protecting your hands, and you should wear them at all times while treating a patient.

4. Make a quick scan of the area to count how many patients you’ll be treating. Maybe you’ve stumbled upon a boating accident with a raft full of people, or maybe you’re hiking with a friend who stumbled and fell to the ground.

5. Is the person alive or dead? This may seem basic, but it will give you a lot of information about what your next steps will be and how fast to make them. Sometimes you have to get closer to the patient to see if they are alive, which is why this step is last.

First-aid 101: Blister Prevention

Blisters are a much more likely to occur on a hiking or camping trip than are some of the other incidental injuries a person may incur. Learning how to treat them is a valuable skill that will pay off in dividends. Blisters are essentially burns caused by friction, and they are incredibly common on backpacking trips, especially if you’re wearing brand-new boots. The pre-cursor to a blister is known as a “hot spot.” It’s best to catch blisters at this stage, when they’re easily treated.

If you or your hiking partner discovers a hot spot, stop and take a look at the foot. Hot spots are usually red, and they will be slightly painful to the touch. They’re caused by the foot rubbing against either the boot or the sock, so to treat them, you need to relieve the friction. This is easy to do with moleskin. Simply cut out a circular piece about the size of the hot spot and tape it in place (athletic tape works well for this).

Have the person remove their boot and sock. Take out a square of Molefoam and cut a circle that covers the entire blister, plus a little extra. Round pieces are best because they don’t have any corners, which will peel.

Once you have a circular piece cut, fold the piece in half and cut out the middle, creating a foam donut. The inside hole should be large enough that it covers the entire blister.

Place the foam donut over the blister. If the extends out further than the foam, make a second donut and place it on top of the first. The goal is to create a ring around the blister that will protect it from rubbing against the boot.

If the blister has popped, apply some antibiotic cream inside the donut. If it hasn’t popped, leave it intact. A popped blister is no longer protected by the cushion of the fluid, and it’s an easy access point for infection-causing bacteria. Once the blister is surrounded by the donut of foam, wrap the area with athletic tape to keep the bandage in place.
How to Treat a Blister
Source: Fix.com Blog

Now that you know some of the basics, sign up for a wilderness medicine class in your area. Start by checking these three schools that offer nationally recognized certifications.

The post Wilderness First Aid appeared first on American Preppers Network.