Glock 19 vs the 17 for prepping

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Hi Fernando, I know you’re a huge fan of the Glock 17 for prepping and even EDC but I would like to make a counter argument that the Glock 19 has an advantage over it’s larger brother for prepping. While the 17 is a solid gun, it can only ever accept magazines made for the 17 while the 19 can accept both the 19s and 17s magazines. So if you buy a 19 you’ve essentially doubled the possible available magazines you can buy or find for your gun and all it cost you was a bit of barrel length and a bit off the bottom. So if you’re CCWing a 19 you can have a 15rnd magazine in it to reduce your printing while having an extra glock 17 mag on your belt or in your bag.


I like the Glock 19 very much. As you say the size is about perfect, especially for smaller frame people. The grip is basically the same thickness as the Glock 17, only shorter, so I don’t feel it gives any particular advantage to people with smaller hands. But being smaller, lighter, there’s less gun to swing around for smaller people and its also easier to conceal.

I will say though that I like having a bit more grip real estate as in the Glock 17 and I at least don’t feel that the Glock 17 is all that harder to conceal. Again, for smaller frame people or people that dress a certain way, maybe tighter fitting clothes, the advantage in concealment may be worth it.

I also find that having less barrel length gives me a shorter distance between sights. I group better when precision shooting with the Glock 17. The longer barrel also gives you a bit more velocity and power and of course, you have two more rounds in the Glock 17 vs the Glock 19. Sure you can use Glock 17 mags in the Glock 19, but it defeats the purpose of having the smaller gun in the first place.

I feel all of this doesn’t compensate the rather small tactical advantage of being able to use both G17 and G19 mags, especially considering that the Glock 17 is the most prolific gun of the two.

Either way, both are excellent guns and if a given person feels the Glock 19 is better for them then I’m perfectly fine with that. You can’t go wrong with the Glock 17 or its slightly smaller version.


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”

Putting together a Survival Fitted Case Kit

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I’ve known about these commercial survival “kits” for several years now, actually since the first ones came out with the prepper movement gaining attention around 2012.

Its usually a Pelican type case or PVC tube. It includes a gun of course and some other survival related gear like a compass, whistle, emergency blanket or flashlight or even some MRE (meal ready to eat)

Now I know that far more convenient is to have an actual backpack that is lighter and easier to carry, and put your gear in there. This makes for more practical bug out bags, EDC bags, or get home bags to keep in the vehicle. Something that can actually be carried somewhat comfortably.

Still I like the idea of a kit with fitted gear in a tough impact resistant or even waterproof case.

I think they look pretty neat. They also remind me a lot of those old fitted gun cases, with tools, a bottle of cleaning oil and other trinkets.  I see these as more modern rendition of those great classic cases to some extent.

So, one day looking online I came across a nice deal on a surplus Explorer case. I made and offer and lucky me I ended up winning it. Now this is what I have to work with:

I’m thinking adding a few mags, maybe a cleaning kit and a knife or multitool. I’ll update you once I put it together.

Or maybe a shotgun kit:

At this point I’m just looking for ideas. In fact if you have any pics, comments, links of pics you just happen to like or suggestions of possible content to include in the kit leave it in the comments below or send me an email.

What handgun or long arm would you chose for a kit like this? What gear would you put in it?

Its a fun little project which you may try out yourselves.

Here are a few commercial models to get you brainstorming:

Stag Arms Executive Survival kit

Smith & Wesson

Steyr AUG survival kit

Taurus First 24 Survival Kit

Mossberg JIC (just in case) Shotgun Kit

The Mossberg version is probably the cheapest. Just a PVC tube, end caps and glue.


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”

Best Lock Picking Practice Locks for Each Experience Level

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Best Lock Picking Practice Locks for Each Experience Level

Lock picking is one of the few hobbies I have that is truly useful in my everyday life. Sure, knowing how to sharpen knives to a mirror edge or start a fire using raw materials is (in my opinion) important, but in my day to day 21st century life, knowing how to bypass locks has […]

This is just the start of the post Best Lock Picking Practice Locks for Each Experience Level. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Best Lock Picking Practice Locks for Each Experience Level, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Reply: Some thoughts about push daggers

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Regarding push daggers, as cute as they are there are potential complications that can come up before someone might use one in self-defense, and they are certain to come after they have used it.

The first point is that I suspect they are illegal to carry in most jurisdictions.  While in some places in the U. S. the law might allow a person who has a concealed weapon permit to also carry and potentially use such a knife in self-defense, in most places the CCW only pertains to a handgun.  Other laws govern knives.

“Ah”, you say, “but what if you carry the push dagger openly?”  First, it is hard to carry it in any way that it is not concealed at least partially or at times, depending on how it is carried, what clothing is worn, etc.  Second, there are laws on the books in some jurisdictions that allow law enforcement officers to arrest people who openly carry a knife—in at least one jurisdiction the display of a pocket clip is enough to get a person arrested.

As you know, there is a patchwork of laws in place across the U. S. and across various countries.  In one jurisdiction where the law is written to allow knives to be carried that are not “designed and intended” to be used as weapons, that “design” and “intent” comes down to interpretation by law enforcement and the courts.*  Under those rules, it is probably illegal to carry a push dagger since it is designed and intended to be used as a weapon and cannot be justified as a tool intended for some other use or general utility.

Then, if someone actually uses a push dagger in otherwise legitimate self-defense, they are likely to be charged criminally for carrying an illegal concealed weapon, with any damage they might do to an aggressor to also be adjudicated according the local laws and preferences of law enforcement and prosecutors.**

The bottom line is that maybe the push dagger should be left at home or else only carried by people who are legally authorized to do so because their professions require them to go in harm’s way.


That is true.

Usually when I post about gear I include links to those products in Amazon (I get a small % of it) but in this case there was none to be found.  I looked further and could not find a single push knife/dagger in Amazon.

That alone goes to show the problematic laws and bans they face in many States.

Yet again, you simply have to know the laws that apply you. For knives, guns and self-defense, knowing the law is important.

Having said that, where legal to own and carry I do believe they have the advantages mentioned. Compactness, ease of carry, instinctive use and outstanding retention being the most valuable traits.

No affiliation of any kind and I’ve never bought from them, but does seem to have a wide variety of push knives offered.


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”

JOBS: Preparing for Job Loss…steps to move onward & upward [Updated]

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Yes, I am living it right now. I made a decision and quit a job with the state of Wyoming, moved to Nashville with everything I owned (that I hadn’t sold or gotten rid of) and started from scratch again. Had a job building corporate Dell PCs for two weeks, but after knee surgery 6 months […]

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Video – Digging up ammo cans from the bottom of a pond after a year

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This is one of those ‘nice to know’ things. You’d be seven types of crazy to willingly store your ammo underwater for a long period of time, but any container that would (apparently) let you do that will certainly do a bang-up job of keeping your ammo dry when its sitting in the back of your truck as you drive through the night to your alpha site, or leave it sitting hidden under some forest debris for a while.

I would be extremely interested to see this sort of test performed using the Chinese knockoff ammo cans. Maybe they’d hold up, maybe not. But on this admittedly statistically small sample, it appears that good condition US ammo cans with good gaskets are capable of doing some amazing work keeping your ammo dry.

As an aside, I’m a belt-and-suspenders kinda guy…if it absolutely needs to be waterproof, put it int a water tight container…then put that in another waterproof container. And maybe vacuum seal the goodies inside in a nice thick plastic pouch.

Top Budget Pocket Knives: 30 Best Folding EDCs Under $30

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Top Budget Pocket Knives: 30 Best Folding EDCs Under $30

Over the years, I’m finding it harder and harder to justify the purchase of expensive knives besides those that really stand out from the crowd – knives like the Benchmade Osborne and the Spyderco Paramilitary 2. The explanation for why comes down to the fact that it’s gotten absurdly easy to find knives with excellent […]

This is just the start of the post Top Budget Pocket Knives: 30 Best Folding EDCs Under $30. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Top Budget Pocket Knives: 30 Best Folding EDCs Under $30, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Survival Life Article – Leatherman Squirt PS4

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As some of you know, I am a big fan of multitools. I own several of them and used them on a regular basis. Not long ago I decided to write a review on my Leatherman Squirt PS4 that I’ve had in my inventory for a while. You can read it over at Survival Life […]

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8 Things You Must Bring When Camping

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Editor’s Note: Please welcome Robert Foster to Plan and Prepared. Robert is a survival and fitness enthusiast who who spends more than 200 hours every year mountain biking, hiking and climbing. You can find more about Robert at Camping can truly be a wonderful experience as long as you’re well prepared and have all the […]

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JOBS: Preparing for Job Loss…steps to move onward & upward.

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Yes, I am living it right now. I made a decision, and quit a job with the state of Wyoming, moved to Nashville with everything I owned (that I hadn’t sold or gotten rid of) and started from scratch again. Had a job building corporate Dell PCs for two weeks, but after knee surgery 6 months […]

The post JOBS: Preparing for Job Loss…steps to move onward & upward. appeared first on SurvivalRing.

Reader Recommendations: Preppers List Their Favourite Gear

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Reader Recommendations: Preppers List Their Favourite Gear

This article is a follow up of a post I made just a couple weeks ago asking you guys to recommend the prepper gear you use and love. The question came about because I’d made an article listing the best prepper gear I could think of without price point being much of a factor. I tried to […]

This is just the start of the post Reader Recommendations: Preppers List Their Favourite Gear. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Reader Recommendations: Preppers List Their Favourite Gear, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Systems and Progress

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My BOB is repacked. I still need to add a couple things but the core of it is set up. I need to add one of those recharging things as well as a phone charger. Also a couple maps specifically for the bag. My safe stuff (cash, vehicle titles, etc) is in a small backpack ready to grab in the safe.

I repacked my Go Box A to reflect my current firearm stash. So .22lr for the 10/22, .380 for the LCP, 9 for the Glock, 5.56 for the AR and 7.62. A couple mags for the core guns and one each for the nice to haves plus a mag pouch for the AR, a holster for the Glock and cleaning stuff round it out.

A pair of pants sit by the speedy cabinet with 2x each Glock and AR mags n a holster. That sits on a very comfortable pair of leather slip on shoes. By that is a PC with 2 more AR mags, a Glock mags an a med kit. With that set up I would have 3 spare Glock mags and 4 AR mags. For me that’s all I can see needing these days. Sure if things went totally to shit I might want more but that won’t happen overnight and I have another rig for that anyway.

I would like to go to the new Haley DC3 rig and eventually I will.

At the current juncture I am pretty happy with this system. Next is the heavy bug out stuff. Also I might make a full on mad max set up just for fun.

Just spent Six days without Power: 12 things I learned

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So one of those once in a lifetime mess-ups left us without power for almost a week. One guy messed up and didn’t present the paperwork he was supposed to, the power company did its thing, then fixing it all with a weekend in between was even more time. At the end of the day we were left without power until the mess was sorted out.

I’ve been without power for a few days before. In fact in Argentina power would go down almost every day for a few hours some years ago, especially during summer. I’ve been a day or two without power more times than I can remember and even longer too. Can’t remember if I ever did six full days though.

Anyway, not the end of the world but it is an experience in which you get to see what works, what doesn’t, learn a thing or two or just refresh or remember some of them, so here it goes:

1)Not having power sucks. I gets boring after a day or two. I like watching a movie with the wife after the kids go to sleep. We missed that, of course no internet, tablets and wifi for the phones. Not having rooms as well illuminated is pretty depressing too, especially after a few days. At first the kids run around with flashlights having fun, after the 3rd day they cant stop asking when is the power coming back. We have board games, card games but we didn’t get to use them because we were still pretty busy. It’s a good idea to have them and put them to use though.

Tip: Try finding other things to do, and most of all, if you can, get of the house as much as you can. It really helps fight the gloomy blackout feeling.

2)Preparedness helps. It makes a very big difference if you know what to do. If the blackout lasts for a few hours then just waiting it out with a flashlight will do, but for several days you actually need a game plan, a strategy to get by. How are you going to heat your home, how are you going to heat water, cook food, illuminate the house, keep the fridge going, get work done. All of these need to be addressed and if you haven’t prepared ahead of time and know what to do then everything gets a lot more complicated.

3)Flashlights. Lots of flashlights. I have a ton of them. I buy them, I get them for free to review. They all came in handy. A small Fenix that my oldest son keeps was his personal light to get around when going to bed. My wife kept the Lumintop Copper Prince (best looking flashlight we own!) she keeps as her own. I made good use of the Thrunite TN12s that I have.

Those 1000 lumen lights come in very handy. Using them in candle mode, standing on the tail and pointing towards the ceiling, in their medium modes of 300 or so they would run for a few hours illuminating the room quite well, especially for showering and preparing dinner they were extremely handy.

4)Headlamps. Oh how I love those things. The ability to have both hands available for use while directing light with your head is priceless. If I could only have a light, it would be a headlamp. During those days I picked the head band of my Zebralight H52W and kept it in my pocket as my EDC, using the head strap when getting things done inside the house. Get yourself a good headlamp. The cheapo ones are ok but a nicer one is a valuable asset during extended blackouts.

5)Cat 32 stoves. You remember that post some time ago about making stoves with small tuna and cat food cans? The first day without power I used one to boil some water for breakfast. It worked beautifully.

After that I went for the butane camping stove and left that in the kitchen. If you don’t have one of these yet, just go and buy one. Not the mini  backpacking one but the cheap, large one used of camping. Its far more stable and convenient for blackouts. The one I have is just like this one, the Coleman Butane Stove. Bottles of gas are 2 bucks although its not hard to find them for one dollar when on sale. Stock up. I used a canister every two or three days. This was cooking lunch and dinner, heating water throughout the day for coffee, tea and mate. Stock up and keep a couple weeks worth of gas. It’s cheap enough, extremely handy for these kind of situations and can be used safely in any kind of house or apartment.

Coleman Butane Stove $15.21

6)If you have a car you already have a generator that can run most appliances in your home, one or two at a time. All you need is an inverter. My 500W inverter allowed me to turn on the wifi, use my laptop and charge the cell phones. Careful not to abuse it, you don’t want to end up with burned cables or a dead car battery. These days even fuel efficient refrigerators can be run with a 500W inverter. I would run it for couple hours at a time, get some things done with the laptop before going for running errands and recharging the battery. If you’re going to use the inverter for something more than running a laptop for an hour or two you want to keep the car running so as to avoid draining the battery.

Tip: The advertised power of these car inverters is usually exaggerated a bit. For charging a small laptop and little else a 300W inverter is fine, connected to the 12V lighter. Anything more than that and you’ll probably start blowing fuses in the car. Better yet, get a 500W to 1000W inverter that connects directly to the car’s battery. The bigger the car and the battery the better. Still, Check the wattage and try sticking to half of the max. wattage of your inverter.



BESTEK 1000W Power Inverter Dual AC Outlets 12V DC to 110V AC Car Inverter $69.99

7)Ice bottles. Put a few bottles of water in your freezer and use it as an ice box for a couple days, maybe 3 or 4 days in winter. Cover everything with a plastic tarp in there for extra insulation. Don’t expect any miracles, but using this technique it will give you enough time to eat any perishables you may have in there before they go bad.

8)Rice, pasta, canned tuna, canned vegetables, lentils, the more shelf stable food you have the easier it is. We are used to eating these things already during “normal” times, so its already easy for us to stop using the fridge and stick to these shelf stable foods. Sure you miss a cold drink in summer, but you get by none the less.

Tip: For rice and especially lentils, pre soaking saves a lot of fuel when cooking. Don’t forget the lid too!

9)Gravity fed city water saved us. If you’re on a well and need to pump water, prepare accordingly. Basically you want to look at your situation and have plan B or even plan C for everything. Cooking? I use electricity. If that goes down I have the butane stove. If that doesn’t work I have the Cat32 alcohol stove which also works. I also have LPG gas bottles used for the water heater, which ca be used for cooking with the right burner. If you have a well, you maybe want a manual pump in case the electric one fails.  Having a plan B, and even plan C for the more critical systems saves the day when SHTF.

10)Living next to town made many things easier. Sometimes you picked fresh food and cooked it right away, buying things you needed, dropping by laundry. Even simple things like having a pizza delivered (even if I usually make my own) it just means you have more resources available and more at hand. Even my neighbour offered several times to hook me up to his grid if I needed it. I don’t like asking for favours or even accepting them when offered, but it was nice knowing that it had been offered.

11)Location, location, location. Living in an area with tropical climate means that when these things happen chances are you’ll get by more easily. In colder climates staying warm is a top priority, especially in winter and a blackout complicates this a lot. The backup systems are crucial in this case. In more benign climates though you just don’t worry about that sort of thing. In sunny places, even lighting gets easier, with daylight up to 9PM in some cases.

12) Batteries, chargers and cables. You need several of these, just like you do with flashlights. You need batteries for your flashlights of course, both primaries and rechargables. Li-ion ones are especially useful for those larger Lumen LED lights. They are brighter and run for longer periods of time. Battery banks and solar panels are also useful. The Waka Waka Power battery bank plus charger worked great yet again. Highly recommended. Keep a lighter plug for the car that has two USB outputs. This means you can charge two phones at a time when running. When there’s a blackout, this is very convenient. A good working solar panel is worth purchasing. I’m considering the one by Goal Zero Nomad 20W  given the positive reviews it has.


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 Use a Japanese Water Stone (Whetstone) to Sharpen a Knife

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How to Use a Japanese Water Stone (Whetstone) to Sharpen a Knife

Considering all the knife reviews published on this blog, it’ll be no surprise to anyone that I get asked a lot of questions about knife sharpening. Whilst I have reviewed a couple of systems in the past (the Hapstone Pro & Smith’s PP1 sharpeners) I admittedly always go back to simple Japanese Water Stones for sharpening. […]

This is just the start of the post How to Use a Japanese Water Stone (Whetstone) to Sharpen a Knife. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

How to Use a Japanese Water Stone (Whetstone) to Sharpen a Knife, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Bush shelter saved dad and son lost in Tasmanian wilderness for days

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Learn primitive skills & equip yourself with suitable equipment before going bush.

6 Things You Should Throw in Your BOV’s Trunk When Bugging Out

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One of the things less talked about in bug out scenarios is the things you will take with you. For some reason, many don’t put a lot of thought into this, even though leaving one’s valuables behind is hard to understand. Sure, when you need to evacuate, you’ll have plenty of other things to worry […]

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The Best Gloves for Survival

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by Ryan

In my experience, I have often found my gloves lacking.   In addition, I have found times that I thought I would be fine without gloves only to end up with hands that are blistered and bloody.  It my be my poor circulation or may be the circumstances, but I often find my hands to be the part of my body that gets the most cold.  Because of this, I always try to take quality gloves with me when I go into the wild.

After a few rough experiences with my hands, I was on a mission to find gloves that would cover all my needs.  I realized that a person’s hands are some of their most valuable tools in a survival situation.  To protect your hands it to protect yourself.  Gloves are definitely not all created equal.  You can spend a small amount of money and effectively protect your hands, and you can easily spend a large amount of money and provide no protection at all. In this article I will cover how to select the right set of gloves and discuss the different types of gloves available.

How to Select Gloves

When I first set out to find quality gloves, I was overwhelmed by the wide array of options available. How do you really know you are getting a product that will work well for survival when gloves are rarely made for this purpose?  I decided to break down exactly what variables affect my hands and gloves, and what my priorities are for this product.

  • Gloves must protect hands from abrasions. Cuts and scrapes are quite common in a survival situation.  In addition, blisters form easily if you are cutting and chopping over long periods of time.  It seems like there are thorns on everything when you get into the wild.  Gloves must be made of thick material that protects your hands from these threats.  Impact pads add cushioning to protect knuckles and other points of impact.
  • Gloves must keep hands warm. There are two types of warmth they can provide.  One is simple protection from exposure. Any thick material will provide some protection just by adding a barrier between the cold air and your skin.  This helps with frostbite in moderate conditions.  However, for true warmth you need insulation.  Insulated gloves work by trapping air between the glove and your skin.  Your hands then warm that air to protect against the cold.  This means the gloves must be large enough to give you that pocket of air inside.
  • Gloves must be durable. There are gloves available made of dozens of different materials.  The material you choose must be strong enough to protect against cuts, wear and tear, and repeated daily abuse. Thinner materials will typically tear or wear through within hours. However, there are several thicker materials that could last a lifetime.
  • Gloves must provide dexterity. When you are in a survival situation, there are several tasks which require you to use your fingers for detailed work.  A great example of this is working with cordage.  Whether you are building a shelter or setting a snare trap, you fingers must be able manipulate the cordage to tie knots. An added bonus is the ability to feel texture through the gloves.  This allows you to be even more effective with your fingers.
  • Gloves should protect your hands during combat. One of the reasons why many self-defense experts suggest using your knees and elbows for striking is because bare knuckles split open easily.  Many gloves have impact pads that help protect your knuckles when striking an opponent.  In survival situations, you never know when you might have to defend yourself or your family.
  • Gloves should help you grip tools. Ideally, you want gloves that have a rough or sticky surface on the palms.  Whether you need to grip a hatchet or a shotgun, you want to be sure it will not slip out of your hands.
  • Gloves should be water resistant or waterproof. One of the easiest ways to get frostbite is to allow your hands to get wet.  Wet skin drops in temperature 20 times faster than dry skin. It is tough to find gloves that are 100% waterproof, but they should at least be water resistant for working in wet conditions.
  • Gloves should allow you to use your phone. In many survival situations, your smart phone is a wonderful tool.  It can help with communication, navigation, light, and information.  However, touch screen phones only work with certain materials.

Types of Gloves

There are a few standard styles of gloves that you can choose from.  I will briefly cover the advantages and disadvantages of each of these styles of glove.

Leather Work Gloves – These gloves are great for protection against cuts, scrapes, and blisters.  They are thick and tough, so they often will last a lifetime.  Leather is water resistant and typically gives you some good grip.  They give you some protection in combat and some protection against cold, but they are rarely insulated. Leather does not work with touch screens. They provide a medium amount of dexterity in the fingers.

Here is a good example.

Jersey Gloves – These cheap gloves are virtually worthless.  They provide a small amount of warmth and protection, but they tear easily.  They absorb water, have no padding, have no grip, and have no insulation. They do allow for dexterity in your fingers.

Here is a good example.

Medium Thickness Hunting Gloves – These gloves are designed to provide you with some insulation while still allowing dexterity in the fingers.  They are water resistant and sometimes even work with smart phones.  They have no padding and are not designed for heavy abuse. Often these gloves will rip or wear through over time.  They rarely have a good gripping surface and are not built for combat.

Here is a good example.

Mechanic Gloves – These gloves are waterproof and are designed to protect your hands from the constant impact they would take working on machinery.  They are thick and padded, so they would work well in combat.  They are durable and should never rip or tear.  These gloves have no insulation but do provide quality grip.  They do not work with touch screens and provide a medium amount of dexterity in your fingers.

Here is a good example.

Tactical Gloves – These happen to be the gloves I choose most often for survival situations.  Tactical gloves are padded for combat and have a good gripping surface for holding tools or weapons.  They are water resistant, and have open fingers for ideal dexterity or using a touch screen.  They provide some warmth, and are super durable.  The only downside is that they could be a bit warmer, but they work great for three seasons of the year.

Here is a good example.

Wool Gloves – Wool is the only glove material that can be soaking wet and still provide warmth.  They are water resistant and very warm.  They provide some level of protection, but are not padded.  Wool does wear through over time, and does not provide much grip.  Often these gloves come without fingers, so they may work well for dexterity and for touch screens.

Here is a good example.

Ski gloves – The main benefits of these gloves are that they are waterproof and very warm.  They have heavy insulation, so they would provide some protection in combat.  They rarely have a good gripping surface, and are not designed for abuse. They rip and wear through easily, and do not work with smart phones.  They provide very little dexterity.

Here is a good example.

Insulated Leather Mittens – This is my top choice for sleeping in cold weather.  Mittens actually provide the most warmth possible because they leave your fingers in one section of the glove so they can warm each other.  They are plenty durable and have a good gripping surface.  They are waterproof and provide good protection in combat.  They have zero dexterity so they are best used when you have no projects on which to work.  They cannot be used with a touch screen.  I buy mine large enough that they will actually fit over my tactical gloves.  When I am hunting I will keep my mittens on until I see a deer and then remove my hands to aim and fire with only the tactical gloves.

Here is a good example.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are many choices when picking the gloves for your survival kit.  While my two favorite are the tactical gloves and the mittens, I have considered using leather work gloves and mechanics gloves as well.  There are advantages to them all.  Once you have selected the type of glove to use, read the reviews and pick one that you know will last.  These gloves may be one of the most important survival purchases you make.

New stuff from

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I got a postcard in the mail the other day (who sends real mail these days??) from telling me that they’ve expanded their product line to include boxes for more calibers of ammo.

What is Well, they sell a few useful cardboard products that have appeal to those of us who keep ammo onhand. What I’ve been getting from them are cardboard boxes to store ammo in.

Every so often I find deals on ‘bulk’ ammo. Bulk ammo is just that – bulk. You buy a thousand rounds of ammo you dont get a nice cardboard box with fifty little boxes of 20 rounds each. Nope, you get a big ol’ polybag or box filled with loose cartridges. 8290915400329fc2a66d65b6f89dfeaf (1aa)Great savings, but not exactly easy to store. When the zombies are massing at the barricades the last thing you want to be doing is counting ammo into little ziploc baggies and handing them to your buddies. Repackbox gives you small cardboard boxes, appropriately sized to a particular cartridge, so you can have your ammo organized, neat, and ready for the apocalypse. Case in point: a guy came into the shop and sold me a .50 can full of loose 7.62×39 ammo. I’m not just sticking a can of a thousand loose rounds on the shelf…grabbed a stack of 7.62×39 boxes and a little while later everything was neat, organized, and ready for the apocalypse.

The advantage? Plastic ammo boxes are great, but they aren’t cheap. The cardboard boxes are cheap enough that you can hand out ammo to your buddies at the range or at the rally point and not feel like you’re throwing away money. Also, inexpensive storage boxes are hard to find for some calibers. Repackbox just came out with boxes in a buncha new calibers inc. .30-06, .303 brit., 7.62x54R (better than those string-n-paper bundles you get outta the spam can), and, of interest to me, .30-30.

Although I don’t talk about it much, I like the .30-30. My like for it stems from the fact that after the ubiquitous .22 rifle, the .30-30 carbine is probably the most common rifle in many parts of the country (although the SKS may have supplanted that for a while…but since the days of the cheap Chinese SKS are long behind us….) I rather like the .30-30 in an unltralight single shot Contender carbine, but there are still several million Winchester and Marlin rifles out there. (And Savages and other brands as well.) So…I stock a decent amount of .30-30 and now have a convenient way to package it for distribution and storage.

I’m also a huge fan of he old ‘military style; 50-round ammo boxes. Repackbox makes these for .45 ACP as well as other calibers. Extremely handy.

Since I have a Dillon 1050RL sitting on the bench, I can whip out a lot of ammo in a couple hours. There is very little more satisfying than watching the boxes of ammo stack up like bricks as I package the ammo for storage.

Check ’em out.


Caterpillar VIP Bag?

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greetings, am curious on the vip bag from cat. link to view and

purchase. good video on supplies




This is the bag you are talking about, the one pictured in my book, “Bugging Out and Relocating”.

I cant seem to find it. I bought it many years ago and these things rarely stay in production for long. They get replaced by new, more appealing models.

The closest thing I found from CAT was this tablet bag. I’d probably buy something like this for my VIP bag. Something small, tough and inconspicuous. Being a “tablet” bag, keeping an actual tablet in it isnt a bad idea either so as to access important files, go on line, etc.


CAT The Project Tablet Bag $18.56

For those that aren’t familiar with the VIP Bag concept. You probably know what a Bug Out Bag is, a bag with items you take when escaping or evacuating, usually including food, water, spare clothes, etc. VIP bag stands for very important papers(or possessions) bag. Most immigrants from my grandparents generation had something like this, usually kept in a box, they would keep passports, birth certificates, some family heirlooms, etc. Its basically the same concept but in a more handy container ready to go.  If you need to move fast, if you are injured, if you have to help others escape, injured family, and taking your BOB isn’t possible, at least you would have the essentials in the VIP while still being mobile.

Items to keep in your VIP bag are important documents such as passports, birth certificates, copies of documents and other important files in a USB drive, car and home spare keys, cash and precious metals, maybe even a compact handgun like a Glock 19 and spare magazine. The paper documents and cash should be kept in a ziplock bag to protect them from water. Its not a bug out bag, its something far more compact mostly intended for those important documents.

I suggest keeping it in a fireproof safe. This would be the first thing to grab when bugging out, when you only have seconds to safe your life (flash flood, fire).

Check this previous post to learn more about BOB bags and VIP bags.


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”



Survival Life Article – Streamlight Nano Light

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I’ve owned a Streamlight Nano for a couple of years now and have found it to be a useful backup light. It has gone with me on several overseas trips and has come in handy a few times when I needed illumination. You can read my review of this useful little LED unit over at […]

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Survival Life Article – Z-Blade

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I’ve been using PFI’s Z-Blade for several years now and have found them to be VERY handy. Not long ago I decided to write a review on this helpful tool over at Survival Life so hop on over there and give it a look. It is a great tool to have on-hand around the house […]

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Survival Life Article – Sunjack 14W Portable Solar Charger

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The first article I wrote for Survival Life was a review of the Sunjack 14w Portable Solar Charger. Everybody should have multiple power backup sources for their battery-powered devices (i.e., cell phones) in case of an extended power outage. If you live in an area that gets a lot of sunlight, a solar battery charger […]

The post Survival Life Article – Sunjack 14W Portable Solar Charger appeared first on Smart Suburban Survival.

ROM Pack – Review

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Recently I have been learning more and more about multi-use items. Food Network’s Alton Brown decidedly is against any “unitasker” and I have to agree. This is what differentiates the ROM Pack from other normal backpacks Read More …

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What you NEED to know about body armor for preppers

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Upon occasion, I have received questions asking about body armor for a SHTF scenario. That got me to thinking that the topic of body armor might make an interesting article for the site. So I decided that I would break down the different types of body armor (bullet resistant) and their ratings. I also thought I’d […]

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Top American Knives: Best Folders & Fixed Blades Made in the USA

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Top American Knives: Best Folders & Fixed Blades Made in the USA

The USA will always have a legendary status in the knife world. As a relatively new country (speaking as a European), the bulk of modern designs stem from the States due to a positive legislative and cultural environment. Other countries manufacture knives too, naturally, but the reality is that 99% of people who would EDC… Read More

This is just the start of the post Top American Knives: Best Folders & Fixed Blades Made in the USA. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Top American Knives: Best Folders & Fixed Blades Made in the USA, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

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

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

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

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

A. When to Use a Slingshot:

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

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

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

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

Here are some advantages a slingshot can give you:

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


B. How to Shoot a Slingshot for Survival

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

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

Courtesy of

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

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

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


C. Choosing the Right Slingshot

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

Here are some of the essential factors to consider:


1. Frame Material

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

a) Plastic

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

b) Wood

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

d) Metal

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


2. Band Types

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

Here are some more benefits:


  • Flat Bands

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

  • Rubber Tubing

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

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


3. Other Important Features

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

a) Grip

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

b) Sight

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

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

c) Hollow Handle

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


D. The 9 Best Slingshots You Can Buy Now

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

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


1. Trumark FS-1

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

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


2. Torque Slingshot

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

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


3. Toprade ABS Slingshot with Flat Rubber Band

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

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


4. Mythic Outdoors Adjustable 

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

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



5. Daisy Outdoor B52 Slingshot

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


6. Friendly Slingshot With 6 Rubber Line

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

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


7. Adjustable Laser Hunting Stainless Steel Slingshot

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

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


8. MoreFarther Pro Adjustable Hunting Steel Slingshot:

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

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


9. Scout Hunting Slingshot

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

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


10. Tophunt Professional Adjustable Hunting Slingshot

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

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



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

Top 7 Reasons I Carry a Mini MultiTool

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When you think of every day carry items, it is common to think of things you may need in a big emergency.  But when I decided to participate in this post round up with my other preparedness blogger friends, I knew exactly what my favorite every day carry item was.  Because I actually carry it […]

3 Essential EDC Fire Starters I Carry Everywhere

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by Todd Walker

3 Essential EDC Fire Starters I Carry Everywhere ~

What’s in your pockets? If you look at the popular trend of pocket dumps on social media, the answer appears to be everything, except the kitchen sink. I seldom see fire tools in these pocket dumps. Of course, our Everyday Carry items will look different depending on our jobs, lifestyle, and skill level.

Several of us from the Prepared Bloggers are sharing different EDC (Everyday Carry) items we never leave home without. Being the pyro that I am, I choose fire. Be sure to read the other value-adding articles by my friends in the links below this article.

The concept of carrying essential items on one’s person is smart habit. If ever separated from your main preparedness kit, the stuff in your pockets, plus your skillset to use said items, may be the only tools available.

The tool doesn’t determine your success. Your skills determine the tool’s success.

The quote above applies to preppers, survivalists, campers, carpenters, homesteaders, accountants, school teachers, and, well, all of us.

Pockets of Fire

If you frisked me, no matter the locale (urban or wilderness), you’d discover a minimum of three ignition sources in my pockets…

  • Mini Bic lighter (open flame)
  • Ferrocerium rod (spark ignition)
  • Fresnel lens (solar)
3 Essential EDC Fire Starters I Carry Everywhere ~

L to R: Key chain Exotac fireRod, mini Bic lighter, wallet fresnel lens, and two wallet tinders: duct tape and waxed jute twine.

Let’s break these down and discuss the advantages, disadvantages, and a few tips to successfully use each fire tool. Keep in mind that these are simply ignition sources and do not guarantee a sustainable fire. For more info on the importance of fire, you may find this article useful.

Bic Lighter – Open Flame

Since a road flare isn’t practical for EDC, I carry a mini Bic. The resemblance of road flares to dynamite puts people on edge, especially law enforcement officers. I do have them in my vehicle kits though.

The times you really need fire is usually when fire is hardest come by. I’ll take an open flame over sparks, solar, and especially fire by friction every day of the week and twice on Sundays! As mentioned previously, you must put in deliberate practice to hone your fire craft skills by actually Doing the Stuff or these fire tools just look cool in pocket dumps on Instagram.

To learn more on building sustainable fires, browse our Fire Craft Page.

Cold hands loose dexterity and make normally simple tasks, striking a lighter, difficult. Modify your EDC lighter by removing the child-proof device wrapped over the striker wheel. Pry it up from the chimney housing. Once free, pull the metal band from the lighter. Two metal wings will point up after removal. Bend the wings down flat to protect your thumb when striking the lighter.

What if your lighter gets wet?

On a recent wilderness survival course, I taught our boy scout troop how to bring a wet lighter back to life. Each threw their non-child-proofed lighter into the creek. After retrieval, they were instructed to blow excess moisture out of the chimney and striker wheel. Next, they ran the striker wheel down their pant leg several passes to further dry the flint and striker. Within a few minutes, lighters were sparking and each scout had a functioning fire tool again.

The lighters I carry in my bushcraft haversack and hiking backpack are more tricked out than my plain ole’ EDC Bic. Here’s a few ideas I’ve picked up for adding redundant lighters which may be of interest…

3 Essential EDC Fire Starters I Carry Everywhere ~

This full-size Bic is wrapped in duct tape holding a loop of cord which attaches inside my haversack. The green cap (spring clamp handle end) idea came from Alan Halcon. It keeps moisture out and prevents the fuel lever from being accidentally depressed.

3 Essential EDC Fire Starters I Carry Everywhere ~

The cap removed reveals the child-proof device missing.


  • A mini Bic will give you approximately 1,450 open flames.
  • A wet Bic can be back in service within a minute or so.
  • So easy to light a five-year-old can use one.
  • Designed to be used with only one hand.


  • It’s difficult to monitor the fuel level unless the housing is clear.
  • They are consumable… eventually.
  • Extreme cold limits a Bic. Keep it warm inside a shirt pocket under your overcoat.
  • A mythical disadvantage is that lighters won’t work in high altitudes. If Sherpas use them on Mt. Everest, this lowland sherpa is sold.

Ferrocerium Rod (Firesteel)

In the bushcraft/survivalist/prepper community, ferro rods have the hyped reputation of being a fail-safe fire maker. The device is simple and won’t malfunction, they say. Scrap the metal off the rod, and, poof, you have a fire, even in the rain. Sounds good but don’t buy the marketing hype!

“Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.”
~ Thomas Sowell

In my experience teaching both children and adults, using a ferro rod for the first time ends in failure more times than not. Yet everyone is told to add one to their emergency fire kits. I carry a small one on my key chain because I enjoy practicing fire craft skills. They’re a novel way of making fire but, like any skill, require practice to become proficient.

3 Essential EDC Fire Starters I Carry Everywhere ~

The fireROD by Exotac  has a watertight compartment which will hold a full cotton makeup pad for tinder.

Of these three ferro rod techniques – push, pull, and thumb lever – the latter is my favorite on softer firesteels. It offers more accurate placement of sparks. The drawback is that the thumb lever requires more fine motor skills and coordination which go bye-bye in an adrenaline spiked emergency scenario. That’s why I carry a Bic!

If you’ve never tried the thumb lever technique, here’s a short video demonstration which may help…

One of the many reasons I practice fire by friction is the fact that it teaches the importance of preparing proper tinder material. Marginal tinder takes more heat to combust. Even with 3,000 degree ferro rod sparks, you may fail to ignite damp, finely shredded tinder. The amount of heat needed for ignition depends on the amount of surface area compared to its volume. Think in terms of small hair-like fibers. When you think you’ve got fine tinder, shred it some more.

Even without a “proper” striker or knife, any object hard enough to scrap metal off makes a good substitute.

A ferro rod/metal match is not my first choice in fire starters. It’s a fun bushcraft tool to use though.


  • Scraped with a sharp rock, broken glass, or any object sharp enough to remove metal particles, 1,500º F to 3,000º F sparks spontaneously combust as they meet air.
  • Sparks even in wet conditions.
  • The average outdoors person will never use up a ferro rod.
  • Can ignite many tinder sources.
  • For more info on ferro rods, click here. My EDC rod is way smaller than the one in the link.


  • They are consumable… eventually.
  • They’re difficult to use if you’ve never practiced with this tool.
  • Intermediate skill level needed.

Fresnel Lens

A quality fresnel lens is useful for starting fires, examining plants and insects, splinter and tick removal, and reading navigational maps. I carry a 4 power lens in my wallet. It takes up about as much space as a credit card. I ordered a 3-pack from Amazon for under $7.

Sunshine is loaded with electromagnetic energy in the form of photons. A fresnel lens simply harnesses the energy to a focused point creating enough heat to start a fire.

A few tips I’ve learned may help here. Not all tinder material will combust. You’ll get smoke and char but may never have an actual flame. In the short video below, within a second you’ll see smoke on crushed pine straw. Once a large area was smoldering, I had to blow the embers into a flame.

Increase your odds of solar ignition by keeping the lens perpendicular to the sun’s rays and the tinder. Move the lens closer or further away until the smallest dot of light strikes the target. Brace your hand to steady the spot of heat. Smoke should appear almost immediately. Afternoon sun is stronger than morning sun. Keep this in mind when practicing this method.

3 Essential EDC Fire Starters I Carry Everywhere ~

Keep the lens perpendicular to the sun’s rays to concentrate the most radiant energy on your tinder.

Just for fun, I discovered that cocoa powder, which I carry in my bushcraft kit, makes a useable coal with solar ignition. Have fun playing and experimenting with fire!


  • Beginner skill level. Ever drive ants crazy with one as a kid?
  • Can ignite different tinder materials
  • Lightweight
  • Saves other ignition sources on sunny days.
  • Never wears out. Always protect your lens from scratches and breakage.


  • Dependent on sunshine.
  • May only create an ember which can be coaxed into flame.

EDC Fire Tinder

Duct tape and waxed jute twine ride alongside my fresnel lens in my wallet. You’ll also find a full-size cotton makeup pad stuffed inside the cap of my ferro rod. Wrapping a few feet of tape around an old gift card gives you an emergency tinder source for open flame ignition. Setting fire to a foot long strip of loosely balled duct tape will help ignite your kindling. There are so many multi-functional uses of duct tape, fire being one of them, that you should always carry at least a few feet in your wallet.

The waxed jute twine can be unravelled to create surface area for spark ignition. Unraveled, it can also be used as a long-burning candle wick. Either way, it’s nice to have another waterproof tinder in your pocket/wallet. Here’s a link if you’re interested in making your own waxed jute twine.

If all you have for ignition is a ferro rod, duct tape will ignite, but again, don’t count on it if you haven’t practiced this method. See our video below…

It never hurts to have multiple fire starting methods on your person. Drop us a comment on other EDC fire starters that I haven’t mentioned.

Be sure to scroll down and check out the other articles by my friends at the Prepared Bloggers.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,


P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at our Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there…

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Copyright © by Survival Sherpa: In light of the recent theft of all my content by a pirate site, my sharing policy has changed. I do not permit the re-posting of entire articles from my site without express written consent by me. My content on this site may be shared in digital form (200 words or less) for non-commercial use with a link back (without no-follow attribute) to the original article crediting the author. All photos, drawings, and articles are copyrighted by and the property of Survival Sherpa. You are more than welcome to share our photos and articles on social media for educational purposes as long as you link back to the original article/photo with credit to the author.


The Prepared Bloggers present - Everyday Carry Bag. What will you find in ours?

The Prepared Bloggers are at it again!

Everyday carry, or EDC for short, refers to items that are carried on a regular basis to help you deal with the normal everyday needs of modern western society and possible emergency situations.

Some of the most common EDC items are knives, flashlights, multitools, wallets, smartphones, notebooks, and pens. Because people are different, the type and quantity of items will vary widely. If you have far to travel for work or have young children, your EDC could be huge!

But, even if you’re just setting out for a walk around the neighborhood, taking your essential items with you in a pair of cargo pants with large pockets, may be all you need to be prepared.

Follow the links to see what a few of the Prepared Bloggers always carry in their EDC.

Shelle at PreparednessMama always carries cash, find out why and how much she recommends.

John at 1776 Patriot USA tell us the 5 reasons he thinks his pistol is the essential item to have.

LeAnn at Homestead Dreamer won’t be caught without her handy water filter.

Justin at Sheep Dog Man has suggestions for the best flashlights to carry every day.

Bernie at Apartment Prepper always carries two knives with her, find out what she recommends.

Nettie at Preppers Survive has a cool way to carry duct tape that you can duplicate.

Todd at Ed That Matters tells us about the one item you’ll always go back for…your cell phone

Erica at Living Life in Rural Iowa knows how important her whistle can be when you want to be safe.

Todd at Survival Sherpa always carries 3 essential fire starters wherever he goes.

Angela at Food Storage and Survival loves her Mini MultiTool, it’s gotten her out of a few scrapes!

Let’s Talk Kershaw: Top EDCs, Flippers, & Fixed Blades by Kershaw Knives

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Let’s Talk Kershaw: Top EDCs, Flippers, & Fixed Blades by Kershaw Knives

I was asked if we’ve got a top Kershaw knives round up by a reader the other day, and since we haven’t yet gotten one up, here we are. Kershaw is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of knives, and frankly, if you are reading this, I very much doubt you haven’t owned one –… Read More

This is just the start of the post Let’s Talk Kershaw: Top EDCs, Flippers, & Fixed Blades by Kershaw Knives. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Let’s Talk Kershaw: Top EDCs, Flippers, & Fixed Blades by Kershaw Knives, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

AR Wheeler Trigger Guard Install Tool Review

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Editor’s note: Please welcome Evail Juan to He will be a regular here, providing reviews on firearms, firearm accessories and tools, as well as other prepper related gear. I recently received a Magpul Enhanced Trigger Guard as a gift (Thanks Sis). But upon reading how to change it out from the Mil Spec guard, […]

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Best Tactical Backpacks of 2017: Reviews, Features, & Our Top Picks

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Tactical Backpacks: What Are They and Why Do You Need One?It was not a good day.For the first time in over 15 years we drug our sorry butts back to the trailhead in defeat, with the loss of our gear as evident as the loss of our pride. Broken straps, lost cell phones and water …

The post Best Tactical Backpacks of 2017: Reviews, Features, & Our Top Picks appeared first on Know Prepare Survive.

Survival Life Article – Brita Water Pitcher

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Another one of my reviews has been posted over at Survival Life, so when you get a chance give it a look. I have many different ways of filtering water on-hand and the Brita Water Pitcher is one of the easier ones to use. However, as the article points out, it isn’t as effective as […]

The post Survival Life Article – Brita Water Pitcher appeared first on Smart Suburban Survival.

7 Important Items In Your Emergency Survival Kit

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We have another guest post from Mina Arnao and This time we find the 7 Important Items In Your Emergency Survival Kit. — Emergencies like natural hazards can be unpredictable and often leave you Read More …

The post 7 Important Items In Your Emergency Survival Kit appeared first on Use Your Instincts To Survive.

10 Must-Have Survival Items for Your RV or Camper

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Editor’s note: Please welcome Angelica Garcia to  I know it’s still winter and we have a good 4 to 6 weeks of cold left, but my two-year-old camper is sitting in the driveway, beckoning. I can’t wait to hit the road with my family, get away from it all, and still feel like I’m […]

The post 10 Must-Have Survival Items for Your RV or Camper appeared first on Plan and Prepared.

Keeping Pack Weight Down If You Need To Bug-Out

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bug_out_open_roadYou’re at home one night and the power goes out.  Hackers have taken down the grid and you need to bug-out to your sister’s house a hundred and twenty miles away.  Traffic is gridlocked and no one is driving anywhere anytime soon.  You decide to bug-out on foot with your pack. Six miles down the road, you’re dying from the weight of the pack.  It feels like you’re carrying a Volkswagon on your back because you’ve got so much stuff in it. There’s a lot to be said for sticking to the basics when you build your bug-out bag.

By Jarhead Survivor, a Contributing Author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog

Back in the dark ages (early 1980’s) when I was in the Marine Corps, a full pack for a basic infantry man ran about sixty pounds.  That was the canvas shelter half, poles and stakes, sleeping bag, food, mess kit, clothes, etc.  Lord help you if you were the machine gunner or radio man because that added a lot more weight to what you had to carry.

Stick to Basics

bug_out_roman_legionaries_marchingI remember going on forced marches for ten or fifteen miles and suffering because of the weight.  You eventually get used to it, but I wouldn’t say I ever came to enjoy it.  I soon learned what was important and what wasn’t and ditched the excess stuff.  Apparently this has been a familiar theme through the ages because during the Civil War soldiers started out with haversacks weighing forty to fifty pounds, but soon learned to drop the excess weight and only get by with the essentials.  I’d be willing to bet the same has held true for soldiers going back to the Roman legions where they were sometimes estimated to carry up to eighty pounds – a ridiculous amount of weight.  But then again, they were professional warriors and when they signed up it was for a much longer tour than four years like the average tour today.  Roman soldiers underwent conditioning marches that were brutally hard.  Vegetius wrote in De Re Militari:

To accustom soldiers to carry burdens is also an essential part of
discipline. Recruits in particular should be obliged frequently to carry
a weight of not less than sixty pounds (exclusive of their arms), and
to march with it in the ranks. This is because on difficult expeditions
they often find themselves under the necessity of carrying their
provisions as well as their arms. Nor will they find this troublesome
when inured to it by custom, which makes everything easy.

Our troops in ancient times were a proof of this, and Virgil has remarked it in the following lines:

The Roman soldiers, bred in war’s alarms,
Bending with unjust loads and heavy arms,
Cheerful their toilsome marches undergo,
And pitch their sudden camp before the foe.

Lighten Your Pack

As you probably surmised from the title, this post isn’t about soldiers and their pack weight.  It’s about you carrying less weight so that you can bug-out effectively if it ever comes down to it.  Unless you spend every day hiking a sixty pound pack fifteen or twenty miles, the likelihood of being able to do so when the SHTF are slim to none.  From the section above I reiterate:

Nor will they find this troublesome when inured to it by custom, which makes everything easy.

Chances are good that you’d be stopping along the way and ditching gear, thus you really need to focus on packing just the essentials.  I’ve seen packs on Youtube and in blog posts that a Clydesdale couldn’t carry.  They’ve got everything in there from three changes of clothing to enough ammo to fight off the zombie apocalypse all by themselves.  And the kicker is that quite a few of those people are about fifty pounds overweight and the act of actually carrying it more than five miles would probably kill them.

The Essentials

So what exactly are the essentials?  This depends on you:  your skill level in the woods, your fitness level, your bug-out plans, your destination, and your mission plan.

hike_march_bug_outThe worst case scenario is a full scale bug-out, meaning that you’re taking off and you need to live out of your bag for a minimum of three days, but probably longer.  If you’re careful, you can probably get away with forty to forty-five pounds.   This includes a tent, sleeping bag, freeze dried food, a quart of water with water filter, spork, small cook pot and stove, fuel (unless you’re carrying a small woodstove like a Solo Stove), lightweight poncho, and other essential gear. If you buy the lightest gear (usually the most expensive too), you should be able to have a good kit that weighs in the forty pound area.  I hiked a piece of the 100 Mile Wilderness in Maine and my pack weighed forty-four pounds when I started.  I spent a lot of time getting that pack weight down, but it was worth it.  I also spent weeks leading up to that hike walking the road with the same boots I’d be wearing and carrying the pack to get used to the weight.

Read Also: Get Outdoors!

Rather than run through all the scenarios, I’ll list out some of the things I carry in my everyday woodsman kit and why I carry it.  I’ve managed to pare the weight down to about twenty to twenty-five pounds (depending on how much water I carry) and I’ve found this to be an acceptable weight as I’ve gotten older.

Then again, I also have a lot of experience in the woods and feel comfortable entering the forest with what some might consider minimal gear. I consider my kit to be a GHB or Get Home Bag, meaning I’ll only carry it about 30 miles in a worst case scenario, which for me is walking home from work.  I like to move fast and light and not be seen if at all possible.  So rather than carry weapons I choose to leave that weight behind and avoid confrontation.  I suppose the worst thing is someone steals my bag from me, which means I’ll be that much lighter on the way home.

Let me say up front that many of you won’t agree with my philosophy on firearms and that’s fine.  I live in Maine and in the area I’ll be walking through, people are unlikely to cause me problems.  If you live in the city and carrying a big pack loaded with shelter, water, and food makes you a fat target, then you’ll probably want to consider carrying a gun as protection.  Again, this all comes back to your situation and threat assessment.  But keep in mind that guns and ammo are heavy, so choose wisely.

To survive a night or two in the wild here’s what I carry for the basics:

  • Military Grade Poncho
  • Survival Knife
  • Firesteel and Lighter
  • Three Freeze Dried Meals (minimum)
  • Small Flashlight
  • 1 Quart Steel Water Bottle and Filter
  • Pot Set with Homemade Alcohol Stove and Four Oz of Fuel or Small Woodstove
  • Small Plastic Cup and Five Coffee Packets
  • Multitool
  • Map and Compass
  • Bandana
  • Titanium Spork
  • Gloves and Hat in Cold Weather
  • Sleeping bag/Wool Blanket
  • Notebook and Pen

This pack weighs between 20 and 23 pounds depending on the extras I put in.  If you’re going to rely on the above kit as your guide, other things you’ll  need to add to the list:

  • Experience in the wilderness/bushcraft skills
  • Much time spent evaluating and using each piece of equipment
  • Overall physically fit (weights and aerobics four to five times a week)
  • Skill with map and compass

Wilderness Survival Skills

packing_light_gear_minimumThe more you know about wilderness survival the less gear you have to carry; however, the longer it will take you when you have to set up camp.  It’s a trade off and you need to be able to judge yourself and the situation in order to make the best decisions.  A few days ago I took the following kit into the woods and made a shelter using no tools whatsoever.  I used two trees to break sticks to length and used fir boughs for insulation.  I used a lighter to get the fire going, but that was the only man made item I used.

Related: 15 Ways to Start a Fire

shelter_fire_camping_out-2It’s important that you tally up your knowledge, experience, and skills in addition to the gear you’ll carry. All of these things are important when trying to figure out the best way for you to bug-out. It’s also important to weigh your weaknesses.  For example:  if you’re overweight or otherwise not able to carry a pack for a long distance, you’ll need to make alternate plans.  Bugging in might be your best option, so instead of preparing to leave, you plan for an extended stay in your home or apartment.  But I digress.


In order to get your pack weight down you need to focus on the essentials.  My advice is to lay out everything you could want, put it in your pack (if it will fit) then take it for a walk.  If you can do three to five miles with that weight without much trouble, congratulations!  You’re probably going to be ok.

If you find yourself struggling after a mile or two, take your pack home and start going through your gear and eliminate stuff you don’t need.  Got a big flashlight that holds four D cell batteries?  Get rid of it and get a small halogen light that uses a couple of Triple A’s.  If you’re walking alone and have a three man tent, ditch it for an ultralight single man tent. That will save you five or ten pounds right there.  That’s the kind of mindset you need to bring to your gear.

Visualize what a camp out will look like and keep that thought in your head as you go through your stuff.  Always challenge a piece of gear.  Some of it will pass the test, but some of it won’t.  Don’t be afraid to cut back. I believe that speed in getting out of an area will be vital and it’s hard to do if you’re chained to a sixty pound pack.  After all, we’re not Roman soldiers!

Do you think a pack should have everything and the kitchen sink, or do you think a minimalist mindset is best? Let me know in the comments below. Questions?  Comments? Sound off below!

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Body armor life saving tactical gear!

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Body armor life saving tactical gear! Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! Hey guys and gals, on this episode of “The Prepping Academy” we’re covering fun life saving tactical gear. That’s right, we are talking body armor. We have a special guest expert on this topic joining us in this show. It’s going … Continue reading Body armor life saving tactical gear!

The post Body armor life saving tactical gear! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Affordable, Accessible, & Discreet: Best Neck Knives You Can EDC

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Affordable, Accessible, & Discreet: Best Neck Knives You Can EDC

Carrying your knife around your neck is not a new phenomenon, nor is it a fad. It’s a concept that’s been around forever. Whilst the practice of wearing a neck knife has garnered traction for situations, sad to say, neck knives have never enjoyed mainstream success. Survivalists like Cody Lundin famously wore their knives around… Read More

This is just the start of the post Affordable, Accessible, & Discreet: Best Neck Knives You Can EDC. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Affordable, Accessible, & Discreet: Best Neck Knives You Can EDC, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Affordable, Accessable, & Discreet: Best Neck Knives You Can EDC

Click here to view the original post.
Affordable, Accessable, & Discreet: Best Neck Knives You Can EDC

Carrying your knife around your neck is not a new phenomenon, nor is it a fad. It’s a concept that’s been around forever. Whilst the practice of wearing a neck knife has garnered traction for situations, sad to say, neck knives have never enjoyed mainstream success. Survivalists like Cody Lundin famously wore their knives around… Read More

This is just the start of the post Affordable, Accessable, & Discreet: Best Neck Knives You Can EDC. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Affordable, Accessable, & Discreet: Best Neck Knives You Can EDC, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Tactical Pens

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by Ryan

The best items for your everyday carry kit are items that are hidden in plain sight.  Items that you can use in your everyday life allow you to expand your kit without having to keep that item concealed.  A tactical pen is simply a pen designed for uses other than writing.  It must be a functional writing tool, but tactical pens are typically designed for self-defense.  Even airlines will often let you carry your tactical pen.  They are great for stabbing at vulnerable points like the neck and eyes.  However, they also allow you to target pressure points for non-lethal force.

Why a Tactical Pen?

There are several reasons that a tactical pen could be a better option than other concealable weapons.

  • Multiple Functions – Unlike a handgun or knife, a pen can be used for several different every day and survival purposes. When building any survival kit, multifunction tools allow you to keep the kit as small as possible.
  • Non-threatening – If you are going to be attacked, it can often be beneficial to appear unarmed. Guns or knives must be hidden to accomplish this.  If a gun or knife is seen, an assailant will often disarm you immediately.  With a tactical pen, you are hiding your weapon in plain sight.  An attacker will rarely confiscate a tactical pen.
  • Cannot Be Used Against You – One of the most dangerous aspects of carrying a gun or knife is that your attacker can use it against you. It takes little skill or experience for an attacker to injure or kill you with conventional weapons.  However, an attacker will rarely have the skill to use a tactical pen against you.  In fact, in most cases they will be more inclined to use their bare hands.
  • Element of Surprise – Many would say that your greatest advantage in a physical confrontation is the element of surprise. A weapon that does not appear to be a weapon is an excellent way to gain this advantage.
  • Non-lethal – In most cases a strike from a tactical pen will disable an attacker without doing any permanent damage. This is preferable in most situations.
  • Easy to Conceal – A tactical pen is much easier to hide in your pocket than other weapons. Most knives and guns must have a sheath or holster specifically designed for concealment.
  • Inexpensive – Most tactical pens are much less expensive than a gun or knife.

How to Choose a Tactical Pen

When choosing a tactical pen, there are several variables to consider.  Most people only own one tactical pen, so it is important that you pick the right one.  Here are some points to think about when choosing your pen:

Material – Tactical pens are typically made of one solid piece of metal.  Unlike a normal pen, they are designed to take an impact without bending or breaking.  Most are made with aircraft grade aluminum, but some are even made from titanium.  The strength of your pen will be based on the material type and design.

Grip – With a pen being small and cylindrical, is could easily slip out of your hand after impact.  A good tactical pen will have design elements to prevent it from slipping.  Some have ridges designed to fall in between your fingers for a better grip, while others are tapered in the middle and fatter on the ends.  Ideally, you want some sort of design element to improve your grip.

Appearance – If a tactical pen looks too different from a normal pen, it defeats the purpose.  You want it to completely blend in.  If it is obviously a weapon or tool, other people are that much more likely to try to take it from you.

Function – Any tactical pen should have a sharp point for stabbing, but some are so much more.  These days you can buy tactical pens with glass breakers, fire starters, whistles, and styluses.  Some even have flashlights built in to the pen.  The newer models have DNA catchers to allow police to identify your attacker after the attack is over.  The more functions your tactical pen can cover, the fewer items you need in your EDC kit.

Here are a few quality models that you can consider purchasing:

How to Use a Tactical Pen

If you are attacked, there are specific points to target on the human body.  The tactical pen is not a knife or sword.  You cannot just swing it at an assailant and defend yourself.  You have to be surgical.  If you hit the right points, you will easily disable your attacker.

Remember that your goal is simply to get away from your attacker.  You do not want to use lethal force if you can avoid it, but you also do not want to give your attacker a chance to recover and hurt you.  The key to this strategy is multiple strikes.  When you find a point of impact, hit it several times before you back off and try to escape. This will ensure that your attacker stays down.

Here are some points to target on the human body:

Hands – Hitting an attacker in the palm, knuckles, or back of the hand is very painful.  Often an attacker will grab your arm or shoulder, so their hand is readily available to strike.  In many cases you can break the smaller bones in the hand with just one strike.

Feet – If you find yourself on the ground at the feet of your attacker, this is an opportune time to strike.  Attackers assume you are not a threat when you are on the ground, so this gives you the element of surprise.  Striking the feet of your attacker will likely not break the skin, but it might break bones.  In addition, the natural reaction to this type of injury is for the attacker to drop to the ground.  This gives you an ideal opportunity to flee.

Knees – The knees are another vulnerable part of the leg that will drop a man to the ground.  If you stab at the front or back of the knees, it will be very painful.  In addition, there are tendons and ligaments that can be damaged.  This would keep your attacker from following as you run.

Thighs – The thighs are meaty and make a good target for a tactical pen.  A strike to the inside or the outside of the thigh is normally very painful.  However, there are also pressure points on the inside of the thigh that intensify the pain.

Groin – Any strike to the groin is painful, but with a tactical pen that pain is amplified.  This is an easy way to drop a man to his knees.  You will likely have enough time to get away after just one good strike.

Ribs – The ribs are always a vulnerable spot on a person.  There is little flesh to protect the bones and internal organs.  A good strike with a tactical pen can break ribs or cause internal bleeding.  It is incredibly painful as well.

Sternum – The breast plate is a spot that can easily be injured, but it adds a psychological edge as well.  Any time you strike areas near vital organs, the injured person is likely to fall to the ground and curl into the fetal position.  Until they realize exactly what has happened, they think their life is in danger.  This is a great time to run for it.

Arm pits – You would not think this is a prime area to target, but the arm pits have little protection and lots of nerve endings.  If you can catch your attacker with their arm up, hold it in place with your left hand and strike with your right.  It is very painful and should drop him to his knees.

Neck – The neck is one of the few places on the body where you can actually kill somebody with a tactical pen.  A strike to the base of the neck on the jugular vein could render an attacker unconscious, while a strike to the throat could cause death. If you have no other choice, this is the spot for which to aim.

Eyes – The eyes are always a great non-lethal spot to target.  Not only is a strike to the eyes painful, but it makes it virtually impossible for your attacker to follow you.

Head – Any strike to the head is going to be painful.  In addition, it can cause a great deal of bleeding.  This can blind your opponent or just make them more concerned with their own well-being.

Once you have selected your tactical pen, take the time to practice with it.  It is important that you are comfortable targeting these specific areas when the pressure is on.  It is one thing to know the areas to target, but another thing to be able to act swiftly when attacked.  Practicing in low lighting or with the sun in your eyes is also a good idea.

In addition to practicing where to strike, it is also important that you practice how to strike.  Tactical pens can be held like a sword for thrusting forward, or they can be held backhanded for a downward stabbing motion.  In most cases, sword style will give you more accuracy with your strikes.  Your attacker is also less likely to block this type of movement.  However, each tactical pen has a different shape and grip.  You may decide that your pen works best by holding it a different way.  It is important that you can stab a solid, heavy object without the pen slipping or dislodging.

Also, while practicing, remember that your best move is to stab repeatedly at one particular spot.  This means that your grip has to allow you to keep making the same motion without it slipping. In most cases, you do not want to stop making contact until your attacker is on the ground or disabled in some other way.  However, at that point it is best to run for help.  Legally speaking, you can be charged with assault if you keep striking after your assailant is obviously disabled. Do what is needed to get away and then make a run for it.  If you have hit the right spots, you should have no problem getting to safety.

Force Multiplier!

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Force Multiplier Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! Force multipliers. If you’re not familiar with what these are this is a good show to listen in on. The essence of a force multiplier is any tool or tactic that gives you the upper hand. It’s a very broad term and can … Continue reading Force Multiplier!

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UK Knife Laws: Restrictions, Prohibitions, & What’s Legal to Carry

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UK Knife Laws: Restrictions, Prohibitions, & What’s Legal to Carry

UK knife laws are a minefield of conjecture and hearsay. It seems everyone has an idea of what they can and can’t carry, but in reality, the situation here is both very simple and extremely nuanced depending on the application of the law as per what law enforcement “feels” the law should be. This is… Read More

This is just the start of the post UK Knife Laws: Restrictions, Prohibitions, & What’s Legal to Carry. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

UK Knife Laws: Restrictions, Prohibitions, & What’s Legal to Carry, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Salomon: High performance footwear

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The Philosophy

Every hiker knows that his boots are the most important part of his gear. Lose your backpack, lose your pants, its all good, but without shoes… your mobility is greatly handicapped and without mobility you have very few options.

Given how important it is to have adequate footwear during an emergency, your daily wear shoes should reflect that. If something happens and today whatever you chose to wear is all you will have to walk several miles, get by for days or even weeks, walk across broken terrain, help people or extract yourself or others across rubble and debris, keep yourself dry when raining. Therefore we are looking for practical, capable footwear.

Salomon Quest and X-Ultra

I’ve been using Salomon footwear for about a year now and have not been disappointed.

Even the low-top hikers X-Ultra have kept my feet dry and provided more than enough foot support and traction.

The Salomon Quest boots are a in a league of their own. Tough, impossibly comfortable once broken in and durable.

The grey ones are the typical hiking boots that made the Quest boots famous. Since these ended up in the feet of military personal nearly as much as in the feet of hikers, they came up with the Quest Forces model. The colours are more militaristic and use leather loops instead of metal eyelets but other than that its mostly the same great boot.

I think they all work very well for all-round footwear. They are comfortable enough for normal, everyday use yet provide serious hiking capability if it’s ever needed. It doesn’t hurt that they look great. The Quest boots are clearly more suited for moderate to cold climates (especially with Goretex models) and the low top do well in very warm climates. These do have goretex as well, which granted, makes it warmer, but then again its great to step on a few inches of water and not have a single drop go in (have done so numerous times already)

Give Salomon a try. You won’t be disappointed.


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”.

Get Home Bags 101

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by Jeanie

Unlike the bug out bag with everything (or almost everything) you need to survive away from home, the Get Home Bag (GHB) has what you need to help get you home in an emergency. Without further ado, let’s talk about what it should look like and what to pack in it

How Big Should the Get Home Bag Be?

This will depend on the season, and the emergency you are preparing for – a winter GHB will be a bit bulkier than a summer GHB.

The GHB should be carried with you to work/recreation and not left in the vehicle. Obviously if you are travelling in the vehicle it will be with you and easy to grab should you need to get out quickly. It doesn’t need to be huge but its compartments should have the basic stuff to enable you to get out of a situation, rescue others if need be and make it home safely within 24 hours. If you load too much into it you are going to be jettisoning half of it as the further you walk, the heavier a load tends to get. Ideally, the GHB should not weigh more than 8 pounds when packed.

How long should I pack for?

The time it takes to get home will depend on your daily commute. If you work say 12 miles from home it will take around 4 hours depending on walking speed, which for the average person is around 3 miles per hour. That is assuming there are no obstacles you have to avoid like roaming hordes of looters and rioters. If you have a 60-mile commute it will take a lot longer!

Why would I need a GHB?

There are various scenarios when you may need a GHB to help you survive the night and to help you get home. Here are some possible scenarios: riots, a terrorist attack, bombings, a snow storm, hurricane, a violent storm that washes away roads, a landslide/mudslide, a break in a dam wall, a tornado, an earthquake, roads blocked due to snow, power grid goes down, a vehicle break down in a SHTF situation, vehicle jammed in by other vehicles in TEOTWAWKI.

Most times there will be some services working, but there will be a great strain on those and you aren’t guaranteed that you can get outside help, so going it alone means packing the essentials to make the best of a bad situation.

These are 20 essentials

#1 Water – your most important item. The problem is it is going to be the heaviest single item in your GHB. For around 6 hours ½ a gallon should be enough in average temperatures.

For safe water carry a few Aquatabs. They are around $10.95 for 50 and come in various strengths for treating both small quantities – like a pint of water up to huge quantities for communities.  If you suspect the water you come across is not sufficiently pure for drinking, this will kill most organisms that could cause disease like giardia, cholera, typhoid and dysentery. The Aquatabs come in blister packs of ten and have a shelf life of 5 years. If you buy in a tub the shelf life is reduced to 3 years.

Other choices are Chlor Floc –water purification powder packets currently in use by the US military, they are a bit pricier, though.  This video  shows how they work:

When using these tablets or powders remember to wait at least thirty minutes after adding them to water to kill the bacteria.

Your water container should be stainless steel to prevent accidental breakage should your GHB come in for rough treatment and the powders or blister pack should be in a waterproof container with your medicines (see #16) in case your GHB is soaked.

#2 Shoes and socks

The kind of shoes worn to the office won’t be much help for a long hike home. You need ones that can cope with water, mud, rough ground and above all fit your feet comfortably providing some cushioning and support. You will also need fairly thick socks to avoid getting blisters. High top sneakers do a good job of supporting ankles. Hiking boots can be hard on the feet in urban situations where you may need to climb over stuff – like walls and over fences. The more resilient and pliable the shoes the better.

#3 Headlamp – leaves your hands free. Besides allowing you so see where you are going, it alerts others to your presence if you want to be rescued. It also allows you to help extract others from vehicle wrecks, rubble or snow.

#4 Hat – the type depends on weather conditions. In summer pack a wide brimmed hat that can be used to protect from sunburn or scoop up water. In winter one that will keep you warm.

#5 Bandanna – stops dust getting in your face, can act as a sieve for water, can be used as a bandage, a sling (with some paracord to give the length needed) Stops sweat dripping in your eyes, protects you from sunburn on a long hike and if moistened with water will keep your head cool.

#6 Sunglasses – to protect from the glare from heat, snow glare, stop dust particles getting in your eyes in strong winds and protect your eyes from flying debris if you need to chop something down.

#7 Tactical tomahawk – you need one that is light and strong – full tang preferably. You may need it to break out of a wrecked car, break into a wrecked car to rescue someone, clear debris, break down a door, cut poles to make a stretcher, chop firewood to keep warm or defend yourself. Depending on the design it can be used for chopping, penetrating (with the spike) and hammering.

#8 Matches or lighter in sealed watertight bag to enable you to light a signal fire, keep warm or keep beasts at bay.

#9 Underwater flashlight with wristband Most times emergency situations involve water – floods, mudslides, torrential rain. With an underwater flashlight you don’t have to worry about keeping it dry. You can pick your way through flooded areas, dive to locate someone, use it for signaling, or avoid obstacles on your way home.

#10 Fold up poncho/rainsuit

The little plastic ponchos aren’t heavy duty but do the job in warmish areas – they come with a plastic hood so you don’t get mind-numbingly chilled from your clothing being wet through. They take up less space in the GHB than a coin purse. After all you aren’t going to live in one for days. If you are in super cold areas then you might need a full rain suit with pants and top  – but they can be noisy (you don’t want the people to know where you are) so you may want to buy the ones with the fabric overlay so you can move silently.

#11 Space blanket

In full summer in warm state,s you wouldn’t bother with this but it too folds up very small and the silver space or emergency blanket can be shaken out to cover you when resting or if you have to spend the night outdoors. It too doesn’t take up much room. If you have two you of them you can make a tent like this:

#12 Gorilla Tape is useful for all sorts of things – like turning space blankets into a tent or taping shoes onto your feet when the upper parts company with the sole Always have some in your bag to tape up injuries, apply splints and more.

# 13 Emergency rations

When blood sugar levels drop people don’t think as clearly – and in order to get home safely in a SHTF situation you need your wits to be razor sharp.   Humans can survive without food for around 3 weeks but a small energy bar or two or a small pack of beef jerky or pemmican isn’t going to weigh down your GHB and will keep you feeling sharp. Other high-energy foods are trail mix, hard candy, almonds and dates. The Manasir Bedouins of Sudan can survive on a handful of dates a day in the desert – they call dates al-Zad-al-negidh –  the food for travelling.

#14 Gloves

Choose your gloves according to the climate in your area. One pair of heavy duty well fitted gloves will mean not getting cuts and scratches when moving debris, branches or rubble in order to get through an area. They can keep you warm in cold weather or protect you from blistering hot surfaces in a fire situation or a desert.

#15 Jacket/long sleeve shirt

In winter chances are you have a jacket on or with you, so you won’t need another in your GHB but in hot areas a light jacket or  long sleeve shirt will protect you from the searing heat of the sun and cooler night air in desert areas. It also protects against nicks and scratches if scrambling through the woods or over rubble and debris.

#16 Medicine/spectacles

People who need an asthma pump or epilepsy pills or other vital medications should have them with them. Overnight a person who normally doesn’t need to take pills won’t need headache tablets and such stuff.

Also leave out the plasters – if you get a deep cut rather have a decent size bandage in your GHB with a pressure pad – you can use the bandanna for a pressure pad in an emergency. Put on some rubbing alcohol  – you should have a small amount of this or some Neosporin cream. Chances are you won’t even feel small nicks in a high adrenaline situation – doctor those when you get home. Your medicine, water purification tablets and bandages can go in a ziplock bag and then into a tight sealing tin – like an altoids tin –  that is puncture and water proof.

If you wear glasses and are kind of blind without them then make sure the sunglasses you have are prescription ones and have a pair of ordinary prescription spectacles (in a hard case) in case one pair gets broken.

#17 Firearm and spare ammo

Some people insist on carrying at all times – this may just be extra weight but in a SHTF situation you don’t know what kind of people you’ll be dealing with. But, it is important to have had proper combat training so that the gun can be used effectively.  Get training from a Special Forces veteran if you can. The Glock 17 is light and efficient, but the specific is each prepper’s personal choice.

# 18 Knife/multitool

Let’s not go for overkill here – you are just out for a few hours – forget the knife if you have a gun or tomahawk – thugs are less likely to argue with those weapons. All you need is a multi-tool, which has a small knife anyway to cut the gorilla tape. No gun, no tomahawk?  Well then take a Bowie knife to intimidate zombies. But you are seriously not going to need it for much else, unless you have serious trouble opening up the energy bars.

#19 Paracord

This shouldn’t even be in your GHB – it should be on your wrist fastened into a paracord bracelet like this:

You can then use if for 101 things including lowering items a short distance to others who may be stuck in inaccessible places, creating a life-line, replacing shoelaces, supporting your space blanket between trees to create a makeshift tent or using as a tourniquet. By all means pack extra paracord if you think the one on your wrist won’t be enough.

#20 Cash is king when systems go down. Have enough on you for emergency transport if available, supplies, and other eventualities.

You Might Need These


These wouldn’t go into your bag as such but you could keep them in your vehicle. Most times it makes more sense to stay with the vehicle than risk exposure to the elements but maybe you need to get help quickly or to escape – then these would come in handy. It would depend on your situation and where you live if you choose to include these.

Directional/communication equipment

If you live within 10 miles of home you are likely to know alternative routes, back roads, footpaths, culverts to hide in.  If you don’t then make it a weekend activity to go for walks or runs in the area taking note of all the available alternative routes and hiding places that could be used when on foot. This way you won’t need a map.

Chances are you will have your cellphone on you and for a few hours you should have signal so can use the built in GPS or compass on your phone. If you are seriously preparing for a longer time on the road or TEOTWAWKI then perhaps a small hand-held compass could help – but each item you put in the backpack adds to the weight – the idea is to move as fast as you can to get out of danger – not camp out unless it becomes absolutely unavoidable.

If you are worried about other members of your family and what is happening in your area then a CB radio could be useful.


Only put in a mosquito repellant if you have mosquitoes in your area and think you will be out overnight, otherwise this is just more weight.

Bear repellant – sure pack some if you know you are in bear country and are fairly sure you will meet one.

You won’t need pepper spray if you have a firearm or tactical tomahawk. Pack some if you have no other weapons.

Family Safety

Make sure you equip kids with their own GHBs and discuss with them what they should do in an emergency. Do they stay at school of after care until you get to them or do they make for a nearby safe house that you have pre-arranged or get home by themselves if they are old enough?

This is particularly important if their school is in the opposite direction to where you work – it’s easy enough to collect them on foot on your way home but if you have to go past your home and a couple of miles in the opposite direction then there should be an alternative plan made to get them home with a relative – assuming home is still standing and safe.

That Exists? Coolest Survival, Outdoor, & Camp Gear We’ve Seen

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That Exists? Coolest Survival, Outdoor, & Camp Gear We’ve Seen

There’s not always a heck of a lot new going on in the survival, outdoor, & camping world when it comes to interesting gadgets, new products, and overall innovation. This makes sense, since when it comes to camping, survival, & the general outdoors, many choose (wisely) to stick to what they’ve already got because, well plainly put,… Read More

This is just the start of the post That Exists? Coolest Survival, Outdoor, & Camp Gear We’ve Seen. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

That Exists? Coolest Survival, Outdoor, & Camp Gear We’ve Seen, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

UK Legal Knives: Best UK Friendly Folders to EDC in Old Blighty

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UK Legal Knives: Best UK Friendly Folders to EDC in Old Blighty

When I returned to the UK in May of last year, I found the transition to be quite jarring in terms of legally permissible EDC knives. In Canada I quite happily carried anything I damn well pleased, as the legislation is so vague (knives are legal, weapons are not – the cop gets to decide… Read More

This is just the start of the post UK Legal Knives: Best UK Friendly Folders to EDC in Old Blighty. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

UK Legal Knives: Best UK Friendly Folders to EDC in Old Blighty, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

6 Reasons why you should own a kerosene heater

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For most people that live in locations where winter temperatures mandate heating to remain comfortable or even survive, staying warm is crucial. This means having a main source of heating and at least two backup plans. Remember that three is two, two is one and one is none. People may use electricity, natural gas, heating oil and wood, just to name some. It still surprises me though that a lot of people don’t include what is probably the most rugged system, ideal for disasters which is kerosene heaters.

Sengoku CTN-110 KeroHeat 10,000-BTU Portable Radiant Kerosene Heater

Why should you get one?

1)They are cheap. Some on Amazon go for under 100 bucks and if you keep an eye out you can often find them on flea markets or garage sales for a lot less. Keep in mind that you may need a new wick for it though. Other than the kind of fuel used, the wick is the second most important part of a kerosene heater.

2)Most reliable way to heat a home. There just isn’t a most straightforward and reliable way to provide heat. Electricity will be down during serious storms, propane bottles can leak, found empty when needed the most. A generator is a far more complex machine, and it is nowhere nearly as efficient in terms of heat per fuel used. With a kerosene heater you can literally buy one, keep it along with a few gallons of fuel stored in a garage and years later you know you can have it running in a matter of minutes. Kerosene heaters are extremely simple machines. There really isn’t much that can break of otherwise go wrong.

Dura Heat Convection Kerosene Heater, 23,000 BTU, Indoor- DH2304

Dura Heat Convection Kerosene Heater, 23,000 BTU, Indoor $139

3)Its safe. Like with all open flame heaters, you have to make sure you have ventilation of course. A cracked window, just a couple inches will do for smaller rooms. For larger family rooms even less than that will do. You should still have a CO detector to be on the safe side but these modern heaters burn very clean and are extremely safe. Kerosene is one of the safest fuels you can store.

4)Its compact. If you have little room around to spare and nowhere to stockpile cords of woods then this is the way to go.

5)It can be used in any type of building. Kerosene heaters are used all over Japan in both houses and apartments. No complicated or expensive installation is requires.

6)It can be used for cooking and lighting besides heating. The models with flat tops can usually warm up, even boil water placed on top of them on a pot. The model shown below also has a glass body and can double as a lantern.

Dyna-Glo WK11C8 Indoor Kerosene Convection Heater, 10500 BTU $97.72

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 Assemble an INCH Bag

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by Karen

In the prepper world there seems to be a bag for everything. There is your bugout bag (BOB), your get home bag (GHB), and your everyday carry (EDC) bag. But there is another bag that might just be more important than all of these because it is the bag that you leave home with knowing that whatever is in that bag is what will keep you alive indefinitely. It’s the I’m never coming home (INCH) bag and this is one bag you definitely do not want to get wrong.

Why an INCH Bag?

The name really says it all—the I’m never coming home bag. Many preppers consider their BOB an INCH bag. They have packed it as such. However, a BOB is ideally something with which you can survive for just a few days or even weeks, something that will keep you going as you move from your bug in location to your bugout location or are temporarily on the move for some other reason. People with a BOB intend to go back home or reach another destination at some point.

When you carry an INCH bag, it is because you will be bugging out permanently. You will have to leave and survive on the move. You simply cannot stay at your bug in or bugout location. Reasons you would have to leave your home, and thus carry an INCH bag, include:

  • Your home/bugout location is destroyed
  • Looters or gangs have taken your home
  • There is a lot of civil unrest
  • There is no food or water left where you are
  • There is so much disease that you need to get away
  • All communication is down
  • Stores and gas stations are closed

These are just a few of the reasons why you might need to get out of Dodge. There are plenty of others, as well as warning signs of when to bug out permanently.

Selecting the Right Bag

Before you can pack the contents in the bag, you need the bag. Since your INCH bag will contain everything you need for survival, it needs to be big and it needs to be sturdy. When choosing the bag you will use, consider the following:

  • How well it fits your body shape and size: Make sure it fits the length of your torso.
  • How much support it offers in terms of frame and support straps: Packs with an external frame tend to offer better support and you want to make sure there are adjustable straps that will allow you to distribute the weight between your shoulders and your hips.
  • Whether it is waterproof: You just don’t want your stuff getting wet.
  • The number of extra/external pockets and compartments: Make sure the pack has enough room for everything and that there are compartments in which you can store things so they are within easy reach.

You absolutely need to invest in a high-quality bag. It might cost some extra dollars, but it is worth it. You also want to get a bag that is neutral in color, something that will blend in with the natural surroundings. This will help you go unnoticed, whereas a brightly colored pack will make you a moving target, one that has a lot of useful items others will want to steal.

What’s Inside?

The key to packing an INCH bag is to take a minimalist approach. This is a bag in which you will pack more than you would in your BOB, yet you want to do your best to ensure that it does not weigh more than 25% of your body weight. Thus, if you are a small woman who weighs 120 pounds, your pack should weigh no more than 30 pounds. If you are a 200-pound man, then you can carry up to 50 pounds.

So, your INCH bag will be heavier than your BOB, which has its drawbacks, including moving more slowly and traveling less distance each day. However, you will have everything you will need for survival in any environment. Now, let’s get back to that minimalist approach.

When packing your INCH bag, you need to think over the long-term. Instead of packing a lot of food, you need to pack tools and equipment that will allow you to get food while you are on the move. Instead of packing water, you need to pack a means of purifying the water you find as you go. You need to carry tools that will help you build a fire and build shelter, rather than the matches and tarp you might otherwise carry in a BOB. With that in mind here are the most essential categories of items you should include in your INCH bag.


The go-to water solution for a BOB is water purification tablets and a LifeStraw, and while you should still pack these, you will want to include a simple stainless steel water bottle. Why? Because you will run out of tablets and your LifeStraw filter will get used up and you’ll still be out there. So instead of using those tablets and the LifeStraw, save them as backup and just boil your water. If you have a stainless steel water bottle you can boil your water in your water bottle and keep on moving.

Food and Protection

  • Snares
  • Slingshot
  • Fishing line/compact fishing pole and hooks
  • Crossbow

As with water, you can only carry so much food with you, and after a few days it will be gone. While you could take some MREs or other lightweight and easy to carry food (e.g. freeze-dried), you should ensure you have with you the means to catch your own food. There are calories all around you if you know how to hunt and fish. Foraging will also supplement your diet with much needed plant nutrition.

By having a compact fishing rod or fishing line, you can catch fish that are highly nutritious. With snare wire and a slingshot, you can catch small game. With a crossbow, you can catch bigger game. Just make sure you get these things ahead of time and practice so you become skilled in how to use them.

Why not a gun? Well, you can and should certainly have one, but the bullets will eventually run out and then it will be useless. The fishing line and snares are reusable. Ammo for a slingshot can be found anywhere there are rocks (which is pretty much everywhere!). Arrows for a crossbow can be reclaimed and reused most of the time, and if you build your skills ahead of time, you can make arrows out of what is around you.


Have a serious first aid kit. Fortunately, first aid kits are already small, compact, and lightweight, so you don’t have to alter this much. Just be sure to pack what you can in as compact a package as possible.

But as with your other food and supplies, eventually the items in your first aid kit will run out, so you need to be familiar with how to identify medicinal plants and learn how to use what you find in nature to help you with medical care and procedures when necessary.


When you are surviving on the move, there are certain tools you will need in certain situations. The key is to take with you the fewest number of tools that will effectively get any job done that needs doing. You essentially need bushcraft tools that are easy to carry and effective for the many tasks you will need to perform, such as clearing brush, cutting firewood, and skinning and cleaning animals. Here are the basic tools you need:

  • Large knife
  • Small knife
  • Hatchet/small axe
  • Saw
  • Multi-tool
  • Carving tool
  • Whetstone
  • Firestarter
  • Navigation
  • Compass
  • Gas mask
  • Shovel (compact and foldable)
  • Small sewing kit


When it comes to clothing, you need to have clothing for all weather situations. This means warm- and cold-weather clothing and waterproof clothing. However, you should pack one extra of each thing, not multiples. There simply is no room and you’ll have to get used to having less and washing what you do have in the nearest creek once a week or so. Just be sure the clothing you do have is high quality, moisture-wicking, and include some wool in there.


Tents, tarps, sleeping bags, and pillows are all added weight that you don’t need, even if you might want these luxury items. If you have a high-quality bivvy bag, one that is like a tiny tent, you can survive quite nicely. Add your survival shovel for when you need to dig a trench to tuck down in and you are all set.

This is the basic must-have gear for an INCH bag, but you may want to include other supplies and equipment to ensure your survival. This is fine, provided you choose carefully and they will fit in your pack.

Assembling Your INCH Bag

When you assemble you INCH bag, be sure to pack the heaviest, least used items at the back and bottom of the pack and the lightest, most frequently used items near the front and top. You can use the exterior compartments for the smaller items you need to access frequently and quickly, such as your water, compass, and weapon. Packing a bag well will mean the difference between awkward discomfort and relative comfort and ease of movement.

Ultimately, you need to be sure you have everything in your INCH bag that you can use to survive the rest of your life on the move if need be. However, you might have noticed as you read through what you need to pack that there was something else you need to go with these items—skills!

Your survival when on the move will depend on the skills you master even more than the items you pack in your INCH bag. It is critical that you practice using everything you have, that you learn how to hunt, fish, and forage, and that you become skilled at bushcraft. The contents of your INCH bag and the skills you build will keep you alive and well.

Build a Longterm Survival Supply Bag

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bug_out_bags-2Some preppers and survivalists might scoff at such an idea.  After all, beyond the initial 72 or so hours of a bug out scenario, most would think you’d be surviving out of more permanent supply sources than another bag or storage box.  Well, you might be, or in some cases, you might not be.  SHTF happens.  The idea of a secondary supply bag then may not seem like such a bad or farfetched idea.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Every bug out plan however perfectly executed may not pan out exactly as planned.  You may have cached out a perfect bug out hiding location, a camping spot, another shelter at a long range destination or other hold over site until calm returns, or a new lifestyle starts.  But what if you don’t make that back up site right away or at all?

Related: 10 Bug Out Bag Essentials

What if there are delays or outright changes in the plan altogether?  What will you do if roadblocks hinder your progress or throw you off on an entirely new route, one you have not practiced or are even familiar with.  Suppose riots, armed threats or searches deter you?  If any of that happens or more, you’ll need additional survival provisions to survive.  

Defining Long Term

prepare_SWOT-2This is obviously the hard part.  During any kind of a SHTF, time frames simply cannot be nailed down, or likely even predicted.  Everything is in flux, and I mean everything.  If you were even successful at getting away from your primary residence, or work with family in tow if that is part of the plan, then you will spend some time in travel.  You may have calculated the Bug Out trip in advance knowing how many hours or days it will take to arrive at your back up location, SHTF housing or secure site.  Assuming that all works out.  

As a suggested back up plan then, or a sort of supplemental Plan B, one should also prepare for the potentiality of an extended short term situation turning into something more.  But what?  It seems reasonable all else being equal to have emergency provisions beyond the 72-hour scenario for a minimum of two weeks at least with the possibility of a month not being unrealistic.  

Back Up Bag Scenario

jeep_offroad-2Let’s be truthful here, too.  In most real Bug Out situations, you do not want to have to plan to abandon your vehicle to hike on foot.  It could happen, but it is not a best case scenario to strike out into the woods with a one bag source of supplies.  Most of us are simply not equipped physically or emotionally to hike off into the sunset to try to “live off the land.”  Perhaps the top tier of survivalists could, even for a while, but it is the toughest plan to achieve.

If it comes to it, should you become detoured, plan instead a hide in place by the vehicle on an abandoned road, under a bridge, or other place where your vehicle could be parked relatively safe, and out of sight.  Then plan to camp there with your vehicle and supplies as long as you have to or indeed as long as you can.  Doubtless this could be a highly “iffy” situation, but it could happen.

Also Read: Knee Deep in Bug Out Vehicles

The vehicle then becomes your fort, your storage container, tent, and thus offering some measure of security and comfort.  But, you’ll need the extra extended supplies, goods, and gear to make this viable until you can move on or be forced to hunker down there.  

Then later, if you do reach your intended secondary site, these back up provisions can be used there in addition to what you may have already cached in place or hidden along the way.  To be honest, if Plan A never works out, and Plan B’s provisions are expended, then basically all bets are off.  

You may have to then shelter in place, wherever or whatever that turns out to be.  It is not without consideration to think about a scrounging plan as well, but hope it does not come to that.  Always remember many others are out there vying for the same limited sources of supplies or even what you have already secured.  

Secondary Bag Priorities

Granite-102-side-1_436a00ed-364d-440b-a93f-172e6f472a16_1024x1024-3By bag, this could be a very large zippered duffle type bag with triple or more interior space than your initial 72-hour Bug Out type bag.  Ideally, it would need sturdy grab handles on each end and perhaps the sides.  Loaded such a bag will be heavy.  Two people will likely be needed to load it in a vehicle. But, honestly, it does not have to be a bag at all.  There are some very large, and of course heavy when loaded as well, storage boxes that can withstand a lot of abuse.  These can be packed, locked, and stored in a ready grab spot as a throw in bag/box.  This may not be an option for every prepper, but it is a backup worthy of consideration. Again, this bag or box should be provisioned with enough additional consumables and gear to manage the two weeks to a month or even longer term.  

It would seem the highest priority should go to food, and water, or additional equipment to convert questionable water sources into acceptable water, as not enough could be transported via this plan.  Food supplies, also need to be light, and offering long term viability.  This means a large quantity of quality pre-packaged survival foods offering maximum variety and palatability.  This implies commercial survival foods, dry packages, freeze-dried, and or MRE type meals.  Frankly, you can forget carrying canned goods and such as the weight and volume would be too much to handle.  

Though debatable as personal choices, a good cooking mess kit should be included as meal prep would be more than munching a protein bar at this point.  Minimalist type gear is important, but necessary anyway.  

Bug_out_bag_flashlight-2Add to the long term bag more gear.  An axe, more tarp covers, more medical supplies especially medications needed for specific disorders that require treatment.  Rope, rough wood saws, a hammer, large nails/spikes, batteries, more matches and butane lighters, candles, more flashlights, zip bags, heavy duty trash bags, work gloves, a knife or two more.   Water storage bags would be helpful.  Include light fishing gear and/or nets.  Add whatever else you can manage.  Seasonal clothing as space permits or yet another soft bag?  

Add more ammo, perhaps a thousand rounds each for a primary rifle and handgun with half that for a shotgun.  Add one or two more weapons if convenient.  Sounds extensive?  Expensive?  Perhaps.  You have to make that judgement on what you can handle.  These goods are carried by the vehicle and stored there during travel or roadside camping, perhaps for the endurance.  

The long term survival bag (LTSB) then is provided to extend the usual 72-hour initial Bug Out period as or if needed.  It certainly could come in handy and also in the end supplement what has already been stocked at some alternative sheltering site.  It’s just an idea, but one acted upon soon and in hand rather than merely wished for later under more dire circumstances.  

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Vacuum packaging clothes

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A few posts back, I mentioned that I carry some spare clothes in the vehicle winter gear box. I vacuum pack them for two reasons – first, it keeps them clean and dry; second, it helps to compact items to conserve space. But, a picture is worth a thousand words.


For this example, we’ll use this Carrhart Face Mask..a bulky, thick, warm head/face covering that is well suited for spending the night in a cold vehicle. For the purpose of size comparison, note the beer-can sized object next to it.


We fold it into thirds so it’ll fit in the bag, slide it in and set it down for comparison. Note the amount of loft/bulk…it’s about half as tall as the Coke can. The coke can is about 4.75″. The folded face mask is about 3″ thick. Let’s draw the air out of it and see what it compresses down to.


Finished product. Not only is it now going to stay dry and clean, two very important features for a piece of gear that might be called upon in an emergency, but the thickness is a fraction of what it was before. When space is at a premium, this is an exceptionally good way of making the most of what you have.

Sure, buying yourself a vacuum sealer is a very(!) good way to maximize your savings on bulk purchases of meats and whatnot, but it also comes in very handy for protecting and storing items that absolutely must be stay in good condition. A buddy of mine just bought one the other day and when I talked to him a few days later he’d already had a good time experimenting with it and sealing up all sortsa stuff.

By the by, I actually do use the stupid thing for kitchen purposes. The absolute most useful thing I’ve done with it, in regards to food, is using it to store extra spaghetti sauce. See, I’ll make a huge batch of meat sauce with beef and sausage. Then I’ll put a couple ladles of sauce into a bag, let it freeze solid in the freezer, and once it’s solid I’ll vacuum seal the bag. (Because vacuum sealing a bag of liquids is messy. So..freeze solid.) Then, months (or years) down the road when I want a quick and easy meal, I’ll throw on a big pot of water for pasta. As the water comes to a boil I drop the bag of frozen spaghetti sauce in there. It thaws as the water comes to a boil. Remove bag, add pasta to water and cook. Put the thawed bag in the microwave for a couple minutes and when the pasta is done I just cut the edge of the bag and add sauce to the pasta. One pot cooking. I’m tellin’ ya, if you’re an imaginative dude you can come up with a lot of great ideas on how to exploit a vacuum sealer.

Survival Gear Review: Celestron Elements Thermotorch 10

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Celestron_Elements_Thermotorch_10_overall_viewMany folks these days are not interested in single-function devices whether a watch that just tells time, a phone that just makes calls, or a flashlight that just, well, flashes light. So enter Celestron, a company known for telescopes and innovation. Celestron is now exploring the market of creative tools that improve your chances of survival. Or at least make the situation more convenient and comfortable.

By Doc Montana, a Contributing Author of Survival Cache and SHTFBlog

The Celestron Elements Thermotorch 10 is a newer offering that combines a 300 lumen rechargeable flashlight with a pair of 5000 milliamp-hour (totaling 10,000 mAh) USB outputs of external backup power for phones, tablets, and cameras, combined with an electric hand warmer that pumps out enough micro-BTUs to take the edge off cold fingers when it matters most.

A Pound of Light

This set of valuable features does come at a cost. Celestron Elements Thermotorch 10 weighs in at 17 ounces (486 grams). That’s a handful, about the same as a fully loaded Glock 42. But given that there is a pair of USB outputs (a one amp and a two amp) this light is more than meets the eye.

Related: Bug Out Flashlight Wisdom

Celestron_Elements_Thermotorch_10_Charging_iPhone_USB_PortsThe input jack to charge up this beast requires a standard mini-USB port, not the ubiquitous micro-USB that powers almost all non-Apple cell phones and other portable electronic devices on earth. I’m not sure what’s behind the continued use of the mini-USB since I don’t see any real advantages over the micro-USB that is the global industry standard for cell phones, and properly known as the Common External Power Supply or Common EPS.

Remember This

The operation of the Celestron Elements Thermotorch 10, or its smaller brother, the Thermotorch 5, is pretty simple but must be memorized. The single large button on the upper side toggles through the low-medium-high flashlight settings. If depressed and held for three seconds, the hand warming capabilities are initiated. Another three seconds of constant button-down and the feature is turned off. It does take minutes before you will notice much of a temperature change in the flashlight’s shaft, and five minutes later you will be enjoying this feature.

Celestron_Elements_Thermotorch_10_charging_iPhoneCelestron calculates that you can charge your iPhone four times, your iPad once, and GoPro or music player about seven times. The dual 10000mAh (combined) battery power can also be routed to 48 hours of 60 lumen light (low), 30 hours of 100 lumen light (medium), and eight hours of 300 lumen light (high). However, to the human eye, there is not a dramatic difference between 100 and 300 lumens, and between 100 and 60 lumens. So for most use, the Celestron Elements Thermotorch 10 will be used at it’s highest or lowest flashlight setting. As a big fan of Surefire’s decision of a five lumen minimum, I think that amount is a useful low end cutoff when you really do need low light or a wildly long runtime.

An added feature under the tailcap of the Celestron Elements Thermotorch 10 is a four-LED battery level indicator that shows how much juice is left, or how far along the recharging is progressing. The LED indicator is activated with a push of the flashlight button and they stay lit for about 10 seconds.

Baby It’s Cold Outside

The Celestron Elements Thermotorch 10 can also give you up to 10 hours of hand warmer heat between 103-114 degrees F. Or, if doing a little cold weather nighttime E&E, you can get about six hours of 60 lumen light while the handwarmer is chugging away. The handwarmer feature is a welcome addition to cold night use with bare hands. But I found that if it’s cold enough to need a hand warmer, it’s cold enough to use gloves. However, the Celestron Elements Thermotorch 10 can warm up other things besides hands including batteries, electronics, and gloves and mittens. The Celestron Elements Thermotorch 10 does not blast out heat but it does take the sting out of your cold hands. Right now it’s about 2 degrees above zero F outside, and I suspect that using the handwarmer might actually improve internal battery life, or at least maintain it at a higher output. Just a guess, but why not test it?

Pushing the Limits

Celestron_Elements_Thermotorch_10_voltmeterSetting the flashlight outside, I let it cool off to about 8 degrees F as measured by my infrared noncontact temperature sensor. I plugged in my USB tester that measures voltage. When cold, the USB voltmeter recorded about 4.90 volts. After 20 minutes of the handwarmer function turned on with the Celestron Elements Thermotorch 10 sitting in the almost-zero outdoors, it warmed itself up to about 60 degrees F. The USB voltage output was measured at a maximum of 5.02 volts. I learned three things. First, the handwarmer function will not work at the same time as the USB charging ports. Second, the ambient temperature plays a big role in how warm the Celestron Elements Thermotorch 10 can get. And third, the heavy aluminum Celestron Elements Thermotorch 10 can get dangerously cold to the touch and requires either gloves or use of the hand warmer for any sustained bare hand holding. Smaller lights like the Surefire are also cold when left outside, but have a much lower overall density and thus smaller heat capacity allowing their smaller profile to warm up in the hand much faster. The Celestron Elements Thermotorch 10 is like holding a billet of aluminium which in a defensive situation could be a good thing. In fact it is reminiscent of the 2-D Maglite flashlight/club/boat anchor.

Read Also: Milwaukee Work Lights

I don’t see backpacking with the Celestron Elements Thermotorch 10. But not because of it’s weight or size. But because I like to travel in the wilds with a supply of batteries. Unless I also carried a solar panel charger with mini-USB cable and some sunny weather, I would get one use from the Celestron Elements Thermotorch 10, although that is really three uses in one.

Where the Celestron Elements Thermotorch 10 does shine is car travel, off roading, and base camping. Having a rock-solid light/charger/hand warmer is a good thing if you don’t have to carry it far even though it does ship with a nice belt holster with velcro closure.  Considering the Celestron’s long-life light and external battery pack, this flashlight will always be on my shortlist of electronics when heading out on a domestic adventure or for camping near my truck.

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Knife Forging: How Forged Knives Are Made & Are They Stronger?

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Knife Forging: How Forged Knives Are Made & Are They Stronger?

Knife forging is a hot topic amongst knife aficionados and collectors. I feel it’s safe to say that there isn’t a single aficionado or collector in the knife industry who hasn’t formed an opinion on “forged knives.” There’s a reason I’m putting that in quotes – and that’s because what people mean when they say… Read More

This is just the start of the post Knife Forging: How Forged Knives Are Made & Are They Stronger?. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Knife Forging: How Forged Knives Are Made & Are They Stronger?, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Check Out The Best Survival Backpacks

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Finding the right backpack to keep your BOB items in is not an easy task. You need something reliable, you need something you can carry.

Depending on your age, sex, location, climate, level of fitness and so on, you need to make a decision on which backpack to get.

Hint: if you’re on a tight budget, you might find an old backpack somewhere in the attic that you could use. Just keep in mind that, in case of a bug out, it might not be strong enough to hold your gear together.

Whatever decision you make, it’s up to you to get informed, so click here to learn more about survival backpacks.

Build Your Own DIY Fishing Kit

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Alright, if you’re checking out this site, chances are you are well aware that you can find guides on building many different handy survival kits and other survival items right here on Know Prepare Survive. Let’s take a moment to speak about a Do-It-Yourself minimalist fishing kit. You can stash this fishing kit in your …

The post Build Your Own DIY Fishing Kit appeared first on Know Prepare Survive.

Priorities for prepping on a tight budget

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A while back, I wrote an article for folks that are brand new to prepping. If you missed it, click here to read it. Anyway, I got some positive feedback on that article, but I also received a few emails asking me to be a bit more specific. They wanted to know where and what […]

The post Priorities for prepping on a tight budget appeared first on Plan and Prepared.

Get Outdoors!

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get_outdoors_winter_tipi-2Believe it or not we spend more time in our vehicles than we do outside.  I have friends who live in or around the city and their idea of getting some nature is to go down to the park and have their kids play on the swings for a half hour while the parents play on their phones.  A friend came up to our house to visit from the city a year ago and I took her young son and my five year old daughter to the woods.  This boy walked about twenty feet and tripped over a log because he didn’t know to look at the ground for obstacles.  He was so used to walking on manicured lawns and paths it never occurred to him that there might be something in the way!

By Jarhead Survivor, a Contributing Author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog

Kids between the ages of five and sixteen spend an average of six and a half hours per day in front of a screen, which is terrible; however,  I do believe the kind of screen time spent is important.  I assume that most kids spend their time watching videos, playing games, and engaging on social media.  This kind of screen time is passive and they are just sitting there slowly turning into a vegetable.  If they are producing something on the other hand, like writing a blog post, then I think the screen time isn’t as bad.  Yes, they’re not physically active; however, if they are producing some kind of content then they are stretching their minds and growing in that regard.

get_outdoors_snow_play-2Physically, on the other hand, this can’t be good for them.  I have a seven year old boy who would gladly veg in front of his Kindle playing games all day if we let him.  I also have a five year old girl who would sit in front of the TV watching Netflix and eating chips if we gave her the thumbs up, but we don’t.  My wife regularly throws the kids outside and makes them play out there.  The funny thing about kids though is that once they’re outside playing they don’t want to come in.


There’s nothing wrong with technology per se, it’s only when we allow it to consume our lives that it becomes an issue.  From the first moment we get up to the time we go to bed, we are stuck to some kind of screen.  I’m not saying I don’t, but we do try to have a little balance in our lives.  My wife hates the amount of time the kids spend in front of their devices. As such, we will force them to play outside.

Read Also: 10 Ways to Improve Your Survival Fitness

We live on a nice piece of land in Maine where there’s plenty of forest and open space.  My son learned to ride a bike when he was three, got his first motorcycle when he turned five, a 125 cc four-wheeler when he turned seven and drives them like pro.  My daughter loves to create crafts and I set aside time for her and I sit down where she will create things while I draw.  I have a tipi and wilderness camp where we spend a lot of time and the wifi doesn’t reach.  My boy can start a fire with a firesteel and can recite the Survival Rule of Threes.

get_outdoors_fire_start-2I like to think my family has a good balance with learning the old ways, being outside, and today’s invasive technology.  I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, so I remember what it was like without a smart phone, computers, and when the only TV had antennas.  Cartoons only played on Saturday and after a few hours of watching them my mom would boot us outside until lunch.  We hung out with our friends in person and built dangerous bicycle jumps, climbed trees, and did other things that, by today’s standards, would certainly have got our parents in trouble for neglect.

But let’s face it, barring some kind of major SHTF Carrington event, our smart devices are here to stay and I don’t think that’s a bad thing; however, we do need to balance screen time with outdoor time.  Kids need to get outside and play.

Location!  Location!  Location!

We used to live on a  busy main road, which I absolutely hated, but when it was just Mrs. Jarhead and myself, we were willing to tolerate it because it was easy for us to jump in my truck and drive ten miles to the local hiking trails.  As soon as we found out she was going to have a baby, we put that house on the market and moved as fast as we could.  We did not want our kids being brought up near a dangerous, noisy road.

It was the best decision we ever made.  We now live on a back road in Midcoast Maine with tons of woods surrounding us.  It’s not like we lived in downtown Manhattan before the move – we actually moved less than ten miles, but the location we chose was much better suited to our lifestyle. People might say, “But Jarhead!  You’ve never lived in the city!  How can you make a comparison?”

get_outdoors_coffee-2Good question.  Actually I used to be a consultant for a big company based out of St. Paul, Minnesota and for two and a half years I lived on airplanes, stayed in hotels, and drove rental cars all over the country five days a week.  As a matter of fact, I spent the last two months traveling in NYC:  Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.  I’ve been to just about every major city this side of the Mississippi and a few in Canada.  (I actually liked Toronto.)

So yes, I can make a strong comparison between the slow country life and fast paced, high stressed, city living.  Listen City Dweller – I’m not telling you to move to the country, although I’ll bet you’d be a lot happier if you did.  People in the cities are stuck in their high-rise caves, living on top of each other, stressed out of their minds at the high cost of living and lack of paycheck.  They stay in these dark caverns venturing out only to work or to do other things inside.  Few people actually have a chance to get back to nature and I find that very sad because they don’t realize the health benefits they are missing.

Ironically, it’s these same city people who say, “If TSHTF I’m going to bug-out to the wilderness and live there until it blows over.”  Hmmm, not so much.  Folks, if you’ve never spent any time in the wilderness and that’s your plan, I beg you to reconsider.  If I had a choice to choose between a city dweller with a full pack and my son with a firesteel, I’d take my boy ever time.  At least he knows how to start a fire using natural materials and to look for shelter!  Surviving in the wilderness is extremely difficult even for people who’ve been trained.

Get Outside!

get_outdoors_jarhead_dad-2Take your family camping.  Take them on a long hike in the woods, wherever that might be.  Let your kids know what it’s like to carry a backpack and walk for awhile.  It’s ok for them to be a little uncomfortable.  Give them responsibility to do things like gather kindling or firewood.  Show them how to set up their tent.  Allow them to help in the decision making for certain things.

My five year old loves coming out to the tipi with me because I’ll make her noodle soup.  Not the most nutritious meal, but being outside climbing trees and running around is great for my kids and we do it several times a week.  My son is old enough now to use a hatchet and loves the opportunity to swing it at dead trees to help with firewood.

Granted it’s a little more difficult in the winter, but we still do it.  I’ll go out on a Saturday or Sunday and stay four or five hours and sometimes will even spend the night out there (yes – even in the winter).  My kids come out to visit and when they’re tired from cutting and carrying wood, climbing trees and wrestling in the snow, they walk back to the house.  It’s awesome!

Related: Cold Weather Camping – Why You Should Try It 

get_outdoors_reading-2If there aren’t any kids in your family take yourself outside.  You’ll be happier and healthier for it.  Being in nature has shown to bring positive health benefits, so if you’re feeling depressed, you might want to spend a few days in nature without electronics and see if that helps before running to the doctor for a prescription. But that’s another article! Questions?  Comments? Sound off below!


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Why a Dutch Oven Should Be Part of Your Survival Kit

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If you’re one of those folks without power, heat, or warmth because of the recent snow storms, you probably know that you need a cooking tool that can bake, boil, fry and saute. It should also be able to function with a variety of heat sources, since you don’t know when the electricity might come back on.

My nomination for this wonder implement has been around for hundreds of years. It’s easy to find, cheap and effective. Go get a cast iron Dutch oven. This cooking tool has a proven track record, and it can use virtually any heat source.

Survival with the Dutch oven

Hurricane Katrina was due to hit land in a few hours, and my relatives in Mississippi, about 150 miles north of New Orleans, weren’t sure what was going to happen. I overheard my wife talking on the phone to her sister, Patti, of Clinton, Mississippi. In the middle of the hurricane preparation discussion, they started talking about recipes and what to cook, using a cast iron Dutch oven!

Everyone near Katrina faced a potential power outage that could last indefinitely. There was a discussion of evacuating, versus staying put. Among the urban survival necessities in any natural disaster is a way to cook and purify water by boiling, and a Dutch oven serves this purpose beautifully.

We had given Patti a hand-me-down cast iron camp oven with the lipped lid and three legs. Designed to be heated on top and bottom with campfire coals or charcoal, the camp oven was considered a necessity on the American frontier for at least two centuries. That type oven was taken on the Lewis and Clark expedition, was used by travelers on the Oregon trail, who surely used it to cook foods on this list. The oven was indispensable in countless cabins, lean-tos and soddies.

Firepans are a critical part of your Dutch oven survival kit. They allow you to cook on snow or damp ground without putting out the coals.

Technically, a “Dutch” oven has a rounded top and  no legs and can be used in a conventional oven on top of a stove, or on an outdoor propane fish cooker of grill. Here is an example of this style of oven.

Today, a camp oven is on my short list of tools for my disaster survival kit. And if you’re one of the people stranded at home because of the record snows, or are anticipating some sort of disaster, you need a Dutch oven, too.

A Dutch oven can be used to boil water, make a stew, bake bread, and cook virtually anything that can be fitted inside. And if you were forced to evacuate an area, a camp and/or Dutch oven is compact and light enough to be easily transported. My wife’s advice to her sister was to go to Walmart and get:

Put the oven, these items, and some basic cooking utensils in a square milk crate for storage, and you’re ready to bug out. If you have more than one Dutch oven (one to use for everyday cooking and another for camping/emergencies), this milk crate system is excellent. Just store it with your other camping/hunting/emergency supplies.

Must-haves for your Dutch oven survival kit

I’ve been cooking with Dutch ovens at hunting and fishing camps for decades, and on many camping trips and Boy Scout and Girl Scout outings. Beginners frequently ask for a list of tools to get started in Dutch oven cooking. So, here’s the basic, bare-bones list of Dutch oven survival kit necessities, proven over the years.

1 12-inch Lodge brand shallow cast iron oven

I like Lodge cast iron best because it is made in America and has a proven quality record, but that’s just personal preference. Other experienced Dutch oven cooks may use different brands, such as Camp Chef, so chose whatever you like. You’ll get what you pay for. A cheap, poorly-made oven won’t work particularly well, and you’ll probably end up replacing it with a quality piece. Sometimes, I take an aluminum oven on outdoor excursions instead of cast iron to save weight.

3 shallow metal pans with lipped rims

These are critical, and common dog food pans work very well. Put one pan underneath the oven to protect the coals from dampness and help regulate heat; and another pan is used to store coals. The third is a spare that is used to cover the oven and protect it from rain or snow while cooking. Here is an example of this type of bowl. See the video below to see how these pans are utilized.

1 Lid lifter

In a pinch, a pair of channel lock pliers will work. Don’t underestimate the weight of the Dutch oven filled with food or how hot it gets! A lid lifter gives you plenty of distance from the heat source when you want to check on your food or stir it.

1 Trivet or tripod

This is a wire or metal rack that holds the lid while you stir the contents of the oven or adjust seasonings. It keeps the lid out of the dirt and clean, and if you’re cooking outdoors, you may not have a nearby, heat-proof surface.

1 Knife

You probably don’t need a tactical or survival knife, (even though, in an emergency, any  knife you have is a “survival knife”), but you will need something that will work for food preparation.

1 Nylon spatula and nylon spoon

This is used for cooking, serving, and cleaning the oven.

Sources of heat and organizing your gear

Charcoal is easy to use, and generally, in good supply. But when the charcoal runs out, you can use firewood, driftwood, coal, wood scraps from a dumpster, etc. Shipping pallets, generally found about anywhere, burn quite well. If the pallets are made of hardwood, which many are, then you’ll get great coals! You can also prepare for disaster by integrating an outside heat source into your normal cooking routine. My propane fish cooker stays operational year-round on my patio because it is used constantly. Even when there is snow on the ground, we still go outside to fry bacon or cook fish.

If your plan is to use mostly charcoal briquettes with your outdoor cooking, a Chimney Starter will make life much, much easier for you. It heats up the briquettes super quickly so you have coals for cooking in no time.

This Lodge camp oven and propane fish cooker will work very well for cooking and boiling water, even when the power is out.

The lid lifter, trivet, “survival knife,” spatula and spoon all fit inside the oven. All these items fit into a nylon commercial Dutch oven holder. Another great way to carry everything is in a square milk crate. Put the metal pans on the bottom, and the oven won’t tip over. The loaded crate stacks nicely.

Cleaning a Dutch oven is easy. Take the spatula, scrape out any food residue, and fill it with water. (Never put cold water into a hot oven. It might cause it to crack.) Put the oven back on the coals, and boil the water. Usually this will be enough to clean the oven, and all that remains is to scrape out the softened food debris and wipe it dry. Rub the cast iron with a light film of oil to protect against rust.

Obviously, there are other “nice-to-have” cooking items that could be included, but this basic Dutch oven survival kit will get you by. Check out these Dutch oven no-fail recipes for getting started or even if you’re an experienced outdoor cooke!

For more information about Dutch ovens and cooking outdoors, contact:

The International Dutch Oven Society

Lodge Manufacturing

Camp Chef

by Leon Pantenburg of SurvivalCommonSense, and updated by Noah, 1/7/17. All photos by Leon Pantenburg.

The post Why a Dutch Oven Should Be Part of Your Survival Kit appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

Hiking Boots For A Survivalist

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Another great guest post from Tina Mancini from Delivering Customers. This time about Hiking Boots. Footwear, Are Hiking Boots The Best Choice Of A Survivalist? One of the main things you need to be able Read More …

The post Hiking Boots For A Survivalist appeared first on Use Your Instincts To Survive.

How to pack a bug out bag

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If you want to optimize your bug out bag to save space, make it lighter or simply to fit more gear, know there is a lot you an do. From figuring out the right backpack and containers to knowing cool tips to pack them all together, you should definitely spend some time on this.

One way you can do it is modularize your bag, meaning grouping items together based on the tasks they perform. You can have:

  • a fire starting kit
  • a first aid kit
  • an electronics module
  • …and so on

Read more on the BOB experts

Knife Guides: Best EDC Knives, How to Sharpen, & More

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Knife Guides: Best EDC Knives, How to Sharpen, & More

Unless you’re new here (hell, even if you are new here) in most cases you’ll know that Thomas has a little bit of a knife addiction. Calling him obsessed is probably severely under-representing the nature of his relationship with knives; he collects them, uses them religiously, fondles them regularly, is in one of the happiest… Read More

This is just the start of the post Knife Guides: Best EDC Knives, How to Sharpen, & More. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Knife Guides: Best EDC Knives, How to Sharpen, & More, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Knife Guides: Best EDC Knives, Myths, Sharpening, & More

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Knife Guides: Best EDC Knives, How to Sharpen, & More

Unless you’re new here (hell, even if you are new here) in most cases you’ll know that Thomas has a little bit of a knife addiction. Calling him obsessed is probably severely under-representing the nature of his relationship with knives; he collects them, uses them religiously, fondles them regularly, is in one of the happiest… Read More

This is just the start of the post Knife Guides: Best EDC Knives, Myths, Sharpening, & More. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Knife Guides: Best EDC Knives, Myths, Sharpening, & More, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

5 Ways Your Gear Can Cause You To Lose A Gun Fight

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5 Ways Your Gear Can Cause You To Lose A Gun Fight

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When training new shooters, especially rookie law enforcement officers or those new to concealed carry, I always provide a solid foundation of basic marksmanship.

There is, however, another critical element of preparedness and training for those relying on a firearm for defensive purposes. When I started out many years ago in a law enforcement career, my training sergeant left me with a quote I will never forget: “Don’t let your equipment defeat you.” I find myself constantly using that doctrine still today, for both myself and students. Due to the constant new choices and technology for all firearms-related gear, it applies now more than ever.

So what, exactly, am I referencing? Simply put, do not allow your selection of equipment to be a hurdle to success in defending yourself. Tools must be deployed effectively and quickly when your life or the lives of others are at risk. If the gear you utilize for concealed carry impedes your ability to respond and deploy accurate fire … then that gear may in fact defeat you. Put another way, your gear can lead to a deadly encounter.

The following are areas where I regularly see students struggling with their concealed carry gear.

1. Belt and holster system

How may your carry system defeat you? By not allowing you to access your firearm quickly, wearing your gun in a way that others can access it, having too many retention devices to defeat in order to get the gun into play, or forcing you to draw in ways to which you’re not accustomed. These are but a few of the issues that can occur.

Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.

Your holster or carry system must secure the handgun properly. That means retaining the gun in a way that prevents unintentional loss to gravity or another person, while giving you easy, rapid access. The shortest path to such a system is a sturdy belt and holster for waistline carry or a designated compartment for off-body carry (purse, pack, brief case, etc.). You must train with the holster system that you intend to use on a daily basis.

2. Magazines

How may your magazines defeat you? By not feeding ammunition properly, not allowing the slide to lock back, and possibly interfering with ejection/extraction. Again, to mention but a few!

I like to address the magazine separately because it is critical to proper functioning. My suggestion: Use good, factory-made magazines for your defensive pistol, and test them! There are some excellent aftermarket mags for certain handgun platforms, but day in and day out, I use original factory mags for everyday carry.

After hard use in training you may want to consider having a second set of mags for everyday carry. Inspect your mags and never hesitate to replace if needed. Also, consider carrying a spare magazine for your carry pistol — something I rarely see CC folks do.

Revolver carriers must make sure that their speed loaders and/or speed strips match the revolver they carry.

3. Ammunition

5 Ways Your Gear Can Cause You To Lose A Gun Fight

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How may ammunition defeat you? There are two ways – by not cycling in your handgun of choice or not firing when you pull the trigger. There are a variety of causes; most commonly it’s old ammo, hard primers, poorly made reloads, etc.

Another cause is human-induced and may seem obvious, but I have seen it often enough to mention: inattention or misunderstanding of the caliber of ammunition your handgun requires. This can, of course, lead to injury to both shooter and gun.

Most folks train with ball/FMJ ammo, as do I. However, I never fail to test the ammunition I carry every day in my sidearm. This is to determine if the ammo will feed and cycle without fail in my carry gun. Anyone who has been shooting a semiauto handgun has probably experienced some failures to feed with certain types of ammo. Some handgun platforms and models are more prone to this than others. Bottom line: Shoot a magazine or cylinder full of that costly defensive ammo, just to make sure.

4. The handgun itself

How may your handgun defeat you? There are lots of ways:

  • Not a good fit for your hand.
  • Too many added features that interfere with reliable operation.
  • Safety and de-cocker mechanisms that the shooter cannot manipulate well, especially under stress.
  • Sights that are barely visible.
  • A magazine release that won’t allow for mags to drop free and clear when an emergency reload is needed.

The choices are endless. Caliber, make and model, single- or double-stack magazines, to name a few. Not to mention the add-ons: night sights, red dot sights, laser, extended mag or slide release, etc.

To me, the simpler and more reliable, the better! Don’t get me wrong: I like some added features (such as night sights), but I can live without most.

5. Failure to train

While training is not equipment, it cannot be minimized. In fact, it may well be the most critical factor. You cannot and most likely will not prevail in a defensive encounter if you have not drawn your carry pistol from its holster under stress. Or you have not fired some rounds down range in the last year. Or you’re using magazines with ammo that you’ve not tested together. Can you clear a handgun malfunction quickly if needed?

Bottom line: Does the handgun go “bang” every time you need it to? Does it have reasonable accuracy? Does it function well with all brands and types of ammo? Are the sights easily visible and highly functional? Is it easy to operate without lots of unnecessary manipulation?

I don’t get wrapped around the axle about caliber. Choose what you shoot well, have confidence in, and train with it often. All this will add up to not letting your equipment defeat you!

What mistakes have you seen concealed carriers make? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns For Home Defense. Read More Here.

Serious Survival: How much food should you stockpile?

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It seems that for every blogger or forum member there’s a survival expert as well. That’s great because there’s such wealth of information and you can learn from different experiences and accounts.
Then again the downside… every blogger and member thinks he’s an expert.
You see, for realistic survival and preparedness it’s crucial to differentiate the “I think” and “I believe” from the “this is how it went down” “this is why”.
We all know that food is essential for survival. No food and you won’t last long. Same goes for water (and I see it overlooked more often). Keep in mind that while a day without food may suck a bit, but a day without water will be tough indeed. In certain warm climates it can be downright dangerous.
We all get how important food and water is, but then there’s the classic survival question: How much food should you have stored for emergencies?
Doomers say you need years worth of food. Decades even. After all you die if you don’t eat. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are famous for their year worth of food approach, although many have far less than that.
Officially speaking, what would a real expert recommend? says to have 3 days worth of shelf stable food and bottled water. That may seem as very little but in general most emergencies are either resolved within that time frame or help becomes available. Still, tell this to anyone that spent a week or more snowed in during a storm and he’ll find it lacking.
So how much? A Week? A Month? A year?
The first piece of advice is one you’ve probably heard before and that it is to store what you eat. If your kids don’t even know what rice looks like then having buckets full of the stuff isnt that much of a good idea. Either store something else or actually start eating rice.
There’s two very important reasons for this.
First, if you don’t rotate your food supply it just becomes one of those “just in case” things, and you’ll find yourself throwing food away every few years. This makes keeping large quantities of food stored a great waste of money. Second, if you store what you eat there wont be any difference between emergencies and “normal” times, at least food wise.
In our home we love rice and lentils and prepare rice and lentils stews often. Its tasty, very healthy, stores well for years and its pretty affordable too. Some canned tomato and vegetables and you have all you need for a great nutritional meal.
Another important point is understanding how much calories you actually need. The standard reply here is 2000 calories. Sure, if trekking the north pole you’ll need 5000 instead but even if some manual labour may be needed during disasters there’s people that stay healthy AND active with a lower caloric diet. 2000 will do well enough.
The 3 day recommendation by is based on a rather optimistic government recommendation. If they have said instead to have 7 days immediately people would be wondering “Wait, so you’ll let me hang there for an entire week?!” People don’t react well to uncertainty and avoiding panic is a government’s #1 priority. Two weeks worth of groceries is just common sense. It doesn’t put a significant dent in your wallet if done correctly, and yes, it is true that it will cover 99% of the disasters and emergencies you’re likely to face in your lifetime.
I already imagine people thinking “but I want to be ready for SHTF, a worst case scenario, the real end of the world stuff!”.
OK, lets do that. Lets say it’s a worst case, total SHTF scenario. But lets keep it real and look how does it actually play out in the real world rather than fantasize about it.

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Lets say you have 2 years, no, 10 years worth of food. Lets say you have that plus means of producing more, a fully working farm.
Now lets suppose you have your ten year supply of food, plus a farm, plus a pile of guns and ammo… and you’re sitting in Eastern Ukraine when the Russian troops roll in. Or Aleppo when they are levelling every structure around you with barrel bombs. Or in South Africa when white farmers were exterminated and kicked out of their homes. Or in Fukushima when the tsunami destroyed everything and the radiation scorched the land. Do you see a trend here? More food, or a bigger farm would have done you no good. In all of these sometimes like more cash or gold to take along with you when you bug out or even better money in an offshore account would have been far more useful.
“But… I want the end of the world to be more convenient…”
Ok, what about Venezuela? You have out of control inflation, out of control crime and poverty with people starving. Even farmers starve there(posted about just this a few weeks ago), just like Irish farmers starved during the genocide known as the Great Famine or Ukranian farmers died during Holodomor, reduced to cannibalism. Yes, sometimes its natural disasters, but in others its lack of means of production, and an authoritarian government ensure that people starve in spite of having land and the knowledge to work it.
In my experience after the collapse of Argentina’s economy I would say it was somewhat similar to Venezuela during the times of Chavez. By this I mean horrible inflation, but not reaching the levels of food poverty seen today in Venezuela. Food was available, just two or three times more expensive than before. Just imagine how you would deal with such a scenario if you woke up to it tomorrow. Indeed, we all wished we had more food stocked up, and we rushed to buy more right away desperately trying to beat the nonstop inflation. I sure kept several months worth of food stockpiled. But still, at the end of the day if you had money you ate.
I stayed for over a decade after the collapse of 2001. In retrospective I probably should have left sooner. Personal circumstances, heck, life I guess, made us delay our departure. Still, we always had the resources to leave ASAP if needed. This is more than what most people in Venezuela can say.

Image result for irish great famine
In such a complex situation would a 10 year supply of food, or a farm, made much of a difference? Not really. The food would have been nice, but the money to buy it was just as good besides having a conservative stockpile. A farm? Maybe more of an anchor to the country at a time when leaving was the clear path. A farm in a place like Venezuela, where you cant sell it, or if you do you don’t get anything for it, really does you no good.
So, start with a couple weeks worth of stockpiled food. Work towards a month. Then 6 when you can afford it and have the room for it. 6 to 12 months is the maximum I would recommend, with 6 months being the most realistic objective for most people. Six months of food gives you plenty of time for things such as unemployment, family problems. 12 months helps greatly when dealing with inflated prices, food shortages, and overall instability in the country where you maybe spent several months maybe saving money and looking for a job abroad, for a way out of the country entirely.
The lesson being, If you need more than 12 months worth of food, then more food will do you no good because what you really need is to get the hell out of there!
Take care folks,

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”.

Comfort Equipment.

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Comfort Equipment.
Definition of Paleolithic. Of or relating to the earliest period of the Stone Age characterized by rough or chipped stone implements. Merriam Webster Dictionary.
Humans have been surviving for thousands of years, back in the Paleolithic period life was hard, even so these people must have had some creature comforts, perhaps local flora placed on their beds to make it softer and keep them up off the ground. Tools were very basic being made of wood, stone bone, horn or antler, and yet these people survived.

Make no mistake, most of the equipment we carry today is for comfort, to make life easier, but we could survive as a people without the equipment we carry. Some items I deem essential, a good medical kit for instance. But as for the rest, no it is not a necessity, just a preference. So why all this modern so called “survival gear”? Does it add to our comfort? In some cases perhaps, but it also has drawbacks. Take the sleeping bag for instance. Great until it gets wet, then it will not retain as much of your body heat as an ordinary pure wool blanket! I am not going to list all the fancy gadgets here that are basically designed to attract people that like gadgets, people that have no real sense of what is needed to survive long term in a wilderness situation. But I would like you to think about this. Every time you add a piece of equipment to your pack, ask yourself these questions: Do I need this? Is this piece of equipment sustainable? If it breaks can I fix it? Will this piece of equipment serve a needed purpose, or is it just taking up room where I could be carrying something else that is more important, such as water, food and ammunition?

Think about the tools that you carry or are about to purchase, think about their purpose. The knife, what is it used for? Skinning and butchering game, and for defence; Is the blade long enough for defence use? Can I kill with this blade or is it too short? The axe, used for many tasks that involve the cutting and shaping of wood as well as for defence and possibly needed for hunting. How easy would it be to replace a broken helve? How heavy is it? Can I use the poll as a hammer to drive stakes into the ground? And so on and so on. Your equipment needs to be versatile & sustainable, it needs to be able to perform the function that it’s namesake was originally designed for. Paleolithic flint knives were not used for cutting down small trees; they made flint hand axes for that purpose. In today’s modern world of survival equipment manufacturers seem to have forgotten this common sense approach that those primitive people in the Paleolithic took for granted. Think about that, your life may depend on it!

By David Wright.

Bought a couple of these… maybe you should too.

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If you don’t have a good set of electronic earmuffs, get these:

Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff $38.72

Best Sellers in Amazon. For under 40 bucks, I just don’t think you can beat them. Not many products get over 10.000 reviews, a 4.5 star average. I was about to get some fancy Peltors but after seeing these and such overwhelming positive feedback I went for these instead.


I got a couple, one for myself and another for my oldest son that is now shooting with me. Hearing is just too important, and it makes no sense for any avid shooter not to have a quality set of earmuffs.


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”.


7 Manual Kitchen Tools That Work with No Power

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Editor’s note: Plan and Prepared welcomes Jack Neely back with his latest offering. Enjoy! Manual kitchen tools that work with no power are important to have in case of an emergency which includes power outage. Having the right type of manual kitchen tools makes every task much easier. In fact for certain tasks, the manual […]

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Knife & Outdoor Gear Stores: Best Sale, Deal, & Clearance Pages to Watch

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Knife & Outdoor Gear Stores: Best Sale, Deal, & Clearance Pages to Watch

This past Black Friday/Cyber Monday I wasn’t too happy with the deals we shared on this site, and started thinking about how the sales we’d gotten throughout the year had actually been better deals then the vast majority of the items we’d snagged during these “sale holidays.” It’s pretty disappointing when you hang your hopes… Read More

This is just the start of the post Knife & Outdoor Gear Stores: Best Sale, Deal, & Clearance Pages to Watch. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Knife & Outdoor Gear Stores: Best Sale, Deal, & Clearance Pages to Watch, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

3 Items to pick up Next time you’re in IKEA

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1)Batteries. Their primaries are cheap and pretty good quality but the best deal is their rechargables. These are made in Japan and great quality. I read somewhere that these are the same as Eneloops. Not sure if its true or not but “made in Japan” does point in that direction and again, the quality is there. I’m using these to replace the AA and AAA in my kits given that all alkalines seem to leak eventually. This is much safer and works well with the second item in the list.

2)AA and AAA USB charger. Its cheap, compact and works. I bought one of these for the car. If It goes well I’ll get one or two more. Can’t remember the price but it was just a few bucks. You don’t find cheap and well-made chargers that often, especially this small.

3)USB LED light. Missing in the picture here but it’s a small black LED light that connects to a USB port. I found it close to the batteries and charger. Very minimalistic like IKEA usually does it and cheap too. It could be a bit longer but its small so as to be out of the way. Maybe not as much of a bargain as the first two but I’m giving it a try to see how it does.

Take care folks!


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”.

The Best Prepper Christmas Gifts of 2016

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The Best Prepper Christmas Gifts of 2016 As Christmas gets closer, you may find yourself needing a few more gifts under your tree to complete your list. Whether you are dropping hints for friends and relatives, or need to get the perfect present for the prepper in your life- we got you covered. Check out …

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Can You Make Me a Student Survival Kit?

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Can You Make Me a Student Survival Kit? We got a reader question asking us if we could make a low-budget student survival kit. If you yourself are a student or know one and would like to give him or her a survival kit that would be excellent for wilderness survival but that doesn’t break …

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The post Can You Make Me a Student Survival Kit? appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central. Self Inflating Mattress

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Over many years and after having many friends recommending them, I have thought about getting a self inflating mattress. Thankfully, the folks at were gracious enough to let me review theirs. To begin with, Read More …

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A Correlation Between The Equipment You Choose and The Skills You Learn.

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A Correlation Between The Equipment You Choose and The Skills You Learn.

I believe that when choosing equipment for survival use in the bush, there is more to consider than just ease of use and sustainability. Obviously when preparing for long term wilderness living, you need to choose equipment that will survive the years of use, but what about a correlation between the equipment & the skills you learn from using this equipment?

As an example, anyone can learn primitive fire lighting skills, they can learn about native plant tinders & the difference between tinder & kindling. They can learn about wet weather fire lighting & where to find dry kindling in the rain, but how many people do you think will actually learn these skills if they are using a BIC lighter or a ferrocerium rod & Vaseline cotton balls to make fire? Let us take another example; using bow & arrows for hunting. If you are using a bow for hunting, or even a muzzle-loader, you need to know how to stalk your game in close. You may only get the one shot, plus you need a clean kill or at the very least a disabling shot. But how does this compare to someone using a long range modern breech-loading rifle?

Now for those of you that now ask the question what does it matter? I say this, IF you are unable to get a fire going with your BIC lighter or if you should take a fall & break your lighter, how are you going to make fire? If you run out of ammo or your modern rifle malfunctions, how are you going to be able to hunt for food? Yes I know, you may have learnt how to make traps & learnt about trapping, you may also have more BIC lighters on your person, but you can surely see where I am coming from. I believe that a person who is primitive oriented & chooses to carry primitive equipment (pre 19thcentury), is likely to be more knowledgeable regarding primitive survival skills than someone who uses modern equipment.

What equipment do you use? What primitive survival skills have you learnt? Think about it!

5.11 Rush 72 Backpack Review

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It is hard to describe to people who just don’t get it…Why buying the right backpack is so damn important.It isn’t until you are knee-deep in disaster that you realize that buying the cheaper, not so expansive model was not one of your finest moments.Always keen to learn from my mistakes – and the trip …

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