5 of the Most Popular Survival Kits You Can Find

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We’ve done some digging and come across some of the best survival kits offered on Amazon, making the purchasing of prepping gear easy. Depending on your needs and the size of your family, consider adding a small kit to your car or splitting up these kits to upgrade your bug out bag or add to your home prepping stash.

When preparing for a disaster, many overlook the possibility of something happening while in a car and away from home.  That’s why some of the kits below can be purchased and left in your car so you’ll never be left without at least some survival gear.

The peace of mind offered once you’ve got your car outfitted is difficult to describe, that’s why some of these kits offer bags that are light enough they can be moved around (in and out of a car if you choose to not store survival gear in your vehicle) or stored neatly under a bed.

1. Tianer Survival Gear 11 in 1 Kit

Tianers Professional Outdoor Emergency Survival Gear Kit offers 11 tools, including a military compass, survival (multi-function) knife, saber card, fire starter, whistle, wire saw, flashlight, signal mirror, scraper, tungsten steel pen, and a box to keep it all in. 

At only $23.99, this little survival kit is inexpensive considering what’s in it and perfect to toss in a vehicle or set on the shelf with your other prepping tools.  You could also take several of the items and add them to your bug out bag if you happen to be missing a few of the essentials, and for the price, wouldn’t have to worry about splitting up the kit.

If you don’t want to split this kit up, don’t worry.  It’s small and easy to carry. The dimensions of the box containing the other ten items 4.1 x 1.8 x 6.3 inches and it weighs only 0.65 pounds. The box is touted as “sturdy enough to be waterproof and protect the products inside.”

2. Emergency Case Premium Family 4 Person 4 Days Emergency Kit 

This kit will set you back $800, but it has everything you need for a family of four to survive for four days.  It comes in an easy to pull waterproof, durable, and lockable container.  This kit is perfect to grab and toss in the car in the event of an immediate natural disaster such as an earthquake or hurricane.

It can be stored anywhere and decreases evacuation time to 60 seconds. Easy rolling, mobile, highly durable, lockable, and waterproof case contains a 5 kit emergency system. In that system are a food & water kit, sleep & shelter kit, advanced medical kit, tools & safety kit, and health & hygiene kit.  It contains a tent and sleeping bags and includes a water filtration system.

If you live in one of the nation’s “disaster zones” and are ill-prepared for a quick evacuation, though a little expensive, this kit could be a lifesaver.

3. Emergency Zone Family Prep Emergency Survival 72 Hour Kit

Available in both a two-person and a four-person kit, the survival gear comes in a discrete red backpack and all supplies are conveniently packaged in a discrete and nondescript red pack.  This kit is only $179.99 for a four-person kit and $139.99 for the two-person version. 

The items come well-organized ziplock bags to keep everything organized and dry and the convenient backpack includes a 48-page emergency preparedness guide.  It also comes with a hygiene kit and some basic medical supplies and a flashlight. This pre-made bug out bag could be the perfect solution to the previous more expensive kit and would be excellent for the beginning prepper. 

4. Get Ready Now Deluxe Car Emergency Kit

 This compact, convenient sized kit is designed to fit under the front seat, in door panels, or backseat pockets.  Basically, you could toss this thing in any vehicle without losing too much space, and at only $125.99, you could feel confident in having at least some survival gear should you get lost or break down.

This kit will offer you the best supplies for a worst-case scenario. The kit includes critical gear often omitted in DIY kits including light, first aid, utility tools, warmth & cooling, sanitation, and food and water products.

5. Survival Frog All-in-One LifeShield Survival Bug Out Bag

At $299.99, this kit certainly is not the cheapest on the list, but it’s a good one for those with minimal prepping under their belt. Even though this kit contains a wide selection of essential survival gear, it still weighs less than 15 lbs. This means that preppers who purchase with this pack will get the best of both worlds – a complete bug out bag that you can actually carry around comfortably.

Purchased individually, the items included in this kit would retail for over $500, but Survival Frog wanted to eliminate any barriers that would prevent customers from being fully prepared. The lifeshield bug out pack is incredibly spacious, offers 2,400 cubic inch survival gear capacity in six organized compartments, and is also insanely durable.

The options are endless, but good and lightweight supplies should be at the forefront of a prepper’s mind. Remember, these kits are great on their own or they can be broken up to make the perfect bag or kit for your personal situation.  You are limited only by your imagination! The important thing to remember is you must consider your personal situation.  Many may not desire a bug out bag, preferring to “bug in” but can use the individual items in some of the kits to add to a car kit or enhance a home prepping stash.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The paper chase

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Toilet humour is always good for a blog post. Today’s episode comes from Friend Of The Blog ™, Tam, over at View From The Porch where she recounts an episode of what happens when natures call is delayed by overpackaged designer toilet paper.

Here’s the money shot: “Just before I had to declare an emergency and kiss my socks goodbye…..”



Meanwhile, everyone knows that women go through toilet paper like Germans through Poland. It’s exponential. Two women do not use twice as much TP as one. There’s a logarithmic (bodily) function somewhere in there.

I bring it up because toilet paper is one of those semi-serious things we survivalists rally around. Right after ‘who has the most guns’ and ‘how much ammo is enough’ comes the ‘how much toilet paper do you store’. I have the space to store a goodly amount, so I keep about 200 rolls on hand. That should cover me for a good while unless I develop a sudden interest in Mexican food or drink a Giardia cocktail.

Toilet paper is one of those things that is usually briefly touched on in survivalist fiction but almost never addressed in movies or TV. I’ve seen exactly one toilet paper reference in eight years of The Walking Dead. (Specifically, the episode where Bob The Alkie is introduced. He’s sitting on top of a truck trailer with a roll of TP sitting next to him. The implication being that he took a dump on the undead below him.)

Like .22 ammo, there’s just really no just-as-ggod-as substitutes. Leaves, phonebooks, small furry animals, paper towels, and anything else semi-disposable just don’t seem to do the trick.

I suppose you could go the way of the Third Worlders and make sure to use one specific hand for eating and the other for…….. but I didnt make these efforts and sacrifices so I can live like a Third Worlder.

My experience has been that toilet paper has only three natural enemies – women, mice, and moisture. Storing it in a waterproof container handles the moisture, storing it off the ground usually keeps themice from nesting in it, and buying the discount brands usually keeps the Gyno-Americans out of it.For travel, whether planned or unplanned, the usual thing is to just grab a roll, squash it flat, and shove it in a ziploc bag. That has a certain utilitarian quality is simple and effective. Turns out there are special ‘travel packs’ of toilet paper and you really can’t underestimate their utility. I usually just throw a couple of those pocket packs of Kleenex in my bag and use those if necessary…its convenient, cheap, multipurpose, and available.

Back in the old days, MRE’s used to give you actual toilet paper and it was worth saving the extras from your MRE pack for later use since it was packaged pretty well. Modern MRE’s give you these little blue individual squares that I cannot fathom were ordered by anyone who has ever had to take a dump out in the field.

Moral of the story? Well, first off, toilet paper is cheap and a definite nice-to-have… dont put a dozen rolls in the hallway closet and think you’re done. Go to CostCo and get a couple of the big 30-packs. Second, keep a half dozen in the bathroom. Without getting too..rude…go sit yourself on the toilet and figure out what your maximum reach is from there. Keep the a half dozen rolls within that reach. No brainer. And, finally, if you’re going through any crisis that requires you to whittle down your stock of end-of-the-world TP you’re also in a crisis where personal hygiene just took a boost in importance – so make damn sure to wash your hands and use hand sanitizer afterwards. Your stash of TP goes a lot further when you don’t have to deal with cholera and dysentery.

How to Avoid Germs on a Plane

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com The cold and flu season is already in full swing, and everyone around me seems to be sick.  With so many states hard hit by the flu, air travel may contribute to the spread of germs.  Many people are already fearful of flying, and the added threat of picking up germs does not help. Because of close quarters on a plane, it is easy to pick up germs while flying.  I am not […]

The post How to Avoid Germs on a Plane appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

After Disaster Hygiene And Sanitation

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After Disaster Hygiene And Sanitation The unspoken threat of the disaster world. Looters make the news. We see them setting fires or running into homes. They look like us and we can easily understand the threat. There is the threat from nature as well. That is another threat we understand. It’s older than us. This …

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The post After Disaster Hygiene And Sanitation appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.


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Despite what you see on The Walking Dead, decent hygiene can make a big difference in a crisis. Ignore, for a moment, no one wants to be squeezed into a pickup truck with six sweaty guys in multicam who smell like the towel bin of an NFL locker room. Think about this, after a long day of sweating, getting dirty, possibly getting some bodily fluids of all sortsa flavors sprayed on you, and the infrequent application of bugspray/sunblock, etc, you wind up getting a decent size cut or abrasion  on you. In TWD our sweaty, grungy heroes carry on effortlessly. In the real world, you’re setting yourself up for all sorts of nasty infection-y badness.

Preparedness is about prevention. You’re stopping problems before they happen. You know how in the winter season we’re all told to wash our hands frequently to prevent catching colds? We all agree that’s a good idea. Well, a shower or some other form of bathing, with soap, on a daily (or more frequent) basis is just as good.

Soap is awesome stuff but it’s a mild pain in the butt to store. I like to use Ivory soap because I can use on my skin, in my hair, and even to clean clothes. It’s sort of a Swiss army knife of soap. Problem is, it is fabulously hydroscopic. Don’t believe me? Go grab a paper-wrapped bar of Ivory soap and peel the wrapper off. I guarantee you the wrapper will be damp, moist, or adhere to the soap in a manner suggesting a high moisture content. And if you leave soap exposed to air too long…it turns into a rock. (Which seems counterintuitive since you would think that if it absorbs moisture it would turn to mush.)

I mention it because while I like Ivory soap, I hate paying for it. Surprisingly, I found a deal on Amazon for 100 bars for $40. (Requires that Yuppie Survivalist luxury – Amazon Prime) Well, a hundred bars oughtta last me a while. So, I ordered ’em up and they arrived today.

thumbnailSo now that they’re here, and we’ve established that they fossilize after long enough time exposed to air, what do we do? Stop exposing them to air. Break the vacuum sealer out of storage and repackage things.

thumbnail2This is one of those situations where a vacuum sealer is great for a task other than storing food. Seriously, if you think they’re just good for putting food away and not much else, you really need to think more creatively. Go get one. You’ll never regret it.

A few years ago I came across a slightly better deal at my local grocery store. Three bars for a buck. I wound up picking up all they had and I packaged them the same way I’m packaging these. I finally used up the last ones last month and they stored just fine, I suppose it’s possible that with enough hot water and scrubbing, the dessicated bars of soap might work, but why take chances?

thumbnailSo, I’m set for the next couple years on soap and can keep myself clean and smelling awesome after a long day of looting burned out police cars, manning roadblocks, and fending off zombies. Or, more likely, I’ve simply knocked off one of many things on my logistical checklist for the next several years.

thumbnail4But, point is, if you’re going to store large amounts of things like food, ammo, toilet paper, and batteries you should also go just as deep on the personal hygiene stuff as well. Being stuck in Katrinaville (Or San Juan, I suppose) is no time for skin infections, bad teeth, conjunctivitis, ear infections, and that sorta thing. Floss, toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, deodorant, washcloth,  toothbrush, talc, a comb, razors (Ivory works for shaving foam), and some hand sanitizer will give you pretty much everything you need to prevent the kinda funk that knocks your efficiency down when you need it the most.

Conquer Hygiene and Hydration as the Flood Waters Rise

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Conquer Hygiene and Hydration as the Flood Waters Rise The average person is going through a real life changing situation if they are hit by a serious hurricane. Even flooding rains can melt your psyche into jelly. I sometimes forget that the rest of the world is not immersed in natural disaster all the time …

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The post Conquer Hygiene and Hydration as the Flood Waters Rise appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Our Basic Sanitation and Hygiene Preps

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Our Basic Sanitation and Hygiene Preps Any article that offers up an outlook on the idea of sanitation and hygiene after the collapse is an important one. This is going to be a killer in the fallen world. I see a lot of videos and articles about the many things that will kill preppers. The …

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The post Our Basic Sanitation and Hygiene Preps appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Survival Hygiene While On The Road

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You have the tactical training, you’ve got the tactical watch, pants, plans and boots. By now I am sure you have a bag filled with all sorts of hi tech tools for water filtering and purification, navigation, self-defense, first aid and fire craft. Have you considered Tactical Hygiene? As preppers and survivalists, there are many […]

The post Survival Hygiene While On The Road appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Create a Personal Hygiene and Santiation Kit

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Create a Personal Hygiene and Sanitation Kit Personal hygiene and sanitation are two of the most often overlooked parts of the prepping and survival world. They are not as cool as tactical pants, guns and food storage. The truth is hygiene and sanitation will be the first and one of the most dangerous threats in …

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The post Create a Personal Hygiene and Santiation Kit appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Create a Personal Hygiene and Sanitation Kit

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Create a Personal Hygiene and Sanitation Kit Personal hygiene and sanitation are two of the most often overlooked parts of the prepping and survival world. They are not as cool as tactical pants, guns and food storage. The truth is hygiene and sanitation will be the first and one of the most dangerous threats in …

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The post Create a Personal Hygiene and Sanitation Kit appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Hygiene and Being Resourceful

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Hygiene and Being Resourceful Image credit: safety-zone.com How much do you really know about personal hygiene outside of the what sits on the store shelves? Do you know that there are tons of options right under your nose that can keep your personal hygiene up to snuff when the world around you is falling apart? This …

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Hygiene and sanitation, #1 in watching out for #2!

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Hygiene and sanitation, #1 in watching out for #2! Host: Sam Coffman “The Human Path” Hygiene and sanitation, how prepared are you really in regards to  and (in the worst case) coping with gasto-intestinal disease in a post-disaster environment?  The Human Path Sam Coffman discusses everything you ever wanted to know (and some things you … Continue reading Hygiene and sanitation, #1 in watching out for #2!

The post Hygiene and sanitation, #1 in watching out for #2! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Dental Care Post-Disaster!

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Dental Care Post-Disaster! Sam Coffman “Herbal Medic” This week, I talk about dental hygiene and tooth care using unconventional (primarily herbal) approaches. First, how do you take care of tooth hygiene, cavities and gum disease in a post disaster setting? What about when there is no dentist and possibly no toothpaste, toothbrushes or other dental … Continue reading Dental Care Post-Disaster!

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Dental Flaws for the SHTF Prepper

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

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DIY: Five Gallon Bucket Washing Machine

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Homemade Washing machine

Awhile back my washing machine broke down over a holiday weekend.  Instead of hauling the dirty laundry to a How to make a washing machinelaundry mat, I decided that this would be a great opportunity to finally try out using a 5 gallon bucket to wash clothes.  Sometimes a little adversity is what you need to really be prepared.  Clothes washing was an item that had been missing from my preps for some time now and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to test it out before the real SHTF.  This DIY washing machine is a homemade method you can use to wash clothes if you temporarily lose power or if the grid goes down.

By Tinderwolf from Survival Cache & SHTFBlog

Here’s What You Need

Here are the materials you will need:
One five gallon bucket (lid is optional, in my opinion)
One toilet plunger
Power drill or a utility knife

All of the above materials can be purchased for less than ten dollars, excluding the power drill.  If you are going to be best way to wash clothes for survivalusing a lid the first step is to drill a hole in the top.  Tip the toilet plunger upside down so that the top of the handle is touching dead center of the lid.  Trace a circle around the handle onto the lid.  If you have a power drill, find a large bit, I used a half-inch bit, and drill out the circle that you traced.  After the hole is cut out use a utility knife to clean up the edges where you cut.  If you do not have a power drill you can use a utility knife to cut out the hole, BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL AND TAKE YOUR TIME!

Also Read: DIY Water Filter

The plastic bucket is very durable so it can be difficult to cut by hand.  Next, I drilled eight holes into the rubber portion of the toilet plunger.  Ta-da! You are done!  If you want to make the deluxe model I have seen some where people have put a spigot or ball valve on the bottom of the bucket for draining the water.  I can see where being able to drain the water from a spigot could be helpful to those that might lack the strength to lift the bucket, but personally I found this feature to be unnecessary.

My Experience

Here is my experience with the bucket washer.  I found the bucket lid to be unnecessary.  The only purpose of the lid is to help contain water from splashing out.  If you are using this to clean your clothes than most likely you are completing this task either in your bathtub or outdoors, so some splashing water is not that big of an issue.  Also I am not splashing that much water as I am not going “all out” with the plunger, nice and steady is the key.

Related: DIY Family Water Purification System

The second reason I do not like using the lid is because it restricts the agitating motion of the plunger to up and down.  If the bucket is full of clothes the plunger can’t get all the way to the bottom of the bucket or get around all the clothes in order to agitate them.  I found pushing the plunger down from the side and diagonally helps to rotate all the clothes from top to bottom so that every piece gets properly washed.

Related: DIY Beer Can Stove

On some reviews I have read, it states that powder or homemade detergent works best.  I have not tried either of these but I have used liquid detergent with no observable issues.  The amount of soap I use is approximately one tablespoon. After adding the clothes and soap, it is time for the water.  Warm water seems to work best and I fill the bucket to around four inches from the top.  Now, it’s time to work out your arms.  For the wash cycle, I plunge the clothes for ten minutes, then I tip the bucket over and dump everything out into the bathtub. I wring out the excess water from the clothes and then place them back into the bucket.

The Rinse

For the rinse cycle, I fill the bucket back up with clean water and plunge for another five to ten minutes.  I dump the water and clothes out, wring the excess water from the clothes and hang them up to air dry.  I have found that smaller loads of clothes are easier to plunge and tend to get cleaner.  For best results I only fill the bucket halfway to three quarters of the way full with clothes.  I have washed about twenty loads of clothes using this process and thus far I am very happy with how clean the clothes come out.  I think this is something that everybody should have as it is very cheap to make and easily mobile.  I’m sure it would be a great item to throw in the car for those summer camping trips, because you just never know.

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Making Soap!

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Self-Reliance Skill: Making Soap Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” If you want to stay healthy post-disaster, then you need to learn how to make soap. Soap making is both an essential skill, and an easy craft to learn. Some people, however, are nervous to try making soap at home because it involves lye. Lye is … Continue reading Making Soap!

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Getting the Most from Food and Water During a Disaster

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

5/5 (6) Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from RubyMae. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today. I recently read an article about what a woman learned from […]

The post Getting the Most from Food and Water During a Disaster appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

5 Natural Juices to Heal a Sore Throat

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watermelon-juiceSore throats are a fairly common problem during the winter months. Sore throats are often brought on by sudden changes in weather, mucus drainage, or as a symptom of a common cold. The pain and inflammation that accompany a sore throat can be very irritating, and can even get in the way of your daily routine; especially if your job involves speaking to others or talking on the phone.

A sore throat can be a symptom of a serious illness. But getting a sore throat doesn’t necessarily mean you need to rush in to see a doctor right away.

Jeffrey Linder, M.D., is an internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston. He did an interview with Time Magazine’s Health.com about some common recommendations for soothing a sore throat. According to Dr. Linder, “Staying hydrated is very important, especially when you’re sick and your throat is irritated or inflamed. You should be drinking enough fluid so that your urine is light yellow or clear. This keeps your mucous membranes moist and better able to combat bacteria and irritants like allergens, and makes your body better able to fight back against other cold symptoms.”

Let Your Beverage be Your Medicine

There are several medicinal drinks that you can use to keep yourself hydrated, while medicating your sore throat at the same time. You can nip your cold in the bud and prevent high fevers by hydrating with these natural juices and teas that can save your day with their high concentrations of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.

To emphasize hydration, you can dilute fruit and vegetable juices with cold water and ice. To emphasize the medicinal qualities of the juices and teas listed below, don’t dilute these juices and drink them as they are.

#1 – Ginger Juice
Ginger is full of minerals and antioxidants. The antibacterial properties of ginger can help to treat a number of infections in the throat. Consume a half cup of ginger juice at the first sign of an itchy throat. A combination of ginger and honey can work wonders and can help to cure a sore throat in no time at all.

#2 – Garlic Juice
Having natural antibacterial and antibiotic properties, garlic juice has proven to be an effective solution for people who catch cold easily. Take two teaspoons of garlic juice in a glass of warm water and it can heal your sore throat without the need of any medications.

#3 – Licorice Root Tea
Known for its naturally sweet and mild flavor, licorice root is another great herbal remedy for a sore throat. According to herbwisdom.com, licorice root “soothes soreness in the throat and fights viruses that cause respiratory illnesses and and overproduction of mucus.” Licorice root is also widely used in treating stomach ulcers, as compounds in the root are useful for lowering stomach acid levels – relieving heartburn and indigestion, and even acting as a mild laxative.

#4 – Pineapple Juice
Did you ever think that pineapple juice could help you when you are suffering from a sore throat? In addition to providing a good source of vitamin C and manganese, pineapple juice contains bromelain, a combination of protein-digesting enzymes that is only found in pineapples. Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center are looking into bromelain as a potential treatment for many conditions including viral and bacterial infections – although UMMC advises taking bromelain as a supplement to get a higher concentration of the enzymes.

#5 – Watermelon Juice
Watermelon is more than 90% water, so it’s great for keeping yourself hydrated. It’s also a good source of vitamins C and A. And watermelon is a traditional cure for sore throats in Chinese herbal medicine. A glass of cool, sweet watermelon juice can cool your sore throat and help to bring relief.

When to Seek Medical Care

The CDC published recommendations about when you should seek medical care for a sore throat. They encourage you to get assistance if you or your child exhibit any of the following symptoms:

• Sore throat that lasts longer than 1 week
• Difficulty swallowing or breathing
• Excessive drooling (young children)
• Temperature higher than 100.4 °F
• Pus on the back of the throat
• Rash
• Joint pain
• Hoarseness lasting longer than 2 weeks
• Blood in saliva or phlegm
• Dehydration (symptoms include a dry, sticky mouth; sleepiness or tiredness; thirst; decreased urination or fewer wet diapers; few or no tears when crying; muscle weakness; headache; dizziness or lightheadedness)
• Recurring sore throats


• 10 Ways to Soothe a Sore Throat – http://time.com/3772261/soothe-sore-throat/
• Ginger & Honey for a Sore Throat – http://www.livestrong.com/article/265676-ginger-honey-for-a-sore-throat/
• Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) – http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-licorice-root.html
• Fresh Pineapple Juice & Bromelain – http://www.livestrong.com/article/486718-fresh-pineapple-juice-bromelain/
• Lu, Henry C. Chinese Natural Cures. New York, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc. Copyright 1986.


Hygiene being #1 or #2

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Hygiene being #1 or #2
Sam Coffman “Herbal Medic”

Sam CoffmanHygiene and sanitation, how prepared are you really in regards to  and (in the worst case) coping with gasto-intestinal disease in a post-disaster environment?  Today, on The Human Path Sam Coffman discusses everything you ever wanted to know (and some things you maybe didn’t!) about purifying your water, taking care of human waste, and dealing with gastro-intestinal distress, using both orthodox medicine as well as a plant-medicine (herbalism) and common sense.

hygiene and sanitationNot only do we need to have several different “hygiene / sanitation” alternatives for purifying our water and cooking or preparing our food, but we also have more than one sanitation plan.  This means having enough water to stay relatively clean as well as having a way to dispose of human waste.  What are all your options?  You should be prepared to deal with hygiene and sanitation in several ways, because you can’t always know what to expect or what you will have to work with.  The key here is to be informed and to be adaptable to any situation.
Do you know what kind of diseases and toxins you need to be concerned with through your water and your food?  Do you know what kinds of filtration works with what kinds of pathogens and what kinds of toxins?  If you do get sick from bad water or food, what are the top antibiotics and top medicinal herbs you should have available (or be able to find)?  Join Sam Coffman as he shares his experience as a Special Forces medic in the field, working with exactly these types of issues on hygiene and sanitation in remote, post-disaster and medically under served environments.
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Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs

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The wise medic will store antibiotics to deal with infections in survival scenarios, but what happens when a bacteria becomes resistant to them? In other words, a “Superbug”?

In the U.S., 2 million people are infected annually with bacteria resistant to standard antibiotic treatment. At least 23,000 of these will die as a result. In an increasingly overburdened health system, resistant microbes are responsible for a huge increase in the cost of caring for the sick.

This article will discuss antibiotics and the epidemic of resistance that has spawned a growing number of superbugs.


Antibiotics are medicines that kill micro-organisms in the body. Amazingly, the first antibiotic, Penicillin, was discovered entirely by accident in 1928 when Alexander Fleming returned to his lab from a vacation. He noticed that a lab dish with a bacterial culture had developed a mold known then as Penicillin Notatum. Around the mold, an area had developed that was clear of bacteria. Further study proved the potent germicidal effect of the compound processed from the mold.

By the 1940s, penicillin was in general use and credited with saving many lives during WWII. Since then, more than 100 different antibiotics have been identified and developed into medicines.

Antibiotic Overuse

The huge success that antibiotics had in eliminating bacterial infections caused them to be used excessively. Liberal employment of antibiotics is a bad idea for several reasons:

  • Overuse fosters the spread of resistant bacteria.
  • Allergic reactions can occur, sometimes severe.
  • Antibiotics given before a diagnosis is confirmed may mask some symptoms and make identifying the illness more difficult.

Antibiotics will kill many bacteria, but they will not be effective against viruses, such as those that cause influenza or the common cold. They are also not meant as anti-fungal agents.



Viruses are largely unaffected by antibiotics


Most will be surprised to hear that almost 80% of the antibiotics used in the U.S. don’t go to people, but to livestock. This is not to treat sick livestock but to make healthy livestock grow faster and get to market sooner. No one knows for sure why antibiotics have this effect, but the gross overuse on food animals is a big reason for the epidemic of resistance seen today.

The Superbug List Grows Longer

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has compiled a list of close to 20 bacteria that have shown a tendency towards antibiotic resistance. They include various organisms that cause severe diarrheal disease, respiratory issues, wound infections, and even sexually transmitted disease.

The CDC’s list:

  • Clostridium difficile
  • Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)
  • Drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter
  • Drug-resistant Campylobacter
  • Fluconazole-resistant Candida
  • Extended spectrum β-lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBLs)
  • Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE)
  • Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Drug-resistant Non-typhoidal Salmonella
  • Drug-resistant Salmonella Typhi
  • Drug-resistant Shigella
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis
  • Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA)
  • Erythromycin-resistant Group A Streptococcus
  • Clindamycin-resistant Group B Streptococcus


There have been no effective treatments identified for some of the above microbes, as in the case of multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis. MRSA, Methicillin-Resistant Staph. Aureus, was responsible for more deaths than AIDS in recent years.


Although this is the CDC’s list of superbugs that affect the United States, they aren’t the only ones. A new type of Malaria, a very common parasitic disease of warmer climates, is turning up that is resistant to the standard drugs.


Viruses are “resistant” to antibiotics by nature (in other words, they are unaffected by them) and include Influenza A, Swine Flu, Ebola, Bird Flu, SARS, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). These will be discussed in detail in a future article.


An Effective Strategy


Strategy #1


Many believe that antibiotic-resistant Superbugs listed are exotic diseases that could never affect their community. With the ease of commercial air travel, however, cases of antibiotic-resistant diseases from afar can easily arrive on our shores.


Recently, a case of multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis was identified and then isolated at the high level isolation unit at the National Institute of Health in Maryland. Although we have increased our capacity for handling this type of patient significantly since the arrival of Ebola in the U.S. last year, it wouldn’t take much to overwhelm our facilities.



Therefore, the medic must have a plan to decrease the chances for antibiotic-resistant infections. The main strategy is to hold off on dispensing that precious supply of antibiotics until absolutely necessary, but other strategies include:


  • Establishing good hygiene practices: Everyone should be diligent about washing hands with soap and hot water or hand sanitizers. Good respiratory hygiene includes coughing or sneezing into tissues or the upper arm, but never the bare hands.
  • Supervising sterilization of water, preparation of food, and disposal of human waste and trash. Contaminated water and food will lead to many avoidable deaths in survival scenarios. Make sure that food preparation surfaces (counter tops, etc.) are disinfected frequently.
  • Dedicating personal items: Personal items like towels, linens, utensils, and clothing may be best kept to one person in an epidemic setting.
  • Cleaning all wounds thoroughly and covering with a dressing. Skin is the body’s armor, and any chink in it will expose a person to infection.
  • Social distancing: When a community outbreak has occurred, limiting contact with those outside the family or survival group may be necessary to stay healthy.
  • Keeping a strong immune system: Getting enough rest, eating healthily, and avoiding stress will improve a person’s defenses against disease. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to achieve these goals in times of trouble.
  • Going natural: Allicin, a compound present in garlic, is a natural antibiotic that is thought to have an effect against some resistant bacteria like MRSA. Crush a clove and eat it.



Preventing the spread of infections, especially antibiotic-resistant ones, is important to maintain the viability of a survival community. If you’re the medic, have antibiotics in your storage but use them wisely. If you do, you’ll help prevent not only resistance, but a lot of heartache if things go South.


Joe Alton, MD

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10 Off-Grid Reasons You Should Stockpile Baking Soda

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10 Off-Grid Reasons You Should Stockpile Baking Soda

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Those little orange boxes of baking soda are handy to have in your refrigerator to get rid of unpleasant odors and on your pantry shelf to use in baking, but there are good reasons you should store this amazing resource for emergencies.

Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO₃) is a compound that contains the mineral nahcolite and is found dissolved in many mineral springs. Historians know that ancient civilizations, including the Egyptians, used baking soda for many purposes around the home.

Often priced at about $1 for a one-pound box and even less expensive when purchased in bulk quantities, baking soda is an affordable and important part of your off-the grid supplies.

Here are 10 reasons you should stockpile baking soda:

1. Personal hygiene. Baking soda is an ingredient in many types of toothpaste, and you can make your own by mixing it with some water. Baking soda also freshens breath. Simply mix a teaspoon into a glass of water and gargle.

You also can use a paste of baking soda and water to remove dirt and stains from the hands and body. Or pat some baking soda under your arms for a natural deodorant.

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Baking soda works well as a dry shampoo. Sprinkle some baking soda into your roots and then work through your hair. Brush well, and your hair will look and smell fresher.

2. Medical uses. Baking soda is a natural heartburn reliever, since it helps to neutralize the acids in your digestive tract. Mix a half teaspoon of baking soda into a cup of water. Stir until dissolved completely. Drink once every four hours. This remedy is for adults only and should not exceed five teaspoons per day.

A baking soda-water paste is an effective way to soothe the pain of sunburn and insect bites and stings. It also can soothe and protect areas of chafing on the body, such as between the thighs.

3. Indoor cleaning. Baking soda works as a gentle abrasive cleaner on all your kitchen and bathroom surfaces, including counters, sinks and tubs. With water and elbow grease, it will power out many stains without worry of scratching surfaces.

Try using baking soda to remove cooked-in or burnt-on food on your pots and pans. Remove all excess food and then place a layer of baking soda on the stain. Cover with about two inches of water and bring the pot to boil. Remove from heat and let it sit overnight. In the morning, you should be able to wipe the remains away.

10 Off-Grid Reasons You Should Stockpile Baking Soda

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4. Outdoor cleaning. You can use a baking soda-water paste to clean your outdoor grill and outdoor furniture.

In addition, its mild alkaline content makes it a safe cleaner for your car. Mix one-fourth cup of baking soda in a quart of warm water. Apply with a sponge or soft cloth to all car surfaces, including chrome, light covers, tires, vinyl seats and mats.

5. Clean batteries. You can neutralize corrosion on batteries with baking soda. First, be sure to disconnect the terminals. Then apply a paste of three parts baking soda and one part water with a damp cloth to clean away corrosion. Wipe dry. Then reconnect the terminals.

6. Clean drains. Did you know you can safely clean sluggish drains with baking soda? Simply pour one-half cup of baking soda down the drain and flush with boiling water for quick results. An added bonus? Your drain will smell better, too.

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After your drain is running better, sprinkle some baking soda in your sink – even stainless steel ones – and scrub with a damp sponge or cloth for a shiny surface.

7. Laundry. Baking soda can be used alone or as a boost to your regular laundry detergent. Add one-half cup to your washing machine load to help balance pH levels.

You can use baking soda to freshen and deodorize bedding and sleeping bags in between washings. Sprinkle on the bedding and let the baking soda set for about 15 minutes. Then shake well outdoors to loosen and remove the baking soda.

8. Put out fires. In an emergency, you can use baking soda to smother fires in clothing, fuel, wood, upholstery and carpet. Baking soda can be used for electrical fires as well, and the good part is it will not ruin some items, as water will.

9. Deodorizer. Baking soda does a great job of absorbing odors. In addition to your main refrigerator, you can use it in coolers and portable refrigerators as well.

Sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom of your garbage cans to neutralize odors there.

Here’s another deodorizing tip: If a skunk sprays your dog, add a cup of lemon juice, a box of baking soda and a half-cup of shampoo in a warm bath to help kill the odor.

10. Cooking. You can use baking soda to safely clean your fruits and vegetables before eating them or cooking them. Scrub them with a clean brush and a paste of baking soda and water. Then rinse thoroughly.

You can decrease the cooking time for dried beans with baking soda. Add a tablespoon of baking soda to the water you soak the beans in overnight before cooking them. It not only cuts the cooking time in half, but it makes the beans more digestible for most people.

Finally, here is one more reason you need to stockpile baking soda. You can use it to make a rehydrating drink for survival situations. In cases of severe dehydration, when other methods of rehydrating are not available, here is an effective option.

Mix the following ingredients together:

      • 1 quart of water
      • ½ tsp of baking soda
      • ½ tsp of table salt
      • ¼ tsp of salt substitute (potassium chloride)
      • 2 tablespoons of sugar
      • Fruit juice as flavoring (optional)

Have dehydrated person take small sips of the solution every five minutes until he or she begins to urinate normally.

Do you know of other uses for baking soda? Share your tips in the section below:

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Low-Cost Survival Hygiene: How To Make Lye Soap From Fat and Wood Ashes

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how to make lye soap from wood ashes and fatOne of the most prominent uses for wood ashes is as a soap-making ingredient. Lye soap is actually quite old, having been used by many different cultures and societies around the world as a way of profitably reusing meat drippings and the remains of old campfires. For the preparedness minded, lye soap is a convenient cleanser for the body and many other surfaces in addition to being an easily transportable barter item.

Follow the link below to learn…

How To Make Lye Soap From Fat and Wood Ashes