What you need to know about “Truck Guns”

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You have most likely heard the old adage “I have my pistol to fight my way to my rifle.” This is certainly something I believe in, though I hope to never have to. But I also believe in the old adage, “Better safe than sorry.” Especially in my line of work. I hope for the […]

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3 common disasters that could result in devastation

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Editor’s note: PlanandPrepared.com welcomes Tony C to the website. Tony first realized the how ill prepared he was following the 2008 stock market/housing collapse. Tony vowed to change that, and has been preparing him and his family ever since. He’s a proud husband of 20+ years and a father of two boys. You can find Tony […]

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May Question of the Month

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TGN Community members:

What successes have you had using information you learned in The Grow Network’s Home Medicine 101 course?

Please leave your reply in the Forums by clicking here: https://thegrownetwork.com/forums/topic/successes-using-information-in-home-medicine-101-course/

Thanks so much for letting me know!

 

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8 tips first time gun buyers need to know BEFORE they buy

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With all the political hubbub out there about firearms, I know that there are MANY people who do not own a firearm, but are now seriously considering getting one. And to those people, I strongly urge you to do so. Our 2nd amendment rights are under attack. So now is the time to exercise your […]

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Get your intel here!

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Get your intel here!
David Jones “Prepping Up with the Jones “Audio player provided!

This week’s show has two great guests on one great show. We start off the show with Mark Budro, one of the founders of Sentinel Intel Group. These are the subscription-based information agency that analyzes open source information and writes easy to read articles explaining how this information will affect you and yours. Sentinel Intel Group is a Veteran Owned Business that you can count on for the information you need before you need it.

Continue reading Get your intel here! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

April Question of the Month

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TGN Community members, please let us know:

In addition to The Grow Network, what are your favorite resources for information on gardening, homesteading, and home medicine? (What magazines do you read, sites do you visit, and groups do you belong to?)

Please leave your reply in the Forums by clicking here: https://thegrownetwork.com/forums/topic/what-are-your-favorite-resources-for-gardening-homesteading-home-medicine-info/

Then, stay tuned—we’ll be compiling your answers into an article soon!

 

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4 Tips to Plan Financially for a Disaster

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Natural disasters can strike at any time, and often with little warning. Today the United States, along with the rest of the world, is facing one disaster after the other — ranging from mass shootings to earthquakes and hurricanes. That said, when a disaster strikes, it’s nice to think of yourself as a heroic person, […]

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The slippery slope of gun control – An Editorial

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Editor’s note: In the past several weeks, the attack on gun rights and gun owners has exploded. I have been a 2nd amendment supporter, but now I feel like being just a supporter is no longer enough. I need to become an active advocate. As a result, I have decided to use my platform here […]

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8 ways to fight off boredom during a grid-down event

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I read so many articles on dealing with SHTF scenarios. Everything from bugging out, what gear to have, how to get home, to what to eat, etc. But I see very little on what people can do with their down time during long-term grid down situations. And trust me, after a few days without electricity […]

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The fight for the right to defend yourself is VERY real

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I have deliberately tried to stay away from politics on this site. I have said many times that I believe preparedness should transcend political, religious, and ideological beliefs. Disaster can strike at any time, and does not discriminate. That being said, I firmly believe that part of being prepared is being ready and able to […]

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Using SDR for SHTF Information Gathering!

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Using SDR for SHTF Information Gathering
Micheal Kline “Reality Check” Audio player below

If the Internet crashed or was restricted due to FCC regulations and you wanted to get the news how would you do it? With small, $20 piece of hardware and a computer you can listen to police, fire, and EMS. Did you know that you can track aircraft flying in your area? SDR allows you to see any commercial and civilian aircraft within a very large area.

Continue reading Using SDR for SHTF Information Gathering! at Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Bugging out – Categories of 3

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Bugging out represents a major disaster scenario, especially for me. I’d much rather bug in and “ride the disaster out” at home if at all possible. But I also understand not having plans for bugging out is a recipe for disaster. So I have created plans in the unfortunate event that I have to leave […]

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How to use Christmas to Get Your Friends and Family Into Prepping

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by Tara

Gathering together with friends and family during Christmas time can be a prime opportunity to introduce preparedness into their lives – or expand on a small interest in survival and the skills they already possess.

We can do far more than simply hand our loved ones an Alice packed filled with gear that costs us a small fortune and they won’t know how to use, anyway. Giving a gift, no matter how nice and well-intended, will not help save the lives of those we care about if it is simply tossed into a closet to gather dust.

Sure, they might recalled where the bag or similar item, was tossed a few years back, but grabbing the gear when in the midst of panic because the SHTF, is definitely not the time to open it up and try to figure out how to use all the survival supplies still packed carefully inside.

Top Ways To Give the Gift of Preparedness This Christmas

Give Multi-Purpose Gifts

Instead of wrapping up a gas mask to give a non-prepping loved one, buy or make a gift that is an essential part of living a prepared life, but does not necessarily wreak “SURVIVALIST.” Teaching those folks we want to live through a doomsday disaster how to do it will require baby steps, if they are not at all currently inclined to embrace our self-reliance mindset.

Car emergency kit in a caddy you make or buy. This is a perfect preparedness gift for a teenage driver, an adult child going off to college, or someone who has a lengthy commute to work, or drives long distances for vacation.

Several years ago my husband bought white 5-gallon buckets, painted a red cross on them, and carefully packed a bunch of emergency car items inside, for all of the teenagers and young adults in the family. They all loved the gift, and enjoyed digging through their buckets and asking questions about all of the treasures they found inside.

He included a small amount of silver so they could barter for gas or other essentials during an emergency situation.

Bread machines also make great preparedness gifts. Learning how to make bread, even if using electricity to do it, will help enhance the self-reliance skill set of a loved one. You can buy or make (printed recipes placed in a binder) a bread making cookbook that is filled with pioneer style recipes that also offer instructions on how to make bread and baked goods the old-fashioned way, without the aid of modern technology.

Buy a sewing machine and some basic supplies, including a binder full of free patterns downloaded from the internet. Learning how to sew using modern technology will still teach the basic skills needed to sew by hand or using a manual machine. I recently scored one at an auction for a cheap price, parts are still available for them and they are really a lot easier to use than I thought.

• Build or buy a small forge to introduce the basics of blacksmithing to a loved one.

• If the loved one lives on property that has ample firewood available, yet the person does not have a fireplace, buy or build an attractive fire ring or self-contained patio version of the same and a nice ax (decorate the ax by adding an engraved or wood burnt design on the handle) to start introducing outdoor skills to the loved one.

• Solar charger that can handle powering a cellphone, emergency radio, or similar electronics.

A set of handheld radios for a couple.

• A gardening kit in a bucket. Sew a tool caddy onto the bucket and put some seed packets, a gardening book (printout in binder) and some planting hand tools inside. The introduction to growing your own groceries could inspire the loved one to expand their gardening skills further.

• Give the loved one a chicken – ok, maybe not to take home with them, but buy or hatch a chick that belongs to them – and so will all the eggs the hen produces. Give a photo of the chick to the love one to keep and email or text photos and videos of the chick as it grows. Hopefully, the love one will be intrigued by their gift and start coming over to your homestead/prepper retreat to spend time with the chicken and collect their own eggs. Present the gift with some of your own farm fresh eggs inside an attractive egg-collecting basket.

• Make a target or an entire target range, for friends and family who enjoy shooting guns and bows. You can paint a deer onto a piece of plywood, make hanging and moving targets out of painted tin cans and milk jugs. Paint interesting targets on an old sheet, cut them apart, and secure them to a bale of straw for a cheap and fun bow target.

• Forage some seasonal goodies from the woods and put them in an attractive container along with a field guide the loved one can use to find their own free food. If possible, make a delicious smelling soup, stew, or meat rub using the forage food to include with the gift.

Buy a dehydrator and fill several Mason jars with food you have dehydrated from your garden. Include a dehydrator recipe book with the gift, as well.

• Make a batch of mead or wine in your still and give it along with either a complete still or directions on how to make one, to a love one you want to inspire to become more self-reliant.

• Using an old pallet, make a vertical herb garden and gift it to a non-prepping loved one.

• Build a cold frame out of scrap wood an an old window and gift it along with a bucket of compost and seeds to a gardening fan who would enjoy learning how to start their own seeds or expand their growing season.

• Need a big gift for an adult child or their entire family? Dig them a pond and stock it with fish. Present a homemade gift card for the stocked pond along with a fishing pole or cookbook designed for anglers.

• Buy a tent and or camping supplies and give it along with a gift card for a nearby state park.

• Have a loved one that already enjoys gardening but doesn’t can their harvest? Get them started with a basic set of canning tools and a cookbook filled with recipes – or a printout of your own recipes placed inside of a binder.

• Build a bench, cabinet, or piece of outdoor furniture and present it to the loved one with a gift card for free woodworking training sessions.

• Put a compass, binoculars, emergency whistle, a homemade walking stick and handmade map inside of an Alice pack. The map will lead the loved one to the rest of their gift that you have hidden in the woods.

• Make an attractive wood crate and fill it with canned and dehydrated goodies from your garden. Present it with a photo of an outlined patch of dirt with the loved one’s name spray painted on the grass to mark the area you are gifting them during the next growing season.

• During your annual Christmas party, feed the guests only long-term storage food to eat. Give each loved one their own packet of long-term storage food to take home with them.

• Give a sampler of essential oils and spices in an attractive basket or wood box along with a printed guide of how to use them to make natural home remedies.

• Make a health and beauty kit filled with homemade toothpaste, shampoo, household cleaners, skin care items, chap stick, and similar items along with directions for how to make the natural care and cleaning items themselves.

• Hand tools, like a manually-powered drill, pocket augers, etc. for the men on your Christmas list that love tools, but only know how to use the kind that plug into the wall.

• A set of cast iron cookware and a cookbook on how to use and season their indoor/outdoor cookware.

• Attractive composting pail with a lid and a printout of how to cultivate quality soil, how to test the soil, and the best items to compost.

A grinding mill with a cookbook full of recipes to use when making your own wheat flour, cornmeal, and acorn flour – along with a delicious fresh out of the oven bread you made after grinding your own flour. Present the gift with an attractive bag of dried corn, wheat berries, or acorns.

• Oil lamps. Fill them with colorful oil, put a pretty lamp cover on them, and include a printout that details how to make lamp oil using olive oil, vegetable oil, and how to make your own wicks.

• A miniature fruit tree or non-native dwarf fruit tree in a container that can be moved indoors during the winter.

Cut starts from your own native fruit trees and berry bushes and present them with an attractive wood sign that can be staked into the ground. Put a catchy phrase, the loved one’s name, or other personal message on the sign that will be placed at the entrance to the fruit grove. If only a single tree or a few bushes can be planted due to the smallness of the loved one’s yard, that is fine too, and still worthy of an attractive sign as part of the gift.

• Give a fermentation crock along with a cookbook of recipes that can be made using the crock.

• Expand the knowledge of an avid canner in your family by giving them a cookbook that will teach them Amish or off grid methods of food preservation – along with some extra Mason jars or lids, can’t ever have too many of those!

• Fill a bucket or basket with homemade fire starters for the folks on your list who have a wood burner or fireplace, or already enjoy camping. Give a printout with directions on how to make your own fire starters.

• Give a squeeZo food mill along with a cookbook teaching them how to make their own jams, jellies, and tomato juice.

• Expand upon the woodworking or wood cutting outdoors skills a loved one already has and buy them a portable sawmill attachment for his or her chainsaw so they cut their own boards.

• Have a loved one that already keeps chickens? Spend just a few dollars to purchase plans detailing how to build their own egg incubator – add a gift card for the supplies required if it fits your budget.

• Give a dinner and a movie – a survival movie and a complete meal comprise only of long-term storage food, including a powdered drink and ice cream or some other sweet dessert.

Arts and Craft Survival Skill Building Kits

While having fun making something cool, any man,woman, or child who receives these kits will be learning a new skill that can come in handy after the SHTF.

• Leather craft kit
• Knife making kit
• Pottery wheel
• Bow making kit – you can make a recurve or even a compound bow, out of PVC pipe and a few other easy to find and cheap materials.
• Buy a reloading kit for the guy and gals that already like to target shoot and hunt. Help them take their skills to the next level by learning how to make their own ammo.
• Cheese making kit
• Soap making kit
• Candle making kit
• Basket making kit
• Weaving kit
• Herbal salve making kit
• A tabletop butter churn and related supplies.
• Rope making kit
• Knot tying kit
• Lap loom kit
• Chap stick making kit
• Sling shot making kit and target
• Solar cell making kit
• Solar mechanics kit
• Weather station kit
• Soldering iron with mini projects kit
• Moccasins making kit
• Make your own knife sheath kit
• Make your own wallet kit
• Make your own gun holster kit
• Build your own transistor radio kit
• Build your own tool belt kit
• Build your own picnic table kit – hardware but wood not included with the kit, add a gift card to the local hardware store.
• Build your own solar light kit
• Make your own fishing lures kit
• Make your own cat condo or tower kit for the feline lovers on your Christmas list.
• Sew your own dog bed or dog car seat cover kit for the canine lovers on your shopping list.

Self-Reliance Gifts Especially For Kids

While none of these gifts are likely on the top of the Christmas list for the children in your life because they are not advertised during cartoon television shows, they will inspire and intrigue the little ones and quite possible become one of their most memorable presents. You can find these toys, or the supplies to make them, from a vast array of both brick-and-mortar and online retailers. I chose specific titles for each toy that matched the ones used on most big box store websites, including Amazon.

• Build an off road car kit – for kids

• Build your own fairy house or dollhouse kit – get the girls in the family interested in woodworking and using tools.

• Tin can microphone kit – teach children how to communicate without the use of technology and how sound travels.

• Build your own engine play set for kits – for ages 10 and below about $25

• Build your own V8 engine kit – less than $60 from most retailers

• Build your own internal combustion kit – less than $50 from most retailers

• Build your own robot kit

• Simple machines making kit

• Child’s sewing machine with kits or free downloaded patterns for making their own doll clothes, pillows, and other simple beginner projects.

• Make your own catapult kit

• Build your own car kit

• Make a no-sew blanket kit

• Make a metal detector robot kit

• Water science kit

• Build a power air rocket launcher

• Build your own guitar kit

• Child gardening kit – make this yourself and save a lot of money while providing a much larger gift. After purchasing the standard gardening tools and gloves available at most farm and garden stores, add a whimsical tool caddy to a small bucket and fill it with items similar to the ones used in the adult version. You could also include small clay pots and art supplies so the child can decorate their own gardening containers to put outside or in a windowsill.

• Build your own blue tooth speaker

• Take apart car or motorcycle kit

• Fishing pole and tackle box

• Homemade coupon book for learning sessions or field trips designed to get them outdoors and learning.

• Child appropriate shooting range to go along with a BB gun, Nerf gun, bow with suction cup arrows, or even a squirt gun. I made a kiddo shooting range on our prepper retreat and it is a hit with kids of all ages. When using squirt guns, I fill the guns with colored water so the children can track who hits what target and where.

• Glow in the dark paracord bracelets kit

• Barbie and similar dolls with outdoor and hunting accessories – these only became readily available last year. Tractor Supply and Rural King are a great place to find these type of non-traditional dolls for little girls.

Survivor Kid: A Practical Guide to Wilderness Survival book

• Make an obstacle course out of wood, tree stumps, rope, old tires for your children or grandchildren. The children will be building strong bodies and learning how to overcome obstacles while competing against each other or their own previous completion times.

• Built a wood playhouse or clubhouse WITH your children or grandchildren. They children can learn how to use tools safely, how to design a simple structure. How to sand wood, sew curtains, make simple furniture to go into the playhouse or clubhouse, and how to “power” their play structure using solar lights. Print off a photo of a one or more of the many playhouse or cubby houses, and use it as part of a homemade gift card to unwrap when presenting the gift.

• Purchase make-believe camping gear – cook stoves, lanterns, and even glowing campfires complete with wood that can be “chopped” with a toy ax, are available online. You can also make your own pretend fire, logs, and an ax – as well as play camping food, out of felt.

After looking at the high price for felt pretend camping and food items online, I decided to make my own, and they were (and still are) a huge hit with the grandchildren. I used toilet paper and paper towel rolls to give shape and weight to the stuffed ax and knife that I made out of felt. I also made a fishing pole (same type of handle crafting) with a magnetic end, felt fish with magnets inside, and a fold out pond themed play mat to introduce fishing skills to the toddlers and preschool age children who frequent the playroom at our house – and for rainy day fun for children of all ages.

Survival Related Games

Ok, so these gifts will shout “PREPPER!” in the minds of the recipient, but the box coverings are enticing enough that even someone who mocks your self-reliant lifestyle won’t be able to resist opening it up and playing just once. That one time will likely get them hooked, even if they don’t want to admit it.

The preparedness game recipient will start to learn about survival skills from inside the comfort of their own homes. Playing the games will surely get your love ones thinking about how they would handle the situations they are presented with and leave them pondering the many possible types of disaster scenarios and responses that, being non-preppers, they really hadn’t paid any mind to before.

Doom and Bloom Survival – This is my absolute favorite survival board game, and not simply because its creators, Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, are acquaintances of mine. The medical professionals created one of the most in-depth, realistic, and exciting survival games on the market.

In Doom and Bloom Survival, a SuperFlu has gone global and your character is one of the lucky survivors. The marauding hordes have ravaged the wilderness, leaving no readily available resources. You can find the essentials needed to survive, but only if you overcome the obstacles required to acquire and keep them. The supplies will definitely give you and edge in your quest to survive.

You must find the few settlements left to give your group a temporary safe haven, after scouting the camps carefully first. The survival board game is designed to be played by 2 to 4 players, but can be adapted to be played either alone or by up to 6 players. It takes about half an hour to 2 hours to play, depending upon the chosen scenario.

City of Horror – Game players have to battle a marauding horde of zombies that are invading their city. This game not only touches upon the technical aspects of survival related to the presented scenario, but the mental and emotional ones as well. To win…survive, you may have to choose to forge partnerships you would prefer not to enter into or betray your friends.

Players can control more than one City of Horror game character at one time and capitalize on their respective abilities. During the game, which typically takes about an hour and a half to play, participants search for a zombie vaccine, while scavenging for supplies, as they attempt to reach an evacuation helicopter before becoming a snack for the walking dead. This survival board game is designed for three to six players.

Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game – This cooperative fun for the whole family preparedness board game teaches players about 25 of the most important medicinal and edible plants they will find in the woods. Players connect icon on the challenge and “trouble” cards with the appropriate plant card.

The players must use strategy during the drama-filled game if they are going to make it up the mountain safely and reach Huckleberry Patch – and then get back to grandma’s house, before darkness falls. If the you don’t make it back on time, you will still survive, because grandma is a loving soul and will go out into the wilderness to find you.

The storytelling aspect of the game should entertain both children and adults. Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game is designed for 1 to 4 players and comes complete with a story download that enhances the board game experience.

Oh No… Zombies! – In this competitive game, your character is trapped inside a building that is surrounded by zombies . Modern conveniences, such as cellphones and landlines, are no longer worker. If you get bit while trying to escape, you turn into zombie and attempt to attack the other players. If you get out of the building, you must try to make your way to a store and find available supplies, which include a gun and a radio. The game takes about 30 minutes to play and is designed for 2 to 4 players.

Harvest Time – This family game teachers how important it is to work together to complete an important task. All of the players have to do their part to harvest all the crops out of the garden before the weather turns col enough to frost and ruins all of their food. Harvest Time is designed for 2 to 4 players who are ages 3 to 7 – and the adults who love them. Players work together to complete the harvest before winter comes

The Appalachian Trail Game Backpacking Edition – Players must learn how to identify both plants and animals, garner the concepts of camping skills, basic first aid, in order to make it off the trail successfully and safely. The game is appropriate for at least middle elementary school age children, but remains an engaging learning experience for adults, as well. Players learn about the history of the Appalachian Trail while playing the game. To win the game, you must use all the gear in your backpack to make it from one end of the trail to the other.

Let’s Go Hiking – This is another cooperative family style game where all players work together to overcome obstacles. The playing group enters the woods with only minimal equipment and most track as many animals as possible. If the characters are too loud or are not camouflaged enough, they will not be able to find the players and “take their picture.”

The players can become injured while in the woods and require first aid. The game, which is designed for 2 to 6 players, takes about 30 minutes to play and also educates about various aspects of life in the woods, including plant life.

Outdoor Survival – This cooperate game is an ideal way to introduce the concepts of preparedness to older children and non-prepping adults. The group of players are lost way out in the middle of a vast wilderness. They must battle the elements, wild animals, find potable water, and food, in order to survive. It takes about 40 minutes to play Outdoor Survival. The game is designed for 1 to 4 players.

Conflicted – If your family and friends are more into card games than board games, check out the Conflicted – all of which inspire thought-provoking learning and fun
Each scenario in the various decks presume the SHTF and the world is in the midst of complete chaos.

The cards are dealt to each player and they take turns reading a question to the person sitting next to them. The player has only 3 minutes to explain how he or she would deal with and survive the situation presented. The other players rank their response and the person with the most points at the end of the game, wins.

SHTF Books Non-Preppers Should Receive for Christmas

Many survival book designed to teach or expand preparedness skills overall or on a specific topic exist and are worthy of our hard-earned money. But, for a non-prepper gift, a scenario driven SHTF book will be a better fit.

The reader will learn from the survival action successes and failures of the characters – but will not be subjected to material that is over their heads, could be essential buy rather dry reading, or would immediately turn them off and convince them to close the book and toss it back up on the shelf…forever.

Survival books, especially Dr. William R. Forstchen’s One Second After, also make excellent gifts for non-prepping friends and family. This book, the one that caused Forstchen to be dubbed the “Father of the Prepping Movement,” teaches awareness, in an often heart wrenching way through the scenarios the heroes and villains, and a folks in between, go through in order to survive and hold onto power.

One Second After begins just shortly before disaster strikes and allows the reader to become fully immersed in the life of the main character, his family, and small town community as the full impact of life post-apocalypse unfolds.

Even non-preppers should find the book almost impossible to put down. Thankfully for folks coming to One Second After more than a decade after it was written, there are now equally great sequels that bring more thought provoking scenarios to ponder about what happens post-SHTF once “order” is restored to at least some parts of America. The book is also available in audio book format.

Lights Out Saga is another excellent scenario driven book. The storytelling focuses on what life is like as the doomsday disaster is happening. The confusion that something really bad is actually going and the desire to remain stationary and wait for the government show up to help, by the general populace, should inspire non-preppers to become more self-reliant after they finish the book – likely before they get to chapter 3!

David Crawford’s characters are extremely easy to relate to for both preppers and non-preppers.

If you make or buy any of the gifts for non-preppers on this list, whether for Christmas or another gift giving occasions, please share their initial reaction and any future preparedness actions that ultimately resulted from your inspiration gift, in the comments section below.

4 Essential sleep tips during SHTF

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Editor’s note: Please welcome Will M. to Planandprepared.com. William enjoys learning how health affects our bodies during tough conditions. This subject has been an interest of his since he was a little boy. In his free time, you will find him camping and reading non-fiction books. The work of a prepper is never done. You always […]

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Top 7 “Prepper” gifts for non-preppers

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Chances are that as a prepper, you most likely have those family members or friends that you love and care about who are not completely on board with the idea of being prepared. Maybe they see preppers as “kooky”. Or maybe they just choose to live their life with their head buried in the sand, […]

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What’s in your SHTF library?

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What’s in your SHTF library? Forrest Garvin “The Prepping Academy” Audio player below! On this episode of the “The Prepping Academy Join Forrest and Tenderfoot will hit the bookshelves and pick their favorite prepping and survival books. Listen to this broadcast or download “What’s in your SHTF library?” in this player! In any crisis situation, … Continue reading What’s in your SHTF library?

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6 things to consider when buying a rifle optic

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From time to time I get emails asking about rifle optics. It’s a great question I enjoy discussing. To answer that question, there are several different factors that need to go into the decision-making process. I thought I’d take a look 6 factors that you need to consider when purchasing an optic for your rifle. […]

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6 everyday things you can do to stay prepared

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When it comes to being prepared, you will find so many great articles on things like bugging out, food and water storage, 72 hour kits, etc. All of it is very pertinent information. But often times, I see the little, everyday things that people can do to be more prepared get overlooked. While these things […]

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Want Information? The Round Table Grand Slam!

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Want Information? The Round Table Grand Slam! Have you ever felt unsure, will it work kind of unsure? You’ve spent a lot of time and preparation putting this one together and the variables that could cause a major malfunction are many. Check the list and recheck, what was missed? When you’re all done you give … Continue reading Want Information? The Round Table Grand Slam!

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6 Gifted Preppers Sitting at The Round Table and the Subject?

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6 Gifted Preppers Sitting at The Round Table and the Subject? In seeking to be a little more self-reliant and independent we strive to learn all we can. We find ourselves, spending countless hours searching endless resources because no one person has the answer to all our questions. There are those self-proclaimed experts that believe … Continue reading 6 Gifted Preppers Sitting at The Round Table and the Subject?

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What you need to know about prepper physical fitness

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When it comes to prepper equipment, the absolute most important tool every prepper owns is the one between their ears! However, that soft, squishy grey matter is very fragile, and MUST be protected at all times! Fortunately, we have a self propelled, self repairing protective cover for our brain. Capable of great feats, our bodies are […]

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Whats your media diet?

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Whats your media diet? James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio player below! We Drudge, we Prepper Website, we SHTFplan and we may even Future Danger from time to time. As preppers and survivalists we consume a lot of media. In fact, its one of the more addictive parts of this whole process. There are tons … Continue reading Whats your media diet?

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The Three Best Ways to Feed Yourself in a Survival Scenario: Hint – It’s Not By Hunting

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PlanandPrepared.com welcomes Ben Ayad to the site. Ben is an IT project manager and founder of a newbie blog called outdoorstime.com. Ben loves outdoors activities and the nature that God has created, as any human being does. He shares what he knows about outdoors and the passion of other outdoors’ lovers who pride themselves in […]

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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 Prosurvivalist.com Camping can truly be a wonderful experience as long as you’re well prepared and have all the […]

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Separating Fact from Fiction on the Internet

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Separating Fact from Fiction on the Internet Bob Hawkins “The APN Report“ Audio in player below! “3 out of every 5 statistics are made up on the spot” – Abraham Lincoln Did you know… You can have someone transmit a signal from your spare remote key via cell phone & unlock your car door? Or … Continue reading Separating Fact from Fiction on the Internet

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Water Purification for Survival

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Editor’s note: Please welcome Patrick Morrow to the site! Patrick is a freelance outdoor writer. His main focus is on fishing, but he also covers survival, prepping topics, and completes several survival challenges each year. When you find yourself in a survival situation, water should be one of your top priorities. The human body can only […]

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Handing over to You

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I’ve not posted for a while now. Family life, work, busy in the woods and not got anything to add to what has gone on since I started this site. So I’m going to bite the bullet and accept that I’m not going to be posting regularly.

These sites have always been intended for new […]

DESTINYSURVIVAL Land Navigation Interview

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DESTINYSURVIVAL Land Navigation Interview gman Over the last 9 years or so I’ve produced approximately 3,500 LIVE radio broadcasts and have re-broadcasted countless more from other great pod-casters on the 24/7 feed here at Prepper Broadcasting. The rewards are not monetary, what money we bring in pays the costs to run the network if we are fortunate. … Continue reading DESTINYSURVIVAL Land Navigation Interview

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9 firearm training tips to help you survive a deadly encounter

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A while back, I received an email from a guy asking me my opinions on various firearms. The guy had some money to spend, and wanted to know what sort of rifle he should buy. He said he was new to rifles and was asking for my insight. His budget was on the higher end, between […]

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Nuclear Survival: Part Two

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Nuclear Survival: Part Two Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio in player below! Last week’s show on Nuclear Survival (see here) was a great start to a challenging topic, but there is so much more to cover. Chuck Hudson, founder of The Medic Shack survival school, will be joining us again for a second week … Continue reading Nuclear Survival: Part Two

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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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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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Moving into Spring

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The daylight time in the days are getting longer. The weather is warmer but still a bit erratic, global warming you know and things are starting to move.

Firms are moving over to their summer ranges, sales are on for the winter stuff, garden center’s are selling the latest plans and seeds for your garden.

[…]

7 things to remember about cooking in SHTF scenario

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Just about every prepper has stored some food and water in case of a major disaster. That’s one of the first things you began to stockpile right? But did you ever stop to consider ways and means of cooking your food in a serious SHTF scenario? Unless you have a month’s (or more) worth of […]

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AR Wheeler Trigger Guard Install Tool Review

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Editor’s note: Please welcome Evail Juan to Planandprepared.com. 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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4 reasons you’re better prepared when you know archery

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Editor’s note: Please welcome Dave from the archery site Targetcrazy.com. Dave has generously contributed an article on why skill with archery and bows should be a part of your preps! James has kindly let me guest post on his site because I’d like to get you to think about archery. I love the sport and […]

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Storage Issues

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One of the biggest issues I have had with my prepping is acquiring and storing the items I have put aside. There are several reasons for this and I have spent some time and money actually working out and implementing what I think is best for me and mine.

The hardest issue to work around […]

Quick Tips to Survive these 4 Emergencies

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Plenty of articles talk about how to make large supplies and other preparations for various emergencies. In what follows, I want to take a different approach: I’m going to give you nothing but quick, down-to-earth tips of what to do and what not to do when these 4 disasters strike. Keep in mind that, although […]

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10 Must-Have Survival Items for Your RV or Camper

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Editor’s note: Please welcome Angelica Garcia to Planandprepared.com  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 […]

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Why coffee should be a part of your preps

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Editor’s note: Please welcome Liz Thornton to Planandprepared.com! I’m stockpiling coffee in case of a looming SHTF scenario. It’s something I’m taking very seriously and treating as a high priority. If coffee is part of your daily life, here’s why you shouldn’t take it for granted either. Let me take a few steps back and introduce […]

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What you NEED to know about EMPs

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When it comes to possible serious SHTF (Sh*t Hit The Fan) or TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) events, the one that seems to be most “popular” with preppers is a EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) attack. Many popular “prepper fiction” books, such as One Second After, have been written based upon […]

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3 types of Preppers you don’t want to be

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Over the course of this site’s existence, I have received a lot of emails. Many have been very complimentary. Many more have had questions in them, and I try to answer every question that I can. But a few emails I received have been pretty insulting, questioning everything from my sanity to my intelligence to my […]

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How to Fight Off the Elements While Bugging Out

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Editor’s note: Please welcome “Dan Sullivan” from Survivalsullivan.com to the site. Dan is a prepper from Romania, and brings us some advice and knowledge he has gained from prepping in Europe. Please welcome him to the site! If, by some unfortunate turn of events, you determine that your home is not safe and needs to be […]

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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 […]

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Avoid the Fake News Trap: 9 Tips to Get Accurate Information

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fake newsMany of us in the prepper world feel like the news is biased, or at best, incomplete. Lately, “fake news” has been in the headlines, reaffirming that we can’t believe what we see or hear when it comes to the news fed to us by mainstream media.

One prime example happened toward the end of December, 2016, when The Washington Post reported with the sensational headline, “Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility, showing risk to electrical grid security, officials say.” Wow. In the prepper community we are more aware than most of the grid’s vulnerability. Immediately, this story raised concerns — but then just as quickly, fell apart. Turns out that a laptop computer belonging to the Burlington Electric Department had acquired malware. The malware may have been written by a Russian — but malware is readily available for sale on the open market and most computer owners have had malware issues many times. The laptop wasn’t connected to the grid, the malware was removed, end of story. There was never a “Russian operation hack” — not even close.

So why would an established newspaper of record rush to publish a story that was so quickly debunked? Basic fact checking would have saved The Washington Post from much embarrassment, especially after having published this article, condemning “fake news” and listing “fake news” websites.

Even without fake news as an issue, it’s hard to get the full picture in a 30 second “story” or a brief headline. Additionally, many of us assume that when SHTF, mainstream news sources will be unreliable or consist of pure propaganda. And there’s just so much information out there that it seems overwhelming at times. It’s tempting to just ignore it all, and, if you’re smart, you’ve figured out that there’s very little “news” that’s completely believable.

But making wise and effective preparedness decisions means having a somewhat accurate view of what is, and is not, happening. After all, how will we be able to discern an accurate picture when it really matters if we don’t practice discernment now? If you can’t rely on the accuracy of information, then what do you base your survival decisions on?

Avoiding the fake news trap

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you watch or read the news:

What has geo-political significance?

In my history classes, I tell my students to think of this in terms of what might be in history books 40 years from now. In other words, the type of events that could change history. A celebrity marriage or divorce? Unlikely. Two countries ending portions of a nuclear containment agreement? Very likely. Pay attention to those things with geopolitical significance, and ignore the rest. Not every news story is worth your time, and this is a fast way to decide what to pay attention to.

Who, what, when, where, why, and how?

Every story, no matter how short, should cover these bases at a minimum. If, for some reason, the information isn’t available yet, the aspect should still be addressed. For example, if the police are still looking for the bank robber, the “Who?” can’t be answered just yet, but the story should still say they are “following several leads” or something similar. Identify what pieces of the story are missing from the reporting. It’s possible the missing information has been purposely left out.

What part of the story is missing or leaves basic questions unanswered?

If you find that a story is missing some aspect of basic reporting, try to find the missing pieces from another source. For example, many recent domestic terror attacks have involved people of a similar religion or origin, but many mainstream news reports were leaving out this information in reporting, even if it was known. This was an instance where alternative news sources were reporting the information immediately. Details like that could matter immensely when it comes to identifying or categorizing threats (or lack thereof) to your family or personal situation, and you should try to find them.

One very popular strategy by many in the media is using unnamed sources. “An unnamed source reports…” Who is the unnamed source and why isn’t their name being disclosed? Is it possible the source doesn’t exist and the information being passed along is the author’s own opinion? Or maybe the unnamed source is the journalist 2 cubicles over or the political enemy of the main person or cause presented in the story. Be very wary of news reports that frequently resort to this tactic.

What are you observing on the ground and how does that line up with the story that is being reported?

In the most recent election cycle, my friends and I kept counts of political yard signs and bumper stickers. Although our counts weren’t statistically accurate, there was a significant discrepancy between our observations, and polling numbers reported. If a political poll as reported just doesn’t match up with what you are observing, then you might wonder if the polling is accurate. ALWAYS trust what you observe over what you are told. This skill will be absolutely crucial if the SHTF, as most “official” reports are going to be untrustworthy.

Find the original quote or document–what does it say in context?

It’s very common for headlines to say one thing when, in context, the meaning of a statement is completely the opposite. If a statement being reported seems particularly shocking or hard to believe, take a few moments to find the statement from its original source and read it in context. You might be able to find the original speech or interview on YouTube, for example. Watch or read as much of the original context as you can, and decide for yourself what the person meant by the statement. Always trust your own interpretation of any original source over a second-hand account or third party interpretation of what happened.

Are the same descriptors used in similar cases?

A friend of mine just shared an article about political corruption where the political affiliation of the accused was left out. This is a detail that is directly related to the nature of the story, and its omission may indicate a bias on the side of the reporter or news agency. Be alert to missing details, and allow them to tell you something, too.

Similarly, be aware of optics. Images can be used to sway opinion, even if it doesn’t exactly reflect the facts in the news story itself. Journalists know that most people will read the headline, glance at the image, perhaps read the caption, and then draw their conclusions. One particularly obvious example was in the unfortunate shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman back in 2012. Even when the facts emerged that Trayvon was a very tall and mature looking 17 year old, media reports continued to publish a photo of the young man when he was 12. In comparison, they used a mug shot of George Zimmerman taken 7 years earlier and continued to use that photo for weeks. Neither photo was accurate and that did a disservice to readers and viewers everywhere.

Who or what benefits?

This might also be known as “follow the money.” Recently, there have been major headlines about various pharmaceutical drugs becoming very expensive, literally overnight. Why is this happening? The answer to those situation and many others can be answered by asking who benefits from these changes. One caution: it’s not always so obvious as saying, “The greedy companies, of course!” You may have to go back a few layers. Sometimes, alternative news sources will do this for you.

How has the narrative changed?

In the book 1984, George Orwell wrote, “We’ve always been at war with Oceania.” For news stories that have been going on for a while, compare older stories with more recent ones to see how the terminology or perspectives have changed. For example, at the beginning of the Syrian war, there was a “refugee” issue. More recently, the news stories refer to these displaced peoples as “migrants.” Sometimes, the change is because more details have emerged, but more often, it’s because the story is being spun a certain way.

Why now?

In an election year, this question is easy to answer: the information is likely coming out at a certain time in order to hurt a particular candidate or sway voters. But in other times or situations, it may be harder to discern. For example, 24/7 coverage of police shootings overshadowed passage of CISPA, while arguments over flags and bathroom signs covered up the release of 28 pages from the 9/11 report and news of coup d’état’s around the world, and so on. Did you wonder why all the evil clown stories were suddenly in the news? Gotta wonder what was going on at the time that we weren’t supposed to know about. In many (perhaps most) cases, inflammatory issues are probably just being used as a distraction from something that is actually more important.

Action steps to get accurate information and avoid fake news

  • Pick just one or two of these questions posed above and apply them to every news story you hear or read this week.
  • Find a few alternative news sources including at least one overseas news source just for the different perspective. Even if they don’t align with your personal political viewpoints, you will still get information from a different perspective. Then, judge that information next to news from another source or two. For example, you could try:
    • ZeroHedge
    • The Daily Sheeple
    • Stratfor
    • Drudge Report
    • Federalist
    • Slate
    • Shadow Stats
    • InfoWars
    • Blacklisted News
    • The Jason Stapleton Program
    • Storm Clouds Gathering
  • As for overseas sources, you could try the BBC, UK Telegraph, Canada Free Press, or similar. While I’m not necessarily endorsing these sites or their contents, they can at least provide alternative information or perspectives, and get you thinking more critically about news in general.
  • Read books like James Rawles novels, or any of the Economic Hitman booksThe Fourth Turning, or The Next 100 Years. These books offer new perspectives, and they could certainly help shift your paradigm on news reporting and current events.
  • Learn how to recognize false arguments. The Fallacy Detective makes this very easy and helps you identify such tactics as strawman arguments, faulty appeals to authority, an ad hominem attack, and many others. With this information in hand, watch a political debate on YouTube and try to identify the false arguments made by the candidates.

Eventually you will find that single sentences or even phrases in new stories will pop out at you as significant, and you’ll be more comfortable relying on your own observations and conclusions.

Having a more accurate view of the news, and being able to identify what is and is not important, could one day be the difference between your timely decision to act, or missing a critical window of opportunity.

What steps are you going to try this week?

fake news

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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Prepper Food Storage Review – Valley Foods

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When outside companies ask me to do a review of their products, I sometimes have just a little bit of trepidation. For example, what happens if the company sends me their product and I do not like it? That could lead to some awkward moments. So I have tried to be selective of what products I […]

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Hints and Tips on OPSEC for Preppers

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What is Opsec? Well, let me give you a brief example. I bought that shirt (left pic) because I thought it was funny. But I don’t wear it outside of my house. Why? Well, what does that shirt tell you? Other than I have a sense of humor, it says that I maybe I really […]

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Off Grid and Free – A homesteader’s story

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Editor’s Note: Please welcome Ron Melchiore to Plan and Prepared. Ron has lived “Off-grid” and self-reliant for over 30 years. He has a wealth of information on this subject. Here is his story! A chilly hello from the Canadian wilderness! A plethora of websites on the Internet cater to the prepping/off-grid/homesteading communities and it can […]

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How much ammo in your bug out bag?

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I have always believed that when it comes to bugging out, (click the link to learn about when it’s time to bug out) speed is your friend. I have written articles in the past stressing the need to keep your Bug out bag/Get home bag, light weight. The faster you get to your destination, the […]

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Preparing for the Election – Resources Guide

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With the elections just weeks away, I wanted to give some reference for those of you who might be preparing for the results of this year’s election. I also wanted to give you something to think about if you have not yet thought about preparing for it. When I first put this site together, I […]

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New Online Tools

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As many of you are aware there is a backlash going on all over the West against the current political systems and people are rebelling. Brexit, the EU referendums in other countries and hopefully Trump are examples of this. Everyone knows Trump isn’t Presidential material but he is getting the backing because the others are […]

Getting the balance right.

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After several years of looking at what I should be putting aside for an event and adding to my preps at least something every month I’ve come to the conclusion that I will never be ready.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t think I will be unprepared it just means that I don’t feel I […]

Cell phone use in emergencies – Hints and Tips to know

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Having a cell phone during an emergency is EXTREMELY handy, and in my opinion one of the best things you can have on you during an emergency. Being able to contact others for help during an emergency situation is one of the fastest ways to resolve your crisis. As more and more people move away […]

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7 Ways You Can Survive And Thrive In A Tiny House

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Editor’s Note: Please welcome James Burnette from SurvivalPunk.com. In his guest post, James talks about surviving in a “Tiny House”, and why is a good idea. After reading this article, be sure to view the video tour of his tiny house at the bottom of the page! I’m here to prove to you that you can both […]

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10 Hacks for Homesteading with Almost No Money

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Editor’s note: Planandprepared.com is happy to welcome Jack Neely to the site. Jack has a lot of experience as a homesteader and “life hack” guru. Jack is a fitness expert, survivalist, and world traveler. Homesteading is about being self-sufficient and self-reliant. To do this, you need to figure out some hacks to make it easy and […]

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How to know when it is time to bug out

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I receive emails from time to time asking about how you will know when it is time to bug out. This is not always an easy question to answer, as many emergencies strike without warning, and typically the situation remains fluid. I am a big proponent of riding out most emergency scenarios at home. (Click the link […]

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Survival UK Sites – Update

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As per my previous post where I was looking to do something about the forum and was looking for input. I’ve been receiving input and thinking about this during my time off and have had several discussions, including during the NW meet this weekend (Report to follow later this week) and the input is fairly […]

Safety and security tips for Uber

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Uber (Uber Technologies Inc.) is an American multinational on-line transportation network company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile app. This app allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars. As of May 2016, the service was […]

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Building your own AR Revisited – Premium Build

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Several months ago, I wrote an article on building your own AR on a budget. (Click the link if you missed it.) It has become this site’s most popular article as more and more people take an interest in owning and building an AR rifle. In that article, I wanted to give readers the information […]

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Survival UK Sites next steps

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Well after my previous post I received several comments on this site, several comments on the forum, a couple of emails and a couple of phone calls. Thank you all for your input.

A bit of history before we look at what was said.

I started the sites with several ideas in mind.

To provide […]

5 Gun Myths Dispelled

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If you are like me, you love watching exciting “Action” movies. Who doesn’t love a good movie scene with an exciting car chase and lots of explosions? Unfortunately, many times what we see in the movies is NOT what happens in real life. Firearms are no exception. In fact, many times Hollywood (and the public […]

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Prepping for medical issues.

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Been refreshing my medical kits over the last few weeks. I have an interest in staying alive and having some medical kit is a good way of doing that once the basics are sorted.

I’m a great believer in having a good kit with several items as well as some instructional books. I also believe […]

How to start prepping in 5 easy steps

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I receive emails quite often from people who are new to prepping. A few says they have thought about it for a while, but haven’t really got started. I’m sure it can feel like a daunting and overwhelming process to the beginner. But it does not have to be. Being prepared is really not hard if […]

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What you need to know about stockpiling ammo

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Previously, I discussed how to protect your ammo storage long-term. If you missed it, be sure to check it out by clicking here. Now, I want to discuss stockpiling ammo. Maybe I should have written this first, but regardless, here it is. 🙂 I’ll look at the reasons why you should stockpile, I’ll dispel some […]

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Relevant Information with Future Danger!

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Relevant Information with Future Danger DJ Cooper “Surviving Dystopia” On this weeks episode of Surviving Dystopia – Join Author DJ Cooper as she welcomes Future Dan of the preparedness-oriented website FutureDanger.com. A website dedicated to bringing the preparedness community up to date and relevant information. A great resource for new and seasoned preppers the website is … Continue reading Relevant Information with Future Danger!

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Off-grid cooking method – Here is one we recommend

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Editor’s note: I want to welcome Cheryl L (my mom) to the site with her first article! Enjoy! No matter what you are prepping for, at some point in time food preparation must enter into your preps. I am always trying to find ways to cook using a minimum amount of time, energy, effort, and fuel. […]

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Lucky we have started Prepping

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With the cries of doom and gloom from our useless politicians we can be glad that we are ahead of the curve and have been prepping for both WWIII, The UK drifting off into the North Sea and falling off the continental shelf as well as the economic issues such as the collapse of the […]

SHTF Barter…do you need to prep for it?

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I see A LOT of prepper videos and articles out there talking about bartering in a post TEOTWAWKI scenario. They encourage you to get gold, silver, cigarettes, ammo, etc. so that you can trade it after everything goes to hell. But I wonder if that is really a good idea? Is it a good use […]

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5 Items you probably should NOT stock long term

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For many preppers on a budget, the ability to stockpile goods and supplies might be limited. They may have to stock just a little at a time. And in that case, I hope that they are not stockpiling items which maybe they shouldn’t. I wanted to take a look at some items that you may […]

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Opsec, Is it Important?

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Opsec, Is it Important? Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” In this episode I will talk about Opsec (operational security) and if it is important. The need for this in my opinion is extremely important to preppers, and everyone else in today’s world. Today’s world is not the good place it once was, full of people who will … Continue reading Opsec, Is it Important?

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10 Items you should stock up on long term

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Hopefully, as a prepper, you will have some food set back and stocked in case of a disaster. You will have water stored, as well as a few purification methods. You might have a weapon or two stored, and some extra ammunition. (Click the links to find out about water storage, weapons for SHTF, and […]

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Road Rage, Drunk Drivers, etc. – How to remain safe while driving

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Before I get started, please know that this is NOT going to be a Public Service Announcement for driving sober, wearing your seat-belt, or not texting while driving. All of this is common sense stuff you should know and be following. Instead, this article is about how to deal with other drivers’ with road rage, how […]

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You Have To Try This Delicious Onion Pie!

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You Have To Try This Delicious Onion Pie!

Today’s recipe is for and “Onion Pie”. It comes from the Primitive Cookery book and it is absolutely fantastic. It’s very inexpensive and easy but it is perfect for a main dish. Wonderful flavors and textures. You have to try this! ***************************** ***************************** Sign up for our Youtube Newsletter! – http://jas-townsend.com/ytemail.php Standing Crust Video – […]

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7 Rules for carrying your EDC Firearm

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I regularly talk about EDC (Every Day Carry), and the importance of being armed. Being ready and prepared to defend yourself from the “wolves” of this world is something that everyone should be willing and able to do. Fortunately, I live in a state that allows its law abiding citizens to carry a weapon in […]

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Somewhere to call a home.

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Although not really a home as such but I’ve finally got my land sorted out. I’m now the proud owner of five acres of woodlands in the middle of Cheshire. It’ll be my little home from home.

It may not look like much but I’ve got plans for it. It’s a bit out of […]

Progress on the Land Purchase

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Surveys have come back and everything was OK although there was a question about access to fresh water which was news to me.

Seems that there is a water source on the piece of land next to mine that a third party has access to. It seems that the solicitors mixed up the documentation […]

Building the future from scratch.

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Although it isn’t my land yet I went up there over the weekend to have a look around and consider where I wanted to put things.

I took the kids with me as the intent is to let them get involved and I wanted to see what they thought. They loved it with plans to […]

Bugging in vs Bugging out – Which is for you?

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When the proverbial “poop” hits the fan, should you ride out the SHTF event at home? Or should you hit the open road for safer areas? This question has perplexed preppers for years. Many preppers prefer the safety and comfort of home, and make their plans accordingly. Others have a sense of adventure and excitement, and […]

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Leadership

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Like many things there are continual arguments about whether a leader is born or made. I’ll put a stake in the ground right here and say that in my opinion a good leader is born.

Now it is true that you can take that raw talent and train them up to a level that will […]

Burntroot Broadcasting Podcast

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Here is a podcast with myself and Mitch, from Burntroot Broadcasting. We discuss certain aspects of prepping, such as firearms and personal and home defense, ammo storage, etc. The podcast is about 30 minutes long. Click the link below to listen. There are also other great podcasts involving various topics on prepping. So be sure […]

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Using the ‘Cloud’ in Survival Situations

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Using the 'Cloud' in Survival Situations via The Survival MomEvery survival situation we prepare for is unique. No two house fires – or tornadoes or evacuations or hurricanes or earthquakes – are exactly the same. We should never rule out any tool to help us be prepared, since true survival depends on adaptability and versatility more than any single piece of gear. One cyber tool, called “the cloud,” lends itself well to providing vital information at a moment’s notice, anywhere, 24/7. Using the cloud in survival situations is smart and doesn’t have to be risky.

What exactly is the cloud?

The cloud is actually a tangible thing. It is an off-site storage area for your data. You can connect to the storage area securely over the Internet and then access it anytime through the Internet. There are many companies that offer cloud storage – Apple’s iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Flickr, Evernote, Dropbox, etc. If you can create your own server, you could create your own “cloud.”

The main benefit to utilizing the cloud for information storage is that your data is not “stuck” on one device, but is accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection. Gone are the days of those frustrating moments, “Darn! My resume is on my desktop computer and I’m out of town!”

Before the cloud, most people used FTP to share large files and data across the Internet. Now, it’s as easy as sharing a single link.

It’s possible that you have been using the cloud without realizing it. You probably already use a type of cloud for downloading apps and updates for your phone or laptop. With that, you are accessing files someone else has put on a server. Some people use companies to sync or backup entire computer or phone systems. You can opt to only have certain files sent to that kind of cloud.

The cloud isn’t always secure

The downside to cloud storage is that it cannot be 100 percent secure. Data can be hacked and servers can crash – people have had data lost or stolen. If you’re going to use cloud storage, files should be backed up somewhere else. It’s no fun to lose photos or important data in a hack or crash.

Sensitive files should also be encrypted so there is less of a chance of the information being compromised if the data was stolen. Be careful with names and file data. File data can tell a person where, when, and who made a document.

If you do put any names or phone numbers in cloud storage, use encryption or develop your own code for family and close friends. “Mom” is something everyone knows but “Buzz” could be anyone. Think of childhood nicknames or family references that no one else could possibly know about.

To encrypt files, you want to use a public key encryption. Several companies offer online services or software to encrypt your files, such as Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), BoxCrypter, CloudFogger, and SecretSync. There are also cloud companies that offer encryption as part of its services. Encrypted files need a specific decryption tool with your password to view the files.

There is free software available for encrypting files. Read, “The top 24 free tools for data encryption.”

So, why would a prepper want to put anything out there in the cloud?

Preppers are very security minded, sometimes to the point of paranoia, but you know what they say: It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you! Over the past few years we’ve learned that even our own home appliances, cell phones, and laptop cameras can spy on us. So, why put personal, important information out there where it could be accessed by others?

The main reason to consider and use cloud storage is that we don’t stay home all the time, which is where most, or all, of your information is probably stored. Emergency scenarios of all kinds pop up quickly and unexpectedly, leaving us often to wonder, “If I only had my first aid book with me,” or “Where’s that list of essential oils that helps with stomach aches?”

I’ve found myself at the grocery store, wishing I could remember the ingredients to a family recipe. I’ve watched a severe nose bleed happen right in front of me and tried to remember, “Do I tell them to tilt their head backwards or forwards?”

The answers to those questions and thousands more can be stored in the cloud, accessible from a smartphone, tablet, laptop, even a borrowed or public computer. If you lose power and can’t access your computer, your smart phone could access the files you have in the cloud as long as its battery is charged.

Books, manuals, tips, and recipes can reside in a virtual library, if you think of the cloud as your library. Store reference material in the cloud and access it from anywhere in the world. Who cares if you’ve stored a list of sunburn remedies in the cloud or a list of different ways to start a campfire? By all means, store your kid’s summer reading list, names and addresses of pet-friendly hotels, and checklists for various emergency kits. So much of the information we rely on is anything but classified, and yet without it, life suddenly becomes a little more complicated and unsure.

What to store in the cloud for survival situations?

Consider this: If you are evacuated quickly from your home- fire, flood, terror threat- you will not be able to grab everything from your house. What would you still want access to? Perhaps that information should be stored in the cloud, where it will always be handy.

An earthquake or tornado can easily destroy your home and computer in a matter of seconds. Any files you have in the home would probably be destroyed, too. Having your reference material in the cloud means that information is still there for you. If you find yourself having to evacuate, most hotels have at least one computer, with a printer, available for hotel guests.

Store Recipes

If you are visiting a friend’s house and want to share a recipe, you can go grab it off the cloud. Just set up a file called “Recipes”, store your favorites, and have them available, always. Perhaps add another file, “Solar Cooking Recipes,” or “Off Grid Recipes”.

Store Important Contact Info

Sooner or later, you’ll need the phone number of a handyman, your insurance agent, a good roofing contractor, or your doctor. That information isn’t security sensitive, so why not include it in a Note or Folder labeled, “Contacts.” Unless it includes your bookie’s email and phone, there’s nothing incriminating!

Entertainment & Education

If you’re stuck in traffic or at the airport, you could access something in the cloud to keep the children entertained, such as knock-knock jokes or favorite short stories. You could also store spelling lists, book lists, and links to educational websites.

A Solution to a Bad Memory

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for our small electronics to go missing. If you’ve forgotten important phone numbers, dates, your schedule — it can all be accessed on the cloud using a friend’s cellphone. I use Google Calendar, which I access from many different sources and have connected my husband’s calendar as well.

TIP: If your smartphone is rendered useless and you keep reference material on it, simply go to your computer and access those files via Dropbox, Google Drive, or some other cloud storage and then restore all of it to a new phone.

Small Business Owners

Use the cloud to store employee contact information, names of vendors, schedules, reference materials, tax documents, and even employee time sheets.

Other types of information that aren’t of a sensitive nature:

  • Recipes
  • Manuals
  • Medical information
  • Gardening tips
  • Music
  • Weather information
  • Puzzles
  • Movies
  • Smart prepper tips
  • How-to articles
  • Pet information
  • Weapons manuals
  • Directory of repair companies
  • Maps
  • Craft ideas and instructions
  • Knitting and crochet patterns
  • Reference books
  • Insurance companies contact information
  • Downloadable resources from favorite websites and blogs (Read 16 Tips for Finding Reliable Survival Information on the Internet to learn how to find good sources online.)
  • Service manuals
  • Home remedies
  • Essential oil reference materials
  • Lists and photos of edible plants
  • Homeschool material
  • Canning advice
  • Sewing patterns
  • Children’s growth stages
  • Coloring sheets
  • Jokes
  • E-books
  • Foreign language lessons

I can’t say putting information out there on a cloud is for everyone, but it is something to consider. A situation may arise where it would be to your advantage to access information from anywhere in the world. What you store in the cloud and what files you encrypt is up to you.

If you decide the cloud is not for you, make sure you have files backed up in a drive that you can grab easily if you need to evacuate. Consider storing essential documents on a thumb drive or in a binder in a trusted family or friends’ safe in case you can’t get yours from your own home.

SURVIVAL MOM’S NOTE: I use Evernote constantly for immediately accessible online storage. It allows me to “clip” articles from the Internet and store them in one of my Evernote Notebooks. I have a few favorite websites and can file all clipped articles in separate Notebooks, one for each site. I have a Recipe Notebook, a journal, Goals Notebook, and several more. It’s a great resource.

Using the 'Cloud' in Survival Situations via The Survival Mom

Steady State Prepping

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For many of us prepping is a way of life. It is something we do day to day and almost everything we do and plan we have considered the prepping impact of. For some it is a big unknown and daunting, especially when you are starting out.

When we start prepping we have an initial […]