Understanding and Mastering the Bugout!

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Understanding and Mastering the Bugout!

Understanding and Mastering the Bugout Process
James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio player below!

For a long time I have been looking for the best way to really dig into the bugout process. There is probably no other part of prepping that has more air time than the bugout. It’s a very popular topic and for good reason. The problem I find, most often, with the bugout is that it is rarely allotted the time it deserves.

Continue reading Understanding and Mastering the Bugout! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Creating an Emergency Plan… Part 2

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Creating an Emergency Plan… Part 2
David Jones “Prepping Up with the Jones “Audio player provided!

Dave has Guy Snodgrass return to finish up how you can create an emergency plan. Guy answers key questions on how to pick a bugout location and more importantly when the right time to bugout is. What are the trigger points that would make you implement your bugout plan and haul butt to your place in the woods?

Continue reading Creating an Emergency Plan… Part 2 at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Creating an Emergency Plan

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Creating an Emergency Plan
David Jones “Prepping Up with the Jones “Audio player provided!

Dave comes back from his traveling shows to have a very special guest Guy Snodgrass on this show. Guy is an author, a publisher and a retired US Army Warrant Office with plenty of time in combat zones and Special Forces. One of Guy’s Prepper endeavors is help people with their emergency plans and evaluating what they have in place.

Continue reading Creating an Emergency Plan at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

How To Build A Shelter/Panic Room Without Being Noticed

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In a time of crisis, it will be to your advantage to have a shelter/panic room for personal and family safety. If you try to hide your activities, there is always a chance that you will slip up. The more people become curious about “loose ends”, the more likely it is they will find out what you are doing and store that information away.

Eve Gonzales of “Trading Post” visits Prepping up!

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Eve Gonzales of “Trading Post” visits Prepping up!
David Jones “Prepping Up with the Jones “Audio player provided!

Dave follows up last week’s Smallpox show with the greatly anticipated return of Eve Gonzales. The last time Eve was on we learned that she has been to every major disaster for the past 14 years and has firsthand knowledge of what works and what don’t work when the gird is down.

Continue reading Eve Gonzales of “Trading Post” visits Prepping up! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

10 Fundamentals Of Air Purification That Could Save Your Life

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Watching the horrors of the fires in California is making more people than usual think about air quality and what to do about it in an emergency situation. Some of these people don’t realize that there is already unfolding crisis when air quality problems appear in the United States.

As asthma and other breathing related problems skyrocket, the question of how to purify air may become crucial. Learn how to purify the air in the event of some other crisis such as a major fire, gas, nuclear, or disease based crisis. Consider both DIY and pre-manufactured options to survive poor air quality.

Here are the ten things you should always keep in mind on this topic.

Finding Out What Needs to be Filtered Now

Before you start buying air purifying systems, find out what you need to filter out, following:

How much dust and “large” sized particulate is in the air?  If you can see a haze of dust, then you will more than likely need at least a MERV 5 or 6 prefilter in front of any other filter that you decide to buy for your system.  (MERV is an acronym that stands for Minimum Efficiency Rating Value.

The higher the number after the MERV designation, the smaller the particles and greater percent of them the filter is capable of removing from the air.  3M and some other brands use the MERV rating while other manufacturers use different designations.  In all of them, the higher the number, the better the filter.)

How much pollen, mold, and mildew spores are in the air?  You will either need to build an Arduino unit for detecting particles this size and slightly smaller, or purchase a pre-manufactured meter for this purpose.  While it takes some effort to learn how to assemble and program Arduino boards, they are also very versatile.

This means you can add different kinds of sensors to the board at a fraction of the cost of buying them separately.  When it comes to detecting gasses and toxins, you will find that Arduino controllers are truly your best and most affordable option.

If you are looking specifically for mold and mildew, you can also purchase testing strips or kits that can be used to capture spores from the air.  After you collect these samples, you can send the kit off to the lab to find out what kind of microbes are present.

While these kits are highly specific insofar as what is actually in the air, they are not reusable.  In addition, no matter what kind of mold or mildew you have growing in your home, the methods for getting them out of the air will be the same.

Since the Arduino system or a pre-manufactured sensor will alert you to the presence particles in the appropriate size range, this may be all you really need to know at this stage.

How much automobile exhaust, methane from waste dumps, and other chemicals are in the air.  In order to detect these gasses, you will need to build your own sensors using an Arduino board. Sadly, even a single device for a single gas can cost several hundred dollars pre-assembled.

By contrast, you will not spend more than 100.00 between the Arduino main board and an array of sensors that will cover most of the gasses that may be in the air right now.

Know What Air Quality Issues that May Occur During a Crisis

No matter how bad the air quality may seem right now, it can get much worse during a major crisis.   Consider that there are several cities in or near the major fires burning in California.  Even though the residents of these areas are accustomed to high levels of smog and other forms of air pollution, the addition of the smoke from the fires is causing many to evacuate.

In a similar fashion, even if you live in a rural area, or some place else with better air quality, there is a chance that a major fire would either force you to evacuate or attempt to clean the air.  Without a question, if you are determined to bug in, or build a survival shelter, then concerns about smoke from fires would be one main reason for focusing a good bit of attention on air purification.

Here are some other crisis related scenarios that would require a good air purification system:

Nuclear attacks where you must be able to filter out dust and other debris.  Since some of the dust may be smaller than pollen or other very small particles, you should be prepared to install at least a MERV 7 prefilter in front of others in the array, and then follow that with a MERV 14.

Remember, during normal operations you may only have one pre-filter in your system, but during a major crisis, a set of washable and reusable pre-filters will be very important when it comes to prolonging the life expectancy of the higher rated filters sitting behind it.

Gas or other chemical attacks.  Unlike pollen, dust, or other forms of debris, it is not possible to filter out gasses by using progressively smaller holes in a filter. Instead, you will need to use activated carbon or some other material that is capable of locking these gasses into the pores of the material.  For gas attacks, as well as most kinds of chemical pollution, you will need filters impregnated with activated carbon.

Biological warfare or germ attacks.  Getting these pathogens out of the air can be very difficult.  You will need at least a MERV 12 filter for the innermost layer of filters, or go as high as a MERV 14 or 15.  Since most hospitals use MERV 14 and above for air based pathogen control, this would be a good choice.

Just remember, however, once you go past MERV-13, even in a home built air purification system, the reduction in air flow may be enough to reduce the overall effectiveness of the system.  If you are going to use higher than a MERV-13, set aside just one or two units, and leave the ones with lower level filters for increasing air circulation.

Must Have Sufficient Air Flow

Did you know that the biggest problem in most homes is the lack of good air flow.  While you may be constantly trying to block off air leaks for the sake of improving heat efficiency, the actual air quality in the house is always going  to be lower than what is outdoors.

This Device Easily Turns Air Into Water!

By the time you factor in pollution buildup from various fumes, odors from normal household activities, and imbalances in humidity, controlling internal air quality may seem impossible.  On the other side of the equation, the hidden secret to most of these problems is as simple as improving air flow throughout the building.

Today, many people mistakenly believe that dedicated air purifiers, electrostatic systems on the central air system, and even de/humidifiers can all do the job without blowing lots of air around the rooms.  This, in turn leads to a situation where most people give up on these expensive systems because they see little or no benefit.

Interestingly enough, the average pre-fabricated air purifying system only puts out between 100 and 500 CFM. As you can see from the tables in these links, that may be enough to filter air in small rooms, but it may not be enough for survival needs let alone modern heavily polluted homes.

By contrast, the average box fan puts out a whopping 2500 CFM, which means that pairing it with the right filters will give you a much better solution.

Filtering out Toxic Gasses

As noted earlier, MERV ratings, and to some extent, even a robust air flow won’t do much when it comes to getting rid of toxic gasses.  While increased air flow can make the gasses easier to dissipate, you will still need something else to capture the gases.

Typically, activated carbon will offer you the ability to filter out the widest number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other toxic gasses.  These filters are also readily available in disposable form and will last for about three months.

For an added layer of purification, you may also want to experiment with the polymers and other materials that are used in gas masks.  In this case, you will need to get ahold of the filter media and then figure out how to make it into a suitable filter.

Remember, when it comes to filter efficiency, the size of the filter is every bit as important as the speed of air moving through it.  A 10” x 10” filter may work just as well as a 20” x 20”, however the smaller filter will fill up faster and either excessively impede air flow or become unable to retain gasses.

Dust, Pollen, and Mold

When you go to the store and look at different kinds of filters, you may be led to believe that the biggest filter will always remove the most particles.  There is, however, a second part to MERV and other efficiency ratings.

Essentially, just because a filter will trap some smaller particles, that doesn’t mean it will remove every particle in that size range that encounters the filter.  As a result, you will find that a MERV 8 or above will be rated for filtering out pollen, however it may only remove 50% of those particles.

By contrast, a MERV 12 may remove well over 80%.

This is just one of many reasons why working with pre-filters is so important when it comes to creating a viable air purifying system.  Since you can easily find lower MERV rating filters in the washable and reusable forms, it is best to use those as pre-filters so that you can extend the lifespan of the higher capacity disposable ones behind it.

Meters and Gauging Success

Once you build a series of meters for detecting indoor air quality issues, you should continue to use them to see if your system is actually working.  While some people will go by changes in how they feel, measurements are still very important for managing a crisis.

A nuclear bomb, a fire, or some other crisis generating event can cause air quality to decay faster than expected. In these situations, you will need the meters to tell you when it is safe to remove gas masks, as well as to gauge how well the system is doing with managing the crisis.

If you keep a good recording of readings on a daily basis, you will also have a chance of estimating the systems effectiveness in other situations.  As an added bonus, if you continue to measure the air quality after the system is built, it gives you a chance to improve efficiency as well as to test out different products to see which ones work best for  your situation.

Recycling and Rehabbing Used Filters

Pleated filters offer the best in terms of filtering out particles from the air, but it can be both expensive and difficult to obtain pleated media in a time after a major social collapse. This is just one of many reasons why you need to learn as much as possible about rehabbing and extending the life of both disposable and permanent air filters.

The main problem with extending the life of pleated filters is they can become a source of microbe contamination. They can also build up quite a bit of mold and mildew as the spores are captured in the filter. If you can find a chemical that won’t ruin the pleated material, but will kill off the micro organisms, it may help you extend the life of each filter.

As with water filters made with activated carbon, it may also be possible to rehab the carbon in air filter media. Failing that, you should know how to make your own charcoal, and then add it to a cleaned up pad based filter.

Remember that these filters can also be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. You will need to make sure you can thoroughly clean them in order to avoid this problem.

Providing Power for Air Filters

A standard box fan is likely to take less electricity than a conventional air purifier.  Sadly, when you have no electricity at all, the fans will be useless.  Unless you can generate enough electricity to power the fans, you may have to look for smaller fans that can be used with batteries.

In many other situations, you might want to consider using gravity powered fans or others that do not require electricity. While these devices may work well enough for generating small amounts of electricity or pushing some air around a room, they are not likely to have enough power to cycle enough air in a short period of time.

That being said, you can always experiment with different fan blade designs to see if you can come up with something that spins faster while using less energy.

What About Ozone Based Air Purifiers?

Aside from trapping particles and gasses, some people claim that ozone generators can also solve air quality problems. Sadly, there is little if any scientific evidence to back up these claims. Here are some of the main problems you may encounter when using an ozone based air purifier:

ozone can interact with other gasses in the air and form even more harmful compounds than the ones you are already dealing with. Because of all the pollution in the air these days, there is no telling what you may wind up breathing in. One thing is for certain, simply changing the composition of a gas molecule doesn’t get rid of it, let alone make it safer.

Ozone cannot actually destroy mold, pollen, dust, or other particles.  If you purchased an ion generator, that may cause larger particles to clump together and fall out of the air.  This is still not as efficient as conventional filter media and a fan.

Aside from creating dangerous chemicals, ozone itself can cause breathing problems.  In fact, if you have an air purifier with an ozone generator, it may be more than worth  your while to see if you can find something that doesn’t generate ozone.

Even in situations where ozone is credited with cleaning up some air problems, it takes months to years to see results. If you must get rid of radioactive dust or other hazardous materials in the air, even a few hours is a long time to sit around in a gas mask.  At least conventional filter media will get the job done in a more reasonable time frame.

Natural Air Purification Methods

Did you know that some plants are capable of removing formaldehyde, methane, and other toxic fumes from the air?  As an added bonus, plants are the only air filtration method available that can use the carbon dioxide removed from the air in order to produce much needed oxygen.

As a result, if you are concerned about air purification for survival shelters, plants may be a very important part of your system.

While some plants are more effective and efficient than others when it comes to filtering gasses, sufficient numbers of them can improve air quality without the need for buying and replacing more effective filters.  Unfortunately, plants won’t get rid of pollen, mildew, mold, and other particles that are also a part of air quality problems.

You can use plants to increase oxygen levels and decrease toxins, however a comprehensive air purifications system will still require filters and the capacity to circulate large volumes of air.

If you do enough research on air purification, you will soon find that it is similar to purifying water.  There is no such thing as one filter, chemical, or device that will satisfy all of your air purifying needs.  The best you can do is start off with a basic filter system and a batch of air cleaning house plants and work upward from there.

It is also very important to start off the process with a suitable set of meters and testing equipment so that you can see how much progress you are making, and how much of an impact various changes make to the air quality.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Survival Lessons To Learn From The Hawaii Missile Alert

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For the last year, tensions have been running high between the United States and North Korea. Increased missile testing by North Korea, with each generation of missiles being more capable than the last, has turned the age-old North Korean threats of nuclear war into a reality that can’t be ignored. Government officials at all levels are renewing emergency plans for nuclear war.

In this, we have returned to the Cold War with the now-defunct Soviet Union. The threat of thermonuclear war, between what were then the world’s two superpowers, caused emergency agencies to stay on their toes, ever watchful for a missile launch that could indicate the end of the world. That sort of watchfulness has once again become real in organizations like NORAD and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

Reinstating Cold War policies means reinstating the necessary systems, as well as testing those systems. It was a simple error in such a test which triggered panic in the Hawaiian Islands on Saturday the 13th. An employee coming on shift ran a test drill of the Emergency Missile Warning System, a normal part of his duties since last November.

But this time, the test went awry. A simple operator error, making the wrong selection off of a drop-down menu on a computer screen, sent the citizens of that state into panic. Rather than selecting “Test missile alert” the operator selected “Missile alert” the type of mistake we all make on our computers on a nearly daily basis.

Of course, when you and I make that sort of mistake, all we usually need to do is click on undo on whatever computer program we are using, in order to rectify the problem. But in this case, there was no undo. The warning went out across the state, informing everyone of a non-existent inbound missile.

One would think that it would be hard to make such a mistake, but in today’s computerized world, it is actually much easier than ever before. While the computer program had one of those infamous “Are you sure” dialog boxes for the operator checked that as well, quite possibly without even reading it.

Since there was no second person in the loop as a fail-safe, the alert went out, creating panic.

Sadly, but predictably, those on the political left are following their mantra of “never let a good crisis go to waste” and blaming President Trump. But Trump had nothing to do with this; nor did the federal government.

The only way the federal government was involved, was that FEMA had authorized use of their emergency notification system. But even that had nothing to do with the present administration, but rather, the past one.

That’s not to say that FEMA didn’t get involved. One of the problems that this false alarm brought to light was that there was no easy means in place to post a retraction. State officials, working with representatives of FEMA had to come up with a quick fix system to post that retraction, which delayed notifying the population of the error by 38 minutes (actually, very fast by government standards).

So there was no real emergency and no real danger at any point in the process, other than that caused by panicking people. Nevertheless, it was a unique situation and one that we can learn from. So, what sorts of lessons can we find in this blunder?

First of All, Missile Threat Warnings

The task of notifying the population of an inbound nuclear missile is a huge one. There are over 320 million people in our country that would need to be notified. About the only good thing that can be said is that the federal government has had decades to develop, implement and test the necessary systems.

Even so, I’m sure that there are parts of the country, where people would not be informed.

The entire process starts with a worldwide network of sensors, including satellites. These monitor the surface of the earth, looking for missile launches, nuclear explosions and other events that could pose a threat to the United States.

All this information goes to NORAD, which is once-again housed in their bunker under Cheyenne Mountain.

NORAD’s job is to inform the military and the executive branch of the government, specifically the president, of any launches. They then monitor the launch, projecting the course of the missile and determining where it will land.

But this takes time. The mathematics of ballistic flight are well known, but they have to have enough of a course track to make that determination. So, the first notice that goes out is just a preliminary warning. At that point, they usually don’t even know if it is aimed at the United States.

As the minutes pass, NORAD is able to refine their information and projections. But it can be 10 to 15 minutes before they can identify the exact city that a missile will hit, assuming that it is fused for an airburst in the lower atmosphere. If it is fused for the necessary high-altitude burst to cause an EMP that would blanket the country, they might not know until the bomb goes off.

Missile flight time from North Korea to the central United States is roughly 38 minutes. If you shave 10 to 15 minutes off of that, by the time that the exact point of impact is known, and another few minutes to make the decision to inform the public and get the orders out, by the time the FCC’s Emergency Alert System is put into action, you and I will receive only 15 to 20 minutes of notice, before the nuclear bombs on those missiles go off. That’s it.

The Emergency Alert System uses radio and television to get the word out about pending nuclear strikes and other emergencies. In addition, FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert & Warning system (IPAWS) sends out alerts via text message, the internet, through landline phones and digital highway signs. This ensures the maximum number of people are informed as quickly as possible.

This same system allows emergency information to be sent out for other types of emergencies as well, but those are not our concern at this time.

How to React to a Missile Warning

Missile alerts are general. In other words, we will have no way of knowing how large the warhead is or how it is fused for detonation. So we have to assume the worst and take action based upon that. As the government’s emergency notification systems are geographically specific, receiving a notification means that it is coming towards you, not heading somewhere halfway across the country.

There are two parts to surviving conventional nuclear war: surviving the blast and surviving the fallout. Either one can kill you, even though one will kill you much quicker than the other.

A nuclear blast emits several different types of energy, but for our purposes the important ones are heat, radiation and blast (wind). The farther you are from the point of impact, the lesser any of these will be, but severe damage and injury can still happen as much as 20 miles from the point of impact, depending on the size of the nuclear device and the altitude that it is detonated at.

You should be able to make a guess on how close you are going to be to the blast, based upon the potential targets in your area and where you live. If there are military targets in your city, then you would measure your distance from those targets.

If your city is being attacked as an attack against the civilian population, then the explosion would probably take place downtown, so the farther you are from downtown, the better.

In any case, your best protection is to be underground, in a prepared shelter or bunker. If you don’t have a bunker available, the basement of your home is a good second choice. Likewise, the basement of an apartment or office building will offer more protection than being above-ground. Even an underpass or tunnel offers some protection from a nuclear explosion.

How To Build a Small Bunker in Your Backyard with $400

So the key thing to do, when you receive notification of a ballistic inbound, is to get underground. If you can’t, then seek shelter behind a stout barrier (like a concrete retaining wall), putting the barrier between you and the likely point of impact.

You’ll want to stay in your shelter until after the blast, the wind following the blast and the return wind, as air collapses back to the point of impact. Like a wave approaching and receding from the shore, the windstorm that the detonation causes, radiating outwards from the blast, will return back to the original point of impact.

This is what causes the characteristic mushroom cloud of a nuclear blast.

That same shelter might serve well as a fallout shelter over the next days or even weeks. If you ended up sheltering outdoors, because there was no building nearby, you’ll want to find your way to indoor shelter as quickly as possible, so that you can wait out the fallout. Stay in that shelter until you receive the “all clear” order from the military or government officials.

The only exception would be if you come down with radiation sickness, in which case you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible.

Preparing for Conventional Nuclear War

With the short amount of notice that any of us would receive to an inbound nuclear attack, there really won’t be time to prepare. You’ve got to prepare a safe place to retreat to before such a warning were issued, or it will be too late.

As I already mentioned, the safest place you can be is underground, if at all possible. If you live in a part of the country where the homes don’t have basements, you’ll need to shelter in your home. That’s not ideal, but it’s still better than being out in the open.

You may end up staying inside that shelter for as much as 21 days, without coming out. So you will have to prepare everything you’ll need for surviving that 21 days and have it stored in the shelter. This includes, food, water, sanitary products, some means of disposing of human waste and whatever you will need to meet your family’s medical needs.

It would be a good idea to have a supply of potassium iodine in your shelter as well, along with dosage information for every member of your family. As with many medications, this varies by the individual’s weight. A good hand-crank radio to receive news and notifications over would also be useful.

Train your family of what to do, as well, especially your children. You won’t have time to go to their school and bring them home, unless you happen to live across the street from the school. Rather, you’re going to have to take care of yourself and expect them to take care of themselves.

Otherwise, if you try and rescue them, you might not survive to take care of them.

But if it’s an EMP Attack

While a conventional nuclear strike would be devastating, killing millions of people, that’s nothing compared to the devastation that a high-altitude EMP could cause. In such a case, there won’t be any huge boom, no flashing light in the sky, and no wind or heat to deal with.

All that will appear to happen is that the power will go out and every electronic device will stop working suddenly, even many that are battery powered.

The problem with an EMP isn’t surviving the attack, but surviving the aftermath. Without electricity, most of what we depend on to survive will no longer function. We won’t have heat and cooling in our homes, our refrigerators won’t work, city water service will come to a standstill, sewage lines will stop up and the stores will be empty.

This is probably one of the worst survival situations we can face. It would require becoming totally self-sufficient, harvesting and purifying our own water, growing our own food and heating our homes with wood fires. Preparing for such a scenario is a massive undertaking, one which several entire books have been written about.

One Final Word

As we can see from the false alarm that happened in Hawaii, our government officials aren’t perfect. They can and do make mistakes, just like the rest of us. The difference is, when they make those mistakes, it affects the lives of many more people.

The opposite can happen too. Before Hurricane Harvey reached Houston, city officials contemplated evacuating the city. They ultimately decided not to, because of the problems associated with the evacuation for Hurricane Rita, 12 years earlier.

That threat never manifested, which made the evacuation a greater danger to those who followed the evacuation order, than staying at home would have been.

So don’t just depend on the government to tell you what to do. Develop your own sources of information and make your own decisions. Yes, you will make errors too, but you might not make the same errors that the government is making.


This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

Changes are a Coming?

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Changes are a Coming… to be or not to be?
Lynna… “A Preppers Path” Audio player provided!

New Year’s Day has come and gone already….. as the New Year arrives and begins there are always thoughts of change, perhaps renewal and growth. Winter in the northern hemisphere at least has always been a time of respite, rest, rejuvenation from the passing year. Our ancestors new this to be the time before great change and so it is that we still connect the New Year with that of changes, celebrated with claims or resolutions.

Continue reading Changes are a Coming? at Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

13 Food Storage Resolutions

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Storing food, say a month or two’s worth, is no longer the habit of a fringe group of Doomers. Everyday moms like me have an extra stash of food set away for those “just in case” events. After working on my own food storage pantry for about 9 years now, I’ve learned a lot and […]

The 3-Days Survival Blueprint Everyone Should Follow

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A major disaster hitting in your area might leave you high, dry, and helpless unless you can think ahead, react quickly, and shield yourself and others in a crisis.

If you would only knew in time… And if you would, how much could you do to prep. Let’s say, could you prepare for any disaster in just 3 days?

Let’s see where to start from, and where to head to, in order to survive!


  • “A man’s gotta know his limitations.” – Harry Callahan. While survival is largely a DIY proposition, you have to realize your limitations and when calling in a specialist is your most effective move.
  • A plan needs a Statement of Commander’s Intent (SCI) to keep everyone’s eye on the desired end-result.
  • Using a modified version of the “Rule of Threes” as a mnemonic for survival priorities enables the survivor to plan for a wide range of survival scenarios without missing key priorities.
  • “Skills trump gear.” Is an oversimplification that reflects ignorance of the fact that both skills and gear are necessary to save lives in most life-threatening emergencies. Used effectively, emergency tools and supplies save time and calories, and saving time and calories saves lives.

A Loud Knock at the Door

Let’s say you’re not a prepper, and you are enjoying your favorite TV show when you are startled by a loud knock at the door. You approach the door and peer out.

To your relief, you see a beloved family member staring at her cellphone. It’s been a while as she has been busy with work as the county emergency manager and you are glad to see her. As you open the door, she bursts in and hurriedly explains that there a new airborne pathogen is raging out of control and that the math cannot be refuted.

A global pandemic with a mortality rate above 50% has begun, and the federal government is already frantically preparing. The feds will not announce the threat for 72 hours to give them time to move personnel and supplies, but a longtime colleague at the CDC could not bear the guilt and tipped her off.

She simultaneously pleads with you and issues a mandate that within three days, you must quarantine your home for 90 days to have any hope of your family surviving this without loss of life. You must be ready before the announcement because panic will surely ensue.

You knew that a major disaster was a possibility, but just did not ever think that it would happen during your lifetime. You have never seen the need to prepare before now, but then there was no concrete threat at your door.

Now things have changed and so your vision has changed. You have experienced the all-important paradigm shift and now have precious little time to act.

How much could our survivors possibly prepare in just three days?

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

I know plenty of folks who have been preparing for months, years and even decades who don’t feel they are adequately prepared! Well, I enjoy a good survival challenge, so let’s take a stab at it.

3 Days to Be Prepared Blueprint

Even a relative novice to preparedness would be quick to concede that being prepared involves more than just equipment and supplies.

Our survivors must execute some immediate actions to give them any realistic hope of survival beyond sheer luck and the compassion and forbearance of others.

Immediate Actions

1. Establish Leadership

First things first, someone needs to step forward. A leader must be decided. Chain of command must be established. A state of emergency should be declared. There will be times when they can, and should, be democratic, but this is not one of them.

The leader should explain that this is not permanent. They should also explain why the changes are necessary and clearly describe the circumstances that will bring it to an end and they will step down and things will get back to normal when the family is out of danger.

2. Secure a Plan

Normally, I would say to create a plan, but as the family in our case study could not hope to become experts in any aspect of preparedness in just three days, our would-be survivors would do well to enlist the services of a competent emergency-preparedness expert to guide them in their preparations.

Our new leader does not have to be an expert to execute a well-drafted plan, and everyone would benefit greatly if that plan was drafted by someone with considerably more experience than they currently possess.

A realistic appraisal of the situation and decision to pay the price to bring in an expert would be our new leader’s best move. The plan should be simple and focus on the basics necessary to survive the situation at hand.

3. Execute the Plan

In executing a plan, the family should be instructed to pay attention to the first lines, which will communicate the Commander’s Statement of Intent. It this case, it will should be along the lines of “Enforce a strict quarantine of the structure occupied even if the use deadly force is necessary to enforce the quarantine.”

Systems will be put in place to warn the public to stay out and hopefully make the use of any level of force unnecessary, but since is the number one place the plan could break down, the family must be ready, unflinching and must not hesitate should use of force be necessary. If they pay attention to this, it is possible that everything else could fall into place.

4. Understand Physiological Responses to Danger

For most people, functioning effectively in an emergency is more easily said than done. Academics use the 10/80/10 Rule to describe this: Only 10% of people respond effectively in an emergency, 80% freeze, and 10% panic or respond in ways that are counter-productive to survival, such as drinking seawater or opening an emergency exit on a pressurized airplane at 30,000 feet.

You may have heard disaster survivors describe instances of tunnel vision, tunnel hearing, feelings of time slowing down, instances of victims repeating, “This is not happening.” over and over or outright refusal to recognize threats.

Physiological responses like tunnel vision and normalcy bias occur when the brain provides less detail in effort to prevent us from succumbing to analysis paralysis and freezing like a deer in the headlights. The connection I think academics fail to make is the role that the modern pattern of life we have engineered for ourselves plays in this process.

“Developed” modern city life insulates people from life and death decisions to such a degree that it causes the evolved protective response to backfire, resulting in paralysis, like it evolved to prevent. Understanding that physiological responses to danger exist is the first step to overcoming them.

5. Improvise, Adapt and Overcome

Emergencies are dynamic and even the very best plans do not survive contact with the enemy. Survivors plan to shelter in place and end up having to move to another dwelling or location to survive. It is not the strong who survive, but the adaptable.

The Plan

What might the plan look like?

Depending on the size of the household, the family may benefit greatly by doubling or tripling up with other families as they may not have the manpower to mount an effective watch and secure the quarantined structure. The best candidates would likely be other family, friends or neighbors who are already prepared. Our professional would surely advise them of this need should it exist.

As mentioned under immediate action number 3.) the plan will be headed with a Statement of Commander’s Intent (SCI). The rest of the plan will support this statement. Beyond the SCI, the plan should include pre-quarantine, quarantine, end of quarantine and post-quarantine phases, and should focus on the following principle areas:

  • Quarantine/PPE
  • Security
  • Austere Medical
  • Shelter
  • Water
  • Food
  • Hygiene
  • Communications
  • Morale

Pre-quarantine (The next three days)

I will detail the pre-quarantine phase of the plan since that is that phase that this article deals with. The pre-quarantine focus will be a three-way split:

  • Procurement
  • Preparation
  • Training


Most of the procurement should be done locally. Again, the survival consultant or experienced survivalist uses established best practices (based on a modified rule of threes mnemonic) to guide the family in creating a list of supplies to procure in order of importance and urgency:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Antimicrobial Products, Antibiotics, First Aid & Austere Medical Equipment
  • Air Filtration, Positive Air Pressure, Quarantine and Barrier Materials
  • Zoned, Layered Security, Lighting (and a renewable energy solution to support it), Movement Denial & Self-Defense Gear Including Bullhorns, Materials for Signs, Yellow Quarantine Flags and Field Phones (to act as an intercom and avoid face to face communication and create space and time to react), Firearms, Ammo, Concealed Carry Gear, LBE, Cleaning Gear and Force Multipliers such as Night Vision if resources allow for such.
  • Appropriate Clothing, Heaters, Interior and Personal Lighting, Cordage & Tools
  • Water, Water Treatment, Transport, Storage Supplies, Drinking Water Hoses and Buckets
  • Food Storage, Stove, Cooking Fuel, Fire & Carbon Monoxide Safety Equipment
  • Hygiene Supplies and Accommodations
  • Bug Out Bags, Service Vehicles, Gasoline Storage, Map & Compass
  • Battery-powered Radio Communications Gear
  • Reference Library


A quarantine zone must be established. Ideally, it should establish a posted perimeter to create a reactionary gap and identify the home as quarantined.

The principle aspects of the household must be modified to operate off-grid since infrastructure requires maintenance and an event like this would almost certainly affect the workforce that maintains the infrastructure that the family depends on for power, water and trash pickup.

  • Establish Perimeter, Area Denial, Signage, Communications Points, Entry/Exits & Decontamination Points
  • Seal the Structure, Establish Positive Air Pressure, Air Filtration, Entry/Exits, Decontamination Points and a Quarantine/Treatment Area (in case someone becomes infected.)
  • Establish Security Barriers, Fighting Positions, Listening Post/Observation Post (LP/OP), Guard Posts, Charge of Quarters Desk and Duty Roster
  • Create and Stock Medical Triage and Treatment Areas
  • Establish a Mud Room, Heating Systems and Fuel Stores
  • Establish Water Storage, Treatment, Transport & Hygiene Systems
  • Setup and Test: Lighting, Renewable Energy & Communications
  • Create Hidden Off-site Caches of Emergency Supplies and Weapons (This way you may still be able to survive if your home is captured, destroyed or surrendered to a superior force. Do not inform the children of their existence.)


Three days is not a lot of time, but it is enough time to get a lot done. Luckily for our survivors, three days is enough time for an initial training, followed by three spaced repetitions. This will get the best bang for our buck memory-wise given the time available with the instructor.

After that, the family will have to continue training on their own. Unfortunately, the first day is going to be a long one, but it’s OK if the family doesn’t not have high initial retention. Repetition is the key.

Training sessions will be short, but they will be hands on. The basics of each topic will be introduced the first day and repeated once each day. Classes will be videoed for reference and the family will learn the material knowing that each of them will have to re-teach it. The training regimen will be along these lines:

  • Biohazard PPE & Enforcing Quarantine of an Occupied Structure
  • Quarantine and Treatment of an Infected Individual
  • Armed Self-defense & Defense Drill
  • First Aid
  • Shelter
  • Water Treatment
  • Food Preparation (using the fuels and gear they will be using), Preservation and Food Storage
  • Hygiene Under Quarantine Conditions
  • Renewable Energy, Lighting & Communications


Should we consider a longer-term scenario? The problem is that no amount of stuff can ever make you prepared for a more challenging ordeal, and three days would not give a person who had not started preparing a realistic chance.

Still this less-challenging, shorter-term scenario is more easily survivable, not because training and skills trump gear, but because you need BOTH to realistically give you the best chances and to help prevent the morale compromise and traumatic experiences that result when survivors lack either. If you do not cache supplies, you are not likely as skilled equipped to deal with serious survival ordeals as you think, and cannot possibly know until you are already in the situation … and that is too late.

There is an attraction of carrying a little less equipment and supplies than you need and relying on your wits and skills to see you through. That is an effective way to train and develop antifragility, when you have a safety backup, but not such an antifragile approach to actual emergencies.

It is thinly disguised too little, too late and the story too often ends with a damaged operator, which not antifragile, it is just plain fragile.

The moral here is to prepare. You do not have to identify as a “Prepper” to be responsible, stay fit or to survive a disaster.  The truth is that if you have a first aid kit, exercise or a keep a little cash on hand, you are already preparing for emergencies and fit the widest definition of a “Prepper.”

It is my hope that more people will recognize that emergency preparedness is simply a responsible behavior, just like owning a fire extinguisher, volunteering or brushing your teeth, and that these actions are responsible independent of labels or stereotypes.

This is what actually makes the difference between a victim and a survivor!

This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.

The 3-Days Survival Blueprint Everyone Should Follow

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A major disaster hitting in your area might leave you high, dry, and helpless unless you can think ahead, react quickly, and shield yourself and others in a crisis.

If you would only knew in time… And if you would, how much could you do to prep. Let’s say, could you prepare for any disaster in just 3 days?

Let’s see where to start from, and where to head to, in order to survive!


  • “A man’s gotta know his limitations.” – Harry Callahan. While survival is largely a DIY proposition, you have to realize your limitations and when calling in a specialist is your most effective move.
  • A plan needs a Statement of Commander’s Intent (SCI) to keep everyone’s eye on the desired end-result.
  • Using a modified version of the “Rule of Threes” as a mnemonic for survival priorities enables the survivor to plan for a wide range of survival scenarios without missing key priorities.
  • “Skills trump gear.” Is an oversimplification that reflects ignorance of the fact that both skills and gear are necessary to save lives in most life-threatening emergencies. Used effectively, emergency tools and supplies save time and calories, and saving time and calories saves lives.

A Loud Knock at the Door

Let’s say you’re not a prepper, and you are enjoying your favorite TV show when you are startled by a loud knock at the door. You approach the door and peer out.

To your relief, you see a beloved family member staring at her cellphone. It’s been a while as she has been busy with work as the county emergency manager and you are glad to see her. As you open the door, she bursts in and hurriedly explains that there a new airborne pathogen is raging out of control and that the math cannot be refuted.

A global pandemic with a mortality rate above 50% has begun, and the federal government is already frantically preparing. The feds will not announce the threat for 72 hours to give them time to move personnel and supplies, but a longtime colleague at the CDC could not bear the guilt and tipped her off.

She simultaneously pleads with you and issues a mandate that within three days, you must quarantine your home for 90 days to have any hope of your family surviving this without loss of life. You must be ready before the announcement because panic will surely ensue.

You knew that a major disaster was a possibility, but just did not ever think that it would happen during your lifetime. You have never seen the need to prepare before now, but then there was no concrete threat at your door.

Now things have changed and so your vision has changed. You have experienced the all-important paradigm shift and now have precious little time to act.

How much could our survivors possibly prepare in just three days?

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

I know plenty of folks who have been preparing for months, years and even decades who don’t feel they are adequately prepared! Well, I enjoy a good survival challenge, so let’s take a stab at it.

3 Days to Be Prepared Blueprint

Even a relative novice to preparedness would be quick to concede that being prepared involves more than just equipment and supplies.

Our survivors must execute some immediate actions to give them any realistic hope of survival beyond sheer luck and the compassion and forbearance of others.

Immediate Actions

1. Establish Leadership

First things first, someone needs to step forward. A leader must be decided. Chain of command must be established. A state of emergency should be declared. There will be times when they can, and should, be democratic, but this is not one of them.

The leader should explain that this is not permanent. They should also explain why the changes are necessary and clearly describe the circumstances that will bring it to an end and they will step down and things will get back to normal when the family is out of danger.

2. Secure a Plan

Normally, I would say to create a plan, but as the family in our case study could not hope to become experts in any aspect of preparedness in just three days, our would-be survivors would do well to enlist the services of a competent emergency-preparedness expert to guide them in their preparations.

Our new leader does not have to be an expert to execute a well-drafted plan, and everyone would benefit greatly if that plan was drafted by someone with considerably more experience than they currently possess.

A realistic appraisal of the situation and decision to pay the price to bring in an expert would be our new leader’s best move. The plan should be simple and focus on the basics necessary to survive the situation at hand.

3. Execute the Plan

In executing a plan, the family should be instructed to pay attention to the first lines, which will communicate the Commander’s Statement of Intent. It this case, it will should be along the lines of “Enforce a strict quarantine of the structure occupied even if the use deadly force is necessary to enforce the quarantine.”

Systems will be put in place to warn the public to stay out and hopefully make the use of any level of force unnecessary, but since is the number one place the plan could break down, the family must be ready, unflinching and must not hesitate should use of force be necessary. If they pay attention to this, it is possible that everything else could fall into place.

4. Understand Physiological Responses to Danger

For most people, functioning effectively in an emergency is more easily said than done. Academics use the 10/80/10 Rule to describe this: Only 10% of people respond effectively in an emergency, 80% freeze, and 10% panic or respond in ways that are counter-productive to survival, such as drinking seawater or opening an emergency exit on a pressurized airplane at 30,000 feet.

You may have heard disaster survivors describe instances of tunnel vision, tunnel hearing, feelings of time slowing down, instances of victims repeating, “This is not happening.” over and over or outright refusal to recognize threats.

Physiological responses like tunnel vision and normalcy bias occur when the brain provides less detail in effort to prevent us from succumbing to analysis paralysis and freezing like a deer in the headlights. The connection I think academics fail to make is the role that the modern pattern of life we have engineered for ourselves plays in this process.

“Developed” modern city life insulates people from life and death decisions to such a degree that it causes the evolved protective response to backfire, resulting in paralysis, like it evolved to prevent. Understanding that physiological responses to danger exist is the first step to overcoming them.

5. Improvise, Adapt and Overcome

Emergencies are dynamic and even the very best plans do not survive contact with the enemy. Survivors plan to shelter in place and end up having to move to another dwelling or location to survive. It is not the strong who survive, but the adaptable.

The Plan

What might the plan look like?

Depending on the size of the household, the family may benefit greatly by doubling or tripling up with other families as they may not have the manpower to mount an effective watch and secure the quarantined structure. The best candidates would likely be other family, friends or neighbors who are already prepared. Our professional would surely advise them of this need should it exist.

As mentioned under immediate action number 3.) the plan will be headed with a Statement of Commander’s Intent (SCI). The rest of the plan will support this statement. Beyond the SCI, the plan should include pre-quarantine, quarantine, end of quarantine and post-quarantine phases, and should focus on the following principle areas:

  • Quarantine/PPE
  • Security
  • Austere Medical
  • Shelter
  • Water
  • Food
  • Hygiene
  • Communications
  • Morale

Pre-quarantine (The next three days)

I will detail the pre-quarantine phase of the plan since that is that phase that this article deals with. The pre-quarantine focus will be a three-way split:

  • Procurement
  • Preparation
  • Training


Most of the procurement should be done locally. Again, the survival consultant or experienced survivalist uses established best practices (based on a modified rule of threes mnemonic) to guide the family in creating a list of supplies to procure in order of importance and urgency:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Antimicrobial Products, Antibiotics, First Aid & Austere Medical Equipment
  • Air Filtration, Positive Air Pressure, Quarantine and Barrier Materials
  • Zoned, Layered Security, Lighting (and a renewable energy solution to support it), Movement Denial & Self-Defense Gear Including Bullhorns, Materials for Signs, Yellow Quarantine Flags and Field Phones (to act as an intercom and avoid face to face communication and create space and time to react), Firearms, Ammo, Concealed Carry Gear, LBE, Cleaning Gear and Force Multipliers such as Night Vision if resources allow for such.
  • Appropriate Clothing, Heaters, Interior and Personal Lighting, Cordage & Tools
  • Water, Water Treatment, Transport, Storage Supplies, Drinking Water Hoses and Buckets
  • Food Storage, Stove, Cooking Fuel, Fire & Carbon Monoxide Safety Equipment
  • Hygiene Supplies and Accommodations
  • Bug Out Bags, Service Vehicles, Gasoline Storage, Map & Compass
  • Battery-powered Radio Communications Gear
  • Reference Library


A quarantine zone must be established. Ideally, it should establish a posted perimeter to create a reactionary gap and identify the home as quarantined.

The principle aspects of the household must be modified to operate off-grid since infrastructure requires maintenance and an event like this would almost certainly affect the workforce that maintains the infrastructure that the family depends on for power, water and trash pickup.

  • Establish Perimeter, Area Denial, Signage, Communications Points, Entry/Exits & Decontamination Points
  • Seal the Structure, Establish Positive Air Pressure, Air Filtration, Entry/Exits, Decontamination Points and a Quarantine/Treatment Area (in case someone becomes infected.)
  • Establish Security Barriers, Fighting Positions, Listening Post/Observation Post (LP/OP), Guard Posts, Charge of Quarters Desk and Duty Roster
  • Create and Stock Medical Triage and Treatment Areas
  • Establish a Mud Room, Heating Systems and Fuel Stores
  • Establish Water Storage, Treatment, Transport & Hygiene Systems
  • Setup and Test: Lighting, Renewable Energy & Communications
  • Create Hidden Off-site Caches of Emergency Supplies and Weapons (This way you may still be able to survive if your home is captured, destroyed or surrendered to a superior force. Do not inform the children of their existence.)


Three days is not a lot of time, but it is enough time to get a lot done. Luckily for our survivors, three days is enough time for an initial training, followed by three spaced repetitions. This will get the best bang for our buck memory-wise given the time available with the instructor.

After that, the family will have to continue training on their own. Unfortunately, the first day is going to be a long one, but it’s OK if the family doesn’t not have high initial retention. Repetition is the key.

Training sessions will be short, but they will be hands on. The basics of each topic will be introduced the first day and repeated once each day. Classes will be videoed for reference and the family will learn the material knowing that each of them will have to re-teach it. The training regimen will be along these lines:

  • Biohazard PPE & Enforcing Quarantine of an Occupied Structure
  • Quarantine and Treatment of an Infected Individual
  • Armed Self-defense & Defense Drill
  • First Aid
  • Shelter
  • Water Treatment
  • Food Preparation (using the fuels and gear they will be using), Preservation and Food Storage
  • Hygiene Under Quarantine Conditions
  • Renewable Energy, Lighting & Communications


Should we consider a longer-term scenario? The problem is that no amount of stuff can ever make you prepared for a more challenging ordeal, and three days would not give a person who had not started preparing a realistic chance.

Still this less-challenging, shorter-term scenario is more easily survivable, not because training and skills trump gear, but because you need BOTH to realistically give you the best chances and to help prevent the morale compromise and traumatic experiences that result when survivors lack either. If you do not cache supplies, you are not likely as skilled equipped to deal with serious survival ordeals as you think, and cannot possibly know until you are already in the situation … and that is too late.

There is an attraction of carrying a little less equipment and supplies than you need and relying on your wits and skills to see you through. That is an effective way to train and develop antifragility, when you have a safety backup, but not such an antifragile approach to actual emergencies.

It is thinly disguised too little, too late and the story too often ends with a damaged operator, which not antifragile, it is just plain fragile.

The moral here is to prepare. You do not have to identify as a “Prepper” to be responsible, stay fit or to survive a disaster.  The truth is that if you have a first aid kit, exercise or a keep a little cash on hand, you are already preparing for emergencies and fit the widest definition of a “Prepper.”

It is my hope that more people will recognize that emergency preparedness is simply a responsible behavior, just like owning a fire extinguisher, volunteering or brushing your teeth, and that these actions are responsible independent of labels or stereotypes.

This is what actually makes the difference between a victim and a survivor!

This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.

Bug Out Locations!

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Bug Out Locations!

Bug Out Locations
Forrest Garvin “The Prepping Academy” Audio player below!

There are various scenarios from the possibility of natural disasters to post-apocalyptic chaos that prompt people to find secret locations where they can exist off the grid. When there’s a natural disaster that covers quite a large area – like a hurricane, the necessity arises of moving elsewhere where you have food, water and a place to stay until things are back to normal.

Continue reading Bug Out Locations! at Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Back To Basics – Basic Preparedness!

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Back To Basics – Basic Preparedness. Forrest Garvin “The Prepping Academy” Audio player below! On this episode of the “The Prepping Academy” Forrest and Tenderfoot are going to be discussing getting back to preparedness basics. What are you getting prepared for? What skills do you need? What do you need to purchase? Listen to this … Continue reading Back To Basics – Basic Preparedness!

The post Back To Basics – Basic Preparedness! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

What About your Post Apocalyptic Career?

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What About your Post Apocalyptic Career? James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio player below! In all actuality a crushing economic downturn or even serious nuclear disaster will not mean the end of commerce. It may not look like it used to but you are still going to want to have value in the world. You … Continue reading What About your Post Apocalyptic Career?

The post What About your Post Apocalyptic Career? appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

6 Simple Tricks To Survive An Urban Wildfire

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Truly horrific fires occurred over the last decades and centuries. Right now, the situation in California is grabbing a great deal of attention because so many people believed it would never happen this quickly and while other areas of our nation are underwater from hurricanes.

Our environment continues to change, so you can expect more massive fires in areas where they may not have happened before. That’s why you need to be ready to escape from massive fire no matter where you live.

If you are prepping on a budget, you might not afford expensive options. But there are things you can do to protect your assets in case of a huge fire like those that California is facing right now, and be ready to leave your home in your search for safety.

Keep reading for the tips that might change your life in case of an urban fire!

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

1. Protect Documents and Digital Media with Fire Retardant Packages

When it comes to safeguarding important documents, many people immediately think of using a safe. But safes are not the beginning and ending story when it comes to fireproofing. In fact, the vast majority of “fireproof” safes on the market cannot withstand a fire for more than an hour or two at most.

So if you leave the safe behind while evacuating a massive fire, everything inside might be destroyed upon returning to the site. Rather than invest your money in a  large fireproof safe, buy one or more small fireproof boxes that you can pick up quickly and put in your vehicle. You’ll have a better chance of moving them to a place of safety without losing the benefits of a fireproof container.

If you are looking for the lightest weight, and most budget-friendly option, choose fire retardant pouches or envelopes. They are usually lined with fiberglass and will not catch fire unless the surrounding temperature reaches 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Before you select a pouch, check the information from the manufacturer about the temperatures that it can withstand, as well as if the pouch is waterproof. A fire retardant pouch is still like a safe in the sense that if the temperatures get too high, the items inside the safe or pouch may still be destroyed by high temperatures even if the flames never touch them.

Fireproof pouches are still very useful to put in a bug out bag or anywhere in your vehicle where you might want to keep important documents that you will need in the event of an evacuation.

Aside from paper documents you can also store cash, USB drives, an emergency smartphone for accessing important files, and other small devices that may be of use to you during the evacuation and afterwards.

Digitizing as many of your documents as possible and storing them on portable drives will also be of immense benefit. Digitize photos, scan books, or anything else made from paper that you don’t want to lose in a fire.

When combined with EMP proof bags kept inside the fireproof pouch, you will add the ability to protect your electronic devices and media from this problem as well as fires and floods.

2. Always Have a Bug Out Bag Ready and in Your Vehicle

Even if you live in a place where you don’t think you would have to evacuate from a fire, it is still absolutely necessary to have a bug out bag packed and ready to go in your vehicle.

Packing a bug out bag in preparation for evacuating a massive fire is not so different from any other situation. You will still need tools and materials on hand that you can use to:

  • purify water
  • obtain food
  • control your air quality
  • manage medical needs
  • defend yourself
  • send and receive information and communicate

At the beginning your tools may be as simple as a mirror, a magnifying glass, a bandana, water cleaning straws, a sewing kit, a knife, a flash light, and a solar powered battery charger.

If you are on prescription drugs, have at least a month’s fresh supply ready to use in your bug-out bag. If you use herbs or essential oils for medicinal purposes you should also have those already prepared and in your bug-out bag.

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

Finally,  insofar as the most minimal preparations, have at least one day’s worth of water and food in the pack itself plus a change of clothes, wet wipes for cleaning, and a plastic water bottle. Include edible electrolyte solution (such as Pedialyte), protein powder, and daily vitamins.

Should you find yourself in a situation where you cannot hunt or obtain food some other way; these light weight, inexpensive items can get you through for some time.

It will also help to keep at least 5 days worth of food and water in your vehicle at all times – MREs or other similar pre-packed meals, or store away canned and dry goods that can withstand being in a vehicle for long periods of time without spoiling.

If you do not have room for dozens of plastic bottles filled with water (keep a minimum of four for each person, though to get started), there are collapsible versions on the market geared specifically for preppers.

Choose the clearest bottles that you can find, so that you can set them in the sun if necessary, and use them for UV water purification.

3. Make Sure You Can Access Live Traffic Updates

A fire of immense size – like California fires – can change direction very quickly, meaning that a road you thought would be open may actually be in flames while you are on the move.

You should always watch the fire itself, the smoke from it, and the wind directions, but you still need live traffic updates for your area. These updates will tell you if the road several miles ahead becomes closed off, as well as the possibility of roads that are still open and safe for you to take.

Usually, it is foolhardy to use your smartphone or other distracting electronic equipment while you are driving. But live satellite maps and other views of the region would show you exactly where a massive fire is heading, and it can save you from getting cut off from a vital road way or another path to safety.

Look for apps that can be used for this purpose. Choose a safe time of day to practice with them so that you can integrate them more easily while you are evacuating.

Also, have at least one backup cellular and data sim from a different provider, and at least one unlocked WIFI phone on hand. You should always know how to install the SIMs or operate the phone without one.

4. Do Not Delay Evacuation

Large fires are similar to hurricanes and other environmental disasters in the sense that the sooner you leave the area the better.

Leaving early gives you a better chance to reach a safe location, and it will also help you avoid all of the traffic and other problems associated with large numbers of people trying to evacuate at the same time.

While you may be tempted to wait until an official order comes through to evacuate, it may be better to leave sooner.  Ideally, you should be packed and ready to go as far as needed before a fire even threatens your area.

5. Be Able to Reach, and Thrive in at Least 4 Safe Locations

In these difficult times you might not put even a few dollars away each time you get paid. But it will be even worse if you have no money to travel with and a fire is due to hit your area. One of the best things that you can do for yourself right now prioritize setting aside some travel money. You should have at least enough money to reach four pre-designated safe areas both nearby and at a distance.

Large-scale fires can quickly travel over hundreds of miles, so be prepared to leave the state that you live in, and remain in a distant location for some time. You can use anything from prepaid debit cards that you continue to add money to, or simply set cash aside in a safe place.

As many people have found in Texas and other areas hit by natural disasters, it can take months to years before the insurance companies pay out on the claims, and don’t assume that they’ll pay any faster just because you lost everything in a large scale fire. So, when you  evacuate, be prepared to begin a new life wherever you wind up.

Here are some options that you can try to work with so that you can get back on your feet as quickly as possible while you are waiting for things to resolve in the area where the fire hits.

  • Discuss with friends and family the possibility that your home will be destroyed, and find out who can give you shelter in a time of need. Offer reciprocal shelter in case they are also looking at fires or other natural disasters that can strike their area.
  • Whatever your job or means of support is, either begin liquidating your assets, or look for some other way to make money.  If you have a hobby or any viable skills that aren’t currently being used at a job, think about starting a sideline business.
  • Once you know of friends or family that can take you in a time of need, begin studying the employment, schools, housing, and other aspects of the community. The more you learn about each area, the easier it will be to fit in once you arrive.

If you can’t stay with anyone, then look for alternative forms of shelter in a safe location. Depending on your credit rating, you might get an apartment or some other form of permanent shelter. You can also try long-term stay hotels or other forms of housing where credit checks and job checks are not necessary.

Make sure that you can afford to live in these places until you secure a job or other means of support. Ideally, you will have a sideline income in place before a fire hits that you can rely on no matter where you go.

If you have children, make sure that you know where they are at in their studies, and they can start over again as quickly and easily as possible. Prepare digital versions of their textbooks or anything else that they might need for study, including age and grade appropriate websites where they can obtain study materials.

In addition, once you have your four areas picked out, use social networking and other resources to help your children meet other children in the area. Sometimes having a friend online can make it easier to fit in once your child is physically in the new school area.

Worst comes to worst, your child will have a broader network of friends, which can be useful in helping your child feel comfortable with people from other areas.

6. Disperse Valuables Before a Fire Hits

If you only had one hour to pick all of the things of value in your home to bring along, you might be surprised at how many things you would miss once it’s too late to save them. Aside from things that you really don’t care about and don’t mind selling off, there are keepsakes and other valuables that cannot be replaced, nor can they be judged by monetary value.

Find a way to secure these keepsakes, in a place where it would be highly unlikely for large-scale fires to develop. You can rent a storage shed in another state, or if you have enough land, try to bury your valuables deep underground (note, this is distinctly different from living safely underground in the presence of a massive fire).

Building a fireproof underground shelter that will last for years can be difficult and time-consuming. Look at different building plans, and choose the best materials  before starting the building.

Going through all of your valuables can be difficult and challenging. Once you are done with the process, however, evacuation will be much easier, since they will already be in a safe place. Unlike others who will be dealing with the emotional burden of losing so many valuables, you’ll already be past that point, and better able to focus on starting over again.

When you are facing a large-scale fire, don’t give up on yourself, or your capacity to manage the situation. Make sure that you are ready to evacuate, and to pick up your life as quickly as possible no matter where you wind up.

That’s what being a survivor is all about! Are you able to do it?

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Do You Think You’re Financially Safe After Retirement?

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Of all the challenges facing us for retirement, financial challenges are very likely the greatest. Times have changed since our parents’ generation, and so most of us Baby Boomers don’t have the retirement packages that our parents had.

Oh, the companies we worked for might have talked a good talk, but when it comes down to it, what we thought we might get and what we will really get may not be anywhere close to the same thing.

So how are we going to make it though our retirement years?

The WHY? Question has a Simple Answer

Part of the problem is that the law has changed, affecting how companies handle retirement benefits. I distinctly remember when that happened, back in my teen years. Before that, even working for a company for a few years could qualify you for retirement. But after that, you needed a minimum of seven years to be vested at all and 20 years to be fully vested for retirement.

What does that mean? It means that if you worked for a company for seven years, you will get a minimal retirement, something like ten percent of full retirement. You have to have worked for the same company for 20 years, in order to receive a full retirement. How many of us have done that?

The truth of the matter is, it’s not just the way that employers handle things that have changed, but how we handle them as well. Few people work for a company for more than a few years, before moving on to another. What that means is that they are never fully vested for retirement in any company.

In my own career, I have worked long enough to be minimally vested in only two companies. I took a buyout for my retirement fund from the first one, as I was starting my own business and needed the money. So I only have retirement from one of those two companies; and that comes to a whopping $110 per month. Oh, and I left that company as an engineering manager, so you’d think that I would have more than that coming to me.

Many of my school chums are in even worse conditions than I am. They either didn’t have as successful a career as I did or they moved around more than I did. The result is that they have absolutely no retirement coming to them, from any company they worked for.

That’s a whole lot different than my father’s generation. He had 20 years in with one company and 15 with another. So when retirement time came around, he had some pretty good money coming in. Unlike our generation, he didn’t need to depend on Social Security for his retirement income.


Speaking of Social Security, you should probably take a look at your hole card and find out how much your expected benefits from Social Security are, if you haven’t already.

Currently, the maximum possible benefits from Social Security, for those who managed to rack up the maximum possible earnings for each year, including a FRA of 66 in 2017, is $2,687 a month. Not exactly something to write home about. But few people actually get that much. The average benefit paid out this year is just $1,342 a month.

Unless you have absolutely no debt and your home is paid off, that $1,300 a month isn’t going to go very far. Even if you and your spouse both receive that much a month, that’s still a touch shy of $2,700 a month; and Social Security benefits are taxable income.

Taking an Honest Look at the Cost of Retirement

The first question you have to ask yourself is how much retirement money you will have coming in. That figure includes Social Security, any retirement you have coming from companies that you’ve worked for, and any retirement funds you have saved or invested.

Sadly, few of us have much money set aside for retirement. According to the latest statistics I can find, the median average retirement savings for people 56 – 61 years old, is a mere $17,000. That’s obviously not going to go all that far.

But even if you’ve managed to beat the odds, and have a million dollars in the bank, that’s no longer enough to retire on, even though it was considered enough to retire on for decades. Assuming an annual salary of $50,000 per year (the nationwide average family income), you would have had to be putting $1,150 per month into your retirement savings, at today’s interest rates, in order to have enough for your retirement.

Of course, to do that, you probably wouldn’t have had enough to keep shoes on your kids feet and a roof over their heads. So it’s rather unlikely you managed to do anything close to that, unless you made a whole lot more money than the average.

The other side of the calculation is how much money you need to have, in order to pay your bills, once you retire.

Fortunately, your kids and mine are grown up by now, so you don’t have their expenses. So that saves a little. But most of your expenses are probably pretty much the same as they have been for a number of years, unless you’ve moved, stopped driving a car or stopped heating your home.

So sit down and write out a retirement budget. Actually, write out two of them. One should be the retirement budget that you need to have, in order to keep living like you are right now. The other should be bare bones, seeing how much you can cut out and still survive.

Don’t forget medical expenses in these two budgets. Unless you have some sort of medical plan through your work, that continues through retirement or you’re a veteran and will be taken care of (albeit not necessarily all that well) by the government, you are going to have some medical expenses. Even in retirement, Medicare will cost you something. On top of that, you may have medical expenses which Medicaid won’t cover.

There will probably be a discrepancy between how much you will have coming in and how much you need to meet your bills. That’s what you’re trying to find. You need to know how much that discrepancy is, so that you can figure out a plan for dealing with it.

One Option – Downsizing

Probably the single most common way that people deal with the discrepancy between their income and their outgo in retirement is by downsizing. Mostly this means selling their home and moving into a smaller one. That might make sense if it will save you money; but that’s not always the case.

There are really only a few ways in which selling your home to buy a smaller one can save you money:

  • You have a mortgage and downsizing will allow you to buy a home for cash. This requires having enough equity in the home to cover the cost of the smaller home.
  • Your smaller home will be less costly to heat and cool.
  • You’re moving into a camper or tiny home, that you will be able to take north in the summer and south in the winter.

Of course, downsizing doesn’t have to mean just your home.

You may have other monthly expenses that you can do without, such as car payments on large vehicles that you no longer need to have, because you are no longer hauling kids around. You might also have other expenses, which you felt you needed to have for your kids, but no longer need.

The Other Option – Increase Your Income

Unfortunately, few companies want to keep people on the payroll after they hit retirement age. Nor do most companies want to hire people who are that age. There are a number of reasons for this, but they all boil down to economics. It’s cheaper for companies to hire younger employees.

So it’s doubtful that you can find a job to increase your income. It’s not impossible, but it is doubtful. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no way that you can earn extra money to fill the gap between your expected income and your expected expenses. There are a number of things you can do; mostly things that involve being self-employed in one way or another.

There are some major advantages to being self-employed; advantages that tie in nicely with retirement. The top two are that you can set your own schedule and you can work from home. While working from home requires discipline to avoid distractions, it is generally a much more comfortable place to work.

What you ultimately decide to do will depend a lot on the skills you have, your health and how much time you decide to dedicate to work during what are supposed to be your retirement years. As always, the more skills you have, the more options you have, so a good starting point is taking an inventory of your skills, with an eye towards how you might use them to augment your income.

Without going into a lot of detail, here are some basic ideas about how you can turn your skills into cash:

  • Freelance work – There are several platforms online, which allow those who are looking to do work on contract. This is advantageous to companies, as it allow them to hire people to do work on a part-time hourly basis or by the project. All sorts of professionals and para-professionals do work via freelancing online.
  • Handicrafts – If you are a crafty sort of person, you could make craft items for sale. I know people who are making well in excess of a thousand dollars a month, monetizing their hobby. The best place to sell these crafts is through Etsy, an online store. You could also sell through local gift shops.
  • eBay or Amazon Store – Both eBay and Amazon have created amazing opportunities for those who wish to start their own business, selling just about anything online.
  • YouTube Channel – If you are an expert at something that people want to know about, start recording videos and creating a YouTube channel. There are currently thousands of these, with the top channels making millions of dollars per year, simply for the advertisements that are attached to the videos by YouTube.

These are just a few possibilities. There are many more, such as blogging, which can make money off of advertising and more starting an online store, drop shipping products to your customers. The really great thing about all these ideas, is that they require very little investment on your part, other than your time.

In the end, it’s all about the skills, as they are the only valuable that nobody can ever take away from you.

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

3 Essentials To Your Family Emergency Plan

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Preparation Planning 3 Essentials To Your Family Emergency Plan

You never know when an emergency situation may occur. According to FEMA, 80% of Americans live in a location that has been impacted by a disaster related to weather. However, you can do your best now to plan for as many types of disasters as possible. While there are several different components to an emergency plan, let’s take a look at a few universal items that everyone needs to be ready for the worst.


Make Sure That You Can Communicate

It is critical that you have the means to communicate with your family members in the event of a fire, flood or other emergency. Therefore, you should have a cell phone that is fully charged and has plenty of minutes on it. You may also want to have a set of walkie-talkies available in case the cell tower in your area is destroyed and calls cannot be made. Prepaid phone cards may also be ideal in the event that you have to make or receive calls from a public phone.


There Should Be A Designated Safe Zone

In the event of an emergency, there isn’t a lot of time to think about what it takes to get to safety. Therefore, you want to have a designated safe place where everyone can go to ride out the storm or until the fire can be put out. This could be a neighbor’s house, a relative’s house or a public place like a grocery store or bank that is easy to get to. As part of the plan, everyone should wait there until all family members are accounted for or until rescued by emergency personnel.


Make Use Of Your Medical Training

As part of an emergency plan, you should have some sort of first aid kit that can be used to heal cuts, scrapes or other minor wounds. However, it is also critical that you have the training necessary to treat injuries properly and safely. One way to improve your odds during an emergency situation is to receive basic first aid training. Training courses may be offered for free or at a discount, and they will also help you learn what to do in the event that trying to help on your own may actually make things worse. If you enjoy the healthcare world, you may also consider receiving additional medical training. Not only could it end up being a rewarding career, like a doctorate of nursing practice, but the additional lifelong skills you would gain would be invaluable.


There is nothing scarier than being put in a situation where you or your loved ones are in danger of being hurt or killed. However, with good preparation today, you may be able to take steps during a crisis to get yourself and your family out of harm’s way.

Guest Author’s Website

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The Devastation Of Hurricane Harvey

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The recent arrival of Hurricane Harvey is somewhat personal for me. Early Friday morning, before it made landfall, radar course projections showed it heading right for my home. Since I only live 90 miles inland, we would have been hit hard by the 130 plus mile-per-hour winds and torrential rainfall.

But Harvey made a course change just before landfall and passed north of our home, leaving us safe.

But that doesn’t mean that Harvey was safe by any means.

As a Category 4 hurricane, Harvey’s winds are strong enough to tear buildings apart. It has dumped somewhere over nine trillion gallons of water on Texas, devastating Corpus Christi, Houston and many smaller towns.

While there has only been five reported deaths as of this writing, billions of dollars worth of property has been destroyed. This hurricane could very well be the most devastating to hit our country since Katrina, topping Sandy in total dollars of destruction.

Part of what has made Harvey so destructive is that it has moved very little since hitting the Texas coast, dumping trillions of gallons of water in what is really a rather small amount of space. By the time all is said and done, Houston is projected to end up receiving around 50 inches of rain.

This rain is what is going to end up causing the biggest part of the damage, as the winds started dying down as soon as Harvey made landfall. By the time the weekend was over, less than 48 hours after hitting, Hurricane Harvey had been downgraded to a tropical storm.

But I’m sure that’s no consolation to the residents of Houston, Galveston and the surrounding areas, whose homes have several feet of water flooding them. Many of those homes will never be the same.

Harvey isn’t done with its destruction either.

The 3-second Survival Hack That Gives You Superhuman Powers 

As of this writing, the storm is still dumping rain on Houston, as well as moving farther to the east. Louisiana seems to be next on its dance card, as the storm moves towards the northeast. Lake Charles is already experiencing Harvey’s wrath and New Orleans could be in for some heavy rainfall as well, before it’s all over.

As with every natural disaster, nature couldn’t care less about the devastation that it is causing. We think we are so powerful, with our technology and our machines, but all it takes is one storm to break down this house of cards we call civilization.

Maybe it’s Time to Refocus Our Prepping

It’s no wonder that prepping is growing in the United States. The American people are finally waking up to something our ancestors knew, that life is fragile and nature is a killer. Even without the help that we humans give it in killing our fellow man, nature does a good enough job on its own, killing thousands of people per year.

As preppers, we love to talk about preparing for “the big one.” It doesn’t matter that that big one is a total breakdown of society, a financial collapse, an EMP attack or a zombie apocalypse, we have a plan for it.

But the reality is, we’re much more likely to face a natural disaster in our lifetimes, than any of the major disasters that we prep for.

Granted, much of the same preps need to be made for a natural disaster as those we need to make to survive a hurricane. More than anything, it’s the aftermath we’re prepping for, not the disaster itself.

Living through the destructive power of a hurricane or other natural disaster may be difficult, but nobody is going to starve or die of dehydration in a few hours or days. Living through weeks of outages, when there is no power or water and the grocery stores are empty is what we prepare for.

While the effects of an EMP are nationwide, on a local level they aren’t much different than any other disaster. The big difference is that Uncle Sam won’t be coming in to rescue us and help us to restore our lives. That’s going to have to happen on a local level, because the communications necessary to do anything on a national level won’t exist anymore.

What that means is that the aftermath is going to be much longer, straining our ability to survive, even if we are prepared.

But food is food and water is water. We will need both to survive anything that comes our way. Likewise, we will need most of the other things we stockpile. Even so, there are specific things that we will need, which are totally dependent on the type of disaster we end up facing.

Surviving a Flood

Hurricanes cause devastation in two ways; through wind and through water. While high winds can destroy many structures, it is ultimately the flooding that does the greatest damage. That will definitely be so in the case of Harvey, as the high winds dropped off almost as fast as they climbed.

Video first seen on The Alex Jones Channel.

So how do you prepare for this sort of flooding? Can you save your home, and if so, how? What can you do to survive, if your home becomes flooded, making it inhabitable?

First of all, this storm, like others in the past, demonstrates the reason why we all need a good bug out plan in place. While Houston officials didn’t call for a general evacuation, the state’s governor recommended it to those who could. This raises the question of why a general evacuation order didn’t go out.

It really boils down to experience and history. When Hurricane Rita was headed towards Houston in 2005, a general evacuation was called. Six-and-a-half million Houstonites took to the roads, creating a 100 mile long traffic jam that lasted for over a day and a half. There wasn’t enough gasoline available to fill that many vehicles, causing many to run dry and be abandoned on the road. People died from the heat, as well as from traffic accidents.

After all that, Hurricane Rita only struck Houston with a glancing blow, not even worth the effort that had been taken to avoid it. Hurricanes are always unpredictable, and this is just one more example of how the best of our planning may only be for naught.

We cannot rely on the government to tell us when to evacuate; we’ve got to make that decision for ourselves.

In the case of Hurricane Rita, the city government was wrong in telling people to evacuate. Now, in the case of Hurricane Harvey, the city government was wrong in telling people to stay home. But in both cases, the decision that was made was based upon the best information available. It’s just that nature doesn’t follow our information.

Waterproof Your Stockpile

I don’t know how much money you have invested in your survival stockpile, but I’m sure it’s in the thousands. Food is expensive, so if you’re going to have enough to last you any time, you’re going to have to spend a lot of money.

That’s an asset you can’t afford to lose, even in a flood. So you want to make sure that you won’t. How? By doing everything you can to ensure that it is waterproof. Canned goods already are, so that’s not an issue. Dry foods stored in five gallon buckets are waterproof as well. But what about everything else? How’s your toilet paper supply; is it protected from the water?

In some cases, you can ignore waterproofing if you can store the items on the second floor of your home. I have a lot stored under the second floor eaves of my home, where it is fairly well protected from flooding. Unless the roof gets torn off my home, I won’t have to worry about losing it.

But many people have their stockpile in the basement of their home; the first place that will flood. If that’s the case, you want to be extra careful about waterproofing it. You also want to have a plan for moving those supplies upstairs, if your home starts to flood. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use any of them until the flood waters subside, simply because you won’t have access to them.

Another possibility for protecting your stockpile is to keep some of it off-site, hopefully on higher ground. That way, if your home floods, you will still have access to supplies. You can use the remotely stored supplies until your home gets to the point where you can have access to those supplies once again.

Keep in mind that your supplies are more for surviving the aftermath, than for surviving the disaster itself.

So just because your home floods and your supplies are underwater, doesn’t mean that you’ve lost them, assuming that they are properly waterproofed. You will need those supplies as you are trying to salvage what you can from your home and put your life back together.

Protect Your Home

American homes don’t handle flooding well. They are not made of materials that can withstand sitting in water for minutes, let alone days. Drywall will soak up water rather quickly, falling apart. Even the structural studs and plywood that makes up the wall structure, floors and outer sheathing of our homes can be destroyed by too much water.

Chances are that if your home floods and the flood waters stay in place for days, your home will be totally destroyed. But if the flood abates quickly, you may be able to salvage it. Carpeting, drywall and other materials will need to be replaced; but if the structural part of your home survives, it can be rebuilt.

In Mexico and in many other emerging countries, homes are built out of cinder blocks and cement. While that may not make for as nice a home, it handles flooding much better.

I have some friends in the state of Tabasco, in Mexico, whose home has flooded several times. In each case, they’ve moved the furniture to the second floor and waited it out. Once the flood waters abated they were able to clean their homes up, repaint them and put their lives back together. That’s a whole lot easier than rebuilding an American home.

Since our homes are not made that way, we need to consider trying to protect them from flooding altogether. That may be too expensive for any of us to do, but we should at least look at it.

The most common way of protecting a home or other building from flooding is to make a wall of sandbags around it, with space between the sandbags and the home. That way, any water that seeps in can be pumped out; and yes, water will seep in.

Doing this takes a lot of sandbags and a lot of sand. The wall has to be unbroken all the way around, with all of it built to a uniform height. One dip or gap makes the whole thing invalid, as the water can pour through that one spot, flooding your home.

There are other, more modern options, which have been developed for use, instead of sandbags. While these are probably more expensive than building a sandbag wall, they are also probably easier to use. essentially the idea is to create a wall out of water filled plastic tubes, two to three feet in diameter.

This wall does the same thing that the sandbag wall does, but is considerably easier to erect. A couple of different companies make these tubes, so you might want to look into them.

Stay Prepared to Bug Out

No matter what you do, always keep yourself ready to bug out. Let’s say that you decide to ride out a hurricane that’s heading for your city, like the people in Houston did. That’s your decision to make. But don’t leave yourself without options. Make sure you always have a way to escape, should it come down to that.

What do I mean by that? Either have a four-wheel-drive vehicle that is high enough to ford the waters or some sort of boat, even a raft, that you can paddle out of there. if your answer is a truck or SUV, then make sure you leave before the water gets too deep to use it.

If it’s a boat, you’ve got more time. But in that case, you want the boat ready to use, moored to your home, where you can get into it from a second-story window.

Granted, a boat is an expensive investment, especially if you’re not going to use it for fishing. But a rubber life raft is much cheaper. For that matter, a large air mattress will work, if you don’t have anything else. Just make sure that you always leave yourself an option, so that you don’t have to go down with the sinking ship.

Whatever you do, stay lert and be prepared to face the unexpected, so you and your family survive!

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

How Are We Going To Survive Globalization?

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A progressive movement towards socialism is being taught in our schools, our universities and being touted constantly by people like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. They are planning a quiet takeover of the world. The question is how are we going to survive the globalist scenario they are struggling to impose.

This group of the globalist elite met just a couple of months ago, working to determine the fate of the world. These people, known as the Bilderberg Group, consist of world leaders in banking, business and politics. There’s a core group that comes together every year, inviting others to join with them as seems appropriate for that year’s agenda.

Bilderberg is one of the world’s most secretive organizations. While they publish a list of attendees every year and an official agenda, nobody but the attendees knows if it is accurate. They’re not allowed to take notes, tape recorders, photos, videos or copies of papers with them. Everything that happens at Bilderberg, supposedly stays at Bilderberg.

Only it doesn’t.

These people are the main driving force behind a one world government, trying to bring all the governments of the world under a central power. The model is the European Union, which they want to expand, setting up other regional governments, which will all eventually come under one common worldwide umbrella, giving control to the elite of the world.

This new government will be a socialist one. We see that clearly in what’s happening in Europe. As time has gone on, the various European countries have become more and more socialist, now that the Soviet Union has been dissolved and Russia has moved away from socialism.

Anyone who knows anything about Biblical prophecy can see the writing on the wall. One of the things that is talked about in the book of Revelations is that one world government. So it’s likely that if this group doesn’t succeed, then another like it will. It’s just a matter of time.

You and I really can’t do much to stop that.

We can vote for politicians who will oppose putting the USA under such a system, but that’s about it. Since there are about as many people who vote Democrat in our country as there are who vote Republican, chances are that we’ll be back under the progressive-liberal leadership of the Democrats once again. When that happens, the globalists will have their instrument in place to push the United States closer to becoming part of that one world socialist order.

Remember the UN small arms treaty?

Barack Obama and John Kerry signed it on behalf of the United States. But it was never brought before the Senate, as the Constitution requires. So it hasn’t been ratified. What that means is that it isn’t law here in the USA. But if we ever had a Democrat president and a Democrat controlled Senate again, it’s waiting in the wings to be approved.

Should that happen, we can expect the Democrat controlled government to do everything they can to implement the provisions of that treaty, taking our guns from us, and with it, taking our ability to defend ourselves from tyranny.

That’s a prerequisite for making the country socialist, as they need us to be good little sheeple, who can’t rebel against the government. That, in turn, requires taking our rifles from us, because you can’t fight a war with pistols.

What is the Battle We Have to Face?

The question for us, is how will we survive that transition when it comes? How will we keep from losing our guns and our freedom when the US joins that global disaster?

I think there are a few things that we can assume will happen, when that day comes.

I also think that we can assume that it will be voted in by the people, specifically the younger generation, who are being brainwashed into believing that such a thing would be good. These assumptions include:

  • Gun confiscation would be implemented before it happened.
  • Paper money would be eliminated, replaced by a RFID chip or something similar, linked to an electronic bank account.
  • Income taxes would skyrocket to pay for all the “free” stuff.
  • The government would start rounding up dissidents who opposed the new world order.

At first, the change will be made to look good. We saw this with the roll out of Obamacare. The government and the media touted it as a great success, quoting exaggerated figures of how many people were receiving free healthcare.

But what they didn’t say was that those people were signing up for Medicaid and that you and I were going to have to pay for it.

So we need to be aware of what’s going on behind the news; the truth of what Washington is doing, rather than the leftist propaganda that the mainstream media is pushing. We also need to be thinking about the news we are hearing, looking for signs that the USA is getting closer to joining that one world government system.

When that time comes, we will each have to make a decision. Actually, we should make it before that time comes, but even if we do, we’ll need to reaffirm it then. The three options we will have are:

  • Fight government troops in what will probably be a losing war.
  • Knuckle under and accept totalitarian rule over us, along with higher taxes and a loss of freedom.
  • Move to someplace where government agents will have a hard time finding us.

Of those three options, the third one is the most sustainable survival solution. If we stay where we are, in cities and towns, it’s too easy for the government to find us and control us. But if they can’t find us, they can’t do a whole lot to control us either.

This means either moving out of the country or moving to a remote area of the country where government agents would have trouble finding us.

Even at the height of the Soviet Union, there were people living on the fringes of society, who were not really accounted for. These people, many of whom lived in Siberia, were too far distant from the government and too few to really matter. So they were mostly left alone.

Of course, this means going totally off-grid and either living off the land or homesteading. You wouldn’t be able to have an e-mail account, a bank account or a Facebook account. For that matter, you wouldn’t be able to be online at all. Any electricity you consumed would have to be produced in house, as well as your food and pretty much everything else you would use.

Since there won’t be any money, it will be difficult to buy things without accepting the RFID chip or something similar. But there will always be a black market, as well as others who are working on the barter system.

Once again, we can use the now defunct Soviet Union as a model and see that they had the same. Shortages in the Soviet Union created a very lively smuggling business, especially for products that were made “in the west” but not available within their borders.

We can expect essentially the same thing, especially at the beginning. While many people will be quick to accept their chip, they won’t want to give up the freedom of buying with cash. So while greenbacks will not be usable for much of anything, there will always be people who are willing to accept gold and silver in exchange for products. Stocking up on these precious metals would be a good hedge against this system.

Another thing that would help is the ability to make things that you can use as trade goods. One of the ways that those living in Siberia were able to trade for things that they needed was by trapping and trading the furs. While that probably wouldn’t work here, other similar opportunities would show up, mostly based upon items that were in short supply.

Is Gun Control a Threat Anymore?

One of the biggest risks that any of us who attempt to drop off the grid would face would be government agents, probably UN troops, confiscating guns. While government agents tend to be a bit on the lazy side, soldiers are used to hardship. So they would seek us out, even in remote areas.

The solution is make sure that you have guns that are totally off the books, such as ghost guns, so that you could turn in the guns you’ve purchased over the counter and look like you’re obeying the law.

But you would still have your off the books guns at home. As long as you kept them out of sight, you could get away with keeping them.

Of course, that also means avoiding using them, unless you absolutely have to. So it would be a good idea to have an alternative, like a bow and be proficient with it. That would give you a means of hunting that is silent, wouldn’t attract attention, but would still provide you with meat for the table.

All in all, it would be possible to live and even enjoy a life of freedom in such a world; but it would require giving a lot up in order to maintain your freedom.

So the decision really breaks down to how much your freedom is really worth to you. What are you going to do to keep your family safe?



This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

Prepping on the Cheap Part 2- Bugging Out

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Prepping on the Cheap Part 2- Bugging Out Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio player below! If you had to pick up and go right now, could you do it? How long would it take for you to gather your important documents, extra clothes, food and water, and necessary gear? If so, great. You are … Continue reading Prepping on the Cheap Part 2- Bugging Out

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Planning For Success During And After The SHTF- Part 1, by Old Bobbert

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Planning For Success During And After The SHTF- Part 1, by Old Bobbert Preparedness is all about planning. So what happens to a guy who doesn’t really like planning but wants to be prepared. The good news is there are tons of people who love planning and are creating plans and processes each day. They …

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The Solo Prepper Resource Run

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The Solo Prepper Resource Run James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio player below! To build a home of self-sufficiency and preparedness one of the most important things you can do is to include all of those involved in the technology, skills and procsses that allow you to live that lifestyle. In other words, you want … Continue reading The Solo Prepper Resource Run

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EMP Survival Q&A: Would Nuclear HEMP Cause Fallout?

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Can you imagine something worse than an EMP, a disaster that would take us 100 years back?

It doesn’t takes lives in seconds, but rather takes away much of the means of supporting life in a modern culture.

But what if you add a nuclear blast to this scenario?

Mix in the radiation and it gets even worse. right? The world itself would be a radioactive hell, how could anyone survive it? Keep reading to find out the truth!

HEMP (High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse) is produced when a nuclear weapon is detonated above approximately 20 km (66,000’) altitude, but optimal altitude to affect the greatest area possible of the lower 48 states would be 350-450 km.

While the high-altitude detonation of a nuclear weapon used to create HEMP would not likely produce enough fallout to harm people on the ground, it would still be prudent to ready your radiation detection and protection gear.

The Fallout Danger

The real risk of fallout out in this situation would not come from the HEMP or the detonation of the weapon used to generate it, but from escalation of force or the possibility that the HEMP is used to blind radar preceding a nuclear attack.

The fact of the matter is that if nuclear weapons are used in an HEMP attack against any major nuclear power, there is a very real possibility that it could provoke a retaliatory nuclear response.

In 1995, the world was nearly plunged into global thermonuclear war because Russian radar technicians were not properly notified of the launch of a Norwegian sounding rocket, which was mistaken for a US submarine-launched Trident missile. A principle attack scenario Russia plans for is an EMP first strike by the USA from the Barents Sea to take down their radar in preparation for a nuclear first strike.

The missile would only be in the air for about 10 minutes. That is all the time Russia had to decide and it took 8 of those 10 minutes to determine that the missile was headed away from instead of toward Moscow. The US plans for Russia to attack using essentially a mirror of the same tactic.

Because this tactic is so basic to nuclear warfare strategy, it boggles my mind that analysts (though typically scientists as opposed to soldiers) regularly predict that this country or that would somehow see clearly through the fog of war in the wake of a nuclear HEMP attack and respond to it differently than any other nuclear attack.

Add on top of this, the fact that the HEMP would take their radar off-line it becomes doubly unlikely. Then add that some countries have plainly stated that they would not differentiate between high altitude nuclear attacks and ground or air bursts and it becomes triply so.

The fact of the matter is that it is entirely possible that a HEMP strike against any major nuclear power could trigger a broader nuclear exchange. I get that this outcome is very uncomfortable to consider and that even otherwise rational folks tend to project what they imagine they would do in a theoretical situation if they were the individual with their finger on the nuclear trigger.

They opine that cooler, more rational heads would somehow prevail despite the fact that a nuclear power just got nuked and most communications and radar are down because they cannot imagine any rational person taking a course of action that would condemn millions of Americans to death.

While I would agree that a lesser retaliatory response is likely in response to a lower altitude attack against a single city or localized region, I am not so optimistic that the fog of war in the wake of a high-altitude EMP attack would be easily penetrated.

Since uncertainty about a rocket launch years after the end of the cold war brought us to the brink of nuclear war, I cannot reasonably conclude that an actual nuclear first strike most likely would not result in a response, especially at a time when nuclear threats have already been issued.

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About the Fallout

Nuclear weapons detonate so energetically that a tremendous vacuum is created in the wake of the blast. A shockwave, blinding light and intense heat are produced, so much heat, that matter inside or sucked into the fireball is vaporized.

When detonated at or near ground level, the vacuum lofts enormous volumes of vaporized dirt and debris up into the stratosphere, forming the characteristic mushroom cloud commonly associated with the use of nuclear weapons.

As the mushroom cloud forms, the vaporized material cools and condenses, forming solid particles. The mushroom cloud of cooling radioactive dust and ash is then dispersed and carried by the wind until it falls back to earth as “fallout.”

While the alpha particles emitted by the radioactive decay of fallout do not penetrate deeply (they can be blocked by a sheet of paper, your skin or a few centimeters of air) they are extremely damaging when concentrated and orders of magnitude more damaging when inhaled or ingested.

Fallout can be inhaled into your lungs and stick to anywhere you sweat, particularly the insides of elbows, backs of knees, neck, arm pits, etc. If exposed to fallout, there are a few things you can do:

  • Seek professional decontamination from trained first responders, if available.
  • Remove clothing and shoes. This alone can remove 90% of contamination. Bag and label for disposal. If this is not expedient due to cold or heat exposure risk, at least remove outer layers and shoes.
  • Use a radiation survey meter to do a full body survey, if available.
  • Remember that external contamination is far less harmful than internal contamination. Angle water so that it carries contamination away from skin, not over more skin or into eyes, ears, nose or mouth.
  • Gently clean skin with tepid water and mild soap with neutral ph. Cold water closes pores trapping contamination and can cause hypothermia. Hot water opens pores enabling particles to penetrate the skin, aggravates thermal burns and you should not breath the water vapor (steam) as it will carry isotopes cleaned off skin. Do not scrub or rub the skin excessively. Excessive scrubbing will do more harm than good. If running water is not available, use a damp cloth. If water is not available use Fuller’s Earth clay, clay or clayey soil.
  • Rise and gently shampoo hair. Do not use conditioner since it bonds particles to hair. Do not shave hair or skin. Knicks compromise the barrier skin naturally provides. Contaminated hair can be clipped if shampooing is ineffective.
  • Wipe eye lids and ears with damp sterile swabs, if available. If not available, use a clean, damp cloth. Gently blow nose and swab nostrils with sterile swabs, if available. If swabs are tested with survey meter, the swabs must be allowed to dry before surveying for alpha-emitting radioisotopes.
  • Brush teeth and rinse frequently.
  • Rise with 3% hydrogen peroxide for pharyngeal contamination.
  • Use a maximum of 2 decontamination cycles per patient.
  • Use a radiation survey meter to do another full body survey, if available.
  • Cover any areas of residual radiation with waterproof dressings to prevent contamination of clean areas.

How to Protect Against Fallout Exposure

A basic understanding of how to protect yourself from fallout can greatly reduce exposure. Time, shielding and distance are your allies.

  • Time – intensity of radiation produced by fallout diminishes over time. The mix of isotopes resulting is complex with some persisting longer than others, so rate of decay can only be estimated, but between two days and two weeks, radiation levels will be less than 1% of their initial intensity. The longer you can stay sheltered, the lower radiation levels will be outside.
  • Shielding – the greater the density of materials between you and the radiation, the less radiation will reach you. Earth surrounding a basement, concrete or masonry walls or sandbags provide a measure of shielding from radiation.
  • Distance – taking shelter in the center of large, multistory building is more effective than in a room nearer and outer wall or the roof. The center of the deepest floor underground would be safest. The same reasoning applies in your own home.

How Situational Awareness Works in case of HEMP

Many preppers invest a great deal of resources in bug out bags, vehicles and locations but would likely sleep through any warning of an HEMP or nuclear strike for lack of a Public Alert Certified All Hazards Radio to receive an alert and automatically warn them in time to get to a shelter. They run $30-$70 and are an oft-overlooked must have that saves many lives every year from a broad range of threats.

After a nuclear attack, there will be many potentially life and death questions and a shortage of information. Is there fallout outside the shelter? Are we being exposed to radiation? How much? Is it safe to go outside and for how long?

Communication infrastructure will likely be severely damaged, especially if the nuclear ground attack is preceded by an HEMP attack. Radiation detection equipment will likely be the only reliable way to answer these questions. An accurate radiation detection instrument can be built using materials you probably have around the house.

If you choose to purchase equipment, research the instrument you purchase carefully because many civil defense meters are not accurate at some exposure levels and some dosimeters detect ranges of exposure to low to be of much use in nuclear war. After you make your purchases, have your equipment tested and calibrated.

Video first seen on CrypticCRICKET

Even though high altitude nuclear detonations don’t pose a significant fallout risk, any time nukes are popping off, you might consider breaking out the radiation detection equipment and take precautions as opposed to placing your trust in the powers that be.

You are responsible for the safety of your family, not the government, so do not sit around and wait for them to inform you of when it is time to “get off the X” or not. Blind trust did not work out so well for residents of Utah and Nevada after US nuclear testing and they paid a truly terrible price.

Charging and wearing a radiation dosimeter is no big deal. They are about the size of pen, clip to your clothing and measure your exposure to radiation over time.

About High Altitude Burst

When a burst occurs high in the atmosphere, as it would in an HEMP attack, the vacuum it creates cannot loft tons of dirt from the soil which would become fallout in a ground burst, so there would not be a mushroom cloud.

There are still atoms and molecules up there, but the higher up the weapon is detonated, the less matter there is for the leftover fission product to activate and the less fallout is produced. While too little is produced to be a concern at ground level, past high altitude nuclear tests did create bands of radiation in the atmosphere that damaged low earth orbiting satellites as they passed through them.

Up to one-third of low earth orbit satellites in orbit at the time were damaged in some way, and some were rendered useless, so even though fallout would not be a direct danger to folks on the ground, it could still end up affecting us to the degree we are dependent on satellites.

Nuclear Weapon Type & Yield

Creating a high EMP field strength does not require a very powerful nuclear weapon, certainly not a large warhead capable of destroying a city in a nuclear blast near ground level.

Fission weapons in the 2-10 kiloton range (small as nukes go) area far more efficient use of fissile material than thermonuclear (fission-fusion-fission) weapons, making them a very attractive option for nations with small nuclear programs or even a determined terrorist organization, should they succeed in procuring a suitable weapon. A relatively small weapon such as a nuclear artillery shell, could result in tremendous disruption and loss of life if detonated at sufficient altitude.

An ERW (Enhanced Radiation Weapon), similar in design to a neutron bomb, is a class of low yield tactical thermonuclear (fission-fusion) weapons. Neutron bombs minimize blast and heat to maximize dangerous ionizing radiation and gamma yield which is what causes the E1 component of EMP.

The idea behind the neutron bomb was that it could kill enemy soldiers while minimizing civilian casualties and damage to the infrastructure that sustains them. Although it may sound like a contradiction in terms, the neutron bomb was intended to be a more humane nuclear weapon. While the blast radius of a neutron bomb may be as small as a few hundred meters, the highly lethal ionizing radiation produced can penetrate several feet of soil or the armor of a tank disabling exposed troops within a few minutes and killing them within a couple of days.

ERW’s are more effective at producing HEMP than nuclear weapons designed to destroy cities and military bases. Like neutron bombs, trading blast and heat for higher gamma and neutron yield means that they punch far above their weight class when it comes to create HEMP. Creating an ERW is probably what North Korea’s last test was. Such a weapon, detonated at altitude, could potentially create field strengths far more intense than 50Kv/m.

This is important because that number is used as a standard for shielding against EMP and was derived by analysis of the Starfish Prime nuclear test data from 1962 which is not classified. That test used a regular thermonuclear warhead which was not designed for optimal EMP yield.

High altitude EMP only really began to be understood after that test produced 1000x the EMP of tests at ground level. Since then, military scientists have had many decades to develop ERW weapons and in 2004, Russian generals testified that their ERW designs were “accidentally leaked” to North Korea. Because of the development of ERWs, the shielding protecting many of our critical systems may be insufficient.

No matter what, you have to be prepared, able to help yourself and your family in case of a total blackout! Click the banner below for more!

This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia. 


How To Survive A Train Accident

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In one of my recent articles, I talked about surviving an airplane crash. Today we’ll contemplate another catastrophic scenario: how to survive a train accident. I know, it’s holiday season, so let be happy and all that, but better safe than sorry, right? After all, what’s happier than being alive?

The thing is, airplane crashes are a rare occurrence and most of them are not as horrible as one may think, i.e. the survival rate is pretty high. The same is true with train accidents; I mean, they don’t happen very often and the number of casualties is relatively low, all things considered. Now, if you enjoy traveling by train, you’ll have to pay attention to today’s article, as I’ll share with you a number of tips and tricks that may save your life in a rail accident.

With regard to train accidents, there are basically two main things that can go wrong: a head on collision with another train (the worst case scenario), or a collision with a vehicle (truck, SUV etc) in level crossings or derailments.

I know that you’re thinking that trains are safe and all that and I agree with you. However, it’s common sense to maximize your chances of not only surviving, but getting back home in one piece.

To begin with, there’s a lot of debate among rail transportation experts when it comes to what passengers should do in order to survive a train accident. If you’re paying attention to the news, you’ve probably noticed the recent derailments and crashes, especially those involving New Jersey Transit and MTA trains. They’ve been pretty shocking for commuters (and residents alike) in New Jersey and New York.

Here are some facts for your viewing pleasure:

Just to recall a few recent high-profile rail accidents, in February, 2016, 6 casualties were recorded and 15 were seriously injured when an MTA train hit an SUV in the Westchester hamlet of Valhalla, on the Metro-North tracks.

Then there was the Amtrak incident in April, 2016, when a train traveling to Georgia from New York through Philly killed 2 and injured scores more. Finally, there was the one that occurred in September of 2016, when 108 passengers were injured and one died when a NJ Transit train crashed at Hoboken. Three in the same year, though that’s an anomaly at least for passenger trains.

Judging from Federal Rail Administration statistics, in 2014, there were 1700+ train incidents, including almost 150 collisions (most with other vehicles), and 1200 derailments, but the vast majority of the crashes involved freight trains. Between 2011 and 2014 there were only four (4) fatalities from train crashes anywhere in the US.

In other words, your odds of dying in a train crash in the US are statistically less than your odds of drowning or getting bitten by a shark (about 1 in 19 million, actually). Now, let’s see about some tips and tricks for maximizing your chances of not only survival, but also for reducing the odds of getting injured in the improbable eventuality of a train crash.

Just like with airplanes, despite what the Federal transportation authority claims, not all seats inside a plane/train are created equal. Everything in life is about location; hence one’s location (as in where you sit) can really make a difference in the eventuality of a train crash.

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

Avoid Front Cars

The general rule of thumb when picking a seat on a train is to head for the middle section. If you want to pick the safest spot to sit on a train, disregard what the talking heads on TV are telling you as well as the so-called expert advice; you must go straight to the data, i.e. reports/statistics from federal agencies, the same folks that set the safety standards for both plane and rail companies.

The first thing to take into account: head on collisions are very rare. You should worry about derailments, as a train is 9x more likely to derail at some point during a trip than to slam into another vehicle or train head on. The data was scooped from the Federal Railroad Administration database, and this fact should be enough to change your “seat-choosing” patterns.  According to various studies, in case of a train-derailment, the cars toward the middle of the train are the less likely to tumble off the rails. The same studies revealed that the first to go off track is the lead locomotive/the first vehicle/car, but that’s hardly a surprise.

Bottom line, the sweet spot when choosing a seat is in a car 1 or 2 back from the center of the train.

The next thing to remember when traveling by rail is to not linger in the Café Car. This is not a safe place to be in the eventuality of an accident, whether we’re talking about a derailment or a collision. While the undeniable benefits offered by the Café Car such as overpriced beer and nuked hot-dogs may lure some of my readers, the reality is that you’re better off to eat, swig, and run. The fixed tables and other pieces of furniture will transform in veritable weapons of mass destruction if SHTF and a train experiences a harsh impact or has to suddenly break prior to an accident.

Tables were the main culprits in many crashes, being responsible for countless internal injuries and the Federal Rail Agency is currently redesigning them for improved crash safety. They are contemplating using air bags (yeah, you read that right) for the tables and also crushable edges, the same tricks used in the automotive industry.

A “mainstream” idea pedaled by so-called safety experts is to choose a rear-facing seat. The concept is that a rear-facing seat will prevent you from being thrown forward (in the absence of a seat belt) during a collision. While this may sound like common sense when it comes to a head-on collision, just like all cute but wrong theories, the reality is that side impacts are far more common than rear-end or head-on ones.

Data scooped from the US Department of Transportation d-base shows that side collisions outnumber rear-end/head-on ones by a factor of 9 to 1 (especially on commuter trains), so forget about the nice view and go sit in an aisle seat. And to play it 100% safe, make it rear facing, just to be sure. Bottom line, the safest place to sit is in an aisle  seat, rear-facing, towards the back of the train.

Follow the Instructions

Obviously, in case of an emergency, you should pay attention to PA announcements and follow the instructions to the letter. These guys are trained for SHTF scenarios, especially the train conductor.

If the circumstances really call for it, one should contemplate jumping off the train prior to a catastrophic crash. While this is very dangerous, you should be prepared for the worst case scenario. Try to do this at the end of the last car. If that’s not an option, jump from the door (if you can open it) or from the space between cars.

You can protect your head by using a blanket or something similar (you can secure some padding around your melon with your belt) and the same goes for your elbows, knees and hips. Before you jump, try to pick a landing spot free of trees, rocks, bushes, or  anything that may injure you during the big tumble.

Don’t try to land on your feet because it’s almost impossible to keep your balance, especially at high speeds; get as low to the floor as possible before you jump by bending your knees so you can leap-frog away from the car and jump at a ninety degrees angle away from the train, thus avoiding rolling towards the tracks, and cover your head with your arms while rolling like a log as you land. Keep your body straight so you will absorb the impact over the widest area possible.

Now, following a train crash, provided you’re still inside the car and the train comes to a full stop, don’t linger inside, but go for the nearest emergency exit/window ASAP.

It would be advisable to get accustomed to the emergency procedures prior to an eventual accident. Just like with everything in life, plan ahead, be aware of the situation and the nearest exits, and also try to visualize how to get there.

Will you be able to protect your own in a life or death scenario?

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If you have questions or comments, feel free to use the dedicated section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

3 Ways To Make A Torch In The Wild

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A simple hike can suddenly turn into a Bear Grylls episode, a struggle for survival, if you’re unlucky enough to find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Basically, in a matter of hours, you may very well find yourself stranded in the wild with no help in sight, completely on your own.

And I am talking here about a sudden change of weather conditions, or you may simply lose your way, which may lead to numerous days of no one (including you) being aware of your whereabouts.

When it comes to wilderness survival, fire is one of the essential things to take care of, as it provides a number of benefits, including warmth, which helps with avoiding hypothermia. It also allows you to cook your food, boil water (read sterilize), signal for help or keep wild animals away.

Today’s article will teach you how to make a torch in the wild.

The first lesson to be learned is to never go into an adventure unprepared! The thing is, if you’re planning an outdoors trip or a hike or whatever, always take survival gear with you, the essentials so to speak, which must include a compass, a map, a flashlight, a knife, a first aid kit, proper clothes, emergency food, waterproof matches/a fire starter kit, and always expect the unexpected.

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

Speaking of torches and fire, one of the most underrated benefits of fire is the light it yields. And here’s where torches come into play.

Torches were used by humankind for thousands of years to illuminate the darkness of night, long before we discovered kerosene lanterns or electricity. When SHTF, DIY oil lamps and candles may be the preferred method of lighting for indoors use, but torches are the way to go in a wilderness survival scenario.

DIY-ing a torch using readily available materials is the perfect way to bring light wherever required; hence it’s an essential skill to master if you’re in the survival business.

To begin with, many folks have their minds warped by Hollywood movies that always make everything look incredibly easy, including making a torch in an emergency. If you think about a scene with someone, let’s say Rambo when he’s stuck inside a tunnel or a cave in Afghanistan, you’ll remember how our hero just grabs a femoral bone from some expired explorer, then wraps it up in rags and lights the gizmo on fire. And obviously, the fire lasts for hours and lights up the place like Frodo’s magic light of Earandil (if you know your LOTR). As you may imagine where this is going, reality is not as simple as Hollywood portrays it to be.

How To Make A Primitive Torch

In medieval times, torches were improvised from sticks of wood (or branches), preferably wet/green wood for preventing the fire from burning up one’s little digits. River cane, cattails, reeds and bark can also be used. However, certain types of torches must be bound using twine or similar stuff for keeping them sturdy. Obviously, certain varieties of bark, wood, etc. burn better than others, but in a survival situation, one can’t always be picky.

The most straightforward torch design is composed of a stick featuring a bundle of rags bound to one end, then soaked in tree sap, pitch, oil, or animal fat. In case you don’t have rags or clothes to spare, you can wrap bark around the stick’s end and stuff it with dry grass, moss, small bits of wood or leaves.

You’ll still need to soak some flammable material on the end (animal fat, pitch) to prevent your improvised torch from burning too fast or blowing out when you least expect it.

To get more specific, the most primitive torch that will last you for a while can be improvised from a freshly picked cattail. If you can get your hands on some grease or animal fat, not to mention lamp oil, this incredibly simple survival torch may last you for hours and hours. Here’s a little video.

Video first seen on bushcraftbartons

How To Make A Minimalistic Torch

Provided you can’t get any cattail, you will have to use the good old method of using a frayed branch along with some method for improvising your torch. As I already told you, the idea is to add a slow-burning fuel at the end of the branch, so the torch will burn for a longer period of time.

Rather than simply lighting the end of a branch (which is the most basic type of torch, because it really works, for a while at least), the idea is to create a proper torch that wicks and burns very much like a candle.

It would be ideal to carry some fire accelerants in your EDC survival kit, the likes of paraffin or cooking oil; these are excellent additives for a survival torch. If you don’t have them at your disposal, you’ll have to settle for animal fat (bacon grease if you’ve packed food, for instance) or tree sap.

A minimalistic torch can be improvised from a branch or green stick at least 2 feet long and 2 inches thick, cloth/birch bark, and some type of flame accelerant (animal/vegetable fat, paraffin, kerosene, etc.).

The torch will require a wick of sorts, which can be DIY-ed from strips of cloth. You must tear the respective fabric from a shirt or something similar. Alternatively, you can go for soft barks such as birch; i.e. find a tree and peel off a strip that’s about 2 feet long and 6 inches wide.

In the latter scenario, you’ll also require rope, twine, string or similar stuff to tie it securely into place.

Video first seen on Survival Elements

The wick must be attached firmly to the torch then soaked thoroughly with the flame accelerant before you light it up. A birch wick already contains natural resins that will burn for a long period of time, so you don’t have to soak it.

In the case of fabric/cotton wicks, make sure you saturate the fabric thoroughly with the stuff, whether it’s oil, gasoline, wax, animal fat, or whatever. If it’s dry, the wick will burn rapidly and fall away. Remember, it’s a wick, not firewood; your goal is to burn the oil, not the bark.

How To Make A Tree Resin Torch

One of the most effective torches to be used in the wild is the pine pitch variety. Even if you don’t have access to fuels, pine pitch, also known as pine sap, is an outstanding fuel and also readily available. All you have to do is to find a pine tree then to cut off a branch.

Afterwards, you’ll have to split one end of the stick 4-5 times then jam a handful of thin pine shaving into the gaps of the split end. Upon lighting it, the fire will wick the sap from the branch and it will burn for at least an hour.

Video first seen on OutsideFun1

If you’re lucky enough to have some toilet paper with you, you can DIY a nice  torch with this humble material. You’ll require 1 greenwood stick and about 50 ft of TP of any kind, together with flammable materials, such as cooking oil/animal fat (a cup).

The trick is to wrap the toilet paper around the end of the stick while spinning it, so it will end up looking like rope. The loose ends of the paper must be tucked into the torch head, so it resembles a huge Q-tip. In the next step, you’ll have to stick the wick into the oil and let it soak properly for 2 minutes or so. That’s about all there is to it; now you’ll just have to light it up. This one will last you for up to thirty minutes.

Now that you know how to make a torch, take a moment and think: are you ready to use this knowledge to survive?

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

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

Apartment Homesteading? Yes, You Can

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Homesteading is most definitely a way of life, but there’s no rule book that says that you have to live on a ranch to do it.

I’ve lived on a fully functioning farm then moved into a teeny-tiny apartment in the heart of a city. Did I have to change the way I lived? Absolutely. But since you can’t take the farm out of the farm girl, I modified my ways and learned to homestead right in my apartment.

Obviously, it took a lot of modifying. Let’s face it – the people in 2B are probably going to complain if you bring a cow home. Or even a couple of chickens. So, no livestock. But I didn’t throw in the hat. Sure, I had to buy my meat and dairy from the store, but that’s not all there is to homesteading.

Apartment Gardening

I decided right off the bat that I was going to have at least a few fresh veggies part of the year. I just couldn’t go without having my hands in the dirt, and grocery store tomatoes taste horrible.

Discover the golden days’ practice for getting all you can eat food without buying from the supermarket!

So, I started a couple of tomato plants in containers. I was lucky enough to have a tiny balcony, so that’s where they went. Then I added a couple of different pepper plants to the mix. They don’t take up hardly any space.

Of course, inside, I was growing herbs as potted plants. They were pretty and made my house smell good, too. And I didn’t have to spend a fortune on herbs, or eat dried ones. There’s nothing like fresh cilantro in salsa.

Since my balcony had a railing, I bought some window box planters and started some green onions in them, as well as some strawberries in hanging pots when the season came in. I didn’t get many, but it was nice to pluck a few here and there and the blooms are pretty.

I could have probably done a vertical wall on my balcony, but I already had quite a few plants out there. Thanks to living in a zone that’s warm enough to grow stuff year-round, I always had something growing.

Farmers Markets

There are farms within just a half-hour or so ride from where I live, and I love to go for rides on back roads. I managed to find several little road-side farmers markets on those rides, and where the big farmers markets in town were selling fresh eggs for five bucks a dozen, these places were selling them for a buck or so.

I was back in the business of eating fresh eggs, and had a good supplier of fresh produce that was cheaper and tastier than store-bought, too.

You-Pick Farms

It seems like I’m not the only person who lives in a city but can’t give up the farm because I managed to find some you-pick berry farms on the outskirts of our city. These little places range anywhere from 1-5 acres, but they all grow organic strawberries and blueberries and sell them for much less than what you’ll pay at the grocery store. They have pre-picked berries, but I like picking my own.

I go there early in the morning when the berries are in season and pick a couple of gallons at a time. I make jelly, eat them fresh, or make some muffins or other baked goods. I love to bake, and I can tell you right now that no matter how “strict” your friends’ diets are, they won’t turn down a fresh blueberry muffin.

The problem that I ended up running into was lack of space. I’d moved from a huge house to a tiny apartment, and had practically no storage. So, what I did was I bought a cute little pantry that looks like a bookshelf with glass doors that I put underneath a little eating bar that separated my kitchen and living room. I also put shelves in my walk-in bedroom closet, which, unlike the rest of the apartment, was big.

So, now I had some of my own veggies growing, and I’d found sources for fresh eggs, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. I was in the apartment homesteading business, or at least I was getting there.

Cooking at Home

It seems like I talk an awfully lot about growing food, but that’s because I believe that being able to feed yourself is something that you should make a priority. After all, if you have to depend on a store for clothes, you’re not going to go naked if things shut down for a couple of weeks or longer. You will go hungry, though. So, I believe that it’s important to be at least partially food-independent.

Rediscover the sweet, delicious taste of healthy, natural food just like we used to get in the old days!

Also, there’s a huge health benefit to cooking at home, and cooking real FOOD instead of junk that comes from a cardboard box. You’re not going to be able to grow all of your own food in an apartment, but you can certainly buy fresh food instead of spending your money on TV dinners.

One of the best things I’ve ever done is swear off processed foods. Do I cheat? Of course I do. But for the most part, I try to avoid it and cook real foods. It’s extra work, but it’s so worth it, both in taste and in health benefits. Plus, nothing brings people together like food.

Rain Water Collection

I almost forgot to mention this – I didn’t do this, but my neighbors were resilient people, too. They had some veggies on their balcony, and they also had a rainwater collection system. I thought it was a brilliant idea, but didn’t get around to actually doing it. But, you can. They proved it.

As a matter of fact, they washed their clothes with it in their bathtub. How do I know? Because I’m nosy and asked what they did with it! To really top things off, they hung their clothes on a line on the porch, so they weren’t wasting energy, either.

I’m a little ashamed to admit that they out-homesteaded me, but I just wasn’t that dedicated. I like my washer and dryer. And the funniest thing of all? They had both lived in the city all of their lives. They’d never lived on a farm; they just wanted to be resilient and independent.

Reuse and Upcycle

This is another habit that was instilled in me from a young age. My grandfather once told me that the reasons that modern marriages didn’t work was because we had grown into a disposable society.

In his day, if something was broken, be it a shoe or a tractor or a marriage, they did their best to fix it. Today, we just toss it and get a new one. And he’s right.

But we always tried to go the fix-it route at the farm, and still do. Tractors are fixed. Broken fence boards are used to patch siding on the barn, or are turned into tomato stakes. I tried to bring that with me, and once I saw an episode of Flea Market Flip, I was hooked. Save old stuff from the dump AND have a cute, funky little (or big) piece of furniture or art? Win!

Tell People about It

I’m not saying you should start preaching about it, but I’ve had several friends express an interest in learning how to grow foods and how to can. If they ask, then teach them. It’s not a competition – as a nation, or even as a planet, we’ve grown far too lazy and complacent.

Very few people would even know how to start a fire, let alone catch game to cook over it if they had to. Nor would they know how to find their way out of the woods without their cell phones. That’s a real shame, and if you can do your part to educate somebody, then you’re not just helping them, you’re helping us all. And THAT is the true spirit of homesteading.

Find the joy in being able to take care of yourself, even if you live in an apartment! Start by reading the guide that I’ve wrote to make your life easier!

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

4 Ways To Make An Ionized Radiation Detector

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As ISIS continues to move into Europe and Asiatic countries, they will gain access to materials that emit ionizing radiation. Aging nuclear power plants, aging missiles, and radioactive dumps all pose a threat to our health and well being without even being in the hands of an enemy nation or terrorist group.

That’s why you need a reliable means to detect nuclear radiation on a routine basis, and you can even build yourself such a device, as an alternative to store bough Geiger counters.

Here’s what you need to know about different ways to build an ionizing radiation detector and how much it will cost to operate and maintain the equipment.

Radiation Types – The Difference Really Counts

Ionizing radiation comes in 5 basic forms. For the sake of simplicity, it is easiest to rate them by what they can and cannot pass through. Ideally, you should be able to detect at least alpha and gamma rays, as they span the range of particles you would need to be most concerned about as someone trying to survive a nuclear event.


Alpha carries the least amount of energy. It can be stopped by a sheet of paper. These particles are still very dangerous if swallowed or inhaled. Even alpha particles are the easiest to stop, they are also some of the hardest forms of ionizing radiation to detect. Typically, it will take a conventional Geiger counter to detect alpha particles. There are some DIY explorers that claim they are able to detect this form of radiation with modified photo diodes and transistors.



These particles carry more energy than Alpha particles. They can be stopped by aluminum foil, thin boards of wood, and other fairly lightweight material. Beta particles can also be very dangerous if swallowed or inhaled.



You are more than likely familiar with these particles because they are routinely used in medical imaging studies. As with other forms of ionizing radiation, they are derived from unstable atoms that break apart and release rays of energy. X-rays cannot penetrate bone or thicker metal plates.

Typically, even the thickness of most metal pendants is enough to stop X-rays from passing through. Some talcum powders and other body powders can also stop a good percentage of X-rays from passing into the body.



Of all the radiation types that can be released by a nuclear power plant, a nuclear bomb, or from nuclear waste, gamma rays are the most dangerous. They carry a good bit of power and can only be stopped by lead, iron, or other metal shields. Gamma rays can be detected readily enough by photo diodes and other alternative ionizing radiation detectors.

Worst comes to worst, this is the form of radiation you should be most concerned with detecting. If you know there is gamma radiation present, and can track the changes in the amount, then you can estimate when beta and alpha particles will also be gone.



Since this is one of the three main parts of an atom, it is also one of the most dangerous because other atoms can absorb it and become unstable.  Once the host atom becomes unstable, it can also release radiation, or become “radioactive”.  Neutrons can only be stopped by large amounts of water, concrete, or other substances that contain a large amount of hydrogen.

Bear in mind, however, these substances will also become unstable and release radiation to some extent. Overall, it is not easy to detect neutrons. Fortunately, relatively few are released from an atomic explosion when compared to other particles.

This guide will help you survive more than an EMP!

Pros and Cons of Making a Conventional Geiger Counter

Modern electronics has made a lot of advances in terms of changing from vacuum tube based technologies to solid state devices. Some forms of ionizing radiation still require a vacuum tube and high voltages.

While a Geiger counter is still the most reliable device for detecting the widest range of radiation types, it can be very expensive to make.

The vacuum tube can be damaged by incorrect voltages, or need to be replaced for other reasons. Since this is also the most expensive part of the detector, it is fairly easy to see why most people don’t try to build, let alone maintain a conventional Geiger counter for use on a routine basis.

How to Use Arduino or Cell Phone to Make a Geiger Counter

Building a Geiger counter with Arduino isn’t so different from building anything else. You will need to start with a main board and then add the appropriate sensors and output devices. With Arduino you have the choice of using a gas tube like a regular geiger counter, or you can use a solid state version.

Build the tube version (choose a dosimeter/geiger counter kit that has the LCD shield and tube bundled with it) and keep it on hand for situations where you suspect there is a need for detecting all particles emitted by a nuclear event. You may also be able to use conventional tubes that weren’t originally designed for use with an Arduino board. Just make sure that you know their voltage requirements and how to test if they actually work.

There are many tubes available from different countries. As a result, you will need to do some research on each tube and learn from people in forums dedicated to building various kinds of Geiger counters.

You can also build the version that relies on a solid state sensor. This one is sturdier and uses less power. You can simply set up nuclear watch stations that report around the clock.  I would also recommend adding an additional board to the Arduino main board that will accommodate a memory chip.

This will enable you record sampling data around the clock so that you can upload it to your computer and compare it over time. As you learn what the normal radiation levels are in your area, you can always set the sensor to beep or give some other type of alarm when the levels are too high.

You can also try adding an wireless remote system or even one that will report directly to your smart phone. If you live near a nuclear power plant, or any other area that houses any kind of radioactive material, it is very important to have these kinds of records so that you have a better sense of what is going on around you.

For an even simpler and cheaper option, you can purchase a solid state radiation sensor that will plug into the sound jack on your cell phone. As with Geiger counter tubes, there are a few different models available. Take some time to study the apps that control them so that you can find one that meets your sampling and data recording needs.

Video first on Gooferking Science

Kearny Fallout Meters

Of all the ways to detect radiation, the Kearny Fallout Meter (KFM) is one of the cheapest and simplest. If you don’t know how to maintain the meter, it can produce some unreliable results.  In order to make this meter, you only need some tin foil, a tin can, some paper, charging wires, and a means to give a static charge to the foil leaves.

Make a Gamma Radiation Detector Using a Photo Diode

Making a radiation detector using a photo diode will cost about the same as using an Arduino kit. The advantage to building it using this method is you will have complete control of all the parts. Once you have the main elements figured out, you can also look for ways to convert from solid state parts to ones that will better withstand an EMP.

Video first seen on vk2zay

The Tin Can Ion Chamber Radiation Detector

If you choose a sensor to add to your cell phone, it will only cost around $30.00, while a good Arduino system may cost as much as $150.00. Building  your own conventional Geiger counter could cost several hundred dollars by the time you purchase the tube, build the power supply and other supporting parts.

There are some down and dirty ways to build a radiation detector for under $10.00 with items from around your house. While there are several videos and DIY forms that claim these radiation detectors work, it may be hard to test that out and get viable answer.

Video first seen on bionerd23

Unlike the Kearny Fallout Meter that has a long history of validation, other forms of tin can radiation detectors may or may not work as described.

If you are on a tight budget and want something to start with, here are the basic steps.

  • To start off, you will need a metal can (soda cans work well) with an interior that conducts electricity; some tin foil, a 4.7K ohm resistor, some wire, a 9 volt battery and attachment clip, a multi-meter, and an NPN  transistor. You can also use any transistor that is over 1.0 K ohm. If you are scavenging for parts, or included them in your bug out gear, variable resistors may also be good to start with. Since this meter is highly susceptible to false readings caused by electromagnetic fields (even if you move around or change body position, the meter numbers will change), you may be find a different resistor setting works for different occasions.
  • There are two main kinds of solid state transistors; PNP  and NPN. If you scavenged a transistor, it is very important to make sure you have the right kind, and also that it is still in good working order. You can use the ohm setting on your multi-meter to achieve both goals. Once you are certain that you have a suitable transistor, you can begin assembling the radiation detector.
  • Make sure the top of the can is open. Next, drill a hole in the center of the bottom of the can.
  • Pull the leads of the transistor apart so that they do not touch each other. Solder some wire onto the collector and emitter leads. Make sure that the wires never touch each other or the can.  Transistors can be shorted out very easily if the leads cross or anything that extends from them.
  • Solder bare wire to the base lead of the transistor and then stick it through the hole that you drilled in the bottom of the can. The bare wire should reach to the opening of the can, but not touch the tin foil.
  • The wire for the transistor emitter connects to the negative lead for the battery tester. The collector lead should be connected to the negative lead for the battery.
  • Take one side of the diode and solder it to the outside of the can. The other side of the diode connects to the positive lead on the multi-meter and the positive side of the battery.
  • In order to reduce stray electromagnetic impulses from impacting the sensor, you will need to cover the open part of the can with tin foil.

To operate the meter, attach a 9 volt battery to the adapter and turn on the multi-meter. Start off with the highest voltage setting so that you don’t inadvertently short out the meter. Later on, once you know the circuit works, you can use a lower setting so that you get a more accurate reading.

To test the meter, you can try purchasing radioactive rocks. Just make sure you know how to store them properly so that you do not inadvertently wind up with radiation poisoning.

There are also a number of kits available that have limited amounts of radioactive material in them. If there is gamma radiation present, the meter will show a much higher reading than it will for electromagnetic interference or background radiation.

As with any other DIY project, you will need to experiment with different materials so that you are accustomed to seeing what sets the meter off and whether or not you need to be concerned about it.

In these challenging times, there are many ways and places where you and your loved ones may come into contact with ionized radiation. If you want to limit your exposure, know when to bug out, or even know whether the area is contaminated, being able to test for radiation is very important.

While you may not be able to afford a conventional Geiger counter, there are several less expensive alternatives. This includes making your own Kearny Fallout Meter, as well as an ion detection chamber.

As you improve your skills with building electronic devices, you can try building a detector that uses a photo diode as the main sensor, or better yet, a detector that uses an Arduino board and compatible output devices.

Regardless of the method you choose to start with, it is very important to test each device out and practice with it as often as possible. This will make it much easier to be confident of your findings in both nuclear emergencies and situations where the truth about increased ion radiation levels in your area is being hidden from you.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 





Surviving A Fall: Tips To Do It Right

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While falls can be very surprising, knowing what to do and practicing those techniques can save your life and minimize injuries.

Chances are, you know of at least one or two people that think nothing of sky diving, bungee jumping, or performing stunts that entail knowing how to fall correctly.

For the rest of us, however, even falling from a standing position can be a fearful matter. For at risk populations, even a minimal fall can cause broken bones or other serious injuries.

Learning how to survive different kinds of fall is very important so here is where to start from.

Greater Heights Onto the Ground

If you go hiking, you have climbed up a few hills, or perhaps even ventured onto an outcropping that gave way on you. Also, if you live in an apartment building, in the worst case scenario, you may wind up falling out a window, or worse yet, be pushed through one.

Even though any of these situations can lead to extensive injury, you may still be able to survive a long fall  if you use the following strategy:

  • Break your fall as much as possible. Reach out for anything that you can grab onto, even if it doesn’t look like it will hold your weight. Anything that you grab onto will absorb some of the energy from the fall. If nothing is available, try to bump your body into the side of the building, or anything else that you can brush against. This won’t absorb as much energy as grabbing onto something, but it is better than nothing.
  • Regardless of the height you are falling from, it is also important to try and orient your feet so that they point to the ground. This will set you up so that the greatest amount of impact will be on your hips and legs instead of your head or vital organs. In addition, when your feet are pointing to the ground, you can bend your knees slightly, which will have a significant reduction in how hard you actually hit the ground.
  • Finally, you will need to make sure your body is as relaxed as possible. Any muscle or joint that is tense at the time of impact is likely to be torn. As much as you may want to tense up, going limp is truly the best thing you can do. Practice using trigger words that create an immediate release in body tension so that you can use them in any situation.

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

On the Ice or Uneven Pavement

Chances are you’ve slipped on a wet floor, broken pavement, or even ice at some point in your life. If you were lucky, your injuries were minimal and you were able to go on with your life.

There are many people today that are susceptible to broken bones or other serious injuries that can happen when you fall.

Learning how to break your fall from short distances is every bit as important as learning how to manage long falls.

Here are the basic steps you should follow:

  • Unlike a long fall, you won’t have time to orient your body or try to break your fall. As such, your best option will be to go limp so that you reduce the force of impact as much as possible.
  • Land on your side with your head tucked in for safety. Try not to land on your knees, hands, back, or chin. All of these positions can lead to broken bones, strains, and other injuries.
  • Try to curl yourself up into a ball so that you can roll. During a short fall, you can spread out the force of the impact by using it up in a roll. This effectively gives a wider surface area, so there is less force going through your body. There are many techniques for rolling. For example, you may have learned to simply squat, tuck your head into your chest and roll in grade school gym classes.  Today, you can also go for martial arts training and learn many different techniques. If you meet some kind of adversary that tries to push you to the ground, you will learn how to use rolls as an evasive maneuver.
  • It is also very important to avoid sharp or dangerous objects that can do damage if you land on them. Try to push your body so that you don’t land on these items.

Video first seen on GMB Fitness.

From a Bike

While falling from a stationary base such as a building or the ground is dangerous, falling from a moving object is even worse. For example, if you fall from a bicycle, your injuries will be even worse because the momentum of the bike will serve to throw you even further.

There are four ways that you can be thrown from the bike, and also four techniques you can use to reduce injury as much as possible:

  • Over the Handle Bars – if you are thrown to the front of the bike, it is very important  to tuck your head into your chest and extend your leading arm. This is the arm that will absorb most of the impact of the fall. As soon as you impact with the ground, it is very important to start rolling onto your leading arm shoulder and continue until you stop. It is also important to note that your bike may also have been thrown forward, and is likely to land on top of you. Shield your head, face, neck, and back as much as possible by curling into a ball and lay on your back.
  • Over the High Side – you can also be thrown from your bike if the front wheel comes off the ground and the frame starts to twist.  For this type of fall, your body will be propelled sideways and may hit a building or the sharp part of the curb. Release your hands from the handles and make sure that your feet are not tangled up in the pedals.  The best you can do with this situation is tuck your head in and curl yourself up into a ball. Let your body go limp so that when you do land, you will do as little damage as possible to your body.
  • From the Low Side – if your bike falls sideways, your body will be dragged along with it. In this situation,  you will also more than likely slide along the pavement until the bike (and you) come to a stop. To minimize injury in this situation, try to get your lowermost shoulder aimed at the ground as it provides a broader base for the impact to spread on.  You can also try putting your feet out in front of you in order to slow your momentum as much as possible.
  • Slow Sideways Fall – to the outside observer, this fall may not look very serious because it happens so slowly. Unfortunately, that lack of speed does not give you a chance to reduce the force of the impact by rolling.  If your bike falls sideways slowly, lean away from the ground as much as possible. Let the bike fall to the ground as you try to stand up.  As the bike hits the ground and moves your body along, once again roll onto your shoulder and then your back. This maneuver can keep you from breaking a hip or elbow.

From a Moving Vehicle

As with being thrown from a bike, there aren’t many ways to avoid injuries if you are thrown from a car. In fact, you will have more to be concerned with because the speeds involved may be higher, and the vehicle will land on top of you.

That being said, you can still try to use the following strategies to minimize your injuries and save your life:

  • Make sure that your elbows and knees are as well padded as possible. If you are driving with someone that you don’t know, or you are concerned for some other reason, it never hurts to wear knee and elbow pads.
  • It is also very important to pay attention to traffic and the road even if you aren’t the one driving. Depending on the rate of travel, you should be able to determine that a crash is happening within 3 to 5 seconds of the actual crash. If you know how to jump from a vehicle, you will need to use this time frame to do so. While this is a dangerous maneuver at low speeds, it may be a bit safer than being thrown from the vehicle. Sadly, even if you are wearing a seat belt, the impact of the crash can still cause you to slip out of the belt, and then out of the vehicle.
  • No matter whether you are thrown from the vehicle or jump out, going limp is very important. You will also need to roll so that you minimize the impact as much as possible. In this case, you may have to roll several times so that you break as few bones as possible. Rolling a few extra times may also help you to avoid having the car land on top of you.
  • Once you stop moving, try to get out of the way. Put something like a tree or anything else that will catch the car and stop it before it reaches your position.

Into a Pool or  Calm Water

While you may not give it much though, there is a huge difference between diving into a pool on purpose and being thrown into one or fall in by accident. When you are surprised by the loss of balance, it is all too easy to do things that will lead to drowning.

Here are some important steps to take if you realize that you are going to fall into a pool or some other type of calm water:

  • Inhale. If your lungs are empty when you hit the water, you will have less time to get to the surface before you are forced to take air in.
  • As with any other fall, let your body go limp so that you impact the water with as little force as possible. Even though you may not be falling from a great height, the surface tension of the water will still provide some resistance.
  • Once you are in the water, try to spread your arms and legs out and turn over on your back. Your face should be pointing upward. If you do not know which direction is up, exhale a little bit and observe which direction the bubbles go in. Since they will always go up, simply turn yourself in that direction. When your body is laying flat and spread out, it is possible to float up to the surface. Alternatively, if you already have your bearings, you can start swimming towards the surface.

Greater Heights into Water

A long fall into water is one of the most dangerous situations you can find yourself in. No matter whether you are ejected from a plane, fall over a cliff, or even off a bridge, there are still some things you can do to try and survive the fall.  Unlike other situations, getting into a proper position may not save your life.

Right now you may be inclined to think that, as a liquid, water should make a nice soft cushion to land on. As a liquid, however, water has surface tension that keeps it somewhat in place. If your body falls into water from a great height, the water molecules can’t get out of your way fast enough. As a result, landing on water is just as bad, if not worse, than landing on concrete.

It is also important to note that when you take a long fall into water, there may not be anything to help break your fall along the way. Breezes and wind can push your body off course. If the air happens to be moving in a down draft, it can push you towards the water even faster and harder. No matter how hard you try to position yourself, it is all too easy to get pushed off course or into the wrong orientation.

That being said, you can still try the following steps in time of need.  This is not something to practice, however just keep this information in mind in case it is needed.

  • As with any  other fall, let your body go as limp as possible.
  • Orient  your body so that your body is bent as if you are sitting in a car seat. Your feet should be positioned so they hit the water first. The idea is to have as small a body area as possible hitting the water so that less water needs to be pushed out of the way. Bending at your knees and hips also takes the direct line of impact away from your major organs.

Even though falls can cause a lot of injuries, there is a chance to survive them. Knowing how to position your body based on the type of fall is very important.

You should also practice different kinds of falls and rolling techniques so that you do them as well as possible when needed.

Will you be able to protect your own in a life or death scenario?

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

How To Start A Repair Business

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Things are looking up with the economy; at least, that’s what we’re all hoping for. While the evidence really doesn’t back that up yet, there are a lot of businesses hiring and expanding.

If things keep going like they are, we should see a real reduction in the unemployment rate, rather than the fake one that has been reported for the last eight years.

But we are far from being out of the woods. The national debt is still staggering and nothing that Trump has proposed as of yet is going to do a thing to bring it down. Even his 2018 budget proposal does little to reduce the debt, although it’s a good start at going in the right direction.

There are also rumors floating around about a pending financial crash. Granted, there have been rumors floating around about that for years, but the rumors have changed slightly. Now, instead of it being due to the sluggish economy and the rising national debt, the potential for a collapse is supposed to be due to the world’s top financial movers and shakers.

If the rumors are true, and there is plenty of reason to believe them, pretty much every financial collapse that has occurred, regardless of the country where it occurred, has been engineered by these financial big wigs, in an effort to consolidate wealth and the resulting power in their own hands.

These big money men are all part of the globalist elite, working behind the scenes to bring us to a one world progressive liberal government. Supposedly, their plans require that the United States come in line with their philosophy.

That wasn’t much of a problem when Barack Obama was in office, as he is a globalist, but now that Donald Trump is president, they are concerned. Trump isn’t one of them, and in fact, stands strongly against them.

So they want to make Trump the fall guy, showing that his plans to “Make America Great Again” through capitalism and free markets can’t work. That, in turn, means that they want to bring about the crash in the next three and a half years, while Trump is in office.

When and if that happens, we can expect something much worse than the 2009 housing slump and the recession that it brought on.

This will be more like the Great Depression of the 1930s, or even worse. A combination of runaway inflation and unemployment rates that top out over 25 percent will cause havoc in all corners of our nation and the globe. Then, these global elites can “benevolently step in with their answer.” That answer will be world socialism, ruled by them.

Why Start a Repair Business?

Before we even reach that point, we have to survive through the hard financial times which will bring our nation to its knees. For some of us, that will most likely mean the loss of our jobs, our cars and our homes; in fact, it could mean the loss of everything that’s important to us, if we lose our jobs.

Let me say this though, and this is important; not everyone who goes through a financial collapse suffers from it. There are some people who flourish. The key is to be in a position where you are able to flourish, even while others are floundering.

Now I know what many of you are thinking; that to flourish during a time of financial collapse, you have to have a lot of money to start with. But that’s not true.

The key to financial success has always been the same, find a need and fill it. That’s true in times of plenty and it’s true in times of lack. So, what you need to do is find something that will be an area of need in that time, and prepare to fulfill that need.

I realize that can be tricky, but it doesn’t require a crystal ball. All we have to do, is look at what sorts of needs there have been in other countries, when they went through a financial collapse. Fortunately for us, there are a number of examples we can use, most notably Argentina.

While there are actually a number of things we could look at, I want to concentrate on only one area; that of starting a repair business. My reason for this is that repair businesses always flourish during a time of financial hardship.

The reason is quite simple, during a time of financial hardship people stop buying luxuries, mostly because they can’t afford them. As part of that, they try and get more mileage out of the things they have, rather than replacing them.

You might ask how this can be so, when people are out of work and businesses are closing. The answer is simple. Yes, there are a lot of people who end up out of work during a financial collapse.

During Argentina’s collapse of ’99, the real unemployment rate topped 25%. But those people aren’t the potential customers you would be looking for; you’d want the customers who are still working. They won’t have it as bad as those who are out of a job, but they’ll still have hardship too.

Remember, they will be suffering under runaway inflation, and wages won’t be keeping up. So those people will need to get more bang for their buck. Hence, the need for repair businesses.

Anyone can make the most complex DIY projects in no time!

Picking a Business

While we live in a largely disposable society, most of what we throw away is repairable, even if it may not seem so at first glance. There are people today who are making a living off of repairing windshields, reconditioning batteries and cell phones.

Some of these people are just offering repair services, while others are buying non-working devices, repairing them, and reselling them. In the area where I live, there are a couple of businesses which specialize in doing that with appliances. Since they get the appliances for almost nothing, most of what they sell them for is profit. Their only real inventory cost is the parts they put into repairing them.

Start out by looking at what sorts of things you already know how to repair. Perhaps there is something you’ve had to learn how to repair for your own needs at home; or there might be something that you’ve had to learn how to repair as part of your work.

You might even be working in a job currently, where you repair things for your employer. Whatever you know, prepare to start a business repairing that sort of equipment.

If you don’t already have something that you know how to repair, then learn something simple. A moment ago, I mentioned repairing cracked windshields. That’s not really hard to learn, and it doesn’t require a lot of investment.

Video first seen on ChrisFix.

People who have a broken windshield will gladly pay someone who knows how to repair their cracked windshield, since that is a whole lot cheaper than buying a new one.

Prepare to Start Your Business

Besides customers, there are three things any repair business is going to need:

  • Tools
  • Information
  • Parts.

Many repair businesses have little investment in parts, because they buy the parts for each repair that they do. But even then, there are common parts that need to be stocked, just to prevent the necessity of having to run to the store or parts house to buy them for every job.

Getting your tools and parts is going to require some investment on your part. So, you’re better off starting that now, while you are still working a regular job. Taking a small part of what you’re earning every week and investing it for the future is a sound financial decision; one that will pay big dividends later on.

My son is a certified network geek, working for a phone company. He has a number of different certifications on different things associated with his job. Some are specific to telephony, while others are about computer networking in general. So he’s starting a sideline business, offering his services to companies that can’t afford a full-time computer networking geek or telephone repair man.

That has meant buying the tools he needs to have, in order to troubleshoot networking and telephone problems, as well as a few common parts (mostly cables and connectors). So what he’s been doing is taking a small percentage of his paycheck each week and using that to buy the things he needs.

At the same time, he’s working on increasing his knowledge and gaining more certifications. His target is to reach a level of certification high enough that there are few people who know the things he will know.

When he reaches that point, he’ll basically be able to write his own ticket as a consultant, charging pretty much whatever he wants. That goes hand in hand with having knowledge that few people have.

This mechanism is so simple you can put it together by yourself in no time!

Start Small, But Start Soon

One of the things that keeps many people from starting a business of any sort is the cost. We tend to think in terms of needing to rent a storefront and build a complete business. But in reality, many businesses, like repair businesses, can be started out really small.

How small? That depends on how much room you have in your workshop. You can start in your garage or basement, on the back porch, or in a shed in the backyard. That’s the way people used to start their businesses.

If you go to any third-world or emerging country, you’ll still see people today who are running a repair business, small fabrication operation or small store out of their home. If they can do it, why can’t you?

Later on, if your business grows, you can start thinking about renting some space and moving into it. But if you’re going to do that, you’re probably going to need to have grown your business into a full-time job. At first, it won’t be that, more of a hobby business.

Don’t wait to start your business until you need it to generate business for you. Any business takes time to grow, so you’re better off growing your business while you still have a full-time job to pay the bills. That will also allow you to invest your profits back into your business, increasing inventory, buying more tools and marketing your business.

Keep in mind that some repair businesses may not generate a lot of money right now, simply because people aren’t accustomed to repairing things, but rather replacing them.

So you may not be able to grow your business past the hobby business stage. Even so, you should start now, so that you can build your reputation. This will also give you the opportunity to learn how to make your business run efficiently, improving profits. That way, whenever a financial crash comes, you are ready to expand your business.

Marketing Your Business

One of the biggest mistakes that people starting their first small business make is poor marketing. They don’t realize that good marketing is the number one key to opening a successful business.

It is marketing that will being customers in, nothing else. So if you want customers, you need some good marketing material and a good marketing strategy.

I’m going to concentrate on only three things here:


While not glamorous, flyers are probably the single most common form of advertising there is, other than business cards. You need a good color flyer, explaining your business, with your logo prominently displayed and clear contact information.

Unless you know how to do this yourself, don’t even try. Hire a professional. While that might cost you a couple hundred bucks, you’ll end up with a much better product.

Image is an extremely important part of marketing. In our modern world, people are highly visual. They are used to identifying a business by its “branding,” which is the current buzz-word for their logo, style, font, and the colors that they use. Good banding and good printed material can make a closet-sized repair company look like it’s the world’s best.


The second important thing you should do for your marketing is have a website. Here in the information age, just about everyone checks out a business online, before doing business with them.

Your website can be a way of introduction yourself to your potential customers, informing them about your services and sharing testimonies from satisfied customers.

The best business websites go beyond just talking about the business and educate the customer. Obviously, this needs to be in some area that is associated with the business.

So if you are repairing cell phones, you should have a series of articles about cell phones; perhaps covering tricks or “hacks” to get the most out of your cell phone, how to care for your cell phone and how to deal with common cell phone problems.

As part of your website, you also need an online presence on Facebook, with a link from your website to your Facebook page. Many people use Facebook as a way of checking out a business, as well as talking about their experience with that business.

Post regularly, talking about milestones in your business, new services offered, links to the articles on your website, funny stories, and articles of interest, which are associated with the products you repair.


Finally, make use of the power of Facebook advertising. Your Facebook page is part of this. But more than anything, Facebook is a marketing platform, probably the single most effective one that exists today. Even so, you can advertise on Facebook very inexpensively, setting your own budget and parameters to ensure that you are getting the best value for your advertising dollar.

While there are many other things you can do in marketing, these three are the most important ones to get your business off the ground and starting to grow.

If you do them, chances are you’ll have success. But if you don’t, you’ll probably have trouble finding customers.

Even within the area of repair businesses, there are lots of different choices you can make. The key is in finding something that would fit you and provide you with a good business.

Grab your tools and start practicing your skills now!

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 This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

11 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Moving Off-Grid

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I don’t know about you, but I would love to own about 25 acres of land in the middle of nowhere and live solely on what I develop from the land itself.

The sad fact is, most of people caught in a crisis will either live in bands of scavengers or wind up dead.

Even those fortunate enough to live on a homestead or in a dedicated survival group are apt to find themselves being attacked by anyone desperate enough to try and steal from them.

If you can afford to purchase land and live off grid, it offers a better standard of living and added peace and comfort in a time when just about everything else is falling apart. If you intend to succeed at moving off grid, there are 10 mistakes you must avoid at all cost.

Not Accounting for Weather Conditions and Radiation Threats

Even though you may rarely hear about nuclear events, there are ongoing situations like Fukushima, as well as potential ones that can make your homestead as dangerous as it is worthless.

For example, if you purchase or have land in California or anywhere along the western coast of the United States, including Canada, ionized radiation from Fukushima is more than likely contaminating the land, air, and water already.

While it may not seem like much now, or at “low levels”, the fact remains that the leak at the Fukushima reactors is still releasing radioactive waste into the ocean, and the currents are still bringing that radiation to the western shore of the United States.

Aside from Fukushima, every location within 100 miles of a nuclear power plant or nuclear waste facility should be avoided at all cost. If there is a major waterway such as a river that connects one nuclear are to within 100 miles of your planned homestead site, it is best to avoid the area or consider how you will best escape problems caused by nuclear contamination.

Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and droughts are all becoming more common. Make sure that you pay careful attention to how the weather patterns are changing. It does not matter what the media says is causing these changes or what they say they mean.

All that matters is you pick a safe location or know how to handle changing weather patterns in the area that you choose.

Not Having a Means of Income

Taxes, emergencies, and adapting to an off grid life can all cost a good bit of money. Even if you can meet basic needs from the land itself, it never hurts to have enough contact with the rest of the world so that you can make some money.

Together with this, you also need to diversify your currency stockpile. While cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can be very dangerous, it may still come in handy to have some money in this form of currency.

Just make sure that you never put so much into these currencies that it will cause problems if the currency fails.

Lack of Experience with Growing Food Underground

If there is one common factor in all ultimate survival shelters and homesteads, building underground is it. Not only will an underground shelter protect you from nuclear radiation, it can also shield you from just about everything except earthquakes. When built correctly, an underground homestead can last for generations and remain in good condition.

The lack of light and free moving air underground can be fatal. If you do not have sufficient experience with growing foods and herbal remedies underground, then you will need to gain these skills as well as make sure that you can repair or replace every part of the lighting system used to grow plants.

Make sure that you also have a good grounding in disease management.

This old forgotten secrets helped our parents survive!

Inability to Generate Power or Communicate

Today, far too many people think that they can follow the traditions of the Amish or other groups that have never become accustomed to electricity and petroleum based fuels.

While these people do have some valid ideas about many important areas of off grid living, they do not know how to manage the kinds of waste that exist in the world today. Without electricity, it will be harder than you expect to deal with environmental toxins.

Because we have become a “global economy”, and a “global human environment”, what happens in one part of the world cannot be ignored. You will still need radios and other communications systems so that you can find out about larger scale threats and then find ways to manage them as the situation develops.

No matter how much you may want to think you can make it in the world alone, the fact remains just as many others may have the same idea. Unless you know where they are and what they are doing, you will be in very serious danger of building a false utopia that will crash around your ears.

At the very least, make sure that you know how to generate electricity underground and using solar and wind based methods.

You should also know how to build a foxhole radio and a spark gap transmitter. It is also very important to know how to build electronic communications devices with or without solid state technologies.

Lack of Knowledge and Ability to Manage Sanitation Issues

Chances are, if you have been doing your research on prepping and off grid issues, then you already know that poor sanitation can lead to serious disease outbreaks.

While a composting toilet may seem very useful, you must still consider what to do with bathing water, kitchen garbage, disposal of old paint or other chemicals, and managing nuisance insects if you are not able manage sanitation properly. In addition, if you decide to build a septic system, then you will still have to pump out the tank or find some other way to manage this aspect of sanitation.

Overall, you should focus on systems that recycle as much as possible without the use of dangerous or toxic chemicals. Always remember that the land you have is all that you have. If you ruin it, there won’t be a way to replace it, and there may not be a way to fix the problem.

You can try composting toilets, compost generators for kitchen waste, and conversion of other waste into some kind of fuel.

For more ideas on other kinds of waste, look to Sweden, where less than 1% of household waste winds up in landfills. Reducing your reliance on the local rubbish company is also something you can start doing now.

As you become more proficient in this area, you will have at least one part of your off grid skills in good order.

Lack of Medical Knowledge and Skills

Considering the rampant and continuous scandal around modern health care, it should come as no surprise that people are becoming more nervous about every aspect of treating diseases. While there are some parts of modern medicine that are valuable and cannot be replaced or duplicated, there are still some very important things you can do for yourself.

Perhaps most important, as an off gridder, you will need to understand and take advantage of the relationship between good health and lifestyle choices.

While your “national pride” may say have another hot dog that may have human remains in it, or your mouth may water for cheeses and meat filled with pesticide and antibiotics, in the end these decisions can cost your life and your well being.

By the same token, not getting enough exercise, not paying attention to air quality, smoking, drinking alcohol in excess, and using “recreational drugs” will all take a toll on your well being.

If you are going to live off grid, you won’t have the time to deal with health problems from these choices let alone live comfortably.

It is also very important to educate yourself as much as possible about emergency medicine, herbal remedies, and any side effects that may come from the drugs you are using right now.

Do what you can to use holistic methods and lifestyle improvements. Aside from learning a lot about how your body works, you may also gain enough improvement to reduce your reliance on drugs that will eventually stop working or cause more harm than expected to organs outside of the system being treated.

Lack of Self and Property Defense Equipment and Skills

I must admit there are definitely days when I wish I could go live on a few acres of land and never need to worry about all the crime and other hazards that come with living in a more populated setting. Quite frankly, believing that safety will automatically come when you isolate from others is a huge mistake.

Among other things, you may have to deal with criminals passing through the area looking to hide out, as well as others looking to commit some kind of crime. Unless you can defend yourself and your property even in these times, there is every chance you will wind up dead.

Inability to Store and Prepare Foods

As simple and obvious as it may sound, many people that plan to live off grid don’t know how to store and prepare foods. For example, many people think canning is easy because they see many recipes online, and the standard supplies are available in the department store each fall.

The truth is, canning takes a good bit of practice and skill. You must carefully time the water baths, and also know how to manage the hot bottles at the precise moment when they are ready to be sealed down.

Unfortunately, as with many other areas of off gridding, there is a lot of wrong and outright unsafe information around. While you can give things like oven canning, dehydration, and and vacuum sealing a try, it is still best to know how to smoke and dry foods.

It is also very important to make sure you have an effective and efficient food inventory system so that you don’t wind up eating something that is too old and may have become contaminated because of improper storage. This is especially important to consider if you are planning to use oxygen absorbers or other systems that will lead to different kinds of bacterial growth.

Perhaps it can be said that you would be better off taking a risk of a discernible mold or fungus growing rather than a deadly botulism strain that won’t be as easy to pick up on.

Inability to Obtain and Purify Water

People that go camping or spend a lot of time outdoors may think they know all there is to know about obtaining and purifying water. While there are many valid methods for both tasks, the fact remains modern “potable” water supplies are incredibly dangerous.

Aside from medications, fluoride, and nuclear waste being found in most surface level water, heavy metal contamination is also a serious problem. In fact, unless you go down to the south pole and melt off some glacier ice, chances are you don’t have access to clean, let alone safe water.

For some people, the short answer is to distill all water used for drinking and cooking. Even though distilling will get rid of pathogens and most chemicals, it will not get rid of tritium.

In addition, drinking distilled water over weeks or months increases your risk of electrolyte and mineral depletion. Therefore, you will need to know how to compensate for this loss using foods and other beverages.

Today, many people also give very little thought to the safety and cleanliness of the water they wash with. Many chemicals can be absorbed by the skin, or wind up being absorbed through mucus membranes.

It may take a lot more work to purify all water that you use for bathing and washing, however it will be well worth the effort in the long run.

Inability to Make Clothes

Even if you normally go to the goodwill store for second hand clothes, chances are you have more garments than you know what to do with.

When you have to tend your own farm, or carry out a lot of intensive physical labor chores, your garments are bound to wear out much faster. To add insult to injury, the detergents you use to wash you garments can also spell disaster. Sadly, there are many recipes online for “natural laundry detergent” that can actually ruin your clothes in a very short period of time.

The best thing you can do to solve this problem is make sure that you know how to make your own clothes from the ground up. Learn how to grow cotton, sheer sheep, and spin these fibers into fabric or yarn.

At the very least, even if you do make a mistake on washing and garment care, or your clothes get ruined for some other reason, you will be able to make new ones.

There is no question that off grid living comes with many rewards and opportunities. If you are going to live comfortably and peacefully, however, there are a number of common mistakes that you need to avoid. Take the time to learn and practice as many skills as possible so that you are ready for any situation that comes up. Even if you wind up needing to rely on goods and services for a short period of time, make it your business to learn what you need to know so that you don’t wind up having to look to others because of repeated failures.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

SHTF in Country Living!

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SHTF in Country Living Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps“ Audio in player below! We’ve talked about a shtf scenario while living in a metro area or apartment but what about the country? This show will be all about country living during shtf and as you may know it has multiple advantages but there are also … Continue reading SHTF in Country Living!

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12 Ways To Build A Survival Tent

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When it comes to survival in an emergency situation, everything revolves around the “holy trinity”: water, food, and shelter. The rest are luxuries.

Without water, you’ll die in a matter of days, 2-3 days tops depending on the climate and your physical fitness. Without food, you’ll last for up to 2-3 weeks or maybe more, but after the first week you’ll be pretty much disabled, both physically and psychologically, i.e. it will be all spiraling downwards from there.

The importance of finding or building adequate shelter in a survival scenario is pretty much obvious to anyone. If you’re facing extreme weather conditions in a SHTF scenario, you won’t make it for 2-3 weeks so you can die of hunger, if you know what I mean.

Now, if you can secure these three items – food, water, shelter regardless of the nature of your emergency and/or your location, you’ll be able to “hang in there” indefinitely.

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

Then, you can concentrate on building a fire, assessing your self-defense options, and even some basic luxuries, such as gathering leaves for a softer bed and making a cup of coffee if you’re lucky enough to have any.

Let’s talk about the basics of building a shelter via an improvised tent, as a primer of sorts.

The idea is that one the most common mistakes of wilderness survival is one’s incapability of building/finding a proper shelter.

Actually, having no shelter in a SHTF situation is a 2-fold mistake that may cost you and your family’s life: the first mistake is adventuring outdoors unprepared, i.e. not having the means to DIY a proper shelter in your survival kit (read tarp, poncho etc.). The second mistake would be one’s lack of knowledge to DIY an improvised shelter using readily available materials, i.e. nature’s tools (snow, branches, sand etc.).

When we hear news about folks dying out there in the wilderness, they usually die of exposure; this is the common reason that you’ll hear coming up time and time again.

Whether we’re talking about heat-stroke or hypothermia, the lesson to be taken home is that those guys either did not carry the means to build an improvised shelter (a sleeping bag with bivy, a tarp or a regular tent) or they lacked the skills and the knowledge to DIY a suitable shelter for shielding themselves from the elements. One of the most important rules of outdoor survival is to stay dry; remember that folks.

Getting back to our business, in order to improvise a tent, you’ll require time, effort, a good location, and, obviously, the materials needed to build it.

With regard to wilderness survival in harsh weather conditions, shelters can be improvised from readily available materials with relative ease in order to protect you from wind, sun, rain, snow, cold/hot temperatures, insects etc.

Here are a few ideas for building an improvised shelter using a piece of tarp, a poncho, or something similar (plastic sheets, parachute canopy etc.):

And speaking of materials and survival gear, always remember to pack a quality piece of tarp in your EDC survival kit in your car or your hand baggage. You never know when you’ll need it, right? And I’ve mentioned the tarp for good reason.

4 Ways to Make a Tent from a Tarp

You can improvise a pretty cool tent using a piece of tarp, preferably with reinforced corners and solid 1/2” grommets if you’re lucky enough to have the respective supplies with you (the tarp that is).

The tarp will be used in conjunction with a wooden-made frame to create a cozy shelter for the night. The frame can be improvised relatively easily. All you have to do is lean poles against a tree trunk or a lower branch in such a way that you’ll be able to fit snugly under your tarp.

Here’s how to make a tent from a tarp using readily available materials, such as wood branches and nothing more. You can configure this design in both open front and closed front by using canvas, nylon or poly tarps.

This type of improvised tent will work great with a fire in front for keeping you warm during the long winter nights.

Video first seen on Far North Bushcraft And Survival

Here’s an even simpler design using an 8×10 tarp and a bunch of sticks, which will come handy in an emergency situation.

Video first seen on Oregon Mike

A more comprehensive tutorial about tents improvised from tarp in storm conditions can be visualized in the video below. The idea is to build an improvised tent that can be used effectively in windy conditions.

Video first seen on PHARRAOH

Here’s a very easy DIY project for improvising a partial tent for a quick overnight or just to keep the snow away.

Video first seen on Jarhead Survivor

The thing is, there are many ways one can improvise a survival tent out of a piece of tarp or a plastic sheet or a poncho. However, what’s important is to know the basics, the theory so to speak.

This one can described as a life-saving skill by any metric, and the only thing to remember at all times is that the bigger the tarp, the bigger the shelter, so keep that in mind when assembling your EDC survival kit (and don’t forget the paracord).

The Poncho Survival Shelter

Besides a tarp, you can improvise a survival tent of sorts using a poncho. We’ll refer to this little project as the poncho survival shelter if you like. Here are two ideas to contemplate upon.

Video first seen on Snowalker13

Here’s a comprehensive tutorial, with variations of the poncho-shelter.

Video first seen on UglyTent Bushcraft & Survival.

How to Improvise a Teeppee

You can always improvise a native Indian-styled tent also known as a tipi/teepee, just watch this video. This is one of my favorite projects as it’s simple to set up and fairly easy to DIY.

Video first seen on Wilderness Innovation

And here’s a pull-up tipi, or an improvised tent/survival shelter that’s not supported by poles, by rather pulled up with cord/rope. This is the ideal emergency shelter for one person.

Video first seen on Wilderness Innovation

Here’s another cool idea for a no-pole improvised tent.

Video first seen on mc outdoors

How to Make a Shelter in the Woods

If you know how to use an ax, then log tents may also be an option. Log tents were built by native Indians for centuries, as their primary winter houses in North America.

This is a very basic idea for building an improvised log tent, or how to make a shelter in the woods if you don’t have a tarp or something similar available.

Video  first seen on Videojug

And here’s a more complex one, a frame super-tent if you like, using green wood for the horizontal beams.

Video first seen on Birch Point Outdoors

If you think you have what it takes, here’s a picture depicting native American log-tents of the ancient North, which make for an excellent warm winter camp, especially if the logs fit well together and they’re properly calked with dry grass and moss.

Now that you know how to build a survival shelter, start practicing!

Will you be able to protect your own in a life or death scenario?

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This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

6+ Tips That Could Save Your Life In A Plane Crash

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Usually speaking, the general public believes that the vast majority of plane crashes leaves no one left behind alive to tell the story.

However, there are many exceptions to that rule. If we’re talking about science, well, there’s a whole science behind the concept of surviving a plane crash.

Actually, plane crashes are incredibly rare.

Statistically speaking, you’re more prone to dying while driving your car, i.e. in a car crash, than to be involved in a plane crash. Airplane-related incidents are a very rare occurrence and today they are at an all time low, due to the huge advances in flight security and technology.

What Are the Odds?

To give you a scientific example using statistics, the odds of the average Survivopedia reader being killed in a plane crash even providing that he/she flies regularly are 1 in 8015. The chances of any single flight being plagued by an incident are 1 in 1.2 million. The chance of you getting killed in a plane crash are over your entire lifetime 1 in 8015.

To put things into a broader perspective, your chances of being killed in a car accident are anywhere between 1 in 112 (over your entire lifetime) or anywhere between 1 in 4000/8000 every time you’re on the road, as there are many variables to take into account: what kind of vehicle you drive, how often and far you drive on a daily basis etc.

However, if you  compare these aforementioned figures to the odds of dying in an airplane crash, you’ll have a hard time comprehending people’s fear of flying, or, for that matter, our utter nonchalance when it comes to driving for the most meaningless of purposes, but let that one go.

It’s also interesting to mention than a whopping 96% of all victims involved in an airplane crash survive. If that figure sounds very high, well, it’s because the vast majority of airplane crashes are not as catastrophic as one may be inclined to think watching TV all day.

Catastrophic airplane crashes, where the plane just drops out of the sky for some reason, aren’t typically survivable (except from blind luck), but they’re very rare. “Regular” plane crashes are totally survivable provided you don’t lose your head and you learn some tiny bits of essential information.

To make things real simple, an airplane is basically a long, combustible aluminum tube filled with people; go figure it out for yourself what happens in a crash landing, which defines the vast majority of airplane accidents nowadays (80% of plane crashes happen during take-off/landing procedures).

But modern-day airplanes are specially designed for allowing all of the passengers to be evacuated in 90 seconds tops, and that’s important because most of the injuries/victims when it comes to plane crashes are due to fires.

One thing that really grinds my gears is that almost ninety percent of the passengers fail to read the safety cards and half of them don’t watch the pre-flight safety presentations, even if the information regarding flight safety is a matter of life and death.

Simply put, actions have consequences and every action you take prior, during, and after a plane crash plays a vital role with regard to your chances of survival. To begin with, according to flight security experts, almost 33% of all casualties due to plane crashes in the past could have been prevented, provided the passengers had known their survival basics, i.e. what to do during and after the plane crash.

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

Choose Your Airplane Seat Carefully

Lesson number one: everything in life is about location, hence choose your airplane seat carefully, as per the picture below:

However, let’s be honest about it: surviving an airplane crash is not an exact science. Even if you choose your seat as per the illustration above, which, according to statistics, shows you the safest position inside of an airplane for surviving a crash, there’s no guarantee you’ll make it out alive if SHTF.

The thing is, even if certain seats are safer than others using probabilities, it all depends on the nature of a particular incident, i.e. if you sit in the front of the plane in the business class and the impacts occurs primarily in the rear, your chances of survival will be higher in this situation, right?

Still, the FAA claims that there’s no such thing as a safe space inside of an airplane, because there is no seat that’s safer than another. Airplane manufacturers are saying the same thing, arguing that all seats are created equal, provided you’re using the seat belt.

But, recent studies analyzing  survival patterns of many catastrophic airplane crashes suggest that the rear third of the plane is the safest with regard to one’s chances of surviving, with the last row being the ideal spot due to its proximity to the rear exit.

Speaking of emergency exits, there’s always the five-row rule, which states that your chances of surviving a plane crash are pretty good if your seat is within 5 rows of an emergency exit. This theory makes perfect sense: the sooner you get out of the plane, the better.

The least safe seats in coach are in the middle third of the airplane and the same goes for seats located in the very front of the entire cabin (business/first class). The fatality rate of those passengers having to travel more than 5 rows to an emergency exit is significantly higher, so remember that next time you book a seat.

Overall, the lesson to be taken home is that middle seats in the rear third of the cabin are the sweet spots for surviving a plane crash.

Wear Flame-resistant Clothes

The next thing to contemplate is your clothing. Yes, you read that right because the biggest danger in an airplane crash, provided you survived the impact, is the combustible parts of the plane igniting and provoking a huge fire; therefore, your clothes are the first and last line of defense.

While there are flame-resistant clothes on the market, it’s not always possible to wear these, especially during business trips and all that. However, remember to avoid nylon, polyester and acrylic , as these materials are very dangerous in a fire because they melt (and burn) at relatively low temperatures, compared to other materials. That means that they will stick to your skin if heated enough, provoking horrible injuries as they burn.

Wool and cotton are way better and remember: do not wear skirts, dresses, shorts or flowing/loose fitting clothes during flight. Also, pay attention to your shoes. The best choice is to wear laced-up, comfy and sturdy leather shoes, made with solid soles and good traction. As you’ll be trying to escape from a burning plane, these details are very important.

Learn How to Operate the Safety Equipment

Always pay attention to the back seat pocket card and the safety presentation, as every aircraft model has its own safety procedures and features.

Learn how to operate the safety equipment and know where the emergency exits are, how to open them, and so on and so forth.

Know the +3 / -8 Rule

While it’s recommended that you stay alert and aware at all times, not only during flight, when it comes to surviving a plane crash, there’s the +3/-8 rule. This rule refers to the fact that most airplane crashes (80%) take place in the first three minutes after take-off and in the final 8 minutes of the flight.

During these periods of time, don’t read, don’t get distracted, and stay alert and ready to execute your plan if necessary.

Buckle Up for Safety

Seat belts are a no-brainer; always remember to buckle up for safety both while driving and flying. What’s crucial to remember with regard to airplane seat belts is that they’re somewhat different from their car brethren and it was widely reported that many passengers have difficulty and lose valuable time trying to remove their seat belts in the aftermath of a plane crash.

The thing is, unlike a car seat belt which releases at a push of a button, an airplane seat belt uses a different mechanism so you should familiarize yourself with removing your seat belt by both sight and touch, so you’ll be ready and able to release it instantly if SHTF even if the cabin is dark.

Also, remember to fasten your seat belt as tight as you can, as any loose inch matters in the eventuality of a high-speed crash. Every half inch of slack will triple the G-force you’ll have to endure in a crash.

Even if it may sound uncomfortable, I would advise you to keep your seat beat fastened even when you’re sleeping, especially when you’re sleeping.

Be Ready to Act

Now, with prevention taken care of, the “good news” so to speak is that you’ll probably be aware of the imminence of a plane crash long before it actually happens. That’s why it’s important to develop a plan, thus to dramatically increase your chance of surviving a plane crash just by taking a few minutes to think about what you’ll  have to do to survive in the eventuality of an accident.

Be ready to act quickly, calmly, and efficiently in any crisis situation. Know where the emergency exits are located and count the rows to the nearest exit both behind and in front of your seat so you can navigate the cabin easily even in the dark.

Before the Crash

If the plane will have to perform an emergency landing over water, put your life vest on, but don’t inflate it until you’re out of the plane—this is important. An inflated life vest will impair your movements, making it harder to get out of the plane quickly.

Try to pad your head prior to impact, if possible, using pillows, a coat or blankets. Also try to protect your ankles and shins if possible and secure any loose items near you.

Empirical evidence teaches us that bracing for impact, i.e. assuming the proper position prior to a heavy impact, will maximize your chances of survival. The crash position is taught in the pre flight safety presentation and not only increases your chances of survival, but it also minimizes the risk of getting injured (neck, head, leg injuries) if you do actually survive the crash.

As soon as the oxygen mask drops, put it on. In the eventuality the cabin becomes depressurized, you’ll only have fifteen to twenty seconds to put it on before your rendered unconscious. Put your oxygen mask on before assisting other passengers or even your children. If you pass out, you’ll not be able to help anyone anyway.

After the Crash

After the crash, try to get out of the plane ASAP. Pay attention to the cabin crew instructions, as they’re well trained to respond in the event of a plane crash. Follow their instructions and remember—the first 90 seconds after a plane crash are essential, i.e. after 90 seconds, if you’re still inside the cabin, your chances of survival will drop dramatically.

Get out as fast as you can and as far away as you can – think kerosene exploding in a huge fireball.

Forget about your luggage, valuables, Mac Book, engagement ring or whatever. It’s not worth losing your life over stuff.

Don’t try to climb seats unless there’s no other way out. I must repeat, even if speed is essential after a plane crash, stay calm and try not to panic.

Don’t be stunned by the horrific events, move as fast as you can, and don’t lose your head. Most fatalities following a plane crash are due to fire and its derivates, i.e. smoke inhalation and fumes.

If there are smoke and fumes inside the cabin, lay low (don’t crawl though, stay on 2 feet) while evacuating and try to cover your nose and mouth using a piece of cloth (moistened would be ideal). You can also consider carrying a heat-resistant portable smoke hood.

Proceed to the nearest safe exit and move away from the crash scene, at least 500 feet away in an upwind direction. Then, assess the situation, take care of your wounds and/or assist others using basic first aid methods if you can. Stay close to the scene and wait for the rescue to arrive.

Will you be able to protect your own in a life or death scenario? Click the banner below to find out!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

Prep Blog Review: Summer Prepping Activities To Do With Kids

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Teaching kids about survival is a tough thing to do, but is very important. We put a lot of emphasis on our own prepping, but we really should be teaching our kids how to prep, too.

Teaching the little ones to prepare for disaster involves tactic and a lot of patience. But, you can transform all this prepping lessons into funny activities kids will love.

Summer is coming so you’ll need new ideas to keep them busy and off your nerves. So, for this week’s Prep Blog Review I’ve gathered four articles on this topic to help you prep with your little ones.

1. 10 Prepping Activities To Do With Your Kids This Summer

“Summer is coming! The kids will be out of school very soon and will need ideas to keep them out of trouble and off your nerves. Teaching kids prepping should be at the top of your list of things for them to do.

We put a lot of emphasis on adults knowing how to prep, but we really should be teaching the next generation how to prep too.

Remember: our goal in raising kids is that they are self-sufficient when they leave home.

While we should expect phone calls on how to do things, we want them to know the basics and be able to care for themselves.”

Read more on Living Life In Rural Iowa.

2. Prepping With Kids

“If you’d asked me 16 years ago if I’d be ready for when the SHTF, I would’ve answered yes without any kind of hesitation.

After all, I was single, I was a Ground Team Leader in the Air Force Auxiliary unit Civil Air Patrol, I had worked as an Armed Security Agent, was working in the airlines, and had taken a multitude of camping, firearms, first aid, and survival courses.

In the chaos of 9/11 I’d been told that I’d handled myself admirably and with a cool and level head by my co-workers and supervisors. I felt prepared.”

Read more on The Prepper Journal.

3. 4 Top Survival Skills You Must Teach your Kids

“Some of Bear Grylls’ biggest fans are kids. Their eyes widen at his derring-do, and boys and girls alike admire his survival skills and savvy.

However, the survival skills for kids that will keep them safe and sound are far more mundane!

Below are four survival skills for kids to learn, along with a few tips for parents.”

Read more on The Survival Mom.

  1. 4. Essential Survival Skills That Kids Should Know ASAP

“How safe are our kids today? Isn’t it a very valid question? It’s quite natural that we, as parents become so protective and in this blind love, we end up doing everything for them. We are proud of the fact that our kids are 100 % dependent on us. But is that fair?

Think about, what will be your response if I ask you, whether your kids will be able to manage on their own if they have a crisis.

The contingency can be small or big, but, as parents, we have the complete responsibility to train our kids on some necessary survival skills, for them to take care of, on their own during these situations.”

Read more on Prepper’s Will.


This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia. 

Survival Myth Explained: Can Playing Dead Save Your Life?

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When you are in a life or death situation with just a few seconds to a minute remaining, some strategies will work better than others. Ultimately, you’ll be locked into your decision to stay and fight it out until you win or you die, or to try and escape.

Playing dead is one of these strategies: a double edged sword that you should handle carefully. It can help you, or it can also cost your life instead of saving it. In the end, it all depends on the mindset and will of those you encounter, humans and animals equally.

Let’s have a look at some different scenarios and what is likely to happen if you try to play dead. It will help you build the mindset you need to survive!

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

Scenario 1: Active Shooter Scenarios

Police say most active shooters can take months to years to plan out and gather everything they need to carry out their final scene.

On the other hand, you might not be prepared to face this challenge and have to think fast to find a way to survive. So, are you going to play dead to stay alive? Before deciding, consider that:

  • An active shooter most likely has a real, imagined, or socially induced grudge or grievance.
  • The shooter has already decided that violence is the only answer.
  • This person has more than likely listened to music, played video games, or read materials that encourage the expression violence.
  • The shooter has also decided that killing others is an acceptable outcome even if they are not directly associated with the grievance or similar to those that are directly associated.
  • The shooter may have communicated his/her intent to others, thus making a commitment to follow through.
  • Has already developed a plan, rehearsed it, and acquired weapons.
  • Ultimately, has a sense of hopelessness, desperation, and despair.

An active shooter is locked into a drama inside his/her head, and they may or may not be paying attention to how many people they have actually killed. Rather, as long as people go down, and there is plenty of blood around, they may assume you are dead if you look dead.

During the Charleston church shooting, it was Dylann Roof’s belief that he was there to start a race war. He chose the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston South Carolina because it is one of the United States’ oldest continuous running Black churches.

Each victim was shot multiple times to ensure that they were dead. One survivor of the killing spree, did, in fact, escape detection by laying in her own son’s blood and playing dead. The survivor was very lucky this strategy worked, however not every shooter would or will just pass a still body, especially if they have a good sense of where their bullets have struck.

That being said, following the Paris terrorist attacks the United Kingdom’s Terrorism Security Office issued new guidelines that amount to:

  • Run – Clear the active shooting areas as fast as possible without getting shot.
  • Hide – Find a safe place to hide. Wait for the police or other proper authorities to come and get you.
  • Tell – Tell the authorities everything you saw, did, and noticed during the active shooting event.

The US Department of Homeland Security’s guide for an active shooting situation following the San Bernardino California incident also say that people should run and hide. Instead of “tell”, they recommend, as a last resort, making an improvised weapon and fighting to protect yourself and others.

But in an active shooting scenario, no professional or professional organization that I know of, recommends playing dead.  I don’t recommend it because, in a split second, it is very hard to tell exactly what kind of person you are dealing with or what is going on in their sick little mind.

There have been volumes written on the difference between a crazy person acting out a drama for personal benefit and a terrorist that is more interested in killing as a social statement instead of an emotional one. In fact, some even say there is no difference at all, or that a person can change as the situation progresses.

Scenario 2: Terror Attacks

If you are in a terrorist attack, run, try to escape, and take as many others with you as possible. If you do play dead in a terrorist attack, it is likely the terrorist will not see an end of a life. Instead, they may see a body that can be used to “send a message” to anyone who is watching.

It is nothing for a terrorist to mutilate a dead body while video taping their escapades. Later on, it will become a training video and inspiration for others, as well as the means to terrorize their sworn opponents. In the end, if you can’t escape, you must fight to the death.

Scenario 3: Armed Robberies

For many people living in the cities or suburbs armed robberies are an every day event. If you cooperate with the robber most of the time they will not hurt you because they just want valuables. If you try to fight back, the robber could very easily shoot you or stab you.

On the other hand, if you fake being sick (such as having a seizure or heart attack), or pretend to fall over dead while playing sick, the robber may leave the scene abruptly.

Robbers do not want undue attention drawn to the area during the robbery. A lot depends on how the robber responds to stress and what is in their mind. Where some will run, others  may kick you, stamp on you, or shoot you.

Playing dead is very dangerous in any type of armed robbery. They may even put a bullet in you just to make sure you can’t act as a witness later on.

Scenario 4: Domestic Violence

The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically. However, the one constant component of domestic violence is one of the partner’s constant efforts to maintain power and control over the other.

Domestic violence also usually intensifies over time. It can begin with simple name calling and end up with great bodily harm and psychological damage. In all too many cases domestic violence ends in death.

Domestic violence does not always end when the victim escapes the abuser, tries to terminate the relationship, or seeks help. The abuser will continue to stalk, threatened, and try to control the victim after the victim has escaped.  As a result, the victim is usually in the most danger following an attempt to exit the relationship. 20% of victims of domestic violence with restraining orders are usually found murdered within 2 days after obtaining the court order.

Quite frankly, playing dead in this situation is not a viable answer. It will not stop the beatings or the violence. If the person has decided to kill, or is in an uncontrollable rage, your stillness may be an invitation to carry out more violence until you are actually dead.

As with other violent situations, you must move to escape and ask for help, or you must fight for your life.

Scenario 5: Street Fights

If you run into an experience street fighter it means that he is strong, aggressive, and can throw extremely hard punches with good knock down power. It also means that this fighter will be willing to bite you, choke you, claw at your eyes, or use what are considered dirty tactics.

There are many methods that you can practice to take your street fighting skills to a successful level, however playing dead isn’t one of them.

Consider that it is very common for a street fighter to try to choke you. Pretending you are dead will more than likely result in your neck being twisted and broken until you are actually dead.

You can use feints or false relaxing to gain an edge, however those are advanced skills that must be carried out in a split second. You must learn and practice often to know when and how to use them. They bear no resemblance to playing dead for several moments.

Scenario 6: Animal Attacks

The best way to avoid wildlife problems is to use common sense. Be aware of what’s around you, what kind of animals you are likely to encounter, and the danger they pose. The most dangerous animals that you’ll run into in North America are cougars, bears, moose, deer, elk, buffalo, wolves, and coyotes.

When interacting with dangerous large animals of North America you may have to fight these animals in order to survive. Sometimes playing dead may be your only option to survive these vicious attacks.

Unlike dealing with humans, animals are more predictable within their species. Wild animals may maul and seriously injure a human, but they will stop short of killing and simply walk away. Man, on the other hand, kills for fun and sport; and will carry through to ending a life.

Here are some observations about wild animals you may encounter, and whether or not it is a good strategy to play dead around them.


Bears are extremely dangerous regardless of the species.  They are most inclined to attack when you surprise them, they think you are competing for food, you corner them, or get between a mother and her cubs.

Even the less dangerous bear species will attack when they are hungry. Only play dead when you cannot escape and all else fails.

You might get bit, or even clawed. Unless the bear is hungry, it should leave after that. If you panic while you are playing dead, do not get up, and start to run away. The odds are the bear will run you down and kill you.


Cougar attacks are no time to play dead or make yourself look small or weak.  Under no circumstances do you crouch down or play dead. These large cats are active predators that will stalk, kill, and eat their prey either animal or human.


Moose attacks can be staved off by playing dead. Curl up in a ball to protect yourself against the kicks and the stomps. Do not move until the moose goes away or it will renew its’ attack against you.


Deer and elk attacks can also be staved off by playing dead. As with moose, curl up in a ball or fetal position to protect your head, neck, and vital organs. The animals will kick at you, but they will eventually leave you alone.


Buffalo are always risky to deal with, however playing dead works. These huge animals can head-butt, gore, or stomp,  in a matter of seconds. If you are knocked down stay down and play dead.  Normally after a buffalo has charged it will wander off and resume grazing.

Wolf and Coyote

Wolf and coyote attacks are becoming more common. These are very cunning and highly intelligent animals that stalk their prey by sneaking in from behind to nip and ripped leg muscles to disable their victim. Once you are down the whole pack will swarm in on you for the kill.

Under no circumstances should you play dead. Your best defense is to kill or injure as many as possible until you can escape. Focusing on the first attacker or dominant animal in the pack may or may not work.

How to Play Dead

It is my personal opinion that playing dead to survive a criminal encounter is  extremely dangerous and could lead to your death.

If you do play dead it is a last-ditch attempt to surviving a criminal encounter where the odds are you would be shot or murdered anyway.

  • If you are going to play dead, don’t just fall to the ground. Make it look like the attack was so bad, you actually died.
  • Once you have stopped moving, try to hold your breath. When you must breathe, take shadow slow breaths.
  • If you want to watch what’s going on around you, keep your eyelids almost closed and look through the tiny slits.  Do not make any fast eye movements.
  • When playing dead, be ready for the other person to strike you or take other steps to see if you are actually dead. No matter what the test is, chances are it is going to hurt. Unless you are trained to use this split second to attack, chances are your involuntary responses will get you killed.

Skills to Practice

Even though playing dead is not a good idea if you encounter a violent human, it does work for some animals. In the latter situation, you may have to play dead for several moments.

Here are some things to practice:

  • Breath control – know how to control breathing so that no motion is seen or felt.  Use meditation to help avoid panic, and also to breathe as lightly and slowly as possible.
  • Be completely still for long periods of time.
  • Learn how to look around a room without being noticed.
  • Under no circumstances do you cough, burp, sneeze, pass gas, or make other noises or odors.

Playing dead may or may not work if your life is in serious danger. When encountering humans, use this method only as a last resort. You can use playing dead more effectively when encountering wild animals depending on the species.

Playing dead can be an effective and life saving strategy, however you must know how to use it properly.

Can you protect your own in a life or death scenario? Click the banner below to find out!

This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Prep Blog Review: What Are You Preparing For?

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Maybe you are new to prepping, or you have already started preparing but you are overwhelmed by the amount of information you find online. I am asking you and you one simple question that should at the basis of all your survival plans: what are you preparing for?

Are you preparing for a war, for a societal breakdown, for a blackout, for a pandemic or for retirement? Just because you have started building a stockpile or growing your food it doesn’t mean you are going to survive any disaster.

With this thing in mind, for this week’s Prep Blog Review I’ve gathered four articles on this topic to help you prioritize your prepping. Tell us in the comment section below what are you prepping for.

1. Prepping Priorities – What Should You Be Prepping For?

Too many question marks on striped paper

“When we jump on preparedness sites, sometimes we’re immediately struck by the enormous loads of things to buy, do, and learn. We immediately start hearing about WROL, battle rifles, ammo counts in the thousands, pressure canners, INCH/BOB bags and locations, pace count, and primitive skills. World- and nation-altering events such as nuclear war, internet-ending viruses, Nibiru, Agenda 21 and NWO, and the like pop up.

They all have their places, but sometimes things get missed and it can make for a very overwhelming introduction. It can make it hard to prioritize where to spend our time and financial budgets even for those with experience and years of exposure to the prepared mindset.

To make it a little easier to prioritize, we can work in stages. We can look at what is most likely to occur in the near future and our lifetimes, and use that information to help us decide where to focus our time, efforts and resources.”

Read more on The Prepper Journal.

2. Prepping for a US Mainland Conflict

“Aside from everyone nuking each other into mutually assured obsolescence, the World War 3 worst-case scenario for Americans would be if the conflict reached the American mainland. An invasion. A massive assault.

The ideas seem unlikely, considering that the last time there was a  full-on war on the American mainland was during the American Civil War.

Previous to that, there were some foreign invasions but our land has been protected from battles against other countries almost two centuries.”

Read more on The Organic Prepper.

3. 10 Ways to Get Survival Supplies When You Have No Money

“Prepping for a disaster can be expensive. While fully-stocked private bunkers and steel safes full of weapons and supplies are great for the wealthy, low-income people need to be able to survive when the SHTF, too.

Thankfully, prepping for tough times doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

If you are looking for a way to get survival supplies on the cheap, check out these strategies.”

Read more on Urban Survival Site.

4. What Will It Take To Survive The Coming Pandemic

“This past winter, the flu epidemic in Central Tennessee made the news across the country. I got phone calls from family in Florida about how we were doing. Our local school system closed for several days. The truth is that we avoided the flu this year.

Everyone that we knew who did get the flu was able to get Tamiflu and got well after a week or so. It was more of an inconvenience than an emergency. But it did give us a reason to think about when action would be necessary.”

Read more on The Survivalist Blog.

This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia.

Playing Hide-And-Seek With FEMA? Here’s How To Win

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When food shortages come, and you can be sure that they are going to come, FEMA has the authority to take control of all food supplies and distribute them to the needy.

You may be one of the lucky ones who gets overlooked in their search for food, but I doubt that there will be any of us who escape their search for guns.

I’m sure that when that executive order was signed, it was with the intention that they could seize stocks in warehouses, so that they would have food to distribute in the case of an emergency. However, like any law or regulation, if there is a way to misuse the authority, someone will eventually do so.

Since there is no limitation on that executive order, FEMA also has the right to enter your home and my home, stealing our food stockpiles for “distribution” to those in need. In other words, they have the authority for redistribution of wealth.

So the question is, what are you going to do when FEMA shows up at your door to take your guns and food? Better yet, what are you going to do beforehand?

Keep reading to find out the tricks of winning when playing hide and seek with FEMA guys.

Find out more on how to improve your home defense to survive disaster! 

Tricks for Playing Hide-and-Seek with FEMA

The only way you can keep your food and firearms is to make sure that they can’t find them. Any home has a myriad of potential hiding places that will at least suffice for an initial search of your home.

For this, we’re going to depend upon a little bit of psychology. Whoever ends up doing the searching is probably going to have a long list of houses to search. While they may do a thorough job on the first two or three houses they search, the more searches they do, the lazier they will get.

The flip side of that coin is that the more searches they do, the better they will get at doing it. So, while you need to hide things, you need to be sure that they aren’t hidden in places which are common or obvious. So, hiding things under the bed or in the bottom of a dresser drawer are probably out.

There are two basic types of searchers; either they’re searching your home because they’re searching everyone’s home, or they are searching your home because they have a tip that you have something worth seizing. Either way, the searchers are expecting to find something.

Give Them Something to Find

You can play a very effective trick on them by making them think they are smart. Everyone loves to feel like they are smarter than the average bear, so let them think that they are smarter than you. All you have to do to accomplish this is give them something to find. Once they find it, they’ll be convinced of their prowess in defeating you and probably go away happy.

Of course, you don’t want them to get everything, so you need to be careful about how you do this. If it is out in the open, they won’t think they’ve found anything. On the other hand, you don’t want it so well hidden that they end up finding the rest of your stash while looking for it. So, pick a place with that in mind and make it look like a poor concealment job, while everything else is well hidden.

Have enough in this decoy stash to make them think that they’ve found your main stash. They’re not going to go away if they think that you’re pulling the wool over their eyes, so build your decoy stash with enough food to look like it is your main supply. Just make sure that it is inexpensive enough food that losing it doesn’t hurt you that much. Never put anything critical in this stash.

Guns have to be treated differently. You don’t want them to find any of your hidden guns. On the other hand, if they come asking for your guns, they’re probably going to have a pretty good idea of what you have. Even though the law says that the federal government can’t build a database of gun ownership, you can be sure that they have one.

So, when they come asking for your guns, make sure that you have enough guns to give them, so that they think they’ve gotten them all. You can explain away a few guns that are missing by saying you sold them; but you can’t do that with everything.

Of course, if you have guns that are “off the books” because you inherited them or you bought them privately, that’s not going to be a problem. You could always give them the ones that you bought from where you had to fill out the paperwork, and keep the privately purchased ones hidden in your stash, where they don’t know about it.

Be careful about this and think it through well. You need to have your story well planned, so that you know what you are going to say when they show up. You also need to watch out for ammunition. If you tell them you’ve sold your M1911 A1, but still have 500 rounds of .45 ammo, they’re not going to believe you. Everything has to match up with your story.

16 Places to Safely Hide Your Stash

Instead of finding one area to put everything (which is more obvious and easy to find) you’re going to be better off with a few small hiding places. If they do find one of your small hiding places, the rest of them may still manage to escape detection.

The best possible hiding places are those that are totally sealed off, denying anyone access to them: buried in the garden, inside the walls, or hidden rooms. While this means that you won’t have access to them on a regular basis, you will always be able to get to them in case of emergency.

Attics and basements are the first to be searched, but they still offer a plethora of useful hiding spaces disguised as other things:

False Ductwork

If your home is heated by forced-air heating, you can easily add some false ductwork to hide things in. Use the same type of ductwork as the existing and connect it to the ductwork that is already there; however, it doesn’t have to be open to the existing ductwork for air to pass through. Most people don’t know enough about HVAC systems to tell that you’ve added ductwork.

False Drain Pipes

Toilet drains are four inch PVC pipe. Like HVAC ductwork, most people don’t know enough to tell if it is real or fake. You can add additional drain pipes that go from ceiling to floor, without connecting them to the home’s existing plumbing. You will need a flange at both ends to hold it in place.

Above Basement Ceilings

Most people use suspended acoustical ceilings when they finish their basements. If you have this, you can remove the ceiling tiles and attach shelves to the sides of the joists to store things on. With the tiles in place, you can’t tell they are there.

Below Attic Floors

Most people’s attics aren’t finished in any way. If you add a plywood floor to part of your attic, you can store lightweight items under it. Please note that those things will only be supported by drywall, so you don’t want a lot of weight.

Hiding in Plain Sight

The typical attic or basement is at least partially filled with boxes of grandma’s old quilt and baby clothes that you’ll never use. You can store some of your stockpile in these boxes, below the existing items. Just make sure that the boxes that have your stockpile in them are not easy to get to.

Video first seen on HouseholdHacker.

Inside Other Items

If you have unused furniture, kids toys or any other large items in your attic or basement, you can always hide something inside them.

The main living area of your home offers a number of possibilities as well, although things may not be quite as well hidden or as hard to find:

False Heat Registers and Electrical Outlets

It’s easy to add false heat registers and electrical outlets into walls. All you need to do is to cut a hole and mount them with the included screws. Since the inside of the wall is hollow, you have room to store whatever you want. Just be careful to place the outlets and registers in places that look like they belong. Behind furniture works extremely well. 

Under the Stairs

Many two story homes have a closet or other storage space under the stairs. However, this usually doesn’t use all the space, but only the space that is high enough for a closet. You can open up the lower part, fill it with food and put a piece of drywall over it to cover it. This drywall doesn’t even need to be well finished, as it will be hidden.

Inside the Washer and Dryer

Washing machines and dryers have extra space inside the cabinet, which is not taken up by the drum and mechanism. You can use this space to store food, as long as you make sure that it won’t interfere with the movement of the mechanism.

Inside Furniture

Most furniture has some wasted space in it. Dressers will have wasted space at the bottom. Sofas have wasted space under the cushions and in the back. The space in the bottom of a dresser can be accessed by removing the bottom drawer. To access the dead space in a sofa or upholstered chair requires removing the dust cover on the bottom. Likewise, the box springs for a bed has a lot of dead space, which is only covered by a thin dust cover. Remove the cover, build a place to store food and put the cover back on.

Bathroom Cabinets

The drawer front on a bathroom cabinet or kitchen sink cabinet is false, only there for appearances. There isn’t enough room for a drawer there. However, there is a small amount of room between that drawer front and the sink. A small shelf can be installed there to store things.

Above Closet Doors

Most homes have closets with bifold or sliding doors. People rarely look up when they look in those closets. A shelf can be mounted above the door, inside the closet and things stored there. While it plain sight, few searchers will see it.

Under the Floor

A small storage area can be made by peeling up a corner of the carpet and cutting a trap door in the floor. This works best when a piece of furniture, such as an end table, will be sitting over that corner, keeping the carpet in place.

The soffit over kitchen cabinets

Many kitchens have a built-in soffit over the kitchen wall cabinets. This is dead space, built more for decorative purposes than any other reason. A hole can be made in the soffit and it can be filled with food or other items. The hole can be closed by installing a heat register, making it look like the soffit is part of the HVAC system.

The Toe Kick under the Kitchen and Bathroom Base Cabinets

It hides about four inches of dead space, all the way to the back of the cabinet. This can be removed and reinstalled with spring catches.


If your home has two stories with dormers, there is a considerable amount of dead space in the eaves. The only problem is installing a hidden access to the eaves. You will also need to floor over the joists, as the only existing floor is the drywall to the ceiling of the rooms below.

Video first seen on JLaservideo.

The Secrets of Burial Vaults for Storage

If you are going to bury anything in your back yard, you need to make sure that it is well sealed to protect it from moisture. Most containers, even plastic bins, don’t offer this type of protection. However, it’s really not all that hard to protect them.

The easiest way to protect things you want to bury underground is to buy a bunch of five gallon buckets with lids. Try to buy the kind that doesn’t have a bung in the lid (opening for pouring out of), as these will seal better. Also check to make sure that the lid has a rubber seal in the groove that snaps onto the bucket. Without this seal, the bucket is not moisture proof. Take heed, not all have this seal. Be sure to use new lids, as they will seal better.

Another way you can make storage vaults is with four inch PVC pipe. You can either glue the caps on the ends or glue a cap on one end, with a screw-on cap on the other. I prefer the glue-on cap, as the screw on ones can be as hard to remove as the glue on ones are. This isn’t the type of container that you’re going to be opening regularly, so you don’t really need that screw-on lid. Just be sure that you have a few saws hidden in different places to get the caps off with.

One nice thing about using PVC pipe to make storage vaults is that you can easily make holes in the ground to hide them with a standard post-hole digger. Burying five gallon buckets requires a bit bigger hole. If you have hard ground, you might have trouble burying them.

Make sure that you clearly define the location of your buried vaults in some secret way that only you will know. Use more than one point of reference, as your favorite tree may die, eliminating it as a point of reference.

As you can see, the list is nearly endless. Use your imagination and seek out all the unused areas of your home. Look at things to compare the usable space inside to the physical space it takes up. For example, when you look at a dresser, you see that the drawers aren’t as wide as the cabinet. That means there is space on either side of the drawers; space that you can use to hide something.

You are the one who’s able to find the best hiding places in your home, you just need to keep in mind the tricks for a good hiding place.

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This article has been written by John Gilmore for Survivopedia. 

EMP Q&A: North Korea’s EMP Threat Explained

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The world we live in relies on electricity totally. The heating and cooling, the hospitals, and banks, the communications and transportation and even working land for food would go into chaos with only one killing EMP shot.

Humankind is working hard to make it possible, just take a look at North Korea. And before asking about Koreans’ capability to drop an EMP on US, remember the critics who mocked the Japanese before WW2.

History is prone to repeat itself. Prepare yourself in time to survive its lessons. Keep reading to discover how the North Korea’s EMP threat is explained.

This guide will help you survive more than an EMP!

A Threat Like No Other

Once people become aware of the threat posed by EMP, they naturally have questions about EMP preparedness. Actually, EMP is one of those subjects where the more you learn about it, the more questions you tend to have.

I was pleased to be invited back to PrepperCon 2017 to host EMP Survival Question & Answer Sessions again this year, on behalf of Survivopedia, and address some of these questions. Feel free to ask your own questions on EMP survival in a comment, and I’ll do my best to find the proper answer for each of them!

The types of EMP that present a threat to mankind are incredibly powerful pulses of energetic radio waves that can pass through the human body undetected, yet wreak devastation upon the systems mankind depends on to sustain life.

The electrical grid, fossil fuels, water, food, healthcare, banking, communications, internet and transportation are critical to our way of life. Even a temporary loss of any of these system is catastrophic.

When we consider how much these systems are interdependent, the loss of all of them at once would paralyze the nation to a degree which is difficult for most people to comprehend.

Why & How North Korea Can Drop an EMP On The US

Question: Is it possible that North Korea could pose a threat to the US?

I heard that they would need thermonuclear weapons, better missiles, bigger nukes or the ability to miniaturize them in order to be able to harm the USA.

Answer: Any country that has nuclear weapons and can orbit satellites has the technology and ability to carry out an EMP attack on the USA. I have noticed a great deal of ignorance on this subject in social media posts and blogs.

It does not take thermonuclear weapons, ICBMs or miniaturization to create a Nuclear High-Altitude EMP (HEMP). The USA created the first HEMP I am aware of with the Hardtack Yucca nuclear test. In that test, a small warhead was carried high enough to make use of the Compton Effect, resulting in a 1000-fold increase in EM field strength. The weapon does not have to be large, at most 10 kilotons, which is the size of tests North Korea has been carrying out.

To affect nearly the entire Lower 48 states with a single weapon, optimal height of burst would have to be 300-400 km, but still lower than the orbit of North Korean Satellites, which overfly the US. Dropping a nuclear weapon that would detonate lower in the atmosphere is certainly within the country’s capabilities.

The last two satellites have payloads sufficient to house a nuclear weapon. North Korea has committed a lot of resources to both satellite and nuclear programs. North Korea has also practiced launching missiles of cargo vessels just like Iran.

The US has few defenses to shoot down such an attack launched from international waters in the gulf coast unless we specifically station a carrier battlegroup there. Even a detonation at much lower altitude could affect a city or even an entire state.

North Korea’s latest test may have been a nearly 10 kiloton neutron bomb optimized for maximum gamma yield. This what we would refer to as a superEMP or enhanced radiation weapon. These points, taken together amount to quite a body of evidence that North Korea has been planning an EMP attack or to create the appearance of the ability of such an attack for over a decade.

Critics point to past failed launches, overlooking the fact that we also had failed launches early on and our first attempt to orbit a satellite also failed. They only need one to succeed. They also point to the fact that putting weapons in space is a breach of international law.

North Korea has a history of violating international law with abandon even when it has meant harsh sanctions so it puzzles me why anyone would see this as an obstacle. Miniaturization of nuclear weapons was not a serious obstacle to the US and was achieved within a couple of years even before we had microcomputers.

Critics mocking North Korea’s military capability sound very much like critics who mocked the Japanese before we engaged them in combat in WW2. History seems to be repeating itself.

Why Fixing the Grid Would Take Years of Survival

Questions: I heard it could take 3.5 years or longer to fix the grid. Don’t we have stockpiles of Large Power Transformers (LPT’s) that we could just swap out if they were damaged by an EMP? Why would it take so long to fix the grid?

Find out how to survive when the lights go out!

Answer: The 3.5 year number assumed that only the USA was affected, that the rest of the world was undamaged by cascading failure and that other nations would help us. In senate hearings, committees have the luxury of examining the question in a bubble.

In the real world, nations are highly interdependent and growing more so every year.  e.g. the loss of the US economy could bring down the world economy with it since the EU economy is closely tied to the US economy and without the US and EU, China would lose its consumer base.

Let’s say an EMP has knocked out the electrical grid and it is our job to fix our little part of it. We need a LPT (Large Power Transformer) to replace the one that was damaged by the EMP. An LPT at a power generating plant steps up voltage for transmission over long distances through transmission lines.

At the destination where the electrical energy will be consumed, another LPT then steps the voltage back down to a voltage that is useful to the destination city’s electrical grid, so we will suppose that our hometown needs a step-down LPT.

LPT’s are custom built, can weigh between 100 and 410 tons, can cost up to $10M each and take up to 2 years to build even in a fully functioning world. Considering the obstacles to obtaining a LPT in a post-EMP world demonstrates the difficulty of estimating how long it would take to get an EMP-ravaged grid running again with any degree of accuracy.

Ordering a New LPT After an EMP? Prepare to Wait!

Normally, we would create a request for proposals, evaluate the bids and award the contract to build our LPT. This will take longer with the phone system and computers down. The red tape would need to be sorted out somehow, and we would need to establish limited communications through radio operators.

The factory that would build our LPT would not be able to start production because they lack electric power to the run the factory, but we will imagine top priority is given to LPT factories and we are able to get power to build. Our order would normally sit in a queue, the factory would need incentive to rush our order past other orders just as urgent as ours.

The plant would want their $10M, but the world banking system could be paralyzed or even collapse. We might have to pay in gold or leaders might attempt to coerce cooperation.

The factory would have to get workers to leave their families in the middle of a protracted grid-down emergency. Even if it could, they wouldn’t work for funny money.

The workers would not be able to work without food, which could be a real problem because just-in-time inventory management virtually guarantees a food crisis. The world food system could collapse. But farmers would have no fuel to run giant tractors guided by GPS that also would not work.

Companies would likely have to pay workers in food.

A solar storm of this magnitude would also knock out satellites, meaning no satellite phones, communications satellites or GPS.

To build the needed LPTs, we would need vast stores of high grade electrical steel and copper which can account for more than half the cost of an LPT. The US produces no more than 20% of these raw materials annually.

Most LPT’s were built between 1954 and 1978. We would need to get the manufacturer copies of the schematics. While this might seem trivial with the aid of computers and telecom equipment, it would likely further delay replacement LPT’s.

Our LPT would probably be ready to ship between 6 months and 5 years after the order was placed. But even before the MHD EMP, special transport had to be arranged to ship a 410-ton After the MHD EMP there would not be enough fuel or functioning refineries. DoD would probably have to handle transport of the LPT, but most military bases are dependent on civilian power infrastructure.

The naval vessel transporting the LPT could run into bad weather or navigation problems because weather satellites would be down and GPS navigation inoperable.

With around 2,000 LPTs in service, the USA has more LPTs in service than any other nation, which also means the US grid has more major points of vulnerability than any other nation. The combined production capability of the entire world has never exceeded 600 units/year, even at its peak over 44 years ago.

The total combined LPT production of the whole planet has not exceeded 400 LPTs/year since 1973. It would take time to ramp that production back up.

Why to Fear the Power of Solar Storms Too

Question: How long could it take to recover from EMP caused by the sun?

Answer: The type of EMP that occurs due to solar activity can cause power surges in the electrical grid, overloading it and causing physical damage. This type of EMP is known as magnetohydrodynamic EMP (MHD EMP). Magnetohydrodynamics is the study of magnetic properties in electrically conductive fluids, like the hot, electrically conducting plasma the sun is comprised of.

Solar activity such as Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) can send a mass of solar energized particles toward the earth that can arrive in as little as a day, interacting with the earth’s magnetosphere and causing a geomagnetic storm. The result can be brilliant aurorae (Northern or Southern Lights), damaged satellites, disruption of radio communications and damage to the electrical grid.

Depending on the intensity and duration of the event, a MHD EMP event could affect an area as small as an Eastern state and the grid could be back up the same day. It is also possible that a severe MHD EMP could affect the entire planet.

Studies presented to the congressional EMP Commission estimated that the USA could have its grid back up in 1.5 – 3.5 years, but I am doubtful of this number. For starters, there is no manual on how to restart the grid. It has simply never been done. The electrical grid was slowly pieced together over more than 100 years. Fixing the grid will be delayed by a bit of a chicken – egg problem.

You can’t get the grid back up without Large Power Transformers (LPT’s) and you can’t build LPT’s without electricity, transportation, food, safe drinking water, security for the workers and their families and everyone who supports each of those systems, their families and so on.

Any way you look at it, recovery from a server MHD EMP event would be a process, not an event, and a long, non-linear process full of obstacles that we could not possibly predict, at that.

To Ground or not to Ground the Faraday Cage?

Question: I have heard conflicting answers. Should I ground my Faraday cage or not?

Answer: Yes … and no.

If your Faraday cage is the size of a refrigerator or smaller and is not wired with electric outlets and a breaker box like you have in your home, then, no, do not ground it. Grounding a small Faraday cage can do more harm than good.

You could think of it in terms that the ground could act like an EMP antenna, receiving the electromagnetic energy (radio waves) of the EMP, converting into power and possibly radiating into the space you are trying to shield.

If your Faraday cage is the size of a room or building or is wired for mains electricity (AC power), then yes, it should be properly grounded.

If You Still Have Questions About EMP Survival

EMP is one of the greatest threats mankind faces and I do not want you to leave your preparations on hold for lack of information. Please ask questions in the comments below or email them to us. Speak up, reach out and remember that imperfect preparations are better than none.

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This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia. 

Start A Metalworking Business By Building A Forge

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Many advances in human society and culture occurred as different groups learned how to mine metal ore and turn it into useful tools.

You need farm tools, weapons, or machines to carry out various tasks, so keep on hand what you need for metal working. If you know how build and use a forge, you’ll have a valuable skill to barter, but also a good start for a business that can help you survive nowadays.

There are several ways to build a forge that will meet most of your needs. Aim to build at least one forge and learn how to use it so that you have a better chance of being able to make and repair metal items in the future.

What is a Forge?

At it’s simplest, a forge is not much more than a place where you can heat metals up in order to soften them for further working. If you define a forge as all the things that you will need to heat, shape, and temper the metal, then there are a few more parts to consider.

For the sake of this article, I am defining a forge as the equipment you use to heat metals only.

Every Forge Must Have These Parts

You need to obtain and maintain a specific temperature to make metal items that will be durable and useful. As a result, there are some parts that every forge must have in order to achieve maximum temperature without compromising safety:

  • A place to burn fuel. If the forge is going to use coal, this area might be an open pit or tub lined with fireproof material. Forges that use gas or liquid based fuels may have a cylindrical or square shaped fireproof chamber surrounded by a metal jacket. It should be noted that coal burning forges are better for situations where you need to heat large amounts of metal or produce an unusually large shape such as a sword. Since gas fired forges produce a more even heat and are easier to operate, they are usually better for knives or other small items. That being said, if you are looking to build a highly adaptable forge, coal fired ones will be more suitable for your needs.
  • Fuel Inlet – for simple coal forges, you might simply layer some coal in the bottom of the pit, and when more fuel is needed, simply drop it into the burn area. If you are going to use natural gas or propane, then the fuel might be fed into a central chamber via a pipe and nozzle. In a similar fashion, if you are going to use a liquid fuel form, you will most likely want to pipe it in and be able to control the flow via a nozzle.
  • Air Inlet or Tuyere – since burning fuel requires oxygen, the forge must also have a means for introducing larger amounts of air. This is usually done via a tube or pipe extending into the main burn area.
  • Bellows – in order to reach and maintain higher temperatures, more air needs to get into the burn area in a shorter period of time. Bellows are used to push the air into this area as quickly as possible. Coal burning forges might have the Tuyere located under the burn area, and then a pipe would lead from the bellows so that air comes up from the bottom. Gas burning forges usually have a blower or fan that is used for the same purpose.

Materials in Nature You Can Use to Build a Coal Fired Forge

No matter how experienced you may be as a prepper, there are bound to be things that don’t seem very useful right now that will turn out to be very important later on. A metal forge is one of those items that can easily be left out of your plans, or just as bad, left behind if you have to evacuate.

If you are in a situation where you absolutely need a forge, here are some natural materials you can use to build each part of a coal forge:

  • Burn Pit – a pit or even a hole in the ground can serve as a burn pit. You can line the pit with rocks and small stones so that it retains heat better.
  • Air Inlet – create something like a Dakota Firepit design so that you have an easy way to introduce air into the burn area.
  • Bellows – the simplest form of bellows will only force air into the fire when the handles are compressed. On the other hand, if you are going to forge metal, the supply of air must be steady, yet easy to adjust as your working needs change.

There are two forms of bellows that will be suitable for this task. First, the double-acting bellows is not so different from the simpler form.

You will need animal hide, leather, and other soft material to make the bag and attach the pipe, paddle, piston, valves, and handles. The pipe is a simple hollow tube that you can make from wood, bone, or even sturdy reeds or bamboo. Finally, you can make the paddle, piston, valves, and handles from wood harvested from trees.

The second form of bellows is known as a Fuigo Box Bellows. Unlike the Double Acting Bellows, this form does not require a bag. You can make everything but the sealing from wood.

Video first seen on Cut Marks

How to Make a Gas Fired Coffee Can Forge

As a prepper, I find no end to the usefulness of institution sized, or #10 food cans. From making large bins for storing devices to building stoves, there is truly no end to what these sturdy cans can be repurposed for. In this case, they serve as the beginning material for a forge that you can make knives, spear points, and many other useful items with.

Here are the basic instructions:

  • Start off by making sure the can is clean and dry.
  • Most people do not remove the bottom can lid, however having one end of the can closed limits the amount of room you have for heating metal. I recommend removing the bottom lid so that you can extend the metal past the back. While you may have to move the metal back and forth to keep it heating evenly, it is better than having a forge that is too small for anything larger than a 2 -3 inch item.
  • Next, attach a base to where the bottom of forge will be. It should be big enough and wide enough so that the can will not roll over. Be sure to use fireproof material. The base should also be sturdy enough so that it will no collapse under the weight of the can, the lining, and any other attachments you will be adding to the can. If at all possible, try to make the base wider than the size of the can opening. When you are working with metal in such a cramped area, it is all too easy to bump the metal or the tongs holding it into the sides of the can. If the base is not sturdy enough or tips easily, it can make for a disaster as well as more than a few injuries. While many videos and “how-to” guides show coffee can forges with substantially narrower bases, it is better to be on the safe side and realize that accidents can and will happen, especially when you are in a stressful situation or working with unfamiliar equipment.
  • Take a propane torch and measure the tip of it. You will need a metal pipe that is large enough so that the tip of the torch can fit through it easily.
  • Once you locate a suitable metal pipe, drill a hole in the can to accommodate it. If you removed the bottom lid of the can, it might be best to put the hole near the center of the can so that heat will radiate evenly to the front and back of the can. Attach the pipe to the can. The hole should be in an area where you can easily place the torch into the pipe and not have it or the can tip over. If necessary, add a cinder blocks or something else beneath the base of the can so that the torch tip will be at the right height in relation to to the can.
  • Even though a natural gas or propane flame produces quite a bit of heat, tin cans aren’t very good at retaining heat. Therefore, you will need to line the inside of the can with fireproof material. Plaster of Paris, cement, and even mud will work as insulators. When lining the can with an insulator, do not forget to leave the hole open for the torch inlet. Try not to get insulating material in the pipe used for this purpose.

Video first seen on Andrew W

How to Make a Gas Fired Forge From Natural Materials

It is fair to say that a coal fired forge is easier to make mainly because you don’t have to be overly concerned about constructing a viable fire pit. While you will always have to be concerned about the size of the pit in order to conserve fuel, at least you will not have to spend as much time forming a more robust enclosure.

Overall, I would most recommend using fired clay or adobe to make the enclosure for a gas fired forge. When making the enclosure, do not forget that clay shrinks well over 20% from its original size as it loses water. It is better to make the enclosure a bit bigger so that you don’t wind up starting all over again.

Here are some basic rules for making a clay enclosure that can be fired successfully without the benefits of a modern kiln and all it’s heating controls:

  • As with any other clay construction that must be fired, always avoid making air pockets in the clay. Pay extra attention to joining areas and overlaps where air pockets are likely to form.
  • Don’t forget to poke holes in the clay so that it heats evenly. Since it will be much harder to control the speed at which temperatures change in a field kiln, these holes can reduce the risk of the entire vessel cracking.
  • Always make sure the clay is as dry as possible. While moisture isn’t quite as dangerous as air to a clay object being fired, it can still lead to war page and cracking, especially if some areas are thicker than others.
  • Try to make the clay thickness as even as possible throughout the vessel.

You can also make the enclosure from slabs of stone and then join them together with mud or adobe. It will take less work than making a clay vessel, however, you must choose the rocks carefully. Porous rocks can retain water and air that will cause them to explode when heated. They may also release toxic gases that can kill you or leave you with severe health problems. Learn about which rock types can be heated safely, and make sure you know how to recognize them in any terrain.

At the same time, you can also learn more about which rocks carry metal ores or point to veins of ore. This is especially important if you wind up in a situation where you don’t have much metal to work with, or the metal is of the wrong type for your needs.

How to Find Fuel for the Forge

You can use charcoal in a coal fired forge as long as you have enough air flowing through from the bellows. Even if you do not have coal, you can still turn wood or other materials into charcoal and use them in the forge.

Insofar as natural gas fired forges, try getting natural gas from large compost piles or septic waste systems, but it can be difficult to store this type of gas and also ensure that you remain safe. You’ll also need suitable piping and a valve system so that you can control the gas flow. To make these, you will need softer metal ores, or, you can start out with a coal fired forge to make these items, and then build the gas forge.

While forges aren’t especially complicated in terms of the equipment used, they are vital for building and repairing metal items.

No matter how far back society slides, the path back up to a more modern lifestyle cannot happen without metallurgy skills. At the very least, if you have metal forging skills, you and your descendants will have a better chance of surviving and thriving after a major disaster scenario.

Grab your tools and start practicing your skills!

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 



How Long Can You Survive Without Supplies?

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I remember taking a survival test some time back. They asked me about my preps, and based upon that, the test decided that I would be able to survive six months if everything went to pot.

While taking it was an interesting exercise, I really don’t put much stock in such online tests, especially when you consider that they are based upon the ideas of whoever created the test.

We should all take the time to analyze our family situation, our preps and our skills and take a guess on how long we will survive. Then, once we’ve done that, we should ask ourselves a very important question: “What do I need to do to make it so that I can survive longer?”

Keep reading to see how to answer this question!

The thing is, there are several different ways of surviving, not just one. So, while I might not meet all the requirements of their test, I might survive just fine. Likewise, meeting all the requirements that they laid out doesn’t guarantee my survival, as there are always unforeseen factors that affect our survival.

The basic premise of the test, that of determining how long we can survive if the brown stuff hits the rotary air movement device, is a valid one.

Nothing is promised to us. We don’t really know what sort of disaster we might find ourselves having to live though, nor do we have any real idea of how long it will take for things to return to some semblance of normal. So we have to prepare for the worst.

That means a disaster that takes out our entire infrastructure and supply chain and is bad enough that they can’t be rebuilt. In other words, a situation where we are forced to survive on our wits, our knowledge and our preps, for the rest of our lives.

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

Understand Your Priorities

Survival is about meeting your body’s needs. If you succeed in meeting them, you’ll survive. If not… well, we won’t go there. So, we must be prepared to survive, no matter what. That means meeting the basic survival priorities of:

  • Maintaining body heat
  • Clean water
  • Food

In addition, we have to consider a few other areas:

  • Self-defense
  • First-aid
  • Starting a fire

We’ve all heard the “Rule of 3s” sometime or other. You know, you can only survive 3 minutes without oxygen, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water and 30 days without food. Some people leave that first one off, but this is the basic rule. Why is it so important? Because it shows us what our priorities are in any survival situation.

Survival stockpiles, survival kits, survival caches and bug out bags are all developed with those needs in mind.

Countless books and articles have been written, showing the importance of fulfilling those needs and how to build a stockpile, bug out bag or whatever to meet them. I won’t dispute that list at all, because I know it to be true. But what I will dispute is depending on a stockpile to give them to you. Having a stash is not enough unless you know how to use it right.

So, What Do You Need?

There are three basic things you need to survive. No, I’m not talking about heat, water and food. I’m talking in much greater generalities. The three things I’m talking about take into account much more than just a stockpile or a short-term survival situation. They are what you need to survive for the rest of your life.

  • Skills & Knowledge
  • Tools
  • Supplies

While all three of those general areas are touched on by preppers, it is the third one that actually receives the most attention. That’s mostly due to the fact that we live in a society in which we are accustomed to buying everything we need. So we tend to look at survival the same way and buy whatever we need.

That idea works for a while, but you can’t depend on it for the rest of your life. I don’t care how big your stockpile is, eventually it will run out. When that happens, you’ll either have to have another means of keeping yourself alive, or you’ll die; plain and simple.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t stockpile supplies. What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t JUST stockpile supplies. Doing so puts you on a clock and none of us want that clock to wind down to the end.

Which One is the Most Important?

Of those three general areas, which one is the most important?

Don’t answer me just yet. For you see, how you answer that question will say a lot about your own ability to survive. It will also give a pretty good indication about how long you’ve been a prepper.

We pretty much all start out our survival journey by building a stockpile of supplies. This is the stereotypical first trip to Costco or Sam’s Club to buy 50 pounds of rice and 50 pounds of beans. Once we start along that road, we continue stockpiling, adding depth and breadth to our food supplies and even adding other needs besides food.

There’s nothing wrong with that. Having supplies on hand is a great way to get through the beginning of any disaster or disaster recovery. But how many supplies are you going to stockpile? When will you have enough? To be honest, you never will. As I already said, if your survival is dependent on those supplies, you will die shortly after eating the last of your food and drinking the last of your water.

That’s why knowledge trumps the list of priorities. Supplies can run out, but knowledge can be used over and over again.

Let me give you a simple example.

Let’s say you’re in a grid down situation and so you’re using wood to heat your home. In such a case, you’ve got the wood itself, that’s supplies. You’ve got a fireplace or wood-burning stove, that’s your tools. Finally, you know how to start a fire, that’s your skills and knowledge. Okay, how long can you survive? Once again, only till your supplies, in this case the firewood, runs out.

The obvious solution in this case is to cut some more firewood, so you can continue heating your home. But do you know how to cut firewood? Do you know how the different types of wood will burn? Do you have an axe or saw to cut it with? Do you have any idea of how long it needs to season, before you can burn it? Yes, something as simple as cutting firewood is actually quite complex, if you don’t have the necessary tools and knowledge.

On the other hand, a person who has enough skills and knowledge can usually make the necessary tools to come up with the supplies that they need. Maybe their tools won’t be the same as the tools you can buy in the store, but they will fulfill the need.

You’ve probably seen some survival show where the “expert” is dumped on a deserted beach (or other location) with nothing more than their clothes and their wits. Using nothing more than what they can find wherever they are, they are expected to not only survive, but entertain the audience with explanations and stories about how some piece of trash they find is going to save their life.

Granted, that’s television, but it’s at least based upon reality. In this case, the reality is that the survival instructor in the show is actually finding ways of using trash to make whatever they need to have in order to survive. They don’t have anything but their knowledge and wits to get by on, and they succeed.

Build Your Knowledge Base

This is where that test I took failed. It was based upon my stockpile, my vegetable garden and my chicken coop (as well as other preps); but totally failed to take into consideration my knowledge. As such, it gave me much less time to live, than what I actually could.

Knowledge trumps everything else when it comes to survival. Granted, you need the right sort of knowledge, as a PhD in marketing won’t help you survive. In fact, the things you need to know won’t be taught in any college I’ve seen.

More than anything, the knowledge you need for long-term survival breaks down into two basic categories:

  • Growing, hunting or gathering food and water
  • Making and repairing things

The first of those two will keep you fed, with plenty of water and if we extend it a little, might even keep you warm. But you won’t really advance. You’ll be stuck living as if you were in the 18th century, with a few small exceptions.

On the other hand, the ability to make and repair things will provide you with the possibility of restoring your life to something that at least vaguely resembles modern life. No, you probably won’t be able to restore the internet or cable television, but you will be able to do a lot.

More than anything, it will give you the ability to make the tools you need, in order to keep yourself warm, fed and with plenty of clean water.

Now, after reading all these, do you know how long will you survive?

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This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia. 

SHTF Prepping for City Dwellers!

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SHTF Prepping for City Dwellers Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps“ Audio in player below! This is a concept that is hard for many city dwellers. Without proper room how can you possibly prep or create a bug in plan? How many preppers do you know that say they are in an apartment and very limited … Continue reading SHTF Prepping for City Dwellers!

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How To Hide Your Car And Stay Undetected

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Can you imagine your life without having a car? Shopping, going to work, taking kids to a game or going to the doctor without having a mean of transportation would turn into a nightmare. Your life is spinning in the rhythm of our four-wheeled companion.

In a bug out situation, your life will depend on your vehicle even more, so make sure you take good care of it and prepare it to remain unnoticed.

If you live in the city, bugging out may be less about driving on uneven terrain and more about avoiding rioters and traffic jams.

The vehicle that you are going to use must look like it belongs in the area you are traveling through. Depending on where you are and what is going on, there will be times when you can use these tips, and times when you should adjust them in order to avoid specific problems.

Why Customization is a Failure

Many preppers try to customize their vehicles with lift kits, unusual tire types, roof lights, and other items that may or may not actually expand the usefulness of the vehicle. In most cases, the benefits you may get from this customization does not equal the loss of capacity to blend on city or suburb streets.

Some also believe that a heavily armored tactical vehicle will deter rioters and troublemakers. This is a very bad mindset: mercenaries will see the vehicle as a sign of wealth, and do anything in their power to steal it or kill you to get it.

This defense system will make your home invisible to looters!

Essential Parts of a Camouflage Kit

You might travel through different neighborhoods with different wealth levels and cultural values, so a vehicle camouflage kit would be useful. If you haven’t surveyed the areas and mapped them out, then do so before you drive through. At the very least, if you need to make changes to the vehicle, you can do so before driving through.

Spray Paint

Always keep a few cans of different colored spray paint, gray primer, and other colors of primer in the vehicle. Gray primer is especially useful because rioters and looters will think the vehicle is junked out and pass it by in favor of vehicles that may have something of value to steal.

You can use these paints to make the vehicle look old and rusted out, or you can use them to spruce up the vehicle so that it looks newer.

Video first seen on mycoolkeno

Repair Kits

Fiberglass body repair kits can also be used to change the appearance of the vehicle. Make sure you have some simple body working tools to do the job right.

Different Color Duct Tape

Use dark colored duct tape to cut down on visible light that can be seen at night from the vehicle headlights, tail lights, and running lights.

Duct tape can also be used to give an illusion it is holding two broken body parts together even if they are intact. You can use this to make doors, windows, and fenders look so old, anyone looking at them would think there is nothing of value in the vehicle.

Rolls of Exhaust System Repair Tape

These rolls of tape can make a perfectly good exhaust system look like it is in very bad shape and is ready to fail at any moment.

Any other decals, stickers, or pieces of metal that can help to give the vehicle an illusion of being a junker, or conversely, like it belongs to a wealthier person that belongs in a specific neighborhood.

When using the camouflage kit, the most important thing is how well you blend into your local surroundings. You don’t want to look too affluent, too weak, or unable to protect yourself.

Find that happy medium that tells the rioters and other troublemakers that you can handle yourself without arousing suspicion of local people that can also cause problems.

Why Choosing Your Vehicle Wisely Makes Sense

It is not easy to find the perfect bug out vehicle that will address your needs and also be easy to conceal. In general, the outer aspects of the vehicle should match the times and styles of the areas you will be traveling through.

Stay away from brand new vehicles, or ones that are so old people will remember them because they look different. The outer body of the vehicle should look between 3 and 7 years old and be common looking.

The Size of the Vehicle

When it comes to hiding your bug out vehicle in plain sight, size is also an important factor to consider. By instinct, you will more than likely want a pickup truck or something large enough to carry a lot of items from one area to another.

In a time of social unrest, however, pickup trucks can easily be a target because they have a stereotype of being rough, reliable, dependable, and able to carry things of great value. On the other hand, a medium sized SUV looks as common and nondescript on a city street as it does on a small town road.

Remember, your vehicle must also disguise who and what you are. The last thing you will want is for people to realize that you are a prepper, and therefore have valuable skills, materials, and supplies. From this perspective, you can get away with a larger vehicle as long as it looks normal for the area.

You might be forced to leave the vehicle in a secure location, including an underground location, in a wooded area, or even parked in a cave. For these situations, you would be better off with a smaller vehicle simply because there are more places where you can hide it with less effort.

What About Trailers

Outside of the question of hiding your vehicle, trailers are useful for bringing along more supplies and even for living space. If you are trying to blend in or drive through a crowd of rioters, a trailer can be a huge liability.

Aside from making your vehicle easy to spot, a trailer can make the entire vehicle harder to handle. Not only will you be unable to simply unhitch the trailer and leave it behind, all avenues of escape may be cut off by masses of people.

Camouflage and Concealment: What You Need to Know

You have to take full responsibility for your own safety, and one of the best ways to do it is to stay inconspicuous. Even if you are armed and well trained, it is still better to avoid being attacked.

Camouflage and concealment are different, but related skills. Concealment is making yourself hard to see. Camouflage is changing something’s appearance so it’s harder to notice. Camouflage does not need to involve making whatever you’re camouflaging look like something else. All you need to do is make sure it doesn’t look like what it actually is.

And here are the six basic aspects of camouflage and concealment you need to learn.

Vehicle Shape

The human eye is naturally drawn to anything that looks out of place or familiar, however large numbers of the same thing can cause viewers to overlook similar items. If there are relatively few vehicles in the area, you will need to make your vehicle harder to see. Vehicles or the shape of a human being will all stand out unless they are disguised, and the most effective way to avoid this is to break up the shape by using a camouflage pattern.

A good camouflage pattern doesn’t work by mimicking the background around it. Instead, it disguises the outline of a familiar or unnatural shape by breaking it into smaller or regular ones. Contrasting colors are the best way to do this. You can borrow the idea of military camouflage patterns to match the surrounding colors.

Another way to camouflage a parked vehicle is to use a camouflage net, but never just drape the net over the vehicle. Support it with poles or cut branches to create an irregular shape. When using poles fit some kind of spreader to the end to keep the net from slipping down over them.


There are many shiny things in nature, and they do attract attention. If the vehicles around yours look shiny and bright, a dull vehicle will stick out and be noticed. Oddly enough, what you wear while you are driving can also draw unwanted attention.

No matter what neighborhood you are driving through, avoid wearing anything that will produce a flash or a shine. Remove all jewelry and your watch and put them in your pocket. Reflections of light on your skin can also be very visible. Use camouflage cream to make it harder for others to see you.

Shine is a big problem for vehicles. If you want the vehicle to look run down and useless, remove or paint any chrome work. Cover it with 100mph tape, or burlap. When the vehicle is parked, cover the windows, lights, mirrors, or anything else that might reflect light with burlap sacks, or better yet an old tarp that makes it looks like the windows might be cracked.


Always be aware of the position of the sun when you stop to rest or shelter. It is possible to be hidden in dense vegetation enough to conceal your vehicle, but still enough light to cast a distinctive shadow on the ground. If you are moving inside of a tree line and throwing a shadow outside of it, the movement of the shadow can reveal that you are there. To hide the shadow move further into the trees.

Even if you have the vehicle parked under a camouflage net, that shadow will give everything away. To get rid of this shadow problem, hang a skirt of burlap around the bottom of the vehicle after you have parked. Another way to break up the shadow is to fill this gap area with light brush. If you can, park in vegetation that reaches a couple of inches above the bottom of the doors. Always pay attention to wheel well shadows that must also be removed.


A silhouette is basically a shape against a contrasting background. The classic way to reveal your position by silhouetting is to cross the skyline. Anyone at or below your level will see your outline. If you are following a ridge line do not move along the crest. Stay off to one side and far enough down so that the ridge is between you and the sky.

If you must cross the high ground, look for cover such as trees or a dip in the ridge. To reduce your silhouette as much as possible, you may have to wait until it is darker and you can drive across undetected.

The sky is not the only thing you can be silhouetted against. You must always be aware of what is behind you. It does not matter how well camouflaged you are. Try to avoid moving in front of anything that is a stronger contrast with your vehicle.

Picking the right location is a huge aid to help minimize silhouettes when picking overnight camps. Remember If your are in cover you are not silhouetted against anything so build your camp in the woods. Pick your locations surrounded by higher ground so anyone approaching will be silhouetted, but you will not.

Metallic and Heat Signature

In the modern age, all kinds of equipment can be used to spot a vehicle no matter how well you disguise it for human eyes. Try coating the vehicle in specialized paints or other materials that will prevent your vehicle from showing up on scans designed to pick up metallic objects in unusual places, or heat signatures from the engine and exhaust.


A muffler in good repair is very important for preventing others from hearing the sound of your vehicle’s engine. Don’t forget to turn off the sound system and anything else that will create too much noise.

Hiding your vehicle isn’t especially complicated if it is your sole objective. As a prepper, however, you will find there are many conflicting needs that will interfere with things that will work best insofar as hiding your vehicle.

In the end, it will be up to you to decide what balance you will draw between all of these opposing needs.

Interested to keep your family safe? Click the banner below for more!

This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

PrepperCon 2017: Preparedness Solutions For A Changing Market

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The survival market is changing. It has come a long way since the days that it could barely support a couple of magazines and the occasional book.

Now it seems like TV series every time I turn around, which is remarkable to many of us who have been survivalists for twenty, thirty, forty years or more, because aspects of survival are being accepted as mainstream for the first time in our lives.

This is what the last PrepperCon show was about, it was an opportunity to show off solutions for a changing market.

For a couple of days, survival experts and gear providers gathered in Utah, for one of the main preparedness and survival expos in US. I’ve been there, and now I’m sharing with you the highlights.

Preparedness is Going Mainstream

This year, I was interviewed by a major media outlet from NYC and the NY Times is writing an article about PrepperFash, the fashion portion of the expo.

I certainly never thought I would see the day either of those events would happen, but the survival market seem to attract more moderates concerned with the inevitability of climate change. You don’t have to be conservative or liberal to understand that as our world grows more complicated, it also grows more fragile or to understand that being prepared for emergencies is a responsible precaution.

This level of growth in the survival has made it possible for many more of us to make a living in the field we are passionate about, brought about survival expositions like PrepperCon and has made possible much more specific, detailed and well thought out survival solutions than existed in years past.

Here are a few highlights to help your prepping.

Survival Medical

The owner of the company is a supply chain logistics genius who supplies hospitals with medical supplies. This enables Survival Medical to sell hospital quality supplies packaged for long-term storage cheaper than you can buy the individual components.

  • Long Term Storage: Survival Medical engineered special layers for their Mylar packaging so cotton won’t yellow and turn brittle, adhesives won’t stop sticking and ointments won’t dry out. This is huge for survivalists storing or caching medical supplies. They have kits packaged in 5 gallon buckets with Gamma Seals lids that store neatly with food storage. 5 gallon buckets are tremendously useful tools in a long-term survival situation or infrastructure breakdown. They are extremely useful for hygiene and water treatment, lots of them. Survival uses for both forms of packaging are only limited by the imagination.
  • Price: Prepping is expensive and time consuming and saving both enables you to reach your preparedness goals sooner. Being able to buy long-term packed kits for less than you could buy the components saves time and money.
  • Survival-Specific Solutions: They have created a vast array of mission and threat-specific solutions for survivalists. If you are a boater, they have a kit for you. Whether that boat is a kayak or a blue water sailboat, they have a kit for you. Going to store it at a fixed site or transport it in a vehicle? Need a kit for a pack? Ride a horse? Having a baby? It just goes on and on.
  • Modular: I pioneered the Modular Survival Kit so it is exciting for me to see someone else applying modularity to survival kits and specifically to the first aid aspect of them. You can use a module without cracking the seal another and then just replace what you used. This is a huge deal.

FithOps 209 Shotgun Primer Perimeter Trip Alarm

You may have noticed a perimeter trip alarm in my article about booby traps that you can slide the base of any number of 12-gauge shotgun shells into. That type of contraption is not without its uses, but it is heavy and shells or even just shell bases are bulky.

The upside is the ability to fire flares, blanks or less-lethal munitions such as OC (Pepper Gas) cartridges and FithOps has a model of that type of perimeter trip alarm coming soon.

What the owner of FithOps has done is that he has dramatically reduced size and weight of the device by creating a trip alarm that fires only the 209 shotgun primer as opposed to an entire shotgun shell base. That’s all I use most of the time, so I was glad to find this product.

What this means is that the device takes up very little space and weight in your pack, enabling you to do the same job with a lot less equipment or carry more of them and deploy a lot more alarms. The body is only about .5″ diameter and just under 3″ in length making it a little fatter than a .410 shotgun shell and since it is machined from aluminum, it is very light and the 209 shotgun shell primers it fires are tiny but are plenty loud.

You could create a perimeter with just two of the devices, but I recommend J-hooking your trails in and out of camp and setting up a couple more or maybe even mix in model or two that uses shotgun shell bases to add flexibility, but that would depend on what you are trying to accomplish.

At just $25 each, they are a great value and I know from personal experience that this type of alarm is very effective. I have set up many a trip trap for students and buddies over the years and have yet to ever have anybody find one before tripping it. Just make sure they don’t have a heart condition, because they can really get the old ticker thumping on excitable types. And yes, the owner claims they work on bears and tweakers alike.

Deluxe Camping

Anyone who has been into emergency preparedness for a long time knows that you need pretty much the same stuff to survive a great variety of threats. A simple solution for many of our basic needs is vehicle-portable camping gear.

Deluxe Camping has taken functionality and efficiency of many basic needs of camping to the next level. The owner was a primitive skills student of Larry Dean Olsen so he understands the fundamentals of camping at a level which most folks do not and this enabled him to innovate some

Rocket Stoven Combo

  • Very efficient multi-tier rocket stove/oven that can cook an entire meal at once with very little wood.
  • Burns wood completely creating very little smoke.

Deluxe Tent Shower

  • Pressurized hot shower that can be used inside or outside a tent.
  • Captures water and drains it outside.

Deluxe Filtration Camp Sink

  • Hands Free: Foot pump means you can wash your hands and pump water at the same time.
  • Self-contained: Captures gray water so no puddle on the ground.

Deluxe Off-grid Laundry

  • Large 28-gallon capacity the same as a home washing machine.
  • Rust Free
  • Smooth circular motion. No repetitive up and down or back and forth motion.
  • Can re-capture and reuse water
  • Ringer attachment for complete off-grid laundry solution

Education on Laws Governing the Use of Public Land and Natural Resources

The Celebrity Panel gave attendees the incredible opportunity to ask questions to Dave Wescott, David Holladay, Dr. Nicole Apelian and Alan Kay regarding the relevance of primitive survival skills in our modern world.

One of the topics that came up was the laws governing use of our public lands and resources and how we can practice primitive without running afoul of the law. For instance, Alan Kay pointed out that in many states it is illegal to harvest road kill.

The answers boiled down to the fact that life is an act of consumption.

Dave Wescott shared:

You can’t preserve it, you can conserve it. Leave no trace is a physical impossibility, we need to consume to be alive.

Everything comes from somewhere, but unfortunately “leave no trace” is the guiding ethic determining how most of our public lands are used.

The primitive skills veteran advocated “technique over tech” and that “camping badly in any mode is bad.”

David Holladay said that he loves the story of Robin Hood where the king owned all the deer but the people fed themselves anyway.

He said:

There is going to be a day when it is illegal to eat or be a human being.

He and explained how one of our neighbors to the South sprayed defoliants on people’s gardens because they were worried that they might contain an insect that could damage the monocultured crops of giant corporate farms and how Mexico passed a law declaring it illegal to be Yaqui.

Members of the Native American tribe were forced to abandon their religion and their culture or move to Arizona. He said: “Live long enough to apologize to the judge, in a survival situation.”

Dr. Nicole Apelian noted that in some states it even is illegal to catch rainwater or highly regulated.

The sick irony is that it is often illegal to feed yourself or to shelter yourself without using products made from fossil fuels that came from some land somewhere and will end as trash somewhere else.

The food in backpacking meals and bags they are packed in come from somewhere and so do the bags many areas require you to use to haul out your urine and feces.

Do they really think food comes from the grocery store? Is it OK to leave a carbon footprint as long as it is in someone else’s country? Because that is exactly what we are doing. We are essentially trying to preserve our own lands in glass showcases while we exhaust resources of other nations or land we call farmland.

Everyone would probably agree that we need rules for high traffic areas, but our current laws serve to separate man from nature. This is an unnatural practice. Humans have been part of most land-based ecosystems a lot longer than we have had laws. Rights and property predated law. Law was created to protect them but is now used to legally plunder the very rights and property it was created to protect.

Our forefathers followed this path and survived for centuries. Learn from their knowledge to find your own way to survive!

This article was written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.

Human Body Under Test: How Far Can You Really Go?

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The human body is amazingly adaptable, able to survive in a wide range of conditions, and through suffering a wide range of circumstances.

We’ve all heard of people who have survived being shot in the heart or even in the brain. While those are supposedly impossible situations to survive, some people do survive them. Likewise, people have survived the harshest climate that nature can throw at them, as well as the worst hell that mankind can create.

Many of us don’t know the limits of their body and how strong they are but your body can take a lot more than you think when pushing its limits to survival.

There are some limits to human survival which have been well mapped out. We all know the rule of 3, which defines how long we can live without some of our most basic survival needs. But even then, there are extreme cases where people have done the impossible and survived past those limits.

Then there are a wide range of challenges which are unknowns, as the limit has never been fully mapped out. How long can a person survive without sleep? The longest on record is 11 days, but while the test subject was little more coherent than a vegetable at the end of that time, they were in no risk of dying.

The same can be said for a wide range of athletic achievements. For a long time, it was believed that humans could not beat the four-minute-mile. Then Roger Bannister ran a mile in 3:59:4, back in 1954. Once he did that, others were able to break through that barrier, till today, the fastest mile on record is almost 17 seconds faster than Bannister’s record-breaking time.

This is not uncommon in athletics, as every record broken becomes a new challenge to other athletes. Today’s Olympic athletes can outperform those of a century ago by so far, as to make those in the past look like a bunch of bumbling fools. Yet in their day, each of them was a marvel of human accomplishment.

Every time a new record has been set, either by athletes or by people who survive seemingly impossible situations, scientists are forced to rethink their understanding of the human body’s abilities. Yet just because one person succeeds in surviving a specific situation, that doesn’t mean that all people can.

People fall off of buildings and survive, even buildings as tall as ten stories high. In most cases, falling 100 feet like that would result in death or at least extremely severe injury. But there are always those rare cases of people who survive such a fall, and seem to do so, without serious injury.

In some cases, that can be attributed to the individual being drunk. Drinking to excess causes the muscles to relax, amongst the other effects it has. It also makes the drunk person less aware of their surroundings and what is happening to them. Without that awareness, they can fall off a building and not tense their muscles in expectation to the sudden stop at the bottom. This can actually help them to survive, as a relaxed body will often suffer less injury than a tense one.

But that doesn’t mean that we should all walk around drunk, or that being drunk when falling off a building would ensure our survival. There are many factors in play in any such accident; such as the individual’s physical condition, their health, how they strike the ground, the surface they land on and how their body collapses upon impact.

Then there’s the many differences in individual bodies, as no two people are exactly the same.

Strong muscles not only provide the strength and endurance necessary to perform survival tasks, they also help prevent injury. Many bone and ligament injuries happen simply because of a lack of muscle strength. If muscles are strong enough, they protect the bones as well, acting as a cushion. Fat can’t do that.

All this affects our ability to survive much more than a fall. In any survival situation, these same factors come into play. One person might be able to withstand cold well, while another may do better in the heat. Some can eat foods that might be considered tainted, without suffering any harm, while others have systems which are easily affected by even the slightest thing wrong with their food.

While some of this is beyond our control, there are things which we can do, which will ultimately increase our ability to survive. If one is forced to bug out from their home on foot, both strength and endurance will come into play.

Strength will affect how much they are able to carry with them, while endurance will affect how far they can walk, before they have to stop and take a break. Each has its value, so to concentrate on one, to the exclusion of the other, is not the best training strategy.

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

Explore Your Limits

Before you start training, you need to know where you are right now. What are your body’s limits? What can you withstand? Knowing the generalities of what “most people” can withstand isn’t enough, you need to know what works for you.

Knowing that people can survive living in a temperature range from 40°F to °F to 95°F won’t help you a bit, if you don’t know how your body reacts to heat and cold. So you need to put yourself into circumstances where you are forced to function for a prolonged period of time in those temperatures, and monitor how well you do.

Do you lose strength quickly when it’s hot? Does cold weather make your joints stiffen? How much do you sweat when it’s hot and how much does physical activity affect that?

Your ability to withstand extremes in temperature need to be evaluated over time, as your body will gradually adjust to those extremes.

Explorers who go to the Arctic or Antarctica spend time acclimating to the cold, before starting their explorations. Given time, their bodies adjust, making it possible for them to survive in circumstances where others couldn’t.

Establish Real Life Strength and Endurance Tests

You can test yourself for strength and endurance fairly easily. Just don’t do it at your local gym. While the gym might be great for physical fitness training, it’s an unrealistic environment. Just because you can lift X number of pounds for 20 repetitions, or even 200 repetitions, doesn’t mean that you can wield an axe for three hours, splitting firewood. The effort and movement may seem similar, but it’s not. Weight training really only prepares you for more weight training, it doesn’t prepare you for real-life survival tasks.

Nor can endurance be measured on a stationary bicycle or elliptical machine. While that might give you a comparative evaluation of how you are today, compared to how you were a year ago, it won’t tell you how far you can hike through rugged terrain, carrying a 50 pound pack.

You’ve got to establish realistic tests, based upon real-life survival tasks. If you want to know how well you’ll handle carrying that pack on a bug out, go backpacking in the type of terrain that you expect to pass through while bugging out.

Make your pack as heavy as it would be on that bug out, or even a touch heavier. Dress yourself in the same way, and make sure you have good hiking boots on. Then see how well you do.

The same sort of test can be done for every survival task that you envision having to do. Split a pile of firewood, so you can see how long it will take and how many breaks you’ll need to take before getting done. Check how well your hands survive as well, as you might find them covered with blisters.

Please note here that most people will quit, long before they reach their limits. We tend to stop when we get tired, saying that we’re about to collapse. But in fact, we are far from collapsing; we’re just tired. We just don’t want to do any more.

I remember a time in my military service, when I was at that point, but circumstances forced me to go on. You know something? I did. I went well beyond what I thought were my limits, yet still didn’t reach the point of collapsing.

With your real-life tests in the log book, you can then go to the gym and do comparable tests. Put yourself through a workout, trying to do exercises that simulate your real-life survival tasks.

Record the results of those as well, right alongside the other tests. You can then use your progress in the gym, as an indication of how you might do in the field. It won’t be a perfect comparison, but an improvement in the gym should roughly equal a similar improvement in the field.

Develop Your Training Regimen for Survival

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Most of us aren’t in good enough shape for survival. I know I’m not. Having to hike all day, carrying a heavy pack or needing to split a pile of firewood is probably more than I can do. I’m not as young as I once was and I spend way too much time sitting in front of my computer.

But that doesn’t mean I have to stay that way. Physical training is just training. As such, it’s something that just about anyone can do. All we need is to develop the right sort of training regimen, and then to have the discipline to follow through.

That’s the keyword – discipline. It is the lack of discipline which prevents most of us from exercising. We know we should, we even know how to… but we still don’t do it. We lack the discipline.

“Our limits are mostly mental limits, not physical limits. Once we accept them as such, we should be able to change them.”

You can discipline yourself by simply motivating yourself. What’s your reason to push the limits of your body? To be able to survive, right? That desire to survive should be all the motivation you need. With it, you should be able to push yourself beyond what you think are your limits, finding new limits that you never even knew existed.

A number of years ago, trainers for the Olympic bicycling team tried an experiment with their cyclists. They started out telling them to ride as fast as they can, “sprinting” on the bicycle, if you will. Then, they told them to “follow” a video of someone else riding and stay right with them. Even though the videos were one or two miles per hour faster than their supposed “fastest time,” they were able to keep up.

There’s a secret that we can all use. That is, our limits are mostly mental limits, not physical limits. Once we accept them as such, we should be able to change them, simply by deciding that we can. In other words, starting out at our limit and then adding just a little bit more. By incrementally increasing our limit in this way, we push our body’s ability and find the ability to do more.

Video first seen on Outside

Develop Toughness Too

Physical strength and endurance are important parts of survival. An individual who is in shape, is much more likely to accept and overcome the hardships of survival. Their body will rise to the challenge, putting for the necessary exertion to get through whatever survival problem.

But that body which is in condition will be able to withstand the rigors better, as well. They won’t just be able to do more, but they will suffer less in doing so. Part of that is the physical toughness that goes with being physically in shape.

Fighter of all kinds work to develop toughness, right alongside strength, endurance and agility. What do I mean by that physical toughness? It’s the ability to take the blows, without it affecting you. It’s pretty much impossible to have physical toughness, without physical conditioning. But it is possible to have that physical conditioning, without the toughness to go with it.

Physical toughness is developed by taking blows. Muscles which are hardened by exercise can take those blows, without it doing them harm. This is especially true when the muscles are flexed, hardening them.

If your abdominal muscles are relaxed and someone hits you in the belly, it will hurt. It might even tear some muscle or cause other damage. But if you are given the opportunity to tighten those muscles, before the blow, you will withstand the same blow, without harm. If your abdominal muscles are in shape, you’ll be able to take a much stronger blow, without harm.

But there’s another side of toughness, besides physical toughness, that’s mental toughness. Physical toughness is something that you can train your body to have, while mental toughness is something you must train your mind to have.

Put simply, mental toughness is the ability to push on through and not give up. As I mentioned before, most of us give up before we reach our limit. This doesn’t just apply to endurance, but to everything. Having mental toughness means that we won’t quit, no matter how tired we are, how much we hurt, or how impossible the situation looks.

Probably the greatest experts in mental toughness today are the Navy Seals. Seal training is reported to be the toughest military training there is. But they make it extremely easy to quit. A trainee can quit at any time, no questions asked. There’s a bell just outside the main office, where it can be seen by all, all the way through their training. All they have to do is trot over to that bell and ring it. One clang of the bell and you’re given a warm blanket, a cup of coffee, a donut and a fast trip out of Seal training.

They make it easy to quit, because the Seals are looking for people who aren’t quitters. One of the things that makes them so effective, is that the Seals are made of people who won’t quit, no matter what.

Seals are survivors. They’re people who don’t know how to quit. They’ve got the mental toughness to keep on trying, no matter what. Work on yourself to get yours!

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This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

7 Survival Uses For Cattails

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Cattail can be best described as the swamp supermarket of preppers, and I am being very serious about my statement. Actually, the legend says that the US was on the verge of winning War World 2 with a little help from the humble cattail.

And if you’re wondering what on God’s green’s earth I am talking about, let me give you one flabbergasting fact: cattail produces more edible starch than almost any green plant (starch per acre that is). From this point of view, cattail is more nutritious than rice, potatoes, yams, or taros.

And speaking of War World 2, the US gummint’ was on the verge of feeding GI Joes with starch originated from the cattail plant right before the war ended.

The only plant that’s capable of beating cattails in terms of carbs (starch is the essential carbohydrate) per acre is lichen, but that’s not a green plant. However, an acre of cattails will produce, on average, 6.5K pounds of flour annually.

Are you starting to get the picture? Cattails, food, survival, the end.

Well, that’s just one small step in our journey aimed at discovering the survival uses of cattail. Truth be told, there’s so much to know about this miraculous plant that I could write a book.

Survival Uses for Cattails

To begin with, there are 2 species of cattail to be found in North America: Typhalatifolia and Typhaangustifolia. However, the cattail got its name from its mature brown cylindrical flower spike.

The dried spikes make for excellent torches while the end-of-season fluffy cattails are the ideal tinder. American Indian folk used cattails for building mattresses, for insulation, and for absorption.

Cattails are so great from a prepper’s point of view that if you’re  lost out there in the wild and you managed to get some “tail”, you’ve basically covered four out of five essential survival items: food, water, shelter and fuel for making a fire (the dried stalks are a great source of heating fuel).

It’s important to point out that cattails grow near the water, and regardless where the water flows, you’ll find civilization downstream everywhere in the world.

There’s an old survivalist motto that goes something like this: You name your problem and we’ll improvise a solution from cattails.

As I already told you in the preamble, cattails are very close to a prepper’s seven eleven, the store that never closes out there in the wild.

The fresh (they look like cob) tips of cattail are edible and the same story goes for the white bottom of the stalk, the rootlets off the main roots (they look like spaghetti) and the spurs off the roots. These parts are also rich in vitamin A, B and C, together with essential minerals like phosphorus and magnesium.

The pollen from cattails was used as flour for thousands of years. Eastern Indians were known for their heavy use of cattails, not only for their nutritional value (which is great), but for stuffing and hemp. The fluff was very useful for menstruation and for making diapers.

Discover the survival things the Pioneers took with them when they traveled for months!

Survival Food

Cattails are excellent for their starch content. Here’s a video depicting how to get the starch out of a cattail root. And if you’re wondering why, well, once you got the starch out, it would make for the essential ingredient in your survival kitchen, just like any other flour.

Video first seen on The Apocalyptic Cookbook

However, remember not to eat the fiber, you’ll end up with stomach ache.

Here’s a video about how to cook and eat cattails.

Video first seen on David’s Passage

You can even make pickled cattails! Here  is how.

Video first seen on The Northwest Forager

So, with the food part taken care of, let’s move on to other uses for cattails, shall we?

Let’s enumerate some other survival uses right now: cattail can be used for making pillows, tinder, torches , fire, insulation, for fire transportation. arrow shafts, hand drills, hats, mats, cordage, baskets, bedding, shelters, syrup, bandages for wounds, burns, stings, cuts, bruises, and for mitigating toothaches.

Pretty amazing stuff, isn’t it?

Fire Starting

Now, let’s see about the cigar-shaped  cattail seed head, which contains myriads of seeds. When ripe, you can use these seeds as tinder, as they’re dried and highly combustible.

Video first seen on usframe

I bet you did not know that if you soak it up right in fat or animal oil, a cattail will burn for up to 6 hours (this is fire transportation by any metric).

Video first seen on bushcraftbartons

Here is how to start a fire with cattail using hand drill fire.

Video first seen on gundog5


The same seed hairs are incredibly fluffy and soft and if the force is strong in you i.e. if you can gather enough seeds, you can stuff them in pillows. Obviously, if you’re incredibly industrious, you may end up with a mattress made out of cattail seed hairs.

The fluffy cattail seeds make for excellent insulation which can be used to line the inside of clothing or your DIY shoes (think moccasins).

Early civilizations used the seeds for diapers, headgear, bedding, and cushions for cradleboards.

Here’s a tutorial about how to insulate mittens using cattails.

Video first seen on Gregory Logajan

Making Arrow Shafts

Considering their length and the fact that they’re  pretty straight, the cattail stalks are excellent for making arrow shafts. Seeing is believing, so check out this tutorial.

Video first seen on baref00tbushcraft

All you have to do is to remove excess leaves and allow the stalks to dry out thoroughly in the sun. When they turn brown, that means they’re sturdy enough and they can be transformed into a veritable plethora of arrows.

Making Survival Rope

The leaves can be used for making cordage, due to their broadness/thickness; i.e. you’ll never run out of survival rope (and arrows because cattails are abundant). Check out how to make cattail cordage by clicking here.

Video first seen on Bushland Living

Making Baskets

Obviously, you can also use cattail leaves for making baskets if you’re skilled and patient enough. Check out the tutorial.

Video first seen on jodajean1


Making Shelter

You can build yourself a shelter from cattails – a teepee-like structure built from freshly uprooted plants. Here’s the video, check it out.

Video first seen on Shawn Woods

And you can even heat it with hot stones!

Video first seen on Shawn Woods

Medicinal Uses

When it comes to medicinal uses, you’ll have to burn cattails and treat abrasions and wounds with the ashes, which have antiseptic properties. The lower part of the stems is rich in amber, a honey-like syrup which is great for treating toothaches and small wounds.

Insect bites, burns and scratches  can be mitigated with a poultice made from the mashed core of the root, while cattail’s young flowers treat diarrhea when eaten.

That concludes today’s epic journey into cattail universe. But there are many other survival secrets that helped our forefathers survive during harsh times.

Click the banner below to uncover them!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

12 Ways Activated Carbon Will Help Your Resilience

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Not so long ago, activated carbon was a common cure for many different ailment as well as a common household staple. Old habits and remedies should be revived: they are based on natural solutions much safer for our health than anything nowadays industries are offering us.

If you know how to use activated carbon, you might revert serious health problems now as well as prevent some of the worst ones that can occur anytime in your life.

If you want a good “multi-use” item in your medicine kit, activated carbon is the one to carry.

From removing ingested poison from stomach to air and water filtration, keep reading to find out the top 12 uses for activated charcoal.

Remove Ingested Poison from Stomach

No matter how hard you try, there are going to be times when you consume something that will present a danger to your health. By the same token, if you have livestock or other animals living with you, there is also a chance they will ingest some kind of poison that needs to be absorbed by a media such as activated carbon.

Fortunately, making and using activated carbon for this purpose uses the same basic process as you would use for most other purposes.  You may also want to purchase pre-manufactured activated carbon at a local pharmacy that is made for this purpose.

Discover the survival things the Pioneers took with them when they traveled for months!

Reduce Gas Reflux and Stomach Bloating

Given the number of toxins and dangerous additives in modern foods, it should come as no surprise that acid reflux and stomach bloating are on the rise. When you factor in side effects from various drugs, this situation gets even worse.

During a major social collapse or other crisis, you may wind up consuming other foods that irritate your stomach simply because you have no choice. These and many other situations may be made even worse because you may not have any remedies on hand to deal with the situation. Activated carbon capsules can help reduce both stomach bloat and acid.

Aquarium Filtration

If you are going to grow your own food, aquariums and fish ponds are likely to be part of your plans. Even if you choose not to eat the fish, you will still need waste from them for hydroponics and other forms of fertilizer.

Large numbers of fish are hard to keep in a smaller area without the use of activated carbon.

Here are some ways activated carbon makes it easier to start and maintain a healthy aquarium or fish pond:

  • Activated carbon helps remove gas based fish waste from the water.
  • When aquarium and pond water is cleaner, there is a less chance of toxic algae buildup.
  • Water that is full of toxins increases the risk of fish disease. Given that some fish carry TB and other illnesses, you will not want to take this kind of chance, especially if you are planning to eat the fish or use the water to fertilize plants.
  • When aquarium water is full of fish waste or other toxins, the fish will be less likely to breed and produce healthy offspring. While this may not be of much concern while you can still buy fish, it will most certainly be a problem when you must replace them in a crisis situation.
  • Aquarium and pond water are notorious for pulling toxins from the air. As a result, if the area is polluted, you can rest assured that the water in the aquarium is also in bad condition.  Activated carbon will pull these toxins from the water and help ensure your fish remain as healthy as possible.

To use activated carbon for this purpose, just break bigger pieces down to about the size of a pea and add them to the air filter.

I have used bubble filters for decades in my aquariums and have never needed to buy pre-fabricated cartridges for them.

If you plan to use bigger or stronger power filters, then you may need to find some way to refill the cartridge once the activated carbon needs replacing. Some aquarists say it is possible to reuse the carbon after heating it up and letting it dry out. I have never gotten this or other variations to work properly.

Keep Your Teeth Clean

Many people are surprised to learn that activated carbon can remove all kinds of stains and hidden debris from teeth. No matter whether you want to whiten your teeth or keep them clean without using toothpaste, activated carbon will be very useful.

All you need to do is grind the activated carbon down to a powder and mix it with some water.  Let the black paste sit on your teeth for a minute or so, brush, and then rinse off as you would any other toothpaste. Since activated carbon doesn’t have a good taste or texture, you may want to follow up with a peppermint wash or something else that helps you feel more comfortable.

You can use baking soda as toothpaste and then follow up with activated carbon now as well as during a major disaster.

Modern toothpaste is filled with carcinogens and other dangerous toxins. As with the air and water, more than a few of the chronic illnesses you are dealing with right now may be made worse by toothpaste.

Give activated carbon a try and see how you feel both from a dental and physical perspective. Remember, cavities and other dental diseases don’t just come from bad dental hygiene. They also come from making bad food choices and ingesting chemicals that do harm to the enamel on your teeth.

Ask your dentist about the benefits of using activated carbon as a toothpaste replacer, as well as what you can do to make your own toothpaste so that you can avoid all the toxins in modern formulas.

If your dentist says that modern toothpaste is an absolute necessity for dental health, bring with you a list of all the ingredients in the toothpaste, and the studies that prove one or more is carcinogenic. As strange as it may sound, if you wind up needing to get a second opinion, this may be better than going on with a growing health problem that you weren’t aware of.

Video first seen on Silke Dewulf.

Remove Pesticides from Soil

If you thought air and water pollution were bad, you may not realize that soil pollution is just as bad. Runoff from commercial farms and factories as well as pollution falling from the air all lead to soil based problems miles away from the initial site of contaminant release.

Once activated carbon touches something, it will begin leaching various chemicals from it. In this case, if you mix activated carbon into the soil, it will pull out pesticides and other dangerous toxins.

Personally, I would recommend using blocks or sheets of carbon for this purpose. You can try them a the surface level, or bury them in layers in order to give the chemicals a chance to leach through to the carbon layers.

Later on, you will need to remove the carbon so that the plants don’t break it down and release the pesticides right back into the soil.

Remember, activated carbon doesn’t break chemicals down, it is simply a very porous medium that acts as a storage container. You will still have to remove the carbon from the soil to completely get rid of the pesticide and other toxins.

Air Filtration

Do you ever notice that when you travel to certain areas, the air smells really bad? Do you also notice that this sensation seems to fade after a few days? The air around you is so dirty it is probably making you and your family members very sick even though your nose had adapted to it.

From higher volumes of cars passing to garbage dumps and industrial smokestacks, there are actually very few places left where there is safe, clean air to breathe. Here are just a few contaminants that trigger everything from asthma to increased risk of panic attacks, heart problems, and other diseases:

  • Aside from carbon monoxide, automobiles also release other dangerous chemicals into the air, and some of them are known to trigger asthma and other breathing disorders.
  • Medical waste and rubbish dumps release dangerous chemicals into the air. If you smell something bad in the air when downwind of a dump, then this is the natural gas released by the piles of garbage. The dump may also be releasing all kinds of chemicals created when trash mixes together and new substances begin to form. You can’t tell just how many of these substances cause cancer or other health problems simply because you inhaled the disgusting odor of rotting trash.
  • Factories and power plants also release volatile organic compounds and other chemicals into the air. You may be able to smell some of them, while others are odorless.

If you spend the money and time to build an air quality sensor capable of detecting specific chemicals, you’ll be amazed at how dangerous the air around you really is. It will get much worse after a crisis because of increased numbers of fires and a lack of tools, labor, and resources required to manage dangerous chemicals.

Activated carbon can be used to remove most volatile organic compounds, and many other chemical based contaminants from the air. In fact, if you suffer from chronic medical problems, you might need a pre-fabricated carbon filter attached to a fan or some other source of air flow. Aside from cleaner smelling air, it will ease your health problems.

If you are concerned about gas attacks or other social collapse related scenarios – these kinds of filters will be essential if you plan to stay in your home. While there is much more to prepping for an air quality related disaster, activated carbon filters are a good place to start.

There are a number of furnace filters available that have activated carbon in them. In most cases, these are little more than a liquid solution of activated carbon added to the filter media.

You can try experimenting with your own versions to see if you can get a filter that effectively removes odors (and therefore their cause) from the air.

DIY Respirators and Gas Masks

Even if you could seal off your home entirely from the outside world, it would not be a feasible option. Gases and bio weapons will easily seep through even the tiniest crack and can be devastating, and there will also be times when you have to leave your location. And if you are away from your bug out location, you’ll need to protect your lungs as much as possible.

These are reasons why making and wearing a viable gas mask or respirator is very important. As with air filters, activated carbon offers the widest range of protection against a range of chemicals.

Considering the rising rate of smog and other air pollutants, activated carbon masks are also very important for improving and maintaining a reasonable level of health. For example, in many Asian countries, people don’t go outdoors or exercise without wearing an activated carbon mask.

While this is a fairly rare sight in the United States, those who know the truth are doing the exact same thing. If you have asthma or other chronic breathing problems, even a surgical style mask with activated carbon in it can make a big difference.

I have personally noticed a 50% reduction in noxious odors from insecticides, smog, and other fumes when wearing this kind of mask. Others that have tried them notice a 70% or better reduction. While I have not tried the wrap-around designs more common in Asian countries, I suspect they would be more effective because they would seal off the areas where I tend to get the most air leaks.

A surgical style activated carbon mask is better than nothing, however you will need a more robust respirator design for gas attacks and other dangerous situations.

Just remember to practice breathing with these masks, and they can and do restrict air flow. Also make sure you keep the mask clean and change the cartridges on a regular basis. As good as activated carbon is at filtering out many kinds of chemicals, the pores in it still fill up quickly, hence the need to replace the cartridges often.

You can and should try taking used cartridges apart to see if you can find a way to refill the activated carbon part. Even if you cannot obtain or make the other filter media, at least you may be able to keep this vital part of the mask working for a longer period of time.

Filter Water

As a prepper, you may already be giving a lot more thought to water quality than air quality, but activated carbon isn’t only useful for removing the bad taste from water after it has been boiled. That bad taste is an indicator that the water isn’t as clean as you think it is.

Boiling water will kill off bacteria, however it will actually cause an increase in the concentration of heavy metals, pesticides, and even dangerous drugs that have leached into just about every potable water supply at the surface level. While activated carbon will not remove all heavy metals, it is excellent for removing most other dangerous chemicals and drugs.

Typically, filtering water with activated carbon is a lot easier than filtering air. At the simplest, just add some activated carbon to a clean sock and pour the water through it. You can also make your own cartridges and add a pump for larger volumes of water.

When designing your own system, don’t forget to make it easy to change the cartridge as well as detect when it needs to be changed. Since many water quality issues reflect in changes in pH, you may want to try building a pH sensor into your system so that you know when to change the filter.

Video first seen on MakerBoat

Preserve Papers

If you have books, paper based maps, or other important documents in your stockpile, it is very important to keep them free of air based chemicals that will do damage to them.

While a ziploc bag can be very useful, adding some activated carbon to the bag will also ensure the paper does not break down as quickly.

Remove Odor From Fabrics

Today, many people still use moth balls and other camphor based products to store clothes away for long periods of time. Aside from making your clothes very smelly, many of these products can also be very dangerous to your health.

If you want to keep clothes in your stockpile odor free, activated carbon may be of some help. If you routinely have bad smelling clothes, adding some activated carbon to the wash will also get rid of the problem.

You can make activated carbon sachets from nylon stockings (or very thin socks) and aquarium carbon, or buy them pre-made at the pet store.

Scent Block for Hunting

More than a few hunters have lost a chance to capture dinner because the target animal got a whiff of the hunter when the breeze changed.  Since most animals are afraid of human scent, even a slight breeze can cause problems.

Today, a number of hunting supply stores sell activated carbon solutions that will absorb body odors before they can be carried to the animal. You can also grind activated carbon into a powder and mix it with water.

Next, just dip your clothes in the solution and let them dry. Even though there is some controversy over whether this actually works, there is no harm in giving it a try, especially if you know or suspect that scent related issues are interfering with the hunt.

More than a few hunters also store their clothes in activated carbon in order to prevent other odors from getting into the clothes.

Tip: if you have been using the same clothes for years, and took a lot of time making sure they absorbed the scent of the woods, this can help prevent that from being disrupted.  All you need to do is add a few sachets of activated carbon to the bag or box and store away until needed for the next season.

Video first seen on Cabela’s Hunting

Manage Stings and Insect Bites

Bee stings and insect bites can become infected as well as cause a lot of pain and irritation. While activated carbon will not stop an infection, it can pull out the venom from stings and small bites.  Just apply the activated carbon to the skin and let it absorb the venom.

If you are allergic to bees or other insects, it is still very important to use an Epi-pen or other neutralizers that have a known track record for reliably managing this problem.

Activated carbon will not work for snake bites. Insect bites have much smaller amounts of venom than a snakebite. You can try a moist chewing tobacco bandage for snakebite and a constriction band above the site of a snakebite. You will still need the proper anti-venom to treat this condition.

Now that you know how to use activated charcoal, discover more valuable survival secrets from our forefathers.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

Is There Life After A Nuclear Blast?

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The world is far less stable insofar as mass numbers of people are exposed to the risk of a nuclear event.

While Russia and North Korea have the bulk of people’s attention, every single nuclear reactor and other nuclear locations can be the source of disaster. That’s why it a bomb based nuclear war is a small problem compared to our electric grid being hacked/infiltrated and other situations that can be far more dangerous.

As for the nuclear event, if you survive the initial attack, you’ll face a different world in the aftermath.

But how are you going to survive? Here are 10 questions answered about how life is going to be after a nuclear blast.

Make sure that you can do as well as possible in a medium where the following changes are expected to occur.

1. Look for Safe Areas when Traveling

While explosions can easily take out roads and bridges, there are invisible threats that come with a nuclear disaster. Even if you won’t meet the heat found inside the Fukushima reactors, you’ll pass through areas where elevated levels of ionic radiation will pose a risk to your health. If you eat or drink contaminated in these areas, you’ll get very sick.

Traveling in the post nuclear world will not be as simple as trying to get across blocked roads or other common navigation issues. Instead, you will need to read the more subtle cues that radiation is present and needs to be avoided.

You’ll need the very best in mapping skills and the ability to read wind and air currents so that you know which places are most likely to be downwind of the radiation source. While avoiding these areas, take them into account within the larger context of other areas where nuclear radiation may be higher.

For example, if you are approaching an area with elevated radiation from a nuclear reactor, think what will happen if you head towards another reactor located within 100 miles.

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

To understand the level of radiation in the areas you travel, lookout for people or animals with unusual sores, animals and plants with unusual sizing, or deformed plants and animals. Also, take into account the elevated readings on a Kierny fallout meter (KFM) or Geiger counter.

2. Sheltering Underground Can Save You

In the direct aftermath of a nuclear event, you may have to stay underground for days to months. When your return to the surface, do not make the mistake of believing that buildings and other forms of shelter are safe to occupy.

Dust filled with radiation may still be all over the place as well as contaminated soot from fires. If you are in a more “silent” area such as one produced by a nuclear reactor melt down without an explosion, you will need to rely on Geiger counters or other radiation meters to find out if the area is safe to live in.

Overall, I would say your best bet for survival is to stay underground for as long as possible. It will be to your advantage to have a comfortable shelter and storage area beneath the ground. Today, there are all kinds of specialized LED lighting strips and other resources that can enable you to grow plants and have a good degree of lighting even if located underground.

If you can live underground and sustain that, you will be well ahead of the curve for nuclear disasters as well as many other kinds that may come to pass.

3. Survive Growing Food Underground

If you stored your food above ground, it will be contaminated by nuclear radiation, and your stockpile and all the hard work you put into it will be useless. By the same token, animals and plants in the area will not be a viable option for food consumption.

When it comes to obtaining and preparing food, here’s what to do:

  • Store your food and ammo for hunting far enough underground so that they will be safe from nuclear radiation.
  • Make sure that you can farm and garden in an underground cave or some type of bunker that you build for this purpose. This includes sufficient underground ventilation and air recycling systems in place.
  • Keep radiation shielded jars for micro gardening and insect farms, and make sure that all seeds are either stored underground or in a radiation shielded storage container. Water and other materials used for this purpose have to be kept free of contamination too.
  • If you are going to live underground, make sure that you have the right lighting for the plants you plan to grow. While hydroponic and aeroponic gardening require fewer resources, the plants still need plenty of light for optimal growth and disease prevention.
  • In the post nuclear world, bees may very well be driven into extinction. If there is one skill you should try to learn, it is making and caring for a small beehive. Even just a few dozen bees can pollinate crops growing underground or other radiation safe locations.

In the outer world, the safe game and fish will not be safe anymore, as radiation travels from the source of the event, it will contaminate everything in its path.

Even if you are a few years to decades past the initial nuclear event, you will always need to be on the lookout for signs of radiation related diseases and problems. This includes everything from genetic mutations to increased rates of cancer (including tumors found in plants), leukemias, and other disorders that aren’t commonly found in animal and fish populations.

Since you never know when the food supply will become unsafe to harvest or eat, store food away underground as well as the means to produce it.  From there, it will be up to you to decide if you want to evacuate once again or simply stay where you are and live underground.

4. Filter, Filter and Filter Your Water to Stay Clean

As with food, you won’t always find sources of clean water in the usual locations. Your stockpile of water will also be worse than useless if stored above ground. Large scale storms and other systems can carry all kinds of contamination and spread them for hundreds of miles. Once this water leaches into the water table, well water and other sources will not be safe to drink.

In fact, even if you are getting water from a flowing underground source, you need to test it on a regular basis for nuclear contamination even years or decades after the nuclear event. Depending on the source of the radiation, you’ll need different filtration systems.

Most forms of radioactive material can be filtered out by distilling the water because the contaminated particles will be left behind in the original vessel. Since Tritium is an isotope of Hydrogen, it won’t be removed by distillation. While Tritium cannot be removed by using this method, don’t worry unless the incident involves a nuclear reactor. Tritium is also very hard to detect, yet it is very dangerous if it gets into your lungs or other internal organs.

Boron, borax, activated carbon, and bone char can also be used to filter out radioactive materials. Remember, unless you are dealing with Tritium, it is not the water molecules that will be radioactive. Rather, it is the dust, microscopic debris, and other molecules that will carry the radioactive signature, and therefore pose a threat to your health. If you have a reverse osmosis system on hand, run the water through an activated carbon filter.

5. Switch to Light Colors in What You Wear

Anything that you were wearing during the nuclear event will have to be discarded. To be on the safe side, anything that comes into contact with any kind of dust may be harboring radioactive materials. As with everything else, the garments that will be the safest are the ones stored and worn underground.

Other than that, the way you dress will change in order to stay protected:

  • Even in hot weather, you’ll be covered from head to toe because most fabrics will prevent Alpha and Beta particles from reaching your skin.
  • You will be saturating your garments with perfumes or baby powder, both of which can prevent x-rays from getting to the body. Make sure these chemicals do not touch your skin since they can be as dangerous to your health long term as nuclear radiation. Ask a medical x-ray technician which perfumes cause the most problems insofar as preventing x-rays from passing through the body. Some herbal perfumes will do the same job without putting as much of a toxic burden on your body.
  • You’ll be wearing a mask / respirator capable of filtering out dust and other radioactive particles. Today, there are activated carbon masks that are no bigger than a surgical scrub mask. These are better than nothing, but without a better sealing wrap around the mask, they will only filter out about 50% of the particles in the air. Full respirator masks work too, but they can be expensive to maintain and they are very hard to breathe through.

Video first seen on BlackScoutSurvival.

  • You’ll need garments in light colors or white to reduce the amount of heat that reaches your skin. In fact, wearing white or light colors it may literally save your skin from being burned in the first critical moments of a nuclear event. If you wear a head or face covering, choose white, and wear an appropriate eye shield as well.
  • Learn about disposable paper garments that are sturdy enough to be worn and then disposed off on a daily basis. A full body suit capable of blocking nuclear radiation also helps, but remember you’ll have to decontaminate the suit and yourself before you go into any area that you want to keep clean.
  • Bone based gowns or other garments – as with perfumes and baby powder, X-rays also cannot penetrate through bone. If you can create some kind of exoskeleton from animal bones, focus first on protecting your vital organs and any access points to your brain.

6. Rely on Lye Soaps to Maintain Your Hygiene

What you need after a nuclear disaster, is cleaning agents that will remove as much dust and debris from your skin as possible. Typically, lye based soaps will do the best job. Learn how to make these kinds of soaps from animal and plant based sources. I do not recommend adding herbs to all of your lye soap batches as the herbs and oils may prevent the soap from doing its job.

Once you are sure that your skin and hair are clean, you can always go back and add herbal oils and skin conditioners. Just remember, however, that these products can still allow any remaining radioactive dust or debris to remain trapped next to your skin. While you will be rinsing and scrubbing vigorously to avoid these problems, they can still happen.

7. You’ll Have to Deal with Personal Illnesses

Of all the areas where you can expect major changes after a nuclear blast, medical care and personal illness may be the hardest to deal with. While modern medicine is filled with dangerous drugs, it does have some saving graces in the face of a nuclear crisis. Surgical procedures, dental care, treatment of sores, therapy for burns, and a source of knowledge on how to treat radiation sickness are all very important. Medical providers will become very limited or unavailable at this critical time.

Search for alternatives, since vital resources can be found in herbal remedies and vitamin related research. From potassium iodine tablets for your thyroid to Vitamin C, E and other antioxidant cellular shields, you never know what new studies will come out and help you figure out what to stockpile.

Make sure that you have a viable source of medicinal herb seeds as well as the means to grow them. Develop a complete and comprehensive library of binaural music to help you manage a range of medical and mental conditions. Learn more about acupressure and other forms of alternative healing.

It never hurts to store these things away to use in time of need. From Bible verse healing to crystals, reiki, and prayer systems, you never truly know what will work for you within the paradigm of your personal belief systems. In essence, what modern medicine calls a “placebo” effect, may, in fact, be a true cure for the disease under consideration by virtue of the fact that your particular belief system allows it to happen.

What modern medicine considers quackery today may actually be proven more effective and safer tomorrow. Consider that very recently researchers found a connection between the brain and the immune system by way of the lymph system. Up until now, it was believed the immune system had very little, if any access to the brain. This discovery alone may undo decades of dogma on how to treat  “immune disorders” and shift the treatments towards the kind of “mind-body” dogma associated with alternative methods.

8. Money and Exchanging Goods: How Safe Are They?

Depending on where you and others are in relation to the nuclear event, less or more people will survive. On the other side of the equation, government, and currency collapse might occur, and any form of paper or plastic money will be useless. An occupying force may also prevent you from using gold or other metallic money as a trade medium unless it is stamped from their mint.

Trade and barter won’t be easy, regardless of the number of people and resources available:

  • You will be as concerned with preventing theft of your goods and trading mediums as you are actually exchanging them with others.
  • It may be harder than usual to trade or barter without external interference from people seeking to control the flow of goods in order to make a profit for themselves.
  • Securing items that haven’t been contaminated by nuclear debris can be very difficult. You will need to know how to test all different kinds of materials so that you do not come into contact with goods that will endanger your health.

9. Social Changes: God, Bad, and New

In the modern world, people will shun each other over things that will not matter in the post nuclear world. While this may seem like something of a positive social change, other problems will come up.

For example, as people realize that there’s no fast solution to the nuclear problem, they’ll turn to rioting and looting. When important supplies become unavailable, stealing, and other related crimes are likely to increase beyond expectation. These problems can happen in any crisis, but a nuclear one can be even worse because there are few, if any ways to remove radioactive contamination once it occurs.

More than a few preppers today work with a small family group, or several families as they work towards being ready for any kind of disaster. When disaster strikes, people you from your survival group may be dead, while total strangers might contribute something to the groups overall odds of success.

Being able to gauge what other people’s social intentions are will be more important than ever in the post nuclear world. No matter how tempted you may be to veer towards suspicion, it may be not always be to your advantage. Things can also change very quickly in a survival situation, and  you may come to realize that both old and new acquaintances aren’t who or what you thought they were

10. Political Changes: Same Fight, Different Actors

When governing bodies collapse, a struggle starts to see which individuals will emerge as dominant political forces. The laws and values that we hold today may no longer exist, or change radically in order to meet many different needs. To make matters worse, if there is any usable and clean land left, foreign adversaries might occupy the area and use it for their own purposes.

Over the years, I have taken a long, and hard look at the words and facial expressions used by certain world leaders. What I found can be best described as chilling. While some are mainly concerned with being the biggest nuclear brat on the block, others seem to be driving our world into a nuclear crisis for the express purpose of selective reduction of the human population.

There is a much bigger picture than a simple demand for weapons, energy, and medical diagnostics that drives the usage of nuclear materials. Rather, a leader that wants to occupy a foreign land will limit the damage to the land itself, while taking the maximum toll on the resident population. This hidden agenda has vast implications for every area of modern politics. From trade to preventing a new world war, the politics of global nuclear materials is more dangerous than we may realize.

The Next Generation Is Born Underground

One of the most heartbreaking things is to see a child sick or in pain, and the children will suffer the most from any kind of nuclear incident, for sure. No matter how much you prepare the younger ones for surviving on their own, there are limits to what they can do in a time of need.

Once adults or children are exposed to nuclear radiation, they might not be unable to conceive, or future children will be born with all kinds of birth defects. While surviving children may still reach adulthood and contribute in other ways to the society, the problem of producing the next generation is a very serious one.

There is really only one way to deal with this problem, and it entails being part of a survival group that already lives independently underground. Children that are born in this setting and kept away from radiation have the best chance of bringing forward a new generation. Studying genetics and making sure that the gene pool remains diverse and strong will be a top priority.

As you may be aware, there are also different methods for preserving sperm and egg, as well as transplanting embryos into a viable uterus. Not only are these methods expensive, they are not likely to be available to people after a nuclear crisis. Therefore, your best bet remains using the earth itself as a shield from nuclear radiation so that the next generation will be as healthy and viable as possible.

Just about any kind of large scale disaster will cause serious disruptions in society. In most cases, however, the devastating effects disappear in as little as a few years. From there, people will be able to rebuild society, perhaps faster than expected.

But nuclear radiation continue to poison and kill for centuries on end, and recovery from a nuclear incident will not be as fast or as easy as other types. Think carefully about how the world around you will change and prepare to be a part of it .

And remember that knowledge is the only doctor that can save you.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

What It Takes To Have A Survival Mindset

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Your mind can be the most powerful survival tool that you have at your disposal when used properly. A survival mindset will help you survive even when you have no tools, equipment, or other supplies.

Some refer to this as a will to live but a survival mindset is much more than just this single factor. Read the following article to find out!

You will need to overcome fear and panic, deal with boredom and high levels of physical and mental stress, be mentally flexible and ready to adapt no matter what is thrown at you, learn to be a predator instead of prey, recognize danger instantly, and have a can do attitude that will keep you going no matter how bad things get.

  • Practice dissociation when you perform long sets of exercises that involve monotonous repetition, such as sit ups, push, ups, and other simple exercises that can be grueling over the long haul. Try to do 100 sit ups in a single setting, and when you start to get uncomfortable use dissociation to focus your mind elsewhere while your body continues to push on. This will help you train for dealing with fear and panic when these negative responses occur.
  • Try sitting in cold water for as long as possible. Cold water is uncomfortable and it can cause your mind to try and cave if you let it. After a few minutes all you want to do is get out and get warm. Instead of giving in to this impulse stay in the water as long as possible and try to refocus or distance your mind from the physical cold sensations. Over time you should notice that your time keeps increasing as your dissociation skills improve.
  • When you experience fear or panic try to focus on people who depend on you instead of these emotions, whether this is your family, your team, or your co-workers. These people are relying on you to keep going and not give up, and this can be the mental focus that you need to push fear and panic responses into the background or keep fighting to overcome any obstacles in the way of survival.
  • Find your happy place. This is a place in your mind which causes you to experience positive emotions and releases pent up stress that we all carry around. Your own happy place could be a beach, your childhood home, a favorite event, or even Buckingham Palace if that is a place or event that makes you feel happy and at peace.
  • Step outside of your comfort zone and set goals that challenge you in new ways. When you put yourself in uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations you will experience some of the stress reactions that survival will entail. This gives you an opportunity to learn how to deal with these reactions in a positive way before your life depends on it, and experience first hand what fear, panic, and other stress responses feel like.
  • Counter negative thoughts with positive ones. Fear, panic, and other negative emotions can lead to negative thoughts, and these can become contagious. When you have a negative thought immediately replace it with something positive instead.
  • Use visualization and guided imagery in order to practice for a real life survival scenario. If you go over situations in your mind in full detail then you will be better prepared when they play out in real life and less likely to react out of fear and panic. Your brain defines reality, and research studies have shown that there was little difference between real life situations and realistic visualizations of the same scenario.

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

Are You Flexible Enough?

In order to survive any type of situation you will need mental flexibility, and you must be able to adapt to changing situations and circumstances. If you can not do this then you will perish fairly soon after society collapses.

There will be different situations that must be handled in different ways, with a range of new and complex problems popping up that will need to be addressed and solved in order to stay alive.

When you have mental flexibility you are like a willow compared to a large old oak tree in a strong wind. The oak may break from the strength of the wind but the willow will just bend and
will not break.

Mental flexibility allows you to bend so that you do not break, to adapt so that you do not become extinct. When you are mentally flexible you will be able to:

  • See your current situation from a variety of different perspectives.
  • Adapt to change when your first plan is no longer possible or the situation and circumstances change.
  • Learn from your mistakes and do better in the future.
  • Use creative and innovative ways to solve problems when traditional solutions do not apply.
  • Willingly take risks when this is necessary.
  • Tolerate the uncertainty that comes with any chaotic situation.

When things turn sideways and there is no rhyme or reason anymore you need to understand and accept that there is no safe place, and that the government is not going to swoop in and save you. It is up to you.

Holding out an unrealistic hope that there is a safe place or that others will take care of you will cause you to perish. Crowded areas and military outposts, if these even exist, will be fraught with danger and could become high interest targets.

No matter where you are or where you go in any type of chaotic situation where your life is on the line safety is just an illusion while everything is out of control, and feeling safe causes you to let your guard down. This makes you vulnerable and could leave you open to attack or lower your defenses so that you could be victimized in another way.

Don’t become a victim or put your survival at risk with a false sense of security.

Attitude Raises You Up and Breaks You Down to Pieces

Attribute even the most grueling physical training and truckloads of supplies will not be enough when things go sideways and the civilized society that we know doesn’t exist anymore. Negativity will quickly wear you down and harm your mental health.

The will to survive and a degree of stubbornness is just one part of the survival attitude that will get you through almost anything. You also need to be realistic about your situation while still maintaining some hope for the future, something that can be difficult to do in this type of setting and circumstances.

Mental toughness allows you to keep going even when it seems like all is lost, and looking at the positive aspects of any situation will help you avoid dwelling on the negatives,

Recognize negative emotions and thought patterns when these occur, and address them immediately before they can take hold and grow.

Replace each negative thought or emotion with one that is more positive. If you think “I can’t do this” then flip the script and tell yourself “I can do this, I am strong, and I will be a survivor.”

Don’t let guilt or anger get the best of you. It is easy to blame yourself or to get angry when the world seems to turn upside down or it seems like everything has gone haywire, but these negative emotions have no place in your mental toolbox and they need to be banished as soon as they start.

Keep telling yourself that you are not to blame, and that getting angry will not help you but it could work against you and keep you from surviving. Remember that things happen, and we all have a bad day or experience unpleasant situations.

Keep a positive mental outlook on any situation and you are more likely to stay alive. One way you can do this is to imagine a bad situation, and then try to find a silver lining.

Even the worst catastrophic events will have something positive that can be associated with them, and you need to look for the bright ray of light in even the darkest situations and most dire circumstances.

A survival mindset is key if you want to stay alive in any life or death situation, whether this is a zombie apocalypse, a natural disaster, or government gone wrong.

Work on yourself to get yours!

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This article has been written by John Gilmore for Survivopedia. 

PrepperCon 2017: Why You Can’t Afford To Miss It

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When I am asked by preppers if it should be worth the time and price of admission to attend PrepperCon 2017, based on the standard of change effected due to attending past PrepperCon Expos, my answer is, “You can’t afford not to go.”

So don’t make any other plans, but prepare to attend this big preparedness event on April 21-22, in Salt Lake City, Utah. There is a lot to learn and discover at this preparedness event. You’ll find me there too, with a special Q&A session and you’ll have the opportunity to get your EMP survival question answered.

Read the article below to discover the promotional code you can use for getting discount tickets for the show!

ROI for the Survival Consumer

Just like most of you reading this article, I am a consumer of survival/self-reliance products and services, and my experience as a survival consumer is vast. Over the years, I have developed a simple rule of thumb to judge survival ROI (Return On Investment) for my hard-earned money and time:  Change Effected

Based on my investment, what change was effected? If I read a magazine and make a change or two to my personal survival/self-recovery kit as a result, then it was well worth the price of the magazine and the time it took to read it. If I made more than a couple of changes, then it was a great issue! If I read a magazine and no change is effected, it was a bust.

Whether the investment is a magazine or book, video or TV show, time engaged in social media or attending training, classes or an expo, the same formula holds true. Scaling the model up, as a result of the investment, did my gear, vision, relationships, situational awareness, habits, SOP, knowledge, ability or skills change?

Scaling it up some more, when major changes in vision, philosophy or relationships or trust occur, they can be life-changing. One of my most influential mentors used to say that, “trust is the one thing that changes everything.” I try to use this rule, when I write and provide services too. I ask myself how likely it is that what I am writing or teaching will effect change for my readers or clients in their emergency preparations, and I’m glad that so many of you appreciate it.

Click here to get your discount tickets at PrepperCon 2017!

Use survivopedia promotional code!

Celebrities, Guests & Speakers

A neat thing about this event is that you can just walk right up to celebrities you have seen on TV and strike up a conversation. I have found that the celebrities have been surprisingly accessible. If you are shy, don’t be.

Celebrities are just people, just like you and they share your same interests. You may find that you have more in common that you imagined. If you would like to get to speak to a particular celebrity, author or expert, your best chance is early on Friday while many people will still be at work!

  • Salvador Alvarenga – This remarkable man survived an incredible 438 days at sea. You could read the book or you could meet him, hear his story and ask him questions is person! For those of you who cannot make it, I will be interviewing him for you!
  • Alan Kay – Meet the man you watched win Season 1 of Alone on the History Channel! He is also a long time survival, preparedness and self-defense instructor.
  • Nicole Apelian – Nicole is a favorite of Alone Season 2 fans and completed her doctorate in Sustainability Education with a focus on Cultural Anthropology. Nicole continues to visit the San Bushmen of Southern Africa whom she has worked with for many years to the end of preserving their culture and teaches primitive skills and herbal medicine based on her experiences.
  • David Holladay – For many city dwellers, most of their understanding of primitive survival comes from watching survival reality TV. David is an Expert Survival Instructor who has trained many of the most knowledgeable survival instructors on TV and countless others who are not. He’s also a very down to earth all-around great guy and an immensely talented educator.
  • Dave Wescott – Dave is an Expert Survival Instructor who owned the Boulder Outdoor Survival School and has hosted the nation’s premier primitive skills events for over 30 years. In the primitive skills world, David Holladay and Dave Wescott are living legends, both having worked with best selling author Larry Dean Olsen (Outdoor Survival Skills) based on primitive skills of the Paiute Tribe of Native Americans and helped to preserve these valuable skills.
  • Jeff Anderson – Survival & Modern Combat Instructor
  • Che Bodhi – Survival & Barter Expert
  • Chris Weatherman – Survival Author known as Angery American (Survivalist series of books), Alone
  • Yours Truly – I will be hosting Q&A classes on EMP Survival and covering the event for all of you who can’t make it.
  • A.R. Shaw – Author (The China Pandemic)
  • Kate Morris – Author (The McClane Apocalypse series of books)
  • Annie Berdel – Author (Alpha Farm, The Beginning)
  • Boyd Craven – Author (The World Burns series of books)

For Survivopedia Readers

I am excited to be hosting 2 question and answer sessions on EMP survival for Survivopedia at PrepperCon 2017!

Please come see me and get your EMP survival questions answered at the EMP Q&A with Cache Valley Prepper at PrepperCon 2017 at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, Utah. Class times will be 4:30-5:20pm on Friday the 21st and 12:30-1:20pm on Saturday the 22nd in Room 300C.

If you miss the class, stop by my table and say, “Hi!” if I’m there or flag me down if I’m running around covering the event and you’ll be among the few who get to put a face with the name : )


PrepperCon 2017 boasts well over 120 classes, many of them taught by some of the very best instructors on the planet. Don’t confuse them with so many folks to whom survival is largely theoretical. These are typically vetted subject matter experts have actually been there and done that.

So many topics are being covered at this show that whatever your interest and skill level are, you sure to find classes or workshops that you will benefit from. As Expo’s go, this one is very interactive, education-heavy and focused on actually helping you to prepare for emergencies. Here are a few other highlights I find particularly interesting:

  • Record Castaway Survivor on Ocean 438 Days – Ben Hansen & Jose Salvador Alvarenga
  • Celebrity Panel: “Why Learn Primitive Survival Skills to Survive Modern Society?” – Alan Kay, David Holladay, David Wescott, Dr Nicole Apelian
  • Psychology of Survival – Alan Kay, Dr Nicole Apelian
  • Top 10 Lessons Learned from a Real World Disaster – Jeff Anderson
  • EDC/BOB for Individuals and Families – Alan Kay & Dr Nicole Apelian
  • Celebrity Panel: SHTF Talkin’ – Apocalypse Fiction Authors
  • Surviving Catastrophic Events – Simplified Severe Injury Treatment – Ed Hendershot
  • Emergency Childbirth – Raili Bjarnsen
  • Family Survival the Earthquake Tomorrow – Scott Thomas
  • Suturing – Dr David Pruett
  • Emergency Water Storage & Disinfection – Max Gyllensog – Aqua Mira (Max is a water quality engineer with too many certifications to list who has traveled to other countries to set up water treatment in major disasters)
  • Self-Protection – Unarmed, Hand, No Weapon, No Knife with Alan Kay


Vendors are the driving force behind any expo and legions of survival vendors competing against each other under the same roof creates a great environment for survival consumers to score show specials. PrepperCon 2017 will showcase some exciting new inventions and product offerings. While it can be fun to window shop online, it is nice to be able to see products with your own eyes, feel the quality, understand the dimensions without a ruler, heft them and have the ability to take them home if you choose. Some of the highlights, innovation and deals I am looking forward to are:

  • Scavenger Six – Multi-caliber Repeating Firearm Unveiled to the World – Tim Ralston
  • Tech Protect – Faraday Bags
  • Survival Medical – Exactly what it sounds like
  • 5.11 Tactical – Tactical Apparel
  • AMP-3 – Amateur Radio Gear & Medical
  • Aquamira Technologies
  • Backwoods Home Magazine – Amazing writers!
  • Zeus Lighters – USB-rechargeable Lighters that don’t use any fuel. Recharge from portable solar/USB battery pack
  • Plan B – Custom Surplus Trucks
  • Dillon Precision – Reloading Equipment

Entertainment Value

PrepperCon 2017 includes attractions for kids and even family members who maybe are not that into the whole survivalist scene. Creativity, entertainment value and fun are areas where PrepperCon stands apart from other survival expos.

The team of preppers who put on the event are enthusiastic about preparedness and have a healthy sense of humor about prepping which gives the event it’s unique personality and some fun family-oriented attractions:

  • PrepperFash Fashion Show
  • Hurricane Simulator – This is really cool!
  • Do You Dare Eat This – with prizes – David & Jill Holladay
  • Utah Search Dogs
  • Food Storage Cook-off with Wise Foods

I expect a lot from this event considering, and you shouldn’t miss it. Did you get your tickets yet?

Remember that knowledge is the only thing that can save you! Will you survive?

Click the banner below to find out!

This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia. 

14 Survival Uses For Lip Balm

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I already know what you’re thinking: what does lip balm and survival have in common?

Also known as chapstick, this inconspicuous piece of gear which is to be found in almost every woman’s purse has quite a lot of survival uses.

Ideally speaking, when it comes to DIY EDC kits, survival kits and bug out bags, the best thing would be to pack those with items which have multiple uses, for space saving reasons obviously. And lip balm definitely qualifies.

Lip balm is not just for protecting one’s lips, though this was its initial purpose. It can also be used as a survival tool. Just as many preppers never leave the house without duct tape, after finishing reading this article you’ll probably carry lip balm on your EDC from now on.

Another great feature of lip balm is that it’s available pretty much everywhere. You can find the stuff in gas stations and drugstores, on the Internet, in big box stores and so on and so forth.

Also, there are many brands and different varieties of lip balm, which are all making wild claims about their magical properties and what not, including the level of awesomeness they’ll deliver.

Regardless of the marketing, you should always go for the tube lip balm, this is the best option as it has multiple survival uses.

Discover what survival things the Pioneers took with them when they traveled for months!

Start a Fire

Lip balm can be lit up and used for starting a fire! Yeah, you got that right. Lip balm is a petroleum based product and that makes it flammable, hence if you’re out there in the wild and you need to start a fire real quick, just smear a small quantity of lip balm on any flammable object, like a cotton ball, cloth, lint, dry bark, gauze or whatever (they all work well) and they’ll ignite very quickly.

Lip balm is awesome for igniting tinder without wasting precious fuel or matches.

Make a Candle

Here’s a neat trick for maximizing your chances of survival in the dark: if you stuff a matchstick vertically down into the lip balm tube, a half inch or maybe more, thus creating a balm-coating, you’ll end up with an improvised/emergency candle that burns slowly and also makes for a pretty good fire starter.

You can also melt the lip balm and insert a wick in the container, hence ending up with an emergency candle.

Video first seen on SensiblePrepper.

Treat Small Cuts

Lip balm can be used for a variety of medical emergencies. To begin with, you can protect abrasions with the stuff, treat small cuts (thus preventing them from infecting), ameliorate scrapes from grime or dirt just by smearing some lip balm on the affected area.

Keep in mind that you’ll only require a light coating.

Stop Minor Bleeding

Lip balm also stops minor bleeding. If you’re going to hike long distances, you can prevent your heels and other areas on your feet from getting blisters by rubbing a little lip balm on them.

Protect Your Skin

Lip balm will provide you with some sort of lubrication and thus it will prevent you from getting blisters.

Another thing to remember: if you’re outdoors in extreme weather conditions, you can use lip balm to protect the skin on your exposed body parts from cracking and drying, think fingertips or your nose.

Also, you can reduce glare from extremely bright places (like in the desert or snowfields) by making a mixture from lip balm and ash, which must be rubbed under one’s eyes.

You can use lip balm as sunscreen in an emergency, as most of them include a sun protection factor of 15 to keep your lips from getting burned by the sun.

Camouflage Your Face

Another cool thing about lip balm: if you mix it with a little bit of dirt, you can use it for camouflage.

Video first seen on Erkin

Reduce Irritations

A soothe and irritated nose can be a pest, especially in a survival situation. However, you can get fast relief from that irritated skin around or inside your nose by applying some lip balm with your finger over the respective areas.

Protect Pet’s Paws

Lip balm is great for protecting a pet’s paws from ice in wintry conditions. You’ll have to coat the paw pads with lip balm before walking on snow or ice, as the lip balm will work as a barrier to protect sensitive paws.

Lubricate Your Gear

Lip balm is great in emergencies for its lubrication properties. For example, you can use it for unlocking a zipper, to prevent nails from splitting wood (you’ll have to rub some over the hardware before hammering in nails) or to rust proof gear. You can also use lip balm for sealing up a leaky seam in your jacket or your tent, or to wax a bowstring.

Keep Blades from Rusting

Lips balm also makes for a great blade protector for your survival knife. Keeping your knife well oiled when you’re not using it will prevent it from rusting.

Protect Leather Gear

Speaking of protection, lip balm is an excellent leather conditioner, whether we’re talking about your skin or the leather on your shoes and boots or the sheath of your survival knife.

Remove Stuck Rings

Lip balm is great for removing stuck rings pr other items. For example, if your ring gets stuck on your fat finger, whether we’re talking about a wrong fit or from swelling, a little lip balm will save the day.

Defog Glasses

If you’re wearing glasses, you can use lip balm as a defogger. Just rub some lip balm on the lenses then polish them thoroughly with a clean cloth. In this way, you’ll leave an invisible film of lip balm on your lenses that will prevent them from fogging (works with goggles and binoculars too).

Hide Small Survival Items

Even the empty container can be used for storage purposes. Once you’ve used all your lip balm, the plastic tube will make for the ideal place to store things like basic survival gear, i.e. matches, a fishing hook and fishing line etc.

Next time you’re cruising your local convenient store, don’t forget to grab some tubes of  lip balm. Is dirt cheap, easy to carry and an essential item to have in your EDC/BOB or survival kit.

Now that you know how to use lip balm in an emergency situation, discover more valuable survival secrets from our forefathers.

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If you have questions or additional ideas, feel free to comment in the dedicated section below.

This article has been writen by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

The 7 Rules Of How Not To Become A Target

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There’s a military axiom which says,“The best defense is a good offense.” I have my own, modified version of this. It goes, “The best defense is not becoming a target.” What I mean by that is that if nobody has a reason for attacking you, you won’t have to worry about being attacked.

You’ve got to realize that in the aftermath of any crisis, people are going to be on the prowl. You’ve seen it on the news reports; people looting, stealing, breaking into homes, even rooting around in garbage dumpsters for the things that they need to survive.

You’re going to see it again; only this time, you’ll see it much more up close and personal. That’s why you need to learn how not to become a target.

While there are no accurate figures as to how many preppers there are in the United States, estimates put it at somewhere between two and three million people. The rest of the people out there are expecting FEMA to come to the rescue, riding on a white horse and with federal government funds (otherwise known as your tax dollars) in their hands to solve all their problems.

Since most people only have less than three days’ worth of food in their homes, it won’t take long for all those millions of people out there to get desperate. Then they’ll start hunting. They’re first stop will be the stores, which will be cleaned out of anything useful. Then, they’ll start preying on each other.

There will only be two basic ways to prevent being attacked. The first is to look so strong to the attacker that they decide to leave you alone and find somebody else to pick on. Not only is that rather expensive to accomplish, it’s just about like putting up a billboard on the roof of your home that says, “Preppers Live Here!”.

The other way is to fool people into thinking that there’s nothing to be gained by attacking you. Poor people generally don’t think of stealing from other poor people, unless they see that the other poor person has something that they want.

The general assumption is,“They’re as poor as I am, it’s not worth attacking them.” Instead, they go looking for somebody who’s going to have something worth stealing. That somebody else is you, unless of course, they don’t realize that you have anything worth grabbing. Therein lies the secret; making it look like you’re not worth bothering with.

You’re home defense problems are going to be greatly lessened if they don’t come to attack you. So, it’s important to do everything you can to make sure that they don’t know who you are, what you have, or that you are living any better than they are.

If you’re living like everything is hunky-dory, that will be like putting up that billboard again. Many of the things that you are doing to prepare for a disaster can very easily make you and your home stand out, making you into the target that you don’t want to be.

Even while you’re enjoying your stockpile of food and drinking from your well, using the light produced by your solar panels, you don’t want others to know.

Find out more on how to improve your layered home defense to survive disaster! 

How Does OPSEC Help You?

All this is called Operational Security, or OPSEC. In the military, it’s the idea of denying the enemy information about who you are, what you’re doing, what your capabilities are and what your plans are. That’s really no different than what you need to do with your prepping. You need to deny the same information to all the people around you who might want what you have.

Light Discipline

One of the easiest giveaways that you are in better shape than your neighbors is having lights shining out of your windows, when everyone else’s power is out. Most preppers have alternate sources to provide their home with power in the case of an emergency.

Even so, if people see that light shining through the windows, they’re going to be wondering where it is coming from, and why you are the only one who has electricity. To stay safe, use low wattage electric lights, that won’t be so obvious.

If you have a battery backup system, you can run wires through your house to run 12 volt automotive lights. These may not be as bright as what you’re used to, but they will provide enough light for most activities.

The best thing to do is to install blackout curtains. These are dark, heavy curtains, which are designed to prevent light from escaping through the windows. They need to be made of heavy fabric and be larger than the window, so that they cover the window and can seal the space around it.

Don’t forget about flashlights either. While there will be other people with flashlights, the longer the disaster lasts, the less batteries there will be available for them. If you have to use a flashlight, use it sparingly, and do whatever you can to hood the light and keep it from being obvious.

In the military, they use a red lens on flashlights, with a light blocker behind it. The light blocker is a solid plate, with just a pinhole in the middle. Between the two, very little light escapes, keeping it from being seen from far away.

Video first seen on SensiblePrepper.


Unless you’re one of those fortunate people who has a propane stove or a cast-iron one, you’re probably going to be doing your cooking outdoors, which means cooking on your grille or in a fire pit. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s a good alternative for when your kitchen is out of order, but there is a very high risk that your neighbors are going to know exactly what you’re cooking. If that’s a pot of beans and rice, it won’t be such a big deal, but if you’re cooking steaks every night, everybody will know about this.

The longer you go without power, the greater a problem that’s going to be. The first couple of days after the power goes out, you’re probably going to smell a lot of steaks on the grille, as people try to use up what they’ve got in the freezer before it can go bad.

But once that first few days are over, there won’t be too many people with steaks to grill.

This is one of those cases that you can cover up with a bit of subterfuge. Hopefully, you’ve got a good enough relationship with your neighbors, that you’ll be helping each other out in a crisis.

So, if you go hunting and get a deer, it would seem normal that you would pass on some meat to your neighbors. Hopefully, the next week one of them will go hunting and share with you as well. If everyone in the neighborhood is grilling meat outdoors once a week, it won’t seem all that strange. The rest of your meat can be turned into jerky, and used in soups and stew that way.

Spices are another thing that can give away your abundance of food. When people are eating the most basic of foods, their sense of smell for well-seasoned food can actually be increased. If they smell well-seasoned food coming from your back yard, that will serve as another indicator that you have food.

I firmly believe in stocking spices, and I like well-seasoned foods. However, if my spice rack is going to cause me trouble, I’ll put a padlock on it and throw away the key. My family’s survival is more important to me than having gourmet meals.


Simple things can give everything away, especially to people who are looking for them. If you have a bunch of trash piling up at the curb and somebody is going to take a look in it and find a bunch of empty food packages, they’re instantly going to know that you have food while everyone else is starving.

The easiest way to solve the problem is to burn your trash. You’ve got to be careful about that, though, as burning trash could be a give away in and of itself. However, if you’re cooking outside over a fire, there’s nothing to say that you can’t use your trash to start the fire and burn some more of it as fuel. That will serve two purposes for you; get rid of the trash, and save your stock of fuel.

The same can be done if you’re using a fireplace to heat your home. Since you’ll be burning wood in it anyway, throwing some packages in there as well won’t be a problem. Once again, this can serve to dispose of the trash, while helping provide heat to your home.

If there’s no other possibility, then hide your trash in your basement or backyard, being sure to separate edible garbage from trash. The edible garbage can go into a compost heap, eliminating it, which will also help cut down on the stench from storing so much trash.

Appearance of Your Home

If you are in an area that was hit by a hurricane, there will be a lot of damage to homes and other buildings. While there might be a few which avoid any major damage, they will be few and far between. If your home is the only one in the area which doesn’t look like it sustained any damage, then it might look suspicious to people passing by. Likewise, if you manage to get it repaired faster than anyone else.

An easy thing that you can do to make your home look more damaged and increase your physical security in other ways, at the same time, is to put plywood over your windows. Some people who live in hurricane prone areas have pre-cut pieces which they can install whenever needed. If you have these, or can make some out of plywood, it will help make your home appear abandoned.

At the same time, those pieces of plywood will prevent anyone from seeing what’s going on inside and help keep any light from your lamps indoors. Should anyone decide to attack your home, plywood is fairly hard to break, making it harder for them to come through your windows.

Any gardening for fresh vegetables or livestock you have needs to be hidden in the back yard, preferably behind a privacy fence. If people don’t see it, hopefully they won’t think it’s there.

Noise Discipline

Noise can be another dead giveaway. The average person doesn’t realize how much noise they create, just doing everyday chores. That noise will show that your home is occupied. If you want to appear like an abandoned home, you’ve got to control the noise.

Even besides that, if you’re not trying to present the image of being an abandoned home, you still want to watch your noise levels, especially any sounds made by electronic devices.

If you have music playing in your home or your kids are watching a movie on the TV, it can probably be heard from outside your home. People hearing it will wonder how it is that you have electric power, when they don’t.

It’s not too much of a leap of imagination from there to wondering what else you might have that they can use.

Kids can be a real problem when it comes to noise discipline. If you have children, especially small ones, you’ll need to watch them constantly to keep them quiet. The best way to do this is to keep them busy with tasks that don’t make a lot of noise. Get them to help you and your wife around the house as well, making them a part, rather than just leaving them to play.


You’re going to be more physically active in the aftermath of a disaster, than you are today. Just trying to survive is going to keep you and your whole family busy.

Pretty much everything you do will have to be done manually,without the benefit of modern conveniences. That’s going to be a lot of hard physical work.

Trying to hide all this activity will be virtually impossible. Even so, there are a few things that you can do to camouflage your actions. More than anything, you can try and make your actions look like those around you. They’ll be busy trying to survive as well, so your actions to look like you are trying to survive shouldn’t look all that different.

Many things, like going to collect water from a nearby stream or lake will be the same as your neighbors are doing. Here again, you have a great opportunity for cooperation. If you can work together to collect and haul water, then you’ll just be part of the group.

You’ll also make the job easier for both of you, as you can help each other out. Of course, you’ll be the one with the water filtration system, so maybe you can help them out with that, in exchange for them helping you out in other ways.

Keep as much of your survival activity in your house or backyard as you possibly can. That will limit the number of people who can see what you’re doing to your immediate family and your immediate neighbors.

Here again you can co-opt them in your plans, by helping them. If they see you working in the backyard, growing vegetables, offer to help them get their garden started too; possibly in exchange for some labor.

Personal Appearance

With food shortages all around you, there’s a good chance that people are going to be losing weight. If you’re not, this could be another sign that you’re in much better shape, supply-wise than anyone else. In a town full of malnutrition, a chubby person is going to stand out like a sore thumb.

Of course, if you’re already thin, you’re not going to have a problem with this. It’s only those who are currently a bit on the heavy side that are going to end up looking a bit strange to others. They might want to go on that diet that they were talking about for years, as part of their OPSEC routine.

In addition to weight, there are other considerations about your appearance that you should keep in mind. Clean clothing, shoes that are in good condition, shaving, haircuts, and nail polish are all things that will stand out like a sore thumb, if nobody else around you has them.

Once again, this is one of those things that’s going to get worse with time. At the beginning, everyone will look fairly normal. But as the lack of soap and water make an impact, people will wear their clothes longer, even though they’re dirty, wash their hair less frequently, and let their beards grow.

To some extent, you can get away with not looking like everyone else in this case, as long as it is easily explainable to the people around you. If they see you hauling more water than anyone else, they won’t have a problem with you wearing clean clothes.

If they see your wife cut your hair, they won’t think much of it. As long as there’s an explanation, they won’t worry about it.

Interested in keeping you and your family safe? Click the banner below for more!

This article has been written by John Gilmore for Survivopedia. 

Would You Convert Your Car From Wheels To Tracks?

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Many people that haven’t given up on automated transportation during crisis find themselves wondering if their vehicle will be able to navigate over rough terrain. As roads fall into worse disrepair, or are destroyed completely, wheeled vehicles may not work very well, even if there is enough fuel and spare parts to keep them running.

Rubber tires can be a weak point in prepper transport plans, so it may be worthwhile to consider converting the vehicle to one that runs on tracks.

Before spending money on conversion parts and tools, think about the advantages and disadvantages first!

Let’s count them together in the following article!

Better Traction than Wheels

If you have ever tried to drive a vehicle in mud, ice, snow, or even a few inches of water, then you know that navigating can be very difficult. Just about anything that decreases traction between the road and the tires can lead to skidding, sliding, and absolute disaster.

Vehicles with tracks on them have much better traction. Aside from increased surface area for gripping complex surfaces, the tracks are also wider, which increases stability.

Even a fairly small track vehicle can move more easily over large potholes or other surfaces that would ruin the drive train of a wheeled vehicle. Larger track vehicles can find their way across just about any surface as long as the rearward track has something to grip onto while the front moving ones grab onto something else.

For example, if you want to go off road and encounter a sewage ditch, most cars and trucks would get stuck in it. A track vehicle can slide right over the ditch and move on almost as if it had been on steady ground the entire time.

While the vehicle itself may shift around a lot, it will still keep moving forward because the tracks will be able to grip just about any surface and use it for traction. Even if you do get stuck in a track vehicle, it may be easier to back out because moving the tracks in reverse will give more traction along surfaces that worked before.

Discover the secrets that helped our forefathers survive when they traveled for months! 

Better Weight Distribution

To understand how weight distribution works, think about swimming and suspension bridges.

The surface of water has something called “surface tension”, a very thin film of atoms and molecules at the surface of the liquid that are positioned closer together than they are deeper into the liquid. Now think about a paper clip. If it is all folded up, it will sink no matter how carefully you try to rest it in a bowl of water. But if you open up the paper clip (which doesn’t change it’s weight, but causes the weight to be distributed over a greater area) and gently place it on top of the water, it will float.

By the same token, if you are unable to swim, you can still float by laying face up, spreading your arms and legs out and arching your back so that you have as much surface area as possible.

In a similar fashion, suspension bridges work because the weight of the upper support structures serves to redistribute the weight of the pavement below them in relation to the pilings that reach into the water.

Most people will be trying to drive cars with just four wheels on them. All of the weight of the vehicle plus anything it is carrying must be supported by these wheels. This, in turn means that if you are trying to drive through mud or something else that gives way easily, the vehicle will sink, in part, because there is too much weight concentrated in a small area.

Now consider a situation where you have an extra large pickup truck, or some other truck that has tires arranged so that they are doubled up on each axle. Even though this increases the amount of surface area to distribute weight across, there may still be too much weight in a small area.

Even if you go up to sixteen wheels, the weight distribution will be higher than what you would get with a track vehicle. This is one of the reasons why track vehicles can get past muddy areas while wheeled vehicles with the best traction systems will still get stuck.

Always remember that when you have a belt moving across a surface, large weights get distributed across the entire track instead of just resting the focal point created by tires.

Kits That Let You Switch Between Wheels and Tracks Are Available

Realistically speaking, there is no such thing as being able to take an under powered or small vehicle and turn it into something that has the durability and power of a military tank. If you have a conventional four wheeled vehicle, it may be possible to add a track system to the axles on an “as needed basis”. Basically, all you need to do is take the tires off, and then mount the additional wheels and tracks onto the hubs.

Even though these systems won’t give you as much weight redistribution as a track that runs from front to back, they will still work better than the tires you are using now. Right now, on average, a small passenger car exerts 30 psi on the pavement, while a track system would only put around 3 psi. If you are moving through mud or snow, this will give you a very clear advantage.

When purchasing a track kit for your vehicle, bear in mind that your vehicle will handle very differently once the kit is installed. You will need to practice a good bit in different terrains so that you know what can and can’t be done using this kit. This practice should include at least some off-road muddy conditions as well as snow, ice, and city driving.

If you find that there are areas better handled with tires, be sure to include when and where to change the tracks for tires so that you can have the best of both systems.

Video first seen on AD Boivin.

Easier to Defend

If you happen to believe in the ability of guns to stop bad people from doing bad things, then you probably know that wheeled vehicles can be stopped by shooting out the tires. Since track systems don’t require air filling, the tracks should not be damaged by most types of bullets. As long as you use metal tracks made from durable material, your vehicle should keep right on moving no matter how many bullets hit the tracks.

You already know that military tanks weigh much more than a conventional vehicle. When it comes to adding more weight, nothing takes up more than armor plating that will stop bullets, grenades, and other ammo. As a result, if you are interested in a bug out vehicle that will be easy to defend, you will need to consider the ability to add a good bit of weight in armor.

In many cases, adding a track system will enable you to customize even relatively small vehicles without having to worry about the weight problems commonly associated with wheels. Needless to say, these customizations can also include mounting different kinds of weapons inside or on top of the vehicle.

Can Pull Heavier Loads

If you are accustomed to the sight of tractor trailers, then you may think they are the best for pulling heavy freight. As a wheeled vehicle pulls something along, the tires actually dig in a bit, which causes the vehicle to move closer to the ground. If the weight is heavy enough, and the ground soft enough, a wheeled vehicle will literally dig itself into the ground as the wheels continue to spin.

By contrast, a track vehicle has much more ground surface to grip, and will use it to actually pull the weight forward without the tendency to dig into the ground.

Remember, that as the track advances, a whole new surface area comes into contact with the road as other tracks maintain the forward motion. This increase in surface area can be many times larger than the relatively small spot gripped by each tire.

If you do decide to convert your vehicle to run using tracks, you might pull heavier weights with it. Just make sure that the drive train, suspension, and other parts of the vehicle are strong enough to pull the added weight. As efficient as tracks may be, they cannot make up for weaker metal in parts of the vehicle that might give way under heavier weights.

Suitable Vehicles May be Expensive or Hard to Find

Vehicles that run on tracks come in all shapes and sizes. There are also thousands of people that have taken passenger cars, trucks, school buses, and other vehicles and converted them to run on tracks.

Some of them will never make suitable vehicles for preppers because they are either too under powered, too cheaply made (in terms of vital parts like the drive train, suspension, and transmission), or can’t be reworked to meet a variety of prepper goals.

While adding tracks to these vehicles may give you a bit better traction, the tracks cannot compensate for all the shortfalls that are found in most vehicles on the road these days. The ideal vehicle, regardless of whether you add tracks, should have the following features:

  • You should be able to live and sleep in the vehicle, or tow a trailer that you can live in. Most passenger sized vehicles that have a large enough back seat are also fuel hogs that will be hard to convert to alternate fuels. While adding tracks may mean you can put a bit more weight on the vehicle, it isn’t likely that you will be able to make the inside of the vehicle bigger without spending a lot of money. A larger sized pickup truck might work well enough along with a removable track kit.
  • Speaking of fuel – you should be able to convert the vehicle from gasoline to biodiesel and other fuels.
  • The under body of the car should be strong enough to take on extra weight for armor and other defense measures. Most passenger cars simply don’t have strong enough suspension and drive trains to do this kind of job. If you want something at or near military grade armor for your prepper vehicle, you would probably be best served by adding tracks to a Mack truck or an old full sized bus. Needless to say – these vehicles can cost a lot of money even in the used market.
  • The engine and transmission must be fast, strong and durable. Did you read about how easy it is for Tesla vehicles to catch fire in an accident because of the batteries? If so, then you may also be aware of the fact that hybrid vehicles have under powered engines because they are expected to run on an electrical motor at least half the time. Even if you could put a track system on a hybrid, it won’t deliver more power or speed. If anything, the vehicle will run a good bit slower and deliver even worse performance in this arena. I would not buy anything less than 6 cylinder engines for a prepper vehicle, and nothing under a 6 (8 cylinders and up would be better) for a track vehicle because of the reduced speed problem.

Too Easy to Spot and Follow

Even though tracked vehicles may not put much pressure on the ground, they do leave distinctive markings. For example, if a track vehicle moves on a lawn, it will tear up all the areas encountered by the edge of the track. If you are the only person in the area with a track vehicle, it will make it very easy to figure out where you passed through.

Once you have a distinctive track pattern, it will be very easy for others to follow you. Here are just a few things that a good tracker may be able to figure out as they follow your trail:

  • If you stop to repair tracks or put them back online, it will show in the trails left behind. Depending on how many times you stop, anyone following you may be able to figure out when you and your vehicle are most vulnerable, and for how long.
  • Depending on how many times you stop for fuel, someone following you may be able to calculate fuel efficiency. If these people want to surround you or catch up to you – they may look for a time when you are low on fuel and cannot afford to waste it trying to get away from them. Remember, even if there are hundreds of other vehicles on the road, the tracks left by your vehicle may still be on the shoulder or other areas where they can be easily spotted and read.

Unless track vehicles become far more popular, your bug out vehicle will also stand out in a crowd and be memorable. Anyone that sees your vehicle may conclude that you have a lot of supplies in the vehicle, or that you have other things of value.

No matter whether you drive down a city street or pass through a small town, your vehicle will draw more attention than you may be comfortable with.

Tracks Can be Hard to Maintain

If you think getting a flat after a tire has been in service for several years is a nuisance, then you will be very unhappy with the way track vehicles perform. While it is true that metal tracks cannot be stopped by bullets, they can develop problems during normal driving. In fact, tracks are far less durable than tires, and more inclined to need replacing.

Even if the tracks remain in good condition, that does not mean the track will stay in place while you are traveling. Depending on the track system, it may take several hours to re-align the track on its sprockets. You also need to carry around a good bit of equipment to do the job properly. While you may not need a jack to lift the vehicle up, there are many places where repairing a track system can be difficult.

When it comes to maintenance, also consider the cost of buying new parts. Today, there are only a handful of manufacturers that actually make track systems. Whether you need to buy just a single new plate, a new sprocket, or rubber gear to lessen impact on pavement, all these parts can be very expensive.

Unless you are planning to use the vehicle over rough terrain and know how to handle all the needed repairs, you may be better off sticking with conventional tires. If you do decide to buy a conversion kit that can be removed and installed easily, you may find that it will only get you so far in your journey before you have to switch back to tires.

Cannot Move as Fast or as Quietly as a Wheeled Vehicle

Consider a situation where an earthquake, hurricane, or military invasion has led to some kind of localized or larger scale social collapse. There may still be a chance for you to escape from a city or town, provided you do it as quickly as possible. You probably won’t have any “off road” places to drive through until you reach areas near or parallel to larger stretches of main highways or the thruway system.

Until you reach those locations, you will need to move as quickly and inconspicuously as possible. When it comes right down to it, no matter how much you lubricate the tracks and wheel system, they are going to squeak, squeal, and make a lot of noise. Sadly, even if rioters or others looking to steal don’t see your vehicle, they will most certainly hear it coming.

Today, many people claim that there is a psychological advantage to using a track vehicle during a crisis. According to these people, tracks are threatening looking, and people may avoid you because they think you can defend yourself with ease.

Now let’s say you converted a passenger car to run on tracks. After people stop laughing at the spectacle of something like a hatchback crossed with “Number Five” (remember the movie Short Circuit), their next thought will be to see what you are carrying. While they may be more hesitant to approach a Mack Truck or a bus, rest assured that smaller vehicles will be a target.

Your vehicle will not be able to move fast enough on tracks if others decide to follow you in wheeled vehicles. Unless you can get to a swamp, off the road, or to some other area where wheels do not work well, the lack of speed alone will present a huge problem.

While you may have thought ahead and added armor, it will only be a matter of time before a slow or stopped track vehicle can be breached. Even if you can get to an area where tracks work better, the sound of your vehicle moving along may still make it possible for thieves to follow you at their leisure. They will be guided both by the sound and the tracks that you leave behind.

Converted Vehicles May be Difficult to Steer

No matter whether you are going through a city, trying to turn onto a different road off the highway, or merging onto the thruway, accurate and easy steering is very important. Typically, this is much easier to accomplish with tires because they can be easily moved in the direction that you want to go. By contrast, when you want to move a track system, the entire length of it must shift along and adjust.

When it comes to creating the perfect bug out vehicle, there is no question that changing wheels for tracks has some advantages. Once you look more into the cost of this conversion, however, you may conclude that it is best to buy a vehicle that already runs on tracks.

If you have an interest in the kits that convert conventional vehicles to run on tracks, bear in mind that these kits also have some strong and weak points.

Test these kits out to see how well they work, and keep them on-hand for a time of need. You won’t be spending thousands of dollars on converting to tracks that cannot be used for routine travel, or buying something that will be more useless than expected in an actual crisis.

Would you convert your car from wheels to tracks? Share your thoughts and experience in a comment below!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 





10 Survival Uses For Epsom Salt

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I think that as preppers and homesteaders, we can all agree that three of the top things we look for in an item that we consider worthy of stockpiling is cost, versatility and utilitarianism. In other words, how many different things can we use it for, and how often will  we reach for it?

Well, using those criteria, Epsom salt goes somewhere near the top of the preparedness list, along with vinegar and duct tape. But why?

Epsom salt, sea salt, table salt, kosher salt … they’re all the same, right? Just different textures? Nope. Actually, it’s not a salt at all. Sea salt, kosher salt and table salt are at least 97.5% sodium chloride. Of course, kosher salt is, well, kosher, and sea salt also has minerals, but Epsom salt is a completely different beast – it’s actually magnesium sulfate. And it has a ton of survival and household uses.

Another big difference between Epsom salt and other salts is that it doesn’t really have culinary value – it’s bitter. It’s used more as  a chemical than a seasoning. So, don’t pull out your box of Epsom salts when you run out of kosher salt – you won’t be happy with the results!

Draw out Toxins and Impurities

This was actually the first use of Epsom salt. In the early seventeenth  century, people that would bathe or soak in the waters produced by springs in the town of Epsom, England because of the curative effects that it purportedly had. The wealthy began to travel there just to soak. A doctor began extracting the salt and the rest is history.

Though studies are contentious about the actual curative effects of soaking, there’s no denying the fact that it’s been used for that purpose to alleviate muscle soreness and fatigue, arthritis, and skin conditions ever since. It’s likely due to the magnesium.

Epsom salt dissolves well in warm water but not so well in oils or lotions, so there’s no need to complicate things. Just dissolve a cup and a half or so in a half-gallon of hot water and add it to your bath water. If you’d rather just soak a particular body part – say, your feet – just add a cup to very warm water and soak away.

Because it does have magnesium and sulfate in it, you shouldn’t soak in the tub for more than 15 minutes a day, or in a small container for more than 30 minutes. Follow the directions on the container.

Discover the health and healing secrets that helped our forefathers survive harsh times! 

Boost Magnesium in Soil

Whether you want greener, thicker grass, tastier tomatoes and peppers, or prettier flowers, Epsom salt is a good option because magnesium helps plants produce chlorophyll and allows your plants soak in nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, and some plants need more of that that others. Many soils lack enough magnesium to do this. If you just want to green things up so that your yard looks great to both your neighbors and your livestock, add 2 tbsp./1 gallon of water and spray on your lawn with a garden sprayer.

To give a monthly magnesium boost to your plants, mix 1-2 tsp/gallon of water and saturate the soil around the plants so that it goes to the roots. If you’re using a mister, use 1-2 tablespoons per gallon. This recipe also works well when you’re germinating because seeds need both magnesium and sulfur. Just water your seeds with it as soon as you plant them.

To add magnesium to your soil when you plant, sprinkle 1 tbsp. around each transplant.

Video first seen on CaliKim29 Garden & Home DIY

Tan Hides

The first step to tanning a raw hide is to remove the flesh from it. Some remove the hair as well, but some would rather leave it on. With magnesium tanning, the Epsom salt is added after the flesh is removed and is used in as a “swelling agent” to soften the hide, increase durability, and decrease shrinkage. It may affect the color of the hide or leave stains on it.

Be careful using Epsom salts because magnesium can, in combination with the right chemicals, become explosive.

Deter Raccoons and Slugs

Raccoons love your garden, your garbage, and your hen house, but you’re probably no so in love with them. Good news – they hate the smell of Epsom salts. Sprinkle it around those areas and your coon problem will go away. Remember to reapply after it rains.

Of course, that won’t keep them from dropping down off a fence or finding another way in, so it’s best to use Epsom salt in conjunction with other practices such as keeping your garbage is tight-sealing containers.

To deter slugs from your garden or your planters, just sprinkle it around the perimeter. Remember that it will dissolve, so you’ll need to reapply after rain.

Splinters, Insect Bites, and Poison Ivy

I’ve used Epsom salt for splinters, bug bites and skin irritations many times! The problem with any of these conditions is that if they get infected, and they quickly can, then you can be in big trouble in a survival situation.

One such situation that could lead to this is a splinter that you leave in. Soak in Epsom salts as I described above and it’ll help draw it out.

If you have bug bites or poison ivy, you can make a paste with Epsom salt and apply it to the area and it will help draw out the itch and discomfort. Some sources say to bathe in Epsom salts for poison ivy, sumac, or oak, but that seems counter-intuitive, because hot water makes you itch more, and it’s possible that the bath may spread the rash.

There are opinions on both side of the fence on that, but when it comes to the possibility of spreading the misery, especially to tender spots, I’d rather not take a chance. Of course, that’s up to you.

To find natural anesthetics that may also help in these situations, check here.

Relieve Constipation

You need to be careful taking Epsom salt internally because of the magnesium and sulfur content. That being said, it’s long been used as a natural treatment to relieve constipation. Dissolve 2 tsp of Epsom salt in 8 ounces of water and drink it. If you don’t have a bowel movement within 4 hours, try a second dose, but don’t do it more than twice in a 24-hour period.

Reduce Inflammation

If you have swollen or sore muscles, you can either soak as I described above or you can make a compress by dissolving 2 cups of Epsom salt in a gallon of warm water, then let it get cold. Soak a towel with it, then wrap it loosely around the area and leave it there for 15 minutes.

Recharge Your Battery

This one is controversial because it can be extremely dangerous and it may not work. You’re dealing with battery acid and magnesium; a lot of bad things can happen. That being said, in an emergency survival situation, you’re left to your own devices and you can decide for yourself whether to do it or not.

Dissolve an ounce of Epsom salt in warm water to make a paste, then add a bit to each battery cell. This probably won’t help if the plates inside are worn out or if the contacts between the cells are in bad shape.

Always wear eye protection and sturdy clothes and shoes that the battery acid won’t eat through before you can get it off, just in case. This isn’t something you should try if you don’t have experience. And remember – being prepared by having  a properly maintained car is always better than trying to fix it when you need it the most.

Video first seen on Mentorcase

Scrubbing Tiles and Cookware

I’m not sure if Epsom salt works well to remove shower grunge and baked on foods because of the chemicals in them (it’s a debate), or if it’s because of the abrasive quality, but making a paste with water and dabbing it onto your shower tiles, then scrubbing will remove grunge, and for pots and pans, soak it in Epsom and hot water, or just sprinkle the salt straight in and scrub.

Great Skin

OK, this one isn’t really for survival, but even if SHTF, cosmetics are going to be important for physical and emotional reasons. Having toothpaste and a clean face can make all the difference in the world when you’re searching for a dab of normalcy. Epsom salt has been a common ingredient in beauty solutions for practically forever, or at least since the 1800s.

You can add essential oils and herbs to them to make bath salts, mix it with coconut oil or water to make an exfoliant (oils are good here, too), and some say that rinsing your face in Epsom salt water will help heal conjunctivitis and sties.

Remember that knowledge is the only thing that can save you in a survival situation.

Click the banner below to uncover more survival secrets that helped our grandfathers survive!

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

How To Make A 5 Gallon Bucket Survival Kit

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If you love buckets and survival, you’ve landed in the right place, as today’s article is about 5-gallon buckets and survival, or how to use an already-legendary item in the prepper community for building a survival kit.

And yes, I am talking about the famous 5-gallon bucket, which seems to be at the top of the list when it comes to survival and sustainable development.

Besides gardening, building pyramids, and putting a man on the moon, this inconspicuous item can be used for improvising an emergency/survival kit as it’s large enough to hold quite a few items of survival gear, it’s tough and water resistant, and it’s pretty easy to carry around depending on what’s in it.

These DIY emergency kits are easy and cheap to made, and in a crisis situation they’ll prove to be highly valuable.

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

The idea is to have as many as possible placed in strategic places, i.e. one in your car, one in your basement, one in your vacation home, one in your office – you know what I’m talking about.

To begin with, let’s concentrate a bit on the bucket itself. Not all buckets are created equal; you need to get a good one that hasn’t been used to store toxic chemicals.

How to Choose a High-quality Bucket

Here are a few places where you can get a high-quality (as in solid) 5-gallon bucket for free:

  • Wendy’s
  • Tim Hortons
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Sam’s Club
  • Chick Fill A.

You can also try Mc Donald’s, Walmart and Subway but these guys are so environmentally conscious that they usually recycle their plastic buckets. It’s worth a try anyway.

Also, you should go for food grade buckets at all times, because you never know what you’ll be storing inside after all, besides your emergency survival kit, alright?

Another important factor to consider is that your bucket is strong enough to withstand pressure and comes with a plastic lid – that’s quite important.

If cruising the multinational corporations proves to be unsuccessful in terms of acquiring free 5-gallon buckets, you can always go for the unthinkable option and buy some from Home Depot, Foodland, McHappy’s, Lowes or FireHouse Subs. A brand new bucket from these guys will cost you anywhere from 2 to 5 bucks, lid included (the lid may cost extra).

These are just a few ideas, so don’t start throwing rocks; I’m only a messenger. If you’re not happy with my tips and tricks, just use your imagination.

If you end up with free but stinky plastic buckets (the ones which were used for storing pickles are the smelliest) don’t worry, they can be cleansed in a jiffy with a solution made of 1 gallon of hot water and 1/3 cup of bleach. The same stuff can be used for cleaning your bathroom by the way, but don’t tell anybody.

Another interesting factoid to consider: the best food-grade buckets are marked with a 2 on the bottom. The number represents the type of plastic used in its construction and 2 is the least toxic variety. However, if you put Mylar bags inside, you can forget about the food grade status of your bucket.

If you’re definitely never going to store food inside the bucket, it doesn’t really matter what you use.

With the “how to choose the ideal-5 gallon bucket for my prepping endeavor”  science taken care of, let’s move on to the most important part of the story.

What to Put in Your 5 Gallon Bucket Survival Kit?

Well, there are various schools of taught about the actual content of a proper emergency kit, but let’s play it safe and follow the golden rule of survival, or the holy trinity.

The trinity of survival goes something like this: regardless of what you’re thinking about, whether it’s an alien invasion or a natural disaster, you’ll have to take care of 3 main things if you want to stay alive and tell the story to your kids, friends, or favorite pets: food, water and shelter, that about sums it up.

With all these simple things considered, your survival emergency kit must be able to provide you with the necessary items/gear/stuff or whatchamacallits for allowing you to eat, drink and stay safe for at least 3 days (the more the better).

Video first seen on Robert Martin

With water being a crucial survival item, you should pack 3-4 water bottles in your survival bucket, along with a quality water filter. The problem with water is that it’s voluminous and heavy to carry around, so you’ll have to figure that out for yourself (I am talking about how many bottles of water to store in your emergency kit depending on your geo-location).

Freeze dried meals are also must-have items in a survival emergency kit, together with a few protein bars, chocolate, and other long shelve life, easy to carry, light, compact, and high-calories foods. A rip stop tarp is essential, as it can be used for a number of purposes, including as a makeshift shelter (a 6×8 would be enough, and grommet holes are a must).

Tip: disguise your 5-gallon bucket survival kit into an Ottoman and hide it in plain view (think along the lines of easy to grab if SHTF).

Video first seen on Emma Catherine

These are the most basic items to store inside your 5 gallon bucket survival kit, i.e. food, water and shelter. But there’s plenty of room left, so let’s go a little bit more high tech: a gun would be nice, also a quality survival knife, which is essentially a multi-tool. Being able to protect yourself and your family, especially in a crisis, is crucial. A few extra rounds of ammo wouldn’t hurt either. 

A fire starter kit/BIC lighters, some weatherproof matches, duct tape, a mini multi tool (I’d go for a Leatherman), a whistle, and some wet wipes would be nice to have in any emergency situation I can think of, so keep those in mind too. A compass, an LED lighter with some spare batteries, a couple of N 95 dust masks and a small sliding saw would be also advisable to add to your survival stash.

A shortwave radio is essential in a catastrophe as it gives you the possibility to gather essential intel from local authorities, so throw one in just in case – the smaller the better.

Paracord! Need I say more? Check out my articles about paracord if you have any doubts. 25’x2 would do.

A cool addition for your survival kit would be several 30-gallon trash bags, as they can be used for various purposes, including as a makeshift rain poncho.

A first aid kit is a must, together with some over the counter/prescribed medicine, depending on one’s health condition.

A couple of Mylar thermal blankets would be nice as they’ re awesome if you have to camp outdoors and they take up so little room it really doesn’t matter.

If you still have room left, you can consider split leather gloves, extra batteries (for your radio/flashlight, remember?), glow sticks, safety goggles, a can opener, a sewing kit, a bar of soap and even some toothpaste/toothbrushes.

Another handy item to have in your emergency survival kit provided you have enough room for it would be a solar charger for your cellphone (I’d go for an old-school feature phone with long-lasting battery and all that). You can find those on the Internet (Amazon etc).

A 5 gallon bucket survival kit is a life saving equipment to grab in a crisis situation when panic is the greatest killer.

How long will you survive in a SHTF situation?

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This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

Family Vacation & Still Prepping

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Family Vacation & Still Prepping Host: James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio in player below! I know we dedicate a lot of time and money to prepping and survival but I am a firm believer in balance. I think as important as it is to be prepared it’s just as important to hit the road … Continue reading Family Vacation & Still Prepping

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The Five Best Places To Bug Out In The USA

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I don’t care who you are or where you live, bugging out is one of the most complex scenarios for any prepper.

The huge number of factors that you have to consider, prepare for and execute in an effective bug out make bugging out a logistical and organizational nightmare.

More, these factors tend to change as times goes by, due to social and political issues that impact the natural resources and landscape in different areas of our country. 

Nevertheless, anyone who knows survival and preparedness will tell you that you need a good bug out plan in place, even if your Plan A is to bug in, sheltering in place in your home.

The first and possibly biggest problem that has to be considered is where to bug out to. You really can’t do any of the other parts of your plan, until you decide where you’re going. Nor can you build a shelter, stockpile supplies or even make an accurate list of what equipment you’ll need, without having that one detail figured out.

Finding a good bug out location isn’t easy. A lot depends on the type of disaster you’re going to have to face. Another huge factor is where you live. Your bug out location needs to be far enough away from your home, so as to not get caught in the same disaster your home is caught in, while being close enough that you actually have a chance of getting there.

This is easier in some parts of the country, than it is in others. Generally speaking, it’s going to be easier to find a bug out location and develop a bug out plan, if you live in one of the less populated states.

The closer you are to the big cities, especially in the high population areas of the country, the harder you will find it to build yourself a bug out plan, with a survival shelter that is isolated enough to protect you from any marauders sweeping the countryside, looking for food and anything else they can get.

Those marauders are the biggest reason to have a bug out plan, with an isolated survival shelter. You can survive many things by sheltering in place, but when it comes down to it, the worst thing you could possibly face is a concerted attack on your home. That is the biggest trigger for bugging out.

Click here to discover how our ancestors survived during harsh times!

Requirements for a Bug Out Shelter

Regardless of what you’re bugging out from or where you’re bugging out to, there are some requirements that any bug out shelter needs. While there may be many different ways of meeting these requirements, finding the ideal location will be narrowed down by your personal situation. Where you live and how well you can get out of Dodge will be the biggest considerations.


As I’ve just mentioned, you want to be far enough away from home, that whatever disaster causes you to bug out, won’t hit your survival retreat. At the same time, you don’t want your retreat to be so far away, that you can’t get there. A retreat that’s 500 miles away from your home might be great, if you can get there. But if you can’t, all it’s going to do is give you reason to bemoan your choice.

You’ll want to be able to get there on one tank of gas. But you’ve got to consider that in any bug out situation, you’re likely to have traffic problems to contend with. So, you won’t get as far as you normally would on a tank of gas. Therefore, you should keep extra gas on hand, ready to take with you when you bug out.

Just recently Oroville, in Northern California was evacuated due to the risk of the dam’s emergency spillway failing. Since most of the people weren’t preppers, the bug out went just like everyone has said they will, with long lines of traffic creeping along the highway, gas stations out of gas, and people abandoning their cars when their tanks ran dry. You’ve got to make sure you’re not one of those people.


If you’re bugging out because of the aforementioned marauders, you need to take into consideration that you might have to defend your survival retreat. The more difficult the retreat is to access, with the more obstacles in any invader’s way, the better.

At the same time, you’ll need good defensive positions for your family or survival team, with good routes of escape, should that become necessary. While you probably won’t want to abandon your survival retreat unless absolutely necessary, it’s better to do that when needed, than it is to die defending it.


An important factor in defending your retreat is keeping people from finding it. A log cabin sitting on the open prairie isn’t very well hidden; but one in the woods can be. Does the location you’re looking at give you the ability to hide your retreat, so that people aren’t likely to find it?

You need to look at this from both short and long distance. Some locations may be hard to see up close, but highly visible from the opposite mountainside. Others will be invisible from a distance, but once you get close, they are obvious. Proper planning and a good location will help you with this.

Of course, a lot has to do with how you build your shelter. If you’re going to build a big fancy log cabin on the side of a lake, with its own dock and an entire wall of glass, you’re going to have trouble hiding it. Going underground helps, as an underground shelter or bunker is harder to see. Even building an underground home, cut into the hillside, makes it hard for others to find you.


This is probably the single, most important item on the list. If you’re bugging out from home, then there’s a good chance that you’re going to need to be away for a while, maybe even permanently. No matter how much you stockpile, eventually you’ll need to live off the land. Does the location give you that possibility.

More than anything, this means having access to a good water source, fuel for the fire and game that you can hunt. But the soil matters too, as you’ll probably end up planting a garden to augment your food. Building materials may be important as well, especially if you can’t build your long-term shelter ahead of time.


By definition, a survival shelter just about has to be in a low population area. That’s necessary for concealability, defensibility and resources. The more isolated the location, the better.

So a good way to start your search is to look at maps and define low population areas that are reasonably close to your home. Go and visit those areas, to see how well they meet the other needs for survival. When you find those that do, you can start looking for property that might be available.

Nuclear Risk

While the Cold War is long gone, with the thousands of nuclear-tipped missiles that the United States and Soviet Union had ready to launch, the nuclear threat has not gone away. Actually, it’s increased in recent times, with unstable nations joining the club of the nuclear capable. The risk of a nuclear strike, especially by EMP, is higher than it has been in decades, and it looks like it’s going to continue going up.

But a country doesn’t even need to own nuclear weapons in order to create a nuclear strike, all they need are good hackers. Every nuclear power plant in the world is controlled by computers, and most of those are tied into the internet in some way. Regardless of how good the security is, someone can hack it.

Our nuclear power plants have already been “tickled” by hackers, searching out their defenses. There have even been cases where one power plant or another was taken over and controlled remotely. This is extremely dangerous, as all it would take to create a nuclear disaster is for someone who hacked in to bypass the safeguards and let the reactor go wild.

Then there’s the risk of reactors being damaged by natural disasters. We’ve all head of Japan’s Fukushima reactor and how it’s spilling tons of contaminated waste into the Pacific Ocean per day. That sort of thing can happen anywhere, especially with aged reactors, which we’ve got our share of.


Finally, you’ve got to look at what your budget will allow you to do. It won’t do you the least bit of good to buy a piece of property to use as a survival shelter, and then lose it, because you can’t make the payments. Don’t assume that whatever disaster you face that causes you to bug out will also make it possible for you to stop making payments. Some disasters might cause that, but others won’t.

Perhaps the worst thing that could happen to any prepper is to have their home or survival shelter foreclosed upon. Yet, if you do something that’s beyond your budget, that’s a very real possibility.

On to the Best Areas

The criteria I just listed actually narrow down the possible places where you or I can have a survival retreat considerably. There are large parts of the country which are just not going to work. While they might be good in one regard, they would be totally ineffective in others.

Take the Southwest, for example. There are many places in West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada which are isolated and defendable, with very little nuclear risk. But those areas don’t have much water either. Unless you can find a place in the Southwest and can put in a solar powered well, your chances of effectively creating a survival retreat are minimal.

Other parts of the country just have too much population. Much of the Northeast and the West Coast fall into this category, although there are some areas that are more isolated. Even the most populated states have places you can hide, you just need to find them.

1.      The Rocky Mountains

Whenever I think of bugging out or even owning a cabin in the woods, I think of the Rocky Mountains.

The fact that I grew up at the foot of the Rockies, in Colorado, may have something to do with that.

There’s a rugged romanticism associated with the Rockies, which were the home of Jim Bridger, Kit Carson and many other mountain men, long before ranchers and miners moved in and took over.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the Colorado Rockies through the years.

Today, much of the property is owned by somebody or other and what isn’t privately owned is owned by the government.

Nevertheless, there are many places where you can go and not see another person for miles around. Game is plentiful, there’s water in abundance and plenty of wood for building and a fire.

For that matter, many of the mountain communities would make good places to bug out to, especially if you owned a “cabin” or vacation home in one of them. If you could spend enough time there to become a familiar face, then when the time came to bug out, the community would accept you readily.

The nuclear threat in the mountains would be negligent, although Denver has been a big target for years. But then, if you were going to hide out in the mountains, it probably wouldn’t be near Denver anyway.

The only problem with the Rockies is price. Land in the mountains is expensive. But there’s always the possibility of using public land, bugging out to a state park or national forest. While you couldn’t build a cabin there ahead of time, you could probably cache some supplies by burying them.

2.      The Appalachian Mountains

Not as isolated as the Rockies, the Appalachian Mountains are an excellent place to bug out to, especially in West Virginia, Kentucky and the western part of Tennessee.

Many of the people who live in those mountains are survivalist types anyway, who hunt, fish and keep their long guns in the back window of their pickup trucks.

There are actually areas in the Appalachians which are being developed as survival communities.

By developed, I mean that someone has broken up a large tract of land into ten acre lots and is selling it to people who want to build a survival retreat.

Since the area would be populated by like-minded people, there’s a good chance that they would band together to help each other out.

Resources shouldn’t be a problem, with these mountainous areas being just about as good as the Rockies.

Being closer to populated areas will also make it easier to buy the supplies and materials that you need for establishing your survival retreat.

For those who live in the eastern part of the United States, going into the Appalachians is the easiest way to get to an isolated area.

There aren’t too many other areas east of the Mississippi which will offer you as much privacy in a wooded mountain area.

3.      The Northwest

When I’m saying the Northwest, I’m not talking about the Pacific Northwest. While Washington and Oregon are beautiful states, they’re also blue states.

That means that you’re more likely to run into government interference and restrictive gun laws. Rather, I’m referring to the states of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and the Dakotas. These are some of the least populated parts of our country, making them ideal places to survive any social unrest.

There are very few nuclear sites in these states, although there were a fair number of nuclear silos dug into the countryside during the Cold War. Some of those are available and are being converted to survival bunkers. While you might not want to build million dollar survival condos for the wealthy, a silo or control bunker still makes a great survival retreat.

The low population of these states means that you’re unlikely to have problems with marauders or other two-legged vermin. Hunting and fishing are common, with game being plentiful. Actually, this area is one of the few places in the country where I’d say that living off the land is a very real possibility.

4.      The Gulf Coast

The Gulf Coast states, especially Louisiana and Mississippi are another part of the county where the gun culture is strong, with many people who hunt and fish on a regular basis.

If nothing else, you could always hunt alligator to eat. They’re a bit hard to skin, but the meat is good, especially when cooked Cajun style.

Getting close to the Gulf Coast has other advantages in the food department as well. Much of the world feeds itself from the world’s oceans.

That’s another important source of food to consider as part of your survival plans.

Adding a boat to your gear could make it very easy for you to survive.

For that matter, why not bug out onto a boat and live in the Gulf?

While salt water is not drinkable, it can be made drinkable by distillation.

All you’d need to do is build a still or even a solar still. Distilled water is the purest water you can find.

So, you could get both your food and your water from the Gulf.

5.      Parts of Texas

While Texas poses its own challenges for survival, the fierce independence of Texans make it an attractive state to bug out to. There’s lots of open country available and the state is known for not putting up with any nonsense from troublemakers.

Remember the attempted Muslim attack on the Mohammed art show in Garland, Texas, shortly after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in France? Those attackers didn’t get more than a few feet from their car, before they were cut down. Had the people in France been Texans, things would have gone differently.

The big problem with Texas is water. Unless you happen to be fortunate enough to buy property with water on it, you’d better plan on putting in a well, and it might have to be a rather deep one at that. But if you can get a well in, the land is good for survival, with a lot of game. You could live for years on the feral hogs in some parts of the state. They breed so quickly that ranchers can’t keep their numbers down.

The other problem is building material. You’re probably not going to find enough tall trees to build a log cabin. That’s why our ancestors built with adobe in the Old West times. But don’t worry, homes made of adobe can last for over 100 years, much longer than the typical log cabin.

From building a shelter to orientation, there are so many survival skills you can learn from our ancestors who wandered the American lands hundreds of years ago.

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This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia. 

This Is How To Make And Recycle Rubber

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You need a fully functional tire (as opposed to a donut) in the trunk of your vehicle, and you may have gone through the extra expense to get it. Many other people haven’t even thought that far ahead, even this problem alone would lead to endless traffic jams and other problems in times of distress.

And there’s more bad news: even if you take good care of your tires and have a viable spare, there will come a time when all of your existing tires will have to be discarded.

Modern tires actually need to make contact with roads on a regular basis or they will begin to crack and rot. That’s why having the skill of making or refurbishing tires would worth a lot during crisis or after a major collapse.

Rubber is Older than You Think

While Europeans are credited with spreading the use of rubber throughout the world, it was first used by the Maya. They used latex from Hevea trees to coat balls that were used in a game similar to basketball.The latex was mixed with sap from the Ipomoea alba vine to make it less sticky and more durable.

In the 1700’s, French and English explorers discovered that rubber could be used for many other things. “Vulcanization”, which also makes rubber less sticky and more durable was not invented until the 1800’s by Charles Goodyear.

Since latex bearing trees only grew in South America, a great deal of effort went into protecting this monopoly, and it didn’t change until thousands of seeds were smuggled out of Brazil in 1876 by Henry Wickam. The plants that grew from these seeds were eventually used to build enormous rubber plantations in India, Indonesia, Asia, and Africa.

As automobiles became more popular, it became harder to keep up with the demand for rubber. Eventually, scientists found a way to synthesize rubber from petroleum. During WWII, this became a vital source of rubber that was used to keep the war effort moving forward.

Today, most, if not all rubber used in automobile tires is made from petroleum sources. As different nations become more unstable, there is an increased interest in finding plant based sources of rubber.

Russian Dandelions (T. kok-sanghyz) produce a latex that makes rubber almost as good a what you would get from a rubber tree. Milk thistle, or Prickly Lettuce, also produces enough latex to be used in making rubber.

There are also several other plants in the United States and around the world that may be suitable for this purpose, however much work needs to be done to find out which ones work best and how to get the most out of them.

Where to Get the Rubber From

Many preppers feel that it is very important to store away essential building materials such as wood, metal, glass, plastic, and cardboard. How many of them did ever think about storing away rubber, which is also a very important material to have on hand?

If you are building a stockpile of materials, you may find it a bit difficult to find rubber at a place other than Grainger. Rubber that hasn’t been made into some kind of product isn’t available to consumers. Make your own research in the following places, and you may come across limited supplies as they become available:

  • Repurposed materials
  • Public Surplus – if you are interested in used tires, this site may be a good place to start. Check if your local community has abandoned properties or other places where tire dumping is a problem. If you can get ahold of these tires, then you could do something with the rubber from them.
  • Salvex
  • Skycraft Parts and Surplus
  • Surplus Record – If you are part of a large enough prepper community and have plenty of land to work with, then think about building a small rubber factory. This site will give you information about equipment used to make synthetic rubber from petroleum. If you also have land that can be drilled for petroleum, it may be worth your while to think about turning some of it into rubber.

Even if you do not need to make rubber immediately after a major crisis, it could be an important commodity as society rebuilds and regains its capacity to bring people together to achieve goals. If you can produce petroleum and rubber, you and your group will prosper as different groups of people seek to regain the technologies and conveniences that may have been lost due to social collapse.

Never forget that future generations of your family will have to compete, and that will entail having marketable skills and products. As expensive as this equipment may be, it may be a wise investment that will set you and your family further ahead than you realize.

ENERGY SAVING PLAN – Find out how you can save energy following two simple steps! 

Basic Guide for Making Plant Based Rubber

If the Maya could make perfectly good rubber centuries ago, then it may also be possible for preppers to do the same. Making rubber from petroleum will more than likely be a lost skill after a major social collapse occurs.

As long as you have a source of plant based latex, then you should be able to make small as well as large batches of rubber to meet a range of needs. Here are the basic steps:

Step 1

Start off by harvesting latex. While Hevea Trees have to be “tapped” with V shaped slits in the trunk, the process is a bit different for plants.

For example, if you are going to use Milk Thistle, you will need to break open the plant stems to get at the latex, which is a milky white colored substance. If you decide to use dandelions (ideally Russian dandelions), you can get latex from the roots as well as the stems.

Step 2

Once you have collected enough latex, add some water and an acid to the sap. You can use vinegar or other weak acids. The ratios of sap, water, and acid will depend on the amount of latex in the sap as well as the strength of the acid.

For example, if you are using regular or Russian dandelions, you would use 1 part sap to 8 parts water and then enough vinegar to make the latex and water stick to whatever you are using to stir the mixture.

Step 3

Even though rubber made from dandelion will finish to “cure” or dry out on its own, you may still need to add sulfur and heat it to produce a more durable form of rubber. You may also want to try using Ipomoea alba sap to vulcanize the rubber.

Remember, different applications will require different levels of flexibility and durability. You will need to study the different characteristics of each type of rubber you plan to work with, and see what will work best to make them.

Video first seen on DSCDocumentries

When making plant based rubber, remember to start off with small batches and see how the resulting compound holds up over time and across different temperature conditions. Among other things, you will need to assess if the rubber will crack, and how well it will bounce back to its original shape after heavy weights are applied.

Give yourself plenty of time to explore this fascinating topic. Since there is still a great deal of trial and error involved in making rubber from dandelions and other more common plants, it is best to see what others are doing in this field even as you develop your own recipes and methods.

How to Recycle Rubber

Overall, there is a point where you can recycle rubber easily enough, and a level where it is well beyond the technical skills and assets available to most preppers. The complexity associated with fully recycling rubber lies in the process of vulcanization.

Let’s say you want to bake a cake that requires using eggs, flour, and some sugar. Let’s say you sift together the flour and sugar. Even though the sugar and flour are well mixed together, you can still separate them using various means. Once you crack open the eggs, in theory you can still put them back into the shell. To some extent, you can also still retrieve the eggs, sugar, and flour after they are all mixed together. Up until the cake is baked (the heat from baking drives off water and also causes different molecules in the batter to break apart and from bonds with other molecules), it is actually possible to separate out all the ingredients used in it.

In a similar fashion, once latex is treated with sulfur and heat, the molecular structure changes to a point where it cannot be reversed – or at least not reversed with ease.

Over the years, a great deal of effort has been made to see if there is a way to take rubber and turn it back to the latex stage. There is one patent, held by The Goodyear Rubber and Tire Company, on a process that uses high pressure and 2-butanol to reverse vulcanization.

This process is not something that can be done easily enough at the consumer level. Therefore, if you are interested in recycling tires or other rubber materials, you will need to take the existing rubber and use it for some purpose other than simply remaking tires.

3 Tips to Know Which Tires can be Salvaged

Consider a situation where a major catastrophe has made tires unavailable. While you are searching for replacements, you find a landfill and hundreds of tires stacked up. It may take a lot of work to find salvageable tires with a little bit of patience and effort, but you can do it if you keep in mind the following:

  • Tires with cracks in the sidewall and tread area more than likely have dry rot. The tread and sidewalls cannot be restored or reused for making new tires. If the tire is of a size that you need, you could take it apart and use the belts in combination with new rubber that you make from a plant based source. As long as the tire doesn’t show signs of having more than two patches, there is a chance that the inner anatomy of the tire is still intact. Even if you have to recoat the inner structures with more rubber, at least you will have some belts to work with.
  • Avoid tires that were punctured or slashed in the sidewall. If the tire is punctured deep enough, than it might have been discarded because it would not hold air. There are some methods you can use to repair a sidewall, but the tire may fail at a critical moment and cause a very bad accident.
  • Be wary of tires that are patched, even if the patches are less than ¼ inch in diameter and located far enough away from the sidewall.

Video first seen on Tank0923.

There are several different ways to repair punctures in tires. Depending on the size and age of the tire, you may find one that is worth patching even though the former owner chose to discard it. Remember, many people throw away good tires or repairable tires because their vehicle must be inspected and they don’t want to risk it failing. On the other hand, if you really need tires, then you could get some mileage out of them so long as you repair them correctly and drive carefully.

6 Ways to Use Tires for Your Homestead

  • The rubber part of tires can be ground up into a smaller bits that can be added to paving materials.
  • Rubber from tires can be cut into pieces and shaped into everything from shoe soles to waterproofing for containers.
  • When treated with acid, rubber softens and can be shaped into different objects.
  • Rubber products such as tires can also be burned to generate heat. From campfires to operating a steam turbine, you can easily use rubber tires and other products for this purpose, but keep in mind that it might have some health impact.
  • The rubber from tires can also be separated from the steel belt; which can be used to make new tires or for other purposes.
  • Rubber tires can also be used as raised bed planters. This may be especially useful if you plan to grow a garden in an area where water supplies and good soil are limited. In fact, if you want a cheap, easy way to make a multi-level potato planter, just stack up tires as the plants grow, and then harvest in the fall when it is time. Needless to say, if you are looking to hide your plants in open sight, a stack of tires may just look so unappealing no one will bother to look there for edible plants.

Video first seen on Just Az.com productions

Anatomy of an Automobile Tire

Today, there are many different kinds of tires that can be used for the same vehicle. For example, “all weather tires” are different from snow tires, mudders, and ones used for racing. Regardless of the tire type, they all have the same basic parts, however these parts may be designed a bit differently to accommodate different driving conditions.

Even though each layer of a tire also has many parts, here are the most basic ones you need to know about:

  • Treads – this is the outermost layer of the tire. It is the part that grips the road and wears out from friction with the road. The treads may also have sipes, or smaller grooves that increase traction when the tires are moving over ice, water, sand, and snow.
  • Grooves – these are also found in the outermost layer of the tire. Grooves are the long, deep channels cut into the tire. They help the tire to shed water and moisture so that it doesn’t clog up the treads.
  • Sidewall – this is the side of the tire that covers the other inner parts. It serves to protect and keep them clean and dry.
  • Belts – even though rubber bounces back to its original shape, it is not very strong. Without belts of nylon, steel, and even fiberglass, the tire would not maintain its shape very well. Depending on the tire, it may have several belts organized into layers just under the treads. When reclaiming rubber for other purposes, you will also be separating out these belts so that they can be used to make more tires, or for some other purpose.
  • Inner liner – separates the belt layer from the plies. It is also meant to act as a barrier to air so that it cannot escape into the belts, sidewall, and treads.
  • Plies – this part is what gives the tire most of its strength, and also the layer that holds air in. Typically, this layer is made up of materials that are organized so that the fiber runs across the tire instead of around it (the plies are perpendicular to the treads).
  • Bead – this is a metal cable coated in rubber that runs all the way around the inner rim of the tire. It is meant to keep the tire from slipping once it is mounted on a rim.

Why to Make Your Own Tires from Scratch

If you look at a modern tire factory, you may feel like it is impossible to make tires on your own. The task is going to be a bit difficult, but do not give up on researching and looking into automobile history to see how tires were made before robots and large factory machines were used.

Even if the tires you make aren’t as good, or don’t last as long as ones made in a modern factory, they may still be of use for short trips or keeping a tractor up and running.

Once you know how to make rubber and feel confident in your skills, the next step will be to see if you can recognize which tires can be retreated, and then figure out how to design your own tires and build them from scratch.

Retreading Tires

Not so long ago, retreading tires was seen as something dangerous and to be avoided at all cost. In many countries, including the United States, retreads are seen as a way to keep tires out of the landfill, and also as a means of cutting costs associated with vehicle maintenance.

As a prepper, you won’t have a modern retread factory or some of the more complex tools to work with. Nevertheless, if you look at retread factories in other places in the world, you can get some ideas about substitute tools, and then also figure out how to make the safest and most durable retreads possible.

Regardless of the factory type or situation, retreading requires the following basic steps:

  • Start off by inspecting the tire to check for signs of dry rot, punctures, slashes, and anything else that might have damaged the internal structures of the tire or its sidewalls.
  • If the tire is basically sound, strip off the treads. You will still need to leave some rubber behind for new material to adhere to.
  • Make sure the new surface is perfectly clean and ready to accept new rubber. If you see signs of belts showing through, or other damage, repair these issues first.
  • Apply rubber to the ground down surface of the tire. You may need to do this in several layers.
  • Next, apply the treads. These should be pre-made from rubber. If you know how to make rubber, then you can also use basic casting methods to produce strips of rubber treads that can be used for retreading.
  • Use heat and pressure to finish binding all the tire parts together.
  • Check the tire again for signs of holes, damage, or other problems.
  • Finally, apply a coat of paint or some other sealant to complete the tire.
  • Once the tire is dry, it should be ready to use. Make sure that you test the tire out in a safe area after mounting it to the rim. Do not forget to balance the tires and make sure that they are inflated properly.

As you can see, there is more to making rubber and using it for tires than you may have realized.

At the same time, tires and many other rubber products are integrated into almost every area of life. Since it is not always possible to replace rubber items with plastic ones, knowing how to make rubber and use it for a variety of purposes will help you a lot.

From fixing your own tires to bartering these services, you will always have something of value no matter what is going on in the human world around you.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 








How To Flag And Tag Your Home For FEMA

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“We are from the government and we are here to help you!” – these words inspire distrust in many Americans. I know because I have seen peoples’ reactions as I have uttered them trying to help them in emergencies.

Don’t want FEMA to kick your door in? Want to be a good citizen and do your part in an emergency? Download this article as a .pdf, print it and put it in a sheet protector and store it with supplies to tag and flag your home. It will help you a lot.

If you have seen pictures of the aftermath of a major disaster, you probably noticed cryptic markings on homes and buildings. Some are from insurance adjusters, some are made by search and rescue personnel and others are graffiti, warnings to looters or pleas for aid.

This article will help you understand search and rescue tagging methods and symbols and teach you how to flag your own home.

Why Flagging Your Home?

There are a number of reasons you may want to learn about tagging and flagging structures:

  • Avoid duplication of effort – thereby speeding rescue and recovery efforts.
  • Speed rescue effort – thereby saving lives and property.
  • Prevent property damage – I’m not saying this is the best way to accomplish this goal under all circumstances, but if you are able to effectively communicate that there are no victims trapped in your home and it poses no danger to surrounding property, then there is less reason for honest responders to break into your home.
  • OPSEC (Operational Security) – prevent others from seeing what resources you have and possibly decide to commandeer them or return with armed officers to do so. You might think, “How selfish!” But there is a difference between voluntarily sharing and being compelled to share, especially if it creates undue hardship or endangers loved ones. Many people consider it a reasonable precaution not put all their cards on the the table.
  • Situational awareness – understanding the markings helps you understand.

Find out more on how to improve your layered home defense to survive disaster! 

In the US, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) partners with a number of both professional and volunteer emergency management organizations under a program known as the Citizen Corps. These organizations offer training and service opportunities to citizens to better prepare their communities for emergencies too large for their first response infrastructure to handle.

Hurricane Katrina exposed many obstacles to communication and joint operations between agencies and departments. All first responders at all levels of government now follow a single SOP (Standard Operations or Operating Procedure) framework called the ICS (Incident Command System) to improve communication and standardize training.

In cities that already have a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) or block captain program, groups of homes (typically 8-10) are organized into blocks with a block captain and assistant or co-captains checking on each block and reporting number of reds and greens to the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) which passes them up the chain to the municipality.

If your municipality does not have CERT yet, it will, but the pace at which the program is adopted varies with public perception of municipal risk and exposure to catastrophe. The residents of each home (or the block captains if residents do not flag their own home) flag the home Green (no assistance needed) or Red (assistance needed.) This is accomplished by placing a green or red marker (typically green or red construction paper inside a sheet protector or several feet of green or red flagging tape) to the side of the front door, as long as it is visible from the street.

If the front door is not visible from the street, the flag is placed in a conspicuous place that is visible from the street. Flagging or tagging a door right on the doors should be avoided because the marking will not be visible when the door is open.

If homes are not flagged, block captains will attempt to size up the situation without entering the home and flag it, but if they suspect (or even imagine) that someone may need help, emergency workers will likely gain entry into your home when they are available to do so.

Tools to Flag Your Home

  • Public Alert Certified All Hazard Radio – without it, you may sleep right through the all-important first hours of many types of emergencies.
  • Headlamp – the power may be out.
  • Turnout bag – a bag containing everything you need to dress quickly and don PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in an emergency.
  • Sheets of red & green construction paper – stored in a plastic sheet protector with a copy of this article. If you do not have this on hand, a piece of cloth or several feet of flagging tape or anything conspicuously so colored will do.
  • Duct tape – to affix flag.
  • Non-sparking gas wrench – large non-sparking crescent wrench or other tool to shut off gas if necessary. Steel wrenches can spark, resulting in a gas explosion. Aluminum is a more effective material for this application.
  • Water shutoff tool or key – to turn off water main if necessary.
  • First aid/trauma kit – To administer first aid if necessary.
  • Smoke/Gas/Carbon Dioxide alarm
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Non-contact voltage tick meter – An inexpensive tool to discover live electrical lines without touching them.

How To Flag Your Home

Self-assess and Don PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

Make sure you are not seriously injured. The rescuer is the most important person in an emergency. Not only will you not be able to help anyone else if you become a casualty, but you will further strain emergency response resources that are already likely overtaxed.

If you jump out of bed and onto glass without your boots on, you are not off to a good start.

Establish Situational Awareness

Hopefully you already have a Public Alert Certified All Hazards Radio. It will issue information and instructions that will aid you in making decisions that will save lives. If you do not have one, turn on a NOAA weather radio or tune AM/FM radios to stations issuing emergency information for your area.

These frequencies should be part of your communications plan. Label radios with them. Turn on 2-way radios.

See If Family Members Are Injured or Trapped

Determine whether anyone in the home needs medical attention. If yes, call for help and flag the home red by taping a piece of red construction paper in a sheet protector to the side of your door or someplace visible from the street, and render first aid.

If you are in an apartment, condo or building, tape it on the wall beside your door or entryway where it will be visible to someone walking by. Diagnose and treat the three killers first: breathing/airway, bleeding and shock. Once the patient is stable or you have done all you can do, proceed to the next step.

Rescue personnel will go to flagged homes first if communications are down or if the number of injured exceeds their capacity to treat immediately.

If no one is injured, tag your home green instead of red and proceed to the next step. If injuries are minor, treat them and proceed to the next step. If family is trapped, flag the home red and rescue the most lightly trapped individuals first so they can help extricate more heavily trapped individuals. Use cribbing to safely extricate those within your ability and know when to go get more help.


Walk a complete circle around your home, checking for gas, water, live electrical lines, small fires and structural damage.

  • Gas – if you smell gas, turn it off at the meter by turning the valve 1/4 turn in a clockwise direction. The gas company must run a check and turn it back on.
  • Electrical – in the event of an electrical fire, short or gas leak, turn off main breaker in fuse box.
  • Water – if a water pipe is broken, you will want to turn off water to your home until you can repair it to prevent flooding and water damage.
  • Fire – if you hear, see or smell fire, size them up before attempting to fight them. Extinguish small fires within your ability with a buddy if they are smaller than a kitchen trash can and you have the equipment to safely do so. For larger fires, evacuate and call for help.
  • Structural Damage – if there are dangerous power lines, gas lines, water lines, fires, sunken ground, impaired access, down trees or damage to the structure of the home, it may not be safe to inhabit. Tape off any hazards to prevent injury if it is safe to make repairs, but understand that emergency workers may deem your home inhabitable and ask (force if necessary) you to relocate.

This is one reason why everyone should have an evacuation or bug out plan, supplies cached off-site, financial reserves and places to stay. How will you “shelter in place” if your home is leveled?

Be able to shelter in place or evacuate as the situation dictate. It’s not the strong who survive, but the adaptable. If you cannot relocate for a time, your contingency plan is less-effective. Make it more effective.

How to Tagg Your Home

Whereas home owners or Block Captains flag their homes red or green to indicate whether or not they are in need of assistance, tagging of structures is typically done by SAR (Search and Rescue) Teams, organizing pertinent information around an “X” symbol. They will typically tag with contrasting colors.

Just as with flagging, tagging is done to side of the door, instead of on it, so the tag will be visible even if the door is closed.

Tools to Tag Your Home

  • This article – in a plastic sheet protector, for further reading and knowledge.
  • Marking instruments – choose colors that contrast with your home.
    • sidewalk chalk
    • lumber crayons
    • XL paint markers or spray paint
    • green and red flagging tape
    • yellow caution flagging tape
  • Camera or notebook & pencil – optional
  • Binoculars – optional.

Finally, let’s see what to do to rag you home properly.

Observe Markings

If other structures in your area have already been marked, take note. You may want to sketch what you see or snap a digital photo to help you duplicate the markings. Depending on why you are marking and what you are trying to accomplish, this may be helpful.

But SAR Teams do not always follow SOP. After flooding from a hurricane, the SAR Team flagged all the homes by tying Yellow Caution or Crime Scene Tape to the door knobs. This should never happen because you can’t see the flag when the door is open.

Things don’t always go as planned in emergencies. Maybe some of their gear didn’t arrive and they borrow crime scene tape form local law enforcement, who knows, but that’s why it’s important that you observe they are tagging if possible.

  • Marking Instrument(s) – What are they using to mark structures? What colors?
  • Time – Are they writing the time or time and date, and in what format?
  • Team Initials – Who is doing the marking? Take note of the initials.

Diagonal Slash

Upon entry, the SAR (Search & Rescue) Team makes a diagonal slash to communicate that searchers are inside and a search is in progress. This prevents duplication of effort and alerts others to their location, should they become trapped…


Upon completion of a search and extrication and removal of all victims, the SAR Team makes a second diagonal slash, completing an “X” communicating that the search of the structure is complete and that both the victims and searchers are safely out.


The SAR Team writes the time operations cease in the structure (and possibly the date) in the 12:00 quadrant of the “X”.

Actions Taken

The 3:00 quadrant of the “X” is for actions taken that need to be communicated to the homeowner such as: “Gas Off” “Elec Off” “Water Off”

Unit/Team Initials

The 9:00 quadrant of the “X” is where the team or unit is identified by its initials.

Even if you flag with the wrong material, SAR workers will understand the markings. What they conclude upon reading it will be dependent on a host of factors. They may decide it was a local team or the residence belongs to a first responder.

Either way, they were going to gain forcible entry to your home before they saw the markings and no one answers when they knock. If they see the markings, they may pass you by, especially if they think it was done by another worker on their team.

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This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.






How To Recover Gold And Silver From Scrap

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If you’re reading this article, you’re probably a gold bug, or maybe a gold digger. Either way, you probably don’t know that in 100,000 cellphones there’s about 2.4 kilos of gold to be collected (as in recuperated) by a competent gold digger.

Yes, I know – 100,000 cellphones is quite a lot of old hardware. Besides gold, you’ll also find 25 kilos of silver and more than 900 kilos of copper (that’s almost a metric ton).

Considering the fluctuation in market prices, all that stuff combined makes for a cool quarter million dollars, give or take. The problem is, where on Earth can you get 100,000 cellphones and how can you get the gold out of those darn circuits?

How to Recover Gold from Electronics

Recycling electronics can be a lucrative business provided it’s done on an industrial scale. For regular folk, this kind of enterprise is quite difficult and time consuming, especially if not done nice and proper. Now, if you want to make your own personal scrap fortune, today’s your lucky day, so keep reading, I’m giving pearls here folks!

Besides cellphones, gold and other precious metals can be found in almost all types of electronic circuits, ranging from computer main-boards to processors and what not.

The idea is that instead of throwing your old gear in the garbage, considering that there’s a small amount of gold in all types of circuits, how about putting that gold in your pocket instead of making some scrap metal company rich?

Phones, laptops, cameras and the like are packed full of gold-plated circuit boards, due to the precious metal’s excellent conductibility. Even scanners and printers have silver, gold, copper, and sometimes platinum inside their guts.

Besides being pretty expensive, as in precious, gold is a highly conductive and pliable metal which was used for thousands of years by humans as a highly valuable commodity, as it retains its value better than almost any other commodity.

Until Nixon nixed (pun intended) the Bretton Woods system in 1971, even the US dollar was backed by gold. Since then, the dollar lost a lot of its value, i.e. $1 in 1971 had the same purchasing power as $7 today (official figures), but take a load of this: back then an ounce of gold was $35, now it’s like what, $1200 (it was almost $1900 at some point)?

So, you do the math and ask yourself if scrapping gold from old electronic gear is worth your time and effort. I am digressing – of course it is!

Let’s recap: due to its excellent properties, gold is the material of choice for manufacturing various electronic parts in computers, cellphones and what not.

Removing the gold from scrap parts requires access to various equipment and it’s a pretty complicated process. However, if you’re well-armed with the right tools and knowledge, you can extract, refine, and maybe sell scrap gold, provided you have enough raw materials to extract it from.

As a general rule of thumb, considering that you’ll have to deal with highly corrosive acids, you should perform all these operations outside and always use protective gear, such as gloves, goggles and even a respirator.

Start your own woodworking business – $9500 per month guaranteed! 

Here’s a short list for starting a gold recovery enterprise:

  • rubber gloves
  • goggles
  • a rubber apron
  • hydrogen peroxide 3% from your local pharmacy
  • muriatic acid 31% (it’s available at hardware stores)
  • methyl hydrate (this is basically 99% methyl alcohol) available at automotive supply stores or hardware stores (it’s used for fuel line antifreeze)
  • a couple of large glass-made containers (a coffee pot would do the trick.
  • a funnel filter (a drip-coffee filter)
  • a stir stick made of plastic or glass
  • a blow torch powerful enough to hard solder
  • an accurate weigh scale (at least to one tenth of a gram)
  • borax
  • clay bowls or anything that has a melting point above gold
  • a measuring cup
  • and of course, a lot of scrap electronics.

The general rule is that you should collect any type of electronic scraps which are prone to contain gold inside, including computer processors, jewellery, gold tooth crowns, and old telephone wiring with an emphasis on outdated electronics, which may contain parts with a higher level of gold than modern ones.

Video first seen on indeedItdoes

In the first step, you must sort the gold into gold-plated parts: circuits which require cleaning, gold fingers, gold plated pins and so forth and so on.

Before working with chemicals, don’t forget to put on your safety gear.

In the second step, you must put the clean circuit boards and the gold fingers  inside the coffee pot. Using a different container, mix one part hydrogen peroxide with  2 parts muriatic acid and add the mixture to the coffee pot until it just covers the gold-containing stuff inside (gold fingers for example).

You’ll have to wait for about a week for the process to complete and don’t forget to stir your concoction on a daily basis.

After 7 days have passed, it’s now time to collect your gold. You’ll see that the acid has darkened and there are flakes of gold floating around inside the coffee pot. If you pour the acid through the coffee filter, the gold flakes will be captured by the filter.

Save the acid though, don’t dump it. The remaining circuit boards/gold fingers must be checked out, the clean parts thrown away, and the uncleaned parts saved for re-dipping.

Now, pour some water through the filter and then flush using methyl hydrate to clean it.

In the next step, you’ll have to add borax to your “mined” gold. Borax works by reducing the melting point of gold from its regular 1063 Celsius. By adding some borax to your cleaned gold flakes, you’ll be able to melt your gold out of the heavy mineral concentrate to salvage it.

Next you’ll have to heat the clay bowl (don’t worry if it splits or cracks) and add borax. When the borax melts, put the gold flakes in too and add more borax, then heat it continuously until you end up with a nice bead of gold. Let it cool and weigh it. There you have it, your own gold from scrap electronics.

That’s one method, the simplest actually.

Here’s an interesting tutorial about the top 10 most valuable computer processors, as in the ones with the most gold inside for recovery by weight counted down.

Video first seen on eWaste Ben

Here’s a detailed hard drive tear-down video tutorial, teaching you how to look for precious metals (gold, silver, palladium and aluminum) inside your old hard drives.

Video first seen on Rob The Plumber

Good luck and scrap hard!

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This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

Prep Blog Review: Homesteading On A Budget

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Whether you are preparing for a disaster, or you just want to be self-reliant, homesteading should be an important part of your prepping plans. And here comes the real challenge – building a sustainable homestead on a budget is everyone’s dream, right?

You don’t have to spend a fortune to start homesteading so this makes the topic for this week’s prep blog review. I’ve gathered 4 articles on this topic and I hope you will enjoy them.

  1. 10 Hacks for Homesteading with Almost No Money

“Homesteading is about being self-sufficient and self-reliant. To do this, you need to figure out some hacks to make it easy and simple. This involves adopting better gardening methods, conserving electricity, minimizing wastage, and consuming locally grown food. You can also go a step further and produce your own clothing, craft-work, and other home accessories.

The following are some simple hacks you can adopt:

Leave your Clothes Out to Dry

Forget the dryer. You can still dry your clothes in the outdoors, balcony or rooftop. Light clothes dry within a few hours even in the chilly weather while heavier garments will take longer. Besides saving you high monthly energy bills, this hack leaves your clothes smelling fresh and natural.

Grow Tomatoes Vertically

Having a small space doesn’t mean you can’t farm your own tomatoes. There are some breeds that grow vertically rather than horizontally. Besides taking little space, most of the plant is off the ground and is less-likely to be affected by parasites and diseases. You also use fewer pesticides to take care of it.”

Read more on Plan and Prepared.

  1. 45 Homestead Tools for Off the Grid Living

“Laura Ingalls didn’t have a power drill, but I bet you her life would have been a lot easier if she did. Listen, your homestead isn’t going to collapse and crumble without having every single one of the tools on the list–at least not right away. But over time as weather wears on your roof and rain mucks up your roads, you are certainly going to need some reinforcement. The following list of homestead tools includes just about everything you will need.

Homesteading isn’t a process that happens overnight. Purchase these homestead tools as you need them until you have everything covered. Start taking stock now and begin gathering the essentials. To make it simpler, I broke the list into four sections: everyday tools, emergency tools, agriculture tools, and luxury tools.”

Read more on Homestead Survival Site.

  1. Homestead Geese – Easy to Care for Barnyard Protectors and Weed Eaters

“Homestead geese are not the first animals that come to mind when you consider homestead livestock. That award usually goes to backyard chickens, or dairy goats with the occasional pastured pig thrown in. But geese deserve to be fourth on that list in my opinion.

Geese are entertainment, lawn control, homestead guardians that also happen to taste pretty darn good.

Goose fat is prized among top chefs, and many a hawk or fox has been scared away from a chicken dinner by the threatening wing span of an angry goose.

You might share that opinion if you encountered an aggressive goose in childhood (or adulthood for that matter).

However, geese raised by you, from goslings (a young goose), can be as friendly as the family dog and twice as formidable when strangers or predators happen on to your homestead!”

Read more on Common Sense Homesteading.

  1. How to Raise Meat Rabbits in Small Spaces

“Whether you are planning to survive disasters or simply want to be self-sufficient and less dependent on outside resources, raising your own meat animals is a smart choice. That said, raising farm animals can be tough for those who live in urban areas, small homes or apartments, or under the rule of restrictive homeowners associations. If that sounds like you, consider raising meat rabbits.  Rabbits make it possible to produce your own meat without raising an eyebrow!

Why rabbits? Meat rabbits are an excellent way to supplement your family food supply.  Rabbit meat is tender and mild, plus rabbit meat is one of the healthiest meat sources, even beating chicken for low calories, high protein, and lower cholesterol levels. Not only that, rabbit meat is also far lower in fat and is higher in calcium and phosphorus than other meats.”

Read more on Backdoor Survival.

This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia.

10 Current Nuclear Risks Every Prepper Must Know

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Over the years, the media has done an excellent job of minimizing the immense risk of nuclear contamination.

No matter whether mainstream media makes their reports late at night, or the newspapers print somewhere in the middle of the paper, American citizens remain largely unaware of just how bad the nuclear contamination problem really is.

While these problems continue to be understated or ignored, cancer rates continue to skyrocket and large scale animal die offs go on without other explanation.

Since the media cannot provide an accurate barometer, preppers must take extra care to investigate nuclear risks and be ready to deal with them long before a critical level warning is issued.


Even as I write this article, the #2 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is pumping out over 530 sieverts of nuclear radiation per hour. It only takes 1 sievert to cause radiation sickness, and 10 to kill. Right now, the radiation levels inside the reactor are so high, even the best radiation shielded robots cannot survive more than 2 hours.

Now, if you do a Google search in the news section for Fukushima, you only find Fox News reporting on this matter. If you watch TV or read a newspaper from other mainstream sources, there is every chance that you won’t even know that the ongoing situation in Fukushima has gotten much worse.

To add insult to injury, for some time now there are massive die offs of fish all along the west coast from Alaska to Chile. There are also genetic mutations popping up in fish and other animals that suggest they have been exposed to nuclear radiation.

Very soon, perhaps, the US government will have to admit that coastal areas of the Western United States are experiencing higher rates of cancer; and those cancers are being caused by nuclear contamination from Fukushima. In the meantime, all we hear from Japan is that it can take 40 years or more to stop the radiation leaks and fully decommission the reactors.

If you live along the west coast, or plan to bug out to any area west of the Rocky mountains, it is best to move further inland as quickly as possible. Your best options will be locations that are on the east side of the Rockies, and in the lowest valleys on that side. Just make sure that you aren’t near any nuclear plants or nuclear waste dumps.

Because nuclear radiation from Fukushima is being detected all over the world, it is also very important to have your own Geiger counter as well as a Kierney Fallout Meter. In addition, it is also extremely important to avoid buying foods, beverages, or anything else from Japan or anything from businesses along the western seaboard.

Since people are not aware of the level of nuclear contamination, it is all too easy to ship products that have low levels of contamination all over the place.

Never forget that ionized radiation exposure produces effects as it accumulates in the body. What looks like a safe amount right now may not be when added to continual exposure.

The Bear is Still out There

Right now the media claims that just about nothing can stop the tawdry bromance between Trump and Putin. Nevertheless, there are many tangible points of contention between our two nations.

While Trump and Putin may ultimately agree on Syria and be able to work together on this issue, there is a very real possibility that they will not be able to reach common ground on nuclear disarmament.

Relations between the United States and Russia soured during the Obama administration. Virtually all of the work done starting with the Reagan administration is lost, as evidenced by Putin’s videos saying that war with the United States was inevitable. While he often said that he held hopes for better chances with a new president (Trump), his actions since the election say there are problems.

For example, Russia is performing snap air raid drills and has been conducting civilian nuclear bomb shelter drills even before Trump was elected.

Keep any eye out for more news of large scale civilian preparedness drills and military maneuvers, especially in relation to the Ukraine or Russia’s border with other nations.

Chinese Aggression

Even though former President Clinton was eager to sell China super computers, it remains very clear that this communist nation can and will flex its muscles in military matters. Aside from serious trade deficits, China is becoming increasingly hostile to the United States with regards to the South China Sea.

There are several tiny islands in the South China Sea that are claimed by different nations. They may not be worth much of anything in terms of real estate, but the sea floor beneath and around them is believed to be rich in natural resources such as oil and natural gas. Given China’s economic growth and population size, it is very clear they need the South China Sea for fossil fuels.

While China isn’t likely to start a nuclear war over this incident, they may be more inclined to follow North Korean aggression if the situation is to their advantage. Never forget that the government of China takes the issue of saving face very seriously.

A nation that issues decrees that attempt to tell supernatural entities where they can and cannot incarnate is not likely to forget a slight no matter how minimal. This, in turn, can make China very easy to control by North Korea even as they seek to make it look like they are the ones controlling the situation.

The very fact that North Korea continues with its nuclear arsenal says that China will use them as a scape goat to start a nuclear incident, and then follow up, either from the position of “protecting an ally”, or more likely defending Chinese honor.

North Korea

Considering the number of other nuclear threats we face, it is not likely that North Korea will develop its own arsenal (including delivery systems) fast enough to be a risk to us or any other country.

The real risk from North Korea stems from it’s position as an ally of China and the interest ISIS has in being recognized by North Korea. We cannot discount the role of South Korea in this problem given that the people of both nations are keen in being one nation again.

While that is a positive thing in cultural terms, it is not so good for the global economy because South Korea has been infiltrated by Sharia Banks. Even though the majority of these banks may be peaceful, we cannot ignore the possibility that these banks secretly support ISIS and other terror organizations.

As it stands, the greatest risk we face from North Korea is a diplomatic one. Because it is a small country, other nations such as China can use it as a front for hostile actions.

It is, and remains my contention that China, and perhaps even Russia will not attack directly. They will attack through North Korea, a state run by what western media paints as a “madman”. In my opinion, it gives North Korea far more leverage in the nuclear arena than we are led to believe.

Video First seen on AFP news agency.

Watch the news carefully for signs of these developments, as well as the Sharia watch group site that gives excellent information on the progression of Sharia law and banks throughout the world.

Israel Upping the Stakes in Iran

Iran is similar to North Korea in the sense that it is not likely it will develop a nuclear arsenal and delivery system fast enough to compete with established nuclear nations.

On the other side of the equation, Iran is favored by many people in Islamic nations and seen as a crown jewel. As messy as the situation was in 1981 when Israel bombed Iranian nuclear material sites, it did give the rest of the world some time to think about how to manage a nuclear capable Iran.

History still paints this action as something of a disaster because Iran is now far more protective of its nuclear sites and has gone to great lengths to protect them from bombings.

Even though Israel stopped short of bombing Iranian nuclear targets just a few years ago, there is a definite chance they will go through with their plans sometime soon.

Because there are no Middle Eastern nations that admit to having nuclear weapons, it is not likely this action would trigger an immediate nuclear attack on the United States from a country in this region.

On the other hand, Russia remains supportive of Iran as front much as China does North Korea. Given that stance, it is likely both Russia and the United States would be drawn into the fray. If other tensions continue to escalate, there is a chance we will be right back to facing nuclear war with Russia.

Before closing the topic of Iran, let me point out that two of the five nuclear weapon states (United States, Russia, China, UK, and France) have puppet nations in front of them that claim to want access to nuclear arms. I think these puppets hold far more power than we estimate because they might be bought for the right price by the nations hiding behind them as well as other nations that want to push China or Russia into a war with the United States.

In the end, never forget that smaller nations always want to get bigger and have a better place in the global pecking order, while large and powerful nations must struggle to maintain it at their own level plus watch out for the effects of smaller nations acting en masse.

Use business activity sites to watch for where large companies are moving or building their factories as well as FOREX sites that revel changes in one nation’s currency in relation to another.

The Dilemma of Pakistan

Even though Pakistan is a nuclear nation and ally of ours, it is at odds with India, another ally and nuclear nation. At this time, Russia makes no secret of its interest in strengthening economic and cultural ties with India while Pakistan struggles with terrorist groups trying to take it over from within.

Unlike Iran and North Korea, I don’t necessarily see Pakistan as a puppet that could be used by the Trump administration. Nor do I see Pakistan as a nation that would attempt to start a nuclear war on its own.

However, if a terror organization gets control of any of nuclear assets (not just weapons), it can spell disaster for nations surrounding Pakistan that are aligned with the United States. It is through this form of aggression that a major global nuclear war can be triggered.

This weapon that can instantly end modern life in America by knocking out our power grid!

In the arena of Mutually Assured Destruction, diplomatic ties are always complicated when two groups are leery of each other. In this situation, the media tends to sway public opinion into thinking that “other countries” will break their promise first, or fall to terrorism long before the United States will.

The mirror here works two ways and the media in these other countries may also cast doubt on the strength and integrity of the United States. No matter whether Pakistan chooses to align with Iran, or gives another non-Israeli Middle Eastern country the promise of nuclear weapon support, it can be a very dangerous trigger.

Escalating levels of mistrust alone can create a self-fulfilling prophecy of horrifying proportions. If there is one warning I would look for insofar as Pakistan serving as a trigger to a major nuclear encounter, it would be support of a Middle Eastern nation against Israel, or increasing indicators that radical Islamic terrorists are controlling the government and nuclear assets.

A World Ready to Stop Our Nation

When Trump made his inaugural speech, many people in the United States cheered when the candidate they voted for proclaimed “America First”. This phrase, however, has become a point of mockery via viral videos that are being shared around the world. These videos, which seek to “introduce” Trump to their nations say “we don’t mind you being first, but us second, or third, etc.”

While these videos pretend to be humorous, the “me second” theme can be seen as threatening from the standpoint of war, in particular, MAD.

In a MAD scenario, it is often thought that the first strike is not always the defining one. Instead, as other nations join not the fray and launch nuclear weapons, the destruction of the first striking nation, and quite possibly the rest of the world, is assured. Since many of these nations “nuclear sharing” contracts with NATO, it is entirely possible these videos are a warning.

Many of our allies, including Israel have made these videos. While they may, in fact, just be a joke (which in an of itself can be seen as an act of aggression), the fact remains that nations will always look for the most advantageous positions for themselves. Mocking a president of a world power is not a way to grow an alliance. If anything, it will only lead to more aggression.

Insofar as nuclear risks, watch for points where nations making these videos move to contribute to the destabilization of the United States or act in some way that increases the risk of the United States being drawn into a nuclear conflict with one of the other main nuclear nations.

Never forget about France and the UK. While they are historically some of our best allies, they also have many ties to other nations and are on a path to global unity. Trump may not want to bring the United States into that conglomeration especially if our nation cannot be the leader or act with unreserved autonomy.

Aging US Nuclear Reactors

If you think the overseas based threats of nuclear disaster are troubling, then you haven’t been watching Fukushima or Chernobyl close enough.

Source: Radiation Network

What is happening at Fukushima can easily happen right here. We have hundreds of aging nuclear power reactors spread throughout the nation. For example, Indian Point has been showing signs of trouble for decades, however it never gets shut down because it brings in too much money.

For the most part, you won’t get any warnings from the media or government sites about nuclear reactors that may be in trouble. Earthquakes, hurricanes, or other natural disasters could also cause problems at these power plants.

As a prepper, you will be best served by always being informed and aware of how close or far away you are from nuclear reactors. Avoid being downwind of a nuclear power plant and within 200 miles.

It is also very important to have several Kierney Fallout meters located around your home and work place. These will help you detect sudden changes in ionized radiation. If you see something going on, you can always follow up with a Geiger counter.

What Else is ISIS Hiding?

One of the biggest problems with ISIS and other terror groups is they have a lot of money. While many people want to stereotype radical Islamic terrorists as being of Middle Eastern descent, the fact of the matter is many radicals are in Asian and Oceanic countries.

For example, Indonesia and the Philippines both have fairly large terror cells that may well rise up and take the place of ISIS on the world scene. In some cases, some of these groups may already be aligned with the Taliban, ISIS or Al Quaeda or are offshoots of these groups.

This is how you prepare to face ISIS threat to put the entire American nation on our knees!

Since these groups have so much money and access to gullible people of all races, lone wolves can slip through even the best clearance processes for nuclear facilities. No matter whether they get in as janitors for a nuclear medical testing facility or work in a nuclear power plant, there are probably dozens of ways they can gain access to nuclear materials.

Also, with money comes the capacity to buy scientists. In this case, even if we don’t have the technology to turn medical grade nuclear materials into warheads, that doesn’t mean terrorist based scientists aren’t trying their hardest.

Unlike other scientists committed to curbing or inhibiting weapons development, rest assured that drugged up, knocked up, brainwashed and radicalized terrorists will not hesitate to find as many deadly tricks as they can. Just as sadly, they more than likely have all kinds of money at their disposal to do the job.

From dirty bombs to close range warheads, the best thing preppers can do is be aware. Keep a close watch on abandoned buildings and people that go in and out of them. Get to know the homeless people in your area so that you can figure out who is new or using that as a cover. Make it your business to keep a Kierney Meter with you at all times. If you detect suspicious levels of radiation, report it. You just never know what might be hiding under your own nose.

Other than that, never assume that it is just Middle Eastern people that may be plotting to launch an inside nuclear attack in our nation. Even if the final perpetrators wind up being from this part of the world, it is entirely possible that people from other races were part of the process.

In short, let the trail of ionized radiation be your guide and suspicious behavior patterns be your guide more than race based stereotypes.

Improper Medical Testing and Nuclear Waste Disposal

Speaking of obvious sources of a nuclear disaster, never forget about how much radiation you are getting from x-rays, mammograms, CT scans, and other medical diagnostic systems. While these are supposed to be safe over a lifetime, they may be enough to cause serious damage when combined with contaminated food, air and water.

It is best to limit your exposure to these tests as much as possible. Ask for, and demand tests that use other means to view internal organs and systems while providing suitable information. If your insurance company will not pay for alternative tests, do not hesitate to take the matter to social networking, the media and your elected representatives.

From mundane things you deal with every day to large scale conspiracy theories turned real, our nation is in serious danger from nuclear fuels and technologies.

Now is the time to make sure you know how to detect nuclear radiation and spot global trends that indicate dangers are increasing. This is also the time to make sure you can follow appropriate steps based on what you find. Do not forget to include nuclear survival gear in your bug out bag and EDC, and learn how to survive an attack!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 








How To Turn Your Bike Into A Bug Out Vehicle

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The first thing that people do in the movies when there’s a catastrophic event is try to get out of town. They end up in gridlocked traffic and end up surrounded by panicking people abandoning vehicles that can’t go any further. Obviously, there was a lack of planning.

As preppers, we’re prepared to avoid these types of situations either by bugging in, or by having bug out vehicles that can navigate terrain, and will allow us to avoid major roads so that we have a better chance of getting safely away.

Though many people don’t consider a motorcycle a good choice for a bug out vehicle, don’t discount the advantages out of hand. After all, while all of those cars are gridlocked, you can ride the berm or split the lanes to continue traveling. This would, of course, come with the risk of somebody knocking you off your bike, so you’d have to be extremely cautious while also traveling quickly.

You can also travel off-road if you have the right bike and it’s properly equipped. Oh, and if you have an EMP room that’s at least 5 or 6 feet square, you can keep the bike right in there along with an extra motor and parts and still have plenty of room left for your other stuff.

Also, a motorcycle gets anywhere from 30-70 mpg. The average dual sport bike has anywhere from a 3-6 gallon tank, which means that you can make it 150-300 miles on one tank. They’re also versatile and do well both on the street and off-road assuming you choose a good bike and put knobby tires on it.

Many people like to use a 250cc for a bug out vehicle, but I like a little more speed and power – I’d recommend a 600 – it doesn’t weight that much more than a 250, though you will lose a little mpg. That’s negligible, though – 10mpg maybe. Chances are good that your bug out place is still going to be well within your tank range.

There are downsides. You can’t realistically take more than two people and will only be able to take the bare essentials with you. Ideally, you should probably use a bike to get you to a pre-stocked bug out location. Most sport bikes, enduros, motocross bikes and duel sports are light enough that 2 people can lift them up into the back of a truck.

However, there are a few modifications that you should probably make in order to optimize it for bugging out. These are just general suggestions – you’ll have to account for your individual terrain and bug out plans.

Put Headlights on Toggle Switch

Motorcycles typically have headlights that turn on as soon as you turn the key as a standard safety feature. Since you may need to hide, it’s probably a good idea to put the headlight on a toggle switch. Fortunately, the wiring on a motorcycle is fairly simple, so this is easy to do.

Paint to Match Your Terrain

I absolutely love the electric blue and neon green paintjob on my GSXR, but it doesn’t exactly lend itself to hiding.

Not only do you want to keep from being seen on it if possible, but you don’t want it to stand out for somebody to target as a potential getaway vehicle for themselves should you need to stop and be away from it. (i.e., bathroom breaks, etc.)

Fortunately, it doesn’t take much paint to cover an entire motorcycle. Choose a paint that will help you blend into your terrain. Whether it’s green or tan, or somewhere in between, camouflage that ride.

Cargo Racks

You can buy a cargo rack for behind the seat, or you can do what I did for my last bike and build it yourself. This allows you quite a bit of customization because you can add a little bit of storage here and there.

For instance, you can potentially add a rifle carrier that would ride under your thigh, or a storage rack in front of it. You can also buy or build saddle bags. We are, after all, the kings and queens of DIY.

Use Quiet Exhaust

On a standard day, I’ll preach that loud pipes save lives all day long, but not in this case. Your goal is to fly under the radar, so you want the bike to be as quiet as possible. Because of the way a motorcycle motor works, you’re not going to be able to get it whisper-quiet like a car is, but you can muffle it significantly by modifying the pipes.

Especially if you’ve opted to use a small-cc bike, don’t do too much in the way of modifying the heads to muffle the sound because you don’t want to restrict the airflow.

Have an Extra Motor and Parts in Your EMP Room

If you have an EMP room, you have room for a motorcycle motor. They’re small and fairly light – less than 150 pounds in many cases.

Discover how to assemble a simple device that will shield your electronics from the EMP!

Magnetic and Handlebar Bags

Once you start looking, you’re going to be surprised by how many places you can put a storage bag on your bike. There are handlebar bags made to sit in the triple tree. I put mine on the front between the forks when I carry it.

You can also get magnetic tank bags that will carry a surprising amount of gear and supplies.

Magnetic Holsters

These are great. The magnets are seriously strong enough to hold onto the tank even if things get rough. I had one on my last bike that I used when we went camping and I kept it on the front of my tank up by my gauges. You can, of course, always customize them or have them custom made.


This is probably my most important piece of survival gear because it stays right with me all the time. I don’t have to worry about it falling off or catching on things, or slowing me down as long as I’m on my bike. Put what you can’t live without in here, in case somebody steals your bike.

I always keep, at a minimum:

Sounds like a lot, but actually if you think about it, the only big item is water. It all fits in the bottom of one of my pouches, and I have a nice little “just in case” kit.

I also keep a toolkit underneath my seat that holds the main 3 sockets and small wrenches that work on my bike, a pair of pliers, and zip ties.


Depending on the bike that you have, you may need to adjust the suspension so that it’s fit to ride off-road. This is a topic best researched before you decide on a bike. I can’t really offer much advice that would be any good because everything depends on what you have to work with.


If you’re going to take your bike off-road, you need to have knobby tires on it. If you’re not, you need to keep your street tires in excellent condition because in the middle of an emergency is the worst time possible for you to have a blowout.

These are just a few tips to help you get your motorcycle ready to use as a bugout vehicle. I considered recommending armoring the tank and you can do that if you want, but truthfully, you’re using it as a vehicle that is light, nimble, and maneuverable. You want to avoid weight where you can.

Do you have any other tips to help prepare a motorcycle so that it will serve as a good bug out vehicle?

Click the banner below and discover how to survive more than an EMP!

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

Prep Blog Review: Quick Tips To Survive A Disaster

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We never know what type of disaster will hit us next. Will it be an EMP, a tornado, a flood, a riot, a shootout at a commercial center, or an economic crisis? We never know, but there is one thing that we can all do – prepare!

Maybe you have already started stockpiling food and water for survival and you have prepared you bug-out-bag, but are you really physically and mentally prepared to survive any disaster?

For this week’s prep blog review I’ve gathered 4 articles on this topic.

  1. 4 Quick Tips to Survive an Emergency

“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 the advice itself sounds simple, taking action on it when everyone around you is panicking will be a huge challenge.

Surviving a Riot

We’ve all seen numerous riots spark in the United States as well as in Europe. Here’s some quick tips on what to do should you get trapped in social unrest:

Never move in the opposite direction of the rioters. You will stand out and they might pick you as a target, possibly dragging you along. “

Read more on Plan and Prepared.

  1. 6 Totally Insane Things that Will Happen if the Power Grid Goes Down

“Imagine if you will, what would happen if you pulled an American family from the 19th century, and plopped them in the middle of downtown Los Angeles during rush hour. They’re not given a warning, they’re not given any kind of primer on what they’re about to experience, and the occurrence is completely inexplicable. How long do you suppose they would last before they cried uncle?

Would they even survive? The odds probably aren’t so good.

Of course, the reverse is probably also true. If you and your family were wrenched from the comforts of the present and hurled back into a previous era, you might not fare so well either.”

Read more on Ready Nutrition.

  1. How to Survive a Flood

“In the deadliest flood ever recorded, every person on the earth —  except for the first “prepper family”– died.

Thankfully, there hasn’t been a flood like that since.

However, that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been some nasty and deadly floods. In fact, there have been many, and according to FEMA floods were the number-one natural disaster of the 20th-century.

If you look at the graph below (provided by the NOAA), you will see that on a ten-year average, floods account for 84 deaths each year. However, in 2015 that number was blown-out-of-the-water (pun intended) with a total of 172 deaths nationwide.”

Read more on Sheep Dog Man.

  1. How to Prepare for a Tornado

There are many natural disasters that might befall a community, but a tornado is one of the most unpredictable.

Several people were killed in the last few days as a rash of storms wreaked havoc in the South and Midwest.

Indeed, hundreds of people are killed yearly by tornadoes, but many injuries and deaths may be avoided with sound preparation.

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and the thunderstorm (sometimes called a “supercell”) that spawned it.

Read more on Doom and Bloom.


This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia.

11 Tips For Riding A Motorcycle In Bad Weather

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Survivopedia 11 Tips For Riding A Motorcycle In Bad WeatherYou’re out on a ride on a lonely backroad, thirty miles from home, and it starts pouring rain. Ideally, the best option would be to pull over and wait it out.

Realistically, you may have to pick up the kids, be riding to work, or be bugging out. At that point, pulling over is not an option.

Rain changes the game, but with the proper skills you can make the ride much safer when the roads are slippery and you can hardly see. Here’s what to do!

Wear a Full-Face Helmet

Wearing a full-face helmet, at least during inclement weather, is the first step toward making your ride safer. Broken legs heal. Broken skulls or brains usually do not.

As an additional bonus, a helmet serves to keep your head dry and warm and keeps the rain from beating in your face and eyes, thus preventing distraction and improving vision.

If you’ve never ridden in the rain, even a light drizzle feels like you’re getting hit with gravel when you’re going 40 or 50 mph. It’s hard to focus on the road and other drivers when it feels like you’re getting exfoliated with a sandblaster.

Adding a layer of Rain-x to your face shield will help repel the rain so that your visibility is improved even more.

Have Good Boots

There are all kinds of fancy boots out there that look great but remember that their primary purpose is protection.

For riding in bad weather, it’s good to have tall boots that cover your shins. This helps keep you warm and dry (if they’re waterproofed) as well as protect you from losing your footing when you put your feet down.

Especially in inclement weather, it’s important to have boots that have non-skid bottoms. You can find non-skids in every design – cruising and racing. The most important factors are comfort and grip, so try several pairs on to see which ones fit the best. Scoot a little to see if they truly are “grippy.”

Wear a Sturdy Coat Designed for Riding

I’ve been down twice – once while wearing a T-shirt and once while wearing full race gear, which included high-quality racing leathers. Fortunately, I was going slow – about 20 mph when I went down wearing the T-shirt, but I still have the scar on my arm from the road rash, and it was difficult and painful to clean out the dirt and gravel, and care for it while it healed.

When I was wearing the leather, I was on the track and went down at 65 mph. I had no skin injuries whatsoever, and I slid for over 20 feet. The leather made all the difference. I also have both a leather motorcycle jacket and a nylon/Kevlar jacket that’s more in line with the sportbike that I ride. The leather is waterproof and offers supreme protection in cold, rainy weather.

I specifically recommend jackets/coats designed for motorcycles because they have three features developed just for riding

  • the tail is longer in the back so that it doesn’t ride up,
  • there are zippers on the sleeves that zip so that they’re snug around your wrists to keep out cold air and rain/snow,
  • the zippers have pull tags on them so that you can zip/unzip with gloves on.

Also, the pockets zip up instead of down to prevent the zipper from opening while you’re riding.

Keep in mind that safety is number one priority when riding a bike and you have to be prepared for anything and to assume full responsibility for your personal safety.

Carry Survival Tools

I never leave the house without my backpack (saddle bags are nice, but don’t really come with sport bikes). I carry various survival/emergency items that include:

  • The common sockets/wrenches that fit my bike
  • Zip ties
  • Faro stick/striker
  • Fire starter – Vaseline-soaked cotton balls in a baggie
  • A Bracelet made of 550 paracord
  • A bottle of water
  • OTC pain killer
  • A knife
  • A baggie to put my phone and gadgets in so they stay dry
  • A couple of granola bars
  • A hand mirror
  • A whistle
  • A sweatshirt/extra T-shirt – wet shirts are miserable when you reach your destination, and it tends to get chilly once the sun goes down.
  • A small flashlight

Yes, that may sound like overkill and some of my rider friends tease me about it, but only until their bike breaks down or it starts raining and they want to put their phone in my baggie. Then I’m not so silly.

Get your FREE easy to use and safely concealable Smith and Wesson Tactical Folding knife! 

Wear Gloves

Wearing gloves serves two purposes – they protect your hands and keep the oils in your hands from degrading the rubber in your grips.

Choose gloves that are reinforced on the top of the knuckles and palms in case you go down. Those are the two areas that are most likely to come into contact with the pavement.

Wear Chaps

You’d be surprised how much a pair of chaps protects your legs from the cold and rain/snow. Of course, they also provide an extra layer of protection in case you go down.

Avoid Road Paint and Other Road Debris

Now that we’ve covered gear, let’s talk about some road hazards. Road paint – you know, those white lines used at stop lights/signs or to designate parking spots – is like stepping on ice when it’s wet. Even in non-skid boots, it’s slick. Avoid it.

The same thing goes for sand, leaves, oil, and other materials that gather on the road. Watch where you put your feet.

Also, when it first starts raining, the oils, grease, and other slick material on the road is washed to the surface and distributed all over the road, so the pavement is going to be extra slick.

Look Ahead

In good weather, leave yourself plenty of room to see what’s on the road at least 30 feet in front of you. Double or even triple that if the roads are wet or icy.

Remember, you’re on two wheels, so you don’t have the ability to lock up the brakes, and if you run over something such as large stones, animal carcasses, puddles, or small limbs, it’s hard to stay in control.

Also, it tends to hurt when you rear-end them and you need more road to stop than you would in a car. Pay attention.


Ride Staggered

I know that riding what’s called 2-up (side-by-side) seems nice, but it’s not safe for a wide variety of reasons, especially in bad weather.

You (and other riders) need room to dodge road debris, standing water or ice, loose sand or gravel, and cars that may not see you and come into your lane. You also need room in case you take turns a bit too wide or have a tire blow-out.

For all of the same reasons, you need to ride on the opposite side of the lane as the rider in front of you, with your front wheel no closer than several feet behind and to the side of him/her. In addition to being safer in case something happens, this also keeps you from getting a face full of road water coming off the spray of the rear tire in front of you.

Keep Bike in Good Repair

This is the safety tip that you can’t afford to ignore. If your bike breaks down in inclement weather on a back road, you may just find yourself stuck for hours or even overnight., a flat is tough to recover from when road conditions are perfect, but if they’re wet or icy, the chances of an accident increase exponentially.

Slow Down

It’s tempting to want to hurry to get somewhere warm and dry, but when you combine decreased visibility with poor road conditions, you’re asking for trouble. You’re likely already soaked to the bone, so another few minutes or so isn’t going to make much of a difference.

Riding a motorcycle in bad weather is hazardous to say the least. Following all of these tips will help to make it safer for you, but when it comes right down to it, you need to watch the weather, ride within your abilities, and use your common sense to determine what’s best for you in your individual situation.

Ride safe, and keep the shiny side up!

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

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New To Prepping? Here’s Where To Start From

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New To Prepping

Bit by bit, the ranks of preppers are growing all the time. More and more people are waking up to the fact that the government can’t protect them and doesn’t even do a very good job of providing support in the aftermath of a disaster. Oh, they throw money at it, but money isn’t the answer to everything.

Every new prepper is faced with the same problems and the same questions they have to answer for themselves. It’s not that there’s no information available for new preppers to use, it’s that there’s too much information.

Check online for prepping or survival and you’ll find an enormous amount of information, not all of which agrees with other sources. Wading through all that and finding the information that one needs can be a daunting task.

You might very well be one of those newbies; someone who has just decided to look at prepping for the first time. If so, welcome to one of the most important movements in our country today.

Prepping is an individual journey that each of us take, with no two walking exactly the same path. Yet we are preppers together, part of a fellowship of like-minded people who have decided that it’s time to do something for themselves.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already decided that just looking at information isn’t enough. Being a prepper means taking action; preparing yourself and your family for whatever problem or disaster might come your way. Preppers believe in self-sufficiency; trusting in themselves in an emergency, not in the government.

But where does one begin? Of all the things that one can do to become more prepared, which one or ones are the most important? What does one have to do, in order to truly be prepared?

These questions are complicated by the fact that each person’s situation is unique. Oh, we all have things in common, but we also have our own needs, our own family, our own skills, our own resources and our own risks that we face. So cookie cutter prepping doesn’t work. Each person has to determine what their own needs are and how to best meet them.

Even so, there are some things we should all do at the beginning; things to get us on the road to becoming better prepared. The first steps we need to take on this journey may not be what you’re thinking. In fact, I’d be surprised if many preppers thought about these steps, before walking along the path for a ways.

Educate Yourself

It’s easy to think of prepping as just stockpiling supplies for a rainy day. That’s actually where most of us start off. Whether we just buy a couple of bags of beans and rice or go hog wild buying prepackaged survival food, squirreling food away for a rainy day seems like an almost instinctive act; something we easily gravitate towards, as a starting point for our prepping.

There’s nothing wrong with stockpiling food and in fact you need to do so; but before you start stockpiling, it’s a good idea to know what to stockpile. Not all foods keep well, nor do all of them provide the right nutrition to get you through an emergency. Take some time to research, before running off to the grocery store.

While you’re at it, you need to research much more than just what foods to stockpile. Our modern society doesn’t prepare us well for survival. If anything, it prepares us to die blaming others. But you can’t count on those others to help you survive. They don’t know how to either.

Our ancestors of 200 years ago were much better suited for survival than we are. For them, every year was about survival. They either stockpiled enough preserved food and cut enough firewood to make it through winter or they died. There weren’t too many other options available. Their lives were simpler, their needs and wants more closely associated with surviving and they had the skills they needed to take care of themselves.

There are a wide range of skills that you need to learn, some of which you might actually already know. If you like to go camping and spend time in the outdoors, you’re off to a good start, as the skills associated with those activities are closely related to survival skills.

Remember that a knife is a must have tool for outdoor survival as it helps you hunt, make shelter, start a fire and defend yourself.

Get your FREE easy to use and safely concealable Smith and Wesson Tactical Folding knife! 

Hunting, fishing, and starting a fire are all good survival skills. But you’ll also need to know how to grow food in your garden, purify water and defend your home as well.

For preppers, learning isn’t something that begins or ends, it’s just something that is. We start out learning about survival when we get into prepping, and we keep on learning for the rest of our lives. There’s always some new skill or information to learn; all of which is ultimately useful.

Develop a Survival Mentality

Most people tend to look at survival as a physical activity; but it’s as much mental as it is physical. You have to have the right attitude to survive or no matter what you do, you’ll fail.

What do I mean by the right attitude? I mean the attitude of a survivor. You have to be convinced that you’ll survive. You have to be convinced that you’ll overcome. You need to be convinced that you can do whatever is necessary to keep yourself and your family alive.

Here in America we’re protected from many of the harsher realities of life. Few Americans have had to kill and prepare their own food. Unless you’re a hunter; you probably don’t have the slightest idea of how to kill and clean a chicken for dinner, let alone how to properly field dress and butcher a deer or other large animal. But if it’s not done properly, the meat from that animal can be tainted in the process.

But you know the hardest part of killing and preparing that animal? It’s getting over the idea of having to do it. Most of us are squeamish when it comes to things like that; squeamish to the point that we’d die before killing that chicken.

Family food

Yet for millennia our ancestors hunted, killed and ate their own game, without the slightest bit of squeamishness. Men would bring the game home from their hunt, and their wives would clean and cook the animals. They didn’t throw up; they didn’t feel funny about it; they did it, and they enjoyed the meal that they prepared.

For us, here in America, overcoming the imprint of our society and accepting the needs of survival is paramount to being able to survive. Most have to do so at a moment’s notice, when they are faced with their first disaster. But those who develop a survival mentality learn to make the adjustment at their leisure, when it’s easier to do so.

Interestingly enough, attitude is so important to survival, that every military manual on survival starts off with a section on attitude. When you consider the amount of money and effort that goes into the preparation of those manuals, that one single fact is rather telling. Attitude is key to survival.

Analyze Your Family’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Each of us has a different family, with different strengths and weaknesses. Some family members might have skills or abilities which easily translate to a survival setting. Others have special needs that have to be considered when making our survival planning. Typically, we find a bit of each in our families.

Surviving as a lone wolf is much harder than surviving as part of a team. In a team, each individual is able to take part of the load, helping each other. With each one learning the necessary skills and doing part of the necessary tasks, not only does the work become easier; but more importantly, the chances of the team’s survival becomes greater.

Your family is your first survival team. Even if you join with others, in a larger survival team, your family is still the core of your personal team. As such, it’s important that you understand what your family is capable of doing, what it is capable of learning, and even more importantly, what you might need others to do for you, because you are incapable of learning to do it for yourself.

As part of this, you also need to analyze the assets you have at your disposal.

Do you have a vacation home somewhere, that you could use as a survival retreat if you needed to? Do you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle? Do you have enough land to turn your home into a homestead? Do you have camping equipment? How much money do you have available to use for prepping? What tools do you have, which will help you survive? Does your home have a fireplace? All of this, and more, will ultimately affect your ability to survive.

This process of analyzing your family will ultimately tell you what you need to do, in order to get from where you are today, to where you need to be. But don’t just do it once; from time to time you should reanalyze the situation and make any necessary adjustments.

Decide What Risks You Face

Prepping is ultimately about being ready to face a disaster, whether that’s a personal disaster, a regional disaster or a nationwide disaster. The problem is, none of us know the disaster that we are going to face. That makes prepping a little bit difficult.

But not knowing doesn’t mean that we can’t prepare. It just means that we prepare for likelihoods, rather than certainties. In other words, while it’s safe to say with certainty that we’ll all face some sort of disaster, sometime in our lives, what exact disaster we might face is nothing more than a likelihood.

So, the thing you need to do is figure out what the most likely disasters are, that you are going to face. That stats with figuring out what possible disasters you could face, ranging all the way from loss of a job to a zombie apocalypse, with natural disasters and the loss of the electrical grid in between. Don’t leave anything out at this point, as all you’re really doing is brainstorming possibilities.

Once you have your list of possible disasters, you need to give each of them two scores, say on a scale of one to five. The first scale is how likely you feel it is that you’ll actually face that disaster. The second scale is how much of an impact that disaster would have on your life. Some disasters, such as a zombie apocalypse might have an extremely low likelihood, earning it a one on that scale, but an extremely high impact, should it actually happen, earning it a five on that scale.

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(Note: The term TEOTWAWKI is commonly used by preppers to stand for “The end of the world as we know it.” This does not mean the literal end of the world, but rather, the end of our  modern lifestyle that we are accustomed to.)

Combining the two scores gives you a number from 2 to 10. That number is the one you use to prioritize considering that particular disaster in your planning. The way that usually works out, is that we concentrate on the highest ones and ignore the lower ones.

But in preparing for the highest ones, we are probably going to be prepared for whatever happens with the lower ones.

Begin Planning

Now that you’ve got a pretty good idea of what you have to work with and what you’re likely to face, you can start your survival planning. Once again, this is a process that will continue throughout the rest of your life. Everything you learn has the potential to change and improve your plans.

Your plan needs to define what you will do in each of the potential disaster situations you are likely to encounter, especially the high likelihood, high impact ones. You will find that there will be some overlap between different scenarios, but there will also be things that are unique to each one.

From this, you can determine how much you need to stockpile, whether it’s for a month, six months, a year or the rest of your life. You’ll also be able to determine the best place for your family to survive, in a variety of different situations. In many of those scenarios, you’ll be better off sheltering in place, or “bugging in.” But there might also be some which require you to bug out and go to a survival retreat somewhere.

Don’t expect that you’ll get everything right the first time around. You will most likely forget some items, because of being focused on other needs. That’s okay. As you continue to study, you’ll find the places you need to fill in, to make your survival plans and your stockpile more complete.

Prepping is a process, not a destination. You’ll probably never reach that point of perfection, where you sit back and say to yourself: “Self, I’ve arrived. I’m ready for anything.”

But rather, you’ll gain more and more confidence that you can take care of yourself and your family, no matter what comes your way. Each little step will give you and your family more security, and ultimately, that’s what prepping is all about.

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What We Can Learn From The California Evacuation

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california evacuation

Imagine waking up one morning, to find that your home, which you thought was safe, was in fact, is in danger. Not just a little danger, either; but one which could destroy your home, wiping it off the face of the Earth. What do you do?

That’s the situation which has faced almost 200,000 people in Northern California, as the risk of flooding from the Oroville Dam and Reservoir is increasing. An unusually wet winter has led to the reservoir reaching dangerously high levels.

Erosion damaged the primary spillway, as a 200 foot long, 35 foot wide hole formed in the bottom. Closing this spillway merely caused the water to rise even higher, overflowing the emergency spillway.

However, the emergency spillway only had a concrete lip, with the rest of the spillway being nothing more than an open hillside, leading down to the river below. Not capped with concrete, it was subject to erosion, which the water flowing over it quickly caused, raising concerns about the emergency spillway collapsing and releasing a 30 foot tall wall of water on the towns below.

This prompted an emergency evacuation that touched on four counties, with all the confusion and problems of any mass exodus. People had an hour to get out of their homes and on the road, where they found traffic moving at a snail’s pace and gas stations overwhelmed by people who needed to fill their tanks. As gas stations and then cars ran out of gas, people were forced to abandon them and take out on foot.

What’s Wrong With Conventional Prepper Wisdom

This is where the average prepper says it’s time to grab the bug out bag and put Plan B (for bug out) into effect. While that is a logical conclusion from a near-term survival viewpoint, it may not be the best possible solution from a long-term survival viewpoint. Even if your home is destroyed in such a disaster, there are many things within that home, which you will need as you rebuild your life.

“The clear answer is to bug out to some other urban area, which is far enough removed from the epicenter of the danger your home is facing, to make it a safe haven from the pending disaster.”

The problem is, most of us think of bugging out as something to be done in an emergency, with the intent of living in the wild. But that’s not necessarily the best solution. Living in the wild is infinitely harder than living amongst our fellow humans, where we have the entire infrastructure of modern society to support us. It really only makes sense to bug out into the wild when we need to escape from our fellow man, such as in the case of a breakdown of society.

In those cases, we’re usually referring to a nationwide catastrophe which has led to the breakdown of society. There is no safe populated place to go, leaving us with heading into the wilderness as our only viable option.

On the other end of the scale, we have bugging out to a refugee relocation center, often referred to as a FEMA camp. That option works for those sheeple who expect the government to care for them from cradle to grave, but it doesn’t work for us. Most of us don’t trust the government all that much and definitely don’t want to put ourselves and our families into their hands.

So if prudence dictates that we bug out, but it doesn’t make sense to either bug out to the wild or bug out to a FEMA camp, what are we to do?

It is easier to find the things you need to have in order to survive, if you’re in an urban area, than if you’re in the wilderness. Not only that, but if you have to rebuild your life somewhere, it’s also easier to do that in the company of others, than out in the middle of nowhere.

We have to understand that not all bug-outs are equal. There’s a huge difference between bugging out due to a natural disaster, than bugging out due to a breakdown in society. Because of this difference, we need to adjust our plans accordingly and not use a “one size fits all” style of prepping. The bug out bag might be the only thing we can take with us so make sure you have your bug out bag ready to go.

Planning for an Evacuation

9343130 - tsunami roadsign near pescadero, california

While mandatory evacuations are by no means common, they aren’t unprecedented either.

There was a mandatory evacuation ordered before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. A similar order went out for Hurricane Sandy.

If a tsunami was ever to head for any of our shores, you can be sure that a general evacuation order would go out.

But the most common evacuation orders are those that happen for floods and forest fires. This evacuation in California falls into that category.

If we accept that such an evacuation is different than bugging out due to social unrest or a breakdown in society, then we need to determine what we should do differently. More than anything, this affects the things we should being with us.

Since we would not be heading off into the wild, we wouldn’t need a massive amount of wilderness survival gear. Oh, we’d need some, as there would always be the possibility of being forced to abandon our cars and take out on foot. In such a case, it would probably be wise to avoid the roads and head cross-country, especially if a lot of other people were caught in the same predicament.

The simple fact of being prepared makes you and I too good a target for mooching and stealing, for us to stick around others who have had to abandon their cars as well.

In that case, the bug out bag might be the only thing we can take with us. But if we work things right, we won’t have to abandon our cars. In that case, we can take a whole lot more with us. Specifically, we can take the things we’ll need to have in order to rebuild our lives.

So, what are those things?

  • Clothing: both rough clothing for the wilderness and professional clothing for seeking a new job.
  • Valuables: there’s no sense leaving valuable jewelry behind to be looted or buried in the mud. Better to take it with you, so that you can use it. If nothing else, it can be sold to provide you with food.
  • Cash: whatever cash you have on hand will be needed to keep your family going, wherever you are going to end up.
  • Photos and other important memories.
  • Professional tools that you would need to have so that you could continue working or working a new job.
  • Important documents: birth certificates, professional degrees, marriage license, certifications, car titles, property deeds, medical records, kids school records.
  • Computer: today, so much of our lives and our work is on our computers, that we will need them to help us rebuild our lives, if our homes are destroyed.

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The thing is, with only a few hours to pack up and leave, or even less, chances are that you won’t be able to pack those things up, or even that you’ll think of them all. That’s why you need to have a checklist of things that you should take with you, besides your bug out bag.

In fact, you probably need several different checklists, based upon different scenarios. That way, you’ll be able to choose the checklist that’s most appropriate to the situation.

It’s much easier to think through what you need to do, when there is time, and things are calm. In the moment of crisis, the mind tends to go blank; so don’t wait for that moment to come. Prepare your lists and note where those items are kept. That way, you won’t need to waste precious time looking for it.

Lessons to Be Learned

As with any such disaster, there are lessons for us to learn. Professionals who deal with disasters and crisis situations always do an after-action-review, to see what they can learn. It doesn’t even have to be a situation that they were involved in; they’ll review other actions, so as to find what lessons they can learn.

We can do the same thing, simply by looking at what happened and putting ourselves in the place of the families who became victims of this potential disaster. In doing so, we can see what went wrong and what remedial action needs to be taken, to make sure that it doesn’t happen to us, as it did to them.

Know Your Area

The people living downstream of the Oroville Dam should have known that they were living in an area with a high risk of flooding. It doesn’t matter that there has never been any problem with that dam before, the very fact of its existence creates risk, especially in earthquake-prone California. Knowing that, they should have planned what they would do if anything ever happened to the dam.

Granted, their problem isn’t yours or mine, but we need to ask ourselves what risks we have overlooked. It’s easy to look around us and totally miss the most dangerous things in our area. As preppers, we need a good handle on every risk that exists in our area and we need to know if something happens to increase the risk from any of them.

Keep Your Ear to the Ground

One of the most important elements of an effective bug out is knowing when to bug out. Most survival instructors teach that it’s best to shelter in place as long as you can; but there are always cases that go against that advice. The situation in Northern California clearly fits that description. In that case, getting out sooner is clearly better than getting out later. If nothing else, it helps you to avoid the traffic.

But that requires knowing what’s coming, before it becomes public knowledge. In other words, you need good, solid information about each and every one of the risk elements that can affect you. That way, you can take action before it is too late.

Don’t just depend on traditional sources of information. The news media has proven that we can’t trust them; so why should we trust them for this? They could easily avoid telling of a pending disaster, just to further some political point that they feel is more important. To the left, we are nothing more than pawns in their power game, so they don’t really care what happens to us.

In the case in point, the knowledge that they had just passed through an extremely wet winter should have been a warning to anyone who recognized that dam as a threat. That would then lead to further investigation, finding how high the water was. From there, they would want to keep an eye on the water level, seeing it continue to rise and the mounting risk that it was creating.

Don’t Trust “Expert” Analysis

While experts have their place, we shouldn’t put all our trust in what they say. In this case, experts had said that the emergency spillway was safe for much more water than what was pouring over it. Yet they quickly found that their analysis was incorrect. Hey, they’re human, they can make mistakes too.

Those experts were even faced with complaints, filed by various organizations, which stated that the design of the emergency spillway was inadequate and not up to government mandated standards. Yet, bowing to the pressure of their own senior management, who didn’t want to pay the expense of capping the emergency spillway with concrete, they stood their ground, saying that it was safe.

So listen to what the experts say, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Make your own analysis, based upon the knowledge you have and logic. If something doesn’t look right to you, there’s a good chance that it isn’t.

Trust Your Gut, Don’t Wait

While the people weren’t given much notice, I’m sure there were one or two who had developed their own idea of what was happening. Knowing that, I would be surprised if they didn’t have thoughts of bugging out early. Had they followed their instincts, they would have been the safest and most comfortable people out there.

I understand that we don’t want to disturb our lives for nothing. That makes sense. At the same time, there are situations where we need to disturb our lives. This is such a situation. Maybe nothing will happen; but maybe it will. With that being the case, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You can always call it a practice drill.

Have Gasoline on Hand

fuel Unsurprisingly, one of the problems the evacuees faced was that the gas stations ran out of fuel, leaving them without enough gas to get their cars to where they were going.

Gas stations don’t stock fuel for an emergency, but rather to meet their daily sales. There is no way that they can meet the needs of a mass evacuation.

In this evacuation, as in any other, a large number of vehicles ended up parked on the side of the road, when they ran out of gas.

When you consider that most people run their cars on the bottom half of the tank, that’s not at all surprising. I’ve got a shocking message for those people, it doesn’t cost any more to keep the top half of the tank filled, than it does to keep the bottom half filled.

More than that, you should have a stock of gasoline on hand, all the time. That’s a bit tricky, because gasoline doesn’t store well. But if you rotate that gas supply, putting it in your vehicle’s tank and replacing it with fresh gasoline every six months, you’ll always have a good supply of gasoline for bugging out with, should the need arise.

Have Alternate Escape Routes

Not only are the gas stations inadequate for a mass evacuation, the highways are too. Highways are expensive to build, so they build them based upon actual and projected traffic. Adding enough extra lanes to handle a mass evacuation is impractical.

This means that the highways are going to be overcrowded and that traffic will slow to a snail’s pace in any evacuation. But in most cases, the side streets and back ways will be totally devoid of traffic. There will be ways that will be open, especially country and farm roads that aren’t used a whole lot. Learn those routes and make sure that you have maps to use in figuring out alternate ways to get out of Dodge.

Have a Destination

Finally, make sure you have somewhere to go. I don’t know about you, but the last place I’d want to go is some overfilled school gymnasium, which had been turned into a refugee center. I’d much rather pitch a tent outside and have a modicum of privacy.

Most people will only go as far as they have to, in order to avoid the disaster. So, you can easily get away from the crowd by going a little farther. Don’t stop in the first town you get to, go on through and stop in another, on down the road. There will be less people there competing for hotel rooms and other necessities.

Better yet, scout out some good locations to go to in the case of an emergency. Take a few weekends off and do some traveling, visiting other cities and finding the resources that you’d need to have, if you have to abandon your home. That way, you have some idea of where to go.

Be Prepared

Emergencies can happen at any time. I’m sure that the majority of the people living downstream of that dam had no idea that they were in danger. Their first indication that there was a serious problem was when they were told to evacuate. Since most of them were unprepared, they ended up leaving with whatever they could grab.

The truly sad thing is that they could have received adequate notice, if the authorities were willing to share information about what was happening. But they didn’t.

While they gave a flash flood warning to Sacramento, miles downstream, they didn’t say a thing to the people who lived closer. Those were the people who ended up having to evacuate with a one hour notice.

That’s the way we can expect things to happen. That’s why it’s a good idea to be prepared. We never know when an emergency will happen, how much information will be withheld from us or how much time we’ll have to evacuate, but we can prepare to deal with a disaster.

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This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

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Urban Survival with The Prepping Academy

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Urban Survival Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! On “The Prepping Academy” for this episode our host Forrest and Kyle are discussing urban survival. You might be thinking to yourself this doesn’t apply to you. Let us assure you it does. Current statistics say that approximately 82% of the United States population … Continue reading Urban Survival with The Prepping Academy

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How To Make Lye At Home

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Making Lye At Home

Knowing how to use what you have on hand to make what you need is one of the hallmarks of a true prepper or homesteader. So is repurposing items and avoiding as much waste as possible.

So, in that frame of mind, what do you do with all the ash left after you build a fire, or dozens of them throughout a winter? Make lye!

There are many uses for lye, chemically named potassium hydroxide. You may also hear it called caustic soda or caustic potash. There are two different chemicals referred to as lye – the type that we’re talking about today that’s made from wood ash, and sodium hydroxide, which is made from salt.

The reason that we’re focusing on the type made from ash is that all of the ingredients that you need to make it are already right there in your house. Actually, you only need two ingredients – water and ash.

That’s it. To make sodium hydroxide, which is a common ingredient in industrial cleaners and caustic products such as drain cleaner, you need carbon electrodes and a power source. Not exactly prepper-friendly.

What’s Lye Used For?

So what, you may ask, is lye used for? Well, several things. First, it’s a necessary ingredient in soap.

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You also need lye to make biodiesel and can use it to adjust the pH of your soil. There are also cooking uses for lye, such as making chocolate and preserving processed foods, but that’s pretty delicate and it’s completely outside my wheelhouse.

Oh, and lye also degrades soft tissues and, given enough time, will soften and break down bone. This was actually a trick used by a famous mobster to dispose of bodies. So on that note, let’s talk about how to safely handle lye.

Handling Lye

You need to exercise extreme caution when using lye because if it comes into contact with your skin, it will almost instantly start interacting with the fatty tissue to turn you into a bar of soap!

Seriously, that’s kinda what happens. Wear goggles because it can – and will – put you blind. It’s a good idea to use gloves and wear long sleeves, too. If you happen to get lye on your skin, pour vinegar on it to neutralize it.

Lye will also erode some metals – specifically aluminum – so be careful what you make it in.

Ingredients Needed to Make Lye

We’ve already discussed that you only need two ingredients to make lye: water and ash. Sounds easy, right? Yes it is, but you can’t use any water and ash or else the lye won’t leech properly out of the ash and it will be too weak to be effective.

Rainwater is the best and cheapest water to use. You don’t want to use tap water regardless of whether it’s city or well because of the minerals and chemicals in it. You can use water distilled using a steam process, but that can get expensive quickly. So, get a nice rainwater catcher and you’re in business.

It’s always a good idea to have rainwater collection vessels anyway, because it can be used as a backup water source or as a source of gray water to wash clothes and water plants. Well now you have yet another use for it.

You can’t use just any ash, either. Well, technically you can, but the soap that’s made from this type of lye made from softwoods and coniferous trees will be soft soap instead of hard soap. Good woods include ash, apple, hickory, beech, cherry, birch, elm, oak, walnut and maple.

You want to use hardwoods for your fires anyway because it burns longer, and we all know that you can’t use pine in your woodburners or fireplaces unless you want the resin to accumulate and burn you out at some point, likely in the middle of the night.

Lye Making Methods

So now that we know what woods and water to use to make the best lye, let’s talk about a couple of methods.

There are three basic ways to make lye at home:

  • the ash bucket method
  • the barrel method
  • the cooking method.

They all three work; it’s just a matter of personal preference and how much effort you’re willing to invest.

We’ll discuss them in the order that I just listed but again, a reminder not to use aluminum containers. Use glass, wood, enamel, stainless steel, or heavy-duty plastic.

One final tip: some of the old timers would add 2 percent or so lime to the ash mixture to make sure it produces a good hard soap. Salt works too, but you add it to the fat during the soap-making process instead of at the lye phase. Use about 2 ½ pints salt to 5 gallons of fat.

The Ash Bucket Method

This is pretty much exactly what the name implies. It’s kind of the lazy prepper’s way of making lye. Add a few cups of hot water directly to your full ash bucket and stir. Make sure you have a second ash bucket to hold your dry ashes! Let it sit for a few hours, stirring every thirty minutes or so.

Use a ratio of about 2 parts water to one part ash. Equal amounts work, too, but don’t exceed a ratio of around 3:1 water to ash if you want your lye to make quickly.

Once you’ve stirred it several times throughout the afternoon, do the egg test. This is a great way to test the alkalinity of your lye water. If you drop the egg in and it sinks, the lye is too weak and you need to let it sit for a while longer. Stirring more frequently may be helpful, too.

The lye has the perfect pH when the egg floats with about a quarter-sized part of it sticking out of the water. If your lye accidentally gets too strong, just add a bit more water. Throw the egg away when you’re done because it’s not edible after coming into contact with the lye.

Once your lye is perfect, pour it slowly and carefully from the ash bucket into another bucket making sure that you don’t pour any of the ashes into the mix.

Video first seen on Eddie Borges.

The Barrel Method

To make lye using the barrel method, you’ll need a water-tight wooden (or stainless steel) barrel and three catch receptacles. Drill several small holes in the bottom of the barrel, then set it up on bricks or blocks that you can get your catch basin underneath of it to collect the lye. Make sure it’s stable – the last thing you want to do is spill lye everywhere.

Line the bottom with a layer of clean stones so that the straw that you’re using in the next step doesn’t clog the holes. Put a thick layer of straw over in the bottom of the barrel, then fill it almost all the way with ash. Pour hot water over it, then remove the container underneath that’s now full of weak lye water.

You’ll have to repeat this process several times, just pouring the used, filtered water over the ash and straw until the lye becomes strong enough. Just so you know, the lye is perfectly fine, but the straw may discolor it a bit by turning it yellow.

After you’ve repeated this process five or six times, do the egg test and continue accordingly.

Alternatively, you can use a barrel with a spigot instead of the holes and just let the water sit in it for several hours and test. When it’s done, just drain the lye out the spigot, leaving the ash residue behind.

The Cooking Method

This method is perfectly acceptable but you need to make sure that the room is well-ventilated just to be on the safe side. We’re going to start the process by adding the ashes and the water to your pot. Bring it to a slow boil or simmer and cook it for a half hour or so, then allow it to cool and do the egg test.

If it’s not strong enough, pour the water over a fresh batch of ashes and repeat until your lye is as alkaline as it needs to be. And be careful that none of it splashes on you as you boil it.

See, now that you know that lye isn’t so hard to make, you can do it yourself whenever you need it as long as you have ashes and rain water, just like our ancestors used to make it.

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Read This Before Start Building An Utility Trailer

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Survivopedia Read This Before Start Building An Utility Trailer

Even though there are plenty of pre-built new and used utility trailers on the market, they may not meet your exact needs. If you are going to use the trailer for any kind of prepper application, it is best to make sure you have everything you want in the design.

As with so many other things, this means you will more than likely need to design and build the trailer yourself. While this may cost more in terms of time and labor, in the end it may save your life and make living in the post crisis world easier than expected.

If you are looking to expand or upgrade your DIY skills, building a utility trailer will give you plenty of practice.

Stages of Building Your Trailer

These brutal financial times make it difficult to justify building a utility trailer that may or may not be needed to address some kind of major future crisis. Surprisingly enough, you don’t need to build a utility trailer years, or even months in advance of a major social collapse.

By keeping the following points in mind, you can build a suitable trailer in just a few days, or even do so after a major crisis happens.

As you think about how long it will take to build a utility trailer, keep the following points in mind. You can divide the timeline into five main parts:

1. Planning and designing the trailer

You can plan and design a trailer at little or no cost. Make your basic plans on paper, and then do your research for free online. Look at other designs on the market, find out what materials are available, and get a good sense of how much all the parts will cost. Once you have the blueprint, parts list, and projected assembly plans, just about everything else can be done in a matter of days.

When of making up a parts list, include as many recycled or salvage parts as you can, and add at least 2 or 3 alternatives that suit your needs. This will make it easier to choose parts later. If you run out of time before acquiring all the building materials, you can use this list during and after a major crisis as a guide to viable materials.

2. Obtaining raw materials

Before you buy materials, purchase any tools that you might need. These tools can also be used for many other household and travel needs, so they won’t go to waste. The more time you spend using basic power and hand tools, the better off you will be in any situation.

The more time you have for obtaining building materials, the better. Aside from being able to budget more easily, you will see if there are reusable materials in flea markets, junk yards, or estate sales that might be of use.

Individuals that are building and maintaining comprehensive bug out plans should take the salvage and alternative material list along on test excursions. This is an excellent time to take note of what items may be available on the way to your bug out location.

3. Building the trailer

Preparing for an emergency is never easy, especially when you are concerned that all your hard work will be stolen by rioters or others. An utility trailer can be a bit hard to hide, and just about everyone that sees it will know what it is, or remember that you have one. Once a major crisis occurs,these people will be looking for you and ready to take anything of value that you might have.

This is the main reason why I don’t recommend building a utility trailer from the top down and having it all ready to go. Rather, it is better to build the trailer in units, test them out, and then be ready to assemble them at a moment’s notice. Many systems are small enough to be hidden in your home or garage, and then assembled later on when the need arises. If you make fast assembly and modular system designs part of your plans, this process may be easier than you would expect.

 4. Testing everything out

There is a definite trade off between testing out a completed trailer and keeping its existence as secret as possible. Doing your best to test specific modules may not be enough when you actually assemble the trailer.

Your best option will be to try and assemble the trailer in a quiet location where no one will know. Once you know everything works together as a unit, you can always take everything apart and then reassemble it in time of need.

5. Maintenance

As soon as you begin keeping supplies on hand, or materials to build the trailer itself, you will always need to be concerned about maintenance.

For example, if you purchased aluminum for the sides of the trailer or other parts, they may still need painting, lubrication, or other routine care to prevent them from being ruined.

Where to Get Materials From

Have you ever gone to a local hardware store, home improvement store, or automotive shop only to be disappointed by the inventory? You may find some items in these stores to get you started on a DIY product, while other items may not be available (thicker aluminum, for example).

Be careful how you shop online, and you should be able to keep your building plans secret.

Here are some other places where you might find building materials at a more reasonable price:

  • Local auctions and surplus events. Newspapers and websites dedicated to your town or city may list these venues as well as what kinds of materials are available.
  • Watch the classified ad listings in supermarkets, department stores, or other areas where estate sales, flea markets, or other private sales might be listed.
  • Military surplus outlets may also be of some use.

Check the end of the article for a list of websites that may help to salvage or find construction surplus materials.

Basic Parts

The absence of a means of propulsion doesn’t mean utility trailers are simple, or that you can build them with a lack of care and consideration. A poorly designed or constructed trailer can spell disaster. Do not cut corners or reduce quality if you want to build a reliable trailer!

Wheels, Axle, Suspension, and Braking Systems

The axle and suspension system must be able to support the entire weight of the trailer and everything in it. These parts must also have the flexibility to absorb shock as the trailer moves without bending excessively or breaking.

Many utility trailers have smaller wheels, but bear in mind that you might take the trailer off road or into areas with deep ruts, mud, or broken pavement. Spend a bit more on larger wheels with deeper and heavier treads so that the trailer passes more easily over these areas.

Basic Frame

The frame must work in conjunction with the suspension, axle, and braking system to provide a solid foundation for the rest of the trailer. No matter whether you choose an open design or a closed one, the suspension must be sturdy and durable. A frame that is built independent of the suspension will give you more options and also much better performance.

Coupler and Tongue Jack

If you do not have a good quality coupler and tongue jack on the trailer, it can lead to a number of problems including:

  • The trailer may break way from the vehicle pulling it along.
  • It may sway from side to side or be very hard to control when the pulling vehicle turns.
  • A poorly designed coupler may be difficult to connect and disconnect as needed.

Wall Frame

The wall frame must still be study enough to keep all of the items in the trailer secure no matter whether you design an open trailer or a closed one. Choose frame material that will not bend or buckle if objects inside the trailer hit it.

It is also best to choose a frame material that is sturdy enough to accommodate the weight of a roof and enclosure if you decide to make these changes later on. Even if you decide on low walls now, make sure that you can bolt on taller pieces later on without sacrificing on frame strength.

Roof Frame (optional)

Try to make the roof frame sturdy enough to accommodate the roof covering and storage for other items. It never hurts to create a roof top frame that can also be used to house solar panels, small wind turbines, or other devices used to generate electricity, gather water, or carry out other tasks.


If you are looking for a cheap easy way to enclose the trailer, start off with canvas, and then keep a vinyl covering for times when you need to keep the interior as dry as possible. As time and budget allow, enclose the trailer with aluminum or some other more permanent and durable material. As long as the roof is made from a solid material (polymer or resin might work), you could also generate power and still use canvas for the trailer sides.

Access Points

Most people that build low walled trailers do not worry about doors or windows. On the other hand, even if you plan to live in a canvas covered trailer, you’ll need to enter, exit, add to, and remove items from the trailer.

Ventilation and adequate air flow are also important so that you don’t wind up with moisture, mold, and mildew buildups inside the trailer. Doors and windows on solid side, enclosed trailers can also make it more comfortable to live in.

Security System

When all your worldly possessions are going to be packed in a trailer going a long distance, security systems are crucial.

You can use electronic surveillance systems as well as specialty locks and bolts. Just remember that these systems are only as good as the materials used to build the rest of the If the sides are made of canvas or vinyl, there will not be much sense in installing locks. Instead, think about what kind of weapons you can use to defend the trailer as well as any devices that can be used to deter people from approaching it.

Internal Features

Shelves, seats, tie down areas, and privacy enclosures are all important for a multi-purpose utility trailer. Keep weight down by using plastic furnishings or ones that can be packed away easily.

For example, beanbag chairs are lightweight and can be put together to make a bed. Alternatively, use plastic tubs to store your items and then put an air mattress on top of them. Just because internal features need to be light weight and simple, that does not mean you have to be uncomfortable or unable to enjoy whatever time you may need to spend in the trailer.


Aside from running computers or other devices that store important data, electricity is important for power tools used to fix the trailer or build parts that were not complete before started using it. There are many devices that can be used to power a utility trailer, like different wind turbine designs that will lend themselves well to sitting on top of a trailer. As long as the trailer is in motion, the turbines will spin.

You can make a series of smaller turbines that are housed in other parts of the front of the trailer and then combine them into a single battery pack. This is especially important if you want your trailer to look as inconspicuous as possible. A few fans hidden behind grills will not be as noticeable as solar panels or a shell design turbine sitting on top of the trailer.

Make your home 100% immune from future power outages or blackouts with this DIY Home Energy System! 

Water and Sanitation

Many people that don’t plan on living in a utility trailer after a major crisis occurs think they can ignore water and sanitation issues.

On the other hand, you are always going to need clean water. As such, you should at least have some tools on hand so that you can purify water or pull it from other resources. Even if you store away plastic and a shovel so that you can retrieve water vapor as it evaporates from the ground, you will be ahead of the game.

Setting aside a small part of the trailer for sanitation and privacy needs is more important than you realize. At the very least, bring a few items along that you can use to meet these needs once they are assembled.

Tools and Skills You Need for the Project

You will need common tools such as screwdrivers, hammers, pliers, metal cutters, drills, and hand saws for building your trailer, but also other items. These tools require electricity to operate, but it’s not impossible to make a sturdy trailer without them.

  • Welder – you need a welder to join together steel rods used in the trailer frame. Even though welding is not especially difficult to learn, you need some practice before you weld the rods together. Remember to wear a welding hood, gloves, and an appropriate apron. No matter how fascinating welding and the sparks it makes may be, remember that you are working with very high temperatures and a light source that can blind you in a matter of seconds.
  • Circular saw, jig saw, and hand drill – these power tools make cutting boards and other materials much easier and faster. Perhaps I am a bit old fashioned in my preference for corded tools, however I have yet to find battery powered tools that lasted as long or provided as much power when I needed it most.
  • Hydraulic Jacks – you need at least 4 to support the frame while you are mounting the axles and wheels.
  • Hoists and Pulley Systems – if you start building in modules, hoists and pulleys make it possible to assemble completed parts in a matter of minutes.

Equipment and Furnishings: Buy or Make Your Own?

When you make your own racks, shelves, and other furnishings, it’s easy to create what you need and in the size that you need it. But if you don’t have the time or patience to make furniture, it can be a very tedious task. Unless you upcycle free wood palettes or other materials, you’ll find that the cost of making your own furnishings is about the same as buying pre-made models.

Research on camping and RV gear, and you’ll find all sorts of things that can be used to make the utility trailer more comfortable and convenient. In many cases, this equipment may not meet all of your needs. You may not be able to repair the items if they break down, or they may not be as durable as you would like.

If you want cutting edge designs or newer technologies, those devices may also be more expensive. For example, if you want to include a wind turbine, it may be impossible to find the best in a pre-fabricated form, so you’d better look at different bladeless turbine designs, and build something that meets your needs.

Newer polymers and other materials on the market can make this task as simple as working with a 3D printer and a few well designed templates. Aside from cost and innovative concerns, when you make your own equipment you can always add room for adaptability. If you need to scavenge parts or build systems that are easy to repair, there is nothing like developing your own designs.

DOs and DON’Ts When Building an Utility Trailer

Building an utility trailer is like many other things in life. There are some basic things you should always do, and others that you should avoid.

Here are some of the most common practices that lead to building a trailer that will be durable and useful or one that will not be worth the effort you put into it.

  • Do not cut costs on critical components such as the frame, suspension, axle, and coupler. Everything in the trailer depends on how sturdy and durable these items are. If you don’t know how to weld, or don’t have enough practice in metal working, make sure that you know what you are doing before you tackle building these parts.
  • Do seek training for everything you need to do. From wiring the trailer for electricity to installing windows and shelves, it never hurts to take a few courses on these and other building oriented topics.
  • Never work on the trailer when you are tired, angry, or sick. Most of the time, you will be working with power tools, chemicals, or something else that can cause injury or death. Exhaustion, excess emotions, and illness can make you careless and impatient. Even if you are not injured, the mistakes you may make can come back to haunt you when you put the trailer on the road and discover these “hidden features”.
  • Always observe safety precautions. Goggles, ear protection, gloves, aprons, steel toed boots, dust masks, and respirators are all necessary safety gear that should be used. While many people today recognize the need for goggles, far too many do not wear protective ear plugs and respirators. Never forget that everything you are working with will create some kind of dust, smoke, or gas. None of these fumes or dust are good for your lungs or your health.
  • Give yourself plenty of room to work. Over the years, I have seen many accidents caused by a simple lack of working space. Make sure that you have plenty of room to lay all the parts and tools out. Keep your work area neat and clean. No matter whether you are working indoors or outside, it is all to easy to take a step backwards and trip over something you forgot was back there.
  • Make sure that others working with you observe safety and good working habits. If you work with a team, it is all too easy for you, and others to put things where they can pose a risk to others. If everyone makes it a point to put things back where they belong, it will be much easier to avoid accidents.
  • Always keep detailed records of everything you did and how each system fits together. Later on, if you need to diagnose problems or make repairs, these notes will give you a valuable point of reference. Include photographs taken during the construction process, these will make it easier to orient and prepare for making any required changes. Do not forget to update your notes and photos once you are done.
  • Never use drugs or alcohol while working on the trailer. As soon as you lose any kind of control of yourself, both the tools you are using and the materials can also get out of control. This can lead to cuts, bruises, burns, and other serious injuries. If you must have a drink or take some kind of medication, stop for the day and then go back to it when your thinking and your reflexes are in better condition.

Take the time to design and build a custom utility trailer, and you’ll develop a perfect prepper solution!

While this task isn’t as difficult as it seems, you will need to put in a considerable amount of time, effort, and money. When a disaster strikes and you are able to move and live comfortably in the trailer, you will see that it is well worth the effort.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.







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9+ Essential Items For Your Bedroom Survival Kit

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Survivopedia 9+ Essential Items For Your Bedroom Survival Kit

We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, so there is a good chance that you will awake to some sort of emergency at some point, if you haven’t already.

There you are, sound asleep until you are jolted awake by a bump in the night, a deafening siren, the rumbling of an earthquake or the shouts of a loved one. How prepared are you?

The purpose of the gear you have bedside should be to get you oriented and situationally aware and then get you to a safe room (often the master bedroom closet). This will delay attackers and provides hard cover as well as structural support against disaster to keep you safe and give you time to communicate and ready an appropriate response whatever emergency you are facing.

Situational Awareness

As you start awake, the first order of business is whether this is like a thousand other times you have awakened and gone back to sleep or whether this time is different.

Since you may be making that determination in a state of sleep drunkenness, it is to your benefit to make use of tools that can improve your situational awareness.

1. Worn Equipment

I make a habit of wearing an ordinary-looking necklace that has a small LED on it and some restraint escape tools inside it. This way I can always find my way in the dark, start a fire and have a shot at escape should I be unlawfully detained, even if I am hauled out of bed in the middle of the night in my underwear or otherwise caught at a disadvantage.

I started wearing it because I travel to places where the kidnapping of US citizens is a significant threat, but I found it so useful to always have an LED handy that I just kept wearing it. I vary its configuration depending on where I am and what I am doing.

The Survival Necklace

You can purchase a basic necklace pre-tied from Oscar Delta or contact them and ask if they’ll build you a custom model that meets your needs and level of training, which may require that you email them from a DOD or Department email, depending on what you want, since they are in the UK.

I suggest that you learn to tie and build your own so you can customize it as your environment and needs change and because survival is the king of all DIY pursuits. If you need help, just ask.

Survival Necklace

I’ll list the contents of mine as it is today, but I change it as needed and tie new ones as old ones get worn out in life or used in training.

  • Technora 200 Friction Saw – Cut zip ties, flex cuffs, rope.
  • Zirferrotech Zircon Ceramic Microstriker Bead – Great ferro rod striker and breaks tempered glass (side & rear car windows) with surprisingly little force both due to its extreme hardness. Your car door could be jammed in a crash, you could need to exit the rear of a vehicle when the locks have been disabled or you could need to safely break auto glass to rescue someone else. Non-ferrous.
  • Tungsten Carbide Microstriker Bead – Like the wheel on a lighter. Breaks tempered glass.
  • Large Fishing Swivel – I could have used any number of snap hooks but wanted mine to be able to pull double duty as fishing gear if needed. I just smooth any sharp edges.
  • SO LED – Red or White light models made by CountyComm. Availability is spotty but very inexpensive so buy a bunch if you find them. The slide switch is easy to actuate with one hand. Positive on/off. Simple design. MOLLE/snap clip accessory for bags and gear.
  • Silicone Tubing – Fuel line tubing conceals handcuff key and bobby pin.
  • Advanced Handcuff Key 3 – Matches the tooth spacing for TOOOL’s ultimate handcuff key. SnakeDr removed some metal from the barrel on this model so it works with the maximum number of high security handcuff models possible and still opens standard handcuffs.
  • Bobby Pin – “Reach around” tool for the handcuff key in case you get illegally detained in handcuffs with your fingers away from the keyways. Handcuff shim, lock pick, lock tension tool, sharp bit of metal to work knots or duct tape, etc.
  • Ferro/Magnesium Toggle – I use firesteel.com. Availability is hit and miss, but they are the best performing ferro rods I have tested to date and I have tested dozens. The bond between the magnesium and ferro rod is probably as strong as either and this combination gives magnesium to use as tinder which is a big plus in the Rocky Mountains in winter or in 99% humidity in the Brazilian jungle.

2. Light and Footwear

If you are jarred awake by an earthquake or similarly destructive event, your bedroom windows may be all over your bedroom floor, making footwear necessary to prevent injury.

When you wake, your eyes are adjusted to the dark, but you need enough light to orient yourself and grab what you need without making racket.

I prefer an LED with a low red setting work setting to save my night vision while I get my bearings when I wake up in the night. I tried the Streamlight Sidewinder Compact Military IR but it turned out to have a design flaw.


The switch takes a lot of force to turn and is just soldered to the circuit board without any load bearing support to the housing so they end up breaking after a year or so of moderate use.

I replaced it with the Petzl Strix IR, which has been rock solid to date. It has an IR IFF strobe, but lacks a visible strobe. I guess Petzl decided that was outside the scope of use for this type of light.

3. Cell Phone & Charging Cradle

Your smart phone can be a powerful tool for situational awareness, but the problem is that mobile voice service is often the first thing to stop working in a major emergency, so be sure to choose emergency notification services that notify you via text messaging.

If you haven’t yet, check out the National Weather Service page if you are in the USA or the equivalent in other countries and choose SMS notification services that are the best fit for the risks you face based on your location, climate, employment, etc.

Most of the notification services are free, but you can always pay for more features. Get the FEMA app if you are in the US (I haven’t had any black helicopters come for me yet) and any other notification services that apply to you.

Just keep in mind that these notification services are third party and are no substitute for All Hazards Weather Radio. The technology necessary to run the cellular phone network makes it inherently fragile. Because the All Hazards Weather Radio system is much simpler, it is much less fragile.

4. Public Alert Certified All Hazards Radio

Midland WR-120 Public Alert Certified RadioEvery survivalist should have one of these radios!

They can notify you of severe weather alerts, large scale disasters alerts such as earthquakes or any event warranting notification of the public and has saved my bacon more than once.

Given that most of us spend a third of our lives sleeping, without something to wake us up in an emergency, we very well may sleep right through the first crucial hours of an emergency. In an emergency where it is necessary to bug out to survive, you very well may miss your window.

As I consult with survivalists, I often find that they have spent thousands of dollars on 4-wheel drive vehicles and bug out bags and made elaborate preparations to bug out, but don’t have a $30-$60 Public Alert Certified radio that close a chink in their armor that leaves them exposed 33% of the time.

It’s good to have that warning the other 67% of the time that you are not sleeping as well.

There are two types of All Hazards Weather Radio:

  • NOAA Certified
  • NOAA Public Alert Certified.

Here, we are focused on the later. Many radios are NOAA certified, but not Public Alert Certified. They will receive NOAA alerts and can listen to weather radio channels but lack many of the features of Public Alert Certified radios, which are programmable with codes for each county to only receive alerts for the counties you specify.

They are programmable by severity, have a “wake up” feature that allows alerts to turn on the radio, display information important about the threat as a banner in their LED display, and have ports to attach external notification devices such as strobe lights, sirens or pillow shakers to help notify the hearing impaired and talk to other equipment.

To clarify, the words “Public Alert Certified” only appear on the programmable radios with external notification and auto wake up. If possible, you want a radio that is not programmable to your county, type of threat and threat level. Otherwise, your radio will constantly alert you to events that will not affect you.

By telling the radio what you are and are not concerned about (programming it) you can eliminate false alarms.

5. Security System Reporting Mechanisms

If you have a home security system, make sure that you have reporting mechanisms at your bedside. Many older alarm panels will tell you which zone was breached, but this will not be of any help unless you have a panel installed beside your bed so you can see it.

Many newer systems can send notifications and even real-time video to your cell phone, but may need Internet access to do so. Make sure that all alarm sensor and reporting has battery backup all the way from every sensor to the panel to your hub, switch or router to your cell phone.

If your system includes Dakota Alert MURS sensors, you will want a MURS radio receiver on your nightstand.

History has many survival lessons to teach on the subject of situational awareness sans electrical grid.

In the 1800’s in Utah Territory, there lived a man named Orrin Porter Rockwell.

Depending on who’s account you read, Porter Rockwell was an outlaw, a lawman, a bodyguard, a tracker and a scout in the Nauvoo Legion that waged a guerrilla campaign of harassment, robbing and burning supply trains, and preventing resupply of the US Army in the Utah War.

Porter was as famous as famous a gunfighter as Wyatt Earp, Doc Holladay, Bat Masterson or Tom Horn in his time and killed more men than all of them combined.

Between the friends and family of those he killed, upstart gunfighters looking to make a name, the men he jailed and those he fought against in the Utah War and other skirmishes, he certainly had to watch his back.

His employment had him on the trail tracking outlaws and guiding parties West to California during the gold rush which had him returning to the Salt Lake Valley alone and sometimes sleeping off a night of drinking on the trail, so Porter developed a strategy to give him some warning.

You might expect a man like Porter to have a large ferocious dog, but as many miles as he made horseback in a day would have killed most domestic breeds. Instead, he chose a little white dog that could ride with him horseback, behind his saddle.

He trained the dog to lick his face to wake him instead of barking when someone approached his camp. Porter’s portable biological alarm system helped him to die of old age instead of a bullet and is easily duplicated today and even easier if you don’t travel on horseback.

6. Smoke, Flammable Gas and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

It is easy to plan for the spectacular but improbable (based on history) threats and neglect threats that cause a lot of death and suffering. Make sure you have detectors throughout your home and in your bedroom.


Situational Awareness Is Key Gear Can't Help You If You Are Asleep

So, you are now awake at bedside with your headlamp and footwear, have identified a threat or possible threat and it’s time to act. For most threats, you will sound an alarm (if necessary, to alert other members of the household) strap on your home defense waist pack and make for your safe room.

7. Home Defense Pouch

A standard preparation that I recommend is to seek professional self-defense, firearms and legal training and then put together His & Hers’ home defense waist packs as-long-as it is legal for you and your spouse to carry concealed weapons in your home.

If you carry openly, a belt can serve the same purpose. The idea behind this approach is that you can grab a single piece of gear, buckle it on and have the basic tools of self-defense at your disposal. I recommend keeping this in a hidden and locked safe that can be accessed quickly and in the dark.

I am not alone amongst firearms instructors in recommending this approach. Should you come out on top in defending your life, a second battle begins, one that will determine your liberty.

Consider your jurisdiction, the laws and how officers, prosecutors and judges may apply them. Depending on their dispositions, you may have a better chance of not going prison if you use ordinary-looking equipment and firearms than if you sleep with full battle rattle at the side of your bed.

Self Defense Pouch Contents & Training Gear for Drill with Hand to Hand

The main purpose of the home defense pouch is to give you the tools you need to fight your way to the cover of a safe room.

Click here to get your Green Beret’s Guide To Combat Shooting Mastery & Active Shooter Defense!

8. Home Defense Waist Pack

  • Centerfire Pistol with tritium sights – You need to be able to see your sights. You can keep a sidearm in the waist pack or place your sidearm in the waist pack when you take it off at the end of the day.
  • Spare Magazine or Speed Loader
  • Tactical Flashlight – You need to clearly identify intent, ability and opportunity and see what is behind your attacker.
  • Knife – Will never experience a stoppage and won’t run out of ammunition until you stop swinging.
  • Less-lethal Option – Lethal force is not always the best solution.
  • Compact GSW Kit – Any time you strap on a firearm you should also strap on a trauma kit.
  • Cell Phone – You are not going to want to have to go looking for a cell phone if you need to use this waist pack.

9. Turnout Bag

You may have seen firefighters using turnout bags to get ready quickly without forgetting anything. Under the stress of a life and death emergency, we are more likely than normal to forget things.

Checklists and turnout bags help mitigate this risk. It is important for survivalists to include checklists in turnout bags because we need to include ID, passports and other items that we can often only have one copy of. I keep these items in an EDC valet and check them off as I turnout.

The turnout bag concept lends itself handily to the Modular Survival Kit Model as turnout bags and specific ensembles can be layered on top of turnout gear as needed based on threat, mission, environment, climate, mode of transport and other relevant factors. You can read more about turnout bags and checklists here.

Common Types of Turnout Bags and Ensembles

  • Covert (Everyday) TOB – Normal “gray” concealed carry clothing in earth tones.
  • Overt TOB – Minuteman bag with overt camouflage.
  • First Responder – If you work or volunteer as a first responder (or plan to) you will need a dedicated turnout bag for that.
  • CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) Ensemble – These threats require specific personal protective equipment and training.
  • Extreme Cold Weather Ensemble, Covert
  • Extreme Cold Weather, Overt

Safe Room

A safe room provides a protected area to shelter in place or to get ready out of your turnout bag before grabbing your bug out bag and proceeding to an assembly area in the event that your home becomes unsafe.

Many families decide to locate safe rooms in master bedroom closets or adjacent to them. Locating it at ground level or above gives heavier-than-air gases someplace else to go, but requires more shielding to protect against radiation if it is planned to also serve as a fallout shelter.

Safe Room Features

  • Turnout Bags
  • Hard Cover – Protection against small arms. If you lack the funds, you can measure between studs and pour steel-reinforced concrete panels to install between them.
  • Structural Reinforcement – Protection against earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes.
  • Reinforced Locking Steel Door – To slow down aggressors.
  • Alarm Panel
  • Monitor – For cameras so you can monitor the situation outside. Lacking money for this for my first safe room, I installed a framed one-way mirror which worked well and didn’t require power.
  • Long Guns with Lights – Don’t forget spare ammunition and a PC way to carry. Carrying it in a satchel instead of a plate carrier may avoid the appearance that you were hoping to need it.
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Escape & Utility Shutoff Tools – The rubble you escape from may not resemble the home you live in today. Windows and doors may jamb or be blocked.
  • First Aid & Trauma Kit – Include gear based on your family medical needs and risks such as Epi-pens, inhalers, insulin or Naloxone which can save lives.
  • Concealed Emergency Exit
  • Water & Food
  • Blankets & Pillows
  • Portable Toilet
  • Bug Out Bags
  • Materials to Flag Your Home – Flagging your own home can save time and may keep Search and Rescue personnel from breaking into your home to search it if you decide to evacuate. I will write an article describing how to do this.


Independent of what preparations you decide to implement, training will help iron out the kinks.

Start the drill in bed, dressed as you normally sleep. Don’t cheat and think you have it down because small details matter here and differentiate your precise situation, equipment and body from everyone else’s.

Note the time and kill the lights. Choose a few different emergency scenarios based on the types of emergencies you believe to be most probable. Run through the most probable. Note the time when you finish.

Debrief afterwards nothing what worked smoothly and effectively and was less effective than you would like and make changes. Running the most probable scenarios in sets of three times each will give the best return on your skill training.

When you are comfortable with the drill, work it in as the first step in a timed bug out drill. There is no substitute for experience, but stressed, timed training is about as close as you can get without responding to real emergencies.



This article was written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.




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3 Steps To Start A Fire When Everything Is Wet

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Start a fire when everything is wet

Starting a fire in adverse weather, whether is rain or wind or both is a very important survival skill every outdoors aficionado must possess. The ability of igniting a fire when things are less than perfect is a fine art which must be learned and practiced until mastery is achieved.

The thing is, nature doesn’t care much about our best laid plans, mice and men alike and an emergency never comes alone. I mean, when confronted with a survival situation, you’d at least expect fine weather, cool breezes and sunshine.

In reality, your survival in an emergency situation will become much more complicated than initially thought and I would dare to say nine times out of ten, as you’ll end up not only lost in the woods or wherever, but you’ll also have to deal with rain, cold and high winds.

Emergencies almost always bring bad weather with them, it’s almost like a 2 for the price of 1 deal. And that’s fine as long you’re prepared both phy