5 Fun Activities To Create A More Prepared Family

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5 Fun Activities To Create A More Prepared Family

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It’s the reason many big companies today are advertising to kids. It’s the reason app developers have stopped pandering to adults as a middleman to the children. It’s in the actions taken by nonprofits and institutions around the nation to create junior ambassadors. The children are the future. Their power simply cannot be denied.

But if we are not growing our own little ambassadors to fight for the cause of liberty and freedom, then how can we expect that heavy torch to be carried into the future? How can we expect the kids to be more self-reliant and independent? The answer is we cannot.

In this age of technological convenience, we must be creative if we hope to grip our children with seemingly ancient ideas of freedom and preparedness. With services like Amazon that deliver anything you ever could want to your doorstep, how can you convince them that doing things the hard way and the old way is needed?

So, what can we do to create a more prepared family?

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Here’s one solution: Blend their interests and desires into activities that bring them closer to self-reliance and preparedness. You see, to be an effective teacher or parent you must carry at least a bit of deception in your arsenal.

Here are five activities:

1. Geocaching.

If you are looking to get the family outside and hunt for some “buried treasure,” there is really no substitute for geocaching. It’s a game of following coordinates via GPS on your smartphone to a location where someone has hidden a cache.

5 Fun Activities To Create A More Prepared Family

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These caches contain very small items … and sometimes contain nothing. You can trade for items in the cache or just sign the booklet inside to let the next explorer know who was there before them.

Geocaching gets the kids outside and teaches them about the powerful method of hiding survival caches. Your survival caches may be filled with bullets and food storage, but these are a little more kid-friendly.

2. Self-defense.

Gone are the days when martial arts were exclusively for the tough guys. Even MMA gyms have incredible kid’s programs that teach them self-defense, among other great lessons. There is simply no better method than to throw them in a class with people their age who will quickly become their friends.

Spend time teaching your kids the good stuff. There are a lot of martial arts out there, but the fact is some are just more effective than others. Consider getting your kids into the following disciplines:

  • Muay Thai
  • Jiu Jitsu
  • Krav Maga

3. Minecraft.

5 Fun Activities To Create A More Prepared Family

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Minecraft is a totally creative buildable universe where your characters can work together not just to build cool structures but also to craft all the tools you’ll need to do so. This crafting element helps kids understand the manipulation of base materials and how they can be turned into something useful.

Example: If you are going to put glass windows in your home, you must collect sand and place it in your furnace. To power your furnace, you either will have to mine coal or make charcoal from wood.

The survival mode also requires you to hunt or farm to feed yourself. You must build shelter to protect yourself from many of the enemies.

In Minecraft, you also will have an inventory to manage. This means you will only have so much room to keep items that you collect.

The game is a blast with kids, and there is no other outlet where you can combine so many survival principles in a fun and enjoyable night-in. All the while, they will be learning about things like resources, crafting, farming, disaster, recovery and adaptability.

4. Shooting.

If your kids are old enough to shoot, then this is one of the most important things you can do as a family.

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Our Second Amendment rights are constantly under fire, and we need a generation of responsible gun owners to take our place. If our kids are going to fight for our rights, they must understand the truth about what a gun is, what it’s capable of and — most importantly — how to safely own and use one.

5. Camping.

You can mutate your camping trips into bug-out trips. It’s a very easy scenario to pose to the kids. Make your camping adventures a little more impromptu and try to utilize as little convenience as possible. Take your bug-out bags and use what’s inside of them.

5 Fun Activities To Create A More Prepared Family

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Challenge your kids to leave the electronics at home and bring with them only their wits. Of course, this will put more pressure on you to keep them entertained. Don’t worry; I have answers for that, too.

  • Navigation with a compass.
  • Finding wild edibles.
  • Firecraft.
  • Fishing.
  • Watching wildlife.

Camping is a no-brainer, but you can take it to another level if you are smart about how you spend your time.

There is an old saying: “Bait your hook with your heart and they will always bite.” When it comes to your family, it’s no different. Show them your passion and then compromise to make it fun for them.

What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

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It’s Gonna Doom Many Preppers (And They Don’t Even Know It)

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It's Gonna Doom Many Preppers (And They Don't Even Know It)

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People who are serious about preparedness have a lot to be concerned about. The considerations of post-disaster survival range from food to water to hygiene to self-protection to transportation to emergency medical care.

But there is one area of what we call “prepping” that is often overlooked: personal health and fitness. If sudden disaster were to strike, it is possible that your most valuable prep might be your own body. Those who are unfit and unhealthy might be limiting their capacity for independence both now and in whatever future.

I am not a health care provider or a fitness expert. Rather, I am an ordinary citizen with a personal testimony to share. Over the past several years, my weight has crept up and my overall health has deteriorated. When my blood work reported results so high that my provider wanted me to begin a regimen of medications this past spring, I resolved to turn things around by eating better and exercising more.

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It's Gonna Doom Many Preppers (And They Don't Even Know It)

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Five months later, I have lost 26 pounds and am closing in on my goal weight. But it is about far more than numbers on the scale. A follow-up with the laboratory and my provider revealed drastically reduced lipids and sugars, lower blood pressure, and increased lung capacity.

For many people, the side effects of physical fitness are at least as rewarding as the actual numbers on the scale and lab report and clothing sizes. In my case, my weight loss also has resulted in more self-confidence, a higher energy level, and feeling generally more positive.

Making the time and doing the work to increase my fitness level has made me a more able homesteader. Long hours on my feet during canning season, racing to the chicken house to investigate a sudden commotion, and weekend firewood-processing marathons are less taxing now.

And if disaster strikes, I will be more capable of keeping myself and my loved ones safe. While there are a lot of other factors that are important, the ability to walk, run, climb, push and haul might be some of the most needed.

Too many of us are obese, or lead sedentary lives, or live with addiction, or suffer from conditions that are exacerbated by lifestyle. This will not serve us well in the event of a disaster, and could possibly even jeopardize the welfare of those we love.

Be Prepared! Store An ‘Emergency Seed Bank’ For A Crisis Garden

It's Gonna Doom Many Preppers (And They Don't Even Know It)

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Consider the many scenarios in which physical fitness would be crucial. People may need to run to save a child or slip quietly out of sight in a forest. They might be called upon to walk long distances, climb a tree or ladder, rappel, pound a nail, heft an axe, operate a scythe, paddle a boat, swim, carry heavy loads, and work long days — all of which are possible for unfit people but will be more challenging.

Dependence upon cigarettes, alcohol, legal or illegal drugs, or even technology could possibly result in placing oneself at risk for a fix. Nobody wants that. Nobody wants to land in a post-disaster scenario with a bad knee, poor dental health, or gout, either.

None of this is to say that everyone has complete control over their own health. Accidents happen. Diseases happen. Genetics happen. But for the rest of us, it makes sense to do all we possibly can to be fit and healthy.

Nobody is perfect, and thank goodness we do not need to be. We all struggle with issues — my family history of heart disease and diabetes and my fondness for Dr. Pepper and Little Debbie’s will always be present in my life. But facing our health challenges head-on and dealing with them now instead of later is a win-win. We win now, we win in the event of a disaster, the people around us win because we will have fewer special needs and instead will be able to help others, and we win in terms of comfort and longevity if disaster never happens. The only people who really lose out if Americans become fit and healthy are the big pharmaceutical companies.

We do not need to look like body-builders or run like track stars. But we do need to reach for our personal best and make health and fitness a central component of our prepping goals.

Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Are you prepared to be unemployed?

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Are you prepared to be unemployed? Bob Howkins “APN Report” Audio in player below! You prep for disaster, stock up and fortify. Gain the tools & talent to handle catastrophe. But what if, instead of a bad storm, earthquake, tidal wave, forest fire or zombie attack, disaster comes visiting in a totally unexpected form. What … Continue reading Are you prepared to be unemployed?

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Prepping 101 In the beginning… or

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Prepping 101 In the beginning… or… How I scared the crap out of myself. Richard McGrath ” Finding Freedom” Audio in player below! Where to start and what to do when you come to realize that we really are not as secure and comfortable as we like to think we are.Once the shade is lifted … Continue reading Prepping 101 In the beginning… or

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4 Overlooked Crises You’re Probably Not Prepared For … But Should Be

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4 Overlooked Crises You’re Probably Not Prepared For … But Should Be

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It seems that preparedness is like fashion. At any point in time, there’s one disaster that seems to be in the spotlight more than others. I would say the “disaster of the moment” is the fear of an EMP, but others are not far behind.

An economic collapse, major natural disaster, terrorist attack – all of these are feared by the vast majority of those in the preparedness community, who go to great lengths to prepare.

But there are other disasters that they should be thinking about. In fact, the number of unique disasters and critical events that could affect us in this day and age are around 100, by my count. In this article, let’s examine the ones that are often ignored. No, I’m not talking about zombies and asteroids. Bear with me, and you’ll see that preparing for them won’t change your survival plans that much — and it won’t break the bank, either.

1. Electric shocks

When a hurricane or strong winds knock down the power lines and either you or a family member accidentally touches them, what should be done?

Before you help someone, you have to make sure you’re not in danger of getting in contact with electricity yourself. At high voltages, electric current will travel through air and shock you.

(As a side note, I say “shock” and not “electrocute” because electrocution is actually the death resulting from an electric shock.)

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The first thing you should do is break contact between the person and the power line. Use a pole or something similar made out of non-conductive material such as wood or plastic. Note that you can’t use gloves or a cloth, as the current will go right inside you.

The second step is to either give first aid or call an ambulance. If you don’t know how to give first aid, you should call 911 immediately.

2. Job loss

Why on earth would anyone list a job loss as a crisis? Because this is something that can affect anyone, and it could take months before you find another one. And most Americans already are living paycheck to paycheck. What will you and your children eat in the meantime? Why, your stockpile, of course! Enough said.

3. Death

It surprises me how many people don’t prepare for the actual and very unpleasant event of them dying. Granted, we don’t talk about death much, and we’re optimistic by nature … but there’s a question you need to ask yourself:

What will your family do without you?

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Some of the things you can do just in case it happens include:

  • Writing a will.
  • Making arrangements with a relative or friend to take care of your children or pets.
  • Teaching and training your kids to survive without you.
  • Mentally preparing them by openly talking about death.

4. Pickpocketing/robbery

Be honest with me, here: Are you really looking out for thieves when you’re in a crowd – or are you looking at your phone? If you’re not looking out for the bad guys, then you definitely need to work on your awareness, because no matter how careful you are, they’ll always find a way to steal your wallet.

It only happened to me once. I actually felt the guy trying to reach for my wallet inside my messenger bag. He was really smooth, I’ll tell you that.

What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:

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Nature’s Calling: Preparing For The Worst

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Nature’s Calling Preparing For The Worst By H.D. Imagine yourself at home in the living room, relaxing while listening to the news. During the broadcast, you hear one of the anchors say, “The state has officially issued a tornado watch and warns all residents to be prepared in case they have to evacuate.” You glance … Continue reading Nature’s Calling: Preparing For The Worst

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Are you mentally prepared?

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Are you mentally prepared? Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” In this episode I will discuss the mentally prepared aspect of prepping, most of us do not put much thought into this if any at all. Most of us think that having food, water, weapons are all we need, but mental health in time of crisis … Continue reading Are you mentally prepared?

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Are any of us prepared? prepper checklist

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Are any of us prepared? prepper checklist Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” This episode I will talk about how prepared we think we are, or aren’t. I will make a generalized checklist of what we should have and maybe a few things you might not have thought of. Many of us get a general Bob … Continue reading Are any of us prepared? prepper checklist

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Primitive Skills, Better Prepared

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Primitive Skills, Better Prepared
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live

3-20-16 Primitive Skills ShowThis week on Herbal Prepper Live, we’re talking to Michael Douglas of the Maine Primitive Skills School. Hear from one of the field’s experts how primitive skills can help you both in good times and in bad.

Michael Douglas is a Registered Maine Guide.  His passion for nature, awareness, tracking, primitive skills, and philosophy, has taken him around the globe in search of teachers and opportunities to learn new skills. He is a former student of Paul Rezendes, Tom Brown Jr., Jon Young, and many others.

3-20-16 Mike-BioMike’s passion for both learning and teaching “primitive” techniques has earned him a unique reputation in the scouting community and among professional educators. After pursuing survival skills as a U.S Marine, he started his own Survival School in 1989 at the University of Maine.  In 1993 he was the recipient of the Marion Rich Waterman Mayer Award from the University of Maine College of Education.

Since then he has been a consultant for Discovery Channels’ “Dual Survivor” and was featured on National Geographics’ “Doomsday Preppers”, where he received the highest “Survivability Score” of the shows first season. He has also coached reality television participants on Naked and Afraid and has been a mentor to college students, professors, professional educators, Eagle Scouts, and television personalities.

His apprenticeship program is internationally known, offering participants from all over the world immersion in Tracking, Survival, Awareness, Bow Making, Wild Edibles, Medicinal Plants, Hunting, Trapping, and much more.  August, 2016 will mark this school’s 27th year of sharing skills with people globally.

Currently, Mike is working with the Sami of Sapmi in present day Sweden to revive their cultural tools in the context of our modern society. He also directly trains the apprentices, and instructors at the school as well as a consultant in educational, corporate and entertainment venues.

Mike credits his patient wife Karen and his children, Ryan, Dakota, and Emily, with their love and support in helping him realize his lifelong dream – teaching outdoor skills to all levels from beginners to military instructors of the craft.
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The 5 Places In America You DON’T Want To Be When Society Collapses

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The 5 Places In America You DON’T Want To Be When Society Collapses

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What would you say is the number one threat to lead to an end-of-the-world-like scenario? A terrorist attack? An EMP strike? A natural disaster? An economic collapse?

All of these are possibilities, but in each one, a thick population density will make it far worse. There’s no denying that people panic when a crisis occurs, and that panic is only multiplied when more people are living closely to one another.

More people will be killed in a shorter period of time in the major cities, the roads will be clogged as people and families try to escape, and furthermore, just look at the other threats that we listed first. Many of them are directly connected to population density.

If an economic collapse were to occur, then urbanized cities would be simply unable to rebuild their economies as fast as more rural areas (with coal mining, logging, farmer’s markets, etc.) could.

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There are other factors that make certain areas in America unsafe and unsuitable for outlasting an apocalypse:

  • Strong natural disaster risks
  • A weak economy
  • High crime rates
  • Strict gun laws
  • A high cost of living
  • High taxes
  • Heavy traffic
  • Unfertile land for growing crops
  • Close proximity to nuclear/chemical power plants
  • Low populations of wild game and edible plants
  • Limited fresh water

In this story, we’re going to list out the five very worst retreat areas in the United States. These are the areas where you will definitely not want to be when disaster strikes, and if you live in or near any of these areas now, you may want to consider moving or have an alternate plan:

1. East Coast

Many survival and disaster experts agree that the East and West Coasts together are among the worst locations to survive a long-term disaster in the United States. This is because both meet the “unsafe factors” we just outlined. High population density? Check. High cost of living? Check.  Strict Gun Laws? For the Northeastern states, check. High crime rate? In many cities, yes. High taxes and regulations? In the Northeastern states yes. Heavy traffic? Check. Threat of natural disaster, namely hurricanes? Check. Low populations of wild game and edible plants? Check. Potential enemy nuclear targets? For the major cities, definitely.

As a general rule of thumb, avoid anywhere along the East Coast if you can. It’s simply not a safe place if you want to survive a disaster. If you do live on or near the East Coast, fall back to retreat areas in the Appalachian Mountains or northern New England, like New Hampshire or Maine, when worst comes to worst.

2. West Coast

The 5 Places In America You DON’T Want To Be When Society Collapses

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Many of our concerns expressed with the East Coast apply to the West Coast as well. The largest state along the West Coast, California, is already an economic disaster and thus not somewhere you would want to be in an economic collapse. Washington and Oregon are both, by far, better off economic-wise, but they still have their problems with high taxes, tough regulations and large government spending. The major cities of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle have extremely high population densities and are potential terrorist/nuclear targets.

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In addition, the West Coast lies along the Ring of Fire, which adds earthquakes to the list of natural disaster risks to worry about. If you don’t think earthquakes are that big of a deal, well, just look at what happened to Japan in 2011. Plus, in Washington, you have volcanoes. All in all, both the East and West Coasts are dangerous hotspots in an apocalyptic-type scenario and are not recommended.

3. Florida

Florida, in general, is not somewhere you will want to be during a disaster. Not to mention the ever looming threat of hurricanes in the state, Florida also endures a high crime rate, a collapsed housing market and high costs of living, a very dense population, and the fact that much of the state is actually below sea level (the parts of the state that are higher aren’t above it by much).

There’s no denying that Florida has nice weather, which is why many people move there in the first place, but its negatives far outweigh its positives to the point that it’s one of the worst retreat locations you could be in for outlasting a long-term disaster.

4. Alaska

Woah, woah, wait, Alaska? The so-called “last frontier” in America is one of the worst places to survive an apocalypse? First of all, Alaska does have a few positives (not to mention the beauty of its geography) that would make it an initially attractive place to live for someone who wants to be in a safe region from a major disaster. It is true that Alaska has the lowest population density of all 50 states, along with low tax rates. It also has a great abundance of rivers, lakes, wildlife and edible plants.

But when we come to economics, Alaska is practically cut off from the rest of the United States. A lot of the supplies that Alaskans rely on are either flown or shipped into the state. In a disaster scenario, these planes and ships will likely no longer be making shipments, greatly limiting available resources. Furthermore, those who live more inland in Alaska will be extremely limited in what they can do with commerce.

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The 5 Places In America You DON’T Want To Be When Society Collapses

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Remember when we noted that the West Coast of the USA is prone to earthquakes due to being situated along the Ring of Fire? Well, so is Alaska. There’s also very limited transportation to get oil from the North Slope to where it needs to go, and much of the fuel that Alaskans use is already brought in from the Lower 48 states. The winters in Alaska can also be quite cold and brutal.

Alaska may seem like the prepper’s haven, but on closer inspection it becomes apparent that you’re going to have a much tougher time surviving there than you would think. This is one place you may want to avoid, unless you know how to live 100 percent off the grid.

5. Hawaii

Like Florida, Hawaii may be a great place to vacation, but it’s an utterly terrible location to be in during an apocalyptic scenario. Most of Hawaii’s resources, as with Alaska, are shipped in.  This includes food and fuel. That’s on top of a very high cost of living in the state coupled with generally poor farming soil.

Gun laws are very strict in the state, and there are many military bases on the islands that could be the targets of enemy attacks. Let’s also not forget one more thing: Should a big enough natural disaster ever happen to Hawaii, how will you escape? After all, it’s a series of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Unless you have access to a plane or a ship, you may be toast.

Every region in the US certainly has its pros and cons, but these are the areas where the cons outweigh the positives the most.

Related:

The 5 Best Places In America To ‘Bug Out’ When Society Collapses 

What locations would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Spring, getting prepared!

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Spring, getting prepared!
James Walton “I Am Liberty

Spring groundhogIt seems like every warm day in Winter is brings such a deep hope of whats to come. I don’t know about you but I experience winter fatigue about 3 days into the season. Not really. After the holidays though I do begin to climb the walls. I like to be outside and have the option to go and see and do. I love all the great things associated with Spring and its coming. The days are getting longer and I cant wait till the days are warmer.

2-22-16 GardeningWhat types of things are you planning this Spring and Summer? I want to hear from listeners and chat room folks about what you are working on for the spring and summer. I have some very clear and exciting projects that I am going to be working on and I would like to talk about them as well. Also what things didnt work for me last spring.

2-22-16 apple_tim_cookThere is a lot of news as well. I would liketo talk about the Tim Cook issue and get your thoughts on apples CEO and his decision not to forge his way into the terrorists cell phone to get information. This issue speaks to a lot more than just what is happening in this nation but all over the world.

Tom Locke: Surviving America is going to be out on February 26th! This is an incredible story about battling domestic terrorism and not turning our backs on fellow Americans, regardless of religion. Get your hands on this great book that will be available in almost a week.

Dont miss this episode of I AM liberty we are going to have a great discussion about getting motivated for the warm weather and how to take advantage of it.
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Superyacht Getaway Subs And Luxury Bomb Shelters: The Elite Are The Most Paranoid Preppers Of All

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Superyachts - Public Domain

By Michael Snyder – The Economic Collapse Blog

When it comes to “prepping”, many among the elite take things to an entirely different level.  As you will see below, the elite are willing to pay big money for cutting edge home security measures, luxury bomb shelters and superyacht getaway submarines. Some of the things that the elite are demanding for their own protection go beyond even what we would see in a James Bond film, and serving the prepping needs of the elite has become a multi-billion dollar business.  Meanwhile, the media outlets that the elite own continue to mock the rest of us for getting prepared.  All the time we see headlines like this one that appeared in a major American news source: “Preppers: Meet the paranoid Americans awaiting the apocalypse“.  Well, if we are paranoid for setting aside some extra food and supplies for the future, what does that make the people that you will read about in this article?

The elite live in a world that is completely different from the world that you and I live in.  In wealthy enclaves of major global cities such as London, elitists are willing to shell out massive amounts of money to ensure that everyone else is kept out.  The following comes from an article that was just published a few hours ago by the London Evening Standard entitled “The paranoid world of London’s super-rich: DNA-laced security mist and superyacht getaway submarines“…

Business is booming because billionaires are a paranoid bunch. Take one who recently moved to Mayfair. ‘He wanted everything, from protection from cyber hacking through to physical intrusion and kidnapping,’ says Bond Gunning. ‘We ended up installing fingerprint-activated locks for family members and programmable keys for staff that limit the time they are allowed into the property and the rooms they are able to enter and exit.

‘Inside and outside we installed 24-hour monitored CCTV cameras that are so hi-tech they can tell the difference between a dog, cat and a person. In the garden there are thermal-imaging cameras that can detect heat sources in the undergrowth. One thing intruders can’t hide is the heat of their bodies.

‘Should an intruder evade the cameras or ignore the warnings they automatically broadcast, the property itself is protected by bulletproof glass and alarm sensors in all rooms. There is a bullet, gas and bombproof panic or safe room, with its own food and water, medical supplies and communications, and an impregnable supply of fresh air. Just in case the family cannot make it there in time, key rooms are sealed by reinforced shutters.’

But for many elitists, those kinds of extreme security measures are simply not enough.  That is why sales of “luxury doomsday shelters” are absolutely soaring.  If “the end of the world” arrives unexpectedly, high net worth individuals want to know that there will be somewhere for them and their families to go.  The following is an excerpt from an article about one such facility located in Indiana

Continue reading at The Economic Collapse Blog: Superyacht Getaway Subs And Luxury Bomb Shelters: The Elite Are The Most Paranoid Preppers Of All

About the author:

Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.

Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream

Filed under: Prepping

It’s Getting Crazy Out There – Don’t Be Distracted! An Open Letter to Family & Friends

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Open Letter1

I first penned this letter in December 2011.  Back then, I was very concerned about our world and the direction that I saw it going.  The signs have been there for a while.  For those paying attention, looking, researching and reading, you could easily find a myriad of problems that point to how fragile our world, country, state… is.  But now, the problems are glaring and in your face!  You really have to be Mary Poppins to think there isn’t “something” wrong!

From our economy, to terrorism, to natural disasters, to deadly viruses, crime and more, you can easily find reasons to be concerned for yourself and your family!

The thing is, many of the problems that can arise because of these issues can be mitigated if you just put a little effort into being prepared.  Many of you won’t though because you are too distracted with “living the dream” and having fun or you just are irresponsible!  Responsibility is a problem in today’s world!  We all want the government or some other entity to come through for us!  And what if they don’t?  Are you willing to have your family staring you in the face, wanting to know what to do because they are in a desperate situation that could have been avoided or not as bad because you weren’t man enough to make some decisions and get off your butt!

People always ask, what if I prepare and nothing happens?  Well I say, that is good!  You don’t really want anything to happen!  You don’t want terrorist to hack the electric grid and be without power for however long!  You don’t want the economy to tank and possibly lose your job!  You don’t want the drought in California to effect the food supply so much that you forgo buying fruit because it is too expensive!  You don’t want any of that stuff to happen!  But if it does….you wan to be ready!

Being prepared doesn’t mean you go buy a lot of camo, guns and go out into the woods.  Being prepared or living a prepared lifestyle just means you live responsibility by planning, thinking ahead and putting some things back for a rainy day!  There are so many aspects to it and each family is going to be different!  But failing to plan and prepare is setting your family up to fail!

You will tell that my letter below is a lot “softer” than what I’ve written above!  Back then, I didn’t want to freak people out.  I wanted them to think critically!  But now, I think people need a wake-up call!

After you read the letter below, I would be happy to answer any questions or point you to resources that can explain your question in better detail!

Peace,
Todd
July 2015

An Open Letter to Family & Friends

 

I’m writing this letter because I care about you.  Please take a few minutes to read it and think about what I’m saying.

Why the Letter?

Our lives are crazy.  We take care of our family, work, eat, play chauffeur, pay the bills, etc.  When we have a little bit of free time, we like to just veg in front of the TV and watch some brain numbing pictures flicker across the screen.  We can go at it like this for days, weeks and even months, not knowing what is going on in the world outside our local community and just get by with the talk around the water cooler.

And when we take life in these little chunks, separate blocks of our time and attention, it seems a little bit more manageable.  We move from one task, event, errand, chore to the other.

The problem is when we look at our lives from a big picture perspective.  What if our lives, all of the sudden changed?  What if the stress of the day came bearing down at you all at once?  How could this happen?  This can easily happen during an emergency.  I’m not talking about your son just stuffed his GI Joe down the toilet, or the dog is out of food emergency.  I’m talking about the BIG stuff.

The Big Emergency

The BIG emergency is the one that stops you in your tracks.  It can be personal, based in your local community or worldwide.  But it is the one that everything else stops and all resources and energy are put towards it.

The problem is that most people are not prepared for the BIG one.

Prepared?

Are you and your family most people?  Do you have an emergency fund for financial emergencies?  Do you have insurance for medical emergencies?  Do you have food and water if there is a food supply/transportation emergency?  Do you have other means of cooking and preparing your food if utilities weren’t available?  Do you have first aid supplies and extra medicine on hand?  Do you have basic skills that could help you: fire starting, water purification, gardening, first aid, etc.?

This is the whole reason for my letter.  I want to help you see the importance of being prepared and to start being more self-reliant.  It’s not too hard, but it does take time, planning and effort.  But then again, what would the time, planning and effort that you put in ahead of time be worth in the middle of an emergency?  You’ll be glad you did!

Action Steps

  1. Make a planWhat are you preparing for?  What needs to be done?  Don’t look at the magnitude of the plan, that can be overwhelming. Take it in chunks.  In reality, you will never be “prepared.”  You can be “not prepared” or “overly prepared,” but never “perfectly prepared.”  Consider the basics: financial, medical, etc…but also keep in mind your region of the country; hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, fires, etc…

 

  1. Set goals– When do you want _____ accomplished?
    1. Get a 3 day supply of food.  Then move to a 3 week supply.
    2. Revisit insurance: house, vehicle, medical, life, etc…
    3. Think about home and personal security.
    4. Start an emergency fund – 3-6 months of expenses
    5. Start a garden
    6. Take a class: first-aid, sewing, gardening, firearm, wilderness survival
    7. Watch some videos on Youtube (search preparedness)
    8. Read blogs and articles on “preparedness” and “prepping

 

  1.  Get active – go meet your goals!

 

Warning

The world of preparedness/prepping can be an addictive one.  It can suck you in, mess with your emotions and get you seeing the world in the fragile states that it is in.  It is always best to approach preparedness within community.  You should go it alone only if no one else is willing.  Eventually, they will realize that you were right, even if that is in the midst of a storm.

Fragile

It is not in the scope of this letter to discuss all the possible emergency scenarios that you should prepare for.  But outside of regional, natural disasters, it is important to me to briefly mention our global situation.  Things outside our local community have gone from bad to worse!  At first, we might not care about what is going on in some Asian or European country, but the fact is that we are ALL tied into each other now.  What happens over there, affects us over here.

There are many “End of the World as We Know It” type scenarios out there.  One such scenario is an economic collapse.  Someone recently replied to me and said, “Yes, times can get hard, but we have been through it before during the Great Depression.”  The fact is that it is way different this time.  Our country didn’t have the debt that we have now.  And, if for some reason the world loses faith in our government’s ability to pay its debts, we are up the creek.  It really isn’t too far-fetched to imagine this happening if you’ll look into it.  The concern has gone beyond the foil hat people.  Just research it!

Do Something

Please take this letter seriously.  If you prepare and don’t need it, the worst is that you have some food (food costs are going up/buy now at cheaper prices) and other supplies.  But if you ever find you are in a position that you do need it, you and your loved ones will be glad you were prepared!

Bugout Bag = Get Home Bag

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As a self-proclaimed minimalist when it comes to all things prepared I wanted to give my 2 cents on the Bugout Bag and the Get Home Bag.

These two items seems to have quite the debate on what the contents should be and the more pushy types on the forums tend to be of the mind that if you don’t use the same designer bag as them that you are woefully under-prepared.

Let’s squash that here, who gives a shit what brand bag you have, the things that matter in regards to the bag are:
  •  Durability
  • Volume of storage
  •  Comfort
  • Ease of concealment

I could add a few more but after the big 4 it really is just a matter of opinion, these four characteristics should be the end all and be all when shopping for the actual bag. I prefer a simple Alice Pack with no frame or a plain high school book bag if keeping a low profile.


Guru left his Warrior Mindset at Taco Bell
I feel the Bugout Bag and Get Home Bagare one in the same; the only difference is a get home bag is typically on you or in your vehicle and the bugout is in your home. They serve the same exact purpose; each bag is to only carry the minimal amount of supplies to get you from an unsafe location to a safer location.







This is the point where the forum guru tells me “What if the sky was pink and I was an elephant, you would need a full pack with months worth of food!” If you would like to carry a pack that weighs 30lbs or more be my guest. 

Keep in mind that you have this bag because it will have the supplies you need to get home or lead you to your bugout location. Chances are, if you need to use a bugout bag or get home bag that you will be running and running far. Keep It Simple Stupid or KISS is where your head should be when assembling this bag, think of the basics; Beans, Bullets, and Band-Aids.


Basic minimum essentials:

Are Preppers actually Prepared?

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Jungle Run at the Big Run Ranch 
When thinking of a prepper, most often we picture a person who has some sort of room in which they store massive quantities of supplies such as food, water, methods of self-defense and tools for hunting. They may have some limited training on survival or bush-craft and hopefully can properly utilize the firearms they spent all that hard earned money on. Ask a prepper what they are preparing for and they will mostly likely draw up some specific event or collapse of some kind. They may even go into their plans on how to survive it.


That sounds like a great plan right?

It sounds like they could live forever in their cozy secret squirrel location. If an intruder came they could defend their location with their armory. For me it sounds like borderline hoarding and they are not prepared for anything other than becoming a supply house for an intruder because they are a soft target. If you prepare yourself with purpose and maintain a flexible but firm preparedness philosophy you will be better off with very limited “Prepping” supplies and a shitload of training.


Don’t be this guy
Having more firearms than your team can carry by hand is stupid, plain and simple.  We are preparing for complete self-reliance not starting a firearm collection. Having too much of anything just means you wasted your time and money. You will potentially leave food and guns behind, to a possible threat to you, when you decide that you can’t take them when you bug out. I am sure by now you know how I approach preparedness.

Do you even prep, Bro?
I am a minimalist and I see that people are starting to get good at hoarding not preppingbecause it is easier to go to a store and buy gear and buy guns and ammo and to buy preassembled “Survival kits”. Someone please explain how buying an endless mountain of gear and supplies makes you prepared. That awful Doomsday Preppers atrocity is filled with commercials of washed up celebrities hawking crappy pre-packed meals. For a small fortune you have managed to prep without even leaving your couch. Spend a quarter of that money on some damn training and classes on how to grow food, how to dehydrate meals and how to pack them in a manner that will save your food for decades. We have gotten so lazy as a nation that we can’t even prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse ourselves!

We go to Ebay or Amazonand buy some Zombie survival kit or Prepping essentials kit because it’s easier than getting off of our fat pimply asses to do it ourselves. Do you actually think these stupid ass kits are assembled by someone who knows their shit? Does the username of the seller give you the sense of trust your very survival depends on? Zombiedude543 has a blue star rating so he must be legit, right?

A chicken for no reason

The difference between an individual who is prepared and one who is a prepper comes down to mindset and physical fitness. Take this post as a challenge to you to take a long look in your signal mirror and make the decision to up your preparedness game.

Are you prepared enough to even enjoy those freeze dried lasagna meals or the dreaded Country Captain Chicken MRE while the world turns into a shit sandwich all around you? Test yourself and document what your physical limits are now. Give yourself 4 months to make substantial gains in your strength and endurance. What is the point of spending your time and money on all this food, gear and training if you die of a heart attack trying to get to your bug out location? I am no model of physical perfection by any means trust me, but I work at making myself better every day. If your survival skills are up to par with your level of fitness there is little left to chance regarding your survival. It is solely upon you to change the terms that define you. Prepping is an action, not a way of life. The act of prepping is merely a small facet of what being prepared is. I hope you are getting sick of me saying this and you start to put these words into action. Having a whole mess load of instruments doesn’t make a musician; it’s what we do with the tools we amass that define us.


Stay fit and keep that Warrior Mindset!!

My week at the Big Run Ranch

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I was fortunate to be invited to the Defensive Preparedness Summit hosted by ORSto share ideas and philosophies on defensive shooting tactics and wilderness survival in a practical application environment. The ranch facility is a sprawling hilly terrain which is perfect for anything ranging from shoot and move drills to shelter building and animal tracking.

When the group all arrived we did our hugs and handshakes and then we got down to business. Lance went over the range safety rules and safety procedures, showing us the location of the medical kits and the information necessary to call for EMS in the event of an injury. Lance has clearly done his homework on how to run a safe range, it felt good knowing that the person running the range to the time to educate himself on proper range procedures.

Lance shooting steel.

We began our first course of fire with some basic pistol shooting drills to reinforce the basics of the SAFE series. Once our fundamentals were solid and we were warmed up we started to do some drawing from the holster drills and Getting off the X type drills. Being from Massachusetts where drawing from a holster is mostly banned at ranges these drills were a breath of fresh air to me, drawing in my living room with snap caps just isn’t the same as drawing and firing live rounds. We did variations on these drills for quite some time and moved onto strong hand only firing and reloading drills in which we would rack the slide off of our holsters or belts to get the pistol back into action. We moved on to shooting some Vtactargets in which Lance would call out a color and number and we would close on the target and shoot the designated number of rounds into each called target. I did almost all of my training with rifles in the military so pistol shooting is far and wide my weakest skill-set. I struggled a bit on these exercises, but anytime that I needed assistance or when Lance would see that I was getting sloppy he would be right over to reinforce the fundamentals in a manner which translated directly into hits right on target. Over the next few days we did some shoot and move drills with everything from a KRISS Super-V to some nice custom Ar-15 rifles in which he hid some of my favorite targets, the Ivan!

Me shooting the KRISS

It wouldn’t be an ORSclass without some serious PT involved, so we did a great deal of hill climbing and pull-ups because you only fight as hard as your body is capable. Lance setup 4 steel targets ranging from a sniper’s paradise target to some really challenging gong targets at distances of 15yds – 320yds. Lance was able to make our long days on the range seems like mere minutes when in reality we were spending upwards of 10 hours a day honing our skills in defensive shooting and long distance shooting.

The Hill

We ended our last range day with a competition, a modified version of H.O.R.S.E. we would take turns calling the most difficult shot possible and it was no surprise Lance tied for first, I surprised myself and got second place but there was no better ending to one of the most memorable training experiences I have ever had in my life. Enough can’t be said to the level of approachable professionalism Lance has integrated into his company’s philosophy of training. I cannot wait to go back and get some more rounds down range, if you are looking to get some training in I highly suggest reaching out to ORS, you will thank me after and tell him KERsent you.

Stay fit and keep a Warrior Mindset!

People who believe in “Absolutes” have not been in enough danger.

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Lance (right) and I



Greetings, I consider myself to be a lifelong student because I firmly believe that once you stop learning you have stopped growing and have ultimately started your decline towards death. I do a fair amount of networking through electronic means and the old fashioned hands on approach as well and what I have come to learn is that there is no such thing as an “Absolute”.

 Nothing is ever certain. It is quite a challenge to become an expert in a field such as preparedness and defensive firearm tactics when they have an infinite amount of variables. The best methodology to achieve maximum amount of tangible comprehension is maintaining an open philosophy in your student brain. Don’t be shut off to what some people may consider unconventional or even sometimes against the rules. You are preparing for a disaster not preparing for an isolated incident. Do not become the stereotypical curmudgeon, shaking your fist at the neighborhood kid for some newfangled contraption because it’s unfamiliar to you. Living by absolutes has never been proven to work in any society; there will always be situations to where the rules are changed or broken. If you stay stuck to your absolutes while others around you adapt you will find yourself at a serious disadvantage.
Recently I was talking to my good friend Lance at ORS and we had a fantastic discussion regarding an article on trigger finger placement in a possible engagement scenario. We both served multiple tours in combat and have real world experience in these scenarios. Keeping your finger straight and off the trigger until ready to fire is a non-budging commandment of many of the various ranges we have all been to. Some of us may have even gotten a punch rod smacked off our hands a few time to have those rules reinforced. I follow these range safety rules like gospel when at the range.

When we were doing combat patrols and helo raids into CQB environments do you think our fingers were straight and off the trigger until ready to fire? Hell no! We cleared rooms and patrolled with weapons on fire and finger in the trigger-well. Does this mean that keeping your finger straight and off the trigger until ready to fire is wrong? No, the situation will dictate. Anyone who says any different is either lying or has not been in a close quarters firefight or ambush before. You cannot live a life of absolutes, whether it’s believing that nothing bad will ever happen here because it’s Murica’ or firmly believing that an economic collapse will happen and you will need to live off your preps for years to come.

The point of being prepared, not a prepper, is that you are prepared for a multitude of scenarios. Will you be able to prepare for everything? No, that is just stupid. But what you can do is be flexible and be willing to adapt to your surroundings and the situations that may arise.




Semper Gumby was an expression we used a lot in the Marines and it seems to be a perfect example of how to proceed with your preparedness. Be flexible and don’t let your pride or the lack of understanding to different methods impede your skill advancement to becoming a more complete individual.



Range time is key for consistency



Stay fit and keep a Warrior Mindset.

“Absolutism cost Spain the Dutch Netherlands and gave rise to Al Capone during prohibition—power is at the heart of absolutist thinking.  Either the subject of absolutist thought is too lazy, inexperienced or scared to try new ideas or tactics or the person pushing for their absolutist view is too weak and concerned about his authority and power being questioned that he pushes forcefully his ideas and rejects any kind of honest debate where facts rule.  Absolutists would rather hide behind make-believe fantasies rather than standing beside science.” – Lance Olmsted ORS