The Best Martial Arts for Self Defense…And the Worst!

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There are many reasons why one should learn martial arts, with self-defense ranking pretty high up on the list.

But like everything else, not all martial arts disciplines are equal when it comes to fending off harm and protecting loved ones. Yes it’s often true that many of them share a common form of self-defense technique or weapon training, but it would be a mistake to assume that martial arts and self-defense are the same.

Quick Navigation

  A. Defining Martial Arts, Establishing Assumptions
    1) Definition of Martial Arts
    2) Considering Force Multipliers
    3) Multiple Attackers & Defending Others
  B. Most Effective (& Least) List
    1) Most Effective
     – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
     – Boxing
     – Mixed Martial Arts
     – Krav Maga
     – Karate

     – Jeet Kune Do
     – Traditional Japanese Jiu
     
– Judo
     – Wing Chun
    2) Least Effective
     – Aikido
     – Tai Chi
     – Capoeira
     – Taekwondo
  C. Final Words

 

 

Self-defense techniques and martial arts disciplines both tap into your physical strength. Constant practice with both will allow you to forge a stronger mind-body link. They both increase confidence and are usually catalysts of greater change happening within the psyche. There are specific techniques to learn. Almost all martial arts discipline have a foundation that’s based on self-defense and “non-fighting”.

Self-defense can come in many forms and many weapons. The most effective weapon depends on several threat elements, which include experience, how many needs to be defended and the nature of the threat itself. The gist applies to martial arts as well- one martial art discipline may be better suited for stronger threats while another discipline is excellent against armed attackers, for example.

A. Defining Martial Arts, and Establishing “Assumptions”

1) Definition of Martial Arts

“Various sports or skills, mainly of Japanese origin, that originated as forms of self-defense or attack, such as judo, karate, and kendo.”  Martial arts are often mistakenly categorized as a traditional Asian or European discipline that follows closely in line, and adheres to its’ respective culture.  As defined by multiple authoritative sources, we see that martial arts is much more encompassing by including sports or even “skills” into the mix.   That’s a big field of possibilities for what defines a martial art.  Lets now explore what they are.   

2) Force Multipliers 

In this article we’ll leave out the use of weapons such as knives, guns, and other modern gadgets and rely on our own hands and feet.   Force multipliers, i.e., guns, OC spray and tasers, in trained hands, are hands down the most effective tools for self defense today.  In this post we are studying martial arts as isolated tools, and inserting the assumption that we are forced to defend ourselves without essential force multipliers. We’ll focus more on which martial arts disciplines will give you the best skill set in the self-defense aspect. We’ll also leave out tactical team defense, or the art of defending individuals other than yourself.  Both of the former topics will be discussed in future posts.  It’s worth noting now, however, that in most realistic self defense situations, all the possible tools and skill sets will likely be, and ideally used simultaneously in a synergistic way against active threats.  

3) Self-Defense with  Multiple Attackers, and Defending Others

Human society will likely collapse in chaos and people will do anything in order to survive when the world goes down in flames. Hence, self-defense and the ability to defend your loved ones will be a significant factor down the stretch.  We must make the distinction now that defending yourself from multiple attackers as compared to defending yourself from a single attacker is a different challenge altogether, as is defending yourself and multiple team members/loved ones/family where more coordination and tactical skills and planning are added to the mix.  In this post, we will  remove the factor of defending multiple members of your party from single and multiple attackers for the sake of argument, (as they are to be left as subjects of future in-depth posts), to allow for a more thorough study of each martial art in single person defense encounters.  

 

 

B. The Most And Least Effective Martial Arts For Self-Defense

Here’s a list of the most and least effective disciplines when it comes to defending yourself from any type of harm. Keep in mind that each self-defense situation may be unique and require specific skillsets or techniques to become truly effective. Which discipline has the widest and the most useful range? Which martial art is a jack-of-all-trades and which discipline shines in specific situations but not in others?

1) The Most Effective List (In No Particular Order)

It’s one of the best martial arts in the list as it gives the user a complete repertoire of techniques they can use to disable a threat. Some might say it’s a descendant of the ancient martial arts Judo as it requires the threat to be on the ground.

BJJ first exploded into the scene in the world of MMA. The Gracie family were the earliest practitioners of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; Royce Gracie used BBJ exclusively to defeat his opponents in the octagon ring. Today, BJJ is still a popular fighting option in the MMA circle.

Locks, chokes and ground-pounding is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s theme. It’s good for street fighting and is a very capable discipline in its own right. Some of the techniques you’ll be learning include takedowns and other forms of submissions made up of cranks, locks and chokes.

In all other things Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an excellent medium for training the body and increasing physical strength and stamina, all of which are useful in emergency situations. The most immediate weaknesses of this discipline include group fighting, dealing with armed attackers and zero striking techniques. BJJ can dominate the threat once they’re on the ground but you’ll have to have immense physical strength to do so.

Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 2/5. It’s best used in 1-on-1 situations as the other attacker may take advantage of the fact that you’re on the ground with the first threat.

 

Boxing primarily focuses on punches as the sole source of offense. The feet are mainly used for side-stepping, dodging and footwork. The great thing about boxing is that it’s relatively easy to learn and you’ll need just a few equipment to start.

Boxing is simple yet effective. It’s simple-minded in its approach that you can become adept in punching in no time. More than that, you’ll discover that there’s more to boxing than punches. Peel away and you’ll add to your repertoire of self-defense in other aspects, i.e., darting in and out from danger, moving quickly and striking when the time is right.

You’ll learn how to deliver different types of punches with precision and in different ranges. You’ll learn how to block (if unarmed) and evade (if armed). To get the most out of using boxing as self-defense you’ll need to condition your body to deliver powerful punches and gain experience sparring with opponents.

Your senses become sharper the more you practice boxing. Reaction time becomes faster and you’ll be able to make sound decisions under duress. This kind of street sense will be invaluable if you’re facing threats or experiencing an emergency situation.

Boxing has one of the toughest training regimen in this list, but you can expect great results once it’s completed. Sessions include press-ups, skipping, bag work and sparring. Self-defense applications in boxing become obvious once you’re in self-defense mode. What’s more, you’ll have the stamina and the strength to take on a group of threats either one by one or simultaneously.

Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 4/5. You’ll be able to handle multiple attackers if you move smart and punch with precision.

 

  • Mixed Martial Arts

MMA is a global phenomenon featuring flashy strikes, explosive takedowns and a variety of chokes and arm locks. But beware the physical toil on your body if you want to take up this discipline. Like boxing, mixed martial arts will tax your body as you do endless sparring with strikes and grapples thrown in.

The good thing about MMA is that your physical performance will increase across the board. Strength, stamina, speed and reflexes become better than what they were before. Sometimes this improvement will be all you need to stop an attacker dead in his tracks. MMA will show its weakness when you’re out in the streets. There’s no defense for weapons and it’s a poor choice for taking on multiple threats. Like the sport, it’s flashy if you somehow disarmed your threat or take them out with one punch.

Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 2/5. You’ll become faster, stronger and able to move much faster but there aren’t any techniques for taking on multiple attackers.

 

The Krav Maga system has become somewhat synonymous with the word “self-defense”. In Hebrew, Krav Maga means “contact fighting” and is recognized as the official self-defense discipline of the Israeli Defense Forces. Imi Lichtenfeld, the discipline’s creator has called the system “Art of Staying Alive”. Plus, it’s totally defense-oriented. Krav Maga is a distillation of Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a host of other martial arts.

The techniques outlined in Krav Maga appear complex but they are relatively simple to execute. You’ll need to practice on reflex and let instinct take over to master this discipline. Anyone can learn the techniques in Krav Maga regardless of height, weight or gender.

There are 3 basic pillars to follow: Neutralize, Simultaneous Attack and Defense and Attacking Vulnerabilities. Most of the techniques in Krav Maga are meant to move weapons away or disable it altogether to lessen the risk of getting hurt. Then, you’ll learn how to meld both attack and defense in one quick move to surprise and debilitate the attacker. Vulnerabilities in the human anatomy are targeted- the neck, groin, throat and eyes become fair game. Much like street fighting, there’s no etiquette or rules of engagement in a life or death situation. Survival is a priority and you use everything to get the edge.

The only downside to being taught Krav Maga is that it may not be the same one that’s taught by the true experts. There are hardcore versions and “lite” versions that are more boxercise than Krav Maga. No self-defense list should be without Krav Maga- it’s that good! You’ll learn how to disarm a man with a threatening knife or a gunman in just a second. There’s striking techniques and grappling techniques that round out the things you can learn from the discipline. Once you learn Krav Maga you’ll stand a greater chance at survival than doing nothing.

Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 4/5. You can do it if you’re quick and precise in your movements. The plus side is that you’ll have the training and the reflexes to think ahead and counter every move.

 

Karate, one of the oldest and the most popular martial arts is a well-rounded discipline that incorporates plenty of punching, kicking, grappling and stances. If your idol was Mr. Miyagi in Karate Kid, then it makes sense that you’d choose Karate as your discipline for self-defense.

Karate is solid in all regards. Some of the best blocks you’ll learn are here. Same goes for kicks, punches and throws, which could be useful in close-quarter situations. Keep in mind that not all of the karate moves you’ll be learning are for self-defense alone. So if you’re just picking out the ones that could get you out of a pinch, then the adage “simple moves are the best” can be applied here.

Learning karate is relatively easy and it doesn’t cost much to train. You’ll learn how to think calmly and not get overwhelmed in emergency situations. You’ll learn to react faster and save precious seconds in survival scenarios. Karate shines in self-defense scenarios when you use power kicks and straight-yet-effective strikes to down the attacker.

If not, there’s the more complicated elbow and knee strikes, spear hands and others. When you learn karate you’ll gain formidable weapons in the form of your arms and legs. To be truly effective you’ll need to increase your physical strength and become as fit as possible.

Karate works well if you’re facing off against human threats and in instances where people are attacking you. The discipline shows you how to neutralize held weapons such as guns and knives at close range and how to deal damage using precise strikes to various weak points in the body.

Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 4/5. You can strike quickly and down several threats without expending too much energy.

 

Roughly translated as “Way Of The Intercepting Fist”, Jeet Kune Do’s founder is none other than the legendary Bruce Lee. While it’s one of the most practiced martial arts in the world, there’s quite a bit of confusion as what this discipline offers the practitioner.

Jeet Kune Do was largely believed to be more of a philosophical journey than an actual martial arts discipline. Bruce Lee started out training in the art of Wing Chun under Ip Man. He then traveled around the world and gained real combat experience while studying and coming in contact with other martial art systems. The culmination of Bruce Lee’s journey resulted in the discipline known as JKD.

JKD schools have instructors that are well-versed in many disciplines. The book that Bruce Lee wrote about Jeet Kune Do is astounding. There are technical improvements on borrowed moves and sound reasoning on original theories. The discipline also hosts plenty of strategies that fare well against one or more attackers.

It’s probably safe to say that no two Jeet Kune Do schools are alike, but they all share the same solid foundation as taught by its creator. You can be sure to learn many combat strategies, striking techniques and a variety of unique moves you can use for self-defense. JKD is best for those who have plenty of time and wish to compile the best techniques for a one-of-a-kind style.

Because Jeet Kune Do is deep there are many moves you can use for a variety of self-defense scenarios. The trick is to find the right one and train for it as hard as you can.

Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 4/5. There are specific move, skills and techniques you can use to defend against multiple threats.

 

Jujutsu is a culmination of several different martial arts disciplines, i.e., Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Aikido, Judo, etc. In English, Jujutsu means “the Art of Softness” but the techniques and the strikes are anything but. This martial art started in Japan and was one of the fighting techniques taught to samurais. It may be hard to picture a samurai without a sword, but sometimes their weapons get lost while in the battlefield. The Japanese thought about adding a martial art that could prove to be as deadly as a samurai with a blade, and thus Jujutsu was born.

The whole system revolves around the concept of using your enemies’ force and throwing it right back at them with deadly force. A Jujutsu fighter has the ability to redirect the attacker’s momentum and energy where they wish, often making the attack harmless and giving the Jujutsu user an opportunity to counterattack.

You’ll need to really get in close, though. Most of the self-defense techniques taught in Jujutsu are joint locks and throws. Most use them both in rapid succession to bring the threat down to the ground in a second. Jujutsu shines where there’s plenty of space to move about. Plus, you won’t have to worry about your attacker being armed or unarmed. In tight confines, the throws and locking become less effective. Still practitioners will have the ability to bring down attackers even if they’re bigger or heavier.

Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 3/5. You can’t perform a throw if both attack at the same time.

 

Judo is a close-contact discipline that makes its appearance in the Olympic sports. At its core, Judo has a variety of self-defense moves, with plenty of arm locks, chokes, pins and throws and zero striking, kicking and punching. At first glance it may seem like Judo is an inherently poor self-defense system but the discipline tells you otherwise.

Judo is excellent for self-defense as your sole objective is to throw your attacker to the ground. It may not sound much, but a forceful throw to the ground can cause serious injuries and neutralize the threat. Plus, most of the time Judo practitioners try to knock their opponent’s feet from under them while the latter do their best to stay upright. It can prove to be super effective if your attacker has no idea on how you’ll defend yourself.

Judo is deadly once you’re able to get in close and grab your attacker. While it may not be useful in situations where there’s a distance between you and the threat, it works every single time when you find yourself in close quarters.

Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 3/5. You’ll be hard-pressed to throw 2 or more people to the ground at the same time.

 

Wing Chun might be the most popular martial art today because of the movie trilogy Ip Man, but in terms of self-defense it stands up well against the others in the list.

Like Karate, Wing Chun relies on expending the least amount of energy while delivering direct, laser-like strikes that feel like the opponent is getting hit with a pole’s end. Solid straight punches and a few effective kicks are all you need from Wing Chun to be good at self-defense. So if you don’t have much time to practice a slew of martial arts techniques, then Wing Chun could be for you.

The precision striking works well in many self-defense scenarios. If you need to deal significant amount of damage to one area, i.e., the face, the groin and other sensitive areas, then practicing Wing Chun delivers to this end. There are not a lot of moves to disarm attackers, but the discipline relies on bringing down the threat in as few seconds as possible.

Useful for 2 or more attackers? Rating 3/5. You can strike with precision but you’ll need to get a favorable position first.

 

2) The Least Effective List

  • Aikido

The core teaching of Aikido is that physical confrontations are to be avoided at all costs. While this may be fine for you, the attacker may not exactly have peaceful negotiations in mind. This makes Aikido one of the least effective disciplines one can use for self-defense.

Aikido’s whole self-defense arsenal is composed of wrist locks and falling without harm. Punching and kicking are not allowed. Instead of using the opponent’s energy against him you channel the energy within you. Sure, you can enroll in Aikido class for other benefits, but you won’t be able to use them in self-defense and in emergency situations.

All is not lost with Aikido. Physical exercises increase your balance, coordination and reflexes. You also sharpen your innate sense of timing, flexibility and posture.

 

Tai Chi is a slow-moving, low impact exercise routine that makes the practitioner go through a series of “poses” that mimic actions. One example is the move “crane spreading his wings” and a martial arts technique that “boxes both ears”. Moving is slow and breathing is deliberately done in the same manner. While doing Tai Chi you focus your attention on your inner self and bodily sensations.

Tai Chi sounds exactly as it is- slow and offers no defense at all. The practitioner goes through the paces like a snail and executes the katas using dynamic resistance. While there are some who would say that the practitioner could accelerate the motions for self-defense purposes, lack of sparring or actual experience could prove to be a rude awakening. You’ll quickly realize that Tai Chi just isn’t meant as a tool for self-defense.

Advocates may say that practitioners could use their opponent’s energy and topple them that way, but there’s no technique or move set that could be used to evade or counter their attacker’s movements. Moreover, “fights” are more like choreographed dancing than real fighting. Tai Chi shines when used in non-violence and for bettering the self. Practitioners combat illnesses, become more relaxed, relieved and free of stress after each session. Tai Chi is in fact often used to treat many health problems and is seen more as a miracle health exercise than a martial arts discipline.

 

Capoeira is a martial arts discipline originating from Brazil and Africa. It was created by African slaves while they were in Brazil during the 1500s era. At the surface Capoeira looks like an intricate dance but it actually benefits the body, especially the hamstrings, the buttocks and the quadriceps. A typical Capoeira dance sequence involves cartwheeling, kicking and spinning, which looks impressive, but sadly it’s the same as with Taekwando.

Dance fighting just isn’t applicable in life or death situations or when you’re faced by an attacker with the intent to harm or kill. The weaknesses of the martial art was quickly revealed in the beaches of Brazil. Ultimately, it was labeled as being impractical for self-defense. Brazil believed that Capoeira was their dominant martial art until Jiu Jitsu came along. Needless to say, Capoeira ended quickly while MMA and other disciplines dominated the battlefield.

Capoeira is great for those who want to combine martial arts with the exercise benefits of dancing. Your muscles get worked out and your body becomes more flexible. What’s more, you gain a sense of body rhythm and harmony.

Taekwondo is a martial arts discipline that may be seen as flashy, and sometimes this translates to not being that very useful when it comes to real life. Martial arts experts often say that Taekwondo is impractical as a form of self-defense.

There’s one saving grace to Taekwondo as a self-defense tool. You’ll need your legs to be much faster than your arms and opt for straightforward moves instead of high-flying ones. If you can execute one kick and down the attacker, then great. Otherwise, reserve the high-spinning kicks for when you need to get the judges’ approval. The hands are also used for this martial art but at a far less frequency than the legs.

Taekwondo is excellent for self-improvement purposes. The discipline stretches out your muscles (especially the leg area) and lends suppleness and flexibility. You can get fit and lose weight with Taekwondo. Just don’t expect close-combat practice such as chokes, grabs or throws and you’ll be fine. The fact that this martial arts discipline concentrates on leg attacks doesn’t it a go-to system you can rely on for defense.

 

C. Final Words on Martial Arts

It’s safe to say that there is no one martial art that will protect you from all of the unique self defense scenarios that you may encounter, due the fact that all self defense situations are not created equally, nor are the victims within them.  It could be argued, and has been by experts everywhere, that for single attack self defense encounters against untrained opponents, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA are the favorites.  The reason why is that both disciplines make the best use of the laws of physics by utilizing leveraging and efficiency of movement techniques.   

Everyone has different physical strengths that allow for different types of martial art skills.  It’s the job of the defender to know yourself, your physical limitations and capabilities, and gain some insight into how you might react in an self defense emergency.  Using that knowledge you can better equip yourself with the necessary skills to survive a defense encounter, and go train.  

The post The Best Martial Arts for Self Defense…And the Worst! appeared first on Geek Prepper.

Climbed Pikes Peak: Lesson’s Learned

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Around 13,500 ft, close to the summit

Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs and the Barr Trail to the summit: 13 miles, 7500 ft elevation gain (to over 14k ft) and the last few thousand feet fighting snow and ice.  Many folks who do this trek take 2 days choosing to overnight at the Barr camp about 7 miles in from the trailhead.  Why make it easy, we decided to do it all in one day stepping off promptly at 6 am.  10 hours later (including breaks) we made the summit which was no small miracle.  I have often said that a cornerstone to preparedness is mental toughness because when the chips are down and all the cool gear purchased at REI is lost and the realization that nobody is coming to save you sets in, the mental game begins.  Only those who can steel their mind and push through the suck will persevere, and the older I get the more of a reality that becomes.

The Plan

We would step off at 6 am, take a 5 to 10 min rest stop at each mile marker and a 20-30 min stop at Barr camp to refuel on ramen noodles and hot cocoa.  We had our small backpacks with the essentials and crampons for the snow and ice that awaited.  Everything going as planned the summit would be hit before the road closed at the top and we would catch a ride down around 3:30-4pm.  Back in town for dinner, no big deal.

Tossed these on around 12,000 ft

Murphy’s Law

I knew there would be struggles with the altitude, especially above 10,000 feet and admittedly I’m not as  young as I once was but I’ve made it through worse in my military career.  What could go wrong?

Mile 6 is when I started to feel the ache in my knee, an ache I hadn’t felt in many years and originally developed at a rather rigorous military school I had attended in my younger days (torn meniscus was the end result).  I could push through I told myself, discomfort and “hurt” are different than “injured”, I had to keep going.  By the time I reached 13,000 feet I was almost dragging my right leg and trying not to get caught in the snow or move laterally, otherwise stabbing pain would hit.  I resorted to walking in a peg leg fashion, more hips and almost no knee bend.  The go was slow and the pain, if I slipped or stumbled into deep snow, was terrible.  All this time my hiking buddy was stopping to throw up every few hundred yards between bouts of dizzyness (he had flown in from sea level), we were a hot mess.

Someone to Lean On

If you haven’t done work at altitude I’m here to tell you there are very few folks, probably sans olympic type altheletes, who are immune to the thin air.  Physical prowess and how “in shape” one is usually doesn’t matter, your body just has to work super hard to complete the most basic functions.  It’s exhausting and some do throw up, fight dizzyness and have other debilitating symptoms.

As previously stated I was fighting knee pain and my buddy was hurling his lunch at every opportunity, we suffered and persevered together.  It was surreal, for a few hundred feet I would be motivating him as we moved along.  Another 50 feet, let’s get to that next bend in the switchback.  We can do it.  Then seemingly the tables would turn and I would be in pain struggling to walk, he would take the role of motivator despite stopping to hug a rock.  Heck, we both would stop to lean on big rocks every 50 feet or so to catch our breath, especially the last 1500 feet up which took us almost 2 hours to complete.

In Retrospect

There was very little celebration when we got the top, we were just glad it was over.  Bear in mind this isn’t something we typically do, and other mountains in CO over 14k have trail heads that start at much higher elevations, so a much quicker hike.  Pikes Peak made us earn that one but I did have some thoughts on the whole experience.

  • Age is just a number: FALSE.  Broadly speaking I tend to disagree with the whole age is just a number.  If that’s the case why don’t we see any 75 year old NFL players, or 3 year old stock brokers, or issue driver’s licenses at 8 years old.  You get what I’m saying.  As we get older the body is capable but not quite as capable, my 40 year old self is definitely not my 20 year old self.   Like Toby Keith said, I’m not as good as I once was…but I’m as good once as I ever was.
  • No such thing as a one man army.  I made that climb because my buddy was with me, I have no doubt about that.  I have often said that the whole one many army is a fallacy, after all you have to sleep sometime (think security).  In addition when the times get tough having someone to help motivate is absolutely critical.  Buddy team for the win.
  • The Bugout on foot fantasy.  “When the SHTF I’ll leave my suburban home, toss my BOB on my back (that I’ve rarely worn) and hike into the woods – live off the land and cover 20 miles a day.”  Right.  I don’t care if you are a hardcore Infantryman who has done countless roadmarches in a controlled environment the reality of the wilderness would no doubt be different.  Combine that with other factors like altitude and injury and all of a sudden that sweet plan just turned sour.
  • Mental Toughness.  I cannot emphasize this enough and I believe that as I have gotten older and my body has worn down my capacity to push through mentally has indeed enhanced.  Those of us who have been around for a bit have experience to call upon and a mental toughness that has been forged in the fire, it really is an asset that can be called upon.

The Bottom Line

Get out there and challenge yourself once in a while physically and by that I don’t mean going for a PR on the bench at the gym.  Do something that pushes your personal limits for an extended period of time, understanding  each of us are at different places in our lives.  I climbed Pikes Peak which wasn’t exactly easy but others might scoff at that and need to do something much harder.  Or maybe you are that guy who has 40 lbs of beer gut hanging off the front end who carries a gun because hey, a 1911 solves everything (or so one might believe).  Maybe a walk around the block is in order.  In any event I think soley relying on supplies as a preparedness strategy without giving thought to the physical and mental is a massive miscalcuation.  Take care and stay safe.

 

How To Survive Radiation Poisoning From A Nuclear Attack Or Accident

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With two nuclear capable countries engaged in continuous bombardment of colorful words, one can’t help but think that at some point, someone pissed enough would push the red button and trigger the next world war.

Quick Navigation

  1. How Nuclear Radiation Affects The Body
     A. Acute Radiation Syndrome
     B. Diseases Associated With Radiation Poisoning
  2. Radiation Poisoning In History
     A. The Man Who Drank Prescription Radium
     B. The Demon Core
     C. Two Hundred Times More Concentrated
     D. The Victims Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki Bombings
    E. Earthquake Triggered
    F. Whole City Contaminated
  3. Preparing For Radiation Poisoning
    A. Be The First To Hear About What’s Happening
    B. Check The Map
    C. Expect The Worst Thing To Happens
    D. Stock Up With Prepping Needs
    E. Build An Underground Shelter
    F. Radiological Water Filter Systems
    G. Stock Up On Anti-Radiation Pills And Radiation Detoxifying Food
    H. Detect Radiation
    I. Protective Gears Against Radiation
  4. Avoiding Exposure From Radiation
    A. Bug In Or Bug Out
    B. Drinking Water Safety
    C. Remove Contaminants
    D. Learn The Symptoms And Get Checked

According to many surveys, the US-North Korea rift makes one of the greatest world security concerns today. Moreover, the news of US conducting quiet military drills in different parts of the world in its campaign to pressure North Korea adds up to the tension.

As predicted by many experts, the next world war would result to deaths of millions, probably greater than the past wars combined. Different countries may find themselves involved in this war plunging the world economy down the marsh pit. However, compared to the previous world wars which lasted for years, the next one is expected to end up quickly. Given the power of today’s weaponry, these forecasts are highly likely to happen.

If a nuclear warhead hits the city and you survived the initial attack, you’re left to deal with another problem —  a world envenomed by nuclear radiation. To live through this stage, one must prepare and execute plans with extra care to avoid becoming a casualty. What are your chances and how can you get out alive of this catastrophe?

How Nuclear Radiation Affects The Body

After a nuclear explosion, the event emits radiation particles that disperse quickly to the surroundings. These emission contains enough energy that can destroy the electrons out of every matter. When this happens, it gives existence to ion pairs or ionizing radiation which highly reacts to chemicals.

Ionizing radiation comes in different types: alpha, beta, gamma, cosmic, neutrons, X-rays and more. Regardless of what type of ionizing radiation hits you, it’s the amount of exposure that poisons and kills. The absorbed dose is measured in units of Grays (Gy) or sievert (Sv). A quick abdominal X-ray exposes you to a very light dose which makes it safe. But when your body gets fully exposed to radiation of 300 Sv or more, you only have a couple of minutes to live.

Acute Radiation Syndrome

How will you die from nuclear radiation poisoning aka Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS)? Ionizing radiation is good when it comes to one thing — destroying DNA. It either breaks the cells enough to kill them or cause mutation that will eventually result to cancer.

The severity of ARS would depend on the amount of radiation exposure. Lower doses (< 1.0) can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, fever and fatigue. Higher amount of exposure (1.0-4.0 Gy) kills the blood cells. You can still survive, but the treatment process involves a series of blood transfusion and administering of antibiotics. A radiation poisoning victim who received this amount of ionizing radiation will also suffer from a weakened immune system, uncontrollable bleeding, and anemia due to blood complications.

Patients who absorbed 2 Gy of ionizing radiation or more will notice an odd sunburn on different parts of their body. This condition is called acute radiodermatitis often characterized by red patches, blistering, and peeling skin.

Doses between 4-8 Gy could be fatal. However, the symptoms before death still depend on the amount of absorbed radiation poison. Patients exposed at this level suffer from severe diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness and fever. If left untreated, the victim could die in just a week.

Doses between 8-30 Gy terminates the life of a patient within two weeks after the exposure. After an hour of exposure, victims will experience nausea and extreme diarrhea.

Those who received more than 30 Gy of nuclear radiation will also experience severe vomiting, diarrhea, and dizziness. Seizures and involuntary movements are also common. Death occurs within 48 hours.

Diseases Associated With Radiation Poisoning

Due to destruction of cells and tissues or mutation that occurs in the body contaminated by ionizing radiation, different diseases may occur immediately or years after the radiation exposure. Some of these include:

  • Leukemia (bone marrow destruction)
  • Cancers of the colon, thyroid, breast, bile ducts, bladder, kidney, pancreas, ovary, small intestine, urinary tract and salivary glands.
  • Multiple myeloma (plasma cells cancer)
  • Thyroid nodular disease
  • Tumors of the brain
  • Tumors of the central nervous system
  • Sclerosis

Radiation Poisoning In History

The devastating effects of nuclear radiation will make someone wish for their life to end immediately. Looking into some famous instances, it appeared that it’s better to get caught in a  nuclear bombing where death is quick, instead of absorbing doses of radiation that leads to agonizing pain and suffering.

Listed below are well-known incidents and cases of people who died due to receiving high or repeated doses of ionizing radiation.

The Man Who Drank Prescription Radium

Eben McBurney Byers, an American aristocrat, athlete, and industrialist, injured his arm while traveling after the Harvard-Yale football game. He complained of persistent pain and took Radithor, a highly radium-concentrated patent medicine as suggested by his doctor.

Byers drank 1,400 bottles of Radithor over three years and as a result, his bones received loads of radium that it even shrank his jaw. He also suffered from brain abscess and holes in his skull. Two years after he stopped taking Radithor, Byers died from radiation poisoning in 1932.

The Demon Core

Slotin criticality accident drawing

Slotin criticality accident drawing

Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. was a physicist researching for the Manhattan Project. While conducting an experiment to build a nuclear reflector, Daghlian accidentally dropped the last tungsten carbide brick into the center of the plutonium core and brick assembly. This caused the reaction to become super critical.

To halt the reaction, he attempted to knock off the brick but failed. He was forced to get close so that he can partially disassemble the tungsten carbide pile to prevent further disaster. As a result, he absorbed a high dose of neutron radiation. Daghlian was given intensive medical care but he still fell into a coma and died 25 days after the accident.

After a few months, another researcher who worked on the Manhattan Project fell victim to nuclear poisoning. Louis Slotin, performed an experiment as eight others watched. He tried to place two half-spheres of beryllium around the plutonium core trying to create one of the first steps in fissure reaction. But an accident happened where the beryllium fell causing a critical reaction which he managed to fix. However, Slotin was already exposed to very high doses of ionizing radiation.

According to the records, Slotin experienced a sour taste in his mouth and a burning sensation in his left hand. Others observed the blue glow of air ionization and a sudden heat wave. Slotin vomited as soon as they got out of the facility, which is a common reaction to people who absorbed doses of nuclear radiation. He was rushed to the hospital but his health deteriorated in just a matter of days. After nine days, Slotin died from ARS caused by the same core dropped by Daghlian, earning the name “demon core”.

Two Hundred Times More Concentrated

In 1958, an accident involving a plutonium processing tank occurred killing an experienced chemical operator. Cecil Kelley was working in a tank that supposed to have 0.1 grams of plutonium per liter. However, due to improper transfers, the tank turned out to have held plutonium concentration of 200 times higher. Also, the concentration was not distributed evenly making it prone to criticality even before Kelley tried to began the operation. When he switched the stirrer on, the tank formed a vortex and other worked heard a dull thud coming from Kelley’s area.

Two operators rushed to help Kelley and brought him to the hospital. He was retching, vomiting and hyperventilating. When the doctors conducted a test, they found out Kelley’s body fully radioactive.

Two hours after the incident, he regained coherence but it was clear that he won’t survive for long. Test results also showed that Kelley’s bone marrow was destroyed and he began experiencing pain in his abdomen that won’t react to medication. Kelley died 35 hours after the criticality accident.

The Victims Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki Bombings

Around 70,000 to 80,000 people died immediately when the uranium bomb, “Little Boy”, was dropped in Hiroshima. After three days, 40,000-75,000 lives perished instantly after the plutonium bomb, “Fat Man”, exploded in Nagasaki. But these are not the only deaths caused by the bombings. In fact, approximately 250,000 more died of radiation burns, thermal burns, radiation sickness and other diseases caused by radiation poisoning which came from these two events.

Earthquake Triggered

Apart from human error, a nuclear tragedy may come as a result of a natural disaster such as earthquake in the case of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. In March 2011, an earthquake with magnitude 9.0 hit the northeast coast of Japan causing nuclear meltdown, explosions and radiation leaks. The incident contaminated the nearby soil and water.

Two bodies were found in the turbine room of the power plant while 167 workers were exposed to radiation. While the public received low doses of ionizing radiation, the Japanese government expects a very low amount of cancer issues to develop.

Whole City Contaminated

The biggest nuclear accident that happened so far in history took place at the Chernobyl Power Plant in Ukraine. Due to regional power issues, the workers conducting a test to figure out how turbines would supply energy to different pumps after a power failure paused the test. The night shift workers which are newbies and not fully trained were left to continue the experiment.

As a result, multiple errors were made while the automatic shutdown mechanisms were disabled. The reactor SCRAMed and issues with the design helped the core to quickly overheat. It eventually exploded releasing huge amounts of radioactive steam and fission products. One of the workers was killed immediately and his body must be identifiable as it was never found. Another one was rushed to the hospital but also died due to his injuries.

The Chernobyl incident of 1986 caused ARS to 237 people working on site. Twenty eight people died within weeks, six of them were firefighters who attended to the fires of the turbine building.  Nineteen more died between 1984 and 2004. While no one off site suffered from acute radiation syndrome, the fallout soon generated many cases of childhood thyroid cancers. The Chernobyl nuclear accident affected around one million people and made a huge part of Pripyat city contaminated up to now.

 

Preparing For Radiation Poisoning

Apart from nuclear attacks, a world contaminated by radiation may come as a result of human error as mentioned in many examples above, or a natural disaster. Think of the earthquake and tsunami that caused the Fukushima incident placing many nearby residents in danger of dying from conditions associated with radiation poisoning.

If you happened to survive the initial blast, you’ll continue to make it out alive if you prepped enough to shield yourself and your family from the dispersed nuclear fall out brought by the wind. Here are some things you can do to increase the chances of your survival.

Be The First To Hear About What’s Happening

The most important key to get away from nuclear radiation is to know about the incident the moment it explodes. When it happens, power lines may die and you’re left wondering what just happened. Radio signals may be affected as well as the internet. With the basic communication tools dead, how will you know about the upcoming disaster?

The government will send out warnings of fallout arrival through an official channel for emergency announcements. However, only radios with short antennas like the NOAA/All Hazard Weather Channels with Alert and Weather Scan will work as they won’t be affected by the nuclear fallout. So if you don’t have one, time to purchase from your favorite online shopping store.

Another stuff that will remain functional despite the electromagnetic pulse around the area is the 50-channel two-way radio from Midland Communications. You will receive alerts about nuclear power plant warnings with a detection range of 36 miles out. This will let you know about a nuclear power plant accident or an attack ahead of anyone giving you enough time to prepare and device whether to bug in or bug out.

Check The Map

In case of a nuclear power plant accident, it’s best to always know its distance from your home. Check the map to make sure if you reside near a power plant. You also need to know whether the site is operational or not. Do it now as soon as you read this sentence. We provided an updated map of U.S. Nuclear Power Plant location and their status below.

U.S. Nuclear Power Plant Status, 2018 – (source: Wikipedia)

Your residence must sit many miles away from the plant to be safe. But if you want to completely get away from danger, consider moving to neighboring city.

A nuclear accident may come as light as an X-ray dose. However, the usual mishaps involving nuclear power plants turned out to be deadly like the Fukushima Daiichi and Chernobyl disaster. Also, a nuclear attack carried out by terrorists or enemy countries may go as far as we can imagine. Assume the worst thing to take place so you can always come up with the best course of action.

Stock Up With Prepping Needs

If you decide to bug in or stay at home, you need enough supplies to keep you alive until the government finds a way to decontaminate the area. Some bunkers can keep emergency food packs, canned goods, and other food items that will last for three to five years while giving you enough space to grow crops or raise livestock, poultry, and some aquatic goods.

But when it comes to basic human survival, preppers make sure to not just dwell too much on stocking up food. Other categories everyone would need in any dire situation would be:

Build An Underground Shelter

This may not be an option for all. However, it’s one great investment for any household as shelters serve as safe havens in many other events apart from a nuclear fallout such as an air strike or an earthquake. The Atlas underground bunker sounds like a good deal as you can get a safe place to “let it all pass” for $36,000.

A shelter must be able to sustain itself through its own water and power sources. Generators would come in handy once a national black out commenced. While a water source may become tainted with radiation, they are still safe to use for cleaning or decontamination. Radiological water filters will help solve water problems in many situations.

If you don’t have enough funds to build an underground shelter, storm shelters and root cellars will do. You can also fortify your home to make it resistant from fallout threats. Seal up windows with tough plastic sheets for pandemics and duct tape. This would provide sufficient defense against radiation.

Block the entrance with sandbags to prevent intruders from getting in. Sandbags also shields you from radiation, bullets, and explosives. Build more mass for a higher amount of protection.

Radiological Water Filter Systems

Radiation cannot be removed by just boiling contaminated water. You can only make sure of it by using a trusted radiological water filter system. The Seychelles Water Filter eliminates 100% of identified radiological contaminants from drinking water. It includes: radium 226, cesium 137, uranium, gross beta, radon 222, and radioactive iodine B1.

Stock Up On Anti-Radiation Pills And Radiation Detoxifying Food

Nuclear radiation from a distance can be carried away by the wind. When it reaches your destination, make sure you gathered enough protection from its damages. Anti-radiation tablets will not immunize you from radiation but they can prevent some damaging effects caused by radiation poisoning.

The thyroid, the part of the body that is most sensitive to radiation, uses iodine to make a thyroid hormone. When ionized radiation made contact with the thyroid, it scoops up radioactive iodine.

Anti-radiation tablets are usually potassium iodate pills. These pills protect the thyroid by supplying it with enough iodine so that it is no longer necessary to absorb any further. This prevents the thyroid from getting radioactive iodine that causes the development of thyroid cancer.

Sodium bicarbonate also counts as a radioactive medicine. Like potassium iodate, it reduces some effects caused by radiation exposure. Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda prevents kidney failure and protects other sensitive tissues from damage.

Dietary pectin is also known as a radioprotective agent. Apple pectin effectively sweeps toxins and contaminants in the digestive tract. A report from Swiss Medical Weekly says that a study confirmed the reduction of 137Cs update on kids exposed to the radiation emitted by the Chernobyl incident. Apple pectin was administered orally in many cases and showed great performance in flushing out radiation from the affected body system.

Other foods known to detoxify radiation include: bee pollen, beets, broccoli, brown rice, garlic, ginger, leafy greens, olive oil, onions, pumpkin, sea weed, and wheat grass.

Detect Radiation

A way to reduce radiation exposure is to detect if it’s already in the air. While you may be contaminated by the time you found out about it, detecting radiation early and immediately taking action increases the chance of survival. For as low as $20, you can purchase some radiation detection kits or devices online.

The RADSticker Dosimeter is an easy to use and portable stuff that can detect radiation. It’s a post stamp you can keep inside your wallet or stick to your bug out bag. The RADSticker becomes darker as it detects radiation. It also provides users of information about the amount of radiation you were exposed to so you’ll know whether you need immediate medical attention or not.

A fancier way to detect radiation is a Geiger counter. It’s got a more advanced radiation software technology for a bit of a price. The best affordable radiation solution we can find is the Radex Geiger counter which only costs around $200.

Protective Gears Against Radiation

Purchase radiation protective gears as you may need to get out of your shielded shelter at some point. This allows you to freely go out without the worry of radiation exposure. You also need to stock up on these suits if you live near a power plant.

The Demron full body radiation protective unit fully shields you from fallout dust and radiation. As not everyone can afford this specialized suit, a disposable Tyvec suit or one that’s used in a pandemic may provide enough defense. However, you may need to be quick as it can’t handle prolonged exposure to radiation.

On the other hand, a Faraday Cage shields your gadgets from electromagnetic pulse which may occur during a nuclear attack or accident. It can take a form of a square, rectangle or cylinder. The Faraday Cage are usually made of non-conductive material such as wood or cardboard, wrapped in aluminum foil.

The conductive layer of the cage reflects fields and absorbs incoming energy while the cage itself generates opposing fields. This device protects your gadget from absorbing excessive field levels. Faraday bags with the same function are available online.

Avoiding Exposure From Radiation

To thwart the deadly radiation, minding the time of exposure is essential. The longer you swim in a contaminated field, the larger dose you’ll get leading to more damaging effects. Always keep a radiation detector with you, and immediately keep away from potential radiation sources.

Bug In Or Bug Out

Bugging out may not be the best option during a nuclear fallout. But if in case that you need to get out of the shelter, you need to keep protective gears on hand. Don’t forget to bring a gas mask to prevent inhalation of dust particles. If you happened to be outside while the nuclear attack or accident happened, check the map and get as far as you can. If you can’t do so, seek for shelter.

Bugging in appears as the most likely scenario for survivors of the nuclear attack. But this only works if you gathered everything you need before the fallout. While most experts would advise three days of food ration, it’s best to keep a year’s supply of food and water. Also consider growing your own food source inside the shelter.

Drinking Water Safety

Tap water may be contaminated during a nuclear fallout. Do not drink water from well or tap water unless you collected them in a sealed container beforehand. It’s safest to drink bottled water so keep plenty of stock in your bunker or shelter.

Boiling water is not sufficient in removing radiation. A specialized radiological filtration system that really works is what you needed.

Remove Contaminants

If you got exposed to radiation, the next step is always decontamination. For shorter times of radiation subjection, you may only receive external damage. To make sure it remains that way, you need to know how to decontaminate.

Take off all your clothes immediately including your underwear and discard them in secured plastic bags. This will reduce 90% of radiation contamination.

Shower with clean water and soap. Scrub hard to remove potential radiation from the surface of your skin. This step will annihilate the remaining 10%.

Learn The Symptoms And Get Checked

While we don’t want our readers to reach a point of experiencing the symptoms, an excellent prepper assumes the worst. A human exposed to radiation may experience nausea, vomiting and dizziness. If this happened after a nuclear incident, decontaminate and get to the nearest hospital as soon as possible for immediate treatment.

The post How To Survive Radiation Poisoning From A Nuclear Attack Or Accident appeared first on Geek Prepper.

How to Survive an Air Raid in Your City

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In the past, air raids turned vibrant communities into rubble. Lives ended in a snap without an opportunity to fight back.

In this generation where kids enjoy their iPads, Xbox, and school allowance, it would be a pain for everything to go away due to a war. And in a war where air raids always win, a lot will be taken away: your gadgets, your job, your internet, your favorite dining places, some friends, some loved ones, and possibly, your life.

Quick Navigation

  1. Deadliest Air Raids In History
     A. Pearl Harbor (1941)
     B. The Korean War (1950-1953)
     C. The Atomic Bomb Raids In Japan
  2. What Happens In An Air Raid?
  3. Preparing For An Air Raid
     A. Identify Places To Be Used As Air Raid Shelter
     B. Build Your Own Air Raid Shelter
     C. Pack First Aid Kit And Primary Necessities
  4. During An Air Raid
     A. Do Not Just Stand There And Watch
    B. Take Cover
    C. Hiding From Attacking Air Crafts
    D. Avoid Joining Large Groups Of People
  5. After An Air Raid
    A. Be Alert For UXBs
    B. Watch Out For Falling Structures
  
6. Starting Again

Currently, the tension between North Korea and United States are putting many nations on the edge of their seats. While others claim that involved countries started to move the chess pieces strategically, there’s a chance that heads will not cool. Regardless, everyone must prepare as the next world war is expected to be quick, large scale, and deadly.

Although many of us won’t likely experience an aerial bombing in our lifetime, don’t use it as an excuse to NOT prepare. An air raid may bring the same hazard as a tsunami, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake or a category 4 hurricane. When a deadly air raid happens, early preparation and making a quick response will save you.

Deadliest Air Raids In History

To highlight the impact of an air raid on humanity, we list down a few of the deadliest air raids that happened in history.

Pearl Harbor (1941)

To annihilate the American naval units which may interfere in their Southeast Asian conquest, the Japanese launch surprising air strikes to the unsuspecting US navy. The attack sunk some of US prime battleships, killed almost 2500 men and left more than a thousand wounded.

The Korean War (1950-1953)

The Korean War introduced the world to powerful jet fighters such as Sabre and Mig 15. While the jets of Russia and North Korea fight off the enemy planes from US and the UN, bombs were dropped in Pyongyang and other cities. The world saw over 600,000 tons of US bombs dropped and over 1,200,000 million dead.

The Atomic Bomb Raids In Japan

US started bombing Japanese cities in 1944, but it was only in May 1945 when they decided to end the war with a revolutionary weapon – the atomic bomb. Originally, the plan was to target three key cities: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Kokura. The US scheduled it for August 1945 if the order would permit.

When August 6 of the same year arrived, Enola Gay, a B-29 bomber took off from a hidden base somewhere in the Pacific and headed towards the targeted cities. At exactly 8:15 AM, the crew dropped the first bomb “Little Boy” at Hiroshima. Due to the shock waves the aircraft needed to flee immediately to avoid getting tossed and ending up as casualty of their own making. Finally, they dropped the second and the last bomb at the industrial city of Nagasaki. Konkura was spared due to heavy mushroom-shaped smokes that rose up in the air.

What Happens In An Air Raid?

Attackers do their best to stay incognito when conducting an air raid. Thus, a country relies greatly in their ability to detect upcoming threats. The first air raids in history took place in broad daylight but due to defending fighters and anti aircraft artillery, bombers had no choice but to conduct their operations at night which increases their chances of staying undetected.

When attackers successfully infiltrated the perimeter, everything will happen quickly. Bombs will be dropped while the anti-aircraft defenses try to take down enemy planes. Military forces will start fortifying camps and important establishments such as hospitals to treat the injured. In just a snap, the ground suddenly becomes the most dangerous place for humanity.

Preparing For An Air Raid

A lot has changed throughout the years. War planes flew faster, ordinances reached farther, and attacks became deadlier. But even so, the best preparation and advice given before hold the same relevance as what is being provided today.

Identify Places To Be Used As Air Raid Shelter

The air attacks of the WWI helped identify the most effective air raid shelter for the public. According to British reports, many people slept in their cellars or basements, while others went in underground stations. Some of the most popular refuges of WWI that would be reused in WWII are the caves and tunnels in the chalk cliffs of Ramsgate, and the Tilbury Arches viaduct in Stepney.

If the air raid suddenly took place while you’re far from home, quickly find a communal shelter. One example is the London Underground stations. While the government feared of letting the public use the transportation channel, they gave in to the public’s demand. As a result, the Aldrich station was converted to a permanent shelter. Many underground tunnels built or converted during the two world wars can resist and protect many people from air raids.

Build Your Own Air Raid Shelter

People in countries susceptible to air attacks often prepared by building their own Bomb or Air Raid Shelter. These shelters could be built underground in your backyards or inside your house. As a matter of fact, sanctuaries that protect people from air raids existed since the First World War.

Governments provide different forms of shelter for their people. However, expect that these places will become crowded, unhygienic, and uncomfortable. Food shortage and chaos is highly likely to happen. Also, enemies will target these spots to cause more damage. If you would like to stay safe with your family without going through the hardships a public air raid shelter has to offer, try the following options.

Anderson Shelters

To protect people during the era of frequent air raids, the Anderson shelter was erected in 1939.  The shelter is built with two huge corrugated sheets of steel bolted together, sunk three feet underground, and covered by 18 inches of earth’s soil. A correctly constructed Anderson shelter can protect your from hundred-pound bombs detonating from six feet away. Once built, owners should modify it to make the space comfortable and livable.

During WW2, an estimate of 1.5 million Anderson shelters were distributed to civilian households worldwide. They were given for free to anyone who earned less than 250 pounds per year. However, most of these shelters are not leak-proof and sound-proof amplifying the noise of the bombs. Due to this, a survey conducted in 1940 revealed that only 27% used Anderson shelters. Nine percent slept in public shelters while four percent chose underground tunnels. A huge 60% of informants confessed that they’d rather die in the comfort of their own home.

Morrison Shelters

In January 1941, a more popular shelter was invented. The Morrison shelters consist of a rectangular steel and mesh cage which can accommodate two adults and two children. Although it seemed more convenient than Anderson shelters, the Morrison do not provide the same amount of safety due to the absence of lateral protection.

Underground Bunkers

Although it may cost you a fortune, underground bunkers serve a great purpose not only during air raids. It can keep you hidden and safe from nuclear attacks, earthquakes, hurricanes, and attackers while enjoying a cozy setting. If you own a garden or lawn big enough for a reinforced industrial container, you can work with engineers or contact shelter builders to design your own underground bunkers.

Atlas Survival Shelters provide one of the most inexpensive but comfortable shelters today. For only US $36,000, you can get your own doomsday bunker built to withstand a variety of tragedies including air raids. Your family will just need to sleep through the air attacks until everyone decided to calm down and live in peace again.

Pack First Aid Kit And Primary Necessities

Store emergency food, first aid kits, clothes, and other essential supplies in the bomb shelter. Keep a supply stock that will last for more than a month.

First Aid Kits

  • Bandages
  • Cleaning kit (alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, povidone-iodine, cotton balls, wire gauze)
  • Scissors
  • Thermometer
  • Blade
  • Suturing supplies
  • Medicines (Aspirins, antihistamine, antiseptic, antibiotics, anti-diarrhea capsules,  etc.)
  • Supplements (Vitamin C, Multivitamin capsules, food supplements, etc.)

Food

  • Canned goods
  • Nuts
  • Rice
  • Instant noodles
  • Emergency food bucket
  • Seeds of vegetables and other edible crops that will grow in an indoor garden

Others

  • Drinking water
  • Clothes
  • Radio and Batteries
  • Emergency Phone
  • Flashlights

During An Air Raid

Back in the day, defense ministries provided precaution cards to every home to educate families about air raids. Although many expect today’s air raids to appear a lot of times deadlier, the responses you need to take are somehow alike.

Still, what you will do at the very first seconds of the air raid will determine your fate. Make your move to avoid becoming the first blood. The instant enemy planes flew over from where you stand, enter the survivalist mode and do the below steps to increase your chances of coming out of it alive.

Do Not Just Stand There And Watch

History proved that air raids are obviously hundreds of times deadlier than accidents, mass shooting, and hurricanes. When you see planes over your head, the only thing you need to do is to seek for a sturdy hiding place. Do not spectate any further as at that moment, every split of a second counts.

Even if the bombs fell from a distance, fragments may scatter from miles away and it can cause serious injury or even death. The enemies may also target civilians in their line of sight. Do not attempt to take pictures or footage of the bombings as it will only slow you down.

Take Cover

Staying inside your home may not give enough security unless you take cover under the sturdiest structure available. Hide underneath the table, stairs, or a basement. Families should invest in fortifying their basements and turn it into resistant bomb shelters. Avoid windows and frail walls that may break, scatter, and cause damage when explosions happen.

If you’re unlucky to be outside during the air raid, look for the nearest possible shelter. You may head to a tube or underground train station as they work great in sheltering people according to history. Compared to your home, the sturdy foundation and distance of the underground station from the surface will keep you safe from flying glass, explosion, collapsing structures, and radiation.

But if you got stuck in an open area without any establishments to run into, lie flat on the ground while protecting your head with your bag or arms. A person standing in the open may appear as a threat or target to flying air crafts. As much as possible, avoid detection by enemy planes or any flying object.

Hiding From Attacking Air Crafts

Apart from bombs, many war planes fly around with machine guns to annihilate smaller targets. Although they stay more than 50 feet above the ground, their attacks are deadly to everyone.

Use tall grasses, trees, rocks and other things you can find outside to conceal yourself. Change clothes quickly if you’re wearing bright-colored garments to avoid getting the attention of any attacking bodies.

Avoid Joining Large Groups Of People

Stay away from densely populated areas which are usually targets of bombing attacks. When an air raid happens and you happened to be outdoors, you could meet a lot of people along the way seeking for a safe place. Unlike other SHTF scenarios, joining a large group of people would put you in danger instead of offering security.

Large groups of survivors can easily attract hovering drones and air crafts. Pilots of these air crafts aim to kill or cause as much damage as they could in a single blow. These makes a bunch of people a better target than a lone wolf.

After An Air Raid

The dangers of an air raid does not end after the fighter jets have left or were taken down. In the past, authorities reminded the citizens to carefully move around after an attack due to many reasons. To injuries and death after an air raid, keep these things in mind.

Be Alert For UXBs

In recorded history, unexploded bombs or UXBs killed a number of people who played around or unknowingly stepped upon foreign objects on the ground. These UXBs were actually bombs dropped or thrown during air raids but suffered from mechanical failure. They may explode anytime so watch out for them.

Some UXBs contain time-delay fuses intended to kill people after the main event. If you happen to find one of these, quickly stay away and alert the authorities. An army bomb disposal squad will be sent immediately to diffuse it.

Watch Out For Falling Structures

Heavily damaged buildings and lamp posts may likely collapse a few moments after the air raid has ended. Stay in the shelter for some time until the local government confirms that it is safe to go back to your house. Warnings or barricades will be placed around infrastructures that are likely to cause accidents to people who will try to get near.

Starting Again

Air raids can leave countries in a devastating state. Apart from deaths and damage to properties, the economy will experience an all time low. It may seem hard but getting back up from this tragedy is possible.

Aids from allied countries may arrive a few days or weeks after the air raid. If the war has extended longer than expected, survivors of the raid may need to evacuate to a refugee place. Food, water, medicine, clothes and other basic necessities will be provided in refugee centers. Psychological briefing and classes are also provided to victims of war to help them recover from the shock.

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9 Most Overlooked (But Important) Survival Skills

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There are many different survival skills that could prove invaluable in a disaster scenario. Some of these skills–such as marksmanship or the ability to preserve food–receive a lot of attention, while others often fly under the radar. Nevertheless, these skills are each incredibly valuable in their own right, and some of them may prove just […]

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Apartment Prepping: Not Optimal BUT Possible

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I recently helped someone set up their apartment,  someone who understood the value of preparedness but was just not at a point in their life where a home away from things on some land was possible.  Let’s face it, some might not even want that in their lives or other circumstances could force them to live in an apartment.  Personally I had to live in an apartment just outside of Washington, D.C. for a year, it was not optimal but I made it work the best I could.  I had several systems in place in my apartment, routes identified locally for egress and a storage unit within walking distance which had quite a few necessary supplies contained within.  Making due with what I was given, it’s what we do right?

Let’s take a look at some of the problems apartment living poses to the prepper.

Security

Literally surrounded by people, living above / below / next to you.  Parking usually open to the public and at any given time who knows what type of guests (invited or univited) might be in or around the facility.  Some complexes strictly regulate what you can and cannot do, cameras or even a simple security system could be disallowed.  Other folks (read: maintenance) have the keys to your door, not exactly a castle on a hilltop if you know what I mean.

Population Density

This is what I always cringe at and it bleeds over into the security and privacy aspect, the fact that apartment complexes are literally a place where the most people are crammed into the smallest areas in order to maximize revenue for the management group.  Depending on the type and caliber of complex you could have multiple families living in one unit, usually foreign nationals.  When I lived in D.C. I bet there were 1000 people within one square block, here in the mountains there might be 20 people within 1 square mile but I highly doubt it.

Privacy

This is the biggest issue,  at any given time a notice could go out for whatever reason and there will be folks coming into the apartment to repair something, check something, whatever….and there is nothing you can do about it.  “Make sure dogs (if allowed) are secured, maintenance will be in the change filters and genereally snoop around between 9-5.”  I hated it but there was nothing that could be done, think about any preps or even firearms that might be secured or otherwise.  Not an optimal situation.

So What Can Be Done?

I have made the best of a bad situation and have helped others to do so as well.  Sometimes living in an apartment is a necessary evil, here are a few tips that I have passed along.

Security System:  If possible and allowed try something easy to install like Simplisafe or others.  Many of these systems have duress signals which can be enabled and panic buttons, great for notifying the authorities.  Also use those door bars that go under the knob, truly prevent unwanted entry and are around $20 at Home Depot.

Dedicated Parking:  If possible pay extra for the garage or carport.  Having to drive around looking for a space, especially at night which might include a long walk is not optimal.

Dog:  Get a dog and put a beware of dog sign up.  Dogs are wonderful companions but also great deterrants for the average crackhead.  Nobody, myself included wants to get bitten by a dog.

Off Site Storage:  A small storage unit will typically run less than $100 a month and can be very useful in the event of a natural disaster or simply a backup plan.  Extra clothing, food and water, your imagination is the limit.  Piece of mind is what the storage unit is all about and if things went sideways and the apartment burned to the ground what would you need in the storage unit that was absolutely essential?  Take it from there.

Detectors:  This is the easy stuff and by that I mean don’t trust your neighbors.  In this other apartment I set up I installed CO2 detectors, additional Smoke Alarms and added things like fire extinguishers.  When you live around 50 other people in one building you never know what could spark off especially in the middle of the night so additional detectors are a must.

Firearms:  Use your best judgement, obviously one of those things that someone must be comfortable with.  Personally I prefer 00 Buckshot over trying to beat an intruder with a wooden spoon.

Egress:  Know how to get out and more than one way to do so.  Know were to go (read: rally point) if it’s the middle of the night and you are clad in boxer briefs and sandals.

The Bottom Line.

I have to believe that given the option there is no prepper out there who would willingly live in a crowded apartment complex versus a home out on some land.  However life happens and there are instances where apartment living is necessary and unavoidable.  Given that we have to make due with what we have, doing the best that we can.  Take some of the tips listed above and add your own, it will only make the experience more manageable.

 

6 Things That Preppers Often Don’t Do Enough

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The year is almost over, which means millions of people are going to try to lose weight and get in better shape over the next few months. Sadly, most of them will fail. But if you’re a prepper, you can’t afford to fail at this. I believe physical fitness is one of the most important […]

The post 6 Things That Preppers Often Don’t Do Enough appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

The Daily Prep: Winter Preparedness Tasks

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I’ve been traveling but am home now, a few tasks to accomplish as the weather has definiely changed from mild to extremely cold.  The only snow that we have gotten has been sporadic but in this area we are one front away from getting dumped on by the feet.  A few key tasks that I have on my agenda today are:

  • Drain all gas cans, refill at pump.
  • Run generators, make sure that I turn them off by cutting the fuel source instead of just hitting the off button.
  • Charge devices in vehicles, the jump start / extra power packs.

I typically try to rotate through my gasoline, at any given time I’ll have 25 to 30 gallons on site in containers but this time I got lazy and all of them need cycled through at once.  The annoying thing about it is actually holding the can up while it slowly dumps into my truck’s tank, although I have started migrated towards safety cans which have a better flow rate.  These cans are much more robust but that comes with an extra cost obviously.

The generators are definitely something that I need to conduct regular maintenance on, they are my short term / power out SHTF solution.   Being that I have a wood burning stove I wouldn’t really need them to heat the house but keeping all of the meat that I have in my freezers cold as well as running the lights (via a transfer switch) is definitely a must have.  In my mind I could probably run the generator for the house around 4 hours during the day in an outage and then shut it down for the evening.  Hopefully we won’t have to test that theory but having options is a good thing.

With respect to the powered devices in the vehicles, we all have variations of a jump start pack in addition to the standard jumper cables.  These devices will drain over time if not used and especially in the cold so I try to dig them out every few months and plug them in until back to green status.  Quite honestly I’ve never seen anything jump a vehicle as well as another vehicle and standard cables but once again it’s nice to have options just in case.

With that the sun is just beginning to expose itself over the mountains, time to get started on the chores and finish another cup of coffee.  Better to do the extra work now and not have need for the efforts in the future than to unexpectidley get in a tight spot without recourse.

 

The Daily Prep: Firewood, water, tires.

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Woke up this morning to some ominious looking clouds over the mountain horizon, snow inbound.  The wind was such last night that it (once again) wreaked havoc with my tarps covering the wood pile, among other things.  I’ve learned quite a bit since moving to the mountains about managing wood for the stove, it turned out to be a little more complex than I thought.

  • 2 cord would be plenty for the cooler weather I thought, I was wrong.
  • Stacking the wood nice and neat satisfied by OCD, but not that practical.  If you don’t pull from the pile evenly it starts to get a nice lean to it, resulting in frustration.
  • Original tarps with bungee cords was great, but as the pile shrank constant adjustments and moving of anchor points was also a pain.
  • New approach was to build a big box to hold 1 cord (this will make a total of 3), just cover that box with a tarp and toss the wood in there any old way.  We’ll see how that goes.

With the wind last night and weather moving in I knew I had to adjust my tarps and also cover the new wood box.  Some old sandbags came in handy to keep things secure along with some well placed deck screws and bungee cords, this between constant requests to throw a log down the hill from my dog.

With respect to water I’m refilling (via well) the large basin / stone pool that is near the house, I’d say it easily holds more than a medium hottub but every few weeks need to add more water as it gets lost to evaporation and animals drinking out of it.  I have a pump that keeps it constantly moving so that’s a good thing.  The reality is I have a well and plenty of storage on site but it’s always nice to have this as a backup to the backup plan because…you never know.

I inspected my tires on my truck and am due for a new set of 2, I’ve staggered purchasing and rotate on a consistent basis but these are not going to get me through the winter.  Something like having good tires on a vehicle is essential to preparedness, can’t tell you how many folks I see on the side of the road when the big snow comes because they neglected to shod their vehicle with the appropriate tires.

That’s pretty much it for now, maybe I’ll include a daily prep segment once a week or so as it’s always good to get folks thinking and keep focused.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Being a Prepper in College

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Written by Mary Walton Being a prepper means that you’re prepared for anything that could happen. Whether it’s the increase in terrorist attacks, natural disasters or any form of event that could take place at any time. However, being at home and being in college, potentially in a new place very far from your home are completely different things. So, to get you started in the world of prepping while being at college here’s everything you need to know. Food […]

The post Everything You Need to Know About Being a Prepper in College appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

How To Survive Mass Shootings and Sniper Attacks

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Almost ZERO percent — your chances of facing a sniper attack or other kinds of mass shooting. Despite this seemingly reassuring fact, the recent shooting incident at a country music event in Las Vegas serves as a warning of changing times. According to the news, the bloody killing spree of a lone gunman with his semi automatic rifle caused at least 50 deaths and left the whole world in shock.

Quick Navigation

  1. The Las Vegas Shooting Incident
  2. The Difference Of Las Vegas Attack Compared To Other Mass Shooting Incidents
  3. Surviving A Sniper Attack
     A. Wear Clothes That Won’t Steal Anyone’s Attention
     B. Familiarize Yourself To The Sound Of Gunfire
     C. Have A Survivalist Plan
     D. Avoid The Crowd
     E. Take Advantage Of Reloading Times
     F. Expect The Worst Case Scenario
  4. Sniper Attack: It’s All About Making Wise Use Of A Second
  5. Facts About Mass Shooting
  6. Places Where Mass Shooting Would Likely Occur
  7. How To Prepare For Mass Shooting
     A. Always Wear The Right Gear
     B. Learn First Aid
     C. Identify Emergency Exits And Hiding Areas
     D. Remain Alert In A Shared Environment
     E. Learn How To Barricade
     F. Bring Some Prepper Tools
  8. How To Survive A Mass Shooting
     A. Run And Escape
    B. Hiding And Barricading
    C. Engaging With The Mass Shooter
  9. When A School Shooting Takes Place
  10. When Emergency Services Arrive
  11. Three Most Important Active Shooter Response To Remember

A successful terror act and a population in panic may invite more attack. In this uncertain phase of our society, people keep asking on what they should do if ever they got caught in the same shooting scenario.

The internet did a great job in spreading informative videos and articles on how to survive an active shooter situation. However, there are many kinds of terror attacks and each requires a different set of safety responses. Your game plan to survive in one may not work on the other.

 

The Las Vegas Shooting Incident

survive sniper attack las vegas shooting

According to concertgoers who witnessed the shooting, it started out with hearing gunshots. The firing went against the beat of the song and it became faster shot after shot. However, they couldn’t find where the shots are coming from. When it seemed that the concert area with 22,000 people was the target, everyone started to panic.

In a video footage shared across different online platforms, people kept on screaming and running for cover. However, they do not know exactly why they do it. At first, they thought it was a firework act gone wrong. Others assumed trouble with the sound system.

Jason Aldean fled the stage. Thousands ran to anywhere while some others took video of their escape. Unfortunately, some spectators got shot and died before they knew what’s going on. A 21-year old survivor named Taylor shared that it wasn’t until the country singer left the stage when he realized that someone standing five feet away from him received a bullet in the chin.

The lively concert venue quickly turned into a manic hive with police sirens and flashing lights. Survivors even narrated how people tried to flee from the venue with bullet holes in their bodies while others remain lifeless on the ground.

With the shooter coming from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Resort, it would take longer for the police to zero in on the culprit’s hiding place. The distance measures around 400 yards away from the concert venue. If one correctly assumed that it’s a sniper spraying bullets from a building, it would take a lot of guessing before anyone could fine out.

The fire alarm caused by the gunfire smoke gave away the location of the shooter. When the police arrived to the hotel room, they found a man dead due to a self-inflicted gun shot wound. The FBI believes that the shooter killed himself before they could get in.

The Difference Of Las Vegas Attack Compared To Other Mass Shooting Incidents

survive sniper attack mandalay bay resort

Compared to previous mass shootings, the Las Vegas incident looks far different. The shooter sprayed his bullets from a high-rise building which does not happen very often. Without any idea of the shooter’s location, his victims would fall in great confusion as to where they should go for safety.

The standard advisory to escape, hide, and fight became completely useless. People did not know where to run, they do not know what to hide from, and they could not fight someone considering the distance. Even if you had a firearm, a concealable handgun won’t shoot far and accurate enough.

Because of the bigger picture from the sniper’s point of view, the evasion technique of running in a zigzag pattern won’t make a difference. Also, the sniper wanted to kill as much people as possible. He aimed for the wave of people in a general area instead of a single target. Due to this, quickly getting out of the area appears as the safest option.

Surviving A Sniper Attack

A person who knew about the surviving rules in a mass shooting may become discombobulated during a sniper attack. As a long range shooting is far different than other kinds of shooting, the same knowledge won’t work here. This calls for another lesson on how to survive a horror scenario like the Las Vegas incident.

Wear Clothes That Won’t Steal Anyone’s Attention

In a sea of people, the ones that stand out gets noticed first. Unfortunately, this also works during a random sniper attack especially if the gun man does not care about race, gender, or appearance. As much as possible, keep a low profile and avoid wearing things that will draw a lot of attention to you.

Familiarize Yourself To The Sound Of Gunfire

survive sniper attack listen to gun fire

Survivors of the Las Vegas shooting confessed that they did not realize the gunshots when they first heard it. Most of them thought it was fireworks. It took priceless seconds for most people to figure out that they were being attacked. For a while, the audience of the music festival became frozen targets in this shooting spree.

Some concertgoers remained alive because of great luck. They might have been watching from the safest area in the venue or the bullets were blocked by a few unfortunate people standing beside them. The sniper could have also aimed for an area with a thicker crowd to increase the deaths in his rampage.

If you heard firing sounds but didn’t see any fireworks, it lessens the chance of a pyrotechnics event occuring and increases the chance of a shootout happening nearby. Start looking around to see if something strange is taking place.

In the event of a sniper attack, you may see people dropping dead one by one. The first five seconds should paint the picture to everyone about what’s happening and what’s about to happen if they do not take any action. If lady luck kept you alive in the first seconds of the attack, help yourself and do not freeze from where you stand.

The faster you move, the higher chance you’d get out alive.

Have A Survivalist Plan

As things may go unexpectedly, always keep a survival mindset. Train yourself and your loved ones on how to identify potential weapons and possible escape routes in different places. For example, if you enter a restaurant, determine the places where you can hide, how can you escape if the need arises, and the available tools you can use if you need to engage with an attacker.

You may start with choosing the safest spot whenever and wherever you are. A survivalist in a restaurant would choose the seat next to a wall instead of eating in the most vulnerable area such as outdoors or beside the windows.

In the case of the Las Vegas incident, as no weapon can counter the sniper’s rifle and detect his location, you need to focus on finding the best place or direction that can shield you from the bullets.

Also, it’s best to get away as far as possible from the area as you don’t know exactly what’s going on. Terrorist attacks may start with shooting followed by a few bombings. It’s not enough that you got away from the sniper’s sight. Aim for the highest chance of safety.

Avoid The Crowd

survive sniper attack people run to avoid being shot

Image: People.com

Shooting from a distance works easily if targets stick to each other. You can just spray bullets on a crowd without aiming and it would result to a number of fatalities. But if your targets scatter, that’s where a sniper should exert an extra effort.

Distance yourself from the crowd. And when you do, avoid to not catch the attention of the sniper. Hide behind walls but avoid running next to them. Continue moving to make it hard for the sniper to hit you my moving and taking cover.

Some concertgoers reportedly crouched down. This may work in a lot of situation but during a sniper attack, it won’t do any good. The shooter aims from a higher ground and the bullets don’t go anywhere but downwards. It would make it easier for him to shoot those who try to get down low as they could. Playing dead is not safe either.

Take Advantage Of Reloading Times

survive sniper attack reloading

For a while, the shooting may stop as the sniper reloads or changes his firearm. This is everyone’s golden opportunity to those who are unsure of their hiding place to dash for the exits. Don’t wait for too long as an expert gun man can change or reload weapons in just a few seconds.

Expect The Worst Case Scenario

Thinking of the worst case to happen will give you enough motivation to do your best to escape. Also, this increases your chances of survival if in case the most unwanted thing would happen.

If you consider the worst case scenario, you would head home immediately. This saves you from deadlier events if the shooting incident would only serve as a prelude or disguise to a bigger terrorist move or invasion planned to happen on the same region at the same time.

Sniper Attack: It’s All About Making Wise Use Of A Second

survive sniper attack

Luck plays a huge role in surviving a sniper attack. For you to play the survival game, you should not end up as the first target.

Always keep a survival mindset wherever you go. With thousands of people in the venue, the chance of you receiving the first bullet is less than one percent.

Do not let a precious second go to waste. Flee the instant you realized what’s going on. A survivalist would quickly understand what’s happening in a few seconds and would take action to ensure his safety.

Facts About Mass Shooting

survive mass shooting death

A regular mass shooting does not happen too often, but it’s more highly likely to take place than a sniper attack. First, it takes a lot of security breaches, research, money, and probably intel, to get into a safe sniping post and get yourself a good sniping rifle with enough bullets.

A mass shooting may sound like a general term. And depending on the state’s law, the act could fall under the terrorist act category.

For most states, an attempt or act of using violence, coercion, or sabotage with the aim to impose an ideology, a concept of fear or symbolism makes it an act of terrorism. When a mass shooting is not a terror attack, some groups believe that the right people can prevent it from happening.

Throughout the years, researchers embarked on a study of mass shooters in schools. They examined multiple incidents spanning three decades. Below shows a list of facts that would help us understand better about an attacker’s behavior before the incident took place.

  • Most attackers did not serve a warning to their targets prior to the shootout.
  • Incidents of school attacks out of sudden impulse is highly rare.
  • Most attacks were stopped by intervention not made by the police force.
  • Prior to the attacks, most mass shooters had experience with a firearm or a weapon. Some of them are skilled.
  • Many attackers felt persecuted before the attack.
  • Many of them attempted to commit suicide.
  • Most attackers got started out scenes that resulted to physical and emotional concerns.
  • Before the mass shooting, a few people knew about the attacker’s plan to commit violence. Many of them did not report to the police.

According to the Secret Service and Department of Education from where the findings came from, the last two items in the list highlight further inquiry:

Ninety three percent of the attackers showed concerning behavior before the incidents. With proper observation mechanisms and a better way of sharing information, the attack could have been avoided.

In 81% of these attacks, some people had prior knowledge of what’s about to happen. Too bad, they did not speak up to the police for a variety of reasons.

These are some facts not only the authorities, but other people can also use to help stop mass shooting at its conceptualizing stages.

Places Where Mass Shooting Would Likely Occur

survive mass shooting crowded places

The law enforcement calls a person or people committing mass shooting, “active shooters”. And these active shooters have two types of targets: a place where many people gather or a business or organization with particular involvement or role to the life of the attacker.

Although this information appears too broad, this suggests that an event or venue you will visit could potentially be seen as a target. Mass shootings in the U.S. took place at the following:

  • Schools
  • National Parks
  • Shopping Malls
  • Offices
  • Airports
  • Movie Theaters
  • Concerts
  • Other public places full of people

Many of these places right now have tight securities. But still, some persistent perpetrators can surprisingly breach such defenses just to fulfill their ultimate goal — to kill as many random people as possible before they get neutralized.

How To Prepare For Mass Shooting

Not to instill fear to some readers, but no identifiable pattern could be derived out of whatever amount of data the authorities hold in their hands. So if you get stuck in a crowded place with less security personnel, just keep a survivalist mind, pay attention to your surroundings, and act fast. The below tips will make a big difference if you found yourself in that dangerous situation.

Always Wear The Right Gear

survive mass shooting kick heels off

Image: Vancourier.com

It’s always best to wear clothes and shoes that will allow movement if the need to flee arises. Apart from shooting, this also applies in the case of fires, earthquakes, and other disasters where you need to quickly leave an establishment or a dangerous area. Keep a pair of prepper running shoes below your office desk or ready yourself to ditch the high heels to save your life.

The best way to realize your vulnerability to such dangers is by imagining if you can exit a burning high-rise building with the clothes you wear for work. What about the outfit you wear for parties?

As they randomly shoot people, there is no pattern as to how perpetrators shoot their victims. But if in case you need to run with other people from an active shooter, you wouldn’t want to wear a shirt with a huge print, “shoot me” or a glowing shirt while the rest wears black or gray.

Learn First Aid

first aid

First aid makes one of the important skills you should learn. This will come in handy if you got wounded while fleeing. Remember to treat your own injuries first before assisting others. Educate yourself about different ways to stop bleeding. Moreover, always keep a modern tourniquet in your first aid kit.

Identify Emergency Exits And Hiding Areas

Take some time to locate the fire exits in your office building. Find out the fastest and the best escape route depending on the area where you stand in case of an emergency. Experts recommend keeping at least two escape routes in mind at all times just in case your first option won’t be accessible.

Find a good area of concealment and cover. But first, know the difference between the two.

Finding concealment means to search for a hiding place to keep you invisible from the active shooter’s line of sight. On the other hand, cover is also a hiding place but prioritizes more on protecting yourself from bullets such as behind walls, steel bars, and other bullet-proof materials.

Remain Alert In A Shared Environment

Whether you are in office or in a restaurant, keep your radar on. Know the sound of gun fire and try to locate where it came from. This gives you enough lead time to flee from your place before the active shooter arrives.

Learn How To Barricade

Identify which rooms got shockproof doors with multiple dead bolts. Just make sure you can still go out quickly as some mass shooters start fires out of frustration. Moreover, rooms with furniture and sturdy materials for barricading serve as good hiding places.

Bring Some Prepper Tools

survive mass shooting tactical weapon

As much as possible, avoid the active shooter’s line of sight. But if worst comes to worst, you may end up hiding or engaging with the attacker. Some pocket-friendly tools may come in handy:

  • A light-weight taser or stun gun – Remember to get as close as possible and stun the enemy with this tool. Once distracted grab the gun or inflict a debilitating damage such as hitting the crotch, breaking the neck or poking the eye with a sharp material.
  • Tactical pen – A good poking tool that can come useful in many situations.
  • Tactical flashlight – Distract the enemy with a blinding flash and follow up with a critical hit. Get this chance to grab the gun or get close to him to avoid getting shot. The tactical flashlight itself serves as a good melee weapon.

How To Survive A Mass Shooting

survive mass shooting

Image: Campus Safety Magazine

Imagine a fine working day at the office where everyone’s trying to make an impression. You stood up to grab yourself a cup of coffee at the nearby lounge.

As you take a careful sip of your company’s premium espresso, you heard some loud bang. At first, it seemed like another pyrotechnic stunt, but it’s the light of day! You entertained the thought of an intruder who got past the security. A few seconds later, a rushing employee confirmed that a man with a firearm infiltrated the building and started shooting anyone in sight.

Thoughts of fear and what ifs may struck you. But this is not the right time to entertain them. Remind yourself of the standard rule when an active shooter wreaks havoc in your work environment: run, hide, or fight back. Take note that these options may also apply in other establishments and public areas such as shopping centers, restaurants, and more.

Run And Escape

survive mass shooting run

Image: News4Jax.com

The best chance to survive a mass shooting is by running away from the location of the active shooter. Know where the attacker will come from and head the other way towards the fire exit or escape route.

React immediately. Stop any work you’re doing and leave your belongings. Kick off your heels and only think of escaping.

Run for the exits. You should prepare in advance by identifying all exits of the place. If you can’t find any during the attack, consider second story windows or windows you can break. Make sure that it won’t take a long time for the window glass to shatter. You can survive cuts from the broken glasses or a broken leg due to a fall.

Maintain a safe distance. As much as possible, keep distance from where the gunfire comes from. Avoid the shooter’s line of sight.

Hear the gun fire. You will hear the shots getting closer and closer if you stay at the same spot. Remember that 98% of active shooters do their attacks alone. For as long as you can avoid him, you will remain safe.

Bring people with you. Tell other people to run. If someone’s distraught, shake her up or drag her with you. Run with a group of people if possible. With numbers, it will be hard for the shooter to target you individually. Also, you can work together to take down the attacker if in case you run up against him.

Hiding And Barricading

barricade and survive mass shooting

Image: Annarbor.com

It will only take a few seconds to know if it’s possible to run. If you need to get past the active shooter to reach the possible exit or if he is quickly approaching to your area, start to hide or barricade.

Find a good hiding place. The culprit will most likely chase anyone trying to escape. A massive shooter only cares about killing a lot of people before the SWAT team arrives. He will not spend time scouring every room just to kill an individual. But even so, give your best shot at hiding for better survival chances.

Turn off the lights. Once you decided to hide in a room, turn the lights off. This will give the impression that no one’s inside that room.

survive mass shooting hide

Image: San Diego Union Tribune

Keep your phone silent while hiding. Avoid making noises that could catch the attention of the active shooter. Call 911 and speak softly to the agent. As of this time, you should not post anything to social media to avoid revealing sensitive and misleading information.

Lock the door and barricade. Some guys may decide not to barricade to commit to the disguise. However, it makes a safer choice to lock the room and barricade shall the attacker attempt to enter. As active shooters only have a few minutes to spend, they will likely give up and pursue other targets.

Find cover. While hiding, find a hiding place that also shields you from stray bullets. When the police force arrive with the goal to neutralize the attacker, they will not hold back so make sure to take cover to keep yourself safe from the exchange.

Grab weapons while hiding. If worst comes to worst, you may need to engage with the active shooter. Use the element of surprise and attack him if he’s about to find you.

Ask others to keep silent and hidden. If you’re with some people in that same room, distribute the tasks. Ask someone to call 911 while others start barricading. Some guy needs to search for possible weapons just in case you need to work together to fight for your lives.

survive mass shooting silent

Image: Rock Valley College

Play dead as a last resort. If you got no cards up your sleeve, pretend to be one of the dead bodies. A great concealment would be lying beside your unfortunate co-workers. However, mass shooters know this tactic and may likely shoot lying bodies just to make sure he killed all of them. This may work best if running or hiding is not possible and you got shot while trying to fight back.

Engaging With The Mass Shooter

survive mass shooting fight

Image: San Diego Union Tribune

As the final option, you need to fight for your life. Don’t just jump over to the active shooter from an perfect hiding place. As much as possible, avoid engagement especially if you’re not trained in hand to hand combat. Let the police handle the firefight.

Do not try to persuade the attacker. There’s zero percent chance that an active shooter would change his mind and spare your life. This tactic is bound to fail. You got better odds with fighting.

Get a weapon. Prior to hiding, try to grab a weapon you can use such as a fire extinguisher, emergency ax, a Swiss army knife or a gun from a dead security personnel.

Work with others to escape. If you’re with other people and can’t avoid the shooter, create confusion for the attacker. Make noises, shout, throw objects, and run from different directions to buy some seconds to run away or escape.

Work with others to fight. Using numbers is the best way to keep yourselves alive. Attack the shooter with everything you got. You can use scissors, fire extinguishers, chairs and other materials you can find. Aim to steal the gun while others are trying to land a hit.

Close range combat. Get close to the attacker without him knowing and try to grab the firearm. Hit high to discombobulate the shooter. You can hit the head, eyes, nose, throat or ears. Also, you can hit his crotch to extremely weaken his defense.

survive mass shooting commit to attack

Image: Alamom.com

Commit to the attack. When you attempt to make the first hit, do not hesitate. Give him everything you’ve got. More importantly, do not be afraid to kill the active shooter if that’s the only way you can stop him.

When A School Shooting Takes Place

The tips provided in the previous section of this article may also apply to a school shooting. However, some very specific

Report suspicious persons. Clues and information may be revealed by the shooter himself days or weeks before the shooting incident. If you’re a relative, a close friend or a partner of someone who talks seriously about killing people, report this to a teacher or to the authorities. According to studies, many perpetrators give hints or bluntly make announcements to show off. Don’t take this too lightly.

Communicate through radio. When a shooting takes place, inform everyone in the campus to escape or avoid the active shooter by announcing it to a nearby radio if you happen to run across one.

Be prepare to fight. It would help to sign up to a martial art class just in case you need to engage with the enemy. Knowing some tricks will make you feel confident in a close range combat shall the need arises.

survive mass shooting martial arts

Image: Krav Maga Federation of America

Follow the lockdown procedure if applicable. Keep yourself aware about school protocol regarding this kind of event. However, not all school lockdown procedures may apply to a shooting.

When Emergency Services Arrive

When the law enforcement arrives, it does not mean you can go lax and assume that everything’s safe. Here are some things you need to remember.

Do not get out of your hiding area. Continue hiding behind a bullet-proof cover as a shoot out will likely immerse between the police force and the active shooter.

Do not run to the responding policemen. The first law enforcement group to arrive in the area is the team who will locate and annihilate the active shooter. You will just get in their way. Stay in your hiding place and don’t come out. If you’re wounded, wait for the medic or rescuers to arrive.

Keep your hands up. If you managed to get out while the cops arrive, raise your hands and spread your fingers. This will tell that police that you are not a threat. Keep it visible.

survive mass shooting police arrives

Image: Vimeo

Inform the police of everything you know. Tell the officers about the active shooter’s location, his appearance, his weapons and other important things that will help them neutralize the attacker as quickly as possible.

Head to the direction where the police came from. Don’t get in the way just to ask questions about the safest way to get out. The SWAT team should remain focus on finding the culprit and neutralizing him. Go to the direction from where the police entered as it’s most likely safe.

Follow the officers’ instructions. Without any argument, do what the police asked you to do.

Three Most Important Active Shooter Response To Remember

Run, Hide, or Fight.

It should only take a few seconds before to determine the most applicable active shooter response. Assess the situation carefully and keep a survivalist mind for a higher chance of survival. Finally, always remember that the first five seconds in a mass shooting incident matters, so think and act fast.

The post How To Survive Mass Shootings and Sniper Attacks appeared first on Geek Prepper.

Hurricane Safety Tips: How To Be Safe at Home or Evacuating

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With multiple high category hurricanes careening from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, different areas of the United States expect heavy rains, strong winds, and flooding. Apart from these, locals must consider other hazards that could come along with this calamity. Recently, Hurricane Harvey extended up to Texas making it the first category 3 hurricane to reach that part of the country in twelve years.

Given all the known danger, everyone must prep up days or weeks before the hurricane hits. After stocking up with some goods and preparing the tools, you need to plan ahead to ensure the safety of your family. We gathered some useful advice and tips to help get you and your family through the possible damage that a strong typhoon can incur no matter where you are.

Quick Navigation

  1. Important Things To Know About Hurricanes
     A. Different Hurricane And Tropical Storm Warnings
     B. Different Hurricane Categories
  2. Preparing For A Hurricane
     A. Learn More About The Area
     B. Stock Up With Food And Water
     C. Prepare All Necessary Tools
     D. Insure Your Home
     E. Install A Generator
     F. Withdraw Cash
     G. Gas Up
     H. Board Up Windows And Doors
  3. Evacuation
  4. Keeping Safe During A Hurricane
     A. Watch For News And Updates From Authorities
     B. Stock Up With Water
     C. Before Electricity Fails
     D. Know About The Eye Of Storm
     E. Other Safety Measures During A Hurricane
  5. How To Keep Safe During Power Outage
  6. Hurricane While Traveling
     A. When A Storm Is About To Hit In A Destination
     B. Stranded Somewhere In Your Trip
     C. Imminent Trips To Destinations About To Get Hit By Storm
  7. Stuck In A Hotel During A Hurricane
     A. When Authorities Announced A Hurricane Watch
    B. When Authorities Issued A Hurricane Warning
    C. What To Do If Authorities Announced An Evacuation
  8. Hurricane While At Work
     A. A Storm Approaches At Home While You’re At Work
    B. If The Storm Hits The Office
  9. After A Hurricane
    A. Wait For Officials Announcement To Return Home
    B. Document Any Damages To Your Home And Report It
    C. Avoid Drinking Tap Water
    D. Do Not Travel

Important Things To Know About Hurricanes

But before anything else, keeping yourself aware will help you make the right preparation for what’s about to come. Follow social media pages with reliable feeds about the weather forecast. Watch the news to know more about the hurricane. It makes an important thing to gather more info about its strength, the direction it will take, the areas most likely to be affected, and the type of warning from the National Weather Service.

Different Hurricane And Tropical Storm Warnings

Hearing about the issued warnings by NWS won’t serve any purpose if you don’t know what they mean. Different warnings suggest a different level of preparation.

The National Weather Service issues an advisory when they see a storm causing hazardous disturbance but not life-threatening. Every household must check the weather updates from time to time for further announcement.

When NWS issues a watch, a possible hurricane may hit the area within 48 hours. You will need to turn on your NOAA weather radio, and check different news sources for more updates. Recharge your mobile phones and double-check your supplies. Ready your BOB or bug-out bags if you need to need to evacuate.

The NWS raises a warning if a hurricane will wreak havoc within the next 36 hours. Continue to listen for updates, ready your supplies, and ask your family to prepare for an evacuation.

Different Hurricane Categories

hurricane categories

The National Hurricane Center refers to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to determine the category of the storm about to hit the country. This scale will provide a one to 5 category rating based on the hurricane’s sustained wind strength or speed. It estimates the possible damage to properties.

Category 1 will bring sustained winds within the range of 74-95 mph. Although it carries the weakest winds among five categories, it can affect well-constructed homes by damaging its roof, gutter, shingles, and vinyl siding. Its dangerous winds may potentially damage power lines and poles, causing power outages to households in the affected areas.

Category 2 bears extremely strong winds with maximum speed of 110 mph. This hurricane category is enough to cause major damages to well-built houses. It may pull out the roots of shallowly planted trees potentially blocking several roads. Due to its strength and impact to power lines and poles, power outages may last for several days up to a week.

Category 3 is considered as a major hurricane with sustained winds reaching up to 129 mph. It may cause removal of roof decking and other major damages on a well-constructed house. Its strength can snap and uproot trees blocking numerous roads. Water and electricity providers may fail to operate and immediately repair damaged lines due to the impact.

Category 4 brings immensely strong winds of max 156 mph that can cause catastrophic damage. Well-built homes will receive huge beating as it affects not just the roof but the windows, doors, and exterior walls as well. Most trees will fall and isolate many residential units. People may need to leave the area before the storm hits as affected communities will be uninhabitable for several weeks or a month.

Category 5 carries torrential rain and winds of 157 mph or higher that cause catastrophic damage. Due to the immense speed, the winds will destroy many well-built homes causing total roof failure, shattered windows, and wall collapse. The catastrophe will totally ruin the community’s surroundings and isolate it from neighboring places. Power outage will last for several months and most of the area won’t be ideal for any living being for months.

Preparing For A Hurricane

Whether you live in a hurricane prone area or not, preppers should not downplay the potential damage a hurricane, or storm could offer. Also, due to climate changes, typhoons become stronger and more damaging each year. As hurricanes may soon reach other areas of the United States that don’t experience hurricanes for many years, it’s much safer for everyone to prepare before the hurricane season starts.

Learn More About The Area

Some homeowners consider selling their homes in flood-prone areas and buy a property located in an elevated site. But if does not seem possible, collect more necessary information about the community. Usually, families living near bodies of water evacuates first to avoid landslides and flash floods. Identify the nearest evacuation centers or at least, locate the high-ground neighborhood to know where to go if the flood rose.

Stock Up With Food And Water

stock up food supplies

A basic step every prepper must know. Severe storm and flooding may cut your access to fresh food and clean water for a few days. Also, supermarkets don’t open their stores during catastrophic storms for the safety of their employees. According to the CDC, stock your home with at least three to five days of food water. Some foods can go bad overtime. So make sure you got plenty of non-perishable items at the beginning of the hurricane seasons such as canned goods, emergency food buckets, instant noodles, and more. Replace the consumed goods after the storm.

Prepare All Necessary Tools

Apart from food and water, you will need some tools that can come handy in many situations. The below list includes the items you need to gather as per recommendation of CDC.

As authorities may force you to evacuate your home, also purchase an extra of each items above and keep them inside your car’s compartment.

Insure Your Home

Catastrophic winds can totally remove the roof and bring down the walls of your home. Apply for an insurance if you can afford to get one. Read all the conditions in the contract and make sure to adhere. Don’t forget to take pictures of your home before and after the hurricane. Store them in a cool and water-proof place. Secure a soft copy of this image in a waterproof portable flash drive, in an online drive, or in your phone.

Install A Generator

Power outage may likely occur when a strong hurricane strikes. Purchase a power generator that can support the basic appliances such as lights, communication devices, and water filter systems. This serves as a wise investment move as you can use it in other occasions such as scheduled power maintenance, shortage, and a broken tower.

Withdraw Cash

As banks may stay offline when an intense hurricane hits the country, withdraw enough cash that will last for a few days up to a month. Consider the strength of the hurricane and its possible damage that could greatly impact the banking operations and other businesses.

Gas Up

In case that you need to leave your home for safety, fill the tank of your car a few days before the hurricane. You can also buy extra containers of gas as petroleum stations may be out of supply days or weeks after the calamity.

Board Up Windows And Doors

Clear your garage and your lawn from materials that become dangerous when the storm hits such as debris, logs, pieces of woods, branches, and more. The wind can blow these garbage around and break through your window.

Fortify all your windows and doors by covering them with sturdy wood. Patch them up but make sure you reserve a way out in case you need to evacuate.

Evacuation

hurricane evacuation

If authorities asked your family to evacuate, comply. High category hurricanes can destroy homes, kill thousands, and turn the community into a lifeless region. In the past, many people died because they refused to leave their homes before a catastrophic hurricane ruined the area.

If you decide to stay, you place your family and yourself at risk. Also, you endanger the lives of rescuers who will attempt to save your life.

Even if the authorities did not announce a forced evacuation, continue waiting for further updates. If you carry doubts about your safety in your location, do not wait for the authorities to call. You and your family can always evacuate to the nearest sanctuary or community center.

Always ready your car, bug-out bags, and other supplies should the storm changes its route or becomes stronger as it approaches. Move fast but always take extra care when fleeing the area.

Keeping Safe During A Hurricane

Families in safer areas may not need to evacuate. Although their house can resist strong typhoons and it sits at an elevated location, they still need to take necessary measures to keep themselves safe when a storm hits the area.

Watch For News And Updates From Authorities

The hurricane’s strength, range, and speed may vary. Thus, when the weather forecast declares a warning in a specific area, consider the worst case scenario. If you did not need to evacuate in the previous storms, don’t disregard the possibility that the next storm could deal great damage to your home. Ready your battery-operated radio to stay connected to news and updates.

Stock Up With Water

Water services may fail during a storm. Sometimes, the outages last a few days after the storm has passed. Fill your bath tubs, buckets, and containers with water. Use plastic utensils and other household materials that don’t need washing to extend the water supply for more than a week.

Before Electricity Fails

When power outage occurs, you lose access to many useful tools. Before the storm mess with the power supply, charge all your devices such as phones, rechargeable lamp, battery-operated radio, portable TV, power banks, and others.

Turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting. When electricity fails, the goods and produce you stored may go bad. Keeping the fridge cold will extend their shelf life. Just remember to first consume foods that will spoil quickly.

Know About The Eye Of Storm

The eye of the storm brings in a sudden fine weather after a series of strong winds brought by its body and tail. When it arrives, people may get the impression that the hurricane has already left. However, that’s not how hurricanes come and go.

When the eye of storm sets in, do not go out. Continue to listen to weather updates and educate everyone in the household about the center of the storm. After a short while, the strong winds will resume and anyone who got out for very long will be in grave danger.

Other Safety Measures During A Hurricane

Watch out for your family and don’t let anyone go outside the house while the storm approaches. During a storm, debris, branches, and other materials that get caught by a strong wind may cause harm to anyone who go outdoors. Do not cross this danger, unless you need to evacuate.

Turn off the gas or propane tanks. Storm may damage the gas line which causes explosion. Community firetrucks will be sent for rescue operations and may not arrive as quick as possible due to floods and fallen trees blocking the main roads.

Stay away from doors and windows during the storm. Projectiles may fly and break in especially if you did not board them up. As much as possible, avoid injuries as it’s hard to find medical attention in the middle of a storm. Always ready the first aid kit in case of an injury.

How To Keep Safe During Power Outage

hurricane power outageg

Power outages can add up to the danger during a hurricane. This hazard can extend even after the storm. If you live in an area affected by a huge power failure, know the steps you need to take to keep you and your family safe.

Reporting the outage to authority makes one of the first things you need to do when power goes out. If possible, their electricians will restore the power immediately. But if not, they will wait until the storm clears.

The following events can greatly impact the speed of power restoration:

  • Storm surge
  • Flooding
  • Fallen structures
  • Debris
  • Damage received by power plants

People should exercise caution to avoid accidents indirectly caused by the storm. Below list includes tips during a power outage.

  • Don’t get near downed power lines. Watch out for power cords, downed electric utility posts, and possible live wires hidden by floodwaters. Stay indoors unless you need to evacuate.
  • Use flashlights instead of candles for lesser chance of household fires.
  • Turn off electric appliances and unplug them from the socket. This prevents power surge upon restoration of electricity.
  • Keep generator in the safest place. Before the typhoon, build a safe house for the generator which sits at least thirty feet away from home. Learn how to safely use a generator in case of a power outage.
  • Do not frequently open the refrigerator. Bring out the water and other things you may need regularly. As much as possible avoid opening the fridge doors to preserve its cold temperature and prevent spoilage.

Hurricane While Traveling

hurricane map

In some cases, travelers find themselves stranded or treading in the path of a storm. So what should they do if they get locked to a destination where storm is wreaking havoc or has already made its landfall?

When A Storm Is About To Hit In A Destination

Always check for news updates when you go for a trip. But if you get the feeds at a later time, then act quickly and leave. Evacuate coastal areas and other spots prone to flooding.

If you arrived in the destination through airways, contact the airline company to reserve a seat for the next available flight. If no seats are available until the next day, consider purchase a one-way ticket back home from other airlines. Failing to leave immediately increases your chances of getting stuck in the area as the storm approaches.

Before leaving the hotel, ask the management to reserve the room for sometime in case you couldn’t leave the town or city. Airport shelters does not always feel good and comfortable. If your hotel sits near the beach, try to find other accommodation inland for a safer place to let the storm pass.

Stranded Somewhere In Your Trip?

hurricane travel flight cancellation

Airlines usually cancel flights as soon as authorities raised a warning. If you can’t leave the area, contact your friends, family, and employer, to let them know about your location. Also inform them whether you’ll make use of a hotel accommodation or if you’ll let the night pass in airline shelter.

Keep your phone charged and bring along power banks. It makes an important habit while traveling to always pack your travel bags so you can easily leave an area with your things in case of an emergency.

Lastly, waiting for the storm to pass is one of the longest days and nights to survive. If you can’t sleep and you don’t want to spend precious battery life, bring along books, card games, and board games to kill some time.

Imminent Trips To Destinations About To Get Hit By Storm

If you planned an imminent trip to a destination where the storm heads to, coordinate with the airline company and your hotel. Ask about their re-booking and cancellation policies. If the hotel you made a reservation previously gets damage and needed to cancel all reservations, work with your airline to determine alternative destinations. In this instance, most companies allow passengers to re-book without paying extra fees.

Some hotels sit at hurricane prone zones. These companies usually offer refunds and re-booking when a storm is predicted to hit. Re-scheduling of booking can go as far as months or years in these hotels.

Stuck In A Hotel During A Hurricane

Hotels do not serve as a fun place to get stuck during a storm especially if its located in a hurricane-prone area. The fact that you are not in your own home with your family makes it even more chaotic. When you first hear a storm about to hit the area, ready yourself and watch out for any weather updates and announcements.

When Authorities Announced A Hurricane Watch

  • Keep the radio or TV on for important updates about the storm’s direction and speed. You can also check for online feeds in your mobile. While keeping yourself aware of what’s about to arrive, inform your relatives about your condition.
  • Know more about your hotel. Identify exit routes and ask the staff of what you should do in the worst-case scenario. Many hotels will post a list of to-dos in the lobby.
  • Gas up your rental car and get a map of the city. Locate the accessible routes that will remain open and safe when you need to evacuate.
  • Withdraw cash. People would swarm atm machines and banks before the hurricane hits so make sure you get to arrive there first.
  • Purchase enough goods you can carry in case you will need to evacuate. Only buy no-cook and easy-to-open foods. Don’t forget bottled water and some medicines.
  • Check for safer hotels inland and make a reservation. Ask the authorities, staff, or wait for updates regarding evacuation shelters in the area.

When Authorities Issued A Hurricane Warning

  • Continue monitoring the TV and radio broadcasts for further announcements. Ask the hotel staff if you will need to evacuate soon. Low-rise hotels may need to transfer their guests somewhere safer.
  • Pack your important belongings and prepare to leave some clothes if there are too many. Make sure that when you need evacuate, you can move easily to safety. Use a separate bags for your important items such as cash, wallet, emergency items, passport, documents, tactical flashlight, chargers, devices and more.

What To Do If Authorities Announced An Evacuation

  • If the hotel will provide an evacuation plan and shuttle, follow the instructions of the safety officer.
  • If you need to leave the hotel on your own, move quickly. Take your belongings and get to the rental car.
  • Head to the announced evacuation center. Understand that traffic will become heavy and slow. Stay calm to avoid accidents.

Hurricane While At Work

hurricane in the city

An office building may serve as a safe place during a hurricane. However, not all employees would prefer to get stuck in a safe and warm building while their families face the ravaging storm at home.

Always check for hurricane updates. Know its strength and direction. After authorities announced the hurricane category, decide whether you will go to work or not. However, it’s better to stay with your family to protect them during a storm or lead the evacuation. Inform your employer about this decision.

A Storm Approaches At Home While You’re At Work

If you happened to be at work when the storm strikes, figure out whether you can still safely hit the way home or not. Local authorities usually block flood prone areas to avoid accidents.

  • If the road to your way home remains passable, inform your manager that you need to leave. Keep calm and drive safely home. Watch out for flying projectiles, falling debris, and trees blocking the road. If you did not stock up, quickly stop by the nearest convenience store and buy all necessary supplies.
  • Keep the car radio on to keep yourself updated while on the road. Also, make use of a traffic guide app such as Waze to avoid traffic jam and to determine the most convenient route to take.
  • If all the roads are blocked and you can’t get home by foot or by other means, stay in the office. Call your family immediately and check on their status. Ask your wife or your eldest son or daughter to take care of the younger siblings. Moreover, instruct them to watch the weather news and wait for further updates.
  • If authorities raised a hurricane warning at the area, ask your family to evacuate to the nearest shelter. They should also keep their communication lines open. Tell them to keep their phones fully charged. If the network fails, ask them to contact you as soon as possible if it goes back up.
  • You may also coordinate with the local community heads to ensure the safety of your family. As soon as the storm has passed, prepare to go home by foot as trees block most roads after a storm. Stay calm and alert while finding your way home.

If The Storm Hits The Office

Most high-rise buildings can resist strong winds of a hurricane. However, employers must still do its best to secure the lives of their people. But even so, employees should also take some precautions to keep everyone safe.

  • Stay inside. Do not insist to get out of the office. Companies will provide temporary shelter, food, water, and utilities to their employees during a calamity. If you are outside but only a few steps away, go back to the office.
  • Call your family and inform them that you can’t go home. If your home also lies in the path of the storm, instruct them to prepare their bug out bags in case they needed to evacuate.
  • Stay away from windows. Although most establishments use reinforced windows, it may not work against huge projectiles summoned by strong winds.
  • Follow safety and emergency protocol of the company. Security personnel and safety engineers will provide updates and instructions regarding the typhoon.
  • Stay alert and vigilant. Report anything hazardous such as an open window, wall cracks, and leaks to the facilities management. You can also ask the security guards or your manager to report the matter.

After A Hurricane

after the hurricane

Dangers do not end after the hurricane left the area. Everyone should still watch out for possible aftermath such as flooding, falling trees, and live electrical wires scattered in the community.

Wait For Officials Announcement To Return Home

If you evacuated to a shelter, understand about certain rules to follow. Also, it may take some time before you can go back to your home. Even the storm left the town or state, authorities will still need to make sure that it’s safe to get out of the shelter. Volunteers, firemen, and other local government units need some time to clear the roads from fallen trees, brought down lamp posts, live electricity wires, and dangerous materials scattered around the community.

Document Any Damages To Your Home And Report It

If you purchased an insurance, this is the perfect time to fulfill the conditions in the contract. Gather evidence such as before and after photos. Document everything and file for an insurance claim.

Avoid Drinking Tap Water

Storm surges can damage pipe lines leading to contaminated water. Before drinking your tap water, run a quick water test to determine whether it is safe to drink or not. You may also drink sodas or bottled water while your community’s water service provider fixing their pipes and conducting some tests.

Do Not Travel

Avoid traveling while your home and the rest of the community appear in a bad shape. Neighboring towns and states you plan to visit may be dealing with bigger problems such as floods, fallen trees, and landslide. Also, your house needs to be guarded as huge calamities may trigger thieves and looters to become more active.

The post Hurricane Safety Tips: How To Be Safe at Home or Evacuating appeared first on Geek Prepper.

91 Gallon Gasoline Storage Project for Emergencies

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Preparedness is always about improving your foxhole, going from where you are to the next level bit by bit based on prioritization and available resources.  I currently have multiple 5 gallon containers on site which I cycle fuel storage through, but with three vehicles with a total tank capacity over 70 gallons plus two generators I need more improve my position.  We all store food, water, medical supplies and more but tend to neglect fuel which is a life source for many in times of need.  Granted unless one has a thousands of gallons on site it’s not a long term solution but for immediate needs when faced with natural disasters having a fuel source beyond that of the standard 5 gallon can be an enabler.  Here are a few factors that I considered when building my fuel storage plan.

  • Affordable (Less than $1k total).
  • Mobile, not buried in the ground.
  • Relatively easy to build, instead of buying a more expensive all inclusive option.
  • Minimum of 50 gallon storage capacity which does not require cycling through every few months.

My plan involves taking my existing 5×8 trailer which I bought from Lowes a number of years ago and adding a tank and pump to it.  This 91 gallon tank will weigh around 675 lbs full and that’s easily accomodated with the 1600lb trailer capacity, it will be a unit I can keep on the property or take with me if I need to go mobile.

The Trailer

 

The Fuel Tank

Concept

I plan on mounting this fuel storage container to my trailer, but only after laying wood down on the trailer to create a more sturdy surface.  This container will be able to provide a reasonable amount of fuel storage on site and will also be portable in case we have to bug out with multiple or even one vehicle.  In instances were gas stations are out of fuel or lines are long this would be a a huge advantage, along with having more storage on the trailer for other items.

Bottom Line

Self reliance is a massive advantage when it comes to preparedness, whether it be generating one’s own food or having a fuel source on hand.  While not the best solution possible this project will provide my family with some piece of mind knowing that we do not have to rely on local sources (in the short term) in times of need, and should the power go out for a few weeks at a time we will be able to run our generators with no problem.  Anyone else have a fuel storage plan or project?  Let me know!

 

Hurricane Irma: This is why we PREPARE.

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I’m preaching to the choir but it had to be stated.  If you take a look at what is going on right now in Florida it is a classic case of why preparedness should be a critical part of one’s life.  Folks are lined up around the block for bottled water that they will never get a chance to buy because the shelves are already empty, the next opportinuty to collect supplies probably coming when the National Guard sets up a distro point.

Long lines form at Costco in Florida as residents brace for Hurricane Irma. Image @ KITV Channel 4

Think about these components of preparedness and how they could apply in this situation.

Bugging In:  Having the necessisary supplies (food, water, even gasoline) on hand to stay in place for weeks even without power and without having to rely on outside sources.  Even if the water supply became unusuable for a period of time it would not be a major factor.

Bugging Out:  Having all of the necessary supplies to quickly displace, be self sufficient while on the move knowing that critical items were along for the ride.  Ability to move without having to stop to refuel until out of the danger area, secondary location already identified and ready / willing to accept visitors.

Security:  Understanding that in long term power down scenarios there will be no shortage of folks looking to take advantage of thin law enforcement coverage.  Having a security plan in place in order to address this.

First Aid: Folks could get hurt, not only having the equipment on hand (not just a first aid kit, but things like IFAKs, IV kits etc) but the training in order to employ these properly.

Communication:  Cell phone coverage most likely will go down, having a secondary and tertiary plan (HAM radio).

I could go on and on but the main point is this:  taking initiative and remaining proactive while times are good so that when the tough times come, the only difference is this is now a time for execution and not rehearsals.  I’ve stated this many times, if one is primarily prepping for EMP strikes and WW3 / Martial Law, priorities are misplaced!  The greatest threat all of us face come in the form of localized or even wide spread natural disasters.  Hurricanes, flooding, tornados, wildfires, earthquakes etc.  It’s too late for the folks who are just now lining up hoping to catch a case of bottled water at the grocery store but hopefully many will learn from this experience….sadly most will not.

 

Your Bugout / Survival Vehicle Achilles’ Heel

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I have a large truck, it’s capabilities are extensive.  I can haul people and gear with the full size cab and large bed, I can tow or even winch my way out (or others) of trouble.  The powerful V8, 6 inch lift and large tires have gotten me through all sorts of mud, deep snow and even difficult off road trails where airing the tires down was a necessity.  Large steel bumpers with beefy mounts on the front and rear not only improve the look of the truck but are much more sturdy than the standard plastic / thin aluminum near worthless bumpers that come standard on most trucks.  Yet with all of this, my truck has a major vulnerability that has showcased itself 3 times in the past year: flat tires.

Yes, I have a full size spare and the equipment to change it out but that takes time.  Also if you are on a slope or any sort of area that is not flat pavement it can be a huge challenge to jack up a lifted truck with all that weight.  The point being that all of our vehicles, to include those with run flats (yes, I’ve owned a car with run flats that actually caught a flat) have this similar vulnerability.  In a bugout or survuval situation, all the prep and planning can be stopped short by a simple roofer’s nail.  What if there is a fire, flooding or some other natural disaster and you have to make a quick exit and whoops…tire sensor comes on and now you are on the side of the road at a stop where every minute is precious.  You need to be able to recify this quickly in order to get moving, here are a few items that I have in my vehicle which can help with this.  You will notice some redundancy built in here, that’s intentional.

Slime Flat Tire Repair Kit:  All the basics to repair / seal flats with a small compressor to assist in airing up the tire.  Relatively cheap and good for most vehicles, easy to use.

ARB Tire Repair Kit:  I found that I needed a much more robust tire plug kit when I snapped the handle off of my cheap plastic kit trying to plug a tire.  Trying to ream and subsequently plug a 10 ply tire required the use of a rubber mallet and some force, better to have this kit on hand when the chips are down vs something of lesser quality which could (and probably would) fail.

Smittybilt  5.56 CFM Air Compressor:  This is my primary compressor and it is very powerful, easy to use and quite handy.  My wife messaged me via her satellite communicator that she had a flat tire (no cell service) a while back.  I hopped in the truck and went to her location, an obvious hole directly in the sidewall of her tire which was not repairable.  I looked at my watch and knew the tire shop was 15 minutes away and would be closing in about 25 minutes.  I had 10 minutes or less to make something happen, as we live in the moutains it is not like our options are that of those who live in the city or suburbs.  I quickly plugged the hole and pulled out the compressor, it aired the tire back up in seconds…we were on the road very quickly headed to the shop.

The Bottom Line

This isn’t a new topic and almost borders captain obvious territory, but I know everyone who has been driving for a while has caught a flat and there is never a convenient time for this to happen.  I would also guarantee that a few choice words accompanied the realization that a tire was flat, because it always sucks.  Folks in Houston had to evacuate under duress, I was discussing the possibility of having to evacuate our location if fire ever threatened.  In times like these calling for AAA, waiting for a tow or even taking the time to jack the car up and swap to a spare (that might be buried in the trunk under lots of gear or supplies) isn’t optimal.  Time is of the essence and having the right kit to deal with a flat quickly can make all the difference.  I’ll leave you with this with respect to a spare tire, should you need it…when was the last time you checked the psi on that bad boy?

 

30 Survival Skills Modern People Have Forgotten

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Every generation is skilled at using the technology of its era. For example, people today are very good at driving cars, using smartphones, setting up home entertainment systems, and so forth. The problem is, if the end of the world as we know it ever happens, all those skills will be useless. The skills of […]

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Home Defense Against Looters And Intruders During Civil Unrest

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With the increasing number of riots due to violent political protests and social controversies this past few months, a civil unrest will likely occur in the United States. Apart from these, the rising unemployed and underemployed population who sees very little hope in their lives may start a revolution. When a massive civil disorder happens, a series of social and economic meltdown quickly follows like a chain reaction. This causes even more riots, chaos, and hunger, pushing every sane human to think and act at their worst.

home defense during civil unrest

As of this time, almost twenty percent of the United States population use vouchers to purchase food despite the strong economy. Also, a huge percent of young, underpaid, and unemployed millennials got great reasons to feel angry about the “system”, which they keep on blaming. Such anger fuels violence and deep hatred. The discontented mob suggests that the United States is just a few radical words away from civil unrest.

Embassies, police stations, state offices, and even shopping malls, are likely to fall in the hands of revolutionists at the beginning of a civil war. In the coming weeks, individuals or groups of people will start raiding stores and other private properties to get food, water, medicine, and other things they can use to survive through the whole crisis.

Home makes one of the safest place to stay in the events of a civil disorder. But one day, intruders may come knocking at your door hoping they could steal some goods, take over your home or cause life-threatening troubles. In a civil war where laws does not seem to carry any weight and help from authorities does not seem reliable, the safety of the whole family is in your hands. Prepare for the looming crisis as early as now.

Quick Navigation

  1.Avoid Places Where Civil Unrest May Start
  2. Modify The Fences
     A. Why Add Fences
     B. A Fence Hard To Climb Over
     C. A Fence Hard To ByPass
     D. A Fence Without A Hiding Place
     E. A Few Add Ons
  3. Invest On Solid Doors, Windows and Walls
     A. Solid Door Security
     B. Use Double Deadbolts And Double Cylinder Locks
     C. Fortify Your Windows
  4. Thwart Them With Warning Signs And Decoys
     A. Beware Of Dog Signs
     B. Messy Place
  5. Keep Firearms And Other Weapons Ready
     A. Tactical Flashlights
     B. Handguns
     C. Survivalist Knives
  6. Set Up Traps
     A. Barbed Wires
     B. Bed Of Nails And Tire Spikes
  7. Keep Fire Extinguishers
  8. Safe Room – The Ultimate Home Defense
    A. Safe Room Must-Haves

Avoid Places Where Civil Unrest May Start

home defense during civil unrest map

Location plays a major role in keeping your family safe when a huge civil unrest breaks out. Rural places will receive the least devastating effect while the urban households stand in the line of fire. In the wake of a civil unrest, looters and intruders will likely target wealthy neighborhoods, gentrified subdivisions, and financial districts near large cities first. Possible early victims include those living in Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, Denver’s Highlands, and Brooklyn.

Know the possible epicenters of a riot. Examples of disturbance-hungry places during a massive civil unrest include universities, college campuses, public libraries, historical buildings, and government establishments. Remember that these rioters will target symbols of power and wealth. They will ruin expensive cars, high-end restaurants, luxury hotels, and lavish condominiums.

As much as possible, preppers must maintain a low profile. Do not give other people the impression that you belong to the upper class. Avoid wearing expensive clothes, avoid living in high-end villages, avoid eating in fancy restaurants, and avoid driving luxury cars. When you hear reports from a media coverage that a civil unrest breaks out, get out of the city and move somewhere else with your family. Consider moving in your parents’ or relatives’ house in rural areas and start barricading the place.

Modify The Fences

Most civil disorders happen in small areas, and if you stay out of it, you will be safe. But if the civil unrest grows bigger that it expanded up to your area, you may need to fortify the defenses of your home.

If your gate appears solid enough, invaders may climb your fences to get through. Those who own house with fences can start doing some work at the perimeter of their property.

Why Add Fences?

Many strategic reasons exist as to why you should surround your property with a fence. They include:

Fences serve as a mental barrier. Some burglars will assume that it looks more difficult to invade your house if protected by a fence.

It lessens the chance of escape. Thinking that they can’t escape easily as they don’t know everything inside the property, looters will likely target a different house.

Fences can deal damage and death to invaders. If they don’t take utmost care while penetrating your lawn, they will fall victim to the worst disadvantage fences can offer.

Fences, even those that appear short and made of wood already serves as a hurdle. This line of defense may add boost to your security. But if you feel like you need to upgrade your fencing, if you still got the time, we recommend some great fences for your home defense.

A Fence Hard To Climb Over

fence during civil unrest

Metal security fences do a great job in preventing invaders. Wire mesh security fences also serve its purpose. Pick a top with spikes or pointed metal to impale invaders while rushing their way up.

A Fence Hard To Bypass

Make sure to install the fence deep in the ground with concrete. The gate should also match the strength of your fences. Moreover, pick a kind of material that won’t get cut easily by bolt cutters.

A Fence Without A Hiding Place

Take note that if you strip off invaders with a place to hide, you get to do the same thing to yourself and your family. However, this will help detect the bad guys easily giving you enough time to pick the guns and tell your kids to hide somewhere safe.

A Few Add-Ons

Preppers should adding barbed wires at the top of the fences and in the landing spot. You can conceal them with concrete or bushes. Planting thorny plants behind the fences also boosts the defence. Both may injure the attackers before they can get close to your home. Also, try installing lighting and night vision CCTV cameras at your front yard.

Invest On Solid Doors, Windows And Walls

Bad wolves can easily blow down a house built with straws and wood. Also, such walls can’t protect your family from stray bullets. The windows need fortification as well. Before a civil unrest happens, upgrade to concrete walls, a sturdier doors, and highly secured windows.

As most concrete and brick walls seem hard to penetrate, you can focus on door and window security. You can choose on many different ways to burglar-proof your doors and windows.

Solid Door Security

home defense during civil unrest double locks

All doors in your house should be kick-proof. A group of organized invaders can bring it down, but your door should at least buy some time to let the kids go to a safe room and for you to get your guns.

Use solid wood or a solid wood core. Fiberglass makes a great choice as well. If you choose a metal door invest on one with interior reinforcement and lock block. This prevent thieves from bending it open with a crowbar or a car jack.

You can also trust your life with reinforced steel doors. However, you need to spend a lot of time and money to prevent it from rusting.

Use Double Deadbolts And Double Cylinder Locks

Every prepper must remember that the strength of a door is as equal as its lock. If you go for a steel door, you definitely need locks as sturdy as the material you chose for your door. Double deadbolts and double cylinder locks are highly recommended to shield your family from an infiltration during a civil unrest.

Fortify Your Windows

windows defense during civil unrest

Windows invite a lot of bad elements including home invaders. As such, you should not forget blocking this vulnerable part of your home in case of a civil war. However, patching your windows with wood or using your furniture to cover the entry won’t do any help. When the economy stumbles down, desperate people will do their best to compromise a weak defense and steal what they want.

Luckily, there are plenty of window defense options for you to choose.

First, you may consider a windowless home. When the worst case scenario hits the country, some old folks would barricade their home’s point of entry by replacing their windows with bricks and cement. This serves as a quick home defense operation.

While reinforced glass will give you enough time to prepare for an intruder, steel bars will add further security. You may also need to do the same on your second floor windows. Just make sure to leave an escape route in case of fire.

Thwart Them With Warning Signs And Decoys

In your yard, you can make use of decoys and warning signs to discourage the attackers. Other mental barriers work so consider using them when a civil unrest strikes in your area. Just make sure you do it right as messing up could lead to a disadvantage.

Beware Of Dog Signs

home defense during civil unrest signs

Fortunately, you can use these beware of dog signs even if you don’t own one. Apart from a sign, you can place a dog house somewhere in your yard where outsiders can clearly see. Add a huge food bowl and a huge bone to give them a picture of a giant canine ready to sink its teeth on a home raider’s face.

But in a famine infested place, a huge dog makes a good meal for survivors. If the civil disorder lasted for a very long time, this tactic may backfire.

Messy Place

Make it seem like a gang already busted in and raided your home. Make use of spray paints and leave some worn out clothes in the yard.Most likely, looters will avoid your house and look for other targets. However, continue stay on guard and prepare to defend the place if the decoy fails to thwart intruders.

Keep Firearms And Other Weapons Ready

Laws for firearms vary from state to state. Research about state laws and see if you can use guns to defend yourself in case of an invasion. Apart from guns, there are plenty of other tactical weapons you can make use for self-defense.

Tactical Flashlights

home defense tactical flashlights

Most people won’t think of owning a great flashlight until they get stuck in a scenario when they needed one. Tactical flashlights does not only serve as an alternative to the absence of room lighting, but they also function as effective tactical weapons.

Although they seem harmless, many tactical flashlights for self-defense nowadays can deal great damage to attackers. Some of these tactical lights showcase other features such as stun gun and a hidden survivalist knife. Some are also engineered as a mace you can swing around to hit opponents.

Tactical flashlights also works great with guns and knives. These flashlights can shower disorienting beams with strength of up to 500 lumens. When the opponent is shocked from the discombobulating light, it gives you plenty of time to follow it up with a free attack.

Handguns

home defense during civil unrest handguns

Shotguns may cause a surefire kill. However, it takes time to reload and it may injure your shoulders due to the recoil. Meanwhile, you can easily fire handguns, and most of them carry a decent amount of bullets in a magazine.

Choose lightweight handguns you can easily hide in a safe place. Consider buying a handgun silencer to not attract other outsiders.

Survivalist Knives

home defense during civil unrest survivalist knife

Equip each family member with a handy knife so that they can defend themselves if the situation begs for it. Apart from self-defense, such knives serve different purposes such as a tool for preparing food, cutting some objects, and more.

When it all goes down to a close combat, this survivalist knife can pretty much save your life. You can hide it in your pocket or in a secret holster and use the element of surprise to gain advantage over your attacker.

Set Up Traps

A prepper must play dirty if he needs to. After all, the safety of your family depends on the home defense tactics you implement. If you don’t feel confident about decoys and firing a gun, use your wife or kids’ craftiness and ask them to help you out with setting traps.

home defense during civil unrest trap

Barbed Wires

As mentioned above, these spiked wars work effectively if strategically placed in different areas of your property such as behind walls. You can also lay this trap near the trees where invaders can’t see them.

Bed Of Nails And Tire Spikes

When laying traps, make sure that invaders won’t notice them. You can place these bed of nails if the most unsuspecting places of your lawn and house.

Keep Fire Extinguishers

fire extinguisher during civil unrest

Getting their house burned down makes one of the biggest worries of homeowners when a civil disorder breaks out. If you decide to defend your home, always keep fire extinguishers in different parts of the household. Make sure they work and that you instructed everyone on how to use it.

If you don’t want to get to the point of grabbing the fire extinguishers, clean up the house and hide flammable materials away. Also, transfer materials that can easily catch fire to somewhere isolated.

Safe Room – The Ultimate Home Defense

home defense during civil unrest hidden safe room

If you can’t afford a bunker, a safe room will do just fine. Somewhere in your home, choose an ideal area to set it up.

Disguise plays a huge factor to a successful safe room as it serves as one of your family’s last resort. You can hide the safe room in your library behind the bookshelves, in the basement with the passage concealed by a carpet, or in the master’s bedroom at the back of the closet. Vast mirrors, portraits, wallpapers and wall decors can perfectly obscure your safe room.

Safe Room Must-Haves

  • A blast-proof, kick-proof, and sound proof door with double deadbolts.
  • A phone and charger you can use to contact others for help.
  • Emergency food, canned goods, and other food packages that will last for over a month.
  • A secret passage to escape in case of detection or fire.
  • A tactical flashlight, a firearm, and other self-defense weapons in case the intruders found the hidden safe room.
  • Proper ventilation and lighting
  • First aid kit and medicine
  • Clothes, towels, and blankets
  • Computer where you can monitor the rest of the house through hidden CCTV cameras.

home defense during civil unrest safe room

A safe room does not need to be fancy. But for your family’s comfort during a civil unrest, you can start building it little by little.

The Danger of Too Much Preparedness

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I know a guy who entered into the prep world maybe 6 years ago, and boy did he ever. He absorbed every bit of information from all of the alt news websites and prep blogs, ran up his credit cards over the course of a year buying up stacks of supplies and guns and knew without a shadow of a doubt that SHTF would be happening in the next year (but surely not more than two). One year passed as he bought more storage food and other supplies, two years passed and then three. Fast forward to year five and he began selling his guns and preps as other priorities in his life came into play. Now 6 years later he is no better off than when he started and probably still has quite a bit of debt. Too much preparedness and not enough balance / perspective and this is what you get.

The story above is not dissimilar from many out there, folks who jump out of the gate at full speed gobbling up supplies and knowledge almost in the hopes that some sort of catestrophic event will take place in order to justify their actions.  In contrast if my body of work, in the form of many years of preparedness, results in no action take and dusty emergency supplies I’ll happily take it.  That would mean that my family never had to endure the hardships which I was preparing for, that I got it wrong and those who live their lives only worrying about the next day were right (or lucky).  Yet as demonstrated by the hurricane that is pounding the gulf coast as I type this and those who will be facing lengthened power outage / bugout situations, the need for balanced preparedness comes around more often than many like to acknowledge.

The Need for a Baseline

There are basic prep needs that are readily known to most in the community, some people probably meet these needs without even calling themselves preppers as most are/should be common sense.  While it won’t require one tuning into Alex Jones and maxing out the Visa card at the prepper convention, a certain mindset and acknowledgement that one could end up in at bind is necessary.  Those facing the aforementioned hurricane would have done good to have a few days of food and water, a decent first aid kit stocked with necessary meds and a vehicle with a full tank of gas / a few extra full gasoline cans.  Basic stuff.  Folks actually can go from zero to having a good baseline in one afternoon with a couple hundred bucks and a trip to Costco.

Analysis and Prioritization

This is where things get a little sticky and folks tend to go overboard.  What are you preparing for?  “Everything!  EMP, Nuclear War, Supervolcano, Martial Law, Drought, Stock Market Crash and ohbytheway that thing were the poles reverse.”  While I must admit there have been a few times where I got spun up (if you recall Ebola) for the most part I’d like to believe things remained practical with respect to preparedness around here.  Sure one can acknowledge the EMP threat and war game it, but to dwell on it seems like a waste of time and energy.  What we don’t want is to be like my friend where things spiral out of control and we get burned out in a sprint, disappointed and disollusioned when the big one doesn’t take place.  If you’ve been around this for a while and have checked some other blogs / alt news sites you can go back 10 years and without exception predicitons of calamity / collapse are in no short supply.    “There is no way we get through _______ (whatever year) without a major collapse and here are the key indicators!”  5 years later…

In order to avoid all of this it becomes essential to conduct an analysis of YOUR situation and prioritize accordingly.

  • What are the biggest high probability threats in your local area?
  • What resources do you have: Time, Money, Friends etc?
  • How can you mitigate the top 3 threats via 2 courses of action?
  • How can you monitor if those threats are going to manifest themselves?
  • What’s the 6 month, 1 year, 3 and 5 year plan to shore up things, acknowledging all at once is not an option?
  • Taking all of the above into account, is there a numbered checklist which prioritizes efforts toward the goal?

The above is just a sample I came up with but as an example, my threat list would include forest fires and being snowed in without power for a few days or weeks at time.  Flooding, hurricanes and tornadoes not so much.  Based on my threat analysis I would begin to prioritize and plan in case I had to take action..and on it goes.

The Long Game

I believe one of the shortfalls that we all can fall victim to is not taking account the long game and by that I mean years or even decades.  Unfornately there are those out there who want to justify their preps, hoping for an EMP to hit (yes, those morons exist) or some similar calamity to befall their area.  We need to play for the long game, constantly shoring up our preps / skills / relationships / resources over an extended period of time understanding that yes indeed at some point something could happen.  This is why preparedness should be a lifestyle and a balanced one at that.  Enjoy life, take the family out, don’t be afraid to travel beyond a 20 mile radius of the homestead.  The long play wins in this scenario and it probably always will.

The Bottom Line

All of this circles back to one thing: practical preparedness.  Once a baseline is established this is a race that the tortise is poised to win, not the hare.  Sound discipline, logic and a good plan of action are key in a successful preparedness journey.  Those who jump out of the gate and overload themselves with “I’m a prepper!” are only setting themselves up for disappointment.

 

Water Storage Tips and Techniques

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I typically store my water off of the ground, whether it be in the basement or garage.  The main reason I do so (no matter the type of actual storage device) is primarly to avert the leaching process: concrete to plastic to water.  If you search the internet there is no shortage of folks who believe in mitigating the leaching process and others who say it’s not true, in any event it doesn’t take much to elevate storage containers off of the ground like so.

Method 1: Wood.

I like to cut 2×4’s for my large 55 gallon drum containers, usually 4 per container.  The wood is obviously very sturdy and helps to distribute the weight of the drum which can come in around 380 lbs (each).

Method 2:  Foam Boards.

Local big box improvement stores have foam project boards which can be purchased for cheap, I use these primarily for water bottles, jugs and water bricks.  Truth be told there could be chemicals leaching from the foam boards into the chemicals from the plastic into the water, I try to mitigate all of this by simply cycling through my water storage supply.

I recently had an experience which made me very thankful that my items were up off of the ground.  We had a clog in our septic system which resulted in a backup and rather disgusting overflow in our garage.  While it flowed out of the garage and into the rocks outside it passed right under my water storage.  All of the items which held the water bottles / jugs etc became rather soaked with the nasty liquid but the bottles remained unscathed.  I was able to toss out all of the nasty stuff, clean the floor up with bleach and put the storage items back in place.

If I had to wager a guess I probably have around 600 gallons of water stored on site, while I do have a well if the power goes out and the generator runs out of fuel we’re screwed.  I cycle through my water and also protect it by keeping it up off of the ground using two methods.  Think about this when you address your own storage needs.

For more tips on food and water storage for emergencies check out the FEMA website here.

 

4 Storage Food Mistakes You Might Be Making

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This past weekend my wife and I organized our storage / preparendess area.  We did this together so that we would both know where items of note where, instead of me just taking on the task and her having to dig for something in my absence.  We have various storage items sorted by category on heavy wooden shelving (or on the floor, example 55 gallon drums of water) and other items on commercial grade restaurant stainless steel shelving.  Mostly these are canned food items which are within easy reach, useful when making spaghetti and one is out of Ragu.

While organizing the stash we discussed where our current needs were, mostly this revolved around items we constantly use and did not have enough of. Various spices, cans of vegetables or even things like Nutella or bottled Mayo.  I think folks need to have these conversations and evaluate what their food storage situation is like, not just for some major SHTF event but a 2 week power down scenario.  The worst thing one can do is get online, drop a few grand and toss some food storage boxes in the corner just in case.  What follows are a few other potential mistakes folks might be making with respect to food storage.

Buying in Bulk

Don’t get me wrong, I too buy in bulk so let me narrow this down a bit.  For everyday items like the aforementioned can of corn, it’s nice to be able to go down and grab a can for the evening meal.  Yet if all you have are the giant bulk cans of corn, the type that would feed a family of 10 or would have to be tossed in the fridge for leftovers (for days) it might not be the best idea.  It is a bit more expensive to buy the smaller cans but that will ensure that you actually cycle through the food instead of looking at a giant can of yams and thinking, I’ll never eat all that (and moving along).

Not Layering Your Storage (Diversify)

I’ve preached this from the beginning, having various types of layered food storage.  You need items which are ready to eat with no prep at all, think MRE’s or even some canned food items.  These can also be easily transportable if the need arises for a quick bugout.  Next in line would be meals that must be prepped but are still easy to utilize, think Mountain House meal packs or similar, boil some water and you are in there.  A final option would be the large #10 cans where actually going through a decent amount of meal prep would be required.  Layering food storage allows for optimum flexibilty and that is a good thing.

Not Buying What You’ll Eat

There you are walking through the dollar store and cans of potted meat are on sale for 50 cents each, you buy $100 worth with the thought that if times ever get tough you won’t mind eating potted meat.  10 years later all those disgusting cans of potted meat are still sitting on a shelf with zero chance of being cycled through.  When it comes to our canned food storage we typicallly buy items that we can cycle through and eat on a regular basis, while I believe that canned food expiration dates are suggestions I’d like to keep things moving on a first in first out basis if at all possible.

Not Cycling Through Food

I sort of touched on this in the previous bullet point but for many of the items which are considered perishable, it’s important to cycle through them.  This evening we made some tuna salad with cans of tuna that expired 2 years ago, I feel perfectly confident that they will be fine but I might have been a bit overzealous in my tuna purchases originally.  The point is if you buy things you will not eat willingly you’ll end up wasting food as it essentially sits on a shelf and rots.  Cycle through it replacing with never items to keep things as fresh as possible.

The Bottom Line

Wait until the next big storm in your area and then go to the grocery store, watch the folks scramble to fill their carts and baskets with items that will probably only last their family another 3-5 days at best.  Having a good storage food cache on site at your location is a key component of prepardness, while building that stash try to avoid many of the mistakes listed above.

 

Building a Preparedness Community from Scratch

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I am in the preliminary stages of building a preparedness community, assembling a contingent of like minded individuals / families which can trust each other when times get tough, be it a localized disaster or something greater.  The reality of the situation is that no matter how much training or preps you have, a community will be more of an asset than trying to go it alone.  The time to find out if your neighbors can or cannot be trusted or might have skills which are valuable isn’t after a major event has occured.

My journey to start this process began a few weeks ago with a handful of people around a table sipping on coffee and discussing likely vs unlikely events and how we could address them.  I hope you will follow along as I continue to document the progress we make and setbacks we face.  What follows below is a brief synopsis of how I got the whole thing off the ground to begin with.

Putting out Feelers

I rather dislike social media but also understand that it can be a good tool for open source communcation, I also understand that big bro also knows most everything about me anyways so whatever.  I put out a feeler on a local community FB page asking if folks would like to meet to discuss preparedness with the caveat that this wasn’t some doomsday / anti government type of thing, but rather a practical exercise with hopes of meeting some folks who would like to chat about some of our threats and what we can do to address them.  I had an overwhelming response to this post and it was mostly positive, we set a time and date and went from there.

Meet and Greet

We decided to meet for coffee at a local shop, turns out there were about 10 of us that showed up.  Not bad for strangers all unsure of who else might attend or the actual intentions of the person who set the whole thing up (me).  There was a feeling out period where we shared information about ourselves, backgrounds, why we thought preparedness was important and what some of the largest threats were that we faced.  While there was some mention of low probability, high impact events (WW3, Supervolcano) we mostly agreed that things like fire and localized power outages were top of the list.  From there we took a look at wasy to mitigate those risks (brainstorming).

Path Forward

In the hour or two that we sat at that table we weren’t going to solve the world’s problems but we could prioritize a list of what we could address on the local level immediately.  One thing we decided was that we needed to have consistent meetings, we also needed a better way to communicate other than social media.  Another longer term goal for all of us was getting set up on HAM so that we could have consistent communicaiton and situation awareness (SA) with our surrounding community and even outlying areas.  We agreed to work on many of these things and exchanged contact information and called it a successful meeting.

The Bottom Line

I have no idea if I can trust any of these people quite yet, nor do I know if any of them actually truly want to put in the work to do what it takes to build a solid community.  What I can tell you is that by establishing gates with solid action items it will weed out those who are actually about doing something, and those who are in it for the free coffee.  What I know to be true is that there are folks like me with other skills who can be an asset to my family and together we can be an asset to the community as a whole.  This time will be filled with trial and error but if say, 6 to 12 months from now we have just 3-5 families who have started to work together toward a common goal it will be more than we started with.  I hope to keep everyone updated on the progess as we move along.

 

5 Steps To Survive A Nuclear Attack

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We’ve seen far too many apocalyptic movies to understand how devastating nuclear aftermaths are. But how does one survive in reality when the bombs start to fall? Countries are becoming more powerful each year. Advancing technology and more destructive war capabilities make nuclear attacks a likely doomsday scenario. Nuclear weapons do exist. The fact that international conflicts could arise anytime should be enough to remind us that a nuclear conflict is a definite possibility. Remember the destruction caused by atomic bombs dropped in Nagasaki and Hiroshima? Modern thermonuclear is now a hundred times more powerful than that.

Quick Navigation

  A. Effects of Nuclear Blast
    Step 1: Get Away
    Step 2: Protection
    Step 3: Seek Shelter
    Step 4: Stay Inside
    Step 5: Cover Up
  B. Treating Exposure
  C. Prepping for a Nuclear Blast

 

A) Effects of a Nuclear Blast:

Now you may be wondering- if nuclear attacks are so devastating, is there any chance that anyone can survive it? In this article we outline the steps you can take to improve your chances of surviving a nuclear attack. The truth is that there are may factors that go in a nuclear conflict to determine how survivable it is. Even if you survive the initial destruction, how would you go about surviving from then on? First, there’s the nuclear blast.

The radius of nuclear blasts depend on how big the bomb is, how high it was when it exploded and what the weather was when it detonated. The larger ones would create massive fireballs, each one several miles wide that are as hot as the surface of the sun, with winds that are stronger than a hurricane. Then there’s the radioactive fallout that’s carried for miles all around. The explosion of the nuclear blast alone could kill off millions of lives in an instant. After that, you’ll have to worry about the nuclear fallout that’s just as deadly as the blast itself.

Fallout is an occurrence where radioactive materials resulting from the blast is carried by the wind and falls to earth. People, wildlife and plants could become poisoned and die within minutes. The fallout may also manifest itself as “black rain”, which is not only toxic but is also searing hot. If you’re unlucky enough to be caught in ground zero, or where the fireball blast forms, then the chances of survival are pretty much zero. The fireball resulting from the blast will incinerate all living things within its radius. But if you’re several miles away from the attack, then your survival increases. Keep in mind that you’ll have to go by a set of certain rules to keep it that way.

A nuclear attack is not immediately fatal as long as you know the best way to maximize your survival rate. The best maxim to remember is not to run, but to hide. Or, get inside and keep indoors. Don’t follow movie logic. Those who get outside in panic will be left to the mercy of the radioactive elements. Those who leave in search of their loved ones are most likely to perish. How To Survive A Nuclear Attack The less you get exposed to radiation, the better your chances of survival. Do these steps in order to decrease radiation exposure…

 

Step 1: Get Out Of There

The intense light that comes from the nuclear blast should spur you to action. If you’re still alive and breathing after the initial nuclear blast, you’ll have roughly 10 to 20 minutes to move away from the blast radius as fast as you can, or else the radiation that comes from the mushroom cloud will overtake and claim your life. In about 24 hours, the radiation will be carried by prevailing winds and scattered about. The bottom line is that you’ll have 15 minutes to find a good shelter. Staying behind will get you lethally exposed to radiation.

Those who are in a 5-mile (8 km) vicinity will suffer 3rd-degree thermal burns; even if you’re located at a 20-mile (32 km) distance, there’s a chance that the resulting heat will melt the skin right off your body. Wind will travel at around 600 mph (960 kph), leveling any structure it comes across. Quickly get a feel for where the wind is going and start running at a perpendicular angle. Move downwind and consider the possible shelter locations along the way. You can also do the “duck and cover” being taught in earthquake drills. Granted, it won’t protect you from the flame and the radiation, but it could prove to be useful if you’re in a city that has many high-rise buildings.

 

Step 2: Protect Yourself

Somehow you’re caught dangerously near the blast radius or outdoors with no shelter in sight. What is there to do? The first thing to keep in mind is to NEVER look at the nuclear blast. You could be blinded and incapacitated for what’s to come. The light from the bomb travels much faster than sound- the “flash blindness” could set you back precious minutes and lessen your chances of survival. This phenomenon may affect people who are 13 miles (21 km) away during the day or 50 miles (81 km) away during the night on a 1 megaton scale.

Keep your mouth open and your jaw slack to prevent your ear drums popping due to pressure. Don’t touch anything that’s thrown off by the wind or the blast as it could be radioactive. Cover your nose and all your exposed skin as you run away to seek shelter. Keep an eye open for any combustible or flammable material as you’re navigating as they could ignite once the heat passes over. If you’re already at a suitable shelter, remove any flammable or combustible material.

Oil-based materials such as nylon will melt and ignite from the resulting heat wave. Worst case scenario is that you’re standing out in the open with no shelter for miles around. Do the next best thing and find anything that could provide protection. Search for depressed areas in the lay of the land; lie face-down and leave as little skin exposed as possible. You can also start to dig such a depression where there’s soft soil. Lie completely flat and cover your head. The blast wave could come to you in as little as 30 seconds, so think fast and act quickly.

 

Step 3: Seek Shelter

There are two kinds of shelter from a nuclear attack- shelter from the nuclear blast and shelter from the resulting fallout.

Blast Shelters. These structures could be built in preparation for nuclear attacks in the future. They offer protection from the fire, the heat, the initial radiation and the blast pressure from the nuclear strike. A blast shelter is not a cure-all, and it won’t stand a direct hit from a nuclear bomb.

 

Fallout Shelters. These structures could be found anywhere. As long as an enclosed space is protected and that the roof and walls are thick enough to ward off radiation and fallout particles, they can be classified as a fallout shelter.

The first instinct anyone will have when they see the mushroom blast is that they have to get back home or come get their loved ones. An atmosphere filled with radiation will make this task almost impossible to successfully complete.

Think about your survival and find cover instead. Remember, get indoors or deep underground the minute you see the flash of explosion from a nuclear attack. In urban area environments, basements could be your best bet. In cases where the nuclear blast is on the ground, getting to a higher level in a building could provide the same type of shelter as deep below ground.

 

Stay well away from windows and find a room where there’s none. A closet space or a janitor’s room are the best choices. A nuclear blast could shatter any window and radiation could quickly invade your safe space. Get as much natural protection as possible.

Walls, soil, brick and concrete should be piled between you and the radioactive material that comes from the nuclear blast. The more material you have in-between, the better your chances of survival. The negative attributes of radiation loses its potency the more it passes between materials such as earth, concrete and other solid materials.

 

 

Step 4: Stay Inside!

Get deep below. If that’s not possible, seek the best kind of shelter ASAP. Buildings or houses made from good old brick and mortar and concrete are the best ones. Get inside and stay where you are to protect yourself from the resulting radiation.

You should also gauge whether a structure is sound against heat and possible blast damages before getting in. If you’re at home, keep your radio handy and keep it tuned to gather news as the attack happens. Listen and watch out for official information on how to proceed further. Depending on several circumstances, survivors may be asked to move to a secure location, evacuate the area or stay indoors.

The general rule is that survivors must stay indoors and in the basement if there’s one. Seal all windows, close all the doors and turn off all ventilation systems such as heaters and ACs. A car can provide temporary shelter if you’re caught in the blast. It’s definitely better than having nothing in-between you and the radioactive materials carried by the wind.

Close all windows and shut off the ventilation system. Find a cloth and hold it over your mouth as you drive to a better shelter. Staying inside cannot be stressed enough if you’re facing a nuclear strike scenario.

Wandering outside will result in a quick, painful death- all those dirt, debris and radioactive particles from the mushroom cloud and the wind will poison and irradiate you. Fallout particles usually come in minute-sized sand grains. Keep away from them and don’t go outside if you see particles still falling from the sky. Do a quick estimate- are you within 10 miles of the nuclear blast’s epicenter?

If you are, it’s best to remain inside the shelter for a good 48 to 72 hours after the attack. Do not come out no matter what the situation is! Since you’re stuck indoors, why not reinforce your shelter against radiation and fallout? Stack clumps of mud, cement-based materials and bricks (if any) on the walls of your shelter.

Create a suitable roof if you’re residing in a trench, but don’t go out of your way to gather the materials. If you can acquire canvas from outdoor tents, use it to shield from fallout particles. You can worry about the gamma rays later.

There’s still a ray of hope- fallout from nuclear bombs decay rapidly! After the first hour, fallout loses half its negative energy; in 24 hours, around 80 percent of negative energy is lost in the atmosphere. With this in mind, you should count up to 200 hours and stay inside the shelter for around 8 to 10 days. It’s best to be safe rather than make a fatal mistake.

Plus, any fission products that come from the nuclear blast should be gone after 8 days. Even after 10 days have passed, there are still radioactive particles floating around the atmosphere, so it will be best to limit your time outdoors. Radio-iodine particles are about 1 percent strength after 90 days.

 

Step 5: Cover Up

When you’ve put a safe distance between you and the nuclear blast and found a suitable protective shelter, you should cast your clothes off to eliminate the radioactive dust. If you have access to a shower, take one. Use plenty of water and soap to wash off the radioactive contamination.

Do not scrub or scratch your skin! Do not use conditioner as it could make the radioactive material stick to your hair. If there’s no accessible shower, use a wet cloth to wipe off as much radioactive material from your skin as possible. Use this decontamination procedure- remove your clothes and shake them off constantly to remove minute radioactive particles. Wash them constantly with water. Then, wash your skin with plenty of soap and water. Any residue will result in skin burning and further complicate your survival situation.

 

B) Treating Radiation Exposure

Contaminated clothing should be put in a plastic bag and sealed away. Put the bag where no animal or human can open them to minimize the risk of radioactive exposure. Wear lots of protective clothing to cover your skin. Wear hats, goggles, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, gloves if there are any. This will protect your from the following types of radiation: Alpha Particles. The weakest of all radioactive particles in a nuclear attack.

 

They don’t pose much of a threat to humans, and they survive for just a few seconds after being released to the atmosphere. They could be harmful if inhaled or ingested. Beta Particles. Beta rays penetrate deeper into materials and last longer than Alpha particles. A beta particle can be active while traveling at 10 yards before being absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere.

Exposure to beta particles is not particularly fatal, but if you constantly absorb them then it can prove to be fatal. Beta burns are somewhat akin to sunburns. Make sure to cover your eyes, nose and mouth against them to avoid accidental ingestion or inhalation.

Gamma Rays. The deadliest of all radioactive particles, and also the longest-lived. They can travel for miles and penetrate any shielding. Getting caught with gamma rays will turn your internal organs to mush. You’ll need adequate planning if you want to minimize exposure as much as possible. It’s best to rid your body of all potential radioactive particles or report to the nearest decontamination center in your vicinity.

If possible seek immediate treatment against thermal and radiation burns. Keep away from damaged structures; you’ll see them labeled with signs such as HAZMAT or radiation hazard. It’s best to be cautious as radiation is invisible to us. How To Prepare For A Nuclear Attack Here’s how you can prepare against a nuclear scenario: Keep Abreast of the News. A sudden nuclear attack is an unlikely scenario.

 

C) Prepping for a Nuclear Blast

Chances are that warring nations will engage in skirmishes or talks before pulling out their big guns. A deteriorating political situation, conflicting sides and a terrorist group announcing war will be your nuclear attack indicators.

Coordinate a plan with your loved ones on what you should all do and where you need to go if it happens. Stock Up On Potassium Iodide. These pills help against radiation and the resulting cancer that you can get if you’re exposed to fallout particles. Protect your thyroid from radiation and keep a box of it at home, in your car or in your bug out bag. Read up on what brands are approved by the FDA and the appropriate dosing.

Keep Clean Water and Food Inside Your Shelter. The food and water supply should last for at least 2 weeks. Keep a radio and plenty of batteries. Bath, hygiene supplies and a set of fresh clothes should be stored as well. A Medical Kit. A first-aid kit, a first aid manual and common medical supplies should be kept on your shelter.

You’ll need a blanket, a thermometer, tweezers, scissors, latex gloves, antibiotic ointments, sterile bandages and gauze. Practice First Aid. Read up online or visit the nearest Red Cross station for a quick instructional on how to treat shocks, burns, administer CPR and how to bandage wounds. Keep A Personal Radiation Detector. It’s the next best thing to finding out whether a place or an item is irradiated or not.

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5 Most Important Survival Skills To Have After SHTF

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If you could only learn five survival skills, which ones would you learn? That’s the question I’m going to answer in this article. It’s a tricky question, though, because it depends on the scenario. For example, surviving in the wilderness requires a different set of skills than surviving in an urban area after an EMP […]

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5 Steps to Make a Super Camo, Badass Ghillie Suit for Survival

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One of the best ways to conceal yourself in a natural terrain is to get a ghillie suit. Strictly speaking, a ghillie suit is sort of like a camouflage garment that resembles sand, snow and various foliage types, covered with loose straps of twine, cloth or burlap that look like twigs, leaves, hay and scraps from the area. Snipers, soldiers, hunters and wildlife photographers wear these to hide themselves from the enemy and from danger. It’s better than the more popular camouflage suit because it’s formless and it creates a 3D blending effect instead of 2D.

Quick Navigation

  A. Research Terrain
  B. The 5-Step Ghillie Suit
    Step 1: Supplies
    Step 2: Prep the burlap
    Step 3: Separate the braids
    Step 4: Tie the Burlap
    Step 5: Make the hood
  C. Extra Tips & Tricks
  D. Selecting Proper Vegetation

 

Preppers will stand to gain a lot from having a ghillie suit because it makes them better at hunting, hiding and in playing the stealth game. There are available ghillies that you can buy online or at a military store, but these could easily net you a few hundred dollars or more. If you have the extra time, why not create a personalized, custom-made ghillie suit of your own? In this article I will teach you how to make a ghillie suit with essential tips included. Are you ready? Let’s do this.

A. Research Your Terrain:  

First, Do Your Research A ghillie suit won’t be effective if you haven’t done your homework. More specifically, you will have to answer this question- Where would I use my ghillie suit? Then, go from there. Do fieldwork research. Take pictures and take notes for matching up with colors later. See which foliage is present and inspect how the plants are shaped. You will also learn how to mix colors and tie simple knots.

Whether it be the desert, the grasslands, the tundra or the woods, here’s a list of supplies you’ll need: – A camera – A pen – A notepad – Colored pencils Use all of these to get a feel for the environment. Do some sketches and describe the greens and the wildlife you find in the area. Don’t forget to include the time of day you plan to use your ghillie suit. Natural light can be different depending on what time it is, and it can have a major effect on how the landscape looks. Snap photos during dawn, noon and dusk to see the slight variations in shades and hues. Pay special attention to the vegetation as well.

Map out the shapes and the textures. You should be thorough and write down everything observable in your notepad. Ask yourself- what textures can I incorporate to my ghillie suit? Time spent out observing will not be wasted. In the end, you’ll have an excellent ghillie suit and better field observation skills that you can add to your survival repertoire. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of how to navigate terrain for battle tactics or for hunting. You’ll understand the various plant types and get to know which one you can eat and which ones you can use for clothes, shelter, etc.

Gathering The Supplies A ghillie suit starts out with a one or two-piece base layer that matches with the intended terrain, followed closely by the head covering, netting, jutes and dye. Plus, you’ll need lots and lots of patience! Make the base camo suit out of normal clothing. Use spray paint or fabric patches to match the environment and the terrain. If you have some cash, you can purchase Battle Dress Uniforms or Military Flight Suits available at most military surplus shops. If you have an old jacket lying around, you can use that as well.

Begin Crafting Your Ghillie Suit The best snipers, hunters and photographers rely on a good set of ghillie suit to blend in with the terrain and carry out the mission without their cover being blown. The billowy material blurs the human outline and makes them as good as “ghosts”. Deep cover has never been so effective! Grab your base suit, the netting, the burlap material, some thread and sewing materials, glue and a sample of local foliage. Let’s create a ghillie suit.

B. The 5-Step Ghillie Suit

Step 1 – Supplies:  Get your hands on some replacement fishing net- cut it up into long, thin strips that are 2 squares wide. Take the thread and needle, and sew some mesh netting knots onto the fabric using invisible threads like fishing lines or dental floss. Place the strips along the sleeves and on the front of your base suit. Leave a margin of about 6 inches between strips. Add some extra-strong glue to hold down the stitches in place. You may also glue the mesh directly to your base suit. Tailor mesh netting that’s about the same size as the base suit and apply the glue every few inches on the whole netting.

Leave the suit for a few hours so the glue can stick properly. Use a pair of scissors to cut the mesh into roughly the shape of your base suit. Do this carefully so you won’t create cuts into the base. The proper ending is that the mesh shouldn’t extend out for more than a few inches off your jacket.

Step 2 – Prepare The Burlap:  All traditional ghillie suits will have some kind of burlap strips hanging all over it. How do you make one? A roll of netting, a burlap bag or some coffee bags will work. You’ll need roughly 8 pounds of burlap material per ghillie suit. If you’ve looked everywhere but can’t find burlap, then you can get braided jute twine that will match the colors of the environment. Jute is what will cover most of your suit’s external area and it can be bought in most supply stores. If you’re not satisfied with the colors of the jute twine then you can dye it according to the color of the terrain. This becomes essential if you’re buying burlap sacks and they don’t match the field you plan on using them in.

Keep a close eye on the greys, the browns and the greens in the landscape and try to match the colors with the dye you have at your disposal. Follow the instructions written on the dye packets to get the best results. Dye the jute strands with the appropriate color. Run them under cold water until the passing water is clear, then hang them or leave them out for the sun to dry. If the colors turn out to be a shade darker than your intended color, that’s fine- the dampness makes them look darker but the sun will lighten them back up to the desired hue. Allow the jute material to dry a day or two before you judge whether the color is right or not. If it turns out too dark for the landscape, simply fill a bucket with bleach and water and submerge the jute in it. A 1 to 10 bleach/water ratio should do the trick. For added effect, apply spray paint on random spots to break up your silhouette. Make sure to include some earthy tones as well.

Step 3 – Separate The Braids:  Unravel the jute or the burlap material into their individual strands. You should know that this is probably the most time-consuming and the most tedious part of making a ghillie suit, so be patient. Once done, the longest strands will go on the sleeves and the front of your suit. Shorter strands will be put on the back in an overlapping pattern. Here’s a more detailed explanation. Cut out a rectangle measuring around 2 by 5 ft.

The cut should be at the lower or the upper seam to make unraveling the fibers easier. Burlap material comes apart pretty easily, but the hard part is dividing them into equal lengths. Anchor the burlap sack’s sides with your heels and start digging into the horizontal strands. Soon, the horizontal fabric will be of equal length as the vertical side. Cut the burlap’s fibers using a pair of scissors when it’s done. Put them on a pile. Rinse and repeat until the burlap sacks are all unraveled. The end fibers should be about 7 to 14 inches in length. Keep in mind that longer strands will make your outline less natural when you stand or sit in the terrain.

Step 4 – Tying The Burlap:  You’ve got your netting and you have your burlap strands. The next step is tying the burlap fibers into knots onto the mesh netting. Get a handful of jute strands and clump them together, then tie the whole thing to the netting via an overhand knot. It doesn’t have to be too fancy- the trick here is to fasten them securely so they don’t fall off.

There should be 3 or 4 similar environmental colors in each strand of jute or burlap. Do a random pattern so that no one dominant color pervades the whole ghillie suit. What you can do is clump one color of jute and spread them out across the whole suit. You’re almost done. When most of the jute or burlap strands are gone, fluff up and inspect your ghillie suit. Look for bald spots where there’s obviously less strands and fill them in. Pick the whole suit and shake it gently, then set it evenly on the floor. Add the clumps until everything looks evened out.

Step 5 – The Ghillie Hood (Optional): Take a spare hat and glue a piece of oval netting onto it. The process should be the same as when you’re gluing the mesh netting to the main suit. Then, do Step 4. Knot clumps of burlap or jute fibers onto the hat. To really add a natural effect, weave in bits of organic materials such as grass, shrubbery and twigs into the mesh netting. The amount of jute on the hood and on the main suit should be equal. Do a quick visual test by placing the hood on top of the suit- does it blend in well? As a side tip, a fire-resistant balaclava is often used by experts to protect their face and head. You can get one on military surplus shops and general goods stores. Field-Testing Your Ghillie Suit Enhance the 3D camouflage by incorporating some of the environment’s natural material into the suit.

C. Extra Tips & Tricks:

Take small items from the area such as twigs, leaves, foliage and branches to effectively break your silhouette. This should be done each time you’re taking out the ghillie suit for a field operation. Take the time to attach organic material to the mesh netting before using it. Of course, the material has to match the environment you’ll be hiding in. Wooded areas will require you to put on leaves and branches to the upper part of the suit while attaching leaves and twigs on the lower part. Coincidentally, you’ll also want to put more material on the back as compared to the front of your ghillie suit.

The reason behind this is that using a ghillie suit will get you crawling instead of standing up, which exposes the back part more. The material attached to the front of the suit will be damaged and make noise, so carefully consider which ones you should use. You will also need to buff up the neck area with an abundance of organic and jute threads. The reason for this is that it’s easy to recognize a head even when all the other parts of the body are fully camouflaged. The human outline must be broken for the ghillie suit to provide excellent concealment.

To really get into the spirit of things, you can drag the ghillie suit through the mud or even apply animal droppings if you’re planning to use it in a forest, a wooded area or somewhere that’s crawling with dangerous animals. Ground debris and natural dirt further hide the suit from sight. Natural Vegetation This is another essential item on your ghillie suit list. This customization option shouldn’t be overlooked- I recommend that you add this to the steps in making a ghillie suit. Look around the environment and see if there’s any native vegetation. Add them when necessary, but only when you plan to use your suit right afterwards.

D. Selecting the Right Vegetation:  

Fresh vegetation will wither and quickly brown hours after being plucked. Certain hobby shops and online stores offer types of vegetation you can add to your ghillie suit. For instance, you can purchase dried raffa grass and dye it according to the natural hue of the landscape. It can be used in almost all winter, desert and grassland environments. Spanish moss is available in certain colors and they add an excellent depth of perception to your ghillie suit. You can buy carpet moss for the lower part of the suit in most model train stores and silk flower shops.

Use common sense in determining which natural vegetation works and which doesn’t. Avoid plants and leaves that may cause skin irritation such as nettles, cacti, poison sumac and poison ivy. Use this to your advantage- hide survival stashes in these irritants, or make it look poisonous and off-limits to the casual observer. Wear long sleeves and pants if you know you’ll be encountering poison ivy along the way. Bring isopropyl alcohol to effectively remove the oil which causes the sting. If you’re planning on laying down for a longer period of time, then you may want to consider artificial vegetation.

You won’t have to collect a huge amount of fresh vegetation to add to your ghillie suit, which cuts down on the time needed for vegging up. Plus, artificial vegetation lasts longer than natural ones. The good thing is that artificial vegetation passes up as the real thing on first glance, which is all you need to stay perfectly concealed. Hobby stores carry a lot of artificial vegetation which corresponds to the current season. So if it’s fall and winter, expect fall and winter vegetations and vice versa.

One notable disadvantage when you opt for artificial vegetation is that sometimes the vegs are too glossy for such a natural landscape, which could stand out and give your position away. Use spray paint to age your artificial vegetation before heading out, or paint the vegs according to the current seasonal hue. These artificial landscape materials can be reused and recycled as needed. Customizing Your Ghillie Suit Waterproof areas of your ghillie suit if you know that you’ll be using it most of the time under rain or precipitation.

Add mesh vents and hydration packs when you plan on staying long under the searing heat of the sun. For hunting purposes, it would be best to add a pad pocket so that you can increase the chances of a clean kill. The key here is to modify your suit depending on the terrain. Here’s a video you can watch alongside this article if you’re planning to create a personalized ghillie suit from scratch.

If you liked this post, be sure to see our post on how to make a ghillie blanket.

Store Food Like a Pro Using Mylar Bags

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Humans need food for sustenance. All catastrophic end-of-world scenarios force people to think one way or another on how they can get food to survive.

You may have heard about Mylar Bags when you were looking for a way to store large quantities of food. You may be wondering how Mylar bags are different from any other bulk food storage options available in the market. How do you use one for storing rations?

Searching about it online can possibly raise more questions than answers. So in an effort to lift that veil of mystery surrounding Mylar bags, we discuss the most common questions and tell you all about using Mylar bags to store bulk emergency foods safely and efficiently.

Quick Navigation:

 

A. What is a Mylar Bag?

Let’s get something cleared up first. The word Mylar is not a brand name but rather one of the many variations of a material called BoPet. What is BoPet? If we were to prolong it, the name means “Biaxially Oriented Polyethylene Terephthalate”. Mylar is a trade name coined by a company called DuPont way back in the 50’s. This remarkable polyester film material was then used by NASA for their space programs.

BoPet is a film that’s produced when you stretch polyethylene terephthalate. It’s an amazing material best known for its superior tensile strength. Moreover, it was discovered that Mylar had excellent blocking abilities against moisture, gas, light and aroma. It’s a godsend for preppers because it could effectively block electrical waves as well.

Mylar is thin, flexible and light, but these properties belie the fact that it’s one of the most durable and strongest materials there is. You can see Mylar used to great effect in space blankets, insulators, solar filters and atmospheric helium-filled balloons.

Many materials for long-term food storage were used, but Mylar beat them all handily. This makes Mylar as the go-to material for people who want to keep their foods fresh and edible for years on end.

 

B. Why is Mylar Best for Long-Term Food Storage?

Mylar is better than other food storage materials such as vacuum-sealed, plastic, dry-packed and metalized bags. Think of Mylar as a clear resin made of light polyester material encased in aluminum foil. It’s like a portable, flexible tin can that stores large amounts of food.

It presents some advantages over traditional tin can varieties in a number of ways. Mylar is stronger, is certainly more flexible, and it keeps away elements that could prematurely spoil rations. It has all the good features of all food storage types- strong, light and sealed.

You can pack in food without worrying about breakage. The polyester film conforms on the food you put in, and it collapses when the air is removed. When you put in the food items and vacuum seal them, your food will be safe from the outside elements. You’re in full control when it comes to humidity, light and oxygen content. Survivalists should know that these three elements spoil food much faster than anything else food comes in contact with.

 

1) Mylar VS Metalized VS Dry Pack Pouch Bags

Dry pack pouches, metalized storage bags and Mylar have something in common- they are all alike! Don’t be confused when your seller refers to Mylar bags as such. All of these are made from the same Mylar material. Make sure to check whether the bags are food-grade. Mylar is just one brand of polyester film, like Xerox is a brand of a copier machine.

On Using Plastic Bags

Plastic bags as long-term food storage solutions are only good if you’re packing in salt. By themselves, salt is a hardy food ingredient that doesn’t require reinforced packaging, even when you need to keep it for a long time.

Plastic bags are thin by nature. They aren’t totally air-tight. They tear easily and they allow light to pass through. As you have probably learned by now, heat, moisture and light are your worst food enemies in long term aspects. Not counting food pests, fire, and other destructive acts of nature, of course.

2) On Using Vacuum Sealed Bags

Vacuum seal bagsVacuum seal bags such as the ones made by FoodSaver are great because they are convenient and easy to use. The air is sucked out of the bag to keep your food preserved and fresh. That’s where the advantages end. Mylar bags are more durable and tougher. Vacuum sealed bags may develop breaks 3, 4 years after they are put in long term storage.

Don’t rule out the usefulness of vacuum sealed bags though. They’re a good alternative for when you need to store food for short to medium lengths of time. You’ll just have to be diligent about rotating the foods you put in vacuum bags and using them as everyday meals when enough time has passed. Make sure to put in oxygen absorbers if you intend to store them for more than 12 months.

Mylar bags are the best in what they do- keeping your food safe for the longest time. You can rely on Mylar bags to store nutritious food when the end of the world finally comes.

 

C. How To Use Mylar Bags For Storing Food

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to your food and Mylar bags. The best and the most efficient use of a Mylar bag is when the size is just right for the type of food you’re packing in.

Mylar bags come in different thickness and size. To keep it simple and not get overly complicated, you can categorize your food and the corresponding Mylar bag to just two sizes- Small and Large.

The perfect size for small food storage are the 1-gallon sizes. You can put in small food items that aren’t needed in bulk, i.e., preserved fruits, dehydrated meats, cooking ingredients such as salt, baking powder and other spices.

Then, for the ones that are stored in bulk, i.e., wheat, beans, rice, etc. you’ll want to go for the large-sized bag. A 5-gallon Mylar bag is suitable for most of these food types. They aren’t too heavy and won’t take too much space. As a side bonus, 5-gallon Mylar bags can be paired with 5-gallon buckets, which will give you even more storage benefits.

The best range of thickness in Mylar bags are between 4.3 to 7 mils. The thicker a Mylar bag is, the more it can repel light and moisture. The only downside to this is that thicker bags are more expensive.

It boils down to how much light and humidity you want to keep out of your food. Standard 3.5 mils bags can still get penetrated by light, which could lead to a rude shortage just when you need food the most. Opt for Mylar bags that are at least 4.3 mils in thickness. This way you won’t have to worry about light and humidity entering your emergency food rations.

 

D. Using Mylar Bags With 5 Gallon Buckets

5-gallon buckets are great for protecting one of your most valuable assets- food. When thinking about long-term storage, you should always think about the worst things that could happen to your food and water, and come up with solutions to counteract them.

Light and humidity may not be able to penetrate your Mylar bags, but that doesn’t mean insects, rodents and bugs couldn’t as well. They can chew through Mylar material fast and leave it exposed to the outside elements. Plus, your 5-gallon buckets can double as extra storage for when the rations are opened.

The best 5-gallon buckets you can buy are the food-grade ones that have protective lids on top. Simply fill up your Mylar bag with the appropriate food, place it inside the 5-gallon bucket and close the lid. Your stored food will be impervious to light, humidity and any hungry rodents or animal that come your way.

Get thick, hard plastic buckets that can withstand gnawing, biting and chewing. Also, as a wise precaution, use only new food-grade 5-gallon buckets. You won’t want to put in your precious food rations into a non-food grade bucket, because a non-food grade plastic bucket has dyes and harmful chemicals that could seep into your food supply. Contaminated grains and food won’t be good for safe consumption.

Don’t buy second-hand or previously used plastic buckets because you won’t know if they’ve been used to store fuel, paint or chemicals in the past. The porous nature of plastic absorbs any chemical that has spilled to the material makeup, which in turn contaminates the food stored within.

Invest in a few more dollars and get new, food-grade 5 gallon buckets. After you fill your Mylar bags with food and put them inside the buckets, store them in a cool, dry place for optimum storage.

 

E. Oxygen Absorbers- How Do They Work?

Did you remember to place an oxygen absorber into each Mylar bag before storing them? But wait, how do these oxygen absorbers work?

Oxygen absorbers, or O2 absorbers get the extra oxygen inside Mylar bags when you seal them. It stands to reason that the bigger your Mylar bag, the more oxygen absorber you’ll need. They are measured in cc units.

Here’s how they work- you put in the appropriate amount of oxygen absorber before you seal the bag for storage. Once sealed, the O2 pack does its job of eating up any excess oxygen that’s still present in the bag.

O2 absorbers are important if you want food that can stand the test of time, because oxygen is a huge factor when it comes to your food’s shelf life. You’ll need to figure out the right amount of oxygen absorber to use. Too little and your food will have a reduced shelf life. Too much and you waste valuable money that could be used for other survival measures.

Oxygen absorbers come in different cc’s- 50, 100, 300, 500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 sizes. Let’s simplify the process of finding the right amount of O2 absorber to use by doing a simple computation and rounding up the results. Here’s a useful link you can use- https://youtu.be/Xl5-z77jDow

It’s better to add a little bit too much oxygen absorber than adding too little. The effect of not putting in enough oxygen absorber has far graver consequences than wasting a bit of money. You can also take the guesswork out of the picture and buy Mylar bags that have O2 absorbers included.

 

F. The Art of Sealing Mylar Bags

Here’s a quick overview on how to use a food sealer to pack your Mylar bags:

Have you got everything you need? Make sure you have the food you want to store, the 5-gallon buckets, the Mylar bags and a heat source for sealing.

Sealing your Mylar bags is one of the most important process in long term storage. A poor seal results in a reduced quality of food, which in turn degrades effective shelf life. Pay attention and you’ll get the art of sealing food in no time flat!

Here are the 3 things you need to know about effective food sealing:

1) The end result should be a debris-free Mylar bag that’s completely flat and has just the right sealing temperature.

Let me explain why this is. The flatter a Mylar bag is, the better seal you can get. Heat is applied to the open end of the Mylar bag, and the material starts to melt. The two ends co-mingle when both sides are at the melting point. It’s like welding two pieces of metal.

Intense heat is applied to one end to turn the material into heated liquid. Two heated liquid materials are brought together to fuse into one. When the heat source is shut off, the material reverts back to solid state and the ends form as one.

A pocket of air that stands between the two ends of a Mylar bag will directly reduce the effectiveness of the seal. The process might work out well at first, but upon closer inspection the seal will be at its weakest near the air pocket. You can be sure that the weakest spot in your Mylar bag will be the one to break first in due time.

2) Don’t skip the process of removing all foreign materials, even the minute particles.

The seal needs to be flat and clean. Try to be as thorough as you can, because a bit of dust or an unwanted piece of food will compromise the storage process. Getting one in-between the two ends of the Mylar bag greatly reduces the surface contact between the two joined points. This is not acceptable because air, light and moisture will seep in the weak spot. Food shelf life will be significantly reduced.

3) Control the heat during the sealing process.

The temperature and the timing is important in this one. Too much heat will melt your Mylar bags and render it unusable. Too little and the surface points will not join together, and you won’t have a proper seal at all. The bag will look like it’s sealed, but sooner or later the ends will come undone and your food will be exposed to the elements.

There’s one way to ensure the best sealing process available, and that is to invest in a good Mylar bag sealer. Investing means spending a little more as compared to buying alternative options such as a hair straightener or a clothes iron. This will pay off in dividends later on as you’ll have food that’s as fresh as the day you sealed them in. Remember that food will be one of the most valuable resources in SHTF situations.

It’s fine if you’re set on using a hair straightener or a clothes iron to seal your Mylar bags in. Just make sure to thoroughly test for a good seal afterwards. Check back after 6 months and see if the seals are still in place.

Here’s an easy method in using hair straightener to seal your Mylar bags- Fill your Mylar bag with food, put in the oxygen absorbers, then use the hair straightener to seal the end of your Mylar bag. Keep the bag flat and eliminate any foreign particles for the best seal. If you’re using a clothes iron, then you’ll need a flat area or a board to work with. Fill your Mylar bag with food, put in the O2 absorber, lay it flat on the board and gently iron the ends of the Mylar bag.

Finally, you can make use of a vacuum sealer to lock in your Mylar bags. These devices can effectively create a vacuum inside your food bag and seal them at the same time. You’ll notice though, that Mylar bags are smooth while vacuum-sealable bags are dimpled in nature. The dimples are so that the vacuum sealer can effectively work its magic.

The effectiveness of sealing Mylar bags using vacuum sealers are lessened, but there’s a trick you can use to seal them just like you’re using food saver bags. A vacuum sealer is also one of the best food storage tools for everyday use. If you have veggies, fruits or meat that you want preserved for a week or two, then may want to invest in one.

Here’s some more helpful tips on the art of sealing a Mylar bag:

1) Don’t overfill your bags with food.

2) Seal the top inch and nothing else. This will be a boon when you’ve opened the bag and want to re-seal it for later use. Don’t forget to include the oxygen absorber before sealing it up again.

3) When packing powdery ingredients like flour, wipe the inside edges to eliminate any material that could compromise the seal.

4) Check back your sealed Mylar bags a few days after. They should still look great and compressed by then. If not, then the seal didn’t work and the Mylar bag is compromised.

5) Seal noodles and pasta in their original packaging. Open up the package a bit first so the oxygen absorber will work its way inside the package.

 

G. Organizing Your Food Storage

Survivalists will do well to organize their bug out bags, vehicles and survival equipment. It should be an essential part of your discipline. Knowing what kind of food each bucket and Mylar bag has will save you the time and energy you can use for other things.

Label each Mylar bag and 5-gallon bucket with the food and the date you sealed it. The bags can be labeled using a sharpie. Allow sufficient time to dry so it won’t smudge. You can make use of sticky labels not only to organize your Mylar bags, but to organize the rest of your survival bags and storages as well.

Label boxes, packages and bottles with useful information. The time may come when you’ll not be present to help family members determine the correct box to open. It serves as a training tool for them to be more self-reliant.

If you have the extra time, include the information that came with the food package. A box of beans can be cut up and inserted into the 5-gallon bucket with the Mylar bag. You’ll have a detailed information into the food you’re storing. This is especially useful if one or more of your family members have food allergies.

Here’s a helpful video that walks you through the entire food storing process using Mylar bags, O2 absorbers, 5-gallon buckets and sealing the food in place- https://youtu.be/mR_vQcd3sb0

 

H. Creating a Step By Step Food Storage Action Plan

Mylar bags can sound intimidating, but with a little bit of knowledge and some how to’s, they can turn out to be quite easy to use. Once you have your oxygen absorbers, your 5-gallon bucket, your Mylar bags and your food, then it’s time to do a step-by-step emergency food storage action plan!

Step 1. Choose the food you want to store long term and buy them.

Step 2. Get your Mylar bags in both 1-gallon and 5-gallon sizes.

Step 3. Buy plenty of oxygen absorbers.

Step 4. Go to the hardware store and purchase new food-grade 5-gallon buckets with lids.

Step 5. Secure the best heat sealing device.

Step 6. Bring your organizational tools such as the labelers, the sharpies and the checklist to the table.

Step 7. Open your Mylar bags, put in food, add some O2 absorbers, seal them up and place them in 5-gallon buckets.

Step 8. Find a cool, dry place and store your Mylar bags in them.

Step 9. Rejoice! Your chances of surviving an end-of-days scenario has just gotten a little better.

Backpacking: Why Preppers Should All Do It

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Backpacking is often thought of as this out of reach, extreme sport that only people in top physical condition undertake.  That’s just not the case.  Backpacking is as much a skill builder as it is an activity for the adventurous.  And the best part is that anyone can do it.  It can be as simple

8 Basic Skills You Need To Master Before The SHTF

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You don’t have to be an expert at every survival skill to survive a disaster–very few people have mastered all the skills. However, there are a handful of skills that everyone will need in a true SHTF scenario, especially if they’re on their own. In this article from Modern Survival Online, Ryan explains what he […]

The post 8 Basic Skills You Need To Master Before The SHTF appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

These Aren’t Considered SHTF Survival Skills, But They Really Should Be

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MCan you grow your own food and raise your own livestock? Can you fix your own car? Are you a competent marksman? Can you hunt and fish? Do you know your way around a first-aid kit? Can you make your own biofuel? How about bartering?

Everyone who’s interested in prepping has heard about or considered learning some of those skills (among many others) countless times already. There are certain skills that seem essential for surviving a catastrophic event, and they are repeatedly mentioned and discussed ad nauseam in the prepper community. Of course they’re vitally important and sophisticated subjects that warrant lots of discussion, but there are a few skills that are often totally overlooked; probably because they seem mundane and unexciting.

That however, doesn’t mean they should be ignored. If you’re looking to tack a few more skills under your belt, or at least confirm that you don’t have any of these gaps in your prepper education, consider the following:

Learning Another Language

If society collapsed, then nation-state borders would temporarily lose their meaning. People living in immigrant enclaves, gated communities, and small towns across the country would be uprooted from their lives. Everyone would be wrenched away from their social bubbles. In other words, you would be running into all kinds of people who you would normally never meet, and a lot of those folks will speak a different language. The more languages you know, the less misunderstandings you’ll face after the collapse.

Driving Stick

As time goes on there are fewer and fewer vehicles with manual transmissions being built and sold, and the number of people who actually know how to drive a stick shift is declining. But this could become a vital skill after the collapse. Stick shifts tend to be older, and older cars tend to be easier to fix and maintain. Older vehicles are also a lot easier to hotwire (I’m not suggesting that you steal. There would be many abandoned cars if society collapsed). So if you don’t know already, now is a good time to learn how to drive a stick.

Investing

Investing sounds like a skill that is exactly the opposite of what you need to know to survive. When we think of investors, we imagine people who are reliant on the grid; people who work for investment firms and sit behind computers all day. In reality, investing is still an important skill to have when civilization crumbles. Being a good investor requires you to have a solid understanding of how the world works, so you can use that understanding to figure out what is going to be more valuable in the future. At a base level, there isn’t much difference between investing money in a promising company, and trading a can of soup for a pack of cigarettes that will be worth more in the future as supplies dwindle.

Negotiation, Persuasion, and Conflict Resolution

Preppers spend a lot of time preparing to survive violent situations. However, violence is messy and destructive. And more times than not it’s preventable with a little bit of tact and understanding. Don’t buy a dozen guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition without working on your own ability communicate with others, and find common interests with people who oppose you. If society collapsed, the only people you should have to physically protect yourself from, are the ones who refuse to talk to you.

Stress Management

In the modern world, most people deal with stress by consuming addictive substances and engaging themselves in an endless stream of entertainment. After the collapse, there will be no TV or internet, and the substances people use to take the edge off will be hard to come by. And this will happen as everyone is dealing with the most stressful event anyone has seen in generations. If you can’t handle hard times without the aid of a stiff drink and a cigarette, then you’re not ready to cope with an event that could destroy our civilization.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

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

A. When to Use a Slingshot:

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

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

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

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

Here are some advantages a slingshot can give you:

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

 

B. How to Shoot a Slingshot for Survival

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

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

Courtesy of Slingshotforum.com

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

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

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

 

C. Choosing the Right Slingshot

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

Here are some of the essential factors to consider:

 

1. Frame Material

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

a) Plastic

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

b) Wood

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

d) Metal

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

 

2. Band Types

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

Here are some more benefits:

 

  • Flat Bands

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

  • Rubber Tubing

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

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

 

3. Other Important Features

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

a) Grip

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

b) Sight

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

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

c) Hollow Handle

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

 

D. The 9 Best Slingshots You Can Buy Now

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

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

 

1. Trumark FS-1

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

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

 

2. Torque Slingshot

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

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

 

3. Toprade ABS Slingshot with Flat Rubber Band

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

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

 

4. Mythic Outdoors Adjustable 

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

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

   

 

5. Daisy Outdoor B52 Slingshot

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

 

6. Friendly Slingshot With 6 Rubber Line

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

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

 

7. Adjustable Laser Hunting Stainless Steel Slingshot

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

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

 

8. MoreFarther Pro Adjustable Hunting Steel Slingshot:

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

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

 

9. Scout Hunting Slingshot

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

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

 

10. Tophunt Professional Adjustable Hunting Slingshot

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

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

 

Conclusion

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

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Barnett-Outdoors-Cobra-Slingshot-Stabilizer/dp/B000HE8NL2/ref=sr_1_11?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1490462393&sr=1-11&keywords=hunting+slingshot

A Comprehensive Bugout Strategy

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I’ve written about bugging out in the past, it’s a popular concept with many relevant ties to everyday life and unfortunately it’s also a concept rooted in many prepper fantasies.  Realistic bugouts happen quite frequently due to localized natural disasters, folks have to leave their home with very little notice hoping that it will be there when they are allowed to return.  Forest fires, flooding or even chemical spills come to mind when considering the need to get out and quickly.  Many folks prepare for these scenarios and many do not, those who do not are usually the ones on television telling the news how all they could salvage was what they could grab in a few minutes.

I should dedicate at least one paragraph to the prepper bugout fantasy, the one where martial law is declared and the suburbanites pack up the pickup trucks and head to the woods to establish a community.  Crops are gown, shelters are built and the resistance war is waged in a glorious effort, something something et al.  It’s a good fantasy but not one grounded in reality, I’ll just leave it at that.

My Bugout Necessity

I’ve you’ve been following along recently you’ll know I’ve relocated to a pretty remote area of the country, one where fire is certainly the biggest threat to our existence.  Fire can happen quickly and when it’s dry, as it is now, it is a huge consideration which must be taken very seriously.  Evacuation (read: bugout) plans are standard in this part of the country and one must be ready to execute at a moment’s notice.

Time Sensitive Plans

In speaking with my wife we have determined that we should have layered plans in place which are all predicated on the amount of time available.  Certainly if we have a day to leave there are actions we would take and also items we would pack which would far exceed those determined necessary if we only had 5 minutes to leave.  The point is that we have gone through the home and identified those items and also the load plan (single or multiple vehicles) associated with taking various items.  Generally we lean towards irreplaceable things (photo albums, heirlooms) and vital documents as top priority and work our way down from there.  In a zero time available scenario its ourselves and the dogs, everything else can meet the fate of the flames.

Multiple Courses of Action

Our first choice would obviously be vehicle transport out of our location.  However there is truly only one way in and one way out, so if that is blocked moving on foot has to be an option.  We have scouted this possibiliy and included it in our plan and a second course of action should the road be blocked and impassable.  It is important to consider the highly unlikely and plan for it, never assume that because something has always been….that it always will be.

Off Site Storage Redundancy

I suggest this for everyone reading this post.  Have multiple sites away from your primary residence were you can store goods and supplies or vital docments.  We have a backup storage facility as well as a safe deposit box where we keep vital documents, never keep all of your eggs in one basket so to speak.  If we were away from the home and it all went up in flames we would have redundacy off site.  This is a crucial capability which ties in to continutity of operations.

General Preps

It should go without saying but there are some generalities that go with being prepared to bugout which transcend location.  A list of these follows, this is off the top of my head so it is not complete.

– Vehicles never parked without a minimum of 1/2 tank of fuel

– All family members briefed on bugout strategy

– Rehersals of bugout strategy

– Predetermined linkup or destination points

– Items identified and staged for quick loading

– Load plan (how you will pack) rehearsed and understood

– Multiple Egress points identified and understood

– Communication plan understood and rehearsed

The Bottom Line

The necessity for bugouts is a very real one and should not be overlooked.  Have a comprehensive bugout strategy which ties in more than one way to get it done.  Speak with your loved ones about it and conduct rehearsals, it could save your life one day.

 

SHTF Gear Box Unvieled: $154 worth of stuff for $89

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Two bladed instruments which were in the box

I finally got around to opening the gear box from SHTFClub.com and was pleasantly surprised at the contents contained within.  Remember, this is a subscription program and there are three tiers:

  • Basic Plan: $19.99/mo
  • Pro Plan: $49.99
  • Elite Plan: $89.99

Originally I was a bit skeptical because after all, why would I pay to receive a box of unknown items when I could simply go to the store and do it myself.  The reason I believe is threefold.

1- Convenience.  Every month you’ll have a box arrive on your doorstep of items which adds to your stash, many of these items you probably would not get for yourself in the first place.  Additionally since you can cancel at any time, let’s say you don’t want to continue after 3 months it’s no problem.

2- It’s like Christmas, every time.  I’ll admit there was a part of me that enjoyed opening the box and then being surprised at what was contained within,  the crossbow pistol had the little boy inside of me ready to plink at trees all around the house.

3- You get more than you pay for.  I added up the individual retail cost for all items contained in the Elite ($89) box and came up with $154.  That’s a pretty decent savings if you ask me.

Full Contents of SHTFClub Box

Pictured above are all the contents of the box, what follows is a list of each and the retail price which I found online.

Cobra Crossbow: $32
S&W Field Watch: $22
M48 Sling Bag: $29
Survivor Knife: $14
Tomahawk Axe: $17
Splint: $10
UV Glostick: $6
Keychain: $5
FM 5-31: $13
Kale Seeds: $2
Wise Foods: $5

Total: $154

Some general thoughts about the contents of the kit are that while not  the most highspeed ever, almost all of it could be useful.  I’ll admit the crossbow is sort of a novelty item but the watch would make a great backup and the Sling Bag is already in my wife’s car as a replacement trauma kit bag.  Both blades are backup and not primary tools but the UV Glostick is something that I have used successfully in the past on backpacking trips, I’ll definitely strap it to the outside of my wife’s pack.

Over the shoulder bag

The real question is, do I think there is value in this program and would i continue to participate in it going forward?  The answer is yes, but I would have to see what the second and third box contained before deciding to move forward with the subscription, or maybe scale back to the Pro ($49) program.  If you are on a tight budget this might not be for you, but if you have a little bit to spend knowing that you will get more than you pay for I’d say give in a shot for a month or two.  I was pleasantly surprised at the contents of the box and I think you would be too.

 

The Truth About EMP Strikes and How to Prepare

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EMP. These three letters may look innocent enough, but every prepper worth his or her salt should know better. Let’s take a look at what EMP really is and what it can do in relation to humanity’s survival in SHTF scenarios.

Quick Navigation:

    A. What is an EMP?
    B. Scientific Probability of an EMP?
    C. How to Prepare for an EMP Strike

A. What is an EMP?

You may have heard about EMP attacks on shows such as NBC’s doomsday-themed TV series Revolution, or read about it in end-of-days books such as One Second After. ElectroMagnetic Pulses, or EMPs for short, are used to shut down and disable anything that has an electronic component within. In the movie The Matrix, an EMP was used to disable the Sentinels that were invading Zion. In Ocean’s Eleven, EMP was used to temporarily knock out power as the protagonists went on to complete a heist.

You can see it on various social media platforms. Type in the letters “EMP” on YouTube and you’ll be presented with hundreds of videos regarding the subject. EMP has become a part of both survivalist’s and prepper’s scenarios. You can do a search and see many blogs tackling the subject of how to prepare against EMP attacks when they happen.

EMP attacks are a big enough problem, so much that they could become a threat at a national level. The idea of EMP started out with scientists and researchers thinking about the after-effects of a considerable nuclear blast. The rise of modern technology and the terrifying pace of scientific achievements have led to EMPs being able to stand alone. Today, EMPs are electronic bombs that can attack one of the most precious human resources- electricity. If broken down in the simplest terms, an EMP attack is an electromagnetic burst of energy caused by rapid acceleration of particles.

What are the effects of an EMP blast? It can cause trouble to all electronic devices, equipment and products that make use of electrical components to function. A large enough EMP can even physically damage power lines, buildings and airplanes. For example, a massive EMP burst can have enough power to fry electronic circuits within the radius of the blast range, potentially disabling power grids. This effect can set back cities and the affected areas immediately back to the stone age until the power is turned back on. In military scenarios, it can disable a base or a strategic installation in just a few minutes.

1) The Chemistry of ElectroMagnetic Pulses

The IEC, or the International Electrotechnical Commission states that EMP can be classified into 3 categories- the E1, the E2 and the E3.

  • E1 Electromagnetic Pulse

The E1 is considered as the fastest EMP pulse amongst the three. The lifespan of an E1 is also very brief, only lasting a few microseconds. Its effect is very intense. Most EMP weapons and nuclear blasts give out an E1 pulse.

The best example of an E1 attack is a huge nuclear detonation occurring hundreds of miles from above. Once the charge is detonated, a strong EMP usually follows. There are some factors that influence how potent the blast is, including the size of the blast, how high it was and the scale of magnetic field present in the blast area. As the EMP pulse expands, gamma rays are created via the fission process, which is then sent down towards the earth.

In technical terms, the resulting gamma radiation takes out the electrons from the higher atmosphere and sends them hurtling towards the lower atmosphere. The natural magnetic field of Earth reacts with the charged particles, producing an electromagnetic pulse which then travels at nearly the speed of light towards the ground. The first gamma ray reaction has a potent cascading effect that produces around 30,000 electrons. All of these things happen within just a few billionths of a second and in a simultaneous manner.

 

  • E2 Electromagnetic Pulse

The E2 is a bit slower than E1. It can be compared to that of a lightning bolt strike. The E2 is perhaps the easiest type of EMP attack to protect against, but some nuclear detonations can have both E1 and E2 types of EMP pulses. In these cases, some of the electronic equipment or power grids that are protected from E2-type blasts could be disabled or destroyed when exposed to the deadly effects of the E1 blast.

It’s also worthy to note that the E2 comes right after the E1 blast commences. The secondary gamma rays and the high-energy scattered rays are produced after the reaction of the air molecules; the E2 blast comes after the E1 and lasts just 1 second. E2 EMPs are considered as intermediate pulses.

 

  • E3 Electromagnetic Pulse

The E3 blast is the longest-lasting of the three. It can either last for minutes, hours and even days. It is also the slowest of the 3 types due to its low frequency of 1 Hz or less. It can be compared to that of natural geomagnetic storms that are produced by extreme solar flares. Our sun is known to produce intense E3 pulses via coronal mass ejections, or CMEs. You should know that the sun does not produce E1 or E2 EMPs.

 

2) Sources of EMP

There are 3 things that can cause EMPs- solar storms, a nuclear blast or something similar, and a lightning bolt.

Lightning bolts are natural phenomenons. A lightning strike directly affects the electric current on all nearby cables and wires. The resulting surge of enormous electricity can incapacitate all the electronic devices, equipment and appliances that are plugged into the electric wall sockets of your home. For this reason most electricians and experts recommend using a surge protector to keep your electronic devices such as computers, TV and other appliances safe from lightning bolts.

CMEs come from the sun and directly above us. This goes the same for high altitude nuclear detonations. EMPs release a huge amount of charged particles that interact with our Earth’s ionosphere, which is the atmosphere that contains electrically charged particles and electrons. The ionosphere can be found if one goes up between 30 to 500 miles above the Earth’s surface.

An EMP blast puts out a sizeable amount of downward particle surge within the Earth’s ionosphere, creating tremendous electrical currents that have the power to short-circuit transformers, power grids and equipment that rely on electricity to run.

In retrospect, E1 pulses can be generated by stars found in our galaxy, but we don’t have to worry about getting hit by one. The chances are so miniscule that we have a greater chance of being hit by a large asteroid than being hit with E1 pulses coming from the surrounding stars.

So that leaves out nuclear-based EMPs and solar-based EMPs. We shouldn’t be worried about being hit by nuclear EMPs as long as those in power do what they can to prevent it from happening. Solar EMPs are different- it can and will happen sooner or later. Our sun produces CMEs in a regular manner. Scientists have witnessed that the sun releases solar EMPs anywhere from one per 5 days to 3 per day. The solar EMP that reaches Earth may or may not have the strength to devastate mankind. Most solar EMPs that reach Earth are usually pointing in a direction that will not have any significant effect on us. You should know that Earth has been hit with a few solar EMPs during the course of history.

 

3) The Effects of EMP

An EMP blast can affect those who are within line or sight on the center point of the explosion. An EMP blast that originates from California can affect the whole of the United States if it is large enough and high enough.

The short time interval between the type of EMP blasts amplify the effect of the electromagnetic pulse. Chief among the concerns is the deadly E1 pulse. E1 pulses are fast, simultaneous and generate high frequencies. Most preppers are worried about E1 waves because they are deadly and difficult to protect against. They can potentially break down communication systems and civilized communities by disabling sensors, security components, electronic equipment, computers and anything else that runs on electricity. The usual precautions against lightning bolts (power surge protection, etc) will not work because E1 pulses have immense energy and are very quick.

The resulting E2 pulses aren’t as potent as E1 waves are, but they could enhance the damage that the E1 pulses have created. E3 EMP pulses do the most damage in power supplies. They could delay or even halt power delivery systems carried by undersea and underground cables.

The doomsday scenario seen in most SHTF films are quite accurate. Society today is so dependent on electrical systems for security, communication and other day-to-day function. Now, imagine if an EMP blast disabled all types of electrical systems and electronics in less than a second. The United States is instantly thrown back decades in terms of technology.

All modern conveniences such as computers, the internet, smart phones, microwave ovens and TVs won’t work. Not only that, but some of the latest cars would instantly decelerate and stop, and airplanes both commercial and private would fall out of the sky. Think of how hard it would be to communicate with friends and loved ones, and how difficult it would be to resume normal life without the aid of electricity or computers.

 

4) Why You Should Worry About EMP

As mentioned before, America has grown so much in technological aspects that it’s impossible to turn back and function without the use of computers and other electronic staples. This means that we are vulnerable against EMP attacks. An EMP lights up the sky while turning the cities dark. Electronic communication is halted. It becomes hard to transport food and other necessities. Transportation for medical emergencies will not exist. All vehicles, whether trucks, sports cars and buses will come to a complete stop. Traffic lights won’t work. Computers and mobile phones will be shut off. The recent unrests in the Middle East and the production of bomb-grade Plutonium and Uranium bring us closer to the likelihood of an EMP pulse that could disrupt all civilization.

The threat of an EMP pulse should be taken seriously by the United States. Vigilance in terms of looking at other countries’ nuclear capacity should be done. Remedies that could prevent or even counteract EMP attacks should be developed. These precautions should be done as soon as possible, or else we’ll suffer the deadly consequences.

 

B. Scientific Probability of an EMP Attack

How real is the EMP threat we’re talking about? It’s very real. In fact, we should not put it off as a theoretical manner. National Homeland Security Executive Director Peter Vincent Pry was a part of the EMP Task Force and worked as a CIA staffer in regards to possible EMP attacks. You can read more about EMP by picking up his latest book “The Long Sunday”.

The US government is taking the right step towards preparing for possible EMP blasts. We have seen hearings on two separate occasions- one in 2012 and the other in 2014, about how EMP pulses from nuclear blasts or from the sun could negatively affect the U.S. infrastructure.

The EMP Commission stated before the Armed Services Committee in 2008 that the United States economy and its society are so dependent on electricity that a collapse on the power grid via a man-made or natural EMP wave of a significant scale can certainly lead to disastrous civilian casualties. The same conclusion was reached on separate reports made the NAS, DOE, DHS, DOD and other independent research facilities and government agencies. As of the moment, there are 11 unique government case studies on the vulnerabilities and threats the US has to face from GMD and EMP assaults.

EMP Threat Commission chairman Dr. William Graham has predicted that if an EMP attack were to knock out the power grid for 1 year’s time, the human population will be reduced to 10%.

But the fact stands that Earth has been hit with significant EMP pulses before, and we are most likely to be hit again. The first ever recorded EMP wave was the Carrington Event in 1859, a recorded documentation of our Earth being hit with a solar flare. On September 1, 11:18 am EDT, a solar astronomer named Richard Carrington witnessed the event through the use of a telescope.

The second instance was in 1962, named the Star Fish Prime experiment. Our United States government launched a 1.4 megaton nuclear charge about 250 miles high above the Pacific Ocean. The test results were much stronger than anticipated- the pulse damaged microwave links and street lights in Hawaii, located 900 miles away.

The third time was the Soviet EMP test that was called Test 184, which was coincidentally around the same time as the Star Fish Prime experiment. The nuclear warhead wasn’t as powerful as the Star Fish Prime explosion, but the test was conducted over the populated area of Kazakshtan, about 180 miles above ground. The EMP blast that resulted from Test 184 incapacitated a shielded, 600-mile underground power line buried 3 ft. below ground.

The final EMP event was a natural CME wave that hit Canada. In March of 1989, six million residents were without electricity for approximately 9 hours.

C. How to Prepare for an EMP Strike

There’s only so much we can do to counter the effects of EMP attacks when they finally happen. Even the best preppers may not know how to prepare against TEOTWAWKI events that have electromagnetic pulse aspects in them. A well-stocked underground bunker that’s about 35 feet or more below ground may provide enough protection to survive the initial blasts, but that’s about it.

Those who are caught completely unaware will have even lesser chances of surviving the cataclysmic event. The key is to prepare ahead of time and expect that the EMP attack will happen. The protective measures and the costs needed to acquire them may be too much for some, but there are a few simple and straightforward methods to countering the most damaging effects. Practicing and honing the art of concealment and evasion will help against massive EMP attacks.

2) Consider Your Home Location

You can be certain that your sanctuary will be the target of refugees and looters after an EMP attack brings down the civilized world. It makes sense to fortify your home against these types of attacks. Homes in rural and suburban locations are especially vulnerable. A small, close-knit community that are situated just behind large bodies of water can come together and collectively defend their territory. Home locations that are near the proximity of military bases are excellent so long as the military base stands active.

3) How Deep Can You Go?

A vacation house or a fortified remote location can prove to be great against small bands of thieves and marauders, but the best type of defense is digging deep at an approximate 30 ft underground. As mentioned earlier, evasion is your best defense for EMP attacks; it allows you to survive as long as you are undetected by hostile forces. It might not be a good idea to build your own underground construct, but you can pool with like-minded individuals, friends or relatives. Making it to the bunker should also be part of the plan.

 

4) Protect Your Electronic Devices

One of the best communication devices that will be your best friend is the HAM radio. If you don’t have one, then now is the best time to get one. Satellite phones and computers could still have limited uses in a post-EMP society. Medical equipment that are battery operated could prove to be invaluable to some. Preppers may insulate whole rooms from EMP waves, or protect their most vital electronic equipment by investing in Faraday cages. You can even create DIY EMP shielding projects using copper mesh, aluminum foil or Mylar products.

 

5) Study Health and Medicine

An EMP attack can put a premium on medicines and medical equipment. Those who have serious medical conditions should understand and prepare for a rapidly-dwindling stock. Most medicines will not be available in a large enough supply, so you should prepare by seeking alternative preventive and medical care. Take a good look at your natural surroundings. This is where most of your medicines will come from. Learn how to extract natural oils, herbs and plants that can help you in cases of medical emergency. Moreover, your diet should prioritize building up one’s immune system and overall health.

 

6) Water, Food and Storage

These 3 commodities should be on top of any TEOTWAWKI situations you prepare for. You should remember that air and heat are the biggest factors that could affect your food and water storage. Seal the grains in vacuum and store them in a cool, dry place. You will need plenty of water to survive long-term. The minimum consumption of water is a gallon a day for each person. If you can, go for a renewable source instead of stocking up on a year’s supply of potable water.

7) Tips For Surviving an EMP Attack

Tip Number 1: Don’t Ever Underestimate The Dangers of EMP

Staying alive entails never underestimating the situation you are in. The rules of survival will state this again and again. Plan an immediate route in the aftermath of an EMP assault. How important is this tip? You may very well be dead if you hesitate in just a few seconds. Anything could happen. No one can tell what will happen next. Prepare for the worst.

Tip Number 2: Use All Your Available Money

You should understand that cash becomes one of the most useless resources in the event that a SHTF happens. Preppers understand how the economy shifts to that of basic goods. Do what you can to trade your cash to essential survival items such as water, ammo, food, etc. Pennies can be left out as the copper inside them can prove to be invaluable.

Tip Number 3: Ration Your Food

Your survival stash of food and water should last for a year at the very least. When the EMP hits, start rationing the food because you’ll be sharing it with the other people as part of the survival process. Remember that no one is likely to survive End Of Day scenarios alone, but what you can do is control the food distribution until new sources are found.

No one wants to experience a terrifying EMP attack, much less surviving one. But we should all do our best to prepare for its eventuality if we want to make it out alive. There’s much you can do now instead of having to scramble for precious resources and making sense of it all when an EMP pulse lights up the atmosphere. Do your best to plan accordingly.

SHTF Mystery Gear Box: Worth It? Maybe.

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If you are like me you’ve spent countless cumulative hours in various big box stores, outdoor stores, dollar stores and even at swap meets looking for useful or even just cool preparedness items.  It can get to a point where you are once again standing in front of that vending machine in the break room, you know everything that is in the machine but you stand there anyway pondering your next move.  Boring.

Why not let someone else make that choice for you with respect to your next move?  Granted I wouldn’t roll the dice and let a stranger mail me my next firearm (even if they could) , but for smaller less “big decision purchase” items why not give it a go.  There is something to be said for anticipation and the unknown and at the price points offered by SHTF Club one really can afford to take a leap of faith…besides you can cancel at any time per their website.  Here are the plans they offer as well as some additional information.

A new mystery box every month. (Usually ships around the 15th.)

Three tiers – Basic: $19.99, Pro: $49.99 and Elite: $89.99.

The $19.99 box is guaranteed to be worth more than what you pay.

The $49.99 box is guaranteed to be worth more than $80.

The $89.99 box is guaranteed to be worth more than $120.

Cancel or renew at any time.

So your next question is probably going to be, what’s in the box?  According to their website it’s some variation of (but not limited to): knives, fire starters, emergency prep (SOS), hydration, survival gear, hard use tools, paracord and other accessories.   You are probably thinking, well that’s cool but how good is this stuff?  I’m glad you asked because I should be receiving a box from them in the next few days and will be reviewing the contents inside.  Some of my thoughts are:

Are the contents worth the price of admission?

What about the quality of the contents?  Good knife or $5 OTC at Ace Hardware type knife?

Relevant to preparedness?

Presentation:  How packaged, as in neatly with applicable instructions for those who may need them or dumped in a box?

I am fairly confidence that I will be pleasantly surprised with this product, after all they have good reviews out there and seem to be serious about advancing the preparedness message.  I will follow up shortly with a review but in the meantime, check out their website for yourselves and see if anything strikes your fancy.

 

SHTF: High probability low impact vs Low probability high impact

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What are you preparing for and how do you prioritize accordingly?  There are some very real threats out but all of us are limited on time and resources.  Even the independently wealthy prepper with all the time and money in the world could not prepare for and mitigate risk for every potential disaster which exists in the world today.  With that in mind there must be a calculated balance, prepping for threats in a common sense way which does not over extend our resources or take up too much time (read: getting bogged down).

I see this two ways: High Probability / Low Impact vs Low Probability / High Impact.  Where you are in the world and you current state of readiness determines how you break the threats out and prepare for them.  A few examples follow.

High Probability / Low Impact

  • Bugout necessary because: forest fire, flooding, train wrecks and spills chemicals etc.
  • Storm causes power outage for a few days or even a couple weeks
  • Job loss
  • Stuck on the side of the highway broken down in winter storm
  • Droughts cause water shortages

Low Probability / High Impact

  • Supervolcano in Yellowstone erupts
  • Total financial collapse globally
  • Asteroid strike on earth
  • WW3 with nukes
  • EMP Strike destroys the grid

From the list above (and there are many more) you can see that “impact” to us is relative, you might think a job loss is tough but indeed it is relatively low impact compared to the Supervolcano erupting (especially if you are in the fallout zone).

I’m sure at some point most of us used to watch the OPSEC fail show Doomsday Preppers, where people would state which disaster they were preparing for.  Countless time and efforts were being poured into prepping for that one thing but what if that one thing never came to fruition?  What if all that time and money toward an underground bunker could have been redirected toward something(s) which would have a better impact to mitigate more plausible scenarios?  Granted there is some definite crossover with respect to preps but all of those hand crafted Faraday cages probably won’t come in handy as supplemental income if a job loss happens.

There are no guarantees with respect to preparedness.  You could be that guy with seemingly everything going right: community, preps, land, crops, animals, et al and that flood / fire comes through and wipes it all out.  With that in mind I think it is important to strive for excellence but also have the mental agility to be flexible, to adjust and prioritize as necessary in order to remain effective.  All of the items I listed above could happen so I’m not discounting any of them, yet as stated time and resources are limited so use them wisely.  Make your own high prob / low impact vs low prob / high impact list and plan accordingly.

 

Using a Wood Burning Stove to Cook Off Grid

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Using a Wood Burning Stove to Cook Off Grid Using a wood burning stove to cook off grid is not as easy as many people would think! Sure, anyone could start a fire in the stove, put food into a pot or pan and heat it up but would it taste good? Will it be …

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10 Essential Skills Every Prepper Should Master

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10 Essential Skills Every Prepper Should Master Many people concentrate on stockpiling necessary supplies, without taking the corresponding time to stockpile the essential skills to go with them. Without the skills, those supplies may not do you any good. Those who don’t want to study say, I have all the information in books. Would you …

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Next Level Prepping: A Life Changing Event

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I sit and type this with a cool mountain breeze coming through the open door.  Only the sound of the keys clicking and birds chirping, along with the wind pushing the trees around ever so gently.  If I take a moment to glance up from the keyboard, as far as the eye can see and from left to right is National Forest.  No other houses in view, only God’s creation and the sun beaming down rather intensely.  I’m not sure if this is the perfect prepper paradise but for my wife and I it’s very close.

Let’s recap shall we.

I’ve always been one of those self reliant types but could never break the mold society had for the family.  Our last home was great but it was the typical suburban, strip mall a few miles away, totally reliant on the grid and surrounded by neighbors establishment.  I’ve always said that our (then) circumstances reflected the majority of preppers out there, you play the hand you were dealt and do the best with what you had. I believe that’s why this blog continued to be so popular, even when my own posts started to get few and far between.

The Present

If you’ve been reading along over the last year or so you’ll know that my wife and I made a cross country move.  It was a big leap of faith as we had been at our previous location over 12 years and had established roots.  Yet the desire to do something more and to finally do what we’d always discussed, to take the risk and let come what may.  Now we are here and it’s a very different life, one filled with challenges which we continue to learn from (and which I want to share with you all).  With respect to prepping in general I feel that this new life sets us up for success in ways we could not have imagined before, yet it’s also about a desire to generally break the mold which modern society has set for people.  Since moving here we’ve given away one TV and rarely turn on the other, my cell phone doesn’t ring because there is no signal.  The nearest store is a gas station and that’s 5 miles away, most of it being dirt roads winding down the side of a mountain.  We can’t order food, we can’t grab an Uber ride to go out, we can’t order PPV movies or stream Netflix because the Sat Internet is too slow, we can’t do many of the things that were available to us before but it’s been amazing stepping away from all that.

There are benefits that we are quickly discovering with this new life as well.  Our home is position in such a way that it is very secluded.  We do have a couple neighbors on our “street” (more like a trail with drop offs and various wildlife within view) but they are spread out and all very self sufficient.  Anyone that comes down toward the house either lives here or they had better be delivering a package.  My wife once said as we were looking at the place, “well if T-SHTF not too many folks will be coming up here.”  Absolutely.

There have been some lesson’s learned thus far and I’d like to share them with everyone, some might be able to relate or even provide tips as well.

Help is a long way away

  • Where we used to live there was State Patrol, Township Police, Sheriff, City Cops.  Now there is the local Sheriff and Deputies and a few remote fire stations, the nearest level 1 trauma center is over an hour away.  What does that mean:  be extra careful when doing things like splitting wood, cutting with miter or table saw, handling firearms, et al.  A call to 911 means someone could be here in…20-30 minutes?

You have what you have

  • This is a common phrase with respect to prepping in general, if the balloon goes up you’ll have what you have and make due with it.  Living out here in a relatively remote situation it has become evident in everyday life.  There is no running to the store to pick up that thing which was forgotten, a stockpile of most used items (toilet paper to coffee creamer and everything in between) is a reality now more than ever.

Community is key

  • I have met my two neighbors, which I’ll refer to them as even though they aren’t exactly close.  They are very handy and used to this life which is a great thing.  I was briefed on the importance of being ready to bugout in case of fires, it’s for real up here.  I should point out that I have always advocated that localized natural disasters are a more relevant reason to prep than wondering if an EMP strike will take out the grid (although that is still a possibility).

Wildlife is a very real consideration

  • I carry a gun every time I’m outside the home and it isn’t for people.  Maybe I’m a little paranoid but I have been warned that mountain lions have been spotted in the area, by that I mean next to my home.  I think awareness is key obviously but running around with the dog(s) you can never be too careful.  I’ve also been told that if the garage is left open, bears will be inside poking around.  Fantastic.

Communication plans are very important

  • This one is huge with respect to my wife and I and how we travel.  We have layers of communication which I’ll probably write about later, whether around the home (2 way radios) or going to and from (sat commo).  Cell phones just aren’t reliable and if one of us gets in a pinch we need to be able to reach out.

Nice to have is now essential to have

  • Backup generators come to mind immediately.  Getting snowed in with no power for a week or so is a very real possibility.  A winch on the truck is another item, I’ve already used it twice to recover stuck vehicles.  A third item would be a deep freezer full of various meat (in addition to all the other supplies) and the list goes on and on (trauma kits, air compressor, a cord of wood outside for the wood burning stove…)

New ways of doing things

  • Getting used to the wood burning stove has been a fun experience.  It will heat most of the house if done correctly using a fan.  Before anyone mentions it we have had it inspected and cleaned out, safety first!

Fitness

  • We live at almost 9000 ft elevation.  Simple things like splitting wood can become a challenge up here, even walking the dog over uneven terrain takes much more effort than it did at sea level.  While there is a “get used to it” component fitness is huge.

I’ll wrap it up and change gears for a bit.  Across our country for many life seems to be good right now.  People have become complacent once again and long forgotten the very real economic issues we faced less than 10 years ago.  Threats to our society are greater than ever and I would be lying if that did not factor into the decision to make the move we did.  If nothing happens and we simply enjoy the mountain life and learn to be more self reliant that’s fine with me.  Yet if any number of the threats that exist do materialize I’d like to believe we are better positioned to face them than where we were before.  It’s always about improving your “fighting position” and we continue to do so, I hope you will too.  More to follow as we continue on this journey.

 

Expert Tips to Select and Build The Perfect Bug Out Vehicle

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There’s quite a lot of information circling around the web on what to specifically pack, carry or stock up on in terms of survival equipment, supplies, weapons, etc. when the situation calls for “bugging out”. What’s largely missing though (and equally important) is how you plan to be mobile- what kind of transportation is best, and how you equip one to be suitable for bugging out events.

Quick Navigation:

  A. What is a Bug Out Vehicle
  B. Choosing the Right Vehicle
      1. EMP & Older Cars
      2. Military Surplus
      3. How Will You Use It?
      4. Know Your Local Terrain
      5. Who and What Will You Bring?
      6. Possible Threats
      7. Distance to Travel
      8. Price vs Reliability
  D. Supplies Checklist

 

It’s an understandable oversight. After all, we take for granted how we move about the city or the suburbs while sitting down comfortably in a 4-wheeled vehicle. So, naturally they are left out of the picture when it comes to prepping for doomsday scenarios. But, consider for a moment how far you can go and how fast you can get out if you don’t have an automobile. The radius won’t be as far as you’d like. Even if you have the best bug out equipment, a well-stocked supply hoard and the latest and the toughest gadgets, it won’t mean as much if you have an unoptimized bug out vehicle.

A. What Is A Bug Out Vehicle And Why You Might Need One

Having a standard vehicle for daily commute or for occasional driving won’t be enough. If you’re really serious about building up your perfect bug out plan, you’ll need the perfect bug out vehicle. Sure, you can load up the bug out equipment in the trunk and drive, but there are aspects in a vehicle that could mean the difference between escaping relatively unharmed to being pinned down and helpless.

Some of the questions you’ll need to answer will be the following- how can I maximize the evacuation process with a vehicle? Are there any weaknesses that should be reinforced? Is there an excellent bug out vehicle that’s ready from the get go?

The simple answer is that choosing and building on the best bug out vehicle will depend on your survival situation. It will certainly vary from person A to person B, and under different circumstances as well. Here, we will try our best to list the most important aspects and put them all together to bring you a cohesive plan for selecting and building the perfect bug out vehicle.

 

B. Choosing The Right Vehicle For You

1) EMP & Older Cars

There’s a high chance that one of these days, an electromagnetic pulse from the sun will reach Earth, or an artificial EMP attack will be carried out by terrorists or even governments. History has shown that CMEs have been hitting our planet for billions of years.

How vulnerable is your vehicle against EMP? You wouldn’t know for sure. You’d also have to take into account the scale of the EMP attack. In the best case scenario, your vehicle would just shut off and work fine when you restart the engine. In the worst case scenario, your car’s electronic components would be fried and you wouldn’t be able to drive it without replacing them.

And then there’s budget. Expenditure costs will be a major factor when building the perfect bug out vehicle.

Most modern vehicles have some kind of electrical components to help you drive better or safer. Unfortunately, these vehicles are susceptible to EMP attacks. Older vehicles don’t have this type of technology, so they are quite EMP-proof. The military has found that their massive advanced weapons could be disabled with EMP, so they take extra measures to line their vehicles and command centers with anti-EMP defenses.

2) Military Surplus or Retired Vehicles

If you know someone or have considerable investments, a military surplus vehicle can be an excellent base of operations for bugging out. The M35 deuce and similarly built field jeeps are a great option because of their overall functionality, durability and reliability. You can find these vehicle types at auctions, online websites and online sales.

3) How Do You Intend To Use The Vehicle?

Let’s ask some vital questions here. What kind of doomsday scenario are you preparing for? How will you use the bug out car?

You would want to build a bug out vehicle that could get you out of specific TEOTWAWKI events. For example, you’re arming up for a zombie apocalypse. You’re planning to head to an isolated island after a complete societal collapse following an EMP attack. You have a fortified cabin in the woods. You’re outfitting a bug out vehicle with high-powered weapons. You could also build a vehicle for escape during or after a tsunami, earthquake, etc.

You should also know that there are some catastrophic situations that are more likely to happen than others. There are also some SHTF events that could prove to be downright deadly if you aren’t prepared for it. In any case, having the foresight to build up a bug out car for these events will be particularly helpful, if not downright beneficial.

4) Know Your Local Terrain

A great part in ensuring survivability in any end of days scenario is knowing your local terrain. Your destination habitat, your indigenous location and the encounters that may happen in-between. Do you have a clear understanding of the best route to take from here to there when a bug out situation comes? How would you return home during regional disasters and/or global catastrophes?

Of course, roads and paths traveled by most people are often the quickest way to get from point A to point B. But as you would guess, these paths would most likely be the most congested when a disaster happens. It would almost be impossible to move quickly here, as people will be using the roads to escape impending doom.

You would want to discover and map out alternate routes for these points- places of interest for SHTF scenarios, going to and from your intended bug out location, and going to and from the office. The road that not a lot of people know could prove to be your best way out.

Here are some ways you can map out alternate routes:

a. Get some physical local maps and atlases you can bring with you.

b. A GPS tool that can recommend alternate routes.

c. Google Maps, Google Earth and other similar advanced geological app and software.

As you find alternate paths and discover great routes, it’s time to get out there. Familiarize yourself with it, and drive out often.

5) Who or What Will You Be Bringing?

You may have singled out a likely catastrophic event and brushed up on local terrain. The next question should be- who or what will you bring? Who could possibly come along when the end of days arrive? You should also consider the possibility of driving on offroad terrain, and the amount of bug out gear and equipment you’ll be hauling.

6) The Possible Threats and How You Can Handle Them

Make a list of the most likely threats and rank them accordingly. Let’s say you intend to build the best bug out vehicle for a war. You have a military truck out in the garage and drive around town often with it. People in the neighborhood and the local police know about it. You can expect that a lot of people will try to capture it for their own when an invading army comes.

Sometimes concealment can be your best friend. An unassuming Toyota Landcruiser or a Jeep Grand Cherokee could be outfitted with the best bug out equipment and can still look normal on the outside. Even prepping them for off-road aspects won’t raise any suspicion or interest from most people.

7) The Distance to Travel

Don’t pick out a remote bug out location that you can’t drive to using more than a tank of fuel. A good bug out location will be one that can provide at least 3 alternate routes for getting there. Because time is of the essence, it should not be so far out that it’s impossible to get to.

8) Price / Reliability Ratio

What’s the use of a bug out car if it can’t be relied upon? You may have the best collection of bug out equipment, but you won’t be able to bring any of them if your car refuses to start or experience engine failures often. Reliability could very well be the most important aspect in choosing a bug out vehicle. If your car has some stock parts you can easily find to and from your bug out location, the better. A popular car that has parts which can be easily found or bought will be most ideal.

Getting a car in tip-top shape mechanically and structurally should be your first mission. The engine, tires, gas tank, doors, roof, etc. should be inspected and repaired if need be. Your car should be ready to go any time you need it.

9) Repair Costs

You’ll also want to consider repair costs in a side by side comparison with a car’s reliability. For example, the latest Honda Accord could prove to be very reliable, but you’ll certainly have a hard time trying to find parts and qualified repair centers for it. On the flip side, a Chevy truck may not have a high reliability rating as the aforementioned Honda, but it’s easy to fix and the parts are easy to find.

Part of prepping for doomsday cases is to gain knowledge on your bug out equipment and vehicle. Get some spare parts and tools for fixing. Have a working knowledge on how to repair and fix the most common automobile problems. Keep a manual for your car handy as well.

10) Diesel or Gas Engine?

Gas comes out on top for a simple reasons- it’s much more available than diesel fuel. But don’t count diesel out of the equation yet, because it’s quite easy to make biodiesel right at your own garage. There are some great websites and books (Biodiesel Basics & Beyond) that you can follow to start producing workable diesel for your vehicle. The concept of creating your own fuel is catching on the mainstream. As such, you can easily find and buy complete biodiesel kits on online stores and specialty shops.

You may have watched from survival movies and apocalyptic zombie series how heroes could use a screwdriver and a hose to siphon fuel from abandoned cars and trucks. The problem here is that fuel won’t last very long to stay in the tanks. Plus, diesel has the advantage when talking about efficiency and flexibility. In certain cases and emergency situations, people can make use of jet fuel, kerosene or heating oil to run their diesel engine cars. The availability of these types of fuel increase your chances of being more mobile than a gas engine car. Moreover, diesel has a notably longer lifespan than gasoline. You can easily find and buy fuel stabilizers nowadays. Add them on to diesel and you can extend its life about 10 times more than gasoline.

11) 2WD / AWD / 4WD Capabilities: How Important Are They?

Terrain handling features can make or break your chances of bugging out survival. How likely is that you’ll need to drive off-road in TEOTWAWKI situations? A lot. A non 4WD vehicle breaks down easily when placed out of its element. A 4WD car will present more terrain options, which in turn can get you to your location much more quickly and safely.

Size comparison gets a bit tricky here. Automobile size won’t improve driving in off-road terrain. The car’s drivetrain and clearance can also be a significant factor in some cases. Improve your vehicle in these aspects by modifying the wheels for accommodating bigger tires, waterproofing the engine and upgrading your hubs.

12) Gas Mileage

The picture of charging through enemy territory in half a tank or something similar is very appealing, but that sort of setup requires a huge amount of fuel.

In most instances, those who buy fringe vehicles specifically made for SHTF situations won’t consider gas mileage an important factor. Preppers may have an old truck that can easily be repaired and are very resistant against EMP waves, but they won’t go very far on a full tank. You won’t get to your fallout shelter if it’s location is 400 miles from home and your vehicle’s mileage can only go 300 on a full tank. Gas mileage drops considerably if you’re driving on an off-road terrain. A 10 mpg car will be reduced to just 3 MPGs as you leave the asphalt.

We’ve mentioned before that gas will be scarce and it will be a valuable commodity in doomsday events. You may not have the time to siphon them off cars, or make your own (diesel), but what you can do is get a bug out vehicle that has a good range of somewhere around 23 to 27 MPG for efficient gas mileage. You’ll get one less thing to worry about.

13) Manual VS. Automatic Transmission

Some people swear by stick driving. There’s some truth to manual being better, especially in the face of SHTF events. Manual transmission is more reliable, generally has more mileage and are definitely easier to repair and fix than an AT vehicle. Furthermore, having a manual transmission allows you to push the vehicle in order to start it in case of lost keys or a burnt out ignition.

 

D. Checklist of Supplies and Storage Space For Your Bug Out Vehicle

What are the things you need to bring in order to increase your chances of survival? Here’s a definitive checklist of supplies you’ll need. Don’t forget to bring your bug out bag to carry your stuff along.

1) An Excellent Bug Out Bag:  Go for the best one you can find, because this is the storage that will carry everything you need to survive. Only carry as much climate-appropriate clothing as necessary.

2) Water And Food: These may vary depending on your environment and other things. The most basic would be stainless steel containers of water. Portable water filters and purification tablets are some of the most versatile tools you can purchase. Keep a few reliable food sources in your stash. Calorie Dense Food Bars, Freeze Dried and Military Meals are ideal choices. Include tools that can help you gather or hunt food out in the wild.

3) Weapons: The Four Best Guns For Bugging Out

a. Taurus Judge

One of the most versatile handguns available. The Judge can fit in both .410 and .45 Colt shot shells. The size and heft is particularly impressive, but it’s still smaller than a full-on carbine and rifle.

The Taurus is a respectable gun that can be used for hunting game, and can double as a powerful self-defense firearm. Chamber in .410 rounds to quickly kill small game, or slot in the .45 Colt shells for adequate personnel stopping power. The versatility of this weapon has earned it the “jack of all trades” title. In short, the Taurus Judge can be the weapon you want it to be.

b. Marlin 70PSS Stainless

Stocking up on a .22 LR rifle is certainly useful in many SHTF scenarios. The Marlin 70PSS is an excellent weapon if you know how to fully use it. It’s as versatile as the Taurus Judge with a few beneficial bug out features thrown in.

The Marlin 70PSS shines in cases where space is a premium. The tack driver is stainless steel and packs in quite nicely inside the included all-weather case. Assembling and disassembling can take a few minutes at first, but practice the act and you can narrow the assembly and disassembly time within seconds. The Marlin 70PSS is an autoloading rifle that you can bring along whether you’re inside or outside your bug out vehicle.

c. Ruger 10/22 Takedown

The newest 10/22 Ruger Takedown is a better version of the stock Ruger 10/22 semiautomatic rifle in that it can be easily stored and transported. A divided rifle (each measuring about 18.5″ long) should be small enough to fit into your preferred bug out bag.

The newer model also has a threaded barrel, which allows you to add on a suppressor for a silent kill. It has all the great features of the regular Ruger 10/22- top notch reliability, accuracy and anyone can get familiar with it after a few uses. The .22 long rifle chambering puts it in the big game hunting category. It also has a great stopping force if ever you’re forced to defend yourself. Overall, the qualities of the Ruger 10/22 Takedown makes it one of the best bug out weapons to bring with you.

d. Kel-Tec PMR 30

What stands out is the PMR 30’s ability to hold in its chamber 30 ammo rounds of the Winchester Magnum. It’s also incredibly lightweight. The one-two punch provides enough benefits for those who want to pack in the best weapons as they bug out. Though it might not be able to hold its own in the self-defense or in the big game hunting category, the Kel-Tec PMR 30 shines in other SHTF scenarios. You get two fully-loaded magazines (for a total of 60 ammo rounds total) weighing in just within 25 ounces and a greater stopping force than the .22 LR, and you’ve got a gun that has great stamina and weight.

4) Ammunition

A good firearm is the one that makes the most sense. It should easily fit into a pack and handle wear and tear. You can go for lighter ammunition, such as the .22LR. Consider the following- 200 22LR rounds weigh about 1.5 lbs, as compared to 200 44 Magnum rounds which weigh more than 9 lbs. It’s definitely wiser to pack a .22 takedown rifle than a handgun if you are planning to bring just one gun.

5) Night VisionThis is for when you need the sight advantage at night. Bugging out usually means staying stealthy and being under the radar.

6) Fire Starters: Fire is an essential part of survival. When you’re bugging out in the wilderness or don’t have access to ready electricity, a reliable fire starter can potentially save you and your loved one’s lives.

7) Binoculars: See the threats before they see you. Look in distance to gauge and plan the next course of action. Binoculars will be your go-to equipment for scouting and recon.

8) Camping Supplies: Keep your camping supplies for leisure outdoor trips separate from what you’d bring with you in case a TEOTWAWKI scenario comes. If you can, put in camping supplies on different bags, each depending on doomsday scenarios such as EMP attacks, earthquakes or civil unrest. Carry out simulations to round up the supplies you might have forgotten.

9) Fuel Canisters: Applicable fuel canisters come in handy if you intend to use a portable stove for a few days.

10) Tow Straps: Comes in with the trusty winch. You’ll need these to pull out your friends when their vehicle hits a ditch.

11) CB Radio: Communication is key so you would know what’s happening in the world.

12) Window Cutter:  Store these inside your bug out vehicle. In some instances, you might be needing these if you want to escape from your vehicle in a hurry. Cut stuck seatbelts and windows to save you and your companion’s life.

13) Tire Chains: This becomes essential if you live in an area where there’s lots of snow. Acquire a trusty ice scraper as well.

14) Jump Starter:  Have one around, and never worry about getting stranded with a dead battery.

15) Basic Tool Kit:  All the survival basics packed in one tough kit. These should contain a stanley knife, duct tape, a screwdriver, a wrench, pliers and cable ties.

16) Emergency Blankets: Essential to keeping yourself warm and dry.

17) Spares: Spare batteries, spare tires, spare tools and your vehicle’s spare parts. Always do a routine check of your tires in case you get flat during a catastrophic event. Put the spare parts on your vehicle or safe in a box. The box should hold small important items that are essential for driving.

 

E. Building and Accessorizing Your Bug Out Vehicle

Your perfect bug out vehicle can be considered a tool, just like many of your weapons and survival equipment. It can all boil down to how well you can prepare for the specific scenario you’re expecting and how you can best adapt to that situation. Of course, being versatile is part of bugging out, so you’ll need to spread your resources for a few likely contingencies as well.

1) Engine and Transmission Mods:  According to Trucktrend.com, the most abused part of a truck (especially diesel trucks, and we can assume SUVs in some cases), is the transmission.  Many used trucks have thousands of towing miles racked up on their transmissions which leads to severe wear.  If buying used, you’ll want to have the transmission carefully inspected and put to some simple tests before buying.  The key is to buy a vehicle with a transmission already in good shape, then buy a transmission kit which usually includes disc converter, new clutches, and hydraulic upgrades.  

Much can done to improve the performance and reliability of an engine, but consider the basics:

a.  Air intake and filters

b. Throttle body

c. Exahust systems 

d. Headers

e. Tuner and superchips

f. Superchargers

 

 

 

2) Larger Wheels:  The larger, the better. The pros cannot be understated- fit in larger brakes for better control, have a smaller side wall and you get less drop if it gets flattened.

3) Performance Tires: Mudders and performance tires will get you more traction and better pull on the off-road. Pack in a spare in case you get a blowout. Well-inflated performance tires will get you to your bug out location than an ordinary one. As a side note, the proper way to maintain them is to constantly check for pressure levels all year round. Check the treads as well. Rotate the wheels and tires for every 5,000 miles covered.

4) Mounting / Weapons Storage:  Being able to quickly access you weapons and put shots on target will largely determine if you will succeed at defending yourself, loved ones, and property.  Having quality, dependable mounting and storage solutions for your weapons is a good idea to prepare for unknown threats.  

5) Fuel Canisters: Make the best use of that extra space by outfitting your bug out vehicle with a secondary fuel tank. Or, purchase fuel cans and mount them onto the bumper or the roof rack. The same principle can be applied to your weapons.

6) Tow Package:  BOVs can certainly benefit from trailer light connections and a towing package with hitches. Sedans, trucks and SUVs do have towing capacities, and attaching a utility trailer will greatly expand your essential resources.

7) Winch:  Getting stuck while offroading isn’t an uncommon situation. This is why you’ll need a winch stowed away on your bug out vehicle. Calling AAA to get unstuck won’t be an option in SHTF events.

8) Brush Guard:  Bumper guards can do a lot of useful stuff while attached to your bug out vehicle. Hold winches, additional lights and acting as a protective barrier are just some of them. Go with a Warn Industries package if you want the best of the best.

9) Armor Plating:  Anticipating a war and firefight? Then you’d best prepare with armored plating for your vehicle. Retrofit with ballistics armor for good measure.

10) Skid Plate:  Skid plates serve the purpose of protecting the underside of your vehicle from damaging stones and larger debris. It can stand between you making it safely to your bug out location and being stranded in the middle of nowhere.

11) Roof Rack:  Adding a mod that will put some extra storage space is always a good thing for SHTF events. While some vehicles already come with a luggage rack, put in something beefier by upgrading to a cargo carrier that adds substantial real estate for your SUV or truck.

12) High Power Lighting:  Lighting can come in very handy in almost all emergency situations. Say you’re stuck in a pitch-black night and in the midst of a raging thunderstorm. The great thing about technology and LED lighting in particular is that you can get high power lighting for a reasonable cost. Some of them can churn out more than 24k of bright lumens.

13) Topper:  Finally, get a topper if your bugging out in a truck so you can keep your gear safe and in optimal condition during worse weather conditions.

14) Suspension and Lift Kits: Suspension and lift kits allow you to run larger tires and gain valuable ground clearance to tackle off road terrain with ease.  Kits are available for nearly all makes and models.  

 

F. The 7 Best Bug Out Vehicles You Can Buy Now

The cream of the crop when it comes to bugging out of dodge. All the aspects we talked about in the previous sections are here. The information displayed here will help you make a choice on which one you’ll need for a particular TEOTWAWKI event you’re planning for:

1) Military Surplus Vehicles or Humvees: A surplus Hummer is an instant BOV with all the trimmings you can ask for. The newer model OshKosh Tactical Protector Vehicle is a souped-up version of the Hummer. With it, you get the Hummer’s pedigree and the super stable and strong form to power through any SHTF event.

2) 4WD Trucks w/ Crew Cabs: We mentioned earlier how a crew cab mod can be essential when you’re building the perfect bug out vehicle. You can put in a cargo top, improve the suspensions and have an excellent BOV even when electricity is not present.

3) Pick Up Trucks or Full Size SUVs:  You can’t beat pickups and full-sized SUVs when it comes to value for money. This category is an all-rounder when it comes to being your BOV.

4) Campa EVS:  The littler sibling of the Unicat Expeditionary concept with a hefty mid-sized truck frame.

5) Jeep: There are several Jeep models that have 4WD capabilities and prime real estate. Offroad enthusiasts should consider the Jeep models. Customizers will salivate over the massive selection of mods, accessories and parts that you can customize the Jeep with.

6) 4 Wheel or AWD SUVs:  SUVs aren’t all made equal. The best ones that make excellent bug out vehicles are the following- Chevy Tahoe, the older Ford Expedition vehicles, the Jeep and Nissan and the Toyota 4Runner.

7) Sportsmobile Adventure Vehicles:  Here’s a checklist of what makes a good Adventure vehicle for bugging out. It shouldn’t be expensive and have offroad capabilities. It should be rugged, tough and fast. Moreover, the capacity range should be about twice your bug out location and carry you and the essential gear comfortably.

8) Mini Vans:  Don’t underestimate the loading power of the mini van. You can see them streaking on the road, carrying precious belongings and everything hanging out precariously!

9) Motorcycles:  For when you embark on a lone survivor trip into tight territory. Useful for scavenging or hunting for supplies and game.

10) Boats:  If you live near a river way or the ocean, bug out boats are absolutely essential where a water way may provide the best escape route.  It could be as simple as a loaded out canoe or john boat.  

In sum, a bug out vehicle should fit with how you intend on using it given the various SHTF scenarios you are most likely to encounter.  It’s OK to start small with purchasing a reliable, used 4×4 truck or SUV, and add accessories your vehicle over time in the order of importance (spare, extra fuel capacity, winch, etc) – unless the threat is imminent, you don’t need to go all in at once and build the perfect but out vehicle in record time.  Also, consider if a bug out vehicle should even be your top priority in the grand scheme of peppering.

If we missed anything please let know in the comments.  Also, what is your favorite bug out make and model and what would you do to it?

15 DIY Prepping Ideas To Learn New Skills

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As important as it is to gather disaster supplies, it’s even more important to learn survival skills. You could lose all your supplies, but barring some kind of brain injury (or years without practice), you’ll never lose your skills. However, reading about skills is not the best way to learn them. We only retain 10% […]

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4 Things Wrong With Your BugOut / Survival Bag

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I recently spent a few days out in the backcountry wilderness living out of my bag, miles away from the nearest town and long out of cell phone range.  It was myself and my dog hiking a few miles a day at over 10,000 feet in elevation, getting in touch with nature and evaluating some gear. When out in that sort of environment one figures out really quickly what is essential and what is fluff with respect to gear, what works and what doesn’t.  Since the bugout / survival bag is what we rely on to hold all of our essential equipment it stands to reason that this piece of kit should be near the top of the list with respect to how well it is taken care of.  Unfortunately that isn’t the case in many instances, so here are 4 things that might be wrong with your bugout / survival bag.

1- It hasn’t been unpacked in 6 months

Cooler temps are approaching so does the gear in your bag reflect that?  How long has it been since you completely emptied your bag, took and inventory and re-packed it?  Far too often gear is packed and then allowed to sit which means folks forget what is where and items often expire.

2- It doesn’t have hydration bladder pockets

Water is everything out in the wilderness and you must have a good way to not only carry it but access it while on the move.  Many good packs have built in hydration bladder pockets on the sides allowing for a 2 or 3 liter hydration bladder to be stuffed down in them.  Run the hose down over the shoulder and drink while on the move, hook up a mini sawyer in line water filter for drinking river/lake water.  The days of strapping canteens to a belt or the back of the pack are long gone for most, as there are much improved methods for carrying water.

3- The gear inside it has been chosen based on theory, not practical application.

Folks tend to buy gear based on other people’s opinions and there is nothing wrong with that, but has that gear been tested out in the field?  Has the tent actually been set up, fire starting material tested, stove been used to cook food?  Maybe there is a hatchet or other cool looking tool in there that is completely unnecessary, only way to find out is to get out there and test the gear.

4- It was purchased wholesale for $25 online.

It’s true, you get what you pay for.  To build a quality pack you need quality materials and folks who know what they are doing.  Time for design, R&D, manufacturing and advertising.  All of these things are built into the cost of the product (a good bag in this case) so that the company can remain profitable.  I know this seems like basic information but it stands to reason that a bag that runs $25 on the rack cannot possibly hold a candle to a pack that runs $350 or more.  The type of materials in the more expensive pack will be more durable, the zippers and fasteners will be better, the internal frame and shoulder straps will be much more comfortable and on it goes.  There are some good compromises out there which folks on a budget can look into but one must be careful when choosing a good bag.  Go cheap and by the time mile 5 arrives you’ll be sorry you did.

 

7 Survival Skills They Should Teach In School

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I clearly remember Sidney Poitier playing the part of Mark Thackeray in the epic movie, “To Sir, With Love.” He had been hired to teach a group of inner-city high school students, but he soon found himself involved in their lives. His students weren’t ready to graduate, let alone ready for real life. So Thackeray […]

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Split Operations: Separated from your home base.

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Home is where the heart is and for most of us where our preparedness stash is.  Should some localized or regional disaster (or worse) take place I’d like to think we would feel better about addressing that situation surrounded by what is familiar to us (read: having loads of preps and self sustaining infrastructure in place).  While this does not guarantee our safety or survival it truly is a best case scenario, the opposite end of that spectrum being 1000 miles away from your home with a paperclip and pack of bubble gum if T-SHTF.

There is a sobering reality to all of this and that is the fact that being in and around home base constantly is not practical for many.  Travel dictates that we need to be away from home and in some instances for months (or more) at a time.  That is what I will address in this post, running split operations with the reality that you just might not be able to get back to your home and family if something bad happens.

Here’s the Setup: Split Operations

I’ve lived apart from my home, preps, family for months at a time.  Usually work related, it means that we could be hours or even days away when it comes to drive time.  While I’d like to believe that if something bad were to take place I’d be able to drop what I was doing and rush to my wife’s side in a flash that is simply not the reality of the situation.  When living apart necessary steps must be put in place to ensure sustainability for the short and potentially long term.  What does that mean?  It’s like this, if the power goes out for two days because of storms have I set my wife up for success with our backup power situation?  What if a snow storm cuts power and access to basic necessities for 2 weeks, will she be able to get through it with minimal stress and discomfort because of preparedness steps previously put in place and rehearsed?  These are highly probable and relatively low impact events.  Yet what about a truly worst case scenario which would mean us hoping to reunite at some point but being forced to make it on our own in the near term?  Who truly knows how things would play out as there are so many variables but I have to be confident in the fact that I’ve done everything in my power to set both of us up for success.

Tips for Split Operations

Essentially this boils down to common sense and understanding that one cannot guarantee success for any given scenario, but putting measures (and backups) in place certainly increases one’s chances.  Below are some tips that I’ve come up with over time for running split operations.

90/10:  When I roll out I usually take the equivalent of 10% of my preps with me, leaving the majority back home with my wife.  Those preps that I have are usually what I’d need when mobile and once I get to my destination I can supplement by purchasing new.  This usually means snagging enough supplies to sit out a localized disaster for a few days or even weeks (at most).  Again the majority stays back home with my wife as she would need it, it’s not practical for me to haul around and should I be able to make it back to my place I’d want all my supplies waiting on site for me.

Rehearsals:  It’s one thing when I’m home and am able to do most of the heavy lifting but what about when I’m not?  This is not to say that my wife isn’t perfectly capable of doing some hard labor but let’s face it, I’ve spent more time doing it and she doesn’t mind that.  A perfect example would be when I was almost 1000 miles away and a storm hit knocking power out.  We had rehearsed the procedure for moving the generator out, hooking it up, starting it using the choke and fuel shutoff valve and operating the transfer switch.  When the time came she was able to accomplish this task and all was good.  Had we not rehearsed it the task would have been exceedingly more difficult I’m sure.

Worst Case:  In a worst case scenario it’s understood that we’ll simply have to make due in our own set of circumstances.  That is a reality that many fail to acknowledge and as such they never prepare for it.

The Bottom Line

There are folks out there who haven’t spent so much as a weekend away from their spouse or kids, I am not one of them.  If you are like me and travel for work or have to live away from your family for months at a time because of other circumstances put some thought in to your split operations plan.  Set yourself and those left behind up for success with the understanding that you might not always be there for them.

 

7 Prepper Steps You Should Have Taken Yesterday

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Responsible people usually have specific goals they’re working toward: losing weight, earning a promotion, getting out of debt, etc. Responsible preppers have even more goals. If you really want to be ready for anything, there are certain things you’re gonna have to accomplish. One of my favorite survival blogs, TheSurvivalMom.com, made a list of steps […]

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21 Prepper Skills You Can Improve This Weekend

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We’re in that strange part of the year where some days are nice and some days are too cold. If it’s a nice weekend where you live, you should get outside and practice some prepper skills. But even if it isn’t a nice weekend, there are plenty of skills you can practice indoors. One of […]

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17 Lost Survival Skills Your Ancestors Had

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It’s one thing to prepare for a temporary disaster like an earthquake or hurricane. It’s a whole other thing to prepare for a long-term disaster that cripples the power grid, communication systems, and transportation networks. Without those, we’d basically be living in the 1800’s again. Back then things were very different. People were more hands-on. […]

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Intermediate Fitness Exercises for Prepper Survival (Part Two)

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Welcome to part two of fitness exercises for SHTF wilderness and urban survival.  If the exercises in beginner level part one are too easy, or you have mastered them and are looking for an added challenge, these part two intermediate level exercises may be a good fit for you.

intermediate-fitness-shtf-survival

The the theme from the first post continues with gradually building functional and integrated strength throughout the body.  Our goal is to start slow and build a strong foundation of core strength while avoiding strength imbalances from overdeveloping certain muscle groups while ignoring others.  We are also looking to avoid movement repetition and impact, all in order to avoid injury.

 

Kettlebell squats:   

As with nearly all kettlebell exercises, a major benefit of the kettlebell front squat is building core strength and stability.  By positioning a kettlebell high on your chest while doing a squat, your body is forced to maintain a position many of us no longer frequent in our daily lives, which in turn builds muscle stability.  On the contrary, barbell squat or body weight squats primarily focus on engaging the lower body rather than lower, core and upper body while integrating all three regions.

If you are going to work with weights, kettlebells are the better alternative for functional strength because they integrate  and strengthen all muscle groups.  Integrative strength is important for survivalists and preppers because it will be the type of strength required during survival and emergency situations.

front kettlebell squat

Instructions:  Place feet a little wider than shoulder width, with your toes pointed out slightly.  Pick up the kettlebell by sitting down into a squat position and grabbing the bell by the “horns”.  with your elbows in.  When you go down, breathe in through your nose and exhale on your way up.  To keep you back in proper alignment, look up slightly when you do the squat.   When you reach the bottom of the squat make sure you don’t bounce, and keep your knees behind your toes while digging both feet forcefully into the ground.  Create tension and snap your hips when you reach to top.

  • Pick a suitable kettle bell weight that will allow you to complete two sets of 10 reps. At the end of the 10 reps, you should be about 60-70% to failure.
  • As you progress, increase weight in 5 lb increments and complete the same set and rep quantities.

 

 

Pull ups and Chin ups: 

The two most common grips are the underhand and the overhand grips.  The easiest grip to start with is the overhand grip, or (the chin up) because due to the elbow position, it optimizes the most efficient use of  bicep and peck activation which in turn develops more strength in your pull up.   A pull up, by contrast, primarily activates the lower trapezius more than a chin up, but both are great exercises to strengthen the back.

pull up chin up for survival fitness

Instructions:

A shoulder width grip using either the underhand or overhand grips is recommended because it reduces the strain on your shoulders and lowers risk of injury, and there is not a big difference in muscle activation between the two.

It’s also recommended to hold your back, pelvis, and legs in as straight and aligned as possible (rather than arching your lower back, bending your legs, and thrusting your pelvis forward).  Try to images having a rigid metal rod running through the entire vertical length of your body, from the top of your head to your feet.  While this position is more difficult, it offers the advantage of building strength in the anterior muscle chain and core.

  • If you are unable to do a full unassisted pull-up, do three sets of five reps of either body rows, or resistance-band assisted pull-ups. Adjust the difficulty as you progress by changing the angle of the body rows, or using a weaker resistance band.
  • If you can complete one to four or more unassisted pull-ups, do your max reps, followed by the same rep quantity of negative pull-ups. Rest, then repeat this process two more times for a total of three sets (again, three to failure, each followed by equal negative reps).

 

Soft, Varied Terrain Interval Running

Interval training is a higher intensity level of running where you sprint at medium to maximum pace while walking or slow jogging in between, for a total of around 20 minutes.  Research has shown that interval running  will speed up metabolism much faster than regular running.

Furthermore, due to the rapid and successive twisting motion of your torso with your elbow pulling one way and your knee pushing the other, interval running is excellent for the core while also activating  fast twitch muscle fibers.

As mentioned in the beginner fitness article, running on soft, slightly varied terrain is great for adapting the body to diverse movements in order to rehabilitate and condition all muscle groups, big and small while building strength throughout your physiology.

interval training varied terrain

Instructions: 

We recommend looking for trails with softer surfaces such as dirt, grass, or loose gravel rather than concrete that has someeasy 10-20 degree inclines and declines for added variance.  Do a light jogging warm-up and stretching routine to reduce risk of injury.

  • Start by running at a medium pace, then after roughly two minutes transition to about 30 seconds of 70% of your max speed.
  • Complete three more cycles, but each time increase the max speed by 10%, so by the fourth cycle you are maxing out at 100%
  • As you progress and notice your endurance and power increasing from your initial interval workouts, introduce running up inclines for your last one to two cycles in the workout.

 

Burpees:

Knowing how to do burbees is an powerful skill in fitness because they offer full body workout you can take with you anywhere you go!  All you need is your body and the knowledge of how to do them which you will see here.  You can use burpees as a warm up exercise, or a core exercise in your workout.  They are amazing for conditioning and building functional, integrated strength that starts with the core.

burpee-exercise-steps

Instructions:  Start in squat position with the weight in the heels and remaining flexible in the toes.  Then do a squat thrust while kicking the legs back so you are in a push up plank position.  From this position to a pushup and transition immediately into a frog jump and then a jump squat to complete the burpee movement.

Throughout the process of these movements, it’s important for your limbs to absorb any contact with the floor like a shock absorber rather than being rigid and stiff.  This will reduce harmful impact on your body and activate your muscle groups more effectively.

  • Start slow and warm up with 10 slow burpees, mainly focusing on correct form without the squat jump.
  • As your form improves and you get warmed up, increase the speed and add up to three sets of ten reps each.

 

The post Intermediate Fitness Exercises for Prepper Survival (Part Two) appeared first on Geek Prepper.

Intermediate Fitness Exercises for Wilderness & Urban Survival

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Welcome to part two of fitness exercises for SHTF wilderness and urban survival.  If the exercises in beginner level part one are too easy, or you have mastered them and are looking for an added challenge, these part two intermediate level exercises may be a good fit for you.

intermediate-fitness-shtf-survival

The the theme from the first post continues with gradually building functional and integrated strength throughout the body.  Our goal is to start slow and build a strong foundation of core strength while avoiding strength imbalances from overdeveloping certain muscle groups while ignoring others.  We are also looking to avoid movement repetition and impact, all in order to avoid injury.

 

Kettlebell squats:   

As with nearly all kettlebell exercises, a major benefit of the kettlebell front squat is building core strength and stability.  By positioning a kettlebell high on your chest while doing a squat, your body is forced to maintain a position many of us no longer frequent in our daily lives, which in turn builds muscle stability.  On the contrary, barbell squat or body weight squats primarily focus on engaging the lower body rather than lower, core and upper body while integrating all three regions.

If you are going to work with weights, kettlebells are the better alternative for functional strength because they integrate  and strengthen all muscle groups.  Integrative strength is important for survivalists and preppers because it will be the type of strength required during survival and emergency situations.

front kettlebell squat

Instructions:  Place feet a little wider than shoulder width, with your toes pointed out slightly.  Pick up the kettlebell by sitting down into a squat position and grabbing the bell by the “horns”.  with your elbows in.  When you go down, breathe in through your nose and exhale on your way up.  To keep you back in proper alignment, look up slightly when you do the squat.   When you reach the bottom of the squat make sure you don’t bounce, and keep your knees behind your toes while digging both feet forcefully into the ground.  Create tension and snap your hips when you reach to top.

  • Pick a suitable kettle bell weight that will allow you to complete two sets of 10 reps. At the end of the 10 reps, you should be about 60-70% to failure.
  • As you progress, increase weight in 5 lb increments and complete the same set and rep quantities.

 

 

Pull ups and Chin ups: 

The two most common grips are the underhand and the overhand grips.  The easiest grip to start with is the overhand grip, or (the chin up) because due to the elbow position, it optimizes the most efficient use of  bicep and peck activation which in turn develops more strength in your pull up.   A pull up, by contrast, primarily activates the lower trapezius more than a chin up, but both are great exercises to strengthen the back.

pull up chin up for survival fitness

Instructions:

A shoulder width grip using either the underhand or overhand grips is recommended because it reduces the strain on your shoulders and lowers risk of injury, and there is not a big difference in muscle activation between the two.

It’s also recommended to hold your back, pelvis, and legs in as straight and aligned as possible (rather than arching your lower back, bending your legs, and thrusting your pelvis forward).  Try to images having a rigid metal rod running through the entire vertical length of your body, from the top of your head to your feet.  While this position is more difficult, it offers the advantage of building strength in the anterior muscle chain and core.

  • If you are unable to do a full unassisted pull-up, do three sets of five reps of either body rows, or resistance-band assisted pull-ups. Adjust the difficulty as you progress by changing the angle of the body rows, or using a weaker resistance band.
  • If you can complete one to four or more unassisted pull-ups, do your max reps, followed by the same rep quantity of negative pull-ups. Rest, then repeat this process two more times for a total of three sets (again, three to failure, each followed by equal negative reps).

 

Soft, Varied Terrain Interval Running

Interval training is a higher intensity level of running where you sprint at medium to maximum pace while walking or slow jogging in between, for a total of around 20 minutes.  Research has shown that interval running  will speed up metabolism much faster than regular running.

Furthermore, due to the rapid and successive twisting motion of your torso with your elbow pulling one way and your knee pushing the other, interval running is excellent for the core while also activating  fast twitch muscle fibers.

As mentioned in the beginner fitness article, running on soft, slightly varied terrain is great for adapting the body to diverse movements in order to rehabilitate and condition all muscle groups, big and small while building strength throughout your physiology.

interval training varied terrain

Instructions: 

We recommend looking for trails with softer surfaces such as dirt, grass, or loose gravel rather than concrete that has someeasy 10-20 degree inclines and declines for added variance.  Do a light jogging warm-up and stretching routine to reduce risk of injury.

  • Start by running at a medium pace, then after roughly two minutes transition to about 30 seconds of 70% of your max speed.
  • Complete three more cycles, but each time increase the max speed by 10%, so by the fourth cycle you are maxing out at 100%
  • As you progress and notice your endurance and power increasing from your initial interval workouts, introduce running up inclines for your last one to two cycles in the workout.

 

Burpees:

Knowing how to do burbees is an powerful skill in fitness because they offer full body workout you can take with you anywhere you go!  All you need is your body and the knowledge of how to do them which you will see here.  You can use burpees as a warm up exercise, or a core exercise in your workout.  They are amazing for conditioning and building functional, integrated strength that starts with the core.

burpee-exercise-steps

Instructions:  Start in squat position with the weight in the heels and remaining flexible in the toes.  Then do a squat thrust while kicking the legs back so you are in a push up plank position.  From this position to a pushup and transition immediately into a frog jump and then a jump squat to complete the burpee movement.

Throughout the process of these movements, it’s important for your limbs to absorb any contact with the floor like a shock absorber rather than being rigid and stiff.  This will reduce harmful impact on your body and activate your muscle groups more effectively.

  • Start slow and warm up with 10 slow burpees, mainly focusing on correct form without the squat jump.
  • As your form improves and you get warmed up, increase the speed and add up to three sets of ten reps each.

 

The post Intermediate Fitness Exercises for Wilderness & Urban Survival appeared first on Geek Prepper.

Beginner Fitness Exercises for SHTF Survival (Part One)

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It’s highly likely that during and after a SHTF scenario, the physical demand on the human body will drastically increase.  Our bodies would suddenly become responsible for filling the efficient gap left from the wake of downed mechanical systems that significantly reduce our workload which provides us with shelter, water, and nutrition, with little effort.   Life has become so easy most of us pay little notice the highly productive and efficient grid network built up around us working around the clock.

beginner fitness shtf survival

We are all guilty of doing less physical work in the modern era than our ancestors, to the point that sedentary lifestyles are not only becoming the norm, but are on the rise and have been classified as modern day health epidemic.   If many people were abruptly forced with no choice into a mode of high physical stress for survival reasons,  many may not survive simply because their bodies are not accustomed to the level of physical demands required in a hypothetical emergency survival situations.

plugged-in-grid

Not to sound overly nostalgic, but before computers, technology, and large-scale networked mechanical processes (AKA, the grid) was put into place,  we had no choice but to work directly in and with the natural elements.   Rudimentary processes were used to procure food, water and shelter.  Swinging and axe, pulling a cart, hauling buckets of water, travelling long distances, even running from or fighting off an occasional predator or rival group were the norm.

It’s undeniable that our bodies have evolved to not only to move, but move in many different and highly dynamic (non-static) ways.   Research has shown that hunters and gatherers would walk long distances and engage in short intense bursts of vigorous activity with rest in between, which resulted in burning 800 to 1200 calories per day.   In other words, the human genome was shaped by the process of natural selection to be highly active generalists in nature rather than marathon runners, heavy lifters or climbers.

log-splitting-axe

Whether forced into the wilderness or urban survival situations, physical fitness and mobility should not be overlooked or underestimated by prudent preppers.  No quantity or quality of gear, food stuffs, off grid energy, or EDC items can make up for a lack of physical prowess (in the form of mobility, strength and agility) when an emergency situation demands it, especially if bugging in is not an option on one must get one the move.

When no choice remains but to leave it all behind and bug out is when situations could become extremely physically taxing which not only put you at risk but also friends and family who may be relying on you for your survival skills and physical preparedness.

out of shape

The focus of this post is not to dwell on today’s sedentary health epidemic, or reminisce how hunters and gathers were maximizing the utility of their human design.  Our intention is to lay out a plan that will enable individuals of nearly all levels of physical fitness to increase mobility and strength by moving in healthier ways more reminiscent of our ancestors.

As someone who went from being a deathly ill child with Crohn’s disease to practicing and instructing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes for the last decade, regularly doing outdoor fitness challenges and swinging kettle bells, I have full confidence anyone can do it if approached carefully.  Credit is also due to my brother who is a veteran certified body worker and kettle bell trainer for consulting with me writing this post.

kettlebell-01

This post is dedicated to beginner exercises.  If the beginner drills are too easy, please stay tuned for our up and coming posts for intermediate and advanced survival exercise fitness.  This beginner series is for individuals who have remained sedentary for the past 12 or more months with little or no “real” physical exertion.

For example, if you gasp for air when going up a couple flights of stairs when the elevator is down, or when required to walk longer distance, and/or are considered obese, these beginner exercises are a great place to start.

Please note that results results from one individual to the next can vary greatly, so don’t get frustrated if you don’t see any progress for some time.  Make these exercises a daily part of your routine, and before you know it you we be stronger, fitter, more mobile, and all of that good stuff!

 

Assisted or Solo Deep Body Weight Squats

This movement is excellent for building strength in the quads and gluts while increasing hip mobility. The hips are the foundation of most physical movement in the human body and are essential to movements as simple as walking and getting off the ground.   A deep squat also serves a great seated position when if no chairs or stump, etc,  is available.

Instructions:  Hold on to something such as a post at hip height, if needed.  With your legs spread shoulder width, squat down so all of your weight is loaded into your quad muscles, gluts, and your heels are driving into the ground.  Your feet should remain planted flat on the ground, and your butt should nearly touch your heels.  If this position if uncomfortable or you are unable to maintain your balance, we recommend easing into a deeper squat position.

  • Remain in the squat position for 2-5 min on and off to gain mobility and reduce pain.
  • Once the squat position is comfortable, work up to 5-10 squat reps, then adding two to three total sets.

 

Assisted or Solo Hanging

Being able to hang from a bar, tree branch, or even a ledge is important for survival climbing and general pulling movements like winding in a rope, dragging logs, etc .  If you suffer from  lack of overhead reach mobility, wrist or grip problems, simply hanging and letting gravity do the work is an excellent rehabilitation and strength building exercise.

Instructions:   To be clear, this is exercises is not a pull up, it’s simply hanging and letting gravity pull down on your spinal column and allowing your shoulders and arms to stretch.  You can hang from anything that provides adequate grip surface such as a pull up bar, tree branch, or a ledge of a wall.  If your grip constantly slips and you are unable to hang at all, place something under your feet and ease in by bending your knees to add or reduce the weight load on your grip.

    • If needed, use support under your feet and build up to hanging for 10-20 seconds with no support.
    • Once able to hang for 20 seconds with both arms, start letting go of one grip and build up to hang for 5 seconds on each arm.

 

Plank Hold

A plank hold is one of the best exercises for core strength and stability and it helps posture, improves balance, and strengthens hamstrings and gluts.  While hip mobility is like an axle being able to freely turn, core strength is the engine that gives it power.

Strength in other areas of your body, such as leg strength or back strength are often undermined if core strength is not adequate to back them up during more sophisticated and integrated movements such as climbing, pulling, or grappling.   Therefore, nearly any movement relies on core strength making it a top priority for preppers in survival situations.

Instructions:  Place your forearms on the floor below the shoulders with your elbows and wrists in line with your torso.   Use your toes to brace your weight with your forearms and use your core abdominal, thigh, and glut muscles to raise your hips to be alighted with your shoulders and legs.  Keep your chin tucked while holding this position.

  • Move into the plank hold and maintain it for 10-20 seconds
  • Add two to three reps of 20 second holds.
  • Build up to being able to hold the plank position for one minute or more

Soft-Surface Medium Distance Slow Jogging

The aim of slow jogging is to build a foundation for cardiovascular and respiratory fitness without keeling over before building to more moderate to intensive cardio exercise.  Look to run on a soft surface with some minor terrain variance such as a cut grass field or running trails.

A soft surface will allow your muscular-skeletal system to slowly adapt to the light impact of jogging, by adding bone density and building muscle, fortifying joints, tendons, and ligaments.  Jogging or running on varied terrain has shown to awaken the neuromuscular system by forcing it to make constant adjustments to adapt to the surface variations.  Furthermore, it has shown to minimize risk of injury from over-repetitive movement which leads to imbalance from smaller muscles growing weak.

Instructions:  Find a soft yet slightly varied running surface such as a grassy field or mowed pasture.  Start with jogging for two to five minutes and walking in between.  Build on that until you can jog with a slow, relaxed pace for about 30 minutes without stopping.  This will allow you to cover about a 1.5 to 2 mile distance.

I hope these exercises benefit some of you who have struggled to get a solid start with fitness.  Please feel free to message me or leave comments with any questions.  Stay tuned for our next posts that will be geared towards intermediate and advanced survival fitness with extra fun and dynamic exercises for preppers.

The post Beginner Fitness Exercises for SHTF Survival (Part One) appeared first on Geek Prepper.

7 Must Have Herbal Remedies for Your Arsenal

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7 Must Have Herbal Remedies for Your Arsenal As Americans are looking to get away from modern medicine and their nasty side effects, people are turning to more traditional medicine and herbal remedies to help ease the discomfort of getting sick. Long before there were handy little pills, humanity used the food, herbs, and other …

Continue reading »

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15 Survival Skills You’ll Need After The SHTF

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It’s not enough to have lots of supplies after the SHTF. Sure, they might get you through a temporary disaster like an earthquake or hurricane, but what if someone gets hurt? All the medical supplies in the world won’t help if you don’t know how to use them. […]

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35 Survival Foods to Stockpile & How to Get Started

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Having the right food, medical and other important supplies is crucial for survival in apocalyptic scenarios as well as other emergencies such as flooding, blizzards, earthquakes and other pandemics.

stockpile food featured
food storage empty plateStockpiling food can mean the difference between having to stand in line for essential items, and having the resources to take care of your family until the emergency blows over or you make it to a
safer place in the case of total societal collapse. Even if total collapse may be years away, it pays to have a stockpile at hand well in advance to avoid having to scramble for scarce food supplies when manufacturing and the food supply chain shut down.

Minor emergencies such as winter storms have demonstrated just how easy it is for common food items to run out as evidenced by the empty shelves occasioned by panic runs on supermarkets and grocery stores. Statistics show that the average grocery store has only three to four days worth of food and should an emergency draw out for longer than this; many families will be in dire straits indeed. If you want to ensure that you and your family make it through emergencies and total collapse, you need to have adequate food and water to tide you over until things improve.

 How to Get Started Stockpiling Food

Different emergency situations call for different prepping methods. However, the following rules apply across the board with regard to building a sizable food stockpile to ensure survival:

stockpiling challenge

Determine your household’s food needs

Before you can begin listing the types of food you need to stock up on, find out what each individual member of your family’s calorific needs are and multiply this by the number of people in the family. Take into consideration individuals’ tastes, any special dietary requirements and the amount of time you will have to live off your emergency supply. This should give you a good idea of the amount of food you need to stockpile.

 

Start small

No one wants to be seen lugging out hundreds of gallons of water or hundreds of cans of beans from the grocery store. In addition, not everyone has the resources to purchase a year’s supply of food all at once. However, it is entirely possible to purchase a week or month’s supply and slowly build your stock up over several months.

 

 

calorie to nutrition ratioPick the right foods

Your stockpile should contain all the major food groups with an emphasis on high quality protein, whole grains, healthy fats and supplements of essential foods that cannot be stored in their original state without spoiling. Ensure to select the right types and amounts of food for all your nutritional needs. Pick food items that are well packaged, in tightly sealed containers and concentrate on non perishable items with a long shelf life.

Avoid foods that are high in salt, sugar and preservatives. Add some extras to help ease the austerity of survival and make it feel less like a punishment. Items like coffee, chocolate, fruit juices and spices will help to tide you over the hard times without feeling too deprived. Stock up on water for drinking and cooking purposes. Keep it in tightly sealed containers to avoid contamination.

 

The right storage

Locate or construct proper storage with the right temperature, lighting and humidity conditions. This storage can be an underground cellar in your home or offsite location that is safe and easily accessible in emergency situations. Secure your storage from vandals, thieves and wild animals where applicable.

food storage cellar

 

Periodic maintenance

mouse shopping cartCheck on your stockpile consistently and take out any spoiled items as well as those that may have expired. Check for water and vermin damage.

Change or add to the items in your stockpile to reflect the changes in your household e.g. the addition of a family member, any new health conditions or a change in food preference.

Once you have taken these considerations into account, you can now begin to build up your stockpile with the right foods for your family. Below are the best food items to stockpile for both the health and survival of your family in emergency situations:

 

1. Whole grains: whole grains like wheat, spelt, rye and others are a great option for providing energy and the fiber needed for digestive health. If you have a flour mill, you can even make your own tasty and healthy bread from scratch.

2. Canned oily fish: oily fish like salmon and tuna are high in omega 3 fatty acids which are known to reduce inflammation in the body and lower your chances for stroke and heart disease.

canned sardines on plate

3. Dried pulses: Beans, chickpeas, lentils, split peas and others are high in protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fiber. They are very easy to store and can last for years under the right conditions.

4. Bulk Nuts: Nuts are high in healthy fats and contain protein. They have the advantage of being sold in bulk at various warehouse clubs and discount stores and are thus an affordable item to have in any stockpile.

5. Jerky: Jerky from beef and poultry will provide you with a tasty protein option. Make sure you buy them from a store that produces them naturally and sells them in bulk.

6. Coffee: while not strictly an essential item, coffee can provide the occasional treat during emergencies and keep you from feeling too rundown by the events going on around you.

dried fruit nut mix

7. Dried fruits: Apricots, raisins, cranberries and other dried fruits will provide you with much needed vitamins and minerals in the absence of fresh fruits.

8. Canned soups: Soups make a great addition to many dishes providing both flavor and texture. Go for low sodium options made with actual vegetables and real ingredients.

9. Breakfast cereal: Cereal will provide additional alternatives to breakfast and keep temper tantrums at bay. Choose low sugar and sodium options with as little preservatives as possible.

10. Powdered milk: Powdered milk is great for that emergency cup of tea or coffee, for addition to stews and in the provision of calcium necessary for strong bones and teeth.

11. Cured meats: cured meats have been dried; smoked or treated with brine to make them last longer. They are valuable sources of protein and can be eaten on their own or added to soups and stews.

12. Cheese: Cheese is another great high protein and calcium option that will serve you for a long time without going bad.

cheese blocks

13. Nut and fruit trail mixes: vacuum packed trail mix makes a great snack that does not spoil easily due to proper packaging methods.

14. Spices and herbs: these items are great for livening up a bland meal with individual spices like turmeric and ginger containing numerous health benefits.

15. Dry bullion powder: Bullion powder is great for adding taste to flat meals and is ideal for soups, stews and casseroles.

16. Sugar: while sugar receives a bad rap for causing weight gain and diabetes, it is useful for canning purposes and in the making of jellies. As long as it is consumed in moderation, you are unlikely to experience the harmful effects associated with it.

17. Coconut, canola and olive oil: These healthy oils will come in handy in cooking, the preparation of salads and even in the treatment of minor infections in both humans and animals.

coconut oil in jar

18. Sea salt: in addition to seasoning food and preserving meats, sea salt contains the iodine necessary to prevent diseases like goitre.

19. Distilled and Seltzer water: Purified water is crucial to your survival especially if water sources become contaminated during an emergency. Seltzer water is great if you want a break from still water and also helps to calm upset stomachs and improve digestion.

20. Pasta: Different types of pasta will provide you with versatile options to whip up several meals. Due to its low moisture content, pasta has a very long shelf life and is an inexpensive food to stockpile.

dried pasta with tomatos

21. Jam and jellies: include a variety of fruit jellies and jams to spread on your homemade whole-wheat bread and enjoy an unmatched treat.

jam jars

22. Canned vegetables: canned vegetables will provide you with all the nourishment you need in the absence of fresh ones. Concentrate on high nutrient options like sweet potatoes, tomatoes and olives and skip GMO option like corn.

23. Honey: not only is honey great for flavoring beverages, for use in baking and in sweetening breakfast cereals, it is a great antibiotic and topical treatment for minor cuts, burns and bruises.

24. Condiments: mustards, relishes and sauces are great for spicing up foods during emergency times.

25. Chocolate: chocolate makes a tasty addition to your stockpile and has additional health benefits such as fighting UTI’s, lifting your mood and boosting your heart health.

chocolate blocks

26. Apple cider vinegar: ACV is a key ingredient in homemade salad dressings and has numerous health benefits to boot.

27. Leavening agents: No stockpile is complete without the addition of baking powders and other rising agents necessary for making bread and other baked goods.

28. Protein powders: Whey, egg and other protein powders are great for addition to smoothies and boosting your protein intake when other options are limited.

29. Dried corn: corn is a wonderful staple that can be ground into cornmeal for making tortillas, popped to make popcorn and even used as a seed to plant fresh corn for consumption.

dried corn

30. Ready to eat dried meals: Add water or milk pre-cooked meals offer a healthy alternative when you lack the ingredients or energy to make meals from scratch.

31. Rice: Like pasta, rice is an inexpensive and long lasting food that makes a great accompaniment to stews, casseroles and vegetable dishes.

32. Canned fruits: in the absence of fresh fruit, canned options will suffice nicely, and provide you with hydration in the form of sweet and tangy liquids.

33. Supplements: Vitamins, minerals, soft-gels and other supplements will provide you with concentrated nutrition when you do not have access to food sources of nutrition.

vitamin suppliments

34. Spaghetti sauce: canned spaghetti sauce provides a great alternative when the fresh ingredients required to make it from scratch are unavailable.

35. Infant formula and canned baby food: any family with toddlers and young children will do well to stock these items to safeguard the health of the younger members of the family.

stockpiling challenge

In an emergency, food items are among the first to disappear or go into shortage. By taking a few precautions and ensuring you have essential food items stockpiled, you can take care of yourself and your family until the particular emergency or other adverse situation blows over.

 

The post 35 Survival Foods to Stockpile & How to Get Started appeared first on Geek Prepper.

35 Best Foods to Stockpile & How to Get Started

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Having the right food, medical and other important supplies is crucial for survival in apocalyptic scenarios as well as other emergencies such as flooding, blizzards, earthquakes and other pandemics.

stockpile food featured

 

 
food storage empty plateStockpiling food can mean the difference between having to stand in line for essential items, and having the resources to take care of your family until the emergency blows over or you make it to a
safer place in the case of total societal collapse. Even if total collapse may be years away, it pays to have a stockpile at hand well in advance to avoid having to scramble for scarce food supplies when manufacturing and the food supply chain shut down.

Minor emergencies such as winter storms have demonstrated just how easy it is for common food items to run out as evidenced by the empty shelves occasioned by panic runs on supermarkets and grocery stores. Statistics show that the average grocery store has only three to four days worth of food and should an emergency draw out for longer than this; many families will be in dire straits indeed. If you want to ensure that you and your family make it through emergencies and total collapse, you need to have adequate food and water to tide you over until things improve.


How to Get Started Stockpiling Food

Different emergency situations call for different prepping methods. However, the following rules apply across the board with regard to building a sizable food stockpile to ensure survival:

Determine your household’s food needs

Before you can begin listing the types of food you need to stock up on, find out what each individual member of your family’s calorific needs are and multiply this by the number of people in the family. Take into consideration individuals’ tastes, any special dietary requirements and the amount of time you will have to live off your emergency supply. This should give you a good idea of the amount of food you need to stockpile.

calorie to nutrition ratio

Stockpile nutritious foods, not just high calorie foods!

Start small

No one wants to be seen lugging out hundreds of gallons of water or hundreds of cans of beans from the grocery store. In addition, not everyone has the resources to purchase a year’s supply of food all at once. However, it is entirely possible to purchase a week or month’s supply and slowly build your stock up over several months.

Pick the right foods

Your stockpile should contain all the major food groups with an emphasis on high quality protein, whole grains, healthy fats and supplements of essential foods that cannot be stored in their original state without spoiling. Ensure to select the right types and amounts of food for all your nutritional needs. Pick food items that are well packaged, in tightly sealed containers and concentrate on non perishable items with a long shelf life.

Avoid foods that are high in salt, sugar and preservatives. Add some extras to help ease the austerity of survival and make it feel less like a punishment. Items like coffee, chocolate, fruit juices and spices will help to tide you over the hard times without feeling too deprived. Stock up on water for drinking and cooking purposes. Keep it in tightly sealed containers to avoid contamination.

The right storage

Locate or construct proper storage with the right temperature, lighting and humidity conditions. This storage can be an underground cellar in your home or offsite location that is safe and easily accessible in emergency situations. Secure your storage from vandals, thieves and wild animals where applicable.

food storage cellar

 

Periodic maintenance
Check on your stockpile consistently and take out any spoiled items as well as those that may have expired. Check for water and vermin damage. Change or add to the items in your stockpile to mouse shopping cartreflect the changes in your household e.g. the addition of a family member, any new health conditions or a change in food preference.

Once you have taken these considerations into account, you can now begin to build up your stockpile with the right foods for your family. Below are the best food items to stockpile for both the health and survival of your family in emergency situations:

1. Whole grains: whole grains like wheat, spelt, rye and others are a great option for providing energy and the fiber needed for digestive health. If you have a flour mill, you can even make your own tasty and healthy bread from scratch.

 

2. Canned oily fish: oily fish like salmon and tuna are high in omega 3 fatty acids which are known to reduce inflammation in the body and lower your chances for stroke and heart disease.

canned sardines on plate

3. Dried pulses: Beans, chickpeas, lentils, split peas and others are high in protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fiber. They are very easy to store and can last for years under the right conditions.

4. Bulk Nuts: Nuts are high in healthy fats and contain protein. They have the advantage of being sold in bulk at various warehouse clubs and discount stores and are thus an affordable item to have in any stockpile.

5. Jerky: Jerky from beef and poultry will provide you with a tasty protein option. Make sure you buy them from a store that produces them naturally and sells them in bulk.

6. Coffee: while not strictly an essential item, coffee can provide the occasional treat during emergencies and keep you from feeling too rundown by the events going on around you.

7. Dried fruits: Apricots, raisins, cranberries and other dried fruits will provide you with much needed vitamins and minerals in the absence of fresh fruits.

dried fruit nut mix

8. Canned soups: Soups make a great addition to many dishes providing both flavor and texture. Go for low sodium options made with actual vegetables and real ingredients.

9. Breakfast cereal: Cereal will provide additional alternatives to breakfast and keep temper tantrums at bay. Choose low sugar and sodium options with as little preservatives as possible.

10. Powdered milk: Powdered milk is great for that emergency cup of tea or coffee, for addition to stews and in the provision of calcium necessary for strong bones and teeth.

11. Cured meats: cured meats have been dried; smoked or treated with brine to make them last longer. They are valuable sources of protein and can be eaten on their own or added to soups and stews.

12. Cheese: Cheese is another great high protein and calcium option that will serve you for a long time without going bad.

cheese blocks

13. Nut and fruit trail mixes: vacuum packed trail mix makes a great snack that does not spoil easily due to proper packaging methods.

14. Spices and herbs: these items are great for livening up a bland meal with individual spices like turmeric and ginger containing numerous health benefits.

15. Dry bullion powder: Bullion powder is great for adding taste to flat meals and is ideal for soups, stews and casseroles.

16. Sugar: while sugar receives a bad rap for causing weight gain and diabetes, it is useful for canning purposes and in the making of jellies. As long as it is consumed in moderation, you are unlikely to experience the harmful effects associated with it.

17. Coconut, canola and olive oil: These healthy oils will come in handy in cooking, the preparation of salads and even in the treatment of minor infections in both humans and animals.

coconut oil in jar

18. Sea salt: in addition to seasoning food and preserving meats, sea salt contains the iodine necessary to prevent diseases like goitre.

19. Distilled and Seltzer water: Purified water is crucial to your survival especially if water sources become contaminated during an emergency. Seltzer water is great if you want a break from still water and also helps to calm upset stomachs and improve digestion.

20. Pasta: Different types of pasta will provide you with versatile options to whip up several meals. Due to its low moisture content, pasta has a very long shelf life and is an inexpensive food to stockpile.

dried pasta with tomatos

21. Jam and jellies: include a variety of fruit jellies and jams to spread on your homemade whole-wheat bread and enjoy an unmatched treat.

jam jars

22. Canned vegetables: canned vegetables will provide you with all the nourishment you need in the absence of fresh ones. Concentrate on high nutrient options like sweet potatoes, tomatoes and olives and skip GMO option like corn.

23. Honey: not only is honey great for flavoring beverages, for use in baking and in sweetening breakfast cereals, it is a great antibiotic and topical treatment for minor cuts, burns and bruises.

24. Condiments: mustards, relishes and sauces are great for spicing up foods during emergency times.

25. Chocolate: chocolate makes a tasty addition to your stockpile and has additional health benefits such as fighting UTI’s, lifting your mood and boosting your heart health.

chocolate blocks

26. Apple cider vinegar: ACV is a key ingredient in homemade salad dressings and has numerous health benefits to boot.

27. Leavening agents: No stockpile is complete without the addition of baking powders and other rising agents necessary for making bread and other baked goods.

28. Protein powders: Whey, egg and other protein powders are great for addition to smoothies and boosting your protein intake when other options are limited.

29. Dried corn: corn is a wonderful staple that can be ground into cornmeal for making tortillas, popped to make popcorn and even used as a seed to plant fresh corn for consumption.

dried corn

30. Ready to eat dried meals: Add water or milk pre-cooked meals offer a healthy alternative when you lack the ingredients or energy to make meals from scratch.

31. Rice: Like pasta, rice is an inexpensive and long lasting food that makes a great accompaniment to stews, casseroles and vegetable dishes.

32. Canned fruits: in the absence of fresh fruit, canned options will suffice nicely, and provide you with hydration in the form of sweet and tangy liquids.

33. Supplements: Vitamins, minerals, soft-gels and other supplements will provide you with concentrated nutrition when you do not have access to food sources of nutrition.

vitamin suppliments

34. Spaghetti sauce: canned spaghetti sauce provides a great alternative when the fresh ingredients required to make it from scratch are unavailable.

35. Infant formula and canned baby food: any family with toddlers and young children will do well to stock these items to safeguard the health of the younger members of the family.

In an emergency, food items are among the first to disappear or go into shortage. By taking a few precautions and ensuring you have essential food items stockpiled, you can take care of yourself and your family until the particular emergency or other adverse situation blows over.

 

The post 35 Best Foods to Stockpile & How to Get Started appeared first on Geek Prepper.

7 Prepper Tips if Trapped in The City When SHTF

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Trapped-in-City-Prepper-TipsCities are probably the worst places to be in when disaster strikes but, nevertheless, we need to discuss these scenarios. Ideally, you’ll be warned when something happens, giving you time to take your car and bug out… but what if you can’t? In what follows, I’m going to bring to your attention some things for you to consider.

 

#1. Bugging in is also an option.

Most preppers see themselves hunkering down when the big one hits, but they have a good reason: they live in suburbs, small towns or even in the wilderness. They’ve already bugged out!

Now, if you’re in a large city, the option of bugging out should be your plan A, but bugging in for a few days, until the window of opportunity opens, is also an option. Right after catastrophe hits, the roads may be blocked or, maybe, even Martial Law may be in place, making everything very risky.

If the city is locked, even following the train tracks or bugging out on a river could be dangerous. It might be best lay low in your apartment for a few days… and this means you should have a small stockpile in your apartment.

 

#2. Hygiene

Hygiene is going to be a problem and the source of numerous illnesses. Your bug out bag needs to have in place means for you to stay clean. For example, you could add some hand sanitizer, a bar of soap, toothpaste, floss and, of course, some toilet paper.

You’ll also want to use as little water as possible when washing yourself, and you may have to become creative and use a sock instead of a towel. Due to their volume and weight, no one packs towels in their BOBs.

how-to-build-urban-shelter

Image source: practicalsurvivor.com

 

#3. You may have to make shelter.

If you thought makeshift shelters are only viable in the wilderness, perish the thought. If your home becomes uninhabitable, you’ll have to learn from the homeless and make shelter out of cardboard to protect you from hypothermia.

You’ll also want to think about insulating it to keep the heat in and even cover it with plastic bags (or something else) to prevent rain damage.

This excellent post from practicalsurvivor.com goes into depth how and why to build an urban shelter.

 

#4. The personal water filter is your friend.

sawyer mini water filter

Wait, why didn’t I just say “get a Lifestraw”? After all, it’s synonymous with personal water filters. There’s a better option and it’s called the Sawyer Mini Water Filter. It has some pretty big advantages over its competition:

  • The Sawyer Mini can filter up to 100,000 gallons of water as opposed to the 260 gallons for the LifeStraw.
  • The Sawyer is about half the size of the Lifestraw, making it easier to fit in your bug out bag or your get home bag.
  • It also has some accessories such as a syringe for cleaning and a water pouch. Granted, there are versions of the Lifestraw that allow you to carry water, but for those you’d have to pay more.

 

#5. Careful who you trust.

This is tricky. On the one hand, you need likeminded people in order to survive, especially if you live in the city. On the other, if you offer your trust to the wrong guy, lots of bad things can happen to you. How do you know who to trust?

You don’t. What you have to do is learn how to read people and train yourself to never say more than necessary.

What can you do now? Well, if at all possible, you can attend prepper meeting groups. There are plenty of survival forums out there where like-minded people talk and sometimes decide to meet in real life. Mettup.com is another place you can try.

Last but not least, why not get a sense of how people around you feel about the economy and the way things are going? How about you figure out which of your friends have high moral standards, so you know you can count on them if something happens?

 

#6. Reinforce doors and windows.  You might hear a knock in the middle of the night.

If communications are down, it’s likely that people will come to your doorstep to come into contact with you. But how do you know whether you should open the door, or even to ask who it is? You don’t, which is why you’ll need precaution measures in case the other guy is not who he says he is. Consider the following:

door reinforcement kit

  • having the self-defense weapons in case you find yourself face to face with one or more attackers
  • and an alternate way out of the house in case someone’s trying to break in

 

radiation-protection-suit#7. Communications is everything

Before you bug-out, you need to first find your family. Each member might be in a different location when it hits and you might only have an hour to leave your city.

Secondly, you’ll need to know of any road blocks or other obstacles, visible or invisible. For example, you’re dealing with a virus or a nuclear meltdown, you’re better of hunkering down in your apartment than getting yourself exposed in a traffic jam outside.

If you live in a city with a higher risk of nuclear fallout, it may be worth the price to purchase a radiation protection suit.  Not only does the Demron® Full Bodysuit from Radiation Technologies protect from radiation, but chemical, biological, and Hazmat risks as well.  It’s not cheap, but if it could buy you a few hours to get your family away from the exposure zone it could be money well spent.

 

Final word

I hope you now realize that living in the city is by no means easier during a critical event. If anything, it’s harder and even more dangerous, especially if you live in a tiny apartment.

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6 Street Smart Skills You Need In An Urban Disaster

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6 Street Smart Skills You Need In An Urban Disaster Prepping is much more than gathering supplies. What if your home (or wherever you keep your supplies) is destroyed? What if a disaster happens while you’re away from home and you’re unable to get back? What if by the time you get there your home …

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8 Survival Skills You Can Practice While Camping

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We have stated in previous articles that survival training should be conducted in a controlled environment where mistakes become a learning tool and not a death sentence. You can learn from your mistakes, but you must first survive those mistakes.

Training is important, and the only way to become proficient in anything is through hours of training. Then you apply the knowledge, and skills learned in practice sessions, and what better place to practice survival skills than while on a camping expedition.

The stage is already set, and for the most part, it is a controlled environment. It is recommended, however, that you have someone with you that can act as a monitor in the event something goes wrong.

Shelter Making

It’s easy to survive when all you have to do is unload the cabin tent from the back of the pickup and find a level spot to erect it, but what happens when you don’t have a pickup full of camping gear and you need a shelter.

Do your zone assessment. Look for natural shelters first like uprooted trees where the root cavity can be turned into a shelter. Look for overhangs, caves, and heavy foliage that you can crawl under and adapt into a shelter. If natural shelters are not available, then one has to be made from forest debris.

Fire Starting

There are countless videos on the Internet where people show the most ingenious ways anyone could imagine to create a fire. You don’t need ingenious or complicated methods. You simply need methods that work.

Forget the videos and concentrate on KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). Matches, lighters and magnesium sticks, Ferro rods and flint and steel will always start a fire. It really is quite simple never leave home without them.

While camping, however, learn to make a bow and spindle, and practice with flint and steel, because starting a fire with either method takes hours of practice and patience. They will start a fire if you are caught in the wilds without the traditional methods, so it is important that you have the skills need to start a fire literally from scratch.

Water Procurement

You have plenty in the truck, but remember you are in training mode so imagine if you will, that you only have a small bottle of water left and the clock is ticking. First, you have to find a source and then make it safe to drink. The most reliable way is by boiling, but you need to filter it first. This is why fire starting is critical, without fire, you can’t drink the water, and you need a container to boil the water in as well. You can use a plastic water bottle to essentially pasteurize the water by placing it close to the heat while not melting the plastic. It can be done but it takes 45 minutes to an hour of constant heat to destroy, any contaminates.

Filtering is important, as well. Get practicing and you can use heated rocks, as well, to boil water by making a small pit and lining it with your poncho or any sturdy plastic. Fill with water and place hot rocks in the water until you see steam rise from the water.

Land Navigation

First, locate your campsite on a topographical map. Then study the map to identify prominent land features in particular water. From your location orientate your compass to the map and take a degree reading and mark a course that will take you to a water source or to other landmarks.

Practice walking 500 yards in all directions and then plot a course back to camp. Use two-way radios to stay in contact with the monitor back at camp in the event you do get lost. Blaze trees or use colored cordage or trail marking tape to mark your course. Make the blaze on the side of the tree you would see when walking back to camp, otherwise, you will not see the marks.

Signaling

Find an elevated spot and go to it while someone stays at camp. Use a mirror to reflect sunlight and see if the monitor at camp can spot the reflection. Typically, you would signal aircraft this way but you can also signal those that may be searching from the ground. It does take practice and learning how to signal for help is important when lost.

Three of any markings on the ground that can be seen from the air indicates distress, and if you do expect rescuers are out looking, then a signal fire is a must have. Smoke can be seen for miles even by those searching from the ground.

Tool Making

Practice rudimentary flint knapping so you can make cutting tools for skinning game, cutting cordage or for sharpening spears and for making arrowheads out of stone or even glass. If you have cordage then you can make a longbow and then arrows for hunting, but you need cutting tools to turn a supple sapling into a bow.

You would need spears for fishing and self-defense. Spears are not ideal for hunting game because they are more of a thrusting tool than a throwing weapon unless you have considerable expertise in making a balanced spear with the proper spear points.

Practice Survival Fishing For Food

Practice making fishhooks from what you find on the forest floor, bone, wood, pop tops, paper clips, wire and so on can be made into fishhooks while virtually any cordage can be used as fishing line in particular 550 Paracord. The seven inner strands can be used for sewing thread, fishing line and used to make sutures to close wounds. Spoons, lures, and bobbers can be made from what you find around you. Pieces of Styrofoam, bottle caps and metal from a soda can, could be used to make fishing tackle.

Food

We here, typically do not encourage people to forage for edible plants unless they are so common that anyone could recognize them because there are so many poisonous ones that chances are unless you are an expert, you would end up sick or worse from eating the wrong ones.

Everyone knows what a dandelion looks like, as well as blackberries and raspberries, cattails, wild apples, and blueberries. Beyond the most obvious ones, you are taking a chance, and the nutritional value from a few leaves is not worth the risk unless you know without a doubt that the plant is edible.

You will be hungry, but you will be rescued long before you starve to death, or in some cases, succumb to dehydration, hypothermia or from some accident long before you need to worry about starving to death. If you can survive long enough to starve to death, then you have the skills to find food.

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Smart Prepper’s Guide to choosing the Best Tactical Boots

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By: JM @ Sole Labz

Smart prepper’s guide to choosing the best tactical boots

Navy Seals have a saying: “There are two ways of doing things, the right way, and again”. Smart preppers know, however, that SHTF scenarios leave no room for do-overs.

Your top sidekick in all-hell-broke-loose scenarios is a good pair of tactical boots. Call me crazy, but you’re only as strong as your feet in a bug out situation. Better make those two soles and a bit of leather count since all of your agility, speed and overall performance will depend on them.

War, hiking, army and people concept - close up of soldier's foot in army boot

War, hiking, army and people concept – close up of soldier’s foot in army boot

Being on your toes equals being ready, like a racer itching for that gun to go off. It means you’ll have a proper response no matter what happens, and that’s what prepping is all about for me.

Your feet are a crucial bug-out tool

Benjamin Franklin said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

As I see it, a large part of prepping IS preventing. Not to mention there is no “cure” when bad times catch you with your pants down.

Bottom line – no matter how good of your bug out plan is and how safe your potential refuge is if your feet can’t take you there. So, let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.

What to look for

Good tactical boots should keep all feet maladies at bay (blisters, plantar fasciitis, sore spots…); protect you from the elements, the surrounding terrain and possible toxic spills. They should feel like second a skin whether you’re darting through a concrete city labyrinth or taking a slow rural hike to your shelter for bugging out.

Most importantly, they must be a good fit to your scenarios, so what we’ll do in this guide is go through the types of tactical boot and analyze the potential scenarios and surroundings it’s right for.

Human foot pain with the anatomy of a skeleton foot

Human foot pain with the anatomy of a skeleton foot

With those criteria in place, we can tackle tactical boot types and situations they “live for”.

Let your tactical boots “rise to the occasion”

Military or tactical boots have gone a long way from combat hotspots around the globe to civilian feet.

Well known for their rugged build, they offer superb protection without sacrificing the functionality. They were made to fit the needs of soldiers/marines in terms of war and that speaks volumes about why they should be one of the paramount of your bug out plans.

Let’s go over basic types…

Standard issue tactical boots

This combat boot is manufactured from waterproof, hardened leather. It’s designed for extra ankle and foot stability on the nasty terrain, encountered often during training or combat. They also offer good foot protection and grip.

Image3_standard_issue_boot

The first known combat boot comes from foot soldiers of Ancient Rome. Their hobnail boots were named caligae.

In the USA, infantry regiments of the war of 1812 wore calf-high combat boots. Until American Civil War, ankle-high boots made of lasts were issued. There was no left or right boot, rather, they molded to the feet of the wearer over time. Needless to say, they were a pain to wear. Jeff Davis boots were introduced in 1858, and that’s where our story really begins.

These would be your jack-of-all-trades among tac boots. They’ll do just fine if your main concern is dreadful terrain standing between you and safety.

Jump boots

Standard gear for airborne forces and paratroopers, they were first introduced during WW2.

The US Original M1942 “Parachute Jumper” featured reinforced, rigid toe caps and extended lacing. This was aimed at providing better support for toes and ankles during rough landings. They’re often laced in cobweb or ladder style for even more ankle support.

Image4_jump_boot

They were developed simultaneously in numerous countries, but as far as the USA goes, it all starts with William P. Yarborough. He designed them for 501st Parachute Test Battalion in 1941.

As far as prepping goes, these will offer excellent protection from rugged, uneven terrains that’ll cause you to jump constantly from one area to the next. They’ll be lifesavers if your bug out includes a parachute jump and terrible if you take off on a longer march. They are heavier and less flexible than standard issue, especially if they’re cold or still breaking in.

Tanker boots

They saw mass production back when George S. Patton was still a captain.

Their main thing is using straps instead of laces. That made sure nothing will get caught into the moving parts of the machinery. It also comes handy when you’re sprawling through dense bushes or area filled with tree roots and branches.

Image5_tanker_boot

They’re almost fireproof, so if high temperatures are a part of the scenario… The material is leather, so toxic chemicals won’t reach your feet in case of a spill.

They feature gusseted tongue, so no debris will get inside. Steel toe guards are also there for extra protection paired with steel or plastic guards for shank and heel. Metal inserts are in the sole ensuring perfect pierce resistance.

Tactical boots for extreme weather

War is always about location, reaction time and preparedness. Here are some combat boots that’ll give you an upper hand when temperatures go sky-high or sub-zero.

Jungle Boots – Made before WW2 in Panama. They weigh aprox. 3lbs and were designed for optimal drainage while keeping insects, sand and mud out. They don’t keep the water out but drain it through the eyelets and dry up really fast afterward.

They saw the battlegrounds of WW2, Vietnam, 1st Indochina war, Operations Iraqi Freedom, Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom…

Image6_jungle_boots

So, if you’re running for your life through jungle-like areas, these are your ticket out. They’ll also do nicely in cold weather since you’ll be insulated from the ground by breathable insoles.

Desert boots – An improvement on Saudi Arabia recipe made by Norman Schwarzkopf.

They are made of rough suede and feature nylon siding and laces. The thread pattern is Panama-styled. There are no steel plates or drainage vents, which prevents heat retaining and sand from getting in.

Image7_desert_boots

Iraq and Afghanistan come to mind as perfect examples where US forces used these.

They’ll keep you running in high temperatures without much maintenance. Bottom line, if desert or some tropical areas are your bug out chess board, these are the way to go.

Military boots for extreme cold- There’s not a single positive way cold weather affects our feet. Plenty of negative ones, though.

This is where we want proper insulation provided by GoreTex. It’s a waterproof Teflon-coated membrane with microscopic pores for breathability.

They can also feature insulating layers made of wool, rubber or felt, depending on the model and purpose.

Let’s wrap up this run down of tactical boots

I learned a long time ago that ill-preparedness always gives birth to despair once the disaster strikes; it doesn’t care whether you’re counting on it or not or whether you’re ready or not. It just happens.

I’ll leave you with one of the great truths of life: “Unspectacular preparation is always followed by spectacular achievements”.

Stay safe

 

Smart Ways To Use Salt

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Can you think of the innumerable ways in which salt can be used?  Salt has been used for preservation for as long as mankind can remember. In olden days, this lessened the dependence on seasonal foods and also provided convenience when travelling long distances. Ancient Greeks employed salt for the treatment of skin lesions, as an expectorant – inhaling the steam from salty water to relieve respiratory diseases and drinking salty water for curing digestive complaints. However, salt was difficult to obtain, but with the modern day production methods, salt is the most easily available and inexpensive non-metallic mineral, in fact the supply of salt is almost inexhaustible.

There are a vast variety of chemical compounds called “salts” but here when we talk of common salt, we refer to the good old most common form of salt-sodium chloride, an ionic compound with the formula NaCl. Salt, nowadays, is available in many forms like unrefined salt (rock salt), refined salt (table salt), iodized salt (for treatment of goiter), and kosher salt (crystal form). Sodium Chloride is responsible for the salinity of the water bodies, the seas and the oceans; and a constituent of the extracellular fluid of multicellular organisms. It has a vital role in regulating many bodily functions such as maintaining blood pressure, prevent muscle cramps, for maintaining the electrolyte balance in the body, for transmission of nerve impulses and to prevent osteoporosis.

Let’s take a look at the ways to use salt in everyday life:

  • Cleaning:

Salt works as a gentle yet effective scouring agent and serves as a catalyst for other agents like vinegar for boosting cleaning and deodorizing actions. A paste made with lots of salt, baking soda and dish soap can be used to clean porcelain, glass, enamel and appliances.

Salt can be used to effectively clean

  • Sink drains
  • Stained tea and coffee cups
  • Greasy stains from pans
  • Refrigerators
  • Brass/copper pots
  • Remove rust
  • Your coffee percolator
  • Oven spills
  • Sponges and sanitize them
  • A cutting board
  • Your fish tank
  • The iron’s metal base

  • Personal care:
  • Salt can be used to clean teeth- salt and baking soda.
  • Prevent mouth abscesses, canker sores and sore throats.
  • Soothe a bee sting or a mosquito bites or to treat poison ivy-it helps relieve the inflammation and allergic reaction.
  • Extends toothbrush life
  • Helps remove dandruff before shampooing
  • Exfoliates skin-massage with dry salt just after a shower.
  • Freshens breath-use equal amounts of salt and baking powder and rinse.
  • Keep the smell off shoes by using salt to absorb the moisture.
  • Reduce eye puffiness-apply a cotton pad soaked in salty water and keep it on the eyes.

 

  • Laundry:
  • Salt can be used to wipe out stubborn stains like wine spills from carpets, tablecloths or clothes.
  • Suppresses suds if too much detergent is used.
  • Remove blood, and perspiration stains
  • Brightens colored clothes
  • Set color of clothes if the dye may run.
  • Prevent clothes from freezing on the clothesline in winter.
  • Brighten linens that are yellowing.

  • In the kitchen:

In addition to adding flavor to food, salt has many other uses in the kitchen:

  • Speeds up cooking time especially when boiling
  • Prevents grease splatters
  • Revives overcooked coffee.
  • Sets poached eggs
  • Prevents fruits like apples from browning
  • Can be used for testing egg freshness
  • Remove odor from hands
  • Extend cheese life
  • Keeps salad crisp,
  • Make delicious brine pickles
  • Helps peel walnuts and pecans more easily
  • Keeps milk fresh
  • Used to whip cream and beat eggs
  • Pick up spilled eggs
  • Scrub off burned milk

 

  • Around the house:
  • Keep away ants: Just sprinkle a little salt on their path.
  • Kills weeds that may grow in between blocks or bricks in your driveway or patio.
  • Kills poison ivy
  • Salt can be used to drip-proof candles
  • Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a little salt to the water in the vase.
  • Kills slugs and snails
  • Salt can be used to clean dust and debris from artificial flowers
  • It helps extinguish grease fires
  • Can be used to extend broom life
  • Fireplace cleaning can be eased by using a little salt.
  • Keep windows and windshields frost free.
  • Salt can reduce the flare up of flames and smoke in barbeque grills.
  • Holding artificial flowers in place while arranging.
  • Remove watermarks from wood.
  • Keeps away fleas- wash your doghouse with it.
  • Cleans flower pots residue
  • Salt decreases the melting point of ice- sprinkle a little salt before clearing driveways and sidewalks with a shovel.

 

By James Smith

James Smith is an avid prepper and a homesteader. He loves to write about prepping and natural living. Follow@JamesSmith1609 for more updates.

The post Smart Ways To Use Salt appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

The Advantages In Using Electric Fence As Your First Line Of Defense

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When it comes to your personal protection and the protection of your property, is there such a thing as “too much”? Hard to say really. But if you have the time and the means, you should spear no expense in securing your home. Sure, having you very own machinegun turrets installed on the lawn would be excessive indeed, not to mention illegal. But luckily there are other ways in securing a perimeter, and they’re far less expensive than advanced military technology. Building a fence around the area you’re trying to protect is the way to go; and nothing would be more efficient than your very own electric fence system. Electric fences are less obvious than barbed wire and more efficient, as they can deliver quite a punch to anything and anybody that dare to intrude on your property. To be more precise, the system uses alternative current (A.C.), and via a transformer,turns it into electric pulses. A mechanical trigger is activated when something comes in contact with the wires and the current is released immediately. The current shoots out the power terminal, goes through the wires as high voltage electric pulse (can go as high as 10.000 V) and it’s picked up by a second terminal, which consists of a rod (mostly copper) that’s implanted in the ground. Such fences are highly used today in agriculture (they deliver mild, discomforting shocks to keep animals away) or in prisons (where voltages are lethal).

 

Such technology is available for everybody who takes prepping and personal safety to the next level. And believe it or not, installing an electric fence has its own advantages over more traditional methods. If done right, you won’t be sorry won’t went for an electric fence instead of barbed wire or anything else. And here’s a list of reasons as to why.

 

  1. Electric fences are cheaper than traditional fences

Believe it or not, it’s true. The materials are cheaper to buy and the installation process will be cheaper as well. This is because an electric fence requires a lesser quantity of wires and fewer posts as opposed to traditional fencing methods. It’s not meant to be strong and withstand mechanical forces, but rather cover a big enough area to stop all sorts of intrusions. It may be frailer than barbed wire, but it will do some much more than scratch the surface of your skin; it can make you wish you’d never been born.

  1. Electric fences are easier to install

Because the key components are fewer and lighter, you can install your electric fence by yourself, although I’d advice against it. But even if you plan on doing it yourself, make sure you know what you’re doing. The materials aren’t that heavy, not even the posts, so the installation will go faster than if you’d be installing a traditional fence, where you’d need to dig holes. The thin electric fence poles require no such effort from your part; just take them out and stick them in the ground.

 

  1. Electric fence systems are easily maintained and modified

The system will require very little attention from your part. Just pay some attention to the battery system and the console from time to time, to make sure that everything is working properly. Also, they should be kept clean and dry at all times to avoid unwanted electric discharges and system shutdown. The wires require no maintenance, unless the fence has been hit or damaged in one way or another. Because it has fewer and lighter elements compared to a regular fence, you can modify the structure with ease. You can add or take out poles in a matter minutes.

  1. Electric fences are more efficient overall

The intensity of the electric discharge is customizable, depending of the types of charge you’re using, but also on the materials that the fence is made up of. Barbed wire can be easily cut and taken down by perpetrators, and once the fence is gone, the way is clear. Electric fences can’t be cut, as they’ll release thousands of Vs when the cutting tool comes in contact with the wire. So not only is it hard to go around, but it’s also very hard to interact with a fully charged electric system without getting the shock of a lifetime.

Of course there are some things to keep in mind and consider before installing you very own electric fence. The systems are effective, but you’ll need to keep the area around the fence as clean as possible at all times, so that nothing’s growing in the vicinity of the wires. Growing plants could complicate the situation, so make sure there are none close to the wires.

Thunderstorms could also spell trouble, as the electric discharges could shut the fence down. But repairing the electric fence shouldn’t be much harder then installing it, so that’s a plus. To make it even more effective, you could conceal it, so whoever is trying to breach your “fortress” will get a nasty surprise. However, most states have very specific laws regarding electric fencing visibility and signaling. So do some research and stay out of trouble.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

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4 Unconventional Uses For Mustard

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Mustard is a great addition to anybody’s kitchen. Not only is it a potent ingredient that will better the taste of pretty much anything it touches (almost anything), but it’s also very healthy. It’s very rich in selenium, nutrients and antioxidants, making it reputable for combating inflammations and relaxing muscles. A single teaspoon of yellow mustard seeds packs about 85mg of omega 3 fats (the good type of fat), 25mg of potassium (K), 29mg of phosphorus (P), 18mg of calcium (Ca) and about 10mg of magnesium (Mg). With so many beneficial elements, no wonder people have been consuming it since antiquity. To Romans were the first to add the mustard seed to their diet, by mixing the ground mustard seeds with wine; the overall result was a condiment which was vastly used in Roman cuisine. The Egyptians saw it also a symbol of good fortune, so they tossed mustard seeds in the tombs of the pharaohs, so they’d have good luck in their next life. The medicinal benefits however, were fully understood later on, in medieval times. The French monks used a mustard-based paste, which was used in treating many ailments: it was used for back pain and muscular relief, for toothaches, as digestive stimulant, for improving blood circulation and clearing up the sinuses. As you can see, it’s an all-purpose tool, and next, I’m going to explain further uses for mustard.

1. Smell Remover

The potent and active enzymes found in mustard will take out any unwanted odor from almost anything. Whether it’s sweat, food smells or even the smell of some disappointing perfume or fabric softener, worry not! Just make a mixture out of 3 gallons of hot water and 1 – 2 cups of dried mustard. Mix it well and add some to a spray bottle. You can spray you car tires, the rims, the underbody of the car, the trunk and the car mats. After the bad smell is gone, you can spray with water and clean with a piece of dry cloth. You could also try spraying the solutions on smelly pieces of clothing, but mustard spots are ussualy very tricky to remove.

2. Natural weedwacker

If you have your very own garden and you’re reluctant to using chemical agents in dealing with your weed problem, you’ll be glad to know that mustard is the eco-friendly way of getting the job done. If you want to, you can event plant mustard every here and there, but I’s even easier to scatter mustard seeds all around the garden. When the mustard seeds come in direct contact with the soil, they’ll discharge some specific nutrients. These nutrients make the soil hostile territory for all sorts of weeds; you’ll reduce your weed problem dramatically. However, mustard can be detrimental to some plants that you might not want gone from your garden, so do some reading on the subject a bit.

3. Burn relief

Mustard works really well on relieving the pain caused by burning accidents, no matter how deep the burn. The first thing you’ll need to do is to get your burned area under cold, running, water. This will alleviate some of the initial stinging sensation and will also clean the burned area. After 20 – 30 seconds, stop the “water treatment” and grab a hold on the jar of mustard. Any type of mustard will do, just spread some all over the burned area and wait a few seconds. The pain should cease in a matter of seconds. Keep in mind though that this is a temporary pain relief solution, not a treatment; you should get yourself
checked by a doctor a.s.a.p. to avoid complications.

4. Emergency dishwashing soap

If you’re run out of dishwashing soap or liquid and you still have tons of dishes to do, once again you can turn to mustard. No need in making that extra trip to the market; if you have some mustard powder (paste works too) and some baking soda, you’re fine. Just add the two together (2 parts mustard, 1 part baking soda) and mix them up. Apply the resulting mix on the dishes (which have been previously washed with water) and let it sit for 5 – 7 minutes. Once the time is up, simply rinse them with water. You’ll be amazed at how sparkly they’ll be!

I am sure that you’ve understood by now the importance of having some mustard around the house, be it paste, powder or seeds. Mustard van do so much more than making your hotdogs tastier, it will get you out of all sorts of predicaments.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

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The Importance Of A Pocket Chainsaw For Surviving

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I am well aware of the fact that most of us that deal with prepping and take surviving in a SHTF situation seriously are familiar with the pocket chainsaw. Many of us have repeatedly used one, no doubt about that. And with good reason too. The motorized chainsaw is an essential tool to have around the house. It requires very little effort from your part when it comes to cutting down trees or chopping wood (mainly). The chainsaw comes in a lot of shapes and sizes and make the work as easy as possible; all it asks in return is fuel and occasional maintenance. But no matter how efficient it is in a day-to-day situation, it’s not very reliable when it comes down to a survival scenario. The fuel it requires will stop being a commodity and will become harder and harder to find; same goes for the oil and other parts that are required for maintenance. Fortunately, there’s an alternative available. It’s called the pocket saw, and it’s basically a chain similar to that of a chainsaw, but it has 2 handles attached at each end. This gadget will require a lot more effort from your part in cutting wood, as you’ll need to become the engine that drives the chain; but it’s the best option you got. And if some manual labor doesn’t scare you, it will be extremely efficient in a survival scenario, when you’ll need to cut wood for building a shelter, firewood or surpassing and obstacle that might be in your way.

The Chainmate pocket chainsaw

This particular pocket chainsaw is one of the simplest and easy to use models that are available on the market. Just because it’s simple, doesn’t mean it’s not efficient. It has a bi-directional carbon steel chain which is pretty resistant and comes in 3 sizes: the 24 inch version, a longer 36 inch version and the longest, the 48 inch version. Because the chain is made from carbon steel and the teeth are thinner than those of a regular pocket chainsaw, the product is overall lighter than its counterparts. Although the chain is not as polished and refined as what you get from its counterparts on the market, it will do its job. Just make sure you keep it lubricated at all times; spraying it with WD40 will do. The handles are simplistic, made up from a tough fiber. They’re not very refined either, but they’re strong and require very little to no maintenance at all. The down side is that they will become very uncomfortable on the hands after using them for 10 – 15 minutes, so wearing a pair of gloves and wrapping the handles in a soft cloth would be a good idea. Careful with the cloth wrapping though; it may cause the grip to break and you’d end up hurting yourself. The Chainmate pocket chainsaw should cost around $20 – $25 and as a bonus, you also get a pouch made from the same materials as the handles; it’s rough, but tough.

The Supreme Products pocket chainsaw

The pocket chainsaw put out by Supreme Products also has a bi-directional chain, but what makes it stand out is that the product is modular. The saw can be detached from the handle, and if stored in its box, it weighs only 4 ounces and it can easily be fitted safely inside any pocket. The chain is made of carbon steel that has been coated with an anti-rusting agent. The blade is 28 inches long and the teeth are placed every 1/4 of an inch. At each end of the saw you get a stainless steel hook, to which you can attach the plastic handles, which are more comfortable than the handles made out of fiber, especially when you’ll be using the saw for longer period of time. The purpose of making this chainsaw modular is that you can add extension if you want to rich high limbs; just add as much rope as you like in-between the hooks and the handle. It’s very reliable and sturdy, easy to carry and to assemble and because the blade cuts both ways, you can go through a 3-inch diameter limb in about 10 – 15 seconds. Getting one won’t cost you more than $21.

The SaberCut pocket chainsaw

The SaberCut is released by Ultimate Survival Technologies and it’s a very efficient and qualitative tool. The 24 inch blade is bidirectional, cutting both ways easily because it’s very flexible and durable. The saw weighs in at about 4.5 ounces. It’s one of the easiest-to-maintain pocket chainsaws I ever came across. The teeth are self cleaning and they can easily be sharpened with a standard 1/8 chainsaw sharpener. The handles are made from the same material as the pouch it comes with, which is pretty durable and strong enough. Although this particular saw is not modular, you can always add as much length as you want tying cord to the handles. Not only is the SaberCut efficient and trustworthy, but it’s also one of the cheapest pocket chainsaws you can find, as it costs no more than $11.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

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The Best Natural Antiseptics You Can Use In A Survival Scenario

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When finally SHTF and the whole world falls apart, surviving each day at a time will be the key issue, as I have stated so many times before. Apart from staying safe and getting the right resources as far and food and water goes, keeping healthy will be just as important. I’ve advised you time and time again on being vigilant and avoid accidents at all costs, as have I advised you on keeping the right supplies in your personal survival medical kit. But as far as medical supplies go, they’ll run out eventually. And vigilance just won’t be enough to stop accidents from happening entirely. When it comes down to it, you’ll need to improvise, and fast. No matter what type of accidents we’re talking about, be it a minor one (a bruise, a cut, bug bites etc.) or a more serious injury (burns, fractures etc.), a real important part of the treatment is avoiding infection. For such occasions you’ll need to have antiseptics in hand. They are substances (that come in liquid, powder or ointment form) and get applied locally to help prevent infection, sepsis (harmful bacteria and toxins) and even putrefaction. Medical kits usually have Betadine (aka. Povidone-iodine), which is one of the best medical products when it comes to fighting off infection. But if you don’t happen to have any, there is still plenty of substitutes you can you use. Let’s have a look at what they are.

1. Mouthwash

You might have run out of Betadine, but if you still have some mouthwash lying around, you should be set. If you have a mouthwash that is set on fighting plaque and gingivitis, it should be able to do the same with any sort of pathogens that tend to build up on an open wound. Most of the products in this category have substances like zinc chloride, cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine (available by prescription) etc., that are nothing else but antiseptic agents. If it’s set to fight off germs in your mouth, it should do the same for cuts, bruises and flesh wounds.

2. Lemon juice

For those of you that have a high tolerance to pain, you can use lemon juice, or even better, lime juice to disinfect and clean open wounds. But be advised that the stinging sensation will be intense. Not only will lemon juice kill off potentially harmful bacterial agents, but it will also stops the bleeding. The juice is effective against pathogens thanks to its acidic properties that act like an alcohol-based disinfectant: it kills of germs, it cleans the wound and it dries up the area all in one swoop. If you can stand the pain, it’ll be worth it. But be advised, excessive use can damage healthy cells as well.

3. Garlic

Garlic is known to be one of the most potent natural antiseptics across many cultures throughout the world. But in order for it to work, the wound needs to have stopped bleeding. Once the bleeding stops, clean the afflicted area with water and gently dry it off with a clean piece of cloth. The garlic can be crushed and applied directly or you can make a concoction by adding red wine. Let it sit for 3 – 4 hours and apply to the wound. However, garlic can be damaging to the skin, so don’t leave it more than 25 minutes at a time.

4. Potatoes

I bet not many of you knew that potatoes have a natural ability of healing open wounds. Well, they do. And it’s all based on their ability to attract and draw out all sorts of infections. The first thing you’ll need to do is to shred a potato or two and spread them over a thin, clean cloth. Add this to the wound and let it sit for 5 hours at a time. When changing your potato bandage with a fresh one, you’ll need to clean the wound with some salt-water. Potatoes will keep the inflammation to a minimum and will keep pathogens at bay.

5. Chamomile

Chamomile is an ancient cure for so many ailments, that its notoriety has lasted through the ages. The plant’s dried flowers contain high levels of flavonoids and terpenoids that make it one of the most curative plants to have been discovered. If chamomile-based ointments or medicine isn’t available, you can easy get some tea bags or simply find fresh flowers, dry them and make them into tea. Once the tea is done, get a clean cloth and soak it in. Drain the excess liquid and apply directly on the wound; if you have chamomile tea bags, even better, as they’ll contain plant parts which will speed up the healing process even more.

6. Cayenne pepper

The Cayenne pepper works amazingly as open-wound treatment. Not only does it have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, but it also stops the bleeding in a heartbeat, as it makes the blood clot way fast than normal. The bleeding of a superficial wound should cease in about 15 seconds after the pepper was added; if the wound is more severe, drink the concoction made up of 8oz water + 1oz cayenne pepper daily. This will help you cause.

7. Pine sap + needles

The pine sap is considered as one of the most easily procured natural antiseptics there are. If you happen to have some pinesin you vicinity, getting some sap will be child’s play. Look on the body of the tree for lumpy formations. They or sap pockets witch you can easily pop or stick with your knife. Once the sap is out, simply take it and spread it over the wound. If you wish to strengthen the effect of the sap, you can grab some pine needles to snack on. They are edible and also have mild antiseptic properties.

8. Cactus bandages

This is the best option for all you desert-dwellers out there. The prickly pear cactus (Oputia sp.) has flat round pads, which have excellent antiseptic and astringent properties. Grab a pad and either split it in half or peel it. Place it directly over the wound, but assure yourself you have removed those pesky needles first. You can let it sit, even secure it with a gauze. The cactus will speed up the healing process.

Whether you’ll need to resort to such improvisations or not, is hard to tell. But if it ever comes down to it, at least you won’t have to endure a slow and painful death caused by infection. Nature is lending us a hand every here and there, just keep your eyes open.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post The Best Natural Antiseptics You Can Use In A Survival Scenario appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

How To Treat A Burn Victim In A Survival Scenario

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The danger of getting burned is ever-present in our day to day lives. Whether we’re talking about a minor burn caused by carelessness or a severe degree burn caused by an unfortunate event, it’s important to know how to react in such a situation. Most of us have already dealt with burning injuries at least once in their lifetime, so the sensation and the gravity of the matter is known to most people. We’re not lacking in the health department in this day and age; there’s plenty of doctors and clinics out there that are able and equipped to deal with burn victims. Even if they’re not immediately available, medicine is widely available and many people already have their stock set aside for darker days. But what happens in TEOTWAWKI situation, when medical care and supplies won’t simply be available anymore? In this case, it’s important to know how to treat a burn victim and to improvise as best as we can in order to save one’s life.

The first thing we’ll need to asses in a burning accident is how much of the overall body surface has been affected by the burn. People that have less than 20% of their body’s surface affected by 2nd and 3rd  burns are not facing direct life threats (although the danger of infection and complications is still present); 1st degree burns do not pose a life threat, as the skin is not significantly affected. But those who have suffered. This is easily calculated by using the rule of nines, according to whom the surfaces on the human adult body are as follows: head = 9%, chest (front) = 9%, abdomen (front) = 9%, upper/mid/lower back & buttocks = 18%, arms (each) = 9%, palm (each) = 1%, groin = 1%, legs (each) = 18% (front = 9% + back = 9%).  For children, the numbers are as follows: head = 18%, chest (front) = 9%, abdomen (front and back) = 9%, upper/mid/lower back & buttocks = 18%, arms (each) = 9%, palm (each) = 1%, groin = 1%, legs (each) = 14% (front = 7% + back = 7%).

After the affected surface area has been determined, it’s imperative to understand what degree of burn you’re dealing with. As an international convention, burns are split into three distinctive categories:

1st degree burns or mild burns are what happens in the best case scenario. The injury is superficial and the skin is not completely affected. A good example of a 1st degree burn is a nasty case of sunburn. It requires a lesser form of treatment and it’s not life-threatening

2nd degree burns are much more serious and pose a greater threat to general health. They are far more painful as the affliction penetrates far deeper into the skin. If this is the case, it’s recommended you seek medical help, if available.

3rd degree burns are the most severe types imaginable. Because the injury goes so deep into the skin, the pain receptors can be completely destroyed, so they victim might not feel pain at all. If the affected area gets swollen, turns leathery or black, you’re dealing with a 3rd degree burn; as a mentioned before, pain is no longer an indicator. This is an emergency, and you should seek professional help if it’s available, if not, turn to your medical kit.

Before you start applying a treatment, you’ll need to determine the nature of the burn. Various types of burns require different treatments. These are some of the most common causes when it comes to burn injuries and how you should deal with them:

If the victim has been subjected to a flame source, the first step is to take the person away from the fire source and to extinguish his clothes if they’re on fire. Water is the best choice, as this will not only put out the fire, but it will also wash away any remaining pieces of charred clothing. Cold water will cool the burned areas and sooth the pain. Next, remove the clothes, gently tap with a dry and clean piece of cloth and apply any treatment available.

Treating electrical burn victims requires a different approach. In this case, the insides are just as damaged (if not more) than the outside. Electrical current takes a toll mostly on the heart, so before treating burns, check the patient’s vital signs first. You might need to perform CPR before anything else. Once the victim is stabilized, you can proceed to treating the burns.

Chemical burns are also a hazard to take into consideration. Treating skin that’s been exposed to corrosive substances requires a lot of patience. The burned area should be washed with water for about 30 minutes before proceeding to apply any type of ointment. If the area is not cleaned perfectly, the remaining substances will continue to destroy skin cells. After the area has been cleaned, you should double check that the ointment you’re about to apply won’t react with the chemical residue found in the burn.

If medical help is not available and if your personal survival medical kit is depleted, worry not. Luckily you can still improvise burn treatments out of everyday household items. Here are some of the things found around the house that can do wonders in case you’re dealing with burns:

  1. Honey is a fantastic first aid solution when it comes to treating burns. It can also work as a permanent solution, provided you’re in a survival scenario and you happen to have some honey lying around. You should cover the affected surface in honey completely. Next cover the area in a plastic warp. Honey will prevent bacteria from reaching the wound and keep the risk of infection to a minimum. Check the wound daily and apply as much honey as you can spare.
  2. Vinegar can also be used for cleaning the burned area, as it can be used as an antiseptic. Because it’s an acid, the vinegar will sting and add to the burning sensation, but in the process it will clean and sanitize the burned area, killing of any unwanted pathogens that might lead to severe infection. Diluted vinegar is the way to go.
  3. Baking soda works perfectly for treating a burned area. Just add water, turn it into a paste and apply it gently over the burned area. The baking soda will help reduce the swelling and the pain sensation. You can add it to any type of burns EXCEPT chemical burns. It may give an unwanted reaction with the chemical that caused the burn, so avoid using it in this case.

Aiding a burn victim in no easy task, and you should take it seriously. Educate yourself in the field before taking on such a task, as the wrong move might have unwanted consequences. There are many popular treatments that do not give great result, quite the opposite. Burns should be cleaned with cold water, but never ice water. You might have been told at some point to press something cold next to a burn, but you strongly advise you not to. The surface you might be pressing into the burned area might be carrying pathogens that will cause infection. Also egg whites and oil do not work either, so don’t bother. If your hands and fingers have been burned, remove rings and jewelry asap, because burned areas tend to get swollen. Nasty burns will most likely result in enormous blisters; do not pop them! They’re helping the healing process. Popping them may result in infection, pain and permanent trauma.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

 

 

The post How To Treat A Burn Victim In A Survival Scenario appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

How You Can Use Drones In A TEOTWAWKI Scenario

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Drones have been widely available on the market lately and they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors. Many people look at drones and see an over-the-top expensive toy. I, on the other hand, as a prepper, see opportunity. And with good reason. Drones are remote-controlled gadgets, with enough battery autonomy that have cameras attached. No special skills are require to handle your very own drone and you can even pair to your smartphone. You can use drones in a TEOTWAWKI scenario to gather intelligence in your surroundings without being physically present in a possibly hostile territory. Reconnaissance missions will no longer require special preparations, other than that of flying a drone that has a camera attached. The cameras can take high quality pictures and even videos with sound. If you’re smart phone allows it, it can even emit in real time. Many drones have a built-in GPS software that helps them return safely to their launch point, in case radio contact is lost. However, in a survival scenario, the GPS service might not be available, so keep that in mind before taking off.

 

What you need to know about drones

First and foremost they are battery operated. So if you plan on using the drones even when everything falls to bits, you’ll need to ensure you have a recharging station, based on fuel, or even better, solar panels. They are computer and smartphone friendly, which means they have USB ports that allows you to connect your drone to your computer, for easy access and settings; you can even follow the flight path in real time from your smartphone and even adjust camera angles. The flight speed varies from model to model. The average drone flies at about 25 mph, but the more expensive model can reach staggering speeds of even 80 mph. Autonomy and control distance is also variables from one model to the next, but an average fully charged battery gets depleted in about 10 – 30 minutes. There are also gas-powered drones available on the market, their autonomy is superior to the battery operated ones, but they’re also more expensive. A drone can serve many purposes in SHTF situation: scouting and surveillance flights, scouting for wild game and even delivering messages from A to B. On the down side, drones are very visible and can attract unwanted attention. They can be taken down easily or even worse, followed to give away your location. So you’ll need a bit of practice before using it in a critical situation and A LOT of caution.

Some of the best drones that you can buy

The Dromida Ominus FPV is one of the cheapest drones on the market, which is perfect for flight practice. The camera quality is rather good and it has great connectivity to you mobile device. It’s easy to use, has decent autonomy and it can be very fun to fly. For those of you that are looking for a device to get you started in the drone area, look no further. The Dromida Ominus FPV is a resilient little gadget, comes in many colors you can chose from (blue, green red, yellow), is both iOS and Andriod compatible (so you won’t have to change your phone) and costs only $150. If you’re interested in purchasing it, go here.

 

 

The Parrot Bebop drone is possibly the most renowned of the Parrot company and it is a semi-pro drone, meaning it’s considered to sit in between toys and professional drones.  The drone itsef is very lite and incredibly maneuverable, making it easy to fly even in closed spaces or indoors. It support smartphone and tablet connectivity and it comes with two batteries. The battery, if fully charged, should last about 10 – 15 minutes of continuous flight. The on-board camera is decent; it has a resolution of 1080p. The base model comes at about $450, but if you’re willing to spend more you can get the model with the range extension, that will allow it to fly further. For more details, go here.

 

The Yuneec Q500 4K is drone whose popularity is growing steadily amongst the drone enthusiasts thanks to its camera quality. The built in camera has a 4K resolution (4000p), meaning the image quality it offers for both pictures and video is unbeatable. It comes with two batteries and the camera is removable. There’s also a version that comes with a 1080p camera, but the $k version is of course far superior. The controller has an android built into it, so you don’t necessarily have to use your phone or tablet for maneuvering the drone. The model doesn’t have many gadgets and accessories available yet, but it won’t be long before Yuneec releases a bunch, considering how fast this little drone is gaining in popularity. The price is about $1300, and if you’re interested in getting your own, click here.

Getting your very own drone is nowhere near a bad idea. Flying one can be really fun and addictive, so if you’re lacking a serious hobby, drone flying could just fill that void. Enjoy it and practice, you’ll never know when your drone piloting skills will save your neck in a SHTF scenario.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

The post How You Can Use Drones In A TEOTWAWKI Scenario appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

How To Prepare And Survive In Case Of A Hurricane

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The U.S. has had its fair share of hurricanes in these past decades. Hurricanes Sandy, Rita and Katrina have hit pretty hard. They took so many lives and the process and produced massive infrastructural damage. No matter how far we’re willing to go as far as preparations go, we will never be completely safe from nature’s wrath. But every precaution can be a small battle won and +1 when it comes to our chances to survive in case of a hurricane. In order to beat the storm and come out on top, we must understand what a hurricane actually is. Hurricanes are immense storms that cover great areas. Because the winds blow in a swirling motion, powerful air currents are created that can be strong enough to pull out trees out of the ground, lift cars and even lay whole cities to the ground. Wind speed is a major factor in considering how devastating the hurricane is going to be; according to wind speed, hurricanes fall into the following categories:

  • Category 1: winds reach speeds of 74 mph – 95 mph
  • Category 2: winds reach speeds of 96 mph – 110 mph
  • Category 3: winds reach speeds of 111 mph – 129 mph
  • Category 4: winds reach speeds of 130 mph – 156 mph
  • Category 5: winds reach speeds of speeds of over 157 mph

Hurricanes will most likely form over warm ocean surface, and they sometimes have the tendency of going towards land. When this happens, it also sends a wave formation (storm surge) towards land alongside heavy precipitation. These two combined can cause major flooding to urban or rural areas. Even though hurricanes cover large areas at a time, the intensity of the storm is not constant throughout the entire area, but it’s rather varied from zone to zone. Based on intensity, hurricanes are comprised of the following parts:

  • Zone 1: the eye of the hurricane is the portion in the middle of the stormy area (central zone); it’s the zone that’s least affected, where wind and precipitations are at their lowest
  • Zone 2: the eye wall is a circle of thunderstorms that swirl around the central zone (the eye); the wall is where storm activity is at its highest, with heavy precipitations and strong winds
  • Zone 3: rain bands stretch from the eye wall towards the outside; they’re a weaker reflection of the eye wall, comprised of storm clouds, precipitations and possibly tornadoes

 

Preparing for an incoming hurricane

As I’ve said before, there is nothing you can do that is 100% hurricane proof, but every measure of precaution you take might just be enough to save you or your property. First and foremost, my main advice is to consider of building your very own underground bunker or disaster-proof room somewhere in the vicinity of you home and have it filled with as many provisions as you can. Just be sure to consider flooding and the need for oxygen. If such a room would be too much trouble, you can also reinforce a room in the house (possibly the basement), turning it into a safe room and hope for the best. If you want to save as much of your property as possible and limit the damage, cover your windows with special, permanent storm shutters; if you can’t find any in your vicinity, just use some plywood instead. Roof straps will reduce the damage and maintain the structure of the house as whole as possible. Trimming your bushes, trees and shrubs around the house will make them less likely to fly off and damage or even kill somebody; the trimmer they are, the less “grabby” their surface will be when it comes in direct contact with the wind. Rain gutters should be unclogged, in order to fight off flooding.

What to do during the storm

If there’s a massive storm coming your way, you need to stay informed. Follow any sort of alerts and directions the authorities issue on the tv, radio or internet. Secure your house as best as you can by closing all the doors, even those inside the house. The less the air flows through, the safer you’ll be. Any sort of small object left in your shed or front lawn should be moved in the house. If they get picked up the storm, they could become serious projectiles that can do permanent damage or even kill. When the storm hits, turn off all the utilities and keep away from the phone as much as possible. Propane tanks should be switched off, as well as the refrigerator. If things get serious, go to your panic room or your provision room. Keep enough food and water supplies. You cars should be fully fueled, because if the opportunity should arise, you must be able to drive without stopping as far as you possibly can. Also keep cash on you; banking and ATM systems will most probably be shut down. If you’re eager to evacuate, take a moment and think things through; acting on impulse might cost you your life. Wait for things to settle down a bit and listen to the directives given by the local authorities.

Dealing with a hurricane is a stressful and life-threatening situation. Take all the necessary precautions you can in order to limit the damage, but remember that nothing’s more important than saving your life. You safety should come first, before everything else. So if you’re taken by surprise, flee for safety and don’t waste any time in securing your property.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

The post How To Prepare And Survive In Case Of A Hurricane appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

2016 Predictions

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted but thought to come back strong with some 2016 predictions.  Let me know what you think!

1- There will be no economic collapse.  The stock market will not crash, at least not in 2016.

2- Hillary will be president.  Read that again.  Hillary will be president and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.  She has been anointed by TPTB and quite frankly I believe that none of our votes matter, the whole thing is an exercise in futility (read: sham, rigged, smoke and mirrors).  She will advance the agenda, not of the people but of those who are truly in charge.  I should note it is my personal belief that all of the other candidates are assholes and would do no better.  If I am wrong and Trump / Cruz et al gets “elected” we are equally as screwed.  Trump is an elitist D bag of the highest order and if you think he gives a damn about you…

3- Gun Control will move forward slightly and then gain even more traction.  The current President will do what he can with Exec action which probably won’t amount to much, but after bullet point # 2 happens….

4- A run on all things guns and ammo, believe it.  If you don’t have it stock up now, you have been warned.  Once she is elected guns and ammo will fly off the shelves like nothing any of us have ever seen before.

5- Terror attacks.  I hate to say it and I don’t want to believe it but the reality is we as a nation are vulnerable.  Look for more terror attacks by assholes screaming about their god in 2016.

6- People like you and I will take the above into consideration but continue to prep wisely and in moderation.

Any thought to add, leave them in the comment section below.

 

Survival First Aid: Treating Bone Fractures

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Broken bones, fractures and joint injuries are a common thing that happen on a daily basis. We’re only one phone call away from receiving immediate medical assistance if in need. It’s not a life threatening situation in the 21st century, unless there are immediate complications. But what if we happen to brake a hand or a leg in a TEOTWAWKI scenario, where medical assistance will cease to be a commodity and when our very survival will depend on our mobility and full functionality? In case this happens, all is not lost, there are procedures to follow that will get as out of harm’s way. But if the treatment is to be successful, you’ll need to do everything by the book. The first thing to do is to make sure that the injured person’s life is not threatened in any way; once he’s out of harm’s way you can start treating the injury. Once his vital signs have been checked and you’ve concluded that he has been completely stabilized, you can start treating the fracture.

First and foremost, you’ll need to make sure that what you’re dealing with is a fracture and not something else. Most commonly fractures bear the following signs and symptoms: the inability to use or bear weight on the affected body part, severe pain, swelling, deformity, discoloration etc. In some cases, the ones that suffer the injury might even hear a loud cracking noise. In extreme cases, the fracture is so bad that the bone will pierce the flesh. Apart from bone fractures there are other injuries that are easier to treat and not as severe, but can be just as debilitating if left untreated, like muscle strained ligaments and joint dislocations. Fractures can be very tricky and should be approached with care. Many complications can arise (damaged blood vessels, torn muscles, damaged nerves), so minimal and gentle manipulation is imperative. If the affected area becomes swollen, pale, numb and the patient succumbs to shock, it’s probably that an important blood vessel has been damaged, causing internal bleeding. In this case, you should put on hold the fracture treatment and stop the hemorrhaging instead.  The best method of dealing with broken bones is splinting. Many people would advise that the splint should be applied without traction, in the position found, but this would be completely impractical, as the bone should be placed in an anatomically correct position in order to prevent severe pain and loss of function (partial or even complete). So it’s ok to manipulate the fracture gently.

 

Broken legs

You’ll need two forked branches that are strong enough, so you’ll need them to be at least 2 inches in diameter. One should measure the exact distance from the armpit to 12 inches past his broken leg, while the other should measure the distance from the groin to 12 inches past the broken leg. Next you’ll need to pad the splints. The ends that go past the leg (that measure 12 inches past the leg) will get a 2 inch in diameter branch placed in between them. Now the two splints should be tied together accordingly with the splinting guidelines with anything you can get your hands on: cloth, vines, rope etc. With the same material (provided it’s strong enough), tie a wrap around the ankle; the free ends will get tied to the cross member. Finally, add a twisting stick at the free end of the ankle wrap; twisting the wrap will provide traction. Continue twisting until the broken leg is in line with the healthy leg.

 

Broken feet

Splinting a foot will require a piece of long and tough cardboard or plastic. This piece of material should be bent lengthwise so that you get three identical (more or less) segments. You can add cloth or padding on the inner side to add comfort. Place the splint under the foot and the leg, so that it reaches halfway to the knee, yet it goes enough under the foot to immobilize the ankle; once this is done, add some cloth between the ankle and splint. Fold the cardboard around the leg and secure it with some tape.  Now do the same as you did with the ankle for all the empty spaces between the leg and the splint: add cloth. You can reduce swelling and discomfort with ice, but don’t keep it on for longer than 20 minutes.

 

Broken arms

Once the arm is adjusted in its natural position, you should apply the splints. You can use any material as long as it’s hard enough (strong cardboard, sticks, wood etc.) and long enough, so they extend passed the wrist and the elbow. Before the splints go on, wrap the arm in a clean and soft cloth, for comfort more than anything. Once the arm is wrapped, you can wrap the splints as well. The splints should be applied equally when it comes to length; for forearm fractures the splints should go beyond the wrist, while in the case of upper arm fractures, they should extend beyond the elbow. The cloth that holds the splints together should be at least 5 inches before and after the fracture. Don’t tie the bonds too firmly; if you can slip two fingers in, it’s perfect. In order to keep the arm secure and in place, tie a piece of cloth around the neck of the patient and slip the fractured hand in it. The hand should be centered on the sling and it should be at a flat and horizontal position. If the elbow is at a 90 degree angle, you’ve done an excellent job.

 

Broken hands

Securing a broken hand in place will be a bit trickier, as you’ll need a material that is strong and rigid enough to hold the hand in place, yet flexible enough to fold. It should extend from the wrist to the end of the fingers. The hand should be straight and relaxed, with its fingers slightly opened. Place some cloth in the palm of the hand and place the first splint under the wrist, so it extends to the end of the fingers. The splint should be folded up and around the wrist. Tie it together and add tape for extra security. Once you’re done, stuff the open spaces with cloth to increase comfort and firmness.

If you ever find yourself in the posture of treating broken bones or fractures, remember the first thing to do is to keep calm and act with caution. You’ll need to be very aware and have enough knowledge in the matter. You can educate yourself further in anatomy of the limbs and learn a few knots that will secure your splints in place. You can practice these techniques and even take up courses for first aid, so you won’t have to do it for the first time in a SHTF situation.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

The post Survival First Aid: Treating Bone Fractures appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

7 Peculiar Uses For Pepper

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Pepper is a wonderful spice and a well-known ingredient that no respectable household, restaurant or fast food joint can do without. It’s probably the second most used seasoning (second to salt) and it originates from plants included in the Piperaceae family. The common pepper dust or beads come from the plant’s fruits, which are dried, crushed in a fine and spicy dust or simply used whole; the whole dried fruit is known as peppercorn. The usage of pepper in both gastronomy and medicine dates back since antiquity. The term “pepper” is derived from the Dravidian term pippali, which was later turned into peperi by the romans; the used peperi for both the black pepper and the long pepper. In today’s modern languages, the term shifted into pfeffer (German), poivre (French), pepe (Italian), piper (Romanian) and of course pepper (English). What makes pepper on of the most basic spices, that adds flavor and stings the tongue is a certain chemical called piperine.

Pepper’s has a long established reputation in the kitchen, but having some around can solve a lot of problems around the  house. There are many unusual uses for pepper which will give great results. Here’s what you can use it for:

1. Keep ants away

Ants are naturally attracted by sugar compounds, so as long as you give them a reason, they’ll come invading your kitchen or wherever else they might find something sweet to take back to the colony. If you have some pepper in hand, you can sprinkle it every here and there, where you might think I’d get in the ants way. If the ants encounter pepper along their trail, they’ll most likely g thrown off and they’ll turn back.

2. Keep garden parasites at bay

Your garden won’t be safe until you take some measures. Your plants are in danger ever since they begin sprouting; as soon as they’re out, there are all sort of bugs that are ready to feast on the fruits of your labor way before you get to. To keep these pesky parasites away, just mix black pepper and flour (equal parts) and sprinkle the mixture around the plants. This will solve your problem ASAP.

3. Keep away squirrels from the bird feeder

If you have a squirrel problem around the bird feeder, you can solve it by simply adding some cayenne pepper. Sprinkle the spice around the feed, and you won’t see squirrels around ever gain. This won’t bother the birds that have a natural tolerance for the pepper; not only won’t they feel it, but the high amounts of vitamin A found in the pepper will also improve their plumage.

4. Brighten the colors of your clothes

If you wish to keep you clothes looking like new as long as possible or simply bring back to life some of the older clothes with faded colors, you don’t need any fancy and expensive products to get the job done. If you have some pepper around the house, just add a teaspoon of the spicy dust to the wash. The pepper thrown in the mix will keep bright colors as strong as ever and will prevent them from running too.

5. Cure migraines

If you find yourself having a strong headache for no apparent reason, pepper will save the day. Just get a regular glass of water and add half a teaspoon of pepper, mix it up good and drink the concoction. If you have a smaller glass, ¼ teaspoon of pepper will suffice. The migraine should be gone in about 40 minutes, or it should at least be diminished. If in 40 minutes time you haven’t been completely cured, repeat the procedure.

6. Clear up you sinuses

If you’ve caught a nasty cold or if your sinuses are acting up, you can ease up the situation by adding some extra pepper you or meals. Spicy meals will get you well in no time. However, if you’re intolerant to spicy food, there’s another solution for your problems: you can get eucalyptus drops and mix them up liquid pepper; put them in the steamer and they’ll do wonders for your clogged sinuses in no time at all.

7. Detoxify the liver

If you’ve been having liver problems lately or if simply you want to give your liver a hand, you’ll need to mix up the following in a small glass: 1 cup of flat, filtered water; 1 entire lemon (or lime) squeezed; 1 teaspoon of maple syrup (or other natural sweetener) and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. You should have this drink every morning, before breakfast.

Thanks to its natural properties, the common pepper s far more than a simple food spice. It can be used as pest repellant, as a fabric brightener and even as a natural remedy for various afflictions. Having some around the house can be very convenient if you should ever find yourself in the need for any of its uses.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

The post 7 Peculiar Uses For Pepper appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

How To Improvise A Fishing Rod

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Every serious fisherman knows the importance of owning the right fishing rod. Whether you’re fishing for sport or you’re simply trying to feed yourself, there’s no better way than doing it the old fashioned way. But in a SHTF situation (whether you’re lost in the wilderness or you’ve found yourself trapped in an end-of-days scenario) you might not have you trusted fishing rod on you. But you won’t necessarily need to. You’ll need nothing more than a knife; having a small tackle box with the right assortment of hooks and some spool of monofilament will make things easier. If you’re lucky enough to have these items on you, you’ll need to improvise the fishing pole only, which it’ll be more than enough to feed yourself in desperate times. If not, well, you’ll need to improvise the whole thing. The rest of the materials you can easily find in your surroundings. And here’s how to do it.

The pole

The first thing you’ll need to find is the pole; any 6 – 7 foot-long branch will do, as long as it’s no thicker than a human thumb. Once you’ve found the right one, you’ll have to break it off from the tree. Once this is achieved, you’ll need to break it again to the desired length. If it’s dry enough, you can snap it in half against your knee or against any hard surface; but if it’s not dry and it’s still rather flexible, you can try cutting it with the knife. Using dead branches is a bad idea because their durability is very low and break easily. You can test the tip by banding it to the point of snapping. If it snaps, fine; the more it does snap, the stronger the remaining pole gets. As soon as you got the pole to the desired length, use the knife to remove any remaining branches, leaves or shoots. Make it as smooth as possible in order to improve weight and handling.

 

The fishing line

If you happen to have some monofilament fishing like on you, your job gets much easier. If you don’t, sewing thread could get the job done as well. But in sewing thread isn’t an option either, you’ll need to get your hands dirty and look for thin green vines in ground cover or in the undergrowth found around various bushes. The greener the vine, the stronger it will be. If you find a vine that’s about 10 feet, look no further. Remove any tendrils by pulling carefully so you don’t damage the line. For safety, the line should be tied midway down the pole and wrapped as many times as possible towards the tip, where a simple overhand knot will suffice for holding it in place. This way, if the pole breaks, you can immediately catch the line with your hands.

The hooks and the bait

Some professional hooks will work extremely well, provided of course you brought some along. If not, you can always use paper clips, safety pins or soda can tabs. Another viable option is to carve your very own V-shaped hooks out of wood (green wood preferably). A one end you’ll need to carve a groove, in the hook-eye area. This will allow you to tie fishing line onto. As bait you can use pretty much any insect you can get your hands on. The easiest things to get are the earthworms, which can be found underground, under rocks, around moss and in other moist areas. Once you’ve baited the hook, you’re pretty much ready to go. From here on in it’s all about patience and skill.

When it comes to fishing is a SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, fishing areas are very important. It’s absolutely necessary to procure the maximum amount of fish with as little resources as possible. So it’s not all about the gear that you have or that you’ve crafted. It’s just as important to know where, when and how to fish. If you’re fishing in stagnant waters, you’ll need to go after still pools. The stillness of the water will make the bait as visible as possible, thus increasing your chances of catching something fast. When it comes to running waters, the area behind exposed boulders would be the best location to catch anything, as fish have a tendency of gathering in such places. You might also want to consider bank fishing, as standing on the water’s edge can also be a very productive fishing method.

As you can see, improvising and entire fishing pole is a rather difficult task, but not impossible to achieve. As previously stated, having line and hooks on you will spare you a lot of trouble. But if not, you’ll just need to put some extra effort into it. Just follow all the steps and you’ll have your DIY fishing rod in no time.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post How To Improvise A Fishing Rod appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

How To Stop Excessive Bleeding In A Survival Situation

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Everybody who has been following my writings or has some clue about who I am and what I “preach”, will have an idea of how much I advocate safety before anything else. I’ve talked many times before about the importance of having the right stuff and a personalized medical kit for and emergency situations, be it for TEOTWAWKI or simply for everyday life situations. But even though you might plan things in advance, the outcome of a situation can change unexpectedly. You might find yourself in need of medical assistance and have no professional products at your disposal. This is where you’ll need to improvise and fast. Open wounds and cuts are some of the most common injuries that usually occur. Find out how to stop excessive bleeding because will be imperative to reduce health risks as much as possible. Luckily there are plenty of methods to reduce hemorrhaging that don’t require special bandages and other products that are usually found in a professional medical kit. Here are some of the best methods to get the job done.


Applying direct pressure on the wound

Stopping the heavy blood flow by applying a piece of cloth (or pretty much anything else that can stop the blood flow) directly on the gush will be your first instinct. And you wouldn’t be wrong. Any type of cloth or cloth-like material will do. In some cases, if the situation is desperate enough, you can even apply direct pressure with your hand. Using a sterile cloth would be preferable sure, but in a life-threatening scenario pathogens are the least of your worries. Infections are risk factor beyond the shadow of a doubt, but it will take some time (days, even weeks) to set in and become a real problem. But blood drains really fast, especially if the wound is deep enough. You can die in a matter of minutes, considering the average adult male has a volemy (total blood volume) of about 5l, while the average female has 4,5l. So if SHTF, stopping the blood loss is top on the priority list.


Using pressure points

If applying direct pressure on the open wound fails and the blood loss can’t be stopped, you’ll need to take the technique a step further and resort to applying pressure on the nearest artery. The key is to press the artery against the bone in order to reduce blood flow; the main idea is to compress the artery that correlates the heart with the open wound. If you do the technique right, the blood transported from the heart to the affected area will be stopped in its tracks, hence the bleeding will cease. There are many pressure points on the human body for stopping massive hemorrhaging but the main two are the brachial artery (the primary pressure points for the arms) and the femoral artery (the primary pressure point for the arms). The brachial artery is placed a few inches below the armpit area, on the inside of the upper arm, somewhere in between the biceps and triceps muscles. Feel for the pulse; once you’ve got it, apply pressure with 3 fingers. The femoral artery is located on the inside of the thigh, in the groin area; it’s pretty deep in, so you’ll need to use a bit of force to actually apply enough pressure to stop the bleeding. Once the bleeding has stopped, do not apply pressure on the artery for longer than 3 – 5 minutes.


Applying a tourniquet

This method is probably the most efficient method in stopping heavy blood flow, but it should be used as a last resort only, as it can cause irreparable damage. It reduces the blood loss entirely, but it also prevents the oxygenation of the affected area and of all the living tissue below the pressure point. This could cause permanent damage or even the loss of the limb in question, so apply the tourniquet only if there is no other option available. You can improvise a tourniquet out of pretty much everything, whether it’s a belt, a hose or a folded piece of cloth (never wires or thin ropes). The contraption should be placed between the heart and the open wound, more precisely a few inches above the gush. Just make a simple knot, push a stick through it and tighten firmly by twisting. Loosen the tourniquet every 20 minutes to check if the bleeding stops. Once the hemorrhaging stops, apply direct pressure on the wound and ice packs (if available).


Astringent plants

Once again, Mother Nature comes to save the day. If you find yourself in a desperate situation, you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of plants you can grow (and find) that will do wonders for excessive and periodical bleeding. Once you’ve treated and open wound, you can always use prepare a mixture of concoction to fix the problem from “the inside” as well. Here are some of the most important and easy to use plant

Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum minimum) – this pepper is recommended for external use; dry them up and grind them in a thinpowder, that you can use on open wounds to stop the bleeding

Plantain (Plantago sp.) – it’s mostly used against superficial cuts; you can use the leaves to make salves, juices or even tea

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) – it’s an excellent astringent and aids blood clotting; you can make a tea from both leaves and flower heads (fresh or dry)

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) – as far as internal use goes, the witch hazel can be brewed into a tea that does wonders for internal bleeding, especially for the stomach and bowels

You should be very vigilant when treating a deep open wound. It’s preferable to have a professional medical kit at your disposal, but if for some reason or another you won’t, at least you know the alternatives. Respect these techniques, and if there’s ever the need for it, you’ll save lives.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

 

The post How To Stop Excessive Bleeding In A Survival Situation appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

The Best Types Of Camouflage Gear For Survival Situations

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If you ever find yourself on the brink of existence, struggling for your very life (in your own home or in hostile territory), or you’re simply hunting for sport, your greatest asset you can bring to the table is the element of surprise. Not being detected depends a lot on you moving silently and cautiously, but you’ll need to make your presence as hard to detect as possible. Wearing the right type of camouflage gear for survival in the right settings can make you virtually impossible to spot, provided you don’t attract any unwanted attention to yourself. To my surprise, I’ve noticed that many preppers don’t know much about camouflage patterns, which could be very detrimental in a survival situation. If you’re hunting, you risk getting seen by the prey; it flees, and you remain hungry. But in the case of a combat / war / invasion scenario, wearing the wrong type of camo could get you captured, tortured and ultimately killed.  There are plenty of manufacturers that produce a lot of patterns, so there’s plenty of variety to be ha when choosing your gear; and this is some of the best gear the market has to offer.

 

Multicam

The MultiCam pattern is probably the least specialized camouflage pattern you’ll find. As most patterns tend to work specifically well in particular surrounding, the multicam is based on the “one size fits all” idea, meaning that it was designed to keep you out of sight in most (if not all) situations and environments. The design is similar to classic camouflage models, but it will do well in many settings and scenarios; it’s hard to detect even in nightvision mode. Check out some multicam gear here.

 

 

Realtree XTRA

Realtree XTRA is one of the most versatile camouflage patterns ever produced. The pattern itself combines the images of various natural elements (tree trunks, tree branches, vines, leaves etc.) in order to create a very complex final result; the 3D effect the Realtree XTRA creates is amazing and it works in a lot of natural surroundings and it can fool all the eyes that are out scouting for you, be it man or animal. Get it here.

 

Realtree MAX-5

This type of camo gear is excellent for those that find themselves for some reason or another (whether hunting water fowls or escaping some sort of search party) mash-like zone, mud flats, prairies or agricultural fields. The camo pattern itself is very efficient in these types of surroundings, creating a great deal of depth that breaks the outline and makes you virtually part of the scenario. If you want to find out more about it or if you want to buy your very own MAX-5, try here.

 

 

Vertigo Grey

The Vertigo Grey camo pattern is undoubtedly the way to go for those of you that hunt or seek sanctuary in elevated blinds. Your whole silhouette will fade in the natural surroundings, as the pattern that consists of colors that mimic the sky, branches and leaves can render virtually invisible to any animal that man that happens to pass by. Stand perfectly still and quiet, and whoever is out to get you won’t even notice you’re there. If it’s the right stuff for you, take a look here.

 

Concealment Open Country (by OptiFade)

The Concealment Open Country camouflage pattern is done by OptiFade but it was the brainchild of W. L. Gore, who had a lot of money on developing a camo pattern based on scientific studies of the animal vision (especially deer). Even if the animal detects movement and sees you, it won’t recognize you as a direct threat for a while, so it gives you a lot of time to react. It’s one of the most efficient lines of clothing for hunters, especially for those that hunt in mountainous areas. If you wish to purchase this type of gear, simply click here.

 

 

Seclusion 3D

This is one of the most intriguing, complex and efficient patterns ever to be created. Cabela’s Seclusion 3D consistsof a multitude of shapes, sizes and various degrees of contrast and focus. Thanks to its complexity, it doesn’t project a two-dimensional scene, but rather a very realistic illusion of depth that will make you very invisible even to the keenest eyes. If you won’t settle for anything but the best, go here.

 

Seclusion 3D Winter

This particular camo pattern is very unconventional for snow / winter camo gear, and its strength lies in its uniqueness. It has nothing to do with the ordinary winter camo style (all white or white combined with various shades of grey), but the image it produces is of rather high photographic quality. The design itself consists in mimicking trees and branches; the design is so effective, that in winter conditions it can break the outline and it renders you immediately invisible. Get your very own realistic snow camo here.

 

The first thing you should keep in mind when buying camo gear is that most camo patterns are specialized for certain surroundings. Plan ahead and decide on what’s the right type of camo gear for you, based on your activities and surroundings. And never think that camo gear is the only thing you’ll need to become totally invisible. It depends a lot on the way you act as well. Be vigilant, cautious and stealthy in a hunting or SHTF situation and don’t move more than you absolutely have to.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

The post The Best Types Of Camouflage Gear For Survival Situations appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

The Benefits Of Chewing Gum In A Survival Situation

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Chewing gum / bubble gum is a pop-culture element so rooted into modern society that it’s impossible for our generations (the gum-chewing, bubble-blowing generations) to envision it otherwise. As kids, we used to go for the sweet flavored types, the ones that came into a multitude of colors or flavors. As adults, if we lost our sweet tooth along the way, we changed directions when it comes to chewing gum. We mostly go for the minty ones, which are great for oral hygiene.  No matter your age or social status, for some reason or another, at some point in space and time, you’ll find yourself the benefits of chewing gum.

You might think that the product in question is a characteristic of modern 20th and 21st century society, but that’s far from truth. The “ancestor” of chewing gum originated in antiquity, and it can’t be attributed to a single civilization. The Greeks were chewing on mastic tree sap, the Egyptians had a mixture of sap and spices (cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh etc.) and the Mayans and Aztecs chewed Sapodilla tree sap. The habit of chewing gum (or its various alternatives) stood the test of time because, apart from flavor and texture, chewing has its benefits.

 

Enhances memory capacity and overall concentration

It has been demonstrated that chewing gum can do wonders for both the memory and the ability to concentrate. There are caffeine-based chewing gums that are best suited for the job, but any sort of gum will do well too. An NBC report has shown that chewing is in direct correlation with memory enhancement and improved test scores, due to the increase of physiological activities like blood flow, blood pressure and heart rate. The increase of blood flow in the brain means higher oxygenation, which makes for better brain functions. Because chewing increases mental alertness, is also highly recommended for kids with learning problems or mental disabilities. Mental alertness is always beneficial, especially in a survival situation where you’ll need to be aware of everything that goes on around you, to make fast decisions and act quickly as your survival depends on every step you take.

 

Relieves stress and boosts morale

According to his scientific study, chewing gum is a very powerful nerve tonic, because it helps calm down the nerves and alleviates negative moods. It’s exactly for this reason why chewing gum is included and distributed amongst the soldiers that find themselves in a war zone. Chewing gum helps reduces the levels of cortisol , which is a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland as a response to high levels of stress or to low levels of glucose in the blood stream. Increased levels of cortisol can be beneficial on short-term periods, but on longer periods of time they can be detrimental to cognitive functions and can even lower the immune system recovery. Because chewing gum contains small amounts of sugar, it can also serve as a small reserve of energy. Having a pack of your favourit gum on you will not only supply you with that tiny bit of energy, but it can also increase your morale and distress your jaw muscles and lower anxiety. So leave some room in your survival kit for a couple of packs of gum.

 

Suppresses hunger, thirst and aids digestion

The military (and trained combatants in general) use chewing gum as a means of suppressing hunger when the opportunity of eating is not available. The same principle can easily be applied in a survival situation, especially if SHTF and you find yourself a bit short on food supplies. The Zoft Gum is a very potent appetite suppressant and you can get 5 packs for about $10. Believe it or not, not only is there a gum to fight of hunger, but there’s also one that can quench thirst. The Quench Gum was primarily made for athletes in order to keep them hydrated as much as possible during periods of physical effort. It’s packed with 5mg of potassium (K) and electrolytes. The Quench Gum is available on the market in costs about $9 – $10. Chewing gum can be very supportive when it comes do digestion. Chewing constantly will increase the levels of saliva, which in turn will boost the quantity of digestive acids in the stomach. This is achieved with the aid of xylitol, which is found in most chewing gums.

 

Chewing gum based life hacks

Apart from chewing, there are a lot of other unorthodox uses for gum.

  1. Bait – you can use chewing gum as fish bait, just chew it a little and place it on the hook; it’s very efficient against catfish and it can also lure crabs if you place it on the crab line.
  2. Radiator patch – this is a good temporary solution for a leaky radiator; it should hold long enough for you to reach a mechanic
  3. “Magnet” – it can be very useful if you’re trying to retrieve small objects from an nearly unreachable place; just place some gum on the end of a stick or a piece of string and you’ll be able to recover that lost ring or keys in no time
  4. Window fixer – if you have a lose window pane, don’t worry too much about it; get a stick of ordinary chewing gum, chew on it a little and simply place it as putty
  5. Repeal bugs – extra minty gum will repeal mealworms and other bugs from getting into your flower; of course, provided you previously placed a small piece of gum in there first

You’ve probably been chewing gum for some years know, without knowing the benefits that ordinary chewing gum had to offer. Now you know, as the wonders of chewing gum are irrefutable. No matter who you are or where you’re at, always have a pack of gum on you; you can never tell how and when it will save the day.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post The Benefits Of Chewing Gum In A Survival Situation appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

4 Of The Largest Handguns In The World

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This is not the first time I get to talk about guns, that’s true. Every time I’ve covered the subject I’ve tried to be as pragmatic as possible when it comes to the usage of firearms in a survival situation. I’m talking a different approach this time. Not that carrying a largest handguns caliber could not serve you well in a SHTF scenario; if it’s one thing they do well, is to obliterate everything that stands in your way. A single shot fired is more than enough to stop even large animals in their tracks. They might not be as easily concealable or maneuverable, but there’s something really intriguing (almost poetic) about owning your very own hand cannon. Maybe it has something to do with the “bigger is better” mentality, who knows? All I know is that there is no such thing as “too big” when it comes to firepower. And I’m sure that many of you share the same exact belief. Let’s have a look at some of the best of the best in the field of “heavy artillery”.

 

The Desert Eagle .50 Caliber Handgun

The Desert Eagle .50 is one of the most notorious handguns in the world. Commonly known as “the 50 caliber”, it was developed by the Israeli military with the aid of Magnum Research in 1972. It’s the largest magazine-fed handgun in the world and despite its age, this old timer is considered (still) to be one of the best looking handguns on the market; especially the versions that come in chrome or titanium gold plating. When it comes to firepower, only one word comes to mind: annihilation. The .50 projectile packs such a heavy punch that made it feared and respected across the map, and won fans from both sides of the law. It’s just as lethal as it is beautiful. It has a capacity of 7 rounds and it measures a total length of 10.75 inches (with a barrel length of 6 inches).

 

The Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum Revolver

This particular handgun was firstly introduced to the world by Clint Eastwood and his infamous character by the name of Dirty Harry. This revolver gained so much in popularity that Smith and Wesson was not only able to sell this particular model, but hat to release “improved” version to meet the demand. It’s not a large enough of a gun to cause your body spinning in the air several times before you hit the ground, as seen in the movies, but it’s powerful enough to end a life instantly. It’s 11.63 inches in total length (the barrel measures 6 inches) and it’s about 49ozs heavy. Not the most practical gun in the world, but nothing compares to shooting a .44 Magnum.

 

The Smith & Wesson’s 460XVR Revolver

You might look at this particular Smith and Wesson model and think “overkill”. When I look at it I see “beauty”. This handgun was introduced in 2005 and the XVR stands for “Extreme Velocity Revolver”. It shoots fairly well, especially at a distance bellow 125 yards; when this distance is exceeded, the trajectory of the projectile tends to get curbed, thus losing accuracy. It’s really noisy, so for those of you that do not enjoy the “music” made by the 460XVR, I recommend you bring along muffs or ear plugs. It has a capacity of 5 bullets, weighs about 75ozs and the barrel length comes in various sizes: 83/8 (standard), 35/8 inches, 6 inches, 7½ inches and 10½ inches. The finish is stainless, which makes it one of the most beautiful handguns in the world.

 

The WTS .50 BMG Pistol

This is a fully German product. And once again, when it comes to technology, Germany seems to push the barrier just a bit further. Although the WTS .50 BMG (the BMG stands for “Browning Machine gun Cartridge”) is technically a pistol, it weighs about 15.87lbs, which is as heavy as an ordinary riffle. Not to mention that the ammo in question, the .50 Browning Machinegun cartridge, was primarily used to pierce heavy armor and take down tanks and airplanes. Imagine how ridiculously power drunk you would feel to unleash all this power from a “pistol”. Shooting flesh with a WTS .50 BMG can make it disintegrate into thin air… literally! This monster measures 24.21 inches in length (16.92 inches in barrel length), it has an adjustable trigger mechanism and grip safety. Is it practical? Probably not. Is it glorious? Yes.

Getting a big handgun for survival purposes would not be practical for so many reasons that would take forever to explain. There are way better options for a TEOTWAWKI scenario, that’s true. There are lighter, faster and more maneuverable options on the market for preppers and survivalist. But nothing feels quite like shooting a powerful handgun, even if it’s just for target practice. It will be heavy to carry, almost impossible to conceal and the recoil and the noise might sometimes feel like it’s just too much. But if you’re ever in trouble, a big caliber handgun will do its job and stop anybody or anything that threatens your life.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

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5 Seemingly Harmless Animals You Should Avoid in Wilderness

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Nature is very diverse. And we all know (roughly) the dangers that lurk in the wild, especially when it comes to wild animals. We all have the common knowledge and common sense to stay away from big fangs, sharp claws or insects with stingers. It’s as clear as day that an encounter with a creature that posses such tools will result in a harmful or even fatal outcome. But nature goes beyond of what the eye can see and some animals you should avoid, even though apparently harmless, can still deliver a world of hurt if we’re naive enough to get in their way. As an adaptation to survival, many animals use the element of surprise as a very efficient tool. Certain self-defense mechanism will not be evident, but are still present. Other animals may simply be disease carriers or territorial in nature, and if you’re not aware of their behavioral patterns, you’re in for a nasty and painful experience. Let’s have a look at some of the animals that are apparently harmless, but actually dangerous.

 

The swan (Cygnus sp.)

The sawn is a gentle creature that not many of us would consider dangerous under any circumstances. But they’d be dead wrong. Most nesting birds, like the swan, have a very acute parental instinct, meaning that if they feel that they’re nesting ground is danger they’ll fight off the attacker. Most nesting birds will fight only up to a point; if they fill they’re losing the fight or that the attacker is simply too strong to take on, they’ll flee and leave the nest and eggs to chance. But things differ in the swan’s case. The swan is relentless in defending its nest and territory and will keep going until either the attacker or the swan itself is dead. It will attack viciously: it can scratch, bite and poke and if the attacker is a push over, and angry sawn will even try and drown its opponent if they find themselves near water. The bird itself can even grow as heavy as 30lbs, so taking on a defensive mother swan it’s not a thing you’ll want to do.

 

The Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus)

Experts consider dolphins to be the second most intelligent creatures on the face of the Earth, after humans. And rightly so: an adult dolphin has the intelligence of an average 4 year old human. Not only that, but their societies are some of the most evolved on the planet. They are fast learners, work together for common goals, communicate efficiently and even have a sense of humor, as studies have shown that dolphins will regularly play jokes on each other or even on people. But they’re intelligence comes with a price, as they tend to have a larger-than-normal tendency toward violence. They’ll hurt or maim for no apparent reason; cases have been recorded when dolphins kill just so that they get to play with the carcass of they’re victim. They have a higher than average sexual driver and will attack human males for territorial reasons.
Although friendly most of the times, dolphins tend to be unpredictable and should be avoided unless you’re in the presence of trained professionals.

 

The slow loris (Nycticebus sp.)

The slow loris is a tiny, fury mammal, with big eyes and it’s extremely shy by nature. It makes a great pet because its cuteness is undisputable. But despite being one of the cuddliest animals in the world, it’s also one of the most poisonous. They have an active gland inside the elbows that produces a very powerful toxin. They use this toxin mostly to smear their young, which makes them less likely to be attacked and eaten by predators. The toxin itself, if ingurgitated, produces terrible stomach aches and even death. If attacked, they’ll suck the contents of the gland into their mouth and bite the attackers. This way, the toxin gets injected into the attacker’s bloodstream. If there’s an allergic reaction involved, the bite victim can die in a matter of hours if the left untreated. So think twice before making a move towards a slow loris; it might be the last thing you do.

 

The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious)

This big and gentle herbivore is known as one of the biggest mud lovers on the face of the Earth. Because they live in arid places, where temperatures rise intensely, they’re beast means of cooling themselves is to roll around in the mud or muddy waters. Although they’re not violent in nature, they tend to get very territorial and will stop at nothing in protecting they’re mud ponds or females and young. Don’t let they’re funny looks throw you off. Despite their heavy structure, they can run to speeds of up to 20 mph and have a bit of 6,000 lbs of pressure, which is more than enough to snap a human in half. If you find yourself in their presence, thread carefully. You do not want to find yourself in the crosshairs of an angry hippo.

 

The chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)

The common chimpanzee has been proven to be the closest relative modern man still has in the animal kingdom. There are many similarities between us and our not-so-distant cousins, like opposable thumbs, facial expressions, cerebral activity and many more. They mostly live in small societies or groups (rarely solitary) and they tend to often manifest violent behavior for one reason or another. They’ll attack each other for dominance, territorial feuds or simply if they don’t like someone or something. Their violent nature can’t be completely overridden by training, as there have been many documented cases in which trained chimps have viciously attacked and maimed humans.

It’s plain to see that nature is not meant to be cute. Nature is primarily meant to be persistent. No matter how cute an animal might seem to you, don’t throw yourself directly at it, unless you know the species you’re engaging and you’re absolutely sure that nothing bad can happen. If you’re planning a trip of some sort in a wild location, educate yourself on the animals in the region so to have an idea of what you’ll have to face along the way.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

The post 5 Seemingly Harmless Animals You Should Avoid in Wilderness appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Throwing Target Stand

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throwing target geekprepperTime to redesign my knife throwing target stand.

 

Throwing Target Stand

I finally decided to upgrade the design of my throwing target. The old design used 2×6’s for the target and needed to be replaced at least once per year.

Old throwing targetYou can see the abuse that one day of  throwing does to this target. One good season of practice and the throwing knives reduced this target was a pile of toothpicks!

cold steel throwers

Cold Steel throwing knives shown in roll up case:

The New Throwing Target Stand

The new throwing target stand uses log rounds for the target. It also features adjustable angle and incline so I can lean it back if I have a huge round (which I do in the pictures below).

[See image gallery at www.geekprepper.org]

I didn’t take step by step pictures of the assembly, but the design is pretty simple. You should be able to reproduce or improve on my design from the photos.

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4 Best Shotguns For Home And Self-Defense

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Let’s have a look at some of the best shotguns that money can buy because there’s no survival or home invasion scenario that a shotgun can’t get you out of. Maybe you won’t even get to use it, as the sound of pumping your shotgun would be enough in sending chills down the spine of whomever means you harm. But if this fails, know that the large caliber ammo in use is more than enough to even stop an elephant in its tracks; what it’s capable of doing to a human assailant is not even worth mentioning. But shotguns come in a great variety of shapes and sizes and you’ll need to be aware of the differences before getting your own. Maybe the most important criteria to consider is the firing
method, as you can get a pump action or a semi-automatic. Length is also important, as it makes for greater maneuverability in certain situations, not to mention that a more compact one would be easier to carry
around all day as it will most probably be lighter.

The number of rounds that it can hold is a big deal, especially for those of you who aren’t good shots. It deals a world of hurt, it’s true, but you’ll need to hit your target; so the more chances you can take at gunning down your target, the better. The grip shouldn’t be overlooked either. Most shotguns come with a standard rifle-like grip, but some have a grip similar to pistols.

 

Remington 870 Express Tactical

This is not state of the art when it comes to shotguns, but it’s still one of the most used shotguns out there. It’s made a name for itself, and its capabilities are undisputable. This is a 12 gauge destroyer that has a capacity of 6 + 1. Its reloading system is based on pump action and it measure 18.5″ barrel. For precise aiming (as precise as aiming can be) it comes equipped with a fully adjustable XS Ghost ring and a removable front sight. It uses a SuperCell pad which can reduce recoil by about 40%-50%, depending on the situation. The whole body is covered in a weather resistant Carakote coating, which makes it perfect for those that are used to wandering outside in all sorts of weather conditions. It’s not a cheap shotgun, as it costs around $500, but it doesn’t cut corners in quality and precision.

 

Beretta AL391 Teknys Gold Target

This is a 12 gauge shotgun that is very well built and it’s fairly easy to shoot. It weighs at about 8lbs 11oz and when it comes to autoloaders, it’s simply one of the best (if not the best) you can find on the market. It has a 30” barrel and it might seem a bit heavy considering its weight, but it doesn’t feel heavy at all while you’re shooting. It has a removable recoil reducer in the buttstock, and if you’re eager of making it lighter, you can simply take the recoil down and drop about 0.5lbs from the overall weight. The self-compensating gas system it’s equipped with runs very smoothly and it reacts very fast, making the shooting process feel incredibly comfortable. It costs $1,200, and in my own personal opinion, you can’t get anything better in this price range.

 

Winchester SXP

This particular 12 gauge shotgun produced by Winchester has the latest and greatest when it comes to pump technologies, meaning that the SXP pump systems are extremely diverse and reliable. It has aluminum oil receivers, which are lighter and cheaper than steel ones; and despite popular believes they work perfectly. You can get a barrel length of maximum 30” and as far as looks go, there’s a great variety of models to choose from: camo, wood-stocked and synthetic black with chromed elements. It comes equipped with cross-bolt safeties, an Inflex pad that mitigates a great deal of recoil and a rotating bolt head with four locking lugs. This should cost you about $470, and if you ask me, it’d be money well spent.

 

Mossberg 930 SPX

Moosberg are well known for the quality of their products, and they’ve certainly made no exception to the rule when it comes to the 930 SPX. It’s a 12 gauge shotgun that has an 18.5″ barrel and a capacity of 7 (+ 1). It’s not exactly a cheap shotgun (considering you’ll need to throw away about $700 to get one), which won’t seem that much if you take into account that it’s a semi-automatic we’re talking about.  The top of the gun is equipped with a rail that allows you to fit any sort of aiming system you find compatible; you can install a red dot, a scope or even a holographic site. Loading the magazine is very simple and It can be done very quickly: open the bolt lock, place a shell in the ejection port and push the bolt release.

There’s nothing more to be said about shotguns. We all know them, and we all love them. All you have to do now is find the one that works best for you. Usually prices vary from a couple of hundred $ to many thousands. It’s up to you on how much you’re willing to spend. But just know that if there’s ever the need for it, a shotgun will save the day.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post 4 Best Shotguns For Home And Self-Defense appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Best Binoculars For Survival Purposes

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Owning a pair of binoculars for survival in a TEOTWAWKI scenario is not only meant to make every day life easier for you, but it could also save your life. Most binoculars are very precise and will let you spot from afar all sorts of dangers that might be coming your way, leaving you with enough time to react. It could also be used for hunting (spotting wild game), guarding your property or simply scouting new territory. So no matter the scenario, binoculars would be always welcome. A good pair of binoculars (and a bit more expensive one) will work fine even in low light or moon light. There are plenty of companies on the market that have specialized in making quality products and are well-known for it, like Olympus, Pentax, Steiner, Brunton, Carson, Zeiss, Leica, Nikon and more. There are plenty of counterfeit products (coming mostly from China) that cost far less but are worth less than the plastic they’re made up from, so stay away from such devices.

To fully understand the importance of such a device we must comprehend what it is and how it works. There various types of binoculars for survival on the market and they come in a great variation of shape and size, but in principle they are all the same:  they’re comprised of two telescopes that are linked together by an adjustable mechanism. The most important factor you have to consider when buying your own binoculars is a sequence similar to, for example, 9×35. These numbers are giving you a lot of information on the capacity of the product, as the number before X (9 in this case) is the magnification factor. A 9X binoculars means that the image will appear to be 9 times closer than it actually is. The number following X (35 in our case) is a specification of the front lens, which is responsible for the light intake capacity. The greater the light intake capacity, the clearer the image is going to be.  So the bigger the number following X is, the more suited the binocular will be for lower light conditions. The RBI (the relative brightness index) is responsible for image brightness. It’s determined by a simple mathematical equation. First we need to figure out the exit pupil in our case, for the 9X35 mode we used as an example. The exit pupil is 35 / 9 = 4 (roughly). The RBI is the square of the exit pupil: 4 x 4 = 16. It’s commonly known that the best binoculars for low lighting conditions are those that hold an RBI bigger than 25, so our example wouldn’t do so well outside proper lighting conditions.

Lens coatings are responsible for light transmission; they’re purposes is to prevent hazardous light reflection and to deliver a clear and focused image. There’s single coating, or a single layer of antireflective coating (Coated), the whole lens to lens surface is coated (Fully Coated), some surfaces have multiple layers of coating (Multi-Coated) and last but not least, all surfaces are covered in multiple antireflective coating layers (Fully Multi-Coated).  Now that we covered the basics, let’s see some of the best binoculars for survival scenario.

 

The Olympus Outback 10×21 RC 1

This particular model by Olympus is one of the best binoculars you can find if you consider the quality / price ratio. It’s only about $125, and it’s not much if you consider its capabilities. Its field performance is simply outstanding, as it can produce superior imagines to those of binoculars that are twice as big or pricy. It has great sharpness and definition thanks to its high quality roof prism, which is made out of a very high quality optical glass. But like most 10x devices, it requires a steady hand for maximum efficiency, because it also magnifies movement. If you’re interested in buying or finding out more, you can click here.

The Carson Raven RV-826

The Raven RV-826 is real bargain and possibly the best deal for budget preppers. It’s an 8×26 binocular that despite its tiny size, (4.5 x 4.25 inches and 10oz) it delivers quite a clear and steady image. It’s perfect for hikers who simply want to observe their distant surrounding or for people that are out nature watching. It will allow a steady and focused image without making your presence known to the animals you’re watching. These tiny binoculars are really tough and resistant; they come with a waterproof housing that is just impenetrable. And as a bonus, you also get a microfiber cloth for lens cleaning. If the Raven RV-826 is the right tool for you, know that it’s no more expensive than $79 and that you can find it here.

The Brunton Eterna Compact 10×25

The Eterna Compact 10×25 by Brunto is worth mentioning because of its image clarity and focus despite its tiny frame. Despite its small carcass, it’s pretty heavy, weighing in at 1lb 1oz. The excessive weight seems to justify if you consider the toughnes of the Eterna Compact 10×25. It has neoprene lens covers that are easily removed (even if you’re wearing gloves), it has a padded neck strap and a very efficient and functional focusing dial. What sets it apart from regular, cheaper binoculars is the adjustable diopter setting for each eye that allows precision focusing for maximum clarity. It’s not a cheap device (it costs about $360), but it’s precise, well built and durable. Those that are interested, click here.

There are many options, and the prices vary from tens to hundreds of dollars. What you ultimately buy is entirely up to you. Just know that for survival purposes you don’t need the latest and greatest, so you don’t have to necessarily spend a lot of money. You can find good binoculars even on a tight budget that, if need be, we’ll undoubtedly provide you with an advantage in a SHTF scenario.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

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Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford

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We’re all aware of what a gas mask is; at least we have some idea about them. Gas masks (aka. respirators) are heavily used in society. The Police force has them, the Special Forces have them, the firefighters have them, spray painters have them etc. The basic use of a gas mask is to serve as filter for the air you’re breathing in and to stop possible irritants and noxious substances from getting into your respiratory system and affecting you general state your health.

The best gas masks (or respirators) are based on the same principle: the air is pulled into the canister that has a filtering system (on 3 layers: aerosol filter, charcoal filter and dust filter) and then is released towards the interior of the mask; the filtered air is safe to breathe.

The air is sucked into the canister as the wearer breathes. There are also battery operated gas masks, equipped with a fan, that will syphon air inside, but become useless when the batteries die out. There are also some that work just like a scuba breathing system: they don’t have a filtering canister, but a pressurized air canister, that is completely sealed.

A gas mask is a real asset for any serious prepper. It’s an absolute must-have in case of a chemical or biological attack. Works just as well in a combat zone, as it’ll filter out heavy smoke and even dust clouds. There two main types of masks: half masks and full mask. I half mask will cover your mouth and nose only; they’re used in spray painting and are recommended only if you know what contaminant you’re dealing with. In case of an extremely dangerous contaminant or if you simply don’t know what you’re facing, a full gas mask is the way to go. Not only will it cover your respiratory system, but I’ll also protect your eyes and face from dangerous agents, like Anthrax etc.

Israeli Civilian Gas Mask

This gas mask was issued by the Israeli government, is NATO approved and it’s perfect if you consider the quality / price ratio (it costs about $80). Because of the relatively low price and good features, it’s regarded to be as the standard gas mask for civilian protection. It’s best used in an evacuation scenario from a contaminated area. The mask itself is made out of a soft but durable rubber that covers the whole face (full mask); it offers great protection not only for the respiratory system, but also for the entire face. It has extremely efficient filters (NBC filters) that will keep you safe from almost everything, from nuclear and biological agents (like Anthrax) to chemical agents. This particular gas mask comes in both adult and child versions.

M61 Finnish Gas Mask

The MA61 model was developed in Finland and it’s meant to be used as a heavy-duty gas mask. It’s a side-mounted mask, which means the filter is screwed into the side of the mask, rather than in the font. The rubber it’s made from is extremely durable, but rather soft flexible at the same time. Its flexibility means that the mask will incase the face of the wearer perfectly, making it airtight, so that noxious fumes or chemical agents won’t find their way inside. It uses a twin goggle system rather than a single visor. The exhalation system has a plastic valve with an integrated speech diaphragm, for better communication.

 

ADVANTAGE 1000 CBA-RCA Gas Mask

The 1000 CBA-RCA mask is 100% American and it was developed based on a US Military design that was used by the USAF during the Operation Desert Storm. It has a Hycar face piece which is about 40% lighter than most full gas masks and also a customizable fit. There’s also a standard nose cup to eliminate visor fogging and a mechanical speaking diaphragm. The visor is a one piece that’s extremely tough and offers great field of vision. The canister can be mounted on both the left and the right side and it’s effective against all sorts of biological and chemical agents, like Mustard, Lewisite, GA, GB, GD etc. The head harness is adjustable and stable. There’s also an ID tag attached and it includes a CBA-RCA canister. The whole package comes at about $300.

There are plenty of models that are available on the market, it’s only a matter of personal choice. The price of a certain gas mask does not necessarily reflect its quality, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a good product that will filter well and fit great. But you’ll need to educate yourself in the matter a bit so you won’t throw your money out the window. Luckily there’s many manufacturer’s and sellers and price ranges vary from one to the other. So keep hunting for bargains, you’ll most likely find them.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

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Survival Footwear : Choosing The Right Shoes For The Right Situation

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Those of you out there who have done hiking before or any sort of expedition, be it on moderate or rough climates and settings, will no doubt understand why having the right shoes in a TEOTWAWKI situation could mean the very difference between life and death. If you’ll find yourself obligated to travel a lot and carry heavy stuff with you, you’ll need to have the right provisions and gear for the job; and the right pair of shoes or boots is no exception. When it comes to survival footwear, wearing the right pair of shoes or boots will spare you a lot of trouble. There is no universality in this case, there is no one pair of shoes or boots for all scenarios and settings, but rather specialized products that will suit the wearer’s needs based on terrain, weather and distance. When choosing yours, looks will be the last thing to consider. You’ll have to take into consideration insulation, durability, shoe size (make sure you get the right size or walking in the wrong size shoes will take itstoll very soon), the type of socks you’ll be wearing (normal or hiking socks), the terrain and weather conditions you’ll need the shoes or boots for and ultimately the fact the sturdy footwear will need to be broken in. They might not feel comfortable at first, but in time, you’ll get used to them. Price is also an important issue, especially for tight budget preppers like me, who never feel like spending more than they absolutely have to. There many products available on the market and the prices vary a lot. But know that “expensive” is not necessarily equivalent with “best” when it comes to survival footwear, so you won’t have to sell your soul just to afford a pair of trail shoes or boots.

 

Hiking boots

Hiking boots are the right shoes bring along for planed trips, especially if you’re planning on staying a bit longer outdoors; they work extremely well and will be very comfortable if you’re dealing with moderately rough terrain. They should be well built, fairly insulated and if you’ll be carrying some weight, they’ll be the best option you have. The sturdier the boot is, the more resistant it will be in the field. The taller boots are usually more durable and will offer better ankle protection. The best ones are partially waterproof and will be as comfortable as possible even after long walks on rough terrain. The Durand Mid WP is what I’ve been using lately and it’s probably the best pair I’ve had so far: it’s waterproof, breathable and it has an integrated heel cushion and midsole for better comfort.

 

Heavy duty hiking boots

This particular type of hiking boots takes the hiking game to a whole new level. They’re the best option for those who spend more time on the go then they do in their homes. They’re generally used for cross-country backpacking, be it on normal or very rough terrains. They might not be as light as regular hiking boots, but they’re the better option, as they’re tougher and better for people that are carrying heavy loads throughout rough terrains and settings. Choosing a pair of heavy duty hiking boots will require a great deal of attention from your part. These types of boots don’t necessarily feel comfortable at first, you’ll need to break them in first. So try them on carefully before purchasing and analyze whether they’re worth the money or not. The most serious stores have small areas that will simulate the boots performance on various terrains. The Asolo backpacking boots, with Gore-Tex inserts and Vibram outsoles are some of the best heavy duty hiking boots on the market; they’re pretty light too, as they weigh less than 2lbs.

 

Mountaineering boots

They’re the epitome of survival footwear, and  the first clear sign you get is in the price, as even the cheapest pair of mountaineering boots will cost no less than a couple of hundred bucks. As the name clearly shows, they’re suited for hiking in extreme and rough alpine terrain, at high attitudes and low temperatures.

They’re built to be heavy and rigid, but with good reason. Even the standard models have very stiff soles and shanks (in order to provide maximum protection to your feet and ankles), a multi-layered build comprised of rigid shanks for stability and protection, an insulating inner lining and a waterproof lining. The soles are very thick and rigid, built for maximum grip even on slippery surfaces. The Nepal Evo, by La Sportiva, is everything I just mentioned and more, with durable leather and metal lace loops and with an impressive overall built that will make it suitable for even the roughest conditions.

 

If what we’ve been looking at so far is a bit much for you, worry not. If you’re nothing more than an amateur hiker that goes on light hikes only, you can always buy a simple pair of regular hiking shoes. These are nothing more than improved sport shoes that will do well on regular strolls in the wild.

Unless you’re facing rough terrain on bad weather, you’ll have nothing to worry about. But whether you’re considering buying the simplest pair of hiking shoes or a state-of-the-art mountaineering boots, always try them on before buying. Unlike regular pairs of shoes, hiking footwear will require some wearing arround the house before you’ll get completely used to them.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

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Survival Tents: DIY Shelters For Critical Situations

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Whether you’re simply having a camping a trip or you’ve found yourself fighting for your life in a post apocalyptic scenario, you’ll need to have a tent with you in order to make your situation just a bit more bearable. If it’s a trip in the local surroundings or you’re exploring uncharted territory due to some sort of unfortunate event that forced you to leave everything behind, it doesn’t matter that much. As long as you’ve packed the right tent before setting off, you’ll have a proper shelter that will offer your insulation and protection. Those of you that aren’t that knowledgeable in the area, let me tell you that there is a great variety of products to choose from. There is basically a tent for every hostile situation that you can think of: tents for low temperatures, tents for flood situations, above ground tents (that will keep you safe from ground predators, etc.), simple hiking tents and more.

Upon purchasing your very own tent, there are many things to consider apart from the price. You should consider first of all the type of situation you are trying to counter (cold climates, high temperatures, wild animals, excessive precipitations etc.), and once you have this figured out, you can start looking into the size of the tent, the material it’s made up of, the price etc.  I’ll show you some of the most affordable and versatile tents on the market.

 

The Trango 3.1

The Trango 3.1 is a semi-professional product from Mountain Hard Wear, built especially for those who take wilderness adventures really seriously. It costs about $559. It’s pretty sturdy as a tent and it packed form it weighs about 11lbs 4oz. It’s roomy enough for 3 people and it was built to withstand much of what nature can throw at him: it has welded guy clip anchors, welded corners and it’s waterproof and watertight. The DAC Featherlight NSL poles used by these tents are extremely resistant despite they’re light weight, and make for a great foundation. The structure itself is more intricate than what you’d expect; it has a vestibule in which you can change you wet dirty and wet clothes before entering the main, warmer chamber of the tent. It does way a bit much and it may become strenuous to carry it over long distances, but it makes up for it in quality and toughness. Be it cold, windy, rainy or hot, this tent won’t let you down.

 

 

The Tentsile Stingray 3-Person Hanging Tent

Well, the product name says it all: this is less of a tent and more of a tree house, all for the price of $675. The idea is that you
can suspend this tent from trees and have a hammock-type, covered structure, large and strong enough to shelter 3 people. The ratchet buckles and straps are about 19.5ft long and the manufacturer assures us that they can withstand about 2.5 tons of weight. So unless you’re planning to park your car inside, you have nothing to worry about. The floor of the tent is made up of a certain 240D composite that is wide enough for 3 people to sleep comfortably. The whole surface of the tent is coated in 190T PU polyester rain fly, which not only makes it completely waterproof, but also resistant to all sort if insect stings or bites. The rain fly can be extended down to ground level, making a rainproof vestibule for your gear. Once the tent is set up, you can gain access through 2 doors. A side door is available, but if you’re too high from the ground, you can also use the center floor hatch. This tent is perfect for survival scenarios which involve predatory ground animals. Not only will you be safe, but the experience of camping in such a tent is unique.

 

The Sundome 2-Person Tent     

This is a fairly simple tent released by Coleman, which weighs in at about 8lbs. It costs $64 and it’s the optimum choice for serious campers. If camping is your lifestyle, look no further than the the Sundome 2-Person Tent. It’s a one door tent and it can easily accommodate 2 people. The tent is pretty stable even in tougher weather conditions thanks to its 2-pole system; it also is very easy to set up, as an untrained camper can put it together in no more than 20 minutes.  The outer coating, the material on the outside of the tent wall (aka. the outer fly) is waterproof, so precipitations won’t bother you much. But keep in mind, although it’s a perfect camping tent, it’s not all that great when it comes to expeditions to remote and extreme areas; using it as a survival tent will not be a good idea. It’s not well ventilated, and this may cause dampness on the inside as a result of moisture buildup. I’ve been using this tent myself for a while now, and as an occasional camper myself, I think this is the best camping tent when it comes to quality / price ratio.

Camping for fun or survival requires some education in the matter and should be done properly. Whether you’re just a casual camper, an avid one or you find yourself in need of shelter in order to survive the harshness of the wild, you should always be prepared and leave nothing to chance. DO serious research in the matter and you’ll find one or several tents to suit your needs.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

 

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Fifteen Uncommon Uses For Toothpaste

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Oral hygiene is a must for modern humans. Taking care of your teeth becomes common knowledge starting at an early age; it’s a social norm meant to keep us healthy for as long as possible. Regular visits to your dentist and washing your teeth at least once a day is the way to go. The toothpaste and the toothbrush are your best assets in keeping your teeth clean, alongside mouth wash, dental floss and others. Toothpaste comes regularly in paste or gel form, is based mostly on fluoride and it’s used in maintaining the health and aesthetics of teeth by fighting various tooth and gum conditions. But apart from washing your teeth, toothpaste can serve a multitude of other household related purposes. Its rich chemical baggage makes it an all-purpose tool when you might be lacking in so many things around the house; but it’s very unlikely you’ll be out of toothpaste.

Not only is it cheap and easy to find, but most of us actually keep more than one tube around the house. In what’s to come, we’ll take a look at some uses for toothpaste, non-teeth related purposes that a simple tube of toothpaste can serve.

  1. Remove clothing stains

It works great in removing oily, tough stains from fabrics. Apply toothpaste on the stained area and with a little water, and gently rub the spot. After a minute or so of rubbing, just throw the fabric in the washer. If the stain is old, you’ll most likely need to the toothpaste bit a couple of more times for results to show. It doesn’t work on all fabrics or stains, but it does wonders for ink spots. P.S. don’t use a whitening toothpaste (with bleaching effects) on colored fabrics; a regular toothpaste will do.

  1. Remove carpet stains

It works just as good on carpet fabric as it does on clothing. Just add toothpaste to the affected area and clean the spot with a toothbrush, in a circular motion; much like cleaning your teeth. After scrubbing, rinse and repeat until the spot is gone. The process will get out almost everything and make you carpet brand new. But some stains are resistant to toothpaste, especially if the stain is caused by an acid-based substance. In such a case toothpaste becomes useless.

  1. Remove scuffs

Toothpaste can easily remove leather scuffs. Put some toothpaste on a soft cloth and gently rub the leather surface. After you’re done, rinse the area with a damp cloth. It works on everything that’s made out of leather. The same principle applies to linoleum. 

  1. Whiten piano keys

The ivory white keys can be easily cleaned with a cotton swab that’s been previously dampened in a little water and then in a pinch of toothpaste. Take your time and to it right. It will take some time, but when you’re done, wipe the keys dry and then buff them with a soft, clean cloth and you’ll have brand new piano keys again.

  1. Whiten nails

Whitening peroxide toothpastes will have no problem in polishing and brightening finger and toe nails alike. Whether your nails have been darkened in time due to excessive usage of nail polish or they’re naturally yellowish, there’s still hope. Add toothpaste, brush them carefully with a toothbrush and when you’re all done,  add the finishing touch  and soak them in lemon juice for a couple of minutes.

  1. Shine chrome surfaces

The chromed pieces around the house (especially faucets) will get water stains in time. Because if it’s abrasive nature, toothpaste will act in the same way prof