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.

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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 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.

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.

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 …

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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. […]

The post 15 Survival Skills You’ll Need After The SHTF appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

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.

35 Survival Foods to Stockpile & How to Get Started

Click here to view the original post.

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.

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

 

 

The post Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

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

 

 

 

The post Survival Footwear : Choosing The Right Shoes For The Right Situation appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

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

 

 

 

 

The post Survival Tents: DIY Shelters For Critical Situations appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

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 professional cleaning products for chromed surfaces will. Just add toothpaste to the stains, scrub and rinse with water. You’ll have the chrome pieces shinny and brand new again in no time. 

  1. Remove crayon marks from walls

If your kids have been running amok around the house and you’re stuck with crayon marks all over the walls, don’t panic. There’s hope yet, as long as you have toothpaste (non-gel) around the house. Apart from a toothpaste, you’ll also need a clean rag or a scrub brush. Spread the toothpaste on the wall and scrub it good (preferably in circular motions). The abrasive agents in the toothpaste will remove the colors from the walls eventually.

  1. Remove watermarks from furniture

Even though you might have a ton of coasters around the house, you’re bound to get water marks at some point; they’re unavoidable and just the worst. If you want to clean those right up, simply add some non-gel toothpaste, let it sit for a couple of seconds and rub it off with a soft fabric. Once you’re done scrubbing wipe it off with a dry cloth. Before adding furniture polish make sure the surface is perfectly dry.

  1. Deodorize your hands

Just as toothpaste deodorizes the inside of your mouth, so it can deodorize your hands. If you’ve dealt with anything smelly throughout the day that’s left your hands smelling worse than French cheese, just wash them thoroughly with cold water and toothpaste. The chemicals in the paste will destroy the bacteria that causes the bad smell and will leave your hands smelling great.

  1. Deodorize baby bottles

Toothpaste works just as well in removing the sour milk smell from baby bottles. You’ll need to scrub both the inside and the outside of the baby bottle with a mixture of water and toothpaste. One you’re done scrubbing, rinse with water and then thrown the bottle in the dishwasher and wash regularly. 

  1. Polish silver

Toothpaste can polish everything made out of silver, be it jewelry, silverware picture frames etc. What you’ll need is a regular toothpaste (gel-based aren’t as efficient), a soft, clean cloth or better yet, a toothbrush. Just add some paste on your soft cloth or toothbrush and start scrubbing the silvery surface like there’s no tomorrow. You start to notice the difference in no time, as the tarnish will come off little by little. When you think you’re done, simply rinse and dry off with a dry cloth.

  1. Shine diamonds

If you want to give a precious gemstone that old sparkle back, you just need a regular tube of toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.  Just add a little pate on the toothbrush and start brushing gently (so that the diamond doesn’t come off) until you see the shine returning. When you’re done brushing rinse with water and rub gently with a soft cloth. 

  1. Fill holes in the wall

If you’ve have perforated walls which have bothered you for a long time, just know you don’t need Spackle to get the job done. A pinch of toothpaste will work pretty much in the same way when it comes to filling up holes left by nails screws, pins etc. The toothpaste hardens and makes for a great temporary solution. Just beware of how much you’re adding, as too much can make the situation even worse if at some point you decide to deal with the problem properly.

  1. Treat pimples

The adding of toothpaste to an acne affected area is a well-known treatment that has been around for decades. However, adding toothpaste alone won’t solve much, except dehydration of the affected area. For the best result, you should mix toothpaste with crushed aspirin. The toothpaste will dehydrate as usual and the salicylic acids in the aspirin will fight off infection and decrease the inflammation.

  1. Remove cell phone / watch scratches

Your cell phone or watch display will undoubtedly get damaged and scratched with the passing of time, unless of course you have the right protection. If not, tiny marks will start to appear. These are easily removed with toothpaste. Just dip your finger gently in tooth paste and rub the screen. One you’re done rinse with a damp cloth and ultimately dry the surface with a soft cloth. 

As you’ve seen by now, having some toothpaste around the house can really pay off. Especially if you find yourself out of certain cleaning products. Cleaning stuff around the house it’s fine, but remember that toothpaste is first of all for cleaning your teeth. Don’t overlook oral hygiene, as teeth health is really important.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post Fifteen Uncommon Uses For Toothpaste appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

The Best Survival Flashlights That Money Can Buy

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A very important piece in serious prepper’s survival kit is the flashlight. No one should go without one. If SHTF at some point or another, any old flashlight will do if survival flashlight is not in reach, but nothing can compete with a professional, state of the art lightning gadget that’s been designed specifically for such occasions. These survival flashlights are superior to a normal flashlight in both battery life and durability. Most of them come with new and improved LED lighting systems and extremely powerful batteries (rechargeable batteries) that will outlast regular flashlights; there’s is hardly any competition there. Because they’re meant for usage in extreme situations, they are built to be extremely tough and robust: they’ll withstand shocks, they’re waterproof and (most of them are) and will deteriorate slowly (if at all) even in extreme climates. And the term “survival” applies in more ways than you can imagine; because they’re so sturdy and tough, made up from strong alloys, they can be used as a self defense clubs in case you’ll be forced to protect yourself.

One hit over the head and, ironically, it’s lights out! There’s great variety on the market in the survival flashlight department; products vary in shape, sizes, type of battery (primary or rechargeable), lightning filters and sequences etc. I’m about to show you some of those that I actually got to use and could be an asset to anybody in distress.

 

Olight M22 Warrior

This particular flashlight is still, in my opinion, the best option out there for those who are on a tight budget. It’s the best if you consider the price / quality ratio, considering you can buy it for about $50. It’s 5.7 inches long (1.6 in diameter) and it weighs 5.15oz. The M22 Warrior‘s body is made up from a very durable aluminum which is also used in aircraft manufacture. It used the latest and greatest in LED technology (Cree XM-L2 LED), which can put out about 950 lumens; this is more than enough to give you visibility coverage of about 1000 feet. It has a adjustable brightness level that works on 3 settings and a strobe mode for signaling your position or disorienting attackers. The mode selection and strobe can be turned on / off through a selector unit built into the head of the flashlight. There’s another switch located at the opposite side which controls brightness, but also the auto strobe mode, for quick access. The power source is optional:  you can use 2x CR123A batteries units or 1x 18650 battery. At the lowest setting (20 lumens) you get 30 hours of battery time and 1 hour at its highest setting (950 lumens).

 

SureFire E2D Defender

The SureFire E2D Defender is probably the best self-defense oriented flashlight that I got my hands on. If it’s a white weapon you want that can also light the way from time to time, look no further. It has a crenellated front bezel and tail, all to make it more menacing at to give more angles and edges that can be used in a combat situation. It’s probably the toughest survival flashlight on the market and will take quite a bit of striking force to actually break it; you most probably won’t. If you hit hard and precisely enough, it will stop any attacker in its tracks, be it man or animal. We got the self-defense part covered and we can all agree the SureFire E2D Defender is force to be reckoned with. If you expect it to be less efficient as a flashlight than it is as a weapon, you’d be wrong because it’s actually pretty good. It has a 2 settings mode: the full power mode will have it working at 200 lumens and will deplete the battery in about 2 hours. The ultra power-saving mode will get it down to 5 lumens, but it will keep battery life for up to 76 hours. It measure 5.4 inches in length and it weighs about 3.7oz.

 

Fenix HL22

This is a very good choice for those who are looking for a large yet lightweight flashlight, that’s easy to use and carry around. It’s 2.5 inches long, 1.6 inches in diameter and despite its size, it weighs about 1.6oz without battery. It has 3 adjustable brightness settings and it also has an SOS lightning mode, which is perfect for signaling for help. At its highest setting of 120 lumens it will deplete the battery in about an hour and a half. But if you let it run on power saving mode, its setting of 3 lumens will keep the battery lasting for about 55 hours. And all this can be achieved with a simple AA battery. The power saving mode of 3 lumens is not bright enough for visibility over long distances; you’ll only be able to walk without tripping over anything in the dark.

Choosing your personal flashlight is no easy thing and you should do it by the book. Consider the possibilities, scout the market thoroughly and make the right decision. Of course you can have more than one, just to play it safe. When comes to survival flashlights, the prices may vary from $15 to even $400.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

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Survival Navigation Tools: A Compass Will Save Your Life

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Let’s assume for a moment that you’re out hiking or exploring. Or even a worst case scenario: you’ve been stranded due to an unfortunate accident or event into an unknown place, far from civilization. Even if you’re a bit familiar to the wilderness or have a clue where you are, it’s still bad; not knowing is even worse. The first reasonable thing to do is to try and locate where you are and start moving towards a safe zone. Many of you will consider the modern approach to navigation, based on a GPS system. But what if your electronic device (phone, tablet, GPS device) gets damaged or it simply runs out of battery? You should be fine as long as you remembered to pack a survival navigation tools, a map and a compass as a backup. Every serious prepper should have a compass in his private survival kit. There’s a great variety of compasses on the market, to suit the needs of even the keenest explorers. The beginners or light travelers could always get a basic compass, one that’s cheap, works great but it doesn’t have some bonus features, such as a mirror or a declination adjustment etc. For the more serious hikers and preppers, there are more advanced compasses, with many additional features (magnifier, mirror etc.) that make navigation easier and are perfect for those who wonder regularly into unknown territory. It all comes down to choosing the one that works best for you. Let’s have a look at what’s available on the market.

 

How a compass works

A compass has a tiny plastic bubble filled with liquid, a damping fluid, which is mostly oil based and treated with antifreeze so the compass can work even in low-temperature environments. Its role is not only to protect the pointer needle from outside interference, but also to prevent the needle from excessive jiggling and trembling caused by the magnetic forces of the earth. If you find yourself in a cold environment or at high altitudes, the liquid will contract creating a bubble inside the plastic casing, but this won’t affect accuracy. When you return to normal conditions, the air bubble will disappear.

The magnetized needle encased in the plastic liquid-filled transparent bubble is the one that’s responsible for telling directions. It has 2 pointy sides, one of which is strongly attuned to the earth’s strongest magnetic field, generated by the magnetic North Pole. So at any point, this needle (which is normally red) will point north. However, the magnetic north is different from the geographic north. The magnetic north is situated in a chain of islands in the Canadian Arctic. So you must compensate and calculate the differences when traveling by map and compass.

There are also electronic compasses available on the market, which are easier to read thanks to their displays. But they’re less reliable than traditional ones for the same reasons every other battery operated GPS device is: they’re fragile and are dependent on an external energy source that will run out soon or later.

Compasses to consider

The Suunto A-10 field compass is a very simple and efficient compass that works great.  It’s lightweight, made from a scratch-resistant and shock-absorbing transparent material and it has an ergonomic design which makes it easy to hold and handle or to fit in a small pocket; it also comes equipped with a detachable snap lock. It supports a two-zone reading (covering the entire north hemisphere) for an extra accurate reading, which can be done in both inches and centimeters. The needled is not flooded in liquid, but this doesn’t seem to affect the overall performance of this compass in any way.

 

The Cammenga Phosphorescent Clam Pack Lensatic Compass is a very established name in the field. It’s a very sturdy field compass that is completely waterproof and it’s has a very tough aluminum frame. You can carry it tied to your wrist, clipped securely to your belt or just have it sit in its own carrying pouch. It weighs about 8 ounces and the dial includes both degrees and miles. It has phosphorescent paint to make for easy readings at night and for those who don’t mind spending twice the money, there is also a tritium version available. This tiny navigation gadget has been approved by the DoD, so that tells us a lot about its quality and efficiency.

 

The Suunto KB-14 360R Pro Compass it’s absolutely state of the art as far as accuracy goes. It’s a professional compass, which means great investments have been made and excellent materials went in the making of this particular model. It’s extremely accurate, down to a third of a degree or 0.5 degrees when it comes to graduated intervals. The shell is made from a durable anodized light alloy, it has superior damping fluid (which stay consistent even in extreme conditions) and a nylon pouch for protection. This model is highly used by professional cartographers, surveyors and foresters. It’d be the perfect compass if it had the declination correction feature; luckily this feature is available on the improved (and more expensive) KB-14D model.

There are still plenty of models out there for you to check out and chose from. But make no mistake about it: we’re far from that technical breakthrough, when electronics can replace classical gadgets in a survival scenario. I’m not saying that the GPS systems are completely useless, far from it. But when the computer systems fail, you’ll need to revert to a simpler way if you want to survive.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post Survival Navigation Tools: A Compass Will Save Your Life appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

10 Uses For Coca Cola You Weren’t Aware Of

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This family-friendly soft drink has been around for over a century. It originated in US Georgia as a medicine drink at the end of the 19th century (invented by John Pemberton), but a few years later (at the beginning of the 20th century) it was bought and rebranded by a business man (Asa Griggs Candler) to become the longest-standing and most common brand in the world. Its popularity is undisputable. We might not all like it, but we all know it and we all tried it at least once. Believe it or not, Coke can be used for many other reasons, apart from human consumption. Due to its interesting properties, the fizzy drink in question can be very handy around the house. You can use it to clean stuff, defrost surfaces and even as pesticide. It’s still up for debate whether the drink is harmful for humans or not, but this is a discussion for another time. Don’t drink it if you don’t trust it, but take a look at this 10 uses for coca cola, the wonders it can do in everyday life situations.

 

  1. Rust remover

Coke is a fizzy drink, and it’s filled of phosphoric acid, which can loosen rust from every surface as long as that object is exposed for a long enough period of time. If we’re talking about rusty tools or other pieces of metal that you’re trying to clean up, you can simply fill a recipient that’s big enough with Coke and place the object you wish to clean inside. Let it stir for a while; after you’ll take it out the rust will be easy to clean if you scrub it with some tin foil and wipe off with a cloth (works especially well on chromed surfaces). It also does wonders on rusty bolts: just spill some cola over the bolt, let it sit, wipe it and give it another go. You’ll be amazed of how well it works.

  1. Oil stain remover

Oil stains are a pain in the neck. It takes only a moment of carelessness for your pavement or garage floor to get stained forever. If you’ve dropped that pesky motor oil (or any type of oily substance for that matter) and made a mess, don’t worry. Just go out and buy a Coca Cola bottle. Spill it over the oil stain and give it a couple of hours to work its magic. When you’re done waiting, simply whose off the stain from the pavement. Because it works so great, some people even use Coke to clean their car engine’s; and with great results too.

  1. Pots and pans cleaner

If you have old and burned pots and pans that have been worn out with time but you still can’t let them go, you’ll be happy to know that a Coke treatment can make them (almost) brand new. To remove those pesky burn stains, simply pour the wonder-soda into the damaged pot or pan and simmer for a while. After you’re done, empty the pot or pan and rinse with water. Wipe it clean and there you have it! Coca Cola works not only for burned spots, but also for cleaning all sorts of build ups and scales.

  1. Coin cleaner

If you’re a hardcore coin collector and want to make your new additions shine like there’s no tomorrow, just fill a glass or jar with Coca Cola and dump the coins in. In about 10 -20 minutes the excess muck will have been dissolved, so dump the soda and take the coins out one by one and wipe them clean. They’ll be shiny and clean.

  1. Defroster

The soda does wonders for defrosting any type of surface, as the acidic compounds melt ice in no time. So defrosting you car windows (or any type of window for that matter) will be no problem at all. Just pour the drink all over the windshield / windows etc. and watch the ice melt in under a minute. After the ice is turned to mush, you can just wipe it off with a cloth or just let it come off on its own in a matter of minutes.

  1. Window cleaner

It can clean windows just as well as it can defrost them. It’s good for any shinny surface for that matter, thanks to the high
amount of citric acid it holds. Normal window cleaners are citric acid-based as well, so there’s not much difference. You can pour Coke over a piece of cloth and wipe the windows with it or put Coke inside a spray bottle, spray it all over and then wipe the surface clean. The choice is up to you, but the outcome will be the same: cleanliness.

  1. Stain remover

It works perfectly well as any other expensive stain remover available on the market. You can pour the soda in the wash, alongside detergent and it will work just fine in removing the stains from your clothes. Also wine stains or blood stains from carpets or similar surfaces won’t be a problem if you pour coke on them as soon as possible. This procedure is not recommended for light fabrics, because Coca Cola is brown. It might remove the red, but it will leave a brown spot in its place.

  1. Toilette cleaner

If you’re out of toilette cleaner but you happen to have some Coca Cola lying around the house, perfect! Just pour the soda inside the toilette bowl and let it sit for a few minutes, just like you would with you regular product. After the time is up, scrub and flush like always. Your bowl will be so sparkly, that no one will be able to tell that you used a fizzy drink instead of a professional product.

  1. Gum remover

If by some reason or another you end up with gum in your hair, the only reasonable thing to do is to cut it off. Well, not really. Just pour some Coke over the “warzone” and wait about 5 minutes. The fizzy drink will break down the stretching properties of the gum and it will make it much easier to pick up and wash off.

  1. Pain reliever

IF you get stung by some nasty creatures (bees, wasp, jellyfish etc.) you’ll be a world of pain. You probably know the main approach to jelly fish stings is urine treatment. Fortunately, making a fool of yourself in public won’t be necessary if you happen to have some Coca Cola on you. Just open the bottle or can and pour it over the affected area. Thanks to the chemical structure of the drink, the pain inducing substances will be neutralized a couple of minutes.

Whether you like Coke as a drink or not, is not up for debate. But having some around the house will undoubtedly come in handy at some point or another. I always keep a couple of bottles, just in case. You never know when you’ll run out of cleaning props or pain relief ointments.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

The post 10 Uses For Coca Cola You Weren’t Aware Of appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

5 Of The Best Radios To Stay Connected In A Survival Situation

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Believe it or not, no serious prepper should go without one of the best radios in his personal survival kit. And this is because when modern society fails and crumbles (and our means of communications will be amongst the first to go) or if you simply find yourself stranded, you’ll need to keep in touch with the latest news. Information will be vital for your very existence in such a scenario, and you very own survival radio device will get the job done. So whether hostile armed forces are marching in towards your location or whether a natural disaster is heading your way, you’ll hear it all and have enough time to take whatever precautions are necessary. Choosing a radio for a SHTF situation won’t be as easy as choosing one for everyday life.

These tiny gadgets can be very complex, but their complexity is a plus if anything. You can have radios that are set to pick up certain wavelengths that transmit the status of natural disasters. Some support multiple power sources, some can charge your small appliances (phones, etc.) and others have a crank system that will allow them to work when there is no energy left. Here are some of the best choices that are available on the market.

The American Red Cross FRX3 is a radio made to work indefinitely, despite the fact that there might be no electrical power running through the plugs anymore. Of course, it does have the capability to stay plugged in, but when the plugs fail to deliver, you can use the crank shaft to power up its internal NiMH battery. And if your hand gets tired, you can just point it towards a strong enough light source and the solar panel will do the rest. It’s not just a radio, it’s an intricate device that gets AM / FM bands, all the NOAA (National Weather Service) bands, has a flashlight attached and a USB port to charge up other devices. If you’re the type of person that often losses things, you’ll be happy to know that the Red Cross FRX3 is very hard to misplace, as it has a glow-in-the-dark locator and a flashing red beacon.

American Red Cross FRX3

The Kaito Electronics Inc. KA500BLK Voyager is a radio that is very light, well built and comes with many gadgets that can prove very useful in all sorts of situations. It has many choices when it comes to power sources (AC, Battery, computer, hand crank and solar), ensuring its autonomy in all sorts of environments. The solar panel is situated at the top of the device and it’s adjustable at a 180° angle. This feature is very convenient, as you won’t have to turn the whole device towards light sources. But its strongest feature by far is the array of lightning options you get with this radio device: a flashlight, a red strobe and if these weren’t enough, it also has 5 LEDs for reading light. It gets all sorts of wavelengths (even shortwave broadcasts). And for those of you for whom esthetics matter just as much as anything else, the radio comes in black, red, blue, green or yellow.

Kaito Electronics Inc. KA500BLK Voyager

The Grundig S450DLX is an excellent digital radio device, very strong and reliable. It’s very good especially when it comes to shortwave signals. It has a preset channel function that will allow you to preset you favorite radio channels and to access them with the push of the button; you get 50 slots for preset channels (10 per each band). The large LCD display is clear and easy to read and the knobs work perfectly (both the normal tuning and fine-tuning). It receives a high quality signal, with very little background noise, mainly thanks to its excellent anti-interference. And if somehow you’re still having trouble getting a clear signal, you can attach an external antenna. Aa a power source, it uses DC IN (9V) or 6 D batteries.

Grundig S450DLX

The Epica Emergency Solar Hand Crank Digital Radio is a radio similar to the model used by the Red Cross, except theirs is smaller. Personally, I’m having doubts whether this is a radio or a flashlight first, as the 3 LED lights fitted on this device are very powerful. As power sources, the internal batteries can be charged by USB, hand crank or through the solar panel. The display is easy to read and the radio picks both AM / FM bands, as well as all 7 NOAA weather bands. Most of the device is incased in a rubber-like housing, which acts as a shock absorbent and also waterproofs the circuits.

Epica Emergency Solar Hand Crank Digital Radio

The Swiss+Tec ST84500 BodyGard Platinum is one of the most versatile tiny radios on the market. It’s small, very light and you can carry it around everywhere by either throwing it in your backpack or a pocket, or simply by keeping it tied to your wrist. It has an incredibly large number of features such a small device: it has LED lights (low beam / high beam), emergency flash (bright red), 144mm diameter compass (oil based), crank charger, USB charger, security alarm (that’s motion activated) and state-of-the-art Li-ion batteries. As you can plainly see, it has EVERYTHING except the kitchen sink. But that’ll hopefully be included in the next model.

Swiss+Tec ST84500 BodyGard Platinum

Staying in touch with the world is a must for all of us. But a simple radio just won’t do. As you can see, there are plenty of choices out there for preppers when it comes to survival radios. And there are plenty more models to check out in order to find the “perfect fit” for you. But get your very own radio, and fast. You’ll never know what’s going to happen next.

By Alec Deacon

The post 5 Of The Best Radios To Stay Connected In A Survival Situation appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

3 Of The Most Common And Dangerous Foodborne Diseases

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Food! We all do it, we all eat. Not only because we have to in order to survive, but also because we like it. Most cultures are unique when it comes to culinary treats, with at least a couple of dishes to set them easily aside from the rest of the world. Cooking may come in different shapes and sizes, but the raw material is (more or less) the same everywhere. We need organic material as fuel. But the organic material we ingurgitate may sometimes be infected by pathogens that will cause us harm. The food of beverages that contain certain bacteria, viruses, parasites or even chemicals will cause great distress and irritation to the gastrointestinal tract. Most of the gastrointestinal afflictions are acute; they manifest themselves rapidly, with fever diarrhea and vomiting and won’t last more than a few days, even without medical treatment. Others, on the other hand, will manifest themselves way more severely, and will cause a rapid death if left untreated.

 

Salmonella

This tiny bacterium (Salmonella enterica) is one of the most common and wildly spread foodborne pathogens on the face of the Earth. It lives in the intestinal tracts of animals and it’s transmitted to humans through food that hasn’t been properly washed and that previously came in contact with animal waste. What makes it dangerous and so wildly spread is the fact that it’s practically impossible to detect. Diseased animals manifest no exact symptoms; nor will the food products that get tainted. It’s not resistant to high temperatures, so cooking the food properly will destroy the proteins that make up the bacteria. If not, hell will soon follow. Within 12 to 72 hours from infection, the pathogen will make itself “visible” through acute abdominal pain and cramp, fever and diarrhea. The diarrhea is severe in this case, so drinking plenty of fluids is a must, in order to avoid dehydration. In a strong and healthy individual, the disease shouldn’t last more than 5 – 7 days. Medication is necessary only if the infection has already spread to the intestines; also if the infected person has a compromised immune system or is an elderly citizen, that will have problems fighting the disease on his own. It can sometimes lead to a complication known as Reiter’s syndrome or reactive arthritis, which causes painful joints, painful urination, eye soreness and chronic arthritis. The best way to avoid salmonella infection is it to cook your food carefully, especially meat and eggs.

Salmonella enterica

 

Trichinosis

Also known as trichinellosis, is a disease that’s easily contracted by humans that consume meat infected with the larvae of the trichinella worm (Trichinella spiralis), be it from domesticated pigs or other wild animals. The larvae are incased in a cyst in animal meat. After ingestion, it gets in a human host, where the digestive acids found in our stomachs dissolve the cyst and release the worm. They mature in a couple of days in the small intestine. They will mate, lay eggs and from these eggs small worm will result that will make their way to muscle tissue (through the arteries), where they’ll incase themselves in cystic form again. In an attempt to fight the invasive creatures, you’ll body will suffer nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, acute stomachaches in the first 2 – 3 days after eating the tainted meat. After the worms have matured and start reproducing (2 – 8 weeks), you’ll also experience fever, chills, coughing, eye-sealing, headaches, itchy skin, joint pain and irregularities of the digestive system (constipation or diarrhea). It’s a disease that should not be left untreated. The best way to avoid getting trichinosis is to cook meat at about 160°F, temperature that will destroy the cysts. You can also freeze you pork for 20 days in order to kill the worms, however this might not work when it comes to game animals.

Trichinella spiralis cysts in muscle mass

 

E.coli

The Escherichia coli is a large group of bacteria, out of which most are harmless. The one that’s able to cause havoc is called the O157:H7, and is part of the STEC group (the E. coli that produce the Shiga toxin). They’re mostly found in the intestines and stomachs of ruminant animals (cattle) but also in sheep, goats, elk, deer etc. When the animal is eviscerated, the intestines might get cut and spill out on the meat, immediately infecting it. The most common method of spreading the bacteria is through ground meat, but it was also found in milk and other dairy products. Vegetables or fruits that come in contact with infected animal waste will also get tainted. Although it doesn’t manifest itself in any way in the animal hosts, in humans it can cause fever, nausea, vomiting, cramps and even bloody diarrhea. The infection spreads rapidly, so that about a third of the people infected will get hospitalized; about 10% of those that get hospitalized will die. It’s most dangerous when it comes to children ages 5 – 10. They risk of developing hemolytic-uremic syndrome as a result of the E. coli infection, which can lead to kidney failure. You can avoid E. coli infection by regularly washing your hands, washing vegetables and cooking your meat at a temperature of at least 160°F.

The O157:H7 E. coli

 

 

To avoid getting dangerous foodborne diseases, hygiene is a must. Always wash your hands, your food and avoid eating from unreliable sources. If you manifest any of the symptoms that I’ve listed above, check with your doctor immediately and don’t leave anything to chance. Most of the incipient symptoms are common in most type of food related infections, so it’s hard to tell on your own whether you’ve contracted something that’s life-threatening or not.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post 3 Of The Most Common And Dangerous Foodborne Diseases appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

4 Meats That Are Packed With Protein

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I know I’ve advocated meat consumption many times before; I’ve talked about the benefits of eating meat (in moderation of course). In many cases I have stated that the human omnivorous diet (comprised of both meats and vegetal matter) requires a balanced intake of nutrients, from which meat shouldn’t not be left out, mainly because it’s the best source of protein we get. But I feel that I’ve never treated this subject with the proper respect it actually deserved, so I’ll fix that right now. If you’re a body builder or a fitness enthusiast you probably know much about what proteins are and what they’re good for. But for those of you who don’t, allow me to explain. Proteins are essential to living organism and humans make no exception. It helps build and repair muscle mass, it serves as a building block for body chemicals (enzymes, hormones etc.), skin, blood, bones, helps release carbohydrates into the bloodstream and so on. Every single fully functional cell in the human body needs protein in order to function properly. Some tissues (hair and nails) are comprised mostly of protein. So this macronutrient is one of the building blocks of life, it’s a major part of who and what we are and it’s important to have a balanced diet in which to include rich sources of protein. Let’s have a look at these 4 meats that are packed with protein. And there is no better natural source of protein out there that meat.

 

Venison (27g of protein / 3 oz)

Venison is an excellent source for protein, even better than the common beef. Not only does it have a higher amount of protein / per oz., but it also has a lower count of saturated fats. Protein is only one of the nutritious compounds venison has to offer. It’s packed with iron, riboflavin, vitamin BS and other minerals that are beneficial to human health. It’s pretty versatile when it comes to cooking methods. You can make mouth-watering stakes and stews from back straps, tenderloins or top hams. The neck the belly and the lower ribs can be easily grinded into sausages or stew meat. The best roasts result from the lower hams, but you’ll have to cook them long and slow to tender the meat. Venison has a specific taste, and if you’re not very keen on it, you can marinate it and tinker with the flavor as much as possible.

 

Chicken breast (27g of protein / 4 oz)

The chicken breast is a common household name that’s known and loved by everybody. We are all familiar with its tenderness and deliciousness. We all know how easy to prepare it is, in how many dishes and recipes we can include it in and how easy it is to procure (found in all types of stores and markets, big or small). But I don’t know how many of us are actually aware of the chicken breast’s nutritious properties. Apart from proteins, it also has phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc and also a small amount of calcium. The healthiest approach to eating chicken breast is to serve it grilled, with a side of fresh, steamed or grilled vegetables. But for those of you who don’t mind adding calories in the mix, you can just fry it and eat it with pretty much everything your heart desires. When it comes to cooking chicken breast, the sky’s the limit.

 

Ground beef 95% lean (24g of protein / 3 oz)

This is the best type of beef money can buy. The 95% lean ground beef it’s full of beneficial compounds, such as iron, creatine (that do wonders for your muscles), vitamin B6, vitamin B12, niacin, riboflavin, zinc, calcium and more. The leaner the beef, the better! Ground beef that starts at 90% lean is lower in fatty acids and calories, which makes it perfect as the main pillar of a healthy diet. Cooking it requires some caution and preparation. Because the meat lacks a high amount of fats, it’s advised to use the right amount for cooling oil before frying. If you’re planning a roast, it’s best if you add sauce and cook it slowly, because it’ll need all the moisture it can get. If you already have your heart on switching to this type of meat product, go for grass-fed beef, as it’s tenderer and even richer in protein and nutrients than regular lean beef.

 

Anchovies (24g of protein / 3 oz)

The anchovies are a small breed of fish that are extremely delicious and beneficial at the same time. Apart for being a rich source of protein, they’re also a rich resource of omega 3 fats (beneficial non-saturated fats), vitamin D, vitamin B12, niacin and other nutrients and minerals that make for tough blood vessels, strong bones and a healthy heart. Their small size also prevents them from accumulating high amounts of toxins, like bigger fish do. Before eating them, soak them in water for about 30 minutes; they retain high amounts of salt and this will remove the excess salt. They’re not meant for cooking (as they tend to dissolve), so just eat them out of the can with greens and cheeses or add them to salad dressings.

 

For a while I’ve considering pork chops as well. But I ultimately decided to drop them from the list, because of their high amount of fat: 1.2 g of polyunsaturated fat, 3.3 g of saturated fat and 3.9 g of monounsaturated fat.

These are some of my personal favorite meats, but I’m sure there are plenty more out there to take into consideration. I’m sure there are plenty of you that could successfully add to this list, and make it go for pages on end. But that is not my goal; all I wanted to do is to share with you the importance and joy of eating meat. Stay safe and healthy!

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fishing for Survival

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Most of us use fishing as a recreational activity. But fishing started out as a necessity for human beings rather than anything else. And what if a time comes when you’ll find yourself obligated to fish for no other purpose than to feed yourself or your family? There are plenty of survival scenarios that could happen and might force you to resort to fishing for survival. If the SHTF scenario finds you at home and prepared, with all the fishing gear you need at your disposal, good. That means one less thing to worry about. But what if you happen to find yourself stranded or you’re forced to leave your home without having enough time to pack your fishing gear too? There are water sources around and “plenty of fish in the sea” but nothing to catch them with. Well, you’re not doomed to starve, that’s for sure. There are plenty of primitive fishing techniques developed way before modern fishing that could very well be implemented today. Sure, fishing with the latest gear is preferable, but if that’s not an option, at least there are other ways that, although are unorthodox, at least they work.

 

D.I.Y. fishing spear

There is more than one way of improvising such a tool. If you’re aim is good enough and your hand is steady you can make a single point spear. Just find a branch or a piece of wood that’s long enough and simply attach to one end either a blade or a piece of bone that’s sharp enough to pierce flesh. A piece of durable plastic will do just as well. Simply carve enough space at one end of the branch (without breaking it) that’s wide enough to jam the point of the spear in. After you’re done, simply tie the end with a piece of rope or even duct tape and you have yourself a fishing spear. If you’re using a knife, know that exposure to water will deteriorate the quality of the metal in time, so you won’t be able to use it for much else. Another way of doing it is to simply carve the spear tip directly in the branch, by sharpening it with a blade or another sharp object at your disposal. But this won’t be a very durable result, especially if you miss a lot. Hitting the wooden tip on hard surfaces (rocks and sediments) will break it eventually.

But what if you’re a bad that can’t even harpoon a shark in a fish tank? No worries, this mean’s the multi-headed fishing spear is the right tool for you. Take a branch that’s durable enough and split one for about 6 inches long, as many times as you can. Sharpen the multi heads of the spear and tie them last 2 – 3 firmly with the rope, to prevent them from splitting further and eventually breaking. Now find a twig that’s strong enough to keep the “teeth” of the spear separated. You’ll not only hit your prey easily pierce it easily, but the shock from the hit will eject the twig, closing the “spear jaws”. That fish won’t know what hit him.

The multi-headed fishing spear

D.I.Y. fishing gear

Those of you who just can’t give up modern fishing or who simply find spear fishing too primitive can improvise their very own lures, lines and fish hooks. Hooks are easiest to make. If you have a soda can in hand, you can cut the tab a pair of pliers or strong scissors into a hook shape. Anything goes if you creative enough, from safety pins, nails or paper clips to thorns and bones. If you have a sharp knife on you and the patience to do it, you can make your very own toggle hook, used by our primitive ancestors. This is a 1 inch hook made from durable material (bone, sea shells or wood) that’s sharpened at both ends and curbed. It’s attached to the fishing line by its mid section and hidden bait. When the prey swallows the bait, the hook jams in its throat.

Bait shouldn’t be much of a problem, as there is plenty of natural bait around, even in urban environments. Fish tend to go for everything wiggling, so you’ll have no problem if you’ll be using grubs, ants, night crawlers, centipedes, millipedes, maggots, earthworms, caterpillars, beetles etc. If one type of bait doesn’t work, keep trying on until you find the right one. Considering you’ll be in survival situation, you might as well be fishing with multiple fishing lines. So trying out different types of bait and making a statistic shouldn’t be a long and lengthy process at all.

Fishing line is probably the biggest challenge you’ll have to face. Although it’s hard to improvise, it’s not impossible. It can be made out of clothing material (ripped or torn), wire, twisted tree bark, dental floss and pretty much everything else that’s thin enough to attach itself to the fishing pole and strong enough to pull a fish out of the water.

Improvised tab hook

D.I.Y. fishing nets

In some cases this method can be more efficient than the tradition line and hook method. You can use clothing material or pretty much any material that’s strong enough for the job. You can attach two pieces at the extremities and simply walk around with the improvised net submersed. This is very practical if you’re using it in a small lake or stream, but not if you find yourself at the ocean. You’ll have to start from the deepest spot and work your way with the net still immersed to the shallowest spot. When you get there, close the net and pick it up quickly.

Hand fishing

It’s probably the most primitive fishing method available. But still, it works. This activity goes by many names (hogging, graveling, noodling, fish tickling etc.) and it varies in technique from region to region. The easiest approach to hand fishing is to catch fish directly from their lairs or hideouts. Cat fish are easiest to catch due to their considerable size (which makes them easy to hold) and their slow response. Just find a fish lair and rich in and grab the fish out. It’s best if you can grab a direct hold of the gills and or on the inside of the mouth. Just make sure that whatever it is you’re grabbing doesn’t have teeth or spikes.

These are some of the easiest methods of fishing in a survival situation. There are more out there for you to discover. Many of them might not be legal in your state, but in a SHTF scenario, everything goes. So do not try them unless you don’t absolutely have to.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

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Easy Ways to Prepare for Riots and Migrant Invasions

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Riots and Migrant InvasionsWith all the violence, in Europe, we need to be prepared for anything. Here are some easy ways to prepare for riots and migrant invasions.

Easy Ways to Prepare for Riots and Migrant Invasions

It’s hard for me to look at what’s happening in Europe right now, around 8,000 African and Middle-Eastern migrants cross their borders every single day. The old continent will never be the same, that’s  for sure, and I feel powerless when it comes to doing something to stop this “flood”. The US also agreed to receive 10,000 of them last I heard so if you think this migrant crisis won’t affect you, think again. I’m willing to bet that number will rise pretty soon.

Considering the size of the Ferguson and Baltimore riots, adding a few hundreds of thousands of Muslim migrants is like pouring gasoline on fire. We need to prepare. We need to know what to do in the next wave of riots because one thing I do know is it’s going to be devastating.

#1. Move out of downtown areas

You don’t have to leave everything behind (friends, jobs) and move out of the city into the wilderness or in a small town. The suburbs will allow you and your spouse to keep your jobs and you’ll be far away from the streets and squares that are most likely to witness bloody street-fights at some point.

#2. Have a get home bag and an everyday carry kit (EDC)…

…and make sure all your family members do too. The items you have on you when you’re away from home may as well save your life if you’re trapped in a riot, if you happen to run into a gang of thugs or if someone starts following you at night. Buying stuff for your GHB and EDC is easy; the hard part is keeping them concealed so your co-workers don’t think you’re crazy for having water purifying tablets on you.

#3. Spread the word

My personal Facebook profile is full of news and footage about the migrants that’ve taken over Europe. Even though I lost a few “Facebook friends” lately, I’m confident that my efforts are raising much-needed awareness, particularly since liberal media prefers to only show on side of the story.

You need to know your facts because there are plenty of fake photos and misleading news out there that do not make our point.

#4. Do drills (preferably with your family)

They are easier than you think. During a lunch break, make it a point to get home as fast as you can (without causing an accident). Measure how long all of this takes you and try to beat your own record in subsequent drills. You can even stop along the way if you notice a vending machine to see how fast you can get to the cash in your survival bag to get water and energy bars (as you would in an emergency situation when you’d need to be hydrated and energized).

#5. Prepare for martial law

Total Martial Law means, among other things, the suspension of the Constitution and the replacement of the Government and the legislative powers with a military dictatorship. If this happens, it means things are bad. Really bad.

As long as you’re prepping, you might as well do it for a more extreme scenario such as this one because you’ll automatically be ready for anything else: riots, civil unrest or a state of emergency. Just remember what happened during Katrina when people were forced to spend several nights in the Superdome in New Orleans, along with types of people I’d rather not talk about.

#6. Don’t trust ANYONE

Good people turn into savages when put in critical situations. Just look at the migrant crisis in Europe. Many of the refugees became violent when they weren’t allowed into Hungary, not to mention some of them may be terrorists.

Speaking of which, some of the terrorists who decided to take Christian lives were also considered to be “nice guys” by the people who previously knew then and were interviewed. Heck, even some of your neighbors might get upset that you don’t join their protests (What normal prepper would, protests and having the mob mentality are completely useless.) My point is, you can’t really trust anyone during social unrest. Instruct your kids to avoid talking to strangers and learn to recognize when someone is stick to stay away from them.

#7.  Stay Connected and Read the Signs

If you bug out when it’s too late… bad news: you might not make it. The streets will be veritable battlefields so good luck with that. It’s better to bug out to early as soon as you feel things are going down the drain and make a fool of yourself than it is to make the decision when it’s too late and risk everything.

One of the most important things you can do is to constantly watch local TV stations or listen to local radio stations so you’re the first to know when something bad happens. You also need to

#8. Make Like-minded Friends

They don’t necessarily have to be preppers. A lot of folks out there are concerned with politics and the way things are going and, even if they aren’t prepping, they at least see the things the same way you do.

The more such people you know, the more likely it is they’ll help you or that you’ll help them. Who knows, maybe one of them will help you bug out in case you can’t for some reason (even if they don’t know what bugging out means right now).

#9. Become a grey man or woman

Becoming a grey man is all about not standing out from the crowd. Let’s take a closer look at those migrants trying to make their way into Germany, Austria and Sweden. Though there hasn’t been conclusive proof, many people fear that ISIS terrorists disguised themselves as refugees.

If you noticed, most of these guys were well dressed, had smartphones and money. So, if you were trying to blend in with them, would you try to look like a dirt-poor refugee? Of course not! You’d have a smartphone and good clothes too.

My point is, if you want to blend in with the people around you to avoid suspicions that you might have things of value on you, such as money, guns or gold. You need to look like them, smell like them and dress like them.

Final Word

It’s almost impossible to see how the coming nation-wide social chaos will unfold. Who would have thought modern refugees would look like the ones who are still trying, as I’m writing this, to make their way into Europe? The only certainty in the coming disaster is uncertainty so I guess my best and final advice I can give you is to always hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

A guest post from Dan Sullivan – www.SurvivalSullivan.com

The post Easy Ways to Prepare for Riots and Migrant Invasions appeared first on Geek Prepper.

Hay Bale Gardening: How To Grow Your Own Veggies Without Fertilizer And Weed-Free

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I’ve been really into gardening lately, trying to find the best techniques and methods for growing fruit or veggies with as little effort or resources as possible. One method that really caught my attention was the straw bale method, a method that is based on planting into straw bales rather than in the ground. You prepare the bales thoroughly and that’s pretty much it. It’s cheap, requires very little care as the method is not pretentious at all and another bonus is that the plants are raised above ground level, which puts them out of the reach of various critters that could take a liking in whatever it is you planted. And not only that, picking the plants will from the straw bales, will be a lot easier than picking them from the ground.  The seemed perfect, but only until I stumbled across the alternative: the HAY bale gardening method, which made the straw bale method seem less appealing all of a sudden.

Hay bale gardening vs. straw bale gardening

For those of you who have very little to do with gardening, there is a major difference between the two. Straw bales are usually comprised from cereal crops stalks (corn, wheat, oat, rye, barley etc.). It’s mostly used for bedding livestock, and apart from carbon, it has no real nutritional value. It’s not inefficient as a surface for growing plants, but it will require regular watering and fertilizers to get the job done. Hay on the other hand, it’s nothing but rich grasses that are mainly a source of rich and
nutritious food for cattle during cold periods (winter time), when the fields are empty. They are filled with nutrients and minerals like nitrogen, potassium, phosphates etc. that vegetables require to grow. It’s exactly this natural cocktail of minerals and nutrients that require no additional fertilizing methods when it comes to hay bale gardening. Hay also holds water more efficiently than straw due to its density and chemical structure. So a hay bale garden requires watering once a day, whereas a straw bale garden will require watering 3 times a day.

Getting started

The first thing you’ll need to start your very own hay bale garden is getting your hands on hay bales. If you have nobody to turn to in your vicinity that could sell or give you the hay bales, you can always go on the internet and find farmers that have hay bales for sale. Once they’re delivered to you, pick a spot to your liking (preferably in your garden) and set them as you see fit. Next you’ll need to prepare the hay bales for the planting process. What’ll you’ll need is some 42-0-0 or even better, some nitrogen. You’ll treat the bales with nitrogen for 5 days; the nitrogen will break down bacteria, fungi and insects into nutritious compost that will serve as “fuel” for your growing plants. If you’re not that keen on spending money on nitrogen or fertilizers, you can just pee on the hay bales for the 5-day period; pee is rich in nitrogen and it’ll get the job done just as efficiently. However, the daily dose of pee a person produces will not be enough for this endeavor, so I suggest you start saving your pee in bottles or containers.

The preparation of the bales will be done over a period of 10 days total before planting. In the uneven days, the bales will be treated with half-a-cup of nitrogen and sprayed with water. During the even days of the 10 day period, the bales will be watered only.

During this process, the temperature inside the hay bales will rise dramatically, most likely to 120°F – 140°F. Although is very unlikely that the bales will simply catch fire, the risk still exists. So water the bales regularly I order to avoid any unwanted incidents. When the “ordeal” is over, the temperature will subside, from how to warm. Once this happens, you can start planting your vegetables. Just add regular seeds, water the hay garden once a day and you’ll be able to pick the fruits of your labor in no time.

Accurate temperature readings using a professional thermometer

 

Professional tips

  1. The bales should be tightly bound if you want them to hold. Synthetic twine works great and hold the hay bales together just fine during the growing season.
  2. A single bale of hay will hold about two tomato plants, two pumpkin hill, 3 cauliflower plants or 3 broccoli plants; plants cover the same amount of space in the bales as they do in the ground.

  1. Growing tall plants (sunflower, corn etc.) is not advised, as hay bales do not offer such plants the support they need. If you won’t provide these types of plants with a stacking system, they’ll most probably fall over.
  2. You shouldn’t water the bales more than two times a day. There is no danger of drowning the plants, because the water will evaporate quickly; the hay bales will not get drenched like soil would.

This method is very interesting and it seems to give great results even for the rookies. You don’t need much to get started. Just a minimum investment and the will power to get things done. If you’re looking for a cheap and fast alternative to gardening, look no further: hay bale gardening is the way.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post Hay Bale Gardening: How To Grow Your Own Veggies Without Fertilizer And Weed-Free appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Top 3 Forms Of Martial Arts To Learn For Your Personal Protection

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I can imagine what your first thought might have been when reading the title above:  you’re far too old and busy to start learning such kid’s games and there’s absolutely nothing to gain out of it. But let me tell you: you’d be dead wrong. You’re never to learn to get into a sport or physical activity, as long as your doctor allows it and you do it with moderation. When it comes to studying martial arts, know that one can benefit greatly from such activity. And no, it’s not meant for kids only. If you’re serious about it, you can start out as old as you like and still end up being good at it. Martial arts can be more than learning combat moves for self defense: they’re great physical exercise, each form has its own philosophy behind it (which you can study along with the moves) and great fun. But for those of you who are planning on getting their money’s worth, you can ultimately become an expert in a certain fighting style.

You might find yourself during your lifetime in certain situations from which you could easily escape unharmed if you have the proper training. Learning a fighting style could be very useful as a self-defense method: against attackers, muggers, perpetrators etc. If you’re trained well enough you could easily disarm assailants or even take on more than one at a time. There have been many fighting styles and techniques developed throughout history in various parts of the world. There are also many combinations of fighting styles available (mixed martial arts), for people who want to get the best of ALL worlds. It’s a matter of choice; let’s see what are the most popular at the moment and maybe you’ll find the one that suits you best.

 

Krav Maga

This it may come as a surprise, but it’s Israel’s very own fighting style. It was developed (mostly) by Imi Lichtenfeld during the 1930s. The style itself is very direct, meant to counter holds and incapacitations of every sort. Because it’s full contact and it gives advantage against almost any type of attack, it’s excellent for street survival, and not only. It’s a mixed style, comprised of elements which are basic to other fighting techniques like Karate, Jiu-Jitsu throws and grappling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ground fighting, Wing Chun burst of hands and even Greco-Roman wrestling. Its dynamics consist in the fact that it allows the practitioner to a attack and defend at the same time, in a single movement of the body.  In most martial arts styles the tendency is to block and immediately respond with a counter blow. Things are different in Krav Maga, we’re you’re suppose to block and deliver the attack at the same time: you could (for example) block an attack with you right arm and at the same time strike with the other arm or the legs. The strikes delivered and promoted by Krav Maga are vicious, meant to incapacitate and hurt as much as possible. You learn to go for the most exposed body part, like the throat, eyes, groin or the liver. It also teaches a lot of techniques for disarming your opponents, no matter if they bare sticks, knives or guns. The style is very efficient, it develops hand-eye coordination and it takes no longer then 5 months to learn.

 

Aikido

This is a very distinct fighting style, which has been promoted a great deal in pop culture by Steven Seagal. Don’t let Seagal’s reputation as an actor throw you off: he is probably the leading authority in the field when it comes to Aikido, having studied most of his youth years in Japan, with the greatest masters. He’s a legit 7 degree black belt who not only mastered the style, but also developed it: the kote gaeshi (Seagal’s signature move) or “forearm return” is a prolific move, essential to all survival fighters, no matter the style or technique.

This style uniqueness consists in its approach to direct fighting: Aikido teaches almost no direct blows whatsoever, it mostly teaches you how to counter everything that can be thrown at you. Its philosophy is based on the idea that an attacking opponent always leaves himself vulnerable. What you need to do is exploit that vulnerability and use your enemy’s momentum against him. For example, a straight punch could simply be countered by side-stepping and grabbing the opponents wrist or arm. You can simply pivot and throw him down if you grab the arm, or if the wrist is involved, simply twist it towards the outside. The momentum will help you break the wrist with almost no effort from your part, incapacitating your attacker immediately. This style requires awareness rather than speed or strength. If you keep your cool and your eyes opened, as an Aikido practitioner, you’ll have no trouble breaking the joints and wrists of your attackers.

 

 

Muay Thai Kickboxing

The fighting style was originally developed in Thailand, in the 19th century, and it translates to “the art of the 8 limbs”. It’s a contact fighting style, based on a large variety of punches, elbows and kicks. It’s philosophy consists in the fact that someone who is using a tool for fighting is limited by that one tool. A muay thai practitioner, on the other hand, has many such tools (punches, kicks, elbows), therefore has the advantage. It’s not a fancy style, but rather an effective one. It’s based on lighting speed, precision and power, and can exploit even the slightest opening in your adversary’s defense. The best way to counter a weapon attack (as long as you not held at gun point) is to approach the attacker as forward as possible. Simply aim for the jaw, throat or liver and kick it as hard as possible.

With enough technique and training, your legs and punches could easily crack bones and inflict serious pain. Kickboxing requires some serious physical training, as its practitioners do a little something called combat qi. It’s basically subjecting your body parts to repeated hits and damage, until the “hardened” body part no longer hurts as it used to. This practice is mostly used to harden the shin bone; kick boxers hit hard surfaces for 2 hours-a-day, 2 years straight.

There are many other fighting styles available, but these are my personal favorites and possibly the most useful in a combat scenario. But if you have to take one thing away from martial arts, that’s discipline and self control. Do not get carried away and avoid confrontation unless there’s no other way but standing your ground and fighting. But if that time comes, at least you now know where to go in order to overcome your opponents.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

The post Top 3 Forms Of Martial Arts To Learn For Your Personal Protection appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Your Survival Garden Worst Enemies: Pests You Should Watch Out For

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Planning and setting up your own survival garden is no easy task. It requires knowledge, precision and a bit of practice to get it done. But once you got the project going, doesn’t mean you can just let nature take care of everything while you relax and await to pick the fruit of your labor. Mother Nature works both ways and that which creates, can also destroy. Leaving things to chance is not an option, so you have to take your role as a farmer seriously and watch out for those pesky insects, that if left to their device, can destroy everything you worked so hard for. It takes a bit of studying the phenomena in order to understand it, so you can identify the type of pest you’re dealing with and what’s the best method to apply according to the amount of damage that has already been inflicted. If the infestation is light, picking the insects by hand should suffice, but if we’re talking heavy infestation, you’ll probably have to resort to insecticides. Next I’m going to walk you through a list comprised of some of the most common garden pests and how to read the signs they leave behind.

 

Aphids

They are probably THE worst garden pest imaginable, as they have no preferences when it comes to garden vegetables; they simply go for everything that’s green. The easiest signs to read are visual: you know you’ve been attacked by aphids if you happen to find clusters of small, soft-bodied on buds and growth tips. Sticky secretions can also be found from place to place and leaves tend to get curly. Aphids never invade in small numbers and it’s very unlikely hand-picking will do you any good. The best way to deal with them is to spray insecticidal soap or neem oil. There are also specialized poisons that can be sprayed directly on the vegetables, but I strongly advise you to consult a specialist before purchasing or using such products.

 

Root maggots

They’re food of choice is usually cabbage, carrots, turnips, squashes, spinach and radishes. Their presence is clear if you happen to find wilted plants or yellowish quarter-of-an-inch insects on the root of the plants. The first thing you need to do is to actually stop the flies from laying their eggs near the seedlings: simply put plastic or paper shields about 4 inches in diameter near the plants. If the situation gets out of control, you’ll have no other option but to drench the soil in root maggot insecticide, but do so under the supervision of a professional.

White flies

4

 

These tiny flying insects have a real craving for tomatoes, peppers, egg plants and sweet potatoes. They’re easy to spot as they’ll easily fly around from plant to plant if disturbed. If in large numbers, they can cause serious damage to plants, because they’ll feed on the nutriments of the underside of the leaves. Light infestations can be easily dealt with by simply spraying neem oil or water. But if you’re dealing with heavy infestation, get the right poison for the job, according to a qualified professional.

 

Slugs and snails

They’re not the fastest insects out there (possibly the slowest), but don’t get fooled: they can inflict serious damage to your tomato, carrot, lettuce and turnip crops. They are voracious eaters and if you happen to find irregular patterns of holes in the plant’s leaves or stems, doubled by slime trails leading from plants to plant, you’re dealing with slugs or snails (or both). During the day they rest under all sorts of debris, so removing them out of the way and keeping the garden as tidy as possible will keep you out of harm’s way. But if you’re dealing with infestation, you’ll need more than just a tidied up area. You can simply attract and drown them in shallow pans of beer or special baits that are available on the market.

Borers

They prefer melons, pumpkins, squashes and cucumbers. If you stumble across wilted plants or just wilted growth tips, then you might suspect you have a borer problem. And if you happen to spot small holes drilled in the plants (usually where wilting begins), than you know for sure you have a borer problem. Plants can still be salvaged from borer infestations by simply cutting out the borer, but if they get to infest the base of the plant, it’s compromised and needs to be torn out. In order to avoid such an obnoxious parasite, spray the base of the plants with the right kinds of insecticide during late spring / early summer, but only under the supervision of a professional.

 

Beetles

There are many varieties of beetles out there and they can affect all sorts of crops imaginable. Beetles don’t need special methods when it comes to detection: they’re easy to spot as many are brightly colored and shiny, and they’re feeding methods leave irregular holes in the foliage. As they’re not that hard to catch, picking them by hand would be a cost-effective method if you’re dealing with light infestation. In the case of heavy infestation, just spray the area with the appropriate insecticide, recommended by a qualified professional.

Gophers

Gophers don’t have very specific cravings, and go for everything they can get their tiny paws on. They’ll voraciously eat any sort of root they’ll stumble across in their underground tunnels. But they also eat the above-ground plant if not disturbed; the mostly prefer carrots, sweet potatoes and peas. If left unattended they can ruin a whole garden in a matter of days.

The most eco-friendly approach in dealing with your gopher problem would be to encourage the presence of birds of prey in the vicinity, by placing bird baths or keeping the garden as tidy as possible so they’re easily spotted by the winged predators. But if the bird method seems a bit drastic, you could just let your dog or cat to roam freely in the garden. Gophers are easily scared and will behave if constantly pressured. Flooding their tunnels is also effective and easy to do.

Dealing with garden pests is no easy task, but it’s not impossible either. There’s a solution to any sort of problem you might stumble upon and nothing can stop you to achieve your goals in survival gardening. But I strongly advise you to never deal with poisons and insecticides on your own, always consult a specialist in the matter before doing so. You not only risk damaging your garden, but also your health. Pest poisons and insecticides are very dangerous if not handled properly.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post Your Survival Garden Worst Enemies: Pests You Should Watch Out For appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Poverty In The US: Causes, Facts And The Most Afflicted States

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The current state of poverty, hunger and social and economic distress has started with the downfall of the economy that came to be in 2008. The effects of the event were felt world-wide, but most probably, nobody was as affected like the US was. That financial crisis destroyed many private businesses (big or small), left many jobless, homeless and even laid to waste one of our most emblematic cities: Detroit.  This economic freefall has somewhat diminished by late 2013, but the aftershock of the financial earthquake is still being felt amongst the masses even today. But there is more to this problem than actual meets the eye. We know for sure what set everything in motion (the economic collapse of 2008), but we must understand what’s keeping us (still) down; the reasons why getting back on the saddle is harder than anticipated. It’s not just based on the faults of our economy, but also on our political system and our place in the world’s economy, that’s not doing too well either.

The economy in the US

The way things are going in the US economic scene today are in no way beneficial to the American people. The way the system has functioned in these last 6 or 7 years has significantly increased the amount of poverty amongst the masses. This is how the free capitalist enterprise system actually operates: employers create a competitive market in which the most adequate and prepared people compete for the best jobs available. The downside is, however, that this also leaves out a great deal of people that remain jobless; these are the ones who qualify least or do not interest employers at all. In a utopia, the market would generate enough jobs for everybody, so that even the least qualified would get a spot (more or less desirable). But in an economy that’s already facing problems, the rate of unemployment grows even larger, because the system is not able to provide enough jobs for everyone. According to a CNBC report, the real unemployment rate is about 10.5%, still far from what it should be.

Politics in the US

The political system in the US is focused on external and internal affairs alike. But the actual situation of the middle-to-lower class in the US receives very little attention or funding from our politicians. It comes as no surprise to anyone that most of ourfunding and attention is directly channeled into our military and security systems.

The US federal government is distributing large budgets to the military and to annexed political and financial connections for safety purposes (aka. the military-industrial complex). These investments are necessary in order to secure our dominance on the world’s stage (and our wellbeing and safety while doing so). Another factor worth mentioning is the ability of rich people and powerful corporations to obtain subsidies and tax breaks. Not only that, but they are also get access to large funds that get spent on projects like political campaigns, congresses and many more. For example, the shift of the Democratic Party, which changed its sights from the working class (it’s now targeting middle class), will require a great deal of effort and a lot of money spent on political propaganda and reorganization.

Poverty worldwide

The US has known poverty in these last few years, but the level of poverty here is nothing compared to the level of poverty in many other places around the globe. It’s estimated that around 1 billion people worldwide are forced to live with an average income of $1.35 a day. We’re situated way above this standard of living, but it’s nothing more than a domino effect, and if we don’t want to find ourselves in a similar spot, we’d best pick up our pace. The best solution to a worldwide economic crisis is trading (importation and exportation). It’s a commonly known fact that most rich and powerful countries have enough labor force for all the industrial quarters available. Not only that, but these countries are also technologically superior, holding enough machinery and technology to improve production. In poor countries, things are different: they have very little capital but a lot of labor force. Because the labor force is cheaper in poor countries (due to high competition), production costs are lower than those in poor countries. That’s how China has raised its economy lately: the overall costs for imported Chinese goods are lower than the production costs in richer countries. This is how economics can easily be explained and the tendency of poor countries to grow financially, while stronger ones tend to crumble. And of course, the ones that get to deal with all the misery are the lower and middle classes.

The most poverty-stricken states in the US

In late 2014, The Center for American Progress Action Fund has released a report (State of the States Report) that’s reporting on all the US states in terms of poverty, inequality or opportunity. These studies have concluded that 45.3 million Americans (14.5% of the total population) are situated below the poverty line, with an income that’s less than $23,834 / year for a family of 4. The South seems to have the highest concentration of poor people than any other place in the US. Let’s have a look at the 3 poorest states at the moment:

3 – Louisiana (19.8% poverty rate)

Louisiana seems to be the most uneven and unusual state. Its unemployment rate seemed to be no bigger than 6.2%, but despite this, there was a strange unevenness regarding income: the richer 20% made staggering incomes (18 time higher) than what the poorest 20% used to make. Not only that, but the gender income gap was significant as well. Throughout 2014 women have earned only about 66% of what men used to make.

2 – New Mexico (22% poverty rate)

New Mexico has been gravely affected by the recession in 2008, as many people working in the public sector lost their jobs (3.900 alone only in 2013). Here about 31% of the children live in conditions of poverty, many of whom are homeless. It’s the holder of a shaming record, as it’s the US capital of teen birth: about 47 out of 1000 women (ages 15 – 19). Despite this controversial figure, it ranks fairly low when it comes to abandoned children, as only 4 in 1000 kids are placed in foster care.

1 – Mississippi (24.1% poverty rate)

This is undoubtedly the poorest state in the country, where about 696.000 people live below poverty conditions. It’s also takes the take when it comes to child poverty (33.8% children) and food insecurity. It has no defined minimum wage (just like Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee) and the unemployed are sustained mainly by government-funded welfare programs.

No matter the political systems going around, no matter the fluctuation of the economy, no matter how many successful investments a government makes, we will never eradicate poverty. For some to ascend on the social and economical scale, other needs to descend. We’ll never be all rich; this is only a naïve utopia. But what we can do is address the problem as seriously as we can and intervene as much as possible. Take a stance against poverty and counter it with education and donations.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

The post Poverty In The US: Causes, Facts And The Most Afflicted States appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Prepper Courtesy Wake-Up Call

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My dog is an a-hole. Seriously, she is. Just before midnight last night, my wife and I are awoken to the sound of her barking from the lower level of our house. It wasn’t the kind of bark that indicated an intruder or stranger on the property, just a sharp, shrill teeth-on-edge bark that she […]

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5 Most Nutritious Fish Found In The U.S.

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The most nutritious fish meat is considered very good for your heart, being rich in protein, minerals and vitamins (A, D and E), very important in maintaining good health. It also contains high-chains of omega 3 fats, selenium and it’s rather low in saturated fats (the bad kind of fats). A scientific studied conducted by professors Dariush Mozaffrian and Eric Rimm showed that eating a portion of 3 ounces of fatty fish (herring, salmon, mackerel etc.) 2 times a week reduces the chances of heart failure by 36%. The omega 3 fats in this case are key in protecting the heart from cardiac rhythm disturbances, maintaining a regular heartbeat. Erratic heartbeats can be very dangerous and potentially fatal if left untreated. They also lower blood pressure, improve the functionality of blood vessels and lower the levels of triglycerides. The studies on fish benefits for the circulatory system are approved by the American Heart Association.

It was also demonstrated (through observational studies) that the same omega 3 fats are extremely important for brain development and activity in infants. Studies confirm that the nervous system and brain in children whose mothers consumed fish during the pregnancy is far superior in development to children whose mothers did not include fish in their diet during the pregnancy and breast-feeding period.

Fortunately, fish is abundant and available to Americans, who should reconsider balancing their diets and making more room for such beneficial and nutritious substances which are found in fish meat. Let’s have a look and see our options.

 

The farmed Rainbow Trout

(Oncorhynchus mykiss)

The rainbow trout is not only nutritious, but it’s also very delicious, preferred by many when it comes to cheap and affordable sea-food.
It’s not a particularly endangered species, but some varieties are not fit for consumption because they show signs of contamination with PCB chemicals (especially the species native to Lake Michigan and Lake Huron). It’s not pretentious when it comes to cooking. It’s best to leave the scales on while doing so, because this will remove the need of adding extra oil while coating or breading the fish. It’s excellent for simple recipes and goes great with mushroom sauces, spices or just lemon. Baking is best done at 400°F – 500°F, for 5 minutes on each side.

 

The wild-caught Alaskan Salmon

(Oncorhynchus kisutch and Oncorhynchus gorbuscha)

The wild-caught salmon is considered bettered healthier and better than the farmed kind, sine the farmed ones have double the dosage of unhealthy saturated fats than the wild ones. The omega 3 fats levels are the same. Even marketing giants, such as target have been stacking up lately on wild salmon, selling only salmon certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. This fish is perfect for salads or sandwiches, and it also goes great with white bean soup. There are plenty more recipes out there, each being tastier than the last.

 

 

The wild-caught Pacific Sardines

(Sardinops sagax)

It’s astonishing the comeback these tiny fish made after the late 1950, when the nearly went extinct. They don’t have a good reputation when it comes to creative recipes and food assortments, but don’t let that fool you. Just because they’re been eating straight out of the can for the last hundred years, doesn’t mean there’s no potential available. If you feel like experimenting in an “unorthodox” manner, you can make or buy a mouth-watering sardines & white beans salad. If you feel like keeping the traditions alive, there’s always the ever-popular sardine sandwich with either plain or marinated sardines (garlic, tomato sauce, olive oil etc).

 

The wild-caught Albacore Tuna

(Thunnus alalunga)

This fish has gained a lot of bad reputation lately because of the suspicion of high levels of mercury poison. After scientific testing, tuna caught in Canadian and Western U.S. coasts have in fact proven to have lower amounts of poison in their bodies than anywhere else in the world. This is because these fish are generally younger and were exposed to the poisonous substance for lesser periods of time. The Albacore is not the type of fish that you find at your local everyday fish market or store. It’s hard to come by, but it’s mostly available at online stores, like Heritage Foods USA. The best Albacore I have ever eaten came in ht shape of tuna kebab, easy to prepare and delicious to the maximum. Simply prepare like regular kebabs, using tuna meat (even the loins) instead of chicken.

 

 

The farmed Barramundi or Asian seabass

(Lates calcarifer)

It’s a very uncommon fish for most Americans, and with good reason. This white-fleshed fish is native to Australian waters, where aborigines firstly fished them by hand from their natural habitat, freshwater rivers. They are easy to breed and the U.S. farms have become highly specialized in doing so. They utilize land-based tanks in which the fish are being kept mainly on a vegetarian diet. It’s highly recommended to buy American, as the other countries farm these fish in ocean-based nets that are highly pollutant. The Barramundi can be simply cooked with lemon juice for dressing, whether It’s fried, grilled, or baked. But it can also be used for fancier recipes, like Barramundi with Swiss chard and roasted sweet potatoes.

As you can see, there is plenty of fish the sea! There are many unpopular species available throughout the U.S. that work wonders for the ones health, whether they’re bought off the internet or simply fished the old fashioned way.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

The post 5 Most Nutritious Fish Found In The U.S. appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

The Best 5 Dog Breeds For Your Personal Protection

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Dogs have been domesticated for millennia now, and ever since they have earned (and rightfully so) the reputation of “man’s best friend”. A family god will get very attached to its owner or owners. And thanks to its territorial nature, will do a great job of protecting the ones he holds dear and his territory (your house and possessions). Throughout the years, dog breeding has become more and more specialized, with different types of breeds particularly good for different types of tasks, like: protection, hunting, seeing guides for the blind, companions etc. If treated well and loved, your dog will reward you being faithful, caring and protective in return. Dogs bred for protection in most cases, can be your best line of defense: they can sense danger from afar (smelling the approaching strangers) and can alert you by barking. But if this fails and you find yourself or youra family under attack, your dog won’t hesitate to retaliate against you attacker. You can always count on your dog’s loyalty when it comes to protecting its master, no matter his size or ability. Next I’m going show you  the best 5 dog breeds for personal protection, on which most experts agree upon.

 

The German Shepherd

According to most specialists, the German Shepherd is THE guard dog. This breed is rather new, as it was first bred in the 19th century, in Germany (hence the name). It was immediately exported to America, and during the World Wars it was used on the field by pretty much everybody thanks to their keen sense of smell, which made them prefect in land mine detection or enemy tracking. They’re the most common breed used by the police force today, due to their obedience, sense of smell and responsiveness. The German Shepherd is particularly intelligent; they’re very fast learners and very good listeners when they’re given a certain command. Their fur is rather thick, which makes them tolerant to drastic climate change: they are very resistant to cold weather but they will easily shed in warm climate, in order to adapt. They are very aware of their surroundings and do an excellent job in protecting their homes and owners. Their size is considerable, capable of overpowering anybody. but despite their aggressive look, they are very loving by nature, especially with children. They are most effective if properly trained. It’s necessary the dog will have his very own place or quarters to sleep, so that he can understand his role in the family. As mentioned before, they are fast learners and if loved and cared for, you’ll need no better protection for you and your entire family.

 

The Doberman Pinscher

This breed originated in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. They’ve been brought to the US after the end of World War II and used mostly in military and police situations. Although many races were thrown into the mix, they seem to resemble grayhounds most. Their careful breeding gave them excellent traits for a guard dog, like athleticism, strength and obedience. If trained properly, the Doberman will be very loyal to its master and very obedient to his every command. It’s not what you would call a loving dog, but it’s very aware and protective of its family (at the same time weary of people he doesn’t know) and quick to react if need be. They don’t require much grooming and attention, since their hair is short: regular feeding and exercising will suffice. The breed is rather disease-free; regular vet-checks and ear and tail clippings will avoid complications. They are not easily trained, and need to be dominated from an early age to understand authority. Also its best you they are brought up in a home full of children rather than brought in at an older age.

 

The Great Dane

The Great Dane (aka. the German Mastiff) has a long lineage that dates to about 3000 B.C. It was originally bred for hunting and protecting the household, but later one they were also put to military purposes, thanks to their innate sense of smell, which makes them excellent trackers. Although this breed is very big and intimidating, they are very gentle in nature, excellent around children or even other dog breeds. Despite their size, they are very well proportioned and have a great sense of balance. In other words, they are usually very size-aware and won’t run around the house, laying everything to waste in their path. It’s better as a guard dog than a protection god, because of its timid nature. It might run away from a confrontation if scared, but their bark is extremely powerful and intimidating. In most cases it’s enough to keep evil doers at bay. You can’t just bring a Great Dane into your house without proper training. He will need constant supervision until he gets familiarized with the house, so they can learn what’s off limits and what’s not. Their size requires a fair amount of exercise, but overdoing it may cause health-related problems. Just limit you Great Dane to just daily walks and he should live a long a healthy life.

 

The Saint Bernard

If the name doesn’t ring a bell, just remember the movie about a big dog name Beethoven and there you have it. The breed is original from Northern Europe, where they were used on harsh climate conditions to roam and track travelers or lost civilians, mostly in snowy mountain areas. They could be easily followed through safe passage by almost everybody, thanks to their friendly nature. With big size, comes a big heart. Despite the fact that they can grow to about 180 pounds, they are very sociable and lovable, and they do extremely well in a large family setting. Just like the Great Dane, the Saint Bernard is more of a barker than a fighter, but unlike the Dane they aren’t at all aware of their size. So leaving small children unattended in their presence is unadvised, as they could easily sit or trample unknowingly over toddlers. As for training, they aren’t very responsive until they reach adulthood. They’ll eat more than any other breed of dog, require daily exercise and need fur brushing a few times a week. They’re life span is no longer than 10 years due to their massive size, but if you’re looking for a dog that more menacing by look than by nature, than look no further.

The Rottweiler

They go as far back as Antiquity does, when they were used as both guard and attack dogs in the legions of the Roman Empire. In more modern times, they did very well as police dogs or household guard dogs, thanks to their aggressive nature and intelligence. It’s a dog that you absolutely cannot bring into your home without professional training. He can be very aggressive and if not trained properly, a Rottweiler can pose a threat even to children.

They are known to be some of the smartest dogs on the planet, which makes them very responsive to training and obedient.

And after the training session is over the dog is used to its surroundings, you’ll see that he can be extremely loving and friendly towards the whole family. As far as the Rottweiler’s physical condition goes, you’ll have no problems.

They have maybe the best health history out of all domesticated dog breeds, and if fed and exercised regularly they live an average of 10 years.

There are many breeds of dogs to choose from. And when you chose yours, make sure you consult a specialist on the kind of dog would suit you most. A guard dog may be your best ally in a hostile or even SHTF situation, as they can guard and defend alike. However, always keep in mind that a dog is not a tool, nor a weapon. It’s a pet and a companion most of all, which requires time and effort to hold. But if you love and respect your dog, be sure that he’ll have no second thought about putting his life on the line for yours.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

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How To Naturally Preserve Meat

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Considering that in the near future energy will no longer be a modern day commodity, but a luxury hard to come by, learning how to preserve meat and store your own food is crucial for your very own existence. Your fridge will probably become just another shelf, useless without a power source. But there are ways to still keep your balanced diet, ways that help you preserve and store even the most important food group: meat!

Even if you survived the “fall of mankind”, doesn’t mean you have to give up on eating healthy. And by smoking and curing your meats, you’ll still be able to enjoy roast beef or bacon. I’ll walk you through the easy steps of keeping your meats fresh and tasty without a fridge.

How to smoke your meat

The process of smoking food is defined by exposing the meat (of almost any sort) to the smoke produced by burning plants, smoldering wood or other spices or organic materials. In the U.S. the most commonly used smoking woods are apple, cherry, oak and mesquite. The meat is smoked for long periods of time at low temperatures (180° – 225°F), reliant on indirect heat. Grilling is a similar process, but it’s based direct heat and high temperatures. The practice of smoking began purely out of necessity. Before modern day appliances, smoking was an excellent means of preserving meat because the smoke covers the surface like an acidic coating, a very inhospitable surface for bacterial agents. Furthermore, it also dehydrates the meat, furthering even more its resistance. Today, meat is smoked or cured purely for flavouring reasons, as modern means of conservation are preferred. But the way things are looking, we’re about to go back to old habits rather sooner than later.

Smokers today use all sorts of devices, based on different types of energy: propane, electricity, charcoal, and pretty much everything else capable of generating smoke. Some backyard kettle grills can be easily modified to become instant smoking apparatuses. But there are also professional smoking machines available on the market. Just make sure you have enough space for such an appliance before purchasing one.

 

There are 2 basic ways in which you can smoke your meats:

Cold smoking is used for flavouring rather than cooking. The process involves temperatures of less than 100°F and longer periods of exposure to smoke. It’s an excellent method of adding taste to already cured fish without actually cooking it. The same goes salami and other sorts of meat.

 

Hot smoking is different; it should be done in a closed appliance (be it grill or any sort for cooking gadget), so that the meat is not only being flavoured by the smoke, but also cooked by the generated heat. The temperatures in this case are considerably higher (140°F – 160°F). For safety, the meat should be cooked at first at 160°F for 45 minutes straight, to ensure the annihilation of any sort of parasites or bacterial agents.

Different types of wood give different results when it comes to smoking meat. Hard wood and fruit wood make for excellent savoury smoke, mesquite smoke gives an earthy flavour, fresh apple wood smoke is sweet and goes great with poultry and pork and hickory wood gives the meat a sharp and rich flavour. If you plan on gathering smoking wood, make sure not to gather any sort of toxic or poisonous plants.

How to cure your meat

Curing basically means preserving meat and fish in salt. Back in the days when refrigerators or refrigeration techniques hadn’t been discovered yet, curing with salt was the only way to maintain freshness. The abundance of salt created a more than inhospitable place for bacteria that, if left alone, would spoil and rot the meat in no time. But because due to modern day technological advances, curing (like smoking), it’s not longer used for preservation purposes, but only for flavoring. The process of curing doesn’t normally rely on salt alone. It’s more than common to use other ingredients to contrast the salt. Sugar (brown sugar, honey, maple syrup) it’s the best counter for salt, and adds unique flavor. There other frequently used herbs or spices as well: black pepper, coriander, bay leaves and more.

There is another important ingredient which you can’t do without, and it’s more than add flavor. Sodium nitrite (commonly found in spinach, lettuce and celery) it’s very important to the mix, because it inhibits the growth of the Botulism bacteria, which can be fatal.

Sodium nitrite will also give a specific savor and a unique color (bright red). This ingredient however, can be toxic in high dosage, so respect the following mixture recommendations: 6.25% sodium nitrite to 93.75% table salt (regardless if you’re using pink salt or fresh vegetable extracts as a source of nitrites).

Once you have everything ready, you can cut your meat into slabs. Afterwards cover each slab heavily with the salt mixture. After you’re done, pack the meat slabs tightly in jars and place them in storage space of your choice, where the temperature should ideally be around 36°F. Let the meat sit for a month, and afterwards take it out and wrap each slab in paper or plastic, making sure each one is air tight, so moisture doesn’t get in. The meat slabs can be stored again or consumed at your own will.

How to brine your meat

The process of meat brining is also known as “wet curing”. It goes by the same principle of meat preservation with salt. But rather than relying on dry salt, brining is about keeping the meat submerged in a saline solution. The meat needs to be cut in slabs and placed into jars or containers that have been previously washed and sanitized. One way of preparing the saltwater is by adding 1 pond salt + 1 cup sugar / 3 quarters of water. Spices and herbs can be added as well, according to taste. The meat should stay completely submerged in the saline solution. Once the meat is placed in storage you’ll have to check on it once a week, stir the brine or replace it if it thickens. The process will last a month.

These are some of the cheapest, easiest and most practical methods of naturally preserving meat. Each one is different and comes with its own unique flavor, so you should try them all out before deciding what works best for you. So get practicing while it’s still all in good fun rather than for survival reasons.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post How To Naturally Preserve Meat appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

How To Survive a Plane Crash At Sea

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Your worst nightmare and first thought upon boarding a flight (or even purchasing the tickets) is not to crash! It’s a possibility. One that you have to come to terms with. There is no such thing as a 100% safe flight, like there is no such thing as a 100% safe walk in the park. Disaster can strike at any time and any place. The chance of a plane crash however, studies show, it’s not that high. And even when it happens, a large portion (even 100%) of the passengers on board survives. But as long as the slightest chance of danger exists, best be prepared. Follow all the procedures and unwritten rules in order to help your chances of survival. Crashing in water is serious business, and even if you survive the crash, the struggle is far from over.

The main concern though for surviving a crash at sea is to survive the crash itself. The numbers are good in this case, showing that about 95% of the passengers involved in plane crashes survive the initial plane crash, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Experts have agreed that in order to improve their chances of survival, passengers should be adequately equipped for survival. The clothes you’re wearing in the moment of the crash could make the difference on whether you survive or not. “Imagine having to run away from a burning plane. If you have to do that, how well are your flip-flops going to perform? How well are your high-heeled shoes going to perform?” asks Cynthia Corbett, human factors specialist at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Recent studies and research have proven that the passengers sitting behind the wings of the plane are more likely to survive the those sitting in front of it by well over 40% and that the seats situated near the exit row are the safest on the plane.survivors

After the impact with the surface of the water, the first 90 seconds are the most crucial. It’s essential to keep calm and react swiftly, greatly increasing your chances of survival. NTSB reports that because of overcoming panic or crippling fear, many crash victims are found placed in their seats, with their seat belts still on. Others just sit back and wait for instructions until it’s too late. Cynthia Corbett says that knowing what to do and how to cope in such a scenario is imperative. Act accordingly to survival procedures and don’t wait for instructions. They might never come and it will cost you dearly.How To Survive A Permanent Power Outage

Surviving the open sea is next and it’s the real struggle. Plane crashes at sea present special circumstances than other types of crashes, because the survivors face the adversities of the open ocean, whether they’re alive in life rafts or floating on pieces of debris on open waters. The life raft is the best survival tool for a plane crash survivor lost at sea. They are equipped with medical first aid kits, some drinking water, flares to help you signal your location to passing planes or boats, and a canopy that serves as shelter from the burning sun or incoming rain. It will greatly reduce the fatigue you face, as you can float at ease, without having to constantly kick the water, burning energy and attracting sharks. The bright colors and shape of the rafts might also attract fish and birds, which are the best source of food available. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), life rafts are mandatory for most commercial aircrafts that fly extended over-water operations (distances of over 50 miles offshore). However, if aircrafts don’t fly above 25,000 feet and provides life vests for everybody on board, the life raft ceases to be a necessity.

Fully-inflated life raft

Getting into a life raft doesn’t mark the end of all your troubles. You still have life threatening situations to overcome, dehydration and starvation especially. The human body can go for weeks without food, but only for days without water. Some have been known to survive even over a week without it, but it all depends on individual overall health and general temperature and humidity. You can rely on the surround faun (fish, birds, amphibians) as a source of sustenance. According to Dr Claude Pintadosi (professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Centre), most of the animals found offshore are safe to eat, because toxins among them is a highly uncommon thing. The flesh of the animals is a great source of protein and minerals, while the blood can be drunk fresh. Harvesting and drinking rain-water is also a good method to stack up on vital fluids.

Hypothermia is the main reason for concern, especially if you find yourself in waters of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You can fight hypothermia as long as you’re in a life raft. Simply remove the wet clothes and cover the victim with dry pieces of clothing blankets. For crash survivor that’s permanently in contact with the water, hypothermia is fatal. Contrary to popular belief, sharks are the least of your worry. As long as you’re not bleeding in the water in order to alert and switch on their predatory instincts, there is very little reason to fear and actual shark attack.

If you ever happen to find yourself in such a situation, don’t be surprised: it happened before, and it will happen again. Just keep calm, keep your wits about you and most likely you’ll survive to tell the tale.

by Alec Deacon

The post How To Survive a Plane Crash At Sea appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Long-Term Fuel Storage for Preppers

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When it finally happens and the proverbial “stuff hits the fan,” it’s probably going to be bad. Say “goodbye” to fully stocked shelves at the grocery store, readily available medical care, and just about every other modern comfort you can think of. Everything as we know it today will change in the blink of an eye.

I’m not saying that overnight our society will be transformed into a post-apocalyptic scenario like in Mad Max where we all become War Boys scouring the wastelands looking for fuel and supplies while screaming, “For Valhalla!” I’m just saying it’s not going to be pretty, and preparation will be key when everything comes crashing down.
As in most apocalyptic movies there are usually three crucial things that every person needs to survive in a catastrophe: food, medical supplies, and fuel. I’m assuming most people are already aware of the need to stockpile food and medical supplies, but fuel is often overlooked. Many people are unaware of the need to store fuel. Not just for the family van, but for heat, cooking, electricity, and of course transportation. When I say fuel storage, I am not just talking about gasoline. We also have to consider kerosene for heating, propane and butane for cooking, and diesel and gasoline for generators and transportation.

Storing Kerosene
Kerosene should be stored in a container that is approved for this specific fuel. I’m sure you’ve seen the different colored gas cans in the hardware stores. There is a reason for the different colors; it isn’t just to make them look pretty. Blue is the color container that is earmarked just for Kerosene. Therefore, if you need a storage container for this fuel, you will need to purchase a blue-colored container.
As with most fuels Kerosene will start to degrade after about three months of normal storage. This degradation can be postponed though by following a few guidelines. First, when filling the container leave a little air in the top for fuel expansion from changes in temperature.
Always avoid using open containers. An open container can lead to water contamination and oxidation resulting in bad or poor performing fuel. You always want to store Kerosene in a cool and dry location. The use of fuel additives can also greatly extend the life of Kerosene. A fuel stabilizer such as PRI-D will extend the life of this fuel from several months to even years if the fuel is re-treated with a fuel stabilizer periodically.

Storing Propane and Butane
How do you store Propane and Butane? Aren’t pressurized containers dangerous? They can be very dangerous if you don’t know how to store them. Propane should always be stored in a dry and well ventilated area, preferably in a storage shed located away from residential areas. Never store propane containers in an area where there may be a source of ignition such as garages or a well/pump house.
How To Survive A Permanent Power Outage
You also want to be sure that propane and butane storage containers are not kept in any areas that may cause the container to rust. Butane specifically requires a cool and dry storage location, but it must also be stored indoors at all times and never placed in direct sunlight for any length of time. Be sure to watch for possible ignition sources with Butane such as electrical outlets, stoves, and other heat sources. Improper storage of these pressurized containers may result in an explosion, a runaway canister, or a dangerous gas leak.

Storing Gasoline and Diesel
Probably the most commonly used fuels we need are gasoline and diesel. It can be difficult to determine how much of these fuels you should store. Usage factor is determined on an individual basis. A single person may not need as much gasoline as someone with a family of six. I can get buy on a relatively small generator to power what I need, but someone with a large family may need a lot of gasoline or diesel to power a larger generator to meet their needs.
Storage of gasoline and diesel is very similar to that of kerosene. They must be stored in a location that is dry and cool to maximize the storage life. Remember, it is vitally important to keep condensation away from any fuel you are storing. Water and air don’t play well with stored fuels. Also, don’t forget to store gas and diesel in their appropriately colored containers. Red is for gasoline and yellow is for Diesel.
Gasoline can normally be stored for up to three months before it begins to break down and lose its effectiveness. Diesel can typically be stored for up to six months. As with kerosene, gasoline and diesel can benefit from the addition of a fuel stabilizer. Fuel stabilizers such as STA-BIL Storage and STA-BIL Diesel can keep fuel fresh and ready for use for an extended period of time.
Unfortunately, we can’t keep gas and diesel fresh indefinitely. The best way to keep a fresh supply of fuel is to use what we have stored when it is close to going bad and then replenish our stock. With proper rotation of stored fuel and proper storage techniques we can easily be prepared for just about any situation.

By Alex Vanover


Alex Vanover is an auto industry professional and avidly writes about the advancements and new technologies in today’s automotive industry. He is also the purveyor of Motorcycle Trading Post. In his spare time he enjoys reading, first person shooter video games, and riding his Harley Davidson.


 

 

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15 Essential Crops To Have In Your Survival Garden

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In a survival scenario they key word is self-reliance. The weekly trips to the local food markets or stores will cease to become an option. And even if available, the prices will most likely sky-rocket so that it just won’t be convenient anymore. What you need to do is consider the possibility to set up your very own garden, which will sustain and provide for you and your entire family. It’s a rather complex task, but it’s nowhere near impossible. And once you’ll get the hang of it, it will become rather relaxing and enjoyable.

It’s something that can ultimately be achieved by the average Joe, with enough practice, resources and dedication. You don’t have to be a professional farmer, you’ll just have to educate yourself a little in the matter. Be aware of the sustenance and nutrients each product has to offer, calculate how much land you’ll need for the endeavor and set your budget. Your best weapon (if you decide to pick up the shovel) is information: educate yourself on season crops, micro-farming, insect repellants, seed collections and storage and on the nutritional value of various crops.

And arm yourself with patience, because this type of activity requires a lot of practice if you’re starting from scratch. But you’ll get better at it with time, and at some point you’ll be become self sufficient, even though if you originally started gardening as a hobby. When it comes to choosing the right seeds, I strongly recommend getting non-GMO or heirloom variety seeds. These seeds will continue to reproduce, unlike the hybrid varieties that stop reproducing after the first season. Let’s have a look at different types of seeds that are suited for your very own survival garden.

Corn – it’s a warm weather crop, very intolerant to low temperatures, so you should plant it only after the last frost. It usually produces two ears per stack and it’s loaded with calcium, iron and protein. It’s easy to pick and to store.

 

Wheat – possibly the most common crop in the world, because of its large content of nutrients like copper, iron zinc and potassium. Spring what is planted in early spring and it’s the most common variety in the world. Winter wheat can be planted anytime from late September to mid October.

Potatoes – they’re high in protein, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium. It’s best if you plant your potatoes 4 – 6 weeks before the last frost. An average plant will hold somewhere in the lines of 4 -6 potatoes per sprout. When storing them, just know to keep them in a very cool and dark place, away from fruit.

Peas – it’s one of the most (if not THE) easiest plants to grow, because most varieties are not pretentious and grow very fast. Peas are rich in fiber, protein, potassium, vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and more. The best varieties to consider are the snap, the shelling and the sugar and snow pod. They will do just fine even during a harsh winter, as they’re resistant to frost.10 Foods You Can Store For 100 Years

Spinach – considered the original super-food, it’s a great source of nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, iron and thiamin. It’s easy to grow, and most species grow best during winter. There are a few though that stray from the rule, so inform yourself before purchase.

Tomatoes – once again, we’re dealing with one of the easiest plants to plant and grow. It’s very nutritious as it’s abundant in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, potassium, thiamine and niacin. To make sure you get plenty of them throughout the year, just plant a first batch in late spring and a second one in late summer.

Beans – they come in many varieties, such as kidney beans, pole beans, bush beans etc. They are rich in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and Calcium. Pole beans require steak firmly planted in the ground, on which the plant can grapple and grow. Their grow cycle is shorter than that of the bush beans and the yield production is better as well. It’s easy to grow and staggering the plant will give continuous yields.

Carrots – there are very easy to grow and prefer cooler weather. So the best time for planting would be during fall, winter or early spring. They’re rich in vitamin A and beta carotene, which is excellent anti-oxidant which does wanders for your eyesight, skin or hair.

Garlic and Onions – they’re a very rich source vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and folic acid (folate). They’re best planted in mid or late October, and can be pulled early in case you’re eager to have green onions or garlic.

Cucumbers – they come in all shapes and sizes, with many varieties to choose from. You can pick whatever you like, from large to small ones (which are excellent for pickling). They are very nutritious, as they are loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium. They are a crop for warm weather and if you pick them regularly, you’ll get increased production.

Lettuce – not only will it be easy to plant and grow, but is also one of the earliest harvests you’ll get. It’s best if you plant it somewhere at 6 – 8 before the first frost date for optimum results. It grows quickly and you can pick it partially simply by choosing a few leaves at a time. The nutritional content differs in case of variety, but mostly all contain proteins, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, folic acid and iron.

Eggplants – it’s one of the most versatile vegetables when it comes to cooking, as it offers a lot of possibilities. It’s a warm weather plant and doesn’t do well during winter. So you should wait after the last frost is over in order to plant it. It’s high in fiber, vitamin B1, vitamin B6 and anti-oxidants.

Broccoli – it’s a plant that grows rather easily. It’s usually planted mid to late summer and by the time fall is upon us, you’ll have your first broccoli harvest. It has however, the tendency to give yields even after the first harvest. It can withstand mild frost, but won’t survive a harsher climate. A far as nutrients go, it’s most commonly packed with vitamin A, vitamin K and protein.

Cauliflower – it’s a cool season vegetable, resistant to low temperatures. It’s quite fast to grow and gives extremely rich yields. It’s very nutritious and can be very versatile when it comes to cooking. It’s packed with vitamin C, vitamin K and dietary fibers.

Turnips – the seeds are best sown in late may, but if you get caught in doing anything else and forget, early summer will do just fine. They’re easy to manage, as they’re very resilient to plant diseases. It’s very versatile too, as you can eat the whole plant, green and root alike. They contain calcium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and iron.

This list is a must for your very own garden, the plants that no survival enthusiast should go without during a crisis. Remember what I said before: take your time and practice, because it’s unlikely you’ll be successful right away. But once you get the hang of it, you and those close to you won’t go hungry a day in case SHTF. So get going, get your hands dirty and you’ll pick the fruit of you labor in no time… literally!

 

By Alec Deacon

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Home Essentials You Need for Survival

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With so many daily work, family, and personal distractions, it’s no wonder so many of us remain unconcerned and unprepared for a potential disaster to strike. But they do strike often, all around the world, and assuming you and your family will be exempt could endanger your lives.

Even though it takes thought and investment, preparing your home and your family for unexpectedly harsh conditions is well worth the sacrifice. In fact, the peace of mind alone might be worth it. If you don’t know where to get started, Modernize offers up a list of home essentials to build off of as you collect survival supplies.


Flashlights, Lanterns, and Backup Batteries
When anticipating a disaster, the last thing you should rely on is electricity. And there’s nothing more frightening than thinking of trying to keep your family safe in total darkness. Make sure flashlights and lanterns are handy in several rooms of the house, and always keep a good stock of backup batteries and bulbs. Solar flashlights are also a great addition, especially if you’re going to need to be on the move.

Hand Crank Radio
Staying tuned in to what’s going on could mean the difference between life and death. Procure a solar hand crank radio that will keep you updated on the news and weather while you keep your family locked up safe.

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Solar Oven and Freezer
Nobody hopes that the aftermath of a disaster will be long-term. But it’s best to prepare for a longer time without electricity than you would like to imagine. Solar ovens are simple, effective, and can cook food in a variety of ways. Ready-to-go, just-add-water meals are very handy for a short term emergency. But a solar oven and a solar freezer to store your food stock could work in tandem to keep your family eating well in spite of the circumstances.

Coats and Boots
Being prepared for inclement weather is essential. Heavy-duty raincoats, winter coats, hiking boots, and rain boots will help keep them warm in dry in case of flooding or freezing weather. It will also help them travel more easily if traveling becomes necessary.

Water Purifier
Aside from shelter, water is the most immediate and vital need in many emergency situations. If you are not prepared to convert unsafe water into potable water, you’re not truly prepared at all. You need to both have ways to filter water and purify it. While you’re thinking of your water needs, it never hurts to set up a rain catchment system that will allow you access to running water—though you will still need to treat rainwater to make it potable.

First Aid Supplies
A well-stocked survival first aid kit will include gloves, surgical shears, antiseptic wipes, bandages, pain relieving medication, antibiotic ointment, cotton-tipped applicators, sterile
gauze pads, a thermometer, tweezers, and several other items.

Make sure to thoroughly research and go beyond the basics for your first aid kit.


Pet Supplies
No one overlooks their kids when they plan for a disaster, but a pet isn’t always foremost on everyone’s mind. Pets need their own survival supplies including food, blankets, bowls, a leash, their own first aid supplies, and anything else you determine your individual pets’ need.

Sanitary Supplies
While weather disasters are more common in America these days, epidemics also pose a danger—as do unclean condition potentially caused by natural disasters. Supplies that would come in handy during a dangerous outbreak include: adhesive sealing masks with eye shields, anti-bacterial and anti-virus lotion, anti-bacterial wipes, bio hazard bags, bio hazard suits and gloves, and a supply of antibacterial soap.


Hygiene Essentials
Comfort and cleanliness isn’t usually the first thing on your mind in a survival situation. But if you prepare ahead, you can be more thorough about what your family needs and wants. Items like soap, toilet tissue, toothbrushes and toothpastes, feminine products, deodorant, and razors will come in handy even after just a day of relying on your survival supplies.

Sleeping Bags
Reflective sleeping bags that are cushy and can withstand harsh weather could mean the difference between a safe and good night’s rest and many sleepless, anxious nights. To protect your family from hypothermia, select sleeping bags that offer heavy insulation, fully waterproof materials, and low temperature ratings.

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Emergency Preparedness Guide
No matter how much you prepare yourself and your family, any type of emergency or disaster is bound to come with surprises. Instead of relying completely on your supplies and knowledge, make sure you have the educational resources anyone in your family would need to know how to deal with in difficult disaster-related circumstances.

Multi-Tool Knife
Weapons are certainly an important aspect of a home survival kit, as are tools. Combine them into one item for optimum efficiency and ease of use. You never know when a screwdriver, pliers, or a mini saw could come in handy.

These are simply the foundational items for a home survival kit. Build off of your family’s anticipated needs and show them how to use the supplies in case of an emergency.  

 

By Mary Saurer


Mary Sauer is a writer who has been published by Babble, Mom.me, and What to Expect. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two young daughters.


 

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Signaling For Help In Distress

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When we think of signaling for help in distress, we tend to think of fires and smokes. That’s why most of us are loaded on fire-starting devices – from primitive ones like sticks and stones, to modern ones like instafire and waterproof matches, we have them all stocked in our ultimate bug out bag.

Yet when things get tough, fire can turn out to be a heartbreakingly inadequate signal; you could be stocked on sticks and stones for a blazing beacon, and find out the weather’s too wet to get a fire going.
That’s why knowing alternative methods to call for aid is such a valuable skill to have, when disaster strikes. The tools you can use to signal for help are various, and your survival kit should include more than one. Here are five tools that can help you signal distress, when the most widespread fire-creation techniques fail.

  1. Whistles

Whistles make for one of the best audible distress signals in existence – they’re light, they’re loud, they’re long-lasting, and they hardly take up any space in one’s survival bag. Follow the internationally-recognized rule of threes when using a whistle: three short blasts, spaced five seconds apart for effective reach. You might want to attach your whistles to rings or clips to make sure you don’t lose them. Make sure to choose vibrant whistles that can be spotted easily if accidentally dropped, just in case you still lose them!

  1. Mirrors

A historical staple, the hand-held mirror is a simple but highly effective signaling device. Aimed right, it can create a beacon as long as 10 miles, catching the attention of people and aircrafts. It’s also a good way to scare off creatures that fear the light, especially when you can’t get a fire going. However, using a mirror to create a flare is a skill you need to practice in advance, to make sure you use it right when things get tough.

  1. Pen flare

Replace your regular pen with a pen flare, and you never know when you’ll be glad you made the small but significant lifestyle change. In terms of signaling distress, the pen flare offers an excellent combination of effective audio and visual signaling –  when fired, the pen-shaped device sounds like a pistol, while flashing a fire up to 150 meters high. The pen flare’s lanyard can even double as tinder, if you need to start a fire when in a tight spot. That’s thrice the protection, in an item that takes up very little space, and is light enough to even be worn around your neck!

  1. Waterproof strobe light

A midsized or pocket strobe light is always a great addition to a well-planned survival kit. Leave it switched on, and this lightweight device will create continuous flashes for hours, even while you rest or sleep. Depending on the model, strobe lights can even last for a couple of days when fully charged. Make sure you purchase a waterproof strobe light, making it an ideal addition to your survival kit for the literally rainy day.


  1. Cellphone with a power-pack

This might sound somewhat unconventional, but today’s smartphones can do a lot more than just make and receive calls – they can save your life when you’re in a pinch. If fire fails you, just turn on your phone torch; in 2012, a Maryland man actually used his iPhone’s flashlight app to help police find him in the pitch dark, after the rescuers had spent four hours searching for the missing man to no avail. Your cellular phone can also help you pin down and track your location through GPRS, as well as forward it to others.  Of course, your phone won’t be much use if it isn’t charged. So always carry a fully-charged power-pack, to make sure your communication gadget’s life-saving powers can last!

With these five additions to your bug-out bag, you will have a personal protection kit that won’t fail you when you need to signal for help, come hell or high water. Rain, slew, snow, heat, and zombies – together, these five items can fight them all. When the going gets tough, the tough get going; so add these items to your survival kit right now, and ensure you’re prepared to handle the worst of times, well in advance.

By James Smith


Author Bio:
James Smith is a survival expert, who loves to write about survival skills and techniques that can be extremely helpful and can prevent any bad situation in becoming worse. Follow him on twitter @jamessmith1609.


 

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4 Signs That Prove World War III Is Coming

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It’s seems that the state of general peace is getting harder and harder to keep these days. Between the economical global instability and religious fundamentalism, there’s very little room left for human decency and peacekeeping. Just as before, during the World War II period, the gap between the radical oppressive political systems and the peace-loving, democratic ones is growing with each passing day. Animosity arose and swords started rattling for a long time now, and it’s only a matter of time before the World will generate a 3rd massive war.

This will divide people into 2 distinct sides: the Good (peace-keeping, freedom-fighting and God-loving) vs. the Evil (tyrannical, oppressors and bearers of false religions). It’s only a matter of time now, before the first official decree is released. As the land of the free and home of the brave, America will once again have the sacred duty of carrying the flag into battle, in the name of all that’s good and holy on God’s green Earth. This all might be avoided in the end, but the chances are slim to none, as the wheels have already been set in motion.


1 – Global recession

In a time of fluctuating economies, all the World’s superpowers will search for all sorts of allies in order to help their cause, be it just or unjust. The previous World Wars did not have much in common with each other except this single similarity: before each war broke out, many of the countries involved had been hit by recessions. Before World War I America was recovering from a 3 year-old recession, and prior to World War II, many countries were recovering from the Great Depression. What’s going on today is very similar to what happened before the 2nd World War. A very possible starting point could be the debt that the US owes China, which rose to about $17.5 trillion. And China too is finding itself during an economic crisis, so it’s only a matter of time before they start pressuring the US government on the subject of the unpaid debt. If things spiral out of control and it comes to armed conflict, China will have no problem in finding allies like Russia and North Korea, which don’t need much of an excuse to go to war against America and its allies.


2 – Russia’s claim over Ukraine

Over 7000 Russian troops have invaded the Crimea peninsula, on February 27, 2014, which was officially Ukrainian territory. Such an outrageous and intrusive act culminated in overthrowing Ukrainian authority from the territory, by overtaking official government buildings, airports, communication centers and military bases. Under the false pretext that Russian forces have intruded in order to free the Crimean people from an oppressive regime is as far from the truth as it could possibly be. Crimeans weren’t enslaved or oppressed in any way by their existing government. But they are now, due to Russia’s intrusion, which resulted in uncontrollable violence, tortures, beating and murders. As a result for their unjustified actions, the US and Europe have ceased economic trades and imposed drastic sanctions that hurt the invaders economy by a 20% deficit .Despite the obvious violation of human rights, Russia’s official stand is that there is nothing abusive about their actions, as they have not entered Ukraine’s whole territory, but only what they consider to be rightfully theirs. Ukrainians have responded and met violence with violence, as guerrilla wars and bloody protests continue to this day on Ukrainian soil.


3 – Iran is posing a direct threat

In mid January, 2014, Iran dispatched a fleet of battle ships in US territorial waters. In early February, 2014, Iran’s military chief , general Hassan Firouzabadi, stated that Iranian military forces are determined to go toe-to-toe with their American counterparts in military strategies and weaponry. The US Senate reacted, and fearing for the worst, stated that military action is imperative in order to stop Iran from developing its illegal nuclear program. The White House did not back up the Senate’s bill, as the ships were involved were not posing a real threat to US territory and general’s Firouzabadi saber rattling has happened many times before without direct consequences. But this doesn’t mean the threats fell on deaf ears. Intelligence shows that Iran 13 million trained soldiers, ready for combat at a moment’s notice. The number is impressive, but an upcoming war will most probably be technology-based one, heavily dependent on aerial and tactical strikes, rather than closed-quarter combat. But the Iranian air force is one of the most numerous and heavily trained in the world, with about 30,000 men, over 1,000 planes and armed with cruise missiles (that have a range of about 1240 miles, more than enough to hit military bases set in the Gulf).

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4 – Japan and China’s dispute over air space

Just like Russia, China’s trying to push everybody’s buttons, hoping to get a reaction or a response. Chinese officials stated that China is changing its air defense strategy, by increasing their zone by overtaking part of Japan’s, South Korea’s and Taiwan’s airspace. The intruded Japan’s space as far as Senkaku Islands, and are planning on pushing the Japanese as far back as possible. South Korea answered by intruding Chinese airspace. If hostilities begin in the area, the US obliged to help the cause of South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, in accordance to a pact signed in 1951. The blood is already boiling and it will take very little to light the spark that could plunge the whole world into an unavoidable war.

It’s plain to see that the machinations to set World War III in motion have already begun. It won’t be long until the first shots are fired or the wrong turn is taken and the world will go to war again. Technology will make the weapons more powerful than ever before and the consequences of war even harsher. When the fighting begins, society could be changed forever. Stay alert, and take whatever precautions are necessary so you can survive during the dark times ahead.

By Alec Deacon

 

 

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Hunting Series: Trapping

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Hunting Series – Trapping By Richard Bogath No article series about hunting would be complete without at least mentioning the ancient art of trapping animals for food and fur. While in modern times this is more about income than survival, one must accept the fact that income is a means of survival in the fur […]

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How To Survive In The Woods

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If you happen to find yourself stranded in the woods, for whatever reason, know that making it out in one piece will require more than patience and dumb luck. Whether you find yourself stranded due to an unfortunate event while you’re out bird watching, whether you’re the survivor of a plane crash or you’ve ventured knowingly into the woods in order to escape a SHTF situation, the outcome is pretty much the same: it’s man vs. nature, and conquering nature is not easy task.

Before finding yourself in such an ingrate spot, do a little research on what wilderness survival actually means. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: information is power and you’re greatest survival asset. If you hit the bottom of a weal and you’re still alive, there’s no other way to go but up. Same here, if you’re stranded in the woods, don’t panic; keeping calm and focused is the first step of making it out alive. Once you have that covered, here’s what else you’ll need to do:

Pick your spot and build a shelter
Your campsite should be the closest thing you have to a sanctuary, so pick your spot wisely because it must be as safe as possible. For example, try not to get too comfortable in a place that’s crawling with insects. This means stay away from zones that are abundant in plants. Also, the vicinity of large water beds should be avoided at all costs. The waters can be an attraction to all sorts of animals, even dangerous predators. If you must take shelter under trees and rock formations, study your surroundings very carefully. If the trees are dry or the rock formation unstable, there’s always the danger of being crushed over night, be it by tree branches or rocks.

Ones you have picked the best camp spot available, you’ll need to build yourself a shelter; a well insulated one, that’s bound to keep you out of the cold and prevent hypothermia. The easiest way to go at it is to find a leaning tree (or set a branch securely against a standing tree) and stack smaller branches together on one side. The angled wall should be covered in leaves, moss and all sorts of debris you can get your hands on. Using the same materials (leaves and moss) make yourself a carpet to stand on (about a 6 inch layer of debris), so that you remain insulated from the cold ground.


Starting a fire

This is a fairly easy task if you have dry wood lying around (tinder), smaller pieces of wood (toothpick, Q-tips and pencil size) and fibrous material (Vaseline-covered cotton balls or lip balm would be great if you have some on you). Lighting the fire should be done progressively and with care. You can use a log (no bigger than a forearm) as base and windscreen for the tinder. The tinder should be lit first and once this is accomplished, stack the small kindling against the large log so that the oxygen can circulate in order to feed the fire. Once the flame starts building up, add larger and larger pieces of wood. If you don’t happen to have a lighter on you or the necessary means to starts a fire, you could generate a spark with a simple battery. If you short-circuit the battery by connecting the + and – with a wire, foil (like a gum wrapper) or steel wool, you’ll get a spark that’s potent enough to light up the tinder you prepared.


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Procuring clean water

Thirst can settle in pretty fast and it can become a nuisance. The human body can go for days without food, but nowhere near that close without water. So what you need to do is act fast and make sure you never go without a potable source of water. Drinking directly from puddles or streams is a bad idea, as these waters are infested with all sorts of bacteria and pathogens that can prove fatal in no time. Boiling the water is the safest solution, but not always 100% effective. Precipitation water (the one resulted from rain and snow) is safe to drink and it can be easily harvested. But if nature doesn’t land you a hand in forthcoming rain or snow, don’t worry, as there are other options available. Clean drinking water can also be procured by squeezing vines and certain cacti. During the day, you can find yourself some leafy branches and cover the in plastic bags. The process of perspiration (present in plants as well) will fill the bags by night time with clean potable water, ready for the taking.

 


Procuring food

You’ll need to resort to hunting if you plan on having meat on the menu. If you don’t happen to be a skilled hunter, don’t worry. Gigging is a method devised for the unskilled hunters and it’s basically hunting with a multiple pronged spear; very effective in catching small critters and fish. Making this type of spear is real easy if you happen to have a knife on you: cut down a sapling (about 1 – 2 inches in diameter) and split the stronger end with the knife in four equal parts. Shove some sticks in order to spread the sections apart and simply sharpen the ends. But if hunting seems like too much of a headache, you keen simply feed on all sorts of fruit and plants from your surrounding areas. But only do so if you’ve documented yourself in the field, because many of the fruit and plants you stumble upon could be fatal.

Navigating  
                                       

If you’ve lost all means of communication with the civilized world, it still doesn’t mean you’re completely lost. The best way to survive in the woods is to determine the cardinal points is by observing the suns motion from sunrise to sundown, as it always rises approximately in the East and sets approximately in the West. You can also look for mossy formations on trees and rocks. These always grow facing the north and can give a clear hint as to where you should be heading. Navigating by night is a bit trickier, as you’ll have to find Polaris, the North Start (located in the Little Dipper’s handle).

 

Necessary equipment

In order to assure and ease your survival in unfriendly territory, it’s a must you bring the necessary tools along. No matter the reason for being stranded, you should never leave for any sort of expedition without these on you:

  • a survival knife
  • regular matches or fire steel (metal match)
  • first aid kit
  • a compass
  • a space blanket (thin sheet of reflective Mylar)
  • a SPOT Messenger
  • some 550 paracord
  • a signaling mirror
  • water purifying tablets

Before leaving, double check the list and make sure nothing is forgotten. All these items are crucial and at the end of the day, they could simply save your life.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

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Top 5 Survival Knives: A Prepper’s Best Friends

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In case of a SHTF scenario your very own blade will come very handy. The scenario makes very little difference. It matters not if you find yourself struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic scenario; it doesn’t matter if (for some reason or another) you find yourself stranded in the wilderness and you’re being forced to fight for your survival. What matters ultimately is being equipped and prep’ed up to survive. And in every single scenario imaginable the most useful tool you can get your hands on (literally) is your very own knife, fit to suit your every need.

It can be used for almost everything in a survival situation: you can use it for hunting, skinning, cutting, chopping and even for self defense. The average survival knife’s blade varies between 4 – 8 inches, and their blades are either straight or serrated. Owning a serrated blade is debatable, as it can be extremely useful in cutting wood for example, but the serrated side can’t be sharpened. They come in all shapes and sizes and some have handles equipped with all sorts of instruments (compass, fire starter kit, etc.), only to make it just a bit easier for you to adapt and strive in a hostile environment.

There are basically two types of knives available: the ones with folding blades and the ones with fixed blades. A folding blade is excellent to carry around at all times, easy to deposit and to conceal, while a fixed blades are stronger and sturdier, durable and easy to maintain and clean. Finding the one that’s right for you is no easy task; let’s have a look-see at some of my personal favorites.

Gerber’s Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife

It’s a very practical knife, and it comes packed with a lot of survival gear. The blade measure 5 inches in length 7Cr17MoV stainless steel with a waffle-head hammer on the pommel. To add more variety, the manufacturer makes it available with a fine edge-version or a half serrated edge version, which makes it easier to cut through tough material. The handle is covered in a texture that makes it very easy to hold on to and to utilize in almost any scenario. It has a fire starting kit, based on a square striker notch located in the back of the blade and also an emergency whistle located on a rope tied to the end of the handle. It’s a very practical blade and you can easily purchase it here: gerbergear.com

Gerber’s Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife


Randall Model 18

This particular knife feels like the Cadillac or survival blades. It’s shiny, eye-catching, retro-looking and very well built. The blade varies between 5.5 – 7.5 inches in length (but in this case, the bigger, the better), made out of pure stainless steel. The handle is a tubular, stainless steel tube, completely waterproof.  The hilt and the butt are pure brass. The 5.5 inches one weighs around 12oz while the 7.5 inches one is closer to 15oz. As an extra option, you can order the one equipped with a compass and etching on the blade. This blade is very tough and durable and excellent for those who not only want to survive, but want to do it in style. You can order it here: randallknives.com

Randall Model 18

 

 

Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife

This is a Swedish survival knife produced by the company called Fallkniven. It’s a very tough blade and it will come extremely useful in case of a survival scenario. This knife is full tang and it comes with a 6.3 inches long blade (and .24 inches thick) that is laminated with VG10 steel, adding robustness and durability. The handle is about 4.7 inches long (which makes the knife of a total of 11 inches long) and it’s made out of checkered Kraton, and it comes with finger guard and lanyard hole. Get your own here: fallkniven.com

Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife

 

Swiss Army Knife Adventurer Model

This is so much more than a simple blade, it’s an all purpose tool. It comes in different shapes, sizes and variations, and you can even get one with certain contraptions and gizmos you never even knew existed. The producer of the Swiss Army knife is a company called Victorinox which runs this type of market completely unopposed. The Adventurer model is a rather simple and more classic approach to the Swiss Army knife, and this is what you get for your money: a can opener, a bottle opener, tweezers, toothpick, an awl, 3 different screwdrivers and of course, a stainless steel knife blade. The knife blade itself measures 4.5 inches in length and the overall weight is about 2.9 ounces. Available for sale here: swi