Getting the Family Onboard with Prepping

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At times it can be difficult to explain to your children of family members how important prepping and being prepared is. With the world the way it is today, and all the different potentially catastrophic scenarios we face, we know we can’t afford to sit around with our fingers crossed, but how do we convey […]

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Cyber Security for Preppers

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With technology advancing on a seemingly daily basis, and with everything being connected to everything, cyber security for preppers is becoming increasingly important. With governments and companies gathering your data, and tracking every move you make, and hackers trying to take every dime you have, protecting ourselves is a full time job. Last week we […]

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Interview With Jonathan Hollerman of Grid Down Consulting

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This week of the Survivalist Prepper Podcast I was honored to have Jonathan Hollerman on to talk about his books, what Grid Down Consulting is, and his thoughts on a number of situations we might face in a SHTF scenario. During the interview we went over quite a bit about what Jonathan does and why, […]

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Prepping, Budgeting & Priorities

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Because prepping involves so many different aspects of life that some people would call hobbies, it can get expensive very quickly. You have bushcraft, ham radio, bugging out, food storage, and firearms just to name a few, and all of these can tap your bank account. There is literally no end to the supplies that […]

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Preparing for a Pandemic and Other Biological Threats

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When it comes to preparing for a pandemic, it’s not something that is high on our preparedness list, although it’s nowhere near the bottom either. I think this is because in the United States we generally take a proactive approach to disease and sanitation, and it doesn’t affect us like it does in other 3rd […]

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Illnesses Risks After Large Natural Disasters or Grid Down Events

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It’s something that many people probably don’t think about. But for me, especially considering the epidemic flu season we are currently in the middle of right now, illnesses that could increase after a wide scale natural disaster or if there were to be a grid down event. Seeing how easily the flu is spreading right […]

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Water Safety & Filtration for Preppers With Kevin Reiter

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This week I am joined by Kevin Reiter from The Wilderness Safety Institute to talk about water safety and filtration for preppers. Kevin has been on a couple times in the past talking about trauma kits, gear and other medical information. Water safety and filtration is something that can seem fairly complicated at first, but […]

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Tips for Picking the Perfect Bug Out Location

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If we had our choice, none of us would want to bug out and leave everything we own behind. With that being said, there could be situations that require us to get out of dodge for a few days, or even longer. Natural disasters, civil unrest or man made disasters could make bugging out necessary, […]

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Preparing For the Future By Learning From the Past

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As preppers we are always trying to figure out the perfect combination of living simply, while taking advantage of today’s technology. There is quite a bit we can learn from how people lived a century ago. If an EMP, CME or something else took down the power grid, we could easily find ourselves in that […]

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Colorado PrepperMed Recap & Lessons Learned

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Colorado PrepperMed Recap & Lessons LearnedAs most of you know, we just finished this year’s PrepperMed weekend and it was fantastic. In this week’s show, Lisa and I went through a recap of everything we learned, as well as added a few audio clips of the presentations themselves.

Lisa got quite a bit of footage from this weekend’s events, so over the next couple of weeks I will be adding some videos to the Survivalist Prepper Academy. While it’s impossible to everything covered in this 2-day event, I want to give Academy members a sneak peak into some of the topics we covered.

For those of you who aren’t aware of PrepperMed (or are reading this in the future) It was the brainchild of Kevin Reiter who runs the Wilderness Safety Institute. With the help of myself, Brian Duff (Mind4Survival) and a couple fantastic guests in the EMT/Paramedic world (Sam Bradley & Kyle Nelson of the Disaster Podcast) this small event turned into a huge success.

SPP223 Colorado PrepperMed Recap & Lessons Learned

One of my favorite parts of this event was the variety of skills and experience levels of everyone involved…including those who attended. We had Doctors, Paramedics, EMT’s, Wilderness Experts, Nurses, Ham Radio operators, a meteorologist, and probably a few others that I’m forgetting about.

Below is a list of some of the topics we covered at PrepperMed, but you’ll want to listen to the podcast and hear some of the audio segments from the actual event and the speakers.

MOI (Mechanism of Injury)

Sam Bradley is an Author, Fire & EMS Educator, DMAT Paramedic, former National Ski Patrol Director and host of The Disaster Podcast. During the class she covered topics such as capillary refill, splinting, distracting injuries, chest injuries, occlusive dressings and a whole lot more.

The segment in the show is of her talking about signs and symptoms, abdominal injuries, and how distracting injuries can cause you to miss a more serious injury. She also talked about the MOI (Mechanism of Injury).

Injury Assessment Triangle

Injury Assessment Triangle

Kyle Nelson is a Meteorologist, DHS/FEMA-Certified Instructor & Evaluator, Wilderness EMT and the official Disaster Podcast weatherman. During the class he talked about natural hazards, weather, injury assessment, splinting and patient stabilization.

The audio segment in the show is of Kyle talking about the Injury Assessment Triangle. This is one of those thinks where on paper it all made sense, but when we had our practice session, it didn’t work out so well for most of us.

Medical Kits & Supplies

Kevin Reiter of the Wilderness Safety Institute was the brains behind this operation, and a recurring guest on both our podcast and the Disaster Podcast. Along with being the full time “chicken with his head cut off” Kevin taught about Dressings, splinting, natural hazards, and medical kits.

The audio segment in the show is of Kevin talking about Medical kits, and how you set up your kit depends on a number of factors. Each person’s kit will be different. Where you go, and who you go with will determine what you need.

Zombie Apocalypse Training

Triage color tags

Sam Bradley put together a class called “Zombie Apocalypse Training” that went over assessing and treating a large number of injuries. Unfortunately, because of time constraints this class was cut a little short. I have a feeling the next one will be fantastic!

During the class we learned about Triage tags, and how to categorize each person’s injuries. The audio segment in the show was of us during a breakout session putting what we just learned to the test. This was a great example of why practice is so important, because we failed miserably…some more than others.

Venomous Bites

Dr. Ben Abo works with Venom One In Miami and has been a guest on the Disaster Podcast going over snake bite myths, and venomous snakes in general. He couldn’t travel to Colorado, but he did make a Skype appearance with his infamous banana phone.

During the class he went over everything from snakes, to bees, to spiders, to scorpions. In the audio segment he talked about why not to use a tourniquet, the Australian wrap, and some venomous spiders.

The Basics of Ham Radio

Ham radio BasicsOn day 2 yours truly did a presentation on the basics of ham radio. I was a little nervous because I usually sit behind a microphone talking to myself, but I think it went pretty well. I plan on making a video of this presentation and adding it to the Academy in the near future.

This presentation was the very basics of ham radio along with some of the other types of radio services. It was meant to help you decide if ham radio is right for you. The audio segment in the podcast is about the difference between ham, GMRS, MURS, and FRS radios.

Home Security & Situational Awareness

Brian Duff of the Mind4Survival Podcast, Former Army Ranger & Paramedic gave a talk on home security, situational awareness and room clearing. Along with a great sense of humor, Brian had quite a bit of knowledge to add throughout the event.

The audio segment in the show is Brain talking about training and mindset. He mentioned the Las Vegas shooting, and mentioned how we could ask ourselves “what would I do” and learn from events like this. He also talked about how along with the mental preparedness, comes the physical preparedness and practice.

Important Takeaways…

Understanding the Why: Taking classes like these are extremely helpful for understanding when and why something needs to be done. When is a pressure dressing better than a tourniquet? What could cause shallow breathing? Understanding how to assess someone’s injuries, helps us understand how to possibly treat them.

Being Realistic: As preppers we are constantly trying to figure out ways to get through bad situations, but sometimes there just isn’t an answer. Doctors and nurses spend decades honing their skills, and use top of the line equipment. As Brian talked about in his segment, staying out of a bad situation is the only sure way to come out on top.

And Then Some: A major takeaway from this event was not only how many first aid supplies you will need, but how important the basic supplies are. As preppers we love all the trinkets and gadgets, but sometimes you just need what works. While you can’t have 50 Kerlix gauze rolls and 15 Cravats in your kit, you can have them at home.

Improvising: One thing I talk about is skills and understanding how to improvise. As preppers that’s what we do. We try to figure out ways we can get things done when we don’t have modern conveniences. Knowing alternative for splints, knowing alternatives for cravats, and knowing alternatives for tourniquets are all important.

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Long Term Food & Water Storage Ideas for Preppers

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Long Term Food and Water Storage Ideas for PreppersWhen it comes to a disaster of any sort, food and water are our 2 main needs. While there are quite a few other areas of preparedness that are important, none of them matter if we don’t have food and water. There are a number of different long term food and water storage ideas for preppers, and it all depends on your situation.

The average person only has a couple of days’ worth of food in their pantry, and very little water storage…if any. With food readily available at the grocery store, and water freely coming from the faucet, people feel that long(er) term food and water storage is unnecessary.

This is why people tend to rush the stores when a disaster strikes. We’ve all seen the pictures of empty grocery store shelves, and the first things to go are bottled water, and staple foods. Whenever I see this, I can’t help but wonder how these people plan on cooking when the power goes out? And why rush to buy bottled water, when you have water at home waiting to be stored.

SPP221 Long Term Food & Water Storage Ideas

In this week’s show Lisa and I went over some different long term food and water storage ideas and how to decide on what works best for you. There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to food and water storage, and making informed choices now can save you time and money down the line.

Store What You Eat

You may have heard this a hundred time, but unless you don’t mind wasting money, it is very important. If your family eats spaghetti once a week, go ahead and store plenty of spaghetti sauce jars and spaghetti noodles.

A problem a lot of people have is canned food. Canned food is great for long term storage, but if it’s not used, it just takes up useful space. Take green beans for example. We prefer fresh over frozen, and frozen over canned. However, canned is the only long term option.

Even though we tend to use frozen vegetables when fresh isn’t available, we try to use our canned veggies a few times a month to minimize the chance for spoilage. This doesn’t mean you need to use them daily. Canned corn lasts for about 2 years, so if you eat a can of corn once a week, you can store 100 cans without worrying about expiration.

Set a Goal

What you store Depends on your storage space, family size and income. If you are just starting your food storage plan I would say, start small and get into a routine. Once you figure out what works, start to build on that.

Take a look at your monthly budget and figure out what you can comfortably afford to spend on food storage per month. By spending as little as $50 extra a month on food, you will build up your food storage in no time at all.

Water storage is a little easier than food storage. When it comes to water storage your main cost will be the containers themselves. This can even be done free by using containers like 2ltr bottles or Iced tea Jugs. Keep in mind, this is a short term/low volume option.

Types of Long Term Food Storage

In the show we talked about a few different types of long tern food storage. Some of these are really simple, and some take some time and work, but can save you money.

Shelf Stable Foods: This is the easiest way to bulk up your food storage with food you and your family eat on a regular basis. Canned foods, pasta, beans and boxed meals all have a long shelf life. But keep in mind, if you don’t eat it, don’t store it.

Prepackaged Long Term Food: We sell Legacy Food Storage products at the and it is a great way to quickly add to your food storage. The benefit of prepackaged long term food is that it’s convenient, easy to store and has a super long shelf life.

DIY Food Buckets: Putting together your own long term food buckets can be a great way to save money on food storage, but it does take a little work. If you have more time than money, this is a good method. Here are a couple videos I did on packing 5 gallon food buckets…

Part 1…

Part 2…


Canning Food: Learning how to can your own food is a great way of preserving your harvest, or even an option for preserving food you buy in bulk. Home canning is not brain surgery, but does require some learning and equipment to get started.

I recently purchased the electric Carey Pressure Canner, and here are my thoughts on using it for pressure canning…


Gardening: Gardening is a great way to feed your family fresh and nutritious food. This does require some time, space and a little trial and error, but I think it’s a skill we should all know. Eventually our food storage will run out, and gardening gives us a sustainable option.

Dehydrating: A great way of getting more protein into your diet in a disaster scenario is dehydrating or even smoking meat. While this is tough to do on a large scale, who doesn’t love some beef jerky. You can also dehydrate fruits and vegetables.

Some of the home dehydrating devices can get a little pricey, but are worth it if you use it enough. A while back I made this DIY food dehydrator for under $100…


Freezing: Freezing food is a great option right now, but we might not have refrigeration in an SHTF scenario. This is why knowing other food preservation methods are necessary. If the power goes out, and you know how to can food, you won’t have to waste all the food in your refrigerator.

Water Storage

Water Boxes: At the SHTFShop we have 5 gallon water boxes made by Legacy Foods. These boxes are great because you can store them easily in the closet and maximize your storage space.

Water Bricks: A more durable and just as convenient option are the plastic water bricks. These are a little more expensive than Legacy water boxes, but they are made to withstand just about anything thrown at them.

DIY Options: You may already have milk jugs, 2ltr bottles or Jugs like the Arizona iced tea Jugs sitting around the house. Why not use them to store a little extra water. Keep in mind, milk jugs are not recommended for drinking water, but can be used for grey water (cleaning).

The Water Bob: While just filing up your bathtub is a good idea, who knows how clean your bathtub is. A Water Bob is basically an insert you put in your bathtub to protect the water from the “who knows what” in the bathtub.

Rain Catchment: There are quite a few options when it comes to collecting rain water, and your imagination is your only limit. If the water ever stopped running, this would be a great way to add a little to what you already have.

Water Filters: Regardless of how much water we have stored, it’s probably not enough. At a minimum 1 person would need about 500 gallons to last 1 year. At some point you may need to filter water you find (like rain water) and having the right filter is key. Some filters like the Sawyer will filter rain water just fine, but the Berkey is a better (more expensive) option for large quantities.

Learn Water Cleaning Techniques: Clean drinking water is something almost everyone takes for granted. In the event that sanitation becomes an issue, people drinking dirty water will become an issue. Learn some of the different techniques for cleaning water like using bleach, boiling, iodine, ect. and what you can, and will do.

Finding Water: In the event that your water runs out, or if you just don’t have the space to store a lot of it, you will need to know how to get it. This article “Finding Water in the City” Will give you an idea about where you might be able to find water that no one else is thinking about.

Other Things to Consider…

Don’t Forget the Pets: If you have cat’s or dogs, you will need to take them into account also. The great thing about pets is that their food has quite a long shelf life. We try to always have 2 bags of extra dog food, and rotate it to keep it fresh.

Organization & Rotation: If you don’t make organization and rotation a priority you could find yourself throwing out food, which is basically throwing away money. It could also mean that the 6 months of food storage you thought you have is only 3.

Good organization will help you keep your head above water. If we stay on top of things before they get out of hand, it will be easier to maintain our food and water storage.

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A Preppers Food Storage: Challenges & Solutions

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A Preppers Food Storage Challenges & SolutionsWith all the news going on in the world around us, and some right here at home, it has pushed my prepping into high gear. Could this be nothing other than saber rattling and trash talk from one leader to another? It could be. But am I willing to risk not being prepared in case something does happen? Not a chance.

My concerns range from North Korea, to Antifa, to the never-ending supply of money the government thinks it has. While the threat from North Korea is a little overhyped by the mainstream media, the silence surrounding government corruption (unless your Donald Trump) and government spending is deafening.

I have been listening to many different news shows as well as podcasts, and even though I really don’t want anything to happen, it could. I want to make sure I am as prepared as I can be, just in case. And if my internal sense is incorrect, well I guess my family and I will be that much more prepared for a little bit longer. I’m ok with that.

One of my priorities for prepping is of course food. I love food. My family loves food too. And I love the feeling of having a substantial back up of food. We spend hundreds of dollars each month to feed out families, and it’s nice to know that if the money train stops, I can still feed my family.

Sometimes though, this can get a little out of hand. We have cupboards and closets that are filled with food storage. And when we run out of conventional storage, we start thinking out of the box, and create some additional areas to store even more food.

When Packaged Food Nears Expiration Date

stealing foodAnd when we inevitably have some food that has reached, or is near reaching its expiration date, we transfer that up to our kitchen pantry. OR, if it’s way past its expiration date, I save it. Do you wonder why I save expired food?

This may be a little too far out there for some people, but it works for me. Let’s say that there was some scenario that happened, and I had people coming into my home demanding I give them my food. I am a lot more willing to give them food that is near its best by date or well past it.

I will have that food in plain sight while the really food storage is safely hidden away. If things are that dire, I can assure you people will try to get what you have, and if there is no stopping them I will give them that food.

Count Your Calories

counting caloriesAnother thing to think about is how you eat now, versus how you will be eating in case of an SHTF situation. According to different studies that have been done, the average American consumes between 2800 and 3300 calories a day. And I’m not sure I agree with that number. Watching what people I work with put into their bodies on a daily basis, they eat way more than 3000 calories a day.

I am confident in an SHTF situation you will not be consuming 3000 calories. I mean you could, but then how long will your food storage last?

Which means you need to plan your long-term food storage to last you based on the number of calories you want to consume daily. Have you ever gone on a diet? And have you had success with said diet?

In my opinion, most of us fail to be successful with diets because food is everywhere, and so easy to get. We can always start a diet tomorrow, or try to eat healthier tomorrow. But what if the power goes out tomorrow, and doesn’t come back on instead? So you are going to have to make do with the food you have in your house.

If you are eating 3000 calories a day, how long will that food last you? You may have to do some serious planning because if you dropped your calorie intake down to 1500 calories per day you could increase the length of time your food would last times 2!

You also should consider how many people are in your family, and/or how many people you will be preparing meals for. Because you will need to accommodate their caloric needs too.

This is why long term food storage is so important to think about.

Your Food Will Run Out

food will run outNo matter how well you prepare and plan, eventually your food storage will run out. Everyone’s food storage will run out eventually. Unless one day we are lucky enough to have food replicator’s, then this discussion might be irrelevant. But until that day comes, you need to plan on what you will do when you no longer have food stored.

The majority of people will not be thinking about this until the open the cupboards and find there isn’t anything left. You and I on the other hand are already looking several years ahead, and planning on what we will do for food.

Long Term Food = Short Term Solution

long term is a short term solutionYour long-term food storage is not meant to last forever. It is meant to help get you through until your other options have come into play. For example, if everything goes down in the middle of the winter, you will most likely have a few months before you can even begin to get your garden going, and even longer before your food is ready to be harvested and preserved.

In a short term disaster scenario, long term food storage is a great way to bulk up your food supply very quickly. Dale and I have a mix of pantry foods and long term food. We sell Legacy Food Storage products at the SHTFShop, If you are interested or have any questions, let us know here? 

Your long term food storage is meant to supplement and get you through until your alternative food sources are available. This is why your planning is so important when considering just how you will create your long term storage plan.

Diversify Your Pantry

You do want to include regular shelf life type products like canned goods and pantry items. Staples like flour, spices, noodles, etc can be a mixture of regular grocery store purchases, and also include some longer term shelf life items that you can find from companies like Legacy, or Augason Farms.

You will also want to include your own preserved food if you are capable of doing this. If you have never attempted canning, or making meals in jars, now would be a good time to start learning these skills.

And above everything, always store what you eat and eat what you store in order to make the most of your long term food storage.

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Long term prepping challenges

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Long term prepping challengesIt can be pretty confusing for anyone just getting into preparedness, but once that fog clears, it becomes fairly basic. Unfortunately, that is just the beginning. After a while, we find ourselves with a whole new set of long term prepping challenges.

If you have been at this for more than a year or so, you probably have a good grasp on food storage, water storage, first aid and other miscellaneous survival supplies. To become better prepared, we need to take these basic skills to the next level.

SPP214 Long Term Prepping Challenges

This week in the show, Lisa and I talked about some of the challenges we begin to face as we get deeper into preparedness.  We covered everything from Self-doubt, to getting out of debt, to storage problems and solutions.

Getting Out of Debt

Let’s face it, as Americans we are really good at justifying our purchases. Quite often, we confuse our wants with our needs. Couple that with the endless supply of companies willing to “help you out” and it’s far too easy to get into debt.

Getting out of debt (and staying out of debt) is much harder, but one of the most important parts of becoming better prepared. The money we spend monthly on credit card debt could be better spent, saved or invested.  Not to mention the money you pay in interest, which is basically paying to be in debt.

Helpful Links…

Investing in Silver

10 Ways to Reduce Debt

Maintaining Your Preparedness Level

This is something we all battle with. We reach our preparedness goal, and we tend to let off the gas a little bit. Let’s say you reach your goal of being prepared for 6 months, and you give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. If you wait too long, that 6 months will turn into 3 before you know it.

This is also why it’s important to do inventory, and why we try to store food and supplies with long shelf lives. If we just “get it and forget it” or supplies could become spoiled, damaged, or destroyed when you actually need them.

Helpful Links…

Prepping Supplies at Home

11 Things That Will Derail Your SHTF Plans

Where to Store Everything

Inevitably we all run into this problem. Cupboards get packed, closets get stuffed and we begin to look for creative ways to store our supplies. A lot of this also depends on your living situation as well. Smaller homes and apartments only has so much available storage space, while larger homes have their own set of challenges.

In a larger home you will have more options, but how you store your preparedness supplies is just as important as where you store them. If you store things in front of things, in front of other things, you will have a hard time finding that thing you need when you need it.

Helpful Links…

Storage Problems & Solutions for Preppers

Food Storage: One Sizes Does not Fit All

Staying Organized

Along the same lines as where to store everything is staying organized. The deeper you get into preparedness the harder this becomes. It doesn’t take long at all to accumulate all sorts of different preparedness supplies.

What also complicates things is that we need to use these supplies and practice with them. It does no good having a great survival knife and a ferro rod if you don’t know how to use them. It’s easier said than done for some people (me) but these supplies need to “go back home” when we are done with them.

Helpful Links…

Organization and Storage Ideas for Preppers

Storage Problems & Solutions for Preppers

Battling Complacency & Self-Doubt

Just like in the story of the boy who cried wolf, sometimes we can begin to wonder if everything we are doing is a waste of time and energy. We hear and read about all the bad things that could happen, but nothing ever does.

Becoming complacent is dangerous because just because the odds are against a major disaster happening, there is still a chance. As preppers, becoming lackadaisical should not be an option, because we know better. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if something happened to my family because I took the easy way out.

Helpful Links…

The Different Types of Prepping (And Preppers)

Why We Crazy Preppers Aren’t So Crazy

Practice & Honing Your Skills

Once you get the basics of preparedness down, it’s time to practice and learn new skills. The skills you decide to focus on really depends on your priorities and your interests. Preparedness is a never-ending journey, and we should be trying to grow every day.

It’s not only important to have emergency plans, it’s important to practice them, and make sure the family is on the same page. The perfect bug out plan is pointless if you are the only one in the family who knows what it is, and how to execute it.

Helpful Links…

10 Wilderness Survival Skills Everyone Should Know

15 DIY Prepping Ideas to Learn New Skills

Moving Further Away

For most of us, moving out to the boonies and away from society (people) is not an option, and some of us have no desire to do so in the first place. For most people, this is a long term goal, and not something that can be done overnight.

For some people this could mean moving out of an urban area to a more suburban area. For us, we have already taken that step. We live in a semi-rural area, and our plans are to get a little further away in the future.

Helpful Links…

The Difference Between Urban and Rural Prepping

Surviving An Economic Collapse: What Are Your Options?

What Are Your Challenges?

If you have any challenges you have encountered after prepping for a while, we would love to hear about them. Leave a comment below and let everyone know…

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The Different Types of Prepping (And Preppers)

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The Different Types of Prepping (And Preppers)If you were to ask the average person who knows nothing about preparedness what  A “prepper” is, you are bound to get an off the wall answer. Mainstream society has “taught them” what their definition of prepper should be. The truth is, there isn’t 1 type of prepper. There are so many different aspects that go into preparedness, and everyone chooses to prepare differently.

While there are those that take preparedness to the next level (good or bad), most of us are just trying to do the best we can. Most people think preppers are waiting for the world to end, but this is not the case. We prepared for TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It), “as we know it” being the key words in that phrase.

We prepare for survival. This could mean surviving the week until the next paycheck comes in, or surviving a natural disaster. We prepare for the S#it to hit the fan, not a sledgehammer hitting the fan. If the proverbial fan is clogged with doo doo, it might be fixable. If a sledgehammer smashes it, it’s game over for the fan.

SPP207 The Different Types of Prepping (And Preppers)

This week in the show Lisa and I talked about the reasons why you can’t lump all preppers into one category. Every person is different because of their age, finances, location and their abilities, and preppers are no different.

The “Prepper” Label

Because of shows like Doomsday preppers and the mainstream media, the word “prepper” has a negative connotation to some people. If you have any food storage at all, or you are prepared for a disaster scenario, you must be one of those crazy preppers.

We use the term prepper all the time online because it’s a way to find the information we are looking for, but our everyday lives are a little different. Because of operational security, and concerns about how people are going to react, we don’t go out and advertise we are preppers.

In short, you can take the prepper tag or leave it. I personally don’t mind it, but some people who do the very same thing as us, don’t want the prepper label put on them. If you asked someone who lived 100 years ago if they were a prepper, they would laugh at you and say “it’s called life”.

Why We Prepare

Sometimes I wonder what it is that makes us care about preparedness, while some people are happy in their oblivion. I think this is partly to do with how our brains are wired, and not because we are afraid. We choose to be proactive and responsible about life, while others just cross their fingers and take it as it comes.

Why we start to prepare, and why we continue to prepare are 2 completely different things. The reasons we become interested in preparedness are different for everyone. For some people it was living through a disaster, and some people see the writing on the wall.

We continue to prepare because we realize things are not getting better, they are slowly getting worse. Even if nothing large scale happens in my lifetime, eventually it will. If I can pass on even just a little preparedness knowledge to my children, I consider it worthwhile.

Another huge factor is that we choose to question everything coming from the mouth of the MSM. Most people take everything they see on TV as fact, we know better. These days, the “news” is about ratings, propaganda and pushing agendas…on both sides of the isle.

How We Prepare

In the show this week, we also talked about how we prepare. Some of us just can’t do what others can do, but that doesn’t mean we give up. Some people can afford all the cool stuff like years of food storage or a badass bug out vehicle, most of us don’t. Some people have the time and finances to form a prepper group that meets weekly, but again, most of us can’t.

As it is with everything in life, we can only do what we can do. If you live in an urban area, you aren’t going to be raising cattle. This doesn’t mean you are screwed, it just means you need to think about alternatives. Some people set a goal to move to a more rural area, and some people have no desire to do that.

Different Types of Preppers

Another reason you can’t lump all preppers into 1 category is that we are all preparing in different ways, and are at different stages in preparedness.  Here are 7 different prepper types that I came up with. If you can think of any others, leave a comment below.

Lifestyle Prepper

The lifestyle prepper can be broken down into several categories, how far we can go depends on our situation. For some people this means homesteading, and for those in a suburban or urban area it’s food storage and bug out planning.

Each persons situation is different, and the lifestyle prepper does what they can with what they have. Anyone who has been at this for a couple of years is a lifestyle prepper, regardless of their living situation.

Extreme Prepper

To me, the extreme prepper falls into 2 different categories. The first category is people who have the funds to get all the cool toys we wish we could. the second is people who focus solely on 1 disaster scenario.

While I wouldn’t mind having the finances to do (and buy) everything I wanted for preparedness, I would make sure my preparedness plans were well rounded. It drives me crazy when I hear people say “I’m preparing for”. What I hear is “I’m not preparing for this and that”.

Gateway Prepper

At one point or another we have all been the gateway prepper, this is where we all start. The reasons we become interested in preparedness are different, but we all face the same challenges at first.

The gateway prepper is timid, and not sure which direction to go. The best thing for the gateway prepper to do is find some lifestyle preppers to get their information from. Doing this will help them avoid the fear porn and misinformation.

Survivalist (Bushcraft)

This is where I used to fall before Lisa got me (sort of made me) more interested in preparedness. Quite a few of us have grown up camping hiking and “roughing it” as my mom called it. While I am no Dave Canterbury, I do love the outdoors and learning new skills.

The reason this fits in so well with preparedness is the “roughing it” aspect. Preparedness teaches you how to survive if everything goes away, and wilderness skills teach us the very same.

Stay at Home Prepper

Some families have one parent that goes to work everyday, and one that stays home and takes care of the family. The person who stay at home is the one how does most of the family planning.

Making sure the house runs smoothly and the children are taken care of is the job of the stay at home parent. The same holds true in any disaster scenario, whether that is a personal doomsday or large scale disaster.

Closet Prepper

The closet prepper is someone who is unsure about prepping, and doesn’t want to let anyone know what they are doing. This could be from fear or ridicule, or or fear of someone finding out what they have.

To some extent we are all (or should be) closet preppers. Operational security is very important because we don’t want everyone in the neighborhood coming over for handouts.

The Wannabe Prepper

Because anyone can say anything they want on the internet these days, it’s tough to figure out how honest anyone is being. These keyboard warriors are always right, and always have something better than you.

This type of person should be ignored, because no matter how much someone else has (or knows) it isn’t going to affect you one bit. This is also a dangerous type of prepper to be because when the S hit the fan, all their talk means nothing.

The post The Different Types of Prepping (And Preppers) appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Organization and Storage Ideas for Preppers

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Organization and Storage Ideas for PreppersAs we get more and more into preparedness we end up with more stuff than we can we have room for. Because of this it’s important to learn about organization and storage ideas for preppers. The more prepared we become, the more challenging finding places to store everything becomes.

It’s not only important to keep everything organized to maintain your sanity, it’s important for managing inventory and expiration dates. As I tell my children, it’s much easier to take 5 minutes a day to straighten up their rooms than it is to wait a month and have a disaster on their hands.

Being unorganized and not using our storage space wisely can lead to complacency and even arguments with the spouse. If we have the closets packed full of prepping supplies and food storage, we are less likely to keep the ball rolling. If your husband or wife is not on board with prepping, this could lead them to become resentful about your prepping.

Everything Has a Home

One way I try to stay organized is to give everything a home, and just like us, it goes back home after work. I probably get on Lisa’s nerves sometimes because I am super OCD about the tools and supplies in my truck. I don’t mind her using something, but it needs to go back when she’s done, because that’s where it lives.

It would be very frustrating to break down somewhere and not have my socket set because it’s sitting in the garage. The same holds true for supplies at home. If we know where everything lives, and it’s easily accessible, it will save us time searching for something when we need it.

De-Junking: Finding Usable Storage Space

We recently rented a dumpster to get rid or our unwanted clutter and free up some storage space. We tried getting rid of our old junk with our weekly trash service, but 10 years worth of junk was going to take forever to get rid of. For about $300 we rented an 11′ trash dumpster and packed it to the rim with all of the stuff we “just had to have” over the years.

Doing this not only freed up some storage space, it also made organizing the supplies we already had easier. It’s much easier to find something you need when you don’t have to dig through 3 layers of crap to get to it.

Other Peoples Stuff

As George Carlin once said “your stuff is other peoples junk”. While some of our “stuff” is just trash, some of it might might be useful to someone else. Like they say “One mans trash is another mans treasure”. As we were decluttering and getting rid of our unused stuff, we separated the sellable items from the trash. No only are we getting rid of the junk laying around, we are making a few bucks while we do it.

These days it’s easier than ever to make a few extra dollars for prepping. We can hold a couple yard sales during the summer, or even sell our stuff online at eBay. It never ceases to amaze me how someone is willing to pay me for something I think is complete crap.

SPP204 Organization and Storage Ideas for Preppers

In this weeks show we went over everything I talked about above, as well as some other organization and storage ideas for preppers. We talked about how to identify and utilize and unused storage space, and some ideas about how to use that storage space.

Extra Storage Ideas

There are some really cool ideas out there like a secret staircase or a pop up bed, but I wanted to make a list of storage ideas that are a little more realistic for the average prepper. We actually use everything on this list…and you can’t even tell we have a “prepper home”.

metal shelvesMovable Shelving Units: Metal shelving units are great because they are durable and can hold quite a bit of weight. I have one of these shelving units that I use to store medical supplies, and a couple that are solid metal shelves in the garage for heavier supplies.

The great thing about these shelves is they come in different shapes and sizes, and adjustable shelves to fit your needs.

side fridge comparisonSlide Out Storage Tower: We actually have one of these next to our refrigerator, but you can use these anywhere you have a few inches of free space.

There are quite a few options to choose from as far as width, height and material, and even some DIY ideas. I was going to make something like this until Lisa purchased the one we are using now.

spice door clipsCabinet Door Spice Clips: These come in really handy for keeping everything organized and in your face. While there is plenty of storage inside the cabinet, things can become buried behind everything else.

These also work great for medicine cabinets to keep track of all your different medication.

under the bed storage sliderUnder the Bed Storage Slider: I recently cleaned out all the crap from under my bed and it lead me to making this DIY under the bed storage slider. Using the room under a bed is a great storage idea, but getting to it after it’s under there is not so easy.

As easy as this was to make, and how easy it makes accessing the stuff under the bed, this is one of the best projects I have done.

counter top extensionCounter top Extension: I built a hidden storage counter top extension a couple of years ago with the purpose of being able to hide some of our food storage just in case.

With the cover on, it looks like it is part of the existing cabinet space. Without the cover it gives Lisa some space to put books, jars of food or anything she can think of.

dale storage cubesWall Cubes: I have to give credit to Lisa for this one, but these things are great. She basically got tired of all my crap just laying around, so she got me a couple of these wall cubes. the picture is 4 sets of  6 Cubicles Organizers.

The great thing about these is they come in number of different shapes and sizes. You can get 1 cube, 4 cubes and even drawers that fit into the cubes.

canned food dispenserCanned Food Dispensers: As preppers we tend to store quite a bit of canned food. As our cabinets get full we can easily lose track of what we have, and if it’s expired.

The idea behind these canned food dispensers is FIFO (first in first out). Rather than going through our canned food storage looking for expired products, we can use the oldest first and not throw anything out.

pegboardPeg Board (Garage/Basement): Pegboard is a great way to be able to use your wall storage space. While you might not want to have this hanging in a bedroom, pegboards are great for garages and basements.

There are a number of hooks, bins and other attachments you can put on the pegboard to hold just about anything you can think of.

furniture storage ideasFurniture With Storage Space: Another great idea(s) is having furniture that not only looks good, but it is functional as well. We have a couple of storage chests we use as end tables, and an ottoman we can store stuff in as well.

On a side note, my next project might be a coffee table like the one pictured above. Looks easy enough to do, but we’ll see!

water bricksStackable Items: Another way to maximize your storage space is purchase items that are stackable and easy to store. Water bricks are the first thing that comes to mind, and even long term food storage products.

We sell Legacy Food Storage Products at the which come in easy to store buckets. Legacy also has stackable water storage boxes that I use to store water in my closet.

storage drawersSmall Plastic Bins: There are all sorts of different plastic storage bins and and drawers you could use to store some of your smaller prepping supplies. The great thing about these plastic storage bins is they are inexpensive, and can be used anywhere around the house.

I mentions the under the bed storage slider I made earlier, and if you don’t want to make one of those, these plastic bins work well also.

plastic totesLarge Plastic Storage Totes: Along the same lines as the smaller plastic storage ideas are the larger storage bins. We have quite a few of these storage totes, and they are much better than cardboard boxes. They are water resistant and pest resistant and will last forever.

These are great to keep your supplies organized and separated. They can be used for old cloths, blankets and even different kits. Here is an article and video I did about my lights out kit which I keep in one of these plastic totes.

Other Ideas?

There are quite a few options when it comes to organization and storage ideas for preppers, and you might even have a few. Leave a comment below if you have an idea that I didn’t mention here?

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What Are The 6 Areas of Preparedness?

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What Are The 6 Areas of PreparednessWhether you are preparing for a week or a year the 6 areas or preparedness should be your considered in everything you do while prepping. The 6 areas of preparedness are food, water, shelter, security, sanitation and first aid…not in any certain order.

These are the building blocks of any good preparedness plan. How you prepare in each of these areas will depend on your personal situation, but they need to be included in every preparedness plan.

SPP202 The 6 Areas of Preparedness

There aren’t a lot of show notes this week, because I have written extensively about the 6 areas of preparedness in the past. I will however briefly cover what we talked about in the show, and then give you a couple of links that go into more detail. If you have any questions about any of these 6 areas of preparedness, leave a comment below.

Storing Food

How much food you store, and what you store is completely up to you. There are many suggestions about food storage in the prepper community, but your finances, family size, and storage space all need to be considered. The only wrong way to store food is to not have any when you need it.

In this weeks show we talked about: Different ways to find and store food, pantry food, long term food storage products, preserving food, hunting, wild edibles, and SHTF fuel and cooking options.

A Preppers Food Storage: One Sizes Does not Fit All

Long Term Food Storage Techniques & Ideas

Mother Natures Wilderness Survival Foods

Water Storage & Safety

These days all you have to do is turn on your faucet and you have clean drinking water, but what if that wasn’t the case? Most people wouldn’t even know where to start if they had to clean their water, but you do, right? Honestly, cleaning water and making it drinkable isn’t as hard as it seems, it just takes a little bit of knowledge.

If you are confused at all about how to clean your water, and what might be in it, I wrote this article titled What’s the Right Water Filter For Preppers? This article goes over different types of filters, as well as what they will (and will not) remove.

In the show we talked about: How much water to store, what a water filter can do, what is a micron, why treat stored water, and alternatives to storing water.

Finding and Storing Water for Preppers

Finding Water In the City When the SHTF

SHTF Water Filtering and Purification For Preppers

Survival Shelter 

When it comes to survival shelter, your home is the most important. Disasters come in different shapes and sizes, and bugging out might not be necessary. Our home is our base camp, so leaving it should be avoided if possible. With that being said, bugging out may be unavoidable, and we need to have the skills and knowledge to do so.

In the show we talked about: What is shelter? Protecting yourself from the elements, your home ,and bug out shelter.

How Many Bug Out Locations Do You Need?

Wilderness Survival skills for Preppers

Tips for Successfully Bugging In

Personal Security

Your personal security starts with you, and extends to your home and your surroundings. Everything we do on a daily basis either puts us at risk, or makes us safer. Everything from what we do online, to protecting our home from intruders needs to be considered on a daily basis.

In the show we talked about: Security around the home, bugging out, self defense, online security, OPSEC , and Situational awareness.

SHTF Perimeter Security: What You Can Do Now, To Prepare For Then

Being the Gray man & Situational Awareness

Large and Small Scale Escape & Evasion Tactics for Preppers

15 SHTF Perimeter Security and Alarm Ideas


One commonly overlooked aspect of preparedness is sanitation. With the availability of over the counter medications, medical facility’s, and being lucky enough to live in a first world country, we don’t think about the dangers of bad sanitation. In a SHTF situation it’s not just about body odor and stinky feet. It’s about preventing illness, and not adding to an already bad situation.

In the show we talked about: Sanitation around the home, personal hygiene, sickness prevention, and SHTF Sanitation in general.

Podcast: SHTF Sanitation

Foodborne Illness and Prevention for Preppers

SHTF Wound Care: Safety & Sanitation

Post Collapse Sanitation, Diseases and Antibiotics

First Aid & Medical Skills

Whether you are a natural disaster, or an all out SHTF scenario, first aid should be one of your top priorities. Most of these basic first aid skills are easy to learn, and when you do, you’ll have a better idea about what supplies you need. In a survival situation, you might be the only option. You could literally make the difference between someone dying or living.

In the show we talked about: Basic first aid supplies, first aid skills and SHTF first aid.

First Aid and Medical Skills For Preppers

What Should Go In Your First Aid Kit Part 1

First Aid Supplies And Money Saving Tips For Prepers

Let Us Know…

If you have any questions or comments about the show, let us know below. Also, if you have any tips or advice that might help others, we’d love to hear that too.

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Everyday Carry (EDC) for Preppers: From Head to Toe

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Every Day Carry (EDC) for PreppersWhen we think about everyday carry items we usually think about what we put in our pockets every day. The reason I titled this article “Everyday Carry (EDC) for Preppers From Head to Toe” is because there is much more that goes into EDC items than a flashlight and a pocket knife.

These prepping supplies and EDC supplies are important though. As they say, a carpenter is only as good as his tools. Anyone can go out and buy the best “tools of the trade” but if they don’t know how to use them, the house they build might not look like a house at all.

I will be going over some ideas and supplies for every day carry items in this article, but I wanted to start off by talking about knowledge and skills first. Most of the items we carry everyday are stored in our head, not in our pockets, purse, or wallet.

SPP200 Everyday Carry (EDC) for Preppers

While there are a few supplies listed below, not everything we everyday carry needs to fit in our pockets. These days there is no shortage of options, and no shortage of places to learn about personal safety and security.

Knowledge and Skill

Having these everyday carry supplies is only the first step. We also need to understand how we might use them, and why we might need them. Owning a gun requires safety education, maintenance and understanding when, why, and how you might use it.

While having a pocket knife doesn’t require the skill and training a gun does, we still need to know which one will suit our needs. Wearing a paracord bracelet is pretty pointless if you can’t tie a few different knots. Having a ferro rod if you can’t get a spark is also pointless.

Understanding when, why and how you might use an item will give you a better idea about the everyday carry items you might need. It will also give you a better idea how to handle a situation when those tools and supplies aren’t available.

Operational Security

The best way to handle any dangerous situation that might come is to stay out of it in the first place. Pay attention to what you do that might make you an easy target, and pay attention to what people around you are doing.

It is important to have these everyday carry supplies, but our goal should be to never need to use them. Sometimes the circumstances are unavoidable, and situations like these are why EDC items are so important.

Self Defense

There is no shortage of items you can carry to help you with self-defense. I’ll list a few below, but keep in mind, these tools shouldn’t be an alternative to knowing how to defend yourself, they are tools that might give you better odds.

This doesn’t mean you need to be Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris (wouldn’t that be awesome!) but we should learn as much as we can about basic self-defense. Criminals are cowards and opportunists, so like the saying goes…

“You don’t need to be faster than the bear. You just need to be faster than the person next to you”.

Demonstrating confidence and awareness might make that person wanting to do us harm think twice. If you can get them to think that you are not as easy a target as they thought, they might rethink their plans.

Personal Defense EDC Ideas

On Your Body (Typical EDC)

Typically when we think about everyday carry items we think about what we should put in our pockets everyday. Everyday carry items for preppers should include more than a flashlight, pocket knife and some paracord. Preppers are genius about finding ways to carry survival items, while still remaining the gray man.

Women seem to have the advantage here because a purse can hold more than a wallet. While I’m not opposed to a Fanny Pack or a Murse (Man Purse), I’m just not the type of guy that could pull it off. There are other options though, for both men and women, you just need to think outside the box.

Hats: With a little sewing skill and some ingenuity you could add a few secret compartments in your hat. There are also a couple of options online like this one from WazooSurvivalGear.

Jewelry: There is no shortage of everyday carry items we can wear, rather than put in our pockets. There are all sorts of paracord braclets, bushcraft necklaces, survival watches and more.

Clothes: I love cargo pants because there are so many pockets, but they are a little obvious. ScotteVest makes quite a few clothing options with hidden compartments.

Purse/Pack: If I were to get a “Man Purse” it would probably look something like this. Purses and Go bags give you the ability to carry more than just the basics. Something that looks like a laptop bag probably wouldn’t stick out too much these days.

Wallet: While space is limited in a wallet we should always have some extra cash on hand, and important information. Along with that there are a few other items like a credit card knife or freznel lens that would fit in a wallet.

Shoes: You might not be able to do it with “fancy shoes” but why not use paracord for work boots, hiking boots, or tennis shoes. I use Titan SurvivorCord in my shoes because it has fishing line, waxed jute and a copper wire inside.

Belt: A belt is not just to hold your pants up when your pockets are full. It could be a full on paracord belt like the Preppinstein Designs belt, or just a belt you can attach stuff to like a holster, multi tool or knife.

The EDC Basics

There are quite a few articles about the everyday carry basics, and people love to share what their EDC items include (me as well). Here is a short list of what I think that should include.

Extra Cash: There are many reasons why the grid would go down, and if this happens our money in the bank is useless. How much you carry is up to you, but I suggest at least $20 in small bills.

Pen (And Paper): You never know when you might need to leave information for someone else, or write something down for yourself. Using a pen and paper is easier than carving something into your dashboard.

Cell Phone: These days your cell phone is probably no further than arms reach away, so this might be an easy one. Even if there is no cell service, we might be able to text. We also have important information stored on our phones.

Important Info: Because we have everyone’s phone number in our cell phone, we probably don’t know their actual phone number. Have emergency contact info in your wallet, and also important medical information.

Flashlight: This is one of those “you’ll wish you had it” items. They offer more flexibility than using a lighter, and some can be used as a weapon.

Pocket Knife: Having a cutting tool is important for a number of reasons. You might only use it for opening packages these days, but you’ll be glad you have it in a survival situation.

Multi Tool: If you don’t already have a good multi tool, believe me, you will use it more than you think. You don’t need the best multi tool out there, but don’t go cheap. I have this Leatherman and I love it.

Fire Making: This goes without saying, but having a couple ways to start a fire are must have EDC items. Always carry a Bic lighter on you, and have at least one more option on top of that.

Self Defense: I talked about self defense above, so I won’t go into detail here. Most of the tools listed above can be used for self defense as well. The ability to conceal carry is best for self defense by far.

In Your Automobile

If you define everyday carry by what you can carry in your pockets, items in your car probably don’t make the list. In my opinion they should. We use our automobiles for everything we do, and they are always within walking distance of us.

Our cars also give you more storage space, and act as a staging point depending on which environment we are heading into. These days if you took all of your EDC supplies into a courthouse or airport, you might get the dreaded “domestic terrorist” label. Other situations might afford you the option of carrying more than just the basics.

All of this is why maintaining your automobile is so important. The easiest way of getting from point A to point B is on 4 wheels. If our vehicle breaks down, you will be left with the choice of what to take, and what to leave behind.

Here are a few items you can store in your car, but would be a an inconvenience to carry around with you everywhere you go.

Tools: I try to have all the tools I might need for small repairs in my truck. This includes a 40 piece socket set, screwdrivers, plyers, and some Duct Tape just to name a few.

Even if you don’t know how to use these tools, they are important to have. You might run into a problem that someone else might be able to fix… as long as you have the tools to do it.

Bug Out Bags: You can have the best bug out bag setup in the world, but if it sits at home it is useless. My bug out bag spends far more time on my backseat than on my back, but if I need it, I know it’s there.

Car (Road) Kits: First and foremost make sure you have a car jack, lug wrench, and a spare tire. I have purchased a few used cars in my day, and I’d say 90% of them don’t have a jack or a lug wrench in them.

Along with that, make sure you have an emergency car kit. This car kit here is a great ready to go kit. As preppers we are constantly adding/removing/tailoring our kits, so make sure and add/remove/tailor these kits to fit your needs.

Clothing: Most cars have plenty of storage space, so why not have some extra clothes and blankets in the trunk. Along with clothes you should have gloves, walking shoes, extra socks etc.

Shelter: In my truck I have 2 tarps, 2 survival blankets, duct tape and paracord to make shelter if the need arises. Overkill? possibly. But better safe than sorry I say.

Food & Water: It’s not only important to have a little food and water in your car, it’s also important to check and rotate it every once in a while. Extreme temperature changes can affect certain foods, and water can freeze and expand, causing a big mess when it thaws.

First Aid Supplies: Whether it’s a big emergency or something small, first aid supplies are always important. We use our cars to take us everywhere, and having some first aid supplies might become useful if we become injured, or to help someone else.

Preparedness Supplies at Work

The average person spends 8 hours a day at work, so it only makes sense to have some preparedness supplies there. Where and how you store these supplies depends on your job. Some people have desks, some have lockers, and some are very limited. If you have space available to stash some food, water and other preparedness supplies, why not use it.

To get a better understanding of what preparedness supplies you might need you need to have a good understanding of your surroundings. This means the people around you, the tools available to you, and even knowing the escape routes.

Supplies at Home

Items stored at home aren’t necessarily EDC items, but I want to cover them none the less. We have a tendency of letting our guard down when we get home because it is our “safe place”. This is all well and good, but we need to make sure it truly  is our “safe place”.

Have some defense items stashed around the house and strategically located. Having a baseball bat parked by the front door, a firearm on your hip or a fat can of mace on your nightstand might give you an edge if needed.

Hypothetical Scenario: Lets say someone was holding you hostage in your house (robbing you) and told you to stay seated at the table until they were done. If you had a can of mace taped under that table you might be able to use it when they weren’t expecting it and get away.


You might be thinking that this goes WAY beyond everyday carry items, but the whole point of this article is to not limit ourselves to what we can put in our pockets. We can have all the supplies in the world, but if they are not readily available, they are useless.

If we take advantage of every opportunity we have, we are less likely to get caught with our pants down in a survival situation…especially if we have a belt.

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Spring and Summer Prepping Ideas

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Spring and Summer Prepping IdeasAs spring and summer arrive, everything starts to spring to life, and that should include us. The winter time can lead us to becoming complacent about prepping because there is only so much we can do indoors. You can’t go camping, you can’t grow a garden, and you can’t practice fire starting skills indoors…or you shouldn’t anyway.

This is my most favorite time of the year! The days are getting longer, it is finally warm outside, and it is the pre-season to summer, when we will be prepping up a storm!

Since the weather is warming up, and the days are getting longer, this is the perfect time to get outside and get some work done. It is still too early to plant our garden outside yet, it snowed yesterday morning, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get everything ready to go.

SPP199 Spring and Summer Prepping Ideas

Getting Outside

As the days get longer and warmer, we finally have the chance to get outside and get some work done, so why not take advantage of it. Prepping is about much more than what supplies we have, it’s about skills and being ready for some hard times.

Gardening: There is a lot of prep work that goes into gardening. Now is the perfect time to acclimate yourself to being outside. Get those garden beds ready! Weed, and work the dirt. Get your compost pile in shape, and move some ready compost to your garden.

Camping:  Going camping doesn’t mean heading out to the woods for a week with nothing more than a bug out bag. Camping is a great way to apply all those skills we learned over the winter. it’s also a great way of getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and spend some quality time with the family.

Physical Fitness: Any sort of SHTF event, or disaster scenario is going to require some hard work.Not only that, but the healthier we are now, the less problems we will have is these scenarios. When we are cooped up in the house, it can be tough to stay physically fit, but the summer brings a number of opportunity’s.

Taking your bug out bag for a walk, planting a garden or doing work around the house are all great ways to become “Farmer Strong” as Dale calls it. I know plenty of farmers who could outwork a gym rat every day of the week.

Go For a Hike: With the weather being warmer, this is an excellent time to put your pack on, and go out for a hike. Keep it short at first, and maybe only take the bare necessities the first couple of times you go out. You will build endurance, as well as some muscle.

Walking is an excellent way to get in shape. And by making it fun, and bringing your camera a long to capture some memories along your journey can motivate you to keep going.

Have a Stay-Cation

Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a trip, why not use that money for an improvement around your home? Instead of going to lay on a beach somewhere or traveling to faraway places, I usually take my vacation to get caught up around our home. It’s also fun to sleep in at home, and spend the day moving slowly around home, instead of hurrying up and going somewhere. We also use that time to take shorter day trips to places around us and exploring new places within our own community.

Clean Out the Garage

If your garage is anything like mine, it isn’t just for storing your cars. In fact, our garage is a workshop and a “catchall” for our preparedness supplies. Over time, things get moved around and misplaced. Move that stuff out, go through it, and make sure you are organized.

If you are lucky enough to have a garage, take advantage of the storage space. Hang peg board up, or build some shelves. Do what you can to make the most of the space you have. Over time, you will have more preparedness supplies than you know what to do with…believe me, I know!

Make Important Repairs

If things have been piling up on your “to do” list, now is the time to get those projects done. It doesn’t all have to be done in one weekend, but take advantage of the warmer weather while you can. Instead of overwhelming yourself by trying to get everything done at one time (Lisa) get your list and focus on one task at a time.

Do it right, and do it well. By the end of the summer, hopefully you will have everything checked or crossed off that list. Again, take advantage of the warm weather. It’s much easier to make needed repairs when it’s warm and dry, than it is slopping through mud or a foot of snow.

Neighborhood Get Together

Some of us might be a little leery about putting our selves out there with the neighbors, but it is very important. We should always be mindful of our operational security, but because these people are right outside our front door, it’s important to know who they actually are.

You don’t necessarily need to have a full blown neighborhood BBQ (unless you want to), but anything we can do to get to know who our neighbors really are, not “who we think they are” will give us a better idea about who will be helpful, and who we need to watch out for.

Learning Something New

Again, don’t set out to complete a new task every weekend. Instead think of one thing you really want to do and do it. For me, it is planting a cornfield. That has been something I have always wanted to do, and this summer, I am going to do it! I might also learn how to start a fire the non-traditional way and challenge Dale to a fire starting contest, but the corn field comes first.

Dale is planning on learning to pressure can. We can’t do this indoors because we have a ceramic top stove, so he plans on getting an outdoor propane burner. He is also getting ready to start the “Bushcraft Prepping” course at the Survivalist Prepper Academy.

These are just a few things to think about before summer is in full swing around us. Plan and prepare now for an incredible and productive summer. How about you? What are your plans for the upcoming summer?

Also from the show…

200th Episode Giveaway: To celebrate our 200th episode of the Survivalist Prepper Podcast we are giving away a great compound bow package from Apollo-Tactical along with a couple other prizes. Click here to enter the giveaway.

YouTube Live: Earlier this week Dale and I were on the Learning to be Prepared YouTube channel talking about preparedness. Click here to watch the replay. We mentioned a podcast Dale did in the past with Brian Gittens from the UK. You can listen to that here.

HydroFlo Water Filter Discount: Dale recently did a video on the HydroFlo Jerry Can water filter, and they have also set up a coupon code SP20 for fans of Survivalist Prepper to get a 20% discount. Have a look at their website here.

The post Spring and Summer Prepping Ideas appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Are You Prepared for Natural Disasters?

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Are You Prepared for Natural DisastersTalking about natural disasters is not up there with the most “sexy” or “fun” aspects of prepping, but it’s important to make sure we are prepared for these natural disasters none the less. The odds of a natural disaster or a personal doomsday happening in our lifetime are far greater than a global or national disaster scenario…although these odds are changing daily.

The basics of preparedness are the same regardless which disaster(s) you are preparing for. Preparing for these natural disasters is a great way to build your foundation, and become become better prepared for even the smallest disaster situation or personal doomsday.

The truth is, if we don’t have the basics covered, we really aren’t prepared at all. We could have the perfect bug out bag, but without an escape and evasion plan, we could be in for a tough time.

I recently published this video about 10 basic things we should have taken care of to be prepared for any disaster scenario. How many of these do you have checked off your list? If you only get 7 out of 10 you might have a little work to do.

Here are the 10 tips from the video…

  1. You have enough food stored
  2. You have cash set aside
  3. You have out of area emergency contacts
  4. You have water stored
  5. You have a plan for the family
  6. You know where you’ll go (including pets)
  7. You have a good first aid kit
  8. You have first aid training
  9. You practice for a disaster
  10. Your car is in good mechanical condition

SPP195 Are You Prepared for Natural Disasters?

In this weeks show we went over some of the basics of preparing for a natural disaster. This might all seem very simple to you (especially if you’ve been prepping for a while) but they are areas that sometimes get overlooked because they are so simple.

Sometimes what you thought was a perfect plan will not work out like you thought it would. Sometimes we get so focused on the bigger details, we forget about the small details. Having the greatest bug out vehicle that can bust through a concrete wall is worthless if it runs out of gas, or gets a flat tire.

Topics Covered In The Show…

Here are a few of the things we talked about in this weeks show. We went into quite a bit of detail with all of these, so make sure and listen.

Stay Informed

Before: A little bit of extra warning can go a long way in a disaster situation. With a hurricane or blizzard you will have plenty of warning, an earthquake or tornado is a different story. At this point you will have TV, radio and phone service…make sure you use them.

During: Some of these services might be out during a natural disaster, but a shortwave radio might still be useful. I have this Crank Radio which also has a solar panel and light.

After: A natural disaster can cause quite a bit of damage. The first thing we will want to do is make sure everyone is safe. You can register on the Red Cross website to check in as “safe and well”. You can also check in on others who might be affected, as long as they know to use the website.

Evacuation Planning

Home and Away: Evacuation planning is not just choosing a bug out route, it could mean getting out of the house in the first place. Earthquakes and tornadoes could destroy your home leaving you trapped, and in a house fire you would need to find the safest escape route.

Escape Routes: This could be anything from escaping the house, to escaping the neighborhood. Make sure everyone knows which routes to take and why. Make sure to always have a plan B, and also a plan C.

Timing Is Everything: While you would have plenty of time to prepared for a hurricane, some natural disasters won’t afford you that luxury. This is why staying informed and having supplies ready to go is important.

Destinations: It’s not only important to have your destinations picked out, it’s important that everyone is on the same page. Make sure everyone knows where you will meet, and where you will meet if that isn’t an option. This could be anything from the front yard, to a school paring lot, to a relatives home.

Include the Pets: If you own pets you are going to want to have a plan and supplies for them as well. If you need to evacuate you will need supplies for them, as well as a suitable location. If you plan on going to a relatives home, make sure they are OK with Fido coming along.

Family Disaster Planning

Contact Information: These days we don’t know peoples actual phone numbers, they are just names in our cell phone. You can make wallet sized cards with contact information, as well as important medical information. Wallet size contact cards are great for teenagers because they don’t need to remember anything other than where it is when they need it.

Important Websites: You should also add important websites to these cards, the SafeAndWell website I linked to above is one of them. While the internet might be down during the natural disaster, it could be available in the future. It could also be available in other areas.

If You’re Separated: The entire family is rarely in the same place all the time. Parents go to works, kids go to school, and a disaster is not going to wait until we are ready. This is why having pre planned meeting points and contact information is so important. If we know that they know, it can make an already stressful situation a little more bearable.

Money on Hand: In a natural disaster scenario money will not be useless, but ATM’s might. Everyone should carry some emergency cash in their wallet for event’s like this. This could be $100 in small bills, or whatever you can afford.

Practice Your Plans: Having these plans is only the first step. The more important step is making sure everyone understands these plans and is on the same page. The family might not take this as serious as you, but when the time comes they will remember.

Around the House: During or after a natural disaster there are some safety precautions we need to make sure everyone understands. Make sure everyone knows where the breaker box is (and how to shut if off) and where the gas shutoff is. Make sure a bad situation doesn’t get worse by something that could have been avoided.

Survival Skills

The Basics: Making sure the family knows survival skills doesn’t mean they need to know how to use a ferro rod to start a fire, but do they know how to use a fire extinguisher? Do they know what to do during a house fire? Or do they know the basics of first aid.

And Then Some: While we might not be able to get the whole family on board with the more advanced survival skills like trauma care, CPR  or bugging out, they are important to learn. We never know what situation might present itself, so the more we know, the better our odds will be.

Disaster Supplies

3 Days Minimum: FEMA recommends that we have 3 days worth of food and water stored. As preppers, if we only have 3 days worth of supplies, we think we are severely slacking.  In the event of a natural disaster 3 days is probably OK, but I feel much better knowing I’m covered if day 4 or 5 rolls around.

Staying or Going?: Having 3 days worth of supplies doesn’t just mean around the house. If we find ourselves in a situation where we need to leave, we need to have some of these supplies ready to go. This means food, water, bug out bags, and other supplies.

The Right Tools For the Job: The supplies you need will depend on the natural disaster you are preparing for. While the basic survival supplies like food water and first aid might be the same, some tools will be specific to the disaster. A pry bar or a pick ax might be useful after an earthquake, they might not be during a blizzard.

This is just a general list that would cover a number of disaster scenarios. Make sure you have these covered, and then refine this list depending on which natural disaster scenario you are concerned about. If you have any ideas or thoughts, let me know in the comments below…

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Large and Small Scale Escape & Evasion Tactics for Preppers

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Large and Small Scale Escape & Evasion Tactics for PreppersAs preppers, when we think about escape and evasion tactics we immediately think about the worst-case scenario. We think about escaping a war zone cause by civil unrest, and evading large numbers of marauders looking to steal our supplies and do us harm.

While this is possible, and extremely important to plan for, not every scenario is a worst-case scenario. Understanding escape and evasion tactics could be beneficial in a wide number of disaster scenarios including natural disasters.

Escape and evasion is much more than slapping on some camouflage and acting like a Navy Seal. Escape and evasion is also about more than counter tracking and escaping zip ties, it’s about everything we do on a daily basis to stay out of situations where escape would become necessary.

SPP194 Escape & Evasion Tactics for Preppers

This week in the show we talked about escape and evasion tactic for preppers, and how they apply in a number of different disaster scenarios. Some of these techniques also apply to what we do in our everyday lives.

Blending In

Blending into your environment and becoming “the gray man” is about how you look, how you act, and what you say. If you live in an urban area you don’t want to be wearing cammo and carrying a tactical backpack or bug out bag. If you live in a rural area you wouldn’t want to be wearing a 3-piece suit and carrying suitcase. Fitting in means looking and acting just like everyone else. It means being unremarkable in every way.

Regardless whether you are talking about a large scale civil unrest scenario or just discussing preparedness with friends, what you say will have repercussions. Being the gray man means not showing your cards until you are absolutely sure the time is right.

Trust No One

This might sound a little harsh, but we need to treat everyone is a potential enemy. This doesn’t mean board up the windows and shoot anyone who comes to the door, we just need to be on high alert with everyone we encounter. People without food become very dangerous, and even the most well-intentioned person will do what it takes to survive.

Even during small scale natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina we have seen this happen. People for the most part will try to come together and help each other, but all it takes is a few people looking to take advantage to ruin your plans.

Situational Awareness

You might not think about situational awareness when you think about escape and evasion, but it could be one of it’s most important aspects. We need to constantly be aware of the actions of others, as well as how our own actions might put us at risk.

Using the acronym S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L. in a crisis situation is a great way to remind yourself what is important and to stay focused. We need to make sure that when we are traveling we are not leaving a trail, not easily followed and not an easy target. To do this we need to be on high alert, and aware of the situation around us.

Tracking & Counter Tracking

The most important part of escape and evasion is making sure you do it unnoticed. This not only includes being the gray man and situational awareness, it means not leaving a trail for someone to follow. If you are a hunter, you might know quite a bit about tracking animals, and the same principals apply to humans.

Counter tracking is simply understanding what kind of signals humans might leave, and not leaving them. There is quite a bit that goes into tracking and counter tracking, but the great thing is it’s easy to learn…and it’s free. We can learn just about anything on YouTube these days, and Black Scout Survival has a good series on escape and evasion.

Using something like the Sneek Boot will make it harder for someone to follow your footprints, but we also need to make sure we are not leaving other signals like trash or disturbing the surrounding area.


Not every scenario involves hiking through the woods to your bug out location, but navigation and map reading is important none the less. Regardless where we live, escaping or evading will mean traveling in secluded areas in hopes to avoid people. It doesn’t matter if you are in an urban area, or a rural area, losing your direction, or making a wrong turn is easier than you think.

Having maps of your area, and knowing how to read them could literally be the difference between life and death. Most of us could make it home from work without using a map, but would it be the safest route? It’s much safer to take 30 seconds and plan a route, than to turn a corner and find yourself face to face with someone wanting to do you harm.

The Best Bug Out Vehicle

Instead of thinking about a bug out vehicle as the biggest baddest vehicle that can bust through walls and road blocks, we should think about the type of vehicle necessary for the job. The safest route might be going discreetly around a road block rather than through it. If you find yourself stuck in an urban area, which is better a bicycle? or an RV?

The truth is, the best bug out vehicle is the one you have now. It’s fun to think about these big bad bug out vehicles, but we should make sure our car is maintained and reliable.

Any bug out vehicle is only as good as the supplies and tools that are in it, this includes your everyday carry items. Having the tools to fix a flat tire or tighten a hose could be the difference between driving somewhere and hoofing it.


Planning is not only important before a crisis situation, it’s also important during a crisis. In order to execute a bug out plan properly we need to learn about escape and evasion and practice it. Bugging out should not just be grabbing your go bag and walking. The more we know about escape and evasion tactics, the better our chances will be.

This is also important during smaller scale disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes and wild fires.  Evasion could mean getting to higher ground, or even helping someone who has been trapped under rubble to escape.  As I said earlier, escape and evasion is about much more than hiding from, or escaping from would be kidnappers.

Organization in Groups

If something were to happen while we were at work, we might not be heading out alone. While we all have a group of coworkers we just can’t stand, there are probably a few you couldn’t leave behind. In a situation like this, you would need to be the leader. Most people have no idea what to do in an emergency other than panic.

This will also make traveling discreetly and hiding your tracks a little more challenging. On the flip side, it will also increase your security because you have more hands, and more eyeballs. Just remember, you’ll have to do some training on the fly, but your friends will be glad you are one of those “crazy Preppers” at this point.

Links From the Show…

I mentioned the Army Tracking Manual in the podcast that has some tips on escape and evasion. Here is the link to that download.

In the beginning of the show I mentioned the new podcast “The Prepper Website Podcast” This is available at iTunes, Stitcher or any of your favorite podcasting apps.

As many of you know we have been selling the Blaze Charcoal Bricks which are available on Amazon. I also have a few 50% off coupon codes for anyone who is interested. If you would like one of these coupon codes just email me here and I’ll let you know if they are still available.


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Why “Embracing the Suck” is Important to Preppers

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Why Embracing the Suck is Important to PreppersThe term “embrace the suck” is a term widely used in the military when talking about a job or task that is pointless, tiring or downright lame. As preppers it’s also important that we “embrace the suck” because not everything we watch or read is as easy as it seems.

We all see the pictures of a thriving garden or the perfect solar power setup, but we never see the behind the scenes work that went into the final product. Growing vegetables takes composting, weeding and constant attention. A solar setup takes more than a solar panel and a battery.

These behind the scenes details are the “suck” we need to embrace. These aren’t the flashy fun aspects of prepping, but they could be the difference between having a great final product, or a final product that leaves you disappointed.

SPP193 Why “Embracing the Suck” is Important to Preppers

Below is a list of bullet points we covered in the Survivalist Prepper Podcast this week. We also talked a little bit about Vault 7 and how it might affect us as preppers.

Embracing the Suck Before an SHTF Event

The mundane tasks like weeding the garden, inventory, rotation and learning skills are important if we want to get things right. Cutting corners might save you time, but could lead to a less than satisfactory outcome.

Look at the big picture of each project and all the steps involved. A good example is our chickens. There is quite a bit more that goes into raising chickens than collecting eggs. You need to care for the chicks as they grow into chickens, they need a safe place to live (predators), they need a clean home, and need to be fed every day.

Anything you do can be a waste of time when you don’t pay attention to detail. These might seem unimportant during the process, but sometimes the small things are just as important as the big things. If you own a firearm, you also need to learn about firearms safety, cleaning and actually shooting it.

All this behind the scenes stuff, or the “suck” is also one reason preppers lose their motivation. We always think about the ripe tomatoes or what a fully stocked bug out bag will be like,  but we don’t think about the process of getting there. The process itself could lead us to just put it off until later, and then later never comes.

There is not always an easy solution when it comes to prepping, but that doesn’t mean we don’t try and find one. The truth is, there are some things you just can’t throw money at, and it will take a little hard work to get it done. You could just go out and buy a solar generator, but building a DIY solar generator will teach you how everything works together.

It’s really easy to talk yourself out of something because our brains are designed to keep us safe and fear the unknown. We always think about the worst thing that could happen. The odds are, nothing will ever be as bad (or hard) as our minds made it out to be.

Getting your family to “embrace the suck” is a challenge, but important as well. This doesn’t mean they need to be completely on board with prepping, it just means it would help them understand why you do it in the first place. Having them help you with the dirty work can also open up the dialog.

It’s also important to remember that it might not be as easy as that video makes it out to be, or the product is not all it’s cracked up to be. The people making the video have the luxury of editing out the mistakes and making it look super easy. There are also some products that are just too good to be true…You will not get a flashlight that lights up the neighborhood for $20.

Embracing the Suck After an SHTF Event

Embracing the suck after something has happened is quite a bit different than the initial planning. In a SHTF event it’s game time, and time for action. The middle of a disaster scenario is no time to be learning about something you should already know. This is the essence of why we prepare now, while things are good.

In a SHTF scenario we want to not just survive, but thrive. Everyone will have to adjust to their “new normal” but this doesn’t mean eating beans and rice everyday. If we can keep everything normal (whatever that may be) everyone will be more at ease, which means less stress for you.

A big part of planning and preparedness is digging deep into what the repercussions of a certain disaster might be.  An economic collapse might be the catalyst, but it doesn’t end there.  An economic collapse would cause food shortages, civil unrest and many other smaller scenarios we need to consider.

Whenever possible, we need to minimize those repercussions. This could be something as simple as having food stored, to something a little more detailed like securing the perimeter of your home. The more of these details we can check off our list, the better our chances will be.

Getting family to embrace the suck during a SHTF scenario is going to be easier than a disaster strikes because now they know you were right. The biggest challenge I see is dealing with the stress and grief of family members and ourselves. Each person will react differently in a disaster, and we need to take a different approach with each of them.

One final note is to remember that Everything is NOT going to go according to plan. More often than not, you will need to have the ability to adjust and pivot. We have the ability to write the script in our heads right now, but in a SHTF scenario we need to be as proactive as we possibly can.

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The Difference Between Urban and Rural Prepping

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The Difference Between Urban and Rural PreppingFor most preppers, their dream scenario would include something like a Doomsday Castle or a massive underground living facility. Unfortunately, reality always seems to get in the way, and we must figure out an alternative. So what is the difference between urban and rural prepping?

While it’s true, your chances of survival increase the further away from people you are, but that’s not an option for most people. In fact, some people have no desire to head out to the middle of nowhere.

With that being said, this article is not about which is better, but rather what the differences between rural and urban prepping are.

There is a lot more that goes into moving to a rural area than buying some property and packing the U-Haul truck. There is quite a bit of freedom that comes with living in a rural area, but there is also quite a bit of responsibility. In an urban area, everything is within walking distance and readily available. In a rural area, you need to plan ahead or figure out alternatives.

SPP192 The Difference Between Urban and Rural Prepping

In today’s show, we talked about how your prepping will be different depending on where you live. An urban area will require different supplies and plans than Rural prepping, and a suburban area is a little bit of each.

Picking the Right Prepping Supplies

The supplies you need will be different depending on where you live. In an urban environment you might need something like the Ontario SPAX Tool, a Pry Bar or a Lock Picking Set. In a rural environment bushcraft skills, storing fuel and larger amounts of food and water will be a priority.

In a suburban environment, you will have the best, and worst of both worlds. Because you sit right between urban and rural, and have more storage space, both situations could apply to you. Here is a good video that goes over the differences in prepping supplies for urban and rural.

Urban VS Rural Preparedness

This list is some of the important differences when it comes to urban and rural prepping. Keep in mind, a suburban area could require you to think about all these different areas of preparedness. Your living situation, family size and location will dictate what you need to become better prepared.

Urban: Most people chose to live in or near the city because you are closer to work, and closer to infrastructure. Finances also play a big role.
Rural: Living out in the boonies takes a commitment because EVERYTHING is far away. The trade off is freedom and less people.


Urban: In (or near) the city, events like Martial Law and civil unrest are more immediate. You will need to be on high alert, and react quickly.
Rural: In an urban area civil unrest might not be as immediate. Although unlikely, the golden hoard might be headed your way.


Urban: In high population areas there are more people. More people = more potential problems. It would be easy to become caught in the middle of something you never saw coming.
Rural: While there are less people, and less potential problems, you might be on your Own. This could be a good or a bad thing depending on the situation.


Urban: In the city people are more dependent on Infrastructure. While this is OK now, in a SHTF event there will be more competition and lawlessness.
Rural: In a rural area and some suburbs, there is less infrastructure to utilize. Planning ahead and storing supplies is critical for survival.


Urban: Because there are more people, news will travel faster by word of mouth. Be careful about what is really news, and what is rumor.
Rural: In a rural area you might only have a handful of neighbors, and they could be miles apart. The news you do get is more likely to be true though.


Urban: With the more people there are in an area, there is an increased risk of disease. This is especially true in a large scale disaster.
Rural: The downside of living in a rural area is there might be less medical help available, and help is further away.


Urban: With limited space, storing preparedness supplies is much harder. This requires thinking outside the box a little bit.
Rural: If you live in the middle of nowhere, you will have more room so store supplies, but you also have more property to protect.


Urban: In high population areas, bugging out should be a priority. Getting away from people and potential problems could be the difference between life and death.
Rural: If you live in a rural area you are already bugged out, so bugging in should be a priority, especially if you work or travel in or to the city.


Urban: In an urban area, clean drinking water could be hard to find. Drinking from a city river could be deadly, but there are ways to find clean water in the city.
Rural: In a rural environment you will need to depend more on mother natures resources, and less on man made resources. 


This is just a few of the differences when it comes to rural and urban prepping. Your situation will dictate which of these apply to you, and how you should prepare. This is not to say that people in an urban area don’t need to worry about Martial Law, it just means we need to prioritize the threats we might face.

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Tips for Successfully Bugging In

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Tips for Successfully Bugging InWe hear all the time about bugging out and what we should have in our bug out bags. The reality is none of us want to leave all the prepping supplies we have behind, and limit ourselves to what we can carry on our backs. This week we talked about tips for successfully bugging in, and not having to leave everything we own behind.

For most of us it would take quite a lot for us to actually leave the comfort of our homes. For most of us it would laterally have to be a life or death situation. There are however precautions we must consider to successfully bug in, and steps we need to take to keep ourselves as safe as possible.

SPP187 Tips for Successfully Bugging In

This week in the show Lisa and I talked about some reasons why we would want to bug in, some reasons why we might still need to bug out, and some things we need to consider regardless what decisions we make.

Here are a few of the talking points we discussed in the show this week…

Why you would want to bug in: Here is an article from ThePrepperJournal that goes over some reasons why bugging out might not be your best option.

Planning: Getting everyone home might be the biggest challenge you face, especially if someone is 500 miles away. These people that will be traveling long distances need to understand things like leaving at the right time, safely traveling, no gps, sleeping on the road etc.

Out of Our Hands: All we can do is try to teach them about bugging in now, because you will be dependent on them to make the decisions at that point. We will be completely in the dark, and hoping everything is going ok with the people traveling to us.

Plan B: Bug Out Location If something is bad enough you need to bug in, eventually having to bug out is a very real possibility. Depending on the disaster scenario, things can change very quickly, and we need to be ready to react.

Bug Out Alternatives: This doesn’t have to be the typical “BOL” we all think about, it can be friends or family’s homes, or these could also be “pit stops” you take along the way to a predetermined location.

Bugging in Viability: Make sure you have the right amount of supplies for a determined amount of time. Make sure you have the ability to defend what you have from people looking to take advantage of you.

Survival files: For those people who just don’t want to hear about prepping you could dd PDF’s to their phones that have travel direction’s, alternative routes, Survival guides or anything pertinent. Hopefully they would never have to look at these, but they would be a lifesaver in a bugging in situation.

Close to Home: Your neighbors will be freaking out, how will you handle that? If you become a recluse they will become curious, if you are too open with them you might become a target. This is a tough situation, but one that we will all be in.

Everyone on the Same Page: In a Bug in situation you will need to start the planning discussions right off the bat. We might understand what needs to happen, but we need to make sure everyone else understands as well. Questions like “What we do when” or “What if” need to be discussed.

Sanitation: Cleanliness and hygiene are not going to be as easy to tackle as they are today, and the doctors won’t be around if we do get sick. Make sure and have the supplies needed for sanitation, and make sure everyone understands the new rules.

Communications: In a complete grid down scenario long range radio might not be an option, but radios for short range communications like 2 way radios or Ham radios are a good idea to have. If someone needs to do reconnaissance, or go out scouting, you want to be able to contact them if needed.

Home Defense:  If we choose to bug in, defending our property and supplies will be just as important as having them in the first place. This is another reason why having a group is better than going it alone. No one can do everything, and having a few more sets of eyes and hands will only increase your preparedness level.

A Good Prepping Library:  They might not be listening to your prepping plans today, but they will be all ears is something bad happens. A good prepping library will help you when you are trying to teach them about that needs to be done.

Entertainment Items: Keeping everyone as happy as possible is going to be more important than we think. Not only is moral important, but too much down time and boredom can lead to lack of focus and mistakes. Music, games and books are also a way for people to escape from reality, even for just a little bit.



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Storage Problems & Solutions for Preppers

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Storage Problems and Solutions for PreppersWhen it comes to prepping, the longer you do it, the more supplies and food storage you are going to have. We wanted to do the show this week on storage problems & solutions for peppers this week because accumulating all this stuff is the easy part, making sure it doesn’t expire is a little harder. 

Depending on who you are, one of the hardest things to do (correctly anyway) is keeping everything organized. Food get’s lost in the back of the cabinet, and supplies seem to run off, and not be where you remember leaving them.

If you have been building up your supplies and food storage for a year or more, you know how easy it is to become disorganized and over whelmed. If you are one of the OCD type people, lucky you! I am not that lucky though…but I do try. With that being said, there are some things I do like inventory and rotation that force me to be a little more OCD.

SPp185 Storage Problems & Solutions for Preppers

In this weeks show Lisa and I talked about quite a few storage problems preppers face, as well as some solutions for our storage problems. We talked about some supplies that have long shelf lives, proper storage conditions, life without refrigeration and much more.

Storage Ideas

Shelving Units:  If you are renting an apartment or plan on moving, building a shelving unit might not be your best option. There are quite a few options available if you need something more temporary or movable storage options.

Using Space Wisely: Storing large amounts in small places can be a challenge. Another challenge with this is that if you stuff your closet full, it’s going to be a SHTF event in itself just getting to what you need.

Your Spouse: Keeping the spouse happy is one of the most important parts about storage…especially if they are not on board with prepping. You might think that you have everything set up perfectly, but if they don’t it really doesn’t matter.

Organization: Filling your pantry can be an invitation for chaos. Mention Lisa’s step stool and other ideas. Side shelf refrigerator

Remove it: One thing I am really bad at (because it feels like throwing away money) is throwing out expired food. Don’t be afraid to throw stuff out or use it. If you are never going to use it, you might as well throw it out to free up space, and do a better job on rotation next time around.

Long Term Foods: For people who don’t have a lot of room, or people who just don’t want to deal with the challenges that come with food storage, long term food is also an option. We sell Legacy Food Storage products at the These are easy to store and offer a 25 year shelf life.

Refrigerator Foods

Wasting Money: If you have no way of keeping your refrigerator running during a power outage, don’t waste your money filling your freezer with steak and chicken. Instead, learn skills like canning and dehydrating. Focus on alternatives to refrigeration.

Stable Foods: Some refrigerator foods have a very long shelf life when refrigerated. Garlic, salad dressings, yeast, condiments etc. can all last a year or longer. This is great for food storage reasons, but without refrigeration the number drops to zero.

Pre Refrigeration Storage: Some of these same refrigerator foods don’t need refrigeration until they are opened. If you use a lot of ketchup, go ahead and stock up, but once it’s opened the clock starts ticking faster. Also pay attention to where the grocery store puts it. Velveeta, salad dressings and mayonnaise all go on shelves, not in the refrigerated section.

Unleash your inner OCD

Treat Your House Like a Grocery Store: we know that grocery stores carry a limited stock because in order to reduce costs they need to sell products quickly. FIFO (first in, first out) is the method they use to go through inventory the way it came in. A store only buys what it thinks it can sell, so store what you eat proportional to how often you eat it.

Warehousing: Shelving units (storage areas) is like a stores warehouse, and your pantry is like stocking the front of the store. Once your food hits the pantry it should gets used or thrown away. It’s much easier to restock a storage area where everything is more organized, than a pantry where things can get moved around.

Everything Has a Home: I have a major problem with this, and I know I’m not alone. Remember to put things back when your done with them. Having a bunch of flashlights is great, but if you can’t find the batteries they are useless. Make sure everyone else in the house understands this too!

Storage Ideas: Keeping everything in one place will make your life a lot easier. Plastic storage totes (or similar storage systems) will help you to organize supplies. I use these for my power outage supplies, and other prepping supplies that I want to keep in the same place.

Know What you Have: It’s important to do a detailed inventory at least twice a year, and a less detailed inventory monthly if possible. The smaller inventory will help with your shopping lists, and the larger (detailed) one will reduce waste from expired food. Here are a few lists that will help with your inventory and rotation of you prepping supplies. 

Don’t Set it and Forget it

Nothing Lasts Forever: Some supplies will last for years, like batteries or even water. These supplies pose a challenge because we have a tendency to “set it and forget it”. Water might last forever, but  the container you put it in won’t. Rechargeable batteries have a long shelf life, but will slowly lose their charge over time. Keep these supplies in mind when you do your bi yearly inventory.

Follow the Rules:  Most people don’t pay a lot of attention to how they store supplies, but as preppers we are always trying to maximize shelf life…and then some. Pay attention to best storage practices on each of these products to get the most out of them.

The New Blaze Charcoal Grill

As I mentioned in the podcast, Expedition Research and I have teamed up on an off the grid and camping cooking option for preppers. There are quite a few options available when it comes to off the grid cooking, and this charcoal grill isn’t meant to be a replacement, it’s a way to add another cooking option.

Here is a short review video on the grill, and then I’ll be doing a few videos in the near future that are more in depth about how this works, and why it is a great option for off the grid cooking.

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Prepare For the Worst and Hope For the Best

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Prepare For the Worst and Hope For the BestWhen it comes to preparing for any sort of SHTF event it really is a guessing game. All we can (and should) do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. There is no way to know exactly what might happen, but we can stack the deck in our favor by learning new skills, maintaining our health and preparing for these disasters while we still have the opportunity.

Next week we are going to expand on this a little bit and go over how people will be the X factor that could change the dynamics of a disaster. The way certain people react could make a disaster more tolerable, or make it even worse. 

We all have preconceived ideas of how things will go down in a worldwide, or nationwide SHTF situation happens. But do we really know what will happen? Do we really know how people that we love, and those that we don’t, we react?

The truth is no. We have no idea of how people will react, or what will transpire. But there are things that we can do to prepare for the unknown, after all, isn’t this why we all are preparing in the first place?

SPP182 Prepare For the Worst and Hope For the Best

The show note for this episode are a little short this week, but we went over much more about these topics in the show. We also talked about the future of prepping, and the future of our country. There is also a video about this at the end of the post.

Planning for Chaos

In the event something happens, we will all be waiting for the magical catalyst that will set everything off. The unfortunate thing is, we won’t know what that ‘thing’ is until after it happens. So be diligent now. Pay attention to what is going on in the world around you, and continue building your preps.

Adding in Unknown Variables

After things go to crap, you need to consider all possible scenarios both short term and long term. You need to think about how you and your family will live, and continue your ‘new normal’ on an everyday basis. You need to consider all of the not so good what if scenarios. There may be unfavorable characters that may wander onto your property. There may be mobs of marauders searching for preppers.

Stockpiling and Planning

Every day that you can prepare is a good day, don’t let it go to waste. Continue to prepare, and plan. Learn new skills, think of alternative ways to continue your lifestyle. You will need to have a lot of food, and every day necessities, as well as ways to continue the electricity, or alternatives.

You will also need a way to keep your preps safe. You will need to know about security, and how to keep your family safe, and you will need to have options to all the above. Plan for that now.

Know thy Neighbor

Put yourself out there, within reason. Get to know your neighbors, their strengths as well as their weaknesses. This could be valuable information in an SHTF situation.  You don’t need to spread your message of preparedness, but you do need to know how your neighbors are prepared.

If you have an understanding of the people who live around you, you will be better prepared to deal with them if things get ugly. You never know how people will react when things go bad, including yourself. So get to know your neighbors. There really is safety in numbers, and it is also important to know if these people will benefit, or be a hindrance to your own preparedness journey.

Know who lives around you, and what type of people are in your community, and then branch out further from your bubble. Don’t stay so focused on yourself that you forget about the millions of other people in this country. You need to always be looking at the big picture, and plan for it.

From Bad to Worse

You will need to know how to pace yourself when things go down. If the power goes out, don’t turn your home into a military installation just yet.  It is almost like a defcon scale, and this would be defcon 3. You are alert to the situation, but aren’t pulling out all the stops yet. Pull out your crank radio, or HAM radio, and pay attention. You will be on an alert status, but try not to over-react.

If it truly is an SHTF scenario, or could be, that alert status will jump up. If you feel a sense of urgency, don’t ignore it. This is what we plan and prep for, and you must know how to react.

Your Own Mental Health

Our own mental heath is a very important factor. If people are expecting us to lead, or looking to us for answers, we need to be able and willing to do so. If we are on the verge of “losing it” everyone else looking at us to lead them will follow suit.

This is a tough situation because none of us really know how a disaster scenario will affect us, but keeping a cool head (as much as possible) is critical in any survival situation.

Preparing For the Worst

Again, this is what we do, plan for the worst. And you need to come up with your worst-case scenario, no matter what that may be. And you need to plan for it. Also make sure that as you are planning for these large scale disaster events that you are not forgetting the little things.

Having a well stocked gun safe is useless without the right ammo, and having a pantry full of canned food is worthless without a can opener. On a larger scale, don’t get so focused on stockpiling food and water that you forget about security.

Learn From History

If you want to know what could happen, read about what has happened throughout history. Read up on how people reacted during the civil war, world wars and different situations. Look at the fall of the Roman empire. What happened during these SHTF scenarios? How did people react? People are creatures of habit, and we tend to duplicate and replicate our own pasts, for better or for worse. Study these situations, and learn from them.

The Future of Prepping

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Foodborne Illness and Prevention for Preppers

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Foodborne Illness and Prevention for PreppersEven today with high sanitation standards and proper food handling procedures food-borne illness is an issue. In any sort of SHTF scenario, food-borne illness and prevention for preppers will inevitably become a major issue.

CDC estimates that each year roughly 48 million people gets sick from a food-borne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die. According to some estimates, the most common food-borne illnesses are caused by norovirus and by the bacteria Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, and Campylobacter.

Imagine what those numbers would be without proper sanitation, without running water, and without refrigeration. These days we depend on best by dates and if it doesn’t get eaten in time, we just toss it out.

SPP181 Foodborne Illness and Prevention for Preppers

In this week’s show, Lisa and I not only talked about food safety and prevention, we talked about what some of these food-borne illnesses are, and how to treat them.

Safe Food Handling

The most important part of food preparation is proper sanitary conditions. This includes how you store uncooked foods, and how you prepare your meals. In a SHTF situation, this will be more difficult than it is now.

Washing Hands: This is first on the list because it is the most important. We usually pay no attention to how many things we touch each day, and we can easily carry around bacteria without even knowing about it.

Disinfectants (Bleach): Making sure your work area and utensils are disinfected is critical, and this is where bleach is your best friend. Bleach is a quick easy sanitizer and can be used all around the house, not just for cleaning your cooking area.

Bleach is inexpensive, has a long shelf life and has many useful purposes it is a must have in every preppers pantry. Bleach could literally be a lifesaver in many ways.

Cross Contamination: If you use a cutting board to process raw chicken, and then you use the same cutting board to cut up some carrots that is cross contamination. That bacteria on the chicken will be cooked and killed, but the bacteria transferred to the carrots will not.

The same applies to the utensils you use. Make sure and use different utensils for different foods, or wash and sanitize them between use.

Temperature Danger Zone: This is when your food is the most vulnerable to spoilage.  The temperature danger zone is between 40° to 140°, and your food should only remain in this temperature range for 2 hours max.

As they say in the restaurant industry “keep your hot foods hot, and your cold foods cold”

Short term refrigeration

One reason why having canned foods, shelf stable foods and long term food storage is important is because we will most likely be without refrigeration. Depending on the scenario, we might have refrigeration, but we need to have alternatives.

In the first 24 hours after a power outage do not open refrigerators or freezers any more than necessary. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately 4 hours. An unopened freezer will keep food frozen for approximately 24 hours.

The fuller your refrigerator or freezer is the better. The more area taken up by frozen food, the less area there is for air.

If possible, you could also use a generator for a few hours a day. There is no need to continually supply power to your refrigerator if you only open it periodically. If you have a generator, you could run it for a hour a few times a day and keep the temperature cool enough.

Keep the temperature danger zone in mind here, you will need to throw away any food items that become warmer than 41 degrees.

Long term Refrigeration

Long term refrigeration is a bigger challenge, at some point we are going to need to find some alternatives. If we have fresh vegetables, we need to keep them cool to extend their shelf life.

Zeer Pot:  These are fairly basic, and are used in places where refrigeration is not available. This article explains what the process is.

Root cellar: A root cellar could be something large enough for you to walk into, or something small that requires you to dig a hole in the ground. This won’t give you “refrigerator temperatures” but it will keep your food cooler.

Water: If you live by a river or lake…dunk it. You will need a way to keep it contained (like a cage) but water temperatures are always cooler than air temperatures. In some places it could even be below 41°

Solar: If you have the solar capacity, a low wattage compact refrigerator might be an option. These would take much less energy to keep cool, but it’s up to you if it is worth it or not.

Let it Flow…

In the show we talked about some of the most common food-borne illnesses, their symptoms and how to treat them. A common theme with all of these illnesses is diarrhea. Diarrhea is your bodies way of getting rid of the bacteria. It’s important not to take anything to stop the diarrhea, but to replace fluids and electrolytes.

Here is a recipe Lisa found for replacing electrolytes…


  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups of water (filtered or purified) or raw coconut water
  • 2 tbsp. organic raw honey or organic maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan Pink salt or Celtic sea salt (I like Himalayan better – it has 84 trace minerals)

Common Food-borne Illnesses

Here are a few of the food-borne illnesses we went over in the show…


Cause: Raw meats, poultry, eggs, milk and other dairy products, shrimp, frog legs, yeast, coconut, pasta and chocolate are most frequently involved.

Symptoms: Typical Symptoms of Salmonella infection appear 6 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food and lasts from 3 to 7 days without treatment. Symptoms of Salmonella infection range widely, and are sometimes absent altogether. The most common symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.

Treatment: Dehydration caused by diarrhea is the most common complication. Antibiotics are not usually needed unless the infection has spread. In severe cases Amoxicillin and Ampicillin may be useful.


Cause: You get an E. coli infection by coming into contact with the feces, or stool, of humans or animals. This can happen when you drink water or eat food that has been contaminated by feces.

Symptoms: Diarrhea, which may range from mild and watery to severe and bloody, abdominal cramping, pain or tenderness, nausea and vomiting, in some people

Treatment: Rest and fluids to help prevent dehydration and fatigue. Avoid taking an anti-diarrheal medication, this slows your digestive system down, preventing your body from getting rid of the toxins. Antibiotics generally aren’t recommended because they can increase the risk of serious complications.


Cause: Listeria bacteria can be found in soil, water and animal feces. Humans typically are infected by consuming raw vegetables that have been contaminated from the soil or from contaminated manure used as fertilizer, infected animal meat, unpasteurized milk. Certain processed foods can also lead to Listeria such as soft cheeses, hot dogs and deli meats.

Symptoms: The symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, and sometimes nausea ordiarrhea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions can occur.

Treatment: An otherwise healthy person who is not pregnant typically does not need treatment. Symptoms will usually go away within a few weeks.


Cause: Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but sometimes it can be severe.

A person may get cholera by drinking water or eating food contaminated with the cholera bacterium. In an epidemic, the source of the contamination is usually the feces of an infected person. The disease can spread rapidly in areas with inadequate treatment of sewage and drinking water.

In the United States, because of advanced water and sanitation systems, cholera is not a major threat…but it could become one.

Symptoms: characterized by profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps. In these people, rapid loss of body fluids leads to dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours.

Treatment: While antibiotics are not a necessary part of cholera treatment, some of these drugs may reduce both the amount and duration of cholera-related diarrhea. A single dose of doxycycline (Monodox, Oracea, Vibramycin) or azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax) may be effective.

The goal is to replace lost fluids and electrolytes using a simple rehydration solution. Without rehydration, approximately half the people with cholera die. With treatment, the number of fatalities drops to less than 1 percent.


Cause: Most of the small number of outbreaks reported annually in the U.S. are associated with inadequately processed, home-canned foods, but occasionally commercially-produced foods have been involved in outbreaks. Sausages, meat products, canned vegetables and seafood products have been vehicles for human botulism.

Symptoms: Symptoms include double vision, inability to swallow, speech difficulty, and progressive paralysis of the respiratory system

Treatment: Treating botulism requires an anti-toxin. Antibiotics are not advised for any types of botulism because they can hasten the release of the toxins.

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The Pros and Cons of Antibiotics for Preppers

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The Pros and Cons of Antibiotics for PreppersThis week in the Survivalist Prepper Podcast Lisa and I talked about some of the pros and cons of antibiotics for preppers. Antibiotics are a big concern for people in the preparedness community because some sicknesses and infections are impossible to cure without them.

Infections were a major cause of death before the advent of antibiotics. Diseases that were prevalent in the past are virtually nonexistent because of antibiotics, the problem is that bacteria are becoming resistant to them.  Bacterial resistance is inevitable, because bacteria will always change in order to survive.

With the widespread overuse of antibiotics from inappropriate prescriptions and extensive agricultural use, antibiotics are quickly becoming ineffective. It is estimated that in just a couple generations, we will be in the “post antibiotic age”.

With that being said, antibiotics will still be useful for preppers in any sort of post collapse scenario where medical help is limited, or nonexistent. It is up to us to understand how to use them, when to use them and learn ways to prevent the need for them in the first place whenever possible.

SPP180 The Pros and Cons of Antibiotics for Preppers

In this week’s show is not only a cautionary show about antibiotics, but also about what antibiotics might be useful if used correctly, and even some fish antibiotic alternatives.

Here are some notes from the show, but for more detail please listen to it. Lisa is an RN and goes into much more detail about antibiotics than I can here.

IMPORTANT: This is not medical advice, these are just our opinions and suggestions on the subject. This advice is for SHTF scenarios when medical help is not available. If at all possible, seek medical advice from professionals.

Why Antibiotics Shouldn’t Be choice #1

Prevention: Like the saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Whenever possible we need to understand how to prevent something from escalating to the level where antibiotics are needed. Something as simple as a cut could turn into something bigger if not treated correctly.

Boost Your Immune System: There are things we can do today that will decrease our need for antibiotics. Maintaining a healthy diet, and eating the right foods will boost our immune system, and help us fight some of these bacteria’s.

Research Alternatives to Antibiotics: While some of these alternatives are not the “magic bullet” that antibiotics are, they might be the only alternative available. This article here goes over some herbs and other antibiotic alternative.

Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks: Because you can’t actually “feel” the antibiotics working, there is the misconception that they have no side effects.

In this article here HoneyColony states: “While not all antibiotics have long-lasting side effects, there are some that can actually cause permanent damage to the body. Here is a list of five of the most widely prescribed antibiotics with serious side effects.”

What will Antibiotics Treat

Antibiotics are medicines that only treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics won’t treat viral infections because they can’t kill viruses. Antibiotics only work against infections caused by bacteria, fungi and certain parasites.

They don’t work against any infections caused by viruses. Viruses cause colds, the flu and most coughs and sore throats. It is important to note that some viral infections can turn into bacterial infections.

Overuse of Antibiotics Today

We don’t need to take these antibiotics to become immune to them, and we don’t actually become immune, the bacteria does. Because of antibiotic overuse, certain bacteria have become resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics available today. Antibiotic resistance is a widespread problem, and one that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls “one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.”

Livestock producers routinely give antibiotics to animals to make them grow faster or help them survive crowded, stressful, and unsanitary conditions. Because of this, some bacteria become antibiotic resistant, threatening the future effectiveness of these medicines.

Will Fish Antibiotics Still Be an Option?

Fish antibiotics are a popular subject with preppers because we can get large quantities of these without a prescription, even though they are the same thing as human antibiotics. In any post collapse situation, prescription antibiotics will not be readily available, and fish antibiotics would be a good alternative.

There has been some concern lately about the Veterinary Feed Directive which will go into affect on January 1st 2017. I have read a few conflicting reports about what this means for preppers, and the availability of fish antibiotics. From what I understand this won’t affect fish antibiotics, but they could become more expensive.

3 Likely SHTF Uses for Antibiotics

Uses for Antibiotics

Infected Wounds: Penicillin would be your first choice because it is a broad spectrum antibiotic, although some people are allergic to cillin antibiotics. Other alternatives could be Keflex and Bactrim. Fish antibiotic alternative could include Fish Flex and Fish Pen.

Common Illnesses: While antibiotics do nothing for the common cold or viral infections, they would be useful for illnesses such as pneumonia and strep throat. A broad spectrum antibiotic like Bactrim, Amoxicillin would also be useful.Fish antibiotics could include Fish Penn and Fish Mox.

Food Borne Illness: In a SHTF event, the lack of refrigeration, eating expired foods, and improper food preservation could lead to quite a bit of food borne illness. Because there is such a wide range when it comes to food born illnesses we are going to dedicate an entire show to this.

Next week we will go into much more detail about preventing food borne illness, and what to do if you happen to get sick from eating something tainted with E. coli or salmonella.

For more information on fish antibiotics in general, here is an article from The Modern Survival Blog that goes into detail about the different types of fish antibiotics.

Also From the Show…

Contest Ends Tonight: As we mentioned in the podcast, the Christmas Contest ends tonight at midnight. Click here to get your entries while you can.

Academy Christmas Pricing: We also have a special going on at the Survivalist Prepper Academy until January 1st where you can join at half price. Click here to find out more.

BOB First Aid Kit Discount: We also talked about getting $10 off our Bug Out Bag First Aid Kits when you use the promo code “bob” (without quotes) at the

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Life After SHTF & Some Overlooked Problems

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Life After SHTF & Some Overlooked ProblemsAs preppers we are always looking for ways to improve our situation, and think about what live would be like after a SHTF event. Even if we have our food storage covered, our water storage covered and have plenty of guns and ammo, all it takes is one kink in the hose to mess up our preparedness plan.

The truth is, foods storage and water storage are the easy parts of prepping. While these might be the most important, there are a number of smaller situations that we don’t give a second thought to that could cause big problems when it comes to life after SHTF if we don’t know how to handle them.

In the show this week Lisa and I went over some overlooked areas of preparedness, and how even the smallest thing could become a game changer.

SPP161 Life After SHTF & Some Overlooked Problems

No Public Servants

This might not be “overlooked” but it is something that deserves more consideration than it gets. Without police, the fire department and EMT’s we will be completely on our own when it comes to solving major problems.

We take for granted how easily we can get support when we need it these days, but what would you do if there were no police to intervene? Or what if you had to put out a house fire with a garden hose? We need to think about some of these scenarios, and think about what we would do.

Not Being Honest With Yourself

We all like to give ourselves a little more credit than we deserve…I know I do. But if we are not honest about how prepared we are, or how skilled we are, we are setting ourselves up to fail. When all the cards are on table, the only one it’s going to matter to is us. It’s either us surviving, or us not surviving.

Being honest with yourself means leaving your ego at the front door, knowing there is always someone better than us, and knowing there is always more we can learn.

Trash & Sanitation

Without our trash being taken away on a weekly basis, sanitation is bound to become an issue. Not only will the trash be building up, but cleaning the house will not be as easy as turning on the faucet, plugging in the vacuum, or even something as simple as flushing the toilet.

Keeping ourselves clean, and our cloths clean will also be harder than it is today. Taking a hot shower will be a thing of the past unless you have a solar shower, and washing clothes means using an old school washboard, or using something like the Wonder Wash.

Everything is Going to Run Out

Like it or not all of our preparedness supplies are going to run out at one point or another. Spoilage, overusage and theft could all reduce our preparedness timeline. Even if nothing like this happens, eventually our food, our ammo, our supplies, and medication are going to run out.

We need to think about all the supplies and food we have stored as a buffer to get us through until we can figure out a long term solution.

Not Having Tools or Supplies

Most of us have a hammer and a couple of screwdrivers, but do you have something as simple as nails and screws? If we need to do repairs on the home, or build something, there will be no hardware store to go to, what we have will be our hardware store.

Having manual tools like saws, hammers and drills are important, but not having the little things can make life pretty difficult. Making sure we have tapes and adhesives, enough screws and nails, automotive fluids, wrenches and sockets and maybe even some scrap wool laying around is a good idea.

Not Having the Skills You Need

We all like to believe that we could do what it takes when push comes to shove (I do anyway) but in reality, the situation will play our far different in real life than it does in our heads.

The more skills we have, the less supplies we need to survive. Not only are these skills free (for the most part) they give us the ability to get through tough situations by using our heads, giving us an advantage over everyone who is reliant on the “stuff” they have.


While life after SHTF is going to require more manual labor and work, there is bound to be down time…especially after the sun goes down. In today’s society we have a million distractions, but in a SHTF event that all goes away.

Having books, board games, musical instruments and even getting outside and doing some hard work are good ways of curing boredom. This is especially important for anyone with children, because a bored child can make your life miserable.


In a post SHTF situation cellphones might become non existent, or an unaffordable luxury, but we will still need a way to communicate when the family is separated. Shortwave radios, walkie talkies and ham radios might be our only option.

Also included in communication is talking to your family and educating them about safety and planning. Make sure everyone knows what to do in different situations, and make use of the down time by making sure everyone is on the same page.

Bartering Supplies

With all the “stuff” we need to buy when it come to being prepared, buying extra prepping supplies purely for bartering purposes tends to get put on the back burner. The truth is, these supplies could turn out to be incredibly useful.

Most people are not as prepared as we are, and when these people need lighters, batteries or even alcohol, we might be able to trade for something we need…like nails or wood that we don’t have haha.

Small things Become Big Things

We talked about a couple of articles in the podcast from Urban Survival Site that tie into life after SHTF & some overlooked problems pretty well. the first one was “10 SHTF Problems You Might Not Have Planned For” and the other was “20 Worst Things About Life After The SHTF

Other People

Just because you have been preparing, doesn’t mean everyone else has been. You need to think about what happens when someone comes to your door, and they will. How are you going to manage that type of situation? Have you shared your prepping with would be friends, or family? If you have, be prepared that if things get really bad, they are going to think of coming to your house as their salvation.

Every Day Conveniences

This will probably be the masses, rather than those who focus on preparedness. But there are modern conveniences that may not be available, like running water in your house, or electronic banking, or even your job. If all of these things were gone tomorrow, would you be ready? Do you have a backup plan?

In a total grid down event, the credit card companies may not come knocking on your door, but eventually they probably will. How will you pay your bills? It is enticing to think about the world going to crap, and no more bills. But remember people are greedy, they will figure out a way to get what they feel is owed to them, this includes your mortgage company. Make sure you have a way to pay your bills.

Also, when the food closet is bare, you will not be able to run to the store to buy dinner, you will need to have enough food to get through whatever situation you may have to face. So plan for the worst.

False Sense of Security

Once you begin to amass large quantities of food, it is easy to get complacent about your food storage. When you purchase a new gun, it is easy to think that you are more prepared. If you prep for a year or longer, it is easy to think you are better off than your neighbors.

It is this way of thinking that can sabotage your plan in the long run. This is why it is important to not only continually add to our supplies, but also our skills. We have an excellent opportunity right now to add to our skill set because we have practically everything at our finger tips. Don’t get lazy, use your time wisely and plan. You are your own insurance policy for an SHTF situation.

Not Having a Backup Plan

The most important thing in my opinion that preppers need to do is have a backup plan. Always plan for the worst, and figure out how you are going to in that situation. I have fun with this, and work through what if scenarios. What if I lost everything? What if the FEMA people came knocking on my door? What if I ran out of toilet paper?

These are all possibilities, so think through and plan what you would do, and come up with what if’s for every area of your preparedness.


The post Life After SHTF & Some Overlooked Problems appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Self Defense for Preppers With Sara Hathaway

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Self Defense for Preppers With Sara HathawayThis week on the Survivalistprepper podcast we are happy to welcome back Sara Hathaway, Sara is the author of the books Day after Disaster and Without Land. Some pf you might also know her from her Changing Earth Podcast where she discusses some of the chapters in her books, as well as has an expert guest on to talk about different areas of preparedness.

You can find out more about what Sara is currently working on at her website

SPP160 Self Defense for Preppers With Sara Hathaway

Sara has quite a bit of self-defense training, and this week we had her on to talk about all the different aspects, and how it can (and is) useful to us as preppers. Here are a few of the questions we had for her this week…

Questions From the Show

A have a 3-part question for you: What self-defense training do you have, why did you decide to do it, and what added benefits does it have?

I have trained in two Korean styles of martial arts: Tae Kwon Do and Kuk Sool Won. I have also dabbled in close quarters combat training in a survival training program I did as well as with Skip Buck a former Sherriff Sergeant that I train with.

I decided to get involved in self defense training because I always wanted to do it as a kid but my mom said I was already too rough. I pursued a opportunity to play Olympic ice hockey and when it didn’t really pan out I decided to start training martial arts. I started with Kuk Sool Won because it had many weapon styles involved in it. I later transitioned to Tae Kwon Do because of the Olympic possibilities and the quality of instructors.

There are a ton of benefits to self defense training. First of all, it builds confidence. Having confidence makes you a less likely target. Predators look for easy to attack targets and if your level of self confidence portrays you as a difficult target it takes you off the list. Another bonus to self defense training is, during training you are put into uncomfortable situations where you may get your butt kicked.

This helps in a couple of ways. Mentally you become more accustomed to these situations making it easier to face them in real life. Also you get beat and have to mentally challenge yourself on how to avoid that in the future, how to calm your mind, and increase your defenses. Your body becomes accustomed to taking hits and not crumbling because of it. Trust me it hurts and you will get bruised, maybe even broken but your body will grow stronger and you will be able to take more abuse in the future. The last benefit to self defense training is the most obvious, you learn to defend yourself!

Do you have any easy self-defense tips for anyone who might want to learn some basics in the comfort of their own home? 

Self defense is a challenging thing to learn on your own. The good news is the basics are the basics and no matter what form of self defense you want to learn the basics are all the same. I would start with making sure your body is ready for the physical rigors of learning self defense, which you should be doing anyway to be prepared for anything.

If you are a total couch potato, start with walking. Walking, rapidly for 10 minutes a day helps the body and mind but you need to push it much farther. Then try a workout program. Programs like, insanity are great workouts for cardio and they get the whole body used to participating.

For actual self defense training my advice is to find a good instructor. There are martial arts schools everywhere so do your homework and find one that you can give with. If you really want to do it all on your own, it will be monumentally difficult because you need a partner to practice on.

This can be dangerous because you will be attacking and defending. One thing to keep in mind, you don’t want to go to hard because you want to have a partner to practice on in the future. As the two of you get better you can start going harder and harder.

Pinterest and you-tube are always a wealth of information. Find one move there and start with that. Practice it until you can do it in your sleep. One solid defense move is better than 100 unpracticed moves.

We can talk about a couple situations where learning self-defense might be useful to preppers?

From a prepper’s point of view self -defense is essential. In a long term survival situation, unless you know how to make gun powder, your supply of bullets is going to run out. If you don’t know how to physically defend yourself you are going to be in a lot of trouble.

Also long term survival situations will do crazy things to honest, good people’s minds. What if someone you have trusted suddenly turns violent or sexually aggressive? You will need your self defense skills to make sure you can survive this encounter.

In a long term survival situation if you have to physically defend yourself you want it to end as soon as possible without damaging yourself. I suggest learning the ear cup, eye gouge for this situation. Also on men aiming for the Adam’s apple is usually a finishing blow.

These same principles also apply to the society we live in today. For women, obviously it is essential that you can defend yourself from an attack. Usually your attacker is going to be someone you may know and trust. You may not want to hurt them severely (with a gun) but you want to make sure you can defend yourself and protect your honor.

Men are often in positions where they have to fight to protect their loved ones or just because they are being aggressed. Once you know how to fight, at least for me, it becomes less and less attractive. Any fight you enter is one you may not walk away from. There are methods to make sure you can end a fight quickly with minimal harm to either participant but it takes practice.

We can talk about Situational awareness: Don’t put yourself in Bad Situations etc.

You have to be aware of your surroundings. Who is coming up behind you? Why are they? As I mentioned before most women and children are attacked by people they know. How much can you really trust this person? What has their past been like?

In a long term survival situation any boo boo can be a major game changer. Only enter confrontations when you absolutely have to. The best way to win a fight is to never have been in it.

Reduce your chances by staying alert. Not playing Pokémon Go or staring at your phone. When you get in your car and you are sitting for a moment, lock the doors.

Confidence reduces your chances of being attacked. Walk with pride, know where you are going, don’t shuffle along.

Some Non-Lethal Self Defense weapons…and guns too lol

As far as non-lethal weapons my mother in law used to make me carry pepper spray when I was out playing hockey at night. Great thought but it was always in the bottom of my purse and I doubt I could have gotten to it if I was attacked. Anything like a Taser or pepper spray etc. needs to be easily accessible if you need it.

In self defense anything can be used as a weapon. I learned how to use escrima sticks because they are two short fighting sticks. You could use anything from a wooden spoon to a rolled up magazine in their place. Also I have a new car with a flip key. That thing is strong when it is flipped out so I always carry it flipped out and in my hand. If I was attacked the first thing I would do is stab my attacker in the eye with it.

On that note I want to mention that if you are grabbed from behind kicking to a man’s privates is not the best thing you can do. If you can kick their knee it is a much better choice. A man without a knee will not be running after you very quickly. If the knee is impossible slam your head back into their nose. If you can break the nose the eyes instantly start watering making it harder for them to hold onto you or see you.

The tactical flashlights are very good to carry. They often do the flicker light to distract an aggressor. They have the jagged edged rims around the light which work great as stabbing items as well as window breakers if you are ever in a car sinking in the water.

Obviously having a concealed carry permit is ideal but you need to practice, practice, practice. Any weapon you are not comfortable with will not be your first go to in a stressful situation, plus you don’t want to hurt anyone else. Again, you need to make sure it is accessible. It does you no good if it is in the car and you are attacked while putting groceries into the car.

How important is confidence when it comes to deterring an attacker? Or not becoming a victim.

Confidence is absolutely essential! Confidence can stop the attack before it even begins but you will not be confident if you are not prepared for an encounter and physically capable of carrying out the moves you have practiced. My confidence level has saved me and my girlfriends on multiple occasions. Fake it until you make it but know you can make it if you had to!

What are the 3 most important things you have learned because of your training? (not necessarily moves lol)

  1. Fighting is not fun. I was and still am in a lot of ways a little fireball and rarely do I back down from something I am passionate about. I used to go looking for fights but now I realize that no one wins when you fight. People get hurt or worse.
  2. Fighting is the biggest mental challenge you will face. It doesn’t matter how good you are there is always someone better. There are always good days and bad days. The adrenaline that fighting induces surges through your body and effects you in unimaginable ways. If you haven’t felt it before you better get out there and practice. Experiencing this in a life and death situation for the first time could cause you to hesitate or freeze and that could be the deal breaker.
  3. I kick ass! My hands are fast and my situational awareness is good. I can go up against the biggest men out there and it may not be pretty and I may get hurt but knowing a few devastating techniques could be the reason I am able to walk away when other couldn’t.

Also From the Show…

Today is the last day (July28th) that The Survivalist Prepper Academy 2.0 will be available at half price. At midnight tonight this offer ends and everything goes back up to full price.

We also talked about the members only giveaway this month and what those prizes are. Members can get a more detailed update on the “Quick Start” page at the Academy, but here is a list of what we have so far…

First Prize

Second Prize

Third Prize

Fourth Prize

Fifth Prize

  • Another Sawyer Mini Water Filter
  • A Survival Bandana

This giveaway is a members only giveaway, and if you would like to become a member you can do so here.

The post Self Defense for Preppers With Sara Hathaway appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Our 20 Most Important Prepping Supplies

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Our 20 Most Important Prepping SuppliesThere are probably 100 prepping articles talking about the most important prepping supplies, and the prepping supplies that will disappear first. Lisa and I decided to take this a step further and see if our most important prepping supplies matches all these articles.

Everyone can find out what you should have, but sometimes what you should have, and what you do have are 2 different things. This little exercise has actually helped us identify some areas of weakness, as well as strengths, and see how our priorities are a little different.

The rules are pretty simple, and anyone at home can play along. If you had 10 minutes to leave you house what would you take?

But there’s a catch! You only have 5 minutes to make your top 10 list.


When you start your list, don’t include your Bug out bags and everyday carry items, these are a bonus because I think these will be on the top of everyone’s list. So, if you have a really good bug out bag setup, and you have everyday carry items, you already have a head start…as it should be.

This exercise shows why bug out bags are important even if you have no plans on bugging out to the woods. A good bug out bag should contain items that cover the 5 areas of preparedness, food, water, shelter, security and sanitation.

Some bug out bag items include: Fixed blade knife, water filter, compass, tarp, folding saw, etc. (I need an old cell phone in my bag)

To make this a realistic as possible you can only add every day carry items you actually carry every day…not what you want (or should) carry.

My EDC items include: Multi tool, folding knife, Prepinstein Designs paracord belt and my EDC kit. As soon as I get my concealed carry permit that will be added too.

SPP159 20 Most Important Prepping Supplies

My Top 10 Prepping Supplies

Alright, so here’s how my list turned out. This is not an all-inclusive list, but I tried to think about how I would be racing around the house, grabbing everything I could think of if I only had 10 minutes.

  1. Camping Kit (Already in Truck)

In my truck I always have a plastic container under my rear seat that has some fishing gear including a small tent, folding camp stove and fishing tackle.

  1. My Guns (and ammo)

This was actually the first thing that came to mind. These would not only be useful for self-defense, but also for hunting if the need arose.

  1. Clothes

This could be considered an area of weakness, but I don’t have clothes put aside for this situation. I would have to grab a trash bag and stuff some clothes in it. Lisa also mentioned using a clothes basket because it could be used to carry stuff in the future.

  1. Water

Who knows how long something like this could last, so I am going to grab as much water as I can. We have 5-gallon water jugs, and I would grab at least 3.

  1. Food

I’m not going to take the time to go through the cupboards, I am going to grab all the “Prepper” food I can find. This includes the Tac-Bars, Long term food (dehydrated) and canned goods if I have time.

  1. Power

Along with the small solar charges in our lights out kit I am also going to bring the solar generator I put together. This has a 100Ah battery, power inverter and solar panel.

  1. Extra Camping Supplies

The camping gear in my truck might not cut it, so I will need to add some supplies from the garage. This includes the Coleman stove, sleeping bags, lanterns and fuel.

  1. Fuel

We have some gasoline stored in 5 gallon jugs, and I would want at least 3 of them with me. My truck takes 36 gallons to fill, so 3 of these would only be a half tank.

  1. Our Lights Out Kit

Our lights out kit includes, blankets, batteries, flashlights, and extension cords. Because this kit is put together and ready to go, it would take no time at all to load it up.

  1. Communication

When we are on the go, I am going to want some way to find out what is going on. A crank radio might be good because of the NOAA channels, and I would want my ham radio to scan for radio traffic.

Lisa’s Top 10 List

If we had to leave at a moment’s notice, things would be hectic indeed. A lot of my planning would be determined by the cause behind why we needed to leave. I would assume the most viable reason of forcing us out of our home at the present time would be an evacuation order because of a wildfire.

This is a situation that hits close to home, as we have had several large wild fires that have put us on high alert that we may have to leave our home quickly.

So this is the bases of my scenario. It is a given that I have my go bag in my car already, so this is an extra I guess you could say because I already have it packed up and ready to go. But that, and the animals aside, this is what I would be bringing if we had to evacuate our home and had only 10 minutes to do it.

  1. First Aid Kit

This is my huge bag, the one I was able to purchase after my birthday. This is a large kit with everything I would need to treat my family, or others.  This medical bag would last for a while, and has a medicine cabinet inside of it as well as items to treat any sort of injury, short of having to do surgery.

  1. Laptop Computer

Like many people my laptop has so much information on it, this is definitely something that has to go regardless if there is power or internet access.

  1. The Contents of Our Safe

This has cash, gold and silver so everything that is in our safe will be coming along with us.

  1. The Contents of Our Gun Cabinet

Although if we were to get pulled over, this could cause a few raised eyebrows, but carefully hidden and keeping the ammunition separated, these firearms are an important part of our prepping, so they would be coming along.

  1. Blankets and Pillows

This may seem like an odd choice, but they serve several purposes. One, they are comfortable, and will add a sense of normalcy in an otherwise un-normal situation. If you could have a few moments of ‘normal’ and comfort, wouldn’t you want that? I know I would.

  1. Important Paperwork

We keep this in an easy to access easy to move self-contained accordion type file. It has important information, as well as a list of everything we own, with pictures of every room in and outside of our home on a flash drive, which may be important if we have to prove what was in our home in case it was destroyed, for whatever the reason.

  1. 5 Gallon Container of Gas

We already have these stored in our garage, and not knowing what the emergency might be, I want to be sure to have at least a little bit of gas. And since I am presuming it would be due to a wildfire, I would want to remove the excess gas from our garage.

  1. Food and Water

This is a given, but I would grab quick foods that are easy to pack that we already have in our pantry. They may not be the healthiest choices, but they are already there, and ready to go. Things like crackers, instant oatmeal, bread, granola bars, canned meals, etc. Whatever I could fit in a box, would be coming with me.

This is true for the water as well. We have a few of the water blocks which are fantastic for storing water, and they are square, so they fit easily into a car, and I could put ‘stuff’ on top of them as well, so organized packing.

  1. My Prized Possessions

This includes items like my camera’s, saddle, and horse tack that would not be easily replaced. Also items like family photo albums. These are important to me, and items I would be really sad if I lost, so they would be packed into my car.

  1. Camping Box

This is a box of supplies that we have packed into a bin. It is already to go, and has the basic items needed when camping out like lanterns (solar) bug spray, plates and silverware, small propane bottles, camping stove, coffee pot, fishing gear, extra coats, blankets, clothing, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, etc. This bin would be invaluable to grab because it is already ready to go.

Final Thoughts…

It’s interesting to look at how different our lists are and it just goes to show “2 is 1, and 1 is none”. There are some things that I completely forgot about like opening the safe, important documents and first aid supplies.

On the other hand, we both had some of the same items listed which can be helpful because I am so forgetful. The last thing you want in a scenario like this is to forget something very important.

It’s also interesting how my idea of important supplies, and Lisa’s ideas differ. Her list tends to include items for longer term events, and mine includes more items geared towards survival. This is probably because we know each other so well, that we know what the other person is going to take care of.

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Prepping is More Than Bug Out Bags and Food Storage

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Prepping is More Than Bug Out Bags and Food StorageSometimes we get so consumed with preparedness supplies that we forget that prepping is about more than what you have in your bug out bag, and how much food you have stored. Sometimes we get so focused on the “sexy” parts of prepping (supplies and tools) that we forget about truly important stuff.

All of these tools and supplies for prepping are important, but even the best bug out vehicle in the world is not going to do you much good if it only has a quarter tank of gas, and a top of the line ferro rod is worthless if you can’t get a fire started with it.

There are also times when money is tight, and we have to put off buying that new survival knife for a while. This is a perfect time to focus on the everyday preparedness stuff that we tend to put on the back burner.

In this week’s show Lisa and I talked about some of the smaller areas of preparedness that are just as important (and sometimes more important) than having all these supplies in the first place.

SPP157 Prepping is More Than Bug Out Bags and Food Storage

Here is the list that Lisa and I put together and talked about in the show. This list is great if money is short, but it’s also important to have these bases covered if you want to be completely prepared.

Inventory & Rotation

Sometimes what you have, and what you think you have are 2 different things. If we are doing it right, and we are using the supplies we have, then we are going to need to replenish those supplies at one point or another.

Supplies can be moved or damaged, food can be eaten without you knowing about it, and quite a few preparedness items come with expiration dates and need to be replaced.

We all have ups and downs when it comes to being prepared. One month we can feel really confident about how prepared we are, and then a month later find ourselves playing catch up because we dropped the ball.

Situational Awareness

Practicing situational awareness should be something we do on a daily basis, and everywhere we go. Sometimes situational awareness is a simple as paying attention to your surroundings, but looking for something, and knowing what to look for are 2 different things.

Some examples include…

  • Looking for exits when you enter a building.
  • Scanning your surroundings in a parking lot, and knowing where people are.
  • Keeping your head up and not focused on your cell phone.
  • Look for people behaving oddly
  • Checking your 6 (who’s behind you?)

We also need to practice these skills, because with more practice it gets easier and becomes a habit. This article titled “How to Develop the Situational Awareness of Jason Bourne” goes through the OODA method, and even memory games can help with situational awareness because they force us to pay more attention.

Create Good Habits

Sometimes we can get what I call “prepper burnout” and lose our focus. Other times we can talk ourselves into doing something else just to avoid doing what we should.

The more we do something, the more it becomes something we just do naturally. If we start making it a habit that every Saturday we practice a survival skill, it becomes something he need to do, rather than something we have to do.

Talk to Your Neighbors

This is a hard one for me because I really don’t like putting myself out there, but knowing your neighbors is incredibly important. At the very least we can figure out whether they will be with us, or against us when and if the S hits the fan.

If your neighbor feels like they know you (even just a little) they will be less likely to try and take advantage of you in a bad situation because they know you.

Take them Cookies: It’s human nature that when someone does something for us (no matter how small) we feel obligated to return the favor. While we are not doing this to get something back from them, it could be the difference of them being with us, or against us when the S hits the fan.

The Rule of Obligation, also known as “reciprocity,” states that when others do something for us, we feel a strong need, even a push, to return the favor. Returning the favor rids us of the obligation created by the first good deed. Like the saying goes “one good deed deserves another”

Learn (and Practice) Skills

With the internet today there is literally nothing we can’t learn, and almost no question we can’t get an answer to. Google “how far away is the moon” and see what I mean. While these resources are fantastic, they are worthless unless we apply that knowledge.

In the show we talked about how watching a video about building a survival shelter looks really simple, but when you go out to do it yourself you find out it’s harder than you thought it would be.

It’s really easy to edit out the mistakes in a video, but in real life we don’t have that option. We need to make these mistakes now, and learn the process now, because a SHTF scenario is the time for doing, not learning, and a mistake could mean life or death.

Being Physically Fit

In last week’s show we talked about how the best thing you can do to prevent illness in a SHTF scenario is be as healthy as possible now. Sanitation and public services could be nonexistent, and having a healthy immune system and being physically fit could prevent some of the common illnesses.

This doesn’t mean we need to go to the gym twice a week, it means we need to become “farmer strong” A farmer probably doesn’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but a farmer can work from sun up, to sun down on a daily basis.

Let’s say you have a great bug out bag, with all the bells and whistles, what good is that bug out bag if you can’t walk more than 2 miles?

Setting Goals

Setting goals is a great way to keep your preparedness plan on track, creating goals can help us keep our focus and eventually achieve them.

When you are setting goals it’s important not to make all of them too big, or too small. We want some small goals that can be achieved easily, we want some long term goals that will take some work, but stretch goals are the most important.

Stretch goals are goals that are completely attainable, but require some work to get them done. A stretch goal could be getting your long term food storage up to 6 months, or learning the bushcraft skills we see in all those videos.

Download Reading/Learning Material

At the Survivalist Prepper Academy, we are working on a course that goes through creating a preparedness library. Having these files stored is important because most disaster scenarios involve the loss of electricity, meaning no internet.

These files could include SHTF recipes, knot tying or anything you feel would be important to have. If you ever have to say “how did I do that again?” It’s probably something you should download.

These can be digital files, or downloaded and printed out. If these files are downloaded, you will need to have a way to power up your laptop and read them. I have a bunch of digital survival files because I have this solar generator I built in the past.

Planning & Family Discussions

One of the most important aspects of preparedness is making sure everyone is on the same page. Just because WE know how everything needs to go, doesn’t mean everyone else in the family is going to do everything according to plan.

As active as we are these days, the odds of the whole family being in one place is slim, getting everyone in one place could be harder than the actual disaster plan, and should be a plan of its own. The more we discuss these plans, the more likely it is to sink in…especially with teenagers.

In the show we talked about how this can be a challenge for the “lone prepper” when the family is not onboard with prepping. We have this article here that might help with that, and this article about getting children interested in preparedness.

A Few More…

There are a few other things we talked about in the show like keeping always your gas tank half full, storing extra fuel, assessing your property and ways to earn some extra income for prepping.

If you have any ideas about some areas of preparedness that get taken for granted from time to time leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear them.

Also in the Show…

The Contest: First off congratulations to the winners of this month’s contest! And even though this contest was great, the next contest is going to be HUGE!  To celebrate the launch of Academy 2.0 I am going to put together 2 grand prizes and a few other prizes as well.

I’ll have more information on this in the next show, so stay tuned…

Academy 2.0: Over the last few weeks I have been working on updating the Survivalist Prepper Academy and building the new website Academy 2.0, and for a limited time we are offering 50% off membership.

This discount is only going to be available until we launch Academy 2.0 and anyone who joins before we launch will have access to the original academy, and the new academy.

Click here to join.

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The Survivalist Prepper Podcast: Ask the Rescue Ninja

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The Survivalist Prepper Podcast Ask the Rescue NinjaIn this week’s Survivalist Prepper Podcast we did a segment called Ask the Rescue Ninja (Ask the R.N.) where Lisa answered some listener questions. Here are some of the show notes for those questions, and you can listen to the show here.

How about when/ when not to suture a wound after SHTF

In my opinion, the only time I would ever suture a wound is if I had made a surgical incision. If I did not, I would not suture it. The main reason to suture a wound is to help it heal faster, however you run the risk of infection if you suture a dirty wound shut.

You can put in a drain, and then suture the wound closed, but you are still leaving an opening, which bacteria can get in, so I am of the mind set to leave it open, and do dressing changes. As an example, when my horse cut open his leg we tried 3 times to get it to the point where we could suture it closed, and it just wasn’t happening. But by keeping it covered, it healed and there is only a tiny line scar. Not the fastest way to heal, but it healed, even in a ‘poopy’ environment, literally.

How to take care of poison ivy, oak or sumac after SHTF?

  1. Steer clear of areas where you know they grow.
  2. Cover up with closed shoes, socks, long pants, long sleeves, and gloves. Wash any clothes that come in contact with poisonous plants as soon as possible.
  3. If you get exposed, wash your skin with soap and warm water right away to get the plant’s oils off your skin. Some experts say that washing within the first hour may help limit the rash.
  4. Use a cold compress, calamine lotion, non-prescription hydrocortisone cream, or an antihistamine to ease itching.

How to make the decision whether to use antibiotics or not

If you fear an infection, and it seems to be spreading, I would use an antibiotic. Signs of a spreading infection are:

  • Redness
  • Smelly discharge, or increasing drainage of a wound
  • Pain that is not relieved by medication
  • Fever

If I were not able to distinguish what the bacteria was, I would probably use 2 antibiotics to get the widest possible coverage. So I would grab my nursing drug guide book, and find antibiotics that had the broadest spectrum of killing bacteria. Bactrim (Sulfa drug) and Augmentin (Cillin based antibiotic) would have the largest spectrum of coverage. But, you also need to know if the patient has any allergies to penicillin, or sulfa drugs, and if they do, you can’t use them.

You also have to be careful, because once you start treating an invading bacteria, you will also destroy the beneficial bacteria, and you may need to take steps to replenish that beneficial bacteria, with probiotics, etc. Fish antibiotics are a good alternative in a SHTF scenario.

What can be used for pain when a wound needs to be sewed up?

You can buy lidocaine gel, and you could put that on some 4×4 gauze, and apply it to the area to help numb it before you cleaned it, or sutured it closed. However, if there is infection present, no amount of numbing medication is going to help, it will still hurt, which is a good indicator you should NOT be suturing the wound closed. Also, unless the trauma just occurred, and if the wound has been open for over 4 hours, you should not suture it closed.

Also, as a side note, the fascination with suturing a wound closed seems to be a HUGE topic of interest. If you are thinking you should be suturing a wound, get the training first, or, you can always use butterflies, or steri-strips, as this will bring the edges of the wound together, and allow the wound to heal without suturing the wound closed.

Another thing that is a lot easier and quicker would be to use staples. This is super-fast, easy, and no knot tying, just boom, boom, boom, done! Just be sure to have a staple remover, so you will be able to remove the staples once the wound has healed.

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SHTF Perimeter Security: What You Can Do Now, To Prepare For Then

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SHTF Perimeter Security What You Can Do Now, To Prepare For ThenAlthough we hope nothing happens that would cause us to “beef up” our home security, we all know it is a very real possibility that we would need to protect our home in some unconventional ways in an SHTF scenario.

I titled this article SHTF perimeter security: what we can do now, to prepare for then because while setting up pit fall traps and tossing caltrops all over the front yard might become necessary, it might get you in some hot water today. With that being said, there are some things that we can do now, and some thing we can do to prepare for an SHTF event.

Today in the show Adam and I talked about just that. Adam is a police officer who does general assessments like these for people in his community, and modified it for preppers like us.

SPP155 SHTF Perimeter Security

Adam wrote me that “One thing I have training through the police department is home security, normally what citizens in my town do is either send us video or pictures of their property and we advise on best ways to prevent intrusion.  I have modified it for those in my prepper group to include SHTF security.

We tried to stick to the images in the order they were listed below, but make sure and listen, because there is much more information about each of them.

The images below are just an example home, but use your imagination and figure out what you could do to improve your perimeter security. I plan on going out and taking some pictures of my home from different areas and doing this same type of threat assessment.

Front Of Home

House Image 1The Pros…

  • Long driveway leading to house
  • Pasture with double fence between road and house
  • No tree obstructing view of road
  • Strong wooden doors
  • Nothing of value noticeable from roadway
  • Electric fence (on chain link)

The Cons…

  • No gate(s)
  • Short fence

Items to Fix Now…

  • Add a gate and upgrade white fence
  • Plant thorny plants under front Bay windows
  • Add a light to fence post to light long drive
  • Camera facing driveway

SHTF Fixes…

  • Barrier to driveways
  • Board lower windows

Right Side View

House Image 2

The Pros…

  • Pasture with double fence protecting house
  • Electric fence
  • Nothing of value visible besides cows

The Cons…

  • Trees at border (limits visibility and provides cover for intruders)
  • No side window
  • Short fence

Items to Fix Now…

  • Attach a solar light to utility pole (get permission)
  • Camera to utility pole (get permission)

SHTF Fixes…

  • Trim all lower branches
  • Trip alarm in pasture (more info below about traps) (and here)

Left Side View

House Image3

The Pros…

  • Long open driveway
  • All Outbuilding doors face into property
  • Large street light inside property

The Cons…

  • No gate (U shaped driveway)
  • Small decorative fence
  • Outbuilding for cover/concealment

Items to Fix Now…

  • Gate(s) added and upgrade fence
  • Lights on all sides of outbuildings

SHTF Fixes…

  • Gate/Barrier
  • Remove items of value from outbuildings
  • Alarms & traps

Left Pasture

House Image 4

The Pros…

  • Large open area between next residence and secondary fence

The Cons…

  • Equipment out in open with no view from main house
  • Decorative fence

Items to Fix Now…

  • Better fence
  • Organize/concealment for equipment

SHTF Fixes…

  • Dead fall, Apache foot, caltrops along whole border of fence line between 2-6 feet in.
  • Remove all equipment to inside perimeter fence

Right Pasture

House Image 5

The Pros…

  • Gap between fence and trees
  • Better fence (electric)

The Cons…

  • Juts up against roadway

Items to Fix Now…

  • Nothing important

SHTF Fixes…

  • More Traps: Dead fall, Apache foot, caltrops along whole border of fence line between trees and roadway

Top View From Roadway

House Image 6

The Pros…

  • Long pasture to property (150 yards)
  • Wire fence
  • Second fence between house

The Cons…

  • Items of value visible from roadway
  • Over-watch position for intruders

Items to Fix Now…

  • Nothing

SHTF Fixes…

  • More traps: Dead fall, Apache foot, caltrops along whole border of fence line between 2-6 feet in.
  • Early warning alarms
  • Hide water pond
  • Litter pasture with debri

Right Top View From Roadway

House Image 7

The Pros…

  • Large pasture
  • Double fence

The Cons…

  • Jutted up against residential housing

Items to Fix Now…

  • None

SHTF Fixes…

  • Possible second barrier fence between residential fence
  • Dead fall, Apache foot, caltrops along whole border of fence line between 2-6 feet in.
  • Early warning alarms
  • Establish “hide in sagebrush” in top corner (will provide hidden security point and over-watch of whole property)

Backyard (From Left)

House Image 9

The Pros…

  • Well pump covered (pump house)

The Cons…

  • Outbuilding access with no view from house
  • Lots of concealment for intruders

Items to Fix Now…

  • Enclose area
  • Organize area

SHTF Fixes…

  • Concealment of items of value

Backyard ViewHouse Image 10

The Pros…

  • Pump house concealed
  • Well lighted
  • Plenty of supplies for “projects”

The Cons…

  • Items of value visible
  • Access to back of house from front with no barrier

Items to Fix Now…

  • Concealment for propane tank

SHTF Fixes…

  • Concealment for propane tank
  • Clean property to prevent tripping hazards in case of night ops
  • Board up bottom windows

Overall Assessment

Overall a good setup: Long driveway and pastures providing natural long areas of no concealment (creates apprehension)

Areas hit first: If I were to hit the house I would come from left pasture and take what I could from the pasture then move into the outbuildings (very little chance to be seen), if no hint of resistance would move to back of house and enter from back side of house to take what I want.

SHTF assessment: Lots of potential. Real close to residential and that is worrisome, if traps and early warning is put in place and overwatch/security is put in place there is potential for a lengthy bug in scenario.

Lots of garage space to “prep” cars unnoticed in bug out scenario. Lots of pasture and land for animals but little concealment for them from hungry masses. Large amount of no concealment area between house and roadways creates lots of open fire lines.

Way I would attack: (assuming all SHTF plans were put in place)

Looting only: I would come from left side pasture and raid the Outbuilding.

Full attack: I would come from the top road to fire down from the high ground and overrun the position.

Recommend for minimum security

2 man security team: 1 over-watch at top of property. Second roaming perimeter of house.

What Would You Do?

I want to say thanks to Adam again for taking the time to be on the show this week. Because of his job, and his training he tends to think more “tactically” than most people, and we can all learn from it. If you have anything you would do, or a way you would attact the property if you were an intruder, let us know in the comments below.


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Prepping and Technology: The Pros and Cons

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Prepping and Technology The Pros and ConsWhen it comes to prepping we are constantly looking for ways to not only live, but thrive when the world as we know it comes to a screeching halt. Just because we are working on what to do when this technology is not available doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of it while we can.

With prepping and technology come some pros and cons. On one side of the coin we have more access to information than any time in history, on the other side every big business and government agency is collecting as much information about us wherever they can.

While it is true that if you are online there is no way to be completely invisible, there are some things we can do to erase our online footprints, or at least minimize how much data these companies collect from us.

In this week’s show Lisa and I talked about some of the great resources we have available to us because of the internet, how we have handed over our rights to privacy in the name of convenience, and some ways to use these tools and apps as safely as possible.

SPP149 Prepping and Technology: The Pros and Cons

We talked about the book “Deep Web” in the podcast which I highly recommend which talks about how much we can do to protect our online privacy even if you are not so “tech savvy”.

Quite a bit of information on this page is from that book, but there is much more information in the book itself. The links and resources mentioned in the book make it well worth the $2.99 price.

Pros of Internet Prepping

On the internet we can literally learn anything we want about preparedness and survival we want. From apps on our cell phones, videos on YouTube, podcasts and a plethora websites and other online content, if we want to learn something we just need to search for it.

Later I will go through some of the ways we can safeguard ourselves on the internet, but here are some links I mentioned in the show about cellphones, apps and file storage.

30 Apps From Urban Survival Site:

More Apps From Geek Prepper:

Even More Apps From USCrow:

Ideas for Old Phones:

File Storage: In the article above they talk about using old phones for file storage, although you still need a way to charge it. I actually have an old phone I use for this purpose and have a small solar charger I will use to charge it if needed.

External hard drives: I have one of these as well, and if you want to save a bunch of prepping information without cluttering up your computer this is a great investment. For about $75 you can get 2TB of storage (1 Terabyte = 1,000 Gigabytes)

Google Drive: This is a decent option for file storage, but it does have a couple of downsides, first off being that you need internet access to get to them. The second is that you are putting that information “in the cloud” which Google has access to.

Personally I use Google drive for “noncritical” information like gardening, recipes and some bushcraft stuff. I keep all the important information, or information that could be held against me on my hard drive.

Cons of Internet Prepping

safe browsing habbitsOnline OPSEC: Everyone wants our information, And the internet has become the place where people shop. The internet has given these companies a way to collect your data and be super targeted to what they think you are most likely to buy.

The bigger problem come in when the alphabet agencies see how this information can make their jobs a whole lot easier, and decide that “for the good for the people” they also need this information.

As convenient as they are, smartphones are the most affective tracking device ever created. This doesn’t just include our location, but also our buying habits, interests and contacts.

Changing our habits is the first step. If we use the default settings on our browsers, are unwilling to sacrifice some of these conveniences or trust that “they” have our best interest at heart, we are only setting ourselves up.

Things might not be as easy when we tweak some of these settings, but it will be more secure. I personally have a small tablet I use for most apps, and 3 different browses on my computer which I use depending on what I am searching for…none of them are Internet Explorer!

Deep Web Secrecy and Security

Deep Web Secrecy and SecurityI found out about this book from Prepper Website and it really sheds light on what we can do about our privacy and security as preppers. Most of the information below can be found in the book, and this is just a brief overview of what the book covers.

If you are interested in implementing some of these techniques, do yourself a favor and get the book. This book goes through the basics of internet security as well as some of the more advanced techniques of using the deep web.

What are Cookies and Cache? These are an example of the very basic things we can do to secure our browsing, and all browsers have a way to delete them. A browsers cache is used to store your browsing history, and cookies can be used to track you around the web.

Not all cookies are necessarily bad, but they can be used maliciously. If you have ever been looking for something on eBay, and all the sudden you get served ads for the same product you looked at…that is cookies.

Online Quizzes: This is not from the book, but is very important to your privacy. Some of these quizzes that ask something like “what Star Wars character are you?” are just data mining.

These quizzes and even games of Facebook all make you give them access to your data before you can play.

The Big Players: One thing I learned from the book (and now seems completely obvious) is to stay away from the big players like Google and Microsoft. The bigger the company, the more likely the alphabet agencies are going to “request” information from them.

Alternative browsers: In the book it says to ditch Internet Explorer and I did that a long time ago. There are a couple of better, more secure browsers you can use that are just as good, or better.

The Firefox browser is far more secure, and the Comodo Ice Dragon browser is even better. In the book, he also goes through some easy browser setting and extensions you can use for these browsers to make them even more secure.

This includes Email: If you use Gmail, Yahoo or any of the large free email companies your data is getting stored somewhere just waiting to be accessed, and even you delete it from your inbox, it doesn’t get deleted from their servers.

Here is a link to some of the free email services available, and while they might still store your data, it is less likely they have the sophisticated storage systems the big guys have.

Tor Browser: Conrad talks about the Tor browser in the book, right now I don’t know enough about Tor to give it a thumbs up or thumbs down. The Tor browser is only necessary for completely secure and anonymous web surfing, and I won’t be using it until I know more about it.

My thought process is that this is where the hackers and whistle blowers hang out, and the alphabet agencies know that. Just the fact that I have used it might make them think I have something to hide and I’ll be added to yet another list.

Search anonymously: An alternative to the Tor browser is to search anonymously. There are search engines like AllNetTools and Guardster that are free, and even DuckDuckGo which is not exactly anonymous, but you will not be tracked all over the web.

Online Passwords: Another no no is to let your browser save your password for you. If someone gains access to your computer, they could also access your passwords. I use Dashlane which has both a free and paid version, but there a few others like LastPass and Sticky Password.

For some websites it’s not that critical to protect my passwords, but for banking, purchasing and social networks my password manager will auto generate passwords for me and I don’t need to remember what they are because they are stored.

Driving Without a License

Most people these days surf the internet without even understanding how easily their information can be compromised, to me this is like driving a car before you know how. If you hop into a car and start driving, and all you know is gas pedal, brake and steering wheel, bad things are bound to happen.

If you have any other ideas about how preppers can protect their privacy or some great tools we can use, I’d love to hear them. Just leave a comment below.

Dale Signature

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Springtime Prepping and Planning

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Springtime Prepping and PlanningWhen the time changes, I start to get antsy for the longer sunny days that will be coming. After being cooped up in the house all winter long, there is just something so satisfying about being able to stay outside without a coat on that motivates me to get busy.

For those of us that live in cold weather states we get a little cabin fever this time of year, and also a little anxious to get out and get things done. Even if you live in one of the warmer states, these tips will be useful to keep your preparedness plans on track.

This week we talked about springtime prepping and planning, and how to stay motivated throughout the summer months. There are some things you just can’t do in the winter months, so it’s important to take advantage of the good weather while you can.

SPP145 Springtime Prepping and Planning

Get Outside and Exercise

This is really easy to do in April because we are all chomping at the bit to get outside. Use the spring and summer months to their fullest by going camping, working in the yard and even taking walks with your bug out bag on.

We talk about being “farmer strong” later in the article, and we need to be physically ready to handle life without all the modern conveniences. Taking hikes, or walking with your bug out bag on is important because you want to know how you will handle it if it becomes necessary.

Take Classes

Plant identification classes, wilderness survival classes, first aid classes and even heading out to the shooting range is a great way to sharpen or add skillsets to your preparedness arsenal.

Like we talked about in the prepper groups podcast, these classes are also a great way to meet people in your area that might be preppers themselves…or at least possible future preppers.

Plan a lights out weekend

This is a great way to test out your preps without the added weight of an emergency situation. It’s also a great way to open the conversation about prepping with family members that might not be completely on board.

Be careful how you approach this though. If someone in the house is completely against this you might want to shorten the length, or think about not shutting everything down at first.

Activities With and For Kids

Getting your children interested in prepping is easy when you do things that they enjoy. It’s actually easier to get small children interested than older children because older children have already formed some opinions.

Doing things like the boy scouts and girl scouts do are fun ways to open the dialog with children about how there is more to life than cell phones and video games. Getting them involved with your daily prepping chores also makes them feel involved and important.

Goal Setting

Setting goals might be the most important because if it’s in your face you are more likely to accomplish it. Like the saying goes “out of sight, out of mind”

Don’t make these goals too extreme, make them attainable. Set some small goals, some tougher goals and then some stretch goals that are going to be hard, but realistic with a little hard work.

Preparedness Plans List(s)

For me, the best place to start is with my handy dandy notebook! Start by making different lists of things you want to do this summer. You can categorize each list, or just make a huge list of what you would like to accomplish over the summer. By planning now, you will have a working list of projects to choose from throughout the spring and summer months.

The Garden

Right know the garden is taking all of my focus. We still have about 4 weeks before we can start planting outside, but that doesn’t mean I can be ready to go once all danger of frost has passed us. Dale can already begin working in his greenhouse (lucky dog) but I have to wait. So during the winter I was plotting and planning my garden beds, and how I will use them this year. Cleaning out the dead and decaying plant material as well as beautifying the garden itself are things I can do now while waiting. It’s also a good time to start some seeds inside, so I can get a jump start on my planting.

Also scouring my own seeds to know what I have, as well as ordering seeds from reputable sellers so I will have everything ready to go once the time has come to plant outdoors.

The Garage, aka The Workshop

You can be doing garage projects during the winter, but for me, it is a lot easier to organize and clean and work in the garage (my workshop) when I can keep the overhead door open. Also, our garage gets COLD, so I don’t really like working out there when the temperature outside is below zero. It isn’t any fun to work in the cold when I can see my breath, no thanks. So I make my plan of attack happen when the temperature starts to rise.

I start by opening the doors, and organizing the shelving units, and looking to see where I can make more space for camping gear, and I also rearrange my gardening equipment and outdoor tools, to take inventory of what I have, and what I will need.

By doing this before I need it, I will be able to make the most of my evenings and weekends without taking extra trips into town which would cut into my time to be working. And when thinking about trips into town, I try to do the planning so that when I do get a lunch while I am at work, I use that time to run to Home Depot, or wherever I need to go so I won’t have to make an unplanned trip once I am already at home.

I also make a list of different projects I want to complete over the next several months which include building a farmhouse dining room table, and building several sets of horse jumps in order to fund our prepping expenditures throughout the summer.

Family Vacations

While most people are planning family vacations to faraway places, ours are a little bit different. Instead of spending a lot of money to go really far, or making one vacation plan, we choose to explore the beautiful country we live in.

We will plan smaller weekend trips to places we can drive. We don’t have to worry about getting a hotel room, because we bring it with us. We were able to purchase a pop-up travel trailer for a steal, and fix it up. So now, we can go places and basically bring our hotel with us.

You also don’t need to really go that far away from home. Do a weekend nature walk, learn about what is in your area as far game, plants, and resources. Or you can take a weekend class in firearm training, or outdoor skills.

Rotating Preps

As the summer will go on, our long term food storage and home canned goods will need to be rotated as we add to it with freshly canned vegetables jams and fruits. So before we start canning like fools, it is good to know what we have, what we love, and what we have plenty of. This also goes into my gardening plan, so knowing what we have helps.

Now there are some things we won’t have a lot of control over, such as blueberries, apples and pears, because we plant those once, and they keep producing every year. But, by learning how to use the annual harvest will help. So learning new ways to use the prolific fruits and vegetables will add new recipes, as well as making us be able to use what we have every single year.

This is also a good time to start or add to your long term food storage with items from Legacy Farms, or Augauson Farms. Dedicate a small amount of money each paycheck to increasing your long term food storage, just in case.

Farmer Strong

This one is my favorite! I don’t know about you, but I HATE working out, or I should say I hate working out just for the sake of working out. However, I do LOVE being outside, and beautifying my yard, and playing in the garden, and working with my horses. So instead of going to a gym, I work out while I am doing things that will benefit me, or my family.

For example, my daughter bought me a Fitbit for a Christmas present. And I have a bunch of people that I compete with on a weekly basis to see who can get the most steps. I like it, because it makes exercising fun and adds some competition to the mix, I love it! But on the days where I basically only walk at work, I have to push myself harder than I do when I am doing chores around the house. Typically I will get around 10,000 steps a day, and I have to really work to make that happen. But on the weekends just by working in the yard or garden, I will get around 18,000 steps a day! That is huge!

And have you ever worked a piece of land for a garden, carried chicken or horse feed, or dug some fence postholes? It is hard work! You will use muscles you didn’t know you had. If you make a concerted effort to do this type of work on a daily basis not only will you get in shape, but you will get strong…farmer strong!

So make an effort to get your work out by doing things that have the added benefit of making you more self-reliant. You will get in shape in a fun way, and you will be saving money, you don’t need a gym membership to get in shape, just do things to benefit your home, garden or property and use the money you would have used for the gym, and put it back into your ‘homestead’.

Food Forestry, aka Permaculture

Instead of planting flowers in beds, plant food! You can have vegetable beds intermingles with flower beds. Plant herbs in pots. If you do plant flowers, be sure to use flowers that are beneficial to the bees, as well as having medicinal benefits such as lavender, peppermint or Echinacea.

If you are planting a tree or shrub, plant fruit trees and shrubs.  If you plant fruit trees, you will get the beauty of the tree, but also the added benefit of a harvest in the fall.

Bigger Goals

If you have never started a garden but wanted to, put it on your list. Thinking about raising your own chickens? Put that on your list too. Put things on your list that you don’t necessarily have to do, but would do if you had the time.  Here are some examples of what I put on my list:

  • Starting beekeeping
  • Redo the chicken house
  • Make my vegetable garden look like a garden in a magazine
  • Plant 5 fruit trees
  • Redo all flower beds to be vegetable beds
  • Repaint all garden beds
  • Build a root cellar
  • Build a farmhouse dining room table
  • Make vanilla
  • Make homemade Vick’s
  • Trim all tree branches for fire mitigation
  • Add 5 birdfeeders

This is why I like making lists so much. I add things to it, and eventually I end up getting it done! It is pretty inspiring to look back through lists that I thought were pipe dreams, and they are now a part of my everyday life. So inspire yourself, make some lists, and get planning for what you would love to be able to do this summer. You are only limited by yourself, so stop limiting yourself, and just do it!

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Prepper Groups: Form Your Own, or Join One?

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Prepper Groups Form Your Own, or Join OneI get this question all the time, and these questions have seemed to increase in the last couple of weeks, so I decided to tackle the subject of forming or joining prepper groups. I have been a little hesitant about this because there isn’t really a perfect solution, and quite a bit that goes into prepper groups other than what skills people have.

If you have never given this a second thought, you might want to read this article that Lisa wrote about what to look for with prepper groups. This article (and podcast) goes into detail about what makes a good group, and how to form your own or join a prepper group.

Prepper Groups: Form Your Own, or Join One?

While this article will go through what we talked about in the show, make sure and listen to it though, in order to get the full picture. Most of our listeners use their mobile phones while working or driving, but you can download it or listen from here if you like.

Joining a Group

The Waiting List: Ideally we would all love to join the best prepping group out there, but they are the best because they don’t just accept anyone. Good groups will be hard to join and are most likely going to be invite only.

Commitment Level: A couple other things to give quite a bit of consideration to is how serious is the group? How committed are you? And is the group the right fit for you. If all you want is a group of people to learn from and talk about prepping, don’t join a group that requires a big commitment.

Your Resume: Think of this like a job interview, what do you have to offer?  I’m not necessarily talking about supplies here; I’m talking about what skill set(s) you have that would be a contribution to a group.

Forming a group

This might be the most feasible option for anyone wanting to have a prepping group, and because of this we talked quite a bit about forming prepper groups in the podcast. There just aren’t that many good prepper groups to join, and some might just be a waste of time.

However: Even if the group doesn’t fit your needs, it might be a good place to meet another prepper that feels the same way, and you can create your own group with them.

The Snowball Affect: The advantage to forming your own prepping group is that all you need is one other person. After that, the two of you could work together and add more people that fit into what your ideas for the group are.

Expect to fail: When I say expect to fail I don’t mean expect the group to fail, I mean don’t expect everything to work out perfectly. This article from On Point Preparedness talks about why it’s tough to keep a group together.

Don’t be too hasty to make your decisions, It’s going to take time to get a feel for someone. Someone who seems like a great addition today could turn into a liability in the future. Learn how to read people and take all the time it takes to get to know them.

Other Groups and Interests: I’m going to go through some options to find preppers in your area online a little later in this article, but if you are leery of searching online (a lot of people are) you do have a few other options.

Find people with similar interests that might not be preppers by joining groups or classes. Prepping encompasses so many different areas that you are bound to find someone interested in bushcraft, First aid, gun clubs, ham radio etc. Put yourself in the right place at the right time, and you never know what will happen.

Right Next Door: Another option is getting to know your neighbors, although it is very unlikely they are preppers, you might be surprised. This is also important because in a SHTF situation you are going to be stuck with them being next door whether you like it or not, and if they know you, they are less likely to take advantage of you.

Online Prepping

Finding people to join your prepping group online might be the easiest way, but it is also the riskiest. As with anything online we want to be careful about what information we share, and as preppers we are extra careful about it.

Personally, I am more worried about people than the government. I know I’m on a few lists anyway, but a person with bad intentions, and my personal information can be more dangerous. To avoid this don’t give out too much information too soon. Make a fake profile and don’t add your address or phone number.

This article from the Survival Blog give a few options for finding groups (or people) online. One more time, OPERATIONAL SECURITY IS KEY! You never know who is on the other end of the conversation.

There are two aspects of prepper groups we need to think about, the groups we can join now, and the groups we will have in an emergency situation. Here are a few bullet points we talked about in the show…

Forming/Joining Groups now

  • Joining groups now gives you a head start.
  • Ability to learn skills that might be useful later.
  • Ability to practice and adjust your plans.

Forming Groups After

  • Like it or not, your friends and family are part of (or associated with) your group.
  • Some scenarios might dictate the need for you to accept and/or reject people and prepare for the consequences.
  • Start planning now how you would accept/reject people in different scenarios.
  • Each scenario will be different, it’s not always a Mad Max situation.

It’s going to be hard, and it might take some time, but if you really want to you can get a prepping group together. It all depends on how committed you are to having a prepping group. Just like anything else, if you want it bad enough, you will figure out a way to make it happen.

If you have any question or comments leave them below and we will be happy to answer.

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Starting or Joining a Prepper Group

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Starting or Joining a Prepper GroupOnce you have been prepping for a while, or even when you are just getting started, you may have considered joining a group of like minded individuals or a prepping group. But, you probably have a lot of questions regarding this. After all, those of us who prepare tend to like to keep to ourselves, and don’t really want to ‘share’ all of our information with others, especially if we do not know them very well.

On the con side, joining a group can make you vulnerable, and if the group is not well organized, could put you at risk to become a target in case of a SHTF situation. The pro side is that if you have a strong group, there truly is safety in numbers, and in a bad situation, your group can offer safety, confidence, and a united front against who or whatever may try to take your preps.

But how do you get started? Where do you begin your search to find likeminded people? How do you keep your family and your preps safe? What happens if there is a falling out in the group? Hopefully I will be able to provide some information here that might help in your search of a prepper group.

Please keep in mind though you will need to have your own vetting process. Just like any relationship or group of people there are bound to be confrontational moments, and problems will happen, but a strong group of people can maneuver through these challenging times, and come out stronger. But just like anything worthwhile, it will take hard work on the part of all members, including you.

Things to look for in a prepper group

  1. A strong leadership team

This is the most important part, in my opinion, of a group. The leadership team, or leader needs to be strong and stable. If the leadership is only half-heartedly into it, the members of the group may be the same.  The leaders need to be able to motivated the people of the group, and organize the activities.

They should be able to do this very well now, because in an shtf scenario when all hell is breaking loose the group needs to have leadership that will keep people calm and focused. A great leader is someone who people look up to, and is also willing to partake in the hard work necessary to keep the group moving forward. The leader needs to be someone you trust implicitly, because that will trickle down through the entire group.

  1. Likeminded Members

Look at the people in the group. Do they hold the same values as you? Are they hard working like you, or are they basically joining a club? The people in the group need to be able to work together, and everyone needs to work hard on a daily basis in order for the group to be successful. We are all individuals with our own strengths as well as weaknesses, but finding the right group of people that works together, and everyone contributes to the group in their own unique way will make it a strong and diverse group.

  1. Organization

A well organized group in essential. There should be rules in place that everyone is expected to adhere to. A well thought out plan that has been written down is a must. When you first get into the group, there should be guidelines provided to you explaining what is expected of you. This could be broken down into specific areas such as food storage, skills, security, etc. Don’t expect to get all of the information at once. You may need to be vetted to make sure you are who you say you are. If you do not get all of the information at one time, don’t be offended, be impressed. This shows that the group is serious about who the let in, and once you have gained their trust, and they know you are serious, you will be let in. However, if the group gives you every piece of information on every single member of the group before you even decide to join, you may want to rethink that group. Because once you are a part of it, all of your information may be available as well. So security and privacy is an important consideration before you totally get into a group.

  1. Security and Safety

This is what I mentioned earlier. The group needs to be safe, and secure for all. This means whatever the group divulges to you in the beginning, they are divulging your information to future members as well. You need to know how much information they are giving, and why. In my opinion, a good group will release information once you have met certain requirements. This will mean you will need to trust in your group to provide information on a need to know basis.

Operational Security, This is a really big deal!

Think about how easy it is for hackers and criminals to get information or fish for information on the internet. Now let’s say that someone approaches you to join their “group”, and in order to do so, they need to have all of your information up front, and they want to know everything about your preps and your plans. If you don’t really know who is requesting this information, you could be setting yourself up. SO always remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Do not give out all of your information upfront right away. Be smart about what you share, and always make sure you know who you are really dealing with. I hate to be paranoid, but if things get really bad really fast, there will be those that only want to capitalize, and if they can get what you have, they will. So always put you and your family’s safety first, and only give information on a need to know basis, and only if you have established a relationship with the group.

If you cannot find a group in your area that meets all of the above criteria, it may be best for you to start your own group. If this is something you feel you would like to do, first make sure your preps and plans are in place, and then start to create a list of what you would like in a perfect prepper group. What type of people would complement your group? What skills would be important for you to add? What are your own criteria for new members to join? Look at the four topics mentioned above, and think about that for your own group.

Write down everything, and come up with a plan.

A good place to start is with people you already know. Do you have friends and family members who have potential, but just need a little more motivation? You can groom them for it, if they will be an asset to your group. Over time, and them listening to you talk about raising your own chickens, and working your garden, and how much better fresh food tastes, you will probably motivate them to do it too. You would be surprised.

I make no secrets to my friends, family, and co-workers about what I do, and then I let them take part in the bounty by bringing them fresh eggs, fruits and vegetables. I don’t charge them for it, I just share with them, and they love it. 4 years ago, I was a crazy doomsday prepper in their eyes, but now they get it.

These are people I really KNOW, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I trust these people, and they trust me. Out of this group of people, over 90% of them are now doing things to become more self-reliant, and do for themselves. People I never dreamed would be out working a garden are doing it. Two more are raising their own chickens. And on more than one occasion, we have discussed the state of the economy, and if things get bad what the plan will be.

Two of my favorite questions to ask these people when they approach me and say in an SHTF situation they are coming to my house, I always ask them, what skills will you be bringing with you? What do you have that will benefit the group? Half the time they are saying it jokingly, but I can see they are seriously considering my questions, and they are coming up with their own plan.

So to get back to starting your own group, I would suggest you to ask each prospective member:

  1. What skills will you be bringing to the group?
  2. What do you have to offer that will benefit this group?
  3. What do you expect to get out of the group?

By asking these simple questions, you will be able to asses if these potential members will be a benefit to your group.

Finding a group of people to be in a group will be a lot like extended family. And just like any relationship, it will take time and dedication to nurture the relationship so that it will thrive, just like you want your group to do. So take the time to determine what is best for you and your situation. Invest the time into it, and you will have a thriving group of like minded souls.

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When your Prepping Plans Hit a Road Block Part 1

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When your Prepping Plans Hit a Road Block Part 1We are always evolving, and always preparing for the unknown. But what if the disaster you are preparing for never happens? Or, what if you have to move, or life happens, and what do you do when your prepping plans hit a road block and get derailed?

Even if we have tried to think about every hypothetical disaster scenario the we could possibly face, the odds are the situation won’t go as we planned. In an SHTF event everything going according to plan will be the exception, not the rule.

This is why it’s important to have a plan A, plan, B and plan C. And to make it more complicated, these plans need to intertwine so you can change course at a moment’s notice. That is what preparedness really is. Preparing for the unknown, and being flexible in your planning.

In this article from titled 10 Prepping Mistakes That Could Get You Killed they go over some of the little things that could throw a monkey wrench into your survival plans, and we decided to take it a little further.

This week we talked about ways your prepping plan can become derailed in an emergency situation, and some things we can do to increase our chances starting today. Attention to detail is critical to our survival, and the time to prepare is now, because once the game starts all bets are off.

SPP 141 When your Prepping Plans Hit a Road Block Part 1

Critical Thinking

The most important quality, in my opinion, to a life of preparedness is being flexible. None of us ever know what is going to happen or when, so being flexible in an emergency situation is a vital part of being prepared. Facing confrontation, having enough supplies for a multitude of different scenarios, and always having a plan B, and a backup plan to that plan, is what makes you a prepper.

Critical thinking means that when you hit that road block you don’t just give up, you need to have the survival attitude and figure out an alternative option. Road blocks, loss of supplies, stress and emotions could all change the dynamics of our situation, and we need to be prepared for that.

Operational Security

There are 2 parts to operational security, how you handle yourself today, and how you handle situations when the S hits the fan. In the show we talked about how this is a double edged sward because you need people on your side, but giving out too much information could make you vulnerable.

With operational security comes situational awareness. The definition of situational awareness is having the mindset in which you are constantly evaluating your surroundings for dangerous situations and any potential threats to your safety.

The Government

If things get bad, and you have prepared, you can bet on it that the government will be looking out for their best interests, not yours. You have to keep this in mind especially if you are considered a prepper. There is already a law in place that allows the government to take your stuff “for the greater good” in the event of a national disaster.

If the SHTF, you can bet that the government will rationalize coming for your preps. Even is a situation where the government seems nonexistent, they can come back in the picture and say “we’re back, and we’re here to help”

Do what you can to plan for this. If this means you hide your preps, do it. If this means you have extra food and supplies in case the government men come knocking on your door, do it. Pay attention to what is going on in the world around you and have a plan.

Being the Lone Wolf

Although it may seem like the best plan to go it alone, eventually you will need the help of others in order to be successful with your long term prepping. To some this may seem like a no brainer, while others may have issues trusting other people, especially in a disaster situation.

But you have to get over this aversion to others. Start this planning now. Develop relationships with likeminded people, and find out how your skills and their skills can complement each other. It is like anything we do, and change is inevitable.

The more you work on it, the better you will become, so do it in baby steps. If you feel better prepping alone, do this for a while, but then begin putting yourself out there. If you have a significant other, bring them on board, slowly. You can do the same with family members, and continue to grow our network.

The most important thing to understand is that you cannot do this alone, there really is safety in numbers, and we are a social animal. Like it or not, you do need other people.

All Tools and No Knowledge

You have probably heard this a hundred times, but what would you do if you had nothing? All these tools are great, and make everything easier, but in the end they are just tools. We need to have the ability to improvise, and the only way to do that is to understand the complete process.

It’s great to have a good water filter, but if you don’t understand how water filtration works, you won’t be able to build your own if necessary. Depending on your Bic lighter to work every time is just setting yourself up for failure.

Coming Up…

IN part 2 we are going to go over tunnel vision, dealing with emotions and stress, the little things, and the survival mindset. To get an email when we post new articles subscribe to Survivalist Prepper by signing up in the sidebar on your right.

Also Mentions in the Podcast…

Latest Contest: This month we are giving away 2 Tac Bar Survival Ration Packages, an inside the waistband holster from Precision Holsters and a few packages of Bannock Boil in Bag Camping Meals (more on this below) To enter the contest click here.

Legacy Bannock Meals: We are happy to announce that Legacy Foods just added Bannock boil in bag camping meals to their inventory and we now have them available at the These are similar to Mountain House meals and I am going to do a review on them in the near future.

Changing Earth and Armed Couples Podcasts: At the end of this week’s show I played a sneak peak of the interview we did with Sara Hathaway for her Changing Earth Podcast. Also on the show was Toby and his wife Melisa from the Armed Couples Podcast. You can listen to the full podcast when Sara publishes it next week.

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Things You MUST Do To Survive a House Fire

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Things You MUST Do To Survive a House Fire

“The following article was contributed by James Smith, an avid prepper with a passion for self-protection at all levels”

The hazards of a fire are deadly and may even prove fatal if proper precautions are not taken. Thousands of Americans lost their lives to such life-haunting misfortunes that can strike your house anytime due to minor malfunctioning, taking you by surprise and robbing you of your most prized possessions.

However, nothing is more precious than human life. These incidents usually happen uninformed and the best way is to be prepared beforehand.

Planning for a fire

A sensible family would make it a point to keep their family members aware and educated about the possibilities of an accidental fire and the logical steps to follow. The key to surviving in such situations is not to panic and think of practical solutions rather than creating havoc.

Having you and your family learn certain skills such as those of handling, first aid kits and basic medical knowledge can save a life. Continue reading

Getting Started With Chickens and Supplies

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Getting Started With Chickens and SuppliesChickens are a wonderful addition to your prepping endeavor. They are easy to raise and will provide meat and eggs for your family. But how do you get started? It isn’t difficult, you just need to do a little planning, and then you will be ready to have your own flock of chickens!

Purchasing Chickens

Where do you buy chickens you may be wondering? If you are lucky enough to have a big box farm store like Murdoch’s, or The Big R you just need to wait until early spring. Around Easter every year, they will bring out the huge troughs filled with baby chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese to tempt you to buy them for your children’s Easter basket.

There is also the added benefit of being able to purchase feed and the supplies you will need in order to get your flock started easy.

If you don’t have one of these stores close by, you can even buy your chicks online. The benefit of this is you can predetermine when you want to get your chicks, and you can do some research of which chickens will work the best for you. There are many different breeds of chickens, so being able to learn about each breed is helpful before you buy them.

SPP115 Getting Started With Chickens and Supplies

Listen to this weeks show for more information about raising chicks into chickens…

How it works

You go to the online site where you want to buy your chicks, fill out the order form, and bamo! Your chickens will be delivered to you by mail! These hatcheries ship the baby chicks when they are one day old, and believe it or not, the chicks are very hardy already. We have purchased this way before, and have always had good outcomes (meaning no dead babies)

Purchasing Chickens Online:

  1. My Pet Chicken: [Click Here]
  2. Chickens for Backyards: [Click Here]
  3. Cackle Hatchery: [Click Here]

If you are buying the baby chicks online, you can even have your chickens vaccinated to protect them against Marek’s Disease. This is a widespread disease affecting domestic chickens in all sections of the world.  It is characterized by lesions affecting the nervous system, organs, and other tissues.  Young chickens under 16 weeks of age are most susceptible.  There is no treatment for Marek’s once the birds are infected.

Chicks must be vaccinated as close to the time of hatch as possible for the vaccine to be effective.  Vaccinating your birds for Marek’s is another appropriate step in strong poultry management.

Once you have decided you would like to have your own chickens, there are some things you will need in preparation for the arrival of your chicks.

You will need:

The information below is from the website Chickens For Backyards, we have purchased chickens and ducks from them and we have had very good results.


The temperature should be kept at 95 degrees under heat source for the first 2-5 days, then reduce it by 5 degrees each week until you reach 70 degrees. The chicks should not need much heat after that unless it is particularly cold. A thermometer is recommended to monitor the temperature. Also watch the chicks’ behavior to judge whether or not to make adjustments.


You should provide 4’ x 4’ space per 25 chicks to start. For grown birds, you need 3-4 square feet per bird.


Use feeders and waterers designed for chicks under 4 weeks of age so they are able to see the feed or water and reach it easily.


You can use medicated feed and use amprol in the chicks’ drinking water from second day until 6 months of age to prevent coccidiosis.


Use large pine shavings, hay or straw for bedding. Do not use sawdust, sand, cypress or cedar shavings (cypress and cedar are toxic to chicks). Also do not use newspaper because it is too slick.


Use chick starter and sprinkle on paper towels for the chicks. After the first day, use feed troughs low enough so the chicks can see and reach the feed easily. Keep feed available at all times.

Things to know about baby chickens

It is common for birds to use their beak to groom or pick themselves. Baby chicks will often pick each other if they are too hot, too crowded, or without fresh air. Sometimes bright light will cause the picking and changing to a red bulb may help. Picking can also be caused by stress from having the light on 24 hours a day. After two weeks, you may need to consider an alternate heat source instead of a light. After dropping the temperature each week and if they no longer need the heat source, remove the light or heat source.

Sometimes they pick for no apparent reason. Try putting in fresh green grass clippings several times a day and darken the room. Chunks of grass sod can also be set around for the chicks to pick at.

To treat chicks that have been picked, apply menthol ointment on the injured area and keep up the treatment until healed.


Sometimes, the stress of shipping causes the manure to stick to the back of the chick. It is important to remove this daily. Wash it off with a warm cloth and warm water. It will disappear in a few days as the chick starts to grow. If it continues to be a problem add a sulfa-type drug to their drinking water as directed on the package.


Live animals and pets can be a source of potentially harmful microorganisms, germs (including salmonella) and bacteria. Therefore, precautions must be taken when handling and caring for them. Children should be supervised to make sure they don’t put their hands or fingers in their mouth, nose or eyes after handling the animals. Always wash your hands with soap and water after handling any animal or pet.


  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam.
  • Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.
  • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer until you are able to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Clean any equipment or materials associated with raising or caring for live poultry, such as cages or feed or water containers.


  • Don’t let children younger than 5 years of age, elderly persons, or people with weak immune systems handle or touch livestock including poultry.
  • Don’t let livestock inside the house, in the bathrooms or especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens or outdoor patios.
  • Don’t snuggle or kiss livestock, touch your mouth, or eat or drink around livestock.

But When Will I get Eggs???

Your chickens will be able to live outside when they have their feathers. This is at about 5 weeks old.  So you have plenty of time once you get your baby chicks to get your chicken house ready for them.

The hens will start laying eggs when they are about 4 to 5 months old.

This is why I would suggest getting your chickens early, because it will take about 4 months before they will start producing eggs for you. But once they start laying, get ready for it! Depending on what breed of chicken you choose will depend on how many eggs they will lay per week. In my experience, we usually get 3-4 eggs a day from 4 young hens. That means during the summer, if you have 4 chickens, you will get close to 2 dozen eggs a week. Their egg production will slow down a lot during the winter, and as they age. But when they are young, you will have a bounty of fresh eggs!

Our newest flock will be coming to us around March 7th, so it will be July before they will begin laying, but after that, we will be having a lot of fresh eggs!

Holster & Tac-Bar Giveaway

tac bar and precision holster contestIn the last few episodes of the Survivalist Prepper podcast Lisa and I have mentioned the latest giveaway we are doing that includes a holster from Precision Holsters and a Tac-Bar survival rations package from Expedition Research. Click here to find out more about the contest.

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Emergency Cooking Ideas and Operational Security

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Emergency Cooking Ideas and Operational SecurityThese days we have the convenience of turning on a stove or grill and cooking a nice juicy steak, or turning on the oven at the flip of a switch and baking fresh bread for the family, but what would you do if that wasn’t an option?

Or worse yet, what would you do if it was an option, but the delicious smell it put off was ringing the dinner bell for unwanted guests?

While there are is no shortage of emergency cooking ideas (and I am going to list some here) and operational security is critical when you are cooking, and no one else in the neighborhood has food.

Unless you feel like opening up a SHTF soup kitchen, there are some things that need to be considered, and this means more than what you are cooking.

In this week’s show Lisa and I talked about some emergency cooking ideas, as well as how important operational security is in avoiding some of the risks involved.

SPP134 Emergency Cooking Ideas and Operational Security

Advertising and the Risks

Free Food Open HouseIf we are talking about some sort of emergency that is only going to last a few days, such as a natural disaster or manmade disaster that causes a power outage, cooking smells and where they travel might not be a huge issue.

Food in the grocery stores will only last a few days without resupply in normal times, that 3 days could be cut to 3 hours in an emergency. After as little as a week, or even a few days, people will start to get hungry and be looking for handouts.

Once they figure out that FEMA is not coming to the rescue, they might come knocking on your front door, and you would need start thinking about your safety, and how to minimize the risks.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPSThis is a bit of a double edged sward because it’s not feasible to think that we can go it alone, but we do need to be careful about what you say, and who you say it to. I talk quite a bit to some people about prepping (more than I probably should), but one thing that never comes up is “how much” I have.

I don’t hide the fact that I am a prepper from anyone who asks, mainly because with the website and the podcast they could find out anyway. When I am asked how I can justify turning people away in a crisis, I simply tell them that my responsibility is protecting my family, that I don’t have any insider information, and anyone can do it if they choose to…including them.

Regardless what you do, the odds are someone will be coming to your door depending on how bad the situation gets. It’s up to you how you handle these situations, but they do need to be talked about and planned for.

Did You Smell That!?

do you smell that foodWe’ve all driven by a restaurant or walked in the house and said “that smells amazing!” When you are the last one on the block with food, that’s the last thing you want to happen.

If you live in a rural area, and the wind is blowing in the right direction it might not be as big problem, but if you live in an urban area, your neighbor is probably 20 feet away, and can smell anything you cook.

Foods that only require boiling, low fat foods and foods with very few spices are going to give off the least smell. When you grill a steak the juices run off and create a mouthwatering smell, and when you bake a chicken covered in spices, it might taste fantastic, but that smell is likely to travel around the neighborhood.

Canned Food: Other than the trash buildup, canned food is a great idea because it can be heated easily, but doesn’t require heating. DIY canning and dehydration also falls into this category, but it needs to be done beforehand.

Long Term Food: Prepackaged food like the Legacy products we sell are also great because they give off very little smell and only require boiling water to prepare.

Uncooked Food: I’m not suggesting you eat raw hamburger, but fruits and vegetables might be available initially, but won’t last long. If you have a garden that would be better, but that might also make you a target.

It’s Dinner Time!

Another precaution you can take is planning when you cook. Because most of us are active and eat during the day, you might want to do your cooking late at night, or very early in the morning.

You will also need to give extra consideration to security because you won’t be able to see if someone is on their way over at night, and people feel more embolden under the cover of darkness.

Trash Buildup is a Red Flag

hide your trashOne last thing you need to keep in mind is what you are going to do with your trash after you are done cooking. The odds are trash pickup will not be available, and as it begins to buildup you don’t want people seeing empty boxes of cereal, and empty cans of food.

Burning it will probably not be an option, but burying it might be. At the very least, you can put it in black trash bags that are hidden…out of sight, out of mind.

Emergency Cooking Options

Gas Generators: These might be an option early on, but most are really loud, and require fuel storage. We have an 8,000 Watt generator which will be useful for power outages and natural disasters, but not a full blown SHTF event. With proper ventilation you could even run a generator from your basement.

Solar Generators: You can purchase a solar generator like the Goal Zero, but this would cost you thousands of dollars. A DIY solar generator like the one I am working on is a little more cost effective, and will eventually turn into an all-out solar powered battery bank.

Gas Stoves: If you have a gas powered stove you are one of the lucky ones, we are not so lucky. These will operate even when to power grid goes down, although you will need to use a lighter to light the flame.

Wood Fire: A fireplace or wood burning stove are great to have, but this is another method I would think twice about long term, because you are basically giving off smoke signals to the neighborhood. That being said, we are still looking to get a wood burning stove insert for our fireplace.

Sun Ovens or Solar Cookers: We have a Sun Oven, and we love it! It gives off very little smell, and can cook almost anything. The downside is that they need to be outside with plenty of light, and are hard to camouflage. There are plenty of DIY ideas for solar cookers, but they won’t be as efficient as an All American Sun Oven.

Propane Grill: Most of us have an outdoor grill, but the only part of that grill I will be using in a SHTF scenario are the side burners. This could be the biggest dinner bell you can ring, because I always know when my neighbors are cooking hamburgers and ribs.

Coleman Grill: A good camp grill is a little better option because the fat and juices stay in the pan rather than getting burned off. These can also be used indoors in an emergency, although you do need proper ventilation…and a fire extinguisher just in case.

Hot Plate: The average hot plate takes about 1200 watts to run (that’s quite a bit) but you will need some way to generate power to use it. If you have a way to generate power these are a good option, if you don’t, there are plenty of other options.

Sterno Cooking: cooking with Sterno canisters might not be the most efficient, but it can be done indoors, just as caterers and restaurants do all the time. While these would take a while to boil water, they can be used to heat food up, and even heat yourself up.

Oil Lantern Cooker: A friend on Facebook mentioned an Oil Lantern Cooker which seems like a great idea because not only can you cook or heat something up, it’s also another source of light and heat.

DIY & Rocket Stoves: Whether you are talking about a folding camp stove or a DIY rocket stove, these are great because basically smaller fuel = smaller fire = less smell.

Sweat the Small Stuff

Whichever method of emergency cooking you decide on make sure you have everything else you need to get the job done. Make sure you have plenty of fuel, this includes wood, propane, gasoline and even sun for solar.

You should have these anyway, but make sure you have lighters and matches or you will be rubbing sticks together. Also, whatever you do, don’t forget to have a manual can opener, that fancy electric can opener will be useless if the power is out.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention safety one more time. Make sure you have fire extinguishers (certified) and proper ventilation if you plan on cooking inside, an accident could cause more problems than just eating dinner.

Also From the Show

The Back To Basics Bundle is now on sale, but it will only be available until the 25th of January. This package includes…
– 55 eBooks
– 10 eCourses, memberships and subscriptions
– 14 bonus offers
– Getting Started PDF–To help you keep track of everything in the bundle.
– Exclusive emails with articles to help you get back to basics and special offers throughout the year.

Click here to have a look.

Upcoming Contest

tac bar and holsterI also mentioned a couple of items we are going to be giving away in the next contest. The guys at Precision Holsters are letting us give away a holster of your choice.

And Expedition Research  (Also Apollo-Tactical) is giving away some of their Tac-Bars survival rations.

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Getting Old Sux! Managing Expiration Dates

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Getting Old Sux Managing Expiration DatesWhen we think about expiration dates we all think about our food storage, you might have even thought that this article was going to be all about food expiration dates. While food might have the lowest expiration date, and it is important, there are a few more supplies we need to pay attention to, including our own expiration date.

The reason I titles this post “Betting Old Sux! And Managing Expiration Dates” is because no matter how hard we try to be completely prepared, supplies expire, our family makeup changes, our health changes as we get older and life seems to throw us the unexpected at the worst possible times.

Managing expiration dates and changing plans is all part of the game. Whether you are talking about disaster planning, or fixing a broken window, if we can’t get that stuff figured out now while times are good, we have no hope when help is not on the way.

Expiration is inevitable, even the sun and earth will expire someday. Expiration is a fact of life, and a part of prepping we just have to deal with.

This double edged sward leaves you with 2 options, the first is to wait as long as you can before you buy something, hoping nothing happens before you get to it. The second choice (and smart one) is to purchase these supplies, and pay close attention to rotation and inventory.

This week in the show Lisa and I talked about everything from food storage to medical supplies, and how to maximize their shelf lives.

SPP133 Getting Old Sux! Managing Expiration Dates

Food Storage: Everyone has their own method of inventory and rotation, but I can tell you from experience that the more food you store the harder it is to keep track of. This is especially true for canned goods because they tend to hide in the back corners of your cabinets.

This article has an inventory worksheet you can download, and this article explains the different types of food storage and techniques, from canned food to long term food storage.

How you Store Your Supplies: When we think of expiration dates we tend to think about food, but proper storage also plays a role in how long our other supplies last. Temperature, humidity and time are all enemies of our supplies, make sure they are cleaned after use, and stored properly to extend their lifespan.

Fuel and Cars: Hopefully you know about how important fuel storage is, if you don’t this article will explain everything about rotation and fuel additives. It’s not just important to store extra fuel, it’s important to do regular maintenance on our vehicles because you don’t want it to break down when you need it most.

Home Maintenance: There might come a day when the handyman will be gone and fixing something is not just a phone call away. Learning how to do some of these tasks yourself will not only help in a SHTF situation, you might even save a few bucks along the way. There are also other DIY prepping projects you can do to learn new skills and save some money.

General Supplies: There are so many other prepping supplies that at one point or another are going to need replacing. Water filters, air filtration masks and batteries will only last so long, so we need to know how to extend their lifespan, and know how to survive without them.

Medical Supplies: This one really gets me because medical supplies are not cheap, but they are absolutely necessary. Prescription medications, OTC Medications (over the counter) and even Band-Aids all have an expiration date and will need to be replaced. While we can “push” the expiration dates with some of these, they lose their potency and effectiveness over time.

Our Health: Our own expiration date is the most important of all expiration dates. Not only because if we are dead none of this matters, but also because if we are not healthy it makes everything else harder on us and everyone around us.

By eating right, exercising, and paying attention to what our bodies are telling us, we can hopefully increase our expiration dates, and increase our ability to do certain tasks that might be necessary…although nothing in life is guaranteed.

Our Family & Our Plans: Like it or not even the best plans are going to change over time. As our family gets older, as our family structure changes and as our financial situation changes, so will our plans. A disaster preparedness plan that took hours of planning and works perfectly now, might not work so well in a year from now. We need to be able and willing to pivot and change our plan how our situation dictates.

Money: One thing we weren’t able to get to in the show was managing our money. You might not think about money having an expiration date, but depending on our bills our paychecks only last so long. You can spend money wisely, you could save money by using coupons and there are even a few ways to make a little extra cash for prepping.

Also From the Show…

I have mentioned the Back to Basics Bundle a few times over the last few weeks, and it’s finally here…almost. This is set to be released for sale on the 18th and will only be available for 7 days.

You can sign up for the 15 day challenge (free) and also get email updates when the package goes on sale. This package is huge, and a great deal!

Tac Bar Contest and Review

tac bar ammo canI have been working with Aaron from Expedition Research on a monthly contest for the Tac-Bar Bug Out Box which includes…

  • 12,500 Calories
  • 10 Aquatabs (10 liters)
  • Zero Preparation
  • 4 Quarts Volume

On the website they state that there is no other ready-to-eat food ration as fortified with what your body requires to survive and perform at its peak, whatever your mission.

I will be doing a review on this shortly, and I can’t wait to share my results. Aaron is also the person responsible for the Apollo-Tactical compound bow that we just gave away, and the one I have that I absolutely love!

The Colony on ABC

In Tin Foil Hat Time, we talked about a new show from the USA network called Colony. Here is the trailer for that show, and it looks great!

The post Getting Old Sux! Managing Expiration Dates appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Bug Out Planning and Evasion

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Bug Out Planning and EvasionLet’s face it, there is a very small percentage of us that want to even think about bugging out, we have all our supplies in our home, we feel comfortable there and our family knows exactly where we are.

So why would we ever even think about bugging out?

The reality is that although unlikely it’s becoming more and more possible that something disastrous could happen on U.S. soil that would make bugging out necessary.  Here are a few ideas about why bug out planning and evasion are important that I can think of off the top of my head…

The president decided to stay in office: I know quite a few people think this is completely outrageous, but it is possible, even presidential hopeful Ben Carson thinks so. This could happen if the current president decided that conditions were too volatile to have an election and postpone it…do you think he would? He has shown time and time again he will do whatever he wants.

Natural disasters: Hopefully a natural disaster would not be very long term and your options would not be as limited. Bugging out could mean going to a relative’s house for a few weeks or living in a hotel. If this were an earthquake or massive flooding it could mean much longer.

Nuclear disaster: This doesn’t just mean if someone decided to drop a bomb on U.S. soil, this could mean a meltdown at a nuclear power plant. Along with nuclear disasters there are other manmade disasters that could cause you to bug out like long term power outages or even the food and gasoline supply lines getting disrupted.

Economic collapse: You might think that the last thing you would want to do in an economic collapse would be to bug out, but if you pay rent or mortgage and don’t have the means to pay, you might not have a choice. This is why it’s important to get our personal affairs in line now while we still can.

Civil unrest: This could be cause by many different factors including all of the above, if your neighborhood becomes too dangerous you will have to make the choice to fight, or live to fight another day.

SPP128 Bug Out Planning and Evasion

Bug Out Planning and Scenarios

In order to be properly prepared we need to look at every possibility even if it’s something we don’t even want to think about. If we do this, we are no better off than the sheeple who have their heads buried in the sand ignoring the problems that are standing right in front of them.

In the video below I go through what we need to keep in mind when we think about bugging out, how bugging out is different for urban, suburban and rural settings and my technique for planning a bug out route.

Bug Out Planning

Getting Family Together: Thinking about what we would do ourselves is one thing, but getting the family together is an important part of bug out planning. If your family members are in different parts of the state, you will need to have a plan to get everyone together and on the same page.

Timing is Everything: Depending on where you live, the disaster scenario and the threats in your area timing is going to be critical. If you leave too late the roads could be packed and danger could be everywhere. In a suburban area you might have a little more time, but in an urban area it’s important to make quick decisions.

Plan on Getting Separated: Everything we do when we plan our bug out route is to keep everyone together, but if we don’t have a plan for when we get separated it could throw a monkey wrench into our plans.

Avoid Refugee Routes: An integral part of bug out planning is planning where you are not going to go. The last thing you want to do is think you are safe, turn the corner and be right in the middle of a riot or run into a dead end. We also talk about avoiding highways and other funnel points in the video.

Outside Communications: Your options are going to be limited in most scenarios, but we need to think about every option we might have available to get information about what is going on and where it is happening.

The Mob Mentality: During a disaster most people lose every brain cell they have in their head and will do things they normally wouldn’t do because everyone else is. This could also be called the herd mentality because when people can’t figure out what to do, they look to see what others are doing.

Expect the Unexpected: Even the best laid out plans fail so expect to have to make some decisions on the fly. A road you have traveled every day of your life without problems could be blocked the one day you really need to get through. Expect Murphy’s law to be in full affect in situations like this.

Be the Gray Man: The best way to get out of a dangerous situation is to fly under the radar. Being the grey man basically means being as unnoticeable and unremarkable as possible. You don’t wear cammo in the city, and you don’t wear a 3-piece suit in the country.

Planning Your Route

In the middle of this video I showed the 3 tier approach I use to plan a bug out route. This might not work for everyone, but it will give you an idea how it works.

Planning ahead can help you avoid dangerous areas in your route as well as helping other members of your family (or team) meet up with you in the safest area possible.

Bugging Out: Urban, Suburban and Rural

Finally, at the end of the video I talked about some of the differences in bugging out you will need to think about depending on where you live.

In an urban area you might know nothing about the people that live on the same block as you and your window of opportunity is going to be much smaller than someone who lives in a suburban area and might have better relationships with their neighbors.

Hopefully this video gives you some ideas about bug out planning and the differences to look for when you are making your individual plan.

If you have any other ideas leave a comment below…

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15 SHTF Perimeter Security and Alarm Ideas

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15 SHTF Perimeter Security and Alarm IdeasLet’s imagine for a second that TEOTWAWKI (The end of the world as we know it) has just happened and our operational security gauge is pinned to the max, how long would it be until you noticed that someone, or some group was headed for your front door?

Perimeter security and alarms on our property in a SHTF event is critical because it could give us the valuable seconds we need to defend ourselves and our family.

This article is not about land mines and booby traps that could get you put in jail for accidentally taking your neighbors leg off, or about high-tech security systems. This article is about some low cost ways to deter someone from entering your property, or alerting you if they do.

SPP118 Perimeter Security and Alarms

These ideas are not just for home security, with a little imagination these can be used on the event you need to bug out or set up camp somewhere other than your home. If you have any perimeter security ideas that aren’t listed here I would love to hear them in the comments below.

Intruder Deterrents


This is the lowest tech option here, but affective none the less. You won’t need electricity or extra batteries, but you will need to feed them every day. The dog doesn’t necessarily have to be aggressive, it just needs to sound aggressive and alert you that something is out of the ordinary.

Lisa and I have 1 dog who stays outside and is very protective of his property, and a dog who lives inside that sounds like he would eat your face off, but loves people so long as they are welcome guests. If you can survive his dog style high fives to the crotch, you are probably good to go.

For this application the size and aggressiveness aren’t a factor, the ruckus they make is.

Dog Bones & Scarecrows

chiwawa big dog boneAlong with owning a dog (and even if you don’t) is having dog toys laying around the front yard. I’m not talking about tennis balls and little dog bones, I’m talking about a dog bone the size of a human leg.

Our dog doesn’t play with tennis balls because they get shredded within minutes. He does play with a flattened basketball however. These 2 signals alone might make someone think twice before entering your property.

scarecrow securityThis might sound a little like Halloween but think about it, If you had a scarecrow or mannequin set up on your front porch, sitting on a rocking chair and holding a broom stick, what would that look like to someone walking up to your house in the evening? The first thing that comes to my mind is a grumpy old man with a shotgun.

Posted Signage

you are on camera gun ownerAs I’ll talk about later having a sign posted and a fake security camera that says you have a security system could be a deterrent to an intruder. Most criminals are lazy and are looking for the easiest target with the least amount of risk involved.

In a SHTF situation this might not work as well as because the chances of police coming to help you are minimal. In this case a “beware of dog” sign or a “never mind the dog, beware of owner” sign might be more affective.

Operational Security

As the saying goes “You don’t have to be faster than the bear, just faster than the person next to you.” The same holds true for your home. Your house doesn’t have to look like a junk yard, but you might want it to be less appealing than the rest of the homes in your neighborhood.

Put yourself in the shoes of a criminal or marauder, what would they see as they drive by and case the neighborhood? Is there a nice shiny BMW sitting in the driveway, or is your garage door always open?  Is there anything about your home that says “I’m an easy target, come on in.”

Funnel Them In

funnel them inWhenever we walk somewhere (even just around the yard) we always subconsciously pick the easiest route, it’s only after we consciously think about it that we pick the best route.

Since 6” tall electrified security fences are not an option for most of us we need to think outside the box a little bit. Have a look at the perimeter of your home and figure out a system to funnel them where you want them to go.

You can plant trees like the Russian olive tree or put up a fence but if someone wants to get in, they will. If you make sure and have a clearly defined “easy route” you will at least know where they are coming from.  If there are bushes surrounding your house and the only two easy entrance ways are the driveway and back walk way, most people are going to take the easies, quietest route.

Know Thy Neighbor

This could possibly be the easiest and low cost option available, all you have to do is take some cookies to your neighbor and say hello. You don’t need to become best buds with your neighbors, but if they feel like they know you (even just a little) they will be more inclined to tell you if they see something strange.

Just a little side note, when you bring them a gift they will feel like they owe you. I’m not talking in a bad way like “Great! Now I have to make them some cookies.” I’m talking about “This person was nice to me, so I guess I’ll let them know I saw someone driving by their house really slow last night.”

Perimeter Alarms & Cameras

Motion Detector

mighty mule driveway alarmThere are all sorts of options when it comes to motion sensors ranging from well under $100 to over $200 dollars.  A simple motion detector like this one is less than $20 has limited range, but depending on the size of your property is very useful.

Some of these motion detectors will set off an alarm at the detector itself, but some will alert you remotely, as will some of the higher end models.

Game Cameras

Having one of these game cameras won’t alert you right away, but if you happen to scare someone off you might get a picture of who or what was trying to get a closer look at you.

These game cameras run around $50 give or take so it might be a better idea to cover your other bases before you get one of these. These are more of a ‘Recon” or “Intel” type of security rather than an alarm.

Motion lights

solar security lightsThe bad guys like to hide in the cover of darkness. If we can take that away, we take away the element of surprise. These might not alert us like sound would, but combined with an audible alarm this could be very affective.

These could be as simple as a few solar yard lights strategically placed, or high wattage security lights that make them feel like they just stepped on stage at Madison Square Gardens. The more you can see, the more you can assess the situation.

Trip Lines

Brite-Strike Camp Alert Perimeter Security Alarm SystemsI recently ordered one of these Brite-Strike Camp Alert Perimeter Security Alarm Systems and will be doing a video review of it shortly. It comes with 65 feet of mono filament line, 2 L.E.D. lights and the alarm unit.

This product is marketed for camping and hiking which makes it perfect for bug out bags, but it can be used in places around your property like driveways, walkways or funneled pathways you have created.

Tin Can Trip Wire

Along the same lines at the Brite Strike is a DIY trip line. These can be made with fishing line or paracord and tin cans filled with rocks or anything else that clanks and makes noise.

Pull String Firecrackers

Ok, were talking super low budget here, and you probably won’t want to depend on securing your entire perimeter with a bunch of firecrackers, but in certain situations they can be better than nothing.

These could be used around a barn, shed or even the threshold of your front porch to alert you of an unwanted presence. Just like the Brite Strike these can be useful for bugging out or camping.

Night Vision

night vision monocularDepending on what you get night vision binoculars (or monocular like this one) can get pretty expensive. This could work out in your favor though because that means not everyone will have them…civilians anyway.

Being able to see at night will level the playing field and possible tip it in your favor. While the really good night vision will put you back over $1000, there are some lower cost monocular’s that will do the job, and even some toys that can do the job at close range.

Night Vision Camera

Bunker Hill Security Color Security SystemI found this night vision camera set up on eBay and for the price it almost seems too good to be true. But after watching a few videos it doesn’t look too bad for the price.

This is not true night vision like you see on TV, but you will be able to see movement at night. With some strategically placed lighting this could be a good set up for the price. I’ll be doing a review on this soon also.

Fake Security Cameras

fake security cameraAt the very least you can get a couple of fake security cameras, and in combination with a “this property protected by” sign in the front yard. Keep in mind, just like the scarecrow, this is a bluff that will hopefully make someone think twice.

If you were to combine just a few of these options and use them to secure the perimeter of your property, you would become less of a target than just about everyone in your neighborhood. Sometimes the impression you are paying attention is just as important as having these security devices and alarms themselves.

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Solar Powered Appliances that Will Save You Money and Prepare You for an Emergency.

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Solar panel harness energy of the sun

Solar isn’t just the next big trend—it’s here to stay. Energy from the sun will be available for as long as we’re around, and the technology that helps us harness it is steadily improving. The best part is that with the right equipment, turning radiant light from the sun into direct current electricity is always free. And when we make use of that free energy in our homes, we save money, establish greater independence from utility companies with their rising rates, and better protect the environment and its resources.

Some people are deterred from using solar energy because they’re not ready to invest in the equipment required to install a rooftop photovoltaic solar system. If that’s you, there are still ways you can save money on your monthly energy bills. In fact, if you ever plan on going solar, buying energy-efficient appliances first will reduce your home’s energy demands. This could in turn reduce the amount of solar cells needed to cover the demand, and thereby save you money. Check out these solar appliances that will cut back your utility use, and then head over to Modernize for more ideas on incorporating solar power into your home.

Solar Tube Lighting

Solar Tube LIghtingBad lighting inside your home can be frustrating. It makes even the easiest tasks hard on the eyes. If you spend much of your time in a room that has no access to daylight, you’re probably suffering under a bright yellow overhead light or desk lamp. But with a solar tube, you can bring evenly-distributed daylight to interior rooms or hallways that have no access to it otherwise. Solar tubes capture sunlight using a rooftop dome, draw it through a reflective tube, and distribute it into your room by way of a diffuser that looks somewhat like an ordinary overhead light fixture. Solar tubes can be installed to provide light just about anywhere you need one, which means you can turn off your lights during the day and conserve energy.


A solar fridge may seem somewhat ironic since it’s the sun that provides the energy to keep the appliance cold. But solar fridges can stabilize at low temperatures, keeping everything from food to medical supplies fresh, wherever you are. This is the perfect appliance for people who live in remote areas or like to buy supplies in bulk.

There are also solar powered, battery operated freezers to keep your food fresh without the monthly financial sacrifice. Solar powered freezers and refrigerators work great for houses that aren’t tied to the grid. They are available in various sizes to accommodate your storage needs, and they are great for RV trips or long stays at a remote cabin or campsite.

Attic Fan

solar attic fanYour HVAC system is responsible for most of the energy your home uses, meaning it accounts for the biggest chunk of your monthly electricity bill. There are several ways to improve the efficiency of your HVAC, from adding attic insulation to seeking out and repairing leaks that cause the heat to escape and ultimately be wasted. But one of the tricks that might not immediately come to mind is the use of a solar powered attic fan.

A solar attic fan will help stabilize the temperature in your attic as well as keep moisture away from vulnerable structural aspects. This will also protect whatever personal belongings you store up there. Most importantly, keeping the attic space moderate will also stabilize your indoor home temperature, making your family more comfortable and saving you money on heating and air. This appliance requires no electrical wiring, making for low-hassle installation.

Yard Lights

Solar yard lighting is convenient, easy, and affordable. Outdoor solar yard lights preserve energy and help make your yard a more secure yet inviting area. One of the advantages of solar lights is that, due to the fact that they require no electrical wiring, they can be conveniently installed where traditional lights are difficult to install, such as the very edge of your yard or even within your pathway. Solar lights are low maintenance and free to use. They can also add aesthetic accents to your home. There are thousands of options when it comes to porch lights, yard lights, flood lights, and path markers.

Sun Oven

Solar OvenYou may think of solar ovens as simply a science project you tried out at summer camp one time, but have you thought of using one to make meals at home? A solar powered oven reaches the same temperatures as your home oven, but it doesn’t use any fuel. It also protects you and your family from the danger of fire. Most people think of solar ovens as something that makes cooking while camping a little easier—but you can use it in your backyard on any sunny day.

You can choose one that is better suited for personal use if you’re cooking for just yourself and another person, but there are also large ovens that allow you to prepare meals for more people. They allow you to bake, boil, or steam your food for variety. But the biggest advantage of a solar oven, and many solar appliances in general, is that it helps prepare you for an emergency. In the event of an emergency, you may not have access to fuel that allows you to cook food or heat water. Solar ovens can also help you dry out firewood.

Water Heater

Did you know you can use sunshine to heat your water? Solar water heaters use the concept of passive solar energy. This means that it requires a roof-mounted panel full of fluid to collect heat, then uses that fluid to transport the heat to your water tank. A solar water heating system can cut your water costs in half, and it can help you independently heat your water without relying on traditional utilities as much as you would otherwise.

Ultimately, solar appliances better prepare their users to deal with the challenges of surviving without access to utilities and electricity. With each solar appliance you buy, you become more self-sufficient and less reliant on outside sources of energy and fuel. These renewable energy solutions will help you and your family feel safe and secure in the event of an emergency.

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Increase Your Prepping Budget With the Money you Already Have

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Increase Your Prepping Budget With the Money you Already Have

When we talk about ways to increase your prepping budget with the money you already have it means managing your money, and paying attention to where every penny you spend goes. You can make your dollars go farther by simply creating a budget, and sticking to it.

At first it can be hard, but don’t get discouraged. Just like everything we do, with practice and dedication you will create a habit. But you have to stick with it, and it will become easier each time. YOU can do it! Pay attention to what you spend on a daily basis, and keep track of it.

Don’t Talk Yourself Into Buying Something.

Always ask yourself do you really need it? And if you do, why do you need it? Is it something you can use every day? How will this purchase make your life better? Does it serve a purpose? Is the purchase a want, or a need?

Episode 117 Prepping and Budgeting

If you can, wait to make the purchase until you are sure you really need it. Don’t fall for the impulse buy, wait at least 24 hours, or longer if you can before making the purchase. Companies spend millions of dollars in order to find out what it is that create the perfect buying environment, don’t fall for it!

Think about the purchase before you make it! Don’t make excused for the purchase, like I will be able to use it for something, it is a great deal, or it’s on sale. Do your research and your homework before spending your hard earned dollars.

Prioritize and Plan Your Purchases.

Have a deliberate plan before running out to the store. Don’t buy based on emotion. If you have a plan, you will be focused, and make a more responsible buying decision. If you go to the store to shop when you are sad or bored, you will spend money you don’t need to. Have a plan, and stick to it.

Prioritize what you need, and how you intend to be able to purchase the items. You can consider it a list, or write it out as goals that you want to achieve in order to be more prepared.

This is as simple as packing your lunch for work, or not stopping at the coffee shop every day. If you packed your lunch, you could be saving yourself at least $25.00 a week. If you stop for coffee every day, and spend $5.00 a day, there is another $25.00 a week. So by simply packing your lunch, and bringing your coffee from home, you could be saving at least $50.00 a week!

Don’t justify the eating out and coffee habit by thinking you deserve it. Yes, you do deserve to eat, but you also deserve to keep the money you work so hard for. That extra $50.00 a week could be your grocery budget for the month, or it could add to your long term food storage, or it could be money you save for your emergency fund. Don’t get distracted, make the time to pack your lunch, and bring beverages from home.

Set Short Term and Long Term Goals

If you know where your money is going, it is a lot easier to understand the places in your budget where you can save money. Create a budget and stick to it. If you are likely to pull money out of the bank, leave the credit cards at home (or better yet, cut them up to resist the temptation of using them.)

Stop justifying your indulgences. If everything were to go to crap, you won’t be able to justify stopping at Starbucks, so stop doing it today, and learn how to make your own coffee. Work smarter, not harder for your money.

If you create a budget and stick to it, you may not have to get a second job. Know where you are spending your money, and use it wisely. By creating a budget and sticking to it, you may not have to get a second job for extra income.

Ways to Stretch Your Dollars, and get the Best Deal

There are so many ways you can save money when making purchases. If you just go to the store without a list, and plan, you are setting yourself up to spending more money. Do your research!

  • Coupons
  • Weekly sales fliers
  • Buy in bulk
  • eBay
  • Thrift stores or yard sales (including Craigslist)
  • Buy with cash, not with credit cards

For example, when planning your grocery budget, look at what you currently have in your pantry, and make your meal plan from that. Create a menu for the week, or even month, and then create your grocery list from what you will need in order to make your meals. Then stick to it!

Do not go to the grocery store without having the sale fliers, and your list. Stick to the list, and buy only what you intended to purchase.

If you want to see how much you are influenced by the grocery stores, take a buggy, and in the top part of the buggy, put one of the small baskets. Every time you feel that you have to have something, and it isn’t on your list, put it in the small basket. Then when you get to the checkout line, look at what is in your small basket. When you put up those items, add up the cost of those items, and see how much extra you added to your shopping trip.

Another way to make sure you stick to your budget is to only take cash to the grocery store. Leave the debit and credit cards at home.

By taking some time to learn where your money goes every paycheck, you will be much more knowledgeable of where your money goes every month. Take the time to manage your income, as well as what you spend on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis in order to make your dollars go further.

The Survivalist Prepper Magazine

survivalist Prepper MagazineIn the introduction Dale shared with everyone the first official Survivalist Prepper Magazine is now available! Get your copy today! The first copy of the magazine is free, and available to everyone.

Current members can login and get their copy here. 

The future magazine will be released quarterly and will be available for members of the Survivalist Prepper Academy, so join the membership academy to get access to the future magazines, as well as all of the books, and extras. There is something new every month, so sign up today!

Tin Foil Hat Time

pay your taxesThis week Dale and I talked about how people would react if they had to actually cut a check every month to pay their taxes. Unless you own your own business taxes get taken directly out of our paycheck, and we don’t give it much thought.

I’m willing to bet money that if everyone had to physically write a check to the government each month like a utility bill we would not be as complaisant as we are today.

We also talked about illegal immigration, complacency, entitlement and how keeping us divided by race, religion and economic class is exactly what they want. You can listing to this in the last 20 minutes of the podcast.

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Saving Money Prepping With Coupons

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Saving Money Prepping with CouponsWith as much as there is to buy what it comes to preparing we are always looking for a way to save a few bucks here and there. One option is to save money with prepping using coupons. Although it does take some time upfront clipping coupons and getting everything together, the benefits can be huge depending on how much time and energy you put into it.

Getting started using coupons does not have to be an overwhelming task. It is just like everything else we do, baby steps! Start by planning out your shopping trip, and coordinating that with the local sale flyers from your local stores. And don’t just think about the grocery store ads, also remember places like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid.

Or if you don’t have these specific drug stores in your area, look within your local drug store. Most of these places not only have weekly flyers, but many of them also have coupons as well as store loyalty cards. This is where you can really save a lot of money on personal care items such as toiletries, cleaning supplies, and odds and ends.

You don’t have to rely on just finding the coupons within your Sunday paper, and store flyers, look to the pros online, like…

Print out the coupons you like, and then get them organized in some way so they are easy for you to find when you get to the grocery store. You can choose to use a coupon binder, or small accordion type file, or whatever works best for you.

You can get creative too, by enlisting the help of others. For example, if you have friends or neighbors that get the paper, ask them if you can have their coupons, the worst they are going to do is say no, right? I bet a lot of them don’t even use the coupons, so why not see if you could have them.

Start small, and then when you have some success, build on it. Start keeping track of the grocery store sale cycles.

Topics we Discussed in the Podcast

This week we had Traci on who has been couponing for 30 years and believe it or not started clipping coupons as a teenager. Here are some of the things we talked about in the show this week…

SPP115 Saving Money Prepping With Coupons

  • Getting started using coupons.
  • Some ways to get extra coupons.
  • How much time does the planning and coupon clipping stage take.
  • What are the best websites and apps for couponing? (Listed Above)
  • I have seen a couple of extreme couponing shows, is this realistic?
  • What would be a good way for someone to get started, who doesn’t have any experience with coupons?
  • Any useful tips that have helped you to get you to where you are with you amazing skills?
  • How much time does it take to do this? Walk us through an average week for you.
  • Suggestions on keeping your coupons Organized.
  • Other than news papers are there websites that you can go to? And what are some other ways to find coupons or just good deals.
  • What are some of your couponing techniques and/or processes?

Monthly Shopping Deals

Monthly Shopping Deals

I found this incredible list at LivingRichlyOnABudget and for a more detailed list make sure and have a look at her website. You will also find other money saving tips while you’re there.


Super Bowl Sunday: Pepsi, Coke, Chips, Dips, Cheese, Sandwich Items, Crackers, Snacks, Wings.

Clearance: Christmas Decorations, Toys, Wrapping Papers,


National Canned Food Month: Canned Fruit, Pie Fillings, Vegetables, Meats: Tuna, Chicken, Salmon


Frozen Food Month: Ice Cream, Frozen Vegetables (Boxed, Bag, or Steam), Frozen Meals, Foster Farms Chicken, Waffles, Pizza


Easter:  Ham, Eggs, Spices, Baking Supplies: Sugar, Spices, Baking Mixes, Chocolate Chips, Butter, Coconut, Marshmallows, Brownie Mix, Cake Mix

Earth Day: Organic Foods, Energy Saver, Reusable Totes

Clearance: After Easter sales


Memorial Day: BBQ Sauce, Condiments, Charcoal, Salad Dressing, Potato Chips, Dips, Grilling Meats, Hot Dogs, Hamburger Meat, Marinade, Salad Greens

Paper Products: Plates, Utensils, Insect Repellant, Sunscreen


National Dairy Month: Eggs, Milk, Ice Cream, Cheese, Cream Cheese, Butter, Yogurt, Whipping Cream, Whipped Cream, Cool Whip

End of June is Fourth or July Sales: Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, BBQ Sauce, Ketchup, Condiments, Charcoal, Salad Dressing, Potato Chips, Dips


More 4th of July BBQ Sales: Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, BBQ Sauce, Ketchup, Condiments, Charcoal, Salad Dressing, Potato Chips, Dips

End of July: Back to School Sales Begin: Crayons, Pencils, Folders, Binders


Back to School: Pudding cups, Lunch meat, Lunchables, Bread, Cold Cereal, Waffles, Lunchboxes

Clearance:  Insect Repellant, Sunscreen, Charcoal


Back to School Sales through Labor Day:  Crayons, Pencils, Folders, Binders

Baby Items: Major Baby Equipment, Baby Safety


Halloween: Candy, Fresh Pumpkin

Beginning of the Baking Sales: Canned pumpkin, Evaporated Milk, Baking Chips.

Daylight Savings Time Ends Promotions: Alarm Clocks, Batteries, Safety Equipment, Smoke Detectors


Baking Sales in Full Swing: Nuts, Chocolate Chips, Evaporated Milk, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Coconut, Cake Mixes, Hot Cocoa, Coffee, Tea.

Canned foods: Soup, Broth, Vegetables, Fruits, Spaghetti Sauce

Thanksgiving Items: Turkey, Canned Pumpkin, Stovetop Stuffing, Betty Crocker Boxed Potatoes, Gravy Mixes, Frozen Pies, Cranberry Sauce, Jell-O.


Holiday Dinner: Egg Nog, Deli Platters, Instant Potatoes, Gravy Mixes, Frozen Pies, Cranberry Sauce, Jello, Marshmallows. Sour Cream Dips, Crackers, Chips, Soda, Ham

Baking: Flour, Sugar, Butter, Cream, Cake Mix, Brownie Mix, Muffin Mix, Breads, Pie Crust, Marshmallow, Whipped cream

Canned Foods: Soup, Broth, Condensed Milk, Vegetables, Fruits, Spaghetti Sauce

Clearance: After Thanksgiving and After Christmas Sales

And the key to saving money, and stocking up, is to buy the things when they are at their lowest prices. So even if you don’t have a lot of coupons, by purchasing items when they are at their lowest price, you will be saving money, and then you won’t be spending the premium price at other times of the year.

Unfortunately couponing has gotten some bad publicity, thanks in part to shows like extreme couponing, but don’t let that detour you from saving money. You may not be able to walk out with two carts full of groceries and spend $5.86, at first, but with some due diligence, you will be able to save money while preparing some amazing meals for your family!

Not only can you save money with clipping coupons, but you can also use that extra money to add to your long term food and supply storage.

If you save $20.00 by using coupons, or buying items that are on sale, or both, you can take that extra $20.00 and use it to buy additional items to add to your long term goal. And the more you practice this, the better you will become. It is a pretty great feeling to spend less at the store, but you are actually bringing home more.

So what are you waiting for?????

Start clipping those coupons!

10 Things You Should Never Buy Again

10Things You should Never Buy again coverI also has yet another book published on Amazon titled 10 Things You Should Never Buy Again.

Academy Members: You can get this book free (and all the other books) here at the Academy, but remember you must be logged in to view the books page.

Here is an excerpt from the description…

“When you go to the store, you are bombarded with millions of products that the manufactures want you to buy. Their main goal is to separate you from your hard earned dollars. And they will do whatever they can to get you to fork out the money to buy their “stuff”. And they are very good at doing that.

But what if you never had to buy any of that stuff ever again? How much money could you save?” READ MORE HERE…

Tin Foil Hat Time

One World Government

This week in the Tin Foil Hat Time segment of the show we talked about Agenda 2030 which is basically a blueprint for so-called “sustainable development” around the world…translation, “World Government” We found this article that goes into detail about what this could all mean when you read between the lines.

As much as they would like us to believe this is all sunshine and roses, we know it never turns out that way.

New to Prepping?

If you are just beginning your preparedness journey you will find this video very helpful. Along with this video we will be sending you some email’s over the next few weeks that will give you some tips and resources to make life a little easier. Click here to watch the video.

The Preparedness Myth…

The preparedness Myth video series will also help even if you have been doing this for a while. It will give you tips about saving money, organization as well as a few bonuses along the way. Click here to watch the video.

Leave Us A Review On iTunes:

Reviews are always appreciated and I will be reading the reviews on the show along with shout outs for sharing great comments and emails. Head over to iTunes and leave us a review and help us grow.

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