11 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Moving Off-Grid

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

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

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

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

Not Accounting for Weather Conditions and Radiation Threats

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not Having a Means of Income

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

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

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

Lack of Experience with Growing Food Underground

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

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

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

This old forgotten secrets helped our parents survive!

Inability to Generate Power or Communicate

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lack of Knowledge and Ability to Manage Sanitation Issues

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lack of Medical Knowledge and Skills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lack of Self and Property Defense Equipment and Skills

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

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

Inability to Store and Prepare Foods

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

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

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

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

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

Inability to Obtain and Purify Water

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inability to Make Clothes

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

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

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

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

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

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Car Crush Survival: Do You Know What To Do?

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No matter whether you are the driver or passenger in a vehicle, a car accident can be a very traumatic experience.

Even if the accident is minor, you may have hidden injuries, or you may become trapped in the vehicle. Or things could go worse and you might need to get out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.

While every accident is a little bit different, here are just a few basic things you should keep in mind about how to get free from the car and survive the crush.

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Driving Safe is not Enough: How to Reduce the Damage

Knowing what to do prior to an imminent crash can save your life and also mean the difference between minor injuries and ones that leave you in pain or disabled for the rest of your life.

While you may not have much time to act, these simple things can give you the best chance of survival.

Wear Your Seat Belt Properly

Over the years, more than a few people have railed against using seat belts because they feel the government should not tell them how to live their lives. While I am not a big fan of “nanny state” thinking, there is a time when common sense must prevail. As a matter of simplicity, the laws of physics aren’t going to stop working just because you don’t like government interference.

In this case, “a body in motion tends to stay in motion”. If you aren’t wearing a seat belt at the time of a crash, your body will continue to be propelled in the direction of motion even though the vehicle has stopped.

Use the Steering Wheel to Minimize Damage

You can still use the steering wheel and the crumple zones of the vehicle to minimize damage from the crash as much as possible. Depending on the situation, you may start out with as much as 4 seconds. Count on at least ¾ second before you actually see the vehicle move in the direction you turned the wheel.

Keep Both Hands on the Wheel

Insofar as protecting yourself from damage in the crash, there are some techniques you can use. First, always drive with your hands, wrists, and forearms in alignment. A bent or limp wrist can easily be shoved against the steering wheel and broken. In addition, a limp wrist also gives you less support and control in those seconds when you need it most.

Be Careful when Using the Horn

Consider what you do when you are sleeping soundly and someone throws a bucket of water in your face. This is how a distracted driver’s mind works. Their primary focus and main involvement revolves around talking on the phone or sending a text.

At best, if you hit the horn, it will take them time to respond as they shift gears away from the phone and back to driving. At worst, a distracted driver may freeze up or do something else unpredictable.

Safety Tips for the Passengers

As a front passenger, properly belted into your seat, the best thing you can do is push your body into the seat and make as much contact as possible. The larger the surface area, the more room there is for the impact force to diffuse.

If seating in the back, try to choose the middle seat. Excluding the increased safety associated with air bags and seat belts in the front of the vehicle, the middle back seat is the safest in the vehicle.

One Second After: Status Check

If you have ever been in an accident, there is no mistaking how those first seconds of awareness will feel. No matter whether you lose consciousness, are slightly dazed, or are simply startled by the “bump” or “tap” that got your attention, the reality that you were in an accident can take time to settle in.

You have to realize that what you thought was a slight tap could have turned your vehicle upside down, or sent it crashing into a guardrail or worse. In these first few seconds to minutes, it is very important to stay as still as possible.

Before you move, try to take note of the following:

  • The actual position of your body. Are you crumpled up, arms at odd angles, or is your head drooped over onto your chest?
  • What do you see? Are you looking out the windshield, a side window, or is everything dark inside the vehicle?
  • What do you smell? Is there a smell of gas in the air, dust, or something burning?
  • What do you hear? Are there sounds of sirens, voices, or other sounds that might indicate someone is trying to get you out of the vehicle?

During those first few seconds, it is entirely possible you will not feel any pain. Do not be fooled by this. As your senses return and you become aware of the situation, you may feel a great deal of pain, along with coughing, dizziness, nausea, too hot, too cold, or even shaky. It can take seconds to minutes for this to subside.

If you move around too much or start thrashing around trying to escape, you can make wounds worse, or cause broken bones to scrape against each other. The key to this time is to stay still and make each movement count.

While you may be tempted to see if you can open the vehicle door, or try some other escape maneuver, the first thing you must do is make sure you are calm and composed. Take some deep breaths if you are able, and give yourself a chance to adjust to the shock of your situation.

Even if you smell gasoline or something burning, you must not panic. Get control of yourself and you will escape faster and with less effort than if you are in a panic.

Getting Out of the Crushed Car

There is no such thing as a car accident that won’t cause you to feel upset and distressed. In some cases, it will be absolutely necessary to try and escape from the vehicle if you want to remain alive. Having the proper tools on hand is every bit as important as knowing what to do.

But most of all, what you need to survive is trigger words and the right mindset. When you have only minutes to escape, it is best to know how to achieve calm in a matter of seconds. A few sessions of self hypnosis and the choice of an activating keyword or image can give you this calm in any situation. Gain this tool and practice it often so that you have confidence in your ability to control yourself and think clearly.

After you have secured relatively dust free air, regained composure, called for help, and assessed your situation, and medical condition, it is time to see about getting out of the vehicle. Here are the basic steps to follow:

  • If you have cuts or gashes, try to bind them up with plastic ties and cloth. Even a plastic bag will do if you have nothing else to stop the bleeding and prevent the wounds from picking up dust and dirt as you move.
  • Cut yourself free of the seat belt if you cannot reach the release button or it does not work. Don’t forget to brace yourself if you are upside down or in a position where you are going to fall once the belt is no longer holding you in place.
  • See if you can open the vehicle door nearest to you. If you cannot and there is a risk of fire or sinking, then break the window nearest you in order to get out of the vehicle. In situations where there is less immediate risk, you can see if another door will open. When breaking a car window, it will produce very sharp glass shards. It is best to avoid having to break the window and try to crawl through all those bits of glass unless you have no other choice.

More than a few sources recommend gathering up your personal belongings before trying to exit the vehicle. While this may be somewhat appropriate advice if the crash is minor, I feel it can cost your life if there is a high risk of the vehicle catching fire or sinking.

If danger is that imminent, you will be best served by focusing on getting out of the seat belt and then out of the vehicle window if necessary. Remember, nothing is as important as your life, and that objects can all be replaced later on. Unless there is another person in the vehicle that also needs to escape, focus on your own well being.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Human Body Under Test: How Far Can You Really Go?

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The human body is amazingly adaptable, able to survive in a wide range of conditions, and through suffering a wide range of circumstances.

We’ve all heard of people who have survived being shot in the heart or even in the brain. While those are supposedly impossible situations to survive, some people do survive them. Likewise, people have survived the harshest climate that nature can throw at them, as well as the worst hell that mankind can create.

Many of us don’t know the limits of their body and how strong they are but your body can take a lot more than you think when pushing its limits to survival.

There are some limits to human survival which have been well mapped out. We all know the rule of 3, which defines how long we can live without some of our most basic survival needs. But even then, there are extreme cases where people have done the impossible and survived past those limits.

Then there are a wide range of challenges which are unknowns, as the limit has never been fully mapped out. How long can a person survive without sleep? The longest on record is 11 days, but while the test subject was little more coherent than a vegetable at the end of that time, they were in no risk of dying.

The same can be said for a wide range of athletic achievements. For a long time, it was believed that humans could not beat the four-minute-mile. Then Roger Bannister ran a mile in 3:59:4, back in 1954. Once he did that, others were able to break through that barrier, till today, the fastest mile on record is almost 17 seconds faster than Bannister’s record-breaking time.

This is not uncommon in athletics, as every record broken becomes a new challenge to other athletes. Today’s Olympic athletes can outperform those of a century ago by so far, as to make those in the past look like a bunch of bumbling fools. Yet in their day, each of them was a marvel of human accomplishment.

Every time a new record has been set, either by athletes or by people who survive seemingly impossible situations, scientists are forced to rethink their understanding of the human body’s abilities. Yet just because one person succeeds in surviving a specific situation, that doesn’t mean that all people can.

People fall off of buildings and survive, even buildings as tall as ten stories high. In most cases, falling 100 feet like that would result in death or at least extremely severe injury. But there are always those rare cases of people who survive such a fall, and seem to do so, without serious injury.

In some cases, that can be attributed to the individual being drunk. Drinking to excess causes the muscles to relax, amongst the other effects it has. It also makes the drunk person less aware of their surroundings and what is happening to them. Without that awareness, they can fall off a building and not tense their muscles in expectation to the sudden stop at the bottom. This can actually help them to survive, as a relaxed body will often suffer less injury than a tense one.

But that doesn’t mean that we should all walk around drunk, or that being drunk when falling off a building would ensure our survival. There are many factors in play in any such accident; such as the individual’s physical condition, their health, how they strike the ground, the surface they land on and how their body collapses upon impact.

Then there’s the many differences in individual bodies, as no two people are exactly the same.

Strong muscles not only provide the strength and endurance necessary to perform survival tasks, they also help prevent injury. Many bone and ligament injuries happen simply because of a lack of muscle strength. If muscles are strong enough, they protect the bones as well, acting as a cushion. Fat can’t do that.

All this affects our ability to survive much more than a fall. In any survival situation, these same factors come into play. One person might be able to withstand cold well, while another may do better in the heat. Some can eat foods that might be considered tainted, without suffering any harm, while others have systems which are easily affected by even the slightest thing wrong with their food.

While some of this is beyond our control, there are things which we can do, which will ultimately increase our ability to survive. If one is forced to bug out from their home on foot, both strength and endurance will come into play.

Strength will affect how much they are able to carry with them, while endurance will affect how far they can walk, before they have to stop and take a break. Each has its value, so to concentrate on one, to the exclusion of the other, is not the best training strategy.

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

Explore Your Limits

Before you start training, you need to know where you are right now. What are your body’s limits? What can you withstand? Knowing the generalities of what “most people” can withstand isn’t enough, you need to know what works for you.

Knowing that people can survive living in a temperature range from 40°F to °F to 95°F won’t help you a bit, if you don’t know how your body reacts to heat and cold. So you need to put yourself into circumstances where you are forced to function for a prolonged period of time in those temperatures, and monitor how well you do.

Do you lose strength quickly when it’s hot? Does cold weather make your joints stiffen? How much do you sweat when it’s hot and how much does physical activity affect that?

Your ability to withstand extremes in temperature need to be evaluated over time, as your body will gradually adjust to those extremes.

Explorers who go to the Arctic or Antarctica spend time acclimating to the cold, before starting their explorations. Given time, their bodies adjust, making it possible for them to survive in circumstances where others couldn’t.

Establish Real Life Strength and Endurance Tests

You can test yourself for strength and endurance fairly easily. Just don’t do it at your local gym. While the gym might be great for physical fitness training, it’s an unrealistic environment. Just because you can lift X number of pounds for 20 repetitions, or even 200 repetitions, doesn’t mean that you can wield an axe for three hours, splitting firewood. The effort and movement may seem similar, but it’s not. Weight training really only prepares you for more weight training, it doesn’t prepare you for real-life survival tasks.

Nor can endurance be measured on a stationary bicycle or elliptical machine. While that might give you a comparative evaluation of how you are today, compared to how you were a year ago, it won’t tell you how far you can hike through rugged terrain, carrying a 50 pound pack.

You’ve got to establish realistic tests, based upon real-life survival tasks. If you want to know how well you’ll handle carrying that pack on a bug out, go backpacking in the type of terrain that you expect to pass through while bugging out.

Make your pack as heavy as it would be on that bug out, or even a touch heavier. Dress yourself in the same way, and make sure you have good hiking boots on. Then see how well you do.

The same sort of test can be done for every survival task that you envision having to do. Split a pile of firewood, so you can see how long it will take and how many breaks you’ll need to take before getting done. Check how well your hands survive as well, as you might find them covered with blisters.

Please note here that most people will quit, long before they reach their limits. We tend to stop when we get tired, saying that we’re about to collapse. But in fact, we are far from collapsing; we’re just tired. We just don’t want to do any more.

I remember a time in my military service, when I was at that point, but circumstances forced me to go on. You know something? I did. I went well beyond what I thought were my limits, yet still didn’t reach the point of collapsing.

With your real-life tests in the log book, you can then go to the gym and do comparable tests. Put yourself through a workout, trying to do exercises that simulate your real-life survival tasks.

Record the results of those as well, right alongside the other tests. You can then use your progress in the gym, as an indication of how you might do in the field. It won’t be a perfect comparison, but an improvement in the gym should roughly equal a similar improvement in the field.

Develop Your Training Regimen for Survival

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Most of us aren’t in good enough shape for survival. I know I’m not. Having to hike all day, carrying a heavy pack or needing to split a pile of firewood is probably more than I can do. I’m not as young as I once was and I spend way too much time sitting in front of my computer.

But that doesn’t mean I have to stay that way. Physical training is just training. As such, it’s something that just about anyone can do. All we need is to develop the right sort of training regimen, and then to have the discipline to follow through.

That’s the keyword – discipline. It is the lack of discipline which prevents most of us from exercising. We know we should, we even know how to… but we still don’t do it. We lack the discipline.

“Our limits are mostly mental limits, not physical limits. Once we accept them as such, we should be able to change them.”

You can discipline yourself by simply motivating yourself. What’s your reason to push the limits of your body? To be able to survive, right? That desire to survive should be all the motivation you need. With it, you should be able to push yourself beyond what you think are your limits, finding new limits that you never even knew existed.

A number of years ago, trainers for the Olympic bicycling team tried an experiment with their cyclists. They started out telling them to ride as fast as they can, “sprinting” on the bicycle, if you will. Then, they told them to “follow” a video of someone else riding and stay right with them. Even though the videos were one or two miles per hour faster than their supposed “fastest time,” they were able to keep up.

There’s a secret that we can all use. That is, our limits are mostly mental limits, not physical limits. Once we accept them as such, we should be able to change them, simply by deciding that we can. In other words, starting out at our limit and then adding just a little bit more. By incrementally increasing our limit in this way, we push our body’s ability and find the ability to do more.

Video first seen on Outside

Develop Toughness Too

Physical strength and endurance are important parts of survival. An individual who is in shape, is much more likely to accept and overcome the hardships of survival. Their body will rise to the challenge, putting for the necessary exertion to get through whatever survival problem.

But that body which is in condition will be able to withstand the rigors better, as well. They won’t just be able to do more, but they will suffer less in doing so. Part of that is the physical toughness that goes with being physically in shape.

Fighter of all kinds work to develop toughness, right alongside strength, endurance and agility. What do I mean by that physical toughness? It’s the ability to take the blows, without it affecting you. It’s pretty much impossible to have physical toughness, without physical conditioning. But it is possible to have that physical conditioning, without the toughness to go with it.

Physical toughness is developed by taking blows. Muscles which are hardened by exercise can take those blows, without it doing them harm. This is especially true when the muscles are flexed, hardening them.

If your abdominal muscles are relaxed and someone hits you in the belly, it will hurt. It might even tear some muscle or cause other damage. But if you are given the opportunity to tighten those muscles, before the blow, you will withstand the same blow, without harm. If your abdominal muscles are in shape, you’ll be able to take a much stronger blow, without harm.

But there’s another side of toughness, besides physical toughness, that’s mental toughness. Physical toughness is something that you can train your body to have, while mental toughness is something you must train your mind to have.

Put simply, mental toughness is the ability to push on through and not give up. As I mentioned before, most of us give up before we reach our limit. This doesn’t just apply to endurance, but to everything. Having mental toughness means that we won’t quit, no matter how tired we are, how much we hurt, or how impossible the situation looks.

Probably the greatest experts in mental toughness today are the Navy Seals. Seal training is reported to be the toughest military training there is. But they make it extremely easy to quit. A trainee can quit at any time, no questions asked. There’s a bell just outside the main office, where it can be seen by all, all the way through their training. All they have to do is trot over to that bell and ring it. One clang of the bell and you’re given a warm blanket, a cup of coffee, a donut and a fast trip out of Seal training.

They make it easy to quit, because the Seals are looking for people who aren’t quitters. One of the things that makes them so effective, is that the Seals are made of people who won’t quit, no matter what.

Seals are survivors. They’re people who don’t know how to quit. They’ve got the mental toughness to keep on trying, no matter what. Work on yourself to get yours!

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This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

What It Takes To Have A Survival Mindset

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Your mind can be the most powerful survival tool that you have at your disposal when used properly. A survival mindset will help you survive even when you have no tools, equipment, or other supplies.

Some refer to this as a will to live but a survival mindset is much more than just this single factor. Read the following article to find out!

You will need to overcome fear and panic, deal with boredom and high levels of physical and mental stress, be mentally flexible and ready to adapt no matter what is thrown at you, learn to be a predator instead of prey, recognize danger instantly, and have a can do attitude that will keep you going no matter how bad things get.

  • Practice dissociation when you perform long sets of exercises that involve monotonous repetition, such as sit ups, push, ups, and other simple exercises that can be grueling over the long haul. Try to do 100 sit ups in a single setting, and when you start to get uncomfortable use dissociation to focus your mind elsewhere while your body continues to push on. This will help you train for dealing with fear and panic when these negative responses occur.
  • Try sitting in cold water for as long as possible. Cold water is uncomfortable and it can cause your mind to try and cave if you let it. After a few minutes all you want to do is get out and get warm. Instead of giving in to this impulse stay in the water as long as possible and try to refocus or distance your mind from the physical cold sensations. Over time you should notice that your time keeps increasing as your dissociation skills improve.
  • When you experience fear or panic try to focus on people who depend on you instead of these emotions, whether this is your family, your team, or your co-workers. These people are relying on you to keep going and not give up, and this can be the mental focus that you need to push fear and panic responses into the background or keep fighting to overcome any obstacles in the way of survival.
  • Find your happy place. This is a place in your mind which causes you to experience positive emotions and releases pent up stress that we all carry around. Your own happy place could be a beach, your childhood home, a favorite event, or even Buckingham Palace if that is a place or event that makes you feel happy and at peace.
  • Step outside of your comfort zone and set goals that challenge you in new ways. When you put yourself in uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations you will experience some of the stress reactions that survival will entail. This gives you an opportunity to learn how to deal with these reactions in a positive way before your life depends on it, and experience first hand what fear, panic, and other stress responses feel like.
  • Counter negative thoughts with positive ones. Fear, panic, and other negative emotions can lead to negative thoughts, and these can become contagious. When you have a negative thought immediately replace it with something positive instead.
  • Use visualization and guided imagery in order to practice for a real life survival scenario. If you go over situations in your mind in full detail then you will be better prepared when they play out in real life and less likely to react out of fear and panic. Your brain defines reality, and research studies have shown that there was little difference between real life situations and realistic visualizations of the same scenario.

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

Are You Flexible Enough?

In order to survive any type of situation you will need mental flexibility, and you must be able to adapt to changing situations and circumstances. If you can not do this then you will perish fairly soon after society collapses.

There will be different situations that must be handled in different ways, with a range of new and complex problems popping up that will need to be addressed and solved in order to stay alive.

When you have mental flexibility you are like a willow compared to a large old oak tree in a strong wind. The oak may break from the strength of the wind but the willow will just bend and
will not break.

Mental flexibility allows you to bend so that you do not break, to adapt so that you do not become extinct. When you are mentally flexible you will be able to:

  • See your current situation from a variety of different perspectives.
  • Adapt to change when your first plan is no longer possible or the situation and circumstances change.
  • Learn from your mistakes and do better in the future.
  • Use creative and innovative ways to solve problems when traditional solutions do not apply.
  • Willingly take risks when this is necessary.
  • Tolerate the uncertainty that comes with any chaotic situation.

When things turn sideways and there is no rhyme or reason anymore you need to understand and accept that there is no safe place, and that the government is not going to swoop in and save you. It is up to you.

Holding out an unrealistic hope that there is a safe place or that others will take care of you will cause you to perish. Crowded areas and military outposts, if these even exist, will be fraught with danger and could become high interest targets.

No matter where you are or where you go in any type of chaotic situation where your life is on the line safety is just an illusion while everything is out of control, and feeling safe causes you to let your guard down. This makes you vulnerable and could leave you open to attack or lower your defenses so that you could be victimized in another way.

Don’t become a victim or put your survival at risk with a false sense of security.

Attitude Raises You Up and Breaks You Down to Pieces

Attribute even the most grueling physical training and truckloads of supplies will not be enough when things go sideways and the civilized society that we know doesn’t exist anymore. Negativity will quickly wear you down and harm your mental health.

The will to survive and a degree of stubbornness is just one part of the survival attitude that will get you through almost anything. You also need to be realistic about your situation while still maintaining some hope for the future, something that can be difficult to do in this type of setting and circumstances.

Mental toughness allows you to keep going even when it seems like all is lost, and looking at the positive aspects of any situation will help you avoid dwelling on the negatives,

Recognize negative emotions and thought patterns when these occur, and address them immediately before they can take hold and grow.

Replace each negative thought or emotion with one that is more positive. If you think “I can’t do this” then flip the script and tell yourself “I can do this, I am strong, and I will be a survivor.”

Don’t let guilt or anger get the best of you. It is easy to blame yourself or to get angry when the world seems to turn upside down or it seems like everything has gone haywire, but these negative emotions have no place in your mental toolbox and they need to be banished as soon as they start.

Keep telling yourself that you are not to blame, and that getting angry will not help you but it could work against you and keep you from surviving. Remember that things happen, and we all have a bad day or experience unpleasant situations.

Keep a positive mental outlook on any situation and you are more likely to stay alive. One way you can do this is to imagine a bad situation, and then try to find a silver lining.

Even the worst catastrophic events will have something positive that can be associated with them, and you need to look for the bright ray of light in even the darkest situations and most dire circumstances.

A survival mindset is key if you want to stay alive in any life or death situation, whether this is a zombie apocalypse, a natural disaster, or government gone wrong.

Work on yourself to get yours!

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This article has been written by John Gilmore for Survivopedia. 

New To Prepping? Here’s Where To Start From

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New To Prepping

Bit by bit, the ranks of preppers are growing all the time. More and more people are waking up to the fact that the government can’t protect them and doesn’t even do a very good job of providing support in the aftermath of a disaster. Oh, they throw money at it, but money isn’t the answer to everything.

Every new prepper is faced with the same problems and the same questions they have to answer for themselves. It’s not that there’s no information available for new preppers to use, it’s that there’s too much information.

Check online for prepping or survival and you’ll find an enormous amount of information, not all of which agrees with other sources. Wading through all that and finding the information that one needs can be a daunting task.

You might very well be one of those newbies; someone who has just decided to look at prepping for the first time. If so, welcome to one of the most important movements in our country today.

Prepping is an individual journey that each of us take, with no two walking exactly the same path. Yet we are preppers together, part of a fellowship of like-minded people who have decided that it’s time to do something for themselves.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already decided that just looking at information isn’t enough. Being a prepper means taking action; preparing yourself and your family for whatever problem or disaster might come your way. Preppers believe in self-sufficiency; trusting in themselves in an emergency, not in the government.

But where does one begin? Of all the things that one can do to become more prepared, which one or ones are the most important? What does one have to do, in order to truly be prepared?

These questions are complicated by the fact that each person’s situation is unique. Oh, we all have things in common, but we also have our own needs, our own family, our own skills, our own resources and our own risks that we face. So cookie cutter prepping doesn’t work. Each person has to determine what their own needs are and how to best meet them.

Even so, there are some things we should all do at the beginning; things to get us on the road to becoming better prepared. The first steps we need to take on this journey may not be what you’re thinking. In fact, I’d be surprised if many preppers thought about these steps, before walking along the path for a ways.

Educate Yourself

It’s easy to think of prepping as just stockpiling supplies for a rainy day. That’s actually where most of us start off. Whether we just buy a couple of bags of beans and rice or go hog wild buying prepackaged survival food, squirreling food away for a rainy day seems like an almost instinctive act; something we easily gravitate towards, as a starting point for our prepping.

There’s nothing wrong with stockpiling food and in fact you need to do so; but before you start stockpiling, it’s a good idea to know what to stockpile. Not all foods keep well, nor do all of them provide the right nutrition to get you through an emergency. Take some time to research, before running off to the grocery store.

While you’re at it, you need to research much more than just what foods to stockpile. Our modern society doesn’t prepare us well for survival. If anything, it prepares us to die blaming others. But you can’t count on those others to help you survive. They don’t know how to either.

Our ancestors of 200 years ago were much better suited for survival than we are. For them, every year was about survival. They either stockpiled enough preserved food and cut enough firewood to make it through winter or they died. There weren’t too many other options available. Their lives were simpler, their needs and wants more closely associated with surviving and they had the skills they needed to take care of themselves.

There are a wide range of skills that you need to learn, some of which you might actually already know. If you like to go camping and spend time in the outdoors, you’re off to a good start, as the skills associated with those activities are closely related to survival skills.

Remember that a knife is a must have tool for outdoor survival as it helps you hunt, make shelter, start a fire and defend yourself.

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Hunting, fishing, and starting a fire are all good survival skills. But you’ll also need to know how to grow food in your garden, purify water and defend your home as well.

For preppers, learning isn’t something that begins or ends, it’s just something that is. We start out learning about survival when we get into prepping, and we keep on learning for the rest of our lives. There’s always some new skill or information to learn; all of which is ultimately useful.

Develop a Survival Mentality

Most people tend to look at survival as a physical activity; but it’s as much mental as it is physical. You have to have the right attitude to survive or no matter what you do, you’ll fail.

What do I mean by the right attitude? I mean the attitude of a survivor. You have to be convinced that you’ll survive. You have to be convinced that you’ll overcome. You need to be convinced that you can do whatever is necessary to keep yourself and your family alive.

Here in America we’re protected from many of the harsher realities of life. Few Americans have had to kill and prepare their own food. Unless you’re a hunter; you probably don’t have the slightest idea of how to kill and clean a chicken for dinner, let alone how to properly field dress and butcher a deer or other large animal. But if it’s not done properly, the meat from that animal can be tainted in the process.

But you know the hardest part of killing and preparing that animal? It’s getting over the idea of having to do it. Most of us are squeamish when it comes to things like that; squeamish to the point that we’d die before killing that chicken.

Family food

Yet for millennia our ancestors hunted, killed and ate their own game, without the slightest bit of squeamishness. Men would bring the game home from their hunt, and their wives would clean and cook the animals. They didn’t throw up; they didn’t feel funny about it; they did it, and they enjoyed the meal that they prepared.

For us, here in America, overcoming the imprint of our society and accepting the needs of survival is paramount to being able to survive. Most have to do so at a moment’s notice, when they are faced with their first disaster. But those who develop a survival mentality learn to make the adjustment at their leisure, when it’s easier to do so.

Interestingly enough, attitude is so important to survival, that every military manual on survival starts off with a section on attitude. When you consider the amount of money and effort that goes into the preparation of those manuals, that one single fact is rather telling. Attitude is key to survival.

Analyze Your Family’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Each of us has a different family, with different strengths and weaknesses. Some family members might have skills or abilities which easily translate to a survival setting. Others have special needs that have to be considered when making our survival planning. Typically, we find a bit of each in our families.

Surviving as a lone wolf is much harder than surviving as part of a team. In a team, each individual is able to take part of the load, helping each other. With each one learning the necessary skills and doing part of the necessary tasks, not only does the work become easier; but more importantly, the chances of the team’s survival becomes greater.

Your family is your first survival team. Even if you join with others, in a larger survival team, your family is still the core of your personal team. As such, it’s important that you understand what your family is capable of doing, what it is capable of learning, and even more importantly, what you might need others to do for you, because you are incapable of learning to do it for yourself.

As part of this, you also need to analyze the assets you have at your disposal.

Do you have a vacation home somewhere, that you could use as a survival retreat if you needed to? Do you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle? Do you have enough land to turn your home into a homestead? Do you have camping equipment? How much money do you have available to use for prepping? What tools do you have, which will help you survive? Does your home have a fireplace? All of this, and more, will ultimately affect your ability to survive.

This process of analyzing your family will ultimately tell you what you need to do, in order to get from where you are today, to where you need to be. But don’t just do it once; from time to time you should reanalyze the situation and make any necessary adjustments.

Decide What Risks You Face

Prepping is ultimately about being ready to face a disaster, whether that’s a personal disaster, a regional disaster or a nationwide disaster. The problem is, none of us know the disaster that we are going to face. That makes prepping a little bit difficult.

But not knowing doesn’t mean that we can’t prepare. It just means that we prepare for likelihoods, rather than certainties. In other words, while it’s safe to say with certainty that we’ll all face some sort of disaster, sometime in our lives, what exact disaster we might face is nothing more than a likelihood.

So, the thing you need to do is figure out what the most likely disasters are, that you are going to face. That stats with figuring out what possible disasters you could face, ranging all the way from loss of a job to a zombie apocalypse, with natural disasters and the loss of the electrical grid in between. Don’t leave anything out at this point, as all you’re really doing is brainstorming possibilities.

Once you have your list of possible disasters, you need to give each of them two scores, say on a scale of one to five. The first scale is how likely you feel it is that you’ll actually face that disaster. The second scale is how much of an impact that disaster would have on your life. Some disasters, such as a zombie apocalypse might have an extremely low likelihood, earning it a one on that scale, but an extremely high impact, should it actually happen, earning it a five on that scale.

SVP prepping

(Note: The term TEOTWAWKI is commonly used by preppers to stand for “The end of the world as we know it.” This does not mean the literal end of the world, but rather, the end of our  modern lifestyle that we are accustomed to.)

Combining the two scores gives you a number from 2 to 10. That number is the one you use to prioritize considering that particular disaster in your planning. The way that usually works out, is that we concentrate on the highest ones and ignore the lower ones.

But in preparing for the highest ones, we are probably going to be prepared for whatever happens with the lower ones.

Begin Planning

Now that you’ve got a pretty good idea of what you have to work with and what you’re likely to face, you can start your survival planning. Once again, this is a process that will continue throughout the rest of your life. Everything you learn has the potential to change and improve your plans.

Your plan needs to define what you will do in each of the potential disaster situations you are likely to encounter, especially the high likelihood, high impact ones. You will find that there will be some overlap between different scenarios, but there will also be things that are unique to each one.

From this, you can determine how much you need to stockpile, whether it’s for a month, six months, a year or the rest of your life. You’ll also be able to determine the best place for your family to survive, in a variety of different situations. In many of those scenarios, you’ll be better off sheltering in place, or “bugging in.” But there might also be some which require you to bug out and go to a survival retreat somewhere.

Don’t expect that you’ll get everything right the first time around. You will most likely forget some items, because of being focused on other needs. That’s okay. As you continue to study, you’ll find the places you need to fill in, to make your survival plans and your stockpile more complete.

Prepping is a process, not a destination. You’ll probably never reach that point of perfection, where you sit back and say to yourself: “Self, I’ve arrived. I’m ready for anything.”

But rather, you’ll gain more and more confidence that you can take care of yourself and your family, no matter what comes your way. Each little step will give you and your family more security, and ultimately, that’s what prepping is all about.

A good knife is the most important tool you can have with you. Click the banner below to grab this offer!

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This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

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Army Tricks To Learn For Survival

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Army Tricks Survival

Army teaches you unique survival skills and habits, useful not only in extreme situations, but also in your everyday life.

The first and the most important thing people in the military are forced to learn is to survive. They learn to think fast, to function under stress, to pay attention to details and to survive in extreme environments. There is no other option. You either adapt or you are out or you… die.

Not serving in the army doesn’t mean you don’t have to learn something from those who do.

From keeping a low profile to self-defense, here are the top military tips and skills to introduce into your survival strategy.

Situational Awareness

Situational awareness is a simple concept, it’s just being aware of your surroundings and understanding the reality of the threats that you may face in any given situation. It’s just constantly being aware of what’s going on around you.

To some, situational awareness is just a theory, but there is much more than that, and once you learn it you understand why it stands for the basis of survival.

How Do You Recognize a Suspicious Activity or Person

If you know what normal looks like, you should be able to pick out the things that stand out as being abnormal in any situation, and those suspicious things are going to stand out. Don’t be afraid to act by calling the authorities when you see it, better sorry than dead! It might be a false alarm, or your call could lead to the capture, kill, or arrest of a terrorist cell or network.

Detecting Criminal Surveillance

Criminal surveillance is watching something or someone to determine if you’re the target that they’re looking for. Once you are identified as the target, most probably they’re going to hit by robbing you, kidnapping you or your family or even worse.

Survivopedia_escapeHow to Lose a Tail

First, you have to be aware that you have a tail, then act to lose it.

If you’re on foot, start walking erratically, meaning instead of going straight from point A to point B, take some weird turns. Look for shiny or reflective surfaces (a mirror or a store window) to see if that person is still following you.

How to Keep a Low Profile

Keeping a low profile doesn’t mean to drive the most expensive car in the country and talking too much about what you do and why you do it.

The goal is to stay unnoticed so the danger wouldn’t meet you round the corner. It starts with the way you dress and the way you move when you are in a public place, and has to do with the way you act and react in order to not drawing attention.

How to Cope with Danger

The first thing you want to do is put as much distance between yourself and the threat as possible, then you want to make sure that you alert the authorities to what’s going on in case communication means are available. Give them all the information that you can to make their job as easy as possible.

Now it’s not always the case that you can get away. Sometimes you may find yourself in an active shooter type scenario where escape is not an option. You may have to do things that you are not trained to do and that you have never done before.

Just calm down, stay calm and think before you do. Think about each move that you’re going to make before you make it, and try and protect yourself and others, as Brian M. Morris says in his “Spec Ops Shooting” guide to combat shooting mastery and active shooting defense. This decorated former Green Beret shares a lot of lifesaving advice from his 25 years of service in this book.

Click here to get your Green Beret’s Guide To Combat Shooting Mastery & Active Shooter Defense!

Combat Tips to Use for Self-Defense

1. You should be armed. In most states it’s now legal to get a concealed carry permit, which allows you to carry a handgun concealed on your person. Thirty-seven of the states are now “will issue” states, which means that as long as you meet the requirements for a concealed carry permit and do not have a record of criminal activity or mental incompetence, the state is required to give you a permit, upon application.

Okay, so being aware and having a weapon on your person takes away a lot of the assailant’s advantage, but not all of it. They still have two major advantages over you; the first is that they choose the time and place and the second is their willingness to inflict harm on you.

2. When an attack comes, you need to react quickly and violently. Violently doesn’t necessarily mean that you kill them or even that you shoot them, it means that you react in such a way that they are convinced you are going to shoot them. That alone might be enough to get them to break off the attack and run away.

3. As part of that initial reaction, you want to move out of their line of fire. Most criminals are poor shots and not much more skilled with a knife. They’re depending on their ability to intimidate you. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t dangerous or that they can’t shoot you; just that they are likely to miss. Moving, whether dropping to one knee or moving to the side, reduces their chances of hitting you.

4. There’s a saying that anything that’s worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Police departments train their officers this way, teaching them to shoot “double taps”. Those double taps increase the chances that your shots are going to do enough harm to the assailant that you will be able to stop them. If your shots don’t stop them, keep shooting. Your goal isn’t to kill them, just to stop them. As long as they are facing you and holding a weapon, they’re a threat.

5. Once you start moving, keep moving. You should practice shooting while moving, so that you are prepared to do it. It is infinitely harder to shoot accurately while moving, than it is while standing still. Practice, so that you can do it when you need to. Your movement makes you a hard target to hit.

6. Events might transpire in such a way that you can’t draw your gun and return fire immediately. There are times that an assailant might get the upper hand, even if you are aware of your surroundings. Your first indication that anything is wrong might be seeing a gun or knife stuck in your face. If that’s the case and you can’t draw your weapon, play for time.

They’re keyed up to attack at first, but the longer they have to wait, the less ready they are. In such a situation, you want to try and wait until they are either momentarily distracted or let down their guard for a moment. That then becomes your moment to act.

Being able to master army skills is what makes you a warrior and helps you survive and protect other at the same time. It takes practice and time to build this mindset, but once you got it you ease your steps to survival.

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This article has been written by John Gilmore for Survivopedia. 

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12 Animals To Learn Climbing Skills From

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It’s amazing to see how coordinated animals are when they climb, like a ballet played out in nature. Still, climbing skills are not about music or art, but reaching a safe point to stand on. Sometimes, climbing it’s only about survival.

Many people overlook improving their climbing skills, and when it comes time to use a rope for climbing, they are unable to manage the situation.

Being able to climb is vital for many areas of interest. It is often done competitively, in jobs that rely on it, for recreational purposes, in emergency rescue, and in military operations. No matter whether you are trying to climb a mountain, a tree, stairs, or scale a building, there is much you can learn by watching how animals achieve similar goals.

If you take the time to watch and observe animals in the wild, each animal group has developed their own special way to climb and descend mountains, trees, and different objects with various textures. Some of these climbing and descending techniques are very simple and quite remarkable to watch and study.

The animals play out great acts of balance as they carry out death defying actions. These activities would kill or seriously injure us if we tried to duplicate them without adapting the techniques to the human form.

These 12 animals are the best for teaching you the climbing tips required in a survival situation. Do you know them?

1. Bears

When bears climb, they look very much like humans climbing. Bears are excellent climbers of both trees and cliffs. They have sharp rugged claws on their front and back feet they can easily grip the surface of trees and cliffs.

Black bears have short, strong claws, a smaller size, and less weight than grizzly bears. The grizzly bear has thicker and longer claws that are more of a hindrance, however they can still climb a tree or cliff faster than a human. Both of these bears wrap their long limbs around the trunk of trees to climb upward or downward. Because of their weight the bears will stay closer to the main trunk and not go out on the smaller weaker branches.

When bears climb up cliffs they use their claws for gripping the rough cliffs walls and to make hand holds to better climb.

Video first seen on Stephanie Latimer.

Climbing Tip: To mimic bears climbing methods, you can use tree climbing spikes commonly used to climb telephone poles.

2. Domestic Cats and Wild Cats

Cats have the ability to climb almost anything from trees to stucco walls. All cats, both big and small, rely on their sharp claws and their will to climb up or down man-made structures, mountains, or trees. Cats – whatever their breed and size are – are very strong climbers and use their strength and balance to overcome any problems during the climb.

Video first seen on Mark Mckelvie.

Climbing Tip: You can learn a lot about how to balance by watching cats climb. While they use their tail as a counterweight, you can use your posture.

3. Monkeys and Baboons

Monkeys and baboons, which are built a lot like humans, are excellent tree climbers and also have the ability to climb cliffs. Like cats, monkeys and baboons benefit from having long tails which they move around as a counter balance.

With their flexible toes they can grab outcroppings or branches as easily as humans can with their fingers. Some monkeys and baboons prefer to live on sheer cliff faces because this keeps them up and out of reach of natural predators like leopards and cheetahs.

Video first seen on Animals World.

Climbing Tip: Since these creatures are built a lot like humans and look similar to us when they climb, you can mimic some of their climbing methods.

4. Goats in Morocco’s Argan Forest

These domesticated goats have been trained to climb trees to graze. When the Argan fruit nuts on these trees are ready to be harvested, the goats eat the fruit, digest it, and passes the seed nuts. The nuts shells are now softer and easier to crack open by the farmers.

The goats’ hooves have two toes that can grip the nut tree as they climb up. Although this tree is about 25 feet tall, it bushes out with thick heavy branches that will hold the weight of several goats.

Video first seen on CBSN.

Climbing Tip: Watch the way the goats use two toes to climb and think about how you can do something similar with tabi boots.

5. Mountain Goats

The mountain goat has the ability to climb almost vertical mountain walls. They do this with a beautiful grace of movement. The sides of the goat’s toes consist of the same hard keratin found on the hoof of a horse or deer. Each of the toes has wrap around toenails that can be used to catch and hold to a crack or a tiny knob of rock.

Since there is also a traction pad that extends slightly past the nail, it can support the weight of the goat as it climbs upwards. This pad also has a rough textured surface that provides a great amount of friction on smooth rock or ice.

Video first seen on Arvor Pepper.

And wait, there is more to tell about climbing goats! Look at these Alpin goats climbing a dam wall in Italy:

Video first seen on AFP news agency.

Climbing Tip: Man can learn balance, being sure footed, path planning, and grace from the mountain goats. You can also look for climbing aides that resemble the nail and toe structure of these animals.

6. Sloths

Sloths are very slow moving animals, but still very effective climbers. They use long, hooked claws to reach upper branches, and then simply dangle from them. When a sloth climbs up a tree, they climb head up with their arms, legs, and claws wrapped around the tree.

When a sloth descends a tree, they back down the tree carefully with their arms, legs, and claws gripping the tree.

Video first seen on mermaid5651.

Climbing Tip: The sloth can teach man to take it easy when climbing. Do your climb slowly and methodically. Finally plan out your climb to be as safe as possible.

7. Raccoons

Racoons are excellent climbers no matter whether they are trying to navigate exterior walls of houses, fences, or trees.

With their long claws and very flexible fingers and toes, they can grip very rough surfaces or smooth ones with ease. They can be quick and methodical in their climbing techniques. Some people believe that a raccoon can think and that they can solve climbing problems quickly.

Video first seen on Newsflare.

Climbing Tip: A raccoon can teach you to study what you are about to climb and choose the best tools for safety. You can use some of their finger and toe techniques as long as you also understand how the lack of claws may make it more difficult for you to use the same methods.

8. Snakes

The fact that snakes can climb trees is common knowledge. Snakes can also climb vertical walls if need be. These reptiles use a form of locomotion in which some parts of their body stop and grip while other parts extend forward to climb. Snakes have unbelievable flexibility with hundreds of vertebrae and very precise muscle control. They can also extend scales on the underside of their body for increased grip.

Video first seen on Steve Crumbaker.

Climbing Tip: From snakes, you can learn about the use of suction and gripping when climbing.

9. Squirrels

Not only can squirrels climb trees, but they also have the ability to climb a vertical concrete wall. This is due to their sharp, hook like claws. They also have highly mobile ankles that allows them to rotate their back feet around backwards, which allows them to hang from and climb a variety of surfaces.

Video first seen on jazevox.

Climbing Tip: Squirrels teach man to be flexible and not stiff when climbing. Balance is also very important to stay on the mountain or when climbing a tree.

10. Coconut Crab

The coconut crab is one of the few crabs that can climb trees. These crabs are found on islands in the Indian Ocean. They can grow to about three feet across and weighs about ten pounds and they feed mainly on fruits and vegetables.

As their name implies, they also have a great love for coconuts. The coconut crabs will actually climb trees using their long, spiny legs, which they wrap around the tree trunk. When they are high enough, they use their large heavy claws to cut and snatch down coconuts. Sometimes the crabs drop the coconuts to the ground, or they will carry them down the tree to the ground.

Video first seen on clynt25.

Climbing Tip: As you watch these crabs, you can learn more about how to wrap your arms and legs around a small tree trunk, how to get a better grip on the tree you wish to climb and how to collect coconuts.

11. Spiders

The spider’s legs are studded with microscopic hairs which allow them to stick, and to walk on walls and ceilings by electrostatic attraction. Spiders also have tiny tarsal claws that can grip the minute textures of surfaces, even though these surfaces appear smooth to the naked eye.

Video first seen on Animalist.

Climbing Tip: You can look for suction cups and similar devices that might mimic the hairs and hooks used by spiders.

12. Geckos

Geckos have the ability to walk up the smoothest surfaces. They use micro-hairs on their feet called setae to adhere via van der Waals forces (basically this causes molecules to adhere to each other).

Video first seen on John Tandler.

Climbing Tip: When choosing shoes for climbing, look for ones that have treads that will do something similar to the setae on gecko feet.

Man has a lot of things to learn from animals on how to climb mountains or trees. Animals make it look so simple, but remember it took many generations for their bodies to adapt, and for them to acquire the special skills to use those adaptions.

You can still use some of their methods when developing your own climbing skills, or choosing gear that will make climbing easier and safer.

If you have any experience in using climbing techniques, please share them with our community in the comment section below.

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This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Further reading

http://www.boredpanda.com/adopted-cat-climbing-partner-craig-armstrong-millie/

https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/wild-things/what-animal-world%E2%80%99s-best-rock-climber

http://blogs.britannica.com/2011/01/mountain-climbing-ruminants-masters-of-locomotion-on-near-vertical-terrain/

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Prep Blog Review: 32+ Ultimate Survival Allies

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In a real survival situation there’s not much you can use for help. Yes, we’re trying to prep and control that. BUT… if I were to quiz you about what to have close when disaster strikes, what would you say? 

Here are some articles from this week that can provide some answers.

1. 6 Useful Preps You May Not Have Thought Of

Surivival Allies

“One of the very first things I did when I adopted the prepping lifestyle was a walk-around inventory.  This was years ago and although I had not consciously considered myself a prepper at the time, I discovered that I had a lot of stuff, but it was woefully disorganized and lacking in many key areas. For example, I had lots of canned goods, supplemental lighting, off-grid cooking devices, tools and more.  On the other hand, except for a 55 gallon water barrel and a small first-aid kit, I was sorely lacking in water and medical supplies.  My how things have changed!”

Read more on Backdoor Survival.

2. Five Step Mental Practice For Psychological Preparedness

Survival allies

“One Month after SHTF; Are you Psychologically Prepared? Psychological preparedness is a radically important part of survivalism and might possibly be the determining factor for long-term survival. In fact, the first step toward getting prepared is making a conscious affirmation to develop a will to live. I am writing this article because I suspect that most people probably have no idea where or how to begin psychological preparation for SHTF. One can only wonder about the psychological well-being of most Americans given the statistics of Americans on antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, mood altering drugs, etc. We live in an isolated world where people mentally escape into social media, television and Pokemon-go.”

Read more on The Prepper Journal.

3. The 11 Best Survival Foods To Store For NUTRITION

Survival Allies

“I was listening to a podcast the other day, the host was talking about the best survival foods you should be stocking up on. He was suggesting the typical rice and beans diet, with a few dollar store spices thrown in for flavor. I was a little taken aback when he commented, “It’s not so much about nutrition, it’s about survival!” Huh?? I instantly felt regret for the new preppers who were likely listening to his show. It’s not so much about nutrition? Doesn’t he realize that when your body is lacking key nutrients it begins to suffer physically? Doesn’t he realize that it’s the sickly who die first?”

Read more on The Prepper Project.

4. 10 Essential Herbs

Survival Allies

“Here are 10 essential herbs, including some of their uses and guidelines to get started on your herbal apothecary. Health made simple and easy.
A few herbs that you can grow indoors or outside. Herbs you can use for preparing medicines with simple techniques as our ancestors did.

As far back as 5000 BCE, Sumerians used herbs in medicine. Ancient Egyptians used fennel, coriander and thyme around 1555 BCE. In ancient Greece, in 162 CE, a physician by the name of Galen was known for concocting complicated herbal remedies that contained up to 100 ingredients. Herbs have long been used as the basis of traditional Chinese herbal medicine, with usage dating as far back as the first century CE and far before.”

Read more on Around The Cabin.

5. Why Having a Portable Toilet Should Be a Top Prepper Priority

Survival allies

“How do you feel about digging a hole in your backyard, then covering, for emergency sanitation? Ummm…not me. I’d rather already have a portable toilet (port-a-potty) handy, along with appropriate heavy-duty bags, before an emergency comes — or to take camping if needed. Having some sort of port-a-potty may be one of the most important and least thought of aspects of survival planning.”

Read more on Family Survival Planning.

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This article has been written by Brenda E. Walsh for Survivopedia

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The Ultimate Survivor Skill Set That Every Prepper Needs

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survival quote

It is firmly planted in our minds that a crisis scenario requires knives,  EDC  bags, lighters, fire-starters, waterproof matches, binoculars, compasses and so many others gear items. While these can prove helpful, and in some situations even essential,  without a doubt, more and more people pay attention to the most important element for surviving: themselves.

Disaster situations are undoubtfully more manageable when one has a trained mind and a trained body for that specific circumstance.

Often, sophisticated gear is simply not available or, even worse, simply useless and a person’s ability to understand and execute upon his or hers exact physiological and psychological status is crucial.

Maintaining Good Health

Did you know that the skin is the largest organ of the body, and that your skin is one way that you can check your health even if you don’t have any medical equipment available?

For example, dark patches or yellow waxy bumps could mean that you are developing diabetes. If your skin becomes pale or dull then nutritional deficiencies may be to blame. Medical help is not always an option so monitoring your skin can help you avoid problems and maintain good health in any setting or situation.

What would you do if there was a serious medical problem and you were on your own, without any doctors or emergency rooms to turn to for help? Do you have enough knowledge about first aid and natural healing methods to make a difference?

Let’s look, as an example, at some ways to treat shock. Shock occurs when heart output and blood pressure is not sufficient to provide adequate blood and oxygen to tissues and organs. This is a life threatening condition that will typically result in death if not treated immediately. Shock can occur due to injury, psychological trauma, as an acute stress reaction, infection, heart disease, and other factors.

If someone is in shock you should lay the person down with their feet elevated approximately 12 inches above their head, check for any obvious injuries, and keep the person warm using blankets or clothing. During shock CPR may be necessary, and hydration is critical to replace blood volume.

Shock is a medical emergency and you should always seek medical assistance if at all possible. What if this help is not available though? In this situation, use some rhubarb to make a tonic which can help treat shock and any underlying conditions like inflammation or infection. Place a few handfuls of rhubarb stalks in 2 cups of water and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 8-24 hours in a covered container then strain. Drink small amounts of the tonic through the day. This may help treat the symptoms of shock and also any underlying infection and inflammation.

You can also drink clean water with a small amount of salt dissolved in it to increase blood pressure if you are awake and aware. A third option for treating shock when medical help can not be found is to drink hawthorn tea to regulate blood pressure. Add 1 teaspoon hawthorn berries to 1 cup of clean boiling water, cool, then drink.

Physical Endurance Regardless of Joint Pain

joint painThe goal here is to ensure that you are capable of all the physical tasks and  challenges that you will face in any type of adverse situation.

It won’t do you any good to have all the supplies you need if you can’t carry them with you or you are not capable of traveling a long distance if necessary.

In a disaster or survival scenario the physical requirements will be grueling at any age. You need to be up to the challenge.

Think about what you could have to go through if you need to go off grid and survive a disaster or other chaotic event.

Be realistic about how physically fit you really are and the challenges that you could face.

To survive you will need stamina, strength, balance, flexibility, power, speed, agility, cardiovascular, accuracy, and coordination. To develop all of these skills you must train and practice frequently. Before you start any workout and exercise always check with your physician to make sure that it is safe to do so.

Don’t let joint pain or arthritis keep you from being physically fit. By age 50 almost everyone has some joint pain or arthritis but this does not have to stop you from being physically fit enough to face any survival situation.

There are many modified exercises designed specifically for people who have arthritis or some other form of joint pain so that you can stay in the best physical shape possible without causing further pain, damage, or injury to your joints.

Some tips for exercising when you have pain or discomfort in your joints:

  • Ease into it if you have been sedentary for some time.
  • Apply heat to any sore joints before you start exercising. Use heat on the joints for 20 minutes and then do your workout. A warm moist towel, heat pack, or hot shower will do the trick.
  • Start every exercise session with 10 minutes of range of motion exercises to loosen up your joints and prevent injury.
  • Choose low impact exercise methods to minimize the impact on your joints.
  • Keep your movement easy and stop immediately if you feel sharp pain or other injury warning signs. Start slow and gentle to avoid harming your joints further.
  • Try to avoid running, jumping, and other exercises that have forceful impacts on your joints.
  • Apply ice to your joints for 20 minutes after you exercise to minimize pain and swelling.
  • Never exercise the same muscle groups two days in a row.
  • Even when you are having a flare up you can still perform range of motion exercises to keep the painful joints from stiffening up further.
  • Use strengthening and conditioning exercises that do not involve the painful or swollen joints.

In a bug out or emergency situation you may not have access to a gym, or even basic fitness equipment. In order to stay fit you may have to get creative and make do with the weight of your own body and any common items that you have on hand. You can lift bags or cans of food, filled bottles and jugs, and even small children instead of weights as long as you are careful.

There are also low impact exercises that use your own body weight for strengthening and conditioning, such as push ups and sit ups, and no fitness equipment or items are required to do them. You need to be physically fit and healthy in order to survive. Don’t let joint pain or arthritis keep you from this goal.

Unarmed Self Defense

Could you defend yourself or others if it came down to this? Do you understand the basic principles of unarmed self defense enough to use them when it matters most?

For example one of the first important principles of unarmed self defense is the plus one rule. Always treat every fight or other confrontational situation as if there is another assailant waiting in hiding because there might be. This could mean that sticking around to finish off an opponent after you have them stunned and defeated could be counter productive because more assailants could arrive while you are doing this.

Do you know which areas of the body are the weakest?

Even the biggest and strongest person in the world will have their eyes water if their nose is broken or they are poked in the eye, making them unable to see and to fight for a period of time.

There are a number of weak spots on the body that can not be trained and toughened up, and these are natural targets. The eyes, nose, throat, groin, and even the ears are all weak spots that can provide effective avenues of attack if push comes to shove and you must defend yourself or others.

self defense

Do you know to always stay moving during a fight or confrontation situation?

This keeps your assailant from being able to set up before an attack and it takes you out of the kill zone. When you are on the move you will be harder to corner and far more difficult to hit effectively.

Unarmed combat does not mean that you do not have the natural weapons that God gave you, and these can be highly effective in a hand to hand combat situation when you know what they are. Your head, elbows, knees, palms, heels, and other very hard and tough parts of your body can do massive damage to your opponent while minimizing any pain or injury to yourself. These body areas can cause a great deal of pain and injury to any assailant when used properly.

Do you know enough to aim for your opponent’s head while always protecting your own from attacks?

Practice bringing your chin down to your chest, raising your shoulders up, bringing your elbows above eye level, and touching your open hands over your head. This will protect your head from devastating blows while still allowing you to use powerful strikes. You can strike your opponent in the nose, throat, back of the neck, or face and cause a great deal of pain and damage.

In any confrontation it is almost guaranteed that one or more attackers can move forward faster than you can retreat when a straight line is used. In order to address this you need to move laterally so that you move off the line of attack instead of staying directly in it. This will allow you to strike back while minimizing any impact or blows.

Another hard self defense fact is that in almost any violent confrontation you will be hit, and this is something that you need to expect so that you can keep going when it happens. If you are fearful of being hit then you may hesitate at the worst possible time. By using protective techniques and keeping your weak areas covered you will keep any pain and damage to a minimum so that you can still fight back and defend yourself.

Effective self defense also means being able to read silent cues and body language. Body language can be very telling, and silent cues can help you survive to be the last one standing if you know how to read these signs correctly. Aggressive or dominating body language can indicate a physical threat so it is important to recognize these signals as quickly as possible.

For example, if someone is clenching their fists or they have considerable muscle tension these are signs of anger or aggression. Narrowed or squinting eyes, negative facial expressions, changes in stance or posture, and unwelcome or unwanted touching are also signs of hostile intentions. Knowing these warning signs can keep you safe by helping you avoid the wrong people in any type of situation.

Survival Mindset

Your mind can be the most powerful survival tool that you have at your disposal when used properly. A survival mindset will help you survive even when you have no tools, equipment, or other supplies. Some refer to this as a will to live but a survival mindset is much more than just this single factor.

You will need to overcome fear and panic, deal with boredom and high levels of physical and mental stress, be mentally flexible and ready to adapt no matter what is thrown at you, learn to be a predator instead of prey, recognize danger instantly, and have a can do attitude that will keep you going no matter how bad things get. This type of mindset is prepared for anything, expecting and preparing for the worst but still holding out some hope that things will get better.

A survival mindset means managing your thoughts, anxieties, panic, and fears no matter how stressful a situation is. If you do not learn how to control your fear and other negative emotions then they will take control of you. Fear can quickly become overwhelming if you are not trained to deal with it, and this could leave you vulnerable.

The human DNA is conditioned for certain responses to stressful situations and chaotic environments, this can not be avoided, and in a survival situation these same responses could get you or someone else killed if they are not controlled and managed. You can gain all the knowledge possible about what to do in a situation but when things go haywire the actual stress of the situation changes things significantly.

Dissociation can be a good way to deal with fear and panic, and this technique is used by military members and special forces when they endure physical pain and discomfort or when dealing with fear and panic. These individuals are not immune to fear, they feel it just like you do, but they have been trained to disassociate from this natural stress response and focus their mind elsewhere instead.

By making an effort to dissociate from the negative physical or emotional state you are training your mind to refocus even when danger pops up or you are in physical pain. This will allow you to think carefully and quickly analyze a situation instead of letting fear paralyze you or panic cause you to make a grave error in your reactions.

Some ways that you can train to deal with fear and panic include:

  • Use disassociation first when you have pain, before reaching for pain medications.
  • Practice dissociation when you perform long sets of exercises that involve monotonous repetition, such as sit ups, push, ups, and other simple exercises that can be grueling over the long haul.
  • Try sitting in cold water for as long as possible.
  • When you experience fear or panic try to focus on people who depend on you instead of these emotions, whether this is your family, your team, or your co-workers.
  • Find your happy place. This is a place in your mind which causes you to experience positiv emotions and releases pent up stress that we all carry around.
  • Step outside of your comfort zone and set goals that challenge you in new ways.
  • Counter negative thoughts with positive ones. Fear, panic, and other negative emotions can lead to negative thoughts, and these can become contagious.
  • Use visualization and guided imagery in order to practice for a real life survival scenario.

If you go over situations in your mind in full detail then you will be better prepared when they play out in real life and less likely to react out of fear and panic.

During times of extreme stress it is essential to relieve some of this so that you can function as needed. You will need to have a clear head in order to make the right decisions and stay alive, and this means keeping your stress levels as low as possible in spite of the chaos all around you. Stress can cause a flood of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, fogging up your mind, initiating your fight or flight response, and keeping you from making wise decisions. If you can not calm your mind and body then you have lost the war before you even fight the first battle.

Some relaxation and stress techniques to use:

  • Meditation can calm your mind and relieve stress.
  • Yoga relaxes your mind and body both.
  • Visualization. Think about a person, place, or thing that is included in one of the happiest times you have ever had and use this for visualization. Add as many details and use as many senses as you can so that the visualization is highly realistic.
  • Physical activity can relieve some stress as long as this activity is necessary for survival and not a waste of energy.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation is easy to use and can have a very relaxing effect.
  • Deep breathing can be a great tool for relaxation.
  • Massage can help relieve stress, relax the muscles involved, and focus your thoughts and attention on the here and now.
  • Aroma therapy is very effective at relieving stress and negative emotions.

Each of the skills and techniques listed above must be practiced regularly in order to be effective in a survival situation. Just like any skill or muscle group the more you practice the better you will get, and the more effective the techniques and methods will be.

Communication Skills

signs

Communication is an important element of any situation, and you must have the necessary skills and knowledge to communicate effectively with others and recognize any threats. Warning signs that someone does not have the best of intentions can include:

  • Aggression
  • Disregard for your space or property.
  • Threatening gestures like sudden movements, arm sweeps, or clenched fists.
  • Deceptive body language such as sweating, muscle twitches, or avoiding eye contact.
  • Excessive curiosity about what you have, or making demands of you.
  • Failing to heed posted signs or obey any reasonable requests.
  • Sneaky behavior like trespassing or going through your property without an invitation.

Whether you find yourself in a bug out situation, a natural disaster strikes, martial law is declared, or you just want to stay safe you need to know the best practices for communicating. These universal practices are known by most people and they can be very effective at keeping you safe while you communicate with others that you do not know.

Some best practices for communication that you should always follow include:

  • Speak at a distance. Keeping distance between you allows both parties to feel safe while still allowing effective communication. Never let someone get too close to you until you are sure of their intentions.
  • Use a loud verbal greeting to announce yourself from a distance if you come across a home, camp, or compound.
  • Dress in clothing and gear that is appropriate yet non menacing.
  • Always obey all posted signs that you come across.
  • Never trespass on property that is not yours or sneak around someone else’s camp because this could get you killed.
  • Carry a white piece of cloth so that you can display a white flag. This is not just a signal of surrender, it shows that you are willing to parlay or trade.
  • Always use a neutral tone of voice and avoid any aggressive or threatening gestures.
  • Comply with all reasonable requests when you are not in your own area. This shows that you are not a threat and will prevent them from becoming skittish enough to try and take you out. You should also expect others to comply with any requests that you make when they visit you as long as these requests are reasonable.
  • Stay calm and focused. If you become loud or excited then this could be misinterpreted and the event could end badly.

 Do you feel you have enough self-training to handle any crisis? Have you ever found yourself in an adverse situation where your survival was threatened or you were forced to physically and mentally defend yourself? What happened? What other survival tips can you share?

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This article has been written by John Gilmore for Survivopedia.

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13 Top Skills To Learn Now For Survival

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Survivopedia top survival skills

There is no time like the present for developing the skills and knowledge that you need to survive when SHTF. Some skills can help you survive immediately and amidst the chaos in the aftermath, while other skills can help you survive in the long-run.

Either way, those who have the widest variety of skills and who can learn or adapt new skills quickly and efficiently, will be the most likely to survive in a post-SHTF scenario.

Here’s a short list of 13 top survival skills you should develop that the guys from Cabela’s put up and turned into the infographic that you see below. Answer the questions to check you skill level and see if you would survive a major disaster!

13 survival skills

Do you have another tips on learning skills to survive a disaster? share them in the comment section below!

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This article has been written by Gabrielle Ray for Survivopedia.

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From Orlando With Rage: Attacked By Terrorists But NOT Terrorized

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Survivopedia from Orlando with rage

If you’re a regular reader, you’ve probably read some of my articles; I usually write about fun, informational stuff but not today. I live in Orlando, the City Beautiful. The land of flip-flops and Mickey Mouse, beaches and motorcycles, college kids and retirees.

On Sunday, Orlando was ground zero for the largest mass shooting in US history. My city was attacked by an ISIS-affiliated terrorist, and I’m really pissed.

Sunday morning, I went outside to walk my dogs, still half-asleep, before I turned on my TV and learned that some no-good, nut job, wife-beating jerk had decided that it was his right to judge and lethally punish a bar full of innocent people just because he didn’t like the way they lived. There were about 300 people inside Pulse Orlando, and over 1/3 of them were murdered or injured.

Pulse had a young following, so most of the dead were in their 20s and early 30s. Kids, really. According to reports, the shooter (I refuse to name him because he was just a lowly, cowardly sheep) scoped out Downtown Disney and Pulse. He chose the club because it was a “gay club”.

While it’s true that Pulse had a large LGBT following, it wasn’t exclusively that, nor were all the victims gay. Even if they were, they sure as hell didn’t deserve to be gunned down for it.

Orlando is my home as well as a prime destination for vacationers of all sorts. It’s supposed to be a place of fun; a place where fantasies are real and dreams come true. Yes, I realize that’s mostly an illusion created by commercialism, but to me, it’s true. Florida is my little slice of paradise and I’m enraged that some lowly hater spilled a river of blood in my streets.

What I’ve realized today is that the REAL illusion is the one of peace and safety that we all create.

I’ve known that security is an illusion for a long time now. That’s why I enjoy contributing to Survivopedia; I drink my own Kool Aid. I know that world-changing events are always just right around the corner, but on Sunday, I was shoved around that corner before I’d even had my morning coffee.

At least I was fortunate enough to live through the night; that’s more than what 49 of my fellow Orlandians were gifted with.

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I’m sure that you’ve all been watching events unfold from afar, but let me bring it home a little bit for you. The news has been stating that they couldn’t release the names of all of the victims until the families had been notified; the truth is that families couldn’t be notified until the bodies were identified. Until just a few hours ago, they were still removing bullet-riddled corpses from Pulse.

For nearly 24 hours after the attack, Orlando Regional Medical Center was on lock-down just trying to handle the massive influx of wounded and dead kids. Nine died after arrival and several more are still in critical condition.

In total, 49 people were killed and another 53 were wounded. Three blocks around the club were blocked off for more than 24 hours so that bodies could be recovered without being filmed.

Just now, as I’m writing this piece, they released the name of the final, 49th victim: Stanley Almodovar III, age 23. He was a pharmacy tech described as humble and kind. He hadn’t even started living before he was gunned down by a psycho.

11 members of the Orlando Anarchy, our women’s football team, were there celebrating the end of the season with their friends and significant others. One of the boyfriends was killed. Another woman, a mother and wife, was there celebrating a birthday. Now she’s dead. This isn’t a faceless crime.

We Will Stay United

Over the years, I’ve sat in front of my television and watched as terrorists took the lives of people all over the world. I’ve felt a somewhat detached anger and sorrow for those people who lost so much, but there was always a certain degree of separation. Yesterday, that separation was shattered.

I’ve watched as my city has responded and I’m proud. O-Town is a pretty liberal place. Our culture is diverse and our politics, like the victims in this attack, run from one end of the rainbow to the other. We have die-hard bikers and hookah-smoking hipsters. Families visit Disney and business people conduct corporate retreats.

The one thing that we all share is that this is our home and we’ve come together grandly. There was a desperate need for O-negative and AB-positive blood and people of all races, religions, and sexual persuasions stood in line for 8 hours to donate.

Families had nowhere to stay and hotels gave out free rooms. Restaurants gave free meals and volunteers donated countless hours of time. Business signs removed their ads and ran banners of support. Demonstrators stood on corners with signs declaring that we refuse to be drowned in despair.

orlando

We came together in love to fight the bloody results of hate. Our flags are flying at half-mast but we are still Americans; we refuse to buckle under the weight of terrorism.

Gun Control Is NOT the Solution

Sadly, our situation is not the first of its kind; we already have a precedent to follow. People are going to be shocked, then, inevitably, we’re going to try to make sense of the senseless. The enemy seems like smoke, there then gone. How do we fight that?

Whispers about gun control become roars because that’s the only way some people can think of to prevent this from happening again. We look to things that we can control, because it’s human nature in the face of tragedy. That’s happening here already.

People on one side of the fence are screaming about the fact that the murderer, who had been interviewed twice by the FBI, bought his guns legally. Obviously (to them), gun laws need tightened.

People on the other side of the fence (me included) are wondering if things would have been different had even one person in that club been armed. We also keep saying again and again that guns don’t kill people; people kill people.

Chicago has the tightest gun laws in the country, as well as the highest murder rates; how are those gun laws working out for them?

Gun regulation isn’t the answer because the only people who are going to follow the laws aren’t the ones who are going to go out and shoot people anyway. That seems to be a fact that people tend to overlook.

The bottom line is that nobody can stop hate. You can’t fix crazy. No amount of immigration laws or gun laws, or regulations of any sort are going to stop somebody bent on committing heinous acts.

All we can do is be alert and be prepared. We can’t let fear rule our lives but it would be naively stupid to think that something like this isn’t going to happen again because, unfortunately, it will.

I’m glad the police killed the punk. My only regrets are that he killed so many before somebody got him and that his death was so quick.

Orlando has its share of crime, but for the most part, I’ve always felt safe here. I still do; just now I’ll feel a little safer when I’m carrying my 9 mil, because you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be on high alert even as I continue to enjoy my life in the land of sandcastles and fairy princesses.

THAT is my right, and nobody is going to take it from me without a fight.

To all the friends and families of the victims of the Orlando shooting, you have my deepest sympathies. To everybody else, be vigilant.

On Sunday, this happened in my town; tomorrow it could happen in yours.

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

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The Prepper’s Countdown Checklist to New Year’s Eve

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big calendar

As November gives way to December and the last of the warm weather fades, it’s time to make sure that all is in order in case of emergency.

We’ve made a list to help you get ready to settle in for the cold months to come so that you’ll be ready for an emergency through the winter, and ready to start anew in the spring.

Let’s see what our tasks are this month. Read them below, then print the calendar at the end of this article, and use it to complete these preparations one by one!

Dec 1 – Make Sure You’ll Stay Warm

Whatever type of fuel you use, take a few minutes today to double check your fuel supply.

You may have central air, but since you’re a prepper, you also know the importance of having a back-up heat source and plenty of fuel. If you use propane heaters, make sure that they’re in good working order and that you have plenty of fuel.

If you heat with wood, how much you will need depends on several factors including the size of your house, where you live, how well your home is insulated and what type of wood you use. Usually, four cords will be more than enough for an average-sized (1500 sf) house in the Northern US through the winter, but in this case, it’s better to have too much than too little.

Dec 2 – Check Water Supplies

Take today to check your water supplies to make sure you have enough and that it’s safely stored where it won’t freeze.

In the summer, you may only need to worry about a few days’ worth of water but depending upon where you live, you may need to power up that supply to cover a couple of weeks. Remember that you can only go 24 hours without water and in extremes temperatures; you need more water than usual. One gallon of water per person per day is the minimum that you should stockpile.

Dec 3 – Clean Out Chicken Coop

Before everything turns into big frozen blobs, make your chickens’ winter nesting place clean and warm today.

Chickens need a well-ventilated, clean environment. In the winter, chickens roost more and proper ventilation is important to keep down moisture created by condensation released by your chickens. Moisture can accumulate on combs and waddles and cause frostbite. Make sure that ventilation areas such as windows are sufficient to allow airflow but not drafts, because drafts can be deadly.

And read our articles about raising chickens, so you could increase your egg production!

Dec 4 – Winterize Your Garden for Next Year

Take today to get your garden ready to grow beautiful, nutritious food next year.

Trim dead stalks and remove weeds. Work your compost into the soil so that it has time to break down into valuable nutrients that will make your plants grow like crazy next spring.

Dec 5 – Clean Guns

Take today to clean your guns so that they’re ready for the dampness of winter. This is one of our favorite topics on Survivopedia, so CLICK HERE to read our articles on gun cleaning.

This is a task that many people overlook but it’s essential that your weapons are kept in good working order. That shotgun in the closet won’t protect you if it’s rusted or so dirty that the mechanisms don’t work correctly when you fire it. Take a few minutes to break down your guns, clean them and oil them.

Dec 6 – Check/Stock Ammo

Take time today to stock and rotate your ammo.

Hunting season just ended and summer target practicing is over. Take the time now before the snow seriously settles to make sure that you have plenty of ammo. If you only keep ammo in case SHTF, make sure that it’s still in good shape to use. The life of your ammo is dependent upon the type so know what you have.

Dec 7 – Sharpen Knives

Take time today to sharpen your knives. Whether it’s your hunting knives, or your kitchen knives, you’ve probably used them quite a bit over the summer and the blades are likely dull.

Go through the house today and sharpen all of your knives. If nothing else, you’ll have a good blade with which to carve the Christmas ham!

Dec 8 – Check Fences

Take today to make sure your fences are secure, whether they’re used for keeping animals in or intruders out.

Now that most of the greenery is gone, it’s a great time to walk your fence line and clear it of any debris that may have fallen or tangled in it over the spring and summer months. Mend any spots that need it.

Dec 9 – Bring in Delicate Plants

If you have plants outside that you don’t want to freeze, and that can be brought inside, do so now if you didn’t do it already. Your herbs and other plants that you want to keep going through the winter won’t do so well if they are outside in freezing temperatures! Frozen basil isn’t nearly as good as fresh!

Dec 10 – Stock up on Board Games and Craft Items

Take today to make sure you have plenty to do when it’s too cold to be outside.

Make sure that your board games have all of their pieces and that you have plenty of craft supplies. Since it’s Christmas season, plan some homemade gifts that you can turn into a family event. A great prepper craft idea: paracord bracelets and pet collars.

Dec 11 – Clean Your Chimney

If you use a fireplace or a wood burner and you missed the autumn preparations, take today to clean you chimneys, or schedule a professional.

Creosote builds up in your chimney and pipes and will catch fire if you’re not careful. This is something that you should take care of at least annually. It may not need cleaned that often, but you should at least have it checked.

Dec 12 – Clean Your Dryer Vent Pipe

Take today to clean the vent that runs outside from your dryer.

Lint is extremely flammable and buildup is one of the top causes of house fires. Even if it doesn’t start a fire, excess lint in the pipe can become damp from condensation, then freeze, creating a cycle that causes further lint buildup that will cause your dryer to function less than efficiently.

Dec 13 – Wrap Young Trees

Take time today to protect the tender bark of young fruit trees by wrapping them.

The bark of young trees can be extremely thin and freezing temperatures can damage them. Since those apples and peaches are going to be delicious next fall, you don’t want to kill the trees now!

Dec 14 – Wrap Your Pipes

If you didn’t do it already, take today to wrap the pipes under your house in heat tape if they’re prone to freezing. The same thing goes for any outdoor plumbing such as the pipes in your barn. Not only will this insure that you’ll have running water when you need it, you’ll also avoid costly repairs of burst pipes.

Read the tips that we’ve presented here about water usage and storage during winter for more info on the topic.

Dec 15 – Clean Your Gutters

Take today to clean the fall leaves from your gutters so that winter rains won’t accumulate and freeze.

If water accumulates in your gutters and freezes, the weight can be enough to bring the gutter down. Since your gutters help protect the foundation of your house as well as the outer walls, it’s important that they function properly.

Dec 16 – Seal Entrances from Drafts

Take today to make sure your windows and doors seal well.

One of the biggest energy sucks is leaky entrances. Not only do they raise your heating bill, it also makes your feet cold, which nobody wants! Weather stripping is dirt cheap and is available at superstores and hardware stores all over the place. Since it’s so easy to install, you could probably do every single window and door in your house in a couple of hours if needed.

Or you could DIY your own insulating window frames following the instructions you’ll find in this Survivopedia article. Oh, and this will help keep heat-seeking creepy-crawlies out, too.

Dec 17 – Check Tools

Take today to check the condition of your winter hand tools.

There’s nothing more irritating than having the handle of your snow shovel break while you’re trying to dig out for work. It would probably be a bad thing if the head of your axe flings off while you’re in mid-swing chopping wood, too. Take a few minutes to go over your tools to make sure that they’re in good shape.

Dec 18 –  Prepare Summer Machinery for Winter

Take the time to prepare your summer machinery such as lawn mowers, weed eaters and dirt bikes for winter. Depending on the machine, you may need to drain the fluids and perform other maintenance tasks to keep them ready to use next spring.

Dec 19 – Winterize Your Vehicles

Take today to get your cars ready for winter, if you didn’t do it already. And even if you did, an extra check would make no harm.

Cars and trucks require different care for winter weather. You need to make sure that you have antifreeze in your radiator and you may need to change to a different viscosity oil. You should probably also get tires with winter tread and check to make sure that your wipers and heater are in good working order. A good once-over will help you get safely back and forth when you need to.

It also won’t hurt to throw a bag of sand in the trunk in case you get stuck, either.

Dec 20 – Prepare Winter Equipment

Take today to double-check all of your winter machinery and equipment.

Machinery such as snow plows, winches on trucks, four wheelers and other winter equipment need love, too. Make sure that your equipment is up to snuff by checking fluids, lines, tires, and other parts that make ‘em go. Make sure you have plenty of salt for sidewalks, too.

Dec 21 – Stockpile Animal Feed

Take today to go grab some extra bags of feed for the dogs and livestock. If you’ve already done that, then check your stockpiles to make sure that they’re stored so that they won’t fall victim to dampness or vermin.

Dec 22 – Change Horse’s Shoes or Have Shoes Removed

Take today to winterize your horse’s feet.

Winter is often a good time to let your horses go barefoot so that you’ll have plenty of hoof to work with in the spring. Summer shoes can be slick and can cause ice balls to collect under the hoof. If you want to keep them ready for riding across slick terrain, consider using borium shoes that provide additional traction.

Also, if you blanket your horses, make sure that all the straps and buckles on your blankets are secure to prevent injury. If you’ve had horses for very long, you probably know that they’re accidents waiting to happen!

Dec 23 – Check Your Food Stockpile

Take today to check expiration dates and rotate your food stockpile.

You’re probably getting ready to cook a big meal for the holidays so take today to go through your food stockpile. If you’re using anything there for your meal, use this opportunity to use the oldest first and to check the expiration dates on all of your food items. Also, make sure that dried goods such as beans and flour are securely stored so that moisture and critters can’t get to them.

Dec 24 and 25 – Open Presents and Enjoy the Day with your Loved Ones!

It’s Christmas Eve, then Christmas. Take these two days to do whatever it is that you do with your family, and appreciate the peace and health of them all!

Merry Christmas!

Dec 26 – Waterproof Your Clothing

Take today to waterproof your outdoor gear. Nothing is more uncomfortable, or even as life-threatening, as wet clothing and shoes in freezing temperatures. There are many different ways that you can waterproof your clothes, but pick a way and do it now.

Here’s a good article to help you with this task.

Dec 27 – Winterize Bug-Out Bags

Take today to make sure that you have winter items in your bug-out bags.

Check clothing to make sure that it’s the right size and weather-appropriate. You may want to put some heat packs in there and add some extra garbage bags, too. Oh, and a Sterno can or two wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. In a pinch, they put off a ton of heat in comparison to none at all and will provide a heat/cooking source for several hours.

Just go through and make sure that you have what you need for a winter bug out.

Dec 28 – Replenish Medical Supplies

Take today to replenish your medical supplies and make sure that everything is still good. Here’s our list of top 10 types of meds that you need to stockpile.

Now’s a good time to go through your medical kit and make sure that it’s well stocked and that all of your items are still good. For instance, medical tape goes bad after a few years and you should check the expiration dates on any medications that you keep in there, too. You probably also raided it a few times for summer boo-boos, so now’s the time to make sure you have what you need in case SHTF and you can’t get out.

Dec 29 – Change Batteries in Smoke Detector

Take today to change the batteries in your smoke detector.

Yes, I realize that some of you may have done this when the time changed like everybody says to do, but if you didn’t, do it now. House fires increase exponentially in the winter. A smoke detector with dead batteries is just as bad as no smoke detector at all. As a matter of fact, it may be worse because you have a false sense of security.

Dec 30 – Rotate Battery Supplies

Take today to check your battery supply to make sure they’re good and that you have enough. Here’s what you need to know about choosing batteries for your supply.

Batteries last for a long time, but not forever. I always put a date on the pack when I buy a pack. Cylindrical carbon zinc batteries will stay good at room temperature (between 65-75 degrees) for 3-5 years, cylindrical alkaline batteries will stay good for 5-10 years and cylindrical lithium batteries will store for 10-15 years.

Still, I’d change out anything that’s getting even close to that date. Just put them in something that you’re going to use right now. Hint – remote controls and video game controls are a great way to get rid of batteries that need used!

Dec 31 – Break out the Wine for the New Year!

Take today finish the small chores around the house and contemplate all of the good stuff that has happened to you over the last year.

Don’t focus on the bad stuff – that’s all in the past! Go in early, and get ready to do whatever it is that makes you happy when the old year ends and the new year begins!

And here’s the calendar that we’ve promised!

calendar

I hope that I’ve provided some useful chores to help you get ready for winter. If you can think of other little tasks that need doing before the snow sets in seriously, please add it in the comments section below.

EMPCover1

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

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