Survival Stories Gone Bad: Chris McCandless

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There are many good reasons why we may end up in a survival situation, but putting ourselves there intentionally is pretty far down on the list.

These days, those who do it intentionally often end up with their own extreme reality show. Others end up as an example of survival stories gone bad.

Chris McCandless fall into this category. Here’s his story.

At the end of April, 1992, Chris, AKA Alexander Supertramp, left Fairbanks, AK and ventured into the Alaskan outback, determined to kill the “false being within.” He survived on a meager diet of scavenged roots, nuts, berries, small game, and mushrooms.

He’d also taken a 10-pound bag of rice with him. He lived for 113 days before dying on about August 18th.

His body was found inside his sleeping bag by a moose hunter who had stopped at the old bus that he had been using for shelter.

There was a note pinned to the door begging any visitor to wait for him because he was injured, weak, and starving. He was so far gone that he hadn’t even taken the note off the door when he returned.

Now, that may sound like a terribly tragic story to you, and it most certainly is, but Chris’s adventure and death is a controversial topic.

Video first seen on carinemccandless.

Some consider him an arrogant, entitled kid who died because of that arrogance and failure to prepare. Others think that he was somebody to admire who fell victim to the tides of misfortune, and yet others think that he was a mentally ill young man who went into a situation and died because of that mental incapacity.

Like everybody, I have an opinion. I believe that it’s a combination of the three. He was certainly not lacking in the clarity or mental capacity to set forth on his adventure, though it turns out that he was educated but misinformed.

From most accounts, he was also at least a little arrogant and likely overconfident in his abilities. Misfortune also played a part. But mostly, in my opinion, it was lack of preparation and experience.

 

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Anytime you combine arrogance, ignorance, and bad luck, disaster of some type is bound to happen eventually. Even the most humble, skilled, and lucky of us experience misfortune sometimes, and they combined to equal the perfect storm for Chris. It cost him his life.

But … what can we take away from his experience?

Don’t Underestimate the Danger

First and foremost, perhaps his biggest folly was underestimating the danger of what he was doing. Living solely off the land isn’t just a matter of taking a walk, shooting a rabbit or two, and gathering a bushel of berries and edible plants along the way.

Some of those animals may just want to eat you back once the sun sets, and the edible plants, as he learned, aren’t always so edible.

Hard-core wilderness survival at the level he undertook is the epitome of the word survival. The only thing that could have possibly made it more difficult would have been if he were being hunted, barring nuclear fallout and other apocalyptic scenarios.

Don’t let the romance, for lack of a better word, of surviving on your own in the wilderness, being one with nature, and “finding yourself” blind you to the incredibly real dangers of surviving only your own competence and on what’s available to you.

Don’t Overestimate Your Skills

This goes hand-in-hand with underestimating the danger, and both of them can be chalked up to the arrogance factor. This reminds me, on a much more deadly level, of the kid who wants to build his own treehouse. It seems easy, but the reality is a whole different beast than the idea.

You don’t just decide one day, “Hey, I’ve been hiking and have experienced some pretty harsh camping conditions. I think I’ll wonder into the Alaskan bush for an underdetermined amount of time.”

He may have read up on what he would face but this sort of thing isn’t exactly something that you jump into without shorter trips and much more preparation. He was a traveler but had no experience remotely similar to this.

Plus, the fact that he was living on such a limited diet and at such a calorie deficit for so long indicates that he wasn’t prepared. Pictures that he took show that he became gaunt even before he was apparently feeling much of the effects of the poison that eventually killed him.

He was obviously not eating enough calories and was existing on a diet that had very little variance. The same mushrooms, wild potato roots and seeds, and whatever protein he caught surely didn’t provide his body with the wide range of vitamins, nutrients, and fatty acids that it needed to thrive.

In short, he walked in thinking that he could just live off the land, and he couldn’t. Even had he survived, he would have likely been malnourished when he did emerge.

Don’t Ignore Your Body

Your body knows what it needs and it diverts energy from non-critical places on your body to critical ones. In other words, if you’re not eating enough calories, your body will steal it from other parts of your body to keep your vital organs functioning. First it burns sugar, then it burns fat, then it burns muscle.

He was to the point of emaciation – he went in weighing 140 pounds and his remains weighed just 66 pounds with no discernable subcutaneous fat – before he died. He didn’t get that way overnight, nor did he become sick and weak overnight.

The toxin in the wild potato roots and seeds that has now been determined to have led to his demise doesn’t just kill you on the spot. It’s a neurotoxin that acts slowly, so he would have been feeling the effects for days or even weeks – plenty of time to hike to the highway to get help. But he ignored his body.

Prepare for Every Contingency

We all know that this point has an inherent flaw: there’s no way to KNOW every contingency, so there’s no way to prepare for every one of them. What a reasonable, experienced person would do before attempting such an extreme idea is plan and prepare.

They’d play the what-if game. What if I can’t find game? Maybe I should have some back-up MREs. What if I get hurt? Maybe I should have an emergency means to communicate. What if my lighter or matches get wet? I need an alternate method of building a fire. What if, what if, what if.

In his case, he was woefully unprepared for wilderness survival. According to his notes, he attempted to head back to civilization in July, but couldn’t because his path was blocked because the Teklanika River was swollen at the place where he’d crossed in April.

Had he done his research and had a topographical map, he would have known that there was a hand-operated tramway that crossed the river not even a mile away from his original crossing spot.

Have a Backup Plan and Fail-safes

There’s an old saying credited to a German field marshal that says that no plan survives first contact with the enemy. It’s a good saying. That’s why experienced soldiers and outdoorsmen always have a backup plan and fail-safes.

Any experienced hiker or outdoorsman (heck, any Boy Scout) will tell you that it’s just part of the planning process to include information such as your path, your destination, and how long you expect to be gone in a plan that you share with at least one other person. That way, if you don’t show back up or make contact, they know to send somebody after you.

An emergency radio wouldn’t have been a bad thing. Nor would maps, a working knowledge of how to preserve meat (he killed a moose but most of the meat went bad because he didn’t preserve it properly), and just basically used a little bit of common sense. Maybe this is where mentally ill part comes in. Either that, or supreme arrogance.

The one part of his demise that he can’t be blamed for, much, is the fact that the wild potato seeds that made up a majority of his diet were listed as safe to eat in the book he wrote his diary in. It took a couple of decades for it to be determined that the seeds contain a neurotoxic amino acid commonly known as ODAP.

Of course, had he been eating a wide variety of foods and been properly nourished, the toxins likely wouldn’t have affected him.

So, it’s easy to look at Chris’s experience and, if nothing else, learn from it. The real reason that he set off on the trip will never be known, but in the scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that he wasn’t prepared and he died because of it.

Would you do any of the mistakes he did?

Do you have anything to add? If so, please feel free to comment in the section below.

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

Survival Defense: How To Hide In Plain Sight

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Most people wrongly believe that it is difficult, if not impossible to hide in plain sight. If you want to avoid detection even when surrounded by other people that may be looking for you, you have to change your way of thinking and learn how to blend into your surroundings.

Once you have mastered how to do this, you can hide in plain sight without family, close friends, or co-workers noticing you.

9 Ways to Make Yourself Invisible With What You Have on Hand

Sometimes individuals have distinctive features that make them stand out in a crowd. It could be a scar, tattoo, or the color of their eyes. The following items can help to make you invisible.

Hats

Use a hat to cover hair styles or colors that are not common where you are. If no one is wearing a hat and you are, take it off or wear a scarf instead rather than take a chance of your hair standing out in the crowd.

Glasses

If you have distinctive colored eyes, wear different colored contacts, sun glasses, or regular clear reading glasses that have fake lens. Once again, the style and design of the glasses should match what is popular in the area so that you do not stand out.

Hide Distinctive Signs

If you have scars or tattoos on your body, wear long sleeve shirts or jackets to hide them. If in an area where almost everyone has tattoos or scars, then don’t try to cover them unless they make you easy to identify.

For example, if you have fairly common tatoo design such as a rose, it will blend easily enough in the crowd. On the other hand, if the tatoo has an uncommon word in it, and people know to look for that word, it might be better to cover up that tattoo rather than take a chance of it being spotted.

Use Makeup

Use makeup to hide scars or a distinctive face, and it is also possible to use makeup to make you look older or younger. Using temporary glued on beards or mustaches can also help to hide your actual facial structure. Remember that this makeup must make the wearer fit into the crowd, not draw attention.

For example, if the people around you don’t wear a lot of cheek color or eyeliner, try to avoid these options. If you are a male, be very careful about how you apply makeup so that it isn’t obvious you are using this particular aide.

Trick Technology

To hide from facial recognition technology, if you are in an area that is covered by video cameras, you must change the basic facial structure of your face. This can be done by puffing out your cheeks or packing your nose with tissue. Try not to over do it, because this will draw attention to you as well.

Fix Your Hair

Wear your hair in the style similar to what others in the area are wearing. If people around you have messy looking hair, don’t make yours look neat and clean. By the same token, if everyone is wearing long hair that is straight and neat, don’t walk around with a permanent or hair that looks messy.

Clothes

Your clothing must not stand out from other individuals around you. You must know what is considered to be the norm of the group in the area. If you don’t look like them, you will stand out and attract attention. You must dress yourself up or down by adding or removing ties, jackets, or shirts.

Usually, neutral colors will blend in better. Always choose gray over black or white over red because these colors blend better and can be visually harder to follow at a distance.

The Way You Walk

If you must temporarily change your looks to stay invisible in a crowd, you may also have to change your gait. If you are making yourself look older then walk slower and more carefully. Using a small stick as a cane may also help people think you are older or disabled.

You can also add a small coin or stone in your shoe to give you a small limp. When trying to look younger, walk a little faster than normal, but not so fast it draws attention to you. Never ever run unless it is an emergency!

Jewelry

If you must wear jewelry or a watch, make it simple and match what the local people wear. If they don’t wear any jewelry, take all yours off as well.

The Dos and Don’ts of How to Act When Hiding in Plain Sight

Even though you may want to move through an area a quickly as possible, haste can lead to making mistakes that cause you to be easily spotted.

It is better to go through each of the following points so that you don’t overlook anything important:

  1. Observe the area you will be traveling through to see what people are expecting to see in individuals traveling through this area.
  2. You must have a plan to blend in. The look that you decide on must enable you to merge into the crowd you’ll be hiding in.
  3. The plan should cover what colors to wear, what type of accessories to wear, and what type of footwear will match your look and the crowd.
  4. Look like the average individual in this crowd. The more you look like everyone else around you, the harder it will be to spot you as someone different, and therefore worthy of interest.
  5. People will always notice what is out of place. To keep from creating problems or other distractions, follow the crowd in all aspects, otherwise you will become the problem or the distraction that others notice. When walking in a crowd, stay near the center of the group, as this is the most populated area, and therefore makes you the least conspicuous. Never stay long in the center of the group or go near the fringes. If others are moving from one area to another, match their patterns so that it looks like you have the same interests as everyone else assembled.
  6. If you must change direction or cross the the crowd, do it as smoothly as possible. The trick is to mimic what the crowd is doing to better fit in with the movement of the group.
  7. When walking with crowds, you must look, walk, and act like you belong there for the same reason everyone else does. Act like you have a purpose and know where you are going. Fast walking, being skittish, and looking in all directions quickly will make you look suspicious and draw unwanted attention to you.
  8. To keep a low profile, remain silent. If you must talk to someone, use a softer than normal voice that will not travel far. Using your normal voice volume may give you away if it’s different than the locals. If you are traveling overseas it is good to speak the local dialect or use the accent of the region you are living in. Failure to do this will immediately reveal that you are not a member of the crowd. When speaking to other individuals in the crowd, follow the local body language customs. If people are smiling and agreeable, do the same thing. To keep from getting unwanted attention, don’t stay silent or ignore people when they try to talk to you. Keep the answers short and to the point, but still within keeping for the group.
  9. Trying to hide in plain sight it can be a very stressful. You must act and move in a casual manner. All of your body movements should show others that you are not in a hurry or nervous, and that you are one of them.
  10. Avoid eye contact, but don’t go to extremes. Making eye contact is a way two or more people acknowledge each other. You must not look people in the eyes that are close to you. Instead look at the ground 25 to 30 feet ahead of you. Don’t make it obvious that you don’t want to look others in the eye or this will also make you memorable or worthy of suspicion.
  11. Try to obey all laws and city ordinances in the area you are hiding in. Nothing attracts attention like jaywalking or walking on posted park grass. Obey all traffic laws. Monitor all vehicle lights and replace all burned out lights immediately. Be sure driver’s license, license plates, and all other permits are up to date. The last thing you want is the police to notice you or stop you. This is how a lot of “invisible” individuals get caught.
  12. Have a good sense of situation awareness. Be able to look and study a crowd without looking like you are doing so. As you watch the crowd, you may be able to spot individuals that are looking for you. If possible, notice how they stick out, and the response of others around them. Make sure you aren’t duplicating their obvious behaviors and mistakes.
  13.  Even something simple can cause you to become visible when you want to stay hidden. It is to your advantage to practice your own skills, and also observe people in crowds as much as you can. Make note of things people do that make them stand out, and then see if you have the same or similar habits. The more you observe and practice, the easier it will be to stay invisible when you really have to.

How to Hide From Some While Remaining Visible to Others

You need a plan that you can use in case you must escape a situation where you need to hide from someone like an active shooter while being easy to find by the police or others trying to help you. To help you to easily remember the parts of the plan, use the acronym ALICE, which stands for:

  1. A= Alert – notify the authorities and the people around you of the problem.
  2. L= Lock down – Find and secure yourself and others in a location that is to hard for unwanted people to get to.
  3. I= Inform – Keep the authorities informed of the situation and know your surroundings.
  4. C= Counter – If there are no other options, confront or interrupt the attacker.
  5. E= Escape/Evade/Evacuate – do so if you can manage it.

Other important parts of your plan include the following:

Always stay positive

A calm outlook and attitude can help you avoid panic. Try to maintain a positive outlook and maintain clear, logical thinking. Never let go of the belief that you will survive and that an opportunity to reach safety will present itself as long as you are capable of looking for it.

Know the source of the danger

Always be aware of where the danger is coming from and stay away.

Know where the exits are located and where they go to

Get away from the immediate danger and find the nearest exit that can get you away and outside of the danger zone.

Arm yourself

Remember anything can be used as a weapon. Make yourself as dangerous as possible in the event you are forced to defend yourself and others.

Always be prepared to move quickly when necessary to get you and your party to safety.

 

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Use cover

When on the move, always use cover to protect you as you travel from one strong point to another. Never stay in the open longer than is needed.

Don’t travel along walls

Always travel at least six inches away from walls to stay away from ricocheting bullets.

How to Find the Best Position

If you are visiting an area that might be targeted by terrorists or hostage takers, always do the following:

  • Locate as many exits as possible that lead away from the main area of the building.
  • Look for offices, classrooms, or storage rooms that can be barricaded and defended.
  • Make these safe areas very hard to break into. Usually, attackers will skip over areas that are hard to get into and seek easier targets.
  • Locate areas that provide good to excellent cover or concealment.
  • Find and use an area that has good cell phone reception to contact the authorities.
  • Keep track of where security or other personnel may be. If they aren’t already targets of the criminals in the situation, they may still be able to help you.

How to Keep Children Silent

It is extremely important that you stay calm when in a dangerous situation. Don’t be reactive to the situation and you must find ways to keep and stay calm. Remember, children take their cues of behavior from adult’s actions. If you stay calm, so will the children. If you lose control and panic so will they.

To help children to be silent and under control in an emergency, practice and rehearse emergency survival situations. The more everyone practices together, the more you will be able to handle any kind emergency situation. If the children know what to expect, there is less a chance they will cry, scream, or panic.

How to Breath and Reduce Stress Levels

It is important to teach yourself, and children stress reducing techniques that will aid in calming and slow down breathing.

  • Breathing exercise 1- count to 10 slowly, breathing in and exhaling with each number. This teaches you how to slow down your breathing, which can create a sense of calm.
  • Breathing exercise 2- This is a three count exercise. Breath in for a count of three. Hold for a count of three. Exhale for a count of three. Repeat this exercise three times while thinking and focusing on the word relax. This will help to calm your mind.
  • Isometric exercises- squeezing and releasing all the muscles in your body isometrically and simultaneously can make your muscles relax. Do this three times. This will reduce stress levels quickly.
  • Visualization – Close your eyes for one minute while focusing your mind on a calming memory of a favorite place (your happy place). Hold this image to the count of three. This will lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels.

Everyone should know how to hide in plain sight. To do this you must make yourself invisible to all others inside and outside of a group. If mistakes are made they will be noticed quickly by all groups concerned.

If you are in a dangerous situation, blending in with the other individuals in the group can save your life!

 

 

This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia.

The Devastation Of Hurricane Harvey

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The recent arrival of Hurricane Harvey is somewhat personal for me. Early Friday morning, before it made landfall, radar course projections showed it heading right for my home. Since I only live 90 miles inland, we would have been hit hard by the 130 plus mile-per-hour winds and torrential rainfall.

But Harvey made a course change just before landfall and passed north of our home, leaving us safe.

But that doesn’t mean that Harvey was safe by any means.

As a Category 4 hurricane, Harvey’s winds are strong enough to tear buildings apart. It has dumped somewhere over nine trillion gallons of water on Texas, devastating Corpus Christi, Houston and many smaller towns.

While there has only been five reported deaths as of this writing, billions of dollars worth of property has been destroyed. This hurricane could very well be the most devastating to hit our country since Katrina, topping Sandy in total dollars of destruction.

Part of what has made Harvey so destructive is that it has moved very little since hitting the Texas coast, dumping trillions of gallons of water in what is really a rather small amount of space. By the time all is said and done, Houston is projected to end up receiving around 50 inches of rain.

This rain is what is going to end up causing the biggest part of the damage, as the winds started dying down as soon as Harvey made landfall. By the time the weekend was over, less than 48 hours after hitting, Hurricane Harvey had been downgraded to a tropical storm.

But I’m sure that’s no consolation to the residents of Houston, Galveston and the surrounding areas, whose homes have several feet of water flooding them. Many of those homes will never be the same.

Harvey isn’t done with its destruction either.

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As of this writing, the storm is still dumping rain on Houston, as well as moving farther to the east. Louisiana seems to be next on its dance card, as the storm moves towards the northeast. Lake Charles is already experiencing Harvey’s wrath and New Orleans could be in for some heavy rainfall as well, before it’s all over.

As with every natural disaster, nature couldn’t care less about the devastation that it is causing. We think we are so powerful, with our technology and our machines, but all it takes is one storm to break down this house of cards we call civilization.

Maybe it’s Time to Refocus Our Prepping

It’s no wonder that prepping is growing in the United States. The American people are finally waking up to something our ancestors knew, that life is fragile and nature is a killer. Even without the help that we humans give it in killing our fellow man, nature does a good enough job on its own, killing thousands of people per year.

As preppers, we love to talk about preparing for “the big one.” It doesn’t matter that that big one is a total breakdown of society, a financial collapse, an EMP attack or a zombie apocalypse, we have a plan for it.

But the reality is, we’re much more likely to face a natural disaster in our lifetimes, than any of the major disasters that we prep for.

Granted, much of the same preps need to be made for a natural disaster as those we need to make to survive a hurricane. More than anything, it’s the aftermath we’re prepping for, not the disaster itself.

Living through the destructive power of a hurricane or other natural disaster may be difficult, but nobody is going to starve or die of dehydration in a few hours or days. Living through weeks of outages, when there is no power or water and the grocery stores are empty is what we prepare for.

While the effects of an EMP are nationwide, on a local level they aren’t much different than any other disaster. The big difference is that Uncle Sam won’t be coming in to rescue us and help us to restore our lives. That’s going to have to happen on a local level, because the communications necessary to do anything on a national level won’t exist anymore.

What that means is that the aftermath is going to be much longer, straining our ability to survive, even if we are prepared.

But food is food and water is water. We will need both to survive anything that comes our way. Likewise, we will need most of the other things we stockpile. Even so, there are specific things that we will need, which are totally dependent on the type of disaster we end up facing.

Surviving a Flood

Hurricanes cause devastation in two ways; through wind and through water. While high winds can destroy many structures, it is ultimately the flooding that does the greatest damage. That will definitely be so in the case of Harvey, as the high winds dropped off almost as fast as they climbed.

Video first seen on The Alex Jones Channel.

So how do you prepare for this sort of flooding? Can you save your home, and if so, how? What can you do to survive, if your home becomes flooded, making it inhabitable?

First of all, this storm, like others in the past, demonstrates the reason why we all need a good bug out plan in place. While Houston officials didn’t call for a general evacuation, the state’s governor recommended it to those who could. This raises the question of why a general evacuation order didn’t go out.

It really boils down to experience and history. When Hurricane Rita was headed towards Houston in 2005, a general evacuation was called. Six-and-a-half million Houstonites took to the roads, creating a 100 mile long traffic jam that lasted for over a day and a half. There wasn’t enough gasoline available to fill that many vehicles, causing many to run dry and be abandoned on the road. People died from the heat, as well as from traffic accidents.

After all that, Hurricane Rita only struck Houston with a glancing blow, not even worth the effort that had been taken to avoid it. Hurricanes are always unpredictable, and this is just one more example of how the best of our planning may only be for naught.

We cannot rely on the government to tell us when to evacuate; we’ve got to make that decision for ourselves.

In the case of Hurricane Rita, the city government was wrong in telling people to evacuate. Now, in the case of Hurricane Harvey, the city government was wrong in telling people to stay home. But in both cases, the decision that was made was based upon the best information available. It’s just that nature doesn’t follow our information.

Waterproof Your Stockpile

I don’t know how much money you have invested in your survival stockpile, but I’m sure it’s in the thousands. Food is expensive, so if you’re going to have enough to last you any time, you’re going to have to spend a lot of money.

That’s an asset you can’t afford to lose, even in a flood. So you want to make sure that you won’t. How? By doing everything you can to ensure that it is waterproof. Canned goods already are, so that’s not an issue. Dry foods stored in five gallon buckets are waterproof as well. But what about everything else? How’s your toilet paper supply; is it protected from the water?

In some cases, you can ignore waterproofing if you can store the items on the second floor of your home. I have a lot stored under the second floor eaves of my home, where it is fairly well protected from flooding. Unless the roof gets torn off my home, I won’t have to worry about losing it.

But many people have their stockpile in the basement of their home; the first place that will flood. If that’s the case, you want to be extra careful about waterproofing it. You also want to have a plan for moving those supplies upstairs, if your home starts to flood. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use any of them until the flood waters subside, simply because you won’t have access to them.

Another possibility for protecting your stockpile is to keep some of it off-site, hopefully on higher ground. That way, if your home floods, you will still have access to supplies. You can use the remotely stored supplies until your home gets to the point where you can have access to those supplies once again.

Keep in mind that your supplies are more for surviving the aftermath, than for surviving the disaster itself.

So just because your home floods and your supplies are underwater, doesn’t mean that you’ve lost them, assuming that they are properly waterproofed. You will need those supplies as you are trying to salvage what you can from your home and put your life back together.

Protect Your Home

American homes don’t handle flooding well. They are not made of materials that can withstand sitting in water for minutes, let alone days. Drywall will soak up water rather quickly, falling apart. Even the structural studs and plywood that makes up the wall structure, floors and outer sheathing of our homes can be destroyed by too much water.

Chances are that if your home floods and the flood waters stay in place for days, your home will be totally destroyed. But if the flood abates quickly, you may be able to salvage it. Carpeting, drywall and other materials will need to be replaced; but if the structural part of your home survives, it can be rebuilt.

In Mexico and in many other emerging countries, homes are built out of cinder blocks and cement. While that may not make for as nice a home, it handles flooding much better.

I have some friends in the state of Tabasco, in Mexico, whose home has flooded several times. In each case, they’ve moved the furniture to the second floor and waited it out. Once the flood waters abated they were able to clean their homes up, repaint them and put their lives back together. That’s a whole lot easier than rebuilding an American home.

Since our homes are not made that way, we need to consider trying to protect them from flooding altogether. That may be too expensive for any of us to do, but we should at least look at it.

The most common way of protecting a home or other building from flooding is to make a wall of sandbags around it, with space between the sandbags and the home. That way, any water that seeps in can be pumped out; and yes, water will seep in.

Doing this takes a lot of sandbags and a lot of sand. The wall has to be unbroken all the way around, with all of it built to a uniform height. One dip or gap makes the whole thing invalid, as the water can pour through that one spot, flooding your home.

There are other, more modern options, which have been developed for use, instead of sandbags. While these are probably more expensive than building a sandbag wall, they are also probably easier to use. essentially the idea is to create a wall out of water filled plastic tubes, two to three feet in diameter.

This wall does the same thing that the sandbag wall does, but is considerably easier to erect. A couple of different companies make these tubes, so you might want to look into them.

Stay Prepared to Bug Out

No matter what you do, always keep yourself ready to bug out. Let’s say that you decide to ride out a hurricane that’s heading for your city, like the people in Houston did. That’s your decision to make. But don’t leave yourself without options. Make sure you always have a way to escape, should it come down to that.

What do I mean by that? Either have a four-wheel-drive vehicle that is high enough to ford the waters or some sort of boat, even a raft, that you can paddle out of there. if your answer is a truck or SUV, then make sure you leave before the water gets too deep to use it.

If it’s a boat, you’ve got more time. But in that case, you want the boat ready to use, moored to your home, where you can get into it from a second-story window.

Granted, a boat is an expensive investment, especially if you’re not going to use it for fishing. But a rubber life raft is much cheaper. For that matter, a large air mattress will work, if you don’t have anything else. Just make sure that you always leave yourself an option, so that you don’t have to go down with the sinking ship.

Whatever you do, stay lert and be prepared to face the unexpected, so you and your family survive!

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

7+1 Survival Video Games To Play For Training Your Skills

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What do video games and survival have in common? The simple answer is: not much.

However, considering the fact that we’re in 2017 A.D. and basically living inside of the (digital) matrix, maybe we should consider that it’s entirely possible for you to play video games, and at the same time, hone your survival skills.

That’s an interesting concept, isn’t it?

I don’t pretend to have a definitive answer to the fundamental issue of whether it will work for you. However, since prepping and survival are now mainstream things, as opposed to let’s say ten years ago, I’ve noticed an interesting trend: survival-based video games are actually becoming popular with the new generation.

I’m not a hard-core gamer (not a gamer at all, to be perfectly honest), but I’ve played my share of video games back in the day and this new idea has made me curious.

Another thing that video games and prepping have in common is that survival has been an intrinsic part of every gamer’s DNA since the days of old-school Atari.

The point of Frogger was to get across the road without dying. Basically, in almost any video game, if you’re still alive at the end, you’ve won. There are a few exceptions to that rule, but survival and video games are almost synonymous.

However, are there lessons to be learned from playing video games? Survival lessons that is?

 

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Well, the short answer is yes, there are things to be learned about survival/prepping even if you’re a pro-gamer who doesn’t get out much from his mother’s basement.

I’m kidding a little bit there, but there are a lot of games which make me remember my first survival book: Robinson Crusoe. Since survival revolves around the holy trinity of food, water, and shelter, Robinson Crusoe can be described as the quintessential survival book, as it makes for a fascinating journey inside the mind of a guy stranded on a remote island.

Survival in such conditions requires exploring, living off the land, scavenging for resources, hunting, fighting the elements, huddling around a fire, and so forth and so on. And if you think about it, all these trials would make for the perfect premise for a (survival) game.

Here are 7+1 games that I’ve picked for you and suggest you should try.

Minecraft

To begin with, I must confess that I firmly believe Minecraft to be the quintessential survival game. Yes, I am aware of the fact there are people in this world who have not (yet) enjoyed this thing of beauty, but that can be remedied easily, especially for preppers and survivalists. The thing is, your only excuse for not playing Minecraft is the fact you did not know it’s a survival game.

Minecraft can be best described as a castaway game which includes all the perks of Robinson Crusoe (the book) and incorporates all the cool elements required from a survival game. Minecraft is the legend of the 21st century, a phenomenon into itself, and before it got famous, it was, first and foremost, the first true-blue survival game.

Playing Minecraft will teach you the importance of building a home/shelter for yourself if stranded in the wild, of gathering resources, and of knowing how to defend yourself (well, against zombies in the game, but that can be extrapolated to anything else less other-worldly). Minecraft was also the first video game that started the modern trend of incorporating survival elements into basically anything.

Video first seen on TeamMojang.

Truth be told, Minecraft can be anything you like, but if you’re a prepper, you’ll definitely enjoy venturing into the wilderness trying to conquer the elements, hiding in the night,  and fighting for survival tooth and nail. In my humble opinion, it remains one of the best games to date in the survival genre.

Miasmata

Another must-try survival video game is Miasmata, a game that will teach you a little bit about homeopathic/traditional medicine.

The thing is, in Miasmata you’ll find yourself alone on an island whose population was affected by a deadly disease/plague, and of course, you’ll have to cure the disease via research. The trick is, the island is bursting with medicinal plants and your job is to find that particular species that will cure the disease.

The atmosphere is very jungle-like and playing Miasmata will make you a wannabe botanist if you’re not already one. Learning holistic medicine is a very important survival skill, at least in my opinion, and Miasmata would make for a great game to play with your kids.

Video first seen on GOG.com.

Rust

Rust is another hugely popular survival game. The game is cruel, harsh, and even bullish, but it will teach you a little bit about outdoor survival basics.

The game begins with your spawning into the Rust-World. This is a multiplayer game unlike Minecraft and Miasmata, both of which can also be played in single-player mode.

In the beginning, you have basically zero tools on your person (you’re a naked caveman), besides a rock. The game will teach you the importance of building a shelter and quickly gathering resources in a SHTF scenario (outdoors), along with other survival essentials like, you know, staying alive.

Video first seen on Surge.

Don’t Starve

If you want to learn about the importance of finding food in a survival situation, I must recommend the Don’t Starve video game. I just love it when a game’s title matches its game-play, and Don’t Starve is the perfect example of that philosophy.

The whole experience in Don’t Starve revolves around survival essentials such as finding food/resources for staying alive in the wilderness for as long as possible, but the game also captures one of mankind’s primal terrors, the fear of the dark, which I find to be a quintessential component of a survival video game.

Video first seen on Workard.

The Flame in the Flood

Another cool survival-based video game is The Flame in the Flood, provided you don’t have a problem with being a girl.

The main character in this game is a little girl named Scout who travels/stumbles upon the collapsed society of the United States together with her dog-companion Aesop. They’re trying to stay alive, obviously.

When playing The Flame in the Flood, you’ll learn basic survival skills necessary while traveling mysterious territories, i.e. rafting, gathering resources off the land, fending off wild creatures, how to avoid dying from exposure, and how to seek shelter.

Video first seen on GameSpot.

The Long Dark

If you’re into hunting/tracking/trapping/survival in the wintery wilds and the whole nine yards, in other words, if you’re a survival wilderness freak, you really should check out The Long Dark. While playing this baby, you’ll learn how to keep your calorie intake on the up and up in a wilderness survival scenario.

The game is basically a wilderness simulator in a post-apocalyptic world and it will teach you about the importance of having hunter-gatherer skills, with a focus on the former. Hunting is the name of the game in The Long Dark, together with avoiding being hunted by bigger predators than you.

Video first seen on Eurogamer.

Metal Gear Solid 3

Metal Gear Solid 3 is a good survival game onto itself, as it teaches you how to catch and eat wild animals and how to patch cuts and heal broken bones. For tricks to picking up those skills, it’s almost perfect.

Video first seen on José Mellinas.

DayZ

Last but not least, let me tell you about DayZ. The early version of the game’s best features were its gritty realism and realistic shooting mechanics as the hero is thrown in a post-apocalyptic world packed with aggressive zombies.

Video seen on Olga Okuneva.

Playing DayZ you’ll understand the importance of gathering basic essentials, including clean water and non-rotten/spoiled food, together with warding off diseases like hepatitis, cholera and dysentery.

There’s a big chance your character will get hurt during the game, but you’ll see that recovering from illnesses and injuries such as a gunshot wound is not that simple; i.e. you’ll have to bandage up the wound if you don’t pass out in the first place and so forth and so on.

 

 

These are what I choose, a selection that it’s far from being perfect or complete. Now, it’s your turn. What are your favorite survival games you’d like to share with us?

Feel free to comment in the dedicated section below. And don’t forget: play hard, go pro!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

10 Essentials For Surviving In The Wilderness At Night

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You are convinced that it could never happen to you, don’t you? But there is no escaping the fact that you might be stuck out in the wilderness at night.

If you have no experience with camping, or have spent little time in the woods, this can be a frightening and dangerous experience.

Even if you are completely alone, knowing how to do these ten things can keep you safe and in good condition.

If you ever have to survive some sort of disaster and decide to stay in a wooded area, you will be much closer to being able to stay in this setting for weeks, or even months if needed.

Be Mentally and Emotionally Prepared

You emotional and mental preparedness for surviving in the wild should start before you find yourself in the woods and have to face the experience.

Remember, nature is not your enemy. The woods and its inhabitants usually kill or maim only in the course of trying to survive, defend themselves from predators, and raise their young. As long as you do not interfere, you can live comfortably in the woods regardless of the time of day.

If you are reading this and know nothing of living in or traveling through the wilderness, start learning from now. Read articles, go camping with experienced groups of people, and do all you can to gather factual and accurate information on how to live in the woods and understand its inhabitants.

The more you know about living in these conditions, the less you will fear them. The less fear you have, the easier it will be to go about taking care of basic needs if you must stay in a wilderness setting at night.

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Maintain Appropriate Body Temperature

As with any other place, temperatures are apt to drop at night. If you did not bring extra clothing, or the right kinds of clothes, you will need to find some other way to keep warm. Here are a few things that can save you:

Plastic Bags

Always keep a construction grade plastic bag with you, it will be large enough to line with leaves or other insulating material to sleep in.

Remember to leave some room open even around your body so that sweat evaporates properly and air continues to circulate around your skin. In extreme cold temperatures, moisture near your skin can cause your core temperature to drop to dangerous levels.

Build a Fire

Learn how to build a fire safely and effectively, including how to build a fire in the rain. Pack a tea light, and remember to search for pine cones. Both will make excellent tinder material.

Don’t forget to bring along a fire starter such as waterproof matches or some other type of fire starter that you feel comfortable with.

Cover Yourself with Leaves

As long as the leaves aren’t damp and are free of bugs, mold, and mildew, they will keep you warmer than not covering with anything at all.

Find and Purify Water to Stay Hydrated

Maybe you aren’t lost, and still expect to arrive back in a populated area in a few hours. Even though you may not think much about water, it is still need it on hand and to stay hydrated all the time.

When you are stressed out, engaging in more intense physical activities, or dealing with increased temperature changes, your body will release more sweat, and also use more water for other vital processes.

So you need clean water on hand and use it when you are trying to survive in the wilderness especially if overnight. Ideally, you should be able to purify at least ½ to one gallon of water for your overnight needs.

Here are some things you can keep with you as well as skills to develop:

  • Know how to capture water from leaves, earth, and rainfall.
  • Keep a long tube sock, bone char, some sand, and activated carbon in your travel gear at all times. You can use them to make a filter to remove chemical contaminants and debris from the water. It is also important to have some kind of vessel to boil the water in so that you can kill off any pathogens that may be in the water.
  • There are also filtering water straws available that come with a complete water cleaning system. Just make sure you drink through the straws, and you will have clean water.
  • Carry water purifying tablets. Be sure to always know the limitations of these tablets so that you can use other systems if needed.
  • Learn how to make charcoal and bone char.
  • Contrary to popular belief, boiling water alone will not produce clean water. It will only concentrate heavy metals and other poisons, making the water more dangerous to drink. If you are concerned about removing pathogens from the water, it is better to put the water in a clear plastic bottle and let it sit in the sun for a few hours. UV from the sun will kill the pathogens without causing water to evaporate.

Obtain Food

You might be too stressed to eat, but it have to know how to get food in the wilderness during the night hours. Since many animals are more active at night, you can try hunting them, or set traps.

If you happen to be near a pond, you can set traps for fish, or try to hunt for frogs.

When hunting at night, always be aware that the animals you are hunting may also be prey for another animal in the woods. That animal, in turn, may decide you are competition and hunt you instead.

Before you go into any wilderness setting, always know how the local food chain works so that you can steer clear of predators and still take the game you need for survival.

As with any other time of day, lichens, moss, berries, and fruit will still be available. Learn the Universal edibility test, and practice using it so that you can avoid being poisoned.

If you decide to carry food with you, choose high calorie items that do not require heating. You can also bring along a few ready to eat meals that come with warming packets if you want a more complete meal. Even if you only have enough packets to last for two or three days, it will be enough until you are able to gather food on your own.

Shelter From Storms, Wind, and Other Bad Weather

Aside from being colder, you may also wind up dealing with rain, wind, or other weather elements that you will not want to be out in.

As long as you have a knife (or a sharp edge on a rock) branches, vines (or long stemmed plants), leaves available you can make a shelter that will keep you dry and warm.

Here are some other things you can try:

Look for a Cave

Caves offer plenty of protection, however they are also likely to be dens for bats, bears, and other animals that won’t want you spending the night with them.

If you do decide to spend the night in a cave, make sure you check all passages and all areas of the cave to make sure you aren’t taking up space in another animal’s territory. This includes snakes, spiders, and other animals that can hide easily under rocks and in shaded areas that you might overlook.

Dig a Hole in the Ground

Dig a small hole or depression in the ground, and then put leaves over it. Try to build up the sides a bit to prevent rain from flowing in. This makeshift shelter will not last more than a few hours, but it will get you through the night.

Tree Trunk Protection

Look for a hollow in a tree trunk, or at the base of an uprooted tree. These areas will shelter you from the wind and rain, depending on the direction it is coming from.

As with caves, make sure there are no animals and insects already living there that might cause you problems. In this case, you would be looking for squirrels, raccoon, snakes, and biting insects known to live in or near rotting wood or in tree trunks.

Discourage Predatory Animals and Prevent Insect Bites

For the most part, if you know how to build a fire and can keep it going through the night, predatory animals will stay away from you.

On the other side the equation, many insects are drawn to light, and will gravitate to the fire. You will need to experiment to find the best distance from the fire to avoid falling outside its light, be close enough to stay warm, and still not be swarmed by insects (that will be killed off eventually by the flames).

Insofar as discouraging predatory animals, you will need to know which ones are usually in the area, and also how best to deter them if they appear. Some animals may run away if you yell, while others may decide to attack. A good understanding of animal psychology is essential.

In order to prevent insect bites at night, your best option will be to wear long sleeved shirts and pants. Make sure that all cuffs are sealed off with rubber bands and that the hems of your pants are also tucked into your socks.

To protect your face and neck from insect bites, take a wide brimmed hat and attach some fine webbed fabric over it. Let the fabric drape down to just below your neck, and then make sure it seals to your shirt. Do not put the fabric too close to your face or neck, or the insects will just find a way to bite through it.

Manage Hygiene and Sanitation

Even though you can washing your hands and face with wet wipes, it never hurts to carry a small bar of lye soap and some towels with you.

In particular, if you are spending the night in the woods because of a nuclear disaster, you will need the lye soap for washing off any dust or debris from your skin.

Managing sanitation is also very important because predators can find your urine and stool even if you bury them. Make sure you stay away from areas where water and food are likely to be found, as predators will check there first for prey.

Take Care of Routine and Emergency Medical Needs

Even if you don’t have any injuries, or don’t feel sick, it is still important to know what to do and have some tools on hand. Here are some things you should carry and skills you should learn:

  • know the signs of food poisoning or allergy. Keep Benadryl with you and an epi pen. If you suspect you ate something poisonous, make sure you know how to vomit it back out if it is still in your stomach, or use activated charcoal to try and absorb it and move it out of your system.
  • Always know how to make a tourniquet, splints, and wraps for joint support.
  • Keep essential oils, herbs, and at least a week’s supply of any medications you may be taking onhand. It also never hurts to know what plants in the woods might be useful for taking the place of your medications if the need arises.
  • Know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself, just in case you are alone and swallow something the wrong way.
  • Understand water safety and know how to build a flotation device so that you don’t wind up drowning.

Be Able to Signal for Help

If you were traveling, got lost, and left travel plans, there is a chance searchers will be looking for you. Depending on the weather conditions, rescuers may or may not try to look for you at night. If you built a fire (use a triangle shape), knowing how to create a smoke signal may be of some help.

In addition, if you happen to hear a random chopper overhead, you can try to get their attention with the fire, a flashlight, red laser, or flares if you have them.

Remain Concealed if Needed

During a state of emergency or some kind of major social disruption, you may decide that you’d prefer to avoid the attention of rioters or anyone else that could hurt you. Under these circumstances, building a fire for any reasons is not likely to be an option.

By the same token, sheltering on the ground is also apt to be a problem. Try concealing yourself in a tree or some other location where people aren’t likely to look. If you must stay on the ground, make it a point to cover yourself with leaves or stay in a bunch of brambles so that you are harder to see.

Here are some other things to consider:

  • know how to stay perfectly quiet. People pursuing you may have dogs or other tracking animals trained to pick up on even the slightest sound that you make.
  • Tracking animals can also pick up on your scent. Never pick a place to rest near where you have buried waste, eaten, or carried out some other task.
  • Learn how to use backtracks and other tricks to ensure an animal following your scent cannot pick up your trail.
  • People tracking you may also use thermal profile systems or metal finders to locate you and anything you are carrying. It is very important to know how to break up your thermal profile. Try to avoid lumping all metal objects together in your camping gear, or carry as few metallic objects as possible to keep avoid being detected.

Much of surviving in the wilderness at night is about common sense. You will still need some basic tools such as a knife, fire starting gear, heavy plastic bags, and drinking water bottles to make things a bit easier.

As with anything else, even if you start off with a few tools that you know how to use, and then build on your skill and knowledge levels, it will be easier to spend a night in the wilderness, and come to enjoy the experience as many hikers and campers do.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

6 Prepping Goals To Aim For In Case You Become Disabled

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If you are not disabled, it can be very hard to relate to challenges associated with limited mobility. As a prepper, you may even avoid thinking about becoming disabled because it will make planning, purchasing supplies, and actually using them much more complicated.

But if you aren’t prepared to deal with hand, arm, leg, or foot related disabilities, all of the efforts you have been making will go to waste. What if you get a disability while struggling to survive?

Rather than have that happen, add a line in your prepping agendas for what you would do if you become disabled. It might change your perspective!

Here are six areas that you should focus on and be ready for regardless of whether or not you are disabled at this time.

Know How to Make and Use Mobility Aides

Consider a situation where you routinely go camping, and may have broken a leg or ankle while on an excursion. If you have already gone through this, then you know how hard is to navigate when one or both legs or feet aren’t able to support your weight or move properly.

Now let’s say you are also young enough or in good condition and don’t see a need to worry at this time about problems such as arthritis or other conditions that make navigating harder as you get older.

Even if a major social collapse takes 10 more years to develop, your body will be 10 years old and may not be as strong as it is right now. Rather than simply leave your bug out gear and bug out plans on the shelf, make sure you can use everything even if you have an arm or leg impairment.

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Here are some things you can practice as well as mobility aides that may be useful to you:

  • Tie your stronger arm loosely to your side and see how much you can do with your non-dominant hand. Are you able to prepare foods, wield a knife, or carry out dozens of other tasks that you take for granted now? If not, then you need to practice these skills and find ways to do them with just one hand. As an extreme challenge, see how much you can do using your feet and toes. Surprisingly enough, it is possible to do many things with your feet that you normally do with your hands, however it takes a lot of practice.
  • Practice moving around in a wheelchair on crutches, or while using a walking stick. This is also a good time to practice using weapons and other items that you may need to use even if you are dealing with limited mobility.
  • Look for braces, pick-up tools, and other devices that can be used in increase what you can do with just one hand or limited strength in your arms and shoulders. There are many devices on the market for this purpose, as well as newly emerging motorized devices and robots that can be controlled with a minimal amount of effort.

Avoid Becoming a Target

As disgusting as it may be, even at the best of times there are people that pick on others they perceive as weaker than themselves. If you are disabled or become less able to take care of yourself, there will be people that try to take from you or cause you some kind of harm.

While many of these actions should be, and are illegal, it does not change the fact that having a disability already makes you a target. When the crisis strikes, it will be even worse.

If your disability occurs just before or during the crisis, and you don’t know how to avoid becoming a target, then you’ll be left at a serious disadvantage.

Here are some things you can do to develop those skills:

  • Spend time with people that have different kinds of handicaps. You can volunteer at centers where disabled people meet and learn more about how they cope with various problems.
  • Many people that become targets do so simply by virtue of appearing older. In this case, try dying your hair grey or white, and use makeup that makes you look older. Use a cane or other device to indicate mobility impairment and see how it changes the way you are treated. If you have one available, use your smart phone and record the interactions.
  • Learn how to use situational awareness and body language to your advantage. Sometimes, just appearing more alert than others around you can prevent people with bad intentions from approaching you. If you are perceived as weaker, criminals may decide to attack you.
  • Learn how to defend yourself if you are in a wheelchair or must rely on some other mobility aide. There are many self-defense classes you can take to learn basic techniques as well as gyms and dojos where you can practice.

Grow and Prepare Food

One of the most important things you can do is learn how to grow and prepare food using a minimal amount of physical effort, as well as how to obtain and purify water.

When it comes to simple food growing methods, sprouts require the least amount of effort. Combine that with container gardening in order to obtain enough sprouts to meet a significant percentage of your dietary needs.

Overall, taking care of fish and animals requires a good bit of physical work and strength. Try raising smaller fish in a very large aquarium, however you must choose ones that are raised for human consumption. Chickens, rabbits, and some birds can also be raised in fairly small areas, however you may not be able to kill them humanely if you have limited strength.

On the other hand, if you can get used to consuming crickets, ants, and other insects, you can have a fairly good sized indoor bug farm and eat well with far less effort.

Do what you can to grow food indoors. Setup lights and other systems so they are easy to reach and repair if needed. Installing lights on the ceiling will save some space, but you won’t be able to get to them.

By the same token, if you are interested in any kind of solar or wind power that will be used to generate electricity for the lights, you will need systems that do not go on a roof or another area where you cannot make changes or repairs as needed.

Choose lightweight, portable gear so that you need as little strength as possible to use the items and take care of them. Never underestimate what you can do with a solar oven, or even a larger sized toaster oven as compared to a full sized stove.

Manage Shelter Needs

One of the hardest parts of dealing with a disability revolves around building both long and short term shelters.

If you aren’t disabled now, purchase plastic, tarp, and items that you can use to build temporary shelters. You should always be able to build something that will shelter you from rain using contractor size trash bags as well as standard tarp or fireproof emergency blankets.

Over the years, many people have developed a considerable interest in living in various kinds of vehicles. If you are disabled, you could set up a sleep area as well as meet many other needs while living in a truck or van.

Here are a few things you can practice now while you still have more abilities:

  • Go to a safe area where you will not encounter any traffic or obstacles. Practice driving using just your left foot and just one hand. Even though it can be confusing at first and feel very uncomfortable, you can and will get the knack of it.
  • If you have a truck or van, practice getting in and out of the back without using your hands or arms to lift yourself up or down. You can use braces as well as other assistance devices. Look for ways to get in and out of the back with limited foot and leg usage. This may include making sure that you have some kind of steps, platform, or ramp that can be deployed and used to help you raise and lower yourself in relation to the vehicle.

Building a permanent shelter on your own can be complicated even if you are in good condition. Rather than try to build something using conventional materials, make sure you know how to use old plastic bottles or other materials that can be combined with mud and straw to build sturdier walls.

Alternatively, practice building an underground dugout or other underground shelter while sitting in a chair or with just one hand. Remember, even though it takes longer, the purpose of this drill is to show you that you can do it.

When building a permanent shelter, look at circular designs as well as single floor options. Also practice digging pits for foundations as well as for sanitation needs. If you can’t dig very much, make sure that you know how to assemble a composting toilet, as well as make use of other methods for meeting sanitation needs using outdoor plumbing.

Simple Machines to Expand Muscle Use

I wrote about simple machines that can be used to lift weights and do other kinds of work.

Learning how to make and use these devices now will help you even if you never need to use them in conjunction with a disability. Practice using them in weight free, safe drills with limited hand or leg strength or movement so you could see if braces or other devices can make them easier to use in actual situations.

Here are the six devices you should know how to make and use even if you have leg, foot, arm, or hand impairments:

  • the lever
  • pulleys
  • the wheel (and axle)
  • ramp or inclined plane
  • screw
  • the wedge

Understand and Work Around Mental and Emotional Disabilities

If you are approaching middle age, you may already realize that you aren’t as energetic as you used to be. Your body may not be necessarily weaker, but mentally you may be more forgetful, or simply inclined to think that you can’t do the same things as you did when you were younger.

Some aspects of mentation decline faster even as experience and skill seem to give you more of an edge in some ways. Regardless of what parts of your mind are aging, be aware of developing impairments as quickly as possible.

Use puzzles, memory games and other aides to try and retain as much mental strength as possible. Since the ability to read and process information can also decline faster than expected, be sure to store important information in video and auditory formats.

During a crisis, you can also expect some fairly debilitating emotional changes. Watching dramatic movies or pretending you are in a crisis isn’t going to give you the kind of core driven emotional strength that you will need to endure a major crisis.

In fact, it is my contention that these kinds of games and role playing only weaken you because you are practicing a set of patterns that were created by others. As such, there is a critical loss of variance that you may not even realize exists.

You are better served by using meditation, reading spiritual materials, and making sure that you can control your emotions with trigger words and images that will help you get on track and stay on track regardless of the situation.

If you do some research, you will find that 3D printers and new motor control technologies are used to create all kinds of devices that can be used to increase mobility for the disabled. No matter whether you are concerned about surviving a hurricane or want to make sure you can still navigate after a major crisis, think about how you will manage these kinds of limitations.

Failure to take into account changing physical limitations can truly spell disaster even if you have a full range of mobility and strength at this time. Always remember that the worst part of surviving a crisis will always involve the unexpected.

If you have not thought about disability and impairment, then this can truly be one of the biggest overlooked part of your plans. Don’t ignore the risks and do whatever it takes to prepare!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Surviving The Weather: Floods In The Midst Of Drought

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Unless you live in Texas, you may not have noticed that San Antonio, the state’s second largest city, flooded once again last week. While any flood is an aberration, the city of San Antonio is known for them.

While large parts of the state are known for being arid, the farther east you go, the more rainfall there is. San Antonio is kind of in the middle, but still receives more than its fair share of flooding.

This latest flood ends a period of drought that has plagued central and southern Texas all year long. Its sudden, unexpected arrival reminds us all of the high danger from flooding that large parts of the nation regularly face.

Flash floods can occur at any time, even when there is not any rainfall, all the way to the visible horizon.

What makes San Antonio so flood prone is that it is nestled in the San Antonio River Valley, a wide, rather shallow valley, which has been carved out by the river’s past floods. Coming from the northwest and flowing towards Corpus Christi and the Gulf of Mexico.

The river carries water from the Texas Panhandle region, as well as from New Mexico. The accumulated water from rainfall upstream of San Antonio has flooded the entire valley at times, since long before the Alamo Mission was founded, let alone the town of San Antonio.

But San Antonio is not the only place in the country which is feeling the effects of flooding. New Orleans is once again flooding, after a mere day of heavy rain. In the case of New Orleans, like in the case of San Antonio, sitting in a natural depression merely adds to the effect of any flooding.

Even so, the flooding in New Orleans is nothing, compared to the flooding that hit the state of Louisiana last year. That flood impacted one-third of the state’s parishes (what the rest of us call “counties”), causing somewhere between $10 and $15 billion in property damage.

The simple fact is that any low-lying area is subject to flooding when there are heavy rains, and we have no control over the rain.

Oh, cloud seeding can be used to cause rain in response to a drought, but that requires existing clouds and it can only cause rain, it can’t stop rain or even control it. When it decides to rain, the best we can do is give thanks for it and hope that we don’t get too much so you could live your life as usual, and not turn to your survival reserves.

GREEN ENERGY – Click here to find out how you can build your own energy generator.

Flooding has plagued mankind since the beginning of time. Part of this is that we tend to build our cities in places which are prone to flooding. Mankind has always needed water, so we build besides lakes and rivers.

Specifically, we find that low-lying areas beside rivers are ideal locations for cities and towns, as well as being ideal locations for floods.

With that in mind, it’s clear that any of us could end up in the same straights as the citizens of San Antonio, finding ourselves in the midst of a sudden, unexpected flood. Therefore, we have to be ready for such a time, so that we can protect our home and possessions.

Is Your Home Prone to Flooding?

To start with, we need to find our if we are in a flood plain or not. If you own your home, this should have come up as part of the mortgage process. Mortgage companies typically require you to buy flood insurance, if your home is in what is known as a “100 year flood zone.”

Basically, this designation means that the home is likely to experience a flood sometime within 100 years. But even if you don’t live in an area designated like this, you may still be at risk of flooding; or you could be living near an area that is subject to flooding, like I am.

Although my home is on slightly higher ground, much of the area around me is a 100 year flood zone. So, I may not end up with my home flooded, but I could end up essentially trapped on an island, waiting for the waters to subside, if a hurricane were to dump enough water on our area.

While mortgage companies are very interested in protecting their investment, they aren’t perfect. So you should check on your home’s location, verifying for yourself how much of a risk of flood there is.

One way to do this is using a topographical map. That will show your altitude above sea level, as well as all the land around you. In fact, that’s how I found that I’m on higher ground, with my home less likely to be flooded.

You can get topographical maps from the US Geological Survey, either printed ones, or digital ones, from their website at: www.USGS.gov. While there are other sources, this is one of the rare cases in which the government is actually cheaper.

One key element in looking at any flood risk is relativity. There are different levels of flooding, based upon the amount of rainfall. You also need to look at terrain in a relative manner. The point isn’t so much how high your home is above sea level, as it is how high it is above or below the surrounding terrain.

Water will always seek to flow to the lowest point. So, water on a hill behind your home will flow towards your home, unless the slope of the hill is greater in the direction of your neighbor’s house.

But the water shouldn’t stop at your home, unless you are the lowest point around. Rather than trying to enter into your home, it should flow past it, and continue on downhill. As long as there are areas that are lower than you are, you should be relatively safe, depending on how much the water rises.

Of course, you want to understand how much lower the land downhill is. If it’s only a foot or two downhill and there’s a heavy rainfall, you might still end up with flooding. For me, the altitude I live at is close enough to the land around me, that it would only take a couple of feet of water for me to be worried about my home.

The second factor here is the slope of the land. I’ve been known to say that the land where I live is so flat, that they build overpasses on the highways so that our children will know what hills are. Water drains slower off of flat land, than it does off of sloping land.

So if it rained hard enough, the fact that I’m a couple of feet higher than the surrounding area really won’t be of much help. The water won’t flow off my property fast enough to keep my home high and dry.

Before putting your topographical map away, you want to determine two more things. Those are: where would the water be coming from if it is flowing downhill towards you and where would the water be coming from if the waters were rising?

You see, there are two different ways in which we can have flooding, from rainfall flowing down to us or from rising waters. In order to be able to protect our homes from flooding, we need to have a pretty good idea of which kind of flooding we’re going to be dealing with.

So How Can You Protect Your Home?

San Antonio, New Orleans and other cities have spent millions, maybe even billions of dollars installing flood control measures. Yet they don’t stop all flooding; why is that? It’s simply because all those flood control measures are based upon specific assumptions about how much extra water they have to protect the city from. When water levels are higher than that, the measures taken aren’t enough.

When that happens, it’s up to us to protect our own homes or to abandon them. Personally, I don’t like the idea of abandoning my home. But unless I could properly protect it, I might find myself forced to do just that.

The age-old method of flood control is to use sandbags. I’ve seen pictures a number of times through the years, of homes which were surrounded by sandbag walls, keeping flood waters out.  While this could be considered taking extreme action, it’s a whole lot better than having your home flooded.

Of course, that means having enough sandbags and sand to build the wall. It also means making a pretty good guess as to how high you need that wall to be. If you don’t build the wall high enough, it’s not going to do a bit of good anyway. You may as well not have it, if you don’t have a wall which is higher than the highest point the waters reach.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is to try and sandbag just the doorways of their home. That will help, if you only have a couple of inches of water. In such a case, it will keep the water from flowing under the doors. But that’s it.

The problem is that most walls have some sort of vents in them. Brick walls will have occasional spots where there is no mortar between two bricks, usually in the next to the bottom course of bricks.

These vents allow air to pass through the brick wall; but they’ll also allow water to pass through, meaning that the brick wall isn’t waterproof. Of course, that can be helped by simply caulking in the crack and allowing the caulking time to dry.

Even with a wall of sandbags around your home, there is still a chance of seepage through them. A good sandbag wall is tight, without any spaces. But you might end up with some small ones, which the water can get through.

So in addition to the wall, you need to make sure that you have a good all-purpose utility pump or two and enough hose to send the water back over the wall. Dig a sump and put the pump in there.

There are a couple of towns in North Dakota which have problems with flooding every spring. This is because the nearby river actually flows north for a short distance.

What that means is that the loop that goes back north doesn’t thaw as fast as the more southern parts, blocking the river’s flow and causing flooding. So towns and individual farmers have to build dikes to protect themselves from flooding.

Video first seen on PreparedBC.

Building a dike is essentially the same as a permanent sandbag wall, except that it is made of dirt, not sand. While the dirt gets wet and muddy, it is compacted by its own weight, so the water only seeps in so far. It never gets to the point where the dike melts in a massive mudslide.

There are other commercially available means of flood control, such as the Quick Dam. This is made of bags of water absorbing material. The water causes them to inflate, accomplishing the same thing that sandbags do.

But they are much easier to install than sandbags. However, they are only a few inches thick, so you’d need to build up a wall, much like building with sandbags, if you had a serious flood situation.

There are also large tubes, such as the “Tiger Dam” from US Flood Control, which can actually be placed and filled with water, forming much the same sort of barrier as sandbags do. The basic difference is that they are much faster and easier to put in place.

A Final Note, Just for Preppers

The risk of flood means that all your preps are at risk of being destroyed by flooding. This is something you and I can’t afford. Therefore, an important part of establishing your flood plan is to ensure that our food and other supplies won’t be destroyed if our home becomes flooded.

Don’t just depend on your ability to keep the water out of your home; protect your supplies as well. Should your home flood, you’ll need those supplies more than ever.

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

California Wildfires: Lessons To Learn For Survival

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Midsummer heat is here, along with the dry weather it creates. For those living in the mountains or near forested areas, this is the time of wildfires, and California is receiving their fair share this year.

As of this writing, forest fires in California are forcing thousands to evacuate. Nevada is chocking from smoke, while large fires are currently reported in 12 states, on the Western coast of US.

A striking disaster is an opportunity to learn lessons for survival. Keep reading to see what the lessons from the California fires are!

Most forest fires are caused by humans. People being careless with their campfires or tossing out a cigarette butt, without making sure the coal is put out. But some are caused by lightning, a danger that increase during and following times of drought.

After three years of drought, Southern California is especially susceptible.

Is depopulation the secret aim behind Southern drought?

Forest fires destroy thousands of acres of pristine forest throughout the western part of the country every year, causing people to be evacuated and their homes to be destroyed.

While firefighters work hard to put them out, stopping a forest fire is much harder than fighting a house fire. The massive amount of vegetation in the forest, which the fire can use as fuel, means that fires can spread easily and even bypass areas that firefighters thought were under control.

This year’s fires in California have caused thousands of people to evacuate, and some of whom will never see their homes again. The lucky ones will be able to return home after the fire is over, but others may lose everything they’ve worked for.

The fire is indiscriminate in choosing its victims, burning anything in its path. What we can do is learn, and here are the lessons we found.

1. Preventing Forest Fires

As Smoky the Bear was famous for saying, “Only you can prevent forest fires.” While fire is an amazingly useful tool, it is also a dangerous one, which is hard to control. Fire doesn’t obey mankind, it does what it wants, and what it wants is to consume fuel. So whenever we use fire, we have to be aware of the dangers and how to prevent them.

More than anything, this means only using fire where it is safe. Lighting a campfire in a fire pit made of steel or stone is fairly secure, especially if that fire pit is in a campground which is used by thousands of people. Any vegetation close to the fire pit would have already been trampled into the ground, leaving the fire with nothing readily at hand, other than the fuel you feed it.

But that’s not to say that a fire in a fire pit can’t escape and turn into a forest fire; it can. That’s especially true if someone builds a massive bonfire, rather than a reasonable campfire. The bigger the fire is, the more chance there is of it getting out of hand. If it gets windy, sparks from that fire can be blown over 100 feet, landing far beyond the campsite and possibly right on some dry grass.

Great care must be taken with any fire, not just campfires. The number one cause of home fires is cigarettes. Those same cigarettes, dropped on the ground in the wrong place, can soon grow into a blaze, consuming everything is in its path.

People who live in the woods need to take extra care, as they not only have more opportunity to start forest fires, but are more likely to suffer from the fire itself.

Clearing land around their home may not make for the most attractive setting, but it could protect their home from being consumed, if a forest fire ever encountered it. But it needs to be a wide clearing, especially on the upwind side, as that is the fire that the wind will try to blow the fire across.

2. Awareness and Preparation are the Key

Being constantly aware of the fire you have lit is important to protecting our forests. But that’s not the only fire you should keep aware of.

Forest fires can be started by anyone, and the more notice you have of one coming, the greater your chances of survival are. If you can smell or hear the fire, it’s already too late; you’ve got to move. But if you receive the news early, you have a better chance of not only leaving, but taking necessities with you.

But there’s a better fire alarm than your own senses; that’s the animal life around you. Animals will notice a fire long before you do and will instinctively run from it. So if you see a variety of different animals fleeing in one direction, there’s a good chance that there’s a fire coming up behind them.

A forest fire is nothing to fool around with. That’s why you must have your bug out bags packed and your car ready for travel at all times. While most of us believe in bugging in whenever you can, this is one scenario where bugging in is just too risky.

Unless your home is built with hundreds of feet of rock all around it, you should evacuate as soon as possible.

3. Match Your Movement to the Fire

One of the most important pieces of information, for any forest fire, is the wind’s speed and direction. Fire will spread before the wind, so knowing the wind direction will tell you which way the fire is moving. Wind speed will give you an idea of how fast the fire is moving, as the stronger the wind is, the faster the fire will move.

Knowing the wind’s speed and direction will help you determine which way you should go, in order to get away from the fire. If you can see the fire itself, then you’re too close and want to move directly away from it, if the wind is coming towards you, flee before it.

Fire can move as fast as 10 miles an hour, which means you’re going to be hard pressed to stay in front of it. If the wind is moving away from you, then you have more time.

The best thing to do, if you have the time and distance to do it, is move across the fire. This will get you out of its path. As long as you are moving directly away from it, there’s a chance that it can catch up. But if you are moving across it or at an angle across it, you will eventually reach the edge of the fire and get out of the danger zone.

Hills and canyons affect a fire’s movement as well. The heat from the fire will cause it to move uphill faster than downhill. But moving uphill is slower and harder for you. So if you are caught on the hillside, with the fire below you, you need to get over the crest as fast as you can. In some cases, the fire will reach the crest and stop. But don’t count on that until you see that it actually has stopped.

Canyons and draws should be avoided at all cost, as they can act as a chimney, funneling hot air and smoke uphill towards you. While it might be easier for you to travel up a draw, it will also be easier for the fire to travel up that draw too. So there’s a much greater chance of it catching you.

Always watch out for burning tree limbs above you. At times, the fire will move faster through the treetops, than it does at ground level. So you could be perfectly safe on the ground, while the canopy above you is burning.

But if that’s the case, there’s a chance of a burning branch falling on you. Most firefighters who are killed in forest fires die in this manner.

Of course, travel in a vehicle is faster than traveling on foot, but you may not be able to. There are times when you may need to abandon your vehicle, and go on foot, simply because the way the road goes, you would be driving into the fire.

However, don’t abandon your car, unless you absolutely have to. It provides at least some protection from the fire. Better to take your sedan cross-country, ruining it, than to leave it behind and have both you and it burnt.

Forest fires can kill you one of three ways: heat, smoke or oxygen deprivation. It is doubtful that you will actually be burned to death, because you would die by one of these methods, if not all three, before the flames could reach you.

Finding a place where you can be protected from all three is not easy; but your chances are better the lower you are. So head for the flatlands, rather than the mountain peaks, if you can.

4. If You Can’t Escape

Hopefully you will never be faced with a situation where you are surrounded by the fire and can’t escape. But fires are largely unpredictable, so things like that can happen. If you find yourself in such a situation, your best course of action, even though it is a risky one, is to find someplace safe, where you can ride out the fire.

Before I go any farther, let me just be clear that there is no guarantee that you can ride out the fire safely. But if you’re going to be caught in it, your best chances are to choose the ground which will offer you the best chance of survival. Give yourself time to do that, as you are fleeing from it.

Obviously, you need someplace that will not burn, if you’re going to wait out the fire.

Keep in mind that sparks from the fire can leap 100 feet, so when you’re looking for a safe place, you want one that is more than 100 feet across. Even if it is only 110 feet, that allows you to be 100 feet away from the approaching fire, by staying close to the other edge of the safe zone.

So, what types of places are potential safe zones?

Water

Your absolutely best place to be, other than in another state, is in the midst of water. As we all know, water quenches fire, so there is no way that the fire can reach you, unless you leave a bridge between you and it. Getting a ways off shore in the water can provide great protection.

But this has its own dangers as well. Water will draw your body heat away faster than being in the air, creating the risk or hypothermia (the lowering of the body’s core temperature). So, if you’re going to be in the water, you need to watch how cold you are getting.

It’s important to remain reasonably close to the shore, preferably in water that is not so deep that you can’t touch the bottom. That way, you can get out easily if you need to.

If all you have is a mountain stream, use it. Find the widest place in the stream and lay down in the water, with only your face exposed. The water will protect you from the flames, even if you are only a few feet from shore.

Rocky Areas

The second best place is a rocky area or paved area. Roads may not provide a wide enough area to really provide excellent protection, but a road with a rocky area beside it might. A forest fire won’t burn the rocks, although if the flames lick the edges, they will scorch them.

Often these areas will still have some plant life growing in them. But that’s better than being surrounded by vegetation. You can easily stomp out a grass fire, if you’re wearing boots or sturdy shoes. But watch out for bushes, because they will burn rapidly.

Moving around the rocky area, as the fire burns around you, can be useful, especially if you can move away from the area that is burning the hottest. There will be more oxygen and less smoke in areas which are away from the main part of the fire. As the fire burns past, moving closer to the burned over area could get you to a cooler area, with more oxygen.

Holes in the Ground

Caves, culverts and other holes in the ground are excellent protection from fires. Since heat rises, fire always tries to go up. If you are below ground level, especially in a sheltered place, the fire could pass over and around you, without touching you. You’re also likely to find more oxygen at that lower elevation, than you would on the ground around the hole.

Short Grass

Any grass can burn, but short grass will have a smaller flame. That might not seem like a safe place, but if it’s all you’ve got, that will be better than being in the middle of the forest or even in the middle of long grass.

Look for a clearing that’s at least 100 feet across. While the grass in the clearing might catch fire, you can avoid that fire or stomp it out. Just make sure that you stay on the downwind side of the clearing, so that fire leaping from the treetops can’t reach you.

5. A Couple of Risky, Last Resort Techniques

Sometimes, it looks like the fire is going to win. But I’m the type who believes in the “Never say die” philosophy. So as I go through my options, I’ll start with the best ones, and then work my way down to those which aren’t so good. But I’ll always keep trying, as long as I can. I don’t know how to say, “I can’t,” my parents made sure of that.

So, if there’s no safe space available, there are still things that can be done. They aren’t the best of options, but they are still possibilities. Using them will depend a lot on the terrain you have available to you and how fast the wind is blowing.

Creating a Backfire

One of the techniques which firefighters use at time is to create a backfire. This is a smaller, more controllable fire, which they light, to burn off an area and create a fire break.

For this to even be possible, you’d need an area where you could light such a fire and be able to control it, such as a meadow. You’d also need enough time to light your backfire and burn off the area, before the fire could reach you.

The key to an effective backfire is controlling it. You don’t want any part of the fire burning faster than you can put it out. To prevent this from happening, you’ll need to be constantly putting out areas which are getting close to the point of losing control, and restarting new parts. This dangerous, tricky dance, could provide you with that safe zone you need, while the fire rages all around your cleared area.

Walking Through the Fire

While a forest fire may seem like an impenetrable wall of fire, it actually isn’t. The fire never burns evenly, and the terrain works against it, especially in rough terrain. There will often be areas that are far ahead of others, leaving gaps that can be exploited and walked through.

Keep in mind that even though there isn’t visible fire in those gaps, there can still be burning coals. Your passage could kick those up or kick off cover which is preventing them from receiving oxygen.

So walk carefully if you try this, with a keen awareness of everything that is going on around you.

The area you would be crossing into will be the area that the fire has already burned through. As such, it will be mostly charcoal and ashes. There will be hotspots and even the seemingly cool ones will still be too hot to touch.

Nevertheless, it will be safer than the area before the fire. Once past the fire line, you should be able to walk to safety.

Stay alert and watch your surroundings. Put your efforts not only into being ready for the disaster which will strike tomorrow, but be prepared for the low-key disaster which we live with each and every day. Be prepared to face a wildfire and the drought!

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

7 Survival Movies To Watch And Learn

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Call me old-school, but when it comes to having massive fun indoors (especially with your friends and family), nothing beats watching a good movie while enjoying a cold beer and the traditional popcorn.

It’s also common knowledge that most people would enjoy a proper disaster flick, the likes of 2012, Deep Impact or Armageddon. Disaster movie stories are usually centered on people trying to survive extraordinary circumstances and events.

Now, from a prepper’s point of view, watching a survival movie is something like a sporting event for a normie, and I am talking about what tickles your fancy, so to speak.

While regular folk enjoy watching a good game of football or various TV series/shows (OK, we love doing that too), we preppers also like to watch and debate survival/disaster movies as a way to exercise their prepper mindset and to discuss what the hero’s next move should be, what he or she does good or wrong and what’s absolutely ludicrous.

Sometimes, they’re just a great comedy!

Basically, a good survival movie encourages preppers to think strategically and to imagine their own behavior in a SHTF situation. In my view, well-made survival movies (scarce though they are) are beyond entertainment, being more like a training session of sorts, if you know what I mean.

Also, watching survival movies with your family members (and prepper friends alike) and commenting “live” as things happen on the screen encourages you to think critically about SHTF situations. Also, you try to predict the outcome of a bad decision or a good one made by the hero, with an emphasis on boneheaded ones, which are  often the norm.

Even if Hollywood (read the motion-picture industry) usually produces tons of garbage, now and then a true gem of a survival movie appears almost magically. These rare flicks give us ideas and thoughts on how to prepare for when SHTF.

It really doesn’t matter what a movie is about, as long as we’re talking about a plausible scenario, such as in 2012 or San Andreas, or even a good old zombie/alien movie.

What’s important from a prepper’s perspective is to see and analyze how regular people may possibly react in extraordinary circumstances; that’s what will provide you with food for thought.

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

So, after this relatively long preamble, let me share with you what I’ve learned after watching dozens of disaster movies, all of them loaded with awesome survival tactics.

First, teamwork is essential for your survival, despite the “lone wolf” mentality many preppers seem to (wrongfully, in my opinion) have. When a disaster strikes, chances are good that you’ll not going to be “solo.”

Working as a team will increase the chances of survival. There’s strength in numbers and there’s also a thing called the division of labor because you can’t do everything by yourself. That’s been obvious since the dawn of man on Earth.

Also, we’re social animals, centered on community (family, tribe, etc.). Lone wolves sound great in theory, but in real life, even wolves hunt in packs and are social animals.

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

To give you an example of fine teamwork from a survival flick, let’s take Dawn of the Dead, an awesome 2004 movie which tells the story of a group of survivors (and we’re using that word really loosely) taking refuge inside a shopping center during a zombie apocalypse.

As more of them arrive in the shopping mall, they realize that they’ll have to stick together and work as a team in order to withstand the hordes of (not so smart) zombies.

Also, Dawn of the Dead teaches you about the importance of planning and preparing: having a good refuge, an escape plan, of being able to determine who’s to be trusted and who’s not and, most importantly, that a group’s cohesion is given by its weakest link (there’s an asshole in every group of random people).

Oh, and on that note, you also learn that sometimes you don’t have to be the smartest one in the group as long as you’re not the dumbest one. I’m kidding, sort of.

Video first seen on Movieclips.

Another lesson learned from watching disaster flicks is that it’s critical to know the risks of your geographical location (as in knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses) in a SHTF situation.

Food for thought: if your city is close to a nuclear plant or in front of a big dam, in the case of a catastrophic earthquake or a nasty meteor impact, or why not, a terrorist attack on critical infrastructure, well, you’ll be forced to deal with some serious issues. Here, the value of an escape plan and escape route comes into play big time.

Also, it would help to understand the science of your region, especially if you live in places like California or Yellowstone. You got the picture.

San Andreas (2015)

Think along the lines of San Andreas, the 2015 movie which is loaded with awesome survival strategies and lessons. San Andreas depicts the horrifying consequences of a massive earthquake in California as a rescue chopper pilot makes a perilous  journey across the state to save his daughter.

Watching the movie, you’ll understand a little bit about human psychology.

For example, in a disaster, especially one of epic proportions, ownership of property becomes a fiction, i.e. emergency stuff can be found in a home or, in the movie, a car that isn’t yours if the situation really calls for it, and looting occurs in a matter of hours, not days. Hence, remember to have your gun for self-defense ready, locked and loaded at all times.

Also, the first few moments after SHTF are critical for one’s survival; if you panic and give in to mental chaos, you’ll just end up as yet another casualty/statistic. Do not freak out, and try to get over that state of shock ASAP, as this will give you a critical advantage over those unprepared for such an event.

Video first seen on Km Music.

The thing is, even in B-rated movies you can see a fact of life: people panic rather quickly and behave badly and stupidly, as life-threating events bring out the worst in many of us.

As shown in many disaster flicks, including San Andreas, the police and firefighters will bail in order to take care of their own families, and that’s quite understandable. The lesson to be taken home is that you can’t rely on the government to protect or save you.

Also, having some basic physics and engineering knowledge couldn’t hurt.

In the aftermath of a major disaster, whether it’s a terrorist attack or an earthquake or whatever, panicked people do the dumbest things imaginable, and that’s another true fact of life, unfortunately.

And that’s due to one’s shattered cognitive dissonance, i.e. modern-day people (especially city dwellers) are used to living their boring and safe lives in the complete absence of any clear and present danger.

They’ve become complacent and take that perceived “safety” for granted. When the universe explodes around them, they’ll behave like the proverbial chicken without a head, while others will be stunned, in shock and awe, and completely incapable of doing the most basic things like running for cover.

The Road (2009)

Another great survival flick is The Road, a movie released in 2009 that tells the story of a man and his young son as they travel by foot in a post-apocalyptic world through the mountains, searching for an illusory safe haven before the coming winter.

The theme of the movie is survival by any means necessary. What’s very shocking about this flick is the accurate way it portrays the dark side of mankind, the way people will resort to anything, even cannibalism, in order to survive.

Video first seen on 0noyfb.

The movie will teach you how to be careful when approaching strangers (not all people think like you, nor are they Good Samaritans), how to carry your survival gear over long distances, and that starvation is not an event but a long and painful process.

Also, having a gun and enough ammo will save your life, while keeping the fire (as in never stop fighting for a good cause) is quintessential. Your faith, provided you’re a “good guy,” will guide you and help your actions, yet you’ll have to be prepared to kill bad people, or you’ll end up getting killed. Also, you’ll learn that groups of desperate people are extremely dangerous and may kill you, or get you killed, for nothing really.

The Day after Tomorrow (2004)

Another disaster movie worth watching is The Day after Tomorrow. This movie depicts survival techniques in extremely low temperatures following the world freezing via a man-provoked ice-age.

Video first seen on Luis Trejo.

What to learn from? Big cities are very difficult to escape in case of a SHTF scenario, i.e. you’ll have to consider relocating if possible and always plan for bad weather conditions.

Zombieland (2009)

A very funny survival flick to watch is Zombieland, which makes for yet another post-zombie-apocalypse survival movie. Watching this gem, which is hilarious to say the least, you’ll understand why you should create a comprehensive set of rules to increase your survival chances.

The first rule of survival: cardio is essential! As in, stay in good shape. Also, people in distress will try to trick you, steal your stuff, and then leave you stranded; this is a trait of the human nature.

Video first seen on Video Clips HD.

Also, don’t scare folks if you don’t want to get shot and Twinkies make for the ultimate survival food (the last one is debatable).

The Edge (1997)

The Edge is the story of a billionaire who survives a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness, together with two of his friends. This movie depicts in a very accurate manner how people react under stress when confronted with unfamiliar situations.

Also you get how important it is to have basic survival skills, such as knowing basic first aid methods, how to navigate sans gear, how to improvise a compass, how to build basic weapons such as spears, and how to defend yourself against predators.

Video first sen on blackruskie.

Finally, this epic saga emphasizes the importance of knowledge, smarts, and skills over the oh-so-common macho-ninja stuff and special effects.

Into the Wild (2007)

Into the Wild is the true story of a guy named Christopher McCandles who died stupidly as he abandoned his privileged life and adventured into the wild, searching for adventure.

Video first seen on carinemccandless.

The thing is that this guy had absolutely no idea about wilderness survival, no skills, and basically no gear. And yes, he died of starvation in a cabin, which is pretty pathetic, to say the least.

The lesson to be taken home after watching this movie is to never go out in the wild unprepared. Life in the wilderness is not romantic, but a savage and brutal struggle for survival 24/7/365.

The importance of having the right mindset first of all is not a matter to be taken lightly in an outdoors survival situation.

Bottom line, have you seen a good survival movie recently? What did you think? Do you have any survival lessons to add? Share your thoughts in the dedicated section below!

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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