Finding Your Own Food As A Vital Survival Skill

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Green garden plants

Image Source: Kaboompics.com

By Staff Writer – The Survival Place Blog

If you ever stop to think about how prepared you are for a sudden survival situation, do you feel
a little worried? There are so many things that we could all be doing to try and prepare better for
those situations – and the more likely they become, the more important this is. There is plenty of
debate surrounding what is and is not essential as a survival skill, but one that nobody can
argue with is having the ability to find food – for yourself, for your family, or anyone you care for.
In this article, we are going to look at some of the major things you can do now to improve your
ability to find food, no matter what the situation brings.

Foraging

Despite what else might or might not happen, foraging is always going to be a hugely important
skill to have. Even if you find yourself without tools and stuck in the middle of nowhere, being
able to forage at least a little could mean the difference between life and death. What’s more,
foraging successfully might not even be as hard as you might think. In general, it can easily be
done just by following some basic rules of thumb. Let’s have a look at some of those now, to
give you a better idea of how to forage properly.

First of all, it is important to make sure that you never just jump right into eating something that
you have not absolutely, one hundred percent positively identified. This could lead to poison,
possibly death. Instead, you should carry out a series of checks to ensure that whatever you
have found is safe to eat. First rub a small part of it on the skin somewhere, ideally the back of
the hand. Then wait a few hours and see if it causes any problems such as itching or swelling. If
it does not, try rubbing a small part against the lips and again waiting to see if anything happens.
If you are still fine, you can try eating a small part and waiting a day to see if it does anything.
This, however, is all a last resort attempt – in general ou sound only eat something when you
know what it is. If in doubt, leave it out.

That being said, most habitats are full of vegetation which you can readily eat, so long as you
know how to identify it. This kind of information varies hugely depending on where you might
end up, but there are certain things which you can almost always find to eat in the wild. It is
worth researching this stuff early on, and possibly treating yourself to a good handbook or two
as well. You should also be sure to pick your food from the right locations – in other words, not a
polluted stream or a nuclear landfill. Learn the seasonal changes and what you should and
should not eat. If you are clever about it, one day you could use your foraging skills to literally
keep your family alive – so it is worth learning the essentials now while you can.

Fishing boats berthed in the marina of Old Town of Nessebar, Bulgaria

Image Source: Kaboompics.com

Fishing

Hopefully, if anything happens you will still be able to find the opportunity to go fishing, as this
can be a great way to get food in when you are trying to survive in the wild. If you were to only
forage, it would be hard to get all the nutrients and minerals you need. But if you can
successfully catch fish too, then you will be able to get your protein and irons as well.
Fortunately, it is relatively easy to learn how to fish, and you don’t even need much to do it. In
most cases, you could cast a crude rod out in the wild – but if you have the chance, it will
definitely be preferable to try and get together a fishing kit now which you can try to hold on to in
the future if possible. Let’s take a look at some of the things that you might want to aim to have
in such a fishing kit.

For a start, you will obviously want some kind of a rod or spear in order to be able to catch fish.
But you might also want to take this opportunity to treat yourself to some more high-tech fishing
equipment, to make it as easy as possible for yourself in the future. It might be worth looking at
some HawkEye Boating & Fishing Electronics to see if you could benefit from fish finding
technology, for instance, as it is always a good idea to try and make things as easy for yourself
as possible. With the ability to fish, you will be able to find food much more easily in a survival
situation, and that will mean that you won’t have to worry quite so much about surviving.

Image Source: Pexels.com

Hunting

As well as fishing, there might be times when you actually need to hunt land animals too. There
is of course plenty of debate about whether human beings actually need to eat meat at all. But if
you are in a survival situation you will probably find that being able to find meat will provide you
with plenty of sustenance in a short space of time, and as such it can be particularly good to be
able to hunt for meat when necessary. If you are not sure where to get started on this, the first
thing to bear in mind is that when it comes to it, you will instinctively find that you are able to do
it – as long as you are hungry enough, of course. But it is a good idea to make sure that you are
prepared in some way for what hunting entails. You should spend some time practising with
basic tools in places where it is safe to do so, and prepare yourself mentally if possible as well.
As long as you know how to hunt, you will always be able to find food when you really need to.

Original content from The Survival Place Blog: Finding Your Own Food As A Vital Survival Skill

The post Finding Your Own Food As A Vital Survival Skill appeared first on The Survival Place Blog.

Winter Survival: How to Navigate in the Snow

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By Jeremiah Johnson – Ready Nutrition

[Editor’s Note: As winter rages on, it brings to mind the importance of knowing how to navigate in snow and extreme winter weather. The worst-case scenario in this winter emergency is not knowing the terrain and getting so lost you succumb succumbing to exposure and possibly starvation because you don’t have the equipment necessary for survival. Author, Jeremiah Johnson has outlined the essentials on how to navigate in the snow and what equipment you will need to protect yourself from exposure.]

ReadyNutrition Readers, I have written several articles in the past on land navigation fundamentals and the importance of those basics.  Most of those basics still hold true in the “Winter Wonderland” of the snow and ice: those basics merely need to be modified for the changes of the season.  Once again, as with all things I recommend to you to practice these techniques and familiarize yourself with them prior to something coming up…a significant event where you must do it.  Practice does make perfect, and repetition promotes a good follow-through.

That being said, how hard is it to navigate during the winter?  Well, it is tougher in several perspectives.  First, with snow blanketing the landscape, the appearance of the terrain is changed.  Secondly, the landscape is also physically altered: it is a different thing to walk across six inches to several feet of snow.  Right now, where I live, I have almost three feet of snow on the ground.  The winter weather conditions are another item: it’s a far cry from a summer stroll when you walk into a cold wind that is throwing sleet right into your face in the middle of February.

Know Your Terrain

First, let’s address the appearance of the terrain.  This holds true, especially in wilderness or rural areas.  You can’t always discern natural landmarks, such as a creek or stream that may very well be on your map.  It may be frozen and covered over with snow.  The same for a lake or pond.  One of your keys to success in this area is to thoroughly know the area you will be in prior to these winter conditions existing.  Another is to pick out landmarks that do not change with the weather and that are clearly visible.  A mountain or high hilltop would be a good example, or a river that does not freeze over, or one with a bridge marked on the map that traverses it.

Know Your Pace-Count

You can find your position by relating it to a known and recognizable point.  Next, let’s address the physical alteration of the terrain.  I have recommended that you purchase snowshoes for yourself in the past.  Remember some of the land nav. articles I wrote before?  I told you to measure a 100-meter pace-count by marking your starting point and your finish point with a couple of “flags” or pieces of colored, coated, copper wire.  If you did that (and elevated it above the ground) on a couple of trees…you can use it in the wintertime.

Now you’ll need to find out two things: your pace count with snowshoes on, and the same while wearing a backpack or rucksack.  There’s also a “backup” to help you, and that is to estimate that distance by sight and correlate both your estimated distance and your pace count.  As you’re traversing the wilderness, it would be wise to have a good walking stickwith you…something about as long as your height.  This will help you to test the ground for “soft” spots and help to steady you as you make your way across the snow and ice.

Winter conditions are also a lot of fun – Not! The sun isn’t shining, the wind isn’t calm, and a cup of hot chocolate is not in your free hand when your car breaks down in the middle of the winter.  Usually, it is horrible, to add to the physical and situational stress.  Once again, I exhort you to pick up a good pair of goggles that do not fog up, and appropriate shielding for the face…because the sun won’t be shining, the wind will be in your face, and that mirage of the “Swiss Miss” holding out a hot chocolate for you thirty meters to your front, sitting on the boulder?  That’s a mountain lion.

Make sure you’re dressed in all-weather to combat the weather.  I recommend Gore-Tex from head to toe.  A GPS compass will help, but here it is important to rely on the basics, because batteries do die, electronics can be fouled up by extremes in weather and temperature, and it’s always best to rely on the “primitive” and skills, rather than just try to “game” it with your Android compass app, or some other “toy” that can play a dirge for you if you depend on it and it fails.

Practice stepping out with those snowshoes and learning your pace count with them to traverse the drifts.  It is also a physical challenge regarding water and other supplies, such as food and first aid equipment.  Remember: your other challenges and obstacles do not cease just because you are in the process of finding your way across a valley in the wintertime.  Practicing good techniques with your map, your compass, a proper pace count, and terrain association (matching what you see on the ground with your maps and charts) are the keys to winning in the wintertime, along with perseverance.  A good cup of coffee also helps!  Happy trails!  JJ out!

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition: Winter Survival: How to Navigate in the Snow
About the author:

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

 

The post Winter Survival: How to Navigate in the Snow appeared first on The Survival Place Blog.

How to Make Reverse Twist Two-Ply Natural Cordage

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by Todd Walker

How to Make Reverse Twist Two-Ply Natural Cordage ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

 

Arguably, the most underrated and overlooked primitive technology is rope and string. That is until you run out of modern cordage. A whole new appreciation for stuff that binds will quickly become apparent.

Ropes and knots predate the ax, the wheel, and possibly the controlled use of fire by our ancestors. Think of stone tools. These had to be tied to the end of sticks. Shelters stood with joints bound by fibrous lashing material. Animal sinew, catgut, and hide were used as well. But, as my friend, Mark Warren, says, it’s easier to get your hands on plants since they don’t run away from you.

Fibers that Bind

In my area of Georgia, tree bark, roots, leaves, stems, and stalks can be used for bindings. For our cordage class at school, we used Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) and cattail (Typha) for fiber materialCattail from our second-hand beaver pond, and tulip poplar from my stash I collected over the years.

You’re not limited to a few choices in nature. Below are 18 cordage fibers made and displayed by Scott Jones at one of his workshops I attended. If you’re into primitive skills and technology, I highly recommend you pick up his books, Postcards to the Past, and A View to the Past. Both are essential for any primitive practitioner on your Christmas list!

When Primitive Skills and Prepping Have Sex | www.TheSurvivalSherpa.com

18 indigenous cordage fibers Scott Jones has on display for demonstrations

Besides the 18 listed below on the display, we also used okra stalk, that’s right, the garden variety, to make cordage in his class.

From L to R:

  1. Red Cedar
  2. Bald Cypress
  3. Atlantic White Cedar
  4. Red Mulberry
  5. Black Locust
  6. Yellow (Tulip) Poplar
  7. Winged Elm
  8. Paw Paw
  9. Basswood
  10. False Nettle
  11. Blue Star
  12. Milkweed
  13. Dogbane
  14. Evening Primrose
  15. Spanish Moss
  16. Button Snakeroot
  17. Yucca
  18. Cattail

Different materials require different methods of extracting fibers. For our purposes, and to keep this article manageable, we’ll stick with the two materials we used in class – tulip poplar and cattail.

Preparing Fibers

As mentioned earlier, I collect tulip polar bark every chance I get. This tree has many uses – (see here and here). It’s best to harvest in late spring and summer as the bark will “slip” off the trunk with ease. The inner bark is what you’re after. I like to use inner bark from fallen limbs or dead standing saplings. Simply soak the dried bark, a process called, retting, in water for a few days to a few week. At my fixed camp, I toss large sections of bark into the creek and weigh them down with rocks. The soaking helps break down the stuff that holds the outer and inner bark together. After the bark is retted, the inner bark should peel in long, useful strips.

Hang the strips to dry. Pre-dried fibers are less prone to shrinkage even after wetting them during the cordage making process. Separate the strips into finer fiber bundles (hair-like fibers) for stronger cordage. Or you can start twisting wider strips for expedient cordage.

We have a nice stand of cattails next to our outdoor classroom. At this point in the season, the leaves are dead and brown. For green leaves, cut and dry until they turn brown. You’ll notice these leaves twist better when damp. Even a morning dew enhances their flexibility.

Cattail leaves can be striped into smaller widths for stronger cordage but wasn’t worth the effort for our class. For expediency, we used whole leaves. Here’s how…

Reverse Twist Two-Ply Method

For our beginner cordage-makers, we used whole cattail leaves and wide strips (1/2 inch) of tulip poplar inner bark. Larger material allows the student to see how the twisting works and is easier to handle than fine fiber bundles.

Also, keep the fiber material damp during the whole process.

Start in the middle of a strip of fiber material about arm’s length long. Pinch the ply with the index finger and thumb of both hands with 2-3 inches between your pinch points. Begin to twist the ply away from your body with your right hand in a clockwise rotation and left hand counterclockwise. This will cause the ply to twist until it naturally bends into a kink/loop.

How to Make Reverse Twist Two-Ply Natural Cordage ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

How to Make Reverse Twist Two-Ply Natural Cordage ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Forming the loop.

Pinch the loop with your left hand (index finger and thumb). You now have two plies extending in a “Y” formation. Pinch the strand furthest from your body with your right hand close to your left hand (about 1/4 to 1/2 inches). Twist your right hand away from your body in a quarter turn or 90 degree rotation.

How to Make Reverse Twist Two-Ply Natural Cordage ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Starting the outside ply twist.

How to Make Reverse Twist Two-Ply Natural Cordage ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

A full 90 degree rotation of the outside ply.

While holding the twisted ply between your thumb and index finger, reach your middle finger on your right hand around to grab the strand closest to your body. Grip this ply with your middle finger against your index finger. Now twist back a quarter turn to the original starting position. This motion brings the outside ply over the inside ply. The two plies have now switched places. Release the ply you were pinching and repeat the process on the “new” outside ply.

How to Make Reverse Twist Two-Ply Natural Cordage ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Rotating back 90 degrees with the opposite ply pinched with the middle finger.

Once you get the mechanics down you’ll be able to hand-twist tightly woven cordage like a champ. One student picked this motion up quickly and made a few feet of cattail cordage in less than 30 minutes.

How to Make Reverse Twist Two-Ply Natural Cordage ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

RISE student twisting cattail cordage. He began teaching other students the technique.

Splicing Technique

If both plies are even when you begin twisting, you’ll end up backtracking (unwinding twists) to make a splice. With experience you’ll find that starting the kink/loop with one ply longer than the other will take care of this problem.

When you get to the end of your rope (about an inch left on the outside ply with a longer inside ply), and need to make longer cordage, a splice is needed. Take another length of fiber material of similar diameter and lay it in the “Y” with an inch of material overlapping. Pinch the overlapping new fiber on the existing two-ply cord you’ve already made. With the new ply running parallel with the short outside ply, pinch these together with your right hand and continue the two-ply twisting technique described above. This splicing technique will continue until you twist a length of cord long enough for your needs.

How to Make Reverse Twist Two-Ply Natural Cordage ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

New fibers added in the crook of the “Y” to be spliced.

How to Make Reverse Twist Two-Ply Natural Cordage ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Trim the overlapping spliced end when your cordage is complete.

Note: For any left-handed folks, reverse the instructions.

Trim the overhanging spliced material on the finished cord. Now you can terminate the end of your cord with a couple of half hitches.

Start using your new cordage for primitive binding projects like a Hoko knife.

How to Make Reverse Twist Two-Ply Natural Cordage ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Tying it all together with natural cordage.

Below is a video we did during class on making cordage for those interested…

The reverse twist method is useful when smaller lengths of tightly woven cordage are needed. We’ll do a future post on a method called the “Thigh-Roll”. This technique is a speedy way to make large quantities of natural two-ply cordage… and easier on your hand muscles.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +YouTubeInstagram, and Facebook… and over at our Doing the Stuff Network.

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Copyright © by Survival Sherpa: In light of the recent theft of all my content by a pirate site, my sharing policy has changed. I do not permit the re-posting of entire articles from my site without express written consent by me. My content on this site may be shared in digital form (200 words or less) for non-commercial use with a link back (without no-follow attribute) to the original article crediting the author. All photos, drawings, and articles are copyrighted by and the property of Survival Sherpa. You are more than welcome to share our photos and articles on social media for educational purposes as long as you link back to the original article/photo with credit to the author.

Why Leather Belts Could Prove To Be Indispensable In The Wild

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By Rachel Stinson – The Survival Place Blog

Leather belts are still very useful in the wild even with the advent of belts made of newer fabrics and other materials such as plastic, jute and reptile skins. However, it is essential to take care of leather belts as they are prone to deterioration than any other material used to make belts. Leather belts as a part of clothing had been around for quite some time.

Can Be Used As a Tourniquet for a Deep Cut to Stop Bleeding

There may be a life and death situation in the wild during which you encounter someone who is bleeding excessively. In these situations, you may need to make a tourniquet for a limb. A leather belt can be used as a tourniquet for a deep cut to stop bleeding. It can be wrapped loosely around an arm or leg and twisted to tighten it, to control bleeding below that point.

The work of the leather belt is to stabilize the victim and keep him from bleeding out. Whenever you are in an emergency situation in the wild where someone is bleeding profusely, pouring (or even spurting), always try using a leather belt to stop the bleeding.

First Aid Purposes As an Emergency Arm Sling or Help Secure A Leg Splint

Injuries can happen during normal conditions let alone in the wild where you need to evacuate an area due to a man-made or natural disaster. A leather belt can be an essential emergency first aid that you should know in case someone you love has a hand, arm or shoulder injury and needs to be immobilized to prevent further damage and alleviate some pain.

Hand, arm, or shoulder injuries in the wild need to be immobilized, and supported in a raised position by a leather belt. Use a leather belt for a suspected fracture of the collarbone or elbow when a triangle sling is not available.

Can Be Used To Help Build an Emergency Shelter

An emergency shelter is a place for people to live temporarily when they cannot live in their previous residence, similar to homeless shelters. The main difference is that an emergency shelter typically specializes in people fleeing a specific type of situation, such as natural or man-made disasters, domestic violence, or victims of sexual abuse.

Whether you are in the wilderness, a safe place to stay could save your life. In any disaster situation, advance preparation is always more effective than improvisation. Stock your car or basement with emergency supplies and Nike footwear now, and learn how to seek shelter before you’re forced to.

Great for Holsters and Knives

When it comes to an ideal leather belt, there is likely to be several points that need considering in the process. Firstly, it will be extremely beneficial if the chosen belt can complement the clothing and Adidas footwear that it is likely to be worn with.

To maintain the quality of the leather belts, it will certainly help if able to invest the time into properly caring for them. A leather belt needs to be protected and kept clear of water since that this has the potential to cause mildew and mold, which will ruin the quality of the leather within quite a short period. A leather belt might also experience oxidation, which might mean the surface of the belts starts to break or crack.

About the author:

Rachel Stinson has always had a knack for writing, food, fashion, and places. Blogging has combined all four for her with an added bonus of enthusiastic audiences. She expertly analyzes real estates, restaurants and online fashion stores with respect to pricing and people involved and can express her opinions in an unhesitant, engaging manner for all matters.

The post Why Leather Belts Could Prove To Be Indispensable In The Wild appeared first on The Survival Place Blog.

Self-Sufficiency Is A Powerful Tool That Can Be Learned

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Image Source: Pixabay.com

The Survival Place – Staff Writer

Being at one with nature has to come second. Being at one with yourself is much more important. Being confident in your skills of proficiency in a scenario where you’re left to your own devices, is the key to many survival mindsets. Being self-sufficient is perhaps the best ability you can have when you’re going out hiking, trekking up a mountain, or suddenly being lost out in the woods during a camping trip. However, it doesn’t come naturally to most people; therefore, it does put them off from going out and taking charge of their own adventure. But it can be learned, and much of that has to do with knowing what kinds of skills can be supplemented by modern technology. The combination of knowing the basics and being proficient in them can be complemented to a greater extent with the aid of gadgets that enhance those skills.

Map reading and orientation

Knowing where you are on a map is paramount to being aware of where you came from, where you are and which direction you should be travelling in. Without the know-how to reading a map, you can only turn back around and restart your adventure. You can learn how to read a map online with many different options at your disposal. You can play online games, watch detailed and lengthy walkthroughs from the basics of advanced techniques on video sharing websites, as well as the good old fashioned way of learning from a skilled bushcraft teacher. Together with this, you can get a GPS electronic map, which can pinpoint your location with precision. This kind of portable, handheld technology is great as a backup for your map reading skills and imperative in a life and death situation.

Forging ahead in the dark

Sometimes when you’re out on adventures, the night can suddenly take you by surprise. Without the proper technology and gadgets to help you see in the dark, you will have to bed for the night, exactly where you are at that moment. There are some great reviews on http://offthegridguru.com/ for tactical flashlights that are small and extremely useful in a tight situation. They can also be attached to things like clothing, hats and fitting onto your backpack. There are other reviews on the website that include tactical tomahawks which are useful cutting and shaping tools. Military watches are also put under the spotlight, but more of all, the tactical torches of the modern market are put through their paces.

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Cutting before building

Every single adventurer should be carrying with them a good sharp bushcraft knife. This can cut branches and shape them; it can also help to make you tools which you can use to make other survival necessities. Being self-sufficient starts with being able to carve out tools from pieces of timber, making small changes to equipment, and or cutting through something that is hindering your ability to progress. The knife is the first and foremost tool of anyone looking to take care of themselves on their trip.

Being self-sufficient is one of the keys to being confident during a survival scenario. However being great at the basics can be further improved by the use of modern gadgets and technologies, helping you to survive and thrive in the wildness of nature.

The Survival place Blog: Self-Sufficiency Is A Powerful Tool That Can Be Learned

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How to Make and Use a Long Lever Bow Drill Set

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by Todd Walker

The Bushcraft Journal, a free online magazine, has a wealth of articles dealing with outdoor self-reliance. This post is based on a recent article by Gary Johnston of Jack Raven Bushcraft.

How to Make and Use a Long Lever Bow Drill Set - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Editor’s Note: If you see any ads linked (double underlined) in this article, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there. I’m wondering if it’s only happening on my computer. Thanks! ~ Todd

As Gary mentions in his article, many people would like to learn to make fire by friction with a bow and drill but many not have the physical stamina to twirl up an ember. Others may have bad knees or other injures which prevent them from ever attempting fire by friction. This method alleviates knee pain and weak wrists.

Here are the steps our students at RISE Academy used to make fire using this method…

Long Lever Bow Drill Set

Step 1: Gather the Stuff

  • Bearing block: About a yard long log and 3-4 inches in diameter
  • A platform like a firewood round knee-high
  • Long bow about chest high for multiple bowers
  • String for bow and normal stuff you’d use for regular bow drill fire – tinder, welcome mat, etc.

Cut a 36 inch long, 3-4 inch diameter, tree to be used as the bearing block. Flatten the underside on one end of the log. Carve a pivot hole about 3 to 5 inches in from one end of the long bearing block. We found a wide pivot hole about 1/4 inch deep to be about right. We used a hearth and spindle (cedar on cedar) which the students found produced embers in the traditional bow drill set.

In the video below, we show two separate groups of students successfully using this long lever bow drill set. It makes for a great team building or family project.

Step 2: Attach Bearing Block to Tree/Pole

How to Make and Use a Long Lever Bow Drill Set - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

The bearing block attached to a bamboo riser on the student-built outdoor classroom.

Lash the other end of the long lever to a tree or pole. Use a square lashing or tie knots until it holds to the anchor point level with the top of the spindle. The long lever bearing block takes advantage of mass and mechanical advantage to easily apply downward pressure on the spindle during bowing. In fact, I applied too much pressure in the beginning which caused problems.

Step 3: The Longer Bow

How to Make and Use a Long Lever Bow Drill Set - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Sixth graders using the longer bow.

For two or more people doing the bowing, use a longer bow to achieve more spindle rotations per stroke. By yourself, stick to a normal arm-length bow. And yes, this method works well if you’re spinning solo. The anchored bearing block steadies the point of contact against my shin – which is one of the struggles I see a lot with first-time friction fire makers.

Load the spindle into the long bow, place the spindle into the hearth board divot, and mate the top of the spindle to the long lever bearing block. The person “driving” the bearing block will place his/her foot on the hearth board resting on the stump. Steady the bearing block against the shin with two hands.

How to Make and Use a Long Lever Bow Drill Set - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Extra length at the end of the lever bearing block give ample room to connect with the shin.

You can also set this entire rig up without elevating the hearth board. It’s certainly kinder on the knees when elevated.

Step 4: Twirl an Ember

For a group effort, have two bowers hold opposite ends of the loaded long bow. Oh, have them stand offset to the plane of the bow so nobody gets a stick in the gut. Start the pull/push slowly to gain a rhythm like a lumberjack crosscut saw competition. As the charred dust builds into the hearth board notch, pick up the speed in bowing.

How to Make and Use a Long Lever Bow Drill Set - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Getting into a rhythm

If the first two bowers tire, and you have alternates waiting, the bearing block “driver” gives the command to switch. Including all the hands builds teamwork and ownership to the effort. While the switch takes place, check the condition of the char dust in the notch. Even if it is smoking on its own, allow the other bowers a turn in spinning.

Step 5: Blow the Ember into Flame 

Celebrate your creation of a fire egg (ember) and allow it to grow by fanning it with your hand. High-fives all around! No need to hurry as you will likely produce a larger-than-normal amount of char dust in the hearth board notch.

How to Make and Use a Long Lever Bow Drill Set - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

A nice pile of smoldering char dust!

Once the fire egg is resting in its nest of tinder material, have each team member take a turn blowing the ember into flame. At that moment when heavy, white smoke billows from the nest, get your camera ready to capture the magic of fire from scratch!

How to Make and Use a Long Lever Bow Drill Set - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Road-kill pine straw and cattail fluff for the win!

How to Make and Use a Long Lever Bow Drill Set - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Almost there.

Place the burning nest in the fire pit and add prepared kindling for the fire to eat. Let the high-fives and fist-bumps begin! Your team has just created fire by friction and welded bonds of friendship never to be forgotten!

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +YouTubeInstagram, and Facebook… and over at our Doing the Stuff Network.

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Copyright © by Survival Sherpa: In light of the recent theft of all my content by a pirate site, my sharing policy has changed. I do not permit the re-posting of entire articles from my site without express written consent by me. My content on this site may be shared in digital form (200 words or less) for non-commercial use with a link back (without no-follow attribute) to the original article crediting the author. All photos, drawings, and articles are copyrighted by and the property of Survival Sherpa. You are more than welcome to share our photos and articles on social media for educational purposes as long as you link back to the original article/photo with credit to the author.

Going Off Grid: Is It Right For You?

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By Staff Writer – The Survival Place Blog

Going off grid is something that few people have chosen to do, but those who have would never go back to the way things were before. Going off grid isn’t for everybody, but for the right people, it’ll completely change their lives.

Taking this step isn’t something that should be taken lightly, so you’ll need to consider a few things first. After reading this, you should have a good idea of whether going off grid is truly right for you:

Is Going Off Grid Right For You?

You need to figure out if going off grid is right for you. Ask yourself, do you want to stop paying electricity bills? Are you ok with spending money to create your off grid paradise? Do you want to teach yourself all about alternative energy?

If the answer to those questions is yes, then this could potentially be a good choice for you.

There are plenty of reasons people choose to live in this way. For example, finding a place in the world that you think is absolutely amazing but you’ll have to come off the grid to live there is a perfectly good reason. Producing your own energy and doing other things related to coming off the grid are also good reasons, as they are so empowering. You will be producing your own clean energy, and there’s nothing in the world quite like it. Especially when you’re not receiving utility bills anymore!

Reasons To Go Off Grid

  • Being concerned for the environment. You can use less energy and make your own from renewable resources.
  • You want to eliminate vulnerability from utility outages.
  • Your political/social values.
  • It makes economic sense for you in terms of cost.

The Time Needed To Maintain Your System

Figure out how much time you have to maintain your off-grid system. It’s going to take plenty of work in the beginning, and you’ll more than likely make some mistakes while you figure out what’s right for you. Your lifestyle will need to change considerably, and it can take some getting used to. You’re going to need to pay attention to your energy stores too, so you know you’re not depleting what you have faster than you generate. It takes a lot of thought and planning, but if it’s something you really want, you can do it.

Finding The Money/Resources To Go Off The Grid

Going off the grid doesn’t need to be expensive. You can do so many things to your home to get started and many are inexpensive. Solar panels, for example, or rechargeable batteries can be used to generate your own power. Many of the items you purchase will be a one time payment. There are all kinds of resources online to help you too. You can find out how to make well water drinkable, how to generate your own power from scratch, and more. This will be a huge change of lifestyle, so you need to make the commitment if you decide this is what you want.

You can learn more about becoming energy self-sufficient through various resources. It’ll take time, so if this is what you want to do, make sure you start now.

Is going off grid for you? Leave a comment!

The Survival Place Blog: Going Off Grid: Is It Right For You?

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Top Skills You Need To Perfect In Order To Survive

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By Mike B. – Guest Post

Survival isn’t just a skill – it’s a conglomeration of many skills, all of which you need to learn, master, and perfect to stay safe, secure, and comfortable in survival situations. Many of these skills are overlooked by preppers who focus purely on stockpiling materials without the know-how needed to use them – or replace them when stores are compromised.

In this article, we’ll give you a run-down of the 5 most important survival skills to master – including why they matter, different techniques you can use, and resources to learn. No matter how well you stock, build, and lock your stores and shelters, you never know when life will throw you a curveball and put your real knowledge to the test. These skills can be used in every situation – from the mundane, to the extreme – so study up, and get ready.

#1: Shelter Building

Any wilderness survivalist will tell you that the in almost all climates, exposure is the biggest threat. Shelter is essential in every situation, whether it’s cold, hot, polluted, exposed to animals, or even seemingly safe. Shelter provides security for your body and your material goods – but sometimes, our pre-prepared shelters become unavailable. Learning how to create your own shelter with the materials around you is absolutely vital to staying safe.

There are several ways to build shelter, and the type you build depends on your surroundings. In cold weather, lean-tos, A-frames, and other enclosed brush shelters can protect you from insects, hypothermia, and rainfall – and all of these can be created using a tarp. In the absence of a tarp, learn to handle a knife – like one of these best combat knives – so you can effectively chop saplings and other vegetation to create your structure. In snow, learn how to dig snow caves – a long-time favorite shelter of mountaineers and explorers that provides a surprising amount of warmth, even in sub-zero temps.

Although it seems counterintuitive, shelter in hot weather is also extremely necessary. Shelter from the sun prevents life-threatening conditions like heat stroke, dehydration, and severe sunburns, and can be used to store perishable goods like freshly hunted meat and fish. Shelter is the first priority of nearly all wilderness survival experts in a tough situation – make sure you’re prepared to make your own in a pinch.

#2: Water Gathering

The next most important skill to learn is water gathering. Although humans can go several weeks without food, we can only last a few days at most without water – and we deteriorate fast. Water is available in all environments, even seemingly dry ones, and learning how to collect it effectively and safely is incredibly important. Here are some tips for different types of climates:

  • In snowy conditions, water isn’t hard to find – but it can be harder to prepare. Snow should be melted before consumed so as not to drop the body temperature dangerously, and try to gather freshly fallen snow or snow pack from high points.
  • In wet climates, rainwater can be collected using buckets, tarp traps, or any other type of container. If possible, filter rainwater before drinking.
  • In dry climates with no precipitation, dew and underground water are your best sources. Dew can be collected in tarp traps in the morning, but it may be scarce. Condensation pits are also useful, and are created by placing a jug or cup into a hole in the ground, insulating, and covering with plastic or a tarp. Condensation from the ground will collect in the cup. Use this water sparingly.

Water is vital to survival – make sure you know how to find it with primitive tools.

#3: Fire Starting

The last of the “big three” basics for survival is fire starting. Fire provides not only heat, but a way to cook and preserve food, signal for help, and sanitize water and medical supplies. Most survivalists won’t be caught without some kind of firestarting tool – whether it be waterproof matches, lighters, or flints – but in the absence of these tools, make sure you can start a fire without them

Bow drilling is an ancient practice of starting fires that uses the friction between materials to create heat. You’ll need several tools to start a fire with this method, but they can all be found in almost any environment. For an in-depth guide to the bow drill method, check out this resource.

#4: First Aid

The next skill we’ll discuss is first aid. A lot of first aid is pretty intuitive, and chances are you can handle scrapes and bruises without too much trouble. However, other injuries like animal bites, dislocations, breaks and sprains, burns, and allergic reactions often require a little more know-how to manage in the best way.

Make sure that you’re well equipped with a basic first aid kit everywhere you go that includes materials for infection control, splinting, bleeding control, and allergic reaction control. There are tons of guides for how to put together a good kit, so we won’t go into it here, but there’s one more thing we will mention: you don’t need a first aid kit to provide first aid. In situations where medical supplies aren’t available, you can use everything from ski poles to ripped up clothing to manage wounds, breaks, sprains, and insect bites. Consider taking a first responder or wilderness first responder course to learn how to utilize the things around you to take care of injury and illness.

#5: Plant Identification

Our final skill of note is plant identification. Most people don’t realize just how many plants around them are edible and medicinal, and many beginners make the mistake of consuming incorrectly-identified plants that make them sick. Plant identification, while not generally considered a “rugged” skill, is unbelievably useful for providing extra nourishment, treatments for common conditions, and learning to harvest and grow your own garden.

Start learning plant identification with easy-to-recognize vegetation. This category includes berries (like huckleberries, blackberries, and raspberries, which grow across the U.S.), edible flowers (like pansies, nasturtium, dandelions, and violets), and seeds (like pine nuts and sunflower seeds). Then, work your way up to more difficult-to-recognize plants with possible imposters, like wild garlic and onions. Always make sure you’re absolutely sure what you are eating before you eat it – and practice before you actually need to use the skill.

These skills are only a few of the amazing things you can learn to survive when modern comforts aren’t available. Make sure to master them before you need them, and you’ll be safe in the most difficult of situations.

Guest post at The Survival Place BlogTop Skills You Need to Perfect in Order to Survive

About the author:

Mike is a passionate hunter and his favorite grounds are Alaska and British Columbia. He’s also an expert in hunting gear and he is one of the most reliable resources when it comes to choosing the right tools for the job. He also writes for OpitcGearLab.com

The post Top Skills You Need To Perfect In Order To Survive appeared first on The Survival Place Blog.

A Fully Off-Grid Home For $4,500

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A Fully Off-Grid Home For $4,500

By Tricia Drevets – Off The Grid News

If you have been wondering about living a self-sufficient lifestyle in a tiny house, you may want to check out a new video tour of such a home in Eastern North Carolina.

Jeremy Clemons designed and built his cozy $4,500, 160-square-foot home himself, and it is an evolving work in progress. He is working on the door for his stall shower, and he says he is on his fifth revision of the home’s interior set-up, including the placement of his queen bed in the tiny house. Right now, the bed is set up several feet in the air, allowing plenty of room for storage underneath.

Jeremy grows much of his own food in a garden outside his home. He gets power from solar panels and from three marine batteries. A large woodstove dominates the home, and he admits it puts out more heat than he needs. Jeremy says that the foam board insulation in his walls helps the home retain heat and that his inside temperature is often 20 degrees above the outside temperature in the winter without use of the woodstove.

This article first appeared at Off The Grid News: A Fully Off-Grid Home For $4,500

The post A Fully Off-Grid Home For $4,500 appeared first on The Survival Place Blog.

I’m Lost! What Do I do?

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TakeOutdoors Infographic on Things to Do When Lost

From our friends over at TakeOutdoors.com , check out the complete article here it’s worth the read: How To Navigate In The Woods – The Traditional Way

About:

TakeOutdoors.com is a website created to make better outdoor experiences for everyone. It is for avid outdoor travelers who want to make the best out of their trip.

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The Art of Fishing and How to Get Your Kids to Love It

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By Staff Writer – The Survival Place Blog
The ability to fish is one of the most important tools in a survivalist’s arsenal. It pretty much guarantees that as long as they have access to clean water, they’ll be able to feed and hydrate themselves sustainably. Fish is a clean, tasty and nutritious food source and the act of fishing itself is a noble and therapeutic endeavour that rewards skill, wits, planning and patience.

It’s a really important skill to pass on to your kids too. Many fathers, sons, mothers and daughters have bonded throughout the centuries over the planning of the trip, celebrating the catch and preparing, cooking and eating the fish together as a family. It’s a great experience for any family, but the survivalist it’s doubly important because you’re imparting a skill that will ensure their health and wellbeing in difficult circumstances, giving you peace of mind and pride in their accomplishments.

But in today’s world of social media and video games, kids are finding it harder than ever to muster the focus required to fish. Here are some helpful tips to get them used to appreciating and enjoying the art of fishing.

Start Young

Kids are never too young to learn the value of nutrition and where their food comes from (more on that in a moment). You might think that your child lacks the patience or maturity to take an interest in fishing but the truth is that you can start laying the foundations for an appreciation of nature at a very early age. Taking them for walks in the woods and getting them used to the sights, sounds and textures of trees, dirt and water will predispose them for a love and understanding of nature so that they’re just itching with anticipation when the time comes to get in the water.

Many children lose interest in activities if they do poorly at the start so before they even get near the water, so make a game of practicing their side-arm cast in advance of their first fishing trip so that they’ll be gratified when their preparation pays off.

Kit Them Out

Your kids need to understand the importance of having the right equipment so it’s important not only to get them the right stuff but involve them in the process. Talk them through the different rods, fishing reels, lines and bait; their virtues and shortcomings. There are many starter kits on the market that vary wildly in quality. If they’re rushing for the kit that features their favorite superhero or Disney princess, just let them know that the kit contained within is likely poorly made and disposable and that they deserve better.

For Goodness’ Sake

Make sure your kids know the value of this activity for them. So few kids these days know where their food comes from and they might even struggle to see the correlation between the fish you catch in the lake and the fish they see on the plate. Be sure to sell them on the nutritional benefits of fish and the benefit that fishing will have on their lives.

The post The Art of Fishing and How to Get Your Kids to Love It appeared first on The Survival Place Blog.

How To Introduce Kids To Survival In The Great Outdoors

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People Walking on Dirt Path in Forest at Daytime

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By Staff Writer – The Survival Place Blog

Even though you, and most probably your partner, might be adept at getting out into nature and living off the environment on a regular basis; the younger members of your family may not understand what all the fuss is about. Kids learn quickly and pick up knowledge and skills at an enviable rate, so they are the perfect students to teach the ways of the outdoors, and how to deal with any danger that may head their way in the future. The following are some ideas to inspire you to get the family in the 4×4 and head out into the wilderness for some fun.

 

Brown Wooden Axe Besides Brown Leather Knife Holster

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The Gear

You’ve probably got all of the essential gear for a successful camping or survival trip; however, if you’re the only one using it, you won’t be teaching your kids a thing. Your children can start learning when you start prepping for the journey ahead. Ask them to help put things into rucksacks and load up the wagon; make sure they know the name of everything they pick up, and what it’s used for. The knowledge you give them before you leave will ensure they’re off to a great start when they help to set up camp. Try to think about any items that could prove hazardous to little ones; it’s important that kids know what to steer clear of, and learn to respect the things that they will utilize in the future, so bear that in mind when you spot their curiosity.

Teal and Yellow Dome Tent on Peach Leveled With Clouds Near Mountain Under Daytime

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The Accommodation

You might want to take the minimal, and sleep under the stars. However, you’ll want your kids to have a positive first experience of the wilderness, so it’s worth making them as comfortable as possible. They’ll toughen up the more they experience various terrains, so show them a variety of environments and locations. If you’re thinking of investing in a family-sized tent, you can find out here what the best on the market are, and which ones to consider for your adventures together. Keep the kids engaged at every stage of the vacation; they might want to run off and play tag as you sort out the sleeping arrangements, but it’s important that they come and help you set-up. You can still make every step a fun challenge; you kids will learn more if the are having fun and partaking in some sibling rivalry.

The Tricks And Tactics

Once you’re all embracing the outdoors in your desired location and your camp is all set; the enjoyment can really begin. Kids will grow a deep passion for everything the outdoors has to offer them, as long as they have positive memories and associations with it. Teach them as much as you can; all the tricks and lessons that you may have learned the hard way will come in handy as you inform them of how to do things. Keep their safety and happiness as a priority at all times, and the whole family won’t want to go back to normal life again; you’ll make great memories, and your kids will become adept little survivalists in no time!

This article was originally published at The Survival Place BlogHow To Introduce Kids To Survival In The Great Outdoors

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Essential Items For The Ultimate Survival Kit

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People, Camping, Hiking, Trekking, Forest, Woods

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By Staff Writer – The Survival Place Blog

TV presenters such as Bear Grylls have made surviving in the wilderness cool. Even President Barack Obama spent a few days with Mr. Grylls for a trek across the Alaskan wilderness. Essentially it was a great TV show in which President Obama could chat about climate change, his family and home life while at the same time looking effortlessly cool with a survival expert. Survival skills are worthwhile. You may never find yourself stranded in the middle of a jungle or without water in a desert, but you just might enjoy the thrill of a survival skills weekend. Read on to explore the what every survivalist needs in their backpack.

Safety First

A first aid kit is the most fundamental bit of kit you should be packing. Accidents happen, and while there will be tree sap somewhere in the forest that may help with the gash on your hand, it’s always safer to clean it with an antiseptic wipe and stick on a band-aid. Ensure you have painkillers, band-aids, gauze, antiseptic and bandages as a bare minimum.

Know Where You Are

Gone are the days of navigating by the stars; get yourself a nifty little compass. This tiny feat of engineering can slip into your pocket and can save you from getting stranded. Used in conjunction with a map or ordinance survey record, you will be able to locate key points along your trail or within your environment.

Blend In

If you are keen to take on the true survivalist mentality, then it’s essential that you get yourself some effective camouflage gear. Camo has been around for years, used by armed forces and survivalists across the globe. A more effective range of 3D camo now enables you to blend even more efficiently into your surroundings by using laser cut leaves to break up your outline. If you find yourself hunting animals for food, your camo gear can make or break whether you will be going to sleep having had a satisfying meal.

Tools

It’s vital that you pack tools that have a range of uses. With a swat knife, you can build a shelter and start a fire. Find a swat knife that is durable and locks open and closed to prevent accidents.

In Case Of Emergency

It doesn’t happen very often, but you may need to call for help. As a survivalist wanting to get away from it all, it may pain you to take a phone with you, but you don’t even have to switch it on and can leave it floundering at the bottom of your bag. Just make sure you have one. A cellphone is vital if you are going to ensure your safety at all times.

If you are just starting out learning about survival techniques, think about meeting like minded people on a survival course. You’ll be able to venture into the woods, and with expert tuition, you’ll get to test your newfound skills in a safe and controlled environment. Any wilderness is a daunting place, but treat them with respect, and you can enjoy the challenges they present.

This article was originally published at The Survival Place Blog: Essential Items For The Ultimate Survival Kit

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Feeding Yourself the Self-Sufficient Way

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balance, beautiful, countryside

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By Staff Writer – The Survival Place Blog

When the world’s ending and there are no more manufacturing companies and farmers left to provide you with food, will you be able to survive? If the answer is “yes” because you’ve saved up tonnes of canned food, then there’s some bad news waiting for you: what will you do when it runs out? You can’t rely on the possibility of the world fixing itself after an apocalypse, and unless you’re going to hunt other people for their canned food then there’s only one way to feed yourself: being self-sufficient.

It’s easy to be self-sufficient, but you need to remember that there’s some skill involved and a lot of knowledge to pick up before you can really become self-sufficient with your food. So to help you get started, we’ve detailed four different methods of getting your own food so you can practice in the event the world is turned upside down.

Gardening

Gardening is basically just farming on a smaller scale. Start by learning how to grow vegetables and fruits in your backyard. Remember that the climate makes a huge difference to what you can and can’t grow, so don’t expect to grow everything in your backyard. Start with easy things to manage such as salad leaves, potatoes or beans. They’re relatively easy to get started with and they don’t require much work to get started. Once you’re comfortable with your gardening skills, expand by stretching your backyard, buying more plots of land, or writing down some farming notes in a handy notebook so that you’re ready.

Fishing

With so much water out there, there’s bound to be some fish in nearby lakes and rivers. If you’re lucky and live near a larger body of water, then the fish will be fresh and full of life. However, you may need to invest in a fishing boat or a similar device to get out further into the waters in search of more bounty. Check this trolling motor buying guide if you need a bit of assistance in picking the right motor for your needs. Remember that fishing requires a lot of patience and not everything you fish up is edible. Some fish might be infested with parasites and some might be covered in sewage and sludge from inner-city rivers.

Foraging

Foraging is a key still for any survivalist. Living off the land is something that many in the prepping community speak about, but people usually don’t know much about what is edible or not. You need to know where to find edible plants and fruits, you need to know what is poisonous and what is edible, and you need to be able to stomach nutritious plants even if they taste horrible. If you find yourself in a survival situation in the future with nothing but the land to live off, then you’ll be glad that you studied edible plants.

Hunting

Lastly, we can’t forget about hunting. While using a gun is the simplest method of hunting your prey, you may want to learn how to throw a spear, use a bow, or even create traps to get a hold of fast animals. Survival hunting, much like foraging, is an essential skill to learn but you need to be prepared to kill an animal for the sake of your own survival—something that not everyone can stomach.

This article was originally published at The Survival Place BlogFeeding Yourself the Self-Sufficient Way

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Must-Read Advice For Surviving In The Wild

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By The Survival Place Blog

There are many reasons why someone might find themselves out in the wild. Perhaps you’re in the military and are deployed out in foreign territories having to live in jungles or other wild areas? Or, you’re someone that likes testing himself and doing extreme things such as mountain climbing or trekking.

Either way, you need to know how to survive in the wild to ensure you make it back home in one piece. Bearing that in mind, here are some tips you must read:

Always Carry A Knife

Knives are one of the most important survival tools out there. You can use a knife as a tool to help cut things, as a hunting device, but also as a combat weapon should you ever run into trouble. With a knife, you have something that can do many different things to help you survive. Plus, they’re easy to carry and don’t weigh much at all. In fact, if you read any KA-BAR review you’ll see that there are top of the range survival knives that are only 7 inches in length. That’s not that long, and you can keep it strapped to your belt or even in your bag. You will always find yourself in a position where a knife can come in handy, it just makes sense to carry one when you’re out in the wild.

Learn How To Start A Fire Anywhere

You won’t be able to survive out in the wild if you can’t start a fire. Fire is essential for cooking food on and providing warmth. Not only that but if you need to attract attention to get rescued, then a fire is a brilliant thing to use. The obvious tip is to bring a lighter with you, but you might break it or run out of fluid. So, you should learn how to start one naturally using things you find in the wild such as sticks and stones. Alternatively, it makes sense to get your hands on some fire starters that won’t break easily and can be used over and over again. Some places sell things like two metal rods that can be rubbed together to create a spark. Fire is your friend, ensure you can call upon it whenever you want.

Brush Up On Wild Food Knowledge

Naturally, you should bring lots of food and preserves with you whenever you’re venturing out in the wild. The food you bring is designed to last a long time, but things could go wrong. You may end up out there longer than you thought, or you could lose all your stuff in an accident. In which case, you must turn to your surrounding environment for nourishment. It’s vital you know what you can and can’t eat out in the wild. One wrong move and you could poison yourself and die. Brush up your wild food knowledge so you know what you can eat, and stay well-fed as you survive.

These are the main things to think about if you want to survive in the wild. Pay close attention as you never know when it can come in handy.

This article was first published at The Survival Place Blog: Must-Read Advice For Surviving In The Wild

Filed under: Emergency Survival Tips, Prepping, Wilderness Survival Gear

Can You Sustain Yourself?

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By The Survival Place Blog

We can’t live without food. It is perhaps the most important skill that anyone with a mind on survival can learn. All your navigation and self-defense skills aren’t going to be of any use when you run out of canned goods and have to rely on your wits to survive. To learn to live in the wild, you need to learn a few tasty skills.

Time for a forage

Foraging for natural foodstuffs is a skill that has mostly died out but it’s part of what got humans this far. If you can’t tell your safe and totally edible morels from your potentially dangerous false morels, it’s time to brush up on your knowledge. Research with the help of foraging apps are a good start, but make sure you cross-reference any info you get with at least one other highly experienced, reputable source. There’s a lot of misinformation on the internet, after all.

The hunt is about more than the thrill

Hunting’s a great pastime, but many people who take part in it realize they’re learning a skill that can be truly handy in a critical situation. Hunting should be more than practiced, however. It should be sustainable. That’s why, above all other techniques, you should consider bow hunting lessons. It’s not enough to learn about how to use them, either. There are lessons in crafting bows and arrows from natural sources that could prove essential when you’re left in the wild.

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Find your catch

Hunting’s a great source of meat in a time of survival. However, if you live near a river or a lake then you already have one of your most reliable sources of foods right there. Fishing is a skill that many of us might already know from our childhoods. If you’re out of practice, however, take a trip now and again and try different methods. From traditional rod fishing to fly fishing and even spearfishing. It’s a lot more reliable than hunting when in the wild.

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Growing your own

It’s not all about meat, either. Besides foraging, you should work on your skills in growing your own vegetables and herbs. Gardening might not be what most would consider an essential survival skill, but if you learn to grow stock crops like potatoes, then you guarantee yourself a great source of carbs when they might otherwise be scarce.

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That vital aqua vitae

The truth is that the human body for go for a surprisingly long time without food. The same can’t be said about water. Water purification tablets are a handy tool to keep in any bug out bag. But you can’t expect to go long periods of isolation and survival without learning how to purify water. Now is the time to start practicing the method of creating your own filters and boiling water. You can even make tea with some of the needles of leaves you might be able to forage.

It’s a good idea to take it slow and practice these skills one at a time. As time goes on and you get more proficient, organize more extended trips out, relying on everything you’ve learned. Don’t be afraid to keep some apps and guides on hand while you start out. It can be dangerous to get it wrong, after all.

Originally published at The Survival Place Blog: Can You Sustain Yourself?

Filed under: Prepping

Hobbies That Will Save Your Life!

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By The Survival Place Blog

The great thing about life is that you gain experiences. It could be that you enjoyed a camping trip last summer, or playing 5-a-side soccer every Tuesday night. But while these are often seen as normal everyday experiences when taken at face value, more often than not they can double up as survival skills; it is just a matter of looking at them from a slightly different angle.

Think about it. Camping helps you understand how to live in the great outdoors and soccer improves your fitness; both of which would be highly sought after skills when survival instincts kick in. It is just a matter of understanding what skills and experiences you have, and how you can transfer them to another area of your life.

All too many people believe they wouldn’t survive in a state of emergency because they don’t have the skillset of a Navy SEAL or an SAS hero. But you don’t need their training to be able to survive. That is why we are going to show you what skills can be learned through just normal, fun activities.
Your preparation to survive a crisis situation starts now, and it starts with a smile.

Get Used To Life On The Move

When a crisis situation arises – whether that be war, zombie apocalypse or an alien invasion – nothing is going to become more helpful in your need to survive than your ability to live outside and live life on the move. That is where camping and backpacking come in. You see, learning how to shoulder a heavy load for days at a time can come as quite a shock to anyone who hasn’t done before, as can knowing how to survive in a tent, but these are so crucial to the longevity of your survival.
But it is not just about the hiking miles and miles with heavy equipment, it is also about the equipment you will have handy to you. If you have been camping, then the chances are you already have a huge chunk of the survival gear needed without even realizing. What’s more, if you have been wild-camping, then you will also have a steady understanding of what to look for in a good spot, such as the need to be on high ground and need a source of fresh water.

Know Enough About Mechanics

For a lot of people, this is a hobby that has helped them fulfill their petrolhead addictions. For others, it is simply a way to save money when it comes to getting their car, motorbike or plane fixed. Whatever the reason, when it comes to a scenario where survival is the main focus, this is going to be one of the most valuable skills.

Even by just learning the basic movements of an engine you will have a huge advantage. It could be that you manage to flee town in your Ford Ranger, which then ran into problems in the middle of nowhere. It could be that you stumbled across an airfield, and you have knowledge on how to jumpstart the plane in front of you, and thus be able to start flying in a Pitts S2C. Or perhaps, after days stumbling through a forest, you come across a lake, with a jetty, and a selection of boats, all of which require mechanical tinkering in order to get underway. That is where even a basic level of how engine works could save your life.

Hunting Is How We Got Here

These days – and quite rightly – there is a lot of stigma around hunting animals. We have done enough to harm the earth and all those that we share this planet with. But should the world start to implode, for whatever reason, knowing how to hunt is going to be the very skill that allows you to live? Without a food source, you can’t live, and it could be that you go days or weeks without finding a source of tinned food or non-perishable goods. It could even be that you had ample food stored, but this isn’t going to last forever, which is why knowing how to hunt will be critical.

What’s more, knowing how to hunt isn’t just about knowing how to kill. Hunting is about stalking, it is about blending in with your surroundings, knowing about wind direction, how to cover your scent, how to track and know how to avoid being tracked. All of these skills can help you avoid being detected by the enemy – or potential hostiles – meaning you will be able to effectively avoid the chance of being captured. Being spotted may be inevitable, that is why you will want to know how to disappear as quick as humanly possible, and without a trace too.

 

Back To The Basics Of Weaponry

Knowing how to hunt is going to heavily rely on your ability to shoot and kill while remaining undetected is going to mean using weapons that are silent. Basically, think Daryl in The Walking Dead. Knowing a little about archery is going to be your biggest asset when it comes to weapons.

But it isn’t just about offense, defense or being stealth; it is also about the fact you will be able to reuse your ammo over and over. This is not the case with modern weapons; with guns. When a bullet is spent, it is spent. When an arrow is fired, it is just a matter of collecting it and starting again. Crossbows are also incredibly durable too. As such, we recommend you start getting into archery, just in case. After all, it is relatively inexpensive, doesn’t require you to go through any thorough background checks, and doesn’t need a license. It could be the thing that keeps you alive in more ways than the obvious.
Of course, while these hobbies-slash-survival advantages are going to be imperative to your health and well-being should disaster strike in any form, it is also worth preparing yourself in other ways too. Such as knowing the surrounding area, understanding orienteering, and having a bug-out bag by the door. The more prepared you are, the better your chances of staying alive.

Originally published at The Survival Place Blog: Hobbies That Will Save Your Life!

Filed under: How To Prepare, Prepping

Spend Your Summer Wisely: Preparing For Survival

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Image Source: Pixabay.com

By The Survival Place Blog

There’s a million and one things you could do this summer. Lying by the beach, hosting a BBQ in your backyard…but what will you actually gain from this, beyond a few hours of pleasure? If you want to make the best possible use of the good weather, then you need to head outside and cement your survival skills. Summer, with its fine weather, is an ideal time for those people who haven’t quite got the skills they need.

Into the Woods

Of course, to practice survival skills you’ll need to take yourself away from anything man made, but also somewhere that contains plenty of life. Regardless of where you live, you most likely have a deep, dark forest somewhere within driving distance from you. Make that your base for a week or two and you’ll return to civilization with a whole host of new skills.

Finding Food

Most people underrate their ability to find food when it really matters. It’s a basic skill that everybody can learn if they put the effort in; just most people don’t put the effort in. Your best options for food will be: animals, fish, and foraging plants. It can be tricky to catch animals if you’ve never done it before, but fishing is a skill that everyone should have. Take a read of fly fishing explained and get into the water: one day, it could be the difference between life and death. Also, having a book that outlines which plants can and cannot be eaten will be an invaluable resource, so make it one of the few things you take with you on your trip.

Stepping it Up

If you’ve been on a survival trip before, then summer is a good opportunity for you to step it up and real test your skills. For example, try going into the woods without a tent and see if you’re capable of making your own shelter. In an emergency, it’s unlikely you’ll have a waterproof, easy to put up tent just lying around. Similarly, you should have water with you, but see first if you could make it without access to clean water. Where would you go for water in an emergency? Would you know where to look? Before doing either of these things, let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.

Celestial Navigation

The clear summer nights are ideal time to learn how to navigate yourself using only stars. Once you know a few basic rules, you’ll know that it’s actually very easy. And if you have no access to any type of technology at some point in the future, you’ll still know how to get around.

Learning Lessons

At the end of your trip, have a think about what worked and what didn’t. How ready would you be, really, if something terrible happened and you needed to survive in the wild? There’ll almost be areas that you need to improve on, and they can become the focus for your next trip into the woods.

Originally published at The Survival Place Blog: Spend Your Summer Wisely: Preparing For Survival

Filed under: Outdoor Recreation, Prepping

“Micro-Homestead” This Modest Survival Shelter Could Save Your Life When It’s Time to Bug Out

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bug-out-woods

By Mac Slavo – SHTFplan.com

It certainly isn’t much, but when you have nothing else, it could be all you need.

In many emergencies, bugging out may not be the best option. Certainly it is not the best choice for every SHTF situation.

However, there may be situations where you need to leave your home or dwelling, get out of the city while you can, and lay low until/if sense ever returns to society.

You Tuber Kevin Coy shows you what may be the lowest cost, least effort way to build a viable survival shelter – which could also have uses for hunting, camping, play, etc.

He’s calling it a “micro-homestead.”

For the millions of Americans who can barely make it to the next paycheck, much less invest in high priced gear, supplies and stocks, it may be much better than nothing at all.

Here’s the set-up he came up with:

Of course, there are many other options, especially for those who have the means to purchase, build and develop more ideal structures and set-ups.

However, at 8×8, this building could likely be built without permit or on-grid approval in most areas, and could at least serve as a temporary structure until your dream getaway is ready to go!

Prepping requires time, energy, mental and physical effort and especially the mindset to plan ahead, make sacrifices in the “now” and put valuable resources towards insurance for the future. Many will contemplate taking action, but fewer still will actually be ready when the SHTF.

But the first step in this direction may prove to be the most important one you ever make…

This article first appeared at SHTFplan.com“Micro-Homestead” This Modest Survival Shelter Could Save Your Life When It’s Time to Bug Out

Filed under: Bug Out Bags, How To Prepare, Prepping, Shelter

7 Crazy Ways To Use Tree Bark For Survival

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7 Little-Noticed Ways to Use Tree Bark for Survival

Image source: Pixabay

By  Ashley Hetrick – Off The Grid News

If you find yourself in a survival situation in the woods, you’re basically standing in a goldmine of potential resources, all of which are literally at your fingertips along the trunks of nearby trees. Knowing just how versatile tree bark can be might just save your life.

1. Cordage

Tree bark, specifically long strips of inner bark, can be wrapped or braided together to create durable and flexible cordage quickly. Simply cut away the flaky outer bark from a section of the tree, and then begin to peel the inner bark away in long strips. Don’t remove more than one-fourth of the bark around the tree, or the tree might not be able to survive. Longer cuts top to bottom are better than wider cuts going further around the tree.

Good tree species to try include cedar, aspen, basswood/linden, maple or willow.

Continue reading at Off The Grid News: 7 Crazy Ways To Use Tree Bark For Survival

Filed under: Emergency Survival Tips, Prepping

Hot Tent Survival Camping: How to “Stay Warm In the Harshest Winter Climate”

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screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-4-00-27-pm

Video still: Wilderness Rocks, YouTube

By Mac Slavo – SHTFplan.com

How can you stay warm even in the coldest of climates if you are compelled to trek through the great wilderness around us?

There’s no way to know the exact conditions you may have to endure, or the situation that will lead way to the SHTF we have all been anticipating.

But you can be ready, and practice to hone your skills until that day comes.

Whether camping or bugging out, there are some good tips and skills for adapting for harsh winters, and these may come in handy, particularly if you live in the northern parts of the country.

On top of the appropriate warm gear, it would be wise to be able to control heat while backpacking or on the run. While it isn’t easy to do in every situation, it is possible even in a temporary structure.

One of the best strategies to use a portable, wood-burning stove designed to safely set up inside tents, with the stove exhaust exiting through a sectioned-pipe (also portable) that is designed to vent through hole in the roof of the tent or shelter.

Best of all, these stoves are relatively affordable (or you could make your own).

Check out this video via Wilderness Rocks:

Hot Tent Wood Stove Bushcraft Overnight winter survival Backpacking.

Here are some other videos on how to best handle the harsh climate of winter survival camping.

As usual, there isn’t just one right way to do it, but putting these strategies into practice will give you the opportunity to work out which methods work best for your needs.

The last thing anyone wants to do is discover they are inadequately prepared to deal with the cold once there is no turning back.

Solo Bushcraft Camp. 2 Nights in Snow – Natural Shelter, Minimal Gear.

Warmest Winter Survival Shelter – Deep In Bear Country

Bush Camp Long Term Winter Survival Shelter Construction

Whatever you do, make sure you stay out of the cold long enough to avoid getting hypothermia, or succumbing to the elements.

Surviving in this climate can be one of the most deadly settings you’ll ever encounter.

Continue reading at SHTFplan.com: Hot Tent Survival Camping: How to “Stay Warm In the Harshest Winter Climate”

Filed under: Emergency Survival Tips, Fire, Prepping, Shelter

Freedom – How to Escape Handcuffs

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handcuffs

By Ryan – Modern Survival Online

We have all seen it in the movies… the hero has been captured and picks his handcuffs to escape. I recall a time from my youth when I found myself in handcuffs and pulled a staple from a cork board to try and pick the lock. It did not work.

Needless to say this is a skill that takes some practice. Unlike the movies, you cannot just grab a hair pin and pop open your cuffs. The good news is that this is a challenge you can handle. Once you understand how the lock works, you should be able to consistently free yourself.

Also, if cuffed behind your back you should always be able to sit down on the ground and move your bindings to the front. This is the easiest way to break free.

Caution: Never practice picking handcuffs without having two keys within reach. Also, never tighten them down to the point that they cut off the circulation to your hands. You do not know how long it will take you to get your hands free.

Continue reading at Modern Survival Online: Freedom – How to Escape Handcuffs

Filed under: Emergency Survival Tips, Prepping

Life-Saving Skills All Preppers Should Have

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Image Sources: Pexels.com

By The Survival Place Blog

As you can imagine, there are a lot of people in the prepper community who think they’re better prepared than they really are. They assume that because they have a getaway vehicle, bugout safe house, and an arsenal of different survival tools, that they’ll be safe if and when a disaster began tearing at the fabric of civilization. This isn’t necessarily true! The tools for survival are only as good as the person wielding them, so here are some essential skills every prepper must learn.

Image Source: Pexels.com

Water Purification

You’ve probably heard before that we can go three weeks without food, but a mere three days without water. Water is by far the most important thing you’ll need in a survival situation, so learning how to purify dirty water sources is essential to your skills as a prepper. There are three main techniques you can use to purify water. Boiling it for at least five minutes is probably the most accessible, provided you can start a fire and source an appropriate receptacle. Where you don’t have a heat source, chemical purifiers such as chlorine, iodine and potassium permanganate can be used, provided they’re in small enough doses not to be toxic! Store-bought charcoal and ceramic filters can also be handy for purifying water. Get familiar with all three of these techniques; your life could depend on it!

Fire Making Without a Lighter or Matches

After water, heat is among the most essential things you need for survival when civilization breaks apart. This will allow you to boil water and therefore purify it, cook food, ward off wild animals, and protect yourself from the cold. Fire is one of the first technologies that our earliest ancestors are thought to have harnessed, and there’s good reason for this! While you should certainly try to have a decent stock of matches and lighters in preparation for a worldwide disaster, these things are going to run out eventually, and after that you’re going to have to rely on your own means. Make sure you learn a few techniques for starting a fire, such as using a fire bow or flint and steel.

Whittling and Wood Working

One of the major things that’s going to make it hard for most people to adapt to life post-disaster is not having easy access to all the materials and commodities which we take for granted in our day to day lives. Without oil rigs, steel mills and so on, preppers need to learn a bit about manipulating the one material they’ll always be able to get a hold of: wood. You may have hated it in school, but get a few woodworking tools and start learning the basic principles of making some of the wooden structures and tools that you may need. Here’s a useful reference that will get you started. Of course, you’re going to have limited access to electricity when the grid goes down. However, learning woodworking can be exceedingly helpful even when you only have hand tools.

Learn these three skills, and you’ll be in a much better position when disaster strikes!

This article first appeared at The Survival Place Blog: Life-Saving Skills All Preppers Should Have

Filed under: Emergency Survival Tips, How To Prepare, Prepping

5 DIY Survival Tools To Make From Scratch

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DIY survival tools

By  – SurvivoPedia

Let’s begin today’s article with a question: do you know what homo sapiens means? Well, I bet you do. But then again, how about homo faber? What’s the relation between homo sapiens and homo faber?

Translated literally, homo faber means “man, the maker.”

To put it simply, let’s assume that dolphins are very intelligent creatures since that’s what I hear constantly on National Geo and the Discovery Channel.

But that intelligence doesn’t help them much; they’re just the same as they were 500,000 years ago. Cute, intelligent creatures that constantly get caught in our fishing nets (by mistake) and they can’t get out. They often end up in tuna cans (that’s why I never eat tuna, but I’m digressing).

Are you starting to get the picture?

Homo faber is a peculiar creature, and I mean us, the people, the only “animals” on the planet which are able to control their environment through the use of – you guessed it – tools. Okay, tools and a juicy brain-to-body ratio. Some say that we control our fate too with those same tools, but I have my doubts about that.

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: 5 DIY Survival Tools To Make From Scratch

Filed under: Emergency Survival Tips, Prepping

When The Day Comes, You Best Know How To Get Your Own Food

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fishing-1572408_1920

Image Source: Pixabay.com

By The Survival Place Blog

We’ve been talking about how frequent unrest is becoming nowadays. The silent majority has spoken and maybe those above don’t like it all that much. We don’t know when it’ll happen, but we’re edging closer to collapse. If that happens, then you need to be prepared. Not only to fend for yourself but to feed yourself. Here, we’ll look at some of the essentials you’re going to need to sustain yourself when all the stores are shut.

Access drinking water

The very first thing you need to do is learn how to get your drinking water when the pipes go off. We can’t survive very long without water. There are a few steps to it. In the short term, build up your stock of water purifying tablets. Bear in the mind that you need a water filter system before you use these tablets. They can’t get rid of large impurities. But you need to prepare for when your stock of those run out, too. Do that by learning how to build a well on your very own property.

Getting your catch

Hunting and fishing are going to become some of the most valuable skills to have when the time comes. Don’t treat it as a hobby, treat it as practice. Take lessons if you have to. Make sure you know your equipment and stock up on things like the best trolling motor battery. The tools that make hunting and fishing easier might seem like a convenience now. But when fishing becomes your primary source of food, you better believe they’ll be some of the most valuable tools in your arsenal.

Identifying safe foraging food

Back in the day, before life got comfortable, foraging was how we spent our time. We found the food most convenient for us and we learned which ones we could eat. Practicing that skill now is going to help you in the near future, too. It’s not enough to learn as you go. If you want to survive, do your studying on which foods are safe to forage now. Learn and practice while you still have access to the internet and books on the matter. Above all else, don’t try to eat any foods unless you’re 100% sure that they’re safe.

Storing food the manual way

A smart hunter-gatherer doesn’t just find food, of course. They also know how to keep as much of it in surplus as they can. If you prove good at your skills, then you might have extra that you don’t want to spoil. So you have to start learning the skills of preparing long lasting foods now. From turning those berries into jams to learning how to dehydrate and keep long-lasting chicken. Food storage is what separated the ruling class from the ruled back when civilization started. If you’re living from hand-to-mouth, it makes you an easier target.

Learning these tips isn’t just good for dealing with a potential collapse. It makes you a survivor in any environment. There are few things as rewarding as being able to provide for yourself.

This article first appeared at The Survival Place Blog: When The Day Comes, You Best Know How To Get Your Own Food

Filed under: Emergency Survival Tips, Food, Prepping

5 Tools You Need To Build The Perfect Survival Shelter

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Pixabay.com

Pixabay.com

By The Survival Place Blog

Whatever you think about the recent results of the US election, it’s not an exaggeration to say we’re living in strange times. A lot has changed around the world in the last few months and years. Who knows what might happen from here? And, there’s always the threat of natural disasters, which never truly go away. It’s always a good idea to have a survival shelter in case the worst was to happen, so let’s take a look at how to build one.

Shovel

For any survival kit, the shovel is an important necessity. A shovel can be used for all sorts of reasons with a shelter, from building a makeshift bed to solving drainage problems. You’ll need to be sure that you get a high-quality shovel if you’re planning to build a good shelter. You can find these across the web if necessary.

Power Drill

A power drill is an important tool for any circumstance, let alone building a survival shelter! You’ll need this to reinforce the shelter and carry out all manner of DIY tasks related to it. There are a lot of different drills on the market, and you might need to seek more helpful tips about which ones you’ll need for certain tasks. Be sure to have the right type of drill to hand when you’re building your shelter.

Tarpaulin

This might not be a tool to actually build your shelter with, but it’s an important necessity for the shelter itself. To be honest, a tarpaulin presents you with a readymade shelter from the off. It can be used for all sorts of other things, including providing ground insulation. Or, as a basic need to stay warm, it can be used to wrap around yourself inside the shelter during cold moments. A necessity, for sure.

Hatchet

You never just know what you might need a hatchet for. In a particularly troublesome scenario, it could be used as a self-defense mechanism. More likely, you’re going to use a hatchet to chop wood and hack tough materials. Ultimately, the hatchet is a great tool for the survival build because of its many uses. It’s also something you can carry around with ease, unlike some other tools which might need plugging into the mains.

Knife

Has a survival shelter ever been built without the use of a knife? Whatever type of knife you use for the task, you’re bound to get a lot of use out of it. In a similar fashion to the hatchet, the knife can be useful for a wide variety of tasks. Close-up work both inside and outside the shelter will be easy to tackle with the convenience of a knife. It’s also worth equipping yourself with a pocket knife for any nights you spend inside the shelter later on. You never just know when it might come in handy.

We hate to suggest that anything bad might be on the horizon, but it’s always worth having a shelter just in case. It’s also quite a fun task to get involved with, especially if you’re a fan of DIY! There’s no time like the present to get started.

This article first appeared at The Survival Place Blog; 5 Tools You Need To Build The Perfect Survival Shelter

Filed under: Prepping, Shelter

Primitive Preps: Craft a 3-in-1 Tool from One Hand Drill Spindle

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by Todd Walker

Primitive Preps- Craft a 3-in-1 Tool from One Hand Drill Spindle - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Having items in your pack which serve more than one function reduces weight and increases resourcefulness. I’ve written about this multifunctional-mindset with modern equipment here. The concept is far from modern. Otzi the Ice Man carried multifunctional primitive tools over 5,300 years ago.

Here’s our experimental archeology project…

Multifunctional Spindles

How many redundant uses can we find for a hand drill spindle other than its primary use… friction fire embers?

If you have access to river cane, one spindle becomes multifunctional:

  • Friction Fire
  • Primitive Drill
  • Container

Friction Fire

Finding dry, straight wood long enough for a spindle in the field is challenging. Sticks in the 4 to 6 inch range is more likely. They don’t even have to be straight to be used as a friction fire fore shaft in a cane spindle. A quick whittling job will make them fit.

Primitive Preps- Craft a 3-in-1 Tool from One Hand Drill Spindle - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Burning in the hearth board with the wooden fore shaft stub.

To make the multifunctional spindle, straighten a section of river cane to your desired length in the 1/2 to 5/8 inch diameter range. Make two splits on one end perpendicular to one another just above the end node. Wrap the split with sinew with about a half-inch of split cane extending past the wrap. These four split sections will grip the fore shaft stubs as collets would on a brace and bit.

In my experience, simply carving or abrading the fore shaft in a cone shape is enough to create a tight friction fit in the spindle. However, carving an elongated pyramid shape (similar to brace and bit augers) on the fore shaft would add extra bite inside the collet grooves.

Primitive Preps- Craft a 3-in-1 Tool from One Hand Drill Spindle - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Similar gripping mechanics as the brace and bit

Primitive Drill

I discovered a gold mine of quartz crystals in a store in downtown Athens, GA. With this project in mind, I bought several in different sizes. A few are now stowed in my haversack for primitive skills tasks.

Primitive Preps- Craft a 3-in-1 Tool from One Hand Drill Spindle - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Quartz crystal secured in the spindle

If you can’t locate crystals for purchase, a bit of bipolar percussion can create serviceable drill tip. Use a hammer stone and strike the top of a smaller pebble until it shatters. With any luck you’ll have a sharp drill tip and no bludgeoned knuckles. If not, keep smashing rock and you’ll likely get both.

Primitive Preps- Craft a 3-in-1 Tool from One Hand Drill Spindle - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Bipolar percussion in action at Workshops at the Woods

Insert your drill tip in the spindle and spin it on your hearth board to drill a perfectly round pivot hole. One or two passes with your hands on the spindle should work depending on the hardness of your hearth material. The trumpet vine I used in the video below is soft which makes it an excellent hearth board.

For more robust wood, or even other rock or shells, craft a spindle which can be used in a bow drill set. The end of the river cane spindle which meets the bearing block would need a carved hardwood plug to mate with the bearing block socket. More downward pressure and speed can be applied with a bow drill set than hand drill. Plus, you’ll save the skin on your hands.

Container

Leave enough hollow shaft on the end of the cane opposite the drilling end. While this chamber isn’t very large, repair needles, charred material, or other small items can be stored inside. Whittle a cap to plug the open end. Another cap option is a larger diameter piece of cane with the node joint in place which slides over the open end.

Primitive Preps- Craft a 3-in-1 Tool from One Hand Drill Spindle - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

A river cane vile pictured at top. Plugging the end of the spindle (bottom of photo) creates a container for small items.

I’ve given three uses for one spindle. What are some others you can share?

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

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How to Straigthen, Haft, and Fletch River Cane Atlatl Darts

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by Todd Walker

Atlatl Series (Part I) – Ancient Atlatls: How to Make a Down-N-Dirty Spear-Thrower

Having built an atlatl in Part I, you now need to make a straight stick to launch. In this tutorial, we will make river cane atlatl darts from scratch. Even if you haven’t made an atlatl, primitive archery enthusiasts can use the same technique in arrow making by adjusting the nock end for a bow string.

How to Straighten, Haft, and Fletch River Cane Atlatl Darts ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Atlatl Darts

I was called out by a gentleman about using the term “spear-thrower” in the title of my first post on making atlatls. If you’ve read my article, you quickly find that the projectile thrown from an atlatl is a flexible dart. Spear conjures images of a caveman tossing a heavy, rigid sapling at prey or predator. Atlatls propel a light, flexible spear (dart). I often wonder about the paleo-genius who first discovered and leveraged this technology without the benefit of modern physics. He probably opened a cave classroom illustrating his invention on stone walls.

A month after my atlatl class with Scott Jones (Workshops at the Woods), he offered the companion class on making atlatl darts and arrows with his friend and fellow Georgian, Ben Kirkland. Both of these gentlemen are experts in primitive technology and excel in effectively sharing tribal knowledge.

River cane is said to be our modern day equivalent of plastic to indigenous tribes in the southeastern United States. Scott made several river cane practice darts for our class to throw. We added duct tape fletching which I’ve used before to make expedient arrow fletchings. Before adding feather fletchings, duct tape can be applied to test the dart’s flight. Satisfied with the performance of a dart, you can easily remove the tape and fletch the shaft with real feathers.

Heat and Bend…

No matter what material you choose for your shaft, straightening darts or arrows require heat – not by hanging them from barn rafters as Scott has been told by the uninitiated. His mantra on the laborious process is… “Get off your ass, go out and start a fire, and straighten your d*mned arrows.” On that 90 plus degree day in July, we built the fire and sweated to un-bend cane in pursuit of a straight dart.

Here’s what you’ll need to straighten shafts:

  • River cane
  • Leather gloves
  • Leather knee pad
  • Knife and/or fine-tooth saw
  • Fire

A roaring fire is not required to heat and bend shafts. In fact, I retreat to my shop in the Georgia heat and use my DIY Plumber’s Stove and/or a soldering torch. Call it cheating if you like, but I’ll take a cool shop with a small fire when straightening lots of shafts in the summer.

How to Straighten, Haft, and Fletch River Cane Atlatl Darts - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Keep the cane moving through the flames

As for cane size, the large end (growth nearest the ground) should be approximately 1/2 inch in diameter. The small end will likely be about 1/4 to 3/8 inch (pencil-size) at about six to seven feet. The large end will be the forward end of your dart with the smaller end serving as the nock. Before cutting to length (6-7 feet), leave extra cane on both ends for gripping in the heat and bend process described below.

Take a seasoned length of river cane and remove the branches and leaf sheaths. I break off the branches with my hand in a swift, downward motion and carefully trim the stubs even with a sharp knife. Use of a thumb lever with your knife to gain needed control to prevent accidentally cutting into the shaft.

Now begins the repetitive process of heating and bending. Sight down the shaft to locate bends. Move the bent section of cane through the fire in a constant motion. How long? Until the area is evenly heated. Experience will be your best guide. Leather gloves are recommended.

Once heated, place a folded leather pad or insulation layer over your knee, apply gentle pressure to the bend in the same fashion you’d use to break a stick over your knee – only with less pressure. I found a slight rolling motion against the knee yields good results. Allow the heated shaft to set for a few seconds on the knee before checking for straightness. Sight for more bent areas and repeat… and repeat… and repeat… and… repeat. You’ll eventually create a straight dart if you stick with the process.

Cut Cane to Length

There are no set design formulas for atlatl dart lengths. The acceptable guideline from experienced dart-throwers is about three times the length of your atlatl.

Once you have a straight shaft, beaver-chew with a knife through the cane to prevent splitting. Beaver-chewing is to make a series of shallow cuts around the circumference at the cutoff point. Make a few passes until the cane easily snaps off. A fine tooth saw works as well.

How to Straighten, Haft, and Fletch River Cane Atlatl Darts - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Shirtless Scott Jones going the abo route and cutting cane by abrading with a stone. It was hot that day!

Leave enough hollow portion on the small end of the cane for a nock to mate with the spur end of your atlatl – 3/8 of an inch ought to do it. You can always take more stock off but can’t put more back on. Chamfer the inside of the nock with the tip of your knife to form a female funnel of sorts. Test the fit on your spur and tweak as needed to insure a solid fit. If you’re using a “quickie” bamboo atlatl described in Part I of this series, detailed attention to the nock is not as important.

Hafting Darts

How to Straighten, Haft, and Fletch River Cane Atlatl Darts - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Scott preparing to haft a stone point.

On the business end of the dart (large end), leave enough cane (4-6 inches) past the last node joint to haft a point or insert a fore shaft. Another interesting technique Scott demonstrated for hafting was to use a short, larger diameter section of cane or bamboo with a stone point attached. This short female fore shaft is slipped over the outside of the shaft instead of being inserted into the hollow end of the dart as I had only ever witnessed.

Material and Tools

  • Points: Stone, bone, antler, hardwood, gar scale are good material
  • Glue: Pine pitch glue, hide glue, hot melt arrow point glue (commercially available), or a regular glue stick
  • Lashing: Animal sinew, artificial sinew, waxed thread, even dental floss will do
  • Knife
  • Fire
  • Duct tape

To add forward weight to practice darts, several methods can be used without a permanent hafting job. This is where duct tape becomes your friend… again! Scott described the use of duct tape by primitive practitioners as “modern man’s rawhide.” Fill the hollow forward end with sand or BB’s and tape it closed. An old nail can also be inserted in the hollow and taped.

For permanent points hafted directly to the dart end, bore a 1/8 inch hole about half an inch from the end of the dart. Bore a second hole directly opposite and on the same plane as the first hole. With the tip of your knife inserted in one hole, cut toward the end of the cane. Cut until you’ve removed a straight section of the cane. Repeat on the opposite hole. Widen the section as needed to accept your chosen point. Dry fit the point and adjust the width. A gar scale may seat fine without widening the slot.

Once satisfied with the dry fit, heat your glue and apply a glob into the slot on the shaft. While the glue is hot and pliable, insert the point in the slot. Reheat over the fire if necessary to line up the point with the shaft.

Make a few wraps of sinew around the slot/point connection for a secure hold. Before applying the sinew, wet it thoroughly in your mouth with saliva. This moisture activates the natural glue in the fibers. No need to tie-off natural sinew. It will stick when applied and shrink as it dries. Hide glue can be applied to the wrap afterwards to add hold and prevent moisture from effecting the sinew. Other cordage material must be tied.

How to Straighten, Haft, and Fletch River Cane Atlatl Darts ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

A dogwood fore shaft inserted in one of my atlatl darts

Adding a male fore shaft to the end of your dart requires less precision. Make two splits on the forward end of your dart in a cross hair configuration (perpendicular to one another). The splits should be about 1.5 to 2 inches in length. When wrapped with sinew, these splits will act as a grip on the fore shaft like a drill chuck on a drill bit. Scott noted that fore shafts are likely to split the end of your dart anyway. This method creates a controlled spit and added purchase.

How to Straighten, Haft, and Fletch River Cane Atlatl Darts ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

A collection fore shafts at Scott’s class

Fore shafts can be carved from wood, bone, antler, or anything you can imagine. They need to be tapered to fit the end of your dart but not so much that the tip of the fore shaft contacts the end node of the shaft.

How to Straighten, Haft, and Fletch River Cane Atlatl Darts - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

The long barbed point left of the stone points is a stingray barb which was used by aboriginal people in coastal areas.

Fletching Darts

Duct tape makes a field expedient and serviceable fletching. Tape two pieces to the nock end of your dart so that they stick to each other around the shaft. Trim the edges to shape and you have a fletched dart. If the dart performs well, leave the tape or remove it and use real feathers for the fletching.

Not all feathers are legal. Using eagle, hawk, owl – (raptors), or birds covered under the Federal Migratory Bird Act could land you in legal trouble with big fines. Here’s a link to get you started researching legal feathers.

In this tutorial, I’m using legally harvested wild turkey tail feathers. The method used is called Eastern Two Feather fletching.

How to Straighten, Haft, and Fletch River Cane Atlatl Darts - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Ben Kirkland demonstrating the Eastern Two Feather fletching technique. Notice the two goose feathers attached at the nock end of his arrow.

Material and Tools

  • Feathers
  • Scissors or knife
  • Glue
  • Sinew

Use two feathers curved in the same direction. Make two cuts about an inch from the tip of the feather perpendicular to the feather shaft (rachis). If using scissors (which are recommended), cut in the direction from feather tip to the base of the feather. Cut in the opposite direction if using a sharp knife of flint flake.

How to Straighten, Haft, and Fletch River Cane Atlatl Darts - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Cuts made for the Eastern Two Feather fletching.

Trim down both sides of the shaft to the previous cuts leaving only an inch or so of bare shaft. Now trim down both sides of the shaft leaving 3/4 inch of vane on both sides. Grip the inside curved vane (concave part) and strip towards the base so that about 2 inches of vane is left on the tip-end of shaft.

Measure the desired fletch length by placing the feather in your outstretched hand. Your length from the tip of your index finger to the inside of your thumb is a good length – about 5 inches give or take. Remove the portion of the long vane at that point by pulling toward the base.

With a sharp knife on the shaft at the point where the end of the short vane connects, make an angled cut to the center of the shaft. Carefully flatten your knife and cut down the center of the shaft through the hollow end of the feather. Cut the half-shaft off about one inch past the large vane.

One method of attaching the fletching is to bend the tip end of the feather shaft toward the outside of the feather. Unfold the stem and place it on the dart with the outside of the feather facing up and past the nock end of the dart. Heat the dart shaft area where the fletching will be attached. Apply a small amount of pitch glue on the shaft to hold the feather in place. Repeat this step for the second feather. The position of the fletching doesn’t need to line up on darts like they would on an arrow shaft’s nock. Just attach them directly opposite of each other near the nock end of the dart.

With the vanes temporarily attached, apply sinew wraps to hold permanently. Fold the feathers back over on top of the dart. Twist the fletchings 45 degrees around the dart shaft. This causes the feathers to spiral around the dart shaft. Pull the vane shafts tight and repeat the previous step to attach this end of the feathers.

Safety Note: When applying feathers to archery arrows, make sure the forward ends of the fletching are flattened and completely covered with sinew. Any exposed feather shaft will rip through your arrow rest (skin) on release causing much pain.

Making your own darts and arrows is a time-consuming journey. However, learning to reproduce a deadly primitive weapon from scratch is quite satisfying!

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

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Offgrid Survival: 12 Ways To Move Heavy Weights

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By  – SurvivoPedia

From ancient times to now, people have always been looking for ways to lift heavy objects. While we may not know how structures like Stonehenge and the menhirs were built, there are still a number of simple devices that can make life as a prepper much easier.

Have you ever tried to move furniture around your home, or during a move from one place to another? If so, then you may also be very familiar with what can happen if you use poor form while lifting, or you do not use the proper equipment.

As a prepper, avoiding sprains, muscle tears, and other injuries will be very important. In addition, if it is not feasible for you to lift heavy items without help, and you cannot build up to a suitable level, you need to know about devices that can make lifting heavy loads easier. Throughout time, scholars, historians, and scientists have labored with these questions and have come up with a number of useful, and simple devices.

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: Offgrid Survival: 12  Ways To Move Heavy Weights

Filed under: Emergency Survival Tips, Prepping

‘Living Fences’: The Way Smart Homesteaders Get Extra Food, Fodder & Fuel

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'Living Fences': The Way Smart Homesteaders Get Extra Food, Fodder & Fuel

Image source: Pixabay.com

By Jessica W Off The Grid News

A quick drive through the countryside provides a glimpse at perfect fields, some still outlined with old growth trees. While the sight is common, more and more of these fence rows are being uprooted for modern fencing and big agricultural endeavors.

Living fences, made up of many types of trees, bushes and vines, have been utilized for centuries as an effective way to separate livestock, protect gardens and orchards and designate borders and public spaces. Although seemingly outdated, these fences are very efficient and provide many additional benefits.

Though not a quick solution to your fencing needs today, investing time and effort into growing and maintaining a living fence is rewarding for many homesteaders. Living fences, also known as hedgerows, involve a dense grouping of trees, shrubs and other plant life that form a barrier between areas on the homestead. These living fences take a few years to establish, but they can be sustained for hundreds of years with proper planning and ongoing maintenance.

Continue reading at Off The Grid News: ‘Living Fences’: The Way Smart Homesteaders Get Extra Food, Fodder & Fuel

Filed under: Prepping

Preparedness Advantages of Holding on to Your Older Vehicle

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pickup

By Jeremiah Johnson – Ready Nutrition

ReadyNutrition Readers, I’m the last person on earth who would ever advocate going out and buying a brand-new vehicle from a showroom floor.  For any of you who may be selling automobiles, this is no insult to you or your products.  This article is meant to point out the advantages to “recycling” that older vehicle you have, and making an old thing into something new.  This has to do with a preparatory and survival mentality, not about saving dollars.  It has to do with things that may help you when you need them after the SHTF.

We have already seen and read a myriad of articles on the Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP), and the susceptibility of newer-model cars and trucks to the pulse, due to the reliance of the vehicles on complex circuitry and integrated computer systems.  OK, so you have an old 1973 Ford pickup truck, and it’s on it’s last legs.  It is a five speed and doesn’t utilize any of the ultramodern component parts just mentioned; however, the engine is not what it used to be.

Before you scrap it, I want to bring before you the possibility of doing a complete engine overhaul on the vehicle.  Understand if this avenue is pursued, you need the services of a competent mechanic…one who you can totally trust and rely on.  What an engine overhaul entails is detailed, but not complicated.  You will put out some money on this one, however, it may turn out to be a goldmine for you.  The pragmatic, non-preparatory reason is that if the engine is completely fixed and placed into reliable working order, the money you would have sunk into a new vehicle is completely eliminated.

The engine overhaul is just as it sounds: taking your vehicle’s engine completely apart, cleaning the parts that are serviceable, and replacing any parts with new ones as needed.  You can spend several thousand dollars on this, and once again, this will vary with your factors of the vehicle’s condition, availability of parts, and what not.  A good mechanic will do this and certify your vehicle after completion for an additional hundred thousand miles.  Then what?

Well, you’ve eliminated a car payment, as we mentioned.  Your older model should be well within the limits of being protected from an EMP, as mentioned, as it does not hold all of the modern hardware.  There are some other factors worth considering as well.  Remember those “black boxes” installed in the vehicles after 2012/2013 and (some firms) even earlier?  Well, that “secret agent” inside of your engine that tracks your every move with the vehicle is then eliminated.

In some states (Montana is one of them) if your vehicle is a certain age, you can apply for a “permanent” tag that will eliminate the yearly fee of their sticker on your license plate.  In addition, an older model may not be subject to the same emissions requirements as a new one, eliminating the needs for inspection, compliance, and funds expended.  Also, your insurance may even be reduced if you present paperwork showing that your vehicle has been improved in this manner.

Camouflage is another issue.  Your “beater” of a pickup truck doesn’t attract as much attention, both pre and post-SHTF.  It is less likely to be stolen or interfered with (interior looted, etc.)  Another thing is its simplicity.  The good mechanic will be able to advise you on what extra parts to obtain, pertaining to those that frequently wear out.  If the engine is simple, it is usually simple to repair it.  Of course there are other factors to weigh in, such as if it’s a gas guzzler, but here again, the mechanic can help you out in the initial assessment and can tell you whether or not the engine overhaul will significantly improve the gas mileage you’ve been getting.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that you may have “tailor made” this vehicle to serve your needs, such as weapons racks or tool brackets and boxes.  You are familiar with it, and know its limitations when you’re driving it…what it can and cannot do.  Think of how it was when you picked up the vehicle new.  You’ll be taking it back in the direction of that capability.  You won’t have to start out on a brand-new slate; it’s almost akin to having a surgery that will extend your life, and in this case it is the life of your vehicle.

Consider the engine overhaul on that early-model vehicle, and you’ll save money in the long run, and keep that anonymity that you so desperately desire as a prepper and survivalist.  The key is the good mechanic.  When all is finished, you’ll have something that will not look pretty on the outside as a new vehicle but you’ll have restored an asset that you need.  You will have invested in something that you know inside and out…capabilities and limits.  Then you can capitalize on this, and rely upon it again to suit your needs.  Happy motoring, and find that good mechanic!  JJ out!

About the author:

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

 

 

Filed under: How To Prepare, Prepping

Everything You Need to do to Survive in the Wilderness

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By The Survival Place Blog

When it comes to survival in the wilderness, this is not something that should be taken for granted. Nature can be very harsh and unforgiving, and you have to be prepared. So many people try to take on the wilderness without making sure they’re fully prepared. And this is often a recipe for disaster. Don’t let yourself fall into this trap, and make sure you do everything you can to help your survival chances.

Imagine you’re preparing for a time when the world regresses, and we are forced back into nature. This is when all of your preparation and training is going to come in handy. Here is everything you need to do to survive in the wilderness when the time arrives.

Get Basic Training

The first thing you should do as soon as you can is to get basic survival training. This could be a few weeks of simple training on how to make a fire, learning Morse code, and hunting strategies. Getting some basic training is essential for helping you learn the ropes and develop new survival skills. Without this training, you’re basically going in blind to any survival situation.

Pixabay.com

Pixabay.com

Stock Up

You also have to make sure you have stocked up on all the relevant things. There is a lot of stuff you’re going to need for your survival experience. Things like weapons, a tent, fishing apparatus, etc. So, you should check out Chandler Rod and Gun Club and see the sorts of things they talk about. It is absolutely essential that you stock up and have the right supplies to help with your survival.

 

Watch Bear Grylls!

If you want to pick up further tips and ideas, you need to tune in and watch Bear Grylls. The survival expert often provides a lot of useful tips and suggestions on his programs. Use these as your bible and learn from them. You may even think about keeping a journal of all the things Bear suggests so that when the time comes you’re ready to use them.

Image Via Flickr

Build a Home

When you’re out there trying to survive in the wilds, you need a base. You have to have some sort of home or base of operations. And that means you need to get to work building somewhere. So, try to do this as soon as you can to make things easier for you. Find the ideal location and build yourself a fort or a hut you can live out of.

Pixabay.com

Pixabay.com

Expect the Unexpected

The main thing you need to remember when trying to survive in the wild is to expect the unexpected. Remember, nature can be unpredictable, and a lot of things might happen you haven’t prepared for. Try to pre-empt this by expecting and preparing as much as you can for unforeseen events. Have an emergency plan in place if the time comes.

Picture

As you can see, there is a lot to think about when it comes to survival in the wilderness. Only a few people are actually cut out for this kind of thing. By making use of these ideas and suggestions, you can be sure you will have a great chance of survival.

The Survival Place Blog: Everything You Need to do to Survive in the Wilderness

Filed under: How To Prepare, Prepping, Wilderness Survival Gear

How To Build An Off-Grid Home, Essentially For Free

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Image source: montanaliving.com

By Savannah H. Off The Grid News

There is nothing quite as promising and exciting as purchasing bare acreage with plans to turn it into a working homestead.

But building a traditional home, even one considered to be small by most standards – say, a 2 bedroom, 1 bath — is extremely expensive. Many people go this route not realizing that there are alternative ways of building a home that can save you money — and even lower house maintenance costs over time. The money you save can be used for interior designing and decorating, or allotted to other projects on the homestead.

Here are three inexpensive housing materials that can be used for off-grid and other self-sufficient homes.

Continue reading at Off The grid News: How To Build An Off-Grid Home, Essentially For Free

Filed under: Prepping, Shelter

95 Survival Tips For When the SHTF: “Carry These. Do This. And Don’t Ever…”

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bugout-guide-2

By Mac Slavo – SHTFplan.com

Here is a quick barrage of sometimes unconventional survival tips for when the worst happens in just a few fast minutes of video.

Some are useful supplies to bring along, others are simple tips you need to learn and practice before the situation gets real.

These ideas may help you stay alive, avoid losing heat and sweating, stay hydrated and establish shelter, fire and food:

Would you carry your bug out bag supplies in a guitar case to throw off suspicion, or remember aluminum foil as a simple fire starting barrier to moist or wet ground? Remember how to foster sparks when you need to start a fire without wasting too much valuable time?

What about homemade ballistic protection? Or a hobo fishing kit and toothpaste for bug bites? Glow sticks to attract rescue crews? Don’t forget first aid basics and cigarettes for barter, or alternately, bug repellent.

Most know the basics of water treatment, but carrying bleach, charcoal and/or tablets is a must for your bug out bag. This video remind you not to wash wounds or broken skin in questionable or untreated water, as infection could result.

Add a foil blanket inside a tarp or tent structure, and amplify the heat generated and kept in the temporary shelter – now a “super” shelter. Ponchos can turn into a shelter, block rain, or collect rain water for additional drinking sources.

There are many other simple tips and supplies you’ll want to think about ahead of time – consider these factors, and use them to upgrade and refine your preps and plans. Think ahead, practice and train – well before the SHTF.

Have some tips that weren’t covered in the video, or have it beat? Please share and discuss below.

This article first appeared at SHTFplan.com: 95 Survival Tips For When the SHTF: “Carry These. Do This. And Don’t Ever…”

Filed under: How To Prepare, Prepping

What Guns? What Gold? Prepper Tips On “Hiding Your Guns in Plain Sight”

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By Mac Slavo – SHTFplan.com

There are endless places and ways to conceal, hide and stash your guns and other precious items.

Who knows when the time would actually come when some jack-booted thug would beat down your door and search for your constitutionally-mandated firearms – but with Obama’s gun control and many possible scenarios for martial law and a crackdown on patriots, it could really happen.

And it may be time to think about the possibilities, if you haven’t already.

Really, it should be part of your prepping plans already.

But in case the thought has never crossed your mind, or you need to beef up your plans and devices, here are some examples.

These videos have some clever ideas about where to hide your guns, precious metals, heirlooms and emergency supplies.

If in doubt, take the idea, and change it, recombine it, rethink it – and make it an original secret location(s) that only you will know about.

Many of these concealment concepts are not only good for hiding guns and prepping supplies, but – at least in the case of the false bookshelf – offer the opportunity to conceal a panic room hidden in plain sight.

If the plan works, burglars, assailants and even police won’t discover your hiding place.

The tricky part is that guns, in particular, are best hidden in a place where they can also be quickly and safely accessed when needed.

Sometimes the usual hiding places just aren’t good enough.

This viral video explains how you can install “tactical walls” where your firearms can be hidden away from prying eyes, as well as children and vulnerable family members, while offering instant access.

A secure magnet “key” unlocks it from a special spot, and is the only way to access this fantastic device:

Beyond your immediate household, it is a good idea, when possible, to cache your firearms and other critical supplies in a remote and hidden place.

The purpose here is to evade “the biggest gang” unit in the government – if/when they come for the guns:

You Tuber “TheHossUSMC” explains the wisdom behind diversifying the cache locations of your weapons, so that those seizing guns can’t get them all, but may be satisfied with confiscating a few easily found, registered guns.

The rest can be deposited in your other locations, and you can live to fight another day, and engage the tyranny from a better position. Here is some advice on the process of hiding and recovering your remote weapons cache.

The questions surrounding when and how to fight back, and when to hide are complex, and ultimately each individual must use their best judgement and moral positions to make those difficult decisions.

The point is to prepare for even the worst situations, and make sure that you never have to face a situation where you are disarmed, or unable to access your God-given self-defenses.

Any other good ideas about how to hide, conceal and distribute your preps? Please share, but don’t give away any personal or specific information.

This article first appeared at SHTFplan.com: What Guns? What Gold? Prepper Tips On “Hiding Your Guns in Plain Sight”

Filed under: Emergency Survival Tips, Prepping

Staying Warm During a Winter Power Outage

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By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

Depending on where you live, a winter power outage can quickly become a life-threatening emergency.

Winter storms with heavy snowfalls, high winds, and a coating of ice are a threat to our vulnerable power grid. Making winter even more of a threat recently is the current economic upheaval. In economically depressed places like Detroit, many residents have had their utilities shut off due to an inability to pay their bills. With temperatures in the negatives, people could quite literally freeze to death in their homes.  You don’t have to be a prepper to realize that secondary heating systems, some specialized skills, and a frigid weather plan could be vital to your survival in the winter.

Are you prepared for a winter power outage?

No matter how you heat your home, it’s vital to have a back-up method. Even if you have a non-grid reliant method as your primary heat source, things can happen. Chimney fires occur, wood gets wet, furnaces of all types malfunction…while these scenarios could be unlikely, you have to remember, “Two is one, one is none.”

Here are some options for heat that doesn’t come from a thermostat on the wall..

  • Wood Heat: Everyone’s favorite off-grid heating method is a fireplace or woodstove. The fuel is renewable and you have the added bonus of an off-grid cooking method. Unfortunately, if your home doesn’t already have one, it can be a pretty expensive thing to install.  If you rent, it’s probably not going to be an option at all to add wood heat to someone else’s property. If you have wood heat, make sure you have a good supply of seasoned firewood that is well-protected from the elements.
  • Propane Heaters:  There are several propane heaters on the market that do not require electricity.  I own a Little Buddy heater.  These small portable heaters are considered safe for indoor use in 49 states.  They attach to a small propane canister and use 2 oz. of fuel per hour to make 100 square feet extremely warm and toasty.  A battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm provides an extra measure of safety when using these heaters indoors. If you have a bigger area to heat, this larger unit will warm up to 200 square feet. Be sure to stock up on propane if this is your back-up heat method.
  • Kerosene/Oil Heaters:  Kerosene heaters burn a wick for heat, fuelled by the addition of heating oil.  These heaters really throw out the warmth.  A brand new convection kerosene heater like this one can heat up to 1000 square feet efficiently.  When we lived in the city I was lucky enough to have an antique “Perfection” oil heater, which was a charming addition to our decor that was be called into service during grid-down situations.  Click here to read more information about the different types of kerosene heaters that are available.
  • Natural Gas Fireplaces:  Some gas-fueled fireplaces will work when the electrical power goes out – they just won’t blow out heat via the fan.
  • Pellet Stove:   Most pellet stoves require electricity to run, but there are a few of these high-efficiency beauties that will work without being plugged in.

What if you don’t have a secondary heating method?

Sometimes things happen before we get our preps in order. If you don’t have a secondary heating method, you can still stay relatively warm for at least a couple of days if you are strategic. Even if you do have a secondary heat source,  in many cases it’s important to conserve your fuel as much as possible.

If you have no additional heat at all, you can usually keep one room tolerable for 2-3 days.  If the cold is relentless and the outage lasts longer than that, you may need to seek other shelter.  Watch your temperatures. If the daytime temperature in the house dips below 40 degrees, the night time temperature will be even colder, and it won’t be safe to stay there, especially if you have children or family members who are more susceptible to illness.

These methods can help you stay cozier during a storm.

  • Heat only one room.  One year, our furnace went out the day before Christmas. We huddled into a small room with just one window.  We closed the door to the bedroom and used a folded quilt at the bottom to better insulate the room.  If you don’t have a door to the room you’ve opted to take shelter in, you can hang heavy quilts  or blankets in the doorways to block it off from the rest of the house.
  • Cover your windows.  You can use a plastic shower curtain and duct tape, topped by a heavy quilt to keep the wind from whistling through your windows.  Take down the quilt if it’s sunny outside for some solar gain, then cover it back up as dark falls. If you have reason to be concerned about OPSEC, use heavy black garbage bags to cover the windows to keep light from escaping.
  • Light candles.  Even the small flames from candles can add warmth to a small area.  Be sure to use them safely by keeping them out of the reach of children and housing them in holders that won’t tip over easily.
  • Use kerosene lamps.  Those charming old-fashioned lamps can also add warmth to the room.
  • Use sleeping bags.  Cocooning in a sleeping bag conserves body heat better than simply getting under the covers.
  • Have a camp-out.  This works especially well when you have children because it adds an element of fun to an otherwise stressful situation.  Pitch a tent in your closed off room, get inside with a flashlight, and tell stories.  When you combine your body heat in a tiny space like that, you’ll stay much warmer.
  • Get cooking. If you have a propane or gas stove in the kitchen, your cooking method may not require electricity.  So bake a cake, roast a turkey, or simmer a soup. You can use it to warm the room while making a hot, delicious feast.
  • Heat some rocks.  Do you have a place outdoors for a campfire?  If so, put some large rocks around the edges of it.  They retain heat for hours.  When it’s bedtime, carefully place the rocks into a cast iron Dutch oven and bring this into the room you’re going to be sleeping in.  Be sure to protect your floor or surface from the heat of the Dutch oven. The stones will passively emit heat for several hours without the potential of a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning during the night.

How to stay warm with less heat

Not only do we need to be concerned about a power outage due to the weather, but we also need to realize that utility bills could be extraordinarily high this year due to rising prices and an increased need for heat as temperatures plummet. When we lived in our drafty cabin up North, we had to take extra steps to keep warm. Here are some things we learned that will help out in either circumstance.

  • Keep your wrists and ankles covered.  Wear shirts with sleeves long enough to keep your wrists covered and long socks that keep your ankles covered.  You lose a great deal of heat from those two areas.
  • Get some long-johns.  Wearing long underwear beneath your jeans or PJ’s will work like insulation to keep your body heat in.  I like the silky kind like this for indoor use, rather than the chunkier chunkier waffle-knit outdoor type.
  • Wear slippers.  You want to select house shoes with a solid bottom rather than the slipper sock type.  This forms a barrier between your feet and the cold floor.  We keep a basket of inexpensive slippers in varying sizes by the door for visitors because it makes such a big difference.  Going around in your stocking feet on a cold floor is a certain way to be chilled right through.
  • Get up and get moving.  It goes without saying that physical activity will increase your body temperature.  If you’re cold, get up and clean something, dance with your kids, play tug-of-war with the dog, or do a chore.
  • Pile on the blankets. If you’re going to be sitting down, have some blankets available for layering.  Our reading area has some plush blankets which we top with fluffy comforters for a cozy place to relax.
  • Use a hot water bottle.  If you’re just sitting around try placing a hot water bottle (carefully wrapped to avoid burns) under the blankets with you.
  • Use rice bags.  If you don’t have the cute ready-made rice bags, you can simply place dry rice in a clean sock.  Heat this in the microwave, if you use one, for about a minute, or place in a 100 degree oven, watching carefully, for about 10 minutes.  I keep some rice bags in a large ceramic crock beside the wood stove so they are constantly warm.  You can put your feet on them or tuck them under the blankets on your lap. (The insert from a defunct crockpot will work for this as well.)
  • Insulate using items you have.  A friend recommended lining the interior walls with bookcases or hanging decorative quilts and blankets on the walls to add an extra layer of insulation. It definitely makes a difference because it keeps heat in and cold air out. If you look at pictures of old castles you will see lovely tapestry wall-hangings – this was to help insulate the stone walls, which absorbed the cold and released it into the space.
  • Layer your windows.  Our cabin had large lovely picture windows for enjoying the view.  However, they were single pane and it’s hard to enjoy the view if your teeth are chattering.  We took the rather drastic step of basically closing off all the windows but one in each room for the winter.  First, we used the shrink film insulator on every window. Then, we insulated further by placing draft blockers at the bottom in the window sill (I just used rolled up polar fleece – I’m not much of a sew-er.)  This was topped by a heavy blanket, taking care to overlap the wall and window edges with it.  Over that, we hung thermal curtains that remained closed.
  • Get a rug.  If you have hardwood, tile or laminate flooring, an area rug is a must.  Like the blankets on the walls, this is another layer of insulation between you and the great outdoors.  We have no basement so our floor is very chilly.  A rug in the living room protects our feet from the chill.
  • Wear a scarf.  No, not like a big heavy wool scarf that you’d wear outdoors – just a small, lightweight one that won’t get in your way and annoy you.  This serves two purposes.  First, it covers a bit more exposed skin. Secondly, it keeps body heat from escaping out the neck of your shirt.
  • Burn candles.  Especially in a smaller space, a burning candle can raise the temperature a couple of degrees.
  • Wear fingerless gloves. Gloves like these allow you to still function by keeping the tips of your fingers uncovered, while still keeping chilly hands bundled up.
  • Drink hot beverages. There’s a reason Grandma always gave you a mug of cocoa after you finished building that snowman. Warm up from the inside out with a cup of coffee, tea, cider, or hot chocolate. Bonus: Holding the mug makes your hands toasty warm.
  • Cuddle.  Share your body heat under the blankets when you’re watching movies or reading a book.

What if you’re stranded due to icy roads?

What if you’re not at home when a winter storm strikes?  In a previous article about preparing your vehicle for winter, I brought up a couple of situations that occurred last year.

During one scenario, a freak snowstorm struck the Atlanta, Georgia area.  Because weather like this is such a rarity, the area was completely unprepared, officials didn’t have the experience or equipment needed to deal with it, and traffic gridlocked almost immediately. Hundreds of people were stranded as the freeway turned into a scene reminiscent of The Walking Dead, with bumper-to-bumper vehicles at a standstill.  Those without food and water in their vehicles went hungry, and many people ran out of gas as they tried to keep warm. No matter how comfortable you are with winter driving, in a situation like this, you are at the mercy of others who may not be so experienced.

The next situation had a lot more potential for a tragic ending, had it not been for the survival skills of a father of 4 small children.  A family of six had taken off for a day of snowy adventure, when their Jeep flipped over in a remote part of the Seven Troughs mountain range in Northwestern Nevada. James Glanton, a miner and experienced hunter, kept his family alive and unscathed for two days in the frigid wilderness using only the items from his vehicle and the environment. Due to his survival skills and the things he had on hand, none of the family members so much as suffered frostbite while awaiting rescue. You can learn more about the hero dad’s resourcefulness HERE.

Regardless of why you’re stranded somewhere besides your cozy home, you should have supplies in your vehicle to fend off frostbite (or even death) due to frigid conditions.

Include things like:

Even if you aren’t a prepper, it only makes sense to get ready for a storm.

Unless you think the entire process of weather forecasting is some sort of insane voodoo, then it’s pretty undeniable that a big storm is coming. Winters in America have been setting records for bone-numbing, snot-freezing cold for the last couple of years, and it appears that this winter will be no different.

While some folks aren’t quite ready to plunge whole-heartedly into prepping, it’s hard to deny the common sense factor of preparing for a likely scenario.  You should have at the minimum, a two-week supply of food and other necessities.  Before the power goes out, develop a plan to keep your family warm, even while the mercury outside reaches near-Arctic depths.

Resources

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

Surviving a blizzard or winter storm without power

The Winter Survival Handbook

This article first Appeared at The Organic Prepper: Staying Warm During a Winter Power Outage

About the author:

Daisy Luther lives on a small organic homestead in Northern California.  She is the author of The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply.  Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

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10 Secrets To Choose Your Tools For Homesteading

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Tools

By  – SurvivoPedia

When you are on a tight budget, it is very tempting to buy the cheapest tools you can find. For example, if you need handsaw, you may be inclined to pick one up in a dollar store and then hope that it will get you through a few projects.

While these, and other tools may get you through a small project, they can also be very dangerous and of little or no use in a crisis situation.

The tools you have on hand may well need to last for decades or even be passed along for generations before suitable replacements can be made and distributed at an affordable price. That’s why, when choosing tools for your homestead, or other bug in needs, you should keep the following ten points in mind.

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: 10 Secrets To Choose Your Tools For Homesteading

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How to Build an Outdoor Mud Oven

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How to Build an Outdoor Oven

By Gaye Levy – Backdoor Survival

As part of a recent giveaway, one of the questions I asked was “What DIY project would you like to see featured on Backdoor Survival?”  There were some amazing responses and over time, I hope to work through the list.

Interestingly enough, two readers requested a similar topic and when more than one reader makes a request, I sit up and pay attention.  The DIY projects were:

1.  How can I build a bread-baking oven with mud and straw?
2.  I would like to learn how to build a Horno oven (traditional Native American wood-fired oven).

As luck would have it, this is a familiar topic since awhile back, I featured an article on DIY mud ovens.  I had first seen one at the Mother Earth News Fair and was fascinated by its simplicity as well as its efficiency. I was later contacted by a Backdoor Survival reader who had built his own mud oven and was willing to share some hands-on tips.  Later, during one of my travels, I found some mud ovens in actual use in both Mexico and Costa Rica.  I was hooked!

Continue reading at Backdoor Survival: How to Build an Outdoor Mud Oven

About the author:

Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.

To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.

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Biomass Briquettes: An Alternative Fuel Source Made From Paper

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Stack of Compressed Paper Log Briquettes Cutout

By Tess Pennington – Ready Nutrition

We are dependent on fuel sources to provide power to run our homes and businesses, help us maintain our body temperatures in extreme weather and provide energy to prepare food. Emergency organizations suggest each household having an emergency supply of fuel stored away, but there is always a chance that we haven’t stored enough.

Many rely on having cords of wood to use, but those surviving in the city may not have the availability of wood to use for fuel, or they could have been caught off guard by an emergency and were not able to get to the store to purchase charcoal briquettes or propane for their grills.

Have a Back Up For Your Fuel Supply

Learning how to make alternative fuel sources using the items you have around is an essential survival skill to learn. Biomass bricks and/or briquettes are an alternative choice to charcoal briquettes and other emergency fuel sources. They are also considered a green fuel source and burn efficiently.

In 2006, the U.S. produced more than 227 billion kilograms (kg) of solid waste; this equates to approximately 2.1 kg per person per day, where approximately half of this amount is in the form of paper and horticultural rubbish. Conversion of these wastes into combustible biomass briquettes would provide a means to satisfy individual energy needs while alleviating landfill use. (Source)

What Are Biomass Briquettes?

The biomass briquettes are comprised of compressed compounds containing various organic materials, including corn husks, coconut shells, grass clippings, dried leaves, saw dust, cardboard or paper. Developing countries use other materials such as rice husks, bagasse, ground nut shells, municipal solid waste, agricultural waste, or anything that contains a high nitrogen content.

Biomass fuel sources are equivalent to that of common fuel sources when burned in an oxygen-rich environment comparable to unmodified wood and wood pellet stoves, fireplaces, patio heaters and charcoal grills. This alternative fuel source could easily be used for rocket stoves, collapsible stoves and small grills.

How They Are Made

Essentially, you get your materials and cut them up into small bits or you could use a blender and add them to a large container (a 5 gallon bucket is perfect) and allow it to soak in water for three days until it’s completely saturated and broken down and have the consistency of mush. Then you form the briquettes by compacting them in a tube or container and forcing all of the water out.

Compaction is the key to achieving a successful briquette. The reason being is because compacted materials burn more efficiently. They shape of the brick or briquette can also make a difference. Studies have shown that when biomass briquettes molded into a hollow-core cylindrical form exhibited energy output comparable to that of traditional fuels. There is a special lever that many use to compact the briquettes; however, some people have successfully made them from old cd or dvd cases and by poking holes in the side for the water to drain out. In the video below, he used a caulk gun.

Start thinking outside of the box in respect to preparedness. In emergency situations, we must modify our thoughts and adapt to the change itself. Chances are, if we are successful in this, we will find a way to survive.
Additional Video:

Newspaper Fire Log

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition: Biomass Briquettes: An Alternative Fuel Source Made From Paper

The Prepper's BlueprintTess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

 

 

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12 Skills for Preppers That Money Just Can’t Buy

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12 Skills for Preppers That Money Just Can't Buy | Backdoor Survival

By Gaye Levy – Backdoor Survival

There comes a time when every prepper finally says, “Enough with all of the food and enough with all of the gear!”  After years of seeking out the best stuff at the best prices, creating a stockpile, and purchasing equipment, you just might want to stop – at least for awhile – and focus on something else: the vital qualities and abilities that no amount of money can buy.

The biggest stockpile in the county won’t be enough if you don’t learn the important skills that will carry you through when you’re faced with hard times. Likewise, there are certain personality traits that will enhance your ability to survive.

Instead of adding to your stockpile, consider investing some time gaining proficiency in old-fashioned competence and common sense. While these aren’t things you can buy, taking a class or picking up some books about the following can be of far more value than yet another bag of beans.

Continue reading at Backdoor Survival: 12 Skills for Preppers That Money Just Can’t Buy

About the author:

Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.

To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.

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Survival Basics: Hand & Surface Hygiene When There’s No Water to Spare

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Hand and Surface Hygiene When There's No Water to Spare | Backdoor Survival

By Gaye Levy – Backdoor Survival

Much has been written about the need for drinking water in a survival situation.  And luckily, most people have gotten the message and either store extra water in barrels, have cases or jugs of bottled water, or have a source of fresh water that can be made ready for drinking with filters, chemicals, or bleach.

Not as frequently mentioned, although of equal importance, is the need to have water to use for washing your hands.  The use of good old-fashioned soap and water is the tried and true way to get rid of the germs lurking in our environment.  In fact, the National Institute of Health reports that it is the MOST effective way to get rid of disease-causing bacteria, and the CDC concurs regarding its effectiveness.

Continue reading at Backdoor Survival: Survival Basics: Hand & Surface Hygiene When There’s No Water to Spare

About the author:

Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.

To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.

 

Filed under: Prepping