How to Survive When the Cities Burn I think the most important thing to study right now is urban survival and civil unrest. We are seeing unprecedented violence in our nation. Violence in locations that we have never seen it before. There are legitimate movements to hurt people for political beliefs right now. This article …
There are always going to be difficult points in your life. No matter how well prepared you are, how hard you try to make sure you’ve covered every base, learned as much as you could, saved every dollar that you could to hedge against hard times you expect to happen – no matter how prepared you’ve… Read More
This is just the start of the post Times Got Tough? Get Tougher: Using Bad Situations to Fuel Change. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
Times Got Tough? Get Tougher: Using Bad Situations to Fuel Change, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
“We are from the government and we are here to help you!” – these words inspire distrust in many Americans. I know because I have seen peoples’ reactions as I have uttered them trying to help them in emergencies.
Don’t want FEMA to kick your door in? Want to be a good citizen and do your part in an emergency? Download this article as a .pdf, print it and put it in a sheet protector and store it with supplies to tag and flag your home. It will help you a lot.
If you have seen pictures of the aftermath of a major disaster, you probably noticed cryptic markings on homes and buildings. Some are from insurance adjusters, some are made by search and rescue personnel and others are graffiti, warnings to looters or pleas for aid.
This article will help you understand search and rescue tagging methods and symbols and teach you how to flag your own home.
Why Flagging Your Home?
There are a number of reasons you may want to learn about tagging and flagging structures:
- Avoid duplication of effort – thereby speeding rescue and recovery efforts.
- Speed rescue effort – thereby saving lives and property.
- Prevent property damage – I’m not saying this is the best way to accomplish this goal under all circumstances, but if you are able to effectively communicate that there are no victims trapped in your home and it poses no danger to surrounding property, then there is less reason for honest responders to break into your home.
- OPSEC (Operational Security) – prevent others from seeing what resources you have and possibly decide to commandeer them or return with armed officers to do so. You might think, “How selfish!” But there is a difference between voluntarily sharing and being compelled to share, especially if it creates undue hardship or endangers loved ones. Many people consider it a reasonable precaution not put all their cards on the the table.
- Situational awareness – understanding the markings helps you understand.
In the US, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) partners with a number of both professional and volunteer emergency management organizations under a program known as the Citizen Corps. These organizations offer training and service opportunities to citizens to better prepare their communities for emergencies too large for their first response infrastructure to handle.
Hurricane Katrina exposed many obstacles to communication and joint operations between agencies and departments. All first responders at all levels of government now follow a single SOP (Standard Operations or Operating Procedure) framework called the ICS (Incident Command System) to improve communication and standardize training.
In cities that already have a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) or block captain program, groups of homes (typically 8-10) are organized into blocks with a block captain and assistant or co-captains checking on each block and reporting number of reds and greens to the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) which passes them up the chain to the municipality.
If your municipality does not have CERT yet, it will, but the pace at which the program is adopted varies with public perception of municipal risk and exposure to catastrophe. The residents of each home (or the block captains if residents do not flag their own home) flag the home Green (no assistance needed) or Red (assistance needed.) This is accomplished by placing a green or red marker (typically green or red construction paper inside a sheet protector or several feet of green or red flagging tape) to the side of the front door, as long as it is visible from the street.
If the front door is not visible from the street, the flag is placed in a conspicuous place that is visible from the street. Flagging or tagging a door right on the doors should be avoided because the marking will not be visible when the door is open.
If homes are not flagged, block captains will attempt to size up the situation without entering the home and flag it, but if they suspect (or even imagine) that someone may need help, emergency workers will likely gain entry into your home when they are available to do so.
Tools to Flag Your Home
- Public Alert Certified All Hazard Radio – without it, you may sleep right through the all-important first hours of many types of emergencies.
- Headlamp – the power may be out.
- Turnout bag – a bag containing everything you need to dress quickly and don PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in an emergency.
- Sheets of red & green construction paper – stored in a plastic sheet protector with a copy of this article. If you do not have this on hand, a piece of cloth or several feet of flagging tape or anything conspicuously so colored will do.
- Duct tape – to affix flag.
- Non-sparking gas wrench – large non-sparking crescent wrench or other tool to shut off gas if necessary. Steel wrenches can spark, resulting in a gas explosion. Aluminum is a more effective material for this application.
- Water shutoff tool or key – to turn off water main if necessary.
- First aid/trauma kit – To administer first aid if necessary.
- Smoke/Gas/Carbon Dioxide alarm
- Fire extinguisher
- Non-contact voltage tick meter – An inexpensive tool to discover live electrical lines without touching them.
How To Flag Your Home
Self-assess and Don PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
Make sure you are not seriously injured. The rescuer is the most important person in an emergency. Not only will you not be able to help anyone else if you become a casualty, but you will further strain emergency response resources that are already likely overtaxed.
If you jump out of bed and onto glass without your boots on, you are not off to a good start.
Establish Situational Awareness
Hopefully you already have a Public Alert Certified All Hazards Radio. It will issue information and instructions that will aid you in making decisions that will save lives. If you do not have one, turn on a NOAA weather radio or tune AM/FM radios to stations issuing emergency information for your area.
These frequencies should be part of your communications plan. Label radios with them. Turn on 2-way radios.
See If Family Members Are Injured or Trapped
Determine whether anyone in the home needs medical attention. If yes, call for help and flag the home red by taping a piece of red construction paper in a sheet protector to the side of your door or someplace visible from the street, and render first aid.
If you are in an apartment, condo or building, tape it on the wall beside your door or entryway where it will be visible to someone walking by. Diagnose and treat the three killers first: breathing/airway, bleeding and shock. Once the patient is stable or you have done all you can do, proceed to the next step.
Rescue personnel will go to flagged homes first if communications are down or if the number of injured exceeds their capacity to treat immediately.
If no one is injured, tag your home green instead of red and proceed to the next step. If injuries are minor, treat them and proceed to the next step. If family is trapped, flag the home red and rescue the most lightly trapped individuals first so they can help extricate more heavily trapped individuals. Use cribbing to safely extricate those within your ability and know when to go get more help.
Walk a complete circle around your home, checking for gas, water, live electrical lines, small fires and structural damage.
- Gas – if you smell gas, turn it off at the meter by turning the valve 1/4 turn in a clockwise direction. The gas company must run a check and turn it back on.
- Electrical – in the event of an electrical fire, short or gas leak, turn off main breaker in fuse box.
- Water – if a water pipe is broken, you will want to turn off water to your home until you can repair it to prevent flooding and water damage.
- Fire – if you hear, see or smell fire, size them up before attempting to fight them. Extinguish small fires within your ability with a buddy if they are smaller than a kitchen trash can and you have the equipment to safely do so. For larger fires, evacuate and call for help.
- Structural Damage – if there are dangerous power lines, gas lines, water lines, fires, sunken ground, impaired access, down trees or damage to the structure of the home, it may not be safe to inhabit. Tape off any hazards to prevent injury if it is safe to make repairs, but understand that emergency workers may deem your home inhabitable and ask (force if necessary) you to relocate.
This is one reason why everyone should have an evacuation or bug out plan, supplies cached off-site, financial reserves and places to stay. How will you “shelter in place” if your home is leveled?
Be able to shelter in place or evacuate as the situation dictate. It’s not the strong who survive, but the adaptable. If you cannot relocate for a time, your contingency plan is less-effective. Make it more effective.
How to Tagg Your Home
Whereas home owners or Block Captains flag their homes red or green to indicate whether or not they are in need of assistance, tagging of structures is typically done by SAR (Search and Rescue) Teams, organizing pertinent information around an “X” symbol. They will typically tag with contrasting colors.
Just as with flagging, tagging is done to side of the door, instead of on it, so the tag will be visible even if the door is closed.
Tools to Tag Your Home
- This article – in a plastic sheet protector, for further reading and knowledge.
- Marking instruments – choose colors that contrast with your home.
- sidewalk chalk
- lumber crayons
- XL paint markers or spray paint
- green and red flagging tape
- yellow caution flagging tape
- Camera or notebook & pencil – optional
- Binoculars – optional.
Finally, let’s see what to do to rag you home properly.
If other structures in your area have already been marked, take note. You may want to sketch what you see or snap a digital photo to help you duplicate the markings. Depending on why you are marking and what you are trying to accomplish, this may be helpful.
But SAR Teams do not always follow SOP. After flooding from a hurricane, the SAR Team flagged all the homes by tying Yellow Caution or Crime Scene Tape to the door knobs. This should never happen because you can’t see the flag when the door is open.
Things don’t always go as planned in emergencies. Maybe some of their gear didn’t arrive and they borrow crime scene tape form local law enforcement, who knows, but that’s why it’s important that you observe they are tagging if possible.
- Marking Instrument(s) – What are they using to mark structures? What colors?
- Time – Are they writing the time or time and date, and in what format?
- Team Initials – Who is doing the marking? Take note of the initials.
Upon entry, the SAR (Search & Rescue) Team makes a diagonal slash to communicate that searchers are inside and a search is in progress. This prevents duplication of effort and alerts others to their location, should they become trapped…
Upon completion of a search and extrication and removal of all victims, the SAR Team makes a second diagonal slash, completing an “X” communicating that the search of the structure is complete and that both the victims and searchers are safely out.
The SAR Team writes the time operations cease in the structure (and possibly the date) in the 12:00 quadrant of the “X”.
The 3:00 quadrant of the “X” is for actions taken that need to be communicated to the homeowner such as: “Gas Off” “Elec Off” “Water Off”
The 9:00 quadrant of the “X” is where the team or unit is identified by its initials.
Even if you flag with the wrong material, SAR workers will understand the markings. What they conclude upon reading it will be dependent on a host of factors. They may decide it was a local team or the residence belongs to a first responder.
Either way, they were going to gain forcible entry to your home before they saw the markings and no one answers when they knock. If they see the markings, they may pass you by, especially if they think it was done by another worker on their team.
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This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.
When I was 16 or 17, I was home whilst someone attempted to break in. The experience ended well for me (not so much for the perp), but I figured it would be interesting to discuss, since enough years have passed and I can look back on the situation critically. Before I get into the meat of this… Read More
This is just the start of the post My Home Invasion Story: Break In & Robbery Attempt – While I Was Home. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
My Home Invasion Story: Break In & Robbery Attempt – While I Was Home, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
Your Android phone is one of approximately 1.4 billion worldwide according to a Google Nexus conference in 2015. We’ve come way past the point where all a phone could do was make a phone call and send a text: Now, you can turn your cellphone into a full-on survival kit containing everything from a compass […]
I have discussed how to seal a wound in the past, and whether to use stitches, bandages, or super glue. I’ve even done a comprehensive guide about sealing cuts with super glue, but as of yet, haven’t fully covered the process of preparing your wound prior to actually sealing it. This article may seem a bit… Read More
This is just the start of the post How to Properly Clean a Cut, Scrape, or Wound to Prevent Infection. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
How to Properly Clean a Cut, Scrape, or Wound to Prevent Infection, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
Bit by bit, the ranks of preppers are growing all the time. More and more people are waking up to the fact that the government can’t protect them and doesn’t even do a very good job of providing support in the aftermath of a disaster. Oh, they throw money at it, but money isn’t the answer to everything.
Every new prepper is faced with the same problems and the same questions they have to answer for themselves. It’s not that there’s no information available for new preppers to use, it’s that there’s too much information.
Check online for prepping or survival and you’ll find an enormous amount of information, not all of which agrees with other sources. Wading through all that and finding the information that one needs can be a daunting task.
You might very well be one of those newbies; someone who has just decided to look at prepping for the first time. If so, welcome to one of the most important movements in our country today.
Prepping is an individual journey that each of us take, with no two walking exactly the same path. Yet we are preppers together, part of a fellowship of like-minded people who have decided that it’s time to do something for themselves.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already decided that just looking at information isn’t enough. Being a prepper means taking action; preparing yourself and your family for whatever problem or disaster might come your way. Preppers believe in self-sufficiency; trusting in themselves in an emergency, not in the government.
But where does one begin? Of all the things that one can do to become more prepared, which one or ones are the most important? What does one have to do, in order to truly be prepared?
These questions are complicated by the fact that each person’s situation is unique. Oh, we all have things in common, but we also have our own needs, our own family, our own skills, our own resources and our own risks that we face. So cookie cutter prepping doesn’t work. Each person has to determine what their own needs are and how to best meet them.
Even so, there are some things we should all do at the beginning; things to get us on the road to becoming better prepared. The first steps we need to take on this journey may not be what you’re thinking. In fact, I’d be surprised if many preppers thought about these steps, before walking along the path for a ways.
It’s easy to think of prepping as just stockpiling supplies for a rainy day. That’s actually where most of us start off. Whether we just buy a couple of bags of beans and rice or go hog wild buying prepackaged survival food, squirreling food away for a rainy day seems like an almost instinctive act; something we easily gravitate towards, as a starting point for our prepping.
There’s nothing wrong with stockpiling food and in fact you need to do so; but before you start stockpiling, it’s a good idea to know what to stockpile. Not all foods keep well, nor do all of them provide the right nutrition to get you through an emergency. Take some time to research, before running off to the grocery store.
While you’re at it, you need to research much more than just what foods to stockpile. Our modern society doesn’t prepare us well for survival. If anything, it prepares us to die blaming others. But you can’t count on those others to help you survive. They don’t know how to either.
Our ancestors of 200 years ago were much better suited for survival than we are. For them, every year was about survival. They either stockpiled enough preserved food and cut enough firewood to make it through winter or they died. There weren’t too many other options available. Their lives were simpler, their needs and wants more closely associated with surviving and they had the skills they needed to take care of themselves.
There are a wide range of skills that you need to learn, some of which you might actually already know. If you like to go camping and spend time in the outdoors, you’re off to a good start, as the skills associated with those activities are closely related to survival skills.
Remember that a knife is a must have tool for outdoor survival as it helps you hunt, make shelter, start a fire and defend yourself.
Hunting, fishing, and starting a fire are all good survival skills. But you’ll also need to know how to grow food in your garden, purify water and defend your home as well.
For preppers, learning isn’t something that begins or ends, it’s just something that is. We start out learning about survival when we get into prepping, and we keep on learning for the rest of our lives. There’s always some new skill or information to learn; all of which is ultimately useful.
Develop a Survival Mentality
Most people tend to look at survival as a physical activity; but it’s as much mental as it is physical. You have to have the right attitude to survive or no matter what you do, you’ll fail.
What do I mean by the right attitude? I mean the attitude of a survivor. You have to be convinced that you’ll survive. You have to be convinced that you’ll overcome. You need to be convinced that you can do whatever is necessary to keep yourself and your family alive.
Here in America we’re protected from many of the harsher realities of life. Few Americans have had to kill and prepare their own food. Unless you’re a hunter; you probably don’t have the slightest idea of how to kill and clean a chicken for dinner, let alone how to properly field dress and butcher a deer or other large animal. But if it’s not done properly, the meat from that animal can be tainted in the process.
But you know the hardest part of killing and preparing that animal? It’s getting over the idea of having to do it. Most of us are squeamish when it comes to things like that; squeamish to the point that we’d die before killing that chicken.
Yet for millennia our ancestors hunted, killed and ate their own game, without the slightest bit of squeamishness. Men would bring the game home from their hunt, and their wives would clean and cook the animals. They didn’t throw up; they didn’t feel funny about it; they did it, and they enjoyed the meal that they prepared.
For us, here in America, overcoming the imprint of our society and accepting the needs of survival is paramount to being able to survive. Most have to do so at a moment’s notice, when they are faced with their first disaster. But those who develop a survival mentality learn to make the adjustment at their leisure, when it’s easier to do so.
Interestingly enough, attitude is so important to survival, that every military manual on survival starts off with a section on attitude. When you consider the amount of money and effort that goes into the preparation of those manuals, that one single fact is rather telling. Attitude is key to survival.
Analyze Your Family’s Strengths and Weaknesses
Each of us has a different family, with different strengths and weaknesses. Some family members might have skills or abilities which easily translate to a survival setting. Others have special needs that have to be considered when making our survival planning. Typically, we find a bit of each in our families.
Surviving as a lone wolf is much harder than surviving as part of a team. In a team, each individual is able to take part of the load, helping each other. With each one learning the necessary skills and doing part of the necessary tasks, not only does the work become easier; but more importantly, the chances of the team’s survival becomes greater.
Your family is your first survival team. Even if you join with others, in a larger survival team, your family is still the core of your personal team. As such, it’s important that you understand what your family is capable of doing, what it is capable of learning, and even more importantly, what you might need others to do for you, because you are incapable of learning to do it for yourself.
As part of this, you also need to analyze the assets you have at your disposal.
Do you have a vacation home somewhere, that you could use as a survival retreat if you needed to? Do you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle? Do you have enough land to turn your home into a homestead? Do you have camping equipment? How much money do you have available to use for prepping? What tools do you have, which will help you survive? Does your home have a fireplace? All of this, and more, will ultimately affect your ability to survive.
This process of analyzing your family will ultimately tell you what you need to do, in order to get from where you are today, to where you need to be. But don’t just do it once; from time to time you should reanalyze the situation and make any necessary adjustments.
Decide What Risks You Face
Prepping is ultimately about being ready to face a disaster, whether that’s a personal disaster, a regional disaster or a nationwide disaster. The problem is, none of us know the disaster that we are going to face. That makes prepping a little bit difficult.
But not knowing doesn’t mean that we can’t prepare. It just means that we prepare for likelihoods, rather than certainties. In other words, while it’s safe to say with certainty that we’ll all face some sort of disaster, sometime in our lives, what exact disaster we might face is nothing more than a likelihood.
So, the thing you need to do is figure out what the most likely disasters are, that you are going to face. That stats with figuring out what possible disasters you could face, ranging all the way from loss of a job to a zombie apocalypse, with natural disasters and the loss of the electrical grid in between. Don’t leave anything out at this point, as all you’re really doing is brainstorming possibilities.
Once you have your list of possible disasters, you need to give each of them two scores, say on a scale of one to five. The first scale is how likely you feel it is that you’ll actually face that disaster. The second scale is how much of an impact that disaster would have on your life. Some disasters, such as a zombie apocalypse might have an extremely low likelihood, earning it a one on that scale, but an extremely high impact, should it actually happen, earning it a five on that scale.
(Note: The term TEOTWAWKI is commonly used by preppers to stand for “The end of the world as we know it.” This does not mean the literal end of the world, but rather, the end of our modern lifestyle that we are accustomed to.)
Combining the two scores gives you a number from 2 to 10. That number is the one you use to prioritize considering that particular disaster in your planning. The way that usually works out, is that we concentrate on the highest ones and ignore the lower ones.
But in preparing for the highest ones, we are probably going to be prepared for whatever happens with the lower ones.
Now that you’ve got a pretty good idea of what you have to work with and what you’re likely to face, you can start your survival planning. Once again, this is a process that will continue throughout the rest of your life. Everything you learn has the potential to change and improve your plans.
Your plan needs to define what you will do in each of the potential disaster situations you are likely to encounter, especially the high likelihood, high impact ones. You will find that there will be some overlap between different scenarios, but there will also be things that are unique to each one.
From this, you can determine how much you need to stockpile, whether it’s for a month, six months, a year or the rest of your life. You’ll also be able to determine the best place for your family to survive, in a variety of different situations. In many of those scenarios, you’ll be better off sheltering in place, or “bugging in.” But there might also be some which require you to bug out and go to a survival retreat somewhere.
Don’t expect that you’ll get everything right the first time around. You will most likely forget some items, because of being focused on other needs. That’s okay. As you continue to study, you’ll find the places you need to fill in, to make your survival plans and your stockpile more complete.
Prepping is a process, not a destination. You’ll probably never reach that point of perfection, where you sit back and say to yourself: “Self, I’ve arrived. I’m ready for anything.”
But rather, you’ll gain more and more confidence that you can take care of yourself and your family, no matter what comes your way. Each little step will give you and your family more security, and ultimately, that’s what prepping is all about.
A good knife is the most important tool you can have with you. Click the banner below to grab this offer!
This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.
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The “gray man” concept is something all urban preppers should be familiar with. If you’re in a populated area during a crisis of some sort, it’s best to blend into the background rather than draw attention to yourself. This should be a no-brainer, but how exactly does one blend into the background? Graywolf Survival wrote […]
The post 5 Gray Man Secrets I Learned as a Surveillance Operative appeared first on Urban Survival Site.
Urban Survival Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! On “The Prepping Academy” for this episode our host Forrest and Kyle are discussing urban survival. You might be thinking to yourself this doesn’t apply to you. Let us assure you it does. Current statistics say that approximately 82% of the United States population … Continue reading Urban Survival with The Prepping Academy
Hypothermia is one of those conditions that is often discussed and yet rarely described as anything more than simply being out in the cold for too long. The reality is quite a bit more complex and the consequences of ignoring the symptoms often lead to extreme end results, sometimes even death. What Is Hypothermia? Hypothermia… Read More
This is just the start of the post Hypothermia: Life Threatening, Yet Simple to Treat – Do You Know How?. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
Hypothermia: Life Threatening, Yet Simple to Treat – Do You Know How?, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
If you haven’t thought about dumb phones in a long while, I can’t blame you, but chances are you’re missing out on a really great emergency tool that’s been right at the back of your memory this entire time. Smart phones are amazing. They’re an enhancement to everyday life. I can’t imagine no longer having… Read More
This is just the start of the post Who Still Buys Dumb Phones Anymore? Preppers Should & Here’s Why. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
Who Still Buys Dumb Phones Anymore? Preppers Should & Here’s Why, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Water is such a crucial need – you can only go three days without water. A lot of people who prepare plan to fill the bathtub before a hurricane, ice storm or other predicted emergency. However, if a disaster were to happen suddenly, it would not be possible to fill the bathtub ahead of time. To be sure you are prepared for a sudden water emergency, store enough water for drinking as […]
There’s not always a heck of a lot new going on in the survival, outdoor, & camping world when it comes to interesting gadgets, new products, and overall innovation. This makes sense, since when it comes to camping, survival, & the general outdoors, many choose (wisely) to stick to what they’ve already got because, well plainly put,… Read More
This is just the start of the post That Exists? Coolest Survival, Outdoor, & Camp Gear We’ve Seen. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
That Exists? Coolest Survival, Outdoor, & Camp Gear We’ve Seen, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
Most people have become so dependent on technology that they’re not even a little prepared for a true survival situation, let alone attempting to survive it without any traditional survival gear. In a situation such as a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or economic collapse where you are stranded away from your home and without any […]
Army teaches you unique survival skills and habits, useful not only in extreme situations, but also in your everyday life.
The first and the most important thing people in the military are forced to learn is to survive. They learn to think fast, to function under stress, to pay attention to details and to survive in extreme environments. There is no other option. You either adapt or you are out or you… die.
Not serving in the army doesn’t mean you don’t have to learn something from those who do.
From keeping a low profile to self-defense, here are the top military tips and skills to introduce into your survival strategy.
Situational awareness is a simple concept, it’s just being aware of your surroundings and understanding the reality of the threats that you may face in any given situation. It’s just constantly being aware of what’s going on around you.
To some, situational awareness is just a theory, but there is much more than that, and once you learn it you understand why it stands for the basis of survival.
How Do You Recognize a Suspicious Activity or Person
If you know what normal looks like, you should be able to pick out the things that stand out as being abnormal in any situation, and those suspicious things are going to stand out. Don’t be afraid to act by calling the authorities when you see it, better sorry than dead! It might be a false alarm, or your call could lead to the capture, kill, or arrest of a terrorist cell or network.
Detecting Criminal Surveillance
Criminal surveillance is watching something or someone to determine if you’re the target that they’re looking for. Once you are identified as the target, most probably they’re going to hit by robbing you, kidnapping you or your family or even worse.
How to Lose a Tail
First, you have to be aware that you have a tail, then act to lose it.
If you’re on foot, start walking erratically, meaning instead of going straight from point A to point B, take some weird turns. Look for shiny or reflective surfaces (a mirror or a store window) to see if that person is still following you.
How to Keep a Low Profile
Keeping a low profile doesn’t mean to drive the most expensive car in the country and talking too much about what you do and why you do it.
The goal is to stay unnoticed so the danger wouldn’t meet you round the corner. It starts with the way you dress and the way you move when you are in a public place, and has to do with the way you act and react in order to not drawing attention.
How to Cope with Danger
The first thing you want to do is put as much distance between yourself and the threat as possible, then you want to make sure that you alert the authorities to what’s going on in case communication means are available. Give them all the information that you can to make their job as easy as possible.
Now it’s not always the case that you can get away. Sometimes you may find yourself in an active shooter type scenario where escape is not an option. You may have to do things that you are not trained to do and that you have never done before.
Just calm down, stay calm and think before you do. Think about each move that you’re going to make before you make it, and try and protect yourself and others, as Brian M. Morris says in his “Spec Ops Shooting” guide to combat shooting mastery and active shooting defense. This decorated former Green Beret shares a lot of lifesaving advice from his 25 years of service in this book.
Combat Tips to Use for Self-Defense
1. You should be armed. In most states it’s now legal to get a concealed carry permit, which allows you to carry a handgun concealed on your person. Thirty-seven of the states are now “will issue” states, which means that as long as you meet the requirements for a concealed carry permit and do not have a record of criminal activity or mental incompetence, the state is required to give you a permit, upon application.
Okay, so being aware and having a weapon on your person takes away a lot of the assailant’s advantage, but not all of it. They still have two major advantages over you; the first is that they choose the time and place and the second is their willingness to inflict harm on you.
2. When an attack comes, you need to react quickly and violently. Violently doesn’t necessarily mean that you kill them or even that you shoot them, it means that you react in such a way that they are convinced you are going to shoot them. That alone might be enough to get them to break off the attack and run away.
3. As part of that initial reaction, you want to move out of their line of fire. Most criminals are poor shots and not much more skilled with a knife. They’re depending on their ability to intimidate you. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t dangerous or that they can’t shoot you; just that they are likely to miss. Moving, whether dropping to one knee or moving to the side, reduces their chances of hitting you.
4. There’s a saying that anything that’s worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Police departments train their officers this way, teaching them to shoot “double taps”. Those double taps increase the chances that your shots are going to do enough harm to the assailant that you will be able to stop them. If your shots don’t stop them, keep shooting. Your goal isn’t to kill them, just to stop them. As long as they are facing you and holding a weapon, they’re a threat.
5. Once you start moving, keep moving. You should practice shooting while moving, so that you are prepared to do it. It is infinitely harder to shoot accurately while moving, than it is while standing still. Practice, so that you can do it when you need to. Your movement makes you a hard target to hit.
6. Events might transpire in such a way that you can’t draw your gun and return fire immediately. There are times that an assailant might get the upper hand, even if you are aware of your surroundings. Your first indication that anything is wrong might be seeing a gun or knife stuck in your face. If that’s the case and you can’t draw your weapon, play for time.
They’re keyed up to attack at first, but the longer they have to wait, the less ready they are. In such a situation, you want to try and wait until they are either momentarily distracted or let down their guard for a moment. That then becomes your moment to act.
Being able to master army skills is what makes you a warrior and helps you survive and protect other at the same time. It takes practice and time to build this mindset, but once you got it you ease your steps to survival.
This article has been written by John Gilmore for Survivopedia.
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So, it just so happens that you’re on vacation in Italy when SHTF in a small or large way. You were dependent upon your little English-to-Italian dictionary or Google Translate, but somehow it seems inefficient to stop to look up the translation for “help me, I’m choking.”
Are there universal words or gestures that transcend language barriers so that you can survive no matter where you are? Sort of.
We’ve had some questions about learning a “universal language of survival” and we are going to adress them now.
“One thing I have never seen suggested is to learn a few key words or better yet, phrases, in multiple languages. As our communities become ever more diverse, knowing a few phrases in at least two other languages may make the difference between getting help or getting shot! Just knowing the word “Doctor” in another language may save you or a member of your family or team and could mean life or death in a SHTF meltdown. I hope we never need any of these things we prepare for but as my dad always drilled into my head, “Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it!”. I had no idea how important that saying would be until I was face to face with a situation that required prior prepping to have survived it. Thank God I did and I am here to report it works but you need to do it now (prepping), when you find out you should have, it will be too late. Thanks daddy for riding me hard and may you rest in peace, I had it when I needed it!”
First, understand that you need to be very clear when using gestures, and at least educate yourself a bit about local customs and gestures.
For example, the A-OK sign here (pointer and thumb touching, other fingers up), and in most other places, will get you a smile and an acknowledgement that everything is, indeed, OK. However, in France, it means zero or worthless. In Venezuela or Turkey, you’re implying homosexuality, and in Brazil, just go ahead and save yourself some time by flipping them the bird. That one’s universal.
The thumbs-up sign is another that you may want to avoid, especially in the Middle East. Here, we have a similar meaning if you start with the thumbs-up sign by your leg and jerk it up – it means, basically, “up yours.” There, just the thumbs-up is enough to convey the sentiment.
On the other hand, there are some gestures that are universal: shrugging for “I don’t know,” nodding for “yes,” shaking your head for “no” (except from Bulgaria, where they are reversed) and putting both hands to your throat to indicate that you’re choking. And that’s about where the open line of universal communication ends.
Even different militaries can’t get on board with a universal signaling system. There are, however, two realms that DO have international signals: sailing and diving. Very few people outside of those two worlds understand all or even most of the signals.
The same thing goes for Morse code. One thing that everybody should know, though, is Morse code for SOS, or distress. It’s three long (or slow) taps, three short (or quick) taps, and three more long (or slow) taps.
Video first seen on survivexnonprofit.
Come here, or follow me
If you’re trying to get somebody to come to you or follow you, it may be a good idea to use the closed palm, sweeping gesture instead of the one-fingered come-hither gesture that is perfectly acceptable in the states. That one is offensive in several places.
This one is crazy confusing and has even been associated with examples of lethal miscommunications. Stop means stop, but there is no universal sign for it. Some people use a closed fist, which can be associated with a “right on” expression or even a Seig Heil-type sentiment.
An open palm, which is more common with Europeans, can be a sign of welcome or a sign that a person isn’t armed in some cultures. It is, however, the universal diving signal for “stop”.
This one actually is pretty universal. Cup a hand to your ear to tell somebody to listen.
To get somebody to look at something, the gesture of pointing your pointer and middle fingers at your eyes, then toward whatever you want the person to see is fairly universal. Again, this is also the universal diving sign for look.
This one is much more universal, though not in a social scenario. You may have noticed that the distress signal in Morse code had a bunch of threes in it.
Three is a common number for distress signals. If you’re building an emergency signal fire or sign, place three fires or indicators in a triangle pattern. If you’re using a whistle, use three blasts.
This one actually has a universally-recognizable signal. Place both hands at your throat. If only everything was this simple.
Buddy up, or stay together
This one is pretty much universal. Point to the people that you’re referring to, then touch your index fingers together horizontally. You can also pair the middle fingers together with the pointer fingers, which may indicate more than two people.
Cross your arms over your chest and rub your upper arms.
Throughout my research for this article, I was hard-pressed to come up with any words at all that are universal, and very few signs or signals other than those used to indicate distress. I have, however, had some experience with diving and believe personally that their system is a good one. The signals are clear, concise, and universal to the diving community.
There are, of course, some signals that are local due to native dangerous fish, etc. but for the most part, the signs are recognized all across the community.
With a combination of signals and body language, you may be able to get your point across. For example, if you cross your arms over your chest with your fists closed and shake your head vigorously, people may understand that you’re trying to tell them that something is dangerous.
The “X” is sort of a universal code for dangerous or poisonous – think skull and crossbones.
There doesn’t seem to be any single word or phrase that can be used to communicate effectively even in a survival situation. The best thing that you can do is coordinate with the people whom you are traveling with.
It’s also a good idea to learn the native words for stop, danger, food, water, cold, shelter, help, come here, fire, exit, and any other emergency word that you can think of that you may need in a survival situation.
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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With the North Koreans gathering plutonium for nuclear warheads, and their Supreme Leader unhappy with Trump’s ascension to the office of President, nuclear preparedness should be everyone’s concern. How to stay safe while bugging out makes part of this plan, for sure.
Even someone that can navigate by looking at the sun or using other “low tech” means can easily fall prey to radiation poisoning after a nuclear incident. In fact, people interested in bugging out or moving from one area to another might be at higher risk than those who are staying in one area.
So if you are in an area where more nuclear incidents are likely to occur or you need to travel for some other reason, safe navigation is extremely important.
While the basics of using maps, compasses, and other tools will not change, your path from one point to another may be far more different than expected. In particular, you will need to know more than how to skirt around areas where radiation intensities are highest.
You will need to know how to predict where radioactive materials are most likely to disburse as well as how shifting weather and tide patterns will affect where additional materials will build up. This is even more important if you intend to gather water and food along the way and happen across what appear to be low or non-contaminated areas.
Calculating Rate of Radioactive Travel By Land
Calculating how fast nuclear radiation will spread over land is no more difficult than knowing how fast breezes and the wind will move from ground zero to your location.
First, you must know the source of the radiation. You can use the links we posted at the end of the article to test out different areas and nuclear yield in order to get some idea about how large an initial area will be affected. Next, study the predicted wind currents for the area surrounding the contaminated site. Use the national climate archives to figure out the general wind direction for each state during specific months, as well as for major cities within each state.
For example, if you want to know how a nuclear blast in Alameda, California will affect Los Angeles CA, you might start off by visiting the Western Regional Climate Center, and then click on Average Wind Direction by State. You’ll see that the winds in Alameda usually go to the West, and in January they tend to go towards the NNW. Since Los Angeles is roughly Southeast of Alameda, you could go from Alameda towards Los Angeles for most of the year and more than likely escape fallout from the nuclear zone.
Unfortunately, since the wind from Alameda moves to the SE in December, you would not want to try and escape to Los Angeles as the nuclear radiation would follow you or precede you out of Alameda.
If you have a bug out plan that lists this information, you can also use real time estimators of wind current to project how fast the radiation is moving. Use the Beaufort Wind Scale to help you figure out how local winds are moving. If you get contradictory information between the historical tables and your observations, it may be best to get underground as quickly as possible and wait a few days to see what the air currents are doing.
Take the time now to observe wind directions and durations in your local area. If you have projected bug out paths, make sure that you have year round information on wind currents in those areas as well as studies on how wind from other areas moves into the ones you plan to travel through.
Calculating Rate of Radioactive Travel by Water
When it comes to calculating the spread of nuclear contamination over land, it can be said that air and its associated wind currents determine both the speed and distance. In a similar way, water acts as the medium of transport when attempting to calculate the rate of radioactive travel by water. If a detonation spreads water and debris into the air, you would need to calculate both the air mass and the water currents.
To calculate the rate of radioactive travel by water, start off once again by visiting Nuclear Secrecy so that you can get some ideas about how large the initial impact area will be. Then you will need to look at charts of the tides, water currents, and wind directions in the area.
There are two free resources that may be of some help to you. First, Open Nautical Chart offers global charts that also provide information about global wind and precipitation patterns. You can try using this chart for predicting how nuclear contamination will spread over areas of both land and water just by looking at the general trends. For more specific information about the currents and tides around the United States, visit Office Coast Survey.
Once you have the maps, all you need to do is compare the information between where the nuclear fallout is, and the maps will show you where it is most likely to go. For water calculations near the coast, you may also want to take the daily tides into account. For this, visit Salt Water Tides, and then select the region and date of interest to you. You can also use this site to project future tide timings.
Mountains and Other Geographic Mitigating Factors
Even though you may be aware of seasonal changes in precipitation types or storm intensities, you may not realize that wind patterns also have seasonal and predictable fluctuations. Aside from that, mountains, hills, valleys, and other geological features can alter the way both wind and rain will affect any given area.
When it comes to getting away from nuclear fallout, you can think of mountains and hills in two ways. First, you can think of them as shields that you will want to put between you and the source of the radiation.
Typically, both wind and precipitation contaminated by nuclear materials will fall on the side of the mountain closest to the blast. As with everything from hurricanes to snowstorms and other weather systems, the precipitation-bearing clouds will drop in temperature as they try to move over the mountains.
This, in turn, will cause them to a good bit of water before they reach the other side. In some areas where this effect is especially pronounced, you may notice that rainfall data is less than it is on the other side of the mountain. The “drier” side of the mountain will be safer in a nuclear crisis because prevailing rain patterns will not carry fallout over to the other side.
Second, you can think of mountains and hills as places where prevailing weather patterns may offer clues about lower fallout risk regions. Excessive dryness on one side of the mountain may indicate that prevailing winds shift in the opposite direction. In this situation, even if the source of radiation is closer to the drier side of the mountain, it may still be safe because the debris will be carried in the opposite direction.
That being said, an area in this situation is also apt to be desert, or at best, scrub lands. If you are considering using an area like this as a nuclear bug out location,visit the area first and make sure that you know how to live in a desert region and be sure that you can secure water on a regular basis.
Locality Based Mitigating Factors
While you are moving from one place to another, it is important to realize that just about anything can act as a shield to nuclear radiation. If you are always aware of wind direction in relation to your location and ground zero, you will have a better chance of knowing when to take cover. While underground locations will always be best, buildings and even a tree can mitigate the amount of radiation that reaches your body.
Just remember to stand or sit in a place where the object is between you and the direction the contaminated air is coming from.
As you move through different areas, you are also bound to need water. If you cannot locate underground sources, some terrains may offer safer water than others. For example, if you are near a pond with bushes or shrubs growing nearby, take note of where the shrubs are in relation to the prevailing wind. If the shrubs stand between the wind (and the nuclear debris it carries), then the water may have less radiation.
The taller the shrubs or trees, and the denser they are, the more protection they will afford. As long as it hasn’t rained since the nuclear blast occurred, the water may be a bit safer than what you would find in other locations. At the very least, if you have no water purification options available you can try using this:
- Start off by taking water only from the uppermost part of the pond. Dust and heavier contaminants will settle to the bottom.
- Let the water settle for at least 24 hours so that any additional radioactive material will settled towards the bottom of the pitcher.
- To get rid of any bacteria or pathogens, it is best to let UV light from the sun kill them off. It is best not to boil the water in this situation because it will only concentrate any dust particles that remain in the water while the lighter water molecules escape.
If you come across a moving stream or river, be very careful about the direction of the water flow in relation to the fallout zone. Even though moving water will dilute the nuclear material, it is best to seek a water source that is upstream of the blast. As with ponds, the more shields and distance that exist between the water and the nuclear site, the better.
Areas to Stay Away From at All Cost
Did you know that there are unsafe areas right here in the United States because the levels of nuclear radiation are too high?
What you may not realize is that the surrounding areas may also be contaminated to a point where they can endanger your health. To make matters even worse, Fukushima and other nuclear accidents may make an area you thought was safe far too dangers for a bug out location. When it comes to navigating after a nuclear disaster, you will need to factor in these locations plus the locations of any nuclear facilities that may pose a risk to your well being.
Remember, if our nation is under some kind of nuclear attack, it is also entirely possible non-nuclear attacks may happen at the same time. Large hospitals with nuclear diagnostic equipment, medical waste transports, nuclear power plants, and other sites that have nuclear materials will be a target.
As such, personnel that are best trained to control the situation may also be unavailable. If you try to pass through these areas, the chances of you coming into contact with high levels of nuclear radiation is very high even if the direction of contamination from a nuclear ground zero indicate otherwise. Always remember that nuclear radiation exposure is cumulative. It does not matter where the radiation comes from; only that you were exposed to it.
What About Edibles Along the Way?
No discussion on navigating during a nuclear disaster would be complete without a discussion on how to recognize which foods are safe to eat in an area that might have been impacted by nuclear fallout. While it is risky to eat anything in these areas, you can reduce the risk to some extent by taking the following advice:
- Choose foods that were stored underground first.
- If you must consume plants, use the deepest roots you can find first. It would also be best to choose plants that have not been exposed to rain since the nuclear blast occurred. For example plants in the middle of a patch, or covered by other plants may be safer.
- If fruits and vegetables are available, try to use ones that have skins that can be removed. Smooth skinned fruits and vegetables will be safer to wash off and eat than rougher skinned items.
- Canned foods should be ok; but choose ones in an area that is best protected from the blast direction. Consider a situation where the nuclear blast occurred to your west. If you are in a pantry, you would select foods from the east shelves because the radiation would have to pass through all the cans on the western side before reaching the others. As with transportation, always look for foods where the largest and heaviest shields stand between the radiation and the food resource.
- Avoid dried foods such as beans and fruit. You will find it very hard to wash nuclear debris off them or remove skins that might have captured the radiation. Also avoid leafy vegetables or anything else that you cannot peel or wash vigorously.
How do You Know You are Close to Ground Zero
Let’s consider a situation where a nuclear blast occurs and you must evacuate immediately. As you run to get your bug out bag, something distracts you, and somehow all your maps and important information about wind directions and navigation get left behind.
But thing can go worse than that. You have your cell phone, but you never uploaded these important files (so you wouldn’t have to go online or to the cloud to get them) because you were afraid an EMP would knock the phone out and make it useless. Upon turning on the phone, you realize it works perfectly, but you cannot get online. You have a compass, but never took the time to learn how to use it. Tucked deep in the bottom of the bag, you find a pair of binoculars that can be used to reveal wind direction and cloud formations. Since you don’t remember how to assess wind direction, you conclude the binoculars won’t be much good.
Realistically speaking, if you are in this condition after a nuclear blast and somehow managed to find safe shelter for a few days, you are going to have a fairly hard time finding a viable path to safety.
If you remember nothing else about how to navigate during a nuclear crisis, at least remember the signs and signals that you are at or near ground zero. At the very least you can try to skirt through these areas, avoid eating in them, and try to get out of them as quickly as possible.
Animals and Plants in Distress
Animals may have mouth sores.They may also bleed more from the nose and eyes, and may also show signs of fur loss. Large numbers of animals and insects may be dead and just laying around. Large numbers of fish may also be dead and have open sores on them.
Baby animals may have unusual numbers of digits on their paws. They may also be completely misshapen or have organs growing outside the body.
Animal or human feces may be in the form of diarrhea or have blood in it.
Plants will have tumorous knots on the stems, or unusual leaf patterns. For example, a three leaf clover plant may have five, six, or even seven leaves on a single stem.
The Black Rain
You may find signs of black rain: a combination of nuclear debris and soot from all the fires that happen after a nuclear blast. You may see streaks of thick, sticky black liquid on walls, dripping from trees, or anything else that it lands on. If you look carefully at the ground, you may also see signs of this “rain” laying along the ground. Animals and plants may also be covered with it.
If you encounter black rain, it is extremely toxic, and will most often be found in the debris field surrounding ground zero. Once you encounter this kind of debris, your best bet is to go back the way you came, an then try to choose another direction.
f you are closer to ground zero, permanent shadows may exist to reveal where objects once stood. For example, if you see a tree shadow on a sidewalk, but no tree, that means the tree was vaporized by the blast. The angle of this shadow will reveal the direction of the blast in relation to where the object was. To get away from ground zero, just go in the direction where the tree or object “points”. In this case, just walk in the same direction as where you see the “top” of the tree’s shadow pointing.
You can also get some rough ideas about how far away the object was from the blast. The shorter and more perfectly proportioned the shadow is, the closer it was to ground zero. A longer shadow means you are a bit further away.
Signs of Disaster
Any area that was hit by the heat wave will show signs of having fires. You can expect to see buildings, cars, and many other objects that may be charred beyond recognition.
The closer you get to ground zero, the signs of disaster you will see: walls, buildings, and even motor vehicles knocked over. This damage occurs as a result of the air blast created by the explosion. Since the shock wave bands usually extend beyond other types of damage, finding them is a good indicator that you are either heading into ground zero or away from it.
For example, if you passed through areas that showed signs of being on fire, going through a blast zone might be an improvement. If the radiation shadows are getting longer as you go along, this might also be considered a sign that you are heading away from ground zero.
Tools That Can Help You Avoid Contaminated Areas
- Maps listing known nuclear material zones
- Maps of historical wind current
- Maps of water tides and currents
- Long range binoculars
- Small drones or robots that can be used to deliver testing equipment into a suspected area of contamination.
It is often said that if you have a map and compass, or know how to navigate by the sun and stars, you will never get lost. That being said, navigating during and after a nuclear crisis requires far more than simply figuring out how to get from Point A to Point B. Your plans can easily be disrupted by other situations involving nuclear hazards as well as radiation sickness.
Learn how to navigate when you aren’t feeling well along with how to recognize the signs that increased radiation may exist in an area that you plan to travel through. No matter how you look at it, radiation is a hazard no matter where you find it, and avoiding it will still be a primary concern while you are traveling.
This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.
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Not too long ago, we received a question from @RayBurton on Twitter about whether or not we’d done an article on emergency home heating in cold climates. Well, we haven’t, even though I’m from Canada and Thomas & I lived there together for 5 years – so the fact that we haven’t is a bit… Read More
This is just the start of the post How to Stay Warm Indoors When the Power’s Out (& It’s Freezing Outside). Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
How to Stay Warm Indoors When the Power’s Out (& It’s Freezing Outside), written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
Martial law is a topic that comes up time and time again in even the mainstream media, and yet very few understand what it is from a legal sense and what the implications are for everyday citizens and those of us more serious about preparing for the worst if it is ever enacted again (yes,… Read More
This is just the start of the post Breaking Down Martial Law: What It Is & How It’s Abused. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
Breaking Down Martial Law: What It Is & How It’s Abused, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
Does you bug out plan include a truck, car or ATV? If so, you may want to take a peek at the Therm-a-rest LuxuryLite Mesh Cot, which is made in the USA. What we liked about this cot vs. other cots on the market is the low profile that keeps you off the ground but will still fit into a normal camping tent. When combined with a sleeping pad and warm sleeping bag, this cot can keep you warm and dry. The downside of this cot is of course weight. The ability to be off the ground is not worth the weight in your pack.
This is strictly a luxury item which is why it is called the LuxuryLite Mesh Cot. When you have an item that weights over 3 lbs, it better be something that feeds you or has to do with water. You would be much better off with just a normal Therm-a-rest sleeping pad for your bug out bag. With that said, we tested it, slept on it and loved it for car camping or if your bug out plan has a car or truck involved. It also is nice to have as back up bed for kids or visiting families if your space is limited. It beats sleeping on the floor.
|Width||24 in / 61 cm||26 in / 66 cm||30 in / 76 cm|
|Weight||3 lbs 9 oz / 1.62 kg||3 lbs 15 oz / 1.81 kg||4 lbs 7 oz / 2.01 kg|
|Length||72 in / 183 cm||77 in / 193 cm||77 in / 196 cm|
|Packed dimension||18 x 6 / 46 x 15||18 x 6 / 46 x 15||18 x 6 / 46 x 15|
|Top fabric type||PVC Mesh||PVC Mesh||PVC Mesh|
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Pioneers no doubt had to make some rough choices about what to take and what to leave behind when they made the voyage west. One thing that they didn’t even consider leaving behind, though, was their Dutch oven.
This marvelous piece of cookware is so versatile that it warranted a spot in the precious little space inside a covered wagon.
When you think about camping, you probably don’t think about making bread, biscuits, or cookies – other than s’mores of course! That’s because you’re not familiar with how a Dutch oven works.
In short, it’s magic.
A Dutch oven actually consists of two pieces: a pot and a lid. The lid seals over the pot when needs must, and serves as a skillet, too. You can use a Dutch oven on a stove or in an oven just like you’d use any other pan or skillet, but it’s so much more useful than that.
First, cast iron cookware in general is just fabulous to cook on. Other cookware, such as those made from aluminum or coated in Teflon, can be toxic to us over time. Teflon starts to flake off into your food after a few months or maybe a year. Then you run the risk of getting cancer. Aluminum has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Cast iron, on the other hand, has been associated with family treasures that are passed down from generation to generation.
Cookware made from cast iron can quite literally last hundreds of years – I have a skillet that’s nearly 150 years old and it’s seriously the best skillet I own. I have a square one that I bought 25 years ago, and I won’t make cornbread in anything else. I use it at home on the stove, in the oven, and on the grill. I take it camping and use it over an open fire.
So, I’m not just preaching it from the handbook, I’m drinking my own Kool-Aid. Cast iron rules.
Now that you know how I feel about the material, I want to get on to the exact piece of cast iron cookware that we’re discussing today: the Dutch oven.
Simply surviving isn’t good enough if you’re to stay happy and healthy in the long run. You need good food, companionship, and hope. A Dutch oven can’t do much about who you eat with, but it can be used to cook luxury foods that keep morale up. Cornbread, biscuits, cake, hot rolls, and desserts such as cobbler are all possible as long as you have the ingredients, a fire, and a Dutch oven.
Video first seen on Cooking With Cast Iron.
You don’t need electricity or gas, nor do you need an actual oven because a Dutch oven IS an oven. If you know the basics of cooking with one and have the ingredients, you can make anything that you want.
So, without further ado, let’s talk about how to cook with a Dutch oven.
Aluminum or Cast Iron Dutch Oven
I know, I’ve just expounded on the benefits of using cast iron, and even knocked aluminum cookware a bit. I personally don’t like to cook in it because studies have shown that the aluminum does leach into food, especially if the food is extremely basic (baking powder), or extremely acidic (tomato juice, vinegar, or fruit juices).
Studies show that anodized aluminum doesn’t pose this risk, so if you opt to go with an aluminum Dutch oven, make sure that it’s anodized. There are some benefits to cooking with an aluminum Dutch oven, primarily the weight. A cast-iron Dutch oven weighs about 7 pounds as opposed to the 18 pounds or so that you’ll be toting if you’re carrying a cast iron one.
Aluminum also doesn’t require seasoning like cast iron does, nor will it rust if you don’t care for it after you wash it. Many even come with a non-stick surface, but cast iron will become non-stick if you season it correctly.
Aluminum heats faster, but that’s not necessarily a good thing because the heat fluctuates in it, and aluminum will melt if it gets hot enough. Still, aluminum may be better for baking bread or making sauces and gravies than cast iron.
Cast iron holds heat evenly and for longer periods of time. It will actually keep cooking your foods for quite a while even if your coals cool down so you don’t need as much fuel to cook with it. The lid is heavy enough that it seals and steams your food so that it doesn’t dry out. This is why I said above that aluminum may be better for baking bread.
So, there are the differences. If you have to carry it, aluminum may be worth the downfalls to you. If you don’t, I’d say that cast iron wins hands down. I’m sure that there are those that disagree.
Types of Dutch Ovens
If you’re standing in the pot aisle at the store trying to figure out what the heck you need, or researching online before you go buy one, it can be confusing.
First, know that a camp oven and an outdoor oven are the same thing. These will usually have feet and a handle that you can use to hang the pot over the fire. The lid will also be flat and have a lip that seals the oven so that coals can’t get into it. You can use the lid as a skillet, too.
Kitchen pots and bean pots are also two names for the same sort of pot. They won’t have feet. Bean pots aren’t just for beans so don’t let the name fool you. It’s actually a cooking method that was common back in colonial days. These pots will have a flat bottom and a domed lid that may have spikes for basting inside of it. The steam rises, then drips off the spikes down onto the food.
Don’t be afraid to buy a used Dutch oven. As a matter of fact, I got mine from a yard sale for $5. Just be aware of what you’re buying.
- First, don’t buy it if it has riveted tabs. You want the oven to be cast together, not riveted.
- Look for inconsistencies in the thickness. That will lead to inconsistent heating and cooking
- Don’t be scared away by a little rust. As long as it’s just surface rust, it will clean right up with steel wool.
- Make sure that the bottom is level. It shouldn’t rock.
- Make sure the lid fits well – not too loose, and not too tight, and it doesn’t rock.
- Check for chips and cracks as well as imperfections in the casting.
- If you’re buying a camp oven, make sure that the wire handle is sturdy.
Seasoning your Dutch Oven
Cast iron takes a bit of time to reach that non-stick state. This is called seasoning. Basically, the iron needs to absorb fat so that it develops a patina that keeps the iron from absorbing your food, causing it to stick. Seasoning also prevents the iron from rusting and makes cleanup much easier.
New ovens (or any cast iron) come with a protective coating from the manufacturer. The same is true with aluminum but all you need to do in that case is wash the aluminum with hot soap and water to remove the coating.
Cast iron takes a bit more work on the front end, but it will be well worth it in the end because you’ll have a piece that will be good for the rest of your life, and your children’s lives for that matter.
Before you season your skillet, wash it well. Some people use soap, others don’t. I use soap when I get a new one, or a used one that isn’t seasoned or has rust. I’m not like most people though, who only use hot water and steel wool.
Once you have your Dutch oven clean, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. You may want to turn off the smoke alarm, just in case.
- Put the Dutch oven and the lid in the oven long enough that it’s so hot that it’s almost too hot to handle, then remove them.
- Dribble a bit of olive oil, solid shortening, or vegetable oil. Don’t use butter, margarine, or cooking spray.
- Use a paper towel to smear the oil over the entire surface of the pot and lid, inside and out.
- Put the pot and lid back in the oven bake them for an hour. You should probably put a cookie sheet on the rack under them in case they drip. No need to burn the house down while you’re doing this.
- Turn off the oven and let the pot and lid cool completely, then repeat the process.
- Wipe down, and you’re done!
Video first seen on JRKFamilyOutdoors.
Of course, the more you use your oven, the more seasoned it will become. Every time you use it, you need to clean it, then heat it to get the water out of it and wipe it down with a thin layer of oil again; just a tiny amount on a paper towel while the pan is cooling.
Avoid cooking super acidic or high-sugar foods the first few times you use your oven because these will break down your seasoning before it has time to harden.
Using a Dutch Oven in Coals
You may not know it, but the ashes under the fire are actually usually hotter than the fire itself. The ashes are compact and hold in heat. This makes for an excellent cooking environment. If you think about it, that’s exactly what happens in your oven at home, right?
Maybe you’ve cooked ears of corn or potatoes wrapped in foil in the coals of your fire, but it’s pretty tough to bake a piece of apple pie like that? Well that’s where your Dutch oven comes in. Different foods cook better depending upon how the Dutch oven is situated in the coals, and you can cook entire meals in it, too. Casseroles, desserts, stews: they’re all within your reach.
First, you need to decide if you’re cooking IN the Dutch oven, or WITH it. You can either cook your food directly in the oven or you can put the food in another container, such as a pie plate, and cook in on a trivet or rack inside of the oven. This is usually done to keep the food from burning, or to make cleaning your oven easier.
If you’re cooking a dessert and your oven is still relatively new, you may want to use this method so that the sugar and acids in the fruit don’t eat away your seasoning.
If you’re using your oven for frying, or boiling, all of the heat should come from the bottom. In other words, place the oven on top of the coals or a grill rack (or hang it over the fire).
If you’re stewing or simmering, the majority of the heat should come from the bottom. Place the pot in the ashes with most of it buried, but put some of the coals on top, about 4:1 bottom to top.
If you’re roasting food, heat should come from the top and bottom equally. Place coals under and on top.
If you’re baking, most of the heat should come from the top. The ratio should be 1 part on bottom and 3 parts on top.
If you’re wondering about specific foods, typically soups and stews should be cooked with most of the heat on the bottom (2/3 or so on the bottom, and 1/3 of the coals on top. Meats, veggies, and cobblers should have equal heat distribution, and cakes, biscuits, bread and cookies should have 2/3 of the coals on top and 1/3 on the bottom.
Bread and biscuits help you get a lot more mileage out of a meal and are comfort foods. They’re also the trail version of fast foods. You can cook extra and if you get hungry along the trail, you can pull out a roll or a biscuit and eat it on the run. Neither of these would be possible in large quantity without a Dutch oven.
You can make biscuits inside of the oven, or right on the lid – just butter or oil both sides so that they brown equally.
Bread or rolls are best if you let the final proof take place inside the oven, then bake them immediately. Some old recipes call for coating the inside of the oven with flour before you put your bread in to rise/cook. The flour will burn but your bread will be fine.
If you’d rather not use the flour, just oil the inside of the oven and the top of the lid, then let your bread proof. Put your oven in the coals, with 2/3 of them on top. When there are 5 or 6 minutes left for the bread to cook, take of the lid and butter the top of the bread. Put the lid back on and let it finish cooking. Bread is done when you peck on the top and it sounds hollow.
There are different ways to cook with your Dutch oven, but these are the basics. You can pick up a good Dutch oven for as little as $35 or so, and that’s for a Lodge, which is American-made and arguably the best brand of cast iron skillets out there.
There are, of course, gourmet chefs coming out with their own lines of cast iron cookware too, and some of them are even pre-seasoned, but you’re likely going to pay quite a bit more for them. It’s up to you, though. There are definite advantages to buying a pre-seasoned piece, but I’m old-school and take a certain pleasure in doing things for myself.
Learn how to make your own food based on survival ancient recipes from our forefathers. Click the banner below and uncover more survival secrets, and stay close for a great offer that will boost your survival cooking!
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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Will you survive a disaster in a city without having resources such as water, food, and safe shelter at your immediate disposal? You’re going to be facing hard times and the adversity from your fellow urbanites who aren’t survival-savvy.
Whether it’s a financial collapse or a natural disaster, you need to know how to survive. You can prepare building a food and water stockpile. But the most important thing to stockpile is knowledge.
That’s going to be the difference between you and 99% of your neighbors. Knowing what to do to survive is three quarters of the battle.
You still have time to learn and develop your skills by grabbing the amazing offer we have for you. Read the whole article to find it!
First and foremost, you need to know how to adapt. To do this, you’re going to have to be flexible and think outside of the box. It may reach a point where paper money has no value; instead, commodities like food, hygiene products, and useful skills will become the new dollar. This is where stockpiling, prior skill acquisition, and living simply will come in handy.
2. Find Water Reserves and Sources
Do you know where the city water pipes are? What about the main source of drinkable water? Do you know where dairy and produce farms are in the immediate areas surrounding your city?
Clean water and access to purification methods will be critical to survival, not only for drinking and cooking, but also for personal hygiene and disease prevention.
Gleaning, dumpster diving, freecycling, or upcycling: regardless of what you call it, scavenging is a great way to find perfectly useful products and edible food. Though we live in a society that places a huge stigma on going through somebody else’s trash, we’ve also taken wasting to all new levels.
Probably half of what goes into a landfill isn’t actually garbage: it’s just something that somebody didn’t want any more or didn’t bother to fix. We encourage such behavior by making new items so affordable and accessible that it’s easier, and often cheaper, just to throw something away.
Scavenging now can save you a ton of money and decrease the amount of waste, if even by a bit. Imagine if everybody did it!
In an urban survival situation, scavenging may just save your life. After all, there may not be any stores open to buy parts to fix your generator, replace lost clothing, or buy fresh produce; these are all items that will be readily available in the dumpsters nearest you if you’re just willing to look.
This is all part of living simply and switching to a more frugal, less wasteful frame of mind.
The art of getting a good deal for what you buy and trade is a valuable skill now but will be absolutely critical to surviving an urban collapse. Know what your possessions are worth, and have a stockpile of items that you know will be valuable in that situation.
Hygiene items, food and useful skills are going to be at the top of the list when it comes to barter. Weapons and ammo may be up there, too, but that may be something that you want to keep for yourself depending upon your situation.
The take-away here is that you need to know how to barter in such a manner that both you and the person you’re bartering with feel like a good trade was made.
5. Escape from Debris
If an event such as earthquake or engineering failure, you may very well find yourself trapped in a sea of debris. Knowing how to escape without causing further cave-ins or getting lost will be a valuable skill.
It will be similar to escaping a thick jungle full of hazards that can kill you if you’re not extremely careful. For that matter, it may kill you, or trap you, through no fault of your own.
You’re going to deal with not only keeping yourself safe and treating your own injuries, but also helping others out.
Learning how to escape debris requires adaptability, medical skills, a bit of structural and physics knowledge, tracking and woodcraft skills to prevent going in circles, and psychological skills. Being physically fit will also work to your advantage.
6. Living Small
This is a skill that you should learn now, and it goes along with many of the other skills that we’ve discussed: bartering, scavenging, adapting. Living small simply means decluttering your life and learning to make do with what you need, not want you want right at any given moment.
Your goal is to eliminate everything that isn’t directly integral to your survival or happiness.
Fixing things instead of throwing them away, being willing to upcycle products instead of always buying new, growing as much of your own food as possible, and leaving a small carbon footprint in general are all parts of living simply.
The less you depend upon other resources for your survival, the harder it will be for you to adapt to a survival situation.
7. Cooking on a Car Engine
Did you know that you can cook an entire meal on a car engine? All you need is some aluminum foil. First, warm up your car and feel for the hottest parts, and parts that get too hot to touch, but not so hot that they’ll catch things on fire. Most of these spots will be directly around the engine.
Many of those spots have nooks and crannies where you can tuck your food to cook while you travel. You don’t necessarily have to go anywhere – you can cook as long as the car is running – but it’s a waste of fuel.
Remember that potatoes and corn will cook much faster than a roast, so make sure that you put those on after you put the roast on to cook. You may also want to cook meat for the first half-hour or so in the hottest spots, then move them to places that aren’t quite so hot so that they cook all the way through.
Video first seen on Howcast.
8. Stopping Bleeding
The first goal of urban survival is surviving! You can’t do that if you or the people that you care about bleed to death before you escape the building that’s fallen on you or whatever other disaster you find yourself in.
There are several different herbs that can help stop bleeding. You also need to know how to apply a tourniquet and how to pack a wound. Also, none of these skills will do you any good if you can’t keep your cool and adapt to the situation as you need to.
9. Start a Fire from Scrap
You likely won’t have access to trees and forest debris to start fires, but you will have access to broken doors, window sills, clothing, cotton swabs, and other extremely flammable items. Just about anything will burn, but it’s important that you learn what materials are toxic and which ones are safe to burn. Also, you want to burn items that don’t produce much smoke.
Again, just being able to adapt and think outside of the box will serve you well.
10. Cooking Under the Radar
Without a doubt, there are going to be a ton of starving people if things get bad enough. After all, we know that we, as preppers, are the small minority of society. If you want to survive, it’s going to be important to learn how to cook and eat without being noticed.
If you live in an apartment, developing a joint apartment communications team can help avoid this problem. They watch out for you and you watch out for them. This is something that you need to do before SHTF, and it’s still a good idea to play your hand close to the vest and not reveal exactly how much or what you have stockpiled.
Help avoid problems by hiding your stockpile, and don’t tell anybody that you’re even building one now. Even the nicest, most honest people will turn on you when they’re hungry and desperate.
Finding ways to cook without people smelling it will be one of your biggest problems.
The Urban Survival Playing Cards offer tips and hacks that will help you survive an urban crisis, and the best part is that you can carry them with you so that you can flip through them in an emergency.
11. Building Small Traps for Defense
Booby traps are quite easy to make but you need to be careful about how you set them. You don’t want your kids or old Mrs. Cunningham in 204 to get caught in them. Booby traps should blend into the environment. Cover holes in the stairs with old carpet, for example.
If you have an area that’s particularly difficult to defend, it may be best to seta a trap that causes a local, yet heavy, cave-in. You want it to be so dense that they can’t get through, but you don’t want to run the risk of weakening the structure of the rest of the building.
The idea is to make it difficult enough to get through that they leave in search of easier pickings.
12. Underground Navigation
Knowing how to get from one point to another unobtrusively is a valuable skill to have. Most cities sit atop a network of sewers, maintenance tunnels, and subways that make for excellent discreet navigational avenues.
Even if there is somebody else there, it’s easy to slip into the shadows and wait for them to pass. Most of these blueprints are available at city hall if you just know where to go.
This is part of gathering info and knowing what your resources are.
You can actually escape the city if you understand the underground tunnel system well enough to navigate them, even if part of them become blocked by cave-ins or are being observed by opposing forces.
13. Losing a Tail
If anybody so much as suspects that you have a supply stash, there’s a good chance that somebody will try to follow you home. This may also be the case if you’ve been out surveilling and the enemy catches on. In both these cases, you need to know how to lose a tail.
How you do this will, of course, depend upon your situation. If you can get lost in a crowd, losing a tail will be easier. Remember to walk at the pace, and in the direction of, the crowd.
Change your appearance as you go. Take off a hat or jacket because that’s what your tail will look for first – identifying clothing. Sneak in the front of a place and out the back.
14. Building a Shelter from Scrap
You’re going to need a place to stay if your apartment or house is breached or rendered uninhabitable. You can build shelter from debris such as cardboard, old doors, washer and dryer lids, garbage bags, and other items that you scavenge.
Knowing where to build a shelter is critical, too. Knowing the tunnel systems and the source of fresh, clean water will both play roles in helping you find a safe place to stay.
15. Staying Unnoticed by Keeping a Low Profile
If you’re prepared, you don’t want people to know it. You want to blend in. This means eating away from everybody, acting as if you’re in the same situation as everybody else, and behaving in as nondescript a fashion as possible. In essence, you want to be invisible by being just like everybody else around you.
However, you don’t want to change so much that you make other people suspicious of you, either. If you’re normally helpful and friendly, keep those traits even if you have to tone them down a bit. That probably won’t be hard because it’s who you are at your core.
The truly hard part is going to be resisting the urge to offer too much help. While it’s true that there is safety in numbers, the bottom line may be that you have limited resources that you can’t afford to share if you want your own family to eat. Decisions may be difficult.
One More Tip for Your Survival
Without a doubt, surviving a collapsed city will present more, or at least different, challenges than surviving an emergency on a well-stocked homestead that’s already partially off the grid. Still, it’s going to be the reality for many of us, and it’s a situation that you can survive if you’re adaptable, knowledgeable, and prepared.
Need a way of “trying the waters” with extended family and friends? Give them a pack of these playing cards or break them out the next time you get together to play poker. You’ll be able to tell by their reaction, whether they are interested. Who knows, you might even plant a seed in their minds, converting them to your point of view.
This is a great idea, especially as a way of introducing survival to people who are not yet preppers. It can be used as a tool for teaching children and adults alike. Either way, it could turn into a great Christmas gift.
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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Winter holidays are just around the corner and I am sure you are dreaming about unforgettable moments with your loved ones. But don’t lose focus from your prepping and be ready to overcome any survival situation, even though you live in the city.
For today’s prep blog review I’ve gather five articles with useful tips for winter survival in urban areas.
1. 5 Strategies To Survive In The City When SHTF
“When we think of survival and disaster preparedness the images most people conjure up are basically rural. Preparedness is all about being ready to harvest the essentials from the land, and there’s a distinct echo of pioneer families about it all. But is this realistic? The latest figures, from 2015, show that 82% of Americans now live in urban areas. If you’re one of them, being ready for the worst brings a whole new set of challenges with it.
In rural America space equals time. People are more spread out, and that buys time in all sorts of ways. Civil disorder will take longer to spread, giving you time to prepare. You probably stockpile essentials anyway, rather than buying them a few times a week from the convenience store, so you have at least some reserves to fall back on. In a city it’s different. You’re in close proximity with thousands or millions of other people, and things are a lot more precariously balanced. If the SHTF in a city it’s going to do it fast, and you need to be able to react fast to stay ahead of events.”
Read more on Ask a Prepper.
2. 7 Greatest Dangers for Preppers in the City
Although I think it’s possible to survive most types of disasters while living in the city, that doesn’t mean the city isn’t more dangerous than the countryside. By choosing to remain in the city, you are facing several potential dangers, and it’s important that you be aware of those dangers. In this article I’ll cover the 7 greatest dangers for preppers in the city.
“One of the biggest drawbacks to hunkering down in a city is the lack of resources and space. Big cities are not typically self-sustainable, and instead have many lifelines of food and supplies shipped in from a multitude of locations.
Food is a vital resource that will quickly become scarce. Foraging is a short-term plan at best, since grocery store shelves don’t restock themselves and your average downtown area isn’t exactly teeming with herds of game.
The natural way to combat a food shortage is to already have a stockpile available. If you have the space to do so, stock up on several months of an emergency. And if you don’t have the space, then make space. You should also have an escape route planned and a bug out location to go to.”
Read more on Urban Survival Site.
3. Winter SHTF Planning and Preparation
“Currently enjoying the first real Winter storm of the season up here in Canada and I must say I really like it. Got me thinking about those things relating to Winter survival that are either not really talked about or, worse yet, ignored. I am assuming you do not have a massive solar array and geothermal power. I am also assuming you live in the snow belt meaning two to five months of Winter and arctic temperatures.
It is Snowing. A lot!
Here at work I just opened our Storm accommodation plan so staff can sleep overnight rather than risk life, limb, and fenders trying to get home as 20cm of snow falls (8 inches). They have the option to sleep in warm, dry, secure location and get a free meal voucher.
Awesome deal but in SHTF when it snows hard it gets complex. Stay or go? I’d stay put until the obvious storm front has passed me by as I really will have no idea if the snow is stopping in an hour or going to keep dropping the next three days.”
Read more on The Prepper Journal.
4. DIY Heater for Emergencies
“Each year, as the weather gets colder, I receive emails from readers who lose power in their homes or apartment. They are worried about heating their space when the power is out.
I have written about keeping your apartment warm in the winter without power. The following article provides some good instructions on making a homemade heater with items that are easy to obtain. Please note this DIY heater is not meant to replace a heating system. The flower pot heater is a backup so you can heat up a room in the event that power is out.”
Read more on Apartment Prepper.
5. Prepping for a Blizzard
“Few can deny the common sense behind preparing for something that is definitely going to happen, yet every year, an impending winter storm sends people rushing out to the store at the last minute, prepping for a blizzard that is due to hit in mere hours.
Every winter, if you live in certain climates, blizzards are going to occur. Usually, at least one storm will hit that will cause you to be snowed in.
Often, those storms mean you will also lose power. There is the inevitable rush to the store for milk and bread, during which people battle it out for the last supplies left on the shelves.”
Read more on The Organic Prepper.
This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia.
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Tripwire alarms are among the simplest yet most effective ways for setting up a home security system.
If you don’t want to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on sophisticated pieces of equipment, today’s article is aimed at helping you to design and build a tripwire alarm for your home, dirt cheap and crazy simple – as in budget-friendly and easy to install.
As far as DIY jobs go, making your own home security system is among my top ten best ever. It’s fun, instructive and, most importantly, embraces the essence of prepping: “be prepared, son, be prepared.”
What Is a Trip Wire Alarm
Let’s begin with the basics: what’s a trip wire alarm? Well, as the name suggests, you just run a “wire” across a pathway you want to protect: in most instances, a door entrance, or a gate on your property, or whatever.
Then, if an intruder walks through and trips over the wire, an alarm is activated. Keep in mind that what I’ve described above is the most basic type of a tripwire alarm, as it refers to an actual wire and all that. Obviously, as we live in 2016, there’s always room for improvement.
Now, speaking of “traditional” tripwires, they’re incredibly simple, very intuitive and fairly easy to set up. But in our modern day and age, when wireless technologies and electronic components are dirt cheap and readily available at any Radio Shack or hardware store, we can go a step further and go a little bit more high-tech.
Regular tripwire alarms – the classic variety, so to speak – come with a built-in inconvenience, i.e. you’ll have to actually run a physical wire or line from the tripwire to the alarm itself.
If you want to protect a far-away location or a room or door inside of a building, you’re going to need a lot of wire, making it pretty difficult to set up.
However, you can get around this logistics nightmare fairly easy via high-tech (dirt cheap, don’t worry) gear, by using a small radio transmitter that will activate the alarm without requiring 5 miles of wire and what not.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s start with the basics, shall we?
The conventional tripwire alarm, the one I’ve told you about in the beginning, consists of a line stretched across a path. Once an intruder trips over the respective line, the alarm is triggered.
Wired tripwire alarms are the most commonly used setups when it comes to homeowners installing them themselves, because they’re cheap and easy to install basically anywhere.
And learning how to DIY a tripwire alarm is very easy and fun.
If you want to learn more survival hacks, we recommend these Urban Survival Playing Cards that every prepper should have. Relax, have fun and learn more than 52 life-saving tips.
Types of tripwire alarms
- Classic direct-tripwire alarm, i.e. the line stretched across a path, directly connected to the alarm using a wire/string/cord;
- Laser/infrared tripwire alarm, which, instead of a wire/cord stretched across the path, uses an invisible laser/infrared beam;
- Radio frequency tripwire alarm, when the tripwire assembly is connected with the alarm wirelessly via a radio transmitter.
The good news is that you can DIY at home basically any of these three using dirt cheap gear and basic tools.
Let’s begin with a classic in that field: the BANG tripwire alarm. The BANG particle refers to the actual alarm, which consists of ring caps.
So, for this low-tech and highly effective DIY project, you’ll require the following materials:
- a mouse trap
- fishing line
- tent pegs
- ring caps
- rubber bands.
This type of tripwire alarm is the ideal solution for securing outdoors objectives, such as the perimeter of your home or a camp site. Needless to say, this project is very cheap, fairly easy to DIY and it works awesomely (the BANG part will scare most intruders away in a jiffy).
The basic idea behind this DIY project is that once the intruder trips over the wire, the mouse trap is activated and as it triggers, it detonates a ring cap, making a loud BANG. Pretty smart, huh?
Video first seen on kipkay.
However, there’s even a simpler design for a classic tripwire alarm. First, you must select a location to set up the actual tripwire. Again, this is mostly an outdoor project that can alert you to the approach of a wild animal or various intruders. You must choose wisely, i.e. a place where you’ll have to actually walk to get into.
As the intruder passes by, his feet will catch the trip wire and trip an alarm. Obviously, the tripwire must be inconspicuous at a casual glance, or else your alarm will fail miserably. You’ll have to attach the trip line to a fixed location, between two trees for example, or between two rocks, roots or whatever. The idea is that the assembly must be stable enough to pull on the alarm itself when somebody trips over your wire.
Now, as per the alarm, you can use anything, including your imagination. Here are some suggestions: a string of noisy tin cans or an actual siren or whatever, provided it’s loud enough to warn you about an incoming danger. For example, you can use a string of tin cans stretched in a network-fashion hung between trees or something similar.
However, in our day and age, tin cans are kind of obsolete, so instead, you can use a cheap electronic siren. Here’s an even cheaper version of this type of trip wire alarm, which uses a battery and a clothes pin for creating a short circuit upon triggering, i.e. no sound, but a flame. This one works best during the night, obviously, provided is someone watching.
Video first seen on southernprepper1.
Here’s a project about DIY-ing a remote tripwire alarm, which requires building a small radio transmitter to activate the alarm via radio-waves.
Video first seen on Make.
Last but not least, this is the uber-high tech laser tripwire alarm, a fairly easy DIY project for your home security that will require a couple of mirrors, a cheap laser-pointing device and 10 dollars’ worth of electronic parts available at any Radio Shack or on Amazon. Using the laser tripwire alarm, you’ll be able to secure your entire house via an array of light beams which, unlike in B rated movies, are totally invisible and impossible to avoid.
Video first seen on Make.
I know there are a myriad of designs and solutions with regard to tripwire alarms, but I’ve tried to select the easiest to build and to install. Try the project that suits you the best and start practicing your urban survival skills.
This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.
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When you live in the country, it’s easy to live small. But what does living small really mean?
The concept is pretty fluid and has different meanings for different people, but the general idea is that you cut the fat and learn to live simply. That’s all.
Unclutter your life, physically and figuratively, so that you can open up other, better possibilities for yourself. It’s about freedom.
Here are the steps to take for living small in a big city. Read the article and look for more: a collection of survival tips can be yours easily!
We’ve surrounded ourselves with so much stuff that we don’t know what to do without it. We don’t know where our food comes from, and most of the people don’t care. We buy things, then throw them away when they break and buy new. We do the same thing with relationships.
We order huge portions of food, then throw half of it away. We buy cars we can’t afford and clothes we won’t wear. Our lives are based upon consumption and waste.
Well what would happen if all of those sources of consumption were no longer there? What if you had to grow your own food, or fix your shoe instead of throwing it away?
What if you had to get to know your neighbors, and work with them to survive? What if you were forced to give up your large living and live small?
It’s not such a horrible concept, and it’s completely possible, even if you live in an urban area that’s built entirely on the precept of living big.
As a matter of fact, learning to live small will teach you to appreciate the truly big things in life.
How to Start Living Small
Living small is a process. You can’t just go from being $50k in debt to living small. Your journey to living small will begin with tiny, fettered baby steps, but can end in long, free strides.
1. Make a List
The first thing you have to do to heal the wound is stop the bleeding. Sit down and make a list of ways that you’re living above your means. Next, figure out what steps you can take right now to live smaller.
Nobody needs a new pair of shoes once a week. Seriously, find out where you’re spending frivolously and decide if having all of those shoes is really worth being tethered to a credit card payment. If it is, then living small isn’t for you. Stop reading.
Now, make a plan to get rid of the debt. Can you really afford your apartment or would you be better off with a smaller place that costs less?
Don’t sacrifice your safety by moving into a bad neighborhood, but don’t put yourself in the poorhouse paying $2k/month in rent when you only make $3k. The big stuff will take a while to pare down. The important thing right now is to NOT make it worse.
Make a list of 5 things that you’re going to change today to live cheaper, because adaptability is one of the key attributes of a survivor. All of the things that we’re going to talk about from here on out are all about adapting a new, simpler lifestyle.
Living small isn’t about giving things up. It’s about living life on your own terms, in pursuit of your own happiness.
2. Fix Things!
Oh no – your jeans have a tear or the leg on your chair is loose? Well grab what you need and fix it! Don’t know how? Well thankfully you have the internet at your fingertips. What happens if you find out that you enjoy sewing?
You may just end up with a new hobby. Even if you don’t you’ll end up with a new skill. And you won’t be in debt any deeper. You just took your first step toward living small.
3. Learn Something
There’s something to be said for the power of learning to do things for yourself. Pick three skills that you’re interested in learning, then learn them.
Be open-minded and flexible. Try something that you may not have thought about doing up until now.
Having skills if SHTF will put you head-and-shoulders above 99 percent of your neighbors. Besides, this country was built by people who knew how to do things for themselves.
You can learn something new anywhere, anytime, even when playing cards with your loved ones.
However, if you want to take it to the next level, we also recommend these Urban Survival Playing Cards, featuring 52 more life-saving lessons, you can learn through play, that also act as a quick-reference ‘cheat sheet’ in times of emergency.
4. Learn How to Barter
There are flea markets and thrift shops in every city – it’s just a matter of finding them. Learn how to barter, or at least how to haggle. It’s a trait that will serve you well, and you may just find some great stuff that you can use instead of allowing it to go to a landfill.
5. Downsize Your Life
This is, after all, about living small. Go through your closets, drawers, and cabinets and if it isn’t something you’ve used in the last year, get rid of it. I’m not talking about your wedding video, but do you really need those shorts that are two sizes too small or that ugly shirt that your great aunt Sally got you for Christmas?
Don’t throw it away – have a yard sale or give it to charity. Better yet, do you know somebody that could use it? If so, give them first pickings before you take it to charity. This is all about learning to live. Nothing feels better than to do something good for somebody else.
6. Start a garden
So what if you live in a tiny apartment. That doesn’t mean that you can’t grow your own food. There are all kinds of ways that you can garden indoors.
You can live in a city and grow plenty of things. You just have to be creative. Terrariums are great and vertical gardening is good, too.
7. Teach your kids to live small
The path to a better world starts with our kids. Teach your children how to garden, and how to fix things. Raise them with the “living small to be happy” mentality.
Life isn’t about stuff, and now is the perfect time to teach them that life is about embracing what they have and what they can do, not about collecting material things and drowning in debt to get it.
8. Slow down
Take time to smell the roses. Literally. Don’t get so trapped in the rat race that life passes you by. Look at the clouds.
Take time to go for a walk or take a bike ride. Eat lunch in the park. Take the kids with you, but sometimes go by yourself. You only get one go-round so make it worth it. Make memories, not worries.
9. Learn about your resources before disaster strikes
You’re going to need to know where to find water and food if things go on beyond what you prep for, so learn about your local co-ops and resources. Network and find like-minded people. Holing up and making it through on your own may sound like the thing to do, but it’s not.
Build relationships. Since you’re living in an urban environment, it’s going to be next to impossible to live independently because you won’t have the resources to do so.
Know how to get out of the city if you need to. Know what’s around the city, including water sources and escape routes and maybe even hiding spots, just in case.
Living small isn’t about living less. It’s about living life in a way that makes you happy and safe. Nobody is happy living in debt and struggling just to make it from payday to payday.
Also, you won’t be safe and able to survive since you rely and depend totally on the wealth around you. Start practicing your survival skills by turning to living small!
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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Suppose that significant other isn’t into preparedness. What is the first thing to do to get them thinking about the possibility about the “unthinkable” happening?
Hand them a copy of this book.
by Leon Pantenburg
Amanda Ripley’s “The Unthinkable” is not about disaster recovery: It’s about what happens in the midst of one – before emergency personnel arrive and structure is imposed on the loss. It’s about the human reaction to disaster and how you should act if you want to survive.
Survival Book Review: The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes and Why By Amanda Ripley
This is a fact: Nine of 10 Americans live in places at significant risk of earthquake, tornado, hurricanes, terrorism, or other disasters. Tomorrow you may have to make significant decisions to save yourself and/or your family. Or maybe you could have to make those decisions before you finish reading this!
It may be in an urban or wilderness survival situation. Or you may have run to the grocery store for a gallon of milk when the earthquake or tornado hits.
Regardless of where or when the incident occurs, you will have to take decisive actions to survive.
But the overwhelming response, of the great majority of people, to that concept is something along the lines of:…I, personally, will not be affected by any of those emergencies…. And even if a disaster happens, it somehow won’t threaten or engulf me or my family… But if it does, there’s nothing I can do anyway, so there is no need to prepare…
This is denial. If that continues to be part of your mindset, then you have just gotten into the first phase of a deadly, downward behavior progression that could cost your life.
The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes and Why” Amanda Ripley, an investigative journalist, writes about the human psychological reaction to disasters. Ripley covered some of the most devastating disasters of our time, and retraces how people reacted. She interviews leading brain scientists, trauma psychologists and other disaster experts. She comes up with the stunning inadequacies of many of our evolutionary responses.
Ripley’s book is not about disaster recovery: It’s about what happens in the midst of one – before emergency personnel arrive and structure is imposed on the loss.
Ripley describes a “survival arc” everyone must travel to get from danger to safety. The survival arc’s three chronological phases of denial, deliberation and the decisive moment make up the structure of the book.
And while the path to survival may resemble a roller coaster rather than an arc, Ripley writes, it’s rare that anyone gets through a disaster without passing through these main stages at least once.
If you’ve ever thought about a disaster and possible reactions to it, then you’re on the right track. Ripley starts the survival arc process with the thought “I wonder what I would do if…”
Here’s the survival arc progression, according to Ripley, of a typical reaction to a disaster situation:
Denial: This can’t be happening. This isn’t happening to me. It’s all a bad dream. I’m imagining this. In a moment everything will be all right.
Denial is the most insidious fear response of all.“The more I learned, the more denial seemed to matter all the time, even long before the disaster, on days that passed without incident,” Ripley writes. Denial can manifest itself in delay. Or it can cause people to freeze or become immobile in disbelief. Many, if not most, people shut down in a crisis, quite the opposite of panic. Denial can paralyze you.
Deliberation: We know something is terribly wrong, but don’t know what to do about it. How do you decide?
The first thing is the realization that nothing is normal. We all think and perceive things differently. We become, Ripley claims, superheros with learning disabilities. At this point, you need to have some training, or prior “What If?” planning to fall back on. The overwhelming tendency will be for your mind to go blank, and you won’t have clue on what to do next. Let’s hope you learned the STOP mindset exercise. (See story link below).
Your brain may be like the computer that has lost all its connections. Remember STOP as one of those vital links. Embed the acronym, and how to use it, into your psyche. To get through the deliberation phase and on to the decisive moment, you will have had to rely on your survival mindset and prior training.
The Decisive Moment: You’ve accepted that you are in danger, deliberated the options and
now it is time to make a plan to do something. If you’re in a group, about 75 to 80 percent of the crowd will do nothing, according to John Leach in “Survival Psychology.” Another 10 to 15 percent will do the wrong thing, and only about 10 percent will make the right decisions. And these people who react appropriately will do so because of previous training.
Anybody with a “Be Prepared” mentality hopefully moves quickly through the initial denial phase. We’ll also hope that you have read and studied survival techniques so you will be able to deliberate effectively and move on to the decisive moment phase. But even if you think you’re prepared mentally for surviving a disaster, “Unthinkable” is a book you need to read.
The book is not about stockpiling food, tools, weapons or prepping. You must understand what goes on in your head during a disaster before you can use your tools. You’ll need information and techniques to respond correctly. Some of that information can come from “The Unthinkable.”
The book’s information is a powerful survival tool. It should be in your prepper or survival library.
“This awful catastrophe is not the end but the beginning. History does not end so. It is the way its chapters open.” St. Augustine.
Click here to listen to earthquake expert geologist James Roddey on SurvivalCommonSense.com Radio
Although I think it’s possible to survive most types of disasters while living in the city, that doesn’t mean the city isn’t more dangerous than the countryside. By choosing to remain in the city, you are facing several potential dangers, and it’s important that you be aware of those dangers. In this article I’ll cover […]
When we talk about first aid kits, we often think in terms of emergency supplies we’ll carry on ourselves everyday should we have a medical emergency when hiking, backpacking, flying on a plane, or doing any other potentially risky activities. Today, however, we won’t be talking in terms of specific emergencies to have particular first aid… Read More
This is just the start of the post The Ultimate First Aid Supplies List: Be Ready for Anything. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
The Ultimate First Aid Supplies List: Be Ready for Anything, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
Thanks to Thomas’ knowledge of first aid, we’ve accumulated a fairly decent number of guides and tutorials related to medicine and basic first aid on this blog. As a survivalist and/or prepper, you won’t need convincing that one of the most important skills you can add to your arsenal for long-term survival is a good… Read More
This is just the start of the post First Aid: Super Gluing Cuts, Imodium for Emergencies, & More. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
First Aid: Super Gluing Cuts, Imodium for Emergencies, & More, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
Written by Dan Stevens, Modern Survival Online It is said urbanites cannot bug in. Bugging out seems to be the first choice for people who are trapped in cities that will become death traps. Bugging in seems to be a luxury if you either live in the burbs, a small town or the wilderness or… if you’re willing to move there. Allow me to prove those people wrong. Well, in part, because there are limits to what you can do […]
I’ve done very little water stockpiling in the past for a few different reasons: I lived in Canada, where rain and precipitation in general has never been an issue. Again, I lived in Canada, so rivers, streams, and bodies of water in general were both plentiful and easily accessible. I’ve always lived in a house… Read More
This is just the start of the post Why I Considered Stockpiling Water in Jerrycans & Why I’m Stocking Bottled Water Instead. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
Why I Considered Stockpiling Water in Jerrycans & Why I’m Stocking Bottled Water Instead, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
If you haven’t yet, you should check out Modern Combat & Survival Magazine. Every week they post a podcast and at least one article about things that would interest preppers in the city: home security, self defense, weapons, and so forth. In this article, they talk about how to lose a tail. If you spend […]
Let’s begin today’s article with a simple question: How much time do you spend at home compared to the time you spend at work, running errands, driving, in school, visiting friends, and so forth? Now let’s suppose something bad happens while you’re away from home, something like a random car accident that leaves you stranded […]
Tornadoes, flooding, and wildfires are just three examples of localized and very personal SHTF events that we’ve seen in the past year, and they illustrate the devastation of an event for which there is immediate early warning. We can be alerted to a tornado warning and seek cover. We can vacate our homes in case of flooding or an approaching wildfire. As we deal in the likelihood of SHTF scenarios, Mother Nature is 100%.
But on a regional or national scale, we’re looking at more unpredictable events for which there is little to no early warning: an electromagnetic pulse, or perhaps a cyber attack on critical infrastructure, or a financial or monetary breakdown that plunges millions into a very real SHTF scenario. The cyber attack on the New York Stock Exchange will have no direct effect on you, but the second- and thirdorder effects will be felt on every level and generate threats to your community. So what we should be preparing for is not the cyber attack itself, but for the follow-on effects of that cyber attack that will affect your community.
Regardless of the event, we need to be able to collect information to support decision making so we can keep our families safe. Should we bug in or bug out? If bugging out, which route should we take? If bugging in, how can we get early warning of approaching threats?
How to Remain At Ease in a SHTF Situation
I’m going to break down a few ways that we can reduce the uncertainty in an SHTF situation. I spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan, and both of those countries were real life or death, 24/7 SHTF situations. As an intelligence analyst, my job was to keep the commander informed on the security situation and threat environment. His responsibility was to make decisions based on the intelligence we provided. If we had no incoming information, then we couldn’t produce intelligence. And this is why information is the basic building block of community security. If we want security in an SHTF scneario, then we need to know more about the threats. What we need is real-time intelligence.
In 2014, a small group of volunteers and I battle tracked the Ferguson riots. The first step of battle tracking began with a process I call Intelligence Preparation of the Community. (You can watch the entire webinar here.) We analyzed the strength, disposition, and capabilities of local security forces. Knowing what equipment they had enabled us to better understand how they would react to unrest. We similarly analyzed the protest groups and identified associated individuals.
What both of these groups had in common is that they were both producing information of intelligence value. Through something as simple as listening to the police scanner, our team was able to plot out the current reported locations of law enforcement and the National Guard. Meanwhile on Twitter, we scanned the accounts of known protestors for real-time information.
In the image below, we took information reported on local emergency frequencies and potted those locations on the map using Google Earth.’Warfighter 33′ was the callsign for the National Guard Tactical Operations Center, which was set up in the Target parking lot. We also pinned several National Guard posts as they reported their locations. It wasn’t rocket science, but it started to help us understand the security situation. This is a very rudimentary form of signals intelligence, or SIGINT.
Through the night, we continued to use photographs uploaded into social media and news articles in order to identify the photos’ locations. Then we plotted them on a map. Pretty soon, we have a very good idea of which areas were generally safe and which areas had the most activity as the riots progressed and eventually burnt out. Had we lived in Ferguson, we could have used this intelligence to navigate our way to friends and family, or to help friends and family navigate away from the threats. All this information was publicly available, so we call it Open Source Intelligence, or OSINT.
So what do I do if there’s a grid-down situation?
That certainly complicates things. Before I answer that question, I want to ask you one: on a scale of 1 to 10, how important is intelligence in a SHTF situation? (I would say 10, but I am admittedly a bit biased.)
First understand that there may still be electricity in a grid-down environment. As long as there are generators, and given that there’s not been an EMP, then someone somewhere will have electricity. My local law enforcement agency claims to have enough fuel for two weeks of backup power were things were to go sideways. That’s good to know, and is the benefit of intelligence collection before an SHTF event, as opposed to a post-SHTF scramble. If they’re powered up and communicating in a SHTF situation, or perhaps some ham radio operators are, then we still need the capabilities to listen in. Otherwise, we’re going to be at a severe disadvantage.
If there’s no power, then we’ll have to rely on Human Intelligence, called HUMINT. That means getting out and talking to people. It could mean a reconnaissance patrol. The horse-mounted cavalry were the eyes and ears of the commander before collection technology. Snipers and forward observers sitting in hide sides, whose responsibility it is to observe and report enemy activity, are often excellent intelligence collectors. An observation post equipped with a field phone, sending back intelligence information is another example.
While these are all military examples, there are similar community equivalents. Consider this: technology is a force multiplier. With SIGINT or OSINT, we can be very wide and very deep in our intelligence gathering. That’s a 1:n ratio. We have one collection platform, in this case a radio receiver, and we can scan a very wide band to collect information from anyone who’s transmitting. But when we deal with human intelligence, we’re often on a 1:1 ratio; that is, one collector speaking to one source at any given time. That’s a very slow and difficult way to do business.
So instead of 1:1, I want you to consider the scalability of that ratio. If one person is limited to gathering intelligence information from one person at at time, wouldn’t it makes sense to scale that ratio to 10:10 or 100:100? It absolutely would. Every set of eyes and ears is a sensor, so we as an intelligence element tasked with providing intelligence for community security should absolutely be interested in encouraging community members to passively collect lots of information. All that information is reported back to us, and then we’re engaged in the arduous task of compiling and evaluating that information in order to create intelligence.
Intelligence doesn’t produce itself, so it’s incumbent on us to build that capability. The more accurate information we have, the more wellinformed we can be. Without first being well-informed, making high-risk, time-sensitive decisions just got a whole lot more complicated.
Samuel Culper is the director of Forward Observer, a threat intelligence service that focuses on domestic SHTF issues. He’s a former military and contract intelligence analyst, and author of SHTF Intelligence: An Intelligence Analyst’s Guide to Community Security. You can find out more about the SHTF Intelligence Center at his website.
Second in my attempt to organise the articles we’ve published on this blog by topic (prepper stockpiles being first) is the subject of survival gear. In case you couldn’t tell by browsing this site, we’re huge gear junkies on this site – but that neither means we spend a fortune on gear, nor that we constantly attempt to… Read More
This is just the start of the post Survival Gear: Affordable Quality Gear, Making Your Own Kit, & More. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
Survival Gear: Affordable Quality Gear, Making Your Own Kit, & More, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
Paracord used to be used as the suspension lines for parachutes. After landing on the ground soldiers would cut the cord from their chutes because they found a multitude of uses for the light weight, durable cordage. Today, paracord has become incredibly popular not only with the military but with the civilian sector as well.
By Tinderwolf, a Contributing Author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog
The most commonly used type of paracord is type III. Type III has a minimum strength of five hundred and fifty pounds, which is why most people refer to it as 550 cord. Paracord is a nylon kernmantle rope which means there is an inner core of nylon strands incased by a nylon sheath. This type of rope construction gives way to its strength and the variety of tasks it can accomplish. Type III paracord generally has seven inner strands but can have up to nine. Given that it is made out of nylon, paracord is fairly elastic and mold resistant. One of the reasons it is so versatile is that you can cut the outer sheath and use the individual core strands as well. Years ago, paracord only come in black or olive drab but with its grown popularity you can now purchase paracord in virtually any color that you want.
Below is a list of how I have used paracord.
- A line to hang up wet clothes
- I have used one of the inner strands as fishing line and yes I did catch a bluegill. Some people have even made fly lures out of the paracord.
- I have braided ropes
- I have made monkey fists for the purpose of weighing down one end of my ropes. This makes the task of throwing a line over a tree branch or from a boat much easier.
- Bracelets, while stylish, can be undone for emergency cordage. I recommend a double cobra weave as you will have twice the amount of cordage available.
- Lanyards, I caution that if you make or buy a paracord lanyard make sure it has a break away clasp or on it.
- Long gun slings
- I have used the inner strands and an upholstery needle to sew shut a rather large hole in one my packs and it has held for over a year now. I also sewed shut a hole in my driver’s side truck seat which due to climbing in and out, gets a lot of wear and tear. Six months later it is still holding strong.
- Rock slings
- Tow lines, for vehicles and boats
- I have tied down loads in my truck bed
- Knife handles
- Bottle wraps
- Dog leashes
- Dog collars
- Dental floss. While somewhat uncomfortable to use it will serve the purpose if you get popcorn stuck in your teeth around the campfire.
The uses for this cord are only limited by your imagination. Generally paracord is sold in either one hundred foot hanks, or one thousand foot spools. Personally, I like the one thousand foot spools because you can cut the length you want for a specific job in mind. If you are going to be making other items from the cord, such as bracelets and slings, having the extra cord on hand in case you make a mistake is definitely worth having the spool on hand. Given it’s plurality of uses and durability, any survival scenario is improved by paracord. I would be very interested in hearing what you have all used paracord for and your experience with it. So sound off and keep making adventures!
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When you’re living small and running out of space in your home, anything you buy raises the same big question: where am I going to store it?
A lot of people live in small spaces, and still buy a lot of everything, even if most of it finally goes to waste. Let’s be smart and buy what you really need and use, in or outside the kitchen. Think about how to use in multiple ways everything you buy, including food.
In other words, choose versatile food as much as you opt for multipurpose items when building your reserves. In the end, its about money, but also about space and resources.
Here’s what I chose!
First, there are a lot of grains that you can use to make flour at home: wheat, barley, rye, spelt, corn, oats, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, macadamias, and walnuts), seeds (such as sunflowers, hemp, pumpkin, amaranth and flax), potatoes, arrowroot, tapioca, coconut, soybean and others.
You have undoubtedly heard of cornmeal and possibly even almond meal, but what’s the difference between a meal and flour? Meals are ground more coarsely. To make meal, just don’t grind your product as long. When it starts to get a crumbly texture, you’re done. Compare it mentally to cornmeal.
Meals are great for several different uses because they add a heartier flavor and more texture to your goods. They’re bad, though, if you’re shooting for something nice and light to make a cake with.
Then you have pasta, and all those tasty dishes based on them: lasagna, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese or simple yet delicious rustic dishes made only from the ingredients in your garden. You won’t need many ingredients: flour, eggs (optionally) and salt. Some people like to add oil, but it’s not essential to making basic pasta.
All-purpose flour is just fine for a basic pasta mix. If you want to add texture and a bit of hardiness to your pasta, you can add some semolina flour to the mix. If you want silkier pasta for a more refined noodle, add some cake flour, or 00 flour.
Milk is packed with calcium and protein and is also a necessary ingredient in many recipes.
It’s something that you’ll want to have on hand in a survival situation.
Milk doesn’t keep long, but there are different ways to preserve it for later use. Read this Survivopedia article to find out more about how to preserve milk.
Also, there are about a million different cheese recipes out there that you can make depending upon your personal preferences and the type of milk (goat or cow) that you’re using.
Cheese is a lot easier to make than you’d think and you can keep it forever without refrigeration.
Coat the cheese in wax to preserve it. You’ll need a special cheese wax because paraffin wax will crack as it dries. Waxed cheese will last up to 25 years but remember that it will age and become sharper so if you plan to store it for an extended period of time, start with a mild cheese.
Another idea is to make butter or buttermilk. Or if you’d like, you can also make yogurt (here are a few recipes you might use for making yogurt), sour cream or cottage cheese but storage methods for those are just simple refrigeration. It will extend the life of the milk for a couple of weeks, though. And I’ve also heard rumors of canning buttermilk.
Let’s talk multipurpose! The main purpose of salt for most people is to add a bit more taste to their food. However, salt can be so much more useful in the kitchen and around the house, thanks to the many applications it has.
- Prevents the browning of fruits and vegetables. This is something that can be done with lemon juice or vinegar, but a bucket of salty water will also do the trick.
- Preserves food naturally for long term survival. Salt works by dehydrating the food as well as the microbes present in the food. Most especially, mold and yeast cannot grow in food pretreated with salt. Food preserved this way could last for years.
- Fresh egg test. You need a cup of water with two teaspoons of salt in them. Drop an egg in the cup. A fresh one should sink straight to the bottom while an older one would float. An older egg has more buoyancy because the air cell inside of it increases.
- Makes cheese last longer. Even when it is preserved properly in a refrigerated environment, cheese will inevitable spoil due to mold. This cannot be prevented with salting the cheese, but it can be delayed. Wrap the cheese before storing it in a damp cloth moistened using saltwater.
- Puts out grease fires. One thing to never do is to throw water on top of a grease fire. The water evaporates instantly and spreads the fire all over the room. Instead, throwing salt on top of the grease fire will create a crusty layer without oxygen, thus smothering the flames. Moreover, the salt also acts as a heat sink, dissipating the heat.
Salt keeps well in cool, dry places and you can prevent it from clumping by dropping a few grains of rice at the bottom of the shaker.
In addition to tasting delicious in tea and in baklava, honey has some pretty nifty health benefits. When you eat local honey, it’s said to help with allergies, which is great. The real use in an emergency though lies in the antibacterial, antimicrobial and emollient properties. It also has a ton of practical uses:
- Has vitamins and minerals so if you’re using a sweetener, honey is better than sugar
- Can be used as an antibacterial on wounds
- Is a great healing agent for wounds and helps keep the bandage from sticking
- Barter – sweeteners are going to be way up there on the list
- Excellent skin moisturizer (if your skin is so dry that it cracks, you’re going to have problems)
- Makes a great burn treatment because of the antibacterial properties and the moisturizing power
- Soothes sore throats
- When mixed with vinegar and water is an effective parasite remover
- Make fly/bug strips
Did you know that honey was found in Egyptian pharaohs’ tombs and it was still as good as new?
It only needs to be kept in a sealed container in a cool, dry place and it will last a lifetime. And don’t fret if your honey has crystalized; just place the jar in some warm water (without letting water enter the jar) and it will be smooth and good as new in no time.
Some of us throw away a ton of food scraps on a regular basis, but did you know that you can repurpose much of it? You can, of course, start a compost pile, but there are also many uses of kitchen scraps, and they would make your life easier if you are prepping or just homesteading.
First, use them to grow more food. In most of the cases, the roots will regrow if you plant them in the soil, just like bulbs of flowers do.
You can also use some of the scraps for filtering water. For example, grind the corn husk into dust and mix it with coffee grounds and clay. Add enough water to make it “clay-like” and shape it into a bowl. Allow to dry in the sun, then put your water in it and place it over another vessel. The water will soak through the bowl and into the other vessel, leaving contaminants behind. Rinse the corn husk bowl and reuse.
Onion peels, apple peels and banana peels also help removing pollutants from water. They attract and capture ions and pollutants because they’re adsorbent. This won’t purify the water or remove biohazards but it will help remove some of the dangerous pollutants.
And here are a few more examples on what kitchen scraps can help:
- Sooth stings – the end of the onion can be used to sooth stings. Just hold it on your skin.
- Use them to dye your hair a beautiful golden brown, or to color fabrics or Easter eggs a bright purple!
- Cook it up along with your garlic peels to make an organic pesticide. It stinks, but it works!
- Make baskets – braid or weave the husks into a basket.
- Protect delicate foods when grilling – if you want to grill your fish or other delicate food but are afraid it will fall apart and be wasted, wrap it in a wet corn husk while cooking.
- Treat bladder infections – boil the husks into a tea for relief. It also works as a pain reliever for some types of joint or muscle pain.
- Start fires – dried husks are extremely flammable so if you don’t have any good kindling, don’t pitch those husks!
- Fertilizer – your plants need the calcium and other minerals in the shells so you can crush them up and mix them into the dirt or you can soak the eggshells in the water that you use for your plants. You can even use the entire shell as a “cup” to start your seeds in if you crack them carefully.
- Pest deterrent – having problems with deer or cats in your garden? Crush the eggshells and scatter them around your garden.
- Calcium supplements – we all need plenty of calcium but in a survival situation, we may not be able to get enough. Thank goodness you thought to raise chickens! Just grind the eggs into a fine powder and mix it into your smoothie or other food once per day.
- Feed them to your chickens – that’s right – they need calcium to make more eggs so instead of using oyster shells, crush up the egg shells and give them back.
- Candles – if you crack the tops off carefully, you can fill the shells with beeswax, add a wick, and you’ve got a candle that you didn’t need to use another container on.
- Seed starter pots – again, crack them carefully and put your soil and seeds in them. You’ve got organic seed pots that are already rich in calcium and minerals that your plants need.
Add few more items to this list, and you’ll have a practical “To Buy” list for your kitchen, and your stockpile too. Less means more, and people living small can confirm that. Not to mention how easy and convenient is to carry a smaller bag when you are on the run for survival.
This article has been written by Gabrielle Ray for Survivopedia.
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I don’t need to tell you how important basic first aid is from the perspective of dealing with unexpected emergency situations. Chances are if you ended up here, you already know. If you’re a first aider who just wants to get his or her hands on as many great resources as possible to expand your… Read More
This is just the start of the post Top 22 Emergency & Survival First Aid Books. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
Top 22 Emergency & Survival First Aid Books, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
You step outside. It’s a clear, beautiful day and you take a deep breath of what smells and tastes like fresh, clean air. But is it? Probably not.
Even though you may live in a place that’s relatively unpopulated and doesn’t have big cities or factories for miles, we live in a big bubble. At least certain air pollutants from Tokyo may eventually make their way to Montana.
Air pollution is a huge problem for all of us. It’s bad enough that we have to worry about other countries using chemical warfare on us; we’re already getting slowly poisoned just by breathing!
What is Air Pollution?
As with many health hazards, the Environmental Protection Agency has set minimum standards for controlling the air that we breathe. To be fair, there’s no way that even Big Brother can completely eliminate air pollution because some of it occurs naturally.
Air pollution is defined as any gas, liquid, or solid that is released into the air in a large enough quality to cause harm to people, plans, animals, or property.
In its completely natural state, Earth’s air is made almost entirely of oxygen (21%) and nitrogen (78%), with extremely small percentages of other gases such as carbon dioxide (.05%) and argon. The thing is, just a slight shift in these percentages can cause problems. For example, if the concentration of carbon dioxide would increase to even 5%, it would kill us in minutes.
What are the Leading Air Pollutants?
Air pollution can be broken into 2 categories – particulate and gas. Particulates are actual, physical contaminants that float in the air in either solid or liquid form. Sometimes you can see them, and sometimes you can’t. Some examples of particulates are dust, smoke, dirt, soot, and different –oxide gasses such as nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide that form particulates as they’re carried on the wind.
The EPA has identified and created guidelines for 6 different pollutants. Of course, since they’re a government entity, they have an acronym for the guidelines they set: NAAQS – National Ambient Air Quality Standards. It would be too hard, I guess, to just say “air quality standards”.
Anyway, these “criteria pollutants” are found everywhere in the US, though the concentrations are definitely different throughout the country, and include:
1. Ground-level Ozone
This is the type of pollution that’s created when chemical or volatile organic compounds such as gasoline vapors, car exhaust, oil on the streets, electric utilities and emissions from factories form a chemical reaction when exposed to sunlight.
Though they’re not emitted into the air, they’re close to the ground and can cause all sorts of health problems and lung diseases. It can also harm plants and affect ecosystems.
2. Particulate Matter
We already talked about this a bit, but particulate pollution can cause lung damage and breathing issues that may be permanent or temporary. Some can actually pass into your bloodstream, so if the particulate is hazardous, it’s now in your system. Particulate matter is the leading cause of haze in the US.
3. Carbon Monoxide
This is a gas produced by burning something, particularly fossil fuels. You’ve likely heard of carbon monoxide testers for your house. Vehicles and machinery also emit it in exhaust outside. Inside, you have to worry about proper ventilation when you’re using your fireplace, gas stoves, or other fuel-burning appliances.
This isn’t anything to mess around with. It will cause dizziness, confusion, unconsciousness, and death within an extremely small amount of time. You’ll go to bed and not wake up.
We all know about lead paint and lead-paned glass. There’s speculation that Picasso actually had lead poisoning, which caused him to paint the halos in his pictures. It wasn’t his imagination – he was actually seeing them!
The EPA has restricted the use of lead in paint and most everything else. There are also regulations in place for houses that contain lead. They won’t pass inspection until the lead paint is removed and the lead-paned glass is replaced, and there are guidelines for safe removal.
Because it’s a mineral, lead is also a concern in water, and leaded fuel is still used in aircraft. Other sources of lead contamination are utilities plants, waste incinerators, and battery manufacturers. Since the EPA regulated the use of lead in automobile gas, lead levels in the air decreased by 98% in 25 years.
Lead accumulates in your bones and, depending upon your level of exposure, can harm your nervous system, kidneys, immune system, reproductive system, developmental stages, and your cardiovascular system. It also impacts the oxygen carrying capacity of your blood and can cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and decreased IQ in kids.
Finally, lead can decrease the growth and reproduction rates of many plants and animals. The thing with lead is that just touching it isn’t necessarily the problem; it’s when the dust turns into particulates that there’s a problem.
For instance, when a kid would chew on lead paint on crib bars, it broke up into small pieces and entered the bloodstream. On the flip side, people have lived with lead bullets in them for decades with never a hint of lead poisoning.
Read also TOP KILLING AGENTS HIDDEN IN YOUR WATER
5. Sulfur Dioxide
This is another gas produced from burning fossil fuels. It’s also a byproduct of volcanoes. It gets in the air via power plants and other industrial factories that burn fossil fuels. Trains, ships and many types of heavy equipment also produce Sulfur Dioxide. The presence of sulfur dioxide is also an indicator of other Sulfur gases in the air and it’s a component of smog.
Brief exposure can cause respiratory issues, especially in people with asthma. The real problem comes when it reacts with other compounds and form small particulates. These can dig deep into your lungs and cause serious problems. It also causes harm to plants and animals.
Dealing with excess Sulfur Dioxide is tricky. We worked to reduce it, then found out that, just like the cooling effect it has in the cloud over a volcano, it also keeps a certain level of sunlight from penetrating. When we reduced levels, we went too far, and it contributed to global warming.
6. Nitrogen Dioxide
This is another gas that’s a byproduct of burning fuel. It gets in the air via car exhaust. Like Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide is an indicator for a larger group of nitrogen oxides.
Health effects are the same as Sulfur Dioxide – respiratory issues including asthma and respiratory infections, visits to the ER, and admission to the hospital. It can form particulate matter and ozone. Both cause respiratory problems.
The big thing here is that Nitrogen Oxide and others in the group react with water and cause acid rain that damages plants and entire ecosystems such as lakes, ponds, and forests.
The EPA has strict regulations, but as you well know, that doesn’t stop big industry from sneaking around and doing what’s cheap instead of what’s right. We’re also to blame – we all get out there and start our cars every day. It’s a tough problem to solve.
Other Air Pollutants
Just because the EPA only regulates 6 pollutants doesn’t mean that there are only 6 that we have to worry about.
We discussed carbon dioxide as a harmless, natural component, and what can happen if it’s increased beyond the normal levels. On top of being toxic to us, it’s also the number one greenhouse gas that’s contributing to global warming. Since nearly every living creature emits carbon dioxide when we breathe and all of our vehicles emit it when we drive, it’s a tough problem to solve.
Guess what, though? Trees and other plants breathe carbon dioxide, and exhale oxygen. Sounds like planting things instead of making more parking lots may be a good start.
Volatile organic compounds, aka VOCs, are carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at natural heat levels and turn into gases. VOCs are used in household chemicals such as wax, varnishes, stains, and paints for exactly this reason. Unfortunately, they cause respiratory problems among other issues, and also harm the environment.
What Can You Do?
About AirNow is a government sight that offers daily air quality conditions for more than 400 cities. Now, you note that I said a government site, so do with that what you will. On days that pollutants are high, they recommend that you keep your windows closed and stay inside as much as possible. Also, change the air filters in your house regularly.
The best thing that you can do is be proactive, and everybody else needs to be, too. Though that sounds incredibly naïve, it’s the only real solution. Plant trees and plants, walk or bicycle more and drive less, and use environmentally-friendly paints, cosmetics and other products.
If you do that, you’ll not only help reduce things long-term, you’ll also be healthier now.
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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Remember back in 1935 when the .357 Magnum round was introduced? It was selected for use by many law enforcement agencies across the country. The new magnum was highly touted as being able to shoot through the block of a car and stop the engine dead. Well, I’m not sure if that is true. A vehicle’s engine and compartment makes for a pretty formidable bullet stopper. That’s a good thing when using a vehicle in a defensive position. We more or less expect (or hope) that our car, truck, or SUV will shield us somewhat during SHTF escapes, bug outs, or other defensive maneuvers.
Is the composition of a vehicle enough to protect you from incoming bullets? Some recent field trials bring new light to this question. The results are both good and bad.
A Thin Veil
First, understand that the exterior skins of nearly all conventional vehicles will not stop bullets from most handguns. The field trial did not test rifles, but it did test 12-gauge shotgun buckshot and slugs. Other reports suggest some rifle calibers such as the 5.56/223 fair no better, but the .308 does have some penetration success.
The good news is that inside the doors and panels of a vehicle are a conglomeration of parts, window winding mechanisms, radio speaker magnets, crash beams, wiring, and other fixtures. These components seem to deter, slow down, or stop bullets quite well.
The field trial I studied used traditional bullets and loads in the .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and 12 gauge. None of the pistol bullets had much success in fully penetrating a vehicle if the bullets struck an auto component. The exception to this is with certain types of .45 ACP bullets. Full metal jacketed bullets in the .45 produced some level of success in busting through a vehicle door.
Related: Best Handgun Calibers For Survival
If these bullets ferreted past one of these structural fixtures or parts, then the occupant could be struck, albeit to a lesser damaging threat. Engine compartments including the radiator, water pump, and manifolds resisted penetration. Wheel wells provide a good defensive position, although exterior coverage is far from complete. It is difficult for an adult to huddle behind a car wheel and tire without being somewhat exposed.
I was recently instructed that the door beams between the front and rear doors offer a fair deflective structure for most handgun bullets. In fact, the reason low-riding thugs are crunched down in their seats with their heads positioned behind this middle door jamb component is to avoid bullet penetration to the head. Considering this part of the vehicle can stop incoming rounds, this strategy makes sense.
The Shotgun Conundrum
Likewise, the shotgun buckshot did not perform as well as one might believe. I think most of us rely upon a good 00 buckshot load to sail through just about anything. Maybe we have been watching too many movies. The buckshot pellets passed through car skins, but were then caught up by crash struts, electric window motors, door locks and other mechanisms.
The 12 gauge slug was extremely effective. These loads punched right through both the exterior and interior panels of the test car, entered the ballistic gelatin and passed completely through the entire mold. Bad news bears for those inside a vehicle.
Read More: Tru-Bore 12 Gauge Chamber Adapter
The shotgun slug should prove a highly viable choice, if you have to be shooting at an individual inside a vehicle. While this strategy may be effective, keep in mind the skill it takes to properly shoot a slug load from a shotgun. It would be wise to consider using shotgun slugs in a self-defense scenario.
Keep in mind that the recoil and muzzle blast can be abusive. Decide if you need to go to a full 3-inch shotshell slug or if the standard 2 ¾ -inch can do the job. The field report I studied did not specify this.
Auto Glass Resistance
Now let’s get some clarity on glass. Today’s automotive glass is far superior to auto glass of the past. Contemporary windshields, side windows, and rear glass are more durable and crash resistant. Moreover, modern auto glass produces cleaner fractures. This is a plus for armed interactions and for passenger protection.
Current auto glass is much more likely to deflect pistol bullets shot from various angles due to the composition of the materials and the rake of auto glass panels. The “rake” of a windshield is the angle at which it rests inside the car frame. For example, a sporty car or pickup truck has a windshield with a sharper rake. By contrast, some Jeep models have front glass that stands square to the frame.
A severe auto glass rake helps deflect bullets and may prevent penetration inside the vehicle cabin. Of course, this is often contingent on the angle of the shot. In the field trials report, most of the pistol bullets did not completely penetrate the plate glass panel. The glass may have cracked and fragmented, but the bullets did not pass through.
So, while modern auto glass cannot be relied upon to provide complete passenger protection, it certainly affords a better barrier than older auto glass. When engaging an adversary, putting several layers of glass between yourself and incoming bullets offers extra protection.
In practice this might mean hiding at the rear quarter panel of the vehicle thus putting the rear glass, side glass, and a windshield between yourself and an assailant shooting from a position in front of the vehicle.
Also Read: Urban Survival Food Strategy
So, there you go. A vehicle is a reasonable barrier against oncoming gun fire unless the attacker happens to be using shotgun slugs. If a pistol bullet dodges mechanisms inside a door, the passenger could certainly be wounded. The same would occur if the bullet’s pathway hit glass just right. However, I would rather have the structure of a vehicle in my favor than be standing out in the open.
John J. Woods
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While we’re not the Apartment Prepper blog, we have somewhat recently moved into a studio flat here in the UK, giving us a lot more insight into the world of prepping from an apartment. Going from prepping in a 5 bedroom house in Canada to prepping in a small studio flat was a choice we made… Read More
This is just the start of the post Apartment Prepping: 25 Tips For Preppers in Apartments & Flats. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
Apartment Prepping: 25 Tips For Preppers in Apartments & Flats, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
Throwing your shoulder out happens. If you have boxed or been involved in combative sports (or sports in general for that matter) you have either had it happen to you or know someone who has. Personally, I have dislocated both my right and left shoulder on numerous occasions, and frankly don’t give it much thought.… Read More
This is just the start of the post Dislocated Shoulders: Identifying Them & Popping Them Back In. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
Dislocated Shoulders: Identifying Them & Popping Them Back In, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
I had this article published on Survival Pulse for quite a long time, but since pulling down the website and taking the news updates completely underground, this article has vanished from the net. I took down a significant number of pages from the site, including this one showcasing the free survival e-books you can get. Still… Read More
This is just the start of the post Free Survival eBooks: Downloadable Straight from Amazon. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
Free Survival eBooks: Downloadable Straight from Amazon, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
Even if you travel to the ends of the Earth to reach the perfect bug out location, or you think you have everything accounted for in a bug in scenario, your survival may depend on the contents and security of a single room.
Some people feel panic rooms are useless, or that escaping is always a better option, but a panic room is really useful until immediate dangers pass.
When used with awareness of the pitfalls of panic rooms and within the context of a comprehensive survival plan, panic rooms can save your life. Here are the right answers that will help you turn your panic room into the safest location on earth.
You Need Safe Entrances and Exits
Some preppers disregard the usefulness of panic rooms because once you go into the room, there is usually no other exit. If someone that intends to cause you harm finds the entrance or manages to break in through some other part of the room, you will have no way to escape.
Is there any way to solve this issue? I think there are some ways you can try to mitigate this problem and still have a panic room located close enough to where you live. Here’s what to do:
- Have at least two entrances or exits to the panic room. One should be well hidden in a wall or some other area where it will not be easily found. The other entrance should lead underground or through some other route that would not be easy to follow.
- Both entrances should be booby trapped so that they are destroyed once you pass through them (use the traps only if you want to prevent others from reaching you.) For example, if you have an entrance behind a closet in your home, set traps so that the building or parts of it near the entrance collapse. Even if someone enters the home looking for you, it may take a few hours, or even a few days before they are able to find the doorway or the panic room. If you must exit the panic room by the second doorway, make sure that no one can follow you by setting the entire room to collapse.
- If you are escaping through an underground tunnel, or moving from tunnels, through crawlspaces, or other unusual routes, do not forget to booby trap them as well. Remember, you won’t be trying to go back along the way you came, but you may need to slow attackers down as they pursue you.
- City dwellers and others that rely on building shafts or underground tunnels should travel through these areas at least 3 – 4 times a year. Make as many diverse routes and maps as possible, plus be aware of all risks associated with being or surfacing in certain areas.
Get Electronic and Manual Surveillance
If you are going to box yourself and your loved ones into a room, you still need to know what is going on in the world around you. Cameras and surveillance equipment may seem important, however, they can fail at the wrong moment, be tapped into by adversaries, or even alert others to the fact you may be hiding somewhere nearby.
That’why, before purchasing and setting up these devices, always make sure that you know what their vulnerabilities are, and whether or not you can get around them.
Rather than rely solely on electronic surveillance equipment, consider some manual methods that can be used regardless of the situation. When building your panic room, look into different natural acoustic systems that will enable you to pick up different sounds around you without revealing your presence.
Use these listening posts in combination with dogs, insects, or other animals that will either make noise, or stop making noise when someone else is around. You can also use mirrors set at different angles to see further into nearby rooms that are located near the entrance of your panic room.
Don’t Forget About Secure Communications
Great care must be taken when choosing communications equipment for the panic room. Not every situation will be one in which you don’t want others to find you.
For example, if there is a tornado or other natural disaster, you’ll need to be able to call out to rescue teams or anyone else that can get to you, so keep a cell phone with you, and also a ham radio.
When setting up the panic room, make sure that you can get a signal out so that you can call for help. Or you can install phone lines and other communication lines in such a way that they won’t be destroyed in a disaster scenario.
Considering the way the world is going these days, there may be times when you need to reach out to other survivors without drawing attention from rioters or others that might harm you.
In these cases, cell phone, radio, and most other signals can lead attackers right to you, so you could try using trained carrier pigeons or other animals that can be relied on to deliver messages. It will take more time than you like, but it may be better than doing nothing at all.
Depending on the distances involved, spark gap generators combined with unique codes similar to Morse Code may be of use. If there are other survivors that may take to panic rooms in your local area, you can set up acoustic pathways between buildings or along underground paths that can be used to transmit tapping or banging sounds.
Trained animals may pick up these sounds at greater distances and be used to draw other survivors to a place where they can better hear the signals being sent. Just remember that prospective attackers may also have trained animals available to pick up sounds. This is why working out a unique code that is only known to those you trust is very important.
Basic Daily Living Need Supplies to Store
Food, water, hygiene products, medications, first aid kits, clothing, and other basic items are important to be stored in your panic room. Since you may be staying in for days, weeks, or even months, there are some other things that could help you survive:
- Blankets and other equipment that you can use to keep warm or cool off
- Weapons for your defense
- Verified safe mushroom starter kits for mushrooms that will mature in just a few days or weeks, and seeds for sprout gardens
- Insect farms and necessary eggs for growing and maintaining successful colonies
- Lighting and soil sufficient for growing key herbs that can be used to manage medical and first aid needs.
- Zeer pots and ice/salt chests that can be used for refrigeration. You might be preparing most of your foods from fresh sources, and you’ll need at least some refrigeration onhand.
- Printed reference or “how to” materials that can be used to help you manage different needs while in the panic room. Since modern computers and cell phones all contain tracking chips, keep them off and with the power source (including backup batteries) disconnected to protect your location. Rely on printed materials as opposed to looking them up on an electronic device.
- Fire starting and other basic emergency gear that you can take with you if you have to leave the panic room. Try to fit everything into a single “bug in” bag so that you can live mainly from that bag and travel at a moment’s notice.
- Simple hand tools such as screw drivers, hammers, nails, wrenches, measuring tapes, sewing kits, wrenches, crowbar, ax, and saws, and maybe goggles, ear plugs, and dust masks. You probably won’t be doing much with these tools while you are in the panic room, but they might become useful if you have to plan your way out.
Is It Secure From Information Gathering Methods?
One of the most important things about a panic room is that it must be difficult, if not impossible to detect. Unfortunately, most people stop at sound proofing and do not consider other technologies that can be used to find panic rooms above and below ground. Since this technology is always changing, do you research to figure out how to best secure the room.
For example, not so long ago, an underground bunker or panic room was considered best because few things could detect the outline of the room or what was inside. Today, ground penetrating radars can easily reveal the location of a panic room and also the exact location of the exits.
If you decide to have the panic room above ground, be aware that there are now systems that can “see” inside houses and reveal the presence of guns, people, and anything else of interest. Make sure that the room will not reveal itself on thermal imaging sweeps as well as ones designed to pick up different kinds of objects within a location.
In just about every case, the way things are distributed through the room will be a key factor. For example, if you have water stored in the panic room, break up the locations so that the box-like shape of the cases doesn’t register. Always try to make everything either look like a natural formation (for the setting in question) or so small that a single item would be mistaken for some kind of debris or simply seem to belong there.
Make the size and shape of the room as irregular as possible. For underground panic rooms, study how underground caves and caverns look. Think about how entrances, exits, and tunnels can be disguised so that even if they are detected with various kinds of equipment, they will be overlooked.
If the panic room is located in a wall or some other part of a building, make it look like a space that no person would be living or hiding in. If necessary, store your caches of equipment in different areas that you can get to easily enough. Make sure that all paths between caches are also protected from different kinds of surveillance equipment.
Choose Walls, Floors, Ceilings, and Doors that Cannot Be Breached
Do you fear the panic room won’t resist? Here are just a few things that the walls of a panic room must be able to withstand:
- Bullets, grenades, or any other propelled munition – sand bags, earth, and thick layers of cement may be your cheapest and best options.
- Nuclear radiation – earth and water will be your two cheapest options. While lead can also stop nuclear radiation, it takes very thick walls to be useful.
- Electrical discharges or EMP waves – surround the room with a Faraday cage. Contrary to popular belief, underground rooms can also be susceptible to electricity. When hunting for earthworms, all you have to do is stick electrodes in moist ground, and the electricity will cause them to surface. If someone is determined to harm you or drive you from the panic room, consider that they may decide to use high voltage.
- Flooding – in a natural disaster or some other situation, flooding may be the biggest threat to your safety. Make sure the room is waterproof and can also withstand large amounts of water flowing around it.
- Mechanical force – no matter whether your panic room is in a building or underground, earthquakes, bombs, or other powerful mechanical forces can easily cause everything around you to crumble. The panic room needs to be well fortified so that the walls, ceiling, and floors do not give way. If at all possible, try to make the outer area of the room somewhat egg shaped and not tethered to anything around it. At the very least, if something comes crashing down or around the panic room, it may be pushed out of the way instead of absorbing the entire crash. You can also use extended walls as energy absorbers much like the way crumple zones are used to absorb the force of a crash in modern cars.
- Temperature fluctuations – when you are stuck in a room with no place to go, it may be harder than expected to control the temperature. Choose materials that insulate well so that you need as little fuel as possible to change the temperature. Together with that, at least the inner layers of the panic room walls, ceiling, and floors should be able to disperse humidity that gathers up in the room. You may want to keep the humidity in the room and condense it to form water, or let it escape through an intermediary layer in the wall system. Aside from being very uncomfortable, excess humidity can also lead to the buildup of mold, mildew, and algae. Making sure the walls can vent properly is very important if you wish to stay healthy while in the panic room.
Capacity to Renew and Recycle
One of the most important, but overlooked part of panic rooms is the capacity to renew and recycle everything that is used or produced in the room. Water, food, and medicine usually run out sooner than later.
You must be able to grow your own foods, produce herbal medicines, and produce water. As icky as it may sound, that means you will need to be able to recycle urine and feces as opposed to simply looking for ways to dispose of it.
Learn about different composting systems and also water purification methods, which includes making sure that you know how to eliminate pathogens, and also work safely with waste materials. If at all possible, put an annex onto the panic room where you can take care of these matters. Some other things you should be able to do in the panic room include:
- create compost from cooking waste and scraps
- make paper from scraps and bits
- use tin cans, plastic bottles, or anything else found in the room to your advantage.
Power and Lighting
If you build your panic room to be as secure as possible, chances are there won’t be any windows, so you will need a secure and renewable source of lighting that does not include making fires. Here are some things you can try:
- Generate electricity using exercise equipment, body motion gear, and gravity fans.
- Know how to use tin foil and other reflectors to concentrate light so that you can grow a larger range of plants.
- Keep LED bulbs on hand and make sure that you have the proper sockets and power supply boards for them.
- Make sure that everything in the room can run on 9 volts or less. You should also know how to make earth batteries and other low-tech batteries
If you can make light and mirror tunnels, maybe you can get light from the outside into the panic room. Remember that even one small mirror or what looks like an air or access shaft can give away your presence or allow toxic fumes, pathogens, or other dangerous materials into the panic room.
No matter how secure you feel about your store of flashlights and batteries, make sure that you can improvise every single part of a lighting system from within the panic room. Light is absolutely essential for plant growth, and also for carrying out many daily activities.
Along with electricity, you may need some other fuels for cooking and keeping the room at a comfortable temperature.
You Need Air Purification
No matter how large or small the room is, you must be able to renew oxygen levels in the room, otherwise you will suffocate. Use multiple methods so that if one fails, you have another means to achieve this goal:
- Choose plants that absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen regardless of whether it is day or night.
- Use a combination of ventilation shafts and filters so that you can remove contaminants from air that will be released into the room. You can study the filters used in biohazard, nuclear, chemical hazard, and dust respirators to see which materials to use in the air purification system. Since many of these materials need to be replaced on a routine basis, you should either know how to recharge the materials or make replacements from scratch
- Keep chemicals on hand that will release oxygen when mixed. This would be an emergency system that may give you a few extra hours while you repair other systems or prepare to exit the room.
Remember that oxygen concentrators do not produce oxygen. Rather, they take oxygen from the air and deliver it through narrow tubes so that more reaches the person in need of extra oxygen. In an airtight panic room, an oxygen concentrator will not be of use unless it can actually produce more oxygen, and then release it into the room.
It Has to Be Defendable
The basic idea of a panic room is that you will be safe from anyone that might try to harm you. On the other side of the equation, thousands of people that have hidden out in panic rooms have been captured or died because the location of the room was discovered.
As a last ditch resort, you should have some kind of weapons on hand so that you can stave off attackers long enough to escape, or take out as many as possible before they capture or kill you. You will also need weapons that can be used once you leave the panic room. Here are some things that may be of use:
Since the panic room is going to be fairly tight and cramped, you will need to lead intruders to kill zones where you either have traps set up, or where you can attack with ease.
A low caliber handgun may be more useful than a rifle or other gun with more stopping power. Remember that if the walls, doors, ceiling, and roof are well fortified, bullets are also likely to ricochet off them. You can try building in a bullet absorbing layer, however lower caliber rounds may still be your best option.
Have bullet proof helmets, vests, and other gear for you and everyone else in the room. If you do have to shoot, or you wind up being shot at, this gear may keep you from getting killed. If you are hit while wearing bullet proof gear, you can expect bruises, broken bones, and other injuries.
Swords, knives, spears, bow and arrow, slingshots, monkey fists, axes, poison darts and other hand combat weapons may be of use. Be sure to carefully study different kinds of bullet proof and weapon proofing gear so that you can get through any kind of armor with your weapons.
Depending on your outlook, you may also want to rig the panic room up so that it will blow up and take everyone with it. As a last resort, if you cannot escape, and do not want to be captured, this may be your last and final option.
A number of things must be carefully considered when building a panic room, where you can recover, regroup, and gather strength after a major disaster. A panic room can also be a serious liability if you do not prepare for all the problems that can occur. From mold build up on the walls to cell phone signals revealing your location, even the most minute details can spell disaster.
If you do decide to build a panic room, try living in it for hours, days, weeks, and months. Once you know that you can live in the room for extended periods of time, and escape if needed, the room will truly be a key survival asset instead of just providing a false sense of security.
This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.
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Most who consider themselves prepared would rank the humble pocket knife as a survival essential of the highest degree. In fact, the sharp blade often exceeds even fire and water in immediate importance. So having a sharp edge ready to go no matter the situation means carrying a quality blade with you 24/7 or at least whatever part of 24 fits your lifestyle.
Therefore the place to cut costs is certainly not with your EDC blade. Everyday Carry is code for that which we have on us as much as possible. Not a tent or sheath knife, or even water bottle, EDC means right here, right now, and everything you have with you when you take off running.
A Lightweight Heavyweight
Zero Tolerance has generated a reputation on above average knives that not only vastly exceed traditional quality and performance, but actually set the bar high for everyone else. In other words, unlike many other brands, Zero Tolerance, or ZT, starts at the high end of knives and goes up from there. The problem, however, was pretty much the entire line of Zero Tolerance knives were huge and heavy, not to mention expensive. Now while ZT did address the huge and heavy with their 0770CF knife, they kept it expensive if you consider ~$200 for a factory folder.
Also Read: 6 Tools To Survive Anything
ZT began its journey back 2006 when, as they say, “We saw a place in the market for a Made-in-the-USA line of hard-use knives that would meet the needs of professionals in the military and law enforcement, as well as other first responders, such as firefighters and emergency medical personnel.” Considering themselves “Proudly Overbuilt,” I just had to see for myself with their lightest, smallest, thinnest offering.
Of the Zero Tolerance knife lineup, most of them overlapped what was already in my EDC stable. For a new ride to tickle my fancy, it must occupy a empty space in my knife quiver. The ZT I chose was a carbon fiber scaled assisted opening flipper with great steel and a most importantly a blade profile that I can really use for the ED part of EDC.
The USA, well Tualatin, Oregon to be specific is where ZT knives are born. American manufacturing by American workers is a significant selling point of ZT. For me, I have to wonder what is it with Oregon? Not only are there a couple dozen popular custom knife makers inside the Oregon borders, but also a company named Benchmade. Heard of them?
Although ZT traces its roots to its 2006 KAI Cutlery spinoff, many consider it a premium brand of Kershaw knives. But it’s more like the smarter better looking sister of Kershaw. Kai USA Ltd. is the parent company and in turn the Kai Group is the grandparent. Regardless of the Japanese connection, Zero Tolerance claims all its knives are built in Tualatin, Oregon which happens to be the headquarters of Kershaw. So you can see how some confusion could arise.
Crash and Burn
The Zero Tolerance 0770CF is a super tough lightweight assisted flipper with ELMAX steel and carbon fiber scales. The 0770CF is essentially the new and improved version of the short lived and ultimately doomed Zero Tolerance 0777 which was an amazing folder of mythical features. So much so that when the “Triple Seven” went from computer screen to factory floor, there were just too many design obstacles and engineering overlaps to overcome. Hype turned to horror and the knife disappeared almost as fast as the Remington R51. Or in Zero Tolerance parlance the 0777 was a “very limited-run.” And to further hide the past, ZT released the 0770CF with the added feature of being, “much more generally available.” Either way, the 0777 was a $475 unicorn, and the 0770CF is a glass of icewater in the face at less than half the price.
The shape of the 3.25 inch blade on the 0770CF combines several useful design elements including a slightly full belly, a gentle interpretation of a Wharncliffe tip, aggressive jimping for thumb purchase on the back spine, and an effective swedge riding the spine before expanding to full thickness just prior to tapering to the tip.
Related: Survival Knife vs. Hatchet
A Wharncliffe blade, as described in Wikipedia, is “similar in profile to a sheep’s foot but the curve of the back edge starts closer to the handle and is more gradual. Its blade is much thicker than a knife of comparable size. Wharncliffes were used by sailors, as the shape of the tip prevented accidental penetration of the work or the user’s hand with the sudden motion of a ship.” I’ve also read that the Wharncliffe shape makes for better penetration into an opponent’s muscle behaving more like a can opener than a slicer. But the 0770CF, not quite so much. Instead the 0770CF blade profile scores high in daily slicing, but benefits from a precision tip while maintaining Wharncliffe strength. The overall length of a deployed 0770CF is 7.5 inches, and when in the pocket, the handle alone takes up 4.3 inches of space. The thickness of the knife is a hair over 3/8ths of an inch, and the blade at its thickest is 1/8th inch thick.
As with most flippers, the deployment lever of the Zero Tolerance 0770CF doubles as a finger guard which in my opinion is over half the reason to carry a flipper. The SpeedSafe® assisted opening spring assist mechanism rockets out the blade with minimal effort, and the inset-liner lock snaps into place with a satisfying click. A added bonus with the 0770CF is that the assisted opening mechanism is completely isolated from the locking bar. Some assisted blade designs package the deployment and locking as one unit meaning that if the spring fails, so might the lockup. In the case of the 0770CF, complete failure of the spring assist would not render this useless as a locking knife. I do notice, however, that the longer the time between blade deployments, the more force needed on the flipper lever. Sometimes I am quite thankful for the heavy duty jimping on the lever as it digs into my index finger when trying to wake up the knife after a long sleep.
Related: Neck Knives For The Masses
The oversized and overbuilt pivot is the only obvious ornamentation on the naked carbon fiber scales. Three small black screw heads grace each side of the scales on the in a row along the palm-side of the handle connecting the scales to a steel spacer that occupies the rear portion of the grip spine. The foremost portion of the grip spine is fully open completely free from obstructions making the removal of debris painless whether dried blood, bone fragments, or more likely pocket lint.
The deep carry pocket clip is reversible, but only in the tip-up (when folded) configuration. Out of the box I found the pocket clip to be a little weak. After removing it and rebending the clip to my specifications, I now find the clip worthy of the rest of the knife. The blade is billboarded with the ZT logo on one side, and four lines of info on the other including a serial number.
Related: Fallkniven Jarl Knife Review
With a weight of three ounces soaking wet, the 0770CF fights much harder than it’s weight class. By using ELMAX steel, Zero Tolerance provides an in-house super steel choice that claims the best of all options. In my experience, the edge retention is on par with Benchmades house iron 154CM. The ELMAX seems not quite as durable as S30V steel but resharpens more easily. But we are splitting hairs here.
The balance point of the 0770CF is just where it should be, right at the index finger point behind the guard. Because the balance is where you hold the knife for precision work keeps the blade on task with little fight from gravity. Heavier blades can drop or twist when lightening or adjusting your grip.
A Knife in the Hand
The Zero Tolerance 0770CF is decidedly angular with pool table-flat scales that turn corners just barely slower than 90 degrees with one flat bevel splitting the difference between across and down. But that’s a good thing. The platform that houses the blade leans more towards the carry side of the EDC equation. The 0770CF disappears into your pocket barely printing even in dress pants. Considering that nearly 100% of the knife’s service life will be awaiting orders while tucked discreetly along a pocket seam, it is easy to overlook the lack of ergonomic elements when drawing, deploying and dissecting with the blade.
Better Than Two in the Bush
Any EDC blade worth its salt is a knife you can count on for daily hard use, as well as being worthy as a survival tool. EDC is as entertainingly controversial as is the contents of one’s bug out bag. Everyone has an opinion based on some fantasy of what will be needed when you really need something. As card-carrying EDC aficionado, I have carried folding knives from the lightweight Fallkniven PC, to the heavyweight Benchmade Adamas 275. So for me, the Zero Tolerance 0770CF is truly a lightweight heavyweight.
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Situational awareness isn’t something anyone can do whenever they want–it takes practice. Even if you start paying attention to your surroundings, you still won’t notice if you’re being watched or followed if you don’t know what to look for. Situational awareness isn’t just observation, it’s also orientation. What is orientation? It has to do with […]
The post How to Develop the Situational Awareness of Jason Bourne appeared first on Urban Survival Site.
Awhile back my washing machine broke down over a holiday weekend. Instead of hauling the dirty laundry to a laundry mat, I decided that this would be a great opportunity to finally try out using a 5 gallon bucket to wash clothes. Sometimes a little adversity is what you need to really be prepared. Clothes washing was an item that had been missing from my preps for some time now and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to test it out before the real SHTF. This DIY washing machine is a homemade method you can use to wash clothes if you temporarily lose power or if the grid goes down.
By Tinderwolf from Survival Cache & SHTFBlog
Here’s What You Need
All of the above materials can be purchased for less than ten dollars, excluding the power drill. If you are going to be using a lid the first step is to drill a hole in the top. Tip the toilet plunger upside down so that the top of the handle is touching dead center of the lid. Trace a circle around the handle onto the lid. If you have a power drill, find a large bit, I used a half-inch bit, and drill out the circle that you traced. After the hole is cut out use a utility knife to clean up the edges where you cut. If you do not have a power drill you can use a utility knife to cut out the hole, BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL AND TAKE YOUR TIME!
Also Read: DIY Water Filter
The plastic bucket is very durable so it can be difficult to cut by hand. Next, I drilled eight holes into the rubber portion of the toilet plunger. Ta-da! You are done! If you want to make the deluxe model I have seen some where people have put a spigot or ball valve on the bottom of the bucket for draining the water. I can see where being able to drain the water from a spigot could be helpful to those that might lack the strength to lift the bucket, but personally I found this feature to be unnecessary.
Here is my experience with the bucket washer. I found the bucket lid to be unnecessary. The only purpose of the lid is to help contain water from splashing out. If you are using this to clean your clothes than most likely you are completing this task either in your bathtub or outdoors, so some splashing water is not that big of an issue. Also I am not splashing that much water as I am not going “all out” with the plunger, nice and steady is the key.
Related: DIY Family Water Purification System
The second reason I do not like using the lid is because it restricts the agitating motion of the plunger to up and down. If the bucket is full of clothes the plunger can’t get all the way to the bottom of the bucket or get around all the clothes in order to agitate them. I found pushing the plunger down from the side and diagonally helps to rotate all the clothes from top to bottom so that every piece gets properly washed.
Related: DIY Beer Can Stove
On some reviews I have read, it states that powder or homemade detergent works best. I have not tried either of these but I have used liquid detergent with no observable issues. The amount of soap I use is approximately one tablespoon. After adding the clothes and soap, it is time for the water. Warm water seems to work best and I fill the bucket to around four inches from the top. Now, it’s time to work out your arms. For the wash cycle, I plunge the clothes for ten minutes, then I tip the bucket over and dump everything out into the bathtub. I wring out the excess water from the clothes and then place them back into the bucket.
For the rinse cycle, I fill the bucket back up with clean water and plunge for another five to ten minutes. I dump the water and clothes out, wring the excess water from the clothes and hang them up to air dry. I have found that smaller loads of clothes are easier to plunge and tend to get cleaner. For best results I only fill the bucket halfway to three quarters of the way full with clothes. I have washed about twenty loads of clothes using this process and thus far I am very happy with how clean the clothes come out. I think this is something that everybody should have as it is very cheap to make and easily mobile. I’m sure it would be a great item to throw in the car for those summer camping trips, because you just never know.
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Finding yourself unarmed while facing an attacker is a nightmare scenario. If they have a weapon and you don’t, then no matter what their weapon is, the odds are severely stacked against you. Even if they aren’t armed, fending off an attacker without a weapon is an intimidating prospect. Fortunately, there are ways to tilt […]
Zombie Apocalypse Preparation is a book of fiction. I think. I mean it says so in a disclaimer on the inside first page. If and when you buy this book purely for some humorous edification, you have to keep in perspective at all times and upon the turn of every day that the work is indeed fiction. But you’re always going to wonder. Houchins and Thomas’ tome is a fun read, if not admittedly outright silly at times and plain old stupid in some cases. Remember, remember, its fiction.
If you are a serious prepper or survivalist, then some of this material you might take as a personal affront, but I doubt it was meant to have that impact. I mean after all, there is no such thing as a zombie to start with. But if you substitute other character references such as roving thugs, Ferguson rioters, home invaders, home grown ISIS terrorists, and other such real criminals, then the book makes perfect sense, sort of.
Bullet Point Commentaries
As I was reading this 370 page paperback, I took a lot of random notes about thoughts, criticisms, salient points, useful information and many other notations, some which could only be summed up as questions which I will never have answered by the authors. I present these bullet point thoughts here in no particular order.
- At times you catch yourself asking “is this for real”, then you remember it is fiction.
- The book puts down the very popular AR-15. Do these guys know guns at all?
- Suppressors (not silencers) do require a Federal ATF NFA $200 permit tax, not a state tax.
- The use of a slingshot to “sail” a fishing lure over water is ludicrous.
- True military grade sniper rifles are only available to law enforcement or the military.
- Discusses having firearms that are fully auto as if this were a common occurrence or option. It is not.
- Who or what is a Johnny Two-Balls?
- “Other bladed weapons” are highly impractical and most are unheard of.
- Use of heavy equipment to kill zombies highly unlikely option. No access, no skills.
- Concrete filled tires? During a SHTF, where or why find tires and fill them with concrete to roll down a hill?
- 3 wheeled ATVs are no longer made and have not been for many years.
- Mines in the yard? Where do they propose average citizens can obtain landmines?
- “Mow Down Hoedown”? Too much gas, too much time for the effort.
- Who is Fisherman F. Thompson?
- There are comments here and there that are simply unnecessary such as “humping your mom last night.” Much of the foul language is unnecessary being a poor stab at humor.
- Out of all the places listed to hide out, they left out elevators and forest service towers.
- Oddly enough in this manual there is useful information intended as such or not, but you have to read close to glean it.
- The book comes into its element in Section 8 , “Coping with Life in Zombietopia.”
- Thoughts on dealing with assholes and malcontents is spot on.
- The paragraph on Greed, page 204 in highly insightful. It is the root of all evil. See Hillary and Bill Clinton.
- Page 207, “Compromising is going to be a mainstay of your existence.” True that.
- Page 246, “paying attention to the tiny details will prove to be a lifesaving hobby.”
Again, these are just some of the thoughts and comments I had about reading this book. As a prepper, again, I found many items of useful information that could be put into practice, despite the book being fiction. I do wonder if the authors intended that or just hit upon item merely by accident. Further, the reader has no idea who these authors are or anything about their backgrounds. Perhaps their previous work was a romance novel or a skill guide to picking gardening tools. It would have been nice to see their bio or if in fact these author names are even real.
Zombie Apocalypse Preparation is a laughable read. You will get chuckles from it, but scratch your head at times. Pick out what is useful or thought provoking and just laugh at the rest. After all, it is a work of fiction. Or is it?
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It seems that everyone’s favorite piece of gear to carry and discuss are knives. With the variety of styles, shapes, sizes and the jobs they can perform, it is easy to see why they are a favorite piece of gear. When it comes to folding knives, I am very particular and will not carry an old pocket knife. I have seen a lot of guys carry those five to ten dollar knives that are piled in a box on a gas station or sporting goods counter top. Those guys always love to show off that new, shiny, cool looking knife.
By Tinderwolf, a contributing author of Survival Cache & SHTFBlog
Of course within a week or two, the blade locking mechanism has broken, the edge of the blade is as dull as a butter knife and some of the screws or rivets are falling out. Those guys might as well have thrown their money into the garbage can because that is where their cool new knife ended up anyway. For most of my life I carried a Schrade Old Timer, Swiss Army knife, or a Gerber Paraframe.
All three of these knives held up well, never broke, kept an edge and paid for themselves time and time again. The only down fall of folders, is that they generally don’t stand up to the activities I would use a fixed blade for. I know that I should not expect that kind of strength and durability from a folding knife as it is a completely different from a fixed blade. However, I always wanted that out of a folding knife, and I think I have finally found a folding knife that will perform as closely to a fixed-blade knife as possible.
Also Read: Fallkniven Jarl Knife Review
Over the years I have owned a few fixed, full-tang knives from Cold Steel and have always been very happy with their products and their prices. So, a few years ago I decided to purchase a folder from them and I decided on buying the Pocket Bushman. It is probably one of the plainest looking knives you can buy, but boy is this knife a BEAST! The blade measure in at 4 ½” inches long with an overall length of 10 ¼”! All the reviews said that this knife was big and it did look big in the photos, but I really didn’t appreciate how big It was until I was holding it in my hands.
It felt more like a fixed blade knife than a folding pocket knife. Unlike other pocket knives, the Cold Steel Pocket Bushman does not whiz open with a flick of your thumb. It is rather slow and you need both hands to properly open it and shut it. When closing the knife you have to be extremely careful. The knife has a rocker lock which is tough as nails but it is a bit different to close than other folders. In order to close the knife safely and properly you need to place one hand on the spine of the blade and the other hand needs to pull the paracord lanyard at the bottom of the handle. The first time I tried this it was a bit awkward and I almost cut myself. After opening and shutting it a few times the motions became very natural.
The handle has a very large and deep groove for your index finger. This helps in keeping your hand from slipping forward to the blade when working with the knife. The handle is probably the only downfall I can find with this knife. While I like the smooth steel finish, it makes it a bit tough to use the knife if your hands are wet. It would have been nice to see some kind of textured finished on the handle. However, there have only been a few times that I have tried to use this knife in wet conditions and most of the time when I am using this knife I am wearing gloves, which I highly recommend.
While this is a folder and it fits well in my pocket, I love that it can handle the big jobs as well. I have used it for making tinder, cutting cardboard, tape, ropes, tie downs, zip ties, carpet, to baton wood, gutted fish, and even split small logs. I still remember the first time I showed it off at work. The guys thought I had wasted my money on some big knife just to be a show off. While they were chuckling I bent down and picked up a broken piece of wood from a pallet. I then commenced beating the back of the blade into a very tall, thick stack of cardboard. Once I got halfway down the stack I turned to a pallet that was leaning against a nearby shelf.
Also Read: Benchmade Bushcrafter Knife Review
The Pocket Bushman easily took chunks out of the pallet and after a few minutes it came out the other side of the board. I turned around to the guys, showed them there was no damage to the knife and no wiggle in the blade, folded it up, placed it in my pocket and walked away. A few years have passed and I have used this knife so much, yet there is still no movement between the blade and handle, and it still sharpens very easily. I have added paracord to the loop hole in the lock release slide at the bottom of the handle. This is by far, hands down, the best folder I have ever purchased and would recommend it to anyone looking for a new tool. I believe, when I bought this knife it was forty dollars. I checked out the knife out on Amazon the other day and it was listed for fifty nine dollars. I have been thinking about getting another one and I would not think twice about paying that price for this knife. If anyone else has used this knife I would love to hear about your experience with it.
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All things considered, any emergency situation can be made worse by the weather! Heat waves, coupled with power outages, can be deadly. Learn what you can do!
By Leon Pantenburg
What happens when an earthquake occurs along the New Madrid Seismic Zone (The United States’ second largest earthquake area, located near New Madrid, Mo., along the Mississippi River)? And how much worse will conditions be if this catastrophe happens during the winter when it’s -20 degrees?
On the other hand, how will you stay cool and safe, if an earthquake, flood, tornado, tropical storm etc. knocks out the power grid when the temperature is well over 100 degrees outside? If you don’t have to evacuate, how can you stay cool inside your house without power?
To start with: Don’t underestimate the danger of high temperatures!
About 400 Americans die each year from summer heat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Furthermore, the National Weather Service claims excessive heat is the number one weather-related killer, causing more fatalities per year than floods, lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms and extreme cold. There are energy-efficient, environmentally-sound methods of dealing with the heat inside your house, says Bobbie J. Bourne of the Bend, Oregon American Red Cross.
Start staying cool by taking care of yourself, and keeping hydrated, Bourne advises, and reduce physical activities during the hot part of the day.
“If you’re thirsty, that means you’re not drinking enough,” Bourne said. “Avoid caffeine and hot drinks and make sure you drink lots of water and drinks that replace electrolytes, such as Gatorade. Eat smaller meals, and eat something cold. Wear loose, light-colored clothing. You might want to put water in a spray bottle and cool yourself off with that.”
Then take a look at your home and think about how you can reduce the heat coming in, and regulate the interior temperature naturally. That beautiful sunshine pouring through the windows also heats up the air inside, so a good way to reduce that heat source is with drapes or window coverings.
An effective way to use the coverings, Bourne says, is to pull them shut during the day when the sun is beating on the windows.
“Keep your windows open at night, so the cool air can come in, then shut the windows and pull the drapes in the morning,” Bourne said. “Your house will stay cooler during the day. When it gets cooler at night, open the windows and get the hot air out of the house.”
Depending on the emergency, there might not be electrical power to the area for months, or it might be sporadic. If the power does come back on, even briefly, a good, quick way to get the hot air moving out of the overheated house is with a pair of electric fans.
Place one facing in by the window where air is coming in, Bourne said, and one at an opposite window positioned to blow warm air out. This can create a nice “wind tunnel” effect in pulling air through the house, and that will cool the interior.
Let’s suppose that there is some intermittent electrical power available, but you can’t use the central air conditioning. Here are some tips from the American Red Cross for staying cool inside when it’s hot outside:
- Make a “swamp cooler” by putting a bucket or pan of water in front of a fan. This will help cool the air as it is circulated. (I lived in an antebellum house in Mississippi, with no air conditioning, for several hot summers. This technique works!)
- Minimize the use of your oven. Use your grill outside, Bourne recommends, or plug your toaster oven into an outside electrical outlet to cook.
- Wait until after the sun has gone down to run heat-producing appliances.
- Line-dry your clothes to avoid using the dryer.
- Use ceiling fans to create a breeze and to re-circulate air.
- Run the bathroom fan after you shower to pull the humidity out of the house.
- Trade your hot shower in for a cold one.
- Let your hair air dry after a shower, and enjoy the cooling effect of wet hair while you wait for it to dry.
- Minimize the amount of bedding you use.
- Make sure all air vents are free of obstructions. If they’re covered with furniture, the cool air won’t circulate.
- Close your fireplace flue to avoid losing cool air.
Survival of any emergency, be it in an urban or wilderness survival situation, ultimately all boils down to education and preparation. Think about possible weather scenarios – hot or cold – as part of your family’s preparedness plans.
(Here’s an unrelated poem by James Autry called Nights Under a Tin Roof. It’s here because I like it!)
I recently wrote about 20 skills you can trade after the SHTF, but this time I want to focus on urban survival skills. If you live in the city, these skills could literally save your life during the next major disaster. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, and the skills aren’t in […]
You don’t have any wilderness experience, but you want some. So what do you take along to make sure you get back?
by Leon Pantenburg
One of the most common questions from wilderness newcomers is: “What gear will I need?”
And that’s a really good question! Walk through any sporting goods store and you’ll notice a bewildering array of gear, stuff, doo-dads, knick-nacks and junk. The buyer must decide which is which.
Depending on what store it is, and the salesperson, you could end up buying some very expensive – and unnecessary – items. In some stores, the salespeople work on commission and push high-priced gear. Or you might end up with a clerk who is covering the counter for somebody at lunch.
So, here’s where to start. The Boy Scouts of America have been preaching the gospel of survival common sense for 100 years. Who actually coined the term “Ten Essentials” is probably unknown. But there is no question that a facsimile of this basic list is the basis of all emergency preparedness kits. Get your Ten Essentials first.
Here is a list of the Boy Scout Outdoor Essentials, and product suggestions. Check out the links for more info on any of the topics. Look at these ideas, and then decide what will work best for you.
- Knife: The best knife is up to your personal preference, but you must have some sort of cutting edge along. The only survival knife you have is the one you have along!
- First Aid kit: (A first aid kit should go along on every outing, even if you never use it.)
- Extra clothing: (This will depend, of course, on the climate, time of year and where you are. Clothing needs for my high desert area are much different than for those people in the tropics.)
- Rain gear: You have two choices for protection from the rain: rainsuit or poncho. I use both, depending on the circumstances. I hiked the John Muir Trail with a poncho for rain protection. It rained nine days straight! The poncho kept me dry, even though I was expending a lot of energy to hike. I prefer a rainsuit while hunting or fishing, because it won’t flap in the wind, and a rainsuit offers better protection while sitting or standing for long periods of time. Decide what’s best for your needs.
- Water bottle: Water is an absolute necessity. I generally carry a Nalgene or other rigid water bottle to drink out of. In my pack, I’ll carry several soft bottles to replenish my Nalgene. The soft bottle are protected in the pack, and
when empty, can be rolled up. The softies weight virtually nothing, and take up hardly any space. And if you find a water source, and need to re-supply, you’ll have ample containers along.
I’m not a big fan of the water bladder systems, for no really good reason, but they are great for kids because the drinking tube encourages drinking. (And the novelty of using a bladder water system will keep them well-hydrated until the newness wears off!)
- Flashlight or headlamp: (I field-dressed a deer shortly after darkness fell one evening, holding my mini-maglite in my teeth. It was pretty gross – talk about drooling on your gear…) Anyway, ever since that experience I carry a good headlamp. A headlamp leaves your hands free if you are spelunking, end up walking out to the car in the dark, scrambling over rocks etc. Besides, if the lamp is on your head, chances are less that it might be dropped and broken.)
- Trail food: This is another personal preference. I like to make most of my own, because of my inherent cheapness and a Depression-era mentality inherited from my Dad. But in all my packs, I have several Clif bars, some jerky, sardines, and hardtack. The gourmet food comes from the Dutch oven. The emergency food is fuel.
- Matches and firestarter or other methods of ignition – you should have several different types.
- Sun protection Sunscreen is an item that needs to be in every survival kit, regardless if you’re in the arctic or the tropics. I carry the tube type, because it is less messy to apply.
- Map and compass A GPS is also useful, but not without a map and compass! Always include spare batteries for your GPS!
This is the bare bones list, and you should expand and add categories to fit your individual needs. For example, my Ten Essentials includes some method of shelter, such as a tarp, trash bag, bivey sack etc., and I always carry at least 50 feet of parachute cord or light rope, and four aluminum tent stakes.
Neither the scouts, nor I, recommend including fishing gear as a survival tool! Many of the items, such as the knife, first aid kit and Clif bars, have multiple memberships in my different specialized survival kits. Another necessity is the proper size spare batteries for any device that is battery-powered. It’s a good idea to get battery-operated items that all use the same size.
Your outdoor essentials list can also vary seasonally. I always include a snow shovel and insulite pad on my winter showshoe treks.
My summer and winter extra clothing choices would also be different. An extra stocking cap is always a good thing to have along, but in the summer, a broad-brimmed hat for sun protection is a necessity.
Some items you shouldn’t cut costs on are boots or hiking shoes; a sleeping bag, and a reliable shelter.
Use this Outdoor Essentials list to form the basis for your own survival kit, then read and research to get new ideas. Your survival kit, if it’s anything like mine, will probably end up being an evolving project. After every outing, think about what you used, what you didn’t need, and what you wished you had. Then adjust accordingly.
The best survival kit or gear in the world is worthless if you don’t know how to use it, and just having a survival kit won’t save you. In fact, it might give you a false sense of confidence that could be deadly!
Start your wilderness preparation by reading a credible survival book, or taking a class from a competent instructor. Be wary of any survival-related internet blog or website. Just because someone has a website, doesn’t mean they know anything! Don’t get your survival training off a prime-time survival “reality” show.
Then practice with your equipment. Learn how to make a fire, or pitch your shelter in your backyard. Try out your sleeping bag on a chilly night on the deck to make sure it’s going to be warm enough. Make your mistakes at home, so you won’t in the backcountry, where a screw-up can kill you.
And let this be your mantra: “My survival kit won’t save me. My equipment or gear can’t save me. I will save me.” And include common sense with every outing!
BOOK REVIEW: Survival Psychology by John Leach
One idea survival book authors may be able to agree upon is that mental attitude is critical. Countless documented cases prove your attitude and reaction to the situation, not your gear, is the most important factor is staying alive.
by Leon Pantenburg
Some twenty years before the rash of “reality” or “Survival” shows, or anybody had ever heard of Les Stroud or Bear Grylls, psychological studies resulted in a book about people’s reactions in emergency situations.
“Survival Psychology” by John Leach, PhD, of the University of Lancaster, England, was a groundbreaking study, that today is a reference source for many wilderness and urban survival bestsellers. If some of Leach’s writing or thoughts sound familiar, it is because you’ve read or heard them before!
Leach studied survivors’ reactions, including those of Union prisoners at the horrific Andersonville prison during the Civil War; to shipwreck survivors; to people who made it through plane crashes and natural disasters. Distilled down to one sentence, here’s what Leach found: Psychological responses to emergencies follow a pattern.
One goal of SurvivalCommonSense is to help you develop the survival mindset to stay alive. So, start with the baseline knowledge of what happens to people, mentally, in a survival situation.
Until you know what might happen in your mind, or in the heads of the people around you, there’s no way to come up with a plan to survive.
Survival situations bring out a variety of reactions – including some that make the situation worse.
Leach’s studies show that only 10 to 15 percent of any group involved in any emergency will react appropriately. Another 10 to 15 percent will behave totally inappropriately and the remaining 70 to 80 percent will need to be told what to do. The most common reaction at the onset of an emergency is disbelief and denial.
Here’s the typical disaster reaction progression, according to “Survival Psychology”:
Denial: The first reaction will probably be: “This can’t be happening to me!” But an emergency, disaster, accident or crash can happen to anyone, and it can result in a situation where your life is at risk.
This disbelief can cause people to stand around, doing nothing to save themselves. The 80 percenters in any survival situation will have to be ordered to help themselves.
Panic: Once you get past denial, there is a strong chance you may panic. This is when judgment and reasoning deteriorate to the point where it can result in self-destructive behavior. It can happen to anyone. To avert this problem, realize it may happen, and use the STOP mindset exercise.
Hypoactivity, defined as a depressed reaction; or hyperactivity, an intense but undirected liveliness: The depressed person will not look after himself or herself, and will probably need to be told what to do. The hyperactive response can be more dangerous because the affected person may give a misleading impression of purposefulness and leadership.
Stereotypical behavior: This is a form of denial in which victims fall back on learned behavior patterns, no matter how inappropriate they are. The Boss may decide to continue in that role, even though he/she has no idea of what to do. Sadly, the underling may also revert to that subordinate role, even though he/she may be better prepared mentally.
Anger: A universal reaction, anger is irrational. Rescue workers frequently come under verbal and physical attack while performing their duties.
A few years ago in Central Oregon, the Search and Rescue team rescued a man who had dumped his raft just before going over a waterfall. Miraculously, he saved himself by clinging to a mid-stream boulder. During the whole rescue effort, the rafter denied he was in trouble. After being plucked from the rapids, he flipped off the rescuers, and walked back to the parking lot. He never thanked anyone for saving his life.
Psychological breakdown: This could be the most desperate problem facing a victim, and this stage is characterized by irritability, lack of interest, apprehension, psycho-motor retardation and confusion. Once this point is reached, the ultimate consequence may be death.
So, according to Leach, one key to a “survival state-of-mind” is to be prepared and confident that you can handle an emergency. This brings up another deadly behavior pattern: lack of preparation. People don’t prepare for emergencies (see denial), Leach writes, for three reasons: Planning is inconvenient, preparations may be costly and an ingrained folk myth says to prepare for a disaster is to encourage it.
This is all too common in Central Oregon.
Last November, I was at Swampy Lakes snow park near Bend, getting ready for a snowshoe trek. An older couple pulled up next to me, tourists, apparently, from the looks of their inappropriate clothing and rental equipment. They had no survival gear of any kind that I could see.
They struggled to put their snowshoes on, then asked if there were any maps around. I gave them one of mine, and offered to orient it for them with my compass.
They also didn’t want the book of matches and a packet of firestarter I tried to give them. And here comes the quote that keeps the Search And Rescue teams busy:
“We’re just going out for quick outing,” the lady said. “We’re not going to do any of that wilderness survival stuff.”
…And she was absolutely right.
We’ve all thought about the vast array of things that we can to in order to be prepared for a real life survival situation. Clean water, food rations, tools and a diversity of skill sets are all a great start. However, one thing that many of us overlook is how we are going to keep getting water and food when our rations have run dry.
Since most of us live in cities, towns or near cities and towns – there is one vital skill that you should have in your back pocket. That’s where the skill of urban lock picking comes in. Knowing how to pick a lock can save you and your family in an urban survival situation. Imagine being starving, with a food truck right in front of you, full of Twinkies and other delicious and life saving treats but you have no tools to breach it… That would be one sad day with a lot of extra energy being spent trying to figure out how to get inside.
The infographic below shows you the basic steps to breach almost any lock out there with enough practice. Padlocks are notoriously easy to pick with this method although it can also be implemented with standard knob locks, deadbolts and others. Our friends at Picker Of Locks
made this east 4 Step Guide to get you started on your lock picking skill training. If you want to check out more in-depth articles on how to pick all different types of locks, lock pick set reviews and more – head over to pickeroflocks.com.
Living in a large city comes with several disadvantages when it comes to disaster preparedness, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t measures you can take to better your odds. These hobbies are not only enjoyable and easily accessible to city-dwellers, they also provide skills and knowledge that will be incredibly valuable after the end of […]
Rudy Reyes,a recon marine demonstrates the skills needed to stay alive after Armageddon inside an urban environment.
“When society breaks down people will be desperate, they’ll be hungry, they’ll be disoriented. If they see you, they’ll want to fight you for what you’ve got. So you’ve got to blend. In and out of the city.”
Many preppers and survivalist focus on how to make it in the woods. While these are very important skills to learn, so is surviving in the city and learning how to maneuver in and out in a way you won’t get caught. It is very apparent in this video how important health and fitness are as well in survival. Consider assessing what you can do to better your chances of survival in the city.
4 Urban Survival Tips You Shouldn’t Ignore If you want to survival in an urban survival situation, you’ll need to A) Stock up on supplies and B) Protect those supplies. That’s all it really boils down to. One of the best urban survival tips to remember is that having a gun is the best form of self-defense …
8 Threats To Beware Of If You Live In The City Urban survival is a popular topic among preppers, probably because most of them–despite dreams of a homestead in the country–live in big cities so they can get to work in a reasonable amount of time. I’d like to tell these people that the city …
You might not think urban navigation is a very important skill, but you’ll change your mind quickly if a disaster happens while you’re away from home. Picture it: You and your best friends are packed into a shiny new car you just bought with your summer bonus, headed to the beach for your dream vacation […]
Wherever a military exists, so too can martial law. Martial law refers to the period of time when the military is in place as the top governmental authority of a population. As former Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a man from a country well-acquainted with martial law, so succinctly put it, “Martial law rests on the sanction of force and not on the sanction of law.”
By Derrick Grant, founder of Prepper Press
Over the course of history, martial law has been implemented throughout the world, as the breakdown of civil government, whether due to war, rebellion, or natural disaster, is not limited to any one geographic or ethnic domain. Nor is the desire for power limited to any one person, country, region, or ethnicity. Martial law is a form of acquiring power over a population, and of keeping that population in check.
Martial law takes different forms in different countries, just as traditional governing structures do, but is often marked by a suspension of certain rights, the threat of military justice for civilians, and restricted travel by citizens. Censorship and surveillance under the guise of protecting the citizenry are hallmarks of martial law. In the twentieth century the threat of communism and terrorism were both used by governments to rationalize their use of the military to control the populace. Labor strikes which turn violent, or which present a ruling party with the prospect of organized opposition, have also motivated the implementation of martial law.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, countries with notoriously volatile or heavily authoritarian governments have implemented martial law over the years. Among these countries are the Philippines, China, Pakistan, Thailand, Taiwan, and Egypt. The Western world is not immune from martial law, however, with the United States and Ireland among the ranks of countries that have declared martial law in the modern era. Even Canada, a country as uncontroversial as you can get, has implemented martial law several times in recent centuries.
Canada and Martial Law
Since World War I, Canada has implemented martial law three times – during World War I, during World War II, and during the October Crisis of 1970. During the October Crisis of 1970 a Canadian government official was kidnapped and murdered and a British diplomat was kidnapped in Quebec. Canadian military forces were sent into Quebec and the police were given wide authority within the province of Quebec, resulting in the arrest of nearly 500 people. Canada also imposed martial law, perhaps somewhat ironically, due to the freedom-seeking Continental Army’s invasion of the Quebec region during the American Revolution.
United States and Martial Law
America’s relationship with martial law is much more sweeping than Canada’s. From the country’s founding through to the twentieth century, the world’s beacon of freedom has at times put the military in a place of power over the civilian authorities and the rule of law. During the Civil War, though Congress did not declare martial law, they did approve many of the tenets which President Lincoln put before them to cancel certain rights, such as the revocation of the requirement of habeas corpus. The Civil War is the most well-known example of an implementation of martial law tenets in the United States, but that era is far from the only time such authoritarian rule has been implemented in the United States.
Related: Surviving Nuclear Terrorism
During the American Revolution the British imposed martial law on the colonists, primarily in response to the Boston Tea Party. Shortly after the Revolution, under the presidency of George Washington, the military was deployed to put down the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania, though there is some argument as to whether this constitutes an implementation of martial law as the civilian authorities still had power – they just could not handle the rebels who had already attacked the home of a tax collector and refused to cooperate with federal officials.
Two decades later, an American region found itself under martial law when General (and future President) Andrew Jackson imposed it in New Orleans during the War of 1812. Under Jackson’s rule, New Orleans remained under martial law even when there was no longer the threat of an invasion, a fact that did not please civilians. Following a decisive victory for American forces, Jackson was unwilling to concede the military’s power for months. He went so far as to have a judge arrested for demanding that the writ of habeas corpus be followed and a senator arrested for writing a newspaper column questioning the continued presence of martial law in New Orleans.
The seemingly placid Midwestern state of Idaho was also the site of a martial law implementation, including the trial of civilians in military court. In 1893 striking mill workers in Coeur d’Alene not only blew up the mill at which they worked, they also shot at any worker who dared try to return to work. After the military was called in, over 600 people were arrested, though just about two dozen were actually tried and sentenced to prison. In later decades, both Colorado and West Virginia were in similar situations when martial law was implemented due to coal workers’ strikes that grew violent. In 1934, a dockworkers’ strike resulted in parts of San Francisco being put under martial law. San Francisco was also under martial law in 1906 following the Great Earthquake, albeit for a brief period.
Though the Posse Comitatus Act, passed in 1878, prevents the U.S. military from taking on the role of law enforcement, the United States is not immune from declarations of martial law, or declarations that skirt near and around martial law. Recently, some in the United States have likened the modern phrase ‘state of emergency’ with martial law, noting that following such natural disasters as Hurricane Katrina certain laws were suspended and the government and military were given powers such as restricting sales of certain items, implementing curfews, and restricting gun ownership.
While the United States and Canada have had their share of temporary martial law experiences, in other parts of the world, martial law has been a more permanent part of people’s lives.
Martial Law and Other Countries
For 38 years the citizens of Taiwan lived under martial law, with the threat of communism within Taiwan used as the rationale for continuing martial law even though the country was supposed to have a democratic constitution following the end of World War II. When martial law was lifted in Taiwan in 1987, it was the longest period of time any nation had been continuously under martial law.
However, Syria surpassed Taiwan for that dubious distinction, with 48 years of martial law not ending until 2011. Syria’s martial law was implemented in 1963 following a military coup in which the Baath Party seized control of the country. For nearly 50 years Syrians were faced with restricted rights, surveillance, baseless interrogations, and government-controlled media.
Egypt comes close to Syria in terms of the continuous time its citizens were under martial law, with the country essentially under martial law from 1967 until 2013. The government renewed the state of emergency doctrine, which put the country under martial law, every three years during that time frame with an exception of the period immediately preceding Anwar Sadat’s assassination in 1981. The threat of terrorism was consistently used as reasoning for continued martial law in the country. Under Egypt’s martial law people could be jailed for no reason or for any reason, censorship was legal, and civilians could be tried in military court. In 2011, removing this doctrine was a tenet of the protestors’ during the uprising in Egypt, though it lasted for two more years.
Though it pales in comparison to the half-century of Egypt’s martial law, the Philippines were under martial law for the extended period of nine years from 1972-1981. Ferdinand Marcos used the threat of communism as well as recent bombings to convince Filipinos of the need for martial law. However, the honeymoon period for the military authority ended quickly, with Filipinos becoming disillusioned by the regime’s use of torture and suspension of civil rights. This was not the Philippines’ first experience with martial law, as the country had been under martial law for a time during World War II. However, Marcos’ abuse of power would be what civilians in the Philippines remembered and used as the basis for holding future politicians’ feet to the fire when the specter of martial law reared its head, particularly in the case of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the early 2000s. Her efforts were thwarted, and though martial law was implemented in a region of the Philippines, the country as a whole was only put under a state of emergency.
Book Review: Patriot’s Dawn
Though it has not been under continuous martial law throughout its history, Pakistanis have plenty of experience living under military regimes at points in their lives. Following a coup in 1958, martial law has been implemented and retracted on a fairly regular basis in Pakistan, though they also have a history of military rulers such as General Pervez Musharaff who do not rule with martial law.
Like Pakistan, Thailand has seen its share of coup d’etats, and such uncertainty and power grabs makes for an easy environment in which to implement martial law. Thailand has gone through periods of martial law in 2004, 2006, and 2014. Though martial law has ostensibly been lifted in Thailand, but some, including officials at the United States State Department have argued that the security measures put in place upon the announcement that martial law was being lifted may actually be just as bad, if not worse, than martial law. Media groups in Thailand specifically called attention to the measure’s restrictions on free speech, saying in a statement, “Civilians are also at risk, as people who communicates and discusses topics through online social media that contain information viewed by the authorities as threat to national security, cause of public alarm, spreading of false information or public misunderstanding will be punished on the same condition.” The United Nations Human Rights Commissioner also called attention to the regime’s repeal of martial law in name only, calling the new measures “draconian.”
In addition to the countries such as Thailand where martial law has been a continuous or regularly occurring part of life, there are several other countries which have been under martial law sparingly.
Poland is one such country. It has only been under martial law once, from 1981 to 1983, as the government sought to quash its opposition. While it was only under martial law for this two year period, it was a harsh time of military rule during which hundreds of arrests were made and citizens’ daily life and basic rights were greatly restricted. As part of martial law in Poland, members of opposition groups such as Solidarity were jailed, citizens had to adhere to a curfew, and travel was heavily restricted with the airport and roads closed down. Schools were closed, phones were disconnected, and all communication was subject to censorship. While the government said they did not want any bloodshed from this period of martial law, about one hundred deaths are blamed on the implementation of martial law.
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In China, martial law was instituted in Beijing throughout May and June of 1989 in reaction to the demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. During their enforcement of martial law, the troops had the authority to use any power necessary for self-defense if they encountered any impediment or delay in carrying out their mission.
Iranians were subject to martial law for a period of about three months in the fall of 1978 when the Shah appointed a military general to be in charge of Tehran. Although the regime was short-lived, it resulted in hundreds of deaths when the military massacred protesters in Tehran.
From the United States to Iran to the Philippines, martial law is a widespread phenomenon in the modern world, with the last two centuries providing many examples of governments over-reaching and military officials overstepping the rights of citizens. Martial law can be declared by any government, at any time. After all, the very basic notion of martial law is that it rejects the rule of law and instead uses force. It behooves people, even in a democratic country, to learn the history of martial law and to understand your rights and the ways they can be subverted – and have been throughout modern history.
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Today I want to share a couple of awesome videos by Canadian Prepper. These videos are from his After The Collapse series, which is worth watching not only for the things you’ll learn but also because it’s very entertaining. The latest videos are about urban survival, and he talks about: The Public to Private Property […]
I just found a great new Youtube Channel called City Prepping. If you like this site, you’ll definitely like this channel. There are a several great videos, but this one is my favorite because he talks about several aspects of urban survival that he learned while living in Afghanistan. The seven lessons he covers are: […]
Terrorist attacks have become a common occurrence–not just in the Middle East, but all over the world. From the notorious disaster on 9/11 in 2001 to the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels to last weekend’s murder of 49 people in Orlando, it seems terrorists have the ability to strike anywhere at anytime. The only […]
The post Surviving a Terrorist Attack: 5 Things You Need To Know appeared first on Urban Survival Site.
If you’re a regular reader, you’ve probably read some of my articles; I usually write about fun, informational stuff but not today. I live in Orlando, the City Beautiful. The land of flip-flops and Mickey Mouse, beaches and motorcycles, college kids and retirees.
On Sunday, Orlando was ground zero for the largest mass shooting in US history. My city was attacked by an ISIS-affiliated terrorist, and I’m really pissed.
Sunday morning, I went outside to walk my dogs, still half-asleep, before I turned on my TV and learned that some no-good, nut job, wife-beating jerk had decided that it was his right to judge and lethally punish a bar full of innocent people just because he didn’t like the way they lived. There were about 300 people inside Pulse Orlando, and over 1/3 of them were murdered or injured.
Pulse had a young following, so most of the dead were in their 20s and early 30s. Kids, really. According to reports, the shooter (I refuse to name him because he was just a lowly, cowardly sheep) scoped out Downtown Disney and Pulse. He chose the club because it was a “gay club”.
While it’s true that Pulse had a large LGBT following, it wasn’t exclusively that, nor were all the victims gay. Even if they were, they sure as hell didn’t deserve to be gunned down for it.
Orlando is my home as well as a prime destination for vacationers of all sorts. It’s supposed to be a place of fun; a place where fantasies are real and dreams come true. Yes, I realize that’s mostly an illusion created by commercialism, but to me, it’s true. Florida is my little slice of paradise and I’m enraged that some lowly hater spilled a river of blood in my streets.
What I’ve realized today is that the REAL illusion is the one of peace and safety that we all create.
I’ve known that security is an illusion for a long time now. That’s why I enjoy contributing to Survivopedia; I drink my own Kool Aid. I know that world-changing events are always just right around the corner, but on Sunday, I was shoved around that corner before I’d even had my morning coffee.
At least I was fortunate enough to live through the night; that’s more than what 49 of my fellow Orlandians were gifted with.
I’m sure that you’ve all been watching events unfold from afar, but let me bring it home a little bit for you. The news has been stating that they couldn’t release the names of all of the victims until the families had been notified; the truth is that families couldn’t be notified until the bodies were identified. Until just a few hours ago, they were still removing bullet-riddled corpses from Pulse.
For nearly 24 hours after the attack, Orlando Regional Medical Center was on lock-down just trying to handle the massive influx of wounded and dead kids. Nine died after arrival and several more are still in critical condition.
In total, 49 people were killed and another 53 were wounded. Three blocks around the club were blocked off for more than 24 hours so that bodies could be recovered without being filmed.
Just now, as I’m writing this piece, they released the name of the final, 49th victim: Stanley Almodovar III, age 23. He was a pharmacy tech described as humble and kind. He hadn’t even started living before he was gunned down by a psycho.
11 members of the Orlando Anarchy, our women’s football team, were there celebrating the end of the season with their friends and significant others. One of the boyfriends was killed. Another woman, a mother and wife, was there celebrating a birthday. Now she’s dead. This isn’t a faceless crime.
We Will Stay United
Over the years, I’ve sat in front of my television and watched as terrorists took the lives of people all over the world. I’ve felt a somewhat detached anger and sorrow for those people who lost so much, but there was always a certain degree of separation. Yesterday, that separation was shattered.
I’ve watched as my city has responded and I’m proud. O-Town is a pretty liberal place. Our culture is diverse and our politics, like the victims in this attack, run from one end of the rainbow to the other. We have die-hard bikers and hookah-smoking hipsters. Families visit Disney and business people conduct corporate retreats.
The one thing that we all share is that this is our home and we’ve come together grandly. There was a desperate need for O-negative and AB-positive blood and people of all races, religions, and sexual persuasions stood in line for 8 hours to donate.
Families had nowhere to stay and hotels gave out free rooms. Restaurants gave free meals and volunteers donated countless hours of time. Business signs removed their ads and ran banners of support. Demonstrators stood on corners with signs declaring that we refuse to be drowned in despair.
We came together in love to fight the bloody results of hate. Our flags are flying at half-mast but we are still Americans; we refuse to buckle under the weight of terrorism.
Gun Control Is NOT the Solution
Sadly, our situation is not the first of its kind; we already have a precedent to follow. People are going to be shocked, then, inevitably, we’re going to try to make sense of the senseless. The enemy seems like smoke, there then gone. How do we fight that?
Whispers about gun control become roars because that’s the only way some people can think of to prevent this from happening again. We look to things that we can control, because it’s human nature in the face of tragedy. That’s happening here already.
People on one side of the fence are screaming about the fact that the murderer, who had been interviewed twice by the FBI, bought his guns legally. Obviously (to them), gun laws need tightened.
People on the other side of the fence (me included) are wondering if things would have been different had even one person in that club been armed. We also keep saying again and again that guns don’t kill people; people kill people.
Chicago has the tightest gun laws in the country, as well as the highest murder rates; how are those gun laws working out for them?
Gun regulation isn’t the answer because the only people who are going to follow the laws aren’t the ones who are going to go out and shoot people anyway. That seems to be a fact that people tend to overlook.
The bottom line is that nobody can stop hate. You can’t fix crazy. No amount of immigration laws or gun laws, or regulations of any sort are going to stop somebody bent on committing heinous acts.
All we can do is be alert and be prepared. We can’t let fear rule our lives but it would be naively stupid to think that something like this isn’t going to happen again because, unfortunately, it will.
I’m glad the police killed the punk. My only regrets are that he killed so many before somebody got him and that his death was so quick.
Orlando has its share of crime, but for the most part, I’ve always felt safe here. I still do; just now I’ll feel a little safer when I’m carrying my 9 mil, because you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be on high alert even as I continue to enjoy my life in the land of sandcastles and fairy princesses.
THAT is my right, and nobody is going to take it from me without a fight.
To all the friends and families of the victims of the Orlando shooting, you have my deepest sympathies. To everybody else, be vigilant.
On Sunday, this happened in my town; tomorrow it could happen in yours.
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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This article is for preppers and non-preppers, and I want to start it with a grim statement: If you live in a major metropolitan area, your chances of survival are relatively low in a large scale disaster scenario. Do you think I’m exaggerating? If you live in a city but you’re not into preparedness, consider […]
It can get tricky trying to figure out what you’ll be missing most when the shit really hits the fan. Quite a while back, I brought up 10 Things You’ll Regret Not Having Enough of When the SHTF, and when I asked what kinds of things you guys would miss most, an overwhelming number of you… Read More
This is just the start of the post TEOTWAWKI? 10 Things You’ll Really Miss. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
TEOTWAWKI? 10 Things You’ll Really Miss, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
Here is where airsoft comes in as good training for Preppers. When you are wearing your full load out including water, loaded magazines, armor panel’s, your conditioning yourself and becoming use to your gear and its weight. After two hours of high impact fast paced play. You have just moved one step closer to becoming … Continue reading Using Airsoft As Prepper Practice!?
The following article has been contributed by Matt, a preparedness expert currently residing down under in the beautiful country of Australia.
I want to start off this article by explaining my thought process behind it.
I want to explain why I think this is a good idea.
I want to explain why i think this is important.
I see bad people doing bad things in cities, cinemas, schools.
I see news reports of natural disasters.
I thought about all those people affected by terrible things that shouldn’t happen but are becoming increasingly common or possible.
I began thinking about someone sitting in an office building reviewing documents, typing on a computer at some desk in some cubicle or office.
I began thinking about the taxi driver driving the streets.
I thought about what would I do or need that might give me another chance to survive if I was in those situations.
I’m sitting at my desk on the fifth floor of some inner city office building.
BANG! Boom! The lights go out, the emergency lights come on, some alarm is going off, there’s dust and smoke everywhere. You realize your arm is bleeding quite profusely from some injury; the office floor looks intact from what you can see from the dust and smoke.
What do you do?
Most likely you will follow your company’s emergency procedures and evacuate?
But doing so from the fifth floor will be difficult as every other floor below you are smoke and dust filled with people everywhere coughing and rubbing their eyes.
In the end you make it outside to the awaiting emergency personnel. It took a while but you’re outside.
Is there anything I could’ve done to increase my chances of survival in this type of situation? What could possibly get me through the next minute or hour at its most relatively basic of levels if some sort of small, large or SHTF scenario takes place?
If this was me, my go to item would be a plain old little ‘bum bag’.
They’re referred to as fanny packs in the U.S. if I’m not mistaken. In Australia we call em’ bum bags!
In it would be the most basic of items that would be beneficial if the SHTF and I found myself clambering over rubble from an earthquake damaged building or bomb or some other SHTF scenario.
Take into consideration this is designed to be as simple as possible. Its deigned for those who might not know where to start in this thing we call prepping or who might find all the gear gizmos gadgets and articles confusing or too much.
Putting Together the Go Bag
Choosing your Bag
- The point of this bum bag that I’m suggesting is that even if you wear a suit and have absolutely never thought about prepping before, something as unobtrusive and small as a bum bag won’t detract from your office décor or work clothes. It’s not a camouflaged 40lt hiking backpack sitting at the bottom of your mahogany bookshelf.
- It sits in your desk drawer.
- It sits in your locker.
- It sits in the well of your car door or middle console or glove compartment.
- If your employer is reasonably casual with your uniform and you can find use to wear it for your job you might as well get away with wearing it as part of your uniform.
- A small waist pack, fanny pack or bum bag. It’s small. Its readily accessible being at the front and you do not have to swing it around like a backpack. Can’t get it around your waist? Try to find one that has the longest strap you can and sling it over your shoulder across the chest. We’re all different.
- Space will be of an absolute premium so pack light, pack minimal, pack necessity. If you can fit more of one item then by all means go for it. I would try to include multiple first aid items.
- If the SHTF and your typing away at your computer or driving a taxi, bang, SHTF!, you open your drawer or glove compartment and away you go with an increased chance of survival strapped to your waist hands free
- One pocket two pocket, it doesn’t matter. So long as it has a big main compartment
- Either a secondary pouch in the main compartment or simply loose whatever works for you and the size of your bag
- If the SHTF in an emergency I’m not going to worry about tweezering little splinters, in fact, with all the ruckus going on around me I’d probably realize I have something in my finger, hand or foot long after the incident so items like this will be left out. If you have room then include it.
- My reasoning in having these specific items is based on quick, fast, go go go, I’m injured lets pad it stop the bleeding, dress it and keep moving, or doing the same for someone as I pass them, pad it stop the bleeding, dress it, pick them up and keep moving. Not let me remove the wood splinter from your finger while your arm has a hole in it.
- 1 x bandages/pads for padding and pressure. Make the focus with this kit on stopping bleeding and perhaps burns, as more than likely splinters, mosquito bites, and grazed knuckles will be a distant second to open wounds, gunshot wounds, crush injuries and burns
- 1 x bandages for dressing
- 1 x triangle (sling) bandages, for putting arms in a sling amongst the numerous other uses they have or keep folded and use as a wound dressing as well
- 1 x type of burn-aid or burn treatment gel or dressing
- Several x Band-Aids
- Several x steriswabs/Alco-swabs/antiseptic wipes
- 1 x chap stick – these have a variety of uses
- 1 x pair of rubbers gloves
- backup personal medication
- 2 x aspirin, anti-histamine or over the counter pain medications
- 1 x shock blanket/emergency blanket/foil blanket
- 1 x small roll of duct tape – you never know what this will save you from until you have it
- 1 x dust mask: rubble, dust, allergens, burning materials giving off toxic smoke, a simple dust mask is better than no dust mask. Plain white masks usually sold in packs of 10 or more will do. Once again if space permits and you can fit something more quality perhaps with some sort of respirator then include it. If not fit as many dust masks in your pack as you can. Handing these out in emergency situations that may require this piece of equipment will be a benefit to peoples lungs
- 1 x pair of clear safety goggles, preferably wrap around that will also prevent dust from getting into your eyes
- 1 x torch – something small yet comfortable to hold, preferably a wrist strap
- 1 x signal whistle, preferably with a lanyard
- 1 x small roll of duct tape – you never know what this will save you from until you have it
- Food? You want to put food in your bum bag with everything else? Say I get trapped in an elevator or the stairwell. Or I’ve jumped out of my taxi to assist the people trapped by rubble and I’m slugging away for hours and have to sit down to recoup some energy. Or I find myself trapped by rubble.The point here is to keep it small and have at least one item.
- 1 x muesli bar/energy bar/oat bar: something to give you just that little bit of sustenance to keep you going.
- 1 x electrolyte pouches or tabs
- some small candies, mints, jelly beans, something sugary
- 1 x the smallest container of water you can find can be included. They make pouches of water, canned water, whatever is small enough to fit. If you cannot fit in your pouch then clip it to the pack. It might not be a bottle. It might be only a little tiny food grade container that is too small to actually quench your thirst.
But you can wet your lips, moisten your throat, splash a little on your face, or face cloth. It’s there for you to survive that little bit longer
Assorted Contents: Room Permitting
(although bum bags are small you may be able to squeeze one or two extra items but in the end the size of the bag will dictate)
- hi-vis vest or reflectors
- tourniquets, if your first aid associations allow these
- a bandana: you can wet it to put over your mouth for a fire, wipe your face down, clean an area, wipe away sweat, use as a wound dressing if you have nothing else
- deck of cards
- portable Powerbank: to recharge a phone if necessary
- a couple of small glow sticks
- small Multitool
- seatbelt cutter
- glass breaker/window punch
- CPR face shield
- 1-2 x Ziploc bags: great for carrying water, water/splash proofing items, storing severed fingers etc. (well that escalated quickly!)
Remember every quarter (three months) check the contents. So many people prep so hard yet fail to consistently check the contents until it’s too late. Oops the flashlight is flat and doesn’t work. The water tastes off. The energy bar has expired.
Check check check!
This article is for those who don’t know what paracord is, or what ‘prepping’ means.
This is for those who don’t own a single piece of camouflaged clothing or gear.
This is geared towards those people who want WIFI on holiday or those who simply say “whatever happens happens”.
I apologize if any of what I have written sounds a little insulting or degrading but in no way is that my intention.
For those that say “whatever will happen – will happen” that’s fine. You’re entitled to say that.
But are you the sort of person that when the SHTF and you’re driving past a collapsed building or working in an office and someone else needs help, are you the sort of person that stops what you’re doing, digs deep and rushes to help those in need? Do you pull over; get out of your taxi and rush to pull people out?
Do you manage to evacuate your building and are relatively unharmed but around you there are colleagues or others in need of help?
You may not need the contents of your ‘go bag’ in these sorts of situations but someone else might.
You may only have one wound dressing to pad and stop the bleeding of you or someone else.
You may only have one triangle bandage to sling the broken arm of you or someone else.
You may only have one shock thermal blanket for you or someone else.
You may only have one burn-aid or burn dressing for you or someone else.
You may only have a couple of antiseptic wipes or swabs for you or someone else, you’ve used the bandage on someone else, but a cleaned wound may be something so small a thing to do but you’ve decreased the risk of infection.
But you’ve made a difference. You’ve increased your chance of survival. You’ve given at least one other person a fighting chance.
I know there are people out there who don’t think about these things and yes, absolutely, we cannot go through our lives constantly thinking about all the possible bad things that could happen. We need to enjoy the life we are given either by ourselves or with loved ones.
But something so small, so unobtrusive, so easy to put in a desk drawer or car glove compartment, that you know is there, could actually save your life or someone else’s.
If you don’t need to help yourself, use it to help someone else.
Everybody loves lots of windows in their house. Windows provide you with a view to the world. They provide natural light, warmth when the sun is shining, fresh air when the weather permits and the ability to cool your home on those hot summer nights. Everyone loves lots of windows except for a survivalist or prepper. Unfortunately windows can also be an invitation for uninvited guests during times of trouble. Providing a weak spot for entry into your home or business.
To break into someone’s house through a window you have to be committed to the crime. A window is loud, broken glass is dangerous, and climbing through a window is not easy. But compared to kicking down a door or picking a lock, breaking a window is a quick way for entry. Also, many doors now days have an alarm systems tied to when the door opens and closes. But those same alarm systems rarely recognize when a window is broken or when a window is opened.
– 2,000,000 home burglaries are reported each year in the US.
– About 30% of all burglaries are through an open or unlocked window or door.
– Nearly 66% of all burglaries are residential (home) break-ins.
– Renters are just as likely to be the victims of property crime as homeowners.
– The highest % of burglaries occur during the summer months.
– Homes without a security systems are up to 300% more likely to be broken into.
– 1 out of 3 residential assaults are a result of a burglary.
– 85% are from amateurs who are usually more desperate and dangerous.
– 95% of break-ins needed some amount of force to break-in.
– Thieves prefer easy access, through an unlocked doors or windows.
Let’s face it, we have all been to the bad side of town and seen bars on the windows. Right when you start to notice the bars on the windows, your situational awareness alert starts to go off and you posture begins to change. You often see bars on the windows in bigger cities in almost all of the neighborhoods, not just bad ones. Personally, bars on the windows do not bother me. The more security, the better in my mind. But bars on the windows can also give off the wrong message in a nicer neighborhood and can be a trap if you have a house fire. I have been through nicer neighborhoods and seen bars on the windows and thought to myself, that person either is keeping something of value in their home or they are very paranoid.
Related: Home Security After TEOTWAWKI
I have never personally priced out window bars but I imagine that they are not cheap. Also, the installation has to be somewhat invasive because you have to anchor the bars to the house with bolts or heavy screws. In an emergency, your access to get out of that window will be limited but your piece of mind will be high because you know that getting through bars will be very difficult for an intruder.
Shutter Them Out
An alternative to window bars are security shutters. The advantages of shutters over bars is that when they are opened, you have full use of your window and could actually get out of that window in an emergency. Another advantage is that the shutters actually provide extra insulation for both weather and sound. The disadvantage of shutters is that when they are closed, you cannot see out of them. I actually have some experience with these. When I lived in a major city on the west coast, I actually had one of these installed on a ground floor window of a townhouse that I owned. I came home one night and found a homeless person sleeping next to my front door under that window and I thought to myself, I need to do something about that window or someone will be breaking into my house.
The security window shutter worked great but it was expensive and looked a little bulky on the outside of the house. Also, I had to remember to shut it all of the time at night and open it for fresh air during the day when I was home. I know there are some models now that work on timers with RF controllers but I had the kind that you had to manually roll up and down like a window shade. So it was a little painful to say the least.
We have all seen the photos of Hurricane Katrina (and other hurricanes for that matter), where people board up windows with plywood and boards. Yes, this is an alternative during a major disaster but the reality is that it is not very practical for everyday living. Not to mention that boarded up windows are against most local ordinances unless the house is vacant. So while it might not be a bad idea to keep some sheets of plywood on hand for a major disaster, your neighbors are not going to be real happy when you board up your windows on a nice sunny day.
A 4th Option
Recently my neighbor had a bad experience. One night while he and his wife were at home. A person walked up to their home and tried to open their storm door which was locked. The perpetrator then tried to kick in the glass of the storm door which unbelievably held up to his boot. By the 3rd kick, the perp was staring down the barrel of a 12 gauge shotgun being held by my neighbor and decided to leave the area. After the traumatic event, my neighbor decided to upgrade his home’s security by adding motion lights, a security system, cameras, and security film to his windows. I have known about 3m window security film for some time but never investigated it fully until my neighbor put it on his house.
Before the event at my neighbors house, we had already decided to move to a new town. The new house we moved into has a lot of windows and a high homeless population in the area. On top of the homeless population, our new town has a high arrest rate for both heroin and meth. Having bars or security shutters put on my new house was a little bit out of the question for cost reasons and appearances. I didn’t want to be the only house in my neighborhood with bars on the windows but on the flip side, I wanted to have protection against a possible break in.
Also Read: Prepper’s Home Defense
I called a local window tinting company, who was a 3m dealer, and asked them about the cost and the installation of the 3m Ultra Series Safety & Security Window Film. Surprisingly, it was not that bad. For about 33 windows & sliding glass doors on the main floor of my house, the cost was under $2,000 installed. That to me was a good price for piece of mind. Now, will the film keep someone out who really wants to get in? No, but it will give me precious time to bring my friends Mr. Shotgun and Mr. Glock to the party.
Levels of Protection
3m offers 3 different levels of protection for window film and a bonding system the bonds the film to your window frame for added protection. From the company’s website here is the description of all three film layers and the bonding product.
Ultra Prestige Series: “Super cool protection. The first of its kind, the 3M™ Ultra Prestige Series films are made from clear, tear-resistant film. That strength is combined with Prestige Series sun control films to reject up to 60% of the heat coming through your windows and 97% of the sun’s infrared light. These films also reject 99.9% of harmful UV rays, reducing the effects of fading on your furnishings. Ultra Prestige Series films allow 50% to 70% of the natural light into your home. The result is films that offer all the benefits of sun control with safety features built in. With these films you’ll block heat, reduce hot spots and damaging UV rays, while also helping to hold glass together in the event of break-ins or accidents.”
Ultra Series: “Super cool protection. The first of its kind, the 3M™ Ultra Series films are made from clear, tear-resistant film. These films deliver superior performance over standard polyester films in blast and impact events; yet still maintain a high level of optical clarity. Ultra Series films are available in combination format with tinted 3M Sun Control Films to give you the best of both worlds.”
Safety Series: “A clear advantage. Our most basic protection level is available in clear or tinted sun-control versions. These single-layer 7 and 8 mil polyester films are paired with a special thicker adhesive to help hold broken glass together.”
Impact Protection Attachment System: “Highest level of protection. This unique window protection system combines the toughness of 3M™ Ultra Safety and Security Films with an adhesive or profile attachment system. Choose either 3M Impact Protection Adhesive or 3M Impact Protection Profile depending upon your frame and overall aesthetic needs. This combination system attaches the filmed window to the window frame, creating a robust shield that significantly outperforms window film-only systems. It’s extra assurance against impact energy from earthquakes and forced entry events—with enough strength to handle even bomb blasts.”
I ended up going with just the mid-level protection (Ultra Series) and did not do the impact protection system. I believe the impact protection system may be better suited for a commercial type property or vacation home that will be unoccupied at night, where no matter what, you want to keep someone out because the police response time may be long. You can also get a tint to the window film but that tint might make your windows a little hazy. I went with the totally clear window film to make my windows look as normal as possible. Make sure you have this discussion with your 3m dealer before the install about tinting or no tinting.
The installation took about one day with two installers. First, they meticulously cleaned the windows, then they applied the window film. After the window film was applied, they worked to remove all bubbles to make sure the windows looked totally clear. After the installation, they said that I might see a few bubbles in the windows but they should evaporate and disappear within 3 to 4 weeks. If any bubbles stay longer than two months, they would come back to fix the film. Out of 33 window/door treatments, I only noticed about 3 bubbles but after a few weeks they disappeared as promised.
My wife can no longer tell the difference between the treated and untreated windows, which is good. So far I can report that I have not had my windows tested by someone trying to break in and probably never will. However, I do sleep easier at night knowing that I have an upgraded level of protection on the ground floor of my house with the 3m Window Security Film. Is the product worth the cost? Ask me that question after someone tries to break into my house through one of my windows.
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There are many ways to use herbs and they’re easy to grow even if you live in a small apartment because they’re small enough to pose as house plants. A bonus is that they’re fragrant, pretty, and easy to take care of. They’re great to use fresh to season food, but they’re medicinal too.
In a SHTF situation, having these ingredients will be good for bartering as well, because everyone will need them for medicinal purposes or just as a luxury.
Our ancestors used these plants well for medical purposes, and you need to know how to prepare them too. Some recipes will call for them to be used straight up or dried, but many call for teas, tinctures, poultices, infusions, decoctions, sprouting, or powders so you need to learn how to properly make those, too.
Read this great article about growing herbs indoors to see where to start from, then follow the steps below to see how to turn any of them them into natural remedies.
How To Dry Your Ingredients
First things first. In order to use your ingredients, you can dry them and there are a few different ways to do this. Drying is a great way to store them long-term, though most of them lose their efficacy and flavor slowly over time.
Simply harvest your ingredients and let them dry in a warm, dry spot out of the sun, or in the dehydrator or oven. Regardless of which method you choose, make sure that they’re in a single layer so that they dry evenly. If layered, they may mold before they dry, especially if you’re drying them naturally.
Wash them off to remove any dust or bugs. If you’re drying them naturally cover them with a paper towel to keep them clean while they’re drying. Let them dry completely until they crumble because moisture will cause them to mold. If you’re using the oven, do so at about 200 degrees or so.
You want them to dry but not burn, and you don’t want to cook them because you want to preserve the natural goodness in them, not bake them all out.
Once you’ve dried them, you need to store them in an air-tight container. If you won’t be using them within a few months, you can always vacuum seal them to extend storage time.
If you choose to dry the entire plant, you can dry it using the same methods as above or you can hang them upside down in a warm, dry spot out of the sun. You can also dry citrus rinds. They’re rich in vitamin C and add a nice flavor. Just grate the zest off and dry as stated above.
In addition to leaves, you can use the berries, roots, bark, seeds, stems and flowers of many plants too, using the same methods. It just depends on what the recipe, or your personal preference, calls for.
To take drying a step further, you may want to powder it. Simply grind the herb into a fine powder either by hand or using a coffee grinder.
How To Make Tea From Herbs
Unless you’ve lived in a cave with no human interaction whatsoever, you’ve heard of tea. Teas, also called infusions, are made from the softer parts of plants such as leaves, flowers, or rinds. Sometimes seed and roots will be used in teas instead of decoctions because boiling will damage the essential oils in some plants. If you’re using seeds or roots, it’s best to crush them a bit in order to release the beneficial oils inside.
You can make tea from either fresh or dried ingredients and many of them are delicious as well as good for you. Teas are great for everything from personal pleasure to curing ailments and they’re quick and simple to make.
You can combine different ingredients for different flavor profiles or purposes, too. Play with them, and figure out which flavors you like best. If using them medicinally, do some research. I’ve written articles about that here and here.
You can put your ingredients in a tea ball or cheesecloth or you can place them directly in the water, then strain it. You can also drink them hot or cold. If the tea is medicinal and not particularly delicious, you can add a bit of honey or citrus rind as long as the recipe doesn’t specifically tell you not to.
A good rule of thumb is to use about 1 tsp. of powdered ingredients or 2 tsp. per cup of tea if you’re using dried. Double that if you’re using fresh ingredients. If you’re using them just for pleasure, you can adjust the amount to suit your taste. If you’re making a medicinal tea, you may use up to 1/2 cup of ingredients per cup, depending upon the recipe.
Start with boiling water, then put your ingredients in to steep, or put them in the cup and pour the hot water over them. Cover and let them steep for 10-20 minutes, then strain if necessary. Many medicinal tea or infusion recipes will call for longer steeping in order to infuse more of the plant benefits into the water. Enjoy!
How To Make A Decoction
Decoctions are similar to teas except they’re made with harder parts of plants, such as roots, seeds, barks, and stems. The primary difference in preparation is that you boil the ingredients in the water in order to release the medicinal aspects.
Bring your water to a boil and add the ingredients. It’s best to crush the ingredients a bit to release the oils and other benefits. Cover and reduce heat to a slow simmer. If you’re using smaller pieces, simmer for about 20 minutes. If using larger chunks, simmer for up to an hour, depending on what the recipe calls for. When it’s finished steeping, strain the herbs out and it’s finished.
The reason that you want to cover the decoction while it’s simmering is that you want to essential oils to drip back down into the decoction. A rule of thumb for amounts is a little over 1 tablespoon of dried ingredients per cup of decoction. If you’d like a stronger decoction, use more herbs, boil it longer, or let in steep overnight depending upon what the recipe calls for.
How To Make A Tincture
Tinctures are made when an ingredient isn’t particularly soluble in water or when you want to store it longer. The process uses alcohol in the form of vodka or rum (which needs to be at least 80 proof, or 40 percent alcohol), or 90-180 proof grain alcohol.
You’ll need dark colored bottles with tight-fitting corks or lids because sunlight damages the medicinal value of the tincture. If you don’t have dark bottles, your tincture needs to be stored in a dark place.
Making a tincture is a simple process but it’s important that you use the proper amounts of alcohol and dried plants. The ratio should be 1 part plant material to 4 parts liquid. To make it easier, use 2 ounces of plant material for every 8 ounces (1 cup) liquid. It’s important that you measure the plants by weight, not volume because 1 tablespoon of dried basil will obviously be much larger in volume that 1 tablespoon of bark.
The percentage of alcohol is important as well, to ensure that you get a tincture with at least a 1-year shelf life. The liquid needs to be around 40 percent alcohol, which means that if you use 80 or 90 proof rum or vodka, you can use it as-is, but if you use grain alcohol (180 proof), use 1/2 cup alcohol and 1/2 cup distilled water.
Add the ingredients to your bottles and make sure that the cork or lid is tight. Store in a dark area. Shake once daily until the tincture is ready. If you’re using soft material such as leaves or powder, the process takes about 2 weeks. Harder matter such as bark or woody stalks will take a bit longer: about a month.
At the end of the processing time, strain the mixture through a strainer or cheese cloth to remove the solid matter, pressing on the plant matter (wringing if you’re using a cheese cloth) to get all the liquid out. If you used powder, stop shaking the tincture 3 days before it’s done. The powder will settle to the bottom and you can just pour the liquid off the top through a cheese cloth.
Pour the liquid into a clean glass (again, preferably dark) container and seal well. Store in a dark place at room temp. Since you’re using a large percentage of plant matter to liquid, and the alcohol better releases the properties of the plant, dosages of tincture tend to be much less than that of teas or decoctions.
Dosage does, of course, depend upon the recipe but the average dose of tincture is usually 1-2ml (30-60 drops) two or three times per day. You can take it directly in your mouth to absorb it faster or you can mix it in a few ounces of juice or water. If, for various reasons, you don’t want the alcohol, add the tincture to a couple ounces of very hot and the alcohol will evaporate in a couple of minutes.
These are by far the easiest to prepare and are used for tender or fresh plants, or for material whose beneficial properties would be damaged using heat or alcohol. You simply soak the matter in water overnight and drink the water according to the directions in the recipe.
These are super simple because the crushed herbs are either placed directly on the wound, or between two pieces of cheese cloth or bandage, then placed on the wound. You may need to add just enough water to dampen the herbs.
Then wrap the treated wound with a light cotton bandage to keep the poultice on the wound. You can even use a large leaf to hold the poultice if necessary.
Compresses are just clothes that have been soaked in infusions, decoctions or tinctures. They’re placed on the wound and are often used in place of a poultice.
Now that you know a bit more about the different methods to prepare herbal recipes for survival, practice a bit. You wouldn’t want to use it for the first time ever in a life or death situation!
If you have any experience with using these herbal concoctions, or would like to share some great recipes, please do so in the comments section below.
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I really hate those barren vacant lots on city streets or on the side of the roads, you know what I am talking about? Every single time I pass by these urban wastelands, I fantasize about planting a garden there, in one of those blank lots.
However, in this day and age, I bet it would be against the law and I’d end up raided by SWAT teams, under suspicion of aesthetic terrorism or discrimination against urban decay. Ok, I may sound a little bit dramatic; it’s just for the artistic impression.
Regardless, empty lots are a common problem these days, and plant transplants will end up costing you an arm and a leg if you want to really make a difference.
Enter the latest seed-bomb technology, just for you, the new Captain Planet, the Eco-warrior. Seed bombs are a cheaper alternative compared to buying plant transplants, and as organic and natural as Mother Earth.
The Anatomy of a Seed Bomb
Make no mistake: the bomb particle in a seed bomb has nothing to do with terrorism. This is a bomb that, once “detonated”, will bring peace and harmony, fresh air, beauty, life, the whole nine yards. If I may use a metaphor, the seed bomb can be described as the weapon of choice for urban guerrilla gardeners, as it gets the job done in two shakes of a lamb’s tale.
A seed bomb is fast, precise and laser-accurate! Okay, now that I’ve got your undivided attention, do you know what a seed bomb is? Let’s begin with the seed, which in itself is an amazing thing, as it contains the key that makes life on Earth possible and livable.
The vast majority of plant seeds will require next to nothing for germinating/giving birth to a new plant. In most cases, all a seed will ever need is to get buried in moist soil, safe from direct sunshine or dehydrating winds, and away from predators, insects, or animals that would eat it instantly…yes, it’s a hard job being a successful plant seed.
Nature mitigates these survival problems by spreading the earth with a huge number of plant seeds, as becoming a plant from a seed is a very risky business.
But there is another way, and that’s where the seed bomb comes into play. Using a seed bomb, you’re basically hiding the plant seeds inside of a ball made from an absorbent material, usually a mix of soil/compost and clay. As the ball dries and its shell turns hard, it becomes very easy to spread the respective balls (these are seed bombs actually) on the barren area you wish to bring back to life. The hard shell of the seed bomb keeps the predators away until the planting time is near.
When the right time arrives, i.e. when it starts raining, the hard coating of the seed bomb will soak up with moisture, releasing its “cargo” (the actual seeds) onto the ground and providing a protective layer which holds the moisture near the seed, helping it germinate and develop into seedlings and then into a new plant. This is an elegant and beautiful concept, don’t you think?
However, this is not a new idea – pretty far from it. Seed bombs were used traditionally by many Native American tribes for protecting their planted corn kernels from predatory birds and drought. About 40 years ago, a Japanese gardener invented clay seed balls as an efficient way for planting his next crop of veggies and grains, but without disturbing what was left from the previous crop.
Seed bombs are the perfect way for planting all types of seed in places that are not very easy to take close care of, such as roadside strips, meadows or stream banks.
Also, seed bombs are a great method for planting grains or veggies without tilling or digging the soil, or for adding patches of color in already established gardens, without disturbing the plants that are already there.
If you’re a free range chicken-farmer, seed bombs will help your newly planted seeds to survive the chicken attack, and, as a plus, seed bombs are really fun to manufacture and to use, especially for kids.
Now, let’s see about the DIY part of the deal, i.e. how to make your own seed bombs.
Seed Bomb Recipe 1
- five parts pottery clay mix, available at your local art store,
- two parts potting soil,
- 1-2 parts seeds (whatever you desire),
- 1-2 parts water,
- a big tub for mixing the ingredients,
- a big box for drying/storing the seed bombs.
Instructions: blend the clay, the soil and one part of water together thoroughly and stir vigorously, removing lumps. Add more water slowly, until the mixture has the proper consistency. It should be just like canned molding clay you buy in the store.
In the next step, you put the seeds into the mix and keep kneading until the seeds are mixed in well; if necessary, add more water.
Now it’s the time for building the bombs by taking small amounts of the mixture and rolling them to form a ball about 1 inch in diameter. If the balls tend to crumble, i.e. they don’t hold together easily, just add more water.
Let the seed bombs dry for one or two days in a shady location before storing or seeding them, for example put them inside a cardboard box, but never in plastic containers. They need the open air to dry or else they’ll mold.
After they are dried, you can place them/toss them on your desired location, but remember, don’t add water and don’t bury them. The rest is up to Mother Nature.
Seed Bomb Recipe 2
- seeds of your choice,
- colored paper torn into pieces (3 pages for example, orange, pink and red),
- two cups of water,
- a silicone mold if you don’t want to use your hands,
- 2-3 pages of newspaper torn into pieces, a strainer,
Instructions: All the paper must be torn up and the pieces put inside the blender. Add two cups of water into the blender and blend, baby, blend, until everything turns to mush!
Place the strainer over a small receptacle and pour the contents of the blender into the strainer. The filtered “pulp” will be scooped out of the strainer and mixed with the seeds; this is basically the raw material for your seed bombs.
The raw material must be gently mixed and the excess water squeezed out, using the mold or your hands for making the same 1 inch-diameter ball as described in the first recipe.
In the final step, use a paper towel for pressing gently on every seed bomb, to soak any excessive moisture. You want to prevent the seed bomb from germinating prematurely; that would be bad. Now, allow your seed bombs to dry for two days and you’re ready to go. It’s best to store these seed bombs inside paper bags, remember that folks.
Or watch below for the video version about making the perfect tools for guerrilla gardeners and a great way for propagating seeds on a large scale or in not-so-rich soils!
Video first seen on Emilie Lefler.
Seed Bomb Recipe 3
- natural glue,
- seaweed extract.
Instructions: Mix one part seeds with five parts sawdust, and add some natural glue to the mix (read my previous article about glue here) along with a little bit of seaweed extract. The mix shouldn’t be too wet, or too dry, but just moist enough to form and keep a ball shape.
Allow the seed bombs to dry out thoroughly for at least a day, by placing them on a sheet of newspaper for example, laid out in your shed or something similar.
Remember to consider the habitat when you’re in the process of selecting the seeds, i.e. do you desire seeds that will build a brand-new habitat or you want to add some variety inside your garden?
Good luck, and have fun folks in your prepping!
This article has been written by Chris Black on Survivopedia.
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How to Pick a Lock Like most people, you probably think that lock picking is something that requires expensive equipment and years of experience. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is that you can begin picking simple locks with a $15 lock pick set and a few hours of practice. You …
I found an article with a great overview of urban survival skills. What makes it interesting is that it looks at urban survival from three different perspectives: The Stockpiler, The MacGyver, and The Survivalist. For example, when it comes to food: the stockpiler needs to store food, the Macgyver needs to know how to cook […]
During the 70’s and 80’s the survival market could hardly support a magazine or two dedicated to the topic. Today, it seems like a new survival-related TV show is released every month.
And we have more than a dozen magazines, hundreds of blogs, websites, groups, and stores, some organizations with memberships numbering in the hundreds of thousands and now this emerging market has matured to the point that it has some great regional expositions.
This is great news if you are interested in survivalism or emergency preparedness, and attending expositions like PrepperCon has a lot to offer.
1. Hurricane Simulator
After I arrived and held my first Q&A to answer reader and attendee questions about EMP, a couple people asked me if I had seen the Hurricane Simulator. Honestly, that was definitely not the first thing on my list because when I think of simulators at emergency preparedness expo’s I am used to seeing things more along the lines of high end dioramas for kids. I was very wrong.
As I approached, I saw a line near one of the emergency exits of the exhibit hall where some people were strapping on climbing-grade safety harnesses and putting on goggles and hearing protection. Once outside, some twisted minds took a shipping container and hooked up a 500hp air boat fan that was just slightly smaller than the inside of the shipping container and capable of pounding out 140mph winds.
Inside the simulator, victims’ safety harnesses were strapped to positions along a padded safety bar in front of the massive fan. A wind velocity sensor sent readings to a screen that told attendees how many miles per hour of wind was howling through the shipping container so they could attempt to reach the wind velocity matching the hurricane category they desired to experience.
Video first seen on Survivopedia.
Even with the safety equipment, many tapped out. I will spare you any wind-related puns and just say, it was amazing … an incredible and effective demonstration of the fury of hurricane-force winds.
I experienced a micro burst last fall on a beach of Lake Powell. It was probably only around 65-75mph but it was more than enough to put plenty of tents in the lake and flash floods from the storm resulted in the deaths of several hikers in a nearby slot canyon. PrepperCon’s hurricane simulator reminded me of the experience and is a great lesson for anyone who does not yet understand how damaging high winds can be.
2. Kyle Bell & His Son
Ben from the reality TV series Mountain Men struck me as respectful, humble, down to earth people and I think it is especially good for children to be able to meet people that the see on TV.
3. Ms America 2016 Julie Harmon
She gave a moving speech about the importance of family and emergency preparedness. Her sincerity toward the importance of the cause was evident and it is good for people to meet survivalists who defy the “doomsday prepper” stereotype in every way.
4. MilSim City
This shoot house gave attendees the opportunity to defend against a home evasion using paint rounds and realistic training arms.
If you have not trained at this level before, I strongly recommend it. If you have, repetition in skill training is important.
5. Wild Edibles Presentation
World class primitive skills guru David Holladay fed competitors wild edibles and taboo menu choices to get them to tap out as he educated expo goers about edibles foods native to the area. After the class, students tried an array of foraged foods from Southern and Central Utah.
6. Midlife Survival Challenge
Four survivalists competed to win a pack full of survival gear. In the challenge, they ate raccoon, chose between poisonous and edible plants and started a fire with a hand drill.
The odds of taking home prizes in the competitions were very good because far more people choose to watch than to compete, so there are definitely some opportunities if you don’t mind competing in front of a crowd.
7. Vehicles, Trailers & Watercraft
I was surprised by the number and diversity of big ticket rolling stock offerings at the PrepperCon 2016. It is easy for businesses with a high average dollar sale to recoup their investment in a booth so it is obvious why you see them at survival expos.What was surprising, and pleasantly so, was how many companies are offering survival-specific products. Hopefully we will start seeing more grey modular survival-specific vehicles and trailers soon.
8. Taster’s Choice Table
Have you ever wished you could taste food storage products before buying them in bulk? Being able to try long term storage foods before you buy them is very beneficial to us consumers so this was a good idea.
9. Faraday Cage by GTEK
This product Tim Ralston was demonstrating caught my attention because GTEK got features right that most companies do not. If you look at the photo of the product, you can see that there is no non-conductive rubber gasket, paint or coatings where the lid mates to the box. In an ammo can, these impede the flow of electrons through the skin of the Faraday cage, reducing effectiveness.
Also notice that mating surfaces are wide and precisely machined and that lid clamps in place for a tight seal. The box can also easily be locked and fixed inside a vehicle and many law enforcement agencies and departments are doing just that.
10. Knife Fighting Competition
Competitors paid $15 to Urban Survivors to stab and slash their way through opponents with paint knives. The winner took home an engraved sword.
Carrying a knife does not make you a knife fighter. Competitions like this induce stress on the participants, which is helpful because it simulates some of the physiological reactions we experience when we are in danger.
They also get people thinking about that little piece of metal they carry every day. If that leads to seeking out competent instruction that involves cutting on analogs like pig carcasses, then it is making people safer.
11. Children’s Tsunami Tank
As you can see in the image, the tank was an effective interactive display where children could visualize the impact of a tsunami on a city by generating waves.
12. National Guard Rock Wall
PrepperCon 2016 was full of opportunities to practice skills or learn new ones and the towering rock wall that the National Guard set up was a good example of that.
13. Survival Cooking Cook-Off
This was a novel idea. Many people have food storage, but have few or no recipes that use only long term food storage.
Events like this, take participants through the process of using food storage or other preparations and that is very helpful in discovering things were left out.
This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.
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Mass shootings and Active Shooter incidents have seen a steep rise in the US and across the world in recent years. To many people this is one of the most terrifying situations to imagine and prepare for. Most modern mass shootings seem to have an element of randomness and primal rage rolled into them which only serves to heighten anxiety. What can an average person do if they were in church, at work, and a shopping center or elsewhere when bullets suddenly started flying?
What is an Mass Shooting?
What is an Active Shooter?
Mass shooting refers to an incident involving multiple victims of gun violence The Congressional Research Service uses a definition of a “public mass shooting” if 4 or more people are actually killed. (source)
An Active Shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. (source)
What Would YOU Do?
Given the massive increase in these incidents, it is something we should all think about and prepare to survive. I encourage everyone to sit down and have a serious think about what you would do if you were in an area that was under siege by an active shooter bent on doing the most damage possible. Would you run? Would you fight back? Would you barricade yourself in a “safe” place and wait for help?
Increasing Your Odds Of Survival…
To help answer these questions I reached out to Robert Richardson, an experienced prepper and author who has written about this topic on multiple occasions on his site Off Grid Survival. Robert was very helpful and gave us some practical strategies and tips for maximizing the odds of survival should you ever find yourself under attack from an active shooter.
What can a person do to prepare themselves for the possibility of being involved in a mass shooting?
The number one thing a person can do is realize that the danger is real; this alone already puts you ten steps ahead of the rest of the public, because at the very least you will start to become a little bit more aware of your surroundings and the possible dangers that exist.
Modern day shootings seem to have an element of randomness, what can a person do to reduce their chances of getting caught in the crossfire?
While this might be true in some cases, if you look at a vast majority of these shootings many of them have a couple things in common.
First, a vast majority of these shootings happen in what are known as gun-free zones. For me, I try not to frequent any establishment or area that limits my ability to defend myself. Most of these mass shooters want a large body count and they want easy victims; that’s the reason most of them target gun-free zones. They know they will meet little resistance.
Second, they tend to target events that will get the most media attention; large public events, grand openings, and opening night premiers are all higher-risk situations. I’m not saying you should live your life in fear, but you should be more alert in these types of situations.
If a shooting occurs what is the first thing a person should do?
The first thing you should do actually begins before the shooting ever takes place. Whenever I enter a new place, I make sure I know exactly where my exit points are; that way should something happen, I know right where to head once the danger strikes.
And for those that think this is being overly paranoid, remember this one strategy can save you not only during mass shootings but also during threats like earthquakes or fires. You should always have an exit strategy.
When should a person run vs fight back?
You always want to make escape your number one priority; fighting back is a last resort option, but an option you must be prepared for. Remember this isn’t the movies; all it takes is one bullet to end your life so escape is always the best option.
Should a person who decides to move to safety run as soon as the bullets start flying or hunker down and wait for an opportunity?
It really depends; it’s something that you’re going to have to decide at the moment, based on what’s going on – there really are too many variables to say for sure. But in general, hunkering down or sheltering in place is almost always a death sentence. I really hate when businesses or schools suggest that sheltering in place is an actual strategy for survival; it’s not!
Your number one priority is to get as far away from the danger as possible.
You Should ALWAYS Have An Exit Strategy
If they decide to fight back, how do they identify their opportunity to strike?
Your best chance might be during a temporary pause, or when the gunman is reloading. It’s really going to depend on the situation, and you may never have a good window of opportunity. That means if you have no possible route of escape, you need to act. That is your window.
Stat Shot: There were 372 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2015, killing 475 and wounding 1,870.
How would you convince random strangers in the same area as you to rush an attacker?
It’s probably not going to happen; most people panic in this type of situation because they never prepared for the possibility. The best you can hope for is yelling “GET HIM!!!” or something like that and hoping others instinctively follow.
What if there is more than one shooter? What should I do differently?
More than one shooter definitely changes the equation, but again these things happen so fast that you really aren’t going to have the opportunity to change things up. You will have to be more aware of where the shooters are, but in general your options are about the same; escape if you can, fight back if you have no other options.
If you had to hunker down how would you signal the outside world for help?
If you can quickly dial 911, without taking your eyes off the danger, then yes. And remember, when hunkering down there’s a difference between cover and concealment. You need to take cover behind something that’s actually going to stop a bullet. Real life is not like the movies, and things like chairs, cars, etc. are not going to stop a bullet.
What should you teach kids to do if there is a shooting at their school?
I would tell them the same things as I would an adult; your best chance is to escape. I don’t care what policy the school has in place, if they tell your kids to shelter in place inside a classroom they are wrong, and I would have some serious doubts about sending my kid to that school.
Make sure your child knows where the escape routes are, and if possible download a map of the school and show them where to go.
Robert’s article Protecting Your Children from Active Shooters & Mass Shootings covers this topic in detail.
How do we increase our level of Situational Awareness to be able to detect danger?
Part of it is just starting to make a conscious effort to look at your surroundings on a daily basis.
Take note of the types of people that are around you, what they are wearing, what your environment normally looks like, etc… that way if something odd happens you will instantly recognize that things aren’t right. And don’t be afraid to trust your gut, we have these feelings for a reason.
If you have kids, point things out to them when you’re out in public. Teach them what to watch out for, where exits are when you enter a business, and encourage them to look around at the world. Make them put down the electronic devices! If your face is staring at your phone you’ll never see anything!
What are some areas/events to avoid if you want to minimize your chances of being a victim of a mass shooting?
Avoid opening night events or premiers.
Avoid politically charged rallies or anything that has a planned protest around it.
Avoid high profile events like championship games etc…
What big mistakes are we told to do by the media and authorities if we are faced with this type of situation?
The biggest mistakes, or downright lies and misinformation spread by the media, include telling people to shelter in place, and not mentioning the importance of carrying your own firearm protection. The simple fact is, these shooters want easy victims, and there is no way the police are going to be able to respond in time to save you. You can be a sitting duck, or you can even the playing field and give yourself a fighting chance.
You can be a sitting duck, or you can even the playing field and give yourself a fighting chance
Active Shooter Situations are a cold, hard reality in modern day life. We need to face this reality and prepare for it like any other. As we see from Robert’s advice, there are a few simple things we can do to increase our odds of survival:
Avoid high profile events if possible
Know your exits whenever going someplace new
Practice situational awareness to get a gut feeling of any situation
If a shooting occurs evacuating the area should be a the priority
Fighting back or sheltering in place are distant second options but may be necessary
If you choose to fight back look for an opportunity where the attacker is distracted or reloading
If you choose to shelter in place find something solid (preferably concrete) that you can hide behind and call for help
Robert has two articles on his site Off Grid Survival that cover this topic. They are great resources and if you want more info I encourage you to check them out:
Here is a fairly good instructional video on what to do if caught in an Active Shooter situation:
Do you have any suggestions for how to survive an Active Shooter scenario? What would you do if you were caught in the crossfire? Let us know in the Comments Section below, thanks!
About Robert Richardson
Robert Richardson is the founder and head writer at OFFGRID Survival, one of the top emergency preparedness/survival websites in the world. He is preparedness and survival training expert with over 20 years of real-world experience, and a licensed ham radio operator with over 20 years of emergency communication experience. He is a hunter, fisherman, & extreme backpacker. He writes about his hunting and fishing adventures at monsterfishandgame.com
Robert Richardson is the Author of the Book: The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide: Self-Reliance Strategies for a Dangerous World. You can check it out on Amazon HERE.
Would you like the ability to control when your image is or is not captured by facial recognition software?
Many Americans feel abuse of this technology routinely violates either the God-given or constitutional rights of US citizens.
Facial recognition software enables the image of a subject to be identified by assigning values for the relative proportions of aspects of the subject’s face, and then comparing to databases of values for the faces of individuals whose identity is known, such as databases of passports, military ID’s, driver’s licenses, law enforcement databases, year books, school records and so on.
Newer technologies employ three-dimensional information about the shape of a face and skin texture analysis. This information can be misused to violate rights such as freedom of assembly, freedom of movement and, some believe, can constitute unlawful search and seizure or other rights violations.
Rights and property predate law. Law was created in order to protect rights and property, but is now all too often used to legally plunder them.
Professor Alessandro Acquisti conducted a series of experiments at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) which identified strangers, identified their personal information and, in some cases, even social security numbers and credit reports. The experiments were both on-line and off-line and used only photos, social media and resources available to end users.
He demonstrated the ability at the BlackHat security conference in Las Vegas … five years ago in 2011!
Think this technology is only available to the government and highly paid private investigators? Unfortunately, it’s attainable by pretty much anyone who knows how to read and has the will and a smartphone. CMU even developed an app that overlays personal information on an image of the person’s face.
I don’t think the fact that facial recognition software and social media increase privacy risks is a new idea to most people, but I think that the seriousness of their personal exposure often is. People tell me all the time that they don’t like to think about privacy, and global surveys bear out the fact that people tend to ignore known cybersecurity risks the world over.
Does your own normalcy bias extend to social media?
Is privacy a factor when you choose smartphone apps?
Do you manage your on-line data footprint?
How easy would it be to identify you using facial recognition?
I’m not talking about the government, police or tech nerds wearing products like Google Glass here. I’m talking about anybody with the will and a smartphone being able to not only identify you, but access your personal or sensitive information.
I’m sure most of you do not lay awake nights worrying about whether it is possible to identify you through facial recognition, but could you successfully avoid facial recognition if you determined you had a need to do so?
Many preppers find it useful to consider “what if” scenarios involving grid-down, WROL (Without Rule of Law) scenarios in the theoretical vacuum of a technology-free world. Placing theoretical boundaries on survival scenarios is fine for recreational daydreaming, but less effective as an aid to serious preparation. With the sheer number of cameras in circulation, some will likely still be working in the majority of scenarios.
A reversible hat, two or more hats of different colors and designs may enable you to quickly change your appearance enough to escape detection by someone with a verbal description of you.
Hats, long-sleeved shirts, hoodies, reversible jackets, sunglasses, umbrellas, newspapers and gloves are all tools that aid in masking physical characteristics, enabling you to stand out less if you have to travel through, as area where you may be perceived as an outsider or wish to remain anonymous, on or off camera.
- Camera Finders
Cameras can sometimes be detected and avoided if you see them before they see you, or if you know where they are ahead of time. Then they can be neutralized with something as simple as a disguise, a tilt of the head or placement of an opaque object between you and the camera you wish to avoid.
One of the easiest ways to detect cameras is to use a camera finder.
Camera finders would be more correctly called reflection or lens finders because they use light reflected off camera lenses to find hidden cameras.
These devices typically have a lens or filter that the operator looks through to sweep an area for cameras while the device projects light, which is reflected back by camera lenses and highlighted when the operator looks through the camera finder’s lens or filter which matches the color of light.
Some devices employ magnified lenses and can aid in the detection of cameras at 6′-30′ distance. Some operate in the NIR range so you don’t have to darken the room in order for the device to be effective.
Alternatively, you could use a wireless camera finder, but they only find wireless cameras that are transmitting. You could use a glint finder, but they are really designed to find a camera with a flash by illuminating the retro-reflective material in the flash element, but they can sometimes aid in finding a lens.
Or you could try a glint finder app. They attempt to employ your smartphone LED as a glint finder, but I yet to see one that I would describe as effective.
- Helps you find cameras to up your situational awareness, improve your security and better avoid them.
- Works on cameras whether they are on or not.
- A simple version of this tools can be improvised out of materials you probably have laying around the house or could buy at a Walmart if you enjoy the thought of hastening the US economy along its charted course. Not one of your many skills? Pull up an Instructable or “How To” article on-line.
- Won’t find a camera if it is hidden behind a reflective surface like a one-way mirror, so you should inspect any reflective surfaces to make sure they are one-way and don’t have any pinholes.
- Only identifies cameras as opposed to “tricking” facial recognition software.
- The process of sweeping for cameras will seem strange under most circumstances if done in public.
- Today, cameras have lenses, but innovators are working hard on lens-less camera designs that would not be able to be detected by this technology.
- Quality varies.
- Clothing and Accessories with NIR LEDs
These products use bright NIR LEDs to overload the light sensors on a digital cameras resulting in unusable images.
According to Kit Eaton at FastCompany, if you wear clothing or accessories that protect your privacy, you are “cartoonishly paranoid.” But manufacturers do not seem to be bothered by liberal media naysayers and are making clothing and accessories with features like NIR LEDs to defeat surveillance and facial recognition cameras.
The first product I saw was a pair of eyeglasses designed by professors Isao Echizen and Seiichi Gohshi of Kogakuin University. They sported an array of 11 NIR LEDs in front of the face to blind digital cameras. Now there are baseball caps, hoods and even a burqa.
- Some are not overtly visible to the naked eye.
- Can be integrated into clothing and accessories.
- Can be a DIY project.
- Very obvious on camera that you are using the technology.
- It hides your face as opposed to “tricking” the camera that you are someone else.
- Writers might call you names.
- Retro-reflective Clothing and Accessories
Wearing clothing that has even a couple of inches of surface area that is retro-reflective makes it trivially easy for anyone with a flashlight or night vision with an IR illuminator to find you in the dark, but it can also blind cameras in much the same way that NIR LEDs do.
Just make sure the material is near your face. Retro-reflective eyeglass frames and hoodies with retro-reflective trim are two effective options.
Certain materials like BlackMagic by 3M do not reflect visible light, but do reflect NIR light.
- Not necessarily overtly visible to the naked eye.
- Good for night signaling in an emergency.
- Good for roadside safety.
- Users stand out to searchlights at night.
- Very obvious on camera that you are using the technology.
- It hides your face as opposed to “tricking” the camera that you are someone else.
- URME Prosthetic Mask
This high quality prosthetic mask of the face of privacy activist Leo Selvaggio is not your typical Halloween mask.
The name is pronounced “U-R-Me” and I believe the mask started on Indiegogo and may still be available on ThatsMyFace.com. The mask fools Facebook’s facial recognition software and are sold at cost because Selvaggio believes that everyone has the right to privacy.
This mask is so high quality that the chances of someone calling you on it on the street are pretty slim as long as nothing looks out of place with the rest of your appearance and you don’t have to speak to them. But a facial recognition camera is not going to notice that your lips are not moving.
- Quick change.
- High quality.
- Expensive at $400.
- “Why are you wearing a mask?”
- If someone stops you, and you speak, they will probably notice that your lips aren’t moving.
- Some software may eventually filter out this “face” unless masks of many more faces are made.
- Hair & Makeup
By styling hair and wearing makeup in certain patterns, facial recognition can be fooled.
Adam Harvey devoted his master’s thesis to fooling facial recognition and arrived at the makeup patterns in the image. He says that they work by throwing off the symmetry that the software recognizes as a human face.
If you are going to apply camouflage makeup, why not incorporate a pattern that will fool facial recognition cameras?
Probably not going to motivate someone to call the police and report you.
- May not work 100% of the time.
- “Why are you dressed like that?“
- Not quick or convenient to change your appearance.
- Balaclava, Sunglasses & Hat
I always have one or more hats, some quality sunglasses and a balaclava in my EDC bag and use this method to protect my identity in photos I post to social media or when editors, radio shows or Expo’s want a head shot.
One of my favorites is a no-drip, fire and flash-resistant flesh tone balaclava of DryMax material, but I have others I wear in cold weather or for specific purposes. I like the Shemaughlava by 782 Gear too and always have a large 100% cotton handkerchief or shemagh handy.
The same tools can help protect you from exposure, protect your eyes or can help protect your identity if you have to do something you’re not proud of in a world full of cameras.
When things go sideways and the lights go out, I find comfort in reaching for low tech tools to solve the problems at hand and hats and balaclavas are just that.
If you use this method, be sure to cover as much of your face as possible. Object recognition does not use the covered portions of your face and some software can identify faces with as little as 30%-50% of the face unobstructed.
- Easy to explain why you carry it.
- Low tech.
- Hides you as opposed to “tricking” the camera.
- Will not work with thermal imaging unless you use materials designed to do so such as multi-spectral camouflage.
This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.
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What can you learn from homeless people? Lots of things! Especially if you’re interested in learning street smarts. There are a number of scenarios in which you would have to abandon your home and/or vehicle and bug out on foot. If you’re in the city when this happens, […]
As the world around us grows more unstable, we as preppers have recognized the need to be prepared if SHTF. One of our major concerns is having enough food to feed ourselves and our families long-term and there are two issues that stand in our way.
First, it’s tough to grow food in urban areas because of space limitations and government regulations. You already know how the government is using different regulations aiming to ban self-sufficiency.
Second, regardless of where we live, we don’t want everybody to know that we have food stored away because if things go sideways, it will be every man for himself and hungry people are desperate people.
The solution to both concerns is learning unconventional, sustainable ways to grow food under the radar. I’ve done my homework and have some solutions that I’d like to share with you.
Growing “Ornamental” Food
Growing food that looks ornamental has two major advantages over growing a traditional garden. First, it satisfies urban or home owner’s association requirements for an attractive yard. It also produces food in a way that your neighbors won’t likely notice.
There are many ornamental, edible plants that you can grow in raised beds, as ground cover, in vertical beds, or as trees and bushes. Plants such as strawberries, peppers, berries, cabbage, tomatoes, herbs and fruit trees are all examples of ways to grow ornamental food that supplies you with edibles in a manner that people won’t even suspect.
Grow Food Indoors
Believe it or not, you can grow plenty of food inside, even if you don’t have much space.
Though you may not be able to grow enough to sustain yourself completely, what you grow will certainly add to your stockpile.
You’re going to be surprised by some of the ideas that I’m going to suggest.
You have the obvious ways, of course. You can grow plants in planters, window boxes and hanging baskets. A few examples of food that can be grown indoors includes herbs of any sort, tomatoes, oranges, carrots, and peppers.
Examples of not-so-common ways to grow food inside include using hydroponics, which don’t require dirt, and aquaponics. You can actually grow plants and edible fish and plants in your fish tank!
Growing food inside is the ultimate way to keep nosy neighbors and interfering governments and associations out of your garden and you can grow food year-round for both food and medicine.
Privacy Fences and Shrubs
Though this isn’t a fool-proof way to keep neighbors from peeking at what you’re doing, it IS a good way to keep roving strangers in the dark, especially if you’re using plants that are ornamental as well as edible.
Who’d think that those beautiful hanging and vertical plants are actually food sources?
Grow a Roof-Top Garden
Don’t laugh – would YOU look on somebody’s roof for food? Probably not, and neither would most other people. Especially considering that most people who are unprepared likely haven’t researched creative ways to grow food, a roof-top garden is going to be completely out of their line of sight.
But believe me when I tell you that it’s possible, and it’s not rocket science!
Growing a roof-top garden only requires a flat roof. It can be your barn, your apartment building roof, or any other roof that you have on your property. If you’re building a new structure on your property, consider building it in such a way that you have an out-of-sight place to grow some container plants.
If the roof is sturdy enough to hold dirt, and is under your control, you can actually put an entire garden up there.
You know that pond you have out back? Oh wait, you don’t have one? Then how about building one? Even a koi-style pond can be used to grow food hydroponically or aquaponically.
There are many aquatic plants and fish that can be grown in a relatively small space. You can even grow standard plants using aquatic gardening by planting them in floating planters.
Best of all, nobody would suspect that your entire beautiful pond is a food source for you. If you do your research, you’ll find that many aquatic plants are packed with vitamins and minerals, and you can use a variety of edible creatures including fish, shrimp, and snails.
The water in your pond is also a great fertilizer. Oh, and you can do this indoors on a smaller scale.
Underground or Basement Gardening
We’ve all heard about people growing pot in their basements or closets using grow lights so why can’t we carry that over to edible plants? If you have a basement, cellar, large building or even a shed, you can grow food without sunshine using grow lights. Your neighbors will never be the wiser.
Oh, and what about this: growing food in your bunker? Even if the lights go out when SHTF and you have to go underground, you’ll have the food that’s currently growing in there to provide food until the plants die from lack of light. You could always use solar panels to keep your grow lights on, too.
Or, you can transplant your plants into secret places around the property (i.e. in the woods around your house) and nobody will be any wiser. That brings us to the next method.
There are hundreds of edible plants that most people would never think of as food. You can always plant these around your property so that you have food where other people see weeds or inedible flowers or trees.
You can even scatter traditional food plants throughout your property in smaller plots so that if one is discovered, you have other plots that will sustain you.
This is a relatively new concept that combines hydroponics (growing plants without soil), vermiculture (creating fertilizer using worms) and aquaculture (raising fish or plants using water). In short, vermiculture is a self-sustaining way to grow both plants and fish without soil.
There are numerous benefits to this process. Fish and worms both produce waste products that make excellent fertilizer. The plants that are grown are packed with nutrients and grown without chemical fertilizers. The system can be set up in a relatively small space and is a circular growth cycle that constantly produces two food sources simply by maintaining the system.
I learned about vermiponics from a report that details the process from start to finish – see my review here.
This one isn’t quite so much on the down-low as it is sneakily hiding your plants in plain sight.
If you have hedges, you can also plant edibles throughout them that will blend right into the hedges.
Berry bushes, cucumbers, peppers, potatoes, carrots and rhubarb are just a few plants that pop to mind when thinking about this.
Figuring out how to grow food to feed your family without looking like a survival beacon to those who don’t prepare isn’t that hard if you’re just willing to put on your thinking cap and think outside of the box.
There’s nothing saying that you can’t have your greenhouse and garden to grow food for now, and you can even hide them on the back of your property so that others are less likely to see them, but it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan.
As a matter of fact, having an obvious garden may serve as a great decoy to keep people away from your other methods. Remember that people aren’t going to be thinking of methods other than the obvious because they haven’t put any effort into prepping. They’ll see your garden, raid it, then assume they’ve gotten all that you have.
I’d also like to point out that it’s good to store your preserved foods in more than one place. If you’re planning on bugging out, you likely have places where you’re planning to stop for the night, or use as a safe place to stay or to meet up with the rest of your family. Stock some food in these places even if it means digging a bit of a hidden cellar or just burying the food.
If you have any other good ideas about growing food on the down-low, please tell us about them in the comments section below. If we all put our heads together and share ideas, then we’re stronger as a community.
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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Paracord projects are more than just a fun way to pass the time. Paracord is one of the most versatile pieces of survival gear kit you can possibly own – so having it on you is a huge boon in case you ever get stuck in any sort of survival situation. And while rope can certainly do… Read More
This is just the start of the post 91 Paracord Uses: How Many More Can You Think Of?. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
91 Paracord Uses: How Many More Can You Think Of?, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
If you’re living in the city during a disaster, the last thing you want to do is draw attention to yourself. Whether it’s a short-term disaster like a hurricane or a long-term disaster like an economic crisis, you can expect crime to be very high. Police will be […]
Having an escape plan is a basic tenant of survival. While a prepper’s escape plan is often a good indicator of his overall state of preparedness, carrying a restraint escape kit doesn’t make him an evasion artist any more than owning a first aid kit makes him a physician.
The restraint escape kit is one facet of an escape plan, which is part of a survival plan that includes preparation, skills, training, planning, awareness and fitness in each of the basic areas of life. Knowing how to use and carry it, is another part of the deal.
You already know about the Survival Sensei Restraint Escape Kit from my previous article on Survivopedia about restraint escape kits. SS REK is a kit that I’ve designed to address shortcomings in commercially available kits, and now I’m going to tell you more about how to (and how not to) carry restraint escape gear.
Stay tuned, more is still to come about techniques specific to escape and evasion.
What Not To Do
Many vendors designing and selling restraint escape gear should know better than to hide it in wallets, glue it under a Rolex, attach it to or carry it in anything you are likely to be unceremoniously relieved of when mugged, much less abducted.
Unfortunately, some vendors are more interested in moving product than in your well-being, which is unacceptable. Some of the good guys currently teaching restraint escape are failing to think like bad guys. Police officers and soldiers may not be interested in taking your watch or wallet from you, but criminals are.
Some criminal organizations in the business of kidnapping strip victims down to their underwear and/or take their footwear once they are transported to a site where they can be held. Victims not ransomed are sometimes killed, sometimes prostituted and sometimes sold. The stupid and lazy criminal is a stereotype Hollywood uses to entertain and parents use to get young children to sleep.
Now that you know how a criminal acts, avoid these places to put your restraint escape gear unless you want it discovered and taken at the outset of the ordeal:
- Survival kit (Even a small kit is a target if stored in your clothing or worse yet, in or attached to a bag.)
- Fake credit card
- Watch band or under the watch (Especially an expensive watch. I have had watches as cheap as $15 stolen right off my arm.)
- In jewelry that someone in a hurry could imagine to be of value
- Bag or pack
- Behind a badge, in a badge wallet or ID
- In or attached to a gun belt or load bearing equipment
- Bundled together or packed together in a Kit bulky enough to be found in a pat down and carried from the skin out.
The Balance Between Ideal and Convenient Carry
I carry restraint escape gear daily, so I understand the need to balance best practices with convenience. A REK or PSK (Personal Survival Kit) is not going to do you any good unless you have it when you need it.
People tend to leave gear behind if it is inconvenient to carry, so some degree of bundling of gear may be necessary in order to have the tools on hand that are necessary for you to escape the restraints most likely to be used on you.
If you decide to carry it all together in a single kit, justifying that you won’t carry it otherwise, at least consider carrying it in a kit that you can stash under layers of clothing, cheek, tape or deep carry in the event that your situation becomes dire and you have time to do so. I do not recommend planning on having time to hide RE gear at the last moment, because it may be too late by the time you realize that you need to do so.
If you are unlawfully restrained, it is unlikely that you will know beforehand what type of restraints will be used or in what position you will be restrained. If you are restrained with your hands in back and the tools you need are in front, you won’t be able to reach them and vice versa.
You need to be able to reach your tools whether your hands are in front of you or behind you. This can be accomplished by carrying two sets of tools, carrying them on your wrist, hands or feet, tying them to a cord that circles your waist, wearing them so they can be lowered or dropped into your hand, and so on.
It doesn’t matter how you do it. It only matters that the method is effective when you need it to be.
Carry For Your Environment
In jurisdictions or situations where the danger of being searched is high and/or the consequences of being caught carrying RE gear are severe, then carry everyday objects that can be quickly modified to serve the same purpose, e.g. mini binder clips can be carried as money clips and the handles used in place of handcuff keys.
If you have long enough hair, wear hair clips and bobby pins.
In deciding on what to carry, this is what you must take into consideration:
- Am I in a permissive or non-permissive environment? What are the risks and my exposure to those risks if I am caught with RE gear? What is my risk and exposure if I don’t carry RE gear and I end up needing it? Are there laws that apply to RE gear in the jurisdictions I will travel through?
- Who are my potential enemies? What are their MO’s, motivations and capabilities? e.g. in one part of the world I frequent, a common method of murder is to bind the victim and tape a plastic bag over the head of the victim. It’s cheap, convenient, relatively quiet and doesn’t make a big bloody mess. It’s also a death you just might be able to escape if you are aware of the threat and properly trained and equipped.
Carry Options for Restraint Escape Gear
Carry options are only limited by imagination. Any given method is only effective with gear of the right size and shape, so I modify my RE gear to be adaptable to a great number of carry options, some of which are:
Elastic Loop Carry
The RE Modules can be folded in half and carried in elastic handcuff key loops sewn on many belts designed for concealed carry. The elastic loop also serves as the belt’s tag.
This method is convenient in that your belt can be moved to whatever clothing you are wearing that day without having to move the tools. You can also sew elastic webbing loops onto other belts you own or even some articles of clothing. If you do, use a slightly wider elastic loop which enables you to store the kit laid flat. This makes the kit more difficult to detect in a pat down.
SERE Belt Carry
Laid flat, both RE Modules, the E&E Module, money, a friction saw and a couple of last ditch ingestible items all fit in mine without any noticeable bulges and room to spare.
The Black Ops by Oscar Delta is the best design I have found to date because it constructed like a taco that closes at the top with a thin strip of Velcro. This makes it easy to retrieve tools from the belt without dropping them.
The belt looks like a high quality version of countless other web belts and does not have a paramilitary look to it or the gimmicky molded buckles used to hide gear that are common.
It’s not cheap to buy a restraint escape kit and have it sewn in to each article of clothing you own, but it is affordable to add “suspender buttons” to your trousers and shorts so you can hang tools by a Kevlar thread/trip line for retrieval.
The line serves double duty as a lanyard for small tools to prevent them from being dropped out of reach into the dark by hands that are cold, wet, muddy, sweaty, bloody and/or injured.
You will most likely be operating at significantly less than 100% due to a mix of fear, fatigue, stress, pain, hunger, thirst or exposure. With this method, only two sets of RE tools (one accessible in front and one in back) are necessary since they can be moved each time you change clothing.
Hang tools so they lay behind reinforced areas of clothing like the flies, seams, tags, etc. and in areas that don’t typically get touched in a pat down.
Safety Pin Carry
Low tech and simple are often underrated these days. All modules of the SS REK come with a subdued safety pin to affix them inside. Most kits worth carrying can be adapted for this method with a safety pin, a little Gorilla tape and/or vinyl tape and a hole punch.
Safety pins are also useful tools in their own right. The inside of your underwear is one of few places your gear is likely to go unnoticed if you are forced to strip down to your drawers and change clothing, which is SOP for some organizations.
Fly Button Carry
Like a suspender button, you can loop a thread or cord over the button of button fly trousers. This is also a popular carry method for Go Tubes or Stash Tubes and an RE Module and most of the E&E Module or up to $1000 US in a 2.6″ tube using this method.
Under Tag Carry
RE modules are small enough to fit under the tags of some clothing brands. It is hard to feel tools underneath semi-rigid leather tags and it is a small matter to remove a tag from one article of a clothing to another.
Moleskin or Band Aid Carry
You can stash a cuff key and/or shim under a patch of Moleskin, Molefoam, a Band-aid or similar dressing from your First Aid Kit before going into a high threat situation. Make it look real and use the flattest cuff key possible. The E&E portion of the kit includes an extra pocket for a handcuff key modified for flat storage.
Using bandages, medical devices, casts and even surgical implantation is a method of smuggling that enjoys a long and storied history including the famous Lincoln assassination, but Ed Calderone (Ed’s Manifesto, Libre Fighting Systems, TAD Black Box Course) arrived at the idea independently and would like to receive credit for it.
Considering his contributions to the field, I would be the last person to deprive him of that. (Well … that and the fact I don’t want to get hung on a meat hook and used as flesh piñata for one of his Black Box courses) … so, “Great job Ed!” : )
The SS REK is sized to fit under Velcro flag patches on uniforms and in Velcro Covert Patch Pouches which are carried underneath a flag patch or on top of the Velcro on uniforms and hats and have an interior pocket to hide REK or E&E gear on a uniform, hat or anything else with a flag patch.
There are several brands of underwear on the market that have stash pouches designed into them. They range from hidden secret pockets to just well-placed pockets.
I travel to places where armed robberies are common enough that anybody who is streetwise carries an old cellphone in their hand or pocket in public and carries their newest phone in their underwear.
If it is so common why does it work? Probably because typical MO is that criminals will board a bus, one puts a pistol to the driver’s head and the other goes down the bus with a bag and a handgun telling everyone one to drop their wallet and their phone in the bag. If you don’t comply, they shoot you in the face and move on.
The laws are so easy on minors that in many countries that it’s mostly minors doing the robberies. In this case, the criminals are young, scared, in a hurry and don’t have time to search people … even foreigners. You need to stay situationally aware. That means understanding your enemies, their motivations, their situation, their capabilities and the same for yourself.
Jewelry or Accessory Carry
Escape kits or tools can be built into necklaces, earrings, hair clips, eye or sun glasses, bracelets, rings or any other accessory. To be effective, you want to avoid: looking like an escape tool, the appearance of being valuable, looking paramilitary in nature or standing out in any way.
Objects that look common, worthless and benign are more likely to be overlooked, but even this depends on the knowledge of your captor, how much of a hurry they are in, at what point you are in the abduction process and so on.
Objects hidden in plain sight are most useful immediately after capture or during transportation because they will likely be found later on.
Most shoes come with a built-in friction saw in the form of shoelaces. Depending on the material use to restrain you, your shoe laces may work as a friction saw in a pinch, but it’s a simple matter to replace factory shoelaces with heat resistant, high strength, abrasion resistant cordage. A friction saw is a piece of cordage with loops tied on the ends and work similar to a wire survival saw.
The saw is threaded through restraints, you put your feet through the loops and use a bicycling motion to cut through restraints by generating heat. This technique can be used to cut para cord without a knife by using the cord to cut itself.
Friction saws are effective against duct tape, zip ties, rope or Zip Cuffs, but you may need to use a handcuff shim, bobby pin or other object to thread the saw between the bindings and your skin if it is tight. Tying a knot in the center will give the saw extra bite to cut rope made of natural fibers but knots are less effective when cutting synthetics.
Para cord works, gives you a source of cordage and comes in so many colors that it’s not difficult to find one that looks normal on boots, but Technora and Kevlar look less para military and are more resistant to heat. Sheathed Kevlar looks sharp on dress shoes. Just cut the cordage to length, burn the ends and add some aglets or improvise a pair from clear tape for a temporary, field expedient solution.
At least one model of handcuff key is made to be crimped onto a shoelace in place of an aglet, hiding in plain sight.
Placing escape gear on the feet, or in footwear solves the problem of accessing a tool whether you are restrained with your hands in front or in back. Footwear often has complex lines, taped seams, insoles, soles and heels, making them a favorite of smugglers for hiding small objects.
Tools hidden in footwear are best used early on in the ordeal because captives are often relieved of their footwear at some point, but some of the best opportunities to escape often occur shortly after capture or during transportation. In some cases, abductees have been forced to give up their shoes but allowed to keep their socks.
At some point, it may be to your advantage to cache RE gear. You need to have RE gear on your person to start out with, but many escape tools are tiny so it is not unreasonable to carry a little extra. You will not likely be able to cache gear in the van used to abduct you ahead of time, but what about the trunk of your own car? Kids fatally trap themselves in car trunks often enough that interior trunk releases are now mandatory, but older vehicles don’t typically have them, they can be disabled and your chances of escape improve if you have freed yourself from restraints prior to opening the trunk and making a break for it.
Hiding an RE Module, a light source and a side arm in your car trunk can improve your chances of survival should you be stuffed into the trunk of your own vehicle by an opportunistic criminal who has underestimated you.
In the US, if a criminal armed with a handgun attempts to transport you, the chances the motive is robbery are almost nil and your chances of survival after being restrained and transported drop to single digits without an RE kit. Your chances are statistically far better if you fight and run … but this is only in the US and you have to make the call based on the circumstances and your abilities or lack thereof.
Percentage-wise, even if you are shot with a handgun during the escape attempt, you are 5 to 6 times more likely to survive than if you allow yourself to be bound or cuffed and put inside a vehicle. Given the opportunity, you may decide to cache some of the RE gear you carry or have obtained during the ordeal to prevent its discovery.
A glue dot or a little tape can help you seemingly defy the laws of physics to cache RE tools or hide them in a search of your person. Methods as simple as taping the kit to the bottom of a foot have escaped detection and enabled successful escapes.
It is also a sound practice to cache resources to aid in self recovery including backup RE gear in your area of operations. If you do manage to escape, it will likely be with precious few resources and stealing or using social engineering to get what you need can increase risk of recapture. Putting caches in place can be a simple insurance policy. Caches can be simple and inexpensive but need to be accessible 24/7/365 without anyone taking notice or being able to trace the cache back to you by any means if discovered.
Given the opportunity, you may be able to sneak a tool into your mouth. A slim shim is easiest. Definitely wouldn’t try for more than a handcuff Key and a bobby pin unless you are a magician and have gone so far as to make a dental prosthesis or have a flap surgically installed in your mouth. Like most techniques cheeking effectively takes practice.
Swallowing items for later retrieval is another option if capture is imminent, but the technique is dangerous, so you should make a risk-reward assessment according to your circumstances.
Candidates for swallowing are small non-ferrous, non-magnetic objects without any sharp edges making them less likely to damage the GI tract or get stuck in it which may require medical intervention to remove. The best candidate is a plastic hideout cuff key compatible with a reach around tool such as a bobby pin which should not be swallowed. Small button compasses have been swallowed by pilots and some instructors will tell you to do it, but that is risk-reward call.
I would absolutely not swallow a magnet or pairs of powerful rare earth magnets like I carry to use as a general direction compass by placing it on a small non-ferrous float or suspending it from a thread to point to magnetic North.
Once a magnet makes it’s way into the intestine it can attach to another magnet or a ferrous object, pinching off the intestine or the blood flow to an intestine which can be fatal. If either of the objects have a sharp edge or there is a small metal object such as a tiny flake of metal from grinding an object or using flint and steel in your GI tract, it could perforate your intestine.
Body Cavity Carry
This carry method is common enough that every culture seems to have it’s own euphemisms for carrying gear in the rectal cavity, the colon or any other body cavities you may happen to possess.
I get that this is not a topic for polite conversation or one where you are going to want to put in a lot of “range time” and is dangerous, but it is something people at risk should be aware of, should they find themselves in a desperate situation requiring such extreme measures. This technique is somewhat taboo to discuss, unpleasant to think about and surely more unpleasant to do … especially in situations where the pucker factor is so high you could scant drive a toothpick betwixt your cheeks with a sledge hammer.
Unfortunately, survival often entails going outside comfort zones and getting past cultural taboos. Ingestion and rectal insertion are dangerous and I certainly do not advocate this as an EDC method, but I did take this into consideration the design process.
This carry method typically involves placing the items to be carried inside a stash tube which is hidden in the rectum. The tube should made of a materials that are at short term biocompatible (at minimum), be as small as possible and free of any sharp edges.
It is possible pack a kit in a tight bundle without any sharp edges and tie it inside a condom. Obviously form factor and minimalism are of utmost importance here so an Altoids tin probably isn’t going to be a good candidate.
According to Don Rearic’s research on the topic, at least one desperate prisoner carried a small stash tube for 15 years or more, carrying it high enough in the colon to not be found in cavity searches. The SS REK is small enough that most of it can be packed into a stash tube and keistered for later retrieval.
The longer a stash is carried, the larger it is and the less biocompatible it is, the greater the danger will be to your health and the greater chance of discovery will be. See above for why a magnet and a ferrous object or more than one magnet in your GI tract can be fatal.
Disclaimer from the Author
This topic may hurt some feelings and make some of you sad or otherwise uncomfortable. Even for the rest of you, it will take many of you outside your comfort zone. I try to keep my material family-friendly and generally positive … not Pollyanna positive, but optimism, proactivity and courage save far more lives than reactivity, negativity and fear mongering.
Restraint Escape is about improving your chances to survive certain harsh realities of the world we live in, so if you are a child or emotionally fragile, please stop reading and get parental consent or guidance before continuing. Survival and restraint escape involve tools and techniques that are dangerous, may be illegal in some jurisdictions and which can get you killed if misapplied.
The author of this article is not a physician or a lawyer. This material is not presented as legal counsel or medical advice and is not intended to encourage or train the reader for any criminal activity. The author’s intent is to make readers aware of information that criminals already know in order to better protect themselves and save lives. The author does not advocate attempting to escape legal restraint or arrest by law enforcement. Attempting to escape legal restraint by a police officer is a quick way turn a misunderstanding or lesser crime into a felony or possibly even a funeral.
But still remember that anarchy and disaster don’t follow the rules, and the skills that you have will be your only mean of survival.
This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.
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Are you prepared to feed your family should disaster strike?
I’m not talking about going a day or two, or even a week or two, without power or access to a grocery store. I’m talking about a major, long-term disruption in the food supply.
Will you be able to grow your own food for months or years, even if the soil is contaminated or you have limited space to garden?
Learning as much as possible about living off the grid is a great first step. The more you know, the better your chances are of survival. We’ve found a report that outlines an alternative, extremely effective method of food production that you may want to add to your knowledge base; vermiponics.
Vermiponics combines aquaponics (growing pants using fish), hydroponic gardening (growing plants using water or other liquid), and vermicomposting (composting with worms). Though each method certainly has its purpose, growing a diverse range of food on a long-term basis isn’t something that you can accomplish with any of them independently.
Vermiponics brings the three methods together to make a viable, relatively easy, sustainable way to produce up to four times as much food as other growing methods.
The body requires nutrients that it can’t produce on its own. This includes omega 3’s and amino acids, along with standard vitamins that you’ll find on the back of your vitamin bottle. It’s always best to get these nutrients from food sources because that’s how your body is built to process them, and vermiponics provides both veggies and fish for consumption.
Running out of food is a realistic concern for people who are preparing for catastrophic conditions, but you can only preserve so much food. Also, when food is canned, it loses taste and nutritional value during the preservation process. It loses even more of both as time passes.
This is yet another reason why this report is so valuable; even if you’re not a prepper, vermiponics is a great way to grow fresh, healthy, great tasting food for yourself! You’ll know what was used to grow it, and you’ll save a ton of money when you don’t have to pay for organic produce.
Now that you know what vermiponics is and why it’s valuable, believe me when I’m telling you that this report is a must-have for anybody interested in growing their own vegetables. Here are just a few things that the report discusses in detail:
- What vermiponics is and how it works
- How to choose the best worms, fish and plants to make your experience a success
- Why vermiponics is healthier that growing food in other ways
- How to safely and easily build your own system at a reasonable cost even if you’re not extremely mechanically inclined
- How to maintain the system regardless of climate, season or extraneous conditions
- What and how to feed your worms and fish without depending upon commercial food.
- How to maintain sanitary water that’s the correct temperature for your fish to thrive
Though starting a vermiponics system isn’t complicated, there are a ton of details that need your attention; that’s why this report is so valuable. It touches on everything from which fish would be best for your system to which type of lights you should use.
If you’re looking for a way to grow your own organic food that’s delicious and packed with nutrients, then this manual is certainly something that you should check out!
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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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It used to be your right to openly grow a garden or have livestock in your yard if you so desired, but the laws are now so strict that, for many of us, growing our own food when living an urban life is nearly impossible.
The government has slowly made it illegal to be self-sufficient all in the name of public and personal health and safety.
In fact, if things were to go south today, many of us wouldn’t be able to feed ourselves with fresh food because the laws today forbid it. However, as any experienced prepper will tell you, there are work-arounds if you’re willing to look for them.
Read this article to find out more about a few anti-gardening and farming laws and how to get around them.
Watering Your Plants
Again, “for the good of the community”, cities often limit the use of water for gardening or watering your lawn, especially in summer, and this is due to limited water supplies. Some people are fortunate enough to have an old well on their property that allows them to circumvent the restriction but for most people, defying the ordinance means facing a fine if caught. This requirement is hard to face when trying to grow your own food.
Use grey water, or catch rain water if you are allowed to. Grey water is water that you use in your house that doesn’t contain any type of bodily waste or hazardous material. The two easiest ways to use this grey water on a small scale are to save your warm-up water and recycle your wash water.
We waste literally hundreds of gallons of water per year waiting for it to get hot for showers or washing dishes. That water is perfectly clean and running it down the drain is part of the reason the restrictions are in place to begin with. Catch it in buckets and use it to water your garden. Washing machine water can be re-routed and used to water trees and larger plants, too. There are some rules that you need to follow to use this water safely, though.
Rain water can easily be caught in barrels, then used to water plants, if rainwater usage is legal in your state. Don’t let it sit for too long though, because it can grow stagnant and attract unwanted bugs such as mosquitoes.
Most cities have regulations about how you can keep your yard.
Gone are the days of you being the king (or queen) of your castle; you have to keep your yard looking a certain way so that it maintains “curb appeal”.
In other words, it doesn’t matter if you own the place, you can’t grow squash if your city thinks it’s ugly.
Homeowner’s Associations are even worse; they have to follow city laws but can also make stricter regulations that can quite literally get you evicted from your own house if you don’t follow them.
Of course, this is partially your own fault if you bought the property after these rules were in place, but communities often come under the rule of homeowner’s associations after people are already living there.
In this case, you’re going to have to be smarter than they are. Fortunately, that usually won’t be too hard.
The easiest ways to get around these laws are to grow privacy hedges or put up a privacy fence, at least in the back yard.
You need to be careful here, because many cities require that you provide open access to water mains; thus your front yard can’t be fenced in.
Another good work-around is to use raised beds or vertical gardens; they’re attractive and you can plant edible ornamentals in them to give them even more curbside appeal.
Now, I understand that compost piles can be a bit visually off-putting, but then again, so can your chubby neighbor while he’s mowing his lawn with no shirt on. Unfortunately, there’s no law against that, though there probably should be. There are often laws against composting, though.
One of the primary reasons composting is banned in many places is because of the odor. Properly tended, a compost pile shouldn’t smell like anything other than dirt unless you’re composting manure in it. If your compost pile smells, it’s likely not heating up enough for the organic material to break down. It could also be that you’re adding the wrong things to your pile.
Even if it’s legal, many towns have regulations about the size of compost piles or regulations that require a certain distance between your compost pile and your neighbor’s house or property line. That makes it difficult for many “townies” to have one due to the size of their lot. In numerous communities, outdoor compost piles are illegal, no matter how small it is or where you put it.
You can, of course, go before city or community councils and make a movement to fight the regulation, and you may win. You also have the option to have a smaller compost bin inside, often under your sink. This is a great option to cultivate fertilizer for your flower beds or raised gardens. It also gives you experience on a small scale so that if SHTF, you’ll already know your stuff.
Keeping livestock, even something as small as chickens, is often prohibited within city limits. There’s not really a good work-around for this other than to connect with local farms that may be willing to let you keep some animals on their land for the cost of feed. Co-ops are also an option as they offer the opportunity to get a variety of vegetables, and often meats, on a regular basis.
You probably won’t be able to raise a calf in your back yard, but if you really want chickens, you may be able to get away with a few using a privacy fence. You’ll have to keep the coops extremely clean so that they don’t smell and offend the neighbors to the point that they complain to authorities.
Urban Farming Laws
This is kind of a catch-all description of the way that government restricts farming and gardening. Most cities, and counties, are zoned in a manner that restricts what can happen on particular parcels of land in specific areas.
The entire city (or county) is divided into zones, including farming, commercial, and residential zones. Depending upon your zone, you’re restricted to, and from certain activities. For example, in a residential zone, you likely won’t be allowed to operate a business.
These zoning laws seriously affect people who want to farm. Fortunately, many cities are now revising these laws and relaxing what types of gardening and farming activities are allowed, but there’s still a long way, and thousands of cities to go before you’re allowed to openly garden or farm in a zone that doesn’t permit it.
Most of the work-arounds described above apply to this problem, but you may still be subject to fines and could be ordered to destroy your gardens or get rid of your animals. The most pro-active thing that you can do is to start a movement toward acceptance of urban gardening in your community. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
The fact is, gardening and prepping is becoming much more main-stream than it was even 5 years ago. Some people garden as a means of knowing exactly what they’re putting in their bodies and others, like us, have gardens that produce food to feed us now, and in case of emergency.
Because of this shift from covert to main-steam, urban farming laws are changing and you have the ability to help facilitate that change in your area. This doesn’t mean that you have to let your neighbors know about the cellar or the bunker that you have hidden out back, but you can give things a nudge in the right direction by gathering with like-minded people to get the laws changed.
If that fails, continue as you’ve been doing and just be smart enough to find the loopholes and work-arounds that are there if you’re determined enough to find them. There’s no government agency planning to rescue you in the middle of chaos or giving you and your family the food that you need to survive. The only thing they really plan about you is starvation by regulation.
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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Survival situations can arise in the blink of an eye, so we are always looking for ways to increase preparedness. However, carrying all of your survival gear on a daily basis simply is not practical for most people. Therefore, we also try to find lightweight gear with multiple functions that can be carried discretely as you go about your day. With so many features available, tactical watches are a survival tool worth investigating.
The tactical watch is possibly the most impressive form of wearable technology. With many practical uses, as well as specialized functions for extreme operations, tactical watches can provide you with a wealth of information to aid you in survival. The key to making the best choice is to determine how you are most likely to use it and finding the features that best meet those needs.
Survival Features Of Tactical Watches
Sure, a tactical watch sounds like an awesome piece of must-have gear but choosing one will be based on exactly what you will be doing. Completing a threat assessment will help you decide which features will most benefit you, then you can look for the watch with the best design for those features. No matter how you plan to use your watch, a secure comfortable fit and ease of use will play an important role.
In a world where we rarely use phones to talk, it isn’t too far-fetched that the primary function of a watch is the one least considered. How the time is displayed is a matter of personal preference. Digital or analog, military or standard 12 hour, or any combination may be available, depending on the specific tactical watch.
In addition to simply displaying the time, there are useful features that come into play in a post-disaster situation, such as a full calendar and sunrise/sunset indicator. Having a sense of how much time has passed when bugging out will provide a sense of stability and continuity. You can be sure the water boiled for a full 10 minutes, plan when to check your traps, or figure out how far your bug out party can travel during daylight. It is especially useful to know the exact date if you are tuning into emergency broadcasts for instruction, such as when and where relief efforts will commence.
Standing Up To The Elements
Tactical watches are built tough to withstand rigorous activity and a variety of conditions. Some have extra features to deal with special situations, such as diving, parachuting, and high impact activities.
The face will typically be made of a scratch- and shatter-resistant material, such as sapphire or mineral crystal. Stainless steel is a common material for the bevel and casing, due to its durability. Anodized aluminum is a lightweight alternative that does not compromise strength.
Tactical watch bands come in a variety of styles of materials, including nylon, rubber, leather, and steel. There are advantages to each material, depending on intended use and personal comfort.
Other areas to consider that are specific to your needs are low-temperature resistance, submersion, impact resistance, and dust resistance. You’ll want to make sure that the construction is solid and will keep out anything that could damage the internal mechanisms.
Finding Your Way
Navigation features range in accuracy and capability. For simple orientation, you might get by with compass points on a rotating ring to give you a general idea of the direction you are heading. Some tactical watches have an actual button compass integrated into the watchband, while others use a digital or analog compass display.
Altimeters are usually displayed as a real-time reading but some tactical watches are able to record elevation data. Tracking your elevation is very useful in conjunction with topographical maps, making it easier to know if you are on the correct trail.
For more precise navigation, you can choose a watch with a digital GPS readout so you are able to pinpoint exactly where you are. This can be very useful if you need to share or record your specific location coordinates, such as for search and rescue, locating your bug out camp, or coordinating a gathering point for your bug out party. For day to day use, approximate location may be sufficient but if you spend a lot of time in remote areas, you may want to go with a tactical watch that has GPS.
Monitoring Your (Or Someone Else’s) Health
For daily use, a heart rate monitor can be used to track your activity. This is a great feature for fitness training but it also has survival applications. Unless you pack a stethoscope into your bug out bag, a heart rate monitor is the next best thing when you or a member of your bug out party is sick or severely injured. For conditions such as disease, loss of blood, and shock, keeping track of the person’s heart rate and being alerted to accelerations or decelerations can be life-saving.
If you are a traversing high-altitude region, an altimeter will also help with health maintenance. Altitude sickness can occur at 8000 feet above sea level and if left untreated, can result in death. The first warning signs are headache, nausea, and fatigue and should not be ignored. Breathlessness, caused by fluid in the lungs, is a sign of High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (HAPE) and can be accompanied by fever and a frothy cough. Drowsiness, clumsiness, and irritability are signs of fluid on the brain, known as High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACE). Both of these conditions are fatal. Therefore, paying close attention to your altitude is especially important to your survival.
A thermometer can assist you in making sure that your shelter is warm enough, knowing when to avoid being exposed to extremely low temperatures, or conversely, extremely high temperatures. The general safe temperature range for humans is 40F-95F. Spending prolonged time on the low end of that can result in hypothermia or on the high end of the range, hyperthermia. Being aware of the temperature will help you make decisions that favor your survival.
Top 5 Tactical Watches
#1 Garmin Tactix Bravo
This watch is built tough for handling rigorous field operations. A high-strength domed sapphire lens is mounted in a stainless steel bezel and rear case plate. The buttons are knurled for ease of grip and are also PVD-coated stainless steel. The display is non-reflective and night-vision compatible. Two interchangeable nylon straps are included.
The high-resolution display turns the watch face from an analog clock to a personal GPS device, with TracBack technology for finding your way back to your starting point. You can view your precise coordinates or switch to map view and follow your progress point to point. Mark locations along the way, such as water sources or dangerous terrain, and share them using Bluetooth or ANT+ wireless connections.
The Garmin Tactix Bravo also has great features for training purposes, such as monitoring stride length, cadence, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation. The heart rate metrics provide a stress score, performance condition, and lactate threshold readout so you can track how your body is handling physical activity. It also tracks sleep patterns to create a record of your overall health.
One of the coolest features of the Tactix Bravo is the ability to download additional screens to customize to your specific needs. You can even set it up to receive alerts from another device, such as emails and texts from your smartphone.
The battery life depends on which mode you are using: 20 hours in GPS mode or 50 hours in UltraTrac mode. A USB charger is included.
#2 Casio G-9300-1 G-Shock Mudman
Named for its resilience to mud and debris, the G-Shock Mudman has internal gaskets on all of the buttons and screws that are designed to handle dirty work. A sapphire crystal face protects the digital display, which features 12 or 24 hour time, date, temperature, pressure, and directional readouts. It also tracks the phases of the moon in a visual graphic.
The Mudman is shock resistant and water resistant to a depth of 200 meters, making it a suitable diving companion, as well. For navigating on land, use the digital compass with full 0-359 degree range, corrected for magnetic declination.
Since it is solar-powered, the G-Shock Mudman does not need to be charged or wound and it can last up to 8 months on a full charge even without exposure to light. This is a great feature for backcountry survival.
#3 Suunto Core
Designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind, The Suunto Core has key weather and navigation features, as well as being built to handle tough conditions. The Weather Trend setting records and uses the recent barometric history to predict when a storm is coming; a rapid drop in air pressure usually indicates that a storm front is moving in. For more ways to predict the weather in nature, CLICK HERE.
The altimeter has several modes, including a start-from-zero setting to measure progress from a reference point. A movement sensor can automatically alternate between altitude and barometric displays in one mode or you can control which number is displayed by switching to manual mode. It also senses depth up to 30 feet and is submersible to 100 feet.
The digital compass includes a bearing lock for orienting in a continuous direction, which can be used on land and underwater to stay on course.
The Suunto Core has a mineral crystal display, aluminum bezel, and high-strength composite case. The strap is elastomer with an adjustable buckle closure.
#4 Luminox SureFire 2211 LED Wrist Light & Watch
The main feature of the SureFire, aside from being a durable timepiece, is the 3-level LED flashlight integrated into the casing. The flashlight operates by pressing either of the ambidextrous controls. When both are depressed, the light cycles through descending output levels of 300, 60, and 15 lumen.
The highest setting is bright enough to see approximately 150 meters ahead of you, which is useful for surveilling the area. Sixty lumens is suitable for working around camp, hiking, or climbing a dark stairwell. For map reading, unlocking doors, or just to be more discrete, the lowest setting is ideal. For more about lumen output and LED flashlights, CLICK HERE.
The Luminox SureFire 2211 is built to military specifications out of hard-anodized aerospace aluminum, which makes it surprisingly lightweight for its size. The rubber wristband saves weight while also reducing rotation about your wrist. It has a Swiss-made clock with self-illuminating hands and bezel markers.
The design was intended for military, security, and law enforcement personnel, as the flashlight is positioned for a two-handed pistol grip. However, having a hands-free source of illumination has countless other applications. It is useful in any situation where you need light focused at your hands, such as medical situations, household projects, camping, and construction trades. In an urban bug out, it’s perfect for breaching buildings.
#5 Timex T49859 Intelligent Quartz Tide-Temp-Compass
With several key nautical features, the Timex Tide-Temp-Compass is ideal for boating, swimming, and snorkeling. Behind the mineral glass lens is a quartz analog clock with concentric rings that include analog tide tracker and temperature displays. The digital thermometer reads air or water temperature, and the watch is water resistant to 100 meters. An Indiglo light allows you to view the full face in low lighting.
The stainless steel case has a slide-rule bevel with directional indicators. A fourth hand on the clock serves as an analog display for the digital compass. The sturdy stainless steel band features a deployment clasp for a secure fit. Overall, this is a rugged watch by a trusted brand, and more economical than others in its class.
Tactical watches are far sturdier than other electronic devices, such as cell phones and tablets. If you rely heavily on your smartphone to provide tactical information, keep in mind that it may cease to function in a disaster scenario and it likely wouldn’t survive 100 meter submersion, even in the toughest protective case. The convenience of having a wealth of information at your wrist and the extreme durability of tactical watches makes them a useful tool for survival situations.
Which features do you think you would be most likely to use in a survival situation? Do you think tactical watches can replace other survival gear? Share your opinions in the Comments section below, thanks!
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