7 Tips for Avoiding an Urban Terrorist Attack

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Although technically a terrorist attack can happen anywhere, it is far more likely to happen in an urban area. In addition, it is more likely to happen at a large gathering such as a concert or sporting event. So whether you live in an urban area or just visit one occasionally to see a singer […]

The post 7 Tips for Avoiding an Urban Terrorist Attack appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

7 Ways to Prepare for a Financial Crisis

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The Great Recession officially ended in June of 2009–over 8 years ago–and since the United States has never gone over 10 years without a recession, something tells me hard times are just around the corner. If you’re not prepared for a financial crisis, it’s time to get started. And even if there’s never another recession, […]

The post 7 Ways to Prepare for a Financial Crisis appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

How to Process a Coffee Plant From Tree To Delicious Cup

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A delicious cup of coffee is a luxury many of us can’t do without. This tropical beauty (the coffee plant) has us wrapped around her little finger from the first sip to the last drop. 

Now that I live in the tropics, I’ve jumped in with both feet to grow a coffee plant and process the beans. Today, I’ll show you how I do it. Now, we didn’t process our coffee plant the easy way. I deliberately didn’t look up all the labor-saving ways to process coffee, much to my wife Rachel’s chagrin. Instead, I decided to do it all by hand.

It started with harvesting the coffee cherries from the coffee plant we discovered in the cocoa orchard.

Watch the video. (Length: 8:47 min)

After that, there are four distinct phases to processing the beans from the coffee plant.

  1. Harvest the fruit from the coffee plant
  2. Remove the coffee beans from the fruit
  3. Ferment/clean the coffee beans
  4. Dry the coffee beans
  5. Remove the “parchment” layer from the dry beans
  6. Roast and grind the beans

I created a couple of videos showing the whole process. You can watch the two-part long version or the short version.

In Part One, we remove the coffee beans from the fruit and start the fermentation process. (Length: 18:29 min)

We did this all by hand, so it was a rather time-consuming process. Using your teeth is not necessarily recommended but works much better than any implement I’ve found, unless you do it the easy way and smash with a big board, like this (Length: 1:43 min):

In Part Two, we show the final process from drying to roasting. (Length: 17:39 min)

If you’re short on time, watch the short version. I demonstrate the whole process from coffee plant to cup in 2.5 minutes:

And, just because…I’m sure you have a cup of coffee close at hand. Have a little fun with the Hip-Hop version!

There’s really no excuse for the rap, but I guess you could call it “edutainment.”

Can’t handle the caffeine in coffee? Try some Dandelion Coffee.

A few years ago, I did a post sharing the entire process as a Hawaiian couple does it.

Sounds like fun and you get coffee?! That’s a win-win! So are you going to try to grow your own coffee plant? Tell us in the comments below.

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The post How to Process a Coffee Plant From Tree To Delicious Cup appeared first on The Grow Network.

How to Germinate Peach Pits (and Why You Should)

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Save money by growing your own peach trees from seeds. It’s amazingly easy! My video on how to germinate peach pits has almost 40,000 views since I posted it back in July of last year. Watch it below.

Since posting that instructional video, I have received a lot of comments and emails from people thanking me for showing them how to grow their own peaches from seeds.

Recently, my friend Amanda sent these two pictures of her peach-sprouting success.

germinate peach pitgerminate peach pit

How Do You Germinate Peach Pits?

Some years ago, I discovered in some dusty corner of the internet that peach pits require cold stratification to germinate. Cold stratification is a technique used to simulate real-world conditions that a seed would get outdoors after a frozen winter, which then gives way to a warm, wet spring. There are six methods of cold stratification to choose from: cold water soaking, refrigeration, fall planting, winter/solstice sowing, outdoor treatment, and snow planting.

I put this knowledge to the test with great success, starting about 50 peach pits I found beneath an abandoned and squirrel-ravaged Tropic Beauty peach growing a few miles from my old place in North Florida.

germinate peach pit

I did this experiment despite the fact that there are hordes of small-minded gardeners, who take great pleasure in lecturing everyone about the utter worthlessness of starting fruit trees from seed.

These people are wrong.

Here’s a video I did showing some of my seed-grown peach trees in fruit:

And here are two pictures of some of the delicious fruit I got as a result of germinating peach pits in my very own refrigerator:

germinate peach pitgerminate peach pit

In their SECOND year, my two seedling peach trees produced about five gallons of fruit. They continued to massively outproduce the grafted peach trees I planted before them, plus they grew with more vigor.

Growing fruit trees from seed isn’t a dumb thing to do. It’s a great thing to do, and a YUGE, high energy, too. Check out this video on how I germinated other fruit trees from seed!

Sometimes the “experts” aren’t necessarily correct. They’re just people who say things adamantly because they’ve heard other people say them.

Heck with that.

Germinate peach pits and you get free fruit trees. Easy! The same method works for plums and cherries, too. And if that’s not enough, you can read about sprouting avocados here.

Finally, here’s how you germinate peach pits, cartoon-style:

germinate peach pit

 

Thanks for the pictures, Amanda, and may your peaches grow and produce abundantly. And let us know how your germination experiments go! We’d love to hear from you. Put your comments below.

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The post How to Germinate Peach Pits (and Why You Should) appeared first on The Grow Network.

25 Survival Uses for Clothes Pins

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Clothes pins–along with bobby pins, paper clips, and Q-tips–are one of those handy little items that almost everyone has around the house, but most people don’t realize they have multiple functions beyond the ones they were invented for. In this video, the very creative Youtuber known as Sensible Prepper lists 25 ways to use clothespins […]

The post 25 Survival Uses for Clothes Pins appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

DIY Alcohol Stove With a Dollar Store Water Bottle

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Today I want to share a really cool tutorial I found by Survivalist Prepper. For a lot of people, money is tight, so buying little camp stoves for your bug out bag or whatnot can be a challenge. This is why it’s worth learning how to make your own things. This DIY alcohol stove requires […]

The post DIY Alcohol Stove With a Dollar Store Water Bottle appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

The 5 C’s of Urban Survival

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In case you don’t know, the “5 C’s of Survivability” is a term coined by survival expert Dave Canterbury from Dual Survival. It’s an easy way to remember the things you need to survive in the wilderness. His list includes a cutting tool, combustion, covering, container, cordage. Since they are the most difficult things to […]

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8 Hidden Fresh Water Sources To Tap for Urban Survival

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Finding water in the wilderness is actually pretty straightforward. Walk downhill, look for animal tracks that are all heading in the same direction, watch for areas with lots of insects such as mosquitoes, and listen carefully. There are many other ways to gather water in the wilderness, but those are the basics. Gathering water in […]

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Setting Up Camp With Just 5 Dollar Store Survival Items

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This video by Corporals Corner shows that if you know what you’re doing, you can survive in the wilderness with only a few simple supplies. There are lots of “dollar store survival item” lists out there, but what I love about this video is how he takes the items into the woods and uses them […]

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10 Items to Grab When The SHTF

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I recently discovered a fairly new Youtube channel called The Prepared Wanderer who in just one year has already made nearly 100 videos. His focus is on camping and bushcraft and he’s been a Search and Rescue Team Leader for over a decade. This video is his response to a viewer who wanted to know […]

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Survival Psychology: How to Never Surrender

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Canadian Prepper is probably the best survival-related channel on Youtube. He’s made hundreds of high-quality videos on a variety of topics. This particular video is on a topic that isn’t discussed often enough: survival psychology. People in the first world live such easy, cushy lives compared to everyone else. Yes, even those of you who […]

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10 Things That Could Cause the S to HTF

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SHTF is by far the most popular acronym in the prepper community, but what exactly would cause SHTF? What sort of crises should we be on the alert for? In this video by Reality Survival, JJ Johnson talks about 10 realistic disasters that could happen at any time. If nothing else, this list will remind […]

The post 10 Things That Could Cause the S to HTF appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

What Will You Do If The Sewage System Is Down?

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One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of preparedness is the question of what to do with excrement after the SHTF. Disaster movies often show people starving to death or killing each other, but one of the most common ways people die during disasters is from diseases like cholera due to a lack of sanitation. […]

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25 Survival Uses for Q-Tips / Cotton Swabs

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Q-tips, cotton buds, cotton swabs, or whatever you want to call them, can be found in almost every single household. So if you’re a prepper, you may as well learn how to use cotton swabs in a survival scenario. In this video, Sensible Prepper shares 25 survival uses for cotton swabs. Below is the complete […]

The post 25 Survival Uses for Q-Tips / Cotton Swabs appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Gardening When You Have a Bad Back

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Is your bad back a real pain when you garden? If so, you’ve faced the reality that there are certain gardening methods that are easier on the back than others, such as gardening in containers or planting in waist-high beds.

But what if you want to embrace traditional gardening methods and plant straight in the ground, but can’t—or don’t want to—double dig?

Summer: Bake the Soil to Kill Grass and Weeds

In this video, Marjory shows you how to turn a patch of grass into bare soil using a simplified version of a technique called “solarizing.”

Click Here to Watch the Video. 

By laying a tarp or 2 mil black plastic on the would-be garden bed, weighing it down with rocks, and letting the plot bake for a few months in the summer sun, you can effectively kill grass, weed seeds, and even unwelcome soil diseases. Some research has shown that using a clear plastic does an even better job killing unwanted grass, weed seeds, and soil-borne diseases.

If you live in a hot area and get a lot of sunny days, you’ll usually need to wait a few summer months before removing the black plastic.

In places where the summers are mild, wait even longer.

(Shorten this timeframe by tilling and re-leveling the soil before laying down the plastic, but it’s certainly more back-friendly to just lay down a tarp and wait!)

Autumn, Part 1: Reintroduce the Good Microbes

For solarizing to be really effective, your soil needs to reach about 150°F (66°C).

That’s hot enough to also kill some of the good microbes in the soil. In late autumn, top dress the soil with about 4 to 6 inches (10 cm to 15 cm) of good organic matter—compost, composted manure, or green manures.

We’re going for no more bad backs. So, spread the top dressing and let irrigation and earthworms pull the nutrients down into the subsoil.

(Do this each autumn to increase soil fertility.)

Autumn, Part 2: Use a Garden Fork in Rocky Soil

A note here for those of you with rocky soil: Once you remove the plastic covering, apply a garden fork to soil to remove the bigger rocks.

If you must do this yourself, be sure to use a garden fork with a long, lightweight handle. Try to keep your back straight by bending at the knees instead of the waist.

(Do a YouTube search for “gardening without back pain” for other helpful videos on safely using long-handled tools in the garden.)

Alternately, ask a relative or friend to do it for you, or hire someone to help with this task.

Trade with fellow gardeners—the work you can’t do for the work you can. Perhaps you could provide compost in exchange for help tilling rocky soil, or seedlings in exchange for help weeding.

 

Spring: Strategic Planning and Garden Planting

When it’s time to plant in Spring, some folks with bad backs like to use a simple, homemade seed-sowing tool.

  1. Simply take a four-foot length of 2.5 inch PVC pipe and cut a 45° angle on one end. (If you buy your PVC at one of the larger home improvement stores, they will often cut it for you at no charge.)
  2. Use the sharp end of your seed-sowing tool to make holes or furrows.
  3. Hold the pipe upright. Drop the seeds in the top hole, and let them fall through to the soil.
  4. Then, use the tool to cover the seeds with soil.

When deciding what and how to plant, consider reducing the need to weed by using companion planting methods, mulch, a block-style layout—or a combination of the three.

Achieve Gardening Success—Even With a Bad Back!

It’s well-known that converting a plot of sod into a fertile garden is backbreaking work.

But, through pre-planning and gardening smarter, not harder, you can work your beds successfully—without overworking your back!

Now let’s hear from you. What tips and tricks do you use to keep your back in tip-top shape? Tell us in the comments below.

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The post Gardening When You Have a Bad Back appeared first on The Grow Network.

Will You Have Enough Caffeine After SHTF?

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Several months ago, I got a terrible case of the flu. I was running to the bathroom all night, and in the morning I couldn’t even get out of bed. After a few hours, the nausea subsided, but I started to get a headache. It gradually got worse, and worse, and worse, until by lunchtime […]

The post Will You Have Enough Caffeine After SHTF? appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Post-Apocalyptic Bicycle Camper

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If you’re a prepper or survivalist, you gotta check this out. Youtube creator, Paul Elkins, put together what he calls his post-apocalyptic bicycle camper / bug out vehicle. Obviously, this wouldn’t work if you have a group or a family, but if you plan to go it alone after the SHTF and there is no […]

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6 Guns to Buy Before a Gun Ban or Civil Unrest

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Guns are an issue. They have always been an issue and they will always be an issue. There is always someone out there with the great utopian idea that if we simply take away all the guns we will eliminate all the crime. This idea has been proven to fail for many reasons. And yet […]

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Composting Guerrilla Style

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This is an entertaining video from The Urban Farming Guys who are doing their best to make urban farming exciting. There is no shortage of talent and resource in most urban areas, but there is a serious shortage of fresh foods. This is a giant problem in America today. This food shortage would only be […]

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Situational Awareness: 4 Steps To Follow

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If a major disaster strikes your town, the disaster itself won’t be the only threat to your safety. You’ll also have to beware of two types of people: those without food or supplies who are desperate enough to rob anybody, and criminals who are taking advantage of the lack of law enforcement. That’s why situational […]

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Are Millennials Ready for SHTF?

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The further we get from the days of the pioneers, the more helpless people become. It’s gotten to where most young people (millennials and generation Z) have no basic survival skills. To them, cooking dinner means putting a frozen entree into the microwave. Many of them have never cooked a meal from scratch in their […]

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20 Survival Uses for Wire Coat Hangers

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Most people use plastic hangers nowadays. But if you’re like me, you have an extra closet with dozens of wire coat hangers inside. Before you throw all those old hangers away, you should know there are several ways you can make use of them in a survival scenario. Sensible Prepper made a video all about […]

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How to Build a Super Simple Compost Pile from Local Materials

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Here’s a simple compost pile design:

Unlike many of my composting experiments, this is a traditional compost pile of alternating layers of carboniferous and nitrogenous materials. The boundary is made from cut limbs hammered into the ground and woven about with palm fronds.

I also added homemade biochar to this compost pile to get it “charged” for future projects.

The C/N ratio in this pile should be about perfect with the greens and browns but if it doesn’t get hot enough I can always pour on some diluted urine to raise the nitrogen levels.

This simple compost pile can be set up anywhere in about an hour using local materials. I’ve done this in a cornfield before, cutting and chopping old stalks for the base, then adding on layers of greens and browns. Come back a few months later and harvest your compost!

Here’s a breakdown on the whole process.

How to Build a Simple Compost Pile with Local Materials

Step 1: Cut Stakes

I used sticks cut from some unidentified roadside nitrogen-fixing tree locals use as a windbreak.

Simple_compost_pile_stakes

It’s a soft wood and easy to chop, but you can use anything you like from bamboo to oak to PVC. 4-5′ lengths are good, as you want the pile to reach at least 3′ tall and you need some stake depth to drive into the ground.

 

Step 2: Install Stakes and Put Down Rough Material

I had already cut up some rough material and thrown it down before putting in the stakes, but it’s better to put in the stakes first.

Simple ompost pile Step_1

Cornstalks, hedge trimmings and other rough materials filled with air pockets make a good compost pile foundation. In the case of this pile, I used chopped twigs and leaves from the nitrogen-fixing trees used for the stakes, some jasmine and hibiscus trimmings and a papaya tree.

Step 3: Weave the Sides

I can’t make a good basket, but I’m not bad at simple compost pile weaving.

Simple compost pile weaving the edges

The idea is to hold in the compost while still allowing some air through into the pile. This also supports the stakes. In a temperate climate you could replace the palm fronds with grape vines, tall grasses, cattails or other plant material.

Step 4: Add some Browns

Gotta get that carbon!

Simple_compost_pile_adding_brown_layer_to_compost

As I state in the video, these leaves have a lot of dirt in them. That soil contains microbes which will help break everything down, so I didn’t bother adding a few shovelfuls of soil as I normally would when making a compost pile.

Step 5: Add some Greens (and Keep Layering!)

Get that nitrogen in there!

Simple_compost_pile_adding_green_layer_to_compost

Grass clippings are a really good compost pile starter – if you have them, use them.

Just keep laying greens and browns until you’ve made the pile nice and tall. You can also throw in biochar if you have it.

Simple_compost_pile_adding_biochar_to_compost

It won’t really help the composting process, but my hope is that it will be charged up with nutrients, bacteria and fungi as the pile rots.

Step 6: Water Well

This is important: composting uses a lot of water, so get some on at the beginning. If most of your materials are dry, you might want to water each layer as you build the pile. I was too lazy to do that so I soaked it from the top before finishing the final covering layer.

Simple_compost_pile_water_the_pile

Step 7: Cover the Pile

Covering the pile holds in heat and moisture. Sticking with my locally available materials, I used banana leaves.

Simple_compost_pile_cover_the_pile

You can also use a tarp or just another layer of brown leaves. Compost really isn’t a finicky thing to make – it’s will work, even if you don’t do anything “right.”

It’s going to decay and become humus over time, hot or not, perfect ratios or not.

In a few months you can turn this pile over and sift out the good stuff – or just push it around over the garden bed beneath and get planting.

Get out there and get composting – a simple compost pile is all you need.

The post How to Build a Super Simple Compost Pile from Local Materials appeared first on The Grow Network.

Ham-O-Can Redux: The Operator G1 from Hardened Power Systems

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Call it a radio go box or Ham-O-Can, the Operator G1 by Hardened Power Systems IS the Ham-O-Can…only better.  The original Ham-O-Can video is here.  This comms box is one awesome piece of kit.  Check it out: Products in the video: HPS Operator G1 Midland MXT 105 Operator Magnetic Kickstands New 15 Watt Midland MXT …

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8 Biggest Mistakes That Preppers Make

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This week I want to share a video by Homestead Launch (formerly known as The Daily Prep). Everyone–and I mean everyone–makes mistakes. This is especially when it comes to prepping, which is a lot more complicated than it looks. Your best bet is to learn from the mistakes of others, and that is the purpose […]

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13 DIY Stove Tutorials for Urban Preppers

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There’s no way to downplay the importance of being able to cook in a survival scenario. With a simple heat source you can stay warm, sterilize water, cook out impurities in meat, and even begin to manipulate soft metals. Cooking over an open campfire is simple enough if you’re in the middle of a forest, […]

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INCH Bag Survival Kit: Red Dawn Edition

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Some of you are probably asking, “What in the world is an INCH bag?” Most survival sites focus on everyday carry bags and bug out bags, but it’s a good idea to have an INCH bag as well. It stands for, “I’m Never Coming Home.” An INCH bag is the ultimate end-of-the-world bag, the kind […]

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Build a Hand Crank Generator Out of a Dish Washer Motor

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If the grid goes down, generating power is going to be a top priority. The question is, how can everyday joe living in an urban area generate power without drawing unwanted attention? Gas generators are too loud, and solar panels only work on sunny days. Well, electronicsNmore came up with another option. In this video, […]

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25 Things NOT To Do If You Bug In

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There are countless articles and videos with lists of tips, hacks, and things to do if you bug in during a disaster. However, there aren’t many lists of things NOT to do. That is the subject of this video by Reality Survival. If you’ve never bugged in for an extended period of time without power, […]

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Urban Altoids Survival Tin

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The Urban Prepper has a very cool urban survival tin. Most survival tins only have things you would need to survive a disaster: lighter, knife, fishing line, water purification tablets, and the like. But this is more of an “urban convenience” tin. It’s made up of things an urban dweller might find useful on a […]

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The COMPLETE How To Build The Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle

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We’ve been on this series for some time and here it is, the COMPLETE How To Build The Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle.  Bug Out Vehicles, they can mean different things to different people.  Not all “bug outs” may be permanent, some could be.  In this video we talk about the fundamentals of building a bug …

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How to Make a Wood Gas Stove

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One of the most popular types of stoves for bug out bags is the Solo Stove. Only problem is, they cost anywhere from $60 to $100. But there’s good news: you can make something very similar with two ordinary tin cans, and this tutorial by IntenseAngler shows you how. I typed out the steps for […]

The post How to Make a Wood Gas Stove appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Guardline GS-5000 Motion Detection Security System / APN Product Review

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Imagine a line of pickets that can pick up the approach of anything heading your way. That’s exactly what you have with the Guardline GL-5000 Motion Detecting Alarm System. This is a security system that is well worth it.

This product review was a walk in the park… actually a walk around the yard, testing the effective range of this rugged & versatile motion detector & programmable alarm system. The radio transponder motion detecting sensors easily covered the furthest reaches of my property, sending notice when movement was detected.

https://www.guardlinesecurity.com/apn
BUY NOW & SAVE 10% with coupon “APN”

Guardline,  a major name in home security systems, has answered the call for a motion detector system with greater range & greater expandability, & has done so in a practical, affordable way.

Operating in the UHF 900 Mhz. radio band, Guardline’s sensors lie in wait to detect movement. Each censor able to be set up with different sensitivity, detected rate of movement, as well as scheduled time of operation. You can configure each one to match it’s location & need of coverage. With up to quarter mile range to the receiver, a sensor can alert you of movement, several minutes before anything could come close.

Made of high impact ABS Plastic in flat OD Green color, each sealed, battery powered sensor, blends into an outdoor setting & operates undetected day & night. The sensor comes with mounting screws for walls & fence posts, but I found it handy to use tie-straps for temporary mounting. The sensors weigh not much more than the 4 AA batteries it holds, so deploying these sensors tactically is a not a problem at all.

But here’s where the GL-5000 stands apart. The central receiver is programmable, with 4 monitoring zones, each able to monitor 4 separate sensors. That means you can deploy up to 16 sensors, & the receiver can keep track of each one.  You can assign each sensor it’s own unique alert tone, so just by the sound you hear, you can know in an instant exactly where movement has been detected.

I noted several “choke-points” where anyone coming onto my property would have to pass. It was easy to install a sensor at each spot & give full coverage of the area. The furthest sensor was deep in the woods150 yards away. It was picked up by the desktop receiver.  I even went all out and walked way out off my property, to the end of the road over a block away, it still was received.  The Guardline GL-5000 is ideal for long range motion detection capability. And with batteries supplying power to the sensors, the system makes for great temporary deployed perimeter security.

My one hitch in the review was all by my doing. The sensor’s case is held together by four small brass screws, and I of course promptly dropped one as soon as I went to put batteries in the unit. I quickly found the dropped screw, but word to the wise, be careful with opening the sensors.

The number of batteries you invest in may be a burden if you have as many sensors the GL-5000 can handle…(16 units x 4 AA batteries each = 64 batteries), but rechargeable batteries are available which can minimize the burden. And if you’re like me, a solar powered charging system can easily be put together which can keep things topped off indefinitely. The upside is how the sensors can be programmed to “sleep” for set periods of the day or night, cutting down on battery use. The GL-5000 doesn’t come with connections to a computer or internet, however that’s another thing a whiz-kid tinkerer could figure out.

That all said, if you’re looking for a reliable, expandable & affordable way to guard for intruders Guardline’s GL-5000 system is more than capable. For Home Security I give it a big Thumb’s Up!

UPDATE: We don’t often offer product specials, but Guardline is offering 10%OFF on purchasing their products through this review. Use Coupon code “APN”. 
Offer expires Feb. 28th. 2017.

https://www.guardlinesecurity.com/apn
Ordering Here  Supports further APN Reviews!

The post Guardline GS-5000 Motion Detection Security System / APN Product Review appeared first on American Preppers Network.

17 Secret Hiding Places For Your Valuables

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Imagine some burglars break into your home while you’re at work or away on vacation. How long would it take them to find your most valuable possessions (cash, jewelry, electronics, etc)? Would they find those things in a matter of minutes, or would it take them hours? If the former, then it’s time to start […]

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Survive The Cold With This Mental Trick

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If you only clicked this link out of curiosity, you might be expecting the trick to be total BS. It’s not. Now I’m not saying there is some magic trick that will make the cold feel warm, or that you’ll gain a supernatural ability to withstand freezing temperatures without ever getting hypothermia. However, there is […]

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DIY Night Vision Powered By A 9v Battery

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DIY Night Vision Powered By A 9v Battery This blew me away and After seeing what it took to make this I may just have to rummage around my moms old stuff and get the old video camera. This is made very easily, just light soldering and gluing. I decided to post this because I …

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Build a Stealth Fire Pit That Won’t Draw Unwanted Attention

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I’ve gotten several messages from people expressing concern that if they try to cook over an open fire during a widespread disaster, they’ll attract hungry and dangerous people. One thing you can do to keep down the smell is avoid cooking with spices (add them after you’re done cooking), but obviously people will still see […]

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8 Signs Of Terrorism To Watch Out For

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In my opinion, terrorism is a problem that is only going to get worse. Maybe if the United States stopped giving foreign aid to countries that fund terrorism, but that’s a subject for another article (on another site). The point is, even though it’s been over 15 years since 9/11, there is just as much […]

The post 8 Signs Of Terrorism To Watch Out For appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Take the right tools for building emergency snow shelters

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The snowmobilers were stuck in the waist-deep snow and  lost in a blizzard. They tried to walk out. By morning, one was dead, and the other had severe frostbite. 

by Leon Pantenburg

The happened in 2007, about 15 miles from my home. It’s easy, in hindsight, to point out mistakes people have made, and we can never know all variables. But in that case, the ability to make a shelter may have saved a life.

One really important backcountry deep snow survival skill  is knowing how to make a shelter. A snow cave can save your life, but if you don’t have the time, tools and know-how to build one, you’re wasting your time.

Search and Rescue personnel are out in all sorts of bad weather

Bad weather can blow in very quickly.

Don’t depend on a snow cave for your emergency shelter. You are much better off packing a sleeping bag and tent with your survival gear.

Building a snow cave sounds simple, and according to  some survival manuals, easy to do. Reality is a lot different.

There is a lot to know about these shelters. Probably the best place to start is by reading “Snow Caves For Fun and Survival” by Ernest Wilkinson. This book gives a practical approach to the subject, and I highly recommend it.  Wilkinson’s  snow cave construction technique is discussed here.

Then practice!

But there are some considerations about snow caves to think about before you desperately need to build one! You can’t just dig sideways into a snow drift.

  • You will have to remove between two and three cubic feet of snow.
  • The snow will packed and not easy to remove.
  • You will need proper tools to make the job easier.
  • The idea is to avoid getting wet and cold while working on the shelter.

Here are some tools to take along:

Block cutter:  Boy Scout Troop 18 here in Bend, OR,  has several snow block cutters, and these work really well for building igloos and caves. They look like cutting boards, being about 12-inches by 18-inches. A thick handle on top allows shoving them down and pulling them out of the snow after cutting a block.

I was able to quickly excavate this snow cave, using a piece of plexiglass and a small shovel. There was plenty of room for another person to work at the same time.

I made this snow cave quickly, using a piece of plexiglass and a small shovel.

Machete or snow saw: Nice to have. You can miter and trim blocks more easily to make them fit in a snow shelter.

Shovel: Necessary. Always take some sort of shovel along when cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or snowmobiling. If your machine gets stuck, you might be able to dig it out. You will also need the shovel to help clear out loose snow from inside the shelter, and to dig the cold well and fashion the sleeping benches.

Sled: I like to take along a small plastic toboggan, like kids use on small hills. I use it to carry my gear, and it works superbly for moving snow blocks. One person can use the block cutter to excavate sideways into the snow bank, placing the blocks on the toboggan. Another worker can slide the blocks outside, which eliminates handling and reduces the chances of getting wet.

Insulite or closed cell foam pad: This item should go along on every snow outing. It provides a place to sit or lay upon without losing heat to the ground. It is also great for kneeling upon when excavating the interior of the snow cave.

Long burning candle: It’s surprising how much heat can be generated inside a snow shelter with one candle. But the best use is for lighting. It gets dark early in the winter, and once you get the cave built, some light will be really appreciated.

Deck of cards: Strictly optional, but you may end up spending a very long, dark night in the shelter. Playing a familiar game will go a long way toward dispelling fear and panic.
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How I Stay Warm In My RV When It’s FREEZING Outside

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Since we’re in the middle of winter now, I figure I should be making more posts about staying warm in cold weather. I spent a few hours watching some great videos about this, but my favorite is this one by Carolyn’s RV Life. Most people don’t use their RV’s in the winter, but Carolyn lives […]

The post How I Stay Warm In My RV When It’s FREEZING Outside appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

How To Open a Can With a Metal Spoon

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This week’s video comes from Full Spectrum Survival. A little over a year ago, I shared a video about how to open a can without a can opener. The trick is to rub the can on some concrete until the lid is loose enough to pop off. But what if you’re out in the wild […]

The post How To Open a Can With a Metal Spoon appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Top 10 Everyday Prepper Habits

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This week I have another awesome video for you from City Prepping. In it he talks about 10 things preppers should do everyday. The list is below. 1. Carry Cash. 2. Keep Your Gas Tank Above 1/2 Full. 3. Stay Informed. 4. Make Sure Your Finances Are In Order. 5. Take Your E.D.C. With You. […]

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How To Make A Simple, Solar Water Filter Out Of 2 Water Bottles

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Food is essential for survival, but water is even more important. But how do you survive if your only source of water is, say, filthy river water? One option is a pocket water filter – such as a Paratrooper filter. Another option: a solar water filter made out of two water bottles and a small PCV pipe. It could come in handy if you forget your pocket water filter or left it at home.

Paratrooper: The Survival Water Filter That Fits In Your POCKET!

VIDEO: A Major City Just Got Its First Snowfall, And People Forget How To Drive In It

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The first major snowfall of the year in Montreal last week led to an ultra-slow-motion pileup involving buses, cars and a police cruiser. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. Let this be your warning: Stay inside when it gets bad out there.

Be Prepared: Get The Ultimate In Portable Backup Power!

The Truth About Survival Gear

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Today I want to share a video by Canadian Prepper. It’s about all the new survival gear showing up in the market. The preparedness niche has grown massively ever since the Great Recession, and with all these new products to choose from, it’s very tempting to become obsessed with buying the latest and greatest survival […]

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Gunfight Video: 10 Lessons Learned

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1)Carry a gun,  a FIGHTING gun, not a microsubcompactnano pocket carry special in 25 ACP with a capacity of 2+1.

2)Train. A lot.

3)Awareness. Enough of it and you may even avoid the fight entirely.

4)Apendix carry isnt that great. Its more obvious when drawing and that can get you killed. Stick to strong side, 4 oclock.

5)When shooting, shoot to kill and shoot a LOT.

6)If you’re not shooting, get out of the way (like his wife did)

7)Even at just a foot away, you can still miss.

8)Down doesn’t mean dead. Make sure he’s no longer a threat, kick his gun away.

9)Look for his friends, there may be more.

10)Brazilian cops do NOT mess around.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

VIDEO: Man Punches A Kangaroo In The Face To Rescue His Dog

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We’ve all heard that dogs are man’s best friend – and we know that owners will go to extreme lengths to protect their furry mates. That’s especially true in Australia, where an owner recently was horrified to discover a kangaroo had his dog in a headlock. Here is what happened …

Get The Essential Secrets Of The Most Savvy Survivalists In The World!

Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™ 5000HD Solar Electrical Generator

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I’m a pretty jaded type. I don’t often get excited, but I was all “a-tingle” when I got word of what was heading my way for review.  Most of my reviews are of small items, handheld radios, machetes, hand axes, not 200 lbs. of high-end, high power solar generator.

Needless to say, I was as giddy as a little school girl.

You see, any serious prepping plan needs a foundation based on sustainability. You need to work from a sustainable supply of anything to hold your own, whether it’s a supply of beans, bullets or banjo strings. This applies especially for electricity.
The ultimate goal is to live comfortably “off grid”.  Unless a life of a wilderness mountain man with flint & tinder is your bag, if you want electric lights, air conditioning & internet, you’ll need a powerful electrical generator.

The HomeGrid™ 5000HD Solar Powered Generator.

Just like it’s name, this solar-powered electrical generator is made to supply a entire household with clean, continuous electricity, for totally off-grid living.

Four heavy boxes arrived from Point Zero Energy by ground freight, with two large deep cycle 12V DC batteries, the inverter/generator unit, unit base, cart wheels & handle. Plus two pairs of solar panels, with two 100 watt panel built into sturdy frames with hinged supports & carry handles. Total capacity of the included solar panels came to 400 watts. Also included, was an assortment of parts including a heavy duty battery charge controller, three heavy-gauge jumper cables & connecting cables for the solar panels, along with an illustrated manual & instructional DVD.

Assembly was straight forward… the generator  bolts to the flat metal base with welded axle for the two wheels. At each side of the generator sits the two 12VDC batteries, on top of the generator a heavy duty handle is bolted on. Everything can be pushed around like a hand truck. The two batteries get wired in series to the generator to supply 24 Volts DC. On the front face of the Inverter/Generator are four 110VAC outlets, two USB outlets & One 220VAC outlet. There’s also a power & standby toggle switch and an LED Display that shows battery status & output voltage.

With the large capacity deep cycle dry cells & heavy duty inverter, the Homegrid™ 5000HD is capable of 5000 watts of continuous 110 & 220 AC Power, and a whopping 22,000 watts of peak surge power. Read that again…TWENTY-TWO THOUSAND WATTS Surge power.  Meaning the generator can easily power multiple home appliances simultaneously including refrigerators, freezers, microwave ovens, and cooking appliances. It’s pure sine wave power output will safely run power tools, electronics, and medical equipment.

A “Mac-Daddy Cadillac” Solar Generator, perfect for off-grid living. Two things make it deliver… Massive Dry Cell Batteries with tremendous capacity & a robust DC/AC inverter, built to take tremendous demand. The 220 Volt output, wired to a household circuit breaker system can give household appliances clean dependable electrical power day & night.

For my test, I plugged into my house transfer switch circuit, specifically to isolate my home off the Utility Company power meter, (and avoiding back feeding). There was no noticeable difference to the house load. The TV worked fine, my computers booted up, lights came on through the house, the refrigerator & microwave ran without a hiccup. Even my water well, with it’s 220V AC motor did it’s job. Then I ran some power tools… my chop saw & band saw in the shop, they all cut wood with no telltale difference in performance.
Overall, the power draw on the generator was usually less than 2500 watts, most often less than a thousand watts. It was when the refrigerator compressor came on, or when the well pump kicked on that power surged. Throughout my test, the generator was loafing along, operating well under capacity all day & even all night. One exception though, my house AC unit wasn’t in the transfer circuit. When I wired up my transfer switch, I didn’t include it in the circuit so I couldn’t put it to test. Still, the AC is rated to draw 1500 to 3000 watts when operating, the HomeGrid™ 5000HD has the capacity to handle the load.  Through the night there wasn’t much demand, just the few lights I had on, my computer & TV, and the refrigerator… altogether, no more than 1000 watts. By next morning, the battery status indictor showed less than one quarter depletion, and within the first hours of daylight, the system had regained a full charge by the solar panels.

Using the 400 watt solar panel array, the generator’s batteries can easily be topped off throughout the day letting the system handle the heavy lifting alone only during the night. The generator can also accommodate a second 400 watt array as well.  Typically the deep cycle battery service life offers 7 to 8 years of reliable service.

Granted, my review was a weekend of use test, and in the long term, my energy demands would widely vary from day to day & seasonally. However, with some reasonable budgeting on the amount of power use, the Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™5000HD could give me a totally off grid existence right out of the box. Just by adding additional batteries & solar cells, the well of electrical power I’d have on tap would be far more than my modest needs. The great news is the HomeGrid™ 5000HD is easily expandable & PORTABLE.

My only gripe isn’t really a gripe at all.
I was staggered by the weight the Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™5000HD.  Although designed & built to be portable, you’d be smart to have a couple of stout helpers to pitch in moving the generator & battery unit. By myself, it was a task. The solar panels are not a problem, but you certainly work up a sweat horsing the generator unit & batteries around. Imagine taking a hand truck and deadlifting a small refrigerator up some stairs.  Again, this isn’t really a gripe against the gear, more it’s against my own lack of strength. The weight is actually a good testament of the sheer ruggedness built into the unit. Point Zero Energy isn’t building wimpy gear here, it’s high quality, high capacity & highly reliable power generation equipment. It’s well worth the sizable investment to insure safe, reliable, & dependable electrical energy to live totally off-grid, yet still enjoy modern electrical appliances in your household.  Until Doc Brown & Marty McFly shows up with a Mr. Fusion home reactor, the Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™ 5000HD is anyone’s ticket to an off-grid lifestyle. Now that I’ve experienced life off-grid, I’m striving for more.
Pay a visit to Point Zero Energy’s website to learn more about the complete line of HomeGrid™ Solar Powered Electrical Generators.

The post Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™ 5000HD Solar Electrical Generator appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Peter Kummerfeldt: Dress to survive in extreme wilderness conditions

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Your first line of defense against hypothermia is your clothing. Make the right choices to survive

In this video, produced by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, survival expert Peter Kummerfeldt explains how to dress to survive under the most extreme conditions:

Outdoor Survival-Chapter 7-Clothing from Colorado Parks & Wildlife on Vimeo.
Dressing to survive starts with knowing what fabrics to wear, no matter what the season or conditions may be, or what the conditions might be. Different fabrics have radically different properties. Choosing the wrong type, or mixing clothing of

These Troop 18 Boy Scouts stayed warm on this winter hike because they all dressed correctly for the weather conditions.

These Troop 18 Boy Scouts stayed warm on this winter hike because they all dressed correctly for the weather conditions.

different materials, can be disastrous!

by Leon Pantenburg

You may not be able to tell what a garment is made of by looking. A nice, fuzzy, thick 100-percent cotton flannel shirt will be warm and cozy until it gets wet. Then that wet shirt may suck the heat out of your torso and cause hypothermia!

On the other side of the equation is wool. My hands-down favorite in the winter, wool, is generally not the best choice for a desert hike in August. Wool traps heat, and while it provides some UV protection, the material will prevent your body from cooling.
So, the buyer needs to beware.

Before buying any clothing item, read the labels and find out what the material is. Ignore fashion or what’s trendy (I know that’s hard – I have a wife and a 21-year-old daughter!), and make your purchase based on the activity and the clothing protection that will be needed.

Here are some common fabric choices:

* Cotton: Depending on where you live, cotton clothing can kill you. Cotton is hydrophilic, meaning it is no good at wicking wetness away from the skin, and can become damp just by being exposed to humidity.
Once wet, cotton feels cold and can lose up to 90 percent of its insulating properties. Wet cotton can wick heat from your body 25 times faster than when it’s dry.

Since I’ve spent a lot of time in the Deep South, my favorite hot weather shirt is a medium-weight, white, 100 percent cotton Navy surplus shirt. The shirt has a collar that can be pulled up to shade my neck, and pockets with flaps and buttons. Cotton also has a reasonable amount of UV protection.

cotton fabrics may not be the best choice for particular survival conditions

Both of these 100% cotton garments would keep you warm until they got wet. Then, this clothing can become dangerous to wear!

On really hot days in a canoe, a cotton shirt can be soaked with water, and worn to cool you down. On a desert hike, help prevent heat stroke by using a few ounces of water to wet the shirt down. (The water can come from anywhere, including that algae-edged stock tank. The evaporation is what cools you!)

Typical urban casual garb is probably all cotton: sweatsocks, Hanes or Fruit of the Loom underwear, jeans, tee shirt, flannel shirt and sweatshirt. This outfit may keep you warm in town, but don’t wear it into the backcountry! Once the cotton gets wet, you could end up in trouble.

Don’t be mislead by the looks and camouflage patterns of 100 percent cotton hunting clothes. These garments may be just what you need for a hot, September dove hunt in Mississippi, but they become cold and clammy when damp or wet, just like anything else made of cotton.

* Polypropylene: This material doesn’t absorb water, so it is a hydrophobic. This makes it a great base layer, since it wicks moisture away from your body. The bad news is that polypropylene melts, so a spark from the campfire may melt holes in your clothing.

* Wool: Where I live in Central Oregon, wool is the standard for six months of the year. Wool absorbs moisture, but stays warmer than many other fabrics. Wool is also inherently flame retardant.

* Polyester: This is essentially fabric made from plastic, and it’s good stuff. The material has good insulative and windstopping value, and can be made into many different thicknesses.

* Nylon: The fabric is pretty tough and can be used on your outer layer. It doesn’t absorb much moisture, and what does evaporates quickly. It is best used as some sort of windbreaker, to keep your clothing from being compromised by the wind.

* Down: This material is not a fabric, but rather, fluffy feathers stuffed inside a garment or sleeping bag. When dry, down is one of my favorite insulative materials.

But I don’t use a down sleeping bag, and would hesitate wearing a down vest into the back country because of potential moisture problems. When wet, down becomes hydrophilic, and loses virtually all its insulative value. It can be worse than cotton as far as sucking heat away from your body.

In addition, a down sleeping bag or garment is virtually impossible to dry out in the backcountry, even with a roaring campfire.

 

 

How To Build A Wood Pallet Trellis Planter

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How To Build A Wood Pallet Trellis Planter How to grow food indoors in Winter and overwinter perennial vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, aubergines and chillies with this trellis planter made from re-purposed pallet wood. It’s so sad that in a cold climates we lose so many perennial vegetables to the cold each Winter and have to …

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16 Survival Uses For Plastic Bottles

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Sensible Prepper is pretty much the king of finding survival uses for everyday items. In the past, I’ve shared his videos on uses for condoms, bobby pins, paper clips, and wire coat hangers. And today, I’m going to share his video on uses for plastic bottles. Even if you don’t drink bottled water, you can […]

The post 16 Survival Uses For Plastic Bottles appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

How To Use Saltwater To Charge a Battery

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If you use rechargeable batteries, then you need to know about this device: A battery charger that uses saltwater to charge batteries! All you have to do is get some saltwater (or make a saltwater solution), pour it into the charger, and it will charge six AA batteries in just a couple of hours. In […]

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Homesteading Summit “movie trailer”…JUST RELASED!

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This “movie trailer” for the Homesteading Summit was JUST RELEASED!
It’s a pretty inspiring 50,000 ft view of what you can expect in the week ahead, watching the Mother Earth News Homesteading Summit!
This 100% online event is set to kick off this coming Monday, October 31st.
35+ speaker, over 7 full days.
Covering topics that include modern homesteading, growing your own food, raising healthy livestock, sustainable off-grid living, and so much more.
Watch the movie trailer above!

And when you’re ready:
Sign up to watch the Mother Earth News Homesteading Summit here:
https://wdf87122.isrefer.com/go/menhs/APN/
Everyone is welcome, and it’s complete free!

But don’t delay, you wan’t to register before October 31st!

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An Emergency Candle That Can’t Possibly Start a Fire

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Recently I was contacted by Kevin’s Kandles about a product called Safer Emergency Candles. Unlike regular candles, these can’t possibly start a fire since they were designed for use in a glass of water. If you leave it unattended, eventually it will go out. And if you knock over the glass, the water will extinguish […]

The post An Emergency Candle That Can’t Possibly Start a Fire appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

2 Self-Defense Handguns For About $50 Each

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There are many people out there who would love to purchase a gun for concealed carry or home defense, but they just don’t have any extra money. Ever since the Great Recession began, more and more people have been living paycheck to paycheck with barely any spending money to speak of. If that sounds like […]

The post 2 Self-Defense Handguns For About $50 Each appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Video: How to Suture a Wound

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If you’ve never sutured a wound before, it’s a skill worth learning. Both major and minor injuries are common after disasters, and in many scenarios there won’t be a hospital or medical professional to help you. In this video, Dr. Joseph Alton of the Youtube channel, Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, demonstrates how to suture […]

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Compilation of 10 Survival Life Hacks

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Compilation of 10 Survival Life Hacks Living off the grid, or surviving in a SHTF situation will take skills, ingenuity and some luck. Ultimately, I believe skills are the most important component. For example, I am always trying to learn different ways to start a fire from items I may find around me, that I have …

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Sex After SHTF: 4 Considerations

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Here’s a video every warm-blooded prepper should watch. Have you thought about what it means to have sex during a long-term disaster? If people are hunkering down rather than going to their jobs, many of them are going to have sex for comfort and for something to do. If you’re one of those people, you […]

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The Blackout Series by Bobby Akart

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~ by Bobby Akart, Contributing writer to the American Preppers Network, host of the Prepping for
Tomorrow program on Prepper Broadcasting
and nine-time best selling author of The Blackout Series,
The Boston Brahmin Series and The Prepping for Tomorrow Series.

I have written about the importance of prepper fiction as a tool for convincing the non-prepper family member or friend to consider a self-reliant and preparedness lifestyle. A well-written story may be fabricated but it helps us comprehend the world nonetheless. As Stephen King once wrote – Fiction is the truth behind the lie.

After my success with The Boston Brahmin Series, readers and friends within the American Preppers Network encouraged me to tell the story of a non-prepping family. Those of us within the APN family become used to interacting with like-minded individuals. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that the vast majority of Americans are not only unprepared, but they have no idea of what prepping entails. I wrote The Blackout Series for this purpose.

Bobby Akart 36 Hours

 What would you do if a voice was screaming in your head – GET READY – for a catastrophic event of epic proportions, with no idea where to start, or how, or when.

This is a true story, it just hasn’t happened yet.

A catastrophic solar flare, an EMP – a threat from above to America’s soft underbelly below is hurtling toward our planet. In book one, the Ryman family has never heard of prepping. But they learn while they run out of time. An EMP, naturally generated from our sun in the form of a massive solar storm has happened before during the Carrington Event of 1859, and it will happen again.

The Blackout Series is a story of how our sun, the planet’s source of life, can also devastate our modern world. It’s a story of panic, societal collapse, and the final straws that shatter an already thin veneer of civility. It is a warning to us all – never underestimate the depravity of man.

What would you do when the clock strikes zero?

I’d be honored if you’d give my new post-apocalyptic fiction series a try. Here is a link:

The Blackout Series

Enjoy this video trailer produced for The Blackout Series.

Because you never know when the day before … is the day before.
Prepare for tomorrow.

Bobby Akart is a Contributing writer to the American Preppers Network, host of the Prepping for
Tomorrow program on Prepper Broadcasting
and nine-time best selling author of The Blackout
Series
, The Boston Brahmin Series and The Prepping for Tomorrow Series.

For more information and social media contacts, visit FreedomPreppers.com and BobbyAkart.com

Follow Bobby Akart on Twitter: @FreedomPreppers and @BobbyAkart

Follow Bobby Akart on Facebook: FreedomPreppers and BobbyAkart

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How To Build The Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle- Tires: A Critical Component

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I’ll bet that a lot of you are trying to decide between attending your dentist appointment or watching this video. Watch the video. Tires are a critical choice when building a bug out vehicle. Overlook or buy the wrong tires and it your day at some point in the future might head very south. Choosing …

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How To Make a Gas Mask From a Two-Liter Bottle

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Although a gas mask is a great thing to include in your preparedness supplies, it’s usually not a top priority for most preppers. There are only a few specific scenarios where you would need one, each of which isn’t very likely. Still, I think we should be prepared for as many scenarios as possible. But […]

The post How To Make a Gas Mask From a Two-Liter Bottle appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Hoboken New Jersey Train Crash Injures 100 or more

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More than 100 people were injured this morning and at least one dead in a Hoboken New Jersey train crash.  The commuter train crashed during rush hour impacting the terminal at full speed, breaking through a wall, and collapsing the roof of the building.  Authorities still have not determined the cause of the crash.

Witnesses say that the train did not even appear to slow down before reaching the terminal. “It never slowed down” one passenger said.  “We all went flying” said another.  After the impact passengers and bystanders in a panic rushed to exit the train and terminal. Some were still trapped from the fallen debris. 

From Fox News:

One emergency worker described a “horrendous exploding noise” and said passengers were crawling from the scene on their hands and knees. “We ran over and there were a lot of people kicking out windows trying to exit the train,” the man, identified only as Mike, told WABC. “…The second half of the first car was completely destroyed.”

Emergency Workers At The Scene of the Hoboken New Jersey Train Crash

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How To Build The Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle- Foundations- What Vehicles Are Good Foundations?

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If you missed PART 1, click here. So, you’ve decided that you want to build yourself a bug out vehicle to get yourself out of Dodge if the fecal matter hits the rotary oscillator. What vehicle do you start with? Well, certain vehicles are definitely better than others, but why? In the second part of …

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Grab-N-Go Medical Bag: 50+ Essential Items

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The Urban Prepper is probably the most organized prepper on Youtube, as evidenced by his video on prepping circles. In this video, he talks about what items you should include in your grab-n-go medical bag and why. To make it easier for you, he created a PDF file that lists and explains every item and […]

The post Grab-N-Go Medical Bag: 50+ Essential Items appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

How To Build The Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle- What Is A Bug Out Vehicle?

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What is a bug out vehicle? Let’s face it, search for information on bug out vehicles. What you will find is crap.   Lots of folks out there want to know the how/what/when/where’s of creating their own bug out vehicle. You found the right place. Welcome to the Tin Hat Ranch’s series on how to …

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7 Steps For Emergency Water Preparation

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Considering how important water is to human survival, I think it’s a topic worth revisiting from time to time. Too many preppers simply buy a water filter or a case of bottled water and then forget about it until the day a disaster strikes. What if that day comes and you find that your water […]

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“American Blackout” Tips & Tricks for Survival

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Best Of the survival mom

In honor of National Preparedness Month, here’s a look back at a popular NatGeo special from 2013.

american blackout
When it first aired in 2013, NatGeo’s survival show, American Blackout, was a hot topic around the country. It definitely caught the attention of non-preppers from coast to coast. More recently, Ted Koppell wrote about the strong possibility of cyberterrorism taking out our power grid in his book, Lights Out. In our current fragile economy with unrest in so many different sectors, the last thing we need is a long-term, widespread blackout.

You may have read One Second After or Light’s Out, the novel by David Crawford, and had more than one or two panic attacks, but what have you done to prepare for this worst case scenario and are your survival priorities in their proper order? How about getting started with these tips for preparing for a winter power outage:

  • With winter coming, a heat source that will keep you and your family warm enough to survive should be a top concern. This heater is highly rated and runs on propane.
  • Even on the coldest nights, you’ll need some ventilation if you’re burning wood in something other than a fireplace or wood-burning stove. You must have ventilation such as a window cracked a couple of inches if you’re using propane, kerosene,and butane.
  • Know your fuel’s dangers and limitations and have plenty stored. Butane, for example, freezes and can’t be used when temps dip below the freezing point. Wood requires several months, at least, to season. Propane is an excellent choice as a safe and can be stored very long-term.
  • Just as important as multiple heat sources is closing off the entire house except for the one or two rooms you’ll be living in. When the grid is down, it’s not feasible or reasonable to expect that you’ll be heating (or cooling, when summer comes) an entire house. Plan on living in the kitchen, if it’s large enough, or maybe the kitchen and a single adjoining room. Put up tarps and blankets in doorways to keep out as much cold air as possible. Putting up a tent for sleeping in is another smart idea for coping with very cold temperatures.
  • You’ll need sources of ambient and focused light. It’s easy to say that you’ll just wake up with the roosters and go to sleep when the sun goes down, but that will probably not be very practical. You do need light sources. This is the perfect time to stock up on high quality small solar chargers, solar batteries, and the lanterns and flashlights that use them. Also check out the Paqlite for an ambient light that doesn’t require batteries, ever. I have a few and keep them in the car, my purse, and in Bug Out Bags.
  • Once you have a plan to stay warm and have light sources, water is another very critical element. If you live in a cold part of the country, consider storing larger containers of water indoors to avoid freezing. Water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon, making even a 10-gallon container mighty hard to move once it’s in place. Have a reliable water filter like this one if your water source becomes tainted or you must use rainfall or water from lakes or streams.
  • Might sound crazy, but if you have small livestock and you’ll be living in sub-zero temps, you just might have to move them indoors if they are to survive the winter. And, if they don’t survive, you may not survive if you’re counting on them as a food source.
  • Food storage is a given and is usually the easiest piece to put into place, either for a power grid failure or a winter storm. Do store your food indoors, unless you want to end up with frozen cans and jars of food that may crack when frozen. This resource page will provide details for getting food storage in place.
  • Once the living area is warm enough, there’s a bit of light, and everyone has had a bit to eat and drink, then what? Store anything and everything that provide entertainment. I’m thinking really thick books with great story lines,such as those written by J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Dickens, and dozens of other classics. Lots and lots of writing/drawing paper, pencils, “How to Draw” books, and hours of music in whatever format is easy to store and can be shielded from the effects of EMP with a simple Faraday cage.

Top priorities? Warmth, light, water, food, entertainment, and a form of communication. We are so used to getting information as it happens, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which we might not know what’s happening across town, much less hundreds of miles away.

When, or if, the grid goes down, cell phone service and landlines will follow, along with TV and radio. It’s possible that some old-school HAM radios may be operational before anything else. For sure, reliable information will become as valuable as gold.

Helpful resources for you:

american blackout

World’s Smallest Stove: Olicamp Ion Micro Titanium

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I’ve often talked about the importance of keeping your bug out bag as light as possible. There are many ways to do this, but one of the best ways is to replace some of the items in your bag with lighter versions. For example, mini flashlights and radios as opposed to the standard size. Or […]

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Survival Gear I’m Ashamed to Own

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Here’s something different (and funny) for a change. Canadian Prepper is one of the most knowledgeable preppers on Youtube, but even he has made some questionable decisions, such as the decisions to purchase these ridiculous survival items. I myself have made some silly purchases before, so I can definitely sympathize with him. However, I never […]

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Top 5 Bug Out Bag Mistakes

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I’ve written several articles about prepping mistakes and how to avoid them, but when I came across this video by Survival Know How I realized I haven’t talked about bug out bag mistakes. This is something most people don’t think about. How do you mess up a bug out bag? Just put the things you […]

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The ‘Natural’ Label On Your Food Is Baloney

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Big Food is prone to slap a “natural” label on everything — from potato chips to beef jerky to gummy worms. But what does “natural” really mean?

Good question – and a new short video from a Vox reporter seeks to get to the bottom of the controversy.

Discover The Secret To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

25 Bobby Pin Hacks That Will Blow Your Mind

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If you enjoy learning about alternative uses for everyday household items, you should definitely subscribe to Sensible Prepper’s Youtube channel. He has made videos about survival uses for coat hangers, condoms, liquor, paper clips, PVC pipes, tampons, WD-40, and much more. His latest “uses for” video is about bobby pins. He talks about uses such […]

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