5 Emergency Light Solutions You Didn’t Know About

flashlightYou have prepped and planned and added flashlights to your emergency stash. You probably even have a lantern in there too. Unfortunately, life never goes as planned and disasters can certainly throw you for twists and turns no matter how prepared you are. Here are some backup light systems you can use should you find yourself without your trusty flashlight or lantern. Now, some of these are really only viable if you are in a power outage or are still in your home and have these items on hand. If you were in a survival situation that puts you out in the boonies, these solutions are not going to apply.

For most of these to work, you will need wicks. You can buy wicks in bulk and keep on hand. If you don’t have wicks, a strand from a cotton mophead will also do the trick.

1-A can of Crisco or vegetable shortening will burn for days. Stick a wick down the center, light it and you have an emergency candle.

2-A cube of butter can be used the same was as a can of vegetable shortening. Put a wick in the center and allow it to burn.KODAK Digital Still Camera

3-Poke a hole in a can of tuna or other canned meat in oil and you have yet another quick candle.

4-Gather up 3 or 4 crayons and tape them or use a rubberband to hold them together. Peel back a piece of the paper and light it with a match. The wax from the crayons will provide fuel and the paper will act as the wick.

5-For a lantern, you can use a headlamp wrapped around a jug of water to illuminate a larger space. This is great for setting on the table so you can play a hand of cards or set on the counter so you can prepare a meal.

These are quick and easy ways you can create candles with things you probably already have in your pantry. Be ready and store extra batteries and several flashlights, but be prepared to come up with some unique ways to light up your space.

What’s Your Bug Out Bag Missing?

travel-641635_640You have probably packed and repacked your bug out bag several times since you first put it together. The more research you do and the more you practice with your bug out bag, the more knowledge you will gain about what you really need in there. Following a list off the internet is great and most bug out bag lists look the same. However, there are some things you can add to your bug out bag that will make your life much easier and you won’t typically find the items on the standard list of things to pack.

Check out the list below and see if you should be adding a few more things to your bug out bag.

*Chapstick—When you are out in the wind and sun for hours, your lips become very dry. You will want to drink more water to help ease the discomfort. If water is in short supply, that could be a problem. Keep some chapstick in your bag to make you a little more comfortable.

*Duct tape—Some folks are avid duct tape users, while others haven’t experienced the joy of the durable tape. Pack a roll and be prepared to be amazed.

*Kitchen trash bags—These can be used for a number of different things and are extremely lightweight and take up no space in your bag. Toss in a few for water carrying, water proofing and even making a shelter.

floss-668215_640*Ziploc bags—Quart and gallon size bags can be used to keep your stuff organized and dry. Use the bags to carry water or put over your shoes to keep them dry.

*Dental floss—While good oral hygiene is important and dental floss will be handy for those needs, it can also be used for so many other things like fishing line, snares, shoestrings and so on. Pack a box or two in your bug out bag.

These five things may seem rather small and inconsequential, but they can be extremely useful. When you are thinking about your bug out bag and the gear you put in it, you want items that serve many purposes and are not limited to just one function. Think out of the box a bit and see what you can come up with.

Prepping for Wildfire Season

fireMany preppers are getting a jumpstart on preparing for a collapse by doing what they can to homestead now. Homesteading is typically done in rural areas either on a prairie where there is lots of land to farm and raise animals or high up in the mountains away from society. While this is great for some nice quiet living and plenty of hands-on practice, there is one risk many don’t consider—wildfires.

Fire can wipe out everything you have worked for within a matter of minutes. It can also threaten your life. Fire is one of those things you cannot predict or even fight without the right tools. Calling the fire department may help, but you also need to be prepared to take care of yourself should a wildfire come knocking on your door.

As with anything, prevention is your best treatment.

*Defensible space is a term you will hear firefighters use quite a bit. Basically, you need to protect your home (with you in it) by creating a space between the trees and prairie grass and your home. While it is great to live and be surrounded by trees, when those trees are up against your house, it is like living in a box of matches.
*Keep things wet. While water is a coveted resource, you can’t be too stingy with it. You want to keep the area around your house green.
*If you don’t want to deal with a lot of plant life or you don’t have enough water to keep a big, green lawn, make it dirt. Dirt doesn’t burn. Get the tiller out and till the ground regularly. Don’t let the weeds grow out of control. firefighters

*Be vigilant and take regular trips around your property. If you see a small bit of smoke, investigate immediately. Don’t wait and see if it is anything, that will be too late. Pay attention to your nose. If you smell smoke or fire, act quickly.

*Avoid running your chainsaw, smoking or having campfires when things are really dry. A single spark or ember could destroy everything you have worked for.

If a fire does threaten your home, be smart and weigh the risks. Staying and fighting is often our first instinct, but waiting until it is too big could end up costing you your life. Always have one foot out the door during fire season. Keep a tote filled with personal paper, precious family artifacts and anything else you can’t live without at the ready.

Be prepared, be vigilant and be ready to bug out should it become apparent that is your only option.

Prepper Gardening During a Drought

self-sufficient gardensWith droughts gripping a large portion of the nation, preppers are struggling to keep their gardens green and growing. A prepper garden plays a pivotal role in establishing a food storage. Without a garden, you are forced to rely on the grocery stores and pay ridiculous prices. It is only going to get worse considering many of the farms that supply that grocery stores are caught in the nasty droughts as well.

Preppers can keep their garden going by changing up the way they do things. Even the oldest dogs (preppers) can learn new tricks. These tricks will come in handy when the tap is dry and watering your survival garden isn’t as easy as turning on the faucet.

1-Put in a serious effort to keep the weeds down and away from your plant base. Weeds are water hogs and the little water your garden does get will be stolen by the weeds who are just as thirst as your plants.

2-Use pine needles, dead leaves, compost and even old newspaper around the base of your plants to keep the ground moist. The sun bakes the earth and evaporates the water quicker than your plant roots’ can absorb it.

3-Use soaker hoses or make your own out of an old garden hose. Poke a few holes along the defunct hose and lay it on the ground. The water will go right to the roots and not spray out and evaporate before it ever hits the ground.

4-Don’t waste water by over-watering. Set a timer or pay attention to the clock. Typically, 15 to 20 minutes is plenty of water for your veggies.drought-84611_640

5-Obviously, only water during the early morning hours or late at night. If you are a night owl, water throughout the night. Take advantage of the sun being down and it’s evaporating rays put away for the night.

Keeping your garden watered will help you control the bug population as well. When your plants are weak and thirsty, they are prone to disease and pests. Have you ever seen a lot of grasshoppers in a lush, green area? Not so much. They thrive in the dry areas.

Prepping for Summer Vacation Season

family-591579_640With summer weather, families everywhere are hopping in the car and heading out for a nice family vacation. Preppers are leaving behind the bulk of their supplies and enjoying everything life has to offer today. That is a good idea. There is no point in dwelling on all the what if possibilities and disaster scenarios. You need to get out there and enjoy everything we have available to us today. Before you head for the car, you do need to have a bug out bag in the car, just in case disaster strikes while you are on the road.

You can store these items in a back pack stowed in the trunk of the car or in the back of an SUV.

Emergency blanket—1 for each person
A portable camp shovel
Energy/protein bars
Water
Headlamp/flashlight
Waterproof matches and flint rod or magnesium stick
Orange cones for signaling and/or repairs
Cell phone charger for the car
Compass
First aid kit
Basic tools i.e. screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers
Duct tape
Canteen or bucket for carrying water
Spare tire and the equipment to change it
Extra bottle of car fluids; antifreeze, oil, brake fluidstreet-238458_640

These few items can mean the difference between surviving being stranded on the road for hours after an accident or breakdown and not making it. If a major disaster strikes while you are on the road, you need gear to get back home or to somewhere safe. Keep enough supplies in the car to hold your entire family over for at least a day. You never know when disaster will strike. Prepping isn’t just for home.

The Many Uses of Duct Tape in Survival

tape-589079_640Survivalists and preppers are always looking for ways to maximize everything around them. If you are forced to head out into the wilderness, you can only take what you can carry. You can’t afford to waste space in your bug out bag by packing items that are basically one-hit-wonders. You need tools that serve many purposes. There is no room for lazy tools that can only be used to do one thing and one thing only.

One of the tools that many preppers are rarely ever without is duct tape. Duct tape has a solid reputation as being the go-to for anything and everything that is broken. If you can’t fix it, duct it. We are going to talk about some of the ways you can use duct tape in a survival situation.

1-Use the tape to create butterfly stitches to hold a wound closed.

2-Wrap shoes with duct tape to give you waterproof protection.

3-Use duct tape to create a shelter with plastic sheeting, a tarp or even hold branches together.

kodiak-85921_6404-Repair a tent, tarp or sleeping bag by sticking on a piece of duct tape.

5-Use duct tape to fasten a knife to a long branch to create a spear for fishing or hunting.

6-Broken water bottles can be taped together so you can still hold water.

7-Use the tape to make a sling if you injure your arm or wrist. Wrap your arm with cloth or toilet paper and wrap it with duct tape.

8-Make an ankle brace or knee brace with duct tape.

9-Hem pants with a strip of duct tape around the bottom.

10-Cover your shoes and bottom half of your legs with garbage bags and duct tape them on if you are in the snow or rain.

11-Make a rope with duct tape to drag supplies or hang food off the ground.

12-Use duct tape to secure a prisoner if you have to.

13-Repair a broken knife handle, broken tent pole or broken fishing pole with tape.

These are just some of the things you can do with duct tape. When you are in survival and duct tape is on of the few tools you have, you won’t be let down. Open your mind and get creative. You are sure to find a way to use duct tape that isn’t listed here.

Are You Prepared to Hunker Down at Home?

riotingIf you were given an order by the military to stay in your home or neighborhood right this very minute, could you survive? Do you have enough supplies to keep your family alive and well for at least three days? What if the lockdown persists and you are essentially forced to be under house arrest for days or weeks. Very few people have what they need to live through such an ordeal.

You may be thinking that would never happen, but it could happen. You never know if or when our own military may enforce martial law or if we are invaded by a foreign army. While the probability is somewhat slim, it is out there. A terrorist attack or a riot that erupts in your neighborhood will drive you indoors in an attempt to find safety. Events can quickly spin out of control within a matter of hours and you could very well find yourself in this particular scenario.

The following list are some of the very basic essentials you should always have on hand just in case you are forced to shelter in place with no real warning.

*Canned food. You need to have a variety of canned foods, not just a bunch of veggies or a few cans of fruit cocktail. You need soups, fruits, veggies and canned meat if you like it.

*Freeze-dried foods are great, but you will need to store extra water to make the food into edible meals.food pantry-1

*Water is one of the most important things you will store. Some scenarios will allow you to still get water from the tap. Other scenarios will mean you don’t have water from the tap or the water available is contaminated.

*Soap for washing hands and dishes will be necessary. You can’t afford to get sick by using dirty hands.

*Personal hygiene items. Toilet paper, feminine hygiene and toothpaste are all easy to store. They will be very appreciated should you find yourself stuck in your house for days on end.

*Light sources, like a flashlight, candles or a lantern. Sitting in the dark when you know there is chaos outside is intense. You can help dispel some of the fear by having some light.

*Safety and security. It is really personal choice if you want to have a gun in the home, but it is a good idea to have some way to defend yourself and your supplies whether that be a taser, knife, gun or whatever.

*Blankets and winter gear are important to have on hand. If you are forced to hunker down in cold temperatures, there is a chance the power will be out. You need to be able to stay warm. If you have a woodstove or fireplace, make sure you have a supply of dry wood ready to burn.

*First aid kit and any necessary medicines. If you require certain medicines, it is important you keep extra on hand at all times, just in case.

These basic supplies will help you ride out any disaster scenario or even something like a severe storm that keeps you homebound. If you find yourself extremely ill or are stuck at home taking care of a family member who is ill, you can rest assured you don’t have to worry about making it to the store. You have the supplies necessary to survive for a few days or weeks without leaving your house.

Staying Cool When Bugging Out in a Heat Wave

desert-175465_640With a blistering summer expected to rock most of the country and severe drought in many areas, it is important you are prepared to deal with a survival situation in the extreme heat. Your survival is going to be made more difficult by the extreme temperatures. Oddly enough, many preppers assume it will be cold when they are forced to survive in the great outdoors. Heat waves can lead to civil unrest. People get hot, power grids are pushed to their limits and some will fail. It is a recipe for disaster. The following tips will help you if you ever find yourself forced to bug out or hunker down in a heat wave.

1-Stay out of the sun. Don’t get outside at noon and decide to walk 3 miles in the blistering heat. If you are on the move or have to walk to retrieve water or supplies, do it in the morning or late at night.

2-Cover up if you do have to be outside. Light cotton is best. Silk is also a nice lightweight material that will keep your skin covered and protected from the sun, while giving you plenty of breathing room.

3-Place a damp towel on the back of your neck and replace as needed if you feel warm or notice the signs of hyperthermia setting in.

4-Avoid doing any manual labor during the heat of the day. Relax in the shade. If you can’t find shade, try to create some with a lean-to or in the shadow of a rock wall. Caves are lifesavers and are naturally cool. cave-262258_640

5-If you have sunscreen in your bug out bag, wear it. You don’t want your skin getting burn. This will only dehydrate you and leave you in a very bad way.

6-Use a stick or a shovel and dig a hole in the ground long enough for you to recline in. The earth is much cooler than the surface by as much as 30 degrees. Don’t worry about getting dirty, just bask in the coolness of the soil.

7-If you are somewhere there is mud, rub the mud on your skin to act as sunscreen. It will also keep you cool. When the mud hardens and dries, it will slough off. Find more if needed.

We never know when we have to bug out, but being prepared to cope with extreme temperatures is one of the most important aspects of survival. Your core body temperature can only be off by 3 degrees, up or down, for 3 hours before you find yourself in real trouble. Stay cool this summer and avoid heat stroke.

Carry aTinder Bundle with You

fire-609439_640You have probably read and practiced how to make a tinder bundle from things you find in your environment. This means you are going to have do some scouting, which delays your fire. If it is cold, wet and dark, you don’t want to waste a lot of time trying to find the material you need to get a warm fire burning. It is always a good idea to take some things with you in your bug out bag that will help you get your fire going quickly, without wasting a lot of time and energy.

1-Pack along some lint from the dryer. It takes up very little space and is practically weightless.

2-Take your lint up a notch by stuffing it in old cardboard egg cartons and covering it with wax. You can use candle stubs or broken crayons melted down for the wax portion. Cut the individual egg holders into pieces and toss them in a sandwich bag.

3-Working on the same theory of wax and cardboard, you can cut up some pieces of cardboard, pour melted wax all over it and put them in a bag. They will burn for several minutes versus the few seconds dried grass will burn.

4-Cotton balls coated with Vaseline will also give you a nice flame for several minutes. Store the cotton balls in a sandwich bag or an old pill bottle.dry-69473_640

Don’t forget to look for dried grass, dry moss, pine needles and other material that can be used as a tinder bundle as you walk. Collect the stuff as you see it and stash it away. You never know when you are going to find yourself without anything dry to start a roaring fire.

How Will You Keep the Blues at Bay?

guitarist-407212_640We all know that survival after a major disaster is a lot more than simply finding clean water and something to fill our bellies. It is also about keeping our spirits up and finding the strength to go on at a time when everything seems so impossible. You need a distraction from the facts of your situation. You need to be able to give your mind a rest and not fret over where you are going to sleep tomorrow or what the future holds.

One advantage preppers have over the rest of the folks who are fighting to survive is that many of the most obvious duties related to survival are going to be handled. You spend time today taking care of food, water and basic necessities so it isn’t such a major ordeal when you truly need it. This will free up your time to relax and plan a brighter future.

Part of your preparing and planning should include ways to keep the blues at bay. Check out some of the following ways you can keep your spirits up while setting your mind at ease.

Spiritual Books

If you are a spiritual person, stash a few Bibles and books that offer words of encouragement. You are going to need them. Relying on your faith is one very effective way to keep your mind off of hardships while finding the strength and courage to keep fighting.belief-22190_640

Music

Stash some song/hymn books and musical instruments. Learn how to play the guitar, flute or harmonica. Music is one of the oldest forms of entertainment. It helps to ease the stark quietness of a long night and can truly soothe the soul.

Hobbies

Pick up a new hobby that doesn’t require a lot of supplies or electricity. Learn how to draw, paint, sew, knit or carve wood. Staying busy while creating a masterpiece will give you satisfaction and comfort. You can then trade your crafts for other things you need.

Set aside some time to think about what your interests are and what kinds of things you can do to keep your mind off a rough situation.