Stepping Up Your Medical Prepping Supplies

first aidEvery prepper has a basic first aid kit at the very minimum stashed away somewhere. Then there are those who have upped their stockpiles to include several sizes and boxes of bandages and what not. They realize that a single injury is not likely. After a major disaster, there are going to be numerous injuries and a wound will require daily bandage changes for weeks. One injury will deplete the basic first aid supplies the average prepper keeps on hand.

You need to up your game if you are truly serious about taking care of your family for the long term. Injuries can be minor or severe. A serious injury doesn’t necessarily mean death. You just need to learn some basic medical procedures like suturing, setting broken bones and reducing dislocations. Having the appropriate medical equipment will be the key to taking care of those serious, but not necessarily life-threatening injuries.

Along with really upping your supply of standard bandages, medical tape and gloves, considering adding the following items to your medical supplies.first-aid-kit-59645_640

  • Skin stapler—much quicker and easier than suturing
  • Suture kits—have a variety of needle sizes that are already threaded and ready for use
  • Tactical Cric Kit—if you need to make an emergency airway for someone, you will want this
  • QuikClot or hemostatic gauze
  • Scalpels in varying sizes
  • Israeli bandage—this is an excellent tool to use if you have a wound that needs direct pressure and you are all alone
  • Surgical drapes–needed to create a sterile field

While these things may seem a little scary, you can learn how to use them. When you are in a dire situation where a person will die if you don’t do something, these tools will give you the best shot at saving lives.

Bug Out Vehicles? Necessity or a Waste of Time?

all-terrain-vehicle-1351034_960_720Preppers are all about bugging out when it hits the fan. Nobody wants to stick around and see what kind of mess a major natural disaster, terrorist attack or the effects of a power grid failure will have. Getting out of dodge is the goal. It gives you the best advantage in the survival game. Sticking around in the middle of a city or busy suburb puts you at risk of encountering other survivors. Sadly, the majority of survivors will not be all that friendly. Those that managed to live through the initial disaster are going to be desperate. They want what you, the smart, savvy prepper, has.

When you think about bugging out, you assume it is you and the family carrying backpacks and hoofing it for 20 or 30 miles out of town. Have you ever actually walked 20 miles? What about 5 miles? It is tough. It is even tougher if the terrain is rough and you are carrying a heavy pack. For some folks, they may need to go at least 60 miles to get out of the city and into the forest where they will seek shelter.

That is a hard day’s work. There is also the issue that walking takes time. You are at an increased risk of being seen. You could be captured, injured or forced to fight. You will be outside in the elements for several days. If there isn’t a source of water on your journey, you risk dehydration. This is why many preppers are investing in a bug out vehicle.jeep-1318706_960_720

A bug out vehicle is one that is tough enough to go off road. It is big enough to carry you and your family and the supplies you need to survive. It doesn’t have to be pretty, but it should be reliable. Check out some of the other things you should look for in a bug out vehicle.

  • Four-wheel drive
  • Slightly raised to give you better clearance
  • Durable
  • Bully bars will protect the radiator when you need to push through objects
  • Light rack for additional lighting
  • Winch—just in case you get stuck

You don’t have to have a new truck or jeep. It can be one that is old and beat up that you can customize. In fact, older vehicles that don’t rely on computers are ideal because they will not be disabled should the disaster you are dealing with is an EMP from a nuclear detonation or a solar flare. A bug out vehicle is one of those things you should consider budgeting for. It will make things easier when it is time to bug out.

Prepping in a Tiny Home

garden-shed-931508_960_720The tiny home movement continues to gain attention as more and more people give up on the big American dream of owning a big house with a white picket fence. The mortgage and upkeep that goes along with that dream is more of a nightmare for most. The fear of losing your job, getting ill and being unable to pay the bills or having some kind of tragedy strike that makes it difficult to pay the bills is on the minds of people all around the world.

Too many people end up with nothing after having it all, including the immense stress. This is why a lot of people are abandoning the big house and the big mortgages and going tiny. They are doing more with less. They are giving up the worldly treasures that are more like a ball and chain. You can’t take your big flat screen to the grave. Life is about living for the moment and treasuring the memories you made, not the things you bought.

Many tiny home dwellers are also preppers. They have a unique situation. They can’t stockpile a year’s worth of food and water in their pantry. That doesn’t mean people who live in tiny homes or even small apartments can’t stockpile and prep. It is about getting creative. Thinking outside of the box and making the most of every inch available.carriacou-1567544_960_720

Most tiny homes are set up on a rural tract of land, which is perfect for a prepper. This gives you plenty of space to garden and even raise livestock. You can put up a security fence that will keep people off your land. Your safety and the protection of your supplies is going to be a bit more difficult in a tiny home, so your perimeter must be extra secure.

You will need to have a root cellar or some kind of additional storage on the property. It is simply not feasible to stockpile more than 30 days worth of food in a tiny home. You can of course utilize the space under the furniture you have in the home. Most tiny homes have very high ceilings. Adding shelving to the upper 7 or 8 feet of the ceiling will use the open space without taking up any room below. The space under the tiny home can also be utilized for storage. It would be a good idea to use rubber totes or 5-gallon buckets for this area.

Never assume you can’t be a prepper because you don’t live in the ideal environment or home. Look for alternatives. Every little can of food you put on the shelf is one more day of survival. If stockpiling is going to be next to impossible, hone your gardening, foraging and hunting skills.

Getting Ready for Winter in the Middle of Summer

firewoodIf you live in mountain country or an area where wood heat is a staple, you have probably already started collecting the wood you will burn through winter. Relying on a woodstove to heat a home is a common practice for many in cold areas because it tends to be cheaper and more reliable. A winter storm that knocks out the power can leave those who rely on a furnace for heat in the cold. No power and no heat can be life-threatening. As a prepper, you need to have a backup heat source, like a woodstove or a fireplace. It is common sense and often one of the first things on the list for a prepper.

The investment into a woodstove will run you anywhere from $500 to $2000 depending on the size of the stove and how much work needs to be done to install a chimney. If you can swing it, this is the summer to get it done. Buying a woodstove out of season is going to get you the best deals. You can get the clearance models that need to go before the new stock comes in for the upcoming winter.snow WV

Once you get your fireplace or woodstove in, it is time to start stockpiling wood. Depending on the size of your house and the average winter temperature, you could burn anywhere from 2 to 10 cords of wood. You have a couple of options for getting wood.

You can have it delivered already cut and ready to be stacked in a shed or somewhere you can keep it relatively out of the weather. You can save a little money by having rounds delivered, but you better be ready to do a lot of work. You will need to split the giant rounds in order to get the right size logs for your stove.

Another option is going to cut the wood yourself. You can buy a permit from the forest service that allows you a certain amount of wood. You will only want to take downed trees. In many cases, you will need a chain or some way to drag the log down a hillside. From there, you will need to use a chainsaw to cut the wood small enough to load into your truck or trailer. Once you get home, it is more cutting, splitting and stacking.

If you have your own property, you can use downed trees as a source of wood. You are also free to chop down any trees on your property and use those for wood. You will of course want them to dry out for several months to a year before you try burning.

Now is the time to think about winter readiness. You never know when the first winter blast is going to hit and getting caught unprepared could be disastrous.

Skills Matter—Knowledge is Only Half the Survival Battle

startup-594127__340There are two kinds of preppers. The kind that read and study and are endless resources of information and then there are those who do. The doers are learning by trial and error through actual experience. While neither way is technically the right way, it is pretty safe to say the doers are probably going to fare better in a true post SHTF situation.

Knowledge is power, but reading about starting a fire with a spark from a magnesium stick and actually knowing exactly how to hold the stick and how close to the tinder bundle it needs to be are two different things. Armchair preppers need to get out from behind the computer and get out into the wild from time to time. These knowledgeable armchair preppers do have their place in a post-apocalypse world. They will be a fountain of information and they can certainly direct others on what they should do, but if this kind of prepper is all alone, talking to the air isn’t going to help.scouts

There are a ton of skills that go along with survival; prepping, homesteading, growing food, raising animals and so on. Reading how to make cheese and actually making cheese are very different. Reading about butchering livestock and getting your hands bloody doing it will definitely be a shock to the system. Survival is messy business and if you aren’t used to or expecting the ick, you are going to have a tough time coping.

Get up, get out and get doing. Put your knowledge to the test and use the information you have gathered through research to really test your skills. Don’t wait until you actually need the skills to give them a trial run.

Are Your Kids Too Young to Be Preppers?

forest-386751_960_720Preppers come from all walks of life and tend to be chameleons. They blend in, doing what they can to keep their prepping practices on the down low. Usually, the whole family is involved in the prepping in some way, shape or form. However, there are some parents who take care of the bulk of the prepping needs and just assume they will be around to guide the kids and tell them what to do. But, what if you are not there? What if you are incapacitated somehow? Wouldn’t you want the kids to be able to take care of themselves or take care of you if needed?

Some people ask, “How old should my kids be before we start teaching them about prepping and survival?” The answer is simple—they are never too young. Prepping is a lifestyle. Your children learn from you from the very moment they enter the world. You have a very pliable little human in your hands, ready for your teaching. Use it wisely.

Kids should be taught basic survival skills early on. How many times have we heard about toddlers wandering off and getting lost in the woods overnight or being gone for days. There are plenty of miracle stories about those babies living through their ordeal. If, by some chance your little one finds himself/herself in a similar position, don’t you want them to be somewhat knowledgeable about what to do?children-770258_640

When you are stocking the shelves, putting together bug out bags or storing water, explain why you are doing such things to your children. Have them help you. Talk about what to do in various scenarios. When you are out and about, have the child keep an eye out for things that would be good to add to the storage shelves. Take them camping often and let them get some real practice.

Make it a family affair. Teach them so they are ready and feel more secure when things do go south. Having more hands on deck is only going to help you and them survive whatever comes your way.

Escaping Violence: 5 Survival Tips

gas-mask-718727_960_720As our world continues to get a little more dangerous, it is now more important than ever to be vigilant. You have to know what is going on around you at all times. You never know when a terrorist will decide to make a statement and open fire at the mall or a restaurant. The terrorist may be home-grown or foreign. You may be sitting at home and find yourself smack dab in the middle of a shoot out or surrounded by angry protesters. The world is not stable and if you want to make it through unscathed and alive, you need to know what to do when violence erupts around you.

These are a few tips to help you protect yourself and stay out of harm’s way.

1-Do not draw attention to yourself whether it is in a mob or active shooter situation. Don’t make any sudden movements, shout at the bad guy or try to make a run for it if the person/s have you in their crosshairs.

2-If you find yourself caught up in a mob without intentionally trying to do so, casually work your way to the outer edge and look for a place to escape and hide. Don’t protest the protesters. Keep your mouth shut and don’t make yourself obvious. Maybe it is turning a corner and using a building for cover or hiding behind a big tree. The key is to be casual and slowly slip away.gun-449783_960_720

3-For an active shooter situation, experts advise you to take cover, play dead if necessary. Wait until the shooter is distracted or looking elsewhere before you try to make your way out of the situation. Fortunately, most mass shootings are over and done in less than 15 minutes. Obviously, this isn’t the case in all situations, but while you are hiding, you need to stay calm and remind yourself it will soon be over.

4-Fighting back an active shooter is an option. In most cases, an active shooter is going to be in a public place, which means there are more of you than him. Gang up and use strength in numbers to take the shooter down. Experts recommend attacking from behind and the sides. Get the gun, then the shooter. Be violent in the attack. It is an all out fight for life or death and no time to worry about the repercussions of violently attacking a murderer.

5-The last tip is more about what to do before a situation happens. Always know what is happening around you. Be aware. When you walk into any building, store, mall or theater, know where the exits are. Identify places that will shield you, just in case. Keep your nose out of your phone and pay attention to the people around you. Humans are born with a natural instinct that can help them identify danger or when something isn’t right. When you get that feeling, don’t ignore it.

Desert Survival Tips to Stay Alive

desert-175465_640The middle of summer poses some extra challenges in a survival situation. If you happen to be traveling through a desert and your car breaks down or you get lost, you could be in trouble. Maybe you have gone hiking and got separated from your group in a remote area. Often times, cell phone service is very spotty in these sparsely populated areas. If you ever find yourself in a desert or near desert survival situation, these tips will help you beat the heat and survive.

1-Sleep and rest during the day. If you have a flashlight, you can travel at night—just make sure you can see where you are going. There is still a risk of tripping over rocks, animals and falling off cliffs. Travel in the early morning hours and dusk hours when the sun is setting but still provides some light.

2-Keep your skin covered as much as possible. Silk material is lightweight and offers you protection from the sun. You don’t want to get a sunburn that will dehydrate you very quickly.

3-Learn how to make a solar still, just in case your water situation becomes desperate. Ideally, you should always carry gear that will include water, but you may need to get resourceful if your survival situation extends several days.

4-Eating critters like lizards and snakes will give you some calories and the blood will help keep you hydrated. The tiny animals do not offer a lot of nutrition or hydration, but every little bit helps. Eating raw animals is not exactly a thrilling thought, but it will do in a pinch.sun-293615_640

5-Don’t overdo it. Don’t walk fast or run. You want to keep moving, but at a pace that doesn’t raise your heart rate and get you sweating. The more you sweat, the more water you lose. Just go easy. Make sure to leave your mark along the way so people can find you.

Ideally, if you find yourself lost in the desert, you should always stick with your vehicle. It provides you with shelter and is much easier to spot than your little old self. Always be prepared and have plenty of food, water and other basic supplies anytime you set out, just in case.

What Will You Wear for the Apocalypse?

birch-569341_960_720It may seem like a silly question, but what do you plan on wearing for the apocalypse? Your clothing will be your first line of defense against the weather. Heading out in a snowstorm wearing sweats and flip flops would be a serious mistake. Your bug out bag is important, but you also need to put together the outfit that will protect you and aid you in your goal to survive whatever has come your way. There are some key components to look for when you are putting together your survival outfit.

Waterproof

Getting wet could kill you in a cold weather situation. You want to stay as dry as possible. Even though it may seem like a good idea to get wet in a hot weather situation, you would be very uncomfortable and your skin would chafe. Duck canvas pants are a good option. Gortex is nice, but it will tear with just the slightest brush of a branch or rubbing against a jagged rock.

Durablewalker-1208261_960_720

Again, the duck canvas is a nice choice for pants at least. It is very durable and isn’t going to shred while you walk and climb over rough terrain. It is actually fairly comfortable as well and will get more comfy once you break in the gear.

Warm

Even in warm weather, nights can be very chilly. A jacket is going to be a nice addition. The jacket should have a wool or fleece lining to keep you warm. An outer shell made with a breathable material will keep you from sweating. Many of the hiking jackets you will find have several layers that you can remove or add as needed.

Pockets

Pockets are awesome. Cargo pants are worn by the military for a reason. They can pack around a great deal of gear on their person. It is much easier to get to something in a pocket than it is in a backpack. Tactical vests, pants and jackets should definitely be included in your survival wear.

Base Layer

This is the layer of clothing that you would wear under your shirt or pants. There are a lot of choices in this area. The weather you are preparing to bug out in will play a huge role in deciding what to pack. Make sure you update your outfit with the season. Merino wool tends to be a favorite for cold weather situations. Silk is incredibly soft and adds a nice layer of protection for the skin in cold or warm weather situations.

5 Secret Places to Hide Your Prepping Stockpile

clothes-basket-349709_960_720As we head towards what will likely be a game changer in the history of the United States, people all around the world are on edge. Preparing for things to take a major shift seems like a smart move. Building up a stockpile of food, water, weapons and basic emergency supplies is becoming a priority for many as they wait and watch the state of the economy. We like to protect what we have. Sometimes, out of sight and out of mind is the best way to do that. If it doesn’t look like you have any supplies to take, you don’t have to worry too much about somebody stealing the food you saved for a rainy day.

The following tips will help you hide your food and supplies to keep it out of the hands of would-be robbers.

Plain Sight

Stash your goods in those big rubber totes and label them with things like, “winter clothes” or “Christmas decorations,” and put them in the closet, garage or shed. Thieve who are looting your home are going to be in a hurry. They will pass right over the stuff they don’t want.

Under the Bed

You can hide a lot of food and supplies under your bed. Place the goods in the center and pile some shoes or scattered clothing around the edges. When the thieves pop their heads under the bed, they will see the typical mess pushed out of sight. You could also use those totes designed to slide under the bed. Put your goods in and then add a jacket or blanket to cover the items.

Bottom Drawer

Thieves will always go for the top drawer in a dresser. Stash your goods in the bottom drawer and put a few pairs of jeans or a few shirts over the top of the supplies to hide them from a thief rummaging through the drawers.

Linen Closetslinen-542866_960_720

Linen closets filled with towels and sheets are excellent camouflage for your goods. Hide the good stuff behind stacks of towels or in between the layers. Don’t forget the very top shelf that can typically only be reached with a step stool.

Laundry Hamper

Thieves are not going to dig through your dirty laundry. Create a false bottom in the bottom half of your dirty clothes hamper and stash your goods. You will want to keep something in the hamper at all time to hide the fact it isn’t truly empty. This isn’t going to be a problem for most households.