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.

Getting the Kids Gardening Today

gardening with kidsPreppers know the importance of having a garden. It is one way to supplement your food supply in today’s world and it is teaching you the valuable skill of growing your own food. After a major disaster, you are only going to be able to rely on yourself to provide your family with the food they need to survive. Gardening isn’t going to be your only job. You are going to be busy taking care of plenty of other things, which is why you need to get your kids involved in the gardening hobby today.

Kids are not going to have all the luxuries they do today. They are not going to be spending time watching television, surfing the internet or playing video games. Kids are going to be a huge part of helping the family survive. Every available hand will be appreciated when your days are spent carting water, repairing your shelter and looking for food.

Teaching kids gardening basics today, will make survival much easier in the future.container gardening ideas

Some things you can help teach them today are as follows;

Identifying weeds and vegetable plants
The art of watering plants without drowning them
Knowing when to harvest fruits and veggies
Understanding why we garden
Getting first-hand experience harvesting and eating food they helped grow
Starting them early means they will be able to take care of their own gardens at a much younger age
Participating in the gardening duties also helps teach children responsibility. They will learn early on what happens if they don’t weed or tend their plants.

It is no secret our kids spend a little too much time indoors and not enough time outside getting their hands dirty. By spending some time with the kids outside and teaching them by example, you are teaching them lifeskills that will carry them through a survival situation. These are skills they can pass along to their children as well.

Staying Cool in Survival

sun-293615_640When you think about survival, you tend to gloss right over the little things we take advantage of in today’s world. With the heat of the summer right around the corner, it is important to start thinking about how you will stay cool in a survival situation. It isn’t just about comfort. It is about your health. Working hard in the heat is a recipe for disaster and will lead to heat exhaustion or possibly heat stroke. You need to be prepared to deal with the heat without the luxury of air conditioning to retreat to when you are hot.

  • If you are hunkering down in your home, cover the windows with blankets or use some aluminum foil to cover the windows. Blocking the sun’s rays from heating up your home is a major step in keeping your house somewhat cool.
  • Try to hang out in rooms of the home that are on the northern side. These will be a few degrees cooler.
  • If you are in the open, seek shade and stay put during the heat of the day. Do any manual labor in the early hours of the morning or in the late evening.forest-218266_640
  • Increase your water intake if it is overly warm or you are walking or expending energy in the heat.
  • Invest in a small portable solar panel now. You can hook a small fan up to the solar panel to provide a bit of a breeze.
  • Learn how to make a bucket AC out of a 5-gallon bucket. You will need a solar panel and a small desk fan. These are actually very effective.
  • Soak a bandana in water and lay it across the back of your neck. This will help keep you cool.
  • Always wear a hat and cover as much skin as possible with lightweight cotton or silk garments. You don’t want the sun beating down on your skin.
  • If you have a basement, hang out down there during the heat of the day.
  • If you are in the wilderness, the earth is actually fairly cool. Dig a trench and hunker down.

Being cool isn’t just about feeling comfortable. Your core body temperature must stay at a safe range, around the 98.6 range. A couple degrees over that and you will start to experience symptoms of heat exhaustion.

Don’t Get Caught in the Canned Food Trap

cansThere are plenty of preppers who put a great deal of faith, money and time into stockpiling cases upon cases of canned food. They shun other options like freeze-dried or dehydrated for various reasons. This is a dangerous practice. A good food storage will have a variety of foods in varying forms. Eating the same thing day in and day out isn’t only boring and repetitive, it can also make you sick.

There are some downsides to canned food that should be noted.

  • Most canned foods are high in sodium and nitrates that can increase risk of dehydration
  • Canned foods are heavy and require sturdy shelving
  • You are limited to certain foods
  • Once you open a can, you have to eat it all if there is no refrigeration

Now, to be fair, canned food is probably the most easily accessed and can be purchased anywhere and everywhere. It is also relatively inexpensive.

Freeze-driedhealthy freeze dried food

Freeze-dried food is a viable option that should be considered. Yes, it is more expensive, but it will last for decades or longer. You can buy freeze-dried food in full meals. Things like beef stroganoff, spaghetti and meatballs and chicken and rice are just a sampling of the meals available. You can also purchase a variety of freeze-dried products like sliced sliced potatoes or freeze-dried egg powder that can be used to create a delicious meal.

Freeze-dried food needs very little water to transform into a typical meal. In fact, you need less water to reconstitute freeze-dried food than you do dehydrated food. Freeze-dried food is a little harder to find and will often need to be ordered online. Many companies will offer free shipping if your order reaches a certain dollar amount.

Dehydrated

Dehydrated foods are popular with preppers because they can be eaten as is if it isn’t possible to reconstitute the foods with water. Dehydrated foods are also much cheaper than freeze-dried, but are more expensive than canned. However, plenty of preppers have learned the art of drying their own food at home to save money.

Fruits, meats and vegetables can all be dehydrated. While you would typically buy dehydrated foods individually, you can put together soups and stews that are made up of a variety of dehydrated ingredients and store those on the shelves. Keep in mind, dehydrated foods take hours to reconstitute and do best with hot water. Dehydrated ingredients are best used in stews and soups where they can cook slowly and absorb the other flavors.

Don’t get caught in the trap of only stocking one type of food. Diversify your food storage and you will be happier for it when it comes time to rely on it after a disaster.

Keeping Your Food Storage Cool this Summer

food pantry-1As you continue to build up your preps, you need to take special care to ensure they are being stored properly. With summer temperatures expected to be hotter than ever, it is even more important you take precautions to keeping your food at an ideal temperature. Canned food that gets too hot will spoil. All of your hard-earned money that was spent buying the food will be wasted. Freeze-dried food may not spoil, but it will certainly not hold up as well in extreme conditions.

Here are a few ways you can help keep your food storage from being spoiled by a hot summer.

1-If your preps are in a room in the house, install a ceiling fan or put a couple of oscillating fans in the room to keep the air moving. Opening a window at night will allow a cool breeze in to help keep the room cool.

2-Cover the windows in the room with heavy curtains. Putting aluminum foil on the windows will also help reflect the heat keeping it from heating up the room.

3-Consider building a root cellar to hold your preps. The earth tends to hold around 50 degrees, which is a perfect temperature for your food. The best part about using a root cellar is it can be used year-round and is also a great place to store your root vegetables like potatoes and onions.air-2260_640

4-Basements will typically remain fairly cool, but they can get humid. Keep a fan running to help circulate the air and prevent condensation from building up on your food. Moisture is not something you want in your food storage area.

Your food storage area doesn’t have to be kept as cool as the rest of the house, but you do want to try to keep it under 80 degrees Fahrenheit. A fan can help circulate the cooler air from the rest of the house into your pantry to keep it at an ideal temperature. Your food storage is too important to let go to waste because of a little heat.

Practice Survival Skills this Spring

camping foodIt is time to dust off the gear and head out into the woods, prairie or wherever you live nearby and put your survival skills to the test. Think of survival as training for a big race or marathon. Marathon running requires endurance and you must be in shape. You need to know what to do if you get a cramp and you need to be prepared to deal with bad weather, unsportsmanlike conduct and so on. Survival is basically the same thing. You have to be prepared to deal with rain, bad guys on your tail and a whole host of other scenarios that could come your way. The only way to truly practice is to get out there and do it.

Take your bug out bag with you and experiment with some of your survival gear. Learn how to use that magnesium stick or try and put together a tinder bundle with the stuff you find in the environment—even if it is all been under snow for the past several months. It isn’t like you are going to be thrust into a survival situation in perfect conditions. While it would be great if the weather was a perfect 70 degrees and there wasn’t a rain cloud in the sky, it is just too good to be true.

Get out there and camp overnight. Take the family with you. Do some hands on training and teach the kids how to collect firewood and build a fire. Show them how to properly use the restroom when living outdoors. These are all skills that will be honed the more you do it. Try your hand at some primitive fire-making methods like using a bow drill. You will likely discover it is very difficult and it will reinforce your desire to make sure you always have a way to start a fire with you.scouts

Reading books and listening to experts cannot replace the value of learning and doing with your own two hands. This is the time to start planning some weekend trips and really putting your knowledge to the test.

Droughts Increase Risk of Wildfires–Are You Prepared?

fireWith the very real possibility of drought in areas all across the country, it is important you prepare to deal with a wildfire that has spun out of control. With a lack of snow and rain, the open country is going to be akin to a giant tinder bundle. A spark from a passing car or a strike of lightning could set off a devastating wildfire that threatens homes and lives. Fire is incredibly unpredictable and can change directions at anytime. You need to be prepared and ready to flee should a wildfire threaten your home.

When you hear about or see a fire in your area, you need to pay attention. Listen to the radio and check in with the news every hour or so to check the progress of the fight. Firefighters will give containment numbers. This means they have the fire a certain percent contained. Fires that are burning out of control and have a 0 percent containment are the most dangerous.

If an evacuation advisory is issued, it would be best to listen and get out before it becomes a mandatory evacuation. If there is not an order to leave the area, you still may want to consider doing so anyways, especially if you have anybody in the home that has any kind of respiratory problems. Wild fires contain toxins in the smoke that can make it difficult to breathe and may cause adverse reactions. It is best to get away from the area and let the firefighters do their thing while you watch from a safe distance.firefighters

Keep a bug out bag ready to go at all times. It is a good idea to keep family keepsakes in a single bin that can be grabbed and tossed into the car on a moment’s notice. You don’t want to waste time trying to hunt down grandma’s wedding ring. Have a credit card available to use to rent a room in a nearby town. Make sure you have at least half a tank of gas in the car to get you far enough away from the fire as well.

Don’t assume a wildfire will never happen in your area. They can happen anywhere at anytime. Be prepared to deal with one.

Emergency Makeshift Survival Water Filter

pollution-359014_640Every prepper knows one of the most important elements of survival is to have enough water stored to sustain you for at least 30 days. If you can’t store that much water, than you need to store water purification tablets or be prepared to boil the water you collect to make it safe to drink. Drinking water, even if you think it looks clean, could be deadly. You simply cannot take the risk. However, you may find yourself in an extreme survival situation without your gear. You still need to be able to drink water. You can construct a makeshift water filter that will eliminate some of the contaminants in water you collect. It is not a sure fire method of purifying water, but it can keep you going until you come up with a way to boil your water.

The makeshift water filter can be built from things that are typically in any environment.

1-Your first step is to find an old water bottle or plastic soda bottle. Unscrew the lid and cut off the bottom.

2-Look around for an old campfire or a tree that has been hit by lightning. You need the charcoal. If you have built a fire and can get charcoal from there, you are in luck. Put a handful of charcoal in the bottom (which was the top of the bottle) and pack it in.

3-Next, you will want to add a layer of sand on top of the charcoal.

4-Add a layer of small rocks/gravel on top of the sand.rocks-698504_640

5-Add some leafy green grass, dandelions or even tree leaves.

That is your water filter. Pour the water through the opening at what was the bottom of the bottle. The water should move slowly through the filter. If it goes straight through, pack the layers a little tighter. Each layer filters some of the contaminants. You can certainly run the water through the filter a few times to help get it clear. Adding a piece of cloth over the top can help filter out any large pieces of debris that may be in the water.

This filter will work in a pinch, but it is not a guaranteed method of removing bacteria and viruses from contaminated water. Do your best to find water that is clear and moving.

New Report Reveals Power Grid Vulnerability

power-supply-493209_640There are rising concerns that the electrical grids in developed nations could be the target of a coordinated terrorist attack. Recently, a report revealed just how often attacks were lodged against power grids. We typically don’t hear about these attacks because they are fairly small and the government doesn’t want to panic the citizens. However, it is becoming more obvious than ever that a widespread, massive attack against the power grid is going to happen in the near future. While government agencies work to prevent the attack and hope to develop a system that is not vulnerable to computer viruses and physical attacks, you also need to prepare for the inevitable.

These are some things you will want to start doing today to prepare for a downed power grid that could be out of commission for days or possibly weeks or more.

*Have a supply of canned, freeze-dried and dried food on hand. Grocery stores are going to be closed during power outages and will likely be looted.

*Have emergency lighting on hand. Grab some of the solar lights from the home improvement store to use indoors at night.

*Have enough drinking water on hand to last at least 30 days. Sanitation systems will be down without electricity. Those on their own well who rely on an electric pump will need hand pumps or will need to store water.well-318609_640

*Have a supply of medicine and first aid supplies on hand. Clinics and doctor’s offices will be closed. Hospitals are going to be overwhelmed. Do your best to learn basic first aid to take care of any minor injuries that do not technically need medical attention.

*Have a battery or crank radio so you can stay informed about what is happening and how long you can expect to be without power.

*Be prepared to defend your property against those who want the supplies you have stored. If the outage is extended, people are going to become desperate and will do things they normally wouldn’t. Do not advertise what you have and do your best to keep a low profile.

Power outages are fairly common, but we always expect the power to be restored within a matter of hours. You must be prepared to ride out a major event. The possibility of such an event happening is extremely high.