Buying Prepping Supplies in Bulk

healthy freeze dried foodPreppers are the type who like to be prepared for anything for the long term. They don’t just look at the short term goal of surviving on their own for a couple of days while the government and emergency services mobilize to send help. Anybody who is doing that may be waiting for a long while. When you are thinking long term, you will need a lot of supplies, not a single box of matches or a single bottle of water purification tablets. You need a lot, which is why buying in bulk makes so much sense.

Buying in bulk is typically more cost effective. You can buy prepping supplies by the case load and get a significant discount. Things like hand warmers, emergency blankets and water purification supplies are just some of the things you will need a lot of. Buying individually can get expensive in the long run. You will pay anywhere from one to three dollars for a single blanket. However, when you buy in bulk, you can often get that price to under a dollar.sk1ee_lar_survival_kit

While many preppers will say they can’t afford to spend $50 on a case of hand warmers, when you break down the price for each pack, you are going to spend nearly twice as much if you buy a pack here and there. It makes good sense to save up and make those bulk purchases. It will ultimately save you money and you will have more supplies to put on your shelves. You can always use the extra you have to trade for other things you do need.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t take advantage of clearance prices and sales on the individual packs. Always be on the lookout and do your best to catch sales. Adding a little at a time to your emergency storage is okay, but if you find an opportunity to buy in bulk—go for it!

What’s In Your Emergency Food Storage?

food pantry-1It never hurts to recheck what you have stockpiled in your emergency food storage. If you are new to prepping, you may be trying to figure out what you should be stocking up on. It can all be a little overwhelming. Do you stick with a lot of canned food or do you invest in lots of dried foods? There is no right or wrong answer. Every family will eat differently. The key is to stock up on food that your family eats today. Don’t waste your money buying a bunch of food that your family would turn their nose up at should you put it on the table for dinner tonight.

Survival mode in a chaotic situation is not the time to experiment with the tastebuds of your family. They need the food they know and love. They need their comfort foods to help make them feel at ease and even a little normal. Look at your pantry and start making notes. When you go grocery shopping, look at the stuff in your cart. THAT is what you are going to put on your shelf.

The following list includes some of the things you should add to your stockpile. These are items that are inexpensive and can store for very long periods of time, decades even. They are rather generic and can be used to thicken up soups, stews or even make casseroles. You can certainly get your family to eat that.healthy freeze dried food

Beans—pinto, white, black
Rice
Oats—great for thickening up soup
Freeze-dried dairy products—butter, cheese, milk; this is the only way to store these items long term
Variety of spices and seasonings, a little salt goes a very long way to making a bland dish edible
Peanut butter
Jam
Flour
Pasta noodles—go for a variety and not just spaghetti
Wheat—only store this if you know how and are willing to grind it up to make flour
Canned fruits and veggies
Canned meat—Spam will be very popular, don’t forget tuna, chicken breast and sardines
Jerky
Dried fruit and veggies

This is a basic list. Don’t store a bunch of canned food and ignore the dry stuff. Canned food is typically high in sodium and there is that certain mush quality that will get old very quick. Freeze dried foods are a little more expensive, but they give you a lot more options.

What Should You be Training Your Dog to Do Today for SHTF?

german-shepherd-525804_640If you have plans to keep your dog after SHTF, that is great. Many preppers are planning on keeping their pets with them for a number of reasons. Your dog is probably like a family member and you wouldn’t leave one of them behind. Dogs can offer safety, security and comfort in a time when things are so chaotic. If you have children, they will appreciate having that extra bit of comfort.

With that said, you need to spend some time training your dog. A barking, disobedient dog that runs off every chance he gets isn’t going to do you a lot of good in a survival situation. You need a dog that will help you and not hinder your survival. The following things are important to teach your dog today so that he is ready to be a contributing member of your family. Some preppers teach their dogs some pretty cool tricks, which you may want to do as well.search-dog-620175_640

How to be quiet, no barking
How to fetch
How to hunt
How to protect/attack on command
How to search or find somebody

Your dog may be capable of doing much more, but these are the basics. Ideally, you would want to get a young dog that you can train. Some breeds make excellent guard dogs, while others make excellent hunters. Mixed breeds shouldn’t be ignored. They are often just as smart and just as trainable. Work with a professional trainer if you are unsure about your training abilities.

There is no time like the present to start training your dog to be a survival dog.

Different Ways to Store Water for Survival

stackablewaterWater is life. Plain and simple. Humans need water to live. An average person can live three days without water. However, after the first day or even the first 12 hours without water, things are going to get very rough. Nobody wants to experience the consequences of dehydration, especially when in order to survive you are going to have to have physical as well as mental strength to get through.

You have to do what you can to store enough water to last you a minimum of three days. That is one gallon of water per person in your family per day. Storing water is a problem because it is so darn heavy and takes up a lot of room. You need options.

Here are a few ways you can store water around your home to use in case of emergency.

1-Rain barrels. Set the things up outside so they can catch the rain water off of your home’s roof. Once the barrels are full, use a hand truck to put them inside a shed or against a side of the house that gets lots of shade. 50 gallons of water will last you several days.

2-Bottle your own water in old juice bottles, pop bottles or even iced tea bottles. Don’t use plastic milk jugs. Store the jugs in your root cellar, pantry or even under your bed. Storing the bottles outside may not be a good idea if you live in an area prone to extreme temperatures.water

3-Invest a few hundred dollars in a large 250-gallon cistern. This can be placed in the corner of your yard and filled up with the hose or set up a rain catchment system. You can buy bigger cisterns if you have the funds and the room.

4-Stackable water containers are perfect for setting against a wall in the basement or even in the back of your pantry. You can save space by stacking up and against the wall and save your shelf space for your food. The portable containers are easy to carry to a watering hole to refill.

Don’t assume you will find water after SHTF. Do what you can to store water today so you do not have to worry about water those first few days following a disaster.

The Reluctant Prepper

bug out bagAre you interested in prepping and excited to share the information with your family only to be ignored or laughed at? Maybe your spouse scoffs at your attempts to store food and water and brush up on survival skills. They may feel it is silly because nothing bad will ever happen and if it does, the government would step in and save everybody. If you are a prepper, you know that scenario is pretty unlikely should there ever be a real catastrophe and it will come down to every man for himself. You keep prepping, because you know it is smart, but you are doing it alone.

Unfortunately, prepping for an entire family without the family’s involvement can be just as dangerous. You cannot do it all alone. You cannot be as successful in your prepping journey if your partner is going against what you are doing. It will cause strife and before you know it, you will be sneaking around to do your prepping.

Here are a few ways you can hopefully ease your spouse into prepping. Don’t expect a complete change of heart, but hopefully they will at least warm up to the idea.

*Casually mention stories you see on the news or read on the internet. Things like, “Did you hear about that family stranded in their car for a week?” or “Did you see the damage that hurricane did and all those people were left without food and water for days?”family-591579_640

*Don’t get carried away and start prepping for alien landings. You know your spouse and know just how much they will buy. Keep your disaster prep as real as possible. If you live in tornado alley, prep for tornadoes. If you live in the mountains, prep for major snowstorms.

*Try to get your spouse to go camping for the weekend. Make it a fun, family event that gives you the chance to casually teach them how to start a fire or how to put up a tent. Anytime you can get them into the outdoors where you can brush up on survival skills is a good thing.

Lastly, don’t push too hard. Take baby steps. Try to find out why your spouse is so adamant against prepping. Explain that this is something you think will help the family even if a major disaster never strikes. You will be prepared if a family member gets ill, you lose your job or you have a bunch of unexpected company. No matter what, you need to do what you can to gently sway your reluctant spouse to the prepping movement.

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.