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.

Glow Sticks: 10 Reasons You Want Them in Your Bug Out Bag

When you are putting together your bug out bag, there is a long list of gear you will want to add. Things like a knife, water purification tablets and a flashlight are all at the top of the list of essential gear. As you get to packing your bag, you will likely discover you have a little extra room. You can always squeeze in a little extra something that gives you an edge in a survival situation. One of the things you should add are glow sticks.

Glow sticks are fairly inexpensive and can be purchased in bulk for even more cost savings. Some people will assume they don’t need the glow sticks because they already have a flashlight and a way to start a fire. However, there are some other reasons you should add the glow sticks to your bug out bag or stash a pack or two in your emergency supplies.

1-Glow sticks are perfect for adding just enough light to a camp spot without being overly bright. They make perfect night lights for those nights you won’t have a fire.

2-Glow sticks can be used to mark a trail or set near something like an outhouse or the car to act as a beacon.

3-The sticks are waterproof and will stay lit, even in the rain and snow.

4-They can be used to indicate your location if you are trying to be rescued.

5-Kids or members of your group can wear a stick on their shirt or around their wrist so you can see them in the dark.

6-Glow sticks can be left at your camp while you go off looking for firewood, food or water without fear they will start a fire.wilderness survival kit

7-They can be easily hidden should you need to hide in the darkness.

8-The sticks can amuse children for hours.

9-The sticks are much safer to use than a candle and do not require any batteries.

10-You can use a glow stick at any time, even if you suspect there may be flammable gas in the area. If you are in the house after an earthquake and natural gas is present, a glow stick will not ignite.

The glow sticks are inexpensive and most will last for about 12 hours. You can pick up smaller glow sticks at the dollar store or order the larger sticks that are meant to be used in a survival situation online.

Civil Unrest: Are You Prepared?

riotingIt seems like things are getting more out of control every single day. Police are being shot. Police are shooting people. Politicians are getting busted for shady dealings. Terrorists threaten the world as we know it so much so that people across the country are afraid of their own neighbors. Society in general is falling apart and riots seem to be the way people respond to things they don’t like. Riots bring out the worst in people. It is scary business and you never know when people are going to get mad and take matters into their own hands.

Civil unrest seems to be looming. You don’t know what may trigger it, but you can prepare to live through it. It doesn’t matter if you are one of the ones who is encouraging it or if you just want to keep your head down and get through it all. Preparing for the worst is your best chance of making it through the ugliness of civil unrest and the devastation it brings.

Food and Water

You may be forced to hunker down at home for several days, weeks or months. You will want to have a good supply of food, water and other basic necessities. Grocery stores will likely be closed. You won’t have anyway to buy new supplies and leaving your house to do so could be dangerous.

Home Defense

Whether you are part of the revolt or not, your home and the lives of your family will be at risk. Civil unrest means there will be no law readily available. You won’t be able to call for help when rioters and looters take advantage of the chaos. You will have to defend yourself and your supplies on your own.solar

Preparing for No Power

Depending on how widespread and how severe the unrest is, you may have to go without electricity. It may be cut by authorities trying to regain control or taken down by rebels intent on destruction. Employees may not show up to work at the power company. You may not be able to work, which means you won’t have money to pay the power company anyways. Be ready to take care of cooking and heating without the luxury of electricity.

Bug Out Plan

If you live in the city or suburbs, things may get extremely dangerous. Heading for the hills may be your safest bet, but you don’t want to set out without some kind of plan. Come up with a bug out plan and be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.

We have seen plenty of rioting and rebellion in the past couple of years and preppers are constantly monitoring hot topics in the news. It only makes sense to be prepared for something bigger and for a much stronger response. Be ready and you can ride it out.

5 Things to Do Today to Prepare for an Apocalypse

food pantry-1When you think about prepping for a future apocalypse or something on a similar scale, it is easy to get overwhelmed. There is so much to do and so little time (possibly) and you don’t know where to start. Do you run out, max out the credit card at Costco and call it a day? No. Don’t do anything rash. You don’t know when the end of the world as we know it is going to come. It could be tomorrow, it could be next year or it could be 10 years down the road. It is all about prioritizing and taking small steps forward. Every little or big thing you do is going to make a difference.

You need a starting point. The following things you can do right now to help prepare you for an apocalypse on either a small scale or an all out world-changing event.

1-Take inventory. Yep, go dig out your supplies and write down exactly what you have. You can make your own spreadsheet or download one of the hundreds of different lists from preppers that are available on the internet.

2-Organize your space. If you don’t have a dedicated shelf or pantry for your prepping supplies, consider cleaning out a hall closet or making some space in the laundry room. If you can get to the supplies fairly easily, it will make it easier to see what you have and load more supplies on the shelf.emergency supply list

3-Make a list of things you still need. If there is something really important that is missing, like a water purification method or basic kitchen tools like a can opener, those need to be at the top of the list. Keep the list handy so it stays fresh in your mind. When you get an item, mark it off and the next item on the list takes priority.

4-Come up with a disaster plan. If you know disaster is coming your way, you need to spring into action and don’t have time to think about what to do and who is going to do it. Have a backup plan as well. If your goal is to bug in, go with that, but also have a plan to evacuate in place, just in case. Your plans should include tasks for each member of the family. If you are bugging in, someone needs to lock the doors, cover the windows, fill water containers and so on. If you are bugging out, have bug out bags at the ready and your route already planned.

5-Put together a binder. This binder will include copies of your inventory lists, things you want or need, ideas you gather from surfing the internet or talking with other preppers and your disaster plan. This is also a good place to store copies of your insurance policies, birth certificates, deeds, emergency phone numbers and other important information you will need.

These few things will help get you organized and on a path to prepping for the future. It doesn’t cost any money to get organized. Plan a few hours or make it a project for the day.

What’s Your Poison? SHTF Scenarios and Prepping

Children need reassurance after a disasterThere are a lot of people who are preparing for the end of the world as we know it. TEOTWAWKI is on the minds of people all around the world. When you talk with other people who are into storing food, water and other supplies, you will discover you have a lot in common. Then you will get to talking and realize you have very different ideas about things. The reason you prep or the guy down the road preps is likely to be very different. You may think he is completely out of his mind and should be wearing a tin foil hat. Guess what? He probably thinks the same thing about you.

It doesn’t really matter why you are storing up a bunch of food and other emergency supplies, what matters is that you are prepared. Now, depending on your reason for prepping, you may have some unique items on your shelves that other preppers don’t have.

The following is a brief list of SHTF scenarios and the unique supplies you would want to have to survive those scenarios. If you want to cover all of your bases, it wouldn’t hurt to add a little bit of everything. Can you ever be too prepared?

EMP–This could be caused by a massive solar flare from the sun or a nuclear weapon being detonated in the air. An EMP would essentially fry all electronics. You would want a Faraday cage to store some of your electronics, like a set of 2-way radios, cell phone and other devices that have any kind of electrical components.

Chemical Weapon Attack—Being able to seal up your home to make it basically air tight is high on the list for folks preparing for this. Thick plastic, duct tape and gas masks are all essentials. You would also want some kind of air purifier to help keep the air in the house clean.root cellar

Nuclear Attack—In the event a nuclear weapon is dropped, your only real safety would be a fallout shelter deep underground. Many preppers have these and have built them themselves for under 20k. Having a supply of Geiger counters, radiation patches and full protection suits would also be a necessity.

Economic Collapse—This is always a looming threat and many people predict the dollar will become worthless. In an effort to prepare for that day, those folks are buying up gold and silver pieces, which would become the new currency. Precious metals would be the only way to “buy” things when the dollar falls, which would likely lead to the collapse of several other currencies.

These are a small sampling of potential scenarios. Things like a collision with an asteroid, the ozone completely failing and a super volcano erupting are also on the list of things to prep for. If you talk with enough preppers, you are sure to hear just about every possibility. The key is to diversify your preps so you are ready for anything.