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.