Natural First Aid For Kids That Preppers Should Know

Survivopedia-first-aid-for-kids

Do you have an alternative medicine cabinet ready for your kids? Would you be able to fix up their wounds and heal their common sicknesses if you couldn’t make it to the doctor?

If you have kids, this is an essential area for emergency preparedness. The day may come when you can’t just head to the store and pick up another bottle of acetaminophen.

You’ll have to have a plan in place, because kids get hurt frequently. They’re also prone to sickness. To help them feel better, there are plenty of natural remedies to use.

But first, let’s take care of some precautionary information:

A Child’s Dosage

Unlike those bottles at the pharmacy, natural remedies don’t always feature a dosage chart for children. Overdosing on any medication, even a natural one, can be dangerous. Don’t give your child an adult-sized dose.

Instead, you’ll need to calculate the percentage of the adult dose to give to your child. It’s based on age. Here’s a simple way to do the calculations using long division and multiplication:

  1. How old will your child be at his next birthday?
  2. Divide that number by 24.
  3. Round to the first decimal place
  4. Multiply that number by the adult dose.

Here’s an example:

  1. 7
  2. 7/24=.291
  3. .291 rounded to the first decimal place is .3
  4. That means a 7 year old would get 30% of an adult dose. If the adult dose was 5ml (1 tsp) this child would need 1.5ml.

The older your child is, the closer to an adult dose he’ll need. If you’re treating a baby and you’re breastfeeding, you can take the remedy yourself and pass it through your milk.

Storage of Natural Remedies

Light and heat should be kept away from your remedy supply. A dark glass bottle, stored in a cool part of the home is a great storage solution.

You’ll also want to make sure your remedies are inaccessible to children. If you don’t have a high shelf ready, consider using a lock-box. That way curious little hands can’t accidentally overdose.

Honey & Babies

Some of these remedies use honey. Honey isn’t appropriate to give to a child younger than a year old, so avoid these treatments with babies.

essential-oils

Natural First Aid for Children: Wound Care

Since they’re bodies are constantly growing and changing, children tend to be a bit clumsy. They bang into things and fall frequently. Bruises, cuts, and scrapes are common wounds you’ll have to tend.

With open wounds, infection is a primary concern. Keep the wound clean and dry. Bandages or strips of cloth help. Rather than using store-bought antibiotic ointment, try these natural alternatives before you cover the wound.

Witch Hazel

Take time to stock up on witch hazel. It’s typically found by the hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol at the store. Store-bought witch hazel contains isoproply alcohol, helping it to clean wounds completely.

It also forms a protective barrier, which promotes healing. It will sting though, so you might want to warn your little one before you squirt it on.

Sage Honey

Raw honey has antibacterial properties. It’s beneficial all on its own, but when combined with sage and left to age, you’ll have an even stronger antibacterial ointment. This treatment is also simple to prepare, especially if you grow your own sage. It’ll also last in your cupboard for a long time.

To prepare the sage honey:

  • Take a small glass canning jar, and loosely add chopped sage leaves. You want to fill the jar, but not pack the leaves down.
  • Next, pour raw honey over the top. It’ll cover the leaves and fill up the jar completely.
  • Then, put a lid on the jar and leave it to rest. You’ll want it to sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours before you use it. Over time, it’ll become even stronger.

If desired, you can remove the leaves in 4 weeks. It’ll make it a bit easier to rub onto wounds, and a bit more child friendly.

Sage honey is easy to use, and safe for children. You just apply a small amount to the top of the wound.

Lavender Oil Rub

Lavender oil helps reduce pain and prevent infection, making it the perfect go-to flower for small cuts. If you already have essential oil, you’ll want to dilute it with a carrier oil. Olive oil and coconut oil both work well.

A ratio of 10 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil is appropriate. For children, it’s important to ensure essential oils are properly diluted before use. Never apply them full-strength.

To prepare the lavender oil rub:

  • Measure your carrier oil into a dark container.
  • Add your essential oil.
  • Mix thoroughly.

You can either rub a small amount of the lavender oil rub directly onto the wound, or you can soak a cloth in the prepared oil. You can then use the soaked cloth as a compress, wrapping it around the sore.
Plantain

Plantain is common in many parts of the world. It’s also an astringent, which helps slow and stop bleeding. If you’re out in the woods and need an immediate remedy, chew on a few plantain leaves. Then, use those chewed leaves to cover the wound.

It’ll help the bleeding stop while you get back to the rest of your medical supplies. Teach your children to recognize this important plant, and how to chew it. If they’re on their own and injured, it’s a safe first-aid remedy they can use on their own.

Arnica

Arnica helps reduce swelling. It’s a helpful herb for bruises and bumps. If you’re able to stock up on homeopathic arnica pellets, you’ll help get your natural first-aid kit ready. You can also create your own cream to use topically.

This is how to make an arnica cream:

  • After harvesting arnica, you’ll want to dry the plant completely.  Then, it’s time to turn it into an infused oil.
  • You’ll need a carrier oil to use for your base. Coconut oil, olive oil, and almond oil are common base oils.
  • Fill a clean jar loosely with chopped, dried arnica. Then, cover the arnica with carrier oil, and put a lid on the jar.
  • You’ll want this oil to sit in a warm, sunny spot for two weeks. After the time passes, strain out the arnica using cheese cloth. Throw out the used herbs.
  • Your oil isn’t yet ready to turn into cream. It needs another batch of dried arnica added. Just add it directly to the oil in the jar. Leave this covered for another two weeks, and then strain out the herbs for a second time.
  • Once you’ve finished the oil, you can measure it into a sauce pan. For every cup of oil, you’ll want to add ¼ cup of grated beeswax.
  • Heat this mixture over low heat until the beeswax completely melts. Take it off the heat, and transfer it to a small jar for storage.

Rub a small amount on bumps and bruises to promote healing.

bug-spray

Natural Remedies for Coughs & Colds & Earaches

In addition to bumps and bruises, children are prone to colds and upper respiratory infections. Ear infections are also common. There are natural remedies for all of these ailments.

Peppermint Tea

A cup of hot tea helps loosen congestion. The peppermint also contains menthol, which helps decongest the sinuses. If your child is too young for tea, simply smelling the steam from a cup of your tea will provide some relief.

Warm Honey Lemonade

Honey and lemon both help soothe the throat. This is an excellent treatment for a child with a cough.

This is how to prepare the honey lemonade:

  • Place ½ cup of honey and ½ cup of lemon juice in a saucepan, and gently stir as you warm over low heat.
  • Once the honey and lemon have completely combined, add ½ gallon of warm water.
  • Continue stirring until the lemonade is as warm as you’d like it to be. Then, remove from heat.

Encourage your child to drink a mug of the hot lemonade every few hours. Not only will this help with a cough, it’ll also keep your little one hydrated.

Garlic

Garlic is a powerful medicinal herb with many health benefits. If your child is getting a cough or a cold, chop up a clove of garlic finely. Your child can either eat this plain, add it to a glass of water, or you can mix it with butter and spread it on toast. My kids prefer that method, as the butter and bread help cut some of the garlicy taste.

cough

You can also make garlic oil that helps with earaches. Garlic oil doesn’t last long without refrigeration, which means you might not want to mix up large quantities all at once. The good news is it’s simple to prepare, so you can make a fresh batch each day you need it.

Here is how to make garlic oil.

  • Crush a clove of fresh garlic and add it to a saucepan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Slowly heat the oil over low heat for twenty minutes.
  • Strain out the garlic.

Add 2-3 drops of oil to the hurting ear. You can repeat this treatment every few hours to provide maximum pain relief.

However, if your child has a perforated ear drum, this is not an appropriate treatment. If you aren’t sure if the ear drum has ruptured, use a garlic compress instead.

To make a garlic compress, soak a small piece of cloth in your garlic oil. Squeeze out the excess liquid before use. Have your child hold the garlic compress to her ear. This will provide relief, though not as quickly as the garlic oil.

In addition to earaches, you can also use a garlic compress on top of a wound to help prevent infection.

Do you heal your child naturally?

There are many other natural treatments for common ailments. Share your favorite natural remedies for kids with the rest of our readers in the comments below, and click on the banner for more knowledge about surviving where is no doctor around!

 

32 Survival Skills Your Child Should Know And Be Able To Do ASAP!

Knowledge is something that takes time to develop, so we need to start teaching the next generation now.  In case God forbid, our children are left to fend for themselves or we are injured or even just to make your family more apt to survive, every child must learn these survival skills so they can pull their own weight and contribute as much as they can.

It’s not just physical survival we need to teach them but mental, emotional, and spiritual survival as well. If your family learns now to be a well oiled machine, you will be more likely to survive any type of collapse.

  1. Grow vegetables from seeds
  2. Have local edible and medicinal plant foraging skills
  3. Knowledge of dietary needs and how to meet them using wild plants and game
  4. Make a fire and know fire safety
  5. Cook on an open fire
  6. Open a can of food with and without can opener (rub can lid ridge on cement and then pry open with knife)
  7. Be able to tell if food is too spoiled to eat
  8. How to safely use a knife
  9. How to shoot a sling shot
  10. How to hunt small game with snares, traps and sling shot
  11. How to fish and hunt, using  a bow & gun when old enough
  12. How to clean fish and wild game
  13. Find water and identify if it’s safe to drink
  14. Filter and boil water to drink
  15. Basic first aid
  16. Basic hygiene practices
  17. Find or build a shelter in the wilderness
  18. How to stay warm, cool and dry in the elements
  19. How, Why and When to stay hidden
  20. Self Defense
  21. How to make a basic weapon and how to use it
  22. Be able to run and walk a good distance and be in generally good shape
  23. How to climb a tree to get away from predators, get directional bearings, and hunt
  24. How to read a map and use a compass
  25. How to read the sky for directions, time and approaching bad weather
  26. Know where family and friends live if they need to find them
  27. How to sew so they can mend clothing or any fabric and even make things such as bags or scrap quilts
  28. How to barter and trade (Kids naturally do this with their toys so teach them at garage sales.)
  29. How to be responsible for themselves and to be aware of their surroundings at all times
  30. Have a natural curiosity and good problem solving skills
  31. Be hard working and a self starter and a family helper not a complainer!
  32. Have a strong heart and remember to stay calm in any situation

Teaching Your Kids Not to Rely on the Digital World

Children between ages 8 and 10 spend around 5.5 hours every day using media , according to a media usage report by the Ganz Cooney Center and the Sesame Workshop. But in reality, they’re exposed to eight hours a day of media because they’re often multitasking–watching cartoons while using a gaming system. Meanwhile the American Academy of Pediatrics warns too much media can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders and obesity.

Children between ages 8 and 10 spend around 5.5 hours every day using media , according to a media usage report by the Ganz Cooney Center and the Sesame Workshop. But in reality, they’re exposed to eight hours a day of media because they’re often multitasking–watching cartoons while using a gaming system. Meanwhile the American Academy of Pediatrics warns too much media can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders and obesity.

Technology can be useful in helping kids master valuable skills relevant in today’s digital workforce. There are also plenty of gadgets, tools and digital resources that can help kids learn. But there are life skills every child needs that go beyond technology. Here are five things kids should know without the help of a laptop or smartphone.

Telling time

With smartphones never being further away than arm’s reach, it is rare to see people looking up for a clock on the wall to tell the time. Being able to read a clock is a skill that is fading among the younger generation. Teach your kids the technique of telling time with an old-fashioned wall clock. Busy Teacher offers time telling worksheets illustrated with pictures and shows how to do simple tasks like writing the time and drawing the hands of the clocks. When they’ve got the hang of telling time, show them how to set a watch or clock to the correct time.

Money skills

Kids today see adults putting charges on credit cards and don’t know how to make change or count it back to ensure it’s correct. Children as young as age 4 can understand the concept of earning and saving money. Give them three clear jars and mark one for spending, one for saving and one for charity. Start a chore chart and let them earn an allowance that must be divided into their jars appropriately. When they save up for a big purchase, show them how to calculate how much they’ve earned and how much they still need. The sooner you teach your kids about money, the sooner they’ll develop the confidence to deal with financial matters themselves.

Reading a map

GPS devices make it easy to get from point A to B and never get lost. But a GPS doesn’t work everywhere, and your kids may find themselves in a situation where they need to read a map. Start by showing them how the map on your GPS works and what the different colored lines mean. Next, get out a paper map and show them how it looks just about the same as a GPS map and how to read it. Give them a challenge like how to get to grandma’s house just by using a map and have them write out the directions.

Entertaining themselves

Believe it or not, entertaining yourself is a skill that should be learned and is quickly becoming a lost art. Technology gives kids plenty of options from video games to online chatting without much room for imagination. Make mandatory nature time and get the kids outdoors in your backyard or at a local state park. Let the kids figure out what to do to have their own fun without suggestions from the adults. See what they come up with and remind them how much fun they had the next time they’re bored and looking for something to do on their computer.

Write a handwritten note

Handwriting and crafting a letter are getting left by the wayside with the rise of technology. But every child should know how to write a handwritten note with a structure including an opening and closing. Show them an example of a letter you wrote and its purpose. Whether it was a thank you note or correspondence with a relative, tell your kids why it’s important to learn how to communicate without emojis and text messaging. Give your kids an assignment like writing a note to their grandparents once a month or after receiving a gift.

Preparing Kids for The Apocalypse

In this article we will discuss one reality almost every man and woman absolutely dread, preparing our kids for the apocalypse, and keeping them alive after the shit hits the fan.  I’ve never sugar coated articles, and this will be no different, so if you’re not ready to read this I’ll completely understand.  I will give you all a hard dose of reality, some preparedness tips, techniques to keep your kids alive after doomsday, and some more brutal honesty.  Now that you’ve all been duly informed, let’s proceed…

In this article we will discuss one reality almost every man and woman absolutely dread, preparing our kids for the apocalypse, and keeping them alive after the shit hits the fan.  I’ve never sugar coated articles, and this will be no different, so if you’re not ready to read this I’ll completely understand.  I will give you all a hard dose of reality, some preparedness tips, techniques to keep your kids alive after doomsday, and some more brutal honesty.  Now that you’ve all been duly informed, let’s proceed…

It’s almost universally accepted we are hardwired to instinctively protect our children, and others’ children too, but it’s actually more than instinctual, it’s biologically instinctual.  In fact, Oxford University did a study showing the reaction time in the orbitofrontal cortex part of our brains when seeing a child and a human in distress isn’t even comparable, it showed we physically respond to children in distress without even thinking about, or letting instinct kick in, while seeing a human in distress triggered compartmentalized action.  Basically, unless you’re a subhuman degenerate, kids will always come first!

Nothing new, right?  To be honest, I didn’t state the above for us parents, it’s for those of you who haven’t been blessed with the beautiful curse of having children.  Why?  Mutual understanding.  If you’re a part of a group that has kids and you try to go against that grain, you will find yourself alone, without supplies, and if the kids get hurt because of your actions…you’ll end up dead.  If you’re not the type of guy who puts women and kids in the lifeboat first, a group with kids might not be the best for you.

Cautionary Preamble for Prepping Kids

Before you go spray painting your kids face with camo, stuffing MREs down their throats, and throwing them under barbwire, while popping smoke and black cats at their feet, let’s think about this for a second.  We’ve talked a few times about turning your kids into preppers without scaring the living shit out of them, and this is no exception.  Being a parent is tough, being a parent that believes in preparedness, self-sustainability, or The Constitution is damn near impossible in this CPS and guardian ad litem Nazi Era.  Hell, even though our beliefs are logical, responsible, and morally sound, we’re the crazy ones in their eyes.  Moral of the story, we have to prepare our kids for the shit to hit the fan discretely.

Luckily, you have your old buddy Administrator Ryan to guide you through the muddy waters of the state’s watchful eyes.  Just so you know I’m not some childless sycophant lecturing you on youth preparedness, I have two daughters who’ve been being prepared for five years.  Luckily, my X-wife and I have always thought alike about many things including preparedness, so getting her on board wasn’t hard.  For those of you who have to deal with Mr. or Mrs. Vindictive you’ll have to be just as equally discrete with them as you are with the state, unless this is that one thing you agree on.  If you’re divorced being aware of your spouse’s feelings is very important.  You don’t want to end up in court with Little Susie telling the Judge “Daddy said I have to know how to kill a man with my thumb when the world ends.”….

Discrete Kid Prepper Training

The goal here is to prepare your kids for the apocalypse without your kids, or spouse knowing they’re being trained for the end of times. Genius, right?  The trick is to keep your beliefs to yourself for the time being.  As long as you don’t accompany these activities with a prepper narrative, no one can label you a lunatic.  Luckily, there are several activities that can prepare a kid for the apocalypse that almost all parents can agree on while avoiding unwanted attention that include, but are not limited to;

  • judo — in my opinion the best martial artis for kids to learn allowing them to use the attacker(s) bodyweight against them
  • camping —  allows the opportunity to teach bushcrafting, firestarting, shelter building, identifying edible plants, while banning all technology
  • fishing —  taking the kids out teaching them how to catch fish, gut, scale, and cook their food is an requisite skill for everyone to have
  • hunting —  again learning the circle of life is very important, and teaching your kids how to field dress big game could save their life down the road
  • running —  running and exercising with your kids is a great way of keep you and your kids endurance high

While there are activities like the ones listed above that aren’t outside the realm of normal behavior, there are activities that are considered abnormal and should be judged on a case by case basis accounting for factors like; spousal approval, state and county political ideologies, and school involvement.  There are groups, and events that no prepper should be a part of lest ye want the watchful eye upon you that includes;

  • Girl Scouts & Boy Scouts —  not only have these organizations been turned into over politicized profiteering child labor camps, but they are breeding grounds for parental interference putting someone between you and your children
  • militia training camps —  if your kid isn’t at least 16 years old he or she has no business at a militia training camp, which is why every email we receive asking to bring their kids are responded to negatively
  • extreme religious organizations —  having you or your kids a part of a church or religious group that is way too extreme like saying ‘Dancing is a sin’ makes it way too easy to label you
  • public school —  surely I know it’s far too difficult for many of us to home school our children, but if you have the opportunity or financial means to do sothen by all means I surely encourage home schooling or private/charter schools

Kid Preppers

Turning your kid into a prepper is one of the most responsible things you can do as a parent, and in my opinion it is a moral obligation.  Far too many children are being raised to be victims and nothing less, an entire generation of slaves.  Your children are the only thing to carry on your genetic code after you die, and it’s your responsibility to ensure they are fully prepared to not only survive on their own, but to thrive.  The greatest decision I’ve ever made was teaching my two daughters survivalism, preparedness, and firearms.  What I learned is that training your children must be done in steps…

Teaching your kids firearms…

The first thing I did with my kids is I took the mystery out of firearms, by removing the magazine, clearing the chamber, and explaining what guns were, what they do, how they work with some serious cautionary tales.  Most kids are enamored with the idea of guns specifically because they are ‘off limits’, not to mention how cool they look to kids when they watch T.V. shows, and movies.  Then after explaining to them what guns were, I took them out back where we have a makeshift range with a backstop and setup some fruit downrange, and shot each, and as the fruit exploded into a million little pieces I could see my kids faces turn from amazement to understanding.  With their faces turned stern I told them ‘If this was another person, they would be dead, which is why you must learn how to use these before you touch them.’, and they both understood.

Then, I gave each of my girls cute pink Daisy B.B. guns that I etched their names into (they tend to get territorial over stuff).  With these BB guns I taught them standard firearm safety rules, loading, sighting, and etc.  Each took a turn and shot at their targets with groupings you’d expect from a couple of kids.  Every weekend we’d all train, focusing on getting better, and when my oldest daughter turned 8, she was the first to try our little Ruger 10/22, and I was exceptionally happy with the utter amount of respect she showed the rifle.  Her little sister was only slightly upset that she couldn’t use it yet, but she knew it was because of her age and size.  It was that year of training leading up to my oldest turning 8 that trained her to have that profound respect for the rifle, and I’ll tell you what, she had some pretty good groupings for her first time with a real rifle.  Moral of the story, teach them young, or pay the price later.

Teaching kids survivalism…

In today’s PopTart culture, it’s hard to get your kids to understand anything outside the realm of a thirty second spasmodic cartoon commercial of a dinosaur skating on a unicorn’s head shooting glitter everywhere, so your task is not an easy one.  That’s why I can’t truly emphasize the need for you the parent not to make survivalism a chore, but a fun activity your children will learn from.  This means don’t be a psychopath telling your kids ‘You better learn this or you’ll end up with a pike through your tiny skull in front of a wasteland raider’s shack town!’, seriously, chill out.  I’ve probably already said this to you guys more than once, but do not rob your children of their childhood!  That being said, teaching survivalism to your kids should be done based on priority; water, fire. shelter, and food.

We all know the rule of three, 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter in harsh environments, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food, and this is where you should start with teaching your kids survivalism.  The trick with my daughters is bribery.  One day I sat them down eat dinner, which is when we talk about a million things and I said..

‘Girls, do you know the rule of three?’   They both shook their heads and I explained..
‘Did you know you can only survive 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter in harsh environments, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food?’   They both shook their heads again as they said ‘No’ in their patented brat tones, to which I replied…
‘When people don’t remember that they die.’ I made sure not to personalize it because I had no intentions of scaring them.
‘So here’s the deal’ I said leering at both of them ‘the next time I ask what the rule of 3 is and you can remember it, I will let whoever gets it right the first time pick where we eat’ an idea both of them would love since Sonic is their crack and either way I win.. to which I followed up with..
‘So what’s the rule of 3?’ to which my oldest (who is somewhat of a prodigy)sprang out of her seat and recited every single rule to finish off by saying ‘and 3 seconds if we don’t get to go to Sonic tonight, Daddy!’

As simple as that I created an engine to get them to remember something incredibly important, and created competition to see who’d answer it right the fastest.  Since then, I’ve done this to them with several different survival factoids, and even got them to remember the Mozambique drill.  As a parent you need incentive, competition, and value to teach your children important things, while masking the seriousness of the knowledge.

Teaching Survival While Camping

If the shit were to hit the fan today, do you feel comfortable that your kid(s) would be able to locate potable water that wouldn’t kill them within 3 days?  Hell, I know it’s a very cryptic thing to say but about 99.9% of the children I’ve been in contact with through social and work acquaintances will not survive outside 24 hours.  Kids these days simply aren’t taught how to be self sufficient, with their mothers pandering to their every need, and their fathers either completely checked out or too scared (and prideful) to discipline their children in fear of turning out like their old man.  Tough cookies, the kids aren’t going to be alright and they need to be taught to survive!

Luckily, water is one of the easier things to teach a kid about.  If you’re not camping with your kids at least once a month you’re already failing them, because camping is where you can teach the basics of survival like finding potable water, filtering water, and etc.  Get out of the house and go camping!  And yes, I do know for some people it’s pretty hard to do, especially in mid-western desert areas like Southern Nevada, but you must find time.

The first two or three times I took my girls camping I made sure to show them how to do everything I was doing.  While I taught them I made sure to say ‘One time when we go camping I’m going to let you two do it, and if you can do it without my help we’ll go to Target and get you a new Barbie’ (yes I bribe my children all the time). The very simple things I taught them included;

  • finding a suitable campsite
  • finding potable water
  • setting up the tent
  • digging latrines
  • making a water filter
  • fire starting methods

Like all things with children you have to be patient and understanding.  Be meticulous in your explanation, while not being so insufferably boring you lose their attention.  Kids dig positive enforcement and momentum, so when you explain things you have to sound motivated and excited.  And for the love of god don’t scorn them for not getting it right the first time, they’re kids!

Teaching your Kids Shelter Building

The coolest thing about teaching your kids about building shelter is it’s not too far outside the realm of normal behavior for kids.  When I was a kid we’d go into the Kentucky backwoods (i.e. the backyard) and build forts every weekend.  You don’t have to go camping to teach your kids shelter building if you live in a wooded rural area.  Take your kids out back every weekend and teach them the basics of a good shelter; compact, off the ground, well insulated, waterproof thatching, and how to use local foliage.

Just like everything else, you can make shelter building into a competition with rewards and incentive, whoever gets theirs built first or is the most sturdy wins ‘fill in the blank’.  As long as your kids think it’s a game and not a chore they’ll always want to build a shelter faster and more sturdy then before.  Does this mean you can point at the woods and say ‘Go build’, grunt, and walk away?  Absolutely not!  This activity, like all others in this guide should be done as a family, and not an excuse for you to go drink a six-pack and watch the game by yourself.  Come on guys..

Hunting and Fishing

Fishing has been around since man’s been on two feet.  Try to make camping a regular activity for your family, teaching your kids the many techniques of fishing; netting, lures and bobbers, spearfishing, angling, and etc.  Keep in mind, death is a touchy subject to kids and should be explained in a very black and white way.  Don’t beat around the bush.  Explain to your kids that for us to live we have to eat animals, bla, bla, bla.  They always understand, and when they catch their first fish they’ll understand the great cycle even more when you have them gut it.  No matter how touchy the subject, they have to learn how life works.

By now your kids should know the basic firearm safety, and should be able to get some decent groupings with a little 22 rifle.  If you feel your kid(s) are responsible enough to go hunting then by all means you should start taking them with you to hunt; deer, turkey, small game, and etc.  Teaching your kids how to track game, hunt, field dress, and cook their kill is probably one of the most useful skills you are going to teach them out of everything else.

Kids and Preparedness

Preparedness is often over-complicated by people like us, because we want to be perfect preppers, developing strategies and preparing for any possibility.  We want to have a plan for everything! Hell, I’m sure some of you even have a contingency plan for when Earth is invaded by cannibal aliens from outer space.  Right?  Kids don’t need to know all that shit.  A simple ‘we are preparing for an emergency’ explanation will suffice.  Teaching your kids preparedness will instill values that will help throughout their adult life.

  • Tell your kids about the four pillars of preparedness; water, food, energy, and finances.  Have your kids pick the items they want in their bug out bag, and why those items are good to have and not good to have
  • Teach your kids about money, precious metals, the importance of wealth, and for God’s sake, please teach your kids how to balance a damn checkbook
  • Have your kids store water in food in their closets letting them pick the food they want so they don’t end up with a closet full of Cheerios when they’d prefer Frosted Flakes

In closing…

As parents we have a lot of responsibilities.  We have to wake our offspring up at the crack of dawn, feed them something nutritious, slap pseudo-matching clothes on them, while making sure they are at somewhat presentable to the world, and that’s just the beginning.  We have to make sure they come out decent human beings, lest the world think what savages we must have created.  But out of all the things the world thinks we should teach them, teaching them to be able to survive anything is the greatest gift we can give our children, so when the world goes to shit it is they who will inherit the world, and hopefully make it a better place, getting right what we got wrong…

10 Tips for Preppers to Prepare for SHTF Situations

Being prepared really isn’t that complicated, it just takes a willingness to do something about your situation. If you haven’t started prepping, it’s time to start taking the decisive actions you need to take to keep yourself and your family safe.

Being prepared really isn’t that complicated, it just takes a willingness to do something about your situation. If you haven’t started prepping, it’s time to start taking the decisive actions you need to take to keep yourself and your family safe.

Here are 10 ideas that can help get you started:

1. Threat Assessment

Part of truly being prepared for anything, means knowing exactly what threats you’re going to face and then analyzing how those threats will affect you in the future. By performing a realistic threat assessment, you can get a better idea of what threats you’re facing, and learn how to prepare for those threats in the future.

2. Planning for the most likely SHTF Scenarios.

When you’re just getting started in the world of prepping, preparing for an EMP or an asteroid hitting the earth is probably not the best course of action. While both of those scenarios are scary, the probability of them happening is actually pretty low. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t prep for these things, I’m just suggesting that you prep for the most likely dangers first.

3. SWOT Analysis

Performing a SWOT Analysis is a great way to determine how prepared you really are. A SWOT Analysis is a simple, but useful method of pinpointing your Strengths and Weaknesses. Performing one will also help you identify Opportunities that you can exploit, and Threats that you might face in a SHTF situation.

4. Living Debt Free… Is it part of your survival plan?

It’s great to be prepared for an end of days scenario, but what happens when you’re faced with a foreclosure or the possibility of living on the streets? Is that not a survival situation?  To be truly prepared for the worst, we must also think of our financial security. That means paying off debt, living within your means, and starting an emergency fund.

5. Get in Shape NOW

No matter what survival situation you may ultimately find yourself in, there’s one thing that you’ll likely find; survival is going to be hell on your body. One of the best things you can do to ensure your survival, in just about any situation, is to make sure your body and your mind are trained and prepared to survive. That means motivating yourself to get off your butt and get in shape.

6. Train with Repetition

To really be able to rely on your knowledge when things go bad, you need to run through your survival techniques in a number of real-world scenarios and environments. The more you train in real world situations, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to perform these skills in a high stress survival situation.

7. Train Your Mind

Survival isn’t glamorous, and it’s nothing like what’s depicted on T.V. Survival shows. It is downright brutal, and will beat the hell out of you not only physically, but emotionally as well. Don’t overlook the importance of cultivating a mindset that will allow you to face life’s greatest challenges.

8. Survival Intelligence – Power of Information

In a survival situation, knowledge is going to be a critical factor in determining the outcome of your situation. The ability to be able to predict what will happen during an emergency is an important part of being prepared. Start gathering a list of trusted resources and information sources that can help you prepare for whatever the future has in store.

9. Be Prepared to Bug Out

Many preppers talk about the prospects of bugging out; but how many of them have the skills, or the strength to actually do it? It’s one thing to talk about bugging out; it’s another thing to carry your gear 10-15 miles a day in dangerous and unforgiving conditions.

10. Bugging out with Kids

During a SHTF situation, maintaining a sense of normalcy is going to be a very important concern when dealing with children. With children, comfort items can go a long way in helping them feel as safe and secure as possible. Don’t overlook how important it will become to give them a sense of comfort and control during a stressful SHTF situation.

 

Threat Assessment – What are the most likely threats that you will face?

Part of truly being prepared for anything, means knowing exactly what threats you’re facing, and then analyzing how those threats will affect you in the future. By performing a realistic threat assessment, you can get a better idea of what threats are out there, and then learn how to prepare for those threats in the future.

Performing a threat assessment will help you improve your ability to handle threats, manage threatening situations, and protect the people you love from harm.

There are three primary objectives when performing a threat assessment – Identify, Assess, and Manage.

IDENTIFY The Threats

The first step in analyzing your overall preparedness level is to identify the most likely threats that you will face.

What are the most likely threats that you will face? Who/What are the threats, and what are your vulnerabilities?

  • Natural disasters: What are the most likely disasters you will face based on your geographical location? (Hurricanes, Floods, Earthquakes, etc…)
  • SHTF scenarios: What do you believe are the greatest threats to you livelihood? (Economic collapse; political instability; chemical, biological, radio logical, and nuclear threats; riots; wars; etc…)
  • Personal Threats – Economic Problems, Job Loss, Home Invasions, Debt, etc..
  • Security: What are the largest security risks that you face in your area? (Gangs, Criminal Activity,issues effecting urban areas, etc…)
  • What are the immediate dangers in your location? Is there anything that stands out about your neighborhood? Are there obstacles or dangers that are specific to your geographical location that could leave you vulnerable? (terrorist threats, chemical and/or biological threats, threats to critical infrastructure, criminal activity, inadequate access to supply routes or escape routes during a disaster, etc…)

ASSESS The Threats

The next step is to assess how these dangers will affect you, and then figure out what needs to be protected?

  • How will each of the above listed threats affect you, your family, your property, and your survival plans?
  • How will each situation affect your overall preparedness efforts?
  • Are there any areas in your plans, security, or overall preparedness efforts that need to be addressed?
  • What steps do you need to take to protect yourself, your family and your property?

MANAGE The Threats

The final step is to take immediate protective actions that will help prevent, or minimize your exposure to these potential threats.

  • What can be done to minimize your risk?
  • Develop appropriate emergency response plans, and threat reduction strategies for each situation.
  • Are you prepared to Bug Out if the situation calls for that action?
  • Intelligence – Those that are truly prepared will seek information from multiple sources. Make sure you have a good way to gather information before and after a disaster hits. (BEFORE: Survival Websites, Books, Radio etc… AFTER: Personal Networks, Ham & Shortwave Radio, etc…)

 

What are the most likely threats that you should be prepared for?

Deciding what types of disasters to prepare for will mean something different to everyone. From you location, to your health and financial situation, there are a number of factors that can play into what you should focus on first. While we can’t tell you individually what to prepare for, there are a number of things that you might want to consider.

Preparing for a Job Loss

Remember prepping isn’t just about preparing for cataclysmic events; it’s about being prepared for whatever dangers or pitfalls are around the corner. While the loss of a job may not be as sensational as asteroids, EMP’s, or a zombie apocalypse, it is the one thing that almost everyone reading this will face at some point in their life.

Preparing yourself and your family to survive and thrive during a time of unemployment is something that everyone should be prepared for. Ask yourself the following questions….

  • If you lost your job today, how long could you go without a paycheck?
  • How much food do you have on hand, and how long will it last?
  • What steps do you need to take to ensure your families survival?

Preparing for Floods & Fires

When we start prepping, it’s easy to get caught up in a worst case scenario mentality. While preparing for the worst is a good thing, it can sometimes cause you to overlook the smaller disasters that can be equally as devastating.

One of the most common disasters that most Americans will face in their lifetime is the threat from Fires and Floods. Again, it might not be the most exciting topic in the world, but preparing yourself and your home for this danger is one of the first things you should learn how to do.

Preparing for Natural Disasters

Hurricanes, Earthquakes, and Tornadoes are all disasters that often strike without warning. But they are also easily predictable.

While you can never predict exactly when they’ll happen, you can find out if you live in an area that’s prone to one of these natural occurrences. Unfortunately, as we often see every hurricane season, most people fail to prepare for these types of events. If you live in an area that’s prone to natural disasters, you need to start prepping to survive those situations.

Preparing for an Economic Collapse

As far fetched as this may sound to some, it really shouldn’t be that shocking. All you have to do is look back at 2008 to see how close this country came to a complete financial meltdown. Although the idiots in the media claim the economy is recovering, just remember, they’re the same idiots that didn’t see 2008 coming.

If the economy crashed tomorrow what would you do? Are you ready for this type of scenario?

Preparing for The Dangers in your Neighborhood

It’s often the dangers in your own community that pose the biggest threat to your health and safety, are you prepared for them? Do you even know what they are?

  • Is there something in your community that could make your town a potential terrorist target?
  • Are there chemical or power plants in your area that could pose a danger if an accident happened?
  • Are there areas of your town that pose a danger because of crime, gangs, or other criminal activity? If a disaster hit, would these people pose a threat to your home?

Bad things can happen quickly and often without warning.  Knowing what types of events are most likely to occur in your community can help you plan for those disasters. If you start with the mindset of being prepared for these common problems, you will then have a good foundation to build upon that can help you survive pretty much any crisis, disaster or SHTF situation.

 

A SWOT Analysis is a simple, but useful method of really understanding your Strengths and Weaknesses. It will also help you identify Opportunities that you can exploit, and Threats that you might need to avoid during a survival situation.

Performing a SWOT Analysis on yourself and your capabilities is a great way to determine how prepared you really are.

SWOT: STRENGTHS

A good place to start is to take an inventory of what you currently have. This can be everything from stockpiles of food and ammo, to stockpiles of knowledge.

Analyzing your strengths will give you a good idea of what you’re capable of doing. It’s also a good way of discovering things that you may have never considered to be strengths, but could be extremely beneficial in a survival scenario.

  • What survival gear, equipment, and tools do you currently own?
  • What other items do you have in your home that might be useful during a crisis situation? (Blankets, food, tools, etc….)
  • What skills do you have that can be used in a survival situation?
  • What resources do you have in your area that can be used during a survival situation?
  • Make a list of what you feel are your general everyday strengths, and then determine if these strengths would be useful during a crisis or disaster.

SWOT: WEAKNESSES

This is where you really have to be honest with yourself; but it’s also where you’ll get the most benefit out of this exercise. By honestly detailing your weaknesses, you can then better prepare to survive a crisis situation. Once you know what your weaknesses are, you can tweak your training to deal with them.

  • What skills do you need to improve on?
  • Are there certain survival skills that you have never actually practiced?
  • Is there anything about your location that could be considered a weakness? (Lack of natural resources, hard to defend, etc…)
  • Do you have any medical problems or disabilities?
  • What other things do you lack that may become a problem during a Crisis Scenario?

SWOT: OPPORTUNITIES

When listing your opportunities, try to imagine what resources and opportunities are currently available to you, and what will be available when a disaster strikes. List the opportunities that you can take advantage of now, as well as those that will be important during a survival situation.

  • What resources and opportunities can you exploit in your area when things go bad?
  • Are there opportunities that you can take advantage of that will help strengthen some of your weaknesses? (Local classes, survival schools, library, websites or other learning resources)
  • Do you have a network of people who can help?

SWOT: THREATS

To truly be prepared, you need to have a realistic idea of what threats are out there and how likely it is that each threat could happen. By going through this exercise, you can better prepare yourself to face each one of these scenarios.  You will know exactly what skills you need to work on, what plans you need to put in place, and what equipment you will most likely need.

  • What are the most likely threats that you will face? (natural disasters, economic threats, SHTF scenarios)
  • What obstacles will you face?
  • What are the immediate dangers in your location?
  • Who is the biggest threat in your neighborhood? (gangs, criminals, etc…)
  • Take another look at your weaknesses? Can any of your weaknesses seriously threaten your survival?

THE NEXT STEP…

The most important part of performing a SWOT Analysis is what you do with your findings. There is no point in performing one, unless you plan on taking action. Now that you have a good idea of your overall level of preparedness, you need to act on your findings and create a strategic plan of action.

 

Did you know that the average American family has over $15,000 of credit card debt, and a staggering total debt of over $75,000.? And if that’s not scary enough, when you factor in the $130,000 that every American tax payer would have to shell out just to pay off the national debt, our situation starts to look pretty bleak.

So what does living debt free have to do with survival anyways?

Well in my opinion, living debt free is an extremely important part of your overall survival plan. Living debt free is about your long-term survival. It’s about thriving, living a comfortable existence, and having peace of mind while everyone else is living in chaos.

But what if the economy collapses?  How will living debt free help you survive?

As the country falls deeper into economic turmoil, living a debt free lifestyle can help shield you from some of the initial pain. As things start to get worse, creditors are going to step up their collection efforts and really start to come after debtors with a vengeance. The last thing you need prior to an economic collapse is a sheriff knocking at the door because you couldn’t pay your bills.

Remember, debtor prisons were once a real thing here in America and if things get bad enough they could make a comeback.

5 Ideas for Living Debt Free:

Establish a Budget

It’s really amazing how much money Americans waste. Establishing a written budget will help make sure that every dollar you make works for you and not against you. At the end of every month, you should have a written plan for every dollar that you will bring next month.

Establishing a budget can help you to realize how much money you spend on things that really aren’t necessities.

Use the Envelope Budgeting System:

If a written budget seems a little tough, you may want to consider the good old envelope system. Basically you put your monthly budget into various envelopes; food, gas, utilities, rent or mortgage, entertainment, preps, etc….

This can help you make sure you’re not spending more than you should be on a certain category (like entertainment).

The Debt Snowball:

Paying of debt can sometimes seem overwhelming which is why Dave Ramsey’s Baby Step #2, The Debt Snowball, is a great way to get started. For those of you who are not familiar with Dave Ramsey, he is basically one of the top debt free living advocates in the country. In his book, The Total Money Makeover, he outlines 7 baby steps to living a debt free life.

Baby step #2, the Debt Snowball, suggests that you list your debts from smallest to largest and then start with the small debts first. The rational is actually pretty simple; the motivation that you obtain from paying of these small easy debts will create a snowball effect that will help you stay motivated when the going gets tough.

As Ramsey points out in the book, Personal finance is 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior. When it comes down to it, we all know what we should be doing; most people choose not to do it.

Stop going in debt by maintaining a high credit score.

One of the biggest scams that the financial institutions have managed to pull on Americans is the myth that your credit score somehow equals your financial security. Nothing could be farther from the truth; in fact, keeping a high credit score only ensures one thing. It guarantees that you will constantly be in debt!

The only way to maintain that high credit score is to continually borrow money, pay that money off, and pretty much live in debt for the rest of your life. The only thing that having a high credit score means is that you are good at borrowing money, not good at making it!

Make More Money

This one is a no brainier; the only real way to combat the increasing cost of living is to start making more money.

In the long run, one of the best ways to increase your cash flow is to go into business for yourself. Whether you’re a mechanic, a car salesman, or even a factory worker you have talents that can be taken outside of the workplace. Figure out what your good at, and find a way to make money off of it.

Let’s take the mechanic example. Instead of making your boss rich, why not buy some old clunkers, fix them up, and then sell them?  Even if you do one every couple of months, imagine what you could do with that extra income.

 

No matter what survival situation you may ultimately find yourself in, there is one thing that you’ll likely find, it’s going to be hell on your body. From dealing with a lack of sleep and inadequate hydration, to coping with hunger pains and other stress-or, survival can take a huge toll on your body.

You must be prepared to face a number of physical and mental challenges.

One of the best things you can do to ensure your survival, in just about any situation, is to make sure your body and your mind are trained to survive. This means motivating yourself to get off your butt and get in shape.

Being in shape is going to be hugely important to your survival in any situation.

 

In the beginning, it really doesn’t matter what exercise program you choose, the main thing you need to do is pick something and stick to it. Consistency and follow through is really the most important thing when starting any fitness routine.

Now I know a number of so-called experts are probably screaming at the screen saying “What do you mean it doesn’t matter what program I choose?”  Well stick with me here.

If you’re a fitness guru and all you do is work out then this article isn’t meant for you. What I’m talking about here is those who know they’re out of shape, but have never really done much about it.

I have a few friends who work in the fitness industry. In fact, a few of them work at some very big name companies. When I talk to them about their customers, across the board a couple of things are always the same.

Inconstancy, laziness and a lack of motivation.

While these three things are horrible for your body, they’re actually great for most of these companies. In fact, many of them count on your lack of motivation to drive their profits.

They make their money off the people who sign up for a program, attend a couple of times, and then never show up again. Once the new year comes around the cycle starts all over. Most people sign up again, either hoping they’ll do better this time or because they feel a sense of shame for not sticking to the program.

Think about it, we all know we need to exercise and eat well, but how many people make it a habit to do so? Once you’re comfortable in your routine and have made a habit of working out you can then start to tweak your overall plan.

The biggest hurdle in the beginning is staying motivated. Studies show that if you can stick with something for at least 30 days it usually becomes a habit that will stay with you for life. So why not challenge yourself and commit to starting even a basic exercise plan?

For 30 days commit to a 30 minute time frame that is dedicated to getting in shape. Even if it’s just taking a 30 minute walk in the morning, schedule a time and stick to it. At the end of those 30 days I’ll bet you look forward to that time and it will likely become part of your daily schedule.

If you really want to challenge yourself after the 30 days or you need a little bit of structure, I suggest checking out the P90X: 90-Day Extreme Home Fitness Workout Program. Like I said before, the program you choose is not important, but I have personally gone through this system and have seen some amazing results in others. I have since taken some of the routines and have incorporated them into my normal workout schedule.

Good luck and let us know how it goes…. Remember your survival depends on it!

 

Want To Ensure Your Survival in Any Situation? Repetition is the Answer!

Having a basic understanding of survival and knowing the techniques is not enough. While knowledge is a key aspect of survival, repetition is the underlying piece of the puzzle that ultimately makes the difference between success and failure.

Last week we posted an article on studying the basics of survival. In that article, I mentioned how important training in those basic skills was to your survival. While knowing those basic skills is extremely important, I probably should have placed more of an emphasis on repetitive training in those skills.

If you’ve ever trained with the Marines, you’ve probably noticed how differently they train. In my opinion, there is one thing separates their training style from most other types of tactical/survival training, and that is repetition. They spend countless number of hours training on specific skills that others might only spend a couple of hours on. Through fatigue, injury, and pain they run through their techniques over and over until they can’t fail.

They are masters at what they learn, because they run through these skills again and again in a number of different scenarios and environments. They become masters because of repetition.

Want to ensure your survival?

To really be able to count on your knowledge when the SHTF, you need to run through your techniques in a number of scenarios and environments. Just like the Marines, you need to use repetition in your training until your skills become second nature.  The more you train in real world situations, the more likely you are to be able to perform these skills when it really matters.

Being able to start a fire in your back yard when it’s sunny, and you’re well feed is one thing. Being able to start a fire when it’s raining, cold, windy, and you’re about to fall over from a lack sleep is entirely different. The best thing you can do, is to use these skills as often as possible.

Oftentimes people come on here complaining that they just don’t have the time to train. But in reality, even the busiest people can still find a way to fit training into their routine, it just takes a little bit of imagination.

Take the fire starting example that I talked about above. Maybe you don’t have the time to go off into the wilderness; but if you barbecue on the weekends, why not use that as a time to hone up on your skills? Instead of using a lighter to start your grill, why not take a couple of minutes and start the fire with one of your fire making techniques?

If you want to be a master in the art of survival, training with repetition is essential to ensuring your survival.

Do you let what you can’t do dictate what you can do?

Doesn’t it seem like life is always ready to throw you a curve ball? Well, the key to life and survival is being able to tweak the bat at the last minute, and hit that ball out of the park. Unfortunately, far too many people let their hardships rule their life.

We all have challenges and weaknesses, but to survive everything that life can throw at you, you need to cultivate a mindset that doesn’t allow your weaknesses to dictate what you can or can’t do.

People who have overcome challenges, and kicked their lives into overdrive

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Deaf, but one of the greatest composers ever!

Ludwig Van Beethoven had horrible hearing throughout his life, and actually became completely deaf. Despite a handicap that would make most people give up, Beethoven continued to compose, conduct, and perform music and is known as one of the greatest composers of all time.

Bruce Lee: Broke His Back, Bad Eye Sight, and one leg that was Shorter than the other.

Bruce Lee overcame an amazing amount of odds; he had bad eyesight, one leg that was shorter than the other, and a severe back injury that doctors said would keep him from ever kicking again. The injury caused him pain throughout his life, but he never let the injury or his other limitations keep him from his dreams.

If you’ve seen his movies, you also know that he didn’t let it affect his martial arts. He became the world’s most famous martial artist, and his blazing fast speed is a testament to overcoming any handicap.

Michael Jordan: Told that he wasn’t good enough to play.

Michael Jordan was kicked off his high school basketball team, and told that he wasn’t good enough to play. At this point most people would have completely given up, but not Michael; he continued to work on his weaknesses until he became one of the best players off all time.

I shared these examples with you in hopes that one day when the going gets tough, you will remember to dig down deep, and give life a swift kick in the ass. Don’t ever let your weaknesses dictate what you can or can’t do.

Survival Intelligence – Gathering Intel During a Disaster

The ability to be able to predict what will happen in a survival situation is an important part of being prepared. While that may sound like some mystical mumbo jumbo, it’s really not as hokey as it might sound. This ability to predict what will happen is not some supernatural physic power, but instead lies in your ability to gather and interpret information.

In the military world it’s referred to as Intelligence and it has played a critical role in every major combat operation in America since before the Revolutionary War. Without this critical information our military would be operating blind, which would mean more lives, battles, and even wars lost.

While most people in America rely on the evening news as their main source of information, this strategy hardly prepares you to survive a disaster, let alone a SHTF situation. Intelligence is only good if you receive the information in a timely manner.  Often times what’s reported on the evening news is anything but real-time information. The longer it takes to receive your intelligence, the less likely it becomes that you’ll be able to use it to react to the given situation.

Preparedness Intel: Survival Information Resources

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Information: Having multiple sources of information is critical to your preparedness efforts.  Those that are truly prepared will seek information from multiple sources.

Social Networks – Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are excellent sources for gathering real-time information on just about any topic. When a major disaster, event, or SHTF situation occurs, these social networks can be a great way to secure localized real-time information on what’s really happening.

Social News Aggressors & Social Monitors. There are a number of really good social monitoring tools out there that can greatly increase the effectiveness of how these social networks work. One free tool that you might want to check out is called TweetDeck. This program allows you to customize what you’re monitoring, and even allows you to break it down by keyword based on the event.

RSS Readers – RSS readers like FeedDemon allow you to subscribe to different websites, blogs and news websites. You can then gather that information in one easy to use interface.

Survival Websites – Don’t forget to check out our big list of survival websites. These sites can all be a great resource for learning how to survive in a variety of situations.

Survival Books – If the SHTF and the grid goes down, you want to have a basic library of survival information at your disposal. I strongly suggest investing in a couple of Good Survival Books that fit your specific situation.

An even better idea would be to invest in a E-Reader or Tablet like the Kindle Fire, which can hold a complete library of over 6,000 survival books and manuals. And to make sure you can still access your information when the SHTF, I suggest looking at a compact solar charger like the Solio Bolt Solar Charger. This will allow you to charge your small electronic devices even if the grid goes down. Once you have one of these devices, check out our list of Survival ebooks and PDF downloads.

Ham Radio – When the power lines go down, radio stations stop transmitting, and the internet stops working there is one line of communication that will still be alive and well: Ham Radio!  Having a good Multiband Ham Radio will allow you to send and receive critical emergency information during a disaster. It’s also a great way to find alternative news sources from around the world — the kind of news that isn’t filtered.

In a survival situation, knowledge is going to be a critical factor in determining the outcome of your situation. Don’t underestimate the power of staying informed.

 

Are you actually prepared to Bug Out?

A great way to prepare for this situation is to start backpacking.

While you can never simulate an actual bug out situation, backpacking helps you prepare in a number of different ways.

  • It prepares your body for the rigorous conditions that you are bound to face.
  • Backpacking can help you figure out exactly how your body will respond to carrying gear across different terrains.
  • It helps you get a good idea of how much ground you can realistically cover during a Bug Out Scenario.

Having an evacuation plan is great… But have you ever actually used it?

By backpacking the routes that you plan to take in a Bug Out situation, you greatly increase your chances of surviving a real life disaster.

Hit the trails, study the surroundings, and take plenty of notes.

  • Figure out how far you can comfortably hike every day.
  • Take note of what natural resources lie along your route.
  • Be on the lookout for any possible dangers, and figure out how you can avoid them.
  • Take your maps and mark the location of every watering hole or possible emergency shelters that are near your route.

Test your gear now when your life’s not on the line.

The last thing you need in your bug out bag is a bunch of crappy gear that doesn’t hold up out the trail. Now is the time to start testing that gear.

When you’re out on the trail ask yourself these important gear questions:

  • How easy is it to use?
  • How many times did you actually use that piece of gear and was it really a necessity?
  • Was there a piece of gear that you wish you would’ve had?

 

Do you have a Separate Bug Out Bag for your kids?

During a crisis or disaster situation, one of your most important jobs will be to help your child feel as safe and secure as possible. Something that I’m a big proponent of, and something that I think helps give children a sense of security, is involving them in your preparedness planning as much as possible. One great way to make them feel like they have a voice, and a sense of power, is to give them their own dedicated bug out bag.

Having their own child-sized Bug Out Bag, filled with familiar items and comfort foods, can be a real life saver during an emergency. With children, comfort items often become a top priority; having a bag filled with comforting and familiar items can help ensure their overall mental health during a crisis or disaster.

What Items should go into a kids bug out bag:

What goes into the bag really depends on your child’s age, and their maturity. While the needs of each child are going to be different, there are some things you should consider when building an emergency bag for your child.

Basic Survival Items: These should be lightweight, age-appropriate items. Heavier items and gear should always be in the adult’s bags.

  • Flashlight
  • Emergency whistle (clipped to the outside of pack so they can easily find  it if they become separated from you)
  • Laminated emergency contact list with name, home address, and telephone numbers.
  • Pre-paid cell phone
  • Poncho
  • Extra socks, pair of gloves and knit hat or bandanna (depending on your climate)
  • Dust mask
  • Goggles
  • Small pocket knife for the older kids
  • Band aids & wipes
  • Small bottle of hand sanitizer

Comfort Items: When building a bag for a kid, comfort and mental stability is really the main purpose of the bag. Don’t overlook the importance of entertainment and comfort; during a disaster, the last thing you need is a kid who is overly stressed out and anxious.

  • Stuffed animals
  • A couple small light-weight toys
  • Pack of playing cards, or travel size games
  • Baseball or small Nerf football
  • Harmonica
  • An IPad, tablet, or small device to play games on
  • Hard candy
  • Bubble gum
  • Sugar packets
  • Trail mix
  • Drink mix packets

Remember, a kid’s bug out bag is not meant to be an adult BOB. Its main purpose is to provide comfort during a stressful situation, and give your child a sense of control. With younger children, comfort items are a top priority, and will help ensure their overall mental health.

Make sure you customize the bag for your child’s age, personality, and overall fitness level.

Mommy, I Have to Go Potty! Make Your Own Emergency Toilet

We have talked about what we’ll do when the paper eventually runs out, but what about when the toilet doesn’t work anymore?

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We have talked about what we’ll do when the paper eventually runs out, but what about when the toilet doesn’t work anymore?

Consider this: You’ve had a major local disaster where the water has gone out. There is no water available to your house because water mains have been broken, the city water supply has been tainted and shut down, or one of the various other reasons that cause city-wide services to be shut down. What happens when Little Susie says she has to go to the bathroom?

Do you let her? Sure! In the beginning, it won’t be so hard. If you’ve got plenty of water stored up, you can use some of the non-potable water to pour it quickly into the bowl to help create a vacuum to flush your toilet. It’s kind of messy, and splashes a lot, which means you’ll have to clean up each time you do it. The real problem comes when the sewer lines become full and your poo isn’t going anywhere. Once that backup happens, it will be a stinky situation, in more ways than one.  (This would be a good time to think about filling your bathtub with water that can be used for non-potable things like watering plants and force flushing your toilet – you can also use a WaterBob to contain it if you don’t want to keep an open tub full of water.)

But it doesn’t take too long for the sewers to get backed up and you can’t flush any longer. THEN you’re in big trouble. Susie REALLY needs to go, but without a working sewer system, that potty water has no where to go. What on earth do you do now?

The problem you are faced with now is how to be able to go to the bathroom and not get your family sick and still not feel like your house smells like a sewer. You’ll always have to worry about cross-contamination of your water supply or communal area with human waste, so you’ll need a way to dispose of it safely and effectively.

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How to Make a Quick Emergency Toilet

Supplies:

  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Bag of scoopable kitty litter (regular works, too, but the scoopable helps alleviate urine better)
  • Heavy-duty garbage bags (you don’t want the cheap ones that easily rip
  • Toilet seat – these toilet seats are available at most camping stores and online. They fit most standard 5 gallon buckets you can get for a few bucks at your local DIY stores.
  • Toilet paper – unless of course you’ve come up with a few ideas of things to use when the toilet paper runs out!

Directions:

  1. Remove the metal handle from your 5 gallon bucket and thread the toilet paper roll on. Return the handle. This is an easy way to keep toilet paper handy without it getting dirty on the ground. Another great option is inside one of the plastic coffee cans  that can serve as a protective home for it.
  2. Fit a 13-gallon trash bag into your bucket and cinch it tight around the top.
  3. Place your toilet seat on top and secure into place.
  4. Keep kitty litter nearby in another waterproof canister

How to use the Emergency Toilet

  1. Pee or poo as you normally would.
  2. Take a scoop of cat litter and cover your ‘stuff’ up
  3. As bag becomes full for you, remove and cinch the top. You can then bury it in a safe location, well away from a water source

There’s an indoor option to this. You can turn off your water supply running into your toilet, empty out the water with one more flush, scoopy out any remaining water and drain it dry, and use a similar set up as the emergency toilet above. It will give everyone a little comfort of something familiar, even if the procedure is somewhat unfamiliar. You’ll want to be sure to plug up the hole to make sure no sewer gas smells seep out over time (just as if you were replacing the toilet and had to plug up the sewer hole). This is a great solution when you know this hack will only be needed for a short time.

For our family, though, this wasn’t going to be the best option for more than a few days. For one, it is hot more often than not. Our house is also not set up with a great ventilation system of cross breezes, etc., so the inside of the house can stay hot for a long time. Having a bucket of poo sitting in the house all the time isn’t the best option for us. So we’ve scoped out a place in our garage where we can make a potty station. If worse comes to worse, we also have a great nook on the outside of the house where we can set up a similar station if needed, including a bolt in the fence to stick the toilet paper on when we’re out there. That’s why we love this plan.

Storage

You can keep a small bag of scoopable litter, the trash bags, scoop, toilet paper and some cleaning wipes stored inside of your bucket with the seat nearby in the event of an emergency.

Things to consider

Someone taught me was using 2 buckets. One with the liner for your solid waste and one without the liner for your liquid waste. The liquid waste can be used in the yard or garden safely (as long as you don’t have someone who is carrying a major disease). Then you only really have to deal with the solid waste in your first bucket.

Consider a 2nd set up for your sick-room preps. You don’t necessarily want to be using the same ‘potty’ as someone who has a gastrointestinal issue. You need to cordone off an area as a sick room and make sure cleaning procedures are followed closely, including NOT disposing of the waste anywhere near your water source or where you are growing food.

You may want to find a way to stabilize your camp toilet. Besides using the pre-made versions that give you a little stability, you can use a milk crate + legs to give yourself less chance of tipping over.

The Pool Noodle Emergency Toilet

You’ve no doubt seen the Pinterest and Facebook phenomenon of the Pool Noodle Emergency Toilet. We made one up in about 3 minutes to show you how easy it is to set up.

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My son actually thought it was pretty comfy. But, it wouldn’t take long for that comfie to wear off as the noddle will eventually split from use, from weather, etc. Also, the minute you get that noodle dirty, it is forever contaminated. With all of the holes in the make up of the foam, you could never be certain you’ve completely sterilized OR sanitized it when cleaning. There is no lid so the waste is open all the time.

Ready Made Emergency Toilets

Campers everywhere have already come up with some awesome ideas for ready-made toilets that will be easy to store and use. There are also bags specially made for this set up  if you want to stock them specifically. But you can also think of things like bedside toilets that you would use for folks in a hospital that are on metal frames. They may not store as easy, and might need to be maintained a little differently by pouring the contents into a bucket set up each time, but would be easier for folks who need a little extra help up and down. You might also want to consider, if you’re having to use this for more than a few days in an open area,an enclosure to give yourself a little privacy.

Now don’t completely freak out over this stinky situation  This is one of those situations where it is easy to prepare yourself for a short term problem that probably won’t last more than a week or two. If, in the event of a major issue, you’ll want to look at some more permanent solutions like an outhouse. But for now, be ready for the most likely scenario!

For the Kids: Teaching Our Kids about EDC (Everday Carry)

Everyday Carry (EDC) items aren’t just for gun totin’ survivalists in hunting vests or massive utility belts (though I’m sure my kids would LOVE to wear a massive utility belt!); they are also for Moms and children. It’s also not what we carry in our purses, bags or backpacks, but those things that are actually on our bodies at all times once we leave the house. Yes, I do carry an everyday bag now that contains more items, but this is a focus on those important things that should always be on us.

edc

Everyday Carry (EDC) items aren’t just for gun totin’ survivalists in hunting vests or massive utility belts (though I’m sure my kids would LOVE to wear a massive utility belt!); they are also for Moms and children. It’s also not what we carry in our purses, bags or backpacks, but those things that are actually on our bodies at all times once we leave the house. Yes, I do carry an everyday bag now that contains more items, but this is a focus on those important things that should always be on us.

We’ve all heard the stories about little boys packing as much stuff as they can into their pockets, and then never emptying them out before those pants go into the wash. Frogs, crayons, hot wheels, rocks, slingshots, used airsoft BBs, etc. are common things that I found in my boys’ pockets. But what about those really important things that should be in their pockets all the time – as soon as they leave the house for anything more than checking the mailbox for mail.

While it’s a little harder for girls since they don’t always have pockets, you can train them about carrying a bag (though it’s not as effective as a habit as bags tend to be left often).

We started training our children, early on, that carrying specific emergency things and everyday items was extremely important. Here are a list of the things by age level. We stand at the door as we are getting ready to leave and load from our basket at the front entrance before we step a foot out the door.

Pre-K

  1. Wallet (always has $1 in it) + 2 quarters
  2. Comb
  3. Flashlight – both of our boys loved having flashlights as little guys, so we always let them tuck a tiny one in their pocket, both for play and for use.

Elementary

  1. Wallet (always has at least $5 in emergency cash tucked away, plus whatever amount we think they can safely carry from their stash) + 4 quarters
  2. Comb
  3. Flashlight – we always provided a tiny flashlight on a keychain
  4. Key – assuming that you give your child a house key
  5. Multi-tool – this is something specific to our family, but our older children carry a small multi-tool with them.
  6. Walkie-talkie – for neighborhood play, one of the children carries a walkie-talkie so that the group can get in contact with home. If they are going in different directions with plans, on carries a family cellphone.
  7. Compass – Not only is this education, it’s great fun for my youngest who loves finding the way to everywhere.
  8. Bandana

Middle School & High School

  1. Wallet (always has $20 emergency cash tucked away) plus their own money + change
  2. Comb
  3. Keys – (as they are older, the keychains have other little additions as the children prefer – small clippers, pry bars, etc.)
  4. Compass – this is attached to a jacket or backpack or keychain
  5. Flashlight – the children tend to carry a larger flashlight as they get older, but still compact,
  6. Pocket Knife – please be aware that carrying a pocket knife on most school campuses will result in immediate suspension or explusion. We homeschool, so it isn’t a factor for us.
  7. Multi-tool – if your multi-tool has a blade, you can forgo the knife. Ours carry both as their multi tool does not have a reliable blade. The oldest carries a larger knife than the younger does.
  8. Lighter or other fire starting implement
  9. Cell Phone – If they are going out without us, they get a cell phone to keep with them for emergencies (walkie talkies are kept for just neighborhood wanderings)
  10. Bandana

NOTES FOR GIRLS: We all know fashion can butt heads with preparedness, but consider not purchasing pants for girls that don’t have pockets (in the elementary+ years), adding a side pocket through a side seam to fuller skirts/dresses. At this point, a bag/purse/backpack bag is probably going to be necessary, as well, but know that those items can easily be lost if a bag is left behind or stolen.

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY NOTE: in all of our wallets is a print out that gives important contact information in case someone is lost, injured or in need of assistance. It contains basic phone number information & medically necessary information (blood type & allergies). We are also implementing an I.C.E. system on all of our cellphones with this same information.

TRAINING TIP: Early on we taught our children about the importance of carrying their wallets at all times – and focused right on their bottom line. If we went to the toy store, but they did not have their wallets, they were not able to buy a toy. We did not allow them to ‘borrow’ money from us to pay us back when they got home (unless the object was more than what we typically have them carry on a day to day basis, in which we do make arrangements for borrowing). This helped them remember to always grab that wallet when we’re going out – they never knew when they might need it!