Many thanks to Jim Cobb for the great article. Check out his amazing collection of books he’s authored.
It appears that something unusual is happening along the California coastline. Over the past 24 hours, California has been hit by 46 earthquakes. That is approximately twice the normal daily number, and much of the shaking has taken place in the southern part of the state. In recent weeks I have been writing repeatedly about the alarming seismic activity that we have been seeing along the west coast, and many believe that the potential for a megaquake is significantly higher than normal right now. Unfortunately, most residents of California are not paying any attention to what is going on at all, and so if there is a major event they will be completely blindsided by it.
As preppers we are always trying to figure out the perfect combination of living simply, while taking advantage of today’s technology. There is quite a bit we can learn from how people lived a century ago. If an EMP, CME or something else took down the power grid, we could easily find ourselves in that type of situation.
In the early 1900’s, unless you lived in the big city, or had big money, you probably didn’t have refrigeration (1930’s), electricity, running water, automobiles, or grocery stores. While we try to become more self-reliant just in case, back then it wasn’t a choice…it was a necessity.
Life was simpler in the early 1900’s. The population was smaller, there was less technology, and nearly half the population were farmers. The typical family size (or household) was bigger out of necessity, their diets were different, and transportation was walking, horses and a few cars.
Because of all this, most people were a lot less dependent on others for their survival. In today’s society, people have become dependent on technology, and others for their survival. This is why if the power grid went down, 90% of the population would not exist.
Preparing For the Future By Learning From the Past
In order to give ourselves the best chance possible to live through a larger grid down event, or even just get through a smaller power outage, we need to learn how they did it 100 years ago. We don’t necessarily need to live like they did 100 years ago, or go back to the old west, but we need to learn how they did.
Lessons We Can Learn
Preparedness is about marrying the new with the old. We have the technology to harness solar power and communicate (ham radio) so why not use it. What we don’t want to do is be dependent on water coming from the faucet, food being at the grocery store, and the light coming on at the flip of a switch.
The basics of preparedness are pretty simple. The gadgets and trinkets are great, but won’t save your life. When it comes to any sort of disaster or SHTF scenario, life will be different, like it or not. We all try to do things today that will make life easier then, but we need to learn to live differently, and learning from the past is a good way to do that.
The 6 areas of preparedness
The 6 areas of preparedness, and how we can prepare in each of those categories. By taking the knowledge and supplies we have today, and coupling them with how they lived in the past, we can make life much easier when and if something goes down.
Were are a few topics we covered in the show…
Liberty Gardens: Most people in the early 1900’s gardened to one extent or the other. During WW1 people began to plant Liberty Gardens. This was to help feed the soldiers, and also because most of the farmers were sent off to war.
Cooking From Scratch: Cooking from scratch was a necessity. There was no pancake mix, hamburger helper or Campbell’s soup. If people wanted beef stew, they had to make it from scratch.
Ranching: Just like gardening, a lot of people owned livestock in the 1900’s. This may not been a full fledged “Ranch”, but quite a few people had cows, chickens and goats.
Hunting/Trapping: Hunting was a little easier back then because there were more animals, but just about everyone who didn’t live in the big city knew how to hunt at an early age.
Food Preservation: Because you had to grow your own crops, and hunt your own meat, preserving your food was also important. canning, smoking, dehydrating and root cellars were widely used.
Water Safety: Cholera and Typhoid are nearly non existent in the United States today, but that wasn’t the case 100 years ago. Today we have much more knowledge about clean drinking water, and this is one of the most important parts of preparedness.
Wells: If you lived in the city you might have indoor plumbing, but in the outskirts you were on your own. This meant people needed to dig wells, live close to a water source, and bring it into the house manually.
No Indoor Plumbing: If you lived in an Urban area, you might have had indoor plumbing. If you didn’t, you would have used used chamber pots or outhouses. This would be a huge culture shock to most people if the indoor plumbing didn’t work.
No Handymen: While everything back then was a lot simpler (easier to fix), DIY projects weren’t projects…they were necessity. There was no “Angie’s List” back then, and if you wanted something done, you did it yourself.
Clothing: We think of shelter as a roof over our head, but clothing is also shelter. Most people back then didn’t have a closet full of clothes like we do. A lot of people has Sunday Clothes, and Work Cloths. There were no clothing stores like we think of them, so if you wanted something new, you made it, or waited for it.
Houses: If you drive through an older town you will notice that the houses are much smaller, even the “Mansions” back then are smaller than some suburban homes these days. Smaller homes are easier to heat, easier to build, and the average household occupancy was larger back then.
Police: They didn’t have the police force that we have today, and the police couldn’t communicate like they do today. This meant that is something were to happen, you were probably on your own.
Culture: People had a different mentality back then. People we more self reliant, and didn’t like to depend on someone else for their livelihood or survival. These days it’s almost the exact opposite, most people expect (and feel entitled to) help from others.
Crime: The population was about a third of what it is today, and less population meant less crime. Because the society and culture were so different than it is today, you didn’t see some of the things we see today. Everyone pretty much knew everyone in smaller town, and sometimes criminals didn’t “get their day in court” if you know what I mean.
Supplies: Back then people didn’t have vacuums (or even carpet), air filters, or Swiffer Sweepers. The mops and brooms they used were very basic, and sometimes homemade.
Cleaning: Today it seems like we have never ending choices about what cleaning supplies we can buy, back than that was not the case. Cleaning supplies are a sometimes overlooked prepping supply, but are very important in preventing sickness and infection.
Indoor Plumbing: As I mentioned earlier, a lot of people did not have indoor plumbing, and this is what lead to many of the common diseases back then. It’s important that we learn about how they did things back then, and not make the same mistakes.
Trash Removal: People back then didn’t generate the amount of trash that we do today, but trash can also lead to health issues. In a SHTF scenario I doubt that the trash man will be coming around, so we need to figure out a solution.
First Aid (Medical)
Technology: The advancements we have made in science and technology would seem like magic to people in the 1900’s. If you’ve ever seen some of the equipment they used back then, you know what I mean. Medical professionals not only have better equipment, but better knowledge as well.
Medicine: Advancements is medicine have also come a long way in the last 100 years. With the advent of antibiotics, diseases and infections that would be fatal then, can be treated today. We have written a few articles about antibiotics for preppers.
Medical Help: Back then there weren’t hospitals like we think of then today, no flight for life, and no ambulances. Most towns had a town doctor with his doctor bag, and which probably had some Opium, snake oil and Heroin in it.
Incorporating Today’s Tools With Yesterday’s Skills
If we learn how people lived 100 years ago we can better prepare for any sort of grid down event, or SHTF event. We have much more knowledge and technology today than they had back then, but some of that technology may not be available.
By looking at all the topics covered above, and trying to figure out a solution for each, we can give ourselves a little better chance for survival, or at the very least, a little normalcy in a tough situation.
11 Survival Essentials For Winter Driving And To Have In Your Car
Emergencies can happen any time – that’s why having a stash of these 11 survival essentials for winter driving in your car is very important. These items could save you from a miserable, possibly even life threatening experience on the road.
Pay attention to the local weather forecast or if traveling watch the Weather Channel and keep track of your planned route.
If bad weather is expected ask yourself this question, Is this trip really essential? Life or death essential? Consider rescheduling your trip.
1. Water. Store the water bottles inside a box or a bag so it will take a longer time to freeze.
2. Food. When picking out which type of food to store, look for MREs or other items which are high in protein like survival bars and jerky. This will provide you the needed energy if you have to hike to somewhere.
3. Fire starters. Any type of fire starter will do but if you opt to use matches, make sure to bring the waterproof variety.
4. Blankets. If you’re stuck on the side of the road in the winter, you need to stay warm.
5. Flares or reflective triangle. So that you or your vehicle are less likely to get hit at the side of the road in the dark.
6. Shovel. If you’re in a region where you car could get stuck in deep snow it would always be a good idea to bring a shovel whenever you decide to drive during winter.
7. Gloves. Always keep your hands warm with a good pair of gloves. You will need your hands to be in their best condition if you expect to be doing work out in the cold.
8. Light. Keep a good flashlight handy and make sure the batteries are charged or fresh.
9. First aid kit. Accidents happen, and you can’t just stand by and be helpless. Having a first aid kit will permit you to help yourself or your passengers before medical aid arrives.
10. Communications. You need to have a device with you to allow you to call for help in case you get stuck somewhere. So keep your cell phone or ham radio charged always and in the vehicle with you.
11. Spare tire, jack and tire iron. This is applicable ALL the time. Always have a spare and tools in the car in case of a flat tire.
Winter will present a number of challenges for both you and your car so always be prepared for the cold. Before setting out, check your vehicle’s hoses, belts, spark plugs, fluid levels, tires, filters, etc. to make sure that everything is working well. Practice extra control when driving on an icy road and if you do skid, stay calm. Keep it together if ever you find yourself in a situation where you are stranded and make use of the essential tools in your trunk.
What Will Be Valuable in an Economic Collapse
The value or price of something is always determined by the supply vs. demand. In an economic collapse, the supply of many items will be greatly reduced which in turn will increase the price. So in this post, we are going to discuss what will be valuable in an economic collapse.
An economic collapse will slow down the flow of commerce and trade. We will see importing and exporting from and to countries will drop rapidly. The busy highways of semi-trucks hauling goods will come to a screeching halt.
So the demand for those items will increase as they become harder to get during a collapse. Along with that, the demand for other goods which was relatively low before the collapse will then skyrocket. For an example, gardening tools will be highly demanded in an economic collapse because many will turn to growing their own food during this time.As a prepper, we not only want to survive during an economic collapse but more importantly thrive. To thrive means to flourish or prosper. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be barely getting by day to day after an economic collapse. This is will already be a stressful situation. In order to prevent that then we need to start preparing now. This is why it is important to get an understanding of what will be valuable in an economic collapse.
What will be valuable in an economic collapse?
Water and purification systems
Oil will no longer be the liquid gold during an economic collapse. Instead, the demand for oil will probably decrease as many are laid off or lose jobs. People will stop traveling for leisure or business.
Instead, water, especially drinking water, will be highly sought after. Many grocery and convenience stores will go out of business during an economic collapse. The stores that remain open will become bare of goods.
American’s specifically, have become mostly urbanized in the last hundred years. We are no longer taught to be self-sufficient with our own sources of water. Instead, we mostly rely on city water. This isn’t always safe to drink and tastes horrible.
In a collapse, I believe that many water systems across the country will shut down. As a result, many city slickers will be searching and scavenging looking for water. Along with that, the need for purification systems will increase. Collecting city water has a lot of health risks with it. This risk is much higher than rural water collection.
Therefore, many will be turning to natural sources of water and seeking to become self-sufficient. As a prepper, it is important to have our own sources of water in order to multiply our survivability.
As I mention in the book, if you don’t currently have your own source of water then there needs to be a strategic plan to one day attain it. In meantime, if you are in a collapse without your own source of water then you will be forced to collect from other sources. So having a collapsible water bag can be super helpful. It is lightweight and easy to carry.
You will also need ways to purify your water with water filters and purification tablets. At the time of this writing, you find some for a reasonable price. After a collapse, the price will skyrocket. I would recommend purchasing some of these items to barter or sell during the collapse. You can make a decent profit and thrive during such an event.
Food is another important item of survival. You can only survive 3 weeks without food. However, during a collapse, I wouldn’t recommend bartering or selling your emergency food storage.
Our society is so used to having food quickly. There are fast food restaurants on almost every corner. Then we have microwaves to provide us with a dinner in only a few minutes.
During a collapse, this convenience will hardly exist. This is along with many grocery and convenience stores shutting down. Food will become scarce.
Since you are not able to plant and reap a garden overnight there will be a lot of looting for survival items such as food. So you will need to have your emergency food stored securely.
In order to really thrive, I recommend growing and raising your own food now. Now, this can be used to barter or sell during a collapse. Not only that but it will increase your survivability by becoming more self-sufficient.
Piggybacking off of the previous point is that you will need land in order to grow a garden. Trying to find private land for a reasonable price during an economic collapse will be challenging. This is especially true if you are jobless and can’t afford it.
This is why it is important to find private land now. It is easier said than done, I know. Most preppers are on a very low budget. However, it’s not impossible. There are many websites like Landwatch where you can find owner financed land. So if you can’t afford to get a loan through a bank then this can be a reasonable option for you.
Having a fortified shelter on the land that you own will increase your survivability a ton. Having a shelter helps you to survive rough weather conditions. It also protects you from other outside threats like looters.
If you don’t own a home during an economic collapse then there is a high chance that you can be forced out. Many property owners will fall behind on mortgage payments. This could force them to sell the property to pay off the loan. The other option is that they can jack your rent sky high forcing you to become homeless.
This is why it is important for preppers to get out of debt and purchase their own land and property. In order to do so, we must prepare on a strict budget. We must also put together a strategic plan now so that you are not forced to bug out. Again, I talk about how to put together a bugout proof plan on a budget in The Strategic Prepper eBook.
Another option to have are tents or shelter systems. A low-cost way of having a shelter is to learn how to bushcraft a shelter. Such survival skills are one of the many prepper skills that will be imperative to have during a collapse.
Not only are they important for you to have but they will be valuable bartering items during a collapse. So you could stock up on shelters or you could produce your own to barter. You can typically find tarps for about $10 that can be used for shelter.
Yes, a shelter does provide protection from weather elements. However, you can’t be cooped up in your shelter all the time. You will need to go out to gather, hunt or work your garden.
So if you live up north then you will be facing extreme weather conditions. Therefore you will need to have 3 specific layers to stay warm. Those three layers include the base layer, insulation layer, and shell layer.
The base layer is designed to wick moisture from your sweating body to prevent hypothermia. The insulation layer is designed to trap your body heat to keep you warm. The shell layer is designed to block the outside cold from penetrating your body.
Hand tools at this moment are already a wise investment to have. So in an economic collapse, they will be so much more valuable. This is because you most likely won’t be able to call on maintenance to come fix things at your location. Instead, you will be forced to become self-sufficient and fix items yourself.
Ammunition and firearms
In order to keep your shelter fortified you will need some security systems in place. One of the few security layers that you should have include ammunition and firearms. This will be more important than ever to have since violent crime will skyrocket. People will be willing to kill others just for some canned food.
On top of that, there will probably be government takeovers or foreign invasions. Either way, they could do some serious harm with the amount of firepower that they have. Now, I’m not saying that you should stock up on AR 15s to fight off the government.
Because they have tanks and drones that can demolish you. You don’t stand a chance. So you will need to choose your battles wisely.
With that being said, many other people will be looking to defend themselves during this time. People will be willing to pay high prices in order to protect themselves. The price for ammunition will at least quadruple during a collapse.
Emergency items and medication
With so much violence going on during an economic collapse it will be important to have emergency items like first aid kits. Along with that antibiotics will be in high demand to fight off infections. Most likely hospitals will run through or be taken over. Therefore it is important to have your own medical emergency supply. You could also stock up on these items to barter or sell.
In an economic collapse, it will be a hard struggle for those that are addicted to things like alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco. It will be especially hard for those that are addicted to illegal drugs. Many will go to great lengths and pay higher prices to attain those items.
I don’t know about you but I need my coffee. Without my morning coffee, you wouldn’t want to speak with me.
During a collapse, I know that it is going to be especially challenging. There are many people just like me that will need or want their caffeine fix.
Now I’m not saying that you should stockpile on illegal items. Instead, focus on those that won’t land you behind bars. You can find cheap alcohol, coffee, and cigarettes. These will be highly valued during a collapse.
During past economic collapses and financial crisis, we have seen inflation skyrocket. This means the value of the paper dollar will become worthless. Stores and other traders will begin rejecting the dollar.
Coincidentally the value of precious metals stays consistent with the rise of inflation. Precious metals hold tangible value compared to the fiat currency. There are many uses of silver that keeps the demand for silver so high. This is one of the many reasons preppers should have silver.
On top of that, silver has always been recognized as a symbol of currency across thousands of years. When the dollar collapses then many will return to using silver as currency.
Now those that are struggling for survival during a collapse would probably care less about purchasing precious metals. They will be focused mainly on survival items such as food and water. However, in order to purchase those items at the store, you will need to provide something of value.
Junk silver will most likely be the most recognized form of currency during a collapse. Most stores and those that deal with money on a daily basis understand the real value of junk coins. These coins contain 90% silver. Therefore it represents value.
There are a few ways to collect junk silver. First, you should look through your change drawer to find quarters and dimes that were produced before 1965. You could also exchange dollars at a local change machine to see if you can find some. If those options don’t work then I would recommend checking out SD Bullion where I get most of my silver.
The great thing about SD Bullion is that they don’t require a $100 minimum order. Most bullion companies require a $100 minimum order. Instead, I take about $20 to $30 of each paycheck to buy silver bullion. You don’t have to go broke trying to prepare for such a situation.
Altogether these would be my suggestions on what will be valuable in an economic collapse. If you have suggestions or feedback then please leave it in the comment section below. Your feedback helps the community prepare the smart way now so that we can thrive later.
Are you a lone wolf or do you believe there are still capable people around you? Starting a survival group makes sense in today’s political situation and social climate. You could make it on your own, but survival is much easier within a group of people. Here is what you can do to for your own survival group and make it work.
As preppers, we must understand that we are not special and we cannot do everything to keep things in order. Is just not possible and you can’t be a hunter and a medic at the same time. There are tasks which require the help of your fellow neighbors and projects are done much faster when you have the numbers. Not to mention that surviving alone is not ideal and it takes a toll on your mindset over time. We are social creatures, and we evolved by sticking together and helping each other.
Seeking out like-minded people should be the first step in establishing a survival group. The number of preppers is increasing year after year, and we are no longer being seen as the “odd” members of society. While certain TV shows are twisting the reality of prepping, the increasing natural disaster in the U.S. made people realize that preparing for an emergency is just, and should be common sense.
The essential steps to planning a survival group
Before you ask what others can do for the survival group, you should ask yourself what you can do for it. You should become a valuable member and show others what you can bring to the table. Maybe you are trained in self-defense, maybe you have medical training, or maybe you are bushcraft master. All your skills should be brought forward, and you should never sell yourself short. It may look like you’re showing off at first, but it’s not a popularity contest.
You should also consider your psychical condition. Some people can spend a lot of times outside, exploring the great outdoors, while others require medication to get through the day. Even if some members have certain limitations, that doesn’t mean they are less worthy to be part of your survival group.
Be honest with yourself and don’t assume you can do more than you are capable. The point here is to become an efficient member of the survival group and be fair to others while acknowledging your own limitations.
Start building and expand
When people think about forming a survival group, they start with close friends and neighbors. Before you reach out to them, you should look closer to home. Your family is your immediate survival group, and you need to take them into account. Your kids and elderly parents have capabilities that can be put to good use. They can offer assistance with your prepping plans, and they can learn or teach you skills which you lack.
When the group evolves, each individual’s qualities should be assessed, and roles need to be assigned accordingly. An elderly person may not be able to do more than cook or see after the kids, but it still makes a huge difference.
Seek others in your proximity to expand the group. The group could be a few houses around your block or even a subdivision of a suburban neighborhood. Keep everything inside your survival group since once it is formed, it will not be open to outsiders.
Make sure to pick a leader
An effective survival group is an organized one. You can’t have order without an overall leader with a second in command. Most survival groups will choose people with clear leadership ability, perhaps military or law enforcement. However, the other roles in the group can be filled by anyone. Even more, they should teach their job to others so that the group can still function in case some member is lost.
Check if you have all the needed skillsets
You should identify all the skillsets available in your survival group since not everything you may need is in your geographical area. Chances are you may need to extend your area of action, in case your team needs a profession that is hard to find. You may need a doctor, a mechanic or a farmer/gardener and there’s no guarantee you will find one in your neighborhood. In an efficient group, you will find people who can do more than one job. The more skills you have in the group, the better.
Do a field test
There’s no point to having a good array of skills if you don’t practice and evolve them. Plan a weekend outing with your survival group and test their skills. A camping trip or gathering at someone’s house outside of town is an ideal scenario.
You can even do it in your neighborhood and gather at a member’s house. Turn off the utilities and see how everyone is coping with privation. You can even establish a perimeter around the house and post guard during the gathering. It will help you practice your skills in a less stressful environment before the brown stuff hits the fan.
Since you cannot predict the future and precisely establish how long a disruption may last, the goal will be to plan up to one year’s duration. Your survival group will need all the basics to survive during that time. Water, food, clothing, tools, medicine, communication gear, weapons, and ammunition are all a must for each member of the group.
You can help each other by sharing tips and information about your prepping plans. If there’s an ammo sale or if a nearby farm has a surplus of produce, you could save money, and everyone from your survival group will be prepared.
The good thing about having access to a variety of resources is that you can trade for the things you need or those you want. Bartering inside your group is much safer than having to deal with outsiders. A smart prepper will always accumulate extra supplies for use in barter.
Establish a territory
Depending on how the survival group is formed, and the skillset it has, you may need to establish a bug-in territory. This may be your own house or a city block, whatever works and can be protected without putting everyone in danger. You also need to plan a bug-out scenario, since you may be forced to relocate to a place in the country if a natural disaster destroys your neighborhood. This will require transportation vehicles for both people and resources and a well-established transportation plan. Not everyone from the group will agree to leave everything behind when the time comes.
If you establish a bug-in location, you should patrol the area around your territory. You will need to maintain awareness of local activities and keep everyone informed in case something happens. Depending on your region, you can either display a weapon openly or keep a low profile. Once it hits the fan, everyone approaching your territory must be stopped before entering your perimeter. All the talking and interrogation should be done outside that perimeter. They may be scouting the location, or they may carry infectious diseases. You also need to keep an open mind since some of the people approaching you may just need to barter, or they seek aid. You need to establish a protocol on how to handle outsiders and stick to it.
Everyone should be ready at any time
They should acquire basic proficiency with firearms, and they should have their resources organized. Training together will help everyone from your group since you learn much faster by doing rather than reading or talking about it. If the order is given to evacuate, you can’t waste time because some members can’t find their bug out bags or they misplaced certain resources. Your escape and evasion load should always be ready, and everyone should follow an established bug out timeline.
Ideally, everyone should have similar items in their bags so that each group member can go to any pack for support in an emergency. This is especially useful when it comes to firearms and ammunition since you can’t share ammo which is useless for your caliber.
Organization and fluidity are the main characteristics of an efficient survival group. You can’t use an electric vehicle as a common resource if you don’t have a method of charging it. You shouldn’t pack food that needs cooking if your bug out plan doesn’t include a resting or camping spot. These are all things that can be discussed and members need to communicate to identify flaws which can jeopardize the integrity of your survival group. There’s no shame in asking for advice and people should trust each other.
A last word
As I said before, immediate survival groups are forming inside families, and it seems this trend is growing. People are starting to show interest more and more to prepping and they are discussing with their neighbors about how to prepare better. I believe this year is a wake-up call for many out there and we can no longer ignore the natural disasters happening in our backyard. Forming a survival group will help you survive and learn how to prepare for a short or long-term disaster.
Your shooting health has been strong for years, but suddenly and unexpectedly it has deteriorated into a bad case of “accuritis.” What’s the cure for this mysterious condition? Starting with a clean slate is just what the doctor ordered.
A string of bad shooting recently plagued me, and I couldn’t allow this infection to spread into deer season. I took a hard look at all of the complex factors that could have caused my accuracy slump, but I arrogantly overlooked the rookie stuff. There was only one thing to do: Throw everything out the window and start from scratch with some of the simplest, yet most critical shooting fundamentals.
You must first trust in your rifle platform. Start at the bench to eliminate human error and ensure your rifle/optic/ammo combination is producing predictable results. A bench is also a great place to review the critical mechanics of both your tool and its master. It’s marvelous that a calculated explosion can send a fine-tuned piece of metal spinning out of a short tube at upwards of 3,000 fps. When you’re conscious of this magical process, you realize the key to accurately deliver a bullet downrange is letting the rifle do its job with minimal human interference.
Now’s your chance to focus on the most influential shooting fundamental: trigger control. Close your eyes and dry-fire your rifle at the bench. Find the most comfortable position for your finger on the trigger that allows you to press it backward in a perfectly straight line, parallel with the rifle’s stock, until the trigger breaks. Every trigger feels different — weight, contour, cycle — but the motion of your finger should be repeatable and consistent across virtually every rifle’s trigger.
GET A GRIP
There are a handful of factors that will greatly determine your grip, but “consistency” is again the keyword. The first gripping consideration lies in the design of your rifle’s stock. It should fit in your hands comfortably atthefore-endandthegripatthebutt end closest to the trigger.
Tightness of your grip shouldn’t differ greatly from rifle to rifle. If recoil is a flinching concern, here are three solutions: shoot a caliber in your comfort zone; mount a scope with adequate eye relief; get solid contact between the stock and your shoulder. Too tight of a grip will hinder accuracy because muscle tension is always inconsistent, plus you run the risk of forcing the stock against the barrel and disrupting the barrel’s natural harmonics with the bullet.
Practicing shots from realistic field positions is extremely important — that’s why you’ve heard this lesson preached hundreds of times. But let’s take this lesson a step further. Learn how to shift your body to get the most stability from every position: standing, sitting, prone and kneeling. The more contact your body has with the ground or other stationary objects, the more stable your shooting platform.
Here’s where a hunting pack can be a tremendous aid. Aside from haul- ing gear, you can use your pack to support the fore-end of your rifle in the prone position. You can also lean into your pack from the sitting position to eliminate wobbling of your core. The weight of a pack on your back will also keep you steadier in the standing position, which is usually the most unstable of all field shooting positions.
THE BRAIN GAME
Of all factors that influence the accuracy of a rifle, your brain can be the most detrimental. If you can’t maintain composure during the moment of truth, everything can quickly fall apart. Choose a shooting sequence and stick to it. Everyone’s routine is slightly different, but here’s an example: find a rest, grip your rifle, establish solid cheek weld, aim, turn off safety, exhale, squeeze trigger, cycle new round into chamber while maintaining sight on target.
Learn your limits and respect them. If you can’t consistently fire 300-yard shots on the range with certain accuracy, don’t expect any superpowers to activate in the field. Over-thinking your shot can also spell shooting doom. Once you’ve decided to kill an animal, focus on your shooting sequence and nothing else. If your instincts led you to bearing down on your rifle in the first place, odds are you’ll be thrilled with what’s lying at the end of the blood trail
There are few fashion accessories that can save your life. Survival watches, survival belts are two that come to mind but there’s one survival accessory I like even more.
The mighty survival bracelet.
Survival bracelets are usually made from paracord and they include useful survival tools.
But survival bracelets have only recently gained popularity for civilians. While the military’s been issuing paracord survival bracelets for a very long time.
Why? Since it’s invention in WWII, paracord has proven to be insanely useful for survival. And for the military, that means on the battlefield.
Paracord is also included in astronaut gear list – you know, the one NASA sends into space!
So survival bracelets are worthwhile, but there’s an overwhelming number of them on the market today.
Some survival bracelets are standard, basic, and to the point. While others come equipped with an array of survival tools packed into them. Becoming a miniature survival kit by themselves.
So today, to help wade through the sea of options, we’ll cover a few of the highest rated survival bracelets. We’ll also suggest a few we like best and are most effective for survival.
But investing in a survival bracelet is just the first step, you also need to understand how to use one.
So I’ll also discuss how to make your own survival bracelets from scratch and some of the many survival uses for paracord.
The Magic of Paracord
Before we dive in, let’s take a second to admire paracord, the material most survival bracelets are made from.
Paracord was initially called “parachute cord.” It’s a high-tensile strength nylon cord and made its first appearance in World War II. It was designed to hold together paratroopers’ parachutes.
It’s invention allowed for a whole new type of airborne warfare.
Suddenly, paratroopers were leaping out of planes over war-torn Europe. Trusting their lives with the nylon parachute cord that held together their chutes.
Even after the paratroopers landed, they found lots of new uses for the material.
It became a common practice to strip the parachute of its paracord cord after landing, for later use.
Since then, it’s become standard issue for soldiers in the US army often knotted into a survival bracelet!
It’s a high utility survival accessory that can be easily accessed when you need it.
As mentioned, NASA also uses paracord. They now include paracord in their extensive cargo list. A list that only consists of the lightest weight and most useful materials known to man.
It’s good enough to make the list for survival in space. It was even used on a mission to the Hubble Space Telescope to make improvised repairs!
Paracord is badass stuff. And it’s a great addition to your bug-out-bag, get home bag, or survival pack, even if you’re not into wearing it as a bracelet.
The Best Survival Bracelets
Your looking for the “best” survival bracelet and the good news is there are a lot of options to choose from. Here are a few of the highest rated survival bracelets, along with our notable favorites:
Military Outdoor Survival Bracelet With Firestarter
- a small compass
- survival whistle
- an emergency knife
- a stainless steel fire scraper
- and a flint flare starter
Being able to use your survival bracelet to start a fire, navigate, and signal for help are critical skills in a desperate situation. Not to mention all the paracord and a knife to cut it into segments
Leatherman Tread Bracelet
That’s not the only difference this model offers. Also unlike other survival bracelets, this one is a mechanical toolbox for your wrist.
- a host of box-wrenches
- both flat and Phillip’s head screwdrivers
- an oxygen tank wrench
- a socket drive adapter
- bottle opener
- SIM card “pick”
- carbide glass breaker
- and a cutting hook
While this bracelet may not be ideal for wilderness survival, it’s a reliable accessory for urban survival.
If you’re out riding a 4-wheeler or dirt bike or need to fix a radio this type of survival bracelet is your best option.
Friendly Swede Survival Bracelet With Firestarter
- fishing line
- fishing hooks
- sinkers and bobbers
- fire starting materials
- safety pins
- and a small blade
These are just a few of the many resources wrapped up in this survival bracelet with a firestarter.
If you find yourself lost in the wild, there isn’t a better bracelet to have on hand – because this one has it all!
TITAN Paracord Survival Bracelet
Most military personnel don’t wear high tech, expensive bracelets with 30- different tools. Instead, they go for simplicity.
Paracord is so versatile and has so many survival uses; it’s considered a multi-tool by itself.
The TITAN paracord bracelet is made with a stainless steel bow shackle clasp. A secure clasp that can hold up to 1,650 static pounds of weight.
Bonus Offer – Free Patriot Paracord Bracelet
The final survival bracelet I want to point out is the Patriot Survival Bracelet. It’s got many of the same features as the survival bracelets we already covered.
It includes 10 feet of high strength 550 paracord, as well as a built-in survival whistle and a reflective signaling plate.
Winter is one of the perfect seasons to have fun when it comes to outdoor adventure. The best experience of hiking, mountain climbing, skiing, snowboarding, and much more could be gotten during the winter. But do you know that during the winter the condition is more extreme? The cold temperature that winter brings can result in frostbite or hypothermia.
Unfortunately, anybody can face survival circumstances during the cold season. When there is a threat to your life, you will need to cope with the survival situations. Let us take a look at some situations. What would you do if your buddy hit their head on a tree while skiing down the backcountry route? What would you do if a thick piece of falling ice removes your belayer? Or what would you do if your winter clothes and footwear such as snowboard boots are soaked when you fall through an ice ledge on a river?
If you have been using your flash drive as a simple file transfer tool, then you’re missing a lot of what the power of such a simple storage device can do. A simple flash drive can also be used as a powerful vehicle to carry a portable repository of software that can store your important documents such as insurance policies, mortgage deeds, financial records, passports, supplies locations, firearm records, hundreds of free e-books, and of course family photos.
Think about the recent hurricanes, or earthquakes, and your home has been destroyed. How will you recover your important documents? Do you have all your information commited to memory? The old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” is very true. A well-loaded USB drive can contain all the important software that are required during an emergency.
A full-featured portable software menu and file management system that lets you carry a full office suite, the Bible, hundreds of E-Books, Photos, pictures of documents, and much more. SHTFandGO has released a new USB Survival Stick that has Portable Apps that allow you to easily keep track of assets. Just plug the USB Drive into any PC and follow the examples and you can have all your documents backup onto a durable, metal cased, waterproof, USB drive that could literally save your life. You can add and remove software programs easily and when using the USB on a PC, the USB Stick leaves no trace of ever being used, since the apps are self contained and doesn’t need any resources from the PC to operate. You can even encrypt the USB stick so that no one can access the data without your passcode.
Make use of these powerful portable utilities and stay prepared for all types of emergencies.
The media, including Saturday Night Live, have continually made fun of North Korea and Kim Jong-un. What really is the threat from this tiny country so far away from our USA boarders anyway?
What if we go to war? North Korea has quite a large military and no one seems to be talking about this. If a ground war were to break out, we would definitely need support from other world powers to put their military in a defeatist retreat quickly.
This kind of war would definitely make Afghanistan and Iraq look small in comparison. With large numbers of people, we would need to focus on high tech and very powerful responses from our military to address the numbers of troops.
North Korea has Nuclear capabilities.
Yes their nuclear programs are decades behind ours and much of the other world powers, but they don’t need large numbers to create a very large disruption to our way of life. Just a single nuclear detonation near a populated area would end just about all modern communications, contaminate large areas including possibly water supplies, food supplies, electric systems, and many modern technologies that we have grown so accustomed to relying on. This type of detonation above an area could cause a crippling EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) that could possibly short circuit many of today’s modern electronic equipment. The problem with a high altitude detonation is that, “We just don’t know what damage it may cause”. Our electrical grid is fragile, antiquated, and many of our large transformers are very old and if damaged can take years to rebuild or replace.
With recent claims, “Kim Jong Un also said Saturday, September 16th, 2017 (his regime would complete its final goal to “establish the equilibrium of real force with the U.S. and make the U.S. rulers dare not talk about military option.” While this is not surprising due to all of the Saber rattling the North Korean leader does, it does show that Kim Jong Un is getting desperate and that is unsettling in and of itself. Now what many people do not know however is that a while back, North Korea launched 2 satellites that did achieve orbit and are still circling the earth today.
Those two satellites are however not in a geostationary orbit as one would expect a weather satellite to be which are what North Korea claims they are. The trouble is that they are not emitting any signals at all. NOTHING is heard from them so they are either not functioning, or they are not weather satellites. They are the size of a washing machine which is just the right size for an EMP bomb that is waiting for a command from earth to detonate. They pass quietly over the US several times a day while most people have no idea that they are even there. (source )
So what can you do to prepare, you ask? If a bomb drops on your home, not much. You can prepare though. Water after air, is by far the most important. What is the first thing that the national guard delivers to disaster areas? Water, Water, Water…. People stocking up on guns, ammo, and other similar items and these are definitely fun and exciting for the enthusiast, but when disaster strikes, you will need water and food. As stated in our company’s mantra, you can live 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, and 30 days without food. Yes….you wouldn’t want to try to live 30 days without food, but with my own body shape, you would survive. Water is the most important thing you can control. Silver Ceramic water filters remove radioactive particles and bacteria from water sources. UV sterilization addresses virus, and active carbon will address VOC’s chemicals. (Water Purification Systems)
Potasium Iodide is another item you need for your family. What does potasium iodide do? KI (potassium iodide) is a salt of stable (not radioactive) iodine that can help block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland, thus protecting this gland from radiation injury. The thyroid gland is the part of the body that is most sensitive to radioactive iodine. (Buy KI)
When the grid goes down, all power sources will cease. How will you cook your food? Many people will have to rely on centuries old wood fired and propane cooking systems. The ability to efficiently cook when the need arrives will be extremely important. Stock up on propane and always keep a couple spare tanks on hand. Camping cook stoves work well, but the fuel tanks are expensive and don’t last very long. You may consider a wood stove, rocket stove, or small pot belly stove. No electricity needed, but you do need to have access to some wood source. Rocket stoves are by far the most efficient wood cooking sources. They only require small sticks and wood no bigger than your thumb, to cook an entire meal for your family. They are small, compact, portable and easy to light and maintain.
Stock up on essentials. Medication, toilet paper, feminine products, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, and the ever important baby wipes for hygiene. Take a quick inventory of your family’s needs and talk to your family to develop a plan. Where to meet in the event of a disaster? What items can you and others in your family contribute. Everyone doesn’t necessarily have to rely on one’s own resources. Pool your resources with family and close friends and build a network of materials, expertise, and supplies you will need to perceiver.
SHTFandGO.com Staff- Plan, Prepare, Protect
We have had two major hurricane that hit many places and while some were prepared many were not. Here are some tips for preparing yourself and family.
- Anyone who isn’t a prepper is nuts. I’ll just start off with that blanket statement. Are you prepared for a hurricane as everyone is fighting over cases of water bottles at the store. Having a mean to filter and distill water would be the long term solution.
- Don’t go through any medical procedure the day before a hurricane hits. If it gets infected there are no medical service available short of a trip to the ER.
- Get flood insurance, even if you live in an area that doesn’t traditionally flood. Homeowners insurance does not cover damage caused by water coming into your house.
- Charge all electronics, including solar battery chargers, in the days leading up to something like this. Afterwards, just keep them fully charged, since power outages happen regularly.
- Social media is an absolute necessity in times like this. Facebook groups have popped up, connecting neighbor with neighbor and allowing us to loan/borrow things like box fans, extension cords, chain saws, and the like. People are coming out of the woodwork to help out, and it’s because of Facebook.
- Nextdoor.com is another life saver.
- Heavy duty galoshes (rain boots) can be worth their weight in gold. Trudging through inches and feet of floodwater can be dangerous without boots.
- Always have a few filled gas cans around.
- If you do make a run to the grocery store in the days leading up to a big storm or something similar, go ahead and throw in some goodies you don’t normally buy.
- Get a few solar lights or lanterns. When our power was out, these lights and lantern are just perfect for providing enough light for a work area or for reading.
- Your relatives and friends are going to worry about you, so just accept that and get used to repeating the same information again and again. How wonderful to have people who care about your safety!
- Call your insurance company or agent ASAP. They will respond to claims in the order received, so get in there early.
- If you experience damage that FEMA may help cover, register with them ASAP also. You’ll receive a registration number. Save that on your cell phone and email it to yourself so it will always be handy.
- If you do lose everything, or at least a LOT of what you own, go ahead and cry and ignore people who say things like, “It’s just things. You’re lucky to be alive.” It’s okay to grieve over ruined things. They were a part of your life. They represented what was once normal and now that is gone, at least for now. Cry all you want to and need to without making any excuses.
- If you think you may end up without power, go on that assumption and prepare. Run small loads of laundry once a day, run the dishwasher, even when it’s only half full. If the power goes out, you’ll be starting out with clean clothes and dishes.
- Pressure canning can be one way to preserve meat that is in the freezer in a power outage. Again, if you think your power may go out, start canning that meat right away. If you have a gas range, you can do the canning without electricity.
- You’ll need matches to light the burners on your gas range when the power goes out. Make sure you have plenty of matches. Buy 3 or 4 big boxes. They’re cheap.
- Prepare your home for guests. In the case of hundreds or thousands of people being displaced, a very simple way to help is to open up your home, even if just for a few hours. Provide a peaceful, safe haven for families who have lost everything. I think hospitality is greatly overlooked when it comes to disaster recovery.
- Not all phone weather apps are the same. Find one you like.
- Be prepared for emotional ups and downs.
- Get outside when you can do so safely.
- Bicycles can get places where vehicles cannot. On a bike you’ll be able to check out storm damage, visit neighbors, run errands, and get fresh air and exercise at the same time.
- Be aware of downed electrical wires.
- Think about all the volunteers who are going to be thirsty and hungry. Pack brown bag lunches for them and have the kids help out.
- One thing we all take for granted is clean laundry. People with flooded homes will not be able to do laundry and wearing damp, dirty clothes for hours and maybe days at a time is uncomfortable and disheartening. Offer to do laundry for them as an easy way to volunteer.
- Buy a few respirators when you begin cleaning out flooded homes. During the Katrina clean-up, many people contracted debilitating illnesses due to inhaling mold and mildew spores.
- Consider how you’ll care for your pets both during and after a disaster. Stock up on pet food and kitty litter, if you have cats. If your home is damaged, how will you keep your pets from running away? Make sure you have kennels for them and they are wearing collars with ID tags and have been microchipped.
- If you see a stray pet, keep it safe until you can find its owner. Animal shelters are quickly overwhelmed and at capacity. Use Facebook groups for your town and community and Nextdoor.com to reunite pets and owners.
- Children may be the most traumatized group of all. Don’t overburden them with your every random thought about doom and gloom! Give them constructive things to do, so they feel they are contributing something important to the family’s survival.
- If you are going to help with flood recovery, be sure to wear protective gear, including the respirator mentioned above. Wear boots that go above your ankle a few inches to protect from snake bites and fire ants and heavy work gloves.
- Don’t advertise on social media or elsewhere that your home has been flooded and you’re leaving. This just gives looters information that will help them locate your home, specifically.
- Even if you can’t help with actual demo work inside flooded homes, you can loan tools, small generators, filled gas cans, work gloves, extension cords, and fans. Label them with your name and phone number but in the madness of storm recovery, you may not get them back.
- Stock up on those black, heavy duty trash bags. They’ll come in handy for storm debris, ruined food, mildewed clothes, pieces of wet sheetrock, etc.
- Fill your freezer with bags of ice. It will come in handy during while power is out and can be used to keep food and drinks cold for volunteers and rescue workers.
- When floodwater is coming in, turn off your electricity at the main breaker and keep it off.
- With road closures, you may not have clear passage to help out at shelters, help neighbors muck out their homes, and reach rescue workers, so be prepared to walk. A heavy duty wagon is super helpful at a time like this, as is a bike trailer, for carrying tools, food, and other supplies.
- Take both video and photos of your home’s belongings. Some insurance companies prefer one over the other so have both.
- As you replace ruined belongings, carpet, sheetrock, and the like, keep every single receipt. If you can, scan them and save them to the cloud or email the scanned images to yourself.
- Don’t be surprised if you are overwhelmed with kind offers of help.
- Take care of yourself. You’re going to need a mental break every now and then.
- Use some kind map app to find look for road closures, which is immensely helpful.
- If you don’t know your neighbors now, you soon will! Be the first one to reach out with offers of a hot cup of coffee, a couple of hours of babysitting for a stressed out mom, or heavy duty labor to help an elderly person clear out their yard.
- Don’t wig out every time you hear a news report, especially on social media. If it doesn’t come directly from an official channel, then take a few deep breaths and wait until it’s verified.
- It will take a while for life to return to a new normal.
- If you have skills in administration and logistics, put them to work! One neighborhood can set up their own volunteer check-in desk at the entrance to their subdivision! As volunteers arrive, they are directed to specific homes in need of help. To do this, you’ll need neighborhood maps, roving volunteers with walkie-talkies to assess damage and report to the control center, and, of course, food and water is appreciated. This is a brilliant example of micro-emergency response.
Zika virus has been in the news since the beginning of the year, and there’s a lot of information out there; some of it is reassuring and some, well, not so much. Here’s some things you should know that will make you worry/not worry about this infectious disease that’s been reported worldwide.
Worrisome: Reported cases of Zika in the U.S. and its territories will soon hit 20,000. The number of Zika cases IN THE U.S. and its territories reported to CDC’s Arbonet (ARthropod-BOrne virus) national registry has risen to almost 19,000. With some researchers suggesting infection in one quarter of the population of Puerto Rico before the end of 2016, 20,000 cases might be a gross underestimation.
Reassuring: While the Zika epidemic rages in Puerto Rico, the continental U.S has reported a total of 2,964 cases of mostly travel-related Zika virus illness (out of a population of 320 million). South Florida is the only area in the continental U.S. where local mosquitoes are confirmed by authorities to have spread the disease (about 50 cases).
Worrisome: The actual number of Zika cases is probably close to 5 times the number of reported cases. Zika virus causes relatively mild symptoms like rashes, fevers, joint pains, and reddened eyes, and even then in only 20% of cases. 80% have no symptoms whatsoever, which means that the actual number of cases is probably 5 times greater. This doesn’t count people who wouldn’t go to the doctor for a mild fever or a rash, so it might be even more.
Reassuring: Even if case totals are, in fact, much higher than reported, the virus leaves the bloodstream after a week or so in most people. It can, however, last for months in seminal fluid or, perhaps, the eyes. Once you have recovered from the acute infection, you receive immunity from the antibodies produced by your immune system. Future pregnancies won’t be affected.
Worrisome: Zika is a bona fide pandemic. A pandemic is a widespread occurrence of a disease not normally seen in a place that spreads across different regions. Zika has now been identified in close to 70 countries and has been referred to as a pandemic by the National Institute of Health since at least January 2016.
Reassuring: Despite concerns raised by many health officials, athletes and tourists returning from the Olympic Games don’t seem to have sparked significant new outbreaks in their home countries.
Worrisome: Newborns with Zika infections can have multiple abnormalities, not just microcephaly. Microcephaly is a condition where a small brain leads to poor head growth. Beside this, however, other evidence of brain damage, deformed joints, and vision or hearing impairment may occur.
Reassuring: The percentage of abnormal newborns in Zika-infected mothers isn’t as high as you think. Statistics for the rate of birth abnormalities in newborns have ranged from 1% to 13% in Brazil and 1% in the previous outbreak in Polynesia in 2013-4, according to a CDC report released last May. There are no numbers that say a Zika-infected mother’s chances are very high of having a baby with microcephaly or other defects.
Worrisome: We can’t say for sure that Zika-infected babies born looking normal will be unaffected by the virus. Zika is shown in lab studies to kill brain and other nerve cells. What if the number of cells damaged is not enough to make the baby appear abnormal at birth but enough to cause delays in milestones like walking or talking? What if these infants end up having learning disabilities once they’re old enough to go to school? We won’t know for years.
Reassuring: Although our research into the effects of Zika virus is in its infancy, no hard evidence exists that a baby from an infected mother will have later developmental deficits.
Worrisome: Zika virus may be passed through from human to human through seminal fluid, vaginal secretions, blood, and now, tears. Researchers are finding more and more ways that Zika might be transmissible from human to human. A study from Washington University in St. Louis reports that tears of mice carried parts of the Zika virus.
Reassuring: The vast majority of Zika infections are still transmitted by mosquitoes. Sensible actions like the use of mosquito repellents, the wearing of long sleeves/pants, and drainage of nearby standing water are still the best way to prevent an infection.
Worrisome: There is more than one strain of Zika, and there may have been mutations. Zika, like many viruses, exists in different subtypes (at least two) that could mutate from time to time. This fact might explain why a virus originally identified in 1947 only started causing community-wide outbreaks in 2007, and no reported cases of abnormal babies before 2013. A mutation that increased the severity of effect on humans (at least, newborn ones) may have occurred.
Reassuring: It’s possible that Zika just had never been exposed to such large populations without natural immunity. Researchers haven’t yet reported if the strain spreading rapidly in Singapore is the same one as that in Brazil.
Worrisome: There may already be more than one locally-transmitted outbreak in the U.S. Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor’s College of Medicine, suspects that there may be more areas of local Zika transmission than just the one in Miami. The Guardian reports that he said, “…I think there’s not just Zika transmission going on in Miami, it’s going on all up and down the Gulf Coast and in Arizona, it’s just that nobody’s looking.” The CDC, although it stops short of predicting an epidemic of Zika, believes clusters of cases may still appear in warm-weather states.
Reassuring: Future local outbreaks are likely to be minor in the U.S. A number of states, like Louisiana and other Gulf and East coast states, are recovering from floods dues to storms and Hurricane Hermine. Cases of Zika virus, however, don’t seem to be arising out of standing water there that would be excellent breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Cities, like Houston, with low-income areas that harbor abandoned buildings and trash, also provide possible sites for the next generation of mosquitoes; Zika virus doesn’t seem to have taken hold there either.
Worrisome: Aerial Spraying with chemical pesticides like Naled may affect honeybees and even humans. Use of pesticides that are neurotoxic might have ill effects on important pollinators like bees, or even human beings. It might be safer to use methods that kill mosquito larvae instead.
Reassuring: Aerial spraying is an effective way to eliminate large populations of adult mosquitoes quickly and rarely affects humans. Naled is a shorter acting pesticide than some others, and when used correctly (before sunrise or after sunset), is unlikely to cause major damage to pollinators, which mostly forage during daylight hours. The recent bee die-off after spraying in Dorchester County, S.C., was due to spraying which occurred at 8 a.m.
Worrisome: A new local Zika outbreak is spreading throughout Singapore in Asia. The location is important because Singapore is an important financial hub for the region. Travel-related cases already have been reported in Malaysia and the Philippines from returning travelers. Given the widespread commercial travel to Singapore, where 300 cases have been reported in 10 days, the entirety of Asia may be affected in the near future.
Reassuring: Here in the U.S., the coming fall and winter seasons will decrease mosquito populations significantly throughout most of the country. USA Today reported in July that Brazil was recording fewer cases of Zika as the Southern Hemisphere entered its “winter”.
So, it’s your choice: You can decide either to go look for your worry beads or, instead, cover your eyes with your hat and order another pinacolada. Just don’t forget the mosquito repellent.
Your non-prepper family members and friends think you’re nuts. Until you show them your Water Straw or cool Survival knife, and they say, “Hey, that’s a good idea!”
With the holiday season around the corner, and for every gift-giving season, perhaps you would like to get your loved ones or friend something that will leave them better prepared and motivated to think about preparedness. Where do you begin and how do you figure out what to get them? People can be hard to shop for anyway, and if they’re already skeptical, you will want to start out slow. You can increase your chances of creating a thoughtful, practical, and well-accepted gift by taking a few of things into consideration.
First, consider the location of your recipients, including weather and likely challenges. Then consider their lifestyle, perhaps including skill level, experiences, or interests. And finally, consider any unique needs they have. When I did this exercise for my family members, I discovered that survival-minded gifts would look very different for each of them!
For someone in Texas
For this region, the weather is generally above freezing, but tornadoes are frequent. They also deal with heat and floods. The loss of electricity is a real possibility with any of these events. With several major cities in this state, civil unrest is also a potential issue.
For this gift, buy flashlights and extra batteries for the power outages. Add enough canned food (with a can opener!) to last 2-3 days. Duct tape, plastic sheeting, and hammer and nails might be useful in case of storm damage. In that part of the country,most people don’t have basements, so storage is typically a garage. Packing these items in a tub for the garage or a truck might be the best bet.
Special Consideration: Children
For kids, I would suggest packing something in each these categories. (Pack something from each category in your own emergency kits!)
• Treats: Something individually packaged so their parents can bribe or distract them. For example, I keep fruit snacks in my tornado kit in our basement.
• Warmth: Making sure kids’ physical needs are met will go a long way towards meeting their emotional needs during a scary time. Pack a small fleece blanket or cozy sweatshirt (a size too big) for each child.
• Games & Books: Again, distraction is going to be key. Consider a read-aloud chapter book, like Stuart Little or one of the Chronicles of Narnia. Many board games, such as Life and Yahtzee now come in card varieties that would pack very well in an emergency kit.
• Light: Glow sticks, flashlights, headlamps and fun, colorful finger lights are kid friendly. Allowing kids the ability to control the light and what they see (especially Mom and Dad) can be a comfort to them during an emergency.
• Soft things: Even the toughest teen or pre-teen will feel better clutching something soft. A few small stuffed animals for the younger kids, or maybe some foam stress balls for the older ones.
• Sanitation: Baby wipes and more baby wipes! If your tiny relatives might still be in diapers, include a package of next-size-larger disposable diapers or training pants, too. Ziploc type bags will also be valuable for putting dirty diapers in.
Someone in Colorado
This region experiences significant weather swings in hours — 50 or 60 degree swings in the same day are common. In winter, blizzards with several feet of snow can result being stuck at home for a few days. And wildfires can mean evacuation is a real possibility. Nearly every summer somewhere in the state, there are people to need to leave at a moments notice.
The lifestyle there tends to be outdoorsy, so portable is key for this gift. Everything should fit in a backpack. Add a waterproof poncho for unexpected weather and consider a including a pair of hiking socks. A Firestarter and knife would be a great versatile tool. Some Cliff bars and powdered sports drink mix would easily fit too. And here is the perfect opportunity for a Water Straw, too!
Special consideration: someone far away
For someone who is “isolated” in another state, away from the rest of the extended family, you might consider making them a special evacuation kit. Pack a compass, and paper maps with several exit routes marked out. Make a written communication plan for them, perhaps including Solar Radio. Include a written list of family member addresses and phone numbers, too.
Housebound in Minnesota
The upper Midwest region is famous for snow and cold. It also gets its share of tornadoes in warmer weather.
Most people in the Midwest have basements, so space usually isn’t an issue. Pack everything in a brightly colored waterproof tub for storage. It will likely be stored in a basement. In the tub, add duct tape, a small collapsible shovel, and one or more fleece blankets. If you have the budget, a small household tool kit would also be a good idea. For the colder months, hand/foot warmers would be essential. Include some canned soups, a can opener, and hot drink packets. For quick heating, include some fire starters or sternos.
Special consideration: dietary restrictions or medical needs
There are a lot of emergency supplies you can provide for your loved one that will help, regardless of their unique dietary or medical needs. For a family member with dietary restrictions, your best bet may be to avoid food altogether. Instead, include a list of food items or quantities they should have on hand, and maybe they will be able to add those themselves. Add a brightly colored note to encourage your loved one to stash away some of their medications or medical supplies.
Retired in Arizona
It’s hot, and water is a real concern any time of year, but it is also dry, and the nights can get cold.
Space is an issue in many of the retirement communities. Most residents in these areas have recently downsized, so the thought of adding extra “stuff” doesn’t appeal to them in the least. A very small tub, or even a backpack might be the best bet to hold a selection of useful, compact supplies.
Water is the primary concern. This is another great opportunity to include a Water Straw or a filtering water bottle that combines the filter and a handy container. If you have the budget, you might even consider including a water system. Tarps and bungee cords would be useful both for shade and collecting water if it did rain. A rechargeable flashlight and solar charger would work well with the often sunny days. Some lip moisturizer, sun screen, as well as some hats or bandanas can help protect the face. Pack dried fruit or space bars for snacks, and a thermal blanket for each person for those unexpectedly cold nights.
Special consideration: Pets
If your loved one has pets, you might consider including some basic items for their pet. If you don’t know what the critter needs, just include a list with your tub or backpack gift.
• Water: A collapsible bowl would fit well in an emergency kit.
• Food: small packages of treats or canned food would mean at least Fido or Fluffy could eat something if their owner was stranded.
• A leash and collar: Normally, the owner probably wants something specific, but including these could mean the difference between being able to keep the animal or not if the pet owners end up in a shelter.
• Packet for documents: A simple office-meeting ID pouch would work to keep the animals paperwork. Again, this is something the owner will have to provide, but a brightly colored note inserted where the documents should go can be a great reminder.
Your goal is not to make preppers out of your family members or friends overnight. Rather, show them you care by making sure they’re taken care of in the event of an emergency that is common to their area. Getting them started might make make it easy for them to take the next steps on their own.
To help them further, you might print out and include a general list from FEMA’s website of suggested items every household should have. That way, if they want to work on being prepared, it’s easy to take the next step.
Even if they don’t turn into preppers overnight, at least you can worry a little less. If something does happen, they’ll be better off next year than they were this year.
The question “what are you prepping for” has just about been worn out. There is no shortage of threats in our world to be concerned about and to take steps to prepare for. Take your pick. It could be an economic collapse, natural disasters, might be a nationwide power grid failure or terrorists with suitcase bombs attacking several cities simultaneously. All of these are valid threats. Join the growing rank of people who have decided to not be caught by surprise, but rather to be as well prepared as possible if any such disaster should strike. Since you’re reading this, you’re probably in that camp, too.
But one question that doesn’t get asked very often is whether the thing that you’re prepping for is an event or a process. What do I mean by that? And why would it matter?
An event would be a sudden occurrence, like an earthquake on the San Andreas Fault that causes a significant part of California to go bye-bye. Or an EMP (electromagnetic pulse), either solar or nuclear, that wipes out all of our electronics. Everything is fine one moment, then in an instant it’s not.
What would be the results of an SHTF event? There would be a significant loss of lives, followed by widespread shock and panic. Supplies and services would be disrupted for a long time, perhaps for a very long time. Panic buying would empty store shelves in a matter of a few days. Multitudes would be unemployed. No amount of government intervention would make a dent in the level of catastrophe affecting our world. Virtually every aspect of our lives would change from anything we had ever known before. Ready or not, everyone would be thrust into full-scale survival mode.
If an SHTF event occurs, you’re stuck with what you have. If you don’t already have it, you’re not going to be able to get it. If you’ve planned to buy a good rocket stove, you’re too late. You won’t be able to get one anywhere now. Still working towards acquiring a top-notch first aid kit? Kiss that plan goodbye. You’ve probably got a good supply of rice and beans and wheat on hand, but have you also stocked the spices and seasonings that you’ll need to make it taste good? That ship has sailed.
There are a lot of SHTF event scenarios that have a chance of occurring in our lifetime. That’s why we prep. But the bottom line for an SHTF event is that prepping time is over and implementation time has begun. If you don’t already have it when an SHTF event occurs, you’re not likely to ever get it from that point on. The key to making it through an SHTF event is to already have the things you want and need.
It’s possible that the world won’t go out with a bang (event) so much as a whimper (process). A global financial collapse may have begun 15 years ago with the tech bubble and crash of 2000. While it appears that our economy plateaus or even rallies for a short time since then, it seems to me like we’ve been on a trajectory of steady economic decline ever since 2000. The years 2001 and 2008 saw the greatest losses in stock market history. Much has been written about this 7-year cycle, with warnings of a bigger crash to come in 2015.
An SHTF process wouldn’t come about suddenly like an event would. Instead, it would take years or decades to play out — a slow, steady decline. Money gets tighter gradually. There may be a series of bubbles that burst, but we ride them out. Businesses adapt by running “leaner,” squeezing more productivity out of fewer employees. Families adjust by taking fewer vacations. Many people are out of work, and those who have jobs have been cut to part-time so employers don’t have to pay for the benefits that full-time workers get. First and second-world countries start looking more and more like third-world countries. We find ourselves like a frog in a beaker of water on a bunsen burner. The heat gets turned up so gradually that the frog doesn’t react to the changes — and then he finds himself thoroughly cooked.
Unlike an event, an SHTF process could give you years and years of opportunity to stockpile the things you want and need. That’s the good news. The bad news is that if (when) you find yourself out of work, instead of adding to your supplies, you start tapping into your preps to get by until the next job comes along. But it doesn’t. And what you can’t eat you sell in order to get money to meet your family’s needs.
An SHTF process is not a pretty picture. Slow death never is. Yes, you are better equipped to deal with the problem than those who don’t prep, but it just delays the inevitable.
So what is the key to surviving an SHTF process? Sustainability. You will need self-reliance skills, the kind of mojo that the pioneers had 150 years ago. Do you know how to grow and preserve food? Raise animals? Use and repair tools? Prepping isn’t just about storing stuff. The best preppers would say that it isn’t even primarily about stuff. It’s about skills.
Which one will it be?
Of course, your guess is as good as mine. Many people lean toward process but are strongly aware that it could be an event and that event could occur tomorrow. Don’t let that worry you. Rather, do what you can while trusting you will be prepared enough to survive whatever comes along. At the beginning of each year look at where you are, re-consider where you want to be and set priorities for the year. Yep, that’s what you’ll be doing in the coming week.
Whatever your SHTF scenario, make the most of your time by getting (right now) the top priority items that you need to ride it out, and continually work on building the skill sets that you will need to sustain yourself and your loved ones through tough times ahead.
In summer time, one of the main things that keeps people from enjoying their outdoor spaces is mosquitoes. Nothing ruins a backyard barbeque or even just a relaxing evening outside faster than a swarm of mosquitoes attacking your skin. While there are some solutions for a mosquito problem, most of them are pricey, made from possibly toxic chemicals, and require frequent reapplication.
If you’re looking for a chemical free and cheap solution to a mosquito problem, look no further!
You can make your own mosquito trap from less than $5 worth of ingredients.
There may be a lot of traps out there, but this one uses the mosquito’s natural behavior to trap them.
Just like the pitcher plant, which lures bugs into its belly, this trap uses a bait liquid that attracts the flying pests into a plastic bottle with a funnel top that keeps them stuck inside. The best part? It only takes minimal DIY skills to make.
Materials for the trap:
- A 2 litre plastic soda bottle
- Scissors or craft knife
- Duct tape
- Black paper or other opaque material
How to make the mosquito trap:
To make the trap, you first wash out your plastic bottle and remove the label. You can use any type of plastic bottle, but we found that a 2 litre works best. Using your craft knife, cut around the top of the bottle just under where it starts to narrow into the neck. It can be helpful to draw a line with a permanent marker.
Be careful with your craft knife! If you don’t have one, you can always cut a small hole with a regular knife, then cut around the bottle using scissors.
Take off the top. Turn the top of the bottle upside down and put it inside the body of the plastic bottle so it makes a funnel, then tape in place with your duct tape.The top of the bottle funnels the mosquitoes into the body of the bottle. Once in the bottle, they aren’t equipped to turn around and fly back out.
Cover your bottle with something opaque such as black or kraft paper, vinyl sheets, or even duct tape.You can wrap it after you add the liquid to check the level of the liquid in the bottle.
The bottle needs to be covered because mosquitoes like dark places, and they will be more drawn to the bottle.
Ingredients for the bait liquid:
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 packet “active dry yeast” (about 2 teaspoons)
How to make the mosquito bait liquid
Boil one cup of water, and then add your ¾ cup of sugar to make a simple syrup. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, pour it into a heat-safe bowl. Then add your cup of cold water and allow it to cool.
Following the directions on the package, add one packet of active dry yeast, or two teaspoons if you don’t have the premeasured packets. This is the kind of yeast used for baking, not brewer’s yeast or nutritional yeast. You add it to lukewarm water (no hotter than 90 degrees F) to encourage growth without killing off the yeast, as it will die at higher temperatures.
Pour this liquid into the container, making sure that it doesn’t reach the neck of the bottle, so the bugs have a space to fly all the way in.
Why does this mosquito trap work so well?
This trap uses the natural instincts of these airborne pests to draw them into a place they can’t escape. Mosquitoes are attracted by carbon dioxide, and the combination of yeast and sugar water releases this carbon dioxide.
The carbon dioxide rises from the opening in the bottle to attract the mosquitoes. They fly into the cloud of gas and then down into the bottle to check out the sugar water as well, guided by the funnel. The black covering on the trap draws them as well, especially the female mosquitoes, who like a dark place to breed. Once inside the bottle, the mosquitoes can’t turn around and fly back out.
The key to these traps is to put more than one out and combine them with other control methods. While they will attract and trap some mosquitoes, there are just so many of the flying pests that they can’t completely clear an area. So while your DIY mosquito trap will catch some bugs for you, always remember to also pour out any standing water, plant mosquito repellent plants like lavender, or burn citronella candles. These DIY traps are a great addition to a natural mosquito control arsenal.