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We all know it’s coming. It arrives every year and with it comes a huge variety of weather. Snow, high winds, ice storms, fog you name it and winter throws it at us. Then there’s the added complication of power outages and all the disruption that brings with it. In short, winter can be a total ball-ache.

Now I HATE winter with a passion that is only equalled by my hatred of politicians and paedophiles so for me, getting everything in order before winter arrives is critical, because if it’s not done before hand it sure as hell won’t be done during the cold weather. I watch news reports of people in snow and enjoying it – how I have no idea but they do. Me, no thanks, give me heat and sunshine any day of the week.

So, how does a winter-phobe like me deal with the cold season? In short, I don’t, I prepare for it well in advance so I have as few issues as it’s humanly possible to have during the colder weather. So, without further ado here’s the Lizzie check list for winter preparation.

Garden and driveway

  • Make sure all general garden maintenance is up to date. Loose and/or old branches cut down, perennial weeds burnt etc.
  • Check slabs and pathways for cracks that may let water in and then freeze causing more damage and trip hazards – repair as required.
  • Put a couple of bags of rock salt and grit mix out the back to keep the patio safe to walk on ( need to get to wood store and ‘spare’ pantry in the garage.
  • Put a couple of bags of rock salt and grit behind the side gate to keep the drive ice-free.
  • Stow all the garden furniture away for the winter. It’s VERY windy in my location and tables regularly become low flying objects!
  • Bag up footballs,  super-soaker guns and other kiddie crap and hang in the garage.
  • Rinse and air dry the wetsuits and store in rodent proof box.
  • Make sure wood supply is adequate and coal bunker is full.

Garage (not used for the car shall we say)

  • Grease saws and garden tools to keep them in good condition.
  • Clean and grease lawnmower blades and wipe the machine down ready for spring.
  • Replace all tools in their rightful home at the far end of the garage.
  • Check roof for gaps and holes – close the door during daylight and look up, any splits and gaps will show. Seal/repair as required.
  • Wipe down outsides of all electrical items: tumble drier, spare fridge and spare freezers. Check all plugs and sockets for damage, repair as required.
  • Clean out cupboards checking food dates and looking for blown/rusting cans.
  • Check pipe lagging under the sink.
  • Empty out and check contents of two ’emergency boxes’: candles 12,  matches 2 boxes, lighters 2, firelighters 2 boxes, hurricane lamp, lamp oil 2 bottles,  flashlight with 2 spare bulbs,  new batteries x 3 packs, pack of fuses, 3, 5 and 13 amp. Small toolkit in a box : straight and cross head screwdrivers small, medium and large of each, small hammer, pliers, small wrench, insulation tape, electrical screwdriver for checking currents, selection of screws, duct tape, super-glue.
  • Vacuum through.

House (exterior)

  • Check for flaking paint/varnish on wooden doors and sills, repaint /varnish if required to prevent water penetration and rot.
  • Check weatherboards and fascias are in good repair and tightly fixed in place.
  • Seal any gaps in window frames/door frames
  • Clean UPVC frames and windows.
  • Check lagging on the outdoor taps. Re-lag if needed.

House (interior)

  • Check the roof. Go into the loft during daylight, close the hatch and look for dislodged tiles or slates. Repair as required.
  • Check pipes on exterior walls are lagged.
  • Put one emergency box right outside the back door on back porch ready for use.
  • Test central heating and bleed radiators if needed.
  • Get boiler serviced.
  • Get chimneys swept.
  • Fill log baskets and put next to each fire, ditto coal scuttles.


  • Get it serviced.
  • Check tires for tread and uneven wear.
  • Check wiper blades are not split and work well.
  • Top up antifreeze.
  • Check first aid kit and restock if required.
  • In the boot (trunk): Small bag of rock salt, shovel, warning triangle, small vehicle tool kit, wellies (gum boots), bag with ‘shit kit’ items such as emergency food, water, mylar blankets, lightweight fleece blanket, blow up pillow, flashlight and new batteries, pair of fleece pants, fleece top, spare socks. Spare can of fuel.

Glove Compartment/ door storage/inside the car

  • Boiled sweets (hard candy)
  • Cereal bars
  • Energy drinks/bottled water or both
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Two charge power pack with correct phone connector
  • Cash in notes and change
  • Fleece blanket
  • A book you’ve been meaning to read, a crossword book, anything to fill the time if you happen to get stuck because of accidents, traffic or weather.

It looks like an awful lot of things to do but actually it isn’t. If your home and car are well maintained throughout the year most of it is just a matter of checking to make sure all is in order and working. It takes me no longer than two days to complete the list around all my regular household tasks and going about my usual business outside the home.

Have a think, make a list of things that applicable to you based on the winter weather in your area, then act on it. Far better to get the loose roof tile fixed now than not be able to tackle it in a howling snow storm in a couple of months time.

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Survival Tactics Used by the Military and the Navy SEALs


When you think of the word ‘survival,’ what usually comes to mind?  Making a fire out in the woods, setting up a lean-to shelter with vines and sticks, setting up traps and snares to catch small game, and procuring water might be a few things that come to mind, right?

Knowing how to do each of these things is incredibly important for any survival situation.  However, the advanced survival tactics used by the U.S Military (including the Navy SEALs) demonstrate that there’s much more to survival than just starting a fire and building a shelter.

The primary difference between these ordinary survival skills, and the survival skills learned by the servicemen and women of the U.S Military, is that the military’s learned survival tactics take personal protection and defense into account.

In short, the U.S Military and especially the Navy SEALs approach survival in a different and deeper way than most survival classes or disaster preparedness classes tell us to.  Let’s take a look at the biggest reasons why:


As a result of the advanced and complex training of the U.S Military and Navy SEALs, you may believe that the survival tactics they learn and employ are at least a little more intricate.

However, this could not be any further from the truth.  On the contrary, the military has learned that simplicity is required for survival.  If you want to survive, you have to keep things simple, and then become as good as possible at being simple as well.  By overcomplicating what needs to be done in survive, you’ll only waste valuable time and energy and be in a far worse state as well.

This could be fatal in a disaster scenario where you constantly have to be on the lookout for those who are harming you and are in a more vulnerable position to fight.


The military genius Sun Tzu was the one who said that war is not about fighting, but about deception.  A military commander can win against a materially or numerically superior force through deception and evasion tactics such as decoys, feints, disinformation, and diversionary attacks.  These kinds of tactics have been used for thousands of years and continue to be used to great effect today.  You can use them as well.

Finding yourself in an armed confrontation with another person or another group of people means that you are putting yourself in harm’s way.  And if you have a family to protect, that could mean that you are putting them in harm’s way as well.

It doesn’t matter what kind of weapons or training you have or how many people are on your side.  You should avoid armed conflict as much as possible.  Even though soldiers are trained for combat, they too follow this principle as well.

Just as each soldier fulfills a specific role in a military unit, each person has a specific role in your survival group as well, including you.  This means that you need to conserve as much of your number as possible in order for your group to remain as efficient as possible and stand the greatest chance of survival.

This is why evading is more important than fighting.  Granted, you should still learn how to fight should worse come to worse, but evasion skills are arguably even more important.  Learn how to stay away from those who seek to harm you, and strongly consider a temporary surrender if you are severely outnumbered or outgunned to the point that fighting is hopeless.

As we have touched on already, there are many evasion tactics that the military uses in order to avoid a fight until they find ground or a situation that is more favorable to them, and most of those evasion tactics come through what Sun Tzu said war was all about: deception.

Let’s say you have a relatively small survival group, and a hostile survival group who outnumbers you four to one is nearby.  Since you’re so heavily outmanned and outgunned, an open engagement is not an option for survival.

Instead, you have to look at the situation from a new angle and outmaneuver your opponents.  Keep in mind that since they know they have the numerical advantage, it’s more than likely that they’ll underestimate you.  You can use this to your advantage.

One evasion tactic you can use is to hide.  Camouflage yourself in with the environment and make your camp appear deserted.  In fact, camouflage and staying hidden are two skills that soldiers are taught often in training as a means to avoid capture.

Another evasion tactic you can use is to openly escape but deceive the enemy as to where you are going.  You can send one or two of your number into a car and send that car down the road and cause your opponents to launch a pursuit while the rest of your group makes the escape to better ground, where you can then rendezvous with the rest of your group.


Just because you’ve been captured and taken a prisoner of war doesn’t mean that you’re out of the fight.  On the contrary, the fight is far from over.

You should also learn different escape techniques so that you’ll be able to, for example, get out of your restraints when captured.  Keeping lock picks or small knives concealed on your person is another wise strategy.

If your captors are smart, they will separate you from the other captives so that you don’t have a chance to help one another.  However, it’s still more likely that most people in SHTF situations won’t be aware of this advantage.

So in the best case scenario, you can communicate with your fellow captives and come up with an escape plan.  In fact having an escape plan set with your fellow team members BEFORE you are captured will give you the best advantage possible.


You may believe that you’ll be able to defend yourself with nothing more than a scoped bolt-action rifle.  You figure that you’ll be able to keep yourself far away from your opponents while pinning them down.  The truth is that if you honestly believe this is how fighting is going to be in a SHTF scenario, you’re going to be one of the first ones killed.

The soldiers of the U.S Military and Navy SEALs are taught to engage targets at within twenty to thirty meters at most.  Engagements up to a hundred meters or more are left to the marksmen.  If anything, any kind of an armed confrontation that you find yourself in that requires you to use deadly force is going to be up close and personal.  You may end up using your fists rather than your gun.

As we have seen in all of the wars and armed conflicts going on around the world currently and within the last few years, combat is up close and personal.  That’s why detecting a threat before they come to close to you is going to be imperative to your survival, and it’s also why evading instead of fighting like we just talked about is so important as well.

Train yourself in hand-to-hand combat, in using a knife for immediate self-defense, and in close range scenarios with your firearms.


The military is all about team strategy.  One soldier never goes it alone. Even snipers have spotters and have to rely on coordinates and instructions given to them by a far away base.

Your strategy as a team, even if it’s only you and your immediate family, should be no different.  Yes, you’ll have to strategize things much differently than if you were on a ten to twenty man team.  If no one else in your family is capable of handling weapons (perhaps you have young children, for example), then the job of self-defense and security is going to be left to you.  You can still assign other important tasks related to your survival to others, but the weapons handling and defense can be left up to you.

If you do have people in your survival group who are capable of handling weapons, then you can easily come up with a fighting strategy with them as well.  If you have four people in your fighting group, for instance, you can make a diamond formation (one person up front on point, two behind them and to the side, and then one more person forming the rear directly behind the first person) when advancing through unknown territory.


There’s a reason why the military equips its soldiers with weapons that fire lighter rounds like the 5.56×45 over larger ones with more stopping power: when a man is hit and wounded, it doesn’t just put him out of the right, but it puts one or two other men out of the fight as well because they now have to tend to their wounded comrade and carry him away.

All the same, not only should you deeply consider having to go to war rifles that fire lighter cartridges, but aiming to wound an opponent rather than kill him outright will force one other opponent to tend to him.  Essentially, you can take two opponents out of the fight with one shot.  Knowing this tactic will give you a strong advantage when multiple assailants are attacking your property.

In the end, though, you should strive to avoid an armed confrontation in the first place.  We’ll talk about this later.


Ultimately, having the right survival mindset is everything.  It doesn’t matter how much survival gear you have or how well trained with it; if you aren’t in the mindset that you need to survive, nothing else matters.

Throughout and well beyond their training, soldiers and especially SEALs are constantly taught to be in the right mindset.  Contrary to what many people believe, the instincts that you have naturally will not be enough.  In order to get yourself into it, you need to constantly improve with all of the survival education that you can get.  And when we say ‘survival education,’ we mean much more than simply starting fires and setting traps and snares.

Educating and then training yourself based on what you learn is what will put you in the right mindset to survive.  In other words, your survival preparations must be an ongoing process where you are constantly learning new things.  It’s not just a read a survival book and maybe take a class once and call yourself prepared kind of deal.


There are a lot more examples that we could give for how military survival tactics enhance the survival skills that we commonly read on the internet or learn about in classes, but space does not permit us to go into those now.  What you have read about here in this article are the most important ones.

To sum things up, the biggest difference between military survival skills and civilian survival skills is that military survival skills go beyond simply learning how to build a fire and, instead, tackle serious disasters and critical events that threaten our everyday existence, such as terrorist or EMP attacks, instead.

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How Martial Law Will Lead to the Creation of the Totalitarian States of America


Martial law was originally intended to be used when the United States was under attack during a war.  The precept was to maintain control and a semblance of order, and also to make provisions for the necessity of troops fighting in the United States and the shifting of civic and government assets toward the conduct of the war and wartime industries.  It is supposed to be utilized when the existence of the nation is in grave danger.  Unfortunately, that is not what its purpose is now, under the Obama administration.  Now it is the means to reach the end state: The Totalitarian State.

Prepare for any Disaster

Obama and his administration, to include such notables as Jeh Johnson, the head of the Department of Homeland Security have already formulated the plans for COG (Continuity of Government) operations to take place immediately following the implementation of martial law.  All of this has nothing to do with protecting the country, and it is completely nebulous and ambiguous, as the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) of 2014 effectively declared the entire United States and the world as a “battlefield in the war on terror.”

Such would ensure a “smoother” transition for Obama to declare the United States under attack even if not a single foreign soldier’s boot touches America’s shores.  Let us place this into a concept in the context of what we have covered:

When Martial Law is implemented, the Constitution will no longer have any effect, and the United States will then be under the rule of Totalitarian Law.

Let’s Look at the Facts

Let those words burn in, Readers, as many are undoubtedly thinking, “This’ll never happen in the U.S.,” or “That’s just fear-mongering.”

No, it is happening in the United States, and it’s a warning based upon facts, not fear, arrived at from the actions of the Obama administration over the past (almost) 8 years.

It is a fact that Anwar al-Alawki, the American-born Muslim cleric was assassinated in Yemen by a drone strike without any attempt at extradition back to the United States and in violation of his rights under the Constitution.  It is also a fact that Christopher Dormer, a former soldier and police officer was killed by a drone strike on U.S. soil instead of bringing him into custody under due process of law.

There is no more due process of law.  The police shoot first.  If the circumstances are nebulous, did you notice how the perpetrator always “commits suicide,” or “he’s killed by police officers” and never makes it to the courtroom?

Another fact that is worse: we have a sitting U.S. president whose Secretary of State at the time (Hillary Clinton) allowed…. allowed, mind you…the Embassy of the United States of America…in Libya…to be destroyed, and the American Ambassador and four of his staff to be tortured and killed.  When asked what caused it all, Clinton responded with “What difference does it make?”  Look at Solyndra, look at Fast and Furious, look at ICANN and the Internet giveaway, look at Obamacare, look at Clinton’s e-mail scandal, and look at all of the unconstitutional Executive Orders and actions.

As soon as Obama can declare Martial Law, he will declare it; he’s creating the conditions leading up to such a declaration such as (but not limited to) war, economic chaos, civil unrest, and intentionally weakening the military of the United States of America.

History Has Shown Us All Along What Will Happen Next

History shows us what to expect under Martial Law and the eventual Totalitarian State that it will usher in.  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote “The Gulag Archipelago.”  For a primer on totalitarianism and its inception and creation, look no further.  Look to history, for it is not limited by cultural or linguistic boundaries: it is the history of mankind, and therefore it is our history…yours and mine.

“They took those who were too independent, too influential…too well-to-do, too intelligent, too noteworthy.  They arrested officers everywhere.  Thus the population was shaken up, forced into silence, and left without any possible leaders of resistance.” – “Gulag Archipelago I,” page 77

Call it Communism, call it Totalitarianism…it is all the same.  As you may well realize, they will institute these measures by playing upon the fears and base needs of the population.

“The United States will eventually fly the Communist Red Flag…the American people will hoist it themselves.” –Nikita Khrushchev, 6/19/1962, Bucharest, Romania

It was Benito Mussolini, Dictator of Fascist Italy during WWII that first coined the phrase Totalitarian Society.  He had as his motto:

 “Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.” 

The stage has already been set in the United States.  The only thing that awaits is the right opportunity, the right moment.

“Never let a crisis go to waste.” – Rahm Emmanuel, Former Obama staffer, current Mayor of Chicago

A little-known work exists that documents the truth behind a society’s demise from free and open to totalitarian…the “Fundamental Transformation,” to paraphrase Barack Hussein Obama II’s campaign slogan.  The work is entitled “Vietnam Under Communism, 1975-1982,” by Nguyen Van Canh, ISBN 0-8179-7851-8.  Here are a few excerpts:

“In rural areas, all cultivated land had been confiscated and made part of agricultural cooperatives.  For dwelling purposes, each family was given a small lot on which to build a home and cultivate a small private garden…Ho Chi Minh, in early 1969, issued a decree saying that the lot allocated to each family was only on loan to it, since the real owner was the State.

State ownership, disguised by such phrases as “the people’s collective mastery of society” has been extended to virtually all forms of property.  In the official view, this means that man no longer exploits man; in practice, it means that the State exploits everybody.”

 “Vietnam Under Communism, 1975-1982,” pg. 23

Re-education camps sprung up all over Vietnam after the North took control of the South.  The book painfully chronicles how any undesirables, such as intellectuals, former elected officials, schoolteachers, doctors – basically anyone the Communists chose – were went to re-education camps.  The internees were subjected to a barrage of communist dogma and forced to regurgitate it flawlessly on paper and in speech.  Torture, medical deprivation, forced hunger, and summary execution were the tools employed in the camps.  The Vietnamese also have concentration/forced labor camps that they claim to “exemplify the spirit of collectivism.”

Another work that bears mention is “The Bridge at Andau,” by James Michener written in 1957.  If you want to learn about the heroic resistance of the Hungarians to throw off the yoke of the USSR, this is the book to read.  There is much to be learned from it, and here is an excerpt that shows how true rule under a totalitarian state is administered:

“If there is a single shot from any house, destroy the whole house.  If there are many shots from a street, shoot down every building in the street.” Pg. 76

Remember how Obama signed treaties in the years 2011-2013 with other nations that permitted foreign troops to be deployed on American soil?  Yes, Obama has that right under treaty with a provision that the foreigners are asked to come in to help restore order if he cannot execute the laws of the United States as the Chief Executive Officer.  There is great precedence here.  King George III imported Hessian mercenaries into the Colonies to fight against the Rebels.  In “The Bridge at Andau,” this was done by the Soviets, as cited here:

“…foot soldiers took over…troops patrolling Budapest were found to be Mongols from the Central Asian Republics.   Why had they been brought in?  Because the original troops from Russia proper had been garrisoned in Hungary…so long that they had become too human and could not be depended upon to shoot civilians.

            From this it would appear that Russia has adopted a Draconian policy of never using troops in their own native countryside, but always moving into disaffected areas shock troops from remote parts of the empire, and knowing that troops from any given area cannot be trusted to massacre their own kin.”

“The Bridge at Andau,” pages 82-83

When Martial Law occurs, then will come the FEMA camps and detention centers.  Then will come the “reeducation camps,” already suggested for the undesirables such as Constitutionalists, patriots, veterans, and government protestors.

The reeducation camps were actually “suggested” for the United States by none other than former Weather Underground convicted-then-pardoned terrorist William “Bill” Ayers…a man who bombed the Pentagon…and later became a mentor and sponsor to Barack Obama, the current U.S. president.

Travel will be restricted; communication will be suspended.  The economy will collapse, and there will be arrests, detentions, and executions.  The United States as we know it will either cease to exist or change in form.

Do not either be complacent or fall into a state of denial.  These things are metastasizing before our very eyes.  All that is needed is a spark to kindle the bonfire.  Read Orwell’s “1984” to see what it can progress to if we lose in our struggle.  The battle is already joined.  Anyone who you can make aware of what is happening and what will soon happen is perhaps one less person to serve the State and the regime that is coming.

Read the history books.  Regarding heinous things such as descent into totalitarianism, history does repeat itself, unless you use the positive lessons of what people have done to stop it and arrest it.  War is coming, and it will be a war that is used as the trigger to inculcate martial law.  Please keep in mind my caveat:

The next world war will begin with an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) weapon/device detonated over the continental U.S., followed by a limited nuclear exchange and then conventional warfare.

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How To Survive Eating Wild Winter Edibles


Recently, we’ve been asked a question about what types of foods are good sources of carbohydrates in the winter.

The reader was specifically worried about his son, who is going on a military survival retreat in Maine and can’t afford to lose the 20 pounds that the program has warned him that he will likely lose. His question was about sources of carbohydrates.

My son will be sent to Maine in the winter for a 3 week military survival course. Others who have experienced this say that the participants will lose an average of 20 pounds during that time. He can ill afford to lose 20 pounds, so I was wondering if you knew a good source for carbs that can be found in abundance in the winter? I think he is fairly good at locating small game for protein. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
Best regards,


Though there are many great wild sources of carbohydrates to eat in Maine, I’ve had a problem finding exact nutritional values of wild plants. Go figure. Since the main goal is preventing weight loss, we’re looking for plants that can be found in a great enough quantity to thrive, versus simply survive.

Therefore, we need plants that are both high in calories and found in enough quantity to make a substantial meal. The first part was easy, the second part, not so much. So, I’ll share what I’ve found.


It turns out that these plants are considered a pest by many because they grow so prolifically in marshy areas and around ponds.

Fortunately for somebody foraging, cattails are a great source of carbohydrates and nutrients year-round. In the winter time, the best parts of the plant to eat are the rhizomes, or roots, and the corms, the little shoots that are the beginnings of next year’s plants.

You probably won’t be able to just rip the cattail out of the mud; you’re likely going to have to dig for it a bit. Just run your hand down the stalk of the cattail and into the mud. Feel for the roots, then follow them down a bit and PULL!

Don’t stop with just one plant; grab several at a time because they’re not that heavy and you can carry them or store them in camp. No need to get wet more than once if you don’t have to.

Now, you’re going to notice little shoots around the base of the plant, which are older corms and are the beginnings of next year’s plant.

You’ll also find little pod-like pieces on the rhizomes and around the bottom of the stalks. These are less mature corms and are also edible. You can eat both types of corms raw. Just peel off the outer fibrous part and eat the delicate interior.

The rhizomes are going to look sort of hairy. Wash them as well as you can, then peel them just like you would a potato. Your goal is to extract the starch from the rhizome and there are a couple of ways to do this.

You can break up the rhizome and then put it in a small bowl of water and squeeze the rhizome pieces in the water until the starch is remove. The water turns a milky white. Let the water settle for a couple of hours and the heavy, starchy flour will settle to the bottom. Pour off the water and spread the flour out to dry.

The second way is to use your knife to squeeze the starch out onto a rock. Just lay the rhizome flat and slide your knife down the rhizome, sort of like you’re squeezing toothpaste from a tube. The starchy paste will collect on the rock.

Either way, you can let the paste dry and smash it with a mortar and pestle into a flour, or you can toss it in the pan and toast it as-is, toss it into a soup along with the corms, or you can eat it raw.

Of course, you can always make a bread with it by mixing it with other ingredients, but in a survival situation, you’re probably not going to have access to yeast and all that good stuff.


Rose Hips

These pretty berry-like plants not only add a pop of color to the winter landscape, they’re also a good source of nutrition and can be found in enough quantity to be worth the effort. Rose hips are the fruits of the rose plant and are usually red or orange but can also be dark-colored. Just open them up, pop out the seed, and eat the flesh.

One cup of rosehips has 206 calories, 49g of carbs, and 31g of fiber. It also provides 110% of your RDV of vitamin A, 901% of your RDV of vitamin C, and more than 20% of your RDV of calcium and magnesium. Eat more rose hips!


They’re not just for Christmas anymore! Pine trees provide a couple of different sources of food. If you’ve ever eaten pesto, you’ve eaten pine nuts, which are found in pinecones. There is some work involved for the amount of food that you get, but there’s also a tremendous amount of calories and nutrition in them.

Just one cup of pine nuts has 909 calories, 92 grams of fat, 23% of your RDV of potassium and 84% of your RDA of magnesium. They’re also a good source of fiber, so that you have a slower digestion process. You’ll feel full longer.

All pine trees have edible nuts tucked into the pine cones, but only about 20 species produce seeds that are large enough to warrant the effort. Still, in a survival situation, something is better than nothing. Fortunately, there are often many different types of pine trees in the same area, so if you don’t get decent-sized nuts from one, try another.

Wild Berries and Fruits

Even if there’s snow, it’s still possible to dig through the snow to get to fruits, and if you’re lucky, you may even find some grapes or berries, especially cranberries in Maine, above the snow.

One of the advantages of having thumbs is that you can dig through the snow a bit if you find a bush to see if there are berries buried. Apples are another great resource that you can find under the snow.

Yes, they’ll be frozen, but they’re delicious, nutritious, and packed with carbs. They also drop late, so it’s probable that they were frozen before they rotted. Other fruits to keep an eye out for include peaches and pears.

Grass and Grains

Believe it or not, most (99%) of all grasses in the US are edible. They’re often tough for your body to digest, but they’re better than nothing. This includes wheat, oats, and wild meadow varieties. The best part to eat in the winter is the starchy base and the seed heads.

1% of the seeds are toxic and need to be cooked before being eaten, and if seeds are blackish or purple, avoid them because that’s a sign of poisonous fungus. Eat them if they’re green or brown.

I often consult a man very close to me when I have questions such as these, because he’s actually been there, done that as part of his army survivalist training. He made it all the way through the training and has described in great detail (and to my dismay) exactly what a bug feels like when you eat it. He says the trick is this – crunch (chew), crunch, crunch, crunch, swallow!

Aside from his advice about how to eat a bug with minimal “biting back”, he also says that the most crucial step to survival is knowing the plants, animals, and insects of your area. Know what’s edible and what’s not, and most importantly,know what will kill you if you eat it.

If you have a problem with being too thin, it’s important to realize that your body uses more than just carbohydrates for energy – it can also use protein and fat. The bottom line is that your weight isn’t dependent upon eating carbs. It’s a matter of calories in versus calories out. It doesn’t matter if those calories are in the form of carbs, fat, or protein.

There will likely be some energy dips while you’re transitioning from carbs to protein, so if you’re planning to use protein as your main source of energy during a retreat, you may want to do that before you leave. In real life, of course, you won’t have that luxury, but until then, do what you can to survive the survival training.

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For hundreds of years, maybe even longer, our grannies and grandfathers relied on simple household items to heal. For that purpose, they picked different natural antibiotics, which they mostly found in home, gardens or meadows and woods nearby.

Much of this came out of necessity. Rather than using an antibacterial facial scrub, our Nanas massaged honey deep into their pores. By using proven old home remedies, we can treat and cure various health problems and do a lot for our health avoiding unpleasant medications side effects, too.

Some of these remedies even date back thousands of years, as far back as the tribes of Central and South America. Now, perhaps with the advent of slow-living, these products are slipping back into style. Many appreciate the remedies for their simplicity, price, or their low-impact on the earth. Rather than spend $8 on sea salt spray, you can simple mix some salt with water and spritz it into your hair. You save money as well as a package.

In honor of our ancestors, we’ve gathered some of our favorite time-honored traditions. These timeless products have earned a permanent place in our pantries.


Raw garlic when crushed or chewed contains a compound called allicin – which has similar properties to penicillin.

This superfood member of the onion family is antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, and antioxidant (mopping up free radicals that have been proven to cause cancer).

For more than seven millennia, it has been used internally and externally to treat mild illness to serious diseases.

Everything from inflammation to colds to serious infections is minimized and/or obliterated with the addition of garlic and for those who don’t enjoy the taste, there are supplements as well. Check into “aged” garlic supplements for the best results.

Garlic is not only potent, it contains a host of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that are beneficial to total body wellness. Not to mention the cost is pennies in comparison to doctor visits and prescriptions!

Unlike chemical antibiotics that kill millions of friendly bacteria your body needs, its only goal is bacteria and microorganisms. Garlic also encourages and increases the level of healthy bacteria. It is a powerful antifungal agent and destroys any antigen, pathogen, and harmful disease-causing microorganisms.

  • Garlic packs a punch with phytochemicals and healing sulfur components. These sulfur compounds even chelate toxic heavy metals (like lead & cadmium), binding with them for excretion out of the body.
  • It has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and even antiviral qualities.
  • It promotes the growth of healthy intestinal microflora by acting as a prebiotic (food for probiotics).
  • Garlic helps keep fats from oxidizing.
  • Garlic acts as a strong antioxidant and guards against DNA damage.
  • It protects against radiation & sunlight damage.
  • Garlic fights worms and parasites.
  • It benefits digestion, which is good for the whole body.
  • It contains many nutrients such as vitamins (C, B1, B2, B3), minerals (calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, and phytochemicals (Allicin, beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, diallyl-disulfide, ferulic acid, geraniol, kaempferol, linalool, oleanolic acid, p-coumaric acid, phloroglucinol, phytic acid, quercetin, rutin, s-allyl-cysteine, saponin, sinapic acid, & stigmasterol).


Herbalists consider honey as one of the best natural antibiotics. It also contains antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. A 2014 study presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society found that honey has the ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance to it.

Ancient Romans used honey on the battlefield to treat wounds and prevent infection.

Civilizations all over the world continue to consider honey one of the best natural antibiotics, antimicrobials, anti-inflammatories, and antiseptics known to man after thousands of years.

Its unique combination of hydrogen peroxide, acidity, osmotic effect, high sugar concentration and polyphenols help kill bacterial cells. To get the antibiotic benefit of honey, always use raw, organic honey.

Olive leaf extract

This substance has been used for a number of centuries to battle bacterial infections and is now currently being used as well to fight MRSA infections in some European hospitals. It provides immune system support while fighting antibiotic-resistant infections. Olive leaf extract also has anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, it exhibits free-radical scavenging abilities.

  • You can make olive leaf extract for external use at home. Put a handful of finely chopped fresh olive leaves into a glass jar with a lid. Pour vodka over the leaves until they are completely covered. Close the lid and keep the jar in a dark place for 4 to 5 weeks. Using a cheesecloth, strain the liquid into another glass jar and your homemade olive leaf extract is ready to use.
  • Another option is to take olive leaf extract in supplement form. 250 to 500 mg capsules twice daily is the standard dosage. However, consult a doctor before taking the supplement.


This herb has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for many thousands of years to treat a wide range of infections. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities have been known to be highly effective in the treatment of bacterial infections. The antimicrobial activity of curcumin against helicobacter pylori showed positive results. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric.

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder and 5 to 6 tablespoons of honey. Store it in an airtight jar. Have ½ teaspoon of this mixture twice daily.
  • You can also take turmeric supplements of 400 to 600 mg, twice daily. However, consult your doctor first.


With similar effects to garlic, it was traditionally used to treat open wounds, as well as blood poisoning, diphtheria and other bacteria-related illnesses. Echinacea is well tolerated and able to stimulate the immune system by naturally boosting infection fighters in your blood stream. Native to North America, Echinacea has been used for centuries in tribal medicine to treat pain and sickness.

Unlike garlic, this antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral solution is generally used at the first signs of illness and should not be taken for more than ten days. It is available in liquid and capsule form.

Echinacea is also used against many other infections including the urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, genital herpes, bloodstream infections (septicemia), gum disease, tonsillitis, streptococcus infections, syphilis, typhoid, malaria, and diphtheria.

Cayenne peppers

Cayenne peppers are the most powerful circulation stimulators. They just send their antibiotic properties to fight the disease where it is mostly needed.


Onion is garlic’s closest relative and it has a similar but milder action. Together they create a strong fighting duo.

Raw apple cider vinegar

The far-reaching benefits of daily doses of apple cider vinegar (ACV) include antibiotic and antiseptic properties, naturally alkalizing your system, and can aid you in everything from managing your weight to lowering cholesterol and your risk of cancer.

A chemical-free astringent, ACV can be used topically to disinfect and sterilize.

Oregano oil

Oil of oregano is considered anti-microbial, antibacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-viral, and anti-fungal.

It can be used internally and externally in the treatment of wounds, respiratory problems, digestive upset, and even the common cold.

  • For treating foot or nail infections, add a few teaspoons of oregano oil to a tub filled with warm water. Soak your feet in it for a few minutes daily for a week.
  • For sinus and other upper respiratory infections, put a few drops of the oil of oregano in a pot of boiling water and inhale the steam. Do this once daily until you get rid of the infection.

Colloidal Silver

While colloidal silver is highly antibiotic in nature, I suggest only using it for external uses such as gargling, ear infections like swimmers’ ear and skin.  The reason is that ingestion of colloidal silver does damage the delicate gut microbiome by killing beneficial bacteria though not as extensively as drug based antibiotics. If you need the assistance of natural antibiotics to consume internally, choose another one on this list, not colloidal silver.

Grapefriut seed extract(GSE)

Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) effective against more than 800 forms of viruses and bacteria, more than a hundred strains of fungus, and many parasites.

High in many antioxidants, GSE boosts immunity, alkalizes the body naturally, and aids in digestion by improving your beneficial gut flora.


Ginger’s natural antibiotic property helps prevent and treat many health problems caused by bacteria. Fresh ginger has an antibiotic effect against food-borne pathogens like salmonella. It also has an antibacterial effect on respiratory and periodontal infections.

So, if you are going to eat something that has the potential for food borne illness such as sushi or raw oysters, always best to eat some fresh ginger (raw and pickled is most potent) too in order to make use of its natural antibiotic properties.

  • Ginger tea is a great preventive measure against bacterial infections. To make the tea, grate 1 inch of fresh ginger and boil it in about 1½ cups of water for 10 minutes. Strain, add honey and lemon juice for taste and drink it.
  • Also, include dry or fresh ginger in your cooking. You can also take ginger capsules, after consulting your doctor.

Manuca Honey

What would this list of natural antibiotics be without raw honey which has been used as an infection fighter since ancient times?  Of all the raw honey on the planet, Manuka honey from New Zealand is the best when it comes to resolving infections. An enzyme found in honey releases hydrogen peroxide. This process helps your body fight infection and prevents the growth of bacteria. Soothing to the digestive system, honey removes toxins from the blood and helps your liver operate more efficiently.

A great boost to the immune system, consider combining honey with cinnamon to strengthen your white blood cells! Raw, organic honey is the best option since most pasteurization methods kills the antioxidant effects.


What many people don’t realize is how much vitamin C is found in cabbage. One cup provides 75% of what you need every day.

Naturally antibacterial, eating shredded raw cabbage in your salad, as a side dish in the form of slaw, or drinking fresh cabbage juice (with honey added to sweeten) is an excellent way to improve digestion, prevent disease, and even manage your weight!

Extra virgin coconut oil

There is not enough that can be said for the benefits of coconut oil. It has naturally occurring anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties and is packed with antioxidants you can’t find anywhere else in nature.

Use it to boost your immune system, balance thyroid, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, and even improve brain function. Safe to use internally and externally, coconut oil is one of the most versatile and unique gifts from Mother Nature.


Goldenseal’s natural antibiotic property works well for both topical and internal bacterial infections. Goldenseal contains a compound called berberine that helps kill many types of bacteria that cause many health problems.

Berberine also activates white blood cells, making them better at fighting infection and strengthening the immune system.

  • For internal use, prepare a cup of herbal tea by steeping 1 teaspoon of goldenseal powder in 1 cup of hot water. Strain and drink it while it is still warm. Drink this tea once daily.
  • For external use, prepare a mixture with 1 teaspoon of goldenseal powder and the oil of a few vitamin E capsules. Apply it to the affected area 3 times a day.

Note: Do not take this herb internally for more than a few weeks at a time.

Indian lilac or neem

Neem, also known as Indian lilac, is another natural antibiotic. In addition, due to its antibacterial nature, neem keeps different types of oral problems like cavities, plaque, gingivitis and other gum diseases at bay.

  • To prevent skin infections, use cosmetics and skin care products that have neem as one of the main ingredients.
  • Take neem tablets to help remove accumulated toxins in the body and any parasitic organisms. Consult your doctor for the correct dosage.

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8 ‘Weird-But-Essential’ Things You Aren’t Stockpiling (But Should Be)


You probably have seen at least a dozen lists pertaining to what you should be stockpiling just in case disaster strikes.

It is a little hard to fathom that reality, but imagine going to Walmart or a similar store and finding aisles and aisles of empty shelves. You won’t be able to shop at Home Depot or Lowe’s either, and all of those Internet stores will be out of stock, too.

This means you need a stockpile of food, water and other essentials in your home. But there are a few more things you will want to add to the shelves.

The list below may seem a little weird — like, “Why would I need to stockpile that?” kind of strange. Well, you don’t know what you need until it’s gone, and these are some of those things you just really don’t want to have to try and do without. They are so cheap, they may even appear inconsequential. They’re not.

Here’s seven things you should be stockpiling:

1. Shoestrings are probably not on your radar, but you need them. Survival is going to be a lot of walking and outdoor work. Tying and retying your shoes weakens the strings. A broken shoestring is actually a big deal when you are trying to get around and your shoe is falling off. They are cheap, so load up on them in varying sizes.

2. Duct tape is something that appears on most survival/prepper lists, but a single roll is just not going to do it. You will discover you will need duct tape for just about everything. You could easily go through a roll in the first week if you are using plastic to cover the windows, fix broken glass and so on. Duct tape to waterproof shoes is a common trend in, but what they don’t tell you is you can burn through almost an entire roll on one pair of shoes.

3. Nails and screws. These are not always cheap, but if you visit some yard sales or thrift stores, you can get them for fairly cheap. Big buckets and cans of screws and nails, even if they are used and a little rusty, will prove invaluable when you are starting over from scratch. They can be used to build new shelters, repair existing structures or fix fences.

7 Weird-But-Essential Things You Should Be Stockpiling (But Aren’t)

4. Reading glasses. You can pick them up for a buck at the dollar store. Buy a lot. If you have a slight vision impairment, you will want to be able to see to read, do any kind of detailed work or to see in general. When there are no more eye doctors or the like, you will want to have the extra glasses on hand.

5. Ziploc sandwich bags.Generic ones are fine. These bags will make life a little easier and cleaner. Packing food for a scouting trip, keeping medical supplies dry, storing dried herbs and so on is easier when you have sandwich bags. If first-aid supplies are in short supply, wrapping a sandwich bag around a bandage will help keep the injury and bandage dry if you are going to be in the rain or snow.

6. Paper plates and plastic utensils. They are a bit of a luxury, but imagine when you have no water. You won’t be able to wash dishes very often. You don’t want to eat off dirty dishes (it could make you sick) and you don’t want to leave a sink full of dirty dishes that will invite unwanted guests. Paper plates can be used and then burned for fuel.

7. Safety pins. They also are so versatile! Using them to hold up your pants, replace a broken zipper or as a makeshift hem are just some of the uses. You also can use them as a fishing hook or to hold a tent door closed. In a worst-case scenario, they can even be used as a self-defense weapon.

8. Gloves of all kinds. Exam, rubber and work gloves are going to be a huge help. Putting on a pair of exam gloves when you are butchering an animal is a nice luxury, especially if water is in short supply. Rubber gloves can be worn when you are cleaning up nasty business, including the bucket toilet. Work gloves will protect your hands from blisters when you are taking care of outside chores.

These are just a few things we tend to forget we have until we need them. Each of these items is fairly inexpensive and worth putting on the shelf. Do a little home inventory, like checking the junk drawer or that one shelf in the hall closet. You will likely discover more items that should be added to your stockpile list.

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Wilderness Survival food

It is essential to understand where to find survival food, even food is the least pressing wilderness survival need. With plenty of water and a comfortable resting place, most of us can live many weeks without food.

However, food is important for your mental and emotional state, as well as a source of energy and to maintain a normal body temperature.

Natural food

natural food

In a survival situation, you have to take advantage of everything available to eat. Most wilderness areas are full of natural food, ranging from plants to insects. The food sources you can exploit are determined by the habitat you are in. Vary your diet to make sure you get the appropriate proportions of fat, protein, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins.

Meat and fish are good sources of protein and fat and provide virtually everything a long-term survivor would need. However, at the first stage of a survival situation, plants are the most appropriate diet as plants are easily accessible and contain the necessary carbohydrates.

Wild edible plants

Depending of the time of the year you will almost always find edible plants, unless you are in the middle of an arid desert. Knowledge of only one or two wild edible plants can be of great help in your search for survival food. Learn more about eating wild plants.

Edible insects

Your most vital nutritional needs in a survival situation are protein and fat. Most insects are rich in both. Turn off your cultural bias against eating insects. Edible bugs are good “survival food“.


Fish are a valuable food source. Therefore, if you are near a river or stream, fishing is an important alternative to obtain food. Learn different simple methods of catching fish.


Unless you are an experienced hunter, hunting animals for meat is inadvisable in a survival situation. Hunting is difficult and you will expend a lot of energy to get your food. Instead of hunting consider trapping. Trapping requires less skill and leaves you free to spend time searching for other food sources. The wilderness survivor needs simple traps that are easy to remember and easy to construct.

Bird eggs

Eggs offer high nutritional value, are convenient and safe. They can be boiled, baked or fried. The first obvious place to look for them is a bird nest. However, not all birds build a nest, but instead lay their eggs directly on the ground or in a hole.

Reminder: Collecting wild bird eggs are not allowed in most countries. Eating wild bird eggs should only be considered in a wilderness survival situation.

Methods of cooking

Cooking is a skill of great importance for all wilderness travelers. Cooking not only makes many foods more appetizing to taste, but also ensure that parasites and bacteria are killed. You don’t want to get sick from food poisoning.

A compact camping stove is very convenient in the wilderness. However, in many situations, a cooking fire is more practical and allows a wider variety of cooking opportunities. As a survival skill, you should also be able to prepare your food without any cooking utensils.

Natural food sources

When you learn more about how to find food in the wilderness you also learn more about the nature itself. The more you learn, the more you will love and enjoy the great nature we have.

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How to Prepare for a Natural Disaster – Emergency Preparedness Plan

Today, we have the ability to predict with more accuracy than ever dangerous tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, and floods. We know the areas that are prone to earthquakes and areas that are susceptible to wildfires, and we can tell hours in advance whether a tsunami will hit our shores.

However, in spite of all the capabilities for advance warnings, Americans are still quite poor at preparing for these disasters. Many of us really believe that it can’t happen to us.

In a 2006 poll conducted by TIME Magazine, 56% of respondents said they had gone through a major disaster. However, only 16% percent believed they were “well prepared” for the next one. Denial, it seems, is an American way of life.

Local and Global Disasters

Thanks to our global economy, it’s not just local disasters we need to consider. Disasters in other parts of the world now have a direct effect on our economy; diseases in other countries can quickly find their way to the States. Food shortages elsewhere can cause food riots, which then lead to speculative price swings over here, that can quickly raise the cost of food. A cyber-attack from international hackers could threaten our financial industry or even our electrical grid.

Now, the likelihood of some of these things happening are rather slim, and it’s doubtful that anyone needs to stock a year’s supply of food and supplies. This would be expensive and unrealistic.

However, most people are not prepared, at all, for any kind of disaster. Most communities only have a three-day supply of food in their stores to feed the local population. What would happen if food deliveries couldn’t arrive for a week or two?

How to Prepare for Disasters

Some simple, quick preparations could make the difference between life and death for your family. Here are several steps you can take to be ready for a disaster.

1. Stock Up on Used Helmets

A few weeks ago I was listening to NPR as I was cooking dinner, and I heard a moving story about a young boy, Noah Stewart, who lived through a tornado that hit his Alabama home.

Noah was sucked up into the tornado and then dropped. He landed head first, a fall of such force that, under normal circumstances, would have killed him. However, he survived because his mother made a split-second decision to put a baseball helmet on his head right before the tornado hit. Noah was unhurt after the storm. But the helmet cracked down the middle.

The CDC states that they can’t say whether helmets save lives during a tornado impact. However, it still seems wise for anyone in a tornado-prone state to keep several helmets at the ready. Any added protection is going to increase your chance of survival, and as Noah’s story clearly shows, helmets can save lives.

You don’t have to buy new helmets – picking up used bicycle, football, or baseball helmets at thrift stores and garage sales can save money and keep your family protected.

However, it’s essential that you keep these helmets in an easily accessible place; they should not be used for any other purpose, as they may be misplaced. Remember, when a tornado hits, you might only have minutes – or even mere seconds – to find shelter. You don’t want to be running around the house searching for those helmets.

be sure to have an escape plan should disaster strike

2. Create a Plan With Your Family

There might be some disasters that require you to flee your home, such as floods, wildfires, tsunamis, hurricanes, or a terrorist threat. Creating an emergency preparedness plan can feel overwhelming, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a clear step-by-step guide to help you do this.

One of the most important plans you should create with your family is an escape plan. For example, experts predict that New York City is long overdue for a direct hit by a major hurricane, which would swamp lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. This is a city with more than eight million people. What’s the fastest route to escape? If you had to get out, and you had no car, where would you go? These are considerations that need to be thought out ahead of time.

It’s also smart to figure out how you’re going to communicate with your family in the event of an emergency. You can’t always count on your cell phone to work, especially if towers are down or the network is jammed by many people trying to call loved ones. You can use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter or text messages to stay in touch with your family, since the 3G network might still work, even if the cell service doesn’t.

Make sure everyone in your family has these social networking apps on their phone, and that they know to use them if their calls don’t go through. If you have an iPhone, you might also want to download the Emergency Radio app, which lets you listen to fire and police scanners, as well as NOAA weather updates, Coast Guard communications, and more.

3. Buy Emergency Medical Books

Imagine that a tornado has just destroyed half your town, including your own neighborhood. Someone in your family has been severely injured. Do you know how to stop severe bleeding? Would you know how to treat them if help was hours away?

There are a million medical emergencies that can happen during disasters, and you can’t always rely on immediate medical help. It’s just smart to know how to handle some common emergency situations yourself.

Field Medicine
I’m fascinated with field medicine, as it’s called. This is the type of emergency medical care that takes place “on the field,” often without a lot of supplies or a qualified medical professional on-hand for guidance. In a disaster, this type of emergency medical first aid is what can save lives.

I have two books that cover field medicine. One is “Where There Is No Doctor,” by David Werner. This book is used by the World Health Organization, and it teaches you how to treat serious illnesses, how to help a woman through childbirth, and much more – all without a doctor.

The other book I have is “Ditch Medicine,” by Hugh Coffee. This book focuses more on serious wounds and traumatic injuries. It shows you how to stitch muscles together, how to treat anaphylactic shock, how to treat infected wounds, and much more.

“Ditch Medicine” is fascinating, and includes many pictures and diagrams to teach you how to treat these emergencies safely. Both of these books can be bought for less than $20 each.

be sure to have plenty of nonperishable food stocked

4. Have a Well-Stocked Food Supply

FEMA recommends that every family have enough nonperishable food items and water on hand to survive for at least three days. They recommend the following foods on their website,

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
  • Protein or fruit bars
  • Dry cereal or granola
  • Peanut butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Canned juices
  • Nonperishable pasteurized milk
  • High-energy foods like nuts, trail mix, and canned tuna
  • Multivitamins
  • Food for infants
  • Comfort/stress foods like chocolate, cookies, or other high-calorie sweets

Having a long-term home food storage on-hand doesn’t take a big investment. You could save money buying some of these items on sale or by using coupons.

It’s also smart to know where your nearest source of fresh water is, and have several different methods to disinfect this water, just in case water is unavailable for a period of time.

For instance, I know my closest fresh water supply is a lake half a mile from my home. I have a steam distiller, which I can use to sterilize the water if I have electricity. I also have several handheld water purifiers, as well as bleach, that I can use if I don’t have electricity.

Final Word

It’s human nature to avoid thinking about these worst-case scenarios. After all, none of us want to imagine a pandemic sweeping the country, or a tornado barreling through our own neighborhood. But these things do happen, and the best thing we can do is to prepare for these events. Even a little bit of preparedness can make a big difference.

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What If You Find Out the Zombie Stories Were Real?

OK, I will admit right now that I like a good zombie movie. Call me what you will, but for escapism fun, not much tops a mindless horde of undead walking up on the unsuspecting good guy. As they shuffle slowly, arms outstretched, your body tenses as they get closer to him nearly reaching his back with dirty long fingernails. Naturally, our good guy realizes that a bunch of stinky, usually moaning, rotting corpses, with tattered clothes, are behind him just in time to whirl around with some form of blunt weapon, nicely smashing a skull or 5 before riding off in either an abandoned Hummer or astride a horse. This is the type of movie scenario that just about anyone can see themselves in because you don’t have to have super powers, or physical strength. You simply have to avoid being snuck up on. Oh, and having an axe helps.

There are literally thousands of zombie movies, games, TV shows and assorted marketing paraphernalia out there and it seems that daily we have yet another zombie product or treatment. Why have zombies become so popular lately and why do Preppers almost universally latch on to this as something to prepare for? People seem to have polar associations with the term “zombie horde”. I have seen some blogs out there devoted entirely to the coming zombie apocalypse. Others, like me mention this in articles and it almost never fails to draw some comment to the effect of “You don’t really believe in zombies now, do you?”

Why it’s fun to use Zombies

Let’s take the Hollywood make-believe theater out of the equation for a while and examine how zombies are used in the prepper community. I think there are two main schools of thought.

The “Believers” – I think there are some people out there that genuinely believe that a zombie future is in store for us and they are planning for that. These people have elaborate systems designed to protect themselves from zombies and play out scenarios for how to evacuate the city should their position be overrun. They have purchased a higher than usual selection of bladed weapons as this seems to be the most efficient way of dispatching the undead.

The “I’ll believe it when I see it” crowd – I think an even greater number of us out there use Zombies as a metaphor for potential states (more on this later) and have fun with the visual. In my articles, I do sometimes use the visual of zombie hordes, or mutant zombie bikers from mars as an illustration to a point I am trying to make. This visual, is for some people easier to see/imagine than a lot of real world scenarios. Additionally, from a macabre standpoint, planning for zombies is more fun for me than planning for real life. I will lump myself in with this group.

Separating fact from fiction


Zombies don’t even need legs.

When you hear the word zombie, most people form that image I mentioned above almost instinctively. The zombie is usually walking with a limp (why is that), their clothes are tattered and frayed and soaked in the blood of their last victim. They almost immediately have bad teeth and horrible fingernails and walk slowly toward you. For the person who has a little confidence and their wits about them, these creatures don’t seem too hard to beat with all they have going against them.

The thing that I never understood was how they could live forever. I mean, undead doesn’t make sense to me. If you are a machine you need fuel. A body requires something for energy and zombies don’t have to have anything, even organs it appears, to live. They eat their victims you say? Well, that works for some zombies, but if our current zombie movie fetish is to be believed, they can’t drown, you can’t hang or burn them, they could be buried up to their necks for years and not die. How could that even be possible? I guess this is where I have to willingly suspend disbelief and I do, because I want to be entertained.

Now, how could the zombies come true if I believe as I said above that it really is impossible given what we know about the human body? How could some genetic mutation or global pandemic really create a nation of zombies? Why are so many preppers talking about zombies and why are serious, rational adults acting like this is possible? That your neighbors would slowly shuffle toward you with arms outstretched, eyes glazed over, bent on killing you.

Because it is possible.

I don’t mean the Hollywood movie version of zombies, but I do believe that with the right event or circumstances, most of your town, state or country could be wandering aimlessly looking for food. I personally consider the potential of zombie hordes as all of those who didn’t prepare. The people who laughed and mocked preppers and who after a disaster threaten your life because they have to have what you have in order to live. It’s just a metaphor for mindless, killers who you will have to watch out for. If you take away the limp and the movie make-up, the people hunting you could be starving and willing to do anything it takes to get into your home and get to your supplies.

So, what do you do in this type of scenario? I think the better question is why aren’t you already preparing for this type of possible outcome?

I think that you have to seriously consider how you are going to act when someone you know comes to you for help or food and you know that with each cup of food you give away, that your children will eat one less meal. When neighbors are begging you for fuel that you know could power the generator that will keep your mother’s medicine cool and as a result keep her alive. What will you do when your friends from work come beating on your door because they know you have weapons and ammo stored up and they have none?

None of this is pleasant to think about. In fact it is probably one of the worst part of any hypothetical collapse of society. This would be our zombies coming to life. No, they wouldn’t be trying to eat you, but they would be a threat to your survival and you would have to deal with them. Would you plan for charity? What will you do when the amount you have set aside for charity is gone? What if the person banging on the door is your brother with his entire family?

Zombies aren’t real, but they can be used to get your mind thinking about things like this. Have you thought about what you will do if you are forced to choose?

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Survival Basics – Controling your Core Temperature

A core concept of survival in just about any situation is the rule of threes. If you don’t know this rule it is that you can generally live:

  • Three minutes without air
  • Three hours without shelter
  • Three days without water
  • Three weeks without food.


For this post we are going to be looking at shelter or more specifically how your body reacts when we don’t have sufficient shelter to help us regulate our body temperature. Along with making sure you have plenty of food stored for your family and a sufficient source of water, you need to ensure that lack of shelter is not going to be a killer for your group.

The optimal environment for a human to maintain their core body temperature is between 79° and 86°F. The science of keeping your body in “the zone” of this ideal temperature is Thermoregulation. Thermoregulation can be the difference between living and dying and is the practice of controlling your core temperature. Every year people die from power outages during heat waves or winter weather.   Simple variations in environmental temperatures between 30° and 50° have wreaked havoc worldwide and many die from hypothermia or hyperthermia.

Minimal fluctuations to core temperatures can stress the human body and throw its vital systems into chaos.  In the event of stress, things can get pretty ugly and actually break down at the cellular level.  If your temperature suddenly plummets, the proteins in your cells clump together leaving behind areas of water that can potentially freeze and shred the delicate cell membranes.  If your body overheats, the cells can become too warm and essentially melt.  Any stress at the cellular level will cause immense damage to all the body’s organs and systems needed for survival.

Hypothermia is the condition when your core temperature plummets below approximately 96° F. There are variables in the exact temperature, of course, when considering age, sex, percentage of body fat, or even time of day.  Suffering from even mild hypothermia can cause your body to burn through a ton of calories trying to keep your body and the vital organs heated, and this in turn will cut into your body’s food stores. Your body will also limit the amount of blood flowing to your extremities making them more susceptible to damage and impairment.  Shivering is another way for your body to create heat to keep you warm.  While shivering, your body is creating tiny muscle contractions, thereby using energy and heating up the body.  Unfortunately, shivering also burns through food stores in the process.

Hyperthermia is when your core temperature soars above approximately 100°F.  Again, this can vary, but this gives you a good guideline for sustaining a healthy condition when exposed to less than ideal temperatures.  Generally, in the case of hyperthermia, your body will succumb to dehydration.  Your body’s first line of defense is to circulate more than four quarts of blood per minute, dilate the blood vessels, and open the skin up to let the excess heat out.  That is why being dehydrated is so deadly.  Dehydration thickens your blood making it more difficult to circulate and do its job.  Your body also perspires, leaving your skin wet and cooling the outer core.

Thankfully, your body has a built-in alarm system to alert you or someone close to you that your body is stressed by either hypothermia or hyperthermia.

Stages of Hypothermia:

First signs and symptoms – Core temperature 95-96° F

  • Shivering
  • Decreased alertness
  • Unable to think clearly
  • Minor loss of function in fingers and toes
  • Stinging pain in extremities
  • Confusion

Simply put, you have to maintain your core temperature. People with mild hypothermia can warm themselves with additional dry layers or by stomping their feet. Simple physical exertion is a wonderful cure when you are cold. The old saying with a wood fire is that it warms you twice. Once, when the fire is burning and another time while you are chopping and hauling the wood.

Advances signs and symptoms – Core temperature 93-94 ° F

  • Uncontrollable shivering
  • Lack of stability
  • Increased lack of clarity


Get the affected person in doors if possible and rub cold areas. You can use the buddy system and have the warmth from one person help another person. In the Army they say that if your buddy has cold feet he should take off his socks and stick them on your belly or in your arm pits.

Serious signs and symptoms – Core temperature critical – 91-92° F

  • Gray skin
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased lack of stability
  • Speech affected
  • Spasmodic shivering

For more serious signs of Hypothermia, internal heating methods should be tried. Along with external warmth, warm (not hot) fluids should be consumed also.

Mortal signs and symptoms – Core temperature 87-90 ° F

  • Inability to walk
  • Incoherent speech
  • Shivering decreased


As with hyperthermia, if the body temperature gets this low medical help is almost always needed.

Stages of Hyperthermia

Early signs and symptoms – Core temperature between 99-100 ° F

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Thirst
  • Lack of appetite
  • Muscle spasms
  • Feeling weak
  • Profuse sweatingTo treat mild cases of hyperthermia, we need to first remove the underlying source of the heat. If the symptoms are caused by exertion on a hot day we can treat the person with increased water consumption and rest in a cool space.

    Advance signs of hyperthermia – Core temperature 101-102 ° F

    • Dizziness
    • Headache
    • Profuse sweating
    • Thirst
    • Disorientation
    • Cramps
    • Pale moist skin
    • Possible unconsciousness
    • Weak
    • Rapid pulse and/or breathing
    • Lack of appetite
    • Nausea and/or vomiting

To treat advanced hyperthermia, we can additionally use rest in a cool, shady area. Removing some articles of clothing and sponging down the head, neck and trunk area will reduce body temperature. Additional water consumption is mandatory. Immersion in a cool bath or body of water can help also.

Mortal signs and symptoms – Core temperature 103-106 ° F

  • Disorientation
  • Delirium
  • Unresponsive
  • Skin hot to the touch and can be dry
  • Shallow breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Coma


When the body temperature is this elevated medical assistance is almost always needed, but in a survival situation this may not be possible. The body must be cooled as quickly as possible and methods such as iced IV solutions aren’t uncommon. It’s crucial we don’t get to this point so maintain close watch over your group in heat situations.

Clothing Options

Wearing the proper clothing is vital so as not to inhibit, but to aid the body’s natural defenses against hypothermia and hyperthermia.  Wearing the proper clothing will help you adapt to any weather situation

Simple three layer system:

  1. A Base layer should be wicking to keep you dry and non-restrictive when keeping you warm to allow blood to flow freely.
  2. An Insulation layer should be next and can be removed or added as temperatures rise or fall
  3. The last layer is the environmental layer which should be loose fitting, water-resistant and breathable to allow moisture to flow through the fabric so it is not trapped.  To test whether a fabric is water-resistant and breathable, you should put your hand on the inside and breathe onto it from the outside.  If you feel the warmth of your breath, then it is water-resistant.

Remember that the layering system should be used in a hot climate as well.  Some people feel that a tank top and shorts are the best clothing system, but unprotected skin only exposes your skin to the radiation of the sun.  Save the skimpy clothes for the beach when you are on vacation and not in a survival situation.

Hats are another important part of clothing and give the body added protection.  It is good to have a wide-brimmed, water resistant hat that will block out the sun’s rays in a warmer climate and a snug warm hat made of fleece or wool for colder temperatures to keep the heat in your head.

Fabric Choices

There are a myriad of fabrics to choose from for all the essential pieces listed.  There are advantages and disadvantages to each.

Cotton and linen are best suited for hot climates.  As you sweat the fabric absorbs the moisture and lays on your skin like a wet washcloth which is exactly what you want in scorching sunny conditions because it acts as an air conditioner for your skin.

Polypropylene is as unnatural as they come, but has incredible whicking capabilities and it lightweight.  The downside is that if a spark from your campfire will cause the fabric to melt.  It also holds the stench of sweat so well that you will never get the odor out.  Not a good base layer to wear if you are trying to repopulate the world; the ladies won’t be impressed.

Wool is a natural fabric that has the ability to absorb water (up to 50% of its weight) and distribute it throughout the fabric without feeling wet. It even has the ability to keep you toasty warm even when wet, making it a natural choice in the winter where weight isn’t a factor. There are differing qualities of wool so be thoughtful in your purchase.  My mom bought a wool sweater for me as a child and I hated it because it was “itchy”.  I found out later that better quality wools do not feel scratchy.  The downside to wool is that it is bulky and takes longer to dry.

Polyester is completely man-made but offers the widest range of clothing choices.  It can absorb a good deal of water, is somewhat water resistant, versatile.

Nylon is a super tough synthetic fabric.  Most of the waterproof fabrics are made from nylon with a special coating.  Try to avoid completely waterproof fabrics though, unless you are a sailor because it lacks breath-ability.  Nylon dries almost instantaneously.

Down is lightweight and very warm, however it is much like cotton and will weigh you down and freeze you to death if it gets wet.  It is very slow to dry.

With proper clothing layers it is possible to beat the elements and stay warm enough or cool enough to survive any situation.  If you are prepping for a family, be sure to have the basic layers for every member of your family.  Study the warning signs of hypothermia and hyperthermia because rarely does the individual suffering have the ability to recognize when they are in trouble.  These lifesaving tips should keep your body from stressing until you can build or find adequate shelter.

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Three Minutes Without Air: Why A Gas Mask Should Be Part of Your Preps

You know the survival maxim about how you can live 3 minutes without air, right? I always looked at this as just basic life type of scenarios. If you couldn’t breathe for three minutes you would die. I would envision someone who had been knocked out and people had stopped to stare at the person lying on the ground slowly turning blue. Other times I would imagine someone suffocating in a horrible paracord accident or other nonsense. It struck me the other day that I had been looking at this all wrong.

Three minutes without air could just as easily mean three minutes without clean, breathable air. What if the air you were breathing would kill you, not the act of not breathing at all? What if with each breath you were bringing some organism into your lungs that would poison you or make you sick to the point that you died or became incapacitated. Three minutes without clean, clear, safe air would be an eternity for some. How long can you hold your breath?


There are many valid reasons for having a gas mask as part of your preps that have nothing to do with a global pandemic or outbreak of some deadly virus, but they all revolve around protecting the air that you and your family are breathing. Remember the riots in Egypt and Syria where police fired tear gas into the crowds as they protested against their government? Have you personally ever been exposed to tear gas? I have, and it isn’t fun at all. In the Army each soldier has to go through the “gas chamber” for a couple of reasons. The first is to test your NBC mask and make you feel comfortable with how it will protect you. For this little trick, we all lined up, put on our masks and walked into a very smoky room. All of the other young guys with me were standing around the edge of a big room. You could see the smoke in the air but it wasn’t so intense that you couldn’t see everyone around you. We did some jumping jacks as I recall to get our heart rate up and our breathing faster. Then our drill sergeant told us to take our masks off.

Everyone held their breath for as long as they could, but your eyes started burning first. I happened to the unlucky guy who was at the front of the line and everyone started pushing me from behind to get out the door. Some guys started coughing and several were stamping their feet. My drill sergeant who must have loved me (and who still had his mask on) yelled at me to “stand still or I’ll make you all do this again!” About now, our eyes and noses were running like crazy and we had to take a breath in. This burned like fire and the coughing fits came next. Eyes watering, snot running down our face and coughing like mad, we were finally given the go ahead to walk out the door.

That was tear gas, and after a few minutes in the clean air, we were fine. Imagine if that had been nerve agent or some deadly virus. A few minutes outside of the building could very well kill you.


In searching for a gas mask or respirator for my family I came across several options depending on what your personal threat assessment is. You can start with your basic N95 particulate masks but these have limited use and some say they are useless at protecting you from airborne viruses. I prefer a solution that can give you protection from multiple threats and that requires you spend a little more money unfortunately.

Mil surplus – Again if you stick with military surplus, you aren’t going to find too much more out there that was specifically designed to counter threats from NBC (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) than your average soldier could face. Willson Premier Plus Respirator and Survivair Cartridges are military soldiers. You may have to dig a little more to find a good mask with hood and case that is in great condition, but the prices would be very reasonable.  The good thing about new military surplus is they have the bells and whistles that other masks may not have at the base model.  Of course you will still sound a little like Darth Vader but that is a bonus.


Israeli – The infamous Israeli Civilian Gas masks are everywhere out there. You can find these at Army Navy stores, Ebay and Amazon as well as camping sites if you can believe that. This is the gas mask supposedly issued to Israeli civilians when threatened with chemical attack by Saddam’s Iraq. It has full NBC protection, and come with one sealed filter. The price on these is around $39 and that is an insane deal if you ask me.  Now, the million dollar question is do they work? That I am not sure of but at this price it is hard to pass up. In the Army we would have to check our masks out every year and our NBC specialist would have us mask up and then they would swipe a pen around the openings of our mask and ask us if we could smell anything. I never could, thankfully but he said I would have smelled banana. You can even buy these kits today to test your masks I would definitely recommend that. At least you will know that if they throw rotten fruit at you it will be alright.



Communication – You want a mask that you will be able to talk in. More specifically you want a mask that your family can hear what you say. Make sure that what you purchase for your family or group is going to allow you to communicate.

Drinking – This would be a major issue if the threat lasted for a long time or you were outdoors in a hot climate for an extended duration. The older military gas masks have straws that plug into your canteen cap. The cap was special and I am sure you can order these from Ebay, but something to consider.

Visibility – Clear visibility in your mask is crucial. More so if you are planning to be able to shoot a weapon accurately. If you haven’t purchased your first defensive firearm, you can read this post. If you are using a shotgun, aiming isn’t such a big issue. The two main things that affect visibility are your filters and your face mask. In the older military style you have two eye holes. The newer masks offer one faceplate. The filter will either be positioned on the side or at your mouth. Practice aiming and shooting your rifle with the gas mask on to see if you have to adjust anything. Make sure you do this before you are in the situation where you need to fire accurately.

Filters – Replacement filters are something you should consider now. Buy enough to last because you won’t be able to run out to Wal-Mart for a resupply. Also, the mounting position of the filters could influence whether or not they will work good for you. The best option is to purchase a mask that allows you to mount filters on the left or right side. This will free up your cheek for a good stock/cheek weld when sighting.

Hopefully this gives you some information you can use when planning for your family’s survival. It’s amazing how good taking a breath will feel when you know that your family is protected.


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How To Test Your Family’s Survival Skills

Are you looking for a challenging way to put your family’s survival skills and teamwork to the test?  Nothing will assess the grit and endurance of your loved ones better than leaving behind all electronic devices, cellphones, modern conveniences, electricity, the roof over your head, and your under–appreciated toilet seat.  That’s right, head out on your very own backpacking expedition and venture out with only the supplies you are able to carry on your shoulders.

When my husband first proposed a family backpacking trip, I thought he had finally flipped his lid.  He wanted to take our family, myself and our children included, on a backpacking adventure for two nights and three days.  Not only did he want us to trek through miles of secluded forest with all our food, shelter, and clothing needed for survival firmly attached to our own bodies, but he wanted us to go to the most secluded spot he could find within driving distance at a time of year when it would have the least number of other campers to give us aid or hear our desperate screams for help if the need arose.  We would be descending from 3400 feet down to 1200 feet to the river below, hiking a grueling ten miles and ascending 2200 feet on our return.  This would prove to be a challenging physical and mental feat for our children and me, but we accepted his dare.

As a family, we had car camped before at a lovely campground with showers and other amenities.  In my mind, that was hard-core survival of the fittest.  And that was as far as I imagined our family going with being one with nature.  However, I was coerced by my husband and our children had been enticed by him with the promise of extreme adventure.

Starting Off

Before setting off we had some purchases to make.  Mainly, the backpacks and the tents.  My husband did a lot of research and found that Cactus Jack Tactical Ops Bag with Modular Waist Pack backpack were highly rated for the money.  Upon purchasing you should pay close attention to proper fitting of the pack; it will alleviate back pain or possible shoulder injury.  The tent you need doesn’t require bells and whistles, but rather your focus should be on weight and ease of set-up.  Some backpackers like to sleep in a hammock with a tarp stretched overhead.  We chose tents because with children, you don’t want them spread all over the woods hanging in hammocks chattering loudly to one another late into the night.  Other purchases are listed below to help guide any fellow explorers.

He had researched everything from how to hang a bear bag to how to splint a broken bone.  Once we had all our supplies, we had to pack the bags and weigh them, keeping in mind that a person can only reasonably carry 25% of your total body weight.  I tried to claim I only weighed 75 pounds, but my husband wasn’t buying it.  Each of us carried our own sleeping bags, padding and clothing.  Carrying your own clothing definitely quells the temptation, as a woman, to pack more than I needed.  The only toiletry I afforded myself was deodorant and a toothbrush.  The weight of our tents and padding obviously had to be distributed to the adult packs.  We tried making the kids carry their own, but they kept falling backwards so we relented and took the bulk of the weight.

Some important things we learned from backpacking: 

  1. If you think you have enough toilet paper and there are girls in your group, think again.  Pack more.  It doesn’t weigh much, but it is much more enjoyable than a leaf.
  2. Take a water filter with water bottles that can screw onto them. We had four H20 1.0 water straws which fit our canteens and bladders perfectly.
  3. Don’t pack a 5lb bag of Costco trail mix.  It sounds like an appropriate food choice, but it is too heavy for one person to carry. Break this out into individual bags and let each person carry their own serving. We suggest eating Wise Food camping food. Each pouch has 2 serving in it. They also make a camping kit for 72 hours.
  4. If you have a bad back, suck it up and purchase ample inflatable padding.  My husband had purchased the simple military style foam padding roles and they weren’t enough to block out the rocks and roots on the trail. An inflatable mattress costs more, but it is lightweight and will keep you from aches and pains that could impede your progress and make you a miserable companion.
  5. Pack a GPS and a map encased in a Ziploc baggie.  Even if you are an expert ninja tracker, it is an excellent time to teach others in your group how to navigate. We let our children take turns getting us to the next camping spot (with our guidance) and this allowed them to learn how to read a map and recognize their surroundings.
  6. Your camp stove can make life easy or very difficult. We used the back pack rocket stove for quick cups of coffee and effortless boiling of water (usually under 2 minutes) for our freeze-dried food. As an added bonus, this handy dandy invention will allow you to boil water if your filters go out, too. We took one canister of fuel and a spare, but didn’t even use 1/2 of one canister.
  7. Lastly, but not least, first-aid is crucial.  Pack a light and basic kit. We took the tactical trauma kit.  You will need to play through every possible scenario in your mind and be prepared to make do with the supplies you are able to carry. We also packed a couple of extra trauma bandages and cut out some band-aids.

Into the Woods

The trek into the place where we wanted to camp took a lot of effort and teamwork.  It was a steep incline and the small rocks under our feet proved treacherous; especially with the extra weight on our backs.  We strongly advise anyone taking children on backpacking exploits to go over all the details and safety guidelines weeks before the trip.  I have always found that if you prepare them for the worst it will pay off with fewer accidents and aggravations.  We additionally drove home the well-known fact that whiney kids will attract vicious wild animals because any high-pitched exasperating sounds can be incorrectly mistaken for injured prey.  We recommend that you build multiple breaks into your destination time because smaller children need to stop more often to rest.  Our site was near a beautiful river with rocks that the kids could climb on.  Our tents were easy to assemble and set up and it was glorious to finally peel the packs off and devour a hot meal.

That night, we listened to nothing but the sound of the forest and the roaring river as we drifted off to sleep.  And let me be clear, you will not sleep as well as in your own bed on a Tempur-pedic mattress, but you will be comforted by the fact that you don’t have to sleep with the pack on.  After awaking early in the morning and having coffee by the campfire (is there anything better?) we set off for the next site.  Along the way, we prattled about everything under the sun, sang some ridiculous songs, admired nature, and discussed the effort it took to survive without the luxuries of home.  There were moments where we crossed over dangerous narrow paths, stepped dangerously close to venomous snakes, and we had to help another up after they took a nasty spill.  Our kids also learned invaluable lessons about survival, such as, how to make use of what nature provides, work together, and follow directions.

If you ask any of our children what one of their favorite family vacations was, they will always fondly recall our first backpacking trip and we can be somewhat assured that if push came to shove, our family could thrive when thrown into any unknown circumstance where we depended on one another for survival.

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Those that have decided it is now time to begin prepping may be overwhelmed with information. You may have watched the reality shows, and have researched extensively on the Internet and still find it hard to know where to start. In this article we will cover some of the fundamental knowledge you will need to survive any situation.

First, you must realize that most preparations are not disaster specific, which means that regardless of the survival situation you find yourself in you will need certain tangible items. Once you have gathered these essentials, then you can begin to work on the intangible.

You may have a strong belief that there may be a major volcanic eruption, or you fear a nuclear, chemical or biological attack, civil uprisings or possibly a collapse of the financial markets. There may not be any evidence of such an event occurring but that does not make it any less real in your mind. However, the reality is that there are certain disasters that you know will happen such as seasonal storms that cause power disruptions, flooding, and wind damage. These real events must be the ones you prepare for initially.

The Basics

Everyone must realize that your standard of living during a crisis will not be what it was during normal times. A crisis will be an emotional time and it is important that you introduce normalcy as quickly as possible. Children and others will still need meals at their regular time clothes need to be laundered, and baths given. You must prepare so that you can perform as many of the same functions during the crisis as you did before the calamity.

You will need shelter, food, water, fire, and energy

It is assumed for all practical purposes that you have a shelter and it will available during a disaster. However, it may be damaged because of the crisis so you should have tools and materials available to make emergency repairs to your home. Sheets of plywood and waterproof tarps can be used to cover openings and holes in the roof to prevent further damage. Sheets of plastic and duct tape can be used to cover glass windows from the inside to prevent injury from flying glass and to cover any openings to the outside. Use plywood to cover windows and to cover holes in the walls or roof as well.

Consider emergency shelters such as family sized or one-person tents that can be set up on your property if your home is damaged to the point you cannot live in it. Have cots and sleeping bags available for everyone.

For natural disaster preparedness, you should have at least a 14-day supply of food and water. Calculate Food Storage For Your Family. Use the recommended one gallon per day per individual to calculate amounts. If you plan to use dehydrated foods, you will need to increase the amount of water needed. If you are preparing for longer than a 14-day period increase the water amount to three gallons per day for laundry needs and cooking. The one-gallon recommendation does take oral care and personal hygiene into consideration.

Planning for any crisis should also include plans for evacuation. Ensure each member has a backpack(bug-out-bag) with 72-hours worth of food, water and other essentials. Any disaster can force you to abandon your home or city. Have supplies in the home for sheltering in place and have the means to carry supplies with you if you leave. You may not have time to gather supplies once you realize you must evacuate so ensure the bags are always packed and ready to go.

Medical supplies are important along with specific medicines for children and any prescription medications. Talk to your health care professional about emergency supplies of maintenance medications such as for the heart, diabetes, high blood pressure and so on. You will need these medications everyday and you may not have access to pharmacies during the crisis.

If you require insulin and have more than a 30-day supply on hand, you will need a way to keep the medication chilled. You can store insulin out of refrigeration up to 28 days between 59 and 86ᵒF according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA, 2012).

Additions item everyone should have on hand for a crisis:

  • Illumination such as propane or oil fueled lanterns
  • Matches and other fire starting means, never rely on matches alone to start a fire you should have lighters, magnesium sticks and Ferro rods available (carry fire starting materials in you evacuation bags as well)
  • Communication devices other than cell phones and landlines, devices can include Citizens Band radios (CB) two-way radios (Walkie-Talkies) and ham radios (carry two-way radios in your bug-out-bags, one for each backpack)
  • Portable solar radios
  • Signal flags or brightly colored cloth to signal rescue personnel
  • Compass and maps of the area state and country in the event you have to evacuate (in bug-out-bag)
  • Emergency thermal blankets for each person and include one in each evacuation bag
  • Rain Gear such as rain suits or ponchos and include in your backpacks
  • Have all-important documents/paperwork packaged so they are protected against water and other damage. Carry the documents with you if you have to evacuate.

The list of course is not comprehensive and it must be adapted to suit your personal preferences and specific needs. This article assumes you would have the typical household items such as eating utensils, pots, pans and so on.

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The Pocket Shot the Circular Slingshot

The Pocket Shot is new take on the slingshot, a natural evolution, if you will, from the traditional slingshot to a circular one that you can carry in your pocket, tackle box, or backpack, closed it measures 2.3 inches by 1.3 inches, so carry it anywhere.

It is described as a projectile launcher with a cone-shaped latex pouch that is securely attached to a fiber-reinforced composite ring, so all you do is drop your ammo into the pouch, stretch it back, and let fly.

Manufactures’ Description:

  • Up to 350 ft/second acceleration
  • Shoots slugs, Airsoft, and paintballs
  • Base ring material is fiber reinforced composite
  • Pouch material is latex
  • Includes 1 standard and 1 pro pouch
  • Also Included 100 x 1/4” slugs
  • Recommended projectile size is 1/4”-5/16” (0.64cm-0.79cm)
  • Made in the USA
  • Not a toy

It uses high-quality latex cups instead of the traditional rubber bands found on most slingshots. You can use small marbles, steel balls, small paintballs, and Airsoft ammo with the Pocket Shot Recommended sizes are 1/4 to 5/16″ in size. BB’s are not recommended, nor are stones or other irregular shaped ammo or any sharp object, because this type of ammo could tear the latex or wear it out prematurely.

I didn’t test feet per second, which would be very difficult if not impossible to do with any accuracy, without precise equipment, but the manufacturer states up to 350 feet per second, which is several times higher than most slingshots, but you would not have the same range, or I couldn’t achieve the same range that is. It would be hard to because you can only draw the latex cups back about eight inches. This is to be expected, though, the range is not as important as the wallop it packs at a short range

The manufacturer states it can stretch up to 10 inches but I imagine excessive stretching at this length will wear out the latex must faster.

It is not likely that you would attempt to bring down rabbits or turkeys at great distances anyway so you need a hard punch at short ranges for small game. Keep in mind the type of ammo you use will have an impact on this. The Pocket Shot would be ideal for survival hunting. You would have rabbits, squirrels, and birds roasting over your campfire in no time with a little practice.

The pouches will need to be replaced, and you can buy them in packs of three or eight and the pack of eight right now is 20 dollars so it’s not too costly to stock up on them at that price so you can always have spares. The standard pouch gives you between 300 and 500 shots, with fewer feet per second, however. I suspect the difference between 300 and 500 shots is in how far and how often you draw back to the maximum and types of ammo you use.

The pro pouches offer 300-350 feet per second but the number of shots per pouch is between 200 and 400, so a trade off. Harder punch, but wears out faster. You can buy the pro pouches in packs of three or eight as well, and the pack of eight is 25 dollars right now, not a bad price.

An optional Whisker Biscuit cap in orange or black can be purchased so you can fire arrows with your Pocket Shot. You would have to screw on the cap, which takes just seconds, but then, you are ready to fire. Arrows are not included, though, and you would use light 3/4 inch arrows. Arrows can shoot up to 150 feet per second.

This is not a toy even though it is typically used for recreational use, target practice in other words, but it will bring down small game, and then, when you add arrows to the mix you have a serious weapon in your hands so treat it as such. Always wear safety glasses when using and you know not to shoot steel balls or marbles at hard surfaces to prevent ricochets.

The Pocket Shot is not a novelty toy or curiosity piece.

I found my accuracy is much better with the Pocket Shot than with a traditional slingshot simply because of the way it is held. I can see myself hitting small game more consistently in the field with this one.

It is easy to carry and you can even store the ammo inside the Pocket Shot. I like the idea I can buy spare cups and keep them in my pocket too, and the changeover is quick, literally in seconds, you are ready to fire.

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Top 5 Mistakes When Selecting a Firearm for Hunting

Just like any other activity or practice, hunting requires a solid background based on thorough research in the field. No matter if you are interested in purchasing your first firearm or you want to know how you can take up hunting, you need to do your homework and build your knowledge base.

Before you even begin to consider purchasing a firearm for this purpose, it is fundamental to gather as much information as possible about hunting beforehand. It is highly recommended that you attend an education or safety course for hunting so you can learn the basics about how to stay safe and how to get started with this activity. In addition to this, future hunters are encouraged to learn from an experienced hunter; this is usually regarded as being an apprentice. After you learn the basics, you can proceed with purchasing your firearm for hunting.

If this is the very first firearm you will purchase, however, you need to be aware of several aspects related to the buying process. Selecting a reliable, best value firearm requires background information so you can make the right investment. Amateur hunters tend to make selecting and buying mistakes due to lack of knowledge and this can not only end up in poor shopping decisions, but also in potential safety issues. In this regard, this article aims to present the five most common mistakes when selecting a firearm for hunting.

1. Caliber

By far, one of the most frequent mistakes that beginners make when getting their first firearm is choosing the wrong caliber for hunting. Even though there is not an ideal caliber for hunting in general or for a specific animal, there is a range that you should take into consideration. This means that you need to know the difference between a .17 HMR and a 577 Nitro Exp, as well as when and how to use them. An infographic created by Hunter Ed supports the fact that you should choose the right caliber depending on the animals you will hunt:

  • Varmint hunting: .22 Mag, .22 Long or .17 HMR are all suitable for hunting small animals.
  • Deer Hunting: you can look into .22-250, .223 or .243 Win for hunting deer.
  • Big Game: for hunting bears or elk, choose .338, .300 Win Mag or 7mm Rem Mag.

Check out this unique survival gun:
2. Ammunition

Another significant aspect you need to remember when selecting a firearm for hunting is your choice of ammunition. First of all, not all ammunition works for all types of firearms, so you will need to ask what ammunition will be suitable for the gun you are going to buy. Choosing the proper type of ammunition has critical safety aspects involved; if you select the wrong kind you will not only be wasting money on ammunition you can’t use, but you will also be putting yourself and the ones around you in danger. Always double check with the company you plan on buying your firearm from to see if the ammunition you get on the side fits and works for your choice.

Some 22 LR ammo:

3. Scope

Most beginner hunters get excited when buying their first rifle and tend to forget about an essential component: the scope. You could spend a considerable amount on your rifle, not get the right scope and ruin your hunting experience from the beginning. Optics are just as important as the firearm you choose and also a basic part of the firearm selection process that many tend to overlook. The best way to avoid this mistake is to organize your budget with both the firearm and the scope in mind in advance.


4. Investment

Speaking of budget, this leads us to yet another common mistake when buying hunting firearms. Those who lack hunting experience might end up purchasing a firearm that is way over their budget. This results in not having enough money left for accessories (such as the scope we were speaking about earlier) or for carrying out the practice afterwards. You should always weigh your options and search through various sources before ordering or buying your hunting firearm from a store. If you decide to purchase your hunting firearm online, it is recommended that you search for a particular model through at least three sources to see where you can get the best deal.

5. Complexity

Last but not least, complexity tends to be a trending mistake among amateur hunters. This mistake can equally go two ways; a hunter can either purchase a firearm that is too complex for his or her level of training and knowledge at that moment, or they can get a gun that is too basic and won’t meet their needs. Be aware of your level as a hunter and choose the complexity of your firearm accordingly.

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In Survival Situation-Be healthy and get plenty of sleep


Not seeing the results you want from all your hard work in the gym and dedication to your diet? The logical response is to ramp up the workout intensity or volume and cut out those last few calories, but the most effective measure may be to do nothing at all. Sleep is one of the most important factors in maintaining optimal metabolism, supporting normal endocrine function, and regulating appetite. If you are serious about your body, optimum health doesn’t always begin in the gym or the kitchen,  but often between the sheets.


Sleep requirements change over the course of an individual’s life; therefore, guidelines are primarily based on one’s age. The National Sleep Foundation recommends up to 17 hours per day for newborns, and down to 6-8 for older adults. Advocates increased sleep time for those with particularly active lifestyle. There are also a series of sleep hygiene recommendations that can help you get the most out of your bedtime. The latest guidelines suggest not napping during the day to maintain normal patterns, avoiding stimulants later in the day, and establishing a consistent bedtime routine. One of the most important factors to keep in mind is that experts almost universally agree that attempting to “catch up” on sleep is a losing proposition. Even if you may initially feel more rested, following sleep deprivation with longer bouts of sleeping ultimately affects your circadian rhythms and may make it more difficult to set a consistent regimen. Like healthy eating and exercise, the effectiveness of sleep is highly dependent on consistency.

Sleep Deprivation

Lack of sleep can have significant metabolic and endocrine effects that may reduce or even completely undo the success of your weight management efforts. Cortisol, the “stress hormone” secreted during times when the “fight or flight” response mechanism is initiated, is proving to be one of the most important factors in both fat loss and lean muscle tissue gain. In fact, one recent study found that participants on a professionally designed diet and exercise program found it impossible to lose weight when not reaching sleep recommendations. Cortisol levels influence body composition by inhibiting the processing of amino acids, obstructing growth hormone release, altering the proper regulation of blood sugar levels, and even making it more difficult to stick  to diets.  A 2010 study found that those functioning on less than optimal levels of sleep had higher levels of cortisol throughout the day, and subsequently had less success in their weight management efforts. If you are experiencing an otherwise explainable uptick on the scale, it may be time to reevaluate your sleeping patterns.

Recent research suggests that sleep deprivation may also sabotage your dieting efforts. Sleeping less than six hours has been shown to increase hunger, increase hunger, increase cravings for sweets, and ultimately may lead to weight gain. Sleep deprived individuals often  exhibit several endocrine regulation. Lack of sleep can increase the secretion of ghrelin, “the hunger hormone”, which regulation satiety and reward  perception accompanying specific foods. Sleep deprivation appears to increase caloric consumption through two separate mechanisms, by increasing the sensitivity of the brain’s reward system for ingesting energy-dense foods and  encouraging one to eat more in response to the extra energy expended while staying up as opposed to sleeping. If you are having difficulty sticking to your healthy diet goals, the culprit may be your sleeping patterns.

The amount and quality of sleep also may impact your workout performance. One recent study found that short-term sleep deprivation resulted in significantly decreased strength, power, and cardiovascular performance. After only a single night  of less than adequate sleep, study participants exhibited characteristics similar to those suffering from over training, and the effects seemed to increase over time, which can increase exercise accident risk.  Furthermore, lack of sleep has been shown to be detrimental to exercise recovery, meaning you may need to exercise less and expend more effort on proactive recovery techniques to continue progressing and remain injury free. If you don’t feel like working out today or notice your intensity and performance waning, the first step should not be toward a stimulant, but your bed.

Progressing toward your fitness foals requires a lot of dedication, hard work, and even more rest. One of the most researched benefits of essential oils are their calming and relaxing properties. Including essential oils in your bedtime routine may be the extra push you need. A few drops of Lavender on your bed sheets and diffusing your favorite calming and grounding blend as you prepare for rest will create the calming sleep environment your body requires for recovery.

Recommended Essential Oils and Blends”

  • Lavender
  • Vetiver
  • doterra Peace
  • doterra serenity calming blend


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Traditional Archery: Hobby? Or Life Saving Skill?

Traditional/Primitive archery is a fun hobby and it might just save your life in a survival situation. If you really get into it you can make all of your gear, and almost nothing is more satisfying than taking game with something you built yourself from scratch.


Muscle Memory
You may think that by shooting modern archery equipment, you are building muscle memory that will help you in a survival situation with primitive equipment.

This is not the case. Everything your muscles are being trained for will be different with primitive or traditional equipment. The draw is completely different on a compound bow than either a recurve or longbow. Your anchor point will be different when not using a release along with a slightly longer draw.

In short it is similar in appearance only.


Shooting by instinct is much different that using the peepsight on your compound. This takes practice or what many call “stumpjumping”. Aside form target shooting woods loafing with your bow and shooting stumps and trees at varying ranges and conditions will improve your shooting tremendously.
Check out our Crossbow that goes 450fps:
I have never shot a graphite arrow. I still have a few old aluminum arrows that were new in the 60’s and have antique broadheads on them.

Do you own the pocket shot? Include this into your fun survival kit:
Most of what you will be shooting in traditional circles is wood shafted arrows. With a little research you can find how to make your own shafts from scratch.


Flemish Twist Bowstring
If you learn to make your own bowstrings in the Flemish twist style, you can add a couple to your Bugout Bag (BOB) and have a ready made bowstring for any bow you build in the wild. Since they are twisted to the final length they are quite forgiving on bow length. (within reason)

If you must you can dismantle one and have several lengths of prime cord for other uses like snares or fishing line.


Doing it now
If you start hunting traditional now, if the time comes where you need archery skills in a survival situation, you will have them in place.
Traditional/Primitive archery is an excellent skill to have just in case.

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Hunting and Getting Food When SHTF

The first thing many think they will do to feed themselves when SHTF is grab ole Betsy and head to the woods to kill a bar’.

While this isn’t a bad idea in and of itself, but if you live near any kind of population center, you will be in direct competition with every Tom, Dick and Harry that owns a gun.

So how do we get food during SHTF?

Yes, hunting will be viable in some cases, either where there are fewer people for competition, or when done in conjunction with other food gathering activities and taking targets of opportunity when they present themselves. 
Out in the wilderness, in many cases you will spend more calories hunting than you eat from actually getting something. Best to hunt while gathering food in other manners.
Trapping will usually put more meat on your table than any other activity, with the possible exception of fishing. You set the trap and it works for you 24/7 until it connects. 
You only have to glance at it once it is set, to see if you need to pick up your food and reset it , or move along to the next one. 

A vegetarian would have a hard time keeping themselves fed in the wild. While wild foods are not too difficult to come by, it is hard to get enough calories to maintain yourself if you are going to do anything besides gather food. A good field guide and time spent online familiarizing yourself with the local flora will help immensely. No one wants a diet of exclusively dandelion greens; because that is all you know how to identify.

If you have edible nuts in your area gather as many as you can find, since they are high in calories and fat, things you need to eat a lot of to keep going in the wild.

If you have good fishing waters, you can feed yourself for a long time on the fish they will provide. A well stocked fishing kit (hooks and line) should be in everyone’s kit. If you are planning on only hunting for your food, you have a faulty plan. 
But if you plan for diversifying our gathering capabilities, you have a much better chance of feeding yourself and your family no matter what happens.
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5 Weird Ways To Get Water

As preppers, we prepare for disaster, which often entails learning about new, weird ways to get water in order to survive a crisis.

After all, when SHTF, you may not wind up in an area that’s close to a body of water. You also may not end up in a situation where you can depend on your long-term water storage for survival.

As such, it’s important to understand how to get water from as many places as possible so that, even if your water storage runs out, you can avoid dehydration and even death.

We’ve got a lot to talk about, so here’s some tips on:

5 Weird Ways To Get Water

1 – Fog Harvesting Method

You can use this method with either foggy or rainy conditions. Simply tie a tarp or plastic sheet to a tree, and lead the bottom edge into a bucket (make sure the entire bottom of the sheet gets into the bucket).

The fog/rain will catch onto the tarp, and then slide down into the bucket, giving you water. You’ll probably want to purify the water, especially if the tarp isn’t extremely clean, but it’s a good resource in a pinch.

Here’s a quick video of a survivalist using this tactic; he’s a bit hard to hear with the wind, but you’ll get the idea.

2 – The Tree Method:

Clean drinking water can be yours if you’ve got plastic bags, paracord or rope, lots of sunshine, and a bunch of leafy plants/trees around. Simply push the end of the leafy branch inside of the bag (don’t let it rip!) and tie it around the branch.




Wait a few hours (maybe seven or so, depending on the amount of daylight left), and you’ll come back to find water collecting in your bag. Use this method with multiple bags at a time for the greatest output.

Here’s a video of how to use this method, as well as why it’s so effective:

3 – The Tank Method:

This is a great method to use if you’re bugging in in an emergency.

Few preppers realize that, because gallons and gallons of water flow through our pipes every day, we can actually use this to our advantage for survival.

Water collects in the pipes within your walls, even if the water is shut off. You’ve also got water in your toilet tank and water heater. You can use this water to filter and drink in a crisis.

Note: To get out the water from the pipes in your walls, you can open the tap from the highest part of your home, and let gravity pull the water out the bottom taps.

4 – The Rooftop Method:

Many manufacturing facilities store water on their roofs in case of fire. When SHTF and you’re in  a life or death situation, it might be a good idea to get to the roof of such a building and collect this water for survival.

You could carry it in our camel back 3L bags

5 – The Solar Still Method

If  you’re in the bush and you’ve got nothing but dry, crusty soil all around you, you can still get fresh water. All you need is a shovel, some plants, a large piece of plastic sheeting, the sun’s heat, and some salt water. These little resources can help you create what’s known as a “solar still.”

You can use our US military tri fold shovel for this!

Now watch this cool video to see how this “solar still method” is done:

As we all (should) know, humans can live for a maximum of three days without clean drinking water; that’s why it’s so important to have water on you as much as possible to avoid dehydration.



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Basic Survival Hunting Skills

There are many reasons you should have some basic survival hunting skills learned and practiced. During the first few days of an event happening which leads to your move to the wilderness, panic can lead to very bad decisions. The lack of food and water can create even greater stressors, including bad decisions making, hallucination’s, and hysteria. Knowing just a few skills can make the difference between survival, and death.

Basic Survival Hunting Skills 
Part of preparing your family and your self for future survival, is learning a balance of hunting skills to cover many areas of potential resources. Being able to gather meat is vital, but along with that comes many other resources that can be useful.

Not only does an animals meat provide you with food to survive on, you can also utilize it’s other resources such as skin, fur, bones, intestines, blood, and the fats and oils from the body. Although consumption is not possible with all portions of an animal, it’s intestines can be used for bait, bones for tools, and pelts for warmth.

Although not directly a form of hunting, knowing how to catch fish can be very important to the initial survival process. This is usually the first and sometimes last resource available to those hunting and gathering their own food.

Check out this awesome carbon fiber fishing rod:
Some important skills to learn about fishing include creating makeshift fishing lines and poles, hooks, stringers, nets, and the process of cleaning fish. While out in the wilderness, fishing is a potential resource for unlimited food. Knowing how to cure a fish can help preserve your caught food for longer periods of time.

Trapping is probably the second most important skill for your family and your self to learn and practice. In most cases there will be plenty of small animals that can fall subject to your traps and provide another line of food.
One major advantage of learning how to trap, is the potential to capture food while not having to fully focus on the process. Once an animal trail has been located, you can set multiple traps throughout to increase your chances of catching an animal. Once your traps are set, you are free to leave them alone for several hours, and continue other work.

The most commonly known type of basic survival hunting skills is projectile. This consists of many different kinds of weapons ranging from spear, to firearm. Although it’s important to know how to fire a gun accurately enough to kill an animal, other skills such as shooting a bow or crossbow is even more important. The downside to using a firearm is the limited supply of ammo. Once you fire a bullet, you will never get a chance to fire it again, unlike arrows, slingshots, and spears.
This airbow can go 450fps:

One of the most useful skills a person can learn for outdoor survival, is building your own bow and arrows. Even simple bow designs can be effective in killing small to medium game. The projectile is reusable, and they make very minimal noise.

There are many more skills to learn while preparing for your survival, hopefully these will be a good starting point for you. Learn as much as you can from the list above, practice them in real life application, and your family will be able to safely survive in the wilderness.