We are looking for established retailers and web-stores that are interested in reselling our unique and patented products. If you sell products for outdoors, camping, gun shops, and prepper supplies, our products may fit a unique niche that you are missing. Contact our office for wholesale pricing and distribution opportunities.
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About this service
Meet Our Family. Kayla, Jenny, and Alek.
Our Mother and Father raised us to be self reliant and resourceful. We each possess skills and knowledge to survive an emergency situation. You Must have a PLAN, You and your family need to PREPARE for most contingencies, and you lastly need a way to PROTECT your loved ones.
We have been raised outdoors, hunting, camping, and surviving the outdoors in Burlington, Wisconsin. We write and share information about Being Prepared and Survival Skills through our free library database and blog. We manufacture and distribute survival products too.
Terms and Conditions: These terms and conditions govern your use of this website; by using this website, you accept these terms and conditions in full. If you disagree with these terms and conditions or any part of these terms and conditions, you must not use this website.
You must be at least  years of age to use this website. By using this website and by agreeing to these terms and conditions you warrant and represent that you are at least 18 years of age.
License to use website
Unless otherwise stated, SHTFandGO and/or its licensors own the intellectual property rights, trademarks, product names and images in the website and material on the website. Subject to the license below, all these intellectual property rights are reserved. You may view, download for caching purposes only, and print pages from the website for your own personal use, subject to the restrictions set out below and elsewhere in these terms and conditions.
- You must not:
- republish material from this website;
- sell, rent or sub-license material from the website;
- show any material from the website in public;
- reproduce, duplicate, copy or otherwise exploit material on this website for a commercial purpose;
- edit or otherwise modify any material on the website; or
- redistribute material from this website [except for content specifically and expressly made available for redistribution.
Where content is specifically made available for redistribution, it may only be redistributed within your organisation.
Acceptable use: You must not use this website in any way that causes, or may cause, damage to the website or impairment of the availability or accessibility of the website; or in any way which is unlawful, illegal, fraudulent or harmful, or in connection with any unlawful, illegal, fraudulent or harmful purpose or activity. You must not use this website to copy, store, host, transmit, send, use, publish or distribute any material which consists of (or is linked to) any spyware, computer virus, Trojan horse, worm, keystroke logger, rootkit or other malicious computer software.
You must not conduct any systematic or automated data collection activities (including without limitation scraping, data mining, data extraction and data harvesting) on or in relation to this website without SHTFandGO’S express written consent.
You must not use this website to transmit or send unsolicited commercial communications.
You must not use this website for any purposes related to marketing without SHTFandGO’S express written consent.
Restricted access: Access to certain areas of this website is restricted. SHTFandGO reserves the right to restrict access to [other] areas of this website, or indeed this entire website, at SHTFandGO’S discretion.
If SHTFandGO provides you with a user ID and password to enable you to access restricted areas of this website or other content or services, you must ensure that the user ID and password are kept confidential.
SHTFandGO may disable your user ID and password in SHTFandGO[NAME’S sole discretion without notice or explanation.
User content: In these terms and conditions, “your user content” means material (including without limitation text, images, audio material, video material and audio-visual material) that you submit to this website, for whatever purpose.
You grant to SHTFandGO a worldwide, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use, reproduce, adapt, publish, translate and distribute your user content in any existing or future media. You also grant toSHTFandGO the right to sub-license these rights, and the right to bring an action for infringement of these rights.
Your user content must not be illegal or unlawful, must not infringe any third party’s legal rights, and must not be capable of giving rise to legal action whether against you or SHTFandGO or a third party (in each case under any applicable law).
You must not submit any user content to the website that is or has ever been the subject of any threatened or actual legal proceedings or other similar complaint.
SHTFandGO reserves the right to edit or remove any material submitted to this website, or stored on SHTFandGO’S servers, or hosted or published upon this website.
Notwithstanding SHTFandGO’S rights under these terms and conditions in relation to user content, SHTFandGO does not undertake to monitor the submission of such content to, or the publication of such content on, this website.
No warranties: This website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. SHTFandGO makes no representations or warranties in relation to this website or the information and materials provided on this website.
Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, SHTFandGO does not warrant that: this website will be constantly available, or available at all; or the information on this website is complete, true, accurate or non-misleading.
Nothing on this website constitutes, or is meant to constitute, advice of any kind. If you require advice in relation to any legal, financial or medical matter you should consult an appropriate professional.
Limitations of liability: SHTFandGO will not be liable to you (whether under the law of contact, the law of torts or otherwise) in relation to the contents of, or use of, or otherwise in connection with, this website: to the extent that the website is provided free-of-charge, for any direct loss; for any indirect, special or consequential loss; or for any business losses, loss of revenue, income, profits or anticipated savings, loss of contracts or business relationships, loss of reputation or goodwill, or loss or corruption of information or data.
These limitations of liability apply even if SHTFandGO has been expressly advised of the potential loss.
Exceptions: Nothing in this website disclaimer will exclude or limit any warranty implied by law that it would be unlawful to exclude or limit; and nothing in this website disclaimer will exclude or limit SHTFandGO’S liability in respect of any: death or personal injury caused by SHTFandGO’S negligence; fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation on the part of SHTFandGO; or matter which it would be illegal or unlawful for SHTFandGO to exclude or limit, or to attempt or purport to exclude or limit, its liability.
Reasonableness: By using this website, you agree that the exclusions and limitations of liability set out in this website disclaimer are reasonable.
If you do not think they are reasonable, you must not use this website.
Other parties: You accept that, as a limited liability entity, SHTFandGO has an interest in limiting the personal liability of its officers and employees.
You agree that you will not bring any claim personally against SHTFandGO’S officers or employees in respect of any losses you suffer in connection with the website.
Without prejudice to the foregoing paragraph, you agree that the limitations of warranties and liability set out in this website disclaimer will protect SHTFandGO’S officers, employees, agents, subsidiaries, successors, assigns and sub-contractors as well as SHTFandGO.
Unenforceable provisions: If any provision of this website disclaimer is, or is found to be, unenforceable under applicable law, that will not affect the enforceability of the other provisions of this website disclaimer.
Indemnity: You hereby indemnify SHTFandGO and undertake to keep SHTFandGO indemnified against any losses, damages, costs, liabilities and expenses (including without limitation legal expenses and any amounts paid by SHTFandGO to a third party in settlement of a claim or dispute on the advice of SHTFandGO’S legal advisers) incurred or suffered by SHTFandGO arising out of any breach by you of any provision of these terms and conditions, or arising out of any claim that you have breached any provision of these terms and conditions.
Breaches of these terms and conditions: Without prejudice to SHTFandGO’S other rights under these terms and conditions, if you breach these terms and conditions in any way, SHTFandGO may take such action as SHTFandGO deems appropriate to deal with the breach, including suspending your access to the website, prohibiting you from accessing the website, blocking computers using your IP address from accessing the website, contacting your internet service provider to request that they block your access to the website and/or bringing court proceedings against you.
Variation: SHTFandGO may revise these terms and conditions from time-to-time. Revised terms and conditions will apply to the use of this website from the date of the publication of the revised terms and conditions on this website. Please check this page regularly to ensure you are familiar with the current version.
Assignment: SHTFandGO may transfer, sub-contract or otherwise deal with SHTFandGO’S rights and/or obligations under these terms and conditions without notifying you or obtaining your consent.
You may not transfer, sub-contract or otherwise deal with your rights and/or obligations under these terms and conditions.
Severability: If a provision of these terms and conditions is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other provisions will continue in effect. If any unlawful and/or unenforceable provision would be lawful or enforceable if part of it were deleted, that part will be deemed to be deleted, and the rest of the provision will continue in effect.
Law and jurisdiction: These terms and conditions will be governed by and construed in accordance with Local, State, and Federal law, and any disputes relating to these terms and conditions will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Wisconsin.
The full name of SHTFandGO is SHTFandGO.COM.
SHTFandGO.COM and SHTFandGO LLC. is registered in Wisconsin as a Trademark.
SHTFandGO’s address is 940 S Pine Street Burlington Wi 53105.
You can contact SHTFandGO by email to shtfandgo(at)g m a i l . c o m.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
SHTFandGO.com and SHTFandGO LLC. Warranty Policy
*Please note that web prices & products may be different from physical store location pricing and products.
**Daily Deals are available only online.
SHTFandGO will not ship ANY Firearm related items to the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.).
SHTFandGO will not ship ANY Firearm related items to the state of Massachusetts.
All payments are processed immediately upon placement of order.
It is the responsibility of the customer to know and be in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws related to selling, transferring, possessing, transporting or using a firearm in the locality in which the customer resides.
It is the responsibility of the customer to know and be in compliance with all applicable federal, state, local laws and limitations related to the purchase of magazines and ammunition in the locality in which the customer resides.
Order Cancellation Policy
Orders placed with SHTFandGO may be cancelled by the customer prior to the item having shipped.
All cancellation requests must be made through the Customer Service Department at 612-888-7483, Monday through Friday, 9am – 6pm CST.
You MUST provide the order # when contacting Customer Service via phone or email.
If the item/package has shipped, the order may not be cancelled and the customer must follow all rules applicable to returns.
Please note that the return of the item/package will be made at the customer’s expense.
Cancelled orders may not be reversed. All cancellations are final.
A. Firearms, Ammunition, and Clothing:
All sales of firearms, ammunition, food and clothing are FINAL, and returns are NOT ACCEPTED.
Once a firearm is transferred to a customer’s name, SHTFandGO will not accept a return or exchange under any circumstance.
If a defect is discovered by the customer after shipment and transfer of ownership, the customer must contact the firearm manufacturer directly for replacement or repair.
B. All Other Purchases:
Return shipping is solely the responsibility of the customer.
If the purchased item(s) is defective or damaged upon receipt, or if the customer is not satisfied with a purchased item(s) and wishes to return it for a refund or replacement, the customer may return the item(s) to SHTFandGO WITHIN 30 DAYS of the date of receipt of delivery of the purchased item.
If a defect in a SCOPE is discovered by the customer, the customer must contact the manufacturer directly for replacement or repair.
All returns MUST INCLUDE a completed Return Merchandise Form with the returned item in order for SHTFandGO to process the request, issue a refund, or replace the item.
The Customer MUST call Customer Service to obtain an RMA number BEFORE returning any item.
REMINDER: All sales of firearms, loaded ammunition and clothing are FINAL, and returns are NOT ACCEPTED. No exceptions.
(Please click here to download and print a Return Merchandise Form).
All returned items must be in the same condition as when they were shipped by SHTFandGO and must be returned in original packaging.
The customer will be assessed a re-stocking fee up to 25% of the product sales price if the items
are not returned in resalable condition, as determined in the discretion of SHTFandGO.
If the customer fails to include a Return Merchandise Form with the returned item(s), or if the Return Merchandise Form is incomplete, SHTFandGO will NOT process a refund or replacement for the item(s) and the package will be returned to the customer.
*Note: Please note that customers who send in upper receivers for repair must also print and include a completed copy of the Return Merchandise Form.
No amendments to orders can take place once an order is placed.
If the order has not shipped, the customer can call our Customer Service Department, at 612-888-7483, Monday through Friday, 9am – 6pm CST to cancel the order. The customer will then need to complete a new order.
Due to the high seasonal/holiday order volume, shipping times will vary during the holidays.
Non-holiday shipping is typically 1-5 days for your order to ship.
For shipping costs please add the item(s) to your cart, enter your information including state and zip code for our system to calculate shipping.
We do our best to accurately describe the items we sell, but errors do occur.
SHTFandGO reserves the right to edit, change, or clarify descriptions at any time to correct errors in product listings. In the event of inaccuracies in the description of an item, we reserve the right to remove the conflicting information once notified. We make no warranty on the accuracy of a product listing when a conflict in the product information is present. Photos are provided for general identification purposes only and may show optional or additional pieces for illustration purposes. Please refer to the product description for details.
SHTFandGO is not responsible for website performance in any particular browser or the inability for a user to use the website due to, but not limited to, internet connection issues, outages, coding issues, or compatibility.
To track your order, log in, click on “My Account”, click on “View Order” on the right hand side of the screen, click “Shipments”, and then click on the tracking number.
Typically, tracking information will be updated at the end of the business day after your order has been picked up by the carrier. If the tracking number has not been added to your order, the carrier has not picked up your order.
Firearm order pickup is available only at our Burlington Wisconsin location.
General merchandise and non-serialized items ordered online can be picked up at our Burlington, Wisconsin location.
Web orders can pick picked up at our Burlington, Wisconsin location.
Customers will be contacted by the store once the In-Store Pickup is available.
Any customer who wishes to pick up stripped lower receivers or handguns must be a current resident of Wisconsin with a valid WI driver’s license or state approved ID, with their current address reflected.
Long guns may be picked up by non-residents, provided they do so in person and the transaction is legal in both the transferee and transferor’s state. The only exception would be permanent party military personnel, who would be required to provide a copy of their PCS orders, ID, and if they live off base, a state issued document (i.e. utility bill, vehicle registration) at time of pick up.
P.O. Box Shipments/Restrictions
Please note: Firearms cannot be shipped to a P.O. Box.
SHTFandGO abides by all Federal Regulations regarding hazardous material shipped through United States Postal Service.
A hazardous material is any article or substance designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation as being capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, or property during transportation. This includes, but is not limited to:
Minor Blast/Minor Projection Hazard- Ammunition
Oxidizing Substances- Batteries
Flammable Solids-Black Powder
Flammable and combustible liquid- Cleaners, oil, and aerosol cans
If you wish to order any hazardous material, you must provide a physical address for shipment through UPS.
WE SHIP ONLY TO VALID FFL DEALERS WITH A STORE FRONT LOCATION.
Please note: Firearms cannot be shipped to a P.O. Box.
The customer is responsible for knowing his/her state laws regarding firearm transfers.
Contact your local FFL dealer with any questions regarding the sale or transfer of firearms.
Contact your local FFL before ordering a firearm to verify their transfer fee and to ensure they will receive your transfer.
The customer assumes all responsibility and cost for returned firearms due to FFL refusal or failure to receive.
If you order a handgun, stockless shotgun, complete AR or AK receiver, or stripped lower receiver, YOU MUST be:
1. A legal resident of the state in which you are ordering.
2. 21 years of age or older to complete the transfer through your FFL.
Exceptions – Military personnel stationed in a state other than their legal residence may purchase firearms across state lines.
Contact your local FFL receiving the transfer as you may have to provide proof of deployment, residence, etc.
Please follow all directions prompted to you at checkout. This will ensure speedier delivery. Please note that the FFL transfer selection you make is your decision and make sure the FFL Dealer will accept your transfer . The customer may be asked to provide the FFL information that they wish to use. If a customer wishes to change the FFL they want to use after the order has shipped, they will be additionally charged for the cost of shipping. If a FFL is not available at the time of delivery, the package will not be held at the carrier hub and will be returned to SHTFandGO. Additional shipping charges will apply to orders that need to be reshipped.
SHTFandGO will not ship ANY items to the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.).
SHTFandGO will not ship ANY AR or AK Parts or Firearms (Including Receivers) to the City of Chicago, Illinois.
SHTFandGO will not ship ANY AR or AK Firearms (Including Receivers) to Aurora, Highland Park, or Cook County, Illinois.
SHTFandGO will not ship any handguns to CA that are not on the DOJ roster. This includes Single Shot Exemption conversions.
No AR parts will be shipped to Connecticut or Massachusetts. All such orders will be cancelled and the customer will be charged a 5% fee.
Stripped lower receivers will NOT be shipped to the following states:
Complete AR and AK receivers will NOT be shipped to the following states:
– New Jersey
– New York
Non-Compliant AR & AK models will NOT be shipped to the following states:
– California (No “assault style weapons” can be shipped.)
– New Jersey
– New York
SHTFandGO DOES NOT ship high-capacity magazines (those greater than 10 rounds) with firearms to the states listed below. We WILL NOT replace high capacity magazines with state compliant magazines. We DO NOT offer refunds in place of the magazines.
L.E.Os must provide both their credentials and a letterhead signed by their department’s superior officer stating that the firearm will be used in the execution of the L.E.O’s duties. SHTFandGO only recognizes City Police Officers, County Sheriff Deputies, and State Police (including Highway Patrol) as L.E.Os.
Not all of the states listed may have L.E.O exemptions. Please contact us BEFORE placing your order.
SHTFandGO does NOT ship directly to L.E.Os; the order must go to an FFL. SHTFandGO does NOT make exceptions for this policy.
Magazine Ordering Restrictions
ABIDES by all state regulations regarding the sale of high capacity magazines.
DOES NOT ship high capacity magazines (those greater than 10 rounds) with firearms to the states listed below.
WILL NOT replace high capacity magazines with state compliant magazines.
DOES NOT offer refunds in place of the magazines.
It is the customer’s responsibility for understanding state laws regarding magazine capacities.
Customers ordering magazines that are illegal to own in their state will have their orders cancelled and will be charged a 5% restocking fee.
States with applied magazine restrictions:
California – no magazines greater than 10 rounds
Colorado – no magazines greater than 15 rounds, effective July 1st, 2013
Connecticut – 10 Rounds and less with a valid permit.
Hawaii – no pistol magazines greater than 10 rounds
Illinois – North Chicago, no rifle magazines greater than 16 rounds
Aurora, Skokie, Chicago, Evanston no rifle magazines greater than 15 rounds
Highland Park, Cook County, Dolton, Homewood no rifle magazines greater than 10 rounds
Indiana – South Bend – no magazines greater than 15 rounds
Maryland – no magazines greater than 10 rounds October 1st, 2013
New Jersey – no magazines greater than 15 rounds
New York – no magazines greater than 10 rounds
Massachusetts – no pistol magazines over 10 rounds and no semi-automatic rifle or semi-automatic shotgun magazines over 5 rounds, no .22 caliber conversion kits will be shipped to Massachusetts
SHTFandGO will not ship ANY items to the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.).
*L.E.Os must provide both their credentials and a letterhead signed by their department’s superior officer stating that the magazine/weapon will either be used in the execution of the L.E.O’s duties, or off duty. SHTFandGO only recognizes City Police Officers, County Sheriff Deputies, and State Police (including Highway Patrol) as L.E.O’s.
*SHTFandGO will not ship high capacity magazines for CA customers to a High Capacity Magazine Dealer.
*High Capacity Magazine Dealers in CA may place orders with SHTFandGO directly.
Ammunition Ordering Restrictions
SHTFandGO ABIDES by all state regulations regarding the sale of ammunition.
– You are at least 21 years of age (for handgun ammunition) or 18 years of age (for rifle ammunition).
– By purchasing ammunition, you are not violating any local, state, or federal laws.
– You have not been convicted of any felony, a misdemeanor of domestic abuse, and you are not chemically dependent.
– You have no legal restraint that would prohibit you from possessing, ordering, owning, or transferring ammunition.
– You have never been committed to any mental institution, or been adjudicated as mentally defective.
– You will not sell ammunition to any minor.
– You cannot have ammunition shipped to a post office box.
– You do not live in a state, city, or county that prohibits you from owning, purchasing, or transferring ammunition.
– Customers who order ammunition in states prohibiting the order of ammunition will have their orders cancelled and a 5% restocking fee will be charged.
We WILL NOT ship ammunition to the following areas:
This is not a comprehensive list, but is meant as a guide.
It is in no way meant to include all laws and restrictions across the United States.
Please contact the authorities in your area for any possible restrictions.
If you do live in a restricted area, your order will be cancelled.
– California: No Sales to the cities of Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, or Avalon.
– Connecticut: No sales without a valid permit.
– Alaska: No Sales. Ammunition must be shipped to a freight forwarder.
– Hawaii: No Sales. Ammunition must be shipped to a freight forwarder.
– Illinois: No Sales to the city of Chicago or Cook County. All other Illinois residents must email us a copy of their FOID card in addition to their State ID.
Ammunition must ship to an address on one of these ID’s.
– Massachusetts: No Sales
– Maryland: No Sales to the City of Annapolis and Montgomery County
– New York: No Sales to New York City, or its five Burroughs. Starting January 1st, 2014 all ammunition must be sent to a FFL.
– Washington DC: No Sales.
– New Jersey: When ordering ammunition commonly used in a handgun/to be used in a handgun, email us a copy of your Firearms ID.
We must ship to the address on the FID.
SHTFandGO will not ship ANY items to the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.).
California 2017 Notice
Due to recent changes in California state law, SHTFandGO will no longer be able to ship so called “assault weapons” to the state of California. This would include all SHTFandGO AR-15 Complete lowers, AR-15 Complete Rifles, and all SHTFandGO AK-47 rifles. This would also include other makes and models of these same firearm platforms manufactured by other companies. Example: Colt AR-15 rifle.
To ensure that the firearms reach you, the customer, before the deadline of January 1, 2017, no firearms of this nature will be shipped after December 14, 2016. This will allow for shipping times and waiting periods in the state. Customers are responsible for all federal, state, and local laws.
Air Rifles, Sling Shots and Blow Darts restricted States and Area. Orders of the following items to these areas will be cancelled and 5% fee will be charged.
Blowgun bolts & darts
Effective July 13, 2012: There is no velocity limit on airguns below .18 caliber, and airguns are no longer considered firearms by the state. Airguns over .18 caliber must still have a velocity of less than 700 fps.
Blank gun ammo
Blowgun bolts & darts
Silencers, baffles, mufflers or suppressors…internal, removable or non-removable (does not include fake suppressors)
Pellet guns & BB guns: Residents can buy them from us through a designated local gun store after acquiring the appropriate firearm permit (airguns are considered firearms per NJ state law: Title 2C:39-1).
Your local gun store must fax a copy of their FFL to Air Venturi in order for us to ship the gun you ordered.
[Airsoft guns may be restricted by some local laws. It is up to you to determine if airsoft guns may be owned/possessed/used without special permits in their locale.]
New York City & it’s 5 boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens & Staten Island
(incl. ZIP Codes 100xx-104xx, 111xx, 112xx-114xx & 116xx)
Blank gun ammo
Blowgun bolts & darts
Locking folding knives with blades longer than 4 inches
Blank gun ammo
Blowgun bolts & darts
Blank gun ammo
Blank gun ammo
Salt Lake County
Blank gun ammo
Other Ordering Restrictions
– Alaska: No tannerite sales.
– Hawaii: No tannerite sales.
– Maryland: No tannerite sales.
SHTFandGO will not ship ANY items to the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.).
DISCLAIMER: “GLOCK” is a federally registered trademark of GLOCK, Inc. and is
one of many trademarks owned by GLOCK, Inc. or GLOCK Ges.mbH. Neither Palmetto
State Armory, nor this site are affiliated in any manner with, or otherwise endorsed by,
GLOCK, Inc. or GLOCK Ges.mbH. The use of “GLOCK” on this page is merely to
advertise the sale of GLOCK pistols, parts, or components. For genuine GLOCK, Inc.
and GLOCK Ges.mbH products and parts visit www.glock.com.
Shipments and returns
Your pack shipment
Packages are generally dispatched within 2 days after receipt of payment and are shipped via USPS or UPS with tracking and drop-off without signature. If you prefer delivery by UPS Extra with required signature, an additional cost will be applied, so please contact us before choosing this method. Whichever shipment choice you make, we will provide you with a link to track your package online.
Shipping fees include handling and packing fees as well as postage costs. Handling fees are fixed, whereas transport fees vary according to total weight of the shipment. We advise you to group your items in one order. We cannot group two distinct orders placed separately, and shipping fees will apply to each of them. Your package will be dispatched at your own risk, but special care is taken to protect fragile objects.
Boxes are amply sized and your items are well-protected.
The key to surviving in the woods is being able to identify and use the resources that at your disposal. There are 126 species of pine trees worldwide and 39 of them are found in the United States, making them a fairly common resource. Pines are easy to identify, being evergreen, coniferous and resinous trees. Lets be honest, unless you just arrived from another planet, everyone knows what a pine tree looks like. Spending most of my life in the north woods, I have come to appreciate and rely on the pine tree as one of my most important resources for backwoods living. Lets look at some of the many survival uses for the pine tree…
The pine tree is one the best resources available for building shelters in the woods. One of the great things about pines is that if the weather isn’t severe, it can be used as shelter just as it stands. On more than one occasion, I have hunkered down at the base of a big white pine to escape a light rain or snow and rest my weary bones. With a built in soft bed of dried needles and a canopy of boughs, a big pine makes a wonderful shelter. Pine trees have all the necessary materials for building an excellent lean-to shelter the if need calls. Pine boughs placed properly on the lean-to will shed rain, snow, block the wind and hold in the heat from a fire. Pine boughs also make an excellent bed that gives you an insulated layer between you and the ground.
Fire Starting Material
I would guess that 95% of the fires I’ve started in the woods were started with dry pine needles, twigs and pine cones as the primary tinder. If I happen to be in an area where pines are scarce, I always have several plastic bags with needles and cones that I collect when traveling through pine country. These are my favorite “go to” tinder material.
Pine burns fast, creates a lot of sparks and doesn’t leave many coals. So, obviously you need to use your head when using it for firewood. If you need to bring a fire back from near death, some dry pine twigs will get the job done quickly. If you need a fast hot fire in your camp stove to heat something quick, pine twigs might be the ticket. If pine is all you have, it can be a good primary heat source but you need to stay on top of it, because of the sparks and fact that it won’t leave much a bed of coals. When we were in Alaska, we heated our cabin with nothing but spruce. It required getting up every couple of hours to tend the fire otherwise it would burn out.
The inner bark of pines can be eaten raw, boiled, or roasted. It is a good source of Vitamin A and C. It can also be dried and ground into a powder and used like flour. American Indians in the north east used pine as a source of food, in fact the Adirondack Indians got their name from a Mohawk Indian word meaning “tree eaters”. Young, green pine needles can be steeped as tea, again being a good source of Vitamin A and C, as well as being a nice warm drink. Needles should always be added to hot water and not boiled in the water. Boiled pine needles taste terrible!
First Aid Uses
Pine resin has traditionally been used as wound cover and some claim it has antiseptic qualities. The inner bark can be pulled off in strips and used as a make shift band aid (glued on the body with resin). Pine needle tea is believed by some to be a flue and cold remedy, probably because of its Vitamin C content.
Green pine branches and needles create a lot of smoke. If you need a signal fire, there is no better material in the woods. There is the obvious negative side to this, which you should keep mind. If you are the business of not being found, stay away from green pine in your camp fires!
Many flying insects are repelled by the smell of pine resin.
Glue and Water Repellent
Pine resin is very sticky and it repels water fairly well. In a pinch you can use it as a “bush glue”, taking advantage of its sticky nature. Since it is a natural water repellent (and did I mention sticky) it can be used to patch small holes in tarps and tents, and it can also be used to water proof things.
Concealment and Camouflage
Pine boughs can be cut and laid over the top of caches to conceal them. I have used them to conceal and shelter animal traps. Branches can also be fixed to your clothing to break up your silhouette and help you blend into your surroundings.
The pine tree is a plentiful and very useful resource for the self-reliant woodsman. It is easy to identify and has multiple survival uses. Whenever possible, take advantage of this wonderful resource. From shelter to food, from fire to first aid, attracting attention or concealing your cache, the good old evergreen is the resourceful woodsman’s best friend.
Some of you may have heard about this very novel idea of making omelettes in a freezer ziploc bag. Have you? Well, I had not seen omelettes in a bag done, but after seeing it done last weekend, I am sold on the idea. Who needs a dirty pan when you can just throw baggies away!! Plus no waiting your turn for the pan. You can cook a whole bunch of omelettes at one time in a pan of boiling water.
Start by breaking two eggs into a FREEZER ziploc bag. Add the ingredients of your choice just like a traditional omelette.
Then, zip the bag clothes and moosh it up with your hands. You know scramble it!
Make sure you have written the name of each person’s omelette on the bag.
Then place the omelettes in a bag in boiling water for about 14-15 minutes. The rule of thumb is about six and half to seven minutes per egg. So if you decide you want a three egger, you will need to cook it for more like 20 minutes. However, you can cook as many as you can fit in a pan at a time.
Then just walk a way and wait.
Grab your favorite mug for coffee and rest.
Then, when the eggs in the omelettes in a bag are set up and done cooking, Just dump them onto plates.
Your perfect mess-free omelette!
How to Build the Perfect Campfire
Whether you’re building a campfire to enjoy with friends on a camping trip, or you need it to keep warm and stay alive through a cold winter night, knowing how to build a great fire is a must-have skill.
To build the perfect campfire, you need just the right combination of the perfect tinder and firestarter, as well as the right conditions to keep your fire fed with oxygen so that it can stay burning as long as possible. There’s really an art to it, and it’s fun to perfect your campfire building skills.
After a day spent wandering wooded paths, admiring breathtaking vistas, and dipping your toes into a crystal clear creek, you huddle around a campfire to peer up at the glowing stars and enjoy a few (hundred) s’mores. Ahh, peace and quiet! Then you zip up into your tent for a few (mosquito-free) hours, and wake to the birds chirping and the faint hint of early morning sunlight. This is what camping is all about.
In honor of the National Park Service’s 99th birthday, we rounded up the best places to camp in the country. You’ll learn the coolest features of each natural wonderland, how much it costs, and the best time of year to visit. So gather up your tent, bear-proof containers, and a few good friends for a great escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. (The list is organized by location.)
1. Acadia National Park, Maine
Why It’s Cool: Maine is known as The Pine Tree State for a reason: It’s covered in 17 million acres of forest. Plus it has 6,000 lakes and ponds and 32,000 miles of rivers and streams—basically, a camper’s paradise. Located on Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park is the ideal destination for nature lovers of all skill levels. Looking for a unique experience? Hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain (the highest point along the east coast) just before sunrise and be the first person in the U.S. to see the sun that morning.
Where to Camp: The park has two campgrounds: Blackwoods (closer to the island’s town center, Bar Harbor) and Seawall (a more rustic, less touristy environment). While visitors can enjoy hiking throughout the entire park, camping is only allowed in these designated areas (backcountry enthusiasts, take note).
When It’s Open: Blackwoods campground is open year-round (permit required December to March). Seawall is open from late May through September.
Fee: Blackwoods costs $30 per site, per night from May to October; $10 in April and November; and it’s free from December to March. Seawall will set you back $22 for a walk-in site and $30 for drive-up tent, camper, and motor home sites.
2. White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire
Why It’s Cool: If you’re looking for a more rustic experience in the Northeast, the White Mountains are your best bet. The hiking’s pretty rugged in this section of the Appalachian range, but totally worth it if you’re up for the challenge. The sights here are particularly stunning in the fall, when the foliage turns to all shades of red, orange, and yellow.
Where to Camp: While the forest does have 24 drive-in campgrounds (with a combined 800 campsites—wowza!), the eight walk-in state park campgrounds in the northern part of the state are really what camping’s all about. Developed campsites require reservations. Backcountry tent camping is also allowed (except in noted no-camping areas); there are also log lean-tos scattered throughout the forest (a small fee may apply).
3. Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont
Why It’s Cool: Vermont’s Long Trail is one of the Green Mountain State Park‘s biggest draws, so try finding a camping spot close by to hike a portion of it during your stay. Aside from being absolutely gorgeous, the 270-plus-mile trail is the oldest long-distance trail in the U.S.! It follows the ridge of the Green Mountains through Vermont from the Massachusetts border to Canada.
Where to Camp: The forest offers five developed campgrounds. There are no electrical hookups or dump stations, so arrive prepared. Campground accessibility varies by season. Dispersed or back country camping is allowed anywhere in the park unless specifically posted.
When It’s Open: Year-round. Visitor center and campground accessibility vary by season, but one campground is always open all year.
Cost: The best part? There are no entrance fees, and most of the campsites are free too. The Green Mountain Club maintains about 70 campsites along The Long Trail, all with a water source and privy, for which GMC caretakers will come by to charge a small fee during the summer and fall.
When It’s Open: Forest accessible year-round. Visitor center hours vary.
Cost: Daily passes to the park are available for $3; seven-day passes available for $5. Campsites vary from $18 to $24 per night, while backcountry tent camping is free. Parking at a trailhead may require a permit; check signage at your chosen lot.
4. Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Pennsylvania
Why It’s Cool: Located in south-central Pennsylvania, this scenic park sits at the northern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains in an area known as South Mountain (confusing, we know). The Appalachian Trail, perhaps the most famous foot trail in the world, runs through the forest, which is home to the trail’s halfway point. While only 2,000 people attempt to hike the whole 2,186-mile trail each year (about a quarter actually finish), between 2 and 3 million people hike or walk a portion of it. Whether you cover two miles or 20, it’s still cool to say you’ve done it! Have some time after the hike? Check out the Appalachian Trail Museum, located near the midpoint of the AT.
Where to Camp: The forest has a mix of 70 tent and trailer sites (mostly rustic) available from late March to mid-December. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance. Backpacking and overnight hikes are not permitted. Electric and water hook-ups are available for a fee at specific sites.
When It’s Open: Year-round. Campgrounds open from April through December.
Cost: No entrance fee. Backpacking or river camping ranges from $4 to $5 per night, while basic campsites start at $15 per night.
5. Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland
Why It’s Cool: If you love beaches and camping, this is the spot for you. Assateague is a barrier island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia covered in sandy beaches, salt marshes, forests, and costal bays. There’s even a community of wild horses (how exotic!). Enjoy relaxing on the 37 miles of beach or hiking by day, and buckle down your tent right by (er, a safe distance from) the crashing waves for a night under the stars.
Where to Camp: Camping is only allowed on the Maryland side of the island at two oceanside and four bayside camping areas. From October 16 through April 14, the sites are first-come, first-served. Two campsites are also open for horse camping during this time (for a fee of $50 per night). From April 15 through October 15, reservations can be made up to six months in advance. Backcountry camping is allowed ($10, seven-day permit required), but it’s only accessible by backpacking or water.
When It’s Open: Year-round; visitor center and ranger station hours vary from season to season.
Cost: $20 vehicle entrance fee, valid for seven days. Campsite fee is $30 per night depending on season and location.
The West Coast
6. Yosemite National Park, California
Why It’s Cool: Nearly 95 percent of this breathtaking park is designated wilderness—meaning no cars, no structures, no roads, and no electricity. After a night spent under the stars, hike up to Glacier Point, which overlooks the park’s famous Yosemite Valley, Half Dome (a rock structure revered among climbers), and the High Sierra peaks. The Four Mile Trail route takes about three to four hours each way. Looking for even more of a challenge? The Panorama Trail is about twice as long.
Where to Camp: There are 13 popular campgrounds scattered throughout the park, and reservations are strongly recommended from April to September. But seven campgrounds operate on a first-come first-served basis year-round. Backcountry camping is also allowed, but requires a free wilderness permit (which can be reserved ahead of time).
When It’s Open: Park open year round. Campgrounds vary by season.
Cost: $30 per vehicle for a seven-day pass ($25 from November to March). Campsites range from $6 to $26 per night.
7. Joshua Tree National Park, California
Why It’s Cool: We know, camping in the desert doesn’t sound like so much fun (hello, sunburn). But the nearly 800,000-acre Joshua Tree National Park is so much more than just desert. The park sits at the intersection of two very different ecosystems: To the east is the low-lying Colorado Desert; to the west lies the slightly higher, cooler, wetter Mojave Desert (home to the park’s namesake, the Joshua tree). The park also has ten mountain peaks higher than 5,000 feet in elevation, making it a popular rock climbing destination. (Just be sure you know what you’re doing first.)
Where to Camp: The park is home to nine established campgrounds. Some campsites require reservations for October through May. The rest of the sites are first-come, first-served. Backcountry camping is allowed, but campers must register in advance at a designated backcountry registration board.
When It’s Open: Year-round. Visitor center and campground status vary by season.
Cost: $20 per vehicle entrance fee, valid for seven days. Annual passes are available for $30 and national passes are accepted. Camping costs $15 per site per night without water, or $20 with potable water available.
8. Olympic National Park, Washington
Why It’s Cool: You’ll encounter three different ecosystems in one park, including a rainforest. Head to the Quinault Rainforest (one of only three in the western hemisphere) to see the largest Sitka Spruce tree in the world. There’s a 30-mile road that loops through the rainforest, but we think hiking’s a better option. End your trip at Ruby Beach, where you can see mountains, glaciers, and rainforests right from the shoreline—or at La Push, the northernmost beach in Washington, where you can see whales off the coast during migration season.
Where to Camp: The park has 16 National Park Service-operated campgrounds with a total of 910 sites. Backcountry camping is allowed, but a permit ($5) is required (reservations are also sometimes required). If you’re not a tent enthusiast, stay in one of the rustic lodges open year-round.
When It’s Open: Park is open year-round. Camping availability varies, but there are some primitive sites open year-round.
Cost: $20 per vehicle entrance fee, valid for seven days. Campground fees range from $15 to $22 per night depending on season and location. A wilderness camping permit is required for back country camping: $5 per person, per night.
The Mountain States
9. Zion National Park, Utah
Why It’s Cool: With massive sandstone cliffs, brilliant blue skies, and a plethora of plants and animals, this almost otherworldly park is truly a national treasure. After spending the night in the woods, hike the Kolob Canyons in the northwest corner of the park. The five-mile and 14-mile trails make perfect four- or eight- hour trips. The longer trail takes you to Kolob Arch, one of the largest (and most remote) natural arches in the world. If you’re traveling in the summer and score a permit ($5), exploring The Subway, a unique tunnel structure sculpted by a creek, is an unparalleled experience.
Where to Camp: The park has three established campgrounds, which are full every night during summer. Wilderness permits are required for all overnight backpacking trips and can be issued the day before or day of your trip (or reserved up to three months in advance). Before you go, be sure to read through the Zion wilderness guide.
When It’s Open: Year-round. Some services and facilities may reduce hours or close at some point during the year.
Cost: $30 per vehicle for a recreational seven-day pass. Wilderness permits are $10 to $20 depending on the size of the group. Campsite fees range from free to $16 per night.
10. Glacier National Park, Montana
Why It’s Cool: Featuring over 700 miles of trails through forests, meadows, and mountains, this park is a dream come true for hikers. You may have heard of Going-to-the-Sun-Road, a 50-mile road that winds through the mountains, but that’s only fun if you’re in a car. To experience the majestic beauty on foot, head to Logan Pass and Many Glacier (there are several trails to choose from, many of which offer spectacular views of alpine lakes, as well as a campground nearby).
Where to Camp: There are 13 developed campgrounds with a whopping 1,009 established sites. Most operate on a first-come first-served basis, except for three that require reservations. Backcountry camping is also allowed, but a backcountry permit is required and you may only camp in designated campgrounds. (See the Back country guide for details.)
When It’s Open: Year-round. Visitor facilities open from late May through early September.
Cost: Summer entrance fees are $25 per car for seven days ($15 in winter). Annual and national passes are also available. Campsites vary from $10 to $23 per night during the summer season.
11. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Why It’s Cool: Located just north of Jackson Hole, WY, Grand Teton is home to a number of impressive Rocky Mountain peaks, majestic lakes, and incredible wildlife. There are a ton of hiking trails ranging from easy to very strenuous, so you can choose your own adventure based on how you’re feeling that day.
Where to Camp: Stay at one of the five campgrounds in the park (Signal Mountain earns enthusiastic reviews). All back country camping requires a permit, which is free and available to walk-ins on a first-come first-served basis. (You may also be able to register online depending on the time of year, but it will cost you $25.)
When It’s Open: Year-round. Visitor center hours vary by season, but one visitor center will always be open year-round.
Cost: $30 per vehicle entrance fee, valid for seven days. All entrance fees are valid at both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. In the winter, there is a winter day-use fee of $5. Some national passes are also accepted. Campground fees are $22 per night, per site.
12. Arches National Park, Utah
Why It’s Cool: It’s a red rock wonderland with more than 2,000 natural stone arches, offering a variety of easy, moderate, and long trails. One of the most popular, the Delicate Arch trail, takes you to the spectacular arch of the same name (don’t miss the Instagram-worthy photo op!). Or take a ranger-guided hike through the Fiery Furnace, an area of sandstone canyons with no marked trailheads.
Where to Camp: The park has one developed campground, The Devils Garden Campground , with 50 campsites. Reserve in advance during the busy season (March to October), but there are also campgrounds located outside the park in the Moab area. Since the park is relatively small, there’s little land for backpacking. To do so, you need a free permit, and you should know what you’re doing (be able to read a topographic map, identify safety hazards, etc.).
When It’s Open: Year-round. Visitor center is open every day except Christmas (hours change based on season).
Cost: Beginning October 1, 2015, a seven-day pass will cost $25 per vehicle (it’s currently $10). Annual passes also available.
13. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Why It’s Cool: Do you really need a reason? It’s the freakin’ Grand Canyon. The South Rim is more popular, accessible, and busier, while the North Rim is harder to get to, but offers a more secluded stay (and is actually in Utah). Both areas are gorgeous, so you really can’t go wrong. Back country hiking is one of the most popular activities, but it can be super tough (yet equally rewarding)—be prepared for a demanding hike that will test your mental and physical prowess. Whitewater rafting trips on the Colorado river are also crowd-pleasers.
Where to Camp: Reservations are recommended for two of the three developed campgrounds during the summer. Backcountry camping is also allowed with a permit.
When It’s Open: The South Rim is open year-round, but some facilities will close during winter. The North Rim is open mid-May through mid-October.
Cost: $30 per private vehicle entrance fee, valid for seven days. Annual passes also available. Campground fees start at $12 per night.
14. Big Bend National Park, Texas
Why It’s Cool: The Rio Grande river runs right through Big Bend, so rafting, canoeing, and kayaking trips are an incredible way to experience the park. If staying dry is more your style, the park is packed with trails covering desert, mountain, and river terrain for day hikes or backpacking trips. One popular desert hike is Devil’s Den, a moderate 5.6-mile trip along the rim of and down into a limestone slot canyon. Another beautiful hike is the Santa Elena Canyon trail, a moderate 1.7 mile round-trip hike that provides both top-down and bottom-up views of the canyon. Oh, and don’t forget to look up at night: The park’s remote location provides gorgeous views of the starry sky.
Where to Camp: The park operates three developed campgrounds. You can find primitive roadside campsites for backcountry camping scattered throughout the park.
When It’s Open: Year-round.
Cost: $25 per vehicle entrance fee, valid for seven days. Annual passes also available. Developed campgrounds fees are $14 per site, per night, while backcountry campsites require a $12 permit.
15. Carson National Forest, New Mexico
Why It’s Cool: Surprise: New Mexico is not all desert! Carson National Forest offers relatively cool summer temps as well as a great environment for fishing, hunting, camping, and hiking. In the winter, there’s even enough snow for skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. Hike the 16-mile round trip up to New Mexico’s highest peak, Mt. Wheeler, for a challenging but rewarding adventure.
Where to Camp: You’ll find 35 established camping areas scattered throughout the park. Backcountry camping is also allowed. Langua Larga offers four campsites right on the water’s edge and many good areas for dispersed camping (camping anywhere outside a developed campsite) a bit farther from the lake.
When It’s Open: Forest is accessible year-round. Campgrounds vary by season and location.
Cost: No entrance fee. Campsite prices range from free to $30, depending on location, time of year, and group size.
16. Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Why It’s Cool: It’s a tough climate to trek through—but the scenery is absolutely beautiful. Between a variety of rock formations lies a mixture of tall- and short-grass prairies. And be on the lookout for fossils: The Badlands have one of the most complete fossil accumulations in North America, providing a glimpse into the area’s ancient ecosystems. The park is also ideal for stargazing and even hosts an astronomy festival in early August.
Where to Camp: There are two campgrounds in the park: Cedar Pass Campground has some amenities (running water, electricity, etc.). Sage Creek Campground is primitive (bison often wander through!) without water on-site. Permits are not required for backcountry camping, but you do need and register before heading out.
When It’s Open: Park and campgrounds are open year-round.
Cost: $15 per vehicle entrance fee, valid for seven days. Annual and national passes also available. Campsites at Cedar Pass Campground are $13 per night, per site; $30 per night, per site with electrical hook-ups. Sage Creek campsites are free.
17. Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota
Why It’s Cool: This park offers something different every season: Summer and spring are perfect for water activities; fall turns the park into a hiking paradise; and winter calls to cross-country skiers, snow-shoers and snowmobilers, and ice fishers. The park is composed of mostly water, so for those entering the park without their own vessel, guided boat tours are a popular activity (make sure to reserve in advance!). There are also a wide variety of hiking trails, accessible by both car and boat.
Where to Camp: The park features 220 free, designated campsites, but all are accessible only by water. They’re available on a first-come, first-served basis. Backcountry camping is also allowed anywhere in the park (unless otherwise stated).
When It’s Open: Year-round; visitor center hours vary by season.
Cost: Entrance is free, but there’s a $10 daily fee for private boating. No charge or reservations for individual campsites, but a free permit is required.
18. Ludington State Park, Michigan
Why It’s Cool: This 5,300-acre park is sandwiched right between two lakes (Hamlin Lake and Lake Michigan) in western Michigan. You’ll find everything from sand dunes and shoreline to marshlands and forest, plus eight separate trails covering 21.5 miles. Canoeing offers gorgeous, up-close views of the water, and you can also bike on the designated 2-mile trail.
Where to Camp: Choose from three modern campgrounds with a total of 355 campsites featuring showers and bathrooms, plus three mini-cabins. There are also 10 remote sites in a hike-in only campground.
When It’s Open: Year-round, but camping is only allowed mid-May to late November.
Cost: $11 fee to purchase the required Michigan State Park Recreation Passport.
19. Peninsula State Park, Wisconsin
Why It’s Cool: There’s something for everyone at this park—recreation options include an 18-hole golf course, volleyball courts, boating, hiking, or simply enjoying the peace and quiet of the great outdoors. Eight miles of shoreline (right on Green Bay) call to water lovers and boaters, while miles of bike trails make for a more rigorous workout before spending the night under the stars.
Where to Camp: The park has five campgrounds with a mix of electric- and non-electric sites. Reservations are recommended. Backcountry camping is not allowed.
When It’s Open: Year-round from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (except for campers, who are obviously allowed to stay overnight).
Cost: A vehicle admission sticker is required for park entry. Daily stickers are available for $7 (with WI license plates) or $10 (for out-of-towners), while annual stickers are available for $25 or $35.
20. Ozark National Forest, Arkansas
Why It’s Cool: Fun fact: The Ozarks served as the setting for “Where the Red Fern Grows,” and as the home of the (fictional) Beverly Hillbillies family. Here you’ll find more than 200 camping and picnic sites, nine swimming beaches, thousands of acres of lakes and steams, and 400 miles of hiking trails. The 218-mile Ozark Highlands Trail is one of the best known hikes, but the amazing living cave systems at Blanchard Springs are also a draw.
Where to Camp: The park offers space for everything from RV to tent camping thanks to 23 developed campgrounds (a combined 320 sites). Primitive camping is also allowed almost anywhere in the forest, unless there’s a sign stating otherwise.
When It’s Open: Forest accessible year-round. Some campsites are open year-round as well; others are only open May through October.
Cost: No entrance fee. A number of campsites in the forest will charge a fee for camping, but many don’t. Camping fees can vary from free to $19 per night, per site.
21. Everglades National Park, Florida
Why It’s Cool: This park is the third largest in the lower 48 states, covering 2,400 square miles—so you definitely won’t get bored, especially with a wide range of hiking trails, campgrounds, and ample opportunities for biking. You can also canoe and kayak even farther into the park’s mangrove forests, freshwater marshes, and the Florida Bay. If you’ve had enough of doing the work yourself, check out one of the guided tours. And keep an eye out for rare wildlife species, including manatees, alligators, crocodiles, dolphins, and even the endangered Florida panther.
Where to Camp: The park has two drive-in campgrounds (reservations are recommended at Flamingo Campground). Most back country campsites ($10 permit required) are only reachable by canoe, kayak, boat, or particularly adventurous hikers.
When It’s Open: Year-round, all day, every day. Yep, 24/7.
Cost: $10 per vehicle entrance fee, valid for seven days. Campsite fee varies from $16 to $30, based on location.
22. Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
Why It’s Cool: There are hundreds of different trails throughout the Hemlocks region, offering a diverse range of hikes and backpacking opportunities. Just an hour from Asheville, NC, the Pisgah Forest is known as the “Land of the Waterfalls” (guess why), so any trail you choose, regardless of difficulty, will provide ample opportunities to check out some gorgeous falls. The forest also contains four long-distance trails, including portions of the Appalachian Trail and the Mountains to Sea Trail. The Art Loeb Trail is one of the toughest (30.1 miles) in the forest but also one of the most popular. There are plenty of campsites along the trail too, making it a great path for a weekend backpacking trip.
Where to Camp: Check out the park’s camping guide to find out which sites are first-come, first-served and which require reservations. Dispersed camping is only allowed at one of the forest’s designated camping areas.
When It’s Open: Forest is accessible year-round. Campground availability varies by season.
Cost: No general entrance fee. Campsite cost varies by location. Some passes and permits may be required, depending on activity.
23. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Why It’s Cool: D.C.-area readers, get packing: Just 75 miles from your metropolis is the perfect natural escape. The park contains more than 500 miles of trails, some leading to magnificent viewpoints or waterfalls, and others through miles of quiet, peaceful wilderness. Regardless, there will be a hike you’ll enjoy. The eight-mile hike to Old Rag Mountain is the toughest route in the park (and also one of the most popular), and rewards hikers with spectacular views from its peak.
Where to Camp: The park’s four campgrounds are open in spring, summer, and fall. Reservations at any site are recommended, but some first-come first-served spots may be available. Back country camping requires a free permit.
When It’s Open: Year-round. Portions of road are closed during bad weather and at night during deer hunting season (mid-November through early January). Visitor services are typically open only from March through November.
Cost: Entrance fee is $20 per vehicle, valid for seven days.
24. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
Why It’s Cool: America’s most-visited national park is known for its variety of animals and plants, serene mountain vistas, and storied past: More than 70 structures still remain from the prehistoric era, and the park now contains the largest collection of historic log buildings in the eastern U.S. The park is also packed with waterfalls, all of which make for perfect day hikes.
Where to Camp: The park has 10 campgrounds, all with running water and toilets (score!). Only one campground requires reservations; the rest are first-come first-served. Back country camping is allowed at designated sites, but a permit and advance reservations are required.
When It’s Open: Year-round. Some roads, campgrounds, and visitor facilities close in winter, but Cades Cove and Smokemont campgrounds are open year-round.
Cost: No entrance fees. Campsite fees range from $14 to $23 per night, and backcountry permit fees are $4 per person per night with a maximum charge of $20 per person.
25. Denali National Park, Alaska
Why It’s Cool: Six million acres of open land? Check. Unbelievable wildlife? Check. Trails to please even the most experienced of hikers? Check. It doesn’t get cooler than Denali—literally. The central draw to the park (especially for mountaineers) is Denali itself, known as Mount McKinley, North America’s tallest peak. Still, the park offers hikes for pros and beginners alike: Most trails start near the visitor center and are considered easy to moderate in difficulty. A few trails start deeper in the park, beyond the first three miles of the access road. Be sure to do your research before embarking on any backcountry camping trip here—this park is not for the inexperienced.
Where to Camp: The park has six established campgrounds with a combined 291 sites and also allows backcountry camping with a (free) permit. Riley Creek is the only campground reachable by car (and requires a minimum three-night stay to reduce traffic). The other two sites are only reachable by bus. One campground is also open year-round, and no fees are charged in winter.
When It’s Open: It depends on the weather in a given year. Parts of the park are open year-round, but generally, the park opens to private vehicles starting in mid-April. Summer bus service begins May 20 and operates through the second week after Labor Day. Fall and winter may bring some road closures, but there’s still plenty to do in the park, from skiing to dog mushing.
Cost: $10 entrance fee per person, valid for seven days. Annual and national passes are also available and accepted.
26. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
Why It’s Cool: Glacier Bay National Park is mostly water: The bay itself serves as the passageway to the inner section of the park, which is (awesomely enough) a glacier. After spending the night under the stars, try cruising the bay on a tour, charter, or private boat. There are no marked trails in the park, so backpacking is more strenuous here than elsewhere. Rafting one of the park’s two rivers is a great alternative that allows campers to easily tow supplies—but make sure you’re with someone who knows what they’re doing. Park rangers also lead a variety of tours and talks every day during the summer.
Where to Camp: The park has only one campground, in Bartlet Cove, which has outhouses, a warming shelter, and safe food storage. Permits are free but required for campgrounds and backcountry from May 1 through September 30.
When It’s Open: Year-round, but accessibility and services are very limited in winter. Visitor center is open from late May through early September.
Cost: The best news? No entrance fees or camping fees for private visitors! Reservations are required for boating, camping, rafting, and other visitor services.
1. An inflatable solar light that will help you see through anything.
Lightweight, rechargeable, waterproof, and eco-friendly
2. A squeezable water filtration system.
Fill the pouches with water from any outdoor water source, screw the filter onto the pouch, and filter the water into your water bottles.
3. A CamelBak purification water bottle.
The cap uses UV technology to clean any tap or clear natural water into drinking water in 60 seconds. Bonus: A fully charged battery gives you 80 uses!
4. A headlamp that adjusts its brightness automatically to the environment.
5. This tool kit that has everything you could ever need.
Includes a can opener, tweezers, alarm, timer, barometer, thermometer, flashlight, screwdriver, magnifying lens, sharpening stone, compass, and more.
6. A smokeless stove that generates electricity to charge your personal devices.
7. “Earl,” a smart, solar-powered GPS that gives you real-time map data, weather, and an emergency radio.
8. This compact stove that’s perfect for a solo trip.
All-in-one stove, with suggested fuel amounts above.
9. A USB and solar-powered device that charges headlamps, cameras, and electronics.
10. This high-tech blade with a handle that doesn’t absorb water.
Perfect for cutting wood or preparing food.
11. A no-pump water filter that cleans your water for you.
So you can spend more time exploring.
12. A waterproof lighter with a gas lock.
There is nothing worse than not being able to light your stove and eat a hot meal after a rainy day of hiking. NOTHING.
13. This neon blue hammock for two.
Talk about romantic.
14. A portable sink that’s perfect for keeping dishes and clothes sanitary.
Especially useful for washing underwear, which can help prevent UTIs and other infections.
15. A tent-pole seat that holds up to 250 pounds and weighs only 1.3 pounds.
It folds into a little tube.
16. A compact spork-and-knife utensil set.
The solution to all our spork woes.
17. A bandana that is also a map of Yosemite National Park.
18. An ultra-light drip coffeemaker.
Early-morning boost to your sunrise hike.
19. Reflective badges that will keep your group together during night hikes.
20. A star target that teaches you secrets of the galaxy.
It locates constellations, bright stars, nebulas, star clusters, and more.
21. A survival tool kit that’s smaller than a credit card and will save you in emergency situations.
Includes saw blade, two-position wrench, key-chain hole, bottle opener, direction indication, can opener, screwdriver, ruler, four-position wrench, and a butterfly screw wrench. Is there anything it can’t do?
22. A compact scraper that will clean out any last food chunks.
Also doubles up as a spatula and a utensils replacement. Finally, you don’t have to eat yesterday’s leftover chili with today’s oatmeal.
23. This all-purpose bowl that is 100% recyclable, light, odor-free, and stain-resistant.
It’s made of polyproylene, which is much lighter than regular plastics. It even stays buoyant when filled with water!
24. Or this collapsible bowl that includes measuring marks on the inside.
No more dry oatmeal clumps because you didn’t guestimate the right amount of water.
25. A “Hoodlum” that will never leave your face cold ever again.
Wear this to sleep.
26. The lightest, most insulated socks you will ever find.
27. An all-in-one geoshield stove that allows for both upright and inverted fuel positions.
No more fumbling in the dark. No more being unable to pack your aluminum foil and spare parts into a tiny container.
28. Collapsible cooking pots that are lightweight and durable.
29. A tarp poncho that will keep you waterproof indefinitely.
30. A dry trash sack that prevents any leakage.
LEAVE NO TRACE!!!
31. An insulated hammock.
Fall asleep to the stars.
32. This lightweight slackline that’s perfect for adventurous trips.
Slacklining on the top of a mountain may be the most hardcore activity you could possibly do.
33. A pocket shower for when you go on month-long backpacking trips.
Cleanliness for purely health reasons
34. A roll-up flask because why not.
Backpacking doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some booze for at least a couple days.
35. This FireSteel that easily helps you start a fire.
Seriously, never eat a cold dinner again! Functions in rain and snow.
36. This two-person tent that comes with built-in LED lighting.
No makeshift headlamp-tent-light hassle.
37. This gear line that will organize all your essentials at night.
Also will create space to fit in that extra person for maximum warmth.
38. These odorless bags that will keep bears at bay.
Perfect for holding trash and any used tampons.
39. An solar-powered inflatable, waterproof light that doubles as a pillow.
40. A toothbrush sanitizer that will eliminate all that nasty dirt.
This way brushing your teeth is actually hygienic.
41. A compact and light cookware set.
One pot, one pan, all you need.
Meet the GroundFridge. Modern day technology combined with a traditional root cellar to create a practical and beautiful well designed way to keep food fresh. Temperatures in the GroundFridge remain a cool 50 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit, year round. The design is so simple, all you need is to dig a hole, place the unit in the ground and recover with earth. You can even plant a garden on the top and around the sides if you like the decorative landscape, and double the use by planting fruits and veggies.
“The Groundfridge is an innovative take on the traditional root cellar. It meets the requirements of people with their own vegetable garden, who choose to live in a modern and self-sustaining way. Floris Schoonderbeek (founder of Weltevree) is continuously discovering and exploring new angles, chances and materials that he puts to good use in improving and enriching our habitat. With the Groundfridge, he presents a means for new world citizens who want to handle their food in an autonomous, independent way. ~ GroundFridge
“20 refrigerators, zero electricity – The Groundfridge has a storage capacity of 3,000 litres. This equals the contents of 20 refrigerators, that store 500 kg of food (the harvest of a 250 m2 vegetable garden) to prepare 350 meals – enough to feed a family of 5.
On average, 20 A grade EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) Refrigerators combined, use 6,620 kWh per year, whereas the Groundfridge performs the same feat completely without any electricity.~ GroundFridge
This is one of the first real-world design improvements on the old fashioned root cellar traditional farms used.
So… Who wants one!?
If you are like us, your dog is a big part of your life (she is our furbaby). If we could, we would take her on vacation with us everywhere we go. Okay, I would… not sure about my husband. When our beagle, Honey, was around 2 years old, we took her camping with us. I had no clue about camping with a dog, and learned a lot from the experience! Here are a few things I wish I had known before taking her camping with us.
Tips for camping with your dog
Leash, leash, leash!
At the time we took her camping, Honey was doing really well with staying close by us at all times. I didn’t have any reason to think she wouldn’t when we went camping. Wrong! Picture Dug the Talking Dog in the movie Up. You know how he will be talking and then suddenly say “squirrel” and look in another direction? This was Honey – times 100. Most of the time, she was fine and just hung by us. Then, she would see or smell something and run off.
Lesson learned: Keep your dog on a leash. Most pet-friendly campsites will have this as a rule anyway. Bring two leashes – a shorter one for hiking and a longer one for around the camp so your dog can wander a bit.
Stay on schedule
Dogs are creatures of habit. Although you may dine later in the morning and evening while on vacation, your dog will not. Yep, Honey had us up at the same time we would get up for work. Not fun!
Lesson learned: keep on the same feeding schedule. Or, you could slowly change your dog’s feeding schedule before you leave to go camping. That way your dog will let you sleep in while camping.
While camping and hiking, your dog will get dirty and smelly just like you. When we took Honey camping, she would come into the tent to sleep and puffs of dirt would come off of her as we pet her.
Lesson learned: bring grooming supplies. Pack a brush, towel and even some dog shampoo – never know what your dog will get into! A brush or comb will also be helpful when looking for any ticks that may latch on to your dog while hiking.
Keep things familiar
Just like you should stay on schedule, you also want to bring things from home that will help your dog feel comfortable. All new surroundings can overwhelm them.
Lesson learned: bring your dog’s bed and/or a couple of favorite toys from home. This will help with the adjustment to the new surroundings.
Here’s a step-by-step video showing you just how you can make the equivalent of aspirin in the middle of the woods.
All you’ll need is to be able to locate a willow tree and you’ll be all set to having your own aspirin equivalent in no time. Natural remedies to the rescue.
I have always wondered if SHTF and you ran out of food how would you cook squirrel or rabbit etc, I found a great website with a wide range of recipes that include some strange meats like Alligator, swordfish and woodcock.
Its always good to have something like this as a go to if you had to catch your own protein source in any emergency situation. Choose your favorite recipes and print them out. See all the recipes below:
Remaining whole and healthy in a survival situation is something we all strive for. But what happens if an accident, or worse, an attack, results in wounds that need tending? This is a question that every prepper asks themselves.
It is fairly easy to accumulate supplies for first aid and wound control but what about the tools you will use to tend to thehurt or wounded member of your group? Given an austere setting where traditional medical facilities are not available, how do you ensure that your instruments are clean, sterile, and fit for use?
These are important questions and to provide you with answers, Dr. Joe Alton is back with some advice not only relative to six ways you can sterilize your medical supplies, but also a general discussion of clean versus sterile and the difference between disinfectants, antiseptics, and antibiotics.
Sterilizing Instruments In Austere Settings
A significant factor in the quality of medical care given in a survival situation is the level of cleanliness of the equipment used. You may have heard of the terms “sterile” and “clean”. Certainly, ideal conditions warrant both, but they are actually two different things.
Do you know the difference?
Sterile Vs. Clean
When it comes to medical protection, “sterility” means the complete absence of microbes. Sterilization destroys all microbes on a medical item to prevent disease transmission associated with its use.
To achieve this, we want to practice “sterile technique”, which involves special procedures using special solutions and the use of sterile instruments, towels, and dressings. Sterile technique is especially important when dealing with wounds in which the skin has been broken and soft tissue exposed.
Of course, it may be very difficult to achieve a sterile environment if you are in the field or in an extremely austere setting. In this case, we may only be able to keep things “clean”. Clean techniques concentrate on prevention of infection by reducing the number of microorganisms that could be transferred from one person to another by medical instruments or other supplies. Meticulous hand washing with soap and hot water is the cornerstone of a clean field.
If you are going to be medically responsible for the health of your people in a survival setting, you will have to strike a balance between what is optimal (sterility) and what is, sometimes, achievable (clean).
The “Sterile” Field
When you’re dealing with a wound or a surgical procedure, you must closely guard the work area (the “sterile field”) to prevent contact with anything that could allow micro-organisms to invade it. This area is lined with sterile “drapes” arranged to allow a small window where the medical treatment will occur.
Although there are commercially-prepared drapes with openings already in them (“fenestrated drapes”), using a number of towels will achieve the same purpose, as long as they are sterile.
The first step is to thoroughly wash any item you plan to reuse before you sterilize it. Using a soft plastic brush removes blood, tissue particles, and other contaminants that can make sterilization more difficult. Consider using gloves, aprons, and eye protection to guard against “splatter”.
6 Ways to Disinfect and Sterilize Instruments
Now, the question of how to sterilize your medical supplies: There are a number of ways that you can accomplish this goal. I list them below in approximate order of effectiveness.
1. Simply placing them in gently boiling water for 30 minutes would be a reasonable strategy, but may not eliminate some bacterial “spores” and could cause issues with rusting over time, especially on sharp instruments like scissors or knives.
Note: always sterilize scissors and clamps in the “open” position.
2. Soaking in bleach (Sodium or Calcium Hypochlorite). 15-30 minutes in a 0.1% solution of bleach will disinfect instruments but no longer or rusting will occur. Instruments must be rinsed in sterilized water afterward.
3. Soaking in 70% isopropyl alcohol for 30 minutes is another option. Some will even put instruments in a metal tray with alcohol and ignite them. The flame and alcohol, or even just fire itself (if evenly distributed) will do the job, but eventually causes damage to the instruments.
4. Chemical solutions exist that are specifically made for the purpose of high-level disinfection (not necessarily sterility) in the absence of heat, something very important if you have items that are made of plastic. A popular brand is Cidex OPA, a trade name for a solution with phthalaldehyde or glutaraldehyde as the active ingredient.
Insert the instruments in a tray with the solution for 20 minutes for basic disinfection. Soaking overnight (10-12 hours) gives an acceptable level of “sterility” for survival purposes. There are test strips which identify when the solution is contaminated. If negative, you can reuse it for up to 14 days. As an alternative, some have recommended using 6-7.5% hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes (household hydrogen peroxide is only 3%, however).
5. Ovens are an option if you have power. For a typical oven, metal instruments are wrapped in aluminum foil or placed in metal trays before putting them in the oven. The oven is then heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or, alternatively, 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours.
6. Although ovens and microwaves have been used to sterilize instruments, probably the best way to guarantee sterility in an austere setting is a pressure cooker. Hospitals use a type of pressure cooker called an autoclave that uses steam to clean instruments, surgical towels, bandages, and other items. All modern medical facilities clean their equipment with this device (I hope).
Having a pressure cooker as part of your supplies will allow you to approach the level of sterility required for minor surgical procedures. As you can imagine, this isn’t easy to lug from place to place, so it’s best for those who plan to stay in place in a disaster scenario.
In most survival settings, “clean” may be as good as it gets, but is that so bad? Modern medical facilities have the ability to provide sterility, so there is very little research that compares clean vs. sterile technique.
In one study, an experiment was conducted in which one group of patients had traumatic wounds that were cleaned with sterile saline solution, another group with tap water. Amazingly, the infection rate was 5.4% in the tap water group as opposed to 10.3% in the sterile saline group. Another study revealed no difference in infection rates in wounds treated in a sterile fashion as opposed to clean technique.
Therefore, clean, drinkable water is acceptable for general wound care in survival scenarios. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use antiseptic solutions if you have them, especially for the first cleaning.
Disinfectants, Antiseptics, Antibiotics
So what’s the difference between a disinfectant, an antiseptic, a decontaminant, and an antibiotic?
To maintain a clean area, certain chemicals are used called “disinfectants”. Disinfectants are substances that are applied to non-living objects to destroy microbes. This would include surfaces where you would treat patients or prepare food. An example of a disinfectant would be bleach.
Disinfection removes bacteria, viruses, and other bugs and is sometimes considered the same as “decontamination”. Decontamination, however, may also include the removal of noxious toxins and could pertain to the elimination of chemicals or radiation. The removal of non-living toxins like radiation from a surface would, therefore, be decontamination but not necessarily disinfection.
While disinfectants kill bacteria and viruses on the surface of non-living tissue, “antiseptics” kill microbes on living tissue surfaces. Examples of antiseptics include Betadine, Chlorhexidine (Hibiclens), Iodine, and Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK).
“Antibiotics” are able to destroy certain microorganisms that live inside the human body. These include drugs such as Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, Metronidazole, and many others.
Having disinfectants, antiseptics, antibiotics, and clean instruments will give the medic a head start on keeping it together, even if everything else falls apart.
The Final Word
Up until now, I have held off on adding anything but the most basic of medical instruments to my emergency kit. That has been foolhardy. Just last week, I spoke with someone whose son had a huge splinter embedded under his fingernail. In spite of his extreme pain, the 24 hour emergency clinic sent him away telling him to “see a doctor in the morning”.
If something like this happens in a survival situation, having a set of medical instruments along with a means to ensure they are sterilized will be important. Even without being in a survival situation, they are useful and can be put to good use..
No Arsenal is Complete Without These DIY Survival Weapons
Want to make some awesome homemade weapons?
In a SHTF situation, you’re likely going to need a way to protect yourself.
Weapons, though very useful, are also a lot of fun–especially when you can make them yourself.
With a multitude of DIY weapon techniques mastered and under your belt, you will never be without the ability to be armed or entertained.
Check out our step by step instructions for 7 badass weapons you can make at home.
1. PVC Pipe Compound Bow
This instructional video shows step by step how to make a compound bow from inexpensive, readily available materials. Anyone can do it if you have some patience and are willing to try. This is a good project for anyone who wants to get into archery with a compound bow but doesn’t want to pay for such an expensive item. Or you could just make it to learn about how these types of bows work and gain experience working with this sort of thing.
2. Mini Cannon
Here’s how to make a mini combustion cannon sized to fire airsoft pellets. The only materials required are a BBQ lighter, a few screws, epoxy or other strong glue, and a drill.
3. Stun Gernade
Made from simple PVC pipe and baking soda and vinegar, these relatively harmless grenades are cheap and safe to use. These grenades are less for physical harm and more for their startling ability.
4. Pump Action Rocket Gun
This inexpensive gun is a fun project and a cool item to have around. The DIY is very simple and relatively cheap as well. The entire project, including a bunch of ammo, could easily be made for around $20.
5. Mini Stun Gun
This is a really easy project which anyone with a little soldering skills can make. All you really need is a continuous piezo electric sparker, a lighter that takes a battery. These are used to light gas BBQ’s, heaters, etc.
6. Primitive Club Tool
If stuck in the wilderness with limited resources, knowing how to make this tool could come in handy. This simple technique will quickly transform a few items into a very useful weapon and tool.
7. Pocket Dart Gun
This easy DIY will allow you to shoot your own darts out of a syringe. It won’t work for very long distances or with a huge amount of accuracy, but if your need a dart gun in a pinch it will get the job done!
When camping, tailgating or going on a picnic, keeping food and drinks chilled is top priority. Instead of using ice, which melts and creates a slushy mess, make your own ice packs using PVC pipe. This is a more efficient method for transport and cleanup, and you can personalize the ice packs with your own signature style, such as your favorite team colors.
Things You’ll Need
- Tape measure
- 2-inch PVC pipe, 10 feet
- 2-inch PVC end caps, 8
- Chop saw or 2-inch PVC cutter
- Clear PVC cement
- Paper towel or rag
- Spray paint (optional)
- Clear sealant (optional)
Step 1: Cut the PVC Pipe
Measure the inside of your cooler to determine how long you want the ice pack to be. Subtract 3 inches off that measurement to make room for the end caps.
Use the chop saw or PVC cutter to cut your PVC pipe into the desired lengths. In this project, we cut two 18-inch pieces for a large cooler and two 10-inch pieces for a smaller backpack cooler.
If using a chop saw to cut the pipe, be sure to clean off any debris inside or out.
Step 2: Close One End of the Pipes
Seal off one end of the PVC pieces with end caps. Apply a liberal amount of PVC cement on both the inside of the cap and the outside of the pipe. Push the end cap firmly onto the pipe, and use a damp paper towel or rag to clean up any extra cement that may have seeped out. Allow the cement to dry completely, about one hour.
Be careful not to get any PVC cement on your skin, and refer to the warnings on the canister.
Step 3: Fill Pipes With Water and Seal Other End
Once the PVC cement is dry, fill the inside of the pipes with water — fill them only about three-quarters of the way up, since the water will expand when frozen. Seal off the other end of the pipe the same way you did in the last step. Place the pipe upright while it’s drying, so the water doesn’t mix with the cement
Step 4: Paint the Pipes (Optional)
Spray paint the pipes any color you’d like. Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area (ideally, outdoors). Allow the paint to dry completely.
You can also use a clear sealant after the paint has dried to help keep the paint looking pristine over time.
Step 5: Freeze the Pipes
Place the pipes in your freezer and let them stay there overnight. Presto! You now have your very own ice packs to use on camping trips, tailgating parties or picnics on the beach
Survival antibiotics are often overlooked by preppers. One reason is because preppers don’t know which ones to buy or even where to get them. Another reason is because they haven’t needed them before so they forget they might need them in the future. That was the reason I hadn’t stocked up on antibiotics until a long, painful week set me straight.
Last year, on an ordinary evening shortly after dinner, my stomach started bothering me. It wasn’t nausea or a normal stomach cramp. It was a strange type of gnawing pain I’d never felt before. I tried antacids and Pepto Bismol, but nothing worked. I finally took some Tylenol and went to bed.
The next day the pain was still there, but now it had moved over to my lower right abdomen. And as the day continued, it got worse. And worse. Pretty soon it was so bad that I decided to go online and do some research. I thought it might be something like a torn muscle or my appendix, but nothing I found really fit my symptoms. That evening, the pain was so bad I could barely move. I had to walk hunched over and take tiny steps. Any type of sudden movement caused excruciating pain. It was so severe that my wife had to help me take my shirt off before bed. The following morning she took me to urgent care.
It was a long day. The doctor asked a lot of questions and felt my abdomen, but he wasn’t sure what it could be so he ordered blood work and a CAT scan. He thought it might be my gall bladder, in which case I would need emergency surgery. But again, he wasn’t sure if that was the problem because my symptoms just didn’t quite fit. Of course, my wife and I were both afraid it could be something life-threatening.
Eventually a radiologist looked at the scans and identified the problem: I had some type of infectious colitis in my ascending colon (similar to diverticulitis). Basically, my colon was severely inflamed by a bacterial infection. They couldn’t say exactly how it happened, but it’s possible I got it after eating some undercooked meat. That’s rare, but it can happen.
This infection could have killed me if not for the medication he prescribed. And what was this wonderful medicine that saved my life? You guessed it. Antibiotics. Specifically, Ciprofloxacin and Metronidazole. After 10 days of taking those, I was good as new! But I wondered, What if I hadn’t had access to a doctor or antibiotics when this happened? I probably would have died. See how important it is to stock up on antibiotics for survival?
Before we move on, a few disclaimers: First, I am not a doctor and I am not giving you medical advice. I’m just repeating some information I learned. I recommend you ask your doctor if he will write you some prescriptions for antibiotics so you can stock up, just in case. There are other ways you can acquire antibiotics. For example, you could buy the ones that are meant for control of common bacterial infections in fish and/or birds. I’m not saying you should consume them, I’m just pointing out how interesting it is that they’re the exact same as the ones prescribed by doctors.
And please, don’t take antibiotics every time you have pain or a fever. Antibiotics are not good for you and should only be taken in an emergency. You should have a good medical book on hand to help you diagnose the problem. And then, only when you are very certain that antibiotics will help, should you take them. I also want to remind you that if you take antibiotics and develop a rash or any other reaction, you should stop taking them immediately. If there is no reaction and your condition improves, continue taking the antibiotic for two weeks, even if you feel better after a few days. Though you might feel better, you want to make sure the infection is completely eliminated.
There are a lot of antibiotics, but I’ve narrowed it down to what I think are the 9 best. These should cover almost 99% of infections. You don’t need to get every single one on this list (for example, Cephalexin, Amoxicillin, and Erythromycin are all very similar, but you might have trouble finding a couple of them).
Here then, are the 9 Best Survival Antibiotics. I’ll begin the list with the two that helped me.
- Ciprofloxacin – Best for things like urinary tract infections, prostate infections, respiratory tract infections (such as bronchitis or pneumonia), bacterial diarrhea, anthrax, and diverticulitis or infectious colitis (when combined with Metronidazole). It should never be used by children, pregnant women or nursing mothers. (Do a web search for “Fish Flox”)
- Metronidazole – Usually used for getting rid of anaerobic bacteria which is found in the intestine. Like I said, it can treat diverticulitis or colitis if you take it with Ciprofloxacin. But it can also treat bacterial vaginosis, diabetic foot ulcer, joint or bone infections, lung or brain abscesses, meningitis, and a few other infections. This also shouldn’t be taken by children, pregnant women or nursing mothers. (This one is also sold as “Fish Zole”)
- Cephalexin – Great for almost any type of respiratory infection (bronchitis, pneumonia, strep throat, etc.) and middle ear infections. It is safe for pregnant women and children and only has a few side effects. (Do a web search for “Fish Flex”)
- Amoxicillin – This will handle most of the same types of bactiera as Cephalexin. It’s also safe for pregnant women and children and has very few side effects. However, some people are very allergic to it. In that case, you should try the next one on the list. (This is also sold as Fish Mox”)
- Erythromycin – Like the previous two, this one can also treat most respiratory infections and middle ear infections. It’s also good for Syphilis, Lyme Disease and Chlamydia. And it’s safe for women and children. So why not just forget the other two and store this instead? Because it has several potential side effects including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Doxycycline – Treats the same types of infections as Erythromycin. However, Erythromycin can be hard to find whereas this one is often sold as “Bird Biotic.” This is not labeled for human consumption. I’m just pointing it out. This one can also treat sinus infections, Typhus and Malaria. However, it should not be used by children, pregnant women or nursing mothers and there are some side effects including kidney impairment and sensitive skin. (Dixycycline is actually just a newer type of Tetracycline, also sold as “Fish Cycline”)
- SMZ-TMP – That is short for Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim. Together, these can treat most respiratory infections, but they’re mainly used for urinary tract infections. But the best thing about SMZ-TMP is it can treat MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), also known as resistant staph. This is a strain of bacteria that spreads easily and is resistant to most antibiotics. (Do a web search for “Bird Sulfa”)
- Azitrhomycin – This one is similar to numbers 3 through 6 because it treats respiratory infections and all sorts of things like Chlamydia, Lyme Disease, PID, Syphilis, Typhoid, etc. Side effects include abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea but that is rare. It’s a great antibiotic to have because it treats so many different things. The problem is that it’s hard to find and can be a bit expensive.
- Ampicillin – Similar to penicillin, but more effective against things like anthrax and less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Also useful for respiratory tract infections, bacterial meningitis, urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal infections and many other things. (Do a web search for “Fish Cillin”)
If you don’t want to get every one of these, you should at least get the first three on the list. Those three will cover 9 out of 10 infections you might get. As far as storage, just keep them in the refrigerator. You don’t have to, but it will extend their shelf life. Don’t freeze them, though! That can permanently alter their chemical composition and they might not work anymore. They should continue to be effective for years after the expiration date, with one exception: Tetracyclines (which includes doxycycline). These can become toxic if they get too old.
Don’t be caught with a life-threatening infection when it’s too dangerous to go out or after the stores have run out of antibiotics. They don’t cost much and they could save you or a loved one’s life.
When we consider bug out bags (72 hour emergency kits) for each of our family members we often don’t consider that each of our pets need one too. Anything can happen at any given time and when that time comes my pets are coming with me…and they’re coming prepared like the rest of the family. Below are lists of things to consider for your pet’s bug out bag.
What items to consider for your dog
- Vaccine/Medical records with owner contact information
- Dog food with bowl (for can food make sure to include a can opener and a spoon)
- Dog treats
- Water with bowl (Your dog should have 2.5 oz of water for every 1 oz of food)
- Protective clothing (raincoat and/or regular coat)
- Dog bed (with a blanket for extra warmth)
- Carrier with handle (collapsible if possible)
- Collar with I.D. tag
- A tie out (you never know when you may have to secure your pet)
- First Aid Kit
- Daily Medications
- Clean up supplies (baggies, trash bags, etc)
- Grooming supplies (optional)
What items to consider for your cat
- Vaccine/Medical records with owner contact information
- Cat food with bowl (for can food make sure to include a can opener and a spoon)
- Cat treats
- Water (Your cat should have 2.5 oz of water for every 1 oz of food)
- Protective clothing (for example, a cat sweater)
- Cat bed (with a blanket for extra warmth)
- Carrier with handle
- Collar with I.D. tag
- First Aid Kit
- Daily Medications
- Litter Box/Pan with litter
- Clean up supplies (baggies, trash bags, etc)
- Grooming supplies (optional)
A medium sized bug out bag for each pet will typically fit everything your dog or cat will need with the exception of the pet carriers. You can even buy a doggie backpack for a bigger dog to carry.You may also consider a single, much bigger bag to include all of the items for every pet in the home. It may seem like alot of items but it’s well worth it for the safety and well being of your beloved pets.
For longer term survival situations consider “adding extra” on some items such as food, treats, water, clothing, blankets, first aid, kitty litter, and clean up supplies. Sometimes you don’t know that a survival situation is longer term until you’re actually IN a survival situation. So planning beyond the 72 hours for each family member’s emergency kit is something to seriously consider.
Always remember this one important rule when it comes to survival, a motto I live by… It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.