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8 Oils you should keep in your survival kit!

These essential oils should be kept in your survival kit for many uses:

Lavender :

For cuts, scrapes, burns, eliminates sting from bug bites, relieves pain and soreness from sprains and muscle aches.

Peppermint:

Relieves Headache pain and allergies, digestion such as heartburn, bloating, constipation and indigestion.

Repels ants, spiders, mice and other pest.

Melateuca (Tea Tree Oil):

Used for antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, fungicide it kills germs and help eliminate infections.  Helps with mold and mildew.  Treats wounds of many sorts.

RoseMary:

Helps with stress it is very calming.  Reduces itching, dryness and irritation.  Sooth many skin disorders also helps improve your concentration so you can move on.

Frankicense:

Reduces inflammation, and pain that are present.  Heals wounds, cuts, scrapes and burns.  Helps with feeling hopeless and depressed.  Gives a bit of a supercharge so you can go on.  You can layer with many other oils.

Clove:

Helps with toothaches, sore gums and canker sores.  Helps treat wounds, cuts, scabies, athletes foot, fungal infections, prickly heat, insect bites and stings.

Lemongrass:

Relief knotted tendons and muscles, reduces fevers, eliminates body odor and foul smells.  Reduces bacteria.

Roman Chamomile:

Promotes sound sleep, reduces stress and fearfulness.  Heals skin condition like eczema.  Treats vomiting, nausea, heartburn, gas.

We carry these and many other essential oils in our store. So come get your oils to put into your survival kit. You can also call and order them as well.

 

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Bug Out Bags for Your Beloved Pets

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
  • Leash/Harness
  • A tie out (you never know when you may have to secure your pet)
  • Muzzle
  • 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.

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What is a Comprehensive Wilderness Survival Kit and Why Should You Have One?

We all carry survival kits whether we realize it or not. The contents of a man’s pockets or those of a woman’s purse are nothing more than survival kits for a populated technological society. You have all the things you’ll likely need to fill your needs throughout your day. Keys, cash, identification, credit cards, membership cards and other items all serve to fill your needs as they arise. Luckily for us, most of our human needs are filled by technology and the remainder can be filled as you go with cash or credit.

So how does a ‘wilderness survival kit’ differ from the items we carry every day? In a wilderness setting, we don’t have quick access to emergency medical care. We don’t have a roof over our head or a climate controlled environment. We don’t have sinks and water fountains bubbling with potable water or edible food everywhere we look. Therefore, we’ll need to carry most or all of these things with us. The ‘best’ wilderness survival kit is probably a backpack full of quality camping gear. However, most of us aren’t willing to carry that load when day hiking, mountain biking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, riding ATV’s, hunting, horseback riding or any of the myriad other activities that carry us away from civilization.

The goal of a practical wilderness survival kit is therefore to address as many of our needs as possible and to do it in a format that we don’t mind carrying on our person while conducting outdoor activities. For some, this might be a small tin carried in a pocket, but these micro-kits don’t really address a lot of the most critical needs. For me, a belt pouch based kit is unobtrusive enough that I’m likely to carry it during outdoor activities. It is also big enough to really address human needs in the wild. I have several types of kits that I carry. Some are rudimentary, while some are very comprehensive. It really depends on where I’m headed. All of them are simple belt pouch based kits.

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At this point, let’s define what your critical needs really are and why. The easiest way to do this (and to prioritize the order in which you should address them) is by using a simple maxim known as the “rule of threes”.

The rule of threes says:

  •    It takes as little as 3 minutes to die of severe injury.
  •    It takes as little as 3 hours to die of exposure.
  •    It takes as little as 3 days to die of thirst.
  •    It takes at least 3 weeks to die of hunger.

Your very first priority in a survival situation is to address immediate first aid needs. If you or a companion cannot breathe, or are bleeding profusely, death can come in as little as three minutes. You aren’t likely to carry a comprehensive medical kit everywhere you go, but a wilderness survival kit should have at least the basics of first aid such as bandages and the ability to make a tourniquet. If you travel far and wide on a regular basis, it’s a very good idea to learn the basics of first aid (establishing an airway, dealing with profuse bleeding, CPR, etc).

Next, we have to deal with the number one killer in wilderness survival situations: exposure. When people become lost, stuck or injured in wilderness settings, they might have been well dressed for a leisurely day in the woods, but when night falls or unexpected weather blows in, they find themselves in a very dangerous situation.

Television shows about survival like to show people building rudimentary brush shelters and other forms of shelter using materials at hand. However, building a weatherproof shelter from scratch is incredibly time consuming. It takes 18-24 inches of brush overhead to effectively shed rain. This means it might take many hours (and a lot of energy) to build a decent shelter. If you’re lost, night is fast approaching and a freezing rain starts to fall, you don’t have that many hours!

This is why my survival kits include a tarp made of very thin plastic. This can be draped over a line strung between trees to form a small tent or simply draped over a bush in a pinch. That means that you can erect a waterproof, windproof shelter in minutes, not hours!  As mentioned, it’s incredibly thin plastic, so I can fold a 9′ by 6′ tarp into a packet about half the size of a deck of cards.

Beyond simple shelter, you’ll likely need a fire. Those same survival shows often portray various methods of primitive fire starting (bow drills, hand drills, ploughs, etc). However, if the weather has come in hard and things are becoming ‘wet ‘n’ wild’, you’re NOT going to get a fire going using primitive methods. These may be fun skills to practice as an educational exercise in your back yard, but relying on these methods to make fire in an actual emergency is stupid and it’s a great way to wind up dead.

A good survival kit should have multiple means to quickly build a fire. There should be a lighter, not matches. There should be easily-lit tinder that burns for a long time. In essence, if you can’t use a kit’s fire starting materials when it’s cold, wet and windy, it’s a useless kit!

Once you’re settled into a shelter and have a sustainable fire going, you’re going to eventually need water. In a desert environment, death from dehydration can come in a few days. In most environments, it takes nearly a week. Again, you don’t want to rely on a single source or method here. A good kit should have multiple means of gathering water, and multiple means of purifying it for drinking. My kits are packed in metal cook pots which can be used for boiling water. They also contain a water purification kit that can treat many gallons of water even if you can’t boil it. Finally, they have re-sealable water bags to transport water should you need to bring it with you.

We will come to food procurement, but there’s something else that falls outside the rule of threes. It’s not really a survival ‘need’, and doesn’t fit neatly into the rule, but it is at least as important. This is signaling. If you’ve been a responsible adult when it comes to your outdoor activities, you’ve informed responsible people of exactly where you were headed, and exactly when you should return. This means there will be people looking for you!

Signaling means making your profile in the woods into something bigger, louder, brighter, and the more obnoxious the better! A good survival kit contains whistles, flashlights, strobe markers, bright and/or reflective items, mirrors, etc. If you were smart and told people where you were going, your survival situation will likely last a matter of hours, or maybe an uncomfortable overnight stay before you are found.

Forget about the survival shows on television where they portray wilderness survival as some kind of bug-eating contest. As I’ve pointed out, food is really your last priority. You’d have had to really screw up to be in any real danger of starvation. For most of us, skipping a few meals might not be a bad thing when all is said and done! I make this the last priority when constructing a wilderness kit. I have some fish hooks and line, some snare wire and some slingshot bands that can be used to quickly construct a variety of small game hunting tools (you can make a slingshot, a propelled fishing spear, or use as the ‘spring’ for a trap/snare). Some kits even contain a spearhead that can be quickly and securely mounted on a shaft and used for fishing and/or small to mid sized game.

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In conclusion, I hope I’ve imparted some common sense into this subject. That means informing folks of your intentions. It means having at least a basic fundamental understanding of wilderness survival and how to prioritize and fulfill your needs should you find yourself in trouble. Finally, it means maintaining at least a basic level of preparedness when heading into untamed regions. When buying or building your own kit, make sure it fills your needs and that it’s something you’ll actually carry. As with other essential day to day ‘carry’ items… it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it!

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A Prepper’s IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) Loadout

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An IFAK or Individual First Aid Kit is a typically a military term of a kit to aid in the traumatic injury of a warfighter. I see many Prepper’s or Survival minded people carrying military style IFAKs in their BOBs or survival gear. While this is good; I believe more items will be needed to cover more situations that may arise.

In a disaster situation I look at it from a standpoint of needing a kit that combines both military IFAK gear as well as wilderness expedition style kits (similar to expedition guides or wilderness first aid guys). This is my reasoning for my kit.When chaos occurs-gun fights happen and those wounds need to be treated. People in my  group may also be using tools that they are unfamiliar with and could cause injury (axes, knives, etc…). I’ve tried to focus my kit around these circumstances. I will go over my load-out below.

ifak2 Notice the Trauma Section is easily identified by the red pull tab. This allows for quick identification when seconds count.

After opening my kit you will notice its a clam shell design that has two separate sections. In the center there are scissors that are easily accessed and allows me to get to a wound quickly.

The two separate sections are divided into two groups:

  • Trauma treatment (GSW or gunshot wounds/severe lacerations)
  • Expedition Medical (standard injuries and medicine)

TRAUMA SIDE

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The trauma side contains the following components:

  • Quick Clot Combat Guaze Z-folded (coagulant)
  • Sterile Scaplel
  • Duct Tape
  • Standard Rolled Gauze
  • Military Cravat (a.k.a. triangle bandage)
  • Israeli Bandage (field dressing)
  • H & H Tourniquet
  • Sharpie with Medical tape wrapped (good for writing tourniquet times on victim)
  • Nitrile Gloves (barrier)

WILDERNESS MEDICINE SIDE

We will now outline the wilderness or standard medicine side. These components remedy common ailments that may be encountered in the field.

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A few different types of band-aids are included. This will keep minor wounds protected to facilitate with the healing process and to fight getting the wounds dirty and infected. Minors can become majors without proper care. Moleskin is included for blisters. This is bound to happen to tender footed individuals when humping heavy rucks over unforgiving terrain. 

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I find it important to include items that can disinfect or cleanse minor wounds. Triple Antibiotic ointments will promote healing and keep you from getting a gnarly infection. I’ve included BZK Antiseptic wipes because they help with the application of Steri-Strips (a wound closure tape). The Alcohol Prep pads are more for cleansing instruments than wounds. Iodine can be used as an antiseptic and also to purify water if nothing else is available. 

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For wound closure I’ve included a Steri-Strip packet. This is the least invasive method of wound closure and it’s always recommended to go that route first. In my kit I also include a suture set. Understand that you must have the knowledge and skill set to do this or you may be doing more harm than good. 

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Med’s and Ointments:

  • Blistex (aside from lip treatment it can also be used to start fires)
  • Sunscreen wipes
  • Oral ointment (toothaches)
  • Sting Relief wipes
  • Burn Free Gel (starting fires in the wilderness can lead to the potential to get burned)
  • Hydro-cortisone cream
  • Ammonia Inhalants (smelling salts)
  • Aspirin, Non-Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Antihistamine, Antacids, Pepto, Anti-diarrheal, and Electrolyte Replacement.

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Tools:

  • Hemostats
  • Bandage Scissors (I prefer them over EMT shears and they are smaller)
  • Irrigation Syringe (cleaning wounds)
  • Tweezers w/ Magnifying lens
  • Streamlight Pen Light

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Sterile Gauze:

  • Surgical Pads
  • Sterile Eye Pad
  • Sterile 4×4’s and 2×2’s
  • Non-Stick Pads (good for not reopening wounds by removing the scab when dressings are changed)

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Miscellaneous:

  • Disposable thermometers
  • Laerdal CPR Barrier
  • Kerlix wrap
  • Elastic bandage
  • Insect Repellent (not shown)

As you can see this kit contains a plethora of equipment to handle a variety of situations. These are the items I feel comfortable with and will aid me in a disaster situation when there is no further medical help available (by all means if further medical care is available-seek it out). Build a kit that reflects your skill level. Remember that knowledge is key and it outweighs and gear that you may have. If you have the time I suggest getting whatever level of medical training offered in your area. At the very least look to the American Red Cross for CPR and First Aid training. If someone in your group has a higher level of medical training (i.e. Nurse/Nurse Practitioner/M.D./Surgeon); they should focus their efforts on developing a medical kit for your group.

DISCLAIMER:

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only.

You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

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The Necessary 72 Hour Kit

by Jeff

I have been into emergency preparedness for more than 14 years.  It all started when a family member asked if we wanted her friend’s #10 cans of wheat.  It wasn’t just a few cans either.  We accepted and have since added to it again and again.

As part of our preparedness plan, we have a well stocked 72 hour kit.  This kit is not a “go bag”.  Don’t get me wrong I like go bags.  I have one at work, ready to go!  This is more than a get there from here kit.

Regardless of the disaster or calamity, we plan on sheltering in place.  This may also be the plans of most of you as well.  We can’t all afford a “doomsday bunker”.  For us, our food, supplies, animals, and garden are all at our home.  I know that in any event, we can survive there.

What happens if you have to leave?  Are you prepared to walk away from your home?  There are some incidents where we may not be able to stay and “ride out the storm.”  I think about hurricane Katrina, or the tornado that hit Joplin, Mo.  If my home is at risk of being destroyed, we’ll have to leave and leave in a hurry.  You need supplies to go, you need a 72 hour kit.

Many of us might be able to survive with the likes of Bear Grylls, but I have no plans on skinning a snake in order to urinate in it, so that I can hydrate later.   Sorry not going to happen!

The first kits that we made were not much more than your typical “go bags”.  A few MRE’s, water, first aid kit, etc.  As we have spent time working on our preparedness plan, and our supplies, we’ve added a lot more.

For most of us, during an emergency, or in survival mode, relying on the government for help really isn’t in our plans.  That’s why we became self sufficient in the first place.   If you plan on using their help, I understand. Whether you think it’s right or wrong, it’s not for anyone else to decide.  You have to decide what’s best for you and your family.  Whatever you decide, during any disaster you have to expect that the government will get involved to some degree or another, if you need their help they will arrive.  With that though, you can’t expect them to show up right away.  You have to assume that it will take a few days for any help to arrive.  This is the purpose of a good 72 hour kit.

Here is what my family has determined to be important to include in our kit:

Food – we decided to use MRE’s to accomplish this.  They have a good shelf life and are compact enough to fit into backpacks.  Some other options are canned goods, dehydrated or freeze dried food.  We also added energy/ granola bars and extra MRE sides for snacks.  Water bottles are also included; we keep these next to our kit, but leave it out so that we can rotate it.

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Seasonal Clothing – In order to make our kit low maintenance, we added winter clothing and extra shoes, in addition to or summer clothes in the kit.  That way we don’t have to scramble to gather those items in a hurry.  They can be bulky, so we used “space bags” to vacuum out the air and compress them to fit.  As a reminder, if you have kids, you will need to periodically upsize the clothing in the kit.

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Tents – depending on the situation, we may or may not have a place to stay, if we can get to a friend or relative’s home, great.  If not, we added several small, inexpensive tents, enough to fit everyone.  Depending on the size of your family or size of the tent, several may be needed.

Survival items – Some of these items go without saying, but a good first aid kit is a must.  Also fire starters, maps and compass, signal mirror, and whistle.  We included several flashlights into our kit, but a few of them are the windup flashlights, that don’t require batteries.  They also have the ability to generate power to charge a cell phone.  If you do have battery powered flashlights, extra batteries are extremely important.    An ax/hatchet and hand and feet warmers were also included to ours.  We also added chem. lights.  If by chance we are walking away from our home, and doing it at night, I have a bunch of chem. lights that I can hook to each of our kids backpacks, so that we can easily identify them in the dark.

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Personal Hygiene Items – toilet paper, toothbrushes/paste, feminine hygiene items, deodorant.

Money – we don’t know what is going to happen, or if the emergency we are in will be the end of civilization, or the collapse of our financial system.  What you have to assume is that your credit/debit card may not work.  Having cash stored in your kit, just might become one of the smartest decisions you make in your 72 hour kit preparations.

Some other items to consider adding – tools, copies of your birth certificates/ social security cards, Fishing/hunting supplies.

Because of the size of our family, our 72 hour kit is quite large.  We have opted to distribute the kit into small backpacks for each of the kids to carry, and a couple of duffle bags.  The duffle bags do have wheels, in case we have to walk away from our home.

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Whether you are a “master prepper”, or just getting started, a 72 hour kit for you and your family is a necessity.

In closing, let me just say this, I hope and pray that all my preparedness efforts are done in vain.  I hope to never have to use any of these resources that I have stockpiled.  I hope that none of us has to.  We prepare for the day we hope never comes.  I believe that one day that day will come, I pray that it doesn’t.