US Nuclear Target Map. Do You Live in The Danger Zone?

Ever wondered if you live close to a potential nuclear target?Even if you live in a small town or rural area... don't think you are safe. Not all strategic targets are in heavily populated areas. Find out if your county is close to ground zero.

James Allen

Author Archives: James Allen

Natural Substance to Get Rid of Roaches, Fleas and Even Lice

 Get Rid of Roaches, Fleas and Lice

Getting rid of bugs like cockroaches can be a real pain, especially if you’re the type that doesn’t want anything to do with dangerous chemicals and toxins. A couple of the most recommended ways to naturally get rid of roaches are to use borax or boric acid. Technically, yes, they can be considered natural. But they still pose plenty of risk, mostly to babies, young children and pets. So what else is there? What would you say to the fact there’s something even better…; something that is natural and safe. So safe in fact, that you can ingest it or use it for healthier, more beautiful skin and nails? Well there is. It’s called Diatomaceous Earth.


Diatomaceous Earth is sometimes referred to as simply “DE”. This powdery substance similar in texture to talc is formed from the fossilized remains left behind by marine phytoplankton. There a bunch of ways you can use it. One of the primary ways people use it is to get rid of insects and bugs, whether that’s in the house or in the garden. Especially roaches.
Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade 10 Lb

Getting Rid of Roaches


According to Pest Killed, it works in two ways to rid your home of cockroaches. When they’re exposed to it, this substance will basically dissolve their exoskeleton outer wax-like layer. Secondly, the naturally strong and sharp debris from the powder will lacerate the bug, which leads to dehydration and eventually death. And even better? Other roaches around will eat the dead roach, ingesting the sharp particles that will in turn kill them too from the inside out. And the cycle continues.

Getting Rid of Fleas

DE can also help get fleas under control. Similar to how it kills roaches, the little bitty silicon gradules found in diatomaceous earth grind down in through the small holes found in flea joints and their respiratory system. With each breath and with every move the flea makes, it grinds away at the exoskeleton. It eventually leads to dehydration and death. Simply apply it to a pet’s fur and to any carpet that may have fleas embedded in it.

Natural Head Lice Treatment

With school pretty much back in full swing all across the country, there’s one thing every parent dreads…; a child being sent home by the school nurse due to head lice. Traditionally, it’s always been treated with very harsh chemicals (ouch!) or old wives tales that may or may not work (mayonaise anyone?). But this is yet another reason to keep some diatomaceous earth around. You can massage it into the the hair, let it sit overnight and wash it out the next day for a safer, more natural way to get rid of lice. Though DE is generally recognized as safe, Wellness Mama warns not to let the child breath in too much of the dust to be on the safe side.

But Wait…; Beautiful Skin, Heart Health and More?

Food grade diatomaceous earth is considered safe for human consumption. Note, we aren’t talking about the big bags of the industrial stuff, but food grade. Some experts believe, and research shows, that DE may even be used to lower cholesterol and improve heart health. It’s also used in many skin care products and some people use it to make their own toothpaste because its a naturally strong abrasive. You can use any of your favorite DIY toothpaste recipes, replacing baking soda with DE.



Tourist Finds An ATM Skimmer Whilst On Vacation

Security expert Benjamin Tedesco found an illegal cash skimmer on an ATM machine whilst on holiday in Vienna, Austria.

The skimmer was located on the ATM machine near St. Stephen’s Cathedral, based in the Austrian capital.

His video of the incident has already amassed two million views.

Tedesco noticed glue around the skimmer which instantly determines that it’s fake.

To prove it, he pulls off the skimmer and shows us how identical the real and fake machines are.

He then speaks to an ATM user to warn her about the danger of the fake skimmer as soon as she goes to insert her card.

atm user

Tedesco said, ‘While on vacation with my family in Vienna, Austria, I went to grab some cash from an ATM.

‘Being security paranoid, I repeated my typical habit of checking the card reader with my hand as I have 100s of times…; today’s the day when my security awareness paid off’.

‘In addition to the magnetic strip reader, it has a battery (the large silver object on the right), some sort of switch (the small silver object in the middle with the small black tab sticking out of it), and of course the control board with the 4 pin connector (the large green board to the left).’


He added, ‘I have since notified the Vienna Police Department regarding this discovery’.

Tedesco noticed something else suspicious after watching a spoof of his video by Ali Rahmoun. It shows a missing grey slip that could have been a camera.

grey slip

The camera was positioned over the keyboard so that PIN codes can be recorded. Whilst it was in Tedesco’s video, it was removed in Rahmoun’s.


So if you’re on a luxurious holiday this year, keep alert for potential threats like this.


How To Build A Coke Can Stove For Hiking & Camping

This next idea is so great and very easy to implement in case of emergency or when camping.

The tutorial is going to teach you how to make a small stove out of a soda can in just a few minutes. Aluminum is the lightest of metals and due to its flexibility and strength it’s most often used to manufacture everyday products such as beverage and food containers. So by trying this project, you can also reuse your containers of soda and contribute to the reduction of environmental pollution.

If you follow the steps from the link you can build (with few materials and minimal skills) a portable stove for travel or cooking in case of energy blackouts.


The supplies you are going to need are: 2 aluminum cans of any soft drink, 1 marker, a pair of scissors or cutter, 1 small sandpaper, 1 nail, alcohol and fiberglass. The step by step tutorial can be found on the link below. Happy crafting!





  1. Cut 2 coke tin can into 2 bottom parts
  2. Make holes in 1 of them
  3. The next step is to nest the two halves together, top into the bottom.
  4. Fill the concave cavity with fuel


Finally, this is the fire from your Stove for Hiking and Camping made out of Coke / Beer Tin Cans..

Photos from: Easy Diy, Mungo Says Bah

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Here Is How You Can Make These 3 DIY Bug Traps That Actually Work

 Summertime provides across a good deal of outdoor activities along with the beauty of backyard barbecues.
As you know, summer also tends to bring out insects..and lots of them.
Here’s a simple DIY project you can do to keep the insects away.



Photograph Resource: Chris Philpott

1) DIY Lure for Stink Bugs

The stink bugs’ stinky smell is sufficient to give you headaches.

A stinkbug lure can be easily made by you by going for a two liter container that is plastic and cutting-off the 2″ that are at the top.

After that, insert the top into the bottom as shown in the picture and tape it up. If you put it over a light, the bugs will fly towards it and won’t be able to escape.

The lure is most effective at nighttime areas of the house such as cellars and the attics.


Three DIY Bug Traps That Actually Work_image 2

Photograph Resource: Chris Philpott


The Ancient Off Grid Heater Thats Far Better Than A Wood Stove



Its the absolute most dependable, effective and secure method to create warmth using wood. So several houses today ask them to why do?

Masonry ovens have now been employed for generations across Belgium Germany and Scandinavia. However they were rarely found on The United States that’ll account fully for their comparative shortage in america in England and its own the first Uk impact.

On the basic degree, there is just a range a huge assemblage of stones that’s made to maintain and expand warmth made by a wood-fire. Constructed and whenever precisely created, a range may continue steadily to expand warmth for approximately twenty hrs in a nicely-protected house following the two’s extreme using -hr fireplace. Normally, although, a house may warmth in wintertime regarding ten to twelve hrs.

The brickwork within the fireplace was created to move the smoking via a program of stations that remove as you are able to prior to the smoking leaves just as much warmth the flue. There’s small creosote accumulation since a powerful fire can be used to heat-up the brickwork also it creates a fireplace that is very clear.


Well known National writer Mark Twain was therefore amazed using the brickwork range throughout a visit to Europe he authored about any of it, indicating misunderstandings about why America hadnt imported the heat design:

All-day-long and until previous night most areas of the area is likely to not be cool and comfy… Its area is cold: not and you are able to place your hands onto it anyplace get burned. Consider these specific things. One shooting is sufficient for that day heat created may be the identical most day, in the place of also chilly and also warm by becomes… This range could be adopted by America, but will America get it done? Number, she sticks within the range point to her very own afraid and fantastic innovations. Whichever breed’s National woodstove, is just a horror. More interest is required by it that the infant. It’s to become given each short for most incentive you’re roasted your time: as well as while, it’s to become viewed constantly and freezing another half…

When your wooden expenses is available in you and believe you’ve been helping a volcano. It’s undoubtedly unusual than they are doing that helpful traditions and products don’t distribute from nation to nation with promptness and increased service.

Preferably, there is a range made throughout the preliminary building of the house, but-its feasible to retrofit one. Monte crucial, although, is since it’s possible to consider everywhere in one to several lots the fact that there’s adequate assistance underneath the range. Another depth that is new is the fact that many brickwork shops placed and are made in a domiciles living space’s middle. This enables to any or all areas of the house for more effective rays of warmth.


Tale continues below movie:

There may be to some masonry range a-side advantage the addition of a stove within the brickwork. This really is another excellent off-the- solution regarding cooking from breads and pizzas also it functions very well.

The brickwork doesn’t get awfully warm at first glance as Twain stated. Unlike if handled a cast-iron range that may effortlessly burn anyone, rock and the packet in a range radiates warmth continuously in a heat that is reduced. It may be not as warm like a conventional wooden, although warm towards the contact -burning range.

Well-known supplies utilized in building contain fireplace- other along with packet, soapstone kinds of brick that keep and maintain warmth. You will find free standing masonry ovens as you are able to purchase, however an expert should really installs them and therefore are occasionally constructed in items because of their fat. There are also creating required security functions that require to become adopted due to the high temperature produced within the firebox and rules.

It’s an excellent resource if you should be residing without energy and gasoline since the brickwork range places off a regular warmth all night without excellent hassle.



Profound New Wilderness Film ‘We Belong To It’ is a Hit [VIDEO]

Unbelievable wilderness views and one of our favorite Bushcraft masters, Ray Mears’ thoughtful commentary will make this one of your favorite nature films.

Wilderness as depicted on film really doesn’t get any better than this.

We Belong To It – Ray Mears in Northern Ontario, is an award winning 14-minute film created by director Goh Iromoto. The film features well-known survivalist and bushcrafter Ray Mears, as he explores via canoe the Wabakimi Provincial Park wilderness in northern Ontario, Canada.

WE BELONG TO IT. from GOH on Vimeo.


Emergency Preparedness: Types of Disaster Preparedness

8 Types Of Disaster Preparedness – What Type Are You In?

Evaluate and plan for the disasters that are probable to your location

Disaster preparedness involves considering an array of natural disasters and then taking actions to prevent being in a venerable state.

Disaster preparedness may also involving planning for a manmade disaster which is non-dependent upon natural elements.

Being able to balance the various disaster scenarios when preparing your survival pack is the key to making an effective emergency kit.

Here are 10 types of disasters which should be considered.

The natural disasters which are common

1) Earthquakes

If you look at the growing number of earthquakes across the country, you will realize that this is a very realistic disaster to prepare for.

disaster preparedness

Areas which have not had earthquakes in over 100 years are starting to have tremor activity. Those areas which have had a history of earthquakes are seeing the intensity of such earthquakes grow.

In such situations, you need to be able to navigate around a great deal of structural damage as well as find an area which is secured from potential natural dangers (such as fallen trees and rockslides).

2) Wildfires

Seasonal wildfires are common to certain geographic locations.

Those which are survivalist may want to re-evaluate their survival spot to ensure that they are not going to be hemmed in should a wildfire break out.

disaster preparedness tips

Those which are in such areas should also consider how the fires may spread based upon wind conditions as well as from former fires.

3) Tornados

Tornados are one of the most unpredictable natural disasters. Yet, there are a few ways in which you can be ready.

Preppers should have plenty of water, an emergency kit that goes beyond just the small band-aids and Neosporin.

If you live in an area that is prone to tornados, you should know the areas which see the most activity.

Focus on finding routes to your survival spot which are as far away from such areas as possible.

4) Hurricane

Hurricanes are a bit more predictable as the paths are seen while they are offshore.

In most cases, you can board up and prevent a great deal of the damage to your home.

However, you cannot be 100% protected just from such methods.

You should prepare for extreme water damage, fallen trees, and other debris, as well as for loss of electricity and water.

5) Snow and Freezing conditions

Recent events have shown us that there is no geographical location which is free from having a winter storm, even if it is not “winter”. 

New York still has now melted in some areas from the winter storm they received and in the past, the southern states have seen snow storms as late as April.

States, where snow is a typical part of the year, should have an emergency kit in place to:

  • Create access (egress) from the home
  • Provide heat
  • Reduce water damage from melting snow
  • Purify water as water may become unavailable
  • Provide food until food can be found

6) Lightning

Lightning is vastly underestimated as a natural force to be prepared for.

Yet, many house fires, land, and damage is caused by such.

Lightning can strike outside of a residence and travel through a house quickly causing the loss of electricity and water as well as structural damage.

Preparing for such a disaster can include routing your ground wires away from your house.

Keep in mind that if you are using more than one ground that your system will need to ensure that they do not cancel each other out.

7) Flooding

Disaster preparedness for flooding would require that you plan to evacuate your home.

As such, you will need to have your emergency kit in the topmost part of your house from which you can evacuate (if you cannot get onto the roof from the attic do not put the pack there).

If you do not know how to swim, you should take courses in order to prepare yourself for such a disaster, mobility will be your key survival preparation.

You will also need to focus on a clean water source as well as food.

Flood waters will not be suitable for drinking as they will be an agglomeration of water, waste, and the dead.

8) Mudslides

Mudslides come without much warning. Yet, you can prepare for such a disaster.

An area which has the danger of a mudslide should have retaining walls added which can withstand a great deal of force (concrete is preferred over wood).

For extra protection, you may want to consider building a mud ravine with a retaining wall on the residential side.

In the event of a mudslide, you will not have time to grab your survival pack from inside the house.

You should have your pack stored in a location that can be quickly and easily accessed and one that is not prone to be damaged by a mudslide

Man-made disasters

9) Martial Law

In the event that martial law is declared, you will need to have a bug out spot picked which is appropriate for your environment.

If you are in an area which is dominantly urban, your pack should focus on being able to navigate these spaces undetected.

dummies guide to bug out bags

Your primary components to your emergency kit should include:

  • Food
  • water
  • shelter
  • and a CV radio.

If your primary location is rural, you should still have those components as the major pieces, but you will also need to ensure that you have an axe and fire starter as well.

10) A complete Economic Collapse

A total economic collapse would mean that the dollar system becomes ineffective.

Those which know how to survive on their own will be at the advantage as they will have a useful skill which can be used to barter and trade.

Those entirely dependent upon commerce will have a lower chance of survival.

Where are you?

Take into consideration your environment and the conditions you need to prepare for will ensure that you have the emergency kit that is more apt to maximize your chances of survival if a disaster occurs.

Be sure to sign up for our Newsletter below. It will provide you with information to protect yourself and your family during any of these.

Top 10 Survival Gear Mistakes to avoid, I never would have thought of #5!

Are you really prepped or are you doomed for failure?

You have a survival bag made and you believe that it is up to par.

However, many times those which take on off grid living find that their survival gear is greatly lacking.

Understanding the common mistakes which new wilderness survivalist make concerning their survival gear will ensure that you do not do the same.

So here they are, the top 10 mistakes to avoid in your Survival Gear.

1) Keep away from Goliath Sized Packs

You want to ensure that you can carry all your gear in your survival pack, but at the same time the pack has to be manageable.

Getting a pack that is huge will only make you a target for others which are trying to survive as well as become a burden to you.

As you will be toting the pack over large distances, ensure that the pack does not weigh more than you.


Image Source: Flickr user Jonathon Seah

The best survival packs are those which contain all the necessary items in the smallest space.

Consider, if you have to tote a 70 to 100 pound bag on your back that is the equivalent of carrying a 9 year old child all day.

2) Don’t pack just water, pack water purification tools

If you pack bottled water and a few canteens and expect to survive then you have already been defeated.

Water will be your primary objective in wilderness survival.

You need to ensure that your pack has water filters, water purification tablets, and that you have a way to heat up water.

Water purification tablets should be used with any water which is held for a day of more to ensure that you do not get contaminants.

When possible, you should save those bottled waters and canteens for days when you cannot find any fresh water.

3) Don’t forget to pack paracord

String is often overlooked as a luxury item.

However, a nice amount of paracord can be used to make fishing line, it is needed for a bowdrill, it can be used to hang your clothes or to make a very quickly shelter (if you have a tarp or large sheet).

Where it may not appear at first glance that string is important, you do not want to have to sacrifice your clothing or weave rope cords if you can avoid doing so.

4) Go beyond the standard first aid kit

Your emergency preparedness kit needs to go beyond the everyday first aid kit.

By this I mean that you need to have ample gauze, bandages, tweezers, superglue, needle, thread, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Nail clippers, pillars (for when tweezers just won’t work), and if possible a survival heat blanket. These are best to have packed in your bug out vehicle

Do not forget to pack Benadryl or the equivalent either as you may have an allergic reaction to plants and other digested food.

5) A pack without a whetstone is a doomed pack

Regardless of how sharp your knife and axe are currently, they will become dull. Yes, you can make you a “natural” whetstone, but why?

This is time that can be dedicated to hunting and tracking and other survival skills.

Besides, if you are in a situation where you need a sharp blade you do not want to have to go about finding a suitable substitute for a whetstone. 

The size of the stone does not matter too much (though you do not want to get one that is too small) so long as you can keep your knife and axe sharp.

6) You forgot to pack dehydrated food

Yes, you are going to hunt and gather food in the wild.

Until you can actually do so, you have to eat.

Finding a good game trail can take days to find. If your wilderness survival begins in winter, plants and game may be unavailable for a substantial amount of time.

To minimize the probability of starvation, you need to have non-perishable food. The best way to do this is with dehydrated food.

Dehydrated food lasts a very long time, and let’s face it if you forget food it will probably outlast you.

7) Don’t pack your gun

You may have seen on prepper videos and other survivalist broadcasts that certain survival gear packs have guns stored in them.

This is a very bad idea.

First, it is impractical to have one in your pack.

If someone comes up on you and you need a gun, the time that it takes to get out the gun and then use it will be too long.

The person will already have fled or mugged you.

You’ll want to have your gun on your person, ideally in a gun holster.

8) Avoid florescent colors when selecting a survival pack

Logically, a fluorescent survival pack will hinder your chances of survival.

First, as a survivalist you want to blend into the surroundings and not be noticed. Colors which attract attention are a danger to you.

The more attention that you draw from other survivalist the lower your chances of survival become.

Yet, your main concern should not be from the other survivalists.

Consider, if you are trying to track or capture game and you have a bright pack giving away your location you won’t be successful.

This is why camo was invented. 

Pick a pack that has natural greens, browns, or one that has a cameo pattern.

By picking a design that accents your natural environment your chances for survival increase dramatically.

9) Have a way to repair your pack

The easiest way to have your survival gear go to ruin is to have a damaged pack. You can easily avoid such by packing a small sewing kit, or better yet, choose duct tape.

Tears and rips are bound to happen to your pack.

If left unattended, they will grow leaving you to decide what gear can be carried and what gear must be sacrificed.

10) Pack a complete pack; do not rely on a partner survivalist

Finally, do not pack a half pack.

Those who go into a survivalist “partnership” do so with the lowest probability for survival.

If you are in a wilderness survival situation, your pack should have everything you need to survive.

Think about it.

If food rations get low and your pack does not have the food in it, who is going to be the person to control the food.

If an emergency happens and the decision comes down to you or him, do you think that your survivalist buddy will let you live and die?

More than likely they will not.

Make sure you pack a complete survival gear kit.

9 Reasons Why You Suck at Wilderness Survival

If you cannot hack it in the wild, this may be the reason why

Have you tried to go into the wilderness just to find that you are really bad at survival skills?

There may be an easy explanation as to why you suck at wilderness survival.

Obviously, there are numerous reasons why a person would fail to survive, but here are the 9 we feel are most important.

1) Too Much TV not enough Prep

The first and most critical step to survival training is to practice the skills needed before you attempt off grid living or wilderness survival.

If all of your information has been gathered from watching television shows, or worse no information has been gathered because you spend all your time in front of the television then you are not prepared.


Get up off the couch and get outside and practice different scenarios.

Hone your skills and your chances to survive will increase dramatically.

2) Your Survival Gear was packed haphazardly

Preparing for wilderness survival includes making a detailed survival gear list and then getting everything on that list.

Just packing a bag full of junk based upon a “feeling” will lead to a poor survival setting.

Ensure that you have a survival gear list that includes:

  • A food list (both dehydrated food and non-perishable food)
  • Water purifiers and purification tablets
  • Clothing
  • Necessary tools for survival
  • A disaster plan

3) You bought the cheapest set of knives you could find

Where there are some cheap knives that can stand up to the test of time and heavy use, the majority of cheap knives suck.

They break, they are dull to begin with, the blades bend and break, etc.

Ensuring that your knives are durable and that they will stand the test of time and usage is paramount to your survival.

Yes, these knives will be more expensive, but things of great quality usually are.

Specialized survival knives are preferred over just a nice “novelty” knife.

Ensure that the knife you are buying is intended for heavy and frequent use.

Take the time to do some research on the best knives on the market and get the best.

4) Your navigation skills are non-existent and you have no compass

Wilderness survival is greatly dependent on movement and a navigational system.

You need to understand where the food is going, where the water flows, what areas are hazardous, where you need to migrate to keep warm/cold.

A man that does not know how to navigate by natural methods (by the stars, from moss, from flowing water, and the sun) has bleak chances in the wild.

Sure, you may have a compass, but if your compass breaks or if you get into an area that sends your needle haywire what will you do then?

Mindless wandering because of a lack of navigational training has got to be one of the top reasons why you would suck at wilderness survival.

5) You thought anyone could do it

The number one killer of people who attempt to make it off the grid in a wilderness survival setting is the mindset that anyone can do it.

This is a gross mistake.

If you have no bushcraft training, do not prepare, and enter the woods like a child with a new toy, you will die. It is really that simple.

Survivalists have to have the mindset that the odds are not on their side and that they must make nature work for them.

If you treat your wilderness survival with the mindset of it being about surviving then your chances may improve.

6) You are too out of shape to survive

This is not being mean. This is being realistic.

If you are obese, have high blood pressure, are diabetic, or suffer from any number of diseases which can be controlled, your chances or wilderness survival are slim.

There is no abundant supply of insulin in the wilderness (though you may find some natural ways to keep your sugar under control).

A person with high blood pressure will be at risk as survival is stressful and sure to raise the blood pressure even higher.

Obese people will find that walking, the sun, and other tasks will tax upon them.

If you are out of shape, exercise and eat right. Put it into your routine. If you plan to survive in the wild you will need to be in peak condition.

7)  You relied on a buddy to balance the load

Many times, a person fails to in a wilderness survival setting simply because they based their survival upon someone else.

You may have thought that you would pack the food and your buddy would pack the tools.

Perhaps you honed the fire starting skills and they honed the navigation and tracking skills. Regardless, if you are depending upon another person for your survival you have done so foolishly.

In a survival situation your buddy is likely to go where he believes the best chances for HIS survival lay (which may or may not be with you).

8) You did not pack enough water

You need to have access to water at all times.

Not keeping canteens of water is going to quickly diminish your chances of survival.

There is no guarantee that you will find water quickly and so you need to have plenty of water in your survival gear.

You will also need to have water purifier so that you can restock on water.

If you run out of water you cannot survive. Water is one of the three mandatory needs (food, shelter, and water).

9) You made yourself a target

In wilderness survival the key is to keep a low profile, especially if you are trying to survive under extreme conditions.

Broadcasting your supplies and the quantity and quality of the items in your survival bag will make you a target for others.

Your bag should be common in appearance and not too showy. You do not want to draw attention.

Also, do not set your camp within close proximity to others in a wilderness survival situation.

Stay off the grid and out of other’s radar.

18 Bushcraft Skills All Successful Preppers Share

Nature’s greatest allure is how it allows us to rekindle our connection with our primal senses – the forgotten aspect of our nature.

The beautiful thing about nature is that, it requires us to strip down to the bare essentials and live off the natural elements. In this article we will share with you 18 essential bushcraft skills that all successful preppers share.

These skills will help you experience the liberation that a person gets from self-reliance and adventure.

18 Bushcraft Skills All Successful Preppers Share

The Craft of Fire

A bonfire can serve many purposes. Not only does it help illuminate the surrounding areas, but also helps in getting warmth, cooking food and boiling water.

It is also used for building weapons and tools.

Hence, fire is an essential element for wilderness survival.

Bushcraft Skills

Art of Navigation

There are two primary mediums for navigation: a compass and a map. If you have these two pieces of equipment you can almost never get lost, especially if you’re familiar with the area.

However, for a master navigator, all that’s necessary is keen observation skills and nature.

The sky becomes their map and the sun and stars become the directives.

Foraging for Food

Foraging is one of the most important skills as it allows us to find edible plants. Nature is filled with many delicacies along with just as many toxic plants.

A person’s ability to find wild berries, fruits and mushrooms is essential for their survival.

Hunting your Dinner

Hunting is probably the most primal of all the bushcraft skills and the best way to add some protein to your diet.

A good hunter will possess the ability to observe their prey and create a plan to either track it down or trap it.


No one can survive in the wild without sturdy shelter. This particular skill, is the foundation of an adventurer’s and their time in nature.

You must know how to create an appropriately sized shelter that can protect its inhabitants from rain.

The adventurer should also know about various different types of shelters and their proper use.

For example, a swamp bed is a type of shelter that allows shelter on wet surfaces or even water.

Understanding your Ropes

One of the most important, yet basic skills in bushcraft is the ability to tie poles or sticks together to create a rope.

Although, survivalist can take nylon ropes, but their real ability will be tested when they can create ropes from bush materials such as grass or vines.

Bushcraft Skills 2

Knots and Lashings

Your ability to tie knots will help you several other essential skills necessary for survival.

In bushcraft work you will be forced to learn many different types of knots and lashings, which will help you build shelters, ropes, beds and so on.


If you are ever forced to make your own shelter from the bush materials that are available at hand, thatching is a skill that allows you to do just that.

It is not difficult to construct a hut exclusively using with local materials. In place of nails you will use lashings and thatching with long grass ferns for weather proof roofing.

Camp Craft

With some basic tools and know-how, anyone can set up a temporary or permanent camp.

Knowledge in camp craft will help you establish a u-shaped stone fireplace or a dug in fireplace.

Hooks, fire-throngs and forks from me made from bush material. It teaches you diverse set of skills such as stone baking, creating lamps or making camp-furniture.

Reading the Sun-Clock

Believe it or not, but our sun acts as a clock if we can learn to learn its rays. Well, all you really need is a stick to create a shadow, which will help you tell the time in the most primal manner.

Food Preservation

We don’t really need refrigerators to preserve food for later. The best ways to keeping our wild animal meat fresh under bush conditions are by smoking or drying the meat.

Fishing and Fish Traps

Although, the most usual method for fishing is by using a rod and a line, however, we can devise a number of creative traps to catch fish.

This helps us free up time to perform other tasks during the day.

Water Gathering

There are many natural indicators that can help us find water in the wild.

Water can be found in hollow trees, under the soil and water can also be extracted from vegetation.

Since water can be found and extracted in the driest of terrains, it is an essential skill for bushcraft.

Bushcraft Skills 3

Analyzing Animals and their Habits

The ability to recognize animals is of enormous benefit for an adventurer. Species identification can help you in finding water and food sources.

It can help you stay out of danger by avoiding threatening animals such as poisonous snakes.

Reading Tracks

There was a time when we could tract almost anything literally anywhere.

However, modern civilization has taken this skill away from most of us.

Ability to read tracks can help you avoid dangerous animals, while helping you find food.


Although, everyone carries a first-aid or survival kit, but a person’s ability to give first-aid can be extremely important and can even be the difference between life and death.

On the lesser extreme, it is important for one to understand how to properly clean a wound to prevent infections and other complications.

Understanding Your Weather

There are many effective ways to predict weather without the use of technology.

For example, observing cloud patters is an effective way to anticipate changes in weather.

This is a particularly important skill, as preparing for rain can make your life quite easier in the wild.

Emergency Signal Codes

Although, bushcraft and the wild are quite safe, it is still important to be properly prepared for the worst, because accidents and emergencies are not predictable and our disaster preparedness shouldn’t be lacking.

If you really are serious about mastering bushcraft, then you need to at least familiarize yourself, if not master these 18 survivalist skills all successful preppers share.

Hopefully, this will inspire you to experience the joys and purity of nature in it’s true form, which we all know is WILD.

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7 Things Nobody Tells You About Declaring You’re a Prepper

Preparing for a natural disaster by packing a bug-out bag, owning survival equipment and keeping your home stocked with food and water is par-for-the-course in some areas and downright strange in others.

For example, those who live in rural Maine know that snowfall can be measured in feet and that it’s foolish not to have alternative sources of heat and light if the power goes out, while those who live in milder climes such as Georgia or Arkansas may not give these considerations much thought.

The citizens of southern California may prepare for earthquakes, while those in Nebraska might not even think about it.

Preparing for the worst is a great idea, but declaring that you’re a prepper can bring about some interesting shifts in your life that no one may have told you were possibly going to happen.

Whether it’s a change in your interpersonal relationships, interest from law enforcement or even the threat of future danger, there are plenty of reasons to keep knowledge of your prepping limited to your closes friends and family.

7. You May Be Considered Paranoid.

According to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, an average of 399 people were killed in the United States by natural disasters each year from 1980 to 2010.

That sounds like a very small amount of people. However, those impacted by natural disasters stands at almost 27 million. That’s nearly a tenth of the population, using 2010’s estimate of 309 million people.

natural disaster protection


If you have a one-in-ten chance of being impacted by a natural disaster in the next 30 years, shouldn’t you prepare for it?

Being aware of this fact and preparing for the possibility, however, is seen as paranoid by some. You may be laughed at or ostracized by some who are perfectly willing to take the risk of being caught unprepared.

Issues of personal safety and acceptable risk are deeply personal, and being outed as a prepper could draw scorn from those with a more cavalier outlook.

If that person is your boss, you may want to keep your disaster plan to yourself.

6. Others May Assume the Worst.

With the sensationalism of the media, many folks have only seen extreme preppers who are awaiting the end of the world. The National Geographic Channel highlights such people on their program Doomsday Preppers, and the average person may not realize that the vast majority of preppers do not go to such extremes.

Others may assume you have an enormous arsenal of guns and ammunition, five years of food and water and your own survivalist stockpile in an underground bunker in your yard!

Plenty of people are uncomfortable with that level of prepping and may subsequently feel uncomfortable about you and your plans. If you do decide to discuss it, be prepared to explain the scope of your prepping.

Most reasonable people would agree a bug-out bag and some supplies are a good idea, but you might need to go into detail if all the person has ever seen is the most extreme examples of prepping from the media.

5. Someone Might Call the Police.

In our hyper-aware society, people are pushed to be on the lookout for anyone who has the potential to be dangerous.

To some, preparing for a disaster means that you might know about a disaster ahead of everyone else, because you’re the cause of it.

Don’t be surprised if a nervous neighbor or coworker calls the police.

As long as you have proper permits for firearms or building, prepping is not a crime.

Try not to be upset if this happens, as it occurs mostly due to fear and ignorance.

4. You May Become a Target for Thieves.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics states that there were over 7 million burglaries a year from 2003 to 2007.

While some home invasions are random, many are planned ahead of time with specific goals in mind. If someone knows you have a bug-out bag full of your critical documents, stealing the bag will allow them to steal your identity.

If you have firearms, they fetch good prices on the black market. For those who keep cash to use in case the electricity is interrupted, thieves will go to great lengths to get it. Be careful who you tell and what you divulge about your prepping.

3. You May Become a Community Leader.

Depending on your geographical location and the sensibilities of your neighbors, you may find yourself the go-to person for information and education about prepping.

For example, if you live in an area that experiences natural disasters quite frequently and you are always among the first to recover completely, your neighbors will want to know your ‘secrets.’

Just like everybody in town might know that David down the block is the go-to guy for mechanical issues and that his wife Sue is the town’s best seamstress, you could become known as the prepping source.

How you feel about this and how much you want to talk about prepping is entirely up to you.

2. People May Come to You in an Emergency.

Whether their power has gone out in a snow storm or a tornado has torn through town, those who know you are prepared may seek you out for assistance.

Depending on the size of the emergency and how much help is available, you may be inundated and overwhelmed with too many people.



For this reason alone, you may want to keep quiet about your prepping so that you have ample supplies for your close friends and family.

1. You May Be Invited to Join a Local Network.

As with any endeavor, there is usually strength in numbers. Other preppers in your area may want to get to know you, and you will need to decide if you want to interact with them.

Some more extreme preppers may only be interested in the survival and care of their families, while others include neighbors and local children into their plans. A lot depends on what your goal is.

Like-minded individuals can form a loose alliance that can invaluable in an emergency, so consider joining the prepper community.

Being a prepper encompasses a lot of ground. Whether you just want to be prepared for a natural disaster that could last a few days or you want to be ready for a doomsday scenario, deciding to declare yourself a prepper is a deeply personal decision.

All of these factors may play a part in that decision, and you should think carefully before you decide whether or not to discuss your preparedness with others.

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3 Things to Include in Your In Your Bug Out Vehicle

In an ideal situation, you will have everything from your BOB to your BOL to your BOV preset and ready to go in a SHTF scenario. The problem is that most people do not live in the ideal world.

Most people nowadays live from paycheck to paycheck with minimal money that is free to use as they please. So, your BOV (bug out vehicle) is likely going to be a vehicle that is used on an everyday basis.

best bug out vehicle



That being said, it might be a little difficult to keep your entire bug out readiness equipment and essentials stockpiled in the vehicle. If you are one of the many that this rule applies to, you will likely have limited long-term storage space.

There are three main things that need to be kept and stockpiled in your vehicle at all times, just in case a SHTF scenario occurs.

Vodka is Versatile


By no means am I suggesting that you go get plastered while driving to your BOL (bug out location). Keeping a half gallon of the cheapest vodka you can buy could actually save your life.

vodka for preppers

Vodka is a great disinfectant when you do not have any other way to sterilize equipment. If you get injured, you can pour it onto the wound, and it will help kill some of the infection that could occur.

Vodka is also extremely flammable. In a situation where you need fire in a hurry, pouring a little vodka and then lighting a flame will almost light up the sky.

Vodka can also be used as a temporary pain reliever or sedative (or sedative). There are many ways that this substance can be used in a SHTF scenario, but you have to remember that it is not meant to party with! 

Never too many Tools

When you think of tools, you probably think of hammer, nails and drills.

When I say tools, I mean hammer, nails, drills, sockets, wrenches and every other tool that you can possible fit into the area.

If you need to build a temporary shelter, tools can come in handy. If you break down on the side of the road, tools can get you going again.

If you need to climb, dig, hide, break into an abandoned house, tools will come in handy. The need for tools is going to be never-ending, so you should start gathering them now.

Not only will tools be handy for survival, but they will also be in great demand if there is a need to rebuild civilization. Having equipment to build homes, beds, furniture and more could almost guarantee you a place in a civilized group.

Remember, most groups will not accept new members who cannot contribute to the group as a whole. 

Weapons and Ammo

Not that you will necessarily have to shoot someone, but that you may need to get some food or protect your family.

While you BOB will likely have some ammo and weapons, it will likely be very little compared to what you can store in your vehicle.

You can never have enough protection and hunting equipment. Also, there is a great chance that when SHTF gun ammo will be as good as gold when it comes to the barter system.

Not everyone will have been as prepared as you, and they will need ammo to get food for themselves or their families, and that is where an abundance of the cheapest ammo that you can find will be handy.

You might even have enough stockpiled to gain some comfort items with the crappy ammo that you have stored for this exact circumstance. 

In an ideal situation, you will have things like tents, sleeping bags, lanterns, lighters, fuel, ammo, food, water and everything else in your vehicle.

If you cannot spare a vehicle to keep stockpiled, make sure that you have your BOB ready to go and your vehicle filled with things that you will need to acquire the fundamentals for surviving the SHTF situation. 

What else would you include in your Bug Out Vehicle? Leave a comment below!

Make your own Safe Room

Let’s face it, most of us aren’t rich enough to purchase one of those neat prefab safe rooms rated to survive F5 tornadoes and Anti tank missiles (I know, I’m exaggerating…) but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a certain room in the house that is our go to Safe Room in the event of natural disasters or home invasions. This article will deal mostly with home invasion, but many of the same principles go into a “storm shelter” room.

But wait, why would someone want to run and hide when a burglar breaks in the door? Isn’t that why we have guns? Why should we hide and let them take whatever they want? First off, yes, you may have the means of defeating the intruder. Multiple intruders? Intruders with the same equipment in hand that you have in your desk drawer?

Let me state clearly, I am not advocating pacifism or any such thing. I am a staunch supporter of Stand your Ground laws. But sometimes that’s not the best way. Let’s say your wife isn’t a “gun person”, she could lock herself in the safe room rather than try to operate a tool she has only a passing familiarity with. What if you leave your 13 y/o in charge of his siblings while you run to the store? Maybe ha can handle firearms, but does he have the confidence necessary to take control of the situation? Beyond that, do you want your child to experience taking a life at such a young age? If he gets his siblings into the safe room then (let me pause for emphasis) EVERYTHING outside that room is replaceable. The situation can run it’s course without loss of life or serious emotional damage. And remember, just ’cause you’ve locked yourself in, doesn’t mean you’re helpless. We’ll talk later about what to do when inside.

But let’s move on. Let me state something so that it is abundantly clear. No Safe Room is Un-Breachable. But there are a lot of things you can do to make it harder than it’s worth. We’re going to discuss how to turn an existing room into a safe room. These same principles can be applied to new construction, often to greater effect.

Location, location, location. Where you locate your room is the first decision you have to make, and it’s an intensely personal decision. If you’re looking for a weather-safe room, you definitely want to go for an interior room. If you want to have a way out (away from the people in the house) then you’re talking about an exterior room with another door or window. If you’re concerned with entry points as vulnerable points in your room, you may again want to have an interior room.  I cannot tell you where to have your safe room, only point out that it is a serious matter of consideration.

Entry points. Entry points are weak spots in your perimeter, since they are designed to, well, allow passage, so they will get the first and greatest attention. You should take a moment to go look closely at your door and frame. First off, most interior doors are hollow core doors. This means they have two sheets of ¼ inch plywood with dead air in between. This is not going to stand up to someone who is both determined, and has a strong kick. You should look into replacing it with a steel door (which are also hollow), or a solid wood door. Preferably out of something hard like Oak. The door to your safe room should have a peep hole. These can be purchased and installed with a relatively simple effort, or if you’re replacing the door, you may find one with it built in. If you’re installing it yourself, you may consider mounting it lower, so you can look through it while kneeling, or so your kids can look through it if you aren’t there. One other consideration is that (especially if you’re setting up for weather disasters) your door should definitely open INTO the room. If the storm leaves debris across the door you won’t be able to push it out. Opening into a room is pretty standard, so you likely won’t have to change anything.

Now let’s talk about the door frame. Most frames are a simple ¾ inch pine, which is a fairly soft wood. By the time you drill the hole for the bolt to fit into you’re talking about a very small amount of wood holding the door in place. A swift kick is all it really takes to tear out a door set up this way.

build a safe room

The striker plate can help add some strength to the door, but the standard screws that come with these things are only 1 inch long, and are only set into that little piece of ¾ inch wood, so they will probably pull out with that same kick. If you only make one modification to your safe room, do this; go to your local hardware store and get a box of 3 inch screws. Now go to your door and replace all the screws on your striker plates and hinges with the 3 inchers. This will anchor your strikers and hinges into the 2×4 stud behind the door frame, giving it a much beefier resistance to pull-outs. You should replace the hinge screws one at a time so you don’t risk getting your door out of alignment. They’re tricky to get back.

What about your locks? One thing you’ll notice about your dead-bolts is that they don’t (typically) stick out very far from the edge of the door, just seating in that ¾ piece of soft wood. Have you realized yet that every bit of your security rests on that little piece of scrap wood? You can get dead-bolts that have an extra long throw, again, seating into the studs behind the door frame. Or you can even get steel inserts that go into the wall that accept the bolt. These are not too complicated to install, just involved. It would be much better if you were able to put these in during new construction or a thorough remodel.

You can get dead-bolts in either keyed “one side” or keyed “both sides”. Keyed both sides is recommended for many home security applications, a burglar who breaks a door window can’t reach in and unlock it from the inside. However, these are a BAD idea for a safe room! If you’re trying to get away from an intruder in a hurry (they may even be chasing you down the hall!) you don’t want to have to fumble with a key. So leave these the typical keyed “one side”. And yes, in case you noticed, I am using plurals for a reason. To make your door really rock solid, you should have four dead-bolts. I recommend five actually. Put them in the four corners of your door, top, bottom, left, right, just keep them about 18 inches from the top/bottom edge. The fifth one? Right where it usually is. There are three reasons for this. One: Your door probably came pre-drilled for a standard dead-bolt (though not necessarily) and you’ll need to fill that hole with something anyways. Two: It gives an extra bit of protection right where the assailant is likely to plant their kicks. Three: Goes back to the scenario of locking up quick. It’s just instinctive to reach for the dead-bolt in it’s usual location. Get in and throw the main lock before your attacker gets there and it should hold him off long enough (if you’ve listened to the rest of this so far) to let you lock up tight.

Windows. Windows are typically seen as one of the weakest points of a home, despite the inherent dangers of climbing through broken glass. If you have a window in your safe room (that you aren’t keeping available as an exit) your best bet is to board it up. You could do bars, but then you’ll look like you live in Puerto Ayacucho, Venezuela or something. If you are really concerned with appearances, get some window blinds and hang them inside the window frame instead of above it. Most blinds will have instructions for both. Close them up tight and it’ll cover almost all of what you’re doing to the window. You’ll have to remove any interior window trim. Get a good strong piece of plywood, maybe even paint the side towards the exterior if you want. Make sure it overlaps the window, I would recommend to the next stud. Not the one on each side of the frame, the next one. 16 inches should be the furthest you’ll have to look. Again using the 3 inch screws, anchor the tar out of that puppy, both around the edges and around the window sill. Now, you still only have a piece of plywood between you and them, maybe up to an inch. So you’ll need to reinforce it with 2×4’s, or even 2×6’s if you want overkill. I’d space them roughly 6 inches apart, running horizontally, placed edge on to the plywood. It would be easier to attach these before putting up the panel as a whole, screwed in from the exterior side.

Walls are also a lot weaker than most people realize. All you have between the studs is usually two pieces of ½ inch drywall and 3 ½ inches of air. Pretty easy to penetrate, even with a fist, let alone a foot or shoulder.

...  One of my  nephews put their head through the wall when they were 10.  Not alot of resistance there...… One of my nephews put their head through the wall when they were 10. Not alot of resistance there…

There are two basic ways to “harden” the walls around your safe room. The first, easy way, is to cut a hole in your sheet-rock, probably from inside your room. Make a funnel of some sort and pour pea gravel into the voids between studs. Remember, studs have a standard spacing of 16” from center to center, with variables for intersecting walls, window/doors etc. You can discuss all day how high you should fill the walls, but just remember the basics to help you decide for yourself. One thing to consider obviously is cost. Filling the voids to six feet will require more gravel than say, waist high. Next consider how high you expect the attack to come. Most people face with the task of penetrating sheet-rock are going to kick it, and the typical front on kick is not going to rise far above their hips, or maybe chest. That’s where you need to be protected.

The second, more expensive way to harden your walls is similar to the first, but when you cut the hole I your wall, insert a 55 gallon bag so the opening is sticking out. This will limit how high you can make your re-enforcement, but you can go higher incrementally. Using a funnel as in the method above, pour wet cement into the bag. The bag will contain it so it doesn’t try to seep through gaps in your construction or through switch boxes etc. The cement hardens and viola, you have a cement wall around your safe room. Do be mindful in both these methods that you need to avoid over taxing the walls from the inside out. Especially with cement, doing it in increments will avoid this. Just wait till it hardens, and it won’t be exerting outward pressure so you can add more on top.

Now, what to do when you’re locked up good and tight? First thing, call for help. Keep a phone in your safe room. Land lines can be cut, and would be by serious home invaders. Cell phones can be left on the counter in a panicked rush, and one that you leave in the room is being paid for (hopefully) for nothing. You can get a cheep pre-paid phone, but remember, most such arrangements allow for your minutes to expire monthly, so you need to make sure it’s current or you may end up with a dial pad paper weight when you need to use it.

If you only plan on calling 911, you can store an unused phone. Some time ago there was an agreement made that any phone, on any carrier, even without a plan of any sort, can access any tower to dial 911. So take an old phone, or a cheap phone, and put it in there. Just bear in mind if you want to make any additional calls (“honey, stay at the store till I call you back”), it will not work for that.  Also be aware of battery life.  Even keeping it turned off, you should check it occasionally to make sure it won’t fail during a crisis.

Observe. Remember I said you need a peep hole in your door? Watch what’s going on in your house. Any detail you can see could be used to aid the authorities in finding the intruders. (They also help verify when someone on the other side says “It’s safe now, I’m Officer So-and-so, open up”)

Arm yourself. Keep a firearm of some sort in your safe room. I recommend something that makes a loud “Schuck-Schuck” sound. Nearly as effective as firing it. Besides the universally feared sound, it makes a great blast to discourage someone from having an interest in any hole they may have made. Just make sure you’re responsible with it. If you teach your kids how to run to the safe room before you teach them how to handle the gun, make sure they cannot access it.

All of the above steps can be taken piece by piece, individually, modified to suit your situation. As with anything, you will find a trade off when it comes to security vs. effort/cost. Only you will know what you should do, just please do something, even at the very least, plan. A good evacuation plan (even evac to a room INSIDE the house) and rehearsals is probably to biggest single improvement you can make.

Improvised Armor and How It Could Save Your Life

Today I’m going to talk about improvised armor, or maybe in some circumstances “augmentation armor”. Most body armor on the market today (including ours) is geared for shooting situations. Not surprising, since they are designed to withstand bullets. Some styles however, are also knife resistant.

This is the only short-fall I have come up with for our soft plate, as they are not rated against knives at all. The steel plates, obviously, will stop a bladed weapon.

However, in *most* shooting situations, the attacker is most likely to place his shots in the “center mass”, or chest. Several reason for this, such as when a person who is lacking in training and/or experience in a firefight starts pumping adrenaline, he aims at the person.

Not any particular point on that person, and that means (usually) the torso. Most of our vital organs are contained in the top 12 inches or so, which is why the standard plate size is 10X12.

Would a hit below your plate still be lethal? Could be, but with medical help available, it’s much more likely to be survivable then a hit to the chest. All this to explain why most body armor is confined to the upper torso.

Now, if you’re planning for a firefight, that’s all well and good. If what you’re trying to be prepared for is a situation where you may need protection for a trip to the grocery store, maybe a street fight setting, there is (in my mind) a glaring short-fall.

A common weapon in street fights is a knife, and most knife fighters don’t thrust at the top 12 inches of your chest. They aim for the lower torso, where there are no ribs to hinder their blade, or they slash at your face and arms.

So what do we do about that?

Well, there are a whole host of knife resistant materials out there, some of which I’m looking into for manufacturing a line of knife protection. Still in the works though.

But let’s assume for a moment that you don’t have any of this protective gear. Maybe it’s too expensive, maybe you just didn’t think you’d need it, or whatever reason you may have.

Now we’re in a situation where you’re worried about being knifed on the way to work for the contents of your lunch box, or for the gas in your car, the shoes on your feet, or whatever.

Use your imagination.

What can you do? In it’s earliest forms, armor was designed to repel bladed objects. All of our modern stuff is really just designed to match the threat of advancing fire-arm technology. 

You want to protect against a blade, just get back to basics.

The basics of blocking a knife, is that you just need enough between it and your skin to absorb the force of the attack. And let’s face it, in this sort of scenario, if your attacker suddenly finds his best weapon in-effective and you show a bit of resistance yourself, he’ll probably move on for a “softer” target.

So what can you use? Well, as I said, one of the most vulnerable places in your abdomen. So put something under your shirt. Got a piece of wood? No? Go take the fronts off your kitchen drawers, they’ll work nicely.

Appropriately sized cookie sheet? Nice place to start, although some of them are a bit thin. We’ll come back to that.

How about doggy chews? I mean the real raw hide ones?

Some of the earliest armors were made of leather or raw hide, depending on the goal of that particular piece. I have a pit bull. He likes the big raw hide rolls that are roughly 8 inches across. If you soak one of these in water, unroll it, maybe form it a bit of you want to get fancy and let it dry.

If you really want to be sure of it, go for multiple layers, but there’s some serious stopping power in raw hide. Regular leather works well too, but it needs to be thicker, since it’s softer. If you have a way to layer the tanned leather with the raw hide, with an adhesive, then you’re really gonna be talkin’.

Another thing that you probably have in abundance: Paper. Yes, I said use paper to thwart a knife attack. The ancient Greeks used linen, and they had to stop spear thrusts, from trained warriors. Not just a knife jab from a street tough. The key is layers.

If you don’t trust me, go get your phone book (if you have one) and try to stab through it.



Back when I was young and… Ok, youngER and MORE foolish, some friends and I were messing around with a Dirk, trying to stab it into a ream of paper. I can attest to paper’s resistance to stabs. And you don’t even need a whole ream of paper under your shirt.

Grab a couple issues of Southern Living, maybe tape them together.

At the VERY least, you’re talking about reducing the energy from a knife thrust so you get very limited penetration in your wound. Best idea yet? Get a composite put together, using paper, leather, raw hide, whatever you can come up with.

Get yourself a knife and to some experimenting. Now, briefly (since I’ve covered the different materials already) let’s talk about other areas of your body you might want to “harden”.

First one that comes to my mind is your fore-arms. Face it, someone slashes at you, a pretty good instinct is to block it with your fore-arm. Even with no armor, you’re better off taking a slice to the arm than to the neck or face. Better yet is if you’ve had a bit of defense training and can avoid the blade all together. But sometimes you get cut, and you don’t need to.

Especially if you have reason to prepare for trouble ahead of time. All of the materials I listed above for your abdomen can be used on your arm. Ok, the drawer fronts might be pushing it… Drawer sides are a bit less awkward… Laugh all you want, but a board strapped to the outside of your fore-arm will protect you, awkward or not.

Obviously though, if you expect trouble, less awkward is better.

None the less, samurai used wooden bracers for their armor. Smaller pieces, strapped together so they can form around your arm. They don’t have to be as thick as a piece on your belly, we’re not talking about the same amount of force being applied.

Slashing attacks are quick and not intended to penetrate deep into the victim. Raw hide would work well here, and could be formed to your arm very well indeed.

Anybody seen World War Z?

body armor for survivalists


That’s when Brad Pitt wraps the magazine around his wrist to protect against zombie bites? Yeah, works here too.

Really desperate? If you can get away with it without the wife taking your head off (kinda defeats the purpose of what we’re talking about here…) You can use the flat-ware, taped our bound together in some fashion around your arm.

Odd? Yeah. Ugly? Yep.

Stop a knife slice and keep you alive? Sure will.

The bottom line is, your imagination is really your only limit in this endeavor. If you’re really serious about it, create a system and test it, just like any other emergency prep skill. Best learned and tried BEFORE you need it.

Oh, just don’t test it while you’re wearing it. Please? I don’t want angry letters blaming someone’s injuries on me cause I told them to test their armor. But that’s the basics of “hardening” your body against knife attacks.

Hopefully next week I can start talking about hardening your house!


Body Armor Basics

Several months ago, I started wondering about Body Armor. Let’s face it, one of the things you can expect in a post-collapse society is people willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want. Or to have a bit of “fun”.

Having Body Armor would give you a valuable edge in such a situation, and I think we can all agree, we want every edge we can get. So I started shopping around online, looking for bullet proof vests. When I started to find them, they were the full chin-to-shin set ups for buku duckies, and quite frankly, not what I was looking for.

Then there were the ones called “carriers”, priced anywhere from $50-$150, and I thought “there’s no way it’s that cheap”. I finally realized that these were nothing more than vests with pockets that you can put armor plates into.

I was disappointed.

I was looking for just a basic bullet proof vest, and no-one seemed to carry them (I have found some since, but I’ll discuss later why they got a thumbs down). Then I got a belated Christmas present from my dad. He had pre-ordered the Survival Summit webinar, a copy for himself, and one for me. I highly recommend this resource, it’s put out by The Prepper Project, at

One of the topics discussed was Body Armor!

This is where I got my basic understanding of modern Body Armor, and I’ve managed to expand my knowledge somewhat since.

Turns out, vests are pretty much a thing of the past. The ones you can get are, by necessity, constructed of flexible materiel, such as Kevlar or something similar.

This gives the vest the ability to move with the wearer, but limits it somewhat in stopping power.

I haven’t found any soft armor vests that are rated above a IIIA, and those are precious few and pricey. Most of them tend to be level II, and I wanted at least level III. Ok, let’s back up.

What does Level IIIA mean?

These are ballistic ratings, established by the National Institute of Justice. The following link is to the NIJ publication on Ballistic Resistance Standards. They start at the lowest rating, IIA, and progress through II, IIIA, III and IV.

Basically, to be a IIA, the armor has to stop 9mm, and .40 caliber, Level II has to stop 9mm and .357 magnum. IIIA has to stop all the above and up to .44 magnum. So far, these are all pistol rounds. To make the jump to the higher velocities of rifle cartridges, you have to go to Level III, which is rated to stop anything up to and including 7.62mm (rough equivalent to .308) FMJ rounds. Level IV is rated for .30 caliber Armor Piercing rounds. Now you start to see why I passed over the Level II vests earlier in my search.

My understanding of things thus far, is that there are very few Level IV plates capable of stopping multiple hits, and they are very expensive. We’re talking $250 for one plate, at the lowest price I’ve found. And so, I was left debating between a plate that can take multiple hits of *almost anything you throw at it, or something that will stand up to an AP round, then be pretty well worthless. I decided the probability of facing an AP round was fairly low, so I looked at Level III armor.

There are basically three types of armor out there, steel, ceramic, and flexible. There’s lots of different flexible plates out there, and not all are created equal. I happen to think the one’s offered by AR500 armor (my supplier) are not only an excellent value, but at the forefront of the industry.



When it comes to steel vs. ceramic, there are several things to consider. First in my mind, ceramic plates have a shelf life. That’s right, even if they never take a hit they eventually wear out. This has mostly to do with the material used to contain the ceramic tiles that make up the plate, and bind them together. T

hey also are susceptible to high temperatures. So if you’re a police officer who keeps an “active shooter vest” in the trunk of his squad car just in case, you may need to check it every once in a while, or there’s a good chance it could fail you when you need it. The other big problem with ceramic plates is cost. I have not been able to find a ceramic level III plate the falls under $200.

Maybe that’s no big deal for you, but for me, it’s definitely a factor.

Oh, one more thing about ceramics. Remember I said they were made up of tiles? Well, that’s how they dissipate the energy from the round. The specific tile hit shatters, resulting in spent energy absorbed from the bullet. So now you have a vest with a spot approximately 2″ square that is unprotected. Maybe you’re not concerned with multiple hits, but for me that’s a problem. The plus side to ceramic is that it’s extremely light.

I’m talking, floats in water kinda light.

*Edit – since publishing this article, I am informed that the floating plates I saw were not ceramic, they were a modern type of polyethylene. This is a new type of armor to me, and I am currently researching it. Ceramic plates usually run about 5lbs*

Ask any LEO you know, wearing armor gets hot and heavy, so for you, it may be worth it to have a vest that won’t weigh you down. On to Steel. ar500 is not just the name of the company for whom I am a certified dealer, it’s a quality rating of steel.

When people go to the range and shoot steel targets, they are made of ar500 steel. This steel is crafted and tempered to such a high strength that a bullet cannot penetrate it. (Ok, not all bullets. See the balistic ratings above). It is multi-hit capable.

The only times I’ve seen penetration by anything short of an AP round was when a test placed two .308 round virtually on top of each other at 20 yards, which just isn’t a likely real life scenario.

There are two major drawbacks to steel armor.

One is the weight. Where ceramic plates are light enough to float, steel plates usually weigh around 8-9 pounds each.

The other big problem they have is called Spalling, or Fragmentation. Essentially, when the bullet hits a plate harder than itself, the energy of that projectile is spent by the bullet itself exploding, and turning into shrapnel flying out in a 360 degree pattern, roughly on the plane of the plate it struck. Now, take a moment, stand up from your computer and take a stance like you’re holding a rifle. Or pistol.

Doesn’t matter.

Think about what is in the plane of your chest plate.There’s the major arteries in your biceps (remember your first aid class where you found that pressure point to stop the bleeding? It can work the other way too). Also, and maybe even more important, your neck (if you have good shooting form) may be forward of your chest.

That’s scary. Needless to say, the problem of spalling as a BIG problem. This is what a box looks like when you shoot a bare steel plate inside of it.


Enter modern technology. There have been many attempts to mitigate the spalling effect off of a steel plate.

Some of the more basic ones are nothing more than trying to beef up the construction of your plate carrier, in the hopes that it will contain it. I even saw one guy that puts a light gauge metal plate over the top of his steel plate. The theory was that the fragments will lack the energy to pierce the sheet metal, since they will have less energy than the whole round. Seemed to work well enough. But there are a few companies that have moved to a type of plastic coating.

Really more of a really stiff rubber. The coating is strong enough to catch and contain all bullet fragments from multiple hits, effectively dealing with the spalling.

In my opinion.


You can see the bulges where the coating contained the fragments of all the bullets. And so, these are some of the basics of Body Armor, along with some of my reasoning about what I shop for and what I sell.