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Sovereign Survival Contributor

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When You See The Inside Of This Old Truck, You’ll Want To Stay Forever

Lets be honest here… if you saw this truck while driving down the road, there’s a 95% chance you wouldn’t look twice at it… and that’s the beauty of it.

But not examining it more closely would be a missed opportunity, because once it pulls off the road, something magical happens: it transforms into a lovely, totally habitable castle!

 

Castle-Truck-Foldout-2

Image source: http://www.livingbiginatinyhouse.com/transforming-castle-truck/

Every space has been utilized efficiently to allow several luxuries in an extremely small area. Once the “castle” is unfolded, it houses a bathroom, shower, full kitchen, rooftop bath, and more.

Be sure to share this with someone you would live here with!

Top 15 Foods Every Family Must Have To Survive

Top 15 foods every family must have to survive

Foods essential to your supply and disaster preparedness plan

Prepping for a catastrophic event involves having food in an abundant supply. Yet, we do not know when the event will occur and so we have to estimate whether the food in the storage area is going to last.

Having food which has a long shelf life or no expiration is key in building up a sustainable food source. Also, having food which can be broken down and put into a bug out bag is critical.

Here are 15 foods every family must have to survive.

15) Rice

Rice is sold in a variety of sizes for relatively cheap. What is better is that the shelf life of the average bag of rice is 10 years or more. It is easily stacked and stored and requires only a dry and dark location. Of course you want to avoid any moisture in the storage area.

The reason why rice is essential is that it is a very filing food (meaning that you can eat a small portion and get full) which requires only water to prepare.

14) Salt

Salt is essential if you are planning on hunting game and preserving your meat source. It is one of the most essential food items that you can have in your bug out bag and your food storage area. Salt does not have an expiration date, so long as the food is kept dry.

If the salt gets wet you will get a massive clump. Salt should be kept close at hand to help with the curing of meet and as a preservative for your other foods. Do not store your salt in a location which will require you to shuffle around your food supply.

13) Peanut butter

One of the most saturated foods in protein and fat, Peanut butter offers a quick solution to keep the weight on and the muscle building while in survival mode.

The shelf life of peanut butter is around 5 years. Check to ensure that your peanut butter has the maximum shelf life and that it is not filled with syrups and preservatives. Get organic peanut butter with its own oils for longer life and healthier living.

12) Canned Food

Meats, fruits, and vegetables can all be canned. If done properly fruits and vegetables can last more than 5 years. Meats can last up to 10 years if canned properly.

You will want to ensure that the can food is kept in a temperate regulated room which does not go above 75 degrees or lower than 62 for the best results.

11) Oats

Oats can be used for either a breakfast food or can be combined for a snack later on.

They have a long shelf life and are a very filling food. Unlike breads which have almost NO nutritional value, Oaks are rich in vitamins and minerals. Combine the oats with canned fruits for variations.

10) Cooking Oil

Where you could go and get a great amount of lard and store the lard from your kills, cooking oil is an essential for a number of reasons. First, as a cooking agent it adds a healthier way of living. Secondly, oils can be mixed with natural elements (such as peppermint) for a number of applications and preventive repellant for bugs.

9) Coffee

It has been debated the actual health benefits of coffee. However, from someone that drinks coffee regularly I can tell you that some mornings you just need a good cup of JOE.

Coffee can last for a number of years depending on the brand and the method in which it was stored as well as the length in which the beans were cooked. The best coffee will be stored in a breathable bag and should have medium oil content from the cooking process.

8) Dehydrated Meats

Dehydrated meats can last for as long as 3 years or more depending on how it is stored and how much moisture gets to the meat over time.

If you use a curing method on the meat prior to dehydrating it, this adds to the shelf life. Putting the meat in an air tight sealed bag also increases the shelf life.

7) Corn

Corn can be used to make cornmeal, feed your animals, and feed you. It is an essential food to have.

If you do not want to have corn (as the shelf life is very limited) store some seeds for your bug out spot or put some seeds in your bug out bag.

Once you have established your permanent spot, plant a crop. Ensure that your corn is organic and not hybrid. Hybrid plants do not yield usable seeds.

6) Flour

If you pack flour in a vacuum sealed container it can last an incredible 20 years or more. I really do not need to tell you the various foods which can be made using just flower and water.

There are tons. Consider having yeast packs taped to the side of your flour bags (of course in their own sealed bag) so that you can quickly make bread and such without having to hunt for everything.

5) Chickens

Chickens are cheap and give you not only meat but also eggs constantly. If you have a coupe you can keep your protein and meat ongoing.

As meat will be one of the essentials of your food supply, it is critical that you have a food source that replenishes itself. If you do not like the smell and noise of chickens consider rabbits as an alternative.

4) Peppermint

Technically, you could call this an herb, but if you can eat the plant I also consider it a food. Peppermint is a cure all plant for bugs, rashes, medical conditions such as headaches, toothaches, burns, etc.

Having a supply at hand is a smart prepping strategy.

3) Pasta

Pasta can be kept for 3 to 5 years if stored properly. You will want to ensure that you keep the pasta away from moisture. Bull weevils are prone to getting in pasta that is kept loose or just in the box.

You will need to ensure that you put the pasta in an air tight container which cannot be penetrated by bugs.

2) Beans

Much like rice, beans have a long shelf life and can be prepared with only water. Of course, if you have salt that just adds to the flavor. Adding cured meat to some beans is a quick and fulfilling meal as well. Beans should be labeled and stored in containers which limit the light and moisture.

I recommend a 5 gallon white air tight container. Do not store the container on the floor as moisture will seep into the seals.

1) Dehydrated Milk

Powdered milk can be used as a cooking agent as well as a source of protein and vitamins. Having some at hand is a quick way to boost the system. It is also a variation from the water. As even in survival mode you will want variation, dehydrated milk is a vital part of your food supply.

Keep this food safe:

When you start storing your food it does no good to have great selections if the food is not properly stored. Food should be kept off the floor where rodents and moisture can affect the storage. Where garages and basements may provide ample space, consider the moisture level in the air before stocking up your supplies. If you must use a basement consider placing a dehumidifier in the area to reduce the water in the air.

8 Reasons why Cinnamon is a must have to Stock

8 Reasons why Cinnamon is a must have to Stock

There are just some spices that you cannot live without

Picking your herbs and spices is a vital part of your survival plan. If you have not given consideration to the spices in your bug out bag, you should. There are a great many elements which can be added which will reduce your risk of sickness, treat rashes and reactions, and flavor food.

Where it may not seem important at a first glance, it is needed. Take Cinnamon for example. Where most of us would associate the spice with our favorite holiday drink, there are several benefits of the spice which make it essential to your stock.

Here are 8 reasons why you should have cinnamon in your food supply.

8) Cinnamon shocks the mind

In a study it was shown that cinnamon helps to keep you alert. Just the smell of cinnamon is enough to get the senses going. I can see why. There is a very strong aroma to cinnamon that demands that you are alert. Be careful. You do not want to inhale a ton of cinnamon. However, getting a small whiff to get you up and going in the morning may be a solution to that cup of coffee. The scent of cinnamon can also help the senses if you get a bit of a stuffed nose. The fragrance opens the nasal channels and allows you to get more airflow. Mixing cinnamon with warm water is a great way in which to get the smell of the cinnamon without having to directly apply a rub.

7) Reduces High blood pressure

As you will be in a very high stress environment, your blood pressure is quite likely to go way up. For those which already have issues with their blood pressure, a spoonful of cinnamon can help the blood pressure go down. Of course, you will want to try to reduce your stress levels as much as possible, but this is a good start. Additionally, cinnamon can be used to regulate blood sugar as well.

6) Treats breathing infections

If you have gotten into something which has affected your breathing then you may want to get a bit of Cinnamon. Simply boiling a bit of Cinnamon in some water and drinking it can greatly help your respiratory system. If you do not have access to water for some reason you can also inhale the aroma of the cinnamon to open up the airways.

5) Stomach Ache treatment

Because Cinnamon is an anti-bacterial spice it helps to keep the stomach healthy and infections out of the system. Research has shown that such bacteria as E-coli and Salmonella have been combatted with cinnamon. However, cinnamon is not limited to the extreme illnesses and stomach conditions. You can use Cinnamon to treat the flu, a bad case of indigestion, or to settle the stomach after eating some fish which was not quite cooked all the way.

4) Anti-Bacterial Solution

Cleanliness and keeping bacterium away will be an essential part of your wilderness survival. Ideally, you will want to have some soap to use to keep clean. Realistically, you will probably run out of commercial anti-bacterial soap quickly. Use cinnamon mixed with water to help fight off common toxins.

3) Keep bugs away with Cinnamon

Cinnamon is great for keeping pests away. Mosquitos, ticks, bees, and ants are all repelled by the scent of cinnamon. As the spice is very pronounced in its smell, most bugs and animals will avoid you if there is cinnamon involved. Keep in mind that this can be a good and a bad thing.

You will want to have the cinnamon for when you are about the camp or in your bug out location and doing daily tasks. However, avoid the use of cinnamon when you are performing recon on game trails or when you are hunting. As the smell of cinnamon can travel a great distance it could hinder your hunting.

2)  Cinnamon can help in your food prepping

Where salt is the best form of food preparation and storage in my opinion, cinnamon can be used to keep your food safe as well.

The cinnamon works to keep mold and other bacterium from forming on certain foods. It also diverts certain insects from nesting in your food storage area. Should you mix cinnamon with water and spray the solution around the parameter of your storage you can keep snakes, spiders, rats, and roaches from your stock.

1) Cinnamon keeps your teeth healthy

You may not give much thought to how your teeth will handle a catastrophic event, but this is a vital part of your survival plan. It has been proven that your gums and teeth are at the forefront of your health.

I have personally known of a man who suffered from bacteria on the heart which started from a cavity. Because the blood and the gums are so vital to your health, brush with cinnamon to kill the bacteria which can accumulate.

Should you already have a cavity or a tooth ache, the cinnamon will work to kill any infection which may be present in that area. It also works great to minimize the pain from such existing conditions.

Keep it raw

Cinnamon is only effective if you have a fresh supply. As many of the shelf cinnamon containers have been sitting for quite a while, you are encouraged to get cinnamon sticks. These are more appropriate to the prepper and the survivalist. When you need to have a fine grain solution simply grade down the cinnamon stick. Should you have to have a pre-made powder form, check the expiration, look at the container to ensure that it is not just a cheap poorly sealed plastic container, and only buy from an organic supplier. If you can ensure that your cinnamon is stored in an airtight container and keep any moisture from entering the container.

How To Build An Altoid Fire Starting Kit

PHOTO CREDIT: GREEN AND GROWING

Alright, so you want to build a simple little fire starting kit that’s portable.

Simple enough!

We’re going to show you what to include in a simple Altoid fire starting kit here.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Waterproof matches

waterproof matches

 

 

 

 

 

2. lighter

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3. Magnesium Strip with Steel Rod and striker

Magnesium Strip with Steel Rod

4. Cotton balls

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5. charcloth

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

6. twine or paracord to hold the matches together

 

 

There you have it! A simple altoid fire starting kit.

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7 Reasons Why Society May Collapse Because of Your Survival Gear

7 Reasons Why Society May Collapse Because of Your Survival Gear

Imagine that there has been a worldwide pandemic, a flu-like virus that kills people within 48-hours.  The United States is in disarray, the government is barely functioning and the military is busy trying to enforce quarantine zones between cities.

No one is sure what has caused the pandemic.  It may be something in the food or the water supply.  The world has become a very dangerous place with looting, gangs and criminals on the loose. 

Stores have been emptied and everyone is fending for themselves.  Smart preppers and survivalists have already bunkered down or bugged out.   

You have been tasked with getting a potential cure from Knoxville, Tennessee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta — a distance of approximately 191 miles.  This is a crucial task because it may be the only way to save civilization as we know it.

Because no one is sure what has caused the pandemic, you will be forced to stay in areas that are less-populated.  Most of the highways are blocked by panicked people trying to escape the cities and there are reports of militias setting up roadblocks.  You will travel through rural areas and forests on foot. 

You grab your survival kit and head out the door.  There is a lot depending on you!  Here are 7 reasons why society may collapse because of the contents of your survival kit.

7) You Didn’t Take Enough Water Purification Options
When you left Washington, you only had 1 gallon of water and a water filter.  By two days into the journey, you have run out of water so head to a nearby river to refill your canteen. 

You use the water filter to fill up.  You drink the water and within 5 hours you begin to feel ill.  Within 48 hours, you are dead.  The cure never makes it to the CDC and civilization collapses!

The pandemic was caused by a water-borne virus and you became infected when you drank the water.  Most water filters are only effective at removing sediment, some chemicals and some bacteria from water.

To kill viruses you needed to use one of the following options:

  • Boiling the water for more than 1 minute (very high effectiveness at killing viruses)
  • Disinfecting with iodine or chlorine (high effectiveness)
  • Disinfecting with chlorine dioxide (high effectiveness)

6) You Didn’t Self-Defense Seriously
Two days into the journey you hear a woman yelling for help.  You rush to her aid and find that she looks to have fallen and injured her ankle.  The next thing you hear is the familiar sound of a pump action shotgun being cocked — it was an ambush.

You had been spotted by some hardcore survivalists who have decided to steal your supplies.  You didn’t have a rifle or pistol, so you couldn’t defend yourself.  If had taken a rifle, these survivalists would have seen it and been less likely to ambush you.

They take everything you have and despite your pleading, they destroy the vaccine — civilization collapses. 

5) You Got Lost!

As you rushed out the door with your survival kit, you only had time to grab the GPS from your car.  Time was crucial and you had to start the journey immediately so the vaccine could be quickly manufactured and distributed. 

One day into the journey, your GPS malfunctioned.  You didn’t  bring a paper map and compass, so moving around the forest quickly becomes confusing.  You also tripped and became disorientated.  Ten days later and you are still wandering around the forest, alone, hungry and thirsty. Time has run out and the CDC has given up on finding a cure — society collapses.

Always bring redundancies for crucial items like navigational tools.  A paper map and compass should always be included in your survival kit.  Smart survivalists will also learn how to navigate without a compass by using telltale signs in the natural environment.

4) You Couldn’t Start a Fire
By the end of day two you are making good progress, despite the heavy rain.  You are confident that you will make it to the CDC headquarters in time.  As the light levels fall, you slip on a root and fall down an embankment into a freezing stream.

You get out of the water quickly and start to build a fire.  You understand the risks of hypothermia and how deadly it can be.  You unpack your kit and realize that your matches are wet and you can’t find your lighter. It must be at the bottom of the stream! 

The matches fail to get the kindling started and you are left shivering in the dark as the rain gets heavier.   Hypothermia sets in and the cold rainy days take their toll.  Your pace slows and you fail to make it to the CDC in time!

You should have bought more options fire starting a fire and for staying warm.  Your survival kit should have included:

  • A high-quality magnesium fire starter
  • Some dry kindling in a plastic bag or wooden dowels which could be shaved for kindling
  • Petroleum smeared cotton balls
  • High-quality mylar space blanket

3) You Didn’t Pack Extra Socks!
After two days trekking in rainy conditions and being forced to walk through a number of streams — your socks are constantly wet.  Not only is it making you much colder, you begin to develop trench foot. 

The initial symptoms of trench foot can include an itchy sensation on the feet, numbness, heavy feeling in the feet, a prickly sensation, cold skin and blotchy skin.  After drying the feet, they can become very painful and blisters may form.  Severe trench foot can kill tissue on the feet and result in the loss of toes.  Trench foot occurs in as little as 13 hours.

With incredibly sore and painful feet you can’t make it to the CDC in time —  everyone dies!

Pack extra socks in your survival kit and try to ensure your feet stay dry.

2) Your First Aid Kit Was Lacking
On the first day of your journey to the CDC, you had an accident and fell off a ridge.  It resulted in a serious cut on your arm and a sprained wrist.  You pulled out your first aid kit only to discover it did not have any antibiotic ointment and no way to seal a serious cut.

You bandage it as well as you can and move on.  Within 48 hours, the cut has become infected and you are weakened by blood loss.  The pain is preventing you from thinking clearly and you are starting to feel a fever coming on.  Your condition worsens and you get blood poisoning, dying alone in the forest.  Civilization collapses!

You should have taken a more comprehensive first aid kit with:

  • Antibiotic cream, disinfectant pads, wet wipes and burn cream
  • Aspirin tablets, Ibuprofen tablets, Diphenhydramine (Allergy) Tablets and Loperamide (Anti-diarrhea) Tablets
  • Adhesive tape, butterfly wound closures, triangular bandage (sling) and band aids
  • Bandages including gauze pads and sterile combine dressing
  • Eye drops
  • Scissors, tweezers, scalpel, SAM splints

1) You Didn’t Pack the Right Food
After the first day of hiking, you realize you only have sugary and salty foods in your back pack.  Most of the items were “survival-branded” protein bars that were loaded with sugar.  Foods that are high in sugar and salt can greatly increase your thirst.  Additionally, most sugary foods do not provide adequate nutrition for long stretches of physical activity.

After two days you are sick of the high levels of sugar you are consuming and your energy is waning.  After three days, your pace has significantly slowed and your body is not reacting well to these sugary foods.  After four days of existing on sugary protein bars, you are vomiting and sick.  You don’t make it to the CDC in time!

Only pack nutritious food in your survival.  For a short stretch of hiking, include:

  • Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs)
  • Canned meat and beef jerky
  • Canned legumes
  • Dehydrated foods
  • Crackers
  • Dried fruits
  • Peanut butter
  • Unsalted nuts

4 Cautionary Bushcraft Tales

4 Cautionary Bushcraft Tales

Bushcraft is the common term for wilderness skills. 

Fishing, hunting, building shelter, starting fires, foraging for food, navigating foreign terrain and so on.  These are the skills that can save your life in a survival situation and can help you with off grid living.

For modern man, surviving in the wilderness is no longer natural to them — sitting in front of a widescreen television is their new natural habitat!  So when we step into the wilderness a lot of things can easily go wrong.

Here are some user-submitted cautionary bushcraft tales from people who ran into trouble in the wilderness!

4) Navigational Tools Matter — Even in Your Own Backyard

I was hunting for deer in a forest only a few miles from my home.  My friend had bailed on me because his girlfriend wanted to see a movie.  I don’t usually go out solo, but I was in an area that I knew very well and I had my mobile phone with me.

I had found some fresh tracks so things were looking up.  Then, within 30 minutes a storm blew in, bucketing down rain.  My visibility was reduced to about 6 feet.  That was ok because I knew the forest well and was following a path.  I was simply going to walk home via the path, have a bath and a hot cup of coffee.

Then suddenly, I tripped over a slippery rock and hit my head hard on the ground.  I blacked out for what felt like 20 seconds.  My injury wasn’t too bad at all, but I knew a bruise would come up.  Everything was fine, I would continue walking down the path to get home.  By now a great deal of water had leaked through my poncho and I was feeling cold and miserable.

I started walking on the path in the direction I thought was home.  After 10 minutes I realized this wasn’t the right direction and this wasn’t the right path!

My mistake was suddenly apparent — because I was in a forest so close to my home I didn’t think to bring any bushcraft tools like a firestarter or compass.

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I didn’t have a complete survival kit with me, just a few bits and pieces.  My mobile phone had gone flat, which left me with few options other than walking out myself.

Visibility was still horrible because of the rain and there was now some fog in the area.  What really worried me was that my body temperature was beginning to drop — hypothermia might kick in if I was forced to stay out here all night.

5 hours later and I had managed to find a familiar rock and make my way home.  A miserable day that could have been avoided by bringing a compass!  I learned a very good piece of bushcraft wisdom that day — be prepared for worst case scenarios and realize that even your backyard can become a dangerous place.

Solution: Don’t rely on local knowledge because you can get lost in your own back yard when the weather goes bad!  Always take a compass.

3) The Quality of Your First Aid Matters


It was my first time trekking through the wilderness solo.  I had done everything right — packed a survival kit, told my friends where I was going, told them when I would be back. 

I had only recently begun working on my survival skills and building a survival kit. Some of my friends were amused at my actions, they thought I had watched too many Bear Grylls episodes!  But I knew that improving my emergency preparedness was crucial and a part of that was learning how to survive in the wilderness. 

I was about 5 miles in when I tripped on a tree root and went into a ravine.  Rolled a few times and was a bit dizzy at the bottom.  Upon landing, I looked myself over and initially  thought I was fine — until I noticed blood seeping through my sleeve.  There was a bad cut on my forearm, about 3 inches long.  It didn’t look like it needed stitches, but it was bleeding badly.

While most people would panic I knew I was well-prepared, because I brought a medkit.  I could simply dress the wound and continue.  I took off my shirt and opened the medkit that I had bought from eBay one week earlier. 

That’s when I became seriously worried!

I realized there was no sling in my first aid kit, the bandages were tiny and it didn’t include painkillers!  The antiseptic swabs looked like they had been manufactured in mother Russia and were made by a company I had never heard of.  I realized I couldn’t disinfect the wound reliably and the pain was growing.  I hurriedly used my t-shirt to wrap the cut and began walking back to town.

The humiliation of my 1-day journey was a bit tough and a couple of friends were surprised to see me again so soon.  The moral of the story — double check that med kit!

Solution: Check and update the contents of your first-aid kit regularly.  Consider building your own comprehensive first aid kit.

2) Foraging for Food in Foreign Environments


I had been learning all aspects of bushcraft for more than 5-years.  I had really focussed on building shelter, starting fires and finding wild food.  My ability to venture into the forest with only a survival knife, compass, a first-aid kit and some water, then come back 3 days later healthy and happy was something I was proud of.

So when I visited my brother in Australia I thought I would show him some of my skills.  We set off on a sunny Friday morning with the intention of coming back to civilization on Sunday.  We took a couple of sleeping bags, a first-aid kit, water, a compass, a little bit of food and some other useful bushcraft gear.  The first couple of days were great, we did plenty of fishing, I foraged for food and we had a plenty of laughs.

On Sunday morning, I decided to fry some wild mushrooms to go with the eggs that I had brought along.  They looked identical to a common variety of mushroom in the United States — the Chanterelles.  Within an hour of eating the mushrooms the stomach cramps began.  I knew I had made a serious mistake so we began walking back to civilization immediately.  It was a very painful and slow walk back to town, but we made it eventually.

It ended up being a simple case of food poisoning, but if we had eaten more it could have been fatal.  That day I learn that some bushcraft skills like foraging for food do not translate well to other environments.  It looked identical to the American mushroom but caused mild poisoning — luckily it didn’t cause hallucinations.  After boasting to my brother about my bushcraft skills, he discovered I still have a lot to learn!

Solution: Be aware that some survival skills do not translate well to foreign locations.

1) Don’t Rely on Gadgets!

As a bushcraft “nooby” I thought it was a good idea to spend some money on my hobby on electronic gadgets to help me navigate through the local wilderness.  I am a very  technologically savvy person and love buying new toys. 

I was going to do a two-day walk with my buddy Fred.  We had very large rucksacks full of food, booze, blankets and various survival gadgets we had bought off eBay.  I had a brand new GPS which was going to help us navigate from the campsite through the forest to another campsite 10 miles away. 

All went well for the first day and night.  We made the journey comfortably and had a few laughs (and drinks) at the campsite.  In the morning, I had a bit of a hangover and wasn’t feeling particularly cheerful but it was all a part of having a good time.  We started making the journey back to our vehicle.

My GPS showed a waterway within two miles, so we made a quick detour to check it out.  We found it to be a beautiful crystal-clear stream that was running fast from the rain earlier in the week.  Because we were hungover the feeling of dipping our faces in the creek was incredible.  While splashing around like an idiot, the GPS fell out of my pocket and into the fast running stream.  Before I knew it, it was floating away.

I managed to catch it, but the damage had been done — it was not waterproof and it had malfunctioned.  This could be a big problem I thought.  At this stage, I had a rough idea of which way to go but we could easily become lost.

Thankfully, Fred remembered that the stream met with the river that winds its way back into town.  We would have a longer walk, but we knew we would get home eventually.  As the day grew hotter and our hangovers worsened I realized what a fool I was for depending on electronic gadgets instead of developing my bushcraft skills. 

Since then I have bought a compass and learned some orienteering skills!  Electronic gadgets may make life easier but if they malfunction they can put you in danger!

Solution: Don’t rely on electronic gadgets for navigation.  Learn how to use “old school” tools like a map and compass.  Learn how to navigate without any tools at all.

10 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Survival Skills

10 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Survival Skills

In many survival situations, skills matters more than survival equipment.  A survivalist will need a diverse range of skills to deal with what is in front of them. 

You could be lost in a desert, injured after a car crash or lost and hungry in a forest — you will needs skills that are useful in many types of situations.

Because there are so many survival skills to learn, it can difficult to choose one to focus on.  This article will share some hobbies and activities that will improve your survival skills almost immediately!

10) Take an Online First Aid Course

Having first aid knowledge is critical in many survival situations.  If an accident has caused the emergency situation, chances are you or one of your party are injured.  While it is best to obtain face-to-face first aid training, there are also online first aid courses and CPR certification courses that you can enroll in immediately.

In addition to first aid skills, learning which native plants have medicinal properties is a very useful survival skill.  While it is possible to do this by reading books on the topic, it is safer to learn from an experienced bushcraft instructor.  There are bushcraft courses available around the country which you can enroll in today.

9) Research Ways to Find Water in the Wild

Nearly every natural environment has water available if you know where to look.  By reading the lay of the land and recognizing specific types of vegetation, it is possible to narrow down possible locations of water.

You can educate yourself on how to find water by reading books on bushcraft or viewing survivalist videos on the Internet.  However, the key to turning what you learn from “information” into “knowledge” is to actually practice the technique in the real world. 

Once you have learnt about a new method for obtaining water, try it in your back yard or in the wilderness.  You should also use any water purification and filtering gadgets that you have in your survival kit to make sure you are effective with them.

8) Learn How to Forage for Wild Food

Foraging for wild food is a particularly useful survival skill because it can be done without hunting equipment.  In some situations you may not have the gun, knife or bow that you depend on for hunting.  Once you can identify edible foods in the natural environment, you will be much more self-sufficient. 

You can read about naturally occurring foods right now and venture into your back yard to find some.  Of course, you should always be careful about what you eat and avoid eating certain wild foods like fungi until you are more experienced.

Additionally, you should focus on learning how to prepare wild foods.  Pick 3 naturally occurring plant foods and try to find the in the local environment.  Then enjoy them as a part of your meal tonight.

7) Practice Using Your Survival Tools

You may have a cupboard full of survival tools and a survival kit that makes your fellow preppers jealous — but do you understand how it all works?  It’s worthwhile taking an inventory of your survival kit on a regular basis and practice using some of the items to perform various survival tasks. 

Catch a fish from a local river using only the components found within your survival kit — then cook it on a fire you started.  Use your compass to navigate your way through an unfamiliar part of town.  Make sure you understand how your GPS works and that it’s batteries still have plenty of charge.  Build a shelter in the forest near your house.

Having a high level of familiarity with every gadget in your survival kit means that when the worst happens — you have the best chance possible at surviving.

6) Take the Day off and go Fishing!

One of the best survival skills to have is the ability to fish in different environments.

Spend some time fishing in your local waterways to understand what kinds of fish are available and how easy they are to catch.  You will discover how plentiful fish is in the area, what quality the fish are, and how they taste.

It is important to  learn how to catch fish in different environments — lakes, rivers, streams and the ocean.  There are different techniques used for each type of waterway and for different kinds of fish. 

It is also a great idea to learn about spear fishing.  In some survival situations you may be stranded without any fishing tackle and forced to craft a simple spear to catch your dinner.

5) Start a Garden — Right now

While growing your own food isn’t an important skill for short-term emergency situations, it is crucial for off grid living.  If there is a disaster that causes serious social upheaval, you may be without food for a long period.  Only the survivalists who can grow their own food, hunt for food and forage for food will survive.

Jump in the car after reading this article and head to the store for some basic tools, fertilizer and seasonal plants.  Before you know it, you will be enjoying your own produce.

4) Learn Firecraft

Fire craft is the ability to start and maintain a fire.  In a survival situation a fire fulfills a number of roles including:

Providing much-needed warmth which can help you avoid hypothermia

Giving you a way to cook food

Providing light and security

Offering protection from some types of wildlife like

The psychological benefits of a comfortable fire

There are many ways to start a fire, including methods that use sticks, the sun, batteries, flint, or rocks.  Become adept at the different ways of starting a fire.  You can learn the techniques for starting fires from the Internet and start practicing in your back yard right now. 

3) Learn how to Weave

It seems like an unusual skill for a survivalist to learn, but weaving can save your life in a survival situation.  Weaving plants can help you make objects that catch small animals for food, or carry food back to your camp. 

2) Go Camping — Today!

You can read dozens of books on bushcraft, building shelters and starting fires, but nothing is better than real world experience.  You need to get into the wilderness and experiment with different techniques. You may find that you excel at certain survival skills while struggling with others.

You don’t need to go deep into the wilderness to practice survival skills — in fact it is a bad idea to throw yourself into the deep end!  Most survival skills can be practiced in your back yard or at a local camp site. You can practice many survival skills in your back yard including the building of shelter, starting of fires and how to prepare your food without modern conveniences.

The experience you obtain by performing these survival skill in the wilderness is far more useful than information without practical experience.

1) Learn Orienteering

Orienteering is the technical term for traversing through unfamiliar terrain on foot, using simple navigational tools.  It will test your ability to accurately read a map, use a compass and determine your position.  There are orienteering clubs in almost every state of the United States, with enthusiasts who go for weekend adventures and participate in orienteering competitions. 

Just a word of caution — if you decide to go off the beaten track to test your orienteering skills by yourself, make sure you take a well-prepared survival kit that includes communication options and tell other people where you are going!

9 Reasons Your Family Will Suffer Because of Your Lack of Disaster Preparedness

9 Reasons Your Family Will Suffer Because of Your Lack of Disaster Preparedness

Many peppers are driven to improve their emergency preparedness because they want to protect their loved ones during a survival situation.  They spend hours ensuring they have the perfect survival plan and adequate supplies to deal with any number of emergency situations.

But what happens if you haven’t done enough to protect your family?  Here are the top 9 ways your family will suffer because of your lack of emergency preparedness.

9) Suffering From Dehydration

If you have a low level of disaster preparedness, you probably don’t have a huge amount of water stored.  It is important to understand that humans depend on water much more than they depend on food — adults can die within 3-4 days if they don’t have access to clean drinking water.

Additionally, having access to water that you ‘think’ is drinkable, is not enough.  You must know for a fact that the water is safe to drink and free from any harmful contaminants, natural or manmade. 

You can’t consider the water taken from streams or rivers to be safe until you have filtered and purified it.  A statistic that highlights the important of having clean drinking water is that more than 840,000 people die around the world each year from water related diseases.

If your family does not have enough water, they will become dehydrated. The symptoms of dehydration include extreme thirst, dry mouth, dry skin, sunken eyes, sleepiness, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, unconsciousness and ultimately — death.

If they do not have access to clean drinking water, they may risk being infected by a range of illnesses and diseases including Cholera, Viral Gastroenteritis, Adenovirus Infection, Botulism, Dysentery, Salmonellosis and Typhoid. 

Stockpile clean drinking water, purchase gravity fed water filtration systems, water purification tablets and have the capacity to boil your water.  Also invest in ways to transport water.

8) Starvation

The pain of starvation can be excruciating.  A human being can only go without food for 30-40 days if they have access to water — less if they don’t.

There are a number of emergency situations which may interrupt the food supply chain and put your family at risk of starvation.  Natural disasters, civil unrest, war, climate change, financial calamity or a tyrannical government can all put your access to food at risk.

Unless you live on a farm and are already self-sufficient, you will need a food stockpile and the capacity to get more food.  Store a minimum of 6-months food for your family including staples like rice, sugar, salt and oil.  You should also gain the ability to hunt for food and to grow your own food.

You should have a stockpile of seeds and the necessary equipment to start a garden large enough to sustain your family.  Learn how to hunt and have the required weapons, traps and tools ready to live off the land if an emergency situation presents itself.

7) Being Physically Endangered

In an emergency situation where social upheaval has occurred, the police force and military may no longer be functioning correctly or be too busy to help you and your family.  In these kinds of situations, the burden of protecting your family falls solely upon your shoulders.

Consider the potential threats from other people in a survival situation:

Gangs and violent criminals may be running amok if the police force is compromised

Looters and vandals will suddenly appear

People who are hungry, thirsty and desperate may resort to violence to steal your food

Other survivalists may have a plan to steal resources from other people

The police and military themselves may turn violent!  If the government has become tyrannical, they could be the ones you are defending your family from.

To protect your family from physical violence, you will need to obtain weapons and self-defence training.  You should also consider reinforcing your home or bunker so it is indiscrete and very difficult to enter.

6) Suffering from Hypothermia
It may surprise some people that approximately 1000 to 1500 people die each year from hypothermia in the United States.  If that figure is so high during times of peace, imagine the death rate during times of civil unrest or some other emergency situation. 

Ask yourself this — If the electricity grid goes down or gas supplies are interrupted, how will you be heating your home to ensure your family doesn’t suffer from hypothermia?

Add an off-grid heat source and sufficient levels of insulation to your home or bug out location.  Be aware of the risk that hypothermia presents to you and your family.

5) Death from a Common Illness

There are some relatively common illnesses and injuries which are trivial to treat when a hospital is near, but become very dangerous in a survival situation. 

For example, a bacterial infection resulting from a cut can normally be treated by a visit to a local doctor, pharmacy or hospital.  But if those locations have been destroyed or are over-run with looters, that bacterial infection could worsen and cost you or a family member their life. 

Illness and injuries as simple as a broken bones, diarrhoea, skin infections, a tooth abscess to a fever can cost you your life in a survival situation.  To avoid this, pack a comprehensive medical kit and obtain training on how to use it.

4) They may Suffer from an Animal Attack

If an emergency situation has occurred, the risk of attack from an animal is greatly increased.  Dangerous domestic animals may have escaped their enclosures and if you are forced to travel you may encounter a wild animal like a bear or snake.  If you are unprepared to keep your family safe from animals, they may be attacked or even killed.

You should have weapons to defend your family from animal attacks.  You should also carry a snake bite kit and a spider bite kit in your first aid pack.

3) Physiological Distress
Survival situations are very stressful for adults, but they are particularly bad for children who can experience psychological distress.  If you are panicking and unsure how your family will survive a situation, your children will be undergoing a huge amount of stress. 

The only way to make your family feel safe is by demonstrating you have everything under control.  You have food, shelter and a way to protect your family against other people.

2) They May Become Separated or Lost
If your family is force to travel to another location, there is a substantial risk that one of you may become separated.  If your emergency preparedness is lacking, you won’t have measures in place to reunite with other family members.

Make sure that every family member who is older than 4-years old has a mobile phone, whistle, map, torch, water and a compass.  Have laminated notes in your children’s backpack with the photos of the rest of the family, their names and the locations where they can rendezvous.  Include a smaller photo ID that they can wear around their neck.  That way, if they are separated, they can find you at the next waypoint or get help from an adult to get there. 

1) They May be Killed by Garbage
That’s right — garbage can kill people.  If you have decided to bunker down in your home you may have to deal with a lot of household waste and human effluent. 

Your family will be living in a smelly environment that actually becomes very dangerous as bacteria and mould flourish. 

Sanitation and cleanliness is always extremely important in a survival situation.

The 4 Best Halloween Costumes For Women

With Halloween right around the corner, it’s time to get your costume ready! You want to show up in your best outfit to make an impression and we’ve got the perfect outfits for you.

The 4 Best Halloween Costumes For Women

4) G.I. Dame

best halloween costume for women

Links to get the gear:

  • Vintage Camo Fatigue Cap
  • Kids O.D. Army Tee
  • Silver Dog Tag Chains
  • Dog Tag Silencers
  • Silver Dog Tags
  • Womens Camo Paratrooper Fatigues
  • Combat Boots

3) Army Babe

best halloween costume for women 2

Links to get the gear:

  • Womens Adjustable Camo Fatigue Cap
  • Kids O.D. Army Tee
  • Aviator Sunglasses
  • Silver Dog Tag Chains
  • Silver Dog Tags
  • Womens Camo Shorts

2) Lady Crypt Raider

best halloween costume for women 3

Links to get the gear:

  • O.D. Tank Top
  • Aviator Sunglasses
  • Shoulder Holster
  • Deluxe Duty Belt
  • Black Fingerless Gloves
  • Taurus Airsoft Gun
  • Womens O.D. Shorts
  • Black Tactical 4″ Leg Holster
  • Jungle Boots

1) Hot Shot

best halloween costume for women 4

Links to get the gear:

  • Pink Camo Adjustable Fatigue Cap
  • Black Hot Shot Tank Top
  • Black Fingerless Gloves
  • Black D-Ring Belt
  • Womens Pink Camo Shorts

If you’re looking for the best halloween costumes for men click here.

The 8 Best Halloween Costumes For Men

With Halloween right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what costume you are going to wear this year.

Here are the 8 Best Halloween Costumes for Men

8 & 7) Vintage Air Man and Military Pilot

best halloween costumes for preppers 1

Links to get the gear:

6 & 5) SWAT Officer & Police Officer

best halloween costumes for preppers 2

Links to get the gear:

4 & 3) 24 Hour Special Agent & Prisoner

best halloween costumes for preppers 3

Links to get the gear:

2 & 1) Apparition Fighter & Zombie Hunter

best halloween costumes for preppers 4

Links to get the gear:

  • Goggles
  • Khaki Flight Suite
  • Pack Frame
  • Pistol Belt
  • Combat Boots
  • Rothco Short Sleeve Uniform Shirt
  • Rothco Duty Belt
  • Rothco Military Campaign Hat – Brown
  • Rothcoo BDU Pant SWAT Cloth Brown
  • Rothco Uniform OXFORD / Hi-Gloss

Are you looking for the best Halloween costumes for women? Click here.

This Looks Like A Regular Tool Shed. But When You Step Inside, You Won’t Believe Your Eyes.

It’s looks just like a little tool shed, only it’s so much better. No tools allowed.

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Why all the fuss for a shed, you ask? Well, it’s not your normal shed.

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Let’s “role” along and see the big “picture”. Yes, those are hints.8e162f57466a00868b04ad8a079007ab.600x

After lighting and furniture is installed…it’s your very own personal movie theater! Right in your backyard!

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These plush movie theater seats are only feet from your house. Plus, they’re the cheapest seats you’ll find in town…FREE!

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From American Beauty to Zoolander, this library has it all. And if not, just head to Redbox! But that would require leaving home.

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And now you’re ready for the best movie night ever. Sit back and relax…enjoy the show!!!

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A Self-Sufficient Guide to Winterizing Your Home

How the prepper prepares for winter

As the colder months are quickly approaching, it is time to start getting prepared for the cold season. Winterizing your home is a common step in ensuring that you are safe and warm. Yet, is there a way in which you can do so without the use of a ton of commercialized products and chemicals? The answer is yes. Here are a few ways in which the prepper can winterize their home.

Plant Evergreens close to the home

If you want to block the wind to your home as well as create a nice cover as a secondary purpose, consider using evergreens close to the home. These trees can stop up to 30% or more of the wind you will get in winter. Additionally, the trees can be used as a privacy fence to keep prying eyes away from your prepping. You should note that if you are Urban prepping that there may be restrictions on what types of trees or how close to the property lines you can plant trees. Check with your HOA (if you are in one) as well as your local building and zoning regulations before you start planting.

Turn your metal garage into a solar heater

This is a bit expensive but can provide the house with a great deal of warmth. You will need to put solar panels on the garage as well as make containers for the inside of the garage. As metal is a conductor of heat, you will be able to use that to your advantage during the winter months. You may have to purchase specialty equipment if you wish to have heated water and such from the solar panels. If you want to make a section of your garage or metal barn into a heated area you can:

Wrap the area in dark plastic (such as that found in black trash bags)

Ensure that the room is air tight and that any entranceways do not allow for air leaks when closed

Any water containers are of a darker color to hold in the heat

Sew black curtains for your windows

Black Curtains will be useful in two ways. First, your curtains will attract heat as dark colors trap more heat than light colors (this is why you are told to wear light colors in the summer). The dark curtains will also keep the sunlight and warmth that you already have in your residence from escaping. Of course, this is only effective if you keep the curtains closed the majority of the time.

Place straw around your house foundation

Pine straw is one of the best ways in which you can winterize the foundation of your house. Generally you can find this for free and in abundance in the wooded areas. However, if you do not have pine, use another form of hay. The key is to keep the hay thick and that you change it out periodically. You do not want to get hay mold or insects in the hay as this is a bit counterproductive to staying safe and healthy.

Cover your water heater

PLEASE do this properly to avoid a fire. You can use a weather blanket and other coverings to cover your water heater. If you do not know what you are doing watch a video or get professional help in winterizing this part of your house. As you are working with water and electrical elements it is advised that you do not put anything too flammable upon it. However, if you wrap your water heater properly, the heat will keep your water warmer longer as it will not escape through the metal.

Use a solar powered fan to distribute the warmth

Just because it is cold does not mean that you will not have any sunlight. You can use the same method that you used to make your solar fan air conditioner to make your winter fan (just exclude the ice in the bucket). By making a solar powered fan to distribute the heat you eliminate the need to use multiple heaters throughout the house. Of course a bit of common sense is required, don’t freeze to death trying to save on your heating costs.

Make a ton of soup

As a prepper you have a ton of food and water. Put some of the food which is expired or close to the expiration date to use and make some food. While you may not think that this is too much of a winterization technique, for a prepper it is. Your food supply needs to get you through the winter, using the food that is about to go bad in soups allows you more space for new products. Plus, you stay warm and full in the process.

Seal the bottom of doors

The main way in which a house gets cool during the winter is through cracks under the door. You can fill a sock or make a door stopper easily to stop the draft of air leaving your house. The main factor is to ensure that the stopper covers the entire width of the base of the door. Again, you can use hay or straw as a fill material. If you use natural fill you will need to change it out periodically as the winter air has moisture.

Use ginger/cayenne in your socks

If you want to get your bug out bag a bit winterized you can add some ginger or cayenne to your socks. The herbs will absorb through your feet into the skin and help you to keep warm if you have to bug out. Keep in mind that you do not want to get this stuff in your eyes or on your fingers. If using ginger or cayenne in your socks put the socks in a dedicated pocket of your bug out bag to ensure that you do not get any accidental pepper on other clothing.

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6 Tips For Finding Local Prepper Groups

If you’ve been prepping for a while or are looking to get into it, you’ve probably noticed it’s something that is generally kept on the down low. Preppers are often warned to keep their preps a secret lest hungry mobs show up on their porches after the SHTF. This is a half-truth.

Obviously you don’t want to tell your co-workers, neighbors, or anyone you don’t trust completely. But you should tell people you do trust completely. That is, if they’re also preppers.

That fact is, you are not Superman or one of the guys from The Walking Dead. You’ll have a hard time surviving all by yourself or with your 2.5 kids, spouse, and pets in a true post-apocalyptic world.

It isn’t going to be Hollywood where the good guy always wins. You will be tired, hungry, and completely drained, both physically and mentally. Having some backup will make a huge difference.

This is why you need to pick who you want to count on today rather than stumble upon strangers and hope they are good people.

If you don’t have any prepper friends you can trust, it’s time to get out there and make some.

Obviously you don’t want to give your address and phone number to the first prepper you meet, but you want to at least give yourself the opportunity to forge lasting friendships.

To that end, below you’ll find a list of places and things you can do to find other preppers. Think of it as a series of informal interviews. You want to find people who have strengths where you are weak so you can learn from them.

A group with a variety of skills will fare better than a group with nothing but doctors or hunters.

Here are 6 ways to find other preppers:

Preppers.Meetup.com is a great way to find prepper groups in your area. You’ll have to sign up–which means creating a profile—but don’t worry, you don’t have to use your real name. Preppers are usually secretive and understand that not everybody is okay with sharing their info on the Internet. But don’t get too evasive on the initial questions that are on the form or you could get denied.

PrepperLink.com is another great site that can put you in touch with local preppers. You may be surprised to learn your neighbor or a local business own is prepper. Getting together to talk about things and getting to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses is a good thing to do before a disaster. You may discover they are all about the firearms while you are about the food. Find this out now.

The forums on some prepper sites have areas dedicated to people trying to find other preppers in their area, the most notable of which is AmericanPreppersNetwork.net. You may need to travel a ways depending on where you live, and sometimes the meetings are only once twice a month, but it’s still worth the effort. Keep in mind that you are in a public forum where anybody could be lurking, so don’t give away too much information.

Check your local community bulletin board. Different prepper groups will advertise in different ways. The flyer might not say “we are preppers,” but you need to read between the lines. Attend a meeting and see what they talk about and whether or not it’s something you would be interested in.

Craig’s List is another place to look for groups. Wording like, “Are you worried about the future?” or “Do you know how to be self-sustaining?” are good indications of a prepper group, but it could also be a scam. You might even want to use a throwaway email when contacting them if it looks a little shady. And again, don’t look for the obvious. Not everybody likes to be called a prepper because of the stigma attached to the word, so although some groups might not call themselves preppers, you can still learn a lot from them.

Many churches offer self-sustainability classes. There are plenty of religious people who believe in the “end of days” which is essentially what preppers are preparing for. These groups offer a lot of free or low-cost classes and training courses that teach you things like food preservation, self-defense, first aid, and other survival skills. If you are a spiritual person, you may feel more comfortable joining a group of people who share many of your beliefs.

Tips When Joining Groups

We’ve addressed a few of the issues you need to be concerned with when looking for and joining prepper groups. But sadly, you can’t trust people on their word alone. You still need to exercise caution and use good sense. Here are some tips to keep in mind when joining groups or chatting online.

Don’t give away your home address. If someone needs to contact you, they can do it online.

Create a dummy email address that is not connected to your real name. Any information that needs to be exchanged can be sent through that email.

Don’t give away all your secrets. You don’t have to talk about what you have stashed away or how much.

Avoid meetings that are not in public places. You don’t know the people and just because they advertise themselves as one thing doesn’t mean they truly are.

Think twice before paying any dues or membership fees. A support group should never cost money.

Never assume the people in the group are all totally legit. You never know who is there as an observer, collecting information. Be careful what you say in a public setting.

When signing up online, use your initials or a fake name. Feel out the group before you start sharing any personal information. Even then, keep it limited.

If you are signing up for a class and a fee must be paid, use cash if possible. You don’t want to give out your credit card info if you don’t have to. Make sure the instructor is legit. In most cases, you will sign up for the class and pay on the day of the class. Don’t give your money to a stranger days or weeks before the class.

About the Author

Urban Alan

Alan is a prepper, a blogger, and a full-time dad. He’s been learning about survivalism ever since the 2008 financial crisis. Like many preppers, circumstances have forced him to live in the city until he’s able to relocate. This is why his central focus is on urban survival. He is the owner of Urban Survival Site.

How To Use 100% Of A Pumpkin This Fall

Its fall and that means pumpkins, use them to your advantage

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Fall is iconic for bringing out the desire to have pumpkins and everything related to pumpkins. From the pies to the multiple fragrances offered by retailers, it is clear that there is just something about this season that draws people to them. As a prepper, you can take advantage of this time of the year by purchasing organic pumpkins as well as collecting the discarded pumpkins of others. Here is how to use 100% of a pumpkin this fall to your self-sufficient advantage

Seeds

The seeds of any plant are the most vital part for a prepper or a survivalist. You need to ensure that you have enough seed to get you to the next harvest season.

However, if you have an abundance of seeds (or if you just want to have a good snack) then you can roast the pumpkin seeds.

To do this simply removes the interior of the pumpkin ensuring that you do not waste the main pulp of it. Using a strainer separate the seeds from the pulp.

You will want to let the seeds dry for the best flavor. Once the seeds are dry you can then either add them to the seeds in your bug out bag or food supply or you can proceed to cooking them. Where some would suggest that you add salt to your roasting and to you prepping you should be careful of the sodium content.

Try using cinnamon or another topper once the seeds are roasted.

Eat the seeds with the husk upon them. If you choose to remove the seed husk, put the husks into a pile and grind them down into a powder. You can use this powder later on food.

The inner pulp

The interior of the pumpkin is where all of the nutrient are contained. There are literally thousands of recipes that you can make from pumpkins so find one that fits your needs. Soups are especially useful during this time of the year. As the winter months press upon us standard fruit snacks just will not sustain you.

As a prepper, you will need to work now to find different recipes and uses for the plants that you grow. Yes, you can use the same stuff that you have always used.

However, if these recipes are dependent upon a stove or other methods to cook them, you may be growing a harvest in vain if you cannot eat them.

For example: If you are traditionally a pumpkin pie eater, you may find that it will be difficult cooking on in a wilderness survival situation. Soups on the other hand are fairly easy to make.

If you want to dehydrate the pumpkin for your bug out bag, try to ensure that the strips are all about the same in length and that you remove as much moisture as you can with a rag or a paper towel prior to the dehydration process.

As the skin of the pumpkin (as it is sometimes called) can be rather frail, you may need to mold the skin into sheets and then cut and dehydrate it. Once the pumpkin is dehydrated, add the content to an air sealed bag (not a ziplock but actually remove all the air in the bag) as pumpkin is prone to spoiling even if dehydrated if air comes in contact with it.

The Husk/Shell

Do not discard the husk or the shell of your pumpkin. In fact, if you can find others discarded pumpkins, round them up. The shell can be used for your organic compost heap.

The more you have, obviously the larger your compost pile will be. If you want to use the husk and shell for other purposes you could:

Cut off the vine from the top of the pumpkin and use it as a natural bobber on a fishing line

Make a jack-o-lantern

Instead of cutting the pumpkin from the top cut it from the side and make a seasonal bird house.

Use the pumpkin as a temporary bowl. This is a good way to practice utilizing what you have around you to store your food and water. If you want to make a bit more of a permanent bowl, you can coat the pumpkin with a clear seal of wax to prolong the life of it.

Make a water pitcher from the shell by turning the pumpkin on its side (so that the top makes a natural handle). Saw off the new top side to add a place to pour the water into. About 3 inches down drill a hole for the water to escape from. There you have it a water pitcher. This works best with Cinderella pumpkins.

If you want to have a bit of tactical training and fun you can always take the shell of the pumpkin and get in a bit of target practice. For additional challenges get a few different sizes of pumpkins and set them at various ranges.

Finally, you can use the pumpkin to hone your axe and your knife skills. As carving a pumpkin is a traditional activity this time of year, you can add a variant to the tradition by doing all of your carving with your survival knife and axe. As your knife and axe will be your primary tools in a survivalist situation, it is essential that you feel comfortable in using them for any occasion. Using your knife on a pumpkin is a relatively easy way to practice different cuts and techniques, honing your skills, without the need to damage wood or other necessities in the process.

So what are you waiting for?

Go to your garden and start picking your pumpkins. If you do not have pumpkins in your garden the go and buy an organic one and start getting ready for next year’s harvest. Just because you are a prepper does not mean that you have to avoid traditions.

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38 Reasons To Stock Coconut Oil

Good Reasons to Stock Coconut Oil

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Coconut oil is one of the most beneficial kinds of oil there are. Offering a wide variety of health benefits, coconut oil id readily available, very affordable and doesn’t have any unnatural ingredients whatsoever.

Some of the best home remedies include healthy increments of this helpful ingredient, so here are some points for inspiration that might make you want to stock up.

Observe closely, since this ingredient has got to be one of the biggest essentials, when it comes to living off the grid.

Coconut Oil is…

  1. An Anti-Bacterial, it is very effective in killing any bacteria that cause ulcers, urinary tract infections, throat infections, any form of gum disease and other kinds of infections caused by bacteria.
  2. An Anti-Carcinogenic, since it has antimicrobial properties which effectively helps in preventing the spread of any form of cancer cells, while it also strengthens the immune system.
  3. An Anti-Fungal, it can kill any infectious yeast or fungi. 
  4. An Anti-Inflammatory, it can suppress inflammation directly and repairs tissues, along with contributing a large part to the body’s defense against intestinal microorganisms which can cause severe inflammation. 
  5. An Anti-Oxidant, it can protect against any damage and free-radical formations.
  6. An Anti-Parasitic, it has abilities that help it fight to get rid of lice, tapeworms, and other parasitic organisms from the body.
  7. An Anti-Protozoa, it is very effective in killing Giardia, which is a protozoan gut infection found very commonly.
  8. An Anti-Retroviral, it actually shows tendencies of killing HLTV-1 and HIV.
  9. An Anti-Viral, it’s very effective in getting rid of viruses like herpes, influenza, measles, SARS, AIDS, hepatitis, and others.
  10. It Fights Infections.
  11. A Natural oil that has no side effects and causes no discomfort.
  12. Can Improve Nutrient Absorption, it is effective in making minerals and vitamins easily available inside the body, and is easily digestible as well.
  13. Completely Non-Toxic.
  14. There are about a million different uses of Coconut Oil, and some of them have been listed right here:
  15. Different Uses of Coconut Oil
  16. Coconut Oil is very effective for age or livers spots. Apply directly on to skin to make them fade.
  17. It’s a great aftershave and it helps your skin heal after shaving without clogging up any facial pores. It is also very effective for razor burns.
  18. Coconut oil effectually supports hair regeneration, which makes it effective for combating baldness.
  19. Coconut oil can be applied on birth marks; it can also be helpful in aiding the healing process of the skin after a laser or apple cider vinegar treatment.
  20. It can be used as a body scrub, in combination with sugar. Rub the mixture all over your body and rinse off to reveal super soft skin. You can even add in some essential oils for some aroma.
  21. It can be directly applied to a bruise to reduce redness and swelling.
  22. Coconut oil can also be applied to a bug bite to stop the burning and itching sensation.
  23. You can make a great chap stick out of coconut oil; just rub a little bit on your lips to make them plump and soft.
  24. Applying coconut oil to your hair regularly can help you fight dandruff and strengthen your hair. It relieves all the dry skin and moisturizes the hair from roots to tips.
  25. If your baby has a knack of getting some rashy bums, coconut oil can be a great diaper salve. It has no harsh chemicals so that you know it’s safe enough for your baby, just apply small quantity on affected areas and rub it till it absorbs.
  26. When you combine coconut oil with sea salts and sugar, it turns into a very effective exfoliator that is safe enough to use all over your body.
  27. If you are prone to puffy eyes, you can apply coconut oil ender your eyes, on your eye bags or wrinkles to relieve some of the puffiness. Use it on your eyelids in the evenings.
  28. Coconut oil can also be used as a face wash with this simple recipe; just mix coconut oil with equal parts of olive oil, avocado oil, almond oil, and castor oil, and use the mixture in place of soap when washing your face. Rub on the oil and keep it on for about 2 minutes, then rinse out and pat your face dry (don’t try this treatment if you have oily skin already).
  29. It’s also a great personal lubricant that has no side effects.
  30. It’s a great massage oil!
  31. It is very effective in fighting any skin conditions, due to its anti-oxidative properties, including dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema.
  32. Coconut oil is very helpful in relieving sunburns, so just rub on healthy amounts of this oil to the affected areas.
  33. Coconut oil can also act as a completely natural sunscreen.
  34. It can help in healing swimmers ear; make a mixture of coconut and garlic oil and apply on the affected ear 2 or 3 times daily till it starts to get better.
  35. Coconut oil is very effecting when consumed, it can aid the absorption of magnesium and calcium which leads to enhanced development of your teeth and bones.
  36. It’s a great digestive.
  37. Coconut oil can effectively stimulate your metabolism and help in the reduction of unwanted fats.
  38. Coconut oil can increase the fluidity of the surfaces of your lung cells, which enhances their functioning.

With all this is much more, coconut oil will be a miracle natural ingredient in household, which can keep you safe, healthy, and far away form a lot of harm!

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2

7 Bushcraft Skills I Wish I Knew About When I First Started

Bushcraft involves thriving in outdoor wilderness survival. For off-grid living, or even trying to get the hang of it, you need to know a few basic things like building a fire in different kinds of weather conditions or trying to find food through foraging or hunting and building necessary items from natural resources.

Bushcraft is the art of the true survivalist and being able to thrive in the wilderness without modern conveniences.

Before entering into a state of survival of the fittest, the following 11 bushcraft skills will come in handy.

7) Fire Craft

Anyone is fully capable of lighting a fire with a lighter, a few matches or lighter fluid, but you will need some basic instincts to help you when you have to make fire with wood and rocks. Fire craft is an important skill that involves starting and then maintaining fires under any weather conditions.

The entire craft includes a number of fire-building techniques like using the sun, flint, and smoldering plants, along with insights on how you can use fire as a means of survival. You can even learn how to transport fires from one place to another and avoid rebuilding at all.

bushcraft skills

Image source: http://cdn.paulkirtley.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Finding-A-Place-To-Do-Bushcraft-In-The-UK.jpg

6) Tracking

There are many reasons why you should try to get good at tracking. It is the most basic way to catch your dinner in the wilderness, but more importantly, it is a very vital component of OpSec.

When you have the ability of tracking animals as well as people, you can ensure safety for yourself in many ways. For example, you can check your campsite for how often it is visited by animals, or knowing whether someone has been near or around your location recently.

Animals, as well as people, tend to follow their paths repetitively, and being able to recognize their paths and tracking where they are directed towards, you can easily set up snares, accumulate water, and know clearly which areas to avoid.

5) Hunting

Well this one’s a no-brainer, but the ability of hunting effectively with a number of tools is going to help you a lot when you are making your way through the wilderness.

It may be true that a hi-powered rifle can make hunting almost like child’s play, you should remember that you may not even have the basic utilities to survive, which means you probably won’t have a rifle and you won’t be hunting for sport.

The best and probably the most common way used is trapping. You can set up a snare to catch some kind of small game, which is a very good way to survive when you are trying start living off-the grid.

Along with trapping, you also need to learn how to handle different kinds of game, so that you can actually hunt the animals effectively after you trap them. You can learn a few basic butchering and skinning tactics to ensure everything you kill can be eaten.

4) Fishing

This is quite similar to trapping and hunting, but the tools and techniques are different. Learning to fish can get you a good access to high-protein meat and a hefty source of food that won’t ever run out. Fishing can either be done in-line, or the fishes could be trapped.

You also need to know how to handle lures and hooks proficiently, since some hooks can actually be pretty sharp and you don’t want to hook yourself to the rod.

3) Foraging

You probably can’t survive only on animals either, especially if you haven’t paid any attention to fire craft. This is why foraging is highly important.

You need to be able to differentiate between the plants you can consume and the ones that you should completely avoid. It’s very important to beware of the poisonous plants, and knowing how to find plants that you can consume in the wilderness.

2) Shelter

Building yourself a proper shelter is one skill that will probably save your life over and over again when you are venturing through the wilderness. This is more important than keeping yourself dry or comfortable and it is your only hope for safety.

Keeping the shelter dry is important tough, since that will effectively keep your belongings and other equipment dry and usable too. What’s important is only that you know how to build a basic kind of shelter, and which natural resources you can use to build it in the wild.

1) Knives and Axes

Trust me, these are your best friends when you are trying to survive in the great unknown. Survival axes and knives are the most important survival gear tool at your disposal, and using them can often be quite tricky.

Along with using these knives, you should also know how to sharpen its edge from time to time, repair any broken pieces and make your own knife out of natural resources if you had to.

Video about Bushcraft Skills

 

5 Food Storage Lies the Media is Telling You

We all know the media is far from being unbiased. And when you talk in terms of food storage; the story is practically the same. In order to reach some clarity about your survivalist needs, you need to see through some lies that are commonly told.

As consumers, we need to realize that misleading claims from the media and from advertising can keep us from purchasing devices that allow long-term food storage.

Here, we have outlined just a few.

1)“The Dehydrated Pouched Food Storage Meals Last as Long as 25 Years!”

This is probably the most successful and prolific of all the lies, and the most important thing is almost always missed. You must always store dehydrated food at 55 degrees or even less, and the chances of that happening uninformed are extremely low.

This piece of information is not even mentioned on the websites, and if you call them, they wouldn’t tell you verbally either.

Many companies use the 25-year long shelf-life just to beat competition, and you shouldn’t just trust whatever the product is saying.

2) “Our Food Storage is Completely Non-GMO”

In case any company boasts of being completely GMO free, you should probably ask the a little bit more details about their certification before completely trusting them. Get the certifications on your email, and don’t let them say let us call you back!

That’s a common ‘Deception’ trick! Demand to see the certifications before you place your order and spend cash, and once they provide a USDA Organic Certification or some other reputed GMO testing certification; you’re good to go because they have some evidence to back up their claims.

However, most companies that don’t have the certifications on their website won’t have them to send to you via email either.

3) “It’s Gluten-Free!”

These kinds of deceptions are usually carried put over the phones, where companies just exaggerate to hook clients and try to make sales.

Though, that doesn’t mean that companies don’t do this on their websites. The Non-GMO claim is often made alongside this one, so just the way you handle that one, you should ask the company to substantiate their claim by providing you with the related certifications.

These certifications should always be from notable and reputed names, so try not falling for any in-house testing scams. Another good way to check for the certifications is to ask for the certifying bodies whether the company is enlisted with them or not.

The reason why you should go to such extents is simple; your health and the wellbeing of your family may be at a serious risk. You should also know that making Gluten-Free food is incredibly expensive, so small brands usually cannot afford it. If the Gluten-Free products you are going for are priced reasonable next to your regular use products, there’s something fishy.

4) “Our Pouched Foods are Nitrogen Flushed with an Oxygen Absorber laced Right in!”

Now, the first claim may be true, and have some reasonable backing, but the second one is a big fat lie. They even claim that they triple nitrogen flush the packaging and it wouldn’t make a difference; it’s all about marketing.

This kind of food storage is usually messy, since it’ll only become a problem after the pre-stated 25 years, and if you actually attempt to save it for so long, you won’t even have the name of the company you purchased from, let alone the receipt.

Even if you do remember the name; all you’ll be able to do is protest against the product AFTER it has caused the problems it had to cause for you. 

5) “We Have Celebrities and Radio Personalities Endorsing Our Product so it must be good!”

Okay, let’s get this one straight. These famous personalities provide “paid” endorsements, and that means they it’s not necessary that all they’re saying is true.

You should wonder whether they even try the foods they are trying to endorse, rather than believing their familiar faces on their first try.

Part of becoming a true prepper is being able to differentiate between the corporate truths and lies, so make sure you especially don’t fall for the high-profile marketing that is getting everyone excited.

Last but not the least, there are a number of highly reputable food storage companies out there too, and unlike the rest of them, they actually mean what they are saying.

The best ones that you should always be open to are the 100% freeze dried varieties, which are minimally processed and USDA Organic.

If you’re one to try your hand at off-the-grid living, make sure your tools and utilities of survival last as much as they claim to.

1

How To Turn Your Flare Gun Into a Real Gun

By Adelia Ladson from http://www.chkadels.com/Sub-Caliber-Devices-4416

Ever Wondered if You Could Turn Your Flare Gun Into a Real Gun?

Sub-caliber devices are handy little items that will convert a 26.5mm flare gun into a Title I Firearm. Let me repeat:  A 26.5mm flare gun – not the plastic flare gun that is most commonly used today as a signaling device. You can find the appropriate flare gun through military surplus companies and brokers but make sure that it is in excellent condition. (Look for the GECO, H&K, Polish, or Yugoslavian flare guns) It may take a little effort to get your hands on one but it’s completely worth it to have this multi-functional tool in your possession.

The beauty of it is that you have one gun to shoot a variety of ammunition because all you have to do is switch out the inserts. With a sub-caliber device, you have the flexibility to use the best ammo for the situation without having to own more than one gun – whether you need a 38 Special or a 45 Long Colt.

All you need to own are the sub-caliber devices for the ammunition you want to fire.  I have found that this is definitely a more cost-effective option.

Sub-caliber devices can be purchased to modify a 26.5mm flare gun to shoot .38, 45LC/.410 or .22LR ammo. So, basically, you have all the benefits of owning a gun without going through the motions of purchasing and owning a firearm, as the ATF has determined that the inserts are legal to use in a flare gun.

However, I still suggest that you check out your own state and local laws just to be on the safe and legal side. (Federal, State and Local don’t always agree.)

Of course, it’s illegal for felons to own a gun in any form. Remember, once you adapt your 26.5mm flare gun to fire ammo, it is a firearm and should be treated and considered as such. All Title I Firearm rules apply.

flare11

Just to make myself really clear, I do not advocate that a sub-caliber device be inserted into the barrel of a plastic flare gun. Obviously, it just can’t take the pressure of live ammunition. Now, folks, that’s a complete no-brainer right there but I’m reiterating it anyway.

Making the conversion to your flare gun is simple. Just insert the sub-cal device into the gun’s barrel and rotate the device to the best position for you.

The barrel of the device is offset to allow the firing pin to engage the cartridge. Insert the appropriate ammo for the device that you’re using into the chamber of the sub-cal device and close the barrel of the flare gun.

Make sure that the locking mechanism is secured.  The weapon is now loaded and ready to fire. After it is fired, open the flare gun and remove the spent cartridge casing with your fingers or a knife blade, if necessary. It’s just that easy to use. For safety, the sub-caliber device should never be stored loaded. Load only when ready to fire.

Adding a sub-caliber device and flare gun to your camping or survival gear gives you an extra measure of self-defense whether it’s against a two-footed attacker or four-footed attacker. (Unless, of course, it’s a bear and I recommend spraying him first with bear-repellent.)

Another extra measure of security is that it can still be used as a signaling device after you run out of flares. It’s perfect to have on your boat in your emergency kit, since you need to have a flare gun onboard regardless. You just never know, out on the open ocean, when you made actually need a firearm. I can think of a dozen situations where you might need to have one. Can’t you?

When you’re out in the wilderness, you can use your modified signal gun to shoot game just like any other gun.  You can just drop this compact little device in your backpack or bug-out bag and know that you have a valuable tool in your possession.

You now have the capability to take your signal gun and turn it, essentially, into a .22 or .410 shot gun, depending on which sub-cal device you have. You don’t actually have to lug an actual .22 or .410 shotgun around with you. Talk about convenience.

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Runway Sub-Cal makes a variety of sub-caliber devices and has been a pioneer in the industry. The owner and founder, Wayne Daniel, has been manufacturing and selling firearms and accessories since 1973. He said that he had always been interested in sub-cal devices and sold and designed many of them over the years.

His son, Buddie Daniel, began manufacturing and marketing the .22LR sub-cal insert for the 26.5mm flare guns.

With his extensive knowledge, Wayne made the first 45/410 insert for his son’s company because no other manufacturer could rifle the barrel so that it would be legal under the BATF.

Eventually, he took over his son’s company and Runway Subcal was born. He has even expanded into selling beam sights for the flare guns.

Wayne told us that he believes that the success of his sub-caliber inserts is based, in part, on the fact that there are many folks out there who just don’t trust the government.

They want to be able to have a firearm in their possession without getting involved with the government’s regulations. He also said that he thought that many people “just love to have the pistol shooting a 410 shot shell.”

11 Ways to Cure a Toothache with Home Remedies

11 Ways to Cure a Toothache with Home Remedies

Under normal circumstances, having a toothache is a trivial problem which is easily solved by a trip to the dentist. 

However, during a survival or disaster situation, a toothache can have serious repercussions. 

It can prevent you from eating food, sap you of energy and potentially lead to a serious infection. 

If you ignore a toothache it may cause Periodontitis, a condition where bacteria and plaque accumulate in the oral cavity. 

The condition may trigger a strong immune system response in the body which can negatively impact your health. 

You should always remember that health care is one of the most important parts of emergency preparedness planning.

What Causes a Toothache?

The symptoms of a toothache can present as a sharp or dull pain close to the tooth.  The most common causes of a toothache are dental cavities caused by tooth decay, gum disease or an abscess of the tooth. 

It is important to realize that other health problems can also cause a toothache.  Sinus infections, shingles, neuropathic pain (damaged nerves), referral headache pain, cardiac toothache (heart attack warning sign) and even stress can cause a toothache. 

Before treating your toothache, make sure it actually is related to a dental problem.  The source of the pain should be easy to isolate and restricted to a specific tooth.  Here are 11 ways to cure a toothache using DIY home remedies.

Salt Water

The simplest and easiest to use DIY home remedy for a toothache is salt water.  Simply mix a tablespoon of salt with a glass of warm water and swirl it around your mouth before spitting it out.  It will kill bacteria and relieve pain.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is even more effective than salt water for killing the bacteria in your mouth.  It provides some pain relief and helps to ward off gingivitis.  It must be used VERY carefully because not diluting it correctly can burn your mouth. 

You should use 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide or dilute the typical 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide to 3%. It can be used as a mouthwash and held in the mouth for a few minutes at a time. 

Never swallow the solution and avoid giving it to small children who are more likely to accidentally swallow it.

Alcohol
When creating a disaster plan, smart preppers will include some alcohol in their bug out bag.  Strong spirits have an anti-bacterial property and can be used treat fevers, flu, toothache, and sore throats.  Alcohol can also be used to disinfect wounds and to provide some pain relief. 

Simply swish some alcohol around your mouth before spitting it out.  Alternatively, soak a cotton ball with alcohol and place it directly over the affected tooth, keeping it there for 5 minutes or more.  Alcohol can also be a very valuable item when bartering.

Extracts
Herbal extracts are a very useful home remedy for a toothache because they have multiple uses.  For example, vanilla extract can be used to treat burns, relieve pain and repel bugs.  They are also carried in small bottles, so are easy to incorporate into your disaster plan. 

Vanilla, almond, peppermint and lemon extracts are all useful for relieving toothache pain. Simply douse a cotton ball with the extract then place it in your mouth for a few minutes.

Ginger Root

Ginger can help relieve the pain of a toothache and fight any infection that is present.  Ginger is a very useful DIY home remedy for a toothache because it can be grown very easily.  Cut a small piece of ginger root, wash it and skin it.  Simply bite down on the piece of ginger with the affected tooth then move the ginger juice around the painful area with your tongue.

Peppermint Leaves
Peppermint can grow like a weed in some locations and is often easy to find.  If you have plant identification as one of your survival skills, you may be able to find some in a nearby forest.  To treat a toothache with peppermint, soak the leaves in a glass of warm water and swish it around your mouth. By drinking the solution, you can also treat other ailments like headaches.

Clove Oil
Perhaps the best home remedy for treating toothache, clove oil is worth including in any survival kit.  It is useful because it contains eugenol, a powerful antiseptic, anti-bacterial agent, and analgesic. 

If you have clove oil on hand, use it on a cotton swab and place on the affected tooth.  If you have clove buds, you can simply chew them to extract their juice and treat your toothache.

Oil of Oregano
Anyone driven to increase their emergency preparedness knows the importance of antibiotics.  If you have a serious health condition, ingesting a medicine with antibiotic properties is often the only way to survive.  Thankfully, some natural herbs also have antibiotic properties.  Oil of oregano is one of those.

Mix a few drops with some olive oil then place on a cotton bud.  Put the cotton on the affected tooth to gain benefit from its analgesic properties.  It can also be ingested to obtain more benefit from its antibiotic properties.

Tea Tree Oil

A powerful disinfectant, tea tree oil can help kill any bacteria in your mouth.  Place on a cotton swab or use as a mouth wash.  It is another home remedy with multiple uses, so worth incorporating into your disaster plan.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Simple soak a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar and place it on the affected tooth or swish it around your mouth.  It will kill bacteria and provide some pain relief. 

Baking Soda

Backing soda is another substance that provides a simple DIY home remedy for toothache and can be used for many other things.  Try using one tablespoon of baking per half cup of water.  Swish the solution around your mouth and spit it out.  It will remove bacteria and help with pain relief.

Remember, first aid is one of the most important survival skills to master.  Quickly and efficiently dealing with trivial problems like a toothache can save your life in the long run!

5

What Off Grid Living Skills Can I Learn While Living in an Apartment in the City?

When you live in a city, it can feel very far removed from the natural environment.

New-York-City-Living

Image Source: http://thecarefreetraveler.com/cost-of-living-in-new-york-city-infographic/

It seems that there are few off-grid living skills to be learned in such an environment.  However, there are actually many survival skills you can learn while living in a cramped apartment. 

Here are a few of the best skills to learn and habits to get into.

Food Gathering and Preservation Skills
In your quest to be self-sufficient, your focus will often be on ensuring you have enough food.  Finding food can be done by hunting, foraging or farming and requires a varied skill set. 

Some of these skills may be difficult to practice in an apartment.  For example, you won’t be able to practice your marksmanship with a rifle! 

However, you can practice some skills including:

  1. Creating traps for small animals from ropes and sticks
  2. Using books to determine which native foods are edible
  3. Reading about farming practices including growing seasons, pests and fertilizers
  4. Tying lures and preparing fishing rods

You can also practice other important survival skills relating to food — food preparation and preservation. 

Some important food survival skills you can learn while in an apartment include:

  1. How to scale or skin a fish and prepare it for a meal
  2. How to butcher larger pieces of meat
  3. How to ferment foods
  4. How to salt food for preservation
  5. How to dehydrate or sun-dry food
  6. How to can or bottle foods
  7. How to cool food using an evaporation based cooler

Survival Equipment Handling Skills
You should ensure you have the necessary skills required to use all components in your survival kit. 

You can practice using many of the items in an urban environment. 

For example, you could use your water purifier to ensure you understand how it works and to check it is functioning correctly. 

You can also test your ability to navigate by walking around the city with only a compass to guide you.

Practice Quickly Setting up Your Tent and Creating Shelter
You might feel comfortable setting up your tent, but how quickly can you do it? 

In the wilderness, you might run into a situation where you need to create some shelter very quickly.  Practice setting up your tent as quickly as possible inside the apartment.

Give yourself a shelter building challenge.  Using a tarpaulin, a stick and two ropes, try to create a sturdy shelter within 2 minutes. 

This can be done indoors and is a great way to practice one of the most important survival skills — creating shelter.

Enroll in a First Aid Course

One of the best things you could do to improve your survival skills is to enroll in a first aid course. 

The American Red Cross offers courses in first aid training, CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator use).  There are even online first aid courses, so you won’t need to leave the apartment to do them!

Physical Fitness

When you are living in an urban environment, it is easy to become complacent about your fitness.  People in cities tend to spend more time sitting down or using vehicles to get around.  

Simply put, humans living in urban environments don’t need to be physically fit to live their lives.

If you find yourself in a survival situation, that suddenly changes.  You may have to walk long distances, carry a heavy pack, chop wood, carry water and fight for your survival. 

To prepare yourself for this situation, you should maintain a very high level of physical fitness. 

This can be done anywhere, including inside your apartment. 

Use a combination of strength building exercises and cardio workouts.


Practice Reading

It seems like a strange thing to practice, but one of the most important survival skills is the ability to process new information and learn new skills. 

Read books about surviving in the wilderness, botany, mechanics, cooking, food preservation, self-defense, construction and whatever else you can get your hands on! 

By broadening your knowledge base, you will greatly increase your survival skills and ability to be self-sufficient.

Take up Hobbies That Help You Learn Useful Skills
There are various hobbies that can help you become self-sufficient and improve your survival skills. 

If you have access to a workshop, carpentry is always a useful skill when in the wilderness and trying to build a shelter. 

For hobbies that can be performed in an apartment, try learning some knot craft—the art of tying knots and creating objects from a piece of rope.

Even though you are in an apartment, there may be a nearby community garden where you can learn how to grow food.  If you are interested in being self-sufficient, it is essential to understand the basics of farming.

Self-Defense Skills
Learning how to fight and defend yourself is a very important survival skill. 

If you are living in an apartment in the city, there are probably many self-defense classes available nearby. 

Learning self-defense will also help you maintain your fitness.

self defense protect family

Gun Maintenance and Handloading
Even though you can’t shoot your weapon in your apartment, you can practice loading and maintaining your weapons. 

You should understand the various components of your weapon and how to keep it functioning correctly in different situations.

Another useful survival skill that can be performed in an apartment is hand-loading. 

Hand-loading involves assembling firearm cartridges or shotgun shells yourself. 

In a survival situation, fresh ammunition may not be easy to obtain, so having the skills to create your own from various components is very useful.

What is the Ecocapsule and How Can it Help You Become Self-Sufficient

What is the Ecocapsule and How Can it Help You Become Self-sufficient

When most people think about self-sufficient and off grid homes, they tend to think of small rustic cabins.  Ramshackle buildings crafted using lumber from a nearby forest and gradually improved over time.

The Ecocapsule is an off-grid home that is worlds apart from a rustic log cabin.  Created by Nice Architects, the Ecocapsule is a portable solar and wind-powered home, which has been designed from the ground up to be self-sufficient.  Available for sale in late-2015, this egg-shaped building is small in size but packed with useful features for anyone who wishes to be self-sufficient and live off the grid.

Here is a brief rundown of the features of the Ecocapsule and how it is a great little building for anyone interested in becoming self-sufficient.

Specifications

The Ecocapsule has been referred to as the “Swiss Army Knife” of tiny homes, because of the numerous features it incorporates in its small footprint.  Nice Architects claim that it has “all essentials necessary for a comfortable prolonged stay without a need to recharge or re-supply”.

The Ecocapsule provides a weather tight enclosure that includes a comfortable double bed, running water, indoor toilet, and cooking facilities — all of which can be considered luxurious when it comes to portable off-grid homes.

The home includes:

  • A kitchenette with countertop, full sized sink and dual gas burners
  • A comfortable double bed
  • Bathroom with shower
  • Biowaste collecting toilet
  • Large amounts of storage inside and outside
  • Modern design features
  • Rainwater tank
  • Solar Power on the roof
  • Wind power turbine

These facilities are all packed into a tiny egg-shaped frame that is 2.55 meters high, 4.45 meters long and 2.25 meters wide.  The total living space comes in at approximately eight square meters (86 square feet).  The capsule can comfortably house two adults, however, there is enough space for a small child to squeeze in as well.

The Ecocapsule weighs approximately 1500kg and can be easily towed with a trailer, placed inside a shipping container, or airlifted.  The ease with which it can be transported are also a major selling point — the manufacturers claim if can even be pulled into place using a pack animal.

ecocapsules-4

Image Source: http://www.greendiary.com/go-off-grid-in-ecocapsules-that-run-on-solar-power.html

Renewable Energy
All modern off-grid homes must have some capacity for creating renewable energy.  The Ecocapsule excels in this category, with 600W of solar power output installed and 750W of wind power output through a connected wind turbine. 

The Ecocapsule gathers solar power via the 2.6m² of high-efficiency solar cells that cover the roof of the building.  The wind turbine is retractable and easy to reposition when the wind direction changes.

The battery that comes with the Ecocapsule has a capacity of 9744Wh.  The Ecocapsule can also be plugged into your electric car to receive power while it is being driven to another location.  The dual power system also allows you to use other power sources in times of low sunlight and wind.

Overall, the Ecocapsule provides a renewable energy system that should perform adequately for most parts of the world which receive a moderate amount of sun.

How it Can Help You Become Self-sufficient
The designers of the Ecocapsule suggest that the home’s portability, flexibility and off-grid capabilities make it perfect for a number of uses including:

  • Research stations
  • Tourist lodges
  • Emergency housing
  • Humanitarian outpost
  • Wilderness outpost
  • Holiday home
  • Urban home for single people in high-rent areas

For people interested in living off the grid, the Ecocapsule presents a simpler solution than building or renovating a home to be off grid. 

It allows someone interested in living off the grid to get started very quickly and easily.  Apart from selecting where to place the Ecocapsule and what items to take along, most of the work is already done.

Survivalists might be also interested in the Ecocapsule because it can be air-lifted into remote environments. 

It could provide a survivalist with another location to use in the event of societal upheaval or a natural disaster. 

Having multiple Ecocapsules could allow a survivalist to have a number of locations that are already prepped for habitation.

For people concerned about your environmental footprint, the Ecocapsule is also an ideal choice because it also causes minimal impact on the natural environment. It has a small footprint and allows you become self-sufficient very quickly.

With its renewable energy capabilities, the Ecocapsule helps you to collect some of the resources you will require to be self-sufficient. 

The Ecocapsule also gathers rain water and dew that lands on the roof.  The water is filtered and collected in a large tank beneath the home.

The designers of the Ecocapsule have finished their functional prototype and are currently creating the production facilities necessary for mass production. 

The first Ecocapsule will roll off the production line in early to mid-2016. 

There will be one version of the Ecocapsule on launch, with the designers planning to add customization options at a later date.

36

States With Laws (and What They Are) About Living Off The Grid

Living off the grid sparks legislative action from several states

Living off the grid has its benefits but it also has its drawbacks.

Many individuals who are seeking to go completely off the grid are being met with extreme opposition by the government.

I find this interesting as the government has signed legislation concerning the “green” practices of industry.

It appears that yet again, the government wants to regulate how we can and to what extent we can exercise our freedoms.

Here are a few states which have laws concerning living off the grid.

Florida

If you are planning on going on the grid in Florida, you may want to reconsider.

The courts have ruled that living off the grid is a violation of the International Property Maintenance code.

Although all the stipulations in the code do not specifically address off the grid living, this has not stopped the courts from fining residences or from jailing certain individuals (such as Speronis) who have gone off the grid.

The governing factor in their “legitimacy” of the legislation is that the residences have to have sustainable water and electricity.

Where the residences have solar power and collect rainwater, the government has not deemed this as an adequate form of either.

North Carolina (and almost every other state)

Those which are trying to create off grid homes from materials which are not commercially based may find that the local authorities will not be too happy about it.

In fact, you are very likely to get a citation and criminal charges for building a structure that “endangers the lives of others”, “building a structure without a license”, or “constructing a building without obtaining the proper permits and meeting the regulated codes”.

In one such instance, a man who dedicated his life to showing and preserving the way of native Americans was faced with criminal charges because (after having the buildings inspected and shown to be “above code”) he did not follow the modern building codes.

Pennsylvania

Those which are living off the grid in PA will have to abide by governing fees and licensing when installing alternative energy.

Those living off the grid must:

  • Contact local government agencies to verify the ordinances of the area
  • Have a feasibility and engineering cost analysis
  • Have the renewable provider (be it wind power or solar panel) approved by the local government

Such fees have specifically been driven to regulate the wind turbines which have become popular in that area.

By making the local government the authority on which residences can use such alternative sources to energy, the greater public will be denied the licensing for such turbines, or in the best case scenario, the utility company will be given exclusive rights to provide the turbines to the public for an annual fee.

Arizona

Arizona is trying to impose a tax which will allow an additional $152 per year residential tax on any resident who has solar power.

The state has over 20,000 residences with solar power and more individuals are expected to go off the grid. The state is greatly reducing the number of middle class citizens who will be able to purchase the solar arrays by imposing the tax.

ACC (Arizona Corporation Commission) has been the leader in the fight to keep the residences from having solar power. 

They have worked closely with the ALEC to dismantle any green energy.

Thankfully, most of their efforts have not shown much success.

Other Blanketed Law violations

These are just a few of the states which have implemented direct strategies against those which are living off the grid.

As more and more states will see a decline in the industrial sectors (because they cannot comply with the new “green” legislation) those which are living off the grid will be held responsible and taxed.

Fines, legislation, and hostilities to those living off the grid are apt to include:

  • Child Endangerment
  • Condemning of the property as being unsafe
  • Fines for having untreated waste on the property
  • Building and Zoning fines
  • Building without a permit
  • Stealing water
  • Stealing electricity and other resources
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Operating a business without a license (if you sell any of your goods).
  • Unlawful disposal of hazardous materials
  • If you use fertilizer then you may have the FEDs say you are a threat to Homeland Security

If you store seed and grain then the FDA may try to seize any excess seed that you may have by stating that you are operating as a farm and therefore under the same regulations that the FDA imposes upon commercial farming properties

As you can see, the government does not want you to live off of the grid.

They want to provide you with an option to purchase a semi-off the grid plan which they can tax and regulate.

Those which go completely off the grid are met with a high level of opposition from the government, resulting in finds and imprisonment.

If the government cannot target you directly for your off grid living, then the next step is that they will try to find a loophole in your family life or in your finances.

Any tax which was not paid will be seen as evasion, any illness of your children may be seen as neglect.

It is imperative that if you want to live off the grid that you take legal precautions in order to safeguard yourself from government involvement.

If the local government has zoning regulations and legislation which hinders your off grid home, then there may be federal laws which can help to bypass such laws.

You are encouraged to seek out the best options for you and your family.

Living off the grid does have its benefits and I would encourage anyone who can do so to go off the grid, but those which chose to live as such must be aware that they are doing so under the scrupulous eye of the local and sometimes federal government.

Controlling Our Guns: What the Government Doesn’t Want You To Know

www.usnews

Image Source: http://www.usnews.com/cartoons/gun-control-and-gun-rights-cartoons

One of the most talked about issues with our government (as it relates to the freedom of the general public) is the constant demand to take away the guns of the citizens.

Regardless of where you sit on the issue, the decision needs to be conducted in a democratic way. Yet, the government has not done so.

Through a series of strategic maneuvers, the government has taken much of the control over our guns, and they have done so without the general public blinking an eye.

Like in the wizard of OZ, the government cannot be held accountable unless the curtain is thrown back and the truth is revealed. This article attempts to do just that.

The government buys over a billion rounds of Ammunition for Homeland Security.

In 2013 the government bought a massive amount of ammunition for the Department of Homeland Security.

By a massive amount, I mean that they bought 1.6 billion rounds.

A strategic analysis by Forbes magazine concluded that the rounds would suffice for 100 years of military training.

So, if the government is using the ammunition for training purposes, then we should have seen a decrease in the spending as we are all stocked up. Yet, we have not.

Another analysis states that the ammunition will be enough to sustain a war on American soil for 20 years. As it relates to the general public, they bought enough ammunition to shoot every person in the US 5 times.

Add the arsenal of military grade weapons to the mix and you can see their true motive.

So how does this relate to gun control?

You may have noticed that there has been a shortage on bullets and that the prices for bullets has spiked. True, we have recovered a bit on the amount of bullets which retailers are able to stock, but the reality is that when 1.6 billion bullets are purchased that the impact to the industry will be catastrophic.

The government knew this and that is why they made the purchase.

It had nothing to do with saving money.

It had everything to do with driving up the cost of ammunition to keep the general public from being able to purchase large quantities (as there are no large quantities to be bought unless you spend a small fortune).

The government shuts down the main producer of lead in the US

It is a proven fact that when products are produced locally that they will be more abundant and for a cheaper price then if they are imported. Why then would the government shut down the main lead sheltering plant?

The government claims that the company was in violation of EPA laws. The EPA stated that the business made the decision to shut down instead of installing the pollution control technologies to reduce emissions. This is from the older Clean Air act.

It is interesting that the new act is coming to light again as more and more light is being shown on the gun control issue (but that is a whole argument in itself).

By shutting down the smelter plant, the government took away the only lead smelter in the United States. This means that NO ammunition can be made completely in the United States.

However, we do need to state that the EPA did give Doe Run a chance to remain open if they agreed to pay the $65 million to correct their violations and another $7 in civil penalties. Really? $72 million dollars to keep running plus operation costs.

By making ammunition into an imported product the government can regulate the supply

When the ammunition was taken out of the United States and turned into a product that relies upon importing and exporting, the control over our guns was lost.

Sure, we can have a gun, but if the bullets are regulated by international import and export laws as a “goods” and “product” rather than a violation upon the rights to bear arms, then where are we?

So while the feud upon gun legislation rages on, the government has taken measures into their own hands to limit the ammunition which can be brought into the country.

What are some of the impacts of the government’s strategies?

There are a few strategies which have set the stage for martial law or at minimum a very strong militaristic police force and reduced civilian freedoms. Consider:

If the government has 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition for Homeland, they are planning on using it at some point. As we have seen it would take 100 years to use it in standard training. Obviously, it is intended for a war scenario.

If the ammunition is kept supplied in small quantities then there is less risk of having a particular geographic location having power in the event of a military takeover.

If legislation passes requiring that all guns be registered, then that is just a beacon for quick rounding up of these guns in the event of martial law.

Do not believe that this could happen? Look at what occurred after Katrina, guns were seized.

Now, take into consideration a national disaster and ask whether or not you believe the local militaristic powers would not identify where the guns are located (per the registration) and seize them.

By controlling the import and export, the government can regulate the taxation on the ammunition. Where it may be feasible to buy a gun, it may quickly become a luxury to be able to own both a gun and the ammunition to fire from that gun.

Other Considerations

Where I am not stating one way or the other what will happen, it does appear that when you take the guns and ammunition away from the citizens of any country and turn the manufacturing of such ammunition into the responsibility of a foreign country, that you are handing over the power of that country to defend itself into the mercies of whatever country is providing you with guns.

This has been the fundamental drive of gun runners for years. Take the guns from one country and supply the enemy, and then sell the guns back to the other side at double the cost. Keep the demand high and the supply low so as to regulate and mandate the financial gain and control over arms.

Has the government become one?

You decide.

1

5 Wilderness Predators You Should Know About

You have more than just the essentials to worry about

In a wilderness survival situation, it is critical that you understand that you have a great deal more to worry about then just your survival gear and the elements.

Apart from ensuring that you have enough food, water, a shelter, heat, and clothing, you will also have to keep away from predators.

Here are 5 wilderness predators you should be aware of.

5) Snakes

Almost every region of the US has snakes, and where there are great many snakes which are not venomous, there are a great many that are.

Where it used to be quite easy to identify such, there has been an increase in the amount of exotic venomous snakes. Just last month, a very poisonous viper was captured in Georgia.

The viper is native to tropical climates and there is still speculation as to where and how the snake got into southern Georgia.

This is not to say that snakes cannot be distinguished by a few factors.

Granted, I am not going to go sticking may face to one to find out if it has round (non-venomous) or slitted eyes (venomous), but I can tell fairly quickly which snakes to avoid by looking at the following:

Does it have a diamond shaped head?

Most venomous snakes have a very distinguishable pointed head. Non-venomous snakes have a rounded oval like head.

Is the snake fat bodied? It may sound a bit strange but I have found that most venomous snakes have a fat almost eye shaped curvature to the body (meaning that you have the head, the body is thick, and then the tail). Non-venomous snakes tend to have a consistent width.

Where most snakes are not considered “predators” there are a few snakes which are aggressive. You should try to avoid messing with any snake unless you are certain that it is non-venomous.

4) Coyote

One of the most abundant predators, the coyote may look just like a regular dog, but they are definitively predators.

Typically, you will not see a coyote until nightfall. However, occasionally a pack will send out a scout to get the scent for the pack.

Do not pet or feed any dog that comes to your camp. Coyotes are notorious for the methodology in which they hunt.

A scout will gather the scent of a kill and bring that scent back to the pack.

The packs will then hunt and kill the thing from which the scent was acquired from.

Where coyotes do have their place in nature, they do not need to have a place in your camp.

In most situations you can keep them away by having a fire.

If any dog approaches you threateningly and you know it to be wild, the best thing to do in a survival situation is to take it down. (We do not recommend doing this in neighborhoods or in towns, this is just a caution to be aware in the wilderness) 

It may sound harsh and cruel, but it is better than being food for the pack.

3) Bobcats

If you have never had the experience of seeing a bobcat, then you are lucky. Bobcats tend to keep to themselves unless they are hunting or someone encroaches upon their territory.

You can tell that you are in bobcat territory by the way in which they scream.

The bobcat sounds like a baby scream or a woman screaming.

It is very definitive.

In a wilderness survival situation if you are in the woods at night and you hear what appears to be a woman or baby screaming, the odds are that you are close to a bobcat cave.

Typically, bobcats will be in wooded areas which have low rocks and small caverns.

They usually do not live in clusters but you may find a small “family” living in an area. They are very territorial and can be extremely aggressive. 

They are attracted to the scent of blood like most predators.

2) Mountain Lion

If you are planning on living in a rocky area with large amounts of dense grass and a fair amount of game, you need to be cautious of mountain lions.

The best way to determine whether or not you are prone to find one of these animals is to look for tracks.

cougar--mountain-lion-in-the-woods-jpg

Image Source: http://www.kcra.com/news/mountain-lion-suspected-in-norcal-boys-attack-shot-killed/27993270

Do use a bit of common sense and stay away from the cliffs and the rocks as this is the main place where they will den, but do look to any potential trails to see if you can find any signs that there is a mountain lion.

Carcasses of animals are also a great way to tell if a mountain lion is in the area. Mountain lions tend to kill and then burry the food for later.

If you find a carcass in an area that has rocks and cliffs and it has had dirt thrown on it, leaves pulled onto it, or (the real give away) it has large teeth marks around the neck area, then you may want to relocate to a safer area.

1) Bear

I really believe that bears have gotten a bad deal as far as being labeled a predator. Typically, a bear will leave anyone and anything alone unless they are provoked.

They tend to eat the food which is in close proximity to where they rest and they prefer the berries and the fish over having to kill game. The problem that most people have with bears is that they are just stupid with their food.

Like most animals in the woods, bears are drawn to food by its sent.

If you leave it out or if you have the smell of food downwind, you will attract something. Period.

Now, if that happens to be a bear, can you really blame it?

Would you not go after waffles if you smelled them in the air and had not eaten in days?

To avoid bears, keep your food up and sealed up, do not clean your game close to your camp, and if you see any tracks that may belong to a bear, then find a better location.

5 Things to Consider When Building a Tree Stand to Hunt Game

tree stand

Considerations to help you maximize your food survival skills

Image Source: http://www.treetread.com/hunters-gallery.aspx

Once your survival gear has used all of the food content, you will have to find other methods of collecting and sustaining food.

Yes, you can gather nuts and berries, but if you are used to having meat in your diet you will need to maintain some form of protein or your body will suffer for it.

As wild game will not just walk into your camp in most situations, you will need to hunt and fish. One of the best ways in which to hunt is to set a tree stand.

Here are 5 things to consider when building your tree stand.

5) Is the stand along a game trail?

The first thing that you need to determine is the location.

Ideally, you want to have your tree stand in a location that has a few game trails (or at least one visible trail and possible others) in order to maximize your potential for having a successful hunt.

You need to determine the type of game which is using the trail as well as monitor the tracks and signs of the trail to predict how often it is used by wild game.

It would do you no good to set up a tree stand on a game trail which is primarily traveled by squirrels and possums or on a deer trail that has gone dry.

4) Look for a sturdy tree with branches

You will have to get in and out of your tree stand.

You need to have a tree with branches to do this.

Avoid brittle tree types, such as the pine, which are known for having branches which snap off at a moment’s notice. You want to find a tree that is close to the trail and has sturdy branches.

If you need to trim back some of the foliage to provide you with easier access then do so.

DO NOT use a dead tree or a tree whose branches cannot support your weight without bending.

3) How good is the view?

You may have the ideal tree and the perfect path for your hunt, but if the view of the trail is bad from the tree stand then you really have not accomplished much.

The best tree stands will not only provide a view of the game trail, but will allow you a nice panoramic view of the surrounding area.

I would venture to say that if you cannot see at least 180 degrees (being that you can look all the way to the left and right without any major blockage to the view) that you need to find a new location.

The reason for this is that you will want to maximize the area that you can hunt in.

You need to be able to see the game as it approaches and be able to prepare for the kill. If the only area which can be viewed is 30 degrees or less, then you have greatly minimized the area and the probability of a successful hunt.

2) Can you be seen easily?

Keep in mind that where you may be hunting, you may also be spotted by another survivalist if your location is close to open fields.

Granted, in an ideal situation you will not have other survivalists within a close proximity of you.

However, in a wilderness situation caused by a natural or manmade disaster you may not have the option of being completely away from others.

In this scenario, it is critical that you pick a location which is far enough away from your camp as not to give away the location.

When building your tree stand, try to camouflage the tree stand as much as possible so that it appears to be part of the tree and the surroundings.

What you do not want is to have a tree stand which is too open and spotted by a desperate person.

1) Harnesses and safety equipment

Regardless of how well you build your tree stand, you should use a harness and implement some safety mechanism into the design.

I have seen men who have hunted for 20 years slip in their stands and become paralyzed from the neck down all because they were too stubborn to tie themselves to the tree.

You do not have to make it so tight as to disable movement, but take into consideration that you will more than likely be up in the air on a platform made from wood and bound together by rope and clothing.

Unless you have specifically packed a tree stand, your design is very apt to have some flaws in the design.

Depending on the height in which you set your stand, this can be a life threatening risk.

It is recommended that you:

  • Do not climb the tree with a gun which does not have a safety or a gun whose safety is off
  • That you do not climb branches after a rain or freezing weather as they are very likely to cause you to slip and fall
  • That you consistently check the tree stand for any signs of rot and weathering
  • That you re-secure all knots and binding material before every use
  • That you asses the risk of the hunt prior to committing to it

The best solution

The best solution is to add a small tree stand to your tactical gear or to your survival pack.

You can easily find one that will fold down or one that needs minimal assembly. Of course, you can always stick to hunting from the ground and fishing as well.

The point is that your food survival is your personal responsibility as a survivalist. Your gear will not sustain you, a game trail is not definitive, only you can determine your food sustainability by utilizing the survival skills, common sense, and bushcrafts you have leared.

Things I Wish I Knew About Indoor Gardening Before I Started

A lot of people are starting to discover the blissful pleasures of gardening, and within the past five years, many households have shifted to growing their own food in a sustainable way, rather than polluting their bodies with industrially grown and manufactured foods.

indoor-herb-garden-design-homelifenow

Image Source: http://svejo.bg/

The new trend could partly have sprouted due to the growing awareness about environmental degradation, the outcome of consuming unhealthy foods and the general preference for organic materials.

Whatever the reason may be, since the sustainability and a prospect of better health is the main driving force behind this growing awareness and the impeccably progressive trend, it makes a lot of sense for people to start growing an indoor garden.   

Not only is it a highly sustainable practice that can help you preserve your environment, it is capable of providing you with food that is free of all kinds of chemical products and has been grown under your own watch.

However, before you think of starting up your indoor garden, there are a few things that you should be aware of and take under consideration.

Gardening can be a highly trial and error based venture, and you can only gain knowledge by trying again each time you fail, while amplifying your knowledge.

This article ill help you understand what indoor gardening is all about, but what you must remember through the whole process is the fact that you should try to have a little bit of fun with it, without giving up the instant you face failure.

You Require Space, But Not a lot

The biggest convenience of indoor gardening is the fact that you will need only as much space as you can easily spare.

Even if you have a very limited amount of space, you can actually do a lot with your indoor garden and grow food as you wish.

Some people even start with a small potted basil plant near their windowsills, or tomatoes, which are easier to grow.

Indoor gardening is highly dynamic while also being scalable, so you can dedicate a whole grow room for your indoor garden or just start with a small indoor patch.

It’s really up to you.

A couple of shelves spread across your home holding small potted plants can also be a very good space saver, but of course, that’ll need some added effort.

Your Indoor Garden’s Lighting Requirements

This is common knowledge anyway, but your plants need a certain amount of light in order to grow, and some may even need a lot more light than others.

If the plants that you grow fail to receive as much light as they need, they won’t be able to support themselves on a long term basis.

Some plants even wilt without constant access to a healthy amount of sunlight. If the plants that you are growing don’t get sunlight, you can forget about them flowering and blooming, let alone producing fruits.

This issue can be effectively addressed by getting yourself a grow light. But remember that plants need light that is similar to the wavelength of sunlight, so your everyday use bulb will not be able to help them.

Get some grow lights and install them as close to the plants as possible, without getting close enough to burn them.

Long plants usually thrive when they receive at least 14-16 hours of light, while short plants will survive with around 10-13. Look for signs of weak and thin stems, smaller leaves, and unusually lighter color to assess whether your plants are getting enough of light or not.

Your Required Temperature

Even though all plants have a varying requirement for temperature, most can thrive between 65-75°F, and a change of 10°Fis usually considered negligible.

As you start with your own indoor garden and keep gaining experience along the way, you can start tweaking the temperature to get optimal results.

When you plants start to appear weak and small, it may be that your garden is too hot for the plants that you are growing, and if the leaves start to turn yellow it’s an indication that the temperature is too low for the plants to survive.

Humidity Is Also Important

The biggest challenges that you will face will be dealing with the lack of humidity that you have to find a solution for indoors.

During winters, the atmosphere tends to get even drier, exacerbating the problem even further. Here are some signs that can help you identify the problem:

  • The tips of the leaves will turn brown
  • Plant will start to wither
  • The plants will start to shed their leaves

You can take a number of steps to increase humidity effectively, including misting the plants on a daily basis (only for non-hairy plants), leaving some water near the garden to evaporate, or setting up the garden in a highly congested microenvironment. If nothing works, there’s always the option of installing a humidifier.

Understanding the kind of plant you are growing and it’s precise needs is probably your best bet at creating a sustainable and absolutely beautiful indoor garden.

1

3 Ways to Start A Fire With Your Flashlight

start a fire with your flashlight

Yep, you can start a light with a mag-lite, here is how.

When I first heard of starting a fire with a flashlight, I laughed thinking that some survivalist was playing a joke on a reader.

Let me be the first to say that you can make a fire from a flashlight, but you cannot simply shine a light on some kindle and hope that it will ignite. 

In most of these cases you are going to USE the flashlight to start the fire.

The actual functionality of the flashlight will not make the fire (sorry to those of you who never learned any fire craft or bush craft). Here are 3 ways that you can start a fire with your flashlight.

1) The Break it and Burn it method

Hopefully you will have a flashlight with real glass over the lens in your survival gear. If you opted out of glass for a cheap flashlight, this will not work.

First, you will need to break the glass cover.

Do not annihilate it, just break it. 

Remove the bulb from the flashlight.

Very carefully you will want to chip the glass of the bulb. The filament cannot be damaged in this process.

It is a one shot deal. Take your time and work slowly at the glass to get it to chip.

Once you are done removing the glass from around the filament, put the bulb back into the flashlight and loosely put tinder into the top.

Again, do not break the filament.

When you turn on the flashlight the tinder should catch. Move the tinder to the kindle and then to your pre-made fire area.

2) The Wire Method

This method does not require the complete destruction of your flashlight. In this method you will need to remove the inside batteries and the positive and negative wires from the flashlight.

Once you have removed the positive and the negative wires from the flashlight, strip off about a ¼ inch strip from each end of the wire. 

Take the wires and secure them to their appropriate ends (positive to positive, negative to negative) of the battery. Secure the wires using gum or another adhesive ensuring that the wire comes into direct contact with the battery.

Basically, you are going to do the same thing which would happen if you had a car battery and touched the positive to the negative, you are going to make sparks.

Of course, if you have a really small battery or a (and if you do your survival chances are already bleak) battery powered LED flashlight then this will probably not work. However, if you have a survivalist flashlight which takes C or D batteries, or ideally if you have a 9 volt or higher battery, you should be ok.

Click the positive and the negative exposed wires together. DO NOT hold them together but do quick sharp contacts.

You do not want to blow up the battery or burn yourself so keep the distance and the battery location in mind.

It goes without saying that you will need tinder to catch the sparks. Once your tinder is lit quickly remove the battery from the heat area (again to avoid it blowing up) , move the tinder to your kindle and then to your fire set up.

3) The fire piston Method

If you have only packed a flashlight and have a AAA or a AA battery light or if you have an LED then you will have really no use of the light when the battery dies.

The flashlight can be used as a container to start a fire.

To do this you will need to make a fire piston from your flashlight in order to start your fire. So what you will need to do is to make sure that the piston is remove the threads from the top of the battery part removing the lip.

To do this you will need to use a saw that can cut metal (on your Swiss knife or multi-purpose pillars).

The lip hinders the piston from movement and must be removed. On the tail end of the flashlight you will need to make it air tight.

You can do this by using Teflon tape (if you have it) or you will need to melt nylon around the threads and twist welds the pieces together.

NOTE: Nylon dries super quickly so your best chance for an airtight seal is to do a sort of spot weld along the outer rim ensuring that no area allows air through. Fill in the endcap if needed to reduce any unneeded airflow within the tube. You may have to experiment with different sealants to make it air tight.

On the piston get a hardwood and chose a lubricant that is not too greasy (or fireproof).

You will also need to have a plunger added to the end to compress the air and cause your spark.

Find something rubber to add around the top of the plunger. Your tinder should be secure in the plunger. On the top (where the light would be) you will need to put a piece of charcoal.

To light the ember simply pushes down of the piston and light the ember. You will want to add your ember to your tender and then to your kindle and fire.

Survivalist Reality Considerations

In reality you must keep in mind that you are using a flashlight to perform a fire craft. You may or may not have success doing this.

Your best chance of having a heat source is to have a flint and steel or a bow-drill to create your fire.

If you have a survival flashlight, you may have the option of changing out the lens to one which is similar to a magnifying glass to conduct heat.

Again, this should not be used as your primary fire source and the results depend greatly upon the power of the light.

However, as a secondary means of heat, it is a useful survival skill.

1

Top 6 Influential People in Water Purification

Ever seen water flowing from a spring, that crystalline sparkling glow in the supposedly purest of all pure things that Mother Nature has bestowed upon us?

Collect a handful of that water, spray it onto a slide and place it under the microscope.

The scenery through the microscope would resemble a poolside party of bacteria and parasites with all of the bacteria and parasites in the pool rather than outside of it.

That is the degree to which we have polluted and degraded our environment.

Our activities in the metropolises have become so irresponsible that even resources in the wilderness are not safe from the carbon monoxide released from our vehicles and the chemicals our factories dispense into the environment.

If your disaster management plan included going to hilly areas due to their abundance of drinking water, write it off, you will just die a slow and miserable death instead of a quick one.

Water pollution is all the more worrisome because unlike corn for example, it has no substitute.

Water contamination is therefore one of the demanding problems governments face all around the world.

Hence, development of sanitation services is a part of manifestos of most political parties in the developing parts of the world.

The quest for water purification, however, is not a new phenomenon and is being carried on rather than being initiated with scientists and institutions throughout the centuries contributing in one form or another in the development water purification processes.

Go ahead and read about the most important personalities who contributed in this endeavor.

Hippocrates

Yup! Go two thousand years in the future or in the past, water remains a necessity and water borne diarrhea remains a reality.

Though Hippocrates used water for healing purposes, the tool he developed to rid water of suspended particles such as dirt and other sediments was the first and the most basic form of the bag filter that we have today.

Ironically, the device was called Hippocratic Sleeve.

water purification

Image Source: http://www.snipview.com/q/Hippocratic_sleeve

Though the technique is not used on a large scale anymore, the concept behind it is still a useful part of an individual’s survival skills.

All one would need to do is take a piece of clean cloth and pass water through it to get rid of the most visible sediments harmful to internal organs.

Likewise, later luminaries in Greek medicine had also discovered heating or boiling as forms of water purification.

Buloogh Al Maaram

The 8th century Arab scientist developed a more refined technique of water filtration, which is being used even today though for a different purpose (more on that after describing the technique).

The technique involved a U-shaped device called a siphon which when placed in two water containers, one of them placed higher than the other, caused water from the higher container to ‘siphon off’ into the lower one leaving sediments and particles even smaller than dust behind.

The discovery of this technique allowed larger quantities of water to be filtered for sanitation and drinking purposes compared to the Hippocratic sleeve.

Likewise, the simplicity associated with the devices allows people living off the grid to possess a cheap and effective way of creating a water purification system for themselves.

If you want a pictorial representation to better understand the workings of this tube, go and have a look at the backside of your flush!

Sir Francis Bacon

Sir Francis Bacon heralded the development of water purification techniques in the modern era.

His interest was in developing processes for desalination of ocean water, which was quite futuristic even by today’s standards, since desalination is still very expensive and is rarely carried out.

His idea of using sand as a filtering substance for saltwater, however, piqued interest in the field once again.

The most important contribution he made to water purification techniques however was of devising a standard scientific process for water filtration by laying down an experimental procedure.

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was a Dutch scientist who is considered the pioneer of microbiology and was the first person to observe and describe unicellular and multicellular bacteria found in water.

Though the concept of sterilizing water by heating was in existence before his discoveries, no knowledge or explanation of the different types of bacteria was ever presented.

As with all scientific discoveries, his contribution to water purification was also accidental when his development of the microscope allowed him to notice microorganisms in water.

The consequences of this discovery carried far and wide when the concept of water borne diseases became widespread inducing the quest for finding water disinfectants.

John Snow

John Snow played a more direct role in discovering the effects of un-purified or polluted water on peoples’ health, courtesy of him being a physician.

While Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was the first person to discover the existence of microorganisms in water, John Snow was the first to statistically prove the harmful effects of infected or polluted water on public health and thereby enforced the necessity of installing large scale water purification systems.

Of more significance was the fact that water pollution as a result of industrial waste and increased urbanization was not given any serious thought during the time he lived in, since the industrial revolution was still in its initial stages.

The outbreak of cholera in London in 1854 pushed him to look for its causes which he found to be the disposal of waste in the same river from which water was supplied to the city.

This discovery was directly responsible for better waste management and water purification in London and other cities of Britain.

James Simpson

James Simpson is credited as the first person to have built a large scale water filtration system.

Though he did not discover a new method of water purification since the filtration system he constructed used the same materials that had been used for centuries, sand, rock and gravel, his contribution had more to do with the designing of a system that could supply filtered water to a huge metropolis.

After Jabbar bin Al-Aflaan, he is the second engineer to have made an important contribution to water purification techniques.

2

7 Things ‘The Walking Dead’ Taught Me About Survival

“The Walking Dead” has become a cultural phenomena with hordes of fans and a huge online following, but more can be gleaned from this literal horror show than pure entertainment.

the-walking-dead

Image Source: http://variety.com/2014/tv/opinion/the-walking-dead-season-5-premiere-recap-no-sanctuary-for-rick-and-the-survivors-1201328165/

 

The show gives the audience a possible scenario for what life would become in a situation in which survival is the number one goal.

There are no more 9 to 5 jobs, mortgages are no longer a concern, and passing that math exam in second period is never going to happen, so that leaves finding food, shelter, and simply living to see another day.

Thinking along those lines, I’ve discovered that several truths have been uncovered about survival in a Walking Dead scenario.

Extracting the zombie element, you’re left with a show about extreme survival in a post apocalyptic world where there is no law, there are no rules, and life will never be the same again.

Using the day-to-day survival tactics of the survivors, I’ve come to some interesting conclusions.

1. Almost Everything You Thought Was Important Becomes Obsolete

Our lives are fairly comfortable in this world.

We have air conditioning, television, transportation of all kinds, and grocery stores, but what if all of the conveniences of modern times vanished?

The simple answer is all our interest in superficial things would vanish as well.

Clothes would no longer be for fashion, but to keep you warm and protect your body.

A car would be welcome as long as it still ran, that make, model, and year would be rendered pointless.

Sports teams are gone, celebrities no longer grace the cover of magazines, because they are no longer printed, and social media is a distant memory.

Whatever pointless endeavors that used to occupy our time will be gone and we will focus on what is truly important.

We are left with real human relationships, finding shelter, scavenging for food, and staying safe.

There may still be drama between people, but it’ll be done face to face, and it’ll involve voices, not emoticons.

2. Family is Everything

If you are lucky enough to have loved ones with you in a survival situation, they become the most important things in your life.

Keeping them healthy and safe will be your number one priority.

This may not always be easy to accomplish due to the harsh conditions in which we may find ourselves, but having family or someone you love with you is a great motivator, and keeping them in good health and spirits also gives you an incentive to do the same.

This is also an opportunity for people who are alone to forge bonds with other humans they may not have ever met in a perfect world.

Survival can be used to further relationships with your fellow man and learn ways to work together and understand one another, when before these same people would have never crossed paths, or, if they had, ignored each other completely.

Family becomes whoever is closest to you and gains your love, trust, and respect.

Family is no longer determined by blood or law, but rather closeness and need.

3. There’s Safety in Numbers…Sometimes

“The Walking Dead” suffers from a lot of tragedies, most occurring whenever a group is settled and let their guard drop a bit.

This is usually when a zombie herd crashes through a fence, or a rival group attack for no real reason. I’ve learned that its better to have others with you in a fight and to help watch your back, but there are also times when being alone seems a better option.

For every zombie battle won, there are a lot of casualties, and most of those could have been prevented if one member hadn’t done something stupid.

This is where the flaw of a large group is exposed.

Your survival and the success of a group falls on everyone’s shoulders.

If there is a weak link, they can take everyone down with them, or cause tragedy to befall those who didn’t see it coming.

survival

 

 

Image Source: http://soultrain.com/2015/02/05/walking-deads-michonne-strong-black-woman/

The character, Michonne, is an excellent example of being perfectly capable of surviving alone and doing it well.

The big downside of surviving alone, is that you are always alone.

Personally, I’d take my chances with an amateur group member rather than slow marching through the woods with no one to talk with.

4. Survival Can Be Totally Random Or Dumb Luck

You can’t plan everything, especially in a survival situation.

Accidents happen, illnesses can bring down anyone, and you can’t always trust the people you think you can.

With so many wildcards thrown into a survival scenario, it shouldn’t be surprising that sheer, dumb luck and random fate will liking determine how long and how well you will survive.

Granted, if you have no skills or help from others, you won’t last long anyway, but let’s assume you can at least run and find food.

Even after you’ve been doing it for awhile, there’s no guarantee that a tree branch won’t fall on your head or you won’t get hit by the only car that you’ve seen driving around in 2 months.

At this point, everything comes down to chance.

5. There’s A Lot of Time to Think

Without distractions, you will have lots of time to think even as you go about daily chores like scavenging for canned goods and seeking out a safe shelter for the night.

No television, phones, and computers means you are alone with your own thoughts at all times, but in a survival situation, this is probably for the best.

Lots of time to think allows you time to come up with inventive ideas and plans that can help you and your group.

6. You Can Adapt to Anything

At first, it may be hard to adapt to not showering regularly, being able to turn on a light, or sleeping with one eye open, but it can be done.

Eventually, survival is your new normal and, though you may miss certain aspects of life before the end of the world, you find ways to adjust to the way life is now.

7. You Do What You Have To Do

Survival isn’t always pretty and, sometimes, you have to resort to doing things that you would otherwise find immoral, disgusting, or beneath you.

 

This is the price you pay to live another day.

If you are unwilling to change your moral codes or reset your principles to match the new world order, your time will be up much sooner than if you just did what needed to be done.

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7 Reasons Society Still Needs Survival Gear

We are not as self-sufficient as you may think.

survival gear advice

We are a proud people who have the mindset that we are self-sufficient and survivalists. For the most part we can easily figure out the problems which come up.

Yet, even though we can handle some of the disasters which come our way, there is still a need to have survival gear.

We cannot simply hope to wing it when something occurs, and though I would like to think that a great many people out there have the training and skills to survive not many do.

Here are 7 reasons why society still needs survival gear.

7) There are no real survival skills taught to society

Think about it.

You are taught how to read and how to write and how to fit into a corporate and commerce society, but you are never really taught the fundamentals of survival.

Sure, you know that you need food, shelter, heat, and water to survive, but there is no emphasis on how to go about getting these things if there is a disaster.

Society as a whole has been stifled in their survival skills.

If survival training and disaster preparedness is not given then those without survival gear will be left trying to learn the fundamentals of survival in a survivalist situation.

Obviously this is not the ideal time to acquire such skills. 

A survival bag will not give you the disaster preparedness that you need, but it will equip you to last for a few days.

6) The amount of natural disasters is increasing

The numbers of natural disasters are increasing resulting in a rising number of individuals which need to prepare.

It has been reported that a disaster (either manmade or natural) occurs every 8 seconds throughout the world.

Where I am not saying that you will be hit by one of these disasters, the odds are not in your favor.

Having survival gear is not only needed for clothing and for water, but also for food survival.

Consider, in the event of a flood the water will be contaminated with substances which will make even fish unsuitable to eat. It may be days before being able to obtain sustainable food from anywhere.

Your dehydrated meats in your survival gear are therefore critical to your survival.

That is of course if you have survival gear.

5) In the event of a disaster population relocation will demand you have survival gear

Should a natural disaster occur (either natural or manmade) the relocation of the populace will be to the most sustainable region.

In natural disasters the government and rescue organizations typically pick a structural location.

You can see this with the hurricane Katrina. However, if the event is manmade then the populace will resort to off grid living in order to survive.

Those who are limited to their mobility and to a disaster preparedness plan will have to stay with the masses.

Yet, those which are preppers and have survival gear will be the ones which can mobilize themselves to an area that maximizes the chances of survival.

4) In a governmental disaster food inflation will be more than most families can afford

If there is a man-made disaster, then the probability that the fundamental elements of survival being under regulated supplies is enormous.

Food and water will be allocated to those which have the fattest checkbook.

Food and water will probably be denied to the elderly and will definitively not be given to the sick. It is therefore needed to have a survival kit.

True, the food will only last you for three days.

However, if you have the knife and axe (and other tools) in which to conduct hunting and gathering, your chances of making it are greatly increased.

3) There is too much industry and not enough agriculture

Is there agriculture in the world?

Of course, without such we would all be starving now.

But to say that we have sustainable amounts of agriculture for a catastrophic natural disaster is simply not true.

For example: if there were to be a major earthquake on the California cost and most of the crops were ruined, then a great deal of our produce would be minimized.

Now, say that a series of earthquakes hit across the fault lines or say a series of tornados were to hit the tornado alley, where would our agriculture be then?

There is more industry than agriculture as we are a consumer based nation.

Having a survival kit will give you the needed essentials to at least begin to have food survival and water rations for a time.

Hopefully, you will have acquired survival skills and first aid training as well.

2) Storing up food is asking for heartache.

Those of you who have stored up food and supplies in a bunker or a warehouse, or such absurd place are only setting yourself up for heartache.

I say this because most disasters are going to hit that area where the food is stored.

If it is in an extra room and a tornado hits, the food will be scattered across the fields, if you put it in a bunker and have 12 feet of floodwaters or a mudslide covers the hatch, how will you access it?

You cannot have a stockpile of food and supplies and think that it is sufficient. You need to have survival gear.

1) Both NASA and FEMA are encouraging it

Both NASA and FEMA have given statements where they urge families to have a disaster preparedness plan as well as survival gear in order to combat a natural disaster.

FEMA stated that such a kit be in place just in case the “World is turned upside down”.

Where I generally do not give the media hype much attention, when two major organizations tell the public to get there stuff in order for a major natural or manmade disaster, it is time to perk up.

7 Things No One Tells You About Successful Survival Skills

One of the realities of life is that a disaster or wilderness emergency can happen to anybody, anywhere.

survival skills

Image Source: http://www.corvallisadvocate.com/2013/0829-calendar-picks-of-the-week/

However, there are things no one tells you about successful survival skills in such a situation.

Confronted with a survival situation, every man can easily overcome the challenges and victoriously surmount incredible challenges.

Survival means surviving any disaster or emergency, natural or manmade.

Remaining alive at any circumstance you might find yourself is the main reason. Accept your situation and decide to change the odds towards you; remain alive until you have safely prevailed against the state of affairs.

More than anything else survival is a condition of the mind. Here are seven things no one tells you about successful survival skills.

7) Withstand stress and survive any emergency

In case of an emergency situation, your ability to surmount it highly depends on your ability not to be stressful.

Your mind is the best and first line of survival, a tool you should not ignore.

Physical strength is important, but it will not help you handle fear during disaster emergencies.

The way you react to stress will determine your survival more than the nature, landscape or danger presented by the situation.

Being stressful and fearful makes the utilization of available resources impossible.

Your physical advantage will not be of any use in case your mental attitude is wanting and negative.

6) Defeat negatives in your mind and you will beat every odd

Survival emergencies call for a disaster plan and remaining prepared all the time.

However, if you don’t defeat negative imaginations and thoughts you will not survive.

You must remain in control, master every fear and remain positive.

Be as creative as you can by using your improvisation skills to adapt yourself to the current situation.

Nature is your friend; learn to work with it rather than against it.

If you are to solve any problem you must learn to recognize every threat to your survival, severity of the emergency, priority of influence and the actions you need to take to remain alive.

The main enemies in disaster emergencies are fear, thirst, hunger, heat, cold, pain, fatigue and loneliness, among others.

5) Know fire

Chances are you have been using fire all your life but you don’t really know fire. Fire is the perfect survival tool.

It will signal rescuers, warm you up, cook your meals, purify water, comfort and offer light, keep predators away and the welcome companion everyone needs.

It is an essential survival technique.

Fire should always be in your mind before venturing outdoors. Always know at least two ways of starting an effective fire.

Even as you teach yourself off grid living, your emergency supplies must include a few ways to start a fire.

4) Shelter is critical

Through a shelter you can protect the body from losing moisture in the sun, shield from snow, rain and wind while beating the cold.

Remember too much or too less body temperature can be disastrous.

Clothes are your first shelter; ensure you have the right clothes for your current environment.

A hat is important to have around while ensuring the layers of clothes next to your skin are always dry. If nature offers you shelter, don’t waste your energy creating one.

You can practice making a shelter as much as you can as one of your survival skills and disaster preparedness.

Learn how to use nature to create a shelter and always carry a space blanket outdoors capable of insulating yourself or your shelter, as you squat or sit to conserve heat and energy.

3) Alerting potential rescuers

Signaling is a survival skill you need to learn before hand to have a means of alerting potential rescuers just in case of a calamity.

These signals include mirrors, color markers, whistles, flash lights and fire. Three fires created in a triangle is a universal distress signal.

A mirror comes in handy if you can see people or plane at a distance.

Emergency strobe light is perfect at night to attract the attention of potential rescuers close to your hideout.

2) Food and water

Water and food are critical for your survival; always learn to control what you have. This includes rationing your water by taking some in the evening when it’s cool.

You can live for 72 hours without water.

While outdoors, avoid eating plants or vegetation you have no idea about. As you plan a trip or preparing for any eventuality, always assume water and additional food are required.

While hiking, camping or in the outdoors, always pack candy and energy bars in your bag and pockets.

Collect water before hand and do not wait until you are thirsty to look for it.  A space blanket or poly-zip bags can catch rain water if you can lay the blanket inside a trench.

1) First aid skills and kit is important

First aid is not all about medical items but the way you act to remain alive in an emergency. You should never panic; do all you can to take care of yourself.

Adopt the STOP philosophy where you Sit to Think and Observe before you Plan.

While traveling outdoors, having a personal small kit and creating medical checklists before a trip is important.

Always pack what you need and avoid over packing at all times. The most important thing is ensuring you are found in case of a disaster emergency.

You could have a picture of your family, mobile phone, and phone numbers, among other identifiers always with you.

Above all, learning basic survival skills will not just boost your confidence, but will also help you to utilize the survival equipment you have with you. 

7 Bug out Bag Brands to Consider

Places to get your gear and the sites from which they come

best bug out brand kit

Finding a good bug out bag is a bit like car shopping.

Most of the stuff you will find is bells and whistles which have little to nothing to do with survival gear.

They are overpriced, and they are novelty objects for those that want to “feel” safe and secure.

However, there are a few brand out there which are oriented to the survivalist.

Here are 7 bug out bags and where you can find them.

7) ECHO – Sigma bug out bag 

The reason that I like this bag is that it comes with 7 days of food and water, a means of shelter, a multi-tool, and a means of staying in contact with the outside world.

The pack also has a water purification straw.

The only downside that I can see is the first aid kit is a bit lacking and the radio is battery dependent.

6) The Sandpiper of California 

This bug out bag is meant to be carried by those which have a long way to go.

The frame is made so that you can carry everything you need and but not have back strain. The pack weights nearly 4 pounds when unpacked.

Where there are a few varieties available, I would choose the tan or black poly canvas bag as it is approved by the boy scouts of America. (no survival contents included)

5) The condor three day pack 

This pack is designed for survival gear.

Survivalist will find that their complete survival gear list can fit in the bag with ease.

There are a total of 7 total compartments.

The pros of this bag are that it is made of canvas, has grommets in all compartments for drainage, and has waist support to help alleviate the strain on the back.

The major con of this bag is that it does not have a metal framing system.(no survival contents included)

4) Red Rock Outdoor Gear Rebel Assault pack 

If you are looking for a pack which is cheap yet functional, then this bag is for you.

Personally, the bags are a bit disappointing in terms of construction.

However, they do make up for a great deal in the amount of stuff that they can hold.

I also find that the variations of their brand (such as the sling backpack or the USMC GI issue ILBE) offer a bit of compensation for the design flaws.

Like any brand, the more you spend the more features you can have. (no survival list contents included)

3) Zippmo Extreme Survival Kit 

I would recommend that you buy the extreme survival kit as well as the urban survival kit.

Each pack has food, water, and medical supplies and can sustain a person for 3 days.

As you would expect, the urban kit is directed less to the use of tools to make your survival and more to the living with what is around you factor.

Either one is good.

Keep in mind that if you chose to go with a pack for 3, 4, or the pro pack you will spend a bit more.

Each pack has a 5 year shelf life (so be sure to see when the pack was made and not when they received the pack).

2) Sansport Emergency Family Prep Kit 

Every survivalist knows that you need to have an emergency preparedness kit.

This is also true with your bug out bag. This is not your complete bug out bag by any means, but it does give you the contents that you need to get most of your gear in order.

You will get your fire craft tool, your sleeping bags, collapsible water jugs, a cook set, rope, a tarp, blankets, fire striker, water packs, a radio, and a multi-tool.

Basically, all you need to pack in addition to this would be your axe, clothes, and your water purification filter.

I would also pack some food as that is not a part of this prep kit.

1) A pack from Sovereign Survival 

While none of these packs will be the be-all, end-all survival kit for you, this is a great starting point.

 The reason that I like this pack is that it comes with all the basics and none of the junk.  Most of the contents are geared specifically to minimal space but maximum use.

One con of this pack is that it doesn’t have a fire-starter that we like. We recommend getting a paracord bracelet that has a fire-starter built in. Another con is that we recommend changing the bag. Getting one that is either brown or black so it blends in will be a better choice.

Depending on your location, you’ll want to add some things into the first aid kit. That is impossible to include in one general kit, so keep that in mind.

I would not recommend that you put your life into any survival gear that is pre-made. However, if you want to get the better of the packs, get one that is custom made by a survivalist.

One of the best options is to buy one of these pre-made kits and test it over a 72 hour period and then review what you have done and evaluate what other products you need and would have liked to have. Only then can you customize your pack to your specifications.

Considerations

When you are buying a bug out bag, your first consideration needs to be for the pack. If you cannot find a pack that will hold together then your contents really do not matter.

After you get a bag (and I would recommend that you get one with steel enforcement or with specifically designed back supports) then your next concern is to find a pack that has water and food.

Work your way down the essentials to ensure that you get every item on your survival gear list.

Keep in mind that even if you get a bug out bag that has all the gear on your list, that you will have to customize the bag to meet your needs for living off the grid.

Every geographic is different and so you should not (for example) plan for a marshland environment if your geographic is dessert.

Additionally, you will want to pack materials into your bug out bag such as a first aid/tactical first aid kit and gear to hunt and gather with.

Bug Out Bag – Selecting a Gun for Your Bug Out Bag

An article for guys and gals that need their guns to survive

Bug Out Bag – Selecting a Gun for Your Bug Out Bag

Image Source: https://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=51442

When preparing your survival kit, you will need to make the decision on whether or not you wish to have a gun in your bug out bag, and while there are many disadvantages to having a gun in your wilderness survival kit, there are tremendous advantages to having one for your urban survival (primarily as protection).

However, regardless of whether or not you are going to use your gun for wilderness survival (being that you are going to hunt with it) or for tactical uses, you need to know how to select a gun for your bug out bag.

Here are a few considerations.

Can the gun be concealed easily or does it require that you carry outside of the pack?

One of the key considerations when you select a gun for your survival kit is whether or not the gun can be concealed.

From a tactical position, you will want to have a gun which does not draw attention, especially in situations of governmental/ martial law.

From a survivalist point of view you may want to opt for a rife as you get a better range and can hunt (to some extent) more efficiently your game.

In either scenario, you must consider that whichever gun you choose, you will have to carry it.

So, for those of you whose bug out plan involves covering a great deal of space, get a smaller gun or ensure that you can carry a rifle with minimal physical strain.

How is the gun made?

Just like every other piece of equipment you have in your survival gear, you need to make sure that the device is a quality product.

Do not buy some cheap gun whose firing mechanism will break after a few uses or one which constantly needs maintenance of another sort just to keep it functional.

Of course, you will want to have oils and a gun cleaning kit in your survival gear to keep the gun you choose working in peak condition, but you do not need to be spending the majority of your time maintaining your gun, you need to spend your time surviving.

How big is the ammunition clip?

Guns need bullets.

If you have a rifle which only stores a limited amount of bullets (for example a classic bolt action gun) then you need to consider how many bullets you will require, how they will be stored.

And what (if anything) you are going to do when the bullets run out.

If you are packing a gun for urban survival, it is recommended that you pick a gun which is a common caliber.

Doing so will maximize your chances of being able to restock your ammunition  when your supply runs dry.

What gun can you use proficiently?

There is a real big difference between the gun that you want to use and the gun that you can use.

If you cannot aim and shoot the gun of choice with a level of proficiency and accuracy, then what is the point in having the gun?

The gun you choose should be one that you have already used and have a firm confidence in using.

You should not buy a gun (even if it is the exact same make and model of another gun) and never get use to firing it.

Much like a thumbprint, every gun fires differently.

Can your gun be used for other purposes?

It may sound a bit crazy, but you need to ensure that the gun you chose can be broken down and used for other task once its function as a gun ceases.

Let us face it, your bullets are going to run out, the trigger may become jammed, the barrel may split, the spring mechanism may go out, or a number of other issues.

Once your gun cannot be used primarily as a firing weapon, can you either:

  • Replace the defective part
  • Gain more ammunition for the gun of choice
  • Customize the gun to fit another caliber of bullets which are available
  • Use the parts of the gun for firecraft (the steel) or otherwise use it for your survival

If you find that the gun you selected for your survival gear only has one purpose (being that of a gun) and cannot provide any additional benefits, then it would behoove you to consider a different gun.

If you choose to keep the gun that you have you need to ensure that you pack elements for the gun to keep it maintained such as:

  • Springs
  • A cleaning kit
  • Oil
  • A barrel file

Pick functionality over branding

If you are going to have a gun in your pack it is critical that you pick one for its functionality.

Granted a Smith & Weston is nice, but will it serve your purposes?

A 9mm may be easier for you to fire but will its function justify you packing it.

You gun is NOT your primary survival tool

Where it may be misconceived to be such, your gun is not your primary survival tool and so the space in your bag should not be allocated primarily to the gun.

Focus your efforts on the main essentials which are food, water, shelter, clothing, and heat.

You will also need to have at least a knife, preferably two, as well as a hatchet or small axe for your survival kit.

Pack it safely

Do not kill yourself by packing your gun locked and loaded with the safety off.

Your gun is a survival tool and should really not be used until you are at your bug out spot. Therefore, keep the safety on and the bullets out of the clip.

Trust me, if someone comes up on you and the gun is in your bag, then they will have fled, mugged you, or killed you before you have time to get it out.

Carry a knife on you for protection or keep the gun at your side.

Don’t put it in your pack where it can go off and shot you.

How to Make a Fire Without Matches – A Step by Step Guide

Two methods for starting a fire without the use of those sulfur sticks

how to make a fire without matches

Image Source: http://www.prepper-resources.com/how-to-make-fire-without-matches/

If you are preparing for off grid living, then you need to have your survivalist skills at their peak.

This means that your survival kit needs to be packed with items which will sustain you beyond the 3 to 7 days for which it was designed.

Hopefully, your pack has either flint and steel or string and a bearing block so that you can make a fire.

This article will focus on how to start a fire using these two devices, neither one of them require matches.

Video About Starting a fire using Flint and Steel

Most survival kits opt for having flint and steel over having a firecraft kit for a bowdrill. The main reason for this is that flint and steel are rather common and most people can do this task without too much training. 

To start you will need to have the following:

  • Flint or Quartz 
  • Steel (carbon based not stainless)
  • Kindling

The main focus is not to get a “flint” but to get a hard stone which has a sharp edge on one side. 

The best way for you to find out if you have a rock which is hard enough to make a fire is to test it.

Take your carbon steel and strike the rock against the blade. If you see any sparks coming from the steel then you can use that rock to start your fire.

However, if you find that the rock breaks or that you do not get any sparks, you will need to find another rock.

After you have found your flint and confirmed that you have carbon based steel you are ready to start your fire.

Here is what you need to do:

  • Find a location where you want to build your fire. Clear away any lose debris to ensure that the fire is contained.
  • Place your kindling in a lose pile. You want to keep in mind that the fire will need to breathe. If your kindling is too tightly packed or if it is not dry enough, it may not catch.

I have found that tree moss and dry grass/weeds work the best. Where some may use leaves, I would advise against doing so unless absolutely necessary.

The reason is that leaves usually give off a great deal of smoke but rarely give off enough fire to do anything.

The fire crawls up the leaf instead of igniting.

Hold the steel with a firm grip. You want to ensure that you also have the steel tilted down at an angle of about 45 degrees or so in order to coach the sparks into going into the kindling.

What you do not want is to move the flint and steel together or to strike the steel and flint at an angle where the sparks will be extinguished before they can catch.

Using the other hand strike the flint to the steel in quick short strokes. It may take you a while to get any sparks to catch.

However, once the kindle catches you will want to slowly build up the fire.

Cup your hands to keep the wind from putting it out (do not smother the fire but cup your hands just enough to keep the air out).

survivallife.com-f089a9361580eda30f1d627f493fe0a3

The Bowdrill Method

Where flint and steel are common in firecraft, you can start a fire even if such is not available. To do so you will need to make a bowdrill. This is a bit of a more advanced survival technique, but with practice anyone can master it.

For this method you will need:

  • A bearing block or hand hold
  • A hearth board or fireboard
  • The spindle
  • A bow
  • A bowstring
  • A spark board /ember pan
  • Kindle

You need to have your fire ready to go right off the bat meaning that once you have the kindle lit you can put it into you’re a frame fire. The next step is to make your bow.

To make your bow do this:

  • Find a strong curved green branch. It should be about the width of your thumb and about the length from your fingertips to your elbow (of the same size as the axe which you have in your survival kit).
  • A sturdy string. If you have military grade shoes then use the laces as they will more than likely stand up to the use.
  • Make a notch to tie the string to the narrow end.
  • To make your socket use a small piece of wood which will fit nicely in your hand. You will need to find a hardwood and cut a indention which reduces friction in the hand held part of the socket.
  • Your spindle needs to be NON-GREEN without resign.
  • The best wood is deadwood which have not fallen to the earth. Make your spindle as straight as possible. Make the point to the spindle about as big as a pencil with a flat point. Round the other end.

To make your hearth board:

  • Find a very dry piece of hardwood
  • Make it straight
  • Make a indention only slightly bigger than the tip of the spindle
  • After building your bow and other pieces for your bow drill you will need to actually start the fire.
  • What you will need to do is to place the spindle into the bearing block. Next move the bow back and forth across the spindle.
  • carve a notch to allow air to get to the ember

As the wood heats up you will see smoke. Do not expect the flames to just burst forth. You will want to heat the wood up till it is rather hot and then add a small amount of kindle or a pre-made piece of charcoal to your hearth.

Once you have the hot coal add that to your kindle. As with the other method you will want to coach your fire and then put it into you’re fire setup.

I do understand that there are many different ways to use a bowdrill. You are encouraged to find the methods that works best for you. 

It is assumed that the survivalist will have the basic skills of fire building, be able to use an axe and knife, and that they understand the difference between hardwood and green wood.

If you need help with these do some research as these are fundamental to survival.

Video About How to Build a Bow Drill Fire: Complete Step by Step

How To Prepare Your Ground for Planting Season

7 steps that will help you get ready for growing food off the grid

Senior woman planting a tomatoes seedling

Image Source: RentCafe

Preppers and those which want to live off the grid typically begin with controlling their food supply.

This means that you will have to grow your own food.

Now, this can be done through an aquaponics system or through traditional farming methods.

Where I would strongly encourage you to look into an aquaponics system, I do realize that even with such a system standard planting is a necessity.

Here are 7 steps to help you prepare your ground for the planting season.

7) Find a spot with natural irrigation

The first thing that you need to worry about when you are getting ready to plant a crop is the location.

It is not always beneficial to stick a garden in the spot that has the most room. A “put it where it will fit” approach is not good.

Instead, you need to survey your land for any areas that have a slight decline.

You do not want a steep decline as that will affect the roots and wash out the seeds, but you do want to have a land selection that can provide you with some natural irrigation. You want to avoid:

Areas that have water build up from rain or other water run off

Areas which do not receive any shade throughout the day

Areas which receive no sunlight throughout the day

6) Make the boundary according to the intended crop

As your crop will be the main way in which you provide for the survival of your family,  you need to maximize your chances of being able to yield a crop with substantial produce.

When you purchase the seeds for harvesting (or when you take the seeds out of your survival kit), read to see how far apart each row needs to be as well as the distant between each seed.

Once you have determined the maximum space needed then stake off a square that is 2 feet larger than what is needed so that you can easily walk around your garden.

5) The first turn

The first turn of your ground should be done several weeks before planting season.

Ensure that when you turn the ground that you till the soil to a depth that is slightly deeper than the planting depth.

The point of the first turn is to loosen up any roots and debris which may be in the soil.

This is why you do the first turn early. It allows time for unwanted roots under the surface to die and for you to pick out all the other debris.

Your goal with the first turn is not to oxidize the ground but to make it to where it is just the soil.

4) Turn and Turn again

Some people may disagree, but the results speak for themselves. You need to turn your ground several times before the planting season.

The first turn should sit for about a week or two in order to kill off any under the surface roots.

However, after this first turn, I would turn the soil about once a week.

Look for small rocks, roots, twigs, weeds, and other items which would hinder your plants from growing properly. Also, check the soil to see if any areas get particularly dry or wet.

You want to try to ensure that the soil remains consistent throughout the planting area.

Areas which are too wet may have shading that is blocking the sunlight.

Areas which are too dry may not be getting irrigated properly due to rocks or other debris in the soil.

If needed regrade the land so that the soil is more favorable.

3) Add your fertilizer and compost to the soil

The final step in prepping for your off grid living gardens is to integrate your fertilizer and compost into the soil.

Most plants will tell you the ideal mixture for the best produce.

You will want to find the plant that has the lowest tolerance and cater to that plant’s needs.

For example: if you have a plant that says it can handle a 70:30 ratio and another that says to keep it  40:60, you will want to go with the 40:60 ratio.

Remember, you can always add to the rows later, but if the soil is already conditioned wrong before the seeds are planted, your odds of a good crop are bleak.

When adding the compost and fertilizer ensure that the soil is mixed in toughly. You do not want to use compost which has seeds, fungus, or could otherwise damage the seed. Clean Compost (or topsoil like compost) is preferred.

2) Build your rainwater irrigation system between the rows

As a survivalist, you are already capable of capturing your own rainwater. Now, you are going to make that rainwater work for you.

Using a 50 gallon container set it up at least 16” above the ground on a secured platform.

Next, cut a small hole on the lower side of the container.

2 inches should be more than enough.

Attach a shut off valve.

Depending on the amount of rows, cut off from the turn off valve with perforated pipes. Ensure that the pipes decline slightly and that the end of the pipe is at least a foot from the end of your crop (to keep from water accumulation).

1) Plant NON-Hybrid seeds

Off grid living means that you can sustain your life without having to go and get seeds every year. Ensure that you do not plant hybrid seeds.

Hybrids may give you big juicy produce, but they do not give you any seeds that you can use in the future.

Organic seeds from a local vendor are best to use.

If you have to purchase your seed, buy from a feed and seed store rather than a commercial retail store in order to get the best results.

How to Skin a Deer and Other Game – The basics of Prepping your Food

What good is it to be able to capture your food if you cannot eat it?

How-to-skin a deer

Image Source: http://www.montanaoutdoor.com/2009/11/field-dress-a-deer-in-about-a-minute/

Wilderness survival will entail that you at some point hunt and gather.

For most preppers and survivalist out there, this means that there will be wild game involved.

However, unless you have spent a great deal of time in the woods hunting, fishing, and gathering, you may not know that there is a proper way in which to skin your deer and other game.

You cannot simply take your knife out of your survival gear and start cutting.

Here is a step by step guide on how to get your deer and other game ready for eating.

Do not bring your kill to your camp without field dressing it.

The most important thing to remember before you start to field dress your deer is that it is a messy job. Roll up your sleeves and if you can remove unneeded outer garments.

Taking your survival knife you will want to split the hide on the chest cavity.

The first thing you need to do is cut the throat of whatever it is that you are skinning. This will keep you from having an abundance of blood. Cut deep.

Start right below the ribcage and cut to just below the pelvis. Keep an eye on the depth of your blade.  Going too deep with your cut will sever the organs. If you sever the intestines or bladder then you will have to take extra steps to ensure that you don’t’ get tainted meet.

Once the skin has been split, you will need to crack the ribcage. As you will more than likely not have a knife, you will want to use your axe VERY CAREFULLY to do so.  I would not recommend that you use the blade directly, but that you use a wedge to break the bone. Once you have the ribcage split, use the same technique to split the pelvis.

Slowly cut away the tissue on the sides of the game. Take special care not to cut the connections between the organs. You just want to ensure that the organs are no connected to the inner wall of the animal.

Finally, you will want to reach up into the throat of the deer or game and pull the esophagus out. This may take a bit of pulling to do. Continue to pull downward (meaning from the throat to the anus of the animal) picking up the organs as they become detached. When you get to the anus cut the connecting muscle.

Now that the organs are out of the deer or other game you are field dressing, pour water into the carcass to clean out any lingering blood and tissue.

Removing the skin

In a survivalist setting, you will want to skin the animal so that you can use the hide later for clothing or for storage (if you make a bag out of it). Therefore you need to skin the deer or other game so that you can use the hide later.

First, put a hole through the back legs. Using a large and sturdy hardwood put the wood through these two holes. Hang the deer up by its hind legs.

Start at the legs. Since you are going to use the skin later you will have to cut around the leg as well as make two vertical cuts. The vertical cuts should be on the underside of the deer and should connect to the opening that you had earlier when you field dressed the deer.

Pull the skin of the deer downward, using your knife as needed to remove tissue and ligaments from the hide. As you already cut the legs to allow for it to come detached without losing any of the hide, you should only have to worry about the hide getting snagged on tissue.

Perform the same technique on the front legs as you did the back.

Once you are to the cut on the throat, cut around the neck and then cut free the hide.

Cutting off the meat

Once you have field dressed and skinned the deer or other game, then it is time to get the meat off of the animal.

Using the survival knife from your survival gear, start at the top and work your way down. You may want to cut the meat off of the legs or you may want to keep the leg on the bone.

If you want to keep the leg on the bone, move to the rear meat, then the ribs, stomach, and back.

You should not eat the meat which is above the front legs.

When all of the meat cuts have been removed from the animal, take the animal off of the hanging apparatus.

Place the deer on a clean hard surface. Do not put it on the ground. Using your axe cut any areas of meat and bone away from the deer.

Other notes

Dead animals attract other animals as well as wasps and flies. Besides this, a rotting corpse will quickly start to stink.

It is strongly advised that when you find your survival spot that you scout the area for a place in which to prepare your meat.

Keep in mind that you will probably have to do this quite regularly as you will not want to be going to a site which has a stinking dead animal on it or one which has attracted coyotes or other wild animals (always check animals which you have discarded for chewing and clawing as these are indicators that an area may be becoming unsafe).

The best practice is to dress, skin, and prepare the meat at the spot where the kill was.

Remember that if you chose this option that you will need to have something to haul the meet back to your site in.

Your survival kit should not be used as the blood will only encourage damage to your much needed supplies.

How you can navigate by the sun and stars in Just One day

Because just winging it in the wild is not really an option

true-north

Image source: http://christianfaithatwork.com/are-you-navigating-by-true-north/ 

Survival skills dictate that you must have some form of navigational skills.

True, you may have a compass, but the compass should not be a crutch, especially if you are in a region which is full of iron.

Neither can you bank on the statement that moss grows on the north side of trees or that a river always runs south.

Moss grows on the side of the tree that gets the most light, and although most rivers do eventually run south, you do not want to walk the entire length of the Mississippi River to get there.

Here is how you can easily navigate by the sun and the stars in just one day.

Navigating by the sun

The first key in understanding this essential survival tip is to know how the sun rises and sets.

What you know about this is essential to being able to use the sun for navigational purposes. The sun always rises in the east and sets in the west.

This means that the sun should always be to your right when it rises and on your left when it sets if you are facing North.

To get your bearings, you will need to rise before the sun comes up one day and then locate where it peaks the horizon.

This is going to be your due east.

Granted it may not be exactly on point (from a compass perspective) but you will at least know where east is.

I would recommend that you mark a tree with an E and then one with a W as well as N and S.

This will cut out a great deal of your navigational work later on.

However, if you don’t have an axe or if you just do not want letter on your site, then just make a mental note of where the sun came up.

Once you have established east, then the next step is to determine where North is located.

As stated, East will always be on your right if you are facing North.

If the sun is slightly off to the right, try to get a 90 degree relation to it. This is your north.

Now, all that is left is to determine your south and west. You can do this simply by choosing the opposites of the north and east. 

If you have a hard time determining where the sun is located due to clouds or trees or what naught, then look at a shadow on the ground.

If the sun has just come up then the shadows will be on the west. If the sun is setting the shadows will be on the east.

Navigation by Night

Night time navigation is a bit trickier than day time navigation as it is dark and you have to find your way around obstacles and such.

Finding your North bearing will be the best way in which to navigate the terrain. To do so you will need to have an understanding of some basic constellations.

You will need to find the big dipper.

The way in which to do this is to look for four stars which form a box. From these you will then see three more stars which form the dippers handle.

Once you locate the big dipper then look up (as if the ladle was turned upwards holding the contents and not downwards spilling the contents of the ladle).

You should see one star that is very bright. If it has a pink look or if it tends to flicker, it may be a planet that you have honed in on.

Where there may be slight flickers, if it is occurring too much you probably do not have the right star. If it is blinking red, it is a plane.

Move on to the actual star.

The North Star will be the brightest star in the area and have a slightly different hue than that of the surrounding stars.

It is also a bit larger than the other stars as well which makes it pretty easy to identify.

Orion’s Belt

The second constellation that you will need to know is Orion’s belt.

This is a permanent constellation which lies to the south of the North Star.

There are three stars in a row. Under these stars you will see two stars in an angle.

However, your focus needs to be on the three bright stars that form his “belt” as they run from east to west with the uppermost side (it goes at an angle upwards being west).

Now that you have located the North Star as well as East and west you should be able to find all the major navigational points.

Like with the sun, you will want to ensure that you are facing the right way.

If you find that you are facing the North Star, but cannot determine the east from the west, look for the six stars which form his bow.

They are on the west side of the constellation.

What if you are really bad with picking out constellations?

If you know that you are going to have a bit of trouble locating the constellations, or if you want to ensure that you do not have a mind block in the case of a natural disaster or an emergency, check the status of your survival gear.

You should have a survival guide located in your pack that specifically addresses how you can navigate using the sun and the stars.

Where this is the very basic technique for finding North, South, East, and West, you can also use methods such as a stick clock to determine the location as well as the relative time.

Of course, if your pack does have a compass you can always check the calculated directions to what the compass is reading.

Again, do not rely on your compass as being 100% on point but do use it to make sure that you are heading in the general direction in which you want to go.

Top 10 Strange Ways to Become Self-Sufficient

Ways which are a bit unorthodox but are effective for off grid living

Off grid living requires a level of creativity which most people do not possess. There is the fact that you are relying on nature and natural resources which plays the most vital part in your day to day actives.

From eating to finding food and water, you will have to be a bit more than just the average guy (or girl) in order to be self-sufficient.

Here are 10 strange ways to become so.

10) Buy a goat

It may sound a bit weird, but a goat is a great way to become self-sufficient.

They are nature’s lawnmower.

lawnmowing-goat-best

Image source: http://modernfarmer.com/2013/04/5-cool-jobs-held-by-goats/

Quite literally, a group of goats can clear 4 acres of thick vines and brush in a matter of weeks.

Apart from their digestive habits (and they eat about anything), you will find that a goat can provide you with milk, substance to make soap, a nice skin for clothes, and a cheaper form of meat then say a cow or other large livestock.

You will need to keep in mind that goats LOVE to wander, so your gate will need to be secured constantly.

9) Make your own soaps

You will need a few ingredients in which to do this.

Depending upon the type of soap that you make (oatmeal, goat milk, or ash soap) you will need different equipment.

However, most of this equipment can either be bought for cheap or made from household items.

When making soap consider that all methods do require a cooking and a sitting time.

You will need to dedicate an area apart from contaminants in order to perform the task.

8) Make a rainwater shower

Do you want to save on your water consumption?

One way in which you can be a more conscientious survivalist is to make your own outdoor shower.

First, you will need to have a large metal container to capture the water in. If you want to have hot and cold water use 2 containers.

The hot water should be in a black metal drum.

Connect your water using piping and a turn valve to regulate the water flow.

All you need to do then is mount it up and collect the water.

7)  Keep your Waste

Depending on the area in which you live, you may be able to dispose of your waste without the use of a septic tank.

Your waste can be used as fertilizer once it has dried out. You can also use the waste from other animals as fertilizer.

Remember when doing so that you will want to mix the waste with the topsoil for the most minerals to be provided to your vegetation.

You will also want to keep in mind that fertilizer does have a very pungent smell so diluting the waste with your compost may minimize that smell.

6) Make a rainwater irrigation system

To make a rainwater irrigation system, you will need to start at a high point and stair step downward with your pipes.

The pipes need to be slightly perforated in order to allow the water to trickle out. Basically, you are going to create a gutter system with holes in it.

When it rains the water will be dispersed.

When you are in a dry spell, use collected rainwater by pouring it slowly from the highest point and letting gravity do the rest.

5) Make a windmill

You do not have to have a wind turbine to have wind power. You can construct a simple windmill (or a complex one) to serve various functions.

For example: A simple pulley system on a windmill can provide you with a rotating laundry line.

Adding a larger windmill can be used to grind small amounts of corn or seed.

Depending upon the size and construction, you can meet a great deal of your needs.

4) Make homemade wine and Cheese

If you want to have self-sufficiency with a bit of luxury, make your own wine and cheeses. It is not a daunting task and involves very little contents in order to get them done.

With wine, you will need to ferment whatever fruit you chose to be your primary flavor.

You should conduct a bit of research and watch a great deal of videos before you start.

If possible, have someone show you the process as you are working with mold and fermented food.

3) Make a solar powered AC/Fan

All you will need to make your fan is a 5 gallon bucket, some ice, and a solar panel.

You will have to use your skills in knowing green from red (or positive from negative) in order to complete this task as you will have to wire the solar panel to the fan.

Other than that the method is quite easy.

See the step by steps method here: 

2) Put a brick in your toilet tank

This is an old trick but a good one.

For those that are not in a wilderness survival situation and want to cut down on their water consumption, put a brick in your toilet tank in order to raise the water level.

It actually takes a whole lot less water then you may think to flush a toilet. However, most toilets are just pumped out at a certain size and consume the “standard” amount of water.

1) Use a Aquaponics system

People may look at you a bit strange if you start the set-up process, but this is the best way in which you can be self-sufficient.

The system gives you fish as well as vegetation. Apart from regulating the PH levels and feeding the fish with floating food, you really have nothing to worry about and the food keeps on coming in.

These are but three strange ways in which you can become self-sufficient.

Of course, I am sure that you can think of your own spin on things.

Creativity is the key to your survival so embrace new ideas, try new things, and see where you will go.

50 Ways To Have More Fun When Living Off The Grid

Who said that living off the grid has to be all about survival

Living off the grid is a lot of work, but the rewards are plenty. Somehow, there has been a misconception that living off the grid is a dull and dreary way to exist.

This is quite untrue. There are several things that you can do to have fun when living off the grid. Here are 50 ideas to spark your creativity and get you smiling.

  1. Build a Kite – if you have sticks and some string you can make a kite. Remember that you will need to have something to catch the wind as well.
  2. Take a Hike – Go to that spot with the best view and just relax
  3. Make an outdoor shower – Enjoy a bath in the sun by making a shower out of large containers to hold rainwater, a pipe, and a stopper.
  4. Make a coy pond – if you have the space and time, a coy pond is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get back to nature.
  5. Have a mud pie fight – Nothing is better than throwing a bit of mud around after a rain.
  6. Get back to nature and meditate – Sometimes just being still has the best rewards.
  7. Explore a cave – Not only is this enjoyable, but it is a survival skill as well. If you know where to go then you don’t have to look later.
  8. Swim in the buff – Admit it. Most people like the thought of skinny dipping but just are too scared what the neighbors will say. Well you are off the grid. Go ahead and try it.
  9. Watch a meteor shower – Shooting stars are just a wonder.
  10. Learn the constellations – A great survival skill for night navigation. Learning the constellations can be both fun and functional.
  11. Build a treehouse – Get as creative as you want. You are outdoors it is your space, enjoy it.
  12. Craft and sell walking sticks – Make some extra money by collecting, polishing, and selling fallen wood. There are some very interesting pieces of wood out there if you only look for them.
  13. Have a goat wrangling competition with your kids – No pun intended.
  14. Play in the rain – You don’t always have to be serious. Enjoy playing in the rain. There is something liberating about it. Plus, it is a great way to hydrate you if needed.
  15. Play capture the flag at night to hone your survival skills (navigation)
  16. Make your own paints – Most paints are made from natural materials. Make your own powders and dyes and use the paints and dyes in your clothes and on your other bushcrafts.
  17. Sleep in – I would not recommend this every day, but if you are your own boss why not sleep in every so often.
  18. Have a scavenger hunt – Train your children to look for food and game as well as supplies with a scavenger hunt. Be sure to have a prize for the winner.
  19. Grill out with other survivalist – If you know another survivalist cook out using your campfire skills, rocks, and of course your venison or game.
  20. Make an obstacle course – Disaster preparedness states you should be able to navigate any terrain. Put it to the test and find out.
  21. Invent new weapons from natural substances – You will find that some tools work good and some don’t. Occasionally you will think “I wish there was a tool for that.” In those times, why not try to make it.
  22. Go fishing
  23. Go hunting
  24. Make a water swing – Either use existing rope or braid rope together. Either way will prove to be fun.
  25. Dance in a field
  26. Roll down a hill
  27. Make wind chimes from hollow wood – If you want to make natural music then you can easily do so by cutting holes in hollow wood and placing them in a windy location. It may take a few times to get the sound to your liking.
  28. Play checkers (all you need are rocks or cut wood)
  29. Have a picnic
  30. Have random conversations with strangers on your CV – You are out in the middle of nowhere. Why not talk to someone. Just be sure that you don’t go crazy with it as some people may have the survival stills to track you down.
  31. Build a sprinkler system (all you need is a rain water contain and a perforated connecting tube)
  32. Skip Rocks
  33. Climb a tree
  34. Pick Flowers
  35. Try to tame a rabbit or other small game animal (use caution and common sense)
  36. Build your own furniture – want a fun challenge, try to build a chair using only natural resources and your intellect. It will prove to be harder than you think.
  37. Play baseball with sticks and rocks
  38. Tell Ghost Stories around a fire
  39. Work out using natural resources
  40. Make a flower crown or necklace
  41. Look for gems and rare stones – Not only do these provide you with something to sell, the activity hones your survival skills for picking out detail and finding resources.
  42. Collect arrowheads
  43. Sleep in a hammock
  44. Play fetch with your dog
  45. Make your own musical instruments
  46. Build a slip and slide (rainwater + tarp on smooth ground)
  47. Make a butterfly garden
  48. Make a zen garden
  49. Have sex as loud as you want (the animals won’t mind)
  50. Explore and do something new

These are just 50 of the things that you can do to have fun when living off the grid and being self-sufficient. There are many things which you will find to be enjoyable.

The trick is to find something that you love and then get creative about it.

Whether it is whittling, making bowls and utensils, gardening, or anything else, remember a life that is not filled with happiness is not worth living.

8 Emergency Habits That Hold You Back

In an emergency these habits could prove to be deadly

When you are in survival mode, especially when it is an emergency situation, it is critical that you function at the highest level of efficiency.

Being held back reduces your time to react properly and to execute the needed skills in order to survive.

Where it is true that there will be unavoidable hang ups along the way, your main habits should not dictate the outcome of the situation.

Here are 8 emergency l habits that hold you back.

1) Freaking Out

In an emergency, one of the worst things you can do is loose control of your reasoning. Freaking out is a quick way to find yourself dead.

First, you need to assess the situation. What is really going on? Is it not as critical as you have thought it to be?

Second, determine what is needed to get the situation under control. Obviously, if you have an emergency response plan this step will be easy.

However, if you do not, you need to quickly figure out what to do.

2) Relinquishing authority to less experienced people

Disaster Preparedness should be engrafted into any survivalist/prepper. If you have the training and the skill set to address a particular emergency then you need to speak up.

Just because someone is with an emergency response team does not mean that they are the top authority at the scene of the disaster.

If you have planned and implemented the emergency essentials needed in the situation and if you have the hands on experience to take control of a situation then do so.

3) You want to save everyone

I am not saying that in a disaster that you should not strive to help those that you can. You need to help where possible.

What I am stating is that you do not want to put your life in jeopardy to do it. For example: if there is a tornado coming your way and you have a plan to get safely out of danger then by all means help someone else to get to safety.

However, if the eye of the storm is upon you, do not go walking out into it to save a cat or anything else. You won’t survive. Killing yourself to be the hero is not worth it.

4) Over Consuming Your Resources Quickly

Your survival supplies are in a limited quantity. Typically your bag is intended for 3 days and no more.

What happens in a great many emergency situations is that although a person is a prepper they have not prepped for the flight or fight of the situation.

Therefore, even though they are planning on fighting it out and surviving, their flight kicks in and they reason that they must drink a ton of water or eat food so they have plenty of energy.

When this happens your supplies go down to 0 and your chances of survival diminish.

6) Checking your supplies to make sure you have everything

Some would argue that this is a good idea, but here is the reality of it. In an emergency situation you do not have the time to check your survival supplies, write an emergency response plan, and learn emergency essentials.

These should already be taken care of. You should have gone over your disaster plan so many times that it is second nature.

Usually, those which have made a plan but have failed to practice their plan are those which have to check their supplies.

Checking supplies when there is a flood, or a volcano, or a hurricane coming poses a threat which is quite obvious.

However, you need to also consider that if you are in a man-made disaster (such as a governmental takeover) that you do not want to be looking over your supplies when they come to the door, you will want to have already bugged out.

6) You move to higher ground thinking it will save you

Going to the higher ground does not by any means make you safe. In most cases it puts you in the same situation as the dumb little girl that runs upstairs in horror movies.

Where we can sit and scream at the television “GO OUT THE DOOR STUPID” many people cannot get that concept in their mind during an emergency.

When a disaster hits which will cause you to have to “eventually” but inevitably to have to leave your house the best option is to do so quickly.

7) Run to the government relief

Disasters are known to quickly draw government relief. Where there may be some benefits, in cases where a disaster hits on a level which will force wilderness survival this would be a very bad thing.

First, the government help usually has everyone housed together, so any sickness in the air is bound to go viral.

Secondly, if you have a survivalist kit, they government will probably want to know the contents of your bag for “security purposes”.

Once it is known that you emergency supplies, you can guarantee that they will be seized.

8) Yelling and Screaming

The number one habit which you must break in an emergency situation is the tendency to scream and yell.

It is human nature to want to express our emotions through wailing and loud noise in a disaster.

Yet, for survival this is not something that should be done. Your survival will be largely dependent upon being able to get to your site (or alternate site depending upon the situation) unnoticed.

The more people that are aware to your presence and as a result more aware of your supplies, the more likely you are to have trouble.

Emergency prepping is a necessity to your survivalist skills.

Ensure that you have an emergency response plan, pack an emergency kit which includes all the first aid as well as tactical gear you will need.

Do not run to the danger but avoid bring notice to yourself while slipping silently away to your pre-destined survival location.