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How to Improve Your Sense of Direction

Did you know?

A quarter of the cars on the road right now have GPS systems.

This should mean it’s almost impossible for someone to get lost, right?

Wrong! People still get lost all the time. In survival situations, you need to be able to get around without your phone, GPS or any other technological advantage and know which way to go. What would you do if your phone died and your only source of direction was through the phone? Would you be lost?

Would you know how to get to safety?

This article is going to help you improve your sense of direction and improve your chances of getting to safety.

how to improve your sense of direction

 

There are a lot of factors that determine your directional skills. It has been proven that directional orientation is an acquired ability. This means you’re in luck!

Whatever your current aptitude, even the stubborn men out there like myself, you can learn how to improve your sense of direction.

Here’s how you can improve your sense of direction.

At Home

While you will need to get out of your house for further improvement, it all starts at home. Here are some tips on how you can start in your home, starting today.

  • Eat well – Foods rich in antioxidants like blueberries and pinto beans have been shown to increase blood flow to the brain. This helps with improving memory-related tasks like remembering directions.
  • Exercise – Aerobic exercise likewise increases blood-flow to the brain. Numerous studies show that the hippocampus — the part of the brain responsible for memory, including spatial memory — is larger in individuals who exercise regularly.
  • Rest Up – Keeping well rested is one of the most important things for all aspects of your life, not just for improving your sense of direction. It helps your brain to more effectively take in and store spatial relationships.
  • Study Maps – Yes, studying maps can actually help improve your sense of direction. By finding and studying a map of your route (even day to day routes) you can visualize your route and note features that you will encounter on your route and how they’ll be in relation to one another.
  • Find North – Keeping the cardinal directions in mind at all times is important. Know which direction your home faces and then use that to orient yourself inside it. Which direction do you face when you do the dishes? What about when you watch TV or sleep? Do you know?
  • Play Games – Games are one of the best ways to train our brain for anything. Activities that require you to exercise your spatial awareness, Tangrams or Pentominoes can help improve your ability to intuitively understand how distances relate to one another.

 

Out and About

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the car or out in natures hiking on trails, here are a few things you can do when you’re out and about that will improve your sense of direction.

  • Visualize – Visualization is one of the first steps you’ll always want to take. Whether you are thinking about driving somewhere or walking down trails, you’ll want to visualize the route you’ll take in as much detail as possible, before you start. Picture specific landmarks and where they are in relation to one another. When you begin traveling, compare what you see with what you’ve visualized. Is your memory accurate? It will get better with time.
  • Pay Attention to the Time – Check out the time before you begin and continue to take note of the time as you pass specific landmarks and once again when you reach your destination. This will help you get a feel for relative distances This will be helpful if you find you’ve missed a turn or went too far. You’ll have a more accurate idea of how far back you’ll need to go.
  • Verbalize What You See – Verbalizing anything helps to solidify the information in your brain. Say each landmark out loud while you pass it to reinforce where it is in your mind.
  • Make Up a Story – Stories are one of the best ways to get our minds to remember information. Connecting landmarks in a story form (even if it’s made up and crazy) can help you to better remember the information.
  • Think Big – When you are going somewhere, try to get a birds eye view of the route on a map. Basically you want to recognize where you are on a map. Relate your position to a fixed frame of reference so you can better acquaint yourself with your surroundings. Always think in the cardinal directions.
  • Take a New Route – Most of us have habits of going one specific way every single day. Our route to work likely hasn’t changed, the same as we don’t usually change the way we go to our family or friends’ houses. Switch up your normal route and imagine different routes on a map, even if its just taking a parallel street a block or two away. This will help you with orienting yourself better.
  • Get a Different Perspective – Many times we’ll forget where we parked our car in parking lots. We tend to blame this on getting older, however there are ways you can improve this. As you walk from your car to your destination, turn around and look back at it every 10 seconds or so. This will help you solidify in your memory where your car is, along with familiarizing yourself with what you’ll be seeing on your return trip. For longer distances like hikes, just increase the interval between backward glances.
  • Don’t Panic – Panicking happens. It’s important to stay calm when these situations occur. People tend to move quicker when their anxious, and that will potentially get you more lost than you already are. If you find yourself lost, remember STOP: Stop, Think, Observe and Plan

If you are someone who has lived your entire life confused about directions, don’t worry.

It’s never too late to start working on your directional senses. Take the time and practice these activities and develop the habit of awareness. Practice this and apply it in your day to day life. You’ll notice that the more you practice this skill, the better you will get at determining directions.

Do you have any other tips that help you with directions?

7 Unique Redneck Camping Tricks

As we all are aware, everyone has camping tips. This article is going to give you a couple tricks for those of you who fancy yourself as “rednecks”.

We’ve got your back when it comes down to unique camping tricks.

While some of these will give you a laugh, others will give you an “aha” moment where you’ll say “why didn’t I think of that??”

 

1. Place Sandpaper on a mason jar lid for strike-able match storage

DSC_75331-1024x682

Find the instructions here.

 

2. Create outdoor candle sticks for easy, portable lighting

camping-checklist

Instructions here.

 

3. Doritos can be used as kindling.

 

4. Put frozen water jugs in your cooler to keep food cold with an end result of water!

camping-supplies

Instructions here.

 

5. Create a pocket-sized oil lamp from a travel shampoo bottle

camping-list

Instructions here.

 

6. Create travel-friendly coffee brewers from filters and floss

camping-recipes

Instructions here.

 

7. Make your own grill out of a tin can

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Instructions here.

Want a full list of these things? Check out the post at Camp Like a Redneck | 14 Unique Camping Tips

10 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Survival Food Supply

Does the thrill of a new adventure keep you traveling the world — planning your next expedition to far-flung locales?

Do you plan for months for your big adventures only to find something goes wrong while scaling that mountain or hiking that trail?

If you’ve encountered a mishap while out in the wild, you’re certainly not alone.

survival food supply

 

When you traverse remote terrain, it’s almost inevitable that something will go wrong at some point — and that’s why you need to be as prepared as possible to take on the challenge and to improvise when it really counts.

One way you can immediately change your current wilderness obstacles around is to know how to improve your survival food supply.

With a little creative thinking and a little research ahead of your trip, you will be able to live off the land until you can make it out of the proverbial and literal woods.

If we want to learn how to survive in the wild, we need only look back to the very first survivalists — our ancestors made it through life eating the plants of the forest and later fishing and hunting animals.

You can do the same with a little practice.

Follow our guide of “10 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Survival Food Supply,” and you’ll be prepared to take on any food insecurity challenge during your next big adventure.

Let’s start hunting and gathering:

1. Make High-Energy Trail Mix

Because of the strenuous exercise you’ll endure during your expedition, you always need to be eating and hydrating.

One of the easiest ways to supplement your food supply is to make a batch of high-energy trail mix.

Not only is trail mix healthy and boosts your energy levels, it’s fairly cheap. Make a big batch using unsalted nuts of your living, dried fruit and karob chips.

Pack the high-energy trail mix in small bags and pack them in your backpack. Whenever you need a little boost, grab a bag and eat.

2. Pack Energy Bars

Pack energy bars to ensure that you always have access to a healthy snack.

The best feature of energy bars is that they are lightweight and packable.

You can slip them into the nooks and crannies of your backpack so that you always have something to satiate your hunger until you can get to your campsite to start the fire and cook dinner.

3. Study Edible Plants

At some point you may find yourself in a remote forest without an animal in sight. This is where your gathering instincts will need to come in.

You can forage any forest for delicious mushrooms and green plants.

The key is knowing which ones you can safely digest. If you’re going solo on your trip, you especially don’t want to get sick and poisoned by eating a plant that is not edible.

So study the forest plants in the area where you will be traveling.

Consider purchasing a pocket guide that identifies the plants that are safe to eat. When your food supply is getting low, you literally can live off the bounty of the forest.

4. Pack Fishing Line and Hooks

As your travel, you are likely to happen upon a river or body of water with fish. This is where a rudimentary fishing pole can really help you out.

So pack a small fishing kit that includes a few hooks and fishing line.

You can attach the line to a sturdy stick, tie it to a large branch stretching over the water, or use just the fishing line to catch a fish or two for your campsite dinner.

A beginner’s tip: You’ll want to make sure these items are in a hard plastic case instead of a flimsy plastic bag.

You don’t want an injury from hooks poking out of your pack.

5. Prepare a Mini Chef’s Kit

Once you’ve caught your fish for dinner, you’ll need to be able to prepare them for the open-fire skillet.

So make sure you’ve prepared a mini chef’s kit.

This can be very simple — a hunting knife, some aluminum foil or parchment paper, and a meat/fish thermometer.

Of course, not all of these items are essential.

You probably can cook fish without a thermometer. But it’s also nice to be safer than sorry when cooking fish and meat, so bring it along if you can make room.

A mini chef’s kit sounds luxurious, and it will feel that way if you get the opportunity to eat something other than trail mix and forest mushrooms.

6. Pack Water Purification Supplies

Your survival food supply is not complete without an endless amount of clean water.

You need water to stay hydrated so you can continue on with your expedition, and that’s why this is one component of your food supply that you really have to pay attention to and prepare for, as you don’t know what kinds of conditions you ultimately will meet out on the trail.

Food will only go so far.

Without water you can get very sick.

Dehydration sneaks up on you quickly, so prepare ahead of time to be able to transform any freshwater into safe drinking water by investing in some kind of packable water purification solution — such as a wand or purification tablets.

7. Purchase Flavored Water Tablets

Every now and then, it will feel good to drink something other than water.

Packing a few flavored water tablets that you can just add to your bottled water will feel like a treat. In addition, many flavored water tablets also can be good for you.

Look for tablets that include a dose of Vitamin C, for example. You probably can’t drink OJ on the trail, but this solution is a good second option.

8. Invest in a Multi-Vitamin

When you are eating a limited amount of food — and a limited kind of food — your body may not be getting all of the vitamins and nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

Your iron levels, for example, can drop very low if you are eating mostly vegetables and plants, and low iron can lead to all kinds of health problems including depression.

To mitigate this risk, consider investing in a multi-vitamin. It will boost your food supply by giving your body the vitamins you are missing in your daily trail diet.

9. Pack a Lighter

Have a lighter on hand at all times. This is important because you always want access to fire.

When you have the option to cook a meal you’ve collected from the wild, you’ll want to take it. Forest mushrooms can be delicious — but even more so when cooked on an open fire.

click here to get yours

 

If you catch a fish but can’t cook it, you may be in trouble if you eat it raw.

So prepare ahead by packing a lighter. You’ll diversify your food supply in innumerable ways with this simple gadget.

10. Throw in a Bottle of All Spice

After a while, all trail food can taste a little bland.

If you’ve got room, through in a bottle of all spice.

This works well on everything you might gather from the forest — from making a salad of forest plants and flowers to seasoning fish.

It’s a small luxury that will make reaching the campsite each night even sweeter.

What would you include? Let us know in the comments section below:

1

11 Things I Wish I Knew About Survival Gear When I First Started

11 Things I Wish I Knew About Survival Gear When I First Started

If you’re an adventure seeker like me, you know how thrilling it can be to take on the next new challenge.

I’ve climbed the Seven Summits, hiked through the Amazon and camped out in more remote map dots around the globe than I can count.

What I’ve learned over the years is that having the right survival gear is key to a successful mission.

Without the right survival gear you’re either miserable or worse, injured or dead, so it’s important to make wise choices.

U.S. Marine Lt. Heath Clifford with Marine Aircraft Group-29 (MAG-29), uses a mirror to signal a MV-22B Osprey during a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP) exercise aboard Al Asad Air Base, Iraq on October 23, 2007. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Michael Haas) (Released)

Image Source: Wikipedia

 

Why invest so much time, money and training into an extreme adventure only to have it fall apart because you didn’t have the right gear?

Read on to learn from me in my guide, “11 Things I Wish I Knew About Survival Gear When I First Started.”

You’re on your way to a successful mission if you can prepare ahead of time and get the right gear lined up.

Let’s get started:

1. Not All Gear Is Created Equal

First things first: Not all gear is created equal. You want to save money, save it on the things that you really can skimp on — like generic hand sanitizer for your first aid kit.

Don’t skimp on the important gear that is going to keep you alive in extreme conditions.

You really do need the sub-zero sleeping bag if you’re going into the Arctic.

Save your money and budget wisely.

Having the top gear that matches the rigors of your trip matters.

2. Don’t Forget the Headlamp

The headlamp is a life-saver no matter where you’re adventure may take you.

It makes everything easy. Gutting a fish in pitch blackness?

The headlamp saves you. Trying to set up your tent under the stars? The headlamp saves you.

Writing home to mom? You get the picture.

Buy the headlamp. Click here to get yours today.

They come in a variety of sizes and colors, which makes selecting one fun, and many have a long battery life.

Make sure to pack extra batteries, however, because you’ll probably be using the headlamp for long periods of time, and you’ll always want to have access to light.

3. If You Have the Choice, Buy Waterproof

It doesn’t matter where you go, at some point it’s going to rain. And it probably will rain a lot.

There is nothing more miserable than being tired and cold and wet.

You can get sick very quickly, and so you need to prepare ahead for damp conditions. If gear that you are eying has a waterproof option, then buy it.

It’s better to be safe than to be soaking wet.

Consider getting waterproof pants, a jacket and boots.

Make sure your tent is weather resistant and is made to withstand extreme weather and temperatures.

4. Invest in a Sub-Zero Sleeping Bag

When it’s cold, it’s cold — and there’s nothing that a fire can do to help.

Sub-zero sleeping bags are designed to keep you toasty when the world outside is shuddering.

They come at a price, but again, this is an item you don’t want to skimp on.

It’s important for your body heat to stay at a normal temperature so that you don’t get hypothermia.

5. Never Leave Home Without an Emergency First Aid Kit

Things are going to happen.

You’ll cut your finger with a fishing hook.

You’ll stumble on the mountain and twist your ankle.

You’ll need triage, and you’ll be the only person to do it.

So make sure you’ve got an emergency first aid kit complete with all of the items you need to sanitize, bandage and even splint.

You’ll be thanking yourself when those moments arrive.

6. Bring Back-Up Hydration

Water equals survival, so it’s wise not to just have one water bottle (What happens when it floats down the river?). Have back-up hydration that is packable.

There are lots of water packs designed for easy transport. And while you’re at it, it doesn’t hurt to carry a few packs of water purification tablets.

These will be a lifesaver when you can’t find clean drinking water and you need to be hydrated quickly.

7. Buy Gear That Retracts and Backs

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as I’ve completed by missions is that you’ve got to be able to carry and unload your gear quickly and easily.

Lots of survival gear is made to pack up tightly and retract easily.

Look for those convenient features in the gear you buy so that everything rolls and packs nicely and makes it easier for you to get from Point A to Point B.

8. Your Head and Your Toes

Your head and your toes are too of the most important parts of your body to protect when you are trying to survive in the wilderness.

Most of your body heat escapes through your head, so make sure you’re protecting it with the right gear if you’re going into bitterly cold environments.

The same advice goes to your toes.

Invest in good all-weather boots that are going to protect your toes and keep them warm.

You don’t want to get frostbite in the wilderness and lose your toes as a result.

9. Light a Fire

It’s always good to carry a cigarette lighter, and if you can fit in it, a fire starter.

click here to get yours

 

Sometimes you’ll find that the wood at your camp site is too damp, and you’ll need to start the fire with a little dry kindling you’ve brought along.

Having a working lighter is easy to pack and will make it a cinch to get that fire going on those cold camping nights.

If you think it might rain in the location where you’ll be camping for the night, be looking for dry wood to collect as you make your way.

Depending on where you are, the weather can change quickly, so it’s wise to gather supplies where you can and to always be anticipating the most important thing about building a campsite — how you are going to start your fire.

10. Get a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)or a Satellite Phone

There was one time I got very lost in the middle of the Canadian wilderness.

But I had a little device called a Personal Locator Beacon, or a PLB.

This little device allowed me to send out a signal to let rescue personnel know that I needed help. It was very easy to use.

Literally at the push of a button, you can send a signal that is beamed up to the satellites of the world and let’s the emergency spirits know you are in need of help.

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world. The Personal Locator Beacon will work for you.

It is your beacon.

The Personal Locator Beacon was one of the more expensive items I’ve invested in for my adventures because it cost several hundred dollars, but it was well worth the investment, as who knows what would have happened to me out there in the wilderness, otherwise.

Emergency responders found me, and they got me back on the right track.

Additionally, you also can consider purchasing a satellite phone.

Again, they aren’t cheap, but they another option for getting emergency help quickly, especially if you don’t purchase the Personal Locator Beacon, and the satellite phone allows you to have an actual conversation with another human being.

11. The Good Old-Fashioned Compass

Some things never change, and that it true for carrying a compass on your adventure. Invariably, you will get lost.

I told you about one mishap, but it’s happened many times to me.

Compasses today are very accurate and smart thanks to new technology, and so it’s wise to invest in one in case you are off the beaten path and need to get back on it.

Best of all, these gadgets are fairly cheap in comparison to many of the survival gear items you’ll buy in preparation for your trip.

33

How to Build an Awesome BBQ Rotisserie Pit for less than $250

Having barbecue at home is one the best ways for us to spend time with family and great friends while enjoying the best foods at the same time. If you have big family and network of friends you’ll definitely need what we are about to show you.

Click “Next” to see step-by-step instructions…

 

diy BBQ

diy BBQ

1

10 Ways You’ll Fall In Love With A Prepper

10 Ways You'll Fall In Love With A Prepper

Photo Source: Rick McCharles Flickr 

Becoming more knowledgeable about preppers and their lifestyle will reveal how beneficial they are to society as a whole.

They focus on an individual lifestyle and fight for everyone’s freedom. Freedom to preppers includes freedom from government dependence, so they keep resources available to them to ensure they can be self-sustainable.

This way of life was normal, and even necessary for survival, only a few generations ago, yet modern thinking has shunned the entire notion of it.

Benefits of the prepping lifestyle

A true prepper is an independent, free-thinking, innovative individual who devotes a good amount of time to stocking resources and acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary to be self-sustainable.

They conserve resources and wealth in contrast to most modern people today.

Most importantly, they highlight valid arguments against the seemingly invincible modern way of life.

1. Preppers have their own resources.

They have built an entire lifestyle revolving around having a stock of all necessary resources. If you are in need of some necessary or basic resource, then it is very likely your prepper friend already has the item.

Even in times of non-emergency having resources handy can be extremely helpful. For example, if a low-key storm happens to knock your power out then a prepper will likely have a generator or some strategy for continuing on with the day.

If you need a particular ingredient for dinner, there will be no trip to the store for that one item. Instead, it is probably already in your prepper’s stock room.

2. They are handy.

Preppers value a wide range of skills from planting gardens to building houses.

9 reasons I won't be trusting the government any time soonA good prepper has a strong knowledge base encompassing various skills that are useful in everyday life. From preparing meals from scratch to knowing the best fishing spots, the information a prepper acquires will prove to be helpful in the most unexpected ways.

3. They are generally conservative with their money and resources

Preppers are great partners because they are experts at cutting costs and reducing waste. Prepping strategy involves buying in bulk which will save money and leave you with plenty of spare resources.

Learning valuable skills, such as growing your own food or general car maintenance will also help reduce costs. By cutting wasteful spending and focusing on the future, you will have more money to save, invest, and prepare.

4. They are prepared for much more than just catastrophe.

The prepping that is done to protect from an apocalypse situation can also be just the thing that helps you pull through losing your job, the death of a loved one, or unexpected major medical expenses.

These situations are extremely common and you should most certainly expect to deal with at least one of these challenges during your lifetime.

Despite how likely we are to experience these events, most people fail to prepare for these events and have extreme difficulty recovering financially. Having plans and resources available will help you through.

5. They are realistic.

Most techniques that preppers use were actually historically necessary to survive not too long ago.

For example, in your grandmother’s early adulthood, she probably canned food for the winter, had guns in the house for protection, and may have even had a garden to help provide food.

Only a few generations ago people were much more independent and realistic about their needs. Back then it was not considered prepping, but living. Without planning for the future, you were doomed to fail.

6. They fight for freedom.

The Democratic Party usually argues for social freedoms, whereas Republicans promote economic freedom. Survivalists and preppers fight for all around freedom.

This group has been ostracized by the media and government and labeled as outcasts, doom-seekers, and even domestic terrorists. They strive for less government dependence and have viewpoints more in line with our founding fathers versus the modern socialistic trend.

7. They can be your insurance plan.

Obviously a preppers main goal is to prepare themselves for survival in the event of some catastrophe.

click here to save

 

They make plans, store up stock, gather resources, and ensure their safety during any kind of natural disaster, economic collapse, or even total societal meltdown. Though it is much wiser to prepare for yourself, if some emergency does happen then you will know right where to turn.

8. They help the entire community.

Even if you yourself don’t have an emergency kit or supplies, having survivalists in your community greatly increases your chances of survival in a disaster situation.

The more preppers you have in your community the more likely your area can survive any disaster or economic collapse. Together a group of preppers provide the area with a variety of imperative survival skills, stocked resources for immediate needs, and of course the ingenuity needed to rebuild.

9. They are independent.

A skilled prepper has all of the necessary resources he needs to survive on his own, independent of any external situation. They have learned to become problem-solvers, innovative, and most importantly, self-reliant.

They generally live their lives without the desire or need to be told what to do, and love the individualism within others as well. They tend to favor freedom, socially and economically, and are rarely swayed by twisted politics.

10. They see the world differently.

Preppers and survivalists alike have the knowledge of what it really takes to survive in a completely different world.

Today’s modern human does not take into consideration how convenient and easy meeting our basic needs has become. Preppers, on the other hand, tend to appreciate resources, hard work, and luxury much more than the average person.

They generally shy away from the excessive consumption and waste culture we have created today. A person with a greater appreciation for everything in life is generally a happier person.

Preppers have been portrayed by the main media and government as loners and crazy doomsday-seekers, but they couldn’t be further from the truth.

There are numerous advantages that preppers provide to not only their community but also to the nation as a whole for fighting for our freedoms and independent lifestyles. There are countless ways you will fall in love with a prepper, these ten just top the list!

Click here to watch Video

22 Important Differences Between Successful Preppers and You

22 Important Differences Between Successful Preppers and You

Image Source: Beyond off Grid

Prepping isn’t about just collecting supplies and gear, it is actively changing one’s mindset to be prepared for anything.

This lifestyle is absolutely essential for catastrophes of any kind, so here is a look at 22 tips that separate the successful preppers from those that may be woefully unprepared.

1. Stock Your Car

Everyone in your family should have a bug-out bag, but it is not going to be practical to carry it at all times.

As an addition to a BOB, create a well-rounded car kit for every vehicle at your house with enough supplies for at least 72 hours.

2. Create Clear Goals

While having enough food and energy for a few weeks or months is a great place to start, long-term goals are also a necessity.

Start considering what your family’s goals might be all the way up through a few years such as changing your living location.

3. Make Family Communication a Priority

Even a great plan will fall through the cracks if a family cannot properly communicate.

Have multiple failsafe plans for connecting with one another no matter your locations. As an added bonus, have multiple plans if you cannot reach one another.

4. Stock Foods You Like

Few things will bring down morale as quickly as day after day of bland meals.

Take some time to taste test foods that you plan on saving and then rotate them out well before the expiration. Here are a few food kits you could try to see if you like them –> Click here for top rated food kits 

5. Learn Alternate Uses for All Your Prepping Products

Almost everything that is saved for prepping should have multiple purposes.

Simple steps such as saving a bag of dryer lint makes for unbeatable fire starting material.

6. Get Extended Family Involved

Your immediate family is most likely a priority, but including other members of your family will give you a fresh perspective.

Don’t forget about creating a plan for any disabled or elderly family members.

7. Keep a Supply of Medication Everywhere

Outside of a few basic necessities, medication is going to be one of the most important items to have on-hand.

A multiple day supply should be kept at work, in the car, and in your wallet or purse.

8. Go Overboard with Your Water Supply

If there is any spare room on your property or in your car to store water then use it.

A few clean old soda bottles can be turned into a multi-day water supply for practically nothing.

or Click here to Order a Water Filtration System

9. Weekly Inspections

You may not need to do an exhaustive inventory every few days, but a quickly weekly inspection and thorough monthly inspection should be on the agenda.

Click here

10. Always Think Redundancy

Every single vital item should be included in multiple packs or included multiple times in a single pack.

Items like matches or a fire steel can be stashed in multiple places and add almost no weight.

11. Keep TP Everywhere

Almost anything can be used as toilet paper, but why not make your life a little easier after a disaster?

Stash TP in 2 gallon bags throughout your home and keep at least one package of tissue in very bag as well as the car.

12. Practice with Your Gear

Some prepping gear is not as intuitive as others and having the family practice with it all a few times a year is a great idea.

A solar heater may be a great invention, but they are not always the easiest device to figure out on the fly.

13. Be A Good Neighbor

You do not need to become best friends with every single person on your block, but take some time to get to know them.

You never know when a few extra people on friendly terms will become invaluable.

14. Create a Mini Lumberyard

Just as important as having some basic tools is to keep a stock of extra supplies for building and crafting.

A mini lumberyard can be a few jars of fasteners, bolts, wood glue, sealant, and nails.

15. Use Bleach and Iodine

When you have doubts about the safety of a water source, purify it.

A drop of bleach and iodine drops will kill the germs and help with the taste more than iodine tablets.

16. Test Your BOB Bag

Preppers should always be looking for ways to maximize the weight of their bug-out bag and ensure that they can wear it for extended periods.

Take it out, unpack it, pack it, and wear it around while doing chores to see how it feels

17. Keep Fit

Maintaining your own health and the health of your family is another vital step of successful prepping.

Always take some extra time every week to get in some exercise with a focus on strong cardio. Here is a workout regime you can do to stay in SHTF shape.

18. Consider Bartering Items

A disaster could result in the collapse of the modern economy, so start considering some bartering items.

Think of items you would find valuable after a catastrophe and then buy extras specifically for bartering and trading.

19. Swap Out Old Batteries

Keeping a running list of all items in you kit that use batteries and tag the list with the date when new batteries are put in.

Plan on changing out unused batteries every few months.

20. Research the Flora and Fauna Around You

As you begin preparing your family and home, take some time to explore the land around you.

Get to know some good fishing spots, where fresh water is, and what local plants are edible.

21. Invest in Good Maps

This is one area that preppers often skimp on, but a good map can make all the difference.

Have a few copies of city, county, and state maps that are tear and water-resistant.

22. Upgrade to a FRS/GMRS Radio

CB radios can quickly become filled with chatter and are not very secure.

Instead, upgrade to a set of FRS/GMRS radios. These can often be extended up to 3 or 4 miles with encryption features for the top brands. Click here for great deals on FRS/GMRS Radios

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12 Ways to Become the MacGyver of Wilderness Survival

Do you have any idea what you would do if you got lost or hurt while out in the wilderness? What if your car broke down and your cell phone died, leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere? By planning ahead, you can save your life when caught in an unexpected situation.

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Must-Read Wilderness Survival Hacks

It takes a bit of planning and a small budget to compile the necessities you’d need if you were unexpectedly alone in the wilderness. The most important supplies would help you stay warm, hydrated, and fed, while alerting others to your whereabouts.

1) Find Flammable Materials in the Wilderness

If it’s wet out and you’re getting cold, you’ll need to build a fire stat. It’s not always easy to come across dry, flammable materials. Peel long strips of bark from a cedar tree or a birch tree for tinder. If you’ve planned ahead, you should have emergency tinder on you, or even baggies of dryer lint, which are flammable. In a pinch, you can also douse cotton balls in Vaseline.

2) Build an Emergency Shelter

If avoidable, don’t try to sleep on the ground without any shelter, and make sure to get the shelter up before the sun goes down. Shelter is one of the most important things to have when you’re stranded outside in an unknown place.

You should have a tarp or an emergency blanket with you if you’ve been hiking or camping, which you can rig up with paracord (get a paracord belt or bracelet so it’s always nearby).

3) Build Makeshift Fishing Gear

If you’re stuck near water and you need to go fishing for food, you can create a fishing spear from bamboo. This may be difficult to use if you’ve never spear fished before, though, but it may be your best option.

You can also fashion a fishing hook from the tab of a canned beverage by snipping away part of the thin circular part at an angle. All you’ll need is something to attract the fish (the sparkly tab may be enough) and something to use for line.

If you think of it ahead of time, pack an emergency tackle kit in a Tic Tac box.

4) Increase Your Light

If your flashlight’s died (or you didn’t bring one in the first place) and all you have are a few candles, increase the light by cutting a soda can to make a “doorway” with flaps on either side.

Place the candle inside – the light will be brighter as it reflects off the can. You can do the same thing with a tuna can.

5) Makeshift Water Filter

Ran out of water? Too bad you didn’t pack that fancy water filter you have sitting at home. Take a piece of cloth and two containers, one empty and the other filled with the yucky water.

Run the strip of cloth from the dirty water to the empty glass. After a little while, the “filtered” water will make its way into the empty glass to give you something drinkable (after it’s boiled, of course).

6) Repel Bugs

If you’re at least a bit prepared with something to start a fire and a few herbs for cooking, sprinkle rosemary or basil on the fire – bugs can’t stand the smell and they’ll leave you alone for the night.

Sage works well at repelling bugs, too. If you need to keep ants away from your campsite, sprinkle grits wherever you see the ants – they’ll steer clear of that area.

7) Impromptu Microwave

Cut three sides of a square into the top of a food box and line both the flap and the inside with aluminum foil.

Place food inside, fold the flap down, and leave the box out in the sun. The food inside will cook in your makeshift solar microwave.

8) Simple Compass

If you’re completely turned around and don’t know which way is home, find a small sliver of medal, like a needle, and rub it against your clothing multiple times.

Float a leaf in water and place the metal on top. The needle will point north.

Make sure you’re watching the needle as it readjusts so you know which way is north and which is south.

9) Emergency Oil Lamp

Empty out a soda can and fill it halfway with olive oil. Roll up a napkin or paper towel and put it in the mouth of the can with part of the cloth still sticking out of the top. Light the end of the cloth – the oil lamp will burn for hours.

Not working? Make sure the bottom of the cloth is far enough in the can to reach the oil.

10) Whistle for Help

If you didn’t pack an emergency whistle and your phone is out of range, find an acorn – you can use the cap to whistle for help.

You need just the cap, not the entire acorn, and you want to find a cap that’s whole, not broken or misshapen. Take the cap in both of your hands, holding it between your index finger and thumb.

The inside of the cap should face you. Place your thumbs near the top of the cap with your thumbs touching each other. Put your upper lip on your thumbs and your lower lips on the bottom of the acorn cap and blow through the triangle that’s formed by your thumbs.

11) Mark Your Way

If you’re lost and trying to find your way out of the woods, use biodegradable tape to mark where you’ve been.

If you retrace your steps without realizing it, you at least won’t think you’re someplace new. If you don’t have trail tape on you, use something to keep track of where you’ve been, even if it’s simple rock formations.

12) Calm Annoying Mosquito Bites

If you’re getting eaten alive, rub a bit of deodorant on a nasty mosquito bite to quell the itch.

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If You Read One Article About Survival Training Read this One

You find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere with the sun setting fast.

It’s too late to try to find your way back to civilization, and you only have about an hour of good sunlight left to seek shelter and protect yourself from the chill that is coming.

Luckily, you know the six most important survival skills that every person must master.

By thinking quickly and putting your skills to good use, you can find a suitable location, build a shelter and protect yourself from the elements.

The Six Survival Skills You Must Master

Survival training protects you in the event that you find yourself battling the elements. Hopefully, you won’t find yourself in a situation where you need to call upon this training.

However, knowing how to protect yourself can mean the difference between life and death if you do get stuck in the wilderness.

1. Finding and Building a Suitable Campsite

You may not have a lot of options when it comes to choosing a place to set up your camp. Look for a location that is high, and avoid paths and valleys that make it easy for water to flow directly toward you.

Look at the area around you and make sure there aren’t any dead branches hanging above you that might fall during the night. When possible, look for an area close to running water and against a rock face to help protect you from the elements.

The best shelters are made from natural elements. Look for a downed tree that is firmly secured by rocks or other trees. Cover the tree with any debris you can find like moss, leaves and branches.

Finally, cover the inside of the lean-to with debris to help insulate you from the ground.

lower-meadow-campsite

2. Finding Ingredients for a Fire

No survival training course would be complete with instruction on how to build a fire.

Building a fire requires tinder and kindling ranging in size from a toothpick to a pencil. Place a large log as the base and then add your tinder. Tinder consists of fibrous material that tends to burn easily and quickly.

Look for dry brush, leaves or shred branches to create your tinder. Light the tinder and then start stacking the smaller pieces of kindling. Gradually add larger pieces of kindling in the shape of a lean-to.

This allows air to flow through and fuel your fire. Once the fire gets big enough, add additional logs to the fire. If the logs are damp, keep them close to the fire to dry them out and make it easier to keep your fire going strong. A fire can act as a signal for help and protect you from the cold.

3. Finding Clean Water

Ever wondered why cats tap water with their paw before they drink it?

It’s a behavior that stems from a knowledge that stagnant water is not safe to drink. Running water is your best option for clean water.

Avoid anything that has been standing for a long time, such as water you might find in puddles. The best option is to boil your water, but that isn’t always possible.

Clearly-Filtered

Rain, snow and dew are also fairly safe options for water. If there is a waterfall or a river with water that cascades over rocks, that source should be your second option.

You can filter the water by taking some clean clothing, soaking the water in the clothing and then wringing it out. Maples trees and cacti contain good sources of water if you cut a hole and let the water drain out. Water can also be squeezed from vines and thistles.

Finally, consider filtering the water yourself if you have good sunlight. Find a leafy branch and tie a plastic bag around the leaf, come back later in the day and drink the condensation that formed on the inside of the bag.

4. Finding Edible Food

One of the biggest mistakes people in a survival situation make is trying to hunt big game. In a survival situation, you need to conserve your calories and the time and energy required to hunt, cook and prepare game might overextend you.

Plus, if you fail to find food or can’t cook it correctly, you’ve just wasted a day’s worth of energy. Look for easy to catch and find foods like edible plants.

Additionally, you can catch small game like fish, frogs and even lizards. Just make sure to cook anything you catch properly. This is where good survival training becomes important.

Being able to identify the plans that can kill you from those that are safe to eat is crucial to surviving. Memorize the plants common to the area you frequent most often. Safe plants common to many areas include cattail, dandelions and wild spinach.

5. Finding Help

If you are injured, you won’t have time to find your way home.

You need to send out a signal for others to find you. In fact, sending up a signal is a good idea even if you aren’t injured. Each day, find time to create a signal so that any planes overhead or search parties can find you more easily.

Use a signal fire on top of a clearing or hilltop. Create large amounts of smoke by piling on green branches, pine boughs and other green plants.

If you have a mirror, cell phone screen or any other reflective surface and use it to reflect the light from the sun. A reflective signal can often be seen for miles at day or night and is far more effective than a flashlight.

6. Finding Your Way Home

While surviving, you also need to make progress towards civilization. If you’re lost and you don’t have GPS, you can use your environment to ensure you don’t go in circles.

If you’re on a mountain, choose a direction and head down. Follow any streams or lakes when possible, since these natural flow along the line of least resistance and will lead you to the mountain’s base.

If there is no sun, then look for moss on trees. Moss doesn’t grow exclusively on the north side of a tree, but it does grow the most on the north side. This only applies to the northern hemisphere. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, it’s the reverse.

If you find a trail, road or any other indication of civilization, stay on the trail. The important thing is to make a decision on a direction and stick with that choice. Create large markers every 500 feet. This way, if a search party is looking for you they can follow your trail markers.

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Top 20 Websites for Survivalists

We decided it would be a great idea to put together a top 20 list of the best websites for Survivalists. This is what we’ve come up with from our research and we wanted to provide you with the best information possible.

So here you are!

 

1. Graywolf Survivalhttp://graywolfsurvival.com/

– One of the most popular survivalist sites, Graywolfsurvival is informative and easy to navigate.

2. American Preppers Networkhttp://americanpreppersnetwork.com

– This website caters to a wide range of preppers. From novices to seasoned survivalists, this site contains information for everybody, as well as a blog to help you pick up tips from other preppers.

3. The Prepper Journalhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/

– This site is very thorough and has a wealth of information, particularly for those who don’t know where to begin. The attractive layout is an added bonus.

4. Sovereign Survivalhttp://tipsforsurvivalists.com/

– This site is particularly helpful for preppers with families, and is chock full of links to other resources across the web. Great for people at any experience level, particularly those with small children.

5. The Survival Momhttp://thesurvivalmom.com/

– While this site appears to cater to women, don’t let the name fool you! This site is great for beginners of all genders who want tips on organization, prepping food, and keeping your kids entertained in the event of a crisis.

6. Doom and Bloom – http://www.doomandbloom.net/

– Doom and Bloom is both fun and informational –containing helpful articles as well as a radio channel where you can tune in and get helpful survivalist tips.

7. Off Grid Survival – http://offgridsurvival.com

– While this site is not super heavy on tips for beginners, it is a wealth of knowledge in terms of related news stories and information on practical gear.

8. Survival Spothttp://www.survival-spot.com

– This site is attractive and well laid out, but is recommended for those who already have base-level knowledge; otherwise the high-tech advice could bury a beginner.

9. Prepping To Survivehttp://preppingtosurvive.com/

– Where most prepping websites focus on disaster related preparedness, this one targets wilderness survival in general, and is great for the adventurer who wants to be ready in case of emergency.

10. Prepper Resourceshttp://www.prepper-resources.com/

– This resource is not only provides information on prepping basics and gun safety, it will also link you to other sites on the web that can expand your knowledge.

11. Survival Cachehttp://survivalcache.com/

– While it does contains articles on storing food and water, this site’s main focus is weaponry. While it may seem extreme to some, it is an often overlooked aspect of being prepared.

12. SGT Reporthttp://sgtreport.com/ 

– This website is less about active survival tips and more about the danger we are facing on a daily basis – however, it can be helpful to train yourself to know the warning signs of crisis.

13. The Prepared Ninjahttp://www.thepreparedninja.com/ 

– A short, simple, and well-organized blog for those who understand the fundamentals, but need help with practical execution.

14. Authorized Boots – http://authorizedboots.com/

– Authorized Boots is for all things related to Army boots and tactical gear. They provide their expertise as well as team’s insights to provide high quality reviews of your favorite army boots based on their experience, opinions, and relentless research to be a trusted source in your purchase journey.

15. The Organic Prepperhttp://www.theorganicprepper.ca/

– This website is very beginner friendly, but also focuses more on an eco-friendly approach to survivalism. The blogger has several other sites that are related to prepping.

16. Backdoor Survivalhttp://www.backdoorsurvival.com

– While this site is slightly more difficult to navigate, it has a wealth of in-depth preparation tips, particularly for those with large families and those who want tips on training their mind as well as their bug-out bags.

17. Survival Bloghttp://survivalblog.com/

– Where some sites are a little skimpy, this site has almost an overload of information; however, it is very organized, and has information that appeals to all level of prepper.

18. Survival MD – http://survivalmd.org

– This website has the only complete medical field survival guide for the laymen…showing you how to treat yourself and loved ones in an emergency when doctors, pharmacies and hospitals are shut down.

19. Suburban Prepperhttp://www.suburbanprepper.com/blog/

– Suburban prepper has a few tips for those who are a little more outdoors-y.

20. Blackout USA – http://blackoutusa.org

– This site is all about educating you about a threat so powerful it will wipe out 281 million Americans in the first year. And while NASA, the CIA and the Pentagon are warning us like crazy…no mainstream T.V. or radio outlet is talking about it.

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Unhappy campers and what it means for Emergency Preparation

When I lived in Southern California years ago, I would often take the “Cajon Pass” out of the LA Basin onto the desert. For me, it was the start of one of two trips: Either to see my in-laws in Utah, or heading for the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains for an adventure, usually with my children, sometimes the whole family.

When I took the turn off that would lead me to Lone Pine and the trails and camps of the Sierra, the traffic dropped tremendously. Likewise, going into Las Vegas, or Lost Wages, as I used to call it, cars were bumper to bumper even across the open desert. But exiting Las Vegas, I often had the wide interstate almost to myself heading north.

Obviously, a lot more people were heading to Vegas for the various things they do there than were heading for the mountains. And while the campgrounds and trails of the Sierra would fill up on holiday weekends, I rarely had a problem finding a campground spot, and even in the middle of summer, would often find myself camping alone by a backcountry lake. On one backpacking trip, our party of three went nearly three days without seeing another human being. Very cool

camping-and-emergency-preparedness

So what is the point of all this? Only that when the inevitable emergency comes (Earthquake in the case of SoCal, other places can fill in their favorite hazards), a lot of people are only going to have the skills and supplies that they have cultivated over the years driving to Las Vegas, or Atlantic City, or Branson, or another resort town with comfortable beds and well stocked restaurants. Far fewer will know how to cook over a fire, sleep in a makeshift shelter, or stay dry and warm in a downpour.  How many fewer? Since 2006, the percentage of Americans who camped in any one year fluctuated between 16% and 12%. The overall trend was flat to slightly down.  That’s a lot of people with minimal outdoor skills. Especially when you consider that the one sector showing growth was people renting cabins.  Tent campers,  RV campers, and bless their hearty souls, people who sleep with the stars for a roof and only carry a tarp in case of unexpected weather all showed slight declines.

As one might expect, Westerners camped more than Eastern folk. The ability to drive to high mountains and get away from the summer heat might have something to do with that. Women preferred cabins and RV ‘s, while the men were more likely to stake out a tent or just throw a pad and bag on the ground. Some of the fluctuation is pure demographics. Teens and young adults camp the most, so the 60’s and 70’s, when the baby boom was coming of age was the golden era for growth in outdoor sports. The baby bust that followed saw a corresponding drop in campers, and most large zigs and zags since then have tracked the number of teenagers and 18-24 year olds.

Also, camping has a high churn rate. Some people go once, discover that the backcountry is not Disneyland, and just never go again. Even a lot of people who describe themselves as outdoor enthusiasts will rise early for a dozen mile hike or a day on the river fly fishing, but insist on a chef-cooked meal and a hotel bed with soft sheets that night. One of the emerging trends in the outdoors is called “glamping”, with tents and campgrounds that while ostensibly outdoors, rival a Hilton in amenities.  Not to mention that all meals are catered.  It also says a lot that the number one “luxury” item requested by campers is….a shower and washing facilities.   My only comment is that a lot of dirt hating Americans are going to have a hard time when their daily ration of water for ALL uses drops under a gallon.  I read a letter once sent ahead by Napoleon returning from a long campaign to Josephine, his wife. The letter stated that he would be home in three days and was eager to embrace her again and that in the meantime, she should not bathe. But I digress. Hygiene is and will be important in any situation, but our definition of what constitutes good hygiene in an emergency may require some revision.

The low percentage of Americans preparing themselves to live off what they can pack in a few minutes and run should do two things. First, give us an incentive to ensure that our ability to live away from home for several days needs to be honed and sharpened-or begun, if you have not yet.

Second, remember that many of our family and friends are going to be woefully unprepared. This is both a threat and an opportunity. You may need to alter your food requirements to be ready to feed other mouths not as smart as you. Or you may need to include in your emergency skills the ability to go stealthy and not alert others of your presence until normalcy returns. A tough challenge either way.

survival free meals

Note: While I drew on several articles and my own experiences and observations for this post, major portions of it come from information contained in a 2013 Study of Camping Trends done jointly by the Coleman Corporation and the Outdoor Industry Foundation, and I thank them for the information they provided.

Original Article Source for Unhappy campers and what it means for Emergency Preparation

How to Instantly Cut Pounds and Ounces Off Your Bug Out Bag

heavybackpackfeat

I’ve been trying to put together the perfect bug-out bag for a long time now.

I kept taking things out and replaced them with lighter, smaller alternatives.

Some of them ended up back in, because I realized they were better and safer, and my family`s safety comes first.

However, I`m still not over trying to shave off as much weight as possible, looking for ways to save space to fit in more crucial items, while keeping it light enough to carry around without breaking my back.

How To Pack The Best Bug Out Bag

In time, I learned that there are certain techniques you can successfully use to save maximum space while keeping everything necessary. Here are 6 of them:

#1: Fill every inch of space

Take boots for example. If you`ve got a pair of spare boots in your bug-out bag, fill them up with other items, whatever you can get in there. Roll underwear and socks tightly and shove them inside your shoes.

Better yet, you can use them to protect fragile objects. Roll the fragile item in a piece of cloth (that you can use further, such as a bandana or a shemagh). Put it in the boot, make sure it stays fixed and, eventually, if there`s more room, cover everything with a pair of rolled socks, just to make sure it`s fully protected.

Here`s another tip. If you pack duct tape (and I strongly suggest you do!), unroll it off its original carton and roll it on a pill container or a bottle. Another way to save space with duct tape is to remove the carton and smash the duct tape on a flat surface. Simple as that!

#2: Use space bags

vacum-bag

source: www.spacebag.org

In case you don`t know what space bags are or how to use them, here`s a video that shows you every step of the way, as well as what you should and should`t pack in them:

These bags saved me a whole lot of space in our bug-out bags. And I do mean a WHOLE lot. But here`s the problem with them: once you open them, everything in there is going to get back to its regular size. Therefore you won`t be able to pack it back up when you don`t need those clothes anymore, because you`d need a vacuum to reseal the bags.

This is a downside that I`m not happy about, but I decided to use space bags anyway. It`s better to carry around some extra clothing when I`m not using it, than to suffer from cold or wear miserable clothes simply because I have no other change in my bug-out bag.

Now, it`s your choice whether you use space bags or not. I suggest you try them out and see if it`s convenient to you. You can`t really make the decision until you see just how much space you can save.

#3: Load up on freeze-dried foods

There`s a bunch of reasons why you should take (mostly) freeze-dried food with you when you bug-out. Here are the most crucial 3:

– It takes up little space and it`s extremely light-weight

Freeze-dried food loses 98% of its water, so it literally cannot get any lighter than that!

– It lasts up to 30 years

However, you have to take temperature into consideration. If you store it at high temperatures or subject it to brutal temperature changes, it will spoil sooner.

– It offers variety

This is my favourite thing about freeze-dried food: it`s diverse. I can pack the ones my family loves and offer them the meals they`re familiar with, even in stressful times of disaster. This is the kind of comfort that everyone needs when SHTF.

#4: Use multiple-use gear

And when I say multiple-use gear, I`m not referring strictly to those knife + fork + spoon + compass + whistle sort of tools. Those are great if they`re good quality. If they`re cheap, don`t bother to buy them. They won`t save space, just the contrary. They`re absolutely useless, so why carry useless things with you when you could fill that space with items that could actually save your life? My advice is to invest in a good multiple-use tool or not invest at all.

But besides these tools, there are plenty of other items with multiple purposes that can save a lot of space. For example:

– Bandanas or shemaghs (cover your head if it`s too sunny, prop a broken limb, protect your airways from wind and dust, stop the bleeding etc)

– 550 cord (you can make one of those 550 cord bracelets and wear it around your wrist, not in your bug-out bag)

– Potassium permanganate (water purification, wound sterilization, fire starter)

#5: Replace tents with tarps

Warning: I do NOT suggest this method during the cold season!

Replacing a tent with a tarp may be the most clever thing you can do to shave off weight off your bug-out bag. A tarp is a multiple-use item, it`s light-weight, resistant to wind and rain and it`s very easy to carry around.

You can spread it on the ground if it`s wet or muddy. You can make a perfectly secure shelter if you want to protect yourself from rain or sunlight. You can use it as a wind stopper. You can sit down on it to eat with your family. You can also wrap other items in it to prevent them from getting wet. You can make a stretcher so you carry injured people around. Or you can even wrap a tarp around a person, to maintain body heat.

However, replacing tents with tarps is not the best idea during cold season, as tarps do not offer full isolation. That`s why I only recommend tarps in spring and summer.

This article was originally published by Alec Deacon on myfamilysurvivalplan.com

What’s your take?

Do you have your own tips and tricks that shave a few pounds off of your B.O.B.?

Feel free to share them below.

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The Best Multipurpose Survival Tool on the Market (Yours Free)

free-multipurpose-survival-tool-business-card

FACT: When TSHTF and you need your gear the most, odds are it won’t be close by. Most people will be miles away from home when disaster strikes. But I found a tool that is small enough to fit in your wallet so you can always have something to help you, even if it’s just to get back to your gear.

And I managed to work out a deal for friends of Survivalist Daily to get this valuable tool in your hands for FREE!

This tool has 11 different functions and is no bigger than a business card. It’s a can opener, knife, wrench, and more, all wrapped into one pocket-sized piece of stainless steel.

Here are the 11 functions your free survival business card can do:

  1. Can Opener
  2. Knife Edge
  3. Slotted/Flathead Screwdriver
  4. Ruler
  5. Bottle Cap Opener
  6. 4 Position Wrench
  7. Wingnut Wrench
  8. Saw Blade
  9. Direction Ancillary Indicator
  10. 2 Position Wrench
  11. Keychain/Lanyard Hole

A bunch of your fellow Survivalist Daily friends already snatched up there free survival business card, so supplies are even more limited than they were a when I first told them about this.

And I have no way of knowing how long these will last. So if you haven’t gotten one yet, please click below and get one before they are completely gone…

Claim Your Free Multipurpose Survival Business Card Now >>

1

7 Common Mistakes of Wilderness Survival

How well you can survive in the wilderness will directly depend on your knowledge and resources.

It could literally turn into a matter of life or death.

So, adequate preparation is the key in getting yourself out of a tricky situation in the wild.

Here are 7 common mistakes to avoid in order to survive the wilderness.

1. Lack of Shelter

Basically, there are two mistakes that could potentially cost lives in a survival situation in the wild. The first aspect is the lack of proper shelter, and the second stems from a lack of knowledge to create shelter given the tools that Mother Nature surrounds you with. Exposure can take your life.

Here’s an article where you can learn How to Make a Shelter in the Woods.

how-to-build-a-shelter-illustration-1

(Image Source: HowStuffWorks)

2. No Navigation Tools

People who explore the wilderness without the proper navigational tools such as a compass, GPS, or a basic map are setting themselves up for failure. If you’ve spent any time at all in the woods, then you know how easy it is to get off course in dense trees and foliage and start heading in the wrong direction – even for the most experienced woodsman.

If you have pool navigation skills, we wrote an article about How to Improve Your Sense Of Direction.

 

3. Poor Understanding of Basic Wilderness Survival

Unfortunately, many people who end up in a precarious situation in the wild have a real lack of knowledge on how to survive and are most likely totally unprepared.

Five Key Fundamental Tips to Survive in the Wild:
  • Learn how to build adequate shelter
  • Learn what to eat and where to find it
  • Learn how to signal for emergency help
  • Learn how to find water and safely prepare it to drink
  • Learn how to build and sustain a fire

 

4. Underestimating Potential Risks

Most wilderness adventures start off innocently enough like hiking for the day with friends or a father/son fishing trip.

But suddenly, unforeseen circumstances arise and now you are facing a life and death situation.

At this point, you must plan for any unexpected surprises. Before embarking on your trip, it’s best to take the time to go over any possible mishaps that may occur on your outing and how you intend to address them.

Remember the boy scouts motto, Be Prepared.

 

5. Insufficient Clothing

A good rule of thumb to follow: Always wear one extra layer of clothing than what you actually need.

If you get too warm, simply throw it in your backpack or tie it around your waist.

However, there is nothing worse than leaving warm clothing behind when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere shivering in the cold.

Also, keep in mind that “cotton is rotten”. Cotton is not the ideal material to keep your body warm since it breathes. Wear clothes that keep their warmth once they become damp or wet.

Click Here to Search Amazon for the Best Hiking Clothing

 

6. Obtain Drinkable Water

No one can survive without water. So, a key question to always ask – “Is this water okay to drink?”

Water-based organisms like giardia and cryptosporidium can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea that can result in dehydration and limit your ability to find food, build shelter, and signal for help.

Dehydration can take your life in just a matter of days.

In addition to dehydration, you’ll likely suffer from energy loss, poor judgment, and eventually the will to live. Employ various methods to purify water by either using water filters, chemical tablets, or simply boiling it.

Here’s an article for you about obtaining drinkable water. Click here to read 

 

7. No Fire or Signal Plan

In order to survive in the wild, you must learn how to build a fire based on the following reasons:

  • Keeps your body warm
  • Protects you from predators
  •  A roaring fire can be spotted miles away during the night, while the smoke is evident during the day
  • Fire is used to boil and purify water to make it safe for drinking

 

Learning how to signal for help in the case of an emergency is key in a survival situation.

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(Picture Source: National Geographic)

Typical ones include signal mirrors, loud whistles, high-beam flashlights, or fire starting devices. Bright clothing and a portable radio are good to have on hand as well.

Incorporating these survival tactics before you begin your adventure, may be the smartest thing you ever do. Remember, adequate preparation is essential in order to survive in any unexpected wilderness situation.

Always be prepared and setting a fire may not be the best decision in extremely dry conditions. 

Do you have any other tips you would have included?

Leave them in the comments section below!

17 Wilderness Survival Tips

As you are probably aware, many people are quietly making plans to leave city life behind and return to a more simple way of life in the wilderness.

17 Wilderness Survival Tips

 

Others are doing all they can to prepare for the eventuality that something may go terribly wrong with modern society that will force us to return to the wilderness for reasons of personal safety.

Whatever the reasons are that have you packing up and leaving the comforts of home behind, there are several things you will need to know in order to survive and thrive out in the wild.

 

1. Have Appropriate Tools

Old standbys such as your cell phone, laptop and GPS are likely no longer going to be any help to you if you are living in the wild. Instead, carry a nice toolbox of items that include an axe or hatchet, pocket knife, compass, hammer and pliers.

 

2. Follow the Water

Whatever else happens, you must have a clean source of drinking water. Scope out a good spot before you need it. Watch the animals carefully. If an animal drinks from the water, then it is usually a sign it is also safe for you to drink from. You can use these water purification tips from this article, How To Purify Water – Survival Water Purification.

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3. Smart Foraging

Keep a good manual on what mushrooms and other plants are safe to eat.

We recommend The Forager’s Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants. (You can click the book to get a copy)

The Foragers Harvest

4. Learn to Build

Have a few good tents and patches ready to go, but you should also learn how to build a shelter out of whatever is handy.

You can read this article for more info: How to Make a Shelter in the Woods 

5. Hunting Skills

Don’t go into the woods and start shooting wildly. Hit the gun range and learn to shoot properly so you can catch your meal, kill it humanely and not waste your bullets.

 

6. Avoid Injuries

You need to be on your guard, and do your best to avoid being injured in any way. When there are no doctors nearby, you need to be able to fend for yourself. Be sure to pack a good first aid kit for everyone in your family, carry a first aid manual and learn as many home remedies as you can.

 

7. Don’t Panic

Sit down and make your plans before anything goes wrong. If you have a well thought out plan to follow in an emergency, then you are far less likely to panic and mess it all up.

 

8. Pack to Camp

Bring everything you may need for an extended camping trip. Include good sleeping bags, flashlights, matches, mess kit and extra clothing and shoes. You can learn more about what to include in the article What’s In a Bug Out Bag?

 

9. Fish for Dinner

Be ready to catch your dinner with fishing poles you bring or make. You can dig up worms or catch insects for bait.

Here’s an article on what to include in your fishing box: 10 Things Every Mans Fishing Tackle Box Needs

 

10. Make Fire

Your matches will eventually run out. Go online and learn to make fire the natural way using a flint and steel kit or even rubbing two sticks together. Read this article, 6 Ways to Start a Fire Without Matches.

 

11. Learn to Process Meat

When you are depending on killing animals for food, it’s important you know how to properly butcher the animal to ensure maximum utilization.

 

12. Be Frugal

Always be aware of your food and water supply, and share it out sensibly to provide everyone with adequate nutrition for as long as possible.

 

13. Protection From Animals

You have just entered a world that belongs to wild animals. Keep your food protected and stored away from your camp, and do not eat in your sleeping bag. Food can attract wild animals and may result in a fatality.

 

14. Boy Scout Handbook and Field Book

These are full of advice that has been thoroughly tested by boy scouts for over 100 years. You can get the Boy Scout Handbook on Amazon by clicking here.

 

15. Bring Can Openers

Most people remember to stockpile canned goods, but often forget the can opener. Bring several in case one breaks. Here’s what you can do if you forgot your can opener. Three Ways to Open a Can Without a Can Opener

 

16. Keep Animals

Consider having a dog for hunting and companionship. Keep chickens for fresh eggs and food and perhaps a couple of goats for fresh milk.

 

17. Survivalist Class

Look online for one of these classes. It can go a long way towards teaching you the things you need to know to survive.

 

These tips should help you be able to survive if you find yourself out in the wild. It would be a very good idea to take some long camping trips in order to test out what you have learned and be assured you are ready to handle everything if the time comes when there is no longer a home in the city in which to return.

How to Improve Your Sense of Direction

Did you know?

A quarter of the cars on the road right now have GPS systems.

This should mean it’s almost impossible for someone to get lost, right?

Wrong! People still get lost all the time. In survival situations, you need to be able to get around without your phone, GPS or any other technological advantage and know which way to go. What would you do if your phone died and your only source of direction was through the phone? Would you be lost?

Would you know how to get to safety?

This article is going to help you improve your sense of direction and improve your chances of getting to safety.

how to improve your sense of direction

 

There are a lot of factors that determine your directional skills. It has been proven that directional orientation is an acquired ability. This means you’re in luck!

Whatever your current aptitude, even the stubborn men out there like myself, you can learn how to improve your sense of direction.

Here’s how you can improve your sense of direction.

At Home

While you will need to get out of your house for further improvement, it all starts at home. Here are some tips on how you can start in your home, starting today.

  • Eat well – Foods rich in antioxidants like blueberries and pinto beans have been shown to increase blood flow to the brain. This helps with improving memory-related tasks like remembering directions.
  • Exercise – Aerobic exercise likewise increases blood-flow to the brain. Numerous studies show that the hippocampus — the part of the brain responsible for memory, including spatial memory — is larger in individuals who exercise regularly.
  • Rest Up – Keeping well rested is one of the most important things for all aspects of your life, not just for improving your sense of direction. It helps your brain to more effectively take in and store spatial relationships.
  • Study Maps – Yes, studying maps can actually help improve your sense of direction. By finding and studying a map of your route (even day to day routes) you can visualize your route and note features that you will encounter on your route and how they’ll be in relation to one another.
  • Find North – Keeping the cardinal directions in mind at all times is important. Know which direction your home faces and then use that to orient yourself inside it. Which direction do you face when you do the dishes? What about when you watch TV or sleep? Do you know?
  • Play Games – Games are one of the best ways to train our brain for anything. Activities that require you to exercise your spatial awareness, Tangrams or Pentominoes can help improve your ability to intuitively understand how distances relate to one another.

 

Out and About

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the car or out in natures hiking on trails, here are a few things you can do when you’re out and about that will improve your sense of direction.

  • Visualize – Visualization is one of the first steps you’ll always want to take. Whether you are thinking about driving somewhere or walking down trails, you’ll want to visualize the route you’ll take in as much detail as possible, before you start. Picture specific landmarks and where they are in relation to one another. When you begin traveling, compare what you see with what you’ve visualized. Is your memory accurate? It will get better with time.
  • Pay Attention to the Time – Check out the time before you begin and continue to take note of the time as you pass specific landmarks and once again when you reach your destination. This will help you get a feel for relative distances This will be helpful if you find you’ve missed a turn or went too far. You’ll have a more accurate idea of how far back you’ll need to go.
  • Verbalize What You See – Verbalizing anything helps to solidify the information in your brain. Say each landmark out loud while you pass it to reinforce where it is in your mind.
  • Make Up a Story – Stories are one of the best ways to get our minds to remember information. Connecting landmarks in a story form (even if it’s made up and crazy) can help you to better remember the information.
  • Think Big – When you are going somewhere, try to get a birds eye view of the route on a map. Basically you want to recognize where you are on a map. Relate your position to a fixed frame of reference so you can better acquaint yourself with your surroundings. Always think in the cardinal directions.
  • Take a New Route – Most of us have habits of going one specific way every single day. Our route to work likely hasn’t changed, the same as we don’t usually change the way we go to our family or friends’ houses. Switch up your normal route and imagine different routes on a map, even if its just taking a parallel street a block or two away. This will help you with orienting yourself better.
  • Get a Different Perspective – Many times we’ll forget where we parked our car in parking lots. We tend to blame this on getting older, however there are ways you can improve this. As you walk from your car to your destination, turn around and look back at it every 10 seconds or so. This will help you solidify in your memory where your car is, along with familiarizing yourself with what you’ll be seeing on your return trip. For longer distances like hikes, just increase the interval between backward glances.
  • Don’t Panic – Panicking happens. It’s important to stay calm when these situations occur. People tend to move quicker when their anxious, and that will potentially get you more lost than you already are. If you find yourself lost, remember STOP: Stop, Think, Observe and Plan

If you are someone who has lived your entire life confused about directions, don’t worry.

It’s never too late to start working on your directional senses. Take the time and practice these activities and develop the habit of awareness. Practice this and apply it in your day to day life. You’ll notice that the more you practice this skill, the better you will get at determining directions.

Do you have any other tips that help you with directions?

3

6 Ways to Start a Fire Without Matches

Ahh…fire.

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Image source: http://www.tu-pc.com/fondos/media/3206.jpg

How many of you remember starting fires with magnifying glasses like Bart is doing in the picture above?

The ability to start a fire and watch the flames burn things has always been fascinating to me. Every man/woman needs to know how to start a fire, especially in survival situations. After all, this is a tips for survivalists site.

You never know when you will find yourself in a situation where a fire is essential and guess who forgot their matches? That’s right… you!

Maybe your single engine plane goes down while you’re flying over the Alaskan wilderness, or maybe your just out camping and lose your backpack. While these situations are pretty rare, other situations arrive where you can’t use matches. Extremely windy or wet conditions render matches pretty much useless. Whether or not you need to use this new skill, it’s valuable to know that you can start a fire wherever and whenever you want.

Friction-Based Fire Making

Friction-based fire making is one of the most difficult of the non-match methods and that’s why we’re starting with it. There are a variety of different techniques you can use to make a fire with friction, but the most important aspect of it all is the type of wood you use for the fire board and spindle.

What is a spindle? It’s the stick you’ll use to spin in order to create friction between it and the fireboard. When you create enough friction between the spindle and the fireboard, you create an ember that can lead to a fire.

What are the best woods for spindle sets? Cottonwood, juniper, aspen, willow, cedar, cypress, and walnut.

One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll have to dry the wood out before using it, otherwise you won’t get the spark for the ember.

  • The Hand Drill

The hand drill method is by far the most primitive, and extremely difficult to do. All you need is wood, tireless hands, and determination that you will start a fire without matches.

How do you do it?

Build a tinder nest. You’ll use the tinder nest to create the flame you get from the spark you’ll be creating. Build your tinder nest out of anything that catches fire easily such as dried grass, leaves and bark. If you’re prepared you could use vaseline soaked cotton balls, but this is assuming you aren’t prepared.

Make your notch. Cut a v-shaped notch into your fire board and make a small depression adjacent to it.

Place bark underneath the notch. The bark will be used to catch an ember from the friction between the spindle and fireboard.

Start spinning. Place the spindle into the depression on your fire board. Your spindle should be about 2 feet long for this to work properly. Maintain pressure on the board and start rolling the spindle between your hands, running them quickly down the spindle. Keep doing this until an ember is formed on the fireboard.

Start a fire! Once you see a glowing ember, tap the fire board to drop you ember onto the piece of bark. Transfer the bark to your nest of tinder. Gently blow on it to start your flame.

  • Fire Plough

Prepare your fireboard. To start off, cut a groove in the fireboard. This groove will be used as the track for your spindle.

Rub! Using the tip of your spindle, place it in the groove of your fireboard. Start rubbing the tip of the spindle up and down the groove.

Start a fire. You’ll want to have tinder at the end of the fireboard, so that you’ll plow embers into the tinder as you’re rubbing. Once one of them catches blow on the nest gently to start the fire.

  • Bow Drill

The bow drill is one of my personal favorites out of all the friction based methods for starting a fire. It’s easier to maintain the speed and pressure needed to create enough friction to start a fire. In addition to the spindle and fireboard, you’ll want to get a socket and a bow.

Get a socket. A socket just needs to be either a stone or another piece of wood. If you choose wood, find a piece harder than what you’re using for the spindle. Woods with sap and oil are good because it create a lubricant between the spindle and the socket.

Make your bow. The bow should be about as long as your arm. Use a flexible piece of wood that has a slight curve. The string of the bow can be anything. A shoelace, rope, paracord, or strip of rawhide works great. Just find something that won’t break. String up your bow and you’re ready to go.

Prepare the fireboard. Cut a v-shaped notch into the wood and create a depression next to it in the fireboard. Under this notch, you’ll want to place your tinder.

String up the spindle. Catch the spindle in a loop of the bow string. Place one end of the spindle in the fireboard and apply pressure on the other end with your socket.

Start sawing. Using your bow, start sawing back and forth. You’ve basically created a rudimentary mechanical drill. The spindle should be rotating quickly. Keep sawing until you create an ember.

Make you fire. Drop the ember into the tinder nest and blow on it gently. You got yourself a fire.

  • Flint and Steel

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This is an old standby. We recommend always carrying around a good flint and steel set with you on a camping trip. Matches can get wet and be become pretty much useless, but you can still get a spark from putting steel to a good piece of flint. We recommend the Bear Grylls fire starter.

Strike! Grasp the back of the steel striker or use the back of your knife blade. Strike the steel against the flint several times. Sparks from the steel will fly off and land on the char cloth, causing a glow.

Start a fire. Fold up your char cloth into the tinder nest and gently blow on it to start a flame.

  • Lens-Based Methods

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Using a lens to start a fire is an easy matchless method. Any boy who has melted green plastic army men with a magnifying glass will know how to do this. If you have by chance never melted green plastic army men, here’s how to do it.

Traditional Lenses

To create a fire, all you need is some sort of lens in order to focus sunlight on a specific spot. A magnifying glass, eyeglasses, or binocular lenses all work. If you add some water to the lens, you can intensify the beam. Angle the lens towards the sun in order to focus the beam into as small an area as possible. Put your tinder nest under this spot and you’ll soon have yourself a fire.

The only drawback to the lens based method is that it only works when you have sun. So if it’s night time or overcast, you won’t have any luck.

 

  • Batteries and Steel Wool

Fire from steel wool and a battery

This is one that might seem a little out of the ordinary, but it is an interesting way to start a fire. All you’ll need are a battery (any work, but ideally a 9 volt battery) and steel wool.

Stretch out the Steel Wool. You want it to be about 6 inches long and a ½ inch wide.

Rub the battery on the steel wool. Hold the steel wool in one hand and the battery in the other. The wool will begin to glow and burn. Gently blow on it.

Transfer the burning wool to your tinder nest. The wool’s flame will extinguish quickly, so don’t waste any time.

Do you have any other ways to start a fire without matches? 

2

7 Unique Redneck Camping Tricks

As we all are aware, everyone has camping tips. This article is going to give you a couple tricks for those of you who fancy yourself as “rednecks”.

We’ve got your back when it comes down to unique camping tricks.

While some of these will give you a laugh, others will give you an “aha” moment where you’ll say “why didn’t I think of that??”

 

1. Place Sandpaper on a mason jar lid for strike-able match storage

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Find the instructions here.

 

2. Create outdoor candle sticks for easy, portable lighting

camping-checklist

Instructions here.

 

3. Doritos can be used as kindling.

 

4. Put frozen water jugs in your cooler to keep food cold with an end result of water!

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Instructions here.

 

5. Create a pocket-sized oil lamp from a travel shampoo bottle

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Instructions here.

 

6. Create travel-friendly coffee brewers from filters and floss

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Instructions here.

 

7. Make your own grill out of a tin can

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Instructions here.

Want a full list of these things? Check out the post at Camp Like a Redneck | 14 Unique Camping Tips

How To Make A Shelter In The Woods

This Featured Video is by Dale Collett, an outdoor survival expert from the British Bushcraft School. Dale shows us the steps involved in building a debris hut shelter in the woods using ridges and dry leaves.

You might be asking yourself why would you need to do this and the answer should be pretty simple to anyone who is viewing this site. Shelter is actually the most important survival item you need when we are dealing with temperature.

ShelterIntheWoods

There is a saying called the rule of threes and that is as follows:

  • You can live 3 weeks without food
  • You can live 3 days without water.
  • You can live 3 hours without shelter.
  • You can live 3 minutes without air.

Air and water and food make sense, but what do you mean 3 hours without shelter?

You’ve probably gone outside many times for over 3 hours and had no problems. That’s common, but what if you are stranded in the woods and the temperature drops to 40 degrees or colder and you have no way to heat yourself?

That’s when Hypothermia happens…

Knowing how to make a shelter can keep heat in or in warmer climates it can also keep you cooler by keeping the sun off you and causing the opposite effect of Hyperthermia.

Each can be deadly and it is important to know how to regulate your bodies core temperature to prevent succumbing to the effects.

Check out Dale’s tips for this simple to build shelter and join us again for other featured videos on The Prepper Journal.