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Gun control has elicited a heated debate in the country over the last two decades. Before the gun control laws were passed in the 90’s only a handful of people understood the pros and cons of having guns among civilian populations.
This guide intends to highlight what you can do about gun control and why we might need it.
The state of gun control today
Federal law limits certain individuals from owning firearms: those with criminal records, mental illness, drug addicts, veterans who left the military with dishonorable charges, and immigrants without legal status. Further, Federal law requires gun dealers to conduct comprehensive background checks to see if a client is prohibited from owning a firearm.
On the ground, however, there seems to be minimal enforcement of these laws based on the devastating mass shootings we have witnessed so far. These indiscriminate shootings have affected even learning institutions. For example the Florida school shooting that claimed seventeen lives.
Recommended: United States Bill of Rights
Gun control requires a collective effort for it to be a success and reduce mass shootings around the country. However, at an individual level you can get involved in the push for a safer country. Here is what you can do;
Support anti-gun violence campaigns
Anti-gun violence campaigns seek to sensitize the masses about the effects of gun violence have been launched countrywide. These campaigns afford you the opportunity to have your voice heard. If there is one such movement in your neighborhood, you can sign up.
Educate yourself about gun safety
Given the current state of affairs, it is vital to educate yourself and your family about gun safety. You can start by learning the basic first aid tips for someone who has been shot. Also, get to learn how to react in emergency situations for example when there is a shooting.
Know the laws governing gun control
Getting to know gun control laws will enable you to know who shouldn’t and who should harbor a firearm. With the basics of the law at your fingertips, you can report any suspicious gun holders to the authorities. This way you can help alleviate a possible shooting.
Engage your congressman
There are several legislation today meant to abolish gun control laws. If you are against such legislation, you can make your voice heard by calling your congressman and urging them to vote against the bills. This might seem like a long shot, but it is always worth a try for a safer America.
According to mass shootings tracker, there were 427 cases of mass shootings in 2017 alone. Schools have also been affected despite them being gun free zones. With such compelling statistics, it only makes sense that gun control laws are implemented fully, and stricter measures added.
Also, with gun control, it is easier for the police to distinguish assailants from victims during a mass shooting. Otherwise, if all civilians attempt to protect themselves, the police find it hard to tell apart the gunmen and innocent civilians.
Anti-gun control laws will lead to more guns
Proponents of the anti-gun control laws forget that this will facilitate gun ownership among civilians. Whereas this is seen as a strategy to enable people to protect themselves, the opposite is bound to happen: With more people harboring firearms, isolated incidences of shootings will increase.
Recommended: Tips For First Time Gun Buyers
Strict gun control measures have succeeded overseas
Strict gun control measures have succeeded elsewhere in a bid to curb indiscriminate shootings. For example in Australia, after the government banned all semi-automatic rifles, gun violence declined by a great deal.
Whereas results may vary from country to country, the general observation is that gun control facilitates a safer society. As such, it makes sense to implement stricter gun control measures in the country.
Gun control has also completely failed overseas…
As the gun control debate picks momentum, it is vital to remember that at the end of the day we are all on the same side. We all want a safer society for our children, our parents, our friends and all Americans. Gun control is a logical way to achieve this and create a safer country where every individual can pursue their goals without fear.
So today, we wanted to talk about 5 Guns to Guarantee Your Survival.
When it comes to situations where you need to be putting meat on your table for your family, it’s often better to have a rifle instead of a hand-gun. A high-powered rifle with long-range power should be in every survivalist’s arsenal.
Not just from the standpoint of these high-powered rifles being extremely fun to shoot, but when it comes to dangerous situations these are one of the most useful.
But, we all know that a handgun can be useful in those instances where carrying around a rifle is not a possibility.
Image source: malinois404
Depending on your situation and where you live, you’ll want to keep different things in mind. I spent some time researching this topic and came across an article that nailed the subject on the head. I would be doing you a dis-service if I didn’t just share that article with you.
So rather than act like I’m the smartest guy around (only in my own mind), I decided to share the following excerpt from Ranger Man at shtfblog.com.
Image courtesy of: ike4014
This should really come as no surprise. My only guess as to why so many survival writers don’t list the “Black Rifle” as their top choice is because they want to set themselves apart from the pack. Like in politics, when you’re the man on top, you can expect attacks. There are very solid reasons for the AR-15’s extreme popularity and cult-like following. There are very solid reasons why its the #1 choice of the U.S. military and paramilitary groups (“AR-15” to include all variations). It’s the best – period.
Advantages: very common caliber; fast bullet with flat trajectory; highly adaptable platform that allows the user to meet mission specific needs; extensive options readily available; they’re everywhere (meaning so are parts); wide variety of available rounds from 55 grain to 75 grain, tracer rounds, steel penetrator tips, etc.; very, very light recoil; Made in the U.S.A., and in the case of Bushmaster, Made in Maine 😉
Disadvantages: smaller caliber than what’s found in other battle rifles; many moving parts; rather annoying to clean compared to other rifles; the gas system often comes under criticism for throwing the “gunk” back into the chamber (some call this “shitting where it eats”), though this problem has been remedied in some newer models (at a higher cost).
Image courtesy of: http://www.wideopenspaces.com/everything-want-know-ruger-1022-rifle/
I can hear it now, “What!?” That’s right, the .22 rifle. It’s ALL about survivalism. Look, when TEOTWAWKI hits you’re going to want a rifle like the Ruger 10/22 for put some sort of meat on your dinner plate. Squirrels, gophers or the neighbors’ cats, the 10/22 is quiet, effective, and you can shoot all damn day for what it’d cost you to buy a 6-pack of PBR.
Additionally, a little recognized fact, Chechen rebels successfully used .22 rifles for sniping purposes against Russian troops in urban settings. The urban setting consisted of narrow streets and close buildings allowing these “snipers” to get exceptionally close to their targets. They strapped soda bottle silencers on them to further the effectiveness. I don’t care what you say about the .22lr, take one in the neck and you’ll think differently.
Advantages: already stated – go buy one
Disadvantages: none whatsoever
Image courtesy of: RRViper
What’s a more common caliber than the .45 ACP? The 9mm. Unfortunately, it’s the most common handgun caliber in the United States used against police officers. Thugs love it. Love the 9mm, but don’t be a thug.
Advantages: cheaper to shoot than the .45 (and thus practice with); high capacity magazines; easier to conceal and carry
Disadvantage: less lead
It’s durable, designed to be thrown into a mud hole for a month when it can be dug out and immediately used without cleaning. That might be an exaggeration, but not by much. It also delivers a beefy round for a standard issue assault rifle. If you’re outside the United States, there’s likely readily available parts and ammunition.
Advantages: banana clips, baby; jungled clipped banana clips, baby
Disadvantages: lacks the accuracy found in other assault rifles; made in China, or Russia, or Yugoslavia – you get the idea.
5) Remington 870 12 Gauge Pump-Action Shotgun
Image courtesy of: secretazure
Let’s hear that again.
The sound is undeniable. You hear that and you instantly know what it means, “You wanna roll with me?” The only reasonable response is, “errrr . . . . nah, I’ll move along.”
You can get a shotgun that’ll take a bigger shell, but you don’t need it. The 12 gauge is exceptionally common and it’ll take a variety of shells: birdshot for game hunting survival purposes; double-ought buck for pushing intruders not only down, but back out the window they came in through; and slugs for anything else.
Advantages: common caliber; many accessories available for this model (pistolgrips, tube extensions, etc.); obscene knock-down power
Disadvantages: none come to mind
Can you think of any other Guns To Guarantee Your Survival No Matter What The Situation? Let us know in the comments below…
Police Officer Eric Casebolt, 41, forced 15-year-old Dajerria Becton to the ground and put his knees on her back.
The policeman who was videoed slamming a teen girl to the ground and pulling his gun on other teens during the McKinney, Texas, pool party incident has resigned.
As reported by Western Journalism, the most controversial part of the video was when McKinney Police Officer Eric Casebolt, 41, forced 15-year-old Dajerria Becton to the ground and put his knees on her back.
Brandon Brooks, 15, who shot the video, said in an interview afterwards: “I think she was quote unquote running her mouth, and she has freedom of speech and that was very uncalled for him to throw her to the ground. When he pulled his gun my heart dropped. As soon as he pulled out his gun, I thought he was going to shoot that kid. That was very scary.”
The video also shows Casebolt manhandling and yelling expletives at other teenagers.
Casebold was placed on administrative leave following the incident, pending an investigation.
The officer’s resignation comes after hundreds of protesters marched through McKinney Monday night, carrying signs calling for him to be fired and chanting that he should be “charged.”
The AP reports that Nikki Perez, a black resident of McKinney, attended a city council meeting Monday to express her concern about the incident.
“I don’t excuse the behavior of those teenagers, but if I call 911, then I wouldn’t want that cop to respond,” Perez said. “He blew his credibility when he opened his mouth and started cursing at the kids.”
The McKinney Police are scheduled to have a press conference Tuesday night to further address their actions at the pool party.
Image source: Wikipedia
21 Life Lessons from James Bond
James Bond is arguably the world’s most famous spy. He always has a witty one-liner, he manages to get out of even the trickiest of situations, and somehow, at the end of the day, he still has time and class to seduce any woman he lays his eyes on.
While it’s his debonair attitude that sells movies, it’s his levelheadedness, cleverness, resourcefulness, and loyalty that make him a worthy role model.
Implementing some of these lessons can you get into the mindset of a spy. James Bond isn’t just protecting queen and country; he’s also protecting you.
This quote, from The World is Not Enough, is actually courtesy of Q. Here, Q teaches us that it’s important to lick your wounds in private, both to save face and to keep your enemies from knowing your weak points.
Courtesy of Q in The World is Not Enough, James always knows what’s next, which gives him the upper hand. When it comes to you in your life, it’s good to know where you’re headed, regardless of where you are.
Always be one-step ahead.
In Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond quips on the joys of learning another language.
The more people you can communicate with, the better.
Written skills, verbal skills, and language skill take you far.
This quote from License to Kill gives a bit of insight into when to tread carefully.
James knows it’s wise to give the woman with the knife the center stage for a time—so that he has time to formulate an escape plan.
This lesson from Skyfall is an ongoing theme in the James Bond canon.
Whether it’s country, queen, or your family, find something worth fighting for.
In Die Another Day, Bond yearns for the old ways. Learning from traditional methods and employing classic tactics is nothing to be ashamed of.
Sometimes a little glue and duct tape go a lot further than a bunch of fancy gadgets.
Here in Goldfinger, James teaches us the importance on admitting our flaws—so that we can better overcome them. His answer? Carry a gun.
In A View to a Kill James used this line to flirt—but it’s also indicative of how the famous spy finds time to train, learn new techniques, and find time for extracurricular activities.
One of the best ways to learn something about another person is to open up. Casino Royale shows us James at one of his most vulnerable states; let yourself shed a little armor once in a while.
In Skyfall, Bond reminds us of our own mortality, the mortality of our loves ones, and the mortality of our enemies. A greater respect for life can help you when making life-and-death decisions.
The world famous spy reminds us here in For Your Eyes Only that overreacting isn’t helpful. Keep a level head when in intense situations.
In Skyfall, Bond reminds us that being young doesn’t necessarily mean better, and that old doesn’t mean spent.
Keeping with the theme of loyalty to country, here in Goldeneye Bond reminds Alec that he’s in his profession because he was meant to be. Own what you’re doing to succeed at it.
While it in itself was a film inconsistent with the franchise, this quote from Never Say Never Again inspires us to set goals for ourselves and stay consistent.
Here in Casino Royale Bond give us insight on advice. Remember to stay humble.
This quote from The Living Daylights is the other half of Bond’s success. He plans and he reacts in the same moment.
When it comes to guns, Bond sums it up in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Weapons are powerful and deserve respect and care.
This quote from License to Kill reminds us to always be looking for the things others didn’t think of.
In You Only Live Twice, Bond is given a second shot at life.
When motivated to change your life, take the opportunity.
From The World is Not Enough, Bond reminds us that we, as humans, aspire to do and be so much.
You can achieve anything and everything.
The classic catchphrase is an important reminder to always stay true to yourself.
Click the “Play” button to learn more!
From improving conscious awareness of your surroundings to building and maintaining a fire, bushcraft skills can change your life.
Our modern lifestyle is all based on a very fragile premise which can be destroyed with something as common as a hurricane or tornado.
Having the knowledge and skills necessary to live off of the land will provide you with confidence in all kinds of situations and provide you with an alternative perspective on our current way of life.
You will gain a whole new appreciation for the convenience, availability, and luxurious resources available to us in modern times.
By learning and developing bushcraft skills, you will greatly improve your well-being and quality of life.
Not only is this way of life healthier, but it will provide you with the knowledge of how to be a self-sufficient survivor.
It will bring you confidence in everyday situations from remembering landmarks to assist with driving in unfamiliar territory to managing your stress at work.
Whether the wilderness survival situation is temporary, self-imposed, long-term, or a forced emergency, these skills can be the difference between life and death. Acquiring these skills is guaranteed to change your life for the better.
Orienteering describes the traveling of unknown terrain with the aid of a map and compass.
Originally, this skill was designed as military training for Swedish soldiers. It has since gained international popularity and even become a world renowned sport.
This skill involves identifying terrain features which would provide natural barriers in the path. Those unfamiliar with orienteering may be surprised that it is usually impossible to simply travel in a straight line across long distances.
Practicing this skill has immeasurable benefits including strengthening decision making, improving mental acuteness during fatigue and stress, and constant awareness of the surroundings. With this skill, you will never get lost again.
Even if you are not sure where you are but you know how to get back to where you started, then you are not lost.
Finding edible wild food is a survival necessity.
If you don’t have a food source, you will not have the mental capacity or the energy to focus on survival.
One of the most important aspects of foraging is being informed about what you can and cannot eat.
Many plants in the wild are poisonous if ingested while looking like harmless berries to an inexperienced forager. Acquiring this skill will benefit not only in survival situations, but in our everyday lives as well.
Wild plants and fruits are much richer in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals than those found in the grocery store.
Identifying an animal by its tracks can tell you so much about the area you are settling in.
Tracking will assist in hunting animals for food or fur. Trailing an animal can also assist you in finding a fresh water source or even a food source.
The main benefit of learning to track animals is minimizing the risk these animals will pose to your survival.
It is especially important to be aware of your predator’s normal pathway to avoid unnecessary confrontation with the animals.
Bushcraft skills often promote maximization of resources and reducing waste.
Hide-tanning is one way to ensure that none of the animal is wasted, while also providing numerous benefits including clothing, shelter, and storage.
Leather provides resistance to harsh wind, making it an excellent addition to any long term clothing or shelter structure.
It is tough, durable, and long lasting making for excellent storage bags as well. This skill will provide countless benefits while living off the land.
Gardening is an important long-term bushcraft skill because it will provide the nutrition and stable food source your body needs.
In everyday life, gardening will consistently bring fresh produce, stress relief, and assist in your body’s regulation of the immunes system.
You will not only soak in Vitamin D from the sunshine but will also be absorbing the friendly bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae from the dirt which all stimulate your immunity.
Trees will pull water from the ground and filter it through their roots.
The water will stay in the tree all winter collecting nutrients and providing nourishment to the tree until spring.
Humans can tap into trees and produce a maple or birch sap. This delicious natural energy drink is high in manganese, electrolytes, and vitamins.
It also contains abscisic acid which helps remove sugar from the blood stream and stimulate the immune system.
Controlling fire is exceedingly the most crucial bushcraft skill to acquire.
Fire was and still is one of the most necessary prerequisites to survival. Control of fire is what in fact makes us human.
About 1.8 million years ago, our ancestors discovered and harnessed the amazing power of fire.
By adding cooked meat to the human diet, we were able to add more calories to focus on the brain, resulting in an unprecedented increase in brain size.
According to the Smithsonian Magazine, people in the wild will usually only survive a few months without cooking even if they have access to raw meat.
In addition to providing a method of cooking, fire will provide a method of producing safe water, warmth, light, and shelter.
From tanning hides to learning to identify edible wild food, acquiring these skills can provide you with countless benefits and significantly improve your quality of life.
These skills will help guide you into the bushcraft lifestyle.
This way of life provides for better health, mental acuity, and preparedness.
Modern life has brought us far away from the way of life of our ancestors.
Facing the wilderness can be deadly for many modern humans who do not value the benefits of bushcraft and cannot even produce fire, arguably the most significant skill ever to have been learned throughout humanity.
Acquiring these skills is sure to be life-changing in a positive direction.
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.
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.
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.
Preppers value a wide range of skills from planting gardens to building houses.
A 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Obviously a preppers main goal is to prepare themselves for survival in the event of some catastrophe.
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.
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.
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.
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!
We wanted to create a list of the Top 10 Forums For Survivalists because we previously made a post of the top 20 websites for survivalists that has gotten a lot of positive comments. We didn’t want to leave out the forums, because they are different than traditional websites so we felt that it was important for us to share forums as a separate post.
Becoming a survivalist is not so much as a destination as it is an ongoing journey. A true survivalist is constantly looking for ways to not only improve their prep gear, but to also find the absolute best information wherever they can get it.
Anyone that wants to be a true survivalist should take a look at these top 10 forums that will help them answer major questions, find the newest gear, discuss pertinent news stories, and enjoy a sense of community with like-minded individuals.
American Preppers Network is a comprehensive website that will be useful for those that are new survival techniques as well as highly-trained preppers that have been living this lifestyle for years.
The forums are filled with helpful threads covering everything from basic 3-day kits to simple tips for surviving in different environments. Users also maintain a working map of upcoming expos, items for bartering, and meetups.
While the name may sound a bit odd, Zombie Hunters is actually one of the most popular survivalist forums to-date and has been going strong for over 12 years.
In addition to basic tips and suggestions, there are also a number of relaxed threads with funny, interesting, and though-provoking “what if” questions about certain survival situations such as getting caught in traffic during a zombie apocalypse.
Prepperforums.net has recently undergone a major renovation with a clean, responsive, and intuitive layout.
Members will be able to find any information that they will need on bug out bags, survival kits, hunting tips, and more. The highly-active community also discusses current news and events from around the world with a focus on how it may affect their prepping.
Survivalists that want to avoid the frills or unnecessary discussions may enjoy Wildwood Survival forums.
This website breaks down its forums into basic categories such as shelter, fire, tracking, and foraging. The discussions often focus on a specific location such as the Pacific Northwest, and then offers tips and suggestions for surviving in that area.
These forums do focus on knives, hatchets, and other bladed tools, but it also has quite a bit of information for the survivalist.
Every survivalist is going to have at least a handful of blades on them at all times, and the members of these forums offer in-depth reviews of various bladed products and can even help survivalists save money with upcoming sales and redemption codes.
The Survival Mom is a sister site to American Preppers Network and focused on busy mothers that use a minimalistic approach to their prepping.
While the layout is geared towards women, anyone can join the forums and enter into discussions on survival products, upcoming sales, foraging, home gardening, and countless other topics. This is one of the best websites for those that are prepping on a strict budget.
Survivalist Boards is another comprehensive site for those that are ready to get serious about their survivalist mentality. The community is extremely active and members continue to help one another with everything from new bargains on gear to trades and bartering.
As an added bonus, Survivalist Boards also has regular giveaways for active members with prizes such as new knives, backpacks, flashlights, stoves, and more.
This website is useful in the fact that it covers many of the topics that a survivalist may wonder about but is generally not covered in other forums.
The primary focus of Survival Cache are the products that most preppers will want to acquire with regular reviews done by members and moderators. he forums are primarily used to discuss recent articles or make suggestions on what future articles members would like to see.
Much like the name implies, the AR15.com forums focus on the guns, ammo, and knives for survivalists. Members often post their experience with certain guns and how they feel those weapons would hold up in a survival situation.
While there is quite a bit of information on AR-15s, members will be able to find broad information on other guns and manufacturers including pistols, AK-47s, precision rifles, and hunting rifles.
The Wilderness Survival forums covers some of the highly-specific skills that a survivalist will need when out in the wild.
The discussions often bypass the basics and move directly into more advanced information such as the medicinal uses of specific plants or how to make emergency repairs on specific vehicles. Overall, these forums are a great option for the advanced survivalist.
Becoming a true survivalist is about constantly searching for the best information, new techniques, and advanced gear that can be used to survive and thrive in any situation.
These 10 forums are great places for preppers and survivalists to collect information as they move toward self-sufficiency.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you’re getting eaten alive, rub a bit of deodorant on a nasty mosquito bite to quell the itch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
During a time of distress and anarchy, the term “Man’s best friend” cannot be stressed enough. Amongst experts, dogs are the first animals domesticated by humans and have proven to be versatile allies and useful.
Dogs have been with humans every step of the way, even since primitive humans took their first step on this world. Dogs have helped ward off predators, hunt and herd a variety of other animals.
Although the majority of dog owners do not have their pet for utilitarian reasons, they would be very useful if anarchy erupted tomorrow. However, should society collapse, not all dogs would be suitable.
The following is a list of the best dogs to have on your side if the lights of civilization burn out.
These dogs were originally bred for moving heavy sleds across long distances through the northern tundra. As a result, they have become tough dogs who do not have any quit in them.
Of course they need to be trained by a strict owner. They are a proud breed who will not have any respect for demands from someone who is not stronger than themselves. Regardless of this attitude, if you are able to rein them, they will prove to be strong and intelligent.
Also, despite their large size, Huskies are light eaters which is critical to survival. Most dogs eat in excess while Huskies will only eat as much as they need. Similar to Border Collies, Huskies require a large amount of open space and attention.
Given that Huskies were bred in rural areas, it is best to keep them in their natural habitats.
You may be asking yourself, what is the best dog to have in an urban area that has had its lights knocked out?
This is a difficult question due to the numerous factors of a good survival dog, most of which are not found in apartment-dwelling breeds. Dogs willing to work tend to have a large amount of energy and are larger in stature. They require continuous stimulation or they will end up being destructive.
In an urban environment, you must have a dog that is small and calm enough to be able to handle a small space but big enough to keep up if you must go out into the wilderness. This breed must also be a good watch dog to inform you of intruders but that doesn’t bark constantly either. This type of dog needs a lot of exercise to remain alert and well-trained. Overall, you need a dog that has a balance of all these traits.
The best candidate is the Miniature Schnauzer who, despite not being great work dogs, are excellent watch dogs.
They are trainable, intelligent and obedient, all of which are crucial characteristics of a prepper dog. You want to be able to teach them how to handle threats by alerting you only when necessary. A dog that barks at every creak in the apartment will be great at revealing your position.
Although the Miniature Schnauzer requires a fair amount of exercise, they are much more adaptable than other breeds. They are family-oriented and want to please their owner more than run and play. Therefore, plenty of walks in the park during the good times is necessary but you can keep them indoors during the bad times. If you flee the city, they are natural vermin hunters and can easily adapt to a rural area. Additionally, their fur can withstand warm and cold temperatures but not the most extreme climates.
This list would not be completed without mention of the German Shepherd which is one dog that certainly will not let you down in a bad situation.
For this reason, they are dominant in the military, police and search and rescue forces. They are the strongest, fastest and most intelligent and obedient breed of dog with exceptional senses. From a temperament standpoint, German Shepherd’s are fearless and extremely faithful to their owners.
Also, they are always weary of strangers which make them excellent guard dogs who only bark when they feel threatened.
Training is critical for this breed but is all worth it in the end. With proper training, they can adapt to almost any situation. German Sheppard’s are probably the best prepper dog for a survival situation as long as you keep enough food around to feed them over a long period of time.
Aside from the relentless condemnation of the American Pit Bull by the media, this species of dogs provide love and tenderness toward their family and ferocity toward a threat.
Like all species of dogs, keeping them in line is a matter of training and proper treatment. They are versatile and can be excellent family pets and “man’s best friend.”
Featuring a lean and muscular build, the American Pit Bull can boast incredible feats of strength and would run into blood and bones to protect their family.
This makes them excellent watch and guard dogs who have a natural instinct to discern threats. Also, their muscular build makes them excellent working dogs, as was found during the 19th century.
Many animal researchers consider border collies to be the smartest of all domesticated dog breeds.
As a result of their intelligence, they are able to adapt to almost any situation. They have a need to learn and there are numerous tasks you can train them to do in a post apocalyptic world.
Additionally, they are very athletic and seem to have endless energy. The only caveat to owning such a dog in a lights out scenario is that they need regular stimulation. If they are cooped up in a confined area with no activity, their energy can turn more destructive than most breeds.
They will tear up the walls, supplies and furniture. If cooped-up in a small house or apartment for a regular period of time, they could become a nuisance. Given this behavioral trait, it is considered inhumane to own a Border Collie if you live in an apartment.
As a result, this breed of dog is ideal if living in a rural area with endless fields.
If you want to prepare for problems in the future, you can do so. Now, with so much technology and information, a person can do what he or she needs to do to prepare for a disaster. In the past, people were mocked openly for being preppers. However, after Katrina and other disasters, it’s wise to consider becoming a prepper. With this in mind, here are 10 reasons it rocks to be a prepper.
First and foremost, if you are a prepper, you probably know more about survival skills.
This will help you can foods, live frugally and keep an organized and simple life.
Remember, even if you don’t ever need to worry about a huge event, if you have the skills, you can live a safer life.
Obviously, it is great to have peace of mind.
Think about it, if you see trouble brewing, you are not going to panic if you are a prepper.
No, if you know how to live an independent life, you are going to live a happier life in both good and bad times.
Now, there are plenty of people interested in prepping.
In fact, people from all backgrounds love to prep for the worst, and you are going to meet plenty of interesting and hardworking people who are interested in prepping.
If you are a prepper, you probably know a little more about your local environment.
By knowing how to live in the wild, you are more of an environmentalist than people you know.
If you are prepared for anything, you are going to be happier, more relaxed and enjoy life.
Think about it, if you have some cash stashed away and some water and food, among other things, you won’t have to worry.
While a lot of people prepare for the big event, if you are a prepper, you can prepare for a minor one too.
Think about wildfires, earthquakes and such.
If you have all the items you need, you can deal with minor issues.
If you have a survival background and plenty of tools, you can help out others in their lives.
This is true whether you are facing a serious event or a normal one.
Remember, the prepper community is all about helping others, and it’s not about exploiting humanity when issues arise.
Let’s face it, we are safer and more secure than ever.
People don’t worry about foot or other issues like they did in the past.
But, if you acknowledge potential problems, you can grow emotionally and spiritually.
Without being frugal, you are going to struggle in your day-to-day life.
However, if you are a prepper, you are probably already preparing for serious events, both economic and real-world events such as natural disasters.
For this reason, if you are wise, you are probably frugal, which makes life much easier in the short and long run.
If you have kids and you want them to be independent when they are older, you will help your cause if you show them prepper skills.
Yes, if they can live without power or deal with things that come up in your life, you will have an easier time.
Sadly, as people rely on technology, this is becoming less and less common, and your children will suffer if you don’t teach them survival skills.
For this reason, if you are prepper, your kids will not be ill-prepared for life.
If you are a prepper, you are going to be well-prepared for what comes up. Not only that, your day-to-day life will be easier as you won’t struggle with as many probelms as your friends who aren’t preppers.
Simply put, your life will rock if you are a prepper.
What is a “prepper?”
Some would say that when survivalists go off Zoloft, they become doomsday preppers. Whether it is the zombie epidemic, the collapse of the Federal Reserve, radioactivity from a supernova explosion, or the armed terrorism of ISIS, preppers believe that the world is headed for the Day of Judgment.
They call it SHTF – when the “sh*t hits the fan.” Consider it insurance against Uncle Sam. Across America, three million people identify themselves as preppers.
Here’s why you’re not one of them.
No matter how many Xbox Live hours you’ve logged on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, you are not adequately prepared for the pandemonium of martial law. You’ve put all your eggs in one basket: an automatic M4 Carbine or semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle.
Take a hint from the years 2008-2013, when AR-15 ammunition was harder to find than a Democrat in Alabama. AR-15 rifles have achieved market saturation, and once Armageddon cometh, ammunition will quickly be stockpiled and sold for Brobdingnagian black market prices.
Your better bet is a double-barrel, pump-action, 12-gauge shotgun. Ammunition is plentiful. Parts are cheap. Uses are multiple. With an adjustable choke, you can hunt everything from rabbits to turkey to fish. With a set of slugs, you can take down a deer or looting criminal.
Take a lesson from Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch in Robert B. Parker’s western novels: Nothing beats a trusty shotgun.
Think your bear spray and bottled water will protect you if a Category 5 Hurricane razes the American South? Think again! Three-quarters of Americans dwell in urban areas. For most survivors, people skills will be more important than survival skills. Ever watched “Survivor”?
Read, study and practice the seminal book, “Social Intelligence,” by Daniel Goleman, and then follow it up with his other work, “Emotional Intelligence.”
Goleman believes that social and emotional intelligence allow humans to navigate complex social situations. Humans are wired to connect at the neural level, he argues.
Mirror neurons encourage empathy, altruism and corroboration. So when you need a shot of penicillin for a bacterial infection, remember that the pen is mightier than the sword.
Thomas Hobbes contended in “Leviathan” that the pre-civilized natural condition of man is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
If Hobbes is right, then once Y2K Edition 2.0 hits, your stash of canned green beans, sourdough starter and salted venison will be under fire. So don’t brag about your stash.
Everyone you inform will either become an asset or a liability. Maximize the first; minimize the second.
Which will come first: a dirty nuclear explosion? Genetically-engineered killer bees? Solar flares? An electromagnetic pulse?
Where does the list end?
Keep your sanity. Plan and prepare only for the top three or four doomsday scenarios.
In the event of an apocalyptic societal collapse, Mother Nature will wipe out far more of mankind than man himself will. Surviving in the wild takes a lot more than a Swiss Army knife and a 120-pack of MREs.
Can you build a snow cave? Brew tea with spruce needles? Identify flint versus sandstone?
Build a water filter using charcoal, leaves and sand? Most preppers will survive the collapse of civilization squirreled away inside a home with a 2,000-watt inverter generator and a gutter garden, not playing hermit in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Can you find the North Star in Argentina?
No, you can’t. Because you didn’t know that once you cross the equator, Polaris disappears, and instead you use the Southern Cross for navigation.
Moral of the story: You must know how to use your gear! Can you convert GPS degrees, minutes and seconds into decimal notation?
Just remember this equation: Decimal value = Degrees + (Minutes/60) + (Seconds/3600). Can you tie a bowline loop, a prusik knot and a hunter’s bend? How about a highwayman’s hitch or a constrictor knot? Can you build a ham radio from parts cobbled together from eBay auctions?
Freeze-dried chicken breast. Canned French-cut green beans. Spicy Ramen Noodles. You spent $5,000 on food that looks like it’s going on a mission to the moon.
In starvation situations, men have been known to murder longtime friends over a spare bar of chocolate or a fresh orange. So don’t skimp on the sweets, and understand how food is stored. Fight against the six food storage enemies: temperature, oxygen, moisture, pests, light and time.
The most important, most ignored prep is a documentation package: Social Security cards, bank account numbers, family contact information, insurance forms – and a minimum of $5,000 in cash.
Doomsday will not be spent fighting invading armies or setting snares for jack rabbits. Most of doomsday will be spent in the shadow of candlelight, surrounded by family and friends, sharing memories and reading outdoorsman handbooks and mystery novels. So don’t ignore the power of entertainment.
Learn to play the harmonica. Amass a personal library. Laugh often.
Don’t just survive; live.
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 Survival – http://graywolfsurvival.com/
– One of the most popular survivalist sites, Graywolfsurvival is informative and easy to navigate.
2. American Preppers Network – http://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 Journal – http://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 Survival – http://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 Mom – http://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 Spot – http://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 Survive – http://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 Resources – http://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 Cache – http://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 Report – http://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 Ninja – http://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 Prepper – http://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 Survival – http://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 Blog – http://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 Prepper – http://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.
If you are starting to put together your fitness routine, then you have come to the right place. There are many things that one can do to stay fit, but being fit in an everyday scenario is different from being fit in a SHTF scenario. When shit hits the fan, it is unlikely that you will have a treadmill available to do your running, weights to keep your muscles toned or a gym with a fitness instructor to keep your routines worthwhile and efficient. The truth of the matter is that your SHTF fitness plan should include everyday items, and you should change it up frequently.
I know, the dreaded pull-up is most people’s most hated fitness workout ever, but it is important that you can do them. In a worst case scenario, you may have to pull yourself up fire escapes, onto rooftops and into trees. Not only will you need to be able to do this, but you should be able to do it quickly. Push-ups are a great way to begin building the upper body and torso strength that you will need for pull-ups and other activities.
Okay, so you live in an area that mountains are not readily available. Make your own wall! As silly as it sounds, you can use many different things to practice climbing of all sorts. Climb trees, go for hikes in hilly areas, find ways to scale your house, use a friend’s home as a gym or even go to random public areas and practice! When shit hits the fan, you will be thankful that you have made yourself accustomed to doing more strenuous work because you will be ahead of the game.
Yes, running on a treadmill is better than not running at all, but it can also be harmful to your SHTF fitness plan. The problem is that treadmills offer a person a place to run in a comfortable, well heated or cooled environment. When SHTF, you will probably have to endure exercising in extreme weather conditions, and that could be a shock to your body if you have not prepared for it. Being able to run a mile in 75 degree temperature is easy, but being able to run 5 miles in 100 degree temperature is what will set you apart from the crowd. Be responsible, carry water and take breaks if you need to, but you should certainly be running in real life environments.
Okay, fitness generally means exercising your body, but in a STHF scenario, having a fit mind is just as important. You should be reading up on all things related to survival, and you should practice whatever you have the means to practice. One important factor to consider is that you will likely have less food readily available than you do now. Make sure that you are prepared to work smarter not harder, so that you may use your energy better.
As irrelevant as this may sound, camping is great practice for survivalists and preppers alike. When you go camping, pretend like you are already in a SHTF scenario, but try to survive the night or weekend by only purifying your own water, catching your own food, cooking the food over a fire that you built without the use of modern lighters and try to stay out of sight of others. By pretending that other people may be out to harm you, you will better prepare mentally for a real world scenario.
If need be, make it a game for your family. Get them all interested in being fit, and then take them on adventures. By preparing your family, you are ensuring that if something happens to you, they may still have a chance. In a worst case scenario, your children may have to be the ones who are taking care of you if you get hurt. If they know how to hunt, fish, hide, climb and apply basic first aid, your whole family will have more of a chance at surviving the inevitable.
More often than not, other people will be trying to leave the area as well. Your goal should be to find the least used route, quickest way to safety and safest way for you and your family to get there. The only problem is that if you do not practice this route, you are likely to forget something essential along the way. Practicing allows you to become familiar with detours, obstacles and traffic before the situation actually occurs.
Being SHTF fit does not simply mean being able to make your own fire, hunt your own food and purify your own water. While those basics are definitely keys to surviving, you will also need to be prepared for what is to come, and have the stamina to keep going if new obstacles arise.
Here is a sample of a daily routine you can do:
Let’s face it, most of us aren’t rich enough to purchase one of those neat prefab safe rooms rated to survive F5 tornadoes and Anti tank missiles (I know, I’m exaggerating…) but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a certain room in the house that is our go to Safe Room in the event of natural disasters or home invasions. This article will deal mostly with home invasion, but many of the same principles go into a “storm shelter” room.
But wait, why would someone want to run and hide when a burglar breaks in the door? Isn’t that why we have guns? Why should we hide and let them take whatever they want? First off, yes, you may have the means of defeating the intruder. Multiple intruders? Intruders with the same equipment in hand that you have in your desk drawer?
Let me state clearly, I am not advocating pacifism or any such thing. I am a staunch supporter of Stand your Ground laws. But sometimes that’s not the best way. Let’s say your wife isn’t a “gun person”, she could lock herself in the safe room rather than try to operate a tool she has only a passing familiarity with. What if you leave your 13 y/o in charge of his siblings while you run to the store? Maybe ha can handle firearms, but does he have the confidence necessary to take control of the situation? Beyond that, do you want your child to experience taking a life at such a young age? If he gets his siblings into the safe room then (let me pause for emphasis) EVERYTHING outside that room is replaceable. The situation can run it’s course without loss of life or serious emotional damage. And remember, just ’cause you’ve locked yourself in, doesn’t mean you’re helpless. We’ll talk later about what to do when inside.
But let’s move on. Let me state something so that it is abundantly clear. No Safe Room is Un-Breachable. But there are a lot of things you can do to make it harder than it’s worth. We’re going to discuss how to turn an existing room into a safe room. These same principles can be applied to new construction, often to greater effect.
Location, location, location. Where you locate your room is the first decision you have to make, and it’s an intensely personal decision. If you’re looking for a weather-safe room, you definitely want to go for an interior room. If you want to have a way out (away from the people in the house) then you’re talking about an exterior room with another door or window. If you’re concerned with entry points as vulnerable points in your room, you may again want to have an interior room. I cannot tell you where to have your safe room, only point out that it is a serious matter of consideration.
Entry points. Entry points are weak spots in your perimeter, since they are designed to, well, allow passage, so they will get the first and greatest attention. You should take a moment to go look closely at your door and frame. First off, most interior doors are hollow core doors. This means they have two sheets of ¼ inch plywood with dead air in between. This is not going to stand up to someone who is both determined, and has a strong kick. You should look into replacing it with a steel door (which are also hollow), or a solid wood door. Preferably out of something hard like Oak. The door to your safe room should have a peep hole. These can be purchased and installed with a relatively simple effort, or if you’re replacing the door, you may find one with it built in. If you’re installing it yourself, you may consider mounting it lower, so you can look through it while kneeling, or so your kids can look through it if you aren’t there. One other consideration is that (especially if you’re setting up for weather disasters) your door should definitely open INTO the room. If the storm leaves debris across the door you won’t be able to push it out. Opening into a room is pretty standard, so you likely won’t have to change anything.
Now let’s talk about the door frame. Most frames are a simple ¾ inch pine, which is a fairly soft wood. By the time you drill the hole for the bolt to fit into you’re talking about a very small amount of wood holding the door in place. A swift kick is all it really takes to tear out a door set up this way.
The striker plate can help add some strength to the door, but the standard screws that come with these things are only 1 inch long, and are only set into that little piece of ¾ inch wood, so they will probably pull out with that same kick. If you only make one modification to your safe room, do this; go to your local hardware store and get a box of 3 inch screws. Now go to your door and replace all the screws on your striker plates and hinges with the 3 inchers. This will anchor your strikers and hinges into the 2×4 stud behind the door frame, giving it a much beefier resistance to pull-outs. You should replace the hinge screws one at a time so you don’t risk getting your door out of alignment. They’re tricky to get back.
What about your locks? One thing you’ll notice about your dead-bolts is that they don’t (typically) stick out very far from the edge of the door, just seating in that ¾ piece of soft wood. Have you realized yet that every bit of your security rests on that little piece of scrap wood? You can get dead-bolts that have an extra long throw, again, seating into the studs behind the door frame. Or you can even get steel inserts that go into the wall that accept the bolt. These are not too complicated to install, just involved. It would be much better if you were able to put these in during new construction or a thorough remodel.
You can get dead-bolts in either keyed “one side” or keyed “both sides”. Keyed both sides is recommended for many home security applications, a burglar who breaks a door window can’t reach in and unlock it from the inside. However, these are a BAD idea for a safe room! If you’re trying to get away from an intruder in a hurry (they may even be chasing you down the hall!) you don’t want to have to fumble with a key. So leave these the typical keyed “one side”. And yes, in case you noticed, I am using plurals for a reason. To make your door really rock solid, you should have four dead-bolts. I recommend five actually. Put them in the four corners of your door, top, bottom, left, right, just keep them about 18 inches from the top/bottom edge. The fifth one? Right where it usually is. There are three reasons for this. One: Your door probably came pre-drilled for a standard dead-bolt (though not necessarily) and you’ll need to fill that hole with something anyways. Two: It gives an extra bit of protection right where the assailant is likely to plant their kicks. Three: Goes back to the scenario of locking up quick. It’s just instinctive to reach for the dead-bolt in it’s usual location. Get in and throw the main lock before your attacker gets there and it should hold him off long enough (if you’ve listened to the rest of this so far) to let you lock up tight.
Windows. Windows are typically seen as one of the weakest points of a home, despite the inherent dangers of climbing through broken glass. If you have a window in your safe room (that you aren’t keeping available as an exit) your best bet is to board it up. You could do bars, but then you’ll look like you live in Puerto Ayacucho, Venezuela or something. If you are really concerned with appearances, get some window blinds and hang them inside the window frame instead of above it. Most blinds will have instructions for both. Close them up tight and it’ll cover almost all of what you’re doing to the window. You’ll have to remove any interior window trim. Get a good strong piece of plywood, maybe even paint the side towards the exterior if you want. Make sure it overlaps the window, I would recommend to the next stud. Not the one on each side of the frame, the next one. 16 inches should be the furthest you’ll have to look. Again using the 3 inch screws, anchor the tar out of that puppy, both around the edges and around the window sill. Now, you still only have a piece of plywood between you and them, maybe up to an inch. So you’ll need to reinforce it with 2×4’s, or even 2×6’s if you want overkill. I’d space them roughly 6 inches apart, running horizontally, placed edge on to the plywood. It would be easier to attach these before putting up the panel as a whole, screwed in from the exterior side.
Walls are also a lot weaker than most people realize. All you have between the studs is usually two pieces of ½ inch drywall and 3 ½ inches of air. Pretty easy to penetrate, even with a fist, let alone a foot or shoulder.
There are two basic ways to “harden” the walls around your safe room. The first, easy way, is to cut a hole in your sheet-rock, probably from inside your room. Make a funnel of some sort and pour pea gravel into the voids between studs. Remember, studs have a standard spacing of 16” from center to center, with variables for intersecting walls, window/doors etc. You can discuss all day how high you should fill the walls, but just remember the basics to help you decide for yourself. One thing to consider obviously is cost. Filling the voids to six feet will require more gravel than say, waist high. Next consider how high you expect the attack to come. Most people face with the task of penetrating sheet-rock are going to kick it, and the typical front on kick is not going to rise far above their hips, or maybe chest. That’s where you need to be protected.
The second, more expensive way to harden your walls is similar to the first, but when you cut the hole I your wall, insert a 55 gallon bag so the opening is sticking out. This will limit how high you can make your re-enforcement, but you can go higher incrementally. Using a funnel as in the method above, pour wet cement into the bag. The bag will contain it so it doesn’t try to seep through gaps in your construction or through switch boxes etc. The cement hardens and viola, you have a cement wall around your safe room. Do be mindful in both these methods that you need to avoid over taxing the walls from the inside out. Especially with cement, doing it in increments will avoid this. Just wait till it hardens, and it won’t be exerting outward pressure so you can add more on top.
Now, what to do when you’re locked up good and tight? First thing, call for help. Keep a phone in your safe room. Land lines can be cut, and would be by serious home invaders. Cell phones can be left on the counter in a panicked rush, and one that you leave in the room is being paid for (hopefully) for nothing. You can get a cheep pre-paid phone, but remember, most such arrangements allow for your minutes to expire monthly, so you need to make sure it’s current or you may end up with a dial pad paper weight when you need to use it.
If you only plan on calling 911, you can store an unused phone. Some time ago there was an agreement made that any phone, on any carrier, even without a plan of any sort, can access any tower to dial 911. So take an old phone, or a cheap phone, and put it in there. Just bear in mind if you want to make any additional calls (“honey, stay at the store till I call you back”), it will not work for that. Also be aware of battery life. Even keeping it turned off, you should check it occasionally to make sure it won’t fail during a crisis.
Observe. Remember I said you need a peep hole in your door? Watch what’s going on in your house. Any detail you can see could be used to aid the authorities in finding the intruders. (They also help verify when someone on the other side says “It’s safe now, I’m Officer So-and-so, open up”)
Arm yourself. Keep a firearm of some sort in your safe room. I recommend something that makes a loud “Schuck-Schuck” sound. Nearly as effective as firing it. Besides the universally feared sound, it makes a great blast to discourage someone from having an interest in any hole they may have made. Just make sure you’re responsible with it. If you teach your kids how to run to the safe room before you teach them how to handle the gun, make sure they cannot access it.
All of the above steps can be taken piece by piece, individually, modified to suit your situation. As with anything, you will find a trade off when it comes to security vs. effort/cost. Only you will know what you should do, just please do something, even at the very least, plan. A good evacuation plan (even evac to a room INSIDE the house) and rehearsals is probably to biggest single improvement you can make.