So you’ve had to abandon your home or BOL (or was not at it when the fan blades turned brown) and now you’re on the last day of your bug out bag, what now? The first thing you should do is STOP and take a minute to reflect. Check through your bag and see what’s still usefula nd what’s low or gone. For the most part everything inside your bag will last for weeks or even months if it has to. Your firestarter should still be in good shape, your emergency blankets are ok, you still have a tent….but what about your food and water? AAH yes! These are the real dangers. You still have heat, shelter, and light but without food and water, espeically water, you will die all warm and toasty.
Without food you’ll begin to feel hungry and run down in a day or two but you’re still ok for about another three weeks. Assuming you have a destination you’re trying to reach where you can resupply you won’t starve if you make it there in time.
Without water however you’re in much worse shape. You have 2-3 days before your body shuts down and you eventually die on about the 4th day. I have heard stores of people living 5 days, and even 7 without water but the average and the rule of thumb is 3 days.
What To Do
Examine your suroundings and weight your options. If your goal is to get where ever you’re going and you know for sure that you can reach it in 1-2 days, then start marching. Don’t stop except to rest at night. Try to conserve all the water you can by not sweating.
If you don’t have a place to go or you’re more than 2-3 days out for a BOL, then you need to start looking for water. If you’re in the wilderness look and listen for signs of water and head in that direction. Signs can be green spots of vegitation in the distance (you may have to do for it), naturally occuring valleys between hills, or something as obvious as a creek bed.
If your survival senario puts you in an arid enviroment such as a desert you should start planning now for your water, not after the shtf. Have a plan and a place to go and carry enough water to get you there otherwise you will surely die. If possible drive the area now while you can think and plan things out. It may be possible to cache some extra supplies in a hidden spot along your path, but you have to do this beforehand.
If you’re in an urban enviroment (which most will be) remember that there is probably water all around you, although it may not be drinkable. It would be hard to imagine a house without at least one can of pop or a bottle of water somewhere inside. Hopefully you will find someone who can spare a bit.
Spigots on houses (beware the owners), ditches, man made lakes, and swimming pools are all great sources. If all hell has truely broke loose then take refuge inside of an abandoned house and look for water in water heaters, the BACK of toilets (not the bowl), and sink traps. They will all hold some water. Just remember that this water will more than likely be contaminated so filter and boil it first.
Once your water is restocked either hunker down and build a temp base camp until you can locate food, or keep moving to your BOL. If you’re in luck your senario may be over by then and you can begin going back to a normal life. If not I hope you are learning self sufficient skills now as well as basic long term survival.
As the global economy continues to tumble, many people across this great country are just now seeing the light and beginning to prepare. For many of these newcomers the question of where to begin is ever present, as well as how to afford all these new expenses. The very reason most newcomers want to prepare (economical troubles) make it difficult to buy the equipment necessary to be prepared, a catch 22. The solution is to start small, as small as $2.75 a day.
$2.75 can’t do much…in fact it’s hard to even buy a cup of coffee for $2.75 now! So how can you buy expensive gear and equipment for so little? Save it! You would be suprised how fast it adds up, and before you know it you can have a nice wad of cash to spend on your preps…with only $2.75 a day.
Let’s assume you save just $2.75 a day, or less than $20 a week. In a year you will have over $1,000 to put into your preps! $1,003.75 to be exact. So what can you do with your newly saved $1,000?
Here are my recommendations
Water ($50)– Minimum 1 gallon per-day
- Store it in bulk – gallons of spring/drinking water are easy to buy, but at $1.00 per gallon they can be expensive.
- Buy several 55 gallon plastic drums off craigslist (about $15 each) and fill them up. Don’t forget a hand pump too ($10)!
- Save soft drink containers, rinse them out and fill with tap water (less than $.05 a gallon), add 3-4 drops of unscented bleach and mark them with the date.
Food ($350)– 1,500 calories per day
- Purchase in quantity what you normally eat. A good idea would be to sit down with a notepad and pen and meal plan for two weeks.
- Remember that there may be no electricity so all food items in the meal plan have to come from the pantry, don’t forget a manual can opener too.
- Next – take that 2 week meal plan and make a list of all items and use that as your shopping list. If you are able to buy 2 of everything listed – that would be a one month supply.
- Do not forget cooking oil (essential fats) that you may need to complete your meal. Don’t forget about spices and other condiments.
- Ramen soup, rice, lintils, and beans are cheap and easy bulk foods.
- Powered milk, honey, and salt should also be on the list.
- Wheat is great, but is harder to find and requires a mill.
- Consider shelf life (aim for at least 1 year out).
- Buy store brands and buy on sale to maximize your available funds.
Light ($30) – Your light in shining darkness
- Pick up a few quality hand crank LED flashlights. [LED will give you long bulb life & super long batttery life]
- Buy a bunch of candles at the dollar store or local discount store, as well as some matches and lighters
- Pick up a hand crank LED lantern, oil lamp, or propane lantern. Your choice. Make sure your propane lantern can be supported without a 1lb bottle (you will be using an adapter hose instead). A simple metal hook, special stand or propane “tree” works well.
- Get extra alkaline batteries for your old flashlights if needed.
Medical/First Aid ($20)– Don’t forget the band-aids
- Make sure you are up to date on all prescriptions.
- Get a decent first aid kit – usually around $5.00 to $10.00 .
- Pick up extra supplies like band-aids, burn ointment, diarrhea medicine, pain killers, triple antibiotic, cold medicine, etc.
Household Supplies ($60)- For cleaning and sanitation
- Basic’s here. Dish soap, toilet paper, a few basic cleaning supplies, bleach.
- Get toiltries such as deodorant, shampoo, soap, hand sanitizer, shaving creme, and razors.
Self-Defense ($250)– Just as important as your supplies
- Think self defence and hunting when it comes to guns. 12 gauge shotgun and a .22 rifle.
- Check out the used gun selection at your local pawn and gun shops. Gun shows are a great place to shop too.
- You should be able to pick up used 12 gauged shotgun as well as some shells for around $150.
- Try to find a decent rimfire like the Ruger 10/22 along with a brick of ammunition for the other $100.
- Alternativly you can also spend your extra $100 on 12 gauge ammo and accessories.
Fuel ($90)– Extra gas & propane
- 10 gallons of gas + sta-bil treatment is running around $35.00 at the moment.
- Getting a 20-lb propane tank filled costs around $15.00.
- Buy an extra 20lb propane tank if you can.
- Buy a 20lb to 1lb adapter hose. They can be had for $15.
Heating & Cooking ($150) - Indoor & outdoor flame
- Buy an indoor-safe propane heater for warmth.
- Get a propane stove burner for cooking.
- Buy a camp grill if you have access to small twigs and leaves to help save your precious fuel.
- Blankets, blankets…….and more blankets. Emergency space blankets too!
- Stock up on gloves and thermal underwear.
- Already have a propane heater? Get more fuel.
Well – that’s our $1,000.00 dollars. Start saving your $2.75 a day and soon you’ll have your very own stockpile to fall back on during tough times.
Remember you can adjust this list to fit your situation. If you already has a gun, then spend that money somewhere else. If you live in the desert, buy more water and less heaters. You get the picture, the same goes for every other category.
So how would YOU spend $1000 in preps? Any thoughts? Comment below and help others.
Non-lethal weapons can be incredibly useful in long-term self-sufficiency scenarios. During SHTF (or just being off-grid and away from neighbors) can make you stand out like a sore thumb. When you’re out on your own and have no one else to watch your back, you need every advantage you can get. Non-lethal weapons can make the difference between being fully prepared and falling short.
Non-lethal weapons includes more than tasers and bean bag shells, in fact these types of weapons cover everything from detention and restraint items, rubber ammunition, and even practice weapons.
Here’s a quick run down of less than lethal items which can help give you the edge
- Zip ties
- Leg irons
- Heavy-duty plastic bags
- Duct tape
- Heavy-duty fishing line and four heavy-duty hooks
Non-lethal weapons and ammunition:
- Extendable baton
- Leather slapper
- Billy club
- Solid ABS practice sword
- Rubber pellet ammunition
- Smoke Grenade
- Marking rounds
- Foam bullets
Self defense items:
These items can come in handy when you need to keep someone restrained, defend yourself without killing your assailant, or you need an advantage that will let you escape the situation. One of my favorites is the ABS swords by Cold Steel, which can easily double as a weapon outside of the training ground. Training in any defensive situation is always crucial, so make sure you practice with all these weapons just like you would with a real gun or knife. Make sure you are comfortable with your chosen items before you trust your safety to them.
Many “less than lethal” items are outlawed in some states, so they are sometimes hard to find locally. If they are avaliable for purchase in your area then there is no better place to buy them than Amazon, or out-of-state gun shows may be your only bet. Make sure you check your local laws before buying.
Smoke cartridges have a low usability on their own, but several smoke bombs set off at once can make a difference by drastically cutting down visibility. I believe most of the survival/prepper community would rather avoid conflict than invade a compound so it may be best to stick with foam projectiles or beanbag rounds. An exception would be homemade smoke bombs which can be made in bulk.
Non-lethal weapons will allow you to provide a first line of defense against intruders and at the same time will signal that you mean business but aren’t necessarily looking for a fight. However, think twice before using non-lethal projectiles…the last thing you want is people knowing where you are and that you are prepared. Nearly everyone may have regular ammo, but only those who are prepared (or lucky) will have non-lethal ammo.
I’ve had scores of people asking how to get started prepping, or explain how they have to “sneak” preps from their spouse or they simply “don’t have the money” to prep so I thought I would put together a list of items that can be bought cheap, about $5 each. The goal of this list is to demonstrate that prepping can be done for as little as $ 5.00 per week. I don’t know anyone who can’t spare five bucks a week to invest in the ability to save your life and the life of your family in an emergency and it’s pretty easy to explain where $5 went to the wife, although I suggest getting your spouse on your side when it comes to prepping.
A quick side note…your spouse or kids can’t see the need to prep? Here’s a fun game you can play with the whole family! Go to your main breaker and shut it off and cut your water off at the main valve for a full 24 hours. I know of no better way to convice someone they are unprepared for even a small event. Now, back to the topic on hand…..
Some of the items below go for less than five bucks, some may go for slightly more. You can buy whatever you want whenever you want, this isn’t a strict list. Splurge and spend $10 a few weeks and double up, or just look for what’s on sale that week. For just $ 5.00 +/- you can buy the following storable things:
- Five packages of Idahoan instant potatoes (flavored)
- A case of ramen noodles (20 pkgs)
- five cans of sardines
- five gallons of purified water
- nearly two cases of bottled water
- four cans of peaches, pears or fruit cockatail
- 2 jars of mandarin oranges
- five pounds of rice
- three to four pounds of spaghetti
- Two cans of spaghetti sauce
- three bags of egg noodles
- eight packages of gravy mix
- four cans of whole or sliced new potatos
- four cans of green beans or at least three cans of carrots, greens, peas or mixed veggies
- Two cans of Yams
- six cans of pork and beans
- one 40 ounce can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew
- Two 12 ounce cans of chicken, tuna or roast beef
- One 1lb canned ham
- three cans of refried beans
- three 12 oz cans of raviolis or spaghetti O’s.
- Two 12.5 ounce cans of Salmon
- Five pounds of Oatmeal
- Four packages Dinty Moore heat and eat meals
- five packages of corn bread mix
- Four pounds of Sugar
- Five pound of Flour
- 1.5 quarts of cooking oil
- three one pound bags of dry beans
- two cans of apple juice
- a jar of peanut butter
- two boxes of yeast
- two bags of generic breakfast cereal
- 10 8 oz cans of tomato paste/tomato sauce
- four cans of soup
- four cans of Chunky soup
- 8-10 pounds of Iodized salt
- two bottles of garlic powder or other spices
- Two boxes of kool aid
- A can of coffee
- 2 bottles of powdered coffee creamer
- one manual can opener
- two bottles of camp stove fuel
- 100 rounds of .22lr ammo
- 25 rounds of 12 ga birdshot or small game loads
- 20 rounds of Monarch 7.62×39 ammo
- a spool of 12lb test monofilament fishing line
- 2 packages of hooks and some sinkers or corks.
- artificial lure
- two packages of soft plastic worms
- three Bic Lighters or two big boxes of matches
- A package of tea lights
- 50 ft of para cord
- a roll of duct tape
- a box of nails or other fasteners
- a flashlight
- two D-batteries, four AA or AAA batteries or two 9v batteries
- a toothbrush and tooth paste
- a bag of disposable razors
- eight bars of ivory soap (it floats)
- a box or tampons or bag of pads for the ladies
- two gallons of bleach
- needles and thread
- a ball of yarn
OTC Medications (at Dollar General)
- 2 bottles 1000 count 500 mg generic Tylenol (acetometaphin)
- 2 bottles 500 count 200 mg generic advil (ibuprofen)
- 2 boxes 24 cound 25 mg generic Benadryl (diphenhydramine HCI)
- 4 bottles 500 count 325 mg aspirin
- 2 boxes of generic sudafed
- 4 bottles of alcohol
- a box of bandages (4×4)
There you have it, for roughly $5 you can buy anything on this list. Commit yourself to buy one item a week, or even one a day if you can and pretty soon you’ll have a nice collection of survival gear.
When most people get into survival and prepping they are excited. Usually they are smart enough to identify a threat to their family…be it a hurricane, solar storm, or a severe twinky shortage. But they are so overloaded with information that they just don’t know where to start. EDC, BOB, INCH, GHB…..with so many kits all requiring different levels of equipment it’s easy to see why most people just don’t know where to start.
In my quest to make you more prepared I’ve created yet another kit, but this one has a much different purpose. It’s not to get you to or from somewhere, it’s to get you started preparing! I call it the Basic 24. It provides everything you need for a small scale 24 hour event. Most small scale events that do not require evacuation last less than 24 hours. “But it’s only 24 hours. I’ll be fine!” you say. Maybe so but this kit will (1. make you much more comfortable during the event and (2. provide a foundation of prepping that you can easily expand.
So what’s in the Basic 24?
In most events that last less than 24 hours you will be in your home. The exception would be a hurricane or flash floods. In such cases simply take your Basic 24 kit with you when you bug out and adjust as necessary.
1. Water – 1 gallon of water per person. If you live in an apartment or have an instant hot water heater then the easiest thing to do is buy 1 gallon jugs of purified water. If you have a hot water heater then all you need is a small section of hose and a few containers (2-liter bottles, milk jugs, 5 gallon buckets, etc.). Your average hot water heater will have 40 gallons of potable water in it. Simply shut off the valves, flip your breaker, and hook a hose up to the bottom drain. Just remember that the water will be hot for several hours so you will need to let it cool some before using.
2. Food – 3 easy to make meals per person. You’re going to be at home, but you may not have power. You can probably eat what’s in your fridge and on your shelves and be just fine. If you want to make sure you have enough ready to eat food on hand make a point to buy a few cans of tuna or pasta. Just make sure you buy things that don’t need alot of preparing or cooking and that you already eat now. Don’t forget the manual can opener! Your goal here is to provide yourself with a full belly and about 2,000 calories.
3. Lighter – 1 bic style disposable lighter. There’s just something about fire that soothes a man’s soul. You’re going to need some way to make fire and nothing beats a disposable lighter.
4. Candles – 3 pillar candles. You’re going to want light at night, it’s just human nature. Chances are your power will be out and having a few candles on hand will let you add light to any room when you need it. Forget about tea light candles, they are cheap as dirt but they only last about an hour whereas a 3″ pillar candle will last for several days. Get enough so that you can light up a couple of rooms at a time.
5. Flashlight – 1 led flashlight. Make sure you get a flashlight with LED bulbs. They use a tiny amount of your precious battery power and they won’t break like a regular bulb. Stanley makes an excellent flashlight that I just love called the Stanley Tripod LED Flashlight. It’s cheap, practical, and works great. I use mine all the time and I have never changed the dollar store batteries I first put in it over 3 years ago. It’s really amazing. Just, no matter what flashlight you get make sure you keep extra batteries on hand.
6. Small Charcoal Grill – 1 small grill with lighter fluid and charcoals. This is an iffy for some people. You have to decide if the weight and space is worth it. If you’re staying put inside a city then it will mean more to you than if you’re bugging out in the woods. There are also other ways to heat your food, charcoal being just one of them, but it can mean the different between eating cold chef boyardee out of a can or having a nice warm meal in your belly if you live in an apartment with a patio. In most events worthy enough to break out your Basic 24 kit the power will be off and you’ll want some way to warm food or boil unclean water. Remember to keep a small bag of charcoals and lighter fluid on hand but small sticks, pine cones, and twigs work just as well. Personally I like to keep a 12″ Portable Grill handy, but you can also get the grill, charcoal, and lighter fluid pre-packaged in one easy to store grill called the Blue Rhino Insta-Light Disposable Charcoal BBQ Grill. Either way those pork-n-beans will taste a whole lot better on a grill. Just make sure you use it outside and don’t attempt to heat you house with it.
7. Hand Crank Emergency Radio – When something happens the last thing you want is to be completly cut off from the outside world. There’s no worse feeling in the world than being suddenly cut off and left alone, in fact it can demoralize you so bad you can lose all hope of living in long term survival situations. Your emergency radio is your life line to the outside and should be treated as such. It’s one of the few items I recommend splurging a bit on in your Basic 24 kit. A good radio will last years without a bit of trouble and will be the backbone to your more advanced bug out bag. The American Red Cross Self-Powered Weather Radio is a great emergency radio/flashlight/cell phone charger that can be powered by hand crank, batteries, or even solar power. It will keep you and your family safe for years to come.
8. Cell Phone – your cell phone. This is also another important means of communication. While a Emergency radio will let you hear NOAA and other important emergency messages, your cell phone will keep you connected to your family and friends. Just make sure you keep it charged or get a solar cell phone charged just in case. The American Red Cross Self-Powered Weather Radio includes a cell phone charger.
9. Basic First Aid Kit – 1 basic first aid kit. You’re looking for a little bit more than band-aids, but less than a full field kit. You probably won’t need to apply a splint or tourniquet a missing limb but you should be prepared for bites, burns, stings, and general cuts and pains. This is an emergency you’re preparing for, so don’t throw your life so willing to the side just to save a couple of bucks. Buy a kit or it may be the last thing you ever wished you did. You can grab a good kit for just $18 and some change if you get the Outdoor First Aid 205-Piece Kit. It has all the basic essentials to see you through most any small emergency and it even comes with instructions.
10. Extra Blanket/Hand Fan – This one is your call. If it’s the middle of July, then grab a small foldable hand fan. I always hate sitting on the couch sweating like a pig when the power is out and a small hand fan is all it takes to make you a bit more comfortable. Now if you’re in the middle of December it’s a different story. A house without a heater or fireplace can get very cold at night, do not underestimate it! A wool or emergency space blanket can keep you warm all night long. You probably already have a few extra blankets lying around your house so take a moment and put them with your emergency supplies.
There you go, a simple easy to follow preparedness plan that will get you on the right track. The Basic 24 can give you 24 hours of peace and comfort in an otherwise SHTF world. These 10 items will make sure you still feel your best mentally and physically during an emergency plus they are the foundation for a bigger bug out bag in the future. You can also expand your Basic 24 by 48 or even 72 hours by simply adding more food and water.