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.
Many outdoor enthusiasts are familiar with primitive fire starting techniques such as the bow drill, hand spindle, fire saw, flint and steel and burning lens. However most are completly unaware of the Fire Piston. A single push of the piston with the hand is all that is required to instantaneous ignite tinder, making all the popular primitive fire starting techniques look…well, primitive. Plus, everyone who sees the fire piston in action is completely amazed and your bushcraft credibility shoots through the roof.
The Fire Piston represents a remarkable combination of primitive yet sophisticated technology. Similar to the modern diesel engine, its operating principle is compression. When molecules of air are forcefully compressed, they become hot. As the shaft of the fire piston is thrust into the cylinder, the air inside is compressed and raised to a temperature in excess of 800 degrees Farenheit (800F!) in a brief burst of energy.
The palm-sized device, constructed of metal or wood, is capable of instantly creating a burning ember with a single push of the piston. Because it creates ignition by compression, the fire piston is unaffected by water and will light dry tinder even after total submersion. A glowing ember is more lasting than an isolated flame, like the ones created from fire steel or magnesium, and unlike a flame it is made stronger by moving air. Open flames can easily be achieved with a fire piston in just a few second and with little more effort than lighting a match. Unlike other primitive methods, the fire piston can be used one-handed, requires minimal physical effort and it performs reliably even when soaking wet.
Modern survivalists often carry fire steel or magnesium in their kits as a means for making fire. These tools have become very popular as they are light-weight and effective in creating instant flame with certain tinders in perfect conditions. These modern methods have become so common that for many people they are the only methods known. However, an isolated flame can be a fragile thing and one adversely affected by the natural elements, as anyone who has attempted to light a campfire on a wet and windy day knows. Using a Fire Piston eliminates many of these problems.
As an outdoor tool, the Fire Piston is one of the best fire making tools out there. With a little practice its even possible to ignite a fire piston with one hand and its ability to perform under less than ideal circumstances makes it a strong consideration for inclusion in any modern survival kit.
How To Use A Fire Piston
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.
As I write this Hurricane Irene is blasting up the east coast on a path that you don’t see too often. People who have never experienced a hurricane are going to be hit and most of them have no idea what to do. If you are in the path of Irene or any hurricane for that matter here are a few things you should know.
If you live on the coast board up your house with plywood and go inland. Don’t even think about riding it out. Do not go to a FEMA camp unless you have no other choice. You will be much better off if you can stay with a relative or rent a hotel that is out of the storms path. Don’t plan on coming back for 2-3 days (longer if your house is damaged). Make sure you have important papers such as your home owners insurance policy. Take as much ready-to-eat food and water that you can carry and having a Garrity Power 3 LED Crank Flashlight can be helpful. If you are not staying with a relative your biggest prep item during a hurricane is money. You will need enough to eat out for several day, to pay for a hotel and to put gas in your vehicle. $400-$500 should be enough unless your home is damaged and you cannot return for several weeks. In such a case most home owners insurance policies will reimburse you for all of your expences but this can take months and you need the money now.
If you live farther inland and plan to stay then make sure your house is secure and get your supplies ready. Plan to be without power, food and water for up to two weeks. You will need at least 2 gallons of water per person per day. If you live in a house your hot water heater will have about 40 gallons of water in it. Hook a short hose to the bottom drain and put the water in containers. The rest of your water you can store in 5 gallon buckets or plastic 55 gallon drums.
You’ll need a way to cook and have a fire. This can be done outside on the ground or in a charcoal or gas grill. Just remeber to store enough gas or charcoal to last at least two weeks and a lighter or box of matches. After your water sits for a few days remember to bring it to a gentle boil in a pot with a lid before drinking. This will kill any harmful bacteria and freshen the taste of the water. For emergencies I like to keep a 12″ Portable Grill handy at all times. It beats cooking on the ground any day and it can be fueled with charcoal, sticks, pine cones, or whatever you can find. You can also buy prepared food bars such as Datrex 3600 Emergency Food Bars. These are great becuase you don’t have to cook them and they are super portable. Each food bar has a self life of 5 years and provides enough calories for 3 days.
Next on the list is food. Look for easy to prepare foods that make very little mess. You’ll need at least 2 weeks worth as your local grocery store will probably be closed or the roads blocked off. Some good foods to stock up on are Ramen soup, rice, beans, canned tuna, mac and cheese, and canned pasta. These are all cheap, plentiful, and nutritious. If you hate all these foods that’s fine. Don’t buy what you won’t eat no matter how cheap it is. Just look for foods that can be dumped in a pot and heated and don’t plan any five course meals. try to provide 3 square means a day with at least 400-500 calories each meal.
You’re also going to need a Garrity Power 3 LED Crank Light and a 12 LED Hand Crank And Solar Powered Lantern. The American Red Cross Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio is also worth it’s weight in gold (don’t even think about waiting it out without one!). Don’t forget your cell phone either. Chances are you will still be able to call your family and let them know you are ok and the Red Cross radio also comes with a cell phone charger to keep it all juiced up. Also make sure you stock up on a few 3″ pillar candles. You’ll need 1-2 for each room you use the most (living room, bathroom, kitchen, bedroom). A 3″ pillar candle will burn for days before going out.
Last but not least is a Adventure Medical First Aid Kit. Never underestimate nature or the situation you are in. Having a simple first aid kit can save your life or maybe even your neighbors. Just like the emergency radio, don’t plan on bugging in without a first aid kit.
You have to keep your wits about you in situations like there. Your best bet is usually to get out of the path of the storm but if you’ve made up your mind that you’re going to stay then be prepared. There’s simply no excuse for not being prepared for a hurricane. Make sure you beat the crowds to the store as food, water and emergency supplies sell out quickly. Stay away from doors and windows and make a “base camp” in the interior of your home. With a little bit of preparedness you can make yoursel much safer.
I have seen a ton of different survival kits on the market, and most of them are total crap. Just a few china-made items threw together in a container with the word “survival” slapped on it for marketing. Anyone who has ever bought a pre-made kit online knows what I am talking about. How many times have you bought a cool looking kit, only to find out that what you bought was completely worthless in any real survival situation. Well that’s not the case with the Ultimate Survival Deluxe Survival Kit.
Recently, I started carrying the Ultimate Survival Deluxe Survival Kit by Ultimate Survival Technologies in my EDC (every day carry). While I haven’t threw my homemade kit out the door yet, this deluxe survival kit is definitely a great addition to anyones gear and is well worth the money. It’s major selling point for me was the ability to get a fire going in just about any conditions you can imagine.
- Blast Match Fire Starter: The blast match is amazing. The sparks it makes are 3 times hotter that a regular match. It can also be used with just one hand and is a lot easier to use than a standard magnesium fire tool.
- Wet Fire Tinder: This stuff can be used to start a fire even in the rain. It even burns while floating in water!
- Star Flash Signal Mirror: The mirror that comes with the kit is great. It’s extremely durable and can be used to signal from distances. The Star Flash signal mirror is even used by the U.S. Air Force.
- Jet Scream Whistle: One word: LOUD!! This whistle is extremely loud and is great for signaling.
- Saber Cut Saw: A really cool addition to any survival kit is this flexible hand chain saw. This is one of the better “rope saws” out there and I highly recommend it.
But don’t take my word for it, watch this video and decide if the Ultimate Survival Deluxe Survival Kit is right for you.
Go To GearHog.com
GearHog offers users a new discounted deal every day for outdoor gear and activities. Signing up for GearHog is free and only takes a few seconds. They have deals on everthing from sunglasses to gun vaults, usually at over 50% off. It’s well worth signing up and keeping an eye on their daily deals. You could easily save $100 or more on survival and hunting equipment.
Sergeant Survival highly recommends GearHog!
Smoke bombs are great for signalling if you are in distress or need a quickly concealed getaway. This video shows you how to make high volume smoke with ingredients you can find at your local Wal-Mart and eBay. If you’re lost in the woods and spot a rescue plane a smoke bomb can save your life!
60g KN03 (Potassium Nitrate)
40g Pure Cane Sugar
2tbs Corn Syrup
2″ Visco Fuse
1 teaspoon Baking Soda (optional, makes the smoke bomb flameless)
Mortar & Pestle (or some way to grind and mix everything, NO BLENDERS!)
Wire Cutters (Scissors)
*NOTE: Making and using smoke grenades can be dangerous. Use at your own risk.