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[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Prepper: The Top 10 Survival Gear: Real Life-Saving Survival Tools

Prepper: The Top 10 Survival Gear: Real Life-Saving Survival Tools
Latest from the prepping world


The Top 10 Survival Gear

Stock your backpack and home with life-saving survival tools for an emergency or SHTF.
Essential survival gear that can make the difference between life and death … includes new cutting edge gear and tools that aid in fire, food, water, self-defense, security, stealth and a lot more.


When it comes to the best survival gear, fire, food, water, and shelter are top priorities. In our list of the top 10 survival gear products we’ve chosen tools that aid in fire, food, water, self-defense, security, stealth and shelter building.
At the same time, buying survival gear shouldn’t cost you a lot of money. Early Native Americans and other primitive cultures in the world survived without expensive sporting goods and outfitters, the REI’s and Cabelas.
We live in the modern age though — in many ways we have an advantage. Most people need those advantages because going from a wired world to the wilderness comes with a learning curve — one that can kill you if you’re not prepared.

Assuming the Worst – A Disaster Strikes

Each of these products assumes the worst — because that’s exactly when your life might be on the line and a product’s effectiveness and “Survival Power” come into play.
Fire: You want a fire when it’s cold and raining or you’ve just had to wade across a river or through flood waters and now you’re soaked and in danger of hypothermia. We recommend survival gear that can produce a rolling fire in no time and with little work.
Water: Though boiling and distilling are methods for safe drinking water, you can’t always rely on these methods, especially if you’re in a hurry and have to get out of a dangerous area or through hostile territory. You are going to want a way to quickly filter water and make it safe to drink.
Food: Freeze-dried food may fail you, especially if someone robs you for whatever food you have. A good survivalist will always have a “plan B” for feeding yourself and your family. Two products listed below will help you do just that. (Hint: These products make hunting easier, especially for beginners).
Shelter: Shelter-building is one of the first things a person will learn in survival — I make two recommendations for survival gear here, one might surprise you at the low cost involved.
Defense / Security: The wilderness can be a dangerous place; so can the streets of a major city following a widespread disaster. This list of top 10 survival gear includes products for defense and security.
Stealth: Sometimes you may not want to be found. Other times you may want to spot other people or wildlife before they know you’re there.

The Top 10 Survival Supplies That Can Save Your Life

When You Need a Fire

1) Blazer Big Shot Butane Torch – Blazer Big Shot Butane Torch –
In this scenario, it’s not enough to just recommend a good lighter — what you need in this case is actually a provenfire starter — something that will help you get a fire going fast if you’re in an emergency that may end shortly in death by hypothermia.
For possible wet or cold weather conditions, start packing a butane torch with a flame that maxes out at 2500 degrees with 35 minutes of continuous burn time.
Let’s do the math: At 2500 degrees, you should be able to ignite your tinder bundle and start a fire within just a few seconds. With 35 minutes of continuous burn time, that means you should be able to start approximately 150 – 200 emergency fires with just one small bottle of butane fuel.
Easily refills with a standard butane canister.
Easy to light “trigger” mechanism: No need for a lighter or matches to light it. It lights itself when you pull the trigger.
NOTE — A “micro torch” isn’t a tool commonly touted by survivalists. But we live in the modern age — there’s no reason we can’t use modern tools. The Special Forces use a number of modern tools, as do professional explorers who climb the highest peaks, sail the largest oceans, and others who dive to the ocean floor. Besides — do you really want to count on a primitive bow drill or flint and steel coming through for you in an emergency? REMEMBER — this is an emergency we’re talking about. High winds. Heavy rain. Flooding. Etc.
If you wade through a cold river (rivers are common in many wilderness areas), or find yourself suddenly in the rain and need to get a fire going quickly — get this fire going using a micro torch. You can even cook, right from the torch.
Survival Power: A micro torch can be an ongoing way to get a fire going fast. Saving time on fire starting is an asset if you are traveling by foot or even by boat (canoe, kayak, Zodiac, etc.)
NOTE — A micro torch relies on fuel; when your fuel runs out, you have no more flame. You need back-up fuel (butane in this case) if you want several month’s use in an extended survival situation. One thing to note: A canister of butane is cheap and just one can go a long ways and is also easy to use). Consider both back-up butane and even a back up torch in case of rare equipment failure (or to even use as a bartering item; there’s a good chance someone else is going to want one after they see how easy it is to start a fire).

When You Need Water

2) Portable Water Filter – Lifestraw Personal Water Filter –
There are a lot of portable water filters on the market. A popular brand can do a good job filtering water and withstand long term use, but they can be both clunky and expensive, well over $100, with several parts that need to be fitted together.
Then there’s the Lifestraw Portable Water Filter that comes in at just under $22; it’s not only a great portable water filter with a proven track record, it’s a Time Magazine Invention of the Year Winner on top of that. It’s been used by both backpackers and relief agencies in third world countries alike. It weighs only 2 ounces and is a perfect tool for extreme survival situations like wilderness survival as well as a tool for providing water safe to drink during an evacuation of a widespread disaster. It has a very simple construction with no moving parts — which means less chances of equipment breakdown.
Like other portable water filters though it has it’s limits — a Lifestraw can’t filter salt (to filter salt water you’ll have to distil it) or heavy metals, chemicals or viruses. In a survival situation or urban disaster you’ll have to use your head. Avoid drinking from ground water sources in a populated area following severe flooding or a massive earthquake. This ground water can be contaminated with chemicals and sewage. You’ll want to move further out of the area to a water source that is less likely to be contaminated with chemicals and sewage before using your Lifestraw.
At 1,000 liters, you’ll get a lot of drinking water out of your “Lifestraw personal water filter”.
Survival Power: Portable water filters do not remove chemicals and so none are a complete solution to water. Outside of a city following a collapse local water sources may be contaminated with any number of chemicals as industrial run-off leeches into ground water, making this water unsafe to drink, even with a water filter. In a wilderness setting though, a Lifestraw should do just fine for you, and be a real life saver.
Tip: Have one Lifestraw for each person in your party so that you are not having to limit daily water use to small rations.
Update: Water filtration companies are now producing portable water filters capable of filtering larger quantities of water and selling for a similar price as the Lifestraw, including Lifestraw’s own version of its latest portable water filter (compare products, specs, and reviews to help find the portable water filter that best fits your budget).

When You Need Food

3) Hunting Rifle — Marlin 336XLR –
When choosing what rifle to recommend as one of the choices for Top 10 Survival Gear, I went to the experts at Outdoor Life. They know the hunting industry. They know guns. I have to say that the “Marlin 336XLR” comes in as a great choice for a hunting rifle specifically due to it’s accuracy. New hunters need as much help as they can get right? This “30-30” gets top billing for deer but in all actuality a 30.30. can take down just about any game animal in North America, including grizzly bears. Carry the right ammunition for the game you plan to hunt; don’t use the same ammo you would use to take down a deer (150 grain) as you would for a turkey or small game (100-125 grain). Cover all your bases and carry multiple sizes of ammo.
Survival Power: Though a Marlin 336XLR comes at a higher price, this rifle is suggested for people who haven’t spent a lot of time on a gun range — and again that is due to it’s higher accuracy, requiring less marksmanship skills to get your aim correct. There are rifles that do come in at a lot less cost; but with these rifles a lot more time should be spent learning how to shoot with a scope so that you can correctly hit your target.
Tip: There is no guarantee you’ll be in an area prime for hunting — not unless you do your research first and know where to enter the wilderness so that your journey takes you through remote areas where game is plentiful.
Following a collapse, expect a lot of people in outlying towns to significantly increase the “hunting pressure” in adjacent wilderness areas within the first few days. That means much of the local wildlife is likely to flee for more remote areas due to this sudden increase in hunting pressure. Study your maps and consider starting your wilderness journey in a remote area less likely to have any human activity — which means you may have to go several more miles than you may have initially considered. But the payoff for traveling a few extra miles to start your push into the wilderness will likely be worth it — hunting is likely to be best in remote areas with little or no human activity.
To keep “hunting pressure” to a minimum, consider bow hunting due to the fact that gun shots can spook wildlife. The draw back to hunting with a bow is that bow hunting requires a lot of time learning how to shoot correctly — but it can be done and may be well worth the effort in the end for long term survival.
One of the things a person will learn in U.S. Special Forces survival training is that squirrels, rabbits, and other small mammals can make a quick meal. In the wilderness, all you need to know is how to read the ground around you and recognize areas that small mammals are likely to travel. Then set up a number of small, simple traps around the area (dead falls, snares, etc) and simply wait for traps to spring.
Tips: You can increase the likely hood of a trap catching an animal by arranging logs, brush and large rocks to narrow a path that leads straight into each trap you set — from both directions in fact. Squirrels and rabbits and other small mammals can be “funneled” into any trap that’s been set.
If you bait these traps you have greater chances of not only catching an animal, but catching it faster than if you didn’t bait these traps. How would you like to check your traps the next morning and find a few animals snared, not just one (if you were lucky to get even one)? (Kaytee Squirrel and Critter Blend provides natural bait for an “urban survival” or “live off the land” scenario).
Survival Power: Snare placement can be a key factor to whether or not you catch anything; your ability to know where to set snares relies on you learning and practicing basic trapping skills for capturing small game. Baiting traps with common game foods like nuts, seeds, and berries (and artificial baits) can help boost your snaring success.

When You Need a Knife

Let’s face it: This is a survival knife for a worst case scenario and you find yourself living in a lawless land and need a serious knife for self defense. The US Marine KA-BAR is designed for combat — and proven in combat — and carried by many U.S. Marines into past wars. Please note: This isn’t a survival knife for a weekend recreationist; a forest service official or fish and game warden will possibly confiscate it if they know you’re carrying it, so be sure to check local laws before simply packing one into the wilderness on your next backpacking trip. The good news about carrying this for a worst case survival scenario? Not only is it a knife proven in combat but something you can also use to gut big game or filet a squirrel, possom, trout, salmon or any other critter that you’re willing to eat to survive. (If this KA-BAR is a bit too military for your tastes go with a good folding knife like this Kershaw as a more civilian option and one you might buy for your teen kids as well.)

When You Need to Navigate an Urban Environment

6) Multi-Tool –
Reaching for a multi-tool is as easy as simply finding one with pliers, and a Phillips screw driver, right? Actually that’s wrong. A Phillips screw driver might come in handy on several occasions but there are a lot more screw head types that call for special fittings. These special fittings can quickly take parts off vehicles, remove hardware around locking mechanisms, and remove ventilation coverings. A good multi-tool is essential to urban survival, is made of stainless steel, and can withstand years’ of use. If you’re going to be anywhere near an urban environment, look, at the Swiss Tool Spirit Plus. Here’s a multi-tool with 38 functions, including a bit wrench with 6 bits (important for screw heads that a Phillips or standard screwdriver will not fit).
If you want a multi-tool for both urban survival and your firearms, you can purchase a Leatherman Tactical Multi-Tool, get superior construction also like the Swiss Tool mentioned above; be sure to get the the 40 bit add-on set. That’s 40 bits of various sizes; in an urban environment, you should be able to open just about anything you come across. It may get you into buildings. It may get you out of danger on more than one occasion.

When You Need a Route

7) Binoculars — Alpen Apex XP 8×42 –
Binoculars are often overlooked as an essential piece of survival gear. The fact is, you can survive without binoculars, just like early century Native Americans who lived off the land. Key difference though is that they knew the land — there’s a good chance you’re going to end up in a place that you don’t know very well, especially in a mountain range, vast desert, or national forest.
With a good set of binoculars you’re going to be able to see greater detail at further distances and with less eye strain than a cheap pair. Cheap binoculars are for your kids in the backyard looking at birds — not hunting game at far distances or traveling through the wilderness.
Real binoculars are for the wilderness. Get yourself a pair of real binoculars. Outdoor Life rated several binoculars, most coming in at over $1000, with one priced at $2700. That is steep! But Outdoor Life did give a high rating to a cheaper pair — The “Alpen Apex XP 8×42” is priced at about $300 and received Outdoor Life’s “Great Buy” tag. If you have the money to spend, sure, go ahead and spend top dollar, buy the best of the best. You will get more bang for your buck. But you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck as well with the Alpen Apex 8×42 for a lot less.
Why do I rate binoculars in the “Top 10 Survival Gear”? Not only do binoculars help hunters spot game animals — they help people lost in the wilderness identify distant features in the terrain, sometimes saving several miles of needless travel. Misreading the terrain can bring a person to the edge of a cliff or canyon or to a river that is simply to dangerous to cross. Now you have to turn back.
Reading the terrain at a distance helps identify water sources as well as which routes you can travel with the least amount of obstacles.
In hostile territory, a good set of binoculars offers stealth and can help you identify an ambush up ahead as well as dangerous dogs, armed criminals, or other dangers before they find you or before you stumble into them.
Survival Power: Binoculars are never truly appreciated until a situation that calls for binoculars presents itself. Good binoculars can both aid in hunting and also be essential for long distance navigation by land or by boat (if you’re in a canoe or kayak for example and paddling along a coastline).
8) Climbing — Petzl Grigri 2 Belay Device –
Unless you’re on the open prairie, if you’re crossing through the wilderness there’s a great chance you’re going to come to a cliff or ridge or canyon at some point. The drop before you may be only 20 yards at it’s shallowest point — but that’s a 60 foot drop. You can’t climb down that. Now you’re stuck.
So, do you backtrack several miles and head a few miles north or south in an attempt to detour around the cliff?
Or do you save yourself several hours and just rappel down the cliff with a rope, harness and belay device? The “Petzl Grigri 2 Belay Device” is priced at $99. It takes climbing and descending with a rope to a new level — it’s billed as making climbing easier and safer. If you can see how useful climbing and descending with a rope can be in a survival situation, get yourself one of these belay devices as well as some instruction in climbing and rope setting.
Survival Power: Your fitness level to climb and descend and your ability to recognize and tie good anchor points relies solely on practice — without prior knowledge or practice, using a belay device to rappel is dangerous.
A Petzl Grigri 2 Belay Device is only an effective tool for someone experienced in the basics of climbing. Climbing and descending by rope is not that difficult to learn and many cities have recreation centers and outfitters with indoor walls where you can be taught how to climb by an instructor. (To be more prepared for the wilderness, follow up with instruction on an actual rock face or cliff.)
Tips: Climbing and descending cliffs and slopes can be a very effective way to get yourself out of a dangerous area fast, get yourself passed otherwise impassible obstacles, or even get yourself to prime hunting grounds.
In an area of canyons and cliffs, if there are hostile forces or dangerous wildlife on the ground (bears, wolves, mountain lions, etc.), you may find that setting up shelter on a cliff 50 – 100 feet off the ground is a great way to survive and sleep safely at night and out of danger.

When You Need Shelter

9) Shelter — Dry Top Super Heavy Duty Tarp –
The problem with recommending a backpacking tent for survival is that good ones can be expensive; on top of that, tents are built for recreational use — not for long term use should you find yourself in a time of disaster and having to live off the land for possibly several weeks or even months.
A “Dry Top Super Heavy Duty Tarp” on the other hand is a lot more tear resistant than any backpacking tent that I’ve seen. If you carry a couple of these of varying sizes you can assemble a survival shelter rather quickly. You’ll have to learn how to build a simple shelter first of course, which you can do using a nearby tree, rope, and a stick or two you find on the ground. A tarp shelter is easily camouflaged with brush — should you need to stay hidden for any period of time.
If you go with tarp, buy yourself three or four measuring 10×12 or a bit larger. With a few tarps you can build yourself a small shelter that is sealed and insect proof, nearly as well as a tent. With some duct tape (to tape tarp edges) or a heavy duty sewing needle and thread you can stitch together a shelter made of tarp in no time.
What about bugs? Elsewhere on the site I’ve recommended mosquito netting — using bobby pins (1) or Velcro and gorilla glue (2) or a heavy duty sewing needle and thread (3) you can hang mosquito netting over your entry way of any tarp shelter you build.
With a bit of ingenuity you’ve built yourself a shelter that costs much less than a popular brand name tent and should be able to withstand more wear and tear and protect from rain and wind, even snow. In a time of collapse and evacuation, it also catches less attention than something bright blue or orange or yellow like a popular brand name tent.
Survival Power: Your ability to recognize good or bad places to set up shelter will be a factor on how well a tarp shelter can work for you.
Tips: Bring along an extra “stuff sack”, like you’d carry a sleeping bag in, and use it to carry your tarp shelter when it’s time to break camp and move to a new location. Roll up your tarp and then cinch it tight with paracord or rope. Have a few stakes with you to use as ground anchors for your tent.
Be aware of possible dangers from “widow makers”, which are overhead tree branches that are old and may fall during the next high wind. A widow maker can take your life.
Be aware that a rain storm in a dry canyon system can bring flash flooding — so better to make your shelter on higher ground. At the same time, camping along a river bank, especially in the spring time, can also be dangerous — if rains fall in the nearby mountains, and as snow melts from the previous winter’s accumulation, flash flooding can take place. Better to camp up on higher ground in this case as well.
Play it safe and eat and dispose of food 100 yards or further away from your camp site (to reduce the chances that you’ll draw bears into your camp).
And one last tip for shelter placement: Survey the ground around you for 20 yards or more in every direction — you are looking for ant colonies and bee hives and other insect nests. When you’re sure there are none close by, now you can place your shelter.
Tent vs Tarp: Tents have an advantage over tarps — they zip tight and help protect from insects and snakes getting inside. The problem with a tent is that (unless it’s heavy duty canvas, which means bulk and weight) tents are prone to tearing and zippers breaking with repeat use. More expensive tents can have more life in them of course. If you have the budget for it consider a tent by North Face, Marmot, or Mountain Hardware — look for tents rated for use in areas like Mount Everest, as each of these brands has models used successfully on various expeditions. You want something that can withstand the beating that comes with repeat use if you plan on using your shelter for the long term.
One of the best ideas suggested through The Lost Ways is the construction of bunkers. These bunkers have the potential to stand the impact created by the most devastating earthquake or missile attack. On the other hand, the readers will be able to learn how to preserve their food in a natural manner. They can also get to know about effective tips, which can be used to preserve the precious water supplies. Then we will be able to use them in the case of a disaster to survive.
First of all, The Lost Ways would convince readers that the natural disasters are inevitable. It will give them an excellent insight about the disasters that could take place in the future. Therefore, it is extremely important for all the human beings to stay prepared to face a disaster, which could happen at any given point of time. In the second part of this book, the readers will be able to discover the lessons learned by humanity when they encountered disasters in the past. Every disaster teaches us a lesson, and it is better to have a clear understanding of these lessons as they can be helpful in the future.
Staying warm on a cold night is never truly appreciated until you spend 10 hours shivering in a sleeping bag not rated for the sudden drop in temperature that just took place the night before. There’s a solution, though: a Goretex modular sleeping bag system. What you get is a sleeping bag with a sleeping bag liner (effectively creating multiple layers of sleeping bag, based on how cold it is). The primary bag is rated to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the interior layer and this cold temperature rating drops to minus 10 degrees.
When you choose a sleeping bag rated for cold weather, sleeping bags filled with goose down are lightest — but they come with a consequence. If your bag gets wet it loses all insulating properties. A single tear can cause down to spill out. Your best bet is to get a down sleeping bag with a Gortex liner, to protect from moisture. But the price for Goretex down bags with a high rating can be steep — which can climb to $500 or more.
A synthetic bag can keep a person warm in cold temperatures as well, but there’s a drawback — they weigh more, sometimes a few pounds more. If you don’t mind a couple extra pounds, then go with a synthetic bag like this Goretex modular system.
Survival Power: A military Goretex sleeping bag system can do a good job at keeping you warm — but only to negative 10 degrees Fahrenheit — you’ll have to wear additional layers and craft additional insulation if temperatures drop below negative 10.

Survival Gear – Beyond the Top 10 Product List

You can’t fit every worthy piece of equipment in a Top 10 list of survival gear. The following products get a notable mention for their effectiveness in a survival situation, ease of use, and for many of these, the price as well.
Construction / Multi-Use — Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl 120 –
Need to stitch something up in the field? This heavy duty sewing needle (called an awl) makes stitching things together like tarp, leather, torn clothing, and even shoes that have split possible. Along with heavy duty thread that means that you can extend the life of essential survival gear that breaks or tears on you with repeat use.
With periodic malfunctions in several store-bought compasses, including polarity issues, you want a compass you can count on. Learn proper care for a compass and how to protect polarity, as well as how it’s actually used in the field. Navigation is an essential survival skill; along with fire and water procurement and shelter building, navigating with a compass is a skill taught in Special Forces survival training as well as local survival schools in most areas.
Shelter / Hammock — Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock –
This isn’t an ordinary hammock. An ordinary hammock pulls up on both ends, elevating your head and feet. For some people that’s an uncomfortable way to sleep.
The “Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock” is a “sleep straight” hammock, due to the way it’s constructed. It is also an enclosed shelter — if you opt for one of these you don’t need a tarp shelter or tent. Consider a hammock like this model for those times you want to be up off the ground — for example during heavy rains or crossing through marsh, swamp, or even jungle.
Tip: Worried about dangerous wildlife on the ground? Are you in shape for climbing trees easily? Consider hanging your “Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock” 20 or 30 feet off the ground. You’ll be out of reach of any predators on the forest floor below. Secure rope 2 – 3 feet beneath the hammock, running parallel to the hammock, and use this rope to help you enter and exit your hammock.
20-30 feet high up in the trees would be a bad time for a hammock to experience equipment failure or for a knot or strap to come loose. Use your heavy duty sewing awl (see above), thread, and a second rope to incorporate additional support and a second knot system (on each end where the hammock is tied to a tree).
There are a lot of opinions on what works great for a flashlight. It might be wise to have two or three types of artificial light (like a headlamp, for a trail leader) split among your group, and a lantern, for giving a campsite light for a small group. Anyone serious about spending time outdoors should consider carrying at the least a headlamp, which can double as a lantern if hung from a tree branch. A headlamp offer hands-free use and shines a beam of light that can be positioned to point to the ground several feet in front of you, fully illuminating your path of travel. It can also be positioned to shine up and at an angle, if you are climbing a slope or even considering going up into a tree for any reason. Even in the darkest forest or cave, a headlamp will seem like there is light in every direction that you look. It is an essential item for every person’s backpack and even an automobile (changing a tire on the side of the road at night is made easy with a headlamp, allowing you to see with ease).
Find out how more than 78,000 Americans have greatly benefited from this amazing creation, and found energy independence, Click Here!
A miniature flashlight can be carried on you for use in any emergency or other required need. This Streamlight 73001 can be carried on a keychain, backpack or even a belt loop on your pants or a zipper on your jacket and there when you need it. It’s an extremely small flashlight with an LED light — meaning lots of run time — using small button cell batteries (and during a longterm emergency, carrying an excess of these tiny batteries will not take up much space and only weigh a few ounces, if that.)
Emergency Radio with Multiple Ways to Keep it Powered — This Kaito emergency radio has 5 power sources including AA battery, internal battery (which you can charge with an AC adaptor), hand crank, solar, and even USB/Dynamo. With so many options for keeping it powered, this radio or one with similar capabilities is highly recommended.
Signal Device — Orion Safety Flares –
Wilderness survival sometimes calls for being found — that includes in a time of collapse as well. Perhaps you’ve put together a camp in a remote location. Whatever circumstances take place where you’re now cooperating with other people for survival, tasks related to hunting, scouting, and scavenging can mean you have to split off from the group at times.
Whether it’s a time around the corner or it’s simply today, if you’re a recreational hiker or hunter, a signal flare gun (and extra flares) can help you be found when others are searching for you. When you shop for an “Orion 12 Gauge HP Red Signal Kit” purchase a few flares as back-up.
Tip: Also purchase roadside flares and keep on hand for an emergency calling for a fast fire. Flame-producing hand held roadside flares like Orion Safety Flares are different than the ones above and not fired from a gun. Carry these in your vehicle and take a couple on your next hiking trip packed safely in a waterproof container — these can be used to start a fire in wet conditions also, with very little work.
Want to get a fire started fast after falling in a river? An Orion hand held flare will burn for approximately 30 minutes, even in the wind and rain. Pop the flare and arrange sticks, bark, and branches (even if they’re damp) over the top. At 30 minutes of burn time, that is plenty of time to ignite a pile of damp tinder and kindling.
Want to see at night, even in total darkness? This infrared monocular from Night Owl rivals the optics of advanced products costing hundreds of dollars more. Designed for single hand use and easy operation of power and infrared buttons. See sharp images even in pitch darkness. Know whether or not that twig snapping outside camp is just an opossum or if it’s a bear or other predator.
Security / Signal Device — Unified Marine 50074005 Air Horn –
A lot has been said on the web by hunters, hikers, and wilderness officers on the effectiveness air horns have had to scare off bears, specifically grizzly bears. The “official data” is that an air horn may or may not work. After hearing what multiple people have had to say with varying credentials, my conclusion is that an air horn might be effective to scare off a grizzly bear 80-90% of the time. People who have used it caution others to hold the horn down so that it makes a long, continued noise. Bear hearing is more sensitive than a human’s and that could be one reason why grizzlies have run at the sound of an air horn. Sometimes it may not work for you though — equipment failure may occur unexpectedly (we don’t live in a perfect world) or maybe a bear is simply too hungry or too angry. For these scenarios, have a back up plan.
While your spouse or one of your children is sounding an air horn that may buy you enough time to grab your rifle, take aim, and fire.
Tip: An air horn can also be used as a signaling system, alerting people who may be hunting or fishing to return to camp. Be sure to have a few re-fill cans, if you want long term use — air horns have a limited life span.
Are you worried about your future? Are you worried by the many disasters that you face in your everyday life? Worry no more. The Lost Ways comes in to solve your woes. This program was created by Davis Claude and its major role is to prepare and teach you how to handle worst-case scenarios using the least independence. This program will therefore motivate you to protect your family and friends during the worst period without the help of the modern technology.
Remember, calamities are everywhere: at work, home, school and many other places. These calamities cause tension and leads to a decrease in productivity. This may finally lead to a reduction in life. Fortunately, the lost ways review will provide solutions to these situations. It will give you the tips for preparing yourself when nothing seems to go as expected.
Generally, most people are optimistic. This makes them unprepared for failure. However, the best thing is to prepare for worst times. It is important to tell your kids about earthquakes, fire outbreaks, extreme weather conditions and other calamities. Tell them how to deal with these calamities in case they occur.

15 Uncommon Items for Your Bug Out Bag

We all know what our bug-out bag essentials are, right? 90% of the items we packed are pretty much the same for all of us… but what about the other 10%?
In this article I want to give you a list of “uncommon” survival items that some people have in their backpacks. Not just because it’s fun but because I want to give you some fresh ideas on what to pack. If, by the end of this article, I get you to say “Yeah, that sounds like a great idea, I’m gonna add item number 7!”… then the article is useful and I haven’t written it for nothing. If I fail, feel free to share your own weird survival items in a comment below so you can improve on this list.


Caveat: I’m not saying you need to start packing all these items. These are just a few ideas that may or may not make sense to your particular situation. Your bug-out bag essentials should have priority and you should always keep your backpack as light as possible by only packing what you need.
#1. Floss


Floss is lightweight, takes very little space and hard to find post-collapse. But the really cool thing about is that it has a bunch of other uses, such as tying things up, to use it as fishing rod and so on.
#2. A hand-crank chainsaw
Hand crank chainsaws are ultralight, compact and can be used in both rural and urban scenarios. You never know when you come across a tree that your car is helpless against.
#3. Fishing net
Do you have rivers near your location? A net might bring you much needed food besides the little you’ve already packed.


#4. A hand fan
If high temperatures are a concern, a hand fan might be a lifesaver. Small, compact, lightweight and cheap – perfect for a BOB.
#5. A razor
A razor has many more uses besides shaving (which won’t be a priority when disaster strikes, anyway).
#6. A foldable skateboard
Skateboards allow you to travel at speeds of over 10 miles per hour while walking is usually done at about 3mph. The fact that you can also fold it means you can put it in your bug out bag (though I have a feeling you’ll take it for a spin every once in a while).
#7. Tweezers
Cutting your nails without tweezers is hard. They take little space, they’re dirt cheap and might be unavailable when the brown stuff hits the fan. You might want to consider putting them in a Ziploc bag to avoid water getting to it and getting it all rusty.
#8. Condoms
Condoms have many uses besides the obvious one: they allow you to carry water, they can be used as a flotation device or even as a lens to start a fire (by filling them with water).
#9. Swim goggles
I’m not trying to scare you by telling you you’re gonna end up in a river somewhere, fighting for your life but, if you do have to cross one, wouldn’t it be better if you were equipped?
Besides, you can use these googles in other situations, such as when there’s tear gas or when you give your kid the important task of trying to spark a fire.
#10. An alarm clock
I know a bug-out bag is supposed to be as light as possible but some people think an alarm clock could be useful. This is NOT something I personally pack (or intend to) but maybe you want to…
#11. A Frisbee
Frisbees have more uses than just for playing. You can use them to sit on or to prepare food on them for example.
#12. Fly fishing lures
You’re gonna want to fish, at least that’s what most bug-out scenarios suggest…
#13. Pipe cutter
This could be really useful in urban scenarios where you’ll encounter a lot of pipes. Let’s not forget that PVC pipes have a lot of uses pre and post-disaster as long as you can cut them to the desired length.
#14. Paper clips
There are dozens of uses for paper clips, from lock picking to using them as a worm hook, zipper pulls or even to make a small chain. You may also want to keep them in your edc kit, your car’s BOB, your get home bag and so on.
#15. An extra pair of underwear
Needless to say, you may not have the luxury of having your wardrobe with your when it hits the fan. But an even bigger question is, what will you do if the only pair of underwear when bugging out is the one you’re already wearing?
Put an extra pair of underwear in your bug-out bag. In fact, make that two, and you can thank me after SHTF.

Ok, those were it. I realize I could have added a lot more of these unusual items but I tried to stick to the ones that you will actually need. Take this article with a grain of salt and, if you feel the need to add some of these items, how about you build a second BOB with non-essentials that you may or may not be able to take with you as you evacuate?


10 Foundational Elements of Emergency Preparedness Planning – Revisited

By Denis Korn
Let us pray that 2017 will be a year of right living, right thinking, right planning, discernment and an attitude of true hope and faith.  May the Truth be with you and may you discover who you can truly trust!
These 10 Foundational Elements of Emergency Preparedness Planning – AND RESILIENCY – and the suggested links are in my opinion an essential component to beginning, improving and solidifying an effective, successful and beneficial preparedness and disaster survival plan.  You are encouraged to conscientiously evaluate and embrace the information given and the guidance provided by the questions contained in the linked articles.
The wise and foolish builders
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like the foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
MATT 7:24 – 27 (NIV)                                                                                                                                 
1 – Attitude
The importance of a proper and confident attitude is essential and key to not only planning for an emergency, but also surviving an emergency.  The right attitude is the cornerstone and foundation of the preparedness process.  The 3 aspects of an appropriate attitude include: the pragmatic and realistic; the emotions and thoughts: the religious and spiritual.
An appropriate attitude is essential not only to survival, but also to effective functioning during a serious emergency. Your emotional and spiritual viewpoint are the sustaining components of enduring any emergency circumstance. The longer the emergency the greater degree of stress and anxiety, which will affect your health and well-being.
How serious are you?  Do you believe it is essential for you and your family to incorporate the proper emotional and spiritual attitude in your preparedness planning?  Who do you ultimately rely on for comfort, strength and hope? Where is your faith?
Without a thoughtful, reasoned, sincere and discerning attitude regarding potential emergencies with potentially devastating circumstances, conditions and outcomes, or the possible detrimental effects on family, friends, groups and community – this article or any presentation or investigation into preparedness planning and resiliency is an exercise in futility.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
— Viktor Frankl, MD, PhD 1905 – 1997  Psychologist, Philosopher, Author and Survivor of 4 Nazi Concentration Camps  
“Frankl’s wisdom here is worth emphasizing: it is a question of the attitude one takes toward life’s challenges and opportunities, both large and small.  A positive attitude enables a person to endure suffering and disappointment as well as enhance enjoyment and satisfaction.  A negative attitude intensifies pain and deepens disappointments…”     William Winslade in the Afterword to Man’s Search for Meaning (2006 printing)
2 – Critical Thinking and Discernment
While many think developing critical thinking skills are for the beginning philosophy student, they are in fact vital for everyone.  Recognizing and overcoming the barriers to critical thinking are essential in creating and maintaining genuine, honest, and nurturing relationships and making effective and appropriate decisions.
A common denominator of these barriers is that the individual has no control over their effects.  They are held captive by defective responses and impressions.   One “reacts” to a situation, idea, or challenge, whereas the critical thinker “chooses” the process of thoughtful evaluation – embracing – and embodiment.  The critical thinker has the freedom to rightly assess circumstances and concepts, and the result is to arrive at an appropriate and insightful conclusion and reasonable outcome.
In the pursuit of the embodiment of critical thinking skills always be mindful of the value and necessity of honesty, wisdom, discernment, and the need to distinguish the truth from the lie.  We live in an unprecedented time of media, institutional, educational, and political self-interest that will not hesitate to use any means possible to achieve its objectives including deceptive indoctrination techniques, propaganda, deceitfulness, fallacious argumentation, and fraud.
3 – Overcoming the Normalcy Bias – The attachment to inaction
The normalcy bias refers to a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects.  Denial is the operative state of mind. This often results in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster, and on a larger scale, the failure of the government to include the populace in its disaster preparations. The assumption that is made by many in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster never has occurred to them then it never will occur. It also results in the inability of people to cope with a disaster once it occurs. People with a normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to something they have not experienced before. People also tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any ambiguities to infer a less serious situation.
The normalcy bias often results in unnecessary deaths in disaster situations. The lack of preparation for disasters often leads to inadequate shelter, supplies, and evacuation plans. Even when all these things are in place, individuals with a normalcy bias often refuse to leave their homes. The normalcy bias also causes people to drastically underestimate the effects of the disaster. Therefore, they think that everything will be all right, while information from the radio, television, or neighbors gives them reason to believe there is a risk. This creates a cognitive dissonance that they then must work to eliminate. Some manage to eliminate it by refusing to believe new warnings coming in and refusing to evacuate (maintaining the normalcy bias), while others eliminate the dissonance by escaping the perceived danger.
4 – Scenarios
What are the circumstances or scenarios you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies? 
What will be the severity and impact of those circumstances on your life?  (This is not only the most important and first question to answer, it is often the question most overlooked, or not considered critically enough).  Given your potential scenarios, how thoroughly have you researched the available options for food, water, medical, shelter, hygiene, and other categories of critical supplies?  Are you prepared for emergencies during all seasons of the year?  Is your family more susceptible to certain emergencies?  How would your scenarios impact you or your family’s daily routine?  Work or livelihood? How will you protect yourself and family against those who might do you harm? The grid is essential to most homes and businesses – if it is down, how long could you function? What would society look like without the grid, and a prolonged cessation of the availability of vital goods and services? Do you have back up power?
How long will your emergency scenario last, and what is the duration of time for which you will be preparing?
This is another critical question, and while it is difficult to envision the difficult details that might occur, the adequacy of your preparedness planning and supplies is directly tied to honestly answering this question.  Needless to say, the longer the duration of the emergency the more effect it will have on multiple aspects of one’s daily routine and lifestyle, and the need to be focused on the diversity of situations that will surround you.
5 – Knowledge and Skills
What preparedness knowledge do you personally have that is important in providing specific information and instructions needed during the emergency or emergencies for which you are preparing?
How about the knowledge of family or friends?  What informational resources and references – books and other tangible items – do you personally have or have access to?  How confident are you that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to be responsible and effective for yourself and family during an emergency?
The realization that you have the appropriate knowledge and have adequately prepared for unforeseen emergencies is an essential factor in discovering and embodying peace of mind.
6 – Preparation and Action
The first step in the preparedness planning process is the acknowledgment that you have made a wise and sound decision and have chosen to take responsibility for you and your family, and to be prepared in the event of unexpected circumstances.  Be encouraged to continue this process with diligence, motivation, and discernment.
This process is basically undertaken in three phases – each one of which will take as much time as you wish to devote, and the degree of urgency you are experiencing.
  1. First, there is an initial assessment necessary to determine the direction you are heading.
  2. Second, there is further evaluation, research, and planning required to develop a firm foundation for the third phase, and to develop the clarity required for appropriate and accurate decision making.
  3. Third, there is taking action and assembling the appropriate provisions and critical information you have determined are necessary for your security and peace of mind.  This phase is ongoing as you continue to evaluate, research, and build up your supplies and information.
7 – Supplies
For most people planning for emergencies is similar to planning for a camping trip or any other outdoor adventure where the normal conveniences of home are not available. The biggest difference is determining whether to plan for being away from home or being in your own residence – or perhaps both. The equipment to include in your emergency kit or camping supplies list will be very comparable. Differences and variations will generally depend upon the severity and length of time you anticipate for your emergency scenario. Long term emergencies and outdoor explorations will require more extensive planning and provisioning.
Important questions to answer as you do your planning:
Are the equipment and supplies necessary to fulfill your needs going to be based on how cheap they are, or on the quality, value, and reliability of the product?  What are the repercussions or benefits from the choices that are made?  Who is affected?  What chances are you willing to take with inferior and inadequate provisions?  What will the climate be during the emergency or adventure?  What is the probable availability of essential goods and services where you are going for your adventure or during your anticipated emergency?
Be clear about the time factors, persons involved, and situations that you anticipate will occur in an emergency or an outdoor experience. Knowing this information is crucial to stocking the appropriate items in the appropriate quantities. Many of these items will be essential for bartering if supplies are exhausted and the emergency you are preparing for is long term.  Proper provisioning is about safety, health, protection, comfort, and peace of mind – for not only you but also your family and friends.  Don’t forget the special needs – medical, food or otherwise – of you or your family.
Do you have a list of essential supplies you believe will be necessary to have on hand during your estimated emergency?
Is it prioritized?  Do you have a list of the essential categories your supplies fall under? What do you have on hand now?
During an emergency what facilities, stores, resources, supplies, and assistance is available in your area apart from family and friends?
This includes not only information and education, but also essentials such as food, water, shelter, energy, communication, and medical supplies.  What utilities in your area are vulnerable to disruption or elimination?  What will you do to compensate for the loss of electricity, water, gas, or phone service?
8 – Considering Others
Many conscientious preparedness planners are realizing that individuals, groups and churches should provide for the most vulnerable and those in need, especially in time of emergency.  They feel it is the groups’, churches’ or an individual’s responsibility to take a leadership role in promoting contingency planning education and action for its members or others.  There is ample historical precedent for this perspective.
As far as churches are concerned, some feel that much time, effort and money is spent on spiritual issues and teaching activities (which is of course primary and essential), missions, and new facilities, but not enough on basic physical essentials such as food and daily necessities.  There is a desire to make sure that church members, or anyone seeking the help of the church, such as the elderly, widows, disabled, single parents and the poor, are secure with the essentials during times of adversity and disaster – especially when primary sources of supplies may not be available.
Family and neighbors often do not take responsibility to provide for themselves during emergencies.  Considering others while one engages in the preparedness process is a very personal and important factor to consider.  Whether it is provisions, education or a desire to teach and motivate, all planners need to contemplate whether or not they will address the essential needs of others.
9 – Communication
What means of communication do you have available to you during an emergency and with whom do you need to communicate?
This includes both two-way communication with others, including family, friends and associates, and one-way communication from radio stations, emergency broadcasts, or individuals via short wave. Do you have a cell phone? Will towers be functioning? Land lines? Internet? Hand held walkie-talkies? Satellite phone? Short wave radios? Citizens band radios? Emergency radios and/or ham radios with two-way communication capability? During a serious emergency accurate information and updates are essential for survival. What if an EMP (electro-magnetic-pulse) from a solar flare or nuclear device renders all unprotected electronics useless? How will this affect the equipment you are relying upon?
10 – Networking
Are you dependent upon someone or something else to get you through and supply your needs during the emergency scenarios you presume will occur?
Are your neighbors or friends stocking up on enough supplies for you also?  Do you honestly believe some level of government will be there to assist and resolve the situation?  Do you have a community support network available?  What skills and knowledge do you possess that you can contribute?
During a serious and/or prolonged emergency it will be vital to have available to you and your family the support and expertise of others in your neighborhood and community.  Everyone has a skill that they can share during challenging times.  The sooner you discover those who are compassionate and sympathetic enough to network with others, the better it will be if an emergency occurs.

5 Key Survival Disciplines to Prepare You Now – for “Then”


You can determine your chances of surviving any critical crisis, emergency or catastrophe by developing what you WILL need *then* – NOW. How? By increasing your “survival probability” quotient through the habits, attitudes, and mindset you choose today. Let me explain…
Have you watched some of the survival shows on TV where you just know that the person with all the mad survival skills is going to be the one to crush it….and how rarely that is the actual outcome? It isn’t just practical survival skills that matter but what is going on in your head and how you are accustomed to approaching life!
Habits don’t get developed easily. On the other hand, habits die hard – which is a good thing when you are thrust into an unexpected survival or crisis situation with some great habits established.
Let’s look at some lifestyle disciplines – or habits- you might want to develop.
#1 – Intentionality
Ultimate Survival Tips-Survival Plan-IntentionalityOne of the best choices you can make when considering how to live out every day is to choose to live intentionally. So MANY people live in a random fashion as if the forces of life are out of their control. Then, frustrated and maxxed out, they disappear into the oblivion of hours of media input only to emerge, rubbing their eyes and wondering where all their time and energy went and feeling depressed because nothing of personal significance seemed to get done that day beyond the “must-do’s” of life. I know the New Year’s resolution thing is widely bashed but *whatever* time of year it is when you realize you are living “less than”, is a GREAT time to sit yourself down and get intentional. Assess the past. Where did you fail? Where did you grow? What did you totally rock? Why? What is one area of your life that most needs for you to get a plan and be intentional? Nations are not won without a strategy nor relationships, jobs and daily events.
In a survival situation, you would most likely be entering into a big unknown – a situation where all elements may be completely foreign. Without a habit of intentionality and the ability to make a plan, you would surely succumb to the pressures and stresses of the unknown.
#2 – Focus
Ultimate Survival Tips Survival Plan Focus
Have you ever tried to communicate with a child who simply is not “able” to be still enough to hear what you are trying to communicate? My response is usually to get on their level and say, “So and so, I want you to stop and look into my eyes with your eyes.” Inevitably I gain a moment of their focus and a piece of calm enters into the chaos.
We live in a culture where we are literally bombarded (!!) with sensory stimuli on every side and our jobs and relationships are ordered to play into this paradigm of chaos. Cell phones and computers are requirements for life to carry on! Aaauugghhh! How many of us have said we want to run away from it all? I have! How can we accomplish the incredibly important goals of our intentionality if we are lost in the swirl of the chaos around us? It is so important to determine what it is we want/need to accomplish and be able to set those goals as our priorities for living even when that means that good things get pushed to a lesser priority. It’s hard stuff. “The sun’s scattered rays are too weak to start a fire, but once you focus them with a magnifying glass, they will bring paper to flame in seconds.” “If everything is important, nothing is.” and so on….Let’s look into the eyes of our own souls and determine what it is that we will intentionally focus on this coming year and determine to walk in that place of purposeful calm in the midst of everything else clamoring for our attention.
In a survival situation, you have to be able to assess priorities based upon your specific scenario. Do you get shelter taken care of first,or fire or food or water? Trying to do everything without a plan and a focus just might cost you your life. Having developed this skill in your day to day living will set you up to operate in a survival scenario with composure and confidence – a quality that may also bring others around you out alive.
#3 – Self-Control
Ultimate Survival Tips-survival-plan-self-control
We all want what we want when we want it. Isn’t that something we are cultivated to believe is our right and inheritance in this world? Yikes. McLife, as it were. I will refer to children again as I use the example of childishness lack of self-control and the reasons why a good parent will train a child to develop self-control. A child without self-control is unruly, usually self-centered, unable to think past the present want or demand, hurtful, lacks the ability to think about consequences of their actions on themselves or others around them, are high-maintenance, cannot say no to things that are not good for them that they want, and the list goes on….
Well, guess what? All those things are true of adults who lack self-control as well! As the list above highlights – developing self-control not only is a benefit to ourselves, but a great benefit to those around us as well. I like to use food as a means of continually developing my self-control because it’s an area where I can get to feeling really entitled, so I know it’s also an area that should really be kept in check. I will decide to do a month of raw foods only or a year of no sugar or grains or whatever I feel is something that will also benefit my health conditions at the moment. So not only do I develop a personal discipline of being able to say no but it is also something that is bearing exponential benefits in my life as I feel better and function better, etc. It might be something different for you, but a good question to ask to determine where you can develop some more self-control is: Where do I feel entitled, like this is my right to enjoy such and such? Ouch.
Now there is another angle to self-control dealing with the deeper realm of our inner man: If you deal with anger or other emotional manifestations of a lack of self-control, may I encourage you to read David’s page on The Ultimate Survival Tip? There are some areas of our lives where we really need what only God can give to help us change. As a Christian, self-control is considered a fruit of the Holy Spirit’s refining power in our lives.
So why would self-control be important in a survival scenario? Being in a habitual pattern of doing without is such a key when you must do without. Knowing you *can* flourish without the things you think you must have is very liberating.
#4 – Flexibility
Ultimate Survival Tips-Survival Plan-Flexibility

When I did my student teaching in an elementary school umpteen years ago, I got very high marks for my ability to be flexible with unforeseen changes in the day. I think being a parent also trains you in this discipline. Considering flexibility as a discipline seems a bit like an oxymoron, and allowing yourself to be interrupted seems contrary to intentionality and focus, but think of it this way – life happens. Are we going to fritz out when it does? Or are we going to be able to adapt our intentionally planned focus to be able to flow with the things we cannot control – because, let’s face it – life is full of things we cannot control! So the key here is not throwing out our intentionality or our focus (or our self-control!) but adapting them into whatever scenario we are forced to live within. These are the little mini-survival scenarios of life, people. Leaning into the wind and putting one foot in front of the other, continuing to head toward that goal. This is where the guts of life are developed. Who hasn’t had the unspeakable thrown at them when they least expected it? Do we curl up in a ball and give over on everything we are pressing toward? I think of the palm trees left standing after a hurricane. Deep roots hold them fast in those crazy winds.
The ability to hold one’s wits about oneself and continually revise a plan toward a goal is key in any survival situation. Being in an unfamiliar circumstance in every way will surely require the ability to be able to adapt to the unexpected.
So these are just a few things I am thinking about today as I look over my past year and into the one coming, seeking to live purposefully and redeem the time, but there is just one more I want to add which is, I think, perhaps the most important and that is….
#5 – Thankfulness
Rehearsing the things around you that are GOOD is such a “super vitamin” for being able to thrive in a difficult circumstance. And there are *always* things to be grateful for! When you make a practice of looking intentionally for these things daily – even multiple times a day if life is really hard- it is like reestablishing a plumb line for your emotions and mental health.
Have you ever been around someone who is continually critical, condemning or complaining? It just sucks the life right out of everyone around them. It is toxic. Simply put, you cannot survive very easily with such toxicity either coming from your own heart or someone else’s with whom you have to share space. A person like this in a survival scenario can be more lethal than a crouching predator. If *you’re* that toxic one, shut that voice up with speaking out those things that are good and keep it up until that toxic root is dug out completely and the desire to complain is neutralized.

WHY PREPPING IS HARD (AND HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER)

No one who decides to start prepping thinks it will be an easy feat.
Prepping isn’t something you do because it’s a quick and easy win. If it was, I’d argue that a lot more people would be doing it.
Prepping is hard. I’ve said it time and time again, and I’m not anywhere done saying it yet.
There are so many excuses a person can come up with for not taking prepping seriously – so many “reasons” not to prep.
But when the chips are down, you can chalk all those reasons down to one simple umbrella statement: prepping is hard.
survivalist blog article preparedness why prepping is hard preppers

WHY PREPPING IS HARD

Why it’s so hard to be serious about prepping is up for debate, but in my opinion, two simple factors make prepping as hard as it is:
  • Prepping encompasses a lot of different topics (outdoor skills, first aid, personal finance, self-sufficiency, etc.), and
  • We’re limited. Limited by a lack of time time, energy, funds, ability to concentrate, and a slew of other things.
While, for me, it’s easy to pinpoint why prepping is so hard, it’s another story taking this knowledge of the difficult aspects of prepping to turn them on their head and try to make prepping easier.
See it’s not like acknowledging that prepping encompasses a heck of a lot of different topics helps us to be able to gain experience or knowledge in those different fields.
Similarly, acknowledging the fact that we’re limited doesn’t help make us any less limited. We still have budgets, time constraints, energy drains, and all that other annoying stuff to worry about, no matter the fact that we understand these limitations are actively working toward making prepping harder.
So how can we make prepping easier? Is it even possible? Well, I’d argue that it is.
survivalist stockpile how to make prepping easier prepper blog

HOW TO MAKE PREPPING EASIER

These are not shortcuts to becoming a successful prepper. Realistically, unless you win the lottery – are awarded with a heck of a lot of cash, use that money to build up a stockpile, get to quit your day job and use the extra time to devote yourself fully to learning new things about prepping – sad to say there really aren’t any shortcuts.
These are not tips that will make prepping so easy that your neighbour, who’s been prepper shaming you for “wasting” all your hard earned money and all the extra free time you’ve got, will now change her mind about the whole damn thing and want to join you in prepping.
These methods of making prepping easier don’t take away the fact that you have to see value in prepping and really have the motivation to try to become a better prepper/survivalist in order to succed.
And these methods definitely don’t take away from the fact that preparedness is a lifestyle, and not simply something that can be “completed” ever, only something that you will be able to improve upon more and more as time, energy, effort, and funds are poured into your prepper projects.
Now that that’s out of the way, what are these methods of making prepping easier?
Here are my ideas;

1. TEACH YOURSELF THE THINGS YOU’RE MOST INTERESTED AND PASSIONATE ABOUT FIRST.

It helps you to keep momentum. Trying to get Thomas to learn about starting a prepper garden would be like pulling a tooth. Encouraging him to look at gear that could make prepping easier – now that’s something he’d jump on doing, even during his downtime.
There are so many different aspects to prepping that it really should be easy to find at least one that you’d be fascinated in starting to learn about first. Don’t try forcing yourself to start prepping by doing the “hard stuff” before the “easy stuff.” Start with those things that come naturally to you, and feel more fun, and prepping will become much easier to do.

2. IF YOU’RE PREPPING IN A GROUP, DIVIDE UP TASKS.

Sort of in line with the last example – Thomas is the gear guy between the two of us. I don’t need to worry about researching gear because if I did it and he did it, we’d, in my opinion, be wasting our efforts on both doing the same task.
I’m into gardening and he hates it – clear who’s going to be doing what there. And since he knows so much about first aid, he’ll continue to learn more about it and be able to teach me what’s important for me to know along the way.
Dividing up tasks if you’re prepping in a group is an absolutely wonderful way to cover more ground, get more done, and not get burned out as easily. Each person has their own unique interests and excels at different things – divvy up the responsibilities based on that and you’ll be feeling your preps are doing a lot smoother sailing.

3. START WITH EASY PREPS.

Again along similar lines, start with prepping what’s easiest for you to do first. Not only do I mean this in terms of starting with what you find more fun and interesting, as I said in point #1 before, but if there’s a prep you can quickly knock out of the way – do it! You’ll gain momentum from the little wins, as it’s encouraging to see a large amount of progress made over a short amount of time and with minimal energy and funds. The little wins will help you to keep going, and will make prepping feel a lot easier than if you’re working on huge, difficult projects to start with.
If you’re not a beginner, try doing some easier or more fun preps alongside the hard ones. If you’re working on a single large, difficult prepper project that’s pretty draining, doing more quick, short, and fun tasks simultaneously can really help take the bite out of the frustration you might feel for having to work on such a huge, daunting prepper project where you won’t be seeing results quickly.

4. FIND A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO WILL ENCOURAGE YOU AND HELP CONGRATULATE YOU ON YOUR SUCCESS AT PREPPING.

Prepping is so much harder to do alone than it is in a group, but if no one around you is interested in prepping and sees the value in it, it can be difficult to reap the benefits from prepping in a group.
Your group doesn’t have to be large, but if you find even one or two people who can encourage you and help to congratulate you on your successes, help teach you new things and spur you on to continue progressing with regards to your preps, it can be an enormous boon to your motivation and can make prepping feel one heck of a lot easier.
If you don’t know any of these types of people yet – don’t stress. You’re online, and that means you’re open to a world of possibilities when it comes to finding the right people to help you on your journey toward becoming a better prepper. Find the kind of community you’d like to be a part of (shameless plug – you can always start off your search on our community forum, Survival Threads), introduce yourself to the already formed group, start sharing your knowledge and success stories, and in no time I’m sure you’ll find that you’ve formed a group of cheerleaders around you who can help you when you’re down and be sincerely happy for your success when you’ve accomplished your goals with regards to prepping.
A good group will help the good times feel even better and will make the hard times a lot easier to weather.

5. WHEN YOU FIRST START PREPPING, START BY INVESTING IN CHEAPER PRODUCTS.

Don’t break the bank – not ever. There are a lot of affordable ways to go about prepping, from buying cheap and affordable priced survival gear, to stockpiling for free or next to nothing – hell there are many ways to even build up your gear and household goods stockpile or food stockpile frugally. When you’re on a budget, don’t dip into your emergency funds in order to prep. Those emergency savings are an important prep in themselves and indubitably will prove to be quite valuable one day. Stick to buying cheaper gear until you’ve got your basic ground covered when it comes to prepping.
Once your basic preps are covered, you can begin to replace the cheaper products you bought with higher quality items as time goes buy. If you even need to that is. If your $15 Mora Companion is working out for you (which it should be; Moras are excellent pieces of kit albeit the low price tag), don’t bother to upgrade. Replace your cheaper survival gear with more expensive survival gear down the road, as you have more funds to work with and, like I keep saying, after you’ve covered all your bases with cheap gear first. That way, you won’t be stressing out over money, and stockpiling survival gear will feel a lot easier than if you were to have to splurge on the more expensive gear first. You’ll also cover many more bases this way, as saving up for one very expensive piece of kit will prevent you from getting other gear that might come in handy even thought it might not last you forever or be the kind of gear you’ll keep for an eternity.
survival gear prepper blog article easier time prepping

CONCLUSION

There are so many reasons to prep, though even if you know all the great perks to prepping, that doesn’t make prepping any easier. These tips, however, I think will really help to make prepping feel a lot less like a chore that needs to get done, and a lot more like the completely doable lifestyle choice that it is.
It’s not impossible to be a prepper, it’s just hard. And if you can make the hard a little less hard, there’s absolutely no harm in that.
Make prepping a little easier and you’re likely to have a lot more success as a prepper. Learning and growing as a survivalist doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sometimes looks!
Do you find prepping hard?
Can you think of any more ways to make prepping easier?

Useful Skills And Items For Bartering After SHTF


Useful Skills And Items For Bartering After SHTF

There’s no way of telling quite how different life after a major disaster or serious collapse of society could be, but humans are remarkably resilient, so life would certainly go on. One thing is certain, though: in the aftermath of a widespread disaster or the collapse of civil society as we know it, you’ll want to have useful skills and items that you can barter or trade with. In this article, I’d like to discuss some of the most useful items you can stockpile now, as well as skills you can develop that will serve you well should you ever need them.
First, let’s start with 5 indispensable skills that you could develop, any one of which will guarantee that your skills will be in high demand in a post-SHTF scenario of just about any scale.
  1. First aid and basic emergency medical care; think knowing how to stabilize a broken limb pending proper care, how to reduce or stop traumatic bleeding, how and when to apply sutures to a wound, etc. If you’re really inclined, you could go all the way and become a medic, a practicing nurse, or a doctor or surgeon. In general, medical training and knowhow are always in demand after a disaster or major catastrophe. There are never enough doctors or medics when you need them, so by developing some of those skills now, you can ensure that you’ll have skills that are in high-demand if you ever have need of them.
  2. Mechanical knowledge; knowing how things work, how they are taken apart, and how to put them back together or repair them with whatever you have on hand, is never more useful than after TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It). Study up on how to repair generators, farm equipment, even cars (they’ll be around for a while, even in the case of most super horrid events). Even being able to fix and repair clocks could serve to be a useful skill, get creative.
  3. Gunsmithing, repair and ammunition loading; take a moment to think about how many gunsmiths you know. Did you come back with a long list of names?Now think about the number of people you know who own guns and various other firearms, and think about how many firearms are going to be in use in a post-SHTF situation. While you don’t necessarily need to turn full arms-dealer, being able to repair various guns and maybe reload some ammunition would be useful skills to have indeed.
  4. Weaving, tailoring, sewing and mending; while these skills are on the more homely side of things, don’t let that fool you. Clothing wears out over time, especially when worn for hard labor, and everyone appreciates a good pair of socks. Holes will need patched, socks will need darned, and eventually new clothing will need to be made.
  5. Butchering animals; this might take a little while to show its merit, but if you’ve got the guts and knowhow to slaughter and butcher a variety of animals for consumption, demand for your skills will gradually return and rise as society starts to regulate again. Even during the hardest of times, if you can find work as a butcher it is usually sufficient to allow you to keep food on the table, as you can at least trade your skills as a butcher for a suitable share of the meat, if nothing else.
In addition to those 5 suggestions of useful skills you might choose to acquire, there are also many items that can be stockpiled with relative ease for use in trade and barter.
  1. Cigarettes, cigars, loose tobacco; supplies may be limited or altogether unavailable after whatever catastrophe has occurred, so tobacco products would become even morevaluable than they already are. Tobacco doesn’t keep forever, but properly stored loose tobacco, cigarettes or cigars can last several years.
  2. Lighters, matches, and/or butane fuel; if electricity grids are down for an extended period of time, or permanently, fire will become integral to daily life. A stockpile of lighters, matches and particularly fuel for refilling lighters, can provide you with a good barter item should you need it.
  3. Alcohol; in the form of beer, wine, champagne, and various hard liquors, alcohol ranks alongside tobacco for long-term popularity and usefulness as a trade and barter item. If you’re so inclined, you could also learn to produce alcoholic beverages, but that requires both the knowhow and the supplies, and may make you the target of potentially violent criminals who compete as producers / suppliers. By contrast, a case or two of fine wine or aged whiskey can just be nice to have on hand in case you need to trade for something or wish to celebrate a very special occasion.
  4. Older (pre-1964) US silver coins; from dimes and quarters to half-dollars and silver dollars, pre-1964 US coins are comprised of 90% silver content.Because of their various sizes and weights, old US coins are perfect for barter and trade in a post-SHTF scenario or after a major, debilitating disaster.
  5. Non-GMO, organic or heirloom vegetable seeds;after things settle down following a disaster or serious collapse of civilization, farming will be a top priority for anyone who wants to survive. Having heirloom variety, non-GMO seeds is another way to ensure that you have something valuable to trade and barter with if you ever need it.
  6. Sugar, salt, pepper, and other spices; many spices are quite affordable these days, but spices, sugar, even salt were much scarcer commodities traditionally.Stocking up on these kitchen staples now can provide you with desirable commodities for trade or barter, as well as for use in your own cooking and meals.
  7. Spare tools and basic hardware; think along the lines of hammers, saws, wrenches, nails, screws and other basic odds and ends. Even a few pairs of decent work gloves could prove to be a useful barter item, but nails, hammers and other basic tools will definitely be in high demand post-SHTF.