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Guest Post: It is what it is, until it isn’t

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This post originally appeared over at ModernSurvivalOnline.com. It can be seen HERE in its original format.

 

by Junebug Actual

A concern I have about the preparedness efforts of others is that there may be a disconnect between expectations and probable actuality in a grid down situation.  Conversations with many others leads me to believe there is a fairly common misconception that TEOTWAWKI will be sort of like camping, admittedly for a long time, without lights and cars.  I’d like to discuss my perspective on what I believe we’ll face, why that is, what it will mean if the worst actually materializes, and what can be done now to mitigate the effects. 

 

After a true TEOTWAWKI event transpires, the remaining populations of Western countries will rapidly find themselves operating in an environment, at best, very like that of the earliest American pioneers – but without all the comforts of that historical period.  My suspicion, at worst, is that it will be a lot closer to the Dark Ages – but with guns and ammo for a while.  Folks will have to truly fight to get what they need, and to keep what they have from others that need scarce resources. 

 

Why it will go dark so fast can be broken down thusly.  Imagine our entire nation perched upon a three legged stool.  The seat of this stool is our economy, which is the driving force for every aspect of our daily lives, from what we eat and drink, to our politics, our education, and our jobs.  Everything is driven by our economy.  Holding up this stool are three legs representing oil, electricity, and skilled workers.  Oil, and the refined products we obtain from it, is essential to every aspect of modern life.  Nothing in our society or economy can function without oil at some point in its operational life span, be it manufacturing, distribution, or application.  The same can be said of electricity, and skilled workers.  These three legs are mutually supportive of each other.  This means that without both of the other two, one will fail.  Break or remove any one of the legs from the stool and both of the others will effectively … disappear.  In a TEOTWAWKI event, all three legs will be gone completely outside of small localized pockets or prepared individuals and groups. 

 

Briefly, oil is required to make electricity and to feed the workers that deliver and process and distribute the oil that is used to generate and distribute the electricity that is used to feed the workers that build and maintain the equipment that keeps the cycle going, etc., etc., ad nauseum.  If something happens to prevent the workforce from going to work, constantly, production will decline and eventually fail.  Suppose a pandemic kills or sickens a critical percentage of the very few thousand technical workers throughout the oil refining industry.  Regardless of how the pandemic affects the rest of the population directly, the impact on the economy will be sudden, extreme, and negative. 

 

Without sufficient skilled workers to refine oil into fuel and other products, the system immediately begins to fail.  Without sufficient skilled workers to produce electricity to power the critical devices we all rely on in modern society, the system immediately begins to fail.  Without sufficient skilled workers to maintain the essential elements of the entire house of cards, the system immediately begins to fail.  If major breakdown of critical infrastructure related to either production or distribution of either oil or electricity happens, the entire system immediately begins to fail.  Once that point is reached, everything associated with the entire economy and our social structure will collapse shortly thereafter, probably less than two weeks is my best assessment. 

 

Because the food supply for the vast majority of the country is absolutely and completely reliant on steady and unbroken access to fuel and electricity, the critical loss of these will mean zero food moving into cities, towns, and even villages.  This is not the America of my grandparents’ or even parents’ time.  Earlier in our history, most of our population either worked on or worked near farms.  A substantial percentage of our people had friends or relatives who lived in rural areas upon whom they could rely to provide shelter from economic storms in desperate times.  Family farms or ranches were common and unremarkable, and supplied the food to local communities.  Now, most of our food is provided by large corporate farms through a supply chain that is tightly managed across the globe utilizing aircraft, ships, trains, trucks, computers, storage facilities, canneries, etc.  All of which require fuel, electricity, and skilled workers. 

 

Because our economy, and therefore our ability to eat food and drink water, is dependent now on the never ending supply of fuel, electricity, and skilled workers, a full disruption of any of these will have ripple effects that will take the entire system down.  When the ball finally drops, however it happens, our economic system with all its disparate but interdependent parts will crater.  Food will not be delivered to stores, water will not be pumped to homes, fuel will not be available for vehicles, garbage and sewage will not be moved and treated, homes will not be cooled or heated, hospitals will close, and medicines will disappear.  Anything and everything that our society relies on for everyday survival, I mean live or die type stuff, will stop.  Dead. 

 

Consider the millions of people living in our large, medium, and smaller cities.  What will they eat after a week or so after the immediately available supplies are gone, and the area governments’ quick response disaster supplies are consumed?  Many, many millions of people will starve within a fairly brief window.  Their corpses will lie untended and unburied, and the corruption of their decay will result in an explosion of diseases, insects, and wildlife.   A few million others will survive, some will thrive. 

 

There will be warlords and tribalism, with swaths of land that cannot be accessed without conflict.  There will be starvation and disease, susceptibility to ecological and geological effects on crops and other food supplies.  Really dry times will results in lost crops from drought and a decrease in readily available game.  Heavy storms will result in floods and massive damage to broad regions.  Crops will be devastated by diseases and insects.  Dams will fail, washing entire areas clean of life.  People will become less open, more wary of strangers, and the focus will be primarily on obtaining food and water.  

 

The developed world’s economic system itself is unsustainable due to its total reliance on failure points that have high exposure to a broad variety of probable events.  In other words, my assessment is that eventual total system failure is certain.  The type of society that comes out of the other end will be determined by the level of readiness and preparedness by people of foresight, faith, honor, and courage.  It is incumbent on us to seek out like minded people, to connect with them and work together to develop means to mutually support and assist each other in becoming more prepared.  

 

Prepare for the most terrible circumstances you can imagine.  It will most likely be worse than you thought, but your prudence now will reap great benefits then.  Focus your purchases, after food supplies, weapons, ammunition, and shelter on the types of tools and resources found useful in the 19thcentury.  Instructional books from that era will be better than from today that includes tools and techniques that will be useless in a grid-down scenario.  As possible, we should develop associations among each other that will foster the development of comparatively self-sufficient micro-communities, with shared values and ideals.  These micro-communities of a few families and friends each should pool resources for large or expensive high value items, while still ensuring adequacy in their individual supplies.  These small groups should find relatively isolated locations with a steady supply of water, ponds for fishing, year-round strong flow river for microhydroelectric generation if possible, arable land for growing food, nearby timber for cooking, heating, and construction, and as far away from major metropolitan centers and their interconnecting highways as is reasonably possible. 

 

As long as we maintain our faith, our hope, our courage, making prudent decisions now and facing whatever might come as small, yet strong, communities of honorable people, we will be in a position to bring light into whatever darkness the folly of others has brought forth.  The pain of loss must be balanced with the joy of rebirth, recognizing that this dim time will be the twilight before night falls for most, or the dawn before a new day begins for others.  We choose now whether we will giggle and gossip while in line for the guillotine, ignoring the rumble of approaching wagons and the rasp of the rising blade, or risk the scorn and laughter of those pitiable beings as we turn away from the fool’s path and place our shoulders to the stone of our duty to shield and protect our families and those entrusted to our care. 

 

Modern Body Armor Effectiveness Is Important When Protecting Your Family

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When the power goes out in a community for an extended period of time, there are many people who find themselves feeling very vulnerable. Without power, the lights will not work, most security systems only work for a short period of time, and there are numerous breaking and enterings that occur because of the lack of power. This can create a very scary situation for a family that is not properly prepared for such an event.

Preparing your family doesn’t have to be overly difficult. Having modern body armor for everyone to wear can help to give you and your family peace of mind. There are many people who wonder about the modern body armor effectiveness, but over the years, much advancement has been made to ensure that the armor is as safe as it can possibly be.

In order for a vest to be as effective as possible, you first need to be sure that you choose a vest that fits each person properly. Vests are not one size fits all. Depending upon the person that you are planning to have worn the vest, you may need one that is made for a man or one that is made for a woman. A vest that is made for a female is made differently than the vest that is made for a male because the vest needs to sit differently to provide maximum protection. If a woman wears a vest that is intended to be worn by a male, there is a chance that it will not be as effective as a female vest would be.

Next, you need to be sure to take the time to choose the plates that will go into each vest. There are many families that choose Kevlar panels because they are affordable and lightweight. They provide protection from most firearms that someone would use during a home invasion. The Kevlar panels need to be maintained properly to ensure that there are as effective as they can possibly be. Someone needs to keep them out of direct sunlight and ensure that they do not get wet, if at all possible. This will help to ensure that they stay as strong as possible. If money is of no worry to you, you may want to opt for the polyethylene plates that are now on the market. These plates are even more lightweight than the Kevlar panels and even more protective. They cost a bit more, but are worth the protection, if they are able to save a loved one’s life.

Once you have chosen the plates that you plan to use in the vests and have ensured that the vest fit well, you may want to consider putting steel plates in the side pockets of the vests. If an intruder breaks in with a knife, the steel plates will protect your stomach from being stabbed with the knife and give you a better chance of being able to protect your family. Most vests have pockets that are large enough to fit thick pieces of steel. 

Author: Anthony McGrath, SafeGuardClothing.com

 

7 SURVIVAL TOOLS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT

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7 SURVIVAL TOOLS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT

by Mason

Out in the wilderness, your wits aren’t enough to keep you alive.  Nature can be harsh and unforgiving- that’s why you need everything from rope to solar fire starter survival tools if you’re going to make it back in one piece.  Here’s a few other tools that will help you along the way.

 

#7 THE INFAMOUS DUCT TAPE

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Duct tape has a million practical uses- several of them involving outdoor survival.  Just as an example, you can fix a tear in your tent, fix your sleeping bag, a busted water bottle, tears in your clothing, and even repair a broken fishing pole.  You can even use it as a band aid for cuts, in a medical emergency.

#6 ROPE

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Likewise with rope, it’s a tool that has several different uses, most of which apply to wilderness survival.  With a rope, you can tie down a tent, tie down objects, use it to pull heavy objects, get up and down the side of a cliff, or even make a ladder.

 

#5 KNIFE

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A knife is perhaps one of the most important and vital tools you can have at your disposal, if you find yourself stuck in the wilderness.  A knife can be used as a digging tool, a weapon, in hunting, a hammer, a stake, and it can also be used to help construct shelter on the fly.

 

#4 COMPASS AND MAP

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When you’re dealing with outdoor environments that can be unfamiliar, you’re going to need a reliable compass and map (along with the knowledge of how to use them) if you plan on surviving.  Using a map and compass is an essential skill if you have a pre-designed course, that you want to take in the wilderness.  Lost proofing is more about awareness of your surroundings, but when you have certain places you want to go and things you want to see then knowing how to use a map can be really important.

 

#3 SOLAR FIRE STARTER

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If you’re going to be outside for longer than a single night, you’re going to need a proper tool that will allow you to quickly and easily get a fire started.  Solar fire starter survival tools are extremely helpful for when you’re either in an area where kindling isn’t readily available, or if you find yourself in a damp area where branches and other sources of wood can’t easily catch fire through friction.

 

#2 HEAD LAMP

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Has navigating at night ever been a hassle?  What about reading a map in the dark?  You’ve got your flashlight in one hand and you’re trying to do everything else with the other hand.  Or you’ve had to enlist a friend to hold your light, while you do the work and that light is never quite pointed where you want it.  Well, there’s a solution for that problem.  It’s a headlamp.  Don’t go out in the wilderness without one!

 

#1 PORTABLE WATER FILTER

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The portable survival water purifier helps campers or backpackers use whatever water source they can find and turn it into drinkable water.  To have a trusted water source, you must carry the water with you or have a portable water purifier, which cleans any water, include sea and stagnant water, in just a few minutes.  This way a person does not need to carry heavy water bottles, especially when they are in the wilderness for several days.

 

Preppers Paradise: Basics To Build A Backyard Bunker

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Peter Larson, a Utah survivalist with a home and family, gave CNN a tour of his elaborate $65,000 bunker he built in the mountains in preparation for what he called “the last days.” There are even developers building luxury underground condos inside abandoned missile silos that stretch 175 feet underground, and cost upwards of $2 million per unit.

But you don’t have to break the bank to build an underground shelter that will keep you and the family safe in the event of nuclear holocaust, extinction-level meteorite impact and/or full-fledged police state oppression. All you need is a decent-sized backyard and the will to survive.

The Dig

You want your bunker to be a total secret, or known to exist by as few people as possible. When it hits the fan, and desperate neighbors are trying to escape nuclear radiation or government tyranny, the first place they will come knocking is your bunker. That said, try and be as discreet as possible when digging the hole. You can do it the old-fashioned way by hiring workers to dig with shovels, or have dig parties with friends who are guaranteed a spot in the bunker when it becomes necessary. A small excavator can be rented for as little as $50 per hour. The bunker should be 10 feet deep minimum, but for maximum protection from just about anything, go to at least 20 feet.

The Walls

Nukemap is an app that can simulate what would happen if a 100 megaton nuclear bomb was detonated in a given area. For instance, if one were dropped in New York City, nearly 8 million people would be instantly incinerated, while 4 million more would suffer serious injuries. The residual radiation from the bomb would linger anywhere from a few minutes to several years, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Radiation Emergency Medical Management. The King County, Wash., Health Department recommends a concrete shield to protect yourself from gamma rays.

Get quotes from several concrete contractors who will also reinforce the walls with steel. The American Concrete Institute says that steel-reinforced concrete walls have 20 times the compressive strength (weight capacity) of normal concrete. This will not only come in handy if an initial nuclear blast is within a few miles of your bunker, but will serve as a near-impenetrable radiation shield. Make sure to leave small openings for an air filtration system, sewage elimination and even a spout to capture rain water for drinking.

Stockpiling

The last major expense will be for supplies. Batteries, food and water are the items you will want the most. Remember you may not be able to leave the shelter for a year in the event of nuclear holocaust. The bare minimum amount of water humans need to survive is about 68 ounces (two liters) per day, according to Human Rights Watch. This means each person needs about 180 gallons of water to survive for a year. Contrarily, humans can survive for weeks without food. Dried (i.e. jerky) and canned foods are best, as they can be stored at room temperature and will stay edible for years. Firearms, ammunition, flashlights, matches, hygiene and first-aid supplies are the other essentials.

All the aforementioned can be done for less than $10,000, if you exercise due diligence.

 

Stephanie Hutchings

Steph is a warehouse manager by day who enjoys hunting and camping with her family.

What Preppers Need to Know About Small Game Hunting

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To survive in the wild when SHTF, you have to learn to hunt the most abundant forms of game. This includes rabbits, squirrels, quail, turtle and even the occasional chipmunk, if pickings are slim. One thing is certain: When things start to get ugly, you will need to be able to take whatever game you can, if you expect to be well-fed.

To maximize the benefits of the hunt, here are few things to keep in mind.

Small Game vs. Large Game

Stalking is one of the most effective ways to get squirrel and other small game. Normally, the best time to hunt both is in the early morning, although late evening is good too. Unlike big deer, who will bolt at the slightest noise, small game will hang around a second or two longer. Be ready, though, because they are much faster at the getaway once they decide to take off.

The Best Kill Shot

Unless you want to use the brains for food, the best kill shot for a small animal is a headshot. There are a few good reasons for this: A head shot is a direct kill and won’t damage the hide. Squirrel and rabbit hides can be tanned extremely soft, and they are excellent for boot liners and children’s clothing. The second reason: It maximizes the amount of usable meat you can harvest from the animal. This also keeps a majority of the long bones in tact. If preserved correctly, the long bones can be used for sewing needles and awls, fish hooks and a variety of other tools preppers need living in the wilderness.

Know What to Keep and What to Discard

Small animals are more susceptible to rabies and other forms of parasites. When you gut the animal, be on the lookout for any indication of illness or disease. If you see anything that looks suspicious, don’t keep the meat. Bury it with the rest of the entrails and make sure it won’t be able to be dug up by another animal looking for food. If the hide and bones are in good shape, clean them exceptionally well before using them or preserving them.

Do Not Over Harvest

Limit the number of animals you take from one area. One of the best ways to do that is by trapping. Not only does trapping allow you to conserve your ammunition, it also makes sure you take animals from different areas at different times. Set your traps and go about your business. After a few hours, make your rounds and harvest your rewards. A properly set and bated trap will net animals on a regular basis, if you continue to move and cover them frequently.

Common Sense Rules

No matter where you are or where you hunt, always be aware of your surroundings. Now is the time to take a hunters safety course online so you have a good, working understanding of what is expected of you while you are out in the woods. A smart hunter knows where to find his prey, but he also knows where his competition is. Make sure you have the advantage by keeping your weapons and traps at the ready.

……..by Allan Humboldt

Allan is a grad student majoring in microeconomics. He is a fan of the outdoors and hopes to one day merge his passions.

Learning to Create a Sundial May Save Your Life

Learning to Create a Sundial May Save Your Life

Learning how to create a sundial can be the difference between life and death in a survival situation. Sundials have been a method of telling time for thousands of years. Not only are sundials accurate in determining direction but they are also very simple to create. I am going to show you the most primitive method of creating a sun dial since wilderness survival situations generally provide little resources. Keep in mind that sundials tell us the direction of “true north”, which is the direction of the North Star. True north doesn’t point to North Pole like a magnetized compass.

Items that you will need include two straight sticks (one approximately 3 feet in length, the second approximately 3.5 feet in length) and several 5 inch twigs.

First Step: Clear the area
It is vital that the location you choose to create your sun compass is completely flat and clear of any objects that will prevent the sun from hitting the dial as well as cast shadows over the dial. Making sure the ground is flat is important to the accuracy of the dial since ripples in the floor will distort or obscure the way the stick shadow is depicted.

Second Step: Insert the 3 foot stick
When installing the 3 foot stick in the dirt, make sure that the end of the stick is sharpened to a point so that it will enter the dirt more easily. If the stick doesn’t push in the ground smoothly, use a small rock or some other heavy object to hammer the stick in to the ground. Check to make sure that the stick is inserted at a 90 degree angle to the floor, approximately 6 inches deep in the ground.

Third Step: Use a twig to mark the tip of the stick’s shadow
Once the 3 foot stick is properly installed, trace the shadow to its tip and insert a 5 inch twig at its point. The twigs shadow should be flush with the 3 foot stick’s shadow. After the twig is installed, wait approximately 20 to 30 minutes and mark the 3 foot sticks shadow again. Repeat this process until you have marked 5 or 6 different points.

Step 4: Lay the 3.5 foot stick along the marked points
Use the 3.5 foot stick to lay alongside the marked twig points. This will give you an even better display of the east and west directions. Keep in mind that since the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the first marking will point west and the last marking will point east.

About the Author

Tyler Tebbs loves the outdoors. Some of his favorite past times include fly fishing on the river and hiking the mountainside. Tyler is also the founder of Excursion Outfitters, a company that provides quality and lightweight hiking and camping gear from premium brands such as Julbo Sunglasses or Klymit.

Website: www.excursionoutfitters.com

 

How to Choose the Best Body Armor for Personal Protection?

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How to Choose the Best Body Armor for Personal Protection?

by Anthony

 

When you are looking for body armor that would protect you from either ballistic or stab/spike attacks, there are a few things you should consider, before finally making your mind.

Overt or Covert Armor?

You have to decide whether you want your body armor to go over your clothes (overt body armor) or to be worn under them (covert body armor), both styles can be seen at www.safeguardarmor.com and are purchased based on requirement. Do you have any special demands for your armor? For example, do you want to use SAPI plate or maybe you want your vest to have a front zipper? These are the questions you must answer before choosing a type of body armor you need.

Consider the Threats

Make sure you appraise your situation. Are the threats you will be facing going to be just ballistic or are they going to involve edged weapons too? Do you know the maximum caliber you are going to encounter? After considering this, make sure to refer to the NIJ ballistic protection ratings or the HOSDB stab/spike protection ratings.

As significant as it is to have proper protection, it’s also essential to not overestimate the protection levels you require, specifically if you must wear the armor for prolonged time frames. Body armor with higher protection levels will be a bit heavier, than armors of lower levels, and will frequently stiffen your mobility. Whatever it is, most contemporary body armor gear is flexible and lightweight.

Make Certain about the Size

There are 3 (4 for women) essential measurements that a consumer should refer to in order to increase the chances of body armor fitting them well.

First of all, it’s the overall standing height. This will help you make certain that the armor is not too long, but is long just enough.

Secondly, estimate your chest size. You must as well match this to a reliable chest size chart and guide.

Thirdly, measure the length of your breastbone – the distance between the belly button and the top of your chest bone. This particular measure is the most significant in ensuring the length of the vest is appropriate.

Fourthly, and lastly, female wearers should measure their cup size.

Make sure that you collect all this data before you choose body armor for personal protection.

Factual Fitting of Body Armor

A lot of people think that a body armor vest has to reach all the way down to the waist. But, this is not how it is in reality. The vest has to extend just to the navel area – the belly button. If a vest passes the navel, it becomes too heavy, while protecting non-vital inner organs. A too long vest will as well impede with the mobility of the wearer. It will also not feel comfortable and won’t even allow the person to bend down, if needed.

Even though taking care of all these things may take some time in the beginning, it is still better to do it before buying body armor. These factors and measurements will help you make certain that you buy the perfect body armor for you and your particular needs.

 

Guest Post: Always Think About Layers

Always Think About Layers

by Jason

It is no secret that wearing layers of clothing is a very sensible idea, especially if you are going to be exposed to the elements. It can also be a great benefit if you are going to be going from warm to cold and all points in between in a short space of time because it provides you with the flexibility to be comfortable by adding or removing clothing. There is no getting away from the fact that layers of clothing are crucial for anyone who will be out in the wild for a bit of time but the most important layer of clothing is likely to be the one next to the skin.

This is referred to as a base layer and you will likely have come across these items of clothing. Base Layers – click here for more information and to see what benefits they can have for you if you are out in the open or even working out. Some people may take one look at these items and think that they are not the style for them but the look isn’t the most important matter, after all, this layer is meant to be worn under other layers. The real benefits of base layers and why people who take exercise seriously should be considering is of the benefits they bring.

Find the body temperature that is right for you

It has already been discussed how layers can help people to obtain the right body temperature for wherever they are. However if the layer next to the skin has a special focus on retaining heat or removing sweat from the body, it is possible to make a marked improvement over how a person feels. Whether you are running, working out or just looking to enjoy a casual day out in the wild, this sort of clothing item can make a big difference to your enjoyment levels.

Another major benefit that comes to people from wearing this style of clothing comes with the fact that certain muscles and muscle groups will be compressed. This can help to improve the flow of blood around the body and it can help to prevent the build-up of lactic acid. This may be a small thing but if it helps people to get more from their exercise session, it can help in the long run to provide better results and help people to get fitter. As the saying goes “every little helps” and anything which helps to boost someone who is working out to work out for longer or harder has to be a good thing. It is not as if wearing this style of clothing is going to magically transform someone into a super-fit athlete but it can definitely have a positive impact on how a person performs.

If nothing else, this style of clothing can help to reduce the problems of chaffing, which can blight anyone that works out seriously or enjoys long walks. If you want to give yourself the best chance of being fit and enjoying your training sessions, make sure you have the right equipment.

 

Can War Games Help us to Prepare for TEOTWAWKI?

Can War Games Help us to Prepare for TEOTWAWKI?

by JM

 

A lot of us, when we talk about war games, think about a bunch of guys sneaking around the forest at night firing blank bullets at each other. But whilst this is slightly true, it doesn’t give an accurate representation of how serious war games actually are.

A war game is any type of military-esque exercise which is carried out to improve strategic or tactical expertise. Some of them take the form of highly specialised manoeuvres, whilst other seek to replicate potential real life situations, such as domestic insurrection. They’re great training for military personnel who are to be deployed into hostile situations, in which they might feasibly have to remain undetected and secure, whilst surviving any way they can, for long periods of time.

How Useful Are War Games?

So now we know how war games are used by the military. But can they be adapted to suit the purposes of the modern day prepper?

We can start by examining the way in which war games are designed. They mimic potential real life situations as far as is possible, in order to give the participants the training and experience they need to survive should such a situation occur. In some cases, this might mean going to sea on an aircraft carrier, or carrying out manoeuvres in tanks in the desert. However, many war game situations require participants to survive on the land for months at a time, having no contact with the outside world, and needing to plan and implement strategies for achieving objective goals. It is these elements which can be easily adapted to suit a prepper’s needs.

Designing Your Own War Game

The type of situation in which a prepper may find themselves after TSHTF may not necessarily be ‘war like’. But it’s still true that in many of the potential SHTF situations we can imagine, skills such as living off the land or moving stealthily will become very important. So, in this respect, using war games as a template for designing our own survival training situations is a great idea. And all we need to set up our own war game training exercise is a terrain map, goal objective (such as surviving for a certain period of time, or reaching a specific location) and whatever military gear at nightgear.co.uk we can find which might prove useful – such as sturdy boots, sharp knives or military-grade camping equipment.

 

Guest Post: Avoid The Gym By Heading Out Into The Wild

Avoid The Gym By Heading Out Into The Wild

by English Jane

Being fit and active is important in the current climate but not everyone is as keen as working out in the gym as some people. While the thought of going to the gym is important for many people, there are other people who find the idea of wearing clingy lycra and staring at the walls while running on the same spot totally unappealing. It is important to know that there are plenty of other ways to get regular exercise in your life and going on walks, hikes and adventure breaks may be exactly what you are looking for.

There are plenty of benefits to getting your exercise in this manner compared to what a gym has to offer. For one, you can take all of the family, including your dogs if you so desire. All you need is a tent and there is nothing stopping you from taking all of your family away with you to benefit in the fresh air and healthy lifestyle that comes when you get out in the wild. For those people that find the gym to be a little bit too dull, this is definitely the best type of way to get fit.

You may not be too keen on the traditional gym clothing that is worn by many people but you can make your hiking or trekking adventures more enjoyable by picking up proper equipment. There is no need to spend a lot of money and many of your current items of clothing will be just be fine but it is possible to enhance the adventure experience with one or two items of clothing.

Layers are the suitable clothing solution

It is recommended to wear layers as opposed to overly heavy or warm items of clothing. As the day progresses or as your body temperature rises and falls, you are likely to experience a range of different temperatures. Wearing layers will provide you with the perfect opportunity to take off or add clothing as the conditions change. Being flexible is important when you are out in the open. Anyone looking for a great range of layers and specialist clothing options should consider Warwickshire Clothing – Outdoor Clothing Shops to ensure that they have everything they could need or want to make the most of being out in the wild.

One area where it is important to focus on is with footwear. There are a number of things that hikers, walkers and adventurers need from their choice of footwear. Strength and stability is an obvious choice. The underfoot conditions are not always reliable and it can be easy to roll over your ankle or stumble and trip. Having reliable shoes will provide the platform for an enjoyable day out while minimising the risk of suffering injuries.

It is also important to look out for footwear that are watertight. If your feet get wet, you may be uncomfortable and this can greatly reduce the level of enjoyment and pleasure you take from your adventure. Reliable footwear is definitely a major factor of having fun while out in the wild.

Guest Post: Proper Rest Is Crucial To Make The Most Of A Trip

Hikers climb up the ridgeCredit: Janell Kaufman

Proper Rest Is Crucial To Make The Most Of A Trip

by English Jane

 

Anyone that is looking to go off on a big adventure or who is looking to enjoy a survival session in the wilderness will no doubt be focused on the physical exertions that await them. This is only natural and taking on nature and the wild in a head to head battle will cause many people to wonder if they are fit enough. It is important to build up to a certain level of fitness for this style of event but there are also other things to think about too.

It is only natural that people will look to create route maps and proposed timings for their trip but it is important to factor in rest stops. The human body is not equipped to always be on the go and there needs to be consideration for this. If your trip is for a single day, make sure that there are times when you can rest up or have some comfort to enjoy food and drink. Many people will eat and drink water while on the move but it is important to be able to have some time set aside for a proper rest and recovery period.

Sleep is important to have!

If the trip is going to be for a couple of days or even longer, there is a need to ensure that proper rest breaks are accounted for. It is also important to ensure that there is time to get proper sleep. The human body needs to recharge itself and having a proper sleep is crucial when you are putting it through hard work by walking for a considerable distance every day. It can sometimes be difficult to find a comfortable place to sleep but choosing from the range of camping hammocks & tarps can help people to find a better solution to the issue of sleep.

It needs to be remembered that rest and recovery periods are an integral part of workout routines for bodybuilders. If even the most focused and serious people on the planet are serious about giving their body down time to recover and to prepare itself for another session, it is essential that people looking to trek or hike out in the wild too. Whether the hammock is used for a proper night’s sleep or just to provide an area to relax off of the ground doesn’t matter, it is just important to focus on being able to get some time to properly relax.

The main part of any adventure or trek involves continually moving on and pushing yourself to a higher level. This is why this is what so many people focus on but it can’t be the only focus. Looking at the bigger picture and making sure that the rest and recovery periods are catered for will go a long way to helping you achieve your goals and ambitions. Life can’t always be about making progress and moving on, sometimes it has to be about taking stop and preparing to push on.

 

Preparations for Disasters that Strike Close to Home

Preparations for Disasters that Strike Close to Home

by LB

Disasters happen every moment of every day all over the globe. Whether it’s the wrath of Mother Nature or some crazed lunatics looking to terrorize and kill, today we live in a world where destruction can happen in the blink of an eye. We can never be too careful, or too prepared. Situations arise all the time that require immediate action. Our fate is in our hands in the face of catastrophe.

Many people fail to recognize the importance of emergency preparedness. The theory “it won’t happen to me” is a popular misconception. The likelihood something awful will happen increases with heightened tensions abroad, natural earth transitions, or as we experienced recently in Boston – young men with extremist agendas.

Stocking our homes with necessities for the unexpected provides us with peace of mind. It’s essential to our livelihood if we should ever need to fend for our lives on our home turf. Compiling a disaster-preparedness kit will aid you in surviving whatever lies ahead.

Food

Stock your kit (and your pantry) with plenty of non-perishable dry foods that are ready to eat in case of a massive power outage. Packaged oatmeal, granola bars, cereals, and the like are fortified with nutrients and require no prepping. Other food items that are commonly overlooked are plants. Regular indoor household plants can be a great source for nutrients when reaching the nearest store is not in the foreseeable future.

Everyone knows tomatoes, herbs, lettuce, and peppers are edible plants. They can also be grown inside your home. Sure, you may prefer to see them in your home garden, but in the event of an emergency where you’re trapped in your home, you’ll want to make sure you have plants like these indoors. In addition to the plants you’d typically find outside, a number of flowering plants like pansies and violets are not only pretty, but they are edible as well. In fact, there’s a large variety of blossoming plants that are perfectly safe to consume.

Water

Essential for the life of all living things, water is a necessity no one or thing can live without. A ruptured water supply line causes devastation. Stock your home with gallon jugs of drinking water. There are also a few battery-operated water purifiers on the market. These devices will take in polluted water (or urine) and remove the impurities, making it perfectly safe to drink.

Energy Sources

Flashlights and candles are an inexpensive must-have when the lights go dark, but they cannot be sustainable for the long haul. Having an alternate energy supply is essential to maintain your household as best you can when the power suddenly goes off.

Many homes in regions where natural disasters occur with regular frequency are equipped with power generators. These can be charged with electricity and start up after a break in the power supply. Others are driven by propane gas. If there’s a disruption to the electrical grid, these machines ensure some sort of normalcy when things go wrong.

If a generator seems like a luxury you cannot afford, stock plenty of batteries for flashlights and consider buying a small collapsible charcoal grill. It can act as a heat source for body warmth and you can use it to make food.

Communication

Radios are the most effective method of communication. Every area has a broadcast station that only airs content of forecast conditions, weather warnings, and disaster information. But radios provide these services when they have a proper power supply. The use of battery-operated or crank radios will ensure you’ll have contact with the outside world even when electricity is not an option.

Although our hope is to never resort to the resources listed above, today’s changing times forces us to be at the ready. With proper preparedness and careful planning, we can ensure our survival in the face of disaster.

 

Guest Post: Conservation and Sustainability at the Individual Level

Conservation and Sustainability at the Individual Level

by LB

 

A lot is being done at the local, state and federal level to conserve the planet’s resources and to help lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Thankfully, many utility companies has started to implement renewable and alternative energy into the power that it sends to houses and businesses. Cities have started composting programs, have (controversially) banned plastic bags, and implemented “pay as you throw” trash programs.

With so much being done at higher levels to increase conservation and sustainability, it’s understandable that people have started to slack off at the personal level. If this sounds familiar, here are some things that you can do to get back on track. Each of these is a simple, reasonable change you can make in your daily life.

Shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deals on your utilities. If you live in a state like Connecticut, Ohio or Texas, where the energy industry has been deregulated you’ve got more wiggle room here. Spend some time researching different Texas electric companies (or Ohio or Connecticut, or wherever you live). Look for programs with sustainable or renewable power sources that you can opt into. Consider switching to natural gas, which is better for the environment and your pocketbook all at the same time.

Make some eco-friendly changes to your house. Tankless water heaters will give you permanent hot water, less water use and a tax credit. Solar panel installation can also save you money on your taxes while helping you reduce your electric bill and energy usage all at the same time. Energy efficient appliances save money and use less power as well. You get the idea.

Set up a compost pile in your yard. This reduces the amount of trash that you toss into landfills (in plastic bags so it can never biodegrade). It also provides you with an eco-friendly alternative to fertilizer for your yard. If you live in an apartment or do not have a yard, set up a compost bin. Your town probably has a community composting program that will take your drop offs.

Build a rainwater collection tank if you have the space for it. Rainwater can be used for things like watering the lawn, washing the car, etc. It reduces your water consumption which, in addition to being environmentally friendly, saves you money on your water bill.

Use cloth bags at the grocery store. This is better for the environment than using plastic bags. If you live in a city with a plastic bag ban (like Portland or San Diego) it can save you from having to cart paper bags around. It might even save you money since many of the cities with the bans also charge for paper bag usage.

Use reusable coffee cups, cold beverage containers, and water bottles. These save you from having to use paper or plastic cups, which even though these are recyclable now, isn’t as good for the environment as a washable beverage container. It’s also worth noting that many coffee shops will give you a discount off of your coffee if you bring in your own cup, so that’s a money saver on top of being an environment saver.

There are lots of little but important things you can do to help save the world. How many more can you think up?

 

Guest Post: Your Fear of the Doctor Could Kill You

Your Fear of the Doctor Could Kill You

 

The older we get, the more important it is to visit the doctor for annual check-ups. During these yearly physicals, doctors not only check patients for obvious signs of ill-health, but they request various blood tests that can alert both patient and doctor to beginning stages of such diseases as diabetes, high cholesterol and even cardiovascular disease. It’s not a stretch to say that, if you are afraid of doctors, your fear may be killing you. By avoiding the doctor, you are risking not only your health but, ultimately, your life. Here are five ways to manage your fear and get through your appointment:

1.Schedule a Visit

It may help to lessen your anxiety if you can meet your doctor face-to-face with no examination required. Schedule an appointment with your doctor simply to discuss your fears and have your upcoming physical explained in detail. Most doctors will be happy to schedule this meeting if you let them know that you’re fearful or anxious. Once you get to know your doctor, he or she may seem less intimidating during your “real” appointment. You can also ask your doctor how he or she suggests that you cope with your appointment; believe it or not, you won’t be the first person that they’ve run across with a fear of doctors.

2.Relax

Take part in a relaxing activity just before your appointment. You may want to go for a massage, sit for a pedicure or even go for a walk on the beach. Different things relax different people; find what relaxes you and do it before you see the doctor. By taking part in some type of activity ahead of time, you will be less likely to spend hours worrying about your appointment, heightening your level of anxiety.

3.Take a Friend

If you’re appointment won’t be too personal, take a friend or family member along. Having someone with you for moral support can go a long way toward lessening your stress. Even if your friend isn’t permitted in the exam room with you, just having them in the waiting room can keep your mind off of your pending appointment. Be sure that you take someone along who will be supportive; avoid asking anyone who will tease you to tag along. Remember that the goal is to lessen your anxiety, not to make it worse.

4.Call Ahead

There’s nothing that will heighten your stress level like a long wait in the reception area. Feel free to call ahead and make sure that your doctor is running on time. Explain to the receptionist that you’re feeling anxious and don’t want to have to sit in the waiting room for an extended period of time. The receptionist should be happy to tell you if the doctor is running behind and can give you a better idea of when to show up for your appointment.

5.Breathe Correctly

When we get nervous, our body naturally responds by quickening our breathing pattern. Make a conscious effort to slow your breathing to a more exaggerated pace. Close your mouth and breathe in through your nose, filling your lungs deeply. Hold your breath for about three seconds and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this exercise three times and then return to normal breathing. Perform this exercise in your car, in the waiting room and then again in the exam room. This breathing pattern is naturally calming and can help relax your mind.

If your fear of the doctor is causing you to avoid medical care, you could be harming yourself more than you think. Even if you feel “fine,” avoiding the doctor completely can cause you to miss out on early diagnoses that could ultimately save your life. If you can’t get yourself over your fear, you may want to seek the help of a trained therapist or psychologist who specializes in phobias. Getting over your fear will be the first step in ensuring your health and longevity.

Kelly Rhodes writes for health sites. If you’re concerned about your health, check out more information on locations for discount blood work in Florida.

Guest Post: How to Bag Yourself an Ex-Military Bargain

How to Bag Yourself an Ex-Military Bargain

 by H.T.

 

As the credit crunch continues and further defence cuts are being made, people with an eye for a military bargain are suddenly finding that they can pick up all sorts of military hardware. In fact, if you know where to look you can pick up anything from ex army surplus wrist watches, through to a Gazelle helicopter.

 

However, you can pick up some great ex military items that are not so contentious and bag yourself a real bargain.

 

Seek out Speciality Companies 

There are a variety of speciality companies who deal solely in ex-military stock. A simple Google search will pull up many such companies and you’ll be amazed at what’s on offer. In fact you could say that the craze of ex- military items for sale has certainly been fuelled by the internet. With online auctions dedicated specifically to military goods it’s no wonder business is booming.

 

What to Buy 

This really is the million dollar question, but when it comes to ex army surplus one of the best buys has to be a vehicle. Of course I’m not talking a hulking great tank, but rather an ex-staff car or even a Land Rover. Believe it or not most of the vehicles up for tender haven’t even been anywhere near a war zone and they are serviced more regularly than most other vehicles. What’s more, they’ve probably done less miles than you think. As a result, you can pay as little as a couple of thousand for say an Ex military Seat Toledo which is only a few years old. Land Rovers tend to range from the nearly new to the nearly knackered and can fetch somewhere between £1,000 and £5,500

 

Cold Weather Gear 

This time of year as the chill sets in it’s time to pick yourself up a cold weather bargain. Items such as wind proof fleeces, lined sleeping bags and dry sacks are always very popular. Contrary to popular belief the British army gets issued some of the best kit in the world and as a result it’s made to last. So chances are even though it may be ex-army surplus, you’ll be sure that you aren’t buying complete tat. What’s more the prices you pay are very reasonable too.

 

EBay 

Finally, if all else fails, take a look on EBay. As the trend towards ex military gear is taking off, there’s a real wealth of people selling all kinds of military stock from clothing to equipment. If you’re patient enough you can bag yourself a real bargain. However as always it pays to do a little homework before you make your winning bid.

 

So there you have it. A wealth of places where given a little luck and of course the right timing you can bag yourself the bargain of the century. One of which you could be still using in many years to come.

 

Guest Post: Planning for two possibilities…….

Planning For Two Possibilities

by H.T.

 

Sometimes you get things because you need them, sometimes because you want them, and occasionally, to be honest, it is just because you like them. None of these are bad reasons at all. Many of us like to say we only get or do what we need but realistically some want and like are typically involved as well. The answer to this has always been very simple – If you like or want something, can you find a way that it has potential use if you should ever need something.  In this way you can indulge interests in some things while allowing for other purpose as well.

 

You may not need to grow your own gardens at this time but it makes sense to. It may be a very helpful ability and knowledge and save some money so is practical. It is also very practical should the need to have your own organic based food sources come up.

 

Some considerations are always- staples based on your climate of things such as corn, tomatoes, potato, general fruits, berries, and vegetables. They serve good healthy practical purpose now and in the future and are simple ways to be prepared.

 

You may want to consider a few other additions that might not come to mind right off the top of your head. Why not add some flowers, seasonings as well? You may want to consider ornamental landscape lighting.  Some reasons to consider these additions may or may not be obvious.

Purple cone flowers – cold and flu remedy

White Willow – aspirin is made from this;  for fever and pain

Marigolds – for lotions skin soothing plus teas

Aloe Vera- for treating burns

Garlic – as an antibiotic as well as seasoning

Ginger- for nausea as well as seasoning

 

Obviously a huge number of things could be included on this list that would serve both simply an indulgence in a beautiful garden, but with some small planning could be excellent preparation for an as yet unknown need.

 

Solar landscape lighting – as well as being a simple ornament, it is a rechargeable light. Less obvious on face is that if you open them up and look inside it is actually just a solar powered recharger with typically 2 AA rechargeable batteries. These batteries can be used in any device that uses AA batteries and the charger can be used to solar charge many other rechargeable batteries as well. Once again, something on first glance to be of little added value could fulfil a very important need.

 

It is difficult to apply that to every purpose for every item, but the point is to simply consider ways to use things in several manners. If a similar type item can serve multiple purposes it is far more useful. This also works in reverse – if there is something you want to make you more prepared for future eventualities then you might find it here at Nightgear. Sometimes you can take something that is meant to be prepared for disaster preparation and find an everyday use for it as well, getting dual purpose in that manner. It always pays to look for alternative uses.

 

Guest Post: Could Your Flu Shot Help Your Heart?

 

flu shot

You might have already talked to your doctor about getting a flu shot this year in an effort to combat seasonal illness. Now, this vaccine is readily available in places like health clubs, neighborhood pharmacies and community clinics, too. On a related note, the Women’s College Hospital and University of Toronto collaborated on a study, which found that influenza vaccine could reduce the risk of heart attacks, whether or not a person who received the vaccine had a prior cardiovascular risk.

During the study, researchers looked at clinical trials from the 1960s to the current time and noticed that the vaccine cut down on deaths of all types by approximately 40 percent, and that people reduced their probability of a major cardiac problem by half. Also, the study analyzed over 3,000 patients, and the pool was split almost evenly between people who had prior cardiac problems, and those who did not.

Helpful with Cardiac Implants?

There was also a study at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, which looked at the effects of the influenza vaccine on patients who had cardiac defibrillators implanted inside of them. The study was inspired when lead researchers discovered that their patients tended to have more incidents of needing assistance from their defibrillator during flu season.

The results showed that individuals with implanted defibrillators who received the flu vaccine were about three percent less likely to be reliant on their defibrillator. Researchers seemed optimistic at this evidence, and said that it could be good news for people who have already potentially compromised their lifespan.

Shots for the Needle-Phobic

If one of the reasons why you’ve been putting off your flu shot is because of the needle, there’s a new method to explore. Fluzone intradermal offers a new way to administer the flu vaccination. It uses a very short needle that’s less than 1/10 of an inch long, and only about as thick as a strand of hair. In an article on ABCNews.com, Dr William Schaffner, the chairman of preventive medicine at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine also mentioned that the vaccine might also help patients avoid the persistent deep muscle aches that are common with standard flu shots. That’s because the intradermal versions go just under the skin’s surface.

Things to Ask Your Doctor

The possibility of a flu shot reducing the risk of heart problems adds to the already established recommendations that certain groups of the population, such as young children and women who are pregnant, should receive the flu vaccination. It’s also suggested for people who have prior health problems, because when flu strikes, symptoms can be worse for these individuals. If you work in the healthcare field, it’s particularly important to get vaccinated, especially since your potential level of exposure to the flu is so much higher than that of the general population.

However, if you have an allergy to eggs, tell your doctor. Some versions of the flu vaccine include a type of egg protein. Also, speak up if you’ve had a suspected adverse reaction to the flu vaccine before. It might not have been connected to receiving the shot, but it’s good for your doctor to be informed, anyway.

Thanks to advancing technology, the flu is no longer something that you automatically have to start worrying about whenever winter approaches. Be proactive and get vaccinated today.

 

Kara Martin writes for nursing blogs that feature articles on nursing jobs and higher education including the benefits of second degree nursing programs.

Guest Post: Laughing in the Midst of the Storm

by ”Miz Peaches ‘n I”

 

  • Have you heard these comments?
  • Why are you laughing, don’t you know this is serious?
  • Talking isn’t going to help anything;  just put up and do it!
  • Get over it, stop the crying.  Don’t you know we have work to do?

All are common responses to stress. Why did the phrase “saving for a rainy day” come into play?  Everyone knows it’s going to rain sometime, so get ready for it.  It may sprinkle, thunderstorm, hail, give spring rain, or bring a rainbow.  We just don’t know.

It’s the little things and building a savings account of smiles, laughter, warm or furry hugs that we make withdrawals from when needed that can bring resilience to our lives.  What’s resilience you say?  The ability to “roll with the punches”, or to “bounce back”  when life is stressful.  It’s what brings the relief with shared laughter, tears, and when alone to “pull back” and see the “whole picture” rather than only feeling the smart of a stubbed toe.

How can we bring this into our lives intentionally?  Practice.  Not an exciting word.  Most good things require practice if you want them ready to use at a moment’s notice.  We never will know when that moment’s notice will say, “Olly Olly Out N’Free, Ready or Not, Here I Come”

Gratitude Moments:

  • getting up, going to bed, meal time, answering a phone find something to be grateful for
  • jot them on a calendar, a journal, a social networking website anywhere you can look at them later

Social Network:

  • Friends, family whether local, distance, or online
  • Don’t forget the face to face, phonecalls, and snail mail, someday they may be easier that other means.
  • Reach out, don’t only wait to be reached towards  someone may be waiting for you.
  • A pet, a furry friend counts as well. Yes, I said that!  Unless a medical reason, consider it.  Emotional support animals are allowed in public housing with a medical professionals prescription or note.

Exercise:  What you say?  Move your body to help your feelings?

  • Outside!  Sunshine 15 minutes a day without sunscreen helps, just amble and enjoy the flowers.
  • Pets enjoy the air and sunshine too.  They ask to go out, and give you a reason to get out too!
  • Even mild exercise such as walking for 10-12 minutes, start with 1-2 if necessary, can bring benefits.
  • Invite a family member or a friend if there’s someone’s company you’d enjoy.
  • If caught inside due to weather or something else.  Put on music, walk thru your place, sweep, dust, mop to the beat, or do the house maintenance guys.

In conclusion, laughing in the rain, walking out in the sun, visiting with someone whether in person, letter, email, phone, or online are paramount to our overall health.  Next, it is up to each of us to take the time and make a decision to do it.

Me?  I may lose the way occasionally, and need to re-find it.  These habits hold me in good stead and good company most days.  It’s easier to re-find a path during a dark time, than to clear it for the first time in the dark.  Practice makes not perfect, but much easier to keep bouncing back! Keeping it simple and being resilient is pleasantly summarized in one of Louie Armstrong’s hits, Bare Necessities.

 

 

Finally, how? (How Now Brow Cow?  Smiling?)  A simple plan helps.  What, where, how often, with whom are parts of a plan.  Writing it down and telling someone helps us remember to do it.  Brave enough to ask someone to remind you?

Related links:

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience.aspx

http://www.offthegridnews.com/2012/07/07/mental-health-and-mental-attitude/

A Wealth of Knowledge

Raised-Bed-Lettuce2-255x300

 

A note from Rourke: I want to give special thanks to Bev who wrote this guest post. Bev has been a frequent commenter and writer over at one of my other preparedness sitesModernSurvivalOnline.com. Bev has writen several excellent preparedness articles and also has won prizes for her endeavours.

Enjoy!!

A Wealth of Knowledge

 
By Bev
 
Ah, yes, I am beginning to feel older than dirt… The aches and pains of poor decisions I made in my youth, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and the inevitable, “I remember when…” But there is also the gratification that comes with knowledge that so many young people do not have.
 
Last year I hired a young gal to help me with the gardening. I was refurbishing some raised beds, you know, dig, turn, sift out the grass and weeds, double dig, add compost, a lot of work… I had other things I was doing, so I just told her to stop at the asparagus (she had told me that she had gardened with her mother). An hour later I came back to check on her and half the asparagus patch was gone! She didn’t even know what asparagus looked like, hmmm.
 
She continued through the summer with me, learning, asking questions, doing the heavy lifting and, did I say, learning… One day, over the raspberry bushes she just stopped, looked at me and said, “How do you know all this stuff?”
 
I said, “I’m old, and I listened to others.”
 
She comes back and visits now, and has a baby of her own. We talk, she asks questions, I give her what knowledge I have on whatever subject comes up. Last time, it was prepping. Her brother had talked to her about preparing for hard times. She had gone from a party girl to a mother in a short nine months. And now she was concerned for her baby and being sure that Samantha was okay. I drew a deep breath, where to start?
 
I stated the obvious, “Food prices will be going up. Stocking up, even just one extra on sale can a week will save you money in the long run and provide a cushion if something happens.” Our time was short. “Give me your email and I’ll send you some websites to look at.” And I did.
 
How much do we know, as “seasoned” folk, that could benefit those around us, our neighbors, and even acquaintances we meet on the Net, and each other? That piece of knowledge that we have, and take for granted, and they don’t? It may seem common sense to us, but in today’s world, what is common sense?!
 
And I enjoy sharing! Maybe it is memories of my grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ farms, maybe my experience in the garden, maybe the disasters I have been through (two house fires, two divorces, one flood, strokes, job losses, sick children, too many recessions…), and maybe it is just “good housekeeping”, which is all I consider prepping to be.
 
And I enjoy the comments! How incredible to put your memories or thoughts on a computer, email it, and when posted you get instant feedback! Other people’s ideas, thank you’s, and comments! How exciting! And I always learn something!
 
I had written an article on my First Aid Back Pack. One of the comments was a tip to put a flax seed in your eye overnight if you have gotten something in it. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night with a very irritated eye! I had gotten flax seed at the store and decided to try it. It was a little tricky getting it in, but actually quite comfortable placed in the outside corner of my eye. She had said to just sleep on it and in the morning it would fall out and the irritating item would also come out. IT DID! IT WORKED! And I am so grateful! Next time I get a sliver, I will put a piece of bacon or ham on it just like she said!
 
I shared; she shared, and we both learned something and are richer for the experience! How much better does it get than that! And these people that you have never seen, or even heard their voices, start becoming friends and people you care about, and YOU are not so alone anymore.
 
Please, share your stories and knowledge. Become part of a community that has the common bond of trying to become more self-reliant and prepared. Enjoy, comment and share, not in fear, but in the wholeness that we are all part of something so much bigger than ourselves. And each and every one of us has something valuable to share!
 

 
To read more from Bev -
 
 
 

Guest Post: Shoestring Prepping with Chronic Health Problems

hurricane, preparedness, Katrina, survival, SHTF, prepper

This post originally appeared at the survival & preparedness blog ModernSurvivalOnline.com. the original article can be seen HERE.

 - – - Rourke


 

Shoestring Prepping with Chronic Health Problems

by Robin

 

Today’s environment isn’t TEOTWAWKI, yet it may be a personal SHTF for many people. I live on an extremely limited income with chronic health problems. It is very challenging. This article was written on a old laptop rebuilt with Ubuntu when the manufacturer and Microsoft kept pointing fingers at each other. Just this fact meant knowing skills and availability of other options let me access a computer again without spending limited $$$.

 

Knowing your options, how to access them, and how to allocate resources and use them wisely is a survival skill that can be applied and honed beyond what may be called a classical survival skill. Learning the mindset and how to think is a skill. Having resources that are paper based are necessary if it takes time to access a computer or circumstances mean abandoning electronic media for a short or long term period. When faced with chronic health problems your time and energy must be budgeted as wisely as your cash flow.

 

Maximizing your living space to make life simpler now can make life as the externals worsen easier to cope with in that day. Budgeting time in fifteen minute increments to do your work as Flylady, at http://www.flylady.netteaches is a strategy.

 

Building a support system is crucial and it is for more than the sharing of preps. Looking at long term survival as opposed to short term there is much safety in connections with others of like minded people. Advantages are social, psychological, spiritual, physical, and material in nature. It will be easier to survive solo short term than long term unless you prepare yourself thoughtfully for long term solo and have the necessary aptitudes. If living in an isolated area already or for a bug out consider more than material preps and what you need as a flexible mental, spiritual, emotional mindset. The prerequisite skill sets and resources while in the personal SHTF are just as important to know and practice as when TEOTWAWKI happens.

 

Finding yourself without a income, unable to work, or dependent upon external resources knowing how to maximize what you have and having the mental strength to work what you need for current survival in your circumstances even if the world is a test. Knowing what you eat in a week, slowly build food storage system. This is useful if you have health problems and cannot get out or drive for an extended period of time. Keep track of what you eat during that period and replace it. You’ve just learned what is easiest and first chosen for food stuffs during a trial period. Replace when possible it will be there when it is needed again.

 

Determine your philosophy and post it. Keeping it in the front of your mind is important. The mental flexibility and preparation is paramount. With the proper materials and skills if you lose your ability to think clearly in the short and long term the probability of your encountering and more than surviving beyond circumstances beyond your control lessens. What brings you joy, security, perspective now and what strengthens those intangibles?

 

Learn what material preparations are prudent and you are capable of handing yourself. Get to know what type of support system you can build around yourself and what you can offer others so you are a resource not a burden. It takes time to develop a system that works for you. Consider your space, time, effort, health, resources and what you have most of and how to leverage that into obtaining or learning what you need for short and long term challenges. Whether workplace, getting home, a day, weekend, a week or longer periods of isolation your needs will change.

 

Start where you are and determine where you want to be. Life is an opportunity to learn.

Guest Post: Prepping for Older People and Those with Health Issues

Guest-Post

Originally posted at ModernSurvivalOnline - http://modernsurvivalonline.com/guest-post-prepping-for-older-people-and-those-with-health-issues/


 

Many people are beginning to wake up to the fact that things are not right or normal in our world any longer. They see the writing on the wall and know they need to make some preparations for the difficult times ahead. Older people are no exception, especially since they have the experience of a previous depression. Things are different now, they no longer live in a rural setting or have resources they previously did, and many are overwhelmed with the logistics of how to prepare at this stage in their lives. Overall, preppers tend to be young, healthy, viable and ready to take on anything. But what about prepping for those who are older, those who have health concerns and or the ones that can’t do it all themselves?

 

My son, one of our crucial defenders in our group, is a Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic and after his 6 months’ supply of insulin is gone (about all it is possible to stockpile) it is questionable what will happen. I wrote to Dr. Bones (Doom & Bloom) and he is in the same position with his son and says it doesn’t look good for those who are insulin dependent. We’re planning for barter, stocking silver to use in the black-market or an underground economy. I also have to consider my mother who is Type 2 (insulin-resistant) diabetic and not in good health in other ways.

 

I was asked by friends just the other day how to begin preparing and I suggested that they begin by making a list of everything that they use in a week and then think about what they will do when it is no longer possible to run down to the store for more. The list will contain medications, toilet paper, food, water, cooking, sanitation, hygiene and transportation – the prep list as we all know is endless! But I encouraged them to start small, which will help them eventually wrap their mind around the enormity of the situation. After making their list, I suggest they begin with purchasing and setting aside items for 72 hours, and then continue preparing for two weeks, one month, three months etc. as well as preparing a skedaddle bag to grab if they need to leave their house.

 

Along with basic necessities, safety and security will be a huge consideration for all, especially older, more vulnerable people, as there will be those wanting to take whatever they can from anyone. So I mentioned that they think of what to do when the basic services of police, fire and hospital are no longer available. I suggested that they take a gun class and a self-defense course. I also discussed getting mace along with a gun and ammunition if they are comfortable with this, learn evasion tactics, and secure their home against possible invasion. Next to consider what they will do when it is no longer safe to stay in their home.

 

Unfortunately many older people will find it difficult if not impossible to prepare alone, and I believe that working together with like-minded individuals or a family group is going to be critical to survival for older people as well as the rest of us. We would be more than willing to welcome into our group a prepared person who could help with storing up supplies and planning, who would prepare to bug out to our location and then help out once there. But instead I find myself preparing for elderly relatives who scorn my plans now and will be of little help if they are able to get to our location.

 

If you are prepping for elderly people in your group or helping an older person prepare, consider these areas:

 

Health – Stock up on critical medications and make plans for refrigeration if necessary – FRIO packs keep medications cool for 72 hours and can be reactivated using only water. Investigate lifestyle changes that can make many medications unnecessary. Learning about herbal preparations that you can grow and make yourself is a valuable craft. Learn about wound care and prevention – foot care for diabetics is critical – have the basic supplies to treat bedsores, blisters and wounds before they develop into a serious, life threatening infection. First and foremost, improving your health is the best way to prepare!

 

Sanitation – They may not be able to get to the outhouse, so a bedside commode will be necessary. Either stock up on incontinence supplies or plan to have a large supply of old sheets and towels and a way to wash and sanitize these with bleach. Clay cat litter, lime and wood ashes all help absorb waste odors.

 

Equipment – Obtain necessary equipment such as cane, walker or crutches, items handy to have around just in case. Install grab bars where needed. Obtain pans for bathing, water pitchers, plenty of plastic sheets or tarps to protect beds and the surrounding areas, a bedpan or bedside commode, etc. Many of these items can be found at thrift stores.

 

Nutrition – They may need soft foods, nutritional drinks, vitamins and possibly dietary fiber.

 

Safety – Plan and include them in the safety drills and preparation, educate them on where to go and what to do to stay out of the way during an invasion or attack. They can also reload gun clips and in some cases provide back-up fire power while sitting at a window.

 

Death – As difficult as it is to think about, there will be a huge loss of life and we have to mentally prepare for this. The chronically ill and the elderly will succumb first. The lack of basic necessities, let alone shortage of comforts, running out of medication and lack of health care, predators and severe conditions will make survival difficult for all and impossible for many.

 

When death does occur, wrap the body in a sheet and bury as soon as possible in a hole no less than 5 feet deep, high calcium hydrated lime will keep the smell down and aid decomposition, put rocks on top of the body to prevent wild animals from getting into the grave site, and fill with dirt, mounding for future settling, and disguise the area with brush and rocks.

 

There is no doubt that challenging times are ahead of us, and it is possible for an older person to prepare, but the chance of survival is much better if they can do it in a group situation. It’s also important to remember that mental preparedness is as important as physical, and your attitude is everything!

 

PrepperGal35

Guest Post: Prepper Survival 1962

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 [From Rourke:  I was honored to be mentioned in a local Florida publication - www.tropictied.com. Here is the article.]

 

By Linda Leonardy

I have been wondering lately just why I seem to have this great need to prepare. At first I could not even acknowledge to myself just what it was I felt like I needed to prepare for.

Somewhere in between the unrealistic Reality TV shows on the subject and the doomsday direction of the news media was a warning that struck at the heart of my core belief system. It started with an interest in reading the shelf life of the items as I made my selections every time I went to the grocery store. It progressed to choosing BOGO offerings & putting one up for a rainy day. The way the economy was going it was already raining, what was I saving for a deluge?

Regrettably like others of my generation I find myself on the down hill side of 60, divorced and without a dragon to guard the gate. In what ever happens in these turbulent times I am going to have to be very creative and plan ahead. With that affirmation to myself I sat on a quest to do what I thought would be a little plan ahead activity and soon discovered what is today an entire lifestyle. I found myself spending endless hours surfing the internet trying to resolve the puzzle into something practical that at the very least masqueraded as realistic.

Well after much soul searching I at least have uncovered the hole in the direction most of the information I can find has smack dab in the middle of it. There is a lot of validity out there that is for sure. Planning for life at any level is the best of strategies. I myself am a goal setter from way back. What I couldn’t rationalize is why I felt like the information available, albeit by the young and the strong who will inherit this planet seemed off key.

I am certain that many of the folks who are Preppers have had some kind of wake up call or they themselves have experienced something abroad that has them working overtime to make a secure life for themselves and their families. So with some soul searching I thought it might assist those who know far more than me in perfecting their strategize if I shared with them what it really felt like to have to prepare for nuclear annihilation and the end of the world as you know it right here in our own back yard. Perhaps it is the bedtime story that their mother’s never told them. Or even more likely, perhaps most of the country just didn’t even know or really experience the real life horror of the events.

Let me take you back in time. It is 1962 and a lazy summer in a small, wealthy coastal town on Florida’s east coast. The winter seasonal homes were all closed up & the tourist were gone. We were busy making plans for a car trip to Cypress Gardens. Since my father’s family had been in Florida for more that 5 generations little concern was ever given to Hurricanes. They were a respected way of life and daddy always knew what to do. By the time I was a teenager even I had experienced my share. So when I would walk into a room and see the worried looks on the adults faces and catch phrases like Bay of Pigs it was becoming a moderate concern. The group of teenagers I grew up with had been pretty much together since grade school & it seemed like I was not the only one who was experiencing these strange adult behavior’s. Summer came to it’s inevitable end and excitement centered on preparation for my sophomore year in high school and the concern over my parent’s behavior became forgotten.

The events of that year no doubt effected the decisions that I would make the rest of my life. I was 14. My greatest concerns were passing drivers education and getting that coveted learners permit. When October arrived the small group of friends I grew up with spent most of their time, when not involved in their studies, planning sock hops & football game pep rallies. You can imagine that when a general assembly was announced over the loud speaker for all the students to meet in the auditorium that we thought something wonderful and fun was in store. Not so!

The principal came to the microphone and announced we all were going to begin a special level of education that would begin with a film series accompanied by a variety of evacuation drills that would be a bit more intense than the previous fire drills we were so use to. With that the lights dimmed, the projector rolled and my perception of a secure life was changed forever. We sat for what seemed hours and stared in horror at nuclear attack and devastation. When the lights came up the entire auditorium was in absolute silence. We were asked if there were any questions. I do not remember if there were. But emblazoned in my brain to this day are the images of the mushroom cloud, the trees bursting into flame and the startled deer disintegrating before your eyes. It was of course compounded as the series of films continued. The evacuation drills ramped up and we were loaded onto busses that would never hold the whole student population, and driven the 20 miles home and then back to school to see if it could be accomplished. When the authorities discovered it could not, those of us that lived outside the 3 mile walk home range were issued body tags with little wire wraps that we had to carry on us at all times. It was one of the first things I disposed of when I graduated from high school!

As October started closing in on Halloween I became aware of the fact that my father, who was a city council man, was suddenly going to a lot more meetings and that my mother was accompanying him. Suddenly it was October 25th and President Kennedy was going to DEFCON 2. When the island of Cuba is so close that you knew your grandmother use to go over in its days of glory to enjoy the tropical nightlife, you just have a hard time assimilating the knowledge that it is a precursor to your own personal sense of doom! I had shared class with a shy Phys Ed partner whose family had escaped, her father was a physician as I recall, and she had regaled me with stories about how they had got out in time. But, wow, now we were talking about would we reach adult hood, fall in love, marry and be able to have children. Home Economics had spent hours explaining to the girls the ramifications of radiation fall out on the reproduction system. On Friday morning the 26th of October, my mother came into my bedroom as I was preparing for school. I remember the experience as if it were yesterday and it was almost 50 years ago! She sat on the edge of my bed, most unlike her and said she needed to talk to me. She told me she was keeping me home from school that day. I could do what I wanted as long as I stayed very close to home. She didn’t want to alarm me. As if she could at that point. I do not believe we ever spoke of all the efforts going on by the school system. I don’t think she even knew. But she said the city had been on Martial Law standby. The town had assigned various tasks to the towns people and that the government would notify them if the plans put in place needed to be activated. I only knew about this of course becausemy parents were involved, these meeting and planning had been done  very quietly so not to upset the towns population. It had been determined that South Florida in all likely hood would be a direct target hit. There would be mass evacuation and the South Florida population would run out of gas and arrive on our door step all at once if they got out at all. Therefore a huge amount of preparation had gone under way to mitigate this event. The important thing she wanted me to know was she had been assigned to drive a rescue vehicle and I was assigned with her. She was a clever woman, having lived thru the great depression unscathed and taken care of my sister through the trial and tribulations of World War II. In the great scheme of things and hindsight being what it is there had not been that much subsequent time. She had determined in her almighty wisdom that it would be far safer for me to be with her doing something productive then to sit at home hiding. So there I was all of 14 years old reevaluating dating and driving to needing to stay alive in order to grow up so I could.

I do not really recall much about Saturday October 27th, 1962 except that I went outside to watch the sunset. I remember saying a small prayer. I remember thanking God for the day and letting him know I would take very good care of all the days that would come. We continued however to have those evacuation drills from time to time through out my High School Years and we continued to have the films, with maybe a little less intensity, or maybe I just grew up. Either way I have appreciated every day the freedom that this great country of ours has given us. How ever I fear the faint rumbling of the thunder is signaling stormy waters ahead.

We need to always be prepared but perhaps again now more then in the recent past. Somehow I feel it in my bones. But then there isn’t a multi generational Floridian alive that hasn’t always had a shelf full of non perishables and a way to put up extra water. We know what it fells like without air conditioning and if you run out of mosquito repellent after a storm. But some how now we need to be thinking a bit broader, you know just in case. But with some practicality. If my youth experience has taught me anything, it is that unless you really are in a target zone and you may not live to react to it,   in reality it is more feasible to look around and make where you are as survivable as possible. Even a total economic collapse will have the same ramifications but without the fallout. I do not know enough about modern day survival, I wish I did. But I am totally certain that the jump in the car bug out is only going to take you to a less familiar place, with all the same problems, maybe more then was left behind. I truly wish I knew how to implement what is available today with the experiences of a lifetime I have lived with, but I do not. I am however working on it.