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Guest Post: A dry run…….

Power-Outage

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

by JD in Texas

Well, I was given a dry run on survival preparation one Saturday last fall.  About 9:30 a.m. I was planning on which games to watch on DishTV.  A heavy rain cloud came in and the signal blinked out for a while – no problem, I’ve got only 146 hours of movies recorded on the DVR.  After about an hour the storm did get a little worse, but not horrible and sure ‘nuf, the signal went out.  Well about 10 minutes after that, the power blinked once, then twice and then out – just like I’ve always heard – after three, you’re out for good.

 

So I picked up the cell phone to call my wife and tell her – she was in the Metroplex with the grandkids.  No dial tone, no signal, no nothing – apparently the nearby cell tower had no backup.  Well, no problem, pick up the land line.  No signal, no dial tone, no power to the wireless handset.  Hmmmm.  Well, I think yeah!  Go out to the pickup, Bluetooth to the pickup and viola!  Nope, that signal is connected to the cell tower too.  hmmm.  Aha!  I go to the neighbors, break in, (I know where the keys are and am welcomed at any time), look around and find an old rotary wall phone.  Yea!!  A dial tone, Yea!!!  So I call Janice, all’s well.  I call my brother in law and he’s not across the lake, he’s at his car lot in a nearby town that has not lost power.  So we talk, and yes he’s aware of the ‘landline needs to be hardwired’ issue.

 

So I call back my wife and have her look up the electric company’s phone number.  I call them.  The power company knows about the power outage already and has a recording set up.  They say ‘if you’d like to report your problem, please press 1’.  Duh.  I have nothing but a rotary dial.  So I call back my wife and have her report it since she can press ‘1’.  Sometime during this time, I decide to try to text my wife – yeah, that sounds crazy – but ‘Best Defense’ on  Outdoor TV says that sometimes texts get through when voice does not – and it did!!!  We were able to text back and forth the entire time.  I also was able to surf the internet on my Droid as well for at least two, maybe three hours.  Then unexpectedly, it died too.

 

As ‘Best Defense’ said, make a designated time to call back.  We agreed on 2:00 p.m., but continued to text.  So I start about seeing what I had and what I didn’t have.  I became a little thirsty when I got back to the house and thought I’d better draw some water.  Well, the water pressure was WAY down.  It took about 5 minutes to draw three gallons of water in the sink, but I got it done.  I had just spent a day this week going around to Walmart, Tractor Supply, Sams, Lowes buying ‘bug out’ supplies.  I had a bunch, but not all and not enough.  Here’s the list of what I needed and had and what I didn’t and did.

 

I had candles, but not enough to last more than a night or two.  I had coal oil lanterns and kerosene and they worked.  I had pistol and ammo at the ready (no threats, but I was ready).  I had color weather radar on the pickup’s GPS Ford Sync to see what else was coming.  Of course I also had the ability to recharge my cell phone battery there too.  Even though it was daylight, I had flashlights.  I had a crank radio somewhere in the house, but couldn’t find it (did later) I had food, I had a lot, but not everything.

 

I didn’t have a touch tone hardwire landline telephone.  Getting one this week.  I didn’t have enough candles. I didn’t start drawing water soon enough (will use bath tub next time with rubber stopper – need to get that too).  I had 25 pounds of ice in an uninsulated icemaker (it melts just enough so ice doesn’t get stale), and I had huge 36 qt ice chests, but no small /medium ice chest to fill up for personal ice.  Gonna get one and declare it ‘for emergency use only’ and hide it.

 

I didn’t have a generator – and I had spent one entire day looking for one last week.  I now have one ordered and will be delivered this week.  3.8 KW propane.  I have 200 gallons of propane under the ground by my house, and all we use it for is a cook stove in the house.  I figure at the rate we’ve been using it, I have 38 years worth of propane, so why not tap into it?  I did plumb the propane line for a tap, so I’ve got to get that where the generator will hook right up.  I’m so embarrassed, my brother in law had gotten home and had his generator up and running, watching tv, dish and everything.   I figure my generator will run about 1,000 hours on that underground tank.  It’s supposed to run about 15-20 hours on a 5 gallon bottle, which I have three of.  And I have extension cords all over the place.

 

I had a lot of esprit de corps, but I had no mate.  She was supportive from afar, but that’s one of our plans – if sh*t goes down, get to our house.  Kids  and grandkids too.  I have a new bug out bag coming and have the stuff ready to go into it.  We’ll be prepared (I hope) and pray never to use it.  A country boy can survive, but it was nice to have a test run.  Thought you’d like to know.

 

Oh, yeah, at 2:00 p.m., I called my wife.  She was calling me at exactly the same time, so we got each other on the second dial.  All hell was breaking loose in the Metroplex.  Sirens were going off, grandkids were crying, the neighbor boy wanted to go home, she didn’t know if it was tornado sirens or what with all the confusion.  Our daughter-in-law had just called and found out all this and was worried (she and my son were in Vegas), I called, it was wild!!  But it turned out to be flash flood warning, and my wife said it did rain cats and dogs.  Just about 2:05 while I’m talking to her on the land line at the neighbors next door, my cell phone pops up a message from my sister-in-law: ‘Thank God for electricity!’, so I flicked on the neighbor’s kitchen light and all came back to normal.  Walked back over to the house and found out Notre Dame had gotten beat and Texas was losing.  Tech was about to win – oh well, 2 out of three ain’t bad.

 

Follow up:

I have since gotten the propane generator, more candles, the bug out bag which is fully equipped as well as one for my wife.  I have the radios located and now have a iCom ham radio, and a food supply.  And I have about 50 gallons of gasoline stored with fuel stabilizer in it.  And I’ve bought a few more guns to be able to store and leave them at the bug-out place.  And I have a nice pristine ice chest just the right size.

 

Guest Post: To the Wives, Girlfriends and Other Happy Ladies

stk123124rke

This post was originally published as part of a Guest Post Writing Contest over at ModernSurvivalOnline. It can be seen in its original format HERE.

 

By Jennifer S. in Reno

Today I woke up and did some house cleaning, I did some laundry and vacuumed the carpets, I harped on the kids to get them to clean their rooms and I changed the cat litter box, I mopped the kitchen floor and made sure all of my dishes were washed.  When I was done with that I went to the grocery store.  Actually, I went to four grocery stores because I like to go where the good deals are.  I like to come home and put my purchased food away and know that my family will have a good dinner and that I saved money doing it.  After I came home and stored away my groceries I went into the backyard to hang out with my husband and work on our backyard.

 

Six months ago, this was a normal Saturday for me.  With that being said I would like to say six months ago, I was happy, but also blind.

 

It all started on a normal day.  I believe it was near the end of November, perhaps early December.  My husband came home from work and joined me in the kitchen.  I was starting dinner and he began to talk to me about things I had never heard of before and quite frankly never would have considered listening too.  His topics included HAARP projects, the TSA and Chemtrails.  I remember slicing tomatoes and listening to him talk.  I also remember looking at him out of the corner of my eye and, while nodding along, thinking to myself “I have married a crazy person.”

 

Now ladies, you and I both know that most of us would never be so cruel as to tell the men that we love that their new interests or concerns are either crazy or scaring us to death.  We pretend to take interest and listen to as much as we can handle before we tune them out.  This is exactly what I did over the following 3-5 weeks as the subject matter got broader.  His topics ranged from economic meltdown to EMP catastrophes’, to hidden meanings in the artwork at the Denver Airport.  I would listen and listen and listen, and then the next day I would pretend I didn’t hear any of it and do what I usually do, clean and make things pretty.  I would read through the news from mainstream media and I would watch American Idol or other useless programming to make my life seem normal.  I didn’t do these things because I didn’t believe my husband, but because I was trying to forget what he had been talking to me about and pretend that nothing bad could ever happen to me or my family.

 

Thinking about unfortunate things occurring and planning to protect your family is scary.  It’s very disheartening and it’s very hard to buckle down and look at it in a realistic frame of mind.  It is much easier to pretend that we are untouchable and that everything will remain as it always has been. If you don’t see it and don’t think about it, it doesn’t exist right?  Wrong.

 

One day at work I decided to research a bit of what he had been talking to me about, I found myself reading some things on alternative news websites and blogs that pertained to the government and other worldwide issues that caught my interest, and then I stumbled upon a few pages referencing natural disaster.  I read some scenarios about what could happen (and most likely would happen) if we were not prepared or protected.  After I read those, I read some more.  Then I read some more.  Before I knew it I had been reading for a few hours and realized I was hooked.  It never occurred to me the domino effect that any number of SHTF events could have on the world.  I never thought of how it could directly affect my family.  I never thought of having to protect my family from others who were simply trying to protect themselves.  I actually copied one of those articles and emailed it straight to my husband and titled my email with “We should get ready”. That day, was the beginning of our joint effort to prepare to protect our family.

 

The truth is, not preparing your family before disaster takes place, means that you are actually harming them more than the disaster.

 

Through my own research and reading and having extensive night time talks with my husband, I began to prep mostly for a natural or manmade disaster.  We live in earthquake country so that is a big priority of mine, although I will admit that after I stopped being so stubborn and took of those rose colored glasses I got right after birth, I started to become aware of disasters that have nothing to do with nature and everything to do with our current political system and world leaders.  Our children are not old enough to fend for themselves, nor are they old enough to really understand what we are doing for them so it is our job to make sure that if SHTF, we have a strong support system to defend ourselves  and our livelihood.

 

The purpose of my guest post is to try to reach out to other women like myself.  Happy women who have never heard of any of this until their husbands brought it up.  Happy women who don’t want to think about it and who would prefer to see the world as a place with singing children, cooperative neighbors, and leaders who care.  To those women, please think for yourselves; please be strong enough to do some research and listen to not only your husbands, but to formulate your own opinions and ideas.  Think outside of the box.  Don’t accept the world as it is presented to you.  Your loved ones will Thank you for it when the time comes and you have supplies to keep them safe.

 

There are some very basic and easy ways that you can begin prepping your family for a disaster.  Here are some things to start with:

 

1.) Water. We all need water.  We cannot survive after three days without water.  What are you going to do if your stores are out of bottled water (think Japan) and your supply has been cut off?  Bottled water and other jugs are the easiest.  Gallon jugs typically cost less than $1.00 at any local supermarket or you can purchase the packages of individual bottles.  (Usually 24 bottles for around $3.00)  I prefer the packages because they are easy to stack and easier to store (although the jugs are easier to grab and run with).  You can also wash out old soda, milk and juice jugs and fill them with tap water for storage as well although some of these bottles disintegrate quicker than others so do some research on them before you start using those.

2.) Food. Food is easy, but can also be tricky. First off when you go to the store grab two of anything that stores well that you and your family normally eats.  The reason this needs to happen is because your body is used to the food.  If SHTF and you start eating nothing but canned corn, your body will have a reaction and you will get sick.  Make sure to stock up with food items your body is used too but also make sure you grab some items that are less conventional.  My favorites (courtesy of my husband) are dehydrated milks (remember, if electricity is down, that milk in the fridge won’t do any good), 100% natural honey (great vitamins and stores forever), dried beans, spam and even other liquid items such as Tang (tastes good, keeps the spirits up and is a great source of Vitamin C).

3.) Other misc., items: Batteries.  And lots of them!  If you have re-chargeable batteries that’s great but if you lose power it won’t do you any good.  Buy extra batteries for everything you intend to use should TSHTF.  Make sure that you have plenty of extra flashlights on hand and stock up on candles.  Cheap tea lights are better than walking around in the dark.  Grab some matches (big boxes are cheap and you can still find strike anywhere matches if you look in the right places!).  Get some extra blankets from the goodwill if you don’t already have some in-case the heat goes out.  Another priority item should be a weeks’ worth of clothing for everyone in your family, sealed in a vacuum air tight bag so they are ready to grab at a moment’s notice and stay clean and dry in case you have to leave your home.

4.) First Aid Supplies: This is very important, especially if you have kids.  Stock up on band-aids, gauze, fever reducer, pain reliever, diarrhea meds, a thermometer, cut ointment and other first aid items you can think of that you might need in case someone is hurt or gets sick.  Remember, depending on the size of the catastrophe, doctors might be unavailable and hospitals might be down or overworked.  If you have prescription meds, try to stock up on those.  I used to think that it wasn’t possible but found a very reputable nationwide chain store that actually fills up to four months if you pay with cash.  Call around and see what you can find.  It would be smart to also look into homeopathic medicine if you cannot get your hands on prescription meds.

5.) Your Sanity: It’s easy to think that when the time comes, your fight or flight instinct will kick in and you won’t need some of the normal pleasures of life.  This would be wonderful if true but I am not willing to blindly try it if I have the option.  Try and stock up on a few things to keep yourself and your family entertained.  Some hand held electronics or small board games will help.  Perhaps some puzzles and books.  If you own a portable DVD player it might be a good idea to have that on hand with extra batteries and some movies.  This way you are less likely to lose your sanity (and rational thinking) while you are waiting around trying to make it through whatever catastrophe hits.

6.) Last but not least, firearms: Imagine you have prepared your family and SHTF.  You are bunkered in your home with food, water, batteries and flashlights.  You and your family are getting by and while it is not ideal, you are alive and doing well.  Then there’s a knock at your door, you don’t answer it because you are being cautions.  Let’s say that whoever is behind that door decides that they are going to break into the house.  They come in and see that you have food and water.  That’s when you realize that they do not have what you have.  Are you willing to share your families’ rations with total stranger?  I would guess not.  When you tell them that you are not willing to share do you think that they will politely leave and thank you for your time?  I doubt it.  You need a way to protect your family.  I leave this one up to my husband and he has covered the bases.

 

Once you make an informed decision and think for yourself, it’s easy to start prepping.  It’s easy to take the first steps and turn preparedness into a part of your everyday life.

 

Please think about it and take the proper steps to prepare for your safety.  Don’t let disaster strike without having what you need to get through it and in turn letting you and your family suffer.  Other people are not going to help you and it will be nobody but yourself and your family looking out for one another.  Morals do not exist when people are forced to survive.  Make sure you and your loved ones are covered.

 

Modern Body Armor Effectiveness Is Important When Protecting Your Family

Coolmax-male

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

 

Thoughts on Survival and Preparedness

emergency-survival-preparedness-kit

The following post was originally published over at ModernSurvivalOnline. It can be seen HERE in its original format. – Rourke

Thoughts on Survival and Preparedness

by Robert

 

 I was curious to read much of what other people who prepare had to say. My wife seems to think anyone who would look ahead to any of the numerous possible scenarios that require preparation are doomsayers and require anti-depressants. I obviously disagree but will admit that the folks on shows like “Doomsday Preppers” are a bit more into it than I believe necessary. But that is their affair and I wish them well. Many of us fall into the tamer category, that being we realize the importance of a plan and act accordingly while still living our lives.

 

  “Why prepare?” many people ask me. My answer is usually, “why not?”. What possible harm can come from having a food store sufficient to feed my family in a prolonged crisis? What part of having a plan to get out of the urban area we live in to a place of relative safety makes me paranoid or worthy of ridicule? Why not have a set procedure to get through a hard time that is indeed on the horizon, just as past hard times were once only on the horizon? The answer, when you pose these questions to a person who thinks us foolhardy, is usually a shoulder shrug. Which tells me they realize the logic of preparing yet still don’t want to be bothered. These are the people who will suffer when the time comes. And it will, as it always has.

 

  Now, as far as having school buses full of food, weapons, ammo and livestock, I believe that’s something many of us will pass on. Again, that’s a personal choice and there’s absolutely nothing weird or wrong about it. The core of preparing for a majority of us is this: have a plan, have a reasonable supply of food and water and ensure you have everyone who you involve with your preparations on the same page.

 

   Having spent 12 years in the Marine infantry, I’ve learned the importance of a team. You WILL need other people that think like you to help when the time comes. And it’s not hard to get your plan together. Ensure you trust the people you associate with and involve in your planning. Then you simple sit down over a few drinks or dinner and discuss, point by point, what your plan will be and what you need to do to make it work as far as food stores, fuel, power and transportation. You’ll be surprised how fast the night goes and how much planning can get done in a few hours time. This is the key to the Marines success on the battlefield, and it can be your key to surviving a national crisis.

 

   The most critical part of a plan is a food store. Your first move is to determine how many people you will need to feed, and for how long you will need to feed them. Most health authorities will say an active person needs in the neighborhood of 2,000 calories a day to sustain them and a minimum of a gallon of water. I personally have to cover three people in my own family. Every trip to the market I buy at least twelve cans of food: six of a vegetable and six of a bean. Beans are a great source of protein and other nutrients and can be eaten right out of the can. Check the dates on your cans and log it so you’ll know when you need to replace it, if you so choose. In reality, most canned goods are safe for years. They may not taste great, but they’re safe. Also, shelf stable foods like pastas and rice are great additions to your store. Keep a log of what you have and how long you’ve had it, and store all of it together in the place you plan to go in case of trouble so you don’t have to haul it all with you.

 

 That brings me to a mobile food supply, which you may need if you have to leave. This should be whatever you will need to feed your party for a reasonable amount of time. I personally keep four days worth of food in my vehicle and in my wife’s vehicle. Much of this is MRE items so as not to take up too much room. Each vehicle also has a small water filtration pump and water treatment pills in the glovebox in case the supply runs out. You can survive for a time on small amounts of food, but you will need water. Learn how to treat it yourself and buy the right equipment to do so.

 

  Communications are a HUGE part of your plan. In each of my vehicles is a walkie talkie, a Grundel emergency radio, a Garmin GPS receiver and spare batteries. There is also a detailed map with different routes to our destination if we have to leave. It’s impractical to drive EVERY possible route to your destination, but try to cover the main ones you’re most likely to use. Notate gas stations and food stores. Also look for stores that carry items you may need (sporting goods stores or outdoors outlets) so you can resupply if need be. Needless to say, a total breakdown of society will destroy the dollar, but during a lesser incident (hurricane, power outage) these places may still be open so make sure you have money with you.

 

  Some folks are compelled to carry firearms. I am one of them. You have every right to protect yourself and your family with a firearm, but you also have a responsibility to use your weapons responsibly and only as a last resort. Make sure you choose the right weapon for you. For home defense, I feel a 12 gauge shotgun is your best bet. It’s easier to hit a target with that than a pistol, especially if you’re heart is racing and you’re scared out of your mind, which you most likely will be if you have to use a gun. A pistol is a good weapon to put in a go bag simply because it’s small. Either way, ensure you train with your weapon and know how to use it as safely as possible. And ALWAYS ENSURE CHILDREN CANNOT GET THEIR HANDS ON IT! Lock it away when you’re not using it.

 

 My last thought is this; RELAX. Hopefully, nothing happens and everybody gets to keep living the way they like. Prep with the hope that NONE of what you’re ready for comes to pass and with the knowledge that if it does, you ARE ready. Then go on with your life. Being ready doesn’t mean you have to be paranoid; it just means you’ve thought ahead and have done what you can to help yourself and your family when there’s nobody else to call. Good luck and God Bless.

 

 

When It’s Time to Bug Out, Will Your Car be Ready?

Car

You can pack the most comprehensive bug-out bag in the world, but if your vehicle won’t start, you’re not going anywhere at that crucial moment. Being prepared is more than just stockpiling supplies to get you through an emergency. The experience of the thousands of people stuck without transportation during the Hurricane Katrina tragedy shows how important a well-running vehicle is. A surprising number of small tasks can make the difference at the last minute. Being a complete well-rounded prepper means getting ready to stay as well as go and having the ability to do either at a moment’s notice.

Your Car’s Bug-Out Bag

You’ve got your own supplies packed and ready to go when needed, but your vehicle needs its own collection of supplies. Get a waterproof bin that fits in the trunk or near the back door of the van and keep it stocked at all times. Fill it with spare spark plugs, fuses, oil, power steering and other fluids, a roll of paper towels and a funnel. Add wipes to clean the windows, emergency blankets, battery-free flashlights, a gallon of water and some small snacks.

Tires

If it’s not rolling, you’re not moving. Your tires need to be maintained on a regular basis to give you confidence they’ll run during an emergency. Do a tire inspection at least once a month when the tires are cold. Check the wear on the treads by sticking a penny between the treads with the head facing down. If you can see any of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace the tire. Check the tire pressure with a good pressure gauge and keep the tires rotated. Always keep a full-sized spare in the trunk in addition to the donut that came with the vehicle.

Fluids

Always keep oil and other fluids topped off. If an emergency hits and you have to run, there is no way to predict how long you’ll have to go before you maintain your car’s engine once again. Keeping everything in fresh order will guarantee your longest available running time. Make sure to check the differential and transmission fluids, as well as the oil and power steering fluid. Keep supplies of each fluid in the trunk or the back of the vehicle, but a fresh supply in the engine is your best insurance.

Gas

Stockpiling spark plugs and various car accessories is a great idea, but if you run out of gas 10 miles down the road, the rest of your prep was for nothing. Fill your tank on the return trip every time you leave your home. Keep two large gas cans filled and ready to go in a safe place. Stock up on gasoline additives in case you come across an open supply of questionable quality, and always make sure to use the octane gas recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

 

Alex Houston

Alex is freelance journalist who contributes to a number of blogs

 

 

Preppers Paradise: Basics To Build A Backyard Bunker

bunker

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

hunter

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.

10 Things That Should Be Found In A Senior Citizen’s Home Emergency Kit

10 Things That Should Be Found In A Senior Citizen’s Home Emergency Kit

Accidents can and do happen even if you have taken measures towards preventing them, but having the necessary materials on hand greatly increases the likelihood of a positive outcome.

Because many senior citizens tend to live on their own, and are also more susceptible to injuries like fractures or health scares like strokes or a sudden drop in blood pressure, it is all the more important that they have a well-stocked home emergency kit that is easily accessible during the panic that ensues after an emergency.

Following is a list of ten things you should stock in a senior’s home emergency kit, and although this list is by no means comprehensive, it does cover the essentials.

1. Central file with emergency contacts and medical information

It is extremely important to have a file on hand that caregivers or health care workers can access quickly during an emergency. The file should contain contact information for a senior’s doctor, pharmacy, insurance company and emergency contact person.

Other important information, such as allergies, power of attorney, and a list of all medications they are taking including the dosages and times should be included.

2. Blood pressure monitor, blood sugar meter and/or AED

If a senior becomes unwell, it is important that caregivers have access to a blood pressure monitor and blood sugar meter in order to correctly assess the situation.

An AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) is pricey, but it could save your loved one’s life, as most sudden cardiac arrests lead to death if not treated within minutes. Make sure regular caregivers have adequate training in the usage of an AED.

3. Basic first aid materials

Of course, the emergency kit should contain all the basic first aid materials that a regular one would, such as adhesive bandages, disinfectant, gauze, scissors, alcohol wipes, tweezers, cotton balls and swabs, safety pins and gloves.

4. Medication

Medication is also important in an emergency. This can include things like fever reducer, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream. Pain reliever is also a welcome addition, as sprains, bumps and bruises can be extremely painful even if they aren’t life-threatening.

5. Battery powered flashlight

If there is a blackout or the senior is unable to reach the light switches due to an injury, a flashlight can be extremely useful finding the necessary emergency supplies and medications.

6. Cell phone with external battery pack

Along with a regular cell phone, it is a good idea to include a simple emergency cell phone in the kit, in case a senior is unable to get to their other cell phone. This should be stored along with an external battery pack or a car charger.

7. Cold compress

Simple sprains and bruises caused by falls can be eased immediately with a cold compress, and can prevent excess swelling later on. Chemical type compresses can be stored with an emergency kit and are easy to dispose of and replace.

8. Blanket

Although most homes will have blankets, it helps to have everything in one place during an emergency. If a senior goes into shock after a fall or scare, it will be necessary to keep them warm and calm until emergency services arrive, and an emergency thermal blanket can easily be stored along with the other supplies.

9. Magnifying glass

Seniors often have trouble reading the small lettering on medications and other important emergency supplies, and including a magnifying glass can make it easier for them to make out the directions or ingredients on packaging, even in poor lighting.

10. Antibiotic ointment and burn gel

When water and soap is not immediately available, antibiotic ointment can clean out a wound and prevent infection. It should, however, not be used on burns, so a good burn gel is also useful to include.

Krisca Te works with Open Colleges Australia, the leading provider of TAFE courses equivalent and online aged care courses. When not working, you can find her on Google+ or spends the day with her baby boy.

 

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.

 

How to keep your Food Storage Safe in The Summer

How to keep your Food Storage Safe in The Summer

The summer is finally here, and with it, warm weather, longer days, beaming sunshine, and trees and plants that are full of life. But the warm weather also poses a few problems, particularly when it comes to food. We all know the importance of keeping an emergency supply of food, but when it is hard to keep food fresh for just a couple of days in the summer, how are we supposed to keep it fresh for years at a time? Here are some useful tips to keeping your food storage safe in the summer.

Safe From Pests

Because there are so many more pests in the summertime, it can be difficult to keep them out of your food storage, especially when it is out of sight, and you don’t check it regularly. Luckily, there are steps that you can take to make sure that those creepy crawlies don’t make it into your food storage. One of the easiest is to make sure that everything is sealed in an airtight container. Even if the items already have secure packaging, it is still a good idea to put it in another container to minimize the risk. Location is also very important. Choose a cool, dark place, where pests are less likely to get in. If you have a severe pest problem, it might be worth spraying.

Safe From the Heat

You are probably already aware that for any long term food storage, you must only stock nonperishable items. What many people don’t realize, is that some items that may be otherwise nonperishable do not last long in the heat. If you have any items that may melt or otherwise be affected by high temperatures, you may want to consider different ways to store them. If you do not have space for your food storage in an insulated room, try putting items in coolers. Alternatively, there are solar-powered fridges that, although expensive, can really help you out in a grind.

Safe From Spoiling-canning

Bacteria grows much faster in warm temperatures, and as a result, some food doesn’t last as long in the summer. There are ways to preserve food however, and they can be useful techniques for saving money as well as preserving food storage. Canning is one such technique. You can start canning using a canner, but there are also ways to keep and preserve food without expensive equipment. One such way is to take vegetables and pickle them in vinegar.

Safe From Harm

This concerns yourself, rather than your food, but all of this is pointless if you don’t survive! It is important to remember that your food storage needs to include a separate supply of medication that you can use if and when disaster strikes. This includes basic things like painkillers, but also a first aid kit and especially for the summer allergy medication. If you do this, you can rest easy in the knowledge that all of your bases are covered in case of an emergency.

Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and food storage expert.

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.

 

Preparation for Hydration

Preparation for Hydration

by LB

Drinking water is the single most consistently found item in every survival kit, be it short-term or long-term.  We can survive for extended periods without food and even with limited shelter.  But we are living on numbered hours if we are without a reliable water source.

So it’s well established that we should maintain a good supply of drinking water for disasters.  But there are several problems with storing water.

First, it’s bulky.  A gallon of water occupies 231 cubic inches, so supplying a gallon per person, per day for a family of four would gobble up almost eight cubic feet, based on two weeks’ worth of water.  The bigger the family and the longer the disaster, the more of your home is used up with water.

Second, it does get stagnant.  Store water for up to six months before replacing it.  Even in clean containers and with a slight treatment of bleach, water can become bacteria-laden and unsafe.

So here you are, aware that there’s no city water available and having to come up with four gallons of potable water every day.  What are your options for other sources?

There are options for using water from dehumidifiers or from the condensate pump that keeps your HVAC dry and happy.  But these sources are limited and can be difficult to sanitize.  You’ll certainly want those two devices in your home to maintain proper humidity, but they’re not geared for drinking water use.

It’s actually fairly easy to establish a grid-independent water source.  The expense of a well or cistern can be prohibitive, but capturing rainwater, runoff, or water from a stream or pond can provide a source of water that will continue to exist just as long as rain can be had.

The best way to avoid the fluctuations of nature’s provision is to do your own version of what municipalities do.  Many city water systems don’t rely on a flowing water source alone.  They instead stockpile it in a reservoir or lake so that there is a backup supply if precipitation ceases.

So creating a pond, even a fairly small one, can provide a surprising amount of water for you.  Ponds are generally measured in acre-feet, a unit that denotes enough water to cover a one-acre area to a depth of one foot.  That’s 43,560 cubic feet of water, or 325,000 gallons.  So even on a small scale–perhaps even a swimming pool–that’s a phenomenal amount of water.

The major provision you need for this type of water supply is pumping capability, plus power for the pump.  There are a variety of pumps available out there, including some that can draw water down to a very low level.

And most likely, you’ve already included a generator in your plans.  It will require only small amounts of electricity, on an infrequent basis, to keep your water flowing.

So with a good plumbing job, you can shut off the water meter and backflush through an outdoor spigot to pressurize your home’s pipes with no off-site water.  That means water in all the usual places with no reliance on your municipality.

Water is critical for life.  Don’t be content with shelves full of old milk jugs brimming with stockpiled city water.  Create a sustainable source that keeps your home functional.

 

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?

 

IT IS WHAT IT IS BUT IT AINT WHAT IT USED TO BE

IT IS WHAT IT IS BUT IT AINT WHAT IT USED TO BE
I (WROTE) MANY OF THOSE OLD COUNTRY SONGS
by Longarm
  Many times daily now I am reminded that I have become a “Seasoned Prepper”. Partly as a conscious choice and partly (well mostly) as a result of past choice’s. “Brings to mind the old George Jones song “Choices”…I’ve had choices since the day that I was born, there were voices that told me right from wrong. If I had listened, well I wouldn’t be here today…
  It has been said, “It is good for people to change, but not to forget. You can go back – but you can never return”.
  And change I have. For that reason I have ‘compartmentalized’ my past into ‘different lives’ and it is just my way to survive. Spending time looking back is only good ifn you learn from it and maybe more importantly learn to forgive yourself.
  Most of my adult life was spent as an adrenalin junky. Riding bulls in one different life, then on to a career in Law Enforcement and Tactical Instructor in that other different life. Dragging and losing several women (and my kids) somewhere along the way. Busting up my mind, my body and my credit to boot.
  I went on a three year stint in that one different life, with only me, my pain and the whiskey bottle. Damned near did not make it out of that life alive. But I did, with the Lord’s help to find myself a “Seasoned Prepper” with both my dignity and faith restored intact. Dare I say quite a bit wiser? I now know not only what I believe, but also why I believe it.
  All the highfalutin communication radios and and shooting irons are gone now from that Law Enforcement life and my hands are too busted up to even rack a semi-auto. But gone too is the attitude. I will not race you any more to the next ‘emergency’, but ifn you will listen – I will give you some of my hard earned advice on the likely best way to handle said situation when you are confronted with it.
In those other lives I was too busy shooting adrenalin to learn to hunt meat, fish or canning said provisions and now my time is being spent much quieter learning those skills on my own.
  Oh, and sons…ifn you ever learn forgiveness in your own hearts – this old wannabe Grandpa could teach his grandchildren a thing or two they will not get at a babysitters or the government education system and do it with a new found love, too!  There is not much room in this old 30ft RV but it is paid for cash and everything in it works and has a purpose. Maybe I could show them by example the difference between a need and a want, the difference between running to the store and opening up some damned good canned chow and even cooking some more in a Dutch Oven on a campfire.
  When was the last time you slowed down enough to really enjoy and use a campfire?
  It is a new life, it is called being a “Seasoned Prepper”.

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.

What Level of Prep is Right For You?

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 The following post was originally publish over at ModernSurvivalOnline.com as part of a recent Guest Post Writing Contest. It can be found in its original state HERE

 

What Level of Prep is Right For You?

by MsKYprepper

 

I don’t like bees or chickens.  I puke at the mere thought of learning to suture a bullet wound.  I don’t expect to ever become completely proficient with a firearm.  I don’t want my home looking like a security fortress.  I don’t have room to store 100’s of #10 food cans and I don’t have the time to accomplish half of the projects that other preppers appear to be excelling at when I read blogs such as this.  Those are the realities of my life. 

 

But neither am I clueless. I don’t have my head stuck in the sand; I will not pillage or plunder and I won’t sit passively, waiting for the government to rescue me. 

 

I was late in joining the preparedness movement, chiefly because of panic.  I felt overwhelmed.  I had too much to do and fretted about having to get it done… where, oh where, to begin.  

 

This begs the question, is there a middle ground?  Knowing that I can’t be prepared for everything, at what level do I want to be prepared?  Or, to think about it in a different way,  “How well do I want to live during and immediately following the event?”   Do I want to eat beans and rice everyday or do I want something more?  Do I need an AK-47 with night sights to feel secure or can I be comfortable with less? 

 

It was only when I finally realized that I didn’t have to keep up with the Prepared-Jones, that I could choose a level of self-reliance that was appropriate for me, I was able to get moving.  I’ve been using the tool below for a few years now.  It has helped me to define how well I want to live during an event.   It allows me to feel accomplished, not in just accumulating a quantity of stuff but in having a certain quality of life.   

 

1.       I desire to be prepared to live with no impact on my life, with no (or very little) outside support for more than 2 years
2.       I desire to be prepared to continue my life as normal with only minor inconvenience for at least 2 years.
3.       I desire to be prepared to live comfortably for more than 1 year.
4.       I desire to be prepared to live comfortably, (including chocolate chip cookies!) with some effort, for at least 1 year.
5.       I desire enough preparations to live safe while eliminating the need for outside support for more than 6 months.
6.       I desire enough preparations to live safe while reducing the need for outside support for at least 6 months.
7.       I desire enough preps to be in place to eliminate the need for outside support for more than 3 months. 
8.       I desire enough preparations to be in place to reduce the amount of outside support required for at least 3 months. 
9.        I desire a few basic preparations to meet life sustaining needs short-term. (3 days or less) Things always work out for me.  I trust in God.   And, FEMA will be here soon. 
10.    I am content with no preparation.  No food or water, fuel, medical supplies, or personal-security currently in stock.  I’ll wait to be rescued

 

As I meet other people who are just waking up to the importance of regaining self-reliance, I recognize that glaze over their eyes.  I sense their panic.   I usually share 2 thoughts: 

 

#1 – Be honest with yourself:  How prepared do you want to be?  On a scale from 1 to 10, how well do you want to live during and immediately following the event.  What is realistic for you, considering time, effort, resources and a comfortable level of self-reliance? 

 

#2 – This is not an all-or-nothing game.  There is no one at a finish line awarding a badge that says, “You are done!  You are now prepared!”  Accept that it will never be done.  Do a little at a time.    Do only what you are comfortable doing.  But do something.  Then do a little something more.   The goal is to keep moving forward.  Keep learning.  But also, to keep your perspective about what’s important.

 

Preparing should make you feel more comfortable and less panicked.  Preparing should assure a certain quality of life.  But never let preparing for tomorrow’s possible disaster over-shadow living in the moment today.  Only then will you be living as well as you want to live.

 

Guest Post: Don’t Have Eight Hours to Wait? Head to Urgent Care

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If you’re like many people, you avoid the emergency room like the plague; not because you’re afraid, but because you don’t want it to turn into an all-day event. If you ask emergency staff, they’ll tell you that it’s not unusual to have to wait up to eight hours to be seen. This is because anyone more critical than you will be pushed to the front of the line. If you need to be seen for an illness or injury that isn’t life threatening, don’t ignore your problem; take a trip to urgent care.

1.When You Can’t See Your Physician

If you have a family doctor and your illness or injury isn’t life threatening, he or she should always be your first call. In the event that you can’t get an appointment in a satisfactory amount of time, or your doctor’s office is closed, your nearest urgent care center can be a fantastic option. Rather than sitting idly and suffering with your issue, have someone take you to an urgent care center for proper medical attention.

2.Who Will Treat You

Many people are concerned that they won’t see a “real” physician if they visit an urgent care center. According to Dr. Sarah Holder of the Quick Care Clinic at Methodist Charlton Medical Center in Dallas, most urgent care centers are staffed by physicians, nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants. These are often the same types of professionals who would see you in an emergency room or in your doctor’s office.

3.What You Can Get Treated For

There are very few regulations when it comes to urgent care centers in terms of what they can and can’t treat you for. What this means is that you can often find the same type of care at an urgent care center as you would in an emergency room. Most urgent care centers offer imaging, lab work, urine and fecal tests, and other routine screenings. If you find an urgent care facility that doesn’t offer these things, it’s not because they aren’t permitted to do so, it’s because they’ve chosen not to do so. Your urgent care center will be able to treat you for almost every minor illness and injury.

4.Urgent Care versus Retail Clinics

If you are sick, it’s important to understand the difference between the type of clinic you can find in your local pharmacy and an urgent care clinic. Retail clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners and treat common, minor illnesses and injuries. If you have something a bit more serious, like pneumonia or a broken bone, these retail clinics will refer you to an emergency room or urgent care center.

5.Insurance

Just like hospitals and your doctor’s office, urgent care centers accept most major medical insurance plans. If you have insurance, it’s always a good idea to find out whether there are restrictions in your policy as to where you can be treated. If you can’t find this information in your insurance packet, call your local urgent care center and find out if they accept your medical insurance. If your insurance provider will not cover your visit, you’ll need to be able to pay your bill in full on your own.

Urgent care centers can be a great source for treatment of your illnesses and injuries. While it’s not unusual to wait for hours on end in an emergency room, you’ll never have to sit for hours in an urgent care facility. Don’t suffer with an illness when you don’t have to; you can receive proper, caring attention at your local urgent care center.

 

Michelle Hobbs blogs for medical sites. If you live near Exton, PA, look into the services offered at Exton Urgent Care and can get directions to urgent care exton pa.

I’m Not Going To Be Around Forever……

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This post originally appeared over at the survival and preparedness website ModernSurvivalOnline.com – it can be seen HERE.

 - Rourke

 by Valerie

 

My Momma’s favorite saying these days seems to be “I’m not going to be around forever, you know.” Yes, Momma, I know. You’ve been telling me that for years. You tell me that so I’ll know where this or that is stashed, or so I’ll know what this or that is used for. But, you know, she got me thinking a few days ago.

 

See, I can cook. I can make biscuits pretty well, especially by the end of the winter. Biscuits are one of those things that require regular practice to make them both edible and pretty, though my Pop likes to tell me that it ain’t gotta look good to taste good. I don’t make a lot of biscuits during the summer—the oven heats up my house too much. But come late fall and winter, biscuits become a regular staple in both my house and Momma’s house. And it was a batch of biscuits that got me thinking.

 

I had taken my kids over to Momma’s after school on a Friday. They’d been cooped up for most of the week, with the weather and the oldest one’s school and all, so I figured a romp at Grammy’s would be good for all of us. My sisters and step-Dad weren’t home, so it was just Grammy, the kids, and me. And being the good daughter that I am, I was helping clean for Thanksgiving. You know what it means when you’re helping someone clean, right? It means you get the “fun” jobs.

 

For me, the fun jobs included taking the fruit and veggie scraps to the chickens and getting eggs. I’m terrified of chickens. Something about the noise they make makes me quake inside. I’m not a good country girl—or a good prepper—since my fear of chickens has kept me out of the chicken coop for a while. But no one else was home, and, well, Momma told me to do it, so I had no choice. I did survive, and I discovered that the chickens were more afraid of my big stick than I was of them. I might make it after all!

 

Since I survived the chicken encounter, Momma told me to cook. Now, I thought at first that it was just because my kids would be eating and only one of her kids was there. I figured out about halfway through cooking that it was because she wanted to teach me something. Or, rather, supervise while I practiced my prepper, end of the world cooking skills. The menu: biscuits from scratch and sausage (not from scratch—a cow’s higher on the list than a pig at this point, so Jimmy Dean took care of the meat for us). Oh yeah, did I mention that I was cooking on the wood stove?

 

Here’s the thing: as much practice as it takes to perfect biscuits, it takes at least that much more to successfully cook on a wood stove. I had practiced some this past January when we had a snow storm and we all weathered the storm at Momma’s. Cooking on a wood stove isn’t like cooking in an oven—the temperature fluctuates and there are way more variables, including all the vents, knobs, and kinds of wood that play into the temperature of the fire, and therefore, the wood stove’s oven.

 

Momma asked me if I had the recipe memorized. As in, “You’re going to do this without the book.” Luckily, I had it pretty much memorized, and she helped me with the right proportions of the baking powder, soda, and salt. She also gave me some tips to make the tops of my biscuits look better. Into the oven they went while I worked on the sausage.

 

I learned how to adjust the temperature on the cook-top—you move the skillet. And, when the oven temperature is over 500 degrees, it doesn’t take long for a batch of biscuits to get done. Not long at all. But, they were done all the way through, and the tops were a pretty golden brown. The sausage was a little burned on the outside, but not too bad. They were not hockey pucks, and they were done in the middle, so I was happy.

 

But here’s what I got to thinking about: even though I know how to cook, I still need Momma’s help. And she won’t be around forever. I may have to take over the cooking sooner than I want to. With her job, if things were to fall apart rapidly, I’d be at her house quicker than she would be, and I realize there’s a possibility that she might not ever get there, leaving the “Woman of the House” title to me. I need to know how to use that wood stove. I need to know what the knobs do, and I need to know how to cook as well on it as I do in the oven or on the stove.

 

That’s not all I need to learn, and that’s not all my family needs to learn, and Momma’s not the only one who won’t be around forever. Just off the top of my head, here are a few of the things we need to know how to do to survive: process a deer, cow, chicken, pig, rabbit, squirrel, etc, plan, plant, harvest, store, and rotate crops and/or gardens, care for and breed livestock, use “old fashioned” medicinal remedies, find water, start a fire with basically nothing, hit a target when you shoot, be it human or food, etc, etc, etc. The list of things we need to know is unending. You know that. I know that. Momma knows that.

 

We have a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips in our parents, grandparents, and other people who have more life experience that we do. People who survived the depression and made it through the rationing of World War II and fought to stay alive in combat zones. People who cooked on a wood stove for ages, until a “modern” stove finally made its way into the home. People who fed Bessie one day, then had her for supper the next day, and she never saw the inside of a slaughterhouse.

 

Are we taking advantage of the living, breathing How-To guides we have in our lives? Sure, books and manuals are great, but nothing beats real life experience. Hands on experience under the supervision of someone who knows. Someone who has been there. Someone who survived. Someone who won’t be around forever.

 

I think, for me at least, learning more and spending more time with people who know things and have skills to survive whatever the future brings is high on my priority list. After all, I want my grand-kids and great-grand-kids to come to me and ask what it was like when I was younger and I survived. Because that’s my goal, and my Momma’s goal: to survive and to help my kids survive. To keep our family going. To ensure that future generations have a place, a history, and hopefully, the knowledge to survive whatever life throws at them. I won’t be around forever either, and just like Momma, I want my legacy to live as long as possible.

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/

Guest Post: Tips On Navigation For Your Next Camping Trip

snoopy-camping

 

Camping can be a very fulfilling and gratifying hobby. For many people, exploring the outdoors, connecting with nature, and getting out of your comfort zone can be a very enlightening experience. There are countless places to explore, and many countries recognize this and have eagerly supported camping activities by providing trails, camping sites, and nature parks where people can go out and enjoy camping safely. There are also groups or clubs that promote camaraderie among campers. They exchange tips about the best camping sites, recommended camping gear, such as Coleman tents, and other helpful tips.

But for the seasoned outdoorsman, there is no substitute for the thrill of going down the other path, where there are no signs and no guides. There is a sense of accomplishment in doing so, and finding your way through the unmarked path.

There are a few ways to make sure one does not get lost in the middle of a camping trip. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Buy a map: It may sound too simple, but having a map can always be handy. It helps a camper be aware of the area’s geography and major landmarks, providing easy reference points when trying to find your bearings.
  • Keeping calm always helps: Being confident in finding your way, and remaining calm when you feel a bit lost goes a long way. Being calm keeps your breathing in check and allows your brain to process your surroundings better. Also, one tends to notice more familiar scenery and landmarks when they are calm. Panic can cause one to make wrong decisions.
  • Recognize your trail: Be sure to stay aware of your trail. Looking back and surveying what’s behind you can offer you a picture of where you are currently and where you came from. Recognizing this can help in case you do get lost. It is also a good practice to take note of unique signs or landmarks on your trails such as an interesting big rock, twin trees, odd grasses and more.
  • Global Positioning: GPS navigation units can now be purchased for an affordable price. No compass-reading required when you have a GPS unit mapping out your trail for you. It also keeps track of where you are and how far away you are from where you started. Be sure to always bring spare batteries along.
  • It also pays to learn how to use a compass: While GPS has basically turned the compass obsolete, the compass doesn’t need batteries, and it’s an interesting skill to pick up. Use your compass in tandem with your map so you can easily determine your position and which direction you should be heading toward.

On top of this, the most important thing to remember on a camping trip is to have fun. Also remember that it is always better to trust your compass rather than your instincts. Getting lost can always be a problem, but learning to stop, gather yourself, and use your wits are always your best bet.