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by Mason

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




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



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




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




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




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




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




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


Importance of oil……

Think about it – there are a lot of uses for different kinds of oil. Now imagine no stores open and no way of getting any. How does your supply look?

Not too good? Me neither.

I just came back from the store after picking up some Rem-Oil for some shooting I am doing tomorrow. I have several bottles of it along with many other brands, but for just a couple dollars I figured I would add to my supplies. It got me thinking though. How many of us keep a large amount of motor oil for our vehicles? I haven’t. How about bar oil for your chainsaw? Me neither. How about 2-cycle oil to mix with stored gasoline? I have a few bottles – but not enough.

I am going to start picking up a couple bottles of motor oil every week or two. Firearm oil – I still need to add a few bottles as well as a couple of spray cans. 

Black gold….Texas Tea……

Got oil?


What did I do to prep this week?

What did I do to prep this week?

By Bev Sandlin, Executive Editor


Actually, not a darn thing.

I had several “challenges” come up this week. AND it was our first full week of sunshine in I don’t know how long… Fillmore County is a Federal Disaster Area due to incessant rains and flooding – Bridges and roads just washed away, besides homes and parks.

My activities have focused on Weeding, Weeding, Weeding! The food garden and the flowers. Using and putting back strawberries. Cleaning out the rabbit and pigeons runs. And doing other not so savory, but important tasks.

Just Bev’s point of view, but preparedness is not just looking ahead and putting by, but also taking care of today. [Absolutely right Bev!!! - Rourke]  Does weeding your garden qualify, if you get a better crop? — I have had years where the summer got away from me and the garden was strangled by weeds, so… I don’t know.

But I do think that the most important thing anyone can do is to take care of today. All any one of us has is today. Don from Iowa made me think of that, in my heart. What if… A tornado? An earthquake? Flood? Rocked my world? Well, I’ve been through flood and fire and divorce and job loss and strokes and a devastating car accident and it seems like everything… Today is all we have, truly. We can prepare for physical needs, but we also need to prepare for…

And then there was Independence Day this week! A celebration of a new Nation, Our Nation, The United States of America! And as I listened to the video that Rourke put up, I thought, “What would Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington think now?” Congress in deadlock with sequesters, illegal aliens being given a pass… And I thought about Harold’s Chronicles and the border that divides North and South Korea – they keep that with no problem. And our border with Mexico? But, I don’t know anything and the politicians seem to know everything.

Okay Patriots, what did YOU do this week to prepare?


A smile for you…

Big Smile


In God We Trust


Top 10 things to get to start prepping……

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



Everyday more and more people are getting involved in preparedness. The reasons are many however these “newbies” often are confused and just don’t know where to start.

This post is to assist in pointing many of you new to preparedness in the right direction. The acquiring and completion of this list does not get you ready for the end of the world. That is not the goal. What these 10 items provide is a good base which to build your survival system from.

So – here is the list:


#1 – LED Flashlight with extra batteries


 The flashlight is one of the most basic supplies in any preparedness system. Once the lights go out and the sun goes down the lowly flashlight will be very welcome and extremely important. When that  ”thing” goes bump in the night and the kids are scared a flashlight (or twelve) will provide comfort in addition to security.

There are a lot of great flashlights that do not have to cost and arm and a leg. The Nebo featured above is an excellent example.

Whatever is purchased make sure to get several sets of extra batteries as well.


#2 – Water / Food



Without food and water a survival situation can go from bad to very, very bad. A good start is putting back 72 hours worth of food for each member of your group or family. This does not have to be expensive or take up a lot of space. Purchasing extra food such as rice, beans, peanut butter, dehydrated potatoes, etc. at your local grocery store is certainly a good option. Ready made 72 hour kits of quality freeze dried food can be purchased and placed on a shelf just on case.

Water can be purchased by the gallon or in cases of small portable bottles. Look for ones on sale and stack them up next to your emergency food supply.



#3 - Fire


Fire can do a lot. Fire can heat, cook, signal, sterilize, purify, provide light, and protect. Grab a couple packs of matches and a few butane lighters. Save dryer lint in a Ziploc bag along with some petroleum jelly and fire you will have.


#4 - Guns & Ammo


 It is unfortunate that low-life hoodlums will take advantage of disasters and emergency situations and rob, loot, steal, and murder. Being able to defend yourself, your family and your supplies is required. Whatever firearm is chosen be familiar with it, be able to shoot it accurately and have plenty of ammunition and extra magazines (if applicable).

A pile of money is not needed to get something decent. I recently picked up a brand new Springfield XD9 for $399. Not bad. 


#5 - Blankets


Blankets can provide not only warmth but comfort as well should the need to sleep on a hard surface arise. Blankets can be folded to create a pillow. They also can be folded and tied to hold supplies. Blankets can also be used between two large poles to carry an injured person. Wool is highly recommended. A lot of uses and not easily replaces with an alternative.


#6 - First Aid Kit

 Got a boo-boo? Not a big deal in most cases however in a disaster-event one of the last things anyone needs is an infection. Depending upon what happens tree’s could be down, power out – lots of opportunities for injury.

Having a good basic first aid kit just makes sense. They can be purchased at Wal-Mart  for just under $10.00. I have one of the kits pictured above and am very happy with it.



#7 – Knife

 A good basic knife can do a lot of things and likely should probably be higher on the list. Depending on the specific knife, this tool can cut, chop, slice, carve, hammer, pry, stab, and hack. The KA-BAR is a good knife.



#8 – Radio


Communication is more than just valuable so you know what is happening r will be happening – it can be a morale booster. Bring stuck in a house with no power, no running water – with no connection to the outside world can wreak havoc on people especially kids. An inexpensive radio is a good start.


#9 – Fuel

 Back when Hurricane Hugo plowed through the southeast power was lost for several days in many areas. Gas stations also lost power and many people had no fuel for their vehicles. Having a few 5 gallon gas containers full sitting in a shed or in the backyard is insurance. Make sure you don’t store them in your house or garage.


#10 – Trash Bags

 Trash bags are extremely versatile and I recommend large heavy-duty lawn leaf bags. Plastic trash bags can provide shelter from the elements as well as hold waste. They can transport water as well as capture it from the sky.

Go to the store and get a box of large, heavy duty leaf bags.

Alright everyone no doubt opinions vary on what items should and shouldn’t be on this list.

What do you think?






The Top 50 Things to Disappear from Store Shelves during an Emergency

Originally posted here – > 


The Top 50 Things to Disappear from Store Shelves during an Emergency


Have you ever noticed how, whenever a big storm is predicted, people start rushing to stores to clean them out of ever food item and supply they have on the shelves? In one sense, it’s probably good that they are trying to anticipate the emergency, despite being last-minute about it. It sure beats those people who don’t bother to prepare at all, then complain when emergency services are overwhelmed by requests for assistance.


But why panic in the first place? Why not have a stash of necessary items always ready for such an emergency? Even if there isn’t a storm approaching, it’s nice to know that you don’t have to rush out to the store every time you run out of toilet paper. Keeping some extra around the house is always a good idea!


With this in mind, I decided to ask’s Facebook fans what they felt were the emergency supplies that stores were most likely to run out of when people start to panic. Then I compiled the top comments in various categories so I could share it with you. Since this list is based on the comments of our Facebook fan page, some of the items (canned meat, for instance) may not be the absolute first things for a store to run out of, but are still items that you should consider having among your emergency supplies nonetheless.


Without further ado, here the list of the Top 50 Things to Disappear from Store Shelves during an Emergency, compiled by yours truly:



  1. Bread
  2. Butter
  3. Cereal
  4. Coffee
  5. Eggs
  6. Flour
  7. Fruit, canned and fresh
  8. Honey
  9. Meats, canned
  10. Milk
  11. Peanut butter
  12. Pet food
  13. Salt
  14. Sugar
  15. Vegetables, canned and root vegetables
  16. Water



  1. Batteries
  2. Candles
  3. Charcoal
  4. Coolers
  5. Flashlights
  6. Gasoline
  7. Generators
  8. Glow sticks
  9. Ice
  10. Lamp oil and oil lanterns
  11. Lighter fluid
  12. Matches
  13. Propane, propane stoves



  1. Alcohol, drinking
  2. Beer
  3. Cigarettes
  4. Condoms



  1. Alcohol, rubbing
  2. Antiseptic
  3. Aspirin/pain relievers
  4. Cold medicine
  5. First aid kits



  1. Feminine hygiene products
  2. Paper plates/napkins
  3. Shampoo
  4. Soap
  5. Toilet paper



  1. Baby food/formula
  2. Diapers



  1. Duct tape
  2. Plastic bags
  3. Plywood
  4. Radios
  5. Rope

Now, before you file this away as mildly interesting reading, take this list and compare it to what you have stocked up. Check to see what you may be missing or what you need more of. And don’t forget that this is only a Top 50 list, so there are plenty of other items that I don’t have space to talk about in this (already long!) blog entry.


Feel free to offer feedback on our Facebook page and, as always, stay aware and prepared.


- Tom


Tom Sciacca is a former US Marine, a veteran of the Gulf War, a survival enthusiast and President of


Top 10 Items to Have In a Survival Kit


Top 10 Items to Have In a Survival Kit

 By Wyzyrd, Editor-At-Large


Water is kind of assumed – otherwise, that’s #1

1) A ‘general purpose’ fixed blade knife. Not a dedicated chopper, not a dedicated fighting knife. Something just as useful for making a tent peg as slicing veggies for dinner or pulling out a splinter. Cold Steel’s “Canadian Belt Knife” weighs almost nothing, and is the closest to my antique carbon steel “Herter’s” model, which I have carried outdoors for 30+ years.

2) Flashlights (note plural) and batteries. Headlamps are handy too.

3) Waterproof matches, lighters and a firesteel – 2 is 1, 1 is none, so carry at least 3 ways to make fire.

4) Your favorite multi tool. This is as much of a ‘religious’ argument as firearms choice. Pick the one you like, and pack it. A small, cheap backup multi tool is not a bad idea, either, in the kit, or on your keychain–The $4.95 “Fisherman’s Tool” on the fishing aisle at Wal-Mart ain’t half bad – pack 5 or 10 of ‘em, spread around)

5) Cheap-o aluminized Mylar ‘emergency blankets‘ – more than 1.

6) Cordage. 550 cord or bankline do not take up much room (I think I’ll have to do a post on ‘survival bracelet braids and double chain sinnets) and can save your bacon.

7) Coffee (or tea). Pick your favorite instant packs or bags. Handy, even if you aren’t an addict, like me.

8) Gorilla Tape. Needs no explanation (“Why is The Force like Duck Tape? It has a Light Side and a Dark Side, and it holds the Universe together” :) and yes, it’s duck tape, not duct tape – invented to repair WWII amphibious vehicles called “ducks” – galvanized HVAC ductwork is one of the few things in the world it WON’T stick to- the plastic they use on automotive interiors resists duck tape, as well)

9) More zip-top plastic bags and at least 1 large ‘contractor grade’ plastic trash bag.

10) A metal container (that you can also use as a pot) to stick #1-9 in. I like stainless steel “Flan Molds” (available online or at a local Latino market). Circular, about 2 in deep, 6-7 in diameter, 3 or 4 spring load clamps to hold it reasonably watertight. No handle, so if you cook in it, you need the multi-tool pliers to take it off the fire.




Top 20 Preparedness Items You Own Right Now (and don’t even know it)


Top 20 Preparedness Items You Own Right Now (and don’t even know it)

 By Bev, Executive Editor



1) A jack knife and a pair of pliers and you can fix, cobble, etc. most anything!
2) Pots and Pans! Handy for oh so much!
3) Solar landscape lighting! Bring them in for a much safer night time

lighting than candles! Their batteries work in other things too! And they can recharge rechargeable batteries!
4) Kitchen knives! You have a whole rack of tools there to cut, scrape and chop with!
5) Garbage bags! Again so handy for anything from keeping warm and dry, to personal sanitation, to creating shelter and ropes!
6) Aluminum foil! Handy for so much, ex. Cooking in, candle holders, reflect heat in and keep heat out!
7) Heavy duty extension cords! They work to bring electric in if only you are the one without power and also as rope!
8) Electric fence wire! That stuff practically holds my place together anyway!
9) A chainsaw! No gun and you have intruders? Start the chainsaw!

They won’t stay and you don’t have to be accurate!
10) Your dog! Both an alarm and protection, even if it is an ankle biter!


11) Duck Tape! What can’t you do with it!


12) Whiskey/Alcohol! Sterilize a wound or tend to the pain!

13) Car Radio! Emergency news at your fingertips!


14) Deck of Cards! Yup, no electric, no lights, no sound, and those cards become mighty appealing!


15) Aloe Vera Plant! Burn treatment!


16) Anything in your freezer can be used as a cold pack if needed!


17) Shower curtain! That is a large hunk of plastic to fix the roof, keep you dry, catch water in or line the bathtub and drain the rest of the water out of your system!


18) Tarps, plastic sheeting, etc. Tack them to the walls and ceiling to create one warm/isolation room!


19) Hammer! Way better than a rock for almost anything you want to pound on including an unwelcome guest!


20) Grill lighter! It makes fire!

100 Items That Disappear First in a Disaster

This list has circulated around the ‘net for years. It has been posted, torn apart, praised, and ridiculed many times. Hey – why not here. My opinion? Great list of things to stock up on. Many are common household items while others are not.

Take a gander. Let’s hear your opinions and what additions should be added to the list.

 - Rourke


100 Items That Disappear First in a Disaster

1. Generators
(Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy…target of thieves; maintenance, etc.)

2. Water Filters/Purifiers

3. Portable Toilets (Increasing in price every two months.)

4. Seasoned Firewood
(About $100 per cord; wood takes 6 – 12 mos. to become dried, for home uses.)

5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps
(First choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!)

6. Coleman Fuel
(URGENT $2.69-$3.99/gal. Impossible to stockpile too much.)

7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats and Slingshots

8. Hand-Can openers and hand egg beaters, whisks (Life savers!)

9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugars

10. Rice – Beans – Wheat
(White rice is now $12.95 – 50# bag. Sam’s Club, stock depleted often.)

11. Vegetable oil (for cooking)
(Without it food burns/must be boiled, etc.)

12. Charcoal and Lighter fluid (Will become scarce suddenly.)

13. Water containers
(Urgent Item to obtain. Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY)

14. Mini Heater head (Propane) (Without this item, propane won’t heat a room.)

15. Grain Grinder (Non-electric)

16. Propane Cylinders

17. Michael Hyatt’s Y2K Survival Guide
(BEST single y2k handbook for sound advice/tips.)

18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc.
(Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.)

19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula/ointments/aspirin, etc

20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)

21. Cook stoves
(Propane, Coleman and Kerosene)

22. Vitamins
(Critical, due 10 Y2K-forced daily canned food diets.)

23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder
(Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item.)

24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products

25. Thermal underwear 
(Tops and bottoms)

26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets and Wedges (also, honing oil)

27. Aluminum foil Reg. and Heavy. Duty 
(Great Cooking and Barter item)

28. Gasoline containers 
(Plastic or Metal)

29. Garbage bags 
(Impossible to have too many.)

30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, paper towel

31. Milk – Powdered and Condensed 
(Shake liquid every 3 to 4 months.)

32. Garden seeds (Non-hybrid) (A MUST)

33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)

34. Coleman’s Pump Repair Kit: 1(800) 835-3278

35. Tuna Fish (in oil)

36. Fire extinguishers 
(or.. large box of Baking soda in every room…)

37. First aid kits

38. Batteries (all sizes…buy furthest-out for Expiration Dates)

39. Garlic, spices and vinegar, baking supplies

40. BIG DOGS (and plenty of dog food)

41. Flour, yeast and salt

42. Matches 
(“Strike Anywhere” preferred. Boxed, wooden matches will go first.)

43. Writing paper/pads/pencils/solar calculators

44. Insulated ice chests 
(good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime)

45. Work boots, belts, Levis and durable shirts

46. Flashlights/Light Sticks and torches, “No.76 Dietz” Lanterns

47. Journals, Diaries and Scrapbooks 
(Jot down ideas, feelings, experiences: Historic times!)

48. Garbage cans Plastic 
(great for storage, water, transporting – if with wheels)

49. Men’s Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers, etc

50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)

51. Fishing supplies/tools

52. Mosquito coils/repellent sprays/creams

53. Duct tape

54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes

55. Candles

56. Laundry detergent (Liquid)

57. Backpacks and Duffle bags

58. Garden tools and supplies

59. Scissors, fabrics and sewing supplies

60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.

61. Bleach 
(plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)

62. Canning supplies (Jars/lids/wax)

63. Knives and Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel

64. Bicycles…Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc.

65. Sleeping bags and blankets/pillows/mats

66. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)

67. Board Games Cards, Dice

68. d-Con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer

69. Mousetraps, Ant traps and cockroach magnets

70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks…)

71. Baby Wipes, oils, waterless and Anti-bacterial soap 
(saves a lot of water)

72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc.

73. Shaving supplies 
(razors and creams, talc, after shave)

74. Hand pumps and siphons 
(for water and for fuels)

75. Soy sauce, vinegar, bouillons/gravy/soup base

76. Reading glasses

77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)

78. “Survival-in-a-Can”

79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens

80. BSA – New 1998 – Boy Scout Handbook 
(also, Leader’s Catalog)

81. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO)

82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky

83. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts

84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)

85. Lumber (all types)

86. Wagons and carts 
(for transport to and from open Flea markets)

87. Cots and Inflatable Mattresses (for extra guests)

88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.

89. Lantern Hangers

90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws, nuts and bolts

91. Teas

92. Coffee

93. Cigarettes

94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc.)

95. Paraffin wax

96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.

97. Chewing gum/candies

98. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing)

99. Hats and cotton neckerchiefs

100. Goats/chickens

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.


The Perfect Christmas Gift


The perfect prepping Christmas gift—an kerosene lamp! 


The Perfect Christmas Gift

By John from Iowa, Editor-At-Large



Time’s running out, and if you haven’t found that hard to get person a gift yet, you could be in potential trouble!


Here’s an idea that will hopefully help. Try giving a Prepping gift, like a kerosene lamp! Wally World has a nice selection of kerosene lamps at prices that should fit into any budget. There are various decorative glass styles, but they even have the old outside barn style too. This, with a bottle of lamp oil, would make the perfect Prepping gift without breaking the bank. The lamp oils even come in various scents if you want add a special touch.


If the time comes when it is needed in a power outage, you’ll be thanked many times over! Kerosene lamps are much safer than candles, and were used in our recent past for many years. Good common sense must prevail in their use though, as with any item that uses fire. For a long while they were the only source of night time light that there was. The Amish still use them to light their homes to this day.


Most of the lamps come with instructions on how to trim the wick. Remind the gift recipient to pay close attention to it and do it for the best lighting results.



Note- My name is John, and I’m new to this website. I’ve been asked to share some of my knowledge of Prepper related topics with the other users of this site. I’ve been prepping for close to 50 years in one form or another, and I look forward to working with John and Bev in bringing you the useful info that you might be looking for. If there is a particular subject you’d like more info on, please ask. I’ll do my best to answer it, or get you pointed in the right direction. I don’t have all the answers, but I can usually find someone who does.

                                             John from Iowa



What did I do to prep this week?


“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Benjamin Franklin





What did I do to prep this week?

 by Bev Sandlin

It was another trying week, Mother was released from the hospital, got home, and was rushed back and admitted again. She didn’t get released again until Saturday. Tick diseases are serious and some are even deadly. If you didn’t read last Sunday’s comments, HomeInsteader shared that Purpose soap (Walgreens) seems to repel Missouri ticks and I shared that dandruff shampoo used as a body wash seems to repel Minnesota wood ticks. Sharing helps us all. Thank you HomeInsteader!


I repacked my pandemic supplies into a 5 gallon pail. We are overdue for a mass pandemic similar to the one that killed millions of people in 1918. In fact, my great-grandmother, Veronica, died in 1918 six months pregnant with grandma’s brother. Was it the Spanish flu that swept around the world? So many died that year that there is no record of what she died from. What do I have in my pandemic bucket?


50 N95 masks

2 N99 reuseable masks

5 bottles of antiseptic hand cleaner

4 plastic coveralls

A box of100 disposable latex gloves

Two sets of safety glasses

2 Israeli gas masks with extra cartridges

Rolls of plastic and duck tape to create an insolation tent

A box of 1000 antiseptic wipes

Quarantine signs to post on the doors as a potential way to ward off intruders—they might think twice, maybe not…


Last year I went to the movie Contagion–very sobering as to the potential for a pandemic. And I live only 30 miles from Mayo Clinic and many people in town work there.


I went online and purchased two heavy duty mylar blankets from Deals Only Web Store. Now I’m waiting for them to arrive. I am looking for reusable mylar blankets as they are so handy in a variety of emergency situations. And since my life may depend on them in a Minnesota winter, I want good ones!


I spent a few hours this week prepping my food garden for next year—final weeding, turning the compost piles, organizing pots and folding up plastic.


I also finished the paper work and was accepted by the Minnesota Master Gardener program—requires a background check. So, now I have to come up with $275 to pay for the online course running January and February and I will be a Master Gardener intern! And thanks, Wyzyrd, for your tips on growing food indoors—also in last week’s prepping comments.


This week is Thanksgiving, already!  The years seem to be going faster… Please give thanks for our great Nation and for the veterans who have served to keep us free! If your table is as laden as mine will be, consider inviting a veteran to dinner who may not otherwise enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal. There are so many older veterans who have no one or their family lives far away. Sharing one meal with someone who is alone during this holiday can be such a blessing to them and us as well.


Okay Rourke’s Patriots, what did YOU do this week to prep?


A smile for you…


The Army of the Lord


friend was in front of me coming out of church one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands. He grabbed my friend by the hand and pulled him aside.

The Pastor said to him, “You need to join the Army of the Lord!”

My friend replied, “I’m already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor.”

 Pastor questioned, “How come I don’t see you except at Christmas and Easter?”

He whispered back, “I’m in the secret service.”



Prepping this week…….

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Benjamin Franklin
What did I do to prep this week?
by Bev Sandlin
I decided to add to my long term storage foods this week, so I ordered more Mylar bags from They are the most inexpensive place I have found and include the appropriate oxygen absorbers with the bags. I was shocked at how fast the bags came in given that shipping was free! I purchased a combination of 5 gallon and 1 gallon bags to put in my five gallon pails.
It rained one day this week, so I decided to go shopping. I like to shop at Aldis for good deals. I packed my reusable grocery bags, a quarter for the grocery cart, cash because they don’t accept checks, and my list. Aldis is a discount retailer that buys overages, etc., hence their inventory is ever changing and inconsistent. You can really save some serious grocery money if you go with an open mind and build your menus around their deals. No large bags of rice or beans this week, but I did get a number of 5 lb. bags of flour for $1.49 each and 4 lb. bags of sugar for $2.49 each. I just could not pass up the 3 lb. bags of onions for only 69 cents each! And I cringed when I saw a 3500 watt generator for only $139, having just bought an 800 watt generator for $79, oh well. Off to Wal-Mart and 50 cents a lb. for 20 lb. bags of rice, $17 for a large bag of pinto beans and $28 for 100 rounds of 9mm hollow points. Ah yes, rice, beans and bullets!
And as long as I made the 60 mile round trip to the big city, I stopped at Goodwill and picked up two bags to store winter coats and boots in for our winter vehicle emergency bags — Thank You MsKYprepper for reminding me!
The sun came back and my sister came over and we spent the day putting up a vinyl building I had purchased earlier this summer to store my gardening tools and extra garden tractor near the garden. We got it almost all together, just half of the roof left and then it was bingo time. Off we went to bingo and the next day I finished the roof with Bob.
I’ve been working on erecting a greenhouse I purchased this summer for over two weeks now, I had to take time out to let my fingers heal—and yes they did say to wear gloves, and no I didn’t. It is all done except for the door which even my husband can’t figure out how to put together.


And I have been praying. I’ve been praying for the survivors of Sandy who are still in the dark. Praying for those who have lost loved ones. And praying for wisdom from my Lord on how I can help. Giving blood yes… But I feel very convicted that there must be more that I can do.

I would like all of you to help me to come up with ideas on what these people could be doing to help themselves through this situation. Together, we can create a list, or series of lists, on what to do in the circumstances they are trapped in. Imagine if you were trapped in your apartment or home with no electricity, natural gas or running water and it was freezing outside. What would YOU do? This is why we are preparing, so how would we cope with it?
What did YOU do this week to prep?


A smile for you…
Big Smile
An old prospector walks his tired old mule into a western town one day.
He’d been out in the desert for about six months without a drop of whiskey. He walked up to the first saloon he came to and tied his old mule to the hitch rail. As he stood there brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger walked out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.
The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, “Hey old man, have you ever danced?”
The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, “No, I never did dance. I just never wanted to.”
A crowd had gathered by then and the gunslinger said, “Well, you old fool, you’re gonna’ dance now,” and started shooting at the old man’s feet.
The old prospector was hopping around and everybody was laughing. When the gunslinger fired his last bullet, he holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.
The old man reached up on the mule, drew his shotgun, and pulled both hammers back making a double clicking sound. The gunslinger heard the sound and everything got quiet. The crowd watched as the gunslinger slowly turned around looking down both barrels of the shotgun.
The old man asked, “Did you ever kiss a mule’s ass?”
The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, “No. But I’ve always wanted to.”
The lessons from this story are:
1. Don’t waste ammunition.
2. Don’t mess with old people.

What to do with $1000 right now…..

food-storage (1)

This post originally appeared over at my other preparedness website – ModernSurvivalOnline. It can be seen HERE.

- – - Rourke

A little while back I read a post over at IfItHitstheFan.comconcerning a recommendation on where to spend $900 on survival & preparedness preps. I love thinking about stuff like this. It is sorta like “What would I do if I won the lottery?”

Back to reality. There are many people across this great country that are just now seeing the light and beginning there preps. For many of these newcomers the question of where to begin is ever present. Some people are taking things serious and are willing to sink some serious change into their preparations – so I figured I would throw my 2 cents in. For someone relatively new to the prepping scene and having no purposely stocked supplies – a $1000 can go a long way. Here are my recommendations:

  • Food ($350)– this has to be the priority.
    • Purchase in quantity what you normally eat. A good idea would be to sit down with a notepad and pen and meal plan for 2 weeks.
    • Remember that there may be no electricity so all food items in the meal plan have to come from the pantry.
    • Next – take that 2 week meal plan and make a list of all items and use that as your shopping list. If you are able to buy 2 of everything listed – that would be a one month supply.
    • Take into consideration any supplies such as cooking oil that you may need to complete the meal. Don’t forget about spices and other condiments.
    • Lastly – do consider shelf life (often on the package) as well as buying store brands and buying on sale to maximize your available funds.


  • Water ($50)– You have to have it.
    • Buy the basics – gallons of spring/drinking water. These can often be had for less han $1.00 per gallon.
    • Save soft drink containers, rinse them out and fill with tap water (mark with date).
    • Buy a few cases of bottled water.


  • Light ($50) – In the dark – you will wish you had it if you don’t.
    • Pick up a few quality LED flashlights. [LED will give you long bulb life & super long batttery life]
    • Buy a bunch of candles at the dollar store or local discount store, as well as some matches
    • Pick up a lantern-type flashlight of the larger variety.
    • Get extra alkaline batteries for all.
  • Medical/First Aid ($40)– ‘Stuff happens – be ready.
    • Make sure you are up to date on all prescriptions.
    • Get a decent first aid kit – usually around $10.00 .
    • Pick up extra supplies like common band-aides, burn ointment, diarrhea medicine, pain killers, triple antibiotic, cold medicine, etc.

Alright – up to  $490.00………….$510.00 to go.

  • Misc Household Supplies ($60)- This category covers a lot.
    • Here is a chance to stock up on cleaning supplies as well as some sanitation.
    • Include a large variety of solutions for washing clothes, disinfection, as well as personal items such as deodorant, shampoo, soap, hand sanitizer, shaving creme, and razors.


  • Self-Defense ($200)- If you do not have the ability to defend your family and supplies – you may up with neither.
    • $200 can work to get yourself a firearm to defend yourself – as well as possibly put some meat in the pot.
    • Check out the used gun selection at your local pawn and gun shops. You may be able to pick up a decent shotgun as well as some shells for it for the budgeted $200.
    •  Another consideration may be getting a decent rimfire like the Ruger 10/22 along with a brick of ammunition. I know, I know… is not the best gun for defense – but we are on a budget here.

Maverick Model 88 shotgun – $177 at Wal-Mart

  • Alternative Power ($50)- With an initial investment in supplies of $1000 – you can only do so much.
    • Stock up on batteries for all battery powered items you have and will need.
    • Try to standardize your electronics so you only need a couple of battery sizes.
    • Look for the best deal on batteries – and stock up.
    • Alkalines are much better than standard heavy-duty.
    • Rechargable can be good – if you have a method of recharging them.


  • Fuel ($50)- Stow away some extra gas for your vehicle and propane for your grill.
    • 10 gallons of gas right now is running around $35.00 .
    • Getting a 20-lb propane tank filled is costing around $15.00.
    • Do what you can.


  • Knowledge ($)- Get on the ‘net and start printing.
    • Sure – you can buy books – but if you are on a budget just start printing stuff off the Internet.
    • Place printed subject matter in categorized binders and folders.
    • Store some of the material that is most important in large Zip-loc bags.
    • Practice some of the skills that you think you might need – like firestarting.


  • Methods for Heating ($150) - Getting cold out? You’ll be glad you spent some money on this catagory.
    • Depending upon your region – being able to get warmth in the winter may be critical.
    • One possibility is to get Kerosene heaters and then stock up on fuel.
    • Blankets, blankets…….and more blankets.
    • Stock up on gloves and thermal underwear.
    • Already have a propane heater? Get more fuel.

Well – that’s $1000.00 dollars. This list isn’t best for anyone – just to promote some thought. If someone already has a defensive firearm – that money can be spent somewhere else.  Same goes for every other category. This kind of thinking can be fun – and get you thinking about your own preps and where YOU might spend $1000 if you you came into it. Any thoughts? Rourke

Video Week at…..5 Things Every Prepper Needs


Good video with suggestions on 5 things every prepper should have:


Favorite tool or preparedness item?


I have a lot of preparedness stuff – some inexpensive and some absolutely not. Some of my stuff includes what might be considered a gadget, some are tools, some are essentials.

If I had to pick a favorite prepper item – it would be the Gerber Suspension multi-tool.

I have had and used many Gerber multi-pliers and the Suspension is by far my favorite. Why? It is very versatile. It is extremely useful and rugged.

I also have some other favorites including a Ka-Bar knife, my Stag M4, and a couple of Streamlight Stylus Pro flashlights.

So – what is your favorite prepper item?


10 Preparedness Supplies bought for less than $10.00 each


It doesn’t take a ton of money to get prepared. Many of us – “seasoned citizens” or not live on a tight budget. I took a trip to my local Wally-World to check out some inexpensive supplies that can be purchased for less than $10.00.

Here are a few:

  • Batteries – Needed for flashlights, radio’s and any other electronic devices that may be needed in a grid down situation. Purchase alkaline and look for sales. It is also a good idea to try to standardize flashlights and other battery-operated items on just a couple of sizes. This will minimize the chance of running out of one type of battery and making devices powered by those batteries useless. I like AA the best.

  • Bleach – Inexpensive and can be used to make water safe for drinking. 1/2 gallon requires between 5 and 10 drops depending on how cloudy/dirty it is. If water contains particles of “crap” – pre-filter prior to adding Clorox Bleach. It is best to store Clorox Brand bleach – no perfumed versions.

  • Trash Bags – Imagine how life would be if you had no trash bags. In an emergency situation sanitation will be very important to prevent disease . Whether it is food wrappers or empty cans of beans they must be disposed of properly or vermin will be visiting. I don’t like vermin.

  • Candles – Candles have been a mainstay of preparedness for a long time. When the sun goes down along with the grid – candles can provide a warm glow to light the way to the bathroom, upstairs to see the grandchildren, or to pour a glass of Clorox tasting water.  Inexpensive and safe when used properly.

  • Emergency Lighting – If the power fails in the middle of the night will you be able to locate your flashlights and candles? These small “nightlights” plug into any outlet and turn on when the power fails lighting the area where placed. I have several of these placed in hallways. Makes a lot of sense.

  • Flashlights – Another mainstay item of survival & preparedness. Flashlights provide not only light when needed – but also comfort and a sense of security. If little kids are around they are invaluable. Pictured below is a small LED lantern. I highly recommend that LED-type flashlights are purchased as they are much more durable, bulbs last just about forever, and batteries last much longer.

  • Fire – Need to light a candle? Want to start the fireplace? Light the grill? Grab a pack of Bic lights for less than $5.00. Matches are also inexpensive.

  • Seeds and Growing Containers – Some crops like lettuce are incredibly easy to grow. Seeds are very inexpensive. Depending upon your housing and living conditions lettuce can be grown in a container on your patio or porch. Have a backyard? A few packs of seeds and some help from a young neighbor or grand-kid could provide some food on the dinner table.

  • First Aid Kit – It’s bound to happen – that paper cut from Hades! Having a decent first aid kit around is a welcome addition to your preparedness supplies. Band-aides, burn cream, antibiotic ointment, etc are basic supplies that should be kept on hand.

Well – there you go. 10 items that cost less than $10.00 each.

Know of some other supplies that are great for the budget minded prepper?

Take care all -


Getting started in prepping……



This is some advice to provide a little guidance on getting into preparedness. Whether you are a “seasoned citizen” or a 18 year old  - getting started in prepping is pretty much the same.

Depending on finances and how quickly you want to “get ready” – many preppers stock up on supplies in baby steps. It is surprising how quickly a survival stockpile can grow by just picking up a few items each week. Within a few months a good safety stock of supplies can be accumulated.

Before going out and starting to purchase and acquire supplies you need to determine what your immediate short term goal is. Do you want supplies for a few days? A few weeks? Months? Get out a pen and a notebook and start brainstorming as to what you are preparing for and what you think you will need. Make note of what you already have around the house.

If you are just starting out you may think of different scenarios that could occur such as a power outage or ice storm. Lets look at a few basics……



How may days worth of food is in your pantry right now? Set a short term goal to double it. Adding non-perishable food a little at a time can add up quickly and provide security. Easy to prepare foods such as soups, stews and pasta are good candidates to store in case of an emergency.

Consider how food will be prepared should there be no electricity and no refrigeration. Many homes in the United States have gas or charcoal grills. These would suffice as long as sufficient fuel is stored. An open fire pit can be used as well. Camping stoves are wonderful methods of cooking. The camp stoves are small and compact for easy storage and run on small propane canisters. These fuel canisters can be purchased locally and stocked up on “just in case”. There are also camp stoves that run on other readily available fuel as well.

Some examples of common foods for increasing your food storage:

  • soup
  • stews
  • SPAM/canned ham
  • canned beans
  • tuna
  • peanut butter
  • canned vegetables
  • canned fruit
  • nutrition bars
  • hard candy (nice treat for when the grid is down and stress is high)

The theory behind the typical food storage program is to “store what you eat and eat what you store”.


Water -

Depending upon your overall health you can live 2 – 3 weeks without food but only 3 days without water. Water is incredibly essential for the human body to function as it is supposed to.

It is commonly recommended to store 1 gallon or water per person per day. This is an absolute minimum. Consider that the one gallon of water will not only be be used for drinking, but also for washing one self as well as cleaning dishes. On gallon is not a lot.

So – water is necessary and must be stored. One of the least expensive methods is to refill empty 2-liter soft drink containers with water. These should be washed thoroughly of course. Another inexpensive method is to buy 1 gallon bottles of Spring Water. Many preppers also buy cases of 16 oz bottles of Spring Water. These cases usually contain 24 bottles and are easily stacked.

Decide your method or use all. Just get it done.


Light -

Flashlights and lanterns. Make sure you have a few good flashlights and plenty of extra batteries. Always use alkaline batteries rather than normal heavy duty. LED flashlights have advantages over old school flashlights as they are extremely bright and batteries last much longer.

Candles are useful as well to provide a soft low-level light. Remember that candles mean flame and precautions must be taken to ensure that in the middle of a disaster another one is not created when your home burns down.


Stocking up on food, water, and methods for lighting are good steps to getting ready “just in case”. Throw in a battery operated radio for good measure.


For more information-  check out these Online Resources: –

FEMA – –


American Red Cross –


Many of these sites provide printable checklists and guides.

Take care -